Nathan Bickford (1797-1879)
Bickford was born in Epsom, N. H., December 2, 1797. He was the son of Thomas
and Olive (Haynes) Bickford. Thomas was a farmer, shoemaker and tanner, and at
one period of his life was quite a prosperous and successful man; but most of
his substance was spent before his death. He had a family of seven children, viz.,
- John, Mehitable, Samuel, Nathan, Daniel, Olive and Dearborn.
born at the old Bickford homestead, near the present village of Gossville. When
he was a lad of sufficient age he went to serve an apprenticeship as clothier
with a Mr. Currier. His service expired when he was nineteen, and he twenty-third
year, when he remained till his twenty-third year, when he returned to his native
town and bought out a clothing and carding-mill on Suncook River. He met with
success in this enterprise and continued it for more than a dozen years, when,
leasing his mill business to another party, he embarked in the lumber trade. At
this he did, for a period of about ten years, quite a large business, rafting
down the Suncook and Merrimack Rivers. In the mean time he conducted farming on
a considerable scale, having purchased, about 1830, a farm lying adjacent to his
After he relinquished the lumber business he gave his entire attention
to his farm, and added to the original tract at intervals during his life. He
was a man who was held in high esteem by his fellow-townsmen, and he had ample
proof of their confidence by the various positions of office and trust in which
they played him. He was selectman of his town for many years and held various
minor offices. He was a member of the State Legislature in 1836, and throughout
a long and busy life he retained the implicit confidence and sincere respect of
those who knew him.
In politics he was an advocate of Free-Soil party, and
upon the organization of the Republican party and up to the time of his death
he affiliated with that party.
In religious matters he was a Free-Will Baptists
and contributed largely to the support of that church. He was a man of large benevolence
and generosity, and gave of his means freely and with unstinted hand to all worthy
He married, May 12, 1823, Eliza W., daughter of Robert and Hannah
(Osgood) Dickey, of Epsom. They had five children, -
Susan G., born February
25, 1824; married Rev. Jonathan A. Knowles. They have two children and reside
in Manchester, N. H.
Salina O., born August 5, 1829; married Captain Arthur
C. Locke. One child living. She died June 2, 1877.
Eliza A., born July 25,
1833; died, unmarried, December, 1878.
Morrill D., born October 3, 1836; married
Eliza J. Hoyt, of Epsom, November 28, 1862. They have two bright and accomplished
daughters, - Susie A. and Addie E. He was elected Representative of Epsom to the
State Legislature in 1885. He has always kept up the lumber trade which was started
by his father.
Alfred P. married Lizzie J., daughter of William and Maryett
Goss, of Epsom. They have four children, - William P., Nathan A., Alfred G. and
Harry M. He has always conducted the farm of his father.
Nathan Bickford died
January 15, 1879, aged eighty-one. Mrs. Bickford still survives (1885), aged seventy-six.