Commencement of Manufacturing at Bedford--At Goffstown.--Benjamin Prichard.--Amoskeag Cotton and Wool Factory.--Its history.--Sold to Messrs. Dean, Sayles, and others.--Dr. Dean.--Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.--Plan of company.--Purchase of lands.--Willard Sayles.--Union of the Amoskeag with the Hooksett and Concord Companies.--Guard lock, weir, dam and section of canal built.--Appointment of new Treasurer and Agent. Wm. Amory, Esq.--Robert Read, Esq.--Incorporation of "Stark Mills,"--No. 1 built.--Laying out of the Town.--First land sale.--First houses built. Old houses then standing.--No. 2 Stark Mills built.--Machine Shop built.--Nos. 1 & 2 Amoskeag New Mills built.--Foundries built.--Stark Mills enlarged--No. 3 Amoskeag New Mills built.--Manchester Mills and Print Works incorporated.--Mills built.--Nos. 4 & 5, Amoskeag New mills built.--Departments of Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.--That of real estate and building.--Amoskeag New Mills.--The Machine Shop.--Hooksett.--Amoskeag Village.--Works of the Corporations in detail.--Machine Shop.--Stark Mills.--Amoskeag New Mills.--Manchester Print Works.

The project of manufacturing cotton upon the Merrimack, was started at Amoskeag Falls, in 1809, by Benjamin Prichard and Messrs. Ephraim, David, and Robert Stevens. Mr. Prichard had been engaged in mill business in New Ipswich, where also he had to a limited extent become acquainted with cotton spinning, the first mill or Factory for the manufacture of cotton, built in New Hampshire, having been built in that town in 1803.

The precise date of Mr. Prichard's coming to this section of the County cannot be ascertained; but as he paid taxes in New Ipswich until 1807, and paid his last tax in that year, it is probable that he left New Ipswich sometime in 1807. He first commenced the manufacture of cotton in Bedford at what is called the "Goffe Place," occupying for that purpose, a small building upon the west side of the bridge, which he fitted up for spinning cotton. This building is now standing, is owned by J. B. Bowman, Esq. and occupied as a lath mill. His machinery was purchased at second hand of Mr. Samuel Slater, of Rhode Island. The machinery being old and Drawing 'Residence of Col. F. A. Brown' worn, did not operate well, and the water-power was not sufficient through the year for more extended operations. The enterprise might be considered thus far a failure, and Mr. Prichard determined upon removing to a more eligible location, where he could enlarge his operations, and thus be warranted in obtaining better machinery. He accordingly obtained a privilege on the west side of Amoskeag Falls in Goffstown, probably in the early part of 1809, where he built a small mill, in connection with Messrs. Ephraim, David, and Robert Stevens. The water to propel this mill was taken from the dam of the Pollard or Harvey Mill, through a canal blasted in part out of the solid ledge, and which passed under the "ways," and west of that mill. Messrs. Ephraim and Robert Stevens, owned the Pollard, or Harvey mill, having bought it of Mr. Jonas Harvey, in 1804.

It is probable that Mr. Prichard owned the principal part of the mill, the Messrs. Stevens owning such part as was equivalent to the value of the land, and water-power occupied by the mill. After getting a portion of the machinery into the mill, the enterprise dragged so heavily, that the proprietors concluded to enlarge the company, and drew up and signed a paper, embodying their proposals for the purpose as follows;

   "We the Subscribers, Owners, & proprietors of a large Tract of Land in Goffstown, in the county of Hillsborough, Joining on Amoskeag falls in the Merrimack river, with the water privilege Sufficient for carrying on the Manufacturing of cotton & wool at all Seasons of the year, and having began the works by cutting a Canal for Carrying the water, erecting Buildings Convenient for Said Factory, & preparing a considerable part of the Machinery, have agreed to form a Company for improving Said privilege, by dividing the Same into one hundred Shares, by receiving from Said Company a fair price for the privilege, and the Labour Expended, which if not agreed upon by Said Subscribers, & the Company, to be apprised by men appointed by Said parties, and a Good Title by the Subscribers.
Signed by } Ephraim Stevens,
} Benjn. Prichard,
} Robert & David Stevens.
   Goffstown, January, 18th, 1810."
To this paper was attached a caption of a subscription and signatures as follows;
   "We the Subscribers Agree to take the Several Shares in the above mentioned privilege & factory annexed to our names respectively, agreeable to the above proposals.
Proprietor's Names. Place of abode. No. of Shares.
Benj'n, Prichard, Goffstown, 25
James Parker, Bedford, 2
William Parker,         " 3
Jotham Gillis, Goffstown, 1
William Parker, Jr. Bedford, 1
William Walker, Goffstown, 1
Ephraim Harvill, Bedford, 1
Samuel P. Kidder, Goffstown, 1
Robt. McGregore, Goffstown, 5
Joseph Richards,         " 1
Seth Bartlett,         " 1
Ephraim Stevens,         " 1
David L. Morrill,         " 2
Isaac Hardy,         " 1
Moses Hall,         " 1
Benjamin Allcock, Bedford, 1
Alenson Prichard, Goffstown, 3
Elnathan Whitney,         " 2
David Sargent,         " 1
John G. Moor, Manchester, 1"
The following notice was then issued

"Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the proprietors of the Amoskeag Cotton & wool Factory will be holden at Col. Robert McGregore's on Wednesday, the 31 day of January instant, at one of the clock P. M., for the purpose of taking into consideration the regulation of Said Factory, & dispose of Shares not sold. All persons who wish to become proprietors are requested to attend, when & where they may be accomodated [sic] with Shares.
Benj'n Prichard.

   Goffstown, January. 25th, 1810."
On the day of meeting, January, 31st, 1810, the company was duly organized by the choice of Joseph Richards of Goffstown as President, and Jotham Gillis of Goffstown as Clerk.

On the second day of March 1810, Messrs. Ephraim and Robert Stevens executed a bond to this company, agreeing to keep their dam in repair, and to furnish the "Wool & Cotton Manufactory" a certain quantity of water, at all seasons of the year.

The bond was as follows;

   "Know all men by these presents that we Ephraim Stevens of Goffstown, in the county of Hillsborough, and State of New Hampshire, Gentleman, And Robert Stevens of Goffstown, yeoman, are holden and stand firmly bound Jointly & Severally unto the proprietors of the Amoskeag Cotton & wool Manufactury, in the sum of two thousand dollars, to be paid to the proprietors, their Agents, Attorneys, Executors, Administrators or Assigns, firmly by these Presents, Sealed with our Seals, dated the Second day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred & ten.
   The Conditions of this obligation is such that if the Said Ephraim & Robert Stevens, their heirs, Executors, or administrators Shall and do at all times keep in good repair at all times their mill dam at Amoskeag Falls, so as to turn into the channel, Conveying the water to the cotton & wool Manufactory, so much water as shall be Sufficient for Carrying an old fashioned undershot Corn Mill, at all seasons of the year, & at all days in the year, so long as water is needed for carrying on the manufacturing of Cotton & wooL in that place, by said proprietors paying annually to said Ephraim & Robert, ten dollars viz; five dollars to each, then this obligation to be null & void otherwise to remain in full force &c.
Ephraim Stevens.
Robert Stevens.

   Attest David McGregore."
The company had then chosen a board of Directors, probably at its adjourned meeting in February.

The first meeting of the Directors was held March, 9, 1810, at which time there were present as Directors, James Parker, Samuel P. Kidder, John Stark, Jr., David McQueston, and Benjamin Prichard. James Parker, Esq., was chosen President of the Company, and Jotham Gillis Clerk. The Company was incorporated June, 15, of the same year, under the name of the Amoskeag Cotton & Woolen Manufacturing Company.

The Machinery was finished up, and some additions made to the mill and the same put in operation in the summer of 1810, but the machinery being old, did not operate well, and in the spring of 1811, the company determined upon building new machinery. For this purpose they employed Preserved Robinson, then of Smithfield R. I. now living at Loudon, N. H. an experienced machinist. Mr. Robinson, commenced work for the company in June, 1811.

The record of the agreement to employ Mr. Robinson under date of June 22, 1811, reads thus; "Agreed with Mr. Robinson to build machinery and superintend the business in the Factory, for three dollars and fifty cents per day, including the labor of Harvey Robinson, and furnish said Robinsons with suitable boarding, they finding their own spirits."

At the same meeting of the Directors, Dr. Wm. Wallace of Bedford, was appointed Agent. Dr. Wallace did not accept the appointment, and at the next meeting of the Directors, July 23, 1811, Mr. Jotham Gillis was appointed Agent in his place.

Mr. Robinson built for the Company, an Awkright Spinning Frame, and set it in operation, the first one built in the state, if not the first one used in it. He also built and put in operation the first machine for "winding cotton balls of thread." In November, 1812, Mr. Philemon Wolcott, was appointed Agent to superintend the operation of the machinery in the Factory, doing up and delivering out yarn, &c." April 26, 1813, Mr. Wolcott was "released from Working in the Factory," and John G. Moore, was appointed to superintend the factory until the annual meeting.

July 28, 1813, Mr. Moore was succeeded as Agent, by F. G. Stark, Esq., now of this City. Mr. Stark continued in office about one year.

There was no "picker," in those days, and the New Orleans and Demarara cotton, was picked by hand, being "let out," in the neighborhood, at four cents per pound.

The machinery was for spinning alone, and the yarn was sold at the country stores, or was let out to be woven by the women in the neighborhood, as was usual in those days. The price paid for weaving, averaged about 3 or 3 1-2 cents per yard, 2 cents per yard being paid for weaving coarse cottons, and as high as 7 cents for the fine cottons. A "smart weaver" would weave of course cottons, as many as eighteen yards in a day, "well tended," but the average was not over 10 or 12 yards per day, for good weavers.

The yarn brought ready cash and it appears from the books that the stockholders took their dividends, and the officers and workmen their pay in yarn.

The operating the mill, however, did not prove profitable to the proprietors, and after September, 1815, little or nothing was done in it, until 1822, when it was purchased by one Olney Robinson from Rhode Island. He proved to be a man unequal to the management of the mill, and it passed into the hands of Larned Pitcher, and Samuel Slater, of Pawtucket, R. I., of whom Robinson had obtained money and machinery to prosecute his business. Messrs. Pitcher and Slater in 1825, sold out three fifths of the property to Messrs Oliver Dean, Lyman Tiffany, and Willard Sayles, of Boston, and a new company being formed, they commenced manufacturing forthwith. Abundant means and great experience being thus brought to bear upon the enterprise--their operations were extended with unusual success. Dr. Dean, an extensive owner, and a man of energy and enterprise was appointed Agent, and moved to Amoskeag in April 1826. He immediately commenced extending the operations of the company. Robinson put up the building, afterwards known as the Bell mill for a machine shop; this was three stories in in [sic] height and 80 feet in length, by 40 in width. This was enlarged by an addition of equal height, and 60 feet in length by 25 feet in width, and fitted up with machinery for making ticking. Soon after another building 80 feet in length and 40 feet in width, was built upon the Island for a Machine Shop; and to this an addition was made, 50 feet in length by 30 in width, and the whole was converted into a mill for the manufacture of tickings, known as the Island mill. Boarding houses, stores, and shops, were built, and soon the flourishing manufacturing village of Amoskeag was in existence.

The cloths manufactured, were sheetings, shirtings and tickings, principally the latter, which became the best in the market, and held their high reputation as long as the mills were in operation, These mills were known as "Old Mill," the "Island Mill," and the "Bell Mill." The Bell Mill was so called from the fact that the bell was upon it for calling the operatives to their work. The Island mill was destroyed by fire in 1840, and the Old and Bell mills, in 1847.


Oliver Dean was born in Franklin, county of Norfolk, Mass. Feb., 10, 1783. After getting a good academic education for the times, he commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Mann, of Wrentham, and finished his studies with Dr. Ingalls of Boston, graduating at the Medical College of Massachusetts in 1809. He commenced the practice of his profession in Medway the same year, where he continued about a year, moving into Boston in 1810. While in Boston, he married Miss Caroline Francoeur, daughter of John Francoeur, Esq., a gentleman of respectability and wealth, who had fled from France, during the French Revolution. Dr. Dean tarried in Boston a year and a half, when in consequence of the stagnation of business, incident to the war, he moved back to Medway, where he continued in the profitable practice of his profession until 1817. In that year, in connection with his brother-in-law, Willard Sayles, Esq., he commenced the business of manufacturing in Medway. He continued in this business with success, until the fall of 1825, when he, in connection with Lyman Tiffany and Willard Sayles of Boston, and Larned Pitcher, and Samuel Slater, of Pawtucket, R. I., purchased the property of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company at Amoskeag Village in Goffstown. This property had been purchased in 1822, by Mr. Olney Robinson of Pawtucket, who had operated the mills, but to no advantage, and they had mainly passed into the hands of Messrs. Pitcher and Slater, to secure an indebtedness to them, for money and machinery. Robinson had made purchases of the large farms known as the "McGregor farm," and the "Blodget farm"--and other real estate, and thus in connection with his other operations had become very much embarrassed. When the purchase was made of him, he expected to have been continued as Agent, but it was soon found that he was entirely inadequate to the business, and Dr. Dean was induced, though reluctantly to take the agency of the company. Accordingly, in the spring of 1826, he moved to Amoskeag and entered upon his duties as agent. This may be considered as the successful starting point of manufacturing at this place. Possessed of competent knowledge as a mannufacturer, {sic] and a man of enterprise and energy, every thing about the premises soon began to assume a new aspect. The Bell Mill had been built for a machine shop, to be under the management of Mr. Ira Gay of Nashua; this was immediately enlarged and fitted up with machinery for the manufacture of tickings, in which Dr. Dean had excelled in Medway and Walpole. Soon the works were extended, and the Island mill was built, and fitted up for the manufacture of tickings.

The tickings manufactured here soon acquired a reputation unequalled,--which they retained under the name of--"A. C. A. Tickings." But Dr. Dean's time was not confined exclusively to manufacturing,--every other interest connected with the prosperity of the town and village, came in for his attention. He was a pattern farmer, and the large farm below the falls, and which had become impoverished, and overgrown with brambles and bushes and bushes, from bad husbandry, soon began to present a new face under his intelligent care, and from being one of the poorest, became to be one of the best in the town. The success attending manufacturing under his charge, soon attracted the attention of other capitalists, and the project was started of occupying the entire water powe [sic power?] at this place for manufacturing purposes. It is needless to remark that Dr. Dean was the soul of this enterprise. In June 1831, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company was chartered, Dr. Dean being the first grantee; and at the organization of the company under this charter in July of the same year, he was chosen President of the corporation. He was continued Agent and Treasurer of the company until 1834, when he declined the agency, having determined to live a more quiet life, and retired upon a beautiful farm in Framingham, Mass. he was still treasurer of the corporation, but declined this office in 1836, and was succeeded by John A. Lowell, Esq., of Boston. He still continued on the board of direction, and in 1853, upon the death of Joseph Tilden, Esq., he was again chosen President of the corporation, which office he retains at the present time. In 1847 he was chosen President of the Manchester Mills Corporation, and through its various changes has remained a director of the same, and its President.

In 1843, Dr. Dean moved from Framingham to Boston, where he now resides. Dr. Dean may be emphatically placed down as one of the fathers of the city of Manchester, as few men have done more for its existence, and its prosperity. Active, intelligent, and communicative; dignified, yet courteous; careful of his own interest, yet interested in the welfare of others; in a word acting upon the principle of "live and let live," Dr. Oliver Dean's name stands prominent among the founders of our city,--and is ever retained in grateful remembrance.

The gentlemen now having control of the company, had a proper estimate of the capacity of the hydraulic power at the Falls, and the ability to avail themselves of its advantages; they therefore very quietly commenced the purchase of the lands in the neighborhood, and were soon the owners of the adjacent lands upon the west side of the Merrimack, that were likely to be needed for extensive manufacturing operations, or that would be enhanced in value by the building up of a manufacturing city. Gradually some of the largest capitalists of Boston and its vicinity became identified with the enterprise, and it was determined to commence manufacturing upon an extended scale. Accordingly in 1831, the charter for "The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company," was obtained, with a capital of $1,600,000. The first meeting of the grantees was holden, July, 13, 1831, when Oliver Dean was chosen President, and Ira Gay, clerk.

The act of incorporation was accepted; the stock of the old company became merged in the new one, at an appraised value, and the remainder of the stock was taken up in a short time At the annual meeting, July, 12, 1832, Doctor Dean was chosen Agent of the Company. They soon determined to enlarge their operations and to take means to have their water-power occupied.

The plan of this Company was to furnish other companies disposed to locate here, with sites for their mills, and boarding houses; power to propel their mills; to erect mills and run them upon their own account; and at the same time to put their lands into market in lots for houses, shops and stores, and thus build up a manufacturing town, at the same time that they greatly enhanced the value of their own property.

A reconnoisance by competent engineers developed the fact, that the east bank of the Merrimack was the most feasible for their operations, both as a track for their canals, and a site for their mills; and in 1835 they succeeded in securing the most of the lands upon the east side of the Merrimack, that by any possible contingency might be neeessary [sic ?necessary] for them.


Willard Sayles was born in the town of Franklin, County of Norfolk, Mass., in April, 1792. While yet a child his father moved to Wrentham, Mass. In 1821, Mr. Sayles moved to Boston, and entered upon commercial pursuits in company with Lyman Tiffany, Esq. They soon became extensively engaged in manufacturing. His first investments in manufacturing, were in Medway and Walpole, Mass. At length as his business extended, he became connected with other establishments, and among them, with the mills at Amoskeag and at Hooksett. In the latter he became the largest owner, having at the time of its being merged with the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in 1835, 24 out of 72 shares in that corporation. From this time until the time of his death, Mr. Sayles became largely identified with the operations of the companies in this place. He was a director in the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company and one of the committee to purchase the lands belonging to that company in this neighborhood. Shrewd in management, and of great tact in driving a bargain, it is probable that few persons could have done the business to better advantage for, the Amoskeag Manufacturing company, than he. Many, anecdotes are told of his negotiating for the lands, that show his shrewdness in bargaining, if they do not add to his reputation as a man. His operations as manufacturer added to his business as a merchant, and few houses in Boston did a more extensive business in domestics, than that of Sayles & Merriam, or to greater advantage. Mr. Sayles died in 1847, at the age of 55, leaving a large property, gained by a life of energy and enterprise.

To prevent competition, negotiations were entered into to control the water power here, at Hookset, and at Garven's falls in Concord. At the meeting July, 8, 1835, Harvey Hartshorn was chosen Agent, and the project was consummated of merging the stock of the Hooksett company with that of the Amoskeag. The stock of the Hooksett company was thus owned;
   John Nesmith, 18 shares; Willard Sayles, 24; Isaac Hill, 10; R. H. Ayer, 10; Foster Towns, 4; Samuel Bell, 4; and Thomas Nesmith, 2.

These 72 shares were appraised at $400, per share and each holder had an equal number of shares in the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, at $1000 per share, paying for the difference, in cash or notes bearing interest. In October and December of the same year, they purchased a controlling interest in the locks and canals, both at Manchester and Hooksett, and in April 1836 completed the negotiation with the Concord Manufacturing Company, at Garven's Falls, whereby the stock of that company became merged with this, the stock of the Concord company, appraised at $100,000 and the owners taking stock in the Amoskeag Company at $1000 per share.

Thus rid of competition, the Company now commenced operations in earnest. In 1837, a wing dam and guard lock were constructed at the head of the Fails, of substantial masonry, the latter, a little below the entrance of "the Blodget Canal," and through which the water passes into an extensive Basin, also constructed that year, the west side of which, is of solid mason work, and which basin occupies very nearly the site of the old Blodget basin, or mill pond. From this Basin a canal was constructed 10 feet in depth, and 75 feet wide at the Basin but narrowing to 45 feet, which canal carries water to the mills on the "Upper Level." This canal is walled with stone, laid in the most substantial manner, and now extends a distance of 5000 feet, from the Basin to the weir, where the water passes into the lower canal.

The guard lock was built by Messrs. David A. Bunton and Levi Sargent of this city. The weir, wall of the Basin, and canal, was built by Messrs. Lobson and Russel, under the superintendence of Capt. Hiram Brown. The part of the canal built at this time, extended down as far as a point just below the Counting room of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. The surplus water from it then passed into a section of the lower canal, then built from the point west of where the upper canal stopped, to a point just below Bridge street, and near to the blacksmiths shop connected with the machine shop, where the water passed into the river, by a substantial stone weir. This weir was closed when the lower canal was extended as at present. In 1845 the upper canal was extended to its present terminus, a distance of 5000 feet from the Basin. At the same time the lower canal was extended south to its present terminus, the weir below Granite street, and north over the track of the Blodget canal to the Basin, its whole length being 7250.

The upper section of this canal connects with the Merrimack near the site of the old "Amoskeag" or "McGregor Bridge" by a set of substantial Locks, for the passing of boats or rafts round Amoskeag Falls, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, having been under obligation to keep these locks and canals open for public use, in like manner as when they were owned by the Amoskeag Falls, Lock, and Canal Company; but at the June session of 1855, permission was given to discontinue these locks, and they are to be closed. The water in passing from the upper, to the lower canal, falls 20 feet and in passing from the Lower Canal, into the Merrimack at the weir, falls a distance of 34 feet.

In April, 1837, William Amory, Esq., of Boston was elected Treasurer, in place of Mr. Lowell, and at once in conjunction with Mr. Robert Read, who had been appointed Agent at the commencement of the year, in place of Mr. Hartshorn, proceeded to carry out the plan of improvements decided upon by the directors.


William Amory, was born April 15, 1804, in Boston. His father, Thomas C. Amory, Esq., an eminent merchant of that city, died in 1812, much lamented. William his son, entered Harvard University, in 1819, at the early age of 15 years, and left at the end of three years to finish his education in Europe. He was a student at the University at Gottingen, in Germany, for a year and a half, and at the University of Berlin, for nine months, pursuing the study of the civil law, and of general literature. He then spent some two years and a half in travel, returning to Boston May, 30th, 1828, after an absence of five years. In 1831, he entered the Bar of Suffolk County, without however any intention of practicing the profession of the law. The same year he was chosen Treasurer of the Jackson Manufacturing Company, at Nashua, and entered upon the business of a manufacturer. Young and inexperienced in the business, yet he brought to the performance of his duties a mind matured by study, and a knowledge of men and things, together with an energy and enterprise not often found in young men nurtured in ease and affluence. With such qualifications, he was destined to succeed, and the Jackson Mills, for the eleven years they were under the control of Mr. Amory, were eminently successful, and did not fail to make certain and large dividends. In January, 1833, he married Miss Anna P. G. Sears, daughter of David Sears, Esq., an eminent merchant of Boston. In 1837, when the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company had decided upon building up the manufacturing city of Manchester, they looked about for an efficient man, to take the responsible office of Treasurer, and of course of general manager of the affairs of the company. Mr. Amory's successes in the management of the affairs of the Jackson Company, very naturally directed their attention to him, and fortunately for them, and our city, he was elected to that office and accepted it. He entered upon his duties at once, and for nineteen years has been the controlling and directing spirit, that has fashioned the destinies of our city. Of just and enlarged views, he has suffered no niggardly policy to mingle itself with the management of the affairs of the company. And the directors have had the good judgment to leave his action unrestricted. And to day, our citizens, who take pride in our public Library, in our beautiful cemetery, in our spacious streets, in our numerous and splendid public squares, so justly considered as ornaments, and a source of health to our city, may attribute them in a great measure to the enlightened policy of William Amory, Esq; while the corporation whose business affairs he controls, cannot but appreciate a policy, that is fast building up a manufacturing city, unsurpassed in beauty, at the same time that it is creating a stock, that in dividends and surplus, is the most desirable in the market.

Mr. Amory is a stockholder and director in most or the other corporations of the city, and has had much to do with their success. In fact, few men of his age can look back upon such a record of success in manufacturing, as the Treasurer of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. At the same time that he has been so successful in his manufacturing operations, his urbane manner, and quiet, and unostentatious courtesy, has not failed to secure to him, the respect and regard of a host of friends in the cities where his arduous duties have been performed.


Robert Read was born at Amherst, in October 1786. His grandfather, Robert Read, moved to Amherst from Litchfield at an early date. His father William Read, was a well known and influential citizen of Amherst. Portrait of Robert Read Robert was apprenticed as clerk, with Messrs. Haller and Read, merchants of Chelmsford. He afterwards went into trade with his father, at Amherst, under the well known firm of William Read and Son. Subsequently, he formed a connection in business with Isaac Spaulding, Esq., which continued until a dissolution precedent to the commencement of manufacturing in Nashua, where Mr. Spaulding removed and went into business. Few firms were more enterprising or better known in our state, than that of Read and Spaulding, of Amherst, and very few were more successful. Mr. Read, active and enterprising, soon became a leading man in the town. He was elected town clerk in 1815, and, was re-elected to the same office, the twelve following years. He was also representative of the town for three years, viz; in 1826, 1827, and 1828. Prior to this time he had been in command of the West Company of Infantry, in Amherst, one of the most efficient companies in the state, he having served in all the intermediate grades from private to commander. In 1828, Capt. Read, was appointed Aid-de-camp, by Governor John Bell, with the rank of Colonel. In 1835, Col. Read, moved to Nashua. In 1837, he was appointed Agent of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, and entered immediately upon his duties, succeeding Mr. Hartshorn in that office. He continued to perform the arduous and responsible duties of his office for fourteen years, until Januury [sic], 1, 1852, when he resigned and removed to Nashua, where he has since resided. During the period of his agency, and under his general supervision, a large portion of the operations of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, in the way of buildings and real estate generally, were completed.

He performed his duties faithfully to the company by which he was employed, as every one will testify who had business to transact with him. Strictly a business man, he mingled very little with other business men, and hence was very little identified with interests disconnected with the corporations; yet no measure connected with the progress of our city, escaped his attention, and he most heartily coincided in all that liberal course of policy on the part of the Treasurer, and Directors, that has added so much of beauty and value to our city. Col. Read took very little part in the politics of the day, after he came to Manchester, still, in 1851, he was a member of the Convention for the revision of the Constitution. His first wife was Rebecca French, daughter of Frederick French, Esq. of Amherst. He married for his second wife, Miss Jane Leland of Saco, Me. His intercourse with his fellow citizens, was marked with that courtesy of manner, that ever commands respect. Since his residence in Nashua, probably from want of his usual active exercise, his general health has become somewhat impaired, yet he still lives to take an interest in all the stirring events of our growing city.

In 1838, a new Company was incorporated for the manufacture of cotton, under the name and style of "The Stark Mills" with a capital of $1,000,000.

The same year the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company erected for them the mill of 8000 spindles, upon the upper canal, it being the south wing of what is known as "Stark Mills, No. 1." They also erected for them the same season, six blocks of boarding houses, for the accommodation of their operatives.

Meantime, they laid out the site of a town, consisting of a main street running about north and south, and parallel with the river, called Elm street; and various other streets, running parallel and at right angles to the same, together with Concord and Merrimack squares reserved for public promenades. After Elm street had been graded from Central street to Lowell street; Chestnut and Pine streets from Manchester street to Lowell street, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company held their first public land sale. This sale took place October, 24, 1838.

There were 147 lots sold, situated between Elm street on the west, and Union street (not graded) on the east; Lowell street on the north, and Hanover street on the south. The lots were numbered from the corner lot at the intersection of Lowell and Union streets, and there were 56 lots between Lowell and Concord streets. The lots numbered from 57 to 96 inclusive, located between Concord and Amherst streets, and those from 97 to 147 inclusive, were located between Amherst and Hanover streets.

Soon after the "Company's Sale," building commenced in earnest and has continued with a rapidity seldom known in this country, noted for the rapid growth of its towns and cities. Mrs Anna Heyes, of Londonderry, in January, 1839, erected the first house that was built on private account, upon lands sold by the Company in what is called the city proper, being the the [sic] house at the west corner of Chestnut and Concord streets, opposite Concord square.

The next building was erected on lots 50 and 51 upon Elm street, by J. T. P. Hunt, and Wm. P. Farmer, Esqrs. It was two stories in height, and is the block now owned by R. H. A. Barnes.

This building was first occupied as a restaurant as early as March 26, 1839, by E. W. Harrington, Esq., the cashier of the City Bank,--who first occupied, for the same purpose, the first building built on the west side of Elm street, that of Messrs. Ayer, Leach, and others, at the corner of Elm and Market streets.

Thomas Hoyt, Isaac Riddle and J. G. Cilley, Esqrs., next built on lots 53, 54 and 55, and J. W. Mayo, upon lot 52. All are still standing.

These were all wooden buildings of two stories,--and were intended for stores upon the first floors, and tenements upon the second floors.

Messrs. Plummer and Goodwin purchased a meeting house in Goffstown, took it down and erected it upon lots 95 and 96. This was a wooden building of three stories in height, and is now known as the "Ark." George Porter, Esq., purchased a store at Hooksett and erected it upon lot 94. This was known as the "Porter store," and is now owned by John H. Maynard, Esq. Samuel D. Bell, Esq., then erected the block upon lots 48 and 49 upon the same street, the same now owned by S. N. Bell, Esq.

Farther down Elm street, E. P. Offutt, Esq. erected upon lots 88 and 89, the large wooden building, now known as "Offutt's Building," and the Messrs. Duncklees erected the brick building known as "Duncklee's Building," and is still owned by them. Still farther down Elm street, Foster Towne, Esq., built the "Town Block." upon lots 137 and 138, and Mrs. Shepherd, and Mr. Durgin built a block on lots 139 and 140--both of wood and two stories in height. Next below, J. R. Page built the brick store of two stories, now owned by W. G. Means, Esq. Then on lots 143 and 144, Messrs. Munsey & Mahaffey, built a wooden block of two stories, and Ira Ballou, & Hoyt & Congdon, built a brick block at the corner of Elm and Hanover streets, a part of which is now standing, and a part where "Riddle;s Block" now stands, was burned.

Upon Concord street, Dr. Colburn erected a block upon lots 42, 43 and 44, and Dana Sargent, and Jonas L. Parker built a carpenter's shop upon lot No. 40; Foster Towne, Esq. built another large house upon lots 22 and 23. These were two stories and built of wood; east of Pine on lot No. 5, there was also a wooden house of one story. These were on the north side of Concord street. On the south side, Messrs. Patten and Wallace, erected the wooden block of three stories, still owned by Mr. Wallace. Upon Vine street the Wallace Block occupied lots 73 and 74; & Mr. McCoy built a story and a half wooden house on lot 76; Mr. Asa Reed built a two story house on lot 79; a Mr. Wallace built another on lot 80, and at the corner of Vin[e] and Amherst street, on lot 84, Dea. Daniel Gooden built the two story brick block still standing. Upon Pine street Messrs. Moor, and Davis, of Chester, built a two story dwelling house of wood on lots 71 and 72 at the corner of Pine and Amherst streets, and on the east end of lot 71, they built a small one story house, both still standing, and owned by Cilley & Clark. Next north on lot No. 70, Mr. John Wheeler built a a [sic] two story house, still standing.

Upon Amherst street, Messrs. Woodbury and Gould of Goffstown built the two story wooden block on lots 100, and 101, at the corner of Pine and Amherst streets On lot 102, Mr. Saunders built the one now owned by Mr. Hibbard Stevens; on 106, Mr. Joseph Prescott buil[t] the house sti[l]l owned by him; on 108 a Mr. James built a two story house, and upon 109, J N. Brown built a one story building and a painter's shop. Farther down Amherst street, and the corner of Chestnut, on lots 115 and 116, Dr. Swift built the two story house now owned by Judge Bell; on 117 Michael Connelly built a small house since enlarged and owned by Mr. William Craig; on 119 was built Franklin Hall by T. J. Carter; on 120, was a small one story building; on 122 Mr. J. L. Bradford built the two story house still owned by him; on 126 and 127, on the south end of the lots, upon the old road leading to Amoskeag Bridge, Messrs J. T. P. Hunt, and Wm. P. Farmer, built a one story dwelling house now owned by Mrs. Brown, and standing upon Amherst street; on 130 which crossed the old road, Isaac Riddle, Esq., built two one story buildings, one on either side of the old road; and on 131, Mace Moulton, Esq., built another one story building upon the same old road.

On the opposite corner, was Washington Hall, built by J. B. Goodwin, two stories, extending from the back street to the brick block. A third story was added to the western part and the whole finished into tenements.

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ALHN Hillsborough County

Email Kathy Chapter 23
History of Manchester
Hillsborough County
ALHN-New Hampshire
Created May 11, 2001
Copyright 2000, 2001