Nathan Bickford


Nathan Bickford (1797-1879)

Nathan 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.
Nathan was 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 mill.
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 charities.
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.