100 Years Ago in Windham
Summer Happenings 1916 | Fire Destroys Farm | W.S. Harris
The farm shown was built by Gilbert Alexander in 1830, on land that was originally part of a larger tract of land, granted earlier to the Nesmith family. His brother Samuel owned an adjoining farm which was also on the original Nesmith grant. Samuel built his buildings in 1854. Nellie Mae, who died in the summer of 1916 was Samuel’s only child. They all descended from Randal Alexander, one of the first 16 settlers of Londonderry.
WINDHAM, JUNE 6.— Miss Nellie May (Alexander) Parker, wife of Charles O. Parker, passed away Friday, June 2, at the age of 55. She was the daughter of Samuel S. and Clara (Holden) Alexander and on her father’s side was descended from Randal Alexander, one of the 16 first settlers of Londonderry. She was born April 12, 1861, in the same house in which she died, being the only child of her parents. On April 20, 1893 she married Charles O. Parker, a prosperous farmer of this town and they continued to reside on the Alexander home. The bereaved husband now left alone, has the sympathy of his many friends in the loss of his faithful helpmate. Mrs. Parker was an efficient and capable woman, and while unassuming in her nature, she had the esteem of all. The funeral on Monday afternoon was attended by a very large number of relatives, neighbors and friends and beautiful flowers bespoke their regard. The service was conducted by Rev. Frederick I. Kelly, of East Derry, and burial was in the Alexander lot on the Plain.” (The Alexander farm was on the corner of what is today County and North Lowell Road.)
“The brown-tail caterpillars are less abundant than last year, but we fail to note any diminution in the number of gypsy caterpillars, which in some respects are the worst of all our tree pests.”
WINDHAM, JUNE 21.— It is the custom of the senior class of Pinkerton Academy to hold just before graduation, a party called a “howl,” the plans for which are kept secret from the boys of the lower classes, who try to break it up. This year the seniors came to Windham Town Hall, about 45 being in the party, including 3 teachers. They were followed by quite a number of juniors and others, who found policemen guarding the entrance to the hall, and were unable to interfere with the pleasure of the seniors, who played games, recited pieces, danced and had a general good time, not forgetting to treat the tantalized outsiders to some of the ice cream.
Pinkerton on Friday will graduate a class of 50, the largest number in its hundred years history. Among them are two from this town, Oscar Frederick Low and Freida Low.”
“WINDHAM JUNE 27.—Wilbur F. Senter, with Mrs. Senter and four of their six children, came from Brunswick Maine, Sunday in their auto. The route was via Portsmouth, Amesbury, and Haverhill, and the distance about 140 miles. After a short visit with the parents and sister they returned home today.”
Mrs. Worledge went to Hampton Beach today to open her boarding house, the Windham, for the summer. Miss Edna Armstrong accompanied her to remain a few days.”
“WINDHAM, JULY 5.— Eleven pupils of the town schools received diplomas certifying to their completion of the grammar grade studies and their fitness to enter upon a high school or academy course. They are as follows: From No. 3 school, George Henry Butterfield, Marion Jeannette Butterfield, Hannah May Cronin, John Francis Keane, Mary Helen Keane; from No. 5, Florence Evelyn Clark, Bertha Evelyn Horne; from No. 6, Samuel Edward Alley, Florence Garland, Myron Sidney Garland, Anna Orne Haskell. Principal Poor, of Pinkerton Academy, gave a very interesting address to the graduating class, on the elements of success, speaking of the importance of a good foundation, application, perseverance, self-reliance, punctuality, courage, character, and illustrating the different qualities by references to the deeds and words of great men. Several pieces were sung by the assembled schools, under the direction of Miss Marguerite E. Clark, of Derry. The exercises ended with the singing of a class song composed for the class by Mrs. M.A.A. Senter. Attractive decorations arranged by Miss Senter and Mrs. Garland consisted of a bank of daisies and hemlock across the center of the stage, and bouquets of peonies, poppies, and other bright flowers at the sides.”
“The Abbott family are spending their 14th summer on Cobbett’s North Shore. Relatives recently entertained by them were Mr. and Mrs. R. Murray Wright of New York City, and Mr. and Mrs. Walter A Hendrickson of Worcester. Fred E. Freeman, of Chicago, is spending two weeks with his parents at Glenwood camp. The John D. Osgood family of the same city are expected soon at the pond to make their usual visit.”
“WINDHAM, JULY 18.— Charles K. Baker, one of the oldest residents of West Windham, died July 12. He was a widower who left two sons.”
“A sad occurrence of Friday night was the total destruction by fire of the buildings on the Joseph L. Cottle farm near Golden Brook Mills, with most of their contents. The place is owned by a Hungarian family named Tokenell (Tokanel) Only a boy, John, about 18 years of age, was home, the others being at work in Lowell. Coming through the shed at about 10:30 the boy stumbled and broke the lamp which he carried, and the buildings were soon in flames.” (This farm was located on the corner of Range and Golden Brook Road. The family later purchased another farm near the Pelham line, on Lowell Road in Windham. )