South Milton’s High Sheriff Luther Hayes (1820-1895)

By Muriel Bristol | July 18, 2021

Luther Hayes was born in Lebanon, ME, January 12, 1820, son of George and Lydia (Jones) Hayes.

His father, George Hayes, was a farmer, who removed with his family from Lebanon to Rochester, in this State, shortly after the birth of Luther. He received a common school education, and was engaged mainly in farm labor, until he attained his majority (Granite Monthly, 1879).

Luther Hayes married (1st) in Milton, February 4, 1841, Louise Adeline Bragdon, he of Rochester, NH, and she of Milton. Rev. E. Nason performed the ceremony. She was born in Milton, April 20, 1820, daughter of Samuel L. and Lydia (Walker) Bragdon.

He married Louisa Bragdon, a daughter of Samuel Bragdon, of Milton, and removed to that town, where he has since resided, being extensively engaged in farming and in lumber business (Granite Monthly, 1879).

Luther Hayes was one of the seventeen founding members of the Milton Free-Will Baptist Church, when it was founded at the house of his neighbor, Theodore Lyman, May 5, 1843. He was also its original clerk.

Luther Hayes bred thoroughbred trotting horses in South Milton as early as 1847. Hayes named his trotting mare foaled in that year “Lady Franklin,” in honor of Lady Jane (Griffin) Franklin, wife of the leader of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition of 1845. Sir John Franklin and his crew were lost in the Canadian Arctic while seeking the Northwest Passage. Lady Franklin famously offered a substantial bounty for any news of his fate. (See the ballad Lord Franklin/Lady Franklin’s Lament in the References).

The following letter requesting farm produce was addressed to Luther Hayes, Esqr., Milton 3 Ponds, N.H., and postmarked Boston, July 17, 1848.

Hull, July 15th, 1848 (Nantasket Manson House). Brother Hayes
Dear Sir,
I want you to send me 2 Tubs of Butter and 50 Doz. Eggs as soon as you can after you receive this. Please direct them to me care of George E. Prescott, corner of Pearl and Bread Broad Street, Boston. Send them by Niles Express. Send bill with them.
Yours in F.L. & P., G.L. Scates.
I will write more soon, all well.

Construction of the Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway Railroad (PGF&C) had reached South Milton by 1850. The station at South Milton, roughly where the track crosses the road, was called “Hayes Station,” due to his presence there. Access to the railroad would have been a great advantage for Hayes’ lumber (and farm products) activities, as it would be soon for the local ice industry when the tracks reached so far as Milton Three Ponds.

Hayes Station
Hayes R.R. Station at South Milton (its associated freight shed is just a bit further down the track)

Luther Hayes, a lumber dealer, aged thirty years (b. NH [SIC]), headed a Milton household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Louisa A. Hayes, aged thirty years (b. NH), Lydia E. Hayes, aged eight years (b. NH), Clara A. Hayes, aged six years (b. NH), Louisa Hayes, aged four years (b. NH), and Charles H. Hayes, aged one year (b. NH). Luther Hayes had real estate valued at $3,000. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Abigail Tuttle, aged seventy-two years (b. NH), and Theodore Lyman, a farmer, aged thirty-two years (b. NH).

Luther Hayes represented Milton in the NH House of Representatives during the 1857-58 biennium. Its Committee on Mileage reported his round-trip mileage to the legislature, as well as that of the other Milton representative, Lewis Plumer, as being eighty miles. (They likely boarded in the capitol, Concord, NH, during the legislative season rather travel that distance daily).

He has held a prominent position in connection with public affairs in his town and county, represented Milton in the Legislature in 1857, and 1858, and again in 1876, and 1877 (Granite Monthly, 1879).

Son Samuel L. Hayes died of dropsy on the brain in Milton, October 12, 1859, aged one year, ten months, and five days. (“Dropsy on the brain” would now be characterized as encephalitis. His inclusion in the family’s 1860 Census enumeration would seem to be an error).

Louise A. (Bragdon) Hayes died of inflammation in Milton, December 21, 1859, aged thirty-nine years, seven months, and twenty-four days.

His first wife died in December, 1859, leaving five children, two sons and three daughters, another son [Samuel L. Hayes [I] (1855-1859)] having previously died and one daughter [Lydia E. (Hayes) Cloutman (1841-1876)] since (Granite Monthly, 1879).

Luther Hayes was one of the twelve founding members of the Milton Free-Will Baptist Church, when it was reorganized in its new building, May 17, 1860. He was again its clerk.

Luther Hayes, a farmer, aged forty years (b. NH [SIC]), headed a Milton household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Lydia E. Hayes, aged eighteen years (b. NH), Clara A. Hayes, aged seventeen years (b. NH), Louisa M. Hayes, aged thirteen years (b. NH), Charles H. Hayes, aged eleven years (b. NH), George A. Hayes, aged eight years (b. NH), and Samuel L. Hayes, aged one year (b. NH). Luther Hayes had real estate valued at $6,000 and personal estate valued at $1,000. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of William H. Jones, a shoemaker, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), and Theodore Lyman, a farmer, aged forty-seven years (b. NH).

Luther Hayes married (2nd) in Epsom, NH, June 2, 1861, Sarah M. Cochran, he of Milton and she of Pembroke, NH. He was a widowed farmer, aged forty-one years, and she was aged twenty-six years. Rev. Moses H. Quimby performed the ceremony. She was born in Pembroke, NH, December 1, 1834, daughter of John and Harriet “Hattie” (French) Cochran.

He was elected a member of the Board of Commissioners for Strafford County in 1864, holding the office three years, and in 1866 was appointed Sheriff of the county, which position he occupied until 1871 [until 1869, thereafter Deputy Sheriff] Granite Monthly, 1879).

Luther Hayes of South Milton paid $10 in the U.S. Excise Tax of 1866, for being a manufacturer.

Luther Hayes of Milton (South) appeared in the NH Register and Political Manual of 1866 as being Strafford County Sheriff. His Deputy Sheriffs were: Jasper G. Wallace and William K.A. Hoitt, at Dover, NH; Charles Joy, at Durham, NH; Andrew J. Scruton, at Farmington, NH; Joseph Jones, at Lee, NH; Ebenezer S. Nowell, at Rollinsford, NH; Henry Drew, at (Bow Lake,) Strafford, NH; Stephen S. Chick and William L. Bracey, at Somersworth, NH; and Jonathan Wentworth, at Rochester, NH. Mrs. H.C. Small was the Strafford County jailor at Dover, NH. (Mrs. Hannah E. (Caverno) Small, widow of Civil War soldier, James E. Small) (McFarland and Jenks, 1866).

Luther Hayes appeared in the Milton business directory of 1867-68, as a Milton justice-of-the-peace.

Luther Hayes of Milton (South) appeared in the NH Register and Political Manual of 1867 as being Strafford County Sheriff. His Deputy Sheriffs were: Nathaniel Wiggin and Jasper G. Wallace, at Dover, NH; Andrew J. Scruton, at Farmington, NH; Joseph Jones, at Lee, NH; Ebenezer S. Nowell, at Rollinsford, NH; John C. Peavey, at Strafford, NH; Stephen S. Chick, at Somersworth, NH; and Jonathan Wentworth, at Rochester, NH. Mrs. H.C. Small was the Strafford County jailor at Dover, NH. Hayes was also one of three Strafford County Commissioners (McFarland and Jenks, 1867).

The NH General Court authorized incorporation of the Milton Classical Institute in July 1867. Luther Hayes was one of the original incorporators.

Section 1. That Luther Hayes, Charles Jones, George W. Peavy, Joseph Sayward, William P. Tuttle, George W. Tasker, John S. Hersey, Hiram V. Wentworth, George Lyman, and John Lucus, all of Milton, and their successors, be, and they hereby are, created and made a body politic by the name of the Milton Classical Institute, and by that name may sue and be sued, prosecute and defend to final judgment and execution, and shall have and enjoy all the privileges, and be subject to all the liabilities incident to corporations of a similar nature.

Luther Hayes appeared in the Milton business directory of 1868, as being Strafford County Sheriff, a Milton justice-of-the-peace, and a South Milton lumber dealer. He appeared in 1869-70 as being Strafford County Sheriff, a Milton justice-of-the-peace, and a merchant of shooks, i.e., barrel staves.

Grand Jail Break in New Hampshire. Nine prisoners escaped from Strafford County Jail, in Silver street, Dover, on Saturday night at lock-up time. A desperate store breaker named Mills forced an assistant, who entered a walk where prisoners were at large in day time, into a cell, and then rushed on Mrs. J.E. Small, jailoress, down stairs, where she threw the key to the door separating the house part from the jail into the coal bin, in spite of Mills’ rough attempts to secure it. The other jail birds, meanwhile, stove off bolt and padlock to the back door, knocked the pickets from the rear fence and escaped, when Mills joined his flying comrades. Seven refused to accept the proffered liberty. Four, who left the woods through the fearful punishment by mosquitoes, had been recaptured up to nine o’clock last night. Officers are on track of a barefooted refugee seen by Miss Page at four o’clock, on Monday morning, riding a white horse stolen from George S. Hussey, near Rochester village (Brooklyn Union, July 9, 1868).

By 1870, Luther Hayes appeared as one of the Strafford County Deputy Sheriffs, at Milton, under Sheriff Joseph Jones of Lee, NH (McFarland and Jenks, 1870). (Sheriff Jones had formerly been a Deputy Sheriff under Sheriff Hayes).

Luther Hayes, a farmer, aged fifty years (b. NH [SIC]), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Sarah D. Hayes, keeping house, aged thirty-four years (b. NH), Charles H. Hayes, a farm laborer, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), George A. Hayes, a farm laborer, aged eighteen years (b. NH), Samuel L. Hayes, at school, aged seven years (b. NH), Fanny L. Hayes, aged four years (b. NH), Hattie E. Hayes, aged two years (b. NH), James L. Hayes, aged seven months (b. NH), Amos Jackson, a farm laborer, aged thirty-five years (b. ME), Lydia E. [(Hayes)] Cloutman, aged twenty-eight years (b. NH), and Mary Sinclair, a housekeeper, aged sixty-five years (b. NH). Luther Hayes had real estate valued at $6,000 and personal estate valued at $3,447. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Giles W. Burrows, a a farm laborer, aged forty-six years (b. ME), and Ichabod H. Wentworth, a farm laborer, aged seventy-four years (b. NH).

Luther Hayes appeared in the Milton business directories of 1871, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877, and 1880, as a Milton justice-of-the-peace, and a South Milton lumber manufacturer. (In 1877, he was more particularly identified as running a grist mill, a saw mill, a shingle mill, and being a lumber dealer).

Milton - South Milton (Detail)
South Milton P.O. (School District #10) in 1871

In the 1871 map above, the “Res.” or residence of L. Hayes may be seen along the road beneath the “(P.O.)” portion of the title, and South Milton’s District No. 10 Schoolhouse may be seen next beneath his residence. Other L. Hayes properties may be seen both across the road from his residence (the “Bragdon property”) and next beneath the schoolhouse. Above the “No. 10” title may be seen two shingle mills. The Hayes R.R. station and its associated freight station may be seen to the right of the “South” portion of the title, where the R.R. tracks cross the road.

STRAFFORD COUNTY AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL SOCIETY. Reported by Noah Tebbetts, Esq., Rochester. This society was organized in the summer of 1867, by an association of gentlemen of the different parts of the county, prominent among whom were Hiram R. Roberts of Rollinsford, O.H. Lord of Somersworth, J.F. Lawrence of Lee, A.H. Young of Dover, Chas. Jones of Milton, J.H. Ela of Rochester, and Chas. A. Foss of Barrington. Hon. Hiram R. Roberts was the first president of the society, and J.F. Lawrence the first superintendent; and by the interest taken in the society, and perseverance and energy displayed by them, contributed very largely to the prosperity and success of the society when in its infancy. The gentlemen who now take an active interest in the welfare of the society with many others are S.C. Fisher, Moses D. Page, A.J. Hodsdon of Dover, S.S. Chick, John S. Haines of Great Falls, Noah Tebbetts and C.S. Whitehouse of Rochester, Elisha Locke of Barrington, Wm. R. Garvin and H.R. Roberts of Rollinsford, John F. Cloutman and Alonzo Nute of Farmington, A.G. Orne of Middleton, Luther Hayes of Milton, N.G. Davis of Lee, and Wm. F. Jones of Durham (NH Department of Agriculture, 1871).

Mr. Hayes has been a long time a leading member and President of the Strafford County Agricultural Society, also a Vice President of the State Agricultural Society. He is an Odd Fellow and a Royal Arch Mason (Granite Monthly, 1879).

Sarah M. (Cochran) Hayes died of pleurisy fever in Milton, December 26, 1871, aged thirty-seven years.

In June, 1861, he married Sarah D., daughter of John Cofran [Cochran] of Pembroke, who died ten years later, leaving two sons and two daughters, the eldest son, Lyman S. having served as messenger of the Senate the past session (Granite Monthly, 1879).

Luther Hayes married (3rd) in Pembroke, NH, November 14, 1872, Ellen Rachel “Nellie” Morrill, he of Milton and she of Pembroke, NH. He was a [twice] widowed lumber dealer, aged fifty-two years, and she was aged thirty-two years. Rev. Lyman White performed the ceremony. She was born in Pembroke, NH, January 6, 1840, daughter of Asa and Rachel F. (Page) Morrill.

In Nov., 1872, he married his present wife, Nellie R., daughter of Asa Morrill of Pembroke, by whom he has one son (Granite Monthly, 1879).

Luther Hayes appeared in the NH Register of 1874 as one of the Strafford County Deputy Sheriffs, at Milton, under Sheriff Joseph Jones of Lee, NH (Claremont Manufacturing Co., 1874).

AGRICULTURAL SOCIETIES. Strafford Co., N.H. The annual meeting was held at Dover, Dec. 22, when the following officers were elected: President, Luther Hayes of Milton; Vice Presidents, Elisha Lock of Barrington, and Joseph Nutter of Farmington; Treasurer, Stephen S. Chick of Great Falls; Secretary, Ezra H. Twombly of Dover (New England Farmer (Boston, MA), January 9, 1875).

Luther Hayes’ stallion Defiance, Jr., took second prize at the Manchester agricultural fair in Manchester, NH, in September 1875.

THE PREMIUMS. A Long List of Lucky Exhibitors Cattle, Sheep, Steers, Etc., Etc. … Stallions One Year Old and Under Two. 1st, W.T. Cook, Foxboro. Mass., Graphic; 2d, Luther Hayes, Milton, Defiance, Jr.; 3d, J.F. Cushing, South Weymouth, Mass., Climax (Boston Globe, September 10, 1875).

Strafford County, N.H. The ninth annual fair of the Strafford County Agricultural and Mechanical Society was held at the Cochecho Park, Dover, Sept. 14, 15, 16 and 17. These grounds are well located, about half a mile from the City Hall, and, unlike most parks in New England, situated as they mostly are upon barren plains, present to the visitor attractive and pleasant views of fine farms, green fields and woodlands, and would give the impression to the stranger that he was in the midst of a good agricultural district. Dover is also well located for a fair, being connected with all parts of the county by rail. On the south are Durham, Madbury and Lee, fine farming towns; on the north and east are Rochester, Somersworth and Rollinsford, the latter town containing some of the finest farms in the State. Situated thus, this society needed, to make it a success, only pluck and energy, which it found in its officers: Luther Hayes, Milton, President; Elisha Locke, Barrington, Joseph Miller, Farmington, vice-presidents; Ezra H. Twombly, Dover, secretary; Stephens Chick, Great Falls, treasurer; Chas. E. Smith, Dover, superintendent (New England Farmer (Boston MA), October 9, 1875).

Daughter Lydia E. (Hayes) Cloutman died in Middleton, NH, February 11, 1876, aged thirty-four years.

Luther Hayes and Sullivan H. Atkins were sworn in as Milton’s NH State Representatives for the 1876-77 biennium at the State House in Concord, NH, on Wednesday, June 7, 1876 (NH General Court, 1876). (It was Hayes’ second term at the state house). (William F. Cutts would replace Sullivan H. Atkins in 1877).

Luther Hayes received the first of his two five-year appointments as NH Fish & Game Commissioner in July 1876.

In 1876 he was appointed by Governor Cheney a member of the State Fish Commission for the term of five years, which office he now [in 1879] holds, and to which he has devoted considerable time and attention (Granite Monthly, 1879).

NEW HAMPSHIRE. At a meeting of the governor and council in Concord, yesterday, the following nomination were made: Fish Commissioner, Luther Hayes of Milton, Samuel Webber of Manchester, Albina Powers of Grantham; Judge of Probate, Hillsboro’ County, Henry K. Burnham of Manchester; Special Justice of the Police Court at Manchester, Henry W. Tewksbury (Boston Evening Transcript, July 26, 1876).

NH Board of Agriculture members Albert DeMerritte, of Durham, NH, William H. Hills, of Plaistow, NH, and its Secretary, James O. Adams, of Manchester, NH, held a public meeting in Milton, in 1878. Messrs. Luther Hayes and George Lyman were among the Milton residents that attended the meeting.

STRAFFORD COUNTY. A meeting was held at Milton [in 1878], attended by Messrs. Hills and Adams. The topics presented were the Culture of Sugar Beets, by Mr. DeMeritte, Fruit, by Mr. Hills, and Manures, by the Secretary, which occupied the full time, residents of the town taking but little part in the discussions. Messrs. Luther Hayes and George Lyman entertained the members, and helped create an interest in the meeting, and the gentlemen of the Board learned, too late, their mistake when they declined further proffered courtesy (Adams, 1879). 

NEW HAMPSHIRE. The annual report of the State Fish Commissioners shows that the distribution of black bass has been remarkably successful. A large number of ponds in all sections of the state have been stocked. Land-locked salmon were placed in Tri-Echo lake in Milton, Lovewell’s Pond in Wakefield, Squam Lake, Sunapee Lake, Blaisdell’s Pond in Sutton, Stocker Pond in Grantham and Star Pond in Springfield. Several other bodies of water have been stocked with smelt. The bass are distributing themselves faster than the Commissioners could do it and the Connecticut river is already so well stocked in the neighborhood of the Sugar river as to afford excellent fishing. Once planted and let alone for five years, these fish will take care of themselves and need but little protection. The Board of Commissioners consists of Col. Samuel Webber of Manchester, Luther Hayes of Milton and Albina H. Powers of Grantham (Boston Post, June 1, 1878).

LYNN. The News in Brief. Luther Hayes, one of the Fish Commissioners of Milton, N.H., was in town yesterday, and took fifty white perch from Flax Pond home with him to stock a pond at Milton. The fish were caught by John Marlor during the past three days (Boston Globe, August 24, 1878).

Luther Hayes of Milton ran for the District No. Twelve seat in the NH Senate, on Tuesday, November 5, 1878 (Vermont Journal, November 9, 1878). He won the election with 1,670 votes (52.7%); his opponents, Judge Moses C. Russell (1817-1879) of Great Falls, [Somersworth,] received 1,045 votes (33.0%), Milton-native Samuel S. Wentworth (1823-1888) of Somersworth received 446 votes (14.1%), and “All Others” received 6 votes (0.0%). NH Senator Hayes held the District Twelve seat during the 1879-80 biennium.

He served in the Senate as chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, a position to which he is well adapted, and was also a member of the Railroad Committee, and that on Roads, Bridges and Canals (Granite Monthly, 1879).

Luther Hayes’ sawmill burned down on Monday, February 10, 1879.

The saw mill of Luther Hayes, of Milton, N.H., was burned Monday. Loss $2000; no insurance (Argus and Patriot (Montpelier, VT), [Wednesday,] February 12, 1879).

John Berry of Farmington, NH, and another angler went fishing in South Milton on Tuesday, August 5, 1879. On their return trip they learned that the Hayes railroad station had caught fire and burned that same afternoon.

… Just before we left we learned that the R.R. depot at Hayes Crossing, on the Eastern R.R., was destroyed by fire that afternoon, caused by a spark from the engine (Farmington News, [Friday,] August 8, 1879).

Daughter Clara A. (Hayes) Pounds died in South Milton, August 9, 1879, aged thirty-six years, six months, and ten days.

DEATHS. At Hayes Crossing, Aug. 9, Clara A. Pound, aged 80 [36] yrs., 6 mos. and 10 days (Farmington News, August 22, 1879).

EASTERN NEW HAMPSHIRE. Fish Commissioner Luther Hayes has been engaged for the past week in stocking Langley and Pea Porridge ponds in Nottingham with black bass (Vermont Journal (Windsor, VT), October 11, 1879).

New England Items. Nine thousand land-locked salmon have been taken from the fish-hatching house at Plymouth, N.H., to the waters near Peterborough, by Commissioner Luther Hayes (Boston Globe, May 27, 1880).

Fish Commissioners Samuel Webber, Luther Hayes, and A.H. Powers submitted their expenses and those of the hatchery for the period May 1879 to June 1880. Luther Hayes received $21.00 for seven days service to June 1, 1879, at $3.00 per day, $130.50 for 43.5 days service to June 1, 1880, at $3.00 per day, and $188.22 for traveling expenses, postage, etc. (NH General Court, 1880).

Luther Hayes, a farmer, aged sixty years (b. ME), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Nellie R. Hayes, keeping house, aged thirty-nine years (b. NH), his children, Fannie L. Hayes, at home, aged thirty-four years (b. NH), Lyman S. Hayes, at home, aged seventeen years (b. NH), Hattie E. Hayes, at home, aged twelve years (b. NH), Luther C. Hayes, at home, aged ten years (b. NH), and Clarence M. Hayes, aged two years (b. NH), and his mother-in-law, Rachel F. [(Page)] Morrill, aged seventy-four years (b. NH). Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of George Lyman, a a farmer, aged fifty-two years (b. NH), and William B. Rollins, works on farm, aged thirty-one years (b. NH).

Milton - Hayes Logging
Hayes Logging Crew

Luther Hayes appeared in the Milton business directories of 1881, 1882, 1884, 1887, and 1889, as being a Milton justice-of-the-peace, and a lumber manufacturer. (In 1887, he was also a member of the School Board, along with John Simes and Martin V.B. Cook).

Son Lyman S. Hayes served as a NH Senate messenger (Vermont Journal (Windsor, VT), June 4, 1881).

Luther Hayes of Milton received the second of his two five-year appointments as one of three NH Fish Commissioners, July 28, 1881, and served in that position through July 1886 (OH General Assembly, 1883).

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 U. Sims; Town Treasurer, Ira Miller; Auditors, Luther Hayes, Elbridge Fox (Farmington News, March 16, 1883).

Salmon in the Merrimac. We learn from Mr. Samuel Webber, late Fish Commissioner of New Hampshire, that the salmon have at last made their appearance in the Merrimac River at Manchester, and one “guessed” at from eight pounds to ten pounds has actually been seen passing the Fishway at Amoskeag Falls. This proves the prediction, which it will be remembered, Mr. Webber made that we should see a score of smaller fish from the plant of 1879 this year. The season is later by two weeks than last year, but the salmon are on their way up now. Ten were seen in one day in the fishway at Lawrence, Mass. What is of more especial interest to sportsmen, however, is the fact that a salmon weighing ten and a half pounds was taken last week in the Merrimac, at Concord, with the artificial fly in a legitimate manner. We have always believed that one was taken three years since by a bass fisher, but owing to the fact that the prohibitory law was then in force, we could never prove the fact; but this catch of last week proves that the salmon bred from Penobscot stock will take the fly in the Merrimac. We note the following change in the New Hampshire Fish Commission, viz., the appointment of Elliot B. Hodge, of Plymouth, Superintendent of the Hatchery, as Fish Commissioner, in place of A.H. Powers, resigned The Commission now stands: Colonel George Riddle, Manchester; Chairman E.B. Hodge, Plymouth, Superintendent of Hatchery; Luther Hayes, South Milton (Forest and Stream, July 5, 1883).

LOCALS. James E. Hayes has filled up a portion of the Luther Hayes pond preparatory to moving his heel factory thereon, about which we made mention of in our last issue. It is an almost universal desire that the whole pond might be filled, many believing that the health of our village would be greatly improved by such a course (Farmington News, June 12, 1885).

Lightning struck at Luther Hayes’ house on Friday, July 31, 1885, killing Charles S. Dorr, one of his farm laborers, while he was eating at the kitchen table. Dorr was a son of Stephen D. and Melvina F. (Staples) Dorr of Milton, aged only fifteen years, ten months, and seventeen days. (The newspapers could not seem to get his name right).

A Man Killed in Milton, N.H. Dover, August 1. Last evening a heavy thunder shower visited Milton, N.H. Mark Dore, who works on the place of Hon. Luther Hayes, was sitting at a table when a bolt struck a tree in front of the house, caromed in through an open door and struck him on the head, instantly killing him and discoloring the body. The other inmates received slight shocks from the electric current. The house was not damaged (Boston Globe, August 2, 1885).

NEW HAMPSHIRE. Lightning struck the residence of Hon. Luther Hayes, fish commissioner at West Milton, last week, instantly killing Frank Dare, a farm hand, who was in the kitchen eating his supper. The house escaped with but little damage. Other inmates suffered some from the shock. At the same time the residence of William Waldron at Strafford was struck. The front part of the house was torn out and considerably damaged. The inmates of the house were prostrated, but the effects are not serious. The barn of George A. Caverly of Strafford was struck by lightning and burned, with 30 tons of hay, farming utensils, hogs, fowls, etc. The loss $1500; insurance $500 (Spirit of the Age (Woodstock, VT), August 5, 1885).

NEW HAMPSHIRE NEWS. The fish and game commissioners of New Hampshire are now prepared to distribute copies of the fish and game laws as amended by the last legislature. Any person wishing one may obtain it upon application to either of the commissioners, who are Col. Geo. W. Riddle, Manchester; Luther Hayes, Milton; Elliott B. Hodge, Plymouth. (Vermont Journal (Windsor, VT), January 30, 1886).

Children Harriet E. Hayes and Luther C. Hayes graduated together from Berwick Academy in Berwick, ME, with its Class of 1886 (Berwick Academy, 1892).

John H. Kimball of Marlboro, NH, replaced Luther Hayes as NH Fish Commissioner, at the expiration of his term in July 1886.

NEW HAMPSHIRE OFFICERS. Concord, N.H., July 9. The governor and council have made the following appointments: James W. Patterson, of Hanover, superintendent of public instruction; Jason Sperry, of Rindge, member of the board of agriculture, to succeed George P. Harvey; B.F. Prescott, of Epping, and G.A. Wason, of New Boston, trustees of the New Hampshire college of agriculture and mechanics’ arts; John H. Kimball, of Marlboro, fish commissioner, vice Luther Hayes, term expired; CF. Hildreth, of Allenstown, commissioner of pharmacy; W.H. Size and Joseph Grace, of Portsmouth, commissioners of pilotage; Emery J. Randall, of Somersworth, and Edward Spalding, of Nashua, trustees of the insane asylum. Mason W. Tappan, of Bradford, was nominated as attorney general for a term of five years, this being his second reappointment to that position (Springfield Reporter (Springfield, VT), July 16, 1886).

John U. Simes, Luther Hayes, and M.V.B. Cook appeared in the Milton business directory of 1887, as being Milton’s Board of Education. Simes and Hayes submitted a requested report to the NH State Superintendent of Public Instruction for that year (NH Supt. of Public Instruction, 1888). (All three men were also Milton justices-of-the-peace).

Luther Hayes and thirty-eight other residents of Milton and Rochester, NH, petitioned the NH state legislature, in June 1887, to authorize a “union” (or combined) school district for the towns of Milton and Rochester (NH General Court, 1887). This union schoolhouse would operate in the already extant South Milton district schoolhouse, and its expenses would be partly funded by Milton, and partly funded by Rochester, NH.

B&M Railroad Superintendent John W. Sanborn testified before the NH House Judiciary Committee regarding the legislative railroad bribery scandal of 1887. He singled out Luther Hayes of Milton as having been an honest official, one who had not been bribed or influenced in favor of the Hazen railroad bill.

HUNTING FOR BRIBES. Testimony Showing How Various People Profited by the Fight. Concord, N.H., Oct. 18. – The judiciary committee of the house appointed to investigate the charge of bribery of members of the legislature met this afternoon. John W. Sanborn was sworn: I am superintendent of the Northern division, Boston & Maine railroad; can’t give names of all parties that have been in the employ of the Boston & Maine during the session of the Legislature to secure the passage of the Hazen bill; there have been several here who have not been under pay; among these are John W. Wheeler of Salem, A.A. Woolson of Lisbon, Luther Hayes of Milton and others whose names I do not recall; I told Mr. Sulloway that if he knew, anybody that would help us, to ask them to come; I think we have had some 40 under pay, perhaps more; not many more, however; we have not had a quarter as many as the Concord road; I told Newton Johnson of Portsmouth he might employ one or two men; Mr. Johnson has reported to me the names of those he has employed; Mr. Sulloway has not; I employed Edgar Aldrich and his partner, Mr. Drew and his partner, Mr. Briggs, John P. Bartlett, and Charles H. Bartlett of Manchester; George A. Ramsdell of Nashua; John Kivell and J.C. Caverly of Dover; Aaron Young and Newton Johnson of Portsmouth; James R. Jackson of Littleton; Paul Lang of Oxford, James A. Wood of Acworth; George B. French of Nashua; Frank G. Clarke of Peterboro; Charles B. Gaffney of Rochester; these men were employed to advocate the Hazen bill in every way; there were others engaged, whose names I cannot give now; they were expected to discuss railroad questions with members; Manahan of Hillsboro was one of those employed; Kirk D. Pierce was never employed ; am not aware Colonel Cochrane of Nashua has assisted any; don’t know that Frank H. Pierce has been employed; don’t know that General White has rendered any services; don’t know either Postmaster Flinn or Mr. Cadwell, agent of the Jackson Manufacturing Company of Nashua; the expenses of this contest, on the side of the Boston & Maine is paid by that corporation as I understand it; I am employed by the Boston & Maine, and have charge of the legislation; am not aware that any newspapers have been returned by the Boston & Maine; have told the proprietors of certain papers that we should want them to publish certain articles for which we expected to pay; among these papers are the Manchester Union and Manchester Mirror; don’t know that any other papers have been employed to publish articles in our interest; we have engaged the Mirror and the Union to publish speeches and reports of committees; I know that articles have been published by other papers, but don’t know who secured their publication; have employed the Boston Journal to publish some articles, and have paid the regular advertising rates, have retained no paper in or out of the State; have employed no correspondents during the fight, shall pay the papers whatever is right, can’t say what our expense has been so far; don’t think it would be $250,000; should not pay any such amount; Phenix Hall, Concord, NHhave had 16 rooms at the Phoenix Hotel; have been in Mr. Jones’ room considerable; representatives have visited my room during the session, but can’t give names of all of them, the canvass was looked after generally by Mr. Gaffney and Mr. Wood; we had a pretty full canvass before the first vote was taken; I saw Colonel Thomas P. Cheney before the Legislature met; we had a general talk about the railroad legislation we proposed to ask for, we didn’t go into any particulars; I saw him in company with Mr. Sulloway didn’t see any other members of the railroad committee before the assembling of the Legislature; the composition of the railroad committee was not discussed; have met Colonel Cheney since the report of the committee; bad no talk with him while the matter was before the committee; have had a general conversation with H.M. Putney regarding railroad legislation; never submitted the Hazen bill to Mr. Putney; he told me that he should take no active part in the matter during the session on account of his official position; cannot tell how many passes we have issued during the session, but don’t believe we have given near as many as the Concord road; complaint has been made that we did not give passes enough; it was said that the Concord lobbyists carried blank passes and filled them in with pencil; I said that I would give passes to members and families, but I did object to giving them to their constituents; can’t say that I refused anybody, but have objected; we give none over the Boston & Maine across the State line; have given none to Canada; the Boston & Maine never gives passes over any other line, nor does it allow other roads to issue passes over its line; ever since we have been here asking for legislation in years past we have always given members and their families trip passes; we started in that way this year; by the indiscriminate and lavish use of passes by the Concord road we were compelled to issue them in greater number; we gave to friend and foe alike; don’t think that anyone was influenced by it; know there is a statute against giving passes, but it is a dead letter; have heard a great deal of loose talk about buying and selling votes on the railroad question this season; I know of no money being offered to anybody to influence his vote; I came here to get this legislation in a proper way; I have done nothing improper, and have never countenanced anything of the kind; no man has reported to me that he could get a vote by improper means; it has never been suggested in my presence that any member tat the Legislature could be bought (Boston Globe, October 19, 1887).

The Hazen railroad bill did pass through both the NH House and the Senate, but was vetoed by the Governor. The whole thing would arise again in the 1889-90 biennium.

REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS. Hiram V. Wentworth to Luther Hayes, et als.; land in Milton; $1800. Hiram V. Wentworth to Lyman & Scates; land in Milton; $100 (Farmington News, August 10, 1888).

Daughter Miss Fannie L. Hayes appeared in the Milton directory of 1889, as principal of the Milton Classical Institute. She would seem to have been its last principal.

MILTON. Ex-Alderman C.H. Hayes of Haverhill, Mass., is visiting his father, Hon. Luther Hayes, for a few days (Farmington News, 1890).

The NH legislature authorized the trustees of the defunct Milton Classical Institute, including trustee Luther Hayes, to sell off its property in March 1891.

AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE TRUSTEES OF THE MILTON CLASSICAL INSTITUTE TO SELL AND CONVEY THE PROPERTY OF SAID INSTITUTE AND DISPOSE OF THE PROCEEDS THEREOF. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened. SECTION 1. That Luther Hayes, Charles A. Jones, Brackett F. Avery, Andrew J. Remick, George Lyman, George W. Tasker and Charles H. Looney, trustees of the Milton Classical Institute, be and are hereby authorized to sell and convey all the real and personal property of said Institute and to divide the proceeds of said sale equally between the Congregational Society and the Freewill Baptist Society, both of Three Ponds Village, so called, in the town of Milton. Sect. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and takes effect after its passage. [Approved March 31, 1891] (NH Secretary of State, 1891).  

In October 1891, Luther Hayes wrote an “excellent letter” which supplied missing information regarding his trotting mare of 1847 for the pedigree of her granddaughter.

In Wallace’s American Trotting Register, Vol. 1, p. 195, is entered: “Lady Franklin, alias Carrie, ro. m., foaled 1847; got by Esty’s Black Hawk, son of Vt. Black Hawk; dam unknown. Bred by Luther Hayes, N.H. (See calendar)”, And in the appended calendar is a list of her trotting victories extending from 1854 to 1855 inclusive. … The breeder of Lady Franklin (who writes that her dam was raised in Gilmanton, N.H., and called a Morgan mare) is still living, writes an excellent letter, and appears to have watched the mare with pride through her long and successful career (Middlebury Register (Middlebury, VT), October 9, 1891).

Luther Hayes appeared in the Milton business directory of 1892, as running a South Milton saw mill. He appeared in 1894, as a being a Milton justice-of-the-peace, and a lumber manufacturer.

ANOTHER BOOM FOR MILTON. Luther Hayes has sold his mill property at South Milton, known as the Tuttle mills, to James [i.e., Jonas,] Spaulding of Andover, Mass., who will build a leatherboard factory 150 feet long, 50 feet wide, 4 stories high. He has bought eight acres of George Lyman for flowage and other purposes and will build a stone dam four feet higher than the present one, giving twenty feet head and fall. It will be one of the finest privileges on the whole stream. He will build storehouses and tenements, for his workers to live in, giving work for a large number of workmen in building and manning the factory. The factory is to be one of the finest buildings on the whole stream. He is to commence early in the spring to build. – Ex. (Farmington News, December 29, 1893).

Luther Hayes of Milton made out his last will, apparently in Rochester, NH, April 2, 1894.

MILTON. Charles Hayes and wife of Haverhill visited his father, Luther Hayes, Sunday (Farmington News, March 8, 1895).

Luther Hayes died of chronic cystitis in Milton, March 28, 1895, aged seventy-five years, two months, and sixteen days. M.A.H. Hart, M.D., signed the death certificate.

LOCALS. Luther Hayes of Milton died at his home Thursday morning, of last week, aged 75 years. He has been a very prominent political character, having held the offices of state senator, representative to the general court, high sheriff, deputy sheriff and county commissioner. His funeral occurred Sunday, under the auspices of Paternal Lodge of this place, a large delegation being present (Farmington News, April 5, 1895).

Luther Hayes was a lumber manufacturer and was a very well-known man in this section of the state. His lumber plants were at South Milton and at Spaulding Mills. He was a native of Strafford County and lived here until his death at the age of 75 years. He was buried at South [West] Milton. A Republican in politics, he served at different times as state senator, fish and game commissioner of the state and as high sheriff of Strafford county. He was a member of the Odd Fellow and Masonic Lodges, whilst religiously was identified with the Free Will Baptist Church, toward the support of which he contributed most liberally. Mr. Hayes was thrice married (Scales, 1914).

LOCALS. James A. Fletcher has purchased the Luther Hayes pasture on the Middleton road (Farmington News, May 3, 1895).

The Hon. Charles H. Looney acted as commissioner for the executors of the Hayes estate at his Milton grocery store to settle the just debts of Luther Hayes. (Note each session’s end time. If A.M. means ante-meridian, and P.M. means post-meridian, than it stands to reason, although it is rarely seen, that M. alone would mean the meridian itself, i.e., precisely at noon).

COMMISSIONER’S NOTICE. The undersigned, commissioner to receive, examine, allow and adjust the claims against the estate of Luther Hayes, late of Hilton, county of Strafford, state of New Hampshire, deceased, will attend to the duties of his office at the store of Looney & Roberts in Milton, in said county of Strafford on the ninth day of July, 1895, and on the second day of November, 1895, from nine o’clock, A.M., to twelve o’clock, M., on each of said days CHARLES H. LOONEY, Commissioner 11-3t (Farmington News, May 24, 1895).

MILTON. Ella Hayes, granddaughter of the late Luther Hayes of Milton, is seriously ill (Farmington News, August 2, 1895).

Milton - Hayes Station SignageJ. Spaulding & Sons would construct their North Rochester mill near to Hayes Station, but on the Rochester, NH, side of the South Milton-Rochester border, in 1899-1900.

Ellen R. Hayes, a widowed housekeeper, aged fifty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. Her household included her [step-] daughter, Hattie Dewolfe, a divorcée, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), her [step-] granddaughter, Helen Dewolfe, at school, aged nine years (b. NH), her [step-] son, Luther Hayes, a farm laborer, aged thirty years (b. NH), her son, Clarence M. Hayes, aged twenty-two years (b. NH), and her servants, Edgar J. Wyatt, a farm laborer, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH), and Helen Crossman, a house servant, aged twenty-nine years (b. Canada (Eng.)). Ellen R. Hayes owned their farm, free-and-clear. Ellen R. Hayes and Hattie Dewolfe were each mothers of one child, of whom each had one still living. Their household appeared in the enumeration after that of Annie M. George, a widowed housekeeper, aged seventy-one years (b. NH).

Daughter Hattie E. (Hayes) DeWolfe married (2nd) in Milton, April 25, 1903, Edgar J. Wyatt, she of Milton and he of Farmington, NH. She was a housekeeper, aged thirty-four years, and he was a teamster, aged thirty-one years.

Ellen R. (Morrill) Hayes died in the home of her step-daughter, Helen ((Hayes) DeWolfe) Wyatt, in South Milton, May 2, 1909, aged sixty-nine years, three months, and twenty-six days.

MILTON. The widow of the late Luther Hayes died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Wyatt, at South Milton last Monday (Farmington News, May 7, 1909).

WEST MILTON. The Rev. C.B. Osborne of Franconia was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. G.N. Hurd Tuesday. He was called to officiate at the funeral of Mrs. Hayes, widow of Luther Hayes of South Milton, on Wednesday (Farmington News, May 7, 1909).


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Claremont Manufacturing Co. (1874). New Hampshire Register, Farmer’s Almanac and Business Directory. Retrieved from

Dover, Connie. (2001, January 1). Lord Franklin (aka Lady Franklin’s Lament). Retrieved from

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

Wikipedia. (2021, July 5). Jane Franklin. Retrieved from

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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