Milton in the News – 1935

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | November 18, 2019

In this year, we encounter an attraction committee, the snowy death of a former iceman, Rev. Frank Snell auditioning, the death of Fred M. Chamberlain, hiring at the Salem Shoe company, a fall from a height, an auto fatality at Laskey’s Corner, and the death of a former Milton teacher.

Milton was said to have lost several shoe companies, a paper mill, and an ice house (due to a fire) during these recent Great Depression years. A committee formed for the purpose of “attracting” new industries. Milton’s NH state representative, Stanley C. Tanner, chaired the committee, which was reported variously to be a either a Town committee or a citizens’ committee.

The Salem Shoe company, of Salem, MA, indicated its interest in taking over the Milton factory of the Kennebunk Manufacturing company. The Salem Shoe company was one of several Salem shoe companies seeking to relocate their operations – lock, stock, and barrel – out of Salem, due to a recent wave of strikes there.

The Salem Shoe company’s major wage and strike issues were resolved when 250 its “former” employees – that is to say, its striking employees – assented to a 15% wage cut. The Salem Shoe Company remained in Salem, MA, for the most part, but opened also a satellite operation in Milton. Other Salem shoe companies solved their problems by relocating their plants to sites in Maine and New Hampshire. Milton’s primary “attraction” was the naturally lower wage structure of “Country” mill towns. (See also the Milton Mills Shoe Strike of 1889).

MILTON MAY GET MASS. SHOE FIRM. Milton, Jan. 11. – A committee formed to attract new industries to the town of Milton announced last night that the Salem Shoe company, established for the past 18 years in Salem, Mass., planned to locate its plant here. Representatives of the company yesterday inspected the plant of the Kennebunk Manufacturing company, part of which one of its owners, Roland H. Sawyer [Rolland H. Spaulding], former governor, said would be available for the Salem firm, The town committee said the company was represented as willing to transfer here if it could obtain an entire plant (Portsmouth Herald, January 11, 1935).

The Spaulding brothers purchased the Kennebunk Manufacturing company, of Kennebunk, ME, in 1902 and moved its operations to Milton. It remained in operation here through 1936. Thereafter, it transferred its activities as a new division in its plant at North Rochester, NH.

Roland H. Spaulding, a leather-board factory president, aged fifty-nine years (b. MA), headed a Rochester, NH, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of ten years), Vera G. [(Going)] Spaulding, aged forty-eight years (b. MA), his children, Virginia P. Spaulding, aged nine years (b. MA), and Betty R. Spaulding, aged seven years (b. MA), his cook, Mary Wakefield, a private family cook, aged fifty-three years (b. MA), and his servant, Rachel Houle, a private family maid, aged nineteen years (b. NH). Roland H. Spaulding owned their house at 76 Wakefield Street, which was valued at $200,000. They had a radio set.

INDUSTRY AND FINANCE. Gets Shoe Plant. MILTON, N.H. A committee formed to attract new industries to the town of Milton announced the Salem Shoe Company, established for the past 18 years in Salem, Mass., planned to locate its plant here (Berkshire Eagle, January 11, 1935).

NEWS GATHERED OVERNIGHT. (By the Associated Press). MILTON, N.H. A committee formed to attract new industries to the town of Milton announced the Salem Shoe Company, established for the past 18 years in Salem, Mass., planned to locate its plant here (North Adams Transcript, January 11, 1935).

INDUSTRY AND FINANCE. Shoe Plant To Move. ROCHESTER, N.H. – State Representative Stanley Tanner, chairman of the citizens committee of Milton, a town eight miles from here, announced negotiations had been completed for the removal of the Salem Shoe Company from Salem, Mass., to Milton, N.H. (Berkshire Eagle, January 15, 1935).

Mary [“Molly” (O’Hare)] Tanner, a widow, aged sixty-three years (N. Ire.), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. Her household included her children, George L. Tanner, a garage mechanic, aged thirty-nine years (b. NH), Stanley C. Tanner, a garage mechanic, aged thirty-seven years (b. NH), Charles E. Tanner, a house carpenter, aged thirty-five years (b. NH), and Hervey C. Tanner, a barbershop barber, aged twenty-five years (b. NH). Mary Tanner rented their house on Charles Street, for $11 per month. They had a radio set. The three older sons were all W.W. [World War] veterans.

SALEM SHOE CO. CHANGES PLANS. SALEM, Jan. 17 (A.P.) The Salem Shoe Manufacturing Company, which planned to remove its plant to Milton, N.H., today accepted the offer of 250 former employes to take a 15 percent wage reduction and decided to retain its Salem plant. The plant will reopen tomorrow. Company officials, however, said plans for a New Hampshire plant had not been abandoned. They said a subsidary plant would be opened in Milton, but details of the number to be employed were not made public. Retention of the Salem Shoe Manufacturing Company plant, which has operated here for 18 years and has a $250,000 annual payroll, was assured when company officials and a committee of workers signed a labor agreement containing the 15 percent wage reduction, which was voted at a workers’ mass meeting last night. Mayor Bates, who directed the conferences to retain the industry for this city, today also sought to halt the plans of the Gable Shoe Manufacturing Company to move its plant to Raymond, N.H.. The Philco Shoe Company moved to Bangor, Me., where, as in New Hampshire, it was claimed manufacturing costs were lower. The proposed transfer of the Salem plant to Milton, N.H., had heartened residents of that town, which in recent years had lost other shoe factories, a paper mill and an ice plant. Citizens helped clean and renovate the. empty factory building. Money, lumber for work benches and other donations were made to assist Milton’s new industry (Boston Globe, January 17, 1935).

Benjamin Franklin “Frank B.” Tasker, formerly a proprietor of the Union Ice company, collapsed into a snowbank on Market Street in Brighton, MA, January 23.

SNOW DRIVEN BY GALE BLOCKS EASTERN PART OF BAY STATE. [Excerpt:] A 40-mile wind was blowing along the coast in mid-evening and increasing hourly. Tasker, Brighton victim of the storm, was found by Miss Gertrude Mallonphy of Freshman road, Brighton. While walking home, she saw the man in the snowbank. She helped him to his feet and brought him to a nearby garage from which police took him to the hospital. Mr Tasker had attended a meeting of the Brighton Men’s Club at the Brighton Congregational Church. His son, Lyman, who lives in Allston, had attended the meeting with him and had left him a few minutes before he collapsed. Mr Tasker was a former proprietor of the Union Ice Company at Milton, N.H. Besides his son, he leaves a wife (Boston Globe, January 24, 1935).

Frank B. Tasker, retired, aged sixty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Boston, MA, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty-five years), Florence L. Tasker, at home, aged sixty-six years (b. NH), and his sister-in-law, Bertha L. Smith, at home (retired), aged sixty-six years (b. NH). Frank B. Tasker owned their house at 29 Bentley Street, which was valued at $6,000. They had a radio set.

BRIGHTON DISTRICT. The funeral of Frank B. Tasker, 74, of 29 Bentley st, who was a victim of Wednesday night’s storm, will take place Sunday afternoon at the home. Mr Tasker had been a resident of this district for 40 years. He formerly owned the Union Ice Company at Milton, N H, but had been in retirement for the past several years. He was a member of the Brighton Congregational Church and the Men’s Club of that church. He was returning from a meeting of the club Wednesday evening when he collapsed on Market st. (Boston Globe, [Friday,] January 25, 1935).

Frank B. Tasker was preceded in death by Milton ice magnates Jeremiah R. Downing in 1911, Mial W. Chase in 1922, and John O. Porter in 1924.

Frank H. Snell settled in Acton, ME, as pastor of the Milton Mills Baptist church in 1930 and was ordained there in 1931. Here we find him auditioning, as ministers were wont to do, for his next parish. He also received his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Gordon College, which was situated then in Boston, MA.

NORTH BENNINGTON. Rev. Frank H. Snell, pastor of the Baptist church of Milton Mills, N.H., will conduct the Sunday morning worship service at the Baptist church. Mr. Snell is a candidate for the pastorate of the local church (Bennington Evening Banner (Bennington, VT), May 17, 1935).

CHURCH NOTICES. North Bennington Baptist. Sunday, Mav 26 – A meeting of the membership of the church will be held at the close of the morning service to vote on the two candidates who occupied the pulpit on May 11 and 18. Rev. John Maxwell of Randolph and Rev. Frank Snell of Milton Mills, N.H. (Bennington Evening Banner (Bennington, VT), May 20, 1935).

GORDON COLLEGE DEGREES BESTOWED. Graduation Exercises in Park-St. Church. The annual graduation exercises of the Gordon College of Theology and Missions were held last evening at Park Street Church, and were attended by a gathering of friends and relatives of the graduates, which filled the church and balconies. Dr. Nathan Robinson Wood, president of the college, presented the diplomas. The degree of Doctor of Theology was conferred upon Carleton Leroy Feener, Frank Theodore Littorin and Eugene Sumner Philbrook. The degree of Master of Sacred Theology was conferred upon Lester William Kellie; the degree of Bachelor of Divinity on Mary Evangeline Clarke, Ralph Earle, Jr., William Lincoln MacDuffie, Pearl McCoy, Henry Clay Mitchell and Frank Herbert Snell. The degree of Master of Religious Education was conferred on Luther Marion Fuller and Ruth Eloise Worthington. [The] degree of Bachelor of Theology in the four-year theological course at the college was conferred on: Adam Z. Arnold, Forrest D. Banta, Earl W. Beal, David W.N. Buzzell, Priscilla I. Conley, Dorothy E. Covell, Foster G. Crane, Leslie G. Deinstadt, William E. Douglas, Leonard P. Edwards, Lando Eitzen, Isabelle G. Empet, Aldine L. Foskett, Jack Grenfell, Irma D. Groves, Richard J. Hanson, George H. Hart, Robert W. Holcomb, Dorothy A. Huff, Joseph C. Hunt, Maeville E. Jordan, Arthur W. Kennan, Henning T Landstrom, Merton E. Libby, Norman C. MacLean, James C. Marshall, Leland L. Maxfield, Cecil M. Miller, Theophilus Ringsmuth, Alvin D. Rogers, Frederick Schelander, Robert O. Seely, Ernest D. Sillers, Pauline C. Stradtman, Isabella D. Taylor, Luretta I. Trumbull, Daniel C. Tuttle, Verne T. Vincent, Cecil L. Witham (Boston Globe, June 6, 1935).

Frank H. Snell, a church minister, aged thirty years (b. MA), headed a Melrose, MA, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Doris H. Snell, aged thirty-three years (b. NH), his child, Joan M. Snell, aged six years (b. NH), his mother-in-law, Florence Hapgood, retired, aged fifty-one years (b. NH), and his grandfather-in-law, Coleman Kelly, retired, aged sixty-nine years (b. NH). They resided at 14 Farwell Avenue. They had all resided in Acton, ME, in April 1935, except Florence Hapgood, who had resided in Whitefield, ME.

Fred M. Chamberlain, former proprietor of Milton’s Phoenix Hotel, and more recently a state road inspector died in Union, Wakefield, NH.

IN MEMORIAM. Fred Chamberlain. Fred Chamberlain of Milton, aged 77, passed away at Union last Thursday evening. The deceased was a native of Milton Mills, the son of Samuel G. and Mary E. (Fall) Chamberlain. He was well known in this section where he served as state road patrolman between Milton and Sanbornville. He is survived by one son, Guy Chamberlain; a sister, Mrs. Charles Lowee of Union, a brother, Moses Chamberlain of Milton Mills, and twelve grandchildren living in Milton and Boston. The funeral was held Sunday afternoon at the Congregational church. Bearers were Fred Foster, Ed Jordan, Charles Tanner and Martin Eaton (Farmington News, June 7, 1935).

The newly-established Milton branch of the long-established Massachusetts-based Salem Shoe company began hiring shoe workers.

FEMALE HELP WANTED. WANTED – Vampers, folders, closers and fancy stitchers. Apply SALEM MANUFACTURING CO., Milton, N.H. 2t au13 (Boston Globe, August 13, 1935).

Leroy “Bob” Whetnall of Milton fell from a height of twenty-five feet and landed flat on his back – on a pile of boards. Ouch.

Leroy Whetnall, a construction co. bridgeman, aged thirty years (b. OH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of five years), Eleanor [(Tanner)] Whetnall, aged twenty-eight years (b. NH), and his child, Ruth Whetnall, aged three years (b. OH). Leroy Whetnall rented their house on North Main Street, for $8 per month. They did not have a radio.

WORKMAN INJURED IN HINSDALE, N.H. Leroy Whetnall of Milton, N.H., Falls 25 Feet Striking on Back – Brought to Hospital. (Special to The Reformer.) HINSDALE, N.H., Aug. 14. Leroy (Bob) Whetnall of Milton. N.H., employed on the construction of the 250,000-gallon storage tank in this town, was injured yesterday afternoon when he slipped and fell 25 feet, landing on his back on some boards. It was at first feared that he might have sustained spine fractures; but x-rays taken at the Brattleboro Memorial hospital revealed no fractures. Whetnall was first attended by Dr. Edmond Lachaine of this town, who ordered him removed to the Brattleboro hospital, where be was examined by Dr. Philip Wheeler. Paralysis, which extended from the waist down, suggesting the possibility of a serious spinal injury, was clearing up this noon. Dr. Wheeler said. A slight injury to the spinal cord was the extent of the injury, he stated. Whetnall, employed by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., has a wife and several children in Milton. He has been living at the home of Harry Bruce since coming to town. Harry Walker, superintendent of the construction, was out of town at the time of the accident (Brattleboro Reformer, August 14, 1935).

Mrs. Eleanor (Tanner) Whetnall was a sister of garage mechanic (and NH State Representative) Stanley C. Tanner. Leroy Whetnell of Dover, NH, was employed at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, ME, by 1940.

Automobiles driven by Michael J. O’Brien and Clarence Herbert, both of Quincy, MA, collided at Laskey’s Corner (where Applebee Road joins the White Mountain Highway). Herbert’s passenger, J. Percy Lee, was killed instantly.

John P. Lee, a rivet factory electrician, aged twenty-five years (b. ME), headed a Quincy, MA, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of less than a year), Adrienne [(Kelcourse)] Lee, aged twenty-three years (b. MA). John P. Lee rented their house at 2 Fifth Avenue, which for $35 per month. They had a radio set.

BODY OF WOLLASTON VICTIM OF AUTO CRASH SENT HOME. MILTON MILLS, N.H., Sept. 15. Michael J. O’Brien of 16 Dale av., South Quincy. Mass., held for questioning last night in connection with an automobile accident which cost the life of J. Percy Lee of Wollaston, was released by police today. According to Motor Vehicles Inspector Frank D. Manning, O’Brien said he stopped his car in the rain to adjust a blanket about his legs and had just started again when the crash happened. Lee was killed instantly when his head crashed through the windshield. His body was taken to Wollaston today. The driver of the other car, owned by Robert T. Bushnell, president of the Republican Club of Massachusetts, was Clarence Herbert, an employe at the Bushnell Summer home in Wolfcboro. Mr. Bushnell was not in the car at the time of the accident (Boston Globe, September 16, 1935).

John Percy Lee’s Milton death record explains that he died suddenly at Laskey’s Corner on the State Road, September 14, 1935, “when his head came into contact with the windshield when automobile in which he was riding was in head-on collision with another automobile.”

QUINCY. The funeral of J. Percy Lee, 30, of 21 Oval road, Wollaston, died Saturday night in an automobile accident at Milton Mills. N.H., was held yesterday morning at St. Anna Church, Wollaston. High mass of requiem was celebrated at 9 o’clock. Burial was in Mount Wollaston Cemetery (Boston Globe, [Thursday,] September 19, 1935).

Grace E. (Grenell) Farmer, a Milton teacher of 1893-95, died in her Montclair, NJ, home.

William W. Farmer, a notions proprietor, aged fifty-nine years (PA), headed a Montclair, NJ, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty-two years), Grace E. Farmer, aged fifty-nine years (b. NY), his children, Burt G. Farmer, a wholesale dry goods salesman, aged twenty-seven years (b. NJ), Grace C. Farmer, an airways typist, aged twenty-three years (b. NJ), Ruth C. Farmer, a librarian, aged twenty-one years (b. NJ), his servant, Mildred N. Donoghy, a private family housekeeper, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), and his boarders, Waitstill Donoghy, aged eight years (b. NH), and Gwenyth Donoghy, aged six years (b. MA). William W. Farmer owned their house at 8 Draper Terrace, which was valued at $15,000. They had a radio set.

MRS. FARMER DIES; MISSIONS LEADER Headed State Board; Active in Church Groups; Lived Here Forty Years. Mrs. Grace Grenell Farmer of 8 Draper Terrace, a farmer State president of the New Jersey Woman’s Board of Missions, died Sunday morning at her home. She was sixty-five years old. Funeral services will be held this afternoon at 3 o’clock at the Home for Services, 56 Park Street. Born in Kingston, N.Y., the daughter of a Baptist minister, Mrs. Farmer early became interested in church work. She was graduated from Wellesley College in 1893 and after teaching for two years at Milton, N.H., came to Montclair to teach in the high school. In 1898 she was married to William H. Farmer and the couple made their home at the Draper Terrace address, residing there ever since. Mrs. Farmer had been an active member of the First Baptist Church where for seven years she taught the Women’s Bible Class. She organized mission study classes in Montclair and in several other communities and was a lecturer and mission study leader at the Northfield Summer Conferences. From 1923 to 1926 Mrs. Farmer was State president of the Woman’s Board of Missions and for several years was a member of the Baptist Board of Education. In 1918 Mrs. Farmer, with the late Mrs. James M. Speers and other church women, organized the Missionary Union of Montclair and Vicinity, and was its first president, (Continued on Page Two) serving for six years. She was also one of the past presidents of the International Relations Council. For five years she was an editorial writer for the “Missionary Review of the World” and also wrote for other missionary publications. Surviving Mrs. Farmer are her husband, William H. Farmer; four daughters, Mrs. Alexander H. Kemp, wife of a medical missionary in Angola, Africa, Mrs. George E. Dean and Mrs. Robert S. Ringland of Montclair, and Mrs. W.I. Lincoln Adams Jr. of New York City; one son, Burt G. Farmer of Montclair; a sister, Mrs. Lindsey R. Goss of Kalamazoo, Mich.; and two brothers, Burt B. Grenell of La Grange, Ill., and Arthur F. Grenell of Montclair (Montclair Times (Montclair, NJ), December 24, 1935).

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1934; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1936


Find a Grave. (2016, September 18). Benjamin F. Tasker. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2013, July 30). Frederick Moody “Fred” Chamberlain. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2018, February 19). Grace Grenell Farmer. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2011). Leroy Edward Whetnall. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2009, September 21). Rolland Harty Spaulding. Retrieved from

Snyder, Jim (PaperboardPro). (2019). Spaulding’s Kennebunk Connection. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2017, November 9). Rolland H. Spaulding. Retrieved from


Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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