Portrait from the History of the town of Sullivan, New Hampshire, 1777-1917, Vol II.
Our theme of oddly named New England political figures continues with the addition of Dauphin White Wilson, a two-term member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from the town of Sullivan. The son of John and Betsy (Nims) Wilson, Dauphin White Wilson was born in Sullivan on August 18, 1810. Bestowed the names Dauphin White upon his birth, Wilson's unusual name honored Dauphin White (1788-1810), a rising young citizen of Sullivan who died in December 1810, and was acknowledged "as one of the most brilliant young men of the town, possessed of remarkable intelligence. Nearly a dozen boys of the town and vicinity were named for him."
A member of the local militia during his youth, Dauphin Wilson married on November 3, 1836, to Ruth Mason, to whom he was wed for fifty-six years. The couple would have one son who died in infancy in 1837. Through the succeeding years, Wilson rose to become a prominent figure in Sullivan, being a farmer, schoolteacher, carpenter and a man of verse. Remarked as being a "fair poet" and "true balladest", Wilson is noted as having had
"The true spirit of poetry in his nature, but had never given any attention to the laws of meter, and the metrical arraignment of many of his poems is seriously defective. His poem, printed on page 70 of this book [the History of the town of Sullivan] sounds like an old time ballad and is of that nature.....He had a sentimental turn of mind and was particularly attached to his native town. Every object of interest which ever existed in the town was treasured by him in memory."Active in the political affairs of Sullivan, Wilson held several town offices, including justice of the peace, school board clerk, hog-reeve, juror and treasurer (serving in the latter in 1838.) In 1850 he was elected as one of Sullivan County's representatives to the New Hampshire legislature and during the 1851 session held no committee assignments. In 1860 Wilson won a second term in the legislature and, as was the case in his previous term, held no committee assignments.
1886 proved to be an important year for Wilson and his wife, as they not only celebrated their golden wedding anniversary (an event that was celebrated in the photograph below) but also removed from Sullivan to the neighboring town of Keene. Wilson returned to politics that year when he served on the Keene Common Council from Ward 1, and continued to reside in that city until his death at age 81 on March 17, 1892. His wife Ruth survived him by six years, and following her death in 1898 was interred alongside her husband at the Sullivan Center Cemetery in Sullivan.
Dauphin Wilson and his wife are seated in the above photo.
From the 1857 New Hampshire legislative journal.
Another New Hampshire based "Dauphin" that entered the political life of his state was Cheshire County resident Dauphin White Buckminster, who, like the man that preceded him here, received his first and middle names in honor of Dauphin White (1788-1810). Unfortunately, information has proven to be scant in regards to Buckminster, and no photo of him could be found to post here. A one-term member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Buckminster was born in that state on September 20, 1822, the son of Peter and Abigail Buckminster.
For a good majority of his life, Buckminster resided in Keene, New Hampshire, coincidentally the same town that Dauphin W. Wilson moved to in the late 1880s. During his residency here Buckminster was a member of a local militia unit called the Keene Light Infantry, serving from 1849-51. Buckminster would later marry to Harriet Irene Mason
and in 1856 was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives, serving in the 1857 session.
Following his legislative service, Buckminster operated a gun shop and in 1871 entered into the post of Register of Probate for Cheshire County, continuing in that office until his death on January 27, 1880. He was later interred at the Woodland Cemetery in Keene.