Cook On Concord: Remembering Buck Buchanan, 1917-2008

Another significant loss for New Hampshire occurred when Creeley S. Buchanan, known to everyone as “Buck,” died Nov. 21. He was 91 years old and had lived a remarkable life.

Buchanan came to New Hampshire to attend Tilton School for a post-graduate year after graduating from Arlington High School in Massachusetts. He went on to the University of New Hampshire and began a lifelong love affair with that institution. He played football there and also served as the editor of The New Hampshire, the student newspaper.

Indeed, in 1939-1940, when he was the editor, Richard F. Cook Sr., my father, was his managing editor, which led Buchanan, throughout our acquaintance, to tell people in our presence that “I knew Brad before he was born.”

Buchanan graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1940 and served in the Persian Gulf Command during World War II, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel.

In civilian life after the war, Buchanan became an insurance agent and settled in Amherst, where he became a fixture. He served in the New Hampshire Senate from 1965 to 1970 as a Republican in the days before politicians were hyphenated. He was not a right-wing Republican or a left-wing Republican. He was a Republican. Solid, thoughtful, bright and analytical, Buchanan’s handling of legislation was cited by others in both parties as an example of how the job should be approached.

After his service in the Senate, Buchanan served in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, becoming the regional head of that office. He also was active in many organizations, notably the UNH Alumni Association, the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees, the Manchester Rotary Club and fraternal organizations. Buchanan was a founding member of the UNH One Hundred Club, and the Creeley “Buck” Buchanan Distinguished Service Award was established and is given annually to a member of the UNH football team in his honor.

He had a rough style, but when people got behind it, he was not only a good friend and hard worker but also thoughtful adviser and a “softie.”

He leaves his wife of 62 years, Rosamond Buchanan of Amherst, his daughter, Claire and three sons, Shepherd, Alexander and Scott.

Another great New Hampshire life of contribution and accomplishment.


On Nov. 18, the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce had its Community Leadership Awards Dinner at Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center. It was the second annual such dinner, and having the opportunity to attend it, given that my law firm has a Hanover office, pointed out the economic engine and often overlooked importance of the Upper Valley to the New Hampshire economy.

Trumbull Nelson Construction Company, a major construction firm, Ledyard National Bank, a regional bank with increasing presence, Associated Grocers of New England, the White Mountains Insurance Group, and Hypertherm Corp., a major manufacturing firm that is growing by leaps and bounds with a worldwide presence, were all involved in making the event a success.

Awards went to Dorothy and Jack Byrne of the Byrne Foundation, a major charitable entity that gives to all sorts of good causes. Reading about Byrne and his accomplishments in the insurance industry and the fact that Warren Buffett himself believes that Byrne is the bright light of American insurance — having turned GEICO Insurance around earlier in his career — was instructive. Also, the Hanover Consumer Co-Op, a major force in high-quality consumer sales of foods and other commodities in Hanover and Lebanon was recognized, as was the Blue Sky Restaurant Group, owner of the restaurants Jesse’s, Molly’s and Lui Lui’s.

As a bridge to Vermont, the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce includes those from across the river. One of the attendees, the head of the Upper Valley United Way, described the reach of that organization from Cornish, N.H., to Springfield, Vt., in the south up to Orford, N.H., and Fairlee, Vt., in the north. This combined effort not only is logical because of the commerce in the area, but makes common ground between the two states for doing good for the people of each.

Brad Cook is a shareholder in the Manchester law firm of Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green and heads its government relations and estate planning groups. He also serves as secretary of the Business and Industry Association.