Epping and Area History

Nov - Dec 2018 | Volume 11, Issue 6

Newsletter Schedule

Have we missed your group or event? Please let us know. Our purpose is to include as many Epping groups and events as possible.

The next issue (January-February) of this newsletter will be available in early January 2019. We will accept submissions through December 21, 2018 to be included in the next issue. Please send your content, including contact information, for consideration by using the CONTACT US section of our web site or by emailing us.

Epping Historical Society

As summer winds down, we realize all too soon, winter will be here! This time of year is extremely busy; first we celebrate Halloween, soon to be followed by an election. Thanksgiving follows with family and friends, and of course then comes Christmas, the most magical time of the year.

Our Farm to Table Luncheon was a HUGE success! We had guests from surrounding towns, making the conversation very interesting. We were able to reach our goal to raise the money to restore our Bi-Centennial quilt. A special thanks to several private donations that put us over the top. This could not have happened but for Joe and Cheryl Denoncour. They opened up their home to all of us, making it a pleasant place to visit. They are such good cooks, if you ever have an opportunity to attend one of their fundraising events; you are in for a treat. A very special thank you to Joe and Cheryl!! We are in the process of starting to clean the quilt; a case will be built with Plexiglas to cover the whole case. Then we will hang the case on the wall.

We had two young men visit us from Georgia this month. They made an appointment with us in July, planning to use vacation time to do research in Epping and Newmarket. Their Grandmother, in the past, had given many gifts to the Society, and their aunt gave us several items last year. They were pleased to see how we have preserved the items and are taking good care of them. They planned to visit the family cemetery before leaving town, even though it is located in the woods. Now that is dedication to research!

The Burley family in Epping has played a large part in our development as a town, leaving their mark on everything they became involved in. Sadly, the Burley family has sold all the property they owned, including their three houses. This was a family that saved everything: papers, pictures, maps, books and everything else. Belinda Burley Duprice, arrived two weeks ago, with a large box of treasures. Oh, what fun we have had sorting, and of course reading, lots of letters, old deeds etc. We have sorted the paperwork, and have placed the material in an archival box. Two of the most interesting pictures are of the rebuilding of the railroad bridge over the Lamprey River at the junction of 125 and 27. When the railroad bridge was first built, it was constructed of wood, but was replaced in 1890 with a steel structure.

Harry Burley, who graduated from MIT, wrote his thesis on the rebuilding of the bridge. Harry went on in life to own the Wire and Cable Company that supplied cables for buildings all over the Country, including those for the Empire State Building. The remainder of the Burley collection is housed in the New Hampshire Historical Society.

As most of you are aware, I LOVE old cemeteries. Traipsing through old cemeteries has been a passion of mine for 50 years. My car automatically stops at all old cemeteries, no matter where I happen to be at the time. There is nothing that can compare to our “Old New England Cemeteries.” These places contain the history of the town where they are located. At the Folsom Mill Road Cemetery in West Epping, you will find the following gentleman at rest.

Theophilus Stevens

Theophilus Stevens was born in 1730 in Salisbury, Mass. As a young man he left Salisbury for greener pastures and settled with his family in Epping. He was an industrious farmer and soon acquired land of his own, according him the opportunity to marry and have a family. He was only twenty years old when he married, and his wife was four years younger. They had three children; two of his children are buried beside their parents.

He enlisted in the New Hampshire Militia in April of 1776. At this time he was 46 years old, but defending his country was important. As a farmer he realized that living under British rule put all of the inhabitants of this town in peril. Farmers did not have money, and the King made many demands on the residents. He served in Captain Brown’s Company under Col. Gilman’s Regiment. He also was a signer of the Association Test, along with 213 other men from Epping. (There were 11 men from Epping who refused to sign.)

He died at the age of 87 years, living to a ripe old age. William Plumer, in his numerous writings, had this to say about Theophilus Stevens: “He hardly had a sick day in his life; was obstinate, opinionated, and independent and he read little. He was a Cornet in the Calvary, served as Selectman, and was a member of the Congregational Church. He considered that the singing of the new Psalm tunes at the Congregational Church was such a profanity that he would walk out of Church when they began. He remonstrated with the members against the practice and a Church meeting was held, where prejudice and railing at each other were more prevalent, than reason or candor. He did not attend services, tithe, or pay taxes for Church support. He attended the meetings of the Baptist Society. He was temperate in drink and diet, his industry and frugality built a fine estate. He died suddenly in his chair at home without a struggle or groan.”

Two years ago his direct descendent, Fred Jackson from Texas, honored his Patriot ancestor with an impressive ceremony at the West Epping cemetery. The New Hampshire and the Texas Sons of the American Revolution representatives placed a Patriot marker on his gravesite.

Don’t you just love the name: Theophilus?

Come visit us at the society. We are open Monday morning, 8:00 to 12:00, or when the flag is flying! If this is not convenient for you, please call me at 679-2944 for an appointment or you can email me at: joysgarden@hotmail.com.

Submitted by Joy True, curator, Epping Historical Society

The Civil War Roundtable of NH

NH graves at Soldiers’ Cemetery in Gettysburg
(Photo by Bill Hallett)

The Civil War Roundtable of New Hampshire welcomes anyone with an interest in the American Civil War who would like to be with others who share the same desire to learn more of this time in American history. We are an informal club with the only requirement being a Civil War enthusiast.  If you or a friend has an interest in the American Civil War, we invite you to come check us out.

Founded in May 1991, the Civil War Roundtable of New Hampshire is a group of men and women, young and old, who share our interests, both blue and gray, in the pivotal era of American history known as the Civil War.  We are open to the public and welcome all!  As our slogan goes, “There’s no time like the present to join us in the past.”

For more information on the group and a complete schedule of meetings and news, please visit the web site: www.cwrt-nh.org or email cwrtnh@gmail.com.

This is the upcoming CWRT-NH schedule:

We are currently booking 2019 meetings. If you know someone, or would like to offer a talk to our group, please email: cwrtnh@gmail.com.

Note: The schedule is subject to change without notice.  You can access the CWRT-NH website for the current schedule.  If a meeting is cancelled, a notice will be put on ETV.

November 9, 2018 (note: 2nd Friday) – Clay Feeter – "Mowed Down at Manassas: The Life and Tragic Death of Col. Fletcher Webster & the 12th Massachusetts Infantry" (Fletcher Webster is a cousin of Clay Feeter's)

December 2018 ~ no meeting

January 18, 2019 – Michael Schroeder (CWRTNH President) - "Union Combined Operations: The Red River Campaign, 1864"

February 15, 2019 – Elizabeth Hallett will host: "Civil War Jeopardy" (evening of trivia and prizes - just plain fun!)

March 15, 2019 – Sarah Batterson (Professor - Granite State College) - "Women Soldiers of the American Civil War"

April 12, 2019 – (note: this is 2nd Friday to avoid meeting on Good Friday) – Michael Schroeder (CWRTNH President) -"Wild Rose and Crazy Bet: Female Spies in Blue and Gray"

May 17, 2019 – Gary Morgan (writer) - "Andersonville Raiders” (new book)

June 14, 2019 – (note: this is 2nd Friday) ~ Wayne Motts, (C.E.O. National Civil War Museum) - "Wearing Blue and Gray: Five Men Who Served Both Sides" (learn the unique story of five different men who actually fought on both sides during the American Civil War)