Felker represents one of three known Governors who are graduates of New Hampton School

New Hampton History: Three New Hampshire Governors

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Please enjoy this article presented by Library Director and School Archivist Jerrica Crowder P’19. This article explores the history of three alumni who went on to established political careers and went on to become Governors of New Hampshire.

Henry Cole Quinby, New Hampton School Class of 1864, served as a Governor in New Hampshire.

Henry Cole Quinby, Class of 1864

The first graduate of New Hampton Literary Institution who became governor of New Hampshire was Henry Brewer Quinby, Class of 1864 from Lakeport, NH. While at New Hampton the governor-to-be resided in room #19 of Randall Hall for a boarding price of $2 a week. Quinby completed the classical course to prepare for college. He studied Virgil, Greek, and Cicero in addition to other main courses. He also took great care to study music.

After graduation, Quinby attended Bowdoin College. He then met and married M. Octavia Cole and went to work for her father at the Cole Manufacturing Co. He worked in varying positions until, “He entered politics and held successively the offices of state legislator (1887-8), State Senator (1889-90), member of the council of Governor Tuttle (1891-2), and in 1908 was elected Governor of New Hampshire on the Republican ticket” (Quinby 678). After his run as governor, he retired in 1911 to Lakeport with his wife.

Quinby, Henry Cole. Genealogical History of the Quinby (Quimby) Family in England and America. Rutland: Tuttle, 1915. 672-90. Print.

Samuel Demeritt Felker, New Hampton School Class of 1878, served as a Governor for New Hampshire.

Samuel Demeritt Felker, Class of 1878

Born and raised in Rochester, New Hampshire, Felker spent most of his life improving the lives of those who made this coastal town their home. He entered New Hampton Literary Institution in the year 1877 graduating in 1878. His roommate in #22 Randall Hall was Thomas H. Hoskins from Gilford, New Hampshire. Felker went on to Dartmouth College and Boston University Law School. His career titles included New Hampshire state senator and Mayor of Rochester; he went on to serve as Governor of New Hampshire for two years from 1913-1915. It wasn’t until his appointment to the Rochester Municipal Court that he settled into a long-term career. He spent 15 years with the court, retiring in 1930. (obituary/Heinonline.com).

Alumnus Walter Peterson of New Hampton School served as New Hampshire's Governor before moving on to Franklin Pierce College.

Walter Rutherford Peterson, Jr., Class of 1942

Until his death in 2011, Walter Rutherford Peterson, Jr. still visited campus. He displayed great pride for New Hampton School as a 1942 alumnus. While at New Hampton, his friends called him “Walt” and he was a popular captain of the varsity basketball team. His class bequeathed him “an average of 20 points a game with the William and Mary basketball team.” Peterson was a naval officer for five years, serving in World War II. He went on to attend and graduate from Dartmouth College in nearby Hanover, New Hampshire.

Peterson worked as a realtor with his family until he became a Republican politician. He served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives followed by two terms as Governor of New Hampshire from 1969-1973. Although he did work for the state, he never wanted to be known as a politician but one that simply served the people of New Hampshire. After politics, he showed a great passion for education as the President of Franklin Pierce College for 20-years, Daniel Webster College and the University of New Hampshire. His involvement in higher education was unprecedented, serving over a dozen different colleges and universities at different times (tributes.com).

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