George Austin Wason Diaries, 1880-1900

Collection number: MC 201
Size: 1 box (0.33 cu.ft.)

About George Austin Wason (1831-1906)

George Austin Wason was born in New Boston, N.H. on Sept. 17, 1831. He inherited the family estate of four hundred and seventy-five acres and devoted his life to the pursuit of agriculture. He specialized in raising thoroughbred Devon cattle. He lived on the family farm until 1885, when he moved to Nashua, where he died June 21, 1906, aged 71, but he kept the farm and managed it until 1903. He married Clara Louisa Hills, also from New Boston, on September 17, 1863. They had three children, Edward Hills, George B. and Robert S. Wason.

Wason took a scientific approach to agriculture and was a member of all the leading agricultural societies in his region. He took an early interest in the grange movement and was a charter member of the Joe English Grange of New Boston, serving for a number of years as its master, and for four years he served as the master of the state grange. He was president of the Hillsborough Agricultural Society and the Piscataqua Valley Fair Association and was a trustee for over twenty years of the NH College of the Agriculture and Mechanical Arts in both Hanover and Durham, serving in the capacity of president of the board of trustees for seven years, until ill health forced him to resign in 1904.

Wason was the first Republican moderator in the town of New Boston and was county commissioner of Hillsborough County for six years. He served in the state legislature as a representative from New Boston from 1883-1895 and as a senator from 1891-1893. He was instrumental in securing the charter of the New Boston railroad and was its first president, serving until his death.

About the George Austin Wason Diaries

The collection consists of thirteen pocket diaries spanning the years 1880 to 1900. The diaries largely record the daily activities of a farmer. Entries reference church services and town meetings, farm work, travel throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and often include details about the weather. There are sometimes brief mentions, particularly in the diary from 1893, of politics and work in the New Hampshire state legislature, though usually without specifics. Diaries also include accounts information and money records. The diary from 1890 contains several short entries about a trip to California.

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], [Folder], [Box], George Austin Wason Diaries, 1880-1900, MC 201, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

(Accession number: 2007.12)

Collection Contents

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1Pocket diaries: 1880, 1882 and 1883
Box 1, Folder 2Pocket diaries: 1884, 1887 and 1889
Box 1, Folder 3Pocket diaries: 1890, 1892, 1893 and 1894
Box 1, Folder 4Pocket diaries: 1895, 1897 and 1900