Ezra S Stearns.

Genealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) online

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so predominant in his character as to cause him to
enter that field of usefulness in preference to the
various other professional walks for which he is
super-abundantly qualified, and accepting the re-
sponsible position of superintendent of the public
schools of Keene, in 1894, fie thereafter performed
his official duties with unusual energy and ability
up to his retirement in 1905.

During his residence in Keene Dr. Harris has
interested himself in educational matters apart from
his legitimate duties, being at the present time a
trustee of the Keene Public Library, and acting for
1904 as president of the New England Association
of School Superintendents. He also participates
actively in religious work as senior warden of St.
James (Protestant) Episcopal Church, and as a
director of the Young Men's Christian Association.
His ancestors, included among which were physi-
cians, ministers, and merchants, were all men of
marked ability, and his intellectual attainments and
executive ability are therefore in some measure in-

He married, June 20, 1894, Winifred Parker, who
was born June 18, 1867, daughter of Charles H. and
Abby J. ( Rockwood) Parker. She is a descendant
of (I) John Parker, born in England, September 4,
1575. through (II) Thomas, the immigrant, (1609-
1683) (see Parker) ; (III) Hananiah (1638-1724) ;
(IV) John <i604-i74i); (V) Andrew (1693-1776) ;
(VI) Thomas, (1727-1799) ; (VII) Ebenezer, of
Lexington, (1750-1839); (VIII) Quincy {1/75-
1828) ; (IX) Ira (1814) and (X) Charles H., who
was born in Providence, Rhode Island, March 22,
1839, and died in Cambridge, August, 1895. The
latter served in the civil war with the Twenty-first
Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and
attained the rank of lieutenant. It is quite evident
that her ancestry is the same as that Rev. Theo-
dore Parker, the famous preacher of a half century
ago. Dr. and Mrs. Harris have two sons — Thaddeus
William, born October i, 1895, and Charles Parker
Harris, born December 28, 1898.

The families of Harris in the United
HARRIS States are very numerous, and can
not be traced to a common ancestor,
as many distinct emigrations of persons bearing the
name appear to have taken place at a very early
period in the history of New England. Previous to
1640 many of the name were in New England, and
were among the early settlers of different towns.

(VII) Thomas Harris, who was born in Massa-
chusetts, died in Hudson, New Hampshire, in 1856,
aged eighty-three years. For years he was employed
as a sail maker in Salem, Massachusetts. He re-
moved to Hudson, New Hampshire, several years
before his death, and was there engaged in agricul-
ture. He was a Democrat in political sentiment.
He married (second), in Hudson, Lydia Colburn, of
Hudson, he had five children : Eliza, Thomas, Wil-
liam, a daughter (died young) and Albert, the sub-
ject of the next paragraph.

(VIII) Albert, youngest child of Thomas and



Lydia (Colburn) Harris., was born in Salem, Massa-
chusetts, November, 181 1, and died in Hudson, No-
vember 19, 1875. He was educated in the common
schools of his native town, and worked on his
father's farm in Hudson until he was of age, and
then bought the place adjoining, where he spent
his remaining years. In his early manhood he was
a Whig, but when the questions of slavery and re-^
hellion were agitated he became a Republican and
a supporter of Abraham Lincoln and his measures.
He married Sarah F. Wellman. who was born at
Washington, New Hampshire, daughter of Thomas
Wellman, of Washington, New Hampshire; she
died, and he married (second) Amanda Stuart of
Hudson. There were seven children by the first
wife : Edward P., lives in Topeka, Kansas ; Cather-
ine, died in youth ; Myron W. lives in Amherst ;
Lydia Frances, married George W. Connell, of
Hudson: Henry Albert, the subject of the next
paragraph ; Harriett A., married O. B. Robinson ;
Charles Austin, married (first) Georgiana Hill, and
(second) Leah Boothby. of Lowell, Massachusetts,
and lives in Lowell. Mary F., the only child of the
second wife, was born April 15, 1856, and married
George W. Bartlett, of Goffstown.

(IX) Albert Henry, who often writes his name
Henry A. Harris, third son and fifth child of Albert
and Sarah F. (Wellman) Harris, was born in Hud-
son, October 27, 1842. He attended the public
schools of Hudson and Lowell until he was eighteen
years of age, and worked at farming and taught
school two terms before the outbreak of the re-
bellion. August 28, 1862, he enlisted in Com-
pany L, First Maine Cavalry, and served two j'ears
and nine months, being discharged May 28, 1865.
He took part in many battles and minor engage-
ments, some of the most important of which were
the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Mine Run, and Appo-
mattox, being present at General Lee's surrender. In
his campaigning he had two horses shot under him.
After the war he returned to Littleton, Maine,
where he taught school four winters and carried on
a farm the remainder of the time. In 1870 he re-
turned to Hudson and engaged in agriculture two
years, and then removed to Merrimack, and was
station agent of the Boston & Maine railroad at
South Merrimack for five years. The next five
years he lived on a leased farm and then (1886)
bought the place he has since occupied. Mr. Harris
has so deported himself as to command the con-
fidence and respect of those who know him, and by
them he has been placed in all of the offices of the
town but representative. He is a trustee of the pub-
lic library, was chairman of the school board nine
years, and built the school house at Reed's Ferry,
and has been a member of the board of selectmen
three years. He is a member of John H. Worcester
Post, Grand Army of the Republic, of Hollis, and
of the Order of the Golden Cross, of which he is a
past commander. He is a Republican in the princi-
ples for which he fought in the dark days of the
rebellion. He is a member of the Union Evangelical
First Church of Merrimack.

He married, first. May 9, 1866, Dora F. Hill, who
was born in Littleton, Maine, Mav i, i8=;r, daughter
of Bradford and Hannah J. (Delaite) Hill of Little-
ton, Maine. She was a member of the Christian
Church (Disciples), a lady of intelligence, and
taught school a number of terms before her mar-
riage. She died September 26. 1891, and he married
(second) January 5, 1893, at Nashua, Fanny E.
Brown, who was born in Amherst, September 25,
1855, daughter, of William E. and Elizabeth G.
(Cragin) Brown, of Merrimack. She was educated

in the public schools of 3>Ianchester and at Magaw
Institute. She subsequently taught school in Merri-
mack for sixteen successive years, and was regarded
as one of the most successful instructors in that
region. She is a member of the Union Evangelical
Church. The children of the first wife were:
Viola W., died young; Albert H., born February 16,
1876, married Nellie F. Patterson, daughter of
George E. and Anna Patterson, of South Merri-
mack: and Leroy E., born November 21, 1877, mar-
ried Carolyn Francisco, of New York.
(Third Family.)

This is an old New England family,
HARRIS originating in 'England or Wales, and

has furnished many excellent citizens
in New Hampshire. It is identified with the earli-
est pioneer period along the Merrimack river, and
is still conspicuous in business circles of the region.

(I) John Harris, progenitor of many of the
name in New England is found of record in
Charlestown, Massachusetts, as early as 1658, when
he was granted two parcels of land. He married
Amy Hills, daughter of Joseph and Rose (Dun-
ster) Hills. Her father was a woolen draper, who
came from Maiden, England, and lived in Charles-
town and Newbury. Massachusetts. Her mother
was a sister of President Dunster of Harvard Col-
lege. John Harris' sons were: Samuel, John,
Thomas and Joseph.

(II) Thomas, third son of John and Amy
(Hills) Harris, was born March 18, 1664, in
Charlestown, and was a tailor residing in that town,
where he died about 1747. He married, February
25, 1686, Hepzibah Crosswell,^ who was born May
20, 1668, daughter of Thomas and Priscilla (Up-
ham) Cross well, of Charlestown. Their children
were : Thomas, Hepzibah, Silence, Ebenezer, Wil-
liam, John, Abigail, Rachael and Elizabeth.

(III) Ebenezer, second son and fourth child of
Thomas and Hepzibah (Crosswell) Harris, was
born June ii. 1698, in Charlestown, and died in Dun-
stable, New Hampshire. He was a tailor by occu-
pation, and settled in Chelmsford, Massachusetts,
where he resided until about 1715, when he removed
to Dunstable. The land records show that he pur-
chased land there about that time. He married
Elizabeth Spalding, who was born January 17. 1700,
in Chelmsford, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth
(Colburn) Spalding. Their children were: Ebe-
nezer, Hepzibah, Hannah and Thomas, born in
Chelmsford, and probably others born in Dunstable.

(IV) Ebenezer (2). eldest child of Ebenezer
(i) and Elizabeth (Spalding) Harris was born
June 12, I7.'?i, in Chelmsford and was a child when
he removed with his parents to Dunstable. He
served from that town as a soldier of the Revo-
lution. His wife's name was Dorcas, but no record
of his marriage is found. It is known that his
daughter Silence was born in Dunstable, September
29, 175.'. and his son Thomas, March 29, 1757. He
was still living in 1783.

(V) Ebenezer (3), second son of Ebenezer (2)
and Dorcas Harris, was born July 24. 1759, in
Dunstable, and died in Merrimack. March 17, 1843,
aged eighty-four. Lie married Rebecca Hills, who
was born in Nottingham West, March 6, 1762, and
died March 20, 1852, aged ninety. Ten children
were born of this union : Rebekah, June 26, 1782.
died January t6, 1874. Esther, July 16, 1784. died
October 10, T857. Reuben, May 2, 1786, died April
23, 183?. Rhoda, February 21, 1788, died April 25,
1872. Ebenezer, June i, 1700. died March 20« 1869.
Anna, December it, 1793. died December 26, 1883,
Hannah, April 7, 1795, died January 5, 1878. OH-



ver, May 19, 1798, died May 11, 1S03. Pauli,
March 22, 1801, died August 23, 18S8. Robert,
March 15, 1807, see forward.

(VI) Robert, son of Ebenezcr (3) and Rebecca
(Hills) Harris, was born in Merrimack, New
Hampshire, March 15, 1807, died in Nashua, Sep-
tember I, 1889. He was a farmer and resided in
Nashua. He married. March 7, 1837, Mary Glines,
who was born in Franklin, New Hampshire, Oc-
tober 4, 1816, died January 30, 1899. She was the
daughter of William and Naomi (Hancock)
Glines, and a descendant of the pioneer Glines
settler of Londonderry; she is also of the same
stock as John Hancock. There were nine children
born of this union: Mary M., June 10, 1838.
Alonzo, June 29, 1840, died August 6, 1842. Har-
vey W.. May 23, 1842, died December 6, of the
same year. Orin B., May 11, 1845, died September
16, of the same year. George A., March 26, 1846,
died August 17, 1870. Lucius L., July S, 1848.
Frank M., July 5, 1S51, died August 3, 1892. Ida
F., November 8, 1855, died aged seven years, and
Ira F., November 8, 1855.

(VII) Ira Francis, youngest child of Robert
and Mary (Glines) Harris, was born November
8, 1855, in Nashua. Previous to the age of sixteen
years he was a student in the public schools of his
native town, after which he went to Jamaica Plain,
Massachusetts, and remained a short time. He
next took up his residence at New Albany Indiana,
and was employed for some time in the navigation
of the Ohio river, acting as assistant pilot. In 1875
he returned to Nashua and took up the study of
dentistry in the ofBce of Dr. L. F. Lock, where he
read two years. At "this time he was offered an
advantageous position in the Indian Head National
Bank and accepted. His duties were so faithfully
discharged that he was made assistant cashier in
1886, and after nine years' further service became
cashier in 1895. This position he has since held
and has become interested in many of the busi-
ness and social institutions of his native city. He
is secretary of the First Congregational Church
Society and of the Fortnightly Club. He is treas-
urer of the local and also of the State Board of
Trade, has administered on a number of important
estates, and is interested in various business en-
terprises of the city. He is recorded among the
prosperous and most substantial citizens of his na-
tive town. Mr. Harris has been an extensive trav-
eler, is a keen observer, and his contributions to
literature have been gratefully and happily accepted
by the public. His illustrated lectures on the Mer-
rimack Valley, Colonial Homes. Historic Nashua,
and other subjects, have delighted many audiences.
Mr. Harris is a cultivated gentleman, whose man-
ners are pleasing ; whose heart is large, and he is
respected and honored by a large circle of friends.
He naturally became affiliated with fraternal or-
ders, and is now a Knight Templar Mason, who
has attained the thirty-second degree.

Fie was married in Nashua, June 7, 1881, to
Mary C. Proctor, who was born August 29, 1852,
daughter of Joseph B. and Sarah J. Proctor of
Nashua. (See Proctor, VII). ]\Irs. Harris is reg-
istrar of Nashua Chapter, Daughters of the Ameri-
can Revolution, and is an active member of the
Woman's Club of Nashua and other social organ-

(Fourth Family.)
Among the prominent citizens of
HARRIS Portsmouth, this state, are represen-
tatives of the line herein traced, of
whose ancestry very little is known. The first of

whom record now appears was Abel Harris, who
resided in Portsmouth.

(II) William Coffin, son of Abel Harris, was
born November. 1767, in Portsmouth, New Hamp-
shire. He married Mary Johnson and resided in
that town.

(III) Captain Thomas Aston, son of William
Coffin and Mary (Johnson) Harris, was born June
13, 1824, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Intro-
duced to the active matters of life at an early age,
the wide awake lad developed a passion for the
sea, which nothing could dispel or divert. His
first voyage was to India in the ship "Mary and
Susan," commanded by Captain William F. Parrott,
a voyage which he heartily enjoyed, and so bene-
ficial that thereafter he was "in all seas." In 1847
he sailed from Norfolk with government stores
for California, and arrived at Monterey, February
6, 1848, when the gold fever was at its height. The
republic of California w-as an accepted and wide-
awake fact in those days, and of which Mr. Harris
received a tangible reminder early in the summer
ofiSgo in the shape of a handsome flag, one of the
original banners of the infant republic. It is of
white bunting, ten feet long and four feet wide,.
with a broad stripe of red on the lower edge, a
red, five-pointed star in the field (the star of the
republic) ; in the center of the white a large Cali-
fornia bear, walking, known as "Nahl's bear," and
underneath the legen-d "California Republic." This
souvenir is very valuable, and of course highly
prized by the fortunate receiver. Captain Harris
returned to the United States the longest way, via
China, and soon after returned to San Francisco,
arriving in 1850. As is generally known there is
a society in that state known as the California
Pioneers. A "forty-eighter" is eligible to what is
termed a Golden Bear membership, a forty-nineer
to a Silver Bear, but a pioneer of '50 has no status
in the association. Gold and silver badges are in-
dicative of these ranks. Captain Harris was the
possessor of the golden trophy and this certificate :

This is to certify that Thomas Aston Harris, who. arrived in
California, February 6, 1848, is a member of the Society of Cali-
fornia Pioneers.

(Signed) EDWARD KRUSE. President.
(Seal) W. H. GRAVES, Secretary.

San Francisco, California, May 20, 1890-

About this time Captain Harris entered the ser-
vice of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, where
he remained a considerable time. On returning
east he built a vessel for the Russian government^
during_ the Crimean war, an armed steamer, the
"Astoria," and sailed thence under the American
flag. On arriving at Sitka her name was changed
to "Alexander." The vessel made a grand record,
and was the same one sent to take Hon, William
H. Seward to Sitka when he went there to inspect
his purchase for the LTnited States government.
While there Captain Harris was urged to take a
high position in the Russian nav}', and the rank
and privilege of a nobleman, but it was satisfaction
to believe that the Yankee nobility was good
enough for the Portsmouth sailor, and the profifer
was gratefully and gracefully declined. At the close
of the Crimean war he returned to the United States,
arriving in February, 1857. He remained only a
few months, however, when in the latter part of
that year he sailed for San Francisco in the United
States light house steamer "Shubrick," and deliv-
ered the vessel, and remained there nearly two
years, when he returned. Captain Harris then took
charge of steamer "Pei Ho," an armed vessel built
for Russell & Company, to open trade with Japan.



Reaching Hong Kong, the ports of Japan having
been opened by treaty, the vessel was sold to the
French government for a despatch boat. He then
returned to the United States overland late in i860,
arriving in the midst of the John Brown trouble
at Harper's Ferry. Imbued by the excitement. Cap-
tain Harris took a trip south, going as far as Texas
to see how matters were looking and to ascertain
the sentiments of the people. After thoroughly ac-
quainting himself with southern affairs he returned
north and entered the United States navy as act-
ing master, his commission dating from May, 1861.
On April 27, 1863, he was advanced to acting volun-
teer lieutenant "as a reward for gallant conduct in
the face of the enemy," the official record states.
The event referred to was the capture of a battery
of six guns at Hill's Point, on the Nansemond
river, in Virginia. In this action was a detachment
of eight companies of the Tenth New Hampshire
Volunteers, Captain George W. Towle and Captain
James Albert Sanborn, both of Portsmouth, in
command. In April, 1865, he was promoted to act-
ing volunteer lieutenant-commander, and served in
that capacity until the close of the war. and was
honorably mustered out and discharged October
24, 1865. Captain Harris' first government ship
was the "Penguin," of which he was executive offi-
cer. His other commands were, in the order
named, the "Henry Andrews," "Stepping Stones,"
"Newbern" and "Lillian," of the North Atlantic
Squadron, and the "Preost" and "Abeona," of the
Mississippi _ Squadron. On leaving the United
States service he resumed service with the Pacific
Mail Steamship Company, and was in command
on the Atlantic coast until 1867, whence he went
to Acapulco, Mexico, as agent of the company
there. Two years later he was transferred to Hong
Kong in a similar capacity, and remained there
nearly five years, when, and only because of im-
paired health, he was obliged to come home. On
leaving Hong Kong he was presented by the guild
of merchants, and with great ceremony, a testi-
monial made of white satin with handsomely em-
broidered border and inscribed in golden letters,
with the fulsome compliment of the Chinese people.
This missive measures four feet by three feet, and
attractively framed, has for years held the chief
place of honor upon the wall in the captain's li-
brary. The change of .climate having effected a
considerable improvement in his health, he returned
to Japan as general agent of the Pacific Mail Steam-
ship Company for Japan and China, with headquar-
ters at Yokohama. In 1876 he was ordered home
by medical survey, too long residence and continua?
overwork having completely prostrated a physique
perfect in every point, and for which change of
climate and rest were imperative. There was pro-
test but no escape from the plain alternative, and
the wanderer, having acquired a competency, re-
turned to Portsmouth, which ever held the dearest
corner in his heart and for whose welfare and pro-
gress he had undivided interest. Captain Harris
was prominent in organizations, and among these
was a member of Saint John's Lodge, No. i. An-
cient Free and Accepted Masons, of Portsmouth,
the Massachusetts Commandery, Loyal Legion, and
a comrade of Storer Post, No. i, Grand Army of the
Republic, of Portsmouth. His gift to the latter organ-
ization of a large and centrally located burying
ground for_ soldiers and sailors at Harmony Grove
Cemetery, is a memorial to the patriotism and
thoughtfulness of the comrade which will be as
enduring as time. For many years Captain Harris
was a director in the New Hampshire National

Bank ; and on the resignation of Edwin A. Peter-
son as president, was unanimously chosen his suc-
cessor. He was an able, far-seeing financier, and
devoted the latter years of his ever active life to
its interests. His interest in young men was par-
ticularly noticeable., and in the most unostentatious
ways, helped many to enter upon successful busi-
ness careers. Captain Harris was a writer of much
force and attractiveness, and was never happier
than when seated at his desk, though unfortunately
for the community he modestly kept his literary
light almost completely hidden. He was a gentle-
man of culture; had positive convictions; the ten-
derest sympathies ; possessed the most courtly
grace ; was a fine conversationalist, and had the
deepest attachments. Of him it can truthfully be
said that he was personified nobleness. Captain
Harris married Mary Elizabeth Langdon Picker-
ing, daughter of John Pickering, esquire, of Ports-
mouth. (See Pickering). She was born April 14,
1835, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

There are several families bearing
WHEELER this name distinct, at least as far

as connection in this country is
concerned, and all are very good stock and found
in the early records. The name has figured credit-
ably in both militia and civic annals through many
generations, and now has living in New Hampshire
some very worthy representatives.

(I) George Wheeler, immigrant ancestor of
those herein traced, was born in 1600, in Salisbury,
England, and was one of the founders of Concord.
Massachusetts, where he located before 1640, and
was made a freeman in 1641. He died there be-
tween January, 1685, and June, 1687. He was twice
married, but no record of his first wife is obtained.
His second wife, Katherine, died June 2, 1685. He
had five children born in England and three in
Concord, namely : William, Thomas, Ruth, Eliza-
beth, Hannah, Sarah, John and IMary. (John and
descendants are mentioned in this article.)

(II) William, eldest child of George Wheeler,
was born 1630, in England, and was consequently
nearly ten years of age when the family settled in
Concord. He died there December 31, 1683. We
can easily conceive that his childhood was passed
amid rude surroundings and that he bore a part
in the struggles of subduing the forests and making
a home. He was married in Concord. October 30,
1659, to Hannah Buss (mistakenly printed Beers in
some instances), daughter of William and Anna
Buss. She was born February 18, 1642. Their chil-
dren were: Hannah (died young), Rebecca, Eliza-
beth, William. Hannah, Richard, John and George.

(III) George (2), youngest child of William
and Hannah (Buss) Wheeler, was born 1670, in
Concord, where he lived through life and died July,
1737. He was married, August 14, 1695, to Abigail
Hosmer, daughter of Stephen and Abigail (Wood)
Hosmer. She was born November 6, 1669, and
died December 27, 1717. Mr. Wheeler married
(second), December 3, 1719, Abigail Smith, who
was born July 21, 1684, in Sudbury, daughter of
Thomas and Abigail Smith. She died between Oc-
tober 3 and December 30, 1728. He had sons
James and Peter, who lived in Concord and Bedford,
Massachusetts, and in Hollis, New Hampshire. His
other .children were : Talntha, Abigail, Jemima,
Daniel, Ephraim and Simon.

(IV) James, eldest son of George (2) and Abi-
gail (Hosmer) Wheeler, was born September 5,
1702, in Concord, and lived in that part of the
town which was included in Bedford when the



latter town was incorporated in 1729. Thus his
younger children were born in Bedford, while the
older ones were born in Concord and all on the same
farm. His wife Mary is supposed to have been a
Minot. Their children were : Mary, Keziah, Lydia,
James, Elizabeth, Daniel, Azuba and Thaddeus.
(Mention of the last named, with descendants, ap-

Online LibraryEzra S StearnsGenealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire : a record of the achievements of her people in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation (Volume 4) → online text (page 21 of 149)