Bickford was born in Epsom, N. H., December
2, 1797. He was the son of Thomas and
Olive (Haynes) Bickford. Thomas was
a farmer, shoemaker and tanner, and
at one period of his life was quite
a prosperous and successful man; but
most of his substance was spent before
his death. He had a family of seven
children, viz., - John, Mehitable, Samuel,
Nathan, Daniel, Olive and Dearborn.
Nathan was born at the old Bickford
homestead, near the present village
of Gossville. When he was a lad of sufficient
age he went to serve an apprenticeship
as clothier with a Mr. Currier. His
service expired when he was nineteen,
and he twenty-third year, when he remained
till his twenty-third year, when he
returned to his native town and bought
out a clothing and carding-mill on Suncook
River. He met with success in this enterprise
and continued it for more than a dozen
years, when, leasing his mill business
to another party, he embarked in the
lumber trade. At this he did, for a
period of about ten years, quite a large
business, rafting down the Suncook and
Merrimack Rivers. In the mean time he
conducted farming on a considerable
scale, having purchased, about 1830,
a farm lying adjacent to his mill.
After he relinquished the lumber business
he gave his entire attention to his
farm, and added to the original tract
at intervals during his life. He was
a man who was held in high esteem by
his fellow-townsmen, and he had ample
proof of their confidence by the various
positions of office and trust in which
they played him. He was selectman of
his town for many years and held various
minor offices. He was a member of the
State Legislature in 1836, and throughout
a long and busy life he retained the
implicit confidence and sincere respect
of those who knew him.
In politics he was an advocate of Free-Soil
party, and upon the organization of
the Republican party and up to the time
of his death he affiliated with that
In religious matters he was a Free-Will
Baptists and contributed largely to
the support of that church. He was a
man of large benevolence and generosity,
and gave of his means freely and with
unstinted hand to all worthy charities.
He married, May 12, 1823, Eliza W.,
daughter of Robert and Hannah (Osgood)
Dickey, of Epsom. They had five children,
Susan G., born February 25, 1824; married
Rev. Jonathan A. Knowles. They have
two children and reside in Manchester,
Salina O., born August 5, 1829; married
Captain Arthur C. Locke. One child living.
She died June 2, 1877.
Eliza A., born July 25, 1833; died,
unmarried, December, 1878.
Morrill D., born October 3, 1836; married
Eliza J. Hoyt, of Epsom, November 28,
1862. They have two bright and accomplished
daughters, - Susie A. and Addie E. He
was elected Representative of Epsom
to the State Legislature in 1885. He
has always kept up the lumber trade
which was started by his father.
Alfred P. married Lizzie J., daughter
of William and Maryett Goss, of Epsom.
They have four children, - William P.,
Nathan A., Alfred G. and Harry M. He
has always conducted the farm of his
Nathan Bickford died January 15, 1879,
aged eighty-one. Mrs. Bickford still
survives (1885), aged seventy-six.