Milton Selectmen, 1802-1907

By Muriel Bristol | October 9, 2022

The Mitchell-Cony directory of 1908 provided a list of Milton Selectmen from its founding until 1907.

Selectman is a term usually reserved for government officers in small New England towns. A group of selectmen make up a selectboard. In contrast to a representative council, the members of a selectboard are usually tasked with administrative duties that in larger towns and cities might be the responsibility of a mayor (Meriam-Webster, 2022).

Many, if not most, towns have three selectmen. Some have five selectmen and even seven are not unknown. Their terms are usually staggered ones, rather than concurrent ones, each selectman serving a staggered term of three years, those with five having staggered terms of five years, etc.

1802 – Will Palmer, John Fish, John Remick, Jr.
1803 – Will Palmer, John Fish, Ezekiel Hayes
1804 – Wm. Palmer, Jotham Nute, John Remick, Jr.
1805 – Wm. Palmer, Eben. Twombly, John Remick, Jr.
1806 – Levi Jones, S.L. Wentworth, Lt. Jotham Nute
1807-08 – Wm. Palmer, John Remick, Jr., Wm Tuttle
1809-10 – Wm. Palmer, John Remick, Jr., Isaac Worster
1811 – Beard Plumer, Wm. Palmer, John Remick, Jr.
1812-13 – Ichabod Hayes, Jas. Roberts, Josiah Witham
1814 – Isaac Worster, T.C. Lyman, Isaac Scates
1815-17 – Jas. Roberts, Josiah Witham, Jos. Walker
1818 – Jas. Roberts, W.S. Nutter, Hopley Meserve
1819-20 – Hanson Hayes, H. Meserve, John Remick, Jr.
1821 – Jas. Roberts, H. Hayes, H. Meserve
1822 – H. Hayes, Jas. Roberts, H. Meserve
1823 – H. Hayes, H. Meserve, Jos. Plumer
1824 – H. Hayes, H. Meserve, I.H. Wentworth
1825 – Jas. Hayes, Jr., I.H. Wentworth, Thos. Chapman
1826 – Jas. Hayes, Jr., Jas. Roberts, Thos. Chapman
1827 – Jas. Hayes, Jr., Thos. Chapman, H. Meserve
1828 – Stephen Drew, W.B. Wiggin, I.H. Wentworth
1829 – W.B. Wiggin, H. Meserve, J.M. Twombly
1830 – John Nutter, T.C. Lyman, Chas. Swasey
1831 – J.M. Twombly, Thos. Chapman, H. Meserve
1832 – J.M. Twombly, Thos. Chapman, J.H. Varney
1833 – J.M. Twombly, W.S. Nutter, H. Meserve
1834-35 – J.H. Varney, Jas. Berry, Israel Nute
1836 – J.M. Twombly, Jas. Berry, Jos. Cook
1837 – Jas. Berry, Jos. Cook, J.H. Varney
1838 – Jas. Berry, J.H. Varney, J.Y. Pinkham
1839 – J.H. Varney, J.Y. Pinkham, Chas. Swasey
1840 – J.M. Twombly, Chas. Swasey, Ephm. Hayes
1841 – J.M. Twombly, R.J. Witham, Ephm. Hayes
1842 – J.M. Twombly, R.J. Witham, Enoch Banfield
1843 – Jas. Hayes, Jr., I.H. Wentworth, Asa Fox
1844 – Jas. Hayes, Jr., Asa Fox, I.H. Wentworth
1845 – Asa Fox, I.H. Wentworth, David Wallingford
1846 – Asa Fox, D. Wallingford, J.C. Varney
1847 – D.P. Warren, Chas. Swasey, J.C. Varney
1848 – Asa Jewett, Jos. Cook, Jos. Mathes
1849 – Jos. Mathes, C.C. Hayes, Jos. Cook
1850 – Jos. Mathes, C.C. Hayes, Asa M. Durrell
1851 – Asa Fox, D.P. Warren, Ichabod Hayes
1852 – Asa Fox, Eli Wentworth, Ichabod Hayes
1853 – Eli Wentworth, J.S. Hersey, J.N. Witham
1854 – J.S. Hersey, J.N. Witham, Lewis Plummer
1855 – Jos. Sayward, Lewis Plummer, J.C. Wentworth
1856 – Jos. Sayward, J.C. Wentworth, D. Wallingford, Jr.
1857 – D. Wallingford, Jr., C.C. Hayes, S.S. Wakeham
1858 – Asa Fox, S.S. Wakeham, J.F. Hart
1859 – C.C. Hayes, J.F. Hart, C.H. Goodwin
1860 – C.H. Goodwin, Jos. Plumer, M.W. Shapleigh
1861 – Jos. Plumer, M.W. Shapleigh, Jos. Cook
1862 – Jos. Cook, Geo. Lyman, J.N. Witham
1863 – Geo. Lyman, J.N. Witham, T.H. Roberts
1864 – T.H. Roberts, Jos. Sayward, D.B. Goodwin
1865 – Jos. Hayward, J.U. Simes, Ebenezer Wentworth
1866 – J.U. Simes, E. Wentworth, Chas. Jones
1867 – Chas. Jones, Geo. Lyman, E.W. Fox
1868 – Geo. Lyman, E.W. Fox, Chas. Hayes
1869 – E.W. Fox, Chas. Hayes, H.B. Scates
1870 – Chas. Hayes, D. Wallingford, Jr., T.H. Roberts
1871 – Geo. Lyman, John Lucas, G.H. Plumer
1872-73 – Geo. Lyman, Geo. H. Plumer, T.H. Roberts
1874-77 – Geo. Lyman, Geo. H. Plumer, J.U. Simes
1878-79 – C.C. Hayes, Asa F. [A.] Fox, M.V.B. Cook
1880 – A.A. Fox, H.B. Scates, D. Wallingford
1881 – H.B. Scates, D. Wallingford, E.W. Fox
1882-83 – Geo. Lyman, W.H.H. Pinkham, J.U. Simes
1884 – Geo. Lyman, W.H.H. Pinkham, C.T. Haines
1885-86 – C.A. Jones, C.T. Haines, Chas. Hayes
1887 – J.H. Avery, C.T. Haines, Chas. Hayes
1888 – J.H. Avery, Chas. Hayes, C.C. Hayes
1889 – C.C. Hayes, Chas. Hayes, C.A. Jones
1890 – O.F. Marsh, L.F. Corson, C.A. Jones
1891 – O.F. Marsh, L.F. Corson, F.P. Jones
1892 – F.P. Jones, C.W. Gross, W.T. Wallace
1893-94 – Geo. Lyman, G.H. Plummer, C.W. Lowe
1895 – Geo. Lyman, G.H. Plummer, J.U. Simes
1896-97 – S.W. Wallingford, J.H. Avery, F.H. Lowd
1898 – S.W. Wallingford, G.E. Nute, F.H. Lowd
1899 – F.H. Lowd, G.E. Nute, E.L. Leighton
1900-01 – F.H. Lowd, W.F. Mills, W.T. Wallace
1902-03 – H.R. Jewett, J.H. Avery, F.B. Roberts
1904-05 – H.R. Jewett, J.H. Avery, C.A. Jones
1906 – J.H. Avery, B.B. Plummer, E.A. Wentworth
1907 – B.B. Plummer, E.A. Wentworth, H. Plummer

To be continued …


Mitchell-Cony. (1908). The Town Register Farmington, Milton, Wakefield, Middleton, Brookfield, 1907-8. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2022, May 22). Board of Selectmen. Retrieved from

Milton’s NH State Representatives – 1803-1902

By Muriel Bristol | July 17, 2022

New Hampshire’s legislature or General Court is a bicameral one. It has lower and upper houses, known respectively as the House of Representatives and the Senate. All of its officers, including its Governor and his Executive Council, are elected for two-year periods known as “biennia.”

The NH provincial legislature sat at Portsmouth from 1689 to 1775. During and immediately after the Revolutionary War, when seacoast Portsmouth would have been exposed to possible attack by sea, the legislature moved inland. (Sometimes it held a Spring session at one location and a Fall one in another). It met at Exeter (1775-84, 1786, 1789, 1790, 1792-93, 1796, 1799-00, 1803, 1805, 1812-13, and 1815), Amherst (1778 and 1794), Concord (1785, 1788, 1791, 1795, 1797, 1802, 1804, 1808-11, and 1814), Charlestown (1787), Portsmouth (1780, 1782, 1784-91, 1797, 1805, and 1812), Dover (1792), and Hopkinton (1798, 1801, and 1806-07).

Concord has been said to have become the de facto capitol in 1808 and the de jure one in 1816. The current capitol building in Concord, NH, opened its doors in 1819. Milton Rep. Theodore C. Lyman would been the first Milton representative to have had a seat there.

NH-State-House-5The building described in 1833 did not yet have a dome or portico, as it does now.

The New Hampshire State House 150 feet long, centre 57 feet deep, wings 49 feet deep, walls of stone, cornice wood, roof shingled – without a dome or portico, and cost $81,827 (Vermont Patriot & State Gazette, November 11, 1833).

By 1865, its dome had been added and a cupola was being placed atop it, with an eagle atop the cupola. Its granite portico was under construction.

The designs of Mr. Architect Bryant begin to assume form and shape in the progress of the work on the New Hampshire State House. The cupola is framed, and the old eagle, after a long season of rest and refreshment, again faces the rising sun, and this time from a higher perch than before. Along the front of the reconstructed edifice are to be reared twelve massive granite columns hewn from the same quarry whence were taken the immense masses of the Concord City Hall (New England Farmer (Boston, MA), September 23, 1865).

Prior to the advent of trains and automobiles, most state representatives and senators would have simply resided in the capitol city for the duration of the legislative session, rather than travel back and forth. Some sources – directories, manuals, and registers – identified the various boarding houses and hotels in which the members were residing. (For example, Milton Rep. Charles W. Gross occupied seat 03-27 in the House chambers and boarded at 45 Park street during the 1887-88 biennium).

Prior to being set off as its own town, Milton – then called the Northeast Parish of Rochester – had been represented by men sent from its parent town. Milton came into its own in 1802, which was too late to send its own representative to the 1801-02 biennium.

In some periods Milton had two representatives, usually when it constituted a larger proportion of the state’s total population than it does at present.

Milton Population, 1800-2020
Milton Population, 1800-2020, as reported in Federal Census records. Milton’s nineteenth century population peaked at 1,862 persons in 1860. While the Civil War (1861-65) might account for some of the decline and stagnation that followed, the larger factor was simply that its rural farm economy had reached its capacity. Not even the larger local manufacturing concerns that would arise would be sufficient to sustain greater numbers. Its 1860 population peak would not be matched again until 1970.

John Scales provided in his 1914 History of Strafford County the names of the person or, for a period beginning in 1853, the two persons, representing Milton in the NH House of Representatives (Scales, 1914). Scales drew heavily upon an earlier work by Charles C. Hayes of Milton, whose list ended with the 1881-82 biennium. Consequently, Scales’ list ran only from the 1803-04 biennium up through that of 1881-82. (Where external sources provided party affiliations they have been included ([d]=democrat, [f]=federalist], [nr]=national republican, [r]=republican, or [w]=whig)).

The representatives for the same period are as follows: 1803, 1805-08, Beard Plumer [d]; 1804, 1809-10, John Fish; 1811-12, 1818-19, Theodore C. Lyman; 1813-15, William Plumer [Palmer]; 1816-17, John Remick, Jr.; 1820-21, Daniel Hayes; 1822-24, Levi Jones; 1825-27, Hanson Hayes; 1828-29, 1835-36, Thomas Chapman; 1830-32, Stephen M. Mathes; 1833-34, Stephen Drew [d]; 1837-38, James M. Twombly [d]; 1839-40, James Berry; 1841-43, John H. Varney; 1844-45, Charles Swasey; 1846-47, Ichabod Wentworth; 1848-49, Asa Fox [w]; 1850, Robert Mathes; 1851-52, Ebenezer Osgood;

There were originally fewer NH representatives overall and their number increased gradually until it was capped at the current total of four hundred. (See The Mathematical Limits of Representation).

New Hampshire has the 3rd largest legislature in the English-speaking world, just behind the British Parliament and the United States Congress. While the State Senate has fairly consistently set itself at 24 members since the late 1870s, the size of the House of Representatives has varied. In 1819 when Representatives’ Hall opened, there were 192 members. By the time the Civil War rolled around, the House had 331 members and by 1900 there were 360 members. Although we have kept the number to around 400 consistently since the latter half of the 1940s, there have been times when the legislature eclipsed that number, such as 1929 when there were 421 members and 1944 when there were 443 members (House Republican Office, 2022).

Next came a twenty-five-year period in which Milton had two NH Representatives.

1853, James Doldt, John D. Lyman; 1854, John D. Lyman, Samuel Washburn; 1855-56, Eli Wentworth, David Wallingford; 1857-58, Luther Hayes, [r,] Lewis Plumer; 1859-60, John E. Goodwin, Daniel E. Palmer [r]; 1861-62, Enoch W. Plumer, Charles Varney; 1863-64, Charles Jones, Theodore Lyman; 1865-66, H. Wentworth, Thomas H. Roberts; 1867-68, John U. Simes, Hiram V. Wentworth; 1869, George Lyman, Samuel G. Chamberlain; 1870, George Lyman, Samuel W. Wallingford; 1871, Samuel G. Chamberlain, George W. Tasker; 1872, George W. Tasker, Bray Simes; 1873, Joseph Plumer, Elbridge W. Fox [r]; 1874-75, Charles C. Hayes, George E. Simes; 1876, Sullivan H. Atkins [r], Luther Hayes [r]; 1877, Luther Hayes [r], William F. Cutts; 1878, Luther F. Cutts, Samuel H. Roberts;

At which time Milton’s representation dropped back down to a single NH representative per biennium.

1879-80, Ira A. Miller; 1881-82, A. Fox (Scales, 1914).

Here is compiled a twenty-year list that extends the Hayes-Scales list from the 1883-84 biennium through that of 1901-02. (Where sources provided party affiliations they have been included (d=democrat, p=prohibition, or r=republican)).

1883-84, John F. Hart; 1885-86, Charles H. Looney, r; 1887-88, Charles W. Gross, r; 1889-90, Joseph H. Avery, r; 1891-92, Elbridge W. Fox, r; 1893-94, Samuel W. Wallingford, r; 1895-96, Charles A. Jones, r; 1897-98, Frank G. Horne, r; 1899-00, Freeman H. Lowd, r; 1901-02, Malcolm A.H. Hart, r;

Milton’s NH State Senators – 1802-88

Beard Plumer on Republican Ticket
Beard Plumer. Esq., as a candidate on the statewide Republican ticket. The party names of this period can be a bit confusing. This is a Democratic-Republican ticket, i.e., a Democrat ticket. The other party were the Federalist-Republicans or the Federalists.

Senate districts encompassed multiple towns. That being the case, Milton did not have a Milton-resident senator in every year. Here follows those listed by Scales from the 1803-04 biennium up through that of 1887-88 (Scales, 1914)

1809-10, 1810-11, 1811-12, 1812-13, 1816-17, Beard Plummer; 1860-61, 1861-62, Eli Wentworth; 1879-80, Luther Hayes; 1887-88, Charles H. Looney (Scales, 1914).

NH Sen. Beard Plumer, Esq., of Milton died near the end of the first year of his fifth NH Senate biennium. The mechanism then in place required the NH House to choose his replacement from the two runners-up (if that many there were) of the election that put him in office. That is to say, the Federalist loser of the election would now replace the deceased Democrat winner.

NEW HAMPSHIRE. In the Senate of this State there are two vacancies, one occasioned by the acceptance of a judiciary appointment by the Hon. B. Badger, and the other by the decease of the Hon. Beard Plumer. These vacancies are likely to occasion some embarrassment in the government of that state. They are required by the constitution to be filled by election by the other House, from the two remaining highest candidates in their several districts. In each of the present cases it is said that the highest remaining candidates are federalists, so that the other House, though democratic, will be under the necessity of supplying the vacancies with federalists, an event which would destroy the predominance of the democratic party in the Senate, and give the federalists a check upon the proceedings. Another report is, that there are no two highest candidates in either district, all the votes in each being given to one man, except that two other persons in each district had each one vote (Burlington Gazette (Burlington, VT), December 5, 1816).

(Mr. Plissken observes that this same notion is sometimes put forward when replacing local officials. It sounds reasonable on its face, but one might argue instead that this method has a conceptual flaw, even apart from the complication of opposing political parties. In choosing or promoting the candidate with the next biggest total, one is preferring what was specifically not preferred by the majority of voters when an alternative was present).

Before the fall session, District No. 5 was vacated by the decease of Beard Plumer, and No. 6 by the appointment of William Badger judge in the court of common pleas. These two vacancies were not filled. Jonathan Harvey was chosen president in place of William Badger (NH General Court Manual, 1891).

Continued in Milton’s NH State Representatives – 1903-2022


Scales, John. (1914). History of Strafford County, New Hampshire and Representative Citizens. Retrieved from

SeacoastNH. (1998). All about the Old NH Statehouse [in Portsmouth]. Retrieved from

Milton Militia Dispute – 1820

By Muriel Bristol | April 3, 2022

[Editor: Here follows Ms. Bristol’s description of the Milton militia dispute of 1820. It contains references to several petition documents which will be published separately over the coming months. It will serve then also as a sort of index to those documents].

New Hampshire relied upon a militia system for its defense from colonial times through 1847.

Each and every free, able-bodied white male citizen, between the ages of 18 and 45 years, is liable to do military duty (Lyon, 1824).

Militiamen were required to present themselves – to “muster” – with their weapons once or twice a year for company-level drills, as well as a final time in the Fall for a larger regimental-level drill.

The [Rochester regimental] muster field at its best presented a gay appearance. The various companies drawn up in line, with muskets and accouterments bright and clean, the officers scattered between the lines with fine uniforms and stately plumes, the Light Infantry much like the officers but with shorter plumes, and the Artillery Company with their formidable cannon, together with the motley crowd on every side must have been an attractive and interesting scene. Gingerbread carts, candy stands, and all sorts of variety shows, with an occasional fight between heated partisans from different towns afforded abundant merriment and diversion. Liquor and gambling booths grew more and more frequent so that one year Captain Samuel Jones and his company from Farmington made a charge upon them and pitched them and their belongings over the fence. The brisk step, the martial dignity and the clear distinçt orders of the morning had in those days generally become somewhat limp, languid and indistinct toward the close of the day. Many still living can remember the great contrast between the inspiriting, clear cut, exactly timed strains of fife and drum as the companies came marching to the field in the morning and the slip shod timeless whistle and fumbling taps as they started on their homeward way (McDuffee, 1882).

NH Militia Order Blank
NH Militia Muster Order Form. This example is blank, with its spaces to be completed by the company sergeant at the request of the captain.

Old Fashioned Muster Gingerbread. One cup of molasses, 2 large spoons of butter, 1 teaspoon of soda dissolved in 3 tablespoons of boiling water, 1 teaspoon of ginger and flour enough to knead well but not hard. Roll into 3 sheets, mark with a fork, and bake quickly; after baking, while hot, mix 1 teaspoon each of milk and molasses and wet the top. I have sent this recipe by request of Mrs. G.L.D. of Chelsea. Portland, Me. E.E.E. (Boston Globe, November 24, 1894).

[A woodburning “quick oven” would have a modern oven temperature of between 425 to 450 F. It would take about 20 minutes to bake. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean when done].

Muster ginger bread. Boil 1 pt. molasses and 1 tablespoon ginger; let cool, add ½ pt. shortening, mostly butter, 2 teaspoons soda dissolved in ¼ cup hot water, ½ teaspoon alum dissolved in ¾ cup cold water, flour to make a dough that can be handled. Roll about two inches thick. Mark the top with back of fork. Bake quickly, take out as soon as done, as too long baking spoils it. Put away in jar and keep a week or so. The longer it is kept the moister becomes. Somebody try in and report. Von Edirb (Boston Globe, August 24, 1906).

Milton’s militiamen and those from southern Wakefield made up the Seventh Company of New Hampshire’s Second Regiment of militia at this time. It was led then by Captain Jeremy Nute (1788-1879), with James Hayes, Jr. (1790-1845), as its Lieutenant, and Norton Scates (1790-187[?]) as its Ensign.

The Seventh Company’s area encompassed all of Milton and that part of neighboring Wakefield that lay south of Lovell Lake. Depending upon where one lived in this company area, travel to militia musters might be rather burdensome. (Milton Mills was at least a 15-mile hike, if not more, to the regimental muster location in Rochester, where one would then spend the day drilling and marching around, before making a weary 15-mile return hike. Union village in Wakefield was at least 13 miles distant (for a round-trip of at least 26 miles)). The militiamen traveling furthest to drills and musters grew restive.

Some 134 Seventh Company militiamen took a vote on May 30, 1820. They were likely assembled together for a company-level militia drill. By their vote, 69 [51.5%] militiamen chose to seek a division of their company into two parts, while 22 [16.4%] of them preferred to leave the situation as it was. The remaining 43 [32.1%] did not express a preference either way.

The company officers petitioned the regimental field officers above them, on May 31, 1820, seeking to divide the Seventh Company into two companies. There would be a northern company, encompassing Union Village, Milton Mills, and Milton south to a certain east-west division line – the Milton town meeting house would have been north of the proposed line – and a southern company from that division line to the Rochester line, encompassing Milton Three Ponds, as well as South and West Milton. (See Milton Militia Division Request – May 1820).

The field officers rejected this proposition, although their reply has not come to hand. (They likely rode horseback to the muster). But they seem to have been unaware that “there is more than one way to skin a cat.” If the field officers refused to divide the town militia company into two parts, there was another, more drastic solution available to the petitioners. The town itself might be divided into two parts, which might achieve the same thing.

... in 1820 an effort was made by the people living in this [Wakefield] town below Lovell’s pond with others living in the Northerly part of Milton, to have that part of Wakefield south of Lovell’s pond and the northerly portion of Milton incorporated into a new town, Luther Dearborn of this [Wakefield] town and John Remick, Jr., of Milton headed petitions to the legislature for the new town which was to be called Lisbon. The Rev. Mr. Piper favored the project and suggested the name Milfield for the new town (Thompson, 1886).

Dearborne-Piper Signatures - Wakefield - 1813
Signatures of Luther Dearborne and Rev. Asa Piper on an earlier June 1813 petition by the citizens of the “pleasant village at Wakefield Corner” recommending William Sawyer (1774-1860) as a Wakefield justice-of-the-peace.

Wakefield’s three selectmen became aware that there was trouble in paradise, so to speak, at some time after their annual March town meeting and before June 1820.

We are aware that Petitioners for the new Town will point out by Carrigain’s Map, or some other Survey, what a handsome, beautiful five-mile square Town may be made out of Wakefield and Milton, and then attempt to show and make it believed, that the remaining part of those two Towns will be equally as good as the whole and in a better form.

Carrigain Survey Map - 1816 (Detail)
Carrigain Map of New Hampshire in 1816 (Detail). Division advocates pored over this map with prospective signers. The “Lisbon” or “Milfield” they envisaged would have run from Lovell Lake in Wakefield south to Meetinghouse Pond in Milton. It would have included what is now Union village in Wakefield, as well as Milton Mills and Plummer’s Ridge in Milton. Milton Three Ponds, South Milton, and West Milton would have been the remaining “rump” of Milton after such a division.

The “Carrigain map,” the most famous of New Hampshire maps, is named for Philip Carrigain (177[6]-1842), secretary of state of New Hampshire, who was granted much of the responsibility of compiling it. The map was authorized by the New Hampshire legislature in 1803. Carrigain may have engraved the cartographic portions, and he held the copyright. The map is based upon many individual surveys, and in its early stages, Carrigain, a lawyer, depended heavily upon the technical skills of Phinehas Merrill (1767-1815), a professional surveyor (WhiteMountainHistory, 2021).

Neither the Milton nor Wakefield pro-division petitions, although mentioned in other documents, have come to hand. If ever they were actually filed, they might have been withdrawn. Luther Dearborn (1771-1844) of Wakefield, NH, and John Remick, Jr. (1777-1840) of Milton, were said to have headed their respective lists of petitioners. (Remick was a Milton selectman and both men were justices-of-the-peace in their respective towns). Wakefield’s lifelong Congregational minister, Rev. Asa Piper (1757-1835), is said to have been also a proponent of division.

Some 127 Milton men filed an anti-division remonstrance petition 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 Levi Jones and Jotham Nute, and future officers Theodore C. Lyman and Bidfield Hayes (1789-1842). One may note that none of Milton’s selectmen signed. (See Milton Anti-Division Remonstrance – June 1820).

Wakefield selectmen Jonathan Copp (1792-1869), Henry L. Wiggin (1791-1844), and Elias Wentworth (1774-1852) filed their own anti-division remonstrance petition intended for that same June 1820 session. It was signed also by 199 Wakefield inhabitants (See Wakefield Anti-Division Remonstrance – June 1820).

Some 88 Milton men filed a company division petition intended for the November 1820 session of the NH legislature. Company Captain Jeremy Nute signed this proposal, as did former company officers Levi Jones and Jotham Nute, future company officers Theodore C. Lyman and Bidfield Hayes, and Milton selectman Hopley Meserve (1789-1875). (See Milton Militia Division Petitions – November 1820).

Some 27 Wakefield division petitioners later thought better of their having signed the division petition. They signed a retraction and anti-division petition, November 1, 1820. (See Wakefield Pro-Division Renunciation – November 1820).

One should note that Fourth (1820) Federal Census enumerations for Strafford County have not been preserved (although the aggregate totals have). They would have had the names of the household heads and age-based tick marks for the members of their households. The various petitions related to dividing or not dividing either the militia company or the towns are valuable in that they provide us with the names of a plurality at least of Milton’s adult male inhabitants of 1820, including many of its household heads.

Obviously, the proposed splitting of the towns never took place. Milton’s militia company was divided instead into two companies. The Milton company was reassigned to a newly-created Thirty-Ninth Regiment of militia in 1822. The new regiment included also companies from Rochester and Farmington, NH. Wakefield’s south company, which appears to have included also Milton Mills, was assigned to the Thirty-Third Regiment of militia, along with those from Alton, Brookfield, Middleton, and New Durham, NH. Its north company was assigned to the Twenty-Seventh Regiment of militia, along with those from Effingham, Ossipee, Tuftonboro, and Wolfeboro, NH.

The general muster of the militia at the same [Fall] time of year was a holiday of no less interest and importance to the people of two preceding generations. By a state law of 1792, able-bodied citizens between the ages of eighteen and forty-five were required to meet twice a year for military drill. To these spring and fall trainings for each company in its own town was afterwards added the annual muster of the Thirty-ninth Regiment. This regiment consisted of five companies of regular infantry, one from each of the villages of Farmington, West Farmington, Milton Three Ponds, Gonic, and Rochester, together with one Light Infantry Company collected from all parts of the district and the Rochester Artillery Company (McDuffee, 1892).

Luther Dearborn received a reappointment as a Wakefield justice-of-the-peace, June 14, 1828. His wife, Sarah “Sally” (Pike) Dearborn, died in 1831. His term as justice would have expired in June 1833. Instead of a reappointment, the court roster bears a marginal notation that he had “moved to Somersworth,” N.H. He was living there at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census.

See also Milton Militiaman’s Petition – 1807 and Milton Seeks a Magistrate – 1820


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NH Department of State. (n.d.). New Hampshire, Government Petitions, 1700-1826: Box 47: 1819-1820

Lyon, G. Parker. (1824). New-Hampshire Annual Register, and United States Calendar. Retrieved from

Secretary of State. (1920). Laws of New Hampshire: Second constitutional period, 1811-1820. Retrieved from

Thompson, Rev. Albert H. (1886). Memorial of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Organization of the First Church, and Ordination of the First Settled Town Minister of Wakefield, N.H. Retrieved from

WhiteMountainHistory. (2021). 1816 Phillip Carrigain Map. Retrieved from

A Century of Milton Physicians

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | March 7, 2021

The Mitchell-Cony directory of 1907-08 provided an index of sorts to the physicians that practiced in Milton and Milton Mills from about 1820 through its publication date.

(Dr. Russell of Wakefield, NH, prior to 1820, and Dr. J. Dearborn of Milton, NH, although only briefly, have proven somewhat elusive. Details of them will be added should they become available).


PROFESSIONAL MEN. PHYSICIANS. Perhaps the earliest resident physician at Milton Village was Dr. Stephen Drew, a native of Newfield, Me., who came in the early days of the town about the year 1820, and practised until 1873, a long period of more than fifty years of activity.
Dr. D.E. Palmer came some time in the latter part of the decade 1850-1860, and remained until about 1865, when he went to Tuftonborough. Dr. G.W. Peavey, who came here from Ossipee, carried on the practice which Dr. Palmer had left, and remained about four years, at the end of which time he removed to Somersworth, where he died. Dr. Nute succeeded Dr. Peavey, but stayed only a short time. For several years there was no resident physician at the village until Dr. H.F. Pitcher came in 1879. Dr. Pitcher, after continuing in practice here about four years, went to Haverhill, where he still carries on the practice of his profession. 
The Rev. Frank Haley, M.D., who acted as pastor of the Congregational Church, was also a practising physician here about the middle of the seventies.
Dr. W.F. Wallace, Milton’s next physician, came in 1883. After about four years of practice here, he went to Bradford in 1887, in which year Dr. C.D. Jones, a native of Milton, and a graduate of Harvard, began practice here. Dr. Jones gave up his practice about the year 1891.
Dr. J. Dearborn was here a short time in the latter eighties.
Dr. M.A.H. Hart, like Dr. Jones, a Milton man, came here the same year (1891). After graduating at the University of the City of New York, Dr. Hart practised about three years in Fall River, Mass., at the end of which time he came to his native town, to begin a practice which has now grown to extensive proportions.
Dr. W.F. Wallace returned to Milton in 1893, and practised until his removal to Plaistow four years later. Dr. John Wallace, a native of Ireland, came here in 1897. Three years later he removed to Roxbury, Mass. (Mitchell-Cony, 1908).


At Milton Mills, the first physician to carry on an extensive practice was Dr. Reuben Buck, a native of Massachusetts, who lived in Acton, and visited patients in this village as early as 1830, and continued to reside here until his death. Prior to Dr. Buck’s practice here, Dr. Powers of Acton and Dr. Russell of Wakefield attended sick calls.
Dr. Jonathan S. Calef, who came from Maine, married one of Dr. Buck’s daughters and settled here not many years after the latter’s arrival. He remained for some time, going from Milton to Manchester, later to Boston, Mass., and finally to San Francisco, Cal., where he died.
Dr. John L. Swinerton, from Newfield, Maine, was in practice in this village, contemporary with Dr. Buck, remaining here about twenty five years. At the end of that time, he went to Union, where, later, he died.
Dr. Jeremiah Crosby Buck, a son of Dr. Reuben, began practice here during the latter years of his father’s residence in this locality, and continued in active practice almost up to the time of his death, which occurred about the year 1890.
Dr. Chas. E. Swasey, who had been an army surgeon during the Civil War, married another of Dr. Reuben Buck’s daughters, and began the practice of his profession shortly after close of the war. He remained here about five years, removing at the end of that time to Rochester, from which place he went to Somersworth, where he died May 30, 1907. His remains were brought to his native town and buried in the Roadside Cemetery just outside the village.
Dr. Wm. E. Pillsbury, a native of Shapleigh, Me., came sometime during the latter part of the decade 1860-1870, and remained until February, 1907.
Dr. Charles W. Gross came at about the same time, and has enjoyed a long and successful practice which he still carries on at the present time.
Dr. Frank Weeks, a graduate of the Baltimore Medical College came to this village in March, 1902, and is one of present resident physicians.
Dr. L.B. Bradford came here about the month of June, 1907, but remained only a short time.
Dr. Hugh D. Grant, like Dr. Weeks an alumnus of Baltimore Medical College, began practice at this place during the latter part of the summer of 1907, and has resided here since that time (Mitchell-Cony, 1908).

Present in this period, but not mentioned in the 1908 Mitchell-Cony list were Drs. James J. Buckley and Moses K. Cowell, doctor/pharmacist John H. Twombly, and doctor/dentist Everard G. Reynolds.

Coming shortly after the period covered by the Mitchell-Cony list was Drs. Harry E. Anderson, and Henry B. Esmond.


Mitchell-Cony. (1908). The Town Register: Farmington, Milton, Wakefield, Middleton, Brookfield, 1907-8. Retrieved from 

Index of Ms. Bristol’s Historical Articles

By John S. Frum | October 27, 2020

One of our subscribers has asked that we provide an index to Ms. Bristol’s Milton historical articles. (I do try to connect her articles to each other through internal links). There is a bit of a problem in that her sequence of articles is an ongoing one.

Be that as it may, here you may find an index of sorts of her articles to date in a roughly chronological order.

Northeast Parish

Milton – 1802-1851

Milton – 1852-1901

Milton – 1902-1951

Milton – 1952-2001

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