Captain Josiah Crosby



pixOrganized on October 19, 1895, by Susan A. Bartlett, the Milford Chapter was named for the town of Milford, New Hampshire. Twenty-eight years later, the chapter changed the chapter's name to Captain Josiah Crosby Chapter, in honor of Milford native Josiah Crosby.

Josiah Crosby was born November 24, 1730, in Billerica, Massachusetts, to Josiah and Elizabeth French Crosby. Tradition says that his father was killed by Indians, which subsequently placed young Josiah in the care of his uncle. When he was fifteen, he apprenticed under Bedford millwright Joseph Fitch, where he both learned a trade and fell in love. In 1750, he married Fitch's daughter, Sarah, and three years later the young couple moved to seventy-seven acres of land along the Souhgean River. Josiah and Sarah had ten children: Josiah, Jr., Joseph, Sarah, William, Elizabeth, Alpheus, Asa, John, Esther, and Fitch. Four of his sons served as soldiers in the Revolutionary War.

pixJosiah's military service began along the Connecticut River in 1748 during the French and Indian War. Under the command of a lieutenant, he and fourteen men were ordered to march from Fort Dummer to Fort Hinsdale, where they were ambushed along the route. Josiah and two men escaped, nearly drowning in the process.

At the beginning of unrest in the colonies, the town of Amherst equipped and trained a militia, and elected Josiah as their captain. Following the Battle of Lexington and Concord, Crosby's company deployed to Cambridge. In May, they became the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment. The following month they fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Captain Crosby's company was present when General George Washington took command in July of 1775. The General either read the 101st Psalm to them or the men sang it to him. The story survives in both forms.

pixFollowing the war, he returned home where he accepted many civic responsibilities. Josiah served a moderator, selectman, and representative to the General Court. Josiah was instrumental in building the meeting house in Milford, which was constructed in 1784 and is now known as Eagle Hall. Josiah was regarded as a skilled man of strong character who demonstrated good citizenship and patriotism. He is described as a successful frontiersman and farmer who raised his large family in the favor of God and men. Josiah Crosby died on October 15, 1793, and is buried in the Elm Street Cemetery in Milford.

pixThe Crosby farm was located in the part of Monson that was annexed to Amherst when the town failed in 1770, and later became Milford, New Hampshire. Josiah's property remained in the family for many years until it was sold to Arthur L. Keyes in 1957. Later, it was given to the Milford School District. Part of the property is now Keyes Memorial Park and hosts athletic fields and a swimming pool.


Former Chapter Regents



Regent Term
Mrs. Susan A. Bartlett 1895 - 1898
Mrs. Hannah E. Foster 1898 - 1900
Mrs. Josephine S. French 1900 - 1902
Mrs. Ellen L. McLane 1902 - 1904
Mrs. Harriet E. Kaley 1904 - 1906
Mrs. Alice R. Peck 1906 - 1909
Mrs. Harriet Hutchinson 1909 - 1911
Mrs. Bertha Sawyer 1911 - 1913
Mrs. G. Gertrude Jewett 1913 - 1915
Mrs. Dorothy E. McLane 1915 - 1916
Mrs. Lizzie E. Dodge 1916 - 1917
Mrs. Blanche A. Bruce 1917 - 1918
Mrs. Huldah C. Wilkins 1918 - 1920
Mrs. Grace M. Rotch 1920 - 1922
Mrs. Fanny C. Guild 1922 - 1924
Mrs. Freida J. Peavey 1924 - 1925
Mrs. Lizzie G. Caldwell 1925 - 1927
Mrs. Ida M. Ritchie 1927 - 1929
Mrs. Miriam E. Burns 1929 - 1931
Mrs. Edith E. Bales 1931 - 1933
Mrs. Daisy E. Stickney 1933 - 1935
Mrs. Lucy C. Trow 1935 - 1938
Mrs. Louise R. Powers 1938 - 1940
Mrs. Gertrude W. Howison 1940 - 1942
Mrs. Lizzie G. Caldwell 1942 - 1943
Mrs. Daisy E. Stickney 1943 - 1944
Mrs. Anne L. Hutchinson 1944 - 1946
Mrs. Mary F. Stow 1946 - 1947
Mrs. Eleanora L. Carr 1949 - 1953
Mrs. Blanche Carey 1953 - 1955
Mrs. Mary F. Stow 1955 - 1956
Miss Dorothy McGaffey 1956 - 1958
Mrs. Eleanora L. Carr 1958 - 1960
Mrs. Jean M. Eckhardt 1960 - 1962
Mrs. Lois H. Anderson 1962 - 1964
Mrs. Thirza Russell 1964 - 1970
Mrs. Jean M. Eckhardt 1970 - 1972
Mrs. Effa Wishart 1972 - 1974
Mrs. R. Morton Darling (Vice Regent) 1974 - 1975
Mrs. Arlene B. George 1975 - 1980
Mrs. Constance L. Guetens 1980 - 1983
Mrs. Mildred S. Bean 1983 - 1984
Mrs. Norma D. Brasier 1984 - 1986
Mrs. Jane B. Wright 1986 - 1988
Mrs. Rosamond E. Buchanan 1988 - 1990
Mrs. Janet Rickertsen 1990 - 1992
Mrs. Elaine Witt 1992 - 1996
Mrs. Priscilla Carlson 1996 - 1998
Mrs. Sandra G. Dudley 1998 - 2001
Mrs. Rosamond E. Buchanan 2001 - 2002
Mrs. Sandra G. Dudley 2002 - 2003
Mrs. Jacqueline Marshall 2003 - 2010
Mrs. Helen Tognetti 2010 - 2012
Mrs. Denise Green 2013 - 2016