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Hancock Town

Hancock Town Hall is located at 50 Main Street, Hancock, NH 03449; phone: 603-525-4441.

Beginnings [1]

At the time of the incorporation of the Town of Hancock (1779), it was largely owned by non-residents. John Hancock, at that time, had come into possession of a large part then known as "Great Lot Number 2." As late as 1795 his heirs were taxed for 1,870 acres of unimproved land. Although the town adopted his name, he never appears to have in the least interested himself in its welfare. Without a doubt other matters engrossed his attention. Charles Barrett, Esq., of New Ipswich, was also a large owner. Among the names of non-resident taxpayers, in 1779, we find William Clark, Thomas Barrett, Jesse Christie, Amos Barrett, Charles Barrett, Jonas Wheeler, John Preston, Joseph Hayward, and Jonathan Davis.

At the commencement of the American Revolutionary War there were not, probably, more than 8 or 10 families, some of whom were only here temporarily.

John Grimes, the first settler of Hancock, came from Nottingham West, by way of Peterborough, in the summer of 1764. He built his log cabin (to which he brought his family in the spring of 1765) not far from the south shore of Half-moon pond. The citizens of Hancock erected an appropriate monument on this spot in 1884. As his name does not appear in any of the papers connected with the incorporation of the town, he had probably returned to Nottingham West previous to that time. Some of his children subsequently returned to Hancock, and his widow died there in 1827.

William Morrison came from Peterborough as early as 1769. He settled on what was known as Morrison Hill, east of Half-moon pond.

William Lakin came from Groton, Massachusetts, probably in 1770. He settled on the farm later owned by his great-grandson, Joshua S. Lakin.

George McCloury came from Peterborough, probably about 1775.

Samuel Mitchell, Jr., also from Peterborough, was a resident here by 1776.

  1. William Willis Hayward, The History of Hancock, New Hampshire, 1764-1889, Town History Committee, Cox Populi Press, S. W. Huse & Co., Lowell Massachusetts, 1889.
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