New Market Historical Society

    Worshipful Masters of the Rising Star Lodge

    Part 1  (1826 - 1904 )  

    Rising Star Lodge #24, Newmarket NH 1826-1999 

    Biographies compiled by Jason Stonesifer

    Photos Donated by Rising Star Lodge


    Benjamin Wheatland, 1826-1828 (1)                      

                Benjamin Wheatland, chosen as first Worshipful Master of the town’s Rising Star Lodge, was the son of renowned Massachusetts shipmaster Captain Richard Wheatland.  He attended Harvard in 1819 to study the law, but he chose not to pursue that profession, instead opting for a career in manufacturing.  He came to Newmarket by way of Salem, MA, and went to work as a clerk for the Newmarket Manufacturing Company where he was regarded as a “faithful, intelligent, upright, and honorable” employee.  He remained with the NMCo. for many years, serving as Mill Agent from 1837 through 1846.  Toward the end of his tenure as Agent ill health forced Benjamin to stop working full-time, though he did continue to serve as the company’s treasurer.  He and his wife, Mary, moved back to Massachusetts, where Benjamin died at the age of 53 on December 28, 1854.  


     Samuel Sinclair, 1828-1829 & 1847-1848 (2)

                Samuel Sinclair was an expert machinist and millwright for the Newmarket Manufacturing Company who was born in Stratham, NH, in 1795.  Samuel lived and worked in and around Newmarket for years, residing at times in Dover and Exeter, until, after retiring from machine work, he bought a farm in his native Stratham.  In 1825, he joined the Strafford Masonic Lodge, where he had received his education as a young man.  Just a few years later he was among the individuals in Newmarket who helped to secure the first charter for the town’s Rising Star Lodge.  In 1847, when a prolonged period of inactivity nearly cost the Rising Star Lodge its charter, jeopardizing its place within the state’s Masonic organization, Samuel Sinclair led the charge to resurrect Rising Star, preserving the organization for future generations of Newmarket Masons.  Samuel died on his farm in 1867.


     George C. Chase, 1829-1831 (3)

                Born to Henry and Betsey Chase (nee Abbot) in 1803, George Chase married Mary Bray of Salem, MA, on July 2, 1827.  The couple went on to have five children, the first three of whom were born in Newmarket.  The family eventually moved to Mary Chase’s hometown, where their final two children were born and George went to work for the Forest River Lead Company, a large white and sheet lead factory incorporated in 1840.  After making Salem, MA, their home, George and Mary took an active role in the community, contributing to the Essex Institute — a literary, scientific, and historical society that produced a number scholarly publications, maintained a museum and other cultural organizations, and implemented several educational programs.  In 1860, when the Institute fell short of its budget projections for the year, the Chases were an integral part of the effort to make up the difference, helping to organize a community fair to raise money.  


    Henry C. Weatherby, 1831-1847 (4)

                As a teenager, Henry Weatherby served in the Massachusetts Militia during the War of 1812, defending Boston Harbor at Fort Warren.  He served once again during the Civil War in Company F of the 37th Regiment of the Iowa Volunteer Infantry, which was known as the “Graybeard Regiment” since the minimum age for service was 45 years.  Henry was in his sixties.  In the intervening years, he spent some time living on Elm St. in Newmarket where he worked as a factory overseer and treasurer of the Newmarket Savings Bank.  In 1837, Henry Weatherby found himself in the middle of a feud between Reverend Daniel P. Cilley, a baptist, and Reverend William C. Hanscom, a universalist, both of whom preached in Newmarket, when the latter asked him to swear an affidavit attesting to his knowledge of the situation, noting that Henry was “a man esteemed for his honesty and integrity, by men of all sects and parties.”  Henry died in Iowa in 1880. 


    George W. Kittredge, 1848-1959 (5)

                Born in Epping, NH, in 1805, George Kittredge attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, MA.  He settled in Newmarket in his twenties and dedicated himself to the study and practice of medicine, seeing patients in Newmarket and the surrounding area.  After establishing his private medical practice, George became active in local politics.  His fellow citizens elected him state representative four times, and in 1852 he became Speaker of the New Hampshire House.  That same year, the people of New Hampshire’s first district elected George to the U.S. Congress.  Congressman Kittredge served the people for one legislative period from 1853 to 1855, during which time he voted against the ill-conceived Kansas-Nebraska Act that effectively ended the Missouri Compromise and permitted new territories and states to vote on whether or not to allow slavery within their borders.  The bill passed by three votes, leading to a number of violent confrontations between abolitionists and pro-slavery forces in the new Kansas territory.  Congressman Kittredge lost his re-election bid in 1854 and returned to Newmarket when his congressional term ended. 


    David Murray, 1859-1861, 1864-1865, 1867-1868 (6)

                At his death in 1879, 82 year-old David Murray had spent more than three decades as a notary public and more than five decades as a justice of the peace, during which time he attended to the estates of many friends, relatives, and other residents of the town of Newmarket and the surrounding area.  He also spent 11 years as a town selectman, 6 years as treasurer, 3 years as a state representative, and 4 years as Rockingham County Register of Deeds.  When he found himself in need of advice, reflection, or inspiration, David Murray would walk 15 miles from Newmarket’s Rising Star Lodge to the St. John’s Lodge in Portsmouth, NH, to visit his fellow Masons, often returning home long after dark.  This unusual habit must have served him well, as he became the Rising Star Lodge’s best ritualist and served multiple terms as Worshipful Master.      



    Benjamin Brooks, 1861-1862 (7)

                Benjamin Brooks was one Newmarket’s leading residents throughout his adult life, having served the community in a number of ways, including as a state representative.  Born in Concord, MA, in 1788, Benjamin came to Newmarket to work as a master mechanic at the Newmarket Manufacturing Company, and, in 1835, he patented a mechanical improvement to the lay process of the power loom, a machine used to rapidly weave cloth, tapestries, and other textiles.  In 1843, Benjamin was one of several prominent Newmarket residents who published a signed letter that called for total abstinence from alcohol, especially a recent shipment of “Liquid Fire, directed to JB Creighton and Son which they dealt out as medicine at the discretion of Doctors Creighton and Jewell.”  Benjamin was also of crucial importance to all those who wanted to establish a Masonic lodge in town, having offered the use of his property as the organization’s first meeting place.


    Samuel A. Haley, 1862-1864 (8)


                Samuel Haley held a number of government positions in Newmarket, such as treasurer and selectman, and had a number of different business interests, including real estate, coal, manufacturing, and dry goods; however, he was best known to his fellow residents as a banker.  In 1855, Samuel Haley was among the individuals who incorporated the Newmarket Bank as a New Hampshire state bank with capital totaling sixty thousand dollars.  At that time, those present elected Samuel, or S. A., the bank’s first cashier since he was “universally esteemed and respected.”  He stayed with the bank for 37 years, presiding over its reorganization into a fully functional national bank in 1865.  At S. A.’s death in 1892, questionable business practices he employed during his tenure, and a nationwide financial crisis known as the Panic of 1893 caused the bank’s considerable surplus assets to dwindle to a mere five hundred dollars.  S. A.’s replacement, Civil War veteran A. C. Haines, was able to right the ship and save the bank from insolvency.


    Aaron L. Mellows, 1865-1867 (9)

                Aaron Mellows was born in New Durham, NH, on New Year’s Day in 1821.  After attending a number of public schools in his youth in the towns of Strafford, Pembroke, and Pittsfield, he became an educator.  He dedicated himself to the teaching profession for 15 years until 1862 when, after studying the law for a time, he was admitted to the bar.  He opened a law office in Newmarket and promptly became a fixture in the local community, serving the public as a selectman, town clerk, state representative, and Rockingham County Coroner.  As coroner, in 1894, Aaron impaneled a jury to hear evidence in the death of 32 year-old Newmarket resident Clarence Dame who died chasing a suspected burglar on Exeter St.  The jury determined that the cause of death was heart failure.  In 1889, Aaron was a delegate to the New Hampshire Constitutional Convention, where he advocated against a proposed amendment to the constitution prohibiting the distribution and sale of intoxicating beverages.             


    Orrin Murray, 1868-1871 (10)

                Born on October 17, 1837, to prominent Newmarket residents Timothy and Mary Murray (nee Osgood), Orrin attended a private high school in town run by brothers J. I. Ira and E. George Adams and then went onto to the Musical Institute of Providence, RI.  In his early twenties, he began working for the railroad as an expressman, which made him responsible for safeguarding a train’s  stores of gold, currency, and other valuables.  Orrin married Orissa Jane Churchill on February 25, 1862, in Lowell, MA, and had three sons:  Fred, Hank, and Harry.  After living in Newmarket for a number of years, the family moved to Haverhill, MA, where Orrin had success working as a stockbroker.  Survived by his wife and sons, Orrin died at the age of 45 after contracting pneumonia.  He is buried in Riverside Cemetery on the corner of Elm St and Packers Falls Rd.


    Charles E. Tasker, 1871-1876 (11)

                Charles Tasker, or “C.E.” to his friends, was born in Newmarket on November 29, 1833, and died here on November 15, 1917.  He left school at an early age to assist his father who worked as a carpenter.  Not long thereafter, C.E. decided to head west to try his hand at gold mining, spending six years in different parts of California and Nevada working various claims.  He returned to Newmarket in 1864 and opened the town’s first undertaking business, which has changed hands a number of times, but is still in operation today.  After establishing himself as a valued member of the business district, C.E. turned his attention to the local community.  He became a member of the school board, the town treasurer, and served as chairman of the board of selectmen.  C.E. was one of the longest serving Worshipful Masters of the Rising Star Lodge, having served 5 years, and at the time of his death, he was still serving his brothers as their chaplain.


    Bradford S. Kingman, 1876-1878 (12)

                Bradford S. Kingman had come to Newmarket in 1870 as a young man by way of Bridgewater, MA, and wasted little time in becoming a prominent member of the Rising Star Lodge and the business community.  Bradford, who many noted was of excellent character with high ideals of honor and strict integrity, became a jeweler and a merchant, opening his store in Doctor Greene’s building in 1873.  The store was a mainstay of the town’s business district.  Always one to do his civic duty, Bradford served the community in a number of ways, including as a member of the school board in 1899.  

    A proud and dedicated Mason, Bradford would eventually become Deputy Grand Master of the First Masonic District of New Hampshire. 


    Addison D. Wiggin, 1878-1880 (13)

                Although he was born in neighboring Stratham, NH, and educated at Wolfeboro Academy, graduating in 1857, Addison Wiggin became one of Newmarket’s most well-known and respected citizens, serving the community as a state representative and Rockingham County Deputy Sheriff.  He also worked for a time as a salesmen in the Mathes Store on Main St, after which he became a successful trader and one of the trustees of the Newmarket Savings Bank.  In 1884, Addison moved to Washington D.C., where he worked as an elevator operator in the Senate, which afforded him the opportunity to arrange for his wife and two of her companions to attend a formal tea reception at the White House, during which the ladies had the good fortune to meet First Lady Frances Cleveland.  Addison died in the nation’s capital in 1895. 


    -Woodbridge W. Durell, 1880-1883 (14)

                Woodbridge W. Durell served the Union during the Civil War as a sergeant in the First Regiment New England Volunteer Cavalry, New Hampshire Battalion, Company L, seeing action in a number of battles, including Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and Second Bull Run.  In October 1863, during an engagement in Culpeper County, VA, a miscommunication caused Sgt. Durell and his detachment to separate from the main company and head deep into enemy territory.  Confederate forces captured him and 44 of his men, sending them to the infamous Libby Prison in Richmond, VA.  Sgt. Durell did his best to see his men through the deplorable and inhuman conditions at the prison camp, having hidden 12 dollars from his captors that he used to purchase food and blankets.  Unfortunately, life in Libby Prison proved too severe.  Of the 45 men from Sgt. Durell’s detachment who were captured only the sergeant and four others survived their imprisonment.  Sgt. Durell was released from prison in December 1864 and discharged from the Union Army in March of 1865.  He returned home to Newmarket where he prospered in dry goods, eventually opening what would become the largest store in town.


     John H. Twombly, 1883-1885 (15)

                After a private education at Gilmanton Academy in Coos County, NH, John H. Twombly, who was born in Dover in 1848, went on to graduate from Dartmouth University and Harvard Medical School.  Following a short stint as an assistant physician in his hometown, Dr. Twombly moved to Brooklyn, NY, to practice at the King’s County Lunatic Asylum, where he stayed for two years, gaining valuable medical experience.  From there, he accepted the position of assistant physician at the Michigan Asylum for the Insane in Kalamazoo.  In 1879, Dr. Twombly returned to New Hampshire and became a druggist in Newmarket until October 1887 when a pulmonary illness forced him into semi-retirement on a farm in Milton.  He did, however, still see patients, including his own wife who had contracted tuberculosis and suffered serious complications.  In 1909, Dr. Twombly published a medical case study of his wife’s illness, noting the success he had with certain pre-antibiotic chemical compounds.     


     Thomas W. Willey, 1885-1887 (16)

                It was business as usual at Thomas Willey’s carriage painting business in Newmarket on January 22, 1889, when Thomas came into the shop ready to work.  Before heading to his office, Thomas made mention of a pain in his side to some of his employees as he greeted them.  Later that morning shop workers found Thomas unconscious and immediately summoned medical help.  Unfortunately, all efforts to revive Thomas failed. He was just 36 years old.  An active  member of several social societies and fraternal organizations,he was ont the board of directors for the John Webster Musical Association.  Thomas was a highly regarded resident of Newmarket, who often put his vocal talents to good use, performing bass solos at ceremonies and events throughout the local area.  Thomas was survived by his wife, Lizzie, who maintained close ties with friends and family in Newmarket despite living at times in Exeter, NH, and Boston, MA.       


    Frank H. Pinkham, 1887-1889 (17)

                Frank was born in Maine on October 9, 1854, while his parents were visiting relatives.  He grew up in Newmarket, attended the local school system, and became one the town’s most well-known and respected residents.  After a brief stint at seminary school in Tilton, NH, Frank returned to Newmarket and partnered with a friend James D. P. Wingate in the printing and newspaper industries.  At just 19 years old, Frank became the owner and editor of The Newmarket Advertiser, which remained in operation until 1932, ceasing production two years after Frank’s death on May 12, 1929.  When he learned of his friend’s passing, James D. P. Wingate penned a tribute to Frank that appeared in the paper he and Frank began decades earlier, writing, “The people of Newmarket will miss his always kindly smile and the ‘Advertiser’ will miss his work.”


    Henry E. Hudson, 1889-1891 (18)

                One prominent citizen of Exeter, NH, noted of Henry Hudson at the time of Henry’s passing in June 1906 that Henry “had not one enemy in the world.”  Henry had been living in Exeter and working as a full-time machinist at the Exeter Shoe Co. since 1898 when he relocated from Newmarket, and it is clear that he made a positive impression on his fellow workers and citizens.  At the time of his move, Henry was serving as Tax Collector for the town of Newmarket, one of many ways in which he served the public prior to relocating (he was also a state representative and Captain of Tiger Hose Co. 1 at the fire department).  Henry had two brothers, Horace and William, and all three men went on to become leaders of local Masonic lodges. 




    S Walter B. Greene, 1891-1893 (19)

                Walter Bryant Greene was born on November 9, 1861, to Dr. Samuel and Mallie Ross Greene (nee Baker), who named their son after an ancestor who had served a Royal Surveyor of the Colony of New Hampshire and was responsible for establishing the colony’s eastern border.  In 1883, Walter become the Town of Newmarket’s Deputy Postmaster, a position he held for 8 years.  One year later, he married Bertha Bruce Palmer of Newmarket, and, in 1889, the couple traveled to Asheville, NC, where they founded Green & Co, a tailoring and dressmaking business for women, the first of its kind in the area.  They employed more than 30 people.  After returning to Newmarket, Walter dedicated his life to finance, becoming the cashier for the New Market National Bank and, eventually, vice president of Hotchkin & Co, a Boston investment firm.  He died on April 25, 1931, at the age of 69. 


    George E. Doe, 1893-1895 (20)

                George graduated Newmarket High School in 1883 and quickly became an active and prominent member of several local fraternal organizations, including the Rising Star Lodge, where he would eventually become Worshipful Master in 1893.  In March of that same year George lost his fiancé, Lizze Caswell, to illness.  Lizzie was a well-known and beloved teacher and the youngest and “most useful and promising member” of the local Relief Corps before she and her family moved south in an unsuccessful effort to aid her recovery.  Lizzie was just 21 years old when she passed.  George left the Newmarket shortly thereafter, settling in Eaton Centre, NH, where he served as Postmaster; but he never forgot his home town of Newmarket.  In 1924, he and his wife donated to the Community Church’s December fundraising effort, helping to bring in more than 250 dollars.




    Elmer J. Young, 1895-1897 (21)

                In May 1893, Elmer bought the family ice business from his father, E. A.  Unfortunately for Elmer and the Young family, the business suffered a destructive fire in May1896 that caused 2000 dollars worth of damage, for which Elmer had no insurance.  Luckily, the Young family was engaged in other business ventures as well, including the meat industry.  Elmer, who had begun running the family meat business since May 1885 (the same month that he and wife, Lizzie, married), became affectionately known to the his fellow townspeople as “the butcher,” and The Newmarket Advertiser would often let its readers know when Elmer and Lizzie were out of town on business or vacation, being sure to note who was slicing meat in the butcher’s stead.     


    Bela Kingman, 1897-1899 (22)

                Bela Kingman was born in Bridgewater, MA, in the fall of 1869 and died in Boston in December 1942.  During that time, he spent some of his best years as a popular merchant and family man in Newmarket, eventually becoming one the town’s most respected residents.  The Kingman’s Rexall Store, which Bela’s father, Bradford, owned and operated for years, was a key part of Newmarket’s business district and home to Bela’s jewelry counter, where Bela sold precious gems and repaired clocks and watches.  On June 15, 1898, he married Anne Meader from Durham, NH.  The couple had two children:  Bradford and Helen.


    George O. Hodgdon, 1899-1901 (23)    

                George Oliver Hodgdon began working when he was just 12 years old.  He spent 3 years as full-time millworker at the Newmarket Mill while also serving as “torch boy” for the town’s fire department, a position that would lead to a lifelong commitment, as George would spend 40 consecutive years at the department, 36 of them as department clerk.  The lack of a formal education did not stop George from becoming one of Newmarket’s most respected tradesmen and political leaders.  In 1882, the town elected George to the position of selectman, and in 1888 he became a New Hampshire State Representative.  He would continue to serve the citizens of Newmarket throughout his life, becoming a member of the school board, town auditor, and tax collector; and he was an integral part of the group of businesspersons who formed the Newmarket Water Works and built what would eventually become the town’s central water system. 


    T. Jewett Chesley, 1901-1902 (24)

                T. Jewett Chesley was born in Hutchinson, MN, in June 1869.  When he was 12 years old, he and his mother, Francis A. Chesley (nee Tasker), moved to her home state of New Hampshire following the death  of his father, James.  He graduated from Newmarket High School in 1888 and spent one year in post-secondary education at the New Hampshire Institute before leaving his studies to pursue a career at a local newspaper, The Newmarket Advertiser.  Just a few years into his work at the paper, Jewett contracted Typhoid and spent the better part of the next two years trying to recover.  In 1897, he was well enough to return to the workforce, partnering with his cousin Harry in the funeral business in Dover, NH.  Jewett would go on to become one of Dover’s most prominent citizens, and in 1929 the townspeople elected him to the office of mayor.  In that capacity, in 1930, Jewett returned to Newmarket to aid the citizenry in forming the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce, noting that, as a former resident, he had the town’s best interests “deeply at heart.” 



    Harry B. Tasker, 1902-1904 (25)

                Born in Newmarket to prominent businessman Charles E. Tasker and his wife Georgianna, Harry Birnay Tasker graduated high school in 1889 and began working at Treadwell and Folsom’s hardware store, where he stayed for three years.  In 1892 Harry decided to join his father, Charles, in the family business, becoming an undertaker and an expert in the field of scientific embalming.  Five years later, Harry and his cousin Jewett purchased their own funeral business in Dover, NH, which remains in operation today. The business survived a devastating fire that destroyed several surrounding buildings in 1932.  In 1905, in the neighboring town of Lee, NH, Harry married Nora E. Lee, a housekeeper from Springfield, MA, who undoubtedly had a positive impact on his life, as, in 1908, Harry became the President of the New Hampshire Licensed Embalmers’ Association.