William H. (William Henry) Child.

History of the town of Cornish, New Hampshire, with genealogical record, 1763-1910 (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryWilliam H. (William Henry) ChildHistory of the town of Cornish, New Hampshire, with genealogical record, 1763-1910 (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 33)
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HISTORY

OF THE

TOWN OF CORNISH
Vol. I.



{




WILLIAM H. CHILD.



HISTORY



OF THE

TOWN OF CORNISH

NEW HAMPSHIRE

WITH GENEALOGICAL RECORD
1763-1910

By WM. H. child



IN TWO VOLUMES



Vol. I.

NARRATIVE



Recording all events we can.

Is rendering good service to fellow-man



The Rumford Press
concord, n. h.



"F4^



Moo



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'r



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



VOL. I.



William H. Child Frontispiece

Cornish Map, 1805 opposite page 4

Cornish Present Map " "16

Gen. Jonathan Chase House as it Appeared in 1870 . " " 65

Group of Churches " " 107

Interior of the Congregational Church, Ground

Floor " "110

Interior of the Congregational Church, Gallery . " " 111

Group School Houses " " 142

William W. Mercer " "149

Cornish Creamery " 184

Hillside Creamery " 184

Residence of Freeman Johnson, formerly Home of Town

Poor "205

Cornish Bridge Group " 212

Map of Blue Mountain Park " 217

Residence of Mrs. C. C. Beaman " 221

Mrs. C. C. Beaman's Casino " 222

High Court, Residence of Mr. Norman Hapgood ... " 223

AsPET, Residence of Mrs. Augustus Saint-Gaudens ... " 225

Harlakenden House, Residence of Winston Churchill . " 227

Residence of Mr. C. A. Platt " 229

Residence of Dr. A. H. Nichols " 231

Group Town Buildings and Cornish Flat " 234

Soldiers' Monument " 238

The Stowell Free Library " 242

Ascutney Mountain from Cornish Hills " 255

Rev. and Mrs. James T. Jackson " 259

Dr. Elijah Boardman " 267

Dr. Lyman Hall " 270

Dr. George W. Hunt " 271

Residence of D. J. Spaulding, bl'ilt by Dr. Roswell Leavitt " 272

Dr. N.\than Smith " 275

C. C. Beam.\n opposite " 277

Mrs. C. C. Beaman " " 279

Col. L. H. C.\rroll • 281

Bishop Philander Chase " 293

Salmon Portland Chase, and Cut of his Birthplace opposite " 300

Winston Churchill " " 304

Mrs. Winston Churchill ' " 306



Xll



LIST OF ILLTSTRATIONS.



Dr. Levi H. Cobb

Jacob Foss opvosiie

Andrew Jackson Hook

Hon. Samuel L. Powers opposite

Prof. D. S. Richardson

Mrs. Mary C. Richardson

Rev. Joseph Rowell

Augustus Saint-Gaudens opvosite

George H. Stowell

Rev. J. W. Wellman, D.D



-page



308

314

318

323

325

325

330*

332

340

344



MOTTOES AND QUOTATIONS.

"How carefully should we secure the memorials, while we may, of the long
procession of true-hearted men and women that have borne with many tears,
toils and prayers the precious Ark of God's Covenant, and of our liberties down
to the present hour. We will not, we cannot forget those who toiled and dared
and endured so much for God and for us." — B. W. Dwight.

"A town e.xists in its history. Take away the memory of the past, and what
remains? Only a name. Take away the example of the recorded wisdom
of the past, and what ray of Hght would be left for our guidance? What could
we do but wander in the maze of perpetual childhood? If we are bound to
respect the claims of posterity we likewise owe a debt to our ancestors."

— Chipman.

"He that is not proud of his ancestors, either has no ancestors to be proud
of, or else he is a degenerate son." — From Walpole History.

"A people who do not look back to their ancestors, will not look forward to
their posterity." — Burke.

In no way can the Divine Command, "Honor thy father and thy mother,"
be so completely obeyed as in tenderly recording their deeds and words.



PREFACE.

The writer of this history, although somewhat advanced in
life, is yet comparatively a novice in the work. Being called to
it in the midst of the onerous cares and labors of a farm, which
already absorbed most of his time and energy, it may lack some-
what in literary merit from what it otherwise would, while under
any circumstances the writer could lay no claim to literary
qualification or essential merit. It has, however, been his aim to
give a fair, truthful and impartial record, and at the same time,
making it as exhaustive as possible. He has also been deeply
impressed with the magnitude and importance of the work in hand,
and has carefully and prayerfully sought to do it, so that all inter-
ested in it shall be satisfied.

A powerful source of inspiration is found in the history of
those ancestors whose achievements have been for the better-
ment of the world. There is an intellectual and moral power in
such an ancestry which elevates the character and improves the
heart.

The history of a town is scarcely more than the collective
history of the families composing the town. The writer has
felt it his duty to collect as much as possible, realizing that it is
a duty we owe both to the living and the dead, to the future
as well as the present, that these memorials of the past and present
be preserved. It does not seem right that the memor}- of the
dead should perish, that they who have done and suffered so
much for their posterity should be forgotten on the earth.

It is true that many do not highly appreciate researches
of this nature. This lack of interest arises generally from too
intense a contact of the mind with the present, excluding almost
wholly the influences of the past and even of the future. It is
no credit to us to be reckless of that past from whose womb the
present has sprung, and without which the present cannot be
interpreted.

In New England there is a type of religious and moral character
coupled with strong intellectual power such as the world has never



viii PREFACE.

elsewhere seen. Does any one inquire the cause? The answer
is found in the personal character of the men and women who first
settled here, who, under God, laid the foundation of all we so
highly prize. They had an elevation of aim, a purity of purpose,
a steadiness of resolve, a fortitude under trial, and above all, a
deep sense of responsibility to God never elsewhere seen in the
world's history. Their characters were formed in the school of
adversity and thus they were prepared for the noblest of all
human achievements, the founding of a Christian Republic. To
such an ancestry we owe, under God, all that is valuable in the
character and institutions of the American people.

The town of Cornish has enjoyed her full share of these
influences from the first. Her early settlers were men and
w^omen who were ready to stake their all upon the principles
of political and religious liberty. Their venture proved a mag-
nificient success. The lustre of their teachings and examples
has been reflected upon their sons and daughters, as their record
will show on the pages of this work.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

VOL. I

CHAPTER PAGE

I. General Description — Situation — Boundaries —

Territory — Approaches — Name — Altitude . . 1-3

II. Charter — Grantees — Reservations — Grant to
Moses Chase — First Settlements — First Town
Meeting 4-19

III. Pioneer Life — Houses — Crops — Tools — Food —

Dress — Sports — Postal Facilities — Church —

Wild Beasts — Forests — Flora 20-42

IV. New Hampshire Grants — Claims of New Hampshire

and New York — Vermont State Organized — New
Hampshire Severed from Great Britain — Petition
OF Sixteen Towns — Cornish Convention — Re-
solves of Congress — Boundaries of New Hamp-
shire and New York Determined 43-53

V. Revolutionary War — Stamp Act — Committees of

Safety — Taxes Imposed by Parliament • — Boston
Massacre — Boston Tea Party — Battle op Lex-
ington — Bunker Hill — Provision of New
Hampshire for War — Association Test — Decla-
ration OF Independence — Trenton and Princeton

— General Stark at Bennington — Saratoga —
Burgoyne's Surrender — Cornish at Ticonderoga

— Surrender of Cornwallis' 54-78

^T. Military History, 1783-1861 — New Hampshire

Divided into Military Districts — Muster — War
OF 1812 — Cornish in War of 1812 — Mexican War 79-84
VII. Cornish in the Civil War — Call for Volunteers —
Second Regiment — Third Regiment — Fourth
Regiment — Fifth Regiment — Sixth Regiment —
Seventh Regiment — Eighth Regiment — Ninth
Regiment — Eleventh Regiment — Thirteenth Regi-
ment — Fourteenth Regiment — Fifteenth Regi-
ment — Sixteenth Regiment — Eighteenth Regi-
ment — New Hampshire Battalion — First New
Hampshire Cavalry — Heavy Artillery — Sharp-
shooters — United States Navy — Cornish Men
Drafted 85-106



X TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE

Vm. Churches — Religious Proclivities — Union Soci-
ety—Congregational, First and Second Churches

— Second Division of the Latter — Baptist —
Episcopal — Methodist Episcopal — Perfection-
ists — Millerites — Independent — Pentecostal
Nazarenes 107-141

IX. Schools — Town Divided into School Districts —
Town System — School Houses — High Schools —
Supervision — Inspectors — Superintendents —
School Board — Kimball Union Academy — Grad-
uates OF Kimball Union Academy 142-156

X. Town Officers — Selectmen — Town Clerks —

Moderators — Representatives 157-166

XI. Societies — G. A. R. — Soldiers' Aid Society — Cornish

Colonization Society — Temperance — Grange —

Cheshire Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons . . 167-178

XII. M.\nufacturing Industries — Tanneries — Carriage

Building — Grist Mills — Sawmills — Creameries

— Blacksmithing — Harness Making,^'etc. . . 179-186

XIII. Census Data of Cornish — Census of 1767 — of 1773

— OF 1775 — OF 1790 — Population of Cornish in
Twelve Censuses — of the United States — of

New Hampshire 187-192

XIV. Cemeteries of Cornish — Three Abandoned Ceme-

teries — Eight Principal Cemeteries — Casualties 193-201
XV. Pauperism — Care of Paupers by Town of Cornish
Alms House — County Support of Paupers — County
Affairs — Formation and Incorporation of Sulli-
van County — County Courts 202-211

XVI. Cornish Bridge -^ Blue Mountain Park — Proprie-
tors OF Cornish Bridge — Toll House Journals —
Austin Corbin — Game in Park ...... 213-219

XVII. "City Folks " in Cornish (By Homer St. Gaudens) . 220-232
XVIII. Town Building — Soldiers' Monument — Libraries

— Town House — Record Building — Inscription

on Monument — Stowell Free Public Library . 233-243
XIX. Miscellaneous — Climatic Extremes — Hotels —
Stores — Centennial — Post Offices — Town Re-
ports — Indians — Shows — Ascutney Mountain —
President's Visit — Old People's Association . 244-262

XX. Lawyers — Physicians 262-276

XXI. Sketches of Cornish Men 277-346

Vital Statistics 347-368

General Index 369-376

Index of Names 377-392



HISTORY OF CORNISH.

CHAPTER I.
General Description.

Cornish, Sullivan County, New Hampshire, is situated on the
east bank of the Connecticut River, which separates the states
of New Hampshire and Vermont. It is situated about 433^^
degrees north latitude and 72 degrees west longitude from
Greenwich and 5 degrees east from Washington.

It is bounded on tLd north by Plainfield; on the south by Clare-
mont; on the east by Croydon and part of Grantham, and on the
west by the western bank of the Connecticut River, at low-
water mark. According to the terms of the grant it was at first
the equivalent of six miles square and contained 23,040 acres by
measurement.

On June 24, 1809, a portion of Croydon, by legislative act, was
annexed to Cornish, and on December 25, 1844, a portion of Gran-
tham also was annexed. This latter addition soon after received
the name of, and has since been known as "Texas, " as its annex-
ation occurred a year previous to the admission of Texas mto the
Union. These additions to Cornish considerably increased her
territory, but since then, no changes have taken place in the
boundaries of the town. These changes were a great convenience
to all of the families settled on farms west of the mountain ridge.
Heretofore, the owners of these farms were practically iso-
lated from the main portions of their respective towns by reason
of this abrupt ridge between them, while by their annexation to
Cornish they could readily join with her in all town affairs. The
new line on the east was made to conform as nearly as practicable
with the greater height of land.

The approaches to Cornish, both by roads and railway are
chiefly from the north and south, as the Connecticut River and
Valley generally trends in that direction. A single bridge, on its
western boundary, crossing the river at Windsor, Vt., furnishes the

2



•J IllSIOItV Ol'' COKNISII.

only iipiu'diicli I'lctiii tlif west, iiiid l\\v niouiilum ii(lf;(' on its
i'UhIi'iii liimmlniN srciiiH lo fdildil cxlciisivc iiitcrcoursi^ in llwit
dirccluMi

('oiniisli ncriM'd its luiiiic IroMi Home of tJic ^runiccs of tlio
town \vlio.s(> fuiiiilifs canif from tlic fiiiiious mining; town of
C^ovniwli, lOnj^ihuul, luil il ditl in>l it'ccivc llic luinif until it whs
^rantrd in \7iVA. A cainp, liowcvcf, hud ])icviously hccn csIhI)-
lislu'd in (lif town lu'ar t he livcr, wliicli lias v\vv since been known
an "Muh( ('amp " llfiT the ollicrrs ol I lie ( 'row ii with their
worlvMu^n were sent to select and cnt choice timher lor the Hoyul
.NaA>. This was cut in the wilder and haided to the river, and
in tln> folhtwiiig spring when the water was hi^h, it was lloaled
down stream to some ]>oinl w h«'re it was \o hv \ist>d for shij)-
buihhng. 'I hei'c is no known record of how nuich tind)er had
boen thus nsed, or when the lirst white man came her*' \n (inest
of it, l>\d the forests were suhsetpu-id ly fonnd to coidain mncl\
timber s\iitahle for such use.

A point in tin- ( 'omu'cticnt l\i\fr, at low-water mark, o])])t)sito
tht^ ('enter oi the town, is said to in' 212 feet ahove sea-U'Vel.
On leaving the river and ^oin^; east, this altitude is rai)idly in-
oreas(>d hy I he successive t>levations of lantl. The surface is diver-
sified with meadows and hills, thus j;;radually rising tt) the siun-
uiit of CroyiKui and (irantham mountains on the east. Tht^ soil
is enxuilly diversitied, and in places rocky, but taken as a whole>
juilii;inj^ by its appearance, or the record of its production, Cornish
compares favorably with the best towns of the state. These
elevations in the surface are favorable to good drainage. But
little stagmmt water is to be fcnind. Miasuui is unknowii. The
brooks, two of which are of considerable size, tind tlu'ir source in
the mountain sides on the east, tlow westward anil empty into the
Connecticut Kiver. Of this beautiful river which frniges our
entire western Inu-der, a poet has well said:

"Nor drinks the sea a lovelier wave than thine."

This river renders no small contribution to the pleasure of the
tourist while journeying along its beautitul btuiks. Its valley
is celebrated for its beautiful and variegated scenery. On
either side of the river are wooded heights sonu'tiuu^s pro-
jecting aiui almost overhanging its banks luul sometimes reced-
ing, leaving the beautiful metulows and fertile farms spread



GENERAL DESCRIPTION. 3

out in full view of the tourist. In the near distance on the west
stands in silent majesty the stately Ascutney ever in view, and
the beautiful and historic village of Windsor lying between.

The town has no lakes to add their charms to the beauty of the
landscape, neither are there deep ravines or gorges and water-
falls to thrill the beholder; but otherwise. Nature in her lovely
garb is here in manifold combinations. Cultured taste seems
to admire the scenery of Cornish, as the variety of its scenery
seems inexhaustible. Verdant hills, rich pastures, and smiling
meadows and pure streams of water, all combine to render it the
seat of ideal homes. The hillsides and valleys, too, abound in
springs of purest water, while beautiful forests crown the summit
of most of the hills, and pure air breezes over all.

"I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy vales and templed hills."



CHAPTER II.

Charter — Grants, Etc.

The charter for Cornish was granted June 21, 1763, to Rev.
Samuel McClintock of Greenland, N. H., and sixty -nine others.
The charter was renewed December 21, 1768.

The following is a copy of the charter of the township of
Cornish as granted by King George the Third to the original
proprietors of the town:

Province of New Hampshire.

[L. S.] George the Third, by the Grace of God, of Great
Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the
Faith &c. To all Persons to whom these Presents shall come.
Greeting:

Know ye that We of our special Grace, certain Knowledge
and meer motion, for the due Encouragement of settling a New
Plantation within our said Province, by and with the advice of
our Trusty & Well Beloved Benning Wentworth Esqr. Our
Governor and Commander in Chief of our said Province of New
Hampshire in New England, and of our Council of said
Province, Have, upon the Conditions and Reservations here-
inafter made, given and granted, and by these Presents, for
us, our Heirs and Successors, do give, and grant in equal
Shares unto our loving Subjects, Inhabitants of our said
Province of New Hampshire and our other Governments and to
their Heirs and Assigns forever whose names are entered on
this Grant to be divided to, and amongst them into Seventy
Six Equal Shares all that Tract or Parcel of Land Situate, lying
and being within our said Provience of New Hampshire con-
taining by Admeasurement, 23040 acres, which Tract is to Con-
tain Six miles square and no more: out of which an allowance is
to be made for High- Ways and unimprovable Lands by Rocks,
Ponds, Mountains and Rivers. One Thousand and Forty Acres
free according to a Plan and Survey thereof made by our said
Governors orders, and returned into the Secretary's Office and



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CHARTER— GRANTS, ETC. 5

hereunto annexed, butted and bounded as follows: Viz: Begin-
ning at A Tree marked with the Figures 2 & 3. Standing on the
Bank of the easterly side of the Connecticut River,which is the
South Westerly Corner Bounds of the Town of Plainfield, from
thence running South, Seventy Six degrees East by Plainfield to-
a stake and Stones which is the South Westerly Corner of Gran
tham and North Westerly Corner of Croydon, thence South fif~
teen Degrees West by Croydon Aforesaid, Six Miles to the North
Westerly Corner of Newport, thence turning off and running
North 77 deg. West. Six Miles to a Tree Standing on the Easterly
Bank of Connecticut River, marked with the Figures 1 & 2, then
up the river as that Trends, to the Bounds begun at, and that the
same be and hereby is Incorporated into a Township by the name
of Cornish, and the Inhabitants that do, or shall hereafter in-
habit the said Township are hereby declared to be Enfranchised
with, and Entitled to all and every the Privileges and Immunities
that other Towns within our Province by Law Exercise and
enjoy : — and further, that the Said Town, as soon as there shall be
Fifty Families resident and Settled thereon, shall have the Liberty
of holding two Fairs, one of which shall be held on the and

the other on the annually, which Fairs are not to continue

longer than the respective following the said and

that as soon as the said Town shall consist of Fifty Families, a
market may be opened and Kept one or more Days in each Week,
as may be thought most advantageous to the Inhabitants.

Also that the first Meeting for the choice of Town Officers
agreeable to the Laws of our Said Province, Shall be held on the
Second Monday of July next which said meeting shall be notified
by Clement March Esqr. who is hereby also appointed the moder-
ator of the said first Meeting, which he is to notify and Govern
agreeable to the Laws and Customs of our Said Province; and
that the Annual Meeting forever hereafter, for the Choice of
such Officers for the said Town, shall be on the Second Tuesday
of March annually. — To Have and to Hold the said Tract of
Land as above expressed, together with ail Privileges and Appur-
tenances to them and their respective Heirs and Assigns forever
upon the following Conditions: (Viz.)

I. That every Grantee, his Heirs or Assigns shall plant and
cultivate five Acres of Land within the Term of five years
for every fifty acres contained in his or their Share or Proportion



6 HISTORY OF CORNISH.

of Land in said Township, and continue to improve and settle
the same by Additional Cultivations, on Penalty of the For-
feiture of his Grant or Share in the said Township, and of its
reverting to Us, our Heirs and Successors, to be by us or them
Re-granted to such of our Subjects as shall effectually settle and
cultivate the same.

II. That all White and other Pine Trees within the said Town-
ship fit for Masting our Royal Navy, be carefully preserved for
that use, and none to be cut or felled without our Special License
for so doing, first had and obtained, upon the Penalty of the For-
feiture of the Right of such Grantee, his Heirs and Assigns, to us,
our Heirs and Successors, as well as being subject to the Penalty
of any Act or Acts of Parliament that now are, or hereafter shall
be Enacted.

III. That before any Division of the Land be made to and
among the Grantees, a Tract of Land, as near the Center of the
said Township as the Land will admit of, Shall be reserved and
marked out for Town Lots, one of which shall be allotted to each
Grantee of the Contents of one Acre.

IV. Yielding and paying therefor to us, our Heirs and Successors
for the space of ten years, to be computed from the date hereof,
the Rent of one Ear of Indian Corn only, on the twenty fifth
day of December annually, if Lawfully demanded, the first Pay-
ment to be made on the twentj^ fifth day of December 1763.

V. Every Proprietor, Settler or Inhabitant, shall yield and pay
unto Us, our Heirs and Successors yearly, and every year forever
from and after the Expiration of ten Years from the above said
twenty fifth Day of December, namely, on the twenty fifth day
of December which will be in the year of our Lord 1773, one
Shilling Proclamation money for every Hundred Acres he so o"wtis.
Settles or Possesses, and so in Proportion for a greater or lesser
Tract of the Said Land; which money shall be paid by the respec-
tive Persons abovesaid, their Heirs or Assigns in our Council
Chamber in Portsmouth, or to such Officer or Officers as shall be
appointed to receive the same; and this is to be in Lieu of all other
Rents and Service whatever.

In testimony whereof we have caused the Seal of our Said
Province to be hereunto Affixed.

Witness Penning Wentworth Esqr; our Governor and Com-
mander in Chief of Our Said Province; the Twenty first Day of



CHARTER— GRANTS, ETC.



June,, in the Year of Our Lord Christ, One Thousand Seven
Hundred and Sixty three, and in the Third Year of our Reign.

B. Wentworth 1 ProVof NewHamp"- Octobe"" 1.

By His Excellency's Command I '^'^^^- Recorded according to
. , , , . , ^ ., y the original Charter, under

with Advice of Council. ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^

Theodr Atkinson Jun'' Sec''^ J T. Atkinson Jun'' Sec''".
Names of the Grantees of Cornish:



Rev. Samii McChntock

Ensign John Whidden

Samuel Ayers

Cap* Philip Johnson

Josiah Clark

Will'" Wallis Jun^

Thomas Berry

Cap^ George Frost

Noah Emery

John Hill

Jon'' Barker

Hunking Wentworth Esq.

Nathan Goss

John Grow

Wyseman Claggett Esq.

Nathii March

Thomas March

Capt George March

Lieut Paul March

William Blazo

Will'" MC. Clane

The Hon'^i*' John Temple"]

Theod'" Atkinson



W" Temple

Mark Hun^ Wentworth J

Joshua Haines

Eleaz"" Gate

Thomas Sherburne

Enoch Clark

Will'" Jenkins Jun^



lEsq-"



Josiah Foss
Will'" Berry
Benj^ Philbrook
Nath^^ Huggins Jun"^.
Cap* John Dudley
Thomas Johnson
John Weeks
Dea" Ebenezer Gate
Philip Babb Jun'"
Lieut Ebenezer Clark
Daniel Pierce Esq
Mr Jon'' Greely
George Bracket
Stephen March
Clem* March Esq



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