Missing Places: Nashville New Hampshire 1842-1853

New Hampshire citizens are notorious for their hard-headedness about some things . . .

…regarding their state motto, not wanting a state income tax, and sometimes simply about getting their own way.

In March of 1842, at Nashua New Hampshire’s annual town meeting, it was acknowledged that a new town-house (i.e. town hall) was needed.

The population of the town consisted of two major districts or villages located north (Indian Head) and south (Harbor Pond) of the Nashua River.  The southern part of town was the first settled, while the more affluent residents lived in the northern section.

Both groups wanted the new building located in their area, and a vote was taken.  The result:  North 396, South 582.  The northern residents were not happy with the vote, and petitioned the New Hampshire legislature to “become a separate and corporate town to be known by the name of Nashville.”  This request was unopposed, and on June 23, 1842, the new town of Nashville was incorporated.

The boundary of this new township of Nashville was “all that part of the town of Nashua, in the County of Hillsborough, lying westerly and northerly of a line commencing upon the Nashua river at the east side of Hollis, and runing thence down said river, to the bridge erected over said river by the Nashua and Lowell Railroad Company; thence from the southwest corner of said bridge, eastwardly by said railroad to the Old Ferry road so called, thence by said last mentioned road to the Merrimack river.”

For ten years the two “sister” townships existed fairly quietly, side by side.  It became evident that the division caused some weaknesses for both towns–in education, fire and police departments becoming more expensive. A proposed project to supply water and gas to the towns would be complicated by requiring dual approval and management.

Then Nashua acquired a case of “city-envy.”  Both Manchester (1846) and Concord (1849) had already adopted city charters.  Collectively the towns of Nashua and Nashville would encompass an area with a population equal to those cities. In 1845 the population of the town of Nashua was 4429, while the population of Nashville was 2432–total, 6861.  By the census of 1850 their united population was 8942–a gain of 2888 since 1840.

Recognizing that possibly the two townships would be better off as one city, in 1853 industrious residents of both towns applied to the New Hampshire legislature for a city charter.  This charter was granted 27 June 1853, with the understanding that a majority of the legal voters of both Nashville and Nashua had to agree.

The results of that vote are as follows:
YES     NO     MAJ.
Nashua……………………….. 468     334    134
Nashville……………………..  249     115    134
___     ___    ___
TOTAL………………….  717     449    268

With this affirmative vote, the townships became one again–this time as the City of Nashua, New Hampshire.

Nashua was not the only city to demonstrate an unusual stubbornness when it came to village priorities…

In March 1776, as the result of a dispute by the old and newer residents of Manchester, New Hampshire, TWO sets of town officers were elected, at different times on the same day.  This resulted in great confusion, and a petition being sent to Governor Benning Wentworth to settle the matter. As a result the state government issued a document voiding both sets of town officers, and requiring a new town-meeting and election in August of 1776.

But that is another story…


Proceedings of A MEETING OF CITIZENS OF NASHUA Upon the North Side of Nashua River March 10 1842; UPON THE SUJBECT OF CERTAIN GRIEVANCES with a Report and Resolutions Thereof by a committeed chosen for the purpose. Nashua, Printed by A. Beard, 1842. Internet Archive [Thanks to Den Levesque for this!]

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