Milton in the News – 1890

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | April 16, 2019

In this year, we encounter several Milton residents advertising for used furniture and equipment, ice being very much a question, Charles Griffin having a close call, N.B. Thayer & Co. advertising for shoe workers, and the destruction of the Milton Baptist Church building.

(See also Milton in the Veterans Schedule of 1890).

Elijah T. Libbey, a jeweler, aged thirty-three years (b. ME), headed a Milton Mills household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Ida A. Libbey, keeping house, aged twenty-six years (b. ME), and his son, Aubrey D. Libbey, at school, aged eight years (b. ME).

FURNITURE, ETC. WANTED – A good second-hand roll-top desk (cabinet); parties having same can find purchaser by enclosing cut and stating price. Address E.T. LIBBEY, Milton Mills, N.H. (Boston Globe, January 7, 1890).

E.T. Libbey appeared as a Milton Mills jewelry merchant in the Milton business directories of 1880, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1887, 1889, 1892, 1894, 1898, and 1901. He was also sold confections in and after 1894. He received $604.87 in compensation for being Milton Mills postmaster in 1901.

Elijah T. Libby, a jeweler, died in Milton Mills, NH, in which he had been resident for forty-four years, November 19, 1918. aged seventy-two years and one day. Ida R. (Eastman) Libby died in Milton Mills, April 5, 1930.

Frank James Bartlett was born in Charlestown, MA, April 16, 1853, son of Nelson and Maria M. (Morrill) Bartlett.

Nelson Bartlett, ice business, aged fifty-four years (b. Canada), headed a Boston, MA, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Maria M. [(Morrill)] Bartlett, keeping house, aged fifty-one years (b. Canada), his son, Frank J. Bartlett, ice business, aged twenty-seven years (b. MA), his daughter-in-law, Lillie M. [(Kendall)] Bartlett, at home, aged nineteen years (b. LA), and his servants, Katie Dunn, aged twenty-two years (b. MA), and Sarah Parsons, aged twenty-four years (b. England).

Gathering in the Harvest. MALDEN. Feb. 9. – Frank J. Bartlett of the Boston Ice Company, who is superintending the cutting of the annual supply for the Boston market at Milton. N.H., states that they have already cut about 20,000 tons, the ice being about 14 inches thick and of excellent quality. About 200 men are employed in harvesting the crop, which will be shipped to Boston by rail. The Boston Ice Company is building several new houses, which they will fill with ice if the weather keeps cool. They have sent a number of men to Alton Bay, N.H. on Lake Winnepesaukee, where they expect to cut about 10,000 tons. Supt. Bartlett states that last year they used about 175,000 tons In Boston alone, and he thinks that it will be impossible to obtain more than 60,000 or 75,000 tons this season unless the weather should suddenly grow cold and continue so for six or seven weeks (Boston Globe, February 10, 1890).

Frank J. Bartlett, an ice dealer, aged forty-seven years (b. MA), headed a Malden, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lillie Bartlett, aged thirty-nine years (b. LA); his children, Helen M. Bartlett, at school, aged nineteen years (b. MA), Nelson Bartlett, at school, aged seventeen years (b. MA), Howard Bartlett, at school, aged sixteen years (b. MA), Margarita Bartlett, at school, aged thirteen years (b. MA), and Randolph Bartlett, at school, aged seven years (b. MA); and his servants, Augusta Ackeburg, a servant, aged thirty-three years (b. Sweden), and Susanna Johnson, a servant, aged thirty-one years (b. Sweden).

Frank J. Bartlett died in Malden, MA, July 1, 1936. Lillie M. (Kendall) Bartlett died in Westwood, MA, October 4, 1937.

Someone in Milton Mills wanted to buy a “detective” camera. Such a camera would have been hand-held, smaller and less conspicuous than a professional box camera and tripod.

WANTED. WANTED – To buy a second-hand detective camera; must be in a good condition and at a low price. X.G.W., Milton Mills, N.H. (Boston Globe, February 20, 1890).

Hmm. G.W.

The following article speaks to regional ice prospects,  but mentions Milton’s ice harvest near the end of the first paragraph.

THE ICE QUESTION is just now of intense interest to all of this part of the world. In southern New England none has been cut as yet. In central New England none of any amount has been cut, although we have heard of some farmers and dairymen who have stored a summer’s supply of ice from four to six inches in thickness. Northern New England has an abundance and in available locations in Maine and New Hampshire thousands of tons are being cut and stored in houses or stacked till such time as cars can be obtained to transport it, for at present the railroads are inadequate to the demands upon them. A syndicate of New York capitalists is negotiating for the erection of ice houses and storing large quantities of ice in Nova Scotia to ship for consumption during the summer. In the cities and large towns, there will probably be enough ice next summer – but at a high price. The situation, however, is one of much concern to dairymen and creameries. The lakes and ponds where there is ice present very busy sights; men and teams are in demand at large wages, and excited speculators are gambling on the future. Nearly 100 carloads of ice are shipped from Laconia, N.H., daily to Boston over the Concord and Montreal road, besides what is being put into houses and stacked for further delivery. 175,000 tons had been cut in Milton N.H. One Boston company had cut 6500 tons on Lake Winnipesaukee and another has 3000 tons at Waterloo, Me. Spruce lumber has advanced 2000 per thousand feet on the Kennebec. [N.E. Farmer of March 18]

Perhaps never before has there been such a winter, take it altogether, throughout much of the country. It seems almost strange that with the little very cold weather here the ice should be so good. But this is only where there are still bodies of water. If the ice from some of our lakes and ponds could be made available where there is none, it would at such a time be of the greatest importance to such places. Of course it can be and is transported long distances, but it must cost a good sum wherever delivered.

As probably you will be informed by your local correspondent, a considerable amount Is being cut, stored and shipped south from Enosburgh Falls. For a quiet place considerable excitement prevails over this newly developed industry, and as much as possible is being made out of this exigency.

If this feature of the ice business could be depended upon from year to year, then it would be of sufficient importance to develop It, but perhaps another winter there will be plenty further south and no demand for the northern article.

So in this case it will be well to “make hay when the sun shines,” but perhaps in the meantime something of a more permanent character may be evolved, and a new industry developed up here, where ice is nearly always plenty and cheap in winter. (St. Albans Daily Messenger, March 14, 1890).

Clutched the Pulley and Saved Himself. Mr. Charles Griffin, while engaged in adjusting one of the large pulleys at the leather board mill, Milton, N.H., came near losing his life. He was inside the pulley, and, the gate not shutting tight,, his weight on the front side caused the shaft to start, and his only chance for safety was to clutch the arms of the pulley and revolve with it. It was a desperate move, but he did so, and for two or three minutes rode as fast as a man often has an opportunity of doing. Oscar Hueston discovered the situation and stopped the machinery. Griffin was released from his danger unharmed. – Cor. Boston Herald (Sterling Daily Gazette (Sterling, IL), June 26, 1890)

The N.B. Thayer & Co. shoe manufacturers mentioned in 1885 set up a shoe manufactory in Milton in the aftermath of the Milton Mills Shoe Strike of 1889

MALE HELP WANTED. WANTED, McKay channeler; also competent man to take charge of small stock room, on misses’ and children’s work; must understand fitting from the side. N.B. THAYER, & CO., Milton, N.H. (Boston Globe, September 17, 1890).

The exceedingly unfortunate Elgin J. Burns died in a horrible elevator accident in Boston, MA, on Thursday, October 30, 1890, aged twenty-seven years and two days. (Yes, two days after his birthday).

Summary of News. Elgin Burns, 26 years old, went from Milton. N.H., to be the janitor of an apartment house on Marlboro street, Boston. Last Thursday morning, while looking down into the elevator well through a window, he had his head cut off (Argus & Patriot (Montpelier, VT), November 5, 1890).

He was born in Milford, NH, in October 1863, son of Jason T. and Eliza (Hutchinson) Burns. He was single. (It may just be that the newspaper reporter or typesetter mistook or confused Milford and Milton).

The Milton Baptist Church building was totally consumed by fire in December 1890. The parsonage remained standing,

MILTON. The fire fiend made its appearance in our village, last Friday night, and totally destroyed the Freewill Baptist church. Flames were discovered issuing from the front windows about 11:30. A large crowd collected but the fire had secured so strong a hold that it was impossible to save anything from the building.  The attention of the engine company was directed to the parsonage, and aide by the coating of snow and ice on the roof, that escaped destruction. Rev. Mr. Manter and family occupied the house and the larger portion of their furniture was removed until the immediate danger was over, when willing hands speedily returned them. The cause of the fire is unknown. There had been no fire in the furnace since the previous Sunday, and for the meeting that evening there was but a light wood fire, which was practically out when the house was left. The loss will not be far from $4,000, and there was no insurance on the building or contents. Much credit is due the members of the fire department for their labors, and the thanks of Mr. Manter and his family are exten[d]ed to all who assisted them on the occasion. The Baptist society have accepted the offer of Burley & Usher and will hold their regular Sunday services in the packing room of the shoe factory, commencing next Sunday (Farmington News, [Friday,] December 12, 1890).

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1889; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1891


Camera Wiki. (2018, November 25). Detective Camera. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2013, August 14). Elijah L. Libby. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2016, February 27). Frank James Bartlett. Retrieved from


Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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