Farmington’s Dr. William H. Nute (1858-1938)

By Muriel Bristol | January 29, 2021

William Herbert Nute was born in Farmington, NH, May 8, 1858, son of Charles W. and Mary L. (Richardson) Nute. His mother died of typhoid fever in the Union army camp at Alexandria, VA, August 10, 1863.

Mrs. Nute, a most estimable lady, came to camp in winter of 1863, bringing the little Captain Herbert. How pleasantly we remember both. We recall with sorrow the death of Mrs. Nute by typhoid fever at camp. Her gracious, kindly presence lives with us (Shaw, 1903).

His father, Major Charles W. Nute, placed his son, “little Captain [William] Herbert,” in the care of a brother-in-law, George W. Colomy (1825-1881), of Farmington. Major Nute died of disease in the Union army camp in Alexandria, VA, March 9, 1865.

LOCAL AND OTHER ITEMS. A letter received last evening from the First Me. Heavy Artillery, dated March 10th, says that Major Nute, of Lincoln, died very suddenly on the 9th inst., in camp, of congestion of the lungs. He was out a dress parade on the 6th inst. The writer, an officer of the regiment, says, “We have lost a good officer and a pleasant man one that was a favorite with all” (Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, ME), March 16, 1865).

George Colomey, a farmer, aged thirty-five years (b. NH), headed a Farmington, NH, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included  Harriett Colomey, keeping house, aged thirty-five years (b. NH), Arthur W. Colomey, at home, aged sixteen years (b. NH), George A. Colomey, aged fourteen years (b. NH), Hattie Colomey, aged twelve years (b. NH), William H. Colomey [i.e., Nute], aged twelve years (b. NH), Daniel Colomey, aged seventy-seven years (b. NH), and Rebecca Colomey, aged seventy-seven years (b. NH). George Colomey had real estate valued at $4,000 and personal estate valued at $1,200.

He was graduated from the high school of his native [Farmington, NH] town and pursued his studies at the New Hampton institution, going for his professional training to Bellevue, New York city, and the Bowdoin Medical school, Brunswick, Me., where he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1881. He immediately entered upon the practice of his profession in his native town (Willey, 1903).

Willis Herbertus Nute, i.e., William Herbert Nute in Latin, appeared in a list of Bowdoin College’s Medical School Class of 1881.

The Mitchell-Cony Directory of 1908 portrayed Dr. Nute as having filled a gap in the roster of Milton physicians occasioned by the departure of Dr. G.W. Peavey, circa 1877-78.

Dr. Nute succeeded Dr. Peavey, but stayed only a short time. For several years there was no resident physician at the village until Dr. H.F. Pitcher came in 1879 (Mitchell-Cony, 1908).

In fact, this Dr. Nute practiced in his native Farmington, NH, and possibly neighboring Milton too, but some years later, from the time of his 1881 graduation until his relocation to Exeter, NH, in 1890-91.

William H. Nute married (1st) in Farmington, NH, November 27, 1885, Christina Ferre “Cressie” Cotton, he of Farmington, and she of Providence, RI. He was a physician, aged twenty-seven years, and she was a housekeeper, aged nineteen years. Rev. W.E. Darling performed the ceremony. She was born in Brownfield, ME, circa 1866, daughter of Daniel M. and Levina (Meader) Cotton.

LOCALS. Saturday, while strapping a razor, James McGibbon, the tonsorial artist at the Wilson House, cut an ugly gash in the ball of the thumb of his left hand. Dr. Nute dressed the wound, taking two stitches to bring the severed parts together (Farmington News, January 22, 1886).

LOCALS. While John Dustin was at work on the foundation of a cellar near J.T. Pride’s stone yard, Wednesday, a large rock fell upon him, breaking both bones of the right leg below the knee. He was conveyed to his residence on the Jessie Elliot place and Dr. Nute called, who set the broken bones. It was a most unfortunate occurrence coming as it does just at the beginning of summer’s work (Farmington News, April 16, 1886).

LOCALS. The firm of Nute & Blake has dissolved partnership, Dr. Blake buying out Dr. Nute and continuing the business. See elsewhere adv. of dissolution. Dr. Nute’s office will still continue to be in the store as formerly (Farmington News, August 6, 1886).

CHIP’S CONTRIBUTION. John Pike, who works in Cloutman’s factory, cut a bad gash in his hand Tuesday. Dr. Nute dressed the wound (Farmington News, June 21, 1889).

SERIOUS ACCIDENT. Charles Hayes, son of Elihu Hayes, of New Durham, met with a serious and painful accident Monday while tending a planing machine at Downing’s Mills. While in the act of stooping for something he lost his balance and in trying to regain himself thrust his right hand directly under the knives of the planer. The hand was chopped in such a manner as to necessitate the amputation of all of the fingers back of the third joint or into the palm of the hand, the thumb only being saved and even this was injured somewhat. What rendered the circumstances more difficult and painful was the fact that while the accident occurred at 10 a.m., the necessary surgical treatment was not obtained until afternoon, from the reason that all the doctors here were away or so engaged that they could not attend. Dr. Hanson was first in attendance, but having no instruments could do little beyond checking the flow of blood. At about 5 p.m. Dr. Wallace of Rochester was found, who assisted by Dr. Nute of this place, performed the necessary amputation. Mr. Hayes is now comfortable and it is hoped will soon recover (Farmington News, August 23, 1889).

MEDICAL GRADUATES. CLASS OF 1881. William Herbert Nute. b. 8 May, 1858, Farmington, N.H. Physician, Farmington, N.H. (Bowdoin College, 1889).

Christina F. Nute divorced her husband in Strafford County, in February 1889. She alleged adultery. (She married (2nd) in Boston, MA, December 24, 1902, Raymond E. Valiquet, she of Providence, RI, and he of Boston. She died in Boston, MA, in December 1922).

[Dr. Nute] remained there [Farmington, NH,] until 1891, when despite the marked success which had followed him in Farmington he determined to make the hazard of new fortunes and removed to Exeter. In his new location Dr. Nute was equally prosperous and successful, and he almost immediately entered upon a practice which has now grown to be one of the largest in central Rockingham county (Willey, 1903).

William H. Nute married (2nd) in Exeter, NH, December 22, 1892, Lucy Ellen Reed, both of Exeter. He was a physician, aged thirty-four years, and she was aged twenty-four years. Rev. A.C. Nickerson performed the ceremony. She was born in Dorchester, MA, August 19, 1868, daughter of Henry E. and Lavinia Reed.

The Exeter Cottage Hospital was incorporated in November 1891, and opened June 9, 1897.

Dr. Nute was one of the first to recognize Exeter’s need of hospital accommodations, and largely through his efforts the Exeter cottage hospital was established to which he gives a large measure of his time (Willey, 1903).

William H. Nute, a physician, aged forty-two years (b. NH), headed an Exeter, NH, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of six years), Lucy E. Nute, aged thirty-one years (b. NH [SIC]), his child, Norwood Nute, aged six [three] years (b. NH), and his servant, Hannah Fitzgerald, a servant, aged thirty-five years (b. Ireland). William H. Nute rented their house at 27 Front Street. Lucy E. Nute was the mother of one child, of whom one was still living.

Nute, William H, MDDr. Nute keeps thoroughly abreast with all the progress of his profession, and annually spends a large amount of time in the hospitals of Boston, perfecting himself in all the latest discoveries of modern medical science. In addition to the exacting cares of a large general practice, Dr. Nute is a medical examiner for the Ancient Order of United Workmen, as well as for all the leading insurance companies which do business in his section. He is president of the Strafford district medical society, Fellow of the American Medical association, member of the New Hampshire Surgical club, and of the New Hampshire Medical society. He has been prominent also in various secret fraternities and is a 33d degree Mason, having served as master of his lodge and past district deputy grand master. He has also passed the chairs in the Odd Fellow and is a member of the Knights of Pythias. He is Past Sachem of the Improved Order of Red Men, being the highest office in the gift of the order in state. He is also a member of the Foresters of America. … He is a Republican in politics, a member of the Board of Health of Exeter, and attends the Unitarian church (Willey, 1903).

William H. Nute, a physician, aged fifty-two years (b. NH), headed an Exeter, NH, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eighteen years), Lucy E. Nute, aged “X” [forty-one] years (b. MA), his child, Norwood Nute, aged thirteen years (b. NH), and his servant, Hannah Fitzgerald, a housekeeper, aged forty-five years (b. Ireland). William H. Nute owned their house at 27 Front Street. Lucy E. Nute was the mother of one child, of whom one was still living.

William H. Nute, a physician, aged sixty-two years (b. NH), headed an Exeter, NH, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eighteen years), Lucy E. Nute, aged forty-seven [fifty-one] years (b. NH [SIC]), and his servant, Hannah Fitzgerald, a cook, aged forty-five years [fifty-five] years (b. Ireland). William H. Nute owned their house at 27 Front Street, free-and-clear.

William H. Nute, aged seventy-one years (b. NH), headed an Exeter, NH, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lucy Nute, aged sixty years (b. NH [SIC]), his son, Norwood Nute, aged thirty-three years (b. NH), his daughter-in-law, Marjorie W. Nute, aged twenty-eight years (b. Scotland), and his servant, Hannah E. Fitzgerald, aged sixty-four years (b. Ireland). William H. Nute owned their house at 25 Front Street, which was valued at $10,000. They had a radio set.  Marjorie W. Nute had immigrated into the U.S. in 1907, and Hannah E. Fitzgerald had done so in 1870. Both were naturalized citizens.

William H. Nute died in Exeter, NH, August 18, 1938, aged eighty years.

DR. WM. NUTE OF EXETER DIES AT 80. Dr. William H. Nute, for 48 years an Exeter physician and prominent citizen, died at the Exeter Hospital yesterday afternoon after a long illness, aged 80 years. Owing to failing health he gave up practicing a few years ago and his condition had gradually declined. Born in Farmington, May 8, 1858, a son of Charles W. and Mary L. (Richardson) Nute, he lived in his early years with an uncle and guardian, George W. Colomy, after his parents died when he was seven years of age. He was educated in the Farmington public schools and the New Hampton Literary Institute, now New Hampton School, and attended Bowdoin College, being graduated from the Bowdoin Medical School in 1881. He afterwards studied at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Dr. Nute practiced his profession for a year in Farmington and came to Exeter in 1890. He had an extensive practice both in Exeter and the surrounding towns. Before the acquisition of a school physician at Phillips Exeter Academy Dr. Nute attended the students and thus became well known among many from various parts of the country. Dr. Nute was also prominent fraternally, being a 32nd degree Mason, Blue Lodge, and was a past district deputy grand warden in the I.O.O.F., besides being a past sachem of the Wehannonowit Tribe of Red Men. In military circles, Dr. Nute was also prominent, being captain of Company L, N.H.N.G., which was the Exeter unit in the organization, and during World War after it was called into service he was major of the Sanitary Corps for home duty. He was a member of the New Hampshire Medical Society and the Rockingham County Medical Association. Dr. Nute married Lucy Reed, a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry Reed of Exeter, who survives him, and also a son, Norwood Nute of Exeter (Portsmouth Herald, August 19, 1938).

Lucy E. (Reed) Nute died in Exeter, NH, June 15, 1941.


Find a Grave. (2014, September 4). Maj. Charles Wilby Nute. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2017, July 2). Dr. William H. Nute. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2011, January 5). Christine Valiquet. Retrieved from

Shaw, Horace H. (1903). The First Maine Heavy Artillery, 1861-1865. Retrieved from

Willey, George F. (1903). State Builders: An Illustrated Historical and Biographical Record of the State of New Hampshire at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century. Retrieved from

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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