New Hampshire’s Famed Checkerologists of the 19th & 20th Centuries

How to win at checkers millard hopper book coverInteresting stories, photographs and genealogical material can be gleaned from  the unlikeliest of sources. In this case it an  antique booklet about American checkers (the game is called draughts in Europe) that caught my eye. Who would have know that back in 1890 New Hampshire was a veritable ‘hot spot’ of checker competition activity.  The Manchester-Derry area was much esteemed for its skilled players and The Derry News proclaimed that it had “THE BEST CHECKER COLUMN of any weekly Journal in America.”

Perhaps the best known New Hampshire check player was Lyman Marshall Stearns.

Lyman M. Stearns of Goffstown, Derry and Manchester NH.  Talented player of American checkers, shoemaker, publisher and salesman.  Photograph from CHECKERS.  Stearns' Book of Portraits of Prominent Players of the World, &c. by L.M. Stearns, Derry Depot, N.H. 1894

Lyman M. Stearns of Goffstown, Derry and Manchester NH. Talented player of American checkers, shoemaker, publisher and salesman. Photograph from CHECKERS. Stearns’ Book of Portraits of Prominent Players of the World, &c. by L.M. Stearns, Derry Depot, N.H. 1894

Dubbed, “Checkerologist, Problem King, Draughts Marvelist, and Champion of New Hampshire.”  Lyman M. Stearns was the son of Augustus & Sarah (Huse) Stearns. According to one source, he descended from Isaac Stearns, Watertown, Mass, 1630; also a descendant of Laurence Sterne, author Tristam Shandy. He was born 4 March 1858 in Goffstown, Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire, and died 30 December 1918 in Manchester NH.  By the age of 22 he was living in Derry, New Hampshire.  He married 5 June 1878 in Manchester NH to Alnora Maria Chase, daughter of Trueworthy D. & Nancy Mary (Pettingill) Chase. She was born 11 May 1854 in Londonderry NH and  died 19 Oct 1915 in Derry, Rockingham Co. NH, age 61. He was a shoemaker, publisher and salesman. At the time of his death he was living at 452 Pine Street in Manchester, New Hampshire. He died at the Elliott Hospital in Manchester of influenza after being ill for about 3 weeks. He was interred with his family in Hillside Cemetery, Goffstown NH. There are several sources of information about this Stearns family, including a relative with a blog called Dame Gussie’s Genealogy Rants (Article #1, and Article #2); and also at the web site: “Genealogy and History of Merrimack, NH at Searchroots, “The Stearns Family.”

The Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire states the following about him: “He was educated at home and in the public schools, and from twelve to fourteen years of age attended school at Amoskeag. At the age of fourteen he left Amoskeag and moved to Londonderry, and then learned shoe-making, at which he worked twenty-six years.  In 1901 he was made foreman of the lasting department of the Pillsbury Shoe Company at West Derry. In 1872 he removed to Londonderry, and on November 4 1879 went ot West Derry to live, and resided there until December 1, 1905 when he returned to Manchester.  During his residence there he was elected selectman of Derry, and served one term but declined further honor of a political nature. Mr. Stearns has been an enthusiastic checker player from boyhood, and at a very early age distinguished himself by his knowledge of the game and skill in play. It has recently been written of him: “No problem in draughts was too subtle for his rare powers of analysis.” Devoting himself seriously to the study for twenty-four years, he pored over checker manuals and literature devoted to the game. One by one he met cross board, and scored favorably with the greatest prodigies of the day. For ten years previous to 1896 Mr. Stearns was editor of the checker department of the Derry News, and since the first issue of the Magnet Magazine he has conducted a checker department on that publication with credit to himself and to the gratification of its thousands of readers.  From 1896 to 1901 he was editor and publisher of the North American Checker Board, and since that time has frequently been referred to as the “problem king,” greatest problem [solver] of our time and so forth.  In June 1906 he began the publication in Manchester of the The Checker World, which under his able editorial management has made rapid strides….He has published thirteen standard checker books, the most popular of them being “Portrait Books,” … “World’s Problem Books,” … “Granite Checker Series,” … “Bradley’s Bristol,” and “Stayman’s Black Doctor and Supplement.”  In 1891 he won a gold medal at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania against four hundred contestants, most of whom were experts of many years experience.  In 1885 he took first prize in the Newcastle (England) Chronicle game problem contest… In the spring of 1901 he toured his own state playing fifty games in Manchester and Concord….his score was twenty-five winnings and twenty-five draws….He defeated the state champion five to nothing with three draws….He possessed the remarkable gift of playing blindfolded draughts. ” He was the manager of Lewis Mfg Co. rug manufactures starting in 1910. Former member NH National Guard. [see this link for more of his memberships].

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Seth W. Parshley (1811-1871) of Barrington NH, Boston MA and Derry NH

Seth W. Parshley (1811-1871) of Barrington NH, Boston MA and Derry NH

Seth W. Parshley,  son of Samuel & Elisabeth Parshley born Dec 26, 1811 at Dover/Barrington, NH and died January 31, 1871 on Nobel Farm Derry NH, due to injuries from a fall. Previous to his locating in Derry, NH he resided in Boston, MA where he owned an oyster house. There is was that he “met and played [checkers] with the best talent in America, among whom were the noted experts Mr. Littlefield of Boston and A.J. Drysdale of New York.” [see more].  He married by 1840 to Mary O.H. Verrill. She was b. 27 November 1814 at New Sharon, Franklin Co. Maine the daughter of Edward & Mary Verrill.
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1860 US Census > NH > Rockingham > Derry
Seth W. Parshley 48 NH Farmer 400/800
Mary O H Parshley 46 wife NH
Enoch Parshley 17 Farm Laborer NH
Sylvester Parshley 17 NH
Olive M. Parshley 14 NH
George A. Parshley 12 NH
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Children of Seth W. & Mary O.H. (Verrill) Parshley:
1. Alonzo Parshley, b 2 Dec 1839 in Charlestown MA; died 25 Aug 1904 at Boston MA of pulmonary tuberculosis. He married 18 Oct 1868 at Boston MA to Laura M.A. Carlton, dau of Oliver O, & Sarah B. Carlton. She was. b. St. Johns, West Indies. He married 2nd) 23 November 1886 at Great Barrington MA to Ellen P. (Potter) Adams [her 2nd marriage] daughter of Leonard & Emaline Potter. He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett MA. He was a carpenter/builder.
2. Enoch Parshley,  [twin] b 26 June 1842 in Greenland NH; d. 4 Oct 1912 in Londonderry NH. He married Julia A. Verel/Varil. Their daughter, Mary V. Parshley, b. abt 1878, m. 22 Aug 1900 at Londonderry NH to Joseph R. McDOnald, son of Alexander and Mary (Upton) McDonald.  Another daughter, Cora Louise Parshley was b abt 1884 and died 8 March 1885 age 1 year at Londonderry NH.
3. Sylvester Parshley, [twin] b. 26 June 1842, d. 31 Jan 1928 at Wolfeboro Falls, Carroll Co. NH; retired builder; married 26 Feb 1867 at Boston MA to Sarah F. Barrows, daughter of William and Mary Barrows. Their son, Burt Wilbur Parshley was born 15 May 1875 at Boston MA, and died 23 Oct 1941 at Wolfeboro, Carroll Co. NH
4. Olive M. Parshley, b 23 June 1845 at Boston MA; d. 28 Aug 1933 at Concord NH, age 88; she married John E. Saltmarsh. At time of death a widow living at 11-1/2 Grove Street in Concord NH; buried Forest Hill Cemetery in Derry NH. They had 3 children: (1)  Freddie F. Saltmarsh, b abt 1869 NH, died 18 June 1875 at Lowell MA, age 6;  (2) Freeman H. Saltmarsh, b abt 1871, m. 14 March 1893 in Concord NH to Annie F. Davis, dau of John J. & Jane (Smith) Davis; (3) Annie J. Saltmarsh, b. June 1876 in MA, in 1900 living with her mother in Laconia NH single.
5. George A. Parshley, b  22 Dec 1847 at Boston MA, and died 1913 in MA; he  25 Dec 1873 at Lawrence MA to Lavinia Nancy Floyd, daughter of William and Nancy Floyd.  Their daughter Georgia A. Parshley b abt 1876 at Derry NH, married 27 June 1906 at Great Barrington MA to Joseph P.G. Davis, son of Joseph M. & Rosa E. Gibson) Davis.  George married 2nd) 9 Dec 1882 in Derry NH to Mrs. Luella S. (Tabor) Johnson, daughter of Eben & Sarah Tabor.

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Arlie L Oliver, New Hampshire Draught Champion

 Arlie L. Oliver–New Hampshire Championship Draughts Player. His public appearance as a checker player was with the Boston team in their matches with the Providence R.I. team making a grand score, after which he entered the tournament play for the New England championship and a gold medal, winning the same against Boston’s best players…He was afterwards defeated by the late William Busby by one game in ten.  Mr. Oliver has been a resident of the Granite State seven years before he made any pretensions as a player, but in September 1893, he played and won the championship from L.M. Stearns by 10 to 4 and 6 drawn, and in October of the same year he played H.W. Shannon who had previously challenged him for the title and a purse of $25.00, Oliver winning by 7 to 3 and 10 drawn. As a player he has no equal at present in the state, and it looks as if he would hold the title for some time undisturbed.

Arlie L. Oliver was born in Greenwood or So. Reading Mass, January 4, 1859, son of Henry & Sarah A. (Bruce) Oliver. He married 1st) 24 Feb 1880 in Stoneham MA to Ada L. Abbott, dau of Walter S. & Marilla M. (?) Abbott. In 1880 they were living in Stoneham, Middlesex Co. MA, with his wife Ada L. (Abbott) Oliver, and her mother Emma A. Abbott [age 37], and Ada L.’s brother Lewis [age 16], they were all working in shoe factories except Lewis who worked in a crutch factory. In 1893 Arlie was boarding at 133 West Hancock Street in Manchester, NH and working in a shoe shop.  Arlie married 2nd) 9 October 1895 in Stoneham MA to Mrs Grace D. Boody, dau of J.A. & Sarah (Goss) Edmunds..  She b. March 1862 in Epsom NH. In 1900 he was living in Reading, Middlesex Co. MA, a shoe manufacturer, with wife Grace D.
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Child of Arlie L. & Ada L. (Abbott) Oliver:
1. Pearl E. Oliver, b abt 1882 Stoneham MA; m. 6 March 1904 to Andrew J.H. Bickford, son of Alonzo T. & Fannie M. (Bizzell) Bickford.

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Charles W. Scribner 1848-1920

Charles W. Scribner 1848-1920

Charles Wesley Scribner. Talented Draughts Player.  There was no player in the state who played more games…As a professor of vocal music he traveled a large part of his time and met many players…only lowering his colors to such players are Clarke, Oliver and champion Hill. His first scientific lessons on the game was received from his cousin. His talent in the musical profession has long been recognized as one of the best.  He played Game No. 50 “Kelso” against William Lewis.

Charles W. Scribner was born August 23, 1848 at Raymond, N.H. son of Daniel & Annie (Langford) Scribner, and died 7 August 1920 at Raymond, Rockingham Co. NH. He married 24 October 1877 at Manchester NH to Martha J. “Mattie” Parker, daughter of Nathan & Caroline E. (Stevens) Parker.  She was b. 14 July 1848 at Merrimack NH, and d 25 July 1910 at Raymond NH. Her father Nathan was born at Merrimack NH and her mother Caroline Stevens was born at Bedford NH.They were buried at Scribner Cemetery in Raymond NH.
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1880 US Census > NH > Rockingham Co. > Raymond
Scribner, Charles W. > W M 32 Farming NH
Scribner, Martha W F 32 wife keeping house
Scribner, Annie W F 70 mother NH
Leavitt, William W F 14 servant
—living next door—
Scribner, Mark W M 34 Farmer NH
Scribner, Helen W F 33 wife keeping House NH
Scribner, Annie L W F 10 daughter NH
Scribner, Mary F. W F 9 dau NH
Scribner, Etta H. W F 5 NH
Scribner, Fannie L W F 4 NH
Ladd, Arthur W M 25 servant Farm Labor
Ladd, Edna W F 22 wife
Scribner, Mattie F. W F 35 teaching
Scribner, Julia A. W F 29 teaching
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1900 US Census > NH > Rockingham Co. > Raymond
Charles Scribner M 52 NH Aug 1848 married 23 yrs NH NH NH Farmer
Martha G. Scribner F 52 NH wife July 1848 marriage 23 yrs 2 children 1 living NH NH NH
Fred P. Scribner M 16 NH son M WJune 1884 15 single NH
Martha F. Scribner F 53 NH sister Aug 1847 52 single NH teacher
Darius L. Guernsey M 70 NH brother-in-law W M July 1830 69 married 35 yrs agent insurance
Andrew J. Gleason M 77 NH servant Feb 1823 77 div farm laborer
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Children of Charles W. & Martha J. (Parker) Scribner:
1. Aron U. Scribner, b. abt 1881, d. 5 Aug 1883 age 2 yrs at Raymond NH of diphtheria
2. Herbert Scribner, b. 31 May 1882 Merrimack NH, reported in Raymond NH
3. Frederick Parker Scribner, MD, b. 29 June 1884 in Raymond NH; d. 17 July 1944 in Bedford NH, age 60. He married Carmen (Bundy) Stelphen/Stilphen. She b. 27 June 1885 in Bartlett, Carroll Co. NH and d. 4 Dec 1970 in Albany NY. He was a physician, in 1918 residing at 48 Brook Street in Manchester NH. His business location was 814 Elm Street in Manchester NH. In 1942 living at 527 Hanover St. Manchester NH, place of employment 814 Elm Street (still). They had 3 children: Muriel Scribner (1913-2003); James W. Scribner (1915-1985) and Charles S. Scribner (1917-1988).

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Herman Hayes, Manchester NH is a native of the Dominion of Canada, and nearly 35

Herman Hayes, promising checker player of Farnham Canada and Manchester NH

Herman Hayes/Hase, promising checker player of Farnham Canada and Manchester NH

years of age. He came to the United States several years ago and engaged himself to the Amoskeag Corporation. In 1890 he had the misfortune to lose his left arm in the machinery, from which he was a great sufferer….For something to take up his attention he then commenced to play checkers for the first time, and so well has he applied himself to his now favorite game that it takes a professional to do anything with him.  [read more]

Herman Hayes, son of John & Fanny (Scott) Hayes/Hase was born 1 Jan 1857/1858 in Farnham, Missisquoi, Quebec, Canada, and died 12 November 1944 in Goffstown, Hillsborough Co. NH [at the Hillsborough County Farm; His father b. Ireland and mother b. Canada.]. He married  30 December 1884 in Manchester NH to Hattie Hogaboom, daughter of John & Martha (Long) Hogaboom.  She was b. July 1860 in Highgate VT and d. 28 Sep 1919 in Manchester NH.  They are buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FSNT-H9K
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1880 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 231 Orange St.
James Hayes M 42 Canada Can Can fireman in boiler works
Orilla A. Hayes F 45 Canada VT VT keeping House
Eapy A. Hayes M 20 Canada son works in bobbin shop
Carrie E. Hayes F 14 Canada daughter
Mary Hayes F 22 Canada niece works in cotton mill
Flora Traux F 22 NY boarder works in cotton mill
John Melody M 21 NH boarder clerk in grain store
Irving Russell M 23 Canada boarder works in bobbin shop
Herman Hayes M 21 Canada nephew works in Dye House
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1900 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 230 W Merrimack St.
Hayes, Hermand Head W M Jan 1857 43 married Canada Ire Canada Watchman
Hayes, Hattie M. wife W F July 1860 married VT VT VT Land Lady no children
Bowker, Mabel N. niece W F Feb 1879 21 single Can-Eng Can-E Can-# clerk
[rest are servants or boarders]
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no children

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George W. Durkee, a promising checkers player who died suddenly at the age of 22 years.

George W. Durkee, a promising checkers player who died suddenly at the age of 22 years.

George W. Durkee. Proficient Among Checker Players.  Born in Tunbridge VT June 6, 1875. Came to Derry [NH] when quite young, where he has since made his home. He became identified with the game of checkers less than two years, ago [c1892] during that time has become quite proficient, beating all the boys of his age and most of the older players in his town. A few years and he will stand in the front rank of New Hampshire checker players. Game No. 13, “Souter” George Durkee vs Prof. C.W. Scribner. [NOTE: sadly George would die only a few years later of appendicitis, age 22].

George W. Durkee, son of Albert & Josephine/Josie (Barrows) Durkee was b 6 June 1875 in Tunbridge, VT.  He died 18 January 1897 in Derry NH of appendicitis, age 22. Grocers Clerk.  He married 6 June 1893 at Derry NH to Lottie May Merrick, daughter of Randolph R. & Lottie L. Merrick.  She was b. 22 August 1874 at Hampstead NH. Her occupation was music teacher. After his death the widowed Lottie (Merrick) Durkee moved back to her parent’s home in Derry NH.
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1880 US Census > VT > Orange > Tunbridge
Albert Durkee 41 M W Farmer VT VT VT
Josaphaine Durkee 32 W F keeping house VT VT VT
Albert W. Durkee 14 M W son works on farm VT
Addie Durkee 11 W F daughter at school VT
George W. Durkee 6 son VT
Dexter B. Durkee 6 son VT
Cyrus Fox 24 works on farm VT
Henry CLogsden 11 works on farm VT
Carrie E. Durkee 4 daughter VT
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Child of George W. & Lottie M.L. (Merrick) Durkee:
1. Richard Randolph Durkee, b. 10 May 1894 at Derry, Rockingham Co. NH, died 13 Feb 1988 at Derry NH; he m. 6 June 1915 at Danville NH to Bernice L. Kimball, dau of Labuston & Nellie (George) Kimball. She was b. 1894. At the time of their marriage he was a clerk and she a bookkeeper.

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Thomas Leddy, ex-champion of New Hampshire, was born in Boston, Mass, June

Thomas Leddy (1849-1912) one time Checkers Champion of New Hampshire

Thomas Leddy (1849-1912) one time Checkers Champion of New Hampshire

3, 1849 and is therefore in his forth-fifth year.  He is one of New Hampshire’s solid business men and for a number of years carried on a successful grocery business at Epping, N.H., later he removed to South Newmarket where he has since resided and conducted a large grocery…. [read this article].

Thomas Leddy, son of Thomas & Ann (Smith) Leddy, was b.3 June 1849 at Boston MA and died 26 April 1912 in Epping, New Hampshire, age 63 years. He was buried in Epping NH. He married Mary Alice McGlincey, daughter of John & Mary Alice (McCabe) McGlincey. She was born 9 Sep 1851 at Newfields NH and died 12 June 1935 in Manchester NH (Sacred Heart Hospital), aged 83. With his brothers John and Charles, Thomas Leddy established the grocery, Leddy Brothers at Epping NH.
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Children of Thomas & Mary Alice (McGlincey) Leddy:
1. Rev. Charles Joseph Leddy, b. 6 October 1879 Newfields NH. Roman Catholic Priest, St. Joseph Cathedral, Manchester NH. He was secretary to Bishop Guertin.
2. Alice May Leddy, b. 5 December 1883 at Epping NH; She m1) 26 June 1907 in Pepperell MA to Jeremiah L. Therrien alias Jerry L. Thayer, son of Julius & Mary Ann (O’Brien) Therrien. He was b abt 1887 at Pepperell MA. Four daughters: (A) Phyllis M. Thayer who m. 16 May 1932 at Hillsboro NH to Frederick A. Dow, son of Carl P. & Kate (Adams) Dow. (B) Geraldine Mary Thayer, b. abt 1912 who m. 21 Sep 1940 in Epping NH to James Peter Holihan, son of James P. & ALice (Behan) Holihan. (C) Patricia A. Thayer, b. abt 1910 in NH (D) Oliver Josephine Thayer, b 27 March 1914, d. 4 January 2009; also sons, Thomas J. Thayer (b abt 1917), Jeremiah/Jerry L. Thayer (b abt 1919) and Charles L. Thayer (b abt 1927)
3. Anna Josephine Leddy, died 13 May 1938 Epping NH;
4. John Smyth Leddy, b. 4 May 1890 Newfields NH; firm of Leddy Brothers; he married 17 May 1922 in Epping NH to Blanche Victorine Dion, daughter of John E. & Olivine (Gabarian) Dion. They had several children including Constance M., Thomas, Joan, James, Mary Olive, Joseph and Mary Margaret.
5. James A. Leddy, b. 21 Aug 1885 in Newfields NH; probably remained single, in 1940 living with neice: Fredrick & Phyllis (Leddy) Dow and family in Epping NH [biography ]

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Fred K. Peacock (1856-1923) First Class Checker Player of Concord NH

Fred K. Peacock (1856-1923) First Class Checker Player of Concord NH

Fred K. Peacock. First Class Checker Player.  He is a first-class checker player and has won games from New England’s best players and were it not for close attention to his duties as clerk in the largest grocery store in the city,…he would make the best of them careful to win a game.   Mr. Peacock was the only one in Concord (NH) to win a game from W.Z. Wright, the New England champion, in simultaneous play. Wright at the time playing some twelve or fifteen players.  However it is to Mr. Peacock’s credit, as Wright is a very rapid player and can play twelve as well at one time, as he is the best book player and knows at sight more book play than any other….He is one of Concord’s best citizens [read more of his bio]

Fred K. Peacock, son of Lorenzo K. & Clementina D. (Russ) Peacock was born Nov. 14, 1856 in Concord NH, and died 3 November 1923 at Concord, Merrimack Co. NH.  He married 5 Feb 1888 in Concord NH to Minne Emma Carter, daughter of Andrew B. & Ellen (Ladd) Carter.  She was b. November 1861 in Concord NH and died after 1940 probably in Concord NH. In 1920 they were living at 30 Thompson St. Concord NH, his occupation working in a belt shop. In 1940 the widow Emma Peacock was residing in Concord NH. In 1945-1947 “Emma Peacock, wid Fred” was residing 96 Pleasant St. Concord NH.
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1870 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Concord
Lorenzo K. Peacock 49 M W Carriage Maker 4000/1000 NH
Clementine D. Peacock 43 F Keeping House NH
Ella M. Peacock 23 F W at home NH
Fred K. Peacock 13 M W at school NH
Eddie L. Peacock 13 M W at school NH
Lucy M. Rush 44 F W MA no occupation 1000
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probably no children

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David E. Clarke. Strong and Original Player. His father was a physician…and was

David E. Clarke (1827-1907) Original Checkers Player of VT and Concord NH

David E. Clarke (1827-1907) Original Checkers Player of VT and Concord NH

four years old when he died. He was taken to live with his grandfather at Saxton’s River VT.  In 1846 he moved to Concord, NH and entered the dry goods business until 1890. For a pastime and amusement his favorite game has been checkers, and has played the game more or less for the past 40 years. [read more of his bio]

David Everett Clarke, son of Silas & Abigail (Everett) Clarke was b. 19 October 1827 in Windham VT, and died 24 July 1907 in Concord, Merrimack Co. NH.  His father was a physician who was b. in Rockingham VT. He was a retired dry goods merchant. He married Henrietta Sarah Clarke, dau of Charles & Hannah F. (Ober) Clark.  She was b. 29 Dec 1833 in Townshend VT and d. 14 Sep 1922 in Concord NH.  They were both buried at Blossom Hill Cemetery, Concord NH.
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1900 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Concord > 102 Pleasant Street
David E. Clarke 72 Head W M Oct 1827 72 married 47 yrs VT VT NH Landlord
Henrietta J. Clarke 66 wife W F Dec 1833 married 47 yrs 5 ch 4 living VT VT VT
George H. Clarke 40 son W M June 1854 single NH medical student
Emily N. Clarke 36 daughter W F June 1863 36 single  NH bookkeeper
Helen C. Clarke 31 daughter W F May 1868 single NH
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Children of David E. & Henrietta S. (Clarke) Clarke:
1. George H. Clarke, MD b. 6 June 1859 Concord NH; d. 21 Oct 1929 in Concord NH; physician; single
2. Henrietta Burke Clarke, b. 11 Feb 1861 Concord NH; m. 11 Oct 1888 in Concord NH to William Whiting Bemis, son of Aaron & Julia (Dutton) Bemis.  He b. abt 1842 in Windham VT.
3. Emily N Clarke, b. 20 June 1863 Concord NH; d. 28 October 1921 in Concord NH; Teacher of Oratory
4. Helen C. Clarke, b. May 1868 Concord NH; d. 22 Feb 1939 in Concord NH; single

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Samuel Chase Nay, born Raymond NH. Checker Champion of New York City.

Samuel Chase Nay, born Raymond NH. Checker Champion of New York City.

Samuel Chase Nay, Expert Checkers Strategist. He was born in Raymond NH, then removed to New York City following his involvement in the Civil War where he was in the stable business.  In 1887 he commenced the scientific method of playing checkers and joined the New York Checker Club that same year. He wrote checker articles for publications under the alias “Psalm Neigh.” [see more about his military service and bio]

Samuel Chase Nay, son of Samuel and Jane (Chase) Nay; b. 13 April 1844 at Raymond NH. [His mother Jane was the dau of Dea Joseph & Anna Chase, and she was b abt 1809 at Litchfield NH, d. 7 Aug 1893 at Raymond NH]. He married before 1880 to Augusta –.  She b. abt 1851 in New York. [SEE the NAY Family Genealogy in the History of Raymond NH] No more is known about him.
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1860 US Census > NH > Rockingham > Raymond
Samuel Nay 53
Jane Nay 51
Samuel C Nay 16
Annah A. Nay 9 [Annie Nay, b abt 1853 Raymond NH; d. 31 March 1873 in Raymond NH, single, of consumption, age 20]
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1880 US Census > New York > New York City
Samuel Nay M 37 b NH NH NH bookkeeper
Augusta Nay F 29 NY NJ Scotland
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He enlisted in the Union Army, Company D, NH 15th Infantry Regiment on 8 Oct 1862. Mustered out 13 Aug 1863 at Concord NH. He re-enlisted in Company D, 18th Infantry Regiment on 14 Sep 1864. He was promoted to full sergeant on 1 May 1865. Mustered out 10 June 1865.
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Henry W. Shannon. Champion Draught Player of New Hampshire. He began to

Henry W Shannon of Vermont and New Hampshire. Champion Checkers Player

Henry W Shannon of Vermont and New Hampshire. Champion Checkers Player

play checkers when 23 years of age while living in Lowell MA, and since that time he has met a great many of the leading players across the board. In 1889 for the state championship he defeated L.M. Stearns by a score of Shannon 10, Stearns 5, drawn 5, and in 1893 with Arlie L. Oliver for the same title Shannon 3, Oliver 7, drawn 10.  Mr. Shannon is general manager for the Wheeler & Wheeler Sewing Machine Co. in New Hampshire. When the Chess and Checker Club was formed he was elected its treasurer. The game between Mr. Shannon and W.G. Hill, now state champion, is of first-class order….. [read rest of biography]

Henry W. Shannon, son of Dennis & Ann (Powers) Shannon was b. 9 Feb 1856 in Orleans Co. Vermont, and d. 30 Sep 1943 at Grasmere/Goffstown NH. He married 2 February 1889 in Manchester, Hillsborough Co. NH to Mrs. Mary Christina (Chamberlin) Mead, dau of Stephen and Martha (Thomas) Chamberlin.  She was b abt 1858 in Greensboro/Sterling VT, and d. 4 Jan 1908 in Manchester NH. She married 1st) 28 Sep 1878 at Manchester NH to Ezra L. Mead, son of Gardner & Hannah Mead. In 1840 he was boarding at 490 Pine Street in Manchester NH, a widower, age 84. In 1942 the city directory has him a salesman at that same address. He was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery, Manchester NH
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1860 US Census > VT > Orleans Co. > Salem
Dennis Shannon 30 570 400 Ireland
Ann Shannon 28 Ireland
Henry Shannon 4 VT
[Note Henry’s death rec says father Dennis b. Boston MA, and mother Ann Powers b. Canada]
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1900 Census indicates no children born to them.

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William Grant Hill. Wonder Boy of the East.

William Grant Hill. Wonder Boy of the East.

Willis Grant Hill.  Wonder Boy of the East. Champion Checker Player of New Hampshire.
In 1886 he became interested in the game of checkers through the Derry News checker column, and he became a student of L.M. Stearns. At the age of 15 he tied J.E> Barron of Haverhilla MA by a score of one each and a draw.  In 1888 in a match by correspondence he defeated J.E. Bonney of Hamilton NY 2 to 0, 8 drawn and defeated others in a similar manner. Two years previous to this article he lost his excellent checker library by fire. He is a player with steady nerves. [to read the rest see here.]

Willis Grant Hill, son of Frederick & Clara L. (Grant) Hills was born 12 February 1872 at Granville Vermont.  At the age of 4 his parents removed to New Hampshire where he has since lived.  When Willis was 7 his mother died. He became a clerk for the large hardware establishment of John B. Varick & Co. in Manchester NH. He married 2 December 1896 at Manchester, Hillsborough Co. NH to Mary Emma Weaver, dau of George & Mary E. Weaver. She was b abt 1870 at Manchester NH. By the marriage of his son in 1922 he was living in Lawrence MA. By the marriage of his son in 1937 Willis removed to Norfolk VA, and his mother was living in North Sutton NH. In 1940 residing in Concord NH with his son George.
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1940 US Census > NH > Merrimack > Concord
Hill George F. Head M W 38 married NH
Hill Delma E. Wife F W 30 married NH
Hill, Delma H. daughter F W 1 single b Concord NH
Hill, Willis G. father M W 6y8 married VT
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Children of Willis G. & Mary (Weaver) Hill:
1. Willis W. Hill, b abt 1898 Manchester NH; he married 15 Aug 1922 Concord NH to Florence Partridge, dau of William & Minnie W. (Swallow) Partridge. She was b. abt 1906 in Warner NH
2. George F. Hill, b. abt 1902 Manchester NH; he married 1st) 20 Sep 1922 to Lucinda A. Partridge, dau of William & Minnie (Swallow) Partridge and divorced; He m2nd) 17 Apr 1937 in Boscawen NH to Delma E. Hosmer, dau of George B. & Nettie B. (Shute) Hosmer.

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*****Other Sources & Antique Books on Checker/Draughts*****

CHECKERS INFO

BOOK: Checkers, by David A. Mitchell, Philadelphia, The Penn Publishing Company, 1918

Open Library (borrow free): How to play winning checkers, by Millard Hopper, New York: Pocket Books; 1943

Checkers: A Treatise on the Game

Lees’ Guide to the Game of Draughts or Checkers, by J.W. Dawson, Philadelphia, David McKay, Publisher, 1915

Game of Draughts or Checkers, simplified and explained by D. Scattergood; New York: Dick and FItzgerald; 1864

Vocabulary of Checkers, by William Timothy Call, New York 1909

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One Response to New Hampshire’s Famed Checkerologists of the 19th & 20th Centuries

  1. Dame Gussie says:

    Thank you for a great tribute to my great grand Uncle Lyman Marshall Stearns

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