Hampton News from the Exeter News-Letter, 1873

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January 10, 1873

Agricultural Meeting. – The New Hampshire Board of Agriculture met at Hampton Town Hall, on Thursday of last week, where they held sessions during day and evening.  There was a large attendance of farmers present.  The object of the meeting was the general discussion of agricultural topics, in which Col. John M. Weare of Seabrook, Hon. Warren Brown of Hampton  Falls, Emmons B. Philbrick of Rye, Rev. Frank H. Lyford of Hampton, John French of North Hampton and Judge Roberts, Messrs. J. O. Adams and J. Frank Lawrence, of the Board, took part.

Social Assemblies.–The social qualities of the good people of “ ye ancient town” of Hampton are given expression, the present season, in a series of assemblies, which are proving eminently satisfactory and entertaining.  The sixth gathering of the season was held the past week, when those present numbered upwards of one hundred.  A party from Exeter were hospitably welcomed and were introduced to the company by the gentlemanly managers, Messrs. Mason and Philbrick.  Excellent music was furnished by Mr. Thing and Mrs. Howard, a lady who is not unknown in the world of letters.

Wrecked. – About two o’clock, Friday afternoon, the English Steamer, Sir Francis, from Liverpool for Boston, struck on a ledge, about a mile from Hampton Beach, during a fog and remained there hard and fast, filling with water at every flaw of the tide.  The officers and crew, with only one passenger, landed in boats on Plum Island, and were kindly cared for by, the light keeper.  The tug Mattie Sargent, from Newburyport, and the steamer C. M. Winch, from Boston, with lighters, were sent to the assistance of the vessel, and succeeded in saving a portion of the freight, but were obliged to desist from their efforts on account of the storm of Sunday, and it is expected the steamer and the remainder of the cargo will be a total loss.

February 14, 1873

Personal.–Captain John Lamprey, a well known and thrifty farmer of Hampton, who has for a year or two suffered from softening of the brain, has recently been placed in the asylum at Concord. Likewise Dr. Frink of Newington, who is also afflicted with aberration of mind.
The Sir Francis Wreck. – The remains of the wreck of the English steamer Sir Francis which lies on the beach above Hampton, were sold at auction, Wednesday. During the last ten days many persons have visited the wreck. The cargo yet remaining in the hull consists of 326 boxes of tin plate invoiced at about $3200, 17 cases steel rollers invoiced at about $1500. The iron in the hull, boilers, engines and outfit of the steamer is estimated at 962 tons. There are also several tons of copper in the vessel.

February 28 1873

Politics. – There is not much political excitement in our ancient town this season, though we have some patriotic volunteers – even in Hampton – who are ready to ‘respond to the call’ to serve the  generation during the hot days of June and July with the Union army at Concord, – we have heard Joseph Johnson, Morris Hobbs, Jacob T. Brown, Samuel D. Lane and Joseph Dow mentioned as among the number.

Another Bank Failure! – The well known bank, located in this town – the oldest in the country having been founded years before the old U. S. Bank was chartered or even thought of, and probably the best managed bank in the world, having never sustained loss from defalcation, embezzlement or “irregularity” of its officers and managers, uniformly declaring frequent and profitable dividends, – has at last, after a long “run” been compelled to succumb.  It is however, a matter of congratulation to reflect that this was no “wild cat” concern, doing business on fictitious capital, it was what it purported to be the First National Bank, doing a legitimate business on a solid basis.  When the other banks suspended specific payments, this bank discounted as aforetime, never tendering paper or dickering in  “shin plasters” or fictional currency; and during all our long and protracted war this bank discounted, in fact ‘honored all calls,’ and always in the same ‘had currency.’  It was evident, however, to the directors that the institution could not always sustain the drain and run that had been kept up day by day, week after week, year in and year out, without an increase of “actual paid in capital.”  Application was therefore made to the State General Court for an increase of capital stock.  The Court after consideration, thought to relieve the bank by designating on what days the bank should be held to discount and on what days its doors should be closed.  Their action, however, did not answer the end contemplated, for the reason that drafts were “held” till a “convenient time was come,” and then such a rush in force for the bank!  The result being that to-day finds the First National Clam Bank of Hampton though still retaining the best wishes of its patrons, and its former good reputation, a failed institution; so the toast- “Clams and old Hampton forever” is obsolete,  

P. S.  Our correspondent adds: “The above are facts as represented.  The flats have so often been dug over, that there is no clam digging this winter, – our people getting their supply from the Newburyport flats.”

March 7. 1873

Death of a Nonegenarian. –  Samuel Barker, the oldest and one of the most respected citizens of Hampton, died on the 27th ult,. at the ripe old age of ninety-one years.  He had never been confined to his bed during his long life until four days before his death, and up to a very recent period had been hale and vigorous,  During the last autumn he dug all his potatoes, gathered and husked all of his corn, besides getting in his winter’s supply of wood.  At the last Presidential election, he was one of the very first at the polls and took special pride in casting his vote for Grant and Wilson.  He retained his faculties to the very last moment, and was much esteemed for his sprightness and sterling integrity.

March 28, 1873

Poll tax last year, $1.68, Town debt, when the accounts were audited, $6,617.   Debt reduced during the year, $9,902.  In this way in a little time the town will be out of debt.

July 18, 1873

A Big Fish. – On Tuesday morning last, Henry Page of Hampton, caught, three miles from the shore, a mammoth cod fish which weighed 63 pounds, and measured 4 feet in length.  The fish is reported to be the largest cod ever caught in the vicinity.

At the Beach. – Large numbers of people are visiting this favorite summer resort; and we find that the Hampton Beach Hotel, being located in the most desirable spot at the Beach, is fast winning the popularity and patronage, which its proprietors, the Leavitt brothers, are determined to maintain. If you propose visiting Hampton Beach make your headquarters at the Hampton Beach Hotel, where the best accommodations and the choicest provisions for man and beast are to be had in abundance.

August 17, 1873

A Remarkable Man. – Among the visitors at Dumas’ Boar’s Head Hotel, at Hampton Beach, the present year, as during many past seasons, is the venerable Judge Hall of Wilmington, Delaware, and his family.  The Judge is now in his 94th year, and, with the single exception of considerable weakness in his limbs, is apparently as smart and vigorous as in his younger days.  He retains the full possession of his intellectual powers in all their strength, while his senses are wholly unimpaired.  His hearing and vision are quite perfect, and he converses with all the quickness, vivacity and intelligence of a young man.  The Judge is one of the oldest surviving graduates of Harvard, having received the honors of that University in 1799.  He was admitted to the bar at Amherst, in this State in 1803, and soon after removed to Delaware, where he was appointed District Judge of the United States, by President Madison, 1813.  This office he filled and discharged its duties to the entire satisfaction of the community and the bar for nearly forty-nine years, and only resigned last year, in consequence of the weakness in his limbs, which still continues.  

August 23, 1873

Items. – Rev. Mr. Chandler of Londonderry, Methodist, has accepted a call to the Congregational society in Hampton.

– Two brick school houses in Hampton, both over half a century old, were torn down on Monday, to make way for the erection of wooden ones of modern style.

– Benjamin P. Blake of Hampton, 67 years of age, committed suicide by hanging himself in the cellar of his house, on Sunday last.  He was a man in good circumstances, surrounded with all the comforts of life, and the cause of the strange act is a mystery, though it is said that at times he was partially insane.

Cash vs. Checks and Long Notes. – The Lawrence American tells a story of a Lawrence man who runs a hotel at Hampton Beach.  The last day he arrived when taxes could be paid, securing a discount; the assessor called on the landlord, giving the information. And he, having just deposited all his surplus change in the bank of a neighboring town, tendered the assessor a check, at sight, for the account duly drawn.  The old fellow thoroughly scrutinized the paper, and with a doubtful look returned it, saying, “No, I guess not; I don’t want any of your long notes; I want money!” and turning away he looked wisely upon the amused spectators, who thought the joke equally good on land lord and assessor.

Leavitts’ Hotel. – Of all the beach houses on the coast of the Hampton Beach House, or “Leavitts’” as it is called by many, is one of the pleasantest and most popular.  It is not a handsome house, with its four stories, flat roof, and two balconies all the way round, but it is cheerful and pleasant inside, and the Leavitts do all they can to make their house a home for visitors.  

August 29, 1873

Narrow Escape. – On Thursday of last week, a party of there went out fishing from Hampton Beach in a sailboat.  On retuning to shore their boat stuck a rock, which caused it to capsize.  The party swam ashore, about fifty rods distant, and narrowly escaped the calamity of a watery grave.

September 7, 1873

Ministerial. – The Rev. G. J. Abbott closed his labors, last Sunday, with the Free Will Baptist Church in Boston, and accepts a call to the church at Hampton.

September 18, 1873

Narrow Escape from a Fatal Accident. – Cotton Brown, Esq., a resident of Hampton, was severely, in not fatally injured by being thrown from his carriage Monday afternoon.  Mr. Brown was about to cross the railroad track in front of a train of cars, when his horse became frightened and stopping suddenly threw him out.  He struck upon his head within one foot of the track just as the cars passed.  He was discovered and taken to his residence nearby, where it was found that his wounds were of a serious nature.

October 3, 1873

Burglary. –  Thursday night of last week, burglars broke open the store of A. D. Brown, near Hampton depot.  They bored a hole in the door and effected an entrance.  About $25 in money, a part of which was silver coin, was taken from the desk and a roll of waterproof cloth with a few articles of trifling value were taken by the thieves.

October 17, 1873

Accident. – On Thursday of last week, while W. Plummer Mace of Hampton, was feeding his horse, in the Market, at Newburyport, with headstall off, the animal begun to run, M. Mace holding to the halter. In front of Rowe’s store on Broadway, the horse ran into  the wagon of M. Adams of Newburyport.  Mr. Mace was badly injured in the groin, and was taken charge of by Dr. Tilton.  M. Adams was thrown from his wagon striking his shoulder, but was not seriously hurt.

October 24, 1873

A Serenade. – The custom, more honored in the breach, of serenading newly married folks, by a concourse of discordant sounds, is still maintained in many parts of the State.  The town clerk of Hampton had a recent experience in his enjoyment, and not until he gave a treat to the midnight rioters was he relieved from the din of their insymphonious visitation.

November, 7, 1873

New School Houses. – Two new school houses are being built in Hampton – one near the centre of the town, to cost about 8000, and the other on the beach road.

Clammy. – The past season 267 bushels of clams were used at the Boar’s Head Hotel.  210 bushels at the Granite House, 191 at the Union House and 101 bushels at Mrs. Nudd’s  making a total of 769 bushels.  

A Correction. – A writer in one of the papers states that Rev. Mr. Chandler, appointed to the Methodist church in Londonderry at the last conference, has accepted a call to the Congregationalal church in Hampton Falls. It is not so, but in Hampton.  

Woodes Wedding. – In response to invitations sent out from the study of Rev. F. D. Chandler, pastor of the Congregational church, his wooden wedding was celebrated on the 25 ult.  Friends from the churches in Hampton, Greenland, and Exeter were present to the number of about 200 and valuable gifts were presented to the worthy couple.

November 14, 1873

A Kleptomaniac. – A handsome young woman, who was employed at the Union House at Hampton, was arrested on Saturday last and taken to Portland by officers who came after her.  Her parents are said to be among the most respectable people of that city, but the girl is afflicted with the prevailing disease of kleptomania.  Before she left Portland, she visited different houses and stole all sorts of things.  She ran away and happened to stop at Hampton, when Mr. Whittier engaged her to work in the hotel.  Her friends leaned of her whereabouts and sent for her.

December 12, 1873

A Good Eye and Steady Nerve. – In Hampton three weeks ago, a youth nine years of age, took his gun in hand, like an old soldier, and went to a point a short distance from his home; there he saw four geese.  He took a boat and started for them.  The geese seeing such a formidable enemy started on for a place of safety, but in their flight one of the unfortunate birds flew against some shot the young expert had the audacity to discharge in their passage, and down he came to the water.  The young hero took his game in hand, and started home, feeling more noble and happy than any Congressman in his Salary Grab.  The youth’s name is George W. Palmer.

Items. – Farmers have invested hundreds of dollars in “tree-protectors,” this fall, to secure their apple-trees from the canker-worm.

– Farmers have harvested good crops of hay and potatoes, which bring fair prices, notwithstanding we have no “Grange” to protect us from being “gobbled up” by sharpers.

– Real estate, particularly desirable house-lots, commands high prices, – house-lots of half an acre, $200 to $800: one corner lot, 1½ aces, near the centre of the town, sold for $3,000

– There was a statement in the News-letter of the number of bushels of clams used at the several hotels the past season.  The writer with equal truth might have added that the highway from the Union House to the Ocean House – a distance of three miles – has been macadamized with the shells taken from the backs of these very clams.
– We have built two school-houses the past season, each 46 by 32 feet, two stories high, at a cost of about $4,500 each.  The one in the east district is built in a very thorough manner by an efficient committee chosen by the district.  The one at the Centre was built on contract by two enterprising and first-class mechanics, residents in the district.

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