This week in Concord history

Oct. 1, 1814: Birth of Isaac D. Merrill in Hopkinton. He will grow up to be a clothier, town treasurer, postmaster and state representative. But his biggest claim to fame, according to his obituary, is this: “being the heaviest taxpayer in the town of Hopkinton.”


Oct. 2, 2002: Franklin School District’s dropout rate has dropped from 16 to 10.1 percent, according to numbers released. School officials credit the improvement to new efforts for keeping kids in school and an inflated number the previous year.


Oct. 2, 1856: Near the end of his term, President Pierce visits Concord to stump for James Buchanan, the Democrat nominated to succeed him. Pierce is greeted with a great parade and reception downtown. A fine horseman, he himself rides in the procession down Main Street.


Oct. 2, 1929: Vincent Cozzi of Albin Street in Concord is the sculptor of a fully-equipped 6-foot doughboy being carved from a three-ton block of granite at Swenson Granite Co. When it is completed, the statue will be shipped to Harrisonville, Mo., to stand in the square as a memorial to that town’s World War dead. Cozzi is using a photo of a Missouri soldier as a model for his statue, which he expects will take eight weeks to complete.


Oct. 2, 1963: Gov. John King announces the formation of the New Hampshire Commission on the Status of Women. The chairman will be Margaret Normandin of Laconia, the vice chairman Marion Alexander of Concord. The commission is modeled after a national commission created by President Kennedy in 1961.


Oct. 2, 1862: John Johnston of Pittsfield, born in 1798, enlists as a nurse in the Union army. Johnston served as the town’s last elected tithing-man. For this office, his tool was a long pole with a ball attached to one end by a string. His job: to keep the boys quiet and the old men awake at church on Sunday. He gave any boy who acted up a stiff prod with the pole and any old man who dozed off a bop on the head with the ball. Johnston survived his military service and died in Pittsfield in 1877.


Oct. 2, 1918: Two Concord soldiers – Marine Lieutenant Paul Corriveau and Private Herbert C. Drew – die in France on the same day. Corriveau is killed in action; Drew succumbs to pneumonia. Drew’s mother will call the Monitor’s attention to the coincidence that 20 years before, the two men were in the same kindergarten class at Walker School.


Oct. 3, 1863: At the urging of Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor from Newport, N.H., President Lincoln proclaims a national day of thanksgiving for the last Thursday of November, unifying a holiday previously celebrated at various times by the various states.


Oct. 3, 1878: An attempt is made to rob the Bristol Savings Bank. Explosives blow off the outer door of the safe and blow out both windows of the room. The inner door of the safe is not opened and the robbers leave without booty. “No serious efforts are made to apprehend the criminals and they escape capture,” a town history reports.


Oct. 3, 1994: Sgt. James Noyes of the state police is shot and killed by a despondent man who barricaded himself into his home in Gilford.


Oct. 3, 1993: Somali forces shoot down a Black Hawk helicopter piloted by Michael Durant, a native of Berlin. Durant, his leg broken and bones fractured in his back and face, will be held captive for 11 days.


Oct. 3, 1991: Ken Johnson of Bow, incarcerated for nearly two years awaiting trial on charges he ordered his pregnant wife killed, is released.


Oct. 3, 1940: The U.S. War Department announces Manchester has been selected as an Army Air Corps base. Temporary military housing will cost $1.5 million.


Oct. 3, 1924: Malcolm McLane is born in Manchester. McLane will serve on the Concord City Council from 1956 to 1976, including six years as mayor. He will also serve on the Executive Council and run an unsuccessful third-party race for governor against Mel Thomson.


Oct. 4, 2003: A parish council is demanding that Bishop John McCormack reimburse $14,600 in expenses for the nine months its priest was suspended for alleged sexual misconduct, the Monitor reports. In al letter, the St. Charles parish council accused McCormack of seriously botching his investigation of the Rev. Paul Gregoire, who was cleared by the Vatican and returned to his Dover church in August.


Oct. 4, 2001: A vehicle inspector tells jurors that he’s “100 percent” certain that it was not a faulty fuel injection system inside baby sitter Nancy Lamprey’s truck that sent her careening into a tree, killing one child and injuring five others. Lamprey is later found guilty of manslaughter, first-degree assault and reckless conduct.


Oct. 4, 2000: In an effort to slow turnover, the state announces a temporary 10 percent raise for Department of Corrections employees. The increases will last two years for the officers at the state’s four prisons and three halfway houses.


Oct. 4, 1860: The USS Marion docks at Portsmouth carrying four crewmen captured from the Erie, a slave ship, off the coast of Africa. The four will be found guilty of “being engaged in transporting negroes with the intent to enslave them.” Taken near the mouth of the Congo River, the Erie was carrying 897 blacks. Thirty died, and the rest were transported by U.S. authorities to Monrovia, Liberia.


Oct. 4, 1861: A fire on the southwest corner of Main and Centre streets destroys the Merrimack House, a marble works and a doctor’s home and office.


Oct. 4, 1983: Chubb Life President John Swope announces his company’s plans to expand, bringing 300 new employees to Concord. “This is exactly the kind of employment Concord wants,” he says. “The only environmental problem we cause is we produce too much paper.”


Oct. 5, 2002: President Bush visits Manchester, seeking to rally support for military action against Iraq while raising money for the Sununu Senate campaign and the state GOP. “It’s in my interest, it’s in New Hampshire’s interest and it’s in the country’s interest that John Sununu be elected,” Bush tells Republican donors gathered at The Center of New Hampshire Holiday Inn.


Oct. 5, 1963: Roscoe Higgins, a 65-year-old Deerfield farmer, is fined $300 and given a suspended jail sentence for selling hard cider at the Deerfield Fair.


Oct. 5, 1817: An earthquake rocks Concord at about 11:40 a.m. It lasts 1-2 minutes.


Oct. 5, 1918: Concord’s Board of Health urges the discontinuation of public funerals because of the Spanish Influenza epidemic, which is at its peak. The board strongly suggests that until further notice only “kinsmen and very near friends attend the last rites of people who die.”


Oct. 5, 1759: A group from Portsmouth is granted permission to settle what will eventually become the town of Wolfeboro.



Oct. 5, 1985: The Band, minus Robbie Robertson, plays at the rickety old Concord Theatre on Concord’s South Main Street.


Oct. 5, 1935: The first New Hampshire Peace Union convention meets in Concord. The state pacifist movement’s leader, Agnes Ryan, has stated the group’s goal, saying its members will witness the greatest thing “since Christ was on earth. You are going to live to see the war method abolished from the earth.”


Oct. 5, 1861: The USS Kearsarge is launched at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. The ship is armed with seven guns, has a crew of 162 men, measures 214 feet, 3 inches, and cost $287,000 to build. The controversy over which of New Hampshire’s two Mount Kearsarges the ship is named after is never resolved, even by the U.S. Senate, which takes up the dispute in 1915.


Oct. 6, 1912: Perkins Bass is born. Bass will serve as a congressman from the 2nd District from 1955 to 1963. He will also have a stint in the Legislature, rising to Senate president. His son, Charlie, will be elected to the same seat in Congress.

Author: Insider Staff

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