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Chester Munroe (1889-1943)

Chester Pierce Munroe was born in 1889 in Providence, RI; he was one of two sons of Addison P. Munroe and Annie Burnside Hopkins. The family had deep roots in New England.

Chester attended the Slater Avenue Primary and Grammar School, where he became a close friend of the author H.P. Lovecraft. They appear to have met in the fall of 1902. Chester graduated from Hope High School and found work as a hotel clerk. Not long after, he was recruited to work at the brand new Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. This impressive hotel opened in July 1913 (with William Jennings Bryan as speaker).

In 1915, H.P. Lovecraft described his close friend in an essay:

Chester P. Munroe was always of literary tastes. Even in the old Slater Avenue days he used to write short stories in moments snatched from the study of his regular lessons, and in later years he became the author of more than one unpublished novel. His geographical description of Switzerland, composed a few years ago, inspired the Conservative [Lovecraft] to scribble off some complimentary verses.

On June 3, 1917, he married Missouri­born Mary Doris Davenport and on the next day he registered for the World War I draft, claiming a physical disability. Children came in quick succession, but by the time of the 1930 census, Chester was back living with his parents in Providence and working as a traveling salesman in mill supplies. Doris was still living with the two children in Asheville.

Chester died in Taunton, MA in 1943.

Catherine Beyer Hurst, MBA, Writer and Community Historian