Notable Characters

Notable Characters of the 1970′ s – 90’s

These were people who stuck out in there own special way and were known of by the general populous of Newburyport for a specific extraordinary reason.

Duncan Chase Old Hill Burying Ground

Duncan Chase Old Hill Burying Ground - Photo by: John Frost

Duncan Chase

– 19 Oct 1919 – Sep 1980. Town Drunk. In the 70’d this was a perfectly acceptable title. It may seem harsh in todays society to some, although Duncan seemed like he was the life of the party, even when there was no party to be had anywhere. You would always hear him say, “I’m a cool cool cat.” Then after that he would belt out a loud meow as he breathed in. He is buried at the Old Hill Burial Ground. His gravestone actually tells you he’s a cool cat!  Ironically he looked like actor Foster Brooks.


Larry Howard– The Town Weeper. A frequent addition to any wake and funeral in town. You would think Larry showed up at funerals of people he didn’t know. Larry was seen all over town, so he probably knew everyone anyway.

Christopher Michael aka Michael Lee Stevens– Born 1924, Artist/Poet and flamboyantly dressed figure. He was seen walking his small corgi dog around town.

Tex– the guy with the cowboy hat, farmer overalls, riding a bike with a small dog in a handlebar basket all around town. I’m sure Tex was not his real name, but that is what us young kids called him as I recall. Do you know his name?

Frank Dalton, aka Fran- Photographer of Newburyport Scenery. I own one of his prints of the Bartlet Mall.

Dennis Brown– On any given day you could have seen Dennis’s black limo cruise through town. Convicted on illegal non pharmaceuticals, he was also known by some to have given back to the community. Years ago in the early 90’s I saw him at a family function, with his lovely blond wife and 2 beautiful young daughters. He was sporting a well tailored tan suite and some sparkling rings on his fingers. He unfortunately decided to involve himself in a transaction a week later that sent him to the pokey. Word was, he usually didn’t participate in such transactions anymore – personally that is. Although, not endorsed in the slightest by any town authority, he once showed up at Park Circle in his Limo with a trunk full of shoes for all the less fortunate children. Love him or hate him, but like a successful businessman he possessed a kind of charisma that radiated across a room. It was just the goods that were the problem…

Richard Miller– 7 Nov 1946 – Jul 1987. Resident of the YMCA on State St who perished in a fire that destroyed the building in July of 1987. He was a large quiet figure who you would often see hanging in the downtown area.

Leroy Lewis – Cop around town. He seemed to be liked by many and seemed to always be smiling while on the beat.

Buzzy Lawler – Son of former Mayor George Lawler. He enjoyed talking to others over the CB radio during the late 70’s and early 80’s when it was cool too. His call name was Spider Man. You would see him around town a bit on his bike. -Kind and friendly character.


Melvin – Info needed.

Andrew aka “Bossy” Gillis – 1896-1965 He was a 7 time Mayor of Newburyport.  He was like a rooster in a hen house…you had to like him whether you wanted to or not.  More Info


This entry was posted on Friday, May 15th, 2009 and is filed under News, Notable People. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

93 Responses to “Notable Characters”

  1. joppa girl on February 1st, 2010 at 2:29 pm

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  5. Shawn G - Moderator on May 17th, 2010 at 11:47 pm

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