Place:Hollis, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, United States

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NameHollis
TypeTown
Coordinates42.733°N 71.583°W
Located inHillsborough, New Hampshire, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Hollis is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 7,684 at the 2010 census. The town center village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Hollis Village Historic District.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Town name

According to Samuel T. Worcester's history which was commissioned by the town selectmen in 1878, the town was incorporated in the province of New Hampshire on April 3, 1746, "to have continence forever by the name of Holles..."[1]

Worcester argues that, at the time of the charter, Governor Benning Wentworth was indebted to Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle for his appointment as governor. According to Worcester, it was "very much the custom with Gov. Wentworth" to name towns in honor of his friends and patrons. Thus in the same year, the towns of Pelham and Holles were incorporated, and named after the duke. Worcester cites a Mr. Bancroft who,

"...in his history, says of him (Newcastle) that he was of so feeble a head, and so treacherous a heart that Sir Robert Walpole called his name 'Perfidy'; that Lord Halifax used to revile him as a knave and fool, and that he was so ignorant of this continent, that it was said of him, that he addressed his letters to the 'Island of New England.'"

Thomas Hollis (1659-1731) was, in Worcester's words, a "generous benefactor of Harvard College". According to Worcester, about the year 1775, town records started appearing with the town's name spelled as "Hollis" (after Thomas Hollis), and both names were used until about 1815, after which, only the name "Hollis" appears "...while Holles, the name of the Duke of Newcastle, has passed into merited oblivion."

First settlers

Captain Peter Powers (1707–1757), his wife Anna Keyes (1708–1798), and their two children Peter (1729–1800) and Stephen (b. 1729) were the first settlers of Hollis in 1731. In 1732, the Powers birthed the first child in Hollis, a daughter, also named Anna. According to Spaulding's history, Powers "became a noted backwoodsman and colonial land surveyor," and eventually accrued approximately in the north part of Hollis. Powers was also a militia officer in the French and Indian Wars and was commissioned captain by Governor Wentworth.

The younger Peter was the first college graduate from Hollis, matriculating from Harvard in 1754. He served as pastor of churches throughout New England and died at the age of 71 in Deer Island, Maine.

Notable events

  • From its charter in 1746 until about 1763, Hollis was engaged in a running border dispute with Dunstable (now Nashua, New Hampshire) over a small settlement at "One Pine Hill", near Flint Pond. The General Court eventually resolved the dispute in favor of Hollis.
  • In 1769, a strip one and a quarter miles wide on the western border of Hollis was incorporated into the new town of Raby. In 1785, the General Court granted a petition of Raby to annex an additional three-quarters of a mile of the western Hollis border. In 1796, the name of Raby was changed to Brookline
  • In 1770, by act of the General Court, Hollis annexed a portion of the town of Monson when its charter was repealed by its own request.
  • In 1773, Hollis acquired some more land from Dunstable in a dispute over the building and upkeep of a bridge over the Nashua River.
  • In 1794, the town of Milford was incorporated, subsuming an area of from the northwest corner of Hollis, resulting in a total size, by an 1806 survey, of some .

Notable facts

The following is from Worcester's History of Hollis:

  • When Hollis was incorporated, the town tax list comprised 54 families.
  • By 1760, that number had risen to over 105 families.
  • In 1767, two of the 384 slaves in New Hampshire resided in Hollis. In 1775, four of the 656 slaves in New Hampshire resided in Hollis.
  • The first trial for murder in Hillsborough County was of Israel Wilkins Jr, of Hollis, for the murder of his father, Israel Wilkins Sr., on November 2, 1772. The elder Wilkins died of a "a blow upon the head...of the length three inches and the depth of one inch." Wilkins Jr. was found guilty of man-slaughter, pleaded benefit of clergy, and was subsequently branded upon the thumb with the letter "T", and forced to forfeit all his goods to the King.
  • Two-thirds of the grantees of the charter for the town of Plymouth, New Hampshire were from Hollis, causing Worcester to refer to it as "A Hollis Colony".
  • Eight Hollis residents were killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
  • 125 Hollis men were in the army in whole or in part during the year 1776, approximately one tenth of the population.
  • 22 Hollis men died while in the army during the Revolutionary War.
  • In 1820, Hollis had five grain mills, six saw mills, one clothing mill, two taverns and four stores. By 1878, it had one grain mill, no saw or clothing mills, no taverns, and one store.

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