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Hon. Chester Pike
Hon. Chester Pike, a prominent citizen of Sullivan County, New
Hampshire, residing in Cornish, his native town, was born July 30, 1829,
son of Ebenezer and Judith (Bryant) Pike. On both his father's and his
mother's side he is descended from distinguished ancestry, and from
families that have been conspicuous, not only in the history of New
Hampshire, but in the history of the nation. His grandfather Pike was born
in Newbury, Mass., and came to Cornish in early manhood, the first of the
name to settle here. He bought a farm and a mill on Blow-me-down Brook,
and devoted himself to farming and to carrying on the mill. He married
Mary Marcy, of Hartland, Vt.; and they had three children-Ebenezer,
Chester (first), and Pliny. Chester, first, who never married, died in
Northumberland when about thirty-five years of age. Pliny Pike was a
farmer of Cornish, and died in that town at the age of seventy years.
Ebenezer, father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Cornish in
1788, and died in 1862. After completing his studies at school, he
purchased and carried on one of the largest stock-raising farms in the
county, raising thoroughbred horses for the Boston market. With the
exception of Mr. Wainwright, of Vermont, no one else of his time Mr.
Ebenezer Pike was always alert to make a good bargain. He traded horses
then as well as jack-knives and other boyish knickknacks, and this natural
business ability was the foundation of his success in life. In politics he
was a Whig, but was not ambitious for political honors, and did not meddle
in public affairs, his large business interests being sufficient to absorb
his entire time. His wife, Judith, daughter of Captain Sylvanus and Sarah
Chase Bryant, of Cornish, bore him two children-Chester and John B.
||The younger son, John B. Pike,
was born in February, 1830, and was educated in the common schools
of Cornish, in Hartland, Vt., at Kimball Union Academy, and at
Norwich University, Vermont. He then went West, and was engaged for
a while as a civil engineer. Afterward he kept a hotel in
Cincinnati, Ohio, and later in Chelsea, Vt. In 1863 he was appointed
Deputy Provost Marshal, and after the war he was for many years a
mail route agent between St. Albans, Vt., and Boston. He next went
into the insurance business, in which he has since continued. He
married Louise Parker, of Plainfield, and is the father of two
children-Chester J. and Luther Henry Pike. Chester J. Pike is living
in Boston, and is general selling agent for a large rubber company.
He is one of the chief promoters of one of the largest combines in
New England, and was a short time ago written about as one of the
five young men of this period to draw the largest salaries in New
England. He married and has two children.
Luther Henry Pike lives in Boston, and is a member of the well-known
rubber firm of Converse & Pike. He has one child.
On his maternal side Mr. Chester Pike is descended from the Chases and
Bryants, early settlers of Cornish. Three brothers-Samuel, Moses, and
Caleb Chase -came from Newbury, Mass., and were the first settlers in the
township of Cornish. They landed at the mouth of Blow-me-down Brook; and
there Moses, great-grandfather of Mr. Chester Pike, built the first house
ever erected in the town of Cornish. The homestead is now owned by the
Hon. Charles C. Beaman, a wealthy New York lawyer, son-in-law of the Hon.
William E. Evarts and partner in the firm of Evarts, Beaman & Choate. Mr.
Beaman makes this his summer home; and he has expended a fortune on
beautifying the estate, in which he takes great pride on account of its
historic associations. Caleb Chase, the youngest of the three brothers,
had a daughter, who became Mrs. Sarah Chase Kimball. It was she who
founded the famous Kimball Union Academy which has fitted so many New
Hampshire men and women to hold notable positions in life. Mrs. Kimball
was a great-aunt of Mr. Pike. Other distinguished members of his family,
were: General Jonathan Chase, Bishop Philander Chase, and Chief Justice
Salmon P. Chase.
Chester Pike received his education in the schools of Cornish and of
Hartland, Vt., at Kimball Union Academy, and at Plainfield; and after his
school days were over he worked on his father's farm for a number of
years. For several winters he taught school, and at the age of twenty-one
he became an agriculturist and a dealer in horses. He still has some very
valuable stock on his farm, which occupies one of the best sites in New
England, on the banks of the Blow-me-down Brook and adjoining the estate
of the Hon. Mr. Beaman. Beautiful Blow-me-down Brook has its source in the
cloud-curtained hills of New Hampshire and its outlet in the stately
Connecticut River. The origin of its name is unknown. The estate,
comprising some Mr. Pike had become the owner of this magnificent property
by the exercise of his native business talents and by courteous and
honorable dealing in all transactions. He has been largely interested in
wool, and was a member of the firm of Dudley & Pike, having a market in
Although having these extensive business interests, he has found time to
devote to the general affairs of his native town, and has brought to bear
upon questions of public welfare the same sagacity and keenness of
intellect that he has applied to his personal affairs.
His fellow-townsmen have appreciated the value of his sound judgment and
practical ability, and almost every office of trust and responsibility in
the gift of the town has been tendered him. He was for several years
Selectman; in 1859-62 he was County Commissioner for Sullivan County; in
1862-63 he was sent to represent the town in the legislature, and was on
the Committee on Manufactures the first year, and Chairman of the
Committee on Banks the second; in 1887 and 1888 he was again elected to
the House of Representatives, and was Chairman of the Committee on
Railroads. He was appointed United States Provost Marshal in 1863, to
serve during the most trying days the country has ever seen; and the able
and successful manner in which this difficult position was filled gained
for Mr. Pike the gratitude of all his constituents. The Commissioner was
the Hon. F. A. Faulkner, of Keene; and the Surgeon, Professor Dixi Crosby,
of Hanover. In 1866 Mr. Pike received the nomination for Councillor of the
Fourth District, but declined to accept. He was subsequently appointed
United States Collector of Internal Revenue, and held this appointment
until the districts were consolidated. In 1883 and 1884 he was a member of
the New Hampshire Senate, and also in 1885 and 1886, when he was President
of the Senate. He has been a Director in the Claremont National Bank for
twenty-five years, and has been a member and officer of the Sullivan
County, the Connecticut River, the New Hampshire State, and the New
England Agricultural Societies.
|In 1862 Mr. Pike married Amanda F., daughter of
the Hon. Levi Chamberlin Fay, of Windsor, Vt. She has borne him
four children, only one of whom, Chester Fay Pike, is living. He
was born in Cornish, May 11, 1869. After acquiring his education
he went into mercantile business with his uncle, Edmund S. Fay, in
Portsmouth, N.H., where he remained for two years. He then went to
Boston, and was travelling salesman for a rubber company for two
years; and at the end of that time he was with the firm of
Converse & Pike. After much persuasion on the part of his parents
he was induced to return to Cornish, where he has resided for the
Mrs. Pike was born at Reading, Vt., in 1833. Her father was much
interested in military affairs, and won the title of Major. She is a
direct descendant on her father's side of Governor Lincoln, of
Massachusetts, and on her mother's side is connected with the celebrated
Sherman family, which numbers among its members by blood or marriage
General Sherman, Secretary of State John Sherman, ex-Senator Evarts,
Senator Hoar, of Massachusetts, and the late Judge Rockwood Hoar.
Source: "Biographical Review, Vol. 22, containing life
sketches of leading citizens of Merrimack and Sullivan Counties, New
Hampshire". B. R. Pub. Co., 1897.
The above biography is held at
Access Genealogy. Permission
has been granted to republish here.
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