Manchester Historical Collections, Volume 3
Charles Henry Bartlett was born in Sunapee, N. H., October 15, 1833. He is the fourth son of John Bartlett and Sarah J. Sanborn, and is a lineal descendant, in the eighth generation, of Richard Bartlett, who came from England to Newbury, Mass., in the ship "Mary and John," in 1634.
John Bartlett son of Solomon Bartlett was born at Deering New Hampshire He settled at Wendell now Sunapee New Hampshire He married Sarah Sanborn of Springfield New Hampshire Children born in Wendell.
Charles H Bartlett's early life was mainly spent upon his father's farm, laboring through the summer season and attending school during the winter. He early developed a decided taste for literary pursuits, and from childhood devoted a liberal share of his leisure moments to the perusal of such books as were accessible to him. He also contributed liberally to the current literature of the day, and showed remarkable facility in both prose and poetic composition. He received his academic education at the academies at Washington and New London, after which he commenced the study of law in the office of Metcalf & Barton at Newport.
He studied subsequently with George & Foster of Concord, and with Morrison & Stanley in this city, being admitted to the bar of Hillsborough County from the office of the latter in 1858. In that year he began the practice of his profession at Wentworth and in 1863 removed to this city, where he ever afterwards resided. For two years he was law partner with the late Hon. James U. Parker, the partnership terminating with the retirement of the latter. In June, 1867, Mr. Bartlett was appointed Clerk of the United States District Court for the New Hampshire District, since which time he had not actively practiced his profession, but had devoted himself to the duties of his office, which became onerous and responsible upon the passage of the bankrupt law, about the time of his appointment. He was Clerk of the New Hampshire Senate from 1861 to 1865, Gov. Smyth's private secretary in 1865 and 1866, Treasurer of the State Industrial School in 1866 and 1867. In the same year he was unanimously chosen City Solicitor, but declined a reelection. In 1872 he was elected, as a nominee of the Republican party, Mayor of Manchester by an emphatic majority, and served till February i8, 1873, when he resigned in accordance with the policy of the National Government, which forbade United States officials to hold city or municipal offices.
His cooperation with the administration on this matter, though at a sacrifice of a conspicuous public position, was recognized by President Grant through Attorney General Williams. His last official act as Mayor was to turn over the amount of salary which would have been paid him as the city's chief executive, to the Firemen's Relief Fund, and this act of generosity at that time was illustrative of the interest which he ever felt in the Fire Department of Manchester.
Mr. Bartlett had been Trustee of the Merrimack River Savings Bank from its organization in 1874, a Trustee of the Peoples Savings Bank, and a director in the Merchants National Bank. He was Master of Washington Lodge of Masons from April, 1872, to April, 1874, and held membership to Mt. Horeb Royal Arch Chapter, Adoniram Council, and Trinity Commandery, Knights of Templar. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention and Chairman of the Commission appointed by the Governor and Council, to investigate the affairs of the Asylum for the Insane.
In 1881 Dartmouth College conferred upon him the honorary degree of Master of Arts. In 1882 he was elected to the State Senate, resigning his position as Clerk of the United States District Court. At the assembling of the Legislature he was chosen President of the Senate, an office second in rank to the Governor of the State. He had served as Trustee of the State Industrial School, having been appointed by Governor Goodell, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judge Clark, whom he succeeded as Clerk of the Board. He was Clerk of the Board of Cemetery Trustees from its creation. He took a deep and active interest in the work of this body. For two years he was commander of the Amoskeag Veterans, and these years were made by him two of the most prosperous and important years in the history of this famous command. He was Judge Advocate on the staff of Gov. Hiram Tuttle, with the rank of General, and was President of the Manchester Board of Trade in 1896 and 1897, and had earlier assisted in the formation of the Board. He was an attendant at the Hanover Street Congregational Church and had been president of the society. Socially he held membership in both the Derryfield and Calumet Clubs. He beame an active member of the Manchester Historic Association soon after its incorporation, and showed great interest in its success.
General Bartlett was a man of rare quality, a man who would have achieved high success in almost any calling in life. He came of a family in which many names are written in high places, and his name deserves to be written among the highest on the roll. He was born at a time when Mason, Webster and Pierce were in the zenith of their fame. All through his school-boy days Webster and Pierce in New Hampshire and Story and Choate in Massachusetts were constantly pointed to as the brightest examples of the most complete success; and interested and attracted by the brilliant achievements of these great leaders he naturally turned to the law and was admitted to the Hillsborough Bar in 1858. Reared upon a farm he passed through all of the struggles and privations that intervene between the days of earnest toil for a living and the time, when by hard, painstaking work, prudence and foresight in management in his chosen profession he had acquired the independence of a comfortable fortune.
A man of fine physique and possessed of an excellent voice and gifts as an orator, he was in frequent demand as a public speaker, responding on many and widely diverse occasions.
In recent years he delivered three notable orations. One at the dedication of Stark Park on June 17, 1893, one at Amherst at the unveiling of the Soldiers' Monument, and the third and last at the Peterborough Celebration. An act illustrative of his generosity occurred in 1893, when after the city had made arrangements for the celebration of the 17th of June by the dedication of Stark Park, the question was raised by the late James B. Straw, then City Auditor, as to the right of the city to expend money for such a purpose. In order that there might be no delay in the proceedings, and to remove all doubt as to the celebration, General Bartlett came forward and generously offered to bear the entire expense of the celebration. At the commemoration of the city's semi-centennial, he was prominent as President of the Day on Tuesday, September 8, and at that time delivered an eloquent address.
Many citizens of Manchester recall General Bartlett's rare affability, and his ready fund of anecdotes and illustration, which never failed him, whether the occasion was in the companionship of a few friends or at public gatherings. Had he been more aggressive and self-assertive he might undoubtedly have attained to high political position, but of a dignified temperament, reserved in his manner, holding his own worth at a true and just estimate, while expecting others to do the same, he had no liking for the scramble that too often accompanies him who seeks for political preferment.
He died on Jan. 25, 1900, in his 67th year, while seemingly in the full possession of all his powers, active until within a few days of his decease.
General Bartlett married, December, 1858, Miss Hannah M. Eastman of Croydon, who died July 25, 1890. They had two children, a son, Charles Leslie, who died at the age of four years, and one daughter, Carrie Belle, who married Mr. Charles H. Anderson, and survived her father. BY J. P. T.
OBIT from Boston Herald January 26, 1900
Photo by kingoflondonderry grave located at Pine Grove Cemetery Manchester, New Hampshire Some xtra tidbits Barton Line Lawyers Mill town Messenger Newport Historical Society For full article October 2013