Colonel, Joseph Badger, a progressive farmer of Belmont, Belknap County, N.H., son of William and Hannah (Cogswell) Badger, was born here, June 27, 1817, Belmont then being a part of Gilmanton. His paternal ancestors were of English extraction, and were distinguished for wealth, prominence, and nobility of character, positions of honor and trust apparently coming to them by natural right. Giles Badger, the early progenitor, settled in Newbury, Mass., prior to June 30, 1643, dying there July 17, 1647. His son, John, who was born June 30, 1643, was made a freeman in 1674, and was a Sergeant of the militia. He became the father of of four children: John, who died in early life; John, second; Sarah; and James who died in 1693. By Sergeant John's second marriage, to Hannah Swett, their were ten more children: namely, Stephen, Hannah, Nathaniel, Mary Elizabeth, Ruth, two sons whose names are lost, Abigail, and Lydia. John Badger Jr., second, son of Sergeant John, married Rebecca Brown, by who he had seven children, namely, John, third, James, Elizabeth, Stephen, Joseph, Benjamin, and Dorothy.
Joseph, son of John Jr., was twice married. His first wife, Hannah, was a daughter of Colonel Nathaniel Peaslee, of Haverhill, Mass., where Mr. Badger removed, engaging in general merchandise business the rest of his life. By this alliance there were seven children ---- Joseph, second, Judith, Mehitable, Mary, Nathaniel, Mary, and one other, but only two of them lived to settle in life, Joseph (second) and Judith. Mr. Joseph Badger married Mrs. Hannah Pearson, a widow, for his second wife. Three children were the result of their union ---- Encoch, Nathaniel, and Moses.
Joseph (second), who was born January 11, 1722, married his stepmother's daughter, Hannah Pearson. Their children were: William, Hannah, Mehitable, Joseph (third), Rebecca, Ruth, Peaslee, Ebenezer, Mary and Nathaniel (twins), Sara, and Judith. Joseph Badger (second) settled in Bradford, Mass., where he engaged in farming, but owing to his natural ability and a good education he was soon called upon to take part in public affairs. At the age of twenty-three he became Deputy Sheriff of Essex County, Massachusetts, and in the militia he served as Ensign, Lieutenant, and Captain. In 1763, he removed to Gilmanton, N.H., being one of the first settlers and a proprietor. He held the office of Selectman, and he frequently served as Moderator in town meetings. On March 10, 1768, he was appointed Justice of the Peace; July 10, 1771, he was made Colonel of the Tenth Regiment, and June 27, 1780, was made Brigadier-general; in 1784 was commissioned Justice of the Peace and Quorum throughout the State; December 6, 1784, was made Judge of Probate for Strafford County: and in 1784, 1790, and 1791 he was member of the State Council.
In politics Judge Badger was of the Democratic Republican school, and was a firm and ardent patriot. He was conscientious in the discharge of every duty, and his life was marked by prudence, integrity, firmness, and benevolence. Institutions of learning and religion were generously supported by him. He officiated as President of the Board of Trustees of Gilmanton Academy the rest of his life. Judge Badger was present at the capture of Burgoyne, and was on the attachment which escorted the vanquished army to Boston. After the war he served as Representative to the legislature, being also a member of the convention which adopted the Constitution. He died April 4, 1803, in his eighty-second year.
Joseph Badger (third) was also a Revolutionary soldier, serving as Lieutenant of his regiment during the campaign against Burgoyne, also rendering efficient aid under General Gates. After the war he returned to Gilmanton, and engaged in farming. His worth and ability were duly recognized, and he officiated as Representative several years, and was for eight years Councilor for Strafford district. In the State militia he was also prominent, being appointed to command the Tenth Regiment in 1795, becoming Brigadier-general of the Second Brigade the ensuing year. a brave soldier and an honored citizen was lad to rest when he died, at the age of sixty-three, January 14, 1809.
William Badger, the father of the subject of this biography, was born in 1779, and inherited the wealth, ability, and popular favor of his father, Joseph third, In his youth he attended Gilmanton Academy. His first wife, Martha, to who he was married in 1803, was a daughter of the Rev. Issac Smith, the first settled minister in Gilmanton. she had two children: John, who died while a student at Bowdoin College in 1824; and Martha, who also died in early life. By his second marriage with Hannah P. Cogswell, who belonged to a distinguished family, there were also two children ---- Joseph and William. William Badger served as Colonel on the Governor Langdon's staff, and for a number of years in the legislature. The year he married his second wife he was elected Senator from District Six, and , being re-elected twice, served as President of the Senate the last year, 1816. The same year he was appointed Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, hold that office until 1820, when he was appointed Sheriff of Strafford County, in which capacity he served ten years.
Colonel William Badger was a Democrat of the Jacksonian school. In 1834 he was triumphantly elected Governor of the State, and, proving himself a very efficient Chief Magistrate, he was re-elected. At the close of his second gubernatorial term he refused a renomination, and retired to his farm. In 1844 he served as Presidential Elector. After his retirement from public life he engaged in manufacturing, owning a cotton factory, a saw and grist mill. the present prosperity of Belmont is largely due to his energy and enterprise. He died September 21, 1852, at the age of seventy-three years. William, his younger son by the second marriage, was Major in the regular United States Army.
Joseph Badger, elder son of Colonel William by his second wife, prepared for college at Gilmanton Academy, and was graduated at Dartmouth in 1839. Not being in robust health, he returned to the homestead, and turned his attention to farming. In 1842 and 1843 he served on the staff of Governor Hubbard, with the title of Colonel, and he has twice officiated as Representative to the legislature; but with these exceptions he has led a quiet, retired life on the Badger homestead and estate, of which he is the owner. In politics he is a Democrat, and since attaining his majority he has never missed an election.
On October 11, 1865, Colonel Badger was united in marriage with Hannah E. Ayers. Their union has been blessed by four children: Mary, who died in early life: Francis: John Cogswell: and Harriet Elizabeth.