Many from Lebanon joined the Union forces during the Civil War. The town voted many thousands of dollars for bounties paid to those who were mustered in and for aid to families of men in the armed services. There were 106 Civil War veterans from Lebanon.
July 4, 1861 saw the return of many former Lebanon residents to join in their hometown’s Centennial Celebration. A thirteen-gun salute, a parade of the “Horribles,” orations, toasts and a dinner for 450 were among the features of the festive occasion.
Beginning in 1862 large numbers, of French-speaking people from Canada immigrated to Lebanon to work in the mills here. By 1883 some ninety-two families of French origin were residing in this town and were actively involved in the affairs of the community.
At town meeting in 1864, it was voted to pay each fireman of Engine Company No. 2 $5 a year instead of the $3 previously paid. By this time a fire engine and other apparatus had been added to the Fire Department’s equipment and an engine house had been built.
For years the center of the common had been the junction of two main thoroughfares, the east-west Fourth N. H. Turnpike and the north-south Croydon Turnpike. In 1866 all highways through the common were discontinued and only footpaths remained. (F-8)
A resolution was passed in 1866 to “cordially extend a hearty invitation to manufacturing capital to come among us.” Time proved this encouragement to manufacturers to be very effective in increasing Lebanon’s industry, population and wealth.
The American Patent Sponge Co. moved to town in 1867 to manufacture upholstery filling. Prepared from natural Bahama sponges, the material made mattresses 401% lighter and 40% cheaper than curled hair. Forty employees processed 2 tons of sponge a day. (F-8)
William S. Carter came to Lebanon to work for his uncle, H. W. Carter, “The Merchant Prince.” In 1868, he founded his own clothing factory, Carter & Churchill. Recently renamed Profile Sports Corp., the company makes a leading line of ski wear. (F-8 & I-2)
Lebanon had its economic ups and downs along with the rest of the nation. Between about 1869 and 1873 conditions went from “the swimming tide of prosperity which inflation engenders” to “a panic in the effort to resume specie payment” of debts.