Memorial Day in Dublin and Rindge

On Memorial Day we took a trip north to Dublin and Rindge to check out some of the items I learned since my last visit there last fall, and, of course, to visit the cemeteries. After bypassing parades and other observances in Brookfield, North Brookfield, Barre, and Jaffrey, we finally arrived in Dublin, only to get stuck in the traffic backed up behind their parade. It worked out well, though, because we ended up stopped in front of the Historical Society.

I knew from my correspondence with Dublin Town Archivist Nancy Campbell that Rufus Cogswell’s name was inscribed on the monument, which is located in front of the Society’s building, so we stopped to take a look. The monument lists the dates and locations of the soldiers’ deaths along with their names, and sure enough, Rufus was there:

By now the traffic had started flowing again, and we continued through the center of town to the cemetery, just to the west, overlooking Dublin Pond, with Mount Monadnock in the background. When I visited the cemetery last October, I was mainly looking for the graves of Stephen and Lucy Cogswell; and Leonard and Lydia (Cogswell) Smith. I didn’t know anything about Rufus Cogswell at the time. Scanning the gravestones for Smiths and Cogswells, I had come upon the stone for Elmira Cogswell- another Cogswell I’d never heard of before. I took a picture of the stone just in case, and a bit later, found the Cogswell and Smith graves I’d been looking for. It wasn’t until later that I pieced together the facts about Elmira- that she had been married to a man named James Moore, that they had two sons and a daughter before Moore died in 1855 at the age of 37. Then, by 1860, Elmira married again- this time to Rufus Cogswell, son of Stephen and Lucy, and brother of my third great grandmother, Lydia (Cogswell) Smith. In 1862, after fathering two sons, Rufus joined the Union Army, and died two weeks later.

Dublin NH Cemetery
Dublin NH Cemetery
Knowing all that, I was a bit more observant on this trip, and found that Elmira, although not buried with the Cogswells and Smiths, was buried next to her first husband, James Moore. In the same plot were Elmira and Rufus’s son Milton, who died at the age of 16 in 1878, and Abigail Moore, James Moore’s mother. Interestingly, Abigail and Elmira had the same maiden name, Knowlton. It turns out that James Moore and his wife Elmira both had a grandfather named John Knowlton from Holliston Massachusetts, who had moved to Dublin in the late 1700’s. But they were two different John Knowltons! James Moore’s maternal grandfather was Deacon John Knowlton, born in Holliston in 1745. Elmira’s paternal grandfather was just plain John Knowlton, born in Holliston (or possibly Medway) in 1763. And just to make things even more involved, both John Knowltons married women from Holliston named Jennings- Martha for the Deacon, Susannah for just plain John. You have to figure there was a fair amount of relatedness there!

After visiting the cemetery, we headed south from Dublin on Upper Jaffrey Road, which skirts the eastern slope of Monadnock. About halfway to Jaffrey we turned right on Burpee Road to look for the Harrington’s farm. (Click here for background on the Harringtons.) George Smith Harrington and Margaret (Smith) Harrington moved here in the 1860’s, shortly after the Cogswells and Smiths. We followed the unpaved road to its end, which, on the GPS, matched the location of the Harrington farm on the old maps. There is a modern house there now, but there’s a great view to the east of Pack Monadnock, and of course Grand Monadnock itself looms over the property to the west. This was where George’s son Leonard continued to farm after his parents’ deaths, and Leonard’s son Clarence was apparently still farming into the 1940’s. It’s not difficult to get to now, but driving up the steep unpaved road made me wonder what it must have been like living there in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Our last stop was the Hillside Cemetery in Rindge, last resting place for our great grand parents, Daniel and Mary Alice Dunn and several of their children. Mom remembers going there often on Memorial Days, and it would have been her and Uncle Bud’s only real connection with their grandparents, all of whom had passed away before they (Mom and Bud) were born.

Cousin Clarence, the Monadnock Bachelor Farmer

While looking for more information on George Smith Harrington, the machinist from Woodstock, Connecticut who married both of great great grandfather Leonard Smith’s sisters (not at the same time), I found a brief excerpt from “Annals of the Grand Monadnock”, a book published in 1936. One section of the book tells, lot by lot, the history of various properties on the mountain. The excerpt provided by Google recounts George’s purchase of a lot on the eastern slope of Monadnock from the estate of Joseph Eveleth in 1868, and notes that “he lived there until he died in 1896. He was succeeded by his son Leonard W. Harrington who married Eugenie Ann Burpee, a daughter of his next door neighbor. Their children still own the property.”

The property was a portion of lot 11, range 1, which is located at the end of Burpee Road. The road was named for the owners of the rest of lot 11, the Burpee family. George and Leonard farmed 140 acres, and had 400 sugar maples, according to the 1885 Cheshire County Gazetteer. George died in 1916, and his wife Margaret followed soon after. Leonard and his wife Eugenie Ann eventually raised six children on the farm- five daughters and a son. By 1920, three of the daughters had moved on, but Leonard’s son Clarence had stayed on, along with sisters Eva and Hannah.

By 1936, when the “Annals” were written, Leonard and Eugenie’s “children” were getting on in years- Clarence was 55, Hannah 61, and Eva 60. None had married. Six years later, when Clarence was required to register for the “Old Man’s Draft” in World War II, he and Eva were apparently still living on the farm, although it may not have been a working farm any more. Clarence listed his employer as Charles Ernest Chamberlain of Jaffrey Center. (Chamberlain, born in 1896 was also required to register for the draft- he lists his employer as “L. H. Wetherell, 1A Acorn St., Boston”. Lawrence H. Wetherell was a wealthy partner in a steel company, Wetherell Brothers. He and his wife owned what had been the Cutter place in Jaffrey Center, which served as their summer residence. Chamberlain was the caretaker, so Clarence probably worked as a handyman there.)

Dublin1892AtlasMapDetailYou can see the location of the Harrington farm on the map- click on the image to enlarge it. The map is from the 1892 New Hampshire Atlas, and is oriented with North to the right, rather than the top. Just below “Monadnock Mountain” is the label for the farm of “L.W. Harrington”. Just to the east (down) is the Burpee place.

Another interesting item on the map is the label “Mrs. E. Cogswell” that appears in the bottom right of the map- it marks the residence of Elmira Cogswell, widow of Rufus Cogswell, who died in the Civil War. Rufus was the brother of Lydia (Cogswell) Smith, wife of Leonard Smith, who was the brother of George Smith Harrington’s wives.

On this day, April 23, 1861

Today marks the anniversary of the death of Hannah Marcella (Smith) Harrington. Hannah is not a direct ancestor- she was the sister of Leonard O. Smith, my great great grandfather. Hannah was the fourth of five children of John and Ruth (Shippy) Smith, born in Foster, Rhode Island in 1822. The family subsequently moved to Killingly, Connecticut, just a few miles away.

It was in Killingly, in 1846 that Hannah married George Smith Harrington, originally from Woodstock, Connecticut. George and Hannah had four children, but only one, Leonard W., lived to adulthood. Their fourth child, who seems to have been unnamed, was born on April 16, 1861, and died two days later. Hannah died, presumably from childbirth complications, five days after that.

Eleven months after Hannah’s death, on March 18, 1862, George married Hannah’s elder sister, Margaret Smith. Margaret was 45 at the time, and the couple had no children of their own. By 1870, George and Margaret had moved to Dublin , New Hampshire, following the lead of Margaret’s brother Leonard, and Leonard’s in-laws, Stephen and Lucy Cogswell. George’s son Leonard went with them, and eventually married Eugenia Ann Burpee, the daughter of their next door neighbor.

According to the History of Dublin, George Smith Harrington acquired Lot 12, No. 1, from Asaph Burpee in 1868. George transferred ownership of the property to Leonard in 1889. Lot 12, No. 2 was owned by Abbott Burpee, Eugenia’s father. In 1902, Leonard Harrington acquired Lot 12, No. 2.

Leonard and Eugenia had at least five children by 1910. Their surviving offspring would be the only relatives we would have left in the area. Allen Chamberlain, in his 1936 book Annals of the Grand Monadnock, mentions Leonard, and states that his children still owned the property at that time.

A side trip to Mississippi

After learning about George Smith Harrington’s interesting story of marrying two of John Smith’s daughters, I tried to fill in some of the rest of his history by looking for him in the 1860 census. I eventually located him in Killingly, but not before taking a side trip to Mississippi.

When I searched the index for a George Harrington, born in Connecticut in about 1824, the only match was a resident of Columbus, Mississippi, whose occupation was given as “ambrotypist”. An ambrotype was an early form of photograph, similar to a daguerreotype- the difference being that the ambrotype produced a positive image rather than a negative.

I had no reason to think that George Smith Harrington had spent time in Mississippi, but out of curiosity I searched for more information about this Connecticut photographer working in the South just before the start of the Civil War. What I found was a mention in Herbert Aptheker’s “American Negro Slave Revolts”, published in 1939. Aptheker’s book sought to dispel the myth of slaves as happy, willing participants in the South’s “peculiar institution”. That was apparently still a controversial view to hold in the 1930’s.

Describing slave revolts in 1860, Aptheker writes:

A slave girl betrayed a conspiracy the next month in Winston County, Mississippi. Approximately thirty-five slaves were arrested, and once again it was asserted that whites were involved. At least one slave was hanged as well as one white man, described as “an ambrotypist named G. Harrington”.

Our George Smith Harrington, meanwhile, was working as a machinist back in Killingly- the reason I couldn’t find him right away was that the person who indexed the 1860 census in Killingly misread “Harrington” as “Warrington”.

… and still more ancestors in Dublin?

Well, strictly speaking, not ancestors, at least not my ancestors, but it turns out Leonard wasn’t the only Smith to move from Killingly to Dublin. I was actually googling some different combinations of Smith, Shippee, Foster, looking for information on the Shippee-Smith cemetery, when up popped a genealogy page that had this phrase: “Daughter of John and wife, Ruth (Shippe) Smith”. Leonard Smith, my great great grandfather, was the son of John and Ruth (Shippee) Smith, so this caught my eye. The text actually referred to Leonard’s sister, Hannah Marcella Smith. I already had her in my database, along with her husband, George Smith Harrington. I also knew that George was originally from Woodstock, Connecticut. What surprised me was that the page went on to give the location of George’s death as “Doublin [sic] New Hampshire”. So had George and Hannah Marcella followed Leonard and Lydia up north?

Well, no- sadly, Hannah died in 1861, in Killingly, five days after giving birth to a daughter who also died. Within a year, though, George had married Hannah’s older sister, Margaret. And shortly after that, the couple moved to Dublin.

George, according to ‘The History of Dublin’, was a machinist, but also farmed a┬áproperty not far from Leonard Smith’s place on the old Dublin to Jaffrey road, just east of Mount Monadnock. George and Margaret lived there for about thirty years- they had no children of their own, but George and Hannah’s son Leonard moved to Dublin with them, and continued to farm there after George’s death in 1895, and the death of his step-mother a year later. Leonard married Eugenie Burpee, a Dublin girl, and they raised five children together. (Oddly enough, George and Margaret are not included in the Dublin cemetery listings in the town’s history, so I’m not sure where they’re buried.)

What still puzzles me is the fact that the Smiths, Cogswells and Harringtons all moved to Dublin, and farmed there, at the same time that rural towns like Dublin were losing farmers in droves to the greener pastures of the West. Many farms were being abandoned, or turned into “summer places” for the wealthy- so why did our ancestors decide it was a good time to move in as farmers?