Incorporated in 1772, Francestown was named for Frances Deering Wentworth, wife of Governor John Wentworth. She was the source of some scandal, marrying John just 10 days after the death of her first husband, Theodore Atkinson.

Three years after Francestown was incorporated, the Wentworths fled to exile. Situated on the Second New Hampshire Turnpike, the only through-route between Boston and Vermont, the town collected a toll of 1 cent per mile from traveling coaches and wagons.

Francestown was also the site of a high-quality soapstone quarry, which was mined until the 1890s.