Newton Perham died 14 May 1909

Newton Perham was born 11 June 1837, the fifth of six children of Joseph Perham and Abigail Melendy, in Lyndeborough NH.  He was counted in the 1850 census in Lydeborough with his parents and siblings.  His father was a farmer. 

Newton must have been something of a horseman at a young age, as the 1858 Farmers’ Cabinet, a newspaper from Amherst reported on the winners and premiums paid at their fair, and Newton took second place for  “Best breeding mare with foal at foot”, earning a $2 premium.       

Newton’s mother died in 1858.  Newton was counted in the 1860 census with his father and stepmother.  His sister Abigail, brother Chandler, and Newton were all listed as “operative in factory” although the type of factory was not listed. 

Newton was named on the Civil War draft list for Hillsborough County, a list of all persons subject to do military duty between the ages of 20 and 35 years, and all other unmarried persons subject to do military duty. I have found no record that he was called into service. 

The 1863 NH tax list shows Newton Perham, resident of Lyndborough, possessing a business license, specifically a 4th class peddler $3.33 amount of tax.  The tax list says quantity 48 (8 mos) but it doesn’t tell what is being produced.  The 1865 tax list names Newton Perham, Wilton, 1 carriage, rate of tax 1.  Other people were taxed for carriages and gold watches. 

Newton Perham married Maria Julia Adams on 25 December, 1863, in Chelmsford, MA.  The marriage was also recorded in Lyndeborough.  Newton’s occupation was farmer.  Maria (apparently pronounced Mariah) was his first cousin once removed.  She was the daughter of Joseph Adams and Dolly Perham. 

Besides farming, Newton was somewhat of an agricultural entrepreneur. In 1869, he and a partner were distributors for an insecticide:  NOW IS THE TIME To provide against the army of Insects already beginning to infest vegetation.  Best’s Insect Destroy, as well as Invigorator to plant-life, will prevent the curculio from stinging the plum.  It will kill the peach grub, and if used early enough in the spring it will prevent the creation of the grub.  It will destroy every insect that trees or vines are infected with in any climate.  It will prevent mildew on berries and dry rot on grapes.  It will kill potato bugs and prevent potato rot and increase the crop.  It has been used by thousands of the best men in the country and they are ready to testify to the above–so says the Inventor, Benjamin Best.   Joshua Hutchinton and Newton Perham, Manufacturers and Proprietors for Hillsborough County N.H.  Price of compound 75 cents per quart.  To be diluted with soft water and used in a liquid form from a watering pot.  To be had at Kidder & Whitney’s, and at Post Office in Amherst, with directions on can.

They also sold fertilizer: FARMERS OF HILLSBORO’ CO., Preserve your fruit trees and vines.  We the undersigned, having just bought the rights for Hillsboro’ Co. NH, of Benjamin Best, of Dayton, Ohio, for the using of his Improved Receipt for the Culture and Preservation of Fruit Trees, are prepared to answer orders from any person within the County.  We will sell town rights very low if applied for immediately.  Farm Rights, with full directions for compounding and applying to trees and vines with pamphlet of testimonials.  Price $2.00.  Persons wishing to test the “Invigorator” and not securing the rights this spring to compound, will be supplied at the house of the subscribers at a small advance from cost.  Joshua Hutchinson, Newton Perham. Box 260, Milford NH  Send in your orders.

The 1870 census lists Newton and Maria in Milford.  He listed his occupation as farm laborer.  He apparently did not own a farm, as no real estate property was listed, but personal property was valued at $500 which was a little above average for the listings on that census page.  The family included wife Maria, and two daughters, Lizzie M age 2, and Kazie C age 2 months.  Lizzie’s twin sister was stillborn.  Lizzie later died at age 6 of scarlet fever. 

The Independent Statesman, published in Concord, NH printed on December 31, 1874: Milford News:  Mr. Newton Perham and wife celebrated the tenth anniversary of their marriage on Christmas evening.  There was a pleasant company of about 60 relatives, neighbors, and friends, and a variety of presents were made of real utility.  Rev. Mrs. Cressy made the presentation address, to which Mr. Perham pleasantly responded.  A beautiful repast was partaken of.

I’m not sure when Newton switched from farming to being a quarryman.  In 1878, CH Hitchcock published a legislative report called The Geology of New Hampshire.  In a list of granite quarries in the area, Newton Perham has a quarry in the edge of Amherst, with teaming to Milford; yearly product, about $1000. 

The 1880 census lists Newton as a granite quarrier in Amherst.  The family includes Maria, as well as daughter Kazia C, son Joseph S, and daughter Mary GL.  Son Perley was born in 1882.  Son Joseph died in 1892 of what was called “belief of La Grippe”.  La Grippe, also known as influenza, was part of a widespread epidemic in the winter of 1889-1890, and continued in local epidemics for about 15 years. 

From “The Mine, Quarry, and Metallurigcal Record of the United States, Canada, and Mexico” published in 1897, by Mine & Quarry News, page 536, it appears that Newton Perham was the owner of Sawyer Hill Quarry, and that it was a stone quarry, not a granite quarry, as others in the list were specifically labeled granite, while his was the only one labeled stone. It gave statistics of “8000 cubic feet 165 days” but I could not find anywhere that said exactly what those numbers measured. Amount quarried so far? Number of days open? Open per year? It did say that there were 2 employees, and “hand”. Since other entries included “steam”, I’m guessing that Newton’s quarry was worked the old fashioned way!  Will Richardson, who became Newton’s son-in-law when he married Mary Grace in 1904, may have worked at the quarry.  The Richardson children later had a stone “chair” that probably came from their grandfather’s quarry.

In 1900, the family lived at #54 Amherst street in Milford.  The household included Newton, Maria, Lillian (Mary Grace Lillian), Perley, and Maria’s mother Dolly. Daughter Kazia had married and moved away.  Newton was listed as a granite quarryman. 

The 1906 Amherst town report indicates $4 was paid to Newton Perham out of the cemetery fund.  The 1907 Milford directory lists Perham, Newton, quarryman, h. 54 Amherst

Newton died 14 May 1909 in Milford.  The death record says place of death was Amherst street in Milford. He had been a resident for 42 years, and previously lived in Amherst NH.  Cause of death was apoplexy, duration 10 hours, caused by over exertion.  He was 71.

Newton, his wife Maria, children Lizzie M and J Scott, and Maria’s mother Dolly are all buried in lot 234 at West Street Cemetery.  Photo is available at FindAGrave.

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