Barrington, New Hampshire Educator, Civic Leader, Author and Poet: Susan Hale (Hussey) Knapp (1832-1906)

Photograph from "New Hampshire Women: A collection of portraits and biological sketches," by New Hampshire Publishing Co.; 1895

Photograph from “New Hampshire Women: A collection of portraits and biological sketches,” by New Hampshire Publishing Co.; 1895

Susan Hale Hussey was born on a farm in Barrington, Strafford County, New Hampshire to Dea. Thomas & Susan (Hale) Hussey. She, like many women of her time, attended the local schools in her town, but she went on to study at the New Hampshire Conference Seminary, and the Gilmanton Academy. She then graduated in July 1855 from the State Normal School at Framingham MA, now called Framingham University. It was the first state-supported school dedicated to training teachers.

She first taught in Barrington, and later was assistant in the Great Falls high school until

Hale Schoolhouse at the Foot of Mt. Misery, Barrington NH from the Annual Report of the Town 1971

Hale Schoolhouse at the Foot of Mt. Misery, Barrington NH from the Annual Report of the Town 1971

1858 when she resigned her position for one in Stoneham MA.  The book “New Hampshire Women,” (pub 1895) states that “she was called in 1861 to become the first assistant in the high school named [i.e. Great Falls] where she taught with marked success until 1863.”  On 29 November 1866 she married Hon. William D. Knapp, a distinguished lawyer of Somersworth, New Hampshire, and son of Daniel and Betsy (Neal) Knapp. He was a descendant of William Knapp of Suffolk, England who joined the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, settling in Watertown.

Her civic involvements include membership in the Pascataqua Congregational Club, 1893-94 president of the Strafford Conference of the NH Branch of the Woman’s Board of Missions. She frequently contributed poems and sketches to newspaper and magazines. “Old Time Stories,” and reminiscences of the high school. A history in rhyme written for the first reunion of the school in 1877 was published in book form.




Reuben Hussey, son of Richard & Hannah Evans (Field) Hussey, b abt 1726 at Dover NH; resided 1737-1763 Dover Neck, Strafford NH; m. abt 1752 to Anna Young. Anna Young Hussey died “of ye Measles” March 5, 1784, according to “Diary of Rev. Isaac Hasey.” On September 18, 1788 he deeded some land to his son Zachariah Hussey, according to the diary.
Children of Reuben & Anna (Young) Hussey:
1. John Hussey b. 1753; moved to Shapleigh Maine about 1778
2. Reuben Hussey 1754; m. Experience Yeaton
3. +Richard Hussey, b. 14 Feb 1759/1769 Lebanon MA/Maine
4. Elizabeth Hussey 1761; m. Jacob Buzzell
5. Zacharia Hussey 1763-1813 ; m. Elizabeth “Betsey”Yeaton
6. Sarah Hussey 1765-

Richard Hussey, b. 14 Feb 1759/1769* Lebanon, York, Maine, d 13 Aug 1815 in Barrington NH; m. June 1779 in NH to Betsy “Betty” Drew, dau of Thomas & Tamsen (Ham) Drew of Madbury NH. She b. 8 Nov 1761 Madbury NH, died 30 December 1835.  They had 6 children, one dying in infancy. He was one of the early settlers of Barrington NH. Betty Drew Hussey, “wife of Richard Hussey,” was mentioned in the will of her father, Thomas Drew of Madbury, New Hampshire in 1783, according to “History of the Town of Durham, New Hampshire” by Everett S. Stackpole. [Dates below from Vital Records of Barrington NH]. Both buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Barrington NH [disinterred from Hussey family cemetery and moved to Pine Grove in 1928].
Children of Richard & Betsy (Drew) Hussey:
1. Anna Hussey, b. 2 July 1784 Barrington NH; m. David Winkley
2. +Thomas Hussey, b. 6 Sep 1786 Barrington NH
3. Joseph Hussey, b. 8 Dec 1788 Barrington NH
4. Reuben Hussey, b. 16 June 1792 Barrington NH; married 8 Feb 1821 in Rochester NH to Alice Perkins, dau of Paul Perkins; father of John P. Hussey [marriage]
5. Sarah Hussey, b. 11 July 1794 Barrington NH

Deacon Thomas Hussey, son of Richard & Elizabeth “Betsy” (Drew) Hussey, b. 6 Sep 1786 Barrington NH, d. before 31 March 1879 in Barrington NH; m. 12 Dec 1814 in Barrington NH to Susan E. Hale, daughter of Thomas Wright & Lydia (Hale) Hale. She b. 4 August 1796 and d 9 April 1887. They were buried in the Hussey Family plot at Pine Grove Cemetery in Barrington NH [hers | his].  He was a farmer in Barrington NH. He was one of the town selectmen of Barrington NH several times between 1813-1829, 1837 and 1838.
Births Barrington NH
1850 US Census > NH > Strafford Barrington
Thomas Hussey 63 M Farmer 2500 NH
Susan H. Hussey 57 F NH
Horatio H. Hussey 24 M Farmer
Lydia E. Hussey 22 F NH
Ann M. Hussey 24 F NH
Susan H. Hussey 17 F NH
Thomas W. Hussey 14 M NH
Children of Dea. Thomas & Susan E. (Hale) Hussey:
1. Horatio Sheafe Hale Hussey, b. 20 Dec 1824 Barrington NH; d. 28 March 1897; town selectman of Barrington NH in 1862 and 1863.
2. Elizabeth Lydia Hussey, b. 11 May 1827 Barrington NH, d. 12 Oct 1874; m. Joseph Hall; buried Pine Grove Cemetery
3. Ann Mary Hussey, b. 21 Sep 1829 Barrington NH; d. 30 June 1859; married Charles Swain
4. +Susan Hale Hussey, b. 5 August 1832 Barrington NH
5. Thomas Wright Hale Hussey, b. 30 May 1836 Barrington NH; died 6 Sep 1902 in Reading MA; educator and school principal; He m. 6 April 1870 Gertrude K. Pearson, dau of Thomas & Angeline M. (Hunt) Pearson. He had 2 sons: Thomas Pearson Hussey and Richard Byron Hussey both of Lynn MA.
6. Martha Hale Hussey b 18 Apr 1839 Barrington NH; d. 17 November 1847

Susan H. Hussey, daughter of Deacon Thomas & Susan E. (Hale) Hussey.
born 5 Aug 1832 in Barrington NH, and died 5 January 1906 in Somersworth, New Hampshire. She married 29 Nov 1866 in Somersworth, Strafford Co. NH to William Daniel Knapp, son of Daniel & Betsey (Neal) Knapp. He was b. 17 October 1830 in Parsonfield Maine, and died 23 Nov 1899 in Somersworth NH. He attended Conway Academy and graduated from Dartmouth College in the class of 1855. They were buried Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Watertown MA. [subject of this post, see above]
1900 US Census > NH > Strafford > Somersworth
Knapp Susan H. Head W F Aug 1834 65 widow 0 ch 0 living NH NH NH

[Editor’s note: My thanks to Ann Gordon who wrote to me regarding Susan (Hussey) Knapp’s teaching history and it has been revised in 2017].

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