Big Jim, Mayor of Dover, NH
A Small City North of Boston
by Laurence P. Keenan
Written by his son, Laurence P. Keenan, who was an interim city manager for Dover in 1975-1976, Big Jim is a compelling historical chronicle of one of Dover’s remarkable former mayors who served during the Depression years. Elected in the largest combined vote ever cast, candidate Keenan campaigned on the promise to deliver a businesslike administration. The author scoured months of news articles in the local paper, Foster’s Daily Democrat, for myriad details of bitter budget battles waged between the mayor and the City Council. Conflicting issues of strongly held positions were well served by the “All politics is local” motto coined decades later.
During his single term of two years, Mayor Keenan effected great changes within his beloved native city. His accomplishments included turning around the city’s finances (perhaps at the expense of his own), decreasing the water rate, providing assistance to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, and erecting the Spanish-American War memorial known as “The Hiker.” Another important contribution from Mayor Keenan was the creation of two public parks: Woodman Park and Henry Law Park. Public parks in small communities were considered a luxury at the time, but Jim felt they were essential to the quality of life for young and old. These parks gave Dover a public swimming pool, a professional-style baseball diamond, and a downtown, green grass park, still enjoyed to the present day.
About the Author
After graduating from St. Mary Academy and Dover High School (class of 1942), Larry received his B.S. degree from the University of Notre Dame, followed by an M.A. degree from Mexico City College, Mexico City. He matriculated at the Sorbonne, in Paris, where he was accepted as a doctoral candidate in history. Failing to obtain Fulbright assistance, he concluded his formal education after completing two semesters of studies at the Maryland University Extension at the University of Vienna.
After an interesting career in government, then a second in real estate, the author felt the urge to research his family’s genealogy. He soon discovered much of the forgotten history of two remarkable individuals: his parents, natives of Dover, New Hampshire. At an age when many prefer to while away leisure hours, he spent years researching and exploring the many facets of their noble lives. He developed sufficient material for two family memoirs: The Best of Intentions: Unforeseen Circumstances and Big Jim.
ISBN: 978-0-9817898-8-0, $25.00 Memoir, 208 pages, 7x10 Hardcover. Publication Date: July 2010.
To order, contact Enfield Publishing & Distribution at 603-632-7377.
Also by Laurence P. Keenan
The Best of Intentions: Unforeseen Circumstances.