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Three Haselton Sisters

Three Haselton Sisters

In most New England towns many families are interrelated even though they have different last names. Hudson is no exception. This week I introduce you to three sisters who grew up on Bush Hill Road, each of whom married men from Hudson, thus making one extended family out of four.

Luther Haselton, age 29, and Polly Ladd Smith, age 28, were married here in Nottingham West in 1826, most likely at the Baptist Church in Hudson Center. At that time the Baptist Church was meeting in the North Meeting House, located about where Wattannick Hall is now located. Luther and Polly lived on the Haselton Farm on Bush Hill, in the house adjacent to the Haselton Barn, long since removed. Their family consisted of 2 sons, David and George Washington; and 3 daughters, Hannah Page, Louisa Ann, and Marietta. Members of the Haselton family were hard working, prosperous, considered honest, and prominent in the community. Today I wish to focus on the three daughters and the men each of them married.

Hannah Page (Haselton) Smith

Hannah Page (Haselton) Smith

Hannah Page (Haselton) Smith

Dr. David Onslow Smith graduated Harvard Medical School in 1850 and established his practice in Hudson with a reputation as a highly skilled physician. He was also an educator and excellent musician; noted for his singing voice, as a conductor of choral groups, composer, and organist. He was also an educator leading a private music schools and serving on the school committee for the Town of Hudson. He married Mary Hannah Greeley in 1855 and they had 5 children: Minnie, Edmond who died young, Martha Robinson, Herbert Lewellen, and Henry Onslow. Mary passed in 1867, leaving Dr. David Smith with a family ranging in ages from 3 to 11. In 1874 Hannah Page Haselton and Dr. David Smith were married. Although they had no children of their own she did enter the existing household and continued with the raising and providing a home for the family. Also, when the time came, Dr Smith and Hannah adopted one of his grandchildren, David Onslow Smith, Jr.

Louisa (Haselton) Robinson

Louisa (Haselton) Robinson

Louisa (Haselton) Robinson

Alphonso Robinson, born 1837, was the 5th generation of the Robinson family to live on and work the farm on Robinson Road. The family homestead at the time was small, likely about four rooms. Alponso lived here with his parents John Anderson and Marinda (Caldwell) Robinson, his grandfather David, and 3 siblings. Louisa Ann Haselton and Alphonso were married in 1862; soon thereafter the small home was enlarged to more than three times the size to allow for multiple generations. Alphonso passed in December 1918, having spent his entire life living on his native homestead. He was a well respected in town and knows for his high ideals.

Marietta (Haselton) Buttrick

Clifton Buttrick was born in Wentworth, NH July 1846 and moved to Hudson about 1850 when his mother, Sally (Cutler) Buttrick married John Bunyan Robinson. Clifton grew up in a Robinson household with two half sisters, both of whom passed young. Clifton and Marietta (Haselton) Buttrick were married before 1869; living on Clifton’s farm located on Windham Road in Hudson Center. They had one son, Ernest Clifton who died young and twin daughters, Clara and Sarah born December 1870. At some point the twins opted to change their names to Belle and Maybel. Marietta passed in July 1873 at the age of 42. By 1874 Clifton married a second time to Charlotte Colburn. I was surprised to learn that when a son was born to Clifton and Charlotte, he was named George Washington Buttrick after Clifton’s first brother-in-law and friend. Clifton was a respected farmer, served as selectman and trustee and long time member of the Baptist Church. He passed in 1935, at which time he held possession of the Boston Post Cane. The twins lived into their mid 80’s. Maybel became Mrs. Jarome Melvin and settled on Barretts Hill Road. Belle remained single and remained on the Buttrick farm. Both were well known in the community.

Here we have four families Smith, Buttrick, Haselton, and Robinson who become one larger family by virtue of the marriages of these three sisters. This shows the importance of following the maternal lines when tracing family history. To use a favorite expression, each of these sisters became the woman behind each of three respected Hudson statesmen.

The photos shown here are of Louisa Ann (Haselton) Robinson and Hannah Page (Haselton) Smith. I do not have a photo of Marietta (Haselton) Buttrick. The photo of Louisa Ann, my great grandmother, is from my private collection. The photo of Hannah Page is from the Historical Society collection, complements of the H.O. Smith Family.



Lumber Yard on Haselton Farm C 1900


Lumber Yard on Haselton Farm C 1900

A trolley line through Hudson via Ferry Street was opened to the public in 1902.  At the end of Ferry Street the line went through the woods behind Westview Cemetery, making a sharp turn right and crossing Central Street near Burger King and onto the  Benson’s Property towards Bush Hill Road and behind the Haselton Barn, and then on to Pelham and Canobie Park  in Salem.  This line was popular because of the Canobie Lake Park destination; it was also the most dangerous because of the sharp turns and hilly terrain coupled with the desire to maintain speed.
Our photo for this week shows a lumberyard in the field behind the Haselton Barn on Bush Hill Road.  Planks of sawed lumber have been stacked for drying before distribution or use.  Evident are the tracks from the wagons used to transport to and from the saw mill.  Although the tracks for the trolley line are not visible, we get a sense of where they were from the electric lines behind the barn and near the lumber piles.  On the rear of the barn is a sign “Haselton”.  Why place a sign on the  back side of a barn?  For the benefit of those traveling on the electric trolley.
This undated photo is from the collection at the Historical Society; but, my estimate is circa 1905.  The trolley line is present and the cupola is on the barn.  The donor indicated the lumberyard was operated by George Washington Haselton and his brother-in-law Clifton Buttrick.  Buttrick was another prominent Hudson Center farmer living on Windham Road.  He married Marietta Haselton about 1869.  Unfortunately she passed in 1873 before her husband and brother were in the lumber business together.

Haselton Barn and Farmhouse – Undated


Haselton Barn and Farmhouse .. Undated

For many years prior to his passing in 1802 Abraham Page, Jr (also known as Captain Abraham Page) owned and occupied a farm on Bush Hill Road.  Mr Page and his wife did not have  children but they brought up Nathanial Haseltine after he was 12 years old.  In 1795 Nathanial bought the farm from Mr. Page; payment being 234 pounds and a life lease on the premises – thus Mr Page assured himself and his wife of living quarters and support for the duration of their lives.   Nathanial Haseltine married Rachel Smith that same year and soon thereafter they changed the spelling of their name to Haselton.
According to Kimball Webster in his History of Hudson,NH there were 2 houses on this Page/Haselton farm as early as 1793. The first was the one built and occupied by Mr. Page; later (by 1836) removed from this farm to Hamblett Avenue in Hudson Center on the east side of and facing the common.
This week we have an early photo of the second house on this farm; built adjacent to the barn perhaps as early as 1793.  This house, first occupied by Nathanial Haselton, became home to 4 generations of Haseltons.  The first was Nathanial and his wife Rachel.  The second was his son, Luther, and his wife Polly Ladd Smith; then George W(ashington) and his wife  Lora Poor; and fourth Arthur W. and his wife  Mary McCoy. Arthur W. and Mary were married in 1891 and lived here until about 1895 when they built and occupied  the present farm house on the opposite side of the road.  George W. Haselton remained in this old house until his passing in 1906; at which time ownership passed to his heirs.  In 1942 the house and barn were sold to Ben Brintenal and just 3 years later again sold, this time to Ray Lathan and a group of businessmen who had  purchased Benson’s Animal Farm.  Between 1906 and 1942 the house and barn had various occupants and  uses.  By 1945 the house was dismantled and the materials used to build a smaller home on Ferry Street.  The barn remains today and is part of the Benson Park property.
This is one of the earlier photos in our collection at the Historical Society; presented to us by a member of the Haselton Family.  In this photo we see the Haselton Barn and adjacent house before the addition of the cupola.  This photo is undated but according to the Benson’s Historic Structures Report prepared in 2003 for The Town of Hudson, NH the cupola along with other additions to the barn were completed between 1885 and 1910.

Haselton Farm on Bush Hill Road C 1920

Haselton Farm on Bush Hill Road C 1920

Haselton Farm on Bush Hill Road C 1920

Including the present family, the Haselton Farm on Bush Hill Road has been home to 6 generations of Haselton’s.  The first  generation was Nathaniel; born 1762 in Nottingham West (now Hudson).  By 1795 Nathaniel had purchased the farm and buildings from Abraham Page, Jr.  Mr Page had no known  children of his own; but history tells us that he helped raise Nathaniel Haseltine.   As part of the sale agreement Mr. Page and his wife secured a life lease on the property; thus assuring themselves of a dwelling place for the duration of their lives.  Mr. Page was a farmer and a builder; a trade he learned from his father.  A number of 1700 vintage homes in Hudson have been traced back to these builders. Nathaniel married  Rachel Smith in 1795 and soon thereafter changed their name to Haselton.
This week’s photo was taken C 1920  from a hillside above and slightly south of the home of Arthur Haselton built about 1895; now the home of Don and Beverly (Gates) Jackson at 25 Bush Hill Road.  Their home is on the right side of the photo and faces Bush Hill Road.  Opposite this is the Haselton Barn and an older Haselton family home to the right of the barn.  In the background is a view of the hillside with Benson’s Animal Farm to the right.
Throughout history the Haselton Farm is known to have 3 different houses; often two at any one time.  The first home was located on the same side of Bush Hill Road and slightly south of the present Jackson home.  This home was built by and lived in by Abraham Page,Jr.  The second home is the house adjacent to the barn.  Exact date for the construction of this house is unclear but could be as early as 1793.We do know that by 1826 the first house was moved from it’s Bush Hill location to Hamblett Avenue facing the Hudson Center Common and was the home of Rev. Benjamin Dean, then pastor of the Baptist Church.  This house ultimately became the home of Richard and Claudia Boucher and their family; and when Route 111 was built through the Town Common, the house was again moved from Hamblett Avenue to it current location on Windham Road.
This second house became the family  home to 4 generations of Haseltons:  Nathaniel, Luther, George, and Arthur.  The home on the opposite side of the road was likely built by or for Arthur Haselton C 1895.  This barn and the adjacent house remained in the Haselton Family until  1943 at which time it was sold to Ben Brintnal.  By 1944 the barn and property on that side of Bush Hill Road was sold to The Laphan Group, the second owners of Benson’s Animal Farm.   It was about this time frame that the house was dismantled and the materials used to construct a smaller house on Ferry Street.
Of all the buildings which were part of the Haselton farm, the most noteworthy is the 3 story barn with cupola.  Perhaps initial construction as early as 1761, this barn was used in each of three centuries.  Changes and additions have been made over this period of time, evolving the architecture and construction to match the changing use to which the building was put.  Additions made to the barn between 1889 and 1910 included the addition of the cupola; now removed from the barn and in storage for future restoration.  Analysis of the barn structure shows a 3 story barn, set into a bank (hillside) so there are entrances to each story at grade level.  Today this barn on one of the historic buildings in  Benson Park.
The family of Arthur Haselton included his wife Mary McCoy, 2 sons (Merton and Page) and a daughter, Lillian.  Lillian married Joseph Gates and their family included Joseph, Jr, Beverly, and George. Some of us have personal memories of Joe and Lillian.  Joe Gates had a natural ear for music and served as the church organist at the Baptist Church.  During his organ postlude at the conclusion of a service I have known him to break into a rendition of Happy Birthday in honor of his wife, Lillian, or other family member.  The present occupants are  Don Jackson and his wife, Beverly Jackson; Beverly being the 6th generation in the Haselton line.


Benjamin Dean House — A House Twice Moved

Benj Dean c1942

This house was built by Abraham Page about 1747 on Bush Hill Road on part of the old  Haselton Farm.  Between 1747 and about 1838 this house was likely occupied by Abraham Page, Jr and early members of the Haselton family whom he helped to raise. In 1838 the owner, Rev. Benjamin Dean, moved and remodeled the house to a location on Hamblet Avenue just north of the Eli Hamblet house and facing the east side of the Hudson Center Common.  The second floor contained a large room with an arched ceiling, referred to as “Dean’s Hall”.  This room was used as a school and a place for public gatherings.  Rev. Dean occupied the home until about 1850.  The home had various owners until being purchased by the family of Claudia and Richard Boucher.  In the early 1960’s when the State of New Hampshire planned out the new route 111 through Hudson Center, this house was simply ‘in the way’.  The Boucher family sold the property to the state and later re-purchased the house and had it moved to its present (and third) location on Windham Road.  This 1942 photo from the Historical Society Collection shows the house at its second location on Hamblet Avenue.