Manchester's First Mayor, Hiram Brown
The Miscellaneous Records consist of sixteen (16) bound volumes. The miscellaneous records created after 1955 are stored in archival boxes and in binders.
Scope and Content
It is unclear why the designation of miscellaneous records was given to this series. Many of the records would today be considered private because they do not relate to the operation of city government. Other records are found elsewhere such as the sale of property for the payment of tax or the establishment of non-profit entities. The volumes do provide a cultural look of Manchester during various periods of time through the listing of items to be auctioned off for the payment of debts.
Highlights of each volume are described below.
Volume 1: 1848-1864 (index)
- Among the most extensive notes are the perambulations done to determine the borders between Manchester and its neighbors – the towns of Hooksett, Litchfield, Auburn, Londonderry, Bedford and Goffstown. The individual/individuals perambulating the line between two towns would use the location of stones, trees, farms and roads to mark the boundaries between the towns.
- Non-resident land was sold in 1847 (and recorded in 1848) to Manchester residents in order to collect back taxes. For instance lot 526 Chestnut Street was sold to P. Clough for a payment of $2.70 and 20 acres near the Hooksett line was sold to G.H. Kimball for $1.61.
- There are lists of stockholders of Manchester businesses including the Manchester Print Works. There is also a record of the sale of the Duck and Bag Mills to Ezekiel Straw.
- In 1856, there is a record of a prenuptial agreement which allowed the wife to keep her property separate from that of her husband and which gave her the sole right to do with it as she pleased.
- There was a notice of a stray horse wandering into the enclosure next to the Amoskeag Hotel in October 1856. Mr. Ira Bailey stated that the owner could have the horse by providing proof of ownership and paying charges. Why this notice was written in a volume of permanent records is unclear.
Volume 2: 1864-1875 (index)
- This volume documents fence viewers being asked by landowners to establish property divisions or boundaries. In one instance, a pitch pine tree marked a boundary line.
- A number of individuals had their discharge from military service transcribed in this volume. For instance, James H. Buswell, a private of Captain F.M. Edgell's Company, 1st New Hampshire Battery of Light Artillery Volunteers was discharged from service on September 5, 1864 in Petersburg, Virginia because his term of service had expired. The discharge document states that James H. Buswell was born in Candia, New Hampshire, was 19 years old at the time of discharge, stood five feet, five inches high, had a light complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. At the time of his enlistment, he was "enrolled" as a clerk.
- Other individuals whose discharge papers are written in this volume include S.D. Smiley, James Buswell, F.S. Worthen, G.E. Glines, W.H. Blackburn, G.W. Hastings, Samuel Cooper, H.D. Tompkins, E.G. Gorman, Timothy Buckley, Gilman Stearns, Samuel S. Piper, William Gunnell, Chauncey C. Dickey, Henry E. Bond, Henry A. Campbell, Caleb J. Kimball and John Morrison.
- Unusual records include the following:
- Parents granting theirs sons the right to “Act and Trade alone” without claim to their earnings nor responsibility for their debts.
- A record of an Oath of Identity of a young man who swore to be who he said he was.
- A mother giving her child to a couple.
- L.C. Dow was commissioned by the School Committee in District No. 3 to build a schoolhouse in 1864. He was to be paid $1787.00 for the work.
- In 1865, the legal voters of School District No. 5 petitioned the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to build a schoolhouse on the land of Mrs. John Harvey. The land was located on Nutt Road.
- In 1871, the Benevolence Society de St. Jean Baptiste de Manchester was established to raise funds for sick members and to support the widows and children of the deceased members.
Volume 3: 1875-1884 (index)
- There is a notice dated June 1865 and received September 25, 1879 by City Clerk Nathan Kidder which states that Wilson A. Bartlett, a private of Captain George H.L. Head, Company C, 10th Regiment of New Hampshire was dischraged from service in Richmond, Virginia. At the time of his discharge, Private Bartlett was 23 years old, "stood five feet,seven inches high", had a dark complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. He was born in Lowell, Massachusetts,and at the time of enlistment, his occupation was that of painter.
- In an action unusual in the 19th century, there is a record of a husband assigning to his wife ownership and control of all their household goods.
- In an agreement between a widow and her two married daughters, there is a provision for the widow’s care and guarantees her a place to live in the family homestead so “that her pathway down the steep declivity of her remaining life may be pleasant and homelike”.
- A Photograph Saloon located on Wilson Street, near Merrimac Street, was sold for $102.50 in 1877.
- The “Manchester Daily Union” and “Union Democrat” newspapers were sold for $25,000 in 1879. The newspaper, "L'Ami du Peuple" was sold in 1881.
Volume 4: 1884-1899 (index)
- Most of this volume contains bills of sale and records of public auctions, all notarized by the City Clerk. The types of businesses sold included boarding houses, pool halls, barber shops, grocery stores and restaurants.
- On May 6, 1886, an Auburn man leased land in Auburn owned by the City of Manchester for $1.00. As part of the agreement, he allowed the City to flood the land with water from the Massabesic Brook if the City needed the water.
- On March 20, 1891, there was an unusual sale of the “undivided half of an 11-year old chestnut colored horse.
- A man, on July 27, 1895, sold for $300, a one-half interest in a Manchester-Hooksett milk route with 150 customers. Sale items included two horses, a wagon, harnesses, sleigh, ice chest, storm blanket, 200 milk cans and the “good will of the milk route”.
- A map dated November 1897 was drawn by Benjamin Chase. The shows a portion of the Manchester/Hooksett town line.
Volume 5: 1899-1908 (index)
- There is an agreement to purchase the Kennard Block property after the fire in January 1902.
- There is also a bill of sale for the contents of the Hotel Oxford on April 1, 1902.
- This volume contains perambulation of boundaries between Manchester and Goffstown, Bedford, Auburn, Litchfield, Londonderry and Hooksett in 1904.
- The Street and Park Commissioners received many requests to locate utility poles.
Volume 6: 1908-1911 (index)
- The Street and Park Commissioners received requests for permission to locate utility poles, and they also revoked permission to locate utility poles. The Commissioners also handled requests to locate underground conduits. Frequent petitioners were New England Telephone and Telegraph and Manchester Traction, Light and Power Company.
- There were petitions to the Manchester School Board by residents of adjoining towns to have their residences be considered part of Manchester for school purposes only.
Volume 7: 1911-1918 (index)
- Most of the records in this volume are sales contracts and sales by mortgagees at public auctions. Businesses that were frequently sold included pool halls, barber shops, grocery stores, restaurants, coffeehouses, bakeries, cobbler shops, blacksmith shops and harness shops. Items sold included pianos, horses, shares of stock, shoeshine stands, bootblack stands, wagons and insurance policies.
- Unusual items sold included the following:
- Seat #5 in the first row from the altar at Adath Yeshuren Synagogue on Central Street (1913).
- Two barrels of "Krout" pickles which were sold at public auction for $7.12 to satisfy a lien of the same amount. However, expenses related to preparing and posting notices along with legal fees cost an additional $8.36.
- Auction of the contents of homes and boarding houses continued and now included automobiles, motorcycles, motor boats, washing machines and typewriters.
- There is a medical doctor’s statement avowing the sanity of a woman in 1911. He claimed that she had a bright mind and was of unquestioned honesty.
- In October 1911, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company was sold to Charles W. Amory, Theophilus Parsons, Frederick C. Dumaine and Frank P. Carpenter by the directors of the company.
- The complete contents of a three-story house are listed in a 1913 bill of sale. The document provides a detailed look of household furnishings and appliances for the time period.
Volume 8: 1911-1917 (no index)
This volume is comprised of records of permission to locate utility poles and revocations of previous permission by the Board of Public Works.
Volume 9: 1918-1921 (index)
- Most of this volume consists of sales contracts. Items sold included automobiles, motor cycles, typewriters, phonographs, pianos, adding machines and typewriters. A new car typically sold for $600.
- In 1919, the fraternal organization, the Manesquo Tribe sold furniture and other chattels to the Agawam Tribe, another fraternal organization. The items were located in the Red Man’s Hall at the corner of Spruce and Massabesic.
- Other interesting transactions included the sale of a brown horse with one eye on January 18, 1919.
- There was a lease of billiard and pool tables with the promise that the tables would not be used for gambling. The establishment was located at 34 Spruce Street.
Volume 10, 1918-1926 (no index)
This volume contains records of permission to locate utility poles and revocations of previous permission by the Board of Public Works. Beginning in February 1921, the Department of Highways handled pole petitions.
Volume 11, 1921-1923 (index)
- Sales contracts and public auctions are the primary documents in this volume.
- Two furniture companies – A.A. Mooney Furniture and C.A. Hoitt Furniture had many sales and lease documents.
- An unusual entry contains the details of a marriage dowry agreement. Each party would keep their assets and debts separate. The husband would pay the household expenses during the marriage. His furniture and household effects were “donated” to his wife and upon his death or bankruptcy, his wife would be paid $10,000.
Volume 12, 1923 (index)
- There is a lease agreement between Israel Stratton and Max Bronstein whereby Stratton leased 18 Front Street (front and rear), 22 and 24 Lake Avenue to Bronstein. The annual rent was to be $1500.
- Mary Regan had a rental agreement with William Young for property located at 222 Merrimack. Part of the agreement included the installation of a “bath and hot water arrangement”, the cost of which were to be shared by both parties. The monthly rent was $65.00.
- Most of the records in this volume pertain to the sales of automobiles. Types of cars sold included Ford Coupe, New Star Sedan, Oakland Touring Car, Durant cars (various models),Maxwell Car, Oldsmobile Semi-Sport, and a Peerless Touring Car.
Volume 12A, 1923-1924 (index)
- Automobile sales contain to be the majority of the entries. There are also sales agreements for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles with side cars.
- An entire household ensemble was leased from A.A. Mooney Furniture Company. The furniture and related items included a “velour davenport” and chair; a “gate leg table”; mahogany desk and chair; a 41-piece dinner set; a 9 foot by 13 foot “Buristan” rug; curtains; davenport with mattress; two mirrors; 6 plates and “victrola” records.
Volume 14, 1924 (index)
In addition to the sale of automobiles, other sales included furnishings of barbershops, dental supplies, a printing operation, pianos, one half interest in a tailoring shop and a one-third interest in a coffeehouse.
Volume 15, Nov. 1924-March 1929 (index)
- Sales and lease agreements are the majority of entries in this volume. Businesses that were sold or leased included barbershops, beauty shops, shoeshine parlors, a sign business, lodging houses, restaurants, lunchcarts, jewelry store stock and bowling alleys.
- Entire household furnishings were leased by individuals. Payments ranged from $5 to $50 per week. The lessee would promise not to injure, sell, mortgage or re-let the leased articles.
- A lodging house sale in 1925 lists all the furniture and cooking utensils plus a music cabinet and gramophone.
- There was also a sale of a heifer with five legs which stood and walked on three of the legs.
- “Le Chateau” and the Pine Island Park Ball Room were sold on January 7, 1925.
Volume 17 January 1946-October 1955 (no index)
- There are notices of factor liens which were lien agreements between banks and businesses in which the factor (the bank) secured the debt owed by the business in the form of merchandise belonging to the business. Merchandise included salt and smoked meats, lumber, plumbing fixtures and restaurant supplies. Manchester National Bank, Amoskeag National Bank and Indian Head National Bank had numerous factor liens in this volume.
- There is a 1948 lease agreement between Ginsberg Machine of New York City and Textron Inc., a lingerie manufacturing business located at 186 Granite Street, for sewing machines. Each type of machine is enumerated in the agreement.
- During the Korean War (1950-1953) a number of soldiers signed power of attorney agreements to family members because they were not physically present to pay bills, lease apartments or enter into mortgage agreements. In the event of the soldiers' demise, these individuals would serve as the executors of the estates.
- In 1952, the United Mexican Border Veterans entered into an agreement with the United Spanish War Veterans to share meeting quarters and to split the costs of heating, lighting and janitorial services. The location of the meeting facility is not given.
The collection was processed and described by Kathie Gardner and Sally Fellows.
The records are open for research without restrictions under the conditions of the Manchester City Archives’ access policy. Records may be transcribed for use in administrative, scholarly or personal research. The condition of the volumes does not permit photocopying. Researchers are responsible for obtaining copyright permission to the use material from the archivist.
Miscellaneous Records, City of Manchester, New Hampshire.
Summary of Topics
- Perambulations of Town Lines: 1848, 1855, 1862, 1869, 1876, 1883, 1890, 1897, 1904, 1912, 1926
- Petitions by residents of Goffstown and Bedford to have their residences considered part of Manchester for school purposes only.
- Public School Regulations
- Records of bills of sale and public auctions.
- Records of wills, business contracts and establishment of charity organizations
- Request for permission to locate utility poles.
- Sale of personal property to settle debts.
- Sales of resident and non-resident properties by the City because of non-payment of taxes
1923 Advertisement for
C.A. Hoitt Company Furniture