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´╗┐Title: Sketch of Dunbarton, New Hampshire
Author: Mills, Ella
Language: English
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Sketch of Dunbarton, N. H.


Dunbarton is a town "set upon a hill which cannot be hid." The highest
point of land is on the farm of Benjamin Lord, north of the Center, and
is 779 feet above the sea level. From that spot, and from many other
places nearly as high, the views of hills and mountains are beautiful
and grand beyond description.

The twin Uncanoonucs are near neighbors on the south, Monadnock,
farther off on the south-west, and Kearsarge twenty miles to the north
west. On the northern horizon are seen Mount Washington and other peaks
of the White Mountains.

The longest hill in town is the mile-long Mills hill, and midway on
its slope live descendants of Thomas Mills, one of the first settlers.
Among other hills are Duncanowett, Hammond, Tenney, Grapevine, Harris,
Legache, and Prospect Hills.

No rivers run through the town, but there are numerous brooks where
trout fishing is pursued with more or less success.

No body of water is large enough to be called a lake, but Gorham Pond
is a beautiful sheet of water and on its banks picnics are held.
Stark's and Kimball's Ponds have furnished water power for mills, the
latter, owned by Willie F. Paige, is still in use. Long Pond, in the
south part of the town, was the scene of a tragedy in 1879, when Moses
Merrill, an officer at the State Industrial School, Manchester, was
drowned in an ineffectual attempt to save an inmate of that institution.

One portion of the south part of the town is called Skeeterboro,
another Mountalona, so named by James Rogers, one of the first
settlers, from the place in Ireland from whence he came.[1] East of the
Center is Guinea, so called because some negroes once lived there. The
village of North Dunbarton is also called Page's Corner; and not far
away to the eastward is a hill known as Onestack, because one large
stack of hay stood there for many years. A brook bears the same name.

Those who know Dunbarton only in the present can hardly realize that
1450 people ever lived there at one time, but that was the census in
1820. The first census, taken 1767, was 271. In 1840 it was 1067; in
1890, only 523. The last census gave about 575.

The first settlement was made in 1740[2] by James Rogers and Joseph
Putney on the land known as the "Great Meadows," now owned by James M.
Bailey. They were driven away by the Indians for a time. A stone now
marks the spot where stood the only apple tree spared by the Indians.
Probably the first boy born in town belonged to one of these families.
James Rogers was shot by Ebenezer Ayer, who mistook him in the dark for
a bear, as he wore a bearskin coat. He was the father of Major Robert
Rogers, celebrated as the leader of the ranger corps of the French and
Indian wars.

About 1751 William Stinson, John Hogg, and Thomas Mills settled in the
west part of the town. Sarah, daughter of Thomas Mills, was the first
girl born in town. Her birthplace was a log cabin on the farm now owned
by John C. and George F. Mills.

For fourteen years the town was called Starkstown in honor of Archibald
Stark, one of the first land owners (though not a resident), and father
of General John Stark. In 1765 the town was incorporated, and was
named, with a slight change, for Dumbarton[3] in Scotland near which
place Stark and other emigrants had lived.

Dunbarton was one of the towns taken from Hillsborough County to
form the County of Merrimack. Its centennial was duly celebrated
and attended by a vast concourse of invited guests and towns people.
A report of its proceedings was compiled by Rev. Sylvanus Hayward.
Though small in area and population, Dunbarton occupies a large place
in the hearts of its sons and daughters. However dear our adopted homes
may become, we still feel that "whatever skies above us rise the hills,
the hills are home."

At the centennial Rev. George A. Putnam paid a glowing tribute to his
native town, saying: "Dunbarton is one of the most intelligent and best
educated communities in New England. I think it will be hard to find
another place where, in proportion to its population, so many young
men have been liberally educated and have entered some of the learned
professions, where so many young men and women have become first class
teachers of common schools. My own observation has been altogether in
favor of Dunbarton in this particular. And it is clear as any historic
fact the superior education of Dunbarton's children has been largely
due to her religious institutions and Christian teachers."

That the town is also honored by her neighbors is shown by the
following instances: Many years ago it was said that a Dartmouth
student from an adjoining town, when asked from what town he came,
answered: "From the town next to Dunbarton." Recently the chairman of
the school board in Goffstown, in his annual report, compared the town
favorably to Dunbarton with regard to the number of college graduates.

Very soon after the permanent settlement of the town, a committee was
appointed to build a meeting-house at Dunbarton Center. It was finished
previous to 1767, and stood in the middle of the common. Before that
time it is related that "Mr. McGregor preached in the open air, on
the spot now consecrated as the resting place of the dead." This first
building was a low, frame structure, without pews, with seats of rough
planks resting on chestnut logs, and a pulpit constructed of rough
boards. It was replaced in about twenty years by the building now known
as the Town House. This was used only for political purposes after the
erection of the third church on the west side of the highway.

About thirty years ago the interior of the old building was greatly
changed, the upper part being made into a hall while the square pews
were removed from the lower part, only the high pulpit remaining. A
selectmen's room was finished in one corner, and in 1892, a room for
the public library. The outside remains practically unchanged.

The Rocky Hill Church at Amesbury, Mass., much like this at Dunbarton,
is still used in summer only. There is no way of warming it, and people
of the present day would not endure the hardships their ancestors bore
without a murmur. The third church was built in 1836 on the site of a
dwelling house owned by William Stark; in 1884 it was remodelled, the
pews modernized and the ceiling frescoed.

The vestry formerly stood on the opposite of the common and contained
two rooms; prayer meetings were held in the lower room, while up stairs
was the only hall in town. There were held the singing schools, and the
lyceum of long ago; also several fall terms of high schools; among the
teachers were Mark Bailey, William E. Bunten, and Henry M. Putney.
More than twenty-five years ago the vestry was removed to its present
location near the church and made more convenient and attractive.

For about nineteen years the church had no settled pastor. In 1789
Walter Harris was called, and was ordained August 26. He preached more
than forty years. Every man in town was required to contribute to
his support for a time until some of the other religious societies
rebelled. The "History of Dunbarton" says: "Dr. Harris appropriated the
proprietors' grant for the first settled minister, and located himself
on the ministerial lot. He also, by a vote of the town, obtained the
use of the parsonage lot, with an addition of seventy pounds a year,
one-half to be paid in cash, the other in corn and rye." His farm was
in a beautiful location south of the center, and was afterwards owned
for many years by the late Deacon John Paige; it is now the property
of his son, Lewis Paige.

In respect to his farm, buildings, fences, Dr. Harris was a model for
the town. Two men once working for him were trying to move a heavy log.
He told them how to manage according to philosophy; finally one said:
"Well, Dr. Harris, if you and your philosophy will take hold of that
end of the log while Jim and I take this end, I think we can move it."

Dr. Harris was sometimes called the "Broad axe and sledge-hammer
of the New Hampshire ministry." He was a man of more than ordinary
intellectual endowments, and graduated from Dartmouth College with high
honors. Prof. Charles G. Burnham said in his address at the Centennial:
"The influence of the life and preaching of Dr. Harris is manifest
today in every department of your material prosperity, as well as
upon the moral and religious character of the people, and will be for
generations to come."

Dr. Harris was dismissed July 7, 1830, and died December 25, 1843. His
successor, Rev. John M. Putnam, was installed the day Dr. Harris was
dismissed; both were remarkable extemporaneous speakers. Mr. Putnam was
called one of the best platform speakers in his profession in the State.

At the close of his pastorate he went to reside with his son at
Yarmouth, Maine; he died in Elyria, Ohio, in 1871. He was dismissed the
day his successor, Sylvanus Hayward, was ordained. Thus for more than
77 years the church was not for one day without a settled pastor. Mr.
Hayward was born in Gilsum, N. H., and has written a history of his
native town; he was dismissed April, 1866. His successors were Revs.
George I. Bard, William E. Spear, who is now a lawyer in Boston, and
at present Secretary of the Spanish War Claim Commission, James Wells
now deceased, Tilton C. H. Bouton, grandson of Rev. Dr. Nathaniel
Bouton, for many years pastor of the North Church, Concord, N. H.,
George Sterling, Avery K. Gleason, and William A. Bushee. During Mr.
Bouton's pastorate a parsonage was built in the north part of the
village on land given by Deacon Daniel H. Parker.

The first deacons were chosen in 1790, and were James Clement and
Edward Russell. Others were Samuel Burnham, David Alexander, John
Church, Matthew S. McCurdy, John Wilson, John Mills, Samuel Burnham
(a namesake of the first of the name), who with Daniel H. Parker served
for many years. They were succeeded by Frederic L. Ireland and Frank C.
Woodbury, the present incumbents.

Church discipline was very strict in ye olden time. What would the
people of the present day think of being called to account for such a
small matter as this? "A complaint was presented to the church by one
brother against another for un-Christian-like behavior in suffering
himself to be carried in a light and vain manner upon a man's shoulders
to the length of a quarter of a mile. The church accepted the complaint,
and summoned the brother before it. He appeared, confessed his fault
and was pardoned."

Deacon McCurdy was noted for his strictness in keeping the Sabbath. No
food could be cooked in the house on that day, and no work done at the
barn except milking and feeding the stock. He once, however, mistook
the day of the week, and took a grist to mill on Sunday, while his wife
began the Saturday's baking. On arriving at the mill, he, of course, found
it closed, and on going to the miller's house, he learned his mistake.
He was so shocked that he would not leave his grist, but carried it back

The Baptist Church was organized in Mountalona in 1828. The first
meeting house was built by Aaron Elliot, and Isaac Westcott was the
first pastor. In the Spring of 1847 meetings were held at the Center;
Rev. John W. Poland (since famous as the maker of "White Pine Compound")
preached during that season. The next year a church was built.

The pastors were Revs. H. D. Hodges (who, with Rev. John Putnam,
compiled a grammar), Samuel Cook, Horace Eaton, Jesse M. Coburn,
Washington Coburn, John Peacock (as a supply), Stephen Pillsbury,
Timothy B. Eastman, Elias Whittemore, Samuel Woodbury, Adoniram J.
Hopkins, Dr. Lucien Hayden, J. J. Peck, Charles Willand, and the
present incumbent, S. H. Buffam. This list may not be exactly correct.
At intervals no services have been held. Nathaniel Wheeler, John O.
Merrill and John Paige were deacons for many years. In 1899 the house
was painted and otherwise improved.

The old house at Mountalona was used at times by the Baptists. Methodist
services were also held there. It was burned about seventeen years ago.

A Universalist society was formed in 1830 by Nathan Gutterson, Joshua
F. Hoyt, Silas Burnham, Alexander Gilchrist and others and services
were held in the old Congregational Church. Rev. Nathan R. Wright
preached here for four years and lived in a house near the late John C.
Ray's which was burned about 30 years ago. It was afterwards known as
the Hope house from Samuel B. Hope, one of the owners. Mr. Wright was
the father of Hon. Carroll D. Wright who was born in 1840. The family
removed from town when he was three years of age.

In 1864 or 1865 Episcopal Church services were held by clergymen
from St. Paul's School in school houses in the west part of the town,
afterwards in the Hope house. In the summer of 1866 the corner stone
of the church was laid on land given by the Misses Stark. The money to
build the church was collected by their grand niece, Miss Mary Stark, a
devoted churchwoman, who died in 1881. The church is a lasting memorial
of her. It is a beautiful building with a seating capacity of 110. The
fine chancel window was given by the father of the Rector of St. Paul's
School. The church was consecrated in 1868, and named the Church of St.
John the Evangelist. For about fourteen years the services were in
charge of Rev. Joseph H. Coit, the present rector of St. Paul's School.
He was succeeded by Rev. Edward M. Parker, a master of the school,
who with the assistance of Mr. William W. Flint, lay preacher, holds
services in Dunbarton and East Weare. In 1890 the church was taken down
and re-erected in North Dunbarton on land given by David Sargent south
of the school-house, in front of a beautiful pine grove. A service of
re-dedication was held December 15, 1890. Frank B. Mills was organist
and leader of the singing with only a short interval until his removal
from town in 1895. The organist at the present time is Miss Sara E.

After the removal of the church, a brass tablet in memory of the Misses
Harriet and Charlotte Stark was placed therein by Rev. Joseph H. Coit.

Dunbarton has had many fine musicians within her borders. Col. Samuel
B. Hammond led the singing in the Congregational Church for a long term
of years, resigning in 1875. The choir was formerly large and numbered
among its members Mrs. Elizabeth (Whipple) Brown, her daughter, Mrs.
Agnes French, Olive Caldwell, now Mrs. Morrill of Minnesota, the
daughters of the late Deacon Parker, Mrs. Harris Wilson, Nathaniel T.
Safford, William S. Twiss, and others.

Before the advent of the cabinet organ instrumental music was furnished
by a double bass viol played by Harris Wilson, a single bass-viol
played by Eben Kimball, a melodeon played by Andrew Twiss, and one or two
violins. When the church was remodeled the organ and choir were removed
from the gallery to a place beside the pulpit. Mrs. Mary (Wilson) Bunten
is now organist. For several years a quartette, consisting of William
S. Twiss, Frank B. Mills, Horace Caldwell, and Frederic L. Ireland sang
most acceptably on many occasions, especially furnishing appropriate
music at funerals, until the removal from town of Mr. Twiss in 1884.
At various times singing schools were taught by Eben Kimball, Joseph
C. Cram of Deerfield, "Uncle Ben" Davis of Concord, and at Page's Corner,
by Frank B. Mills.

The first School houses in town were few and far between, with no free
transportation as practiced at the present time.

Hon. Albert S. Batchellor, of Littleton, in searching the columns of a
file of old newspapers recently, came across the following which will
be of interest to Dunbarton people:

                                          "Dunbarton May ye 15, 1787.

    We the subscribers Promise to pay to Mrs. Sarah Ayers Young three
    shillings per week for five Months to Teach school seven or Eight
    Hours Each Day Except Sunday & Saturday half a day, to be paid
    in Butter at half Pifterreen per lb. flax the same or Rie at
    4 shillings, Corn at 3s. Each. Persons to pay their Proportion to
    what scollers they sign for Witness Our Hands. Thomas Hannette
    2 Scollers Thomas Husse 1 Jameson Calley 2 Andrew foster 1 John
    Bunton 3 John Fulton 2."

Before 1805 Dunbarton had three school districts. The first house was
at the Center. Rev. Abraham W. Burnham, of Rindge, in response to the
toast, "Our Early Inhabitants," at the Centennial, said: "My brother
Samuel, when so young that my mother was actually afraid the bears
would catch him, walked two miles to school." This same boy was the
first college graduate from town, in the class of 1795. Robert Hogg,
called Master Hogg, was the first male teacher, and Sarah Clement the
first female teacher.

Another teacher of the long ago was Master John Fulton, who lived on
the farm now owned by John W. Farrar. In those days pupils often tried
to secure a holiday by "barring out" the teacher on New Year's Day.
More than once Master John Fulton found himself in this situation. On
one occasion he went to one of the neighbors where he borrowed a tall
white hat and a long white coat with several capes. Thus disguised
he mounted a white horse and rode rapidly to the school house. The
unsuspecting pupils rushed to the door, when, quick as thought, Master
Fulton sprang from the horse, entered the school house and called the
school to order. At another time, while teaching in a private house
in Bow, finding himself "barred out," he entered a chamber window by
a ladder, removed some loose boards from the floor (the house being
unfinished) and descended among his astonished pupils. Dr. Harris
regularly visited the schools, and catechised the children; he prepared
many young men for college and directed the theological studies of those
fitting for the ministry.

Many clergymen of the town served on the school committee. Districts
increased in number till there were eleven. In 1867 the town system
was adopted, and the number of schools reduced to four or five.
Notwithstanding the short terms, the long distances, and lack of
text-books (now provided by the town), Dunbarton has produced many fine
scholars, and has provided a large number of teachers for her own and
other schools.

I think no family has furnished as many educated members as the
Burnhams. A short time prior to 1775 Deacon Samuel Burnham came from
Essex, Mass., to the south part of Dunbarton. Of his thirteen children,
four sons graduated at Dartmouth College. In 1865 fourteen of his grand
and great grand children were college graduates. Not all of them lived
in Dunbarton, but Samuel's son, Bradford, and most of his children
lived here. Henry Larcom, son of Bradford, was a successful teacher and
land surveyor; he represented the town in the Legislature and was also
State Senator. The last years of his life were passed in Manchester
where he died in 1893. His son, Henry Eben, is a lawyer in Manchester,
and was for a time Judge of Probate. He was born November 8, 1844,
in the Dr. Harris house, and is an honored son of Dunbarton. He was
elected United States Senator by the Legislature of 1901, for the term
of six years and succeeded Senator William E. Chandler.

Hannah, eldest daughter of Bradford Burnham, married Samuel Burnham
from Essex, Mass.; she died in November, 1901. Her two daughters were
teachers for many years; the younger, Annie M., taught in Illinois
and Oregon until recently. Two sons were college graduates, Josiah,
at Amherst in 1867; William H., at Harvard in 1882. The latter is
instructor in Clark University, Worcester, and a writer and lecturer
of great ability. A daughter of his brother, Samuel G. Burnham of St.
Louis, graduated from Washington University with high honors, ranking
second in a class of eighty-two.

Three sons of Henry Putney were students at Dartmouth College, though
the second son, Frank, did not graduate, leaving college to enter the
army in 1861.

Thirty or more of the sons of Dunbarton graduated at Dartmouth College,
while ten or twelve others took a partial course. John Gould, Jr., and
Abel K. Wilson, died at college, Three graduated at Wabash College,
Indiana, two at Union College, Schenectady, N. Y., and one each at
Yale, Harvard, and Amherst Colleges, and Brown University. It is said
that at one time there were more students from Dunbarton in Dartmouth
College than from any other town in the State.

There have been several graduates from Normal Schools, Ralph Ireland
and Ethel Jameson from the school at Bridgewater, Mass. The former is
now teaching in Gloucester, Mass., and the latter in Boston, Mass. Ella
and Leannette L. Mills (the latter the daughter of Leroy R. Mills),
graduated from the school at Salem, Mass. Lydia Marshall, now holding
a government position in Washington, D. C., Mary Caldwell (now Mrs.
Aaron C. Barnard), and Lizzie Bunten (now Mrs. James P. Tuttle, of
Manchester), took a partial or whole course at the school at Plymouth,
N. H. Louise Parker and Mary A. Stinson graduated at Kimball Academy,
Meriden, N. H. Many others have been students at McCollom Institute,
Mount Vernon, Pembroke, and other academies, and several have taken the
course at the Concord High School. Among the teachers of the long ago
may be named Antoinette Putnam, Lizzie and Ann Burnham, Jane Stinson,
Nancy Stinson, Sarah and Marianne Parker, and Susan and Margaret
Holmes. The list is too long for further mention.

Among college graduates who made teaching their life work were William
Parker, who died in Winchester, Illinois, in 1865; Caleb Mills, who was
connected with Wabash College, Indiana, from 1833 until his death in
1879. He was greatly interested in the cause of education, and was
known as the father of public schools in Indiana; Joseph Gibson Hoyt,
who was called the most brilliant son Dunbarton ever educated; he
taught several years in Phillips Academy, Exeter, and was Chancellor of
Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, taking charge February 4,
1859; inaugurated October 4, 1859; died November 26, 1862; Charles G.
Burnham, orator at the Centennial, in 1865, who died in Montgomery,
Alabama, in 1866; Mark Bailey, who has taught elocution at Yale since
1855, besides spending some weeks of each year in former times at
Dartmouth, Princeton, and other places. Samuel Burnham, the first
graduate, should have been mentioned earlier. He was principal of the
academy at Derry for many years; William E. Bunten taught in Atkinson,
N. H., Marblehead, Mass., and in New York, where he died in 1897;
Matthew S. McCurdy, grandson and namesake of Deacon McCurdy, is
instructor at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. Although not a college
student, John, brother of Thomas and James F. Mills, spent many years
in teaching in Ohio and West Virginia; he died in 1879. Among those who
have been both teachers and journalists are Amos Hadley of Concord,
Henry M. Putney, now on the editorial staff of the Manchester _Daily_
and _Weekly Mirror_; William A. (brother of Henry M.) who died some
years ago in Fairmount, Nebraska; and John B. Mills, now at Grand
Rapids, Michigan. George H. Twiss, of Columbus, Ohio, has been a
teacher, superintendent of schools, and proprietor of a bookstore.

Of the native clergymen, Leonard S. Parker is probably the oldest now
living. He has held several pastorates, and is now assistant pastor of
the Shepard Memorial Church, Cambridge, Mass. One of the early college
graduates was Isaac Garvin, son of Sam Garvin, whose name was a by-word
among his neighbors; "as shiftless as Sam Garvin" was a common saying.
Isaac obtained his education under difficulties which would have
discouraged most men, and at first even Dr. Harris thinking it not
worth while to help him. He probably studied divinity with Dr. Harris,
and was ordained in the Congregational Church, but late in life took
orders in the Episcopal Church in New York. There were two Rev. Abraham
Burnhams, uncle and nephew, and Rev. Amos W. Burnham, whose only pastorate
was Rindge where he preached forty-six years. Thomas Jameson held
pastorates in Scarborough and Gorham, Maine; he was blind during his
last years. Charles H. Marshall preached in various places in Indiana,
and died nearly thirty years ago. Ephraim O. Jameson held several
pastorates; he is now retired and living in Boston. He has compiled
several genealogies and town histories. Rev. George A. Putnam, son of
the second pastor of the church in Dunbarton, preached for several
years in Yarmouth, Maine, then went to Millbury, Mass., in 1871, where
he still resides--an unusually long pastorate in these times. John P.
Mills is preaching in Michigan.

Of the native Baptist ministers were Hosea Wheeler, Harrison C. Page,
who died at Newton Theological Seminary just before the completion of
his course, and who gave promise of great ability; and the brothers
Joel and Christie Wheeler who entered the ministry without a collegiate
education, and both preached in Illinois.

Though the people of Dunbarton are too peaceable and honest to need
the services of a lawyer, at least a dozen young men entered the legal
profession. One of the earliest college graduates, Jeremiah Stinson,
having studied law, opened an office in his native town, but devoted
the most of his time to agriculture. He met with an accidental death at
the age of thirty-six years. Among those who continued to practice law
were John Burnham in Hillsborough, John Jameson in Maine, John Tenney
in Methuen, Mass., Judge Joseph M. Cavis in California, David B.
Kimball in Salem, Mass., Newton H. Wilson in Duluth, Minn., and Henry
E. Burnham in Manchester. Only the three last named are now living.

The people of Dunbarton are proud of the fact that there has been no
resident physician in town for more than forty years. The last, a Dr.
Gilson, was here for a short time only. Dr. Dugall was probably the
first; while others were Doctors Symnes Sawyer, Clement, Mighill,
Stearns, and Merrill.

True Morse was a seventh son; so was Rev. Mr. Putnam, but he refused to
use his supposed powers. Among the native physicians were Abram B. Story,
who died not long since in Manchester, William Ryder, John L. Colby,
Gilman Leach, David P. Goodhue, a surgeon in the Navy, John and Charles
Mills. The two last named practiced in Champaign, Illinois, and were
living there when last heard from. William Caldwell is well remembered
as a veterinary surgeon.

Of dentists we may name John B. Prescott, D. D. S., of Manchester, a
graduate of Pennsylvania Dental College, and the late Dr. Edward Ryder
of Portsmouth.

Nothwithstanding this exodus of professional men and others, many good
and wise men made the place their home. Deacon John Mills was town
treasurer for thirty-five years, selectman twenty-two years, and
representative eight years. He built the house afterwards owned by his
son-in law, Deacon Daniel H. Parker, who was also a good citizen; as
Justice of the Peace, he transacted much law business and settled many
estates; he held many town offices, was a thrifty farmer, and
accumulated a large fortune.

Henry Putney, of the fourth generation from the first settler of that
name, was another strong man, who with Deacon Parker and Eliphalet
Sargent formed a board of selectmen in the troubled times of the Civil
War, that did good service for the town. His only daughter is the wife
of Nahum J. Bachelder, secretary of State Board of Agriculture. He had
six sons, five of whom are now living.

The name of Oliver Bailey has been known in town for several generations.
The present representative of that name is one of the elder men of the
town, a thrifty farmer, and was formerly in company with his son, George
O. Bailey, a cattle dealer on a large scale. His brother, James M. Bailey,
still owns part of the paternal acres. Their father, Oliver Bailey,
removed late in life, to Bow Mills, where he died in 1889. John C. Ray
owned a beautiful home in the west part of the town; he was superintendent
of the State Industrial School in Manchester for about twenty-five years
before his death in 1898.

The brothers, Captain Charles and William C. Stinson, were wealthy farmers
in the south part of the town; the former removed to Goffstown, and his
farm is owned by Philander Lord. The house is probably one of the oldest
in town. The last years of William C. Stinson were spent in Manchester.
Harris E. Ryder was the first Master of Stark Grange which was organized
in October, 1874. His buildings were burned in 1875, and not long
afterwards he located in Bedford, where he died. His brother, Charles G.
B. Ryder, served on the school committee for several years. He removed to
Manchester many years ago and was engaged in the real estate business for
many years; he died there several years ago. The buildings on his farm
were burned in July, 1899.

Major Caleb, son of General John Stark, built a house in the west part
of the town which is still owned by the family and is filled with
interesting relics. His son, Caleb, was the author of the "History of
Dunbarton," published in 1860. He and two unmarried sisters spent much
time here, the last survivor, Miss Charlotte, dying in 1889, aged about
ninety years. She was a fine specimen of the old time gentlewoman, much
given to hospitality. The place is now owned in part by her grand
nephew, Charles F. M. Stark, a descendant on the mother's side from
Robert Morris, the great financier of Revolutionary times. His only
son, John McNiel Stark, graduated from Holderness School, June, 1900.
The Stark cemetery is a beautiful and well-kept resting place of the
dead. Besides Stark, the names of Winslow, Newell, and McKinstry are
seen on the headstones. Benjamin Marshall, and his son, Enoch, were
prominent men in town. Many other names should be mentioned, but space

The daughters of Dunbarton are not less worthy of mention than her
sons. Some of the teachers have already been mentioned. Another was
Marianne, sister of Deacon Parker, who married a Doctor Dascomb and
went with him to Oberlin, Ohio, where he became professor of chemistry
in Oberlin College. She was lady principal. It was said that there were
two saints in the Oberlin calendar, President Finney and Mrs. Dascomb.
Three of her sisters married ministers. Ann married Rev. Isaac Bird,
and went with him to Turkey as a missionary; and Emily married Rev.
James Kimball of Oakham, Mass.; and Martha, Rev. Thomas Tenney; one of
her daughters is the wife of the late Rev. Cyrus Hamlin. Two of Deacon
Parker's daughters are the wives of ministers. Louise is Mrs. Lucien
H. Frary of Pomona, California, and Abby is Mrs. John L. R. Trask of
Springfield, Mass. Dr. Trask has been for many years trustee of Mt.
Holyoke College.

Mary, daughter of Deacon John Mills, married Rev. Mr. William Patrick
of Boscawen; Dr. Mary Mills Patrick, President of the American College
for Girls at Constantinople, is her step daughter and namesake. Sarah,
daughter of Benjamin Marshall, married Caleb Mills who studied theology,
though his life work was teaching. Mary F., daughter of Deacon John Paige,
married Rev. David Webster, now of Lebanon, Maine. Mary L., daughter of
John Kimball of Milford, formerly of Dunbarton, has been for more than
ten years the wife of Rev. Arthur Remington, now in Philadelphia. Perhaps
the latest addition to the list is Hannah C., eldest daughter of Horace
Caldwell, who, January, 1899, married Rev. Avery A. K. Gleason, then
pastor of the Congregational Church in Dunbarton, now Raynham, Mass.

Mary A., daughter of Captain Charles Stinson, married Charles A.
Pillsbury, known as the flour king of Minneapolis, who died more than
a year ago.

Though the rough and rocky soil is poorly adapted to cultivation,
Dunbarton is, and always has been, emphatically a farming town. Yet
a long list of mechanics might be given. Carpenters, blacksmiths,
painters and masons still ply their trades, but the mill-wrights,
shoemakers, tanners, coopers, tailors, tailoresses, and pump makers
are people of the past. Less than fifty years ago a tannery was in
operation at the place owned by Benjamin Fitts, and a good sized pond
covered the space opposite the house of Justus Lord. It was used on
several occasions by the Baptists as a place of immersion.

William Tenney was the carpenter who built the town hall; Captain
Samuel Kimball, the present Congregational Church, and many dwelling
houses. Others were the work of John Leach. The man now living who has
done more of this work than any other is John D. Bunten, whose work has
always been done in a thorough manner.

The stone blacksmith shop of Jonathan Waite has been used by three
generations, now only for the family work. John B. Ireland still uses
the shop of his father, while Lauren P. Hadley's specialty is iron work
on wagons. During the past few years much timber has been removed by
the aid of portable steam mills.

The first store in town was kept by Major Caleb Stark at Page's Corner.
He had several successors, among them being Jeremiah Page and John
Kimball. At the Center I find, in the "History of Dunbarton," a long
list of store-keepers, among whom was David Tenney, one of whose
ledgers is still preserved, where the entries of New England rum sold
to the most respectable citizens are as numerous as tea and coffee

Deacon Burnham kept the store for many years, and later Thomas Wilson
and his son Oliver kept the store. The latter also did considerable
business as a photographer for a time. His son in-law, John Bunten, is
the present proprietor of the store. The business has increased greatly
with the sending out of teams to take orders and deliver goods in
various parts of the town.

Among the successful business men who have left town may be named Lyman
W. Colby, who was a successful photographer in Manchester for more than
thirty years, and whose recent sudden death is greatly to be deplored
by his many friends; John C. Stinson, a merchant of Gloucester, N. J.;
Samuel G. Burnham of St. Louis, Missouri; and the late Fred D. Sargent,
owner of a restaurant in St. Paul, Minn., where he furnished meals to
500 people daily, and to many more on extra occasions. He had also a
branch establishment at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, of which his brother,
Frank H. Sargent is manager. For several years a newspaper was published
by Oscar H. A. Chamberlen, called _The Snow-Flake_, afterwards _The

The first library in town was kept at the house of Benjamin Whipple,
and was called the Dunbarton Social Library. Some of the books are
still preserved. A parish library, containing many valuable works, was
collected by Miss Mary Stark, and was for many years the source of
pleasure and profit to the attendants at St. John's Church. Some years
after her death the books were given to a Library Association, formed
at the Center, which in turn was merged with the Public Library,
founded in 1892, of which Miss Hannah K. Caldwell was, till her
marriage, the efficient librarian. The position is now filled by Mabel
Kelly. A library is also owned by Stark Grange.

For the past thirty years or more, many summer boarders have come to
Dunbarton. The houses of James M. Bailey, William B. Burnham, and Peter
Butterfield, were well filled for several years, while at many other
places some people were accommodated. At the present time two houses at
the Center, owned by Henry P. Kelly, are filled every summer; also the
house of Frank C. Woodbury, the former home of Deacon Parker on the
"hill beautiful," where "glorious golden summers wax and wane, where
radiant autumns all their splendors shed."

The pure air of Dunbarton seems to be conducive to long life. Two
citizens passed the century mark. Mrs. Joseph Leach died in 1849, aged
102 years, 9 months. Mrs. Achsah P. (Tenney) Whipple lived to the age
of 100 years, 9 months. Her centennial birthday was celebrated June 28,
1886, by a large gathering of relatives and friends. Her only daughter
married Joseph A. Gilmore, for many years Superintendent of the Concord
Railroad, and also Governor of New Hampshire. Her grand daughter was
the first wife of Hon. William E. Chandler, who, doubtless, has pleasant
recollections of his visits to his betrothed at the home of her

Among the residents of the town who attained the age of 90 years or
more were Mrs. Mary Story, 98 years, 4 months, 12 days; Mrs. Ann C.,
widow of Deacon John Wilson, 98 years; Deacon John Church, 97 years;
Mrs. Abigail (Burnham) Ireland, 94 years; There were several others
whose ages I do not know. Mr. and Mrs. Guild, near the Bow line, I
think were over 90 years. Many have passed the age of 80 years. Deacon
Samuel Burnham is now 88 years; he and his wife lived together more
than 63 years. Mr. and Mrs. James Stone lived together more than 65
years. Mrs. Stone survived her husband only a few weeks. Colonel Samuel
B. Hammond and wife celebrated their golden wedding in 1892.

Stark Grange is the only secret society in town, though some individuals
belong to societies in adjoining towns. The membership of Stark Grange
is about ninety.

The patriotism of the town has always been unquestioned.

Dunbarton has sent her sons to battle for the right in every war.
Seventeen men took part in the French and Indian War, including Major
Robert Rogers, and other men by the names of Rogers, Stark, McCurdy,
and others.

In the Revolutionary Army were fifty-seven from Dunbarton, including
the brothers John and Thomas Mills, William Beard, and others. Caleb
Stark, afterwards a resident, though very young, was with his father
at Bunker Hill.

Henry L. Burnham used to tell a story of a cave on the farm which was
his home for many years (now owned by John Haynes) which once sheltered
a deserter from the Revolutionary Army. The man afterwards went to the
northern part of the State, and at the very hour of his death, during a
heavy thunder shower, the entrance to the cave was closed so completely
that the most diligent search has failed to discover any trace of it.

In the war of 1812, eleven enlisted, and twelve were drafted. Probably
Benjamin Bailey was the last survivor. Among those who went to the
Mexican War were Benjamin Whipple and Charles G. Clement.

Dunbarton sent more than fifty men to the Civil War; several sent
substitutes. To three men were given captain's commissions, namely,
William E. Bunten, Henry M. Caldwell, who died of fever in Falmouth,
Va., in 1862, and Andrew J. Stone, who was killed at the Battle of the
Wilderness in 1864. Marcus M. Holmes returned a lieutenant and Horace
Caldwell was orderly sargeant; Wilbur F. Brown died of starvation at
Andersonville, and Benjamin Twiss narrowly escaped a like fate at Libby
Prison. He was suffocated in a mine in the Far West not very long ago.

Two young men went to the Spanish-American War who were born in
Dunbarton, and had lived here the larger part of their lives, namely,
William J. Sawyer, who enlisted in the New Hampshire Regiment from
Concord, and Fred H. Mills, who enlisted at Marlboro, Mass., in the
Sixth Massachusetts Regiment. He died in Goffstown, June 26, 1900, of
disease contracted in the army.

No railroad touches the town, and probably never will, but an electric
car route over the hill has been prophesied.

The mail has always come by way of Concord, and the carrier's wagon has
furnished transportation for many people. Hon. William E. Chandler drove
the mail wagon for a time some fifty years ago. The postoffice was
first established in 1817, at the Center; another at North Dunbarton
in 1834; a third at East Dunbarton in 1883. In 1899 the free rural
delivery system was adopted, giving general satisfaction to the

I have written chiefly of the past history of the town, but I think I
may say that the people of the present day are endeavoring to maintain
as good a reputation as their ancestors.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote 1: The early writers generally credited James Rogers with
being of Scotch-Irish nativity, owing to the fact that he was confused
with another person of the same name, who lived in Londonderry. (See
Drummond's "James Rogers of Dunbarton and James Rogers of Londonderry.")
The Dunbarton Rogers was undoubtedly of English birth, in which case the
term "Mountalona," or "Montelonv," must have had some other derivation
than that commonly ascribed to it.--EDITOR.]

[Footnote 2: Probably 1739, and the Rogers family at least came from
Massachusetts. This with the Putney or Pudney family seem to have been
located in the winter of 1839-1840.--EDITOR.]

[Footnote 3: From Dumbritton, the ancient name given to a fort raised
by the Brittons on the north bank of the Clyde in early

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