Milton Mills Undertaker Asa A. Fox (1837-1913)

By Muriel Bristol | March 26, 2023

Asa Augustus Fox was born in Milton, February 3, 1837, son of Asa and Harriet W. (Plummer) Fox.

Asa Fox, a trader, aged thirty-nine years (b. ME), headed a Milton household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Harriet W. [(Plummer)] Fox, aged forty years (b. ME), Charles D. Fox, a carpenter, aged sixteen years (b. NH), Enoch E.W. Fox, a trader, aged fifteen years (b. NH), and Asa A. Fox, aged thirteen years (b. NH). Asa Fox had real estate valued at $2,000. His three sons had all attended school within the last year.

Asa A. Fox married (1st) in Newfield, ME, in 1854, Hannah H. Howe. She was born in Newfield, ME, circa 1831, daughter of Samuel Howe.

(The known children of Asa A. and Hannah (Howe) Fox were Charles D. Fox (1856–1916), and Josephetta Fox (1858–1859)).

Son Charles D. Fox was born in Milton, March 6, 1856. Daughter Josephetta Fox was born in Milton in September 1858. She died in Milton, September 21, 1859, aged one year, and eleven days.

Asa A. Fox, father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Milton Mills where his schooling was acquired in the public schools. After his marriage he worked in and was a foreman in the rebuilding of the Pemberton Mill, and for a time worked at carpentering. He became interested in the manufacture of sail clothing, in connection with which he conducted a general store business. He finally closed out that enterprise to start up in undertaking, in which line he built up a lucrative business. He was succeeded in the management of the business in April, 1913, by his son, Charles D. Fox, and the business has been continued with the same success it previously enjoyed. The patronage of this firm extends over a radius of fifteen miles, including Wakefield, Milton, Brookfield, Lebanon, Acton and Newfield. They manufacture caskets to a limited extent, and carry a complete stock of caskets and robes. Asa A. Fox married Hannah Howe, who was born in Newfield, Maine, and was next to the youngest of eight children. Her father, Samuel Howe, died at Newfield, Maine. This marriage was blessed with but two children: Etta, who died at the age of two years and was buried at Milton Mills; and Charles D. (Scales, 1914).

The six-story Pemberton Cotton Mill in Lawrence, MA, collapsed suddenly about 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 10, 1860, with 670 employees still inside. About 100 of them died and many were seriously injured. Asa A. Fox was said to have been employed as a carpentry foreman in the rebuilding of the “New” Pemberton Cotton Mill, which began in March 1860.

NEWS ITEMS. … The re-building of the Pemberton Mill, at Lawrence, has been contracted for. Mr. Caleb Crosby, of Lowell, is to do the brick work, and it is estimated that two millions of bricks will be used in the construction (Lancaster Examiner (Lancaster, PA), April 4, 1860).

A.A. Fox, a carpenter, aged twenty-three years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills P.O.”) household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Hannah H. [(Howe)] Fox, aged twenty-five years (b. NH), Charles D. Fox, aged four years (b. NH), and Joseph E. [Josephetta] Fox, aged eleven months (b. NH). Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Asa Fox, a farmer, aged forty-five years (b. NH), and Alfred Fox, a carpenter, aged thirty-five years (b. ME).

The Pemberton mill at Lawrence will soon be completed. It is to be one story higher than before. It will manufacture cotton and woolen goods and employ one thousand hands. We trust the awful lesson taught by the late disaster will not be lost upon the present builder (Fall River Daily Evening News (Fall River, MA), July 21, 1860).

The New Pemberton Mill at Lawrence. The Reporter of the Post has visited Lawrence, and obtained same interesting statistics of the manufacturing interest in that flourishing city. Tbs New Pemberton Mill, which wis commenced last March, is now roofed in, and will be in full operation in January next, giving employment to 1000 hands, male and female, in making ticking, shirting stripes, cotton flannels, cotton pantaloon cloths, cottonades, cotton vesting and ginghams. The mill has been rebuilt in the most thorough manner. It is 84 feet wide, 284 feet deep, 60 feet high to the cornice, and with a double attic 91 feet high to its highest point. It has 480 windows, 4 feet wide and 9 feet high, 4 feet 4 inches apart. The number of brick used is set down to 2,200,000. One contractor supplied 1417 barrels of lime and 521 barrels of cement. The cost of the whole mill, when completed, will exceed $60,000 (Boston Evening Transcript, October 29, 1860).

Asa A. Fox was mentioned in the Vulpes Letter of 1864, as being the express driver for Messrs. Canney & Co., for deliveries in the Milton Mills area. (Canney & Co. appeared in the Boston, MA, directory of 1872, as having their headquarters at 32 Court Square, Boston, and having express agents at Great Falls, Hayes Crossing, Milton Mills, Brookfield, W. Ossipee, Ossipee, Freedom, Conway, Bartlett, and Jackson, NH, as well as Limerick, ME, i.e., all locations near the Great Falls & Conway Railroad).

Asa A. Fox of Milton Mills paid a $2 tax on his carriage, which was valued at $150, in the U.S. Excise Tax of 1864.

Canney & Co. - 67-8-5-Colors-Verso
8-5. Canney & Co.’s Express to Their Own Agent in [Milton Mills] New Hampshire. “Highly interesting combined Post Office and internal usage by this local post, from one Canney agent to another: Eggshell-white envelope with their purple masthead, trimmed from lettersheet to 1 3/4 x 4 1/2 and pasted by agent across back flap, ‘Canney & Co’s Express / Office, 32 Court Sq. [Boston] / M.B. Canney, L.W. Perkins.’ Circular black cancellation ‘Milton Mills / N.H. / Mar. 23’ (1868). On front, Scott #65, judged very pale brown red, large indistinct postmark but probably ‘…M[as]s.’ To ‘Canney & Co.’s Express, Milton Mills, N.H.’ Contemporary pencil notations at bottom, ‘Notified Express Co … See inside.’ Ink light but legible, sun-toned sliver at lower horizontal portion, handling evidence, else good plus. With enclosed letter of Canney Agent E.W. Fox, the manuscript ascender at salutation precisely completing his letterstrokes on the masthead, which he trimmed off and mounted on envelope. ‘Do your books of about Oct. 11, (18)67 show a box received from Ross’ Stage at Great Falls marked ‘T.Y. Kelley & Co., No. 30 Vesey St., N.Y.’? If so, when and to whom was it delivered. The party sending it, Mr. Powers, says Kelley & Co. never received it ….” Uniform toning, handling wrinkles, else good. Canney material is uncommon, certainly in this usage. Splendid for an exhibit. $120-160 (2 pcs.)” (Cohasco, Inc., n.d.)

Asa A. Fox of Milton Mills paid an $8.33 retail liquor dealer’s tax in the U.S. Excise Tax of 1865. Asa A. Fox paid a $10 retail dealer’s tax in the U.S. Excise Tax of May 1866, as did his father. The younger Fox paid also a $1 tax on his carriage.

Asa A. Fox was the first clerk of the Milton Mills Methodist Church, when it was founded in 1869. (See Milton Mills’ Methodist Ministers of 1869-1904).

Asa A. Fox, a retail grocer, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Hannah H. [(Howe)] Fox, keeping house, aged thirty-five years (b. ME), Charles D. Fox, at school, aged fourteen years (b. NH), and Willie C. Simes, at school, aged seven years (b. NH), Asa A. Fox had real estate valued at $3,000 and personal estate valued at $3,800. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Bray U. Simes, a retail grocer, aged sixty-nine years (b. NH), and Samuel B. Philpot, a watchman in wool mill, aged fifty-three years (b. ME).

Asa A. Fox & Co. appeared in the Milton directories of 1871, 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1876, as Milton Mills merchants.

A.A. Fox was a District Deputy Grand Master of the International Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) when he wrote of the Miltonia Lodge, No. 52, at Milton Mills, in March 1873.

MILTONIA LODGE, No. 52, MILTON MILLS. A.A. Fox, District Deputy Grand Master. I visited this Lodge March 25th, by invitation. After the usual Lodge business, the ladies were admitted to the hall. The exercises consisted of speaking, singing, and instrumental music. Remarks were made by P.G. IRA Tibbetts, and members of the Lodge, which were full of the spirit of Odd-Fellowship. The brotherhood were then invited to a banquet prepared by the ladies, and all present went to work with willing hearts and hands. D.D. Fox writes: “I witnessed an initiation July 29th, and can truly say they do their work finely. The Lodge is in a prosperous condition. This Lodge is made up of men who are ready for any and every good work, and are sure to succeed in the cause of Friendship, Love, and Truth” (Grand Lodge, 1873).

A.A. Fox’s black gelding horse Jerry ran in the second day’s trotting races at Great Falls Riding Park, Somersworth, NH, October 28, 1874. He would seem to have won the $50 third prize purse.

THE TURF. Great Falls, N.H., Oct. 28. – Second Day’s Trotting at Great Falls Riding Park, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 1874. – Purse $350, for horses that have never heat 2.44; $200 to first, $100 to second, $50 to third; mile beats, best 3 in 5, to harness. J. Golden ns. g. g. Ned, 1,1,2,2; Sam Chase ns. g. g. Honest Harry, 2,2,1,1; A.A. Fox ns. blk. g. Jerry. 3,3,3,3; T.D. Marsh ns. blk. g. Black Ralph, 5,4,4,4; J.M. Drew, ns. ch. g. Dan Bryant, 4. distanced. Time, 2.41, 2.43½, 2.41½, 2.43½. In the third heat the driver of Honest Harry was taken off and H.G. Smith was substituted. Darkness came on before the race was concluded, when it was postponed until Thursday morning at 9 o’clock. Same Day – Purse $250, for horses that never beat 2.50; $125 to first, $75 to second, $50 to third. D.H. Marvell ns. br. g. Union. 1,1,1; C.H. French ns. b. m. Lady French. 2,2,2; Henry Carter ns. s. g. Zebill, 3,3,5; P.D. Braun ns. b. s. Morrill Morgan, 4,4,5; O. Dugan ns. br. g. Major, 6,5,3; B.F. Fiske ns. s. g. Venture, 8,6,6; G. Flanagan ns. blk. g. Bunker Hill, 5, distanced; S. Hayes ns. b. m. Nellie Thayer, 7, drawn; J. Rankin ns. s. m. Fannie Phillips, distanced. Time, 2.48½, 2.48, 2.50. Judges, C.K. Drew. W.W. Smith and Ira Locke. The 2.28 and 2.40 classes will be trotted to-morrow (Boston Post, October 26, 1874).

Son Charles D. Fox and his cousin, Everett F. Fox, both of Milton Mills, were students at the Gorham Seminary, in Gorham, ME, during the 1874-75 academic year. They were both pursuing the Normal Course of studies. (Other options included the Commercial, Classical, Collegiate, and Preparatory courses).

Asa Augustus “Augustus” Fox lost his Milton Mills grocery store to a fire in March 1876. This description contains the additional interesting information that the local Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) society rented his store’s second floor as their meeting hall. (See also Milton in the News – 1876).

NEW ENGLAND BY MAIL. Milton Mills, N.H. The store of Augustus Fox at Milton Mills, was destroyed by fire Tuesday night. Loss $6000; insured in the Home, New York, for $4300. The second story was occupied by the Odd Fellows, who lost everything (Boston Globe, March 9, 1876).

I.O.O.F. District Deputy Grand Marshal Edward J. Brierly reported the March 8 loss in a letter and followed that with his annual report.

MARCH 9 – Received a letter from D.D.G.M. [District Deputy Grand Marshal] EDWARD J. BRIERLEY that Miltonia Lodge room was burned. Loss about $500. Saved charter and some of the regalias and working books. This is the only Lodge in the State that I have not visited officially, But I learn by Brother BRIERLEY that they continue to meet, and are preparing a new hall. (See D.D.G.M. BRIERLEY’s report).

MILTONIA LODGE, No. 52, MILTON MILLS. I installed the officers in January and July. Our Lodge has during the past six months labored under unfavorable circumstances, owing to our loss by fire. However, we have met every regular night with fair attendance. By the kindness of Motolinia Lodge, we have done some work. Although we met with quite a loss, we have a better fund in the bank which we shall draw on sparingly as possible in fitting up anew. We are in hopes to occupy our new hall soon and to continue the good work. – Edward J. BRIERLEY, D.D.G.M. (IOOF, 1872-81).

Nevertheless, Asa A. Fox appeared in the Milton directory of 1877, as proprietor of a country store.

Asa A. Fox appeared in a list of subordinate Odd Fellows lodges for the year 1877. He had held the office of “Noble Grand” in the prior term.

MILTONIA LODGE, No. 52, Milton Mills: (Tuesday). First term – Oscar F. Marsh, N.G.; William B. Townsend, V.G.; John E. Leach, R. Sec.; Freeman H. Lowd, Treas.; J.L. Pike, P. Sec. Last term – Asa A. Fox, N.G.; John F. Hurd, V.G.; John E. Leach, Sec; Freeman H. Lowd, Treas. (Grand Lodge, 1872).

The Milton Selectmen of 1878-79 were Chas. C. Hayes, Asa A. Fox, and M.V.B. Cook. (They appeared belatedly as such in the Milton business directory of 1880).

Son Charles D. Fox, Annie M. [(Leighton)] Varney, and Annie E. [(Davis)] Cook were the Milton Superintending School Committee in the Milton Town Report for the Year Ending March 1880, i.e., they had been elected in March 1879.

Asa A. Fox was appointed as a Strafford County Deputy Sheriff in August 1879.

John Greenfield, High Sheriff of this county, has issued a neat and useful roster of county officers, the times of the Supreme and Probate Courts, the Judges of the Supreme Court, & c. We learn from it that he has appointed the following Deputies for this county: Daniel C. Wiggin, James H. Davis, and James W. Hartford, Dover; Wm. Pitt Moses, Gt. Falls; Eben S. Nowell, Salmon Falls; Asa A. Hall, Farmington; Asa A. Fox, Milton Mills; Paul A. Hurd, Rochester; Luther C. Critchett, Strafford; Jonathan Dustin, Barrington. Jailer, Samuel J. Smith of Dover – Dover Inquirer (Farmington News, August 8, 1879).

The Milton Selectmen of 1880 were A.A. Fox, H.B. Scates, and D. Wallingford.

Son C.D. Fox and C.L. Plumer were the Milton Superintending School Committee in the Milton Town Report for the Year Ending March 1881, i.e., they had been elected in March 1880. (This committee had one member less than the usual three committee members). In addition to their roles as school committeemen, each of them taught classes. Charles D. Fox taught the primary students at School District No. 7, i.e., Milton Mills, while Eugene D. Rowell taught higher level students in the same district. Cyrus L. Plumer (1841-1910), who was the Milton Free-Will Baptist minister, taught the higher level students at School District No. 9, i.e., Milton Three Ponds, while Miss Lizzie C. Lyman and Mrs. Amos M. [Clara M. (Mathes)] Roberts taught primary students there in the first and second terms respectively. (Future daughter-in-law Hattie M. Fox taught at School District No. 3, i.e., Jug Hill Road, and would eventually become a junior high school teacher in Lynn, MA).

Asa A. Fox, a carpenter, aged forty-three years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills Village”) household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Hannah [(Howe)] Fox, keeping house, aged forty-seven years (b. ME), and his son, Charles D. Fox, a school teacher, aged twenty-four years (b. NH). Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of John Murrow, a wood sawyer, aged fifty-six years (b. Canada), and Abram Sanborn, a watchman in wool mill, aged fifty-eight years (b. NH).

Asa A. Fox appeared in the Milton directories of 1880, 1881, and 1882, as both a carpenter and a merchant. He appeared in the Milton directory of 1884, as a Milton Mills builder, manufacturer of coffins and caskets, and merchant; in that of 1887, as a Milton Mills builder, and in 1889, as a Milton Mills undertaker.

Milton sent Asa A. Fox to Concord, NH, as its NH State Representative for the 1881-82 biennium. His travel allowance was rated at 195 miles (NH General Court, 1881).

In a July 1881 NH House division vote on “An act in amendment of chapter one hundred and nine of the General Laws, making wine, fermented cider, lager beer, ale, and all fermented malt liquors intoxicating within the meaning of the law,” Rep. Fox voted with the seventy-five members that opposed the measure, rather than the eighty-nine members that favored it. Since the measure required a two-thirds majority, it did not pass. (See Milton Under “Semi-Prohibition” – 1855-02).

Mother Harriet (Wood) Fox died in Milton Mills, July 3, 1882, aged seventy-five years.

DEATHS. In Milton Mills, July 3, Mrs. Harriet Wood Fox, aged 75 years (Farmington News, July 14, 1882).

Hannah H. (Howe) Fox died of cancer in Milton, September 15, 1886, aged fifty-five years, two months, and twenty-one days.

Son Charles D. Fox married in Milton, May 19, 1887, Hattie M. Fox, both of Milton. He was a clerk, aged thirty-one years, and she was a lady, aged twenty-eight years. Rev. C.E. Mason performed the ceremony. She was born in Milton, September 27, 1859, daughter of Alfred W. and Elvira W. (Titcomb) Fox.

REAL ESTATE TRANSFRS. Asa Fox to Asa A. Fox, land in Milton, $1500 (Farmington News, July 1, 1887).

Asa A. Fox married (2nd) in Milton, August 20, 1887, Harriet “Hattie” Hart, both of Milton. He was an undertaker, aged forty-nine years, and she was a lady, aged thirty-five years. Rev. C.M. Anderson performed the ceremony. She was born in Milton, April 30, 1852, daughter of Edward F. and Sally (Fox) Hart (and sister of John F. Hart, 2nd).

Father Asa Fox died in Milton, September 29, 1887, aged seventy-seven years, eleven months, and six days.

DIED. Acton – October 1 [SIC], Mr. Asa Fox (Biddeford-Saco Journal, October 8, 1887).

Newfield. Mr. Augustus Fox, undertaker of Milton Mills, N.H., passed through here Saturday with a fine pair of matched horses to deliver a casket at South Parsonsfield (Biddeford-Saco Journal, January 12, 1889).

Charles D. Jones partnered with a Mr. Stevens in a Milton Mills shoe shop in 1889.

COUNTY AFFAIRS. Acton. There is to be another shoe shop at Milton Mills. C.D. Fox and Mr. Stevens are the proprietors (Biddeford Daily Journal (Biddeford, ME), April 16, 1889).

The Newfield, ME, obituary of Mary Ann (Bean) Slater mentioned her funeral arrangements having been made in February 1891 by Milton Mills undertaker A.A. Fox.

Newfield. Mrs. Mary Ann, wife of John Slater of Milton Mills, N.H., died Feb. 4th after a painful illness of 4 weeks. Mrs. Slater was the oldest daughter of the late Israel Bean of Limerick and had many friends in this vicinity. Her remains were brought here by Undertaker A.A. Fox and buried in the family lot at Pleasant Hill cemetery Friday afternoon. Mrs. Slater was 60 years of age (Biddeford-Saco Journal, February 14, 1891).

Milton Mills, 1892 (Detail) - AA FoxMILTON. At the republican caucus Saturday afternoon, the following delegates were chosen to the different conventions: State – E.W. Fox and Frank Horner; Congressional – R.M. Kimball and C.D. Fox; Senatorial – Luther Hayes and B.B. Plummer; Councillor – Chas. A. Jones and S.W. Wallingford; County – Fred B. Roberts and C.W. Gross; Town Committee – Chas H. Looney, president; B.B. Plummer, secretary; Luther Hayes, C.A. Jones, J.H. Avery, W.H.H. Pinkham, Fred B. Roberts, S.W. Wallingford, Charles D. Fox and Charles W. Gross (Farmington News, September 9, 1892).

Asa A. Fox appeared in the Milton directories of 1894, and 1898, as a Milton Mills builder and undertaker. Son C.D. Fox appeared in the Milton directories of 1894, and 1898, as proprietor of the Central House hotel at Milton Mills.

Hattie H. [(Hart)] Fox of Milton divorced Asa A. Fox in Strafford Superior Court, September 24, 1896. She alleged extreme cruelty (one had to allege something).

LIST OF DIVORCES. The following is the list pronounced upon at the last session of the supreme court: … Hattie H. Fox vs. Asa A. Fox, both of Milton, divorce granted; cause, extreme cruelty; alimony $3500 (Farmington News, October 16, 1896).

Asa A. Fox married (3rd) in Haverhill, MA, March 30, 1897, Sarah E. (Tuttle) Webster, he of Milton and she of Haverhill, MA. He was an undertaker, aged sixty years, and she was a housekeeper, aged sixty years. Rev. L.B. Twitchell performed the ceremony. She was born in Strafford, NH, February 9, 1836, daughter of James and Sally (Middleton) Tuttle. (She was the widow of Charles Webster).

Asa A. Fox of Milton testified in Dover, NH, January 4, 1898, regarding the Jones poisoning murder case of 1897. (See Milton’s Poisoning Murder – 1897).

Asa Fox of Milton, the undertaker who prepared Mrs. Jones’ body for burial, testified regarding the [Utopia brand] embalming fluid used. He said it was an article of commerce, and he used it as prepared (Boston Globe, January 5, 1898).

The Fox family was deeply involved in fin de siècle Pleasant Valley Grange at Milton Mills. Mrs. A.A. Fox of the Pleasant Valley Grange in Milton Mills was among those brought into the NH State Grange session at Mechanics Hall, in Manchester, NH, and instructed in the Degree of Flora, on the evening of December 20, 1899.

Pleasant Valley grange of Milton Mills has elected the following officers: Master, A.A. Fox; overseer, Daniel Philbrick; lecturer, John U. Simes; steward, Albert Wiggin; assistant steward, Rev. A.M. Markey; lady assistant steward, Mrs. Willis Reynolds; chaplain, Rev. E.W. Churchill; treasurer, Jennie Hanson; gate keeper, C.A. Treadwell; Pomona, Ruth Philbrick; Flora, Mrs. C.D. Fox; Ceres, Mrs. A.A. Fox; director, C.D. Fox; lady director, Mrs. Fox; organists, Helen Loud, Grace Loud (Farmington News, December 29, 1899).

Asa A. Fox, an undertaker, aged sixty-three years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills Village”) household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of three years), Sarah E.W. [((Tuttle) Webster)] Fox, aged sixty-three years (b. NH), and his servant, Mary Remick, a house servant, aged twenty-four years (b. NH). Asa A. Fox owned their farm, free-and-clear. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Calvin S. Haines, a hostler, aged thirty-eight years (b. NH), and Charles D. Fox, a hotel keeper, aged forty-five years (b. NH).

Charles D. Fox, a hotel keeper, aged forty-five years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills Village”) household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife Hattie M. [(Fox)] Fox, aged forty years (b. NH), his daughter, Edwina E. Fox, aged six years (b. NH), his servants, Lacy Witham, aged twenty-two years (b. ME), and Adah Renualt, aged twenty years (b. NH), and his boarders, Charles W. Gross, aged fifty-seven years (b. ME), J. Edward La Bonte, aged forty-nine years (b. Canada), Joshua S. Mathews, a shoe factory superintendent, aged fifty-four years (b. MA), [his wife of thirty years,] May Ella [(Cram)] Mathews, aged forty-nine years (b. ME), Harry Hamilton, a shoe puller-over, aged twenty-three years, and John D. Hanson, a hostler, aged fifty years (b. NH). Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Asa A. Fox, an undertaker, aged sixty-three years (b. NH), and Maude A. Berry, a housekeeper, aged sixty-five years (b. NH).

Old Folks of Milton Mills and vicinity had their third annual meeting, August 21, at the home of A.A. Fox. In the company were 140 persons, whose ages aggregated 9712 years, and averaged nearly 70 years (Farmington News, August 31, 1900).

Milton delegates for the several conventions are as follows, State convention, Elbridge W. Fox, Freeman H. Lowd. Congressional, Charles H. Looney, Joseph H. Avery. Councillor, Wm. F. Wallace, B.B. Plummer. Senatorial, F.L. Marsh, Charles D. Jones. County, Charles D. Fox, Charles A. Jones (Farmington News, September 7, 1900).

Asa A. Fox appeared in the Milton directories of 1901, and 1904, as a Milton Mills undertaker. Son C.D. Fox appeared in the Milton directory of 1901, as proprietor of the Central House hotel at Milton Mills.

JUBILEES IN SEVERAL TOWNS. Milton Departed from the Beaten Track and Held an Old-Folks Gathering – War Vets Meet at Greenville. … Milton’s celebration took the form of the annual old folks gathering at the residence of Hon. and Mrs. A.A. Fox. Especial invitations were extended to all persons more than 60 years of age resident in Milton, Wakefield, Brookfield and Middleton, N.H., and Acton, Lebanon and Shapleigh, Me. and a very large number of them were accepted. Dinner was served at noon, and in the afternoon there was a program of music, speaking, etc. (Boston Globe, August 21, 1901).

Milton passed under “Local Option” as regards liquor licenses in 1903. A vote of the town had allowed such licenses in 1903 and they were held by Fred M. Chamberlain, whose Phœnix House had a license (Class 1); Charles L. Bodwell, whose Milton Hotel had a license (Class 1); and son Charles D. Fox, whose Central House hotel, at Milton Mills, had a license (Class 1). Such Class 1 licenses would permit liquor sales to hotel guests only (NH License Commissioners, 1904). In the following year a town vote forbid liquor licenses. Liquor license availability would seesaw on and off in Milton for years. Charles D. Fox chose to get out of the hotel business at this time, likely due to the uncertainty. John H. Lord took over management of the Central House hotel for a time.

County Officers. …. Sheriff Parker has appointed the following deputies, all of whom have qualified except Charles D. Fox of Milton Mills, who was not present this morning but will appear later and take the oath of office: Bert Wentworth, Dover; Alphons I. Faunce, Somersworth; Henry F. Walker, Rochester; Frank I. Smith, Rochester; Augustus S. Waldron, Farmington; Arioch W. Griffith, Durham; Elmer Clark, Strafford (Farmington News, April 3, 1903).

Asa A. Fox of Milton made his last will July 3, 1903. He gave to his beloved wife, Sarah W. Fox, “my best wishes for her future happiness and prosperity, agreeable to certain covenant entered into between my said wife and myself prior to our marriage.” He gave, devised and bequeathed all his property, both real and personal, to his beloved son, Charles D. Fox, who he named as executor. John E. Chesley, John D. Hanson, and Owen [Orren] R. Fairfield signed as witnesses (Strafford County Probate, 140:128). John E. Chesley was a Rochester, NH, farmer; John D. Hanson was a Milton hostler; and Orren R. Fairfield was a Kennebunk, ME, painter.

Asa A. Fox and his son, Charles D. Fox, both of Milton Mills, both took and passed the Maine State undertaker examination, May 10, 1904.

Meetings were held for the purpose of examining candidates May 10 and October 5, 1904, and June 22 and December 14, 1905. At each of these meetings, the following instructions were given to the candidates: A list of questions is herewith submitted to you numbered from 1 to 40. The answers are to be made in writing, the figure to be placed before each answer which corresponds to that before its respective question. Two hours will be given within which time the answers the questions will be handed in. The answers may be handed in any time within the two hours when completed, but the candidate when handing in his answers must immediately retire and not re-enter the room. Any candidate leaving the room before his answers have been completed and handed in will not be allowed to return, nor to finish his examination this day. Talk in the room or communications of any kind between candidates will debar from completion of the examination. Satisfactory answers to at least 30 of the questions (75 per cent) will be required. No catch questions are submitted, only those which every practical undertaker should be able to answer. In any answers to questions relating to contagious and infectious diseases, no distinction between the two will be required. They will be considered simply in the sense of dangerous communicable diseases. Each candidate must place his signature to his examination paper (ME State Board of Health, 1906).

Fox, Asa A. - 1905Both candidates passed the examination. Son Charles D. Fox received ME State license #83 and Asa A. Fox received #105.

Asa A. Fox of Main street, Milton Mills, appeared in the Red Book automobile directory of 1905, as the owner of a 10 horsepower Pope automobile (Blanchard, 1905). (See also Milton Automobiles in 1906-07).

Pope Hartford Auto - 1904MILTON MILLS, N.H. Asa A Fox had a very bad spell one day last week and was confined to the house a few days (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), November 17, 1905).

Asa A. Fox appeared in the Milton directories of 1905-06, and 1909, as a merchant of coffins and caskets, an embalmer, and an undertaker. (See also Milton Automobiles in 1909-10).

PERSONAL. Wednesday Mr. A.A. Fox of Milton Mills was in town with a party of friends, in his automobile (Farmington News, August 24, 1906).

MILTON MILLS, N.H. Mr. and Mrs. Asa A. Fox entertained a large party of the members of the A.O.U.W. of Milton with their wives and lady friends on Saturday evening. Mr. and Mrs. Fox also invited in some friends and neighbors to meet with the good people from Milton and a very pleasant and enjoyable evening was passed by all. A number of selections of vocal and instrumental music by our village artists were rendered in a very pleasing manner. Bounteous refreshments were served, and it was generally voted to be one of the best of the many pleasant social evenings we have enjoyed at this home (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), May 24, 1907).

MILTON MILLS. Mrs. Asa A. Fox returned home Saturday from a visit to her sister in Detroit, Mich. (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), September 13, 1907).

Daughter-in-law Hattie M. (Fox) Fox was elected to a three-year term as trustee of the Sunrise Rebekah Lodge in Milton Mills.

MILTON MILLS. Sunrise Rebekah lodge No. 79, I.O.O.F., held a special meeting Monday evening, and elected these officers: N.G., Mrs. Delia M. [(Douglas)] Flye; V.G., Mrs. Mildred T. [(Tibbetts)] Marsh; Sec., Mrs. Marguerite [(Meikle)] Stevens; Treas., Mrs. Rosamond [(Guptill)] Manser; trustee for three years, Mrs. Hattie M. [(Fox)] Fox. These will be installed at the next regular meeting Jan. 8. Miltonia lodge No. 52, I.O.O.F., at its regular meeting Tuesday evening, elected officers as follows: N.G., Daniel Murray; V.G., Chas. S. Philbrick; secretary, John Lewis; treasurer, Forrest L. Marsh; trustee, three years, Oliver C. Titcomb. After the election of officers the initiatory degree was worked on three candidates and this was followed by a supper and a good social time (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), January 10, 1908).

Son Charles D. Fox hosted a Free-Will Baptist reading club meeting in September 1908, whose subject was English Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

MILTON MILLS. The reading club of the Free Baptist young people met at John Lewis’ Friday evening and had an evening with Robert Burns. Friday evening this week the meeting will be at C.D. Fox’s and the subject will be Tennyson (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), October 2, 1908).

Asa A. Fox, an undertaker, aged seventy-three years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills”) household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twelve years), Sarah W. [((Tuttle) Webster)] Fox, aged seventy-three years (b. NH), and Sadie Willey, a private family servant, aged thirty years (b. NH). Asa A. Fox owned their house, free-and-clear. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Willis A. Meikle, a woolen mill finisher, aged thirty-six years (b. ME), and Charles D. Fox, an undertaker, aged forty-five years (b. NH).

Charles D. Fox, an undertaker, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills”) household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty years), Hattie [(Fox)] Fox, aged forty-eight years (NH), and his daughter, Edwina Fox, aged twenty-seven years (NH). Charles D. Fox owned their house, free-and-clear. Hattie Fox was the mother of one child, of whom one was still living. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Asa A. Fox, an undertaker, aged seventy-three years (b. NH), and Calvin Haynes, a farmer, aged forty-eight years (b. NH). (His paternal uncle, Elbridge W. Fox, a general store proprietor, aged seventy-five years (b. NH), appeared just past Haynes).

Fox, Asa A. - 1912

MILTON MILLS. Mrs. C.D. Fox had as guests over the end of the week Mr. and Mrs. George [Emma E. (Fox)] Meikle, their two sons, Stanley and Chester, and Miss Dr. Zimmerman, all of New Bedford, Mass. Miss Brenda Meikle, who has been spending a few weeks, returned with her parents Monday. Miss Buffington of New Bedford was also here for a few days (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), September 16, 1910).

Asa A. Fox appeared in the Milton directory of 1912, as a merchant of coffins and caskets, an embalmer, and an undertaker.

Asa A. Fox died of chronic interstitial nephritis at the NH State Hospital in Concord, NH, November 11, 1913, aged seventy-six years, nine months, and eight days. He was an undertaker and had been hospitalized for six months, eight days. A.B. Howard, M.D., signed the death certificate. (Undertakers Kendall & Foster of Concord, NH, managed his funeral).

Son Charles D. Fox was admitted as a new member to the Maine Undertakers’ Association at their convention held in Hampden, ME, August 19, 1915 (Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME, August 20, 1915).

Son Charles D. Fox suffered from a debilitating and ultimately fatal cancer in the final year of his life.

MILTON MILLS. (Special to the Tribune). Charles D. Fox is suffering from a cancer on his face (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), March 3, 1916).

MILTON MILLS. (Special to the Tribune). Charles D. Fox was taken to Concord to the insane asylum this morning. He was accompanied by Drs. Anderson and Stevens and his nurse (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), March 31, 1916).

Son Charles D. Fox died of exhaustion (and effective psychosis and cancer (one year)) in Concord, NH, March 31, 1916, aged sixty years. A marginal note regarding the cancer adds “Involving upper half of right cheek and lower jaw with enlarged cervical glands.” D.G. McIvor, M.D., of Concord, NH, signed the death certificate.

CHARLES D. FOX – Charles D. Fox, who was taken to Concord last week, died there Friday morning. The remains were brought here and the funeral was held Wednesday P.M. at his home. Mr. Fox leaves a wife and one daughter to mourn his loss. He was a member of the I.O.O.F. and K. of P. and of Lovell Union Grange (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), April 7, 1916).

LOCAL. The local friends of Charles D. Fox, the Milton Mills undertaker, were pained to learn of his death which took place last week Friday. The funeral was held this Wednesday. He is survived by his wife and one daughter (Farmington News, April 7, 1916).

Granddaughter Edwina E. Fox married in Milton Mills, November 21, 1917, Joseph Elijah Wadleigh, she of Milton Mills and he of Wakefield, NH. She was a teacher, aged twenty-four years, and he was a farmer, aged twenty-eight years. Rev. Edwin P. Moulton performed the ceremony (by a special license from the State of New Hampshire). Joseph E. Wadleigh was born in Lynn, MA, September 27, 1889, son of Frank F. and Mary J. (Gilmore) Wadleigh.

Sarah E. ((Tuttle) Webster) Fox died of a gangrenous fractured hip in Strafford, NH, July 3, 1918, aged eighty-two years, five months, and three days. The hip had been broken six weeks prior and the gangrene had developed four weeks prior. Stephen Young signed the death certificate.

Ex-wife Harriet A. “Hattie” (Hart) Fox died in Wells, ME, December 13, 1918.

Accounts for Notice. Guardian’s account in estate of Hattie H. Fox, late of Wells (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), February 12, 1919).

Hattie M. [(Fox)] Fox, a widow, aged sixty years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. Her household included her son-in-law, J. Elijah Wadleigh, an undertaker, aged thirty years (b. MA), her daughter, Edwina F. [(Fox)] Wadleigh, aged twenty-six years (b. NH), and her grandson, Joseph E. Wadleigh, Jr., aged one year (b. NH). Hattie M. Fox owned their farm on School Street, free-and-clear.

Grandson-in-law Joseph E. Wadleigh died of tuberculosis in Milton Mills, May 26, 1920, aged thirty years.

LOCAL. It is with deep regret that local friends of Joseph Elijah Wadleigh learn of his death which occurred at his home at Milton Mills this Wednesday evening. The deceased succumbed to tuberculosis after a long and noble fight with the dread disease. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Wadleigh, his wife, one son, Joseph E., Jr., and three sisters, Misses Frances and Charlotte Wadleigh of Union and Mrs. Harry A. Nute of Portsmouth (Farmington News, May 28, 1920).

Hattie M. [(Fox)] Fox, a widow, aged seventy years (b. NH), headed a Lynn, MA, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. Her household included her daughter, Edwina E. [(Fox)] Wadleigh, a public school teacher, aged thirty-five years (b. NH), and her grandson, Joseph E. Wadleigh, aged eleven years (b. NH). Hattie M. Fox rented their house at 280 Maple Street, for $40 per month. They had a radio set.

Granddaughter Edwina F. Wadleigh appeared in the Lynn, MA, directory of 1935, as the widow of Joseph E. Wadleigh, and a teacher at the Breed Junior High School, with her house at 45 Graves avenue. Her mother, Hattie M. Fox, appeared as the widow of Charles D. Fox, with her residence at 45 Graves avenue.

Daughter-in-law Hattie M. (Fox) Fox died in Lynn, MA, May 30, 1938.

MILTON MILLS, By Alfred W. Lewis. The body of Mrs. Hattie Fox was brought from Lynn, Mass., and services were hold in the Free Baptist Church Thursday. She was the widow of the late Charles D. Fox. She leaves her daughter, Mrs. Edwina Wadleigh and a sister, Mrs. Emma Meikle. She was a member of the Free Baptist Church and Sunrise Rebekah Lodge. The services were under the direction of Frank Spencer with J. Whitfield Qurrie officiating (Farmington News, June 9, 1938).

Edwina [(Fox)] Wadleigh, a teacher, aged forty-six years (b. NH), headed a Lynn, MA, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. Her household included her son, Joseph E. Wadleigh, a meat packers’ accountant, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), and her lodger, Winfred Farrar, a General Electric machinist, aged forty-four years (b. NH). She rented their part of a two-family house at 208 Broadway Street, for $50 per month. (Her income was $2,100 per annum, i.e., her housing – without her lodger’s contribution – would have cost 28.6% of her income). They had all resided in the “same place,” i.e., Lynn, MA, in 1935.

MILTON MILLS. Mrs. Edwina Fox Wadleigh and Mr. Farrar of Lynn were Sunday visitors of Mr. and Mrs. Herman L. Buck (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), October 17, 1940).

Edwina [(Fox)] Wadley, a junior high school teacher for the city school department, aged fifty-three years (b. NH), headed a Lynn, MA, household at the time of the Seventeenth (1950) Federal census. Her household included her roomer, Winfred Farrar, a bench worker for an electrical manufacturing company, aged fifty-two years (b. NH).

MILTON MILLS. Mrs. Edwina Wadleigh and Winn Farrell [Farrar] of Lynn, Mass., were Sunday visitors in town (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), August 27, 1953).

Milton Mills. Mr. and Mrs. Willard Clark and H.L. Buck entertained at the Wilson Pond camp Mrs. Arthur Brackett and Mrs. Edwina Wadleigh of Lynn, Mass., Monday (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), August 4, 1961).

Granddaughter Edwina E. (Fox) Wadleigh died in Lynn, MA, October 28, 1961, aged sixty-eight years.

Milton Mills. BY BESSIE M LEWIS. Mrs. Edwina Wadleigh. Mrs. Edwina F. (Fox) Wadleigh, 68, of Lynn, Mass., died Saturday at her home after a brief illness. She was the widow of Joseph E. Wadleigh. Mrs. Wadleigh was born in Milton Mills. She had lived in Lynn for 40 years and retired two years ago after teaching business courses at Breed Junior High School for 39 years. She was a member of Ivy Rebekah Lodge, the National Retired Teachers’ Association, the Washington Street Baptist Church, and the Dorcas Society of the Milton Mills Baptist Church. She was a past matron of the Eastern Star Chapter in Union, N.H. Mrs. Wadleigh is survived by a son, Joseph E. Wadleigh of Saugus, Mass., and five grandchildren. The funeral was held in the Parker Memorial, Lynn, Tuesday afternoon. Services were held in the Milton Mills church Wednesday afternoon. Burial was in the Milton Cemetery (Sanford Journal-Tribune (Biddeford, ME), November 9, 1961).


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Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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