Bickford Tennant 1847-1915
James B. Tennant, one of the most prominent
business men of Epsom and an ex-member
of the New Hampshire
Senate, was born in Deerfield, N.H.,
May 26, 1847, son of Arthur and Ruth
O. (Sanborn) Tennant. He comes of English
stock. His great-grandfather was an
early settler in Portsmouth, N.H. Thomas
Tennant, the grandfather, who was born
in Haverhill, N.H., April 10, 1771 ,
owned and cultivated farms in Wentworth
and Hampton, N.H., during the active
period of his life. His last days were
passed in Wentworth , and he was about
eighty years old when he died.
He married Sarah Goodwin, who, born
in Wentworth , March 12, 1777, died
at the age of seventy-six. He and his
wife reared seven children, of whom
Arthur , James B. Tennant s
father, was the third-born. Of these
the only survivor is William, who married
of Rumney, N.H. and has three childrenIra,
Helen, and Lula.
Arthur Tennant was born in Wentworth,
September 18, 1812. When a very young
man he learned the coopers trade,
which he afterward followed in connection
with farming. At first he settled in
Pembroke. Later he moved to Epsom and
then to Deerfield, where he continued
to till the soil for several years.
He was largely interested in the live-stock
business, and was also engaged in lumbering
to some extent. He was a man of considerable
prominence in public affairs, having
served as a Selectman and in other town
offices; and he was one of the first
supporters of the Republican party in
this State. His death, which occurred
in Pembroke , April 9, 1880 , caused
general regret, as he was highly esteemed
as an able and upright business man.
His remains were interred in Deerfield.
Arthur Tennant first married Ruth O.
Sanborn , daughter of John Sanborn ,
a pioneer settler of Deerfield Of the
ten children born to this union, two
are livingEmma O. and James B.
Emma O. is the widow of Charles B. Fowler,
late of Pembroke; and her son, Alvah
T. Fowler, is now a student at Dartmouth
College. For his second wife Arthur
Tennant married Lizzie Fellows, of Deerfield,
who had no children. Both he and his
first wife were members of the Free
Will Baptist church.
James B. Tennant acquired his early
education in the common schools of Deerfield.
Subsequently he was a pupil of the Pembroke
Academy and the New Hampton Institute,
duly graduating from the latter school.
In 1869 he established himself in general
mercantile business in Epsom, and now
conducts a well-stocked country store.
He is also extensively engaged in the
lumber business as a member of the firms
of Tripp & Tennant & Tripp and
Fellows & Tennant. One of the firms
controls large tracts of timber land
in New Hampshire and Vermont, and also
owns and operates saw-mills in various
places for the manufacture of lumber.
Another enterprise of Mr. Tennant s
is brick-making, which he carries on
in Pembroke. He is a director of several
insurance companies and of the Suncook
Valley Railroad. He has been station
agent at Short Falls since 1869, and
is now one of the oldest station agents
on the Concord & Montreal Railway.
From 1870 to 1889 he was Postmaster
at Short Falls. This position he resigned
when elected to the State Senate, and
Mrs. Tennant has since held that appointment.
In politics Mr. Tennant is a Republican.
From 1882 to 1888 he was one of the
Commissioners of Merrimack County. He
was elected a State Senator in 1889,
and was a member of the House of Representatives
for the years 1891 and 1892, taking
part in the last annual and the first
biennial session of the legislature.
He has never sought for a town office;
but after the death of the Town Treasurer,
who was elected to serve the present
year, he was persuaded to take charge
of the towns finances for the
On February 10, 1873 , Mr. Tennant was
united in marriage with Ella M. Fowler.
She is a daughter of Samuel and Elvira
N. (Critchett) Fowler , of Epsom, who
had six children, of whom there are
livingJames W., Horace, and Josie
M. Mr. and Mrs. Tennant have no children.
Mr. Tennant is a Mason of the thirty-second
degree. He has occupied all the important
chairs in Evergreen Lodge, I. O. O.
F., Epsom, and was its Secretary for
several years; and he is a member of
the local grange of the Patrons of Husbandry.
In the course of his life he has visited
nearly every State in the Union, including
the extreme southern part and the Pacific
slope, thereby greatly enhancing his
knowledge of the wealth and business
possibilities of the country. From the
Merrimack & Sullivan Counties Biographical