Looking Back



(Editor's Note--Each week, the NewportTimes.org will print a brief history of business firms that once operated in Newport. This information first appeared in the Newport Bicentennial Booklet in 1961.)


Gauthier & Woodard Inc.

6 North Main St.

Gauthier & Woodard Inc. originated in 1872 when O.G. Osgood opened an insurance office in the Richards Block. He later sold the business to George L. Dame who sold to Fred W. Cheney.


In 1893 Mr. Cheney decided to go into the printing business and the insurance business was purchased by William Woodbury. Mr. Woodbury added an interest in grain and, to operate the insurance end of his

office, he took in as a partner Fred T. Pollard.


The firm was known as Woodbury & Pollard until the partnership was dissolved when Pollard bought out

Woodard. Mr. Pollard continued to operate the business for nearly 50 years in the Citizens Bank Building.

On Dec. 31, 1946 Harry M. Woodard and Albert J. Gauthier joined forces doing business as Gauthier &

Woodard in the Citizens Bank Building.


Harry had been employed by the Merchants Mutual Insurance Co. for 18 years serving the New England

area as claims adjuster, special agent and underwriter. Al had been in the insurance business for 10 years

maintaining an office in the Eagle Block.


On Jan. 1, 1953, the partnership was incorporated under the name of Gauthier & Woodard Inc. On Jan.

22, 1954, Harry and Albert purchased the Cheney Block, originally the home of Col. William Cheney,

early Newport benefactor, for whom Cheney Street was named. This was one of the earliest brick

residences in town.


On May 1, 1957, the agency moved its office from the Citizens Building to the Cheney Block, occupying

the location formerly used by the Lucca Fruit Co., which was operated for 50 years by Joseph T.

Bonaccorsi and when he vacated upon retirement, Gauthier & Woodard remodeled the old fruit store into

a modern insurance and real estate office.


July 1, 1956, Harold M. Campbell became the third member of the firm after graduating from the

University of New Hampshire and completing the insurance field at the Hartford Training School in

Hartford, Conn.


On Jan. 24, 1957 Arthur Nelson retired and sold his business to Gauthier and Woodard. This old agency

had been bought by Mr. Nelson from Tyler Barker in 1924, who in turn bought it from the Standish

Brothers years before.


Gauthier & Woodard is equipped to write any type of insurance and in serving their customers throughout

New Hampshire and Vermont with representation in the soundest insurance companies available. They

are members of the New Hampshire Insurance Agency Association.


John R. Kelly Pharmacy Inc.

5 Main St.

This store has been serving the public since 1948 in the same place, first in the old building and later in

the biggest block in town, the Richards Block.


The first owner who was presumably a druggist, was Nathaniel Adams. Strangely enough, about 1865,

the owner was a John C. Kelley, no relation to the late John R. Kelly.


It is known that this Mr. Kelley kept a tame coon in the store and a pail of shiners on hand to feed it. Mr.

Kelley was also agent for Great Western Railway tickets to all points West.


Later owners, all pharmacists, were E.C. Converse who took over about 1875, F.. Lovell from about 1990

and John R. Kelly who became owner in 1929. In 1940, the American Druggist, the leading national drug

publication elected John R. Kelly as the typical American Druggist after a nationwide survey.


Since Mr. Kelly's death, members of his family have operated the store. At present two of the

pharmacists to be found compounding drugs there are John R. "Dick" Kelly and Louise Kelly, his son and

daughter.

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