Christopher D. Connelly
329 Mast Road
Goffstown, NH 03045
Phone: (603) 627-5610
Fax: (603) 627-5634
19 Temple Street
Nashua, NH 03060
Phone: (603) 882-1456
(Substation Temporarily Closed)
300 Chestnut Street
(NOT A MAILING ADDRESS)
Phone: (603) 836-2920
HOURS OF OPERATION:
Monday to Friday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
HISTORY OF THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE
To date there have been 29 individuals that have served as the High Sheriff of Hillsborough County.
29th Christopher D. Connelly, Mont Vernon (2021-Present) Sheriff Connelly was elected in 2020 and assumed office on January 6, 2021. He had served as a NH law enforcement officer for over 30 years prior to being elected to office. His prior law enforcement experience included: deputy sheriff and chief deputy sheriff with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office; patrol officer, detective and sergeant with the Goffstown Police Department; and Dunbarton Police Chief. Connelly also served as a Special Assistant to United States Senator Kelly Ayotte where he focused on Law Enforcement and First Responder, Homeland Security, and Justice Issues in addition to serving as the Senator’s in-state point person working on addressing the opioid crisis.
During his tenure, Sheriff Connelly served as the chairman of the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council and also served on the New Hampshire Court Accreditation Commission. He was responsible for the development and adoption of a comprehensive policy and procedure manual. Connelly worked to strengthen law enforcement and public safety partnerships and also to increase the visibility of the Sheriff’s Office throughout the county.
28th James A. Hardy, Pelham (2003-2021) Elected in 2002, Sheriff Hardy assumed office on January 8, 2003. Sheriff Hardy began his law enforcement career with the Pelham Police Department where he served as a dispatcher and then a patrol officer. While serving with the Pelham Police Department, Hardy was the recipient of the National Chiefs of Police Association Silver Star Award and was also recognized with the John Edgar Hoover Memorial Police Service Award for Distinguished Police Service.
Hardy joined the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in 1981 and served as a deputy, sergeant, lieutenant and captain prior to his election as High Sheriff. Sheriff Hardy served on the New Hampshire Court Accreditation Commission. In addition to his law enforcement service Hardy also served several terms as a Town of Pelham Selectman, member of the Town of Pelham Budget Committee and also served in the NH House of Representatives from 1979-1983.
Hardy holds the distinction of being the 3rd longest consecutively serving Hillsborough County Sheriff, having served for eighteen years/9 terms.
27th Walter A. Morse, Hillsborough (1993-2003) Sheriff Morse was elected in 1992 and assumed office in 1993. Prior to being elected Sheriff, Morse served with the Hillsborough Police Department and with the NH State Police rising to the rank of captain before retiring in 1989. Morse was a graduate of the 100th session of the FBI National Academy. Morse also served for 15 years on the NH Fish and Game Commission as the Hillsborough County Fish and Game Commissioner. During Morse’s tenure the Sheriff’s Office relocated its main office operation from the Hillsborough County Superior Courthouse in Manchester to newly renovated space in the Bouchard Building at the Hillsborough County Complex in Goffstown.
26th Louis A. Durette, Manchester (1984-1993) Sheriff Durette assumed office in 1984. Prior to being elected Sheriff, Durette had served at the Manchester Police Department for 25 years, attaining the rank of lieutenant before his retirement. Durette was a member of the Manchester Police Department’s first canine unit, was sergeant in charge of the Special Response Team and a member of the department’s Honor Guard. Durette also served on the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council. During his tenure as Sheriff a second Superior Court was constructed on Spring Street in Nashua. The Hillsborough Superior Court – Southern District courthouse was constructed to address the overwhelming workload experienced by the Superior Court in Manchester. Sheriff Durette passed away on December 17, 2002 at the age of 67 after a brief illness.
25th Donald J. Perrault, Esquire, Manchester (1984) While serving as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New Hampshire, Attorney Perrault was appointed as the “Commissioner to Perform the Duties of the Sheriff” for several months prior to the upcoming election due to a vacancy in the Office.
24th James F. O’Flynn, Peterborough (1981-1984) Upon taking Office, Sheriff O’Flynn worked to have the County eliminate the “fee system” for the service of civil process. Under the fee system the individual deputy that served civil process would receive payment for the completed service. O’Flynn was successful in his effort to do away with the “fee system” and from that point forward the fees charged for the service of civil process were collected by the County. The elimination of the “fee system” helped to put the Sheriff’s Office on a path to increased law enforcement professionalism. O’Flynn also began to appoint full-time certified NH Police Academy graduates as deputy sheriffs. He also appointed the first female court officer in the history of the County to work at the Hillsborough County Superior Courthouse.
In 1982, O’Flynn, working in conjunction with the NH Police Standards and Training Council, the Hillsborough County Attorney and the Goffstown Police Department established the Hillsborough County Special Officers Certification School. In 1983 one of O’Flynn’s deputies shot and wounded a NH State Prison inmate that was attempting to escape custody. The shooting was deemed justified by the NH Attorney General’s Office.
In 1984 O’Flynn was forced to resign. He was convicted of theft by extortion after extorting campaign contributions from two deputy sheriffs and a deputy sheriff applicant. Of note, one of the deputy sheriffs that provided testimony against O’Flynn during his trial was James Hardy. Hardy would later go on to serve nine terms at Hillsborough County Sheriff.
23rd Lawrence Shea, Manchester (1969-1981) Sheriff Shea served with the Manchester Police Department, rising to the rank of lieutenant prior to retiring and running for election. Sheriff Shea resided in the warden’s quarters at the county jail. During his tenure as Sheriff, the NH State Legislature passed a law to create county corrections departments for each of the ten counties, thus transferring the control of corrections from the Sheriff’s Office to the Hillsborough County Department of Corrections.
22nd Thomas F. O’Brien, Manchester (1945-1969) Sheriff O’Brien held office for twenty-four years making him the second longest serving Sheriff in Hillsborough County history. He was a deputy sheriff 1930-1938 and served as county jailer from 1938-1944. While he was Sheriff he lived in the warden’s quarters at the county jail in Manchester. During one election cycle he received the most write-in votes of any candidate in the state, which was a state record at that time. He did not seek reelection in 1968.
21st John L. Spillane, Nashua (1944) Spillane served as a deputy sheriff under Sheriff O’Dowd. Spillane was appointed as the “Commissioner to Perform the Duties of the Sheriff” in early 1944. He served in this capacity until the election of Sheriff O’Brien in late 1944. He served as a deputy sheriff under Sheriff O’Brien for several years until his retirement.
20th Richard “Mac” O’Dowd, Manchester (1929-1944) He was the son of Sheriff John T. O’Dowd and served as a deputy sheriff from 1919 until 1929. In 1931 Sheriff “Mac” O’Dowd enforced a court order out of the Rockingham County to close down the Rockingham Race Track for illegal gambling. Rockingham County Sheriff Spinney was grateful that the court had asked the Hillsborough County Sheriff to enforce the order because the track was very popular with the residents of Rockingham County. Sheriff “Mac” O’Dowd resigned office to take a job with the NH Racing Commission. He would later become the General Manager of the Rockingham Race Track. Governor Meldrim Thompson gave the eulogy at Sheriff O’Dowd’s funeral in the early 1970’s.
19th John T. O’Dowd, Manchester (1918-1929) Prior to being elected, Sheriff O’Dowd served as a Manchester Police Officer for twenty-nine years, retiring at the rank of sergeant. He had also served at the Manchester Fire Department for approximately seven years. He ran for Sheriff in 1916 but lost to George Stearns in a bitterly fought campaign. Sheriff O’Dowd was a delegate to the Democratic Conventions of 1924 and 1928. He supported his son Richard to succeed him as Hillsborough County Sheriff. He served as the county jailer from 1930-1938. He was also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1930.
18th George L. Stearns, Manchester (1914-1918) Sheriff Stearns was a deputy collector for the United States Internal Revenue Service for thirteen years prior to be elected as Hillsborough County Sheriff.
17th Frederick K. Ramsey, Manchester (1906-1914) In 1911 the NH State Legislature expanded the authority of the 10 county sheriffs to give them statewide power not just in their respective counties as it states in the NH Constitution. This change came about due to the invention of the automobile and the need to keep up with and pursue criminals across county lines.
16th Nathan Doane (1898-1906) Sheriff Doane appointed the first female deputy sheriff in the state in 1906. Her name was M. Jenny Kendall of Nashua.
15th Daniel F. Healey (1886-1898) Sheriff Healey served as a Colonel in the Civil War. A new High Sheriff badge was made by Shreve, Crump and Lowe Jewelers, Boston, Massachusetts.
14th Charles Scott, Peterborough (1876-1886) Sheriff Scott is one of only two Sheriff’s that have served two separate terms. In 1877 the NH State Legislature added county sheriff and county solicitor to the list of county officials that were to be elected by the public, making Sheriff Scott the first elected Hillsborough County Sheriff.
13th Thomas P. Pierce (1874-1876)
12th Charles Scott, Peterborough (1866-1874) Scott served a combined eighteen years as Sheriff. He was a Lt. Colonel in the Civil War. Scott served as the Peterborough Town Moderator for over twenty years, a NH State Senator for two years and was a judge in the local police court for five years.
11th Daniel L. Stevens (1862-1866)
10th Charles P. Danforth (1856-1862)
9th Elijah Monroe (1844-1856)
8th Mace Moulton (1842-1844)
7th Frederick G. Stark (1836-1842)
6th Jacob Whittemore (1828-1836)
5th Benjamin Pierce, Hillsboro (1818-1827) Pierce is one of only two individuals to hold the Office of Sheriff on two separate occasions. Sheriff Pierce also had the responsibility for carrying out a death sentence, by hanging a man called Daniel Farmer who had been convicted of the murder of a widow called Anna Ayer of Goffstown around 1821.
4th Israel W. Kelly (1814-1818)
3rd Benjamin Pierce, Hillsboro (1809-1813) Sheriff Pierce served in the Revolutionary War from 1775-1784. He fought at Bunker Hill (1775), Saratoga (1777), and survived Valley Forge (1777-1778). Originally from Chelmsford Massachusetts he moved to Hillsboro after the war. He organized and commanded the Hillsborough County Militia from 1786-1807, rising to the rank of Brigadier General. He served in the NH Legislature, was a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention in 1791, and served on the Governor’s Council from 1803-1809 and then again from 1814-1818. He was the Governor of NH in 1827 and 1829 and was a Democratic Presidential Elector in 1832. Pierce was the father of Franklin Pierce the 14th President of the United States.
2nd Moses Kelley, Esquire, Goffstown (1775-1808) Sheriff Kelley holds the distinction of being the longest serving Sheriff in Hillsborough County history, having served for thirty-three years. He owned a tavern and was a prominent local supporter of the “Sons of Liberty”. He was a selectman and town moderator in Goffstown and was also a delegate to the County Congress during the Revolutionary War. He attained the rank of Colonel. Kelley Falls in Goffstown and Kelley Street in Manchester were both named and dedicated in his honor. His home is still standing and is the oldest house in the Pinardville section of Goffstown.
1st Benjamin Whiting, Esquire, Hollis (1772-1775) Original Hillsborough County Deputy Sheriffs: John Holland Robert Reed, Samuel Cunningham, Samuel Atkinson, Daniel Farnsworth and James Wilson. Sheriff Whiting was a loyal subject of the King of England as were most government officials of the time. As the political climate changed he was brought up on the charge of “acting against the best interest of his country” by a committee of revolutionary colonists. He was convicted in absentia and his land and personal property were seized. He and his family fled to England and would never return to America.