Biography of Lanmon Nims

Lanmon Nims was born in Sullivan, February 3, 18r 1. He is the son the late Asahel and Mary (Heaton) Nims, and great-great-grandson of David Nims, one of the first inhabitants of the town of Keene, the first clerk of proprietors, and the first town clerk. Mr. Nims had comparatively few e educational advantages, but such was his diligence as a reader of history an current items of event, that he became in his maturity, a man of very extensive information. Having served his apprenticeship at the carpenter trade, with Dexter Spaulding, of Sullivan, in 1831, he continued to work that town one year. Afterwards he went to Peterborough, where he work as a journeyman carpenter for about eight months, and removing to Swanzey became foreman of Virgil Woodcocks shop, and, subsequently, the first engineer in the region round about. At the end of a year, or a little less, hey removed to Sullivan, and purchased the saw and grist-mills at East Sullivan.

In 1836 he erected and lived in the second house built in that village, and continued as a carpenter and builder, and wheelwright, in connection with his new mill business, until the year 1838. During this year he left Sullivan and took up his abode in Keene, on the Sullivan old road, where he had a sawmill, and continued the lumber business, living in the house now occupied by Nahum Wright. In the year 1844 he moved to School street, and lived in the Comstock house, which has been lately removed to Colorado street. A year later, (1845), he built the house now occupied by Mr. Esther T. Smith, on Beaver street, and continued to live there until 1851. He was chosen selectman in 1849, and again in 1871, and assessor for the years 1873 and 1874. He has declined other political honors. In early life he was a corporal in the militia, and later one of the engineers of the Keene fire department. He purchased, in 1849, a shop on Mechanic street, and in 1850, established the sash, door and blind business, associating himself with Nelson N. Sawyer and Sawyer Porter, under the firm name of L. Nims & Co. In 1853 he rented the house in Pleasant street, now occupied by the register of deeds, Mr. Charles C. Buffum. During the year 1854, the former partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Nims continued in business alone until 1856, when the firm became Nims & Buss, (Daniel Buss). At the end of a year the firm received Cyrus W. Woodward, and the business was increased under the firm of Nims, Buss & Co. In 1859 he sold his interest to Buss & Woodward, and the year following went to White River Junction, Vermont, where, for a short time, he carried on the shoe-peg business; but fire destroyed the property and left him entirely without, resources. Returning to Keene, at once, he continued, for about one year and a half, to manufacture shoe-pegs in the mills known as the Fairbanks, and later as the Ashuelot mills. During the year 1861 he purchased the Phelps house, on Court street, where he now resides. Again leasing and fitting up the Mechanic street shop, in 1863, he formed a co-partnership with Samuel B. Crossfield. under the firm name of Nims & Crossfield. In the month of March, 1864, the steam boiler exploded, wrecking the buildings. In this sad disaster two workmen were killed outright, and five seriously wounded. The firm bought the steam-mill property in 1867, and ill fortune again visited them, fire destroying the entire property. During the same year the Keene Steam Power Company erected the present steam mills, and leased them to Nims. Crossfield & Co., (Kendall C. Scott), in 1868. In 1870 Mr. Nims again sold out his interest in this business to the other partners, and bought an interest in the same property again, in 1873, the firm becoming Nims, Whitney & Co., (George E. Whitney, Nathan Whitney, C. Willis Morse). This industry furnishes employment for about fifty men, and for a number of years the business of the concern has amounted to from eighty to one hundred thousand dollars annually. Mr. Nims has, by his thrift and indomitable energy, displayed even against the most trying and adverse circumstances, added to the material wealth of Keene. Of the fifty buildings he has constructed no less than thirty houses, the first town hall and a church, erected by him in this town alone, speak well for his skill as a workman, and indicate the habitual diligence he has always manifested in his chosen occupation.

He has been twice married, first, February 14, 1837, to Lydia, daughter of Esquire Samuel Locke, of Sullivan, by whom he had four children: Samuel, born in Sullivan, December 3. 1837; married Maria A. Chase, March 7, 1866; their one child, Adelaide H., was born April 3, 1867. Sarah Maria, born in Keene, October 31, 184_; married George E. Hastings March 13, 186r; children, Eugene Lanmon, born in Keene, June 24, 1864; John Augustine, born in Nashua, July 29, 1877; George Everett, Jr., born in Manchester, March 10, 1879. Lydia Ann. born August 30, 1844, married Wesley H. Wheeler, June 13, 1866; children, Lottie Maria, born February 15, 1868; Nellie Nims, born January 27, 187r. died March it, 1871; twins, Clarence Lanmon and Clara Elizabeth, born April 14, 1875; Clara Elizabeth died August 14. 1875- Jennie Lorette, born December 29, 1850. Mrs. Lydia Nims was born February 4, 1814, died February 2, 1851. Mr. Nims was. married again, October 28, 1851, to Elizabeth Hosking, of Saint Austell, England, by the Rev. the Rector Dr. Clapp, of Bellows Falls, Vt. By their marriage the following children were born: Alice Elizabeth, born, January 29, 1853; married Harding R. Barber, Athol, Mass, April 18, 1883; has one child. Grace, born in Athol, January 17, 1884. Grace, born October 13, 1854; married Frank H. Whitcomb, September 1, 1880; children, Edson Gerry, born December 30, 1881; Ralph Nims, born October 25, 1883, Margaret, born January 1, 1885. William Arthur. born May 10, 1857, died May 27, 1865. Fred Lanmon, born March 13, 1860, died May 10, 1860. Abbie Frances, born August 14, 1863, died May 21, 1865. Mary Lorenda, born April 29, 1866. Kate Lanmon, born February ;, 1868. At the advanced age of seventy-four years Mr. Nims works every day in the shop, and is actively interested in the news of the day and the business success as in the educational and social welfare of his city.



Hurd, Duane Hamilton. History of Cheshire and Sullivan counties, New Hampshire. Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis. 1886.

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