Milton’s Murderous Lover – 1907

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | July 7, 2019

A crazed Milton shoe-worker tried to murder his “sweetheart” when she refused his proposal. Fortunately, she survived, although it was a very close thing.

Boston Post, June 17, 1907
“Pretty Milton, N.H., young woman and how she was attacked by a sharp knife and left for dead by a man in the woods outside the village” (Boston Post).

MURDEROUS LOVER FORGIVEN BY GIRL. Arthur Marcoux, Who Cut Sweetheart’s Throat, Weeps in Jail. MILTON, N.H., June 16. “I bear no malice against Arthur for what he did; I think just as much of him and I know he loves me. They shall never make me testify against him.”

Lying wan and pale on a bed in the Milton Hotel Miss Annie Drapeau received a Post reporter and in these words proved her devoted love for the youth who assaulted and nearly killed her in the lonely woods of the old Flume and who will be arraigned in Rochester in the morning, charged with the attempted murder of his 19-year-old sweetheart. Tonight Arthur Marcoux, himself barely 20, is guarded in the Strafford county jail at Dover without bail.

Moans and Weeps

When brought over from Milton this afternoon by High Sheriff Frank I. Smith and Deputies Bert Wentworth and Charles Roscoe Allen he collapsed completely, and when Rochester was reached a stop had to be made while the moaning, weeping boy was attended by Dr. Edson M. Abbott. He was in a pitiable condition when taken to a cell in the Dover [revolving] jail, but will in any case be taken to Rochester on the 8.30 electric to be arraigned before Judge McGill. Dr. M.A.H. Hart of Milton is attending Marcoux’s victim, and also looked after the youth this morning. He alone has heard the true story of this mysterious affair from the lips of the lovers and consented to tell the story of the tragedy for the readers of the Post.

M.A.H. [Malcolm Allen Hayes] Hart, a general practice physician, aged forty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton 3 Ponds”) household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty years), Estelle [(Draper)] Hart, aged forty-six years (b. VT), and his children, Wentworth Hart, aged nineteen years (b. NH), and Ezra Hart, aged sixteen years (b. NH).

By Doctor M.A.H. Hart

“The stories that are being told around of this affair are far from the truth. Both Marcoux and the girl have told me the truth, and while there are some things I may not tell, I shall be glad to tell what I can. Annie Drapeau is 19 and, while not pretty, she is rather a pleasant companion. Arthur Marcoux is a handsome young chap of 20, and has admired Annie for some time, but she did not pay him much attention. She was not feeling well lately and left her employment at Thayer’s shoe shop to go under the care of a Rochester physician. Saturday noon she came from a trip to Rochester from her home in Sanbornville and stopped off at Milton to keep an appointment with Marcoux. They went to his home to dinner, and about 2.30 they started on a walk to the old Flume, a famous trysting place for lovers a mile down Main street in South Milton. Here it is densely wooded, and they walked down towards the Salmon Falls River.

Old Slum Picnic Grounds.jpg
The scene of the crime

She Refused to Wed

“The boy asked the girl to marry him and she refused. From here on the memory of both is hazy. He had his razor with him by pure accident. He had just gotten it from Arthur Marchand, the [Rochester] barber who had honed it. Well, he got the girl down, so they say, and slashed her across the throat. Then he ran across lots straight home. Apparently the girl was dazed, but not unconscious, for although the blood was pouring from a great gash in her throat, she started for home. She was so confused that she went the wrong direction, falling, crawling, staggering along through the woods and underbrush till she reached the brook.

“This she waded and finally staggered into the old leatherboard mill. Some Greeks there were terrified by her appearance, disheveled, her clothing blood-soaked, and that terrible gash across her throat. They called to their boss, William S. Drew, and he telephoned to me. I hastily got some necessary things together and drove there. I found the cut had not severed the jugular, although it was six inches long and exposed the epiglottis. The girl seemed rational and as much as she could told me what had happened. “Arthur didn’t mean to hurt me,” she said again and again.

“She kept asking us to take her to her home in Sanbornville. When I saw what a serious affair it was I sent for Selectman Hazen Plummer and Chief of Police Fred Howard. We got the girl to the Milton Hotel on an improvised stretcher, and then Marcoux was arrested. He tried to conceal nothing, and later told me the whole story. He said from the time the girl refused his mind is blank. Annie says the same. Marcoux is a fine boy and the last fellow I would pick to do such a thing. He is now a complete nervous wreck.”

When the Post reporter arrived in Milton he was admitted to Miss Drapeau’s room at the Milton Hotel and presented to her.

Girl May Live

While very weak she is able to talk a little and Dr. Hart believes she will ultimately recover unless blood poisoning develops. She is being nursed by Mrs. Charles [Lydia (Marcoux)] Welch, a married sister of the youth who assaulted her, and when the Post writer called he found a brother of Marcoux with the wounded girl. To the reporter Miss Drapeau whispered the amazing message that she now loved Arthur more than ever and wanted him to know it. She is not a pretty girl, but yet is rather attractive. She is very tall, while Marcoux is undersized. This morning Arthur Marcoux was taken from the town lockup and willing took the officers to where he attempted his crime. Here he found the razor and Sheriff Smith now has it. It is a cheap razor with a black rubber handle. The blade is stained with blood and rusted. On one side a large clot of blood can be seen. In this connection Marcoux’s clothes were blood-stained. Before starting for the jail he asked to see his mother, and an affecting scene took place. He has five brothers and the same number of sisters.

Later his mother drove to Rochester, where she retained Attorney Walter Scott to defend her son. Attorney Scott went to Dover jail this evening to have a talk with the prisoner, but could do nothing because of Marcoux’s condition. Sheriff Smith sent out summons for Dr. Hart, Chief of Police Fred Howard and Selectman Plummer to testify at the preliminary hearing in the morning.

Marcoux’s father, Joseph Marcoux, a laborer, had his house on Charles street in Milton, near its intersection with Tappan court, in 1905 (Dover Directory, 1905). Marcoux’s mother, Theotiste Adelaide “Addie” (Cyr) Marcoux, would have set out for Rochester from there. They moved to Farmington after these terrible events (Dover Directory, 1908).

Feeling Against Youth

The feeling against the boy would-be murderer is very intense, and it is said that even if his victim refuses to testify against him and he will not confess on the stand, he will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law by County Solicitor Dwight Hall. The maximum penalty is 20 years at hard labor. The members of Marcoux’s family are heartbroken.

“I know Arthur did not mean it,” said his sister, who is nursing Miss Drapeau. “He loved the girl and we all liked her. He wanted to marry her and she wouldn’t say yes. She said she loved Arthur but they were too young. If Annie dies they will never have a chance to punish Arthur, for it will kill him.”

Annie Drapeau had been employed as a shoe stitcher in Thayer’s shoe factory and went back and forth from her home in Sanbornville every day. Her mother is very ill, but her father came to her today (Boston Post, June 17, 1907).

Eusebe Drapeau, a farmer (working out [i.e., working off his farmstead]), aged forty-eight years (b. Canada), headed a Wakefield (“Sanbornville Village”) household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-five years), Aurelia [(Carrier)] Drapeau, aged forty-nine years (b. Canada), and his children, Eusebe G. Drapeau, odd jobs, aged sixteen years (b. NH), Leda Drapeau, aged fourteen years (b. NH), Heliodore Drapeau, aged twelve years (b. NH), Valore Drapeau, aged ten years (b. NH), Euclide Drapeau, aged eight years (b. NH), and Eliana Drapeu, aged three years (b. NH).

LEFT FOR DEAD, GIRL CRAWLS FAR WITH THROAT CUT. Attacked by Lover Who Confesses Crime to Police. Jugular Vein Missed by Thinness of Tissue Paper. MILTON, N.H., June 18. With a gash five and one-half inches long in her throat inflicted, she said, by her sweetheart, Annie Crapau crawled half a mile before she found assistance. Arthur Marcoux, the man accused by the girl, has been arrested, and he will be arraigned in court in Rochester.

“I don’t know why I did it,” he said. After he had been taken to the police station, he confessed, the police say, and told substantially the same story of the crime that had been related previously by the wounded girl. 

Slashed on Throat. “We left our homes and started out together in the woods to hunt for wildflowers,” the girl said after her wound had been dressed. “When we arrived at the Old Flume we sat down beside the brook to rest. We had been there several minutes when Arthur, without a word of warning or explanation, pulled a long knife from his pocket. He attempted to stab me with it. I noticed that his eyes were wild, and so I jumped up and ran away. I screamed as I went, but no one heard me. Arthur pursued me. He could run faster than I and he soon overtook me. Then he caught me by the hair, drew my head back, and slashed me across the throat with the knife. I must have fainted from fright, because I do not remember anything more. When I came to I was lying in a clump of bushes near the brook. I guess he threw me there. I called for help, but nobody came. Then I began crawling.”

Fainting Saves Life. Almost dead, she reached Spaulding’s mill. Several men there rushed to her assistance and carried her into the mill. She accused Marcoux of the crime, and action was taken at once to effect his arrest. The chief of police rushed off to Marcoux’s home. He found the man in the yard unconcernedly drawing a pail of water. The chief accused him flatly of having cut the girls throat and he admitted it, but would give no motive for the crime.

Dr. Hart reached the mill a few minutes after he had been summoned. He examined the wound and expressed the opinion that unless blood poisoning should result the girl would survive.

“Both the jugular vein and the windpipe were missed by the thinness of a sheet of tissue paper,” he said.

The girl was brought to her home here. It is believed her life was saved by the fact that she fainted when the knife ripped her throat open, and that Marcoux, when he left her, believed she was dead (Washington Times, June 18, 1907).

Marcoux, Arthur

Milton. Another trouble is the assault at the Flume in Milton, Arthur J. Marcoux having drawn a razor upon Miss Annie Drapeau, whom he had proposed to marry. He had cut her throat in a way that barely avoided the jugular vein, after which he left his victim supposedly to die. But she recovered consciousness sufficiently to drag herself to the road, where she was discovered by persons driving, who carried her to the office of Dr. Hart, and gave the alarm which was followed by the arrest of Marcoux. The assailant was taken to Rochester in care of Sheriff F.I. Smith and one of his deputies, and it was ordered by Judge McGill that he be held without bail at Dover jail, for appearance at the September term of the superior court. Miss Drapeau expresses opinion that the man is not right in his head. She had objected to immediate marriage as she thought they were both too young. There may be other opinions as to this assault, but this seems to be as nearly correct a report as can be made at this time. Such an event confirms the assertion of many that a good chaperon never is out of place, when young men and women are together. (Farmington News, June 21, 1907).

PARENTS REFUSED CONSENT. Young Man Could Not Marry Girl and Cut Her Throat In Revenge. Milton, N.H., June 17. Mamie Trebeau of Sanbornvllle, aged 19, is suffering from knife wounds in the throat alleged to have been inflicted by her sweetheart, Arthur Marcoux of this village. Although there is a cut in her neck nearly six inches long, she is thought to have a chance of recovery, as the wound is not of great depth. Marcoux, who was arrested after the wounded girl had been found in a lonely spot near a picnic ground, was taken to Dover jail to await the outcome of her injuries. Marcoux is said to have told the officers that he was infatuated with the girl, but that her parents refused to allow her to marry him. Marcoux accompanied the officers to the scene of the attack and assisted in finding the knife which he used upon the girl’s throat. Marcoux is a shoe factory employe, 21 years old (North Adams Transcript, June 23, 1907).

Arthur J. Marcoux was committed to the New Hampshire State Hospital early in February of the following year. Annie Drapeau married someone else in May of that year.

BOTH SENT TO ASYLUM. Morgan Charged With Killing Lowell Man in Dover, Marcoux With Attempt to Kill Woman. DOVER, N.H., Feb. 27. Two defendants before the superior court, one charged with murder and the other with assault with intent to kill, were committed to the state asylum at Concord today after entering pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity. The murder case was that in which Patrick Morgan was accused of having killed Dennis Doherty of Lowell in a quarrel in this city last February. The assault case was that of Arthur J. Marcoux of Milton against Miss Annie Drapeau of the same place. Both men had been under examination at the Concord institution since last August, and Dr. Charles E. Bancroft, the superintendent, informed the court that both undoubtedly were insane (Boston Globe, February 27, 1908).

Arthur Marcoux, an inmate, aged twenty-two years (b. NH), resided in the New Hampshire State Hospital in Concord, NH, at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census.

Arthur Joseph Xavier Marcoux registered for the WW I military draft in Strafford County, October 21, 1918. He was an unemployed shoemaker, aged thirty years. He gave his address as PO Box 776, in Farmington, NH. His physical appearance was given as a medium height, a medium build, with brown eyes and black hair. His nearest relative was his brother, Fredk. Jos. Marcoux, at the same Farmington PO Box.

Arthur J. Marcoux’s obituary says that he lived and worked in Boston for many years, returning later in life to work in Rochester. He never married. When he fell ill, he lived his last six months in a rotation through his sisters’ houses in Farmington.

Arthur J. Marcoux died in Farmington, NH, October 28, 1935, aged forty-nine years. (His birthday). Annie died in Sanford, ME, July 12, 1941.


Find a Grave. (2012, July 8). Arthur J. Marcoux. Retrieved from

Northeast Parish in the Second (1800) Federal Census

by Muriel Bristol | January 12, 2019

Milton was not yet its own town at the time of the Second Federal Census (1800). It would separate from Rochester in June 1802.

The final seven pages of Rochester’s entry in the Second (1800) Federal Census consisted of those Rochester Northeast Parish households that were shortly to be “set off” as its own town, i.e., shortly to become Milton.

Fortunately, the census enumerator broke this section out separately. It would have been better still had he not alphabetized the list (thus obscuring the geographical relationships within the Northeast Parish).

Note that, despite modern notions regarding constitutional separation of church and state, it was the quality of having “separate ministerial business” that justified creating a separate township. And this separation took place, for that reason, under the US Constitution. Also note that the original meeting-house was both a church and the townhouse. The construction committee financed the building through the sale of church pews, rather than taxation. (And rum, there was also rum).

Rochester’s Northeast Parish, i.e., Milton to be, had 899 residents on Monday, August 4, 1800: 430 males (47.8%) and 459 females (51.2%).

The separate columns are represented here as digits. The first five digits are the number of free white males aged under-10, aged 10-15, aged 16-25, aged 26-44, and 45-and-over. The second five digits are the number of free white females aged under-10, aged 10-15, aged 16-25, aged 26-44, and 45-and-over. The final two digits are the number of all other free persons, and slaves. (New Hampshire had 8 slaves within its borders in 1800; none of them were in the Northeast Parish).

The names of those Rochester residents that petitioned the NH legislature, May 28, 1802, for a separation from Rochester, have been bolded.

The following persons live in a part of Rochester that is proposed to be shortly set of [off] as a separate town, and at present transact their ministerial business separate from this next part of the Town.

  1. Thomas Appleby, 11010-40010-00
  2. William Appleby, 10010-00100-00
  3. Dudley Burnham, 10010-30100-00
  4. James Berry, 00101-01101-00
  5. James Berry Jr, 10010-10100-00
  6. Francis Berry, 20010-20011-00
  7. William Berry, 10110-00010-00
  8. Isaac Brackett, 01010-41010-00
  9. Moses Chamberlain, 01010-01010-00
  10. David Corsen, 01110-10010-00
  11. Benjn Corsen, 31010-00100-00
  12. Joshua Corsen, 10101-31010-00
  13. Ebener Corsen, 31210-21010-00
  14. Saml Chapman, 20001-10010-00
  15. Frederick Cate, 20100-00100-00
  16. Jeremiah Cook, 10010-10100-00
  17. Dodavah Copp, 10010-11010-00
  18. Ephm Drew, 10000-21010-00
  19. John Downs, 10010-30010-00
  20. Moses Downs, 30010-21010-00
  21. Jona Door, 21110-10010-00
  22. Daniel Door, 10010-11110-00
  23. Beniah Door, 11010-21010-00
  24. Nathl Dearborn, 10011-10211-00
  25. Milis Dairs, 10010-10010-00
  26. Winthrop Door, 00100-00010-00
  27. Paul Ellis, 20010-10010-00
  28. John Fish, 01010-30110-00
  29. Thomas Furber, 01001-21010-00
  30. Joseph Dearborn, 10010-10011-00
  31. John Fifield, 00001-10110-00
  32. Benjn Foss, 00110-11011-00
  33. Jeremiah Goodwin, 31001-21101-00
  34. James Goodwin, 01110-31010-00
  35. Daniel Grant, 20010-10010-00
  36. Nathan Grant, 00100-00000-00
  37. Peter Grant, 00001-00001-00
  38. James Hayes, 30010-10110-00
  39. Clement Hayes, 01010-20010-00
  40. Theodore Ham, 11110-10010-00
  41. Nichs Harford, 00201-00001-00
  42. John Hanson, 21001-20010-00
  43. Joseph Hight, 22001-20310-00
  44. Jotham Ham, 30010-31010-00
  45. [Richd] H[orn], 11100-00100-00
  46. Isaac Hanson, 10010-20010-00
  47. Daniel Hayes, 12010-12010-00
  48. Ezekiel Hayes, 30010-00100-00
  49. Ichd Hayes, 00010-00000-00
  50. Eleazar Hodgdon, 20010-30010-00
  51. William Hatch, 10010-30010-00
  52. Pelatiah Hanscomb, 00300-10201-00
  53. Shadrach Heard, 10100-00100-00
  54. Robert Hart, 01100-00201-00
  55. Paul Jewett, 01101-01201-00
  56. Gilman Jewett, 00100-10200-00
  57. Stephen Jenkins Jr, 10100-00010-00 
  58. Stephen Jenkins, 00201-01101-00
  59. Ebener Jenkins, 00010-20100-00
  60. Stephen Jennes, 10010-10101-00
  61. Reubin Jones, 01101-00201-00
  62. Ebener Jones, 02101-00301-00
  63. Wm Jones, 01010-10010-00
  64. Elisha Jennes, 11010-10010-00
  65. Levi Jones, 00010-00000-00
  66. Wm W. Lord, 00010-12101-00
  67. James Merrow, 50010-00100-00
  68. Richd Monson, 00201-00100-00
  69. Benjn Miller, 21010-11010-00
  70. Richard Miller, 00020-11100-00
  71. Henry Miller, 00100-10100-00
  72. Robert Mathes, 10010-10010-00
  73. Wm Mathes, 00100-00000-00
  74. Bartholomew Miller, 00100-10100-00
  75. Samuel Nute, 20301-01101-00
  76. Lt Jotham Nute, 33010-10120-00
  77. Francis Nute, 20010-10100-00
  78. Saml Nute Jr, 30100-00100-00
  79. Capn Saml Nute, 11001-01001-00
  80. Josiah Nute, 10010-00100-00
  81. Thomas Nutter, 01010-31010-00
  82. Jona Pottle, 10100-10010-00
  83. Thomas Pinkham, 41010-11010-00
  84. Jona Pinkham, 01010-21010-00
  85. Nathl Pinkham, 20010-30010-00
  86. Joseph Perkins, 00100-00000-00
  87. Beard Plumer, 21201-11210-00
  88. Joseph Plumer, 02101-01201-00
  89. Wm Palmer Esqr, 21010-21020-00
  90. Saml Palmer, 01001-00110-00
  91. John Palmer, 00010-00010-00
  92. Otis Pinkham, 10010-11010-00
  93. Ephm Plumer, 30010-21010-00
  94. Oliver Peavey, 20010-10010-00
  95. Henry Rhines, 10100-10010-00
  96. Shubal Roberts, 00100-00000-00
  97. Lemuel Ricker, 00211-02201-00
  98. Elias Ricker, 00100-00000-00
  99. John Ricker, 10010-20010-00
  100. Ebener Ricker, 21110-3001-00
  101. Timothy Ricker, 21010-20110-00
  102. John Remick, 10101-10101-00
  103. John Remick Jr, 11010-20110-00
  104. Tobias Ricker, 00101-32210-00
  105. Timothy Roberts, 12110-20010-00
  106. Isaac Staunton, 00100-10010-00
  107. Benjn Scates, 12001-01201-00
  108. John Scates, 11110-01100-00
  109. Dadavah Scates, 20001-01010-00
  110. John Smith, 30010-00010-00
  111. Ephm Twombly, 11110-21021-00
  112. John Twombly, 01001-00201-00
  113. Saml Twombly, 00101-31101-00
  114. John Twombly, 10010-10100-00
  115. Ebenr Twombly, 00010-30110-00
  116. Ephm Twombly Jr, 21010-11110-00
  117. Wm Tuttle, 10101-02210-00
  118. Enoch Varney, 00101-40010-00
  119. James Varney, 10010-21010-00
  120. John Varney, 00010-00110-00
  121. Benjn Varney, 01101-00101-00
  122. Lemuel Varney, 10010-10010-00
  123. Aaron Varney, 11010-11010-00
  124. Edmond Varney, 00010-20010-00
  125. Richd Walker, 10111-11111-00
  126. John Wentworth, 20010-02010-00
  127. Saml J. Wentworth, 21010-11010-00
  128. James Wentworth, 10001-10001-00
  129. Stephen Wentworth, 30010-10011-00
  130. Saml J. Wentworth, 31110-20010-00
  131. Gershom Wentworth, 00011-00110-00
  132. Amos Witham, 01011-00001-00
  133. John Witham, 22010-20010-00
  134. Josiah Witham, 01010-40010-00
  135. Caleb Wakeham, 31101-12111-00
  136. Enoch Wingate, 00001-10101-00
  137. David Wallingford, 20010-20020-00
  138. Isaac Worster, 02010-20100-00
  139. Ephm Wentworth, 10010-20010-00
  140. Ichd Wentworth, 21010-30010-00
  141. Enoch Wentworth, 20010-00010-00
  142. Caleb Wingate, 01010-00210-00
  143. Stephen Watson, 11010-50010-00
  144. David Wentworth, 00010-00100-00
  145. Simon Branon, 00100-00100-00
  146. John McDuffie, 10001-10010-00
  147. Wm Griffis, 00001-01001-00
  148. Philip Door, 00001-00001-00
  149. Saml Loe, 00001-00021-00
  150. [blank] Demerett, 10001-20010-00
  151. Widow Smith, 10000-00001-00
  152. Elizabeth [Sp]encer, 00000-20010-00
  153. Aaron Wentworth, 00101-01001-00
  154. John Tanner, 11010-01011-00
  155. Henry Rollins, 11110-10110-00
  156. Moses Dorrs, 10100-10010-00
  157. Lt Elijah Horn, 10010-31010-00
  158. Mark Miller, 20010-00100-00

Rochester’s Northeast Parish had 158 households with an average 5.7 inhabitants per household. Only 2 households (1.3%) were headed by a female, one of them identified as a widow.

336 (37.4%) of the Northeast Parish’s 899 inhabitants were aged under-10 years of age (158 males and 178 females), 124 (13.8%) were aged 10-15 years (67 males and 57 females), 148 (16.5%) were aged 16-25 years of age (65 males and 83 females), 199 (22.1%) were aged 26-44 (97 males and 102 females), and 82 (9.1%) were aged 45-and-over years of age (43 males and 39 females). All of these were “free white” inhabitants.

The constitutional purpose of the census is to apportion US Representatives. For that a simple head count would do. Some of the awkward breaks into uneven age groups are due to another governmental purpose: attempting to determine the size of military age cohorts.

Of primary interest was the size of the males aged 16-25 years cohort. Those are the minutemen. The males aged 26-44 years cohort was of secondary interest. They formed the bulk of the militia. Males aged 45-and-over were exempt from military service. Militia officers Captain Samuel Nute,  Lieutenant Jotham Nute, and Lieutenant Elijah Horn were identified by their militia ranks in this census enumeration.

Note that only 80 (51.3%) of the 156 Northeast Parish’s male householders signed the 1802 separation petition.

24 petitioners were not householders in the Northeast Parish, namely Joseph Berry, Joseph Cook, Wentworth Cook, Ernest Corsen, William Corsen, Abraham Dearborn, Benjamin Dearborn, Gershom Downs, Francis Drew, Nathaniel Gilman, Humphrey Goodwin, Benjamin Higgins, Nathaniel Jewett, Benjamin Jones, John Jones, James McGeoch, Robert McGeoch, Dudley Palmer, Jedediah Ricker, Henry Rollins, Samuel Twombly Jr., Joseph Walker, Josiah Willey, and Obadiah Witham.

Likely, most of these 24 non-householding petitioners resided within the named Northeast Parish households, as column tick marks. If so, the non-householding petitioners and the householder petitioners combined would represent 104 (63.0%) of the approximately 165 Northeast Parish male voters.

palmer, william esqr
Joseph Plumer, Wm Palmer Esqr, and Saml Palmer

Note also that only one man – William Palmer Esqr – is termed Esqr., or Esquire. It is quite clearly written so. The various printed histories that describe Milton’s first town meetings report William Plumer, Esq., as having called the first town meeting (and a William Plumer as being one of the first selectmen chosen at that meeting). One of these things is not like the other. Either the census enumerator or the history typesetter may have made an error.

Previous in sequence: Northeast Parish in the First (1790) Federal Census; next in sequence: Milton in the Third (1810) Federal Census


State of New Hampshire. (1884). Provincial and State Papers (Volume 13). Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2018, November). 1800 United States Census. Retrieved from

Milton in the Sixth (1840) Federal Census

by Muriel Bristol | January 12, 2019

Milton made its fourth appearance as its own town in the Sixth Federal Census (1840). (It had separated from Rochester in 1802). It had 1,380 residents on Monday, June 1, 1840: 699 males (50.7%) and 681 females (49.3%).

Milton had 250 households with an average 5.5 inhabitants per household. Only 18 households (7.2%) were headed by a female.

Milton had 428 Scholars attending at 17 Academies & Grammar Schools. There were 12 White Persons Over 20 Years of Age Who Cannot Read and Write. There were 2 persons who were Blind, 1 who was Insane or Idiotic at Private Charge, and 2 who were Insane or Idiotic at Public Charge.

The surnames represented as heads of household (all other inhabitants were identified as counts only by age and sex) were: Adams, Applebee, Archibald, Bansfield, Berry, Blaisdell, Brackett, Bragdon, Burleigh, Burnham, Butler, Chamberlain, Clark, Clement, Cook, Courson, Dearborn, Dore, Dow, Downs, Drew, Dunnell, Duntley, Edgerly, Elaskey, Ellis, Emerson, Farnham, Fernald, Foss, Fox, Gerrish, Goodwin, Guptill, Hanson, Hart, Hartford, Hayes, Henderson, Hill, Hodgdon, Horne, How, Huntress, Hussey, Jenkins, Jewett, Jones, Knowles, Leighton, Looney, Lord, Lyman, McMillan, Main, Matthes, Matthews, Merrill, Merrow, Meserve, Miller, Mills, Moulton, Nason, Nute, Nutter, Osgood, Pager, Pinkham, Place, Plumer, Quimby, Remick, Ricker, Rines, Roberts, Robinson, Rundle, Sanborn, Scates, Searles, Shores, Simes, Stevens, Swasey, Swinerton, Tasker, Tibbetts, Tuttle, Twombly, Varney, Wakeham, Walker, Wallingford, Warren, Wentworth, Wiggin, Willey, Witham, Worcester, Worster, and Young.

Thomas Applebee, aged eighty-four years, Amos Bragdon, aged seventy-eight years, David Corsen, aged seventy-nine years, Benaiah Dore, aged seventy-five years, Jonathan Dore, aged eighty-three years, Sarah Nute, aged seventy-seven years (household of David Nute), Elizabeth Roberts, aged eighty years (household of James C. Roberts) were listed in an addendum as Pensioners for Revolutionary or military services.

169 of Milton’s inhabitants were aged under 5 years of age (89 males and 80 females), 172 were aged 5-9 years (89 males and 83 females), 180 were aged 10-14 years of age (92 males and 88 females), 132 were aged 15-19 (79 males and 53 females), 214 were aged 20-29 years of age (115 males and 99 females), 158 were aged 30-39 years of age (71 males and 87 females), 129 were aged 40-49 years of age (62 males and 67 females), 90 were aged 50-59 years of age (41 males and 49 females), 68 were aged 60-69 years of age (34 males and 34 females), 48 were aged 70-79 years of age (18 males and 30 females), 17 were aged 80-89 years of age (8 males and 9 females), and 3 were aged 90-99 years of age (1 males and 2 females). All of these were “free white” inhabitants.

531 of 1,380 Milton’s inhabitants were employed: 425 (80.0%) in Agriculture, 83 (15.6%) in Manufacture and the Trades, 20 (3.8%) in Commerce, and 3 (0.6%) in the Learned Professions and Engineering.

A NH Gazetteer of 1840 reported Milton’s Productions of the Soil as Indian Corn, 292 bushels; Hay, 2,296 tons; Potatoes, 32,622 bushels; Wool, 4,625 pounds, and Maple Sugar, 473 pounds. (Figures difficult to read).

See also Milton in 1839


Wikipedia. (2018, August 23). 1840 United States Census. Retrieved from


Milton’s NHES Community Profile – 2018

By Muriel Bristol | December 17, 2018

New Hampshire Employment Security (NHES) produced an update to its Milton statistics in its NH Community Profiles in March 2018. Most of its figures were updated to June 2017, while some were based still upon figures from the prior profile.

It included US Census Bureau figures, which estimated Milton’s population at 4,591 inhabitants as of 2016. This would be an decline of 0.3% from the 4,606 inhabitants estimated in 2015.

Milton’s net population has not increased significantly since the 2010 census, when it had 4,598 inhabitants.

238 (5.2%) of Milton’s 4,591 inhabitants were aged under 5 years of age, 866 (18.9%) were aged 5-19 years of age, 830 (18.1%) were aged 20-34, 1,157 (25.2%) were aged 34-54 years of age, 929 (20.2%) were aged 55-64 years of age, and 571 (12.4%) were aged 65 years of age or over. There were 2,279 males (49.6%) and 2,312 (50.4%) females. The median age was 43.6 years (an increase of 1.2% over that stated in the prior year).

Milton had 2,040 housing units in 2016, a decline of 0.9%. Single-Family Units, Detached or Attached accounted for 1,557 (76.3%) of them, Mobile Homes (and Other Housing Units) accounted for 304 (14.9%), 2-4 Unit Multi-family Structures, i.e., apartment buildings, accounted for 61 (3.0%), and 5-or-more Unit Multi-family Structures accounted for 118 (5.8%) housing units.

This represented a slight decline in both number and proportion of Single Family Units and a slight increase in both number and proportion of Mobile Homes and Multi-Family Structures.

By computation, the average Milton housing unit sheltered 2.3 inhabitants, an increase of 0.1 inhabitants.

Milton’s single largest employer by far was the Milton town government, whose 247 employees (132 Municipal Services and 115 Education) made up 11.0% of the 2,250 employed inhabitants. Next largest was Index Packaging with 157 employees, Eastern Boats with 38 employees, Iron Mountain with 20 employees, and ProLine with 13 employees. (Note: none of these employer figures appear to have been updated from 2017, except the number of employed inhabitants).

Most of Milton’s Working Residents (88.0%) commuted to employment out of town, an increase of 0.5%. Most of them (77.9%) commuted to another NH community, while some (10.1%) commuted to employment out of state. The mean travel time increased to 32.1 minutes. Only 12.0% worked in Milton.

Some 124 inhabitants (5.4%) were unemployed in 2015. This had declined to 73 inhabitants (3.1%) by 2016.

The Per Capita income was $28,403 in 2016 (a decrease of 15.2% over the previous year’s $33,495). The Median Family income was $72,226 and the Median Household income was $65,679. Individuals below the poverty level were 6.7% of the population, a decrease of 2.1%.

See also Milton’s NH Employment Security (NHES) Community Profile – 2017


New Hampshire Employment Security (NHES). (2018, March). New Hampshire Community Profiles. Retrieved from

Non-Public BOS Meeting Scheduled (August 6, 2018)

By Muriel Bristol | July 31, 2018

The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a Non-Public BOS meeting to be held next Monday, August 6, at 4:00 PM. The agenda has two items: a Non-Public matter classed as 91-A:3 II (c) and another matter classed as 91-A:3 II (d).

91-A:3 II (c): Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of the public body itself, unless such person requests an open meeting. This exemption shall extend to any application for assistance or tax abatement or waiver of a fee, fine, or other levy, if based on inability to pay or poverty of the applicant.

91-A:3 II (d): Consideration of the acquisition, sale, or lease of real or personal property which, if discussed in public, would likely benefit a party or parties whose interests are adverse to those of the general community.

The first matter relates to the recent tax abatement process. In November, the BOS made an error in setting the 2017 tax rate. It affected all of the taxpayers, i.e., about 2,700 taxpayers, to a large degree. Various figures have been given. In December, the BOS suggested that those affected should file for abatements.

This would be case of apples and oranges. Abatements are intended to resolve errors in particular property assessments or to address the personal circumstances of particular taxpayers. For this purpose, the town typically allocates or holds back a very small percentage – less than 1% – for abatements. (They had allocated only $20,000 to cover all abatements). The BOS’s very large town-wide rate error could not possibly be corrected through granting a few abatements.

The difference between the BOS error and their proposed “solution” is separated by several orders of magnitude. The BOS may or may not have known that back in December, but they surely do know it now.

Only 56 taxpayers filed for the suggested abatement. Of those, 39 (69.6%) received abatements, while 17 (30.4%) were rejected. This Non-Public matter before the BOS is likely an appeal by one of the 17 whose abatement was rejected.

The second matter relates to the buying, selling, or leasing of property. Several property matters have been in the wind over the last few months. The sale of the old fire station, acquisition of conservation land, and the proposed purchase of parking spaces have been much discussed lately.

The BOS intend to adjourn their Non-Public BOS meeting by 5:00 PM. Their prior public meeting was held on Monday, July 16. Their next public Meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 20.


Town of Milton. (2018, July 31). BOS Non-Public Agenda, August 6, 2018. Retrieved from

State of New Hampshire. (2018, February). Revised Statutes Amended Online. Retrieved from

Rubber Stamps

By S.D. Plissken | July 10, 2018

An examination of fifteen years worth of the Town Meeting Warrant articles on which the Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) voted to make a recommendation – 239 of them – reveals an oddity. While it cannot be said that they never met a warrant article on which they did not unanimously agree, it is extremely rare.

The BOS voted unanimously to recommend warrant articles 231 of 239 times (96.7%) in those fifteen years. They voted unanimously to not recommend warrant articles 5 of 239 times (2.1%). Those articles not recommended concerned the contentious landfill issue on the 2015 ballot, and the disincorporation petitioned article on the 2018 ballot. (Making any recommendation at all on a petitioned warrant article is itself an extreme rarity). Taken together, unanimous votes were made 236 of 239 times (98.7%).

There was a split vote in only 3 of 239 times (1.3%). One of them was a 2-0 vote with 1 abstention. (Some might say that too should be counted as a unanimous vote, of those who were voting). The other two were 2-1 splits. Most of them arose out of that same landfill issue.

Now, none of the warrant articles that were unanimously recommended (or unanimously not recommended) received unanimous approval (or disapproval) of the voters. Not a single one. In fact, a significant number of the unanimously recommended articles were rejected outright or passed by narrow margins.

All of this begs a question: why are the BOS recommendations, which have been almost entirely unanimous ones, at such variance with the expressed wishes of the voters? (Why are there so few dissents? (1.3%))

Some have answered that most of these warrant articles have to do with expanding town appropriations or authorizations, i.e., they are things that the town government wants. The town government is interested, as are all bureaucracies, in increasing its budgets, staffs, pay rates, pensions, authority, and control. So, it is easy to see why the town departments might create warrant articles that do not gain anything like unanimous acceptance by the voters. Their interests are not the same.

But the question remains for the BOS itself – the supposed representatives of the voters. Why do they make so many unanimous recommendations of warrant articles, i.e., solutions proffered by either the town apparatus or by themselves? And why such strong recommendations for solutions so often at variance with the interests of significant numbers of voters, even majorities of them (as expressed by them with their ballots).

One might expect there would be something like as many split recommendation votes as there have been split results in the actual election. That is to say, one might expect greater variance if the BOS were truly representing the voters. But do they, in fact, even try to represent the voters (and their interests), as distinguished from the town government?

Is the BOS really just a rubber stamp?


Town of Milton. (2002-03, 2006-2018). Annual Report. (Various Years). Milton, NH: Town of Milton


The Mathematical Limits of Representation

By Muriel Bristol | June 1, 2018

Many have spoken, over eons, of the practical, logical, and philosophical limits of political representation. Here we will consider only some of its mathematical limits.

The U.S. Constitution provided that

The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse [Sic] three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

That made for a total of 65 House Representatives originally. This was only an estimate with which to start. The number of Representatives expanded to 105 after the first census provided actual population data in 1790. That number of Representatives continued to grow as the population increased to maintain the desired ratio of 1 Representative for roughly 30,000 people. It grew to 142 Representatives after the 1800 census, 182 after 1810, 213 after 1820, and 240 Representatives after the 1830 census, which recorded a population of 12,855,020 people. Representation began to lose ground after that.

There were only 223 Representatives after the 1840 census, 234 after 1850, 241 after 1860, 292 after 1870, 325 after 1880, 356 after 1890, and 386 Representatives after the 1900 census. This process continued until Congress passed the Apportionment Act of 1911, which capped the number of increasingly less representative Representatives at 435 after the 1910 census.

Each U.S. House member represented about 212,000 people in 1920, 280,675 in 1930, 301,164 in 1940, 334,587 in 1950, 410,481 in 1960, 469,088 in 1970, 510,818 in 1980, 571,477 in 1990, 646,946 in 2000, and 709,760 people in 2010.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects a population of 314,500,000 people by 2020, which would be about 723,000 people per Representative, or 1/24th of the representation originally intended. (It would take a House of 10,434 Representatives to provide the original degree of representation).

A mathematical limit is the value that an equation, function, or sequence “approaches” as its input or index approaches some value. The function or f(x) of House representation can be represented as f(x) = 435/x, where x is the size of the population. When x = 435, the function f(x) = 1, i.e., everyone represents themselves, and when x = 13,050,000 or less, the level of representation would be about as the framers intended – 30,000 people per Representative. However, as x grows larger, the degree of representation falls increasingly below their intent.

When the U.S. House is capped at 435 (or any other number), the degree of representation must shrink thereafter as population grows. For our House representation function f(x) = 435/x, when x grows larger and larger and finally approaches infinity, the function f(x) approaches its limit of 0. That is to say, the degree to which anyone is “represented” must shrink increasingly until it ceases finally to have any meaning at all.

The NH House was capped at 400 members in 1942. The same mathematics of representation applies to that institution as well.


Baker, Peter (NYT). (2009, September 17). Expand the House? Retrieved from

Bartlett, Bruce (NYT). (2014, January 7). Enlarging the House of Representatives. Retrieved from

Colby, Sandra L. and Ortman, Jennifer M. (2015, March). Projections of the Size and Composition of the U.S. Population: 2014 to 2060. Retrieved from

Election Data Services. (2017, December 26). Some Change in Apportionment Allocations With New 2017 Census Estimates; But Greater Change Likely by 2020. Retrieved from

NH House of Representatives. (2006). NH House Facts. Retrieved from

US House of Representatives. (2018, May 8). Proportional Representation. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2018, May 2). Limit (Mathematics). Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2018, May 27). Limit of a Function. Retrieved from


Milton’s NH Employment Security (NHES) Community Profile

By Muriel Bristol | April 30, 2018

New Hampshire Employment Security (NHES) produced an update to its Milton statistics in its NH Community Profiles in December 2017. Most of its figures were updated to 2015.

It included US Census Bureau figures, which estimated Milton’s population at 4,606 inhabitants as of 2015. This would be an increase of 0.3% of the 4,592 inhabitants estimated in 2014. Milton’s net population had not increased significantly since the 2010 census, when it had 4,598 inhabitants.

224 (4.7%) of Milton’s 4,606 inhabitants were aged under 5 years of age, 883 (19.2%) were aged 5-19 years of age, 815 (17.7%) were aged 20-34, 1,223 (26.6%) were aged 34-54 years of age, 803 (17.4%) were aged 55-64 years of age, and 658 (14.3%) were aged 65 years of age or over. There were 2,294 males (49.8%) and 2,312 (50.2%) females. The median age was 43.1 years (an increase of 4.6% over the prior year).

Milton had 2,058 housing units in 2015. Single-Family Units, Detached or Attached accounted for 1,616 (78.5%) of them, Mobile Homes (and Other Housing Units) accounted for 242 (11.6%), 2-4 Unit Multi-family Structures, i.e., apartment buildings, accounted for 107 (5.2%), and 5-or-more Unit Multi-family Structures accounted for 93 (4.5%) housing units.

By computation, the average Milton housing unit sheltered 2.2 inhabitants.

Milton’s single largest employer by far was the Milton town government, whose 247 employees (132 Municipal Services and 115 Education) made up 11.3% of the 2,185 employed inhabitants. Next largest was Index Packaging with 157 employees, Eastern Boats with 38 employees, Iron Mountain with 20 employees, and ProLine with 13 employees.

Most of Milton’s Working Residents (87.5%) commuted to employment out of town. Most of them (78.2%) commuted to another NH community, while some (9.3%) commuted to employment out of state. The mean travel time was 31 minutes. Only 12.5% worked in Milton.

Some 124 inhabitants (5.4%) were unemployed in 2015. (This had declined to 73 inhabitants (3.1%) by 2016).

The Per Capita income was $33,495 in 2015 (an increase of 0.9% over the previous year). The Median Family income was $67,991 and the Median Household income was $60,000. Individuals below the poverty level were 8.8% of the population.


New Hampshire Employment Security (NHES). (2017, December 5). New Hampshire Community Profiles. Retrieved from

Milton in the Third (1810) Federal Census

by Muriel Bristol | April 23, 2018

Milton made its first appearance as its own town in the Third Federal Census (1810). (It had separated from Rochester in 1802). It had 1,005 residents on Monday, August 6, 1810: 477 males (47.5%) and 528 females (52.5%).

Milton had 163 households with an average 6.2 inhabitants per household. Only 6 households (3.7%) were headed by a female (5 of them were titled “Widow”).

The surnames represented as heads of household (all other inhabitants were identified as counts only by age and sex) were: Adams, Applebee, Amos, Berry, Brackett, Bragdon, Bunker, Burham, Cate, Chamberlain, Chapman, Chase, Colby, Cook, Copp, Courson, Couston, Dearborn, Dore, Downs, Drew, Ellis, Fisk, Foss, Garland, Gate, Gerrish, Goodwin, Grant, Hanson, Harford, Hartshorne, Hayes, Henderson, Hierd, Horne, How, Jenkins, Jennings, Jewett, Jones, Libby, Lord, Lyman, McDuffee, Matthews, Merry, Meservey, Miller, Moulton, Nute, Nutter, Palmer, Paul, Peavey, Perkin, Phifield, Pinkum, Plumer, Prumer, Remick, Ricker, Rines, Robers, Roberts, Scates, Smith, Stevens, Tibbetts, Tuttle, Twombly, Varna, Varner, Varney, Wakeham, Waker, Wallingford, Watson, Wentworth, Whitehouse, Whitham, Whittum, Willey, Wingate, Worcester, and Young.

326 of Milton’s inhabitants were aged under 10 years of age (161 males and 165 females), 153 were aged 10-15 years of age (66 males and 87 females), 206 were aged 16-25 (97 males and 109 females), 166 were aged 26-44 years of age (76 males and 90 females), and 153 were aged over 45 years of age (76 males and 77 females). All of these were “free white” inhabitants. Peter Gerrish was the only inhabitant in the “all other free persons” category.

Merrill’s Gazetteer of the State of New Hampshire (1817) described Milton seven years later as having “3 religious societies, 1 meeting house, 3 grain mills, 3 sawmills, 1 clothing mill, and 3 trading stores.”

Previous in sequence: Northeast Parish in the Second (1800) Federal Census; next in sequence: Milton in the Fourth (1820) Federal Census


Wikipedia. (2018, November 9). 1810 United States Census. Retrieved from


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