He put the "Straw" in Straw Point: New Hampshire Governor Ezekiel A. Straw

Ezekiel A. Straw

Ezekiel A. Straw

Straw Point is an outcropping of land, located at the north end of Rye Beach, near Jenness Beach. Originally this point was called Joscelyn / Josselyn’s Point. It is not known which Josselyn family member–Henry, John or another–were responsible for giving it their name.).


After being settled in 1660 by John Lock(e) and his family until about 1872, this area was called Lock(e)’s Point.  Then Ezekiel A. Straw, who had became Governor of New Hampshire in 1872, erected the first summer home well out on this Point.

It was being called “Straw’s Point” at least by September 15, 1871 when Ezekiel Straw (pictured above) held a “Great Clambake” there in honor of his sister-in-law, Mrs. William B. Webster.

Prior to becoming governor, Ezekiel Straw had worked many years for Amoskeag Manufacturing in Manchester NH.  During the 1860 presidential campaign he gave Abraham Lincoln a tour of the mill and introduced the candidate for president to the workers..  Reportedly one of the mill workers hesitated to shake his hands due to the dirt on them. “Young man,” Lincoln said, “the hand of honest toil is never too grimy for Abe Lincoln to grasp.” [per “The Belles of New England: The Women of the Textile Mills, by William Moran, 2004].

Photograph of my great-grandfather, Patrick J. Ryan on the beach at Straw's point, prior to 1929.

Photograph of my great-grandfather, Patrick J. Ryan on the beach at Straw’s point, prior to 1929.

Ezekiel was a native of New Hampshire, being born in 1819 at Salisbury NH. He attended Andover MA public school, and Phillips Andover Academy (Andover MA). In 1838 he joined Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in Manchester NH as an engineer. He surveyed, and constructed dams and canals for the company. In 1842 he founded Manchester’s Unitarian Society. He was a legislator (1859 and 1864), State Senator (1864-66), President of the Senate (1855-56), on the staff of Gov. Onslow Stearns (1869), and Governor of New Hampshire (1872, 1873).

Ezekiel Straw died in 1882 and is buried in Valley Cemetery, Manchester NH


*Additional Reading*

Governor Ezekiel A. Straw Bio

See Map of Straw’s Point


William Straw, (possibly son of Lawrence Straw b 1615 in England) b. abt 1660 in Nottinghamshire England; d. abt 1712 in Amesbury MA. He m. Mehitable Hoyt, dau of John Hoyt.  She b. 25 Oct 1664 in Amesbury MA and d. bef 1691 in Amesbury MA. He married 2nd) Margaret –.  She b. 1638 and d. 1712. William arrived in Massachusetts and settled in Salisbury. He may have been a tailor in addition to being a farmer. William’s will made 23 May 1709 and proved 2 October 1712 was witnessed by Joseph Holt, Jacob Bagly and Theophilus —. His estate was worth approximately 105 pounds. His will was probated in Salem MA.
Children of William & Mehitable (Hoyt) Straw:
1. Dorothy Straw, b. 1684, d. 29 Sep 1715 Amesbury MA; m1) Luke Wells who d. 1728; m?2) John Trull
2. William Straw, b.22 May 1686, d. 1728 Amesbury MA; m. Lydia Purington;
3. John Straw, b. 1 July 1688 Amesbury MA, d. 28 Nov 1750 Kingston NH; m. Lydia Sargent; had issue
Children of William & Margaret (?) Straw:
1. + Samuel Straw, b. 13 Aug 1692 in Salisbury MA
2. Lawrence Straw, b. 31 May 1699, d. 1762; m. Abigail Jewell and had issue.

Samuel Straw, son of William & Margaret (?) Straw, b. 13 Aug 1692, Salisbury MA; d. Oct 1773 at South Hampton, Rockingham Co NH; He  m. at Amesbury MA to Elizabeth Dimond, dau of Israel & Abigail (Prowse) Dimond. She b. 1697 in Amesbury MA and d. 1773 at South Hampton, Rockingham Co NH.
Children of Samuel & Elizabeth (Dimond) Straw:
1. Elizabeth Straw, b 19 Apr 1719 Amesbury MA
2. Hannah Straw, b. 30 Apr 1721 in Salisbury MA; d. 1809 in Weare NH
3. Miriam Straw, b. 17 Apr 1723, d. 14 Sep 1735 both in Salisbury MA
4. Jonathan Straw, b. 28 Jan 1725 S. Hampton NH; d. 24 Jan 1791 Hopkinton NH; m. Mary Carr; had issue
5. Abia Straw, b. 9 Nov 1728 Salisbury MA, d. before 1809
6. +Ezekiel Straw, b. 15 Jan 1730/31 Salisbury MA
7. Jacob Straw, b. 21 May 1734 in S. Hampton, Rockingham Co NH, d. 5 Nov 1807 Hopkinton, Merrimack Co NH; m. Lydia Ordway; had issue; one of the early proprietors of Hopkinton NH [ancestor of Dr. Amos Gale Straw of Manchester NH – see article at a later date].
8. Israel Straw, b. 23 June 1735 Salisbury MA: d. 3 Apr 1800 Weare NH; m. Abiah Nelson
9. Samuel Straw, b. 29 May 1738 S. Hampton NH; d. aft. 1809; m. Ruth Flanders

Ezekiel Straw, son of Samuel & Elizabeth (Dimond) Straw, b. 15 Jan 1730/31 Salisbury MA, d. 15 Jan 1730 at Salisbury MA; m1) 18 May 1758 to Martha Gould (South Hampton NH Church records), dau of Joseph & Abigail (Hoyt) Gould. She b. 28 May 1728. He married 2) 1782 Betty Brown of Pembroke NH [a second source calls her Betty Hoyt, dau of Abner & Betty (Hoyt) Hoyt who supposedly m1) Samson Colby of Rumford, int. 19 Sep 1742, she m. Ezekiel Straw 2nd.].  He along with other residents of Hopkinton NH signed a declaration of fidelity (Life and Times in Hopkinton NH, by Charles Lord page 59). On the 7 March 1774 he was Lieutenant of the 13th Company of Hopkinton Militia (Collections of NH Historical Society, page 196). In the U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls 1775-1783 he is shown as “Ezekiel Straw, Private, NH” and he served in August and September 1778 in Rhode Island in a company commanded by Captain Joshua Bailey, serving 25 days
Children of Ezekiel & Martha (Gould) Straw:
1. +Ezekiel Straw, b. 20 Feb 1763 in Hopkinton NH
2. Abigail Straw, b. 1759, d. 1779; m. Ebenezer Rider
3. Martha Straw, b. 1728, d. 1822; m. Amos Hall
Children of Ezekiel & Betty (?) Straw:
4. Martha Straw, b. 23 Nov 1764 Hopkinton NH, d. abt 1822; m. Amos Hall
5. Severance E. Straw, b. 17 Feb 1767 in Hopkinton NH

Ezekiel Straw II, son of Ezekiel & Martha (Gould) Straw, b. 20 Feb 1763 in Hopkinton NH and d. 22/23 Sep 1818 in Albany NY. He married 7 May 1782 to Elizabeth Brown. She b. 1762 in Pembroke NH and d. 9 Jan 1849 in Warner NH.
Children of Ezekiel & Elizabeth (Brown) Straw [may be more]:
1. Sarah “Sally” Straw, b. 18 Oct 1782 Hopkinton NH
2. +James Brown Straw, b. 11 March 1783 in Hopkinton NH
3. Rachel Straw, b. 4 March 1784 Hopkinton NH, d. 13 Sep 1808 Hopkinton NH
4. Molly/Mary Straw, b. 19 Dec 1786 Hopkinton NH [one source says b 1787 Salisbury NH] and died 1830 in Warner NH. She m. March 1813 to Daniel Savory. He b. 1789 at Amesbury MA and d. 1830 at Warner NH.
5. James Straw, b. 14 July 178-.
6. Steven Stanley Straw, b. 10 Apr 1796; d. 13 May 1839 Lowell MA
7. Jesse W. Straw, b. 3 Sep 1800; d. 6 Sep 1803
8. Samuel B. Straw, b, 5 Mar 1798; d. 12 Sep 1803

James Brown Straw, son of Ezekiel & Elizabeth (Brown) Straw, b. 11 March 1783 in Hopkinton NH, d. 14 Aug 1830 in Lowell MA; he m. 14 March 1819 to Mehitable Fisk. He was a surveyor and overseer of a cotton mill. The family moved to Lowell MA where their children attended public school, and where James entered into the service of the Appleton Manufacturing Company.
Children of James B. & Mehitable (Fisk) Straw:
1. +Ezekiel Straw, b. 19 Dec 1819 Salisbury NH
2. Miranda Straw, b. Oct 1825 NH:  m. Benjamin F. Manning; in 1850 living in Manchester NH, his mother Susan, and sisters Susan and Mary living with them.  In 1900 she was living a widow in Manchester NH. The census indicates she never had children.
3. Abigail Straw, res. Manchester NH
4. James B. Straw, res. Manchester NH

Ezekiel Albert “Zeke” Straw, son of James B. & Mehitable (Fisk) Straw, b. 19 December 1819 Salisbury NH (his daughter’s death cert says Warner NH), on the “Jacob Chase formerly the Hardy homestead.” He d. 23 Oct 1882, He is buried in Valley Cemetery, Manchester NH. A few years after his birth his family moved to Lowell MA. He entered the English department of Phillips Academy at Andover MA where he applied himself to the study of practical mathematics. In the spring of 1838 he was employed as assistant civil engineer on the Nashua & Lowell RR. In July of 1838 he began service with the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company as civil engineer, continuing until 1851 when he was appointed agent of the company.  From 1859-1963 he was elected to the state legislature as a rep. from Manchester NH. In 1864 and 1865 he was elected to the state senate and was president of the senate in 1865. In 1872 he was elected governor of NH then re-elected in 1873. He m. 7 Apr 1842 in Amesbury, Essex Co MA to Charlotte Smith Webster, dau of Nathaniel and Mary (Bartlett) Webster. She b. 4 Sep 1823 in Amesbury MA. [Nathaniel Webster of Salisbury MA, a sea captain m. 3 June 1817 to Mary Bartlet(t). Their other ch, William Bartlett Webster b 18 Apr 1820, Maria Loezer Webster b 7 July 1826. Mary Bartlett was a prominent spiritualist of Amesbury MA who “made her house a refuge for destitute mediums and clairvoyants.” Reportedly Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy of the Christian Science Church spent some months living in the Nathaniel Webster home when she first went to Amesbury MA.]
Children of Ezekiel “Zeke” & Charlotte S. (Webster) Shaw:
1. Albert Straw, b. 1846, died in infancy 1847
2. Charlotte Webster Straw, b. March 1848 in Manchester NH, d. 8 Nov 1903 in Lowell MA, age 55 of chronic nephritis;  m. William H. Howard of Somerville MA who owned a hose manufactory. (He was the son of Hanson Howard, b. March 1843 Strafford NH [one source says Strafford VT] He died 5 Jan 1904 in Lowell MA of acute gastritis). She is buried in Valley Cemetery, Manchester NH on 10 March 1903. They had at least 3 children: Albert S. Howard b March 1876 in MA; William Hanson Howard b 30 Apr 1879 in Boston MA and Sarah Howard b Oct 1883 in MA.
3. Herman Foster Straw, b. 31 Dec 1849 in Manchester NH; d. 1929; was asst. supt. of Amoskeag Co. Mills; married 18 Sep 1873 to Mary Dreslow Parker. She was b. Sept 1853 in NH. They had several children including son William Parker Straw who was b June 1877/79 in Manchester NH and was also a superintendent of Amoskeag Mills; Harry Ellis a son b. Apr 1883 in NH and a son Herman F. b. 1894 in NH.
4. Ellen “Nellie” Straw, b. 16 Feb 1852 in Manchester NH and d. 31 Dec 1926 in Lowell MA; She married Henry Martin Thompson, former agent of Manchester Print-Works, and later agent of the Lowell Felting Company of Lowell MA. He b. 19 Feb 1847 Portsmouth NH and d. 4 Jan 1909, age 61 in Lowell MA, a suicide (pistol shot wound of brain). He was the son of William N. & Louisa M. (Butler) Thompson, and later lived with his parents in Biddeford ME (1860). He was buried 6 Jan 1909 in Salem MA. They had resided at 4 Park Street in Lowell MA. They had at least one ch, a son Albert W. Thompson b 16 Feb 1874 in E. Somerville MA, who m. 6 Oct 1898 in Lowell MA to Hildreth Nesmith, age 22 dau of Thomas & Florence (Hildreth) Nesmith. She was. b. 23 Sep 1876 in Lowell MA and d. after Sept 1918.

Likeness of Mrs. Nathaniel (Mary Bartlett) Webster,
mother of Charlotte (Webster) Straw.

Note: the descendants of John Lock(e) of England and Rye NH are so extensive that I have only mentioned the first/immigrant generation, and have provided links for related Locke family members to locate the numerous descendants.

1. History of the Town of Rye NH, by Langdon Brown Parsons; Rumford Printing Co.; 1905
2. History of the Town of Hampton NH, by Joseph Dow; Salem Press Publishing; 1894; page 821
3. Book of the Lockes, by Goodwin Locke, J. Munroe & Co. Publishers; 1853
4 Genealogical and Family History of the State of NH by Ezra S. Stearns, W.F. Whitcher, Edward E. Parker; Lewis Publishing Co.; Chicago; 1908

Captain John-1 Locke, [one source says he was b. 16 Sep 1627 in London England, son of Thomas & Christina (French) Locke] came from Yorkshire, England about 1644 and settled first in 1656 when he was granted a house-lot in Portsmouth NH.  He removed to what is known as Fort Point in New Castle NH and about 1652 married Elizabeth Berry, daughter of John Berry, who was probably the first settler at a place called Sandy Beach, now Rye New Hampshire. A few years later, Mr. Locke moved to Sagamore Creek. Probably in the spring of 1666 he settled, without permission of the town on a neck of land in Hampton/Rye are of NH called Joscelyn’s/Josselyn’s Neck, then later called Locke’s Neck. This neck of land was known as Locke’s Neck until about 1876, and now known as Straw’s Point.  John Locke was killed by the Indians, August 26, 1696, while he was reaping grain in his field, but two sons who were with him hid and escaped. It is said Captain Locke, after being shot, struck one of the Indians with his sickle and partly cut off his nose. He was by trade a carpenter.
Children of John & Elizabeth (Berry) Locke:
1. John Locke, b. 1654; m. Elizabeth — and had issue
2. Elizabeth Locke, died unmarried before 1708 (when her father’s estate was settled)
3. Alice (or Elsey/Elsie) Locke m. 14 March 1714 Nehemiah Berry
4. Nathaniel Locke, b. 1661; m. Dorothy Blake; d. 12 Nov 1734 in Rye NH; had issue
5. Edward Locke, m Hannah Jenness; had issue
6. Tryphena Locke, m. 31 Dec 1713 John Knowles
7. Rebecca Locke, was living in 1708.
8. Mary Locke, living in 1708
9. Dea. William Locke, b. 17 Apr 1777; m. Hannah Knowles; had issue
10. James Locke, Settled in the “First North Division” near his father’s homestead
11. Joseph Locke, m. Salome ?White

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4 Responses to He put the "Straw" in Straw Point: New Hampshire Governor Ezekiel A. Straw

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  4. Andrew T Straw says:

    My name is Andrew straw.. this is my great-great-great-grandfather

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