Celestial Seasonings – December 2019

By Heather Durham | December 5, 2019

Due to holidays and snowstorms, we join the celestial show already in progress.

December 2. The Pheonicid meteor shower will originate from the Constellation Phoenix.

December 4. The first quarter phase of the Moon should shine brightly in the evening sky. The Moon is at its apogee (its greatest distance from the Earth), which will result in it appearing smaller than usual.

December 6. The Cassiopeia meteor shower from Andromeda should be visible.

December 7. The Puppid-Velid meteor shower from Veda will appear in the night sky.

December 9. The Monocerotid meteor shower from Monoceros should be visible.

December 10. The Moon will be at its farthest distance from the Sun. This is commonly referred to as the Moon at aphelion.  Also this evening, Saturn and Venus will both rise at a right ascension,

December 11. Saturn and Venus will be passing one another.

December 12. The Moon will be full on this date. This Moon is the third full autumn Moon of 2019, known as the Oak Moon (in-the-sky.org, 2019). The Hydrid meteor shower from the Constellation Hydra presents itself. An object in space orbiting the Milky Way, known as the Large Magellanic Cloud or LMC will present itself today (Wikipedia, 2019).

December 13. Venus and Pluto will be rising otherwise known as conjunction.

December 14. The Geminid meteor shower from the Constellation Gemini is upon us this date.

December 15. From the Constellation Cancer, the Beehive Cluster will be making a close approach to the Moon. An open cluster from Orion will be visible, also known as NGC 1981.

December 16. From the Constellation Leo comes the Comae Berenicid meteor shower.

December 18. The Moon will be at perigee meaning at its closest point to the Earth. This Moon should appear larger than usual. This date also brings us to the last quarter of the Moon.

December 20. December Leonid Minorid meteor shower from the Constellation Leo Minor.

December 21. December Solstice and shortest day of the year.

December 22. Both the Moon and Mars will ascend a.k.a be in conjunction. As well, they both will be moving close together.

December 23. Ursid meteor shower from the Constellation Ursa Minor.

December 26. There will be a new Moon. The Moon will also be closest to the Sun.

December 27. The Moon and Saturn will ascend. Jupiter will move very close to the Sun.

December 28. From the Constellation Monoceros comes an open star cluster generally referred to as NGC 2232. The Moon and Venus will rise and will be approaching one another.

December 29. Once again coming from the Constellation Monoceros comes an open star cluster commonly referred to as NGC 2244.

December 30. Mercury will be located at its greatest distance from the Sun, otherwise referred to as aphelion.

We wish you a very Happy New Year! My resolution will be to issue this report in a more punctual manner. But you know how it is with New Year’s resolutions.

Previous in sequence Celestial Seasonings – November 2019; next in sequence: Celestial Seasonings – January 2020


in-the-sky.org. (2019). Retrieved from  in-the-sky.org/newscal.php?month=12&year=2019&maxdiff=7#datesel

spacetourismguide.com.  (2019, November). What to See in the Night Sky in 2019.  Retrieved from spacetourismguide.com/night-sky-2019/

Wikipedia. (2006, October 29). Large Magellanic Cloud. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Magellanic_Cloud

Wikipedia. (2017, November 17). NGC 1981. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/NGC_1981

Wikipedia, (2007, April 20). NGC 2244. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/NGC_2244

Milton and the Horne Murder – 1939

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | December 5, 2019

Milton barber John H. Howland brutally murdered Miss Maude F. Horne in her Farmington Road (now Elm Street) home on Friday night, February 3, 1939, after 8:00 P.M.

Howland escaped in his victim’s black 1935 Plymouth automobile, accompanied by his teenage cousin.

The Victim

Maude Francis Horne was born in Milton, July 9, 1877, daughter of John R. and Olive R. (Corson) Horne. Her mother died in Milton, May 22, 1879 (before Maude’s second birthday).

Miss Horne attended Nute High School with one of its first classes (probably during the tenure of Principal Norton). She taught in Milton schools for several years after graduation. Thereafter, she worked in Milton’s shoe industry as a shoe stitcher, shoe repairer, shoe operative, etc.

Susan F. Horne, aged fifty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. Her household included her brother, John R. Horne, a widowed farm laborer, aged forty-seven years (b. NH), her sister, Martha A. Horne, aged forty-five years (b. NH), and her niece, Maude F. Horne, a school teacher, aged twenty-three years (b. NH).

John R. Horne, a general farm farmer, aged fifty-four years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his sister, Mattie A. Horne, aged fifty-five years (b. NH), and his daughter, Maude F. Horne, a shoe factory stitcher, aged thirty-two years (b. NH). John R. Horne owned their farm on the Plummer’s Ridge Road.

John R. Horne, a farmer, aged sixty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his sister, Mattie A. Horne, aged sixty-four years (b. NH), and his daughter, Maude F. Horne, a shoe shop shoe repairer, aged forty-two years (b. NH). John R. Horne owned their farm on the Plummer’s Ridge Road.

John R. Horne, a widower, aged seventy-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fourteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his sister, Mattie A. Horne, aged seventy-five years (b. NH), and his daughter, Maude F. Horne, a shoe factory operator, aged fifty-two years (b. NH). John R. Horne rented their house on Silver Street, for $10 per month. They did not have a radio set.

Maude’s father, John R. Horne, died in Milton, April 11, 1938. Her uncle, Charles A. Horne, a retired Milton meat merchant, died in Milton, October 10, 1938. Her aunt, Martha A. “Mattie” Horne, died at Plummer’s Ridge in Milton October 22, 1938. Maude supplied the personal information for all their death records.

Miss Horne moved from her rented place on Silver Street to her late Uncle Charles’ house on the Farmington Road (now Elm Street). She was said to have felt uneasy there, which she attributed to living alone for the first time in her life.

The Murderer

John Henry “Henry” Howland was born in Stoneham, MA, April 23, 1913, son of Norman and Anna Rose (Burbine) Howland. (He sometimes used the alias John Norman Howland).

His criminal record commenced when he was about thirteen years of age. Police arrested him in Charleston, WV, on suspicion of burglary, June 26, 1927. He posted a $1,000 bond and was released pending trial. A jury convicted him of an auto theft in Monroe, WA, May 16, 1929, for which he received a three-to-five-year sentence.

John H. Howland, an inmate, aged twenty years (b. MA), was imprisoned in the WA State Reformatory in Park Place, Snohomish, WA, at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. Prison authorities assigned him to the building labor detail there; he was said also to have been married when he was sixteen years of age, which they took to be circa 1925-26. (In point of fact, he would have been only about sixteen years of age as of this census enumeration, and not the twenty years that he claimed).

A Bexar County, TX, jury convicted him of an auto theft in Austin, TX, January 26, 1931, for which he received a five-year sentence.

John Howland of Middletown, OH, pled guilty to stealing an automobile from Middletown auto dealer R. Shetter, July 10, 1935, and he received an indeterminate (one-to-twenty years) sentence in September 1935 (Journal News (Hamilton, OH), September 13, 1935). He received a parole from the Ohio State Farm on August 1, 1938, just six months before he murdered Miss Horne.

Several accounts describe Howland as an ex-Navy man, sailor or “gob.” One imagines his service, if any there actually was, to have been brief. He did have a tattoo of a girl’s head and the legend “San Juan,” which might suggest time spent in Puerto Rico. Of course, there are San Juans in Mexico too, and he had spent “time” in neighboring Texas. Howland claimed to have been in the Navy just before getting hired at the Salem Shoe company in Milton, whereas he had actually been just before a prisoner at the Ohio State Farm.

John H. Howland came to Milton due to the presence here of his mother, Mrs. Anna R. “Rose” ((Burbine) Howland) Abrams. She was employed in nursing Maude F. Horne’s uncle, Charles A. Horne, during his final illness. (Her sister and her sister’s family lived also in town).

Howland was in town for less than six months. He took initially a job at the Salem Shoe company factory, and resided with his mother in the ailing Horne’s Farmington Road (now Elm Street) house. Uncle Charles died in Milton, October 10, 1938.

At some point, Howland’s mother left for Reading, MA. Howland remained behind in Milton. He was working in Hervey C. Tanner’s Milton barber shop at the time of the murder.

Maude F. Horne accused him of having stolen $100 worth of household items from her late uncle’s house after his death.

The Cousin

Aida Elizabeth Butler was born in Milton, February 3, 1924, daughter of Edward T. and Margaret J. (Burbine) Butler. Her mother and Howland’s mother were sisters, which made her a first cousin to Howland.

Edward T. Butler, a leather-board mill engineer, aged forty years (b. MA), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Margaret J. [(Burbine)] Butler, aged thirty-four years (b. MA), and his children, Charles E. Butler, aged fifteen years (b. MA), Benjamin F. Butler, aged thirteen years (b. MA), Margaret E. Butler, aged twelve years (b. NH), John P. Butler, aged eleven years (b. NH), Walter F. Butler, aged nine years (b. NH), Patrick Butler, aged seven years (b. NH), Aida E. Butler, aged six years (b. NH), Thomas U. Butler, aged three years (b. NH), Grace A. Butler, aged one year (b. NH), and George F. Butler, aged three months (b. NH). Edward T. Butler owned their house on North Main Street, which was valued at $1,000. They had a radio set. Fred Chamberlain, a State Road commissioner, aged seventy years (b. NH), was their neighbor.

Aida E. Butler was a student at Nute High School at the time of the murder. Police did not consider her to be an active participant, although she was present at the scene and fled with the murderer on his cross-country getaway. Police arrested her with him on a sort of “holding” charge of flight to avoid testifying. She was slated to be a witness against him, but was never called, as he pled guilty at his trial.

Horne-Howland - BG390206Hunt Young Barber, Girl In Brutal Horne Murder. N.H. Warrant Charges John N. Howland With Slaying Spinster – Seen in House. Special Dispatch to the Globe. MILTON, N.H., Feb. 5. – A warrant charging John N. Howland, 25-year-old barber, with the murder of Miss Maude F. Horne, 61, was issued tonight by Sheriff Clyde R. Cotton. Police throughout New Hampshire and other New England states were immediately asked to aid in the search for the youth, who disappeared from his home here late Friday night. In the same interstate teletype broadcast, state officials asked that a 15-year-old girl who disappeared from her home here at the same time be taken into custody for questioning. Both Howland and the high school girl were placed in Miss Horne’s home here early Friday evening by a neighbor. State Police said that they believe that the girl was a witness to the murder. Three men’s handkerchiefs, used as a gag to shut off the cries of the elderly spinster-victim, were being held by Sheriff Cotton as one of the most Important bits of evidence in the case. The handkerchiefs, Cotton said, bear the initial “H.” Additional evidence was found, the sheriff reported, that the slayer washed his hands and possibly the murder weapon in the kitchen sink in the murdered woman’s home. Bits of human hair found in the sink will be examined tomorrow to determine if it is that of Miss Horne. The murder warrant was issued by Cotton soon after he received the report on an autopsy performed by Dr. Ralph Miller, state pathologist, of Hanover, and Dr. Forest L. Keay, medical referee of Stafford County, stating that Miss Horne “died an agonizing death.” Atty. Gen. Thomas P. Cheney stated that Drs. Miller and Keay said “without qualification” that Miss Horne died in the room where the body was found, from a combination of fractures of the skull and suffocation.

Neighbor’s Tale. “Three handkerchiefs were packed in her mouth,” the doctors’ report read, “displacing her tongue to the extent that it entirely cut off all supply of air. The victim bled profusely. Either the head injuries or suffocation might have caused death.” Sought with Howland is a high school girl who was last reported seen Friday night with the murder suspect in Miss Horne’s home. Earlier on the same night she had told her mother that she was going to a basket-ball game at Somersworth, but nobody has been found who saw her at the game. Mrs. Charlotte Garyait, a neighbor of the murder victim, told state officers today that she visited Miss Horne on Friday night, arriving at the Horne residence at 7:15 and leaving at 7:45. At 7:30, she said, Howland and the 15-year-old girl arrived to visit with Miss Horne. They were still there when she left, Mrs. Garyait said.

Arthur P. Garyait, a fibreboard mill moulder, aged thirty-six years (b. ME), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Charlotte E. [(Wiggin)] Garyait, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), and his children, Richard Garyait, aged ten years (b. NH), and Barbara Garyait, aged seven years (b. NH). Arthur P. Garyait owned their house on the Farmington Road (now Elm Street), which was valued at $700.

Familiar With House. Police said that Howland, a former sailor, was thoroughly familiar with the house in which the murder occurred. Last Fall when his mother, Mrs. Rose Abrams, now of Reading, Mass., was nursing Charles A. Horne, an uncle of Miss Horne, he stayed at the house nights to assist her. Miss Horne, a resident of this town all her life, went to live in the murder house only last October after the death of her uncle. It was believed that she inherited a sizable fortune at that time. Investigators also learned today from neighbors of the murdered spinster that for two weeks before her sudden death she lived in fear for her life. On several occasions she told friends that she feared to go to bed at night, and had slept in an armchair on the first floor of the small house. She was never alone before, she said, and she couldn’t get used to it. The missing Howland had told townspeople for a week before his disappearance that he was planning to go South. Three or four days before the murder he told the postmaster that he wished his mail held for him because he would be out of town for several weeks. Howland is described in the teletype messages sent out by the New Hampshire State Police as being six feet tall and weighing 190 pounds. He is fond of music, the message stated, and plays several musical instruments. A girl’s head is tattooed on his upper right arm and shoulder over a date and the words, “San Juan.” The 15-year-old girl, believed to be with the youth, is described as being five feet, two inches tall and weighing 118 pounds. When last seen she was wearing a brown ski suit, plaid jacket and brown overshoes. She wore no hat.

Put Suitcase in Auto. After leaving the Navy, Howland worked for a time at the Salem Shoe factory here and most recently as a barber. Fellow employees at the factory knew him little, declare that he seemed to prefer the company of women to that of men. Hervey Tanner, owner of the barber shop in which the youth worked most recently said today that Howland a few days ago offered to sell him a “Tommy-gun” for $40. Tanner was unable to tell officials whether Howland had any ammunition for the machine gun. Miss Evelyn Paey, 27, was minding Tanner’s children on Friday night, she told police when she looked out the window of the Tanner home and saw Howland packing a suitcase into the rear of an automobile. She was unable to describe the auto, which police believe may have been that of Miss Horne which has not been seen since the time of the murder. The murder weapon has not been found. Because of the type of wounds on the victim’s head, police think that the weapon may have been a heavy flashlight. The death of Miss Horne was the fourth in her family within a period of 10 months. Her father. John, died last April, and her uncle, Charles, and aunt, Mattie Horne, died last October (Boston Globe, February 6, 1939).

One wonders if Howland had ever actually had a Thompson submachine gun (“Tommy gun”) or whether that was just some sort of scam. (His $40 asking price would have the current value of about $732). Howland was a felon many times over. An actual submachine gun would have been illegal to possess under the National Firearms Act of 1934. So, it would have been impossible for him to have acquired one, right?

George W. Paey, foreman of a shop shop finishing room, aged sixty-eight years (b. MA), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Josie M. [(Downs)] Paey, aged sixty-two years (b. NH), his sister-in-law, Hattie E. [(Downs)] Hartford, a widow [of Fred S. Downs], aged sixty-nine years (b. NH), and his daughter, Evelyn Paey, a private home houseworker, aged thirty years (b. NH). George W. Paey owned their house on Silver Street, which was valued at $800.

Miss Paey lived on Silver Street, but she saw Howland putting his suitcase in Miss Horne’s car from a window at Hervey C. Tanner’s house on Mill street. One might infer that Howland lived also on Mill street.

Hervey C. Tanner, a barber shop barber, aged thirty-five years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Yvonne E. [(Lessard)] Tanner, a shoe shop stitcher, aged twenty-nine years (b. NH), and his children, Hervey C. Tanner, Jr., aged four years (b. NH), and Patrick Tanner, aged two years (b. NH). Hervey C. Tanner owned their house in the “Milton Community” (Mill street) which was valued at $1,500.

Arrest Asked of Howland in N.H. Murder. ROCHESTER. N. H., Feb. 8 – Maj. Ralph W. Caswell, deputy superintendent of the New Hampshire State Police, today sent to large cities throughout the country circulars asking for the arrest of John Henry Howland on a warrant charging murder. Howland, police say, is on parole from the Ohio State Prison. He is wanted, says the circular, for the murder last Friday of Miss Maude Horne, 61, of Milton, N.H. Howland has been sought for four days, ever since Miss Horne’s battered body was discovered. Also missing is Aida Butler, 15-year-old cousin of Howland, who is believed to have gone with him. The circular says that Howland, who is 25 years old, has a record at “Charleston, W. Va.; Monroe, Wash.; Austin, Tex.; Texas State Penitentiary, and was paroled Aug. 1, 1938, from London, O., state farm.” In Ohio, Howland was serving a one to twenty-year sentence for larceny. Investigators hoped today that need of money would send Howland to acquaintances, many of whom are known (Boston Globe, February 8, 1939).

Howland, John - BG390208BLOODY PRINT SPURS SEARCH FOR HOWLAND. Special Dispatch to the Globe MILTON, N.H., Feb. 7. The imprint of a bloody hand on a door jamb in the little white house where elderly Miss Maude Horne was slain last Friday night definitely connects John Henry Howland, missing prison parolee and amateur song writer, with the crime, state officers said tonight. Since Saturday morning, state fingerprint expert Ivan Hayes has been working in the murder-house. The gruesome mark on the doorway leading from the living room to the kitchen and prints of a couple of fingers found on a water dipper are the best of those which he believes are connected with the crime. Classifications of Howland’s finger prints arrived here today from the Ohio State Prison where the suspect was imprisoned a couple of years ago on an automobile theft charge. Other prints are expected within the next day from Washington.

Nation-Wide Hunt On. After County Solicitor John F. Beamis and state and local police officials had an opportunity to check the prints received from Ohio with photographs of those found in the Horne home, the technical classification of the wanted man’s finger prints were sent to every state in the country. Deputy Supt. of State Police Maj. Ralph W. Caswell announced the finding of the prints on the door jamb and their importance in the search for Howland. Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation searched Howland’s home here today and seized several of his personal articles, including a bundle of letters. Maj. Caswell denied tonight rumors that any of the bundle of letters taken by police from the Howland home contained “love-letters” from admirers of the missing man.

Butler, Aida E - Amazon
Sought by Police: Aida Butler, 15

Believe Girl Innocent. There is a feeling here that Howland, who so far as anybody knows had little or no money last weekend, may seek out some one of his old friends for assistance. Authorities said today that although they believe that Howland’s cousin, 15-year-old Aida Butler, was present at the. time of the murder, evidence points to the fact that she took no active part in the crime and may have been forced to accompany Howland when he quit town. The girl’s mother, Mrs. Edward Butler, sister of Mrs. Rose Howland Abrams, Howland’s mother, has repeatedly said that she was sure that Aida did not leave town of her own volition. Mrs. Butler pointed out that when her daughter left home Friday night, ostensibly to go to a basket-ball game with Howland, she wore no hat and only everyday sports clothes.

Services for Victim. Funeral services were held this afternoon in a heavy snowstorm for Miss Horne at the Edgerly Funeral Home. Only a few relatives and friends were present. Rev. Leland Maxfield of the Baptist Church officiated. After the services, the body was removed to the Rochester Cemetery. Awaited by police is the complete report of Dr. Ralph Miller, state pathologist, who performed an autopsy last Saturday and has since had the vital organs of the murdered woman and also bits of hair found in the sink of the Horne home in his laboratory at Hanover. The hair, police said, was apparently washed off the murder weapon in the kitchen sink by the murderer before he quit the house. There is a chance, the authorities declare, that there may be further proof of the identity of the murderer in the pathologist’s final report.

Leland Maxfield, a minister, aged thirty years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Elizabeth [(Bronson)] Maxfield, aged twenty-seven years (b. NY), and his boarders, Mary E. Willard, aged twenty-nine years (b. MA), and Mary E. Sherborne, aged twenty-three years (b. ME). Leland Maxfield rented their house on Church Street, for $10 per month.

Slaying Motive Advanced. The theory that Miss Horne’s death may have been connected in some way with a series of petty thefts from the home of her late uncle, Charles Horne, who died last October, was put forward tonight by one of the state officers investigating the crime. Rumors have been circulating in this tiny town since the murder that it was because the elderly woman learned of the thefts which totaled less than $100 and threatened to expose the thief, that she was slain. When Miss Horne inherited the property of her uncle, she also inherited an inventory of all the physical goods in the estate. It was after checking the furnishings in her uncle’s house against this list, that she allegedly confronted the thief with her evidence (Boston Globe, February 8, 1939).

Five-State Hunt for Howland in N.H. Murder. MILTON, N.H., Feb. 9 – Police authorities in five states were co-operating today with county investigators in their search for John Henry Howland, chief suspect in the slaying last Friday of Miss Maude Horne, and for his 15-year-old cousin and supposed companion, Aida Butler. Acting on reports that the wanted couple were seen last Sunday afternoon in Ossipee, 36 miles from here, New Hampshire State Police this morning resumed their search of all empty camps and buildings in Ossipee seeking to uncover some clew as to their whereabouts. Meanwhile Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York authorities were endeavoring to check the report of a Boston bus driver that a man and woman resembling Howland and his young cousin had boarded a New York-bound bus with another, couple in Providence last Sunday night and left at Southport, Conn., when their money ran out.

Bus driver Edward S. White’s information was inaccurate. Howland and Butler never boarded his bus, nor were they accompanied by another couple. They had Miss Horne’s automobile.

Driver Roxbury Man. The driver, Edward S. White, 30, of Roxbury, who supplied the information last night at Boston Police Headquarters, said the two couples left the bus Monday morning at 4:10 and asked him how far it was to New York. White was uncertain about the identification of Howland and said he was “positive” in his identification of the Butler girl’s picture. Although sought for questioning by investigators here, the girl, who disappeared Friday night after leaving her home to attend a basket-ball game, is believed by authorities to be innocent of all connection with the murder. White told Boston police that one of the two men wore a navy uniform and the other, dressed in civilian clothes, carried a Gladstone bag. The other girl was tall, dark and about 27 years old, the driver said. His attention was attracted to the couples at the Providence terminal, White stated, when he was told by the ticket agent that when the men purchased tickets they asked him how far the four could travel for $2.50 each. The agent told them that Southport, Conn., was the limit for that sum and the men bought tickets to that point (Boston Globe, February 9, 1939).

Plymouth - 1935SLAYER OF MILTON WOMAN STILL AT LARGE. Near a week has elapsed since the body of Miss Maude Horne, a well-known Milton woman and murder victim, was found in her home on the Farmington road early last Saturday evening. John H. Howland and a 15 years old girl, a cousin of the accused, are at large and the objects of a countrywide search, as Howland is suspected of the slaying of Miss Horne. The story of this brutal assault and the death of Miss Horne, has featured [in] daily newspapers since the finding of the body. Town, state, county and Federal officers have been working on the case. Every effort is being made to trace them together, separately, or in connection with a black 1935 Plymouth coach, the property of the murdered woman, which bore registration plates N.H. 51839, and in which it is alleged Howland and his companion made their getaway. The identification of the missing pair sought in connection with the death of Miss Horne, has definitively established Howland as an ex-Navy man and he has a long criminal record from which finger prints have been compared with those found at the scene of the crime. His companion is a high school girl, known to everybody in her home town and never before has been charged with reprehensible conduct. Miss Horne was a native and lifelong resident of Milton and one of its most esteemed women. She was 61 years old, the daughter of the late John and Olive (Corson) Horne. She was a member of one of the first classes to graduate from Nute high school in her native town, and subsequently for several years was a successful school teacher. She had never married and had always lived a quiet, yet influential, life through her affiliations with church, fraternal and young people’s work. Among the surviving relatives is a cousin, Herbert F. Horne of Farmington. Funeral services were held in Rochester on Tuesday afternoon (Farmington News, February 10, 1939).

Herbert Horne, a retired salesman, aged sixty-four years (b. NH), headed a Farmington, NH, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. HIs household included his wife, Maude D. [(Barker)] Horne, a houseworker, aged sixty-three years, and [her] sister, Ethel Barker, a houseworker, aged sixty-two years (b. NH). Herbert Horne owned their house on Lone Star Avenue, which was valued at $4,700.

Man Wanted For Murder Slips Through Officers Of McAllen. McALLEN – John Howland, alias John Allen King, was fingerprinted by the McAllen police department night of February 17 when he asked for a place to sleep, chief of police Noah Cannon said Saturday. Cannon said Howland, wanted in New Hampshire on a charge of murder and theft of a car, approached on a Main street corner bout 7:30 p.m. February 17, and explained that he had come down to McAllen from San Antonio looking for a job. The man, six feet tall and brown-headed, told Cannon he expected to get a job with a neon sign company the next day. Howland said he wanted a place for he and his “wife” to sleep. The woman with him was not questioned by local police, but Chief Cannon said he assumed she was the Aida Butler, 15, mentioned in the dispatch from New Hampshire. Cannon sent the man to the Salvation Army, where Howland was told they could provide a place for the woman but not for him. The woman said she disliked to be away from her companion, but finally decided to sleep at a place provided by the charity organization, and Howland went to the jail to sleep. The night was cold and misty. The man was fingerprinted as a routine matter by Henry Mallau, the city’s fingerprint expert. The next day, Howland went to the sign company, asked about the job, and when told the man in charge was out, he left and he and his woman companion left town, Chief Cannon said. Howland’s prints were sent to the Texas department of public safety at Austin and the Federal Bureau of Investigation at Washington, D.C. The police chief received a telegram from Joe S. Fletcher, chief of the bureau of identification and records at Austin on February 20, notifying Cannon that’ Howland was wanted in New Hampshire for murder. By that time, Cannon said the McAllen department did not know of the man’s whereabouts. Cannon said the man did not act suspicious, apparently was seeking the job in good faith, and there was no reason to hold him for further investigation. An agent from the federal bureau of investigation was in McAllen Friday seeking information on Howland, Cannon said. The G-men entered the case apparently through the Mann act which prevents a man from taking a girl across a state line, and from the act which prohibits transportation of a stolen automobile across a state line. Records sent McAllen police department by the Texas department of public safety show that Howland was arrested June 26, 1937 at Charleston, W. Va., on suspicion of burglary and entering. He made a $1.000 bond, but disposition of the case was not noted. May 16, 1929, he was arrested at Monroe, Wash., charged with taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s knowledge and sentenced to from three to five years. He turned up at Austin, Texas, January 26, 1931, arrested by state police on a charge of a car theft. He was sentenced to five years from Bexar County on the charge. On July 10, 1935, Howland again was in trouble with the law. He was arrested at Middletown, Ohio, on a charge of auto theft in Columbus, Ohio, and sentenced to from one to 20 years. He was paroled August 1, 1938. On February 10. 1939. the Concord, N.H., police department sought him for the murder of a Mrs. [Miss] Horne, 62. The last notation on the record is: “February 17, 1939. McAllen police department, fingerprinted, investigation” (Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, TX), February 26, 1939).

Howland-Butler - BB390320HOWLAND AND GIRL ARRIVE HERE TODAY. John Henry Howland, 25-year-old writer of love songs, will arrive in Boston this afternoon, nearing the end of a 2200-mile cross-country trip to face trial for the murder of Miss Maude Horne, elderly Milton, N.H., spinster. With Howland on the night of the murder was his cousin, Aida Elizabeth Butler, 15, who left the little New Hampshire mill town with him on his flight. Taken into custody with him, she will be returned on the same train from Corpus Christi, under police guard. Sometime late this afternoon Howland and his cousin will be taken across the city from the South to the North Station and start on the last leg of their return trip to Dover, N.H. (Boston Globe, March 29, 1939).

Indictments formerly employed a legal boilerplate phrase: “not having the fear of God before his eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil and his own wicked heart …” Was Howland insane or wicked when he bludgeoned and suffocated Miss Horne?

HOWLAND TO HAVE MIND EXAMINATION. Pleads Innocent to N.H. Murder; Goes to Hospital. CONCORD, N.H., March 31. (AP). John Henry Howland, 25-year-old ex-sailor who pleaded innocent yesterday to two indictments charging him with the murder of Miss Maude Horne, 61, Milton, N.H., spinster, entered the state hospital today for mental observation. Former County Solicitor Thomas H. McGreal, appointed by Superior Court Judge A.J. Connor as counsel for the accused man, said he would ask that Howland be kept at the hospital for a month. Mental examination is required in capital cases in New Hampshire. Staring at the floor and speaking in a barely audible voice, Howland entered pleas of innocence to both indictments in Dover yesterday. One charge said that Miss Horne died of strangulation Feb. 3, the other said a blow on the head was the cause. The whereabouts of Miss Aida Butler, his 15-year-old cousin, remained undisclosed. The girl, arrested with Howland in Corpus Christi, Tex., after a nation-wide search, will be the “principal witness” against the former sailor, Prosecutor John Beamis said. Attorney General Thomas Cheney told the court Howland had “talked freely about most phases of the case and readily admitted that he had killed Maude Horne” (Brattleboro Reformer, March 31, 1939).

Thomas McGreal, a private practicing attorney, aged forty-three years (b. NH), headed a Somersworth, NH, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Annie McGreal, aged forty-one years (b. MA). He rented their house at 29 Linden Street, for $20 per month. (He died in Boston, MA, November 4, 1940, of post-operative complications).

HOWLAND GOES TO PRISON FOR LIFE. Changes Plea to Guilty to Murder of N.H. Woman. DOVER, N.H., May 1. (AP). John Henry Howland, 25-year-old self-styled jack of all trades, pleaded guilty in Strafford county court today to the blackjack slaying of Miss Maude Horne, 61, at Milton Feb. 3 and was sentenced to life imprisonment by Judge A.J. Conner. The trial lasted only 12 minutes (Brattleboro Reformer, May 1, 1939).

John Howland, an inmate, aged twenty-seven years (b. MA), resided in the NH State Prison in Concord, NH, at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census.


Amazon. (2019). Vintage Photos: 1939 Press Photo WW2 Era Murder Suspect Aida Butler Search Missing Crime Maude Horne. Retrieved from www.amazon.com/Vintage-Photos-Murder-Suspect-Missing/dp/B07K387TBQ

University of Miami Law School. (1960, October 1). The Working of the New Hampshire Doctrine of Criminal Insanity. Retrieved from repository.law.miami.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3414&context=umlr

Wikipedia. (2019, October 27). Caril Ann Fugate. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caril_Ann_Fugate

Wikipedia. (2019, November 2). National Firearms Act. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act

Wikipedia. (2019, November 23). Thompson Submachine Gun. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thompson_submachine_gun


Milton in the News – 1938

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | November 28, 2019

In this year, we encounter a former Milton teacher’s appointment as a college trustee, an earthquake, a Milton Mills farm for sale, a fatal auto accident, the death of a visiting native, completion of NH Route 75, Rev. Leland Maxfield’s wedding, the Great New England Hurricane of ’38, and a Milton Mills fire.

This was also the year in which National Socialist (Nazi) Germany annexed the Austrian Republic, on March 12, 1938, and the Czechoslovakian Sudetenland region, on October 1, 1938.

Katherine L. Gardner graduated from Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, in 1914, and taught for “a few years” thereafter at Milton, prior to taking a position as a stenographer at Amherst College in Amherst, MA. (She was there as early as 1920, and married her husband there in 1925).

Years later, we find Massachusetts Governor Hurley appointing her as a trustee at the State College in Amherst, MA, i.e., the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. There were apparently some ruffled political feathers associated with her appointment, not associated with her, but with the protocol and the nature of the hierarchy.

HURLEY DENIES SLIGHTING BAKER. Declares Mrs. Canavan Qualified for Trustee. Gov. Hurley emphatically denied yesterday that he intended any slight to Pres. Hugh B. Baker of the State College when he appointed as a college trustee Mrs. Katherine G. Canavan, whose husband is superintendent of the college’s dairying department and a subordinate of Pres. Baker. “Mrs. Canavan is exceptionally well qualified for the position,” commented the Governor, “and the fact that her husband happens to be an employee of the college should not be held against her.” There have been repeated but unconfirmed rumors that the Governor has been at odds with Pres. Baker. The basis for these rumors was the fact that Howard Bidwell, recently discharged superintendent of the power plant, has been given the opportunity by the Governor to call and question college officials at a public hearing. When confirmed Mrs. Canavan will become one of the 14 trustees of the college and achieve distinction at an institution where she worked about 15 years ago as a stenographer. It was while she was working at the college that she met and married her husband. Upon her marriage she gave up her position at the college and went to live at a home in the town. Her husband, Frank Canavan, continued his employment at the college and rose to be head of his department. The couple have five youngsters, some of whom plan to attend classes at the college. In addition to his work at the college Mr. Canavan has been chairman of the Democratic Town Committee and, in the last election, was a staunch supporter of Gov. Hurley. Mrs. Canavan is well known and well liked at Amherst. She is the daughter of the late Prof. George E. Gardner of Boston University and is a sister of Prof. George K. Gardner of Harvard Law School. She is a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and for a few years was a teacher at Milton, N.H., and later at Rawlins, Wyo. (Boston Globe, April 1, 1938).

Milton felt briefly the tremors of an earthquake on April Fools’ Day, April 1, 1938. (Eighty years later, Farmington, NH, experienced a 2.1 magnitude earthquake on December 3, 2018, which was felt also in Milton).

HOUSES ARE SHAKEN IN N.H. AND MAINE. Slight Tremor Reported Lasting 11 Seconds. Special Dispatch to the Globe. ROCHESTER, N.H., April 1. Rattling dishes and shaking pictures from the wall, an earthquake tremor alarmed residents of several towns within a 10-mile radius of Rochester early tonight. Floors swayed and glasses tinkled on mantelpieces in East Rochester and Milton, N.H., and South and West Lebanon, across the river in Maine, as telephone calls flooded police and telephone stations here between 9:15 and 9:30. Mrs. Helen Piper, telephone operator at Milton, said the telephone exchange building shook. She heard a rumbling noise, she declared, and a moment later telephone subscribers for miles around flooded the exchange with inquiries asking where the explosion was. Rev. Leland Maxfield, pastor or the Community Church at Milton, said it felt as though “some large object had rolled downhill and struck the house.” Another Milton resident, Ira W. Jones, said he believed a meteor had exploded. Pictures shook on the mantel of her room, one West Lebanon, Me., woman reported, while another said floors swayed and cellars seemed to rumble (Boston Globe, April 2, 1938).

Charles E. Piper, a public utility agent, aged fifty years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. HIs household included his wife, Helen [(Pray)] Piper, a telephone co. agent, aged fifty-two years (b. NH). Charles E. Piper owned their house on Main Street, Milton Community, which was valued at $1,200.

Leland Maxfield, a minister, aged thirty years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Elizabeth [(Bronson)] Maxfield, aged twenty-seven years (b. NY), and his boarders, Mary E. Willard, aged twenty-nine years (b. MA), and Mary E. Sherborne, aged twenty-three years (b. ME). Leland Maxfield rented their house on Church Street, for $10 per month.

Ira W. Jones, no occupation listed (presumably retired), aged eighty-five years (b. NH), headed a Lebanon, ME, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lucie C. [(Wentworth)] Jones, aged seventy-two years (b. NH), and his daughter, Mary C. Jones, aged forty-five years (b. NH). Ira W. Jones owned their house, which was valued at $4,500.

Here was offered for sale a nine-room house (ten rooms when counting the bathroom), on a 140-acre property on the right-hand side of the Milton Mills road that was off the main highway, i.e., off the White Mountain Highway.

THE REAL ESTATE MARKET. MILTON, N.H. FOR SALE – Country estate of 140 acres, 9-room house, bath and barn on Milton Mills road. Belmont 3659 or see owner on property June 18 and 19; first house on right side of Milton Mills road, off main highway. 3t je16 (Boston Globe, June 16, 1938).

Real Estate. HOUSE FOR SALE. 10-ROOM colonial house in beautiful setting, ideal for Summer or year-round: modern in every respect, including 4 fireplaces, barn and workshop; good bathing and fishing: easy driving distance to White Mountains. Call Bel. 3569, or will be on property Saturday and Sunday. Milton Mills road, Milton, N.H. Milton Mills 31, ring 2 (Boston Globe, June 25, 1938).

Real Estate. MILTON, N.H. 10-ROOM colonial house in beautiful setting, ideal for Summer or year-round: modem in every respect, including 4 fireplaces, barn and workshop; good bathing and fishing; easy driving distance to White Mountains. Call Bel. 3559, or will be on property Saturday, Sunday. Milton Mills road. Milton, N.H.; Milton Mills 31, ring 2. dSu3t jy1 (Boston Globe, July 1, 1938).

Milton Mills road, off the main highway, sounds like what is now known as Applebee Road.

A Melrose rusticator died when his automobile went off the White Mountain Highway in Milton, three miles short of Milton Three Ponds village.

Charles G. Bodley, a manufacturer’s agent for a wholesale plumbing supplier, aged forty-four years (b. MA), headed a Melrose, MA, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eight years), Katherine H. Bodley, aged thirty years (b. NV), and his children, Charles H. Bodley, aged seven years (b. MA), Joyce Bodley, aged three years (b. MA), and Katherine A. Bodley, aged one year (b. MA). Charles G. Bodley owned their house at 74 Harold Street, which was valued at $8,000. They had a radio set.

CRASH KILLS MELROSE MAN. Car Goes Over Wall, Hits Tree in Milton, N.H. MILTON, N.H., July 8. Charles G. Bodley, 52, of 74 Harold st., Melrose, Mass., was instantly killed shortly after midnight this morning when his automobile left a road three miles outside of town and hurtled over a stone wall, striking two trees. The wreck of his car was discovered by George E. Jordan of this town. State Motor Vehicles Inspector Harold M. Foss, state trooper Frank D. Manning and patrolman Wilfred Grenier went to the scene and reported that Bodley’s car had traveled more than 100 feet along a deep ditch at the roadside before hitting the wall. Medical Referee Dr. Forrest L. Keay of Rochester said that the man died instantly. He was alone in his car. According to papers found in Bodley’s pockets he was a member of the Melrose Legion Post and the Grand Lodge of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood. The Bodley family is spending vacation in a camp at Horn Pond, Milton Mills, N.H. Mr. Bodley was formerly employed as a manufacturer’s agent (Boston Globe, July 8, 1938).

George E. Jordan maintained a Milton filling station, presumably one in South Milton near to the crash.

Milton death records state that Charles G. Bodley died of a “fracture of skull when his automobile ran off the road into a stone wall and trees. No other auto involved and he rode alone.” The death, and therefore the accident, occurred at about 10:45 PM on the night of July 7. Louise P. Avery (daughter of the Milton Town Clerk who had died in 1936) recorded the death. Frank F. Spencer (whose Milton Mills house, barn and funeral parlor would burn down in October) served as funeral director.

A visiting Milton native, Alta Durgin (Chipman) Cleaves, died while vacationing in Milton. She was born in Milton, September 18, 1895, daughter of Edwin and Bertha (Drew) Chipman, and married in Milton, September 3, 1916, Frank H. Cleaves.

MRS. ALTA CLEAVES. MILTON, N.H., July 7. Stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage while vacationing here, Mrs. Alta Cleaves, proprietor of a Boston employment bureau, died here tonight. Mrs. Cleaves, who resides at 115 Gallivan boulevard, Dorchester, was taken ill early this evening at the home of her mother. Mrs. Bertha Chipman, in this town. Besides her mother, Mrs. Cleaves leaves two sisters, Mrs. Clara Kimball of Milton, N.H., and Mrs. Lois Fogg of Sanbornville, N.H. Services will be held at her mother’s residence, Sunday afternoon (Boston Globe, July 8, 1938).

It would seem to have been Ralph J. Chesley of Farmington, NH, who “built the roads” between Farmington, NH, and Milton.

He supervised construction of the state highway, i.e., NH Route 75, a 5.5 mile stretch of road between Farmington, NH (at NH Route 11), and Milton (at NH Route 125), over a period of three seasons. His crew is projected here to complete the final quarter mile by the end of July 1938. Their work would have consisted largely of reworking existing roads.

Ralph J. Chesley appeared in the Dover directory of 1936, as a farmer, housed on the Ten Rod Road (RD 2) in Farmington, NH.

NH Route 75 SignageFARMINGTON TO COMPLETE STATE ROAD TO CONNECT WITH MILTON. Work was commenced on Tuesday this week toward the completion of the final 1286 feet of unfinished highway construction required to connect the towns of Farmington and Milton with a permanent stretch of state highway which has been in process of construction the past two seasons. The work was resumed in charge of former Road Agent Ralph J. Chesley, under whose supervision the former work was done. With good weather favoring the project, it is expected the connecting link will be finished by the end of July (Farmington News, July 8, 1938).

Ralph J. Chesley, a portable sawmill loader, aged forty-five years (b. NH), headed a Farmington, NH, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Ethel Chesley, aged forty-two years (b. NH), and his children, Lois Chesley, aged seventeen years (b. NH), and Pauline Chesley, aged thirteen years (b. NH). Ralph J. Chesley owned their farm on the Ten Rod Road, which was valued at $1,600.

Rev. Leland Maxfield of the Milton Community Church married Miss Elizabeth Bronson of Boston, July 21, 1938.

BOSTON NURSE WEDS MILTON, N.H., PASTOR. Miss Bronson Is Bride of Rev. Leland Maxfield. Special to the Globe. MILTON, N.H, July 21. Rev. Leland Maxfield, pastor of the Community Church, and Miss Elizabeth Z. Bronson of Boston were married this evening at 6 o’clock at the church by Rev. J. Westfield Bronson of Brookline, brother of the bride. Miss Ruth Butler of Whitman, Mass., was maid of honor and the best man was Rev. James Marshall of Medford, Mass. The ushers were Rev. Ernest D. Sillers, pastor of the Baptist Church, East Rochester; Rev. Leslie Beinstadt of Beverly, Mass., field secretary of the Christian Endeavor Societies of Massachusetts, and Rev. James Currie, pastor of the Baptist Church at Milton Mills, N.H. Mr. Maxfield is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Maxfield of Rochester. He graduated from Gordon College of Theology and Missions in Boston in 1935. Mrs. Maxfield is a graduate of the Memorial Hospital Training School for Nurses, Albany, N.Y., and Gordon College, Boston, and has been employed as a supervisor in the Deaconess Hospital, Boston (Boston Globe, July 22, 1938).

The Hurricane of 1938 made landfall first at Long Island, NY, and then Connecticut on September 21, proceeded through western Massachusetts and along the New Hampshire-Vermont border, during the night of September 21-22, then through Vermont, on September 22, finally dissipating in Ontario, Canada, September 23.

It was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane to strike New England probably ever, and certainly the worst since the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635. Milton was fortunate in not having been directly in its path and would have experienced mostly severe wind damage, with attendant loss of trees, power and telephone lines.

Recovery Problems Face New England As Waters Recede. Death List Has Climbed To More Than 400; Plans For Rehabilitation Are Now Under Way. Boston, Sept. 24. Receding flood waters along the wide Connecticut and Merrimack rivers today left battered Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut with a staggering recovery problem. With a hurricane death toll in Rhode Island around 240; the-known dead for all six states had climbed well above 400. As rescue-workers cut their way through to isolated communities, the chance grew the dead eventually might number 500. More than a hundred perished as a tidal wave engulfed the Westerly, R.I., area. The Connecticut river subsiding at Hartford, Conn., after reaching its second highest level in 300 years, still menaced a densely populated tenement district protected by sand bags. Three thousand persons were flood refugees. Sand bag dykes also protected the Massachusetts industrial cities of Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill as the crest of the Merrimack river headed seaward. In Boston, Mass., Gov. Charles F. Hurley announced the situation in the Bay State was “under control.” He called his executive council into emergency session again. Massachusetts reconstruction centered along flooded Cape Cod and in western Mass. In the summer resort towns of Falmouth, Mass., alone, on the southern shore of the Cape, town officials estimated damage at $1,000,000. New Hampshire’s tall pines and slim branches were snapped and leveled by the thousands, airplane observers reported. They said the damage would take months to estimate. Peterboro, N.H., ravaged by fire, flood and hurricane, set its loss at more than $1,000,000 in a radio message from the still isolated community. Meanwhile communication was being restored slowly in the Granite State. The Boston and Main railroad announced resumption of service to many New Hampshire and Vermont stations. An estimated 200,00 telephones were out of service. The New England Telephone and Telegraph Co. said 250,000 miles of wire would have to be replaced. White River Junction, Vt., long out of contact with the rest of New England said that 50 families were flooded from their homes. Four batteries of artillery were ordered out later today by Mass. authorities – ordered to shoot to kill to prevent looting in guarding the territory in the vicinity of Wareham on Cape Cod. Two units were mobilized in Boston and when added to those already on duty will raise the total to 500 patrolling Cape Cod streets. Gov. Francis P. Murphy of New Hampshire called a meeting of the executive council to discuss measures of re-habilitation. Authorities believed damage thoughout the state might reach $20,000,000. President Roosevelt has been asked for federal assistance. One of the hardest hit communities was the little town of East Weare. A toy factory, creamery and other buildings were wiped out with a loss of $250,000, The Summit House observatory and radio-tower on Mt. Washington escaped serious damage; The maximum velocity of wind during the height of the storm was reported as 200 miles an hour (Portsmouth Herald, September 24, 1938).

$75,000 DAMAGE TO COG RAILWAY, MT. WASHINGTON. Mt. Washington, Sept. 24. Damage to the Mt. Washington Cog railway was estimated at $75,000 by Col. Henry Teague as a result of Wednesday night’s gale, the results of which became known yesterday. With the wind blowing at an average velocity of 165 miles per hour, but reaching more than 200 miles per hour in gusts, the railway trestle known as Jacob’ s Ladder was torn from its moorings and carried more than 150 feet. Windows on the east side of the Summit house were torn out with their frames, and the runway between the old Tip-Top house and the Summit house was destroyed, but the short-wave radio station withstood the blasts, according to people coming down the mountain yesterday. A 135-foot long ice house near the base station was leveled. Col. Teague, proprietor of the cog railway, announced service would be given Sunday from the base station to the Half-Way house. It will be impossible to repair the remainder of the line this year, he said, but reconstruction will be carried out for the 1939 season (Portsmouth Herald, September 24, 1938).

TO OUR CUSTOMERS. In most communities served by us, repairs to electrical lines have reached the point where we can concentrate our attention on individual homes and factories that are without electrical service. If you are one of these, please so inform our nearest district office. At present it is impossible for us to run new service entrances. If the service pipe attached to the outside of your home or factory is damaged in any way, we cannot restore your service, until the service pipe has been repaired by your electrical contractor. Our line crews are working to the limit of endurance. We are hiring all the experienced linemen we can get. , but it is almost impossible to find properly equipped line crews. It will be a great help to the progress of electrical repairs if trees, branches and debris are removed so that line crews can concentrate on line work when they reach the neighborhood. WARNING! Please continue to regard ALL FALLEN WIRES As ALIVE And DANGEROUS At All Times. DO NOT TOUCH THEM Under Any Circumstances. New Hampshire Division of Twin State Gas & Electric (Farmington News, September 30, 1938).

MAPLE SUGAR CROP HARD HIT. A shortage in New Hampshire’s maple sugar crop for years to come has been forecast as farmers have reported on losses in the recent hurricane. The farm bureau federation and agricultural department officials reported that about 75 percent of sugar maple trees fell during the storm. It takes from 35 to 40 years to produce a maple sugar tree of bearing age, officials said. The well-known Paulson orchard in this [Farmington] town suffered a loss of about fifty of its best sugar maples (Farmington News, October 14, 1938).

Frank F. Spencer’s Milton Mills two-family house, barn, and funeral parlor burned in a fire of undetermined origin on October 9. (The headline should have had 6 N.H. persons escaping the fire, rather than 4).

Frank F. Spencer, and his [first] wife, Ramona W. [(Weston)] Spencer, appeared in the Milton directory of 1936-37, with he as an undertaker, and civil engineer, housed at Milton Mills. In point of fact, Frank F, and Ramona Spencer parted company at about that time. He married (2nd) in Rochester, NH, February 10, 1938, Lela A. (Bessey) Coleman. It would have been Lela Spencer that escaped from the fire with he and the two children.

4 N.H. PERSONS FLEE FIRE IN SLEEPING CLOTHES. MILTON MILLS, N.H., Oct 9 (AP). Frank Spencer, his wife and two children barely escaped in their sleeping clothes early today as fire of undetermined origin destroyed their home, barn and fully-equipped funeral parlor. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Flye, occupants of the second half of the duplex house, also escaped (Rutland Daily Herald (Rutland, VT), October 10, 1938).

Arthur M. Flye, aged seventy years (b. ME), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills”) household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife Delia M. [(Douglass)] Flye, aged seventy-one years (b. ME). Arthur M. Flye rented their house on Main Street, for $10 per month.

Frank F. Spencer, a funeral director undertaker, aged forty-seven years (b. ME). headed a Rochester, NH, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lela Spencer, aged thirty-four years (b. NH), and his children, Fred Spencer, aged eighteen years (b. NH), Charles Spencer, aged ten years (b. NH), Ann Spencer, aged nine years (b. NH), and David Spencer, aged eight years (b. NH). Frank F. Spencer owned their house at 182 So. Main Street, which was valued at $10,000.

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1937; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1939


Find a Grave. (2013, November 25). Charles G. Bodley. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/120817790

Find a Grave (2011, February 26). Ira W. Jones. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/66179205

Find a Grave. (2015, May 20). Ralph John Chesley. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/146763854

Wikipedia. (2019, November 20). 1938 New England Hurricane. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1938_New_England_hurricane#New_Hampshire

Wikipedia. (2015, May 13). New Hampshire Route 75. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hampshire_Route_75


Rejoicing Together – 1621

By S.D. Plissken | November 28, 2019

Pilgrim Edward Winslow – writing under an alias – was the presumed author of the only contemporary account of Plymouth colony’s first harvest festival, or Thanksgiving, which took place in early October 1621. (We are now but two years short of the four-hundredth anniversary of that first Thanksgiving).

Winslow’s brief account appeared as a part of the 1622 publication Mourt’s Relation. Edward Winslow and George Morton are thought to have been its joint authors, with George Morton arranging for its publication. (Morton did not immigrate from Holland to Plymouth colony until 1623, where he died in 1624).

Mourt’s Relation was intended as a promotional or advertising tract to impress the colony’s English investors, and to persuade other would-be settlers to join them, and painted perhaps a picture that was rosier than reality. They were, in fact, in a rather desparate condition.

Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling; that so we might, after a more special manner, rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labours. They four, in one day, killed as much fowl as, with a little help besides, served the Company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our Arms; many of the Indians coming amongst us. And amongst the rest, their greatest King, Massasoyt, with some ninety men; whom, for three days, we entertained and feasted. And they went out, and killed five deer: which they brought to the Plantation; and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain, and others.

The Pilgrim feast’s menu included fowl, which might have included turkey, the garden fruits of their labors, likely including “Indian” corn (as opposed to ordinary corn (the general English term for grain), and their Indian guests supplied venison.

One may note that the colonists exercised (i.e., drilled with) their European arms, which would have been pikes, swords, muskets, and cannon, as a part of the recreations. They likely sought to impress their Indian guests with their defensive capabilities. The Pilgrim group had recruited “Captain” Myles Standish as their military advisor in Holland. He had served there in some capacity during the Eighty Years’ War (the Dutch Republic’s war of independence from the Kingdom of Spain). The Plymouth colonists formally elected him as their militia commander in February 1621.

Half of the original 102 Pilgrims had died during their first winter of 1620-21. (They were buried secretly to conceal the extent of their losses from the Indians). The Plymouth colonists struggled dreadfully to make ends meet from the time of their 1620 arrival, due partly to the demands and neglect of their investors, and partly to a religiously-inspired collectivism that they imposed upon themselves.

The Plymouth colony never prospered really until the colonists shook off their collectivist notions, which they began to do several years later in 1623. Governor William Bradford explained the transition to greater economic freedom in several passages of his journal (1630-51), entitled Of Plimouth Plantation:

The experience that was had in this commone course and condition, tried sundrie years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanitie of that conceite [idea] of Plato’s and other ancients, applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of propertie, and bringing in communitie into a commone wealth, would make them happy and florishing; as if they were wiser then God. For this comunitie (so farr as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much imployment that would have been to their benefite and comforte. For the yong-men that were most able and fitte for labour and servise did repine that they should spend their time and streingth to worke for other men’s wives and children, with out any recompence. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in devission of victails and cloaths, then he that was weake and not able to doe a quarter the other could; this was thought injuestice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalised in labours, and victails, cloaths, etc., with the meaner and yonger sorte, thought it some indignite and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to doe servise for other men, as dresing their meate, washing their cloaths, etc., they deemd it a kind of slaverie, neither could many husbands well brooke it. Upon the poynte all being to have alike, and all to doe alike, they thought them selves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so, if it did not cut of [off] those relations that God hath set amongest men, yet it did at least much diminish and take of [off] the mutuall respects that should be preserved amongst them. And would have bene worse if they had been men of another condition. Let pons [persons] objecte this is men’s corruption, and nothing to the course it selfe. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in his wisdome saw another course fiter [fitter] for them.

Whille no supply [English resupply] was heard of, neither knew they when they might expecte any. So they begane to thinke how they might raise as much corne [corn] as they could, and obtaine a beter crope then they had done, that they might not still thus languish in miserie. At length, after much debate of things, the Govr (with the advise of the cheefest amongest them) gave way that they should set corve [corvée, i.e., conscript] every man for his owne perticuler, and in that regard trust to them selves; in all other things to goe on in the generall way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcell of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end, only for present use (but made no devission for inheritance), and ranged all boys and youth under some familie. This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corne was planted then other waise would have bene by any means the Govr or any other could use, and saved him a great deall of trouble, and gave farr better contente. The women now wente willingly into the feild, and tooke their litle-ons [little-ones] with them to set corne, which before would aledg [allege] weaknes, and inabilitie; whom to have compelled would have bene thought great tiranie [tyranny] and oppression.

To be corvéed, or conscripted, to provide for one’s “owne perticulars” – apart from any wishes and demands of the collective – set Plymouth households free to pursue their own interests. The Plymouth colony began to recover and prosper after 1623 to the extent that it was not only able to sustain itself, but to buy back its charter from its English investors and to set its own destiny.

All of which begs the question: How “thankful” should we be towards those in the present day that promote collectivism, actively and unashamedly, and who seek to impose it on us to the extent that they can?

To the extent that misguided collectivists are stymied, and that we are free to seek and enjoy our “owne perticulars,” we should rejoice and be thankful indeed.

Ms. Muriel Bristol contributed to this article.

For a Milton Thanksgiving of 1910, or at least one that passed through Milton, see Milton and the Progressive Pie – 1910


Wikipedia. (2019, November 15). Corvée. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvée

Wikipedia. (2019, October 29). Edward Winslow. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Winslow

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Milton and Frolic Haven – 1925-37

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | November 25, 2019

Dance pavilions became a popular attraction from the mid-1920’s. The Bay View pavilion at Alton Bay in Alton, NH, opened in 1924, the Pineland Park (later Frolic Haven) pavilion in Milton, opened in or around 1925, Rand’s pavilion at Meaderboro Corner in Rochester, NH, opened in 1929, the York Beach Casino, the Riverside pavilion in Portland, ME, and there were likely others too.

These dance pavilions were seasonal affairs, open usually between May and October. (Stephen Lynch of the Lynch Brothers’ Bay View pavilion did run a series of winter dances in the Farmington Town Hall over the winter of 1931-32).

Bay View Pavilion
The original Bay View Pavilion, at Alton Bay, NH. prior to the fire of March 1930

Alton’s Bay View Pavilion was a two-story building whose footprint measured 100 feet by 75 feet. It had a dance hall, a soda grill, and scores of booths. It also had a moving picture playhouse, with three projectors. This edifice burned to the ground on Sunday, March 2, 1930, which likely resulted in an increase of customers for Frolic Haven, at least until Bay View’s one-story replacement was erected.

Milton’s Pineland Park Pavilion would seem to have begun with the 1925 season, as the first printed notices of 1926 mention the prior season as having been a quiet one and that a new owner and manager had taken over the pavilion. It was originally called the Pineland Park pavilion, but took on the name Frolic Haven, or Frolic Haven at Pineland Park, in a naming contest of June 1927.

Dances mentioned included the Black Bottom, the Charleston, the Monkey Dance, foxtrots, and waltzes. One supposes also the Lindy Hop, especially after a Lindbergh Night, but it was not specifically mentioned.

Named orchestras were Carl Broggi and His Palm Beach Orchestra (of Sanford, ME), Joe Carlo’s Royal Serenaders, Alfred L. “Al” Colby’s Orchestra (of Rochester, NH), Orin M. Edney’s Star Orchestra (of Rochester, NH), Everett E. “Vick” Firth and His Orchestra (of Sanford, ME), the Foss Singing Orchestra (of Dover, NH), Billy French and His Orchestra (of Rochester, NH), Al Hodgdon’s Orchestra, Kent Jackson’s Orchestra, Kent Jackson and His Hot Travelers, Loretta LaBonte and the Ten Nevadans Orchestra, McEnnelly’s Orchestra, Ed McQuillan’s Orchestra, the Melody Boys (of Sanford, ME), the Metronome Orchestra, the Midnight Revelers (of Farmington, NH), Ted Pierce, Roane’s Pennsylvanians, Paul Ross’ Orchestra, Ross and His Gang, Val Reno’s Orchestra, and Bobby Williams and His Broadway Troubadors.

Guy H. Chamberlin – 1926

PINELAND PARK PAVILION MILTON. The opening of Pineland Park at Milton Three Ponds, under the new management of Guy H. Chamberlin, was a big success, after its quiet season last year. The Charleston contest prize for the gentlemen was carried away by Mr. Hurd of East Rochester, son of Garfield Hurd, the reporter. Mr. Hurd has some fine stunts in his dance and is a very good imitator of the southern Charleston. The ladies contest was a big whiz and the money was in Miss Katherine Trafton’s hand at the end of the dance. Miss Bertha Beaudoin of Sanford, Me., was second and challenged Miss Trafton to a return contest next Saturday, June 26, at Pineland Pavilion (Farmington New, June 25, 1926).

PINELAND PARK PAVILION. Guy H. Chamberlin, who recently purchased Pineland Park Pavilion, is creating a sensation with his dances at this well known resort on the shore of the ponds at Milton His weekly program of dances has been changed to Wednesday and Friday nights and on every date some novelty feature will be produced. This Friday evening, July 2, a real live baby with light hair and blue eyes will be given to the holder of the lucky ticket. Orrin Edney’s Star orchestra will furnish music (Farmington News, July 2, 1926).

[Orchestra leader] Orin M. Edney, a woolen mill spinner, aged thirty-six years (b. CO), headed a Rochester, NH, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eleven years), Helen M. [(Mills)] Edney, aged thirty-two years (b. ME). Orin M. Edney owned their house at 19 Green Street, which was valued at $2,000. They had a radio set.

PINELAND PARK PAVILLION SOLD. Pineland Park Pavilion, the well-known dance resort on the shore of Town House pond in Milton, has been sold to the Lynch Brothers, owners and manager of Bay View Pavilion at Alton Bay. Transfer of the property to this reliable source is a guarantee of success for another season for whatever disposition the Lynch Brothers make of their acquisition, the public may rely on the grade of entertainment it will furnish, as anything undertaken by the well-known management of Bay View Pavilion is guaranteed as thoroughly reliable and of the highest order. Between now and next Spring quite extensive improvements are likely to be made at Pineland. However, it is assured that a general cleaning up will take place on the premises and throughout the lovely grove so that absolute sanitation will be observed (Farmington News, November 12, 1926).

Stephen P. Lynch, a grocery store proprietor, aged forty-one years (b. NH), headed an Alton, NH, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of two years), Helen F. Lynch, aged thirty-five years (b. MA), his brothers, Martin A. Lynch, a grocery store proprietor, aged thirty-eight years (b. NH), and Daniel J. Lynch, a grocery store clerk, aged forty-eight years (b. NH), and his boarder, Mary J. Willette, a tea shop proprietor, aged thirty-four years (b. Austria). Stephen P. Lynch owned their house, which was valued at $3,500. They had a radio set. Mary J. Willette was an alien, who had immigrated in 1911.

Clark H. Morrell – 1927-28

On Saturday, June 4, 1927, the existing dance pavilion at Pineland Park in Milton opened under new management, that of C.H. Morrell of Fall River, MA.

PINELAND PARK. C.H. Morrell, owner and manager of Pineland Park and its beautiful grove property at Milton, announces a gala dance and costume party at the pavilion on Saturday evening, June 4. Every kind of character is expected to be represented and valuable prizes will be awarded for the best and funniest costumes. Saturday evening, June 11, the management is featuring “Gift Night,” which will be a novel sensation on the New England dance circuit. The pavilion opened last Saturday night with a big swing of popularity and a large patronage. Carnival novelties and noise-makers added much to the gaiety of the occasion and the balloon elimination dance for which season tickets were awarded to the winning couple, was a big hit. The new name contest also elicited much interest and over 50 names were submitted. The announcement of the new name for Pineland will be made next Saturday. Improvements to the property and novel ideas that will appear in the programs will offer patrons something entirely new every week (Farmington News, June 3, 1927).

Charles Tanner of Milton won $10 in a naming contest for his entry of “Frolic Haven.”

Frolic Haven - FN270610.pngNEW FROLIC HAVEN PINELAND PARK. By the announcement of the winner of the new name contest and the award of a new $10 gold piece to Charles Tanner of Milton, last Saturday night, Pineland Park succeeded to the new title of “Frolic Haven,” under which banner every indication points to success under the administration of its new owner, C.H. Morrell of Fall River, Mass. Despite bad weather, last Saturday night furnished a large crowd. Music was excellent and everyone indulged in a good time. Costumes did much to enliven the occasion and prizes were awarded for the prettiest and most ridiculous. Next Saturday evening patrons may be assured of some surprise features. Go to Frolic Haven for the best of associations and a good time (Farmington News, [Friday,] June 10, 1927).

FROLIC HAVEN. Saturday evening, June 25, will be “Lindbergh Night” at Frolic Haven and a big novelty program of dancing will be in order. Come and match your dancing with the cleverness and speed of the national hero and the “Spirit of St. Louis.” Those who patronize Frolic Haven may be assured of some special novelty feature every Saturday evening and from time to time complete surprises will be sprung that are guaranteed to furnish some of the cleanest and most wholesome amusement to be found. Lucky number dances last Saturday night went to Norman Trafton of Union and Miss Gladys Moore of Farmington (Farmington News, June 17, 1927).

FROLIC HAVEN. Frolic Haven at Pineland Park in Milton has everything ready for Lindbergh night. The Spirit of St. Louis and Lindbergh will be in the air and this night in their honor is calling you to join in merrymaking. Frolic Haven will start the summer schedule Wednesday evening, June 29, after which date the public will be entertained with special frolic nights every Wednesday and Friday. Next Wednesday, Al Hodgdon’s orchestra will furnish music for dancing and there is no end to the good time planned. The Fourth of July will be ushered in with a celebration that will start at 12 p.m. midnight. There will be peppy music and a peppy time for a peppy crowd. Let nothing keep you away from Frolic Haven for the big frolic (Farmington News, June 24, 1927).

FROLIC HAVEN, PINELAND PARK. Frolic Haven will provide its patrons with a big thrill on Friday evening, July 1, with another of its regular dance programs and peppy music by Al Hodgdon’s orchestra. A special holiday frolic will start at 12.15 a.m., July 4th, and continue until daybreak. All the patriots will join this dance. Dancing every Wednesday and Friday evening during the summer. Ladies week will be observed with the events of Wednesday, July 6, and Friday, July 8. On these dates all lady patrons will be admitted free. Plenty of partners are guaranteed (Farmington News, July 1, 1927).

FROLIC HAVEN. Frolic Haven features for Saturday evening, August 13, are old-fashioned and rotary dancing with good music by Foss Singing orchestra of Dover. This program will provide a fun fest for old and young and no lover of music and dancing should miss it (Farmington News, August 12, 1927).

FROLIC HAVEN. At the popular dance at Frolic Haven Friday evening, September 2, one of the features will be a black-bottom exhibition by Alice Demers. Saturday, February [September] 3, will provide a dance that will attract young and old. Modern and old-time dances will be accompanied by a confetti battle and there will be a generally gala time. Labor day will be ushered in by a midnight dance that will open with a confetti jubilee, with all the fixings, at 12.05 a.m. and continue until 4 a.m. Not often do we have a week-end holiday and this occasion will be a big time for Milton Three Ponds and vicinity (Farmington News, September 2, 1927).

FROLIC HAVEN. This popular dance and camp resort at Milton Three Ponds, which enjoyed such a successful season under the management of C.H. Morrell last year, will open this Friday evening, June 29, with a big welcome dance, to be followed Saturday, June 30, with another dance date, both of which should recall all the old patrons and bring some new ones. Many improvements have been made at the pavilion and the Metronome orchestra has been secured to furnish music for the season. July 4 will be a big date at Frolic Haven. Double header dance from 8 p.m. till daylight July 3 and 4. The summer schedule dates are every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening. Do not miss the fun at Frolic Haven (Farmington News, June 29, 1928).

FROLIC HAVEN, MILTON 3 PONDS. SERIES BEAUTY CONTEST. STARTING FRIDAY JULY 13TH. Seven Nights, Seven Queens, Seven Towns. Concluding with Carnival Celebration. See the First One, New and Old Dances, Every Saturday Night. Two Ladies Admitted on One Ladies’ Ticket Wednesday Nights. General Admission 50¢. C.H. Morrell, Proprietor (Farmington News, July 13, 1928).

FROLIC HAVEN. The grand beauty contest being conducted under the auspices of this popular resort was ushered in last Friday evening with “Rochester Night,” and a large crowd of dance fans witnessed the rivalry of several candidates for the election of :Miss Rochester.” The honor was won by Miss Mildred Emerson, 152 Charles street of that city, who not only carried off the title, but the valuable prizes contributed by 17 Rochester merchants. The opening of the contest was a big hit and dancing was of the peppiest order imaginable. This Friday evening, July 20, will be “Sanford Night,” and already merchants of Sanford and Springvale are enrolling for the contribution of prizes, and patrons of Frolic Haven are boosting their favorites. The campaigns for the selection of beauty queens have spread to the towns of Milton, Sanbornville, Dover, Somersworth and Farmington, all of which will be successfully represented in this big contest Friday evening, August 31, the contest will culminate with the selection of “Miss Frolic Haven,” who will be chosen from among the ensemble of seven beauty queens (Farmington News, July 20, 1928).

FROLIC HAVEN. Advertising is out announcing Farmington night at Frolic Haven, Milton Three Ponds, Friday, July 27. On this date Miss Farmington will be chosen to compete with the seven other beauty queens in the grand carnival contest for the title of Miss Frolic Haven on August 31. Merchants of this town have come to the fore and offered several valuable prizes that will be awarded in addition to the title of Miss Farmington, and it is up to Farmington people to turn out on this date and boost their favorites. These contest are proving the hit of the pavilion season and Frolic Haven is miles ahead of all others in this particular. Friday night should be the big local date of the season and dance fans should register in full numbers. Good music and other features will be down on a program calculated to give all patrons a good time (Farmington News, July 27, 1928).

FROLIC HAVEN. On Farmington night at Frolic Haven, Milton Three Ponds, last Friday night, Miss Diane Fisher was awarded the honor of beauty queen and drew the title of “Miss Farmington,” together with the valuable prizes offered by Farmington merchants. Despite the bad weather, this dance resort that has come tremendously to the fore with its series of unique beauty contests, was packed and several local candidates were on the floor. The trick balloon feature was one of the big hits of the evening. Already three queens have been selected in the series of seven Friday night contests. This Friday night will be Sanbornville night. On Friday night, August 31, the grand finale of the contest will be staged with an elaborate carnival ball and from among the seven beauty queens, “Miss Frolic Haven” will be chosen and awarded a beautifully engraved loving cup (Farmington News, August 3, 1928).

This same page had also an advertisement for an August 15 afternoon appearance at the Dover Opera House by Lt. Commander John Phillip Sousa and His Band. Tickets were $1.50, $1.00, and, for the second balcony, 75¢.

FROLIC HAVEN. Last Friday night featured another big success in the Frolic Haven beauty contest. The date was Sanbornvllle night and the title of “Miss Sanbornville” went to Miss Olida Dyer of that town, who is the popular waitress at the Central House in Farmington. Next Friday will be Milton night. Beauty queens already chosen and their followers will be present and may be identified by silk sashes. The campaign is on for the selection of “Miss Frolic Haven” and each town is anxious that its candidate should be elected, to this honor (Farmington News, August 10, 1928).

FROLIC HAVEN. This Friday evening, August 17, at Frolic Haven will be Milton night and in the selection of a beauty queen to represent this locality, Milton Mills and West Lebanon will be included. Interest in the contest is growing as the final event of the season. “Frolic Haven night” on August 31, approaches. At that time “Miss Frolic Haven” will be chosen from among the seven beauty queens and will be presented with a beautiful loving cup. In addition to the attraction of the beauty contest this Friday, a large number of balloons will be liberated during the dancing. Some of these balloons will contain dollar bills and there will be a mad scramble in order that everyone may secure a balloon The management will not be stingy in preparing the balloons, so it is assured that several patrons will secure a prize. As usual, good music and a good time will be guaranteed (Farmington News, August 17, 1928).

FROLIC HAVEN. Frolic Haven at Milton Three Ponds has become a great social center and every engagement calls larger numbers of dance fans and those who enjoy the features that the management presents. On Wednesday night balloons and other novelties contributed to a Novelty night that was rich in color and gaiety. This Friday night features the seventh night in the series of beauty contests and on this occasion the queen of Dover will be chosen. Dover night will be the last contest before the grand finale, Carnival night on August 31, when “Miss Frolic Haven” will be named from among the seven queens already carrying the honors for their towns (Farmington News, August 24, 1928).

FROLIC HAVEN. This Friday evening Frolic Haven chooses its title queen for the season 1928. Carnival novelties will be among the features Friday night. August 31 will be the biggest resort feature date in southern New Hampshire. Don’t miss it. The 1928 carnival frolic will be held on the holiday beginning at five minutes after midnight and continuing until 4 o’clock Monday morning with a big dance and a greased pig contest. Join the big parade, all roads will lead to Frolic Haven on that date. Frolic Haven will remain open for Saturday evening dances and possible feature dates until further notice (Farmington News, August 31, 1928).

Clark Hibbard Morrell was born in Rochester, NH, July 2, 1891. son of Charles H. and Minnie E. (Hibbard) Morrell.

Clark H. Morrell, a Navy Yard machinist, aged twenty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Kittery, ME, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Gladys H. [(Durgin)] Morrell, aged twenty-five years (b. ME), and his daughter, Dorothy E. Morrell, aged five years (b. ME). They resided in a rented house on Whipple Road.

Clark H. Morrell (with his wife Gladys H.) appeared in the Fitchburg, MA, city directory of 1925, as a teacher at the State Normal School, with a house at 531 North street.

Clark H. Morrell died in Bradenton, FL, September 28, 1974.

THREATENING FIRE AT ALTON BAY. Departments Of Four Cities Towns Called To Fight Blaze. Alton, March 3. – The Bayview Pavilion, a dance hall overlooking Alton Bay, a mile from here, was destroyed by flames last evening in a fire of unknown origin. The postoffice, a hotel and residence of Martin and Stephen Lynch, owners of the dancing resort, were threatened but escaped the flames as the combined efforts of Laconia, Alton, Rochester and Farmington firemen directed efforts to saving these buildings, located in the vicinity of the doomed pavilion. The structure, 100 by 75 feet, was erected seven years ago and was considered one of the most up-to-date in the Lake Winnipesaukee region. A moving picture playhouse, a dance hall, a soda grill and scores of booths formed part of the building. There were three moving picture machines in the pavilion at the time. The first alarm was rung in at 9.30 o’clock and when Alton firemen reached the scene, another alarm was sent in and telephone calls were sent to Rochester, Laconia and Farmington for help. The building was beyond salvation when the firemen arrived. A strong breeze fanned the flames and ignited the home of the Lynch brothers, located in the immediate vicinity of pavilion. Firemen succeeded in saving this house from utter destruction, but estimated damage to it was close to $1000 while a loss of $25,000 was suffered by the pavilion’s destruction. The building was a roaring furnace by the time the out-of-town help arrived and it was impossible to save the structure (Portsmouth Herald, March 3, 1930).

The Guay Brothers – 1930-31

FROLIC HAVEN. MILTON THREE PONDS. Frolic Haven is open under the old name and new management at Milton Three Ponds. This is good news to the dance fans of this vicinity. This week’s event will take place on Friday evening, August 8, with a grand dance fest, waltz contest, fireworks and music by Al Colby’s orchestra. The best couple will be chosen by William McDermott of the State Ballroom, Boston, and a valuable trophy will be awarded to the winners. Saturday, August 9, will be a special date at Frolic Haven with Joe Carlo’s Royal Serenaders as the musical performers. This is the first appearance of this famous orchestra in this section. Frolic Haven is the coolest ballroom for miles around and is featuring bigger and better novelty dance programs every week (Farmington News, August 8, 1930).

Carrie J. [(Goodwin)] Colby, aged sixty-one years (b. NH), headed a Rochester, NH, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. Her household included her husband, Joseph R. Colby, aged sixty-one years (b. NH), and her children, Alfred L. Colby, a musician (own orchestra), aged thirty-seven years (b. NH), and Louis R. Colby, a band & orchestra musician, aged thirty-five years (b. NH), her daughter-in-law, Veronica Colby, aged thirty years (b. N. Ire.), and her grandson, Alfred L. Colby, aged ten years (b. NH). Carrie R. Colby owned their house at 17 Mill Street, which was valued at $2,000. They had a radio set.

FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. Rose night, this Thursday, August 21, promises a novel and highly entertaining event at Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds. Music will be furnished by Al Pare and his nine-piece band, the sensation of York Beach. Among the features of this team of musician is a singing trio that is in a class alone. This Friday, August 22, Frolic Haven will draw a big crowd with its blonde contest and Al Colby and his orchestra furnishing music. Each week features alluring specials at this famous ballroom and the crowds grow bigger and bigger (Farmington News, August 22, 1930).

FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. This Friday evening, August 29, will be a big night at Frolic Haven, and all the fans will be there. One of the attractions will be a prize waltz and it is expected that the contest will be a beautiful spectacle of graceful motion. On this date, “Miss Rochester” is to be named from among the young ladies present from that city. The judges for this event will be the young ladies recently named “Miss West Lebanon” and “Miss Frolic Haven.” Music will be furnished by Al Colby’s orchestra. Directly after midnight, September 1, from 12.05 to 4 a.m., Frolic Haven will entertain a pajama party and prizes will be awarded for the best suit and the worst suit. The Melody Boys’ orchestra of seven pieces will be the musical team. From 8 to 12 on the evening of Monday, September 1, Al Colby and his orchestra will return for “Santa Claus” night. Everyone will received a souvenir of this occasion (Farmington News, August 29, 1930).

FROLIC HAVEN. This Friday night at Frolic Haven will draw a big crowd to witness the selection of Miss Somersworth. Al Colby’s orchestra will furnish music for dancing. On Wednesday evening September 17 Frolic Haven will be the scene of an outing of the Chamber of Commerce. This will be a novelty night and among the features of entertainment will be gifts presented to the holders of lucky numbers. The Melody Boys of Sanford, Me., will be the musicians. Everyone is enthusiastic over the good times at Frolic Haven this season (Farmington News, September 12, 1930).

FROLIC HAVEN. This Friday, September 19, will be “Dover Night” at Frolic Haven, Milton’s popular dance hall. The contest for “Miss Dover” is open to all Dover girls and the winner will be presented with a silver loving cup. The keen competition for the coveted honor is sure to result in a big turn-out and a gala time for all patrons. Besides the crowning of Dover’s beauty queen, a prize will be awarded to the holder of the lucky ticket. Colby’s band will furnish music for dancing (Farmington News, September 19, 1930).

“FARMINGTON NIGHT” AT FROLIC HAVEN. “Farmington Night” will be observed at Frolic Haven, Milton’s popular dance hall, Friday evening, September 26. The battle of music between Ross and His Gang and Al Colby’s orchestra will be the big musical sensation of the season in this locality. Farmington’s most beautiful girl will be chosen and awarded a silver loving cup on this occasion. Gifts to everyone from the big gift box, lucky numbers, and novelties will round out a full evening of attractions that will induce the patronage of one of the largest and most vivacious assemblies of dance fans ever gathered in this section. Friday evening, October 3, will be Milton, Milton Mills, Union and Lebanon night (Farmington News, September 26, 1930).

FROLIC HAVEN. Happy days are coming again with a grand carnival frolic and barn dance to be held at Frolic Haven, Milton Three Ponds, this Friday evening, October 3. Everybody will wear costumes and compete for the best make-up prize. Music by Al Colby’s orchestra guarantees the whoopee and everybody is assured a good time. Frolic Haven is all ready to stage a new mystery feature on Friday evening at the barn dance. “Around the Corner – Follow Me.” The most popular girl in the park – Ann Howe. For the luva Pete – don’t muff this one! (Farmington News, October 3, 1930).

FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. MILTON THREE PONDS. ACTIVITIES OF SEASON OF 1930. July 25 marked the grand opening of Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds under new management: the Guay Brothers. That occasion drew the largest attendance from suburban towns and cities of any similar resort with a radius of 80 miles. George Fuller of the Ethel Barrymore company, with Miss Eleanor O. Weeks, Dr. William McDermott and Mr. McHugh, director of the show, were hosts of the evening. A large and colorful display of fireworks was a feature of the event. On August first, a prize waltz was the attraction and Miss Helen Pierce of Rochester and Leo Gagnon of Somersworth were the silver cup winners. Friday evening, August 8, offered a beauty contest and a gold-piece was given to Miss Muriel Hagerman of West Lebanon, Me., as the most beautiful girl present. Silver cup winners were Miss Lillian Miomi of Dover and Mr. Van, manager of Central Park ballroom at Central Park. The following evening, August 9, opened with a large display of fireworks which heralded a dance conducted by members of a Montreal hotel. A purse of $45 was given to the tallest man in the hall. Music was furnished by the hotel members. On August 15, another prize waltz was announced and in this event Dan Buckley of Dover received a gold-piece, while a modern compact went to Miss Mary Parsons of Milton. Miss Beatrice Hermon of Dover was chosen as “Miss Frolic Haven” for 1930, and Eddie Pay of Somersworth also won a prize. On August 21, a large crowd of insurance men were in attendance, and music was by Al Pare of Quincy, Mass. August 22 featured a blond contest and a silver cup was given to Miss Virginia Sewall of East Lebanon, Me., a natural blond of rare beauty. August 29 was Rochester night and Miss Priscilla Lemire, as “Miss Rochester” for 1930, won a silver cup. Miss Lemire is a beautiful brunette and was selected from a large number of beauties. August 31, a midnight dance, with a pajama contest and the selection of “Miss Sanford,” filled the ballroom to its capacity. Three prizes were awarded for best costumes. The first prize, a beautiful three-piece pajama set, went to Miss Eleanor Weeks of Portsmouth; second prize, a three-piece pajama set, was awarded to Miss Tibbetts of Philadelphia; third prize, a green gold compact, went to Miss Gladys Walsteadt of Lynn, Mass. The three male partners of these ladies were awarded fountain pens. September 1 was another big time, Santa Claus night. Santa Clause was sent out from the Boston Novelty company to give away 600 gifts in the hall. Waltz and fox-trot prizes were offered and awarded as follows: Miss Dorothy Torr of Farmington; Frank York of Newmarket, cigarette lighter; Miss Ruth Hartford of Union, green gold compact; Harold Smith of Sanbornville, cigarette lighter; Miss Alice Ward of Center Ossipee, white gold compact; John Varney of Center Ossipee, cigarette lighter; Miss Talmadge Grey of Alton Bay, silver cup; Al Quinn of Alton Bay, fountain pen; Mrs. Salvage of Milton Mills, silver cup; J. Salvage of Miami, Fla., pen and pencil set; Miss Ruth Young of Milton, silver cup; Edgar Poore of Milton, pencil set. Music was by Al Colby’s band. On September 5, prizes were given for the best dressed couples, as follows: Miss Estella Guyer of South Berwick, Me., with Norman Strafton of North Rochester, first prize of $10 gold-piece, Mr. and Mrs. John Silver of Portsmouth, second, $5 gold-piece. September 12 was Somersworth night, with fireworks. Miss Lillian Roberge was chosen “Miss Somersworth,” and received a large silver cup. Mr. King of Somersworth received a smoking set. September 17 was the date of an outing of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, with a big dance. Paper hats, novelties, confetti, and prizes added to the joy of the event. September 19 drew a large crowd from Dover who were interested to see who would be “Miss Dover.” The lucky lady was Miss Marguerite Conway of Dover and she received a silver cup. Music was furnished by Kent Jackson and his band. September 24 presented an old-fashioned dance. An unusually large crowd enjoyed this dance, with music by the Lynn boys. September 26 was Farmington night and a large crowd came to see who was to be “Miss Farmington.” Miss Rubie Chase was chosen and awarded a beautiful silver cup. Also on this night there was a battle of music between Ross and His Gang and Al Colby’s orchestra. Santa Claus night was repeated on this date, everyone in the hall received a gift. Valuable merchandise, from pins to Fords, was found in the packages. On October 3, a big barn dance, like no one ever saw before, was held. It was a real time on the farm. “Aunt Rosie” was there with her niece “Rosie.” Among the animals were ducks, geese, chickens, hens, roosters, turkeys, Parisian pigeons, carrier pigeons, cats and a pig. This dance was such a success that another one was called for. October 10 presented an old-fashioned dance and prizes were given for best and worst dressed, as follows: Miss Columbus of Milton received first, a rooster went to a girl who said she had no name, a goose was given to a Rochester girl, another rooster was won by a Rochester girl, a turkey went to Miss Folloner. Many others took home with them, squashes and pumpkins. Corn on the cob was served at this time of year. The corn was grown on Plummer’s Ridge, Milton. On this date, Miss Audrey Hagerman was named “Miss Milton Mills,” her partner was Willis Waterhouse of Sanford. Miss Dorothy M. Lyons was chosen “Miss Union,” with Kimball Hayes of Danvers, Mass. Miss Muriel Hagerman was “Miss West Lebanon,” with Frank Thibault of Milton. Miss Ruth Leeman was “Miss Milton,” with H. St. Hillaire of Somersworth. Each lady received a silver cup and the men were given fountain pens. October 17, Frolic Haven came to a grand closing out, with dancing from 8 to 2 a.m., with something doing every hour of the night. One of the largest crowds ever seen here before made a big success of it. There was fun, laughter and screaming that will ring for many months in the ears of all present. Miss Alice Grenier of East Rochester received a silver tea set for having 58,000 votes as “the most popular lady.” Miss Frolic Haven for 1931 is Miss Muriel Hagerman of West Lebanon, Me. A balloon shower took place just before intermission and many lucky ones got prizes of valuable merchandise. Prizes of $150 were give to lucky ones. No prize amounted to less than $5. Gifts were passed to everyone in the hall. There also were five prizes for the best looking men. Between 12 and 2 a.m., paper hats, confetti, noise-makers, hundreds of horns, novelties, fireworks, etc., made it like the big world war. It was a real farewell dance, and nothing more could have been done. The Guay Brothers, manager and proprietor of Frolic Haven, are planning a grand opening for the next season to show their appreciation for the great success of the past summer. Something entirely different will be staged for the many patrons and anticipation will be keen until the 1931 activities are revealed (Farmington News, October 31, 1930).

GRAND OPENING AT FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds is going to be one of the high spots of amusement during the coming season. It has announced its grand opening to take place on Friday evening, May 8. Everything about the place is being remodeled and the old patrons will hardly know the place with its recent changes. The only feature that remains unchanged is the management who became so popular last season with the big crowds who flocked to Frolic Haven. Al Colby and his orchestra are featured for the season and the dance lovers know what that means. Beginning Friday evening, May 8, Frolic Haven will be open for the season and no effort will be to great for the management to undertake for the pleasure of the patrons (Farmington News, May 1, 1931).

CEDAR CHEST GIVEN AWAY AT FROLIC HAVEN OPENING. Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds holds its grand opening of the season this Friday evening, May 8, and the well=known management will greet its friends amid surroundings that have been renovated and remodeled until the interior seems like a new place. All the old patrons will be on hand to renew associations with the management and many friends who have been separated temporarily during the suspension of dances through the winter. Al Colby and his orchestra have been engaged to open the season of gaiety at Frolic Haven. and as an added feature someone will be presented with a genuine Tennessee cedar chest as a souvenir of the opening date (Farmington News, May 8, 1931).

FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. Milton Three Ponds has become one of the attractive spots in this vicinity since Frolic Haven Ballroom made it famous. Every Friday night finds a large crowd there and Al Colby’s orchestra is furnishing just the kind of dance music that keeps them coming. The management is doing everything possible to please the patrons and has stimulated interest with the presentation of some choice gifts. This Friday evening the holder of the lucky ticket will be rewarded with the gift of a 16-jewel wristwatch. There is dancing and a jolly good time every night at Frolic Haven (Farmington News, May 15, 1931).

FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. There is going to be a big powwow at Frolic Haven ballroom, Milton Three Ponds, this Friday evening, May 22. Kent Jackson and his Hot Travelers will warm the trail for the dancers, and chocolates and souvenirs will be distributed for good measure. There is dancing every Friday night at Frolic Haven and the features that the management is advertising every week certainly are novel and there is something to entertain every individual preference (Farmington News, May 22, 1931).

ALL NIGHT DANCE AT FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. The end of this week promises a big time at Frolic Haven The fun will start Friday evening with the usual dance date and will continue all night [with] Jackson’s Racketeers, a seven-piece team of snappy musicians, will furnish music, and added attractions will be a large chest of chocolates and ten other free prizes. Saturday night at eight o’clock, the K.J. seven-piece orchestra will take charge of the festivities and will furnish good music until midnight. The next big date at Frolic Haven will be Friday evening, June 5, when Al Colby, just returned from the beaches, will bring his orchestra to Milton Three Ponds A big surprise awaits the lucky ticket holder on this occasion (Farmington News, May 29, 1931).

FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. Al Colby’s orchestra, just returned from the beaches, will be at Frolic Haven ballroom this Friday evening, June 5, and preparations are being made for a record attendance. Frolic Haven was crowded at its last week-end dances and it is expected that many of the new friends acquired over the holiday will be on hand for the regular Friday date. The lucky ticket holder will receive a surprise. The special features the management has been offering have been very alluring and no doubt the “surprise” will be a delightful souvenir for the lucky one. Frolic Haven, in the pines of Milton Three Ponds, is one of the gay amusement spots of the locality and the crowds grow bigger and bigger (Farmington News, June 5, 1931).

FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. The Frolic Haven forecast for this week, Friday, June 12, indicates a grand frolic at this noted ballroom on the shores of Milton Three Ponds. Every Friday night the crowds flock to the delightful Pineland Park and enjoy the fun provided by the management and the excellent dance music furnished by Al Colby’s orchestra. Some lucky one this Friday will receive a cedar chest containing a souvenir  which is to be a secret until the chest is opened by the winner. The weekly dance dates find at Frolic Haven a colorful ensemble of gay dancers, blazing lights and alluring music (Farmington News, June 12, 1931).

French, Billy - PH291223BATTLE OF MUSIC AT FROLIC HAVEN. A volunteer army of dancers is expected to engage in action at Frolic Haven this Friday evening, June 19, when the Midnight Revelers of Farmington and Billy French and his orchestra of Rochester will wage a battle of music. The dancing will start at 8 o’clock and will be continuous until midnight. These orchestras have a large following and it is expected that Friday night will find an overflow delegation from all quarters. Frolic Haven in the pines at Milton Three Ponds is the ideal place to meet your old friends and make new ones and thoroughly enjoy yourself every Friday evening (Farmington News, June 19, 1931).

FROLIC HAVEN. Frolic Haven, Milton’s popular summer ballroom, announces the opening of its regular Monday night dances on June 28. Kent Jackson’s orchestra will be the musical attraction and will give the fans their money’s worth with a music fest that will put everybody on tiptoe. Two prizes will be given, for first admission and for the lucky ticket, and you may be one of the winners. Try your luck on the best dance floor and with the best crowds that congregate at any pavilion in this vicinity. Watch for announcements for the night before the Fourth (Farmington News, June 26, 1931).

FROLIC HAVEN. Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds is all set to celebrate the week-end in true holiday style. Friday evening, July 3, Vick Firth and his orchestra will furnish music for dancing which will start at 8 o’clock and continue until 4 a.m. There will not be a monotonous moment in the whole eight hours, for the occasion will be enlivened with a ballroom shower, gold pieces to lucky ones, and ten other prizes. Dancing will be suspended during the daylight hours of the Fourth, but will start with a bang on Saturday night at 8 o’clock, when a big display of fireworks will herald the appearance of Al Colby and his orchestra. This will be a gift night and dancers at Frolic Haven will be glad to receive these souvenirs of an event that promises the best of fun. On Monday evening, July 6, Kent Jackson’s orchestra will be the attraction, and some lucky person will receive a candle lamp as a prize. There is dancing at Frolic Haven every Monday and Friday night (Farmington News, July 3, 1931).

Firth, Vic - PH320623Joseph E. Firth, a plush mill finisher, aged sixty-two years, headed a Sanford, ME, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his [second] wife (of sixteen years), Mary E. [(O’Hearn)] Firth, aged thirty-seven years, his adopted daughter, Gertrude M. Firth, aged thirteen years (b. ME), his son, Everett E. [“Vic”] Firth, an orchestra musician, aged thirty-six years (b. ME), and his daughter-in-law, Rosemary [(Scandura)] Firth, aged twenty-seven years (b. Italy). Joseph E. Firth owned their house at 8 Tibbetts Avenue, which was valued at $1,800. They did not have a radio set.

FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. There are not many open-air pavilions where you can dance with such entire enjoyment as you find at Frolic Haven ballroom. The beautiful Pineland park, aired with breezes off Milton Three Ponds, is an ideal spot for this popular summer pastime. Monday and Friday of every week are big nights at Frolic Haven. Al Colby and his orchestra furnish music on regular dates and the crowds are satisfied with this part of ‘the entertainment. Many other features are added to create new Interest and to express the appreciation of the management for the tremendous patronage (Farmington News, July 10, 1931).

MILTON AMERICAN LEGION ANNUAL DANCE. On Wednesday, evening, July 29, Oscar O. Morehouse Post, American Legion, of Milton, will bold its annual dance at Frolic Haven ballroom, and as a special attraction will hold a beauty contest. The girl or woman adjudged the best looking will enter the state bathing beauty contest at Hampton Beach, August 8. What town has the prettiest girl? This will be one of the biggest attractions ever attempted in a little town, with a big reputation for a famous dance pavilion. The nights will be bright, the music by the Pirate’s orchestra of Portsmouth will be of the best, and the butterflies will be there (Farmington News, July 24, 1931).

FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF FROLIC HAVEN. Frolic Haven in the pines at Milton Three Ponds has completed a very successful year under the present management and will celebrate its first anniversary date with a huge birthday party on Saturday evening, July 25. Frolic Haven will forget every idea of financial profit on this occasion and will join with a merry crowd of patrons in a rousing good time. Gifts valued at $200 will be distributed, among which will be a $20 gold-piece for the lucky balloon captured among a flock of them floated over the grounds; a china tea set for the second balloon prize, and a $2.50 gold piece for the third. Every person who enters the hall will receive a gift, and special carnival features will include confetti, noisemakers, paper hats, horns, novelties, souvenirs and other attractions. Over all a grand display of fireworks will cast a colorful illumination. The Leader shoe organization will be present in full force. A pirate group will hold the center of the scene and will furnish music for dancing. If you do not know the Pirate orchestra, take advantage of this occasion to get acquainted (Farmington News, July 24, 1931).

SECOND ANNUAL BARN DANCE, FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds s all ready for its second annual barn dance, which will be held this Friday night, September 25. The hall is all dressed up for the event and Joe Sands and his popular broadcasting orchestra will furnish dance music. The musicians include some of the world’s famous artists, who played last week to 30,000 people. This barn dance will have a few old-fashioned dances along with the modern numbers, and nearly all of the dancers will be in rural costumes. Live prizes will he given for the best and funniest costumes. Every Friday night there is dancing at Frolic Haven from 8 to 1 o’clock. A big midnight dance will be held here October 12 (Farmington News, September 25, 1931).

FROLIC HAVEN. There is mystery in the air concerning the dance at Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds this Friday evening, October 2. The only thing the public really knows Is that it will be a good time for everyone, but it is assured that the friends of this famous ballroom will be curious enough to be there and find out for themselves just what new thing the management has planned for this date. The announcement for October 12 is very definite, with a grand midnight dance starting at 12.05 and continuing until 6 a.m. on Monday, October 12. Among the many prizes for this occasion will be a $20 gold-piece for the lucky balloon captured on the grounds, a china tea set, second prize, a $2.50 gold-piece, third prize. One hundred dollars’ worth of prizes will be distributed among the patrons in the hall. Confetti, noisemakers, hat, horns, novelties, souvenirs, etc., will add to the thrills of the event (Farmington News, October 2, 1931).

FROLIC HAVEN. Great preparations have been made for the midnight dance to be held at Frolic Haven ballroom to usher in Columbus day. Beginning at five minutes after midnight and continuing until 6 a.m. Monday, October 12, there will be a gay time at this famous ballroom on the lake shore at Milton Three Ponds. A colorful feature will be the release of countless balloons over the grounds, and one of these balloons will be lucky for someone, as it will bring $20 to the one who captures it. A second prize will be a china tea set, and third prize, a $2.50 gold-piece. One hundred dollars’ worth of other prizes will be distributed in the hall. Everyone gets a souvenir. Confetti, noisemakers, hats, etc., will make up a grand ensemble of jolly amusements and excellent dance music is promised (Farmington News, October 9, 1931).

LAST DANCE OF THE SEASON AT FROLIC HAVEN. Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds will close a very successful season with a grand flourish next Thursday evening, October 15. The events planned for this closing date will give the patrons something to keep Frolic Haven in happy memory until the famous pavilion opens another season. There will be a marvelous exhibition of dancing and singing, and prizes – there are quantities of them. Twenty lucky tickets will be found in the balloon showers. There will be a prize waltz and fox trot, six prizes for the best dressed ladies and gentlemen, and lucky admission tickets. This will be a big gift night for all, and chocolates will be among the distributions. Novelties, confetti, horns, noisemakers, hats, etc., will be some of the features that will keep in motion a continuous round of gaiety. Everyone will be there to enjoy to the last minute the fun promised at the farewell dance at Frolic Haven (Farmington News, October 16, 1931).

McQuillan, Ed, and His Orchestra - Manchester Historic AssociationFROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. MILTON THREE PONDS. Another season at Frolic Haven Ballroom at Milton Three Ponds will open this Friday evening, May 13, and the gayest, newest craze from gay Paree is announced for the date. Eddie McQuillan and his famous broadcasting orchestra, who have been engaged all winter in South Carolina, will furnish music for dancing from eight o’clock to 1 a.m., and what a time is promised! Gifts will be awarded to lucky ones and everyone will receive a novelty souvenir. A special treat is announced for the girls. A large following of regular friends of Frolic Haven will welcome the news of this opening. This famous resort, just off the White Mountain boulevard, is ideally located for the entertainment of dancing parties and never fails to draw big crowds. The management is returning – full of ideas for a grand season (Farmington News, May 13, 1932).

FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. Frolic Haven at Milton Three Ponds opened the season last Friday night with a good attendance and such a jolly time was enjoyed that a big crowd is looking forward to the event for this Friday, May 20. Ed McQuillan and his famous artists have been engaged to furnish dance music every Friday night during the season. Very soon, there also will be dances on Monday and Wednesday nights, and for special occasion announces a Monkey Night dance for an early date. At the dance this Friday night a banjo electric clock will be given away. You always have a good time at Frolic Haven, and usually bring home some attractive souvenir (Farmington News, May 20, 1932).

FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. This Friday evening, June 10, Ed McQuillan and his artist orchestra will entertain again at Frolic Haven ballroom, Milton Three Ponds and the date is announced as a spot dance. From 8 to 1 o’clock the dancing will be attended with many unusual pleasures, and over all will hover a fascinating “spot.” This is just one of the attractive features the management has arranged for this season – there are many more in the bag. Everyone is wondering about the “monkey dance” which is announced for an early date. Every Friday night big crowds at the famous Frolic Haven for the weekly dance program (Farmington News, June 10, 1932).

FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. This Friday, June 17, evening is the regular dance date at Frolic Haven ballroom in the pines at Milton Three Ponds. Beginning June 20 there will be three dances a week at Frolic Haven, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Next Monday, the music will be furnished by the Ten Nevadians, featuring Loretta LaBonte, and dancing will be enjoyed from 8 to 1 o’clock. On Wednesday evening, June 22, Tony’s Rhythm Boys, an eleven-piece broadcasting orchestra, will furnish music, and an added attraction will be Ted Pierce, soloist, with his latest hits. Keep in mind the monkey dance, which soon will be here (Farmington News, June 17, 1932).

Peter Labonte, a washing machine salesman, aged fifty-six years (b. Canada (Fr.)), headed a Dover, NH, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-six years), Victoria Labonte, aged fifty-four years (b. Canada (Fr.)), and his children, Frederick Labonte, an automobile salesman, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), and Loretta Labonte, aged eighteen years (b. NH).Peter Labonte owned their house at 27 Hill Street, which was valued at $3,000. They did not have a radio set.

Loretta Labonte sang on daytime-only radio station WHEB (740-AM) in Portsmouth, NH, at 3:00 PM, November 4, 1932 (Portsmouth Herald, November 4, 1932). Loretta Labonte appeared in the Dover directories of 1935, as a musician, resident n her parent’s home at 27 Hill street.

FROLIC HAVEN AT MILTON THREE PONDS. Frolic Haven, the dance pavilion of unmistakable choice for those who seek a good time, comes forward with announcement for a full week of Big Time entertainment. Watch the everchanging program of amusements at Frolic Haven. Dancing 8 until 1 a.m., Friday evening, June 24th, Ed McQuillan’s Orchestra; Monday evening, June 27, Loretta’s ten-piece orchestra bringing its inimitable program; Wednesday, June 29th, Tony with his eleven-piece orchestra. On Monday evening, July 1st, just before the holiday, Girls, Oh Girls, the monkey dance. Come and see what it’s all about. Meet your friends by appointment at Frolic Haven. If you haven’t an appointment, you will find them here (Farmington News, June 24, 1932).

FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM. Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds will start its season of 1933 with a grand opening this Friday evening, May 26, and music will be furnished by Bobby Williams and his night club band, the Broadway Troubadours. The ballroom has been put in first-class condition and this event is expected to introduce an entertainment that will assure the friends of this favorite dance pavilion of a season of attractions second to none. From now on there will be dancing every Friday night. A big all-night dance is announced for next week, beginning at 9 o’clock, May 29, the eve of the holiday, and continuing until 3 a.m. All the fans will welcome the opportunity to renew friendships at Frolic Haven (Farmington News, May 26, 1933).

DANCE. TONIGHT = FRIDAY & EVERY FRIDAY. FROLIC HAVEN. MILTON THREE PONDS. TONIGHT: CARL BROGGI and His Palm Beach Orchestra. Admission 35¢ (Farmington News, June 16, 1933).


McENNELLY AND HIS ORCHESTRA. Tomorrow Nite. FROLIC HAVEN, MILTON THREE PONDS (Portsmouth Herald, July 27, 1933).

TONIGHT. FRIDAY, AUGUST 4. ROANES PENNSYLVANIANS. FROLIC HAVEN. MILTON THREE PONDS. Always a great time, Always a big crowd. Admission 50c (Farmington News, August 4, 1933).

Frolic Haven - FN330901.pngPrize Waltz Tonight, Friday, August 11. FROLIC HAVEN. MILTON THREE PONDS. ROSS and His Gang. Admission 40¢ (Farmington News, August 11, 1933).

Frolic Haven, MILTON THREE PONDS. DANCING EVERY FRI. EVENING. FRIDAY EVENING, AUGUST 18. ROSS and HIS GANG. The favorite dance orchestra at a nominal price, Admission 40¢ (Farmington News, August 18, 1933).

Frolic Haven, MILTON THREE PONDS. TONIGHT! FRI., AUG. 25. RETURN ENGAGEMENT, ROANE’S Sensational PENNSYLVANIANS. Admission 50¢ (Farmington News, August 25, 1933).

PRIZE WALTZ and Costume Party Tonight, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, FROLIC HAVEN BALLROOM, MILTON THREE PONDS. Prizes for the Best and Worst Costumes. Admission 40¢. Big Time for Everyone. Music: Ross And His Gang. | Midnite Dance, SUNDAY MIDNITE, SEPT. 3 till 4 a.m. Admission 40¢, Prize Waltz, Follow the crowds (Farmington News, September 1, 1933).

DANCE Tonight. FRIDAY, SEPT. 15. Frolic Haven. MILTON 3 PONDS. Excellent Music, Admission 40¢ (Farmington News, September 15, 1933).

FROLIC HAVEN. From July 13 to October 12, Val Reno’s orchestra will furnish music for dancing every Friday evening at Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds from 8.30 to 1 AM, eastern standard time. This Friday will feature a prize waltz. There will be something new on every dance date and all may be assured of meeting their friends and making new ones at this attractive resort in the place near one of these famous ponds (Farmington News, July 13, 1934).

FROLIC HAVEN GIVES BENEFIT TO CHURCHES. Tickets are being sold for the benefit of St. Peter’s church of Farmington and the Sacred Heart church of Milton, of which Rev. Robert Bellefeuille is pastor. The tickets are being sold in advance of the dance program, which will be held at Frolic Haven ballroom, Milton Three Ponds, Monday evening August 27. The holder of the lucky ticket will be awarded $25 worth of groceries. These tickets will give all holders a chance on the 100-piece dinner set, valued at $50, to be given away at the Labor day night program, September 3. The appeal of these tickets obviously is one of the most worthy, since their sale will assist the work of the Catholic churches of this locality. They are being sponsored by Rev. Fr. Bellefeuille (Farmington News, August 24, 1934).

Hank Lawson – 1935

FROLIC HAVEN OPENING. Like renewing acquaintance with an old friend, comes announcement that Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds will be reopened, commencing Saturday evening, May 25. This resort will be managed for the season by the well known “Hank” Lawson, a former Milton resident, and the season will be ushered in by Paul Ross and his orchestra. Frolic Haven has been put in the best possible condition and convenience to patrons and announcement of special programs will  be released as soon as bookings are made (Farmington News, May 24, 1935).

UNION. A picnic for the church and Sunday School is being arranged for Saturday. It will be held at Frolic Haven, Milton, and its hoped that a large number of the older people, as well as the children, will attend (Farmington News, July 19, 1935).

UNION. A picnic at Frolic Haven, Milton, was enjoyed last Saturday by the church and Sunday School attendants. Cars carried grownups, while most of the children went in David Burroughs’ truck. Bathing was indulged in by those that cared for it, games were played and everyone enjoyed the day (Farmington News, July 26, 1935).

Jack Howard – 1937

BEANO AT FROLIC HAVEN. Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds will be the mecca of attraction this Thursday evening, June 24 The event will be the biggest beano party ever attempted in this locality. The main drawing prize will be a barrel of dishes, 100-piece set that will be awarded at 10 p.m. The winner must be in the hall. Nearly fifty other prizes are offered. No admission will be charged and everybody is invited to join in the fun. This jollification is sponsored by the well known Tanner brothers of Milton (Farmington News, June 25, 1937).

LOCAL. Raymond Abbott and Myrtie Derby of this [Farmington] town captured the prize waltz for the championship of Strafford county at the dance which concluded the season at Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton Three Ponds last Saturday night. They were awarded a silver loving-cup as the trophy offered to the championship couple by Manager Jack Howard (Farmington News, September 10, 1937).

JACK HOWARD TO CONTINUE DANCES AT FROLIC HAVEN. In connection with an item published in this column last week concerning the award of the championship trophy in the prize waltz contest at Frolic Haven ballroom at Milton, it was stated in error that Manager Jack Howard closed the season at this resort with the holiday week-end programs. However, dances will be continued regularly every Saturday night until further [notice] (Farmington News, September 17, 1937).


Find a Grave. (2013, February 20). Everett E. Firth. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/104604527

Wikipedia. (2019, August 30). WHEB. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WHEB

Wikipedia. (2019, September 14). Black Bottom (Dance). Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Bottom_(dance)

Wikipedia. (2019, November 11). Charleston (Dance). Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston_(dance)

Wikipedia. (2019, November 15). Lindy Hop. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindy_Hop

Milton in the News – 1937

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | November 24, 2019

In this year, we encounter the Salem Shoe company in a labor negotiation, an auto fatality, a Townsend club meeting in West Milton, a drowning death, a Salem Shoe company factory purchase, some volunteer assistance, Rev. Frank H. Snell accepting a call, and relocation of the Town Pound.

Unionized shoe shops in Salem, MA, including the Salem Shoe company, faced again the same union 15% wage increase demanded in 1935. Milton’s branch of the Salem Shoe company was an “open” shop, i.e., a non-union shop, which the Salem union planned to picket if Easter work were redirected here.

NINE SHOPS HOLD UP SHOE PAY INCREASE. Four in Lynn, Five in Salem Still Negotiating. Five shoe shops in Salem and four in Lynn, which have not granted a flat 15 percent increase to their employees, were still dickering with William B. Mahan, general organizer of the United Shoe and Leather Workers’ Union, last night. The wage increase has been granted in other unionized shops. The conference with the Salem Shoe Company was postponed until Monday after the workers were reported to have refused a compromise offer of 7½ percent now and 7½ more July 1. Meanwhile the union officials were considering a rumor that the Salem Shoe Company, which operates an open shoe shop plant in Milton, N.H., might be able to complete its Easter orders at the New Hampshire factory. Plans were under discussion for picketing the New Hampshire plant if the company should inaugurate such a move. The Maxwell Shoe Company in Lynn indicated yesterday that it might go out of business but if enough orders are on hand, the shop will run, granting the workers the flat 15 percent increase (Boston Globe, February 27, 1937).

SALEM SHOE FIRM GIVES 10 P.C. RAISE. SALEM, March 13. The Salem Shoe Company today granted a 10 percent wage increase to 275 workers, who had returned to work 19 days ago, following the general leather strike. Arbitration proceedings are now going on in three other companies here, the Becket, Tarlow and Harbor Shoe Companies. It is reported that employees of those firms are seeking a 15 percent raise. They have been offered a 10 percent increase now and 5 percent in July. Those three concerns employ some 105 persons (Boston Globe, March 13, 1937).

Spaulding mill laborer Napoleon “Paul” Marcoux died in a head-on collision with a truck during a snowstorm. The collision occurred in Rochester, NH, on April 2, “on road from Milton to Rochester,” i.e., on the White Mountain Highway in north Rochester.

Napoleon O. Marcoux, a fiber mill laborers, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of six years), Hazel M. [(Downs)] Marcoux, aged twenty-two years (b. NH), his children, Edna Marcoux, aged six years (b. NH), Archie Marcoux, aged five years (b. NH), and Joseph Marcoux, aged three years (b. NH); his father-in-law, Fred Downs, an odd jobs laborer, aged fifty-two years (b. NH), and his brother, Alcid Marcoux, a fibre mill laborer, aged twenty-two years (b. NH). Napoleon O. Marcoux rented their house on Spaulding Avenue, for $8 per month. They did not have a radio set.

Napoleon O. Marcoux appeared as a Spaulding employee, with a house in Milton, in the Milton business directories of 1930 and 1936-37. His wife Hazel Marcoux appeared with him.

New England Briefs. Milton, N.H., April 3 (AP) – Nine children were left fatherless today with the death of Paul Marcoux, 39, mill worker, instantly killed when his auto and a heavy truck collided during a snowstorm (North Adams Transcript, April 3, 1937).

Rochester death records gave the cause of his death as a “fractured skull caused by collision of his automobile with an auto truck.”

(See below the November article in which forty-four Milton men helped his widow with house repairs).

Townsend PlanOne of Boston’s Townsend Clubs traveled by bus to West Milton for a lunch outing at the Canney Farm.

Dr. Francis E. Townsend was founder of those clubs, which had a national membership. (There is no known connection with the Townsend family of Milton).

Francis E. Townsend, a lecture hall pension lecturer, aged seventy-three years (b. IL), headed a Los Angeles, CA, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Minnie [(Aldrich)] Townsend, aged seventy years (b. WI), his son-in-law, James E. Shevling, a gas station manager, aged fifty-two years (b. SD), his daughter, Irene Shevling, aged forty-nine years (b. NE), and his granddaughter, Heloise Shevling, aged twenty-one years (b. CA). Francis E. Townsend owned their house at 227 New Hampshire Street, which was valued at $5,700.

Dr. Townsend proposed an elaborate scheme of an Old Age Revolving Pension Plan that would be funded by a Federal sales tax. He put forward the usual wild claims of economic stimulus to be expected from increased spending (drawn from decreased savings). Townsend clubs formed as social and political organizations in and after 1935 to advocate for Federal old age pensions. Their number would grow to 4,552 clubs.

TOWNSEND CLUB OF BOSTON ON WEST MILTON OUTING. WEST MILTON, N.H., July 5. Members of the Townsend Club No. 2 of Boston held their second annual mass meeting and outing this afternoon at the Canney farm here, and the gathering was also attended by members of the organization from New Hampshire. The Boston club members came here in busses, and despite the intense heat had an enjoyable time. Among the speakers were Rev. Thomas Laite of Nashua, general manager for New Hampshire, and John Doyle Elliott of Boston. Luncheon was served at the conclusion of the speaking program (Boston Globe, July 6, 1937).

A version of Dr. Townsend’s Old Age Revolving Pension Plan would be implemented in 1937 as the Social Security benefit program. Dr. Townsend was dissatisfied with the basic pension amount of $35, and other features of the Social Security Act. He was accused, probably unfairly, of profiting personally. (The Federal Department of Justice prosecuted him successfully for Contempt of Congress in 1936).

Social Security’s funding mechanism was certainly inadequate. It set up a sort of Ponzi scheme, whereby active workers paid for retired workers (whether those retired workers had ever paid into the system or not). It assumed that the growth in numbers of active workers would outpace always the growth in retired workers. That assumption was incorrect and unsustainable. The Social Security system is scheduled to outpace its Ponzi funding mechanism by 2035.

The U.S. Treasury Department issued the first Social Security benefit check, in the amount of $22.54, to Ida May Fuller of Brattleboro, VT,  on January 31, 1940. (She had paid into the system for three years only). Her check would have a current value of about $413.18.

A South Eliot, ME, guest of the Portsmouth Fire Department drowned while attending their Milton outing.

Herman P. Dixon, a Navy Yard plumber, aged twenty-seven years (b. ME), headed an Eliot, ME, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of four years), Alice M. Dixon, aged twenty-three years (b. ME), and his child, Lois Dixon, aged two years (b. ME). Herman P. Dixon owned their two-family house on Main Street, which was valued at $3,000; his tenant, William E. Gerry, a plumber’s shop plumber, aged twenty-three years (b. ME), rented the other portion of the two-family house, for $15 per month.

Drowned at Milton, N.H. At Milton, N.H., the fourth drowning within two weeks in that vicinity occurred yesterday afternoon when Herman P. Dixon, 38, of South Eliot, Me., lost his life in the channel connecting Depot and Town-house Ponds. Company 2 of the Portsmouth Fire Department was having an outing there and Dixon was their guest. He went for a swim and when he did not appear, a search was made. Staton Curtis found the body and brought it ashore. Efforts to revive Dixon failed. He was employed at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, and is survived by a wife and two children. Two prostrations were reported to the Boston police. One was that of Frederick Parker, 13, of 6 Baxter place, Quincy, who collapsed from the heat in the grandstand at the double-header at Fenway Park. He was removed to the City Hospital where he was later discharged. Charles Baxter, 63, of Newport, R.I., collapsed from the heat in the Hay-market subway station while on his way to the ball game at Fenway Park. He was treated at the Hay-market Relief Hospital and released (Boston Globe, August 9, 1937).

Polish native and Salem Shoe company president John A. Kuczun purchased the former Kennebunk Manufacturing company factory in Milton, after an occupancy of two years.

SALEM SHOE COMPANY PURCHASES MILTON FACTORY. The purchase of the large shoe factory at Milton by the Salem Shoe Manufacturing Company Inc which took place recently furnishes gratifying news not only to the town of Milton but to surround communities where the occupancy of the purchasers for the past two years has contributed one of the most important employment resources of the region. The new owners acquire title from the Milton Holding Corporation. The Salem Shoe Company is no experiment in its field of enterprise and has demonstrated at this very location its ability to manufacture shoes. This concern has been on a steady production basis nearly all of the time it has occupied the Milton factory. The organization In its present form is recognized as one of the pioneer manufacturers of American welt dress shoes of men and boys and is at present maintaining a daily production basis of about 2,000 pairs. Figures of the organization best known to the people and interests of this locality are John Kuczun, president and owner, and Charles Moren, general manager (Farmington News, August 27, 1937).

John A. Kuczun, a shoe shop foreman, aged forty-two years (b. Poland), headed a Salem, MA, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eleven years), Antonina Kuczun, aged thirty-three years (b. Poland), and his children Chester J. Kuczun, aged ten years (b. MA), Bertha C. Kuczun, aged eight years (b. MA), and Olga L. Kuczun, aged three years (b. MA). Both John A. Kuczun and his wife were naturalized aliens, who had immigrated to the U.S. in 1913. John A. Kuczun owned their house at 49 Dunlap Street, which was valued at $10,000. They did not have a radio set.

Spaulding Brothers supplied materials and forty-four Milton men volunteered to repair the modest home of Mrs. Hazel M. (Downs) Marcoux, whose husband Paul had died in an automobile accident in April (see above).

Odd Items from Everywhere. Mrs. Marcoux of Milton, N.H., was left a widow with nine children last Spring when her husband was killed in an automobile accident. Her modest home was sadly in need of repairs until last week when 44 Milton men got together and with material furnished by the local plant where her husband had been employed shingled the roof and walls, attached 11 storm windows and installed a new door. Then just to give good measure, they cut nine cords of wood enough for the entire Winter and piled it neatly in the shed (Boston Globe, November 16, 1937).

Rev. Frank Herbert Snell of the Milton Mills Baptist church accepted a call to the Green Street Baptist church in Melrose, MA. (He had auditioned unsuccessfully for such a call in other places in 1935).

Melrose. Rev. Frank H. Snell has assumed the pastorate of the Green Street Baptist Church, succeeding Rev. Frank M. Holt, who retired recently. Mr. Snell is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lysander F. Snell, Tiverton, R.I., and received the degree of BD from Gordon College. For seven years he has been pastor of the Milton Mills, N.H., Baptist Church. He is married and has a 4-year-old daughter, Joan Mildred (Boston Globe, December 4, 1937).

Frank H. Snell, a church minister, aged thirty years (b. MA), headed a Melrose, MA, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Doris H. Snell, aged thirty-three years (b. NH), his child, Joan M. Snell, aged six years (b. NH), his mother-in-law, Florence Hapgood, retired, aged fifty-one years (b. NH), and his grandfather-in-law, Coleman Kelly, retired, aged sixty-nine years (b. NH). They resided at 14 Farwell Avenue. They had all resided in Acton, ME, in April 1935, except Florence Hapgood, who had resided in Whitefield, ME.

The Milton Town Pound was formerly closer to the White Mountain Highway and the original townhouse than it is now.

ODD ITEMS From EVERYWHERE. Early in the 19th century, when the town of Milton, N.H., was incorporated, a town pound was established opposite the town meetinghouse, but now, to make way for the straighter roads of progress, the pound has been removed backward 25 feet from its original location (Boston Globe, December 10, 1937).

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1936; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1938


Find a Grave. (1999, May 1). Francis Everett Townsend. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/5320

Find a Grave. (2012), January 28). John A. Kuczun. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/84147726www.findagrave.com/memorial/84147726

Find a Grave. (2013, November 12). Joseph Etienne Napoleon Marcoux. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/120231554

Phoenix Masonry. (2015). Townsend Clubs. Retrieved from www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/fraternalism/townsends_clubs.htm

Social Security Administration. (n.d.). The First Social Security Beneficiary. Retrieved from www.ssa.gov/history/imf.html


Lobbying, Finger Pointing, and Public Safety

By Ian Aikens | November 22, 2019

A recent letter to the editor in a local paper sparked my interest.  It concerned HB664, which would have mandated that “No insurance company, agent, or adjuster shall knowingly fail to pay a claim to the claimant or repairer (my emphasis) to the extent the claimant’s vehicle is repaired in conformance with applicable manufacturer’s procedures.”  The writer of the letter complained bitterly about the governor’s veto of this particular bill because it undercut support for “your local auto body shop.”  In other words, it is the job of government to “help” businesses and make sure they “survive.”

No, not really.  The last time I checked the federal and state constitutions, there was nothing in there about helping businesses and guaranteeing their survival.  I don’t always agree with the governor’s decisions, but in this case, he was right in butting out of this issue.  Forcing insurance companies to pay for steps in the repairing process that they deem unnecessary is an intrusion and would only increase insurance costs to consumers.  So, who cares if consumers pay more for car insurance?

Certainly not the hordes of repair shop owners and employees and related repair shop associations that made it a point to lobby in Concord earlier this year in support of the bill. In hours of testimony before legislators, they complained in earnest that they were unfairly getting stuck paying for repairs that were necessary for safety that the insurance companies wouldn’t pay. In other words, greedy BIG INSURANCE was squeezing out little repair shops and not reimbursing them for important repair-related steps that manufacturers deemed necessary for safety. Thus, this David vs. Goliath battle waged at the State House all centers on consumer safety.

Or does it? Let’s look at the big legal case cited the most as the basis for the necessity of HB664. It is Seebachan v. John Eagle Collision Center and came out of Texas. In this tragic car crash, a couple was trapped in their 2010 Honda Fit after being hit by another car, and they suffered severe injuries because the roof collapsed. The roof had been repaired earlier from damage due to hail, and the manufacturer’s procedures spelled out that the roof was supposed to be welded back together, but John Eagle Collision Center used adhesive bonding instead. In sworn testimony in court, a John Eagle Collision Center manager implied that it was due to pressure from the insurance company that corners were cut.  In other words, finger pointing.

A good ambulance-chasing lawyer will never waste a good opportunity to go after BIG _______ (fill in the blank: BUSINESS, CORPORATIONS, TECH, OIL, TOBACCO, PHARMA, INSURANCE, SODA, etc.), so after the Seebachan’s won their $31.5 million lawsuit against John Eagle Collision Center, their lawyer wasted no time in filing suit against State Farm on behalf of the plaintiffs. Had there been any merit to John Eagle Collision Center’s allegations against such big pockets, you would have heard about it. As it turned out though, the lawsuit was withdrawn, and both sides agreed to pay their own legal costs. So, in fact the big case cited as “proof” that “There ought to be a law” was an instance where a repair shop that had been I-CAR certified in proper repairs failed miserably in its obligation to its customer (the Seebachan’s). Ironically, it was these same businesses (repair shops) lobbying against BIG INSURANCE that were nevertheless lobbying now for BIG GOVERNMENT. But I guess it’s different when the government will help your business.

The first question that comes to mind is why any insurance company would take a chance on being responsible for sending unsafe cars back on the road when it could be held liable for any damages, deaths, or injuries that might occur. Of course, as the narrative goes, BIG INSURANCE is only out for BIG PROFITS, but where would the profits be if your company has to pay out millions in claims? This doesn’t make sound business sense. In fact, cost cutting to the point of sacrificing safety would make poor economic sense precisely because it would lead to BIG EXPENSES, not profits.

But let’s suppose for argument’s sake that an insurance company behaves foolishly and refuses to pay for repairs the manufacturer recommends that are safety-related. What can and should be done? The bill’s proponents have one simple solution: mandate the repair and make the insurance company pay for it, whether it likes it or not. A better solution of how the free market would (and does) correct the situation actually came from one of the comments I read from a repair shop employee who was very critical of insurance companies. She remarked that when her repair shop informed the car’s owner that their insurance company refused to pay for repairs the shop felt were necessary, the consumer took issue with their insurance company and sometimes changed insurance companies after the incident. Thus, unscrupulous and non-profit minded insurance companies would lose business, and if they do this often enough to their customers, they’d soon run out of customers and go out of business.

This clarifies the proper relationship between the three parties. The consumer pays a premium to his/her insurance company to restore their car back to its former state after an accident, and the insurance company fulfills its obligations by paying for repairs following an accident. The contract is between the consumer and his/her insurance company. The only proper role for the repair shop is to follow generally accepted repair standards and repair the car—not to race to the State House to rally for more laws on the books, which by the way would absolutely guarantee more revenue for repair shops. If the insurance company is unwilling to pay for repairs the shop deems necessary for safety, it should simply refuse to do the job—or at the very least inform the consumer what repairs it recommends and then let the consumer decide how to proceed. As the lady from the repair shop who complained bitterly about the insurance companies noted, consumers when informed are not shy about taking matters in their own hands and don’t need BIG GOVERNMENT to protect them like children.

By the way, a footnote to the vetoed bill says, “The (Insurance) Department is unable to predict the volume of additional queries and complaints, but believes it could be large enough to require an additional staff position.” So, between the vagueness of some of the language in the bill and the eagerness of repair shops to secure as many repairs as possible, that’s a virtual guarantee of yet another useless government bureaucrat with which taxpayers would be forever burdened.

I also checked how Milton’s reps voted on this bill. Sadly, Senator Bradley was a co-sponsor of the bill, but fortunately Abigail Rooney and Peter Hayward voted against it. The next legislative session is just around the corner, and you can be sure we haven’t heard the last of this bill. Pressuring politicians to pass a mandate and guarantee more business in the name of “public safety” never goes of style.


Court Listener. (2018, October 3). In the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division: Seebachan v. State Farm. Retrieved from https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.txed.178606/gov.uscourts.txed.178606.16.0.pdf

Legiscan. (2019, September 18). NH HB 664. Retrieved from  legiscan.com/NH/bill/HB664/2019

Manchester Union Leader. (2019, August 30). Your Turn, NH – John Elias:  Hijacking consumer protection. Retrieved from https://www.unionleader.com/opinion/columnists/your-turn-nh—john-elias-hijacking-consumer-protection/article_e8580f94-fb5e-5039-8e63-b3f43ead0393.html

NH Governor. (2019, August 15). Governor’s Veto Message Regarding House Bill 664. Retrieved from https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/press-2019/documents/hb-664-veto-message.pdf

Repairer Driven News. (2017, August 23). Update:  Couple in $1M Texas body shop lawsuit drop case against State Farm – but only temporarily. Retrieved from https://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2017/08/23/seebachans-drop-case-against-state-farm/

Repairer Driven News. (2019, September 5). AASP, ASA, SCRS respond to N.H. insurance commissioner’s op-ed. Retrieved from https://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2019/09/05/aasp-asa-scrs-respond-to-n-h-insurance-commissioners-op-ed/

Repairer Driven News. (2019, September 19). N.H. Legislature fails to override Sununu veto of OEM auto repair procedures bill. Retrieved from https://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2019/09/19/n-h-legislature-fails-to-override-sununu-veto-of-oem-repair-procedures-bill/

Repairer Driven News. (2019, September 20). Insurers skip required test to help consumers, and other arguments made against N.H. OEM procedures bill. Retrieved from https://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2019/09/20/n-h-veto-supporter-insurers-skip-required-oem-tests-to-save-cars-from-totaling/