Derry New Hampshire’s Premier Woman Poultry Farmer: Celia (Gardner) Whitney (1895-1974)

Celia Gardner from the NH College (now UNH) year book of 1919.

History is composed of time or location-related people, events and artifacts. Usually the ones we hear or read about are touted as being famous or important from someone’s viewpoint. Yet the majority of our collective history was created by individuals who flew under the history radar, so to speak. Celia Gardner was one of these people.  My thanks to Karen Blandford-Anderson and the Derry (NH) Historical Museum for their help in locating Celia’s home.

My quest to learn about Celia Gardner began when I came across a story in the Carroll County Independent newspaper of Friday, November 26, 1926. The headline of “RAISES 6000 CHICKENS YEARLY” practically screamed, or should I say squawked that I needed to investigate this lady.  Today we might think that raising that many chickens is an interesting feat, but for 1926 it was quite amazing. Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Private 1C James Catsavos of Nashua

Section of NH State House Roll of Honor for
WWI showing name of James Catsavos.

It would be a tragedy to forget any of the brave American soldiers who died during World War I. In this particular case it seems that one man almost was. The name of James Catsavos appears on the New Hampshire Roll of Honor, on a great plaque in Doric Hall of the New Hampshire State House. The pale white cross above his remains in Arlington National Cemetery credit him to New Hampshire.

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Lisbon

The Lisbon NH World War I monument sits on
the lawn at 48 Dartmouth College Road in front
of the Shared Ministry’s White Church.

In 1910 the town of Lisbon in Grafton County New Hampshire had a population of 2,460 people. Following World War I, and similar to other small New Hampshire towns, in 1920 that census would drop to 2,288 (-7%).  The number of citizenry did not limit the town’s sacrifice. Lisbon sent its full quota to serve in the military, along with several young women who served in the nursing corps.

My thanks to Andrea M. Fitzgerald of the Lisbon Area Historical Society for her help with this project. 

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New Hampshire World War I Military: Heroes of Concord

I have probably spent more time writing stories about Concord New Hampshire’s WWI service than any other location in our state. I still have one more to tell.

Here I describe noble but tragic lives–narratives of Concord men and women who “made the ultimate sacrifice,” during World War I. Many of them died from the influenza pandemic that unexpectedly snuffed out the breath of the young and healthy. The research was challenging for me, as the primary evidence of their service does not exist in one place, and was compiled  and woven into a coherent chronicle only with a great, concerted effort. My goal is for the not only the families of these fallen, but complete strangers, to connect with them, feel proud of them, and be grateful and honored by their service as I am.  The WWI Centennial website states that “a man is only missing if he is forgotten.”  Let us not forget. Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Brigadier General Charles Doyen of Concord

Brig. General Charles A. Doyen from the Boston Globe of 26 April 1918

Much as been written about Brigadier General Charles Doyen of the United States Marine Corp. I will try not to repeat what other people have stated about him, but rather mention the more personal events that are not as well known.

Brigadier General Charles A. Doyen had a long and varied career, but perhaps is best known for having commanded the first detachment of Marines to land in France during World War I. He also was the first person to receive the Navy’s Distinguished Service Award. It had been newly created and was posthumously awarded to him on 7 March 1919 at Washington D.C.. Continue reading

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