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I II I.
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HISTORY OF CHESTER.
RELATING TO THE EARLY
HISTORY OF CHESTER, N. H,
FROM THE SETTLEMENT IN 1720, UNTIL THE FORMATION OF THE
STATE CONSTITUTION IN THE YEAR 1784.
Collected By CHARLES BELL.
PUBLISHED FOR THE N. H. HISTORICAL SOCIETY
BY G. PARKER LYON.
■/ /a aft 3/ -
>Y- ~' ** f '• -
NOTE — By the Editor.
Dr. Charles Bell, the author of the following History of
Chester, — his native Town — died in Concord, N. H., of pulmo-
nary consumption, February 29, 1856, aged 22£ years. On the
Sabbath after his decease, the Rev. Dr. Bo u ton, in a funeral dis-
course, thus spake of him :
" Dr. Charles Bell, son of the late Hon. Samuel Bell, of
Chester, dying at the early age of 22 J years, possessed qualities
of mind and heart which rendered him a fit model for young men
just entering on the stage of social and public life. Naturally of
a serene, qmiable and obliging temper, he sought to promote the
happiness of all who were about him. His mind, of a high order,
was improved by study from early childhood. His acquisitions in
general knowledge, in literature and science, and more especially
in the studies of his profession, distinguished him among the
young men of his age, and gave large promise of, usefulness, and
success in the professional career which he had auspiciously
Though of genial social qualities, gifted in conversation, he yet
wasted no time in amusements and festivities which could neither
improve his mind nor his heart ; rather he looked on such things
as unworthy of a being pressed with responsibilities and acting for
immortality. Doct. Bell possessed a large religious reverence —
respect for all things sacred — for the word of God, the worship of
his house, the Sabbath and institutions of religion : on these sub-
jects no levity ever marked his conversation or deportment. At
an early age, while a member of Brown University, in Providence,
R. I., he was personally the subject of these spiritual influences
and exercises that are usual antecedents of a new life ; and ever
after he seemed to live in the fear and love of God, and to be gov-
erned by the principles and precepts of Christianity.
iv NOTE BY THE EDITOR.
But*' death loves a shining mark ! ' and it early marked him
for its victim ! ' The days of his youth were shortened.' That
pale, serene, thoughtful, intelligent face we shall see no more !
Our hopes of his rising and permanent distinction are blasted !
yet he lived not in vain. Subject to pulmonary disease, his
death was sudden. His mortal remains were conveyed to his na-
tive Town, to be interred among his honored kindred and friends.
His spirit, we trust, is associated with ' the spirits of the just
made perfect ; ' while his example lives — worthy of the imitation
of all the youth who knew him, or to whom his name and virtues
shall become known."
It is a striking proof of the mental activity, capacity and good
judgment of the author, that the materials for this History were
collected, arranged and composed by him, when he was only
eighteen years of age. Yet the history will be found accurate and
reliable. It has been submitted to the mature judgment and re-
ceived the approval of the Hon. Samuel D. Bell, of Manchester,
N. H., by whose liberality the work is now published.
This History, first published in the 7th Volume of Collections
of the N. H. Historical Society, is now published in its present
form for more general distribution.
N. BOUTON, Editor.
Concord. June, 1863.
FACTS RELATING TO CHESTER.
1719. In the summer of the year 1719, a Society was
formed, principally by inhabitants of Hampton, Haverhill, New-
bury and Portsmouth, " for settling the Chestnutt Country," of
which the first meeting recorded, and probably the first holden,
was in the open forest, within the limits of the present town of
Chester, and most likely on Walnut Hill. This meeting was on
the 15th of October of the same year.
A petition had already been preferred to the government (Sept.
24th,) by Clement Hughes, praying for the grant of a township,
and stating that " sundry persons from the Province of Massa-
chusetts Bay " were about to petition for the same land. Mr.
Hughes and his company demanded the preference, " having been
at a vast expense of blood and treasure to maintain the .same
against the enemy." This was the usual reason given why pre-
ference should be shown to any particular company. It is very
unlikely that any " blood " or " treasure " was expended, at that
time, on account of the tract. This petition was not granted, as
it did not include the Governor and his Council among the Pro-
prietors. At this meeting it was decided that the Society should
not exceed ninety individuals, and this number being then incom-
plete, such persons were to be admitted as should be thought
proper by a committee of seven, chosen each year to assume the
management of all the Society's affairs, to call meetings as often
as should be thought necessary, and " to act in all other matters
that they should think proper for the good of the whole Society."
Ichabod Robie, Jacob Stanyan, Caleb Towle, Joseph Tilton
and Michael Whidden, all of Hampton, were chosen to lay out the
home lots of 20 acres each, in which all privileges of streams were
reserved for the use of the Society. Thomas Leavitt and two
others, whose names are unknown, were placed on the land to
maintain possession whilst a grant could be obtained.
b HISTORY OP CHESTER.
The second meeting of the Society was holden at Hampton,
The difficulties which preceded LovewelTs war had just begun,
and at the above meeting it was provided that, in case of a war,
before the three years, to which time they proposed to limit the
settlement, should expire, the same length of time should be* al-
lowed after the conclusion of a peace. The home-lots having
been laid out, the Proprietors, to the number of eighty eight,
drew their lots respectively, and not long after, the number hav-
ing been increased, contrary to their first intention, to 127, the re-
1720. In the following March the Society voted to with-
draw the first petition, then pending, and " when there should be
a convenient season," to prefer another. This second petition
was also drawn up by Clement Hughes, and presented the 24th of
May following ; it was kept suspended until Aug. 26th, when a
grant was made " provided that they did not infringe on, or inter-
fere with, any former grant, possessions, or properties," and a
committee of Proprietors appointed to procure the land laid out.
This grant conveyed a tract of country comprising 100 sq. miles to
In return for this favor they voted to present his Excellency,
the Governor, with a farm of 500 acres, which was laid out u as
near the centre of the town as possible without incommoding their
own house lots." Gov. Shute's farm began, at its southern limit,
near the house of Elijah Hall, and extended on that road, then
known as " Penacook path," as far as where Jacob Chase lives,
then it spread towards the Northeast nearly as far as Raymond
• It does not appear with certainty whether any Indian title was
ever possessed by the Society, but it is probable that there was
not, or some record would remain of the purchase ; among the ac-
counts, however, presented by Mr. Hughes, who acted in the ca-
pacity of their Secretary, is charged five shillings "for a copy of
an Indian deed."
As a fence had been built, in the first instance, round the South-
ern part of the tract, but little difficulty was experienced from
trespassers ; there were, however, certain " Haverhill people "
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 7
who were troublesome during the first year of the grant, and Pro-
prietors were hired to " go and oppose them." Several lawsuits
grew out of this opposition. Perhaps these were the same indi-
viduals who troubled the Londonderry people this same year ;
they claimed the lands of Nutfield by virtue of an Indian deed of
about twenty years standing, from one John, an obscure sachem.
A path had been made from Haverhill, and also from Kingston,
at the time the home lots were laid out, and in March, (1720,) it
was voted that the former should be made passable for carts at
the expense of the Haverhill proprietors. This path passed over
Walnut Hill very nearly where the road now goes, and so down
into Hall's Village. At the same time the Society voted that the
bridge over Exeter river on the Kingston road, should be made
passable for carts.
Immediately after the grant (in August, 1720,) of the town-
ship, (thenceforth known as Cheshire,) the settlement was com-
menced by 24 individuals, mostly from Hampton and Haverhill.
The first settlement was on Walnut Hill and in Hall's Village.
These settlers were, by vote of the Society, and to encourage fur-
ther emigration, allowed ten shillings each, anuually, for the first
three years, The names of these 24 are given, with such other
particulars as I have been able to gather in relation to them.
They built, at first, loghouses on their respective lots, and it was
not until 1732 that a frame house was put up. This was erected
by Capt. Samuel Ingalls, and was standing on the spot where he
built it, until within a few years. It was occupied by Thomas
Niles, and stood where Humphrey Niles now lives. The frame
was of hewn white oak, and in a good state of preservation in 1845.
The dimensions of the house were about 25 by 40 feet ; so that it
was called " the great house," for many years after its erection.
Soon afterwards some of the others followed the example, and
built framed houses, several of which are now standing.
1721. At a meeting of the proprietors, holden at Hampton,
in January of the following year, the first mill privileges, together
with ten acres of land on each side of the stream, were granted to
Col. Packer, Col. Weare, Caleb Towle and Samuel Ingalls.
These privileges were designated as " the upper and lower falls on
the great brook" The conditions of the grant were, that they
8 HISTORY OF CHESTER.
should erect a saw mill or mills at the upper falls, and have the
same in condition to cut boards within twelve months, to saw
what logs the proprietors would need for their buildings at halves,
and to furnish boards to any person desiring them, at the rate of
thirty shillings a thousand, delivered at the mill. Thirty shillings
of the currency at that time is about two dollars of our money.
This saw mill was built on the spot where the Hazelton saw
mill now stands.
The grantees were to give a bond of £50 to the committee that
they would perform the conditions of the grant, and in case of the
refusal of any one of them to do this, his share was to be offered
to some other individual.
The settlement being now fairly commenced, the expediency of
. establishing a church and a school began to be considered, and it
was resolved that as soon as thirty free-holders should be settled,
a minister of the gospel should be maintained ; as soon as fifty
families should be settled, there should be a meeting house built
by the whole proprietary. A few days afterwards, it was voted
that u whereas the number of proprietors was. considerable,"
" and no provision was yet made for a schoolmaster ," the next
proprietor who should forfeit his lot, according to the rules of the
Society, by not paying his share of the common expenses, it should
be appropriated for a school. This resolve appears to have been
for some time neglected, and indeed no house was erected for this
purpose for more than twenty years from this date.
A vote was also passed to lay out 100 acres of additional land
to each full proprietor, which was not carried into effect, and the
following year it was voted that they should contain 200 acres.
They were not laid out, however, until 1728, when the first half
of the division was completed and called " The Old Hundreds."
These lots included almost all of the present town of Raymond.
At this time the difficulties with the Indians began to increase,
and a war commenced, which induced seven of the twenty-four
families of settlers to return to the older towns for safety. The
following are their names : Amos Cass, George Pierce, William
Daniel, Ephraim Guile, Robert Ford, Rev. Mr. Simms, Nathan
Webster. But one person joined the settlement in 1722 and 1723 ;
this was- Reuben Sanborn, of Hampton.
piSTOBY OF CHESTER. 9
1722* The charter of the town being now prepared, it was
signed, together with three others, on the 8th of May of the en-
suing year, and was the last official act performed by Gov. Shute
in New Hampshire.
This charter was given in the name of King George of Great
Britain, France and Ireland, defender of the Faith, &c, and
granted (with the reservation " as far as in us lies,") a tract, dif-
fering considerably in shape and size from the former grant, and
containing over 120 square miles. The name conferred by the
charter was Chester.
1723. The first meeting under this charter was holden March
28, 1723, when after choosing town-officers, consisting of a clerk,
three selectmen, three lot-layers, and a constable to collect the
rates, the proprietors voted that additional, lots of 50 acres each,
should be laid out of the common lands. This was done three
years afterwards, all meadow land of one acre or more being re-
served. The additional lots were laid out principally near the
The selectmen were directed to make application to the next
Court of Quarter Sessions to have a highway to Kingston. The
Selectmen were empowered to eject all trespassers on the land in-
cluded by the charter, until December, when a committee was
chosen expressly for this purpose.
Those proprietors who were in debt were now warned that, un-
less their full proportions were paid by the 15th of June, their
rights would be forfeited.
1724. The first appearance of the hostile Indians in New
Hampshire was at Dover, in the spring of this year, where they
killed one individual, and took three prisoners. But little injury
was experienced from them until the next spring, when they ap-
peared at Oyster River, at Kingston, and on Tuesday, the 2d of
June, at Chester, where five of them took prisoners Lieut. Thomas
Smith and John Carr, as they were out hunting deer, and carried
them about thirty miles to the northward. There they halted —
bound their prisoners, and lay down to sleep ; the prisoners es-
caped in the night, and after three days arrived safe at a garrison
10 HISTOBT OF CHESTER.
Smith was one of the first settlers, and lived in a house which
stood where Capt. Pickett lived. Carr was only about 15 years
old at the time of his capture. His home was then, and for many
years afterwards, in a log house which stood on the brow of the
hill back of the house where John Hall lives. He died Oct. 22,
1783, at the age of 73.
It is said that they were surprised while watching a deer from
a large flat rock, lately blasted out, which was on the lane after-
wards laid out for a highway, and known as " the Haverhill
road ; " it is now untravelled, and leads from Josiah Morse's to
the Halls' village road. The rock was on the west side of the
road, about 80 rods from Morse's house. The Indians never did
much mischief in Chester after this.
On the last of March, a meeting of the Society was holden in
Chester, at the house of Capt. Samuel Ingalls, and complaints be-
ing made that many trees were unlawfully taken from the undivi-
ded lands, a committee was appointed to inspect all the timber of
the town, and to prosecute any trespassers.
1725. On the 25th of March of the next year, it was voted,
(on account probably of the capture of Smith and Carr in 1724,)
to appropriate the sum of £20, " to hire two souldiers to guard
them four months next ensueing." Where these " souldiers "
were stationed, is uncertain. They might have been at Smith's
house, where Capt. Pickett lived, or more probably at a garrison
which stood on the spot where Cowdry's hut is, and which was
the principal garrison in those times.
1726. In December an end was put to the Indian war by a
treaty which was ratified the next spring. The news of this
peace arriving in Great Britain induced many people to emigrate,
and numerous companies from the northern part of Ireland took
up their residence in and about Londonderry, which had been set-
tled by previous emigrations from the same vicinity ; among these
were several families who came to Chester. These emigrants
afterwards formed the Presbyterian church in Chester.
There was a mutual dislike between the Irish settlers and the
" Yankees." No intermarriage took place between the two par-
ties for many years, and at last, when it did occur, it was depre.
cated by all as an untoward event. The first mention of " the
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 11
poor of the town " occurs this year, and the money forfeited by
the unlawful cutting of the proprietor's wood was appropriated to
their support. This fine was 40 shillings for every tree.
1727. All the grass growing on the meadows had been es-
teemed common property, and a regulation was made this year,
that if any one should cut his proportion before the last day of
July, he should be made to pay to the Selectmen 20 shillings for
every day he should so offend, to be appropriated to the support of
the poor. The reason of this regulation was, perhaps, to allow
the seeds to ripen and fall off before the grass was cut.
1723. The next year the meadows were laid out, in small
parcels, to the proprietors. The three-camp-meadow was laid out
into twelve rights.
This year the question was agitated whether a meeting house
should not be built, and it was decided (by universal consent at
least,) that there should be, and at a meeting held Nov. 12th, it
was voted that " the stateing y e place for y e meeting house " be
left in consideration until the March meeting. According to tra-
ditionary accounts, there was considerable debate whether to build
it in Hall's village or at the centre, where it now stands. The
minister's lot was at the centre, but the graveyard was in Hall's
1729. Nothing further was done on this subject until the fol-
lowing March, when it was decided that " y° place called y° cen-
tre " should be the place for the meeting house.
At a meeting Oct. 7th, after voting to pay Mr. John Tucke,
who had been preaching in Chester, " 30 shillings per Sabbath
for fourteen Sabbaths last past," Capt. Samuel Ingalls and En-
sign Jacob Sargent were appointed a committee " to look out for
a suitable orthodox good man," in view of his settlement at Ches-
ter. It was voted also that the meeting house should be " fifty
foot in length, and thirty-five foot wide, and twenty foot post,"
" to be furnished completely, both inside and outside, to y° turn-
ing of y e key, and set upon the place appointed and before voted."
In June of the next year, however, the width of the future meet-
ing house was increased by vote to 38 feet. Dr. Edmund Tap-
pan, of Hampton, Sam 1 Ingalls and Nathan 1 Healey, of Chester
HISTORY OF CHESTER.
were- appointed a committee to agree with the carpenters about its
erection, and forty shillings were assessed on each full proprietor
towards its completion. It had been voted, in June, that Mr.
John Tucke, of Hampton, was " chosen to settle with y e inhabi-
tants of Chester in y e work of y e ministry," and that for five
years £120 should be raised, annually, for the support of the min-
istry, by the proprietors and inhabitants, according to their settle-
ment, and afterwards, as the law directs. Capt. S. Ingalls, Dr.
Tappan and Mr. Wilson were to wait on Mr. Tucke, and invite
him to the work of the ministry, which they did, and received the
following reply :
" To y e propr* of y e town of Chester, this day met at Capt. Win-
gate's, in Hampton : "
Gentlemen: Whereas you w th y e freeholders of y e town of
Chester Did, sometime ago, Invite me to y e work of y e ministry
in Chester, now these are to signifie that, for Weighty Reasons, I
decline settling there. I wish you a happy settlement in God's
good time. This from your Hum ble Serv*,
This letter was dated at Hampton, Oct. 7, 1729.
FIRST CHURCH IN CHESTER BUILT IN 1730-31.
(Plan of the body) 50 feet by 38 in dimensions.
Drawn from B. P. Chase's description.
HISTORY OF CHESTER 13
1730. In January of the following year, Rev. Moses Hale
was chosen to settle at Chester in the ministry, and he was to re-
ceive from the town treasury £120, current money, ($156,80, or
as silver 20s per oz., 133,28. This latter is probably the way it
was reckoned,) annually, as long as he remained their minister.
A committee was chosen " to treat with him, & to acquaint him
with what y® town hath done, and to invite him into the work of
y® ministery in Chester." They received his answer, which was
favorable, and reported to the town.
In relation to his salary it was soon after voted that 20s should
be assessed on each full proprietor's share, making in all £127,
which might be paid either in money or labor. This at silver 17
sh. pr. ounce — 8166,95, (or at 20s per. oz., $141,90.)
In July, a committee was appointed to deliver the minister's,
lot, joining on Gov. Wentworth's home lot, " with all its divi-
shions and priuelidges " to Rev. Moses Hale, as soon as he should
become qualified to receive it, " and in case he shall dew any
work, or be at any charge for benefiting said land, and by the
Providence of God, shall faile of being a selected minister, and .
not qualified to reseue s d lott ; in that case whatever Mr. Hale
shall have layed out upon it, shall be repaid."
It was this year voted to give encouragement to John Aiken to
build a grist-mill at the middle falls of " the great brook." This
was the first grist-mill in town, and stood down behind John Ha-
zelton's house. The remains of the dam are still visible. Mr.
Aiken lived in a house which stood where Mr. Reed lives.
1731. The Committee for building the meeting house having
agreed with Peter and Thomas Cochran, of Londonderry, to
build it, they went about it immediately, and by the following
March it was so nearly finished that the town meeting was held in
it on the 25th.
This meeting house stood a few rods south of the present house,
near where the guide post is, and faced the southwest.*
In May. at a meeting of the town, it was voted to raise the sum
of £230 towards finishing the meeting house, and £30 for prepa-
rations for Mr. Hale's ordination.
On the first of September, a meeting was called expressly to
• Tradition — B. P. Chase remembers the house.
14 HISTORY OF CHESTER.
take steps in regard to the ordination ; and Rev. Mr. Brown, of
Haverhill, Rev. Mr. Phillips, and Rev. Mr. Barnard, of Andover,
were chosen a committee " to gather and settle a church in Ches-
ter, and ordain the Rev. Mr. Hale ; " also, Ensign Jacob Sargent,
Deac. Ebenezer Dearborn, Enoch Colby, Capt. Samuel Ingalls
and Samuel Emerson, Esq., were a committee " to take care for
the provision of the ordination." The ordination of Mr. Hale
took place October 20th, though no record of it exists on the town
Early this year, on petition of several families living near Wal-
nut Hill, a road was laid out from Mr. Emerson's to Mr. Robin-
son's u for conveniency to go to meeting, and general benefit of
the town." This road was two rods wide, and run a short dis-
tance further to the eastward than the present road, where a foot-
path existed before it.
1732. As the settlements extended, the inhabitants began to
feel the need of a road to connect the two parishes, consequently
in Sept. 1732, it was voted that " a horse or cart path " should be
made from the meeting house to the North parish ; this was called
" Penacook path," and was afterwards laid out into the present
highway to Auburn.
1733. A considerable number of the inhabitants of Chester,
at the time of Mr. Hale's settlement, were Presbyterians, and
more of them continuing to move into town, they became dissatis-
fied with him ; in addition to this, his health was feeble, and he
was often unable to discharge his duties as a minister, hence in
September, 1733, Lieut. Ebenezer Dearborn, Mr. Nathan Web-
ster, and Capt. Samuel Ingalls were directed " to agree with and
hire a minister to preach a quarter of a year " to them. This
was probably done, but who was obtained is not known ; perhaps
it was the Timothy White, who was invited to become their pas-
tor a year or two afterwards. The first mention of a burying
place occurs this year, and the spot is specified as containing 18
rods, and situated near " three camp meadow." . This was the
first burying place in town, and was immediately opposite where
the " Copp's house " stands, in Hall's Village, and only two or
three rods' from the road. The graves were discernable until
within twelve or fifteen years ; they were marked by round stones
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 15
at the head and foot, but none bore inscriptions. The land is
now smooth, having been cultivated for several years. About
fifteen persons were buried in this place, the last of whom was
Jonathan Goodhue, who was accidently killed by the falling of a
tree, about the year 1740.
1734. The non-residents objected to paying their proportion
of the expenses, and this year Mr. John Calfe was empowered,
together with Dr. Rogers, to address the General Court, at the
next session, in order to compel them to pay u a penny an acre"
for what land they hold, until they shall perform settlement ac-
cording to the true intent of the charter.
The dissatisfaction of the people towards Mr. Hale increasing,
and his health continuing poor, he made certain proposals, Feb.
6th, in relation to resigning his charge ; whereupon a meeting was
holden, on the first Wednesday of June, at the house of Deac.
Dearborn, to consider upon them. It was thought best to agree
to them, and (June 27th,) Deac. Dearborn and John Calfe
were appointed to wait on the minister, and urge a Council for
dissolving the pastoral relation between him and the church in
Chester. An ecclesiastical council was accordingly held at Salis-
bury, on the 13th of August, consisting of the Elders and messen-
gers of all the churches in the neighborhood, which agreed on the
" Being regularly assembled by virtue of letters, sent from the
church of Chester to the aforesaid churches, to advise and direct
the said church of Chester what may be most proper for them to
do under their present difficult circumstances, by reason of the
Rev. Mr. Moses Hale, their pastor, being wholly disenabled from
serving them in the work of the ministry ; and having made due
inquiry into the case and circumstances of the said minister and
people, we find that the said Mr. Hale having done little or no
service among them, and being, by the Providence of God, brought
under great disorder of body and distraction of mind, and for a
time ' berived ' of his reason and understanding, and thereby
rendered incapable of discharging the work of the ministry among
them, and so remaining without any present appearance or pros-
pect of being restored to his ministry ; and therefore we judge and
determine that it is the wisdom and duty of the church and peo-
16 HISTOBT OF CHESTER.
pie of Chester to proceed, in regular steps, to call and settle a gos-
pel minister among them, so that they may no longer be destitute
of the word and ordinances of Christ ; and would also advise and
direct the said church and people of Chester that, besides allowing
the said Mr. Hale the town right which accrued to him upon set-
tlement, and what also was then given him to encourage his set-
tlement, they should not forget their obligations to be ready to
contribute to his support and relief, according to their power and t
ability. So commending them to the God of Grace and Peace,
we subscribe your brethren in Christ,
CALEB CUSHING, Mod'r.
JOHN ODLIN, Scribe.
In the name and behalf of the Council"
At a meeting holden a day or two after the foregoing, it was
voted that the first Wednesday in September should be observed
" as a day of fasting and prayer for advice for another minister ,"
and a committee consisting of five individuals was appointed to
receive the advice of the ministers in regard to the subject. The
determination of the Council was accepted by the Proprietors, and
it was voted, that after three Sabbaths from that time, (Septem-
ber l 8t ,) the pulpit should be supplied three months at the public
charge. The names of Tho 8 Smith, John Smith, Robert Mills,
Wm, Carswell, Robert Gilchrist, Andrew 'Craig, Tho 8 Colwell,
Alex. Craig, Patrick Melvin, and Robert Boys are entered as
protesting against the above vote, declaring themselves " not of
that communion, having hired a minister themselves." Hence it
appears that the Presbyterian Society was formed this year, and
that a minister was already hired — probably Mr. John Wilson,
who was the same year ordained by them. Their meetings were
of course held at private houses, as they had yet no church.
1735. Mr. Hale being now dismissed, and being creditor for
considerable amount of arrears, the town was constrained to ap-
ply, in June, by a brief, to the neighboring towns for aid. This
was not granted, for in 1740 the arrears were still unpaid, and
portions of the undivided lands were sold to discharge the debt.
The question was now discussed who should be chosen for the
next minister, and at a meeting holden Nov. 6th, it was voted
that the Rev.. Timothy White should be the person, and his salary
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 17
should be £120 per annum. Deac. Ebenezer Dearborn, Nathan
Webster and John Calfe were appointed to acquaint him with his
call. Who Mr. White was, does not appear, and he declined the
invitation. On this attempt to settle another minister, the Pres-
byterians, to the number of 31, presented a protest, in the follow-
ing language :
" Chester, November ye 6, 1735.
We, the under-subscribers Proprietors and inhabitants of the
town of Chester aforesaid, do enter our protest or dissent against
any charges or costs that shall or may arise by calling, settling or
ordaining any other minister, in this town, than the minister
which we have already called, settled and ordained, viz : the Rev.
Mr. John Wilson, according to the rules of the Presbyterian
church, particularly the church of Scotland ; and we also insist
upon the benefit of the proviso made in the act of the Province law
relating to the maintenance and supply of the ministers within
Hitherto the business of the town and of the Proprietary had
all been transacted at the regular town meetings, but in Oct. of
this year, it was voted that the Proprietor's Clerk be empowered
to warn meetings for the present, at the request of twenty or more
of the Proprietors of the undivided land in Chester, " they setting
forth the occasion of the same, and the time when, and where,
And for the warning of said meeting it shall be accounted sufficient
to have notifications posted up, one at Chester, one at Pourts-
mouth, one at Hampton, one at Newbury, and one at Haverhill,
at some public place, fourteen days before said meeting, and the
present petitioners for every meeting shall be at the charge of set-
ting up the notification of the said meeting."
This year Mr. John Calfe made proposals to build a fulling
mill at " Massabesic brook," (now called " Oswego brook,") and
his proposals being accepted by the town, he proceeded to build
his mill. It stood near where Nathan Griffin now lives, and was
torn down about sixty years ago. It went by the name of " the
old fulling mill." In May of this year, (1735,) the throat dis-
temper (technically called Cynanche maligna,) made its appear-
ance, for the first time, at Kingston. It continued to spread
through that town and the neighboring towns, but did not reach
18 HISTORY OP CHESTER.
Chester until October.* This disease attacked children principally*
of whom twenty-one, under the age of ten years, were carried off,
in Chester, within less than nine months ; who they were I have*
been unable to ascertain. The summer of 1735, when the sick-
ness began, was unusually wet and cold, and easterly winds great-
ly prevailed. More than one thousand persons are estimated to
have died in the Province of New Hampshire of this distemper.
The physicians of Boston held a consultation in 1736, and pub-
lished their opinion that it proceeded entirely from " some occult
quality in the air." In 1754-5 it made its appearance again, and
a third time about 1784, and several individuals suffered from it.
The whole population of Chester at this time was probably not
over 300 or 350. This calculation is made from the proportions
of the deaths in other towns.
1736. On the 23 d of June, 1736, the town voted that Rev.
Mr. Ebenezer Flagg should be the minister of the town of Ches-
ter, and that he should be paid £120 annually, u as silver at 20
shillings an ounce/' during his ministry at Chester. At this
meeting still another protest was presented, signed by forty-nine
members of the Presbyterian Society, declaring the meeting il-
legal, and objecting to the settlement of Mr. Flagg. After his
settlement, which occurred probably in September, many of them
refused payment of taxes for his support, whereupon the collector
was ordered to commit the delinquents to jail, which order he car-
ried into effect on the persons of Maj. John Tolford and Deac.
James Campbell, and took them to Exeter jail. On their release
they commenced an action of false imprisonment, and recovered
damages. This led to the act which was passed in 1740 incor-
porating the two Societies separate.!
1737. The year 1737 is noted for the building of " a log
pound, 30 ft. square, six feet high, with a good gate, and a lock
and key." The spot where it was to be, was " a little south of
John Boyd's house." Probably John Boyd lived in a house which
used to stand nearly where Alfred Dearborn's shop is, and which
was afterwards occupied by Sampson Underhill. The pound was
a little above Mr. Lane's house, and was demolished seventy or
eighty years ago.
* Belknap's History of New Hampshire,
f Farmer's N. H. Gaz.
HISTORY OP' CHESTER. 19
This year the first school was established in Chester by virtue
of the following votes, passed April 7th : " Voted, to Rais thirty
Pounds to Hier a schoolmaster this present year." " Voted, the
Select men shall remove the said scoolmaster to the seurall Parts
of the town as shall be conuenant." No account of the master or
of where the school was kept can be obtained.
The Cochrans were still the town's creditors for building the
meeting house, and the most convenient way was taken, in 1737,
to discharge the debt, viz : by sale of public lands.
The lines of the town were now, for the first time " run and
perambulated," by Capt. Samuel Ingalls, Jacob Sargent and Sam-
uel Emerson, Esq. ; they were paid ten shillings a day, i. e. about
seventy-five cts. In August, 1737, Chester was favored with a
.visit from Gov. Belcher. An account of this tour was published
in the papers of the day, and concluded thus : " His Excellency
was much pleased with the fine soil of Chester, the extraordinary
improvements at Derry, and the mighty fall at Skeag."*
1738. In 1738 the sum of £20, (about $40,) was raised for
the support of a school, and £5 "to add to the town's stock of
1739. The Presbyterians had hitherto held their meetings in
private houses, or in barns, but their number being now consider-
able, they began to aspire to a church ; the subject was introduced
at a meeting held April 4, 1739, where it was voted to assess £240
on themselves, " towards building a meeting-house for the Rev.
Mr. John Wilson." The house was finished the same year, and
stood on a part of one half an acre of land, given to the Society
for this purpose and for a burying place, by Mr. Wilson. It was
on the west side of the u Haverhill road," and its dimensions
were about 35 by 40 feet.f The graves are in a very dilapidated
condition. After the death of Mr. Wilson, the church was with-
out a settled minister twenty-four years ; it was then removed to
the North Parish and rebuilt with considerable additions. It was
lately taken down and destroyed, a new one having been built in
The ill-will between the two Societies had increased to such an
* Belknap's History,
f I have the deed.— C. B.
20 HISTORY OF CHESTER.
extent that this year two constables were chosen, one an orthodox,
the other a Presbyterian, and also Mr. John McMurphy was em-
powered " to prefer a petition to the General Court, to obtain an
explanation of the Charter." This was the immediate cause of
the incorporation of the two societies.
In May a privilege was granted to John McMurphy " to build
a grist mill " at i Massabesic IJiver,' below the ' great fall/ with-
in two years, " provided said McMurphy shall not stop or impede
the course of the fish up the said river, but shall and will leave,
contrive, and make sufficient passage for that purpose." This
mill was on what is now called " Cohass brook," and " Webster's
mills " now occupy the same spot. From this and similar pro-
visos, it appears that the alewives, which came up into Massabe-
sic, were one source of support to the settlers.
1740. In April, 1740, the town voted, for the first time, that
a school should be maintained throughout the year, " partly by
schoolmasters, and partly by schooldames, as the Selectmen shall
judge best for the town."
On the imprisonment of Tolford and Campbell, in 1736, a suit
was commenced by their Society which resulted finally in a deci-
sion in their favor, and the following record appears on the town
book : " Whereas at the settling of the Rev. Mr. Ebenezer Flagg
in the work of the ministry at Chester, a number of the inhabi-
tants entered their dissents, alleging that they were of a different
persuasion, Presbyterians, according to the Kirk of Scotland, and
supposed the law freed them from paying, they applied themselves
to the General Court where the law was explained in their favor, the
Rev. Mr. John Wilson being their minister, and they having paid
Mr. Wilson distinct from the rest of the town, separate from Mr.
Flagg's hearers ; but now it happens that the 5th article inserted
in the warning for the present meeting is to settle a salary upon
the Rev. Mr. John Wilson, the moderator not thinking this meet-
ing proper for that affair — they insisting to have something done
upon it, the rest of the town being first withdrawn from Mr. Wil-
son's hearers, the moderator addressed himself to them in the fol-
lowing manner : * If it be your minds that the Rev. Mr. John
Wilson, minister of the Presbyterians, should have one hundred
pounds money for his salary for the year ensuing, to be paid by
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 21
the Presbyterians, his hearers, manifest it by holding up your
hands ;' ' they that are of the contrary mind, manifest it by the
same sign.' Passed in the affirmative, by Mr. Wilson's hearers."
Aug. 7th, the long-wished act was passed incorporating the So-
The first Parish meeting of the Orthodox Society was holden
Sept. 10th, and adjourned to the 17th, when Benj. Hills, James
Varnum and Eliphaz Sanborn were chosen wardens, and Paul
Smith, collector. The Congregational church is always specified
as " y 6 old meeting house," in distinction from the new one.
1741. In March, 1741, the proposal was first made to build
a school-house ; it was to be at " y e centre," but it was not built
for some years.
1742* Hitherto the dead had been buried in the burying
place, already referred to, at " Three Camp Meadow," but this
year the Selectmen were authorized to obtain an acre of land, by
exchange, from Jonathan Blunt, " so as to accommodate a decent
burying place at the corner of his lot, by the meeting house ;"
which however was not done for several years, for in 1745, a vote
appears again to the same effect ; and again 1749, he was paid
£60 old tenor for the same piece.
There appears to be considerable uncertainty as to the time of
the first burials there ; one stone bears the date 1737 without any
inscription ; another 1744, so it is pretty certain that the place
was used, for that purpose, before it was purchased by the town.
That part of the present grave-yard next to the main road, is the
oldest, and it is said that the west corner of the old burying place
is now traversed by the road which turns towards Raymond, and
that some of the early graves were outside of the present wall at
that part of the yard. The first person buried in this place was
Sampson Underhill ; he came to Chester from Ipswich, Mass., in
1726 or 7, and lived for a time during the last of his life near
where Mr. Quigg lives, and perhaps, too, near where Alfred Dear-
born's shop stands. He died probably about the year 1735, and
his grave is still remembered ; it is near the entrance.
Deac. Campbell, Thomas Wells and Joshua Prescott were ap-
pointed a committee to prevent the killing of deer " contrary to
22 HISTORY OF CHESTER.
the law in that case made and provided ; " afterwards these offi-
cers were regularly chosen by the town, and called " Deer in-
1743. In March, 1743, the following vote was passed :
" Whosoever shall kill a full grown woulfe in this town, shall
have twenty shillings Paid him by the town, old tennour, and ten
shilling for a woulfe's whelp." This law was reenacted from year
to year, and under it bounties were paid to the following persons :
To John Robie, for a wolfs head, (1746,) to Daniel McNeal, for
ditto, (1747,) John Senter, ditto, (1748,) John Stark, (after-
wards Maj. Gen.) ditto, (1749,) Ithamer Berry, for nine wolfs
whelps, (1750,) Ithamer Berry, for ditto, (1751,) Ellet Berry,
for wolfs head, (1753,) Abraham Berry, ditto, (1754,) John
Webster, Joseph Richardson, Sam 1 Hill and Amos Emerson, each
for ditto, (1765.) Many other wolves were doubtless killed be-
sides these ; they must have been quite common at that time.
The Parish passed a vote in April, that the " three windows in
the gallery over each door, and the two long windows on the back-
side " of the meeting house should " be wholly taken out, and
done up with boards and clapboards," also, " if any person had a
pew in the meeting house and there was no window against it, he
have liberty to make one, he maintaining the same."
Mr. Flagg's salary was paid this year by £30 bills of credit, old
1744. January 24th, 1744, at a meeting holden, it appears,
expressly for the purpose, Mr. Benjamin Hills was chosen " to
represent the town in General Assembly ;" accordingly he made a
journey to Portsmouth for that purpose, but was refused admit-
tance, as the town had not petitioned for leave to send a represen-
tative. He returned home, and the following vote, passed two
years afterwards, forms the sequel of the story. " Put to vote
whether to allow Mr. Benj. Hills anything for his journey to
Pourtsmouth in order to represent the town in General Assem-
bly." " Passed in the Negative"
1745. March 29th, 1745, the town voted " to build school
housen," and a committee was appointed " to divide the town into
several parts in order to accommodate them." This they did, and
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 23
made, it appears, four districts of it, which are now pretty nearly
represented (1) by the " centre " district. The first school house
in this district was built a little south of Richard Morsel shop.
(2.) In the u "Webster district " the first school house was near
the Southern corner of John Sanborn's field, opposite Mr. Web-
ster's house ; it is said by persons now living who remember it in
'75, that it was about twelve feet square. (3.) In the u "Walnut
Hill district " the first school house was not very far from opposite
Wm. Hazelton's house, though somewhat further to the North-
ward. (4.) The other school house was in that part of the town
called " Long meadows," and was probably not far from where
the present school house is. These were all built in 1745.
(This year the French war broke out, and soon after, one Bun-
ten was shot by the Indians, near where " Head's tavern " is, in
Hooksett. He was a Pelham man, and was on his way to Pen-
There were several families of Penacook Indians who resided
within the limits of Chester ; ten or twelve of them made their
home on the large island in the west bay of Massabesic Pond.
The vestiges of their wigwams are very evident at the present
day. They lived near the west shore of the island, and the places
of their tents are denoted by round cavities, perhaps twenty feet
across, and two feet deep. The island is overgrown with a heavy
growth of wood ; others lived on what is called " the island," in
Three Camp Meadow, which took its name from this circum-
stance ; a few more lived on " Clark's meadow " near where
Couch's saw-mill stands, and others still in Raymond. They
were very harmless people, and friendly to the settlers.
1746. In 1746, Mr. Flagg's salary had increased, as it ap-
pears, to £240, old tenor.
1747. In 1747, Maj John Tolford and Capt. Thomas Wells
were empowered by the town to prefer a petition to the Gover-
nor and Council, " in order to stop and save any man from being
sent out of the town into the service ; and further, when there may
be a convenient opportunity, regularly to proceed to have a suita-
ble number of men put and kept in the service in our town."
The petition was not granted, and Majors Rogers and Stark aug-
24 HISTORY OP CHESTER.
mented the number of their "rangers" considerably, by additions
from Chester. The only persons who" served in this war that I
have been able to ascertain were Capt. David Webster, and two
sons of Samuel Emerson, one of whom died at Crown point, the
other at Albany.*
Among the curious entries on the town accounts, is charged as
follows : " Unto William Turner, for making y® stocks, £3." It
was customary to have the stocks stand near the meeting house,
and this was probably the case with ours.
1748. There was considerable dissatisfaction in regard to
the schools, and in 1748 Thomas Wells and several others pre-
sented a petition to the town, praying that a committee might be
appointed to petition the Quarter or General Sessions for their aid
and assistance, " for the better regulation of schooling." At a
special meeting holden Sept. 1, it was voted that the prayer of the
petition be heard, and accordingly the Sessions were requested to
regulate these affairs.
An attempt had been made once or twice since Mr. Hills' un-
successful journey to Portsmouth, to petition for liberty to send a
representative, but the town appears to have been so offended and
disgusted at the proceedings of the Assembly in regard to Mr.
Hills, that it invariably refused to petition ; but this year the
Sheriff of the Province sent a warrant, commanding them to
" elect and choose " one man to represent the town in General As-
sembly. A meeting was accordingly holden Dec. 2d, and Capt.
Abel Morse was chosen for this purpose.
1749. In 1749, Mr. Flagg acknowledges the receipt of
£355, in full for his salary that year, and in the latter part of the
same year, at the request of thirteen parishioners, a parish meet-
ing was called " to consider whether Mr. Flagg shall have fifteen
or twenty cord of merchantable firewood, or money sufficient to
purchase the same, during the whole time he carries on in the
ministry." It was voted that he should, though once or twice be-
fore it had been decided differently.
In 1749 the French war ended, and the inhabitants of Chester,
as well as of other towns, felt considerable relief. Several garri-
* N. H. Hist. Coll.
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 25
sons had been maintained, which were as follows : one near where
Joseph Webster lives, of which the owner's name is lost ; one on
the spot where Cowdry's hut is, said to have been kept by Francis
Towle ; one where Capt. Pickett's house is, kept by Lt. Thomas
Smith ; the Tolford house, still standing on Walnut Hill, was
kept as a garrison by Maj. John Tolford ; one near where Mel-
vin's store stands. There are several other buildings now stand-
ing, which are said to have been used for garrisons, but it is not
likely that they were so numerous as the addition of these to the
list would make appear. They are the following: the house
where Frank Morse lives in Hall's Village, or one which stood on
the same spot ; the house occupied by Asa Wilson, said to have
been used as a garrison in his grandfather's time ; the house
where Abel Morse lived, now used as a shed by Mr. Couch.
These may all have been used as garrisons for a short time, but
were not considered as such.
1750. After the close of the war they were all relinquished.
1751. In March the town voted to set off a parish " taking
in the land not incorporated into a township by Amoskeag " and
a part of Londonderry. In the following September, this with
other tracts was incorporated as Derryfield, which name it sus-
tained until 1810, when it was changed to Manchester.
1752. The small pox broke out in town in the spring of 1752,
in the family of Thomas Grier ; the expenses of the sickness were
discharged by the town.
1753. The Presbyterians of Chester had settled mostly in
the extreme southern part of the town, and in the North parish ;
hence it became necessary for their convenience to divide the So-
ciety, and Mr. Wilson preached alternately two weeks at home,
and the third at the North Parish ; but in March of the next year
it was proposed to divide it again for some reason, which called
forth a remonstrance, signed by seventeen individuals, asserting
that " if the Parish was divided a second time it would ruin it."
It was not however done.
1754. In September of the following year a meeting was
called to see whether the Parish would " consider the Rev. Mr.
26 HISTORY OP CHESTER.
Flagg and make him an addition to his stated salary," which was
1755. The same proposition was urged the next year with
the same result.
This year (1755,) Sam 1 Emerson, Esq., was chosen represen-
1758. By 1758 the town had grown quite liberal in regard to
schooling, the amount raised being £600, from which nine schools
were kept, three of them by " school-dames."
" One good and lawful man " was chosen " to serve as grand
juror at his Majesty's superior court of Judicature to be holden at
Pourtsmouth." It was not for some time after this time that
town officers were allowed any pay for their services.
1762. In March, 1762, the present town of Candia was set
off as a distinct Parish, and in December of the ensuing year in-
corporated under its present name. The name of Candia was
given to it by Gov. Wentworth, who was once a prisoner on an
island of the same name in the Mediterranean Sea.
The first settler in Candia was William Turner, who moved
there in 1748 ; he was there alone until 1755, when John Sar-
gent and several others joined him.
1763. January 12, 1763, Freetown was set off, and in May,
1765, incorporated by the name of Raymond; an unsuccessful at-
tempt at this had been made in 1761.
A curious vote is recorded this year, but which, it appears, was
never carried into effect, viz : u Voted that a workhouse be built,
or provided by the selectmen, to put and keep those persons in,
that (are) idle, poor, disorderly, and lazy, and will not work, and
to provide a master to take care of all such persons as shall be
committed to said house, that they may be kept to work, and be
proceeded wit^ as the law directs." No mention is made of this,
afterwards, in this connection, in the town books. It was proba-
bly the first poor house maintained by the town, and if so, was
procured instead of built, i. e., the poor were bid off to the lowest
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 27
1767. By the estimate made in 1767, and which is probably
nearly correct, the population of Chester was 1189 — that of the
State being 52,700.
1768. In 1768 the town sustained a diminution of numbers
by the emigration of several families to the town afterwards in-
corporated as New Chester, from the fact that most of the first
settlers were from Chester. It is now Hill. The town was
granted Sept. 14, 1753, to eighty-seven proprietors, who held
their first meeting at Chester.
At this time the wages for labor on the highways was regulated
by vote, and was two shillings a day for a man, and the same for
1772, In the spring of 1772 the proposal was made to the
Parish to build a new meeting house, and (March 25,) it was
voted to build one within two years from that date, " sixty feet
long, and forty five ft. wide, and a suitable height." This house
was built about fifteen rods North of the old one, on the same
spot that the present one now occupies.
1774. It was finished early in 1774, and the first meeting
was holden in it on the 18th of May. The town meeting of
March 31st was in the old meeting house, which was soon after-
wards taken down, and now no traces remain of the place where
it stood. The new building still stands, though almost entirely
remodeled. About this time the first open opposition was made to
the measures of Great Britain. In May the House of Represen-
tatives, conformably to the proceedings of the Assemblies in the
other colonies, appointed a committee of correspondence, whereup.
on the Governor dissolved the Assembly, hoping to dissolve the
committee also. But they met again, and wrote letters to all the
towns in the Province, requesting them to send deputies to hold a
convention at Exeter, to choose delegates to a General Congress.
The meeting for this purpose was holden in Chester, July 19th,
when John Webster, Esq., and Capt. Robert Wilson were
" chosen and empowered to meet at Exeter the 21st of this in-
stant, July, at 10 ,of the clock in forenoon, to join in the choice
of delegates for the General Congress, to be holden at Philadel-
phia, the first day of Sept. next, to devise and consider what
28 HISTORY OP CHESTER.
measures will be most advisable to be taken, in order to effect the
desired end, for the establishment of our rights and liberties on a
just and settled foundation, and for the restoring of union and har-
mony between the mother country and the colonies, and to con-
tribute our proportion of the expenses of sending ; that the same
may be raised by subscription or otherwise, and if convenient sent
by the persons of our town appointed to go to Exeter. Our pro-
portion is £5-18s, lawful money." This money was raised by a
rate on the inhabitants.
Eighty five deputies met at Exeter, and delegated two of their
number to attend the proposed General Congress.
1775, In January, 1775, in accordance with the recommenda-
tion of the provincial committee of Nov. 4, John Webster, Esq.,
Capt. Rob* Wilson, Capt. Sam 1 Robie, Deac. Matthew Forsaith,
Major French and Robert Calfe were chosen as deputies to meet
at Exeter again on the 25th, for choice of delegates to >the Con-
gress of May 10th.
At the same meeting, Capt. Dearborn, Amos Emerson, Wm.
White, Jacob Chase, Jno. Patten, Simon Bailey, Pearson Rich-
ardson, Jethro Colby, Dr. Jno. Ordway, Josiah Bradley, Robert
Calfe, Lt. Hoit, Jno. Hazelton, Capt. Wilson, Capt. Robie, Deac.
Forsaith, Stephen Morrill, John S. Dearborn, Abner Hills, Sam-
uel Brown, Wm. Shirley, and Jno. Lane, Jr., Jacob Hills, Tho 8
Shirley and Isaac Towle were appointed a committee of inspec-
tion " to see that the agreement of the American Continental Con-
gress shall be strictly adhered to."
(April 13.) It was " voted to give encouragement to a num-
ber of men that will hold themselves in readiness, if called for by
the town, to go against any enemy that shall presume to invade us
or our property ; " it was hence voted to raise " 50 good effective
able-bodied men into the town service " for that end. These men
were to have " six Spanish milled dollars, or equal thereunto,"
per month, and be found in provision as long as they were in the
town's service. They furnished their own guns, which were ap-
prized before they marched by Capt. Samuel Robie, the muster
master, so that if any were lost the town might pay for them.
Each man was obliged to show " one pound of powder, twenty
bullets, and a quantity of flints." This company was enlisted by
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 29
the Selectmen, and chose its own officers. The number was re-
duced by a subsequent vote to thirty. About this time the battles
of Lexington and Concord occurred, and twenty-four of the min-
ute men marched immediately to these towns to contribute their
(May 17.) A third Congress was convened at Exeter, usually
designated as the " first provincial Congress." Stephen Morse
was the delegate from Chester. This year considerable was said
about maintaining a grammar school, but so much opposition was
experienced that it was, at length, relinquished.
Another Congress was holden at Exeter for the formation of a
temporary government, the 21st of Dec, at which Stephen Morse
and Capt. Robert "Wilson attended from this town. Their in-
structions were as follows : that " in case there shall be a recom-
mendation from the Continental Congress that this colony assume
government in any particular form, which will require a House
of Representatives, that they resolve themselves into such a
House as the Continental Congress shall recommend; and no
person shall be allowed a seat in Congress who shall, by himself,
or any other person for him, before said choice, treat with liquor,
any electors with an apparent view of gaining their votes ; or af-
terwards, on that account."
The officers of this temporary constitution were twelve persons,
called the Council, of whom seven composed a quorum, in ad-
dition to the House of Representatives. No act was valid unless
passed by both branches of the Legislature.
1776. In the spring of the next year thirty men were enlisted
to help reinforce the army under Gen. Sullivan ; they were al-
lowed $13,66 each, as a bounty over and above what the county
1777, In March, 1777, Lt. Samuel Hazelton, Dea. Matthew
Forsaith, Henry Moore, Esq., Capt. Samuel Robie, Jethro Colby,
Isaac Blaisdell, and Nathan Morse were chosen a committee of
safety. In August the battle of Bennington took place, in which
were several individuals from Chester, one of whom, Lt. Elliott,
was severely wounded by a ball from the gun of an Indian, con-
cealed behind the roots of a prostrate tree.
30 HISTORY OP CHESTER.
1778. The small pox appeared in Chester again in 1778, in
the family Dr. Page. He contracted the disease at the hospital in
Exeter. The town purchased a shop of Nathaniel Blaisdell and
removed it into the parsonage, where the family remained until
the selectmen judged it expedient for them to return to their home
again. Two of his children died and were buried in the par-
This year a singing school was kept at Col. Webster's by Mr.
Kimball, of Bradford. He afterwards married Col. Webster's
At a town-meeting, Feb. 6, 1778, the articles of con-
federation were read and approved, and the representatives were
instructed to propose that the Assembly and Council might form a
plan of government for the State, and send it to the several towns
and parishes for their acceptance. In May, Samuel Emerson,
Esq., was chosen to meet in Convention at Concord, as> a dele-
gate, to form and lay a permanent plan or system of government
" for the future happiness and well-being of the good people of
this State." A system of government was accordingly drawn up
and sent to the towns, but was rejected on account of the inade-
quacy of its provisions.
1779. The families of those who entered the service for three
years or longer, were maintained, or at least aided, by the town,
as appears by a vote to that effect, and by the returns of the town
expenses. This year the burying place, by vote, was fenced
anew " with good posts and boards in "the reasonablest and best
manner," but the vote was afterwards modified so as to have " a
good stone wall " on the front side. This wall is there yet. In
August, Portsmouth, Exeter, and other town united in recom-
mending to the smaller towns to aid in reducing the prices of the
necessaries of life ; a meeting was holden at Chester and they sig-
nified their approbation of the measure. In accordance with this
design a convention was holden at Concord, Sept. 22, to which
Jacob Chase was delegated from this town. They passed a series
of resolutions which had little or no effect. A committee was
chosen, however, in Chester, to see that the prices were observed,
and if any person did not comply with them, but should sell any
article for more than the established price, he should forfeit the
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 31
value of the article so sold, and on his refusal to pay that sum
they were instructed " to advertize him in the public prints as in-
imical to his country."
1780. In 1780, the sum of £1200 (8155.00,) was raised for
The men enlisted this year were paid in corn, at 30 bushels a
month, raised by a corn rate on the inhabitants.
1781. In the spring of 1781, Chester was ordered by the Gen-
eral Court to deliver up its share of beef, 9206 pounds, for the use
of the army ; this was also raised by a rate on the inhabitants, the
town being divided into classes. There was considerable difficul-
ty in collecting this beef ; they probably wanted it to eat them-
selves. More men were required for the service, and the town
was divided into districts by the selectmen, each of which was
obliged to hire one soldier, " and if any district, or person in any
district should refuse or neglect to pay the required proportion, he
or they should be assessed double, and be compelled to pay it."
No money was raised for schools this year.
1782. The convention for framing the constitution still con-
tinued to discuss different systems, and in September sent out a sec-
ond plan to which the towns were requested distinctly to state their
objections, and return them at a fixed time. Accordingly at a
meeting, Jan. 1, 1782, the plan was read, and Anthony Stickney,
Dea. Forsaith, Col. "Webster, Jacob Chase, Esq., Stephen Morse,
Lt. Jabez Hoit, Maj. Henry Moore, Isaac Blaisdell and Maj.
William White were chosen " to take it under consideration and
make any remarks upon the particular articles therein contained
that are not agreeable to their thoughts and sentiments, and make
return to the meeting at the adjournment," a week from that day.
The committee reported their objections and it was rejected by an
universal vote, 149 voters being present. Six more persons were
added to the committee of amendment, viz : Lieut. Sam 1 Hazel-
ton, Joseph Lynn, Joseph Blanchard, Capt. Benj. Currier, Sam-
uel Emerson, Esq., and Rev. Ebenezer Flagg. The objections of
the towns were so many that it was necessary to send out still
another plan, in which the mode of representation was changed —
every incorporated township containing one hundred and fifty
32 HISTORY OP CHESTER.
rateable polls, having the privilege of sending one representative.
This plan was generally approved by the towns, although Chester
still rejected it.
1783* In April, 1783, the State voted to revive and continue
the old form of government until June 10, 1784, when the new
form should be adopted. This was done, the new system being
introduced at Concord by religious ceremonies, which have been
since repeated at each annual election.
The schooling was left with the selectmen this year " to do as
they shall judge right and just," but they declined acting, and
nothing was done.
In April the town was classed a second time to procure seven-
teen men for the service.
1784. This year the war was ended, and in March, 1784, the
first President of New Hampshire was chosen. Meshech Weare
was the choice of Chester, with but one dissenting vote ; this was
for Jno. Sullivan. $200,00 was raised for schooling this year.
Some idea of the character of the early settlers of Chester may
be gathered from the following extracts ; most of the settlers
were from Hampton and Londonderry.
"The first settlers of Hampton were puritans, many of them
from Norfolk, one of the strongholds of Puritanism. The motives
by which they were influenced in coming to this country were
similar to those which influenced the Prilgrims who came over in
" The settlers of Londonderry were a peculiarly industrious and
frugal yet public spirited people, and proved a valuable acquisi-
tion to the Province into which they had removed, contributing
very considerably to its benefit by their arts and their industry."
NOTICES OF SEVERAL OF THE EARLY INHABITANTS OF CHESTER.
Rev. JOHN TUCKE
Was the son of John Tucke, and great grandson of Rob* Tucke,
who emigrated from Suffolk, in England, about 1636, and was
one of the first settlers of Hampton, where Rev. John Tucke was
born in 1702, Aug. 23d. He graduated at Harvard in 1723, and
the next year married Mary Dole, of Hampton. He received a
call to settle at Chester, as was seen, in 1729, which he declined,
and in July, 1732, he was ordained at Gosport, where he received
a settlement of £50, and an annual salary of £110, until 1754,
when he was paid in fish at a quintal pr. man, making eighty or
one hundred quintals, worth a guinea each. He continued in the
ministry there until his death, Aug. 12, 1773. His tombstone
at Gosport says :
" He was affable and polite in his manners,
amiable in his disposition,
of great piety and Integrity,
given to hospitality."
Rev. MOSES HALE
Was the youngest of eleven children of Capt. Thomas and Sarah
Hale, of Newbury, Mass., where he was born in 1703. For
some reason his name is not recorded on the town books of New-
bury, so the exact date of his birth cannot be ascertained.
Mr. Moses Hale graduated at Harvard College in 1722, stud-
ied divinity, and in 1730 accepted an invitation from the church
of Chester to become their pastor. He was ordained Oct. 20th,
1731, by Rev. Mr. Brown of Haverhill, and Rev. Mr. Phillips
and Barnard, of Andover, and continued to discharge the duties
of his office until the summer of 1733, when his health became
Rev. JOHN WILSON
Was born in Ulster County, in Ireland, in 1709. He entered the
34 HISTORY OP CHESTER.
University of Edinburgh, where it would appear he was in 1726.
His love of the classics, however, was not enthusiastic, to judge
from some notes in his Latin school books which are still in ex-
istence. He came to this country in 1729, and was ordained over
the Presbyterian Church of Chester in 1734. His church was
then very limited in numbers. He continued in the ministry at
Chester until his decease Feb. 1, 1779. Mr. Wilson's custom
was to choose some book of the Bible and deliver lectures on it in
course, touching on all the principal points alluded to in the dif-
ferent chapters and verses — many of these display considerable in-
genuity in their preparation.
Mr. Wilson lies buried in the Presbyterian graveyard, together
with his wife, Jean, who died April 1, 1752, a. 36. His charac-
ter is thus described : " He was a servant of Christ in the most
peculiar and sacred relation, both in doctrine and life. It was
his great delight to preach a crucified Christ as our wisdom, righ-
teous, sanctification and redemption. He did not entertain his
hearers with curiosities, but with real spiritual good ; his sermons
were clear, solid, affectionate. A spirit of vital Christianity ran
through them. His life was suitable to his holy profession. He
was a steady friend, a loving husband, a tender parent. His in-
ward grace was visible in a conversation becoming the gospel."
Mr. Wilson had an only daughter, Ann, who married William
Rev. EBENEZER FLAGG
Was born in 1704, at Woburn, Mass. He graduated at Har-
vard in 1725, and in June, 1736,* he was invited to become the
minister of Chester, with an annual salary of £120, " as silver at
20 shillings an ounce," equal to $133,28. Mr. Flagg's ordination
took place in Sept. 1736.
He was married to Lucretia Keyes, Nov. 15, 1739. She died
March 30, 1764, at the age of forty. Mr. Flagg had a large fam-
ily of children. He lived where Mrs. Persis Bell now lives. In
personal appearance he was of medium stature and rather in-
clined to be fleshy. He was noted for a pleasant and cheerful
disposition. An anecdote used to be related of his perseverance
in making the acquaintance of " Parson Wilson," who was re-
puted rather taciturn and unsociable, and did not encourage hia
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 35
Mr. Flagg continued in the ministry at Chester until his death,
Nov. 14, 1796. At the time of his decease he had attained the
greatest age of any minister in the State, with the exception of
Mr. Adams, of Newington.
For some years previous to the Revolution, the Governor of
New Hampshire appointed by the crown, was authorized to grant
licences for marriages, as a means of augmenting his salary,
which was in those days small. He was allowed two crowns for
each license. Rev. Mr. Flagg, of Chester, approved of this mode
of marrying, and hence clandestine matches were usually known
in the adjoining towns as " Flagg marriages/' (Parker's Hist, of
The following notice of Mr. Flagg's death is- taken from the
" Columbian Sentinel," of Nov. 26, 1796 :
" Died, at Chester, N. H., 14th ult., the Rev. Ebenezer Flagg,
set. 93. He continued in the ministerial office during the unusual
period of sixty years, and what is observable he survived every
parishioner who *ras aqtive at his settlement. In the character-
istic traits of the deceased, are examples worthy to be recommend-
ed by a most engaging assemblage of public, domestic and social
Capt. SAMUEL INGALLS
Was the son of Samuel and Sarah Ingalls, and was born at An-
dover, Mass., May 7, 1683. He removed to Haverhill, where he
married Mary Watts, in 1708. In 1720 he was one of the pro-
prietors of Chester, where he removed in the fall of the same
year. He was one of the grantees of the first saw-mill in town ;
was lot-layer many years, and selectman almost continually from
1723 to 1733. He was the first militia captain of Chester. He
first built a log cabin on Walnut Hill, about twenty rods north of
Humphrey Niles' house, where he lived until 1732, when he built
the first framed house on the spot where Mr. Niles now lives. Mr.
Ingalls died Oct. 6, 1747, a. 64. His children were as follows :
1. Elizabeth, b. Sept. 8, 1709, probably m. Jacob Wells, of
2. Sarah, b. Oct. 27, 1710, probably died unmarried at Candia.
3. Samuel, b. Sept. 15, 1712, m.
4. Mary, b. Nov. 27, 1714, m. Jno. Hazelton in 1739,
36 HISTORY OF CHESTER.
5. Ruth, b. Jan. 31, 1717-18, m. Ephraim Hazelton in 1735.
6. Timothy, b. Apr. 24, 1720, married and had two daughters.
7. Mehitabel, b. abt. 1723, was the first white child born in
Chester, m. Dr. Samuel Moores, in 1750.
8. Abigail, b. about 1725, m. Stephen Morse.
9. Nathaniel, b. Dec. 12, 1727, m. Abigail Huse ; he lived in
Hampstead, and died abt. 1790.
Lieut. THOS. SMITH
Was born in Ireland, and came to Chester from Hampton in 1720 ;
he lived on or near the spot where Mr. Pickett's house stands,
where he had built a block-house of hewn timber. This house was
taken down about eighty years ago. In 1724 he was captured by
the Indians. He served under the town in various capacities for
several years, and, about 1735, removed to New Boston. He
had a family.
Maj. JOHN TOLFORD
Was born at Megilligan, about fifteen miles from Londonderry, in
Ireland, in July, 1701, and came to America in 1724. He mar-
ried Jane McMurphy, of Londonderry, Jan. 8, 1734. He prob-
ably removed from Londonderry to Chester in 1727. In 1736 he
was committed to jail in Exeter for refusal of payment of taxes
for Mr. Flagg's support. Maj. Tolford was a justice of the peace
and selectman for many years ; he was a man of more than ordi-
nary talent ; he had nine children, three of whom were sons.
1. Joshua, moved to Alexandria and had a family.
2. Hugh, b. Dec. 31, 1748, moved to Bedford, where he m.
Elizabeth Patten in May, 1783 ; had four children.
3. John, lived in Danbury, N. H., and had a family.
Maj. Tolford died in July 1791, aged 90 years.
Was born in England in 1689 ; his father was a glover, and re-
moved about 1690 to Derry, in Ireland, where he was wounded
in the siege. Wm. White came to this country and settled in
Londonderry. He was a linen-weaver. He removed to Chester
and purchased the farm now occupied by Joseph Webster in
1732. (?) He built a house on the opposite side of the road from
Webster's house. He married in Ireland, but his wife died be-
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 87
fore he came to America ; she had two sons and a daughter. In
1733 he married Jane Graham, of Chester, and had five children.
She d. in 1755, a. 45. His son
WM. WHITE, Esq.,
Was born in Chester, March 4, 1740, O. S. He m. Mary, dau.
of Robt. and Jane Mills, Jan. 24, 1764, and Elizabeth Mitchel,
Sept. 17, 1782. He had in all sixteen children — too numerous to
mention, (vide town books.) In 1777 Mr. White was appointed
Major, in 1784, Lt. Col. ; he was long a Justice of the Peace.
Col. White was one of the principal Presbyterians, and died about
Was born in England, and emigrated to Ipswich, Mass. He set
up his trade of a clothier there in 1626 or 7. He removed to
Chester, and settled near where Mr. Quigg lives ; married an
Ambrose, and had three sons, 1. John, afterwards a Capt. ; 2.
Hezekiah ; 3. Moses. He died about 1735, and was the first
person buried in the present graveyard. He is the progenitor of
all the Underhills in Chester.
Was born in 1709, and came to Chester in 1724, probably with
his father. He married Elizabeth Patten, (d. Sept. 2, 1781, a.
76.) In 1724 he was taken by the Indians, together with Lieut.
Smith. He belonged to the Presbyterian parish. His children,
1. John, who moved to Candia ; 2. Mary, b. 1733, d. May 20th,
1774 ; 3. Mark, b. 1744, m. Elizabeth Gilchrist, had 2 children,
Samuel, d. 1850, m. a Webster ; he d. July 20th, 1782 ;
4. Joseph, m. Sarah Gilchrist, d. July 3d, 1783 ; 5. Martha, b.
1754, d. 1773. John Carr d. October 22d, 1 782, at the age of 73.
Was probably the brother of the preceding ; he removed to Ches-
ter about 1724 ; married Anna , and had four ch. 1. Jo-
seph, (b. Nov. 20, 1742,) m. Hannah Ayer; had four ch. ; (1)
Hannah Ayer, (b. 1765,) (2) Joseph, (b. 1767,) had a family
and now lives in Chester ; (3) Anna, (b. 1770,) (4) Bradbury
M. (b. 1773,) m. Susan Hall in 1793, d. at Concord, a soldier, of
38 HISTORY OP CHESTER.
spotted fever, in 1813 ; 2. Molly, (b. Feb. 26, 1747,) 3. Parker,
(b. May 29, 1750,) 4. Judith, (May 28, 1752.)
SAMUEL EMERSON, Esq.
Was born at Haverhill in 1708, and removed to Chester in 1727
or 28. He built a house on the spot where his son afterwards
lived. He was one of the principal lot-layers ; in 1731 he was
appointed the first Justice of the Peace of Chester. The same
year he was chosen Proprietor's Clerk, which office he retained
over fifty years. He was married twice ; to Sarah Ayer, of Ha-
verhill, Feb. 15, 1733. They were admitted to the church in
Chester, Feb. 8, 1741. She d. Nov. 19, 1751. Nov. 26, 1754,
he m. Mrs. Dorothy Dearborn. Mr. Emerson had fifteen chil-
dren, of whom several died young ; he d. Sept. 26, 1793. His
wife d. March 25, 1804.
Capt. JOHN EMERSON,
Son of the above, was, for many years, a leading man in Chester,
as was his father. They were both members of the Orthodox
church. Mr. Emerson was for many years Proprietor's clerk.
He married Elizabeth French, of Sandown, and had several chil-
dren ; he died within a few years.
Removed to Chester from Haverhill about 1725 ; was constable in
1727. In April, 1728, he m. Elizabeth Powell, and they had
two ch. 1. Elizabeth, b. March 16, 1729, m. Joseph Basford.
2. Mary, b. May 2, 1730. He lived where Col. Clay now lives.
About 1744, he was accidentally killed by the fall of a tree, and
was the last person buried in Hall's Village. He was a tall man
with red hair, from which latter circumstance his body was sev-
eral years afterwards disinterred by somebody, who believed that
a lock of red hair from a dead man's head, judiciously applied,
with certain heathenish ceremonies, was a sovereign remedy
Was born in Ulster Co., in Ireland, and came to Chester about
1728. He lived on the spot where Mr. Reed lives. He m. Sarah
, and had eight ch. 1. Abigail, b. Nov. 20, 1752. 2.
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 39
Mary, b. Jan. 9, 1755. 3. John, b. May 10, 1757. 4. Samuel
b. Jan. 9, 1761, m. Isabella M. Dole, April 17, 1783, and had
nine ch., one of whom was the late Capt. Samuel Aiken, b. Jan.
10, 1786. 5. Sarah, b. Feb. 21, 1763. 6. James, b. Aug. 22,
1765. 7. Ezekiel, b. Nov. 30, 1767. 8. Susanna, b. June 3,
1770. Mr. Aiken obtained of the town the grant of a mill privi-
lege, and in 1730 built the first grist-mill in town, near his own
JACOB CHASE, Esq.,
Was born at Newbury, Mass., in 1728, and removed to Chester
about 1750. He settled on the farm now occupied by his de-
scendant of the same name. He was selectman and justice of the
peace many years. He was twice married ; first to Prudence
Hills, Nov. 7, 1751. They joined the Cong. Church in Chester,
in Sept. 1756. They had three ch. 1. Sarah, b. Nov. 28, 1756.
2. Stephen, b. March 27, 1759, father of Jacob Chase, of Ches-
ter. 3. Josiah, b. April 6, 1767. His second wife was a widow
THE HAZELTON FAMILY.
Three brothers, Ephraim, John and Thomas came to Chester,
from Bradford, Mass., in 1728.
Ephraim, (not of Bradford, perhaps of Manchester, Mass.;)
Was chosen constable in 1729, and selectman in 1732 and 40.
He m. Ruth Ingalls in 1735. They had ten ch. 1. John, b.
Jan. 9, 1736, m. a Chase. This John H. is grandfather of Miss
A. C. Hazelton, preceptress of Bradford Academy. 2. Peter, b.
April 29, 1738, m. Molly French, April 12, 1770, and after-
wards Hannah Hoit, April 1, 1788. 3. Nancy, b. May 2, 1740.
4. Richard, b. Oct. 2, 1742, m. Lucy Cross, and had seven ch. of
whom Peter Hazelton, of Chester, is one. (1) Sarah, b. Oct. 15,
1773 ; (2) Ephraim, b. Jan. 27, 1775 ; (3) Richard, b. Oct. 26,
1776 ; (4) Mary, b. April 18, 1778 ; (5) Ruth, b. Aug. 29, 1780 ;
(6) Peter, b. March 20, 1783, resides in Chester ; (7) Thomas,
b. Aug. 1785. 5. Elizabeth, b. Oct. 5, 1745. 6. Susanna, b.
Jan. 31, 1748. 7. Ruth, b. May 8, 1750. 8. Hannah, b. March
15, 1754. 9. Ephraim, b, June 21, 1757., 10. Hannah, b. June
40 HISTORY OF CHESTER.
John, (b. at Bradford, son of Rich'd and Abigail, Nov. 22, 1703,)
Married Mary Ingalls in 1739. They bad eight ch. 1. Samuel,
m. his cousin Elizabeth, and had a family. 2. Mary, b. Nov.
23, 1741. 3. John, b. Feb. 14, 1743. 4. Ebenezer, b. May 3,
1747. 5. James, b. March 27, 1750. 6. Billy, b. March 10,
1751. 7. Sarah, b. March 20, 1754. 8. John, b. Nov. 8, 1756.
John 3, m. Hannah Chase, March 21, 1782, and had a family of
eight children, among whom are John, Samuel and "William, of
Thomas, (b. at Bradford, son of Richard and Abigail, March
Married Joanna Hills, May 8, 1738. They had six ch. 1. Abi-
gail, b. Feb. 18, 1739. 2. Rebecca, b. Nov. 6, 1741. 3. Thom-
as, b. May 22, 1744. 4. Moses, b. Feb. 18, 1745, m. Bridget
French, June 1, 1775, had four ch. of whom are Thomas and Mo-
ses, of Chester. 5. Benj., b. Aug. 15, 1752, m. Susanna Rich-
ardson, and had a family. 6. Joanna, b. Oct. 24, 1757. These
families of Hazeltons settled on Walnut Hill, where most of their
descendants still remain.
Was born in Ireland in 1649 ; together with a brother and three
half brothers, Thomas, Alexander and Samuel, who settled in
Longmeadow. He came to Chester about 1730, at an advanced
age. He lived where Mr. Swain now lives. His children were
1. James, had two ch. James, and Ens. William, m. Mary Mor-
rison. He died about 1790, a. 100 years. 2. John, had a son
John, who now lives in Chester. 3. Hugh, m. Mary Gray ; his
sons removed to Belfast, Me.
Was born in Ulster Co., Ireland, and came to Chester about 1730.
He lived where Mr. Greenough lives. He had one son, Benja-
min, b. about 1738, m. Mehitabel Bradley in 1762, and had ten
ch. Thomas J., of Chester, is a grandson of Benjamin.
Capt. JONATHAN BLUNT
Was born perhaps at Portsmouth, or Newcastle, N. H., in 1708 ;
removed to Chester in 1729, and built a house where Mr. Arms-
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 41
by lives. In 1734 he m. Mary . They had eight ch.
Capt. Blunt and his wife joined the Cong. Church in Chester, in
1741. The land of the burying place was bougm^of him for £60.
He died May 24, 1762, a. 54 years.
THE HILLS FAMILIES.
Four individuals of this name came to Chester, viz : (1) Sam-
uel, in 1736, from Newbury, of whom Edward S., of Chester, is a
descendant. (2) Moses. (3) Abner. (4) Benjamin, came from
Newbury in 1737 ; was chosen Representative in 1744. He died
Nov. 2, 1762, a. 78 years. He had a son Benjamin, and a grand-
son Benjamin, who was the father of Zilla Hill, now resident in
THE MORSE FAMILIES.
Four Morses lived in Chester about 1740. (1) Josiah, (d.
Feb. 8, 1795,) m. Mary Chase in 1744, had seven children. (2)
Nathan, had a family. (3) Thomas, had a family. (4) Capt.
Abel, was born at Newbury, Oct. 5, 1692. He married Grace
Parker, of Bradford, in 1714. Their ch. were 1. Parker, b.
April 20, 1715, a physician at Woodstock, Conn. 2. Abel, b.
March 13, 1717, lived at Newbury and Sutton. 8. Nathan, b.
June 12, 1719, lived at Moultonboro*. 4. Josiah, b. 1721, lived
in Chester. 5. Stephen, b. Feb. 15, 1724, m. Abigail Ingalls,
and had eleven ch., one of whom is Isaac of Chester ; he d. March
6, 1807. 6. Rebecca, b. 1726. 7. Eleanor, b. 1728. 8. Oliver,
b. 1730, father of Amos Morse, of Chester, (perhaps.) 9. Abra-
ham, b. 1733, m. Sarah Woodman, June 20, 1763, had five ch.
of whom the " Morse girls " are three. Capt. Morse m. Sarah
Kimball, of Bradford, Sept. 29, 1757. They had one daughter,
Susanna, b. in 1763. Capt. Morse died April 20, 1763. He
lived near Couch's saw-mill ; was chosen the first representative
of Chester in 1748.
Came to America from England at an advanced age. His sons
were 1. Ralph, lived in Pelham. 2. Joshua, m. Deborah Eth-
ridge in 1750, and had a large family. 3. Henry, m. Joanna
Sargent in 1734, had eight ch. (1) Mary, b. 1735, m. Thomas
Chase. (2) Dorothy, b. 1737, m. Abraham Fitts. (3) Caleb, b.
42 HISTORY OF CHESTER.
1738, m. Mary Bradley, of Haverhill, had several ch. of whom
Elijah is one. (4) Henry, b. 1740, m. a Bradley. (5) Joanna,
h. 1742, m. Moses Powell, of Enfield. (6) Obededom, b. 1744,
m. Mary Kimball. (7) Judith, b. 1746. (8) Peter, b. June 9,
1751, m. Lois Atwood, of Haverhill, had ten ch., of whom are
John, Moses, and Henry, of Chester.
Jonathan and Nathaniel were perhaps other sons of John Hall.
Dea. EBENEZER DEARBORN,
Son of Thomas and Hannah, was- born at Hampton, Oct. 3, 1679,
removed to Chester about 1729. He m. Abigail Sanborn, Oct.
7, 1703. He died at Chester, March 15, 1772, aged 92 ; had
eight ch. of whom 1. Ebenezer, b. Jan. 27, 1705, m. Hulda Na-
son, Jan. 13, 1731, and had eight ch. (1) Hannah, b. 1731, m.
Elijah Heath. (2) Sarah, b 1734, m. Jno. Shackford. (3)
Hulda, b. 1735. (4) Stephen, b. 1738, m. Ruth, dau. of John
Robie, in 1761, and afterwards Lydia, dau. of Samuel Robie; he
died in 1823. (5) Phebe, b. 1741. (6) Ebenezer, b. 1744. (7)
Col. Jonathan, b. Dec. 26, 1746, m. Delia Robie ; had five sons,
of whom Jonathan now lives in Chester. (8) Richard, b. 1747,
m. Molly Ordway, in 1788. (9) Phebe, b. in 1762, m. Wilks
"West. 2. Peter, m. Margaret Fyfield, of Kingston, Dec. 2,
1736, had eight ch., one of whom, Sherburne, b. Sept. 6, 1758, is
still living. 3. Thomas, m. Dolly Sanborn, Sept. 10, 1741, had
six ch. one of whom was Dea. John S. Dearborn, (d. Dec. 2,
1813.) Thomas Dearborn d. Jan. 8, 1754. 4. A daughter Me-
hitabel, who m. a Fitts. 5. Michael, m. Dolly Colby, April 11,
1751, had one dau. Abigail, who m. a Roby. Deacon Ebenezer
Dearborn's sons preceded him ; they removed to C. in 1725, and
he afterwards lived opposite J. "Webster's.
Col JOHN WEBSTER
Was born Aug. 9, 1714, at Bradford, and came to Chester about
1735. He m. Hannah Hobbs, Nov. 29, 1739. They Jiad seven
ch. She d. Nov. 20, 1760. He m. the widow Sarah Smith,
Nov. 17, 1762. They had four ch. Mr. Webster first lived on
the spot where Frank Morse lives, but afterwards where Mr.
Quigg lives. He opened the first store in town in a part of his
house about 1750. He was Selectman in 1742 and 44. He d.
Sept. 16, 1784, a. 70.
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 43
Col. DAVID WEBSTER.
For a sketch of Col. David "Webster, see the N. H. Historical
Collections, Vol. 2, p. 270.
Physicians of Chester. «
His name is mentioned from 1730 until 1734. It is by no
means certain that he lived in Chester.
Dr. GEORGE WOOD
Came to Chester about 1745 and remained a few years. He
taught school three years in Chester. He removed to London-
derry, where he practised from 1770 until 1785.
Dr. SAMUEL MOORES
Removed to Chester before 1749, and lived in that part of the
town now Candia. He kept school in 1749 and 50. About 1750
he m. Mehitable Ingalls, the first white child born in Chester.
They had two ch., Peter b. Dec. 13, 1751, David b. Feb. 26,
1754. In 1751, he and his wife owned the covenant. He prac-
tised in Candia until his death, Oct. 28. 1793.
Dr. WM. RAND.
It is uncertain whether he was a physician at all, and if he was,
whether he practised in Chester. There was a Dr. Rand in Lon-
donderry, according to Mr. Parker's History. This Dr. Rand is
mentioned in later years as a town pauper. It is likely that his
knowledge was confined to roots and herbs. Dr. Rand, it seems,
commenced practise in Chester in 1755 or 6, but became insane
and went to Londonderry. He began practise in Londondery in
Dr. JOHN ORDWAY, (probably of Newbury,)
Came to Chester and began to practise about 1755. He kept
school several years in Chester. His dwelling was nearly oppo-
site John Robinson's house. He joined the church with his wife
in 1761. He m. a Miss Robie of Chester and had several ch.
He d. in 1775. Dr. Ordway was the principal physician of the
44 HISTORY OF CHESTER.
town for 20 years, and apparently was better qualified to practise
than some of his brethren of the present day.
Db. BENJ. PAGE
Came to Chester propably about 1775. He lived where Joseph
Robinson's house stands. His buildings were destroyed by fire in
1795. In 1778 his family had the small pox and two of his chil-
dren died of it. He was an unlucky man in Chester, and in 1795
he removed to Exeter.
Lived a short time in Chester about 1770.
Dr. THOMAS SARGENT
Lived and practised in town from 1775 until 1819, when he re-
moved. He was esteemed a good physician.
The remaining physicians up to the present time, in Chester
Village, are Drs. Ebenezer Hills, (d. Sept. 27, 1790, a. 30,) Jon-
athan Shaw, Benja. Kittredge, Samuel Foster, Rufus Kittredge,
and Jacob P. Whittemore.
The Attorneys at Law in Chester until 1800 were
John Porter, (about 1790.)
Arthur Livermore, (about 1793.)
Daniel French, about (1797.)
Amos Kent, about (1798.)
N. H. Repository^ July, 1834.
Lieut. Thomas Smith removed to New Boston about 1735,
where he was one of the first settlers, as he had been at Chester.
He was five times married, his last wife being a widow McCollom.
At his death, he left five children. 1. Samuel lived and died at
New Boston. 2. Reuben, removed to Passamaquoddy. 3. John,
lived at New Boston, had several ch. one of whom Deac. Thomas
Smith, now resides in New Boston, at the advanced age of eighty-
six years. His children were the first whites who died in that
town. 4. A daughter m. a Mr. M'Laughlin, and lived and died
at New Boston. 5. A daughter m. Benj. Melvin, of Chester.
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 45
L»t. Thomas Smith died at New Boston, aged about 80 years,
John, 3, has eleven grandchildren now resident in New Boston,
children of Deac. Thomas Smith, b. May, 1765.
COPY OF THE GRANT.
" In Council, August 26, 1720.
The petition of Messrs. Henry Sherburne, Clement Hughes,
and Comp a , preferred May 24, 1720, praying for a township, &c,
is granted, and Col. Hunking, Capt. Wibird, Capt. Henry Sher-
burne, and Capt. Tilton appointed a committee to lay out the land.
RICHARD WALDRON, Cler. Cou.
Nov. 19, 1720. Vera Copia.
Whereas, we the subscribers, were ordered and directed by the
committee appointed by his Excellency the Governor and Coun-
cil, to lay out a new town, adjoining to Haverhill, Kingston and
Exeter, pursuant to the aforesaid directions, we have run the fol-
lowing lines, viz : We began at a white pine tree, marked RW :
HS : IT : WB standing on the supposed Kingston line, where
Haverhill supposed line cuts it, and run 10 miles upon a WNW
line to a pitch pine tree, notched on four sides ; then we began
again at the aforesaid white pine tree, and run three miles along
the supposed Kingston headline, to the supposed Kingston north
corner bounds, next to Exeter, and from thence 7 miles upon a
NbE line to a hemlock tree marked RW : H$ : IT. The other
two lines, being run parallel to those two lines, will make a tract
ten miles square, agreeable to the petition preferred by Capt.
Henry Sherburne, Clem* Hughes and Comp a , (to) and granted
by his Excellency the Gov* & Council.
Dated at Pourtsmouth, Jan'y 4, 1720-21."
46 HISTOBY OF CHESTER.
NAMES OF FIRST SETTLERS.
1. Clement Meserves, ~)
2. Amos Cass, Probably of Portsmouth. They
► were paid as settlers, but probably
never settled in town themselves.
3. George Pierce,
4. Col. Wear,
5. Col. Packer,
6. Capt. Thomas Pierce, i
7. John Sanborn, (of Hampton, son of Richard and Ruth,
was b. Nov. 19, 1681.)
8. Zachary Clifford.
9. Thomas Smith.
10. Benj n Smith, (probably of Hampton, or neighborhood.)
11. Caleb Towle, (of Hampton, b. May 9, 1701, son of Caleb
and Zephorah Towle.)
12. Jonathan Kimball, (probably of Bradford.)
13. William Daniel.
14. Samuel Ingalls, (of Haverhill.)
15. Ephraim Guile.
16. Robert Ford.
17. William White.
18. Thomas Dean.
19. James Perkins, (of Hampton, son of Humphrey and Mar-
tha Perkins, b. Sept. 9, 1695.)
20. Rev. Mr. Simms, (probably of^Bradford.)
COPY OF CHARTER.
aaaaaa George, by the grace of God, of Great Britain,
< Province > France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith,
£ M - 5&c.
To all people to whom these presents shall come — greeting :
Know ye that we, of our especial knowledge and motion, for the
due encouragement of settling a new plantation, by and with the
advice of our council, have given and granted, and by these pres-
ents, as far as in us lies, do give and grant, in equal shares, unto
sundry of our beloved subjects, whose names are entered in a
schedule hereunto annexed, that inhabit or shall inhabit within
the said grant, within our Province of New Hampshire, all that
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 47
tract of land within the following bounds, viz : To begin at Exe-
ter southerly corner bounds, and from thence run upon a west-
and-by-north point, two miles along Kingston northerly line to
Kingston north corner bounds, thence upon a south point three
miles along Kingston headline to Kingston South corner bounds,
and from thence upon a West-north-west point, ten miles into the
country. Then to begin again at the aforesaid Exeter southward-
ly corner bounds, and run seven miles upon Exeter headline, upon
a North-east point half a point more northerly ; then fourteen
miles into the country, upon a West-north-west point to the river
Merrimack, and from thence upon a straight line to the end of the
aforesaid ten-mile line ; and that the same be a town corporated
by the name of Chester, to the persons aforesaid forever, to have
and to hold the said land to the grantees and their heirs and as-
signs forever, and to such associates as they shall admit upon the
following conditions : 1. That every proprietor build a dwelling
house within three years, and settle a family therein and break up
three acres of ground, and plant or sow the same within four
years and pay his proportion of the town charge when and so often
as occasion shall require the same. 2. That a meeting house be
built for the public worship of God within said term of four years.
3. That upon default of any particular proprietor in complying
with the conditions of this charter, upon his part, such delinquent
proprietor shall forfeit his share to the other proprietors, which
shall be disposed of according to the major vote of said commoners,
at a legal meeting. 4. That a proprietor's share shall be reserved
for a parsonage, another for the first minister of the gospel, another
for the benefit of a school, provided nevertheless, that the peace
with the Indians continue during the aforesaid term of three
years ; but if it should so happen that a war with the Indians
should commence before the expiration of the aforesaid term of
three years, the aforesaid term of three years shall be allowed to
proprietors after the expiration of the war, for the performance of
the aforesaid conditions ; rendering and paying therefor, to us,
our heirs and .successors, or such other officer or officers as shall
be appointed to receive the same, the annual quit-rent acknowl-
edgment of one pound of good merchantable hemp, in the said
town, on the 20th of December, yearly, forever reserving also un-
to us, our heirs and successors, all mast trees growing on said
48 HISTORY OF CHESTER.
land, according to acta of Parliament in that behalf made and pro-
vided, and for the better order, rule, and government of the said
town, we do by these presents grant, for us, our heirs and suc-
cessors, unto the said men and inhabitants, or those that shall in-
habit the said town, that yearly, and every year, upon the last
Thursday in March, forever, they shall meet to elect and choose,
by the major part, their constables, selectmen, and all other town
officers, according to the laws and usage of our aforesaid Prov-
ince, for the year ensuing, with such power, privileges, and au-
thority, as other town officers, within our aforesaid Province, have
In witness whereof we have caused the seal of our said Prov-
ince to be hereunto annexed. Witness — Sam 1 Shute, Esq., our
Governor and Command* -in-chief of our said Province, at our
town of Pourtsmouth, the 8th day of May, in the 8th year of our
reign, Anno Domini, 1722.
By his Excellency's command, with advice of Council,
SAM 11 SHUTE.
R. WALDRON, Gler. Con.
SCHEDULE OF PROPRIETORS.
Samuel Penhallow, Esq., Rev. Nath 1 Rogers,
Shadrach Walton, Esq., William Rynes,
Richard Wibird, Esq., Josiah Small,
Thomas Packer, Esq., Susanna Small,
Capt. Eben* Wentworth, Josiah Tilton,
Capt. Henry Sherburne, Jethro Tilton,
Benj. Gambling, Esq., Amos Cass,
George Jaffrey, Esq., James Perkins,
Thomas Wentworth, Esq., William Healey,
Ephraim Dennet, Zachary Clifford,
Thomas Westbrook, Esq., Jacob Stanyan,
Thomas Phipps, Esq., Enoch Sanborn,
Clement Hughes, Ichabod Robie,
Josiah Sherburne, Nath 1 Batchelder, jr.,
Michael Whidden, Benoni Fogg,
Capt. Josiah Pierce, Richard Clifford,
HISTORY OF CHESTER.
John Prescott, jr.,
Nathan 1 Batchelder,
Nathan 1 Drake,
Sam 1 Sherburne,
Sam 1 Prescott,
Col. Peter Wear,
Tho B Marstin,
Sam 1 Smith,
Sam 1 Welsh,
Rev. Theophilus Cotton,
Sam 1 Shackford,
Sam 1 Blake,
Arch d McPhedris,
Rev. Tho 8 Simms,
Benning Went worth,
Col. Tho s Westbrook,
Capt. Richard Kent,
50 HISTORr OF CHESTER.
Maj. John Gilman, Deac. Sam 1 Shaw,
Cutt & Ackerman, Edward Gilman,
Col. Mark Hunking, Thomas Dean,
Sam 1 Thompson, Stephen Webster,
Henry Sleeper, Thomas Silver,
Wm. Crossweight, Samuel Ingalls,
Wm, White, James Fayles,
Jonathan Emerson, John Littlehale,
John Pecker, John Calfe,
John Jaquish, Richard Jaquish,
Stephen Johnson, Capt. Joshua Wingate,
Richard Hazelton, Clement Meserves.
LIST OF SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS,
From 1746 to 1775.
1746 Dr. Geo. Woods, Dist. 1 & 2, 3 & 4.
1747 " of Chester, 1 & 2.
1748 " Dist. 1 & 4.
1749 Dr. Samuel Moores, of Chester.
1750 Henry Herring, of Newbury.
Dr. Samuel Moores,
1751 John Hickey, Dist. 1.
James Dresser, of Bradford.
Nehemiah McNeal, probably of Derry.
1752 " Dist. 1 & 2, 3 & 4.
1753 Master Hazelton, Dist. 4, probably of Chester.
1754 Master Hazelton, Dist. 3.
1755 James Hazzard, of Chester.
Thomas Boys, Dist. 3.
1756 James Hazzard, lived in Chester — had a family.
Tho* Boys, of Derry.
Master Howe, Dist. 1.
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 51
1758 Thomas Boys.
James Quinton, of Chester.
Mrs. Sarah Ingalls.
Dr. John Ordway, of Chester.
Stephen Webster, of Chester, an elder of the church.
Ens. Ja 8 Quenton, of Chester.
1759 Dr. John Ordway. /
1759 Dr. John Ordway.
1760 James Hazzard.
1761 James Hazzard, kept 8 months.
John Crombie, " 2 "
1762 John Flagg, kept 10 months.
James Quenton, Dist. 4.
1763 Master Balch, Dist. 1, 3 months.
James Quenton, kept 7£ months,
faster Scott, " 4£ "
Henry Herring, "
Josiah Flagg, "
Dr. Rand, "
Dr. John Ordway.
Dr. J. Ordway, kept
Master Band, "
Master Evans, "
James Quenton, "
William Smith, "
Master Evans, " 11£ "
52 HISTORT OP CHESTER.
James Quenton, kept 2 months.
Master Hazelton, " 1 "
1768 Master Evans,
1770 Master Evans.
1771 Master Perkerson.
1772 Master Shaw, kept 9 months.
Master Donovan, kept 3£ months.
Master True, " 3 "
1773 Master Ordway.
Matthew Forsaith, jr.
1775 Master Prentice, kept 12 months, Dist. 1-3.
LIST OF SOLDIERS OF THE REVOLUTION DRAFTED
Twenty-six individuals from this town were lost in the war of
Reuben Sanborn, David Underhill,
Edmund Black, Edmund Elliott,
Francis Towle, Joseph Hills,
John Underhill, jr., Ephraim Fitts,
Benjamin Hall, Sam 1 Emerson, Esq.,
Capt. Stephen ^Dearborn, Rob* Reynolds,
Benj. Hills, Daniel Greenough,
Sam 1 Webster, Eben r Townsend,
Simon Bailey, Bracket Towle,
Ens. Edw. Robie, Francis Towle, jr.,
Jonathan Underhill, Stephen Clay,
Presson, Sam 1 Hills,
Cornelius Morgan, Thomas Furnald,
HISTORY OP CHESTER.
Josiah Morse, jr.,
Nathan 1 Hall,
Ens. John Tucke,
Lt. Isaac Blaisdell,
Maj. Jabez French,
Nathan 1 French,
Eben r Dearborn, jr.,
Lt. Ezekiel Worthen,
Lt. Sam 1 Hazelton,
Jacob Chase, Esq.,
Capt. Jno. Underhill,
Capt. Joseph Dearborn,
Capt. Joseph True,
Sam 1 Brown,
Lt. Win. Locke,
Dr. John Dusten,
Lt. Jno. Dearborn,
Corn* John Lane,
Lt. John Lane,
*Capt. Amos Emerson,
* Amos Emerson was Capt and Simeon Morrill Ensign, of the 3d Comp. of
Battalion I. David Forsaith, Ensign of the 8th Company of the II Battalion,
54 HISTORY OP CHESTER.
Parker Morse, Henry Stephens,
Peter Severance, John Paine,
Lt. Josiah Flagg, Jonathan Berry,
(was shot in the war.)
The above are supposed to be all the " soulders " until Dec. 19,
1777. Not all of the above served ; several procured substitutes.
INSTANCES OF LONGEVITY.
James Wilson, d. 1739, a. 100 years.
James Shirley, d. 1754, a. 105 years.
Alexander Craig, died in 1760, a. 98 years.
William Craig, d. 1775, a. 100 years.
Mrs. Craig, (his wife,) d. 1775, a. 100 years.
James Shirley, d. 1791, a. 100 years.
James Wilson, d. 1793, a. 100 years.
Thomas Wason, d. 1800, a. 100 years.
James Otterson, d. a. 103 years.
Mrs. Healey, d, a, 100 years.
John Burley, a mariner belonging to Chester, sailed from New-
buryport in July, 1781 ; was taken prisoner by the enemy, car-
ried to Ireland, and thrown into prison, where he died in the sum-
mer of 1782.
ACT OF INCORPORATION OF THE SOCIETIES.
S Province d Anno regni regis Georgii secundi Magnse Brit-
£)New Hamp.dtanicae, Francias, et Hiberniae, Decimo quarto.
An act to enable the two congregations in the town of Chester
to raise money to pay their respective minister's salary, &c.
Whereas the inhabitants of the town of Chester, in the Prov-
ince of New Hampshire, have represented to this court that they
labor under great difficulties with respect to raising their minis-
ter's salary, and collecting the same, and have petitioned this
court for relief :
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 55
Be it therefore enacted by his Excellency the Governor, Coun-
cil, and Representatives, convened in General Assembly, and by
the authority of the same, that each congregation in said town be
and hereby is authorized and empowered to act separate and dis-
tinct from each other, as to parish affairs, and that each respective
congregation be and hereby is authorized and empowered to pay
their respective minister's salary, for the defraying the charges of
building and repairing their respective meeting houses and other
parish charges ; and to choose wardens in each congregation to
assess the persons and estates of each congregation as (much as)
shall be raised by them respectively for the ends and purposes
aforesaid ; and to choose collectors to collect the same, which col-
lectors shall have the same power and authority as constables in
this Province by law have to gather and collect rates ; and that
such wardens, chosen as aforesaid, be and hereby are, authorized
and empowered to give a warrant to such collectors as fully and
amply to all intents and purposes as Selectmen are authorized and
empowered to do. And that John Calfe, Ephraim Hazelton, and
Enoch Colby be and hereby are authorized and empowered to call
the first meeting for the Cong, parish, and Capt. Samuel Ingalls,
John Tolford, and John Carr to call the first meeting for the
Presbyterian parish ; and the said congregations shall have power
to choose all officers necessary to manage and transact parish af-
fairs, as other parishes have, or ought, by law, to have, within
Aug. 7, 1740. Read three times in the House of Representa-
tives and passed to be enacted.
ANDREW WIGGIN, Speaker.
Eadem Die. Read three times at the Council board, and voted
a concurrence. RICHARD WALDRON, Sec'y.
Same day. I assent to the foregoing bill,
Copy— THEO. ATKINSON, Sec'y.
In the attic of J. S. Brown's hotel, I found the papers of Col.
John Webster, among which are the muster rolls. In addition to
those already given, I find the following names :
56 t HISTORY OF CHESTER.
Ezekiel Morse, Nathan Lane,
Jeremiah Griffen, Elijah Tolford,
Theophilus Lovrin, "William Towl,
Benjamin Whittier, Capt.
July 25th, 1776.
David Weatherspoon, Joseph Linn,
James Bell, Hugh McAffee,
John McClellan, James Aikin,
David Taylor, Moses McFarland.
June, 1776, Army of Canada, (The Northern Continent.)
Massabesic pond is the only considerable body of water which
was included within the bounds of the Charter of Chester, al-
though there are several small ponds. Massabesic is estimated at
about twenty miles in circuit. It was formerly the residence of
several families of Penacook Indians, and its name is sup-
posed to be derived from two Indian words, " Mdssa" signi-
fying great, and " peseag" lake. This is very probable from
the fact that there was no other considerable pond in the vi-
cinity. These words are explained in Halle's dictionary of the
Abenaquis tongue, which was the language spoken by the
Penacooks. Ale wives formerly came up into this pond in
great abundance, and formed one means of support to the set-
tlers in its vicinity, as did also the falls at Amoskeag. The cave
known as the Devil's den is near the eastern shore of Massa-
besic. It is an irregular cavity in the ledge, extending in a slight-
ly oblique direction nearly sixty feet into Mine Hill. " Penacook
path " formerly passed over the east side of this hill ; the road
now however goes on the west side. There is another cave in
Rattlesnake Hill, on the west side of the pond.
Many of the names which formerly existed in town are
now gone ; the following are some of these : Blunt, Campbell,
Goodhue, Graham, Tolford, Varnum, Berry, Boyd, Carswell,
(formerly lived in the woods now owned by J. Webster,) Colby,
Craig, Crosett, Foss, Gilchrist, Leach, McPhedris, McPherson,
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 57
Megee, Moulton, Neal, Healey, Powell, Presson, Quenton, Tyler,
Whiting and Weatherspoon. Several other names exist only in
the towns which have been taken from Cheater, or are represented
by females only, such are Aiken, Calfe, Glynn, Blaisdell, Craw-
ford, Dickey, Wardwell, Richardson, Towle, &c.
Sherburne Dearborn is now the oldest individual in Chester.
He completed his 93d year, Sept. 6, 1851.
Mrs. Hills died in Chester in 1851, aged 99. Mr. Benj. Pike
Chase, now resident in Auburn, is in his 90th year, and retains
his faculties in a great degree ; his father removed to Chester
when he was nine years of age.
Robert Knowles and Joseph Carr are now between eighty and
ninety years of age.
The first pauper mentioned is Sarah Berry in 1752. No other
is mentioned until 1768. By 1768 occur the names of Abigail
Davis, widow Ambross, widow Basford and widow Hills. The
names of some of the most respectable inhabitants are recorded as
bidding off the aforesaid paupers to board — such are Winthrop
Sargent and Lt. Thomas Hazelton.
Chester probably received its name in compliment to George
Augustus II. of England, who came into possession of the titles
and estates of Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in 1714.
He did not become King until 1727. This derivation is, like
most' conjectures in regard to the names of towns, uncertain.
More likely it is named from the city of Chester , in Cheshire,
About 1790, John Tolford, son of Dea. Wm, Tolford, in a fit
of insanity, shot Timothy Wells, killing him instantly. He was
About 1830, a man by the name of Welsh, now residing in Au-
burn, unintentionally killed an individual by a blow on the head
with a stake in a dispute. He was committed to the State prison
for the offense of manslaughter, but was subsequently pardoned.
58 HISTOHT OF CHESTER.
It was at the bridge over " Exeter river ," mentioned under date
1720, that the money was to be deposited by Mr. Odiorne. and
that Capt. Mitchell, of Londonderry, was apprehended on suspic-
ion of being the rogue. See Parker's Hist, of Londonderry, and
the N. H. Historical CoUections, Vol. 2, (1823.)
The manner in which I came to know the date of the erection
of the first honse was this. The house was built by Samuel In-
galls, and John Hall, of Chester, who is a descendant of Ingalls,
remembers having heard Nathaniel, son of Sam 1 Ingalls, say that
he was/owr years of age at the time his father moved into the
" great house." By the Chester records Nathaniel Ingalls was
born Dec. 12, 1727. Hence the house was probably built in
the spring or summer of 1732.
In looking over some old accounts, I found among the town
papers an entry to the following effect : " The following individ-
uals were allowed ten shillings this year, on account of their set-
tlement in the Chestnut Country, 1720." The names were those
given under the head of " First Settlers." There were three such
lists, one of 1720, one of 1721, and one of 1722.
Of Bradford, (b. July 21, 1715,) m. Martha Blaisdell, of Ches-
ter, in 1742. Their son Nathan, b. Dec. 26, 1743, m. Eliz.
Clifford, in 1771. Their son Josiah was born Jan. 16, 1772.
He fitted for college under Mr. Remington, of Candia, Mr. Thay-
er, of Kingston, and Hon. Stephen P. Webster, graduated at
Dartmouth in 1798, and studied theology with Rev. Mr. Peabody,
of Atkinson. He d. March 27, 1837. (Hist. Reg. vol. 1, No. 4.)
SMITH AND CARR.
The traditions in regard to the taking of Smith and Carr are
not at all well defined. Of the descendants of Smith none now
reside in Chester ; some of the descendants of John Smith, his
brother, however, are still in Chester, viz : Capt. David Shaw,
whose mother was daughter of Silvanus, and grand-daughter of
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 59
John Smith. His mother used to tell the story of her great un-
cle's capture, although in a very confused manner. She was,
when I saw her, over ninety years of age. I have heard the
same account from some other old inhabitants of Chester. No
recollection of the fact of Carr's capture exists in the families of
his descendants, who are, however, numerous in Chester.
Rev. MOSES HALE.
In regard to Rev. Moses Hale, I obtained the date of his birth
from Mr. Coffin, of Newbury. Moses is not mentioned on the
town books of Newbury as a son of Justice Thomas Hale, but in
the latter' s will he speaks of his son Moses, without, however, re-
ferring to his having been at college. He gives him land in Row-
ley, from which circumstances Mr. Coffin doubts whether this
Moses was the minister of Chester. The will of Thos. Hale was
made in 1730. The children mentioned by Justice Thomas Hale
in his will are the following: 1. Thomas, (b. according to New-
bury Rec. in 1683,) 2. Ezekiel, (b. 1689,) 3. Nathan, (b. 1691,)
4. Daniel, (b. 1697,) 5. Joshua, (b. 1701,) 6. Moses, (b. ac-
cording to Mr. Coffin's supposition, in 1703,) 7. Edna, (b. 1684,)
8. Mary, (b. 1687,) 9. Hannah, (b. 1699.) Two other children,
not mentioned in the will, died young, viz : Sarah, (b. 1693,)
Ebenezer, (b. 1695.)
Mr. Coffin mentions a will written by Jacob Hale, of Boxford,
in 1731, in which he mentions his father Joseph, and his brothers,
Abner, Ambrose, Joseph and Moses, who was born Dec. 25, 1701.
Joseph Hale, the father, was of Newbury, and married Mary,
dau. of William Watson, of Boxford.
The death of Rev. Moses Hale, I obtained proximately from
Mr. Sibley, of Cambridge, by means of the old triennial catalogues
Sept. 1853. I have recently ascertained that my suppositions
in regard to Mr. Hale being a native of Boxford, are true. The
following facts are all I know at present about him. He was son
of Joseph and Mary Hale, and was born at Boxford, Mass., Dec.
25, 170J.. He graduated at Harvard, and was settled at Chester,
as has been stated, whence he was dismissed by council, in 1735.
He returned to Haverhill, where he died in the year 1760. He
m. Mrs. Abigail Wainwright, Sept. 28, 1731. (These are cer-
60 HISTORY OF CHESTER.
Rev. JOHN WILSON.
Rev. Mr. Wilson's history I took principally from Farmer's N.
H. Gazetteer. I also obtained some information from his grand-
son, Benj. Mills, of Chester. There is a mistake in the Gazetteer
of several years in the date of his death. I copied the inscription
from his tombstone.
Rev. EBENEZER FLAGG.
Mr. Flagg's birth-place I have stated to be Woburn. I do not
however consider this as certain. A portrait of Mr. Flagg is in
the possession of the French family in Chester.
I obtained my information in regard to him from the Andover,
Haverhill and Chester records, and from Mr. John Hall, of Ches-
ter, whose wife is one of his descendants ; also from Benj. P.
Chase, of Auburn.
My information in regard to Lt. Smith was from the Chester
records, and from Deac. Thomas Smith, of New Boston, his
grandson. Also, some facts from B. P. Chase, in regard to his
My information was from the town records, and from various
aged people who recollect him. I copy the following from the
Collections of the N. H. Hist. Soc, Vol. IV, p. 201 :
" He was selected in 1754, being then a Major, by the Govern-
ment of N. H., as one of the officers to command the party sent
to explore the Coos county, which party set out March 10, and
in 7 days reached the Connecticut river at Piermont. They were
accompanied by John Stark, who had been, the preceding year, a
prisoner among the Indians and was acquainted with that region,
as a guide. After passing one night, and making such observa-
tions as their time would allow them, they returned, and on the
13th day from the time they left, reached Concord."
Clough says in his journal, " In the afternoon we scouted some
(Aug. 20, 1746,) in the woods, but made no discovery. But
Capt. Tolford with his men discovered where there had laid some
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 61
Indians in ambush, and also found where the Indians had roasted
ABNER CLOUGH'S JOURNAL.
Abner Clough's journal of the march of Capt. Ladd and his
men sent by the Governor and Council of N, H., to protect the
inhabitants of Rumford and the adjoining towns against the incur-
sions of the Indians.
"July 14, 1746. Firstly, marched from Exeter to Beach
plain, in Kingston. On the 15th day marched to Chester, and
there took more men. On the 16th day enlisted more men. On
the 17th day marched from Chester town to a place called Isle
Hook's pond, and scouted around the pond, and then camped ;
about 11 miles." The company continued to scout through Rum-
ford, Canterbury, &c, until the 31st, and then returned to Exe-
ter; and on the 5th of August started again. "Isle Hook's
pond" answers very nearly to what is now known as " Lakin's
" Aug. 5. Marched to Beach plain, in Kingston, and there
camped. And on the 6th day marched to Chester town, and it
rained, and there camped, and on the 7th day marched about three
miles above Massabesic pond, and there Lieu. Jonathan Bradley
overtook Capt. Ladd and his men. Lieut. Bradley being not well
rode up after the company and said that he came along by a place
called the North Branch, in Chester, and there he said that he
tracked a scout of Indians, about 12 or 15 as he thought there
might be, and was very confident that they were Indian's tracks.
And Capt. Ladd took about twenty of his men and went back and
ranged the woods where he thought likely to discover something
of these Indians, as he saith, but could make no discovery, and so
went down to Kingston and Exeter, and told the news about the
Indians being tracked." Capt. Ladd again marched through
Chester on his way to Concord, Sept. 6. The rest of Capt.
Ladd's men continued on after he left them on the 7th, to Con-
cord. Several of them (and among them Lt. Bradley,) were
killed at Concord on the 11th, by a party of Indians, of which the
scouting party discovered in Chester, made a part. Coll. of N.
H. Hist. Society, Vol. IV. p. 201.
HISTORY OP CHESTER.
In 1775, the population of Chester stood thus :
Males, under 16, 384
Males, under 50, over 16, 273
Males, over 50, 101
Fire arms fit for use, * 175
Powder in private hands, 30 lbs.
Whole population, 1545
The list of school teachers previously given was taken from the
Town records, and is probably nearly correct.
The list of Revolutionary soldiers I found in an old book, say-
ing on the cover, "This is for what is allowed to soldiers." On
the back of it is the date Dec. 19, 1777.
" CHESTER. (Inco
Samuel D. Bell,
Luther V. Bell,
Christopher S. Bell,
Charles E. Dearborn,
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 63
John W. Ray, 1843
Charles H. Bell, 1844
David Bremner, 1850
George Bell. 1851
PETITION FOR GRANT. (Copy.)
From the Council Records of 1719.
A petition for a township in y e Chestnutt Country, signed by
about 100 hand, preferred by Mr. Hughes, Sept. 24, 1719. Min-
uted — Read again, Apr. 28, 1720.
To his Excellency Samuel Shute, Esq,, Capt. Gen 11 & Com-
an** in Chief in an over His Majesty's Province of New Hamp-
shire, &c, and the Hon ble the Council, now sitting in Council at
* Pourtsmouth, in and for said Province :
The humble petition of sundry of the Inhabitants of s d Prov-
ince Humbly sheweth That y r Petitioners have associated them-
selves together to settle a certain tract of waiste land containing
Eight miles square, laying in the Province of New Hampshire
afores d , and adjoining on the East to Kingston and Exeter, and
on the South to Haverhill, and on the "West and North to y 6
woods. And forasmuch as y r Petitioners are informed that
sundry persons belonging to severall Towns in the Province
of the Massachusetts Bay design to petition y r Excellency
& Hon™ to have the same lott of land granted to them for
a township. Your Petitioners therefore most humbly pray that
they may have the preference, (having been at a vast expense of
blood and treasure to maintain the same against the Enemy.) and
that the said tract of land may be granted a township to them,
and as many more as are willing to settle the same, so as to make
up the number of one hundred (and twenty-five) persons, under
such limitations for the settling of it as y r Excellency & Hon r *
will, in your great wisdom, see convenient for the speedy settling
thereof, and y r Petitioners ever will pray as in duty bound.
Sept. 24, 1719.
Tho 8 Phipps, Henry Sherburne,
Jos. Pierce, Benj, Gambling,
HISTORY OP CHESTER.
Nath 11 Batchelder, jr.,
Rob* Row, Senr.,
Sam 11 Blake, jr.,
Nath 11 Healey,
Nath 11 Sanborn,
John Prescott, jr.,
Joseph Batchelder, jr.,
Sam 11 Blake, senr.,
Nehem 11 Leavitt,
Sam 11 Elkins,
Sam 11 Prescott,
Nath 11 Batchelder, senr.,
Sam 1 Plaisted,
Elez r Russell,
Eph m Dennett,
Jonathan Prescott, jr.,
George Veazi, jr.,
Sam 11 Sanborn,
Jona n Robinson,
Thomas Veazi, jr.,
Nath 11 Stevens, jr.,
Wm. Stevens, Porch**,
HISTORY OP CHESTER.
John Gilman, jr.,
Sam 11 Veazi,
Thomas Veazi, jr.,
Moses Norris, senr.,
Jona 11 Plummer,
. Sam 11 Smith,
SMITH AND CARR.
Since writing the account of the captivity of Smith and Carr, I
have received a very particular account of it from Dea. Thos.
Smith, grandson of Lieut. Smith, who was surprised by the In-
dians and taken captive in Chester, viz : " The facts are re-
markably clear in the Deacon's mind. John Carr was brother-in-
law of Lieut. Smith ; his sister being Smith's wife, and Carr was
but 18 years of age when they were captured by the Indians.
It was on this wise, viz : They were making a tree (or
brush) fence to secure the cow from the Indians. One tree
lodged against its neighbor, and they were watching to see
which way another would fall, (with a view of bringing down
the first,) when they were surprised by the crack of a rifle and the
ball passed between them, touching Smith- The Indians sprang
upon and seized them, a scuffle ensued in which Smith turned the
butt of his gun and brought it down with a view of sinking the
lock into the head of Capt. Joe English, the leader of the Indians,
but missing his aim he struck him on the side of the head which
sallied him back, but English recovering threw Smith, and they
(Smith and Carr) were both secured and led away. They pro-
ceeded northward till night, when the keepers each managed to
secure his prisoner for the night. They were not allowed to see
66 HISTORY OF CHESTER.
where each other lodged. Smith's captor cut a notch in the
spreading root of a beech tree, and after several trials fitted in the
ankle of the prisoner, then drove down a stake firmly against the
notch so as to make the foot secure while the prisoner was lying
on his back. His arms were also tied behind him with the sin-
ews of deer. Thus he rested. The next morning they pursued
their journey, but not rapidly ; the prisoners not being allowed to
speak to each other. The next night Smith took special notice in
which direction from him Carr was placed. He was secured as
on the night previous, with the addition however of having hooka
put over the elbows and driven firmly into the ground. Resolving
to make his escape, after his Indian was asleep, (the Indian slept
on the ends of the cords with which he was bound,) he gradually
tried the strength of his strong arms, and the hooks gave way*
Then he found that the cords would give. He continued to strain
upon them until he could get his thumbs under the cord that
stretched across his breast ; then with that aid he raised it upon
his chin, then got it to his mouthy and after long trial succeeded in
raising it over his nose, and finally over his entire head. Soon he-
extricated himself entirely without waking the Indian. He might
have killed the party but thought it would be murder. Leaving
them to their pleasant dreams they found a stream of water in
which they traveled as far as possible to elude the dogs. At
length they climbed some trees and soon the day dawned, when they
heard the alarm-whoop of their disappointed captors, which was
answered by another party on the opposite side of them. Their
position was now, of course, a critical one, directly between two
parties of Indians so near as to answer each other with the voice.
Descending they made their way back towards Chester, where
they* arrived on the evening of the third day after their capture.
The garrison was at Chester, not 6 Londonderry.' *'
The above is the relation of Dea. Smith, of New Boston, now
over eighty years of age. It was furnished me by Rev. Mr. Kel-
logg of that town. I presume it is substantially correct. The
other party of Indians which he refers to was probably a part of
the company who captured them. They were probably prowling
about in the neighborhood, having left the care of Smith and Carr
to those who claimed the right of masters over them. Mr. Kel-
HISTORY OF CHESTER. 67
logg adds, " The Indians from whom they escaped surprised and
killed two or three men the next day while working in a field near
Rev. MOSES HALE.
Since writing the account of Mr. Hale, I have become satisfied
that he was not, as has usually been supposed, a native of New-
hury, and born in 1703, but of Boxford, and born Dec. 25, 1701.
I have several letters which induce me to believe so, from
which I make these extracts. (From Mr. Coffin, author of the
History of Newbury, dated 25 Oct. 1851.) u Now, as Thomas
Hale in his will, mentions his son Moses, just as he does his other
sons, and makes no allusion to his having been at college, and
gives him land in Rowley, the question is, is this Moses the one
■who was settled in Chester, N. H. ? He was settled in 1731, and
the will was made in 1730. I am in doubt about it." " Among
the wills in Ipswich I find one written in 1731, by Jacob Hale, of
Boxford. In this will he mentions his father Joseph, his brothers
Abner, Ambrose, Joseph and Moses. He also mentions his only
child Mary. His father Joseph, was of Newbury, and married
Mary Watson, dau. of Wm. Watson, of Boxford. Now it is pos-
sible that the Rev. Moses Hale, of Chester, was born in Boxford,
and was the son of Joseph and Mary Hale." Also, from Mr.
Coffin in a later letter, which I have lost I have it stated that he
has since become certain that Mr. Hale was not a native of New-
(Hon. Artemas Hale, of Bridgewater, writes as follows:)
u Thomas Hale had a son Moses, born in 1702-3. He died in
Rindge in June, 1763. This, however, cannot be the one settled
in your town, as it appears by the records of the town of Rindge,
he had two children born in Rowley— one 28 Feb. 1732, the other,
28 Nov. 1733." The town records of Rindge say, " Mr. Moses
Hale was bom in Newbury, and died in Monadnock, No. One,
June 19, 1752." (In pencil marks,) On grave-stone, 1762, June
(Eliphalet Hale, of Keene, died recently, a. 80, as follows :)
"The father of my great grandfather (i. e. the grandfather of the
Neivbury Moses Hale,) had three sons, viz: Thomas, (b. 1658,)
Joseph, (1671,) and Samuel, (1674.) I do not know whether
($ HISTORY OF CHESTER.
the latter had any children. If not, the Chester Moses must have
been either my grandfather, or the son of my great grandfather's
brother Joseph. I do not see how he could have been my grand-
father, as he was at that time residing in Rowley, or at least hav-
ing children born unto him in that place." These children were
u Moses, born in Rowley, 28 Feb. 1732, Enoch, born in Rowley,
Nov. 28, 1733, and Nathan, b. in 1743." (Mr. E. Hale con-
tinues,) " I think my grandfather, (i. e. the Newbury Moses) was
not the Rev. Moses Hale who settled in Chester. I have never
heard that he was a graduate of Harvard College, or had ever
been settled in the ministry."
As it appears conclusively that the minister of Chester was not
Moses Hale of Newbury, it only remains to prove that he was of
B oxford. This can be done by the veritable Dictum of Aristotle,
de omni et nullo. The circumstances and the testimony of the de-
scendants of the Hale family prove that Rev. Mr. Hale was either
one or the other of these two — either of Newbury or Boxford.
He cannot be of Newbury, mnde sequitur — he must be of Boxford.
In regard to the throat distemper of which so many people died
in N. H. in 1735 and 6, the only words in Mr. Fitch's account of
the subject, in regard to Chester, are the following communicated
by Joseph B. Felt, of Boston :
" In Chester have died under ten, twenty-one. One family lost
I have in my possession some leaves of one of Mr. John Web-
ster's ledgers, dated from 1752 to 1758, from which I copy
the following charges against Mr. Flagg with the prices annexed,
preserving the original orthography :
Augost 14. Mr. flag moer debt,
to 2 Quarts of rhom, .
15. moer to half a bushel of salt,
to pear of shobockels,
to one pear of garters, )
2 nots of thread, )
16. moer to 3 jards of .silk ferret,
£ s. d.
HI8T0RT OF CHESTER.
a 1.03 J
This will serve to exhibit the prices of articles in those times,
and also what the principal articles of traffic were :
moer to 2 Quarts of rhom,
moer to one peck of salt,
moer to 2 Quarts of Rhom,
moer to 4 shets of paper,
moer to one Quart of west indea rhom,
moer to one Quarter & half of cambrick,
to one Quart of rhom,
moer to one pint of rhom,
moer to one Quart of rhom,
31. 2. moer to 3 hisket,
moer to 4 poond of taller at 5s pr. p.,
moer to one Quart of rhom,
moer to 6 bisket,
moer to Earthen wear,
to one Quarter of buckorm,
moer to 2 Earthen poots, one small mog,
to one Quart of rhom,
To one small poot,
The price of cambric cloth was $4.40
tape, " 5J
shallorn " 1.48
silk ferret " 19±
buckram u 99
one cotton handkerchief, 1.99
2 needles, . 05£
3 darning needles, 07
horn comb, 27
sugar, per lb. was from 33 to 44 cts.
pepper, per oz. 13 cts.
molasses, per quart, 94 cts.
peas, per bushel, 83.
rum, per quart, from 79 to 66 cts.
brandy, per pint, 53 cents,
biscuit, each (singly) 5 £ cts.
of powder, per lb. 2.64.
of shot, " 55. *
a fish hook. 05£.
a penknife, 88.
a gimlet, 22.
70 HISTORY OP CHESTER.
Mr. Webster probably began to keep a store as early as 1745 ;
he kept first where Mr. Frank Morse lives, in Hall's Village.
About 1750 he had a clerk (or partner) named John Patten.
If the above were reckoned in " Old Tenor currency," I have
set them too high. I think however that they reckoned by " law-
ful currency," probably.
The houses which were standing in the centre of the town built
before 1750, are these. The list was taken from John Hall, of
Where Jacob Chase lives, lived Jacob Chase, (b. 1728,) house
built about 1750.
Elijah Hall, Underhill, date not known.
Jno. West— Nath 1 Blaisdell, " "
Mrs. P. Bell— Rev. Mr. Flagg, about 1736.
Mr. Armsby — Jonathan Blunt, about 1740 or 45.
J. Robinson — Pearson Richardson, not known.
Mr. Fitts — Nathan Fitz, about 1745 or 50.
Mr. Quigg — Col. Jno. Webster, about 1740.
Mr. Bremner — Ebenezer Dearborn, about 1735.
Col. Clay — Jona. Goodhue, before 1740.'
Watts house McNeal.
Up the lane-Arch^ap, J ^^ ^ mQ m ^
Benj. Davis, Jr. — Rob* Graham, (afterwards N. Long) ab't 1740.
Capt. Shaw — Silvanus Smith, 1740.
Greenough house — Paul Smith, 1740.
In J. Webster's woods— J. & T. Carswell, 1740 or 45.
Opposite J. Webster's— Col. W. White, 1735 or 40.
Jno. Sanborn — Thomas Glynn, built before 1744.
Opposite the house of Moses Webster — Winthrop Sargent, about
S. Cowdry — Francis Towle, about 1740 or 45.
Isaac Morse — Stephen Morse, " 1750.
John Hall— John Carr, " 1735 or 40.
Poor house — Capt. Hugh Shirley, uncertain.
S. Kendall — John Towle, (afterwards his son Anthony Towle)
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 71
H. Hall— Henry Hall, about 1740.
On cross road — Rev. Mr. Wilson, about 1785.
Mr. Emerson — Sam 1 Emerson, Esq., about 1735.
Miss Pressey — Enoch Colby, about 1735 or 40.
Tho 8 Hazelton— Tho 8 Smith, (block house) about 1735-38.
Mr. Wilson — Wm. Powell.
Mr. Reed — John Aiken.
Jacks Hill — Jonathan Jack.
David Shaw, Jr. — Ens. James Quenton.
a little north of Dan 1 Wilson's barn — Father of John Wilson.
Joseph Carr — James Crawford.
at the end of cross road beyond Mr. Pickett's — Francis Towle.
Capt. Hazelton — John Colby.
In a house between Miss Pressy's & Capt. Hazelton's — Benj. Colby
Nearly opposite John Robinson's — Dr. John Ordway.
James Bell— William Bell. '
Long — Daniel Greenough.
Dr. Whittemore — Col. Simon Towle.
Mr. Lane — Eben P Townsend.
Jona. Dearborn Glidden.
Opposite David Shaw, Jr's, nearly — Joseph French.
Between D. Shaw, Jr's and Frank Morse's, on E. side of road —
Capt. Swain — James Shirley.
Half way from Cowdry's to M. Webster's — Abraham Sargent,
on road from poor house to Wid. Mills' — Adam Morrill.
North of Morrill's house, 25 rods — Ephraim (father of Nathan)
Wardwell house — James Wardwell.
Calvin Hill — Jacob Hill, of Newbury.
Amos Green — Nathan Webster.
Asa Wilson — Wm. Wilson.
Jacob Green — the father of James Wilson.
Eaton house — Samuel Wilson.
Basford on " G* Hill"— Jona. Moulton.
Walter Morse — Pearson Richardson first lived there.
"Ed. Sleeper — Jethro Colby, son of Enoch.
near Sleeper's Stockman.
John Morse — Samuel Robie.
72 HISTORY OP CHESTER.
Joseph Robinson — Dr. Benj. Page.
Frank Stevens — Pearson Richardson.
Wm. Tenney — Jacob Wells.
Near Tewksbury's house — Benj. Fuller.
Near Deny line, on same road Campbell.
Reynolds — Moses George.
Wid. Chase Bradshaw.
Niles — Capt. Samuel Ingalls.
Luther Hall — Capt. Dow.
Tolford House— Maj. John Tolford.
Parker Morse — Benj. Hazelton.
Merrill— Dea. Tolford.
Samuel Hazelton — Peter Hazelton.
"Wm. Hazelton — John Hazelton (grandfather of John.)
Robert Shirley — Thomas Hazelton (father of Moses.)
Eph. Davis — Abel Webster.
John Hazelton — James Aiken.
Jonathan Emerson, son of Michael and Hannah Emerson, was
born March 9, 1669] 70.
Jonathan Emerson and Hannah Day were married June 15,
1699. Their children were
Jonathan, b. May 8, 1700; d. May 24, 1700-
John, June 7, 1701.
Nathaniel, Sept. 25, 1703-
* Timothy, Nov' 30, 1705.
Samuel, Jan. 8, 1707|8.
Richard, Sept. 29, 1710.
Hannah, Dec p 3, 1712.
AbSriT' } June 10, 1715.
Moses, Dec r 22, 1717.
Nehemiah, Apr. 24, 1721.
Mehitable, Jan. 30, 1723.
HISTORY OP CHESTER. 73
Anthony Towle, an early inhabitant of Chester, was a native of
Hampton, son of Caleb and Zephorah, and was born April 30,
Francis Towle, his brother, was born Jan. 13, 1711.
Jonathan Moulton, an early settler, was born at Hampton, son
of Robert and Lucy, June 5, 1702.
John Smith, father of Paul and Silvanus, — all three of whom
were settlers, — was born probably at Hampton, June 21, 1669 ;
he was son of John and Huldah Smith.
Josiah Small, an early settler, was probably of Dover or Pis-
The PrescoUs were of Hampton ; as were also the Bobies.
The town of Chester labors under a great disadvantage in the
matters of History, owing to the loss both of the early Church
Records in the time of Mr. Hale until 1736, (supposed to have
been destroyed or stolen by Mr. Bradstreet,) and the entire rec-
ords of the Presbyterian Society until about 1815. The Church
Records in Mr. Flagg's ministry at Chester were not kept comme
il faut. The Parish Records begin at the incorporation of the
Society in 1740.
End of the " Facts relating to the History of Chester" collected
" at a vast expense of blood and treasure " by Charles Bell, Esq.,
resident in said Chester, Rockingham Co., State of New Hamp-