Celestial Seasonings – February 2022

By Heather Durham | January 31, 2022.

Greetings fellow skywatchers! Welcome to this month’s edition of Celestial Seasonings including two important and fascinating manifestations of manmade industriousness.

In the interest of clarity, I have included two quotes. The first one on Artemis comes from Wikipedia.

The Artemis program is a United States-led international human spaceflight program. Its primary goal is to return humans to the Moon, specifically the lunar south pole, by 2025. If successful, it will include the first crewed lunar landing mission since Apollo 17 in 1972, the last lunar flight of the Apollo program.
The Artemis program began in December 2017 as the reorganization and continuation of successive efforts to revitalize the U.S. space program since 2009. Its stated short-term goal is landing the first woman on the Moon; mid-term objectives include establishing an international expedition team and a sustainable human presence on the Moon. Long-term objectives are laying the foundations for the extraction of lunar resources, and eventually, make crewed missions to Mars and beyond feasible (Wikipedia, 2021).

And the other on Axiom from a website called Inverse.com. I have also included a YouTube video for your viewing pleasure that will provide you with visual depictions of February 2022 celestial events.

AXIOM SPACE COULD create the successor to humanity’s most iconic space station. The Houston-based firm plans to fly civilians on a series of private missions to the International Space Station. These missions would act as a steppingstone to a fully-fledged, private, independent space station.
It’s a fascinating twist in the new space race, which includes private companies alongside national agencies. While most attention has gone to rocket launch companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin, Axiom Space is an example of a company in another area that’s also crafting an exciting vision of humanity’s future in space.
Comments from Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos in May 2019 demonstrate why this is valuable. He explained that a company like Amazon could only emerge after the previous infrastructure was established, like the postal service and credit cards. Blue Origin, he said, would help develop the infrastructure to reach space so an imaginative entrepreneur could venture further in the future.
With Axiom Space, which depends on rocket launch companies to power its space station, that vision could take a big step forward.
The end goal is to use the private space station for commercial purposes. It could offer such amenities as a luxury hotel, a factory floor, or even a media production facility. The company’s website argues that “microgravity is the most promising environment for innovation and problem-solving since the Internet.
As NASA has only cleared the ISS for operations until 2030, it might even be a successor (Brown, 2022).

So, let’s now delve into the evening skies of February- the month of the full Snow Moon.

February 8. Today is the first quarter of the Moon.

February 9. Venus will reach its brightest as the morning or evening star. At times such as this, Venus can stand out so brightly that it may appear to shine along with our Sun and Moon. Mercury will locate to its highest point in the sky making it much more visible than it is normally.

February 11. Mercury will be at half phase. It only is visible in twilight so it might be difficult to view without equipment.

February 12. Venus reaches its highest point in the evening sky. Venus and Mars will rise to the right. This date will bring Artemis One, the first of three space flights planned for this program.

February 16. February is supposed to be the snowiest month, thus the name Snow Moon which will be full today. Mercury will be at its furthest distance from our Sun.

February 23. Today brings the last quarter of the Moon.

February 27. Today brings the right ascension of the Moon and Mars as well as the Moon and Venus. The Moon and Mars will closely approach one another.

February 28. Axiom in conjunction with Spacex will send people to space after they have completed ten days of training and paid fifty-five million dollars.


Brown, M. (2022, January 10). Axiom Space Details. Retrieved from www.inverse.com/innovation/axiom-space-details

Ford, D.F. (n.d.). 2022. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org

Now Next. (2022, January 17). February 2022 Astronomical Events. Retrieved from youtu.be/pVhWvgGmmok

Wikipedia. (2022, January 17). Artemis. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis

Milton Militiaman’s Petition – 1807

By Muriel Bristol | January 30, 2022

Norton Scates was born in Milton, June 27, 1790, son of Benjamin and Lydia (Jenness) Scates. His mother, Lydia (Jenness) Scates, died in Lebanon, ME, May 16, 1802.

The Federal Census exists to apportion voting districts, for which a simple headcount would suffice, but the government has always found military and other purposes for it too. The age range breakdowns for males – males aged 16-plus years and males aged under-16 years – in the early enumerations were intended to assess the potential size of the militia.

Norton Scates would have been sixteen years of age, i.e., aged 16-plus years in census terms, when he was wounded seriously while marching with Captain Levi Jones’ Milton militia company in September 1806.

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives in General Court Convened – June 1807

The Petition of Norton Scates a private soldier in the 8th Company in 2d Regimt of Militia ~

Humbly Sheweth

That he was enrolled, Duly notified and ordered to appear on the parade at Norway plains in Rochester on the 15th day of Septr 1806 equipped according to law for Military exercise ~ that in obedience to the laws of the State at the Command of my officers, set out for the place appointed, that on the March to said place, by an accidental Discharge of a Gun, by one of my brother soldiers in arms, I received a cruel wound in my body, under my right shoulder blade, which confined me for a long time to a sick bed, and came very near to have terminated in death, but by Divine Goodness, and the assistance of Medical aid, my wound is healed ~ But your Petitioner thereby is made a criple [SIC] ~ his Constitution destroyd and he in the prime of life rendered incapable of making a comfortable living by his industry ~ that the bills of expenses occasioned by said misfortune have been considerable and your petitioner has no means to discharge them without applying to an indulgent parent who has already done to the utmost of his abilities ~ But I am informed that the Goodness and Benevolence of the General Court has heretofore extended to relieve in some measure the unfortunate in such cases ~ I am therefore incouraged to pray that your Honors would Grant me such relief as your wisdom & Justice shall think proper ~ as I in duty bound do pray ~

Milton, May 25th 1807 Norton Scates

We the undersigned, having seen the above Petition, Do hereby Certify that the facts above stated are correct and that the Petitioner, in our opinion, Merits the interference of the Legislature

Levi Jones { Captain of Said Company
Wm Palmer, John Remick, Jr, Wm Tuttle } Selectmen of Milton
Saml Pray, Surgeon

(Dr. Samuel Pray (1769-1854) was a physician and surgeon at neighboring Rochester, NH. He would be one of the two NH Medical Society “Censors” that examined and approved Milton’s Dr. Stephen Drew (1791-1872) for admission to the society in 1818).

At a June 1807 session held in Hopkinton, NH (the current State House not having been completed until 1819), NH Representatives Samuel Quarles [of Ossipee], Beard Plumer [of Milton], and Harvey were assigned to a committee to consider the petition, together with such member or members that the NH Senate might designate.

The committee on the petition of Norton Scates, reported that Norton Scates receive out of the treasury of this State sixty dollars towards defraying the expence occasioned by the wound mentioned in his petition; which report was accepted, and a resolve passed for payment of said sum (NH General Court, 1807).

Benjn Scates headed a Milton household at the time of the Third (1810) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 45-plus years [himself], one female aged 26-44 years, one male aged 16-25 years [Norton Scates?], one female aged 16-25 years, and one female aged under-10 years]. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of David Wallingford and James Twambly.

Norton Scates married (1st) in Rochester, NH, November 22, 1812, Hannah Cook, both of Rochester (NEHGS, 1908). She was born in Rochester, NH, circa 1802.

Son Thomas L. Scates was born in Milton, December 17, 1813.

Father Benjamin Scates married (2nd) in Portsmouth, NH, February 8, 1814, Abigail Folsom, he of Milton and she of Portsmouth, NH. Rev. Joseph Walton performed the ceremony.

Norton Scates had evidently recovered sufficiently to march again with Milton’s militia company seven years later, in September 1814, when it was called up during the War of 1812. (See Milton in the War of 1812).

Ensign Norton Scates was one of fourteen officers of the Second NH Militia Regiment that petitioned the NH legislature, September 23, 1819, for appointment of a surgeon’s mate. (Captain Theodore C. Lyman was another petitioner (Scates’ brother, Benjamin Scates, Jr., was married to Lyman’s daughter, Lovey Lyman)).

Captain Jeremy Nute, Lt. James Hayes, Jr., and Ensign Norton Scates petitioned the Field Officers of the 2nd Regiment, May 31, 1820, to have their Milton company divided into a northern part and a southern part. Norton Scates signed also a remonstrance intended for the June 1820 session of the NH legislature. It opposed one or more competing petitions that sought the division of Milton into two towns.

Son Eri N. Scates was born in the “Fish House” in Milton in 1820.

He was a son of Captain Norton Scates and was born in Milton at the “Fish house,” where his father dwelled and kept the post office in the early twenties (Farmington News, July 28, 1899).

The “Fish House” had nothing to do with fish, as such, but was instead the former residence of John Fish (c1760-1819[?]). Fish had been one of Milton’s original selectmen, then town clerk, and had received his appointment as a justice-of-the-peace, June 24, 1814. He was said in 1820 to have been “removed by death,” and Scates took up residence in his house.

J. Norton Scates received an appointment as Milton’s second Postmaster during the administration of Democratic-Republican James Monroe, April 8, 1822. As this was at least in part a political plum, he was likely also a Democratic-Republican, i.e., a Democrat. He had paid over $6.39 to the Postal Department by July 1823 but owed them still a further $10.09 (US Postmaster General, 1824). Norton Scates received $3.98 in compensation for being Milton postmaster in 1824 (US Dept. of the Interior, 1824).

Step-mother Abigail (Folsom) Scates died in Milton, April 14, 1825.

Benjamin Gerrish succeeded Norton Scates in the postmaster position in 1826. The presidency being still held by a Democratic-Republican, President John Quincy Adams, this substitution might have arisen through Scates’ relocation to neighboring Middleton, NH.

The NH Senate considered a NH House bill on Tuesday, June 27, 1826, to revoke the militia commissions of officers that had moved from their respective militia company areas and had neglected to resign them in favor of new officers.

The Senate and House of Representatives of said State in General Court convened respectfully represent to your Excellency, that the following officers, who have been duly commissioned to command in the militia of said state, have removed from the limits of their respective commands without having resigned their commissions to wit: … Norton Scates, captain of the fourth company of infantry in the thirty-ninth regiment; and Benjamin Scates, jr., second lieutenant of the company of cavalry in said thirty-ninth regiment; and Japheth Gray ensign of the fifth company of infantry in said thirty-ninth regiment … (NH Senate, 1826).

Scates had risen to the captaincy of the Fourth Company in the Thirty-Ninth Regiment of NH Militia Infantry, but then had moved, apparently from Milton to Middleton, NH. (His brother, Benjamin Scates, Jr., had been 2nd Lieutenant of the Cavalry company of the same regiment and had also moved).

Norton Scates headed a Middleton household in that same Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 40-49 years [himself], one female aged 30-39 years [Hannah (Cook) Scates], one male aged 20-29 years, one male aged 10-14 years [Thomas L. Scates], one male aged 5-9 years [Eri N. Scates], and one female aged 5-9 years.

(Father Benj. Scates headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 70-79 years [himself], one female aged 40-49 years, one male aged 10-14 years, one female aged 5-9 years, and 1 male aged under-5 years. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Benj. Scates Jr., and Ed. Ellice).

Norton Scates was mentioned in the replevin action of York vs. Davis regarding a pasture in Middleton, NH. “Replevin” is the legal term for a lawsuit seeking return of personal property, in this case nine cows impounded by defendant Davis.

On trial, it appeared that the plaintiff in 1833 and 1834 occupied a pasture by parole permission of John York, Jr., who held the same by a conveyance from James Goodwin executed in 1832, and that the defendant owned and occupied a pasture, contiguous to that occupied by the plaintiff, which he purchased of one Norton Scates in 1830. The plaintiff offered evidence tending to show that Goodwin and Scates, while owners of the closes agreed by parol on a division of the fence between them, and built and maintained the fence accordingly until they parted with their title and occupation. The court instructed the jury that such agreement not being in writing would not be binding on their grantees or successors in the occupation (NH Supreme Court, 1844).

The lower court had decided in favor of the plaintiff, John York, Jr. The defendant Davis had appealed to the NH Supreme Court.

Norton Scates appeared only as having been the prior part-owner with one Goodwin of the meadow land. They had agreed between them to partition the shared land with a fence (Good fences make good neighbors). Scates had sold out to York in 1830, and Goodwin to Davis in 1832. Davis had not maintained his portion of the fence as faithfully as he might have, which allowed York’s nine cows to cross over. (The grass being always greener on the other side). The NH Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff York, who got his nine cows back (NH Supreme Court, 1844)

Father Benjamin Scates died in Milton, August 9, 1833.

Son Thomas L. Scates married in Boston, MA, October 11, 1835, Eliza Clarke. Rev. Hubbard Winslow performed the ceremony.

Son Eri N. Scates married in Dover, NH, April 5, 1837, Mary N. Smith, both of Dover, NH. Edward Cleveland performed the ceremony.

Son Thomas L. Scates was printer of the Groton Academy Catalog in 1838. He published the Yeoman’s Gazette, a Middlesex County, MA, newspaper, in 1838-39.

Norton Scates headed a Dover household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 50-59 years [himself], one female aged 30-39 years, and two females aged 15-19 years. One member of his household was engaged in “Agriculture” as opposed to the other two possibilities of Commerce or Industry.

Son Thomas L. Scates appeared in the Boston, MA, directory of 1842, as a printer, with his house at 3 Beach street.

Norton Scates appeared in the Dover, NH, directory of 1843, as a laborer, with his house on Main street. Son Eri N. Scates was a mariner, with his house on Perkins street.

Norton Scates appeared in the Dover, NH, directory of 1848, as keeper of N. & J. Young’s storehouse, with his house on Water street. (N. & J. Young were tanners & curriers on Water street). Son Eri N. Scates was a watchman at C.M. [Cocheco Manufacturing] Co., with his house near School street.

Norton Scates married (2nd) in Rochester, NH, October 29, 1849, Hannah E. Matthes. She was born in Milton, April 8, 1804, daughter of Robert and Sarah (Jones) Mathes.

Norton Scates a laborer, aged fifty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Dover, NH, household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Hannah Scates, aged forty-six years (b. NH), and William Scates, aged ten years (b. NH).

Norton Scates appeared in the Dover, NH directory of 1859, as a grocer on Main street, with his house at the rear of the store. Son Eri N. Scates was a watchman at C.M. [Cocheco Manufacturing] Co., with his house on First street.

Norton Scates, a merchant, aged seventy years (b. NH), headed a Dover, NH, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Hannah Scates, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH). Norton Scates had real estate valued at $1,000 and personal estate valued at $400.

Son Thomas L. Scates died of phthisis in Boston, MA, December 21, 1860, aged forty-seven years, three days.

Norton Scates was a Sealer of Weights and Measures for the city government of Dover, NH, in 1858, 1859, 1860, 1862, 1863, 1864, and 1866. A city expense report of 1862 recorded payments to him of 40¢ for sealing measures, $3.00 for goods delivered to Mrs. Martin Drew (a dependent of a Civil War volunteer). He was a Measurer of Wood and Surveyor of Lumber in 1864 (City of Dover, 1865).

Son Eri N. Scates married (2nd), May 12, 1865, Nancy J. (Clough) Davis. She was born in Effingham, NH, August 11, 1833, daughter of John B. and Sarah (Wentworth) Clough. (She had married (1st) January 19, 1852, Henry S. Davis, and they had a son, Charles H. Davis, before divorcing in June 1862).

Norton Scates, a laborer, aged eighty-one years (b. NH), headed a Dover, NH, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Hannah Scates, keeping house, aged sixty-seven years (b. NH), and Albert Mathes, a savings bank clerk, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH). Norton Scates had real estate valued at $1,200 and personal estate valued at $500. (See  Milton in the News – 1903 for more details regarding her nephew, Albert O. Mathes (1842-1907)).

Son Eri N. Scates died in Ossipee, NH, January 8, 1877.

Hannah E. [(Mathes)] Scates later claimed a War of 1812 widow’s pension for Norton Scates’s service in Capt. William Courson’s Milton militia company. (See Milton in the War of 1812).

Hannah E. [(Mathes)] Scates appeared in the Dover, NH, directory of 1880, as a widow, boarding at Mrs. S.J. Bliss’. Sarah J. Bliss appeared as a widow, with her house on Portland street.

Daughter-in-law Nancy J. ((Clough) Davis) Scates died in 1881.

Hannah E. (Mathes) Scates died of uremia in Dover, NH, May 16, 1882, aged seventy-eight years, one month, and eight days.


City of Dover. (1865). Annual Report of the Receipts and Expenditures of the City of Dover. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=LWkvAQAAMAAJ

Find a Grave. (2015, August 8). Nancy Jane Clough Scates. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/150369059/nancy-jane-scates

Find a Grave. (2016, September 26). Thomas L. Scates. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/170607058/thomas-l-scates

NEHGS. (1908). First Congregational Church Records, Rochester, N.H. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=8cwUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA147

NH Department of State. (n.d.). New Hampshire, Government Petitions, 1700-1826: Box 38: 1805-1807

NH General Court. (1805). Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of New-Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=J_xBAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA3-PA22

NH Senate. (1826). Journals of the NH Senate. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=izITAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA98

NH Supreme Court. (1844). Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Judicature of New Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=P380AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA242

US Department of the Interior. (1824). Official Register of the United States: Containing a List of Officers and Employees in the Civil, Military, and Naval Service. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=etg9AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA66

US Postmaster General. (1824). Letter from the Postmaster General. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=2YFHAQAAIAAJ&pg=RA8-PA48

Milton’s Dr. Stephen Drew (1791-1872)

By Muriel Bristol | January 23, 2022

Stephen Drew was born in Newfield, ME, April 7, 1791, son of Elijah and Abigail (Clarage [or Claridge]) Drew.

(His birthplace of Maine might be regarded as being a matter of some dispute. His parents were for several years surrounding his birth in the process of moving as settlers from Durham, NH, to Newfield, ME. Dr. Drew consistently told the later census enumerators who asked him that he had been born in “N.H.,” i.e., Durham, NH).

Dr. Stephen Drew studied medicine with Dr. Ayer of Newfield, Me., attended medical lectures at Harvard University and at other medical colleges, and received his diploma in medicine about the year 1815. He first practiced his profession for more than a year at Conway, in this State, thence he removed to Milton, N.H. (Haley, 1872).

Biographical notes of Dr. James Ayer, Sr. (1781-1834), of Newfield, ME, note that he was a member of the Maine Medical Society, practiced in Newfield from 1805 until his death, and that during his life he had several medical students (Ayer, 1892).

Stephen Drew married in Wakefield, NH, October 26, 1817, Harriet Watson. He was a physician, aged twenty-six years, and she was aged twenty-two years. She was born in Milton, April 9, 1795, daughter of Stephen and Mary (Fogg) Watson.

Stephen Drew settled at Milton Mills in 1818 or 1819, and after a year or two moved to the Three Ponds. He is supposed to have been the first resident physician in town. Before his time doctors were called from other towns when needed (Scales, 1914).

Two Censors of the NH Medical Society met in Farmington, NH, July 21, 1818, and there examined Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton as a candidate for membership.

State of New Hampshire. This may certify that we the subscribers, Censors of the New Hampshire Medical Society, have examined Dr Stephen Drew of Milton in said State, a Candidate for the practice of Physic & Surgery, respecting his skill and knowledge therein, and having found him duly qualified therefor, do, in testimony of our approbation, hereunto subscribe our names at Farmington, this 21st day of July Anno Domini 1818. Asa Crosby, Samuel Pray, Censors of the N.H. Med. Society. Attest Saml Morril Sec’y (NH Medical Society, 1911).

They were censors in the ancient Roman sense of the term: examining candidates and maintaining up-to-date lists of approved physicians through the addition or removal of names. Changes would arise usually through the approval of new members, and relocations, retirements, or deaths of older ones, but also through the occasional “striking off” from their rolls of offending ones. (Dr. Drew would be himself a Censor for the society in 1833).

At the time that Dr. Drew joined them, the society had its own annually expanding medical library of eighty volumes at Portsmouth, NH (and others “at C.,’ i.e., Concord, NH):

Saunders on the Liver, 1; Cook on Tinea Capitis, 1; Fothergill’s works, 2; Willan on Cutaneous Diseases, No 3; Bostock on respiration, 1; Harty on Dysentery, 1; Bell’s Surgery, 3; Ford on the Hipjoint, 1; Burns’ Anatomy, 1; Chapman’s Midwifery, 1; Read on Electricity, 1; Rush works, 5; Currie, 1; Prize questions, 1; Rush Lectures, 1; Annals Chemistry, 1; McBride’s Essay, 1; Richerand’s Physeology, 1; Bell on Wounds, 1; Cheyne, 1; Bell on Ulcers, 1; Abernethey’s Observations, 1; Desault’s Chi Journal; Thomas’s Practice, 1, 1st at C, 1; Denman’s Aphorisms, 1; Moss on Dysentery, 1; Bell’s Operative Surgery, 2; Horne’s Observations, 2; Priestly on Air, 3; Rigby on Uterine Hem, 1; Withering’s Botany, 3; of Medical Extracts, 3, 1st c, 1 & 2 at C; Desault’s Surgery, 2; Le Drans’ consultations, 1; Smellie’s Tables, 1; Heberdon’s comment, 1; Balfour on fevers, 1; Wiseman’s Chiurgery, 1, 2nd c; Crill’s Chem Journal, 1; Medical Ethics, 1; Pemberton’s Treatise, 1; Pott on Hydrocele, 1; Watson’s Chemical Essay, 2nd, 2 at C; Fordyce on Digestion, 1; Russell on kneejoint, 1; Duncan’s Comment, 10; Beddoes on Consumption, 1; McClurg on the Bile, 1; Medical and Physical Journal, 6; Boyer on the Bones, 1; Wardrop on soft Cancer, 1; 80 volumes (NH Medical Society, 1911).

Even a modern layman might recognize at least one of these tomes: “Priestly on Air.” Joseph Priestly (1733-1804) discovered oxygen, as well as nine other gasses. The society’s member physicians seem to have been able to borrow the society’s library books for several months at a time.

Each Fellow and Associate be entituled to receive out of the library Four Volumes at a time, and keep the same three calendar months, and in case of neglect to return them at the time, he shall forfeit and pay Twelve & half cents a week for each volume so kept, to be demanded and received by the librarian (NH Medical Society, 1911).

Son Stephen Watson Drew was born in Milton, August 15, 1818. (He was a namesake for his maternal grandfather, Revolutionary soldier Stephen Watson (1762-1846)).

The Milton of fifty-six years ago was very different from the Milton of to-day. Says a reliable informant: “At that early period the large tract of country over which his visits extended was a wilderness in comparison with to-day. Very few good roads, but many bridle paths, making it necessary for him to perform much of his labor on horseback, subjecting him to much inconvenience and exposure” (Haley, 1872).

Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton became a member of the Strafford District Medical Society – the local branch of the statewide NH Medical Society – in 1819; and he was its secretary in 1823 (Scales, 1914).

The use of Quack Medicines should be discouraged, as disgraceful to the profession, injurious to health & often destructive to life. No physician or surgeon therefore shall dispense a secret nostrum whether it be his invention, or exclusive property; for if it is of real efficacy, the concealment of it is inconsistent with beneficence & professional liberality, and if mystery alone give it value and importance, such craft implies either disgraceful ignorance or fraudulent avarice (NH Medical Society, 1911).

Son David Fogg Drew was born in Milton, February 5, 1820. (He was a namesake for his maternal great uncle, Revolutionary soldier David Fogg (1759-1826) of Epping, NH).

Stephen Drew was one of a “number of respectable citizens” of Milton that petitioned the NH legislature in June 1820, opposing a proposed division of Milton into two parts. He signed also a November 1820 remonstrance regarding the same issue.

The NH Medical Society voted at their meeting held in Concord, NH, June 5, 1821, that twenty-nine [associate] members, including Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton, should be admitted as Fellows of the society. (Dr. Jacob Hammons [Hammond] of neighboring Farmington, NH, was also so admitted). Patients with difficult or unusual symptoms were examined at the meeting and treatment recommendations made. After lunch, officers were elected, reports heard, and delegates to other societies and institutions selected. Five doctors were appointed “to be a committee cloathed with discretionary powers to make application to the Legislature for the enactment of a law for the suppression of quackery and also for pecuniary aid” (NH Medical Society, 1821).

Daughter Abby Jane Drew was born in Milton, May 30, 1822.

The NH legislature authorized incorporation of the Milton Social Library by nine Milton men, including Stephen Drew, June 14, 1822.Drew, Stephen - Signature - 1822

Stephen Drew was one of nineteen Milton inhabitants who petitioned to have Gilman Jewett (1777-1856) appointed as a coroner, June 12, 1823. They observed that there was no coroner between Rochester and Wakefield, NH, a distance of twenty miles, on the “great main road from Portsmouth to Lancaster,” NH. (See Milton Seeks a Coroner – June 1823).

Daughter Clarissa Mathes Drew was born in Milton, February 28, 1824. (She was a namesake for her maternal aunt, Clarissa Watson (1799-1824), who had married in Milton, August 24, 1823, Stephen M. Mathes, and died in Milton, January 16, 1824, aged twenty-four years. (Mathes was during their short marriage Milton’s town clerk)).

Milton’s three Selectmen of 1828 were Stephen Drew, William B. Wiggin (1800-1878), and Ichabod H. Wentworth (1795-1872). (Ichabod H. and Peace (Varney) Wentworth were the parents of Hiram V. Wentworth and Eli Wentworth).

Steph. Drew headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 30-39 years [Stephen Drew], one female aged 30-39 years [Harriet Drew], one male aged 20-29 years, one female aged 15-19 years, two males aged 10-14 years [Stephen W. Drew and David F. Drew], one female aged 5-9 years [Abigail J. Drew], and one female aged under-5 years [Clara M. Drew]. His household was enumerated between those of Peletiah Hanscom and James Goodwin.

Stephen Drew received an appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace, June 29, 1830.

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE. Milton, Joshua N. Cate, Jotham Nute, Daniel Hayes, John Remich, James Roberts, Hanson Hayes, Stephen M. Mathes, John Nutter, Thomas Chapman, Theodore C. Lyman, Samuel S. Mason, Stephen Drew, Israel Nute (Claremont Manufacturing Company, 1830).

Third-year Maine Medical student Moses R. Warren (1804-1881) of Milton had Dr. Stephen Drew as his local instructor or preceptor during the Spring of 1832 (Bowdoin College, 1832). Warren might have been the male aged 20-29 years residing with the Drew family in 1830. Moses R. Warren, M.D., of Middleton, NH, was proposed as a Fellow in the NH Medical Society in June 1834. (By 1865, he was practicing in Rochester, NH, and was an officer of the Strafford District Medical Society).

When the NH Medical Society met at the Phoenix Hotel in Concord, NH, June 6, 1832, it appointed John McCrillis and Stephen Drew as its Strafford County Counsellors (NH Medical Society, 1911).

Milton sent Stephen Drew as its representative to the NH legislature for the 1833-34 biennium (Scales, 1914). While it would be possible to study his voting record in some detail, a single example will suffice to give some idea of the legislative process in which he was involved.

In 1833, NH Senate passed a bill entitled, “An act to repeal an act entitled an act allowing certain premiums for killing Bears, Wild Cats, Crows and Foxes.” That is to say, the NH Senate sought to repeal a previously enacted bounty on bears, wildcats, crows and foxes. One supposes that farmers might have been in favor of such bounties. Rep. Drew voted with those that sought to indefinitely postpone the bill, i.e., he voted to retain the bounties. The motion passed by a single vote, but the House Speaker threw his vote into the negative column, causing a tie, so consideration of the bill was not postponed indefinitely. Next a similar motion was made to postpone the bill only until the next session, i.e., two years out, rather than indefinitely, and that motion passed by a larger margin. So, the bounties remained in place, at least for another two years (NH General Court, 1833).

Dr. Stephen Drew was one of twelve “Censors” for the New Hampshire Medical Society in 1833 (Farmer & Lyon, 1833).

State of Newhampshire. We the Censors of the Newhampshire Medical Society have this day examined Mr. Elijah Blaisdell of Boscawen in this State in the different branches of Medicine, Surgery & Obstetricks and do recommend him as qualified to practice in those branches. Concord, June 3rd 1834. Dixi Crosby, David T. Livy, Stephen Drew } Censors. Attest Enos Hoyt, Secretary (NH Medical Society, 1911). 

Mother-in-law Mary (Fogg) Watson died in Acton, ME, March 10, 1835, aged sixty-four years.

Stephen Drew received a renewal of his appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace, June 15, 1835. He was at this time “advanced” or promoted to justice in quorum.

Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton was president of the Strafford District Medical Society in 1836-38 (Scales, 1914).

Son David F. Drew of Milton, aged sixteen years, and his elder brother, Stephen W. Drew of Milton, aged nineteen years, entered Phillips Exeter Academy, in Exeter, NH, in January 1836 and January 1837, respectively. (In a graduate catalog of 1850 they were listed as Stephen W. Drew, M.D., of Milton, and David F. Drew, A.M., Dart. Col., of Milton) (Phillips Exeter Academy, 1838, 1850).

Stephen Drew succeeded James M. Twombly (1798-1886) as Milton postmaster, June 17, 1837. Such positions were at this time political plums given out to supporters. The incoming U.S. President who appointed him was Democrat Martin Van Buren. James Firneld [Fernald] (1779-1861) succeeded Dr. Drew in that position, March 10, 1840. The incoming U.S. President at that time was Whig William Henry Harrison. President Harrison died within a month and was replaced by his Vice President John Tyler. (Their campaign slogan had been: “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”).

When the NH Medical Society met at the Phoenix Hotel in Concord, NH, June 5, 1838, it appointed Stephen Drew, M.D., and Noah Martin, M.D., as its Strafford County Counsellors. When it met again at the Phoenix Hotel in the following year, June 4, 1839, it appointed Stephen Drew, M.D., and J.S. Fernald, M.D., as its Strafford County Counsellors (NH Medical Society, 1911).

The article in the By-laws respecting Consultations was discussed, which resulted in the adoption of the following Resolution – That it is disreputable for any fellow of this Society to leave with any patient, his written prescription or opinion, in any case where he has satisfactory evidence that such prescription will go into the hands, and be administered by an empyrick, or any pretender, not in fellowship with the faculty of Medicine (NH Medical Society, 1911).

Empirics, as the NH Medical society defined them (and as we would now spell it), were healers or doctors who relied primarily on their practical experience – empiricism – rather than on scientific theories and principles. The NH Medical Society regarded empirics or empiricists as being charlatans, quacks, or pretenders.

It is a bit of a side-trip, but the reader might find some clarity regarding the issues and, perhaps, even some levity, in an anecdote of medical empiricist “Dr.” David B. Gray (1834-1900) of Penobscot in our neighboring State o’ Maine.

Dr. Franklin Farrow of Brooksville faces a problem. One of his maternity patients was running dangerously overdue for delivery. None of the ordinary inducements had worked. For reassurance he called in Dr. Littlefield from Blue Hill and Dr. Babcock from across the Bagaduce. The visiting doctors arrived and made their own examinations. Dr. Littlefield recommended the use of forceps. Dr. Farrow was violently opposed. The husband, growing worried and impatient, suggested that if these eminent gentlemen could not agree perhaps they had better call in Dr. David Gray. Dr. Gray was a man with a considerable reputation. His methods and his success were based on the use of old-fashioned Indian remedies and obscure procedures which the more conservative M.D.s had not found in their medical school texts. Dr. Babcock remembers him as a most impressive man who wore a tail-coat beneath a bushy beard. He had an air of solemn dignity about him that was bound to impress his patients and give confidence and authenticity to his decisions. Dr. Gray arrived and after making his examination, the fourth that the by now discouraged patient had been obliged to endure, he joined his colleagues in the parlor. Satisfied with his examination and secure in his diagnosis, he put it all in a simple question: ‘Why don’t you quill her?’ Dr. Babcock, thinking that Gray was directing the question to him and having no knowledge of ‘quilling,’ suggested that Dr. Littlefield do the honors. Dr. Littlefield, equally in ignorance, passed the buck to Dr. Farrow. Finally it was unanimously agreed that Dr. Gray was the man to carry out his own recommendation. ‘Very well,’ said Dr. Gray, and the conference moved to the bedside. With the dignity of a Tarratine chieftain performing a tribal ceremony, the doctor brought forth from an inner pocket the long tail feather of a turkey. He smoothed out the ruffled tip with his finger, holding the instrument of nature in his left hand with the grace of a conductor’s baton. The patient was too exhausted to take any notice. Watching the rhythm of her breathing, he waited for an inhalation. As deftly as a surfboarder timing a wave, he inserted the tip of the feather into the patient’s nostril, agitating it gently. In a reflex of surprise and muscular response she cut loose with an enormous sneeze. The normal forces of labor were cut loose from their shackles and a normal birth was under way (Francis W. Hatch, “I Think We’d Better Quill Her,” Ellsworth American, April 27, 1972).

Stephen Drew headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 40-49 years [Stephen Drew], one female aged 40-49 years [Harriet Drew], two males aged 20-29 years [Stephen W. Drew and David F. Drew], and two females aged 15-19 years [Abigail J. Drew and Clarissa M. Drew]. One member of his household, presumably Dr. Drew himself, was employed in a learned profession. His household was enumerated between those of Paul Jewett and Lucy D. Hartford.

Stephen Drew received a renewal of his appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace in quorum, June 13, 1840.

When the NH Medical Society met at the Phoenix Hotel in Concord, NH, June 1, 1841, it appointed John Morrison of Alton, NH, and Stephen Drew of Milton as its Strafford County Censors (NH Medical Society, 1911).

Father Elijah Drew, Esq., died in Newfield, ME, November 18, 1841, aged ninety-four years.

Son David F. Drew of Milton was a student at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, in 1841. (He graduated in 1842 and studied medicine with his father in 1842-44).

Son Stephen W. Drew joined the Strafford Medical Society in 1843. S. Watson Drew married, probably in Milton, June 20, 1843, Mary Yeaton Chase. She was born in Milton Mills, June 25, 1823, daughter of Simon and Sarah (Wingate) Chase.

Stephen Drew, John L. Swinerton, and Stephen W. Drew appeared in the NH Registers of 1844 and 1846, as being Milton’s physicians (Claremont Manufacturing, 1846).

Mother Abigail (Clarage [or Claridge]) Drew died in Dover, NH, October 20, 1843, aged ninety years.

Justices of the Peace. MiltonLevi Jones, Stephen Drew, Daniel Hayes, Hanson Hayes, John Nutter, Theodore C. Lyman, John L. Swinerton, Joseph Cook, John J. Plumer, Daniel Hayes, jr., Enoch Banfield, Daniel P. Warren, Joseph Cook, James Berry, Wm. B. Lyman (NH Register and Farmer’s Almanac, 1844).

Son David F. Drew was principal of the Rochester Academy in Rochester, NH, in 1844-45 (McDuffee, 1892).

From March, 1844, to the latter part of 1845, David Fogg Drew, son of Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton, was principal (McDuffee, 1892).

Son David F. Drew was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in July 1846 (Davis, 1895).

In 1845 became a law student in the office of Daniel M. Christy, of Dover; later studied with Theodore Otis, of Roxbury, Massachusetts; also with Willey & Hutchins, of Boston, and after his admission to the Suffolk bar in 1847 [1846] he began the practice of law in that city (Cutter, 1919).

Daniel M. Christie (1790-1876), Esq., was a fellow Dartmouth graduate, lawyer and justice in quorum at Dover, NH. Theodore Otis (1811-1873) was a counsellor, i.e., lawyer, at 4 State street, in Boston, MA, who resided in neighboring Roxbury, MA. Willey & Hutchins had their law offices at 5 Court square in Boston, MA.

Father-in-law Stephen Watson died in Acton, ME, in October 1846, aged eighty-four years.

Justices of the Peace. MILTONLevi Jones, Stephen Drew, Hanson Hayes, John Nutter, Theodore C. Lyman, John L. Swinerton, Joseph Cook, John J. Plumer, Daniel Hayes, Jr., Enoch Banfield, Daniel P. Warren, James Berry, William B. Lyman, Levi Hayes, Jr., James Furnald (NH Register and Farmer’s Almanac, 1846).

Daughter Abbie J. Drew married September 15, 1847, Moses W. Shapleigh, Esq., she of Milton and he of Lebanon, ME. She died June 15, 1848, aged twenty-six years.

MARRIAGES AND DEATHS. MARRIAGES. SHAPLEIGH, Moses W., Esq., Lebanon, Me., to ABBA JANE, eldest daughter of Stephen Drew, M.D., Milton, N.H., Sept. 15 (NEHGS, 1847).

Son David F. Drew moved to New York, NY, where he initially practiced law but then reverted to being a school principal.

In 1849 he removed to New York City, where he opened a law office, but was shortly afterward induced to accept the mastership of one of the metropolitan schools, which position he retained for some time (Cutter, 1919).

Milton - 1856 (Detail) - Dr S Drew
Milton in 1856 (Detail). Dr. S. Drew is shown with the red arrow.

Stephen Drew, a physician, aged fifty-eight years (b. NH [SIC]), headed a Milton household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Harriet Drew, aged fifty-four years (b. NH), Clara M. Drew, aged twenty-five years (b. NH), and Relief Jones, aged eleven years (b. ME). Stephen Drew had real estate valued at $2,500. (Relief G. Jones (1839-1921) was a daughter of Jonathan and Rebecca (Knox) Jones of Lebanon, ME. Her mother had died in 1848).

Son S. Watson Drew, M.D., of Woburn, MA, published in the Boston Medical & Surgical Journal an account of his attendance at the delivery of triplets on the afternoon of Sunday, January 25, 1852.

Dr. Drew’s Report of a Case of Triplets. – The following account, from Dr. Drew, of the case of triplets, alluded to in last week’s Journal, came too late for insertion in its proper place. I was called last Sunday P.M., 25th inst., at half past 1, to Mrs. Patrick Costelo of Winchester. She gave birth to a boy at 20 minutes before 4 o’clock. Presentation natural. Labor pains continued, and at 20 minutes past 5 o’clock, she gave birth to another boy. Breach presentation. About two minutes after, another boy was born. Presentation natural. The placenta came away in a short time, and the womb contracted well. The placenta was about the common width, where there is only one child. The length was three times as long as it was wide. The funis attached to the first child was once around its neck; it was three feet long and attached to one end of the placenta. That of the second was small, 2½ feet long, and attached to the other end of the placenta. The cord of the third child was two feet long, and attached to the middle of the placenta. Weight of first child, 7 lbs.; weight of second, 4 lbs. 10 oz.; weight of third, 6¾ lbs. They are all alive, and to-day, together with their mother, are doing well. S. WATSON DREW. Woburn, Mass., Jan. 30, 1852 (Cupples, Upham & Co., 1852).

James, Hugh, and Winchester Costello were born in Winchester, MA, January 25, 1852, triplet sons of Irish immigrants Patrick and Mary [(Duffy)] Costello of Winchester.

The NH Annual Register & US Calendar of 1853 identified Milton’s Justices of the Peace as being Stephen Drew, John L. Swinerton, Joseph Cook, John J. Plumer, Daniel Hayes, Jr., Daniel P. Warren, James Berry, Ichabod H. Wentworth, Joseph Pearl, Robert Mathes, Elias S. Cook, David Wallingford, John E. Goodwin, Charles C. Hayes, Jas. Jewett, Thos. Y. Wentworth, Asa Fox, James Connor, and Eli Wentworth (Lyon, 1853).

Daughter Clara M. Drew married in Milton, August 21, 1851, John Brodhead Wentworth. (J.B. Wentworth, a M.E. clergyman, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), headed a Perry, NY, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Clara Wentworth, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), and four children).

Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton appears to have been a Democrat when he had served as Milton postmaster in 1837-40. But the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 fractured the Democrat party over the issue of slavery. The Republican party was formed at that time by former Whigs, whose own party had collapsed already, defecting anti-slavery Democrats, such as Dr. Drew had either been or become, and others. (See Milton and Abolitionism).

His church affiliations were with the Congregationalists. He was a Master Mason. In politics he was in later years a Republican (Cutter, 1919).

Son David F. Drew returned to the study of medicine in 1853 and graduated from the medical school of the University of Albany, NY, in 1855. He married in Brooklyn, NY, in May 1856, Olivia M. Gilman. She was born in Canaan, ME, August 11, 1832, daughter of Winthrop W. and Deborah (Tupper) Gilman. (Olivia M. Gilman of New York, NY, had been a student at the Brooklyn Female Academy in the 1850-51 academic year).

Son David F. Drew and his elder brother, S. Watson Drew, both appeared in the Massachusetts Register of 1857, as Woburn, MA, physicians. S. Watson Drew of Woburn was also a surgeon’s mate with the 5th MA Militia Regiment in 1857.

Son David F. Drew appeared in the Lynn, MA, directories of 1858, 1860, and 1863, as a physician, with his house at 7 Franklin street.

Stephen Drew, a “practicing physician in Milton 40 years,” aged sixty-six years (b. NH [SIC]), headed a Milton household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Harriet Drew, aged sixty-three years (b. NH). Stephen Drew had real estate valued at $6,000 and personal estate valued at $5,000. He was enumerated just after, i.e., in close proximity to, Joseph Jenness, landlord [of the Milton Hotel], aged thirty-six years (b. NH). Boarding with Jenness were two other doctors: Dr. Jackson, a physician, aged forty-two years (b. NH), and George Hattan, an Indian doctor, i.e., an “empiric,” aged fifty-five years (b. NH).

Son Stephen W. Drew served as surgeon for the 9th MA Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.

MILITARY. NINTH REGIMENT. Stephen Watson Drew of Woburn, appointed Surgeon (Aug. 27, 1861), in place of Peter Pineo, promoted Brigade Surgeon, U.S.A. (Boston Evening Transcript, September 12, 1861).

Son David F. Drew, a physician, aged forty-four years (b. MA [SIC]) registered for the Civil War military draft in Lynn, MA, in May or June 1863. He was an “At Large” Lynn School Committee member in 1864.

Stephen Drew of Milton paid $10 for his physician’s license in the US Excise Tax of 1862. He paid $6.67 in the US Excise Tax of 1863; $10 in the US Excise Tax of 1864; $10 in the US Excise Tax of 1865; and $10 in the US Excise Tax of 1866.

Stephen Drew of Milton made his last will in Milton, July 9, 1866. He devised his homestead in Milton, as well as any other property, to his “beloved” wife, Harriet Drew. He gave to his two sons, Stephen Watson Drew and David Fogg Drew, “all my library, medicines, surgical instruments, splints, and office furniture,” to be divided equally between them. [Both sons were also physicians, but in Woburn and Lynn, MA, respectively]. He gave his daughter, Clara Mathes Drew Wentworth, the sum of $100, and all the remainder of his personal estate to his wife, Harriet Drew. He appointed Harriet Drew, Stephen Watson Drew, and David Fogg Drew as joint executors. Joseph Sayward, Ira S. Knox, and Nathaniel G. Pinkham signed as witnesses. The will would be proved in Farmington, NH, April 2, 1872 (Strafford County Probate, 84:46).

Stephen Drew appeared in the Milton business directories of 1867-68 and 1868, as a Milton physician.

Son David F. Drew was mentioned in the later obituary of Dr. Solomon W. Young (1835-1890), as having been in 1869 the decedent’s medical instructor or mentor in Lynn, MA. (Young appeared in the Ninth (1870) Federal Census as a Lynn shoe worker).

Drew, Dr DF
Dr. David F. Drew. To the extent that a son might resemble his father, or vice versa, Dr. Stephen Drew might have looked like him.

RECENT DEATHS. Dr. Solomon Walker Young, who died at Pittsfield, N.H., yesterday, was born in Alexandria, N.H., and was in the fifty-fourth year of his age. A volume entitled “Legends and Lyrics,” of which he was the author, is now ready for publication. He was educated at Pittsfield and Exeter academies, and taught school many years. He served at Winchester and Fredericksburg in the Twelfth New Hampshire Volunteers. He studied medicine with Dr. David Drew of Lynn in 1869, and attended medical lectures at Harvard in 1871 and 1872, and in 1875 received his degree of M.D. from Dartmouth. He practiced one year in Lynn and then went to Barnstead and from then to Pittsfield. He has written many poems (Boston Evening Transcript, January 25, 1890).

Stephen Drew, a physician, aged seventy-nine years (b. NH [SIC]), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Harriet W. Drew, keeping house, aged seventy-five years (b. NH). Stephen Drew had real estate valued at $5,000 and personal estate valued at $1,300.

Stephen Drew appeared in the Milton business directories of 1871, as a Milton physician.

Dr. Stephen Drew died of consumption in Milton, February 27, 1872, aged eighty-one years, ten months.

Rev. Frank Haley wrote and published an obituary and appreciation of Dr. Drew (see Milton’s Dr. Drew (1791-1872)).

Son Stephen W. “Watson” Drew, M.D., died in Woburn, MA, February 18, 1875, aged fifty-six years, six months.

Masonic. The members of “Woburn Royal Arch Chapter and Mount Horeb Lodge, F. and A.M.,” are requested to meet at Masonic Hall, Woburn, Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 1½ o’clock, for the purpose of attending the funeral of our late companion and brother, S. Watson Drew. SPARROW HORTON, Secretary. Woburn, Feb. 20, 1875 (Boston Globe, February 22, 1875).

DEATHS. DREW – At Woburn, 18th inst., S. Watson Drew, M.D., 56 yrs., 6 mos. (Boston Evening Transcript, February 23, 1875).

Harriet Drew of Lynn, MA, made her last will in Lynn, MA, March 12, 1875. (She was then living with her son, David F. Drew). She devised $1 each to her grandchildren, Mary Josephine Drew, Harriet Watson Drew, and Carrie Brooks Drew, all of them children of her son, Stephen Watson Drew of Woburn, MA, lately deceased. She devised $1 to her other son, David F. Drew of Lynn, MA. [As he was still living, his four daughters, Carrietta H. Drew, Clara O. Drew, Alice G. Drew, and Lillian W. Drew, did not receive placeholder bequests].

Milton - 1871 (Detail) - Dr S Drew
Milton in 1871 (Detail). Dr. S. Drew is shown with the red arrow.

Harriet Drew devised $1 to her daughter Clara M.D. Wentworth of LeRoy, NY, wife of John Broadhead Wentworth, but also the Milton homestead of Stephen Drew, late of Milton, physician. [As she was still living, her ten children did not receive placeholder bequests]. The Milton homestead was bounded west by the Wakefield Road (so called) and east by the pond. She devised also a thirty-acre wood lot in Milton to the same Clara M.D. Wentworth. It was bounded west by the road (known as Silver street) and was called the Silver Street Wood-lot.

Harriet Drew named her daughter Clara M.D. Wentworth as residuary legatee and sole executrix, and freed her from the requirement to pay a bond. Neighbors George Deland [(1829-1910)] of 15 Farrar Street, Lynn, MA; and H. Louise [(Wood)] Houghton [(1840-1922)] of 13 Franklin Street, Lynn, MA; and granddaughter Carrietta H. Drew [(1859-1929)] of 11 Franklin Street, Lynn, MA; signed as witnesses (Essex County Probate, Docket 38042).

Rev. Dr. John B. and Clara M. (Drew) Wentworth transferred from LeRoy, NY, to Evanston, IL, in late 1875. Harriet (Watson) Drew left her son David F. Drew in Lynn, MA, and went to live with her daughter in Evanston, IL.

PERSONAL. The Rev. Dr. Wentworth, of LeRoy, New York, has been transferred to the Rock River Conference, and will take charge of the Evanston M.E. Church (Chicago Tribune, December 5, 1875).

Harriet (Watson) Drew died in Evanston, IL, May 7, 1876. aged eighty-one years.

Anack’s Diary. … Our citizens learned by telegram today [May 8, 1876,] of the death of Harriet Watson, widow of the late Stephen Drew, M.D., at Evanston, Illinois. Fifty odd years ago she was a resident of our village, coming here from Shapleigh Mills in 1816, as the young bride of our ‘beloved physician’ with whom she lived happily until his death in 1873 [1872], when she went west to make her home with her daughter Clara, the wife of the Rev. Dr. John Brodhead Wentworth (Farmington News, April 21, 1899).

SUBURBAN. Evanston. Dr. and Mrs. Wentworth have gone to New Hampshire with the remains of Mrs. Harriet Drew, Mrs. Wentworth’s mother, who died at Evanston Sunday. This will necessitate a further postponement of action in the Hurd-Brown case (Chicago Tribune, [Wednesday,] May 10, 1876).

(The Hurd-Brown case was a real-estate dispute being settled in an ecclesiastical tribunal convened by Rev. Dr. Wentworth).

May 11 [1876]. A showery day. The remains of Madam Drew arrived at noon. The funeral services were at the Congregational church. The Rev. James Thurston (Northam), a life-long friend of Dr. Wentworth, came from Dover and officiated, giving a discourse upon the faithfulness of the ‘Mothers in Israel,’ and alluding to the years of love and faithfulness of this mother who had devoted her best years to the education and training of her children for the useful lives she saw them attain to (Farmington News, April 21, 1899).

The last will of Harriet (Watson) Drew was proved in Essex County Probate Court, June 5, 1876. Executrix Clara M.D. Wentworth was by then a resident of Evanston, IL. Her brother, David F. Drew, was present at the proceedings (Essex County Probate, Docket 38042).

Son David F. Drew, a physician, died of a carbuncle and erysipelas in Lynn, MA, February 13, 1886, aged sixty-six years, eight months.

Death of David F. Drew of Lynn. Lynn, Mass., February 13. David F. Drew, one of Lynn’s prominent and respected citizens, died at his residence, 29 North Common street, at 12.45 o’clock this morning, from blood poisoning caused by a carbuncle boil. Dr. Drew was attended by Dr. I.F. Galloupe of this city and Dr. Collins Warren of Boston. The doctor graduated at Dartmouth College, and came to Lynn in 1857, where he has remained ever since. He was 66 years old, and leaves a widow and four children (Boston Globe, February 13, 1886).

Daughter Clara M. (Drew) Wentworth died in Buffalo, NY, May 2, 1890, aged sixty-six years.

Death of Mrs. Dr. Wentworth. Mrs. Clara Wentworth, the estimable wife of the Rev. Dr. J.B. Wentworth, presiding elder of the Buffalo District, M.E. Church, died yesterday, aged 66 years. Funeral Sunday at 3 p.m. from the residence of Mr. W.G. Hartwell, 274 East Utica street. Interment at Medina (Buffalo Commercial (Buffalo, NY), May 3, 1890).

Dr. Drew, his two sons, and their widows, were remembered in Farmington, NH, as late as 1901.

Gilman Estate. The settling of the estate of the late George F. Gilman of Black Rock, Conn., has called to mind the fact that Mrs. Olivia Gilman Drew of Lynn, Mass., is one of his nieces. The Boston Journal says Mrs. Drew is the widow of the late David M. [F.] Drew, at one time the most prominent physician in Lynn, and is considered the richest woman in that city. In fact, by many she is said to be the wealthiest woman in Essex County. She lives in a handsome residence fronting on Lynn Common, and moves in the highest society of that city, as do her three daughters, two of whom were recently married. Mrs. Drew is very much averse to coming into public notice, and thus far has managed to keep her connection in the affair out of the papers. Dr. Drew of Lynn and Dr. Watson Drew of Woburn were sons of Dr. Stephen Drew, a well-known physician in Milton. The widow of the Woburn physician resides in Dover, with her daughter, Mrs. A.O. Mathes, as her next neighbor, and with her younger daughters, the Misses Hattie and Carrie Drew as members of her own household, all of these being well known in this vicinity. Mrs. Drew of Dover was a Chase, sister of the late Mrs. James Farrington and Charles K. Chase of Rochester (Farmington News, March 15, 1901).

Mary Y. (Chase) Drew died in Dover, NH, November 2, 1911. Olivia M. (Gilman) Drew, widow of David F. Drew, died in Lynn, MA, October 11, 1918.


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Salmon Falls Sawmill Petition – 1797

By Muriel Bristol | January 16, 2022

Twenty-four inhabitants of Wakefield, Rochester, and Dover, NH, and some from Massachusetts, in 1797 petitioned the NH General Court (its House and Senate in joint session) in hopes of keeping the Salmon Falls River clear between Wakefield and what would be Milton Mills through to what would be Milton Three Ponds.

To the Honorable General Court of New Hampshire convened at Concord in said State the 25th day of Decr in June in the Year of our Lord 1797 ~

The petition of the subscribers, Inhabitants of Wakefield, Rochester & Dover in said State with others, Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, humbly sheweth that whereas that part of Salmon fall River above the three ponds so called as far up as the mills is found to be of great benefit for transporting of timber boards & slit stuff from said mills by water a considerable ways towards the market, the length of the river from the mills to & across the said three ponds & whereas said part of the river is often times obstructed by mill logs & stuff thrown into & left in it by careless or designing men so that there is no transporting of timber or boards that way to the great damage of your Petitioners ~ therefore, the prayer of the Petition is that an act pass the General Court prohibiting any Obstructions being made by any person or persons in the said part of said river to hinder a free tranportn down the river to & across the said ponds, that through the Season of the Year for transporting by water, from the first day of May to the last of November. The priviledge we pray for we consider as a public priviledge & trust that the honorable Court will take the matter into consideration & in their wisdom make such Order as will be in our favor of the publick good, as in duty bound we shall ever pray ~

[Column 1:] Paul Jewett, Jona Palmer, Aaron Hubbard, Jonathan Gilman, Jeremiah Gilman, Charles Powers, Gershom Wentworth, Stephen Watson, Francis Hatch, Daniel Dore, Solomon Lowd, Jonathan Copp,

[Column 2:] Joseph Farnham, Avery Hall, Beard Plumer, Benjn Palmer, Levi Merrill, John Rollins, Zebulon Gilman, David Copp, Jno Manning, Sam Hall, Joseph Leavitt, Jeremiah Dearborn

Rochester, NH’s Northeast Parish would be split off to form the town of Milton in 1802. Petitioner Paul Jewett (1744-1835) would be appointed its first justice-of-the-peace. (His son, Gilman Jewett (1777-1856), would be its first town clerk).

Beard Plumer (1754-1816) was an early settler on Plummer’s Ridge in Milton, and would be a member of the town meetinghouse building committee, and a NH State Senator. (See also Milton Teacher of 1796-1805).

Daniel Dorr (1754-1831) settled at Miltonridge, i.e., Plummer’s Ridge. Gersom Wentworth would sign the Milton separation petition of 1802

Jonathan Palmer (1751-1841) was a son of Maj. Barnabas Palmer (1725-1816), and an elder brother of then Rep. William Palmer (1757-1815) (who would be one of Milton’s original selectmen). The elder brother moved from Rochester, NH, to Wakefield, NH, “when two or three families constituted the entire population, and when there was scarcely a dwelling between his own and the Canadas” (Portsmouth Journal, January 30, 1841).

Lt. Col. David Copp (1738-1817) of Wakefield, NH, was married to Margaret Palmer, daughter of Maj. Barnabas Palmer and sister of Jonathan and William Palmer. David Copp had a brother Jonathan (1731-1828) and a son Jonathan (1775-1858). Avery Hall received an appointment as a Wakefield, NH, justice-of-the-peace, September 15, 1801.

Zebulon Gilman, Jr. (1764-1838), Aaron Hubbard (1753-1814) and Dr. Charles Powers (1762-1844), all resided in Shapleigh, ME, apparently that western part that would become Acton, ME.

Solomon Lowd (1762-1840) resided in Lebanon, ME, in 1790, and Portsmouth, NH, in 1800. Stephen Watson (1762-1840) resided in Rochester, NH, in both 1790 and 1800.

State of New Hampshire } In the House of Representatives June 20th 1797

Upon reading and considering the foregoing petition voted, that the petitioners be heard thereon before the General Court on the Second Wednesday of the next Session and that the Petitioners Substance of the Petition and the Order of the Court thereon be published six weeks prior to said day of hearing in Bragg’s Sun a paper printed at Dover that any person or persons may then appear or shew cause, if any they have, why the prayer thereof may not be granted.

Sent up for Concurrence. Wm Plumer, Speaker.

In Senate the same Day Read & Concurred. Nathl Parker, Dey Sy

The petitioners spoke of their need to float their milled lumber from Wakefield and that part of Rochester that would soon be Milton Mills, down the Salmon Falls River to and across the Three Ponds, which was not the end destination, but only a “considerable way” to their market. They gave no indication in this document of how their lumber products might be transported further from there. (The Salmon Falls River below Milton Three Ponds was not considered navigable or, at least, not navigable by boat, and the railroad lay fifty years in the future).

The participation of petitioners from Rochester and Dover, NH, which are downstream from Three Ponds, and even from Massachusetts, suggests further “downstream” stages in this timber supply chain and perhaps even final destinations as far removed as Portsmouth, NH, and Boston, MA.

See also Milton Teacher of 1796-1805 and Northeast Parish in the Second (1800) Federal Census


Find a Grave. (2012, January 7). LTC David Copp. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/83108599/david-copp

Find a Grave. (2009, September 18). Daniel Dorr. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/42114903/daniel-dorr

Find a Grave. (2013, August 14). Solomon Lowd. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/115441234/solomon-lowd

Find a Grave. (2012, June 16). Col. Jonathan Palmer. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/91997245/jonathan-palmer

Find a Grave. (2021, November 8). Beard Plumer. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/233852302/beard-plumer

NH Department of State. (n.d.). New Hampshire, Government Petitions, 1700-1826: Box 35: 1797-1800

Wikipedia. (2021, December 23). Tragedy of the Commons. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

Milton Merchant Joseph D. Willey (1854-1931)

By Muriel Bristol | January 9, 2022

Joseph Dearborn Willey was born in Wakefield, NH, January 14, 1854, son of Aziah C. and Martha A. (Dearborn) Willey.

Joseph D. Willey moved from his native Wakefield, NH, and took up residence in neighboring Milton in or around 1877. He opened a store that carried groceries and dry goods.

George H. Staples, works on shoes, aged forty-four years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton 3-Ponds Village”) household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lavina Staples, keeping house, aged forty-one years (b. NH), his child, Clara A. Staples, at school, aged fourteen years (b. NH), and his boarder, Joseph D. Willey, a storekeeper, aged twenty-six years (b. NH).

J.D. Willey appeared in the Milton business directories of 1880, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1887, and 1889, as a Milton merchant. (He had appeared also in 1889 as keeping a summer boarding house).

MILTON. Joseph Willey is repairing his dwelling in fine style, and is building a new stable. Go ahead, Joe, you will get a bird for your cage, by and by (Farmington News, October 29, 1880).

MILTON. Joseph Willey is about to put in a stock of boots and shoes in connection with groceries and dry goods (Farmington News, April 29, 1881).

Father Aziah C. Willey died in Wakefield, NH. February 21, 1882.

Joseph D. Willey married in Somersworth, NH, May 13, 1883, Annie O. “Olive” Roberts, he of Milton and she of Berwick, ME. He was a merchant, aged twenty-eight years, and she was a lady, aged twenty-two years. Rev. Samuel Bell performed the ceremony. She was born in North Berwick, ME, February 20, 1860, daughter of William A.C. and Catherine (Guptill) Roberts.

Son Joseph E. Willey was born in Milton, June 27, 1886.

MILTON. J.D. Willey, the grocer, has recently applied a new coat of paint to the interior of his store, which greatly improves its general appearance. The groundwork is walnut and the panels light oak (Farmington News, February 28, 1890).

CHIP’S CONTRIBUTION. The meeting of Fraternal Lodge last Friday evening was well attended. the Entered Apprentice degree was conferred on Joseph Willey of Milton. Refreshments were served at the close and a pleasant time was had (Farmington News, October 30, 1891).

CHIP’S CONTRIBUTION. The special meeting of Fraternal lodge Monday evening was well attended. The second degree was conferred on Joseph Willey of Milton. The time of meeting has been changed. The regular meeting hereafter will be held Friday on or before the full moon in each month at 7.30 p.m. sharp. The next meeting occurs this Friday evening. Work on the third degree. Let there [be] a full attendance (Farmington News, December 11, 1891).

Milton - 1892 (Detail) - Willey
Milton in 1892 (Detail). J.D. Willey is shown with the red arrow as having two buildings on Main Street near its intersection with Silver Street. Note his proximity to the Three Ponds schoolhouse (“S.H.”), next but two to the south, Dr. C.D. Jones, next but two to the north, and, on the other side of the street, the A.O.U.W. meeting hall next to the blacksmith shop of I.W. Duntley and the N.G. Pinkham shoe store. The Burley & Usher shoe factory may be seen along the river to the south, as well as the Riverside House at the road to Lebanon, ME, to the north.

Joseph D. Willey appeared in the Milton business directories of 1892, 1894, and 1898, as a Milton general storekeeper and merchant.

MILTON. J.D. Willey has prepared a large room at the institute by tearing down the partitions. A class will also be held in the vacant store in the new hall. … J.D. Willey is having the old school house at the foot of Silver street remodeled on the inside, and will convert it into tenements. He has also prepared a place for a large store in the basement (Farmington News, April 15, 1892).

MILTON. J.D. Willey is preparing to move the old institute nearer the road and to change it into a tenement house (Farmington News, September 15, 1893).

John A. Carrecabe, son of the John M. Carrecabe, founder of the Milton Leatherboard Co. mill, worked briefly as a clerk at J.D. Willey’s Milton grocery store in 1893.

MILTON. John A. Carrecabe is clerking at J.D. Willey’s grocery store (Farmington News, February 17, 1893).

Joseph D. Willey’s store was twice burgled in 1894. The first burglary took place on Thursday, April 5, 1894.

MILTON. J.D. Willey’s store broken into the 5th of April. Not much was taken and only a few dollars were missed. The safe was not touched (Farmington News, April 13, 1894).

Burglars struck the Murray Brothers’ store and post-office in Milton Mills in May 1894. (See Milton in the News – 1894). A month later burglars struck also at the N.G. “Gilman” Pinkham and J.D. Willey stores at Milton Three Ponds during the night of June 14-15, 1894.

Burglars Visit Dover, N.H. Dover, N.H., June 15. The store of Gilman Pinkham at Milton, which is also the post office, was entered last night and some stamps and money taken. The store of Joseph D. Willey, at the same place, was also entered, and a sum of money stolen. The safes in both places were wrecked (Boston Evening Transcript, June 15, 1894).

LOCALS. June 14. Thieves broke into the store of Gilman Pinkham where the post office is at Milton, wrecking the safe by an explosion and getting a large amount of money and stamps. They also visited the store of J.D. Willey, where they got considerable money from the safe. No clew to the thieves (Farmington News, June 22, 1894).

Nathaniel Gilman Pinkham (1834-1906) kept a boot & shoe store at Milton Three Ponds. He also sold stationary and was Milton postmaster in 1885-89 and 1893-97. (See also Milton in the News – 1914 and Milton Versus the Yeggmen – 1923).

Mother-in-law Catherine (Guptill) Roberts died of dropsy in North Berwick, ME, August 7, 1895, aged sixty-six years. Dr. H.V. Noyes signed the death certificate.

Daughter Catherine R. Willey was born in Milton, September 24, 1895.

Mother Martha A. (Dearborn) Willey died of chronic pneumonia in Wakefield, NH, November 5, 1895, aged sixty-six years, twenty-six days. W.E. Pillsbury, M.D., signed the death certificate.

MILTON NEWS-LETTER. A lively runaway occurred Tuesday morning, the horse attached to J.D. Willey’s grocery wagon becoming frightened at a dog. No damage was done the team, but a little boy, Georgie Norton, came near meeting with a serious injury. In trying to get off from the runaway team, he fell, between the shafts, where he hung till he was rescued from his perilous position unharmed. … A concrete sidewalk is being built from the Phœnix House to J.D. Willey’s grocery store, on Main street. It would be a great improvement over the present sidewalks if concrete were used all over the village (Farmington News, March 19, 1897).

Nephew J. Herbert Willey (1875-1946) came to Milton and opened a drug store on Main Street, at its intersection with Silver Street, in May 1900.

Joseph D. Willey, a storekeeper, aged forty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Village”) household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of seventeen years), Annie O. Willey, aged forty years (b. ME), his children, Joseph S. Willey, at school, aged thirteen years (b. NH), and Catharine R. Willey, aged four years (b. NH), his niece, Annie M. Roberts, aged sixteen years (b. ME), and his servant, Stephen E. Dixon, salesman in store, aged thirty-six years (b. NH). Joseph D. Willey owned their house, free-and-clear. Annie O. Willey was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living.

J.D. Willey appeared in the Milton business directories of 1901, 1904, 1905-06, and 1909, as proprietor of a Milton general store.

LOCAL. Columbian Chapter of Free Masons welcomed guests from neighboring towns, in the meeting on Monday evening, among whom were the Hon. J. Frank Farnham and William Lord of Union; Percy S. Jones and C.H. McDuffee of Alton; B.B. Plumer and Hazen Plumer, J.D. Willey and Mr. Willey the druggist, of Milton (Farmington News, June 14, 1901).

MILTON. Mrs. J.D. Willey and daughter Catherine are at Berwick, Me., for a two weeks’ visit (Farmington News, August 30, 1901).

Annie O. (Roberts) Willey’s nephew, Frank Roberts, died of typhoid fever in Wolfeboro Falls, Wolfeboro, NH, December 27, 1903, aged seventeen years, eleven months, and nineteen years. He was a blacksmith, who had resided in Wolfeboro only four months (his previous residence was Berwick, ME). Nathaniel H. Scott, M.D., signed the death certificate.

MILTON. J.D. Willey and family attended the funeral of Frank Roberts, Mrs. Willey’s nephew, at Berwick, Me., Dec. 30 (Farmington News, January 8, 1904).

MILTON. Miss Andrews of Boston, Mass., is the guest of Mrs. J.D. Willey (Farmington News, April 1, 1904).

Two political tickets – Republican and Democratic – appeared in the Farmington News edition published just prior to the November 1904 election. At the head of the Republican ticket stood Theodore Roosevelt, and at the head of the Democratic one stood Alton B. Parker, both of New York. (Theodore Roosevelt won). Further down the Democratic ticket were the Strafford County candidates.

For county officers – Sheriff, John F. Quinlan, Rochester; solicitor, James McCabe Dover; treasurer, Joseph D. Willey, Milton; register of deeds, John McCovey, Dover; register of probate, Walter H. Miller, New Durham; commissioners, Arthur J. Seavey Somersworth; Walter H. Smith, Barrington; Joseph Warren, Rochester (Farmington News, November 4, 1904).

Republican Stephen D. Wentworth of Rochester, NH, became county treasurer with 4,716 votes (56.5%) county-wide. Democrat Joseph D. Willey of Milton received 3,498 votes (41.9%), and Socialist C.R. Crosby received 131 votes (1.6%). The Prohibition and People’s parties did not field county-level candidates (NH Secretary of State, 1905).

CHIP’S CONTRIBUTION. A special meeting of Fraternal Lodge, A.F. and A.M., was held Saturday evening for the purpose of conferring the Master Mason’s degree on candidates George E. Jordan and Fred S. Hartford. Arthur B. Jefferson, D.D.G.M., Nashua, and Charles L Wentworth, D.D.L.G., of Rochester were present to witness the work and complimented the officers in pleasing terms for the way in which the degrees were conferred and the manner in which the affairs of the lodge were conducted. Visitors from out of town were Dr. C.G. Rogers, C.H. Brigham, Union; Hazen Plummer, Fred B. Roberts, James H. Willey, Hazen W. Downs, George I. Jordan, S. Lyman Hayes, Charles A. Horn, Joseph D. Willey, Milton; George L. Young, George W. Pendexter, Eugene C. Howard, Rochester. At the close off work all repaired to the banquet hall in Odd Fellows hall where an oyster supper was in readiness, and an hour was happily spent, when all returned home well pleased with the entertainment of the evening (Farmington News, March 3, 1905).

Joseph D. Willey, a general store merchant, aged fifty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Village”) household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-nine years), Anne O. Willey, aged fifty years (b. ME), and his children, Joseph E. Willey, a general store helper, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), and Catherine R. Willey, aged fourteen years (b. NH).

J.D. Willey appeared in the Milton business directories of 1912 and 1917, as proprietor of a Milton general store.

Milton elected Joseph D. Willey as its NH State Representative for the 1913-14 biennium (NH General Court, 1913).

Strafford County Sheriff Edward S. Young charged Joseph D. Willey with “keeping for sale,” i.e., keeping liquor for sale, thus violating NH State liquor sales prohibitions. (Milton was in this year a “no license” town. (See Milton Under “Local Option” – 1903-18)).

LOCAL. Two cases from Milton were brought before Judge A.H. Wiggin in the local district court on Wednesday of this week: State vs. Joseph D. Willey, brought by high Sheriff Edward S. Young on a charge of “keeping for sale,” in which the respondent entered a plea of guilty and the court imposed the minimum fine and jail sentence. Sentence was suspended upon payment of costs. The other case, that of State vs. Robert Mcintosh brought by Fred B. Roberts, wherein the respondent was charged with using derisive language toward the complainant, the respondent plead guilty and was fined five dollars and costs (Farmington News, December 15, 1916).

Joseph D. Willey, a retail merchant (groceries), aged sixty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Annie O. Willey, aged fifty-nine years (b. ME), his children, Eugene Willey, a retail merchant (groceries), aged thirty-three years (b. NH), and Catharine R. Willey, a U.S. government secretary, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), and his father-in-law, William A.C. Roberts, a widower, aged eighty-six years (b. ME). Joseph D. Willey owned their house on Upper Main Street, free-and-clear.

Father-in-law William A.C. Roberts died of atheronia (heart disease) in Milton, February 1, 1921, aged eighty-seven years, ten months. John J. Topham, M.D., signed the death certificate.

J.D. Willey appeared in the Milton business directories of 1922 and 1927, as proprietor of a Milton general store.

J.D. Willey, a general store retail merchant, aged seventy-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of forty-seven years), Annie Willey, aged seventy years (b. ME), and his child, Joseph E. Willey, a general store manager, aged forty-three years (b. NH). J.D. Willey owned their house on North Main Street, which was valued at $1,000. They had a radio set.

Joseph D. Willey died of apoplexy on Main Street in Milton, September 4, 1931, aged seventy-seven years, seven months, and twenty days. He had resided in Milton for fifty-three years, i.e., since circa 1877. Walter J. Roberts, M.D., signed the death certificate.

Annie O. (Roberts) Willey died of heart disease in Milton, April 12, 1937, aged seventy-seven years, one month, twenty-two days. She had resided in Milton for fifty-four years, i.e., since the time of her marriage in 1883. Walter J. Roberts, M.D., signed the death certificate.

Joseph E. Willey, a hardware store stockman, aged fifty-three years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his cousin, Ann L. Redell, a high school teacher, aged fifty-six years (b. ME). Joseph E. Willey owned their house in the Milton Community, which was valued at $1,000.

Son Joseph E. Willey died of “some form of heart disease” in Milton, November 27, 1942, aged fifty-six years, and five days. Forrest L. Keay, M.D., signed the death certificate.


Find a Grave. (2016, June 16). Frank Roberts. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/165127332/frank-roberts

Find a Grave. (2016, June 16). William A.C. Roberts. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/165127416/william-a_g-roberts

Find a Grave. (2014, May 25). Aziah Chandler Willey. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/130329753/aziah-chandler-willey

Find a Grave. (2015, June 2). Joseph Dearborn “Joe” Willey. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/147334212/joseph-dearborn-willey

Find a Grave. (2015, June 2). Joseph Eugene Willey. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/147335001/joseph-eugene-willey

NH General Court. (1913). Journal of the Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of New-Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=d_xEAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA5

NH Secretary of State. (1905). Manual of the General Court. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=ZCk0AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA178

Milton Seeks a Magistrate – 1805

By Muriel Bristol | January 2, 2022

Fifty-two Milton inhabitants petitioned NH Governor John Langdon and his Executive Council in August 1805, seeking appointment of a Milton justice-of-the-peace. (Langdon was a Democratic-Republican, i.e., a Democrat, as opposed to a Federalist-Republican).

The Milton petitioners prepared an initial draft copy, but the corrected text of an accompanying “fair copy” or final version is what appears below. Presumably that is what the Governor saw.

Film tropes typically portray justices-of-the-peace being awakened in the night to sleepily perform civil marriages for eloping couples. While they might perform that function also, a NH justice of this period might be compared more accurately to a modern district court judge (Bell, 1843).

The petitioners recommended Lt. Jotham Nute (1760-1835) of Nute Ridge in West Milton for an appointment as their justice-of-the-peace.

Jotham Nute [Jr.] was born in Dover, NH, November 23, 1760, son of Jotham and Mary (Canney) Nute. (Either he or his father (of the same name) served in the Revolution as a private in Newcastle, NH, in 1776, presumably in coastal defense at Fort William & Mary (now Fort Constitution)). He enlisted with the Second NH Regiment in Dover, NH, January 1, 1777, for the duration of the war. He would have been but sixteen years of age. He served in several battles of the Saratoga campaign, encamped at Valley Forge, and was promoted to corporal and then sergeant. He participated in the Sullivan expedition of 1779.

Sgt. Nute was wounded at the Second Battle of Kingsbridge, NY – a Colonial defeat – in July 1781. He mustered out of the Continental Army as an invalid. (George Washington signed his discharge, June 7, 1783). Nute appeared on the pension rolls of 1783 as receiving an invalid half-pension.

Jotham Nute married in Madbury, NH, November 7, 1785, Sarah Twombly, both of Dover, NH. She was born in Madbury, NH, November 20, 1763, daughter of John and Patience (Bunker) Twombly. They settled at Nute Ridge in West Milton – then still a part of Rochester – in 1786.

The Revolutionary War pension system went through several phases or iterations. Nute applied for a replacement or supplementary pension from the NH General Court in December 1789:

The Petition of Jotham Nute of Rochester in the County of Strafford humbly Sheweth ~ That early in the late Contest between the United States & the Kingdom of Great Britain he entered the Service of his Country in the Regiment from this State, Commanded by Colo George Reid, in which from his Fidelity and good service he was promoted to a Serjeant and continued in the faithful discharge of his duty till the month of July 1781, when in an action with the British Troops near Tarrytown [N. York], he was wounded in the thigh by a musquet ball, which lodged in his hip, where it still continues. Jona Rawson, Atty to the Petitioner (NH General Court, 1884).

(The draft copy only of the 1805 petition regarding his appointment supplied the additional detail that he had also “for a Long time bin [been] a prisoner of war” but did not specify when this might have occurred).

Jotham Nute headed a Rochester, NH, household at the time of the First (1790) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 16-plus years [himself], four males aged under-16 years [including sons John T. Nute, Jeremy Nute, and Jacob Nute], and two females [including Sarah (Twombly) Nute]. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of James Varney and Saml Nute.

Jotham Nute headed a Rochester, NH household at the time of the Second (1800) Federal Census, and he signed the 1802 petition that sought to have Rochester’s Northeast Parish incorporated as a separate town (Milton). In 1800 and in the 1805 petition that follows he was styled “Lieutenant,” i.e., a lieutenant in the NH militia.

The Milton Selectmen of 1804 were William Palmer, Jotham Nute, and John Remick, Jr. (Mitchell-Cony, 1908).

To his Excellency the Governor & Honorable Council of the State of New Hampshire ~

Humbly shew ~

The subscribers, inhabitants of Milton in the County of Strafford in said State and the vicinity thereof, that there is no Magistrate or Justice of the peace acting at present in commission within the distance of five miles on one side, and of Seven miles on the other side of the residence of Lieut Jotham Nute of Milton as aforesaid. That in consequence of the aforesaid want of a Magistrate within said bounds, the citizens are much incommoded in obtaining the civil assistance and official duty of a justice of the peace, as well as redress of grievance in breaches of the peace and other criminal acts incident to society. That your petitioners would beg leave to represent that the aforesaid inconveniences may be remedied by the appointment of the said Jotham Nute to said office. That his local situation alone makes the appointment in every respect desirable, were that the only reason which could be assigned. But that they also feel a confidence in recommending the said Nute to your notice as a Gentleman every way worthy of the appointment, both as it may respect his natural and acquired abilities, his moral and political conduct, and the claim which former public services and sacrifices have upon his fellow citizens. They on that head only observe that he has faithfully served his country in the revolutionary war for the term of Seven years; that he has fought and bled in her defense; and has from hence been taught duly to appreciate the blessings of liberty and good government. That by his own honest industry he has acquired a handsome property, enough to secure him from temptation in an office of so high [a] responsibility. That within the aforesaid bounds your petitioners know of no person who in that office would give so general satisfaction, or do more real good to his Country.

Wherefore your petitioners pray that the aforesaid Jotham Nute may be appointed and commissioned to act in the office of Justice of the peace within the County aforesaid, whenever and so soon as your Excellency and the honorable council may in your wisdom deem proper – and as in duty bound will pray &c &c – August 28, 1805.

[Column 1:]

Jeremiah Cook, Ebenezer Corson, Ichabod Corson, Nathaniel Rand, Joseph Rand, Eleazar Rand, William Tuttle, Caleb Wakeham, Benjamin Wakeham, Jonethan Wakeham, Daniel Wintworth, Aaron Varney, Gideon Johnson, John Hanscom, Simon Torr,

[Column 2:]

Dudley Burnham, Shubael Roberts, Joseph Cook, Enoch Wentworth, Eleazar Hodgdon, Joseph Corson, Richard Manson, Ebenezer Jones, Richard Goodwine, John Ricker, David Wentworth, John Wentworth, Thomas Nutter, Wm. Linscott, Benjamin Foss, William Foss, Samuel Ricker,

[Column 3:]

Samuel Twombly, Jr, Samuel Twombly, William Hatch, Benjamin Corson, William W. Lord, Stephen Jenkin, Jr, John Varney, Silas Whitehouse, James Roberts, Jere York, Benja Varney, James Varney, Ephraim Varney, Edmon Varney, John Jenkins, Lemuel Varney, Stephen Jenkins, Robert Knight, Joseph Lord.

Bolded names had appeared five years earlier as heads of households in Northeast Parish in the Second (1800) Federal Census.

The five-mile and seven-mile spans between magistrates to which the petitioners referred would be just about the distances between West Milton and Milton Three-Ponds (or Plummer’s Ridge), on the one side, and West Milton and Rochester, NH, on the other side.

The Milton Selectmen of 1806 were Levi Jones, S.L. [S.S.] Wentworth, and Lt. Jotham Nute (Mitchell-Cony, 1908).

(Grandson Lewis W. Nute was born in Milton, February 17, 1820, son of Ezekiel and Dorcas (Worster) Nute)).

The NH Register and Farmer’s Almanac of 1822 identified Milton’s Justice of the Peace and Quorum, which was the higher or senior office, as being Levi Jones, and its Justices of the Peace as being Jotham Nute, D. Hayes, John Remick, Jr., and James Roberts (Claremont Manufacturing Co, 1822).

The NH Political Manual and Annual Register of 1824 identified Milton’s Justice of the Peace and Quorum as being Levi Jones, and its Justices of the Peace as being Jotham Nute, D. Hayes, John Remick, Jr., and J. Roberts. Jotham Nute was also identified as being Milton’s coroner (Farmer, 1824).

The NH Annual Register and US Calendar of 1826 identified Milton’s Justice of the Peace and Quorum as being Levi Jones, and its Justices of the Peace as being Jotham Nute, D. Hayes, John Remick, Jr., and J. Roberts, Hanson Hayes, and Stephen M. Mathes (Farmer & Lyon, 1826).

Jotham Nute headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male, aged 60-69 years [himself], one female aged 60-69 years [Sarah (Twombly) Nute], one male aged 10-14 years, and one female aged 100-and-over years. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of David Nute and Ezekl Nute.

Jotham Nute died in Milton, February 3, 1836, aged seventy-five years.

David Nute headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 40-49 years [himself], one female aged 30-39 years, two males aged 10-14 years, two males aged 5-9 years, and one female aged 70-79 years. The older female was more particularly identified as [his mother,] Sarah [(Twombly)] Nute, aged seventy-seven years, recipient of a Revolutionary War widow’s pension. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of James Varney and Ezekiel Nute.

Sarah (Twombly) Nute died November 21, 1849, aged eighty-six years.

WEST MILTON. Memorial day exercises by the pupils of Nute Ridge were held Monday, May 29, and tribute was paid to the soldier and sailor dead of all the wars by an appropriate program. Special exercises were paid at the grave of Oscar G. Morehouse, who was a teacher at the Nute Ridge school prior to his entering the service during the World war, and who died in France. Special tribute was also paid to Jotham Nute of the Revolutionary war, David Nute of the war of 1812 and Israel Nute of the Civil war (Farmington News, June 9 1939).


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