Article #24: A Safety Guide Rail

By S.D. Plissken | March 9, 2020

If one takes the kiddies down to the Hilltop Fun Center (“Seacoast’s Largest Attraction Center!”) in Somersworth, they might drive a Go-Kart on one of the four Go-Kart Tracks. Of course, for safety’s sake, the child must have reached certain heights for this Go-Kart or that Go-Kart, the minimum being that they must be able to reach the pedals.

And beyond those minimum age and size requirements, the tracks themselves are equipped with a “Complete rail system” that runs down the center of the trackway. The Go-Karts have their left-side wheels on one side of this center guide rail and their right-side wheels on the other side. This rail system is intended to keep the Go-Karts on the track, regardless of where its inexperienced driver might steer. (The more advanced Go-Kart tracks are bounded by rubber barriers on either side of the trackway). It would cease to be “Fun” if the Go-Karts crashed into each other, ran off the track, or even flipped over.

In the matter of Milton’s Town taxation, our officials ran off the track and into a ditch quite some time ago. And they have shown little inclination to get back on the right track, a sustainable one.

Fortunately, the Milton Taxpayers’ Association (MTA) has devised a “rail system” to keep our officials on the track. Officials will no doubt continue to veer wildly back and forth, but will be less able to flip the Go-Kart, run into a ditch, or even cross onto other tracks where they might crash into our homes and livelihoods.

The MTA gathered and filed sufficient signatures to put their safety “rail system” – a Tax Cap – on the ballot.

Article 24: Adoption of a Tax Cap (Submitted by Petition)

Shall we adopt the provisions of RSA 32:5-b, and implement a tax cap whereby the governing body (or budget committee) shall not submit a recommended budget that increases the amount to be raised by local taxes, based on the prior fiscal year’s actual amount of local taxes raised, by more than the lesser amount of (a) 2%; or (b) the percentage by which the U.S. Consumer Price Index – All Urban Consumers for the Northeast, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“the index”) as of the month of January of each year, increased, if any, over the index for the month of January of the immediately-preceding year (3/5 Majority Vote Required).

Not recommended by the Board of Selectmen (0,3,0).

Such measures are in place already in most New Hampshire cities. Milton is not a city, but its Town government seems strangely to have urban aspirations, especially as regards increasing itself beyond all reason, and in perpetually increasing taxes to sustain that aggrandized government.

The Milton Board of Selectmen, in unanimously not recommending this measure have, in effect, given it the very highest recommendation possible.


Hilltop Fun Center. (2020). 4 Go-Kart Tracks. Retrieved from

Milton Mills’ Ira Miller (1826-1902)

By Muriel Bristol | March 8, 2020

Ira Miller was born in Acton, ME, December 13, 1826, son of Caleb and Mary (Kennerson) Miller.

He was left motherless when a babe of six weeks and was twelve years old when his father died. He was reared by his uncle, Woodman Miller. When sixteen years of age he started out to take care of himself and assisted farmers during the haying season, feeling sufficiently well paid when he received twenty-five cents for a day’s work. He then went to Lebanon, Me., where he worked for Millett Wentworth for seven months, thereby earning the sum of seven dollars, after which during the summers he again assisted farmers and attended school in the winters in Acton, Me., where he afterward was employed by Simon Tuttle at a wage of ten dollars a month, which in his second season was increased to thirteen dollars (Scales, 1914).

Woodman Miller headed an Acton, ME, household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 30-39 years, one female aged 30-39 years, two males aged 5-9 years, one female aged 5-9 years, one male aged under 5 years, and two females aged under 5 years.

He married, May 29, 1849, Frances W. “Fanny” Merrill. She was born in Acton, ME, December 7, 1825, daughter of Asa and Fannie (Wood) Merrill.

Ira Miller, a shoemaker, aged twenty-four years (b. ME), headed an Acton, ME, household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Frances Miller, aged twenty-four years (b. ME), Winfield S. Miller, aged six months (b. ME), Ezra Farnham, a shoemaker, aged seventeen years (b. ME), and Ezriah Brackett, a shoemaker, aged fifteen years (b. ME). Ira Miller had real estate valued at $500. (He was a neighbor of Ralph Farnham).

He then learned the shoemaking trade at Milton Mills and then opened a shop and soon had a trade that made necessary the employment of six or eight men. In 1855 he erected the first shoe factory ever built at Acton, Me., and embarked in shoe manufacturing on a large scale, having a shoe store in connection, later selling his factory and buying the Roberts’ grist mill. This he remodeled and made it the best plant of its kind in the county, operating it from 1859 until 1866 (Scales, 1914).

Ira Miller, a miller, aged thirty-two years (b. ME), headed an Acton, ME, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Fanny Miller, a lady, aged thirty-three years (b. ME), Windfield L. Miller, aged ten years (b. ME), and Fanny L. Miller, aged eleven months (b. ME). Ira Miller had real-estate valued at $1,000 and personal estate valued at $200.

Ira Miller registered for the Class II military draft in Acton, ME, July 1, 1863. He was a miller, aged thirty-six years (b. ME). Ira Miller enlisted in the Third State Militia Cavalry (2d Organization) in 1863.

The Miller’s youngest child, Fannie L. Miller, died October 3, 1863. One might suppose that her death date was actually October 3, 1862, as their next child, Fannie L. Miller, who was born in Acton, ME, August 15, 1863, received her name.

Ira Miller was Town Clerk of Acton, ME, in 1863 through 1865.

He then sold out and went into the hotel business, becoming proprietor of the Central House at Milton Mills which he conducted until 1877 (Scales, 1814). 

Ira Miller appeared in the Milton directories of 1868, 1869-70, 1871, as proprietor of the Central House hotel at Milton Mills.

Ira Miller, a hotel keeper, aged forty-three years (b. ME), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Fannie W. Miller, a landlady, aged forty-four years (b. ME), Winfield L. Miller, a clerk in hotel, aged twenty years (b. ME), Fannie L. Miller, aged six years (b. ME), Samuel Kershaw, a laborer, aged twenty-five years (b. NH), and Hattie Young, a domestic servant, aged twenty-five years (b. NH). Ira Miller had real estate valued at $5,500 and personal estate valued at $2,500.

Ira Miller appeared in the Milton directories of 1873, 1874, 1876, 1877, as proprietor of the Central House hotel and Livery Stable, at Milton Mills.

He then opened the largest general store at Milton Mills, putting in a heavy stock, including groceries, boots, shoes, oil, drugs, hardware and farm implements, and this proved a very prosperous enterprise. He had acquired 400 acres of valuable land together with his town property (Scales, 1914).

Ira Miller was one of the Milton Mills merchants and manufacturers that had business with some rival soap salesman in or around 1878.

Ira Miller, a storekeeper, aged fifty-three years (b. ME), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills Village”) household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Fannie W. Miller, keeping house, aged fifty-four years (b. ME), and his child, Fannie L. Miller, at school, aged sixteen years (b. ME).

Ira Miller appeared in the Milton directories of 1880, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1887, 1889, 1892, 1894, and 1898, as a Milton Mills merchant. He appeared also as Town Treasurer and a Justice of the Peace in 1880, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1887, 1889, 1894, and 1898. He was Town Treasurer in 1901.

MILTON. Town meeting passed with but very little excitement. Ira Miller. Officers elected are as follows: MODERATOR, Abram Sanborn; TOWN CLERK, Charles H. Looney; SELECTMEN, Henry B. Scates, David Wallinford, Elbridge W. Fox; TREASURER, Ira Miller. Voted to purchase a safe for the benefit of the town. Voted to build a road to the new mill, which will be done as soon as the weather will permit. OLD HUNDRED (Farmington News, March 25, 1881).

WAKEFIELD [MILTON]. The following are the town officers for the ensuing year: Moderator, Luther Hayes; Town Clerk, Chas. H. Looney; Selectmen, Geo. Lyman, W.H.H. Pinkham, John L. Sims; Treasurer, Ira Miller (Farmington News, March 17, 1882).

MILTON. The following officers were chosen at the recent town meeting: Moderator, Chas. C. Hayes; Town Clerk, Chas. H. Looney; Selectmen, Geo. Lyman, Henry H. Pinkham, John L. Sims; Town Treasurer, Ira Miller; Auditors, Luther Hayes, Elbridge Fox (Farmington News, March 16, 1883).

LOCALS. Ira Miller, of Milton Mills, recently slaughtered four hogs whose aggregate weight was 2667 pounds (Farmington News, January 30, 1885).

The following substantial real estate transaction might have been the purchase of the 400-acre farm mentioned in the Scales history.

REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS. E.D. Farnham to Ira Miller, land in Milton, $4,350 (Farmington News, August 12, 1887).

ROBBERY AT MILTON MILLS. About $200 in Goods and Money Taken. On Opening the store of Ira Miller, at Milton Mills, Tuesday morning, it was found that burglars had been at work during the night. Hardly a thing was in its proper place. The safe door was lying upon the floor, and the contents of the safe, with the exception of the money it contained, were also upon the floor.  About $100 worth of goods, mostly cigars, tobacco and cutlery were taken, and about $80 in money. Mr. Miller received, Monday, for safe keeping, $2,000, and it is supposed that this was what the thieves were after, but the money was where they could not find it (Farmington News, September 23, 1887).

York. Ira Miller’s safe at Acton, was burglarized a short time ago, and about thousand dollars in cash and three thousand in securities stolen, reports the Biddeford Journal (Bangor Daily Whig and Courier (Bangor, ME), October 10, 1887).

Fannie W. (Merrill) Miller died January 30, 1897. Her daughter Fannie L. (Miller) Lowd died in the Maine General Hospital in Portland, ME,, May 25, 1898, aged twenty-four years.

Ira Miller, a widowed merchant (retired), aged seventy-three years (b. ME), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills Village”) household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his son-in-law, Freeman H. Lowd, a widowed storekeeper, aged forty-six years (b. ME), his grandchildren, Grace M. Lowd, at school, aged sixteen years (b. NH), and Alice M. Lowd, at school, aged thirteen years (b. MA), and his servant, Susie B. Clarke, a housekeeper, aged twenty years (b. NH). Ira Miller owned their farm, free-and-clear.

I. Miller appeared in the Milton directory of 1901, as a Milton Mills merchant of shingles and clapboards.

Ira Miller died in Milton Mills, December 12, 1902, aged seventy-five years, eleven months, and thirty days.

See also Milton Mills’ Asa Fox & Son General Store and Milton Mills’ Bray U. Simes (1801-1885)


Find a Grave. (2013, August 15). Ira Miller. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2013, November 7). Woodman Miller. Retrieved from

Scales, John. (1914). History of Strafford County, New Hampshire, and Representative Citizens. Retrieved from

Article #1: Some Contested Races

By S.D. Plissken | March 8, 2020

Article #1 is the list of the fourteen Milton Town offices to be filled and the candidates vying to fill them.

Uncontested Elections

Three seats (one one-year and two three-year terms) on the Budget Committee have but a single candidate, one three-year seat as Cemetery Trustee has but a single candidate, one two-year seat on the Planning Board has but a single candidate, another two three-year seats on the Planning Board have but two candidates, one six-year seat as Supervisor of the Checklist has but a single candidate, the Treasurer’s position has but a single candidate, and one three-year seat on the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) has no candidates at all.

There is little point in voting for (or against) any of the uncontested candidates. The candidates themselves bear no fault in having no actual competition for these offices. However, it should be a matter of great concern that so many offices can be assumed simply by filling out a form. It is worse still that when nobody does even that much, the BOS simply “selects” a winner. That is pretty much having offices and boards run by the selectmen, but with extra steps. All of this suggests strongly that there should simply be fewer Town boards, committees, and offices.

For example, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) were formerly a single board. One assumes they were separated so that the ZBA could function as a sort of “appeal” from the Planning Board’s delicious concoctions. But if the ZBA simply refers such appeals back to the Planning Board, as was the case in the Binker Brothers’ startup and the Mi-Te-Jo meetings, or if the same people sit on both boards, as has been the case, or if the BOS can threaten to ‘sic “its” various boards onto unoffending property owners, as Chairman Thibeault did recently to the new owner of the old firehouse, then having two boards is entirely pointless, even dangerous.

And now the BOS has recommended a warrant article that would hive off the Planning Board’s dubious Capital Improvement Program (CIP) plan to yet another board, whose seats will be entirely “in the gift” of the Selectmen. (Their interest perhaps arises out of the Planning Board’s failure to process the CIP plan in a timely manner – Standing Idle). All of this would seem to be giant steps in the wrong direction. It might be that if the Planning Board and the ZBA were recombined, the CIP plan simply discontinued (as it should be), and the number of seats on the recombined board were reduced, there might be enough candidates for an actual election.

Contested Elections

Only the offices of Selectman, Library Trustee, and Trustee of the Trust Funds have contested elections.

For Selectman

For the single three-year Board of Selectmen seat, there are three candidates: Lawrence D. “Larry” Brown, Matthew S. Morrill, and Humphrey Williams.

The Candidates’ Night recording was only partial, and its parts appeared in several places, so the candidate statements must be relied upon here.

Lawrence D. “Larry” Brown has held nearly every Town office, as well as having been for multiple terms Milton’s NH State Representative. He does not appear to have issued a statement on this occasion (nor has his usual signage appeared yet). However, at a Board of Selectmen’s meeting nearly a year ago, he gave a fairly comprehensive review of his views and career, which we then reported under the title Milton as Brigadoon. Mr. Brown held positions this last year as a Library Trustee, an Alternate member of the Planning Board, and as a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA).

At last year’s candidate’s night, Mr. Brown declared that he felt it would be impossible to reduce or even hold the line on taxes.

Williams, Humphrey - 2020Humphrey Williams held a seat this last year on the Budget Committee, as well as on the Milton Economic Development Committee (MEDC), and as an Alternate on the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA). His campaign statement from the last election (Meet Mr. Williams) made much sense. His statement this year follows:

Humphrey Williams. I will work to insure the Select Board:

    • Takes the lead in creating a cooperative environment amongst the various boards and committees.
    • Establishes sound financial goals for the town – including setting spending limits & funding actual “needs” versus “wants.”
    • Works with Town Administrator, Department Heads & Employees to find Cost Saving Measures to reduce the operating budget.
    • Find ways to clean up downtown and bring in new businesses such as Restaurants, Deli or Meat Market, Sports or Recreation.
    • Maintains the scenic beauty and heritage of our community while creating new business and revenue stream opportunities.
    • Find ways to develop Commercial Opportunities in the Exit 17 and Exit 18 areas.

Mr. Williams has me right down to cleaning up the downtown and bringing in new businesses, and creating revenue streams. Those are tasks for the free market, rather than any government. Bring government taxes back down to earth, cut back on government committees, and the regulations and restrictions that they foster, and the free market could fix the rest.

Matthew S. “Matt” Morrill introduces himself here as a candidate for selectman – he has spent two years already on the Planning Board – in the following statement:

Matt Morrill for Selectman

Morrill, Matt - 2020I would like to introduce myself for anyone who does not already know me, My name is Matt Morrill, I am 32 years old and was born and raised in Milton Mills, NH. I graduated from Bishop Brady High School, and shortly after that, I entered the Military. I am still an active Army Reserve Member, after serving my country in the Middle East attaining the rank of Staff Sargent.

I have served on the Planning Board for the past 2 years, and I am aware of all the issues facing us as a small town in need of alternative tax revenue and growth, while still keeping the town a great place to live. I am a local business owner and the father of two children. My wife and I have chosen to raise our family in Milton Mills. My family has been part of the Milton Mills landscape for over 70 years. I have been active in some local organizations such as End 68 Hours of Hunger and the Recreation Department, and have led fundraising events for both organizations.

At this point in my life, I feel our town is in need of some changes. As a local businessman, I have concerns with the rate in which our taxes are accelerating. I feel that we need to seriously take a look at all our options for our children. Whether our students remain being educated in Milton, or if we decide to tuition them out to another town, I would like to be part of that process.

Our current school system is our most expensive tax burden, it is imperative for us to figure out what our options are as a town. If we choose to keep our children in town, we need to figure out a better system than just taxing our residents out of their homes. If we tuition them out, we need to find the best system to fit our children’s needs. I will come to the table with an open mind, and work hard to help figure this out.

My military background has served me well in the area of leadership, self mindedness, and making tough decisions. I would lead with the town’s best interest as my moral compass. I would stand behind my decisions, and work hard to make this town a great place to live. I have lived here my entire life, and would like to retire here and have my children have the ability to do so as well, if they chose to.

I hope you will consider me as your candidate to do so. We as a town need to make some tough decisions, I ask you for your vote, and hope you will help me get elected so we can make these changes together and make Milton Great Again!

Welcome, Mr. Morrill. Much of his statement concerns itself with School taxation, which is certainly our largest problem, but perhaps not within a selectman’s purview.

As for Town taxes, seeking “alternative” tax sources (such as some variant of income taxes) might imply maintaining current spending levels, while tapping some other poor souls, or different pockets of the same poor souls, in order to keep the game afloat. That would be just kicking an “accelerating” tax problem further down the road. But, perhaps I misunderstand.

Mr. Walden, a BOS candidate from last year, posted some further details regarding Mr. Morrill’s positions that enlarge upon his original statement.

Why vote for Matt Morrill?

    • Availability. As a local business owner He is Around town throughout the day, you’ll probably see him face to face quite often and he is always willing to speak with people about their concerns in a language that everyone can understand.
    • Proven Commitment to Improving the Town’s Image. Matt has been involved with various community projects and has never hesitated to donate his time or resources when the situation has presented itself.
    • A Commitment to Our Children. As a father with a family of his own, Matt understands that even though we all don’t agree on the direction of our school system we still need to make the best of what we have, Matt actively participates in and organizes events for school supply drives and programs such as end 68 hours of hunger.
    • Fiscal Accountability. Matt believes that we need to start tasking our department heads with decreasing their budgets by 2% a year annually in conjunction with spending more of YOUR leftover money at the end of the year on paying down the tax rate versus trying to spend it in deceptively worded warrant articles.

Matt, more than any candidate running for selectman is in touch with the pulse of the town and understands the real struggles and frustrations that families are having in town with the way things are being handled.

For Library Trustee

For the single three-year Library Trustee seat, there are two candidates: Lawrence D. “Larry” Brown and Anne Nute.

I have seen no statement by Ms. Nute, but one would hope her positions present a contrast to those of Mr. Brown.

(Subject to revision should statements become available).

For Trustee of the Trust Funds

For the single three-year Trustee of the Trust Funds seat, there are two candidates: Karen J. Brown and Anne Nute.

Ms. Brown is running as an incumbent. She is also running unopposed for Supervisor of the Checklist. She has long been Recreation Director.

I have seen no statements by Ms. Brown or Ms. Nute.

(Subject to revision should statements become available).

Articles #17 and #18: Less Democracy for You

By S.D. Plissken | March 3, 2020

Article #17 shares with Article #18 a proposed structural change to the Town government, sought by that same Town government, by which democracy in Milton is to be reduced.

That would be sufficient reason – in and of itself – to vote against both of these articles. In a 1947 speech before the British House of Commons, Winston Churchill observed that “it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government, except for all those other forms.” If Churchill’s witticism is correct, Milton’s Board of Selectmen proposes changing our worst form of government to one of those other forms that are even worse. Worser? Worstest?

(Having just participated in Hitler’s downfall and facing then Stalin’s erection of the Iron Curtain, Churchill had some experience of authoritarian socialist forms of government, whether of either the National or the International variety).

The “Independent” Capital Improvement Committee, To Be Appointed by the Milton Board of Selectmen

Article 17: Establishment of Independent Capital Improvement Committee

Shall the Town vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to establish an independent committee pursuant to RSA 674:5 to prepare and amend the recommended program of municipal Capital Improvement Projects and to make budgetary recommendations to the Board of Selectmen. The committee, to be known as the Capital Improvement Program Committee, will have five (5) voting members to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen, and shall include at least One (1) member of the Planning Board.

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (3,0,0).

RSA 674:5. LOCAL LAND USE PLANNING AND REGULATORY POWERS. Capital Improvements Program. 674:5 Authorization. – In a municipality where the planning board has adopted a master plan, the local legislative body may authorize the planning board to prepare and amend a recommended program of municipal capital improvement projects projected over a period of at least 6 years. As an alternative, the legislative body may authorize the governing body of a municipality to appoint a capital improvement program committee, which shall include at least one member of the planning board and may include but not be limited to other members of the planning board, the budget committee, or the town or city governing body, to prepare and amend a recommended program of municipal capital improvement projects projected over a period of at least 6 years. The capital improvements program may encompass major projects being currently undertaken or future projects to be undertaken with federal, state, county and other public funds. The sole purpose and effect of the capital improvements program shall be to aid the mayor or selectmen and the budget committee in their consideration of the annual budget.

The Capital Improvement Program has proven itself to be an abject failure in its stated objective of preventing tax spikes. It has instead produced a single rapidly-increasing tax slope – the upslope of single giant tax spike. Okay, anyone can see that, and feel it in every tax increase, so it is well past time to just get rid of it. Aah, therein lies the problem. It is in the very nature of government, and its interventions of every kind, that its abject failures are never “backed out” as they should be. Instead, government prefers always to “fix” its mistakes through applying more money and time in further interventions, which also fail.

For example, government-imposed wage freezes during WW II caused labor shortages. Naturally, due to nature’s laws of supply and demand, anyone would know that. Thus constrained, employers sweetened their wage offers with additional health care expense coverage. Now, wages and health care do not belong together in the normal course of events. The connections should have been dissolved when victory was achieved and price controls no longer necessary. But post-war governments instead enshrined, codified, regulated, and even required such employer health care coverage. And every subsequent problem and intervention by them has led us further and further down the garden path to the unaffordable health care we see today.

But, back to our failed cost-smoothing CIP intervention which (in conjunction with bloated fund balances) instead drives Milton taxes higher, ever higher. Government cannot bring itself to back out its failed intervention, so there must be instead further interventions. This particular intervention would remove the taxpayer’s check-and-balance of voting democratically for more reasonable, and thus slightly more accountable, Planning Board members (I know, “reasonable” central planning is an oxymoron).

We will have instead an appointed CIP Committee, whose members will be accountable only to the Board of Selectmen, who have themselves proven to be generally unaccountable.

Less democracy for you.

(See also Standing Idle, Capital Reduction Program (CRP)Milton and the Knowledge Problem, and Rubber Stamps).

The Milton Fire Chief, To Be Appointed by the Milton Board of Selectmen

The current fire chief is a fine man, although I have disagreed with some of his initiatives. (We could talk about that some other time). Although he has been challenged at the polls, he would likely be re-elected in perpetuity. But the Town’s “Master Plan” – a term usually associated with movie super-villains – plans for “us” to have an appointed fire chief rather than an elected one. You have to love these guys, right?

Article 18: Elected to Appointed Fire Chief

To see if the Town will vote in accordance with RSA 154:1, IV to change the organization of the fire department from RSA 154:1(c) where the Fire Chief is elected by the legislative body to RSA 154:1(a) where the Fire Chief is appointed by the Board of Selectmen and with the firefighters being appointed by the Fire Chief. When approved, the change from an elected to an appointed Fire Chief would take place no sooner than one (1) year following this vote. (Majority vote required).

Recommended by the Board of Selectmen (3,0,0).

The “when approved” portion of this is perhaps a bit presumptuous, even for misguided authoritarians. “If approved” would have been more correct when seeking to know “if the Town will vote.”

Imagine, if you will, that in the fullness of time our current fire chief – who currently holds his office through election – retires. The Board of Selectmen would appoint his replacement. It would be “in their gift,” as they say. I cannot see how that might be preferable to the election of his replacement by the voters of that distant time.

It works the other way round too. Imagine some tyrannical future Board of Selectmen simply dismissing this now-electable fire chief for some reason of their own, some unreasonable reason. Future voters will have little recourse, as you will have given up their democratic choice.

Less democracy for you, no democracy for them.

Article #6: A Long Walk on a Short Pier

By S.D. Plissken | March 2, 2020

Article #6 would have us join the Strafford County Regional Planning Commission, whose annual dues are currently $5,764.

Article 6: Strafford County Regional Planning Commission Membership Dues

To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the Sum of Five Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Four Dollars ($5,764) and to authorize the Town of Milton Selectmen / Administrator / Planner to pay said sum to the Strafford County Regional Planning Commission as dues for its fiscal year July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 and thereafter to place the annual dues as may be adjusted from time to time into to [the] Town operating budget. (Majority vote required).

Estimated tax impact is $0.01 (One Cent).

Approved by the Board of Selectmen (3,0,0)

Approved by the Budget Committee (6,1,0)

We may note that the article’s language acknowledges frankly that those dues “may” be adjusted from time to time. That is to say, the annual dues will be adjusted upwards, both certainly and frequently. (There, I fixed it).

The bridge in question was already marginal when it was closed for the winter of 2010-11, because its revised load limit would no longer support snowplow equipment. The bridge was subsequently removed in 2012. It has been absent now for nearly eight years.

The stated justification for joining this regional planning commission was so that it might intercede on our behalf with the NH State Department of Transportation (NHDOT) in the matter of replacing the New Bridge Road bridge between Milton and Lebanon. A secondary justification given more recently was the regional planning commission’s assistance in helping us through the government-created regulatory morass in establishing conservation areas. (Thanks guys! Here’s $5,764 for your trouble).

Our Town planning entity wants “us” to join a Regional planning entity, complete with club dues, because the NH state planning entity (and its NH DOT planning entity) have passed us over in the matter of the bridge. Its projected replacement is years out from now, unless it gets postponed yet again. They might listen to us – or grant us more preferential treatment than those not paying these dues – if, and only if, we belong to this Regional planning entity.

Are we not paying already both Federal and State gas taxes to fund road and bridge improvements? (Those taxes being a substantial part of the per-gallon price). And have we not already set aside funds to pay for “our share” of this bridge? (As has Lebanon).

Assuming any part of the stated rationale was true, it would be the very definition of corruption on the part of the regional and state planners, as well as the NH DOT. That could not possibly be true, could it?

This channel is a very short span. During WW II, the army used pre-fabricated Bailey bridges to cross much wider bodies of water. They could be constructed from one side of a river – often under enemy fire – in very short times, days even. Those bridges could take the weight of heavy armored vehicles. Some postwar bridges of this type are still in use today.

Those unaware of the Hayekian “knowledge problem” might find themselves gobsmacked by the complete pig’s breakfast the various government planning entities have made of this. The bridge problem should not be a difficult one in itself. It is not as if they are going to build it themselves, as opposed to just paying contractors. The actual problem lies in it being planned by government. Add in other layers of government, such as the state and its DOT, and the governmental complexity, expense and delay only increases. (“Adding personnel to a overdue software project only delays it further”).

There is also the matter of the price. Without a price mechanism, government cannot “know” whether there should be many bridges or none at all, nor what they should cost. Their mechanism is the political means, for which it is evidently necessary to pay a “vig” to the government level above them.

To add in yet another layer of regional government will not help this at all. But it will cost us more than if we did not: $5,764 per annum more, at least to start.

Lebanon is considering simply abandoning this project. Alton pulled out of their regional planning commission two years ago. The petition by which they were liberated is available online. Just saying.

See also But, Who Will Build the Bridges?


Bailey Bridge, Inc. (2020). Bailey Bridges. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2020, February 2). Bailey Bridge. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2020, February 22). Vigorish. Retrieved from


Milton Leatherboard Mill – 1884-1932

By Muriel Bristol | March 1, 2020

French immigrant John M. Carrecabe, of Lynn, MA, who would later be remembered as the pioneer of the leatherboard trade, lost his North Shapleigh, ME, satellite mill to a fire in 1884. He erected the Milton Manufacturing Co. paper mill, which adjoined Mill No. 2, a leatherboard mill, alongside the Salmon Falls River in Milton, in that same year. He produced paper and leatherboard there for some eight years prior to selling out to Seth F. Dawson, of Lawrence, MA, in 1892.

English immigrant Seth F. Dawson ran his mill operation as the Milton Leatherboard Company. He was its president, visiting Milton two days a week, until he placed it in charge of his son and namesake, Seth F. Dawson, Jr., around 1908-09. The son took up residence in Milton and presided over the mill for much of his life. The elder Dawson continued as Treasurer.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, leatherboard is an artificial leather made by a pulping and compressing process, typically from scrap leather or fibrous materials (as waste paper and wood pulp). Leatherboard replaced pure leather as a cheaper and tougher substitute in the making of shoe heels.

Power is a big factor in making leather board, as leather is a very hard stock, and in consequence leather board mills are situated where water power is available. A small leather board mill uses more power than would be required to run a large shoe factory. Proximity to centers where leather is cut is necessary and low priced coal is a factor. Sole leather pieces and skivings from sole leather are used but no upper leather waste. The leather is defiberized in large beating engines, a process which takes many hours. When the material leaves these engines it is in the form of a fibrous pulp. This pulp is formed into sheets on a machine which is an adaptation of a paper machine and these sheets are then dried. After the sheets are thoroughly dry they are rolled and finished (Shoe and Leather Facts, 1913).

LOCALS. A large quantity of old newspapers and papers of various kinds was shipped from this station to the leatherboard mill at Milton last week where it will be used in the production of leatherboard (Farmington News, July 27, 1894).

John M. Carrecabe – 1884-93

John M. Carrecabe was born in Laas, France, October 16, 1838, son of John M. and Rose Carrecabe.

Near the end of his life, John M. Carrecabe told the story of his origins to the American Shoemaking periodical of Boston, MA.

John Carrecabe of Lynn has had a remarkable career. He was born in Laas, France, 77 years ago. He ran away when ten years old and became an apprentice to a tanner. His father wanted him back home, but the tanner asked that he be allowed to stay. After serving a few years as an apprentice, his father gave him money. He went to London and then to Barcelona, from where he took a ship to South America. He worked in a tannery in Brazil for a while. Next he went to Cuba to visit a cousin. This cousin was killed by lightning and young Carrecabe took charge of his tannery and ran it until 1866. Then came an insurrection and his tannery was burned and he felt lucky to escape with his life and $3,000 in gold which he had inside of his belt. He came to New York and called on some Lynn men, with whom he had done business. They induced him to come to Lynn.  He got work in the Tapley tannery, after much difficulty, for he was so small the tanners didn’t want to hire him. He was promised $5 a week, but he showed that he knew about leather exceptionally well, and $15 was put in his pay envelope. He tried to return it thinking a mistake had been made. Forty years ago he and his associates engaged in the manufacture of leatherboard. He has continued to make leatherboard and leatherboard products ever since. He built mills in Maine and in Milton, N.H., and he was among those who started the O.K. Shank Co. He recently started a shop at 460 Union street, Lynn, for making leatherboard products (McLeish, 1915).

John M. Carracabe, a morocco dresser, aged twenty-seven years, married in Lynn, MA, June 29, 1872, Annie Louisa Potter, aged eighteen years, both of Lynn. She was born in Annapolis, Nova Scotia, Canada, September 3, 1854, daughter of John P. “Polhemus” and Ellen M. (Balcolm) Potter.

[Ed.: Morocco leather was made from goatskin; a morocco dresser was one who tanned such leather].

LYNN, At 1.40 yesterday afternoon a blaze was discovered on the roof of an L of the house [at the] corner of Washington and Union streets, occupied by John M. Carrecabe, and owned by F.E. Abbott of the firm of R.A. Spalding & Co., Market street. The damage was very slight, but a small hole being burned. Sparks falling from the chimney of a shop adjoining caused the trouble (Boston Globe, March 13, 1879).

John M. Carracabe, a junk dealer, aged thirty-six years (b. France), headed a Lynn, MA, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Annie L. Carracabe, keeping house, aged twenty-five years (b. Nova Scotia), his children, John A. Carracabe, aged five years (b. MA), Mary E. Carracabe, aged three years (b. MA), Arthur M. Carracabe, aged two years, and <blank> Carracabe, aged one month, and his servant, Hannah Cahill, a domestic servant, aged fifteen years (b. Ireland). They resided on High Rock Avenue.

John M. Carrecabe of Lynn, a junk dealer, petitioned for U.S. citizenship in Lynn, MA, October 26, 1880. He renounced the government of France, where he had been born October 16, 1840 [SIC]. His application claimed that he had arrived as a child in New York, in April 1855 [SIC].

John M. Carrecabe of Lynn, MA, had a leatherboard mill at North Shapleigh, ME, from as early as 1881, until it burned February 5, 1884.

NORTH SHAPLEIGH – York Co. Pop. 25. On Portland and Rochester R.R.; Adams, N.Y. and B. Ex. Carrecabe, J.M. P.O., Lynn, Mass. Shapleigh Mill. S.P., East Wakefield, N.H., 8 miles. One 650-lb. and two 550-lb. engines. One 36-inch Cylinder. Water. Leather Board. 2500 lbs., 24 hours (Vance, 1881).

Trade Gossip. John M. Carricabe, leather-board manufacturer, North Shapleigh, Me., has been burned out (Lockwood, 1884).

NORTH SHAPLEIGH – York Co. Nearest Station Springvale, on Portland and Rochester R.R. American Ex. Tel. M.O., Springvale. Nearest bank, Rochester N.H., 33 miles. Carrecabe, John M. Office, Lynn, Mass. SHAPLEIGH MILL. Established 1860. One 600-lb. and two 500-lb. engines. One 38-inch cylinder. Water. One wheel 100-HP. Employes 5. Leather Board. 2,000 lbs., 24 hours. (Burnt February 5, 1884. Probably will not be rebuilt) (Bryan, 1884).

Milton Mfg Co - 1888
“10. [Left] Milton Mfg. Co. Erected by John M. Carrecabe, 1884. … 12. [Right] Mill No. 2, Leather Board”

According to the “Bird’s Eye View” map of Milton of 1888, John M. Carrecabe erected his Milton Manufacturing Co. paper mill, in 1884, at the foot of Mill Street. The map showed it (to the left of the smokestack) as being beside his Mill No. 2, the leatherboard mill (to the right of the smokestack).

John M. Carrecabe & Co., and others, of Lynn, MA, petitioned the Massachusetts Senate, in February 1887, requesting that telephone rates might be limited by law (Massachusetts Senate, 1887). They also petitioned the Massachusetts House of Representatives. (One wonders why, in so doing, they did not foresee the possibility of leatherboard prices being also set by law, rather than by the market).

LYNN. A horse attached to John Carracabe’s team, driven by John Pequette, ran away on Central square this morning, throwing the driver from his seat. The animal continued, and struck Alden Choate, a gentleman 73 years old, injuring him severely. Mr. Choate was removed to his home on Mason street. The driver was severely injured (Boston Globe, August 29, 1887).

MILTON – Strafford Co. Pop. 1,512. On Conway Branch, N. Div. of B. & M. R.R. Tel. office; nearest bank, Farmington, 5 miles; American Ex. Carrecabe, J.M., & Co. (Succeed John M. Carrecabe). P.O., Lynn, Mass. Two mills. Carrecabe Mills. Five 550-lb. and one 700-lb. engines. Three 40-inch Wet Machines. Water. Leather Board. 7000 lbs., 24 hours. New Mill. Six 550-lb. engines; one 72-inch Cylinder Machine. Water. Manilla and Wrapping. 8000 lbs., 24 hours (Vance, 1887). 

John M. Carrecabe appeared in the Milton directories of 1887, 1889, and 1892 as a leatherboard manufacturer.

John M. Carricabe of Lynn, MA, was one of 20,000 “rich” New England residents that paid more than $100 in taxes in 1888. Lynn’s tax rate was $18.60 per thousand; Carricabe paid $478 (Luce, 1888). (Lewis W. Nute of Boston, MA, paid $1,744 (Boston’s tax rate was $13.40 per thousand)).

John M. Carricabe’s Milton Manufacturing Co. was running “day and night” in the Fall of 1888. After which it appears to have shut down for several months.

MILTON. The Milton Manufacturing Company is running at its utmost capacity, manufacturing leather board and paper. They employ some forty hands, running the twenty-four hours day and night. Burley & Usher, shoe manufacturers of the same place, are turning out twenty cases per day and have orders on hand to last well into the winter months. They give employment to some 200 hands, with a weekly pay roll of $1,400 (Farmington News, September 28, 1888).

NEW ENGLAND NEWS. The Carricabe paper works in Milton, N.H., are being run day and night (Essex County Herald, November 2, 1888).

NEW ENGLAND NEWS. The paper mill at Carricabe’s works, Milton, N.H, will start again soon, after having been shut down several months (Londonderry Sifter (South Londonderry, VT), June 27, 1889).

John M. Carrecabe appeared in the Lynn directory of 1890, as president of Milton Manufacturing Co., at 36 Harbor street, with his house at 64 Hamilton ave. By the time of the Lynn directory of 1891, i.e., at sometime during 1890, he had “removed to Milton, N.H.”

MILTON. J.M. Carricabe and family are at Drew’s Hotel for a few weeks (Farmington News, August 1, 1890).

MILTON. The Milton Manufacturing Co. are to resume work, next Monday, at the paper mill (Farmington News, August 29, 1890).

MILTON. J.M. Carricabe is doing business at the leatherboard mill, having increased the capacity this summer. He has also erected a large boiler for the manufacture of pulp, but it is not yet in operation (Farmington News, October 10, 1890).

From the following, it would seem that John M. Carrecabe suspended production again in 1892.  His engineer spent the summer making shoes in Portsmouth, and he himself spent time at his home base in Lynn, MA. He sold his Milton leatherboard mill to a party of capitalists from Lawrence, MA, in late 1892. The next owner, Seth F. Dawson of Lawrence, presumably led that party.

WEST MILTON. Willie Swinerton, who was engineer for Carrecabe so long, is lasting in Portsmouth this summer (Farmington News, July 29, 1892).

MILTON. John Carrecabe returned from Lynn, Mass., Monday, for a few days (Farmington News, October 28, 1892).

MILTON. A party of Lawrence, Mass., capitalists have purchased the leatherboard factory of John M. Carrecabe and with several improvements will continue the business. Mr. Carrecabe will remain on hand until the stock is used up (Farmington News, December 9, 1892).

MILTON. Mr. John M. Carrecabe gives up possession of the leatherboard mill this week. The new company will take possession immediately (Farmington News, February 3, 1893).

Carrecabe’s teenage son, John A. Carrecabe, who had been cashier at the Milton factory, might not have wanted to return to Lynn, MA. He took briefly a clerk’s job at J.D. Willey’s Milton grocery store. The younger Carrecabe perhaps remembered his father’s beginnings as a French runaway. He ran away himself to Manchester, NH, where he took another clerk’s job under an assumed name.

MILTON. John A. Carrecabe is clerking at J.D. Willey’s grocery store (Farmington News, February 17, 1893).

BOY LOST AND FOUND. Chief of Police Miller received word Saturday morning from John M. Carrecabe of Boston that he had good reason to believe that his 18-year-old son was here, having run away from home a few weeks before. Mr. Miller found the boy clerking for W.B. Atwood under the name of Frank Roberts. He immediately wired his father, who came here on the 3 o’clock train Saturday night. Accompanied by Mr. Miller, they went to Bina Hastings’ house where the boy was boarding. The boy was taken completely by surprise and promised to go home with his father. Both left for Boston on the midnight train. No motive was discovered for the boy’s running away. His father is a twine merchant in comfortable circumstances and the boy had received a good education and been cashier in his father’s factory at Milton, N.H. He first went to Manchester, N.H., and was under police surveillance there when his father arrived to bring him home, but escaped as soon as he caught sight of his father in the Manchester depot. Mr. Carrecabe was very grateful to Chief Miller for his prompt detention of the boy (St. Johnsbury Caledonian, March 9, 1893).

MILTON. Dana Tasker and John Carrecabe have returned from the World’s Fair. Several will leave Milton for Chicago the first week in October (Farmington News, September 22, 1893).

John M. Carrecabe reappeared in the Lynn, MA, directory of 1893, as being employed in Boston, MA, and having a house at 324 Western av. in Lynn, MA. His son, John A. Carrecabe, appeared as a clerk, who boarded at 324 Western av.

John M. Carrecabe appeared in the Lynn, MA, directory of 1897, as a dealer in leather, strawboard, and shoe findings, at 543 Washington street, but also for L.J. Richards & Co, at 587 Washington street, with his house at 324 Western av. His newly married son, John A. Carrecabe, had “removed to Salem,” MA. (Whose directory listed him as a manufacturer in 1897: John A. Carrecabe, shoe stock manufr, 277 Derby, h. 12 Dearborn).

Carrecabe, John M - Lynn, 1897
Lynn Directory, 1897

Business Troubles. F.L. Bragdon & Co. shoe manufacturers, Peterboro, N.H., have assigned. A meeting of the creditors will be held Monday. Some of the Boston creditors are Mullen  Brown, T.F. Boyle & Co, L.B. Southwick & Co., J.M. Carrecabe, W. E. Gilman & Co., Tripp giant leveler company, and the Wire grip fastening company. The assignees are A.J. Walt, S.M. Smith and E.W. Jones, all of Peterboro (Boston Globe, June 9, 1897).

John M. Carracabe, a leather dealer, aged sixty-one years (b. France), headed a Lynn, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Annie L. Carracabe, aged forty-five years (b. Canada (Fr.)), his children, Mary E. Carracabe, aged twenty-three years, Espert W. Carracabe, a clerk, aged twenty years, Sabrina J. Carracabe, at school, aged eighteen years, and Annie L. Carracabe, at school, aged sixteen years, and his brother-in-law, Frederick Potter, a shoe stock fitter, aged nineteen years (b. MA). They resided at 324 Western Avenue.

George A. Leighton, a roofer, was found guilty of receiving 800 pounds of tar paper, which was delivered to him without the knowledge or consent of John M. Carracabe, the owner. Leighton, it appeared, made a deal with the shipper. He will be sentenced tomorrow (Boston Globe, October 10, 1900).

It would seem that John A. Carrecabe, the runaway son of 1893, was in some respects not quite right. He married in Lynn, MA, July 5, 1896, Angelina R. Hogue. But then he married again, bigamously, in Boston, MA, November 26, 1901, Angela M. O’Connor.

MISS O’CONNOR IN GOTHAM. LYNN, Dec. 6. – Angela O’Connor has not yet returned to the home of her youth, at 130 Fayette street, nor up to 11 o’clock tonight had her irate father found John A. Carrecabe, the alleged married man with whom she eloped. Mr. O’Connor contemplates doing all sorts of rash things to the man who he says enticed his daughter away – when he catches him. At the present time Mr. Carrecabe would be considered a fairly good risk by any insurance company, he being at least as far west as New York, while Mr. O’Connor remains in Lynn. Miss O’Connor has written to her sister from New York and expressed entire satisfaction with her new life (Boston Post, December 6, 1901).

POLICE WANT HIM. After John Carrecabe, a Lynn Man. Deserted His Wife to Marry Miss Angela O’Coancr. Visited Wife In Nashua Alter Wedding. She Had No Suspicion of Double Dealing. Believes the Young Woman Was Deceived by Him. LYNN, Dec. 11. The whereabouts of John Carrecabe and Miss Angela O’Connor, who left this city a week ago, after being married in Boston is still puzzling the police and Mrs. Carreeabe, who returned to this city today from a visit to Nashua. Carrecabe and Miss O’Connor were married Nov. 26, and two days afterwards he visited his wife at Nashua and told her he was going to New York, as he had secured a permanent position there. That the affair was planned far ahead is now generally conceded, and it is believed that Miss O’Connor was an innocent victim of his schemes. The return of the marriage has been made to the Boston city clerk, and this convinces the friends and relatives of the young woman that she insisted upon a ceremony being performed before she would accompany him. Since his desertion of his wife here and elopement with Miss O’Connor he has written his wife from Albany, N.Y., telling her he would return within a short time and advising her to be prepared to accompany him to New York. “The letter was kind and affectionate,” she said today, “and there was absolutely nothing about it to arouse my suspicions.” “I do not blame Miss O’Connor. She bas been made his dupe. He has deceived both of us, and especially me, for he visited me at Nashua after he had been married to Miss O’Connor. I do not know what I will do.” The story is a strange one. The O’Connors and Carrecabes live but a short distance apart, and Miss O’Connor was Carrecabe’s bookkeeper in the office of the small business he conducted. For nearly two years past he has been visiting the house of the young woman and her parents all the time believed him to be single. Repeatedly he spent evenings at the house. when his wife was at her home but a short distance away, and he also escorted the young woman to many places of amusement. Her friends are sure she did not know he was married. Mrs Carrecabe, who is also a young woman about 23, returned to this city today from Nashua, where she has been visiting for a week past. Her husband spoke about her going there to see friends, and she departed. Just after her departure he married Miss O’Connor and then spent a day and night in the company or his first wife In the New Hampshire town, returning to this city and departing with Miss O’Connor. Mrs. Carrecabe said today: “My husband and I have not had a quarrel, and if I had thought he was calling on another woman this thing would not have happened. While I was in Nashua I received letters from him, and all were in a loving vein. Of course I suspected nothing and it all seems like a nightmare. “While visiting he called on me, and we were together some time, and by never an action or word did he show that he was inconstant or tired of me. He told me he had a position in New York, and we planned to live there. He was to go on and see about the place, and send for me. When he left we had agreed on everything, and I looked forward with much pleasure to a life in New York. “Since his departure I received a letter from Albany, N.Y. I wondered what he was doing there. The letter explained that he would not go to work for several days, and so had taken a trip to that city. He said for me not to worry if I did not hear from him for some time.” “I certainly thought nothing was wrong until receiving word from my parents to return home, and I have come here to learn of this terrible affair.” Mrs. Carrecabe is prostrated over the action of her husband. She is a fine looking young woman and a good housekeeper. Application has been made for a warrant for the arrest of Carrecabe, and the police of the country will be asked to look out for him and the young woman (Boston Globe, December 12, 1901).

Mrs. John A. [Angelina R. (Hogue)] Carrecabe appeared at her own separate address on Minot street in the Lynn directories of 1902 and 1903. Her erstwhile husband, John A. Carrecabe, appeared as bookkeeper in the San Francisco, CA, directory of 1905. He was a hardware clerk, aged thirty-five (b. MA), and his wife (of nine years (first marriage!)), Angela M. (O’Connor) Carrecabe, aged twenty-nine years (b. MA), were both boarders in Portland, OR, in 1910.

John M. Carrecab, a shoe finding co. proprietor, aged seventy-two years (b. France), headed a Lynn, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty-eight years),  Annie L. Carrecab, aged fifty-five years (b. Canada (Eng.)), his children, May E. Carrecab, aged thirty-three years (b. MA), and Sabrina J. Carrecab, a shoe machinery co. forewoman, aged twenty-eight years (b. MA). John M. Carrecab owned their house at 324 Western Avenue, free-and-clear. He had immigrated to the U.S. in 1860; Annie L. Carrecabe had immigrated in 1872. She was the mother of seven children, of whom five were still living.

THE REAL ESTATE MARKET. FOR SALE at 693 Western av., Lynn, Mass., brick house, 16 rooms, stable, garage, 2300 ft. land, great for investment, next block to the electric works on Center st; low price, $12,000. Inquire within or of JOHN M. CARRECABE, 78 High st., Boston, Mass. (Boston Globe, October 23, 1910).

MILTON. Mr. and Mrs. Espert Carricabe and little daughter of North Rochester were guests at Garland farm last Sunday (Farmington News, February 27, 1914).

One is reminded constantly that truth can truly be stranger than fiction. Long after his divorce John A. Carrecabe returned from years spent on the west coast and [re-] married (2nd) in Boston, MA, July 28, 1915, his bigamous wife of 1901, Angela M. Connor. He was a salesman, aged forty years, and she a bookkeeper, aged thirty-five years.

MALE HELP WANTED. WANTED. Man to run iron press; must know how to set dies. Apply 78 High st, Boston, JOHN M. CARRECABE (Boston Globe, July 9, 1916).

John M. Carrecabe died in Lynn, MA, April 7, 1918, aged seventy years.

DEATHS. CARRECABE – In Lynn, April 7, John M. Carrecabe, 70 yrs. Home private. High mass of requiem at St. Jean de Baptiste Church, Franklin St., Tuesday at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends invited (Boston Post, April 8, 1918).

John Andrew Carrecabe registered for the WW I military draft in Melrose, MA, September 12, 1918. He was forty-three years of age (b. March 17, 1875), and resided at 50 Warwick Road, Melrose, MA. He was employed as manager of John M. Carrecabe [Co.], at 307 Fourth Street, Chelsea, MA. His wife, Angela M. Carrecabe, of 50 Warwick Road, Melrose, MA, was his nearest relative. He was of medium height, with a medium build, blue eyes, and brown hair.

CHELSEA. John M. Carrecabe [Co.] of 307 4th st. informed the police that his factory was entered and an attempt made to open the safe by hammering the handle. Nothing appears to be missing (Boston Globe, September 9, 1919)

Carrecabe Mill, Chelsea
“Interior View at John M. Carrecabe Plant” (Shoe and Leather Facts, January 1920)

In 1921, the late John M. Carrecabe was “remembered as the pioneer of the leather-board industry” (Nickelson, 1921).

John A. Carrecabe of Lynn, MA, drowned in a boating accident at Buck’s Cove, on Sebec Lake, in Dover-Foxcroft, ME, June 9, 1929, aged fifty-four years. He was holding his wife Angela’s hand until, apparently exhausted, he sank in twenty feet of water, only fifty feet from shore (North Adams Transcript, June 10, 1929).

Annie L. (Potter) Carrecabe died in Swampscott, MA, November 8, 1934, aged eighty years.

DEATHS. CARRECABE – In Swampscott, Nov. 8, Annie L., aged 80 years. Funeral services will be held at her late residence, 23 Linden av., Swampscott. on Sunday at 2 p.m. Relatives and friends invited (Boston Globe, November 10, 1934).

Angela M. (Connor) Carrecabe died in Lynn, MA, in February 1944.

Seth Franklin Dawson [Sr.] – 1893-09

Seth Frank Dawson was born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, July 19, 1847, son of William and Hannah M. “Anna” (Earnshaw) Dawson.

S.F. Dawson, Sr., who is treasurer of the Milton Leather Board Company of Milton, N.H., was born in England, in 1846, and was a babe of six months when his parents brought him to the United States and established the home at Lawrence, Mass. There he was reared and still resides (Scales, 1914). 

Wm. Dawson, an operative, aged thirty-seven years (b. England), headed a Lawrence, MA, household at the time of the First (1855) Massachusetts State Census. His household included Anna Dawson, aged thirty-seven years (b. England), David Dawson, an operative, aged sixteen years (b. England), Henry Dawson, aged fifteen years (b. England), Firth Dawson, aged thirteen years (b. England), Anna Dawson, aged eleven years (b. England), Seth Dawson, aged eight years (b. England), Jane Dawson, aged seven years (b. England), and Joshua Dawson, aged three months (b. MA). They shared a two-family dwelling with the household of Benjamin Simpson, a mason (b. NH).

Seth F. Dawson’s father, William Dawson, died of “lung fever” in Lawrence, MA, May 8, 1860, aged forty-two years. Hannah Dawson, a housekeeper, aged forty-two years (b. England), headed a Lawrence, MA, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. Her household included Abel Dawson, a butcher, aged twenty-three years (b. England), Henry Dawson, an operative, aged twenty-one years (b. England), Seth Dawson, an operative, aged seventeen [thirteen] years (b. England), Anna Dawson, an operative, aged sixteen years (b. England), Firth Dawson, aged thirteen years (b. England), and Jane Dawson, aged eleven years (b. England). Hannah Dawson had personal estate valued at $50.

Hannah M. Dawson, a widow keeping house, aged fifty-two years (b. England), headed a Lawrence, MA, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. Her household included William H. Dawson, a provisions dealer’s clerk, aged thirty-one years (b. England), Seth F. Dawson, a provisions dealer, aged twenty-two years (b. England), and Emma Jane Dawson, a woolen mill worker, aged twenty-one years (b. England). Seth F. Dawson had real estate valued at $1,500 and personal estate valued at $500. They shared a two-family dwelling with the household of John Haigh, a woolen mill worker, aged forty-seven years (b. England).

The first step in his business career was in the meat and grocery line, but eighteen years ago he established himself in the leather board business, in which he has successfully been engaged since that time. He is also an extensive dealer in real estate and has done much to improve and increase the real values of the township. He has taken an active part in the councils of the Republican party, has served as councillor two terms and as president of the school board two terms. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Pilgrim Fathers, and trustee and superintendent of the Methodist Sunday school. He married, October 26, 1876, Lizzie Abigail, daughter of Daniel Darius and Harriet (Standridge) Cutting, who were the parents of three daughters and two sons. Daniel D. Cutting was a farmer in Standridge, Canada, and came to the United States in 1854. He settled in Vermont, where he had purchased a farm and cultivated the same ten years. He then removed to the state of New York. Seth Frank and Lizzie A. (Cutting) Dawson had children: 1. Rose Edith, born November 3, 1877, married Arthur Barker, has three children. 2. Seth Frank. Jr. born June 17, 1879. 3. Florence Cutting, born November 20, 1887 (Cutter, 1908).

Dawson, Seth F &amp; Co - Lawrence, 1873Seth F. Dawson appeared in the Lawrence directory of 1873, as proprietor of Seth F. Dawson & Co., provisions, on Garden street, at its corner with Newbury street. His house was at 22 Spring street. His widowed mother, Hannah Dawson, as well as his brothers, Henry Dawson, who was a clerk at Seth F. Dawson’s, and William H. Dawson, who was a clerk, all resided at 22 Spring street. Seth F. Dawson appeared also as Recording Steward, and Treasurer of Stewards, of the Garden Street Methodist Episcopal Church.

He married in Lawrence, MA, October 26, 1876, Elizabeth A. Cutting. She was born in Clarenceville, Quebec, Canada, August 30, 1853, daughter of Daniel D. and Harriet E.S. (Standridge) Cutting.

Seth F. Dawson was a city councilor in Lawrence, MA, in 1878.

MASSACHUSETTS. Wm. D. Stevens, formerly employed in the provision store of Seth F. Dawson in Lawrence, and who was arrested for selling mortgaged property in the fall of 1878, and was sentenced to nine months in the House of Correction, but appealed, furnished bonds, and afterward fled to Canada, was arrested at South Paris, Me., Friday, and brought to Lawrence Saturday and lodged in jail. While absent, Stevens figured prominently in the role of a reformed temperance lecturer, and brought a suit for $5,000 damages against a Conticook paper in consequence of alleged slanderous articles concerning his previous career (Boston Post, February 9, 1880).

Seth Dawson, provisions, aged thirty-three years (b. England), headed a Lawrence, MA, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Elizabeth Dawson, aged twenty-eight years (b. Canada), and his children, Rose Dawson, aged one year (b. MA), and Frank Dawson, aged one year (b. MA). They resided at 46 Summer street.

He was brought up in the leather business and about 1882 entered this business at Lawrence, Mass., carrying it on under the style of S.F. Dawson. In 1892 he removed the concern to Milton, organizing the Milton Leather Board Company. Here a large business has been built up, the output being 20,000 pounds every twenty-four hours, and employment being given to twenty-five men. He married Eliza A. Cutting, who was born at Potsdam, N.Y. They have two children, Mrs. Arthur Barker of Mass., and S.F., Jr. Mr. Dawson maintains his home at Lawrence but spends two days of the week at the plant in Milton. In politics he an independent voter. He belongs to the Odd Fellows and to the Pilgrim Fathers and with his family attends the Methodist Episcopal Church (Scales, 1914).

Seth F. Dawson appeared in the Lawrence, MA, directory of 1883, as a leatherboard manufacturer, at the lower end of Canal street, with his house at 46 Summer street. His mother, the widow Hannah [(Earnshaw)] Dawson, appeared as having died March 11, 1882. His brother, William H. Dawson, appeared as a clerk at S.F. Dawson’s, with his house at 68 Haverhill street. Another brother, Henry Dawson, had also his house at 68 Haverhill street.

Seth F. Dawson of Lawrence, MA, was one of 20,000 “rich” New England residents that paid more than $100 in taxes in 1888. Lawrence’s tax rate was $16.00 per thousand; Dawson paid $280 (Luce, 1888).

Seth F. Dawson experienced a destructive fire when his Lawrence mill storehouse burned on Saturday morning, April 20, 1889. (The suicide in the article below was merely an unrelated Lawrence event; Dawson would experience two more fires in Milton).

FIRE AND SUICIDE AT LAWRENCE. Lawrence, Mass., April 20 –  The storehouse of the leather board mill of Seth F. Dawson, on the lower canal, containing 100 bales of jute and leather board pulp, was, with its contents, damaged $8000 by fire this morning. The cause of the fire is said to have been spontaneous combustion. Andrew Moyes, a section baud at the Pacific Mills, shot himself through the head this morning with a revolver. He left a letter saying that he was tired of life. He has been contributing to the press articles on Home rule in Ireland, and on the condition of the workingmen in this country. His employers recently discovered that he was the author of these articles, which fact seemed to worry Moyes. He leaves a wife (Fall River Daily Evening News, April 20, 1889).

LAWRENCE. An alarm of fire was rung in from box 72 at 12.35 this morning, caused by the discovery of flames issuing from the stock of leather board and jute in S.F. Dawson’s storehouse on Island street, which was partially burned Saturday morning (Boston Globe, April 22, 1889).

Seth F. Dawson was one of the party of Lawrence capitalists that purchased John M. Carrecabe’s leatherboard mill at Milton in late 1892. He and the Lawrence investors incorporated their venture in Maine, December 17, 1892, as the Milton Leatherboard Company.

MILTON. A party of Lawrence, Mass., capitalists have purchased the leatherboard factory of John M. Carrecabe and with several improvements will continue the business. Mr. Carrecabe will remain on hand until the stock is used up (Farmington News, December 9, 1892).

The Milton Leatherboard Company cut back on its staff in November 1893, as a consequence of the Panic of 1893.

NEW ENGLAND MILL NOTES. The Milton Leatherboard Co., of Milton, N.H., has made a reduction in the number of its employes (Burlington Independent, November 25, 1893).

Mr. John Morin, Morain, or Morian, of Lawrence, MA, lost his arm at the Milton Leatherboard Co., when it got caught in a moving driving belt that he sought to adjust. The accident was described in January 1894 as having occurred “recently.”

LOCALS. Deputy Sheriff J.E. Hayes served a writ on the Milton leather board mill proprietors last week in favor of a Mr. Morin who recently lost an arm by an accident in the factory and claims damages (Farmington News, January 19, 1894).

LOCALS. The case of John Morain vs. the Milton Leatherboard Company will be tried again at the coming term of the supreme court here in Dover, beginning Tuesday of next week. Morain claims damages in the sum of $10,000 for the loss of an arm while operating a machine in the company’s mill a few years ago. The case was first tried at the September term of court. Worcester, Gaffney, and Snow are counsel for Morain – Foster’s (Farmington News, February 8, 1895).

Verdict for Defense in a $10,000 Suit. DOVER, N.H., Sept. 14. The jury in the $10,000 damage suit brought by John Morian of Lawrence against the Milton Leatherboard company for the loss of an arm while adjusting a belt, returned a verdict for the defendant last night, and were discharged. The case was tried a year ago, when the jury disagreed, 11 to 1, in favor of the plaintiff (Boston Globe, September 14, 1895).

Milton Leatherboard Co. appeared in the Milton directories of 1894, 1898, 1901, 1904, and 1905-06.

LOCALS. On Tuesday morning the gong on the leatherboard mill at Milton could be plainly heard [from Farmington], the air was so clear (Farmington News, June 8, 1894).

The Milton Manufacturing Co. paper mill portion of the Mill Street mill complex was sold at auction to Alvah Shurtleff in June 1897. (Milton Leatherboard Co. continued under the Dawsons). After Shurtleff resumed active operation, there were a spate of worker injuries, some quite serious, over the next few years. The paper mill building burned down in June 1909. Twin State Gas and Electric thought to setup an electric power plant there in 1916.

MILTON. The paper mill, which was sold at auction last week, was purchased by Alvah Shurtleff for $13,000. Mr. Shurtleff will resume active operation in the mill at once (Farmington News, June 25, 1897).

MILTON. Ed Chipman, the boss finisher at the Milton leatherboard mill, is spending a few days with relatives in Lynn and vicinity. Both of the leather board mills and the paper mill are running full force night and day, there being a ready sale for all the goods that they can manufacture (Farmington News, March 30, 1900).

Edwin Chipman, a leather-board hand, aged thirty-one years (b. MA), headed a Milton (“Milton Village”) household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirteen years), Mary B. [(Drew)] Chipman, aged thirty-three years (b. NH),and his children, Bessie Chipman, aged twelve years (b. MA), and Alta D. Chipman, aged four years (b. NH). Mary B. Chipman was the mother of three children, of whom two were still living.

MILTON. Miss Susie Haley, daughter of Rev. Frank Haley, entered the employ of Milton Leather Board Company as bookkeeper on Monday (Farmington News, May 18, 1900).

Seth F. Dawson, a leatherboard manufacturer, aged fifty-two years (b. England), headed a Lawrence, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-three years), Lizzie A. Dawson, aged forty-nine years (b. Canada), and his children, Rose E. Dawson, aged twenty-two years (b. MA), Seth F. Dawson, [Jr.,] aged twenty years (b. MA), and Florence C. Dawson, at school, aged twelve years (b. MA). Seth F. Dawson had arrived in the U.S. in 1850, and was a naturalized citizen; Lizzie A. Dawson had arrived in 1853. Seth F. Dawson owned their house at 46 Summer street, with a mortgage. Lizzie A. Dawson was the mother of three children, of whom three were still living.

MILTON. R.T. Barker is working for S.F. Dawson (Farmington News, December 7, 1900).

Camp Hedding was a Methodist camp meeting revival site founded in East Epping, NH, in 1863. It was sufficiently large and active that it had its own post office and railroad station by 1896.

HEDDING CAMP-MEETING ASSOCIATION (M.E.), HEDDING, N.H. Pres. Rev. J.E. Robins, Dover; sec., Rev. Wm. Ramsden, Rochester, N.H.; treas., Seth F. Dawson, Lawrence, Mass.; ex com., Christopher Button, Exeter, N.H., Rev. G.W. Norris, Lawrence, Mass., Alanson Palmer, Brooklyn, N.Y., John Young, Rochester, N.H., Wm. Brown, Auburn, N.H., Rev. J.L. Felt, Suncook, N.H. Annual meeting in August 1898 (Tower, F.L., 1897). 

HEDDING CAMPGROUND. News of Interest to Portsmouth Friends of the Chataqua Meetings. On Sunday morning, Sunday school was held at Grace church Haverhill, under the charge of Rev. Otis Cole, and the junior department met in the Rochester house under the charge of Seth F. Dawson of Lawrence (Portsmouth Herald, August 5, 1901).

The Milton Leatherboard Company had a stone dam with a 25-foot fall in the 1901 U.S. Geological Survey report. Its water could generate between 200-300 horsepower.

MILTON. Frank Norton is making a trip through New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the interests of the leather board mill (Farmington News, November 15, 1901).

Seth F. Dawson experienced his second destructive mill fire when the Milton Leatherboard mill burned down on January 8, 1902. (The first having been his Lawrence storehouse).

MILLS DESTROYED BY FIRE. One Man Burned and Seventy-Five Out of Employment. Milton, Jan. 9. – The Milton Leather Board mills here, were burned yesterday, causing a loss of between $55,000 and $60,000. One man was badly burned. The fire started from an overheated pulley. Seventy-five men are thrown out of employment. The mill and yard cover over two acres of land, and on the premises a large quantity of lumber was piled, which was destroyed. The steam plant of them all had recently been fitted up with an additional new engine, and steam apparatus at the cost of $20,000 (Portsmouth Herald, January 9, 1902).

FIRE AT MILTON. The town of Milton was visited by a bad fire at an early hour Wednesday morning when the large leather board and shoe findings factory, owned by the Milton leather board company, was totally destroyed. The loss will be a bad blow to the people as well as the owners. The alarm was given at 7.45 and the Milton fire department responded promptly but the fire had such a start that their work amounted to but little. A man by the name of Dresser, who was among the last to get out of the mill, was badly burned about the head and arms, and was taken to his home in Lebanon, Me., after having his wounds dressed by Dr. Hart. The cause of the fire is supposed to be due to an overheated pulley, but the owners were unable to state sure. The loss is estimated at about $60,000, and is well covered by insurance. The machinery, which was of the latest improved pattern, is wholly destroyed, also the boiler and engine. The employees feel their loss badly, as some valuable watches and clothes were destroyed. The factory was a good one having been built about 12 years. It was two stories high, 185 feet long and 52 feet wide, with a boiler room 40×60, two stories in height. At this time business was rushing, a day and night crew being employed, in all about 80 hands. A large amount of stock was on hand (Farmington News, [Friday,] January 10, 1902).

MILTON. January 8, 1902. Wood building, used as leatherboard mill; owned and occupied by Milton Leatherboard Co.; building valued at $9,000; damage to building, $9,000; insurance upon building, $7,000; contents valued at $35,000; damage to contents, $35,000; insurance upon contents, $25,000; loss total, cause, slipping of belt (Brett, et. al., 1913). 

See also Milton in the News – 1902  for further details of the Milton Leatherboard fire of 1902.

Herman C. Dyer of Milton, who had been employed at the Milton Leatherboard Company for ten years, died accidentally when he fell off of a train in Rochester, NH, in December 1904. (His death was initially thought to have been a murder).

MILTON – Strafford Co. Pop. 1,625. On B.&M. R.R. M.O. and Tel. office; nearest bank, Rochester, 8 miles; Am. Ex. MILTON LEATHER BOARD CO. (S.F. Dawson, Jr., Pres.; S.F. Dawson, Treas.) S.P. at mill. Eight Beating and one Jordan engines; six Cylinder machines. Water and Steam. Leather board. 14,000 lbs., 24 hours (Lockwood, 1905).

MILTON – Strafford Co. Pop. 1,625, On B. & M. R.R. M.O. and Tel. office; nearest bank, Rochester, 8 miles; Am. Ex. MILTON LEATHER BOARD CO. (S.F. Dawson, Jr., Pres.; S.F. Dawson, Treas.). S.P. at mill. Eight Beating and two Jordan engines; six Cylinder machines. Water and Steam. Leather Board. 14,000 lbs., 24 hours (Vance, 1908).

Florence Cutting Dawson, of Lawrence, MA, died of tuberculosis in New York, NY, August 15, 1909, aged twenty-one years, eight months, and seventeen days. (She was the youngest daughter of Seth F. and Lizzie A. (Cutting) Dawson).

Franklin Dawson, a leatherboard manufacturer, aged sixty-two years (b. England), headed a Lawrence, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Elizabeth A. Dawson, aged fifty-nine years (b. Canada). Franklin Dawson rented their house at 8 Jackson Terr. Elizabeth A. Dawson was the mother of three children, of whom two were still living (daughter Florence C. Dawson having died in the prior year).

Seth F. Dawson, a manufacturer, aged seventy-five years (b. England), headed a Lawrence, MA, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Elizabeth Dawson, aged sixty-nine years (b. Canada). Seth F. Dawson rented their house at 81 Saunders street.

Elizabeth A. (Cutting) Dawson died in Lawrence, MA, April 30, 1926. Seth F. Dawson, Sr., died in North Reading, MA, August 7, 1926.

Seth Franklin Dawson, Jr. – 1909-32

Seth Franklin Dawson, Jr., was born in Lawrence, MA, June 17, 1879, son of Seth F. and Lizzie A. (Cutting) Dawson.

S.F. Dawson, Jr., was educated at Lawrence, Mass. As soon as school days were over, he became actively connected with his present business, subsequently becoming head of the concern. On March 23, 1909, he was married to Miss Edith Ackerman, who is a daughter of Rev. G.E. and Eugenia Ackerman, and they have two children. Seth Willard, who was born at Lawrence, Mass., and Harold Cleveland, who was born at Milton, N.H., which is the family home. Mr. and Mrs. Dawson are members of the Congregational church. In politics Mr. Dawson is a Republican and fraternally is a Mason (Scales, 1914).

Seth Frank Dawson, Jr., married (1st) in Lawrence, MA, May 24, 1909, Edith Willard Ackerman, both of Lawrence. He was a manufacturer, aged twenty-nine years, resident at 8 Jackson Terrace; she was a teacher, aged twenty-two years, resident at 156 Garden street. She was born in Warsaw, NY, circa 1887, daughter of Rev. George E. and Eugenia (Van Wormer) Ackerman. Her father performed the ceremony.

MILTON. Robert M. Looney has gone to Lawrence, Mass., to act as best man at the marriage of Miss Edith Willard Ackerman to Mr. Seth Frank Dawson, Jr., which is to occur in that city on Wednesday evening, March 24, at 8 o’clock, in the Garden street Methodist church of which Rev. George Everett Ackerman, father of the bride, is pastor. Mr. Dawson has been engaged for quite a number of years in the leather board business in Milton, his father being the senior partner. Miss Ackerman is said to be an accomplished musician, having been organist at the University of Syracuse, N.Y. The spacious and pleasant house on South Main Street, owned and once occupied by Charles Tasker of Boston, has been fitted with electricity and otherwise prepared and furnished for immediate use and will be occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Dawson, on their return to Milton, which will be on Thursday, March 25, the day after their marriage. Mr. Dawson is most highly esteemed by all who know him and Milton may feel well honored by this addition to its numbers. Surely their many friends will wish the young couple a long and happy life (Farmington News, March 26, 1909).

Chiefly About People. Personal. Married, on the evening of March 24th, in the Garden Street Methodist church, Lawrence, Mass., in the presence of several hundred invited guests, by Rev. G.E. Ackerman, pastor of the church, Mr. Seth Frank Dawson, Jr., and Edith Willard Ackerman, daughter of officiating clergyman. Mr. Dawson is secretary and treasurer of the Milton Leather Board Company, and they will reside Milton, N.H. (Holliday, et al., 1909).

Dawson-Ackerman Wedding in Lawrence, Mass. Friends here of Dr. and Mrs. G.E. Ackerman, former residents of Chattanooga will be interested in the news of the marriage of their daughter Edith to Seth Frank Dawson, Jr., of Lawrence, Mass., where Dr. Ackerman has charge of the Garden Street M.E. church. Dr. Ackerman was for fourteen years a professor in the University of Chattanooga. According to the Lawrence Telegram: One of the prettiest of this season’s weddings took place last night at 8 o’clock in the Garden Street M.E. church when Miss Edith Willard Ackerman, daughter of the Rev. Dr. George E. Ackerman, became the bride of Seth Frank Dawson, Jr. The double ring service was used. The Rev. Dr. Ackerman officiated. Following the ceremony, which was attended by hundreds of friends and acquaintances of both the young folks, a wedding reception was held in the parsonage. A bounteous wedding supper was served by-a caterer. The bride looked charming in a gown of white sheath satin. Her tulle veil was caught up with orange blossoms sent to her by her uncle from Florida. She carried handsome white roses. The bride was attended by her sister, Miss Edna M Ackerman, in a handsome creation of point de spray lace over pink silk. She carried handsome white roses. Mr. Robert Looney of Milton, N.H., was best man. The auditorium of the church was adorned with potted plants and palms. The attendance was so large in the church that the following efficient corps of ushers were busy for an hour previous to the ceremony showing the parishioners and friends of the contracting couple into seats: Arthur Barker, Jerome W. Cross, Walter F. Lillis, Frank W McLanathan, Alexander Wilson and H. Christopher Chubb. Just previous to the wedding march, which was played by Miss Sadie Fearon, Miss Carrie Frazer of Syracuse, N.Y., sang “O Fair, O Sweet and Holy.” Following the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Dawson held a reception in the parsonage at which a large number of friends took the opportunity to shower congratulations on the newly wedded couple. The couple were the recipients of many handsome, costly and useful gifts, notably a complete set of valuable silverware from the parishioners of the church. They will reside at Milton, N.H, where a cozily furnished home awaits them. Master Richard Lord was ring bearer and little Janice Barker was flower girl. The two little ones gave the affair an additional charm. Seth Frank Dawson, Jr., the bridegroom, is the son of Seth F. Dawson, one of Lawrence’s best known and respected residents, who resides at 8 Jackson terrace. At present both Mr. Dawson and his son are engaged in the manufacture of leather board in Milton, N.H., where they are proprietors of the Milton Leatherboard Co. Mr Dawson, Jr., has long been a member of the Garden Street M.E. church and enjoys an extended circle of friends who were liberal In their well wishes for a most successful future in the new life into which he has just entered (Chattanooga Daily Times, March 30, 1909). 

Dawson, SF - 1912
Milton Leather-Board Advertisement, 1912

MILTON. An alarm of fire was given Thursday evening of last week at about half past eight which proved to be the paper mill. It was all ablaze in a few minutes after it was discovered and soon fell to the ground. It has been considered unsafe for sometime past. Thirty-five or forty men were thrown out of employment by its loss (Farmington News, June 18, 1909).

Seth F. Dawson, Jr., a leatherboard manufacturer, aged thirty years (b. MA), headed a Milton household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of one year), Edith W. Dawson, aged twenty-three years (b. NY), his child, Seth B. Dawson, aged three months (b. NH), and his mother-in-law, Eugenia Ackerman, a widow, aged fifty-eight years (b. NY). Seth F. Dawson, Jr., rented their house. Emma E. Looney, a widow [of Charles H. Looney], aged fifty-six years, was their neighbor. (Her household included her son (and Dawson wedding Best Man), Robert M. Looney, principal of Milton Grammar School). Eugenia Ackerman was the mother of three children, of whom two were still living. (Edith W. Dawson should have been listed as the mother of one child, of whom one was still living, but that information was omitted).

Chi – Syracuse University. [Class of] ’08 – Born to Mr. and Mrs. Seth Frank Dawson (Edith Ackerman) a son, Willard (Kappa Alpha Theta, 1910).

Fire in Milton. Fire early Wednesday destroyed the big mill of the Milton Leather Board Company and caused a loss that will reach $100,000. Fifty employees of the concern were thrown out of work by the fire. Starting from a cause not yet determined, the blaze sped with great rapidity and soon the whole mill was enveloped. The fire brigade of the mill assisted the Milton fire department in fighting the flames, but the building was doomed from almost the start of the fire. When the fire was discovered six persons were working in the mill and they escaped and gave the alarm. The president of the company owning the mill is S. Frank Dawson of Milton, and Seth F. Dawson of Lawrence is treasurer. Partial insurance (Farmington News, [Friday,] March 22, 1912).

Milton Leatherboard - 1913
“The New Plant of the Milton Leather Board Co., Milton, N.H.,” July 1913

See also Milton in the News – 1912 for further details of the Milton Leatherboard fire of March 1912.

State News. A large crew of Italians started on the construction of a concrete mill for the Milton Leatherboard Co., Monday (Farmington News, May 10, 1912).

A detailed description of the new mill facilities and features, complete with blueprints and photographs, appeared in a Concrete-Cement Age article of July 1913 (from which the following has been excerpted).

In 1912, there was constructed by Milton Leatherboard Co., at Milton, N.H., a new reinforced concrete mill, on the site of the former plant destroyed by fire. This mill is located on the west bank of the Salmon River in Milton village, about ¼-mi. below the reservoir dam. Mills of various kinds have occupied this site for a century and at least four are known have been destroyed by fire. Two wooden mills have been lost by the company in the past 12 years from fire [1902 and 1912]. A large proportion of the product manufactured by this company consists of leatherboards, made from leather scrap used for heeling in the manufacture of shoes. The location of the mill is admirably adapted to this purpose. First, by reason of an excellent water power; second, in having a spur track from the main line of the Boston & Maine R.R. closely paralleling the mill its entire length, and extending past the mill, over a trestle, several hundred feet. This simplifies the handling of raw stock into, and the finished product out of the mill. … Unique and distinguishing features of this plant are the beating engine tubs and wet machine vats which are entirely of reinforced concrete, and it is thought that this is the first instance of the kind in this country. Much credit is due S.F. Dawson [Sr.], treas. of the Milton Leatherboard Co., for originating the idea, and also for courage in opposition to adverse criticism in carrying it into execution. The results have thus far been most gratifying, as so smooth and symmetrical are the tubs in appearance that they may classed almost as works of art … The plant was designed, all plans furnished, and construction supervised by I.W. Jones, Cons. Engr., Milton, N.H. (Brett, et al., 1913). 

MILTON – Strafford Co. Pop. 1,625. On B.&M. R.R. M.O. and Tel. office; nearest bank, Rochester, 8 miles; Am. Ex. MILTON LEATHER BOARD CO. (S.F. Dawson, Jr., Pres.; S.F. Dawson, Treas.) S.P. at mill. Eight Beating and two Jordan engines; six Cylinder machines. Water and Steam. Leather board. 14,000 lbs., 24 hours (Lockwood, 1913).

Dam at Leather Board Mill - FH Lord - 1914 - Obverse

MILTON – Strafford Co. Pop. 1,625. On B.&M. R.R. M.O. and Tel. office; nearest bank, Rochester, 8 miles; Am. Ex. MILTON LEATHER BOARD CO. (S.F. Dawson, Jr., Pres.; S.F. Dawson, Treas.) S.P. at mill. Eight Beating and two Jordan engines; six Cylinder machines. Water and Steam. Leather board. 14,000 lbs., 24 hours (Lockwood, 1915).

A fire crew from the Milton Leatherboard Company turned out for the Hotel Milton fire of November 1915.

MILTON. It is now reasonably assured that Milton village will be illuminated with electricity and Twin State Gas and Electric Co. has looked over the site of the old paper mill with the view of locating the power plant there. If plans are consummated Milton Mills and Union also will be lighted (Farmington News, December 8, 1916).

Milton Leatherboard - 1917
Milton Leather-Board Advertisement, 1917

S. Frank Dawson, Jr., appeared in the Milton directory of 1917, as president and manager of the M.L.B. Co, at the foot of Mill street, with his house at 53 So. Main street, corner of Farmington road.

Seth Frank Dawson, Jr., of Milton, registered for the WW I military draft in Milton, September 12, 1918. He was thirty-nine years of age (b. June 17, 1879), and employed as president of the Milton Leatherboard Co. of Milton. His nearest relative was Edith A. Dawson of Milton. He was of a medium height, with a medium build, blue eyes, and brown hair.

Mrs. Edith W. (Ackerman) Dawson died in Milton, October 14, 1918, aged thirty-two years, and three days. (She was one of the Milton victims of the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918).

LOCAL. Local club women and many friends learn with sincere regret of the death of Mrs. S. Frank Dawson, Jr., wife of the manager of the Milton Leatherboard Co., which occurred at her home in Milton, Monday, after a short illness of influenza. She was a splendid woman and very prominent in the affairs of the church, the Red Cross and the Woman’s Club (Farmington News, [Friday,] October 18, 1918).

Seth F. Dawson [Jr.]  married (2nd) in Philadelphia, PA, November 27, 1919, Elizabeth Tennant. She was born in Ashly, PA, February 11, 1882, daughter of Linus E. and Sarah J. (Strong) Tennant. (The John Curtis Tennant in the announcement below was her brother, rather than her father).

MARRIAGES. DAWSON-TENNANT. At Philadelphia, Nov. 27. 1919, S.F. Dawson of Philadelphia and Miss Elisabeth H. Tennant, daughter of John Curtis Tennant, formerly of Wilkes-Barre (Wilkes-Barre Record, November 29, 1919).

S. Franklin Dawson, a manufacturing owner, aged forty years (b. MA), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Elizabeth Dawson, aged thirty-seven years (b. PA), and his children, S. Willard Dawson, aged ten years (b. MA), and Harold C. Dawson, aged six years (b. NH). S. Franklin Dawson owned their house on Lower Main Street, Milton Village, free-and-clear. Emily E. Looney, a widow, aged sixty-five years (b. NH), was still their neighbor.

Milton Leatherboard company, of Milton, had eighteen male employees and zero female employees, for a total of eighteen employees, at the time of a New Hampshire state inspection in 1920 (NH Bureau of Labor, 1920).

MILTON – Strafford Co. P 1,128. On B. & M. R.R. M.O. and Tel. office; nearest bank, Rochester, 8 miles. MILTON LEATHER BOARD CO. (S.F. Dawson, Jr., Pres. and Supt; S.F. Dawson, Treas.) S.P. at mill. Five 3500-lb. Beating and three Jordan engines; six Wet Machines. Widest trimmed sheet, 48 inches. Water and Steam. Heeling Board. 30,000 lbs, 24 hours (Lockwood, 1922). 

Seth F. Dawson, Jr., was elected as a Milton state representative in November 1924. He ran as a Republican (Portsmouth Herald, November 21, 1924).

Young Seth W. Dawson died in Tilton, NH, March 20, 1926, aged sixteen years, one month, and twenty days. (He died of influenza, as had his mother before him). Tilton, NH, was the site of the Tilton Seminary.

Milton Leather Board Co. appeared in the Milton directory of 1927, as leather board manufacturers, with Seth F. Dawson as Manager. Seth F. (Elizabeth T.) Dawson had their house on Main street.

Milton Leatherboard employee, William T. Wallace, was seriously wounded in a freak accident there on October 31, 1928. He died that same day in the Rochester hospital following an operation there, aged sixty-seven years, and nine months. His Rochester death certificate (signed by Dr. M.A.H. Hart of Milton) explained that he had been

Struck by a flying blade from a heavy steel fan in the drying room of the Milton Leatherboard mill on the side of his abdomen causing the bursting of a section of the intestines. He was taken to the Rochester Hosp. and died after his operation before recovering from the anesthetic.

MILTON. Many local friends, and especially the orders of Red Men and Pocahontas throughout the state, regret the untimely and tragic death of William S. Wallace of Milton, who died at the Rochester hospital last Monday as the result of injuries while at his employment in the Dawson paper mill last week. Mr. Wallace was a past great sachem of the Red Men of New Hampshire. For many years he was an employe of the Boston and Maine R.R. as the station master at Milton. Also he was a former business man of Milton (Farmington News, November 9, 1928). 

MILTON – Strafford Co. Pop. 976. On B. & M. R.R. M.O. and Tel., nearest bank, Rochester, 8 miles. MILTON LEATHER BOARD Co. (S.F. Dawson, pres.; Chas. F. Jameson, treas.; M.J. Guild, supt.). S.P. at mill. Five 3500-lb. Beaters and three Jordans. Six Wet machines; widest trimmed sheet, 48 inches. Water and steam. Fibre and Innersole Board. 20,000 lbs., 24 hours (Vance, 1930).

Seth F. Dawson, a leatherboard manufacturer, aged fifty years (b. MA), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eleven years), Elizabeth T. Dawson, aged forty-eight years (b. PA), and his son, Harold Dawson, aged seventeen years (b. NH). Seth F. Dawson owned their house on South Main Street, which was valued at $4,000. They had a radio set.

Seth F. Dawson Retires. Seth F. Dawson, president of the Milton Leather Board Company, Milton, N.H., manufacturers of high grade fibre boards, retired last week after more than 35 years with the company. Mr. Dawson will spend a well earned vacation at his summer home at Great East Lake in Maine, before making his plans for the future. The remaining members of the firm are W.T. Rich, Jr., president; C.F. Jameson, treasurer and M.J. Guild, mill manager. Mr. Rich and Mr. Jameson are at the Boston office of the company, C.F. Jameson and Company, Inc., 142 Cambridge Street (Paper Trade, 1932).

Mrs. Elizabeth (Tennant) Dawson died in Rochester, NH, October 28, 1933, aged fifty-one years, eight months, and sixteen days.

Mrs. Elizabeth T. Dawson. Rochester, N.H., Oct. 28. (AP.) Mrs. Elizabeth T. Dawson, 51, former teacher of music at the University of Virginia and Stephen Girard College in Philadelphia, died suddenly today. Mrs. Dawson, prominent in church and fraternal circles in this city, was born in Ashley, Pa. She leaves her husband, Seth F. Dawson, a son, Harold C. Dawson, and a brother, J. Curtis Tennant of Philadelphia (Hartford Courant, October 29, 1933).

LOCAL. The sudden death of Mrs. Seth Dawson of Rochester, last Saturday, is sincerely mourned by many Farmington friends. She was an officer in Fraternal Chapter, O.E.S., in this town and was prominent in many other fraternal orders in Rochester. She was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Tennant of Pennsylvania and was married to Mr. Dawson in 1919. She was a fine musician. Much sympathy is expressed for the bereaved husband (Farmington News, [Friday,] November 3, 1933).

Dawson, Helen A - BG421222
Miss Helen Anderson, 1942

Seth F. Dawson [Jr.] married (3rd) in Rochester, NH, September 5, 1936, Ruth H. ((Svenson) Anderson) Iovine, he of Milton, and she of Waco, TX. He was a manufacturer, aged fifty-seven years; she was a school teacher, aged forty-two years. Gardner S. Hall, a Rochester, NH, judge, waived the five-day waiting requirement. She was born in Boston, MA, circa 1894, daughter of Rev. Svante and Hilda C. (Lundgren) Svenson. (Her elder sister, Ingeborg V. “Ivy” Svenson, married Henry A. Townsend of the Townsend blanket mill family).

Mrs. Ruth H. Dawson’s son, Robert R. Anderson, was the principal of Nute High School in 1939-42. Her daughter, Helen Anderson, married in North Easton, PA, during WW II.

Today in SOCIETY. MARRIED YESTERDAY in North Easton [PA,] to Corp. George Healey of that town was Miss Helen Anderson, daughter of Mrs. Seth Dawson of Milton, N.H. (Boston Globe, December 22, 1942).

Seth Frank Dawson of Milton registered for the WW II military draft in Milton, April 27, 1942. He was retired, aged sixty-two years (b. Lawrence, MA, June 17, 1879). His contact was Ruth H. Dawson, Milton; their telephone number was Milton 62. He stood 5′ 7″ tall, weighed 162 pounds, with gray eyes, gray hair, and a light complexion.

Seth F. Dawson, Jr., died in Rochester, NH, April 15, 1955, aged seventy-five years.

TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 1955. Resolutions. Mr. Evans of Milton offered the following resolution: Whereas, Seth F. Dawson of Milton has passed away, and Whereas, Mr. Dawson was a former representative from Milton, therefore be it Resolved, That we, the members of the House of Representatives of  the New Hampshire Legislature, express our deep Sympathy to the family in its bereavement, and be it further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House transmit to the widow, Mrs. Seth F. Dawson, a copy of these resolutions (NH House, 1955).

His widow went on to have a career in politics, which included over a decade as Milton’s NH State Representative. She was Milton’s NH State Representative as late as the 1974-75 biennial term (Portsmouth Herald, March 4, 1974).

MILTON CANDIDATES. Milton. – Local candidates in the primary next month include: For representative, Mrs. Mildred Galarneau, former correspondent for the News; Mrs. Ruth Dawson of the Mills, who served in 1958-59; both Republicans. For checklist supervisors, all Republican, George Longley, Charles Piper, Marion Roberts, Fred Eldridge. For Moderator, Lewis Piper, Republican; Everett McIntire, Democrat (Farmington News, August 7, 1962). 

Pond Water Level Slated for Hearing. A piece of legislation of interest to Portsmouth area residents with property on Milton Three Ponds is due for public hearing tomorrow in Concord. The bill would bar draw down of water in the ponds to a level below 14.5 feet between June and Labor Day, this depth to be on the gauge at the dam gate in Milton. The bill, introduced by Clayton E. Osborn, R-Portsmouth, and Ruth H. Dawson, R-Milton, is due for a hearing by the House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee at 1:30 p.m. in Room 207 of the State House annex. A $200 fine is proposed for violation of the draw down limit (Portsmouth Herald, March 4, 1963).

MRS. DAWSON NAMED CHAIRMAN. CONCORD. – Mrs. Ruth Dawson of Milton has been appointed New Hampshire Conference Chairman for the 16tb Annual Republican Women’s Conference which is to be held April 22, 23 and 24 at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C. National Committeewoman Mrs. Rose Bovaird in announcing the appointment expressed pleasure in Mrs. Dawson’s acceptance of this important post. Long active in Republican affairs, Mrs. Dawson is the only woman ever elected from the towns of Milton and Middleton as Representative to the General Court. She has been elected a Representative for five terms and is a past Legislative Department Chairman for the American Legion. Mrs. Dawson will strive to have a record-breaking number of Delegates to the Conference in April. Mrs. Bovaird also appoint Mrs. Anita Carmen of Manchester as Publicity Chairman for the Conference (Farmington News, February 29, 1968).

Area Solons All Favor H.B. No. 1. Governor Walter Peterson’s controversial Citizens’ Task Force bill No. 1 found no opposition with legislators whose constituencies cover an area served by this newspaper. Representatives Ralph Canney, Robert Drew, Fred Tebbetts, all of Farmington; Rep. Ruth Dawson, New Durham-Milton; and Rep. Jakob Mutzbauer of Alton all cast favorable votes. The bill passed easily by a 246-127 margin in the House (Farmington News, February 6, 1969).

This afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its hearing on HB 81, a bill which passed the House on a voice vote and would prohibit law enforcement officers from also serving as bail commissioners. The bail commissioner operates on a fee basis, being paid for each call to determine whether bail is necessary, and how much, after an arrest. Each town or city has three commissioners and, in some cases, convenience has led them to also be police officers. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Ruth H. Dawson, R-Milton, and Rep. Shirley Merrill, R-Lebanon, both testified against this practice at a House hearing, feeling “the prosecutor should not also set bail.” Rep. Merrill also testified as to complaints in Lebanon about the system. The bill passed the House on an uncontested voice last week (Portsmouth Herald, February 18, 1969).

Mrs. Ruth H. (((Svenson) Anderson) Iovine) Dawson died in Wolfeboro, NH, August 15, 1985.

To be continued …


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