Milton in the News – 1949

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | January 16, 2020

In this year, we encounter a mountain-top farm for sale, a favorite poem consoles, Boston hooligans, the twelfth winter carnival, Nute Ridge as an underground railroad station, a drowning tragedy, more real estate offerings, and a miraculous escape.

The F.C. Tanner of this farm advertisement was likely a misprint for S.C. Tanner, the Milton store proprietor, former state representative, and, of late, realtor for Country Properties realty.

REAL ESTATE. FARM, VILLAGE HOMES. N. Hamp. Summer Home, $3000. 40 ACRES on mountain top, view fields and woodland; blueberries, hunting, fishing. and skiing; near lake and village; 7-rm. house & barn; electricity, telephone. R.F.D. Write or call F.C. TANNER, Milton, N.H. (Boston Globe, January 9, 1949).

As usual, one finds oneself astonished to learn how little housing costs were as a proportion of one’s income before government interventions in the real estate market. The $3,000 asking price for a house, barn, and forty acres of land would be equivalent to only $32,640 in modern inflation-adjusted currency.

The Boston Globe editors ran a regular column in which its readers might request reprints of their favorite poems or song lyrics. Lois J. Colby had a favorite poem about traveling a stony path.


If there is a favorite song or poem which you would like and are unable to find, write to the editor of Everybody’s Column. Our readers are pleased to send in old favorites requested. Editor.


O what a stony path I trod
To find my way to you – and God.
So many turns I took were wrong
I blundered endlessly along
Yet, as I stumbled, so I grew,
And found at last, my God – and you.

Lois J. Colby, Milton Mills, N.H. (Boston Globe, January 9, 1949).

Lois Jeanette Keddie was born in Newton, MA, circa 1912-13, daughter of Arthur W. and Clara M. (Wentworth) Keddie.

Arthur W. Keddie, a woolen mill finisher, aged twenty-seven years (b. MA), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920)  Federal Census. His household included his wife, Clara Keddie, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), and his children, Lenora F. Keddie, aged eight years (b. NH), and Lois J. Keddie, aged seven years (b. MA). Arthur W. Keddie owned their house on Church Street, free-and-clear, without any mortgage.

Lois J. Keddie married (1st), in Belmont, NH, September 7, 1930, William I. Colby, from whom she was divorced October 13, 1933. She married (2nd) in Milton Mills, 1935, Alfred H. Shea. One might like very much to learn that – as in the poem – she found at last what she sought. However, she and Alfred H. Shea were living apart in 1940.

Lois J. Colby, a blanket mill weaver, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. Her household included her daughter, Barbara Colby, aged nine years (b. NH). (Lois J. Colby was said to be divorced). She rented their house in Milton Mills Center, for $8 per month.

Perhaps it was her daughter that fulfilled for Lois the reward of the poem.

Milton visitors to Boston fell afoul of city slickers several times in the past. Here six Nute high school lads were accosted by rowdies.

What People Talk About. More Boston Rowdyism. To the Editor – About 7:20 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 29, one group of six of our Nute High School lads suffered a short surprise attack in Boston from a “mob” of not fewer than 22 others. This occurred within sight of the North Station and a traffic officer. The assailants were undoubtedly boys of that locale. Said premeditated, cowardly assault caused some pain to our group and financial loss to at least one parent. These attacks are nothing new but are now too frequent, even for Boston. The Garden, or any other part of town, may not be on our itinerary in the future. If they are we may come prepared to do battle on more even terms the next time. I suggest a few pilgrimages by the good citizens of Boston to parts of their own city, to see some of the sights. S.H. PERKINS, Milton, N.H. (Boston Globe, January 21, 1949).

Herbert S. Perkins, a shoe shop stitching finisher, aged forty-three years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Rosemond Perkins, aged forty-six years (b. NH), and his children, Herbert S. Perkins, Jr., aged twenty-three years (b. NH), Constance J. Perkins, aged sixteen years (b. NH), and Robert E. Perkins, aged six years (b. NH).

By 1949, Robert E. Perkins would have been fifteen years of age, i.e., Nute high school age. He might have been one of the victims, or at least in a position to have heard about it (and tell his father).

Notice was here given of the Teneriffe Sports club’s twelfth annual winter carnival. It featured downhill and slalom ski races by age classes and the coronation of a carnival queen.

TENERIFFE SPORTS CLUB’S WINTER CARNIVAL, MILTON, N.H. The Teneriffe Sports club’s twelfth annual carnival is scheduled for Saturday, February 19. At 9 a.m., the junior boys’ races will be run. The slalom races will begin at 10 o’clock. The classes are to be divided so that youngsters in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades will be competing against one another, and an additional group will include those in the seventh and eighth grades. The prizes will be given to the winners of the combined events. On Saturday afternoon, at one o’clock, the downhill race for those in high school will be held. The slalom race will start at 2.30 p.m. The prizes will go to the winners of the combined events. On Sunday afternoon at one, men’s and women’s races will be [take] place, with the downhill run as the lead-off attraction. The slalom will follow at 2.30 o’clock. The men’s and women’s races will be run in together, although separate trophies will be awarded. The trophies this year will be a little more special, and will go to the winner of the combined events, because it is the opinion of the committee that this method is fairer to the all-round performer. An especially fine award will go also to the team who has the best combined time. The meet is invitational and letters have been mailed to the Abenakis of Wolfeboro, Bauneg Bog club of Sanford, Me., Concord Ski club, Panda Outing club of Biddeford, Rochester, and Garrison Outing club of Dover. Entries on the carnival queen must be in not later than February 12, and are limited to girls from the ages 14 to 25. The queen will be named and coronated at the carnival ball to be held on Saturday night at the Strand building (Farmington News, February 1, 1949).

Extracted here from a lengthier letter to the editor regarding the census is the story of a Nute Ridge farmer whose farm served as a station on the underground railroad. The author was Farmington storeowner Ned L. Parker, whose son, H. Franklin Parker, had served briefly as one of Nute Chapel’s ministers.

An amusing story is told of a “station,” located on Nute Ridge in the neighboring town of Milton. A sympathetic farmer, who had on occasion aided these unfortunate people, on repairing to his barn one morning to feed his cattle, was confronted by a huge black man who rose up from the haymow and whose entire raiment consisted of a “swallowtail” coat. This slave had escaped from Virginia and was on his way “up through,” as the trail to Canada was called. The good farmer provided a hearty breakfast and suitable clothing and permitted the fugitive to remain concealed in his barn until nightfall. Then this member of the underground conveyed his black brother to a “station” in Alton from which point he eventually made his way to Canada and freedom (Farmington News, March 25, 1949).

Perhaps one would not call this situation “amusing,” but it remains instructive. For those who remain confused as to the difference between what is right and what is legal, i.e., some politicians’ or court justice’s scribbles, what the sympathetic West Milton farmer did was illegal and what the pursuing sheriffs and slave-catchers did was perfectly legal.

(See also Milton and Abolitionism).

Mrs. Phoebe C. (Whitten) Willey lost sight of her toddler in the yard, who then drowned in nearby Hart brook.

WEST MILTON CHILD DROWNED IN BROOK. A tragic note was struck in the hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Willey of West Milton, when their son, Everett C. Willey, aged three years and eight months, was accidentally drowned in the Hart brook, a short distance from their home, last Saturday afternoon. The child, who had been playing in the yard, wandered off and was missed by Mrs. Willey, who sought the aid of neighbors. After a search of the locality, Robert Badger and Charles Ellis discovered the child’s body in a deep part of the brook. Investigation of the accident was made by Dr. Forrest L. Keay of Rochester, medical referee of Rochester, who announced that death was due to accidental drowning. Survivors include his parents, two sisters, Florence and Gwendolyn, and three brothers, Murray, Milton, and Norman. Funeral services were held Monday at the Norman L. Otis funeral parlor, with Rev. Charles Shelley of the Nute Ridge chapel officiating. Remains were taken to Somersworth for burial (Farmington News, April 1, 1949).

Charles A. Willey was born in Auburn, NH, March 22, 1896; son of George and Melvina (Kelley) Willey.

He married (1st) in Candia, NH, November 7, 1914, Gertrude M. Tuttle. Their children included Norman, Murray, Milton, and Gwendolyn. She died in Rochester, NH, March 20, 1936. He married (2nd) in Chichester, NH, April 17, 1945, Phoebe C. Whitten.

Henry H. Pillman had still his Mountain View camp either for sale or for rent, as he had in the previous year.

Summer Cottages and Houses. MILTON, N.H.; for rent, large camp on lake, sleeps 8, conveniences. LY 5-6927 SSu (Boston Globe, June 18, 1949).

Summer Cottages and Houses. MILTON, N.H. Large shore front camp, flush toilet, running water; $38 wk.; open July 30 on. LY 5-6927 (Boston Globe, July 17, 1949).

Bill Boivin (formerly of Rochester, NH) had eight new Little America cottages for rent on Route 16. (These cottages appeared still on Milton tax rolls of the late 1970s (and possibly beyond)).

Summer Cottages and Houses. VACATION AT N.H. LITTLE America cottages by the lake at Milton, N.H., Route 16, 8 new cottages, 3 and 4 rooms. screened porches, boats. bathing and fishing. $35.00 and $43.00 weekly. For reservation write BILL BOIVIN, Box 138, Milton, N.H. (Boston Globe, July 31, 1949).

William P. Boivin, a garage salesman, aged forty-six years (b. NH), headed a Rochester, NH, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Louise Boivin, a shoe shop packer, aged thirty-two years (b. NH). William P. Boivin owned their house at 30 Hancock Street, which was valued at $1,800.

Assuming it is extant, it should not be too hard to identify a 1790 Cape Cod-style house on the main [White Mountain] highway.

REAL ESTATE. NEW HAMPSHIRE. PARTLY furnished 1790 Cape Cod, 7 rooms, bath, lav., oil heat, 2 long living rooms, on main highway; also small guest house in rear on river connecting with large lakes: excellent location for year-round antique shop, guest house, etc. C.T. BALCOM, Realtor; MElrose (Mass.) 4-2140, or Route 16, Milton, N.H. SSu (Boston Globe, August 7, 1949).

Note the ease with which establishing a year-round antique shop or summer hotel is proposed.

Robert P. Laskey of Milton Mills had a miraculous escape from death when his convertible rolled over on the Farmington-Middleton highway. (Said highway sounding like the modern NH Route 153).

MILTON MILLS MAN UNINJURED IN AUTO ACCIDENT SUNDAY NIGHT. Robert Laskey of Milton Mills escaped injury in an auto accident which occurred last Sunday evening on the Farmington-Middleton highway near the home of Alden Emery. Mr. Laskey was driving his convertible towards Farmington and failed to make a curve in the highway. The vehicle turned completely over and was badly demolished, however, Mr. Laskey was extricated from the wreck and taken to the office of a local physician, where he was found to be uninjured, but suffered shock as a result of a severe shaking up. Chief of Police Elmer F. Clough investigated the accident (Farmington News, December 9, 1939).

Twenty-eight-year-old Robert P. Laskey rolled over in a convertible automobile with no roll-bar and no seatbelts. He was a very lucky man. Well, he was unlucky in having the accident in the first place, but lucky in everything else.

Alden C. Emery, whose house was near the scene of the accident, resided at Charles Street North in Farmington, NH, close to its intersection with the West Milton Road.

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1948; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1950


Find a Grave. (2018, May 23). Charles A. Willey. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2013, August 14). Robert P. Laskey. Retrieved from


Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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