Married Fifty Years: Charles A. & Abbie Ross (Shannon) Dockham of Gilmanton Iron Works New Hampshire

Photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Dockham of Gilmanton Iron Works NH. From Manchester Union newspaper of July 1911. Colorized by the blog editor.

The July 3, 1911 edition of The Union, published in Manchester NH, had the headline: “Married Fifty Years.” The article showed photographs of a couple named “Mr. and Mrs. Dockham” and included this story.  I was curious about how a 50 year wedding anniversary was celebrated 110 years ago.

“A large number of friends gathered at 599 Hanover street Friday evening for the celebration of the golden wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Dockham of Gilmanton Iron Works, who are visiting at the home of Frank A. Dockham of that address. There was a family dinner, and in the evening a reception was held, at which scores of relatives and acquaintances extended congratulations.”

“The affair was of a somewhat informal nature because of Mr. Dockham’s recent illness, he having left the hospital after eight weeks of sickness only Wednesday of this week. The presents included a gold headed cane and many other valuable gifts and remembrances. There was also a handsome cake with the dates 1861-1911 upon it from a niece, Mrs. Evans of 836 Beech Street. Refreshments were served in the course of the evening.”

“While Mr. and Mrs. Dockham have never resided here, they have been frequent visitors, as Mr. Dockham is a brother of the late David Dockham of this city, and F.A. Dockham is a son of another brother, Orrin S. Dockham. Besides their relatives here Mr. Dockham is a frequent visitor here for the purpose of purchasing goods from Manchester wholesale merchants.”

Photograph of Charles A. Dockham’s business in Gilmanton Iron Works (circa 1900) The building was burned down in an arson fire that destroyed several other important village buildings on 28 May 1915. This building contained his business, plus the post office, the library and the selectman’s office with many records lost. From 2011 Gilmanton NH Town report, supplied by the Gilmanton Historical Society. Colorized by the blog editor.

“In his home village of Gilmanton Iron Works, Mr. Dockham holds the unique record of having served as postmaster ever since Buchanan’s administration except during the two terms of President Cleveland, when others held the appointment. But the most remarkable incident perhaps of this record is that Mr. Dockham was appointed postmaster twice by President Buchanan in his administration. After his first appointment a petition was circulated by an opponent who thus brought about his removal from the office, but Judge Cogswell circulated another petition and Mr. Dockham was again appointed, and still holds the office except for the brief periods stated. No one in Gilmanton would think of having him retire from office.”

“Mr. Dockham was born in Gilmanton July 25, 1832, his parents being David D. and Eliza Dockham. He was educated in the town schools and in the famous Gilmanton academy which held rank in those days as an educational institution. Even while a student at that academy he began clerking in the post office, and so his connection with the United States postal department is almost life long.”

“On July 7, 1861, he stood beside Miss Abbie R. Shannon, the daughter of Ira and Sally Shannon of Gilmanton, in the latter’s home, and they were united in marriage by the Rev. J.M. Durgin, pastor of the Free Baptist church. For fifty years they have enjoyed life together. Mrs.Dockham was born Feb. 14, 1839, and like her husband is a life-long resident of the town. Mr. Dockham is also one of the oldest merchants in the state, having bought the store in which he began clerking as a boy in about 1856 or 1858, and since has continuously conducted a general country store in the village.”

“Soon after marriage the young couple united with the Free Baptist church and are still members of the church at the Iron Works. Besides the church, Mr. Dockham is a member of Winnepesaukee lodge, A.F. and A.M., Highland lodge, I.O.O.F., the encampment branch, Osceola Rebekah lodge and the grand lodge of Odd Fellows; while Mrs. Dockham belongs to the Rebekahs and to the grange. Widely known as they are and deservedly popular, they receive the congratulations of thousands of acquaintances.”


Nathaniel Dockham/Dockum b 2 March 1750 Barnstead NH, d. 15 Sep 1823 Barnstead NH. He m. 2 Dec 1771 in Barnstead NH to Anna Judkins. She was b 29 Aug 1753 in Barnstead NH and d. 18 Feb 1835 [History of Barnstead NH]
Children of Nathaniel & Anna (Judkins) Dockham:
1. Polly Dockham b 11 March 1773, d 1859
2. +Nathaniel Dockham b 20 Dec 1774 Barnstead NH
3. Betty Dockham, b 1777
4. Nancy Dockham b 1779
5. John Dockham b 1782
6. Joel Dockham b 21 Feb 1786 Barnstead NH, d. 1795; m. Jonathan Washington Cram. Children [CRAM]: Amos, Polly, Dr. John, George Washington, Nancy, Richard, Noah, Joseph, Mary Jane, Mary, Rosannah, Elizabeth, Ruth, Naomi, Elvira

—–Next Generation—–

Nathaniel Dockham b 20 Dec 1774 Barnstead NH, son of Nathaniel & Anna (Judkins) Dockham. He d. 25 Sep 1802 Barnstead NH
He married 22 Dec 1796 in Belmont NH to
Abigail Edgerly
Children of Nathaniel & Abigail (Edgerly) Dockham:
1. Rebecca Dockham b 1797, d. 1798
2. +David E. Dockham, b 24 July 1799 Barnstead NH
3. Judith Edgerly Dockham b 1801

—–Next Generation—–

David E. Dockham, son of Nathaniel & Abigail (Edgerly) Dockham b 24 July 1799 Barnstead NH Barnstead NH, died 24 Feb 1886 Gilmanton NH, aged 86. Widowed
He md) 27 Nov 1823 in Belmont, Belknap NH to Louisa G. “Eliza” Allen. She was b Dec 1802 NH, d. 27 July 1881 Gilmanton NH. Tanner and Boot and Shoe manufacturer in Gilmanton Ironworks NH. He is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Gilmanton Ironworks NH
1850 US Census > NH > Belknap > Gilmanton
David E. Dockham 50
Louisa G. Dockham 48
Orvin S. Dockham 20
Charles A. Dockham 18
David S. Dockham 15
Joseph E. Dockham 9
Dorcas K. Merrill 17
Children of David & Louisa G. “Eliza” (Allen) Dockham:
1. Nathaniel Harrison Dockham b April 1826 Gilmanton NH, d after 1900 Shirley MA. He m. 11 Aug 1847 to Nancy S. Folsom. Had 6 children: Lizzie Annie, James Russell, Herbert Horatio, Hannah Bell, Frederick E., and Frank.
2. Orrin S. Dockham, b abt 1830 Gilmanton NH, Civil War Service, Co. E, 8th NH Regiment; At Togus Veterans Hospital, vertigo, partial deafness, impaired vision, noise in ears; committed suicide Jan 7, 1897 while on furlough to Lewiston Maine. He married 14 Sep 1872 in Boston to Cora Barnes, dau of Orrin C. & Soprhonia G. (?) Barnes.
3. +Charles Albert Dockham/Dockam, b 25 July 1832 Gilmanton NH; m. 7 July 1861 in Gilmanton NH to Abbie R. Shannon, dau of Ira & Sally D. (Ross) Shannon.
4. David S. Dockham, b abt 1833-35 Gilmanton NH; military service, U.S. Civil War, 1861-1862
5. Joseph E. Dockham, b abt 1841 Gilmanton NH In 1850 and 1860 US Census living with parents in Gilmanton NH. Corporal Co B 12th NH Infantry. Received a pension in 1871

—–Next Generation—–

Charles A. Dockham, son of David E. & Louise “Eliza” (Allen) Dockham was born 25 July 1832 in Gilmanton NH; died 5 Oct 1922 at Laconia, Belknap Co. NH. He was educated in town schools and Gilmanton Academy. He then began clerking at the post office. He later was considered one of oldest merchants in the state, having bought the store in which he began clerking as a boy abt 1856 or 1858, and since continually conducted a general country store in the village. Postmaster since Buchanan’s administration. He m. 7 July 1861 Abbie Ross Shannon, dau of Ira & Sally (Ross) Shannon of Gilmanton NH.  She was b. 14 Feb 1839, live long resident of Gilmanton.  They do not seem to have had any children.  **THIS STORY IS ABOUT THEM.

See the following two sources for additional information on early members of the Shannon Family:
Genealogical and Family History of the State of NH

Nathaniel-1 Shannon & Elizabeth —
Nathaniel-2 Shannon & Abigail Vaughan
Nathaniel-3 Shannon & Alice Frost

——Next Generation——

Nathaniel-4 Shannon, son of Nathaniel Shannon, b 13 April 1740 Portsmouth NH, d. Sep 1792 aged 53 [NEHGS Register] Buried Wakefield NH; probate 17 Oct 1792 in Rockingham Co. NH.
He m1) Ann Card, dau of John & Mary (Francour) Card. She b. 1741 New Castle NH, d. May 1785 New Castle NH. He m2d) Nov 1786 at Portsmouth NH to Mrs. Elisabeth (Dennett) Kitson, widow of Richard Kitson and dau of Col. John Dennett of Portsmouth NH. She married 3d) 14 Apr 1802 James Chesley of Rochester NH. He signed the association test at Portsmouth NH, recorded in Revolutionary Documents Vol 30, page 118.
Children of Nathaniel & Ann (Card) Shannon
1. Margaret Shannon b 1763, d. 1814
2. +Nathaniel Shannon Jr. b Oct 1763 Portsmouth NH
3. Thomas Shannon b & d 1768 (twin)
4. George Walker Shannon b & d. 1768 (twin)
5. Samuel Shannon, b. 1769, d. 1832
Children of Nathaniel & Elizabeth (Dennett-Kitson) Shannon:
6. Elizabeth Shannon
7. John Shannon
8. George Shannon

——Next Generation——

Nathaniel Shannon, b Oct 1763 Portsmouth NH, d. 15 Feb 1826 Gilmanton NH. He m. abt 1784 to Ann Elizabeth Peverly [Peberly], dau of George & Ann B. (?) Peverly. She was b. 1764 in Portsmouth NH and d. 9 Feb 1850 in Gilmanton NH. Buried Tibbetts Cemetery, Gilmanton NH
Children of Nathaniel & Ann Elizabeth (Peverly) Shannon:
1. Nathaniel Shannon b 1784, d. 1839
2. + George Shannon b 1787 Portsmouth NH
3. Nancy Shannon b 1789 d 1856
4. John Sherburne Shannon b 1791 d 1868
5. Samuel Shannon b 1793 d 1833
6. Margaret N. Shannon, b abt 1801 Gilmanton NH; d. 22 Apr 1874 Salem MA; m. 28 Nov 1824 in Salem MA to James Nichols.
7. Elsie Jane Shannon, b 1808, d. 1874

——Next Generation——

George Shannon b 4 Oct 1786 Portsmouth NH, son of Nathaniel & Ann (Peberly) Shannon. He died 8 April 1868 in Gilmanton NH, aged 81. He m. Sally Tibbets. She b 1785, d. 1872. She was b. abt 1785 in Alton NH, and d. 5 June 1872
Children of George & Sally (Tibbets) Shannon:
1. +Ira Shannon, b 28 Sep 1805 Barnstead NH
2. Stephen Shannon, b. 1808, d. 1872
3. Nathaniel Shannon, b 1810, d. 1882
4. Ann E. Shannon b 1813
5. Ephraim Shannon, b. 22 Jan 1816, d. 1 June 1894; m. Sarah A. Heal
6. George Lamper Shannon b 1819, d. 1904
7. James Cate Shannon b 1822 d 1904
8. John Chase Shannon b 1827, d. 1910
9. Charles Hezekiah Shannon b 1829 d 1833

——Next Generation——

Ira Shannon, son of George Shannon, b 28 Sep 1805 Gilmanton NH, died 22 Nov 1893 Gilmanton NH. Buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Gilmanton Ironworks, Belknap Co. NH. He m. 6 May 1830 in Barnstead NH to Sally Ross, daughter of Thomas & Sally (Hobbs) Ross.
She b. March 1812 in Effingham NH, and d. 25 Sep 1886 in Gilmanton NH
1850 US Census > NH > Belknap > Gilmanton
Ira Shannon 44
Sally Shannon 38
Elizabeth Shannon 16
Charles H. Shannon 14
Abigail R. Shannon 11
George E. Shannon 9
Children of Ira & Sally (Ross) Shannon:
1. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Shannon, b April 1834 NH; m. 12 Sep 1858 in Belmont NH to James B. Brown. Her daughter, Addie May Brown m. 21 May 1885 to Arthur Wellesley Glessner. In 1900 Elizabeth was living in East Galena, Jo Daviess Co. IL.
2. Charles H. Shannon, b 20 July 1836; d. 11 Feb 1907. Buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Gilmanton NH. He m. Laura J. Lougee, dau of John & Rebekah Lougee. She was b 17 June 1838 and d. 15 Nov 1921.
3. + Abigail Ross “Abbie” Shannon, b. 14 Feb 1839 Gilmanton NH
4. George Edwin Shannon, b 1 June 1841 Gilmanton NH; d. 23 Dec 1905 in Concord NH. Buried Union Cemetery, Laconia NH. He m. Addie C. Smith

——Next Generation——

Abbie Ross Shannon, dau of Ira & Sally (Ross) Shannon of Gilmanton NH.
She was b. 14 Feb 1839, live long resident of Gilmanton. She married 7 July 1861 in Gilmanton NH to Charles A. Dockham (see) THIS STORY IS ABOUT HER.


This entry was posted in Genealogy, History, Really Old News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply