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EPSOM, NEW HAMPSHIRE
LOELLA MARDEN BUNKER
THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY
As one studies the early history of Epsom and the surrounding towns we find they are much the same. The accounts differ but little except the dates, names of places and people. Yet we, the sons and daughters of Epsom, feel that she has a history all her own, and now at the 200th anniversary of our town it seems fitting that some of this history shall be placed before the people.
The town derives its name from a market town in England. It is bounded on the north by Pittsfield, south by Allenstown, east by Deerfield and Northwood and west by Chichester and Pembroke. It is six miles long and four and one-half miles broad.
Epsom was granted to the taxpayers of Rye, New Castle and Greenland in 1727 "according to the amount of their respective taxes".
"George, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith.
To all People to whom these presents shall come: Greeting: Know ye, we, of our special knowledge and meer motion, for the due encouragement of settling a new plantation, by and with the advice and consent of our council, have given and Granted, and by these presents, as far as in us lies, do give and grant unto all such of our loving subjects as were inhabitants and free holders in the year one thousand seven hundred and twenty-three, in our town of New Castle and in the Parish of Greenland, both within our Province of New Hampshire, in New England, to be divided among them in proportion to their Respective rates, which they paid in the year 1723 aforesaid, one tract of Land to be laid out at the head of Nottingham and Northwood of land formerly granted to the children of Sam'1 Allen, decsd., the same to be six miles in Breadth and four miles in depth, or in such other form as the land ungranted in that place will admit, so as it contains the same Quantity of Land, and the same to be a town corporate by the name of Epsom to the Pursons aforesaid forever. To Have and to Hold the said Tract of Land to said Grantees and their heirs and assigns forever upon the following conditions:
1st. That they build twenty dwelling houses and settle a family in each within four years and that they break up three acres and plant or sow the same in that length of time.
2nd. That a house be built for the worship of God within six years.
3rd. That one-hundred acres be set aside for a parsonage, one-hundred acres for the first minister, and the same amount for the use of a school."
Should trouble with the Indians arise before the end of the said four years the town shall be allowed another four years after the trouble has been settled. They were to pay for this grant the annual rent of one pound of good merchantable hemp, on the 1st day of December, yearly, forever if demanded.
"Reserving also unto us, our heirs and successors, all mast trees growing on said land according to an act of Parliament made and provided in that case."
"And for the better order, rule and Government of the said town, we, by these Presents, Grant for us, our heirs and successors, unto the aforesaid Proprietors, and those that shall inhabit the said Town, that yearly and every year, upon the first Wednesday in May, they may meet at any place within our Province of New Hampshire aforesaid until the settlement of the town is perfected, and afterwards in the said town, to elect and chuse by the major part of them constables, Selectmen, and all other Town officers, according to the Laws and usage of our aforesaid Province, with such power, privileges and authority as other towns and town officers within our aforesaid Province have and enjoy, and we appoint our Loving Subjects, Theodore Atkinson, Joshua Foss and Captain Samuel Weeks to be the selectmen to manage the affairs of the said town for the Present year and until others are chosen in their Room by the aforesaid proprietors."
"In Testimony whereof we have caused the seal of our said Province to be herewith annexed."
"Witnes John Wentworth, Esq. our Lt. Governor and Commander in Chief in and over said Province, at our town of Portsmouth, the eighteenth day of May, in the Thirteenth year of our Reign, anno Domini
1727 J. Wentworth."
No records show the precise time when the first settlement was made, but it would seem that there were some families in town several years before its incorporation.
The first settlement in the Suncook Valley was made here and it is said that not a tree was cut between here and Canada. Not a single clearing or neighborly smoke could be seen by these early settlers.
Among the first who began settlements were Samuel Blake, Charles McCoy, William Blazo and Andrew McClary.
McCoy built a house on the north side of what is now known as Sanborn's Hill and enlarged his farm by spotting the trees around the mountain which now bears his name. A daughter of his was the first white child born in town, and the proprietors gave her a tract of land- She has descendants living in town but not of the same name.
Samuel Blake came into Epsom when but fifteen years of age. He bought one hundred acres of land, near the center of the town, of the Indians and paid them ten shillings, turning in his jack-knife as one shilling, and then began to make a settlement. This farm is the one now owned by Mrs. Eleanora C. Nutter, she being a descendant of Samuel Blake. For several years the only place he had for baking was an oven built upon a large flat rock. This rock was long ago split and used for under pinning.
In 1738 the McClarys moved to Epsom and settled upon a rising knoll of land, upon which now stands the old McClary house. This large old-fashioned dwelling js built of huge timbers and has immense fireplaces which attest its age. As few changes have been made one can see the rooms as they were looked upon by the ones who built them one-hundred eighty-seven years ago. Many beautiful pieces of furniture have been handed down from past generations, each of which has its own story. The society of Cincinnatus held some meetings here. Franklin Pierce, Daniel Webster and many other distinguished men have been entertained in this home.
In fact, no house in our town is so rich in historical associations as the old McClary Homestead. This house is now owned by Mrs. Helen Barstow, a descendant of Andrew McClary, one of the first settlers.
The first meeting of the proprietors of Epsom was held at the ferryhouse in New Castle, December 4th, 1727. May 22,1732 at a meeting held at the court house in Portsmouth it was voted that twenty, fifty acre lots be laid out at some convenient place in the town.
"June 12, 1732 it was voted that twenty men draw these lots, and accordingly, the following men drew the first lots in town: James Sevey, No. 1; Richard Goss, No. 2; Thomas Berry, No. 3; Daniel Lunt, 4; Noah Sevey, 5; William Lock, 6; Samuel Dowst, 7; Zach. Berry, 8; Eben Berry, 9; Solomon Dowst, 10; Samuel Wallis, 11; William Wallis, 12; John Blake, 13; Josiah Foss, 14; Simon Knowles, I5; Paul Chapman, 16; Joseph Lock, 17; Jotham Foss, 18; Jediah Weeks, 19; James Marden, 20.
" Voted, "That the selectmen purches a town Book to enter the records in."
These lots were, for many years called the home lots and were upon either side of the road. There is reason to think that these families were not settled permanently until 1750.
October 16, 1732 it was voted that the town be laid out in four ranges each one mile deep, reserving a road four rods wide, between the 1st and 2nd ranges and between the third and fourth. Voted, "That all the land not before reserved and granted be laid out on the account of the proprietors, and that they draw lots for the same." At this same meeting it was voted that a "meeting-house" thirty feet long and twenty feet wide be built immediately, at the charge of the proprietors, and that Mr. Joshua Bracket, Mr. William Locke and Theodore Atkinson, Esq. be a Committee to find the persons who can do it the "quickest and cheapest."
In 1732 the selectmen of Nottingham notified the selectmen of Epsom that they wished to "perambulate" the bounds. Samuel Wallis, Richard Goss and Samuel Weeks were appointed a committee to act with those of Nottingham.
The following is the committee's return:
"We, whose names are under written, being appointed and hired by the selectmen of Epsom to perambulate the line, according to bounds, viz: Beginning at Nottingham head Line, four miles North eastward from Chester Line, at a maple tree marked with the letter N on the east side for Nottingham, and Ep. the West side for Epsom; from thence running West, North West four miles, to a large pine, which is one mile westward from Suncook River; from thence running North East and by North six miles to a tree westward of Suncook River; from thence running East, South East four miles, to a Hemlock tree, standing by Nottingham head line, six miles, to the maple tree first mentioned. Perambulated this twenty-third day of Sept. one thousand seven hundred and thirty-two."
By us, Samuel Wallis)
Walter Bryant, Surveyor
At a meeting held November 6, 1732 there were found to be one hundred and forty-three proprietors of Epsom living in Greenland, New Castle and Rye and on the 9th day of the same month these men drew their lots. It seems from the records, that there was left about two thousand acres of undivided land in the town after these above lots were laid out, and were known as common land.
In 1765 the General Assembly gave the town the right to sell this land and the money received from the same was to be used towards building the "meetinghouse". This land was sold at public auction August 19, 1783.
Voted at a meeting held January 17, 1733, that the name of the street from the meeting-house upward be called West Street, and down towards Nottingham, East Street.
It was also voted at this time that the proprietors of Canterbury be allowed to build a road four rods wide through the town of Epsom "as near West North West" as they could and avoid all unpassable places.
The early settlers had much trouble from the Indians, indeed, we are told that for a number of years, only the men dared to stay at the settlement during the summer and then they must have their guns very handy. For a long time their nearest garrison was at Nottingham. But finally a house was erected by Captain Andrew McClary, and near the residence now owned by Mr. Joseph Lawrence. It was surrounded by a high wall, and had a heavy gate that could be well fastened.
The Indians were first attracted to this new settlement by seeing McCoy at Suncook (now Pembroke). They followed him home. They told his wife, (whom they afterward made prisoner) that they looked through the cracks around the house and saw what they had for supper. The next day Mrs. McCoy went to see if some of the families had returned from the garrison. She found no one. When she came back, as she was passing the blockhouse which stood near the place where the first church was afterwards built, her dogs acted very strangely and much excited. This caused her to hurry home.
Upon telling her husband her adventure he felt very sure that the Indians were in town and he decided to set off next day with his family for the garrison at Nottingham. The next morning they fastened their house the best they could and started. The family at this time consisted of Mr. and Mrs. McCoy and one son as the younger children were still at the garrison. Mr. McCoy and his son had guns but no ammunition, as they used all they had for hunting. After a while Mrs. McCoy found it a little hard to keep up with her men folks and was walking a little behind them. The Indians, three men and a boy were hidden near the foot of Marden's Hill, not far from the place where the Mountain Road now joins the Centre Road. Here they allowed Mr. McCoy and his son to pass but when Mrs. McCoy came along one reached out and grabbed her and put his hand over her mouth and told her to make no noise. But she did cry for help and her husband turned to come to her aid, but when he did this the Indians raised their guns, and Mrs. McCoy, knowing her husband's gun was empty, motioned for him to go on. So he ran into the woods and escaped. This according to the history of Rev. Jonathan Curtis, took place August 21, 1747.
The Indians now took whatever they thought was of value from the homes. They took the apples from the only tree that bore in town, which was in the orchard now owned by Mr. John Griffin.
Before they started for Canada with their prisoner, they took her to a place near the Little Suncook, and left her with the boy, while they went away and were gone some time. She at first thought she would try to escape but she finally decided it would be best not to make the attempt as the Indians might return any minute. When they came back she felt very sure, from their smutty faces, that they had burned her house. She told them her suspicions and one of the Indians who could speak a few words of English said that they had.
They now started on their long, hard journey to Canada. When Mrs. McCoy returned a few years later she said that the Indians were very kind to her. The apples they had gathered they saved for her, giving her one each day. In this way they lasted until they reached Lake Champlain.
This fact gave to the tree on which the apples grew the name of "Isabella", this being Mrs. McCoy's name,
When it became dark and they stopped for the night one of the Indians would make a bed of leaves a little way from theirs and she would sleep undisturbed until morning. When they came to a river, one of the Indians would carry her over on his back.
When they got to Canada they sold her to a French family and she stayed until after the close of the war.
So pleasant was her home in Canada, and so unpleasant the quick temper of her husband, history tells us she said if it had not been for her children she never would have thought of taking the long journey home.
After this incident the Indians visited the town often but never caused any very serious trouble. The most damage they ever did to the property of the people was the spoiling of all the ox-teams in town. These belonged to McCoy, McClary, Samuel Blake and George Wallace. It was at a time when they were expecting trouble from the Indians and the people had all gone to the garrison, and had left their oxen to feed in the woods, with a bell upon one of them. The Indians found them, killed one in each yoke, cut out their tongues, took the bell and left them.
The kindness that the early inhabitants showed the Indians was, no doubt, the reason why so little trouble came from the savages.
The course taken by Samuel Blake did much to make a friendly feeling with the Indians. He won their respect and secured their friendship so that they never would harm him even when they had an opportunity.
The first time he ever saw them, they were coming toward his house from the direction of Sanborn's Hill. He ran for the woods and hid, and remained there until they had looked around his house and gone away. He decided that the next time they came he would try and get acquainted with them. So one day, towards evening when he was building a yard for the cow, the setting sun suddenly threw long shadows on the ground by him. When he looked up he found several Indians standing near him. He, of course, showed his fright, but they patted him on the head and told him not to be afraid as they would not hurt him. He took them into the house and they immediately looked in all the bottles for "occapee" which was their word for rum. When they found none they said they wanted something to eat and as he happened to have some
bear meat he gave it to them. They threw it on the fire and in a short time began to cut off pieces and eat it half raw. While they were doing this, he cut some slices and put them on a stick and broiled them for the Indians which pleased them very much. After their hunger was satisfied they asked to stay all night, which he allowed them to do.
The next morning they wanted him to try firing at a mark with them. This he did. It seems that he out-did them, much to their astonishment and disgust, but they patted him and asked him to go with them and be their "big captain". The three Indians who came to see him most were named Plausawa, Sabatis, and Christi.
At the close of the wars the Indians built several wigwams near where the Wallace brook empties into the Little Suncook. Plausawa and Sabatis were afterwards killed in "time of peace" by one of the whites, during a drunken quarrel.
Some of the first settlers, in that part of the town known as "New Rye", were the families of Wells, Brown and Cass. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Cass came to Epsom from Rye riding horseback from Portsmouth. They first built a log-cabin. After a few years they built a frame house which is now standing. It was built a short distance from the log cabin.
The nails, hinges and latches were made by hand. This place was in the Cass family until about eleven years ago.
One day Mrs. Cass heard a noise outside. She went out to see what was causing the commotion and saw a bear trying to get the pig. She killed the bear with a hoe.
Mr. Samuel Cass had a clock made in 1792. It was made by a blacksmith by the name of Joel Ame. He made his tools as he needed them in making the clock. Mr. George Cass of Pembroke, grandson of Mr. Samuel Cass, now owns the clock and it is still running and keeping good time. Mr. Samuel Cass sold a yoke of oxen for sixty- dollars to pay for this clock.
May 20, 1742. "Voted to raise thirty pounds to hire a minister."
"1743 Voted to raise forty pounds."
"In 1750 Voted to raise fifty pounds for the support of the Gospel."
1760 Voted one hundred pounds, old tenor, in money be raised to hire minister or defray charges.
At a legal meeting held in Epsom June 25, 1761 it was voted to call Mr. John Tucke to be their minister, at that same meeting they voted one hundred acres of land as a settlement, fifty acres of which were to be laid out and the other fifty in some convenient place, reserving the priviledge for "seting" of a meeting house and what of this lot is taken to be made up in the other lot. Also voted to pay the minister thirty pounds sterling, and that thirty cords of wood be cut and hauled annually to his house. At this same meeting they voted six hundred pounds, old tenor, towards building a minister's house, to be paid in labor if he accepts the call. He accepted the call. "August 1761. It was voted that Nathan Marden, George Wallis, Ephraim Locke be a committee to provide for the ordination, also that Benjamin Blake, Benson Ham and Amos Blazo be a committee to help the constable and tithing men in keeping order on that day.'
The house built for Mr. Tucke is the one now owned by Mr. Albion Ambrose.
Rev. Tucke preached here until 1774 when some of the people became dissatisfied and he was dismissed. He died a few years later while on his way to join the Revolutionary Army as chaplain. The homestead was sold to Simon Ames Heath in 1797 and was used by him as a tavern.
March 1781 it was voted that a "parsonage house" and barn be built upon the parsonage land, "where it shall be thought best." It was to be forty by thirty feet and two stories high. This first parsonage is the house now owned by Miss Bernice I. Piper.
The church was used by the Congregationalists until 1820 when other societies claimed the right to use it. They, however, used the old meetinghouse a part of the time until 1845 when they built a church at what is known as "Slab City" and the old meetinghouse was sold and moved to Concord.
This first meeting house we are told had large galleries, square pews and an immense sounding board. Each pew was furnished with a chair. Someone has said that it must have required "courage and firm principles" to have worshipped there in winter as there was no artificial heat. Some years after the church was built another building was erected called the vestry. It was on the land now owned by Mr. Ambrose. It was used for winter services and was a little more comfortable as it had a stove. The lower story was used as horsesheds and we are told that the horses shivered down below while the worshippers shivered in the room above.
Men with their collars turned up around their ears and women with their feet on foot stoves sat and listened through those long sermons. Someone has said that the sun shone through the windows, with a pale light, while the choir, helped by a tuning fork, sang "Old Hundred", "Shawmut" and "Downs" with an "adagio doloroso movement that could not help causing sleep."
The Free Baptist Church of Epsom was organized in 1824 by Rev. Arthur Caverno who was the first minister. This church has been blessed during the years of her existence. She has built two houses of worship, the first one being erected in 1834. Before that time the meetings were held in barns or in different homes. The second and larger church was built in 1861. Since then the inside of the building has been completely changed. It is now a church of which any country town might be proud.
Many of the people living in the southern part of Epsom attended the church at Allenstown, where there was a church of the Christian Denomination.
About the year 1860, Edwin T. Philbrick, then living in the part of Epsom called "New Rye" left his forge, reorganized the old church and was ordained its pastor. As most of those attending this church came from Epsom it was decided to build a new church in Epsom. This took place in 1861. Since 1881 there has been but little preaching by ministers of the Christian Denomination. Since that time it has been used more by the Congregationalists.
There seems to be no record of a school house being built until 1765. In that year by order of the selectmen a meeting was held at Captain Andrew McClary's to see about the building of a schoolhouse. They voted that the house should be twenty feet long and seventeen feet wide. Voted that it be on the lot set aside for a school. Voted that the cost of the house be paid in land or money. At the time Mr. Curtis wrote there were seven schools in town and five hundred dollars was raised each year for their support.
As the town grew new districts were formed until at one time there were nine school houses.
In 1854 the town hall was fitted for a school. Seats were bought by some interested citizens and on August 3 of that year a school was started. And every Fall for the next six years this work was carried on. We know almost nothing about the early teachers.
James Gray is said to have been a school teacher here before the Revolutionary War. Solomon Sutton and John Casey were two early teachers. Thomas D. Merrill, later in business, came into town first as a teacher. "March 1782. "Voted to raise one hundred silver dollars for the support of schools."
The following receipt was found:
"Received two pounds eight shillings for eight weeks school-keeping, over the river, in 1784, by me, Joseph Goss."
May 26, 1736 the town voted that Mr. Joshua Bracket, William Haines, William Wallis and Elias Philbrook be a committee to agree with one or more persons to build a saw mill at Epsom, the undertakers having the priviledge of supplying the town's people with boards for ten years, who are not to buy of any others until the ten years have expired. The owners of the mill are to sell the boards at the price they are sold at in other new towns. We have no record that any one took up with this offer, but very soon mills were in operation and in 1825 there were eight grist mills, ten saw mills, three carding mills, three clothing shops and four bark mills. There were two mills on Tarleton's Brook at one time, two on Deer Brook and at least ten on the Little and Big Suncook Rivers.
About 1786 John Tripp built a dam and sawmill at Short Falls. This mill was built on the west side of the river and the men took turns in sawing their lumber. Later another mill was built below the dam on the same side and was used to make paper, at first, and later was used for making cotton-batting. It was burned afterwards.
The grist mill and dam were built in 1839 by a company. It has been reconstructed once or twice. This mill has been the most successful of any in town. Farmers have brought grain thirty miles to be ground. But even this old mill-wheel now is still. At the present time there are only two mills in operation in town.
The events which made the Revolutionary War necessary had aroused the people of Epsom, so when the news of the Battle of Lexington was brought to town by a "swift rider blowing a horn" the people were not wholly unprepared.
Captain Andrew McClary was plowing in the "old muster field." It is said that he left his plow in the furrow and hurried to obey the call. His horse was a large iron gray one and so vicious that no one else could ride or govern him. McClary could jump upon his back and govern him with ease "by the power of his arm."
The sturdy men of the Suncook Valley seized their guns and power horns and started for the fray. They came from blazed paths and crooked roads. These men reached Nottingham about one o'clock, where they found a company of about sixty men, their number increasing the company to some over ninety. They left this place about one o'clock in the afternoon. They reached Haverhill at sunset, having walked twenty-seven miles in six hours. They stopped at Andover for supper, and then started on a night march, and on the morning of the 21st at sunrise they were parading on Cambridge Common. Those from Epsom had travelled seventy
miles in less than twenty-four hours. Doesn't that show what kind of stuff the men were made of who lived here one hundred and fifty two years ago? Can you imagine how these men looked? Some wore broad-tailed black coats, worsted stockings and three-cornered hats; others were dressed in home spun but all were wearing long stockings, knee and shoe buckles and heavy cow hide shoes.
I imagine their guns were as different as their clothes. We are told that only one gun had a bayonet. Powder horns were carried instead of cartridge boxes.
When the New Hampshire troops arrived at Medford they were divided into two regiments. The larger one chose Stark as their Captain and McClary for Major. For the next few weeks McClary was busy in training his men. On June 16th Col. Stark's regiment had orders to march to Bunker Hill. They formed in front of a house used as an arsenal and each man was given one gill of powder, fifteen balls and one flint.
It was after the battle of Bunker Hill that Maj. McClary was killed by a shot from one of the frigates anchored in the Charles and Mystic Rivers. He was said to have been the handsomest man in the army and the favorite of the New Hampshire troops. Thirty-four men took that wonderful march but at least eight of them did not come back alive. The names of the men who served in the Revolutionary War are given below:
Benjamin Berry, John Bickford, Samuel Bickford, James Blake, John Jenness, Osom Locke, killed at Bennington, Francis Locke, died at Chimney Point; Samuel Locke, Major Andrew McClary, killed at Bunker Hill; Captain Michel McClary, John McClary, died of a wound at Albany; Lieut. Andrew McGaffey, wounded at Bunker Hill; Neal McGaffey, Amos Morrill, Jethro Pettengill, Abraham Pettengill, died at Chimney Point; Benjamin Pettengill, Peter Pomp, a negro, died at Valley Forge; Simon Sanborn, died at Chimney Point; Noah St. Clair, wounded at St. Johns; John Wallace, killed at Bunker Hill; Weymouth Wallace, wounded at Bunker Hill; Theophilus Cass, Solomon Chapman, William McCrillis, killed at Bunker Hill; Capt. James Gray, Jonathan Chase, Richard Drowt, John Dyer, Moses Lock, John Mason, Samuel Goss, Eliphalet Sanborn, Samuel Lear.
The town voted in 1776 that all the men who went to Cambridge should be paid one-half dollar per day.
The following is a copy of a vote passed by the town relative to the men in the Revolutionary War, March 21, 1781, it was
"Voted, a Gift or Consideration to each of those soldiers who are engaged during the war in the Continental service for the town of Epsom five Heifers on the following conditions, according to the continuance in the service of the states, viz: for three years service from this date, five of three year old heifers; for two years service five two year old heifers; for one years service, five yearlings."
The home of Major Andrew McClary was an old time tavern. We of today know nothing about these institutions except as we read of them in history. We are told that this place was also express, freight, and post office combined. Daily papers were almost unknown and the weeklies published in the larger places were seen very seldom, so naturally the men collected at the tavern to learn the news and to tell what little they might have heard. It would seem that the "taverner" would be a man of influence. It seemed to be so in McClary's case.
A warrant beginning "State of New Hampshire: The Government and People of said State: To the Selectmen of Epsom, in the county of Rockingham, in said State, and issued by M. Weare, President of Council, and John Langdon, Speaker of the House, requiring the said Selectmen to notify the legal inhabitants paying taxes in the towns of Epsom, Chichester, and Allenstown, to meet at the meetinghouse in said Epsom, on Monday, the 8th day of December, 1777, for the purpose of electing one person having a real estate of two hundred pounds, lawful money, to represent them in the General Assembly to be held at Exeter in this state, on the third Wednesday of the same December", was signed by John Cate, selectmen in behalf of the others, as they were absent in the service.
At this meeting Col. John McClary was chosen representative.
In reading of the influential men who helped make Epsom's history, we find that Col. John McClary stands foremost.
He was born in Ireland and came to this country when very young. He became industrious and was a stern Presbyterian, quite different from his brother, Major Andrew. He had very little schooling but he must have had good judgment and common sense (and maybe more of this world's goods than some) or else he would not have been allowed to fill the high offices. He became one of the leading men in Epsom. He was justice of the peace under the provincial government and all law cases in Epsom were brought to him for settlement. He did scouting duty during the French and Indian War, was a captain in the militia at that time and became colonel before the Revolution. Tho' closely connected with the Royal Government, he took a decisive stand with the Colonists against British oppression; while his brother had the strong military spirit of the Suncook Valley, Esquire John had the Civil Authority.
He was an influential member of the first convention to organize a colonial government and also helped to frame our state government. He was also one of the Committee of Safety for six years. This committee had the power to call out the troops whenever they thought it was necessary. He was said to have been tall, erect, commanding, dignified and made an exceptionally good presiding officer. It was Col. John McClary who built a one-story house on the south side of the road. This house was enlarged from time to time until it became the "venerable" McClary homestead of today.
In 1783, at the close of the Revolutionary War, a large liberty pole was erected, and the scattered families of the Suncook Valley met to celebrate the declaration of peace. This pole was raised on Maj. Andrew McClary's farm, and it was afterwards taken to one of the school houses and placed a certain number of feet from the building, and was used to test the children's eyes.
Some over forty men served this town in the war of 1812.
The following is a list of these men: Captain Jonathan Godfrey, Lieutenant Eleck Brown, Ensign Daniel Goss, Paul P. Downer, John Sherburn, James Sanborn, John Fales, Ezra Allen, Benjamin Brown, Greenleaf Brackett, Samuel P. Cilley, Jonathan Bartlett, David Chapman, Samuel Cass, Samuel Goss, Jr., Isaac S. Greene, John S. Haynes, Daniel Locke, Jr., Daniel
Locke, Ebenezer Barton, Moses Hanson, Robert Coleman, Amos Langley, John Rand, Webster Salter, John Sanders (3d), Job Sanders, Reuben Sanborn, Levi Brown, Perkins Philbrick, Thomas Grant, Simon Philbrick, Samuel D. Page, Samuel Hazeltine, Charles Barton, Samuel Yeaton. These men enlisted for sixty days.
In Capt. Sam'1. Collins Co. Bickford Lang, 1st. Lieutenant, James Haynes, musician, Samuel Chapman. These enlisted for three months: Benjamin Clarke, Samuel Davis, Alexander Lear, David Tandy, John Ham, John Lang. In Capt. Bradbury Bartlett's Co., John Griffin, Jonathan Goss.
Before the railroad was built of course there was much travel and teaming through the town to Portsmouth, Dover and Newburyport. As a trip to Newburyport and return took several days it seemed necessary to have taverns along the way. Accordingly, the selectmen of the town in 1827 gave licenses to the following persons to keep open tavern for two years, each had to pay two dollars for the priviledge: William Yeaton, Jr., Col. Daniel Cilley, Abel Brown, Samuel Whitney, Robert Knox, Capt. Benjamin Locke, Capt. Simon A. Heath, Joseph Lawrence and Abram W. Marden.
For a number of years there was a toll gate at Yeaton's corner. The place is now owned by Mr. Alvah Yeaton and the old sign that was used at the gate can be seen at his home.
John H. McClary was the first postmaster and Samuel Morrill the second. In 1814 the following notice was printed in a Concord paper: "Letters remaining in the post office at Epsom; Curtis Coe, Barnstead; Dorcas Corey, Jonathan Clough, Loudon; Geo. Evans, Allens-town; Jane Gray, Daniel Haynes, Samuel Locke, Epsom; Josiah Mason, John Marden, John Sanborn, Chichester: Dudley Sanborn, William Yeaton, Pittsfield; Sam'1. Morrill, Postmaster.
At that time Epsom seemed to be one of the principal towns in this part of the state. It seems probable that the mail for other towns was sent here because of better mail facilities. This historical office was probably at his house, which was in the northwest corner of the field now owned by Mr. Luther Hall.
The office was later moved to "Slab City" because that was on the new turnpike. For several years the mail stage went from Concord to New Market. It left Concord Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and went back Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The drivers were the Willey Brothers and Charles Dearborn.
It is said that one spring there was a big freshet. The rivers over-flowed their banks and the big meadow in Cilleyville (now called Gossville) was covered with water. At this time Col. Cilley kept a tavern and owned a farm now occupied by Mr. M. C. Ford. He had a large pile of dressing in the meadow. When the stage came from Concord it got out of the road on account of the high water and the passengers and driver were marooned on the pile of dressing until Col. Cilley sent a boat to take them off.
A post office was established at Short Falls in 1871 and in 1882 one was opened at Gossville. Now most of the town has rural delivery and we expect before many years
all of our mail will be delivered by airplane.
The first inventory that we have any record of was made in 1793. There were 178 persons called residents. The land was divided according to its use. That year there was fifteen acres in orchards, one-hundred and fifty-one and one fourth in tillage, five hundred fifty eight acres in mowing and eight hundred nineteen acres of pasture. The rest was called unimproved land. This same year there was found sixty-five horses, one hundred thirty oxen, and two hundred five cows.
When the American Colonies became the United States there were 600,000 slaves and when the first census was taken the number had grown to 700,000. They were found in all the states except Massachusetts and we are told that Epsom had a slave at one time.
Our town sent about one hundred men into the Civil War. Of that number twenty-eight were killed or died of disease, seven were wounded, several suffered the horrors of a southern prison, and at least one died of starvation in Libbey prison. Most of those who came home had received injuries to their health from which they never fully recovered.
For four long years many mothers and wives did the work on the land and in the mills as well as their work in the home. The following is a list of the men from Epsom who served in the War of Rebellion:
John L. Lear, Co. C. 1st. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Joseph R. Cilley, Co. I. 1st. Reg. N. H. Vols., died in service.
James Taylor, Co. D. 2nd. Reg. N. H. Vols., killed in action.
William Wallace, Co, B. 2nd. Reg. N. H. Vols. died in service.
Wilber F. Brown, Co. B. 2nd. Reg. N. H. Vols., died in Andersonville prison.
Thomas M. Brown, Co. A. 1st. Mass. Cavalry.
William H. Weeks, Co. C. 2nd. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Andrew M. Weeks, Co. E. 3d. Reg. N. H. Vols., died of wounds.
Henry N. Lear, Co. E. 3d. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Andrew J. Pettingill, Co. 1. 3d. Reg. N. H. Vols., wounded.
Sergt. George S. Bixby, Co. H. 4th. Reg. N. H. Vols. In Libbey prison, Belle Isle and Salisbury Prisons from August 16, 1864 till Feb. 28, 1865.
Corp. John H. Goodhue, Co. H. 4th. N. H. Reg. Vols., died.
John T. Buzzell, Co. H. 4th. N. H. Reg. Vols.
George H. Hoyt, Co. H. 4th. N. H. Reg. Vols., In Libbey, Belle Isle and Salisbury Prisons from August 16, 1864 till Jan. 1865 when he died.
James Dowst, Co. I. 5th. N. H. Reg. Vols., killed. ("The 2nd. N. H. Vols. travelled more than 6.000 miles, participated in over 20 battles and lost upwards of 1000 men, William W. Weeks.")
George H. Cilley, Co. C. 10th. Reg. N. H. Vols., died of disease.
Abraham Bickford, Troop I. 1st. N. H. Cavalry, wounded.
Joel L. Sanborn, machinist U. S. Steamer, Sloop of War Kearsarge.
Andrew J. Hall, Co. E. 2nd. Reg. Illinois Cavalry.
Henry H. Lane, Co. B. 3rd. Vermont Volunteers.
Corp. John Hamilton Hall, Co. C. 137th. Reg. N. Y. S. Vols., discharged for general disability.
Enoch T. Brown, 11 unattached Heavy Artillery.
Benjamin W. Carson, Co. D. 18th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Stephen B. Bartlett, Co. A. 18th. Reg. N. H. Vols.,. wounded.
Rufus S. Marden, Co. A. 18th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Diah Lovejoy, Co. A. 18th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Jerry H. Nute, Co. D. 18th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Henry C. Love joy, Co. E. 18th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Henry C. Goss, Co. I. 18th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Moses Chamberlain, Co. B. 18th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Life Wiggin, Co. D. 18th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
David Marden, Co. G. 18th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
James M. Clark, Jr., Co. A. 18th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
John S. Ham, Co. I. 6th Reg. N. H. Vols.
Lieut. Chas. J. Brown, Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Sergt. John M. Weeks, Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols., in hospital, discharged for disability.
Joseph Seley, Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols., died of wounds.
Edwin H. Sherburne, Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged for disability.
William B. Perkins, Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols., died.
Robert Crawford, Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols., died.
Ambrose D. Haynes, Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols., died.
Hiram B. Haynes, Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols., died.
Corp. Wm. T. Grant. Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged for disability.
Benjamin F. Robinson, Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols., Unknown.
James W. Marden, Co. I. 6*. Reg. N. H. Vols., hospital.
Ebenezer K. Marden, Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged for disability.
John H. F. Philbrick, Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols., killed in action.
John N. Emory, Co. I. 6th. Reg. N. H. Vols., died of disease.
Harvey Marden, Co. A. 7th. Reg. N. H. Vols., died.
William Yeaton, Co. H. 8th. Reg. N. H. Vols., died of disease.
Thomas W. Emerson, Co. F. 9th. Reg. N. H. Vols., Andersonville and Florence Prisons.
Dennis H. Troy, Co. F. 9th. Reg. N. H. Vols., In prison, died in service.
Brevt. Maj. Gen. U. S. Vol. John B. Sanborn, 4th. Minn. Infantry.
George W. Ham, Co. E. 1st. Reg. N. H. H. A.
Thomas W. Brown, Co. A. 1st. Reg. Mass. Cavalry, hospital.
Chas. H. Hall, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged for disability.
Jefferson A. Edmunds, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged for disability.
Josiah D. Langley, Co. E. llth. Reg. N .H. Vols., discharged for disability.
Chas. Quimby, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., Taken prisoner twice but escaped.
Benjamin B. Yeaton, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged for disability.
Chas. Gordon, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged for disability.
Wm. Burnham, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged for disability.
Hollis M. Ham, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., killed.
Samuel T. Bickford, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Rufus D. Doe, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., wounded.
2nd. Lieut. Gilman B. Johnson, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Quarter-master, Wm. W. Critchett, Co. C. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols.
John A. Sargent, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged on account of wounds.
Sergt. John H. Philbrick, Fort Constitution, Portsmouth, N. H., wounded.
Corp. Ira Meserve, Co. F. 12th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Sergt. Jeremiah Burnham, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols. discharged on account of disability.
Chas. W. Leighton, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged on account of disability.
Lauren A. Leighton, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., died.
Corp. Thomas E. Bickford, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., died of wounds.
Capt. Arthur C. Locke, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged for disability.
Henry G. Lake, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged for disability.
Chas. W. Tarleton, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., hospital.
Edwin A. White, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Chas. Lamprey, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., died of disease.
Chas. A. Giles, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., wounded.
Chas. E. Flower, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols. wounded.
David Brown, Jr., Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., died of disease.
John D. Dow, Co. E. llth. N. H. Vols., died of disease.
Corp. Elbridge Batchelder, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., wounded.
Corp. Samuel Bickford, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged for disability.
John Cotterell, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., died.
John H. Fife, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., died.
Benjamin Bickford, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., hospital.
Rufus Baker, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged on account of disability.
Wm. S. Morrill, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Willard B. Moore, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., died of wounds.
Levi G. Young, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., died.
Corp. Chas. A. Chapman, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols.,wounded.
Corp. Ebenezer B. Hoyt, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Daniel Hall, Co. E. llth. Reg. N. H. Vols., discharged on account of disability.
Fred F. Brown, Co. H. 14th. Reg. N. H. Vols., hospital.
William Buzzell, Co. H. 14th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
S. S. Johnson, Co. C. 15th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Thomas J. Ames, Co. D. 15th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
John C. Brown, Co. D. 15th. Reg. N. H. Vols., hospital.
Chas. A. Brown, Co. D. 15th. Reg. N. H. Vols., hospital.
Corp. Geo. H. Rand, Co. D. 15th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Walter G. Brackett, Co. D. 15th. Reg. N. H. Vols., died of disease.
Calvin D. Johnson, Co. D. 15th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
John S. Griffin, Co. D. 15th. Reg. N. H. Vols.
Sergt. Chas. A. Towle, Co. D. 15th. Reg. N. H. Vols., hospital.
After the Civil War Epsom seemed to have a peaceful time a number of years. She has always been progressive, and has been quick to accept all new inventions which have been for her good in any way.
During these years a railroad has been built also a shoe factory was erected which did a flourishing business for a number of years, several secret societies were organized, a library was built, the gift of Mr. John Dolbeer and Mr. and Mrs. C. S. Hall, telephones installed, automobiles have come into general use, electricity is in nearly all homes and the radio almost a necessity.
"Webster Park" was given to the town by Mr. Benjamin Webster. He was one of Epsom's sons being born at Short Falls. The first few years of his life were spent here, but the later years were passed in Portsmouth. He also gave a one thousand dollar bond to the library. Epsom's sons and daughters appreciate these gifts.
The World War.
Epsom responded, loyally, as ever, to the call for volunteers in our World War. The following are the names of those who went from this town:
Arthur Wells, enlisted in the 94th Canadian Regiment in 1916.
Leon Waterhouse, enlisted in Co. L. 104th. Infantry 26th. division. Stationed at Camp Bartlett and then went to France.
Albert Yeaton, enlisted in Quarter master's Corps; afterwards changed to Motor Truck Co. then transferred to Motive Transport Service Stationed at Fort Sam Houston and Fort Stanley, Texas.
Clyde V. Dutton, enlisted in Aviation Corps.
Forrest Ambrose, enlisted in Engineers Corps. Co. A. 547th. Service Batallion. Stationed at Fort Slocum, N. Y. Camp Humphreys, Va. Camp Jackson, Tenn. and then went to France.
Frank Ambrose, enlisted in the Artillery, 14th Battery, stationed at Fort Slocum, N. Y. South Carolina, Camp Merritt, N. J. then went to France.
Millard E. Dalton, enlisted in Coast Artillery (Anti-air craft) 50th Battery 6th Anti Air Craft Sector. Stationed at Fort Schuyler, Fort Totten. Fort Hamilton, Camp Mills, then went to France.
Trescott Griffin, enlisted in Co. H. Battery D. 37th. Reg. C. A. C. Stationed at Durham College, Fort Hancock, Sandy Hook, N. J. Camp Eustis, Va. Camp Wright, Fisher's Island, N. Y.
John S. Clark, enlisted in 28th Co. 7th Battery, Depot Brigade. Stationed at Camp Devens.
George Stone, enlisted in the Artillery, 39th Co. 10th Battery, 1st. Reg. Stationed at Camp Devens.
Percy E. Hall, enlisted in 12th. Co. 152nd. Depot Brigade. Stationed at Camp Upton, N. Y.
Louis Demers, enlisted in Infantry, Co. E. 2nd. Battery. Stationed at Durham College, N. H. C. S. A. T. C.
Harold J. Tripp, enlisted in Infantry Co. H. N. H. C.
S. A. T. C. stationed at Durham.
Ferdinand Zinn, Jr., Stationed at Fort Constitution, then with army of occupation in Germany.
Lester B. Young, enlisted in Medical Corp., stationed with Motors Ambulance Co. 36. Transferred to Post Hospital Proving Grounds, Aberdeen, Maryland.
Four of these saw service in France.
Fred Laurence Bulfinch, enlisted in Medical S. A. T. C. Co. E. 2nd. Battery. Stationed at Boston, Mass.
During the last two hundred years there have been many different stores in town. One of the first, perhaps, was at the home of Maj. Andrew McClary. Another old store was at Epsom Old Center and was kept by Thomas D. Merrill for nearly half a century. It was said to have been a long low building, and was the center of trade for this vicinity. It is said that he came into town with his worldly goods tied in a handkerchief. He was one of the old schoolmasters of the town before going into business. After he moved to Concord, Griffin and Knowles kept store and the building was burned while occupied by them.
One of the first stores, at what is now known as Short Falls, was kept by a Mr. Whitney. The store was near where Almon Worth's house now is. After this a Mr. Jenness had a store where Mr. Lombard now is doing business, and for many years that corner was called Jenness Corner. Cram Bros, had this store for a while and then the building was moved to Allenstown and
used as a store by Mr. Russ until it was burned. Several people kept store on the same corner only in a large house, until Arthur Tennant, father of James Tennant, bought the spot and the building now occupied as a store and dwelling house was erected.
One of the first stores in what is now called Gossville, was kept by Silver and Robinson. The building was formerly the first church built by the Free Baptists. When they built their new church the old one was moved to its present location. It has been enlarged since. In the back part of the store can be seen upon the floor the division marks of the old pews. This store is now owned by Silver and Young.
The building now used by W. H. Knowles for a store was at one time a tavern. Gen. Benjamin Locke, who was one of the men licensed by the town to keep a tavern, did a thriving business at this place. He also had a store and he got his goods from Durham, bringing them over the road with horses. The stage driver used to stay here overnight.
Mr. and Mrs. Locke were the parents of seventeen children.
One morning when Mrs. Locke was sweeping the steps she saw her brood of chickens. There were several black ones and only one white one. They were about ready for broilers. As she was looking at them a gentleman stopped at the door and asked Mrs. Locke how soon he could have that white chicken for his breakfast. She said. "In about twenty minutes." She called her son James and told him to cut off the chicken's head. He did so and she prepared the bird and the gentleman was eating his white chicken inside of twenty minutes. This man was afterwards governor of Massachusetts.
Mr. Henry Knox kept store after Mr. Locke and then Mr. Henry Knowles bought the place in 1876. He was the storekeeper at this place for over thirty years. The business is now carried on by his son Mr. W. H. Knowles and Grandson George W. Knowles.
It is said that the Indians in one of their visits to Sergeant Blake's asked him to give them some lead for making bullets. He told them he had no lead but that he had a mould for running balls. They went away and returned in a short time with some ore from which they extracted quite a bit of lead. They seemed to have all of this mineral they needed, and Blake used to buy it of them, but they never would tell exactly where they got it. They said they found it in Wallace's brook near which they had some wigwams.
Someone has said that one time after a freshet, a quantity of silver was found, near Deer Brook. A man by the name of Simonds found the silver and had it made into a spoon. But we have no record of any being found since.
During Mr. Jonathan Curtis' pastorate there was a Social Library in Epsom. At least one of the books of this library is in town at the present time. There were about 100 volumes in it. But Mr. Curtis says it did not contain the writings of any very late authors or any of the useful periodical publications upon religion and agriculture which are very desirable to such associations.
The surface of the town is quite uneven, often rising into quite high hills. Four of the highest ones are called mountains. McCoy's named after Chas. McCoy, one of the first settlers, is
about a mile and one-half from the center of the town. Fort Mountain is the highest of the four. Jonathan Curtis in his early history of Epsom said that it probably was called Fort Mountain because of an eminence near the top resembling a fort. From the top of this mountain, on a clear day, the ocean can be seen.
Nat's Mountain about one-half mile from Fort Mountain was given that name because Nathaniel, one of the McCoy children, who had been lost in the wood while hunting for the cows, was found upon it. It is said that he was lost quite a while and lived on berries and that when found he was afraid of those who discovered him.
Nottingham Mountain was named this because the old Nottingham (now Deerfield) line went across it.
A few years ago a band of women formed a society at Epsom Center for their own enjoyment and instruction and named it the Epsom Historic Club. Mrs. R. W. Heath was the president and Miss Mary Wallace the secretary. They were much interested in the history of their town and were instrumental in erecting the tablets that mark three historic spots in Epsom: The place where the first church was built, the spot where Mrs. McCoy was captured and the place where the garrison was located. The town should feel deeply grateful for this work.
Epsom Old Center that once was so active a place has now taken on a quiet, sleepy atmosphere. Here once was a meetinghouse, block house, school house, store and tavern. Of these buildings only the school house and tavern remain. The latter being used as a dwelling house. Even the school is closed which has given to the place most too much quietness.
The locomotive now whistles in the valley below and, of course, business has moved that way, but the residents still have the beautiful elms and the wonderful, far reaching scenery.
Throughout the town there are many wonderful old houses. But their history would fill books and take much time to write. Yet what interesting and inspiring reading it would make.
The writer feels that wonderful as Epsom's history is she has been negligent in at least one respect. She has failed to provide a suitable and lasting memorial to those heroic men and boys who offered (and many of them gave) their lives that she might have liberty and peace. It is for this reason, that the names of the heroes of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, War of the Rebellion and the World War have been written in this sketch, that we might show, even tho' in a very small way, our appreciation of their sacrifices.
The following items from the town records may be of interest.
March 17, 1779, "Raised $600. for the repair of Highways in labor at three dollars per day." Aug. 23, 1779, it was "Voted to send a man to Concord, in this State, to meet in convention in order to regulate the prices of the Necessaries of Life; also Voted Lieut. Samuel Osgood be appointed for the purpose"
"State of New Hampshire,
This may certify that Amos Morrill has within twelve months past wrought in his own Blacksmith Shop in Epsom one Hundred Thousand of Ten penny Nails, and that he is Intittled to a bounty agreeable to a law of this State."
"Thomas Babb" ) Selectmen "George Sanders")of Epsom.
"Epsom, 16th, March, 1791" "March 16, 1791:
This May Certify that Amos Morrill has made it appear to me that he has within twelve months past wrought one Hundred Thousand of Ten penny Nails in his own Blacksmith Shop in Epsom."
"Attest" Michl McClary, J. P.
"August 12, 1791."
Received an order on the Treasurer for five pounds"
"Epsom, Oct. 2, 1783Received of Micheal McClary the sum of five hard dollars for preaching one Sabbath."
"By Me Oliver Noble." "Epsom, March 13, 1789."
Received of Mr. Josiah Sanborn, Agent for the town of Epsom for ye year 1788, eight Bushels of Wheat, thirty-nine Bushels and one-fourth of Rye and thirty Bushels of Potatoes." Rec'd per me"
"March 1787, it was Voted, that the town of Epsom purchase a cow and lend her to Israel Clifford." A few years after the records show that the town voted to sell this cow and use the proceeds towards paying the debts of the town.
The writer of this sketch wishes to thank the following people for their assistance:
Mrs. Annie M. Fowler.
Mrs. Sarah N. Holmes.
Mrs. Estelle Hall.
Mrs. Emily G. Bickford.
Mrs. Elizabeth M. Bixby.
Mrs. Helen S. Barstow.
Mr. Fred W. Yeaton-deceased.
Mr. Albert D. Sherburne.
Mr. John W. Griffin.
Mr. Kenneth J. Yeaton.
Mr. Hollis Hall.
Mr. Gilbert Knowles.
Historical Committee for the 200th anniversary of the settlement of Epsom.
.... of ....
HAMPSHIRE 200th ANNIVERSARY
.... at the ....
AUGUST 24, 1927
saturday, august 20th
8:00 P. M.Bonfire on Fort Mt, ushering in Old Home Week.
sunday, august 21st
10:30 A. M.Sunday Service at Baptist Church. Special music. Historical sermon.
2:30 P. M.Sunday Service at New Rye Church.
6:30 P. M.Sunset Service at Epsom Center on site of first meeting house.
wednesday, august 24th at the McClary Homestead.
9:30 A. M.Ball game.
11:30 A. M.Band concert.
12:00 M.Basket lunch.
2:30 P. M.Historical Pageant. (Light refreshments will be on sale at the grounds.)
8:00 P. M.Evening Program: at I. O. O. F. Hall, at Short Falls. Norman Arnold, of Boston, Soloist. Lillian F. Come, Reader, and Orchestra.
Through the courtesy of Mrs. Helen Barstow, the McClary House will be open to visitors on Wednesday from 11 A. M. to 1:30 P. M.
Walter H. Tripp
Benjamin M. Towle
Charles M. Steele
General Town Committee assisted by sub-committees composed of more than a hundred other citizens of Epsom, dated 1727-1927
OF EPSOM, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Presented by two hundred of her citizens, not as a spectacle, but in commemoration of the worthy lives of their ancestors, under the direction of Mary E. Philbrick, Author of the Pageant.
George S. Yeaton, Chairman, Martha F. Dowst, Alice F. Tripp, Verna W. Hunt, Helen T. Rand, Mary E. Q. Philbrick, assisted by Mrs. W. H. Dunlap and Herbert W. Rainie of Concord.
PAGEANT OF EPSOM
Sponsors: Alice F. Tripp, Helen T. Rand.
Heralds announce the coming of Epsom who is attended by Religion, Education, Courage and Industry.
She calls for History who conies, preceded by dancing Spirits of the Wilderness, and unrolls a scroll bearing the dates 1727-1927.
Heralds: Laura Y. Bickford, Lena S. Wells.
Epsom: Helen E. Steele.
Religion: Loella M. Bunker.
Education: Helen T. Rand.
Courage: Alice F. Tripp.
Industry: Chloe M. Atwood.
History: Annie M. Fowler.
SPIRITS OF THE WILDERNESS
Sponsor: Bessie H. Reid; Lucille R. Marden, Loretta R. Hall, Minta L. Batchelder, Doris M. Kimton, Eunice S. Philbrick, Genella E. Barton, Wilma L. Elliott, Marguerite Stanley, Hazel A. Philbrick, Ellen Zinn, Hattie Zinn, Evelyn O. Osborne, Hattie E. Ambrose, Edna V. Ambrose, Elinor E. Bartlett, Bessie H. Reid.
Sponsor: George H. Haynes
FRIENDLY DEALINGS OF THE EARLY
SETTLERS WITH THE INDIANS
The first settler's home, that of Charles McCoy, has already been established, when, in 1733, Samuel Blake (later known as Sergeant Blake) a boy fifteen years old, son of John Blake of Hampton, buys from the Indians a tract of land, adjoining the McCoy place, for ten shillings, giving in payment nine shillings and a jack knife.
Samuel Blake: Jackson R. Bickford.
Ten years later Sergeant Blake's house has been built near a large flat rock where for a long time the cooking is done out of doors. Mrs. Blake with her baby near, is cooking the evening meal. Sergeant Blake is out building a fence for his cow when he is startled by the shadows of three Indians cast by the setting sun. He is about to run away when the Indians, Plausawa, Sabatis and Christ! tell him not to be afraid for they will not hurt him. They pat him on the head and tell him that they only want occapee (rum) and something to eat. He tells them that he has no rum but to come to the house and he will feed them. Mrs. Blake hurriedly takes the baby into the house while he
gives them bear meat which they toss upon the fire whole and begin to eat before it is cooked. He then broils for them pieces stuck on pointed sticks and they are pleased. Their request to remain for the night is granted.
Sergeant Blake, John G. Chesley; Mrs. Blake. Eleanora C. Nutter; Baby Blake, Edward H. Nutter; Plausawa, George H. Haynes; Sabatis, George W. Atwood; Christi, Clarence M. Libby; Young Indian, Guy Pike.
War Dance Indians: Earl Pike; Nelson Osborne; John Yeaton; Wendell Kimton; Verne McKenzie; Robert Clogston; Richard Clogston; Harold Wing; Connell Stanley.
The next morning Sergeant Blake and the Indians practice firing at a target. After Sergeant Blake has won in this shooting match, the Indians ask him to go with them and become their "Big Captain."
Sergeant Blake's cow is lost and he is hunting for her near the Sinclair Brook (now called the Mountain Brook) when he hears a shrill whistle which he knows comes from Plausawa. He runs for home as the old Indian who had been fed the bear meat, expected him to, thus escaping the bullet of a young brave who had aimed at him.
Sponsor: Walter J. Philbrick. School Children
It is a frosty October morning prior to 1747 when the bare-footed children of the McCoys, the McClarys, the Blakes, and the Wallaces are seen hunting for chestnuts to add to the store of food.
They pick burrs from their toes and sit on sun-warmed stones to cuddle their feet under them.
They begin to play "London Bridge is Falling Down" when a school master comes with a stick and drives them into school in a dwelling house as there is, as yet, no school house.
Schoolmaster: Walter J. Philbrick. School children: John R. Brown, Patricia W. Fowler. Phyllis E. Hunt, Andrew J. Kyle, Jr., Clifford Osborne, Ethel Osborne, Olive Osborne, Myra Osborne, Riley Osborne. Priscilla E. Wells, Elwood 0. Wells, Eugene Y. Wells, Virginia L. Wells.
Sponsor: George H. Haynes
THE CAPTURE OF ISABELLA McCOY
On August 20, 1747, Charles McCoy goes over to Pembroke to find out if there are any Indians near and sees some, three of whom follow him home. Mrs. McCoy is watched by Indians while she goes to her neighbors' homes finding them deserted. They then decide to go to the block house at Nottingham where their younger children and neighbors are already. Indians look in through the cracks in their house while they are at their evening meal. While the family sleeps the Indians keep silent vigil, but yet with thoughts of the war dance of their tribe.
Charles McCoy, Elbridge M. Bartlett; Isabella McCoy, Mabel T. Bartlett; John McCoy, Macbeth G. Bartlett.
THE CAPTURE OF ISABELLA McCOY
The next morning, Mr. McCoy secures his house as best he can and he and his son John carrying guns, although without ammunition, lead the way to the block house followed by his wife Isabella, who cannot keep up with them. At the foot of Marden's Hill (now often called the Carter Hill) Mrs. McCoy is snatched by one of the two Indians lying in ambush with Plausawa and her
mouth is covered by his hand. Her plight is discovered by her husband and son, who, advised by her motions, run into the woods and escape. She is hidden and left in charge of an Indian boy. Loot from various homes including a trammel from the home of George Wallace is also left as well as all the apples from the only tree bearing in town. She thinks of attempting to kill the boy, with the trammel. Plausawa and the other Indians return with blackened faces after burning the McCoy house and Mrs. McCoy is started for servitude in Canada being fed apples on the way.
Sponsor: McClary Grange, Margaret D. Haynes, Chairman
Neighbors gather bringing their spinning wheels. Some spin, some knit, some quilt and finally some of the young people dance the minuet.
Margaret D. Haynes, Emma J. Bickford, Ella M. Yea-ton, Mabel H. Cofran, Jean M. McGregor, Nora A. Murby, Sarah N. Holmes, Carrie V. Cass, Susie M. Butler, Verna W. Hunt, Emma Hall, Lena Sawyer, Florence L. Yeaton, Lizzie J. Bickford, M. Evelvn Yeaton, Annie L. Towle, Alice L. Kendall, Alida J. Cass, Nellie F. Sherburne, Doris H. Butler, Laura H. Hunt, Charles E. Butler, Keith F. Rand, Wayne B. MacGregor, Charles W. MacGregor, Grace E. Yeaton, Neal A. Wells, Marieta F. Yeaton, Ida M. Fowler.
Orville Bickford and Dorothy T. Rand, Harry G. Hager Jr. and Lucille Demers, Charles D. Hager and Mary E. Fife, Hariett E. Hager and George F. Dowst.
Sponsors: Walter H. Tripp, Karl F. Rand
scene I .
Following a meeting of the Committee of Safety, the voters come to the McClary home and sign the "Association Test" in which they "solemnly engaged and promised that they would to the utmost of their power and at the risk of their lives and fortunes, with arms, oppose the hostile proceedings of the British fleets and armies against the United American Colonies."
Committee of Safety
Squire John McClary, Walter H. Tripp; Capt. Jeremiah Prescott, Blanchard H. Fowler; Nathan Harden, Benjamin M. Towle; Thomas Blake, William H. Knowles; Ensign McClary, James M. Steele.
April 20. 1775, Major Andrew McClary is seen holding the plow behind a pair of oxen when a swift rider appears blowing a horn and telling the people of the battle of Concord and Lexington. He leaves his plow in the furrow and runs to the house for his large iron-gray horse which he mounts, and rides away to join Stark's forces swearing that he will kill one of the devils before he comes home.
The farmers hastily come from their homes, thirty-four in all, and start on a run for Nottingham to join the other men and, on foot, make the journey to Medford that night, covering seventy miles in fourteen hours.
Symbolical figures of Death, Privation, and Disease are seen amongst them, marking them for their own.
Gen. Andrew McClary, Karl F. Rand; Messenger, Maurice C. Ford.
Revolutionary War Soldiers: John P. Yeaton, Grover T. Stevens, George Kelley, Albert H. Stevens, Jesse A. Hunt. Edwin R. Yeaton, Ralph L. Cass, William E. Yeaton. Oliver C. Lombard, Everett O. Foss, John W. Murby,
Walter B. Huckins, Frank W. Sawyer, George H. Knowles, Minot R. Yeaton, Harry G. Hager, Millard J. Yeaton. Lewis H. Nutter, Fred W. Yeaton, Richard G. Worth, Clarence Cox, Herbert S. Stanley, Harry Sherburne, Moses Q. Burnham, Frank E. Hurd, Lorne E. Skinner, Ellery C. Straw, Olaf A. Ring, Guy T. Pike, Wesley J. Tallman, Albion Ambrose, Thomas A. Yeaton, Roscoe E. Kelley, Nathan J. Goss.
ERECTION OF THE LIBERTY POLE A CELEBRATION
Sponsor: The Men's Bible Class of the Baptist Church Chairman: John W. Cox
After peace is declared the people of the Suncook valley meet on the Muster Field at Major McClary's and erect a Liberty Pole.
John W. Cox, Emmett Russell, Bert D. Young, Frank E. Brown, Edwin L. Bunker, George H. Yeaton, Edward M. Kelley, Gerald Marden, James B. Osborne, Chester Batchelder, Albert A. Ordway, Charles S. Bickford, Norman H. Munroe, Ernest L. Heath, George Pike, Eva Laurence Cox, Harriet Batchelder, Hilda Stevens, Ella Skinner, Rachel Pike, Nora Murby, Katie Bickford, Hazel Bickford, Alice Stevens, Grace Stone, Marion Stone, Barbara Skinner, Blanche Skinner, Harvey Batchelder, Carroll Stevens.
A MEETING OF THE SOCIETY OF THE
CINCINNATI IN THE STATE OF
Sponsor: Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Hampshire.
Original members who are represented. Major General John Sullivan, Lynde Sullivan; Colonel Joseph Cilley, Henry D. Warren; General Michael McClary, Horace Morrison; Lieutenant Joseph Mills, William L. Willy.
A roll-call follows the calling of the meeting to order. The following governing principles of the Institutions of the Order are read:
"It having pleased the Supreme Governor of the Universe, in the disposition of human affairs, to cause the separation of the Colonies of North America from the domination of Great Britain and, after a bloody conflict of eight years, to establish them free, independent and sovereign States, connected, by alliances founded on reciprocal advantages, with some of the great princes and powers of the earth.
"To perpetuate, therefore, as well the remembrance of this vast event, as the mutual friendships which have been formed under the pressure of common danger, and in many instances cemented by the blood of the parties, the officers of the American Army do hereby, in the most solemn manner, associate, constitute and combine themselves into One Society of Friends, to endure as long as they shall endure, or any of their eldest male posterity, and. in failure thereof, the collateral branches, who may be judged worthy of becoming its supporters and members.
"The officers of the American Army, having generally been taken from the citizens of America, possess high veneration for the character of that illustrious Roman, Lucius quintius cincinnatus; and being resolved to follow his example, by returning to their citizenship, they think they may with propriety denominate themselves.
THE SOCIETY OF THE CINCINNATI
"The following principles shall be immutable and form the basis of the Society of the Cincinnati:
"An incessant attention to preserve inviolate those exalted rights and liberties of human nature for which they have fought and bled, and without which the high rank of a rational being is a curse instead of a blessing.
"An unalterable determination to promote and cherish, between the respective States, that union and national honor so essentially necessary to their happiness, and the future dignity of the American empire.
"To render permanent the cordial affection subsisting among the officers. This spirit will dictate brotherly kindness in all things, and particularly extend to the most substantial acts of beneficence, according to the ability of the Society, towards those officers and their families who unfortunately may be under the necessity of receiving it."
After an address by the president the meeting is adjourned.
THE HOMAGE PAID TO LAFAYETTE 1825.
Sponsor: Horace W. Edmunds.
Lafayette accompanied by his son, on his way from Concord to Portland passes through the town in a coach, over the turnpike which had been finished twenty-five years earlier and returns over the same route three days later. He is greeted along the entire route.
Marquis de Lafayette: Horace W. Edmunds.
AN EVENING AT THE GENERAL McCLARY HOUSE SOMETIME BETWEEN 1840 and 1845.
Sponsor: Charles M. Steele
In the house are Mr. Jonathan Steele Esq., his wife Elizabeth Steele their four sons and a daughter. Daniel Webster is a guest for the night. Franklin Pierce and Jeremiah Mason are there also for a time and a game of whist is enjoyed.
Jonathan Steele, Esq., Charles M. Steele; Elizabeth H. (McClary) Steele, Blanche C. Philbrick; Charles A. Steele, Howard T. Ring; Michael M. Steele, Russell F. Tripp; John N. Steele, Maurice A. Yeaton; Thomas F. Steele, Robert M. Tripp; Elizabeth A. Steele, Katharine F. Berry; Daniel Webster, Alfred W. Burnham; Franklin Pierce, Kenneth J. Yeaton; Jeremiah Mason, Warren T. Fowler.
A SINGING SCHOOL
At the close of the school Virginia Reel is danced.
Sponsor: Ivygreen Rebekah Lodge
Committee: Sophronia Y. Wells, Leola I. Ring, Russell S. Yeaton.
Russell S. Yeaton, Singing Master
Inis W. Cass, Daisy W. Marden, Leola T. Ring, Martha F. Dowst, Margaret L. Dowst, Gladys R. Fowler, Hester E. Bickford, Hattie L. Sherburne, Helen G. Yeaton, Doris B. Stevens, Eva L. Cox, Ethel A. Pike, Lottie A. Wells, Ada L. Yeaton, Hattie M. Tallman, Mary P. Philbrick, Amy D. Russell, Sophronia Y. Wells, Percy C. Batchelder, Henry L. Stevens, Harold S. Bickford, James T. Libby, Albert D. Sherburne, Maurice C. Philbrick, Ralph E. Towle, Robert H. Cass, Gerald L. Marden, Frank E. Brown, Noah M. Cofran.
WAR SCENES THE CIVIL WAR
Sponsor: Junior Order of American Mechanics
Mrs. Elizabeth M. Bixby, widow of Sergeant George S. Bixby, Co. H. 4th N. H. Reg. Vols., calls upon Mrs. Nancy S. Brown, widow of J. Calvin Brown, Co. D. 15th Reg. N. H. Vols., in the latter's home. Mrs. Brown's
granddaughter and great grandchildren are with her and tea is served to the guest. Memories of Civil War days are stirred by talk, pictures and old letters. The boys are seen leaving home and those that survive are seen coming back. After they go to their homes Uncle Sam puts his arms about the widows giving them his protective care.
Death, Starvation and Disease have been seen stalking amongst the men.
Mrs. Brown's granddaughter. Madeline E. Yeaton; Great-grand children, Theodore E. Yeaton, Charles B. Yeaton.
Mrs. Elizabeth M. Bixby, Mrs. Nancy S. Brown, widows. Mrs. Madeleine E. Yeaton, Theodore E. Yeaton, Charles B. Yeaton, Arthur A. Wells, (Uncle Sam).
Mrs. Nellie M. Burnham, Mrs. Bertha M. Haynes, Mrs. Nellie Lear, Mrs. Helen M. Kurd, Mrs. Alice B. Silver, Mrs. Jennie P. Elliott, Mrs. Flora N. Fife, Mrs. Josie S. Burnham, Mrs. Jennie Quimby, Mrs. Hattie A. Burnham, Mrs. Gladys M. Batchelder, Mrs. Lillian A. Eaton, Mrs. Anna P. Yeaton, Miss Blanche C. Philbrick, Mr. Burt D. Young, Mr. Moses Burnham, Mr. Maurice C. Philbrick, Mr. Walter H .Quimby, Mr. William C. Burnham, Gregory Hurd, Alton W. Yeaton, Alga E. Yeaton, Arlene Batchelder.
Ernest G. Dowst, Walter B. Wells, Arthur H. Sullivan, Watson T. Ambrose, Clifton J. Fife, Winthrop H. Fife, Roscoe H. Fife, Adin D. Munroe, N. Scott Munroe, Walter A. Sawyer, Warren Hamilton, Harris Mason, Clayton Mason, G. Everett Haynes, Laurence C. Tallman, Howard W. Tallman, Elmer H. Palmer, Harry Silver, Kenneth A. Reid, Fred Butler, Edward B. Demers, Edward Elliott, Percy Elliott, Charles E. Emerson, Richard H. Hill, Ray F. Murby, George Stearns, Joseph J. MacGregor, Clay Hart, Fred K. Ames, William H. James, George H. Yeaton.
EPISODE VII SOLDIERS OF THE WORLD WAR
Sponsor: Albert J. Yeaton.
Forrest D. Ambrose, Frank E. Ambrose, John S. Clark, James A. Babkirk, Jr., Fred L. Bullfinch, Lewis A. Demers, Charles E. Emerson, Carl F. Fogg, Charles A. Frost, Milton C. Ford, Trescott Griffin, Percy E. Hall, Lewis Langlitz, Vivian L. Pickard, Lawrence Pickard, Henry L. Stevens, Henry Stone, George Stone, Harold J. Tripp, Arthur A. Wells, Leon Waterhouse, Albert J. Yeaton, Aaron Osborne.
Sponsors: Alice F. Tripp, Helen T. Rand.
Civilization, accompanied by Science and Invention, places at the feet of Epsom the railroad, the telegraph, the telephone, the wireless, the gasoline motor, the automobile, the radio, the aeroplane and electric light and power.
Civilization, Mary G. Barton; Science, Flora H. Sullivan; Invention, Catherine K. Marden.
EPISODE VIII THE END.
Sponsors: Alice F. Tripp, Helen T. Rand.
Imps of Darkness bring a war cloud and throw it over Epsom and Civilization but they are driven away by the soldiers of the World War. Behind the soldiers comes Progress who leads Epsom, still accompanied by Education, Religion, Courage, and Industry and also Civilization, Science and Invention, into the Future. The entire cast follows in reverse order, History bringing up the rear.
IMPS OF DARKNESS
Russell E. Tallman, Carroll J. Tallman, Roy C. Tallman, Everett F. Lombard, Progress Eliza E. Sawyer.