New Hampshire Senator, Legislator, Farmer, Livestock Breeder and Mail Carrier: Doris M. Spollett of Hampstead

Doris M. Spollett, photo from book, NH Women Legislators, compiled by Leon Anderson for the State of New Hampshire.

Doris Mildred Spollett was a woman of boundless energy and civic fervor.  Born on 12 Sep 1897 in  Hampstead NH, she was the daughter of Arthur J. & Carrie B. (Richardson) Spollett, and grand-daughter of Ladd & Mary A. (Randall) Richardson /and/ Samuel D. & Abbie (Batchelder) Spollett.  She died in November 1977 in Hampstead, New Hampshire.

She was a hard-working farmer, raising prize dairy goats and promoting New Hampshire’s only ‘native’ domesticated bird — the New Hampshire Red.   Before considering a run for a state office, she taught school in Hampstead NH for 11 years, served as a town selectman and worked as a mail carrier. She was a member of the Grange and the Farm bureau.

Photograph of Sen. Doris Spollett, circa 1947-1950 from New Hampshire Historical Association. Used with Permission.

In 1947 she was elected to the New Hampshire state senate on the Republican ticket, representing the 23rd District. She was re-elected (serving a total of two terms in the senate).  [Editor’s note: Miss Spollett was the fourth Senate woman member, her predecessors being Marye Walsh Caron, Lula J.A. Morris and Mrs. E. Maude Ferguson.]

In 1949 she entered her name in the fight for the No. 2 seat on the governor’s council, the first woman to become a candidate for this position. She was defeated.   She went on to represent her town and area in the New Hampshire General Court (legislature) for a total of 13 terms.  And as if this did not keep her busy enough, she was a delegate to the New Hampshire state constitutional convention from Hampstead, 1948 and 1956; and vice-chair of New Hampshire Republican Party in 1957.

In regard to her farm husbandry–an unusual story appears in the April 26, 1947 publication, The Billboard magazine: “Doris M. Spollett, Hampstead, Mass [sic] lone woman senator in the 1947 State Legislature, is a former circus horse trainer. She began training horses for circus performances at the age of 14 according to a recent story in The Haverhill (Mass.) Gazette.” [Editor’s note: I have been unable to verify this source material]

In 1948, under the auspices of the UNRRA sent eight of her prize female goats (Anglo-Nubian stock) to Peru with the goal of improving Peruvian goat herds.  She also bred and raised Hackney ponies.

Hampstead NH Five goats raised by a woman farmer.  In that same year (1948) a bill was introduced to make the chickadee the New Hampshire State bird. The bill was opposed by Sen. Doris Spollett who wanted the New Hampshire Red Hen to have the title instead. The bill was referred to a conference committee who recommended that there be two birds designated: the chickadee for state wild bird, and the New Hampshire Red for the state domestic bird. These recommendations were defeated by a vote of the NH House. [This story according to a source, Sylvia Miskoe, in the Concord Monitor newspaper of 2006].

The issue is complicated.  The purple finch had been the unofficial bird of the state for a while when the topic was brought up, and it was not long before the finch, not the chickadee or the NH Red was given the official title. It was not until 2018 when the “New Hampshire Red” breed was designated as the official State Poultry by the New Hampshire legislature after an appeal from fourth-grade students at Canaan Elementary School.

Spollett Grocery Store in Hampstead NH run by Doris Spollett’s father.

=====PARTIAL GENEALOGY OF DORIS M. SPOLLETT=====

Samuel Caleb Spollett b. abt 1800 Shapleigh Maine or Massachusetts. He d. 30 March 1847 Derry NH. He m1st) abt 1820-1821 in Derry NH to Sophia Dorr/Dore. He married 2d) 30 Nov 1843 in Raymond NH to Sarah Folsom, dau of John & Mary (Palmer) Folsom, daughter of John & Mary (Palmer) Folsom. She was b 7 Aug 1812 in Raymond NH and d. April 1846 in Derry NH. Buried Forest Hill Cemetery, E. Derry NH.
———-
Children of Samuel C. & Sophia (Dorr) Spollett:
1. + Samuel Dearborn Spollett, b. c1830-32 Derry NH
2. Hazen Spollett b Jan 1832 NH. In 1850 living in Derry NH. He m. 15 July 1856 in Hampstead NH to Martha J. Adolphus. Lawyer. They had a dau Alice Harriet Spollett who m. Isaac Randall.
Child of Samuel C. & Sarah (Folsom) Spollett:
3. John Franklin Spollett, b 25 Aug 1844, d. 1928; He m 22 Jan 1866 at Derry NH to Mary Elizabeth Everett, dau of Silas Cushman & Hannah (?) Everett. She was b. 11 Jan 1850 Sandown NH, d. 25 March 1881 W Hampstead NH. Children: Willard F., Delia May, Nettie M., Eugene Franklin. He m2d) 30 Nov 1887 in Hampstead NH to Ellen Smith, daughter of James Smith.

—-Next Generation—–

Samuel Dearborn Spollett b 1829 Derry NH, died 30 Nov 1881 in Derry NH. He m1st) 30 Jan 1856 in Haverhill MA to Abigail “Abbie” Batchelder, daughter of David & Sally (?) Batchelder. She b. 1830 Meredith NH, and d. 9 Aug 1866 in Derry NH, aged 36y 3m 17dys. He married 2d 23 March 1871 in Newburyport MA to Emily Eastman Warner, dau of George & Catharine (?) Warner. In 1870 living in Derry NH. He worked for a shoe manufacturer. Buried Forest Hill Cemetery, E. Derry NH

Children of Samuel & Abigail (Batchelder) Spollett:
1. Emma E. Spollett, b 6 March 1857 Derry NH, died 7 August 1924 in Manchester NH. She m. 4 June 1884 in Derry NH to Nathaniel G. Head, son of George W. & Betsey M. (Nowell) Head. Buried Forest Hill Cemetery, E. Derry NH
2. +Arthur J. Spollett, b 16 July 1862 Derry NH

—-Next Generation—–

Arthur J. Spollett born 16 July 1862 Derry NH, died 22 May 1935 in Hampstead NH, former res Derry son of Samuel D. Spollett & Abbie Batchelder He married 14 March 1896 in Marlow, Cheshire Co. NH to Carrie B. Richardson, daughter of Ladd & Mary A. (Randall) Richardson. He was buried W. Hampstead NH cemetery. Postmaster of W. Hampstead NH appointed 7 April 1898.
—–
Child of Arthur J. & Carrie B. (Richardson) Spollett:
1. Doris M. Spollett, born 12 Sep 1897 Hampstead NH. [this story is about her, see above]

 

 

 

 

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