William Smith and Abraham Smith, sons of Robert of Seabrook, are first settlers of East Kingston, Abraham subsequently moved to Gilmanton.
Dr. William Smith, son of William of East Kingston, b. Aug. 2, 1737, m. Betsy, daughter of Ebenezer Bachelder, Dec. 2, 1761, and had Dolly, Robert, Hannah, William, Hannah, Sarah, Mary, Joanna and Anna. He d. March 27th, 1830, aged 93. She d. Dec. 5th, 1807, aged 64.
Dr. William Smith, was son of William Smith, who with his brother Abraham were first settlers of East Kingston. Abraham afterwards moved to Gilmanton, with his sons, Abraham and Benjamin, and died in town. Dr. William Smith was born in East Kingston, Aug. 2d, 1737. When he was 20 years of age, he commenced the study of Medicine with Dr. Benjamin Rowe of Kensington, and immediately entered upon the practice, which he continued more or less until the age of 90 years. Dec. 2d, 1761, he was married to Betsy Bachelder, daughter of Ebenezer Bachelder of East Kingston, with whom lived about 40 years. She was born Aug. 2d, 1744, and died Dec. 5th, 1807, aged 63. He removed to Gilmanton Oct. 15th, 1768, and practiced Medicine without a rival and with great success for many years. He was the first physician who settled in town, and for some time he was the only one in the vicinity no nearer than Concord. In the early settlement of Alton, New Durham, Wolfeborough, Tuftonborough, and the towns around Lake Winipissogee, he was often called to visit the sick at the distance of 30 miles, having no other guide to conduct him through the wilderness than spotted trees.
Dr. Smith was 24 years successively chosen town clerk. He was active in settling the first minister, and was for a long succession of years a very devoted member of the first Congregational Church, into which he was admitted May 4th, 1775, and continued a member 55 years. He did much in the early settlement of the town to promote education and improve the minds of the young, and was himself a teacher of the schools. In his medical charges he was low, and to the poor he generally gave attendance gratis. In his religious belief, he was decidedly Calvinistic, and held firmly to the doctrines of grace. He was conscientious and upright in all his dealings. As a Christian, always firm in his principles, a man of conscience and a man of prayer, constant in his attendance on the ordinances of God's House while his age and strength would allow, a nursing father to the Church, and an example of temperance, faith, and charity. He came to his grave in a good old age, and was gathered like a shock of corn in its proper season, at the advanced age of 93 years and 6 months. He died March 27th, 1830. Nine of his eleven children survived him. (see additional information below)
Dr. William Smith also instructed as from time to time as the duties of his profession permited. March 9, 1773, he was paid by the town for teaching school the preceding winter L10, and in 1774, L10 more, and Feb. 27, 1775, he was paid L9 16s. 6d. In 1774, district No. 2 was set off, the school to be kept at Orlando Weed's, on the Broad Road, so called. At the town meeting, March, 1778, the town was divided into six school districts, and it was directed that a school should be kept near Joshua Bean's Mill, at Dr. Smith's, at Avery Town, at Robert Moulton's, at Nehemiah Lougee's, and at Peaked Hill. The Avery Town school money was this year L12; in 1779, a donation of L50 was received by the town from Hon. John Phillips Esq., of Exeter, for the purpose of hiring teachers to instruct the youth; and on the 20th of January, 1777, it was voted that the thanks of the town should be given to the Hon. Mr. Phillips for his seasonable donation, and the clerk was directed to transmit to him a copy of the vote. During the Revolutionary War,Rev. Mr. Parsons was paid L389, and Dr. William Smith L90 for teaching schools. After the War Eliphalet Wood was a celebrated teacher in town and opened a school for private instruction near the Rev. Mr. Smith's Meeting House, to which many of the young people resorted. Mr. Samuel Hidden, afterwards Rev. Samuel Hidden, taught with great celebrity about the same time. In 1785, there were 14 school districts, and the school in district No. 4, was taught by Dr. Jonathan Hill. In 1786, Samuel Hidden was paid by the town L3 8s. for keeping school district No. 5, Eliphalet Wood L6 3s. for keeping school district No. 1, L3 12 s. for teaching school in district No. 7. The same year, John Nelson taught in District No. 14. In 1787, Dr. Amasa Kelly taught in district No. 6, John Nelson in district No. 1, and James Prescott was paid L5 14s. for teaching school, and Samuel Hidden for teaching seven months, John Nelson in district No. 10, John Barker in No. 5, and Dolly L12 12s. In 1778, Dr. Amasa Kelly taught in district No.3, Smith was paid L2 2s. for teaching in district No. 7; Joseph
Shepard was also a teacher the same year. Many will remember Dudley Leavitt also at a later period as a celebrated teacher in town.
William Smith, Esq. b. Aug.30, 1772, m. Betsy Currier Dec. 8, 1801, who was b. Sept. 15,1776, and had William, Mehitable, Ezra , and Isaac E., all of whom but the last have died.
Ezra C. Smith, son of William Smith, Esq., was b. Aug. 1st, 1810. He received his preparatory education at Gilmanton and Andover Phillips Academies, was a member of the Theological Seminery at Andover a year and a half. He then left the Institution, and was m. to Sarah S. Peaslee, Feb. 4th, 1840. He soon after went to Central New York, where he preached for a time, and died near Skeneateles, July 25th, 1844.
Abraham Smith had two sons, Abraham and Benjamin. Samuel Smith, son of Benjamin, m.Sarah Tilton, and had Joseph, Elizabeth, Josiah, Sally, True, Joanna, Tilton, Benjamin, Meribah, Mary, and Samuel Dearborn.
Richard Smith of Exeter, had Joseph and Richard. Joseph lived in Brentwood, and had Caleb, John, Timothy, Joseph and Elizabeth, who m. Charles Currier.
Timothy Smith m. Mary Greely, daughter of Joseph, lived in Gilmanton, and had Dudley, Timothy, Joseph, Charles C., Mary, Samuel G., Samuel G., Frederick, Esq., Noah G., Dudley and Eliza, and d. Feb. 24, 1825, aged 66 years 4 months. Mary, his wife, d. Sept. 14, 1830, aged 67 years 8 mo. 15 days.
Theophilus Smith was for 10 years successively a Selectman, 7 years Moderator, and held also the office of Clerk and Treasurer. He married Sarah, daughter of Dr. Josiah Gilman.
Hon. Ebenezer Smith was a son of Daniel Smith of Exeter, where he was born in 1734. His father had 11 sons and 3 daughters. Ebenezer, the subject of this notice, became a Proprietor of Gilmanton, and was one of those who gave bonds for settlement, and in consequence he became an extensive landholder in the town. Two of his sons, Ebenezer and John, were settlers in that part of the town which is now Gilford. But Judge Smith himself was an early settler of Meredith, and moved there about the year 1768. His wife was Sarah Spiller of Exeter. She had one child when they moved to Meredith. The journey was accomplished on horse-back, and that part of the way which lay through Gilmanton, was a path to be followed by spotted trees. Mrs. Smith not being able to guide a horse herself, took a seat, as was common in those days, behind her husband, upon the same horse; and thus mounted with his child in his arms and a favorite little dog in his pocket, he arrived one evening just before sunsetting, at the camp which he had previously erected on the North West shore of one of the Bays in the Winnipissiogee River. This was the man who afterwards sat upon the bench of Justice, and whom the Senate delighted to honor by appointing him to preside over their deliberations.
Two of Judge Smith's brothers, Jeremiah and Payne, afterwards settled in Meredith. His children were Ebenezer, Daniel, who was the first male child born in Meredith, John Washington and five daughters. One of whom married Hon. John Mooney, Judge of Probate: another m. Samuel Kelly, Esq., the first settler of New Hampton; two others m. Col. Ebenezer Lawrence, and one m. Winthrop Dudley of Brentwood. Judge Smith was a father to the new settlers of the town for many years. He was successively Representative and Senator in the State Legislature, and for two years President of the Sentate Judge of the County Court from 1784 to 1787, Judge of Probate from 1797 to 1805, and died Aug. 22, 1807, aged 73. His memory will long be preserved with veneration and respect.
Asa I. Smith, Postmaster at Belmont, was born in that part of Gilmanton, which has since been incorporated as the town of Belmont, December 12, 1831, son of Ithiel and Deborah (Tower) Smith. Ithiel Smith was a lifelong resident of Gilmanton, and followed agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred when he was seventy years old. His wife, Deborah Tower, who was a native of Cummington, Mass., became the mother of six children; namely, William, Lucy, Isaac, Mary, Matilda, and Asa I. Of these Mary and Asa I., the subject of this sketch, are the only ones now living.
Asa I. Smith obtained a common-school education, and when a young man engaged in shoemaking, teaming, and farming, which he followed until 1889. He was then appointed Postmaster, which position he still retains. He is also engaged in the grocery business in this town, and carries a well selected stock of goods, having by his honorable business methods secured a large and profitable trade. He has voted with the Republican party since attaining his majority, but is broad-minded and by no means a narrow partisan.
Mr. Smith has been three times married, and the maiden name of his present wife, whom he wedded in 1887, was Louisa Eaton. He is the father of three children ---- Dora, Albert A., and Mary E. His daughters, who are both married, reside in Massachusetts, and his son Albert A. , is now in the grocery, grain, and meat business, in Belmont. Mr. Smith is prominently identified with local public affairs, and his son is at the present time a member of the Board of Selectmen. He has been a member of the Christian church for the past twenty-one years, eleven of which he has acted as Deacon, and he has also served as Secretary and Treasurer of the society.