H.E. Wentworth’s Diary Entries, Miltonia Mills – 1928-34

By Joyce Wentworth Cunningham | May 23, 2021

Continued from H.E. Wentworth’s Diary Entries, Miltonia Mills – 1910-27

Wentworth, Harry E. - Per Joyce W. Cunningham
Harry E. Wentworth (Per Joyce W. Cunningham).

The story of Miltonia Mills continues: A couple things are now clearer. First, the reason for all the negotiations being carried on at the end of 1927 was a financial crisis. Second, Henry A. Townsend is in charge, but much of the day to day operation is Grandpa’s [Harry E. Wentworth’s] responsibility.

Here is the chronology for 1928-34. You can draw your own conclusions about what it all means.


1928

January 11: Norman took Ella & me down to Rochester in P.M. I had to go on some business for Henry.

[Norman L. Wentworth (1903-1991), son of the diarist Harry E. Wentworth (1869-1955), took his father and his step-mother, Ella C. (Buck) Wentworth (1870-1947), down to Rochester, NH, on business for mill proprietor Henry A. Townsend (1898-1932)].

January 13: Mr. Griswold & Mr.  Buckley, two accountants, came this P.M. to get some figures from our books for Mr. Grant of N.Y.

[Dana H. Grant [(1894-1973)] was the head of D.H. Grant & Co. Dana H. Grant, an importer, aged thirty-six years (b. ME), headed a Pelham, NY, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of six years), Dorothy R. [(Gross)] Grant, aged thirty-six years (b. IL), his children, Dorothy H. Grant, aged four years (b. NY), and Dana W. Grant, aged two years (b. NY), and his mother-in-law [mother], Mary H. Grant, aged seventy years (b. MA). Dana H. Grant owned their house at 218 Cliff Avenue, which was valued ay $35,000. (Nor was his the most valuable house in the neighborhood). They had a radio set].

January 21: Mr. Buckley got through at the office to-night and went home.

January 30: Henry came home from Texas. He got in Boston Friday. He will go back to Boston to-morrow, where he & Ing will stay for a few weeks. 

You will recall that he left for Texas (and elsewhere) on December 24, 1927.

February 8: Henry came home to-night.

February 13: Henry went back to Boston this morning.

February 24: Mr. Emerson was in the office this A.M. to talk about the mill.

[This visitor might have been John N. Emerson [(1875-1946)], president of the Emerson Shoe Company of Rochester, NH. His vice-president and treasurer was Seth F. Dawson of the Milton Leatherboard Company. John N. Emerson, a shoe manufacturer, aged fifty-three years (b. MA), headed a Rochester, NH, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Nellie [(Briody)] Emerson, aged fifty-four years (b. MA), and his son, Lloyd E. Emerson, a shoe factory helper, aged twenty-one years (b. MA). John N. Emerson rented their house at 87 Wakefield Street, for $36 per month. They had a radio set].

February 25: Henry came back this P.M. and Mr. Emerson came up again to see him.

February 27: Norman took me down to Milton after dinner to see Mr. Dawson about the mill.

[This would have been Seth F. Dawson, Jr. (1879-1955), proprietor of the Milton Leatherboard Company. After the 1933 death of Dawson’s second wife, he would marry as his third wife Ing’s sister, Mrs. Ruth H. ((Svenson) Anderson) Iovine]. 

March 17: Ralph & I finished work for Henry in the office. I have a little more to do, but no more pay. 

[Ralph Pike [(1893-1938)], a fibre mill commercial traveler, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills Village”) household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eight years), Marian H. Pike, aged twenty-nine years (b. MA), and his children, Franklin Pike, aged six years (b. NH), Roland Pike, aged five years (b. NH), and Roger L. Pike, aged three years (b. NH). Ralph Pike owned their house on Highland Street (near its intersection with Western Avenue), which was valued at $1,000. They had a radio set].

March 20: Mr. Grant, Mr. Astatt & Mr.____? From N.Y. were in the office in the P.M.

March 28: When down to No. Rochester to see Mr. Spaulding in the A.M. and he came up here to see the mill in P.M.

[This might have been either Rolland H. Spaulding (1873-1942) or his elder brother, Huntley N. Spaulding (1869-1955), at this time president and vice-president respectively of the Spaulding Fibre Company of North Rochester. Both served as governors of New Hampshire, but Huntley N. Spaulding was actually governor at the time of this diary entry, which suggests on several levels that Harry E. Wentworth went down to North Rochester to see former governor Rolland H. Spaulding].

[Roland H. Spaulding, a leather-board factory president, aged fifty-seven years (b. MA), headed a Rochester, NH, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Vera G. Spaulding, aged forty-eight years (b. MA), his children, Virginia P. Spaulding, aged nine years (b. MA), Betty L. Spaulding, aged seven years (b. MA), his cook, Mary Wakefield, a private family cook, aged fifty-three years (b. MA), and his servant, Rachael Houle, a private family maid, aged nineteen years (b. NH). Roland H. Spaulding owned their house at 76 Wakefield Street, which was valued at $200,000 [!]. They had a radio set].

April 13: Was at the office all day. Mr. Grant was here from N.Y. and we expected to get the finances all fixed up but Mr. Dawson disappointed us and so we are no better off than we were a month ago.

April 14: Henry, Mr. Grant, and I went down to see Mr. Hall in A.M. & talked business in the office in P.M. We are going to start the mill and make some samples and see if we can’t keep it going. Henry is to put in part of the capital.

Miltonia Mills Trademark - 1921
Registration of Miltonia Mills’ Trademark “Miltonia” (U.S. Patent Office)

I wonder if these sample blankets were the white hospital blankets for which the mill became known.  I grew up covered by those blankets – seconds, samples stitched together to make a twin or full bed size – and even heated pieces used to cover my Vicks-Rubbed chest when I had a cold.  I spent a lot of time looking at those Miltonia Mills labels!

April 30: Was over in the office a little while in P.M. Fred started getting the warps in the looms for sample blankets.

[Fred H. Simes [(1868-1953)], a woolen mill superintendent, aged sixty-two years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills Village”) household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of forty-two years), Mary A. [(Smith)] Simes, aged sixty-one years (b. NH). Fred H. Simes rented their house on Main Street, for $8 per month. They did not have a radio set].

May 16: Was in the office in P.M. and paid off. 

I assume this means that there were at least some workers making the sample blankets. Grandpa had continued to go to the office occasionally since the March 17 shut down without pay. After this date, he was in the office fairly regularly, but no indication of whether or not he was being paid.

May 18: In the office in P.M.  New sample blankets coming along slowly.

June 1: I was in the office most of P.M. Sample blankets about all done.

June 6:  Sent a case of the new blankets to Mr. Grant.

June 27:  Mr. Harvey L. Lord from Auburn & Kennebunk was here to look over the mill proposition. He may put some money in with us.

[This might have been Harvey J. Lord [(1881-1960)]. Harvey J. Lord, a lumber mill sawyer, aged forty-nine years (b. ME), headed an Acton, ME, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. He owned his house, which was valued at $100. He did not have a radio set].

June 30: Mr. and Mrs. Grant of N.Y. were here in P.M. They are stopping at York Village for a few days.

July 2: Mr. Lord and Mr. Grant were at the office most of the day trying to reach some conclusion about the mill.

November 16: Went over to the office for Henry to give figures for the Income Tax inspector about 11:30 and was over in P.M.

Grandpa had continued to work in the office, at least half days, on a fairly regular basis over the last six months of the year, but did not record anything more about the mill’s financial situation. Was he being paid or was he still working gratis? Did they get the financing they needed?  Were the sample blankets satisfactory? Had they re-employed some/many of their laid-off workers? Perhaps his 1929 diary will continue to help demystify the situation.

1929

The year began on this less than hopeful note. On January 7, Grandpa wrote: Mill is all closed up – has been for a week. I am finishing the work on the books.  Other developments during the year are detailed below:

January 11: In the office all day. Henry went to Boston. Will go to N.Y. Sunday night to see Mr. Jenkins.

[Thomas A. Jenkins [(1867-)], a commercial blanket salesman, aged sixty-three years years (b. NY), headed a Mount Vernon, NY, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty-eight years), Sarah B. Jenkins, aged sixty years (b. NY), and his son, James H. Jenkins, a bond salesman, aged twenty-six years (b. NY). Thomas A. Jenkins rented their house at 120 Grand Street, for $128 per month. They had a radio set].

February 9: Henry has closed the mill, drawn off all the water and let the fire go out.

April 2: Had some work to do for Henry in P.M. Mr. Carmichael was here and called to talk a little about the mill.

[Mrs. Helen G. (Fox) Carmichael (1881-1971) was a daughter of Milton Mills merchant Everett F. Fox (1856-1927). Her husband, George E. Carmichael (1875-1965) was headmaster at the Brunswick School, in Greenwich, CT. George E. Carmichael, a private school teacher, aged fifty-seven years (b. MA), headed a Greenwich, CT, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of seventeen years), Helen F. Carmichael, aged forty-eight years (b. NH), and his children, Margaret Carmichael, aged sixteen years (b. CT), and Douglas Carmichael, aged six years (b. CT). George E. Carmichael owned their house, which was valued at $50,000. They had a radio set.

CARMICHAELS AT FARM. George E. Carmichael, headmaster of the Brunswick School, and Mrs. Carmichael are spending the week at their farm at Milton Mills, N.H. (Daily Item (Port Chester, NY), May 7, 1932)].

July 17: Went to work in the office again. Shall work half time or so.

July 25: Did not go to the office at all. Am going to work Mon, Wed & Fri for a while.

August 19: Began working in the office all the time.

September 5: Ernest Libby began working in the office during the blanket sale.

[Everett H. Goodwin, a plush mill weaver, aged twenty-one years (b. ME), headed a Lebanon, ME, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of one year), Florence Goodwin, aged twenty-five years (b. ME), his son, Everett H. Goodwin, aged one month (b. ME), his mother, Nellie Goodwin, aged sixty-three years (b. MA), his brother-in-law, Ernest Libbey, a plush mill weaver, aged twenty-eight years (b. ME), his sister, Stella Libbey, aged twenty-four years (b. ME), and his nephews, Robert Libbey, aged five years (b. ME), and Richard Libbey, aged five months (b. ME). Everett H. Goodwin owned their house. They did not have a radio set].

Obviously the mill was operating and blankets were being made, but no explanation of how or why or how successfully. What kind of sale? Did buyers actually come to the mill to look and buy? Or had an advertised sale resulted in an abundance of orders? As usual, more questions than answers!

[Wall  Street News and Comment. Special Dispatch t0 the Globe. NEW YORK, Oct 24 – For years, ever since the Federal, Reserve System began to operate shortly after the outbreak of the World War, Wall Street has been saying with increasing confidence that there would never again be a panic. There was a panic today in the Stock Market (Boston Globe, October 25, 1929). This crash was the first of several, culminating in the Great Depression].

November 12: Went over to Sanford with Henry to see a lawyer about incorporating his business in A.M.

December 5: Everything closed up now at the mill except the office.

December 11: Let the fire go out in the boiler at the mill so I can’t work any after to-day unless we get other heat in the office.

December 12: Went over to the office and got the books and worked on them here at home about 4 hr.

He continued to work on the books at home for another five days. Thus ended another year of uncertainty.

1930

Realizing that we are now into the Great Depression years, things must have looked rather bleak for Miltonia Mills as the new year started.

January 6: Went down to Rochester & Gonic with John Horne, Mose Chamberlain & Charlie Langley in P.M. to see if we could to anything about the mill.

[John E. Horne and Charles A. Langley each appeared in the Milton directory of 1930, as Milton Mills general store keepers. John E. Horne was at this time Milton Mills postmaster, i.e., the Milton Mills post office was in his store. Moses G. Chamberlain appeared as a Milton Mills lumberman].

These were all local merchants who had a vested interest in keeping the mill going and local men employed.

January 9: Worked on Income Tax for Henry most of day. 

January 10: Henry was over in P.M. and we worked on Income Tax.

January 11: Worked for Henry most of P.M.

February 5: Henry went to Boston to stay for a while. Eda [Townsend’s mother and Wentworth’s sister-in-law] is quite poorly. Henry will be up once a week probably.

Grandpa records only one visit from Henry over the next couple of weeks, but …

February 19: Worked over at the office part of P.M. putting up some blankets to ship.

And again …

February 21: Worked over in the office most of the day putting up some blankets.  Were these blankets they had in stock or was the mill back in production?

Either way, it looks as if Grandpa is not only the accountant, but also the shipping department!

February 25: Went over to the mill to show the place to a man from the Chamber of Commerce of Rochester in P.M.

[ROCHESTER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, pres. Conrad E. Snow; v-pres. J. Leslie Meader; sec. William J. Warren; treas. John M. Stevens, City Hall. See p. 492 (Rochester Directory, 1930-31)].

More mystery: Why were they interested? Nothing more about working in the office or for Henry until …

April 4: Henry telephoned from Boston. He has gotten home from the South where he has been since the middle of February.

[Harry E. Wentworth, a woolen mill accountant, aged sixty years (b. NH), headed an Acton, ME, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census (April 22, 1930). His household included his [second] wife (of eighteen years), Ella B. Wentworth, aged fifty-nine years (b. ME). Harry E. Wentworth owned their house, which was valued at $5,000. They had a radio set. (His son, Norman L. Wentworth, a B&M Railway file clerk, aged twenty-seven years (b. ME), lived nearby with his wife (of one year), Helen M. Wentworth, aged twenty-five years (b. ME))].

June 11: Helped Henry over at the office 2½ hours in P.M.

The next entry about the mill is surprising!

September 17: So many people in the sales room to-day we had to stay there all day – went without our dinner. Henry was away.  

Who are “we”? Who was there? What were they shopping for? Blankets? Mill machinery? Office furniture? Is the mill running? Is it getting ready to go out of business?

Grandpa customarily recorded “worked in the office” hours or A.M. or P.M, or all day.  If he had been working, it seems odd that he would not have at least mentioned it occasionally, and yet his next entry sounds as if it was the normal thing for him to be doing.

November 6: Worked in office in A.M.

November 10: Worked in the office all day.

November 11 Armistice Day, a holiday: Mill closed for the day. I worked in the office in  A.M. & part of P.M.

November 12: In the office all day as usual. 

Perhaps both the mill and he have been working all year and he just hasn’t been mentioning it.

November 26: Mill closed to-night for the rest of the week. [Thanksgiving weekend]

 December 23: Henry was sick at home all day.

December 27: Worked in office in A.M. and part of P.M.

At this point, I have come to believe that the mill was, indeed, in full operation.

1931

January 1: Henry kept the mill running to-day so I was in the office. Happy New Year!

February 17: The mill is closing down for a few weeks. The card room finished up last night and the spinning room to-night.

February 21: Finished up in the office this noon for a few weeks at least. They have the orders all filled and everything closed up to-night. Hope to get going again in a month or two.

March 13: Did a little work for Henry in P.M. 

He also did a little work for Henry on 14th and the 2oth.

May 4: I had to go over to the office and help Henry about 2½ hours in P.M. He is getting ready to start the mill.

May 8: I was over in the office a little while. Henry is getting started up

May 11: Was in the office all day. Shall probably have to work all of the time for a while.

June 12: The mill closed this noon until after the 4th.

Grandpa went back to work on June 29. I assume the mill reopened after the 4th as planned and continued in operation the rest of the year since Grandpa makes no mention of any more shut-downs. He was obviously still working on December 1 when the horn of one of his calves (he operated two farms as well as working for Henry) hit him in the eye. He went to the office, but was in too much pain to work very long. The next day Henry took him to Dover to an eye doctor. The eye felt a little better and he worked all day on the 3rd.  It eventually healed completely.

1932

January 1: Worked in office all day.

The mill was still operating, but not for long.

January 11: The last day we work in the office for the present. Henry is letting the fire go out and disconnecting the pipes.

January 21: Worked for Henry in P.M.

He also did a little work for Henry on January 27th.

February 10: Henry has put a heater in the office and I was over there 3 hrs. this P.M.

February 12: Went down to Dover with Henry in A.M. to fix up his income tax.

Grandpa continued to work in the office steadily throughout February and March. Sad news arrived in April.

April 2: Telegram came from New Orleans to-day saying Henry died of intestinal flu there to-day. They will be home with the body Monday night. He was in his early 30s.

April 4: They came home to-night with Henry’s body.

[SANBORNVILLE. This village was shocked at news of the death of J. Henry Townsend of Milton Mills, which occurred while on a return trip from Texas. His death was at New Orleans from a sudden attack of the “flu” last week. Mr. Townsend was a member of the Men’s club of this village, and was well known and liked here, both as a business man and a social friend. UNION. This community was shocked to learn of the sudden death of Henry Townsend of Milton Mills. Sympathy is extended to the bereaved family (Farmington News, April 8, 1932)].

April 6: Henry’s funeral occurred this P.M. at the house. Lots of people there from all around – some 30 or 40 Masons. Mr. Snell preached and they had the Shubert Quartette from Boston for the singing.

[Rev. Frank H. Snell was ordained at the Milton Mills Baptist Church in June 1931 and was the settled minister there until he accepted another pastorate in Melrose, MA, in 1937. At a Baptist funeral of some years earlier in Brookline, MA, “… the Schubert Quartette of Boston rendered ‘Abide With Me,’ ‘Nearer My God to Thee,’ ‘In the Garden’ and ‘Rock of Ages’.”).

April 7: Went up to Henry’s to see Ing [Henry’s widow] a few minutes in A.M. and spent ½ hour or more in the office in P.M. looking over mail and getting out Life Insurance policies.

April 8: Spent about 1½ hrs. up at Henry’s house with Edgar Varney (Insurance Agt.) and at the office.

[Edgar G. Varney [(1893-1971)], an insurance agent, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), headed a Rochester, NH, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of nine years), Ardys [(Shaw)] Varney, aged thirty years (b. NH), and his children, Edgar S. Varney, aged seven years (b. NH), and Sheldon Varney, aged one year (b. NH). Edgar G. Varney rented their house at 23 Charles Street, for an unspecified amount, from its owner [his mother], Edith [(Gerrish)] Varney, a widow, aged sixty years (b. NH). They had a radio set].

April 11: Went over to the mill in P.M. with Mr. Burleigh & Mr. Blaisdel of South Berwick.

[John H. Burleigh [(1883-1966)], a woolen mill accountant, aged forty-six years (b. ME), headed a South Berwick, ME, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of fifteen years), Helen H. [(Huntingdon)] Burleigh, aged forty years (b. VT), his children, Jean H. Burleigh, aged ten years (b. VT), Lucy D. Burleigh, aged seven years (b. VT), and John H. Burleigh, Jr., aged two years (b. VT), and his servant, Julia Moynihan, a private family servant, aged fifty-two years (b. MA). John H. Burleigh owned their house at 77 Portland Street, which was valued at $5,000. They had a radio set.

Clarence L. Blaisdell [(1897-1975)], a woolen mill paymaster, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), headed a South Berwick, ME, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Edna R. [(Richards)] Blaisdell, aged thirty-four years, his children, Chyrma F Blaisdell, aged five years, and Clarence L Blaisdell, Jr., aged one year, and his mother-in-law, Henrietta B. Richards, aged sixty-seven years. Clarence L. Blaisdell rented their house at 15 German Street, for $2o per month. They had a radio set].

April 12: Ing called here a few minutes in A.M. on mill business and I spent about 2 hrs. at the office with Agnes & Halton in P.M. 

Agnes (“Aunt” Agnes to me) was Henry’s younger sister and Halton (“Uncle” Hal’) was her husband.

[Halton R. Hayes, a biscuits sales agent, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), headed a Haverhill, MA, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of ten years), Agnes T. Hayes, aged twenty-nine years (b. NH), and his son, Paul T. Hayes, aged five years (b. MA). Halton R. Hayes owned their house on 35 Fernwood Avenue, which was valued at $10,000. They had a radio set].

April 13: Was over in the office in A.M. to meet Mr. Hall. Went over to see John Horne – Gordon & Louie on business for Henry’s estate.

[John E. Horne [(1878-1953)], a dry goods retail merchant, aged fifty-one years (b. ME), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills Village”) household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his [second] wife (of four years), Gertrude C. [(Coombs)] Horne, aged thirty-three years (b. IA), his child, John E. Horne, Jr., aged thirteen years (b. NH), and his mother-in-law, Amy H. Coombs, aged sixty-nine years (b. Canada (English)). John E. Horne owned their house on Main Street, which was valued at $2,500. They had a radio set].

I knew John Horne, but have no idea who Gordon and Louie are.  Gordon may not even be the right name as it is squished into the center fold of this very small diary and it looked as if he had trouble writing in that awkward spot.

April 14: Worked in the office all day – taking account of stock.

April 19: Worked in the office all day. Ing & Agnes were in to talk over the mill business in P.M.

April 23: Was in the office most of the day. Mr. Hall was up in P.M. & Ing, Agnes, and Halton were there. We got some affairs pretty well settled.

May 2: Busy day in the office. Agnes takes over the mill property to-day. Mr. Hall was up and Agnes & Ing signed agreements. Mr. Eastman from Newport, NH, who is looking for the Supt. job was here in A.M.

[Lyle B. Eastman, Herman L. Eastman, and Archie S. Eastman were all Newport, NH, woolen mill workers. The more likely prospect would seem to be: Trueman L. Eastman, a woolen mill foreman, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), headed a Newport, NH, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of three years), Hazel L. Eastman, aged twenty-three years (b. NH). Trueman L. Eastman rented their house at 177 Cheney Street, for $30 per month. They had a radio set].

May 9: Mr. Smith & another man from Limerick Mills were at the office this morning to see about our making some blankets for them.

[J. Henry Smith [(1871-1948)], a woolen mill general manager, aged fifty-eight years (b. England), headed a Limerick, ME, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-eight years), Edna [(Lightoller)] Smith, aged fifty-seven years (b. England), his child, Thelma K. Smith, aged twenty-two years (b. ME), and his servant, Clara Firth, a private family servant, aged fifty-seven years (b. England). J. Henry and Edna Smith had immigrated into the U.S. in 1906, while Clara Firth had immigrated in 1905. J. Henry Smith owned their house on Washington Street (in the Upper Village), which was valued at $6,000. They had a radio set].

May 11: In the office as usual. George Stevens came to-day to begin his work as Supt.

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. George Stevens has accepted a position as superintendent of the Miltonia Mill at Milton Mills, N.H., and will take up his new work at once (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), May 14, 1932). Stevens’s wife remained behind at their home in Vermont. She appeared often in newspapers as visiting him in Milton Mills (See Milton in the News – 1932, 1933, and 1934)].

May 12: We moved things from the sales room where we have been the past winter back into the office. Mr. Richardson of the Mass. Farmers and Wool Growers was here in P.M.

[This might have been Evan F. Richardson [(1867-1951)], who been a Massachusetts Department of Animal Husbandry official and, more recently, a Massachusetts State Grange officer. Evan F. Richardson, a general farm farmer, aged sixty-three years (b. MA), headed a Millis, MA, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty-eight years), Geneive Richardson, aged sixty years (b. MA). Evan F. Richardson owned their farm on Exchange Street, which was valued at $9,000. They did not have a radio set].

I believe this is the first day the mill has been operative since Henry closed it in January.

May 16: Began work in the mill. Started on some Camel Hair blankets for Limerick mill.

[The Limerick Mills were struggling and would go into receivership in the following year: LIMERICK MILLS ARE SOLD FOR $150,000. SANFORD, Me, Oct 5 – Attorney Hiram Willard of Sanford, acting as receiver, sold the Limerick Mills for $150,000. Robert Braum of Portland, representing note holder., was the purchaser. A firm of Rhode Island plush manufacturers was the only bidder. The sale was subject to a lease held by George A. Connors. This lease expires Nov 30. Thirteen banks and corporations hold notes against the mills which are located 20 miles north of here (Boston Globe, October 6, 1933)].

May 17: Busy in the office all day, and had to go over at 7 P.M. to meet a man about blankets.

May 20: Had to go to Limerick in P.M. to show the blankets we finished this A.M. to Mr. Smith. Was over to the office in the evening to sell some blankets to Mr. Johnson of York Beach.

Grant, D.H. - Trademark - 270128
Registration of D.H. Grant & Co.’s Trademark “Barden Lane” (U.S. Patent Office)

June 11: Mr. Grant from N.Y. was here this A.M. and we made arrangements for him to handle our blankets.

July 25: Had to go to the office in the evening. Mr. Richardson brought a load of wool.

Mr. Richardson came with more wool on August 18.

September 13: Mr. Youst from Mr. Grant’s office in N.Y. was here all day.

[This might have been  Winfred Lester Youst [(1899-1982)]. W. Lester Youst, a clothing buyer, aged thirty-one years (b. KS), headed a White Plains, NY, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirteen years), Edith Youst, aged twenty-nine years (b. KS), and his children, Thaine A. Youst, aged twelve years (b. KS), and Yvonne Youst, aged three years (b. MO). W. Lester Youst rented their apartment in the Shapham Court Apartments, for $100 per month. Youst would eventually settle in New Hampton, NH].  

Both Mr. Grant and Mr. Youst came on October 29.

November 3: Had to go to Dover with Agnes to see an Internal Revenue Man in A.M.

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. Mrs. George Stevens leaves Friday for Lebanon, N.H., where she will stop with friends, and go by automobile from there to Milton Mills, N.H., to spend Thanksgiving with her husband. Mr. Stevens has a position as superintendent in the Miltonia Mills at Milton Mills (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), November 18, 1932)].

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. Mrs. George Stevens returned Monday from Milton Mills, N.H., where she spent Thanksgiving with her husband. Mrs. Emma Hubbard kept house for her while she was away (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), December 8, 1932)].

December 15: Mill not running to-day. Going to run 3 days a week for a few weeks.

Grandpa was a busy man in 1932.  He was in the mill office just about every day in addition to his work on the farms and his other enterprises!

1933

January 2: It is a holiday but I worked all day in the office. 

January 9: Mill is not running this week. No orders.

January 13: Mr. Richardson came with some wool about 7:15 and I had to be over at the office in the evening. He left about 9.

January 30: Halton went home from the office this P.M. sick with a cold. We expect to get finished up in the mill this week for 2 or 3 months.  There is no business.

It would appear that Aunt Agnes’ husband was taking an active role in the mill management.

February 1: Ruth Ramsey finished up in the office with us until we get started up in the spring.

[Ruth Ramsey [(1911-2015)] married in Acton, ME, September 25, 1936, Vincent Tanner, she of Milton and he of Lebanon, ME. She was a bookkeeper, aged twenty-five years, and he was a laborer, aged twenty-three years. She was born in Berwick, ME, daughter of Frank and Sophia (Smith) Ramsey. He was born in Lebanon, ME, son of Herbert and Marie (Devaney) Tanner. Rev. Frank H. Snell performed the ceremony].

I know who Ruth was, but not her role in the office.  I can only assume that she provided secretarial help.

February 7: They finished work in the mill today. The Finishing Room getting all cleaned up.

February 9: Finished up at the office for a while – let the fire in the boiler go out, and got about all closed up.

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. G.A. Stevens is at his home here in town. He has had a position as superintendent of the Miltonia mill, in Milton Mills, N.H., for ten months. The mill has shut down for a few weeks (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), February 16, 1933)].

February 17: Mr. Richardson came with a little wool and got a few blankets about 7 o’clock to-night.

February 22: Halton brought over some checks that had come in and I spent most of P.M. on office work at the office and here at home.

March 7: Worked on the office books part of the day. Went up to the old Copp place with Frank Goodrich in A.M. to measure some wood for the mill.

March 8: Worked on the office books most of the day.

March 10: Went up to the Copp place with Goodrich to measure some more wood in A.M.

No more mention of the mill until …

May 3:  Went up to the old Copp place with Clarence Willey to measure some wood for the mill in A.M.

[Clarence D. Willey [(1883-1942)], a general farm farmer, aged forty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-two years), Charlotte G. [(Twombly)] Willey, aged forty years (b. NH), and his children, Nelson F. Willey, a farm laborer, aged twenty years (b. NH), Chandler C. Willey, aged eighteen years (b. NH), and Stella G. Willey, aged sixteen years (b. NH). Clarence D. Willey owned their house, which was valued at $2,000. They had a radio set].

May 18: Worked in the office in P.M.

May 23: Had to go over to the office in A.M. to figure prices with Halton.

June 1:  Mr. Grant is here. He & Halton came over to the house to see me in A.M. He went back before noon.

It would seem that the mill reopened about this time.  Grandpa only mentions occasionally being in the office and one day staying out of the office all day, so he was obviously working.  Also, he noted on July 21 that Norman went to work in the mill.  Dad had been laid off by the railroad and, like many others during The Depression, was picking up work wherever he could.

August 8: Halton & I went over to Manchester to attend a meeting of the N.H. Woolen Mfrs.

August 14: Started on 40 hour code at the mill to-day. Work from 7 to 4 for 5 days per week.

[In so doing Miltonia Mills anticipated the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 by four years].

August 18: Was in the office all day as usual. I work until 5 P.M.

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sims of Milton Mills, N.H., and Mrs. Charles Rhodes of Milton, N.H., were weekend visitors at the home of Mr. and Mrs. G.A. Stevens (News & Advertiser (Northfield, VT), August 24, 1933)].

September 9 (a Saturday): Went over to the office in A.M. Fred Sims is here and wanted to see about getting some blankets made. He & Harold are selling them in California and the Western States.

[Fred H. Simes (1868-1953), the retired mill superintendent, and his son, Harold E. Simes (1888-1970), resident in California from as early as 1914. Harold E. Simes, a California bean broker, aged thirty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Los Angeles, CA, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his [second] wife, Frances E. Simes, a general insurance secretary, aged twenty-nine years (b. OH). Harold E. Simes rented their part of a duplex dwelling at 3625 Bellevue Avenue, for $42.50 per month. They had a radio set].

September 19: Halton went to N.Y. to-day to see Mr. Grant and try to get some business.

September 30 (another Saturday): Was over at the office in A.M. Expected Mr. Richardson for a load of blankets at 8 o’clock but he didn’t get here until after 10:30.

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. Mrs. F.S. Hammond, Mrs. H.A. McCauIey, Mrs. G.A. Stevens, motored to Lynn, Mass., last Thursday, to take Mrs. Frances Legier to her home, after visiting several weeks with Miss Harriet Legier. Mrs. Stevens visited her sister at Nantasket Beach, and will come home by the way of Milton Mills, N.H., and spend a few days with her husband and sisters in that place before returning home (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), October 12, 1933)].

October 17: Mill didn’t run, expected to work on Roe Dam but water is too high – will have to wait until later. We worked in the office.

October 18: Mill started up again this morning.

[CALAIS. Mrs. Hay[es] and Mrs. Townsend of Milton Mills, N.H., have been guests of Mrs. Lysander Richmond (Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), October 20, 1933). Lysander Richmond was a textile salesman, formerly resident in Sanford, ME].

October 23: A broken steam pipe at the mill this morning put the boiler out of commission for a few hours so no heat in the office. I didn’t go over until P.M. Harold Sims from Los Angeles called on us this A.M. He is here for a day or two only.

October 26 (a Thursday): Didn’t take my day off to-day. (Maybe that is why he works some Saturdays!) Two Mr. Marshalls from N.Y. were here at the mill to see about selling our blankets.

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. Mrs. George Stevens has returned from a trip to Nantasket, Mass., and Milton Mills, N.H. (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), October 27, 1933).

November 8: Halton and Agnes went to N.Y. on business.

November 20: Not doing much in the mill. I am working all the time so far. The girl in the office got through last Friday for a while anyway.

November 23: Halton went to Boston to-day.  I have been alone in the office.

December 13: Halton went to N.Y. to-night by train to meet Mr. Jenkins of Mill Associates to arrange for them to sell our blankets.

December 16: Halton got back from N.Y. this morning. He closed the deal with Mill Associates to sell our blankets this coming year.

1934

January 1: Worked in the office all day as usual.

January 14: Haven’t been doing much in the mill for the last few weeks but will be doing more soon.

January 19: George Stevens hurt his back in the mill this P.M. and had to be taken home.

January 22: Geo. Stevens’ back is so bad he is still at home in bed.

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. Mrs. George A. Stevens returned home from Milton Mills, N.H., on Monday, where she was called four weeks ago on account of the illness of her husband. He has sufficiently recovered to resume his work (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), [Saturday,] February 24, 1934)].

January 29: Feed pipe of the boiler at the mill gave out this morning early and while they got it repaired before 8 o’clock they couldn’t warm the mill so no one worked. The office also was not warm enough to work in, so I wasn’t over there much.

[Tourist Activities. Recent arrivals registered at the Chamber of Commerce tourist bureau include: … New Hampshire – Mrs. Edward A. Barney, Lydia K. Barney, Canaan; Mrs. Halton R. Hayes, Milton Mills (Fort Lauderdale News (Fort Lauderdale, FL, February 14, 1934)].

 February 18: Had to have a little job done on the boiler at the mill so couldn’t work in P.M.

February 22: Halton has been under the weather to-day, was in the office only about an hour.

February 28: Halton went to N.Y. on the night train to-night.

March 16: Agnes got home from the South where she has been for about 6 weeks.  Halton went to Lawrence last night to meet her.

March 19: Didn’t work in the office as there isn’t very much to do there just now. No body working in the mill except some of the finishers who are packing & getting ready to ship all of the Wool Blankets we have in the storehouse.

[MILTON MILLS. Mr. and Mrs. Halton Hayes went to Boston one day last week and visited the flower show (Farmington News, April 5, 1935)].

May 8: Let the fire go out under the boiler at the mill for inspections and it was too cool to stay in the office. I was there about 1½ hours.

May 25: Went over to the office a few minutes in P.M. Nothing doing there yet.

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. George Stevens, who is working in Milton Mills, N.H., was at home over Memorial Day (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), June 1, 1934).

June 15: Went over to the office a short time in P.M. They are putting in a new picker to-day. The old one blew up about a week ago.

[SHUTTLE FLYING OUT. This thing rarely occurs on a well-kept loom unless it is by accident, such as a broken picker stick, or picker strap, or a thread getting entangled in the shed in such a way as to hinder it from opening properly. In some cases the shuttle stops once in a while with the tip an inch or two sticking out of the box and the result is the box does not go down and it flies out. This is caused generally by an uneven pick or a badly shaped binder, probably both. The shuttle sticking in the picker is another cause, the remedy for which you will find in Chap. IX. A hard pick in combination with a shaky lay and a poorly shaped binder will often cause the shuttle to fly out  (Ainley, 1900)].

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. Mrs. George A. Stevens went to Milton Mills. N.H., on Monday to visit for a time with her husband and sister in that place. Mrs. Nellie Greenwood is keeping house for her (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), July 7, 1934)].

[APPOINTED AS FACTOR. NEW YORK, July 14 (Special). – James Talcott, Inc., has been appointed factor for the following: Miltonia Mills, Milton Mills, N.H.; Holden A. Bergida, Inc., New York City; Mayfair Mills, Inc., Philadelphia; Mount Alto Bedspread Co., Calhoun, Ga.; Union Fabrics Corporation, Scranton, Pa.; Hillerson Silk Co., Paterson, N.J.; York Silk Mills, Inc., and for Methuen Shoe Co., Methuen. Mass.(Evening Star (Washington, DC), July 15, 1934)].

July 17: Worked in the office all day. They are starting up the mill in a small way. Blew the whistle. I shall work 2 or 3 days per week for a while. 

How well I remember that whistle that announced for miles around that it was 7:00 a.m. and time for the day’s work to begin (or, in my case, time to get ready for school).

Grandpa records going to the office on a fairly regular basis through the summer and into the fall.

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. George A. Stevens and grandson, Elwin Stevens, of Milton Mills, N.H., were in town over the week-end. Mrs. Stevens, who has been visiting in Milton Mills for the past month, returned home with them (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), August 2, 1934)].

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. Mrs. George A. Stevens was called to Milton Mills, N.H., Tuesday to attend the funeral of her sister’s husband, Charles Rhodes (News & Advertiser (Northfield, VT), August 9, 1934)].

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. G.A. Stevens and grandson, Elwin, and Scott Bumford of Milton Mills, N.H., were in town Saturday, returning home Sunday. They brought Mrs. Stevens home from attending the funeral of a relative (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), August 16, 1934)].

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. G.A. Stevens and grandson, Elwin Stevens, spent the weekend and holiday in town. They both have employment in Milton Mills, N.H. Elwin Stevens was involved in an automobile accident on Saturday night, in company with Harold Moody, and his car was wrecked beyond repair. The occupants of the car were unhurt (News & Advertiser (Northfield, VT), September 6. 1934)].

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. G.A. Stevens and grandson, Elwin Stevens of Milton Mills, N.H., were at home over the week-end and holiday (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), September 7, 1934).

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. G.A. Stevens and grandson, Elwin Stevens, who have employment in Milton Mills, N.H., were at their home over the week-end (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), October 5, 1934).

October 6: The mill ran to-day to make up for Wednesday. I worked in the office.

[LOCALS. Owing to the rain, the attendance from this [Farmington] town at the Acton fair Wednesday was rather small (Farmington News, [Friday,] October 7, 1934)].

It was a tradition for the mill to close for one day of Acton Fair and another one for Rochester Fair.

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. G.A. Stevens and grandson, Elwin Stevens, and Scott Bumford, of Milton Mills, N.H., were weekend visitors in town (News & Advertiser (Northfield, VT), October 18, 1934)].

November 1: Halton is out electioneering every P.M. this week so I am in the office all the time. 

Halton was running for state representative, but he lost the election.

November 8: Worked in the office. Have so many government reports to make out, it keeps me busy.

[NORTFIELD FALLS. Elwin Stevens is at home for ten days from his work at Milton Mills, N.H., the mill there being closed for repairs (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), November 8, 1934)].

November 14: Not doing much in the mill this week – making some changes in colors.

[MILTON MILLS. Mr. and Mrs. Harry E. Wentworth had their Thanksgiving dinner at home. Mr. Wentworth has been having a very severe cold, but is reported some better (Farmington News, December 7, 1934)].

December 7: In the office all day. Mill not running this week waiting to see if samples are O.K.

December 12: Not much of anything doing in the mill. Colors not right. Mr. Lalley the dye man is here again.

[Harry E. Wentworth’s dye man might have been Gerald V. Lally of Boston, MA. Thomas P. Lally, aged eighty-three years (b. MA), headed a Boston, MA, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of fifty-eight years), Honora Lally, aged eighty years (b. ME), and his [twin] sons, Gerald V. Lally, a dyestuff chemist, aged forty-two years (b. MA), and Jerome A. Lally, a real estate agent, aged forty-two years (b. MA). Thomas P. Lally owned their house at 73 Fletcher Street, which was valued at $4,600. They had a radio set].

[UNION. At the regular meeting of Unity Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, on Tuesday evening, the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: Worthy matron, Thelma Tibbetts; Worthy patron, Louis Tibbetts; associate matron, Isabelle Fox; associate patron, Arthur Fox; secretary, Ruth Plummer; treasurer, Maud Moulton; conductress, Pauline Moulton; associate conductress, Louise Paul; representative, Louise Paul; associate representative, Ingeborg Townsend. A chicken pie supper was served in the banquet hall at 6:30, with Mr. and Mrs. Howard Beecham, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Kennett and others on the committee (Farmington News, December 14, 1934).

[NORTHFIELD FALLS. G.A. Stevens was home over the week-end from his work in Milton Mills, N.H. He and his grandson, Elwin Stevens, returned to Milton Mills Christmas day (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), December 28, 1934)].

December 31: In the office all day although there was nothing doing in the mill. Halton went away over the holiday.


Ms. Bristol contributed some supplementary research support.


To be continued …


References:

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