Throughout the history of Dover there have been families who, in one generation or over generations, have contributed a great deal to the community.
Recently there has been the story of the Peirce family, Andrew One, Two and Three, and his cousin, Andrew Pierce. There were several generations of Tuttles, the Elisha Brown clan and the various Sawyers.
One name that appears repeatedly in the 1900s is that of McDaniel, several quite important people for their time, now largely forgotten. As we have already noted, many surnames are no longer part of the Dover present due to men lost in war, families who have moved, couples without children, or marriages with only women. McDaniel is one example. For a time in the 1940s, there were three McDaniels simultaneously appointed officials of the city of Dover.
Walter S. McDaniel was born in 1887. Over the years he served as city messenger and city clerk, but was best known as the superintendent of Pine Hill Cemetery. The position of City Messenger has long since disappeared, but at the time it appears to have been a combination of janitor and city gofer, chosen each January by city council. He was delegated to deliver and report all “notices, summons and precepts” issued by the mayor, council and school committee, attend meetings of both branches of council (at the time there was both a council and a council of aldermen), and “will ensure that the courtyard and annexes of the town hall building are kept in good condition … the offices and other apartments of the said building clean, suitably heated and lighted …”
Walter ended his career as a superintendent in the early 1950s, then moved to Alabama where he lived a long life, dying in 1982.
Donald T. McDaniel was Dover’s Tax Collector / CFO for several years. Robert Herlihy was then appointed to the post of tax collector, and in 1951 McDaniel resigned his post of CFO and Herlihy took his place. It was during the years that Dover first adopted the City Manager’s form of government, and efforts were made by both offices to upgrade the years-old system of fixing and collecting taxes. , creating a more efficient purchasing process and modernizing accounting and reporting standards. .
Andrew H. McDaniel was Chief of Police at Dover from 1932 to 1952. He was born in Barrington, moved to Dover in 1917, served in World War I, and was a founding member of the local American Legion. Prior to being appointed Chief, he served in the Strafford County Sheriff’s Department. He and his family lived at 6 West Concord St. A member of the First Parish Church, his funeral in 1954 brought together the entire Dover Police Department, state and federal government officials, city officials and members of the then existing police. Commission.
Andrew’s son John was a highly respected teacher and administrator in the schools of Portsmouth, Pease and Dover, serving for several years as Principal of Woodman Park School. (A cousin, James McShane, for most of those same years was principal of Horne Street School.) Upon retirement from Woodman Park, John began a second career as Deputy Clerk of the County Superior Court of Strafford. John’s wife Margaret, still a resident of Dover, is from England and they met while she was visiting the area as part of a teacher exchange program. Their home was on Arch St. where Margaret ran a successful preschool program for many years.
Another McDaniel was Martin T., who was called “True” McDaniel, his middle name. He was also born in Barrington and moved to Dover at the age of 16. In 1890 he became an employee of Littlefield & Frary (Horace Littlefield lived at 24 Atkinson St., Frederick Frary at 12 West Concord), a plumbing company in Washington. Street, in a building on the corner of Chestnut, which before the urban renewal housed the Dover Elks Lodge on the top floor. True and his wife Florence, known to all as “Flossie”, lived at 16 Nelson Street, which was the former Noah Martin home, dating from 1827 with a large lot and elegant interior, including a stone staircase. spiral staircase at the entrance. (During colonial times this place was the site of the Tristram Coffin garrison.) Noah Martin was a physician, graduating from Dartmouth Medical School in 1824 and ten years later moving to Dover. He may have had a medical degree (he helped found the Dover Medical Society and was president of the State Medical Society in 1858), but his real love seems to have been politics. He was elected to NH House in 1830, 1832, and 1837, served in the State Senate from 1835 to 1836, and crowned him with a term as governor in 1852-1854. Locally, among other civic and business activities, he was chairman of the Strafford Savings Bank from 1844 to 1852.
But back to Flossie McDaniel: True died in 1944 and she remained at 16 Nelson until her death, being a very active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and contributing to research and historical articles to the settlers of Northam, Dover. is then the equivalent of a historical society. . There were no children from this marriage, but in her later years as a widow she had for company a very long haired tiger cat named Darby Field McDaniel, another prominent member of the clan.
Tony McManus is from Dover. He is a former administrator of the Woodman Institute and an amateur student of Dover’s past. He can be contacted at [email protected].