Milton in the News – 1870

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | February 4, 2019

In this year, we encounter a chimney fire at John E. Twombly’s Milton Three Ponds grocery and dry goods store.

LOSSES BY FIRE. Other Losses. J.E. Twombly’s grocery and dry goods store, with the post and telegraph offices at Milton Three Ponds, New Hampshire, were burned Saturday evening. Loss $4,000; insured for $1,700 (Hartford Courant, [Friday,] December 30, 1870).

New England Items. NEW HAMPSHIRE. The store of Mr. J.E. Twombly, in Milton Three Ponds, was burned on Sunday last. The post-office, telegraph office were burned. Mr. Twombly lost his entire stock of goods, books, papers, &c. His loss on the stock is $1500; insured for $1300; loss on the building $1500; insured $400. The fire was owing to a defective chimney (Vermont Journal (South Royalton, VT), January 7, 1871).

JE Twombly Store and PO
J.E. Twombly Store & P.O.

John E. Twombly, a merchant, aged thirty-two years, married in Somersworth, NH, July 29, 1868, Annie L. Waterhouse, a lady, aged twenty-eight years, He had been born in Milton, [January 3,] 1836, son of James M. and Eunice Twombly. She had been born in Strafford, [January 4,] 1840, daughter of Benjamin F. and Lydia M. (Tuttle) Waterhouse.

John E. Twombly, a retail grocer, aged thirty-four years, headed a Milton (Middleton P.O.) household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Lydia A. Twombly, aged thirty years, Clarence E. Twombly, aged eleven months, and Ora J. Downs, at school, aged twelve years. John E. Twombly had personal estate valued at $2,335, much of it his stock in trade. The census taker enumerated his household between those of James W. Miller, a shoe factory worker, aged forty-one years, and George W. Peavy, a physician, aged thirty-one years.

Twombly’s house may be seen on the same 1871 map detail (prepared before the fire), six houses further north on the same river or pond side of the street as his store (indicated by a red arrow). He lived more or less across the street from the Academy, i.e., the Milton Classical Institute. Note too that the train station (lower right) is on the other side of the river from the store. (The one depicted in the postcards would not be built until 1873).

John E. Twombly paid the US Excise Tax of May 1866, for being a retail dealer; and he appeared as a merchant in Milton business directories  of 1867-68, 1869-70, 1871, and 1873, but not in 1874 or thereafter. We find him next as a stonecutter, who resided at 5 Brick Street in Dover, NH, in the Dover directory of 1876.

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1869; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1871


Find a Grave. (2017, September 17). John E. Twombly. Retrieved from


Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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