Guide to the Dowst Family Papers, 1839-1903

Collection number: MC 238
Size: 2 boxes (0.45 cu.ft.)

About the Dowst Family

Henry Dowst, Jr. was born on August 17, 1820 in Allenstown, near Manchester, New Hampshire to Henry Dowst, Sr. (Jan. 14, 1784-March 4, 1867) and Abigail Brown (May 19, 1783-Nov. 24, 1840). Henry Sr. was the son of John Dowst and Mary Dow. Abigail Brown was the daughter of Joseph Brown and Abigail Dolbeer.

Henry Jr. grew up in Allenstown learning his father's farming business. He married Hannah Fowler Davis on May 2, 1847 in Manchester, New Hampshire and died in 1910. Henry and Hannah had six children, all born in Allenstown: John (Jan 12, 1848), Frank H. (April 3, 1850), Henry, 3rd (May 14, 1854), Ada M. (Nov 4, 1858), Annette L. (Dec 16, 1859), and George (Sept. 15, 1862).

Frank Dowst, the second son, worked as a building contractor, first for Mead Mason & Co. of Concord and then, at age 21, he formed a partnership with Natt and W.F. Head of Hooksett and established a business, Head & Dowst, in Manchester, New Hampshire, where also resided. He was the Democrats' candidate for mayor of Manchester in 1880. He was appointed a member of the Manchester Water Board in 1899 and served until his death. He was an active member of the Derryfield Club and identified with business interests. He married Martha A. Tallant on March 5, 1872 and died Nov. 27, 1905.

Henry Dowst 3rd, the third son, worked on the family farm until at least 1870, but also resided with his older brother Frank in Manchester. He married Harriet Frances Ring on Dec. 5, 1888 in Manchester and died April 6, 1929 in Allenstown.

Henry Dowst 4th was born on Jan. 11, 1890 in Manchester, N.H., the first son of Henry Dowst, 3rd and Harriet Frances Ring. On Feb 21, 1920 he married Emma Mathilda Dauth in West Haven, Connecticut. He died on Oct 7, 1961.

About the Dowst Family papers

The collection includes 37 pocket diaries and one larger dairy for the calendar years 1839-1866 (except for 1853 and 1863), 1870-1875, and then 1877, 1890, 1896 and 1902-03. The vast majority of them (31) were kept by Henry Dowst, Jr. (1820-1910), and they detail the daily weather and a variety of farm chores, as well as shingling, cutting wood for the school house,and working on roads and bridges. One diary, for 1872, was kept by his son Frank Dowst, who remarks on his various projects in and around Manchester. Four diaries belonged to his son Henry, 3rd, and two to his grandson, Henry, 4th.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Dowst Family Papers, 1839-1903, MC 238, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Purchased: Carmen Valentino, Philadelphia, PA, 2011 (Accession number: 2011.12)

Collection Contents

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1839
Box 1, Folder 2Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1840
Box 1, Folder 3Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1841
Box 1, Folder 4Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1842
Box 1, Folder 5Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1843
Box 1, Folder 6Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1844
Box 1, Folder 7Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1845
Box 1, Folder 8Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1846
Box 1, Folder 9Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1847
Box 1, Folder 10Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1848
Box 1, Folder 11Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1849
Box 1, Folder 12Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1850
Box 1, Folder 13Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1851
Box 1, Folder 14Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1852
Box 1, Folder 15Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1854
Box 1, Folder 16Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1855
Box 1, Folder 17Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1856
Box 1, Folder 18Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1857
Box 1, Folder 19Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1858
Box 1, Folder 20Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1859
Box 1, Folder 21Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1860
Box 1, Folder 22Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1861
Box 1, Folder 23Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1862
Box 1, Folder 24Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1864
Box 1, Folder 25Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1865
Box 1, Folder 26Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1866
Box 1, Folder 27Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1870
Box 1, Folder 28Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1871
Box 1, Folder 29Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1871
Box 1, Folder 30Diary of Frank H. Dowst, 1872
Box 1, Folder 31Diary of Henry Dowst, Jr., 1873
Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1Diary of Henry Dowst, son, 1874
Box 2, Folder 2Diary of Henry Dowst, son, 1874
Box 2, Folder 3Diary of Henry Dowst, son, 1875
Box 2, Folder 4Diary of Henry Dowst, son, 1877
Box 2, Folder 5Diary of Henry Dowst, grandson, 1890
Box 2, Folder 6Diary of Henry Dowst, grandson, 1902-1903
Box 2, Folder 7Two photographs, Thought to be Henry Dowst, Jr. and perhaps his wife Hannah Fowler Davis? 2.5×4 sepia cards, undated
Box 2, Folder 8Diary of Henry Dowst, grandson, 1896