About The Fraternal Order of Eagles
For more than a century, the Fraternal Order of Eagles had a major positive influence on our region, nation, world… It was the Eagles who pushed for the founding of Mother’s Day, who provided the impetus for Social Security and, who pushed to end job discrimination based on age. The Eagles provided support for medical centers across the country. Nationally, they raise millions of dollars every year to combat heart disease and cancer, help handicapped kids, uplift the aged and make life a little brighter for everyone.
The Eagles are hometown builders, supporting police, firefighters, and others who protect and serve. They fund medical research in areas such as spinal cord injuries, kidney disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Newsmarket’s Lamprey Aerie #1934 was officially instituted on May 19, 1910, in the Newmarket Town Hall by the District Grand Worthy Justice John Webb of Portsmouth, assisted by Aeries of Somersworth, Portsmouth, Dover and Haverhill, Mass.
Sixty-one members were present at the institution.
Founder William P. (King) Haley was voted as first worthy president. This was and remains a civic organization working for the good of the community. Right from the very beginning the Aerie began to grow with each meeting. A suitable meeting site was one of the first major problems to confront — they used many halls; and finally chose to move over Brisson’s store at the corner of Church and Main Streets (now demolished). Here they remained for many years.
Their membership increased, and many brothers joined the armed services during World War I. At a regular meeting the remaining members voted to carry their brothers in the service as being in good standing. Money was raised by the Aerie during these war years and given to the boys as they went off to war. They sent packages of cigarettes and tobacco, and other needed personal articles.
Following the Great War the Aerie continued to grow.
(photo: first Eagles outing held on Park Hill, Elm Street 1910)
After 1929, when the Newmarket mills closed dues to a threatened strike, the town suffered a severe depression. The Eagles were among those hit. Many of the members were forced to move away and seek employment in other mills and factories in Massachussetts and Rhode Island. Others dropped out because they were unable to keep up with their dues. Those remaining were able to keep the Aerie alive by running benefits for those families hit hard by the mills closing.
In May 1937 the Eagles were given an opportunity to purchase the Old Newmarket Manufacturing Company business offices at 53 Main Street. Here they built their new ‘nest.’ There were two floors in the building: the Eagles used the top floor as a meeting hall, and the lower floor was reserved for the heater, utilitities, kitchen and social room. Renovations moved quickly, and they moved into the building within a few months.
(photo: newspaper clipping of Eagles newly formed Drum Corps Band in 1934)
The Aerie again expanded its membership, and in 1934 a few members organized a Drum and Bugle Corp, which did very well, winning several competitions throughout the seacoast. Among the original members were:
Loretta Rodier; Theresa Filion; Bob, Buster, and Pete Valliere; Eddie, Raymond, Rudy and Terry LaBranche; Paquette; Wilfred Laporte; Buck Bailey; Omer Langlois; Bernard and Robert Laughlin; Arthur LaBonte; Eddie Dyer; Hubert Randall; Roland Rousseau; Henry Homiak; Walter Shina; Philip Blanchette; Romeo Lemieux; and Raymond LePage.
It was about this time that the Eagles began their practice of holding an annual Christmas party for the children of the town. At first these parties were quite small but grew as the years passed. In joining forces with the American Legion, the parties expanded and were held in the Old Star Theater, before moving to the High School Gym. The parties continued into the 1980s.
(photo: Eagles band performing in Dover in 1941)
During World War II, the Aerie again saw many of its male members go off to war. Those remaining at home helped the cause to a great extent by buying sponsoring rallies to buy War Bonds. They also did fund raising to once again send gifts overseas to Newmarket’s men on the front.
In 1947 the New Hampshire State Aerie was formed. Newmarket’s branch did its full share in making it a success; many of this chapter have since become state officers.
In 1959 The Eagles celebrated their 49thanniversary on May 15, 16 and 17. There were only four of the original 1910 members still living: Joseph A. Brisson, Rosaire Tureotte, Napoleon Emond and John A. Edgerly.
The three-day event staged a Friday lobster supper, a Saturday social-buffet and dance, and a Sunday class initiation for new members. As the Aerie celebrated its 49th anniversary the drive continued for new members resulting in a full membership of 300.
In 1977, the officers were: worthy president, Theodore Puchlopek; past worthy president,William Rouselle; worthy vice president, Michael Sharples; worthy chaplain with 39 years of service, Arthur LaBonte; worthy conductor, Mark Gahan; secretary, Daniel Mitchell; treasurer. Roderick MacDougal; inside guard, Craig Pomeroy; outside guard, Peter Munroe; chairman of the Board of Trustees, Robert Edgerly and trustees, Henry Maxwell and Edward Thorne. Auditor was Joseph Dupre.
(photo:newspaper clipping of Eagles Colonial Homestyle Breaskfast. August 1977)
Only seven members in 1977 were‘fifty year members’. They were Alphone Tourigny, Louis Pelletier, Armand LaPage, Bernard Loughlin, Arthur Boucher, Napoleon Merrier, and Hermongilde Cote. These men were honored in the Town’s 250th Anniversary parade.
The following are some of the charities sponsored by the Eagles on the State level for 2012-2013:
Alzheimer’s Fund, Art Erhmann Cancer Fund, Robert Hanson Diabetes Fund, DD Dunlop Kidney Fund, Golden Eagle Fund, Home on the Range Fund, Jimmy Durante Children’s Fund, Lew Reed Spinal Cord Injury Fund, Max Bear Heart Fund, Memorial Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Fund, State Charity Project Fund, and the Diabetes Research Center.
The Following Names are included on the original 1910 Charter of the Grand Aerie Fraternal Order of Eagles:
John D. Long, William P. Haley, J. Edmond Lavoie, Ph. Dumont, Michael B. Griffon, Matthew T. Kennedy, James F. Ready, J. Baptiste Laporte, L.E. Chase, Fred W. Wright, William E. Ritchie, James Whittaker, George H. Willey, Lewis A. Cullen, Fred E. Edgerly, Charles A. Morse, and Samuel Sagden.
Alfred G. Bergeron, Joseph Maio, Edward J. Kenirson, Charles A. Roberge, Rosario Turcotte, Alfred LaFrance, Jonathan Walker, Joseph A. Brisson, Albert Turcotte, John H. Broderick. Maurice N. Gritlen, Arnie LaBranche, Fred J. Brinson, Joseph Sanborn, Ferninand Cote, Walter J. Emerson, John H. Priestly, and Walter J. McDonald.
(photo: 53 Main Street, the Old Mill Office became the first Eagle’s home)
Ambrose J. M. Smith, Thomas J. Cullen, Edward Tache, John A. Edgerly, Beniamin W. Grace, Matthew J. Jacques, Edward J. Fontaine. Telesphur J. Hamel. Leda Roberts, Harry Varney, Luke Carless, Peter E. Reilly, Napoleon Emond, Hale B Evens, Thomas Williams, Roland H. Emerson, William J. Thiboult, Frank A. Ladderbush, Dallas C, Meriotti, William A Carpenter, Phillas J Boucher, and Timothy S, Griffon.
The Eagles sold their building on 53 Main Street during the Downtown renovations in 2010 as the town mills underwent extensive revitalization.
The building on Main Street was demolished; and by 2013 the Eagles moved into their new headquarters at the former Kent Funeral home on Exeter Street.