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James E. Randlett, a well-known architect of Concord, was born September 5, 1846, in Quincy, Mass., son of James S. and Abbie O. (Chase) Randlett. The father, a native of Gilford, N.H., worked at his trade of stone cutter for a number of years in the stone yards of Quincy. One of the largest and most important buildings in whose construction he assisted, was the custom-house in Boston, Mass. He is now living retired in Concord, N.H.
His wife, Abbie, who came from Biddeford, Me., has had three children, namely: Abbie A., who died in 1865; Henry K., who resides in New York City; and James E., the subject of this sketch.
James E. Randlett, our subject, was educated in the district schools of Quincy, Mass., and of Gilmanton, N.H., and from private tutors in the evening. Upon the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion, when only fifteen years of age, he enlisted as a drummer boy in Company B, Twelfth Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry. At the first opportunity that presented itself he forsook the drum for the musket, and participated in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. His term of service in the army Lowell, Mass., and there learned the carpenter and cabinet-maker trades. These he afterward followed for some twenty years. Having subsequently returned to Concord, he was the first man to receive the appointment of letter-carrier when the United States free letter delivery service was established in that city. After holding that position for about four years, he resigned, and was appointed the keeper of the State House at Concord. This office he resigned after two years, to enter into partnership with Edward Dow, the architect. Since Mr. Dow’s death in July, 1894, Mr. Randlett has continued the business alone. He has designed many prominent and well-known structures, both public and private, among which are the main building of the New Hampshire Agricultural College at Durham, the town halls of Antrim and Epping, and the Capital Fire Insurance Building. Numerous business blocks in the towns of Newport and Exeter were also erected on his plans. He drew the plans, and built at his own expense a fine edifice, which was greatly needed, for the especial use of the Young Men’s Christian Association of Concord, and which he still owns. He was Adjutant of the Third New Hampshire Regiment for five years. At one time he was the Assistant Inspector of the Grand Army of the Republic, under General Cogswell.
Mr. Randlett married Georgie Gray, of Concord, and has two children. His son, Clarence B., who at one time was Deputy Secretary of State of New Hampshire, and now resides at Council Bluffs, Ia., married Florence Langmaid, and has one child, William E. Mr. Randlett’s daughter, Elizabeth M., who is unmarried, lives at home with her parents. In politics a Republican, he cast his first Presidential vote for General Grant in 1868. He is a comrade of Sturdevant Post, No. 2, G. A. R., of Concord; and a member of the K. of P. and K. of H. Mr. Randlett is highly esteemed both for his private character and for the high rank he has taken in his profession.