Mr. Weston was not a graduate ...
Mr. Weston was not a graduate of college, and his education did not partake of the character sometimes termed "liberal education," but he was pre-eminently a well-educated man.
His constitution of mind led him in the direction of practical and useful pursuits from the first.
He was inclinded to scientific and mathematical studies, and distinguished in his early school-days for habits of industry and perseverance in the faithful and patient investigation of every subject within his reach.
After the distict school he attended the Manchester and Piscataquog Academies, where he pursued his studies with earnestness and application.
Subsequently he studied those branches which were deemed the most important to fit him for civil engineering, to which he had decided to devote himself as an avocation for life.
He taught school in Londonderry in 1845, and in Manchester in 1846, with the best of success, and during the remainder of the time devoted himself to the study of his chosen profession.
In this labor he proceeded with a well-considered system, and qualified himself thoroughly for a high position among the civil engineers of his time.
In 1846 he was appointed assistant engineer of the Concord Railroad, and entered upon the work of laying the second track of that corporation.
In 1849 he was appointed to the position of chief engineer of the corporation, which he held for many years.
While chief engineer of the Concord Railroad he was master of transportation and road-master of the Manchester and Lawrence Railroad about seven years.
In 1861-62 he superintended the construction of the Manchester and Candia Railroad and the Hooksett Branch Railroad.
In 1869 he superintended the building of the Suncook Valley Railroad, and, later, made the surveys of the Manchester and Keene Railroad.
In all these and other business enterprises, Mr. Weston has been the careful and far-seeing manager as well as the technical engineer, and has done the work with that well-known characteristic, "without mistake.
Although very largely in the minority, and at a time when party strife was very great in this State, so universally acknowledged was Mr. Weston's
fitness for the position, and so generally had he
enjoyed the respect and esteem of his
fellow-citizens, that he
broke down the party lines, run far ahead of his
ticket and was defeated by only a small number of votes.
Nor have the opponents of Mayor Weston been unpopular or unfit candidates.
On the contrary, they have been uniformly selected for their great popular strength and fitness for the position.
The Republican leaders have not been novices, and it has not been their intention to suffer defeat but whenever victory has been wrung from their unwilling grasp, it has been done against great odds, and because the Democrats had unusual strength, one of its most important elements having been the superior qualifications and fitness for the place which Mr. Weston
was acknowledged on all sides to have possessed.
During the period of his
mayoralty a great advancement of the material interests of the city took place, and marked improvements were inaugurated and successfully carried on.
An improved system of sewerage was established, and, so far as practicable, completed, which proved of incalculable benefit.
A general plan for establishing the grade of streets and side-walks was arranged, and steps taken to obviate many difficulties which has arisen in connection with this important part of municipal government.
Improvement in the public commons was commenced and carried on as far as economy and fair expenditures of each year seemed to warrant, and the foundation was laid in public policy, adopted under his
managment, for permanent and systematic ornamentation of the parks and public grounds.
The matter of concrete walks received its first encouragement from Mayor Weston.
It was a subject about which much difference of opinion existed, and when the mayor authorized the covering one of the walks across one of the commons at the public expense it received much severe criticism, but the popular view soon changed, and the experience of the city since that time shows the wisdom of the first step in that direction.
In the matter of a water supply has Mr. Weston
been of inestimable service to his
In this important enterprise he
took a leading part.
No one realized more fully the great benefit which an adequate water supply would be, and few comprehended as well the embarrassments connected with the undertaking.
The question had been agitated considerably and various surveys had been made, and the people were divided upon different plans and theories.
Popular notions fell far short of the full comprehension of the subject, and while he
was supported by many of the leading and most influential citizens it was a very difficult matter to accomplish.
had made his
own surveys and was thoroughly informed upon the whole subject, and engaged in the work with zeal and determination.
The necessary legislation having been obtained, he
prepared and carried through the city government the appropriate ordinaces by which the enterprise took shape and the plan for placing the whole matter in the hands of a board of commissioners.
foresight and intelligent view of this subject, and earnest devotion to carrying out and completing the scheme, the people of Manchester owe their most excellent water supply more than to any other influence, and it is a monument to his
good name, more and more honorable as time proves the estimable value of a pure and adequate supply of water to the people of our city.
Mayor Weston was the first officer of the city to recommend the erected of a soldier's monument, and, by his earnest advocacy, and finely-educated taste, was largely instrument in deciding what style should be adopted, and bringing that worthy and patriotic enterprise to a successful completion.
The noble shaft which now and ever will, we trust, commemorate the glorious deeds and the fearful sacrifices of the soldiers from Manchester in the War of the Rebellion, speaks a word as well for those who attempted, in a small measure, to show the high appreciation in which their gallant services are held.
Frequent mention of Mr. Weston
as a candidate for Governor had been made, and in 1871 he
became the nominee of the Democratic party for that office.
In the guernatorial contest he
was met by the determined effort of his
opponents to defeat his
would have undoubtedly been elected by the people but for the strategical movement of his
adversary to have a third candidate in the fight.
This shceme was partly successful, preventing an election by the people by only one hundred and thirteen votes, although Mr. Weston
had a large plurality.
was elected Governor by the Legislature, and inaugurated on the 14th day of June, 1871.
The Governor's administration was characteritzed by economy and the most conscientious observance of official honor and integrity.
Even the most zealous partizan never questioned his
faithful discharge of duty, and his
official term closed with the highest respect of the whole people.
In 1872 the Republic party put in nomination their "great man," the Hon. E. A. Straw, agent of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company
, and placed their campaign upon the supposed issue between manufacturing interests and other branches of business in the country.
Mr. Straw was elected, and again in 1873, but in 1874, Mr. Weston
was the standard-bearer of the Democratic party and defeated the Republicans.
In every instance where Mr. Weston
has been the candidate of his
party for public office it has been when his
opponent started in the race with a majority and with numerous party advantages.
has fought his
campaigns against numbers and against prestige.
has contested the ground with opponents who were no mean adversaries, and his
successes have been alike honorable to him and the party to which he
During the years of his public life and since, Governor Weston has kept apace with the times in the many enterprises and business projects of his vicinity and and State, and has held many places of trust and importance.
In 1871 he was appointed a member of the New Hampshire Centennial Commission, of which body he was chairman, and as such worked with great zeal and efficiency to promote the success of New Hampshire's exhibit.
He was also made a member of the Centennial Board of FInance by Congress.
He has been chairman of the Board of Water Commissioners from its beginning.
For several years he has been a member of the State Board of Health; also treasurer of the Eliott Hospital corporation, chairman of the "Trustees of the Cemetery Fund," treasurer of the Suncook Valley Railroad, treasurer of the Franklin Street Church Society, one of the directors and clerk of the Manchester Horse Railroad corporation, president of the Locke Cattle Company; but his main business is the management of the Merchants' National Bank, of which he has been the president since its organization, and the Guaranty Savings-Bank, of wh