Harvard University, 2 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Pine Hill Cemetery Peterborough, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA
Henry Schofield Streeter (May 2, 1920 - May 4, 2001) was a lawyer. He was a member of the Horace Walpole Society, elected in 1974.
Henry Schofield Streeter was the son ofthe great collector of Americana, Thomas Winthrop Streeter, who was president of the American Antiquarian Society from 1952 to 1955. Anyone who has visited the AAS library to study nineteenth-century transportation systems has benefitted from materials in the Thomas W. Streeter Collection, one of the finest collections of printed resources on American canals and railroads in the world. Henry's mother, Ruth Cheney Streeter, was director of the United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve during the second World War.
Henry S. Streeter (known to his friends as 'Hank') was born in New York City on May 2, 1920. Like his father and both of his brothers, he attended St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, and in 1938 entered Harvard. In 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Streeter enlisted in the United States Navy. He served for the next five years on the destroyer U.S.S. Doran and later on the minesweeper U.S.S. Farle B. Hall, rising to the rank of lieutenant by the time of his discharge in 1946. After the war, Streeter returned to Harvard Law School (he had received his B.A. from Harvard in 1942), receiving the LL.B. magna cum laude in 1949. Nearly fifty years later Streeter wrote: 'My years at Saint Paul's School and the education I got there were a far more important influence on my later life than were Harvard and Harvard Law School. It was a toss-up whether six years at Saint Paul's School or five years in the Navy during World War II had more influence on me.'
In 1949 Streeter began a long and distinguished career with the Boston law firm of Ropes and Gray, and from 1950 to 1951 he clerked for Judge Augustus N. Hand of the Second Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals in New York City. In addition to his legal work, Streeter served as director of corporations, including the State Street Boston Corporation, State Street Bank and Trust Company, Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing Company, and XTRA Corporation.
A resident of Wenham, Massachusetts, for forty-two years, Streeter was active in the town's local government. He served on the Wenham Planning Board and was chairman of the Wenham Board of Appeals for twenty years.
Streeter's leisure activities included collecting maps, prints, and especially marine art showing the American flag. He was also devoted to outdoor activities. For many years he was a member of the Tobique Salmon Club and was its president from 1980 to 1996. A member ofthe Cruising Club of America, he bought his first boat in the early 1950s and enjoyed sailing the Maine coast. From 1955 onward Streeter and his family annually spent part of their summers on Isle au Haut, Maine.
A considerable number of organizations benefitted from Streeter's involvement. He was a member of the Myopia Hunt Club, the Somerset Club, the Morristown Club, the Chilton Club, Saint Andrew's Lodge, and the Walpole Society, and was a member and president of the Club of Odd Volumes. Streeter served as a trustee and secretary of the Wayside Inn; a trustee of the Pickering Foundation; a founding trustee of the Pingree School in South Hamilton, Massachusetts; and a trustee of the Shore Country Day School in Beverly, Massachusetts. He was also an incorporator of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Beverly Hospital. He joined the board of trustees ofthe Peabody Museum in Salem in 1967, serving for many years on that organization's collecting committee and as its vice president from 1977 to 1990. He was named an honorary trustee in 1990. The Massachusetts Historical Society elected him to membership in 1968.
Streeter's election to the American Antiquarian Society in October 1969 was the beginning of thirty-two years of faithful service and support. In 1970 the Streeter family, including Henry, made possible the purchase of Thomas W. Streeter's collection of material on transportation west of the Alleghenies. A regular attendee at meetings, Henry was also a member of the Council from 1971 to 1978, held the position of secretary for foreign correspondence from 1979 to 1991, and served on the Finance Committee from 1992 until his death. At various times he was also a member or chairman of the development, library, and nominating committees, the Committee on the Hall, and the Committee on Membership.
As well as making regular gifts to the annual fund and special gifrs from time to time, he established in 1986, along with other family members and friends, the Thomas W. Streeter Fund with the income to be used to purchase books and pamphlets of the sort that his father had collected. Five years later in 1991, he created a fund in his own name with the income to be used for the maintenance ofthe Society's physical plant. As a trustee of several nonprofit organizations and in his duties on the Finance Committee, he was familiar with the need to budget funds for maintaining buildings and he recognized that hardly anyone ever gave money for such an unglamorous purpose. When he established the fund, he wrote to AAS Chairman Jill Ker Conway: 'It is my experience that every charity hopes to accumulate a building maintenance fund and very seldom does, as other needs seem to be more appealing to donors. I hope to fill that gap.' Streeter's will stipulated that his bequest to AAS be added to this building maintenance fund. In 1992, in honor of his father, Henry gave the Society the most extraordinary gifr of Thomas W. Streeter's copy of Samuel de Champlain's Les Voyages du Sieur de Champlain Xaintongeois (Píiús, 1613).
In 1959 Henry Streeter married Mary Ann Dexter and they had three children: Cornelia (Nina) van Rensselaer Streeter, Natalie T. Streeter, and Frank Sherwin Streeter II.
He died on May 4, 2001, at the age of eighty-one.
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