Site No. 47: Up on Zion’s Hill. Unlike earlier Newmarket streets that had evolved from old colonial cartways, Chapel Street came about due to a lawsuit and a quick-thinking young mother who saw an opportunity to make some money.
Once Main Street had been moved uphill, the Newmarket Manufacturing Company set about linking it to Spring Street. Buying property, they laid out High Street early on. But their plans for Central Street got delayed because the Smith brothers refused to sell them any of their land. They were suing the mills over the destruction of Bryant Rock.
Deacon David and his wife Elizabeth French Murray lived in this house, here on Zion’s Hill. Pregnant with her third child, and with the house accessible only from Spring Street, Elizabeth sent a note to the mill agent offering to open up a road through their orchard, down to Main Street—for $500. Her offer was accepted, and the street was opened in 1826.
Elizabeth didn’t live to see it. Her child was born in 1825, and Elizabeth died that same year—at age 25. Widowed fathers often remarried, and Deacon Murray did so—three more times. He married his fourth wife on his 74th birthday, welcoming the birth of his twelfth child the following year. Having that many children was a point of pride to Deacon Murray, but—in print—he never bothered to mention any of them by name. He was very active in civic and church affairs, and he served three terms as Worshipful Master at the Rising Star Masonic Lodge.
Once Chapel Street was opened, it didn’t take long for more buildings to pop up. In 1827, construction was completed on the next building down the hill from Deacon Murray’s house. It served as Newmarket’s Methodist Church until 1872.
Across the street, Number 11 Chapel St was built sometime before 1857. It was rented out by Samuel Jones, and eventually became the quintessential immigrant home. French Canadians Israel and Dina Beauchesne rented and eventually bought the house, where the family would live for nearly a century. Like many immigrant families, in addition to their three sons, they hosted other folks from their native Quebec, who stayed here until they had earned enough to move on. In 1910 there were nearly a dozen people living in this small house.
As war in Europe broke out in 1914, their son Arthur immediately enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He fought in the trenches in France and Belgium until he was killed in action in 1916. It would be another year before the US joined the fight.
For Site No. 48, turn right onto Granite Street. It’s the first stone building on the left.
Deacon David Murray (1796 – 1879)
After 1823, once the Newmarket Manufacturing Company had purchased property and started building the mills, they diverted the old Main Street which ran along the river to further uphill and it ran parallel to the river. They wanted to create side streets running from the new Main Street westerly to connect with Spring Street. They created Church Street, and High Street, and had plans to layout Central Street. All those property owners eagerly sold their land except the Smith brothers Edward and Walter who were holding out as they had a pending trespassing court case pending against the NMCo..
That’s when Deacon David Murray and his wife Elizabeth saw an opportunity to sell a section of land adjacent to their house on Zion hill. Their house was only accessible from Spring Street. Elizabeth sent a note to the mill agent “We will open up a road thirty-five feet wide, on the south side of our house for the sum of $500.” Their offer was immediately accepted, the street we now call Chapel Street was opened and ran from Main Street up the steep hill to Spring Street, it ran through the Murray’s apple orchard and skirted the very edge of Deacon Murray’s house.
Deacon David Murray (1796-1879) was a leader in village civic and religious life for decades. As religious groups in Lamprey River Village began to organize, young Deacon Murray was elected treasurer of the newly formed “First Religious Society of Lamprey River”, a precursor of the Methodist Church Society.
In 1832 the Newmarket Savings Bank was incorporated, and Murrary was employed as the bank cashier, a position he held for about 20 years. In July 1841 he was also appointed as Newmarket’s Postmaster under President John Tyler (who had been Vice President when William Henry Harrison fell ill and died after only a month in Office). Murrary served as Postmaster for four years, as well as being town selectman for 11 years. He also was elected as town treasurer for six years, Representative to the State Legislature for three years, and County Register of Deeds (1846-1850). He was appointed as Notary Public for 33 yrs, and Justice of the Peace for 55 years. He worked as a pension agent for 35 years and an insuance agent for many years up until his death. He was a well known local historian, and after 1829 did more business in settling estates than any other man in Rockingham County.
(early photo of Deacon David Murray used by the Masonic Lodge for their 100th anniversary celebration)
He is recorded as the best ritualist in the history of the Rising Star Masonic Lodge; he took his degrees here and became a member of the Lodge in 1827. The masonic history writes “when he needed help or inspiration, it was his custom to walk to Portsmouth to visit St. John’s Lodge and to interview the well posted brethren, walking home in the night.” This unusual habit must have served him well, as he became not only the Rising Star Lodge’s best ritualist, but he served three terms as Worshipful Master of the Lodge: 1859-1861, 1864-1865, 1867-1868.
Deacon Murray and Newmarket’s last Revolutionary Soldier
On September 20, 1855 Mr. David Watson age 97 died, the last of Newmarket’s Revolutionary Soldiers. Deacon Murray was very well praised for his role as Marshall of the Day. As Marshall it was his responsiblity for Mr. Watson’s celebatory funeral ceremony. On September 21st, the following day at 2 pm after a church service attended by several hundred people, there was a procession to the grave on foot by a military escort of 32 men and forty-seven carriages. After graveside committal prayers, shots were fired over the grave followed by a full choir singing “My Country Tis of Thee”. That funeral was talked about for decades afterwards.
David was the son of Newmarket residents Deacon Timothy Murray (1773-1815) and Elizabeth Chapman Murray (1774-1846).
He was second child and first son of 12 children. Murray married four times and boasted that he had twelve children of his own. However there is seldom any written mention of them—wives or children—by name.
David Murray family and marriages:
1) 1818 in Pittsfield, NH—He married Elizabeth (Betsey) French (1800-1825) It was Elizabeth who approached the NMCo. and offered their land for sale.
They had several children: Timothy J. Murray (1821- named after his Uncle) (David Murray 1823-1825) , William (1823- ) Mary Elizabeth Murray (1825–1903)
2) 16 Sep 1827 in Barnstead, NH— He married Sally Davis Chamberlain (1801, Alton; d. 1839 Newmarket)
3) 4 Feb 1840 in Newmarket— He married Sophia Pendergast (1790-1849), the widow of Captain Denacourt Wiggin of Durham.
4) 1867 in Lawrence, MA — He married Elizabeth (Lizzy) Watson (1830-1899). From the 1872 document “Sketch of Newmarket”:
According to the Newmarket Club of Boston, (when they were doing their histories and geneologies of the town), David Murray had 50 grandchildren living within 3/4 of a mile of his residence at the time of his death. And the Newmarket Club gave the names of all of them.
With the early construction and employment of the mills, the village was growing in importance and increasing in population until the active members of the Methodist Society deemed it necessary to have a house of worship. Through the cooperation of the agent of the Newmarket Manufacturing Company and the personal influence and faithful efforts of Mr. John Brodhead, a site was procured on Chapel Street and the church was built and open for service in November, 1827.
(photo: early view when building was a Methodist Church)
It was expected that Mr. Brodhead would occupy the pulpit, but, owing to his election to Congress, he could not accept and the following July (1828) Rev. Samuel Kelly was appointed as the first pastor to the congregation.
The church grew rapidly, at the end of ten years a parsonage was built at the cost of $800. The church membership increased to 250; the Sunday school, including pupils, teachers and officers, to 186 which made the physical space cramped. In 1872 a new, larger church, (much more ornate with steeples) was constructed down the hill. Towering over all other buildings, it was called the “Jewel of Main Street”. The old Chapel Street church was then sold to Jacob W. Barnard who converted it into apartments. Harry Marelli bought the building from the Barnard estate in 1953 and contracted Stanley Jarocz to completely gut the building and renovate it into 8 modern apartments.
The house at 11 Chapel St was built by a Samuel Jones after he purchased the land from the NMCo. He rented and later sold the house to Israel Beauchesne and his wife Dina when they married in town in 1888. Israel and Dina had immigrated in 1870 to work in the mills, making them one of very first French Canadian families to arrive in Newmarket. Like most immigrant families, they soon sponsored other folks from back home to share the house until they earned enough to move on. In 1910 there were over 10 people living in this small home. Over three generations of Beachesnes lived in this building for almost 100 years. Israel had worked as weaver and lumberman; he was employed by the Town as a Highway Agent for several years as well as transported mail between the railroad depot and the Post Office. Dina worked as a weaver in the mills for close to 30 years. Israel died in 1923 in a fatal car accident at Rockingham Junction. He and Dina had three sons: Arthur, Wilfred, and Albert.
Arthur, (1890–1916) worked in the cotton mill prior to his enlistment in WW I. As he was born in Canada, and had not been naturalized in the United States, when war broke out in 1914, he returned to Quebec and enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the 2nd Bn. Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment). In 1915 he narrowly escaped death by gas asphyxiation in the French trenches. He was taken to a hospital in England where he recovered. The following September he returned to France.
On June 11, 1916 Private Beauchesne was killed in action, of direct cannon fire in battle, in Belgium. He is buried in an unmarked mass grave on the French front. His name is engraved in the YPRES (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium, as well as on the family stone at Calvary cemetery in Newmarket.
In 2022, a citizen of Ypres adopted his name through a program designed to honor those servicemen whose names are on the Ypres Memorial. Ever since the memorial gate was constructed after the war, the citizens of the city have placed flowers or a cross at the memorial to honor those who fought to save their city from destruction. In 2023 the memorial gate will undergo a major restoration, and Ms Van Kammen, who adopted Arthur’s name, contacted the Historical Society asking if there was a photograph of Arthur. We reached out to the family, and it seems that no photo exists.
This is not unusal as we have found few photos of our WW I veterans. Most of the photos we have are of men who had their studio photographs taken while they were home on leave, or back in town after the war ended. We have very few candids as cameras were not commonly owned by families in 1914 when Arthur went off to war.
Arthur’s younger brother Wilfred (1889 – 1918) was born in Newmarket, had enlisted from Dover in the US Army as a private for 3 years in 1905 when he was 16/17. Now at age 28 and working as a teamster with the railroad, and considerly heavier than he had been at age 17, he tried to re-enlist in June 1917, but he was rejected for being 100 pounds overweight. He appealed, demonstrating his good physical condition, with athletic exercises… running in place…hopping on one foot. He showed no signs of lack of wind, and with his desire to serve, he passed—subject to another physical exam upon reporting to camp. On September 27, 1917 he was chosen to lead the parade of recruits and carry the flag when they left Market Square in Portsmouth for the train station—such was his eagerness to serve. Initially accepted at Fort Ayers, Wilfred was the happiest man of the encampment; but within a few weeks he was again rejected and sent home by army surgeons.
Unfortuantely, the following month on October 16, 1917 returning from work with the railroad in Portsmouth, as the train was coming to a full stop he hopped off the 6 o’clock train at the town depot. He was thrown partially under the cars, much of his right hand was badly mangled, and nearly all of his fingers had to be amputated. His scalp was nearly torn off from one side of his head. Wilfred recovered…slowly, only to be stricken with influenza the next year and died October 2, 1918 of the “Spanish Flu”. He was one of 30 deaths of Newmarket residents that month due to the epidemic.
Albert (1896 - 1953 ) worked in the silk mill and he bought the home after his father died and raised his own children here. He married Leda Rousseau (1890-1971) who was born in Canada and immigrated to work in the mills . They had three sons and three daughters. Albert died in September 1953 when he suffered a heart attack resulting in a fatal car accident while driving in Portsmouth; Leda died at age 81 and residied at 11 Chapel Street up until her death.
Albert and Leda’s children were the last generation of the Beauchesnes to grow up on the top of Chapel Street:
Marie “Alice” (1917- 1981) m. 1938 Romeo Lavoie. They were both shoe workers who moved to Mass. to raise a family. They are buried in Haverhill and raised a son and a daughter.
Albert Henry, Jr. aka “Henry” (Dec.1917 -1994) Prior to WW II he worked at Sam Smith and was living with his parents; he enlisted in the Army Air Force and was the first Newmarket man to come home at the war’s end in May 1945. He married Louise Fearon the following year and they had two children. He remained in the Air Force and in 1950 was stationed at Hickham AFB in Hawaii.
Florence (1920 - 2006) worked in the mills and married Medard “Cheeta” Beaulieu and raised three sons on Elm Drive in town.
Doris (1921 -2007) worked in the shoe factory and married co-worker Valmond Dube in 1940. He enlisted in the US Navy in WW II, was shipfitter at Camp Peary, VA when he died of encephalitis in 1943. Doris remarried Michael Paradise and raised a family of two daughters and a son on Exeter St.
Arthur (1924-2020) was named after his uncle who was Killed In Action during WW I. He graduated from NHS Class of 1941 and immediately enlisted in the US Navy. He was an aviator at Midway in the Pacific. He worked as a real estate agent until he was appointed to serve as Newmarket Postmaster from 1966 until 1984. He was primarily responsible for the building of the new Federal Post Office building on Main St. See Site No, 25 for his complete bio: https://www.newmarketnhhistoricalsociety.org/the-walking-tour/site-no.25-post-office/
Raymond “George” (1929-2000) in 1963 he married Marion (Dow) in Newmarket. During the Korean War he enlisted in the US Marine Corps. At the time of his death he had been a resident of Newfields for 37 years. He operated a trucking business and worked at Seabrook Power Plant and Kingston-Warren Corp. in Newfields. He was survived by two sons.