Cooper and Businessman of Reeds Ferry NH: Levi Franklin Lowell (1839-1916)

Photograph of Levi F. Lowell. Colorized by the blog editor.

Levi Franklin Lowell, son of  Nathaniel & Fidelia (Fisher) Lowell, was born in Brookline, New Hampshire on 6 Jan 1839.  He was co-owner of the Fessenden & Lowell Co., (with Anson D. Fessenden) — a cooperage and lumber yard that was built in the Reeds Ferry section of Merrimack, New Hampshire.  The history of that company, a description of its products, and photographs can be found in a previous article.

Of the partners, only Levi F. Lowell would move to Merrimack, making it his home and becoming integral to the fabric of Merrimack society.  He was involved in a small degree in local politics. From 1876-1878 he was a selectman (R) for the town of Merrimack NH along with Horace W. Wilson and George E. Patterson.  In 1885 he was state representative for Merrimack [History of Hillsborough Co. NH p. 541].


Percival Lowell & Rebecca Lowle
Richard Lowell & Margaret
Percival Lowell & Mary Chandler
Richard Lowell & Sarah Brown

—–Next Generation—–

Samuel Lowell, 7th child and 2nd son of Richard & Sarah (Brown) Lowell
born in Newbury MA 12 July 1710, d Rowley MA 3 Jan 1774. Admitted to the Byfield Church 14 Oct 1744. He m1) 17 Sep 1735 Rowley MA to Hannah Emerson of Newbury. He m2d) 5 Feb 1746 in Rowley MA to Mrs. Annie (Stuart) Brown, daughter of Ebenezer Stuart.
Children of Samuel & Hannah (Emerson) Lowell:
1. Hannah Lowell
2. Sarah Lowell
3. Elizabeth Lowell
4. Samuel Lowell
5. Katharine Lowell
6. Catharine Lowell
7. +Nathaniel Lowell, b 2 April 1753 Rowley MA

—–Next Generation—–

Photo (colorized) left to right: Anson Platts, Wayne Beard (boy child), Walter Provo, Margaret Webster, Mattie (Kilborn) Webster, Emma Provo, Nathaniel M. Lowell, Frank Long and Janice Watkins (girl child).

Nathaniel Lowell, 7th child and 2nd son of Samuel & Hannah (Emerson) Lowell
b 2 April 1753 Rowley Massachusetts. He d 23 Aug 1832 Rindge NH. He was a soldier of the American Revolution. Yeoman, Farmer, Husbandman. In 1784 moved to Rindge NH.
Buried Meeting House Cemetery, Rindge NH.   He m. 22 Jan 1807 in Rindge NH to Mrs. Lucy (Chapman) Stacy, dau of Daniel & Jerusha (Ipswich) Chapman. She was b 9 April 1775 in Shirley MA and d. 5 Dec 1861 in Rindge NH. Buried beside her husband.
Bioography of Nathaniel Lowell
Children of Nathaniel & Lucy (Chapman) Lowell:
1. + Nathaniel Lowell, b 16 Feb 1808 Rindge NH [see later].
2. Stephen Lowell b 13 Feb 1811 Rindge NH, 8 July 1851 Rindge NH; he m. Lucina A. Hubbard.
3. **Lucinda Lowell b 5 May 1813 in Rindge NH;; m. William Lawrence resided in Rindge NH. They had 3 children, the youngest daughter Cynthia L. Lawrence b 9 Dec 1847 m. Anson A. Platts of Rindge NH. They resided in Reeds Ferry NH. Anson worked for the Fessenden & Lowell Co. No children. “Adopted” daughter, Mattie A. Kilborn. [See separate story about Anson A. Platts.]
4. **John Lowell, b 20 June 1815 Rindge NH, d. 21 Dec 1856 Pepperell MA. He m. Nancy Nutting.  Two children: (1) Nathaniel Moore Lowell, born 23 May 1854 in Pepperell Massachusetts, died 26 April 1944 at Memorial Hospital in Nashua NH.  He lived in Reeds Ferry [Merrimack] New Hampshire and worked at the Fessenden & Lowell Co. factory owned by his cousin. (2) Lucy Anna Lowell. b 27 July 1840, d. 31 Dec 1906 Rindge NH; married May 1859 Albert H. Thomas, son of Liberty B. & Harriet (Raymond) Thomas. Lived Rindge NH. Children [Thomas] Ezra, Charles, Clarence, Jennie
5. Daniel C. Lowell b 15 Aug 1820 Rindge NH; d. 3 Nov 1899 Groton MA

—–Next Generation—–

Nathaniel Lowell, son of Nathaniel & Mrs. Lucy (Chapman) Stacy b 16 Feb 1808 Rindge NH, died 19 Jan 1865 Fitzwilliam NH. He married 5 December 1836 in Peterborough NH to Fidelia [Phidelia, Fidelia] Fisher. She d. 23 June 1806 aged 86y in Townsend MA.
Resided Brookline NH. Buried Village Cemetery, Fitzwilliam NH.
Children of Nathaniel & Fidelia (Fisher) Lowell:
1. John Lafayette Lowell, b 31 Oct 1837 Rindge NH, d. 20 Aug 1857
2. + Levi Franklin Lowell, b 6 Jan 1839 Brookline NH
3. Salina D. Lowell b abt 1860; m. 1 Dec 1880 Ashby MA to Edward Alonzo Blood, son of Edward F. & Hannah S. (Shattuck) Blood


Photograph of an older Levi F. Lowell. Colorized by the author.

Levi Franklin Lowell, son of Nathaniel & Fidelia (Fisher) Lowell was born 6 Jan 1839 in Brookline NH; He died 23 June 1913 in Merrimack NH, and is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery Brookline NH.  He married 2 January 1867 in Manchester NH to Hannah Burnham Hutchinson, daughter of John & Polly (Burnham) Hutchinson. She was born 26 Jan 1836 in Brookline NH, and d. 20 Nov 1916 in Merrimack NH, aged 80.
Buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Brookline NH
1880 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Merrimack
Levi F. Lowell 41 white male married NH NH VT, Kit and Barrel Manufacturer
Hannah B. Lowell 44
Mabel L. Lowell 9
Bertha L. Lowell 6
1900 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Merrimack
Levi F. Lowell b Jan 1839 NH W M Married abt 1867
Hannah B.Lowell b Jan 1863
Bertha L.Lowell b April 1874
1910 US Census> NH > Hillsborough > Merrimack
Levi F.Lowell Head Male 71 NH
Hannah B. Lowell wife F 74 NH
Ada A. Penney servant F 53 NH widows b abt 1857 NH NH VT
Children of Levi Franklin & Hannah B. (Hutchinson) Lowell:
1. +Mabel L. Lowell, b 15 Nov 1870 Brookline NH; d. 20 Jan 1937 Merrimack NH. [see later]
2. +Bertha Louise Lowell. She was b. 7 April 1874 in Merrimack NH, and died 27 July 1958, aged 84. [see later]


1. Mabel L. Lowell, b 15 Nov 1870 Brookline NH; d. 20 Jan 1937 Merrimack NH. She m.

Mabel (Lowell) Haseltine.

John Edward Haseltine. Buried Last Rest Cemetery, Merrimack NH. Children: Franklin Lowell Haseltine (18996-1981) and Edward John Haseltine (1909-1998). In 1925 the Lowell Memorial Library was built on Route 3, as the result of a gift to the town from Mrs. Mabel Haseltine and Mrs. Bertha Gordon as a memorial to their parents, Mr. & Mrs. Levi F. Lowell.
Children of John E. & Mabel L. (Lowell) Haseltine:
1. Hazel Louise Haseltine, b. 14 July 1894 in Reeds Ferry (Merrimack) NH;. she m. 7 Jul 1920 in Merrimack NH to Leon McKinley Adkins, son of George H. & Mary L. (Brookes) Adkins; In 1969 he was director of Field Education, St. Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, Missouri. He gave the nuptial blessing at his great-nephew Mark Haseltine’s wedding..

John Edward Haseltine

2. Franklin Lowell Haseltine, b. 10 Apr 1896 in Reeds Ferry (Merrimack) NH, d. Aug 1981 in Merrimack NH; m. 24 Jul 1926 at Plymouth NH to Beulah Marston Huckins, dau of Ned Gordon & Eva (Carr) Huckins. In 1927 he was asst at Haseltine & Gordon, excelsior manufacturers, boarding at his father’s home. In 1933 president of The Hasco Shop Inc., a men’s apparel, furnishings and athletic goods at 60 Main Street, Durham NH. At that time he was living in Merrimack NH. His brother Edward was treasurer of the same business. Beulah died in November of 1971, age 70, at the Hooksett NH toll booth, struck by a motorist.
3. Elizabeth Hinds Haseltine, b. 4 Nov 1899 in NH and died 8 Feb 2003, at the age of 103 at Havenwood Heritage Heights Retirement Community in Concord NH, and was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Manchester NH. She married. 7 Jul 1931 in Merrimack NH to Dr. Ralph Melvin McLaughlin, son of Frank D & Edna S. McLaughlin. He was a dentist. He was b. 17 Oct 1904 in Manchester NH, and d. July 1971. In 1940 they were living in Pittsfield, Merrimack Co. NH with two children, Barbara age 7 (who married — Levey), and Richard age 4 (who was living in Loudon, TN at the time of her death). She graduated from Merrimack High School, Tilton Preparatory School and earned a degree from Wheaton College in 1923. She attended summer schools at M.I.T. and Countway at Harvard University. She worked teaching math and science at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, Cotuit on Cape Cod, Mass., and in Lexington, Mass. McLaughlin lived in Manchester for many years before moving to Auburn, Maine, where she lived for five years before moving to Concord 13 years ago. She was active in St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Manchester. She was active with the P.E.O. Sisterhood Chapter B of New Hampshire and the Eastern Star Pleiades Chapter No. 41 in Pittsfield; was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and served as a past trustee at Elliot Hospital in Manchester. She volunteered at Elliot Hospital Medical Library.
4. Edward John Haseltine, [archived web site] b. 23 Jan 1909 in Merrimack NH, d. 11 Nov 1998, Brigadier General, USAF in WWII. He is buried in Last Rest Cemetery, Merrimack NH. He married Eleanor Lee Metcalfe, dau of Harry and Violet (Moss) Metcalfe. She was b. 1 Nov 1912 in Lawrence MA and d. 29 June 1991 at New London NH. She grew up in Somersworth NH, graduated magna cum laude from Wheaton College, class of 1934. She taught school in various institutions, including Merrimack High School. She served on the Merrimack School Board for many years and was a member of the Merrimack Congregational Church. Their children included Col. John E. Haseltine (who m. Margaret Cangiano), Mark Metcalfe Haseltine of Merrimack NH, and Paul Lowell Haseltine of Wells, Maine.  [Editor’s Note: Mark Haseltine married Beverly Bennett, daughter of Madeline (Nash) Bennett of Merrimack NH.] [My thanks to Craig Haseltine for bringing to my attention that I had omitted Col. John E. Haseltine as a child of this family, see the comment section.]

Bertha (Lowell) Gordon

Bertha Louise Lowell. She was b. 7 April 1874 in Merrimack NH, and died 27 July 1958, aged 84. She married 1 Feb 1905 in Merrimack NH to Arthur G. Gordon. She is buried Last Rest Cemetery, Merrimack NH.

She, along with her sister, Mrs. Mabel Haseltine, in 1924 gave to the town of Merrimack, the library in memory of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Levi Lowell. Bertha (Lowell) Gordon also donated money to build the Merrimack (NH) Fire Station and the Congregational Church parsonage, in memory of her husband Albert Gordon. [Editor’s note: The Arthur Gordon Memorial Fire Station was built in Merrimack in 1959].

Arthur Gilbert Gordon. Original B&W photograph colorized by the blog editor.

Arthur Gilbert Gordon, son of Francis A. & Martha D. (McGaw) Gordon, was. born 27 January 1876 in Merrimack, Hillsborough Co. NH, and died 27 July 1958. He was an excelsior manufacturer in Merrimack NH. He bought out the excelsior business that had been owned by Charles S. Nesmith since 1900.  [Charles S. Nesmith of Reeds Ferry established this excelsior plant in Merrimack in Feb of 1900, using water power, then later steam. Poplar wood was used, and 1500 tons of excelsior was made annually in 1909. The business was then operated (as early as 1916) by Gordon and Haseltine, with 12 employees, and was situated near the railroad station next to the tracks at the end of Railroad Avenue. The building experienced three fires and burned to the ground in 1946.

[Editor’s note: excelsior, sometimes called “wood wool” was a wood product popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was utilized as packing material in shipping fragile products, to stuff upholstered furniture and toys, and in a variety of other uses including taxidermists. An article found published in the Aberdeen Daily News (Aberdeen South Dakota) in 1887 mentioned that “wood wool” was “a new French invention, consisting of extremely thin and slender shavings of wood that are comparable to paper cut for packing, is already in extensive use in France. It has also been found to be well adapted for the manufacture of mattresses, for the filtration of liquids, stuffing horse collars, etc….Its elasticity causes it to be considered the best material for bedding, after horse, hair, and is, in fact, preferable to any other substance…In workshops, wood wool is tending to replace cotton waste for cleaning machines, and it has likewise found an application on the rolling stock of railways for lubricating car axles. While it has the same property that cotton caste has of absorbing oil, its cost is many times less than that material.”  Excelsior still has applications today, albeit different ones. ]

The stately house at 585 Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack was built in 1892, originally the executive mansion of the Fessenden & Lowell Co., and later the home of Arthur & Bertha (Lowell) Gordon. Two generations later the circa 1930’s building on the property was owned by Mark Haseltine who ran the “Levi Lowells” restaurant there (it closed in 1995).




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6 Responses to Cooper and Businessman of Reeds Ferry NH: Levi Franklin Lowell (1839-1916)

  1. Virginia says:

    Thank you so much for all the research you’ve done to share this wonderful history with us. Keeping memories alive!

    • Janice Brown says:

      Ginny, I have a feeling that you should be writing the history of the town. You know so much more than I do about recent history–the people, the places the events. I hope you write down some of them. Love you!

  2. Pingback: Fessenden & Lowell Company: a 19th-20th Century Cooperage in Reeds Ferry, New Hampshire | Cow Hampshire

  3. craig haseltine says:

    Thank you for the history.. Edward J. Haseltine and Eleanor M. Haseltine’s eldest son, Col. John E. Haseltine is missing from their family narrative. John married Margaret Cangiano and have three children and ten grand children.

  4. Pingback: Collected Stories of Merrimack New Hampshire | Cow Hampshire

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