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Franklin City

Franklin City Hall is located at 316 Central Street, Franklin, NH 03235; phone: 603-934-3900.

Beginnings [1]

Franklin's history closely parallels that of Salisbury, since it was part of that town until 1828, when it was incorporated at the Town of Franklin, taking its name from Benjamin Franklin. Sanbornton, Northfield, and Boscawen also contributed portions of their townships to the new town. In 1895 it was granted a city charter.

Preceding the first settlement, this part of the township of Salisbury was the headquarters of the Abenaki tribe of Indians.

The founder of Pemigewassett, or East Village, which later became Franklin, was Ebenezer Eastman, who built a sawmill here in 1764, and kept a tavern, besides conducting his farm and lumber business. His homestead, Webster Place, was about 2 miles south of Franklin.

The industrial history of Franklin is written in the development of its mills and manufacturing plants. The Indians chose their site because of its accessibility to water transportation; the white men because of the enormous power of the two swift rivers. Harnessing that power, the settlement developed rapidly.

The first mill, a sawmill, was erected in 1764 under the terms of a Masonian charter. In the course of the years a number of mills were started, and by 1828 the use of water-power had become an established fact. Sawmills and gristmills were followed by paper mills, knitting mills and factories for making machinery, tools and particularly textile needles.

Most famous of all the sons of Franklin is Daniel Webster (1782-1852), whose birthplace, originally in Salisbury, is now, as a result of a change in town lines, located in Franklin.

  1. Works Progress Administration, Federal Writers Project, New Hampshire: A Guide to the Granite State, American Guide Series, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1938.
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