Atkinson NH 1967 Bicentennial Program
Front Cover Art Work  
Inner Front Cover Atkinson Houses in 1854 Map (continued to inner back cover)  
Page 3 Welcome to the Atkinson New Hampshire Bicentennial Celebration
August 28 - September 4, 1967
Page 4 Ad - Haverhill Family Savings Bank  
Page 5

There's a place in old New Hampshire
Wher the hills are green and fair,
Where the sky is full of sunshine
Healthful breezes everywhere,
A town of winding roadways
A town of fruitfull farms,
A town of friendly people,
Atkinson, these are thy charms

Page 6 Ad - The Haverhill Gazette
Ad - Taylor-Goodwin Co Lumber Home Improvement Center
Ad - Seavey's Home Furnishing Store
Ad - Atkinson Business Center - Lewis Builders, Inc
Page 7 Ad - The Village Store, Clem and Rita Spang
Ad - Kinney's Garage
Ad - Merrimack Valley National Bank
Page 8

The Atkinson, New Hampshire Bicentennial Commerative coin / medal is issued and distributed as the official commorative medal by authorization of the Atkinson Bicentennial Committee.


The obverse of our Bicentennial Commemorative coin / medal shows the present Atkinson Academy as it was build in 1803. The original building, constructed in 1789 was destroyed by fire on Nov 15, 1802. The perimiter of the coin incoporates the wording frorm the town seal.
On the medals reverse, a legend relates that New Hampshire was the first state to consider to subject of coinage following the American Revolution. Also depicted is a likeness of the first 'commer penny' which bore a picture of a pine tree, or 'liberty tree', and a lyre.
The medal was designed by Robert B. Yanacek and Donald Cox of the Atkinson Bicentennial Committee, with the assistance and cooperation of the Franklin Mint. The world famous Franklin Mint of Philadelphia (Yeadon), Penna also did the die engraving and striking. Antique finish coins are beind struck in both sterling silver and bronze. The silver coins are serially numbered and limited to a striking of 1000 pieces. Coins are available by mail from Box 1767, Atkinson, NH as a cost of $7.50 for silver and $2.00 for bronze, plus a postage and handling charge of 50 cents for the entire order.
Seven (7) gold-plated coins (karat-clad on sterling silver) will aslo be struck. One gold coin will be presented to New Hampshire Governor King when he visists Atkinson during Bicentennial Week, and a second gold coin will be presented to the town. The remaining 5 will be sold at public auction, along with silver coins numbered one through 5, on Saturday, September 2nd at 3:00 pm on the Atkinson Fair Grounds.

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Atkinson Bicentennial

Steering Committee -
Robert H Moore, General Chairman
Donald Murphy, Program Chairman
Harry B Tuttle, Honorary Chairman
Louise Noyes Barnum, Historian
Gladys R Dyke, Treasurer
Russell P Burbank, Publicity Chairman
Helen V Woodlock, Secretary
Gordon E Brennan, Finance Chairman

Fund Raising Committee -
Bergeron E Norris, Co-Chairman
Ronald T Kjerulf, Co-Chairman
Donald H Nye, Hugh W Boyle, James Cornwall, Merton E Stanhope

Parade Committee -
John W Herlihy, Co-Chairman
John Comeau, Co-Chairman

Commemorative Coin Committee
Donald T Cox, Co-Chiarman
Robert Yanacek, Co-Chairman
Bergeron E Norris

Carnival Committee
Daniel Stewart
Norman Weldy
Atkinson Volunteer Fire Department

Souvenir Program Book
Editorial Content: Robert H Moore, Lousie N Barnum, Russell P Burbank
Layout and Art: Robert H Moore
Advertising: James Cornwall, Paul B Woodlock, Helen V Woodlock
History: Louise N Barnum
Old Photos: Courtesy Atkinson Historical Society

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Costume Ball Committee
Merle R Ahsford, Co-Chairman
Wilbur R Moody, Co-Chairman
Mrs Donald Murphy
Mrs Jesse R Boyden
Mrs William David
Mrs Norman Kimball
Eugene Lagasse

Fireman's Muster Committee
John Pettingill, Co-Chairman
Carl Spang, Co-Chairman
Atkinson Junior Fire Department

Children's Day Committee
Shirley Hale, Chairman
Wanda Kolb

Teen Dance
Nancy Spang, Chairman
Patricia Consentino, Jennifer Spera, Stephen Lewis, Sylvia Pazzanese, Louise Lewis, Michal Consentino, John Benger, Terry Ingraham, John Burbank, John Murphy

Site Committee
Donald L Murphy
Paul B Woodlock

Poster Contest Judges
Katherine Jean Lang
Richard Paolino

Special Committees
Richard Paolino, Special Art Work
Katherine Jean Lang, Secretarial

Page 11 Ad - Senter Bros, Inc General Contractor
Ad - Pentucket Shoe Store, Betty Judkin, Brad Judkin
Leith Flower Shop - Garden Center
Haverhill Co-Operative Bank
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The town of Atkinson itself, incorporated two centuries ago, bears witness today to its years of progress. But we must go back into its infancy before we can see now the town attained the deisre to go out on its own.
Plaistow is its sister, but Haverhill is mother to both towns. The first Haverhill settlers arrived in 1640, and the settlement was known as Pentucket. A couple of years later, there appeared at the settlement two Indians, Passaquo and Saggahew, with messages of peace from their chief, Passaconaway, who lived toward the setting sun. As a result of this visit a large tract of territory as conveyed to the white man, out of which ten towns eventually developed. Among the historical papers of Haverhill may be seen this deed, dated November 15, 1642, along with a faded map of the district.
This was a happy land, shaded forests and sunny meadows where corn had been raised by the squaws, and cleared places where the Indinas had burned the woods to drive out the game. The trees were of great variety. There were lakes and streams which added to the charm of the landscape, and above all, there were few Indians. The Redskins were afraid of the place and no doubt thought they had made a good deal when they sold it. An epidemic a few years earlier had wiped out the entire Indian village, and the few who did escape wished to keep their distance.
This frontier town of Haverhill grew, and the pioneer spirits pushed out to the north and west. Gradually it became known that “Haverhill had land to dispose of.” Emigrants from the mother country appeared, none more interesting than 16 Scotch families from the north of Ireland, part of three shiploads, in 1718. They were well organized and had a manager whose son became the first president of Bowdoin College.
Leaving the women and children in Haverhill, the men, following instructions, took their way over the Providence Hill trail until they came to Beaver Lake. It looked like the “Promised Land” to them. Leaving three men, they went back and got their families. These were the settlers of Londonderry later divided into Londonderry, Derry and Windham. They sent for friends from Ireland, and soon there was a large settlement. It was they who brought flax and seed potatoes and introduced them to this land.
Through this area ran several well-marked Indian trails, none of which could be called roads. Travel was by foot or horseback, and sometimes dragged poles helped carry the burdens.
For nearly 100 years settlers dwelling in this Haverhill land grant supposed that they belonged to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They did not know they were claimed by the Province of New Hampshire, as the state line had never been set. As time went on there was great confusion. Guardians of the land arrested other guardians for trespassing, and so forth. At last, repeated complaints came to the ears of the king and he ordered the two colonies to “settle the matter for all time.”
The commissioners met in Hampton Falls and in Salisbury with representatives of the colonies. There were three parties involved: first, a young man named Mason, whose ancestor had received in 1677 from Charles II a grant of land between the Piscataqua and the Merrimack Rivers and back 60 miles; second, the Province of New Hampshire; and third, the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
New Hampshire hired Thomlinson, the smartest lawyer in London. He bought off the Mason claim and secured the state line three miles parallel to the Merrimack River from the mouth of the Pawtucket Falls, and thence due west. Massachusetts was angry, claiming it had lost 700 square miles of settled country, and refused to share in the expenses of surveying the line.
Now that this problem was settled, the king appointed a new governor, Benning Wentworth. He was a native of New Hampshire, so the people expected great things. But he proved to have too many irons in the fire. He was the guardian of the royal forests, head of the Province, comm ander-in-chief of the army, and judge of all the courts. The legislature was called and controlled by him, and charters sold to the new towns.
Although many of his duties were neglected, the firstt one was ardently pursued. During his twenty five years in office he granted over 200 town charters. In most cases he gave them English

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names, and always he reserved for himself personally-selected lots of 500 acres. In less than 20 years he acquired 100,000 acres, scattered over New Hampshire. A bankrupt merchant in 1740, he was a millionaire by 1760. The people of New Hampshire’s southern part began to realize what it meant to be in a royal province. For instance whole mill yards of lumber gotten out by the settlers with infinite labor for building houses and barn would be forfeited to the crown; all the white pines from 15 to 36 inches through were reserved for the royal navy. Ships from all parts of the world returned home laden with masts, planks, boards and slaves from the New Hampshire forests. The settlers began to be fed up.
When the New Hampshire state line was drawn, it went through the thriving town of Haverhill, giving one-third of the population and property known as the “North Parish” to New Hampshire. In 1749 the North Parish applied to Governor Wentworth for a town franchise, and was given the name of Plaistow. After describing their community they added, “In the western end of the town there are 87 families, 130 men’s heads above 16 years.” This is the first mention of the place we now call Atkinson. As was his custom, the governor selected from the new town a tract of land on Providence Hill, known for its wild game. This he later bestowed upon a relative and Secretary of State, Col. Theodore Atkinson. (When the neighboring town of Hampstead was incorporated the same year, the governor selected the island still known as “Governor’s Island.”
Complaints about Governor Wentworth’s greed and high-handed methods were piling up in London, and at length the king removed him from office. A nephew, John Wentworth, II, who happened to be in London, applied for the position, and was appointed in 1766. The arrival in the colonies of the new governor made a big impression. He brought fine English horses and a large retinue of servants. Landing in South Carolina, the cavalcade, headed by a bugler, made its way up through the colonies to Portsmouth, the capitol.
His plan was to make the New Hampshire colony a real copy of Old England. The principal achievement of his administration was building roads from the interior to the sea. These were crude roads. Trees were marked along a line where the road was to go; a crew of woodchoppers would fell the trees, and remove underbrush for an avenue of three rods, and teams of oxen would haul the trees out of the way.
This John Wentworth II (there were three Johns) was the royal governor to whom the settlement in western Plaistow applied for incorporation on August 31, 1767. The petition included the statement, “The distance to the Plaistow Church is great, and the building small, and we very much want to have a church of our own.” The petition was granted and the new town was incorporated Sept. 3, 1767, under the name of Atkinson, so called for Col. Theodore Atkinson. This left Plaistow with 576 people and the new town of Atkinson with 476. Undoubtedly this was a serious loss to the Plaistow church; we find it without a minister for 25 years.
The newly-incorporated community of Atkinson already had been in existance for 39 years, as the first settlers came in 1728. Benjamin Richards from Rochester; Nathaniel, Jonathan and Edmund Page and John Dow, all of Haverhill, selected the crown of the hill as the town location.
This had gone by the name of Newcastle, the settlers not knowing there was another so near, but the name was altered at the time of incorporation.
Theodore Atkinson had become the richest man in the Province. It was he who started the first book of records for the town. Aside from this, there appears to be no record of his acknowl edging his namesake,or of his benefiting the town in any respect. A colored man guarded his interests in the large farm, and sent a turkey as his yearly rental. This property is marked on the old maps as the Atkinson Farm. It was approximately on the location of the Redulski Farm. By the year 1850, Atkinson had settled down to being situated “42 Degrees 50’ N. Latitude & 71 Degrees 8’ W. Longitude, about 4 miles in length and three miles in breadth; approximately 6839 acres. Bounded on the North by Hampstead, east by Plaistow; south by Haverhill and westerly by Salem and Derry.”
It was a post town in the County of Rockingham, through which a stage passed, and was about 36 miles from Concord; 30 miles from Portsmouth; and 34 miles from Boston.
A few rods of Atkinson were annexed to Hampstead on June 23, 1859 by an act of tile Legislature.
The first town meeting was held in 1767 at the home of John Dow. In 1769 the townspeople built their church, east of the cemetery laid out at that time. in 1772 they called a minister, and

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Parson Peabody built his home — which is the present Kimball Public Library. He served his town faithfully in many capacities until his death in 1819. (For a fuller account of this fine man I refer you to your library and Miss Harriett Marr’s book on Atkinson Academy.)
Parson Peabody kept wonderful diaries, many of which are well preserved. The new minister was “voted one hundred and sixty pounds, lawful money, as a settlement, upon the condition that the salary begin at sixty-six pounds, thirteen shillings, and four pence, lawful money, the first year, and add forty shillings per year until it amounts to eighty pounds per year.”
Sometime later, when there was a question of advancing his salary, he begged them not to. He said he had a hard enough time collecting what was already allowed him. So no increase was ever made in his pay during the nearly half-century that he served the community.
Hardly had the new minister become established in the town when the Revolution came.
To many it may be a new thought to learn that the opening ball of the Revolution was fired in New Hampshire. On December 15, 1774, a party of patriots, disguised as Indians, broke into the fort at Newcastle, overcame the captain and the guard, and took away 100 barrels of powder, 60 stands of arms, and 16 pieces of cannon. Some of this was sent by ox-cart, and figured in the battle of Bunker Hill.
The town of Atkinson sent 81 men to war, with Parson Peabody going as chaplain. Dr. Cogswell was an army surgeon, and Nathaniel Peabody, political leader, became a General. The soldiers returned home in 1783. These three leaders, having seen that the rank and file in the army were illiterate, began almost immediately to plan for an academy.
In spite of the indescribable poverty after the war, a modest building was constructed at Main Street and Meditation Lane. Sessions began in 1789. When this building burned, the present Academy was raised May 12, 1803. (Again I refer you to Miss Marr’s book.) The agricultural village now became an “Academy Town” where 100 pupils from far and near were boarding in various farmhouses. This gave new life to the town, and the Academy was soon providing teachers for this and neighboring towns.
The church and the school were bound together from the first, and in several cases the minister and the principal were the same. Different denominations had come to share in the use of the old church, and the building had become obsolete. A new Congregational Church was built in 1853 on land given by Joseph B. Cogswell, and, with remodelling, is in use today. In 1842 a Universalist Church was built with a resident pastor for the first two years, followed by “stated supplies.” The walls of this church were frescoed by an Italian artist, and a section of the wall is on display at the Historical Room in the Library.
With the invention of morocco leather and the turned shoe, the city of Haverhill prospered. The entire region benefited; nearly every house had a room used for a shoeshop. Later the people went to Haverhill daily to work in the factories.
Atkinson sent 40 men to the Civil War. There were no daily papers or radios to keep the home- folks posted. When they came home, the veterans of the G.A.R. never ceased to talk about their experiences.
I well recall going to the carline to meet a veteran who used to come to visit a neighbor, also a veteran. Mr. Davis had but one hand, but he was always cheerful. He told me how all in one day he had a bullet through his right arm, his left hand cut off, a bullet through his hat, and a bullet through his trousers. He was proud to have fought for a worthy cause, and was a real man. (How unlike the draft card burners of today!)
During the reconstruction period, fortunes were made and lost. Mr. William H. Todd, a famous son of Atkinson, made money in rehabilitating closed cotton mills. His benefactions have placed the name of Atkinson on a tablet in the Boston Public Library, where he established a reading room.
The Grange was organized in 1899 with 24 charter members. It soon outgrew the Academy hall and in 1912 the present Grange building was constructed. This has served the town as a Town Hall. In 1917 P of H 143 was the banner Grange of the State of New Hampshire, with 206 members in a town of 440 population, (but some of the members were from out of town.) The Grange is still an active organization. The Junior Order of American Mechanics was organized in 1898, but has been inactive in recent years.
In the year 1900 there were eleven milk routes into haverhill and one to Plaistow, meaning

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about $60,000 a year income to the town. At the time of our last anniversary, H. N. Sawyer and Sons had one route to Haverhill.
The nearest approach to an industry the town has ever had was the canning factory of Eugene . Sawyer, on Main Street. This was in existance for 25 years before World War I, employing 40 or more persons in canning of apples, corn, tomatoes and string beans.
In 1905 the first telephone came to town, a pay station in the house across the street from the present telephone building. The house then housed the library, which was cared for by Mrs. George Gilbert. People who came to use the new instrument were afraid of it, and used to ask Mrs. Gilbert to use it for them. (How times have changed! Don’t some of you wish your children were afraid of it?)
In 1907 the Rev. Joseph Kimball purchased and donated to the town the fine old house built by Parson Peabody, to become the present Kimball Public Library. The first Library had been established in June, 1894, in the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Noyes, on the site of George Wright’s present home.
In 1910 Mr. John Smith bought the first automobile for his daughter, Verta. The advent of the automobile compensated for one project which failed to develop: namely a Haverhill-Hampstead electric road, with Governor’s Island as a playground. The suburban quiet of these two towns was never broken by the clang of electric cars.
World War I in 1917 asked boys to leave the farms and march off to fight the war to end all wars. Twenty-five names were on the Honor Roll from Atkinson, including one Red Cross nurse. Two gold stars found their way onto the Honor Roll — one for Leroy Rivers and the other for Maurice Given. Even the minister of the day, Rev. C. Julian Tuthill, came to town in the uniform of the Massachusetts State Guard directly from parading in Boston.
The next 25 years saw some changes. Less than a mile of hard road grew to 12 of 25 miles. Electric lights replaced the lamps and lanterns. Circumstances forced centralized schools. And women came into prominence. Mrs. George A. Page was the first woman to represent the town at the State Legislature in 1921. In 1937, Mrs. Rose E. Berry was elected first woman town clerk; and two young ladies, Frances Taylor and Lucy Boodakian, were sent to the Chicago Exposition by the State 4-H Club.
The old grist mill on Little River was a nostalgic place for many who recalled taking the family corn there to be ground by the power from the stream. It was an exciting day when Henry Ford came to the neighborhood to try to purchase the mill. He was refused by the owner, but later Henry was presented it as a gift. I asked our dry old former postmaster why Henry did not purchase the mill, and he replied,”WeIl, Henry said if he bought the mill, he would want the site, and if he got the mill and not the dam, then he wouldn’t have a mill by a dam site.”
The “war to end all wars” did not do so, and once more an Honor Roll appeared in town for World War II. This time it was in front of the Congregational Church. There are 51 names on the board, four of them being women. Two Rockwell boy lost their lives in the service of their country. They were honored by having the Rockwell School, which was converted from the Unive rsalist Church building, named for them and dedicated in their honor.
The greatest changes in the history of the town have come during this last quarter century. From a tiny rural hamlet, Atkinson has grown into a suburban “Boom Town”. The farmers always had been reluctant to part with a square foot of land, and when their houses burned, few were rebui It.
In 1848, Mrs. Lucinda J. Barnum sold two lots of land on Maple Ave. to Mrs. Joseph Eno of Haverhill. She built a beautiful home, and it is hard to believe how building has snowballed. When in 1955 a map was made of the town, the number of houses (including a few cellar holes) was a few over 200. Eight years later, the number had increased to 476. This number has been inc reased considerably since. This does not include any of the camps in the groves.
Some interesting figures from the 1966 official report: The assessed valuation is $10,000,000. In the past 20 years we have quadrupled the number of registered voters. Property value has inc reased six times; there eight times the number of children in school; there are four times the number of births. The town clerk received 40 times the amount for auto registrations, and there were eight times the number of cars registered.

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In this same report, the clerk informed me she had just heard on the radio that “life is no longer a bowl of cherries. It is a bunch of raisins” — raisin’ heck, raisin’ kids and raisin’ taxes.
Along with the “increases” came the need for increased education. The newly-made Rockw ell School burst its seams. Atkinson Academy, which had struggled along for years, closed its doors, and the pupils were sent out of town for secondary education.Then, the Academy building was taken over by the town for elementary use. This too, soon became inadequate, and additions have been made. Last year the modern Timberlane School opened to take care of Atkinson pupils as well as those of some of our neighbors.
With the new homes and the increased population, the town has had a transfusion. All kinds of clubs have come into being,whereas before the Grange and the Ladies Society of the church were all the entertainment the ladies had, and the same group belonged to both societies.
The church at one point reached a low ebb. with a faithful few struggling to maintain it. In order to keep going at all, it became necessary to unite with Hampstead and share the same pastor. This started things in the right direction and there has been a splendid religious revival. The church has received a “shot in the arm”. The old parsonage was turned into Sunday School quarters, and one week after the 199th anniversary, ground was broken for a new parsonage in preparation for a resident pastor once more.
Strictly a Protestant community in my youth, with the increase of population, it now has about 50% catholic population, taken care of by Holy Angels Parish in Plaistow. So in 200 years, we have gone full circle — Atkinson residents attending church in Plaistow. And as we continue to grow, who knows but what before another anniversary, history may have repeated itself?
Among the most important developments in the town has been the fire department. For many years there was no accredited fire equipment in Atkinson. “Ten Indian pumps and a church bell” was the limit. Haverhill and Plaistow departments responded to emergency calls.
Following the disastrous forest fire of 1947, the men realized the need of direction and training, and the department was re-organized under the leadership of Ward W. Wright as chief. In 1944 a cement block firehouse was built, and this has been enlarged several times to care for the equipment which has increased to five pieces, manned by 25 regular members and a junior membership of nearly a dozen.
Since early in the century the mail to Atkinson came to Atkinson Depot which was in Plaistow. The present postmaster was appointed in 1954, and in 1956 built a home housing the postoff ice over the line in Atkinson. So once again the town has come into its own with a second class post office as of July 1, 1966.
And what does the future hold for us? We can only look forward to 1992 and watch, and wait, and pray that all will be for the best.
The Author’s Acknowledgements
Most of the credit for this “Outline History of Atkinson, N. H.” goes to the late Mrs. May I. S. Tuthill, who prepared the greater part for her “Atkinson 175 Years and Before”, which she read at the 1942 celebration. I shall not try to list my other sources here. Before the next anniversary it is my desire to have ready for publication a comprehensive History of Atkinson, and a full list of acknowledgements will appear then. Until then, my greatest thanks to the kind people who have patiently answered my many questions, and given me information of any sort.
Gratefully yours,
Louise Noyes Barnum

Page 17 Ad - Plaistow Pharmacy, Inc
Ad - La Branche's Barber Shop
Ad - A Friend
Ad - Glenn's Supermarket, Inc.
Westville Market, Inc


Page 18 Location Map of Events and Activities
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Atkinson, NH - Bicentennial Week
Schedule of Events
Monday, August 28, 1967
2:00 - 9:00 pm - Flower Show, Dyke Auditorium (Sponsored by Atkinson Garden Club)
2:00 - 5:00 pm - Historical Exhibit - Children's Art Exhibit, Kimball Library
Tuesday, August 29, 1967
10:00 - 5:00 pm - Flower Show, Dyke Auditorium
2:00 - 5:00 pm - Historical Exhibit - Children's Art Exhibit, Kimball Library
7:30 pm - Boy Scout Court of Honor, Sagris' Field
Wednesday, August 30, 1967
2:00 - 5:00 pm - Historical Exhibit - Children's Art Exhibit, Kimball Library
3:00 - 6:30 pm - Chicken Barbecue, Dow Avenue
4:00 pm - Miss New Hampshire, Sheila Scott
7:00 pm - Re-enactment of original town meeting, Wright's Field
Guest: Governor King, Social Hour to follow Town Meeting
8:30 pm - Haverhill Barbershop Quarted, Wright's Field
Thursday, August 3, 1967
1:00 pm - Country Auction, Wright's Field, Auctioneer: Glenroy Colby
2:00 - 5:00 pm - Historical Exhibit - Children's Art Exhibit, Kimball Library
8:00 pm - Timberlane Choral Society, Dyke Auditorium (Sponsored by Atkinson Women's Club)

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1:00 - 11:00 P.M. CARNIVAL Sagris’ Field
8:00 P.M. — TEEN DANCE Dyke Auditorium
11:00 A.M. — PARADE Academy Ave. to Main St. to Meditation Lane
ending at Sawyer Ave.
1:00 - 11:00 P.M. — CARNIVAL -------- Sagris’ Field
3:00 P.M. — COIN AUCTION Sagris’ Field
(Sponsored by Atkinson Grange)
8:00 P.M. — COSTUME BALL Dyke Auditorium
1:00 - 11:00 P.M. — CARNIVAL Sagris’ Field
2:00 P.M. — ECUMENICAL CHURCH SERVICE Congregational Church
Social Hour and Refreshments After Service
3:00- 6:30 P.M. — CLAMBAKE and CHICKEN BAR-B-CUE Dow Avenue
11:00 P.M. — FIREWORKS DISPLAY Sagris’ Field
12:30- 4:30 P.M. — FIREMEN’S MUSTER Dow Avenue

Page 21 Photo of fundraising team
Ad - Jos S Hills Agency, Inc.
Page 22 Photo Teen age Dance Committee
Ad - Haverhill National Bank
Ad - Haverhill Rubber
Ad - Diamond Dairy
Page 23 Ad - J M Duston Company, Range and Fuel Oil
Ad - Larry's Clam Bar
Ad - "Keep Warm With Charlie" - Charles E Jenne, Prop
Ad - Plaistow Lumber & Supply Co., Inc.
Ad - Habig W Habib - Habib's Shoe Store
Ad - Priscilla's Realty
Ad - Dole & Childs Funeral Home
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Hotel Clay - Destroyed by fire in 1921. It was originally on Academy Ave as a hotel catering to cummer boarders and winder visitors who too sleigh rides through the Atkinson countryside.
Hezekian Dow's Home - Originally on Academy Ave. Destroyed by fire in late 1920.
Church Hill - Main Street, Atkinson, looking toward Congregational Church.

Page 25 Old Richard's House - Built in 1727. First wood frame house in Atkinson. Destroyed by fire in 1874.
Kimball Public Library - Originally the home of Parson Peabody - one of the founders of the Atkinson Academy. Building presented to town in 1907 for free public library by Rev. Joseph Kimball.
Atkinson Depot - Built about 1860. Is in use today as private residence.
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(Excerpts from a booklet written by Harriet Webster Marr and published in 1940.)
The Early Years
Atkinson had been set of f from Plaistow as a separate town in 1767, just twenty years bef ore the Academy was founded. In 1774, seven years after it became a town, the people of Atkins on hired a teacher for a common school, and in 1775 the town was divided into three school districts.
Then came the Revolution. The little town of Atkinson sent eighty-one soldiers; her minister went as chaplain, and her doctor as army surgeon.
The. war ended in 1783; the soldiers returned home. The minister and doctor took their places again as leaders in the community, and four short years after the end of the war the Academy was founded. Five academies had already been founded in Massachusetts and New Hampshire: Dummer, at Byfield, Massachusetts, in 1763, incorporated in 1780; Phillips, at Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1781, incorporated the same year; Leicester, at Leichester, Massachusetts, incorporated in 1784, and Derby, at Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1784, incorporated the same year.
These schools had each been founded by the generosity of some wealthy person. This was not so the case of Atkinson. Our Academy was founded by a few far-sighted citizens who were thems elves impoverished by the war.
Rhode Island’s paper money law is well known. In Massachusetts the demand for paper money was part of the background of Shay’s Rebellion. In New Hampshire, a band of ex-Revolutionary soldiers marched into the square at Exeter to demand thissue of paper money. Atkinson sent to the General Court of New Hampshire a petition (later denied) for the issuance of $150,000 of paper money. The quaint wording of part of the petition pictures vividly the condition in the town:
“Silver and gold hath taken wing and flown to the other side of the Atlantic, without leaving a substitute or even its shadow . . .Private debts have been augmented by large taxes in silver and gold which is not to be obtained.”
The Founding Fathers
Three professional men were leaders in Atkinson in all matters of community interest, Rev. Stephen Peabody, Gen. Nathaniel Peabody, and Dr. William Cogswell, and to them belongs the credit of founding the academy.
When the Academy opened, many pupils boarded at the parsonage. In addition to the parson’s son, Stephen, his daughter, Folly, and their step-sister Abby Shaw, there were in February of 1800 eight scholars boarding there, and probably an equal number in other years. In fact, a grandnephew of Mr. Peabody wrote that the Parson’s sermons “were composea amidst the boisterous mirth of a troop of boys at his fireside.” and to the critical listener might have given evidences of the cond itions of their composition. He added that the Parson “endeared himself to the young by his unf ailing good humor and kindly sympathy,” and gave them at the same time “an example of unrep enting goodness.”
Parson Peabody was foremost in all movements for town betterment. He founded the Atkinson Social Library, and was leader in the little group that established the Academy. It is evident that he could do little financially toward founding the school, yet without his efforts it would never

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have bEen started or continued. He was secretary and treasurer of the Board of Trustees, and we find him later assuming a large part of the debt of the institution.
Gen. Nathaniel Peabody, who was very distantly related to the parson, is next in importance among the founders of the Academy. . . .Young doctors, William Cogswell among them, learned their profession by studying with Doctor (Gen.) Peabody. He was interested also in the education of the youth of the town, and maintained for a time what the Parson refers to as the General’s school. Out of that school, apparently, grew the academy itself.
The third leader in the founding of the Academy, Dr. William Cogswell, was one of the ninet een children of Nathaniel Cogswell . . . Dr. Cogswell joined with Dr. Peabody and Parson Peab ody in their efforts to found an academy, and it was he who gave the land for the first building.
The First Building
The Peabody diaries for 1785, 1786 and 1787 are full of references to schools, schoolmasters, and school buildings. It was not always easy to tell which references are to the Academy and which to the common schools, but we believe that the explanation which follows is substantially correct:
The town had already set up three school districts in 1775, and the statements about building a school, in 1785 and early in 1786, probably refer to the common school in the district where the Parson lived. General Peabody had opened a school at his own expense at Squire Clement’s and had hired Moses Neal, a Harvard graduate of 1785, to teach. Out of this school grew the Academy, and Moses Neal is always referred to as the first preceptor. Master Pearson probably was a teacher in one of the district schools; and Mrs. Colby, for whom the Parson fixed up the east room in the parsonage., kept a school there, perhaps a dame school or perhaps a school for girls, as Felt says that it continued as a school for girls after the Academy had been opened.
This explanation seems to fit the following details from the diary: It was in the summer of 1785 that Neal was hired by the General to teach at Esq. Clement’s. In November a meeting was held at Dr. Cogswell’s at which the Parson was chosen moderator, and a decision was taken to build a school where French’s shop had stood. Probably that was a meeting of the people of the school district, and the school planned was a common or district school. In February. 1786, a building was erected. “The people worked upon the frame and concluded to raise it in the middle of the day. I went over after dinner and we raised it. It was a very pretty frame.”
The first building of the Academy was located at the junction of the roads leading to Salem and to Haverhill, onground donated by Dr. William Cogswell. The building was one story in height and had a spacious fireplace. The framework was “made at Bassett’s” and in September, work began in earnest and proceeded rapidly.
Noting the phrases, “the frame” and “they are boarding it fast,” we realize that it was no log cabin that Atkinson was erecting for her Academy, but a frame building. When we read of the poor accomodations for schools in many towns of this period,we may well be proud of Atkinson’s structure. Francistown, New Hampshire, for twenty years held schools in barns in summer and had no school in winter. Hampton in 1801 voted “that the north district have Jonathan Sanborn’s barn for a school house.” Windham held schools sometimes in barns and sometimes in shops. And Concord, New Hampshire, in 1790 voted “that the pest house of 1775 be removed into the town for a school house.”
Of the nine academies that had been founded in New England by 1790, only three were in- corporated in the same year that they were founded, so it is not surprising to find that Atkinson’s petition for incorporation was not sent to the State Legislature until 1791. It reads:
innabitants of the town of Atkinson in the State of New Hampshire being sensible of the imp ortance of encouraging morality and literature, did at their own expence erect a large and corn- of encouraging morality and literature, did at their own expense erect a large and comm odious house for the purposes of establishing an academy in the said town, elected as their trustees the subscribers, with Hon. Nathaniel Peabody, Esq., and by the benevolent

Page 28

and generous assistance of the aforesaid Nathaniel Peabody, Esq., have been enabled to keep a public school for several years past, where students have been qualified for neighboring Universities, and considerable numbers have received such education as to be now employed as instructors of youth in various parts of the State. And such have been the advantages there enjoyed, as to induce gentlemen at a distance in this State and from Massachusetts to improve the academy for the instruction of their sons. — That there are now near forty students, and at present it is in flourishing circ umstances. — That lotteries are now established in the Massachusetts for raising sums to support academies and for various other purposes by means whereof considerable sums are daily drawn from the citizens of this state. That a spirit of enterprize, and a desire to become adventurers having generally prevailed; as the academy is situated near the borders of the Massachusetts, your petitioners doubt not but large sums of money may be drawn from thence, and that the tickets will meet with ready sale.
We, therefore, encouraged by our constitution, and presuming upon the known genero sity of this Hono(able Body, to countenance every exertion to promote literature and virtue; request that an act of incorporation may be past in favor of the institution by the name of the Atkinson Academy under such restrictions and regulations as in your wisdom may be judged expedient. And that we may have the liberty to raise by lottery one thousa nd pounds, or such other sum as may be thought proper, to be disposed of for the acc omplishment of the above laudable purposes — which together with one thousand acres of new lands given upon the establishment and organization of said Academy, that in future may so increase in their value as to enable us to support a literary institution which may be extensively useful to the inhabitants of this state, and to the public in general.— As in duty shall ever pray. — —
The petition was granted by an act of incorporation in February, 1791, but neither the lottery nor the land grant was included in the act.
Girls at the Academy
Atkinson was the second of the New England academies to allow girls to enter along with boys. Leicester Academy, founded four years earlier, had in its charter no distinction regarding sex, and claims to have had girls from the opening of the school. No list of girls has been found for Leicester Academy, but an account of an exhibition there in 1790 states that both sexes took part, and the first girls at Atkinson Academy did not enter until the following year, 1791 . . .On June 25, 1791, Polly Peabody, the Parson’s daughter, appeared at the Academy as a pupil. Some writers on Atkinson history represent her as doing this of her own accord, but Joseph Felt, who married Polly’s half-sister, says that Parson Peabody sent her, and the fact that Mrs. Colby’s school for both sexes was held in the Peabody home is evidence that the Parson was broad- minded about co-education.
Governor Kent of Maine, who had been a student at the Academy about 1800, in later days referred to the refining influence of the girls in the school: “If I were to be a boy again and go to Atkinson Academy, I should hope to meet the young, intelligent and pure girls whose presence and society did so much to mend the manners and improve the hearts of the somewhat rough specim ens of incipient manhood on the opposite benches.”
The Fire and the Rebuilding
It was in November, 1802, that the Academy’s first building burned. The story is best told in
the words of the Parson’s diary: -
Nov. 15. Just before two in the morning we were alarmed with the cry of “Fire!” and to our astonishment found the academy all of a light inside. The people collected, but it

Page 29

was so far gone that nothing could be saved. We made great exertions to save Gilbert’s house, and as it was very still it was saved. It is a great loss. I returned home and rep osed a little while. Our scholars in general did not wake. What we shall do I do not know. Nov.16- Our family were alarmed when they heard of our loss. I went over to the ruins. A number of people were there, we conversed, and agreed to have a meeting this afternoon. There were sOme proposals about building another academy. I fear we shall meet with difficulties about a place to set it on, and the manner of building it. I fear much we shall be able to agree upon nihil. General Peabody was there, and extravagant in his proposals.
He is hurting our cause. -
The term was almost at an end, and for the six days remaining the school met in Mr. Gilbert’s dancing chamber. The next term John Vose opened a room in his own house for the use of the school.
Almost every entry in the diary at this period has some reference to the new building. By the end of January, the controversy over the location seems to have died down, and much as the Parson had apparently wished the new building on the land of the parsonage he now used all his influence to get it erected on the Knight land as expeditiously as possible.
Professional architects were few in the early 1800’s. The local builder was also an architect, and it was the expected thing that a gentleman should design his own house. How well these master builders and gentlemen succeeded, the dignified character of our early New England homes, churches and academies gives ample proof.
Mr. Ebenezer Clifford, Esq., who was engaged to erect the second academy building, was a resident of Exeter. He was not only a master builder, but an inventor. One of his inventionswas a diving bell that proved of practical utility when it was used to recover treasure for a Spanish ship sunk off the coast.
The new building was thirty-four by sixty feet, two stories high, with a cupola.
Lotteries and Lands
The building was erected for the very moderate sum of $2500. This low cost was made possi ble by the freely-given labor of the townspeople. Small as the cost seems in our day, the trustees had great difficulty in raising the amount. Parson Peabody had given $100, and another hundred was given by the Honorable William Atkinson of Dover, who had inherited the entailed estate of Theodore Atkinson, his father, for whom the town was named. Other individual contributors brought the total to $400. This left a debt of $2100 of which Mr. John Vose, preceptor, assumed one- eighth, about $260, and Parson Parson Peabody bravely shouldered the responsibility for the rem aining
One method of raising money that was common in the early 1800’s and was unquestioned by the moralists of that period was the lottery. Leicester Academy had used it with apparent success in 1789 . . The method of the lottery appealed to the trustees at Atkinson as a proper and speedy means of raising the needed funds, so at the trustees’ meeting in January, 1803, it was voted to apply to the State Legislature for permission for a lottery to raise S2000. Permission was granted. One of the Haverhill papers of 1803 refers to the lottery, and hopes that the tickets will sell well. Of course Haverhill was the nearest town of any size, but it was across the line, and by a law of 1801, Massachusetts had declared that no lottery tickets authorized by another state might be sold in Massachusetts without consent of the General Court. So off went the Parson to Boston to get the consent of the General Court. . . .Massachusetts had no qualms of conscience about lotteries, but she had no intention that Massachusetts money should go out of the state; and so in spite of all the Parson’s efforts . . . the request was refused.
We have followed the failure of the lottery to obtain money . . . The next move on the part of the trustees came May 24, 1808, when it was voted “that the Reverend Stephen Peabody be and he is hereby authorized to petition the Legislature of New Hampshire at their present session for aid to the Atkinson Academy in such way and manner as he may think proper.”
On June 30, the good news came. “Bassett came in and brought us a letter . . . with the account of the Court making us a grant of land about 13,000 acres to be divided equally between

Page 30

Atkinson and Gilmanton Academies.. .“
The sale of these 13,000 acres of wild land at 50 cents an acre, the price they hoped to get, would have brought the Academy $6500 and after the debt of $2100 was paid, even with Interest at 6%, there would be a fair surplus. But land in Coos County was difficult to sell, and any high hopes of realizing real money from this source were doomed to disappointment.
(In 1818 the land was given to Parson Peabody and Vose. The Parson, it is known, attempted in 1821 to sell his share by auction, but no notice of any disposition of the property was found. The tract still appears on some maps of New Hampshire as “Atkinson and Gilmanton Academy Grant.”)

The Spring Term of this Institution will Conilneuce on MONDAY the 9th day of February next, under the di-
rection, as heretofore, of EDWARD 11. GREELEY, A. B. a aided by competent assistants, The Summer term will Commence on the 11th day of May.
Instruction will be given in all the branches of an English education usually taught in onr Academies, and in the language. The Institution is furnished with a good Philosophical Apparatus, and lectures will be given, and experiments performed in connection with that science No exertion will be spared to render the advantages of this Academy equal to those ol any other of the kind, and to merit the patronage and confidence of the public.
Tuition $4.00 per term. Board in good families, from $1.25 to $1.50, per week.
in Behalf of the Trustees, B. HOVEL Secretary.
Atkinson, NH Jan 6th, 1846.
Haverhill Gazette Pres, E.G. Frothingham, Pr.

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Universalist Church Atkinson, NH - Built in 1842. Tower of Church destroyed by fire in 1921. Lower structure used to become Rockwell Grammar School in 1949. Used today for first grade classes.

Atkinson Bicentennial Art Contest Awards
Grade 6 - First Prize: John Schier, Honorable Mention: Wanda Artus, Scott Dampier, Miles Hutchins.
Grade 5 - First Prize: Sheryl Oatley, Honorable Mention: Sharon Lapierre, Cynthia Thompson, Amy Wright
Grade 4 - First Prize: James Roldan, Honorable Mention: Kathy Kimball, Karen Oatley, Kathy Rhode
Grade 3 - Frist Prize: Christopher Moore, Honorable Mention: Terry Lewis, Suzann Chaput, Rowene Anthony
Grade 2 - First Prize: Robert Roldan, Honorable Mention: Dean Kimball, Michael George, Thomas Frank

Page 32 Photo of Bicentennial Celebration committee. Meetings and plans for Bicentennial Celebration get underway in May, 1966
Don't miss the country auction. Thursday, August 31st
Page 33

Ad - Whittier Co-operative Bank
Ad - Parked Snow's Department Store
Ad - Glenn P Kimball Insurance Agency
Ad - H R Sawyer Bicycle Shop, B Migliori, Prop
Ad- Process Engineering Inc.
Ad - Regan Motor Company

Page 34 Wednesday, August 30, 1967 will be Governor's Day at the Atkinson Bicentennial
There will be a re-enactment of the original Atkinson town meeting starting at 7 pm. Guest of honor at this occasion will be Governor John King.
Page 35 Photo of Miss New Hampshire  
Page 36 Ad - Timberlane Transportation
Ad - Marsh's Dairy
Ad - The Village Store
Ad - A Friend
Ad - Ring and Cavanaugh's Family Camping and Travel Center
Ad - Mr Frost
Ad - Fireman's Muster
Page 37 Photo Atkinson Brothers of the Brush
Ad - H L Farmer & Sons Funeral Homes
Page 38 Ad - Salem Building Supply Co
Ad - Bill's Market
Ad - Salem Center Pharmacy, Donald H De Cesare
Ad - Friends, Marie Anne Flower Shop, Leon J Lefbvre, George E Cote Sr., Jeannette M Cote, Mrs Gladys Dyke, Mr and Mrs C Hugh Silloway, Mr and Mrs Charles H Silloway Jr, Compliments of a Friend, Mr and Mrs Joseph Mackie, Marie Anne Flower Shop
Ad - Gordon Browns Real Estate

Page 39

Atkinson, New Hampshire

Aug. 14, 1786
Voted to Chuse a committy of five men to propose a plan for making a sum of paper money.
Peter Clement Esq.
Gen Nath’el Peabody
Corl. Benj. Stone
Capt. Moses Greenough
Mr. Stephen Noyes
Silver & gold hath taken wing an1 flown to the other side of the Atlantic, without leaving a substitute or even its shadow, besides which to support the late war, the private debts of. individuals have in many instances been greatl y augmented—that they are called upon to pay large taxes in silver & gold which is not to be obtained—that neither the united States or this State have a single shilling to call mone y but for which they are beholden to foreigne rs—the silver & gold heretofore in circulation in this state being English, French, Spanish, Portugal or other foreign coin.”
* * * * *
Mar. 13, 1773—fo see what meathod the Town will take in order to Procure a Bureing yard for the use of the town.”
“Voted & excepted that Pease of Land that Some Perticular Men Purchased of Mr. Cogs- well Said Peace of land supposed to be about Half an acre lying to the Norwest of the meeti ng House in Atkinson.’
* * * * *
Oct. 1 778— to see if the town will joyn with
Hampstead in building a Small Pox House or
Pest House—(not acted upon).

May 1779 Voted not to joyn Plaistow in building a Pest House.
* * * * *
1780—Voted to chuse a committee to go and see Mr. Peabody and see what will make hime Easy on account of his salary for the time Past.
Voted to make the Rev. Mr. Peabody some Cons ideration for the year Past 1779. Voted to pay the Rev. Mr. Peabody in Dollars at forty five Shillings per Peace old tenor or in pork indian corn flax wool butter or cheese.
* * * * *
l788—Voted to give Daniel Emery, twelve pounds, which is to be in neat cattle for his going into the Continental Service for this town, with his giving up the Obligations he has against this town.”
* * * * *
1789—Voted to give each person belonging to this town four pense for each crow killed in this town this present year, & 8 pense for each hen hawk killed in this town this present year.”
* * * * *
1783—Voted to allow Joshua Emery two pense an a Pound for collecting the taxes for the year 1782 & 1783.
* * * * *
l783—Voted to Raise Thirty Pounds for schooling the present year & Voted twenty Pounds of said money be Propreated for one school near the Senter of town where it is thought best —And the other ten pounds laid out in the other remoter parts of the town.”

Page 40 Ad - First National Bank of Derry
Ad - Pentucket Five Cents Savings Bank
Ad - City Insurance Agency, Inc, Leslie F George, Pres. , William George
Ad - Senter Auto Supply, Inc
Ad - Gerros' Men's Shop
Ad - Harvey Lumber Co, Inc.
Ad - Charles Alfieri, Inc
Page 41 Ad - McGregor-Smith Motor Co, Inc
Ad - Robert Douglas Goundrey Funeral Home
Ad - McGregor Leasing Company, Inc
Ad Exeter Co-operative Bank
Ad - Dr Paul E Bahan
Ad - The Exeter Banking Co
Ad - Letoile Roofing Co.
Ad - King Chev. -Olds. Co, Inc
Page 42 Ad - Exeter & Hampton Electric Company  
Page 43 Ad - Ryan Motor Sales
Ad - Youngblood Plumbing and Heating Co
Ad - Skip's Friendly Service
Ad - Mitchell & Company
Page 44 Bicentennial Art Work  
Page 45

Sincerest appreciation and warments regards to the many fine people who have given unselfishly of their time, resources and talents so that the Atkinson Bicentennial Celebration could become a reality.
Robert H Moore - General Chairman

Ad - Hick's Motor Sales, Inc
Ad - Don's Markets
Reminder - Becnetennial Costume Ball Saturday Sept 2 8:00 pm
Ad - Pettengill Farm Inn

Page 46

George Parsons Dow was born in Atkinson, N. H. August 7, 1840, son of Moses and Sally Page
(Hanson) Dow. His early life was spent on his father’s farm, and in attendance of the district school during the winter months.
At the outbreak of the War of the Rebeilion, nis patriotism was at once aroused, and as soon as his affairs could be arranged, he enlisted as Private in Co., C, 7th N. l-1 Volunteers Infantry Regiment, October 14, 1861, at the age of 21 years. He was mustered in November 6, 1861, as Private; appointed Corporal, November 15, 1861; Sergeant, July 18, 1862; First Sergeant, December 22, 1863. He was discharged, December 22, 1864by reason of expiration of terms of service, and mustered out December 27, 1864.
During his service he participated in the battle 01 Morris Island, The Battles of Chester Station, Va., Drüry’sBluff, Hatch’s Farm, DeepRun, Spring Hill, New Marke t Heights, Laurel Hill, Derbytown Road, and the several re onnaissances toward Richmond, Va. and all the minor eng agements in which the 7th, Regiment participated. He rec eived a Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry, October 1864 in reconnaissance toward Richmond, Va. The heavyline of earthworkswhich had been constructed along the line of our front, occupied the exact position where our men stood in line, and so handsomely repulsed the Confederate attack on the 7th. All the troops in our division had pitched their tents by regiments, and brigades, just in the rear of the line, and everything had the appearance of our passing the winter at this place.
An order published at Headquarters Department of Virginia and North Carolina, Army of the James’ dated “Before Richmond, October 11, 1864” and signed by Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler, commandi ng the Dept. of Va. and N. C., contained the names of the following comrades of the old Seventh, who were honora bly mentioned for gallant and meritorious services in the field and for coolness and bravery before the enemy: - Colonel Joseph C. Abbott, 7th N. H. commanding Second Brigade, First Division, Tenth Army Corps, is recommended for the brevet for his gallant and soldierly conduct since the campaign commenced, and for the skilful and able manner in which his brigade was led to the rebel works within 2 miles of Richmond, on October 1, instant” First Lieutenant Ferdinand Davis, Co., D Sergeant William Tilton, Co. C
Sergeant F. W. Little, Co. D Sergeant G. F. Robie, Co. D Sergeant John A. Coburn, Co. H. and Sergeant George Parsons Dow, of Co. C., who was in command of his company in the reconnaissances toward Richm ond, and behaved with great gallantry. He is recommended to the Secretary of War for a medal of honor. He was “awarded the Medal of Honor, under the resolution of Congress No. 43, approved July 12, 1862, and section 6 of Act of Congress, approved March 3, 1863 for gallantry, October 1864 in reconnaissance toward Richmond, Va.
For a time on Morris Island, So. Carolina, he acted as Color Sergeant, and at Bermuda Hund red, Va., was detailed for a time as a Sharp-shooter. During his service he was slightly wounded three times and proudly referred to the fact that he was never in the hospital a day.
After his retuin home from service, he settled on the farm in his native Atkinson, N. H. He soon after engaged in mercantile pursuits, and became proprietor of a country store in Atkinson, making a specialty of groceries and general merchandise. He was soon after appointed as Postmaster, an held the position for 27 years. His farm was a model one, and he spared no means to make it a beautiful home. It was known by the name of Fair View.”


Inner Back Cover Atkinson Houses in 1854 Map (continued from inner front cover)  
Back Cover Wason - MacDonald Co - For goodness sake drink Wasmacco Milk