Saturday, January 18, 2014

1870s/1880s Autograph Album of Ella, with Signers Mostly from Peterborough and Keene, New Hampshire


1870s/1880s autograph album of Ella, perhaps of the Peterborough, New Hampshire and Keene, New Hampshire, area, which many of the signers gave as a residence.  Other signers, in multiple, hailed from Natick, Massachusetts, and LaChute, Quebec.

Sadly, though many pages are inscribed to Ella, not one signer indicated a family relationship with her, which might have helped identify her.  There's no title page, so it's possible that a few pages are missing at the front, including possibly one that Ella might have inscribed herself.

The album measures approximately 5-1/2" x 3-1/4" and contains the sentiments of 51 people.  An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.

Included in the album is a sheet of "Verses for Albums".



The first signed page in the album was inscribed by Frank H. Hardy of Manchester, New Hampshire, on August 24, 1874.


A. B. Skinner and Mrs. S. C. Skinner signed overleaf pages at Keene, New Hampshire, he on September 22, 1875, and she on February 1, 1876.  They were merchant and office holder Azro Barton Skinner and his wife Sophia Cornelia (Wellman) Skinner.



Charles Bullard of Peterborough, New Hampshire, whose middle initial I can't decipher, inscribed his page with calligraphy on June 17, 1875.


John G. McKeen and his wife Ruth E. McKeen of Peterborough, New Hampshire, signed facing pages. She was Ruth E. (Stoughton) McKeen, a Vermont native.



I believe the Mary E. Stoughton of Perkinsville, Vermont, who inscribed a page on February 25, 1878 was Ruth E. (Stoughton) McKeen's sister.


Several members of the Hills family of Lachute, Quebec signed pages.  William Matthews Hills and his wife Frances Jane (Hastings) Hills signed facing pages on October 29, 1872.  For the others, please refer to the list below.



If you have a theory as to the identity of Ella or if you have information on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

List of signers:  [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]

  • Mary C. Abbott of Francestown, New Hampshire, signed on February 21, 1880
  • Ida A. Aldrich of Peterborough, New Hampshire, signed on May 4, 1870
  • Charles W. Bond, signed at Hancock, New Hampshire, on February 26, 1878
  • J. Melvin Brock of Natick, Massachusetts, signed on December 30, 1881
  • Frances A. Bruce of Natick, Massachusetts, signed on December 30, 1881
  • Susie A. Buckminster, signed at Peterborough, New Hampshire
  • Charles Bullard of Peterborough, New Hampshire, signed on June 17, 1875.  His middle initial is hard to decipher.
  • Herbert F. Chamberlin of Natick, Massachusetts, signed on December 31, 1881
  • Dexter C. Cheever of Providence, Rhode Island, signed on December 9, 1874
  • H. D. Covel of Dubuque, Iowa, signed on August 2, 1872.  There's an 1870 Dubuque directory that shows a Mrs. H. D. Covel working as a teacher.  She might have been Harriet Covel, who was born in New Hampshire
  • Ella S. Cragin of Peterborough, New Hampshire, signed on November 30, 1874
  • E. L. Fairbanks
  • Herbert E. Fay of Bellows Falls, Vermont, signed at Keene, New Hampshire, on July 13, 1875
  • Nellie S. H. Fish, or Nellie L. H. Fish, of Peterborough, New Hampshire, signed on October 31, 1870
  • May Gleason, signed at Plain Street, Natick, Massachusetts, on December 28, 1881
  • Helen Grimes, signed on January 20, 1869
  • Mary E. Hadley, signed on April 20, 1870
  • Lizzie K. Hadley, signed at Boston, Massachusetts, on November 30, 1874; not sure of surname - could be Hasley, Hasty, Hastings, etc.
  • Nellie A. Hadley of Hancock, New Hampshire, signed on March 4, 1878
  • Frank H. Hardy of Manchester, New Hampshire, signed on August 24, 1874
  • Julia E. Hills of La Chute, Quebec, signed on January 2, 1875
  • George H. Hills of La Chute, Quebec, signed on January 2, 1875
  • William M. Hills of La Chute, Quebec, signed on October 29, 1872.  His wife, Frances Jane (Hastings) Hills, signed the right facing page.
  • Mrs. William M. Hills of La Chute, Quebec, signed on October 29, 1872.  She was Frances Jane (Hastings) Hills, whose husband William M. Hills signed the left facing page.
  • Annie Holmes of Keene, New Hampshire, signed on June 19, 1876.  It may have been her sister Kate Holmes who signed another page.
  • Kate Holmes, signed on June 19, 1876. Leeds, Yorkshire. There was a family from England living at Keene, New Hampshire, with sisters Kate and Annie, who could be the Annie Holmes of Keene, New Hampshire, who signed another page.
  • Mary A. Holt, signed at Peterborough, New Hampshire, on April 23, 1870
  • Cynthia A. Howard of South Acworth, New Hampshire, signed at Peterborough, New Hampshire, on October 26, 1870 [or 1876]
  • W. J. Howe
  • Mary H. Jewett, signed at Peterborough, New Hampshire, on May 8, 1872
  • Edwin F. Knight of Keene, New Hampshire, signed on August 13, 1875
  • John G. McKeen of Peterboro, New Hampshire, "Hen City".  It was presumably his wife Ruth E. McKeen who signed the right facing page.  They may have been John G. and Ruth E. (Stoughton) McKeen
  • Ruth E. McKeen of Peterborough, New Hampshire.  It was presumably her husband, John G. McKeen who signed the left facing page.  They were presumably John G. and Ruth E. (Stoughton) McKeen.  It may have been Ruth's sister Mary E. Stoughton who signed another page.
  • Fred J. Munroe of Acton, Massachusetts, signed on March 26, 1882
  • Clara Munroe of Worcester, Massachusetts  "Aged 8 years".  Middle initial possibly J or F
  • Will H. Patten of Keene, New Hampshire, signed on August 16, 1875
  • H. F. Patterson, signed at "Museum" on April 15, 1875
  • Terrie L. Proctor or Jessie L. Proctor, signed on June 19, 1876.  She wrote Yorkshire in one corner, and England in the other
  • R. H. Randall, signed at Natick, Massachusetts, on December 31, 1881
  • Albert Rice, signed a Natick, Massachusetts, on December 30, 1881
  • LeRoy A. Richardson of Peterborough, New Hampshire
  • A. B. Skinner, signed at Keene, New Hampshire, on September 22, 1875.  Presumably Keene, New Hampshire merchant and officeholder Azro Barton Skinner, whose wife, Sophia Cornelia (Wellman) Skinner, signed the overleaf page.
  • Mrs. S. C. Skinner, signed at Keene, New Hampshire, on February 1, 1876.  Presumably Sophia Cornelia (Wellman) Skinner, whose husband Azro Barton Skinner signed the overleaf page.
  • Sarah A. Spofford of West Peterborough, New Hampshire, signed at Keene, New Hampshire, on December 6, 1874
  • Mary E. Stoughton of Perkinsville, Vermont, signed on February 25, 1878.  She may have been the sister of signer Ruth E. (Stoughton) McKeen.
  • Frank Templeton of Peterborough, New Hampshire, 416 Quincy, [? Ill.], Merchant, Tailor, Tarbell Block
  • Mary N. Thompson, signed at Peterborough, New Hampshire, on December 13, 1873
  • Written upside down: Elva Wellman of Hinsdale, New Hampshire, signed at Keene, New Hampshire, on February 8, 1876
  • Alice Wilson; very faint handwriting, but middle initial might be F.
  • Clifton C. Woodbury of Natick, Massachusetts
  • ? Woodbury of Natick, Massachusetts, signed in December 1881.  Initials might be P. G. or ?

Peterborough, New Hampshire [A] and Keene, New Hampshire [B]


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