Milton’s US Excise Tax of May 1864

By Muriel Bristol | October 13, 2018

We encountered the six and a half pages of the US Excise Tax of May 1864 for its Collection District 1 and Division 8. This was put forward as a temporary tax – a war measure – but we all know there is no such thing as a temporary tax. This particular “temporary” war tax continued well into the 1870s. (We will perhaps examine other years separately in the future).

Division 8 comprised the towns of Alton, Alton Bay, East Alton, and West Alton; Barnstead, Center Barnstead, and North Barnstead; Blue Hill; Farmington; Gilmanton, Gilmanton I.M. [Iron Mill], and South Gilmanton; Middleton; Milton, Milton Mills, and South Milton; New Durham; Strafford, Center Strafford, and Strafford Corner.

There was one entry for an itinerant Dover-based 3d-class pedlar.

Only the entries for Milton, South Milton, and Milton Mills have been excerpted below (Their sequence numbers have been omitted).


ALPHABETICAL LIST of Persons in Division No. 8, in Collection District No 1 of the State of New Hampshire, liable to a tax under the Excise laws of the United States, and the amount thereof, as assessed by George A. Titcomb, Assistant Assessor, and by him returned to the Assessor, of said District, for the month of May – Annual, 1864.

Assessors must be particular to fill all the blanks in this form, as far as practicable, and to classify and number all articles and occupations upon which taxes are assessed to correspond with the entry in the Abstract.

[Page 76]

  • Bennett, James, Milton, Manufacturer, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due
  • Drew, Stephen, Milton, Physician, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due

[Page 77]

  • Fox, Asa & Son, Milton Mills, Retail Dealer, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due
  • Hanson, William H., Milton, Retail Dealer, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due
  • Hayes, Barstow, & Co., So. Milton, Manufacturers, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due
  • Hayes, Lyman, & Perkins, So. Milton, Retail Dealers, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due

[Page 78]

  • Huntress, William H., Milton, Hotel 8th Class, $5 Class B License, $5 Amount of Tax Due
  • Huntress, William H., Milton, Retail Liquor Dealer, $20 Class B License, $20 Amount of Tax Due
  • Huntress, William H., Milton, Livery Stable, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due
  • Huntress, William H., Milton, 1-Horse Carriage, $1 Rate, $90 Value, $10 Class C Enumerated Articles, $36 Amount of Tax Due
  • Jewett, Asa, Milton Mills, Retail Dealer, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due
  • Jones, Charles, Milton, 1-Horse Carriage, $1 Rate, $80 Value, $1 Class C Enumerated Articles, $1 Amount of Tax Due

[Page 79]

  • Milton Mills Co., Milton Mills, Manufacturers, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due
  • Plummer, Enoch W., Milton, Stallion, $10 Class B License, [blank] Amount of Tax Due
  • Plummer, Enoch W., Milton, 1-Horse Carriage, $1 Rate, $75 Value, $1 Class C Enumerated Articles, $11 Amount of Tax Due
  • Plummer, Joseph, Milton, 2-Horse Carriage, $2 Rate, $150 Value, $2 Class C Enumerated Articles, $2 Amount of Tax Due
  • Pearl, Joseph, Milton, 2-Horse Carriage, $1 Rate, $80 Value, $1 Class C Enumerated Articles, $1 Amount of Tax Due

[Page 80]

  • Reed, L.D., Milton Mills, Hotel 7th Class, $10 Class B License, [blank] Amount of Tax Due
  • Reed, L.D., Milton Mills, Retail Liquor Dealer, $20 Class B License, $30 Amount of Tax Due
  • Simmes, Bray U., Milton Mills, Retail Dealer, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due
  • Simmes, John U., Milton Mills, Retail Dealer, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due
  • Twombly, E.H., Milton Mills, Retail Dealer, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due

[Page 81]

  • Wentworth, H.V., So. Milton, Horse Dealer, $10 Class B License, $10 Amount of Tax Due

These 23 entries provide a snapshot of the major economic activity in South Milton, Milton, and Milton Mills as assessed in May 1864 – the beginning of the fourth and final year of the Civil War. At least, it provides a snapshot of the major taxable activity.

South Milton had manufacturer Hayes, Barstow, & Co., retail dealer Hayes, Lyman, & Perkins, and horse dealer H.V. Wentworth.

Horse dealer Hiram V. Wentworth (1818-1890) had become a shoe manufacturer by the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. (He was also an incorporator of the Milton Classical Institute).

Milton proper had a single manufacturer James Bennett; a retail dealer William H. Hanson; 7th class hotelier, retail liquor dealer, and livery stabler William H. Huntress; and physician Dr. Stephen Drew.

James Bennett (1816-1894) appeared in an 1865 Dover Directory as a partner in Bennett (James) & Hovey (Thos. C.), shoe manuf. Orchard n. Central, house 8 Orchard.

William H. Hanson (1834-1913) had appeared as a Lebanon, ME, shoemaker in the Eighth (1860) Federal Census and would appear as a Dover grocery clerk in Ninth (1870) Federal Census.

William H. Huntress (1823-1873) had appeared as a Milton shoemaker in the Eighth (1860) Federal Census and would appear as a Milton saloon keeper in the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. He must have established or taken up his 7th-class hotel, saloon, and livery stable at some time between June 1860 and May 1864.

William H. Huntress, Charles Jones (1833-1873), E.W. Plummer (1815-1896),  Joseph Plummer (1820-1907), and Joseph Pearl (1786-1867) all had their carriages taxed. These one and two-horse carriages might have been their owners’ personal carriages or they might have been possibly for hire. (Charles Jones was also an incorporator of the Milton Classical Institute).

Jones and the Plummer brothers all appeared together on the same page in the Eighth (1860) Federal Census; they were all farmers, whose post-office district was Milton, while Joseph Pearl, who was also a farmer, had a post-office district of West Milton.

Enoch W. Plummer had his stallion assessed too. No other horses, either stallions or mares, appeared in the Milton tax assessments. It seems unlikely that this was the only stallion in town. Might it have been especially valuable for some reason?

The Great Falls & Conway railroad had begun running through Milton some nine years before this assessment. The station building was still nine years in the future.

Milton Mills had a single manufacturer, Milton Mills Co.; five retail dealers: Asa Fox & Sons, Asa Jewett, Bray U. Simmes, John U. Simmes, and E.H. Twombly; and one 7th class hotelier and retail liquor dealer L.D. Reed.

Asa Fox (1809-1887) appeared as a Milton Mills farmer in the Eighth (1860) Federal Census and as retail grocer in the Ninth (1870) Federal Census.

Asa Jewett (1815-1883) appeared as a Milton Mills farmer in both the Eighth (1860) and Ninth (1870) Federal Censuses.

B.U. Sims (1801-1885) and his son, John Sims, appeared together as Milton Mills merchants in the Eighth (1860) Federal Census and Bray U. Simmes and John U. Simmes appeared separately as Milton Mills retail grocers in the Ninth (1870) Federal Census.

E.H. Twombly (1830-1893) appeared in the Eighth (1860) Federal Census as a Milton Mills merchant and Ezra H. Twombly appeared in the Ninth (1870) Federal Census as Milton Mills Post Master.

L.D. Reed appeared in the Eighth (1860) Federal Census as the landlord of the Milton Mills Hotel. His tenants at that time included a physician (Wm. B. Reynolds), four pedlars, a bread pedlar, and an expressman. His hotel appeared between the households of John L. Swinerton, physician, and E. Osgood, blacksmith.

Lewis D. Reed, aged thirty-eight years, hotel keeper, of Milton, registered for the draft in June 1863. He died in Milton in 1870.

This Milton Mills assessment may be compared with Vulpe’s January 1864 letter in the Farmington Weekly Courier. The Milton Mills Co. of the tax assessment corresponds to John Townsend, Esq.’s superlative flannel mill of the other. Vulpes omits the trader E.H. Twombly, as well as L.D. Reed’s hotel and saloon bar, but mentions “three or four” small grocery vendors and a carting company that the tax assessment omits.

References:

Find a Grave. (2015, August 17). James Bennett. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/150871040

Find a Grave. (2013, July 31). Asa Fox. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/114673689/asa-fox

Find a Grave. (2016, December 5). William H. Hanson. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/173508228/william-h-hanson

Find a Grave. (2013, August 14). Asa Jewett. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/115418840/asa-jewett

Find a Grave. (2016, May 24). Joseph Plummer. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/163223950/joseph-plummer

Find a Grave. (2013, August 17). Bray U. Simes. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/115612041

Find a Grave. (2013, August 17). John U. Simes. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/115612563

Fox, Cynthia G. (1986). Income Tax Records of the Civil War Years. Retrieved from www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1986/winter/civil-war-tax-records.html

 

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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