Hon. James Bickford Tennant (1847-1915)
James B. Tennant , one of the most prominent business men of Epsom and an ex-member
of the New Hampshire
Senate, was born in Deerfield, N.H. , May 26, 1847 , son of Arthur and Ruth O.
(Sanborn) Tennant . He comes of English
stock. His great-grandfather was an early settler in Portsmouth, N.H. Thomas Tennant
, the grandfather, who was born in Haverhill, N.H. , April 10, 1771 , owned and
cultivated farms in Wentworth and Hampton, N.H. , during the active period of
his life. His last days were passed in Wentworth , and he was about eighty years
old when he died. He married
Sarah Goodwin , who, born in Wentworth , March 12, 1777 , died at the age of seventy-six.
He and his wife reared seven children, of whom Arthur , James B. Tennant s
father, was the third-born. Of these the only survivor is William , who married
Harriet Libby , of Rumney, N.H.
, and has three childrenIra , Helen , and Lula .
Arthur Tennant was
born in Wentworth , September 18, 1812 . When a very young man he learned the
coopers trade, which he afterward followed in connection with farming. At
first he settled in Pembroke . Later he moved to Epsom and then to Deerfield ,
where he continued to till the soil for several years. He was largely interested
in the live-stock business, and was also engaged in lumbering to some extent.
He was a man of considerable prominence in public affairs, having served as a
Selectman and in other town offices; and he was one of the first supporters of
the Republican party in this State. His death, which occurred in Pembroke , April
9, 1880 , caused general regret, as he was highly esteemed as an able and upright
business man. His remains were interred in Deerfield . Arthur Tennant first married
Ruth O. Sanborn , daughter of John Sanborn , a pioneer settler of Deerfield .
Of the ten children born to this union, two are livingEmma O. and James
B. Emma O. is the widow of Charles B. Fowler , late of Pembroke ; and her son,
Alvah T. Fowler , is now a student at Dartmouth College. For his second wife Arthur
Tennant married Lizzie Fellows , of Deerfield , who had no children. Both he and
his first wife were members of the Free Will Baptist church.
James B. Tennant
acquired his early education in the common schools of Deerfield . Subsequently
he was a pupil of the Pembroke Academy and the New Hampton Institute, duly graduating
from the latter school. In 1869 he established himself in general mercantile business
in Epsom , and now conducts a well-stocked country store. He is also extensively
engaged in the lumber business as a member of the firms of Tripp & Tennant
& Tripp and Fellows & Tennant. One of the firms controls large tracts
of timber land in New Hampshire and Vermont , and also owns and operates saw-mills
in various places for the manufacture of lumber. Another enterprise of Mr. Tennant
s is brick-making, which he carries on in Pembroke . He is a director of
several insurance companies and of the Suncook Valley Railroad. He has been station
agent at Short Falls since 1869 , and is now one of the oldest station agents
on the Concord & Montreal Railway. From 1870 to 1889 he was Postmaster at
Short Falls . This position he resigned when elected to the State Senate, and
Mrs. Tennant has since held that appointment. In politics Mr. Tennant is a Republican.
From 1882 to 1888 he was one of the Commissioners of Merrimack County . He was
elected a State Senator in 1889 , and was a member of the House of Representatives
for the years 1891 and 1892 , taking part in the last annual and the first biennial
session of the legislature. He has never sought for a town office; but after the
death of the Town Treasurer, who was elected to serve the present year, he was
persuaded to take charge of the towns finances for the unexpired term.
On February 10, 1873 , Mr. Tennant was united in marriage with Ella M. Fowler
. She is a daughter of Samuel and Elvira N. (Critchett) Fowler , of Epsom , who
had six children, of whom there are livingJames W. , Horace , and Josie
M. Mr. and Mrs. Tennant have no children. Mr. Tennant is a Mason of the thirty-second
degree. He has occupied all the important chairs in Evergreen Lodge, I. O. O.
F., Epsom , and was its Secretary for several years; and he is a member of the
local grange of the Patrons of Husbandry. In the course of his life he has visited
nearly every State in the Union, including the extreme southern part and the Pacific
slope, thereby greatly enhancing his knowledge of the wealth and business possibilities
of the country. From the Merrimack & Sullivan Counties Biographical Review.