Milton Taverner Levi Jones (1771-1847)

By Muriel Bristol | February 20, 2022

Levi Jones was born in Lebanon, ME, October 21, 1771, son of Ebenezer and Susanna (Allen) Jones.

(His siblings were William Jones (1769-1845), James Jones, John Jones, Mary Jones (b. 1775), Sally Jones (b. 1778), who married Robert Mathes, Lydia Jones (b. 1781), Amos Jones (b. 1786), and Joshua Jones (b. 1789)).

Father Ebenezer Jones headed a Lebanon, ME, household at the time of the First (1790) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 16-plus years [himself], three males aged under-16 years [John Jones, Amos Jones, Joshua Jones], and three females [Susanna (Allen) Jones, Mary Jones, and Lydia Jones. It appeared in the enumeration between those of Richd Horn and Jno [John] Jones.

Elder brother William Jones married in [the Northeast Parish of] Rochester, NH, June 13, 1798, Charlotte Cushing. (In the following, it seems more likely that the bride and groom were natives of Berwick, ME, and Dover, NH, rather than “of” those places at the time of their marriage).

Wm. Jones of Berwick, Me, married Charlotte Cushing of Dover in 1798, and settled here [in the Northeast Parish of Rochester, NH,] probably at about that time (Mitchell-Cony, 1908).

Levi Jones came to the Northeast Parish at about that time also, and certainly arrived before August 4, 1800, the date of the Second (1800) Federal Census.

Levi Jones, a native of Lebanon, Me., married Betsey Plumer of this town and settled here about the time of Milton’s incorporation (Mitchell-Cony, 1908).

In fact, the given sequence of marriage and arrival should be reversed: Jones settled first in Milton – then the Northeast Parish of Rochester, NH – and then married Betsy Plumer afterwards.

Levi Jones headed a Northeast Parish, Rochester, NH, household at the time of the Second (1800) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 26-44 years [himself]. The alphabetized record can tell us little about his immediate neighbors. Father Ebenezer Jones and elder brother William Jones had also their own Milton households. (See Northeast Parish in the Second (1800) Federal Census).

Meanwhile, future father-in-law Joseph Plumer headed also a Northeast Parish, Rochester, NH, household at that same time. His household included one male aged 45-plus years [himself], one female aged 45-plus years [Hannah (Bickford) Plumer], one male aged 16-25 years, two females aged 16-25 years [Betsy Plumer and Sally Plumer], two males aged 10-15 years, and one female aged 10-15 years [Hannah Plumer]. (See Northeast Parish in the Second (1800) Federal Census).

A tourist guidebook offered a circumstantial detail of Jones’ arrival on Plummer’s Ridge in Milton – he came to work in a Plummer-owned tavern – and then subsequently married Betsy Plummer.

… the New Hampshire Farm Museum (www.nhfarmmuseum.org), NH 125 off the Spaulding Turnpike at exit 18 in Milton, offers one of the most complete farm complexes anywhere. The 1780s Jones Farm house was home to Levi Jones, who came from Maine to work in a tavern owned by Joseph Plummer. He married Plummer’s daughter, Betsey, and eventually became the owner of the tavern. The buildings display a variety of architectural styles from the colonial period on, and old farm implements date to colonial days as well. Visitors may tour the house, barn, blacksmith shop, cobbler’s shop, and country store (Foulke, 2012).

Historian Sarah Ricker added an additional detail: the Jones Tavern, previously owned by his father-in-law, Joseph Plumer, was where Milton town meetings had been held before the Milton Town House had been built.

… before the Town House was built, Town Meetings were held at the Jones Tavern, which is now the New Hampshire Farm Museum, farther up on the [Plummer’s] ridge (Ricker, 1999).

But there is a competing account regarding the tavern in which those town meetings were held. In a biographical sketch of a later occupant, James L. Twombly (1840-1921), one learns that the tavern that had been used as the temporary town house had been the property of Lt. Elijah Horn (1764-1839), without reference to Joseph Plummer. Lewis B. Twombly (1808-1892), a Milton native who had lived “away” for a decade in Boston, MA, returned home and acquired the tavern building, which became his family residence. (He likely knew both Elijah Horn and Levi Jones). His son, James L. Twombly, the subject and source of the quoted biography, was born there in 1840. (The younger Twombly would serve in the Civil War (See Milton in the Veterans Schedule of 1890)).

The house he [Lewis B. Twombly] occupied, which is now owned by his son, is one of the oldest in Milton, and was originally the property of Lieutenant Elijah Horn. In an upper room, which was then unfinished, were held the first town meetings of Milton; and for some years it was customary for the people of the North-east Parish to hold religious services here on Sundays. Here old Parson Hasy, of Lebanon, and Parson Haven, of Newbury [Norway] Plains, delivered eloquent discourses on the Word, and taught the way to salvation. The children of the settlers and the early converts were baptized in this room (Biographical Review, 1897).

Plummer's Ridge - Detail - 1892
Milton in 1892 (Detail of Plummer’s Ridge). The farmhouse of “F. Jones” (Fred P. Jones, grandson of Levi Jones), now the NH Farm Museum, is indicated at the upper left, and the Milton Town House of 1803 is indicated at the lower right. Between them, but closer to the Town House, is indicated the house of “L.B. Twombly” (Lewis B. Twombly, father of James L. Twombly), the occupant from c1840 to 1892 of what had been originally the Elijah Horn Tavern. Just beyond it, on the righthand side when heading towards the Jones farmhouse, is a “Sch.” (the still extant District One Schoolhouse) just before what is now called Bolan Road. (There seems to be yet another schoolhouse a bit further on beyond Bolan Road).

Apart from its primary function as tavern, Northeast Parish church services had been held also in the unfinished upper room of the Horn Tavern, by Rev. Isaac Hasy (1742-1812) of neighboring Lebanon, ME, and Rev. Joseph Haven (1747-1825) of the Norway Plains in Rochester, NH. (Norway Plains Road lies opposite what is now the Lilac Mall). Census records show the Twombly household of 1840 and 1850, i.e., the household then occupying the former Horn tavern building, was situated near to – but a full enumeration page apart from – the Jones and Plummer households of 1840 and 1850.

How might these differing accounts be reconciled? If there were but one single tavern, i.e., the Horn Tavern, but with a sequence of owners, such that Plummer was at some point the owner of a tavern building that was not on or even adjacent to his own farmstead. (Plummer’s 1821 will would mention his owning property all over town). Horn might then have been the earlier owner, followed by Plummer, or else Plummer was all along the owner with Horn as his tavern manager. Jones arrived to be a tavern worker, or a subsequent manager, becoming later its owner.

Alternatively, there might have been always two separate taverns on Plummer’s Ridge: the Plummer-Jones Tavern and the Horn Tavern. (Strafford County Deed records might have some answers). If this latter two-tavern scenario were the case, then the Plummer-Jones Tavern would not have been the building that hosted early church services and the first two town meetings. That would have been instead the Horn Tavern. One may note that both Horn and Plummer petitioned for a Congregational Society in 1814. (Elijah Horne died in 1839, which is proximate to Lewis B. Twombly’s acquisition of the Horn tavern building and its conversion into a residence).

Levi Jones married (1st) in Rochester, NH, October 15, 1801, Elizabeth “Betsy” Plummer, both of Rochester. Rev. Joseph Haven performed the ceremony (NEHGS, 1908). The “Rochester” of their marriage might have been the Horn Tavern in Rochester, i.e., Milton as would be, as Rev. Haven was said to perform some of his offices there. She was born in Milton, October 28, 1779, daughter of Joseph and Hannah (Bickford) Plummer.

Levi Jones signed the Rochester division petition (or Milton separation petition) in what was then Rochester, NH, May 28, 1802, as did his father-in-law, Joseph Plumer, brothers William Jones and John Jones, and brother-in-law Robert Mathes (husband of sister Sally Jones).

The very first act of the original Milton selectmen was to license Elijah Horn’s tavern, August 30, 1802. The first annual town meeting was held March 14, 1803, purportedly in the tavern, and presumably the second annual town meeting was held there also in March 1804. The Milton town house was completed “on or before” October 3, 1804 (Scales, 1914). So, the third and subsequent annual town meetings presumably took place in the new structure.

Son Joseph P. “Plummer” Jones was born in Milton, April 4, 1803. He was a namesake for his maternal grandfather.

Milton’s selectmen of 1806 were Levi Jones, S.L. Wentworth, and Lt. Jotham Nute. (Captain Levi Jones then commanded the Milton militia company, in which Jotham Nute (1760-1836) was one of his lieutenants. S.L. Wentworth was likely S.S. Wentworth, whose florid middle initial “S” has been misread as an “L.” Samuel S. [Shackford] Wentworth (1756-1850) headed Milton households in 1800 and 1810. He decamped for Lancaster, NH, before 1820).

Father Ebenezer Jones died in Milton, in 1807.

Beard Plummer, Theodore C. Lyman, Levi Jones, and William Jones were among twenty-three Strafford County inhabitants that petitioned the NH Governor and Executive Council, January 31, 1810, to have Amos Cogswell, Esq., of Dover, NH, appointed as Strafford County Sheriff. Amos Cogswell was then a NH state representative and, during the War of 1812, would be elected to Dover’s twelve-man Committee of Defence, September 10, 1814.

Joseph Plumer 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 45-plus years [Hannah (Bickford) Plumer], one male aged 26-44 years [Levi Jones], two females aged 26-44 years [Betsy (Plumer) Jones and Sally Plumer], one male aged 16-25 years, one female aged 16-25 years, three males aged 10-15 years, one female aged 10-15 years, and one male aged under-10 years [Joseph P. Jones]. His household appeared between those of Widow Betsy Hayes and Beard Plumer. Elder brother William Jones and youngest brother Joshua Jones had also their own Milton households. (Their mother and sisters Mary and Lydia Jones resided with Joshua Jones).

Jones Tavern Sign, 1810
Jones Tavern Sign, 1810. “Oil on wood panel, 34 x 30 x 2. The Currier  Museum of Art, Manchester, NH; bequest of Miss Elizabeth Jones.” A Masonic square and compass symbol may be perceived faintly beneath the red paint.

Levi Jones kept his tavern at Plummer’s Ridge under his own name from at least the date on its signage: 1810. (He kept also a store).

The tavern barroom often served as a community bulletin board, either by custom or by vote of the town meeting. The taproom wall of David Bean’s tavern in Moultonborough was the official posting place for public notices, and the walls of Levi Jones’ tavern in Milton often displayed warrants for town meetings, newly passed legislation, ballots for forthcoming elections, notices of road reroutings, auction advertisements, and notices of lost animals or articles (Garvin, 2003).

Mother-in-law Hannah (Bickford) Plummer died in Milton, in February 1811.

Levi Jones was Milton’s third town clerk, serving in that office in the years 1811-22. He was preceded in that office by the second town clerk, John Fish, and succeeded by Stephen M. Mathes.

Levi Jones received his first appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace, February 3, 1812. He joined Daniel Hayes, Beard Plummer, and Jotham Nute in that office.

Brother Amos Jones married in Berwick, ME, June 9, 1813, Martha Lord, he of Milton and she of Berwick, ME. Rev. Joseph Hilliard (of Berwick’s Second Congregational Church) performed the ceremony. (Their daughter Susan Jones was born in Milton, November 13, 1813).

Betsy (Plummer) Jones died in Milton, November 1, 1815, aged thirty-six years.

[Sally Worster married in Rochester, NH, November 12, 1815, Samuel Wallingford, both of Milton. Rev. Joseph Haven performed the ceremony (NEHGS, 1908)].

Levi Jones was among the ten Milton inhabitants that petitioned the NH General Court, in 1816, seeking a road weight limit. There were also four petitioners from Middleton, six from Rochester, and nine from Farmington, NH. (See Milton Road Weight Petition – 1816).

[Future stepson Zimri Scates Wallingford was born in Milton, October 7, 1816, son of Samuel E. and Sally (Worster) Wallingford].

Court rosters indicate that Levi Jones, of Milton, received a renewal of his appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace on December 19, 1816.

Brother-in-law Robert Mathes of Milton sold land to brother Joshua Jones in 1817. Sister Sally [(Jones)] Mathes signified her assent. Joshua Jones married in Milton, December 10, 1818, Sally Cowell. She was born in Milton, May 6, 1793, daughter of Samuel and Amy (Kilgore) Cowell. Their daughter Susan A. Jones was born in Milton, February 23, 1820.

[Future stepson David Wallingford was born in Milton, April 4, 1819, son of Samuel E. and Sally (Worster) Wallingford].

A dispute arose in 1820 regarding Milton’s militia company (of which Jones had formerly been the captain). Milton’s area encompasses 34.3 square miles. Those required to attend periodic company training – they being all males aged 18-45 years – found the long distances to be traveled to musters burdensome. They asked that their largish (140% of standard size) town-delineated militia company be split into two companies. When their regimental field officers refused them, they sought to accomplish their objective by circulating a petition seeking instead to simply divide the town into two parts.

Some one hundred twenty-seven Milton men filed a competing remonstrance petition opposing a division of the town. It was intended for the June 1820 session of the NH legislature. Company officers Jeremy Nute, James Hayes, Jr., and Norton Scates all signed this remonstrance, as did former company officers Elijah Horn, Levi Jones and Jotham Nute, and future officers Theodore C. Lyman and Bidfield Hayes. Jones’ brother, Joshua Jones, subscribed also to this petition (One may note that none of Milton’s then selectmen signed this petition).

Some eighty-eight Milton men filed a militia company division petition intended for the November 1820 session of the NH legislature. Captain Jeremy Nute signed this proposal, as did former company officers Elijah Horn, Levi Jones and Jotham Nute, future company officers Theodore C. Lyman and Bidfield Hayes, and Milton selectman Hopley Meserve. A division of the company would have obviated the need or desire to divide the town in order to divide the company.

Father-in-law Joseph Plumer of Milton, husbandman, made his last will in Milton, March 12, 1821. (A husbandman is an ancient term for one who owns a freehold farm). His own wife and children were not mentioned, as they had all predeceased him. He devised $50 in cash to his beloved grandson (and namesake), Joseph Plumer Jones, to be paid by the executor within forty days. Joseph Plumer Jones was to receive also Pew #29 in the Milton Meeting-house, an in-common and undivided one-half of all the testator’s real estate, “consisting of a large number of lots of land, all lying in said Milton,” good farming utensils, one good horse, four working cattle, six cows, two yearling cattle, and twelve sheep.

Plumer gave $50 each to his “sisters,” in fact his sisters-in-law, Molly Bickford and Betsy [(Bickford)] Ham, and $50 each to [deceased sister-in-law] Sally Ham’s children, Sarah Ham and Lemuel Ham, when they had arrived at the age of twenty-one years. He gave $100 to Lydia Jones, sister of Levi Jones, Esquire, payable within two years. He gave Levi Jones, Esquire, the remaining undivided one-half of his real estate, and named him as executor. (Jones was titled “Esquire” because he was a Milton justice-of-the-peace).

Plumer gave “… unto the Town of Milton, for the use of the inhabitants thereof, a Pall or funeral cloth, to be made of Such materials as may be thought proper by my executor,” deliverable within four months. (This would have been a cloth or drapery, perhaps featuring Christian iconography, such as a cross, that is used to cover the coffin during a funeral service. When one sees a flag-draped coffin, the flag is being used as a pall). He gave to the “Congregational Church of Christ which is established in Milton” a Sacrament Table, as well as one good tankard, and two tumblers. Those vessels were to be made of silver and presented by the executor as soon as he might procure them. Benjamin Scates, Theodore C. Lyman, and Joseph Plumer, Jr., signed as witnesses (Strafford County Probate, 24:506). (Witness Joseph Plumer, Jr. (1786-1826), was a son of Plumer’s younger brother, Beard Plumer (1754-1816). He was “Jr.” only in the sense that he was a younger man of the same name).

Father-in-law Joseph Plummer died in Milton, April 27, 1821, aged sixty-nine years. His last will was proved in a Strafford County Probate court held in Wolfeboro, NH, May 29, 1821 (Strafford County Probate, 24:506). (Wolfeboro was then in Stafford County, as Carroll County would not be established until 1840).

[Future stepdaughter Mary E. Wallingford was born in Milton, May 6, 1821, daughter of Samuel E. and Sally (Worster) Wallingford].

Levi Jones was one of twelve incorporators of the Humane Lodge of Masons of Rochester, NH, in June 1821. Incorporators Dr. Stephen Drew (1791-1872), Ira Fish (1790-1872), Hanson Hayes (1792-1851), and Jones’ older brother William Jones (1769-1845) were also Milton men; Giles W. Burrows (1821-1900) and Nathaniel Lord (1790-1870) were from Lebanon, ME; and John Chapman, Joseph Cross, Charles Dennett (1788-1867), Rev. Harvey Morey (1789-1830), and John Roberts, Jr. (1789-1861) were from Rochester, NH.

State of New Hampshire }
AN ACT TO INCORPORATE “HUMANE LODGE, No. 21”
[Approved June 27, 1821. Original Acts, vol. 26, p. 88; recorded Acts, vol. 22, p. 24]
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court convened, that Levi Jones, William Jones, Charles Dennet, Nathaniel Lord, Hanson Hayes, Giles W. Burrows, John Chapman, John Roberts, Jun., Stephen Drew, Joseph Cross, Ira Fish, Harvey Morey and their associates and successors, shall be and hereby are erected and made a corporation and body politic by the name of “Humane Lodge, No. 21,” and by that name may sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, defend and be defended to final judgment and execution, and may have a common seal, and the same may alter at pleasure, and shall have and possess all the powers incident to corporations of a similar nature, and may have, hold and enjoy real and personal estate, not exceeding in amount two thousand dollars.
Section 2. And be it further enacted, that Levi Jones, William Jones, and Charles Dennet, or either two of them, may call a meeting of said corporation, to be holden at Rochester in the County of Strafford, at such time as they shall think expedient, by advertising in the Strafford Register, printed at Dover, fifteen days previous to meeting, at which meeting the members of said corporation, by a vote of the majority of those present, shall choose such officers and enact such by-laws, as they may think proper, for the regulation and government of said corporation. Provided, said by laws are not repugnant to the constitution and laws of this State (NH Secretary of State, 1921).

(An anti-Masonic party and movement would emerge in the late 1820s as America’s first third-party alternative. It lasted for about ten years. Might it have been during these years that the Masonic symbols on the Jones Tavern sign were overpainted?).

Court rosters indicate that Levi Jones, of Milton, received a renewal of his appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace on November 9, 1821. It was at this time that he was advanced or promoted to justice in quorum.

The NH Register and Farmer’s Almanac of 1822 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 James Roberts.

Jones, Levi - Currier Museum
Levi Jones. Watercolor, circa 1825 (Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH). There is no companion portrait of his wife, as would have been usual, as he was then a widower.

Levi Jones was Milton’s State Representative in the NH state legislature in 1822-24. He was preceded in that office by Daniel Hayes, and succeeded by Hanson Hayes. He sat on the Military Committee.

Milton was said to have had five taverns in 1823. Those of Elijah Horn and/or Levi Jones on Plummer’s Ridge have been mentioned as being either one or two of them. There was also that of Theodore C. Lyman in South Milton. One might suppose that there was also one at Milton Mills and another at Milton Three Ponds.

[Future stepson Ira Wallingford was born in Milton, November 13, 1823, son of Samuel E. and Sally (Worster) Wallingford].

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 House brought up a bill “appropriating $650 to the several agricultural societies in this State,” June 15, 1824. Rep. Levi Jones voted with the 85 representatives [44.3%] that were in favor, but it did not pass, as 107 representatives [55.7%] voted against it.

Mother Susanna [(Allen)] Jones of Milton, widow and relict of Ebenezer Jones, late of said Milton, deceased, made out her last will, November 3, 1824. She devised $30 to her eldest son, William Jones, and $1 each to her other sons, Levi Jones, James Jones, John Jones, and Amos Jones. (These token amounts might be taken as a sort of placeholder. Her sons would have received their shares from their parents when setting out in life or in the settlement of their father’s estate). She devised $10 to her granddaughter, Lydia Jones, a daughter of Amos Jones, and $1 each to grandchildren Hannah Mathes [b. April 8, 1804], Comfort Mathes (b. October 13, 1805], William B. Mathes, Ebenezer J. Mathes [b. c1810], Robert Mathes [b. June 15, 1812], Joseph Mathes [b. December 4, 1814], and Sally Mathes [b. September 9, 1817]. (The latter seven grandchildren were children of Robert and Sally (Jones) Mathes).

Antique Bed with Undersacking
An antique bedstead with its sailcloth undersack strung between its pegs with a cord. On top of this would have been placed the featherbed mattress, sheet(s), blanket, quilt, bolster and pillows (Photo: Weaving Haus Antiques).

She devised to granddaughter (and namesake) Susan Jones one good featherbed, two pillows, one bolster, one woolen bed quilt, one blanket, one sheet, two pillowcases, and one undersack, together with one good bedstead and cord. She devised $1 to Susan Lord, daughter of Samuel [and Abigail (Allen)] Lord. She devised $120 to her daughter, Mary Jones, as well as a four-foot square table, and one-half of the remaining bedsteads, beds, and bed clothes, one-half of her wearing apparel, and one-third of her pewter, crockery, tin and glassware. She devised $30 to her daughter, Lydia Jones, as well as the other one-half of the bedsteads, etc., the other one-half of the wearing apparel, and one-third of her pewter, etc.

Finally, she devised to her youngest son, Joshua Jones, all her real estate and whatever remained of her personal estate, including presumably the remaining third of her pewter, etc. She named son Joshua Jones as her executor, and signed with an “X.” Thomas Leighton, Daniel F. Jones, and Levi Jones signed as witnesses (Strafford County Probate, 32:46).

In Susanna (Allen) Jones’ 1824 last will may be seen some residue of New England folkways associated with inheritance. Real property had been traditionally given mostly or entirely to sons, with daughters receiving instead portable furniture, household goods, personal effects, and cash. It was generally assumed that daughters would set up housekeeping in the farmsteads held by their husbands. (Husband literally means “householder”). In a division of real property, the eldest son would get a double share. For example, if there were three sons, the real estate would be split into fourths, with the eldest son getting a double share of two-fourths (or one-half) and the younger sons getting each a single share of one-fourth. It was a sort of modified or limited primogeniture.

These disparate eldest son and son versus daughter allocations were not as inequitable as they might seem at a first glance. The son might be called on to provide for his widowed mother, minor siblings, orphaned nieces and nephews, unmarried and disabled relations, etc. In a sense, he took up the family duties and responsibilities of the deceased father and needed the resources to do so. Land and houses were relatively cheap and, prior to widespread factory production, hand-crafted furniture and household goods had a greater relative value than they do now. Hard cash certainly did, and sometimes cash, farm animals, tools, clothing, or other items might be added in different amounts to equalize values.

A wife was entitled to a life-estate in one-third of her husband’s estate. Real estate transactions usually included a renunciation of these “dower rights” in the particular property being sold, usually for some nominal consideration, and required her signature. Her life-estate was not devisable as a legacy – it would expire with her – so what the Widow Jones was devising to her daughters (and grandchildren) in her will was mostly her own personal and portable “dower” goods – furniture, household goods, clothing and cash.

Mother Susanna (Allen) Jones died in Milton, January 9, 1825. Her will was proved in a Strafford County Probate Court held in Dover, NH, January 19, 1825.

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).

[Samuel E. Wallingford died in Milton, August 11, 1826, leaving a widow, Sally (Worster) Wallingford, and four children].

Levi Jones headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 50-59 years [himself], two males aged 20-29 years [Joseph P. Jones and another], one female aged 40-49 years, one female aged 30-39 years, one female aged 15-19 years, and one female aged 5-9 years. His household appeared in the enumeration between those of James Hayes, Jr., and Sarah Plumer. Elder brother William Jones had also a Milton household.

Court rosters indicate that Levi Jones, of Milton, received a renewal of his appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace on October 14, 1831.

Col. Levi Jones married (2nd) in Rochester, NH, November 24, 1831, Mrs. Sally [(Worcester)] Wallingford, both of Milton. (She was the widow of Samuel E. Wallingford (1790-1826)). Rev. Isaac Willey performed the ceremony (NEHGS, 1908). She was born in Berwick, ME, July 22, 1793, daughter of Lemuel and Mary (Woodsum) Worcester. (The “Worcester” surname was more often spelled as pronounced: “Worster”). Among her eight siblings were Milton’s Isaac Worster (1772-1838), Dorcas (Worster) Nute (1777-1831), who was the mother of Lewis W. Nute (1820-1888), and Lydia Worster (1795-1863).

Son Charles P. Jones was born in Milton, July 21, 1833. He was a half-brother to the Wallingford children of his mother’s prior marriage.

Levi Jones was said to have been also a Milton storekeeper. The University of New Hampshire has his account book in its Special Collections area. It includes material from 1833 to 1847 (Find a Grave, 2017).

Levi Jones appeared as a Milton justice-of-the-peace in a regional directory of 1835. His name appeared in a different typeface than the others, indicating that he alone held also the justice in quorum position at this time.

Justices of the Peace. MiltonLevi Jones, Daniel Hayes, John Remich, James Roberts, Hanson Hayes, Stephen M. Mathes, John Nutter, Theodore C. Lyman, Samuel S. Mason, Stephen Drew, Israel Nute, John L. Swinerton, Thomas Chapman (Hayward, 1834).

Court rosters indicate that Levi Jones, of Milton, received a renewal of his appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace on August 27, 1836.

Sister-in-law Charlotte (Cushing) Jones died in Milton, November 12, 1838, aged fifty-eight years. Evidently prompted by his wife’s death, elder brother William Jones made his last will December 5, 1838. He devised a token $1 to his only son, William A. Jones (1809-1881),

… which sum, together with the real estate I have before given him by deed, is to be in full for his share of my Estate.

He devised $5 to eldest daughter Caroline [(Jones)] Page (1799-1872), and $20 to second daughter Sophia W. [(Jones)] Stone (1801-1869). Third daughter Elizabeth P. Jones (1807-1892) was to receive an undivided one-third of his real property, as well as

… two feather beds, with bedsteads, cord, pillows and bed cloth, suitable and sufficient to cover them well in summer and winter with equal goodness with my other beds and bedding.

And youngest daughter Charlotte C. Jones (1818-1872) was to receive the other undivided two-thirds of his real estate, as well as the rest and residue of his estate. He named her also as executrix. David Wallingford, Joseph P. Jones, and Levi Jones signed as witnesses (Strafford County Probate, 61:174).

The NH Political Manual and Annual Register of 1840 identified Milton’s Justices of the Peace as being Levi Jones, Daniel Hayes, John Remick, JAMES ROBERTS, Hanson Hayes, Stephen M. Mathes, John Nutter, Theodore C. Lyman, Samuel S. Mason, Stephen Drew, John L. Swinerton, Thomas Chapman, Joseph Cook, John J. Plumer, Daniel Hayes, Jr. (McFarland & Jenks, 1840).

Levi Jones headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 60-69 years [himself], one female aged 50-59 years, one female aged 40-49 years [Sally ((Worster) Wallingford) Jones], one male aged 30-39 years [Joseph P. Plummer], one male aged 20-29 years [David Wallingford?], one female aged 15-19 years [Mary E. Wallingford], and one male aged 5-9 years [Charles P. Jones]. Three members of his household were employed in Agriculture. His household appeared in the enumeration between those of Sarah Plumer and James A. Ricker. Elder brother William Jones had also a Milton household.

Stepson Zimri S. Wallingford married in Berwick, ME, August 26, 1840, Alta L.G. Hilliard. Rev. Joseph Hilliard performed the ceremony. She was born in Berwick, ME, February 17, 1810, daughter of Rev. Joseph and Sarah (Laughton) Hilliard.

Milton has never had a bank of its own. Rochester, NH, had the closest actual banking establishment at this time. It was even said of the Rochester Bank (incorporated 1834) that there was no other between it and Canada. Levi Jones was evidently successful enough financially to serve Milton as a small-scale local banker or money lender.

July 28, 1842. “Voted that the selectmen dispose of the notes in the hands of Levi Jones and appropriate the same towards the extinguishment of the debt due from the town to the several school districts by paying over to each district its proportion the present year.” Accordingly, $186.46 was paid to the districts (Scales, 1914).

A forger tried to pass a forged note, i.e., a bank draft, at the Rochester Bank in Rochester, NH, as having been drafted and signed (or co-signed) by Levi Jones of Milton. The bankers had been incautious – to say the least – in suggesting several names for him to forge. The other name they offered up was that of attorney Amasa Copp (1788-1871) of neighboring Wakefield, NH.

Another time a man from Brownfield, Me., claiming to be a drover, came in wanting to borrow $2,500 at once. He said that Mr. Towle, who was known to be wealthy, was an uncle of his and would sign the note. He was informed that he could have the money if he would get the name of Amasa Copp of Wakefield, or Levi Jones of Milton. A little before bank hours next morning, Mr. McDuffee saw him coming up the street on a sweating horse, as though he had been riding all night. Suspecting that all was not right he secured the presence of the sheriff. The man, whose name was Meade, brought his note with the name of Levi Jones, which was at once seen to be a forgery. Denying at first, he finally confessed, and was arrested and lodged in jail. He belonged to a notorious gang of forgers and counterfeiters, who had money enough to almost ensure the escape of any one of their number who should be detected. John P. Hale, his counsel, set up insanity as defence, got him admitted to bail which proved to be worthless, and the man escaped to Canada (McDuffee, 1892).

Levi Jone's Signature (1816)
An authentic signature of Levi Jones (from 1816).

Court rosters indicate that Levi Jones, of Milton, received a renewal of his appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace on July 2, 1841.

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).

Levi Jones was one of twenty initial incorporators of the Great Falls & Conway Railroad, June 19, 1844.

Sect. 1. Be it enacted, &c., That Samuel Quarles, John Crocker, Josiah H. Hobbs, Lory Odell, Luther D. Sawyer, Zebulon Pease, Thomas P. Drake, Brackett Wiggins, James Garvin, Adam Brown, Joel Eastman, John A. Burley, Levi Jones, William Sawyer, Artemas Harmon, Nathaniel Abbott, James Willey, Zara Cutler, John H. White, and Samuel Atkinson, and their associates, successors and assigns be and they hereby are incorporated and made a body politic under the name of the Great Falls and Conway Railroad … the said corporation is hereby authorized and empowered to locate, construct, and finally complete a railroad, beginning at or near the depot of the Boston and Maine Railroad, in Somersworth, and thence running through said Somersworth, Rochester, Milton, Wakefield, Ossipee, Effingham, Freedom, or Tamworth, and Eaton, to any place in Conway, in such manner and form as they may deem expedient … (Gregg & Pond, 1851).

The incorporators’ names might be rearranged in proposed railroad route order as Lory Odell (1801-1883) of Portsmouth, NH; John H. White (1803-1882) of Dover, NH; John A. Burley (1800-1860) of Somersworth, NH; Levi Jones (1771-1847) of Milton, NH; James Garvin (b. 1796), Josiah H. Hobbs (1795-1854), Joseph Brackett Wiggins (1803-1873), Luther D. Sawyer (1803-1884), and William Sawyer (1805-1881), all of Wakefield, NH; Adam Brown (1793-1880) and Samuel J. Quarles (1807-1865), both of Ossipee, NH; Thomas P. Drake (1793-1861) of Effingham, NH; Zebulon Pease (1795-1863) of Freedom, NH; Samuel Atkinson (1793-1858), John Crocker (1795-1848), and Artemas Harmon (1808-1882), all of Eaton, NH; and Nathaniel Abbott (1796-1863), Zara Cutler (1786-1861), Joel Eastman (1798-1884), and James Willey (1786-1860), all of Conway, NH.

The initial 10,000 stock shares were to be issued at a price of $100 apiece. Many of these incorporators (and presumed initial investors) were farmers, militia officers and justices of the peace in their respective communities. Many of them did not live so long as to see the PGF&C railroad actually reach its destination at Conway, NH, in 1872, and some few of them, including Levi Jones, he being easily the eldest among them, did not live long enough to see it reach even so far as Milton Three Ponds.

Stepson David Wallingford married, in 1844, Susan A. Jones. She was born in Milton, February 23, 1820, daughter of Joshua and Sally (Cowell) Jones.

Sister-in-law Martha [(Lord)] Jones died in Sullivan, ME, May 26, 1844, aged fifty-five years.

Stepdaughter Mary E. Wallingford married in Canterbury, NH, September 18, 1844, Thomas C. Neal, she of Milford [SIC], NH, and he of Loudon, NH.

Brother William Jones, Esq., died in Milton, January 26, 1845, aged seventy-five years. His estate was proved in a Strafford County Probate Court in Rochester, NH, February 4, 1845 (Strafford County Probate, 61:174).

Son Joseph P. “Plummer” Jones died in Milton, February 13, 1845, aged forty-one years, ten months, and nine days. If, as it would seem, he died without issue or will, his undivided one-half share in the Plummer-Jones real estate would have devolved to his father.

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).

Court rosters indicate that Levi Jones, of Milton, received a renewal of his appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace on June 30, 1846. His term in office should have extended out to June 1851, but there is instead an undated marginal notation that he was “dead.”

Levi Jones died in Milton, August 18, 1847, aged seventy-five years.

Stepson Ira Wallingford married in Dover, NH, May 13, 1848, Delania D. Thompson.

Sally [((Worster) Wallingford)] Jones, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. Her household included Charles P. Jones, a farmer, aged seventeen years (b. NH), Mary [E. (Wallingford)] Neal, aged twenty-eight years (b. NH), Kirk B. Neal, aged five years (b. NH), Jonathan Abbott, a farmer, aged sixty-two years (b. ME), and Charles W. Conway, a farmer, aged twenty-two years (b. NH). Sally Jones had real estate valued at $10,000. (Mary E. (Wallingford) Neal was Sally Jones’ widowed daughter and Kirk B. Neal was her grandson). Her household was enumerated between those of Nahum Tasker, a farmer, aged forty-six years (b. NH), and William Sanborn, aged forty-six years (b. NH [ME]).

Brother Joshua Jones, a farmer, aged sixty-one years (b. NH), headed also a Milton household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Sally [(Cowell)] Jones, aged fifty-six years (b. ME), George Jones, a farmer, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), William Jones, a farmer, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), Lydia Jones, aged nineteen years (b. NH), Mary Jones, aged seventy-five years (b. ME), and Lydia Jones, aged sixty-nine years (b. ME). Joshua Jones had real estate valued at $1,500. He had living with him his elder sisters, Mary and Lydia Jones. (His son, George [H.] Jones (1828-1918), would be the father of Ira W. Jones (1854-1946)).

Stepson Ira Wallingford died in Milton, November 13, 1853, aged twenty-nine years.

Son Charles P. Jones married in Milton, November 11, 1857, Betsy Varney, both  of Milton. Rev. Andrew Peabody performed the ceremony. She was born in Milton, March 18, 1834, daughter of John H. and Betsy W. (Cloutman) Varney.

Charles Jones, a farmer, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton P.O.”) household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Betsey [(Varney)] Jones, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), Fred P. Jones, aged eight months (b. NH), Salley [((Worster) Wallingford)] Jones, aged sixty-six years (b. NH), Lydia Worster, aged sixty-four years (b. NH), Abba Corliss, aged fourteen years (b. NH), and F.E. [Frank E.] Wallingford, aged eight years (b. NH). Charles Jones had real estate valued at $16,000 and personal estate valued at $6,000. Salley Jones had personal estate valued at $1,000. His household was enumerated between those of E.W. Plummer, a farmer, aged forty-five years (b. NH), and William Sanborn, aged fifty-six years (b. NH). (Baby Fred P. Jones (1860-1941) would become the father of Robert E. Jones (1887-1954). Lydia Worster (1795-1863) was a sister of Salley ((Worster) Wallingford) Jones. Frank E. Wallingford (c1852-1914) was an orphaned son of Ira and Delania D. (Thompson) Wallingford, his father having died in 1853 and his mother having died only several months before).

Sally ((Worster) Wallingford) Jones died in Milton, January 12, 1863, aged sixty-nine years, five months, and twenty-one days.

Son Charles Jones and Theodore Lyman (1812-1891) were Milton’s NH State Representatives in the 1863-64 biennium.

Sister Mary Jones died of dysentery in Milton, August 20, 1866, aged ninety years.

Brother Joshua Jones died of palsy in Milton, June 17, 1868, aged seventy-nine years, three months, and eight days. His last will, dated March 9, 1868, devised to his wife, Sally K. [(Cowell)] Jones, and children, Mary E. [(Jones)] Varney, William A. Jones, Susan A. [(Jones)] Wallingford, Lydia T. [(Jones)] Tasker, and George H. Jones. Charles Jones, Betsy [(Varney)] Jones, and Nancy J. [(Holland)] Varney signed as witnesses.

Charles Jones, a farmer, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Betsey [(Varney)] Jones, keeping house, aged thirty-three years (b. NH), Fred P. Jones, at school, aged ten years (b. NH), Nellie V. Jones, at school, aged eight years (b. NH), Dana Jones, at school, aged six years (b. NH), George H. Pike, a farm laborer, aged twenty-three years (b. NH), Josaphine Kimball, a domestic servant, aged twenty-two years (b. ME), and Frank E. Wallingford a farm laborer, aged eighteen years (b. NH). Charles Jones had real estate valued at $12,000 and personal estate valued at $21,000. His household was enumerated between those of Enoch W. Plummer, a farmer, aged fifty-five years (b. NH), and William Sanborn, a farmer, aged sixty-six years (b. ME). (Young [Charles] Dana Jones (1863-1908) would become a Milton physician).

Son Charles P. Jones died in Milton, May 8, 1873, aged thirty-nine years, nine months. His wife (and Levi Jones’ daughter-in-law), Betsy (Varney) Jones, died in Milton, February 28, 1878, aged forty-one years.

Grandson Fred P. Jones, a farmer, aged twenty years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his siblings, Nellie V. Jones, keeping house, aged eighteen years (b. NH), and Charles D. Jones, aged sixteen years (b. NH). They shared a dwelling with a second household. It consisted of James W. Nutter, a farmer, aged fifty-one years (b. NH) and his wife, Ruth V. [(Varney)] Nutter, a housekeeper, aged forty-nine years (b. NH). Ruth (Varney) Nutter was the maternal aunt of the Jones siblings.

Sister-in-law Sally (Cowell) Jones died in Milton, May 8, 1884, aged ninety-one years, one day.

Stepson Zimri Scates Wallingford died in Dover, NH, May 28, 1886, aged seventy-nine years.

Hon. Zimri Wallingford Dead. DOVER, N.H., May 28 – Hon. Zimri S. Wallingford died today aged 69 [79]. He was a master machinist and builder, and was an alderman in ’57, ’58, ’61 and ’62. He was a member of the constitutional convention and presidential elector in ’76, being always a strong Republican. He was president of the following: Savings bank for Strafford county, Dover Library Association, proposed Dover & Barrington railroad, Dover horse railroad, and director in Stratford National Bank, Dover & Winnepiseogee railroad, Elliot Bridge Company, Dover Navigation Company. He was an honored member of St. Paul’s Commandery Knights Templar. He leaves a widow and two daughters. The funeral will occur Tuesday afternoon, when the Cocheco works will shut down in respect to the deceased (Boston Globe, May 29, 1886).

Alta L.G. (Hilliard) Wallingford died of general debility in Dover, NH, March 5, 1891, aged eighty-one years, and sixteen days.

Niece Susan A. (Jones) Wallingford died in Milton, February 11, 1902.

MILTON. David Wallingford of Plummer’s ridge is slowly failing (Farmington News, January 9, 1903).

Stepson David Wallingford died in Milton, February 22, 1903, aged eighty-three years.


References:

Biographical Review. (1897). Biographical Review: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Strafford and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=C2sjAQAAMAAJ&pg-PA31

Claremont Manufacturing Co. (1822), NH Register & Farmer’s Almanac. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=KgIXAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA36

Claremont Manufacturing Co. (1846). NH Register & Farmer’s Almanac. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=5ucWAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA55

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Find a Grave. (2012, June 14). Amasa Copp. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/91927088/amasa-copp

Find a Grave. (2022, February 3). Elijah Horne. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/236457865/elijah-horne

Find a Grave. (2021, November 1). Charles [P.] Jones. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/233615967/charles-dana-jones

Find a Grave. (2021, November 4). Joseph Plummer Jones. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/233702174/joseph-plummer-jones

Find a Grave. (2017, October 24). Levi Jones. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/184574201/levi-jones

Find a Grave. (2020, October 22). William Jones. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/217586882/william-jones

Find a Grave. (2021, November 4). Joseph Plumer. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/233700428/joseph-plumer

Find a Grave. (2017, October 26). David Wallingford. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/184628124/david-wallingford

Find a Grave. (2017, October 29). Ira Wallingford. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/184732220/ira-wallingford

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Ricker, Sarah. (1999). Milton and the New Hampshire Farm Museum. Arcadia Publishing.

Scales, John. (1914). History of Strafford County, New Hampshire and Representative Citizens. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=nGsjAQAAMAAJ&pg=520

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Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

One thought on “Milton Taverner Levi Jones (1771-1847)”

  1. An admirable research on an important family in Milton’s history. I’ve recently taken some time to connect on findagrave those buried in the Plummer Palmer Jones Wallingford cemetery so this article was especially enjoyable as it filled in a bit of history about those that are buried there. I plan to use your article to see the if I missed any family connections.

    I so enjoy reading about Milton’s early history; thank you for your continuing fine effort on this behalf.

    Ms. Ayers,

    Thanks. And I have noticed your name on Findagrave and am grateful for your valuable contributions.

    Muriel Bristol

    Like

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