Milton in the News – 1899

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | June 7, 2019

In this year, we encounter a new hotel, a masked ball, a forest fire, an employment opportunity, baseball games, incorporation of the Milton Water Works, a prohibitionist on the prowl, some construction by the Spaulding Brothers, a shoe factory for rent, Wentworth’s clothing store for sale, and the accidental death of a dam worker.

Personally Conducted, By Land and Sea. Mr. Fred M. Chamberlain, proprietor of the Phoenix House at Milton, N.H., is to build a new hotel in that town just north of his present house, which will be modern in every particular, and when finished, one of the best equipped and furnished hotels in that section of the country (Boston Home Journal, January 21, 1899).

The new hotel contemplated here was likely “The Sands” summer hotel, built at Meeting House pond, and which Chamberlain managed in later years.

The Milton social club threw its third annual masquerade ball at the Ancient Order of United Workmen (A.O.U.W) hall in Milton (as opposed to Milton Mills).

NEW HAMPSHIRE ALL AMASK. – Milton Social Club Helped by Others to Make Merry. MILTON, N.H., Feb 4 – The third annual masquerade of the Milton social club took place at A.O.U.W. hall last night. E.A. Hodgdon acted as floor director, assisted by the following aids: F.E. Fernald, Ernest Kenniston, J.M. Dolan, Eddie Meagher, Harry Warren. The members of the reception committee were Fred Hartford, George Paey, Fred Doe, Michael Mack, Wilbur Knight and William Stacey. Several large parties were present from adjoining towns and cities. including Dover, Somersworth, Rochester, Farmington, Milton Mills, Sanbornville, Union, New Durham, Wakefield. There were 20 numbers on the dance order. Supper was served at intermission in the banquet hall. There were 75 couples In the grand march, led by Mr. and Mrs. E.A. Hodgdon, Among those present were:

Mr. Alex Champion, Mr. J. Bert Brock, Mr. William Brock, Mr. Edward Feineman, Mr. Ned Dreyfus, Mr. Sammy Rosenfield, Mr. George Walker, Mr. Rosco Allen, Miss Grace Farnum, Mr. Arthur Stone, Mr. Fred Hartford, Mr. and Mrs. H. Flanders, Mr. Fred E. Drew, Mr. Wilbur Wentworth, Mr. Edward Chipman, Mr. Ray Mooney, Mr. Michael Mack, Mr. George Paey, Mr. Lew O’Laughlin, Miss Josie Downs, Miss Annie O’Laughlin, Mr. Frank O’Laughlin, Mr. F.H. Gale, Mr. & Mrs. H. Hayes, Mr. Ernest Kenniston, Mr. Fred Randall,

Mr. C.H. Lowrey, Mr. Samuel Wallace, Miss Fannie Wallace, Mr. Walter Wallace, Mr. Walter Mooney, Miss Daisy Dane, Miss Blanche Harris, Miss Dora Davis, Mr. Edward Knight, Mr. & Mrs. C. Bailey, Mr. & Mrs. Harry Dore, Mr. Arthur Foote, Mr. George Evans, Mr. & Mrs B. Demerritt, Mr. Fred Hayes, Mr. A.W. Card, Miss Florence P. Miller, Mr. & Mrs. W. Randall, Mr. George Perry, Mr. Fred Card, Mr. Edward Marston, Mr. George Marston, Mr. Henry Nutter, Mr. Wm. E. Patterson, Miss Dora Young.

The ring contest was won by Miss Winnie Marston first and Miss Daisy Dane second, two rings being given to those selling the largest number of tickets (Boston Globe, February 4, 1899).

Here we have an account of a forest fire on Milton’s border. Those fighting it, at least on its southern side, were a private crew from the Portland and Rochester Railroad.

FIRE BORDERS TWO STATES. Flames Ravage Wooded District Between Milton, N H, and Lebanon Me. SPRINGVALE, Me, May 5. Fire burned over a large portion of the wooded district between Milton, N.H, and Lebanon, Me., today, and under pressure of a strong breeze is threatened a far greater region, especially between Alfred and South Waterloo. A crew from the Portland & Rochester road headed off the fire at the south side this afternoon, and the chances are good that the blaze will exhaust Itself. No building has been burned (Boston Globe, May 6, 1899).

The Portland & Rochester railroad went through several mergers. Its old name was here used. The Boston & Maine leased its track in 1886, which was often a prelude to a takeover or merger. In July 1899, the Boston & Maine railroad, which by that time already owned five-sixths of the Portland & Rochester stock, bought the remaining stock in a one-for-one exchange for Boston & Maine stock.

Female stitchers continued to be in demand at the N.B. Thayer & Co. shoe factory; table girls too.

Female Help Wanted. STITCHERS wanted – Experienced stitchers in shoe factory on men’s work; also table girls. N. B. THAYER & CO., Milton, N.H. (Boston Globe, June 7, 1899).

Milton fielded a competitive amateur baseball team in this year. It consistently beat the soldiers of Battery M in Portsmouth, NH. (Stationed there during the Spanish-American War).

MILTON 27, BATTERY M 9. The Battery M base ball team went to Milton on Tuesday and played the nine there. The soldier boys put up a good game but lost by the score of twenty-seven to nine (Portsmouth Herald, May 31, 1899).

BATTERY M VS MILTON. The Battery M baseball team is playing the Miltons at the bicycle park this afternoon. The battery boys are striving to wipe out that defeat which the Milton nine inflicted upon them Memorial day. Both teams have their very strongest combinations in the field. A good sized crowd is watching the game (Portsmouth Herald, June 17, 1899).

MILTON’S 22; BATTERY M 1. The Milton town team came to this city on Saturday afternoon and at the bicycle park defeated Battery M’s crack team of ball tossers by a score of twenty-two to one. It was a very one-side game and the Battery boys were not in it for a minute. They were out of their class. The Milton team returned on the evening train (Portsmouth Herald, June 19, 1899).

Malcom A.H. Hart, Charles H. Looney, S. Lyman Hayes, Charles D. Jones, Fred B. Roberts, Harry L. Avery, George E. Wentworth, Joseph H. Avery, Ira W. Jones, Arthur W. Dudley, Everett F. Fox, Henry F. Townsend, Freeman H. Lowd, William T. Wallace, Frank G. Horne, Charles A. Jones, and Nathaniel G. Pinkham petitioned the NH legislature for incorporation as the “Milton Water-Works” company.

ABOUT THE STATE. The Union cemetery association of Wakefield and the Milton Water Works company have filed articles of incorporation with the secretary of state (Portsmouth Herald, July 20, 1899).

This private corporation was established ” … for the purpose of bringing water into the town of Milton and villages therein, for domestic and mechanical purposes, the extinguishment of fires, and such other purposes as may be deemed necessary and proper” (NH Secretary of State, 1901).

The same corporation was also known as Milton Water & Power. (Some small amount of electricity had been generated in Milton as early as 1890).

MILTON, N.H. – The Milton Water & Power Company has been formed by S. Lyman [Hayes], president, H.L. Avery, secretary and treasurer (Electrical World, 1899).

Prohibitionists were still afoot. The mention of Milton is likely an error for Wilton, it being the Hillsborough County Sheriff who was making a nuisance of himself (as well as the complaining ex-Governor, who was also based in Hillsborough County).

ABOUT THE STATE. Ex-Governor Goodell of Antrim has been after the liquor dealers again. Sheriff Doane of Hillsboro county made searches at quite a number of places in Amherst, Milton, and Milford, Saturday, on complaints made by Mr. Goodell (Portsmouth Herald, July 24, 1899).

New Hampshire’s prohibitory laws would be repealed in 1903, and replaced with licensing laws. (See also The Preacher and the Druggist – 1897).

J. Spaulding & Sons put contracts out for bid for the construction of a large new leatherboard factory in North Rochester, NH. It was to include a large raceway and dam, a separate boiler house and bleachery, and a residential complex.

FOR A NEW PLANT. Contracts to Be Let Friday at North Rochester, N.H. NORTH ROCHESTER, N.H, Aug, 10 – The contracts for the construction of a big leatherboard manufacturing plant for the firm of J. Spaulding & Sons, now doing business at Milton, N.H., and Townsend, Mass, are to be let Friday. The contracts call for the construction of a mammoth dam, a canal 500 feet in length, a three-story factory 250 feet long and 50 feet wide, to contain 50,000 feet of floor space, a boiler house to contain two boilers, and a bleachery 150 feet long and 40 feet wide. Also a raceway from the proposed factory 200 feet in length. The total expense of the undertaking has been estimated at $75,000, and the city of Rochester has given favorable consideration to the proposition to exempt the concern from taxation for a period of 10 years. The plant will employ 300 hands when running at its fullest capacity. Dwellings for the accommodation of the operatives are to be erected, and it is expected that before the 1st of February, 1900, a thriving village will be established where now there is nothing but a broad expanse of field and forest. The preliminary surveys have been made and the plans drafted (Boston Globe, August 10, 1899).

Note Rochester’s “encouragement” of ten years without taxes. Ten years seemed to be the standard inducement. It is a nice round number.

(Note also that the advertisement following concerns a Milton building used as a shoe factory for a period of – wait for it – ten years. In the absence of ongoing “encouragement,” the business just goes away (See PawSox Put One Over the Fence)).

This vacant Milton factory advertised for lease would seem to have been occupied by either Burley & Usher, or one of several other short-lived shoe companies.

FACTORY TO LET! SIZE 150×40 ft, 4 stories, plank under floors, water power, steam heat, automatic sprinklers, side track to elevator; situated on main line of B&M railroad; freights from Boston 13c per 100; used during the last 10 years for a shoe factory; rent and power free to right parties; 300 excellent operatives in town. For further particulars inquire of Board of Trade, Milton, N.H. H.B. AMEY, Secretary (Boston Globe, October 6, 1899).

Milton apparently had for a time a Board of Trade, i.e., a sort of chamber of commerce. Harry Amey, an attorney, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), was its secretary. He lived in “Milton Village” in 1900.

Harry Wentworth (son of Hiram) appeared as both a dry goods merchant and a merchant tailor in Milton business directories of 1894, 1898; and as a merchant tailor only in that of 1901.

Business Chances. FOR SALE. – An excellent chance for a clothing and furnishing business in a manuf. village. For particulars H.E. WENTWORTH, Milton Mills, N.H. (Boston Globe, November 11, 1899).

Harry E. Wentworth, a farmer, aged thirty years (b. NH), headed an Acton, ME, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of two years), Hattie M. [(Lowd)] Wentworth, aged twenty-seven years (b. ME), and [her] widowed mother, Melissie [(Buck)] Wentworth [actually Lowd], a housekeeper, aged fifty-five years.

Martin Murphy came to Milton from Worcester, MA, to work on the “mammoth” dam being built for new J. Spaulding & Sons leatherboard factory in North Rochester, NH. (See August above). Poor Murphy died from an injury received while trying to board an electric trolley on High Street in Somersworth, NH, while it was still moving.

Martin Murphy Dies from Injuries. SOMERSWORTH, N.H., Dec. 7. Martin Murphy of Worcester, Mass., who was injured by falling from an electric car here last night, died this morning as the result of his injuries. Murphy had been employed at Milton, N.H., where a large dam is being constructed. He was 35 years old (Boston Globe, [Thursday,] December 7, 1899).

Dr. L.E. Grant of Somersworth, NH, attributed Murphy’s death to “Concussion of the Brain,” from which injury he lingered for five hours. The contributing cause was “Killed by Electric Cars.”

Remains Sent to Worcester. SOMERSWORTH, N.H., Dec. 8 – The remains of Martin Murphy of Worcester, who was fatally injured Wednesday evening in this city while attempting to board a moving electric car, were shipped to Worcester today at the request of relatives of the dead man (Boston Globe, [Saturday,] December 9, 1899).

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1898; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1900


Boston Home Journal. (1899, January 21). Personally Conducted, By Land and Sea. Retrieved from

NH Secretary of State. (1901). Laws of the State of New Hampshire. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2016, May 7). David H. Goodell. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2018, May 26). Portland & Rochester Railroad. Retrieved from

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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