Milton Mills’ Dr. William E. Pillsbury (1845-1907)

By Muriel Bristol | January 3, 2021

William Emerson “Emerson” Pillsbury was born in Shapleigh, ME, April 3, 1845, son of John M. and Mary (Ricker) Pillsbury.

Emerson Pillsbury (“alias William E. Pillsbury”) applied for an invalid veteran’s pension, June 8, 1865. He had served in Co. G of the 17th ME Infantry, and Co. H of the 3rd ME Infantry.

William E. Pillsbury married, circa 1868, Angie B. Brown. She was born in Montpelier, VT, November 6, 1845, daughter of James and Mary (Worcester) Brown. (Her father was a native of Lebanon, ME, and her mother a native of Somersworth, NH).

Levi Bragdon, a farmer, aged seventy years (b. ME), headed a Shapleigh, ME, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Betsey Bragdon, keeping house, aged seventy-one years (b. ME), Emerson Pillsbury, a farmer, aged twenty-six years (b. ME), Angie Pillsbury, keeping house, aged twenty-six years (b. VT), and Adalaide Webster, a housekeeper, aged fifty-eight years (b. ME). Levi Bragdon had real estate valued at $2,000 and personal estate valued at $500. They shared a two-family dwelling with the household of James Ross, a farmer, aged eighty-one years (b. ME).

William Emerson Pillsbury, of Springvale, ME, attended the first course of lectures at the Medical School of Maine, at Bowdoin College, in January-June 1873. His instructor or preceptor was I. Brooks (Bowdoin College, 1844). Ivory Brooks, a physician, aged fifty-three years (b. ME), headed a Sanford, ME, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. Pillsbury graduated from Dartmouth College with its Class of 1874.

[Bowdoin College] Class of 1874. William Emerson Pillsbury, M.D., Dartmouth, 1874. b. 3 Apr., 1845, Shapleigh, Me., Med. Sch., 1873, Physician, Milton Mills, N.H. d. 9 Feb., 1907, Milton Mills, N.H. (Bowdoin College, 1916). 

William E. Pilsbury, a physician, aged thirty-four years (b. ME), headed an Acton, ME, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Angie Pilsbury, keeping house, aged thirty-three years (b. VT), and his boarder, Herman Berry, a physician, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH). Their house appeared in the enumeration between those of Bradford Wilson, a blacksmith, aged fifty-three years (b. ME), and Elijah Horn, a blacksmith, aged forty-nine years (b. NH).

W.E. Pillsbury appeared in the Milton business directories of 1881, 1882, 1884, 1887, and 1889, as a Milton Mills physician.

W.E. Pillsbury of Milton Mills appeared in a list of members of the Strafford District Medical Society (Brown, 1888).

W.E. Pillsbury of Milton [Milton Mills] appeared in the surviving Veterans Schedules of the Eleventh (1890) Federal Census. He had served in Co. H, 3rd Maine Infantry, between June 6, 1862 and June 4, 1863. His household appeared in the enumeration just before those of James A. Cloutman and Charles J. Berry.

William E. Pillsbury of Milton Mills attended a Pillsbury family 25oth reunion held at Newburyport, MA, September 3, 1891 (Boston Globe, September 4, 1891).

W.E. Pillsbury appeared in the Milton business directories of 1894, and 1898, as a Milton Mills physician.

New Hampshire passed a medical licensing law, March 1, 1897, which required medical practitioners to be tested, licensed and registered as of September 1, 1897. (Charles William Gross, William Emerson Pillsbury, and Frank Sherman Weeks, of Milton Mills, and Malcolm A.H. Hart, Charles Dana Jones, and John Herbert Twombly, of Milton, were all rated “A”- they were already in practice prior to the passage of the law – i.e., they were “grandfathered in” and did not have to pass the new examination) (NH State Board of Education, 1906).

Dr. William E. Pillsbury of Milton was sought to testify in the case arising from Milton’s poisoning murder of 1897. The victim had spoken with him when he attended her before her death.

The government will rely chiefly on the evidence of Dr. William E. Pillsbury of Milton, who was the family physician and is alleged to have held certain conversations with Mrs. Jones. Previous to her death he called upon the sick woman. She told him in a confidential way that her end was near and made other statements that are expected to have great weight in deciding Jones’ fate (Boston Globe, February 26, 1898).

New Hampshire passed a medical licensing law, March 1, 1897, which required medical practitioners to be tested, licensed and registered as of September 1, 1897. (Charles William Gross, William Emerson Pillsbury, and Frank Sherman Weeks, of Milton Mills, and Malcolm A.H. Hart, Charles Dana Jones, and John Herbert Twombly, of Milton, were all rated “A”- they were already in practice prior to the passage of the law – i.e., they were “grandfathered in” and did not have to pass the new examination) (NH State Board of Education, 1906).

Almira Reynolds, Ruth Philbrick, Daniel Philbrick, Viola Lowd, Mrs. W.E. Pillsbury, and John Lowd, all of Milton Mills, were inducted into the NH State Grange, December 21, 1899, with the degree of “Flora” (NH State Grange, 1900).

William E. Pillsbury, a physician, aged fifty-three years (b. ME), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills Village”) household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty-one years), Angie Pillsbury, aged fifty-two years (b. VT), and his boarder, Flora Johnson, aged twenty-eight years (b. ME). William E. Pillsbury owned their house, but with a mortgage. Angie Pillsbury was the mother of no children. Their house appeared in the enumeration between those of Albert E. Wiggin, a blanket finisher, aged twenty-six years (b. ME), and Anna M. Day, a housekeeper, aged sixty-seven years (b. ME).

MIDDLETON. J.H. Knowles has been confined to the house by illness the past week. He was attended by Dr. W.S. [W.E.] Pillsbury of Milton Mills (Farmington News, November 9, 1900).

Pillsbury, WE - 1904W.E. Pillsbury appeared in the Milton business directories of 1901, 1904, and 1905-06, as a Milton Mills physician.

MILTON. Dr. Pillsbury of Milton Mills was seen on our streets last week (Farmington News, May 24, 1901).

UNION. Charles Lover met with a quite serious accident while at work in J.F. Farnham’s excelsior mill. The cover of the press became loosened in some way and flew off, striking him as he was passing by it. He was taken to his home at once and Drs. Pillsbury, Haskell and Stevens were called. He is reported to be comfortable at this writing (Farmington News, August 2, 1901).

UNION. Dr. W.E. Pillsbury of Milton Mills was seen on our streets Saturday (Farmington News, September 20, 1901).

William E. Pillsbury of Milton made his last will in Milton Mills, February 21, 1906. He bequeathed the homestead, all other real estate, and the rest and residue of his property, to his “beloved” wife, Angie Pillsbury, who he named as executor. Anything remaining after her decease was to go to his brothers and sisters, share and share alike. Ella E. Moulton, J.E. Horne, and Forrest L. Marsh signed as witnesses (Strafford County Probate, 124:560).

William E. Pillsbury died of pneumonia in Milton, February 9, 1907, aged sixty-one years, ten months, and six days.

Deaths. William E. Pillsbury, M.D., Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, 1873 [SIC]; died at his home in Milton Mills, N.H., February 10 [SIC] (American Medical Association, April 13, 1907).

Angie B. Pillsbury filed for a veteran widow’s pension, August 16, 1907. Her husband had served in Co. G of the 17th ME Infantry, and Co. H of the 3rd ME Infantry. She filed from New Hampshire.

Levi Pillsbury, a general farmer, aged sixty-two years (b. ME), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills”) household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-seven years), Augusta Pillsbury, aged fifty-seven years (b. ME), his children, Emerson Pillsbury, aged nineteen years (b. ME), Marion Pillsbury, aged sixteen years (b. ME), and George Pillsbury, aged eleven years (b. ME), and his sister-in-law, Angie Pillsbury, aged sixty-four years (b. VT).

Angie B. (Brown) Pillsbury died of pulmonary tuberculosis in Acton, ME, May 11, 1915, aged sixty-nine years, six months, and five days.

References:

Bowdoin College. (1871). Catalogue of Bowdoin College and the Medical School of Maine. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=HR46AAAAMAAJ&pg=RA3-PA48

Bowdoin College. (1916). General Catalogue of Bowdoin College and the Medical School of Maine. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=YCpJAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA566

Brown, Francis H. (1888). Medical Register for New England. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=xsY0AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA98

Find a Grave. (2009, September 12). Dr. William Emerson Pillsbury. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/41876014/william-emerson-pillsbury

NH State Board of Education. (1906). Biennial Report of the New Hampshire State Board of Education. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=6wBJAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA105

NH State Grange. (1900). Journal of Proceedings of the New Hampshire State Grange. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=PWMkAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA99

Wikipedia. (2020, July 13). Wood Wool. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_wool

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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