Milton Mills’ Centennial House, 1876-1904

By Muriel Bristol | October 24, 2021

The name “Centennial House” acknowledges its establishment during the U.S. centennial year of 1876.

The identified proprietors of Milton’s Centennial House during this period were John W. Prescott (1846-1927), and Benjamin Hoyle (1843-1923).

John W. Prescott – 1876-188?

John Wesley Prescott was born in Dover, NH, June 26, 1846, son of Ezekiel and Elzira F. (Fernald) Prescott.

Nathl. D. Farnsworth, works in shoe shop, aged thirty-two [i.e., forty-two] years (b. NH), headed a Wakefield (“Union P.O.”), NH, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Ruth A. [(Almed)] Farnsworth, keeping house, aged thirty [i.e., forty] years (b. NH), Rosa B.H. [(Farnsworth)] Berry, at home, aged twenty-three years (b. NH), and John W. Prescott, dry goods & groceries, aged twenty-three years (b. NH). Nathl. D. Farnsworth had real estate valued at $500 and personal estate valued at $360. John W. Prescott had personal estate valued at $1,500.

John W. Prescott married in Dover, NH, September 17, 1870, Adelaide Sarah “Addie” Jewett, he of Brookfield, NH, and she of Milton. He was aged twenty-three years and she was aged twenty-one years. Rev. I.D. Stewart performed the ceremony. She was born in Milton, March 28, 1849, daughter of David and Susan M. (Fox) Jewett.

NEW ENGLAND. NEW HAMPSHIRE. The Sanborn House at Wolfeboro Junction is now open and kept by John W. Prescott (Boston Globe, September 24, 1872).

Prescott, JW - Sanborn House - 1874John Prescott appeared in the NH business directories of 1873 and 1874, as proprietor of the Sanborn House hotel at Wolfeboro Junction, in Wakefield, NH.

John W. Prescott opened the Centennial House hotel in Milton Mills in June 1876. One might suppose he named it for the U.S. Centennial, i.e., July 4, 1876. His advertisements highlighted features that might appeal to rusticators, i.e., tourists.

BG760627-CentennialJ.W. Prescott appeared in the Milton business directory of 1880, as proprietor of Milton Mills’ Centennial House hotel.

John W. Prescott, a stable keeper, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills Village”) household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Addie Prescott, a milliner, aged thirty-one years (b. NH). Their household appeared between those of William G. Lermond, a carpenter, aged thirty-five years (b. Scotland), and Oscar F. Marsh, works in felt mill, aged thirty-three years (b. NH).

J.W. Prescott appeared in the Milton business directories of 1881, 1882, and 1884, as proprietor of Milton Mills’ Centennial House hotel. He advertised his hotel in the Boston Globe in the summer of 1888 as being suitable for summer boarders.

SUMMER RESORTS. SUMMER BOARDERS looking for a place in the country where they can enjoy themselves quietly, can be accommodated at Centennial House, Milton Mills, N.H., P.O. box 113 SuTThS6t* jy22 (Boston Globe, July 28, 1888).

BG880728-Centennial House(The printers’ code that follows the actual advertisement notes that this advertisement should be printed in the Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday editions 6 times, i.e., for a period of six weeks, beginning July 22).

John W. and Adelaide F. (Jewett) Prescott relocated from Milton Mills to Union village, in Wakefield, NH, circa 1892-93.

WAKEFIELD. Mrs. John W. Prescott has opened millinery parlors at the Geo E. Hart House on Main street (Farmington News, October 14, 1892).

J.W. Prescott appeared in the NH directory of 1897, as proprietor of one of two livery stables in Union, Wakefield, NH. (Hotelier R.H. Pike was proprietor of the other).

MILTON. Mrs. Prescott and Miss Wallace have closed their millinery parlors for the season (Farmington News, July 9, 1897).

John W. Prescott received an appointment as U.S. Postmaster at Union village in Wakefield, NH, September 17, 1897. Such appointments were at this time political sinecures. As Prescott received his initial appointment during the presidency of Republican William McKinley, one might suppose that he too was a Republican.

The U.S. Register of July 1, 1899 recorded compensation of $439.51 having been paid to Union postmaster John W. Prescott.

Mrs. J.W. Prescott appeared in the Milton directory of 1900, as a milliner on Main street, near the P.O., with her house at U.V., i.e., Union Village in Wakefield, NH. (A milliner is one who designs, makes, trims, or sells women’s hats).

John W. Prescott, postmaster, aged fifty-one years (b. NH), headed a Wakefield (“Union Village”), NH, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-nine years), Addie Prescott, a milliner, aged fifty-two years (b. NH), and Gertrude Nichols, aged ten years (b. NH). John W. Prescott owned their house, free-and-clear. Addie Prescott was the mother of child, of whom none were still living.

UNION. Mrs. J.W. Prescott is away visiting friends (Farmington News, June 14, 1901).

Mrs. J.W. Prescott appeared in the Milton directory of 1902, as a milliner, with her house at Union, [Wakefield,] NH.

UNION. Last Friday morning Mrs. J.W. Prescott met with a serious accident by falling on the ice, breaking her leg above the ankle. She is as comfortable as can be expected at this writing (Farmington News, January 24, 1902).

The U.S. Register of July 1, 1903 recorded compensation of $523.54 having been paid to Union postmaster John W. Prescott.

MILTON. Mrs. J.W. Prescott of Union was in town last Thursday (Farmington News, June 17, 1904).

The U.S. Register of July 1, 1905 recorded compensation of $552.40 having been paid to Union postmaster John W. Prescott.

UNION. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Prescott of Lawrence, Mass., who have been visiting his brother, John W. Prescott, returned home last week (Farmington News, October 1, 1909).

UNION. John W. Prescott is taking an outing in Boston this week (Farmington News, October 29, 1909).

John W. Prescott, postmaster at Union, aged sixty years (b. NH), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of t[hir]ty-eight years), Adelaide Prescott, aged fifty-eight years (b. NH). John W. Prescott owned their house, free-and-clear.

UNION. Mrs. John W. Prescott and Mrs. E.O. Wiggin attended the sale at Sanbornville last week (Farmington News, December 23, 1910).

John W. Prescott, aged seventy-two years (b. NH), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Adelaide Prescott, aged sixty-eight years (b. NH). John W. Prescott owned their house, free-and-clear. They shared a two-family resident with the household of tenant George Hawley, an excelsior mill presser, aged thirty-two years (b. NH).

John W. Prescott died of pulmonary edema in Union, [Wakefield,] NH, April 8, 1927, aged eighty-one years, ten months, and twelve days. He had been resident in Wakefield, NH, for thirty-three years.

A[de]laide Prescott, a widow, aged eighty-five years (b. NH). was one of fourteen “inmates,” i.e., residents, of the Gafney Home on Wakefield Street in Rochester, NH, at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. Herbert A. Hoffman, aged fifty-five years (b. NH), was its resident superintendent, and his wife, Mary Hoffman, aged fifty-one years (b. VT), was its resident matron. There was also a nurse, cook, and a maid. Twelve of the retired residents were female and two of them were male. (Two of the retired residents were a married couple). The home had a radio set.

Adelaide F. (Fernald) Prescott died of lobar pneumonia in the Gafney Home in Rochester, NH, April 29, 1936, aged eighty-eight years, one month, and two days. She had been a resident there for nine years, i.e., since the 1927 death of her husband. Edson M. Abbott, M.D. signed the death certificate.

UNION. George Morrill was quite pleased to find when he returned to Union for the winter that he could have the same box number which he has continuously since he had it of the late John W. Prescott forty-two years ago (Farmington News, October 23, 1936).

Benjamin Hoyle – 188?-1904

Benjamin Hoyle was born in Bowling, Yorkshire, England, November 1, 1843, son of Eli and Mary (Kemp) Hoyle.

Mary Hoyle, a widow, aged forty-eight years (b. Ossett), headed a Gawthorpe, Ossett, Yorkshire, household at the time of the UK Census of 1861. Her household included Thomas Hoyle, a woolen spinner, aged twenty-four years (b. Laster Dyke), Mary Hoyle, a worsted spinner, aged twenty-one years (b. Laster Dyke), James Hoyle, a worsted spinner, aged nineteen years (b. Bowling), Benjamin Hoyle, a worsted spinner, aged seventeen years (b. Bowling), Jane Hoyle, a worsted spinner, aged fifteen years (b. Bowling), Nancy Hoyle, a worsted spinner, aged thirteen years, and Hannah Hoyle, aged eight years (b. Ossett).

Benj Hoyle, works in woolen mill, aged twenty-five years (b. England), was one of thirty-one resident mill workers in the Haverhill, MA, household of Mary P. Jones, keeps house, aged forty-one years (b. ME).

Benjamin Hoyle married in Somersworth, NH, October 14, 1871, Abbie J. Witham, both of East Rochester, NH. He was a spinner, aged twenty-seven years, and she was aged thirty-one years. Rev. J.F. Smith performed the ceremony. She was born in Acton, ME, March 16, 1839, daughter of Amos/Amasa Witham.

Benjamin Hoyle, works in woolen mill, aged thirty-eight years (b. England), headed a Rochester, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Abbie J. Hoyle, keeping house, aged forty years (b. ME), his servant, Georgietta Merrill, a servant, aged twenty-two years (b. NH), and his boarders, Joseph Naylor, works in woolen mill, aged fifty-eight years (b. England), Norris Maddox, works in woolen mill, aged twenty-six years (b. ME), Annie Tenney, works in woolen mill, aged twenty-eight years (b. NH), Jennie Pollack, works in woolen mill, aged fifty years (b. Scotland), Emma Rankin, works in woolen mill, aged twenty-two years (b. ME), Lucretia Rankin, works in woolen mill, aged twenty-five years (b. ME), and Maggie Chalmers, works in woolen mill, aged thirty years (b. Scotland).

Benj. Hoyle appeared in the Milton business directories of 1887, 1889, as proprietor of Milton Mills’ Centennial House hotel.

Benjamin Hoyle appeared in an 1892 list of Summer Hotels and Boarding-Houses, as proprietor or landlord of Centennial House in Milton (NH Board of Agriculture, 1892).

Benj. Hoyle appeared in the Milton business directories of 1894, and 1898, as proprietor of Milton Mills’ summer boarding house.

Benjamin Hoyle appeared in an 1897 list of Summer Hotels and Boarding-Houses, as proprietor or landlord of Centennial House in Milton (NH Department of Agriculture, 1897).

Benjamin Hoyle appeared in the Milton directory of 1900, as a spinner at the W. mill, i.e., the Waumbeck mill, with his house on North Main street, W. road, in Milton Mills.

Benjamin Hoyle, a wool spinner, aged fifty-seven years (b. England), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills Village”) household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-eight years), Abby J. Hoyle, aged sixty-one years (b. ME). Benjamin Hoyle owned their house, free-and-clear. Abby J. Hoyle was the mother of no children. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Alby Merrill, a day laborer, aged fifty-four years (b. NH), and Charles S. Wentworth, a day laborer, aged forty-two years (b. NH).

Benj. Hoyle appeared in the Milton business directories of 1901, and 1904, as proprietor of a Milton Mills’ summer boarding house.

Benjamin Hoyle appeared in the Milton directory of 1902, as a spinner at the W. mill, i.e., the Waumbeck mill, with his house on North Main street, W. road, in Milton Mills. He appeared in the Milton directory of 1905-06, as a spinner at the W. mill, with his house at 106 North Main street, W. road, in Milton Mills.

Benjamin Hoyle, own income, aged sixty-seven years (b. England), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills”) household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty-nine years), Abby J. Hoyle, aged seventy-one years (b. ME). Benjamin Hoyle owned their house, free-and-clear. Abby J. Hoyle was the mother of no children. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Freeman D. Stevens, a shoe factory cutter, aged sixty years (b. NH), and Alby Merrill, own income, aged sixty years (b. VT).

Benjamin Hoyle appeared in the Milton directory of 1912, as a spinner at the T. mill, i.e., the Townsend mill, with his house at 106 North Main street, W. road, in Milton Mills. Benjamin and Abbie J. (Witham) Hoyle relocated from Milton Mills to East Rochester, NH, circa 1912-13.

Abbie J. (Witham) Hoyle died of cerebral paralysis (and liver cancer) in East Rochester, NH, March 15, 1916, aged seventy-six years, eleven months, and twenty-one days. She had resided in East Rochester, NH, for three years, formerly residing in Milton Mills. Stephen Young signed the death certificate.

Benjamin Hoyle appeared in the Milton directory of 1917, as having removed from Milton to Rochester, NH. (This would have occurred at some time between the directory of 1912 and that of 1917). He appeared in the Rochester, NH, directory of 1917, as a retiree, making his home with J.W. Clark, on Summer street, in East Rochester, NH.

John W. Clark, aged seventy-three years (b. NH), headed a Rochester, NH, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lucy B. Clark, aged fifty-three years (b. ME), his children, Abbie E. Clark, aged twenty-nine years (b. NH), and Ardis C. Clark, aged seventeen years (b. NH), his grandson, Perley A. Clark, aged ten months (b. NH), and his boarder, Benjamin Hoil [i.e., Hoyle], aged seventy-six years (b. England). John W. Clark owned their farm on Summer Street. Benjamin Hoil had immigrated into the U.S. in 1869, and become a naturalized citizen in 1880.

Benjamin Hoyle appeared in the Rochester, NH, directories of 1921, and posthumously in 1924, as a retiree, boarding on Summer street, in East Rochester, NH. (He appeared in the directory of 1926, again posthumously, as a retiree, boarding on Broadway street.

Benjamin Hoyle died of apoplexy, i.e., a stroke, in East Rochester, NH, January 10, 1923, aged seventy-nine years, two months, and nine days. He had resided in East Rochester, NH, for ten years, formerly residing in Milton Mills. John H. Bates signed the death certificate.


References:

Find a Grave. (2013, August 14). Benjamin Hoyle. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/115416845/benjamin-hoyle

Find a Grave. (2013, August 15). John Wesley Prescott. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/115526298/john-wesley-prescott

Keyes, George L. (1874). Keyes’ Hand-book of Northern Pleasure Travel. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=_h89AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA212

NH Board of Agriculture. (1892). Lakes and Summer Resorts in New Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=85Y-AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA78

NH Department of Agriculture. (1897). Gems of the Granite State. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=c3MUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PP76

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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