By Joyce Wentworth Cunningham | July 4, 2021
Continued from H.E. Wentworth’s Diary Entries, Miltonia Mills – 1928-34
January 2: Was in the office as usual. Not doing much in the mill.
January 5: Norman is driving [the town snowplow] part of the time as there is no work in the mill just now.
[WEST MILTON. The new snowplow made its appearance this week and did a good job. It was run by Bard Plummer, Jr. (Farmington News, January 4, 1935). The diarist’s son, Norman L. Wentworth (1903-1991) might have been driving an older snowplow, presumably in Milton Mills or Milton, or the new one on a different shift].
The next mention of the mill was the day following a “North-easter” that had deposited up to 18 inches of snow over the countryside.
[BLIZZARD HITS NEW ENGLAND. SNOW COVERS ALL SIX STATES. New England was buried in snow today after an all-night blizzard, the worst in 14 years, which took seven lives and completely disrupted transportation. Sixteen inches of snow fell in Boston, 28 in Portland, .Me., while hundreds of highways were impassable because of drifts which swirled to depths of 10 and 12 feet. Four men succumbed in Massachusetts to exertion caused by battling snow drifts, while Connecticut reported one death indirectly due to the storm. Two persons died in Rhode Island from over exertion. Not a ship moved in or out of Boston harbor during the night; not a train was able to leave either the North or South terminals from shortly before midnight until after 5 o’clock this morning. Coast Guards along the storm-tossed seas of Massachusetts Bay sought for in vain the little fishing schooner, the Josephine, missing since yesterday noon with a crew of 3. All hotels were taxed t0 capacity during the night and thousands were forced to sleep in railroad and bus terminals. At Nashua 200 employes in a mill who completed work at 2 a.m. were unable to go to their homes. Cots were provided for them and they slept in the mill. It was 11 above in Boston early today, 8 above in Portland and 4 above at Keene, N.H. Rhode Island had 11½ inches of snow. Trolley and bus services were stalled and hundreds were marooned in theatres. Spectators at a hockey game were forced to spend the night in the auditorium on benches. Vermont was the .only New England state to escape the full fury of the blizzard. Only four inches of snow fell at Montpelier, but a strong wind and near zero temperature caused considerable discomfort (Portsmouth Herald, January 24, 1935).
January 24: So bad traveling the mill didn’t run. I didn’t go over at all.
The following day the mill still did not fun, but he worked in the office. Obviously, sometime between January 5 and 24 the late December dye problem had been resolved and the mill was back in production.
February 4: Halton has gone to Boston for 2 or 3 days. They are not doing anything in the Finishing Room at the mill for a few days.
February 11: Not doing much at the mill.
February 18: Not doing much in the mill. Halton went to N.Y. last Saturday night. Will probably be back Wednesday.
February 28: Nothing doing in the mill now – nobody working. I am in the office every day so far. Expect to get going again soon.
[MILTON MILLS. Mr. and Mrs. Halton Hayes went to Boston one day last week and visited the flower show (Farmington News, April 5, 1935)].
April 8: Didn’t go to the office. Going to be out Mondays & Thursdays for a while.
April 24: Nothing doing at the mill so I didn’t go over.
June 10: They started up the mill this morning. I shall probably be in the office more after this week.
July 29: Our new Supt. went to work this morning. George [Stevens] will stay a few days with him. His father is here as Boss Spinner.
[The father, John H. Gard, a blanket mill foreman [i.e., the “Boss Spinner,”] aged sixty-five years (b. MA), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Annie I. [(Mitton)] Gard, aged sixty-six years (b. OH). John H. Gard rented their house at 329 Main Street, for $10 per month. They had resided in the same house in 1935].
August 6: Our new Supt. at the mill, Mr. Gard, is starting in well. It looks as though we would be going better soon.
[The new superintendent was said to have been the son of the boss spinner, who had six sons. Only one lived anywhere near Milton Mills at this time. Frank C. Gard, a restaurant proprietor, aged thirty-six years (b. MA), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included Mary M. Gard, a restaurant proprietor, aged forty-two years (b. ME). Frank C. Gard rented their house in the Milton Community, for $6 per per month. They had resided in the same place, i.e., in Milton although not in the same house, in 1935. (It would seem that he filled the frequent downtime at the mill in having a mom-and-pop restaurant)].
August 9: Geo. Stevens finished up at the mill to-day and will go home to Vt. to-morrow. His health is poor.
[Retired Superintendent George A. Stevens advertised his 10-room Northfield, VT, house for sale in August 1935. It was steam heated, with modern improvements (Burlington Free Press, August 15, 1935). Mr. Wentworth’s assessment of Stevens’ health was correct. He was in the Mayo Memorial Hospital in Northfield, VT, for a septic sore throat in December 1936, but was recuperating in January 1937 (News and Advertiser (Northfield, VT), December 30, 1936; News and Advertiser (Northfield, VT), January 7, 1937). He and his wife were living in Manchester, NH, by June 1938 (News and Advertiser (Northfield, VT), June 16, 1938). He died in the Masonic Home in Manchester, NH, May 7, 1943, aged seventy-five years, four months, and eight days. Mrs. Stevens predeceased him. NORTHFIELD FALLS. Word has been received of the death of George A. Stevens of Manchester, N.H. Burial took place Thursday afternoon in the Northfield Falls cemetery. Mr. Stevens was superintendent of the Charles M. Davis Co. Woolen mill and has many friends in this vicinity (Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), May 7, 1943)].
August 26: Halton & Mr. Gard went to N.Y. to-night.
August 28: Lots of trade in the Blanket Sales Room these days.
October 1 (a Tuesday): Mill closed to-night for the rest of the week – waiting for binding.
October 26: Worked in the office all day – sold quite a lot of blankets. Halton went to the Harvard-Dartmouth football game.
[HARVARD OPPOSES DARTMOUTH TEAM. Cambridge. Mass, Oct. 26 (AP.) Dartmouth’s Indians, unbeaten in four games in which they scored 188 points, today encountered a Harvard team that was sent on a comeback after losses to Holy Cross and Army. Despite signs of improvement by the Crimson, Dartmouth remained the favorite in the 42nd clash of the series (North Adams Transcript (North Adams, MA), October 26, 1935). Dartmouth won the game, 14-6].
November 7: So much work in the office I have to be there about every day.
November 22: Halton, Agnes, Paul [their son], & Ing started for a trip to Cuba & The West Indies. Will be gone about 10 days.
[Ing and Agnes at least had been to Cuba before. Ingeborg V. Townsend of 2509 Binz Ave., Houston, TX, sailed on United Fruit’s S.S. Atenas from Havana, Cuba, December 30, 1932, arriving in New Orleans, LA, January 2, 1933. She was forty years of age (b. Boston, MA, March 21, 1892). Agnes Hayes of Milton Mills, NH, sailed on the S.S. Munargo from Havana, Cuba, February 23, 1934, arriving in Miami, FL, February 24, 1934. She was thirty-four years of age (b. Milton Mills, NH, May 25, 1900)].
November 23: Worked in the office all day – most of the help worked. Getting out quite a lot of blankets now.
November 30 (a Saturday): Worked in the office all day. Mill was running to make up for Thurs. [Thanksgiving].
December 4: Halton & Agnes came home last night.
December 28 (a Saturday): Not feeling very well. Went over to the office about 2 ½ hrs. in A.M. and 2 hrs. in P.M. Halton is away to-day. The mill is running to make up for Christmas.
January 1: The mill was running to-day, so I was in the office.
January 6: Stacking up a little in the mill to let the finishing room catch up. They are some 125 or more cuts behind.
January 10: Slowing down quite a bit in the mill – letting part of the help go for a few weeks.
January 20: Not doing much of anything in the mill this week – waiting for instructions from N.Y. on a large order we have.
Although, Grandpa appears to be working regularly at the mill, the next mention of its operation was on . . .
April 15: Starting to do a little more in the mill this week.
From time to time, Grandpa records some of Uncle Hal’s trips to Boston and New York, apparently in connection with mill business, especially sales.
June 23 (a Tuesday): Mill closed to-night for the rest of the week. One of the cards needs repairs.
July 17: The mill closed down for 2 weeks to do some repairs and wait for shipping orders.
On August 4: Grandpa records that about 4:30 a very heavy shower with a small hurricane struck us. He goes on to describe the damage done to a number of homes in Milton Mills. The next day [August 5] he continues with more storm destruction ending with Shingles were blown off several buildings including the mill.
[Headlines of the Boston Globe for August 5 were: STORM ENDS HEAT; LOSS HEAVY. Wind and Rain Wreak Havoc. Peak Rush Here Hit – Streets Flooded. Lighting Cut Off in Many Places].
August 10: Mill hasn’t started up yet. They are shingling the main building.
August 22 (a Saturday): Worked in the office in P.M. Halton went away. We keep the office open on Saturdays on acct. of the blanket trade which is pretty good this year.
August 27: Didn’t work to-day – am going to be in the office only 3 days per week unless Halton is out.
September 21: The mill started up this morning.
September 24: In the office all day. Halton & Agnes took Paul to West Newton where he is going to school.
[Educational Opportunities. … Among other well-known private schools within the [Newton, MA] city are Mt. Ida School, Allen, Fessenden, and Country Day Schools (Newton Directory, 1936)].
October 12 (Columbus Day): We did not observe the holiday. Business in the Sales Room was rushing – sold more blankets than any day this summer.
Other than noting Worked in the office today, as usual from time to time, the mill is not mentioned again in his 1936 diary. Apparently, this was a good year for the mill and its workers.
[MILTON MILLS TO BE HOST TO ROCHESTER DISTRICT SCOUTERS. Announcement has been made by Edward H. Young, field executive of the Daniel Webster Council, that Milton Mills will act as host to the Rochester district committee and its guests on the occasion of the regular bi-monthly meeting of the district on Monday, December 21. The Milton Mills Scout committee, composed of Halton Hayes, Herbert Nickerson, William Woodbury, Frank Gard, and Rev. Frank Snell, are in charge of the program. A supper will be served at 6.30 and following that a court of honor and the business meeting of the district committee will be held. All Scouts who have earned awards are requested to be present to receive their certificates. … (Farmington News, December 18, 1936)].
Grandpa recorded that he worked in the office all day on a regular basis throughout January and February.
March 6: Worked in the office all day. Lots to do for me there now. So many gov. reports to make out.
April 21: Halton went to N.Y. last night.
May 5: Took a day off.
June 21: Halton’s mother is very sick and he has been out of the office most of the day. She is here with him and Agnes.
June 22: Halton’s mother died this morning.
[Hattie [(Pinkham)] Hayes died of bronchial pneumonia at 26 Lowell Street, Milton Mills, June 22, 1937, aged seventy-five years, seven months, and fifteen days. P.A. Kimball, M.D., of Union signed the death certificate].
June 24: Funeral of Halton’s mother occurred at Rochester this P.M.
August 4: Nothing doing at the mill yet.
August 10: Halton went to Boston this A.M. – will be back to-morrow night.
August 30: Started up the mill this morning with a few hands in.
September 6: Labor Day Mill & office closed.
September 7: Mill is getting started pretty well, half of the looms going today.
September 22: Pretty busy in the Sales Room these days. Halton was out this P.M. and I was so busy I didn’t get home until 6:30.
September 27: Halton went to N.Y. Louie is staying in the office while he is away.
That might have been Louie Young.
[Louis A. Young, a cotton & woolen mill salesman, aged thirty-seven years (b. ME), headed a Melrose, MA, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Dorothy [(Goodale)] Young, aged thirty-five years (b. NY). Louis A. Young rented their apartment at 71 West Wyoming Ave., for $35 per month. They had resided in Strafford County, NH, in 1935].
October 15: Halton is having the office painted and re-modeled a little inside.
October 26: Halton went to N.Y. to-night – will come back tomorrow night.
December 11: Went over to the office and got some of my books and did a little work on them in the P.M. They are oiling the office floors.
This was another quiet year at the mill with the usual “ups and downs” of business. Judging by his occasional entries of “went to the office to-day as usual” Grandpa worked all the time, but sometimes for only three days a week.
February 22 (Washington’s Birthday): Holiday and the mill didn’t run, but I worked all day.
[The Federal Uniform Holidays Bill of 1968 would cause most Federal holidays to fall on Mondays. It consolidated also Washington’s Birthday (February 22), which was a Federal holiday, and Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12), which was not (although many states celebrated it), into a single Presidents’ Day, which acknowledged all of the presidents].
March 1: Halton is about sick with a cold. Was in the office a few minutes this morning and went home for the day.
March 3: We had a little fire scare at about 3:30. Sparks from the chimney ignited the shingles on Eugene Runnell’s house causing quite a little blaze, but not doing much damage. They put it out with the chemical from the mill.
The mill must have had its own fire department as Grandpa has mentioned at other times that the mill’s firemen helped put out a fire.
[Othello D. Runnells, a leatherboard mill counterman, aged thirty-seven years (b. ME), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills”) household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Pearl E. Runnels, aged thirty-six years (b. MA), his children, June E. Runnels, aged eighteen years (b. NH), Robert D. Runnels, aged eight years (b. NH), his father, Eugene E. Runnels, aged sixty-five years (b. ME), and his landlord [landlady], Susie Steven, aged seventy-eight years (b. NH). Othello D. Runnells rented their house, for $8 per month].
April 11: Halton went to N.Y. last night.
April 13 (a Wednesday): Halton came home this morning. We are going to run only 3 days per week for a while. There is almost no business in N.Y. We closed to-night for the rest of the week.
April 29: I went over to the office in A.M. but there was nothing to do.
May 18: Mill closed to-night for 2 weeks. No business.
Grandpa continued to work in the office throughout the summer – presumably on his three-days-a-week schedule.
September 19: The mill started up this morning.
September 20: Worked in the office. Shall be in there more now.
November 23: Mill closed to-night for the rest of the week. [Thanksgiving weekend].
Grandpa was still working regularly at the end of the year with no further mention of the mill being shut down, so we may assume the year ended well for the mill and its workers.
[$7.50 Pepperell Miltonia Blankets, pure wool in rose, blue, green, peach, rust and tan – 72×84 … Sale Price $6.48 (Brattleboro Reformer, January 5, 1939)].
January 11: Worked in the office all day. Mill closed to-night for the rest of the week – going on 3 days a week for a while.
January 25: Worked in the office. Business is poor – doubt if we do much for a while after this week.
January 30: Mill not running this week so I didn’t go over to the office to-day.
Grandpa was still working in the office periodically, but evidently not regularly as he complained that he “was doing a lot of sitting around these days.”
March 21: Worked in the office. They have been getting out a new blanket, 2 ¼ lb. which seems to be taking well. They call it the “Wentworth,” and have some orders already.
The mill must have shut down again soon after this. Perhaps the “Wentworth” blanket didn’t “take” as well as hoped!
April 17: Mill started this morning and the whistle blew.
For the next five months Grandpa appears to have been working in the office only one day a week (usually Tuesday) judging by his other days’ “work” activities – painting, papering, plowing, planting, and picking, and trips to his camp on Wilson Lake on the other side of Acton. I was mystified until I came to his late September entries.
September 26 (a Tuesday): Worked in the office. We have a new Supt., Mr. Herrick, who went to work yesterday.
[The new superintendent was William E. Herrick (1888-1970). As was the case with the former superintendent George A. Stevens, Mr. Herrick left his wife behind at their home base of West Newton, MA, and came to Milton Mills on his own. Despite taking the superintendent’s job in Milton Mills in 1939, he would be enumerated both in West Newton, MA, and Concord, MA, in 1940, while registering for the draft in Milton in 1942. (Ms. Cunningham has noted throughout the intermittent nature of Miltonia Mills’ production runs during these years)].
[William E. Herrick, a textile superintendent, aged fifty-two years (b. MA), headed a Newton, MA, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Elsie M. [(Crowninshield)] Herrick, aged fifty-one years (b. NY), and his children, Roger Herrick, assistant buyer for a retail department store, aged twenty-six years (b. NY), Louise Herrick, a cemetery bookkeeper, aged twenty-one years (b. NY), and Stewart A. Herrick, aged nineteen years (b. Canada). William E. Herrick owned their house at 129 Randlett Park, which was valued at $8,000. Elsie M. Herrick supplied the census information. They had all resided in Troy, NY, in 1935].
September 27: Worked in the office. Halton went to N.Y.
October 2: Worked in the office. Peggy is sick.
Peggy Fletcher was out for over a week and Grandpa worked in her stead. I am guessing that the mill had been running throughout the summer, but Grandpa had chosen to work only one day a week. He would have been 70 years old in 1939 and had been cutting back on his farm work load as well. Although he still had a large garden and hens, he no longer had his cows and horses and the care they entailed.
[Harry P. Fletcher, a painter (own shop), aged forty-seven years (b. ME), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills”) household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Laura E. [(Young)] Fletcher, aged forty-two years (b. ME), and his children, Fanny E. [“Peggy”] Fletcher, a blanket mill bookkeeper, aged twenty years (b. ME), Harry Fletcher, Jr., a shoe factory packer, aged eighteen years (b. ME), Maurice Fletcher, aged seventeen years (b. ME), and Harvey Fletcher, aged thirteen years (b. NH). Harry P. Fletcher owned their house in Milton Mills Center, which was valued at $1,000. They had all lived in the same house in 1935. The household of Halton R. Hayes appeared on the same census page].
The only entries for the rest of the year were Worked in the office on Tuesdays and once when he worked in the office because Uncle Halton had gone to New York.
For two weeks in the middle of January Grandpa worked nearly every day “closing up the books for the year.”
January 23: Around home all day. Can’t do much more in the office until Halton gets the inventory ready for me.
He continued his one-day-a-week schedule for the next couple of months. There is nothing in his diary to indicate whether or not the mill was operating.
March 26: Worked in the office all day. Halton has gone to N.Y. and Peggy is sick.
March 27: Worked in the office. Halton came home this morning. He got an order for blankets and will start the mill as soon as he can get the colors wanted.
April 22: Worked in the office all day. Peggy is out this week and Halton is going away next week so I shall have to be there about all of the time.
April 29: Peggy came back to work this morning. Halton & Agnes started their vacation yesterday.
He continued to work every day until Halton came back.
May 9: Halton came home last night so I didn’t have to work to-day.
May 21: Worked in the office. Halton has gone on a vacation so I will have to work until he returns.
May 22: Worked in the office. Mill hasn’t started up yet, but they have got one or two looms going.
Uncle Halton must have had a very short vacation; he returned two days later and Grandpa went back to his every Tuesday workday for the next few months.
July 1: Mill started up this morning – whistle blew.
August 26: Worked in the office. Shall probably work 3 days this week as they are quite busy. Lots of people in the sales-room. Sold over $400 worth to-day. They are running 2 shifts in the mill now – began a week ago.
September 3: Worked in the office. Ruth Ramsey Tanner came in to work. Don’t know whether they will need me much more or not.
[Ruth Ramsey married in Acton, ME, September 20, 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. Rev. Frank H. Snell performed the ceremony].
September 5: Worked in the office. They called me back for a day or two. Lots of work there now.
Grandpa continued to work in the office on Tuesdays for the rest of the year, but the diary contains nothing else about the mill.
In January and February, Grandpa recorded working an occasional day here and there.
February 27: Worked in the office. They haven’t got the books closed for last year.
He worked in the office a couple of days a week for the next two or three weeks.
March 19, 20, 21, and 24: Worked in the office.
March 24: Worked in the office. Peggy is having a hard time. Blood poison or something of that kind. She is down at Rochester to see the Dr. every day.
Grandpa continued to work full time until . . .
April 2: Worked in the office. Peggy got home yesterday and was in to see us to-day. She expects to be back to work next week.
That was a Wednesday. Grandpa worked Thursday and Friday. Presumably, Peggy returned to work on Monday.
I am not sure how long Peggy Fletcher worked there after this year, but I do know that at some time Marion Lowd (Willey) replaced her. Marion was my teacher in the one-room school house on Fox Ridge in Acton for many years. That school closed at the end of the 1940-41 school year and not long after that she became the mill’s bookkeeper.
[Albert Lowd, a farmer (dairy farm), aged thirty-eight years (b. ME), headed an Acton, ME, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Doris [(Rowell)] Lowd, a [Milton Mills] public school teacher, aged thirty-seven years (b. ME), his children, Enid Lowd, aged thirteen years (b. ME), and Lois Lowd, aged eleven years (b. ME), his mother, Clara [(Page)] Lowd, aged seventy years (b. NH), and his sister, Marian Lowd, a public school teacher, aged thirty-two years (b. ME). Albert Lowd owned their house “near Milton Mills,” which was valued at $2,500. They had all resided in the same house in 1935].
[Fanny Ellen [“Peggy”] Fletcher married in Sanbornville, [Wakefield,] NH, October 9, 1943, William Hanson, she of Milton Mills and he of Sanbornville, [Wakefield,] NH. She was a secretary, aged twenty-three years, and he was a dairy farmer, aged twenty-five years. Rev. Bradford Ketchum performed the ceremony].
[Marion E. Lowd married in [Acton,] ME, February 8, 1945, Charles P. Willey, she of Acton, ME, and he of Sanbornville, [Wakefield,] NH.
There are no more references to the mill that year, including no mention of him having “worked in the office.”
Nowhere does Grandpa indicate that he has retired, but all indications are that he has, in fact, done so. As you can see from the following entries, he adds very little to the mill’s history from this time on. I had hoped to learn a little more about what led to its demise and how it became Greene Tanning Company.
Not a word about the mill!
[Halton Rex Hayes of Church Street, Milton Mills, registered for the WW II military draft in Milton, April 27, 1942. He was forty-eight years of age (b. Rochester, NH, December 29, 1893), and employed in Milton Mills. His telephone number was Milton Mills 39-3. His contact was Mrs. Agnes T. Hayes, of Milton Mills. He was 5′ 10″ in height, weighed 180 pounds, and had blue eyes, gray hair, and a light complexion].
[William Edward Herrick of Milton Mills registered for the WW II military draft in Milton, April 27, 1942. He was fifty-four years of age (b. Lowell, MA, March 3, 1888), and employed at the Miltonia Mill in Milton Mills. He had no telephone number. His contact was Mrs. Elsie M. Herrick, of 129 Randlett Park, West Newton, Mass. He was 5′ 10″ in height, weighed 175 pounds, and had brown eyes, brown hair, and a dark complexion].
February 12: Fire broke out in the picker room of the mill about 3 P.M. and caused quite an excitement in town for a while. It was put out without a great deal of damage, mostly from water.
June 12: They are having a new smokestack over at the mill. The old one was taken down this morning and they are getting ready to put up the new one.
September 18: Fred Simes [former mill superintendent] is here from California. He called on us after we got home from the camp.
Grandpa had a camp on Wilson Lake in Acton.
[Fred Sims, a whl. [wholesale] textile manager (own business), aged seventy-two years (b. NH), headed a Los Angeles, CA, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Mary Sims, aged seventy-one years (b. NH), and his son, Harold Sims, a whl. [wholesale] textile manager (own business), aged fifty-three years (b. NH). Fred Sims rented their house at 3966 West Avenue, for $38 per month. They had all resided in the same place, i.e., Los Angeles, CA, in 1935].
December 13: Fred Simes, who has been here from Cal. for over 2 months waiting for train accommodations to return and take Laura with him, got word this morning that May is dead. He has reservations for the 16th and can’t go until then.
Fred’s wife’s name was Mary. Was May a “familiar” name for Mary? Or did Grandpa make a rare spelling mistake?!
[Frederick H. “Fred” Simes and Laura E. (Simes) Roberts were siblings, children of Edwin S. and Mary E. (Lowd) Simes (and grandchildren of Milton Mills’ Bray U. Simes (1801-1885)). Fred’s wife, Mary A. “May” (Smith) Simes died in Los Angeles, CA, December 13, 1943, aged seventy-three years, eight months, and twenty-seven days].
February 12: Heard to-day that Ing Townsend is married to Harold Simes in Los Angeles. She went out there in December.
[Ingeborg V. Townsend married in Anaheim, CA, January 14, 1944, Harold E. Simes. Later, Ingeborg V. Townsend Simes divorced Harold E. Simes, both of Milton Mills, in Strafford County Court, June 9, 1949].
Harold was Fred Simes’ son.
January 8: A boy was born to Mr. & Mrs. William Hanson of Wakefield. [Peggy Fletcher]
There is nothing about the mill in Grandpa’s 1946, 1947, 1948, and 1949 diaries.
[The diarist’s second wife, Ella (Buck) Wentworth, died June 21, 1947, aged seventy-six years, ten months, and two days].
[The Miltonia Mill was placed in receivership, i.e., became bankrupt, in early 1950].
March 24: Went to Rochester with Agnes in A.M. Had to go to the bank. I am letting her have some money to help save the mill and get it out of Receivership. She hopes to get it incorporated and going again.
June 18: Mr. John Bentley called to see me this evening. He is interested in planning some way to get the mill going.
[John W. Bentley (1873-1962) lived on both Pelham Avenue in Methuen, MA, and Townhouse Road in Milton, NH. He was president and treasurer of Bentley Hair Co., manufacturers of hair brushes, but he had formerly manufactured “shoddy.” Shoddy is reclaimed wool from unfelted materials of a better quality and longer staple].
October 3: Agnes was over to see me about the mill – nothing doing there yet, and not any very good prospect.
July 17: Went over to talk with Agnes a little while in P.M. about the mill. She has another prospect of selling. Don’t know as it will amount to anything.
April 14: Fred Simes funeral was this P.M. at the house. I wanted to go but the weather was bad [snow] and I didn’t feel hardly able to go over.
[Fred H. Simes died of cardiac failure in Milton, April 11, 1953, aged eighty-five years. He was a widowed [retired] mill superintendent. Robert E. Lord, M.D., signed the death certificate].
Grandpa was 83 and had multiple health issues at this time; some days were good, but others were not.
[Granite State Briefs. Tanning Firm Buys Mill. MILTON MILLS (AP) – The Greene Tanning Corp., newly organized company for tanning sheep hides, has purchased a vacant mill here and will begin operations within 30 days, it was announced today. According to attorney Wesley Powell of Hampton Falls, the Miltonia Mills plant has been obtained by a firm headed by James C. Greene of Peabody, Mass. The mill has been vacant since Miltonia went out of business several years ago. The purchase price from the mill corporation was not disclosed. The new operation is expected to employ “upwards” of 25, the lawyer said (Portsmouth Herald, May 27, 1954)].
[AUCTION! MACHINERY and EQUIPMENT of the BANKRUPT MILTONIA MILLS, MILTON MILLS, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Wednesday, June 16, 1954 at 11:00 A.M. D&F 48 in. DREADNAUGHT MIXING PICKER – Sargent Cone duster – Dodge rag picker – 5 sets D&F and CLEVELAND CARDS, 48×60 and 48×48 in. – 60×48 in. card grinders – 20 C&K 92 and 100 in. AUTOMATIC 4×1 BOX LOOMS – D&F MULES – Rodney Hunt fulling mills and cloth washers – D&F 100 in. x 14 ROLL S.A. NAPPER – GESSNER 84 and 90 IN. x 18 ROLL D.A. NAPPERS – PROCTOR & SCHWARTZ 90 IN. x 2 SECTION RAW STOCK DRYER – Roy 115 in. napper grinder – Hercules and other extractors – Walsh, Houston, Merrow and Metropolitan sewing machines – yarn tester – D&F 92 and 100 IN. BRASS PLATE DRESSING WHEELS – D&F beamer – D&F jack spoolers – jack winder – flocking system – 16 metal clad fiber box trucks 48x30x27 in.; card and jack spools; bobbins; picker sticks; canvas baskets, sewing thread; waste; blanket boxes; trucks; scales; blowers; motors; belting; stencil cutter; pipe fittings; fluorescent lights; Whitcomb iron planer; desks; chairs; letter and card files, etc. Sale to take place upon the premises, and will be sold piece by piece. Inspection day before and morning of sale. Terms cash. Catalog in detail upon application to Henry S. Anthony & Co., AUCTIONEERS, Since 1923, 210 CENTRAL ST., LOWELL, MASS. PHONE 2-4995 SuT je13 (Boston Globe, June 13, 1954)].
June 29: Fire in the mill this a.m. in the old Dye House part. Don’t know how much damage was done.
July 26: Mill whistle blew to-day – the first time for 2 or 3 years.
October 29: The Greene Tanning Co. held “Open House” this P.M. & evening. So rainy I didn’t go over. There were quite a lot of people there.
Harry E. Wentworth passed away at his home with his son and daughter-in-law by his side on December 10, 1955. He was 86 years old.
[Deaths and Funerals. Harry E. Wentworth. ACTON, Maine – Harry E. Wentworth, 86, brother of Mrs. Clara Wilkins of York and a retired manager and head bookkeeper of the former Miltonia Mill, Milton Mills, N.H., died Saturday at his home. For the past 40 years Mr. Wentworth, a native of Milton Mills, has served as Sunday School superintendent of the Milton Mills-Acton Baptist Church of which was deacon and treasurer. He has served as president of the Milton Mills Cemetery Assn. Besides his sister, survivors include a son and another sister (Portsmouth Herald, December 12, 1955)].
Halton R. Hayes was nominated as Milton Mills postmaster in August 1956 (U.S. Senate, 1960).
Former superintendent Frank C. Gard died in Waterville, ME, February 3, 1963.
Agnes M. (Townsend) Hayes died in St. Petersburg, FL, in 1969.
Former superintendent William E. Herrick died in Barnstable, MA, April 25, 1970.
THE GREENE TANNING CORP AT PUBLIC AUCTION. TUESDAY, MAY 23, 1978, AT 10 A.M. MILTON MILLS, NH, ALL EQUIPMENT & REAL ESTATE. We have been commissioned to sell this Tannery piece by piece or as an entirety, whichever way it brings the most. This is a positive sale with NO HOLD BACKS, EVERYTHING SELLS! On this above date and time. TANNING MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT, WET CELLAR – DRY MILL ROOM – BUFFING ROOM, TACKING ROOM – SPRAYING ROOM – SHIPPING ROOM, TOGGLING ROOM – BOILER ROOM, MACHINE SHOP, TRUCKS – FORK LIFT & BOILER, OFFICE EQUIPMENT, INVENTORY OF SKINS. Anyone wishing a complete list of this sale please call Auctioneers office. TERMS ON EQUIPMENT: Cash day of sale. REAL ESTATE. Consists of a large mill with office building and approx. 8 Acres of land, more or less, with a large warehouse and boiler room. It has a Chappell purifying system self-contained waste water system. INSPECTION: On Real Estate by appointment only by calling auctioneers office. TERMS: On Real Estate $5,000 down time of sale by cash or certified check, balance within 20 days on closing. All other conditions to be announced at time of sale. POSITIVE SALE – Sale by order of Small Business Administration. Sale under the management of Barber Sales, Inc., Lebanon, N.H. Tel: 603-448-3366 or Westbrook, ME 207-8S4-8344. AUCTIONEERS: J. W. BARBER, JR. & LARRY GRAY (Boston Globe, May 14, 1978).
Ingeborg V. (Swenson) Townsend died in 1981. Halton R. Hayes died in Pinellas, FL, in October 7, 1981, aged eighty-seven years.
NEW HAMPSHIRE R.E. – MILTONIA MILL. Historic Mill Complex in Milton Mills offering approx. 54,000 s.f. of building area in 7 structures. Long river frontage, ideally situated for light industrial, residential or commercial development. Additional land available. $275,000. ERA MAINS & ROBINSON 603-539-6412, 522-3364 (Boston Globe, February 9, 1986).
Ms. Bristol contributed some supplementary research support.
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