JOHN S. KIRKHAM, NEWINGTON: Farmer.
Mr. Kirkham is a native of Newington. He was born April 6, 1826, and reared on his father's farm, working hard
and attending the common schools during such portions of the year as might be conveniently spared from farm work
for that purpose. His education was finished in the Springfield High School and Newington Academy. In 1849 he went
to California, being one of the pioneer band of Argonauts organized in Hartford by Major Horace Goodwin, C. G.
Smith, Joseph Pratt, and others. He was chosen on the board of managers, and also clerk of elections in El Dorado
county in 1850. After a valuable experience in the gold regions he returned to Newington, where, since 1855, he
has been justice of the peace. When the town was incorporated in 1871, he was chosen town clerk, and has remained
such since, save for three years. From 1866 he has been school visitor, and is now chairman of the board. In addition
to these places of trust he is treasurer of the State Board of Agriculture. He was a leader in the farmers' organization
a few years ago to contest the claims of the "Granite Agricultural Works" of Lebanon, N. H., growing
out of fraudulent notes. Always a staunch defender of farmers' rights and a leading spirit in the local and state
Grange, he is more active in the support of agricultural interests than even the interests of the democratic party.
In 1878 he represented Newington in the lower house of the general assembly, and ten years later served as state
senator from the second district. Mr. Kirkham has been twice married; first to Miss Harriet P. Atwood, who died
in 1882; his second wife being Miss Mary K. Atwood, to whom he was married in 1885. He has four children. He is
a member and clerk of the Congregational church in Newington, and occupies an influential position in all local
Illustrated Popular Biography
Compiled and Published by J. A. Spalding
Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.
Hartford, Conn. 1891
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