The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Manchester (New Hampshire)

Edition of 1879. See also Manchester, New Hampshire on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

MANCHESTER, one of the shire towns of Hillsborough co., New Hampshire, and the largest city in the state, situated on both banks (but chiefly on the E.) of the Merrimack river, 18 m. S. by E. of Concord, and 46 m. N. W. of Boston; pop. in 1850, 13,932; in 1860, 20,107; in 1870, 23,536, of whom 7,158 were foreigners, including a considerable number of French Canadians. The villages of Amoskeag and Piscataquog are on the W. side of the river, which is crossed by five bridges. The city is regularly laid out in squares, and the main street is 100 ft. wide, planted with elms on each side at intervals of 40 ft. for more than a mile. There are five public squares of considerable extent in the central portion, three of them containing ponds. Valley cemetery, the largest in the city, is situated in the S. W. part, E. of the Merrimack; and there are two small cemeteries W. of the river. Manchester has railroad communication with Boston, Concord, Portsmouth, and other points, by means of the Concord, the Manchester and Lawrence, the Manchester and North Weare, and the Portsmouth railroads. It is one of the principal manufacturing cities of New England, being supplied with ample water power by the Blodgett canal, built in 1816 around the Amoskeag falls in the Merrimack. The fall is 47 ft., with rapids above, giving a total descent of 54 ft. in the space of a mile. The water power is owned by the Amoskeag manufacturing company, which has a reservoir in the N. E. part of the city capable of holding 11,000,000 gallons, for supplying the mills. The following table exhibits the statistics of the five corporations engaged in the manufacture of cotton and woollen goods in 1874:

Capital.  No. of 
 Spindles.   Operatives.  Yards
per week.
 Lbs. of cotton 
and wool
per week.

Amoskeag manufacturing company  1831 $3,000,000  3,500  125,000  4,200  600,000  200,000
Stark mills 1838 1,250,000  1,300  40,000  1,200  330,000  110,000
Manchester print works 1839 1,800,000  2,150  100,000  3,000  400,000  110,000
Langdon manufacturing company 1857 500,000  704  33,600  500  100,000   28,000
Namaske mill 1857 100,000  ....  5,000  100  .......  ...... 

Total    $6,650,000   7,654   303,600  9,000   1,430,000  448,000

Of the operatives, 2,700 were males and 6,300 females. The Amoskeag company also manufactures steam fire engines, and the Manchester company operates extensive print works. The Manchester and Namaske companies manufacture woollens as well as cottons, and the Stark mills some linens; the others, only cotton goods. The principal kinds of goods are tickings, denims, stripes, ginghams, sheetings, shirtings, print cloths, balmorals, cotton flannels, cotton duck, seamless bags, delaines, angola flannels, fancy cassimeres, alpacas, poplins, silesias, &c. The Amoskeag paper mill employs about 40 hands. There are also a manufactory of hosiery, one of boots and shoes, one of edge tools, one of locomotives, several of machinery and iron castings, of carriages, and of circular saws, a brass foundery, and an ale brewery. The city contains four national banks, with an aggregate capital of $650,000; five savings banks, with about 18,500 depositors and $7,250,000 deposits; and a fire insurance company, with $200,000 capital. It is divided into seven wards, and is governed by a mayor and a board of aldermen of one member and a common council of three members from each ward. There is an efficient police force, and the fire department is well organized. The streets are well paved and sewered and lighted with gas. Water is supplied from Lake Massabesic on the N. E. border of the city by works recently erected. The assessed value of property in 1873 was $12,001,200; tax, $300,768; value of city property, $717,120 45; net debt, Jan. 1, 1874, $807,860 16. Manchester is the seat of the state reform school, which occupies a brick building on the E. bank of the Merrimack, capable of accommodating 150 inmates. The public schools are in a flourishing condition, and in 1873 embraced 45 departments (1 high, 1 training or normal, 5 grammar, 6 middle, the rest primary or ungraded); number of teachers, 69; pupils enrolled, 3,779; average attendance, 2,284; cost of maintenance, $49,062 17, including $36,451 58 for teachers' wages; value of school property, $249,675. Besides these, evening schools are maintained during a portion of the year, and there are several Catholic schools connected with the churches and convent. The latter also conducts an orphan asylum. The city library at the close of 1873 contained 17,672 volumes. Two daily and three weekly newspapers and a monthly periodical are published. The number of churches is 16, viz.: 2 Baptist, 1 Christian, 2 Congregational, 1 Episcopal, 2 Freewill Baptist, 2 Methodist, 3 Roman Catholic (1 French), 1 Second Advent, 1 Unitarian, and 1 Universalist.—The place was first settled near the falls about 1730, incorporated under the name of Derryfield in 1751, and named Manchester by act of the legislature in 1810. It received a city charter in 1846.