History of Wolfeborough, New Hampshire

In the preparation of this volume, one thing, above all others, has been kept in mind - accuracy. The work is a history in fact as well as in name.

The author, during his long life, was privileged to come face to face with most of his living sources of information. All other matters considered are based upon authenticated records and documents. Although Mr. Parker was not permitted to see the completion of his life work, his ideas in this particular have been strictly adhered to by those who succeeded him. The story of a historic town, as told in succeeding pages, is a true story and, we confidently assert, an unusually interesting, one.

The town first took action in the matter in 1898, when Messrs. Edwin H. Lord, Albert B. Rust, and Frederick W. Prindle were appointed a committee to confer with the author. As a result of their interested and painstaking labors, this volume, published under an appropriation of the town, is now offered to the public. The book is not particularly rich in genealogies. Much valuable material of this sort remains unused among the author's papers. Not because it lacked value, not because it was uninteresting, but for the sole reason that the scope of the work forbade its incorporation therein.

This history of Wolfeborough, then, written by one who for more than three-fourths of a century lived in and wrought for the town, is respectfully presented to those who, by right of birth or adoption, proudly call themselves her sons and daughters.

Table of Contents

Chapter I Page 6

Discovery of Plscataqua River
New England Council of Plymouth
Gorges and Mason
First Settlements at Piscataqua New Hampshire
Mason's Grant
Death of Mason and his Heirs
Land sold to Samuel Allen Young
Mason's Claims and the Disposal of the Property.

Chapter II Page 10

Grant of Township
Admission of Associates
How the New Town was named
The Miles Road Elisha
Bryant fells Trees
First Meeting of Town Proprietors
Town named, surveyed, and divided
Effort to promote Settlement
Terms under which Land could be acquired
Separation into Lots
Descriptive Boundaries
Boundaries of Subdivisions and Additions.

Chapter III Page 31

Bays of Wolfeborough Harbor
Smith's Pond and River
Lake Wentworth and its Islands
Its Meadows, Beaches and Tributary Streams
Crooked Pond
Loon Island
Scenic Views from the Lake
Tumble-Down Dick
Copple Crown
Presidential Ranges
Neighboring Foot-hills
Rust's Pond
Perry's Brook
Mirror Lake
Beach, Lily, and Batson's Ponds
Meserve and Factory Brooks
Center Square, Stockbridge, Boston, Trask, Whiteface, and
Cotton Mountains
The Valley Road
Minerals Products
Indian Relics.

Chapter IV Page 43

Notice of Proprietors' Meeting
Form of Contract Note to Josiah Miles
March's Contract Titles to Proprietors' Lots
Rust's Deed and a Description of his Lot
Description of Sundry Lots
George Meserve's Contract to erect Mills
Livlus' Proposition
Meeerve's Failure and the New Contract Lands forfeited by a Few Proprietors and re-granted to Governor Wentworth
Blake and Libbey fell Trees
Rustic Surgery
Town permanently settled in 1768
Earlier Visitors in the Town.

Chapter V Page 55

Governor John Wentworth
Parentage and Ancestry
A Student at Harvard
Friendship with Dr. Ammi R. Cutter
Becomes an Interested Proprietor of Wolfeborough
Appointed Joint Agent for the Province at the British Court
Made Surveyor of the King's Woods in North America and Governor of
the Province
His Reception at Portsmouth
Felicitous Commencement of his Administration
Lady Wentworth
The Governor's Interest in Dartmouth College and Road-building
Livius' Charge of Malfeasance
Political Antagonisms
Revolutionary Foreshadowings
Goes to Portsmouth
His Last Official Act
Subsequent Career and Death.

Chapter VI Page 74

Sketch of Dr. Ammi Ruhamah Cutter
A Notable Figure in the Early History of the Town
Other Proprietors
Judge David Bewail.

Chapter VII Page 80

The Governor's Farm
Innate Love of Earth
Influence of English Country Life upon Governor Wentworth
Location and Area of the Farm
The Mansion-house and Surroundings
How the Land was prepared
The Wall
The Park Promotion of Local Interests
The Piscataqua Canal
Roads to Canada
Pursuits of First Settlers of New Hampshire
Dr. Dwight's Characterization
Development of the Governor's Plans
His Intentions
Occupation of the New House
New Hampshire's Oldest Watering-place
Legendary Lore
The Governor's Slaves
The "High Gust of Wind"
Description of the Mansion in 1770
The Governor's Retainers
War Clouds Arise
Hurried Visit to the Farm
The Final Scenes of the Drama.

Chapter VIII Page 98

Happenings at the Farm after the Governor's Departure
His Exile
Confiscation of Property
Personal Effects Sold
The Cattle feed the Patriot Army
Plans for disposing of the Estate
The Cabotts* Purchase in 1782
Daniel Raymond becomes the Owner
Division and Sale of Land
The Mansion-house burned
Sad Reflections
Trend of Development of the Land
The Future of the Farm.

Chapter IX Page 105

First Settlers
Henry Rust clears Land
His Sons winter in the Town
His Wife
A Sketch of his Life
Reuben Libbey
Settler's Lot
Parker's Agent
A Town Official, Soldier, and Bear Hunter
Paul March and his Contract
Location of the Seven Farms
The Fifty-acre Lots
The Lucas, Newall, Avery, Manning, and Gould Interests
Second Farm
Samuel Tebbetts
Dudley L. Libbey
Blake Folsom
Daniel E. Leavitt
Third Farm
Joseph Lary
John Sinkler
Daniel Wiggin
Benjamin Webster
Fourth Farm
Thomas Piper sells Farm, and settles on Fifty-acre Lot
Two Sons in the Revolution
Timothy Piper's Family
John Piper's Remarkable Family
Ebenezer Meader purchases Piper's Lot
The first Pig arrives in Town
A Journey through the Forest
The Blacksmith
Fifth Farm
Thomas Taylor
First Male Child born
Benjamin Folsom
Jonathan Chase
A Centenarian
The Folsom Family
Sixth Farm
Benjamin Blake
Jonathan and Daniel Blake
Seventh Farm
Widow Mary Fullerton
Two Soldiers
The Daughters.

Chapter X Page 121

Other Settlers
Jacob Sceggel, His Son and Grandson
Aaron Frost, His Encounter with a Bear
Grafton Nutter
John Flagg
Jotharn Rindge
Robert Calder
James Conner
Enoch Thomas
Andrew Wiggin
Jonathan Hersey
John Parker
Matthew S. Parker
Henry Rust Parker
Moses and Ichabod Tebbetts
George Woodhouse
Thomas Triggs
Joseph Keniston
Samuel Hide
Joseph Leavitt
Abram Prebble.

Chapter XI Page 128

Local Government established
The Charter
The Annual Fair
The First Town-meeting
Officers chosen
Town-meeting Records
Examples of Phonetic Spelling
A Highway Surveyor's Warrant
Specified Duties of Town Officers
Benedicks Pounds
The Constable The Tithing-man
The Deer-keeper
The Race-ground
Early Fairs
Methods of Traveling.

Chapter XII Page 139

The Revolution Uncertainty prevails in 1775
Census of 1773 and 1775
Ammunition purchased
The Town acts
Moses Ham appointed Agent
Early Enlistments
Organization of the Train-band
Meager Records
Money and Labor given Difference as to Town Quota of Men
Town-meeting to provide Soldiers
Two Men enlist
Burgoyne's Raid
General Whipple's Letter
How the Soldiers were fitted out
No New Hampshire Conscripts Exempts
Town declines to send Delegate to Provincial Convention.

Chapter XIII Page 157

The Revolution
Reuben Libbey goes to War instead of a Substitute
His Hay-crop harvested by a Labor Tax
James Fullerton and James Wiggin enlist
Wiggin honorably discharged
Other Enlistments
New Hampshire furnishes the Army
Rum and Beef Progress of the Conflict
Bounties vainly offered
State supplies Town's Quota
Full list of Soldiers Their Service
Fatal Casualties
Town's War Debt
Farms attached for State Tax
Debt finally wiped out
Prospect for the Future.

Chapter XIV Page 174

Estes Family
Cotton Family
Rogers Family
Hersey Family
Martin Family
Brief Sketches of Other Families.

Chapter XV Page 185

Ebenezer Horne and his Success as a Road-builder
Something of his Family
Why Goose Corner was so-called
Roads built in all Directions
History and Description of the Ossipee Road
Other important Roads laid out since 1800
The Village Streets.

Chapter XVI Page 200

Nicholas Austin becomes Bumptious
Petition for New Town
Second Petition
Second Remonstrance
Parker's Bill
Road to Middleton
Interesting Correspondence on the Matter
Petition from Citizens of Ossipee
Wolfeborough Addition
Action of Selectmen on Petitions
Alton and Tuftonborough Annexations.

Chapter XVII Page 221

Varney Family
Bassett Family
Brackett Family
Jesse Whitten's Family
Haines Family
Hardy Family
Edmonds Family
Chamberlain Family
Nute Family
Nudd Family
Shorey Family
Some of the more Recent Arrivals.

Chapter XVIII Page 242

Inventory of 1788
A Good Growth indicated
Annual Town meeting of 1788
Action looking toward the Building of a Meeting-house.

Chapter XIX Page 254

The Meeting-house
Pledged Donation from Proprietors
Exchange of Lots
Labor Tax
New Proposal of Proprietors
Purchase of Pews and Sale of Lumber
The Builders
Time Required to Build
The Cost
House Described
Changed to Town-house
Its Final Disposition
Part of Lot Sold
The Burying-yard

Chapter XX Page 268

The Early Ministry
New England Custom
Andrew Collins
John Allen
Benjamin Randall
Isaac Townsend
Ebenezer Allen
His Call to be Town Minister
His Reply
Protest against Ordination of Townsend
Protest against Ordination of Allen
Ordination of Townsend
Ordination of Allen
The Sermon
The Charge
The Right Hand of Fellowship
The Entertainment
A Somewhat Spiritous as well as Spiritual Gathering.

Chapter XXI Page 295

First Minister's Lot
The Parsonage
Ministerial Tax
Varney's Petition Exempts The Lawsuit
The Glove Allen's Ancestry and Posterity
His Work and Character
Sudden Death
Sketch of Elder Townsend
Comparison of the Two First Clergymen.

Chapter XXII Page 306

Churches and Other Religious Organizations
First Church Organized
Christian Churches Established in 1812 and 1822
Co-workers Fernald and Townsend and Their Followers
Stephen Coffin Allen's Church
John P. Cleveland
The First Sunday-school
The Academy
Chapel Finished
Thomas P. Beach
Dr. Jeremiah Blake
The Methodists
The Friends
The Universalists
The Unitarians
The Adventists
The Catholics
Location of Churches.

Chapter XXIII Page 330

Andrew Collins
Isaiah Home
Grain Currency
Four Districts
Eight Districts
School Lot sold
Dudley Leavitt
The Fire List
The Sweeping List
Boarding around Little Republics
Brandy Scheme
School Committees Exhibit of Schools in 1840
District Two
District One
Union of Districts
High School
Town System Adopted
Exhibit of Schools 1898
Women Teachers come to the front
The First Stove.

Chapter XXIV Page 353

Early Banns Marrying and Giving in Marriage in the Old

Chapter XXV Page 402

Wolfeborough and Tuftonborough Academy
First Meeting of Proprietors Incorporation
Academy Lot Trustees
Building Officers and Students in 1823
Teachers and Students in 1836
Henry Wilson
Lyceum Christian Institute
Brewster Free Academy
Extract from Will of John Brewster
Charter Trustees
Teachers Academy Grounds
Early Libraries
Brewster Library
Town Trustees Appointed.

Chapter XXVI Page 417

Soldiers of 1812
Civil War Provision for Soldiers and Their Families
Enlisted Soldiers
Resident Survivors
Major James R. Newell
Major William H. Trickey
Captain Alvah S. Libbey
Officers who became Prominent Civil List of the Town.

Chapter XXVII Page 435

The Brewster Family
John Brewster and his Liberal Bequests to His Native Town
Text of a Portion of His Will.

Chapter XXVIII Page 444

Wolfeborough's Foremost Settler
Colonel Henry Rust and his Long Train of Descendants
The Four Henrys
The Three Worthies
The Parker Branch of the Family
Other Parkers.

Chapter XXIX Page 455

Carroll County Republican Established at South Wolfeborough
Carroll County Pioneer Carroll County Register
Granite State News
Carroll County Democrat
Sketch of Charles H. Parker
Lawyers and Doctors
Brief Sketches of Men famous in These Callings
"Squire" Batchelder
Charles F. Hill
William Fox
Sewall W. Abbott
Drs. Cutter, McNorton, Hall, Tebbetts, Pattee, and King.

Chapter XXX Page 468

Mills and Manufacturing
The Old Taverns
The Newer Summer Hotels
Banks Early Stores and Traders.

Chapter XXXI Page 477

The Avery Family
Samuel Avery's Connection with the Old Academy
Incidents in Life of Henry Wilson
Thompson Family
Huggins Family
Stevenson Family
Daniel Pickering, Wolfeborough's Leading Citizen
Charles Rollins
Thomas L. Whitton.

Chapter XXXII Page 493

Casualties and Fires
William Fullerton drowned the Year the Town was incorporated
Numerous Drowning Accidents
The Varney and Jerome Tragedies
Henry Rust's Boys burned out
The South Wolfeborough Fires
The Big Fire of 1887
Incendiarism Last Disastrous Fire.

Chapter XXXIII Page 600

Fire Precinct
Established Fire Engine Purchased
Hose Companies succeed Volunteer Firemen
Electric Light Plant Installed
Wolfeborough Water Works
Post Routes and Stages
Primitive Postal Facilities
The Dover-Sandwich Stages
Famous Drivers.

Chapter XXXIV Page 507

Early Transportation
Projects Roads and Canals
Facilities afforded by the Lake
Joseph Smith and his Gundalow
Old-time Rafting
The First Steamer, Belknap
The Lady of the Lake
Wolfeborough gets in Closer Touch with the World
Negotiations for Railroad Connections
Wolfeborough Road Finally Constructed
Difficulties Overcome Steamers
Dover and Mount Washington
Story of the Lady Famous
Old Craft of a Generation Ago
The Future Exports of Former Days.

Chapter XXXV Page 516

The Public Landing
How Judge Sewall disposed of his Lands in Wolfeborough
Smith's Bridge Village built on his Original Lot
Squatters on the landing
Sewall's Statement
Development of the North Shore.

Chapter XXXVI Page 522

The Early Homes of the Settlers
Methods of Building in Vogue
John Lary's Wife a True Helpmeet
Two-story Houses of Seventy-five Years Ago
Items of Interest about Them
Holidays of Our Fathers
The Country Store as a Resort
Town Meeting, its Serious and Sportive Side
Independence Day
The Glories of Muster.

Chapter XXXVII Page 528

Items of Interest
Bonus paid to take the Inventory
Whipping Post
Origin of Shad in the Lake
Big Storm of 1816
Bill for Burying a Pauper
Hot Political Frays
Town Surveyed
Thomas Chase's Wall
First Carriage, Umbrella, and Cider-mill
A Big Tavern
Bill Changes
Around the Lake
Front Two Famous Apples.

Chapter XXXVIII Page 532

Old Time Customs
How the Settler prepared and cultivated His Land
Spinning and Weaving
Food and Clothing
How they "Drove" Trees
Game of All Kinds
Plentiful Stimulants not frowned upon
The Pioneer's Axe
Plain Living and High Thinking.
Sketch Of Benjamin F. Parker


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Origin of Wolfeborough

At a meeting of the twenty-four town proprietors, held at the house of John Stavers, in Portsmouth, on the fourteenth day of November, 1759, at which Daniel Pierce was appointed moderator, and David Sewall, clerk, it was voted "that the township, in honor of the late renowned and illustrious General Wolf, deceased, be called Wolf-Borough."

It will be observed that the orthographic error in Wolfe's name was transcribed to that of the town. It was retained in the charter granted in 1770, and continued in general use for nearly a century. This method of spelling the name of the town has some-times led to the conjecture that it might have originated from the numerous haunts of that cowardly marauder then roaming in the forests the American wolf. The foregoing record, however, shows that the town was named in honor of the heroic English general, James Wolfe, who, on Sept. 13, 1759, at the age of thirty-three years, fell at the head of a victorious army on the Plains of Abraham, Quebec, while engaged in a battle with the French. Wolfe had previously associated with the New Hampshire soldiery in military expeditions on the eastern coast of the country, and was a very popular officer.

Wolfeborough is an uncommon name for localities. There is one town in England, one in the state of South Carolina, and one in the state of New Hampshire that bears the name. A neighbor-hood in the town of Stetson, Maine, in which a considerable number of Wolfeborough people settled about sixty years ago, is called the "Wolfeborough Settlement."