Manchester New Hampshire’s Stockbroker and Philanthropist: Henry Melville Fuller (1914-2001)

When Henry Melville Fuller died in 2001,

Photograph of Henry Melville Fuller

Photograph of Henry Melville Fuller

he left funds to benefit several nonprofit agencies, including $43 million and a collection of 19th century American paintings worth $2.6 million to Manchester’s Currier Art Gallery. This was the largest gift to a non-profit in New Hampshire history.

Henry Fuller also endowed the Manchester Historic Association with a $4 million bequest. There were additional beneficiaries (such as Trinity College) that received greater or lesser amounts.

What is usually NOT known is that Henry W. Fuller was carrying on the generous example set by his grandmother, Emma (Blood) French.  He was born in 1914 in Manchester, New Hampshire, a son of Carl Spencer & Margaret Lavinia (French) Fuller, and died 4 August 2001 at age 87.  His parent’s home located on North River Road in Manchester called “Riverside” is now apartments. A clause in the deed apparently protects the demolition of this lovely old house. (According to Peter Baker of West Hurley NY who recently attended a Webster School alumni event in its oak-paneled library) “the main house is apartments, the former carriage house is an office space for the company, and the barn is the recreation building.

Henry’s father Carl had been born in Lewiston ME, graduated from Bowdoin College, and by 1910 had moved to Manchester NH where he was a chemist for the cotton mills once prominent in the city.  In 1910 he married Margaret Lavinia French, the daughter of Dr. L. Melville & Emma (Blood) French.

Henry’s grandmother, Emma (Blood) French, was a Manchester NH philanthropist who built and endowed the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences (now called the New Hampshire Institute of Art) on Concord Street.  She also donated the maternity and children’s ward at the Elliot Hospital and in 1918 Emma built and endowed the L. Melville French children’s ward that later was called the “French Wing.”  The Manchester City Library was erected in memory of Emma’s sister, Elenora Blood Carpenter.

Henry himself was a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, CT and worked as a stockbroker. As you can see, many of the prominent downtown educational and artistic organizations continue to owe much to Henry and his family.


*Additional Reading*

Biography of Henry Melville Fuller

A Magnificent Legacy

Henry Melville Fuller Collection of Paperweights

Photographs of Fuller House and Family, Manchester (NH) Historical Society-

********FULLER FAMILY TREE*************

Edward-1 Fuller, baptized 4 Sep 1575 in County Norfolk England, son of Robert Fuller. His name appears in the Mayflower Compact. His wife’s name may have been Ann. Governor Bradford simply says that “Edward Fuller and his wife died soon after they came on shore.” Edward died at Plymouth between 11 Jan and 10 April 1621, and his wife died in 1621 after January 11th.
The only child of Edward & ? Fuller:
1. +Samuel Fuller, b abt 1612 in England. He came with his father in the Mayflower.

Samuel-2 Fuller, son of Edward-1 was b abt 1612 in England. He d. between 31 Oct and 10 Nov 1683 at Barnstable MA. He married at Mr. Cudworth’s house in Scituate to Jane Lathrop, daughter of Rev. John Lathrop of Scituate MA. She was baptized 29 Sep 1614 at Edgerly, England. She died after 1658 and before 1683. Samuel Fuller grew up under the care of his uncle Dr. Samuel Fuller at Plymouth. He had three acres at the division of land in 1623. In 1633 he is mentioned in his uncle’s will.
Children of Samuel & Jane (Lathrop) Fuller:
1. Hannah Fuller, m. 1 Jan 1658-9 Nicholas Bonham of Barnstable
2. Samuel Fuller, bap. 11 Feb 1637 at Scituate MA
3. Elizabeth Fuller, m. Joseph (?) Taylor
4. Sarah Fuller, bap 1 Aug 1641; d. abt 1651-54
5. Mary Fuller, bap 16 June 1644; m. 18 Nov 1674 Joseph Williams, son of John Williams of Haverhill MA.
6. Thomas Fuller, b. 18 May 1651 in Barnstable MA; died young
7. Sarah Fuller, b. 10 Dec 1654 in Barnstable MA; m. — Crowe or Crowell
8. +John Fuller, b. abt 1656 Barnstable MA
9. Infant Fuller, b. 8 Feb 1658, d. 15 days later.

John-3 Fuller, son of Samuel-2 & Jane (Lathrop) Fuller was b. abt 1656 at Barnstable MA; he d. between 28 Feb and 20 May 1726 in East Haddam CT. He married abt 1678 to Mehitable Rowley. The will of Moses Rowley Sr. dated 16 Aug 1704 mentions son Moses, daughter Mehitable Fuller, son Matthew Rowley and son John Fuller. An East Haddam deed of 1714 in which Elizabeth-3 (Fuller), widow of Moses Rowley Senior, calls John Fuller her son, is additional evidence. Mehitable Rowley was born 11 Jan 1660-61 in Barnstable MA, and d. abt 1732 in East Haddam CT. This John Fuller was often called “Little John” in various documents to distinguish him from his cousin, Dr. John-3 Fuller. He lived on his father’s estate at Scorton Neck until 1694 when he removed to East Haddam CT.  His will exhibited in court 2 May 1726 and proved 10 May 1726.
Children of John and Mehitable (Rowley) Fuller:
1. Thomas Fuller, b. abt 1769 Barnstable MA; bap 21 Oct 1688 Barnstable MA
2. Samuel Fuller, b. abt 1682 Barnstable MA
3. Shubael Fuller, b. abt 1684 in Barnstable MA
4. Thankful Fuller, b. abt 1688 Barnstable MA; m. 9 July 1707 Jabez Crippen, son of Thomas. They removed to Sharon CT
5. Deborah Fuller, b. abt 1689; m. 11 Sep 1716 to John Rowley, son of Moses and Mary Rowley.
6. Edward Fuller, b. abt 1691 Barnstable MA
7. Elizabeth Fuller, b. abt 1693 Barnstable MA; m. 4 March 1713 Samuel Rowley, her cousin.
8. John Fuller, b. 10 Nov 1697 at East Haddam CT
9. +Joseph Fuller, b. 1 March 1699-1700 East Haddam CT
10. Benjamin Fuller, b. 20 Oct 1701 East Haddam CT
11. Anne Fuller, b. abt 1703-4; m. 1727 Jonathan Rowley of East Haddam and Sharon CT.
12. Mehitabel Fuller, b. 6 Apr 1760 at East Haddam CT; m. Benjamin Kneeland
13 & 14. Possibly daughters Deborah and Anne, although they are not named in their father’s will.

Dea. Joseph-4 Fuller, son of John-3 & Mehitable (Rowley) Fuller, was born 1 March 1699-1700 at East Haddam CT and he died 19 July 1755 at Kent CT.  He married 1st) 22 Dec 1722 Lydia Day, dau of John & Grace (Spencer) Fuller Jr. She was b. 11 Apr 1698 at Hartford CT and d. 2 Nov 1763 at Kent CT.  Joseph married 2nd) 8 Jan 1766 to Mrs. Zerviah Noble of New Milford CT. Joseph resided in Colchester CT until 1740 when he removed to Kent where he remained until his death. He was one of the founders of the church in Kent, and he was a deacon. Joseph and his wife Lydia were buried at North Kent cemetery.
Tombstones in North Kent Cemetery.
#1 “In memory of Deacon / Joseph Fuller who / died July ye 19th 1775 / aged 75.”
#2 “In memory of / Mrs. Lydia wife to / Deacon Joseph Fuller died Nov. / ye 2d 1763 in ye 66 / year of her age.”
Children of Dea. Joseph & Lydia (Day) Fuller:
1. Joseph Fuller, b. 1723
2. Rachel Fuller, b. 1724; m. 16 July 1741 Samuel Bates; had issue
3. Zachariah Fuller, b. 1725
4. Grace Fuller, b. 1726; m. 23 Dec 1745 John Cahoon
5. Jeremiah Fuller, b. 1728
6. Lydia Fuller, b. 1729; m. 19 Aug 1749 Thomas Hatch; had issue
7. Mindwell Fuller, b. 1730; m. 23 Nov 1749 Asa Parish; had issue
8. Ruth Fuller, b. abt 1733; m. 24 Feb 1773 Job Gould Jr.
9. +Abraham Fuller, b. Oct 1737
10. Jacob Fuller, b. 1739
11. Isaac Fuller, b. 1741; m. 5 Nov 1769 Sarah Kelsey

Abraham-5 Fuller, son of Joseph-4 & Lydia (Day) Fuller, was b. Oct 1735 in Colchester CT and d. 20 Sep 1807 at Kent CT, ae 73 years. He married 4 Nov 1762 to Lydia Gillett. She was b. 1737 at Roxbury CT and d. 2 Jan 1800 at Kent CT, age 63 years.  Abraham Fuller lived in Kent CT. He came with his father, Joseph from Colchester CT when he was three years old. In 1767 he was called “Ensign,” in 1770 “Lieutenant,” in 1774 “Captain.” He was Overseer of the Scatacook Indians in 1773. He was Captain of the 13th Regiment under Col. Moseley at Fredericksburg NY in June of 1779. He responded to the Danbury alarm in April of 1777. He owned land in Stockbridge in 1777 but probably never resided there.
Children of Abraham & Lydia (Gillett) Fuller:
1. +Esbon Fuller, b. 27 Apr 1764 in Kent CT
2. Ashbel Fuller, b. 16 Oct 1765/66; m. Lorraine Millard
3. Olive Fuller, b. 13 March 1767; d. Sep 1808; m. Phil Millard of Kent CT
4. Zerviah Dewey Fuller, b. 5 May 1769; m. 26 Feb 1792 Dr. John Raymond of Kent
5. Abram Fuller, b. 17 Apr 1772 in Dover NY, twin; m. — Jewett of Dover NY
6. Isaac Fuller, b. 17 Apr 1772 in Dover NY, twin
7. Roswell Fuller, b. 1 Sep 1774
8. Lydia Fuller, b. 25 May 1776; m. 6 June 1801 John Hepson Swift; d. 1855 Phelps NY
9. Jeremiah Fuller, b. 3 Apr 1778

Esbon-6 Fuller, son of Abraham-5 & Lydia (Gillet) Fuller was b. 27 Apr 1764 in Kent CT and d. 11 Apr 1829 in Ferrisburg VT. He married 1 Jan 1783 in Kent CT (by Jethro Hatch, Justice of the Peace) to Lydia Follett, dau of Benjamin & Ester (Robinson) Follett. She b. 14 Dec 1759 in Windham CT and d. Ferrisburg VT. He settled in Ferrisburg VT.
Children of Esbon & Lydia (Follett) Fuller:
1. +Frederick Fuller, b. 25 Sep 1783 in Ferrisburg VT
2. Orrin [“Oriange” in town recs] Fuller, b. 1 Jan 1785 in Kent CT; m. Elizabeth Turrell
3. Milton Fuller
4. Milo Fuller
5. Esbon Fuller
6. Olive Fuller, m1) — McNeil; m2) — Wheeler; m3) — Martin. Had 2 children by first husband: Lura and Loraine Mc Neil
7. Lydia Fuller, b. 15 Oct 1796 Ferrisburg VT; d. 26 Apr 1864; m. James Tupper; had issue
8. Gideon Fuller, b. 3 Feb 1798; m. Eleanor Luce; had issue, Louise B. and Lorette.

Frederick Follett-7 Fuller, son of Esbon & Lydia  (Follett) Fuller was b. 25 Sep 1783 in Ferrisburg VT. He m. 10 July 1806 in Kent CT to Sally Kinnie/Kinne. She b. 1785 and d. 3 Nov 1841 in Keeseville NY. In 1850 living with son Armintus in Chesterfield NY. Blacksmith. 18 Oct 1842 he married 2nd) Mary Arnold.  In 1860 he was single living with son Robinson in Chesterfield NY.
Children of Frederick & Sally (Kinnie/Kinne) Fuller:
1. Emeline Fuller; m. John Tennant
2. George G. Fuller, d. Keesville NY; m. Martha Dean
3. Robinson K. Fuller, b abt 1823 VT, d. Keesville NY; he married Francis Smith. In 1860 living in Chesterfield NY with children Fanny (age 6), Frederick (age 4), Helen (age 2) and his father Frederick (age 77).
4. +Armintus Fuller, b. abt 1825 in VT
5. Louisa Fuller; m. Isaac Rexford
6. Mary Fuller; m. John Winnek
7. Betsey Fuller, m. Theodore D. Lyman
8. Sally Fuller, b. 15 Apr 1808 in Poughkeepsie NY; m. Samuel Hurd Martin
9. Harriet Fuller, b. 17 Feb 1828; m. Albert Jordan

Armintus-8 Fuller, son of Frederick & Sally (Kinnie/Kinne) Fuller was b. abt 1825 in VT. He married in Jay NY or VT to Lorancy Jordan. She b. abt 1829 in NY. He was a blacksmith. He may be the Armintus Fuller found in Leadville Colorado abt 1882, a blacksmith.
Census > U.S. Census > 1850 United States Federal Census > New York > Essex > Chesterfield
Armintus Fuller 25 M Blacksmith 800 VT
Lorency Fuller 21 F NY
Hiram Fuller 2 M  NY
Frederick J. 67 M 1200 VT Blacksmith
David Thomas 18 M NY
James Jordan 18 M  NY
Mori Bryan 19 F Ire
U.S. Census > 1860 United States Federal Census > New York > Essex > Chesterfield
Armantus Fuller 35 M Blacksmith Master 1000/500 VT
Laransa Fuller 31 F NY
Hiram Fuller 11 M NY
Charles Fuller 9 M NY
Spencer Fuller 7 M NY
Kate Fuller 3 F NY
Frank Fuller 8/12 M NY
1870 United States Federal Census > New York > Essex > Chesterfield
Fuller, Armintus 43 M W Keeps livery stable 2000/1200 NY
Fuller, Lucy 27 F W keeping House NY
Fuller, Spencer 18 M W Jailor [?] NY
Fuller, Katy 13 F  Attending School NY
FUller, Frank 11 M W NY
Fuller, Carlos 9 M W NY
Children of Armintus & Lorancy (Jordan) Fuller:
1. Hiram Fuller, b. abt 1848 NY
2. +Spencer Fuller, b Nov 1851 VT or NY
3. Kate Fuller, b abt 1857 NY
4. Frank Fuller, b abt 1859 NY
5. Carlos Fuller, b. abt 1861 NY

Spencer H.-9 Fuller, son of Armintus & Lorancy (Jordan) Fuller was b. November 1851 in Chesterfield, Essex Co. NY, and was a jeweler and watch repairer by occupation. He married abt 1880 to Abbie Pearson, poss dau of Benjamin & Elizabeth B. Pearson of Newbury MA. She was born April 1857 in Massachusetts. They resided in Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine in 1900.
U.S. Census > 1900 United States Federal Census > Maine > Androscoggin > Lewiston > District 12
Fuller, Spencer Head W M Nov 1851 49 married 20 yrs NY NY NY watch repairer
Fuller, Abbie wife F W Apr 1857 45 married 20 yrs Mass England Ireland
Fuller, Carl S. son W M March 1881 14 single Maine NY Mass student
Fuller, Edith S. daughter F W Feb 1883 19 single Maine NY Maine at school
Children of Spencer H. & Abbie (Pearson) Fuller:
1. Carl Spencer Fuller, b. 3 March 1881 Lewiston ME
2. Edith S. Fuller, b. Feb 1883 in Lewiston ME

Carl Spencer-10 Fuller, son of Spencer H. & Abbie (Pearson) Fuller, was born in Lewiston ME on 3 March 1881, and died 17 January 1950.  He is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in Manchester NH. He graduated 1903 from Bowdoin College with a bachelor of arts. By 1910 he had moved to Manchester NH where he was a chemist in one of the cotton mills.  On June 10, 1910 he married Margaret Lavinia French, who came from a very wealthy Manchester family, and was the daughter of Dr. L. Melville & Emma
(Blood) French.  She was born 20 April 1888, and died 18 May 1969. She is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in Manchester NH. In the 1920 U.S. census he was a “traveling salesman” for a dye stuff company. They lived in a large home on North River Road in Manchester, and they traveled abroad several times by steamship.
1910 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Hillsborough > Manchester Ward 3 > District 130
Straw Gertrude [inn keeper on Union St. Manchester NH]
several lodgers including:
Fuller, Carl S., Lodger M W 29 single Maine NY Mass, Chemist, Cotton Mill
1920 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Hillsborough > Manchester Ward 1 > District 83
[North River Road #116]
Fuller, Mr. Carl C. Head M W 38 married Maine NY Maine Travelling Salesman, Dye Stuff Co [b abt 1882]
Fuller, Margaret F. wife F W 31 married NH NH NH
Fuller, Mary C. dau F W 8 single NH NH NH
Fuller, Henry M. son M W 5 single NH NH NH
Nelson, Judith M servant F W 28 single Sweden SW SW
Johnson, Jennie L. servant F W 33 single Sweden SW SW
Lynn, Olja T. servant F W 27 single Sweden SW SW
World War II Registration Card
Carl S. Fuller
North River Road Manchester NH
age 61, born Lewiston ME
nok: Mrs. Margaret L. Fuller, North River Road, Manchester NH
New York Passenger Lists > 1928 > September > 07 > Aquitania [from Southampton England to New York]
Fuller, Carl S., age 47, M M, b. Lewiston ME 3 March 1881, res. North River Road Manchester NH
Fuller, Margaret S. age 40, F M, b. Manchester NH 20 Apr 1887, same residence
Fuller, Mary S., 17, F single, b. Manchester NH Feb 1910, same residence
Fuller, Henry M. 14, single b. Manchester NH April 9, 1914, same residence
ALSO 1935, M.V. “Brittanic” from NY, Cruising West Indies (26th Feb to 17th March) – Carl and Margaret alone
ALSO New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 > 1938 > October > 25 > “Ile DE France” [Carl travelling alone from Southampton England to New York City]
Children of Carl S. & Margaret L. (French) Spencer:
1. Mary Spencer Fuller, b. 28 February 28, 1911 Manchester NH; died 17 February 1995; buried Pine Grove Cemetery Manchester NH; m 28 Nov 1969 in Manchester NH to Henry Zenas Russell.; buried Pine Grove Cemetery; bequeathed $24 million to the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and over $1 million to Easter Seals New Hampshire.
2. Henry Melville Fuller, b. 9 Apr 1914 Manchester NH; d. 4 August 2001 in Peterborough NH; buried Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester NH. Starting in about 1934 he resided on Old Harrisville Road in Marlborough NH.

1. Genealogy of some descendants of Edward Fuller of the Mayflower, by William Hyslop Fuller; Palmer, Mass.; 1908.
2. United States Census Records, 1790-1930

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3 Responses to Manchester New Hampshire’s Stockbroker and Philanthropist: Henry Melville Fuller (1914-2001)

    • Janice Brown says:

      One of my sources indicates that starting about 1935 he moved to Marlborough, Cheshire County, New Hampshire. I believe he remained there until his death (he was living there in 2000 when he appeared at a Dartmouth College function). Not sure where he shows up in the 1940 census.

  1. Phyllis Fenander says:

    He was my godfather, good friend of my father’s, and worked at the Aetna when my grandfather was there as head of the legal department.

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