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Enfield Town

Enfield Town Hall is located at 23 Main Street, Enfield, NH 03748; phone: 603-632-5001.

Beginnings [1]

William Dana led a group in petitioning for the charter of a town to be called Enfield, and it was granted through Governor Wentworth in 1761. The proprietors were well-to-do inhabitants of Eastern Connecticut, most of them of Windham County and it is probable the name was taken from Enfield, CT. Only 3 of the original proprietors ever settled here.

The original charter required that the proprietors plant and cultivate about 2,000 acres during the first 5 years or else forfeit their claims. As many of the proprietors busied themselves in settling other new townships, they were unable to perform.

In 1766 John Salter was dispatched from Connecticut to Portsmouth to apply for a continuation of the charter and extend the time required to complete the terms. But the efforts failed and in 1769 the Governor and Council re-granted Enfield, to be known by the name of "Relhan," to a new set of proprietors most of whom resided in and around Portsmouth.

The Relhan faction succeeded in securing an act of incorporation for the town under that name in 1778. The state of things was finally put to an end, however, mainly through the efforts of Jesse Jonson, Esq., who, in 1779, in connection with other owners under the Enfield charter, by equivalents, purchase and compromises, succeeded in extinguishing the entire claims under the Relhan charter, thus leaving the Enfield charter undisputed and ending the "war of the charters." By an acre passed 3/28/1781, Jeremiah Page, Henry Gerrish and William Chamberlain were authorized to "run out and settle the lines of the township of Enfield, alias Relhan." Their subsequent report wasn't adopted until 1802, even though the act incorporating Relhan had been repealed in 1774.

By 1880 Enfield had a population of 1,680. In 1885 it had 15 school districts, 16 common schools with 260 children in attendance.

  1. Hamilton Child, Gazetteer of Grafton County, N.H., 1709-1886, Part First, The Syracuse Journal Company, Syracuse, NY, 1886.
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