William T. Thissell, a prominent farmer of Goshen and an exmember of the legislature, was born in Newbury, N.H., February 25, 1838, son of Hiram and Jane (Collins) Thissell. His grandfather, Henry Thissell, who was a native of Beverly, Mass., followed the sea for a number of years. On one occasion in this period of his life, when his ship was off the Russian coast, he with others of the crew went ashore, and on ascending a high hill they obtained a view of the army with which Napoleon Bonaparte was invading Russia. He finally settled upon a farm in Newbury, N.H., and there resided for the rest of his life. He married Elizabeth Thissell, of Beverly, and reared a family of six children.
Hiram Thissell, father of William T., was born in Newbury, and reared to farm life. He followed agriculture exclusively for several years in his native town, and was then engaged in a mercantile business in Lempster and Washington. His last days were passed in Goshen. In politics he supported the Democratic party, and he served as Town Clerk in Washington for several years. He died January 25, 1893. His first wife, Jane Collins Thissell, a native of Newbury, was a daughter of Richard Collins, a well-known farmer of that town in his day. She died March 27, 1877. His second wife, who was before marriage Jane Webster, of Acworth, N.H., died April 2, 1884. He married for his third wife Melinda Mitchell, a native of Nova Scotia. She survives him, and is residing in Goshen. Hiram and Jane (Collins) Thissell were the parents of six children-William T., Earl A., Ambrose J., Mary Jane, Albanus C., and Ova N. Earl A. Thissell is connected with the Shaw Knitting Company, of Lowell, Mass., and is also interested in an oil and gas company, doing business in Florence and Boston, Mass., and in Ohio. He married Nellie Cater, of Lowell, who is now deceased. His only son, Bertrand A., is a veterinary surgeon of Boston. Ambrose J. Thissell is a merchant and farmer in Lowell, Mass. He wedded Mary O. Clark, of Oswego, N.Y.; and she died leaving no children. Mary Jane married Supply Barney, of Washington, N.H. She died February 15, 1897, leaving two children. Albanus C., who was a merchant, is also deceased. Ova N., who is in mercantile business in Lowell, married Clara V. Bawlding, of that city, and has three children.
William T. Thissell was educated in the common and high schools. He remained at home until he was twenty years old, at which time he engaged in buying and shipping potatoes. He has also peddled upon the road. Lempster was his headquarters until 1885, when he purchased his present farm of two hundred acres, situated in South Goshen. He carries on general farming and dairying, raises poultry, and sells a large quantity of eggs annually. In politics he is a Democrat. He was a member of the Board of Selectmen in Lempster for seven years, represented that town in the legislature during the sessions of 1873 and 1874, was a member of the School Board, was on the Library Committee, and has been a Justice of the Peace for more than twenty-five years. At the present time he is serving as Town Auditor in Goshen.
Mr. Thissell has been twice married. On the first occasion, September 20, 1865, he wedded Mary A. Nichols, of Lempster, daughter Timothy and Amelia (Gould) Nichols. The father was born in that town, and the mother in Claremont, N.H. Mr. Thissell’s first wife died December 19, 1867. On January 22, 1872, he married Axie L., daughter of Cyrus and Roxanna (Twist) Leach, of Newbury. She died October 9, 1896. Mr. Thissell is connected with Forest Lodge, No. 61, I. O. O. F., of Marlow; with Mount Sunapee Grange, No. 144, Patrons of Husbandry, of which he has been Master and Chaplain; and with the Knights of Honor. In his religious views he is a Universalist.