James S. Elkins, a prominent citizen of Canterbury, N.H., was born in Rye, N.H., December 24, 1809, son of James and Mehitable (Rand) Elkins. His paternal grandfather, Samuel Elkins, was a native of Rye, where he was engaged in agriculture during the active period of his life. James Elkins was a farmer and fisherman, following the first-named occupation in Rye, where he was born May 3, 1777. He died in Canterbury, November 29, 1855. His wife, Mehitable Rand Elkins, was born in Rye, June 19, 1787, and died in Canterbury, July 20, 1859. James S., the subject of this sketch; David, born November 4, 1812, and now deceased; and Moses, born February 21, 1814, who died September 20, 1889.
James S. Elkins received his education in the public schools of his native town. He remained at home, and helped on the farm until he was twenty years of age. His parents removed to Little Boar’s Head and then to Stratham, N.H., remaining four years in each place. In 1834 they moved to Canterbury. He was engaged in stone-cutting in Quincy, Gloucester, and Boston, where he helped build the First Merchants’ Exchange. In 1834 he bought a farm near the village of Canterbury. About 1873 he purchased the property where he now resides, and where for the last twenty years he has lived retired from business. In politics Mr. Elkins has always been a strong Democrat and an active politician. He served three years as Selectman, and was the Representative of his district two years, besides holding other minor offices. He has been twice married. His first wife was Abbie S. Tallant, a daughter of James Tallant, of Canterbury. They had one child, who died in infancy. Mrs. Elkins died November 22, 1884; and on December 2, 1885, Mr. Elkins married L. Maria, a daughter of Jonathan and Phœbe (Eastman) Sargent, born September 10, 1833. Mrs. Elkins is a member of the Congregational church, in which both she and her husband are active workers.