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Famous Citizens of Carroll County, NH

Charles Carroll... of Carrollton Carroll County, where Wolfeboro is located, is one of thirteen Carroll Counties in the United States, all named after Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland. He was born in Annapolis in 1737 and died in 1832 at 95 years of age. While not a citizen of Wolfeboro, he was a great American patriot, and famous because he was the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was a member of the Continental Congress, a close friend of George Washington, and a U.S. Senator. He was known as the richest man in America, owning 12,700 acres. He originally held slaves but later became an abolitionist. He helped start the Bank of North America and was one of the founders of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He became a public idol greatly admired by the nation. Carroll County can be proud of its famous namesake.

Governor John Wentworth was one of the proprietors of Wolfeboro, owning several tracts of land just north of the lake which bears his name. He had a great interest from 1759 on in developing the town. He spent 3 years in England (1763-66) and was appointed August 11, 1766, by King George as Governor of New Hampshire and surveyor of the King's woods in North America. Returning to America in 1767 at the age of 30, he received a royal welcome from the people of Portsmouth, his native town. Two years later, he married a Portsmouth widow, Frances Deering Atkinson. Deering and Francestown, N.H. were named in her honor. The oncoming revolution finally drove Governor and Lady Wentworth out of the state and eventually to England. Loyal to the King, Governor Wentworth was named Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia in 1792. He lived in Halifax until his death in 1820 at the age of 93.

John Brewster... John Brewster was a farm boy, a native of Wolfeboro, who became its greatest benefactor. A descendant of Elder William Brewster of Pilgrim fame, John Brewster, born in 1812, attended the Wolfeboro and Tuftonboro Academy in the fall of 1828 and later taught school at the age of 16 at Milton. At age 17, he kept his uncle's general store in Rochester. At 18, he worked in the Hale Hardware Store at Dover Landing until he was 23. During the evenings he worked in Dover dry goods stores, learning much about textiles. With his savings plus a loan, he went to Boston and started a dry goods store. It prospered and in 1845 he formed a wholesale dry goods firm. In 1851, he formed a banking enterprise so successful that by 1861 his firm handled U.S. Government bond sales for all New England, averaging one half million dollars per week in sales. After the Civil War, his firm sold railroad, state and municipal bonds. He retired as a millionaire in 1883 and he died in 1886. During his lifetime, he came back to Wolfeboro every year. In his will, he provided ample funds for the Brewster Library, Brewster Memorial Hall and Brewster Free Academy.

Henry Wilson, born Jeremiah Colbath in Farmington in 1812. He later had his name legally changed to Henry Wilson. Born into poor circumstances, he had little schooling but improved his knowledge by reading history and biography - nearly 1000 volumes by 1833. He went to Natick, Massachusetts and learned shoemaking, but his health made it necessary to give that up so he took a trip to Washington, D.C. observing the federal government and slavery in Maryland and the District of Columbia. He became a strong anti-slavery advocate. To further his education, in the winter of 1836, he attended the Wolfeboro and Tuftonboro Academy and also taught at Mink Brook. He boarded with Samuel Avery who helped and encouraged him and who was his lifelong friend. Henry Wilson became a man of high moral character and he was a lifelong abstainer. Leaving Wolfeboro, he returned to the shoe business in Natick and produced in his shoe career 664,000 pairs. He was elected to the Massachusetts legislature and became a Brigadier-General in the state militia. He was later elected to the U.S. Senate where he was chairman of the Militia Committee during the Civil War. He was elected Vice President of the United States in 1872, but died before completing his term in 1875. His body lay in state in the Capitol rotunda upon orders of President Grant. Henry Wilson is a proud part of Wolfeboro history.

Greenleaf B. Clark was a Wolfeboro benefactor whose life spanned the last half of the 19th century and a third of the 20th. He owned the house on South Main Street built by his grandfather in 1778, located across from Huggins Hospital. The original property included 86 acres extending to Clark's Point on Lake Winnipesaukee. Mr. Clark, known as Green Clark,  bought up houses in town, turning them into rental properties.. When Carpenter School was built in 1925, Mr. Clark bought the old Pickering School building, moved it to a new site, and turned it into a basketball hall for the youth of the town. Upon his death, the Clark Homestead and Clark Park were left to the town.

George A. Carpenter was a poor boy who grew up to great wealth. As a young man, he went to Boston and made his fortune in real estate. He used to say he could stay in bed mornings thinking up deals to make more money than his friends who went to work. He acquired valuable property in Brookline, Mass. He was self-made and self-educated. He was a great friend and supporter of U.S. Senator George Moses of New Hampshire. Remembering his own early poverty, George Carpenter, provided funds for clothing and food to the needy people of the town. He used to drive through the town in a rubber-tired buggy and throw lolipops and candy to any children along the way.






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