Faces of the Benjamin G. Brooks Family of New Hampshire and Massachusetts

Benjamin Gove Brooks, born 1819 in Henniker NH.

Benjamin Gove Brooks, born 1819 in Henniker NH.

The faces of Benjamin Gove Brooks, his wife Frances Eliza (Downer) Brooks, and their son B. Ferdinand Brooks, look out at you from pale CDV photographs. Benjamin and his wife Frances were both born and raised in New Hampshire. Benjamin was a machinist, and so he moved to wherever he could best ply his trade. He lived in both Holyoke MA (first marriage), and later in Westford, MA (after second marriage). Benjamin and Frances had three children, one of whom was B. Ferdinand, who only lived to be 22 years old. In 1900, the widowed Frances, her daughter Maria Adelaide, and granddaughter Hazel moved to Enfield, New Hampshire, living with the Shaker community there.

Benjamin Gove Brooks descended from Henry Brooks of Concord and Woburn, Massachusetts. The Brooks genealogy is shown below.

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New Hampshire EVENT: Marilla Ricker Portrait Unveiling May 16, 2016 at 3:30 PM

Likeness of Marilla M. Ricker from I Don't Know, Do You? by Marilla M. Ricker

Likeness of Marilla M. Ricker from I Don’t Know, Do You? by Marilla M. Ricker

Back in 2014 I first wrote about Marilla Marks (Young) Ricker, the first woman in New Hampshire to attempt to cast her vote during elections (1870), and the first to run for governor (1910). She failed in both attempts [details can be found here], but she set the stage for future women leaders, both in New Hampshire and elsewhere.

In July 1890 she became the first woman lawyer in New Hampshire (she was admitted to the District of Columbia bar earlier in 1882). She was a daughter, a wife, an attorney, a protestor, an advocate of prisoner’s rights, a suffragist, a philanthropist.  FINALLY she is going to be recognized, so read on. Continue reading

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A New Hampshire Governor, Ghosts, and a Second Wife: Anthony & Eliza A. (Messinger) Colby

A young Anthony Colby from the National Cyclopaedia of American Biography

A young Anthony Colby from the National Cyclopaedia of American Biography

It is said that the ghost of former New Hampshire governor Anthony Colby haunts Colgate Hall at Colby-Sawyer College. That hall was built many years after his death on the spot where the former brick academy building sat. The original building was dedicated in 1870, three years before Colby died, but was destroyed by fire in 1892.

Colgate Hall was built in 1911 on the same spot, but as a smaller building. It is well known and accepted that the Hon. Anthony Colby died at home, in his bed in New London. The dapper looking male ghost with the top hat is described as being in his 30s or 40s. One has to wonder who is this well-dressed spectre? Continue reading

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New Hampshire Tidbits: Famed Baseball Player Ted Williams liked Cow Hampshire

cow hampshire ted williams quotePerhaps the title of this story is slightly misleading. I am not sure whether Ted Williams LIKED the term ‘Cow Hampshire’ but he did seem to enjoy using it.  Apparently to Ted Williams ‘Cow Hampshire’ was a place where hicks and people who did dumb things lived. Continue reading

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The Wonalancet Company of Nashua New Hampshire and its founder Harry Harmon Blunt (1875-1923)

wonalancet co logo

Wonalancet Company of Nashua NH logo

The Wonalancet Company was founded in Nashua New Hampshire, incorporated in 1905 by Harry Harmon Blunt (not the Henry H. Blount as is printed in some sources). This company was an important cotton importing house in its day, specializing in Peruvian cotton. Eventually the company expanded with a presence not only in Nashua, but also in Boston MA, Piura and Lima, Peru. They also began to import Chinese cotton. Continue reading

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