Haverhill Citizens Hall of Fame

One measure of the nature of a community is the caliber of the people it produces or significantly influences. The sons and daughters of Haverhill who have achieved a significant degree of fame range from a world famous poet to a colonial heroine; from a motion picture mogul to a physician whose name remains internationally known for medical diagnosis and treatment. Included are persons in military, government and scientific fields.

The Hall of Fame is located on the first floor of the Haverhill Public Library. The Hall of Fame was dedicated on March 6, 1986, with Governor Michael S. Dukakis as the principal speaker. The third induction was held on May 17, 1987 with former Governor and US Secretary of Transportation John A. Volpe. The fourth and fifth ceremonies were held on October 14, 1989 with Deputy Secretary of Defense and Haverhill native, Donald J. Atwood. This also served as the community’s first reception for Mr. Atwood, who had left his post as Vice President of General Motors to serve in the George Bush Cabinet.

An explanation of the Hall of Fame comes from the dedication plaque:

“The Haverhill Citizens Hall of Fame was established at the Haverhill Public Library in 1985. Its purpose is to recognize, prominently and permanently, individuals from Haverhill who have made significant contributions to the larger communities of state, country and world, of which we are all citizens.”

“This Hall of Fame, by calling attention to the part that Haverhill has played in the lives of these individuals, will serve as a source of pride and inspiration and will provide an opportunity for future generations to better understand their community’s history.”

A committee of seven Haverhill citizens was established who review the suggested names, and first place them on a nomination list, then once a year meet to vote in one or more new individuals. The major criteria are that the individual must have had a “substantive Haverhill connection,” that they have had a “significant impact beyond Haverhill’s borders,” and that, to allow for the assessment of time, must be deceased.

The following are the present members of the Haverhill Citizens Hall of Fame, in the order in which they were elected to the Hall of Fame.

  • John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) – Born on a Haverhill farm, occupied for five generations by his Quaker family, he was an early and ardent opponent of slavery, an editor and a poet. His poetry in the post-Civil War era, including the highly regarded “Snowbound”, eclipsed political activity that listed him among the founders of the Republican Party.
  • Hannah Emerson Dustin (1657-1732) – Carried off by Indians who raided Haverhill in 1697, during King Williams War, she killed 10 of her captors and returned to Haverhill. She was a colonial heroine whose story was found in all American history books for 200 years, and she was the first American woman to have three monuments dedicated in her honor.
  • Frank Howard Lahey (1880-1953) – Founded the world-renowned Lahey Clinic in 1926. He was president of the American Medical Association in 1941, head of the Army and Navy Procurement Board in World War II, and was recognized for numerous contributions to medical practices and research.
  • William H. Moody (1853-1917) – Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, 1906-1910; Attorney General of the United States, 1904-1906; Secretary of the Navy in the Cabinet of President Theodore Roosevelt,1902-1904; U.S. Congressman, 1895-1902; and prosecuting attorney in the trial of Lizzie Borden.
  • Thomas S. Sanders (1839-1911) – Principal financial backer of Alexander Graham Bell in his development of the telephone, and served as first Treasurer of the Bell Telephone Company; also brought about significant changes in the process of cutting leather soles for shoes on a large scale, relieving manufacturers of the need to cut their own in each factory.
  • James Brickett (1738-1818) – President of the court martial of Benedict Arnold for treason, Captain of the Haverhill Artillery Company at the Battle of Bunker Hill where he was wounded; rose to the rank of Brigadier General in 1776 and commanded troops in the battles at Lake Champlain.
  • Louis B. Mayer (1885-1957) – Founder of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture studio and company, where he was in charge of production and developed the Hollywood “star-system”. First entered the motion picture business when he leased a theatre in Haverhill in 1907.
  • Bailey Barlett (1750-1830) – United States Congressman, 1797-1801, when the federal government moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. He shared quarters with Samuel Adams when the Declaration of Independence was being written, a member of the state convention that ratified the Massachusetts Constitution in 1788.
  • James U. Crockett (1915-1979) – Creator and host of the nationally distributed television program: “Crockett’s Victory Garden”, which provided information for home gardeners on the Public Broadcasting System. He was the author of 18 gardening books and edited the Time-Life Encyclopedia of Gardening.
  • Bob Montana (1920-1975) – Creator of the Archie comic strip and comic books which at one point was the highest-selling comic in America. His strip was nationally-syndicated in newspapers, immortalizing many Haverhill scenes and people.
  • John C. Chase (1870-1939) – First Socialist Mayor of an American city, when he was elected in Haverhill in 1898, attracting national attention. Chairman of the national convention of the Social Democratic Party in 1900, candidate for governor in Massachusetts and New York.
  • William F. Bartlett (1840-1876) – Civil War hero, losing a leg at the Battle of Yorktown, while a Captain in the 20th Mass. Infantry. Attained the rank of Major-General at the age of 25, the youngest in that war. In the post-war era, he was dedicated to the reconciliation of the North and South; also offered the opportunity to run for Governor of Massachusetts by both major parties.
  • Stuart Chase (1888-1985) – Economist, originator of the term “New Deal” for the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, whom he served as a member of the “brain trust” that shaped that New Deal. Author of 33 books on ecology, economics and other social sciences.
  • Rowland H. Macy (1822-1919) – Founder of the R.H. Macy Department Store in New York City, with considerable financial help from Haverhill’s Caleb Dustin Hunking, following an unsuccessful start in the department store field in Haverhill at two Merrimack Street locations.
  • Ann Haseltine Judson (1789-1826) – First American woman missionary, first American woman to ever go to Burma, where she and her husband were imprisoned prior to establishing a permanent mission in Amherst, Burma.
  • Frankie Fontaine (1920-1978) – Entertainer who gained national attention as a comedian and singer on the Jackie Gleason television show. He also appeared in a few motion pictures and for many years toured in vaudeville and night clubs.
  • Daniel Appleton (1785-1849) – Publisher who founded the firm that continues through today under the name Appleton-Century-Croft. He became a major American publisher by publishing many controversial and religious works that others would not consider. One of the first to print books in Spanish for the South American market and one of the first to mass-produce Children’s books.
  • Winfield Townley Scott (1910-1968) – Poet who published 15 books of verse, edited several others, and was a Poet-in Residence at Harvard, Brown and Tufts Universities. He was a literary editor of the Providence (RI) Journal and the New Mexican Magazine. Won numerous awards for his poetry.
  • Nathaniel Saltonstall (1639-1707) – Colonial magistrate who refused to serve in the Salem (MA) witchcraft trials in 1692, after serving as a Representative to the General Court, Colonel in the Essex Regiment, and a member of the Governor’s Council, then as a judge.
  • Benjamin Greenleaf (1786-1864) – Educator and author, whose mathematics textbooks sold more that a million copies. He was a grammar school principal and Preceptor of Bradford Academy (now college) from 1814-1836. Member of the state legislature and a strong advocate for “Normal Schools” – for the education of teachers.
  • James R. Nichols (1819-1888) – Scientist, editor and inventor who conducted agricultural experiments on his grounds at Winnekenni Hall. Founded a Boston drug and chemical company that helped perfect soda-water equipment for soda fountains. Held numerous patents and authored 6 books.
  • Enoch Bartlett (1779-1860) – Horticulturist and merchant, known for the introduction of the Bartlett Pear. One of the founders of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and a member of the state legislature. Brought the last shipload of English goods into America at the outbreak of the War of 1812.
  • Muriel Sanders Draper (1886-1952) – Political activist and socialite, founder of the Congress of American Women, a principal in the Women’s International Democratic Federation, President of the American branch of the WIDF after meetings in Moscow in 1947 and Rome in 1948. She and her husband, tenor Paul Draper, entertained most of the prominent literary and musical personalities of Europe and America.
  • Louis Alter (1902-1980) – Composer of numerous popular American songs including “Manhattan Serenade,” “Dolores,” “You Turned the Tables on Me,” and “Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans,” as well as Bing Crosby’s first recorded song “My Kinda Love.” A performer and a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
  • Donald J. Atwood (1924-1994) – Auto Defense Executive.
  • Gert Swasey (1855-1934) – Bareback Rider.
  • Joseph C. Goyette (1884-1969) – Shoemaker
  • Dudley Fitts (1903-1968) – Educator.
  • John Bellairs (1938-1991) – Children’s Book author of gothic mystery. Wrote a fictional series loosely based on Haverhill, MA.
  • Cora Chase (1892-1984) – Opera Singer.
  • Andre Dubus (1937-1999) – Writer. Professor of Creative Writing at Bradford College.