Civic Leader, Manufacturing Supervisor, Town Officer: Anson Alfonso Platts of Merrimack New Hampshire(1845-1940)

Anson A. Platts is shown on the far left. Nathaniel N. Lowell is 2nd from the right. My grandmother, Mattie K. Webster is the middle (of 3 women) in the center of the photo.

Anson Alfonso Platts was a man who seems to have escaped most notice in a town histories. He was a modest man, unassuming, but always ready to help however he could on behalf of his family, his town, his workplace, and the many organizations that he belonged to.

What brought him to my attention was his relationship with my grandmother, Mattie (Kilborn) Webster. She had a difficult early life, her mother died when she was 5 years old, and her father remarried when she was 13, moving from Webster NH to the Litchfield-Merrimack area to be near his new wife’s family. Continue reading

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New Hampshire Tidbits: A 1944 “Sour Grapes” Party on the 4th of July

We live in an age of uncertainly.  The recent outbreak of covid-19 has turned our lives upside down.  With the Fourth of July approaching, many of us are seeking normalcy.  We want to be able to do everything the way we have always done it.  But for now, we need to find new ways to do things, just as our ancestors did in troubled times.

In 1944 the United States was in turmoil, amidst war on two fronts, and rationing was common.  People then, too, wanted to celebrate events in a near-normal way.  And so that brings me to this story.  It is about suggestions for families to celebrate the Fourth of July in 1944.  We should learn from this. Continue reading

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Cooper and Businessman of Reeds Ferry NH: Levi Franklin Lowell (1839-1916)

Photograph of Levi F. Lowell. Colorized by the blog editor.

Levi Franklin Lowell, son of  Nathaniel & Fidelia (Fisher) Lowell, was born in Brookline, New Hampshire on 6 Jan 1839.  He was co-owner of the Fessenden & Lowell Co., (with Anson D. Fessenden) — a cooperage and lumber yard that was built in the Reeds Ferry section of Merrimack, New Hampshire.  The history of that company, a description of its products, and photographs can be found in a previous article. Continue reading

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Cooper and Partner of Fessenden & Lowell Co: Anson Darwin Fessenden (1839-1907)

Photograph of Anson D. Fessenden. Colorized by the blog editor.

I recently wrote an article about Fessenden & Lowell Co., a cooperage in the village of Reeds Ferry, Merrimack, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire.  One of the co-owners of this shop or factory was Anson Darwin Fessenden.

Unlike his partner, Levi Lowell, Anson did not move to New Hampshire, but preferred to remain in Townsend, Massachusetts.  From there he oversaw their interests which were many.

In this story, I will be focusing on the genealogy of the Fessenden family who were connected with the Fessenden & Lowell Co. of Merrimack New Hampshire. Continue reading

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Fessenden & Lowell Company: a 19th-20th Century Cooperage in Reeds Ferry, New Hampshire

This story came to pass because I was curious about two family photographs. The oldest photo, taken about 1907, shows my grandfather, Clarence Webster, standing alone with a building in the distance behind him. He was the Reeds Ferry (village in Merrimack New Hampshire) Boston & Maine Railroad agent and conductor. The Fessenden & Lowell “kit shop” was nearby, and this is the building shown behind him.


The second photograph is one that includes both my family and unrelated local people: (Left to Right) Anson Platts, Wayne Beard (child), Walter Provo, Margaret Webster, Mattie (Kilborn) Webster, Emma Provo, Nathaniel N. Lowell, Frank Long, and Janice M. Watkins (child). My grandfather, Clarence Webster, may have been the photographer. I will return to these photographs after I detail a bit about my subject — the Fessenden & Lowell Company.
Continue reading

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