Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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HEAD, Matt, governor of New Hampshire, born in Hookset, New Hampshire, 20 May, 1828; died there, 12 November, 1883. His great-grandfather was a lieutenant-colonel in the war of the Revolution, losing his life at the battle of Bennington, and his grandfather served also in that war. Matt engaged in the manufacture of bricks and lumber in Hook-set, and later became a railroad and general building contractor. He early connected himself with military organizations, held various offices, and sat in the legislatures of 1861 and 1862. From 1864 till 1870 he was adjutant-general of the state. When he was called to this office New Hampshire had furnished 26,000 men to the national service, but had not a complete set of the muster-rolls of a single organization, nor was there a record of the deeds of New Hampshire men on the battle-fields. General Head obtained the records of the career of every officer and enlisted man, and published them in four volumes (1865-'6), with biographical sketches of field-officers killed or who died in the service, besides sketches of the regiments and battalions. General Head also compiled the military records of the state from 1823 to 1861. When the Soldiers' asylum at Augusta, Maine, was burned he was placed in charge of the institution during the illness of the deputy-governor, and subsequently rebuilt it. General Head was president of the New Hampshire agricultural society, and was prominent in furthering the agricultural interests of the state, and of the Patrons of husbandry. He was chosen to the state senate in 1876 and 1877, and was president of the senate the last year. Under the new constitutional amendment of the state providing for biennial elections, he was chosen governor, to serve for two years, 1879-'80.
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