Guide to the Dowst Family Papers, 1839-1903
Collection number: MC 238
Size: 2 boxes
About the Dowst Family
Henry Dowst, Jr. was born on August 17, 1820 in Allenstown, near Manchester, New
Hampshire to Henry Dowst, Sr. (Jan. 14, 1784-March 4, 1867) and Abigail Brown (May
19, 1783-Nov. 24, 1840). Henry Sr. was the son of John Dowst and Mary Dow. Abigail
Brown was the daughter of Joseph Brown and Abigail Dolbeer.
Henry Jr. grew up in Allenstown learning his father's farming business. He married
Hannah Fowler Davis on May 2, 1847 in Manchester, New Hampshire and died in 1910.
Henry and Hannah had six children, all born in Allenstown: John (Jan 12, 1848),
Frank H. (April 3, 1850), Henry, 3rd (May 14, 1854), Ada M. (Nov 4, 1858), Annette
L. (Dec 16, 1859), and George (Sept. 15, 1862).
Frank Dowst, the second son, worked as a building contractor, first for Mead Mason
& Co. of Concord and then, at age 21, he formed a partnership with Natt and W.F.
Head of Hooksett and established a business, Head & Dowst, in Manchester, New
Hampshire, where also resided. He was the Democrats' candidate for mayor of
Manchester in 1880. He was appointed a member of the Manchester Water Board in 1899
and served until his death. He was an active member of the Derryfield Club and
identified with business interests. He married Martha A. Tallant on March 5, 1872
and died Nov. 27, 1905.
Henry Dowst 3rd, the third son, worked on the family farm until at least 1870, but
also resided with his older brother Frank in Manchester. He married Harriet Frances
Ring on Dec. 5, 1888 in Manchester and died April 6, 1929 in Allenstown.
Henry Dowst 4th was born on Jan. 11, 1890 in Manchester, N.H., the first son of Henry
Dowst, 3rd and Harriet Frances Ring. On Feb 21, 1920 he married Emma Mathilda Dauth
in West Haven, Connecticut. He died on Oct 7, 1961.
About the Dowst Family papers
The collection includes 37 pocket diaries and one larger dairy for the calendar years
1839-1866 (except for 1853 and 1863), 1870-1875, and then 1877, 1890, 1896 and
1902-03. The vast majority of them (31) were kept by Henry Dowst, Jr. (1820-1910),
and they detail the daily weather and a variety of farm chores, as well as
shingling, cutting wood for the school house,and working on roads and bridges. One
diary, for 1872, was kept by his son Frank Dowst, who remarks on his various
projects in and around Manchester. Four diaries belonged to his son Henry, 3rd, and
two to his grandson, Henry, 4th. Links to pdf files detailing the contents of most
of the diaries are provided in the finding aid.
This collection is open.
Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions
about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.
[Identification of item], Dowst Family Papers, 1839-1903, MC 238, Milne Special
Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH,
Purchased: Carmen Valentino, Philadelphia, PA, 2011 (Accession number:
|Box 1, Envelope 1||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1839|
|Box 1, Envelope 2||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1840|
|Box 1, Envelope 3||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1841|
|Box 1, Envelope 4||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1842|
|Box 1, Envelope 5||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1843|
|Box 1, Envelope 6||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1844|
|Box 1, Envelope 7||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1845|
|Box 1, Envelope 8||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1846|
|Box 1, Envelope 9||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1847|
|Box 1, Envelope 10||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1848|
|Box 1, Envelope 11||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1849|
|Box 1, Envelope 12||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1850|
|Box 1, Envelope 13||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1851|
|Box 1, Envelope 14||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1852|
|Box 1, Envelope 15||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1854|
|Box 1, Envelope 16||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1855|
|Box 1, Envelope 17||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1856|
|Box 1, Envelope 18||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1857|
|Box 1, Envelope 19||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1858|
|Box 1, Envelope 20||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1859|
|Box 1, Envelope 21||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1860|
|Box 1, Envelope 22||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1861|
|Box 1, Envelope 23||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1862|
|Box 1, Envelope 24||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1864|
|Box 1, Envelope 25||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1865|
|Box 1, Envelope 26||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1866|
|Box 1, Envelope 27||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1870|
|Box 1, Envelope 28||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1871|
|Box 1, Envelope 29||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1871|
|Box 1, Envelope 30||Diary of Frank H. Dowst, 1872|
|Box 1, Envelope 31||Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1873|
|Box 2, Envelope 1||Diary of Henry Dowst, son, 1874|
|Box 2, Envelope 2||Diary of Henry Dowst, son, 1874|
|Box 2, Envelope 3||Diary of Henry Dowst, son, 1875|
|Box 2, Envelope 4||Diary of Henry Dowst, son, 1877|
|Box 2, Envelope 5||Diary of Henry Dowst, grandson, 1890|
|Box 2, Envelope 6||Diary of Henry Dowst, grandson, 1902-1903|
|Box 2, Envelope 7||Two photographs, Thought to be Henry Dowst, Jr. and perhaps his wife?
2.5×4 sepia cards, undated|
|Box 2, Folder 8||Diary of Henry Dowst, grandson, 1896|