George Byron Chandler

George Byron Chandler is a member of a family that has long occupied a prominent and honorable place in New Hampshire history. His parents, Adam and Sally (McAllister) Chandler, were worthy representatives of the strong-minded, able-bodied, industrious, and successful citizens who in the early part of the century tilled the farms and shaped affairs in our farming towns. They resided upon a fertile farm in Bedford, which was the birthplace of their four children. Of these, the three sons—Henry, John M., and George Byron—are all citizens of Manchester, and are now engaged in the banking business. The only daughter is dead. The boys spent their boyhood upon the farm, doing their share of the work; but their parents were solicitous that they should be fitted for some more profitable calling, and gave them all the school privileges of the neighborhood, which were afterwards supplemented by academical instruction at several state academies.

His home work, his studies at Piscataquog, Gilmanton, Hopkinton, and Reed's Ferry academies, and his duties as a teacher at Amoskeag, Bedford, and Nashua, occupied the boyhood of George Byron Chandler until the age of twenty-one, after which he spent one year as a civil engineer in the employ of the Boston, Concord, & Montreal Railroad.

In the spring of 1854 he decided to devote himself to a business instead of a professional career, and, coming to Manchester, entered the grocery house of Kidder & Duncklee as a book-keeper. The next year he was offered a similar position in the Amoskeag Bank, which he accepted, and filled so acceptably that eighteen months later he was promoted to the teller's counter, and remained there until the organization of the Amoskeag National Bank, in 1864, when he was elected its cashier and entered upon the discharge of the duties of this responsible position, which he still holds. That he has won in it the continuing confidence of its managers, who are among the most sagacious of financiers, and the hearty approval of its numerous owners and patrons, is the best testimony to his fidelity and efficiency. His success in this capacity led the trustees of People's Savings Bank, when it was organized, to select him as its treasurer, and the success of this institution is another reflection of his patient and skillful work. These two banks, of which he is the chief executive, are among the strongest in the country; and it is much for him to be proud of that they have grown so great in resources and public confidence during his administration.

Mr. Chandler has also been prominently, honorably, and profitably identified with many other financial enterprises which have been conspicuous for their success. He has been the treasurer of the New Hampshire Fire Insurance Company since its organization in 1870; he was for five years a director of the Manchester & Lawrence Railroad, and has been for several years its treasurer; he was a director of the Blodget Edge Tool Company and of the Amoskeag Axe Company, during their existence; and he has been for years constantly intrusted with numerous private trusts involving the management of most extensive and important interests.

Mr. Chandler has an ample fortune, and a large income which he scatters with a free hand. He gives liberally and buys freely. The representatives of a worthy object who appeal to him for aid seldom go away empty. His residence and grounds, which occupy an entire square, are among the most costly and attractive in the city, and are noted as the home of good taste, elegance, and hearty hospitality. He is a leader in social life and active in city affairs. For several years he has been an officer of the Amoskeag Veterans, and is now president of the New Hampshire Club, composed of the leading business men of New Hampshire, which he was largely instrumental in organizing. He has read much, and traveled extensively in this country, and has a wide acquaintance with its distinguished men, and a valuable knowledge of the resources, customs, and characteristics of its several sections, which he has often been called upon to utilize for the benefit of others in lectures before schools and also in addresses before public assemblies.

From his early days Mr. Chandler has been an active member of the Unitarian Society in Manchester, and has served for years as one of its directors and president. Like other organizations with which he has been identified, this has been frequently indebted to him for liberal donations in money and a zealous support in many ways.

In 1874, the Democratic party of the Manchester district elected him to the state senate, where he served with credit to himself and the city. He declined a renomination.

In 1862, Mr. Chandler married Miss Flora A., daughter of Hon. Darwin J. Daniels, an ex-mayor of Manchester, who died in May, 1868, leaving an infant daughter, who did not long survive her mother.

His second wife, who now presides over his mansion, is the only daughter of Col. B. F. Martin, of Manchester, to whom he was married in 1870. Three children—Benjamin Martin, Alexander Rice, and Byron—are the fruit of this union. Of these, the oldest and youngest are living.