NH Tidbits: Concord New Hampshire At A Glance in 1891

Inscription in 1891 Concord Souvenir Book, to John J. Thurston from his daughter Phebe.

A red leather-covered souvenir booklet offers insight into what the City of Concord New Hampshire looked like in 1891.  A lovely script on the back page shows that it was a gift:

Presented to John J. Thurston
On his 78th birth day
By his Daughter Phebe Jane
April 3, 1891 Continue reading

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Franconia

Photograph of the Abbie Gale Library in Franconia New Hampshire with the WWI monument sitting on the front lawn

Some time after World War I ended the small town of Franconia New Hampshire had a memorial created–a bronze plaque affixed to a rock. This was placed in front of the Abbie Greenleaf Library, where it still stands.

With the help of Priscilla Hindley, librarian at the Abbie Greenleaf Library, I was able to construct a story about the heroes of WWI from this town.  My thanks to her for taking and providing the photographs of the town’s WWI monument.

Two men from Franconia paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives–Herbert H. Hodge and Fay E. Whipple .  Both died on American soil at Hanover, NH during military training.

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Easton

Photograph of the Easton Town Hall from the 1976 Annual Town Report.

Easton is a small town in Grafton County, New Hampshire near Franconia, Just following WWI the town’s population dropped by 42% in 1920 to 131 from a high of 226 in 1910. Today the popular is still under 300 people.

During that terrible World War, the citizens of Easton sent their quota of six  young men to serve. There were brothers Ottiewell and Wesley Eastman, Oliver Bowles, John I. Hoyt, Harley Noyes, and Roscoe Young. Wesley Eastman never returned to his home town, being killed in action (as described later). Continue reading

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Killed by Locomotive on Christmas Day: John Langdon Swain of Meredith and Laconia NH (1824-1866)

John Langdon “Lang” Swain of Meredith and Laconia NH.

The face of John Langdon Swain peers out from a postage-stamp sized (i.e. gem) tintype photograph.  He was the fourth great-grandson of Jeremiah & Mary (Smith) Swain of Reading, Massachusetts. The tintype was another of my online auction ‘finds’ which I purchased because John had such an interesting face.  No doubt the photograph was cut out from a much larger album with related photos.

You would never guess that John “Lang” Swain met an untimely death on Christmas Day of 1866.  He was only 42 years old.  Other than his death certificate which quite simply states”killed by locomotive,” two newspaper stories shed a little light on what happened.  We probably will never know why he ignored the loud whistles of the train’s engineer, or why he was walking on the railroad tracks in the first place.

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New Hampshire WWI Military: Heroes of Winchester

WWI monument plaque at Winchester NH. Photograph courtesy of Christy Menard, Library Director, Conant Library, Winchester NH. Used here with her permission.

Winchester is a quaint, small town in Cheshire County, New Hampshire. In 2010 it still only had 1,733 people. Between 1910 and 1920 its population was actually greater than today–with between 2,260 and 2,280 citizens.

The town sent its full complement for military service during World War I as you will see from the extensive list below.  This story will mostly focus on those who paid the ultimate sacrifice–dying during war time.   I am grateful to Christy Menard, Library Director, Conant Library in Winchester NH for providing the recent photographs of the war memorial that you see here. Continue reading

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