Chichester New Hampshire Preacher, Educator, Organizer: Anna Merrill (Seavey) Smith (1835-1899)

Photograph of "Anna Smith, the preacher," taken at D.F. Tripp, Photography, Merrimack Block, Main Street, four doors north of Phenix Hotel, Concord, NH.

Photograph of “Anna Smith, the preacher,” taken at D.F. Tripp, Photography,
Merrimack Block, Main Street, four doors north of Phenix Hotel, Concord, NH.

She was both a wife and daughter of a Methodist minister. She was well educated, having graduated from both Pittsfield Academy and Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, to prepare herself for her life’s work. She in turn, became an educator, and following the Civil War, she not only taught in local New Hampshire schools but she also went to South Carolina, teaching the newly freed slaves to read and write (through the Freedman’s Relief Association).

After her marriage, as she traveled with her husband from one church post to another in New Hampshire, where she energetically organized religious Auxiliaries and Districts. She was a preacher of Methodism, espousing beliefs important to her, her family, and community.

mt holyoke sem auditorium

Antique Cabinet Card Photograph. Image depicts the interior of Seminary Hall at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. “Ivoryette” photo by Chas. W. Hearn studio based in Boston, Massachusetts

She died in 1899, at the age of 64 years, in West Rindge, New Hampshire. At a time when many women are left out of histories, her passing was marked with a lengthy memorial in several publications. She was described thusly: a “fitting helpmeet” to her husband, Rev. Daniel J. Smith; of “beautiful Christian character,” having a “meek and quiet spirit,” “every drop of whose blood was saturated with loyalty to Methodism, and ever fibre of whose being tingled with soul-winning enthusiasm.” ” Intellectually she was fine-grained and forceful.” “She was wise, discreet, and resourceful.” Yes, I know some of the descriptions are considered somewhat archaic today.  But do those traits really go out of fashion? There is no doubt that such a beloved and well thought of woman should continue to act as a role model in today’s world.

Old postcard of Pittsfield Academy.

Old postcard of Pittsfield (NH) Academy.

Her funeral services held at her husband’s parsonage in West Rindge, NH was conducted by the Rev. Geo. W. Norris, P.E. who she had known for many years. Revs. H.B. Copp, J.H. Vincent, G. Roberts and A.L. Golder of the Congregational church, assisted in the exercises. She was buried the next day in Blossom Hill cemetery, Concord, N.H. where short but impressive services were conducted by Rev. C.D. Hills, D.D. Besides her husband, she left a son, George. Her genealogy can be found directly below.


[Editor’s Note: George Seavey’s parents possibly were EITHER William & Ruth (Moses) Seavey -OR- James & Abigail (Pickering) Seavey. The History of Rye does not place him with either family, and I have been unable to find primary evidence that connects him with a specific family. He PROBABLY was a descendant of Benjamin & Mary (Wallace) Seavey of Rye, Rockingham County NH. If any reader has primary evidence that connects George Seavey to specific parents, I welcome your comments].

George Seavey, b. 13 April 1768 [1771 in another source] Rye NH, d. 19 April 1822. Buried in Knowlton-Edgerly Cemetery in Chichester NH. He m. 22 Feb 1796 to Betsey Lane, daughter of Deacon Josiah & Elizabeth “Betty” (Perkins) Lane. She b. 30 May 1773 in Hampton NH and d. 22 October 1849. She m2d) Asa Lane. They are buried Knowlton Cemetery, Chichester NH.
Children of George & Betsey (Lane) Seavey:
1. Amasa Kelly Seavey, b. 13 June 1797 Chichester NH, d. 1 July 1829; m. 2 June 1825 to Maria Libbey. Had 2 children: Philena Seavey, and Ruth L. Seavey who d. 1 July 1829.
2. Ruth Moses Seavey, b. 8 March 1799; d. 2 April 1872 in Chichester NH. She m. 13 March 1823 to Jeremy N.C. Leavitt of Chichester NH. Children [LEAVITT]: George C., Augustus, Elvira, Nathaniel and Jacintha.
3. Reuben L. Seavey, b. 27 Aug 1801 Chichester NH, d. 26 Oct 1888; m. 13 Nov 1828 to Dorothy Towle, daughter of James & Anna Towle. She b. 11 Aug 1803 and d. 12 June 1867, resided Hampton NH. Children [SEAVEY]: Elizabeth P. who m. David M. Dearborn, George James who d. 1859 Dayton OH, Isabella, Edward Payson, and Henry Llewellyn.
4. +Nathaniel Seavey, b. 6 October 1803 Chichester NH
5. Sarah Salter “Salley” Seavey, b. 16 Jan 1806, d 18 March 1879 in Plainfield NH; m1) 1827 Jonathan Marden; m2) 16 Nov 1828 Jn. Eaton Jr.; resided Grantham NH; children [EATON]: Benjamin Frank, and Augusta.
6. Shadrack Seavey, b. 23 Feb 1808, d. 3 Jan 1880; m. 22 January 1834 to Belinda Herbert; resided Concord NH. Children [SEAVEY]: Herbert, Ellen Augusta.
7. Betsey Lane Seavey, 14 Oct 1811, d. 28 Sep 1865; m. 13 Aug 1834 to Col. James Drake, son of Maj. James & Hannah (Ward) Drake. He was b. 29 June 1805 at Pittsfield NH, d. 7 April 1870. Resided Pittsfield NH. Children [DRAKE]: Georgianna Butters who m. Josiah Carpenter; Georgia Ella, and Franklin James who m. Harriet C.R. Barker, and Nathaniel S. who m. Mary Agnes Rogers Green.

Nathaniel Seavey, son of George & Betsey (Lane) Seavey, b 6 Oct 1803 in Chichester NH, d 4 December 1851 Chichester NH.; m. 13 Aug 1834 to Mary Ann Hinds, daughter of Rev. Orlando & Mary (Brackett) Hinds. She b. 5 April 1809 in Portland Maine, d 30 Jan 1887 in Concord NH; They resided Chichester (NH) March 2, 1865. [desc from Orlando Hinds ME Clergyman in 1860 census of Chichester NH] From History of Merrimack & Belknap Counties NH by J W Lewis & Co 1885, page 235: “Nathaniel Seavey commenced keeping store in 1833, and did a successful business until December 4, 1851, when he was suddenly seized with violent hemorrhage in his store and died. Mr. Seavey was a man who carried into the business transactions of every-day life all the Christian virtues, and was known, far and wide, as the honest merchant.” They lived in Chichester and Concord NH They are buried in Knowlton Cemetery, Chichester NH. [SEE LANE GENEALOGIES, by Jacob Chapman, James H. Fitts, 1891; page 126]
1850 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Chichester
Nathaniel Seavey M 47 NH Trader 1000
May A. Seavey F 41 Maine
Ann M. Seavey F 15 NH*
May J. Seavey F 13 NH
Geo O. Seavey M 7 NH
1860 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Chichester
Mary A. Seavey F 51 NH
Anna Seavey F 25 NH
Mary J. Seavey F 23 NH school teacher
George O. Seavey M 17 NH student
Children of Nathaniel & Mary Ann (Hinds) Seavey:
1. +Anna Merrill Seavey, b. 2 June 1835 Chichester NH, died West Rindge Oct. 12, 1899, aged 64; m. 2 March 1865 in Concord NH to Rev. Daniel J. Smith.
2. Mary Jane Seavey, b. 29 April 1837 Chichester NH, d. 11 Oct 1914 in Concord NH; m. 8 Nov 1860 to Sylvester Dana Jr., son of Rev. Sylvester & Hannah (Kimball) Dana. He was born 19 Oct 1816 and d. 1910. He graduate from Dartmouth College in 1839, and practiced law in Concord NH. Children b. in Concord NH [DANA]: Charles Sylvester, b 30 Aug 1861 m. Mary G. Devine; Mary Huntington, b. 9 April 1864, d. 1963; Anna Barrows b. 24 June 1867 d 1968; George Radcliffe b 1870, d. 1872; Marion b 1871, d. 1872; Isabel Seavey b 1873, d. 1897; Florence b 1873, d 1889; Alice Louise b 30 Dec 1879.
3. Betsey Drake Seavey, b. 23 July 1840, d. 15 Nov 1841 Chichester NH
4. George O. Seavey, b. abt 1843 Chichester NH, died 5 Feb 1889 in Boston MA; He married 10 March 1886 in Boston MA to Marion C. Dunn, daughter of Richard M. & Christiana Dunn. She was b abt 1861 in Patten, Maine. His occupation: provisions dealer
5. Emily Lane, b. 22 Feb 1845, d. 11 April 1848 in Chichester NH.

Anna Merrill “Ann” Seavey, daughter of Nathaniel & Mary Ann (Hinds) Seavey, b. 2 June 1835 Chichester NH; died West Rindge Oct. 12, 1899, aged 64; m. 2 March 1865 in Concord NH to Rev. Daniel James Smith, son of Capt. James and Sarah (Colby) Smith. He was born August 8, 1831 Hampstead NH. Admitted on trial to the New Hampshire Conference (Methodist), 1856. Ordained deacon by Bishop Scott, at Great Falls, May 3, 1858; and elder by Bishop Janes, at Concord, April 15, 1861.Appointments–Columbia 1856; Pittsfield 1857; Fisherville (now Penacook) 1858; West Salisbury and Warner 1859; West Boscawen 1860; East Alstead 1861-2; Fisherville 1863-5; Lancaster 1866-8; presiding elder, White Mountain district 1869-70; Rochester 1871-3; Keene 1874-5; Colebrook 1876-8; Lancaster 1879-81; Bethlehem 1882-4; Lisbon 1885-7; Franklin Falls 1888-90; Newmarket 1891-5; Marlborough 1896-8; West Rindge, 1898-1903; Stratford, 1904. [ALSO SEE History and Genealogy of the Hinds Family by Albert Henry Hinds, 1899, page 288]. Rev. Daniel J. Smith married 2d) 19 October 1907 in Haverhill, Grafton Co. NH to Melvina M. Smith-Brooks, daughter of Damon J. & Abbie (Hurd) Smith. She was b. 11 June 1848 in Pittsburg NH, and died 21 October 1920 in Canaan VT, a widow (so Rev James J. died prior to her).  She had married 1st) —- Brooks.
Anna’s Obituary: Minutes of the Session of the New Hampshire Annual Conference of the Methodist Episocopal Church, 1895, page 627
Children of Daniel J. & Anna M. (Seavey) Smith:
1. Harley Pillsbury Smith, b 9 Oct 1868 in Lancaster NH; died 29 July 1869 in Groveton NH.
2. George Orlando Smith, b. 18 Nov 1871 in Rochester NH; died 5 April 1949 in Keene NH. At the time he was a resident of Marlboro NH. He graduated from Boston University in 1894. He married 15 Aug 1906 in Troy NH to Florence H. Silcox, daughter of Stephen F. & Ellen (Mortimer) Silcox. She was b. in Brooklyn NY. They were both teachers. In 1899 teacher in the high school in Waplole NH. In 1920 when living in Winchester NH, he was superintendent of schools. In 1930 living in Gorham, Coos Co NH, same occupation; He was buried Blossom Hill Cemetery, Concord NH. They did not appear to have any children.

History of Chichester NH

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2 Responses to Chichester New Hampshire Preacher, Educator, Organizer: Anna Merrill (Seavey) Smith (1835-1899)

  1. Pingback: March 2016: Celebrating Women’s History Month in New Hampshire | Cow Hampshire

  2. Amy says:

    I love that she went to South Carolina after the war to help. I didn’t know people, let alone women, did that.

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