Amherst, New Hampshire

Amherst, New Hampshire

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Amherst, New Hampshire
nickname =
motto =


imagesize =
image_caption =

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
settlement_type = Town

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = New Hampshire
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Hillsborough
government_type =
leader_title = Board of Selectmen
leader_name = Bruce Bowler, Chairman
John Dinkel, Jr.
Thomas Grella
George Infanti
Reed Panasiti
established_title = Incorporated
established_date =
area_magnitude = 1 E8
area_total_km2 = 90.2
area_total_sq_mi = 34.8
area_land_km2 = 88.8
area_land_sq_mi = 34.3
area_water_km2 = 1.3
area_water_sq_mi = 0.5
area_water_percent = 1.49
population_as_of = 2000
population_note =
population_total = 10769
population_density_km2 = 121.3
population_density_sq_mi = 314.1
timezone = Eastern
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 42 |latm = 51 |lats = 41 |latNS = N
longd = 71 |longm = 37 |longs = 31 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 79
elevation_ft = 259
website = []
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 03031
area_code = 603
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 33-01300
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0873531
footnotes =

Amherst is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 10,769 at the 2000 census. Amherst is home to Ponemah Bog Wildlife Sanctuary, Hodgman State Forest and Baboosic Lake.


Like many New England towns, Amherst was the result of a land grant given to soldiers - in this case, to soldiers in 1728 who had participated in King Philip's War. Settled about 1733, it was first called "Narragansett Number 3," and then later "Souhegan Number 3." In 1741, settlers formed the Congregational church and hired the first minister. Chartered in 1760 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, the town was named for Lord General Jeffrey Amherst, who commanded British forces in North America during the French and Indian War. Lord Jeffrey Amherst is also infamous for initiating the practice of giving smallpox blankets to Native Americans in a genocidal effort "to Extirpate this Execrable Race" (as quoted from his letter to Colonel Henry Bouquet on July 16, 1763).

In 1770, Amherst became the county seat of Hillsborough County, due largely to its location on the county's major east-west road. It continued to prosper through the Revolutionary War and afterwards. In 1790, the southwestern section broke off and became the town of Milford, and in 1803, the northwest section departed to become Mont Vernon. The development of water-powered mills made Milford grow at Amherst's expense, and the county seat was moved in 1866.

The town population remained relatively stagnant until after World War II, when Amherst and many surrounding towns saw an influx of newcomers as they became part of the greater Boston, Massachusetts region.

Franklin Pierce, who later become the 14th President of United States of America, studied under Judges Samuel Howe and Edmund Parker in Amherst. He also wed Jane Means Appleton, the daughter of a former president of Bowdoin College, in a house on the town green.

Notable inhabitants

* Charles G. Atherton (1804-1853), born in Amherst, United States Congressman and Senator from New Hampshirecite book | title = Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896 | publisher = Marquis Who's Who | location = Chicago | date = 1967]
* Charles Humphrey Atherton (1773-1853), born in Amherst, United States Congressman from New Hampshire
* John S. Barry (1802-1870), born in Amherst, only three-term governor of Michigan
*Clifton Clagett (1762-1829) was a United States Representative from New Hampshire.
* James Freeman Dana (1793-1827), born in Amherst, noted chemist, professor, and author
* Samuel Luther Dana (1795-1868), born in Amherst, noted chemist, devised new system of bleaching clothes
* Jonathan Fisk, (1778-1832), born in Amherst, United States Congressman from New York
* Horace Greeley, (1811-1872), born in Amherst, editor, politician & founder of the Republican Party
* Moses Nichols (1740-1790), physician, soldier & statesman during the American Revolution
* Robert Parish (1953- present) former Boston Celtics All-Star, NBA Hall of Famer
* Jane Means (Appleton) Pierce (1806-1863), first lady
* Frank Selee (1859-1909), baseball manager


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of convert|34.8|sqmi|km2, of which convert|34.3|sqmi|km2|abbr=on is land and convert|0.5|sqmi|km2|abbr=on is water, comprising 1.49% of the town. Located on the Souhegan River, Amherst is drained by Beaver, Bloody, and Joe English brooks. Amherst's highest point is on Chestnut Hill at the town's northern border, where the elevation reaches convert|865|ft|m above sea level. Amherst lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed.cite book |title=Water Use in New Hampshire: An Activities Guide for Teachers |url= |last=Foster |first=Debra H. |coauthors=Batorfalvy, Tatianna N.; and Medalie, Laura |publisher=U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey |year=1995]


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 10,769 people, 3,590 households, and 3,065 families residing in the town. The population density was 314.1 people per square mile (121.3/km²). There were 3,752 housing units at an average density of 109.4/sq mi (42.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.00% White, 0.43% African American, 0.13% Native American, 1.34% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.01% of the population.

There were 3,590 households out of which 47.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 78.3% were married couples living together, 4.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.6% were non-families. 11.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.26.

In the town the population was spread out with 31.7% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 29.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 101.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $89,384, and the median income for a family was $97,913. Males had a median income of $73,432 versus $35,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $35,531. About 1.0% of families and 1.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.8% of those under age 18 and 2.6% of those age 65 or over.


Amherst is home to Clark and Wilkins Elementary schools, Amherst Middle School and
Souhegan High School, which is also the high school for neighboring Mont Vernon.


* The town song of Amherst, "Amherst is my Home", was composed by James Durst on a grant from the NH State Council on the Arts/NEA. []

Sites of Interest

* [ Chapel Museum] (1858)
* Wigwam Museum (1839)
* [ Peabody Mill Environmental Center]


External links

* [ Town website]
* [ Amherst Historical Society]
* [ Amherst Town Library]
* [ School District page]
* [ New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau Profile]

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