Munroe, Chester Pierce


Munroe, Chester Pierce
   (1889–1943)
   Boyhood friend of HPL, residing at 66 Patterson Avenue in Providence, about four blocks away from HPL’s residence at 454 Angell Street. HPL and Munroe became acquainted around 1902, when they attended the Slater Avenue School. HPL remarks that “Chester Pierce Munroe & I claimed the proud joint distinction of being the worst boys in Slater Ave. School…. We were not so actively destructive as merely antinomian in an arrogant & sardonic way—the protest of individuality against capricious, arbitrary, & excessively detailed authority” (HPL to Helen Sully, December 4, 1935; ms., JHL). At that time they and other friends formed the Providence Detective Agency and the Blackstone Military Band. It is not clear whether Chester attended Hope Street High School with HPL, but Chester did, in 1905, follow HPL’s lead in operating a hectographed paper, the East Side News,similar to HPL’s Rhode Island Journal of Astronomy;in 1905–06 they revived the Providence Detective Agency and Blackstone Military Band, which had apparently been in abeyance for some time, and also formed the Providence Astronomical Society and the East Side Historical Club. Chester also presumably assisted in building the Great Meadow Country Clubhouse in Rehoboth, Mass, (see Munroe, Harold Bateman). On August 12, 1912, Chester was a witness to HPL’s will. By 1915 Chester had established himself at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, although his occupation is unknown. HPL had persuaded him to join amateur journalism, and HPL wrote the article “Introducing Mr. Chester Pierce Munroe” ( Conservative,April 1915) welcoming him to the organization. In return, Chester apparently arranged for HPL to write the astronomy series “Mysteries of the Heavens” in the Asheville Gazette-News (February 16–May 17, 1915).

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