Another IAGenWeb Project

Nashua Opera House

Razing of an Old Land Mark Puts Pioneer Nashua Citizens in a Reminiscent Mood
Nashua Reporter
7 October 1946

The article in last week’s Reporter telling of the tearing down of the old buildings on Main street, started some of our pioneer citizens to reminiscing and discussions were started as to when the old Post building was built. Harry Hamlin was of the opinion that it was built about the year 1858. He says that the first store building built in Nashua was built on the corner where W. J. Kout’s garage now stands, across the street from the De Noyelles hotel, about 1856, and that it was built by the Greeleys. H. B. Laird, another of the early settlers, says the Post building was built in 1861. Mr. Laird was 18 years of age at the time and he and his brother George Laird helped with the construction of the building. In those days there was no millwork and the window sash for this structure were made by H. W. Couch, father of Mrs. J. W. Keyes. Mr. Laird also says the first store building in Nashua was built on the lot where Mr. Kout’s garage stands, and in later years it was moved to the corner across the street east from the Ford garage, and later converted into a hotel. The building is still standing and at present is used by Morris and Hanson for a garage.

In referring to the history of Chickasaw county we find the following data: “Among the first to settle on the present location of Nashua was John Hall, who came in the summer of 1854. About the same time or a little later, several more families moved in, among them were James Helms, Geo. O’Donnell, H. Hall, J. D. Hall, Jacob Hall, Edward Hall, Owen Feeney, John O’Donnell, Hugh O’Donnell, James Welch and Enoch Woodbridge. The land on which the town was platted belonged to Andrew Sample, but Enoch Woodbridge became part owner of the land, and together with Sample, the town was laid out. It was first called Bridgeport, shortly afterwards change to Woodbridge; later the present name was given as a compliment to E. P. and C. Greeley, who hailed from Nashua, New Hampshire. It was largely through the influence of the Greeleys that Nashua secured the location of the Illinois Central railroad rather than Bradford.

”Among the early businessmen of Nashua were Smiley Sample and E. P. Greeley, who each started a store about the same time, the former dealing in groceries and liquors and the latter in general merchandise. Among those who were doing business in Nashua in 1857 and 1858 were: Veter & Ripe, general merchandise; Trott & Green, drygoods and groceries; George T. Butterfield, Enoch Woodbridge, Elihu Hall, Geo. Fountain and James A. Webster. The first grist mill in Nashua was erected by Andrew Sample. A steam saw mill was built by Charles Greeley in 1858. It was operated a few years and then sold to another party, who moved the machinery to another town. The first hotel was built and conducted by J. D. Hall, in 1857.”

Click For Clipping

Contributed By Claudia Groh, Transcribed by Bruce Kuennen