Milton in the News – 1941

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | December 15, 2019

In this year, we encounter a Wolfeboro carnival queen, a Milton winter carnival, a chain grocery store, a union election, a former Nute Ridge schoolteacher, the Ice Box again, the death of Fred P. Jones, a Milton Mills house fire, a problematic Acton auto registration, and state air raid instructions.

This was also the year in which National Socialist (Nazi) Germany invaded Yugoslavia, Greece, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.). The Japanese empire attacked the United States on December 7, 1941. It invaded French Indochina, Thailand, Sarawak, Borneo, Hong King, Malaya, Guam, Wake Island, the Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies.

The younger Milton Mills cousin of several matrons of Farmington, NH, was elected carnival queen of the Wolfeboro, NH, winter carnival.

LOCAL. Miss Peggy Fletcher of Milton Mills was unanimously elected the carnival queen at the Abenaki Outing club winter carnival, which was held in Wolfeboro last Saturday night. Miss Fletcher is a cousin of Mrs. Leslie French and Mrs. Granville Tozer of this [Farmington] town (Farmington News, January 31, 1941).

This description of this Teneriffe Sports Club’s Sixth Annual Winter Carnival permits us to date its first event to 1936. (A description of the Fifth Annual Winter Carnival followed the event in 1940 and a bare notice of the Fourth Annual Winter Carnival appeared in 1939).

SIXTH ANNUAL CARNIVAL AT MILTON. The Teneriffe Sports Club has completed plans for its sixth annual winter carnival, which for two days, Saturday and Sunday, February 8 and 9, will attract carnival sportsters from at least three states. On Saturday morning and afternoon, there will be intra-school sports, while in the evening snowsuits will [be] doffed and replaced with evening dress for the carnival ball. Every section of Milton is represented by a contestant for the honor of carnival queen, and this is not the least in the exciting events of anticipation. On Sunday there will be representative teams from the Associated Outing Clubs, which includes several towns and cities, and swarms of winter sports fans and spectators will fill the town to overflowing. The terrain of Milton is naturally adaptive to carnival purposes, for the slopes range from a very slight incline to an almost perpendicular descent, for the pleasure of skiers, a lake is right in the center of activity, and the whole playground is within easy motoring distance of many localities (Farmington News, February 7, 1941).

Milton had a First National Store (Finast), i.e., a chain grocery store, as early as September 1934. First National Stores had branches also in Alton, Farmington, Rochester, and Sanbornville, NH.

PERSONAL. Gideon Marcoux was employed at the First National Store in Milton for a few days this week (Farmington News, February 14, 1941).

Gideon T. Marcoux of Farmington, NH, aged twenty-three years (b. NH), worked a few days at the Milton store. (He married Miss Helen M. Gilbert in Somersworth, NH, November 22, 1944).

Milton Leatherboard Company employees opposed forming a union by a 31 (54.4%) to 25 (45.6%) vote.

Milton, N.H., Workers Against Unionization. MILTON, N.H., June 13. Employees of the Milton Leatherboard Company here do not favor joining a union affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, It became known today when the result of a special election to decide the issue was made public. A Labor Board election held at Town Hall Tuesday showed 31 employees opposed to joining the union and 25 in favor (Boston Globe, June 14, 1941).

At least forty-two leather and fibreboard mill employees – although not their union preferences – may be identified in the census of the prior year: Alta M. Belleman, Louise Belleman, Raymond Belleman, William Belleman, Carl M. Burrows, Edwin Burrows, Edward V. Butler, Martin Davis, Willard R. Davis, Charles L. Dickson, Ernest F. Dickson, William W. Dorr, Roy M. Downs, Fred Eldridge, Everett E. Goodson, Albert A. Gosselin, James J. Ham, Rex W. Harris, Donald A. Hopkins, Raymond F. Horne, Herbert N. Kenney, Roy P. Leavitt, Ludger J. Labrie, Fred J. Lavoie, Leslie S. Libby, Peter J. Lover, Wilbur C. Lover, George C. McIntire, John Pearson, Alfred V. Pippin, Ralph W. Pugh, Earl L. Rand, Lauren V. Ramsey, Jerome J. Regan, Raymond Regan, Clara M. Smith, Elmer O. Stillings, John Sullivan, Charles E. Weare, Ralph J. Williams, Ernest F. Witham, and Samuel Young.

Mary Davis, secretary; Christine Libby, office clerk; Ernest A. Lord, clerk; Harold A. Stillings, clerk; and Earl Wentworth, bookkeeper, worked in the mill’s offices.

Mrs. Elizabeth Burrows McCorrison is here identified as having been a Nute Ridge school teacher of the late 1860s. (It appears that she would have done so under the name Lizzie Ricker).

WEST MILTON. Mrs. Elizabeth Burrows McCorrison of Union, Me., was a Sunday caller at the home of friends and former neighbors. “Aunt Lizzie,” as she is affectionally known, is in her 92nd year, and with the exception of a bothersome lameness, enjoys the best of health. Until within a short time she has managed her farm, with blueberries a specialty. Her childhood days were spent in the Nute Ridge sector of West Milton, where she attended the Nute Ridge school and later served as teacher (Farmington News, June 27, 1941).

Annie Ripley, a farmer, aged sixty-four years (b. ME), headed an Appleton, ME, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. Her household included her boarder, Lizzie B. McCorrison, a widow [of Addison McCorrison], aged ninety years (b. NH). Annie Ripley owned their farmstead on the Appleton Ridge, which was valued at $1,000. Mrs. McCorrison had finished the eighth grade.

The Ice Box mentioned in 1939 is here described as being the Ice Box Grill. Other mentions have it associated with a campground along Route 16. Some number of free meals were a benefit for campers, while other customers paid for their meals.

Saxtons River. Miss Ida Hall and Miss Mary Bissell, who have worked at the Ice Box Grill in Milton, N.H., for the past month, are spending a few days at their respective homes before returning to the University of Vermont (Brattleboro Reformer, September 11, 1941).

Valerie Hall, a widow, aged fifty-one years (b. VT), headed a Saxtons River, Rockingham, VT, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. Her household included her children, Ida Hall, aged twenty years (b. VT), Warren Hall, aged eighteen years (b. VT), Evelyn Hall, aged sixteen years (b. VT), and Benjamin Hall, aged twelve years (b. VT), and her boarders, Yvonne Simonds, aged nine years (b. VT), Gloria Simonds, aged eight years (b. VT), Stanley Hill, aged two years (b. VT), and Harold Hill, aged two years (b. VT). Valerie Hall rented their house on Pleasant Street, for $18 per month.

Here we bid farewell to Fred P. Jones, who among other things had been father to famous theatrical designer, Robert E. Jones. (His wife, Emma J. (Cowell) Jones, had died in Milton, April 13, 1941).

Rochester Locals. Private services were held yesterday afternoon at the home on Plummer’s Ridge in Milton for Fred P. Jones, 82, who died at ancestral home late Monday night. He was born in Milton, the son Charles and Betsy (Varney) Jones and was a lifelong resident of that community. He leaves three sons, Charles, Robert Edmund and Philip Cowell Jones and two daughters, Mrs. Alice M. Varney and Miss Elizabeth Jones. Burial was in the family lot on the Jones property (Portsmouth Herald, [Thursday,] November 13, 1941).

Harold Johnson lost to fire his historic eight-room house in Milton Mills, known variously as the Daniel Philbrick house or as “Milton Acres.” Milton Mills and Union firemen were hampered in their efforts by the lack of a fire pond from which to pump. They managed to save the barn and the adjoining properties of his neighbors, after laying hose to a more distant brook.

Rochester. Milton Mills Landmark Destroyed by Flames. Correspondent Basil Blake; 806J. Fire yesterday morning destroyed an eight-room house, a long ell and house on the Daniel Philbrick property in Milton Mills. The buildings, one of the old landmarks of the town, were originally owned by Mr. Philbrick, but of late have passed through several hands. The driver of a bakery truck noticed flames coming from two sections of the house as he was passing his route yesterday morning. Members of the household were not home so he notified a neighbor who gave the alarm. The Milton Fire department answered an alarm but when they arrived Chief Charles Wilson discovered that the water hole near the property had gone dry. More than 2,000 feet of hose was laid to pump water from a brook on the property of M.G. Chamberlain, but the flames had made so much headway before discovery that it was impossible to save the house. Firemen concentrated their efforts on the barn and although a corner of that structure was damaged, the barn was saved. The loss was estimated at about $5,000, with some insurance. Homes of Miriam Paschal and Victor Evans were in danger several times, but firemen prevented the spread of the flames to these nearby structures (Portsmouth Herald, December 6, 1941).

To add insult to injury, investigators discovered that Johnson’s surviving automobile had been registered in neighboring Acton, ME, rather than in Milton. In point of fact, Johnson had lived in Acton, ME, in the prior year.

Florence A. Benson, a widow, aged sixty-three years (b. MA), headed an Acton, ME, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. Her household included her lodger, Harold F. Johnson, a hardware salesman, aged forty-three years (b. MA). [And, presumably, his Acton-registered automobile]. Florence A. Benson owned their house on Hubbard’s Ridge, which was valued at $3,600.

Rochester. Basil Blake; Correspondent: 806-J. Fire Investigation Results In Auto Charge. Old Man Jinx still is camping on the trail of Harold Johnson of nearby Milton Mills. Over a week ago the large, eight-room house owned by Mr. Johnson, known as “Milton Acres,” in the town of Milton Mills was destroyed by fire in the absence of Mr. Johnson. Firemen of Milton Mills and Union, handicapped by lack of  water, saved the large barn and its contents. State Police and investigators from the sheriff’s department spent several days investigating the fire but were unable to tell how it started. During this investigation it was found out that Johnson, while living Milton Mills, had registered his car just over the town line in Acton, Me. He was brought to the police station by State Trooper Frank D. Manning and released over the weekend in bail of $25. Arraigned Monday morning before Special Justice Leonard C. Harwick, through his counsel, Atty. Kenneth F. Graft of Manchester, pleaded nolo to a charge of operating an improperly registered car and was fined $10 and costs of $6.40 (Portsmouth Herald, December 16, 1941).

In the week after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the NH State Council of Defense issued air raid instructions.

ISSUE AIR RAID INSTRUCTION. The following instructions were issued by the State Council of Defense, Tuesday, in the event of an air raid alarm. The principal thing to remember if an air raid should occur is to keep cool. Everyone should stay in their houses, do not crowd in the streets. If you are in the street, walk. Do not run to your home. Do not shout or make any unnecessary commotion. If a blackout should be ordered simply turn out all the lights in your house until proper measures can be taken. It is suggested that all unnecessary light bulbs be taken out now. The New Hampshire Air Raid Precaution is organized and will aid you to protect your home. There will be an opportunity for everyone in the state to attend air raid classes, the first one in Farmington to be held this Friday evening at 7.30 in the town hall. Use your common sense. Keep cool and you will be helping the United States in its war efforts. Beulah Thayer, Vice Chairman (Farmington News, December 12, 1941).

These blackout measures had an element of “security theater” in them, as neither the Japanese nor the Germans possessed any bomber airplanes capable of reaching New Hampshire. (General Doolittle’s 1942 bombing of Japan was an only barely possible one-way trip because it was launched from an aircraft carrier, of which the Germans had none). Nor would any Farmington or Milton lights have been visible to any enemy ship or submarine offshore.

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1940; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1942


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Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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