Hiram A. Tuttle by John Wheeler

Hon. Hiram A. Tuttle was born in Barnstead, October 16, 1837, being the elder of a family of two sons. His father, George Tuttle, and his grandfather, Col. John Tuttle, were also natives of the same town. His great-grandfather, John Tuttle, settled in Barnstead in 1776, coming there from that locality in Dover known as "Back River," where a part of the Tuttle family had resided since the settlement there of their emigrant ancestor, John Tuttle, who came from England before 1641.

His mother, Judith Mason Davis, is a descendant from Samuel Davis, a soldier of the Revolution, and one of the primeval settlers of Barnstead. Brave soldiers of the Davis family from four generations have represented that town in the four great wars in which the country has been engaged.

When Mr. Tuttle was nine years of age he moved, with his father's family, to the adjoining town of Pittsfield, where he attended the public schools and Pittsfield Academy, while the latter was under the charge, successively, of I. F. Folsom, Lewis W. Clark, and Prof. Dyer H. Sanborn.

After having been engaged in several vocations, in all of which he showed industry and faithfulness, at the age of seventeen years he became connected with the clothing establishment of Lincoln & Shaw, of Concord, where he remained several years. The ability and zeal which he exhibited while there won for him the confidence and respect of his employers, who established him in the management of a branch store in Pittsfield, of which he soon became the proprietor. His business increased gradually at first, and then rapidly till his establishment had gained an extensive patronage, and ranked among the largest clothing-houses in the State. It is so favorably remembered by former residents and patrons that orders are received for goods from distant states and territories. Mr. Tuttle has also been interested in real estate. He has built many dwelling-houses, including a fine residence for himself, and the best business buildings in the village. In many ways he has promoted the growth, social and business interests, and general prosperity of his adopted town. He is a trustee of the savings bank, a director of the national bank, and a trustee of the academy in Pittsfield.

When he had attained his majority, in 1859, he expressed his intention of casting his first vote with the Republicans, although all his relatives belonged to the Democratic party. The Democrats of Pittsfield had been victorious and powerful since the days of Jackson, under such distinguished leaders as Moses Norris, Jr., Charles H. Butters, and Lewis W. Clark, all being able lawyers, impressive public speakers, and having popular manners. Mr. Norris, a native of the town, represented it repeatedly in the legislature, was speaker of the house twice, a councilor, representative in congress four years, and was elected to the United States senate for six years while residing here. The ability and courteous manners of Mr. Clark (now Judge Lewis W. Clark) made him no less popular than Mr. Norris, with all classes, during the shorter time he was in business life in town. Seeing in young Tuttle qualities that might make him troublesome if opposed to them, but useful if in accord with their party, the Democrats used their most eminent persuasive powers to induce him to cleave to the party of all his kindred and vote with the hitherto victorious; but he obeyed his convictions and remained true to the Republican party. In 1860 the Republicans, though so long hopelessly beaten, made a sharp contest. When the day of election came, Mr. Clark was elected moderator, having been a most acceptable presiding officer for several years. The election of town clerk was made the test of the strength of the two parties. After a very exciting ballot, Mr. Tuttle was elected town clerk and the Democrats were beaten for the first time in thirty-three years. Although Pittsfield has a Democratic majority under normal circumstances, Mr. Tuttle has received the support of a large majority of its votes at times when his name has been presented for position. In 1873 and 1874 he was representative to the legislature. In 1876 he received an appointment, with the rank of colonel, on the staff of Governor Cheney, and with the governor and staff visited the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia. He was elected a member of the executive council from the second district in 1878, and was re-elected in 1879, under the new constitution, for the term of two years.

Mr. Tuttle has been very successful in all that he has undertaken; but his thrift has never made him arrogant or indifferent. He has cheerfully shared with others the results of the good fortune that Providence has granted him. He is an agreeable and companionable gentleman in all the honorable relations of life. As a citizen, neighbor, and friend, he is held in the highest estimation. He has furnished employment for many, and has been kind to the poor, very respectful to the aged, charitable to the erring, and a sympathizing helper of the embarrassed and unfortunate. Few men have more or firmer personal friends whose friendship is founded on kindness and substantial favors received. He gives with remarkable generosity to all charitable objects presented to him, and is very hospitable in his pleasant home. Mr. Tuttle accepts the Christian religion, and worships with the Congregational church. While he contributes very liberally for the support of the denomination of his choice, he does not withhold a helping hand from the other religious sects in his town. In his domestic relations he has been very fortunate. He married, in 1859, Miss Mary C. French, the only child of John L. French, Esq., formerly cashier of the Pittsfield bank. Their only child,—Hattie French Tuttle,—born January 17, 1861, is a member of the junior class in Wellesley College.