Amherst is a town located in Southern New Hampshire in the Merrimack Valley region of the state. It is situated in central Hillsborough County and encompasses a total area of 34.8 square miles, .5 of which is water. As of the 2010 United States Census, Amherst was home to 11,201 people.
Amherst was first granted in 1728 to a group of soldiers who had taken part in King Philip’s War. At the time, it was called Narragansett Number 3, then later it was change dto Souhegan Number 3. Settlement of the area began in 1733 and, in 1760, it was officially incorporated as a town by Governor Benning Wentworth. The town got its name from Lord Amherst, a general in the French and Indian War. Parts of the town have been split off and separated over the years; the Southwestern region became the town of Milford in 1790, and the Northwest portion became Mont Vernon in 1803.
Less than 2 percent of Amherst’s total area is made up of water. It includes parts of Souhegan River, Beaver Brook, Joe English Brook and Bloody Brook. Its highest point lies at Chestnut Hill, where elevation reaches 865 above sea level. Over the years, Amherst has been called home by a number of notable people, including: U.S. Congressmen Charles G. Atherton, Charles Humphrey Atherton, Clifton Clagett and Jonathan Fisk; former governor of Michigan John S. Barry; Horace Greeley, founder of the Liberal Republic Party; former first lady Jane Means Pierce; and artist Moses Billings.
Amherst is governed by an elected Board of Selectmen. The town boasts a full-time police department, an on-call fire department and volunteer emergency medical services. Top employers in the area include Wal-Mart, H&M Metals Inc., Diacom Corporation, Resin System Corporation, Vibrac Corporation, Rontex America Inc., FW Webb and Lowe’s. Children in the area attend schools in the School Administrative Unit #39, which also serves the nearby towns of Mont Vernon and Souhegan.