Who’s Who in Old Rockingham

The Exeter News Letter, August 19, 1938

[The following article is courtesy of the Exeter News Letter]

Jerome F. Harkness of Hampton

One of Hampton’s busiest men during its tercentenary celebration will be Police Chief Jerome F. Harkness, for with a greatly increased force he will have to direct the handling of what will probably be Hampton’s greatest crowds in its history.

In 12 years of service as a member of Hampton’s police force, Chief Harkness has seen the automobile traffic in the town and at Hampton Beach doubled in volume. The police department has grown in step with this change until now in the quality of its personnel and in its efficiency, it is the equal of a metropolitan force.

For five years after becoming a member of the department Chief Harkness was on duty at the Casino ballroom at Hampton Beach. He was elevated to the head of the department six years ago. The appointment proved a wise choice for Chief Harkness has shown an aptitude in meeting the problems of the department, discharged his duties faithfully, and handled his men with tact and ability.

Chief Harkness’ is a native of Lawrence, Mass., the son of Robert and Mary A. Harkness, and he was educated in the Lawrence schools. When he was a young man Mr. Harkness entered the lunch and restaurant business in Lawrence and in 1915 opened the first diner in the city. For three years he operated a similar establishment in Haverhill, Mass., and then went to Maine, Mrs. Harkness’ native state.

In 1923 Mr. Harkness came to Hampton, and in the employ of the Pitman Construction Company, of Lawrence, Mass., worked on the building of Amen, Cilley and Wentworth Halls in Exeter. He purchased the Congregational Society land and the site of the first parsonage in Hampton in 1638, on the present Landing Road opposite the Tuck Field. On this tract, which had changed hands only twice in 300 years, he built an attractive bungalow which has since been his home.

Mr. Harkness’ only fraternal association is a membership in the Elks.

Mrs. Harkness is the former Miss Beatrice McKenney, of Wiscasset Me.