Home » Bridge Area » The Walker/Campbell/Crooker Home at 13 Webster

The Walker/Campbell/Crooker Home at 13 Webster



Campbell House front view undated

James Gerry “JG” Walker was born in New York, NY October 1842.  He served with Company K, 12th NY Regiment during the Civil War.  By 1870 “JG”, his wife Mary and 5 year old son Gerry, had  moved to Hudson.  Possibly joining them on this move were his parents and a brother.  By 1873 “JG” had purchased a building lot from Kimball Webster and built a single story home on the east side of Webster Street.  “JG” had a long career in the lumber industry as a sawyer and surveyor of lumber.
During their marriage “JG” and Mary had three children.  Gerry born about 1865 in NY and two daughters born in Hudson;  Sadie (born about 1872)  and Grace (born about 1879).
“JG” participated in the affairs of town and of the Methodist Episcopal (M-E) Church.  He served as Town Clerk in the mid 1870’s and as selectman in the mid 1880’s.  For his church he served on various committees; including the parsonage building committee where he served  with the pastor, Rev. Farnsworth, Augustus Blodgett, and Kimball Webster  This is the committee which contracted with Isaac Newton Smith to build the church parsonage at the corner of Highland and Baker Streets.
By 1898 “JG” had enlarged his Webster Street home by adding  second story.  This was done by jacking up the existing home and adding a story underneath.  The previous first floor and porch became the second floor and porch.  This helps to explain why there are identical porches on each story of the house.
“JG” passed in December 1916 at the age of 74 after a 46 year residency on Webster Street.  His funeral  was held  from his home by the Rev. Roy Honneywell of the M-E church.  He was survived by Mary, his wife of 50 years and by Mr and Mrs Jerry Walker, and a daughter Mrs. Grace Schurman.
His widow, Mary continued to live in the Webster Street home until July 1919 when she sold the homestead to Charles Edward Campbell.  Mary rented a home on Pelham Road until she passed in 1928.  She was laid to rest with her husband in the family plot of Hills Farm Cemetery behind the Alvirne Chapel.
Our first photo (undated) shows the Walker/Campbell Home front view.  We get a clear picture of the two story porch and of the barn on the south side of the house.
The history of the Charles Edward Campbell family begins in Bass River, Nova Scotia, Canada with his birth in September 1866.  In 1885 at the age of 19 Charles immigrated to the United States and became a naturalized citizen by 1910.  In June 1893 he married Anne Maria Knight a native of the Boston area.   Soon after their marriage they moved to Nashua and began their large family. They remained in Nashua until about 1904 when they moved to Hudson, possible on or near Lowell Road.  The family moved into their Webster Street home in 1919 after Charles Edward purchased it from Mary Walker.   He was employed clerk in a railroad freight office.  During their marriage I can identify 10 children; 5 of whom were born while they lived in Nashua and 5 after they moved to Hudson.  The children born to Charles Edwad and Anne Maria in Nashua are:  Oscar Joseph (b:1893), Madaline Viola (b:1895), Erma Francis (b:1900), Velma Onaita (b:1901), and Genevieve (b:1904).  Those born after moving to Hudson are Ruth Marion and Ruby Merriam (twins born and died in 1905), Marjorie (b:1907), Everett Cecil (b:1908) and Virginia (b:1913).
Of the 8 surviving children Oscar, Erma Frances, Velma, and Genevieve are the most significant to the ongoing history of the Campbell Home on Webster Street as they lived most, if not all, of their adult life at 13 Webster.
As a 23 year old single man Oscar J. registered for the World War draft in 1917.  At that time he was employed as a machinist in Worcester, MA.  After discharge from the service he continued to work in the mechanical engineering field; often commuting to employment out of the state.  By 1940 Oscar, his wife Mary Kathleen Warton, and 2 children were residing on the second floor of Campbell homestead.  Oscar J passed in December 1970 while a patient at the Veterans Hospital in Manchester.  He was survived by his wife, a son, Charles Bernard, and 2 daughters, Marilyn Louise Lindwell and Judy Fisher.  Charles Bernard resided in China Lake, Ca; Marilyn Louise resided in Fullerton, Ca; and Judy resided in Toledo, OR.
Erma Francis  resided at the Webster Street home from the time of purchase in 1919 until she passed in December 1978 at the age of 78.  After attending schools in Hudson and Nashua High, she was employed for many years as a clerk for an insurance office.  Likewise, Genevieve resided on Webster Street from purchase in 1919 until she passed in 1978 at age 74.  After attending school she worked for years as a school secretary at Nashua High.
Velma Onaita likewise attended Hudson schools and Nashua High.  She worked as a clerk for the street railway as early as age 18.  Velma was a sociable young lady; attending and participating in plays and attending theaters in Nashua.  She used the street railroad for transportation to Nashua and Manchester for both work and pleasure.  By 1925 she had met and became engaged to Jonathan MacIntyre of Nashua.  They were married August 31, 1925 by clergy David MacIntyre, father of the groom.  Following their marriage they lived at or near Arlington Street in Nashua.  They had a son Donald (b:1927), and two daughters; Onaita (b:1929) and Genevieve (b:1930).  Jonathan and Velma Onaita were divorced in 1933.  Following the divorce Velma and her family returned to live at the Campbell house on Webster Street. As time progressed Donald MacIntye married Arlene Gagnon of Hudson and Onaita Macintyre married Hayden Tibbets.

Campbell House side view 1920’s

Our second photo shows a side view, looking south, of the Campbell House in the 1920’s.  Webster Street is a dirt road and in the lower right corner we see the street railway tracks for the Manchester Line. Both photos are from the Historical Society collection.
Charles Edward passed March 1938 at the age of 71 following a 45 year career as a railroad worker and 53 years in the  United States.  For the  last 19 years he resided at 13 Webster,   His funeral took place at the Pilgrim Church in Nashua.  He was laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery along with his twin daughters Ruth and Ruby.
As administrator of her father’s estate Erma Francis transferred title of all property owned by Charles Edward to her mother, Annie.  In addition to the homestead he purchased from Mary Walker  this included two additional land parcels which Charles had purchased.  Annie retained title of all the real estate until February 1951 when she transferred ownership to her daughter Erma Francis.
Sisters Erma Francs, Velma Onaita  MacIntyre, and Genevieve continued to reside in their Webster Street home.  In 1978, Erma transferred title to the next generation of Campbell’s:  the son and daughter of Velma Onaita:  Donald MacIntye and Onaita Tibbets along with their respective spouses.  Erma and Genevieve passed at different times in 1978; Velma passed in 1979.
In February 1988 ownership of the Campbell home was transferred away from the family.  Following periods of short time ownerships, vacancies,  and mortgage foreclosures the 13 Webster Street home was purchased by the Crooker Family in 1993.  It is presently home to Ann, Jim, and Sam Crooker.  They love their home and cannot imagine living elsewhere at this time even though the maintenance and upkeep on an old house becomes a labor of love.
In 2017 the Historical Society was contacted by Hayden Tibbetts in regard to diaries kept by Velma Campbell and Jonathan MacIntyre for the years 1922 – 1925.  It is interesting that we have a “his” and a “her” diary for the year 1925, the year of their marriage.

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