Milton in the News – 1875

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | February 21, 2019

In this year, we encounter the Strafford County and Shapleigh & Acton (York County) agricultural fairs, another mill fire, the suspicious death of a Milton man in Somersworth, and Farmington’s Wilson birth-site memorial.

Luther Hayes was born in Lebanon, ME, January 12, 1820, son of George and Lydia (Jones) Hayes.

Hayes represented Milton in the NH legislature in 1859-60. The Federal government taxed him as a horse dealer in the US Excise Tax of 1864. He held the office of Strafford County Sheriff in the years 1866-71. He was one of ten incorporators of the Milton Classical Institute in 1867.

Strafford county [Fair] effected an organization in 1867 … The Rochester fair, started as a town exhibition over twenty years ago [1875], soon overshadowed and practically wiped out the Strafford County fair, and for many years past has maintained interstate proportions, rivaling the New England fair in many respects (Metcalf, 1897).

Luther Hayes, a farmer, aged fifty years, headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Sarah L. [(Caffran}] Hayes, keeping house, aged thirty-four years, Charles H. Hayes, a farm laborer, aged twenty-one years, George A. Hayes, a farm laborer, aged eighteen years, Samuel L. Hayes, at school, aged seven years, Fanny L. Hayes, aged four years, Hattie E. Hayes, aged two years, and John L. Hayes, aged seven months, Amos Jackson, a farm laborer, aged thirty-five years, Lydia E. Cloutman, aged twenty-eight years, and Mary Sinclair, housekeeper, aged sixty-five years. Hayes had real estate valued at $6,000 and personal estate valued at $3,447. The census taker enumerated his household between those of Giles W. Burrows and Ichabod H. Wentworth (father of Hiram V. Wentworth).

AGRICULTURAL SOCIETIES. STRAFFORD CO., N.H. The annual meeting was held at Dover, Dec. 22, when the following officers were elected: President, Luther Hayes of Milton; Vice Presidents, Elisha Lock of Harrington, and Joseph Nutter of Farmington; Treasurer, Stephen S. Chick of Great Falls; Secretary, Ezra H. Twombly of Dover (New England Farmer (Boston, MA), January 9, 1875).

Luther Hayes will be encountered again in another capacity in 1876 and 1878.

Hiram V. Wentworth’s South Milton shoe factory was thought to have been burned by an arsonist.

FIRES. AT SOUTH MILTON, N.H. – GREAT FALLS, N.H., July 24. – Hiram V. Wentworth’s shoe manufactory, at South Milton, burned last night. Loss $30,000. Partly insured (Chicago Tribune, July 25, 1875).

THE FIRE RECORD. Other Fires. Hiram F. Wentworth’s shoe manufactory at South Milton, N.H., was totally destroyed by fire with its contents Friday night. Loss about $30,000, partially insured. It is supposed to have been the work of an incendiary (Hartford Courant, July 26, 1875).

Hiram V. Wentworth and John U. Simes were Milton’s NH state representatives in 1867. Wentworth was also one of the ten incorporators of the Milton Classical Institute. He was chosen a board member of the Strafford County agricultural fair in September 1869.

Hiram V. Wentworth, a shoe manufacturer, aged fifty-one years, headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Mary J. Wentworth, keeping house, aged forty-eight years, Henry H. Wentworth, a shoe manufacturer, aged twenty-six years, Louisa A. Wentworth, aged twenty-three years, Anna H. Wentworth, at school, aged five years, James M. Gage, a shoe cutter, aged twenty-four years, James M. Corson, a shoe finisher, aged twenty-four years, and Charles L. Furber, a farm laborer, aged forty-six years. Wentworth had real estate valued at $1,500 and personal estate valued at $1,654.

Milton business directories identify him as a boot and shoe manufacturer in 1869-70, 1871, and 1873.

Hiram V. Wentworth, son of Ichabod H. and Peace (Varney) Wentworth,  died in Milton, September 29, 1890, aged seventy-one years.

Here follow three drunken incidents involving Milton residents, none of which happened in Milton itself.

TELEGRAPHIC NOTES. Fred Gallagher, of Milton, N.H., left his friends in Great Falls on the night of the 1st inst. to go to the cars for home. Yesterday his body was discovered in the canal near No. 2 mill. An inquest will beheld to-day. Deceased was about 21 years of age, and unmarried (Boston Post, October 13, 1875).

GAMBLERS AND DRUNKARDS IN MAINE. SACO ME., OCT. 21. – Sheriffs Burgin and Grant went to the Shapleigh and Acton Fair, yesterday. There was a very large attendance and much drunkenness. Outside the grounds rum was freely sold. They raided on many and made a number of arrests. Willey S. Davis, of Milton Mills, and Ben West, of Milton Three Ponds, were taken to Alfred Jail. John Grant, of Great Falls, was brought to Saco. The arrests caused a scattering among the liquor venders. Gambling was freely indulged in, and several arrests were made (Boston Post, October 22, 1875).

It may be useful to remember that arrests are not convictions.

Many readers will have seen this Wilson memorial boulder on Main Street (NH Route 153) in Farmington, next to the Farmington Country Club.

A very singular and improvised monument has been dedicated to Vice President WILSON by the people of his native place, Farmingham [SIC], N.H. Last Wednesday, while the bells tolled, the villagers on foot followed a bowlder of ten tons weight, dragged by ten oxen, for nearly two miles to the acre lot on which stands the house in -which WILSON was born, and there deposited the rough bowlder as a monument. The acre was part of the farm of COLBATH, WILSON’S father, but was sold years ago to a wealthy manufacturer, LUTHER HAYES, who gave it to HENRY WILSON (Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, AL), December 10, 1875).

Vice President Henry Wilson had died only weeks before Farmington set this boulder in place as a monument.

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1874; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1876


Find a Grave. (1998, May 7). Henry Wilson. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2010, March 8). Luther Hayes. Retrieved from

Metcalf, Henry H. (1897). New Hampshire Agriculture: Personal and Farm Sketches. Concord, NH: Republican Press Association

Rochester Fair. (2018). Rochester Fair. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2013, December 26). Henry Wilson. Retrieved from


Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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