New Hampshire World War I Military: Private Henry Alden Fifield of Thornton

Henry Alden Fifield was born 8 May 1891 in Thornton, Grafton Co. NH, son of Henry Hamilton & Cedena Victoria (Dorey) Fifield. He had several siblings including Frank H., Lillie Florence, Clifford Charles, Madeline B., Edward T., and Winston Wesley.

In the 1900 U.S. Census, he was living in Thornton NH with his parents and siblings Henry H., Cedena, Caroline, Elizabeth, Lilla and Esther. His WWI Registration form was completed in Thornton NH on 5 June 1917. At that time he stated he was a laborer in a bobbin mill for Emmons Brothers of West Thornton, was single, of medium height and stature, with black eyes and black hair. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Glossary: Operative

The ”Mill Girl” statue was created in 1988 by Antoinette Schultze and commemorates the active role women played in the Amoskeag Mills of Manchester NH. She would have been considered an “operative.” This statue is located in the Amoskeag Millyard of Manchester next to the Stark Mill. Photograph by Normand Boulanger, 1988. Manchester Historic Association Collection. Used with Permission.

The term operative was used in several ways during New Hampshire’s history. In 1762 lye was said to be an operative, while in 1785 the poison of a rattlesnake was described as being operative, each meaning they had a strong effect.

The New Hampshire Mercury newspaper of 1787 mentions ‘operative workmen,’ the first time that I see the term connected with the working class. By the 1800s and the advent of the giant textile mills and other mass production industries in New Hampshire, the male and females workers who were trained to use manufacturing equipment were called “operatives.” Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Rochester

WWI monument shown on the front lawn of Rochester NH’s City Hall-Opera House at 31 Wakefield Street. Photograph Google Maps.

By 1919 the Great War (WWI) was over and Rochester New Hampshire leadership, just like those in other cities and towns, were pondering the best way to both thank and commemorate the citizens who had served in the military. The Rochester City Council voted that year to award “bounties” to each of those who served. In February of 1919 the City Council set up a committee composed of Mayor James B. Young along with two councilmen, Harry H. Meader (Ward 3) and Fred F. Seavey (Ward Six). They formulated plans for a testimonial, and $1,000 was set aside as payment.

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NH Tidbits: Cow Hampshire Revisited

Postcard of HP Hood Farm in Derry NH

Vintage postcard showing scene at H.P. Hood Farm in Derry NH. Property of the blog editor.

After eleven years as editor of this blog, I received my first “hate you” email recently. You’ll never guess the reason why.

A reader spotted my blog title, Cow Hampshire, and it sent them into a cud-chewing frenzy. They mooed  on and on about how I was belittling the State of New Hampshire, how I must be a grass-chewer to have chosen such a name.

I think someone must have been having a bad day. Perhaps they needed a bovine hug. Cows are very good at hugging–I bet you didn’t know that. Oh I know they don’t have arms (typing this quickly before someone accuses me of not knowing cow anatomy).  Actually they prefer accordion music to hugging. Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Laconia

World War I Roll of Honor. Bronze plaques installed before February 1920 in Laconia, NH. As found in the 1920 City of Laconia Annual Report.

Otto E. Duerr, historian of the City of Laconia, summed up the city’s military participation in WWI through his recap in the 1919 annual report. [Extract of 1919 WWI Honor Roll Laconia]. A total of 553 people were on the official honor roll including 254 in the National Army, 117 in the National Guard, 88 in the Regular Army, 35 in the Navy, 31 in the Naval Reserves, 4 in the Marine Corps, 17 in the Medical Corps, and 7 with the Allied Army.

Those who made the “supreme sacrifice for the cause of Humanity” were listed as follows–Killed in Action: Earl O. McGrath, Arthur Roux. Died of Wounds: John F. Holland. Died of Disease: Herbert W. Blackstone, Guy H. Blackstone, Clarence L. Blair, Hollis Bockus, Wilfred J. Chabott, Lester Chapman, Albert C. Minnon, Harrison H. Morrison, Bert L. Paige, Edmund Paquette, Frank W. Wilkins.  To the historian’s list, I have added more. Continue reading

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