John Osgood of Andover, Massachusetts and Haverhill, New Hampshire.

John Osgood was born in North Andover, Massachusetts on June 20, 1770. He was the son of Colonel John and (his second wife) Hulda (Frye) Osgood. The Colonel’s first wife was the sister of Dudley and Michael Carleton. Their father, Squire Dudley Carlton had a farm on the Merrimack River. Both Dudley and Michael were clockmakers. Michael was also a skilled cabinetmaker and later worked in Bradford and Newbury, Vermont. John Osgood moved to Bradford, MA where he served his clockmakers apprenticeship to his uncle Michael Carlton of that town. Osgood returned to Andover sometime in early 1790. Here he married a Sarah Porter of Haverhill who came from Boxford (MA). They had a total of 6 children. In 1793, John moved his family to Haverhill, New Hampshire where he continued his business of making clocks, silversmithing and did watch and jewelry repair. He took out an ad on November 4th, 1793 in the Spooner’s Vermont Journal that informed the public that he had opened a shop there in the south end of John Montgomery’s house. Michael Carlton had already established a cabinet shop across the river in Vermont and may have convinced John to move north. Carleton was making fine furniture, Some of which was considered “Handsomer and more serviceable that what could be purchased in the cities.” Osgood’s shop was located 200 feet to the North of his own home on Main street. It was a square one story building with a divided front door and a window on each side of it. There were two rooms in front and a sales room in the back. He was successful there. With in two years he was elected to the town position of Sealer of Weights and Measures. Over the years, he employed several apprentices. He often bartered for services. His account books record that he squared with wheat, corn, oats and salt pork. On March 4, 1797, John Married Sarah Porter. Together they had 7 children all born in Haverhill. John Osgood was remembered by a grandson as a friendly, warm person. He was clean shaven, “bald from age,” smallish in stature and inclined to stoop while walking with a limp. (One knee suffered from a white swelling as a child. The joint was useless.) He was a devout Christian man. He was a devoted disciple of Isaac Walton and Tarlton Pond. John Osgood died in his own home on July 29, 1840 reportedly of consumption. He is buried in the Ladd Street Cemetery along side his wife. At his death he owned his house, shop and a good farm east of the village where his brother in law Billy Porter lived.

John Osgood’s clocks are often numbered. It is not uncommon to find a production number engraved into one of the movement plates. More commonly it can be found on the back plate. To date, we have seen at least 25 examples and counting. The lowest number we have seen is 14. The highest number recorded by us is No., 377.

Why move to Haverhill, New Hampshire? The town of Haverhill, NH was settled by citizens of Haverhill, MA and was incorporated in 1763 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth. In 1773, it became the county seat of Grafton County. Businesses that located there included gristmills, lumber mills, sawmills, wollenmills, potash, tanneries, flax mills, iron foundry and related businesses. Situated on the Connecticut River, Haverhill’s location presented a lot of opportunity.