Chief and 51 Year Member of Concord New Hampshire Fire Department: William Clarence Green (1853-1932)

Photograph of Chief William C. Green from History and Genealogy of the Rix Family of America by Guy S. Rix; 1906; page 158B. HathiTrust. Colorized by the blog editor.

According to a 1932 obituary in The Boston Globe newspaper, William C. Green was appointed head of the Concord Fire Department on 11 December 1894, and it was then believed he was the oldest fire chief in years of service in the United States. His continuous connection with that department dated back 50 years.

He had first joined the Concord NH Fire Department in 1871, dropping out for a few years, but joining again on 1 July 1882, then being elected clerk of Kearsarge Engine Company. Later he became captain of the company and was made a member of the Board of Engineers in 1892. Two years later he was appointed chief of the Concord City Fire Department.

Photograph of Chief William C. Green and George Downing in a horse-drawn carriage. Undated George W. Perry Scrapbook Collection, gift of May Nutter. New Hampshire Historical Society. Used with Permission. Colorized by blog editor.

Chief Green was in charge on 14 November 1931 when the steam pump Kearsarge, last of Concord’s horse-drawn fire engines was ordered scrapped after 62 years of continuous service. According to an Evening Gazette (Worcester MA) article of 1931, “a test of the ancient steamer’s boiler revealed leaky flues and general decrepitude. Fire Chief William C. Green said that repairs to the Kearsarge would cost more than the outworn apparatus is worth and the engine would be sold for old metal.” Horses had not been used at this time by the Concord Fire Department for more than 12 years, but the Kearsarge had been towed to bad blazed by an auto truck, and had been in daily service as a reserve pump. [Note: the Kearsarge was built at the Amoskeag shops at Manchester and was purchased by Concord in 1869 to replace hand tubs]. The Kearsarge survives to this day [see article] [Photograph of Steamer Kearsage No. 2, unidentified fire fighter driving, undated.]

William Clarence Green was born in Newburyport, MA on 13 Feb 1853. He moved to Lowell with his parents at a young age, attending school there. In 1871 he moved to Concord NH where his father, Ebenezer D. Green became foreman of the mechanical department of the old Concord Patriot newspaper.  William C. Green was active in many local societies including the Arosaguntacook Tribe of Red Men, White Mountain Lodge and Penacook Encampment, I.O.O.F., Concord Lodge of Elks, the New Hampshire Fireman’s Association, the Fire Chiefs’ Club of Massachusetts and the International Association of Fire Engineers.  According to a notation on his Find-A-Grave listing, he was notable for having motorized the Concord NH Fire Department.


Photograph of Fire Chief William C. Green from the Boston Globe. Colorized by the blog editor.

John Green born abt 1757 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, died June 1829, buried 28 June 1829 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England in Chapelry of Saint Mary. His “abode” at that time was Little Hampton Street. He married 6 Nov 1788 in Birmingham, St. Philip, Warwickshire England to Penn Smith. She was b abt 1761 at Birmingham, Warwickshire, England and d. 27 Nov 1829 at St. Phillips, Birmingham, Warwickshire England.
Children of John & Penn (Smith) Green:
1. John Green b 29 Sep 1789 St Martins, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
2. +Thomas Smith Green, b 1791 Warwickshire, England
3. Isaac Green b 1793 Warwickshire England
4. Joseph Smith Green b 5 July 1793 St Phillips, Birmingham, England
5. Martha Green b 2 June 1796 St. Phillips, England
6. George Green, b 1798 Warwickshire England
7. daughter Green b 1799
8. William Green b 11 Sep 1801 St. Phillips, Birmingham England
9. Nancy Green b 1801 Birmingham, England

—–Next Generation—–

Thomas Smith Green, son of John & Penn (Smith) Green, b June 1791 Warwickshire, England, baptized 9 June 1791 at Saint Phillips, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England; d 17 April 1849 at Fredericton, N.B., Canada; Thomas Smith Green arrived in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada about 1817. He m. 12 Feb 1818 in York, N.B., Canada to Mary E. Harper by a Justice of the Peace [Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records, Drouin Collection]. She b abt 1796 in New Brunswick, Canada and d 26 May 1859 Woodstock, Carleton, N.B. Canada. Buried Woodstock Methodist Cemetery
Children of Thomas & Mary (Harper) Green:
1. William Green, b abt 1819 Fredericton, N.B., Canada; died 19 March 1854 Boston MA. He m1) Margaret Ann Stewart; he m2d) Martha Cushing Bowker. In 1850 living in Chelsea MA; blacksmith.
2. Priscilla M. Green b abt 1821 Canada; died 26 July 1882. She m. Samuel F. Jones.
3. Mary Ann Green, b abt 1822 Canada; d. 15 Nov 1867 Brighton, NB, Canada; m. Isaac Hagerman.
4. Eliza Jane Green, b. abt 1825 Canada; m1) Francies E. Jones; m2) Lawrence W. Hagerman, brother to her sister Mary Ann’s husband.
5. Thomas Green, b. 28 Dec 1826 Canada; d. 31 May 1899 Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada; he m. Elizabeth Walker. 8 children
6. +Ebenezer Davis Green, b 1830 in Fredericton, N.B. Canada
7. Martha Green b abt 1830 Canada; d. 21 May 1873. Married Avard Burpee. Several children.
8. Samuel W. Green b abt 1831-1835 in Fredericton, N.B. Canada, d. 18 Nov 1903 Hyde Park MA. Buried Fairview Cemetery, Hyde Park MA. on 20 Nov 1903. He m. in Bureau de Sante, Fredericton NB to Rebecca Babbit, dau of Thomas & Elizabeth (Watson) Babbitt.
9. Harriet Amelia Green, b June 1837-1839 Canada, died 5 April 1926 Plaistow NH; m1) 1856 to Charles Howard. She m. Oct 1864 to Frederick Jotham Estabrook(s). He was b. 4 Jan 1820 Tailoress. In 1900 living in Lowell MA with her husband, and married daughter Maud M. (Howard) Hanson [husband

—–Next Generation—–

Ebenezer D. Green, son of Thomas & Mary/May Green, b 1830 Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada; d 27 Aug 1880 in Concord NH, aged 50. In 1850 living in Georgetown MA, a printer. He m 1st) 26 May 1850 in Boston MA to Esther Rix Eastman, dau of Seaborn & Ruth (Rix) Eastman, granddaughter of Nathaniel & Esther (Clark) Rix. Nathaniel Rix was b. 1723 in Boscawen NH and d. in Littleton NH 12 Oct 1828. Under command of Capt Joseph Hutchins with eastern division of the northern dept. under command of Maj. Gen. Gates, Nathaniel Rix’s name appears as having enlisted 18 Aug 1777, disch 10 Sep 1777 and on several other Revolutionary War rolls.  She was b 20 Jan 1815 in Bath NH, d 24 Jan 1876 Boston MA (MA Gen Hospital). They divorced. He m2) 28 Aug 1875 in Concord NH to Georgianna Leighton, daughter of Calvin V. Leighton.
Children of Ebenezer & Esther R. (Eastman) Green:
1. +William Clarence Green, b. 13 Feb 1853 Newburyport MA
2. Mary Ellen Green, b 8 Feb 1855 Lowell MA; m. James F. Hoyt ; res. Concord NH. No children.
3. Emma Frances Green, b. 23 May 1857 Lowell MA; m. Fred Buzzell. No children.
Children of Ebenezer & Georgianna (Leighton) Green:
4. Frederick Leighton “Fred” Green, b 1 Oct 1876 Concord NH; m. 21 Aug 1907 to Rosa E. Israel, daughter of George C. & Mary (Angelin) Israel.
5. Florence Louise Green, b 26 June 1879 Concord NH; d. 22 June 1958 in Boscawen NH

—–Next Generation—–

William Clarence Green was born 13 Feb 1853 Newburyport MA, son of Ebenezer Davis Green & Esther R. Eastman and died 27 Oct 1932. He is buried in Blossom Hill Cemetery, Concord NH.  He married 1 Jan 1890 to Abbie M. Hill, daughter of Walter M. & Jessie M. (Pettingill) Hill. She was b 9 Oct 1872 in Loudon NH and died 15 Feb 1904 in Concord NH.  He was a member of the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution). In 1900 he living at 46 Warren St.  Fire Chief of Concord NH, 50 year member of department. [This story is about him, see above.]  They are buried in Blossom Hill Cemetery.
Children of William C. & Abbie (Hill) Green:
1. Clarence Hoit Green b 12 November 1891; d. 12 November 1978. He married 4 December 1915 in Concord NH to Lillian Edmunds, daughter of William J. & Adeline (Polgrean) Edmunds. They had one child, Dorothy Esther Green. She was b abt 1916 in Concord NH and m. 1 Aug 1936 in Concord NH to George Oliver Shovan. George Shovan was born in Hanover NH and was a lawyer who served as a clerk of the NH Supreme Court from 1930 to 1970. They had two sons: Thomas Green Shovan b 6 Oct 1939 in Concord NH, d. 9 April 1999; and Mark Shovan of Brooks School, North Andover MA.
2. Esther Emma Green, b 14 May 1894, d. 21 Aug 1926. In 1915 she worked as a stenographer in Concord NH.  Did not marry.


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