Milton in the News – 1927

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | October 20, 2019

In this year, we encounter Charles J. Berry’s ninetieth birthday, another Milton Mills sled dog team, a long-distance identification, Thomas Farmer’s eightieth birthday, the Pomona Grange meeting at the Nute Ridge Grange, a Porter Ice Company fire, another train death, Prohibition punishing hard cider, a Milton Mills farm for sale, sufficient insufficient addresses, a Milton poultry farm for sale, a train hitting a car, and a greedy gobbler.

The newspapers loved always a centenarian, and Charles J. Berry of Milton Mills was a contender. In this installment, we learn of him working in the grocery business with Ira Miller at Milton Mills, his Civil War cavalry service, and his years running a horse-drawn trolley car between Charlestown and Cambridge, MA. We will hear of his birthday again in 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, and 1934.

His father, James Berry, a farmer, aged fifty-three years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills P.O.”) household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Eliza G. Berry, aged forty-eight years (b. NH), Mary A. Berry, aged twenty-five years (b. NH), Charles Berry, a farmer, aged twenty-three years (b. NH), Nathl. S. Berry, a farmer, aged seventeen years (b. NH), and Clara A. Berry, aged fifteen years (b. NH). James Berry had real estate valued at $5,500 and personal estate valued at $100. The census enumerator recorded their household between those of Joseph Coleman, a farmer, aged sixty-eight years (b. NH), and Elbridge W. Fox, a farmer, aged twenty-five years.

Berry, Charles J. - BG270214MILTON MILLS, N.H., MAN OBSERVES 90TH BIRTHDAY. QUINCY, Feb. 14 – Charles J. Berry of Milton Mills, N.H., is observing his 90th birthday today at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Annetta Burrell at Wollaston. His son, C.A. Berry of Portland, Me., was among those who assisted in the celebration. Mr. Berry is a member of the Grand Army post of this city. He served during the Civil War with the New Hampshire cavalry, having enlisted at Portsmouth. Capt. Berry ran a horse car in the old days between Charlestown and Cambridge. He was educated in the public schools of Milton Mills and later at Tilton Seminary, Tilton, N.H. In 1857 he was engaged in the grocery business with Ira Miller of Milton Mills. Capt. Berry was the son of James and Eliza (Jewett) Berry (Boston Globe, February 14, 1927).

Melvin Hurd took Dr. Harry E. Anderson’s sled-dog team (of the previous year) to bring a supply of milk into Milton Mills.

Odd Items From Everywhere. During a bad snowstorm in Milton Mills, N.H., Dr. Anderson’s dog team was the only available milk team to be had. Owing to the drifts in the roads, no milk was brought into town. Mervin Hurd, driver of the team, went out into the country and brought in three large cans of milk from a farm (Boston Globe, March 15, 1927).

Dr. H.E. Anderson advertised in the Milton directory of 1912. His office and home were at 42 Main street (corner of Church street) in Milton Mills. He registered for the WW I draft in Milton Mills in June 1917, and he entered the army from there in 1918. He resided in Somersworth, NH, in 1929.

Donald E. Bickford died when the truck in which he had hitched a ride collided with an automobile in Danvers, MA. He was identified only by the initials inside a ring that he wore.

Edward S. Chipman, a leather-board finisher, aged fifty-two years (b. MA), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Bertha M. Chipman, aged fifty-two years (b. NH), his children, Clara E. Chipman, aged fifteen years (b. NH), Lois M. Chipman, aged thirteen years (b. NH), and Bessie L. Bickford, a widowed shoe-shop finisher, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), and his grandchildren, Donald E. Bickford, aged eleven years (b. MA), and Rita B. Bickford, aged ten years (b. MA). Edward S. Chipman owned their house on Upper Main Street in Milton Village.

IDENTIFIED AS D.E. BICKFORD. Radio Broadcasts Clear Up Auto Death. DANVERS, March 17. – The body of a young man who died at the State Hospital following an automobile accident Monday was identified last night by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur C. Cleaves of 75 Perrin st., Roxbury, as that of their nephew, Donald Edwin Bickford of Milton, N.H. The identification was brought about through radio broadcasts that an unidentified young man had died at the hospital and the initials on a ring were given as the only possible means of identification. The young man had been working in Boston and lived with his mother at 115 Hemenway st., and on week-ends had visited his grandmother at Milton, N.H. His folks had urged him not to make the trip to Boston by asking for automobile rides, but he is said to have answered that other fellows were doing it and there was no danger in it. It was stated he boarded a truck at Portsmouth, N.H., driven by Frank Salemmi of Somerville. He suffered a fractured skull when the truck was in collision with an automobile owned and operated by Arthur Merton Jr. of 84 Robbins st., Watertown. The body will be taken to Milton, N.H., for burial (Boston Globe, March 17, 1927).

His maternal grandmother was Bertha M. (Drew) Chipman of Milton. His mother was Bessie L. (Chipman) Bickford of Boston, MA [widow of Thomas]. His maternal aunt was Alta D. (Chipman) Cleaves of Roxbury, MA.

Thomas Farmer, a house carpenter, aged seventy-two years (b. England), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Mary Farmer, aged sixty-six years (b. England). He owned their house, free-and-clear. He had immigrated in 1850 and had been naturalized in 1880; she had immigrated in 1858 and had been naturalized in 1880.

FARMER COUNTS FAMILY BY DOZEN. Man 80 Years Old Member of Family of 24 Children – Many Twins and Triplets. MILTON MILLS, N.H., April 8. Three times two and two times three is the accounting Thomas Farmer, who observed his 80th birthday Wednesday, gives for a part of his parents’ large and long-lived family. I mean, he explained, there were three times two of us (three pair of twins) and two times three of us (two pairs of triplets) and a dozen singles, making a total of 26 in our family, including father and’ mother. Two dozen children! Mr. Farmer, who at four-score years enjoys excellent health, was himself one of [the] twins. He was born in England, the son of John and Elizabeth (Wigfall) Farmer. He came to this country at the age of two and has lived most of his life in New England, having worked 12 years in a New Haven car barn, as well as in Rhode Island and in New York. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias order (Brattleboro Reformer, April 8, 1927).

The eastern NH regional grange meeting took place again at the Nute Ridge Grange in West Milton. A similar meeting had taken place in April 1924.

POMONA GRANGE MEETS AT WEST MILTON. WEST MILTON, N.H., April 28 – Eastern New Hampshire Pomona Grange met today with Nute Ridge Grange with a large attendance. At a closed session in the morning, the fifth degree was conferred on a class of candidates, and at 1:30 p.m. Mrs. Annette Smith of Strafford Center, member of the home economics committee of the State Grange, held a conference. A public meeting followed. The invocation was by Rev. Franklin Parker, pastor of the Community Church, the address of welcome by Edwin Henderson, master of Nute Ridge Grange, and the response by Archie Emerson of Somersworth, steward of Eastern New Hampshire Pomona Grange. There were vocal solos by Mrs. Grace Mooney Stevens of Rochester, readings by Mrs. Annette Smith of Strafford Center and an essay by Mrs. Sadie Ham of Rochester. “The Cornucopia,” Pomona Grange paper was written by Mrs. Grace Hurd of East Rochester, lectures of Eastern New Hampshire Pomona Grange. (Boston Globe, April 29, 1927).

Only days before this Pomona grange meeting, Nute Ridge Grange master Edwin D. Henderson married in Exeter, NH, April 24, 1927, Ruth F. Gerrish, both of Rochester, NH. He appeared in the Rochester directories of 1924 and 1929, as a farmer, boarding at the farm of his father, Horace L. Henderson, on Chestnut Hill Road, in Rochester, NH.

Prior to this fire, Milton’s ice industry experienced other ice house fires in at least the years 1902, 1909, and 1922.

MILTON, N.H., ICEHOUSE DESTROYED BY FIRE. Loss to Porter Ice Company of Boston $100,000 – Starts Forest Fire, Threatening Cottages. MILTON, N.H., May 3 – At an early hour today fire broke out in the large ice house of the Porter Ice Company of Boston from an unknown cause, destroying it. Damage is $100,000. There are 12 ice houses under one roof, all of which were filled with ice. Assistance was summoned from Rochester and the motor apparatus made the run of eight miles in 20 minutes. Many Summer houses were threatened. The fire was stopped within 15 feet of the Summer home of Maurice Hayes of Watertown, Mass. The fire jumped the pond, starting a forest fire which was subdued without much damage by a large gang. The ice houses are on the shore of Milton Three Pond. Some of the ice may be salvaged (May 3, 1927).

Milton native Alphonse Franklin Dore died instantly when he was struck by a Boston-bound train. Other pedestrians met similar fates in July 1896, February 1916, and February 1924.

Alphonse F. Dorr appeared in the Milton directory of 1905, as a farmer, with a house at 65 Prospect Hill Road., Lebanon side. Alphonse F. Door appeared in the Milton directory of 1917, as a farmer, whose house was the 8th one on Prospect Hill Road, Lebanon side.

Alfranzo F. Dorr, an ice laborer, aged forty-five years (b. NH), headed a Lebanon, ME, household at the time of the  Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Augusta M. Dorr, aged forty-three years (b. NH), and his boarder, Floyd Thibeault, aged seven years (b. ME). He owned their house on the Milton Road.

MILTON, N.H., MAN KILLED BY TRAIN. MILTON, N.H., May 3. – At 6 a.m. today Alphonse Dore, 52, employed on the crusher at the plant of the Standard Sand and Gravel Company, was at work between two cars on a side track. He stepped in front of train 2930, from Sanbornville to Boston, and was instantly killed. The train was in charge of conductor David Bentham and Engineer Harry McCrillis. Medical Referee Dr. Forrest L. Keay pronounced death due to accident. Dore leaves a wife and two brothers (Boston Globe, May 3, 1927).

In Milton records, Alfranzo F. Dorr, of Lebanon, ME, laborer, died in Milton, NH, May 3, 1927, aged fifty-three years, ten months, and seventeen days. His cause of death was given as “shock, haemorrhage, and multiple fractures (he was struck by a locomotive).” Forrest L. Keay, M.D., Medical Referee for Strafford County, reported the death.

A Milton Mills man ran afoul of Prohibition through having fifty gallons of hard cider in his possession.

EDITORIAL POINTS. And now a man at Milton Mills, N.H., has been sentenced to pay $100 fine and serve three months in the House of Correction for the possession of 50 gallons of hard cider. What are our New England farmers coming to? (Boston Globe, June 16, 1927).

The tyranny of Prohibition had already proven to be a failure, but had six more years to run. (Other people are not your property).

AUCTIONS. REAL ESTATE. N.H. BOULEVARD FARM AT AUCTION. ON August 3rd at 2 p.m., a beautiful farm of 215 acres, located on Union Road, Milton Mills, N.H., known as the Philbrick Farm, will be sold to the highest bidder; it’s a going, stocked farm, hay in bam, crop in ground; it is a farm with features very seldom found on other farms. Communicate with SAM DREW, Milton, N.H. (Boston Globe, August 1, 1927).

Here are related a couple of anecdotes about postal authorities delivering insufficiently addressed mail. The two examples provided were NY Governor Alfred E. “Al” Smith, and William H. Hills, who wrote a column for the Boston Globe under the pseudonym “Ed Pointer.”

EDITORIAL POINTS. From Kilkenny, Ireland, Gov. Smith received a postcard addressed thus: AL, N.Y., U.S.A. but a while ago Ed Pointer received two letters, one from Milton, N.H., and the other from Woburn, with the envelope addressed simply: “Ed Pointer” – only that and nothing more (Boston Globe, September 13, 1927).

Postal Clerks Generally Are Very Keen. The fact that a post card directed to “Al, N.Y., U.S.A.,” went without delay to Gov. Smith of the Empire State isn’t so surprising. A while ago letters mailed from Woburn and Milton, N.H, with nothing on the envelope but just “Ed Pointer,” made their way unerringly to the desk of the writer of the Boston Globes editorial paragraphs; while in years gone by missives from far away carrying for an address only the portrait made famous in advertisements came as surely to our famous shoeman, W.L. Douglas, as if they had borne his full name with Brockton, Mass, added for good measure. Postal clerks just eat up such blind addresses and call for more. – Brockton Enterprise. After all. Gov Smith needn’t feel so puffed up over receiving a post card addressed “Al, N.Y., U.S.A.” Ed Pointer of the Boston Globe says he has received two letters, one being from Milton, N.H., addressed simply “Ed Pointer.” We’ll bet, however, that none of the mail clerks who handled these letters was the one who a few years ago sent a big printed envelope, addressed in quarter-inch letters, “Rochester, New Hampshire, The Rochester Courier,” and mailed from West Lebanon, Me, six miles away. to Rochester, N.Y. – Rochester (N.H.) Courier (Boston Globe, September 20, 1927).

The actual address of the popular – even so far away as Milton and Rochester, NH – exchange editor William H. “Ed Pointer” Hills was care of the Boston Globe, 244 Washington street, Boston. His home address was at 41 Belmont street, Somerville. He died in Somerville, MA, November 7, 1930.

MONEY-MAKING COMBINATION. 75-Ft. Greenhouse and 23-Acre POULTRY FARM. ONLY $4000, $1000 down; this is located only ¾ mile from Milton. N.H., 3 miles from Farmington, N.H., and about 5 miles from Rochester. N.H.; can sell all kinds of plants, flowers and vegetables that can be produced; wonderful for raising poultry, very big demand from hotels and roadside stands nearby. 8-room 1½-story cottage house, maple shade trees, 30×40 barn, clapboarded; garage; poultry house and A1 greenhouse, painted, 30×75: close to convenience and State road; No. 502. shown from our Farmington. N.H., office. K. of P. block, tel. 63-4. O.C. BAXTER. Mgr. CHAMBERLAIN & BURNHAM. Inc., 294 Washington st., Boston (Boston Globe, October 27, 1927).

Prior to this accident, trains struck motorcars at other Milton level crossings in June 1917 and August 1920.

TRAIN HITS AUTO AT SOUTH MILTON, N.H., MAN INJURED. SOUTH MILTON, N.H., Dec. 20 – As the Wolfeboro-Rochester gas train, in charge of engineer Charles Leighton and conductor Isaac Hall was passing over the grade crossing in this place today, it struck the rear of an automobile owned and operated by Arthur Downs of Grove st., East Rochester, turning the machine over three times and wrecking it. Mr. Downs clung to the wheel and escaped with severe cuts from flying glass and bruises. This crossing, situated on the White Mountain Boulevard, is protected by a wig-wag signal (Boston Globe, December 21, 1927).

Clifton E. Hersom of Milton Mills is here said to have had a more than usually dumb turkey.

Prize Turkey of Milton Mills, N.H.

THIS PRIZE GOBBLER SHORTENED LIFE BY EATING TOO HEARTILY. Special Dispatch to the Globe. MILTON MILLS, N.H, Dec 22. Lately a lot of scientists have been trying to convince us that dumb critters can think. Maybe turkeys don’t come in the critter category but they sure do shine in the matter of dumbness. Here’s a specific instance of deep thought on the part of a Grade A gobbler.

The particular turkey that we’re concerned with is more than usually dumb. He’s only two months old, but in that time unaided by any human agency he has made himself the heavyweight champion of the C.E. Herson farm. This, mind you, despite the fact that Christmas was in the offing all the time. If a turkey can think why does he accumulate 35 pounds of succulent light and dark meat before a holiday?

It looks as though the scientists who say that dumb critters are there on the “pick up” in their mental processes will have to call in an alienist and frame up a temporary insanity or suicidal mania defense in this case.

We might feel bad for our obese and feathered friend if it were not for the fact that he is the possessor of the meanest disposition in seven counties. You can’t touch him with a 10-foot pole, he’s that exclusive. And fight! He’ll fight at the drop of a hat (Boston Globe, December 23, 1927).

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1926; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1928


Find a Grave. (2018, April 26). Charles J. Berry. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2014, November 24). Edwin D. Henderson. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2018, April 28). Harry E. Anderson. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2013, August 10). Thomas Farmer. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, September 19). Al Smith. Retrieved from

Author: Muriel Bristol

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