History of Brookline, formerly Raby, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire

This history of Brookline is the culmination of long continued desires on the part of its inhabitants that the acts and annals of the early settlers in the town, as well as those of the generations succeeding them, in order that they should inure to the edification and benefit of the generations yet to come, should be preserved in some durable and permanent form.

Its preparation for publication was authorized by a vote of the citizens at a town meeting holden on the 13th day of March, 1906. At the same meeting the selectmen were authorized to appoint a history committee consisting of five citizens. The selectmen subsequently appointed the committee, and, soon after its appointment, the committee arranged with the undersigned to prepare the history for publication.

In presenting the completed work to his old time fellow citizens and to the public in general, for their and its approval, or disapproval, as the case may be, the compiler has but little to say by way of introduction.

For him the work of preparing it has been a labor of love; and now that his task is completed, he can only hope that it will not turn out to be a case of love's labor lost.

In the labor attendant upon its preparation, from beginning to end, the compiler has been actuated by a desire to produce a record history of the town. A history which, so far as possible, should depict the characteristic qualities of its people, as those qualities have been exhibited in their acts and procedure during the years of the town's existence.

With that end in view, the materials used in its compilation have, for the main part, been taken from the town's official books of records, the unofficial accounts, published and unpublished, of the acts of, and incidents happening to, its people; and from such of its traditions as, having survived the lapse of years, have come down to the present generation stamped with such marks of authenticity as would seem to render them worthy of preservation.

In following out this line of procedure, care has been taken to keep as closely as possible to the language of the original text; quoting from the same freely, and oftentimes voluminously; especially in instances in which the subject matter relates to events and occurrences of more than ordinary interest to the people.

The result has been to produce a work in the construction of which, consideration is given to matters which would ordinarily be regarded as of minor importance mere details to an extent much greater than is generally customary in histories of this description.

At first thought, this phase in the work, i.e., redundency in the matter of details, for obvious reasons, would strike many as being in the nature of a fault. But when one takes into consideration the fact that the life of a town, like that of an individual, is for the greater part made up of details, in the formation of which, at some period of his life every citizen is more or less actively engaged, it becomes apparent at once that, in the compilation of its history, matters of detail constitute a very important element for consideration. For the more voluminously and accurately they are spread upon its pages, the more thoroughly will its readers be able to comprehend the characteristic qualities of its inhabitants the men and women from the details of whose lives it is in a great measure constructed.

In addition to the foregoing mentioned sources of information, recourse has also been had to the official records and public documents of the State and to the published histories of Towns in this vicinity and elsewhere, for such historical material relating to Brookline as could be gleaned from their pages; care being exercised in each instance to select for use only such materials as, from their actual connection with, and bearing upon the town and its people, were necessary to the complete elucidation of its history.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I.
Topographical and Otherwise.

CHAPTER II.
Old Dunstable.

CHAPTER III.
Brookline Before Its Incorporation.
16731769.

CHAPTER IV.
Incorporation of Raby and Events Connected with the Same.
1746-1769.

CHAPTER V.
1769-1775.

CHAPTER VI.
War of the Revolution.

CHAPTER VII.
Current Events, Incidents and Happenings.
1775-1786.

CHAPTER VIII.
Current Events Continued.
1786-1800.

CHAPTER IX.
Early Bridie-Paths and Highways Framed Dwelling Houses in Town in 1800.

Brief Biographical Sketches of Some of the Petitioners for Raby's Incorporation in 1768, Who Subsequently Removed from the Town and Have no KNown Representatives here at the Present Time, viz.: Thomas Astin (Austin) - William Blanchard - Robert Campbell - Isaac Stevens - Simeon Blanchard- James Nutting - William Spaulding - Daniel Shed - Jonas Shed - Francis Butterick - Johnathan Powers - Henry Spaulding 0 Abigail Spaulding - Peter Honey.

CHAPTER X.
Industries, Early and Late.
1740-1852

CHAPTER XI.
Schools and Other Educational Matters.

CHAPTER XII.
Ecclesiastical History.
1783-1791.

CHAPTER XIII.
Ecclesiastical History, Continued.
1791-1837.

CHAPTER XIV.
Ecclesiastical History, Continued.
1837-1914

CHAPTER XV.
Ecclesiastical History, Concluded.
The Methodist Episcopal Church and Society.

Chapter XVI.
Current Events, Incidents, and Happenings.
1800-1830

CHAPTER XVII.
Current Events, Incidents, and Happenings.
1830-1860

CHAPTER XVIII.
Brookline in the War of the Rebellion.

ChAPTER XIX.
Current Events, Incidents, and Happenings.
1860-1890

CHAPTER XX.
Railroads in BRookline and a Narrative of the Events which led up to Their Construction.

CHAPTER XXI.
Current Events, Incidents, and Happenings.
1890-1914

CHAPTER XXII.
The Daniels Academy Building.

CHAPTER XXIII.
Biographical Sketches of Physicians Resident of and Practicing in Brookline from 1827 to 1914 Inclusive.

CHAPTER XXIV.
List of Names of Town Officers from 1769 to 1914.

CHAPTER XXV.
Votes for Governor from 1786 to 1913 Inclusive.

CHAPTER XXVI.
Marriages from 1743 to 1914 Inclusive.

 

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Brookline is situated in the southern part of New Hampshire on the Massachusetts state line. It is bounded on the south by Townsend and Pepperell in Massachusetts; on the west by Mason, on the north by Milford, and on the east by Hollis.

The surface of the entire township is hilly; there being but few level tracts, and these of small size. The soil is, for the greater part, a sandy loam, not especially well adapted to agricultural purposes. There is, however, a considerable acreage of good land, strong and productive, and some excellent farms. Fifty years ago there were more. But since then many of the town's sons and daughters, like those of many another New England town, lured by the call of the great world outside, have gone forth to seek their fortunes in its midst. In the meantime, the deserted farms have never ceased to send forth mute but expressive appeals for the return of their absent ones. Within the past few years, in some instances, these appeals have been heeded, and as a result, many of the old farms are being rejuvenated.