Collected Stories of Merrimack New Hampshire

Photograph of Mattie Kilborn with her step-mother Emma J. (Fretts) Kilborn circa 1898. Owned and colorized by the blog editor.

In celebrating Merrimack New Hampshire’s 275th anniversary as a town, I present to you several stories I have written about people, places and events in its history.  My personal connections go back to the year 1898 when my great-grandfather, Charles Albert Kilborn took a local Merrimack girl, Emma Jane Fretts, as his second wife.  He moved to the Fretts Farm in Merrimack by 1900.

Charles’ daughter and my grandmother (by his first wife) Mattie Kilborn, attended local schools, and graduated from McGaw Normal School, then a teacher’s college, in 1905.  Then she began teaching school in a one-room schoolhouse in Merrimack. About the same time she was boarding  with Anson A. Platts and his wife in the house on the corner of Depot and Pleasant Streets in Merrimack.

Reeds Ferry (Merrimack) NH Railroad Station (now gone). Standing in front, Clarence L. Webster, station agent with his dog Spotty. Photo owned and colorized by Janice W. Brown.

It was there that she (Mattie, my grandmother) met my grandfather–Clarence L. Webster who was the Reeds Ferry Depot station agent and telegraph operator for the B&M Railroad.  After their marriage they lived at the Platt’s home, and did so for the rest of their lives.   They raised three children there, my father B.H. Webster being the only son.

Mattie (Kilborn) Webster was the unofficial town historian, and she personally researched, and then compiled the history presentations that were offered during Merrimack’s bicentennial in 1946. I’m sure she would never have guessed that her grand-daughter would carry on her research work 75 years later.


—Merrimack NH Women—

Mrs. Hannah Eayrs Barron, poet and writer, born Merrimack, Hillsborough Co. New Hampshire on 24 November 1809. Photograph from her book of poetry.

– Centenarian, Teacher Extraordinaire, Boston Post Cane Recipient: Merrimack New Hampshire’s Madeline Irene (Nash) Bennett (1914-2014)
– Poultry Farmer, Civic Leader, Oldest Citizen and “Pioneer Woman”: Mary Augusta (Parker) Stowell of Merrimack New Hampshire (1871-1972)
– Merrimack New Hampshire Poet and Author: Hannah Eayrs Barron (1809-1891)
– Merrimack New Hampshire Educator and Actress: Marjorie “Maggi” Blanche Parker (1927-still living)
– Merrimack New Hampshire International Athlete, Activist for the Disabled: Marilyn Warren Woods (1914-1998)
New Hampshire’s Burnap “Leghorn Bonnets”
– Merrimack New Hampshire’s Educator, Artist, Civic Leader, Librarian: Emma Augusta Cross (1850-1933)

—Merrimack NH Men and Businesses—
– New Hampshire’s First Leader, Sagamore of the Penacook, Diplomat and Peacemaker: Passaconaway (c1580-c1673)
– Remembering Grandparents Day 2015: Clarence Leroy Webster (1882-1969)
– Education Champion and Elocutionist: Professor William Russell of Merrimack New Hampshire (1798-1873) [He started the McGaw Normal Institute]
– Civic Leader, Manufacturing Supervisor, Town Officer: Anson Alfonso Platts of Merrimack New Hampshire (1845-1940)
Alfred Spalding of Merrimack and Nashua New Hampshire: Sailor, Farmer and Boarding House Keeper (1806-1887)
– Cooper and Businessman of Reeds Ferry NH: Levi Franklin Lowell (1839-1916)
Fessenden & Lowell Company: a 19th-20th Century Cooperage in Reeds Ferry, New Hampshire
– Cooper and Partner of Fessenden & Lowell Co: Anson Darwin Fessenden (1839-1907)

—Merrimack 275th (in 2021), Bicentennial and Centennial Celebrations—
Merrimack New Hampshire Celebrates 275 Years: From 1746 To 2021
Snippets of News during Merrimack NH’s 1946 Bicentennial
– NH Tidbits: Descendants of Merrimack Centennial 1846 Serve on Bicentennial in 1946

Old photograph of entrance to Lone Star Ranch, Reeds Ferry (Merrimack) NH.

—Merrimack NH Missing Places—
– New Hampshire Missing Places: Temple’s Ferry of Merrimack
– New Hampshire Missing Places: Mansion House in Merrimack
– New Hampshire Missing Places: Daniel Webster Airways, Merrimack
– New Hampshire Missing Places: Lone Star Ranch, Reeds Ferry
– Merrimack NH Missing Places: Great Dane Knitting Mill
– New Hampshire Tidbits: Merrimack’s Old Passaconaway Tree

—Merrimack NH in War-Time—
– New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Merrimack
– Merrimack NH Honors World War 2 Veterans
– Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient: Piermont NH’s Nathaniel Churchill Barker (1836-1904) [Connection to Merrimack NH–buried in Last Rest Cemetery]
– Merrimack New Hampshire Admiral Forrest Percival Sherman, USN (1896-1951)

Photograph of a Budweiser Clydesdale and its caretaker from the Merrimack facility in 2013. Taken during a Merrimack Police Dept. event.  Copyright Janice W. Brown.

–Merrimack NH Landmarks–
Dedicated to a Fallen Hero: Warriner Playground, Merrimack New Hampshire
– “Recollections of Long Ago,” by Hannah Eayrs Barron–Dunstable (Nashua) and Merrimack New Hampshire
Budweiser History in New Hampshire
– Merrimack New Hampshire’s Notorious Inn & Owner: Deancroft and Robert W. Dean

–Merrimack Miscellaneous Stories–
– Merrimack New Hampshire’s Boston Post Cane
Merrimack (NH) Goes Seismic
– Much Ado about Merrimack: New Hampshire Spelling Errors
– NH Tidbits: Merrimack’s Special (Police) Officer Division
Merrimack New Hampshire Post Office History and Its First Woman Postmaster





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4 Responses to Collected Stories of Merrimack New Hampshire

  1. Thomas W Tufts says:

    Have you done much on the Kilborns? I have some pictures of a Ruth Kilborn who was a nurse and married my widowed Great Grandfather James A Tufts I of Exeter later in life.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Thomas, yes I have done a great deal of research on my Kilborn line. Most Kilborns in NH are from that same line. I’ll have to take a look at your Ruth.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Thomas, sorry for being so late in responding. Your Ruth Kilborn was my 6th cousin 3x removed. Our common ancestors are George Kilbourne & Elizabeth Barker. George was the son of Thomas Kilbourne & Frances Moody. In her line there is also a Mace connection to my son’s line through his father. If you want the details let me know! If you send me a photo I’ll add it to my tree. Thanks for reading and your comment!

  2. Josh H. says:

    I have always been fascinated by the history and age of various buildings and such. Thank you for this brief history lesson, can’t wait to read through the “Missing places” stories.

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