Manchester New Hampshire Civil Engineer, Mayor and Governor: Hon. James Adams Weston (1827-1895)

James Adams Weston was born 27 August 1827 on the “old Weston farm” in Manchester NH.

He was the youngest of five children.  He attended two local academies, and had the education typical of the sons of farmers.  He taught school for two years, and during that time he became self-taught in civil engineering.  This talent for engineering became obvious and starting in 1846 he was assistant, and later chief engineer for many of the local railroad projects including that of the Concord, Manchester and Lawrence, Manchester and Candia, Hooksett Branch, and Suncook Valley Railroads.

Beginning in 1862 he ran twice for mayor of Manchester and lost. Not giving up, In 1867 he again accepted the nomination, and was elected mayor by a handsome majority. In January of 1868 he began his term as mayor. He was re-elected mayor in 1870,  1871, and in 1874-5. The major accomplishments as mayor focused on the city's infrastructure.  His administration made improvements in the city's sewer system, sidewalks, public commons, and water supply. He was the first to recommend the erection of a soldier's monument, selecting a design and superintending the work. He was instrumental in securing Stark Park as a historic and public place. He also secured the Weston Reservoir.

He was elected Governor of New Hampshire and inaugurated on 14 June 1871.  His portrait can be viewed in the New Hampshire State House, on the second floor.  Weston retired from politics but kept many business interests including banking, the railroad, and insurance companies.  He had been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1861 and received all the grades, including the orders of knighthood.

In his will, he left the city of Manchester $5,000 for the purpose of building an observatory on Oak Hill, in what is now Derryfield Park in Manchester NH. This structure is now called the “Weston Observatory.”  Weston Road and Weston School in Manchester were named to honor him.

**Additional Reading**

-Likeness & Biography of Gov. James Weston-

[Wesen, Wessen, Weson, Weston]

John Weston, possibly son of Thomas Weston, b. abt 1631-1633 in Buckinghamshire, England, and d. 29 Aug 1719 in Reading, Middlesex Co MA. Reportedly in 1644 at the age of 13, concealing himself in an emigrant ship until well out to sea, obtained a passage to America and joined his relatives in Massachusetts. After residing a few years in Salem MA, he purchased a tract of land in South Reading MA to which he removed. He became distinguished for his services in the administration of the colonial government.  He married 18 Apr 1653 in Reading MA to Sarah Fitch, daughter of Dea. Zachary and Mary Fitch. She b. 20 July 1633 in St. Albans, Herford, England, and d. 25 Dec 1698 in Reading, Middlesex Co. MA. It is noted on his gravestone that he was one of the founders of the church in Reading. A part of his estate remained in the hands of his posterity for over one hundred years.
Children of John & Sarah (Fitch) Weston:
1. John Weston, b. 17 Aug 1655, died young.
2. Sarah Weston, b. 16 July 1656 in Salem MA
3. Mary Weston, b. 25 May 1659 in Salem MA
4. +John Weston, b. 9 March 1661 Reading MA
5. Elizabeth Weston, b. 7 Feb 1662 in Salem MA
6. Samuel Weston, b. 16 Apr 1665 in Salem MA; lived in Reading MA
7. Stephen Weston, b. 8 Dec 1667 in Salem MA; a pious industrious and respectable man who had a farm in Reading MA, where he died 1753, age 88.  His son Stephen became the owner of a farm in Wilmington MA and was a leading man there, and deacon.
8. Thomas Weston, b. 20 Nov 1670 in Salem MA; lived in Reading MA
9. ?Zachariah Weston, b. abt 1671-74 in Reading MA
10. ?Mercy Weston, b. 26 May 1678 Reading MA
11. ?Zachariah Weston, b. 8 Sep 1681 in Reading MA
12. ?Josiah Weston, b. 30 May 1683 Reading MA
13. ?Susanna Weston, b. 18 June 1686 Reading MA
14. ?Sarah 2nd Weston, b. 1687 Reading MA

John Weston, son of John & Sarah (Fitch) Weston, was b. 9 March 1661 in Reading, Middlesex Co., MA and d. 29 Aug 1719 in Reading MA. He married 26 Nov 1684 in Reading MA to Mary Bryant, dau of Abraham & Mary (Kendall) Bryant. She b. 23 July 1666 in Reading MA, and d. 19 Dec 1725 in Reading, MA.
Children of John & Mary (Bryant) Weston:
1. John Weston, b. 22 Oct 1685 in Reading MA
2. +Samuel Weston, b. 6 July 1689 in Salem, Essex Co MA
3. Stephen Weston, b. 1 Dec 1693 Reading MA
4. Benjamin Weston, b. 9 Nov 1698 in Reading MA
5. Abraham Weston, b. 10 Aug 1687 in Reading MA
6. Mary Weston, b. 30 Nov 1691 in Reading MA
7. Zachariah Weston b 19 Aug 1695 in Reading MA
8. James Weston, b. 27 March 1697 in Reading MA
9. Jeremiah Weston, b 28 July 1700 in Reading MA
10. Timothy Weston, b. 26 Feb 1702 in Reading MA
11. Jonathan Weston, b. 5 Apr 1705 in Reading MA
12. Sarah Weston, b. 9 Nov 1707 in Reading MA
13. John Weston, b. 2 Dec 1709 in Reading MA

Samuel Weston, son of John & Mary (Bryant) Weston, was b 6 July 1689 in Salem, Essex Co MA and d. 6 Nov 1745 in Salem Co MA. He married 8 Apr 1718 in Salem, Essex Co MA to Joanna Upton/Upham. She b. 21 Apr 1699 in Malden MA, and d. 26 Feb 1771 in Salem, Essex Co. MA.
Children of Samuel & Joanna (Upton) Weston: [possibly more]
1. Samuel Weston, b. 16 Apr 1722 in Salem, Essex Co MA; m. Sarah Rogers; resided Billerica MA, had issue.
2. Sarah Weston, b. 1 Dec 1728 in Wakefield MA
3. +Jonathan Weston, b. 13 Apr 1731 in Salem MA
4. Joanna Weston, b. 9 Feb 1743-44 Reading MA

Jonathan Wesson/Weston, son of Samuel & Joanna (Upton) Weston, was b. 13 Apr 1731 in Salem MA and d. 22 Feb 1794 in Salem MA. He married 18 Dec 1753 in Reading MA to Ruth FLINT, dau of Nathaniel & Ruth (Herrick) Flint of Wakefield MA. She b abt 1733 and d. 6 March 1794, ae 61 years in Reading MA. [Another source states he also married a Martha Farnsworth].
Children of Jonathan & Ruth (?) Wesson:
1. Ruth Wesson, b. 6 May 1755 Reading MA, d. 19 May 1778 in her 24th year in Reading MA
2. Jonathan Wesson, b. 1 March 1757 Reading MA; NEHGS Register, 109:215 “Service of Men from North Reading, Mass.” Jonathan Wesson Creadit for Servis in the War, in 1776 Eight months Servis to Cambrig, in 1776 two months Servis to New York, in 1779 fifteen Days at the lines; ?m. 9 Sep 1779 in Reading MA to Lucy Parker.
3. Nathaniel Wesson, b 3 May 1759 Reading MA
4. Samuel Wesson, b. 6 March 1761 Reading MA
5. James Wesson, b. 2 March 1763 in Reading MA, bap. 6 Oct 1774 in Reading MA; NEHGS Register, 109:215 “Service of Men from North Reading, Mass.” James Wesson Creadet for Servis in the War; in 1776 one quarter of a turn for 5 months to the westward, in 1777 Paid Seaven Pounds teen Sheilens.
6. +Amos Wesson, b. 21 Apr 1767 in Reading MA; bap. 6 Oct 1774 in Reading MA
7. Experience Weston, b. 1769 Reading MA
8. Ephraim Wesson, bap 6 Oct 1774 Reading MA
9. Lois Wesson, bap. 24 Dec 1775 Reading MA

Amos Wesson, son of Jonathan and Ruth, born 21 Apr 1767 in Reading MA; baptized 6 Oct 1774 in Reading MA. He married 1 June 1790 in Wakefield MA to Mary “Polly” Flint. She b. 1752 in Marblehead MA, dau of Amos & Mary (Graves) Flint.
Children of Amos & Mary (?) Wesson:
1. +Amos Wesson/Weston, b. 18 March 1791 in Reading MA
2. Betsey Wesson/Weston, b. 17 Oct 1793 in Reading MA
3. Hiram Weston, b abt 1794 in Reading MA; m. 27 Se 1818 to Olive Little.
4. Nathaniel Flint Weston, b. 1798, and d. 1799

Amos Wesson/Weston, son of Amos & Mary Wesson, was born in Reading MA on 18 March 1791, and d. 1 June 1858 in Manchester NH. He moved in 1803 from Reading MA and settled in Derryfield NH to the farm to which his name has since been attached and which is situated in the southeastern part of Manchester, then a part of Londonderry.  He was a man of character and influence, and a member of a committee, chosen in 1810 to petition the legislature to change the name of Derryfield to Manchester. He resided on the old farm until 1853, when he removed to Mr. Weston's present residence near the compact part of the city. He married 13 March 1813 in Londonderry NH to Elizabeth “Betsy” Wilson. She was b. 1797 in Londonderry NH, daughter of Col. Robert Wilson of Londonderry, and granddaughter of James Wilson, who came from Londonderry, Ireland about 1728 and settled at the place now known as Wilson's Crossing in Londonderry NH. He was a man of strong mind and sound judgement, and much in public service. He officiated as town clerk of Manchester five years, as selectman fiften years (being eleven years chairman of the board), was three time the representative from Manchester in the legislature, a member of the constitutional convention of 1850. They had 5 children.
Children of Amos & Betsy (Wilson) Weston Jr.:
1. +Robert S. Weston, b. 11 Feb 1811/1814 in Manchester NH
2. Son, b. 1821 Manchester NH
3. Amos Weston Jr., b. 1822/23; m. 31 Jan 1849 in Goffstown NH to Rebecca Jane “”Betsey J.” Richards; he d. 16 July 1853. In 1850 living in Manchester NH with wife.
4. Daughter, b. 1825 in Manchester NH
5. +James Adams Weston, b. 27 Aug 1827

Robert S. Weston, b. 11 Feb 1811/14 in Manchester NH and d. 12 March 1848 in Manchester NH. He married 16 Dec 1845 in Manchester NH to Sarah Sanders Gilman, dau of Moses & Sophia (Burleigh) Gilman.  She b. 5 Oct 1823 in Sanbornton, Carroll Co NH and d. in Laconia NH.
Children of Robert S. & Sarah S. (Gilman) Weston:
1. Amos Gilman Weston, b. 26 Oct 1846 in Manchester NH. He d. 16 Feb 1867 in Red Wing, MN. He is buried in Laconia NH. He married 12 Jan 1865 in Yellow Springs OH to Hattie Diadema Chamberlin, dau of George Clinton & Sophronia Bouton (Hanford) Chamberlin. She b. 22 Oct 1845 in Lisbon OH and d. 22 Oct 1937. She is buried in Lincoln NE.  Their son William Herman Weston was b. 22 Sep 1865 in Yellow Springs OHIO

James Adams Weston, son of Amos & Betsy (Wilson) Weston) was born 27 August 1827. He grew up and attended school at the Manchester and Piscataquog Academies, followed by self-study in civil engineering. He taught school in Londonderry NH in 1845, and in Manchester in 1846.  In 1854 he married Miss Anna S. Gilmore, daughter of Mitchel S. Gilmore, Esq. of Concord. James Weston died 8 May 1895, and was mourned by the entire community.
Children of James A. & Anna S. (Gilmore) Weston:
1. Herman Weston, eldest, died at the age of four and a half years
2. Grace Helen Weston, born July 1, 1866; she m. Dr. Fred/?Frederick Eames. He b. Feb 1860 in Maine; in 1900 living in Manchester NH with her brother James. Their son Frederick Weston Eames b. Nov 1899 in NH.
3. James Henry Weston, born July 17, 1868; in 1900 single living in Manchester NH at 621 Maple Street. In 1910 & 1910 living in Derry NH with wife Allice C.
4. Edwin Bell Weston, March 15, 1871
5. Ann “Annie” Mabel Weston, September 26, 1876; in 1900 single living with brother James.
6. Charles Albert Weston, November 1, 1878; in 1900 single living with brother James; In 1918 married (Marie L.E.) and a manager for New England Telephone. In 1920 living in Manchester NH with wife Marie L., and children, James A. (age 8), Albert L. (age 6) and William E. (age 2-11/12).  In 1930 living in Springfield, Hamden Co MA with wife Marie L. and children James A (age 18), Albert L. (age 16), and William E. (age 12).

1. Manchester, A Brief Record of its Past and A Picture of Its Present, including an account of is settlement and its growth as town and city; a history of its schools, churches, societies, banks, post-offices, newspapers and manufactures; a description of its government, police and fire department, public buildings, library, water-works, cemeteries, streets, streams, railways and bridges; a complete list of the selectmen, moderators and clerks of the town and members of the councils, marshals and engineers of the city, with the state of the cote for mayor at each election; Manchester N.H.; John B. Clark; 1875
2. United States Census 1790-1930
3. Vital Records of Reading Massachusetts, to the Year 1850

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