Milton Merchant Nathaniel G. Pinkham (1834-1906)

By Muriel Bristol | March 6, 2022

Nathaniel Gilman “Gilman” Pinkham was born in Milton, September 10, 1834, son of James and Sarah D. (Jewett) Pinkham. (His mother, Sarah D. (Jewett) Pinkham, was a daughter of Milton’s first town clerk, Gilman Jewett (1777-1856)).

NATHANIEL G. PINKHAM, Postmaster of Milton, Strafford County, N.H., was born in this town, September 10, 1834, son of James and Sally (Jewett) Pinkham. His grandfather was Nathaniel Pinkham of Dover Point, N.H. James Pinkham was a custom shoemaker, and followed that business in Milton, for the greater part of his active period. He lived to be seventy years old. In politics he was a Whig. His wife Sally (Jewett) Pinkham became the mother of eleven children, five of whom are now living (Biographical Review, 1897).

James Pinkham, a shoemaker, aged fifty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Sarah Pinkham, aged fifty years (b. NH), Lucy Pinkham, aged twenty-eight years (b. NH), Hannah Pinkham, aged eighteen years (b. NH), Nathaniel G Pinkham, a shoemaker, aged fifteen years, and John P. Pinkham, aged thirteen years (b. NH). Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Hazen Duntley, a blacksmith, aged forty-five years (b. NH), and Thomas Nutter, a shoemaker, aged thirty-five years (b. NH).

Nathaniel G. Pinkham was educated in the public schools of this [Milton] town (Biographical Review, 1897).

Nathaniel G. Pinkham married in Milton, October 28, 1855, Emily C. Corliss, both of Milton. He was aged twenty years, and she was aged sixteen years. Rev. James Doldt performed the ceremony. She was born in Sandwich (elsewhere said to be Wolfeboro), NH, November 25, 1838, daughter of John C. and Louisa W. (Hubbard) Corliss.

Mr. Pinkham married Emily Collins [Corliss], a native of Wolfboro, and has two children – Hattie L. and James D. (Biographical Review, 1897).

Daughter Lilean E. Pinkham was born in Milton, January 20, 1857. She died in Milton, March 28, 1858, aged one year, two months.

Mother-in-law Louisa W. (Hubbard) Corliss died in Milton, April 13, 1857, aged forty-six years, two months. Daughter Lilean E. Pinkham died in Milton, March 28, 1858, aged one year, two months.

Daughter Hattie L. Pinkham was born in Milton, January 28, 1859.

James Pinkham, a shoemaker, aged seventy years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton P.O.”) household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Sarah D. Pinkham, aged sixty-four years (b. NH), James B. Pinkham, a shoemaker, aged thirty-five years (b. NH), Gilman Pinkham, a shoemaker, aged twenty-five years (b. NH), Emily Pinkham, aged twenty years (b. NH), Clara [Hattie] Pinkham, aged two years (b. NH), and John D. Pinkham, a shoemaker, aged twenty-three years (b. NH). James Pinkham had real estate valued at $500 and personal estate valued at $200. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Dearborn Ellis, a shoemaker, aged forty years (b. NH), and Joseph Jenness, a landlord, aged thirty-six years.

Father James Pinkham died in Milton, February 4, 1861, aged seventy-one years.

Nathaniel G. Pinkham began working for the Great Falls Manufacturing Company at just about that time.

When a young man he entered the employ of the Great Falls Manufacturing Company, and for the past thirty-five years he has been in charge of the water-power of that concern (Biographical Review, 1897).

The [Great Falls Manufacturing Co.] orators are a corporation established at Great Falls, Salmon river, in Somersworth, and own five cotton mills with suitable machinery, and to enable them to use the mills, they need the water of Salmon river. For this purpose, they have kept up a dam for some years past, across the riyer, at the outlet of the Three Ponds, so called, partly in Milton in this county, and partly in Lebanon in the State of Maine, and thereby accumulated the water in rainy seasons and have it in seasons of drought (NH Superior Court of Judicature, 1854).

One supposes Pinkham managed their dam at Milton, and perhaps those in other places, including the water levels and releases. (Perhaps he succeeded his late father in that job).

An unnamed infant son was born and died, presumably both in Milton, on an unspecified date (but apparently during this 1860-65 period between the births of children Hattie L. and James D. Pinkham).

Son James D. Pinkham was born in Milton, August 20, 1866. (His father was a shoemaker).

Mother Sarah D. “Sally” Pinkham died of consumption in Milton in July 1869, aged sixty-nine years. She was a widowed housekeeper.

Nathaniel G. Pinkham, works in shoe factory, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Emily Pinkham, keeping house, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), Hattie L. Pinkham, at school, aged eleven years (b. NH), and James D. Pinkham, aged three years (b. NH). Nathaniel G. Pinkham had real estate valued at $500. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Ira L. Knox, works in shoe factory, aged forty years (b. ME), and Joseph Sayward, a retail grocer, aged fifty-two years (b. ME).

Father-in-law John C. Corliss died of palsy in Moultonborough, NH, March 31, 1875.

Nathaniel G. Pinkham, works on shoes, aged forty-five years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Village of Milton 3 Ponds”) household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Emily Pinkham, aged forty-two years (b. NH), and his children, Hattie L. Pinkham, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), and James D. Pinkham, aged thirteen years (b. NH). Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Daniel R. Fall, a carpenter, aged forty-one years (b. ME), and John L. Wing, works on farm, aged fifty years (b. ME).

Nathaniel G. Pinkham became Milton’s postmaster, May 21, 1885. (He succeeded Charles H. Looney in that office). He received his appointment during the first term of President Grover Cleveland. As they assignments were at this time political plums, one might infer that Pinkham was also a Democrat.

In 1885 he was appointed Postmaster by President Cleveland, and served through that administration. He was again appointed in 1893, and his courtesy and efficiency as a public official are recognized and appreciated by all parties irrespective of politics (Biographical Review, 1897).

Washington Notes. Washington, May 22. The postmaster-general today appointed sixty-one fourth class postmasters. Among them were George W. Smith at Mattawamkeag, Penobscot county, Me., and Nathaniel G. Pinkham at Milton, Strafford county, N.H. (Boston Globe, May 23, 1885).

Son James D. Pinkham married in Milton, October 13, 1885, Sarah A. McDonigle, both of Milton. He was a shoeworker, aged nineteen years, and she was aged twenty-two years. Rev. Frank Haley performed the ceremony. She was born in Ireland, circa 1863.

The Great Falls Manufacturing Company have decided to rebuild the mill at Milton which was destroyed by lightning last August, and will begin work as soon as the frost is out of the ground (Farmington News, April 16, 1886).

N.G. Pinkham appeared in the Milton business directories of 1887, and 1889, as a Milton boot & shoe merchant, as well as being Milton postmaster. N.G. Pinkham appeared in a U.S. Postal Department report of July 1, 1887, as having received $568.17 in compensation (US Secretary of the Interior, 1887). (With the advent of Republican President Benjamin Harrison, Ralph M. Kimball replaced Pinkham as Milton postmaster, May 10, 1889).

Postmasters Appointed. WASHINGTON, May 10. Fourth class postmasters were today appointed as follows: G.A. Dickinson, Haddam, Conn.; H.C. Brewer, Freeport. Me.; J.H. Littlefield, Ogunquit, Me.; David Walker, South Symington, Me.; William P. Newman, West Falmouth. Me.; J.H. Leighton, West Pembroke, Me.; R.M. Kimball, Milton, N.H.; J.S. Adams, Union, N.H.; D.H. Bennett, Bridgeport, Vt.; Jerome T. Flint, Derby Line, Vt.: A.M. Ruble, East Berkshire, Vt.: Stephen Grout, East Dorset, Vt.; E.A. Beach, Essex Junction, Vt.; D.K. Simonds, Manchester, Vt.; M.M. Parker, Woolcott, Vt. (Boston Globe, May 11, 1889).

The construction of the A.O.U.W. hall in 1890, on land leased from the Great Falls Manufacturing Company land, changed the stretch of Main Street on which Nathaniel G. Pinkham’s shoe store stood. (It might be that his store stood also on Great Falls Manufacturing Company land, he being in their employ for dam management purposes).

MILTON. The Ancient Order of United workmen have leased a lot of land from the Great Falls Manufacturing company and commenced the foundation of a building, with a frontage of seventy-five feet, on Main street and thirty-five feet deep. This occupies the ground for several years taken up by Duntley’s blacksmith shop and two small buildings owned by John F. Hart, and will be devoted to business and lodge purposes. The plan provides for three stores and a grand entrance on the ground floor, a large hall for dramatics and other entertainments on the second floor, with Lodge room and necessary ante room on the upper floor. The small building used by F.A. Mark as a jeweler’s shop has been moved across the street and now stands on the hill just south of Kennett market. The blacksmith shop is on its journey and will stand partially in the rear of N.G. Pinkham’s shoe store (Farmington News, October 10, 1890).

N.G. Pinkham appeared in the Milton business directories of 1892, and 1894, as a Milton boot & shoe merchant.

Nathaniel G. Pinkham became again Milton’s postmaster, July 17, 1893. (He succeeded Ralph M. Kimball in that office). He received his appointment during the second term of President Grover Cleveland. (Democrat President Cleveland’s two terms were not contiguous: Republican President Benjamin Harrison’s single term was sandwiched between them). As with his first appointment, one might infer from this one that Pinkham was also a Democrat.

NEW POSTMASTERS APPOINTED. The Weeding-out Continues at Lively Pace – 119 More Yesterday. Washington, July 18. One hundred and nineteen fourth-class postmasters were appointed yesterday of whom seventy-nine were in place of postmasters removed. Among the appointments were the following: New Jersey – T.R. Boeman, Annandale; Anmon Wright, Cape May Point; J.A. Eick, Everittstown; S.S. Johnson, Hainesport; J.B. Coughle, Hamden; Stewart Opeyke, Little York; J.B. Neale, Rio Grande, W.R. Love, Three Bridges. Pennsylvania – J.A. McArthur, Freehold; H.M. Snyder, Hickory Corners; L.H. Johnson, Lottsville; C.E. Reed, New Sheffield; W.F. Devers, Parkwood; C.F. Gibson, Washingtonville. New Hampshire – F.E. Emerson, Andover; J.W. Foster, Bath; O.W. Carter, Boscawen; J.C. Webster, Danbury; Alvin Jackson, Durham; W.F. Time, East Haverhill; H.E. Eaton, East Weare; Harvey Brown, Georges Mills; O.N. Sumner, Goffstown; C.M. Batchelder, Hampton; C.H. Fox, Hill; Samuel Head, Hookset; N.G. Pinkham, Milton; Thaddeus Tarlton, Newcastle; I.M. Locke, North Barrington; Frank Tucker, North Weare; W.H. Hobbs, West Ossipee. Vermont L.S. French, Barnard; Patrick Halpin, New Haven Mills (Carlisle Sentinel (Carlisle, PA), July 18, 1893).

Burglars broke into several stores in April and May 1894. They struck next 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).

Joseph D. Willey (1854-1931) kept a grocery and dry goods store at Milton Three Ponds, across the street from Pinkham. (See also Milton in the News – 1914 and Milton Versus the Yeggmen – 1923).

MILTON. Mrs. Gilman Pinkham, Miss Addie Duntley, and Miss Clara Drew were the guests of Farmington friends over the Sabbath (Farmington News, September 28, 1894).

MILTON. Mrs. Gilman Pinkham came home last week after a month’s visit to Boston (Farmington News, November 16, 1894).

Daughter Hattie L. Pinkham married in Milton, November 17, 1894, Harry L. Avery, both of Milton. He was a clerk, aged thirty-one years, and she was a clerk, aged thirty-five years. Rev. Frank Haley performed the ceremony.

Nathaniel G. Pinkham appeared in the Democrat slate for the Town office of Supervisor of the Checklist (NH Secretary of State, 1897).

CANDIDATES FOR TOWN OFFICES. The candidates nominated under the provisions of the new ballot law and printed in the official ballots for the several towns and wards in this state are here given complete. The politics of the candidates is indicated and those elected are distinguished by an asterisk. The vote for each candidate for representative is stated.
MILTON. Representative to General Court. Frank G. Horne, r – 267; Frank E. Norton, d – 82.
Supervisors of the Check List. George D. Canney, r*; Elbridge W. Fox, r*; Timothy Connolly, Jr., d; Nathaniel G. Pinkham, d; Ira A. Cook, d; William T. Wallace, r*.
Moderator. Leroy F. Corson, d; John U. Simes, r*.

If the strength of the Democrat vote might be judged by the numbers reported for the NH State Representative race, it would seem to have gone three-to-one against he and his associates on this occasion.

He is a member of the lodge of Odd Fellows at Milton Mills, and the family attend the Congregational church (Biographical Review, 1897). 

Joseph H. Avery replaced Nathaniel G. Pinkham as Milton postmaster, June 14, 1897. N.G. Pinkham appeared in the Milton business directories of 1898, as a Milton boot & shoe merchant only.

Nathaniel G. Pinkham, a shop keeper (shoes), aged sixty-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 forty-five years), Emily C. Pinkham, aged sixty-one years (b. NH). Nathaniel G. Pinkham owned their house, free-and-clear. Emily C. Pinkham was the mother of three children, of whom two were still living. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Harry L. Avery, a storekeeper, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), and Joseph P. Pinkham, a salesman (groceries), aged sixty-three years years (b. NH).

N.G. Pinkham appeared in the Milton business directories of 1901, 1904, and 1905-06, as a Milton boot & shoe merchant.

A Milton water system had been in the wind for over a decade at this point. A story had been told years earlier of a Milton store clerk named “Herb” that traded a new suit of clothes from his store for a horse and wagon “team.” He dreamt that night of the advantages that might accrue to him from his having acquired that team, thereby setting him on the path to becoming a rich man.

And to all appearances his dream is soon to be realized for he has since traded his team for an interest in the Milton Water Works, which is supposed to have millions in it as soon as Milton becomes a city (Farmington News, May 9, 1890).

The NH General Court authorized incorporation of the Milton Water Works Company, March 21, 1901, with initial board members Malcom A.H. Hart, Charles H. Looney, S. Lyman Hayes, Charles D. Jones, Fred B. RobertsHarry Avery, George E. Wentworth, Joseph H. AveryIra W. Jones, Arthur W. Dudley, Everett F. Fox, Henry F. Townsend, Freeman H. Lowd, William T. Wallace, Frank G. Horne, Charles A. Jones, and Nathaniel G. Pinkham. It established itself July 19, 1899, with Harry L. Avery as its treasurer (NH Secretary of State, 1901).

The offer of the gift of a town clock for Milton, by an out of town citizen, if the people will raise money for a bell, has stimulated an effort to this end, and an organization was effected at a meeting Saturday evening, Dr. M.A.H. Hart being president, Harry L. Avery, secretary, and N.G. Pinkham treasurer. It is proposed to place this clock and bell in the tower of the Congregational church as the most conspicuous place in the village (Farmington News, [Friday,] November 29, 1901).

Nathaniel G. Pinkham died of chronic nephritis in Milton, May 29, 1906, aged seventy-one years, eight months, and nineteen days. He was a merchant and a lifelong Milton resident. M.A.H. Hart, M.D., signed the death certificate.

Emily (Corliss) Pinkham died of Bright’s Disease in Milton, January 27, 1913, aged seventy-four years, two months, and two days. She had resided in Milton for fifty-eight years, i.e., since the time of her marriage, having come there from Sandwich, NH. M.A.H. Hart, M.D., signed the death certificate.


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=PA371

Browne, George M. (1886). Essays and Addresses. Report on the Affairs of the Great Falls Manufacturing Co. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=fQAiAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA130

Find a Grave. (2020, August 18). Hattie L. Pinkham Avery. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/214557903/hattie-l-avery

Find a Grave. (2021, July 3). Infant Pinkham. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/229119070/infant-pinkham

Find a Grave. (2020, September 8). James Pinkham. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/215360156/james-pinkham

Find a Grave. (2015, June 10). James D. Pinkham. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/147697510/james-d-pinkham

Find a Grave. (2020, September 8). Lilean E. Pinkham. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/215366870/lilean-e-pinkham

Find a Grave. (2015, June 10). Nathaniel Gilman Pinkham. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/147696986/nathaniel-gilman-pinkham

NH Secretary of State. (1897). Manual for the General Court, 1897. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=uzktAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA270

NH Superior Court of Judicature. (1854). Great Falls Manufacturing Company Vs. Worster. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=0LJLAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA462

US Census Office. (1885). Statistics of Power and Machinery Employed in Manufactures: On the Water Power of the United States. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=jFhYAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA65

US Secretary of the Interior. (1887). Official Register of the United States. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=_6JLAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA581

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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