Milton in the News – 1873

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | February 10, 2019

In this year, we encounter accounts of a growing boy, a new postal route, a major mill fire, a comic story, a report on the Milton Mills Congregational church, and the destruction by fire of the Nathan Jewett house at Milton Mills. (At the national level, this year closed with the financial Panic of 1873).

It is difficult to say why this merited press attention. It seems as if this sort of information must have originated with the Brown family itself. The boy, presumably Everett E. Brown, may have been large for his age, but, as his height is not mentioned, it is difficult to say. (The average person was smaller then).

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS. Robert Brown, of Milton, N.H., has a boy 15 years of age, who weighs 230 pounds (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 8, 1873).

Robert Brown, a shoe factory worker, aged forty years, headed a Milton (Milton Mills P.O.) household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Sarah A. Brown, keeping house, aged forty-four years, Everitt O. Brown, a shoe factory worker, aged fourteen years, and Elmer E. Brown, at school, aged nine years. The Brown household appeared next to William H. Huntress’ saloon in the enumeration.

Everett E. Brown lived still with his parents at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. He was then an ice handler, aged forty-five years, for which job some measure of size and strength would have been helpful. He died in Milton, July 9, 1921, aged sixty-seven years and twenty-two days.

The Federal Post Office Department established a postal route between Milton Mills and Horne’s Mills in Wakefield.

New Hampshire. A new postal route has been established in this State, between Milton Mills and Haines Mills [Horne’s Mills in Wakefield]. It was ordered last week (Boston Globe, January 17, 1873).

See also the postal routes mentioned in Milton in the News – 1827, Milton in the News – 1839, and Milton in the News – 1848, as well as Milton’s First Postmasters (1818-c1840).

ABrierley Felt Works large-scale mill fire took place at Milton Mills in June. The reported loss was over eight times larger (in unadjusted dollar amounts) than that of the A.S. Howard & Co. mill fire of 1845, and over three times larger than the John Townsend mill fire of 1861.

Crimes and Casualties. The woolen mills of Edward Brierly at Milton, N.H., were burned on June 13. Loss, $100,000 (Netawaka Chief (Netawaka, KS), June 25, 1873).

Edward Brierley was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, England, May 19, 1817, son of John and Mary Brierley.

Edward Brierley arrived in the US at New York, NY, December 24, 1841. He resided in Lowell, MA, when he was naturalized in the local police court there, May 31, 1851.

He married Margaret M. Thompson. She was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, in 1812. She died in Milton, July 30, 1888, aged seventy-five years.

Edward Briley, a factory operative, aged forty=three years (born England), headed a Milton Mills household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Hannah [SIC] Briley, aged forty years (born Ireland [SIC]).

Edward Brierly, a felt manufacturer, aged fifty-three years (born England), headed a Milton Mills household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Margaret Brierly, keeping house, aged fifty-four years (born Scotland), and Edward J. Brierly, a clerk in a felt manufactory, aged twenty-one years (born MA). Edward Brierly had real estate valued at $3,000 and personal estate valued at $2,000.

Brierley was mentioned also in the Vulpes letter of 1864, as well as Milton business directories of 1869-70, 1871, 1873, 1874, 1876, and 1877.

Edward Brierly died in Milton Mills, July 7, 1878, aged sixty-one years.

There was a sort of comic relation of an event that supposedly took place in Milton.

A THOUGHTFUL MAN. A blood relation of the immortal Mrs. Toody dwells in Milton, N.H., He is a much marred man, having recently brought home his fourth wife. This estimable lady, two or three days after installation in her new home, was regulating the furniture according to her ideas of taste and propriety. Accompanied by a boy of seven years, she went into an attic chamber, where she found a pair of newly-made saw-horses, such as carpenters use in cutting lumber. She said: “Sammy, my son, what are these horses for?” “Well, father keeps them horses to put his wives’ coffins on.” Imagine that pair of horses taking a Sam Patch leap from the attic window of the two-story house with: “I guess my coffin won’t ride them this week” (Danbury Reporter (Danbury, NC), August 28, 1873).

Mrs. Toody was a fictional character in To Oblige Benson, an 1854 one-act comedietta by Tom Taylor. (Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at another of Taylor’s plays: Our American Cousin). A Sam Patch leap is a headlong jump from a cliff. (Note the play on words: the husband is much marred, because his wives keep dying, but, on account of that, he is also much married).

TheAL321102-Scott following mention of the Milton Mills Congregational church has been extracted from a larger report on the Strafford Congregational Conference. Despite its name, the conference included also Belknap and Carroll counties, as well as Strafford county.

CONFERENCESThe youngest of our New Hampshire churches, at Milton Mills, has been richly blessed during the year. Its pastor, D.B. Scott, was installed Sept. 1, 1872. He writes: “Some discouragements, but no defeats, for the Lord is on our side. We gratefully acknowledge the good things of the past, and hope for still greater things in the future.” Twenty-three have united with the church on profession, and fifteen have been baptized, – seven infants, – a cheering statement in the too wide-spread neglect of this ordinance, The Sabbath Hymn and Tune Book has been introduced, and a friend has given a rich communion service (Vermont Chronicle (Bellows Falls, VT), September 20, 1873).

This would be the union evangelical Congregational church organized at Milton Mills in September 1871.

Darius Bullock Scott was born in Bloomfield, NY, in October 1843. He died in Los Angeles, CA, November 1, 1932.

He served in the 17th Illinois Cavalry in 1864-65. After the war, he studied at the Chicago Theological Seminary. On a vacation from there, in 1870, he went as a missionary to the Native Americans of Alma, KS. Milton Mills was his first parish in 1872. He subsequently held pastorates in Lynnfield, MA, in 1878; Hollis, NH, 1879-1885; Clinton, MA, from 1885-92; Sioux Falls, SD; 1892-01; Lancaster, MA, 1901-10; and La Canada, CA.

One of Milton Mills’ early homesteads was destroyed by fire in October.

New Hampshire. The house known as the Nathan Jewett House at Milton Mills was destroyed by fire on the 11th inst. Loss not reported. Insured (Boston Globe, October 23, 1873).

Nathl Jewett headed a Milton household at the time of the Third (1810) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 26-44 years (himself), one female aged 26-44 years (Nancy J. (Rogers) Jewett), two males aged 16-25 years, one female aged 16-25 years, and one female aged 10-15 years. The census taker enumerated his household between those of Josiah Witham and Timothy Wentworth.

Nathaniel Jewett’s saw-mill, owned by himself and others, was one of twelve mills in Milton in 1813 (Scales, 1914).

Nathaniel Jewett died in Milton, June 2, 1847, aged sixty-six years, ten months, and nine days.

See also Milton Businesses in 1873

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1871; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1874


Find a Grave. (2013, August 12). Edward Brierley. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2013, August 12). Margaret M. Brierley. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2013, August 14). Nathaniel Jewett. Retrieved from

Rochester (NY) Public Library. (2018, January 12). Rochester’s Daredevil: Sam Patch (1799-1829). Retrieved from

Wheat, George W. (1876). The New York Drama. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2018, November 23). Panic of 1873. Retrieved from

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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