A recent post (January 31) on local social media asked a very good question regarding the so-called “fund balance.”
Last year (2019) the Milton Operating Budget was defeated and the Town operated under a Default Budget. The December Expenditure Report shows a surplus of $739,128.00. Will this be used to offset taxes. or will it be used to fund Warrant Articles in 2020?
Audience members at the Deliberative Session asked related questions. For those who did not already know, the official replies tell quite a tale.
The term “fund balance” might suggest that this amount is only what is left over when the necessary budget categories are covered – a sort of rounding error or spare change. That is only partly true.
The NH State Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) “recommends” that Towns collect a tax overage, above and beyond the tax amounts necessary to cover the Town budget. In replies to audience questions, it emerged that the DRA recommendation was formerly to collect an additional 5% to 15%. This year’s proposed budget is $4,562,047.
So, following the DRA’s recommendation would have the Town collecting this year additional funds above the Town budget of between $228,102 (at 5%) and $684,307 (at 15%). In a town with about 2,300 tax properties, that would be an average tax overage of between $99 and $298 per property.
It emerged also that the DRA has in recent years narrowed their recommended tax overage range to something that tops out at about 8%. This narrower range has been implemented already in various other NH towns, towns whose governments are better than ours.
At the Milton Deliberative Session the various members of the Board of Selectmen (BOS) amended any and all articles that gave an estimated tax impact. They replaced those tax impact estimates with – let us not mince words – the same tired old lie about there being no tax impact or, as former Selectman Lucier preferred it, no additional tax impact, as the money would come magically from the unexpended fund balance.
I am not dim enough to fall for that – at least not more than once – but are you? Just as the fictional Soylent Green foodstuff was found ultimately to have been made out of people [!], we discovered last year that fund balances are made out of taxes [!!]. They are simply the DRA’s recommended tax “overages” from last year, over-collected and never returned.
Now, the thing about “recommendations” is that you need not adopt them. Town officials with any concern whatsoever for the taxpayers they supposedly represent would operate always at the lower end of the DRA’s recommended range. They might even disregard the DRA’s bad advice all together. But we have instead $739,128 worth of Soylent Green in our fund balance.
Obviously, we need to elect officials that put our interests – and particularly our ability to pay – before the fevered dreams of Town departments. We have for many years been disappointed by the various boards and committees, perhaps even feeling something akin to betrayal.
The answer to the social media question above – and the whole point of their removing the tax impact language from the various warrant articles – is “YES, this BOS absolutely intends to spend ‘your’ fund balance on warrant articles and not on tax relief.” But only if you are dim enough to vote for their warrant spending.
Despite the stated rationales when it was created, profligate spending is the entire point of having a CIP plan and of overtaxing us to fill magic fund balances. Remember, by definition, government has no “capital,” as such, with which to “plan.” Everything they spend is removed from your pocket.
Hi there everyone and welcome to the March Edition of Celestial Seasonings 2020! March is the month during which we transition from winter into spring. We will change the time on March 8, and spring will begin on March 19. As I sit here writing this today in late February, the Sun is shining brightly and my thermometer says 55 degrees. Time to put down my tech gadgets and go outside for a Sunday afternoon stroll.
Happy reading my friends and I hope you find the many delights offered to us well worth the wait and astronomical show. Now let’s begin our journey into the night skies of March 2020 …
March 2. LC2602, an open star cluster from the Constellation Carina will display. The Moon phase will be the first quarter.
March 6. M44, our prolific Beehive Cluster will closely approach the Moon.
March 8. Clocks are to Spring forward at 2 AM (or before you go to bed Saturday, March 7, or after you wake up Sunday, March 8). Neptune may be seen at the opposite side of the Sun from the Earth in the evening (Wikipedia, 2019).
March 10. NGC3532, from the Constellation Carina is also referred to as the Pincushion, Football, or Wishing Well open cluster will be visible (Wikipedia, 2019).
March 11. The Moon will orbit its furthest point from the sun.
March 14. y-Normid meteor shower from the Constellation Norma will be visible.
March 15. Asteroid 27 Euterpe, a minor planet designation will reach its highest point in the sky close to midnight.
March 16. This date will bring the last quarter of the Moon.
March 18. The Moon, along with Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will rise closely to one another.
March 22. Half of Mercury will be visible.
March 23. Mars and Pluto will rise together and be close to each other.
March 24. Venus will go to its furthest point from the sun. There will be a new moon which may appear smaller then normal for it will be at it’s farthest point from the Earth.
March 26. Venus will reach its highest point in the evening sky. 136472 Makemake, a minor planet designation will be visible most notably near midnight. Half of Venus will be visible. (in-the-sky.org, 2020).
March 27. Mercury will be as far away from the Sun as it ever goes.
March 28. The Moon and Venus will rise close to each other.
The Presidential Primary election took place on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. 1,239 Milton voters took either a Democratic or Republican primary ballot.
As is usual, None-of-the-above won the election, in that about 60% of Milton’s registered voters gave the primary election a good leaving-alone and did not vote for any of the proffered candidates (nor did they write-in any other person).
Democratic Primary Ballots
696 Milton voters took a Democratic Party ballot. Of those, 195 (28.02%) voted for Bernie Sanders, 156 (22.42%) for Pete Buttigieg, 145 (20.83%) for Amy Klobuchar, 40 (5.7%) for Joseph R. Biden, 39 (5.6%) for Elizabeth Warren, 35 (5.03%) for Tulsi Gabbard, 33 (4.74%) for Tom Steyer, 17 (2.44%) for Andrew Yang, 6 (0.86%) for Deval Patrick, 3 (0.43%) for Michael Bennet, 2 (0.29%) for Julian Castro, 2 (0.29%) for Kamala Harris, 1 for Cory Booker, 1 (0.14%) for Ben Gleib Gleiberman, and 1 (0.14%) for Tom Koos.
In the Write-In category, 11 (1.58%) voted for Donald J. Trump, 6 (0.86%) for Mike Bloomberg, 2 (0.29%) for Mitt Romney, and 1 (0.14%) for Barack Obama.
The Democratic Party candidates in the 1-2-3 positions (bolded) received vote totals in a range that might get them a seat on the Milton Board of Selectmen in a Town election.
Republican Primary Ballots
543 Milton voters took a Republican Party ballot. Of those, 483 (88.95%) voted for Donald J. Trump, 29 (5.34%) for Bill Weld, 3 (0.55%) for Mary Maxwell, 2 (0.37%) for Larry Horn, 2 (0.37%) for Stephen B. Comley, Sr., 1 (0.18%) for Matthew John Matern, 1 (0.18%) for Eric Merrill, 1 (0.18%) for William N. Murphy, and 1 (0.18%) for Joe Walsh.
In the Write-In category, 17 (3.13%) voted for Bernie Sanders, 3 (0.55%) for Joseph R. Biden, 2 (0.37%) for Elizabeth Warren, 1 (0.18%) for Pete Buttigieg, 1 (0.18%) for Amy Klobuchar, and 1 (0.18%) for Tom Steyer.
Donald J. Trump received vote totals that would definitely get him a seat on the Milton Board of Selectmen, but the others not so much.
Why Are We Paying for This?
As usual, one might well question this exercise’s rationale. In the prior election cycle, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) argued in Federal court that they were a private organization that was not bound by the actual election results. That is to say, they could select whomever they wanted as the Democratic candidate, regardless of who won any actual primary elections. The Republicans had made similar arguments years earlier in refusing to seat Ron Paul delegates.
All of which begs the question: If these are just private club elections, as argued by the DNC, whose results the private clubs are not bound to respect, exactly why are these private club elections being conducted at public expense?
President George Washington, as well as other founding fathers, argued in his Farewell Address against having any political parties at all, let alone publicly funding their private club elections.
However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion (Washington, September 17, 1796).
Can Milton send an invoice for its primary election expenses to the respective parties’ “cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled” functionaries? On behalf of Milton’s 60% majority, that is, who might wish to free themselves from subsidizing those parties’ “unjust dominion.”
You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’ (George Bernard Shaw).
Is there no limit to the lengths school administrators will go to undermine families?
Judging by House Bill 1459, a bill I recently weighed in against in a public hearing in Concord, their nerve shows no bounds. Under current law, parents have to give written permission for their children to fill out non-academic surveys. HB1459 would change parental permission needed from “opt-in” to “opt-out,” thus placing the burden on all parents to deny permission, rather than on school bureaucrats to obtain permission.
Why such a big deal over some innocuous questions in a survey? Under the law’s definition of a “non-academic survey or questionnaire,” it is “designed to elicit information about a student’s social behavior, family life, religion, politics, sexual orientation, sexual activity, drug use, or any other information not related to a student’s academics.” First and foremost, what business is it of busybody school administrators to pry into students’ and their parents’ family lives? Where I come from, we call that snooping, pure and simple. These are extremely personal areas—and definitely not in the province of school officials. In case they’ve forgotten what they get paid for, it is teaching the basics like the 3R’s, literature, history, science, and maybe a pinch of The Constitution once in a while, not probing into private lives.
The information the nosey parkers are going out of their way to obtain should be extremely alarming to any parent. Just think about the questions that could be asked in these surveys. Are there firearms in your house? Do your parents ever hit or spank you or your siblings? Do your parents ever leave you alone in the house? Have you ever seen marijuana or other recreational drugs in your house? Have you ever tried to kill yourself?* When you have sex, how often do you and/or your partner use a birth control method such as birth control pills, Depo-Provera shot, an implant, ring, patch, male or female condom (rubber), foam, diaphragm, or IUD?* How many adults have you known for two or more years who do things that are wrong or dangerous?* What political parties are your parents registered under? Who will your parents vote for in the next presidential election? Do your parents smoke or vape? By including the text “or any other information not related to a student’s academics,” the surveys could legally ask just about anything. Whatever happened to privacy and all those millions of privacy forms we see all the time that are supposed to protect our privacy? If it’s wrong for big corporations and private companies in the voluntary sector to share our data without our permission, why is it OK when government school bureaucrats do it? It is well documented that when government employees get hold of personal information, they sometimes misuse the information for nefarious personal purposes. And, even if not for personal misuse, can you just imagine what overzealous Child Protective Services bureaucrats would do with the survey data if it got into their overreaching hands?
(*Questions excerpted from a survey given to students as young as 5th graders).
All the survey results are supposed to be anonymous and kept confidential, but especially with declining student enrollment and smaller populations in many of New Hampshire’s rural towns, it wouldn’t be difficult for the snoopers to figure out where the responses came from—and possibly pay a surprise visit to a child’s home to check up on his “family life.” Data collection is one of the favorite ways for government bureaucrats to justify expanding their “services” in order to obtain more funding and personnel. Judging by the number of special interest groups who testified in favor of the bill, clearly they were looking for more business if only the schools could provide more data.
So how would the system of getting permission work under HB1459? Right now, if the school doesn’t receive the signed permission slip back from the parents, it’s a no go for the survey to be given to the student. Under HB1459 however, all the school would need to do is send written notice home to the parents via the student, and no signed permission slip would need to be returned. There was much ado by the bill’s proponents that the problem now is permission slips get lost in the shuffle of paperwork and never make it back to the school. The implication is that parents want to grant permission but logistics get in the way. From raising my own son, who always managed to lose not only papers being sent home but even the folder that contained the papers (“No homework, Dad!”), I can definitely agree with the proponents that indeed papers do get lost. However, their solution to the vanishing papers issue doesn’t solve the problem because the permission slip might never make it home in the first place; thus, by default the parents will be deemed to have given permission without ever having seen the permission slip.
Here is a real-life example how this scheme works in practice and enables bureaucrats to pull the wool over the public’s eyes. When I lived in San Francisco, the city was pushing its own government-owned electricity supplier CleanPowerSF over Pacific Gas & Power. Of course, they wanted enough rate payers to choose CleanPowerSF to make it financially feasible, so they have been “opting in” the entire city, one neighborhood at a time, over the last few years stealthily. When the issue happened to surface, a friend of mine who is a certified political junkie and in tune to what goes on at City Hall confessed that he didn’t even notice that he had been “opted in” to CleanPowerSF. He quickly opted out once he realized what happened, but considering that he is well read and generally informed, can you just imagine how little of the general public would even be aware of what had occurred right under their noses? In the olden days, when phone companies used to switch people over to their company without their permission, this was called “slamming” and was widely condemned. If it was wrong for “evil” corporations to pull this shenanigan, why is it suddenly OK when government officials do it? Where is the outrage now?
Also worth mentioning are comments made during the hearing I attended. One committee member noted that he heard from past similar surveys that older students weren’t taking them seriously and were filling in bogus answers. After all, if you’re taking drugs or sleeping around, would you really want to take a chance of your parents finding out, even though the results are supposed to be anonymous? So, after wasting limited resources to gather this data, even if the snoopers didn’t misuse it, it might not even be accurate in the end. Another point was brought up by the only other person to oppose the bill: who is vetting these surveys before subjecting the students to them? The lack of oversight really concerned her over the inappropriateness of some of the questions.
Lastly, should there be any question as to the motivation and purpose of the bureaucrats, one of the letters sent home to parents announced that the survey itself would be available for viewing during school hours at the school. Of course, most parents are at work during school hours, so why not just send the survey home for parents to view it themselves before granting permission? OK, for those concerned with wasting taxpayer dollars on hard paper costs, why not just post it online for all parents to see? In fact, parents complained about not being able to take the survey home for review, and some had to file several Right-To-Know requests to get hard copies. The breathtaking depth of the snoopers’ nosiness is surpassed only by their zeal to deceive and circumvent parents.
The bill is currently pending in the NH House Education Committee. If it makes it out of committee to the floor, I will keep an eye on how Milton’s representatives and senator vote on it. It and the shameful surveys are further evidence that something has gone really awry at government schools.
The bad ideas prevalent elsewhere have begun to arrive on Milton’s doorstep. Cash on delivery.
In this warrant article, Article #3, the Milton School Board, the Milton Board of Selectmen, and the Milton Police favor hiring a School Resource Officer (SRO), i.e., a police officer, for the Milton school system. They propose to split the cost between them. That is to say, the taxpayers will foot the entire bill, but partly in their School taxes and partly in their Town taxes. This article concerns only the Town portion of the costs.
Article 3: School Resource Officer
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Eighty-nine Thousand Seven Hundred Sixty Dollars ($89,760) to be added to the Milton Police Department General Operating Budget to Fund a School Resource Officer. This sum will be for half a year for 2020 and will then become a full year position in 2021 and will become a new line in the Police Department General Operating Budget. This sum will be for salary, FICA, Retirement, Medicare, Workers’ Comp, and Insurance cost. (Majority Vote Required).
Estimated tax impact is $0.18 (Eighteen Cents).
Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (3,0,0).
Recommended by the Budget Committee (6,1,0).
The division between budgets, as well as errors made in calculating the correct amounts, make it difficult to state the actual bottom line for this innovation. Between salary, benefits, pensions, etc., it would seem to be well north of $100,000. That is to say, it will be at least double the average salary of a Milton taxpayer. The “million dollar” Police department price tag, of which so many have complained, will become the 1.1 million dollar Police department. Some might think that enough on its face to reject this article.
In recommending it, it was said that it would allow for a revival, potentially even an expansion, of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. An audience member pointed out that there have been literally hundreds of academic studies of this program. Nearly all of them rated it as having been completely ineffective, and many claimed it was actually counter-productive, in that it actually induced greater drug involvement.
Our results confirm the findings of a previous meta-analysis indicating that Project D.A.R.E. is ineffective. This is not surprising, given the substantial information developed over the past decade to that effect. Critics of the present analysis might argue that, despite the magnitude of our findings, the direction of the effect of D.A.R.E. was generally positive. While this is the case, it should be emphasized that the effects we found did not differ significantly from the variation one would expect by chance. According to Cohen’s guidelines, the effect size we obtained would have needed to be 20 times larger to be considered even small. Given the tremendous expenditures in time and money involved with D.A.R.E., it would appear that continued efforts should focus on other techniques and programs that might produce more substantial effects (West, et al., 2004).
Another advantage put forward was the opportunity to foster a relationship of trust between students and police. That would seem to be a very poor lesson to learn at school, compared with what lawyers tell us. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, long ago, that the police may lie to you (Frazier v. Cupp), and that they are under no obligation whatsoever to either help or protect you (Warren v. District of Columbia; DeShaney vs. Winnebago; Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzales). That same audience member pointed out that any good attorney would advise you to never even speak to the police, let alone trust them.
The Milton Police Facebook site has for years featured a Thin Blue Line flag as its header, which might tell you something about their culture. It supposedly signifies that they are all that stands between society and chaos. However, in many places, Thin Blue Line displays are regarded instead as a kind of “gang” colors. For that reason, many departments prohibit their display on uniforms, vehicles, Facebook displays, etc. It does not project a relationship of trust, quite the contrary in fact. We stick together against you. (Desecrating a U.S. flag in this manner is not a crime, although the U.S. Congress has tried several times to make it so. (It would take a constitutional amendment to criminalize flag desecration)).
One is reminded of the shenanigans that took place a couple of summers ago. One or more Milton police officers disappeared off the payroll amidst a flurry of secret 91-A meetings. In the final meeting, the records were unsealed, but only for the police chief, so that he might include some of its information in his personnel records. The taxpayers are not to know what happened, we are not to be trusted with that information. The Thin Blue Line.
The final argument in favor of a SRO was that that officer would be on hand to better document any incident. That is to say, they would be better prepared to move a student into the criminal justice system: the School-to-Prison Pipeline.
The Milton Board of Selectmen recommended this unanimously, as is their usual practice.
The Milton Town warrant has upon it several articles with competing ideas that cannot be reconciled. This one concerns forcing most taxpayers to subsidize the particular “hobby horse” of a few.
The world is not on fire, nor is it going to end in ten or eleven years. These are false notions that can be denied, both easily and truthfully.
Who can even say what the “correct” temperature is or should be? It has been within quite a wide range during humanity’s tenure. There is a strong natural bias towards the temperature prevailing “now” as being the ideal one, but that is all it is, just a bias. I believe they call it a normalcy bias: a bias in favor of that with which one is familiar.
The Roman empire encountered what might be called adverse climate change in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. In Roman Britain, the warmer trend prevailing up to that time had allowed for an expansion of farming to formerly marginal upland areas. They even had viniculture, which requires warmer temperatures. Its population boomed, as did that of the Roman empire in general.
Then the climate cooled. Yes, temperatures cooled towards what they are now. The Romans were not best pleased with the change. It became harder to sustain populations that had expanded under what the Romans had regarded as “optimal” conditions. The barbarians became restless and advanced across Roman frontiers. The Romans pulled out of Britain in 409 A.D. They left a nice note, advising the Britons to take care of themselves.
The same thing happened later with the Greenland Viking settlements. They established settlements there that lasted for hundreds of years. Then the prevailing temperatures cooled, again towards the ones experienced now. The Viking settlements struggled against this cooling trend, but their populations dwindled and finally they just “winked out.” Current temperatures were just too cold for them.
Article #23 seeks to socialize the expense of owning so-called “Green” technologies. It might be more accurate to say that it seeks to “further” socialize them, to the Town level, as the Federal government is already subsidizing them to the tune of 30% off. State governments are on the bandwagon too.
Article 23: Optional Tax Exemption: Solar, Wind-Powered, Wood Heating Systems (Submitted by Petition).
To see if the town will vote to adopt the provisions of RSA 72:61 through RSA 72:72 inclusively, which provide for an optional property tax exemption from the property’s assessed value, for property tax purposes, for persons owning real property, which is equipped with solar energy systems, wind-powered energy systems or wood heating systems intended for use at the immediate site. Such property tax exemption shall be in the amount of 100% of the assessed value of qualifying equipment under these statutes. (Majority vote required).
Estimated tax impact is $0.74 (Seventy-four Cents).
Not recommended by the Board of Selectmen (0,3,0). [Amended to 2,1,0, Chairman Thibeault and Selectman Rawson voting to recommend that Milton taxpayers subsidize these energy systems, while Vice-Chairwoman Hutchings declined to do so].
Not Recommended by the Budget Committee (0,4,3).
The “estimated tax impact” is a bit deceptive. (But no more than the amounts estimated by the Town in general). That would be the estimated tax impact at the current numbers of such systems. Were those numbers to increase, then the tax impact would increase correspondingly.
Town taxes are as high as they are due to excessive Town budgets. Do not be sidetracked by variations in rates and valuations. Those are factors only in covering ever-increasing Town budgets. Despite what some Selectmen have put forward, it is not an accomplishment to lower the rate slightly while increasing the valuation greatly. (Be sure to ask “The Question” (of last year) of any and all candidates).
The Town taxes anything not nailed down, literally. People have been heard asking about structures on wheels. Why would two Selectmen recommend that “Green” systems be exempted from valuation and, therefore, exempted from their taxation?
One might answer that 1) this does not affect them: their Town budgets can still increase despite this measure, and 2) they believe in Global Warming (or its necessary rebranding as Global Climate Change) or, at least, they would like to “signal” that they do.
This measure absolutely does not reduce taxes by the value of these energy systems, it merely “redistributes” those taxes onto the backs of those that do not have them. Those who do not believe that the earth is on fire will be forced to subsidize the “Green” energy beliefs of those who do.
If one does believe in Global Climate Change, one should put one’s own money where one’s mouth is, rather than forcibly appropriating the money of others for that purpose.
“There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one’s own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others.” – Franz Oppenheimer
By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | February 23, 2020
Here we find a 1916 recollection of two competing industrial soap salesmen – “No. 34” and “Jim” – and their sales trip to Milton Mills.
Based upon the manufacturers, hotelier, and storekeeper mentioned, it would seem that the sales trip described must have taken place in or around 1877. The Waumbeck Company had its origins in the early 1870s; Ira Miller (1826-1902) had by this time transferred his Central House hotel to Crosby B. Remick (1849-1919), and opened his eponymous store, as he did in 1877; and Edward Brierley (1817-1878) was still living. David H. Buffum (1820-1882), a principal at the Great Falls Manufacturing Company, has not yet arrived on the scene. John Townsend (1807-1891), retired founder of the Townsend blanket mill, was then about seventy years of age, while his son, Henry H. Townsend (1842-1904), founder of the Miltonia Mills, was then about thirty-six years of age.
A GREEDY COMPETITOR.
In my early days in the soap trade, there seemed to be a broader field than there is to-day. True, there were fewer salesmen on the road selling mill soaps. As I recollect, there were two of us in New England territory, representing large houses, and, occasionally, a small maker of soap among the competitors would go out himself, and sell some mill. But the bulk of the trade was handled by my competitor and myself, I will call him Jim. There surely ought to have been trade enough for both of us. One morning I met him on the Eastern Division of the Boston & Maine Railroad, coming from Boston. He was not very amiable, rather out of sorts with me. For the truth was, I had been rather busy with the mills on that division. I had been to Great Falls the day before and sold them. The son of the owner had told me that his father had gone to Milton Mills, together with Mr. Briarly, superintendent of a felt mill he owned there to Briarly’s camp at East Pond on a fishing expedition. This is in explanation of what happened after Jim and I reached Milton Mills. We both got off at Union, N.H., and took the stage over to Milton Mills. Jim rode on the inside, I on the outside. He
DID NOT MAKE MUCH TALK,
and I, after one or two attempts to converse with him, subsided. The facts were that on a previous trip I had been to the mills and sold the Waumbec Company a car and sold a sample five-cask lot to Briarly Felt Mills; also sold Townsend a sample order, I have forgotten the number of packages, and had run over the month before and got encouragement from Briarly that my soap was proving very satisfactory and that he expected to give me a car order, which was my errand on the day Jim and I were on the way to Milton Mills. We arrived about dinner time, went in to dinner together. We had begun to eat when Jim started up from the table and said he had a bad attack of the toothache and could not eat. I finished my meal, while Jim walked down to the Briarly mill at least one-half mile from the hotel. Before he came back I had interviewed Henry Townsend, whom I saw coming across the square, and sold him. This left nothing for Jim except a possibility of changing Briarly
AWAY FROM HIS PROMISE
to me. Jim came back, hot and mad clean through. “Why couldn’t you have told me Briarly was down to East Pond fishing,” he said, and “saved me this walk?” It was a very hot day In August. I asked him how long he supposed I was running his business. He made me no answer, but turned to Remick, the hotel proprietor, and said, “How many horses have you got in the barn?” Remick said, “Six.” “I want them,” said Jim, “and I want you and the fastest one of the lot to drive me to Briarly’s camp.” I had not been on the road long, but I had learned a little forbearance against pushing business on a mill man when he was on a pleasure hunt away from his mill. So I began to remonstrate with Jim against going to the camp. He just laughed at me. I tried to get one of the six horses that Jim had commanded, but Remick reminded me that I had heard Jim hire the whole bunch. I told Remick that would be the last time he would have the pleasure of my company, and was making a few other
REMARKS NOT COMPLIMENTARY
to him. When a salesman for a dye-stuffs house who was at dinner with me and had driven in from Sanford, Me., saw the fix Jim had me in, he stepped up and said it was his first trip to this country, that he had no acquaintance, and if I would introduce him to the owner of the felt mill I might ride with him. I gladly accepted his invitation. Meanwhile, Jim and Remick had started for East Pond. The dye man drove a piebald horse, not any snap to him. When he got opposite Briarly’s mill, he balked up. I sprang over the wheel, saying to my friend that his horse couldn’t do me any good. I ran all the way back to the village, and entered a grocery store kept by Ira Miller. I will say that, before going on the road to sell soap, I was eight years in a wholesale grocery store in Boston. Miller had been a customer, and when he came in to buy goods, he was always boasting about the fine horses he had. I had not him for three or four years. As soon as I got my breath, I said, “Ira, have you got a good horse?” “The best in the state,” he replied.
“HITCH HIM UP,”
and drive me to East Pond.” That horse was harnessed and put in a rig in very quick time. As we rode along, I explained to Ira the trouble I was in. That was a grand horse of Ira’s. We overtook friend Jim and Remick about five miles out. I said, “That is what I am after, Ira,” pointing to Jim. They were moping along, thinking they had done me up, I suppose. When I spoke to Ira, he said, “Hang on to the seat,” and like a shot we went by them. I looked back, and Jim had the reins away from Remick, and the whip in his hand, and was lashing that horse into a run, but that horse was not in it with Ira Miller’s animal. We left them out of sight and drove into the lake shore. “Change sides,” said Ira, who rose up and I slipped under him. At the camp I found Mr. Briarly, booked his order for a car of soap, just as he had promised me, when Jim and his friend drove into the woods. I told Ira to drive me to Wolfboro Junction, which he did. Pretty soon Remick left Jim there. But he would not fraternize with me, and staid up at the end of a long platform away from me. I had mischief enough left in me to go to the telegraph office and wire in the order I had taken. No 34.
The Mitchell-Cony directory of 1908 set forth the following sequence of occupants of the Brierley felt mill at Milton Mills.
On the site of the shoe factory occupied by Andrews Bros., Edward Brierly erected a felt mill about forty years ago, where he carried on a large business, employing a fair number of hands until it was burned in the spring or early part of the summer of 1873. He rebuilt the mill soon afterward, and the property later came into the possession of David H. Buffum of Somersworth. After Mr. Buffum’s death, his son, Harry Buffum, sold it to Varney & Lane, who began the manufacture of shoes. The next owners of the factory were the Gale Shoe Co., of Haverhill, who, after several years of successful operation, leased the property to Andrews & Co., of Everett, Mass., who, under the name of the Boynton Shoe Co., carry on the industry successfully at the present time (Mitchell-Cony, 1908).
English immigrant Edward Brierley erected his felt mill at Milton Mills “about forty years ago,” i.e., about 1864. It burned in the spring or early summer of 1873, and was rebuilt “soon afterward.” It came later into the hands of felt manufacturer David H. Buffum. After his death (December 1882), his son, Harry Buffum, sold it to Varney & Lane, who began to manufacture shoes, rather than felt. Next came the Gale Shoe company, and Andrews, Wasgatt Co., dba Boynton Shoe Co. After Boynton Shoe Co., and beyond the Mitchell-Cony sequence, came Timson & Co.
With the exception of the original Edward Brierley operation, and, briefly, David H. Buffum, Jr., few, if any, of the following company officers resided in Milton Mills. Their main factories were elsewhere, and they employed local superintendents to manage their Milton Mills “country factory” satellites.
Edward Brierley – c1864-79
Edward Brierley was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, England, May 19, 1817, son of John and Mary Brierley.
Edward Brierley arrived in the U.S. at New York, NY, December 24, 1841. He married, probably in Lowell, MA, circa 1843, Margaret M. Thompson. She was born in Ireland (alternatively given as Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland) in 1812.
Agnes Jane Brierley, daughter of Edward and Margaret Brierley, was born in Lowell, MA, June 17, 1844. Margaret Briley was born in Lowell, November 15, 1845. Frances Brailey was born in Lowell, May 17, 1847. Edward James Brierley was baptized in Lowell, MA, June 24, 1849.
Edward Brierley resided in Lowell, MA, when he was naturalized in the local police court there, May 31, 1851.
Edward Brierley and his family paid a visit to the “old country” in 1852. Edwd. Brierley, aged thirty-six years (b. England), Margt. Brierley, aged thirty-five years (b. England), Agnes Brierley, aged eight years (b. England), Francis Brierley, aged five years (b. England), and Edwd. Brierley, aged three years (b. England), returned together in the 1500-ton packet ship Daniel Webster, in 1853. The Daniel Webster, Captain Howard commanding, departed from Liverpool, England, January 30, 1853, and arrived in Boston, MA, on Saturday, February 26, 1853.
Marine Intelligence. ARRIVALS AND CLEARANCES AT BOSTON. Saturday, February 26. Arrived Ship Daniel Webster, Howard, Liverpool Jan. 30; brig Montrose, Poland, Penacola (Boston Globe, March 5, 1853).
Edward Brierly established a block printing business at Milton Mills in 1850 [more likely in or after 1853] and after a few years of successful business purchased a saw mill and privilege on the site of the present Brierly mill where he soon began the manufacture of felt goods. The rapid increase of his business soon compelled him to make extensive additions and in a short time he had extensive mills on both sides of the river doing a very remunerative business (Scales, 1914).
Daughter Frances M. Brierley died October 26, 1860, aged thirteen years (buried in Milton Mills). Edward Briley, a factory operative, aged forty-three years (born England), headed a Milton Mills household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Hannah [SIC] Briley, aged forty years (born Ireland [SIC]).
An “enterprising” Edward Brierley was mentioned in the Vulpes letter of January 1864, as being about to build a mill in Milton Mills.
Daughter Agnes J. Brierly of Milton Mills, N.H., was a junior at the Abbot Female Academy in Andover, MA, in July 1864. Among other subjects, she was a pupil in instrumental music. She married in Boston, MA, June 7, 1870, Henry H. Townsend, a merchant, she of Milton, NH, aged twenty-six years, and he of Boston, aged twenty-seven years. (He was a member of Milton Mills’ Townsend blanket factory family).
Edward Brierly, a felt manufacturer, aged fifty-three years (born England), headed a Milton Mills household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Margaret Brierly, keeping house, aged fifty-four years (born Scotland), and Edward J. Brierly, a clerk in a felt manufactory, aged twenty-one years (born MA). Edward Brierly had real estate valued at $3,000 and personal estate valued at $2,000.
A William Brierley (1828-1894), also an English immigrant, appeared in Milton at this time. He would seem to have been a younger half-brother or cousin of Edward Brierley, in whose mill he was working. (He had in 1870 a wife, Elizabeth E. Brierley, and children, Edward J. Brierley, John W. Brierley, Sarah A. Brierley, and Cora H.J. Brierley).
In the summer of 1873 these mills were entirely destroyed by fire thus sweeping away in an hour the accumulations of years of hard labor. Mr. Brierly soon began the erection of a new mill but losing largely by the insolvency of insurance companies he became somewhat embarrassed and was obliged to compromise with his creditors. His health soon after failing he was unable to recover his former financial position and at his death the property went into other hands and has since been operated by other parties (Scales, 1914).
WANTS. WANTED – A second-hand church or factory bell weighing about (900) nine hundred pounds; good tone. Also a second-hand Otis elevator for four stories. Address E. BRIERLEY & SON, Milton Mills, N.H. (Boston Globe, April 22, 1874).
(See also news articles of 1873, regarding the fire, and news articles of 1874, regarding the reconstructed mill).
Edward Brierly of Milton Mills filed for a U.S. patent (No. 166,450), June 1, 1875, for a frame for dying cloth (U.S. Patent Office, 1875).
MILL SUSPENDED. GREAT FALLS, N.H., Aug. 10. – Brierley’s felt mills, at Milton. N.H., have suspended, throwing forty hands out of employment. Cause assigned, No sales for the goods already on hand (Boston Post, August 11, 1875).
Edward Brierly died in Milton Mills, July 7, 1878, aged sixty-one years.
His widow, Margaret M. Brierley, keeping house, aged sixty-six years (b. Ireland), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. Her household included her boarder, John Condon, a wool sorter, aged twenty-six years (b. SC), her niece, Agnes Condon, a housekeeper, aged seventeen years (b. NH), and her help, Rollin C. Town, a laborer, aged twenty-six years (b. NH).
Margaret M. (Thompson) Brierly died in Milton, July 30, 1888, aged seventy-five years.
The last will of Margaret M. Brierly of Milton Mills, dated May 17, 1886, and proved in Strafford County Probate Court, in September 1888, devised all of her money on hand or at interest to the children of her son, Edward J. Brierly, and the children of her daughter, Agnes J. Townsend; and the rest and residue to her son, Edward J. Brierly, and her daughter, Agnes J. Townsend. Mary E. Berry, Georgie W. Marsh, and Elbridge W. Fox witnessed her signature.
Son Edward J. Brierley, appeared in the Milton directories of 1880, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1887, and 1889, as a Milton Mills grocery merchant (and manufacturer of washing powder (1880-82)). (It was he that spoke up for the Varney & Lane strikers of 1889).
MILTON. We are sorry that our genial friend, Brierley, of the Mills felt shop, did not receive the election on the civil board at Acton (Farmington News, March 13, 1891).
He and his son, Leroy T. Brierley, appeared in the Milton directories of 1900, and 1902, as keeping a general store at 41 Main street in Milton Mills, with a residence at A.S., M.M., i.e., Acton, ME, side, Milton Mills. [Springvale Road].
Edward J. Brierley, a grocer, aged fifty-one years (b. MA), headed a Acton, ME, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-seven years), Hannah E. [(Lowd)] Brierley, aged fifty-one years (b. ME), and his children, Francese Brierley, aged twenty-three years (b. ME), Helen Brierley, aged twenty-one years (b. ME), Bertha Brierley, at school, aged nineteen years (b. ME), and Ralph Brierley, at school, aged twelve years (b. ME). Edward J. Brierley owned their house, free-and-clear. Hattie E. Brierley was the mother of five children, of whom five were still living.
LOCAL. Leroy T. Brierley of Milton Mills, who is well known by many people in this vicinity, having been employed in his father’s store for the past eight years, has gone to Boston and secured a situation on the Grove Hall surface cars of the Boston elevated railway (Farmington News, July 10, 1903).
Edward J. Brierley died in Acton, ME, January 30, 1906, aged fifty-six years, eight months, and fourteen days. Hannah E. (Lowd) Brierley died in Acton, ME, in 1927.
David Hanson Buffum (and Sons) – 1879-88
David H. Buffum was born in North Berwick, ME, November 10, 1820, son of Timothy and Anna (Austin) Buffum.
He married in Somersworth, NH, January 26, 1853, Charlotte E. Stickney. She was born in Great Falls, Somersworth, NH, April 19, 1831, daughter of Alexander H. and Betsy H. (Chesley) Stickney.
David H. Baffum, a bank cashier, aged thirty-nine years (b. ME), headed a Somersworth (“Great Falls P.O.”), NH, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Charlotte Baffum, aged thirty years (b. NH), Edgar S. Baffum, aged four years (b. NH), Harry Baffum, aged two years (b. NH), and Cathe. Ainwright, a domestic, aged seventeen years (b. Ireland). David H. Baffum had real estate valued at $5,000 and personal estate valued at $10,000.
David H. Buffum, a manufacturer, aged forty-two years (b. ME). registered for the Class II Civil War military draft in Somersworth, NH, June 30, 1863.
Charlotte E. (Stickney) Buffum died March 8, 1868.
David H. Buffum, a woolen mill agent, aged forty-nine years (b. ME), headed a Somersworth (“Great Falls P.O.”), NH, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included [his children,] Edgar S. Buffum, aged fourteen years (b. NH), Harry Buffum, aged twelve years (b. NH), David H. Buffum, Jr., aged seven years (b. NH), and Charlotte E. Buffum, aged two years (b. NH), [his half-sister,] Sarah Hussey, keeping house, aged forty years (b. ME), and Mary Pillsbury, a domestic servant, aged twenty-one years (b. ME). David H. Buffum had real estate valued at $25,000 and personal estate valued at $50,000.
David H. Buffum was elected a NH State Representative from Somersworth, NH, and was twice elected to the NH Senate. He was Senate President in his second term (Metcalf, et. al., 1878).
Aside from these important manufacturing enterprises, he [Hon. D.H. Buffum] has been several years a partner with L.R. Hersom in the wool pulling and sheep-skin tanning establishment on Berwick at Great Falls, and has, furthermore, extensive manufacturing interests at Milton Mills (Metcalf, et. al., 1878).
D.H. Buffum appeared in the Milton directories of 1880, 1881, and 1882, as a Milton Mills manufacturer of felt cloth, piano and table covers.
David H. Buffum appeared in the Great Falls directory of 1880, as agent and treasurer of G.F. [Great Falls] Woolen Co., with a house on Beacon street. Edgar S. Buffum appeared a boarder at David H. Buffum’s. The Great Falls Woolen Co., with D.H. Buffum as its agent, was situated on Woodvale street.
WATER-POWERS AND MANUFACTORIES. A fine water-power at Milton Mills is occupied on Acton side of the river by a large felting-mill, erected on the site of a smaller one in 1873, the first having been destroyed by fire. The present mill was erected by E. Brierley & Son, and was exempted from local taxation for ten years. D.H. Buffum & Co. became the proprietors and operators in 1879. All kinds of felting goods are manufactured here, giving employment to about 40 skilled operatives and $250 000 capital (Clayton, 1880).
David H. Buffum, a woolen manufacturer and ex-State Senator, aged fifty-nine years (b. ME), headed a Somersworth (“Vil. of Great Falls”), NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his children, Edgar S. Buffum, a woolen manufacturer, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), Harry A. Buffum, an apprentice to a woolen manufacturer, aged twenty-two years (b. NH), David H. Buffum, Jr., at school, aged seventeen years (b. NH), his [half-] sister, Sarah Hussey, a housekeeper, aged forty-five years (b. ME), and his servant, Agnes Davis, a servant, aged twenty-five years (b. NH).
David H. Buffum died in Somersworth, NH, December 29, 1882, aged sixty-two years.
D.H. Buffum appeared in the Milton directories of 1884, and 1887, as a Milton Mills manufacturer of felt cloth, piano and table covers. C.A. Dockham’s textile industry directory of 1884 included further details:
Milton Mills; Milton. Buffum, D.H., & Co., felt, piano and table covers, horse blankets, etc., 6 sets felt cards.
Buffum’s felt mill had a 15-foot stone dam in George F. Swain’s report on Milton Water Power in 1885. D.H. Buffum’s Sons appeared in the textile “Blue Book” directory of 1888, as Milton Mills manufacturers of felt piano [&] table covers, etc. They had one water wheel, two boilers, and six sets of felt cards (Palmer, 1888).
DAVID HANSON BUFFUM [JR.]. David Hanson Buffum was the son of David Hanson Buffum and Charlotte Elizabeth (Stickney) Buffum. David H. Buffum, the elder (1820-1882), was born at North Berwick, Me. He became a woolen manufacturer, being interested in mills at South Berwick and at Great Falls and Milton Mills, N.H. He was descended from Robert Buffum of Yorkshire, England, who settled at Salem, Mass., in 1634. The Stickneys came from Stickney in England to Rowley, Mass., in 1638. Mrs. Buffum (1831-1868) was born at Great Falls, N.H. Buffum was born in the same place on October 1, 1862. He prepared for college at the Great Falls high school and at Phillips Exeter. He was a member of our freshman glee club, football team, and ball nine, on which he played third base, and he threw a baseball farther than any one else in the class – 305 feet. He was a member of Eta Phi, but left college during sophomore year. He had roomed in freshman year at 82 Wall Street, and in sophomore year at 464 Chapel Street. From 1883 to 1886 Buffum was employed with D. Buffum’s Sons at Milton Mills. Wearying of factory occupations, he went to the car shops of the Boston & Maine Railroad at Waltham, Mass., and had turned to civil engineering when he died in Somersworth N.H., on March 19, 1893. He was unmarried. His older brothers are graduates of Yale, – Edgar S. Buffum, of Newtonville, Mass., in ’77, and Henry A. Buffum, of Rockland, Me., in ’79 (Yale University, 1913).
The Kimball Brothers’ Shoe company of Lynn and Haverhill, MA, considered moving a portion of their production to a three-story mill building in Milton in November 1888, but did not. The Lynn shoe firm of Varney & Lane opened a branch factory there instead. Henry A. “Harry” Buffum is said to have sold the mill to the Varney & Lane Shoe Company.
Varney & Lane Shoe Company – 1888-90
Charles Wesley Varney was born in North Berwick, ME, July 30, 1838, son of Calvin and Eliza (Nowell) Varney.
He married, circa 1864, Ellen N. Lane. She was born in Exeter, NH, November 17, 1840, daughter of Elbridge G. and Elizabeth M. (Moses) Lane.
Charles W. Varney, a shoe manufacturer, aged forty-one years (b. MA [SIC]), headed a Lynn, MA, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Ellen N. Varney, at home, aged thirty-eight years (b. NH); his children, Louise N. Varney, at school, aged sixteen years (b. NH), Lucia D. Varney, at school, aged thirteen years (b. NH), Fred L. Varney, at school, aged nine years (b. MA), Ada M. Varney, at school, aged six years (b. MA), and Ralph W. Varney, at home, aged ten months (b. A); his brother-in-law, Elbridge G. Lane, a clerk in store, aged thirty years (b. NH); his boarder, Ida Lane, at home, aged twenty-eight years (b. ME); and his servants, Sarah Willey, a servant, aged sixty-five years (b. NH), and Maggie Healey, a servant, aged twenty years (b. Ireland). They resided at 7 Commercial Street in Lynn, MA.
Current News. The citizens of Milton Mills, N.H., are raising the sum of $3,000 for the establishment of a shoe factory in the old Buffum felt mill, which will employ 400 hands. If the amount is raised Varney and Lane of Lynn, Mass., will put in the machinery and commence operations in a few weeks. The shop will be a boom to the town (American Engineer, 1888).
Lynn Shoe Firm’s Country Shop. Dover, N.H., Sept. 7. – Varney & Lane of Lynn, Mass., have made arrangements to run the shoe shop recently occupied by Buffum & Co., at Milton Mills. Machinery will be at once put in and work commenced as soon as possible (Boston Globe, September 8, 1888).
Varney & Lane advertised for shoe cutters for its new Milton Mills plant in May 1889.
The Labor Field. The hands in the employ of Varney & Lane, Milton Mills, N.H., are on strike for an advance in wages. The citizens of the town have voted to support the strikers, and boarding-house keepers and merchants have decided not to board or furnish any aid at any price to workmen who may be obtained to fill the places of those who are out. The firm threaten to remove their business to Lynn. Following are the prices that the workmen have been paid by Varney & Lane together with the rates paid in Lynn for the same work:
The firm claim to have paid full, average, country-factory rates and consider it unjust that prices for making a $1 shoe should be compared with Lynn prices on a $2 to $4 shoe. They have always maintained agreeable relations with their employees, and have paid ruling union prices in Lynn. They state that they will finish up the work they have on hand at Milton Mills, N.H., if possible; if not, they will take it to Lynn. They talk of fitting up the old Donovan factory on Box place for the purpose (Shoe & Leather Reporter, 1889).
Varney & Lane appeared in the Shoe and Leather Annual directory of 1890 as shoe manufacturers in both Acton, ME, and Milton Mills (but not thereafter).
SUBMITTED TO THE BOARD. State Arbitrators Hold Conference with Varney & Co. LYNN, July 10. — The State board of arbitration, which consists of Charles H. Walcott of Concord, Ezra Davol of Taunton and Richard P. Barry of Lynn. came to Lynn this morning to give a bearing on the labor trouble at C.W. Varney & co.’s shoe factory. The difference between the firm and the operatives is a question of price, and the operatives ask that the firm pay the same as ether firms are paying for the same grade of work. The firm expressed its willingness to submit the matter to the State board of arbitration for adjustment and so notified the board. The result was a meeting of the board at City Hall at 10 o’clock this morning. Charles W. Varney, representing the firm, was present, but the operatives were not represented. The conference between the board and the firm was a private one. While the local council is not willing to take part in the hearing, yet the members are willing to meet the firm and discuss matters with the view of settling their differences. The operatives have placed their case in the hands of the local council, and will follow its suggestions. The operatives say that they having nothing to arbitrate, as they simply ask for such prices as have already been established by the State board of arbitration (Boston Globe, July 10, 1890).
[Lucian Newhall] had it [a Lynn South Common Street factory] until 1870 when C.W. Varney it with his brother. They did business under the style of the Varney Bros., and subsequently T.W. Varney & Co. The company was E.G. Lane, Jr., who is now associated with Mr. Varney in the capacity of partner. This has been a fortunate building for the owners, all of whom were successful while doing business in it, none of whom have ever failed. The factory of C.W. Varney & Co., which they now occupy, has a capacity of over fifty cases per day. It goes without saying that the members of this firm are men of integrity, and they are now making a stylish and popular price line of foot wear which merits the attention of the trade. Frederick L. Varney, son of C.W. Varney, gives every indication of following in the footsteps of his predecessor. To the advantages of a modern technical education he adds the experience which has been gained in the factory. The Boston office of C.W. Varney & Co. is 25 High street, where Frederick L. Varney be found on Wednesdays and Saturdays. He is one of the young men of Lynn who are to the front. In this connection it should be stated that C.W. Varney came to Lynn in 1867, and that the firm title of C.W. Varney & Co. has been continued without interruption for 20 years (Boot & Shoe Reporter, 1892).
Echoes from the Factories. C.W. Varney & Co.’s increased space of close on to six thousand square fills an important niche on this season’s run, and the firm would have been unable to fill orders without the new room. Some striking new lines for fall are now being shown by Varney & Co. in boys’ heeled and spring heeled goods (Boot & Shoe Recorder, 1898).
Charles W. Varney, a shoe manufacturer, aged sixty-two years (b. ME), headed a Lynn, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty-six years), Ellen M. Varney, aged fifty-nine years (b. NH), his children, Fred L. Varney, a shoe manufacturer, aged twenty-nine years (b. MA), and Ada M. Varney, aged twenty-six years (b. NH), and his servants, Katherine Henry, a servant, aged twenty-three years (b. Ireland), and Mary E. MacCurdy, a servant, aged thirty-seven years ((b. Ireland). Charles W. Varney owned their house at 98 Walnut Street, with a mortgage. Ellen M. Varney was the mother of seven children, of whom five were still living.
Ida S. Lane, a widowed boarding-house keeper, aged fifty-three years (b. ME), headed a Boston, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. Her household included her boarders, Charles W. Varney, own income, aged seventy years (b. ME), Ellen N. Varney, own income, aged sixty-nine years (b. NH), Ada M. Varney, own income, aged thirty-five years (b. MA); Kneeland H. Shaffer, a manufacturer’s storage clerk, aged thirty-four years (b. NY); and Mary E. Lang, a Normal school art teacher, aged fifty-five years (b. NY). Ida S. Lane rented their house at 86 St. Stephen’s Street.
Charles W. Varney died in Westborough, MA, March 30, 1915.
CHARLES W. VARNEY DEAD. Westboro Farmer Was Retired Lynn Shoe Manufacturer. WESTBORO, March 30 – Charles W. Varney, a retired Lynn shoe manufacturer, died (his morning at his home, East Main st., at the age of 76. He was born in North Berwick, Me., son of Calvin and Eliza (Norwell) Varney. He was a member of the old Lynn shoe firm of Varney and Lane, but removed to Westboro four years ago and bought Gilmore farm. He leaves besides his wife, Mrs. Ellen Varney, four children, Mrs. George P. Faunce of Lynn, Frederick L. Varney of Portland, Me., Miss Ada M. Varney of Westboro and Ralph W. Varney of Chicago (Boston Globe, March 31, 1915).
Ellen N. (Lane) Varney died in Winnetka, IL, February 17, 1928.
Gale Shoe Company – 1895-04
Herbert E. Gale was born in Haverhill, MA, November 13, 1864, son of John E. and Mary B. (Davis) Gale.
He married in Marblehead, MA, September 29, 1892, Martha J. Pollard, he of Haverhill, MA, and she of Marblehead. She was born in Boston, MA, September 8, 1865, daughter of Marshall S.P. and Georgianna (Jones) Pollard.
Gale Shoe M’f’g Co., Office, Duncan Street, Haverhill, Mass.; Salesroom, No. 1 Lincoln Street, Boston. Factories: Haverhill, Mass., Clinton, Maine. The Gale Shoe Manufacturing Company is a thoroughly representative Haverhill concern, not only on account of the magnitude and character of its business, but also because the senior partner has long been prominently identified with shoe manufacturing and with the business interests of the city, and is active and successful in promoting its development in every legitimate way. The company is composed of Messrs. John E. Gale, Herbert E. Gale, and began operations January 1889. Mr. John E. Gale is senior partner of the firm of Gale Brothers, in Exeter, N.H., is president of the Haverhill National Bank, and vice president of the City Five Cents Savings Bank. The active manager of the company’s business is Mr. Herbert E. Gale, who graduated from Harvard College in the class of 1888, and who is extremely well known to the trade, and is very successful in producing footwear that just suits the class of trade it is intended for, and that is furnished at positively bottom prices. Evidence that this company’s goods “hit the mark” is afforded by the fact that although the business was started in a comparatively small way four years ago, the last year’s sales amounted to nearly half a million dollars, being sold to the largest jobbers in the country. The company occupy their own factory, which is located on Duncan street, and has about 30,000 square feet of floor space. Employment is given to about 200 hands, and the firm control the product of two out-of-town factories, where their cheaper grades of goods are made, the capacity of the three factories being 60 to 70 sixty pair cases daily. The product includes men’s and women’s cheap and medium grade hand and machine-sewed slippers, and low cuts in black and colors. The company sell exclusively to the jobbing trade in the South, West, and Northwest, and are most ably represented in this department by Mr. John M. Hill, who has charge of their salesroom, No. 1, Lincoln street, Boston (Mercantile Illustrating, 1894).
Shoe Factories. The Gale Shoe Co., of Haverhill, have leased the shoe factory at Milton Mills, N.H., formerly operated by C.W. Varney & Co., and will manufacture a portion of their shoes there (Boot & Shore Reporter, 1895).
Former Varney & Lane mill superintendent William T. Rockwell sought workers for a new shoe factory in February 1895.
MALE HELP WANTED. MACHINIST wanted in stitching room, must he able to run Reece & Morley machines, state age and give references and salary expected. Apply to Gale Shoe Mfg., Milton Mills, N.H. Sud3t my30 (Boston Globe, May 31, 1897).
HERBERT ELBRIDGE GALE. Since the last report I have continued in the shoe manufacturing business in Haverhill, with the Gale Shoe Manufacturing Company. We have factories at Haverhill, and Milton Mills, N.H., and Boston office at 106 Summer street. My daughter, Barbara, was born Aug. 16, 1894. In winter I live in Haverhill and in summer at my home in Clifton [Marblehead, MA]. Am a director in the Haverhill National Bank, Bay State Steamship Company, and treasurer of Peterboro’ Electric Light Heat and Power Company. Am a member of the University Club of Boston, Pentucket Club of Haverhill, Corinthian Yacht Club of Marblehead, and Boston Boot and Shoe Club (Harvard College, 1898).
The Gale Shoe Company had half-ownership of Dam #18 in the U.S. Geological Survey report on Milton Water Power in 1901. Gale Shoe Manufacturing Co. appeared in the Milton directories of 1901, and 1904.
Herbert E. Gale, a shoe company merchant, aged forty-six years (b. MA), headed a Haverhill, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of seventeen years), Martha P. Gale, aged forty-six years (b. MA), his children, John E. Gale, aged sixteen years (b. MA), and Barbara Gale, aged fifteen years (b. MA), and his servants, Effie S. McLaughlin, a private family chambermaid, aged thirty-eight years (b. Canada (Fr.)), Maggie McLeod, a private family laundress, aged thirty-five years (b. Canada (Fr.)), Olive Christson, a private family cook, a private family waitress, aged thirty years (b. Norway), Catherine Blainey, a private family waitress, aged twenty-one years (b. Ireland (Eng.)), and Lewis Dean, a chauffeur, aged twenty-five years (b. MA). Herbert E. Gale owned their house at 39 Summer Street, free-and-clear. Martha P. Gale was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living.
NEW HAMPSHIRE. Exeter. Gale Bros. (Inc. $205,000). J.E. Gale, pres’t; J.A. Towle, treas. and sec’y; and Herbert E. Gale, vice pres’t; women’s medium McKays. A. (Job). (Boot & Shoe Reporter, 1914).
NEW HAMPSHIRE. Portsmouth. Gale Shoe Co., Islington St. Herbert E. Gale, pres’t; H. Taylor, vice pres’t; M.I. Pattinson, treas.; Geo. H. Carter, sec’y; women’s medium welts and McKay’s. H.C. Taylor, buyer, B. (Boot & Shoe Reporter, 1914).
Herbert E. Gale died in Swampscott, MA, October 22, 1936, aged seventy-one years.
HERBERT E. GALE DIES IN 72D YEAR. President of Gale Shoe Manufacturing Co. ILL SOME TIME. Left Active Management of North Adams Plant to Son, John E. Gale, Treasurer. Herbert E. Gale, president of Gale Shoe Manufacturing company which has been a local industry since it moved to this city in the spring of 1934, died last evening at his home, 391 Puritan road, Swampscott. He was in his 72nd year. Mr. Gale had been in failing health for many months past but he remained the head of the corporation to the time of his death and until very recently had kept an active part in the direction of its affairs from its Boston office. He was born in Haverhill and received his education in the public schools of that town, at Phillips Andover academy and at Harvard university where he was a member of the class of 1888. His father had for many years been prominently identified with the shoe industry and with banking in Haverhill and as a young man after completing his education, Mr. Gale entered the shoe manufacturing business that his father had founded, succeeding the latter as its head upon his death. The industry, after operating for a number of years in Haverhill, established a plant in Manchester, N.H., where in the course of time its operations were largely centralized. It was from Manchester that it moved to this city nearly two and one-half years ago to take over and occupy the building of the North Adams Industrial company, off Brown street that had previously housed the George E. Keith and the Melanson Shoe companies. Mr. Gale made several visits to this city during the time that the plant was being established and gotten in operation here but he left the active management of the manufacturing and of the business largely to his son, John E. Gale, treasurer of the concern, while he devoted his own attention to the administrative affairs of the enterprise at its Boston office. His home had long been in Swampscott and in recent years he had spent his winters at Palm Beach, Fla. Throughout the trade he was known as an uncommonly able executive while veteran employes of his concern of whom it brought a number to this city when it moved here, spoke of him from their personal acquaintance with him and their own knowledge of his ways, as a fair and just employer. Mr. Gale is survived by his wife, the former Martha Pollard, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Marshall S.P. Pollard of Boston, a daughter, Mrs. J. Edson Andrews of Andover, his son, John, whose home is in Newton Center, and five grandchildren. The funeral will be held on Sunday afternoon at 2.30 o’clock at his home In Swampscott and burial will follow In the Forest Hills cemetery at Boston (North Adams Transcript, October 23, 1936).
Martha J. (Pollard) Gale died in Palm Beach County, FL, January 3, 1955.
Andrews, Wasgatt Company, DBA Boynton Shoe Company – 1904-14
Herbert P. Wasgatt was born in Boston, MA, August 26, 1865, son of James G. “Gilbert” and Mary A. (Faunce) Wasgatt.
Elmore Andrews was born in Montreal, Canada, in October 1867, son of Robert and Ellen (Budden) Andrews.
Herbert P. Wasgatt married in Boston, MA, April 23, 1891, Clara E. Stuart. He was a boot & shoe manufacturer, aged twenty-five years, and she “at home,” aged twenty-one years. She was born in Boston, MA, circa 1895, daughter of Jacob and Wilhelmina Stuart.
LEGAL NOTICES. NOTICE is hereby given that the copartnership heretofore existing between Elmore Andrews and George F. Gurney, under the firm name and style of Andrews & Gurney, is this day dissolved by mutual consent. ELMORE ANDREIVS, GEO. F. GURNEY. The undersigned will continue the business under the, name of Andrews & Co., and is authorized to settle all accounts of the late firm. ELMORE ANDREWS. 3t ap19 (Boston Globe, April 19, 1892).
Elmore Andrews and Herbert P. Wasgatt formed the partnership Andrews, Wasgatt Company in Baltimore, MD, in 1892. They moved their business to Everett, MA, in 1896, where they built a factory in 1897.
Elmore Andrews married in Newton, MA, March 31, 1894, Ermina Lane. She was born in Gloucester, MA, August 28, 1876, daughter of Abraham O. and Emily (Daggett) Lane.
Elmore Andrews, a manufacturer of shoes, aged thirty-two years (b. Canada (Eng.)), headed an Everett, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of six years), Ermina Andrews, aged twenty-three years (b. MA), and his child, Bertha Andrews, aged four years (b. MA). Elmore Andrews owned their house at 72 Harvard Street, with a mortgage. Ermina Andrews was the mother of one child, of whom one was still living.
Herbert P. Wasgatt, a shoe manufacturer, aged thirty-five years (b. MA), headed an Everett, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of nine years), Clara E. Wasgatt, aged thirty years (b. MA), his children, Helen S. Wasgatt, at school, aged seven years (b. MA), and John F. Wasgatt, aged four years (b. MA), and his servants, Mary F. O’Neill, a servant, aged twenty-three years (b. Ireland (Eng.)), and Helen C. McKinnin, a nurse, aged thirty-four years (b. Canada (Eng.)). Herbert P. Wasgatt owned their house at 180 Hancock Street, free-and-clear. Clara E. Wasgatt was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living.
MALE HELP WANTED. STOCK FITTER on wos and miss [women’s and misses] work. BOYNTON SHOE CO., Milton Mills, N.H. (Boston Globe, October 30, 1904).
MALE HELP WANTED. PULLERS OVER on misses’ and chl sboes. BOYNTON SHOE CO., Milton Mills, N.H. ThuFSu mh9 (Boston Globe, March 10, 1905).
The Boynton Shoe company of Milton Mills advertised again for shoe pullers-over in December 1906. Its parent company, Andrews-Wasgatt, advertised for shoe vampers in December 1908, and shoe stitchers in November 1909.
The Boynton Shoe Co. appeared in the New Hampshire business directories of 1906 and 1908, as operating in Milton Mills. (It appeared also in the Maine Register and Legislative Manual of 1908, as an Acton, ME, manufacturer of ladies shoes).
The Andrews, Wasgatt Company appeared in the Everett, MA, directory of 1908:
CORPORATIONS. Andrews-Wasgatt Co., shoe mnfrs. ft. Bartlett. Inc. Nov. 1, 1905. Capital $100,000. Elmore Andrews, Pres.; Herbert P. Wasgatt, Treas.; John E. Kincaid, Sec.
Elmore Andrews, a shoe factory manufacturer, aged forty-two years (b. Canada (Eng.)), headed an Everett, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of sixteen years), Ermina Andrews, aged thirty-two years (b. MA), his children, Bertha Andrews, aged fourteen years (b. MA), Elmore L. Andrews, aged five years (b. MA), and Ellen L. Andrews, aged two years (b. MA), and his servant, Ida Svenson, general housework, aged twenty-seven years (b. Sweden). Elmore Andrews owned their house at 72 Harvard Street, free-and-clear. Ermina Andrews was the mother of four child, of whom three were still living.
Herbert P. Wasgatt, a shoe manufacturer, aged forty-four years (b. MA), headed an Everett, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eighteen years), Clara E. Wasgatt, aged forty years (b. MA), his children, Helen S. Wasgatt, aged sixteen years (b. MA), and John F. Wasgatt, aged fourteen years (b. MA), and his servant, Julia Flynn, a private family servant, aged twenty-one years (b. Ireland (Eng.)). Herbert P. Wasgatt owned their house at 180 Hancock Street, free-and-clear. Clara E. Wasgatt was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living.
Herbert P. Wasgatt was mayor of Everett, MA, between January 2, 1911, and January 2, 1912.
NEW HAMPSHIRE. Milton Mills. Andrews-Wasgatt Co. (Inc. $100,000) (also Everett, Mass., and Boston office 46 Lincoln St.) Elmore Andrews, pres’t; H.P. Wasgatt, treas.; J.E. Kincaid, sec’y; misses’ and children’s medium McKays. E Andrews, buyer. B. (Boot & Shoe Reporter, 1914).
Elmore Andrews resigned from the Andrews, Wasgatt Co. in 1918, in order to focus on his real estate interests.
Elmore Andrews, a shoe manufacturer, aged fifty-three years (b. MA [SIC]), headed an Everett, MA, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Ermina Andrews, aged forty-two years (b. MA), his children, Bertha Andrews, aged twenty-four years (b. MA), Elmore L. Andrews, aged fourteen years (b. MA), Ellen L. Andrews, aged twelve years (b. MA), and Virginia Andrews, aged eight years (b. MA). Elmore Andrews owned their house at 11 High Street, free-and-clear.
Herbert P. Wasgatt, a shoe manufacturer, aged fifty-three years (b. MA), headed an Everett, MA, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Clara E. Wasgatt, aged fifty years (b. MA), his children, Helen S. Wasgatt, aged twenty-six years (b. MA). Herbert P. Wasgatt owned their house at 180 Hancock Street, free-and-clear.
Henry P. Wasgatt died in Boston, MA, December 21, 1934.
HERBERT P. WASGATT OF NEWTON IS DEAD. Funeral of Former Mayor of Everett Tomorrow. Herbert P. Wasgatt of Newton died yesterday at the Baker Memorial Hospital, where he had been a patient only a short while. Mr. Wasgatt was a former Associate Commissioner of Labor and Industries, representing employers of labor; former Mayor of Everett and a former member of the Governor’s Council. His term as a member of the Labor and Industries Department expired last year. He was not reappointed. Funeral services will be held at 2 tomorrow afternoon at the Union Church, Waban. He was born in South Boston. Aug 26, 1865, the son of Gilbert and Mary A. (Faunce) Wasgatt. The family shortly afterwards moved to Plymouth and later to East Boston, where he was graduated from the East Boston High School. He was employed for a number of years by the firm of Bird & Stevens, slipper manufacturers, and in 1896, in partnership with Elmore Andrews, entered business for himself. He entered politics in 1907, being elected to the Everett Board of Aldermen, and was elected Mayor of that city in 1910. He was president of the Everett Trust Company, treasurer of the Everett Board of Trade, past master of Mt. Tabor Lodge. A.F. & A.M., of East Boston: a member of Palestine Lodge. A.F. & A.M., of Everett; of St John’s Chapter, R.A.M.; East Boston, Council. R. and S.M., and William Parkman Commandery, K.T., all of East Boston, and Aleppo Temple of the Mystic Shrine; Everett Council, United Commercial Travelers; New England Shoe and Leather Association, Boston Boot and Shoe Club and associate member of Co. B, 8th Regiment, M.V.M. (Boston Globe, December 22, 1934).
Elmore Andrews died in Everett, MA, February 24, 1936, aged sixty-nine years.
ELMORE ANDREWS DEAD IN EVERETT. Developed Much of City’s Industrial Section. EVERETT, Feb. 23. – Elmore Andrews, 69, treasurer of the Everett Factory and Terminal Association, which developed much of the industrial section of this city, died this morning at his home, 11 High st., after an illness of a week. Andrews came to this city in 1897, when as a partner in the shoe firm of Andrews, Wasgatt Company, he built a factory. In 1918 he resigned from the firm and entered the real estate business. He was born in Montreal and received his early education there and at Halifax, N.S. He was employed by shoe firms in Manchester, N.H., and Baltimore before he and Herbert Wasgatt started business in the latter city in 1892. Five years later they moved the business here. He was formerly treasurer of the Standard Mailing Machine Company; founder, vice president and director of the Everett Trust Company, and trustee and city commissioner of the Whidden Hospital. Surviving him is a wife, Ermina Lane Andrews, formerly of Gloucester; three daughters. Bertha, Ellen Louise and Virginia Andrews, and a son, Elmore L. Andrews, all of this city. The funeral will be held at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon at the First Universalist Church (Boston Globe, February 24, 1936).
Timson & Co. – 1915-18
Charles Otis Timson was born in Salem, MA, January 14, 1861, son of Edwin H. and Julia S. (Story) Timson of Swampscott, MA.
He married in Lynn, MA, November 20, 1882, Susan M. Herrick, both of Lynn. He was a shoe-cutter, aged twenty-two years; she was a bookkeeper, aged twenty-one years. She was born in Lynn, MA, November 12, 1861, daughter of George W. and Maria Herrick.
Business Troubles. Charles O. Timson, shoemaker, Swampscott, is in bankruptcy. Liabilities $4269, assets $65 (Boston Globe, December 11, 1898).
Charles O. Timson, a shoe cutter, aged thirty-nine years (b. MA), headed a Swampscott, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eighteen years), Susan M. Timson, aged thirty-eight years (b. MA), his children, Frederick H. Timson, at school, aged sixteen years (b. MA), George E. Timson, at school, aged twelve years (b. MA), Louis E. Timson, at school, aged ten years (b. MA), Jennie M. Timson, aged ten years (b. MA), and Charles R. Timson, aged one year (b. MA), and his servant, Annie Sweetland, a servant, aged twenty-nine years (b. MA). Charles O. Timson owned their house at 40 Roy Street, free-and-clear. Susan M. Timson was the mother of six children, of whom five were still living.
NEW HAMPSHIRE. Epping. Tlmson & Co. (West Epping), (Boston office 132 Lincoln St.); men’s and women’s medium welts and turns. C.O. Timson, buyer. Makers of “The Timson Shoe” and “Foot Ease Comfort Shoes.” D. (Boot & Shoe Reporter, 1914).
MILTON MILLS, N.H. It is reported that the firm of TIMSON & Co., now operating at West Epping, will move its entire business here. This firm, through the efforts of the Board of Trade, have purchased the shoe factory owned by Andrews, Wasgatt, & Co., Everett, Mass. Timson & Co. are makers of nurse and comfort shoes, turned work, and have steady trade for their product. They have been manufacturing shoes for the past seventeen years, and for the last fourteen years have only shut down while taking account of stock (McLeish, 1915).
The pretty town of Milton Mills is to be congratulated upon securing a new shoe industry. Timson & Co., now operating in West Epping, are to move their plant into the factory formerly occupied by Andrews-Wasgatt. They intend to start with about 100 employees. This will be a valuable addition to the manufacturing interests already there (Farmington News, October 1, 1915).
BOSTON AND NEW ENGLAND. Takes Large Factor[y]. Timson & Co., makers of comfort shoes, who were formerly in business in Lynn, are to move from West Epping, N.H., to a large factory at Milton Mills, N.H. (Shoe & Leather Reporter, 1915).
Industrial Information. New Enterprises and Changes in the Trade. EPPING, N.H. The Timson Shoe Company have cleared their factory of machinery and removed to Milton Mills, N.H. The past ten weeks have seen nearly a dozen families convey their goods to Milton Mills, and it is to be regretted, as it was only industry of the town. There rumors to the effect the factory soon be occupied again (American Shoemaking, 1916).
NEW CORPORATIONS. A list of the corporations formed last week in New England, with the capitalization and the names of the leading incorporators, is given herewith. Massachusetts. Timson & Company, Inc., Boston – Charles O. Timson, Howard L. Vaughn, Mary A. Golden; boot and shoe manufacturers: $50,000 (Boston Globe, March 6, 1916).
Business Troubles. Charles O. Timson, treasurer of Timson & Co. Inc., Acton, Me., Milton. N.H., West Epping, N.H., and 207 Essex st., Boston, has made an assignment on behalf of the company of its land, buildings, factory property, stock, machinery and fixtures to Frederick D. Merrill, Albert D. Hawkie and Richard Feaker (Boston Globe, February 21, 1917).
Buyers’ Guide to Boston Offices. Shoe Manufacturers, Wholesale Dealers and the Findings Trade. Timson Bros. (Milton Mills); 630 Atlantic Ave. (Boot & Shoe Reporter, 1918).
LYNN MAN, IN AMBULANCE CORPS, GIVEN WAR CROSS. LYNN, March 28. – For bravery shown in the removal of wounded in the Verdun section during December and January, Louis E. Timson of Lynn, an American ambulance driver, was awarded the French Croix de Guerre. Yesterday’s news dispatches from Paris mentioned his name among several other American ambulance men as recipients of the war cross. Whether yesterday’s news story is a belated official announcement of the awarding of the Croix de Guerre in January or whether it means that another decoration has been conferred upon him is not known to members of his family, who live at 7A Shore drive. He is 27 years old, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles O. Timson, and is engaged with his brother, George Timson, in the manufacture of shoes in Boston. Last June he volunteered for service with the American Ambulance Corps in France and was assigned to Section 13, which was turned over to the French Army located in the Verdun sector. Timson has had many narrow escapes from death from shells, but has escaped injury. When his six months volunteer service was completed he was the first member of Section 13 to enlist in the United States Army (Boston Globe, March 29, 1918).
Business Troubles. An involuntary petition in bankruptcy has been filed against the Charles O. Timson Shoe Co., Lynn, at the instance of three creditors whose claims amount to $521.39 (Boston Globe, October 20, 1922).
LYNN AND HUDSON AUTOS IN MARLBORO COLLISION. MARLBORO, Oct 22. -Charles O. Timson, 63, of 80 Silsbee st., Lynn, was assisted from his overturned automobile after a crash with another car at the corner of Lincoln and Bolton sts. yesterday, where the police found him head down and feet upward. He was without a scratch, but complained of pain. He was the operator and only occupant of the car. The other car in the crash was owned and operated by Mrs. Lillian Ryan of 73 Lincoln st., Hudson. She was shaken up. Both cars were badly damaged. Timson’s car turned over twice. Officer William Dolan and other members of the Marlboro police aided Timson in extricating himself from the wreck (Boston Globe, October 22, 1929).
Susan M. (Herrick) Timson died in Danvers, MA, December 27, 1948. Charles O. Timson died in Lynn, MA, March 2, 1950.
RECENT DEATHS. CHARLES O. TIMSON, 89, retired shoe manufacturer. At Lynn (Boston Globe, March 3, 1950).
Yale University. (1913). Quarter-Centenary Record of the Class of 1885, Yale University: Covering the Thirty-one Years from Its Admission Into the Academic Department, 1881-1912, Yale ’85; Pub. for the Class. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=6bcvAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA358
The Milton Grammar School was built in 1892, and not in 1882 as has sometimes been reported. This may be confirmed through an examination of the 1888 “birds-eye view” map of Milton (see References below). Neither the Grammar school nor the Nute High school appear in this map, as they had not yet been built. The error apparently arises out of a misreading of the dedication as it appears in photographs of the front of the building.
Construction of the “New School House” in 1892
MILTON. A school meeting was held Saturday afternoon, and it was voted to raise the sum of $5500 to build a new school house. It is to be ready by September 5 (Farmington News, April 1, 1892).
The $5,500 cost of the school house would be equivalent to $158,442 in modern inflation-adjusted dollars. By way of comparison, Derry, NH, spent $9,000 on its school house, which it claimed was the finest in the state (Farmington News, December 7, 1894).
The architect’s name has not come to hand. Ms. Sarah Ricker identified its type as the Victorian Stick style (see References below).
Building contractors S. Knox & Son erected the new school building. That firm’s partners were carpenters Simeon P. Knox and his youngest son, Ulysses S. Knox, both of Farmington, NH. (Simeon P. Knox appeared in the surviving Civil War Veterans Schedule of the Eleventh (1890) Federal Census. The son was a namesake for General Ulysses S. Grant).
A newspaper account of an extensive 1887 renovation to the multi-story Farmington store of E.T. Wilson concluded with a mention of Simeon P. Knox’s involvement in the project.
The carpenter work will be under the supervision of S.P. Knox, which insures a good job, speedily completed (Farmington News, October 7, 1887).
Construction of the new Milton Grammar school began shortly after the vote appropriating its costs.
MILTON. Work has begun on the new school house (Farmington News, April 22, 1892).
MILTON. Work is progressing rapidly on the new school house. It will be a handsome building and an ornament to the town when finished (Farmington News, May 6, 1892).
MILTON. The Milton school house which has been erected by the well-known builders, S. Knox & Son, approaches completion (Farmington News, August 19, 1892).
MILTON. The new school house has been painted (Farmington News, September 9, 1892).
MILTON. Work has been resumed on the new school house and it will be completed in a short [while] (Farmington News, October 14, 1892).
MILTON. The new school house is receiving its second coat of paint (Farmington News, November 25, 1892).
MILTON. Shed being built at new school house. Boiler to be set up this week (Farmington News, December 23, 1892).
Simeon P. Knox, a carpenter, aged sixty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Farmington, NH, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of forty years), Sarah E. [(Bickford)] Knox, aged sixty-five years (b. NH), and his aunt-in-law, Abigail R. [(Rumery)] Drew, a widow, aged eighty-five years (b. NH). They shared a two-family dwelling with the household of Ulysses S. Knox, a carpenter, aged thirty-seven years (b. NH). His household included his wife, Addie E. [(Whitehouse)] Knox, aged thirty-three years (b. NH), and his children, John E. Knox, in school, aged seven years (b. NH), Harry Knox, in school, aged six years (b. NH), and Mildred Knox, aged three years (b. NH).
LOCALS. Mrs. Abbie Drew, at the age of four-score and four years, could not be outdone easily by the young girls, in the clever making of a patchwork quilt. In exactly one week from the day on which she had bought print in three patterns, Mrs. Drew had cut and had put together, in an original design, 1029 pieces, marked off by six strips of one kind of print, each way of the quilt. The sewing is very even and neat, and was done entirely by hand. This was only one of several quilt-covers which Mrs. Drew has made to present to friends or near relatives. Mrs. Drew is an aunt of Mrs. Simeon P. Knox, with whom she makes her home (Farmington News, September 15, 1899).
S.P. Knox & Son subsequently erected a “set” of buildings for H.F. Howard at Rochester, NH, beginning in October 1897 (Farmington News, October 8, 1897). They had made a great improvement to the fine old Hurd place in New Durham, NH, in July 1900 (Farmington News, July 27, 1900).
Simeon P. Knox died in Farmington, NH, August 17, 1918, aged eighty-seven years, four months, and seventeen days. His son and partner, Ulysses S. Knox, died in Farmington, NH, May 25, 1923, aged fifty-nine years, three months, and seven days.
A Graded School
The Milton Grammar school’s greater size allowed for it be set up as a “graded school,” i.e., a school in which the students were separated into classes, grades or age cohorts, as opposed to the one-room schoolhouses still operating elsewhere in town. Graded schools were an educational innovation or fad of this period.
Farmington touted its graded school system in December 1894, Freedom considered a $3,000 appropriation for a graded school at its March 1895 town meeting, Alton thought it was losing for lack of one in March 1899. A Milton Mills real estate advertisement of 1897 mentioned Milton’s graded schools among the attractive features and conveniences of the town.
There was opposition to the establishment of graded schools. For many, transportation was a problem (in the days before school buses). That is to say, many pupils had to travel lengthy distances from their outlying homes to a centrally-located graded school.
Alfred W. Jones complained of transporting children by wagon to the village grammar school. He was concerned about the quality of both wagons and drivers, especially drivers. In fact, there were occasions when Milton school wagons full of students tipped over.
Costly Economy. Mr. Alfred W. Jones of Milton, N.H., complains of the new school law in that state. By the provisions of the law, school boards are authorized to convey children in sparsely settled districts to the village schools. Mr. Jones complains that in carrying out this law some school boards practice an improper economy in furnishing poor teams and incompetent drivers. In some cases the drivers are worse than incompetent, being men of low class, given to drink, vulgarity and profanity. He says “I would rather go back to the old law than to have our children receive more schooling and be ruined.” (New England Farmer (Boston, MA), February 20, 1892).
(While one might take Jones’ point about the risks of transporting pupils to school by wagon, his characterization of the drivers’ supposed moral failings might be taken with a grain of salt, as he would himself go on to become Milton’s poisoning murderer of 1897).
Some young students (and teachers) boarded in Three Ponds village in order to be near the centrally-located grammar school. They might see their parents only on weekends, and not necessarily every weekend.
WEST MILTON. Miss Hazel Perkins was home from her studies at Milton village and spent Sunday with her parents. Harry Perkins and Jack O’Connor spent the week-end on a fishing trip at Merrymeeting pond (Farmington News, March 27, 1914).
MIDDLETON. Ethel Whitehouse, who is attending school at Milton, was the week-end visitor of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Whitehouse (Farmington News, February 3, 1911).
Some questioned the very “Graded School” system itself.
For an all-round primary school you can’t beat the little country schoolhouse, ten or more little folk and a sweet woman to teach them. Every child may represent a separate class, but that doesn’t matter. Each child has the patient, careful aid in his studies which is so largely denied him when attending the larger and graded school (Portsmouth Journal, February 1902).
An affectionate remembrance of the district school in the “Contributors Club,” in the April Atlantic, acknowledges certain wants not well supplied by every such school in past years, but the brief article says this, and it is true: “The district school is peculiarly friendly to ideas.” This is the secret of much of the success that has attended both men and women whose education was begun in a district rather than in a graded school. But there are teachers who are friendly to ideas, who give culture and refinement to them, in modern schools, although the “System” must “roll safely on its way.” Individuality has a hard time now-a-days, in this era of precise machineries for men and things, but there still is something about every soul that allows of discrimination on the part of the observer, and when one strives towards that “top” where there is always room, one develops character, and character counts, sooner or later, – sometimes too late, for all save that which is to come after us (Farmington News, April 10, 1903).
The Milton Grammar school was known also as the Milton Village school, the Milton Town school, or the Milton graded school [Primary and Intermediate], in order to distinguish it from its smaller predecessor, whose bell it retained, as well as from the other one-room schoolhouses dotted still around town: Hare Road, West Milton, South Milton, Plummer’s Ridge, etc.
This school building stood for nearly twenty-two years before it burned down on Saturday, April 4, 1914. It would be replaced by the present Milton Elementary School building. (A school made of bricks replaced a school made of sticks).
Milton Grammar School Principals
The name of the Milton Grammar School’s principal, if any there was, from its 1893 completion through the 1899-00 academic year remains unclear at present. (This will be updated if further information comes to hand).
Milton Grammar School teachers of this period included Miss Lucas, Miss Abbie M. Sanger, Miss Lillian B. Hanscom, Mrs. Winnifred E. (Allen) Kimball, Miss E. Maude Garland, and Miss Lillian W. Kane. One or more of them might have been the “principal” teacher.
The principals of the Milton Grammar school thereafter were Walter H. Bentley (1900-01), and Robert M. Looney (1902-14).
Walter Harold Bentley – 1900-1901
Walter H. Bentley was born in Brookline, MA, May 24, 1878, son of David and Esther A. (Boyden) Bentley.
David B. Bentley, a schoolteacher, aged sixty-eight years (b. Canada (Eng.)), headed a Bridgewater, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty-eight years), Esther A. Bentley, aged fifty-nine years (b. MA), his child Walter H. Bentley, a day laborer, aged twenty-two years (b. MA), and his boarders, Rachel Parker, a servant, aged twenty-three (b. Canada (Eng.)), Howard H. Stiles, a shoe shop rounder, aged twenty-one years (b. NY), Frank C. Weeks, a water works superintendent, aged thirty-two years (b. VT), Ethel E. Thomas, a schoolteacher, aged twenty-five years (b. ME), Nancy I. Westgate, a schoolteacher, aged twenty-four years (b. MA), Edna L. White, a schoolteacher, aged twenty-six (b. MA), and Archie C. Osborne, a druggist, aged thirty-two years (b. NH). Esther A, Bentley was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living. They resided in a rented house.
NEWS OF THE STATE. Walter H. Bentley, principal of Milton grammar school during the past year, has been elected principal of the Sawyer grammar school at Dover at a salary of $900 (Farmington News, July 12, 1901).
W.H. Bentley was then principal of Dover high school, in Dover, NH, for the 1901-02 and 1902-03 academic years.
LOCAL. The twentieth meeting of the Strafford County Teachers’ Association will be held at the Rochester high school building, this Friday, beginning at 8.20 o’clock in the forenoon. Superintendent M.E. Bennett of Sanford, Me., will speak at ten o’clock, with the discussion following to be opened by W.H. Bentley, principal of Dover high school. Other speakers are Superintendent M.C. Metcalf of Winchester, Mass., and the Rev. Edgar Blake of Lebanon. Dinner will be served at noon in the Methodist vestry, for twenty-five cents a plate. The dinner is meant to be a source of good cheer and real sociability, and few short speeches will be in order after the meal (Farmington News, February 27, 1903).
A “prudential committee” chose him to be principal of the Walnut-sq. grammar school in Haverhill, MA, for the 1903-04 academic year (Boston Globe, June 16, 1904).
NEW TEACHERS CHOSEN. Haverhill School Board Takes Steps Toward the Building of a New High School. HAVERHILL, June 16. The school board last evening approved the action of the prudential committee in recommending to the city council the purchase of a site for a new high school building. Four new teachers for the high school were chosen, the successful candidates being Miss Mabel Watson of Peabody. Miss Frederica Van Benschoten and Miss Margaret Bennshoten, both of Bloomfield, N.J., and Miss Harriet Webster of this city. The following other new teachers were elected: Herman W. Williams of Boston as an instructor in the manual training school, Hope R. Mudge of Newton as a teacher of cooking, G. Chandler Russell of Merrimac as an instructor in sloyd [see References below], Misses Ida Swift of this city, Alice Weirnan of Marblehead and S. Belle Lean of Westfield, to have charge of the kindergartens, Misses Edna McKeigue, Jessie McMillan and Bertha Marshall, all of this city. Hiram O. Marble was reelected as truant officer, and the Carlton scholarship medals in the high school were awarded, to Bernice I. Tasker and Harold M. Goodwin. The committee of teachers of the high school recommended Frank J. Tuck for this honor, but it was shown that Goodwin obtained the higher percentage, which appeared to be the only question involved, and the vote was unanimously in favor of the latter. The salaries of Principal Files and Assistant Principal Town of the high school were increased $100 each, as were the salaries of Principals Ernest W. Bentley. Walter H. Bentley and W.F. Sayard of the Currier, Walnut-sq. and Cogswell grammar schools respectively (Boston Globe, June 16, 1904).
A number of [Quincy, MA] grammar schools will have new teachers. Walter H. Bentley is principal of the Coddington school, vice [Latin: in the place of] Miss Mary A. Dearborn, who resigned after a service of over 30 years. Mr. Bentley is a graduate of the Bridgewater normal school, class of 1900, and has taught at Milton, N.H., Dover, N.H. (Boston Globe, September 11, 1905).
Walter Harold Bentley married in Haverhill, MA, August 28, 1909, Harriet Adelia “Hattie” Morrill, he of Quincy, MA, and she of Haverhill. They were both teachers. She was born Haverhill, MA, June 10, 1886, daughter of William E. and Hattie E. (Davis) Morrill.
Some 25 years ago, Walter H. Bentley of Winchester, who taught at Gov. Dummer Academy and other schools, and started a boys camp at Wolfeboro, N.H., in 1909, wrote a letter on this subject [circa 1941-42]. It was printed in a pamphlet to parents, and the letter is quoted in the last publication of the camp, now conducted by his son, Bradford M. Bentley, also of Winchester. Said the founder in part: “Wyanoke is like a big family. It is made up of boys – little fellows of 8 or 9 who need constant and sympathetic care and understanding; sturdy, active youngsters of 12 or 13, who need plenty to do and steady, wise direction; big, growing youths of 15 and 16, who are beginning to think of what life means, and who need inspiration and the daily comradeship of mature men who understand them. All of these boys benefit greatly from the community life of the camp. Many campers come from small families. At camp they learn that everything, even fun, is to be shared, and that the duties well done and consideration for others bring satisfaction and friends. Boys like and need to ‘run with the pack’ and a Summer home cannot fill this need as a camp does” (Boston Globe, April 30, 1967).
Walter H. Bentley, a public school teacher, aged thirty-one years (b. MA), headed a Quincy, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of zero years), Harriet A. Bentley, aged twenty-three years (b. MA), and his widowed father, aged seventy-seven years (b. Canada (Eng.)). Walter H. Bentley owned their house at 104 Woodward Avenue, with a mortgage.
Walter H. Bentley resigned his principalship at Quincy’s Coddington school at the close of the 1910-11 academic year (Boston Globe, April 26, 1911).
Walter Harold Bentley registered for the WW I military draft in Ossipee, NH, September 12, 1918. He had two addresses and occupations: he was a teacher at Dummer Academy in So. Byfield, MA, but also a summer camp director, at Wyanoke Camp, Wolfeboro, NH. He was forty years of age (b. May 24, 1878). He was of a tall height, medium build, with brown eyes and gray hair. His nearest relation was his wife, Hattie A. Bentley, of Wolfeboro, NH.
Walter H. Bentley, a teacher & proprietor of a boys’ camp, aged forty-one years (b. MA), headed a Winchester, MA, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Harriet M. Bentley, aged thirty-three years (b. MA), and his child, Bradford M. Bentley, aged six years (b. MA). Walter H. Bentley owned their house at 24 Central Street, with a mortgage.
He was subsequently a camp director, resident in Winchester, MA, in 1930; and a camp director, resident in Winchester, MA, in 1940.
Walter H. Bentley died January 30, 1945, aged sixty-six years. Harriet A. (Morrill) Bentley died in Winchester, MA, March 18, 1973, aged eighty-six years.
Deaths and Funerals. Walter H. Bentley. WINCHESTER, Jan 30. – Walter H. Bentley, 66, of 24 Central St., founder of several Summer camps for boys and girls, died today at his home. A graduate of Bridgewater Normal School, he was principal of schools in Milton and Dover, N.H., Haverhill and Quincy, and was associated for a time with Governor Dummer Academy. In 1904 he helped found the Medomak Camp for Boys and in 1909 he opened Camp Wyanoke, Wolfeboro, N.H., now directed by his son, Bradford M. Bentley. He also founded Camp Winnemont for Girls at West Ossipee, N.H., Besides his son he leaves a wife. Funeral services will be held in the Ripley Memorial Chapel of the First Congregational Church Thursday at 2:30. Burial will be in Wolfeboro, N.H. (Boston Globe, January 31, 1945).
Camps Founder Dies in Massachusetts. Boston, Feb. 1 (AP) – Walter H. Bentley, 66, a pioneer in the founding of children’s summer camps, died Tuesday. A resident of Winchester, Bentley was principal of schools in Milton, Dover, N.H., Haverhill and Quincy during his early years as an educator. He operated his own camps, Wyanoke for boys at Wolfeboro, N.H., and Winnemont for girls at West Ossipee, N.H. Burial will be in Wolfeboro, N.H. (Portsmouth Herald, February 1, 1945).
Robert Miller Looney – 1902-14
Robert M. Looney was born in Milton, June 10, 1880, son of Charles H. and Emily E. (Miller) Looney.
LOCALS. Robert Loony, son of C.H. Loony, a graduate of Nute school in Milton will attend Philips Academy at Exeter the coming term (Farmington News, August 28, 1896).
MILTON. Miss Helen Miller, Robert Barker and R.M. Looney, all of Boston, were visitors in town last week (Farmington News, April 27, 1900).
LOCALS. Walter H. Looney and Robert M. Looney, sons of the Hon. C.H. and Mrs. Looney of Milton, and graduates of the Nute school, attended the dance and reception of the class of MCM , last Friday evening (Farmington News, June 29, 1900).
MILTON. Robert M. Looney gave a very successful Bohemian party at the home of his parents, Hon. and Mrs. C.H. Looney, last Thursday evening. The home was decorated with vines and flowers. About forty guests were invited. Mamie Dickey and Maude Clements won the prizes at whist, and were crowned and seated upon the throne. Mark Dickey and Minnie Hussey received the booby prizes and sat at the feet of the more fortunate couple. The costumes were in true Bohemian style (Farmington News, September 13, 1901).
Robert M. Looney appeared in the Milton directory of 1902, as a student, boarding with C.H. Looney, So. Main street. His father appeared as the Hon. Charles H. Looney, custom house, Portsmouth, NH, with a house at 54 So. Main street, near Tappan street. (Charles H. Looney died April 23, 1902).
MILTON. The funeral services of Elsie Avery were held at the home of her parents last Saturday at one o’clock. Miss Avery was a graduate of the Nute high school, under Prof. [Arthur T.] Smith, and this was her second year at Vassar college, from which she was brought home about two weeks ago, very ill with typhoid fever. She was young, bright and interesting, and had been given every advantage that money could procure. She was the youngest daughter of Postmaster J.H. Avery, and the only child by his second marriage. Everything that faithful nursing and the care of a physician could do was done to save her but without avail. The blow to her parents is indeed a hard one and many a home is saddened by her death. Several of the N.H.S. alumni were present at the service, among whom were Robert M. Looney and Helen Miller of Boston, Mass., [and] Maurice Dickey of Worcester, Mass. Prof. Smith came Wednesday evening before her death, which occurred Thursday morning, Feb. 6, at 6 o’clock, and remained until Sunday morning. There was a profusion of beautiful flowers from many friends. The bearers were Maurice Dickey, Bert Horne, Bard Plummer, and Walter Looney. Rev. M.P. Dickey conducted the burial service. The body was arrayed in her graduating dress of white lansdowne. Among the flowers were many lovely roses of different shades (Farmington News, February 14, 1902).
PERSONAL. Principal R.M. Looney of the Milton grammar school, and Mrs. E.F. Looney, were in town Sunday, visiting the parents of the latter, Mr. and Mrs. John Waldron (Farmington News, June 12, 1903).
Robert M. Looney appeared in the Milton directory of 1905, as principal of the Milton Grammar School, boarding with Mrs. C.H. Looney, at 54 South Main street.
New Hampshire. DOVER. At the meeting of the Strafford County Teachers Association at Dover on May 22 the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President, W.B. Sprague, Durham; vice president, B.S. Mooney, Somersworth; secretary, Miss Annie L. Ricker, South Berwick; treasurer, E.A. Pugsley, Salmon Falls; executive committee, Miss Annie Rollins, Rochester, Robert M. Looney, Milton, Miss Elsa W. Regestein, Farmington; member of educational council, Dr. A.J. Keyes, Dover (Boston University, 1905).
PERSONAL. Principal R.M. Looney of the Milton grammar school was a guest over last Thursday of Mr. and Mrs. E.F. Thayer and attended with them the Caveny entertainment at the opera house. He also visited the grammar school in the afternoon (Farmington News, January 3, 1908).
(J. Franklin Caveny of Chicago, IL, described as a cartoonist, clay modeler, and chalk talker, gave a lecture at the Rochester opera house on that Thursday night, January 2, and another before the Women’s Club in Somersworth, NH, January 4, 1908).
Robert M. Looney appeared in the Milton directory of 1909, as principal of the Milton Grammar School, boarding with Mrs. C.H. Looney, at 54 South Main street.
MILTON. R.M. Looney went to Boston Friday afternoon, returning Sunday evening (Farmington News, May 7, 1909).
Emma E. Looney, a widow, aged fifty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton [“Milton 3-Ponds”] household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. He household included her children, Walter Looney, a clerk at Central House, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), Robert M. Looney, a grammar school teacher, aged thirty years (b. NH), Harry N. Looney, a shoe factory cutter, aged twenty-seven years, and John H. Looney, aged twenty-four years (b. NH). She owned their house free-and-clear, without any mortgage. [They resided at 54 South Main street in 1905].
Robert M. Looney appeared in the Milton directory of 1912, as principal of the Milton grammar school, boarding with Mrs. C.H. Looney, at 54 South Main street.
The Milton Grammar School burned to the ground on Saturday morning, April 4, 1914. (It was replaced by the current Milton Elementary School).
WEST MILTON. The residents of this side of the town were shocked to learn of the disastrous fire which consumed the grammar school building at Milton village at an early hour last Saturday morning (Farmington News, [Friday,] April 10, 1914).
WEST MILTON. Miss Lula V. Grace who, by the courtesy of Mr. Looney, principal of the Milton village grammar school, acting in conjunction with the school board and superintendent, participated in the exercises and received her diploma with Mr. Looney’s class at Milton last Friday evening, is the first pupil to receive this distinction since the school has become graded. A delegation of the scholars, accompanied by their teacher and many friends from this part of town, witnessed the exercises which have gained a well-deserved prominence under Mr. Looney’s efficient instruction. The exhibition hall at the Nute high school building, where the grammar school has been in session since the burning of the schoolhouse, was occupied to the last available inch. The execution of some of the most difficult subjects of original composition and essay by the members of the graduating class was truly wonderful for pupils of this grade, while the choral and orchestral numbers from the leading operas were very cleverly rendered and were accorded unanimous acclamation of favor. Miss Hazel Perkins of this district was a member of the graduating class at Milton, having attended that school this past year (Farmington News, June 26, 1914).
Robert M. Looney appeared in the Milton directory of 1917, as principal of the Milton grammar school, boarding with Mrs. C.H. Looney, at 54 South Main street. (This would seem to be a copy-and-paste from the prior directory).
Robert Miller Looney of Milton, NH, registered for the WW I military draft in Boston, MA, September 12, 1918. He was a salesman for H.K. Miller & Co. of 170 Summer Street, Boston, MA, aged thirty-eight years (b, June 10, 1880). His nearest relation was Mrs. Charles H. Looney, Milton, NH. He was of a medium height, and a slender build, with blue eyes, and light hair.
Emily E. Looney, a widow, aged sixty-five years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. Her household included her children, Walter E. Looney, Customs House deputy collector, aged forty-one years (b. NH), Robert M. Looney, a broker, aged thirty-nine years (b. NH), and Harry H. Looney, a shoe shop shoe cutter, aged thirty-seven years (b. NH). Emily E. Looney owned their house on Lower Main Street, Milton Village, free-and-clear. They lived near or next to S. Frank Dawson, a mnfy [manufactory] owner, aged forty years (b. MA).
Robert M. Looney, a cotton goods broker, aged forty-nine years (b. NH), was one of one hundred eighty-three lodgers at the Stag Hotel (Technology Chambers) at 5-9 Botolph Street in Boston, MA, at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. He paid $35 per month for his hotel suite.
Robert M. Looney died in Newtonville, Newton, MA, July 22, 1932, aged fifty-two years, one month, and twelve days.
IN MEMORIAM. ROBERT LOONEY. Many friends in this vicinity learn with sincere regret of the death of Robert Miller Looney, the last member of one of Milton’s oldest and most prominent families, which occurred in Newtonville, Mass., on July 22. The end came quietly after a protracted period of suffering, the last two years of which he was deprived of almost every resource of physical independence, yet the bright and sunny disposition with which he met and made numberless friends during the varied contacts of a useful and energetic life, was never surrendered until the end. He was a native of Milton and 52 years old, the third son of the late Hon. Charles H. Looney and Emily (Miller) Looney. He received his education in the public school of Milton, was graduated with the first class of Nute high school and later attended Bryant & Stratton Business college of Boston. For a time he was engaged in the personnel of hotel management in the last named city but left it to become principal of the Milton grammar school in which capacity he achieved unprecedented success, carrying the interests of the school into the community as no other institution or similar influence has been able to do. Later, until his retirement on account of ill health, he was associated with the cotton brokerage business. He was a member of the “Square & Compass Club” of Boston, the Old South Club, the Boston City Club, an active member of the New Old South church and a member of Fraternal Lodge, No. 71, A.F. and A.M., of Farmington. Of his immediate family he was the last and his closest relatives surviving are Mrs. Archibald Campbell Jordan of Winchester, Mass., Looney’s sister-in-law, Mrs. Walter Looney of Boston, both of whom were tenderly devoted to him through his long illness. Funeral services were held at Waterman’s chapel, Boston, for the benefit of his Boston friends, and on the Sunday afternoon following his death services were held in the Union church at Milton and interment was in the cemetery at Lebanon, Me. (Farmington News, August 5, 1932).
The last will of Robert Miller Looney of Milton devised personal effects and furniture to his cousin, Antoinette M. Straw of Bedford, MA; his sister-in-law, Elizabeth G. Looney of Boston, MA; Edith S. Balfour of Bedford, MA; William L. Young, principal of the Horace Mann school of Everett, MA; and aunt Helen M. Jordan of Winchester, MA. He devised $25 each to Dr. M.A.H. Hart of Milton; Dr. Roger W. Graves of Boston, MA; Dr. Cecil W. Clark of Newtonville, MA; and [former Nute High principal] Arthur Thad Smith of Winchester, MA. He devised to the town of Milton:
… the parcel of land with buildings thereon constituting my family home in said Milton to be used by said town of Milton for the benefit of the whole town in any manner in which said town of Milton desires to use the same.
He devised the rest, residue and remainder to his friend, William L. Young; his sister-in-law, Elizabeth G. Looney; and his cousin, Antoinette M. Straw, in equal shares. He named his sister-in-law, Antoinette M. Straw as executrix. The will was dated May 18, 1931, and proved in Strafford County Court, August 9, 1932.
The Milton Town warrant for the town election of March 14, 1933 contained an article regarding the Looney homestead:
[Article] 24. To see if the town will vote to accept a bequest under the will of the late Robert Miller Looney, and if so to determine what shall be done with the property and pass any other vote or votes relative thereto.
[Article 25 on the same ballot concerned buying the Old Fire Station lot for $1].
Everyone is frustrated by the abject failure of government to replace the bridge between Milton and Lebanon, ME. The four layers of government participating in this are the NH State government, the Milton Town government, the Maine State government, and the Lebanon Town government.
Milton Town officials this year were deluded enough to suggest adding a fifth governmental entity to the mix: a County planning board or commission. The reasoning was a bit unclear, but seemed to suggest that we needed to participate in this fifth governmental entity in order to get it to lobby for “our” government with “our” other government.
We hear today from the Milton Community News (and Lebanon Truth Seekers) that Lebanon, ME, is considering just getting out of this mess entirely (www.facebook.com/ourmiltonnews). Can you blame them?
In doing some research work for Ms. Bristol, I came across the following regarding the eighteenth-century bridge between Newcastle, NH, and Rye, NH, which was a much wider span, and one that passed over some serious tidal currents.
The Proprietors of Newcastle Bridge are reminded that the annual meeting of said Proprietary is to be on the first Monday in June next, on which day, they are hereby notified to meet at the house of Mrs. Elizabeth Trefethen, near said Bridge, at two o’clock in the afternoon – To choose officers for the year ensuing, and to transact what other business may be judged necessary. HENRY PRESCOTT, Prop’r’s Clerk. Newcastle, May 11, 1801 (Republican Ledger (Portsmouth, NH), 12 May 1801).
The Newcastle Bridge was a private toll bridge, erected by its corporate Proprietary, i.e., its investors, and maintained by tolls. That is to say, only those wanting to cross the bridge, and willing to pay its toll, paid anything for it at all. There was no taxpayer involvement whatsoever.
The Widow Trefethen kept a tavern on the Newcastle side of the bridge. That is to say, the Newcastle Bridge Propriety did not even incur any additional costs of maintaining or renting its own hall or office building. They met annually, and at any other necessary times, in the local “pub.”
New Hampshire’s first two turnpikes were built privately as toll roads, as well as other New Hampshire bridges, often along those same turnpikes. The Cornish-Windsor Bridge – a 460-foot span between Cornish, NH, and Windsor, VT – comes to mind. Its NH State historic marker reads:
CORNISH-WINDSOR BRIDGE. Built in 1866 at a cost of $9,000, this is the longest wooden bridge in the United States and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world. The fourth bridge at this site, the 460-foot structure was built by Bela J. Fletcher (1811-1877) of Claremont and James F. Tasker of (1826-1903) of Cornish, using a lattice truss patented by Ithiel Town in 1820 and 1835. Built as a toll bridge by a private corporation, the span was purchased by the state of New Hampshire in 1936 and made toll-free in 1943.
Seventy years as a private bridge corporation, including probably forty years with automobiles.
If you have had enough of “our” governments’ multi-year inability to replace this simple bridge over this short span, there are other options. I’d be willing to invest in a private toll-bridge proprietary. How about you?