Benjamin Lovering Locke (1802-1883)
A recent visit to Epsom by Charlotte Hatfield of Maine resulted in the donation to the Epsom Historical Association of reprints of early photos of the Benjamin Lovering Locke family. These photos would probably be the earliest photos taken of Epsom residents seen to date. Based on the people in the photo, the year it was taken was 1850, as it matches perfectly the family as it would have appeared that year in the census.
He was the son of Levi Locke and Hannah Prescott, who moved to Epsom sometime after 1780. They resided at Lockes Hill, and Levi and his wife are both buried in the cemetery there (there names carved in a large rock which kind of reminds you of Plymouth Rock). According to the Genealogy of Capt. John Locke, Benjamin Lovering Locke was born Rye, but research by Charlotee Hatfield gives it as Epsom. He was married in Chichester by Rev. Carpenter on May 5, 1825 to Hannah Parker Moses, daughter of James Moses Jr. (1783-1812) and Betsey Chesley (1790-1860). In the fall of that year he was commissioned Captain of Co. B., Eighteenth Regiment of the State Militia, working up in rank by the time he resigned his last commission in 1840, to Major General. He retained the title General for most of his life.
In 1828 he built his hotel, which he called the Suncook House and he is referred to in various census lists as merchant and Tavernkeeper. He ran this operation for 32 years. In addition he purchased the home lot of Nathan Libbey, and continued to add to his holdings, giving as his occupation by 1860 as Hotel and Farmer. By 1860 his real estate was valued at $3,000 and his personal estate, $1400.00. He probably sold the hotel around 1866 to Henry Knox when he moved to Chichester, as by 1870 his real estate value was about five hundred dollars, and his personal worth $4000. Henry Knox later sold the building to Henry S. Knowles in 1876.
His children were all born in Epsom and were:
Lucinda Maria, b. Mar. 30, 1826, married William McMurphy.
Henrietta Clarinda, b. May 5, 1828, d. Feb. 1830
Almira Elizabeth, b. Jan. 11, 1830, married Joseph G. Whidden
James Lovering Locke, b. May 14, 1832, married Sarah Maria Swallow.
Marianna Jane Locke, b. May 5, 1834, and married William Hawes.
Ann Lovering Locke, b. Sept. 9, 1836, married George W. Lane
a still born daughter, b. May 1, 1838
Adela Augusta Locke, b. Sept. 4, 1840, married John D. Gale
Sarah Merrill Locke, b. Dec. 28, 1843, d. 1860
Benjamin Locke, b. Dec. 28, 1843, d. 1844
William T. Estes, b. July 5, 1850, d. Jan. 1861
Benjamin L. Locke died Mar. 26, 1883, his wife Hannah Jan. 26, 1885, both in Winchester, MA, and are buried under the willow tree in the McClary Cemetery.