Elihu MINER (1722 – 1807) is Alex’s 7th Great Grandfather, one of 256 in this generation.
Elihu Miner was born 13 May 1722 in Lyme, CT, son of William MINER and Sarah BECKWITH. He married Keziah WILLEY on 21 Mar 1745 in East Haddam, CT. Elihu Miner was baptized and joined the church there 18 Aug 1751. The Thomas Minor Family history states that he died before the 1790 census, but other sources show the date as 3 March 1807.
Keziah Willey was was born on 26 Mar 1723 in East Haddam, Middlesex, Connecticut. She was christened on 18 Aug 1751 in East Haddam, Middlesex, Connecticut. Her parents were John WILLEY and Sarah SAUNDERS. Widow Keziah Miner joined the church at HL. 4 Jul 1790, and died in Millington 29 Mar, 1807, “aged 85.”
Children of Elihu and Keziah:
|1.||Elihu MINER Jr.||2 Sep 1745 in East Haddam CT||Mrs Mary DEAN||31 May 1821 East Haddam CT|
|2.||Asa Miner||20 Feb 1747 in East Haddam||Lois [Munson? or Pearl?]
14 Jan 1772 Sharon, CT
|21 Oct 1829 Ontario, NY|
|3.||Jabez “James” Miner||10 Oct 1748
|Lucy Stebbins (Daughter of Sarah Miner )
15 Sep 1771 – New London, New London CT
Hannah Howard (daughter of Lucy Miner)
17 Jan 1784 East Haddam, Middlesex, CT
|1797 in Gilead section of Waterford, CT|
|4.||Sarah Miner||3 May 1750 East Haddam||Joshua Gates Jr.
30 May 1770
|Bef. 1774 when Joshua remarried|
|5.||David Miner||22 Aug 1752||Lucy Jewett
East Haddam, CT
|6.||Jonathan Miner||7 Aug 1754 East Haddam||?||1783|
|7.||Deliverance Miner||18 Feb 1756 East Haddam||?||?|
|8.||Nathan Willey Miner||29 Oct 1757 East Haddam||?||?|
|9.||Mehetable Miner||28 Jun 1759 East Haddam||Unmarried?||9 Apr 1842 Old North Cemetery
CT (Not sure if this is our Mehetable, but inscription reads “Age 83 yrs.”
|10.||Timothy King Miner||17 or 20 Apr 1762 East Haddam||Polly Ames
4 Nov 1789
East Haddam, Middlesex, CT or Lempster, Sullivan, New Hampshire
|26 Sep 1813 or 26 Mar 1816
Dunstable, NH while traveling Burial: East Lempster Cemetery
|11.||Abigail Miner||4 Apr 1766 East Haddam||William Fengar(s)||Dec 1815 in Waterford, New London, CT|
1790 census – East Haddam, CT: 0-0-1 (Caziah)
Children were recorded in East Haddam (LR 3p10):
1. Elihu MINER Jr. (See his page)
2. Asa Miner
Asa’s wife Lois [__?__] was born 1757 in Sharon, Litchfield, CT. Lois died 1789 – New London, New London, CT. Most genealogies say her last name was Munson, but I can not find any evidence of her parents. Lois’ daughter-in-law was Sylva Munson.
Another theory is that she was Lois Pearl (b. 21 Apr 1753 in Willington, Tolland, CT – d. 15 Jul 1788 in Willington, Tolland, CT) Her parents were Capt Timothy Pearl (b. 1723 – 1789) and Dinah Holt (1725 – 1806).
Capt. Timothy Pearl: In May 1760 Timothy was appointed Lieutenant of the 8th Company, 5th Regiment of Connecticut. In Oct 1763 he was commissioned Captain in the same unit. Between 1764 & 1771 he served five years in the General Court as Deputy from Willington, Tolland, CT
1790 census – Salisbury, Litchfield, CT: 3-5-4
Children of Asa and Lois
i. Asa Miner b. 1 Feb 1777 in Sharon, Litchfield, CT; D. 7 Oct 1851 in Westfield, Medina, Ohio; m. Ruth Barrass (Barrows) (b. 20 Dec 1778 in Sharon, Litchfield, CT – d. 1851 in Westfield, Medina, Ohio)
Asa’s oldest son Ransom Stiles was born in 1800 in Milton, Saratoga, New York.
1810 census – Milton, Saratoga Cty., NY: 30020-20011
1820 census – Truxton, NY: 101210-01010
1830 census – Medina, OH
In the 1850 census, Asa and Ruth were living with their son Asa in Westfield, Medina, Ohio
h/o Ruth Miner
ii. Azel Miner b. 1 Feb 1777 in Sharon, Litchfield, Connecticut; d. 21 Oct 1829 in New London, Huron, Ohio; Burial: Butterfield Cemetery; m. 1 Jan 1802 Ontario County, New York to Sylva Munson (b. 18 Aug 1782 in Newalk, Licking, Ohio – d. 6 Jan 1853 New London, Huron County, Ohio; Burial: Butterfield Cemetery) Her parents were Stephen Munson (1742 – ) and Ann Cogswell (1742 – 1830). Azel and Sylvia had eight children born between 1803 and 1822.
iii. Darius Miner b. 10 Nov 1778 Sharon, CT; d. 1850 – Twin, Darke, Ohio; m.30 May 1802 to Abigail Bosworth (b. 3 Apr 1782 in Sandisfield, Berkshire, Mass. – d. 07 Oct 1829 in Rootstown, Portage, Ohio) Abigail’s parents were John Bosworth (1751 – 1832) and Hannah Smith (1756 – 1813).
1810 census – Milton, Saratoga Cty., NY p235: 10010-20010
1820 census – Gorham, NY: 001301-32110
iv. Rev. Sylvester Miner b. 12 Sep 1780 Sharon, CT; d. 30 Jul 1868 in Pittsford, Hillsdale Co. Michigan; Burial Locust Corners Cemetery; Inscription: Aged 82 Yrs, 3 Ds; m. Ruby Bennett (b. 1783 in Litchfield, Litchfield, CT – d. 17 Dec 1850 in Pittsford, Wheatland, Hillsdale, Michigan; Burial Locust Corners Cemetery) Her parents were Elijah Bennett (1753 – 1812 and Penelope [__?__] (1755 – 1814) Sylvester and Ruby were the parents of eight children, named Herkimer B., Homer L., Mary A., James H., Lorinda L., John N., Cornelia V., and George W.born between 1808 and 1830 in Otsego County, NY.
Sylvester was engaged the most of his life in teaching, both in the common branches and singing. In early life was united in marriage to Miss Ruby Bennett, and soon after removed to Otsego Co., N. Y., where he remained until 1819, and then removed to Ontario County, in the same State. He relocated from Farmington, Ontario, New York to Pittsford, Hillsdale Co, Michigan in 1839 where he died at age 83, having survived Ruby by 18 years.
1810 census – New Lisbon, NY: 20010-10010
1820 census – Farmington, NY: 220010-11011
v. David Willey Miner b. 3 Sep 1782 Salisbury, CT m. [__?__]
1810 census – Greenfield, Saratoga Cty., NY: 30010-20100
1820 census – Greenfield, Saratoga Cty., NY: 300110-12110
vi. Laura Miner b. 27 Sep 1784 Salisbury, CT ; d. 24 Apr 1868 in Gibson, Mercer, Ohio; m. ~1804 Nathan Scranton (b. 1781 Rhode Island – d. Bef. 1868 in Fort Recovery, Mercer, Ohio) Nathan and Laura had eleven children born between 1805 and 1836. Norman came 15 years after the next youngest. Their first children were born in Saratoga, New York. Before 1815, they moved to Truxton, Cortland, NY and to Westfield, Medina, Ohio before 1821.
In the 1850 census, Nathan and Laura were farming in Gibson, Mercer, Ohio with two children Lucy (b. 1818 NY) and Normon L (b. 1836 Ohio)
vii. Jerusha Miner b. 10 Jan 1787 Salisbury, CT
viii. Henry Miner b. 14 Aug 1789 Salisbury, CT; d. Feb 1828 in Stonington, CT
3. Jabez Miner
Jabez was often called James.
The Miner and the Stebbin families were very close and had many intermarriages.
Jabez’ first wife Lucy Stebbins was born 25 May 1755 in New London, CT. Lucy was Jabez’ second cousin. Her parents were John Stebbins and Sarah Miner. Her paternal grandparents were Clement Stebbins and Sarah Miner. Her paternal great grandparents were John Stebbins and Phebe Miner. Phebe’s parents were Clement MINER and Martha Wellman. Her maternal grandparents were Joseph Miner and Jemima Cady. Her maternal great grandparents were William MINER and Sarah BECKWITH. Lucy died about 1784 in New London.
Jabez’ second wife Hannah Howard was born 11 Jan 1754 – New London or East Haddam CT Hannah’s parents were Nathan Howard (1720 – 1777) and Lucy Minor (1723 – 1761). Hannah’s maternal grandparents were Clement Miner and Abigail Turner. Her maternal great grandparents were Clement Miner and Martha Mould. Her second great grandparents were Clement MINER and Frances BURCHAM.
Children of Jabez and Lucy
i. Joseph Miner b. 2 Feb 1772; d. 1803 Connecticut, one source says “at sea”; m. 1792 to Olive Prentis (b. ~1772 – d. 6 Apr 1841 in Connecticut) Olive’s parents were John Prentis (1736 – 1801) and Bridget Rogers (1742 – )
1800 census – New London, CT: 20010-10010
1810 census – New London, CT: 10000-00010 (Olive)
Jospeh and Olive had four children born between 1793 and 1800 in New London, CT:
ii. Lucy Miner b. 20 Mar 1776
iii. Jonathan Miner b. 23 Jun 1778; died young
iv. Clement Miner b. 20 May 1780
v. Capt. John Benjamin Minor b. 14 Feb 1781 New London, CT; d. 24 Nov 1861 Rochester, NY; m1. 29 Jun 1804 Glastonbury, Hartford, CT to Rebecca Hollister (b. 26 Jan 1781 in Glastonbury, CT – d. 1823 in Penfield, Monroe, New York) Rebecca’s parents were Sgt. Joseph Hollister (1752 – 1848) and his cousin Patience Hollister (1755 – 1826). m2. Abigail [__?__] (b. 1788 Mass.) John and Rebecca had five children born between 1804 and 1814 in Rochester, NY.
In the War of 1812 Benjamin was a Captain in John T. Van Dalfsen’s 12th Regiment of New York Militia of Coeyman’s, Albany County. The fourth brigade comprised the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th regiments in the Mohawk valley, and was under the command of General Richard Dodge, of Johnstown.
According to Documents of the Senate of the State of New York, Volume 10 Jonathan also served as
- Lieutenant in Lt Col Elihud Davis’ Saratoga County Regiment
- Captain in Lt Col David Rogers Saratoga County Regiment
- Lieutenant in Capt. John Harris’ Company, Lt. Col Augustus Cleveland’s 9th Regiment, Gen. Ransom Noble’s 40th Brigade of Infantry of Essex County [halfway between Albany & Montreal]
At this period the State of New York along the Canadian frontier was to a great extent an almost unknown wilderness, and communications and transportation were still slow and laborious. The Mohawk river, slightly improved in its natural course by the Inland Lock Navigation Company, was the only route, except the rough highways, for the westward conveyance of cannon, which were loaded upon the Durham boats.
Apart from the regular army regiments authorized in June 1812 (as war was being declared) there were another 10 authorized in January 1812. So only the 1st to 7th regiments were actually veteran regulars, the rest were all being drafted in 1812. Most were far below establishment and extremely green. Throughout 1812 their leaders considered the militia to be the better soldiers.
None of the New England states allowed their militia to serve in the war. All invasions of Quebec had to start from the west side of Lake Champlain, because the New York militia were available and the Vermont militia were not.
In the 1830 census, Jonathan had a huge household of middle aged men in Gates, Monroe, New York. If anyone knows why, please let me know!
Males – 5 thru 9: 1
Males – 20 thru 29: 6
Males – 30 thru 39: 6
Males – 40 thru 49: 9
Females – 10 thru 14: 1
Females – 15 thru 19: 1
Under 20: 3
Persons – 20 thru 49: 21
Total Free White Persons: 24
In the 1850 and 1860 census, John and Abigail were living in Rochester Ward 4, Monroe, New York. Those are the only references I can find to Abigail.
vi. Jabez Miner b. 25 Dec 1783
Children of Jabez and Hannah
vii. David Miner b. 1785 New London; d.24 Feb 1864 New London; m. 28 Jun 1821 to Naomi Thomas; m 28 Jun 1821 New London to Naomi Thomas (b. 1801 CT – d. betw. 1850-1860). The only reference I can find to Naomi Thomas is the Barbour Collection marriage record. David and Naomi had three children born between 1824 and 1831.
In the 1850 census, David and Naomi were living in New York Ward 7 District 2, New York. Abigail Mason (b. 1777 Connecticut) was living with the family. In 1860, Ward 7 District 2 was a 2 square block area bounded by Catherine St., Market St., Henry St., Monroe St. (Just east of City Hall between the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge – which hadn’t been built yet)
In the 1860 census,David was a widowed Sea Captain living with four grown children in Ward 7 District 4 New York City. Naomi (b. 1825 CT) was a tailoress, David T. (b. 1833 CT) was a silver burnisher. William W. (b. 1841 CT) was a mason’s apprentice. I don’t think Naomi or David ever married. They lived together in the 7th Ward in the 1870 and 1880 census working as a dressmaker and silver burnisher.7th Ward -------- NB on Catherine St from East River to Division St; then EB on Division St to Grand St; then EB on Grand St to East River.
viii. Nathaniel C Miner b. 26 Feb 1788; d. 17 Sep 1870; m. 29 Nov 1810 New London to Elizabeth Thomas (b. 1789 CT). Nathaniel and Elizabeth had seven children born between 1812 and 1828 in New London.
There was another Nathaniel Minor (20 Apr 1788 – Litchfield, CT – d. 15 Mar 1861 Woodbury, Litchfield, CT) who married Althia Martin. His parents were Solomon Miner and Mary Root)
In the 1850 census, Nath’l and Elizabeth were living in New London, New London, CT. Nathaniel and his son George (b. 1814 PA) were masons.
In the 1855 city directory, Nathaniel Miner lived at 143 Main St New London, Connecticut. George had moved next door to 127 Main Street. Interestingly, all the Miners in New London spelled their name with an “er”, not an “or”.
In the mid-1970s, after much local controversy, Main Street was renamed Eugene O’Neill Drive. O’Neill spent his summers in New London. O’Neill and his friends frequently gathered in Dr. Joe Ganey’s living quarters above his office at 8 Main Street, the source of the name the Second Story Club.
ix. Joshua Miner b. 29 Aug 1791 New London, CT; d. 1 Jun 1859 Wilkes-Barre, PA of Consumption; m. 2 Dec 1813 Wilkes-Barre, PA to Fanny Hepburn (b. 1790 CT – d. 18 Apr 1869 Wilkes-Barre, PA; burial First Presbyterian Church) Fanny’s parents were Lewis Hepburn (1764 – 1819) and Hulda Hotchkiss (1765 – 1864). Joshua and Fanny had between four children born between 1814 and 1825 in Wilkes-Barre.
1820 census – Wilkes-Barre, PA: 101110-20010
In the 1850 census, Joshua and Fanny were living in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne, Pennsylvania where Joshua was a stone mason. Their daughter Janett (b. 1820 CT) had the same name as my sister, Janette Parsons Miner did not marry and became a school teacher.
x. Hannah Howard Miner b. 29 Dec 1793 New London, CT; m. 20 Jun 1813 New London to Samuel Culver (b. 8 Jun 1789 New London, CT ) Samuel’s parents were Samuel Culver and [__?__] Buckmaster.
In the 1850 census, Samuel and Hannah were living in Norwich, New London, CT with five children at home ages 13 to 24. Samuel was working as a mason/
xi. Grace Miner b. 20 Jul 1796; m. [__?__] Elliott
4. Sarah Miner
Sarah’s husband Joshua Gates was born 19 Oct 1737 [many years before the 1746 usually estimated] in East Haddam, Middlesex, CT. He was baptized 21 Dec 1740 in East Haddam. His parents were Joshua Gates Sr. and Lydia Brainerd. After Sarah died, he married second Feb 1774 to Eunice Fuller, daughter of Nathan Fuller. Joshua died 9 Mar 1781 in East Haddam and was buried at the First Church Cemetery. His grave is listed in Abstracts of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots by Patricia Law Hatcher.
Sarah only lived to have one child Celinda Gates, baptized by Rev. Judah Champion in East Haddam, July 19, 1772. Celinda married, Feb 23, 1796 to Ruel Eddy, a blacksmith of East Haddam. They moved to North Adams, Berkshire County, MA and had several children. Their second son was named Dyer Eddy and he “cut his ankle badly,” April 1, 1816
Joshua marched for the relief of Boston in the Lexington Alarm, April 19, 1775 and was on the roll of Captain Eliphalet Holmes Company of Minute-Men which was raised in May 1776. D. Williams Patterson said he was a sergeant in the Revolutionary Army. After his death, his widow resided for some time with her son Franklin in Warren, Herkimer County, NY, but in 1816 she was residing with her stepdaughter Celinda Eddy in North Adams, Berkshire County, Mass.
5. David Miner
David’s wife Lucy Jewett was born 1756 in East Haddam, Middlesex, CT. Her parents were Capt. Joseph Jewett (1732 – 29 Aug 1776 Flatbush, Queens, New York) and Lucretia Rogers (1740 – 1836). Lucy died in 1784 – East Haddam, Middlesex, CT.
Lucy’s father was a captain in the revolutionary army, serving in Colonel Huntington’s regiment. He was in the Battle of Long Island, and, being taken prisoner, surrendered his sword to a British officer, who instantly plunged it though his body. (One record gives date of death August 31, 1776.)
His family is of the good old New England stock, his parents Josiah and Sophia Skinner having moved to Moravia, NY. Capt. Joseph Jewett was a hero of the war of the Revolution. In one of the battles about New York, he was surrounded and compelled to surrender after defending himself with great bravery. After his surrender he received several bayonet thrusts from the dastardly foe. His cruel treatment coming to the knowledge of the higher officers measures were taken to alleviate his sufferings, but he died of his wounds.
Deacon N. Richards, one of his non-commissioned officers, reported: “Capt. Joseph Jewett of Huntington’s Regiment, an officer much respected and beloved, of elegant and commanding appearance and unquestionable bravery, was murdered in cold blood, having surrendered his sword when demanded, the British officer, on receiving it, instantly plunged it through his body.” (Vermont Chronicles)
The other version is a statement of Lt. Jabez Fitch, who was in Capt. Jewett’s Company and was taken prisoner at the same time. He says that the Captain was three times wounded by bayonet stabs “after he had surrrendered,” but makes no mention of his having been run through by a British officer with his own sword.
Also known as the Battle of Brooklyn or the Battle of Brooklyn Heights, the Battle of Long Island, fought on August 27, 1776, was the first major battle in the American Revolutionary War following the United States Declaration of Independence, the largest battle of the entire conflict, and the first battle in which an army of the United States engaged, having declared itself a nation only the month before. The result was a decisive British victory, though Washington saved his army to fight another day.
Child of David and Lucy
i. William Miner b. ~ 1775 East Haddam, CT; d. Charlestown, South Carolina; m. in Georgia
10. Capt. Timothy King Miner
Timothy’s wife Polly Ames was born 28 Jul 1772 in East Haddam, Middlesex, CT. Her parents were Benajah Ames and Luce Scovell. Polly died 14 Apr 1864 in Lempster, Sullivan, New Hampshire, over 50 years after her husband.
Timothy was a tanner, currier and shoemaker. He hired his future son-in-law Alvah smith as apprentice, but died in 1814 during Alvah’s first year of service, the young apprentice was retained in business by Mrs. Miner, and served his time. On arriving at his majority he contracted for the tannery and shoe-shop, and was eminently successful, in time building up a large business, giving employment to one hundred employees; new dwelling-houses were erected, and a store opened for the accommodation of his employees. Alvah married Timothy’s fourth daughter Arethusa in 1820.
Timothy lived in Lempster, New Hampshire, a bit north of Gilsum and well west of Concord, NH in the 1790, 1800, 1810 and 1820 censuses.
First granted by colonial governor Jonathan Belcher in 1735 as Number 9 (ninth in a line of forts to guard against Indian attacks), it was regranted in 1753 as Dupplin, after Sir Thomas Hay, Viscount Dupplin, by Governor Benning Wentworth. The town was re-granted one final time in 1767 as Lempster, after one of the titles of a Sir Thomas Farmer of “Lempster” (presumably Leominster in England), and incorporated in 1772.
In the 1850 census and the 1860 census Polly was living with her widowed daughter Sarah Hutchinson in Lempster, Sullivan, New Hampshire.
Children of Timothy and Polly:
i. Larissa Miner b. 30 Nov 1791 in Lempster, Sullivan, New Hampshire; d. 26 Sep 1843 East Lempster, Sullivan County, New Hampshire; Burial: East Lempster Cemetery
ii. Polly Miner b. 27 Dec 1793 Lempster, Sullivan, New Hampshire; d. 23 Mar 1870 Williamstown, Orange, Vermont of Chronic Bronchitis; m. 25 May 1815 Lempster to Lewis Spencer (b. 1787 in Claremont, Sullivan, New Hampshire – d. 24 Oct 1849 in Randolph, Orange, Vermont) Lewis’ parents were Reuben Spencer (1751 – 1804) and Alice Ainsworth (1740 – ) Polly and Lewis had eleven children born between 1816 and 1839.
With Randolph’s productive soil for cultivation, farming became an intensive industry. By 1830, when the population reached 2,743, between twelve and thirteen thousand sheep grazed its pastures. Randolph was noted for its good butter, cheese and mutton. Two branches of the White River provided water power for watermills. By 1859, the town had three gristmills, one oil mill, and one carding mill. In 1848, the Vermont Central Railroad opened service through the town.
In the 1850 census, Polly was a widow in Randolph, Orange, Vermont with five children at home ages 10 to 32.
iii. Senah “Sarah” Miner b. 24 Aug 1796 Lempster, New Hampshire; d. 18 Nov 1874 Lempster, New Hampshire; m1. 2 Jun 1822 to Truman Bingham (b. 29 May 1796 – Lempster – d. 18 Oct 1825) Truman’s parents were James Bingham (1758 – 1826) and Mary Willey James Bingham was for several years was a representative for Lempster in the General Court of the State. He was also a selectman; m2. 14 Dec 1836 or 13 Dec 1837 Lempster to Rev. William Hutchinson (b. 04 Apr 1794 in New Hampshire – d. 24 Apr 1842 in Plainfield, Cheshire, NH); William first married 1823 in St Johnsbury, Caledonia, Vermont to Mary Abbot (b. 23 Nov 1802 in Haverhill, Grafton, New Hampshire – d. 1835)
In the 1850 census Sarah was a widow living with her mother Polly, daughter Helen Bingham (b. 1823 NH) and step-daughter Martha Hutchinson (b. 1831 NH) in Lempster, Sullivan, New Hampshire. Senah, Polly and Helen were still living together in the 1860 census.
iv. Arethusa Miner b. 19 Nov 1800 Lempster, New Hampshire; d. 15 Jun 1877 Lempster, New Hampshire; m. 8 Mar 1820 Lempster to Alvah Smith (b. 17 Jan 1797 in Lempster – d. 7 Aug 1879 in Lempster) His parents were Jacob Smith (1766 – 1837) and Asenath Hurd (1766 – 1853). Arethusa and Alvah had eight children born between 1822 and 1838.
In the 1850 census, Alvah and Arethusa were living in Lempster where Alvah was a tanner and currier.
Alvah’s early education was limited to the district school, never attending in summer after his ninth year, remaining at home until eighteen, freely lending his assistance in the maintenance of the family, his father being in feeble health, with limited means, pecuniarily, but rich in the love and devotion of a wife and eight children. Young Alvah, arriving at the age of eighteen, was apprenticed to Captain Timothy Miner, tanner, currier and shoemaker. He dying the first year of service, the young apprentice was retained in business by Mrs. Miner, and served his time. On arriving at his majority he contracted for the tannery and shoe-shop, and was eminently successful, in time building up a large business, giving employment to one hundred operatives; new dwelling-houses were erected, and a store opened for the accommodation of his employees.
He made sales in Vermont, Massachusetts, New York and Illinois, and some of the time work was sent to the Southern States via Boston. It was in his tannery that calf-skins were first tanned with the hair on, the first one being an experiment by Joseph Marshall, one of Mr Smith’s earliest apprentices, to oblige a townsman. This soon became quite a lucrative business, the skins thus tanned being made into overshoes and boots, which, being impervious to the water and very warm, found a ready market.
On Nov 19, 1854, the shoe-shop and tannery were burned by an incendiary, involving a loss of thirty thousand dollars. The business being so necessary to the interests of the town, the people lent their aid in rebuilding it on a large scale, adding the modern appliances and improvements. In April of 1863 this building was burned, having been ignited by a spark from the furnace chimney, and was never rebuilt.
In all these years of business activity Mr. Smith neglected no opportunity for the improvement of his mind, but spent all leisure moments in gaining information both as to political and religious movements. Not infrequently the morning light revealed the scorched newspaper, telling all too plainly that Morpheus had been robbed of rightful hours.
His fellow townsmen were not slow in appreciating his business capacities, bestowing upon him the honors of office in their gift. He was town clerk from 1826 to 1880; Representative from 1830 to 1832; for some years selectman and superintending school committee, and often chosen to administer on and settle estates. While being thus favored by his town, he was made justice of the peace and quorum; two years member of the Governor’s Council and of the board of trustees of the Insane Asylum; one of the directors and agents of the Cheshire Mutual Fire Insurance Company from its inception, retaining both until two years before his death, when he relinquished the agency.
In 1856 he received the appointment of Probate judge, retiring in 1867 at the age of seventy, having fulfilled the trust with honesty and fidelity. He was also delegate to the Presidential Convention in Philadelphia in 1856.
At the annual election in 1871 he received a few votes on the temperance ticket for New Hampshire State Senate in District No. 10. The person elected to that office (a Democrat) died before the Legislature met, and according to the Constitution, “the vacancy must be filled by joint vote of Legislature, for one of the two highest candidates voted for at the annual election ; ” he therefore became a candidate. The Democrats and Labor-Reformers united were a majority in the Legislature, and hoping he might feel under obligation to go with them if elected by them, elected him. Although offered any office in the gift of the Legislature or Governor and any amount of money if he would vote with them in their revolutionary movements (as he held the balance in the Senate), he stood aloof from all their offers, and remained firm and true to the principles of liberty and equality he had ever supported from early manhood.
A precious heirloom in the old home is a gold-headed ebony cane, bearing the following inscription: “Presented to Senator Alvah Smith, for his unwavering fidelity to principle and right, by Republican members of the Legislature, June session, 1871.”
He was State pension agent for four years, which would have proved a more lucrative position had not the infirmities of years made it necessary for him to employ extra help in the office. His well-known sound judgment procured him many calls as referee in difficult cases, not only in town, but in others in the county; and after mature deliberation he was always ready to give his opinion, except in cases where the differing parties were man and wife, where he considered a third party like the “fifth wheel to a coach,” and advised for both forbearance and conciliation.
Making himself well acquainted with points of law, he was many times solicited to enter the bar, but knowledge of his own acquirements modestly forbade. Although the law would have exempted him from military duty, he was induced to take command, in early life, of a volunteer company in the militia; from which he rose in military gradation to the office of inspector, and performed the duty of inspecting the whole of the then Third Division of New Hampshire Militia, as reviewed by Governor David Morrill and General William Carey, a fellow townsman.
In early days he was a Whig, and so great was the influence that went out from his manufactory that it obtained the name of “Whig Fort.” At the birth of the Free-Soil party, at the Buffalo (N. Y.) Convention, to which he was sent as active delegate, he adopted Free-Soil principles as best suited to carry out his ideas of right, from which he could not be moved. His firm principles made him proof against political bribery, though the temptation once came when in straitened circumstances and declining years. When told at the time, “It is said every man has his price,” he made quick reply, “One man has not.”
Feeling from his own experience the disadvantages arising from a limited education he was thoroughly awake in educational matters, giving his children every help in his power, not only patronizing the district and select schools of his own town, but giving them academical advantages. He was much interested in the “Teachers’ Institutes ” in the county, and used his influence in their favor; also was ever ready to procure the latest and most approved text-books for his family, and it was rarely that a book or map agent received from him the “cold shoulder” if his wares promised assistance in gaining knowledge. Being “fully persuaded by what he read by his own observation and experience, that there was no nourishment in alcohol, and that an individual could do more and better work without it than with it,” he early espoused the cause of temperance, becoming one of its most earnest advocates.
His shop, raised in 1831, was the first building in town raised without rum. When he proposed the idea to the master-workman, he at once said “It cannot be done.” “Then,” replied Mr. Smith, ” It shall not be raised.” The day came and with it scores of people, some from out of town, fully expecting a failure; but, contrary to all expectation, every joist, beam and brace came in position with no other stimulant than hot coffee. It was a success in every respect and was not the last building raised on temperance principles. Mr. Smith was known throughout the county and State as an earnest temperance man, and was sent as county delegate to the World’s Temperance Convention in New York in 1853.
He avoided the formation of bad habits. Being ordered by his physician at one time to smoke, as soon as he realized he was becoming a slave to the vile weed, he at once and forever abandoned its use; and, as an instance of his self command, he laid pipe and tobacco where he would see it each day. At another time he forsook the use of morphine, given to ease the pain of a fractured hip, although it cost him more than a week of sleepless nights. It is said by those who knew him from his earliest days that no profane or indelicate word passed his lips, and rarely an expletive, obeying the Scriptural injunction, “let your communication be yea, yea, and nay, nay,” etc.
His great willpower, guided by Christian principles, enabled him to keep in control a naturally violent temper.
Their son Alvah Smith Jr. enlisted as a Private on 29 March 1864 at the age of 18 in Company B, 1st Cavalry Regiment New Hampshire. Promoted to Full Corporal on 1 Jul 1865. Mustered Out Company B, 1st Cavalry Regiment New Hampshire on 15 Jul 1865 at Cloud’s Mills, Virginia.
v. Maria Louisa Miner b. 1 Jun 1810 Lempster, New Hampshire; d. 5 Nov 1873; m. 3 Jul 1832 Lempster to David Warren Dexter (b. 1806)
11. Abigail Miner
Abigail’s husband William Fengar was born in 1757 in Monmouth, New Jersey. William died Feb 1818 – Waterford, New London, CT.
Children of Abigail and William
i. Matilda Seabury Fengar b. 1 Dec 1793 in New London CT; d. 25 Oct 1865 in Washington, D.C.; m. Almon Baldwin (b. 29 Dec 1791 in Litchfield, Litchfield, CT – d. 3 May 1874 residing at 451 D Street NW, Washington, D.C.) Almon’s parents were Charles Baldwin and Rachel Mason.
Almon enlisted in the war of 1812, and served through the war in the 37th US Infantry. He rose from private to Sergeant Major. After the war, he went to Alexandria, Virginia, and about 1835, to Washington, D.C., where he d. July 3,1874 residing at 801 E. Street, N.W [a block from the National Portrait Gallery and around the corner from the Intl Spy Musuem]. Reference: Baldwin gen. by Chas. Candees Baldwin. Cleveland, 1881. (974p.):541, 57
In the 1850 census, Almon and Matilda were living in Washington DC Ward 5 with six children ages 14 to 25. Almon was a carpenter.
ii. Grace Fengar b. Jan 1795 in New London, New London, CT – d. Jul 1872 in Washington DC; Burial: Glenwood Cemetery; m. 30 Jun 1819 New London to Charles Calvert (b. 24 Nov 1793 in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire – d. 13 Sep 1880 in Washington DC; Burial: Glenwood Cemetery Plot: Sec Q Lot 134 Site 3) Charles parents were John Calvert and Ann Allsop. Charles moved his family to Washington DC before 1830. Grace and Charles had 16 children born between 1820 and 1848!
In the 1850 census, Charles and Grace were living in Washington DC with a large family. To feed all those mouths, Charles was working as a government clerk.
iii. George Fengar b. 1800; d. 1831; m. 23 Mar 1823 to Fannie Bolton (b. 10 May 1807 in New London, New London, CT – d. 1 Sep 1877 in New London) After George died, Fanny married Oct 30, 1841, by Abel T. Sizer to Joseph P. Mason.
iv. Thomas J Fengar b. ~1801 Waterford, New London CT; d. 5 Aug 1877 Waterford; Burial: East Neck Cemetery; m1. ~1822 to Louisa Beebe (b. ~1804 in Waterford – d. 7 Jan 1826 in Waterford Burial: East Neck Cemetery); m2. Lucretia Brooks (b. ~ 1801 in Connecticut – d. 3 Nov 1863 in New London, New London, CT; Burial: East Neck Cemetery )
v. William Fengar d. 1830. On Mar 24, 1820 William enlisted as a private in the Engineers for a term of five years. S.A.M.R. Jun 30 1820 West Point present; S.A.M.R. Dec 31 1820 present; Musician attached to Corp of Cadets.
vi. Henry Fengar d. 1847
vii. Mary Fengar
viii. Matilda Fengar
ix. Miranda “Morinda” Fengar m. 28 Feb 1828, by Rev. Le Roy Sunderland to George Tiller,
x. Nancy Fengar