Jefferson New Hampshire: Carter’s Tower

Likeness of James Richard Carter, from "The Paper Mill and Wood Pulp News," Volume 44, Front Cover, L. D. Post, 1921

Likeness of James Richard Carter,
from “The Paper Mill and Wood
Pulp News,” Volume 44, Front
Cover, L. D. Post, 1921

In 1897 the White Mountain area of New Hampshire was a popular spot for the well-off to build summer homes. James Richard Carter, a paper company magnate, had constructed an estate called “The Hummocks” in Jackson, New Hampshire, on an abandoned farm formerly owned by the Clapp family. He was familiar with the area, having his friend, E.A. Crawford, living nearby.

After building his home, extensive gardens and a tennis court, he decided to build a rock tower. One source states that Mr. Carter himself nicknamed the tower, “Carter’s Tower of Foolishness.”



Old postcard showing Carter's Tower

Old postcard showing Carter’s Tower

This building included a series of inside stairs to the top of the tower, where a panoramic view of the surrounding country could be seen. A second source states it had a practical application–being built to monitor fires along the railroad track “which the family would then beat out with brooms before they could spread.”  This story is possible, as the trains at the time would have been coal-fired, and were known to cause fires along its route as the result of flying embers.

A local year-long resident from an old family, Benjamin Hunking Plaisted, grandson of B.H. Plaisted of Waumbek fame, was many years coachman and chauffeur for Mr. Carter and was later caretaker and manager of the large farm.

James R. Carter founded the firm of Carter, Rice & Co. in Boston on January 2, 1871. The business grew quickly and the company moved to Federal Street in 1873, and again five years later to 252 Devonshire street. In 1921 he celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his career.

One of James R. Carter’s sons, Eliot would later decide to make New Hampshire his home, residing in the Nashua NH area, and running a company that would later become Nashua Corp. He was a great philanthropist, donating funds to build Nashua’s library, and contributing generously to other southern New Hampshire causes.

Update 6 December 2017Gerald Oleson on FaceBook states that his great-grandfather, Samuel Henry Stellings, was the stone mason who built “Carter’s Folly.” for Mr. Carter. Reportedly “he was paid a dollar and a half a day and his assistant was paid a dollar a day…”     There was indeed a man named Samuel Henry Stellings who lived in the area during that time, though I have no primary evidence of whether or not he built Carter’s tower.  Details on Samuel H. Stellings below. [The family also spelled the surname Stillings].

Samuel Henry Stellings, son of Darius Enos & Eliza D. (Pinkham) Stellings b. 26 April 1851 Jefferson, Coos Co. NH. Farmer and lifelong resident of Jefferson, Coos Co., New Hampshire. He died 17 Nov 1926 in Jefferson NH.  He married Mary Elizabeth Ingerson, daughter of William & Susan (Rolph) Ingerson. Samuel E. Stellings had siblings to include: Alice Amanda, Elizabeth (Lizzie J., b 13 June 1846 Jefferson d 27 Dec 1926 Hampton NH, m. — Kennett, Peter A., Leroy (b 24 Feb 1853 Jefferson NH, d. 2 May 1908 Jefferson NH) and Franklin Pierce. Most are buried in Starr King Cemetery in Jackson NH.   Samuel H. & Mary E. (Ingerson) Stelling’s daughter, Goldine E. Stellings was b abt 1892 in Jefferson NH.  She married 11 July 1911 in Jefferson NH to Otto W. Oleson, son of Herman E. & Julia M. Oleson.



Rev. Thomas-1 Carter,  b abt 1610 probably at Hertfordshire, near St. Albans England, having received his degrees at St. John’s College in 1629 and 1633; resided in Dedham and Watertown MA, and was ordained minister of Woburn, Nov 22, 1642, and died there 5 Sep 1684, aged 84. His wife’s name was Mary, and she was probably Mary Parkhurst, the daughter of George Parkhurst Sr. of Watertown and Boston MA and his first wife Phebe. If so she was baptized in Ipswich MA 28 August 1614. Rev. Carter’s wife Mary died at Woburn  MA28 March 1687. [See a possible ancestry of Rev. Carter]
Children of Rev. Thomas & Mary (?) Carter:
1. +Samuel Carter, b. 8 Aug 1640 at Watertown MA
2. Judith Carter, m. 14 Oct 1660 Samuel Convers
3. Theophilus Carter, b. 12 June 1645 and d. 15 Feb 1649/50
4. Mary Carter, b. 24 July 1648; m1) 1671 John Wyman J.; m2) 31 Oct 1676 Nathaniel Bacheldor; she d. 1688
5. Abigail Carter, b. 10 Aug 1649; m. 7 May 1674 John Smith
6. Deborah Carter, b. 17 Sep 1651 and d. 14 Dec 1667
7. Timothy Carter, b. 12 June 1653 at Woburn MA; m 3 May 1680 Anna Fiske; resided Woburn and d. 8 July 1827
8. Thomas Carter, b. 8 June 1668 at Woburn MA; m. 1682 Margaret Whitmore and res. in Woburn MA

Rev Samuel-2 Carter, (Thomas-1),born 8 Aug 1640 at Watertown MA; graduated at Harvard College in 1660; died in 1698; married in 1672 Eunice Brooks, dau of John Brooks. She b. 10 Oct 1655. They lived in Woburn and Groton MA. His widow Eunice married 2nd, John Kendalf.
Children of Rev. Samuel & Eunice (Brooks) Carter:
1. Mary Carter, b. 24 July 1673
2. Samuel Carter, b. 27 Aug 1675, d. 10 Sep 1676
3. +Samuel Carter, b. 7 Jan 1677/78; m. Dorothy Wilder
4. John Carter, b. 14 March 1689, d. 1705
5. Thomas Carter, b. 3 Apr 1682; m 1707 Ruth –; res. Lancaster MA; d. 31 March 1738
6. Nathaniel Carter, b. 7 Apr 1685
7. Eunice Carter b 29 March 1687
8. Abigail Carter, b. 30 May 1690

Samuel-3 Carter, (Rev. Samuel-2, Rev. Thomas-1) b. in Woburn MA Jan 7, 1677, d. in Lancaster Aug 30, 1738. Married March 1701 Dorothy Wilder, b 1686 dau of Nathaniel and Mary (Sawyer) Wilder. He lived on the north side of the road that goes up George hill, possibly in the Capt Ephraim House that was torn down. His father had purchased two lots here in 1688 from Capt. Henry Kerley.  He was assigned to a garrison on George Hill with
his brothers-in-law Lieut. Nathaniel and Ephraim Wilder, Thomas Ross and his brother John Carter. On July 31, 1704 he lost through an attack by Indians one cow, one horse, two calves, two swine, and one good dwelling-house with two fires.  He was selectman in 1723 and served on various committees for the location of highways.
Children of Samuel & Dorothy (Wilder) Carter:
1. Samuel Carter, b 1703; d. Lancaster MA May 20, 1761; m. 14 Feb 1725 Jemimah Houghton, had issue
2. Eunice Carter, b 1704, d. at Sterling MA Nov 16, 1789; m. Nov 3, 1725 David Osgood. They settled in Lancaster MA, had issue.
3. Nathaniel Carter, b 1706, d. at Leominster MA July 20, 1787; m1) Feb 9 1731 Thankful Sawyer; m2) July 21 1758 Dorcas Spofford; had issue
4 Dorothy Carter b –; m. Apr 4, 1729 to Thomas Fairbank; had issue
5. Anna Carter b –; m. July 3, 1733 Daniel Knight; no more info
6. Jonathan Carter b 1711, d. at Leominster MA March 19, 1799; m. Damaris Joslin, dau of Peter Joslin of Lancaster MA; had issue
7. +Ephraim Carter, b 1713, d. at Lancaster
8. Oliver Carter b 1715, d. at Leominster MA Sept 11, 1790; m1) 1738 Beulah Wilder; m2) Widow Hannah Flagg; had issue who lived in Marlborough, Peterborough and Jaffrey NH.
9. Mary Carter, b 1791, d at Bolton MA Feb 3, 1743; m. June 12, 1735 John Whitcomb; resided Bolton MA; had issue
10. Elizabeth Carter, b 1722, d. at Lancaster MA Oct 9, 1755; m Feb 1740 Joseph Osgood Jr; had issue
11. Prudence Carter, b Feb 22 1723, d. at Leominster MA Apr 6, 1789; m Dec 28, 1743 Stephen Buss; res. Leominster MA; had issue
12. Josiah Carter, b Jan 26, 1726, d. at Leominster MA Feb 1812; m. 1745 Tabitha Hough; res. Leominster MA; had issue.

Ephraim-4 Carter, (Samuel-3, Rev Samuel-2, Rev Thomas-1) m1st) March 24, 1736, Mary Osgood, b. 1718, d. May 30, 1738; m2d) 1739, Abigail Wilder, dau of James and Abigail (Gardner) Wilder of Lancaster [see note after 1547]. He lived on the paternal estate on George Hill, Lancaster, and had a tannery there.
Child of Ephraim & Mary (Osgood) Carter:
1. Mary Carter, b. Jan 4, 1737, d. 1777; m Oct 20 1757 Mark Lincoln, son of Luke and Elizabeth (Otis) Lincoln; had issue
Children of Ephraim & Abigail (Wilder) Carter:
2. Ephraim Carter, b. May 27, 1740, died young.
3. Abigail Carter b Apr 9, 1741, m1) Jan 22 1761 Josiah Fairbanks; m2) 1791 Samuel Wilder; had issue by 1st husband.
4. Ephraim Carter b June 15, 1743, d. May 19, 1798; m. Dec 3 1767 Abigail Carter, dau of Col. John and Abigail (Joslin) Carter; had issue.
5. Beulah Carter b. Oct 14, 1747, d. Oct 22, 1769, m. Feb 22, 1769 Joseph Carter who was b. Nov 15, 1745, d. May 8, 1766. She lived only a few months after her marriage.
6. Dorothy Carter, b May 21, 1750, d. 1790; m Feb 18, 1768 Capt. Samuel Wilder; had issue
7. Relief, b. Aug 10, 1752, d. young.
8. +Oliver Carter, b Sept 12, 1757, d. 1842
9. Relief Carter, b. Sept 13, 1759, d. Feb 8, 1853; m. Dec 8, 1777 William Wilder; had issue
10. Abel, b. Dec 22, 1761, d. in Lancaster about 1790; unm.
11. Elijah Carter b Feb 21, 1764 in Keene NH, Feb 2, 1835; m. Dec 5, 1785 Sally Bridge. He resided in Sullivan NH and afterwards Keene NH, farmer; had issue.

Oliver-5 Carter, (Ephraim-6, Samuel-3, Rev Samuel-2, Rev. Thomas-1) m. Jan 15, 1795 Emily Harrington, who d. March 27, 1835. He lived and died in Lancaster MA; was a merchant at the “Old Common.”
Children of Oliver & Emily (Harrington) Carter:
1. Horatio Carter b Feb 17, 1796, d. Sept 21, 1832; m March 15, 1827 Emily Norton; had one child.
2. George Carter, b Apr 13, 1797, d. Jan 15, 1860; m. Oct 10, 1832 Nancy Carter; had issue
3. Timothy Harrington Carter, b Dec 23, 1798, living 1885; m. July 30, 1833 Martha Clark; had issue
4. Charles Carter, b Aug 21, 1800, d. Apr 24, 1880; m. Sept 13, 1827 Sarah Clark; had issue
5. Emily Carter, b March 31, 1802, d. Dec 7, 1883; m. May 29, 1834 Oscar C.B. Carter of Nashua NH, son of Charles Carter; no children.
6. Nancy B. Carter, b Feb 23, 1804, d. Feb 14, 1865; m. Apr 8, 1834 to Noah Worcester of Thornton NH who d. Oct 13, 1876; resided Lancaster MA; had issue
7. Catherine Prescott Carter, b. Feb 14, 1806, d. Mar. 2, 1878; unm.
8. +Richard Carter, b. Aug 30, 1808, d. Jan 7, 1852

Richard B.-6 Carter, (Oliver-5, Ephraim-4, Samuel-3, Rev. Samuel-2, Thomas-1) b. Aug 30, 1808, d. 7 Jan 1852;  m. Apr 29, 1841 Lucy Lazell Hobart of Abington, Mass. She was b. 4 Oct 1817 in Abington MA, dau of Benjamin and Deborah Hobart.
Children of Richard & Lucy L. (Hobart) Carter:
1. Frederick R. Carter, b Feb 6, 1842, d. Aug 26, 1851
2. John Wilkins Carter b Jan 30, 1843, m. Jan 21, 1874 Helen Burrage of Boston; manufacturer of Carter’s ink, etc.; res. Newton MA; had issue: Lucy, Richard Burrage, and Margaret.
3. Benjamin H. Carter, b. Nov 22, 1849, d. Apr 16, 1863
4. +James Richard Carter, b Jan 4, 1849

James Oliver Richard-7 Carter, (Richard-6, Oliver-5, Ephraim-4, Samuel-3, Rev. Samuel-2, Rev. Thomas-1), born Jan 4, 1849 Boston, MA and d. 13 Sep 1923 in Jefferson, Coos Co. NH; He m. Oct 15, 1873 in NY City (also recorded in Boston MA) to Carrie Giles of New York City, daughter of Chauncey & Eunice Giles. She was born 9 Oct 1853 in Pomeroy Ohio, and died 26 Jan 1923 in Newton MA. They resided on Mount Vernon Street in Newton MA. [Note: James’ middle name is shown as “Oliver” not Richard on his marriage record.] He was a paper dealer, treasurer and manager of Carter Rice & Co. They are buried in Mt. Auburn Cemetery.
Boston Herald (Boston MA) page 11, Sunday, January 28, 1923
The funeral of Mrs. Carrie Giles Carter, wife of James Richard Carter of West Newton and a daughter of the late Rev. Chauncey Giles, a prominent preacher and writer of the Church of the New Jerusalem, who died Friday will be held at 3 o’clock today in that church on Highland avenue, Newtonville. She was born in Pomeroy Ohio i 1852, when her father was closing a successful career as school teacher to become a minister of a church in Cincinnati. Removing 10 years later with the family to New York, she was there married in 1873 to James Richard Carter, prominent in the paper business in Boston. Mrs. Carter possessed in a marked degree the strong religious convictions and courage of her father, and expressed her devotion to his memory in the preparation and publication of two books: “The Chauncey Giles Year Book,” a volume of brief quotations from his writings, and “The Life of Chauncey Giles,” designed especially to show the powerful and beneficent influence of the New Church in her father’s life. Mrs. Carter had been a worker in local charities and in her home church, and had held the position of president of the National Alliance of New Church Women. Her home and her family of seven children had been her first care. She took great pleasure in her mountain home and garden at Jefferson Highlands, N.H. In the war time her zeal for the cause of her country led her to work almost beyond her strength, and since the war the condition of the disabled soldiers had appealed strongly to her sympathies and her practical kindness. ————————-
Children of James R. & Carrie (Giles) Carter:
1. Frederick R. Carter, b June 15, 1874, d. Aug 27, 1874
2. Chauncey Giles Carter, b. Nov 30 1875
3. +Hubert Laselle/Lazell Carter, b. Nov 30, 1877 in West Newton MA, and d. 15 Jan 1956 at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston MA; He was elected an annual member of NEHGS 30 Sep 1941.
4. Evelyn Carter, b. Oct 22, 1881
5. Sydney Hobart Carter, b. Aug 16, 1883; died 30 Dec 1903 Newton MA, age 20
6. +Winthrop Lakey Carter, b. Feb 19 1885 in Newton MA
7. +Eliot A. Carter, b. 15 Nov 1886 in Newton MA


Hubert Lazell-8 Carter, (James R.-7, Richard-6, Oliver-5, Ephraim-4, Samuel-3, Rev.
Samuel-2, Rev. Thomas-1) son of James Richard & Carrie (Giles) Carter b. Nov 30, 1877 in West Newton MA, and d. 15 Jan 1956 at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston MA; He was elected an annual member of NEHGS 30 Sep 1941. He prepared for college in the High School in Newton MA, and graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. Degree in 1908. He entered his father’s business, Carter, Rice & Co, paper dealers in Boston, and spent his entire business life with the firm, retiring in 1947.[ In 1966 Carter Rice was acquired by Hammermill Papers]. He was a director of the Nashua Corporation, a director of the Summer Street Extension Trust, and for a long time President of the Boston Paper Trade Association. He was a long an alderman in Newton MA. He was a member of the First Corps of Cadets of Boston, a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, the Brae Burn County Club, the St. Botolph Club of Boston and the Harvard Club of Boston. He was an Episcopalian.  He married 7 June 1906 in Newton MA to Edith Harriet Adams. [NEHGS Register 110;147]
Children of Hubert L. & Edith H. (Adams) Carter:
1. James Richard Carter, b. 14 July 1907; m. 8 Nov 1930 Juliet Green; res. Amherst NH; he died Aug 1979 in Santa Barbara California
2. Elfriede Carter, b. 18 Oct 1910; m 2 Sep 1933 William Rupert Maclaurin of Lincoln MA
3. Hubert Adams Carter, b. 6 June 1914; m. 6 June 1942 Ann Brooks; res. Milton MA
4. Sylvia Carter, b. 22 July 1917; m 31 Aug 1940 Robert Ware Bridgeman of Wilton CT

Winthrop Lakey-8 Carter, (James R.-7, Richard-6, Oliver-5, Ephraim-4, Samuel-3, Rev. Samuel-2, Rev. Thomas-1) son of James Richard & Carrie (Giles) Carter b. Feb 19 1885 in Newton MA.. and died 22 February 1944 in Newton MA. He married about 1906 to Elizabeth “Bessie” Conant Barton, dau of Charles C. & Emma (Drew) Barton.  She b. 4 Nov 1884 in Newton MA.  In 1918 he was assist. field manager for Emergency Fleet Corp of Philadelphia, but residing at 28 Concord St. in Nashua NH with wife. In 1942 he resided on North Pepperell Rd, Hollis NH while employed at the Nashua Gummed and Coated Paper Company (of Franklin St. Nashua NH). In the same year Mrs. Elizabeth B. Carter residing in East Pepperell MA.[see Winthrop Carter home in Hollis NH] A fund was established in his and his wife’s name, i.e., Winthrop L. Carter Memorial Fund, to support charitable organizations in the Piscataqua Region and to the greater Portsmouth area and the State of NH. Another fund, the Winthrop Carter Fund was established by Mr. and Mrs. Winthrop L. Carter to recognize the importance of The Art Gallery at UNH and the major role it plays in exhibits for the University community. The fund supports the Gallery’s programs, most specifically the completion of the Art in New Hampshire exhibition project.
U.S. Census > 1920 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Hillsborough > Nashua Ward 1 > District 136
Carter, Winthrop L. Head M W 34 married MA MA NY; manufacturer, Paper Mill
Carter, Elizabeth B. wife F W 35 married MA CT MA
Carter, Katharine dau F W 9 single NH MA MA
Carter, Sydney H. son M W 7 single NH MA MA
Carter, Barton, son M W 4 single MA MA MA
[servants, Axel and Amanda Anderson & Marion Standard]
U.S. Census > 1930 United States Federal Census > Massachusetts > Middlesex > Newton > District 391
Carter, Winthrop L. Head M W 45 married 24 yrs MA MA MA President Paper Mill
Carter, Elizabeth B. wife F W 45 married MA CT MA
Carter, Katherine, daughter F W 19 single NH MA MA
Carter, Barton son M W 15 single MA MA MA
Carter, Sydney son M W 17 single NH MA MA
Carter, Winthrop son M W 9 single NH MA MA
Children of Winthrop & Elizabeth (Barton) Carter:
1. Katherine Carter, b. abt 1911 in Nashua NH
2. Sydney H. Carter, b. abt 1913 in Nashua NH
3. Barton Carter, b. abt 1916 in MA or NH
4. Winthrop L. Carter Jr., b. 6 Jan 1921 in Nashua NH; d. 19 Oct 1983 in Boston MA.

Eliot A.-8 Carter, (James R.-7, Richard-6, Oliver-5, Ephraim-4, Samuel-3, Rev. Samuel-2, Rev. Thomas-1) son of James Richard & Carrie (Giles) Carter b. 15 Nov 1886 in Newton MA, and died July 28, 1976 in Nashua NH, age 89.  He was a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover MA and Yale University. In Sept 1918 he received the Distinguished Service Cross for continuing to fight after being wounded in a battle in France. He also received the Purple Heart. In World War II, he was a captain in the military police. He served 3 terms as a state rep. and 2 terms as state senator. In the 1930s he served on then-Governor John G. Winant’s staff; he was vice president of Nashua Gummed and Coated Paper Company [the company later became Nashua Corp]. In 1976 he donated over $800,000 towards a new library in Nashua NH.

1. Carter : a genealogy of the descendants of Samuel and Thomas, sons of Rev. Samuel Carter : 1640-1886 : a contribution to the history of the first Carters of Lancaster, Lunenburg and Leominster, Massachusetts by Clara A. Carter; Clinton, Mass.: Printed by W.J. Coulter, Courant Office, 1887
2. United States Federal Census
3. NEHGS Online Database
4. The History of the town of Jackson NH 1773-1927
5. The Nashua Telegraph Online.
6. A collection of portraits of representative men in business and professional life in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. 1903, Boston: Rockwell and Churchill Press
7. FamilySearch database of vital records

This entry was posted in Genealogy, New Hampshire Men, Structures, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Jefferson New Hampshire: Carter’s Tower

  1. Dr. Thomas Slack says:

    I was very fortunate to have had the great pleasure and honor or meeting Mr. Winthrop Carter when I worked in Personnel at Nashua Corporation on Franklin Street from 1977-1979, and recall the day I told him that I had just purchased 1,000 shares of Nashua Corporation stock for 29.50 per share and he said “my God, my Son, why on earth would you ever do such a thing” I never paid a penny for mine”. Dr. Thomas Slack, 103 Kressview Drive, Oakdale, PA 15071 – 10.24.18

Leave a Reply