Charles Webster Knowles, a well-known citizen of Belmont, where he owns a fine farm, was born in that part of Gilmanton, N.H., now known as Belmont, November 5, 1843, a son of Joseph and Mary Dudley (Wells) Knowles. His parents were married April 22, 1838. Mary D. (Wells) Knowles was a daughter of John Wells, and a grand-daughter of Nathaniel and Mary (Dudley) Wells. An account of the ancestors of Mary Dudley, wife of Nathaniel Wells, may be found in the sketch of John Webster Wells immediately preceding. (see Wells family name on list) The parents of our subject had three children: Oren Wells, born at Gilmanton, N.H., September 12, 1839: Syrena Frances, born August 22, 1841; and Charles Webster.
Oren Wells Knowles married in 1869, Nellie M. Bryant. He lived in Belmont until twenty-one years of age, the removed to Vermont, and subsequently from that State to Boston, Mass. He is a mason, builder, and contractor, and has his residence in Roslindale, Mass., but is engaged on contracts in different places throughout that part of Massachusetts. He has been very successful, and owns a large amount of real estate. He has no children. Syrena F. Knowles married John Philbrook, November 25,11863. Her husband formerly carried on the wheelwright business with good success, but on account of failing health took up agricultural work, and now resides on a farm in Northfield. They are parents of five children ---- Leon, Lena, Charles, Ernest, and Omer, of whom but three are living. Leon, who is unmarried, resides in Concord, N.H., where he carries on a successful business as a builder and contractor.
Charles Webster Knowles, after receiving his education in the public schools of Belmont and Tilton, took up farming on the place where he was born, and of which he is the owner. It is a good farm of two hundred and fifty acres, and of recent years he has let it, and spends his time as a traveling agent for M.E. Wheeler & Co., of Rutland, VT., and for Adriance & Platt, of Ploughkeepsie, N.Y., selling farming implements. He does quite an extensive business, and is popular with the farmers in those parts of Vermont and New Hampshire through which he travels. Though taking no prominent part in public affairs, he has always been alive to the interests of the town, and at one time he served on the School Committee. He has been many years a member of the Free Will Baptist Church, and for ten years has held office of Deacon therein. He belongs to Lawrence Grange of Belmont.
Mr. Knowles has twice married. His first wife, in whom he was united September 4, 1866, was in maidenhood Adelia A. Whicher, of Northfield. She passed from this life, October 27, 1872, and the only child by that union died in infancy. On November 5, 1873, at Boscawen, N.H., Mr. Knowles was again joined in matrimony, this time to Miss Annie E. Seavey, a daughter of John and Almira (Emery) Seavey. Mrs. Knowles father was born in Manchester, N.H., in 1818, her mother being a native of Moultonboro, N.H. They had five children, four daughters and one son, all of whom are living and married: Lottie Josephine is the wife of George Henry Stone, of Webster, N.H. Marion H. married Edgar Flanders, of Boscawen. Isabell married Frank Gerrish, a graduate of Dartmouth College, and a man of considerable means. He is quite prominent in political affairs in Boscawen: has been Selectman for years, served as County Commissioner, and has held other offices within the gift of the towns-people. he is one of the leading members of the Congregational Church, toward the support of which he is a liberal contributor. Edward Seavey, the son, married Harriet Hale, of Boscawen, and is a furniture manufacturer in Manchester, N.H., the firm being known as Joslyn & Seavey. The do an extensive business.
Mr. and Mrs. Knowles have had four children ---- Lena Adelia, Mabel, Harry Clinton, and Helen. Lena A. and Mabel died in childhood: Harry and Helen are attending the public schools.