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Furniture Craftsmen

Nichols House Museum Boston (named for Rose Standish Nichols)

Susannah Towne (1762-1840) and Timothy Nichols (1756-1846)

Generation Five Family 387

SUSANNAH TOWNE (Martha Abbott Towne4, Ephraim3, John2, George1), b. at Amherst, NH, 29 Dec 1762 daughter of Archelaus and Martha (Abbott) Towne; d. at Norwich, VT 2 Dec 1840; m. 21 Oct 1779, TIMOTHY NICHOLS, b. at Reading, 16 Feb 1756 son of Timothy and Mehitable (Weston) Nichols; Timothy d. at Norwich, VT 22 Aug 1846.

Susannah Towne married Timothy Nichols born at Reading. Timothy’s father died at the siege of Quebec in 1759. Timothy served in the Revolutionary War serving as a private in 1777 and 1778. (1, 2)

Susannah and Timothy raised their family in Amherst, New Hampshire but relocated to Norwich, Vermont in their later years where their son Morris Lattin Nichols was living.

Two of the sons of Susannah and Timothy trained in the furniture and cabinet making trades. Two sons-in-law were Benjamin Damon and William Low partners in the Concord, New Hampshire furniture making company Low and Damon. (3) An example of a Low and Damon chair can be seen on the New Hampshire Historical Society site:

Timothy Nichols wrote his will 26 Jan 1829 nearly 20 years before his death. In his will, he left $1 each to son Leonard F. Nichols and daughters Susan Smith, Grace G. Low, and Sophia Damon as each of the children have already received to benefit of the estate to which they are entitled. “To my beloved friend and wife Susanna Nichols,” he left all the estate, real and personal, for her use during her lifetime. Following her death, the real estate was to be divided equally among his five sons Luther W., Morris L., John P., Robert, and Charles. Wife Susanna was named executor. Susannah Nichols died before her husband, and the administration of the estate was granted to Morris L. Nichols 6 January 1847. (4)

Son Charles Nichols, who did not marry, wrote his will 7 September 1885 and it includes numerous bequests to his relatives, friends, and organizations. “Such is the conscious uncertainty of life with me, that I feel it necessary to have my secular matters arranged preparatory to my decease which may be near at hand.” (5) Bequests are to brother John P. Nichols and his wife Mary Ann Nichols; Dr. Arthur H. Nichols (John’s son) and the three daughters of Arthur; nephews Francis H. Nichols and Horace H. Nichols; nephew Henry A. Nichols and his son Frank L. Nichols and Henry’s daughter; nephew Albert Nichols and his son and daughter; niece Grace Low Knowlton and her two daughters; niece Caroline Davenport; nephew Edward F. Nichols and his four children; niece Mary Ann Eastbrook and her six children; nephew Luther W. Nichols and his sons. . . and many more too numerous to mention. The will is of interest as it includes the locations and addresses of most of the beneficiaries. One interesting side note is that one of the daughters of Dr. Arthur H. Nichols mentioned in the will in the landscape architect, suffragist, and pacifist Ruth Standish Nichols who will be featured in a separate blog.

Susannah Towne and Timothy Nichols had nine children, eight of the births recorded at Amherst, New Hampshire and the birth of Leonard at Andover, New Hampshire. (6)

1. SUSANNAH NICHOLS, b. 22 Oct 1780; d. at Concord, 30 Apr 1855; m. 24 Oct 1820, JOHN SMITH, b. at Beverly, 6 Jun 1762 son of Job and Sarah (Allen) Smith; John d. at Bradford, 3 Feb 1845. (7) Susannah and John did not have children. John was first married to Mary Herrick.

2. GRACE GARDNER NICHOLS, b. 23 May 1783; d. at Concord, 14 May 1868; m. at Amherst, 9 Jun 1803, WILLIAM LOW, b. at Amherst, 20 Apr 1779 son of William and Elizabeth (Crosby) Low; William d. 1847 (probate 1847). Grace and William did not have children.

3. SOPHIA NICHOLS, b. 29 Dec 1785; d. at Concord, 21 Oct 1866; m. 10 Jan 1811, BENJAMIN DAMON, b. at Amherst, 22 Dec 1783 son of Benjamin and Polly (Hosea) Damon; Benjamin d. at Concord, Sep 1872.

4. LUTHER WESTON NICHOLS, b. 23 Sep 1789; d. at Amherst, 9 Apr 1866; m. 1st, Jul 1812, HANNAH TOMPKINS, b. at Little Compton, RI, 18 Apr 1790 daughter of Gamaliel and Mary (Church) Tompkins; Hannah d. at Amherst, 25 Dec 1850. Luther m. 2nd, at Boston, 24 Nov 1852, LUCY RHOADS, b. at Amherst, 19 Apr 1801 daughter of Eleazer and Elizabeth (Bullard) Rhoads; Lucy d. at New Ipswich, NH, 9 Jun 1878. Lucy Rhoads was fist married to Joshua Horn and after Luther’s death, she married James Chandler.

5. LEONARD TOWNE NICHOLS, b. 16 Feb 1792; d. at Amherst, 13 Jul 1836; m. at Lyndeborough, 24 Feb 1820, FANNY BLANCHARD, b. at Lyndeborough, 29 Apr 1790 daughter of Jotham and Abigail (Crosby) Blanchard; Fanny d. 4 Dec 1862. After Leonard’s death, Fanny married Oliver Willoby 3 Jun 1852.

6. MORRIS LATTIN NICHOLS 1794-1870[endif]--, b. 31 Oct 1794; d. at Norwich, VT, 18 Mar 1870; m. 29 Jun 1824, CLARISSA SAFFORD, b. about 1795 daughter of Johnson and Clarissa (Ensworth) Safford; Clarissa d. 17 Nov 1863. (8)![endif]--

7. JOHN PERKINS NICHOLS, b. 19 Oct 1798; d. at Boston, 27 Oct 1891; m. 1 Jun 1831, MARY ANN CLARK, b. at Wilton, 19 May 1810 daughter of David and Anna Spaulding (Fiske) Clark; Mary Ann d. at Boston, 27 Dec 1885.

8. ROBERT NICHOLS, b. 13 Dec 1802; d. at Norwich, 11 Nov 1845; m. 7 Dec 1826, BETSEY ENSWORTH, b. at Norwich, 1 Jan 1801 daughter of Hezekiah and Erepta (Pike) Ensworth; Betsey d. at Boston, 16 Feb 1884.

9. CHARLES NICHOLS, b. 9 Dec 1808; d. at Boston, 24 May 1885. Charles did not marry.


Photo credit: By John Phelan - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

1) Aldrich and Holmes, History of Windsor County, Vermont, p 498,

2) Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application File, ;xid=1945

3), U.S. Craftperson Files, 1600-1995

4) Vermont Wills and Probate, 1749-1999, Volumes 1819, 1845-1850, will and probate of Timothy Nichols

5) Suffolk County, MA: Probate File Papers, Will of Charles Nichols, 7 Sep 1885

6) New Hampshire, Births and Christenings Index, 1714-1904

7) Gould and Beals, Early Families of Bradford, p 390

8) Morris Lattin’s name is variously given as Lattin Morris and Morris Lattin.


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