History of the town of Dunbarton, Merrimack, New Hampshire

History of the town of Dunbarton, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, from the grant by Mason's assigns, in 1751, to the year 1860; written by Caleb Stark; published at Concord, NH c. 1860.

The incidents attending the settlement and onward progress of an inland agricultural town, cannot be expected to interest others than its residents, or the descendants of its early proprietors, the "forefathers of the hamlet," whose honored graves are located amidst the scenes of their former toil.

This location is noticed in Haywood's New-England Gazetteer as follows:

This town lies nine miles south-west from Concord, and seven miles south-east from Hopkinton. Population in 1830, 1067. The situation of the town is somewhat elevated, though there are but few hills, nor any mountains. The air is clear, the water is good, and the health of its inhabitants seldom interrupted by sickness. The soil is good; peculiarly suited for corn, wheat, and orcharding. Almost every lot in town is capable of making a good farm. The farmers here have good buildings, and are excellent husbandmen. The advantages in point of water privileges are not great. The inhabitants are principally descendants of the Scotch-Irish, so called, from the north of Ireland. Their descendants still retain many traits of character peculiar to that people.

Dumbarton was granted, in 1751, to Archibald Stark. Its present name (formerly Starkstown) is derived from Dunbarton, in Scotland, whence Stark emigrated. The first settlement was made about 1749. "William Stinson, born in Ireland, came to Londonderry with his father. He was much respected, and was a useful man. James Rogers was from Ireland, and father to Major Robert Rogers. He was shot in the woods, being mistaken for a bear."

The first settlement is supposed to have been made by James Rogers and Joseph Putney. The precise time is not known, although probably several years prior to 1746.

Each researcher will be enabled to peruse a summary account of the settlement and progress of their Dunbarton, New Hampshire, amidst whose formerly dense forests their adventurous ancestors established their abodes, without the trouble of tracing particulars through the records of the first one hundred and nine years.

Table of Contents

Historical sketch, 9
Proprietors' records, 40
Charter and proceedings under it, 99
Miscellaneous matters warning out, 138
Dr. Dugall's petition, 139
Tithing men, 139
Militia trainings, 140
Kaisings and trials of strength and skill, 141
Bounds of the Common, 143
Dr. Jackson's Survey, 143
Lease of town lands, 144
Graveyard wall, 145
Graveyard, 147
Physicians, 150
Magistrates, 150
Religious associations, 150
Revolutionary soldiers, 151
Ecclesiastical statistics, 152
Post-offices, 154
Traders, 155
New meeting-house, 156
Protest of Major John Stinson to the meeting of 1801, 161
Accidental deaths, 162
Disappearance of McCarthy, 163
Journal of E. L. Harris, 165

Individual Notices

Archibald Stark and sons, 174
Major Robert Rogers, 178
Captain Caleb Page, 181
Captain "William Stinson, 194
Archibald Stinson, 196
John Stinson, Jr., 198
Jeremiah Stinson, 200
William Stinson, 201
James Stinson, 201
Colonel John Stinson, 201
Jonathan Burbank, 201
Stephen Burbank, 202
Samuel Stinson, 202
John Stinson, 202
Rev. Walter Harris, 203
Mills family, 210
William Beard, 212
John Bunten, 213
John Fulton, 213
Joseph Putney and James Rogers, 213
Thomas Caldwell, 249
Israel Clifford, 249
Phinehas Bailey, 249
William Tenney, 250
Nathan Gutterson, 250
James Hogg, 250
Samuel Gutterson, 251
Shubael Tenney, 251
Nathaniel T. Safford, 251
Jonas Hastings, 251
Robert Alexander, 252
Jonathan Waite, 253
Paul Healey, 251
Richard Cilley, 251
William Brown, 252
Benjamin Twiss, 253
Benjamin Marshall, 253
John Dodge, 253
James Morse, 253
Benjamin Perley, Jr., 254
Captain Joseph Leach, 254
Eliphalet R. Sargent, 254
Joshua F. Hoyt, 254
Thomas Tewksbury, 255
John Gould, 255

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Accidental Deaths in Dunbarton, New Hampshire prior to 1860

The wife of John Mills was frozen to death, while proceeding from Capt. Oliver Bailey's house, over the hill, east of the place where Oliver Bailey, Jr., once dwelt.

Mrs. Archelaus Colby wandered from home while insane, and died in the woods. She was missing several months. Her bones were found by a hunter, in Goftstown. Her husband was drowned in Kimball's pond, while crossing on the ice.

Mrs. Eleazer Butters was killed by being thrown from a horse, between Goffstown and Dunbarton.

James Rogers was shot by a hunter, having, on account of his bear-skin dress, been mistaken for a bear.

Dr. Jeremiah P. Tenney, Leonard Parker, Stephen Stark, Ebenezer Butler, (at Stark's mill-pond, June, 1821) Parmlee Holmes, a son of Paltiah Brown, Esq., drowned.

Jeremiah Stinson, in 1809, died of injuries received by falling upon a pitch-fork; Capt. Joseph Leach, being crushed by a cart-wheel; Col. Warren Story, by the kick of a horse ; Mrs. John Page, by being thrown from a wagon. Ebenezer Bailey died of injuries received on the Lawrence Railroad; old Mr. Andros was injured by a cross cow, and died. Mr. Benjamin Perley, senior, was burned in his house. Dr. James Stark, son of the late Dr. S., of Hopkinton, was, in 1847-8, found dead in Dunbarton woods. He came to hunt, with only his dog for a companion. His horse he had tied by the roadside, where it remained all night and part of the next day. He was not known by those who found him. His horse, however, took a direction, when loosed and a driver was in the seat, towards home. His death was probably caused by the accidental discharge of his own gun. His faithful dog was found watching his remains. He went to the road occasionally, barked, and returned to the woods. He was found by two persons hunting for squirrels. It was an afflicting accident, and his untimely fate was deeply lamented. The wife of Captain Oliver Bailey died in consequence of a fall down the cellar stairs. Mr. Clark Bailey, who had been for several years in a state of mental despondency, hanged himself. The wife of Darius M. Richards committed suicide by hanging herself in a barn, now the property of Capt. B. Whipple.