Chapter 15 -- Part 13

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During the last years of the nineteenth century, the only lawyer in Hampton was Charles M. Lamprey, who was for a while the police court judge and also an auctioneer. He died in 1902. In 1907, Hampton's only attorney was Llewellyn Hobbs, a North Hampton native who was also an insurance agent, as were Abbott Norris and E. P. Young. Young was also one of Hampton's several blacksmiths.

For much of this century, Hampton had no law offices. The only attorney listed in local business directories for many years was John W. Perkins, a Hampton resident who had an office in Exeter. Perkins often represented Hampton as town counsel, and he served as judge of the local court from 1930 until 1972. When local people needed a lawyer, they usually called Perkins.

The first lawyer to open an office in Hampton in modern times was William Wardwell Treat, who came to this area in 1948 as a lawyer and to operate Perry's Tropical Nut House and Animaland in Seabrook. His family also owned the more famous Perry's Nut House in Belfast, Maine. The judge of the Seabrook Municipal Court from 1952 until 1973, he was appointed judge of the Rockingham County Probate Court in 1957, serving until 1983. His three-volume book Treat on Probate is a standard work on the subject. Robert Tetler joined Treat in 1965, but Treat left the practice in 1970 to concentrate on his work as a founding member and longtime president of the Hampton National Bank, later Bank Meridian. An active Republican who served as state party chairman and as a national party committee member, Treat retired from politics when he was appointed the judge of probate. Mr. and Mrs. Treat, who lived for many years on Park Avenue, currently reside in Stratham. Robert Tetler, also special justice of the Seabrook Municipal Court from 1969 until 1973, is a partner in Tetler & DeKavis.

Hampton has several other longtime law firms. Attorney Seth Junkins, who grew up in Hampton, opened his office in 1955. He has been president of the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce and served several times as Hampton town counsel. Casassa and Ryan was founded by H. Alfred Casassa in 1960. He also grew up in Hampton and served the community as chairman and member of the Planning Board from 1961 to 1972, judge of the Hampton District Court from 1972 until 1980, and, in 1988, served his twenty-first and last term as town moderator. He is now a resident of Rye.

Richard P. Dunfey opened a Hampton office in 1958 and was joined in his practice by Wilfred L. Sanders, Jr., in 1962. Dunfey was appointed judge of the New Hampshire Superior Court in 1965 by Governor John W. King, and in 1979 he became chief justice of the court. Edward J. McDermott, who joined Sanders soon after Dunfey left, has been a special justice of the Hampton District Court since 1968. Sanders & McDermott Professional Association was founded in 1980. In 1988, the firm moved from its longtime offices in the Victorian building at 408 Lafayette Road to the historic Toppan-Towle-Moulton house at 234 Lafayette Road.

Hampton resident Russell H. McGuirk first practiced law from his home on Winnacunnet Road, but he opened a law office in Newmarket in 1946, continuing there until his retirement in 1988. Judge of the Newmarket Municipal Court since 1959, McGuirk will retire from that office at age 70 in 1989.

The town's first dentist was probably Dr. S. F. A. Pickering, who practiced here from 1890 until 1892, later moving to Portsmouth, although he continued to advertise for Hampton clients in the Union. The town was without a local dentist until 1938, when Dr. Harold Pierson opened a practice. An original member of the Winnacunnet Cooperative School Board, Dr. Pierson closed his dental practice in 1965. The town is currently served by a number of dentists.

Physicians are discussed in a separate chapter.

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