Just before the beginning of the Civil War, two strangers came to town visiting all the stores, properties downtown and points of interest. Soon carpenters erected a large building at the corner of Main and Church Streets. It replaced the Arthur Branscomb store adjacent to the Branscomb tavern. The builders were S.A. Haley and B.F. Haley who created a wholesale tailoring establishment.
(photo: Newmarket Historical Society #73.13.2)
Shortly after the incorporation of the New Market Savings Bank, the senior partner, Samuel A. Haley, became cashier of the bank and retired from the clothing business. The business was thereafter exclusively handled by his brother Benjamin Haley. Mr. Haley installed a custom tailoring department, in addition to the already large manufacturing business.
The Civil War called for uniforms and the business filled that need by creating Union soldier uniforms as well as band uniforms. Mr. Haley sold furniture, clothing and other articles on the first floor of his store. On the second floor hand sewing was done by the ladies and many took garments home and made the buttonholes in them. Some of those employed in the shop were Mrs. Sarah Chapman, Miss Esther Wheeler, Miss Lizzie Dame and Mrs. Berta Smith.
Men worked on the second and third floor pressing, cutting and putting together were Ernest Harvey, foreman, and some who were employed there were Walter Ham, Fred and Charles Ellison, John Brown and Charles Demerett.
The Civil War Regulation Brigadier General’s Frock Coat, Displaying the Rank of Major General on the 1½” High Velvet Stand Up Collar, of Maj. Gen. George Lafayette Beal. Uniform is accompanied by a letter of provenance from noted Civil War uniform authority Les Jensen, along with the cased epaulettes. Beal was commissioned into the 1st Maine Inf. April 20, 1861 and, upon expiration of his term of service was commissioned colonel of the 10th Maine, serving with that regt. until May 7, 1863, during which time he led the regiment at Cedar Mts. and Antietam, where he was severely wounded. He assumed command of the 29th Maine on Dec. 17, 1863 and, as a result of his distinguished service at Sabine Cross Roads April 8, 1864 was commissioned brigadier general of Volunteers, Nov. 30, 1864, doubtless when he acquired this coat. He was promoted to Maj. Gen. March 13, 1865 and mustered out of service Jan. 15, 1866. The coat conforms to the Civil War regulations for a brigadier general. Dbl breasted with eight buttons spaced in groups of two. Velvet collar with ¾” maj. Gen.’s bullion stars, velvet cuffs and classic ‘balloon’ sleeves. The high square ended collar is typical being typical of the Civil War period. Patterned black silk body lining with lightly padded breast. The breast and tail pockets lined with brown polished cotton. White silk sleeve lining.
Attached at the base of the collar is a silver embroidered label for “B. F. Haley/Military Tailor/Newmarket, N. H.”. Haley is listed in city directories as a tailor in Newmarket as early as 1857.
The brigadier general’s gold bullion epaulettes are lined on the under sides with red Moroccan leather and velvet. The brass attachment rails marked right and left. Eagle I buttons, gilded brass crescents, heavy 7/16” bullion fringe and 1 3/8” silver bullion stars attached with straight pins. Epaulettes near perfect, A rare example of a Civil War brigadier general’s regulation frock coat with nice ID.
(photo: Newmarket Historical Society, Haley Building)
Business was booming during the war with as many as 500 employed. Near the end of the war, with uniform orders cancelled, Mr. Haley expanded his inventory to civilian use.
Following is a bill which Mr. Haley sent to Charles Young of Newmarket in 1871:
Bought of B.F. Haley, Manufacturer of fine clothing and dealer in silks, shawls, dress goods, clothes, hats, caps, furs, furniture: Charles Young, Dr. for two chamber sets, one wool carpet, and one straw matting. Amount owed for same, $100.
(photo: by Bea Demers)
After his business began to fall off, Mr. Haley sold it to Louis Young of Newmarket. Louis borrowed the money from Charles Smith. Mr. Smith’s managerial skills and the recession forced him to give up and he closed the business and sold the building to Joseph Brisson.
At that time the second story was used for a bowling alley. The Fraternal Order of Eagles for quite a while used it to hold their meetings in. Over time the large back room was used as a restaurant, and a shooting gallery.
Joseph Brisson operated the Brisson Market for 55 years, when he retired in 1959 the building was sold to Robert Labranch, who sold it to Sgt. Eickholt for $1.00 and an agreement to tear down and dispose of it to make room for a parking lot for IGA customers.
The building was demolished in 1961.
(Source: Newmarket Historical Society, written by By Mary Richardson)
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