Keene is the only city in and the seat of Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 23,409 at the 2010 census. Keene is home to Antioch University New England, it hosted the state's annual pumpkin festival called the Keene Pumpkin Festival, from 1991 to 2014, when the festival moved to Laconia. A new, child-focused Keene Pumpkin Festival, organized by the state festival's previous organizers, has taken its place in the city since 2017. In 1735 Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher granted lots in the township of "Upper Ashuelot" to 63 settlers who paid five pounds each. Settled after 1736, it was intended to be a fort town protecting the Province of Massachusetts Bay from French and their Native allies during the French and Indian Wars, the North American front of the Seven Years' War; when the boundary between Massachusetts and New Hampshire was fixed in 1741, Upper Ashuelot became part of New Hampshire. In 1747, during King George's War, the village was burned by Natives.
Colonists fled to safety, but would return to rebuild in 1749. It was regranted to its inhabitants in 1753 by Governor Benning Wentworth, who renamed it "Keene" after Sir Benjamin Keene, English minister to Spain and a West Indies trader. Located at the center of Cheshire County, Keene was designated as the county seat in 1769. Land was set off for the towns of Sullivan and Roxbury, although Keene would annex 154 acres from Swanzey. Timothy Dwight, the Yale president who chronicled his travels, described the town as "...one of the prettiest in New England." Situated on an ancient lake bed surrounded by hills, the valley with fertile meadows was excellent for farming. The Ashuelot River was used to provided water power for sawmills and tanneries. After the railroad was constructed to the town in 1848, numerous other industries were established. Keene became a manufacturing center for wooden-ware, chairs, shutters, pottery, soap, woolen textiles, saddles, mowing machines and sleighs, it had a brickyard and foundry.
Keene was incorporated as a city in 1874, by 1880 had a population of 6,784. In the early 1900s, the Newburyport Silver Company moved to Keene to take advantage of its skilled workers and location. New England manufacturing declined in the 20th century, however during the Great Depression. Keene is today a center for insurance and tourism; the city retains a considerable inventory of fine Victorian architecture from its mill town era. An example is the Keene Public Library, which occupies a Second Empire mansion built about 1869 by manufacturer Henry Colony. Keene's manufacturing success was brought on in part by its importance as a railroad city; the Cheshire Railroad, Manchester & Keene Railroad, the Ashuelot Railroad all met here. By the early 1900s all had been absorbed by the Maine Railroad. Keene was home to two railroad yards; the Manchester & Keene Branch was abandoned following the floods of 1936. Beginning in 1945, Keene was a stopping point for the Boston & Maine's streamlined trainset known at that time as the Cheshire.
Keene became notable in 1962 when F. Nelson Blount chose the city for the site of his Steamtown, U. S. A. attraction. But Blount's plan fell through and, after one operating season in Keene, the museum was relocated to nearby Bellows Falls, Vermont; the Boston & Maine abandoned the Cheshire Branch in 1972, leaving the Ashuelot Branch as Keene's only rail connection to the outside world. In 1978 the B&M leased switching operations in Keene to the Green Mountain Railroad, which took over the entire Ashuelot Branch in 1982. Passenger decline and track conditions forced the Green Mountain to end service on the Ashuelot Branch in 1983 and return operating rights to the B&M. However, there were no longer enough customers to warrant service on the line. In 1984 the last train arrived in and departed Keene, consisting of Boston & Maine EMD GP9 1714, pulling flat cars to carry rails removed from the railyard. Track conditions on the Ashuelot Branch were so poor at the time that the engine returned light to Brattleboro.
A hi-rail truck was used instead to remove the flatcars. In 1995 the freight house, one of the last remaining railroad buildings in town, burned due to arson. Since the late 20th century, the railroad beds through town were redeveloped as the Cheshire Rail Trail and the Ashuelot Rail Trail. In 2011, radical activist Thomas Ball immolated himself on the steps of a courthouse in Keene to protest what he considered the court system's abuse of divorced fathers' rights. Keene is located at 42°56′01″N 72°16′41″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 37.5 square miles. 37.3 square miles of it is land and 0.3 square miles of it is water, comprising 0.67% of the town. Keene is drained by the Ashuelot River; the highest point in Keene is the summit of Grays Hill in the city's northwest corner, at 1,388 feet above sea level. Keene is within the Connecticut River watershed, with all of the city except for the northwest corner draining to the Connecticut via the Ashuelot.
State highways converge on Keene from nine directions. New Hampshire Route 9 leads northeast to Concord, the state capital, west to Brattleboro, Vermont. Route 10 leads north to Newport and southwest to Massachusetts. Route 12 leads northwest to Walpole and Charlestown and southeast to Massachusetts. Route 101 leads east to Peterborough and Manchester, Route 32 leads south to Swanzey, New Hampshire, to Athol and Route 12A leads north to Surry and Alstead. A limited-access bypass used variously by Routes 9, 10, 12
Graham Briggs is a British professional road racing cyclist a member of Vitus Pro Cycling Team. Born in Rossington, South Yorkshire, Briggs played football as a youngster before switching to cycling off-road as a cyclo-cross rider and the discipline of mountain biking, until the foot and mouth crisis of 2001, he competed for Great Britain in the Under-23 road race at the 2003 UCI Road World Championships in Hamilton, Canada. The majority of his road racing career has been spent in city centre competitions leading to successes in the Elite Circuit Race Series in recent years, he is a member of the "Donny Chain Gang", a training group of some the best northern riders such as Olympic Champion Ed Clancy, Ben Swift and Russell Downing. Briggs is classed as a sprinter and was the winner of the British National Circuit Race Championships in 2011. Briggs left Team Raleigh at the end of the 2013 season, joined Rapha Condor–JLT for the 2014 season. 2016 2nd Stage 3 - Tour of Britain Graham Briggs at Cycling Archives Graham Briggs at CQ Ranking Graham Briggs at ProCyclingStats
John Albert Tiffin Hull was a ten-term Republican U. S. Representative from Iowa's 7th congressional district, he had earlier served two terms as the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa and three terms as Iowa Secretary of State. Born in Sabina, Hull moved with his parents to Iowa in 1849, he attended public schools, Indiana Asbury University in Greencastle and Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. He graduated from the Cincinnati Law School in the spring of 1862, was admitted to the bar the same year, commenced practice in Des Moines, Iowa. In July 1862, during the Civil War, he enlisted in the Twenty-third Regiment of the Iowa Volunteer Infantry, he was a first lieutenant and captain, resigning due to wounds in October 1863. Hull engaged in agricultural pursuits and banking, he was elected Secretary of the Iowa Senate in 1872 reelected in 1874, 1876, 1878. He was elected Iowa Secretary of State in 1878, he was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1885. In 1890, Hull was elected as a Republican to the U.
S. House seat for Iowa's 7th congressional district, which included Iowa's largest city; the Fifty-second Congress was unusual for its era, for the first time since the Civil War, Iowans had elected more Democrats than Republicans to the U. S. House. Two years however, there was a Republican resurgence in Iowa, commencing a two-decade era in which Republicans held at least ten of Iowa's eleven House seats. During that era, Hull was re-elected nine times, he served as chairman of the House Committee on Military Affairs from the Fifty-fourth through Sixty-first Congresses. He was considered a "standpatter," and a lieutenant of controversial House Speaker "Uncle Joe" Cannon. In 1910, U. S. Senator Albert B. Cummins, the leader of the Iowa Republican Party's progressive wing, targeted Hull for defeat, by giving his early endorsement to a progressive adversary, Solomon F. Prouty, whom Hull had defeated in three earlier contests for Republican renomination; this time, Prouty defeated Hull in the Republican primary.
However, two voters wrote in Hull's name for the Prohibition Party nomination, enough to give Hull that party's nomination. Prouty went on to win the general election. In all, Hull served in Congress from March 4, 1891 to March 3, 1911. After leaving Congress, Hull resumed the practice of law, this time in Washington, D. C.. He retired in 1916, died in Clarendon, Virginia on September 26, 1928, was interred in Arlington National Cemetery, his son, Major General John A. Hull, served as Judge Advocate General and as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. United States Congress. "John A. T. Hull". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Works by or about John A. T. Hull at Internet Archive John A. T. Hull at Find a Grave This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov