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Special Home > Guide to the Dowst Family Papers, 1839-1903

Guide to the Dowst Family Papers, 1839-1903

Collection number: MC 238

Size: 2 boxes (0.45 cu.ft.)

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.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Dowst Family Papers, 1839-1903, MC 238, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Purchased: Carmen Valentino, Philadelphia, PA, 2011 (Accession number: 2011.12)

Collection Contents

Box 1
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
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