In 1842, the Town of Nashua, New Hampshire divided into two separate townships resulting from feelings of insult and impropriety of selecting the location of the new Town Hall. The residents north of the Nashua River were enraged over the site selected on the south side of the river. They hired Franklin Pierce, who would become the 14th President of the United States, to represent them and in late 1842 the New Hampshire legislature chartered a new town on the north side of the Nashua River – Nashville, New Hampshire. After eleven years of hard feelings, economic damage and a loss of regional political clout, the two towns came together and resolved their differences. The City of Nashua, New Hampshire was introduced to the world in 1853.
Attracted by the opportunities provided in this burgeoning mill city, great waves of immigrant people from across the globe came to work and settle in Nashua. The people of Ireland began arriving in the late 1830’s and in great numbers after 1846. French-Canadian families arrived from Quebec after the American Civil War forming what was then the largest "ethnic group" population in the city. Young men from Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Armenia, Romania, Russia, began arriving in the late 1880’s and their families followed by the 1890’s. A Jewish neighborhood and the first Synagogue building (1899) erected in New Hampshire was located at Cross & Lock Street on French Hill. The Irish community led by the legendary Father John O’Donnell built the 1856 Church of the Immaculate Conception on Temple Street. This was one of the first Roman Catholic Churches built in New Hampshire. Nashua’s first French-Canadian Roman Catholic Church was St. Louis de Gonzague on West Hollis Street built in 1873. The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin on Ash Street was Nashua’s first Greek Church, built in 1913.
Nashua’s economy remained strong during the early part of the 20th century as the fortunes of the mills were buoyed by orders to support the war effort during WWI and WWII. However, by the 1930s the massive Merrimack Manufacturing Co. in Lowell and the Amoskeag Mills in Manchester were showing signs of weakness. Competition from new factories in America’s southern states became a real threat. Southern factories featured lower-cost nonunion labor and were located close to cotton, coal and new emerging markets. The textile empire collapsed in Nashua and around New England. It would never come back.