Portrait courtesy of Ancestry.com
The vast annals of the New Hampshire legislature yield another unusual name in Rotheus Edson Bartlett, a Sullivan County resident who served over twenty years as a Newport town selectman and was also elected to the state house of representatives for one term at the turn of the 20th century. The son of Parker and Eleanor Bartlett, Rotheus Edson Bartlett was born in New Boston, New Hampshire on May 10, 1841.
A student at the New Boston and Francestown Academy, Bartlett signed on for service in the Civil War in August 1862, enlisting in Co. C, 11th New Hampshire Infantry. This regiment would see action at the battles of Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, the siege of Tennessee and the eventual capture of Petersburg, Virginia. Bartlett, however, would, "owing to exceptional reliability", be consigned to "headquarters work a good deal of the time". Bartlett was honorably discharged in June 1865 and two years later married to Emma J. Merrill (1840-1927), to who he was wed for nearly sixty years. The couple would have at least three children, including two daughters who died in infancy and a son, the Rev. Ernest Merrill Bartlett (1870-1905)
Following their marriage, Bartlett and his family resided on a farm in North Newport, New Hampshire and in the early 1890s made his first move into local politics, winning election to the town board of selectmen. He would serve ten years here, and in 1902 was returned to the board, serving consecutive terms until 1908, and from 1914-1920 again was a selectman. Elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives as one of several Sullivan County legislators in 1898, Bartlett served in the 1899-1901 session and during his term sat on a special committee for "new apportionment for the assessment of public taxes."
In addition to his service in local political office Bartlett was a trustee of the Sugar River Savings Bank and in 1898 became a deacon in the Newport Congregational Church. In the late 1900s, Bartlett would hold the posts of road agent and Newport town school board member, serving for an indeterminate length of time. Rotheus Bartlett died in Newport of heart failure on June 4, 1924, aged 83 and was survived by his wife Emma, who, following her death in 1927 was interred alongside her husband and son Ernest at the North Newport Cemetery.
From the New Hampshire Argus and Spectator, June 13, 1924.