This week in Concord history

January 14, 1858: The Coos County Republicans hold a convention and pass a resolution stating: “As the advocates of freedom and equal rights, we deplore the existence of slavery … and ardently hope for its speedy abolition when it can be constitutionally effected.”


Jan. 14, 1824: The “other Concord” – in the North Country – officially changes its name to Lisbon, ending confusion with New Hampshire’s capital city.


Jan. 14, 1973: Headline in the Atlanta Journal: “Yes sir, Georgia boy elected Yankee governor.” The topic: New Hampshire’s new governor, Mel Thomson.


Jan. 14, 1873: More than two years after Long Pond was recommended as Concord’s municipal water supply, the first water flows from the pond into city pipes.


Jan. 15, 1754: Dr. Josiah Bartlett of Kingston marries his cousin, Mary Bartlett of Newton. The doctor will become a New Hampshire leader during the American Revolution and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.


Jan. 15, 1942: Sherman Adams leads a rescue party on snowshoes to the rescue of a bomber crew after their plane crashed into the side of Mount Jim near North Woodstock. Adams’s party brings five of the seven crew members out alive. Two perish. The plane was based at Westover Field in Chicopee, Mass. When it crashed, three bombs exploded.


Jan. 15, 1901: A young chicken farmer in Derry writes to a literary editor: “I send you this selection from the poems I have been writing with a view to a volume some day.” The editor publishes one of the poems but not until five years later will she hear again from Robert Frost.


Jan. 15, 1865: Col. Louis Bell of the Fourth New Hampshire Volunteers is advancing with his men on Fort Fisher, N.C., when a marksman on the parapet before them shoots him in the chest. Moments later, as Bell expires, the Fourth and the rest of its brigade take the fort. On a visit to the captured fort shortly afterward, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton pays Bell the posthumous honor of promotion to brigadier general.


Jan. 16, 1995: Springtime in January? The temperature in Concord tops out at 63 degrees.


Jan. 16, 1944: All flying and ground school aviation training is suddenly called to halt at Concord Airport. A private flying school under contract with the government had turned out more than 650 pilots for the War Training Service.


Jan. 16, 1874: Charles F. Low, Mexican War veteran, eccentric world traveler and erstwhile editor of the short-lived Concord Gazette, drowns in the Indian River in Florida. His obituary says Low was once robbed by Bedouins in the valley of the Jordan.


Jan. 16, 1942: Five soldiers from Manchester crash the car they are driving in West Concord, where one of them has just picked up a date. None of the 1941 coupe’s six occupants are injured, but the soldiers worry about getting back to their base in Gainesville, Fla. They also wonder what they’re going to tell the people at U-Drive-It in Gainesville, where they paid $125 to rent the car to drive home on leave.


Jan. 17, 2000: New Hampshire celebrates its first official Martin Luther King Day, joining the other 49 states in so honoring the slain civil rights leader. Capping 20 years of political battles, the Legislature approved the holiday the previous May and Gov. Jeanne Shaheen signed it into law in June.


Jan. 17, 1942: Concord’s zoning board unanimously approves the Brezner Tannery’s takeover of an abandoned mill in Penacook. The tannery will open later in the year, creating 200 jobs.


Jan 17, 1726: Massachusetts grants permission to settle the area that will become Concord. A supervising committee screens would-be settlers. It wants just 100 families.


Jan. 17, 1906: Charles Lakeman joins other employees of the Abbot-Downing Co. atop the building to watch a huge fire in North Pembroke. Seeing that the fire is near where he lives, Lakeman rushes to it and learns that it is his house and barn. Dead inside, authorities find Lakeman’s mother, sister and the sister’s five young children. The sister’s husband, Charles Ayer, is soon found dead in Chichester. Authorities will determine that before shooting himself in the head, he killed his mother-in-law and his wife and set fire to the house with his children inside.


Jan. 17, 1948: Concord’s new mayor, Charles McKee, says he’s not giving up on plans for a new man-made lake on the Turkey River, despite voter opposition. “As I understand it, there was a lake there once, but someone pulled out the plug and it drained away. I am told it would be a comparatively simple matter to put the plug back in.”


Jan. 18, 1742: John McColley is born in Hillsborough, that settlement’s first-born child. Years later, the settlement’s proprietor and namesake, Col. John Hill, will offer McColley and Elizabeth Gibson, Hillsborough’s first-born female, 100 acres if they agree to marry and settle in the town. They will accept the offer.


Jan. 18, 1782: Daniel Webster is born. His parents are Abigail (Nabby) Webster and Captain Ebenezer Webster. The future U.S. senator and renowned nationalist and orator is a frail child.


Jan. 18, 1982: New Hampshire is rattled by the worst earthquake in 42 years. In Concord, a city council meeting has just gotten under way. As Mayor David Coeyman gavels the meeting to order, the windows begin shaking and papers begin shuffling. “I will always remember this,” Coeyman says.


Jan. 18, 1952: Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s presidential hopes suffer a blow when state Rep. R. Wayne Crosby, a Hillsboro Republican, is fired as New Hampshire chairman of Fighters for MacArthur. Crosby’s sin: announcing that he will vote for Sen. Robert O. Taft in the state’s presidential primary.


Jan. 20, 1968: New Hampshire loses its 100th military man in the Vietnam War. He is Eliot Guild of Keene, a 21-year-old Marine medical corpsman.

Author: Insider Staff

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