Milton in the News – 1910

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | August 8, 2019

In this year, we encounter a fur coat thief, a persistent fire, new mill construction, a beer conviction, cold weather, a blacksmith wanted, ice for sale, a misidentification, shoe workers wanted, and more cold weather.

This was also the year of Milton and the Immigrants and Milton and the Progressive Pie.

A Boston man was arrested for the theft of a fur-lined coat from John E. Townsend of Milton Mills. (Townsend was the heir of the H.H. Townsend blanket factory).

ARRESTED IN BOSTON. Fur Coat Thief Captured by the Police of That City. Sheriff Myron Johnson of Union, N.H., was here today on his way to Boston where the police of that city will turn over to him a prisoner arrested on Friday for larceny of a fur coat at Milton Mills (Portsmouth Herald, February 5, 1910).

Houston Case Nol Prossed. DOVER. N.H, Feb 8. The complaint against Jesse G. Houston of Boston of breaking and entering the stable office of John E. Townsend of Milton, N.H., and stealing a fur lined coat valued al $75, was nol prossed today on motion of County Solicitor Dwight Hall. Houston was discharged (Boston Globe, February 9, 2010).

We have seen formerly that a substantial coat was a necessity for motorists driving the relatively open cars of the day. That would be especially the case in February. The “nol prossed” verb derives from the Latin legal term nol prosequi, i.e., despite an indictment, the prosecuter decided not to prosecute the defendant.

John E. Townsend, a woolen blanket manufacturer, aged thirty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Milton [“Milton Mills”] household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of fourteen years), Eda B. [(Lowd)] Townsend, aged thirty-nine years (b. ME), and his children, Henry A. Townsend, aged twelve years (b. NH), and Agnes M. Townsend, aged ten years (b. NH).

Jesse B. Houston, a clubhouse steward, aged forty-six years (b. VA), headed a Boston, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-two years), Lucy J. Houston, aged forty-three years (b. Canada), and his son, Jesse G. Houston, a private family chauffeur, aged nineteen years (b. MA). They rented their residence in a three-family dwelling at 60 Ruggles Street.

John E. Townsend would die in Milton Mills, September 8, 1914, aged forty-one years, eleven months, and thirty days.

As for the further adventures of the alleged coat thief:

Larceny and Forgery Charged. Jesse G. Houston, arrested late yesterday by special officer Lyons of the Back Bay Police Station, on a larceny charge, had an additional charge of forgery placed against him by Inspector Conboy, when he was arraigned before Judge Murray in the Municipal Court this morning. He was held in $500 on each charge for the Grand Jury. Special officer Lyons arrested Houston on a charge of the larceny of auto supplies worth $67 from a Massachusetts av. auto supply concern on April 12. When he was brought down town it was found that there was a warrant two years old against him on the charge of forging a check for $55 (Boston Globe, May 4, 1915).

The grand jury of 1915 returned “true bills,” i.e., felony indictments, against Jesse G. Houston for larceny, uttering, and forgery (Boston Globe, June 12, 1915). Passing bad checks was usually termed “uttering,” because the one “kiting” or passing the check was considered to be falsely vouching – or speaking – for its validity. Of course, as we have seen earlier, indictments are not convictions.

Coal-seam fires may burn for extended periods of times. There is one in Australia that has burned for at least 6,000 years. The coal bin of the defunct Salmon River Paper company was not a natural coal seam, but had enough fuel to be still burning eight months after ignited.

BIRDEYE VIEWS. Since the paper mill at Milton, N.H., was destroyed by fire last June the fire in the coal bin has never gone out, and on some days the smoke from it may be seen many miles away (Portsmouth Herald, February 10, 1910).

In the aftermath of the Salmon River Paper company’s fire, it was predicted that Spaulding Brothers would build a new mill. They acquired leases for the water privileges formerly enjoyed by burnt Salmon River Paper mill, and others.

BUILDING A NEW MILL. Rochester, Feb. 18. Already a large amount of building material has arrived at Milton for the building of the new mill by the Spaulding Brothers at what is known as the new flume, which place they purchased last fall and have since built a dam. The building will be commenced in the spring when a very large mill, over 300 feet in length three stories high and will be used in making gramophone barns, baskets and boxes which are now being manufactured at the old woolen mill in this city. The mill to be built at the Old Flume will be up-to-date in every way and when running full blast will give about 900 hands work (Portsmouth Herald, February 18, 1910).

Here we have the continuation of the South Milton beer arrest of an Italian immigrant millworker in the prior year. He was arrested as O.D. Berton, indicted as Odberton, and tried as either Attorio or Attonio Di Berto.

DOVER DOINGS. Dover, Feb. 18. The jury in the case of Michael Stanton of Somersworth, charged with liquor for sale, came in with verdict of not guilty. They were out about five hours. The case on trial Thursday was that of Attorio Di Berto of Milton, who was indicted under the name of Odberton, and whose name was later said to be O.D. Berton (Portsmouth Herald, February 18, 1910).

DOVER DOINGS. Dover, Feb. 19. – The trial of Attonio Di Berto, of Milton, who. was charged with keeping liquor for sale, resulted in a verdict of guilty, and the jury returned after being out about three hours. Out of three liquor cases being tried at this term of court two have resulted in convictions. Di Berto was fined $50 and costs on the charge brought against him. Court adjourned until Monday afternoon (Portsmouth Herald, February 19, 1910).

There is every reason to believe that Di Berto was not an accurate rendering of his name either. Had they not locked him up and extracted a substantial amount of money from him, for his victimless crime, it might almost be funny. (See also Milton and the Immigrants – 1910).

A February cold snap was compared to conditions in the Klondike region of the Canadian Yukon. The Klondike, and its severe weather, were well known from its gold rush of 1896-99.

IT WAS COLD ALL RIGHT. Well, it was certainly Klondike weather this morning and again demonstrates that the groundhog knew his game. At Milton the glass registered thirty degrees below zero while at Rochester it was twenty and twenty-eight (Portsmouth Herald, February 25, 1910).

It would seem that the groundhog had predicted six more weeks of winter (at the beginning of the month). These would be ideal conditions for Milton’s ice industry.

MALE HELP WANTED. BLACKSMITH, good shoer and jobber, steady job and good pay. CHARLES E. SMITH, Milton, N.H. dSu8t* mh18 (Boston Globe, March 18, 1910).

Mr. J.O. Porter’s Marblehead Ice Company ice was selling for 70¢ per ton Freight on Board (F.O.B.) in August 1910.

FOR SALE. ICE. FOR SALE, best quality, F.O.B. Milton, N.H.; freight to Boston 70c per ton; R.R. weights; price right. JOHN O. PORTER, Marblehead, Mass. (Boston Globe, August 20, 1910).

A Milton Italian immigrant “fit the description” of a Somersworth Greek immigrant who was wanted for murder.

SUSPECT NOT CAPSALIS. Man Resembling Alleged Slayer of Mrs. Capsalitsa Caught in Milton, N.H., But Released. SOMERSWORTH, N.H., Aug. 26. Acting City Marshal Thomas Joyal received word from Milton officials last that they had arrested on suspicion, a man whom they thought to be the Somersworth Greek, Nicholas Capsalis, alias Capsalakos, the alleged murderer of Maritsa Capsalitsa, his aunt. The suspect answered the description of Capsalis and looked like the latter’s published portrait. Marshal Joyal sent three officers to Milton in an automobile to identify and bring the prisoner here, should he prove to be Capsalis. They found, however, that the suspect was not Capsalis but was an Italian who bore a very strong resemblance to him. The suspect was released and the Somersworth officers returned after midnight. The story spread rapidly all over this section this morning that Capsalis had been captured and the police were besieged all the morning with telephonic inquiries and a stream of callers at headquarters (Boston Globe, August 26, 1910).

The Milton Shoe company had renewed its operations and hiring in the prior year. It would remain active through at least 1912. (It went into receivership in 1915).

SITUATIONS WANTED – MALE. WANTED – Closers, stayers, lining makers; good wages; steady work. Apply to MILTON SHOE CO., Milton, N.H. (Boston Globe, December 3, 1910).

The Salmon River Paper company of Milton burned down in June 1909. (As seen above, its coal bin was still smoldering). Its proprietor, William S. Lowe, decided not to rebuild. He removed instead to Kansas City, MO. Here he was sued by Harry A. Waldron.

Harry A. Waldron Recovers $3553. PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Dec. 8 – In the superior court this morning the jury in the action of Harry A. Waldron of Boston against W.S. Lowe of Kansas City, formerly manager of the Salmon River paper company, at Milton, returned a verdict of $3553 for the plaintiff, Waldron sued to recover $2900 which he alleged was owed him by Lowe (Boston Globe, December 8, 1910).

Harry A. Waldron, a paper mill supplies broker, aged thirty-nine years (b. MO), headed a Boston, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of one year), Elinor M. Waldron, aged thirty-four years (b. Canada (Eng.), and his boarder, Mary C. Richards, a school teacher, aged thirty-eight years (b. MA). They resided in a rented house at 20 March Avenue.

The official thermometers of the Conway branch of the B&M railroad recorded another cold snap.

NEW HAMPSHIRE FRIGID. Mercury Ranges at Different Points from 4 Below at Portsmouth to 20 Below at North Conway. PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Dec. 31. This morning was the coldest of the present season, the glass being 4 below In the city and near-by towns. Reports from points along the Conway branch of the B & M R.R. are as follows: North Conway 20 below. Madison 21, Conway 18. Whittier 16, Sanbornville 12, Jewett 6, Union 18, Milton Mills 18, Ossipee 16 (Boston Globe, December 31, 1910).

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1909; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1911


Find a Grave. (2013, August 12). John E. Townsend. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, May 12). Coal-Seam Fire. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, July 19). Klondike Gold Rush. Retrieved from


Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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