The Mathes Family

    The Mathes family was among the very first settlers in New Hampshire. Francis Mathews came over with Capt. John Mason’s colony in 1634 and helped to build the mills at Great Works, now South Berwick, Maine. He was granted a lease in October 1637 of 100 acres for a thousand years, “on the northwest side of the great island, commonly called Muskito Hall.”  This was at Newcastle, N. H where he signed the Exeter Combination in 1639.  At the time however, he was living near the mouth of Oyster River.

    His homestead location on Durham Point commands a wide view of the river, the Bay and surrounding lands. The rich soil accounts to a large degree for the success of the family farm.  Francis Mathews died in 1648 and his wife, Thomasine, died in 1690. His estate was settled finally by his son, Benjamin, in 1704.  This is the first Benjamin of record; however, the name reappears several times among the male descendants in the Mathes line. (The Mathes family graveyard on Durham Point attests to the many Benjamins who lived and farmed the homestead.) And at some point, “Mathews” became “Mathes.”

    Five generations down from Francis, the Mathes family entered Newmarket’s history via one of the Benjamins.  Since the next two generations also featured a Benjamin, each generation is labeled accordingly as:   Benjamin (1),  Benjamin, Sr. (2), and Benjamin Jr. (3).  The Mathes family name would remain in Newmarket for 160 years— from 1840 until 2001, when it ended with the passing of Dana Mathes—a great-grandson of Benjamin, Sr. (2).

    The family was instrumental in Newmarket’s development—from trading and real estate in downtown Lamprey Village to agriculture (represented by four successful working Mathes farms).

    Telling the Mathes story can get a little confusing.  From the three children of Benjamin (1), there are 13 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.  Adding to the confusion is “Mary.” All three grandsons of Benjamin (1)—and at least four of his great-grandsons—married women named Mary.  (Fortunately they all chose names other than “Mary” for their daughters.)

    Here are some highlights:

    The Family of Benjamin (1)

    Benjamin (1) (1782-1859) was born and died in Durham.  He was a brickmaker and quarryman.  In 1804 he married Constance Smart (1775-1851).  They had two daughters and one son:  Pamelia Mathes, Sara Elizabeth, and Benjamin, Sr. (2)

    1. Pamelia (1814-1883) married a distant cousin John Mathes (1808-1888). They had two children:   Benjamin Franklin Mathes and Valentine Mathes.   

       1.A. Benjamin Franklin (1844-1916) worked with his father in the brickyards of Durham. He married Josephine M. Hodsdon (1846-1887) of Newmarket.  He died of accidental asphyxiation by illuminating gas in 1916 when living in NY State.  He and Josephine had a son Benjamin William Mathes  (b.1883-1964).  After his mother Josephine died, Benjamin William would come to Newmarket and stay with his Grandmother Hodsdon.  He moved to North Carolina, and married Mary Heptinstall – They had a daughter Dorothy Mathes (1916-1997).   Benjamin F. and Josephine are buried in Riverside Cemetery.

       1.B. Valentine Mathes (1846-1915) married Mary Ellen Pendexter (1851-1934).  The family lived in Dover and is buried there in Pine Hill Cemetery. They had 4 children:  Fannie Pendexter, John Ralph, James Everett, James Munroe.

          1.B.a  James Munroe Mathes (1888-1957) was President and Chairman of the Board of J.M. Mathes, Inc., advertising agency. Mathes began his advertising career with N.W. Ayer & Son, and was an early proponent of radio as a sales medium. He was associated with the “Eveready Hour” radio program of the National Carbon Co., and was a director on the boards of Canada Dry Int’l., Emery Air Freight Corp., C.B. Seeley Sons Co., and Otarion Inc. He moved to Greenwich, CT in 1940.


     2. Sara Elizabeth (1818-1895) married John Andrew Pickering of Newington (1819-1891) Both lived and died in Newington.  They had five daughters and one son: Eldora (b.1845), Lizzie P (b.1850), Sarah E. (b.1850), Amanda (b.1855), Alma (b.1859) and John Edward (b.1860).

    3. Benjamin, Sr. (2) (1809-1894) was the eldest child of Benjamin (1).  He was born in Durham, and was sometimes referred to as Deacon Benjamin Mathes.  In 1833, he married Abigail Smart (1815-1885) who was born in Newmarket.  She was a granddaughter of Wentworth Cheswill.

     Benjamin, Sr. (2) was a developer, trader and retail merchant.  With the increasing employment at NMCo (and after the closing of the mill’s Company Store) he saw the opportunity to create several successful commercial ventures in downtown Newmarket, and he acted on it.    He purchased from the Tenney heirs all of their father’s property in Tenney Square.  He demolished the old wooden and brick structures; by 1841 he had built the handsome stone buildings which continue to distinguish the Tenney Square area.  He died of heart failure in October 1894 at age 85.

    The Family of Benjamin, Sr. (2)

    Benjamin, Sr. (2) and Abigail (Smart) Mathes had two daughters and three sons:  Frances (Fanny), Annie, Constantine, Benjamin, Jr. (3), and George Edwin 

    Daughters of Benjamin, Sr. (2):                                

    1. Francis (Fanny) A. (1837- 1913) and Milton S. Lane (1838-1918) married in 1864 and lived in the wooden tenement on Exeter Street with the Mathes family until they earned enough money to buy land and build a farm of their own.

     Milton came from Stratham and worked in the grocery store with Benjamin, Jr. (3).  The family later moved south of the RR tracks on Exeter Street into a large farmhouse.   Milton was a 50-year resident of the town at the time of his death at age 80.

    Their son George M. Lane (b. 1865 in Stratham; d. 1917 in Newmarket) ran the family farm until his death from a cerebral hemorrhage at age 52.

    Fanny and Milton’s adopted daughter Nellie (1856-1951) lived with the Lanes at the farm, and remained there after it was sold to Willard Delano.  She died at age 94 and is buried at Riverside with Fanny, Milton and George.  Neither Nellie nor George ever married. 

    Sections of land were later sold off and the farmhouse was turned into a private nursing facility—the Delano Convalescent Home—which would later become the Cedar Haven Nursing Home.  The building still stands today, as part of the Cheney Corporation. 

    2. Annie M. (1846-1922) married Addison Dana Wiggin (1842-1895) of Stratham on July 4, 1867.  Addison had graduated from Wolfeboro Academy in 1857 and was a successful trader and salesman of dry goods. 

    Their lives were much connected to Annie’s Mathes siblings.  Addison worked with his brother-in-law Constantine in the Mathes Store on Main Street.  And after Constantine’s first wife Elizabeth died in 1867, Addison and Annie moved into his home in the Exeter Street tenement and cared for their two-year-old niece Carrie.  

    In 1870 after Constantine remarried, Annie and Addison moved to the Exeter Street farm where they lived in the large house with Fannie and Milton Lane.

    Addison bought and sold real estate in town, and at one time owned a large stretch of property on Wadleigh Falls Road which included the Mathes family farmland.   Addison was a Rockingham County Deputy Sheriff and in 1884 he was elected to represent Newmarket in the State Legislature.   He was a 22-year member and a Past Master of the Masons, Rising Star Lodge in Newmarket. 

    Addison later moved to Washington DC where he was employed in the US Senate building as an elevator conductor.  Annie remained in Newmarket and visited D.C. often while he was working there.  In 1887 Annie, Fanny and Mary visited the capital for six weeks, during which time Addison arranged for them to attend one of Mrs. Cleveland’s reception teas, meeting the First Lady at the White House. 

    Annie continued wintering in the city even after Addison’s death, and in 1905 she attended the inauguration of President Theodore Roosevelt. She died at age 80 after a long illness in her Exeter Street home.  Annie and Addison had no children of their own, and they are buried in Riverside.

    Sons of Benjamin, Sr.(2)

    I.Constantine, the eldest son of Benjamin Sr.(2),  born and died in Newmarket (1834-1896).  He went to Newmarket schools, with the exception of 1848, when there was a heated debate and ensuing fistfight at Town Meeting.  (The townspeople then left in chaos without funding the village schools. With no public schools in session, the Rev. B. Van Dame opened a private school for “advanced” tuition students. Fourteen-year-old Constantine was one of his pupils.)

    By 1861 Constantine had his own dry goods store (at Site No. 17), right next door to his father’s grocery store in the stone building.  He was nearly 30 years old, and when the “War of the Rebellion” broke out, he was one of eight men who opted to pay for a substitute so as to be relieved from the draft.   However, with nearly 150 men who did enlist, Newmarket furnished more than its required quota.

    In January 1865 at age 31, he married 18-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzie” Adams Kenniston (1847-1867).  Lizzie died two years later at the age of 20, leaving Constantine a widower with a young daughter. (Constantine remarried three years later.)

    Constantine became a successful businessman, and in 1874 after a few years of living in the family tenement building, he purchased the old Folsom/Burley property on Exeter Road.  At the top of the hill stood Jeremiah Folsom’s old brick garrison, which had seen its share of excitement.  According to J.H. Fitts in History of Newfields,

    The Garrison had been built in 1719 by Jeremiah Folsom after the model of the old brick house in Greenland. His wife, going to the door one evening between daylight and dark, saw an Indian peering through the darkness around one corner of the house.  Quickly closing the door, she gave the alarm and all was made secure within. They were not molested, but that night two families living near them were carried off by the Indians into Canada.   

    Constantine replaced the old garrison with a large farmhouse that was similar in proportion. The railroad went through the back of his land, and in that era it was common for tramps to catch rides in empty railcars.  His house may very well have been one of the “marked” ones, for more than once tramps would hop off the freight at night and make their way up the hill to raid his barn and food cellar and help themselves to his chickens and canned goods. 

     Many years later, when his son sold the property, the farm continued to operate as the Beaudet Farm.  Today it is home of the Newmarket Storage Company.

    According to The Newmarket Advertiser, in 1880 Constantine became the sole proprietor of the business at the Stone Store (Site No. 15) when his brother-in-law Addison Wiggin sold him all his dry goods stock. 

    He and his two brothers-in-law (Addison Wiggin and Milton Lane) sought out ways to bring people into the store, publicizing salable oddities, such as specially imported Scottish eating and seed potatoes.  They also engaged people to roll custom cigars onsite as another way of enticing people into the store. Certainly the human interest articles that appeared in The Newmarket Advertiser didn’t hurt either.

    Constantine was very involved with the Newmarket Congregational Church, serving for several years as its Treasurer.  He made sure that all his children were well educated and he also saw to it that they all worked in the store when they weren’t in school.

    Constantine’s Eldest Child

    Carrie Elizabeth Mathes was born in 1865 to Constantine and Elizabeth.  Not quite two years after her birth, her mother died, and her aunt Annie (Mathes) Wiggin moved into the farmhouse to help raise her.  Growing up she clerked in her father’s store until she met a successful travelling salesman from Dover, Harry Lowell White.  They married in the Newmarket Congregational Church on 15 March 1884.  The couple moved to New York City.

    Carrie and Lowell raised seven children.  They were also successful, well-known event coordinators throughout New England and in Florida.  In 1919 they furnished all the spectacular bunting used during Newmarket’s Victory Bazaar to benefit the construction of the new bandstand.  They personally hung over 1,000 display pieces.

    They had lived over the years in NYC, Florida, Worcester, Dover, and Manchester; and by 1920 they were back living on Exeter Street next door to Carrie’s cousin Nellie Lane and her Aunt Annie, who by then was a widow. Carrie died in Brentwood in 1938.


    Constantine’s Second Marriage

    On June 29, 1870 Constantine and Mary Elizabeth Stilson (1851- 1919) were wed.  They were married for over 25 years. 

    Constantine was a heavy man; and one evening he won the “Heavy Gentlemen’s” Bet at Treadwell’s Tavern, outweighing his competitors at 265 pounds.   But like his brother and his father (both of whom had died nearly two years before), he succumbed to heart disease in February 1896.  He was 61 years old, and was survived by his daughter Carrie, his wife Mary, and their three sons and two daughters:  Fred Lane (1871-1955), twins Maud & Mabel (b.1878), George (1882-1932), and Carl (1886-1962).

    Children of Constantine and Mary Elizabeth (Stilson):

    A.  Fred Lane Mathes (b. Aug 1, 1871 Newmarket, d. 1955 age 84 buried in Edgewater, Fl.)

    In 1881 he attended Pine Hill School with perfect attendance while also working in his father’s store.  He went on to attend the Waltham Horological school, as the accompanying article printed in 1884 mentions.  He was active in the Newmarket local chapter of Odd Fellows and was elected to several office positions.

    In 1902 he sold his inherited property to his Mother for one dollar and moved to Plymouth, NH working as a jeweler where he met a school teacher, Mary Eleanor Murphy and they married in 1906 in Goffstown, NH.  The couple moved around over the ensuing years. In 1910 he owned a jewelry store in Springfield, VT, and Mary worked as a janitor for a private family. By 1918 they lived in Beaufort, S.C. where he worked in a jewelry store. They would flee the South Carolina summers to the family farmhouse on Exeter Road, returning to Beaufort each fall until 1926 when they moved to New Smyrna Beach, FL.  He had a permanent position as an optometrist, and Mary worked as a schoolteacher.  They remained in New Smyrna until their deaths.  They are buried in Edgewater Cemetery, FL.  He and Mary left no children.

     B. Carl Hamilton Mathes b. 16 May 1886, Newmarket; d. Oct 1962, Orlando, FL

    Carl remained a farmer and single all his life, listed in the Census for 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 as a farmer, single, living on the Constantine Mathes family farm on Exeter Road.   In 1914 he downsized somewhat and auctioned off some of his prize grade Holstein cattle, vehicles and farm equipment.  He was active in the Redmen Club, elected in 1917 Sachem, and in 1921 he was voted trustee for 3 years.  In 1928 he was a pallbearer in the funeral of Gundalow Captain Harrison Watson, the last commercial gundalow captain on Great Bay.  This was a huge event with several carriages, a band and a march from the Congregational Church to the town graveyard on Exeter Street.

    In 1940 at age 54 he had worked hard enough and sold the family farm and moved to Orlando, FL, where he remained for the rest of his life.  The year before he died he wrote two letters to Newmarket Historian and former classmate Mary Richardson.  The letters were discovered in May 2021 in an old notebook of Mary’s.  Carl’s stories hearken back to 19th century Newmarket.  Some of them have found a place in the Downtown Walking Tour. 

    C.&D.  Twins  Maud E. & Mable A. Mathes

    Born January 26, 1878, they both graduated from Newmarket High School in 1896, the year their father died. 

    The girls’ sense of style and sophistication had persuaded their father to open a millinery shop on the second floor of the Mathes store on Main Street.

    Twin # C. Maud, in 1895  was an elected officer in the newly formed Ladies’ Bicycle Club, and she participated in the town’s Grand Bicycle Parade and Road Race.  Over 200 participants from all over the Seacoast joined in the competition.  

    Maud, after graduating from High School, attended the Robinson Female Seminary of Exeter and the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital school of Nursing.  She was hired at the Wentworth Hospital in Dover and at the Exeter Cottage Hospital where she eventually rose to become a nursing matron.  She had left Exeter in 1906 for a similar position in Boston.  She lived in Somerville, MA with her aunt and uncle George Maynard for 12 years before her marriage in 1920. 

    Maud was involved in the Exeter Hospital in the very early days when it was a dwelling house on Pine Street. As the years went on those accommodations proved to be inadequate, and a new hospital was built on Gilman’s Hill in Exeter.  In 1922 Maud was invited for a special 25-year anniversary celebration. 

    In Somerville she became a member of the Somerville Woman’s Club, the Woman’s Auxiliary of the Y.M.C.A.   Like her sister, Maud also took several long vacations, once she traveled by boat to Quebec returning to her nursing position in Boston two months later.  In Somerville she joined The Newmarket Club of Boston, a group of Newmarket ex-pats who met for camaraderie and who joined forces to research and write one of Newmarket’s earliest histories.  That history was eventually published in weekly installments in Mr. Pinkham’s newspaper, The Newmarket Advertiser.

    Like her brother Fred, for several years she took extended summer vacations to the family farm run by her brother Carl to escape the summer city heat.

    In Oct 1920 she married widower John W. Harlow (1866-1940), a well-known letter carrier in Somerville. Both he and Maud were active members of and married in the Highland Congregational Church of that city. They travelled for an extensive tour of Great Britain, Ireland and Scotland.

    John retired in 1931 after 37 working for the US Post Office. He died nine years later at age 73 leaving his two adult sons Lesley and Myron Harlow from his first marriage to Mary Kimball (1860-1919).  Maud died in 1952 at age 76. Maud and John are buried in the Mathes family plot in Riverside Cemetery.

    Twin # D. Mabel, the year after high school, enrolled in Plymouth Normal School, returning in 1897 to teach in Newmarket primary school until 1907, when she accepted a position teaching in Dover. During her years in Newmarket she went on many extensive vacations both during the summer and school terms. In 1904 both girls went as guests of Mr. & Mrs. Pinkham to the St. Louis World’s Fair and they brought back photos and memorabilia which Mabel shared in her classrooms. One year her class didn’t open until late October, because she hadn’t gotten back from a California trip. 

    Mabel was an avid card player and a talented pianist and singer.  An officer in the Rebekahs, she was also involved with the Congregational church and the Lamprey Village Grange.  Mabel married Joseph Boylston a dentist and a widower in Dover in 1910, they made their home in Newcastle with Joseph’s 15-year-old daughter Helen from his first marriage.

    Joseph had been a high school teacher and the principal at the Farragut School in Portsmouth before he returned to school. After graduating from the Harvard Dental School, he had set up a successful practice of dental surgery in Portsmouth for 40 years

     He was a perfect match for Mabel with a background in education, and a rich knowledge of world history.  The couple went on extensive travel excursions to various parts of the world.  One such trip was in Jan 1930 when they took on a three-month extended vacation touring Europe.  As their guest, they took retired Rev. William Watson of the New Castle Congregational Church who was also a lodger in their home.

    Joseph was tragically killed in November 1934 in a hunting accident in woods 20 miles north of Berlin, NH.  Mistaken for a deer, he was shot through the heart and died instantly.  After his death Mabel immersed herself in social events and community organizations well into her eighties. She was an active member of The Portsmouth Historical Society, The Emblem Club, the Portsmouth Woman’s Club, The Graton Club, The Walbach Grange, the New Castle Daily Circle- King’s Daughters, and she was a major fund raiser for the New Castle Congregational Church.

    Mabel M. Boylston died in July 1969 in New Castle; she was 91 years old.  Both she and her husband are buried in the Mathes family plot at Riverside Cemetery.   Joseph’s daughter Helen outlived her father by 50 years, and may well have visited the cemetery to pay her respects.  She had spent time with Mabel’s family at Constantine’s farm on Exeter Rpad in her youth.

    Helen was three years old when her birthmother died of pneumonia in 1899.  Her story is one which begs for a Hollywood film adaptation. 

    Mabel’s Stepdaughter — Helen Dore Boylston (1895-1984)

    Helen graduated from high school in 1913 and left for Simmons College in Boston. Her father had wanted her to study medicine, but after her first year in pre-med studies she decided becoming a doctor was too difficult.  She left Simmons and enrolled in the Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing.

    Upon graduation from Mass. General she was listed as being from Newmarket and Portsmouth, indicating that she had most likely lived at the Mathes family farm sometime during her youth.  At that time Helen was awarded best essay written by the Class of 1916, demonstrating a talent that would serve her well later on.

    During World War I Helen enlisted with the British Expeditionary Force, serving as an anesthesiologist in France. Not unlike today, the world was also dealing with the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1917-1918.  She saw it up close and wrote about it as she tended the wounded in France:

    “The hospital is overrun with flu. We’ve had it every year, of course, but nothing like this. The boys are dying like flies. Those of us who have been here so long and have had it before, we aren’t very sick, but the new unit which has just come over is knocked out. We hear, vaguely, that it is spreading all over the world. Incidentally, I’m running a temperature … Anyhow, I have no wish to be sick now. I’m going to that masquerade!

    “October 31.  Still running the temperature … I’ve got a sore throat, too, which isn’t in the program. But it isn’t very sore. I’m keeping the temp down with aspirin and quinine … I can work all right. I took a fat dose the day Jack and I went to Boulogne, so I felt very frisky. We had a bully day. Didn’t find much in the way of costumes. We finally got a couple of Pierrot suits. They weren’t what we wanted, but they’ll do, and they’ll be comfortable to dance in … I had a fierce chill on the way home, but the lorry jounced so that Jack didn’t notice.”

    During her service she achieved the rank of captain, and for two years following the Armistice, she did relief work for the Red Cross in Italy, Germany, Poland, Russia, and the Balkans.  It was during this time she met journalist Rose Wilder Lane, daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder (author of Little House on the Prairie).  The two women became close friends.  She once wrote to a friend during her travels:   ”Daddy wants me to settle down, but I’m young! I’m young! Why shouldn’t I live? What is old age if it has no memories except of 40 years or so of blank days?”[1]

    On her first return from Europe Helen continued her nursing career back at Massachusetts General serving as an instructor of anesthesiology as well as a department director; in New York City she worked as a psychiatric nurse; in a Connecticut hospital she served as a head nurse.   

    In the late 1920s, Miss Boylston turned her focus to writing.  Having written “Sister: A Journal” (published in 1920 by Atlantic Monthly) she decided to turn this into her first book Sister: The War Diary of a Nurse (1927), in which she detailed her wartime experiences.

    When the book came out, she was once again in Europe, traveling with Rose Wilder Lane.  They traveled from France to Albania, remaining there for some time before returning to the U.S.  While she was intent on continuing a writing career, her funds dried up with the 1929 market crash.  So Helen returned to nursing during the Depression. 

    But she did continue to write.  In 1936, she published Sue Barton, Student Nurse.   Six more Sue Barton books followed.  Her books were often about real events that she had experienced.   (One experience that wasn’t mentioned was Helen’s 1916 assignment as the substitute Head Nurse of a Male Surgical Ward—which had her working at the Venereal Disease clinics at the hospital—valuable knowledge for her future time at the front during the war.) 

    Her books were highly successful, selling millions of copies—both in English and in translation.  (They are still for sale – hardcover, paperback, and Kindle!)  Sixty  years later Helen’s literary contributions would be recognized in Anita Silvey’s work, Children’s Books and Their Creators:  “The books were significant in providing role models to girls who wanted careers from the 1930s to 1950s, and in being among those that defined the young adult category of literature.”[2]  

    Her next series featured an actress, “Carol Page,” with stories gleaned from her days in New York, where Broadway star Eva le Gallienne was her friend and neighbor.  Helen returned to her nursing roots, with her biography of Clara Barton. 

    Well into her later years, in 1982, Ms. Boylston and her old friend Ms. Lane published Travels with Zenobia: Paris to Albania by Model T Ford, the diary of their European excursion in the automobile they had named “Zenobia.”  Two years later, stricken with dementia she died alone in a Connecticut nursing home in September 1984.  She was 89 years old with no known immediate relatives.  The Mathes family brought her body back to Newmarket and she buried alongside her step-mother in Riverside Cemetery.

    While she must have considered this town as part of her roots, it doesn’t seem that she wrote about any experiences relating to Newmarket or to her adopted Mathes family.    


     E. George Maynard Mathes (1882-1932), When Constantine died, his youngest son was 14 years old.  Four years later, in the 1900 census he was living with his mother and siblings, with no listed occupation. In 1904 when John D. Long resigned from the Police force, George covered his beat, and he remained on the Newmarket Police Department from 1904 until 1926.  In 1920 he was chosen as Newmarket’s Police Chief, a position he held until he retired in 1926.

    George was always an active member of the Hook and Ladder Company and was seen at every fire callout serving as both police officer and firefighter.  In the summer of the 1920 he wanted to go on a relaxing “sea voyage”, so he booked a passage to England, spending only one or two days in the country, never leaving the seaport town before sailing back.   

    On Aug 11, 1915 he married the widow Mary Martins Hazen in North Berwick, ME.  She moved into George’s house on Exeter Street at New Road with her 15 year-old daughter, Nina Hazen (b 1897). Nina entered Newmarket High School and became involved in the Grange and church activities with her mother and stepfather.  She went on to New Hampshire College where she found employment as a stenographer. She later joined her older married sister Eva Hazen Hill in Lawrence, MA.

    George was 36 years old in 1918.  His draft card describes him as tall with gray hair and blue eyes, employed as a police officer.  An active Democrat, he was elected for two terms to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Once he was promoted to Police Chief   George splurged and bought a new 1922 Dodge Touring car, and kept it housed in a new garage he had especially built.

    Both George and Mary were active in Newmarket’s organizations.  He and his wife were members of the Lamprey River Grange, and were avid whist players.  During WWI Mary Mathes was appointed to the town’s Traveler’s Aid Committee.  She assisted women wishing to visit a soldier stationed at Camp Devens by finding rooms furnished through the Traveler’s Aid program.  George was a Chief Sachem in the Red Men’s Club and Mary served as an officer in the Pocahontas Council.

    In May, 1924, Nina and her husband Arthur B. Brown came to visit from their home in Center Harbor, NH.  Nina had been ill for some time, and she died on the second day of the visit.  The funeral was in the Mathes home, and she is buried in Riverside cemetery.

    In the 1930 census George was not working (possibly due to complications from brain cancer), and he died two years later on Oct 23, 1932.  He is buried in Riverside Cemetery. 

    At that time, Mary, 54 years old was working in the Silk Mill.  She moved to Lowell when the mills closed, and died there in 1947 at age 73.


    II.  Benjamin, Jr. (3) (1838-1894) was one of Constantine’s younger brothers.   He remained a town resident all his life.

    On July 20, 1871 Benjamin, Jr. married Mary True Dow (1849-1936).  Daughter of Daniel and Sarah Dow in Epping, she was the great-great granddaughter of Revolutionary War Captain Joseph Cilley of Nottingham.   She died at age 86 of a cerebral hemorrhage in Exeter.

    Benjamin was a director of the bank in town and was a past president of the Newmarket Shoe Company. He served as treasurer of the Congregational Church in 1883.  Politically he was a prominent Republican — elected as Selectman for six terms, and Supervisor of Checklist in 1882.  He also represented Newmarket in the State Legislature.

    Benjamin was a respected businessman who owned many other commercial interests outside of his grocery store.  Another position he held (alongside his brother-in-law Milton Lane) was “Town Measurer of Wood and Surveyor of Lumber”.

    According to NH RSA 109 the Measurer of Wood and Surveyor of Lumber physically measured and certified exactly how much lumber was sold in town and how much came in.  This allowed Benjamin to determine profitable woodlots. He and his brother made several land purchases based on this knowledge; at the time of their demise, they each owned some acreage of wood and pasture lands.  His dealings must have been profitable:

    • In January 1884 he bought a Courser Greyhound, which was procured for him by A.W. Griffiths.   
    • In 1885, his children Ida and Charles received some rather extravagant gifts:  Ida was gifted a goat team which would pull her in a cart, and her brother Charles received a new bicycle. 

    He was in friendly competition with his brother, Constantine’s adjacent dry goods store – in seeing who could display the more outrageous item in their store windows. In the fall of 1885 Benjamin won when he displayed a 16.5 pound purple turnip grown by his brother-in-law Daniel Dow of Epping.  

    Benjamin died at home on Nov 21, 1894—less than a month after the death of Benjamin, Sr. (2) his father—also of heart disease.   His widow Mary was 46 when he died.  By 1900 she was living in the family home on Maple Street with her son Charles age 25, who was a working as a grain dealer, and her 19-year-old daughter Ida.  She remained living with Charles until his death; then she moved to Exeter and lived with her daughter-in-law, Mary who was worked at the Academy.

     Benjamin (3) and Mary’s two children were Charles H. (1872- 1920) and Ida Dow (b. 1880)

     II.A. Charles Hebert Mathes was born June 9, 1882 and died Feb. 19, 1920.  His father sent him to school at Philips Exeter Academy and he continued working as a clerk in his father’s store after graduating.  In 1900 he married Mary F. Burns, a schoolteacher from Epping. 

    In 1904 Charles owned the stone building that was once his father’s store (see Site No. 15).   He operated a tavern and pool room.  He renovated upstairs, removing the apartments and turning the space into one large room.  By 1905 the renovations were complete, and he created (as described in the newspaper at the time) a space that was “elegantly finished with metallic ceiling and walls, and lit with new electric light fixtures, making a very handsome and convenient pool room.”

    By 1915, Charles had sold both his business and the stone building and had become employed with the NMCo. Carpenter’s Shop.  In 1916 he moved into mill housing on Elm Street beside the Library.  He continued to maintain other commercial interests, such as his grain elevator.

    Charles and his wife were members of the Lamprey Village Grange, and were avid card players, winning many whist tournaments as a team.  Mary Mathes was a lecturer with the Grange and prepared several programs.  In 1911, during some library renovations she was in charge of a major re-cataloguing of the town library books.

    In May 1917 along with the wives of Walter B. Gallant, John Fullerton and Oswald Washburne, Mrs. Charles Mathes sponsored a very successful Newmarket Baby Week at the library.  This program gave realistic and practical steps parents could take to ensure the good health and happiness of Newmarket’s wee ones.  This became an annual event:

    Baby’s Health, Nation’s Wealth

    Better Babies, Better Care,

                 Is the Watchword Everywhere.

    Charles apparently inherited the Mathes bad heart gene; after surgery in 1916 he remained in poor health for the next several years.  In February 1920 he developed what seemed to be a mild case of influenza.  After going to bed early on February 18, he seemed to recover in the morning, but by the afternoon he was found dead —sitting propped up in his bed reading, with the paper was in his hands and his spectacles on his nose.  Doctors stated that the influenza attacked his heart.   He was only 46 years old.  His son Robert was 19 years old at the time. 

    Charles’ widow Mary moved to Exeter where she was employed at the Academy; she was accompanied by Robert and her mother-in-law Mary (widow of Benjamin (3)).

    Robert’s wedding announcement appeared in the local papers January 30, 1925.  He and his wife Florence lived to a ripe old age in Massachusetts.  They are buried in Riverside Cemetery, here in town.

    II.B. Ida Dow Mathes, the daughter of Benjamin (3),  (the girl who got the goat cart) graduated from Newmarket Grammar School in 1894 and attended the Dean Academy, in Franklin, MA in 1895 (where she likely met her future husband).  The following year she enrolled in the Robinson Female Seminary of Exeter with her cousin Maud Mathes.   She had many friends in town and was a member of The Rockingham Whist Club, where she won first prize for the best score of the season in 1900.

    In 1901 at age 21 she married Clarence Willard Loud (1878-1948), a 24-year-old traveling salesman who dabbled in antiques from Somerville, MA.  He was also a graduate of the Dean Academy in Franklin, MA.  He was employed by the Atlas Shoe Company of Boston and the couple moved to Somerville.  Ida gave birth to a son (Richard) and a daughter (Doris) before the family moved to Melrose. 

    While little is known about her relationship with her brother Charles, there apparently developed some disagreement concerning her father’s (Benjamin (3) estate.  In December 1902 she petitioned Probate Court to force Charles, as executor of the estate, to render an accounting to the court on the status of the estate. The hearing was held the last week in January 1903, and the entire estate holdings went up for public auction in August. It’s unclear what Ida’s settlement was, but by 1916 she had a summer home in Ipswich, MA.  And in 1924 she owned a tearoom in Melrose. 

    However, the Louds were in for a rough patch.


    In April 1921, Clarence Loud was arrested and charged with the shooting murder of Wakefield MA Police Officer Preston.  Ever since the initial arrest, the Boston press retold and re-speculated continuously for months with motives of an adulterous cover-up in scurrilous headlines.

    The murder trial began in January 1922, and the Boston press was there.  They published caricatures of Ida and her mother Mary Mathes.  At one point during the trial Ida collapsed on the stand.  The jury acquitted Clarence, and he finally was sent home a free man—after being held in jail for nine months.  

    After that, life became quieter for the Louds.  By 1931, Clarence was running his own antique shop in Melrose.

    III.-.Back in Newmarket — George Edwin (1852-1928), the youngest son of Benjamin Sr. (2) was born in Newmarket.  While in his younger days he worked in the Mathes dry goods store, he later ran the Mathes farm on Wadleigh Falls Road.  His father Benjamin Sr. (2) had acquired the land and then constructed the outbuildings, house, and barn in 1870.   George remained a farmer all his life. 

     In October 1875 he married Mary Stiles.  Their children who survived to adulthood were:  Martha Abbie (1877 -1917); Dana W. (1879-1901), Carlotta May (1886 -1972), Ralph Wilbur (1881-1940)

    George died at age 76 after suffering a stroke while visiting his daughter Carlotta in Watertown, MA.  His wife Mary lived on at the farmhouse with her son Ralph and his family.  A housewife and resident of Newmarket all her life, she died in 1932.  Mary and George Edwin are buried at Riverside.

    George and Mary’s Children:

     aMartha Abbie was a milliner who worked as a salesclerk in the family store on Main Street. In 1907 she married Henry C. King, who was employed at NMCo as a stenographer and typist in the Counting Room. They later moved to Methuen, MA.  She and Henry had no children, and Martha died quite young, at age 39. She is buried in Riverside.

    b. Dana W. also died young — of scrofula (a form of tuberculosis) in 1901.  He was 22 years old.

    c. Carlotta May was born in Newmarket; she and her cousin Carl H. Mathes were two of the five graduates of NHS Class of 1906.  In Sept 1906, she married William Stanley Field (1884-1978) and they moved between Philadelphia and several cities in NJ and MA.  They later settled in Watertown and Cambridge, MA.  She and William had two sons—Logan (1911-1985) and Ralph Henry (1912 -1970).  Her husband was a contractor and machinist in his father’s machine shop, and by 1917 the company name had become Walter Field and Sons Machine Shop.  The name remained for many years, as both of their sons worked in the same shop as their father.  Carlotta died on Oct. 10, 1972 at age 85 in Cambridge, MA.  William died in 1978 at age 93.   

    d. Ralph Wilbur was a farmer, carpenter, house painter and contractor, oftentimes working with Jesse Carpenter throughout the 19 teens and 1920s. In 1905 he married Elizabeth Warren (1888-1991) of Epping, and they remained on the Mathes farm on Wadleigh Falls Road.  When Elizabeth died in 1991, she had been at the Rockingham County Nursing home as a resident for 16 years before her death at 101 years.  She was the oldest resident of the Nursing Home, and the recipient of the Boston Post Cane from the town of Newmarket as the town’s oldest resident.

    Ralph and Elizabeth had two children, neither of whom married or had children: 

     d.a. Marion E. (1907-1984) studied at UNH.  She worked as a bookkeeper at the college,  and later as a secretary and stenographer in Exeter.  She died in 1984 in Rye N.H.

    d.b.. Dana William Mathes (1914- 2001) was the last of the Benjamin Sr. (2) line to reside in Newmarket.  

    Dana graduated from Newmarket High School and worked as a painter at UNH for a while.  He remained a farmer and worked the land after his father’s death in 1940 until it became too much for one person to handle. He remained devoted to his mother. After 1975, when she was admitted to the county nursing home, he would walk to and from Brentwood daily to visit her until his health deteriorated.  Dana lived on a steady diet of scrambled eggs, milk, bread and orange juice for years until Meals on Wheels intervened.

    During his last years on the farm, Dana often sat outside on his porch while the farm and house fell apart around him.  The barn roof collapsed under the weight of snow, and vandals had broken all the upstairs windows with rocks, allowing snow and rain to seep in and cause severe leaks in the ceiling. The cellar foundation crumbled, and the old house listed. He was living in one corner of the downstairs kitchen with no financial resources except the land.  

    Like a scene in a Shirley Jackson novel, alone and isolated, he would sit on his porch and loudly curse the world, the government and the “goddam Communists”.   Wadleigh Falls Road neighbors would bring food and some temporary solace.   Kenneth White, a distant cousin, would visit periodically and check on him.

     The Town stepped in and Dana was placed in the County Nursing Home where he was cared for and thrived. In 1999 he was selected as Resident of the Year, his citation reads in part: “Our Resident of the Year is a very kind, gentle man who is very sensitive to the residents on his floor, for example, he would assist them to the dining room and also he provided emotional support to all residents who were ill.”     


    [1] Allcock, John B.; Young, Antonia (1991). Black Lambs & Grey Falcons: Women Travelers in the Balkans. Berghahn Books. pp. 108–9.

    [2] Silvey, Anita, Children’s Books and their Creators. 1995  Houghton Mifflin. Pp. 76-77