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William Goss Family
Without a doubt, William Goss was one of the outstanding personages of Epsom in the mid 1800's. His grandfather, Samuel Goss, bought property in Epsom from his brother Joseph around 1780, coming to Epsom from Greenland, NH. Samuel married Abigail Lucas of Pembroke in 1779 and had at least six children, of which four sons settled in town. His first wife died in 1824 and married second, Elizabeth Gorden (a story in herself, marrying first Benjamin Burnham and second John Cochran). Among his sons was Jonathan, born in Epsom July 16, 1793, who married in 1816, Sally Yeaton (she, daughter of William Yeaton and Hannah Towle). He settled in the area of Jug City and was by trade a blacksmith and farmer. He was a man of enormous strength and served in the War of 1812. He and wife Sally had seven children; Noah, William, Hannah Y., Nancy L., Mary C., Sally and Andrew J. Goss.
William Goss inherited his father's activity and energy, and worked on his father's farm and helped on occasion in the shop. He remained at home with his parents until about the age of 25 when he married Maryetta Abbott of Pembroke (daughter of William Abbott and Esther Fowler) on June 02, 1846. At that time he settled upon a farm that adjoined that of his fathers and in 1848 sold his one undivided half of a Shingle Mill to Stickney Robinson. In March of 1855, he bought from William P. Cilley the Cilley Tavern and Farm near what was then called Epsom Center. The Cilley Tavern had been operated by Daniel Cilley since it was built around 1803, and continued to be run by his widow and children until she died. Settling the estate of his parents, William P. Cilley put the tavern up for sale and was bought by William Goss - and with it considerable land and property. His labors and hard work paid off as he continued to expand his business dealings. The Cilley Tavern became the Suncook Valley House, and in 1861, in dealing with the Free Will Baptists, was instrumental in building the present Epsom Baptist Church. He bought the old building and by deed sold them the land where the new church was located, and moved the old building down past the hotel on what was then the Rand Road. The old church was raised, with the church (second floor) being dedicated Sept. 20, 1883 as the G.A.R. Hall (see photo on the web page for Brief Early History of Epsom). At some point the store was run by his son Jonathan A. Goss, who sold it about Jan. 1873 to Andrew J. Silver and Jacob F. Robinson. The Goss family holdings and fortunes continued to grow with the addition in Epsom of the Suncook Valley Railroad around 1861. As the business began to flourish, more housing was needed in the area, and William Goss began to move houses from other parts of town down to the area of the hotel and store. Included in these were the homestead of his father, and his previous home from the Jug City area of Epsom.
By 1883 business was good, and William Goss found himself owning over 50% of the shares in a new venture, the Epsom Shoe Factory Company. The new company built a factory at the end of Black Hall Road, on the Little Suncook River, near the Freewill Baptist Church and the Prescott Bridge. Complete with power, the Directors in 1885 subleased some (if not all) the factory to Mitchell, Finney and Jackman - and signing the agreement with William Goss were Directors Andrew J. Silver and Morrill D. Bickford. In what was a fairly sparse area of Epsom was now a new and complete village, all through the efforts of William Goss. With the new factory, a successful hotel, store and mills, new church and homes, the area prospered, and as early as 1882, while William Goss was still living, the area became known as Gossville in his honor.
His wife died in May of 1873 and William Goss married on Dec. 23, 1873, Sally Rebecca Randall, widow of John K. Crockett. She and Mr. Crockett had one daughter, Annie Rebecca Crockett, who later married James A. Yeaton. Willam's second wife outlived him by about seven years, running the hotel after his death until she died. As part of settling the estate, the hotel complex was sold to Chapin Osgood.
William Goss and his first wife, Maryetta Abbott, had four children - 1) John Abbott Goss, born Aug. 26, 1847 who married Electa Ann Carpenter; 2) Elizabeth J., born Sept. 2, 1849 and married Alfred Porter Bickford, 3) Noah William Goss, born July 12, 1861 and married Clara Jackson; and 4) Nathan Jonathan Goss, who married Ida M. Leighton. Little is known of Noah, other than hr removed to Pittsfield. John Abbott Goss also removed to Pittsfield where he became prominent in the banking business and ran the Opera House there. Nathan J. Goss stayed in Epsom for some time, running for a while the Epsom Shoe Factory Company, but later joined his son in California, where he, his wife, and son Nathan Jr. all died. William Goss, his two spouses, Nathan Goss and his family, are all buried in the Gossville/Hopkinson Cemetery, Epsom, NH.
Above, children of William Goss and Maryetta Abbott - left to right, John A. Goss, Elizabeth J. Goss and Nathan J. Goss.