Milton Farmer David Wallingford, “Jr.” (1819-1903)

By Muriel Bristol | January 29, 2023

David Wallingford was born in Milton, April 4, 1819, son of Samuel and Sarah “Sally” (Worcester) Wallingford. (Father Samuel Wallingford (c1790-1826) was a brother of David Wallingford (1801-1878)).

(The known children of Samuel and Sally (Worster) Wallingford were Zimri Scates Wallingford (1816–1886), David Wallingford [“Jr.”] (1819–1903), Mary E. Wallingford (1821-1899), and Ira Wallingford (1823–1853)).

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

Mrs. Sally [(Worster)] Wallingford married (2nd) in Rochester, NH, November 24, 1831, Col. Levi Jones, both of Milton. Rev. Isaac Willey performed the ceremony (NEHGS, 1908).

(The known children of Col. Levi and Sally ((Worster) Wallingford) Jones were James Jones (1832-183?), and Charles P. Jones (1833-1873)).

Half-brother Charles P. Jones was born in Milton, July 21, 1833.

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

Brother Zimri S. Wallingford married in Berwick, ME, August 26, 1840, Alta Lucy Gray Hilliard. Rev. Joseph Hilliard performed the ceremony. She was born in Berwick, ME, February 17, 1810, daughter of Rev. Joseph and Sarah (Laughton) Hilliard. (See Zimri S. Wallingford in Our Business Pioneers – 1916).

Brother Z.S. Wallingford and his wife, A.L.G. [(Hilliard)] Wallingford, were among twenty Maine inhabitants and thirteen New Hampshire inhabitants that signed an Anti-Slavery Declaration of Independence, January 20, 1844. Among the reasons given was “… The government, too, has proved itself to be the enemy of human freedom and the guardian of American chattel slavery.” Their declaration was published in both the Herald of Freedom and Liberator newspapers (The Liberator (Boston, MA), June 7, 1844).

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

(The known children of David and Susan A. (Jones) Wallingford were: Sarah E. Wallingford (1847-1902), Clara J. Wallingford (1849-1903), Clarence M. Wallingford (1852-1920), and Alta L.G. Wallingford (c1861-193?)).

Sister Mary E. Wallingford married (1st) in Canterbury, NH, September 18, 1844, Capt. Thomas C. Neal, she of Milford [SIC], NH, and he of Loudon, NH. Elder Jeremiah Clough performed the ceremony. He was born in 1817, son of Samuel and Mehitable “Hitty” (Perkins) Neal.

Daughter Sarah E. “Sally” Wallingford was born in Milton in 1847. Brother-in-law Thomas C. Neal died in Loudon, NH, in 1847.

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

Brother Ira Wallingford married in Dover, NH, May 13, 1848, Delania D. Thompson. Rev. J.G. Forman performed the ceremony. She was born in Sandwich, NH, in 1826, daughter of Samuel and Betsy (Seavey) Thompson.

Daughter Clara J. Wallingford was born in Milton, in 1849.

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

Ira Wallingford, a farmer, aged twenty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Delana [(Thompson)] Wallingford, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), Thomas C. Wallingford, aged two years (b. NH); Daniel Wallingford, a farmer, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), Susan A. [(Jones)] Wallingford, aged thirty years (b. NH), Sarah E. Wallingford, aged five years (b. NH), and Clara J. Wallingford, aged eight months (b. NH). Ira Wallingford had real estate valued at $1,000 and David Wallingford has real estate valued at $1,000. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of William Sanborn, a farmer, aged forty-six years (b. ME), and James Bragdon, a farmer, aged fifty-eight years (b. NH).

Sister Mary W.W. (Wallingford) Neal married (2nd) in Milton, November 3, 1852, Daniel Wentworth, she of Milton and he of Ossipee, NH. He was born in New Hampshire, circa 1803.

Son Clarence M. Wallingford was born in Milton, November 20, 1852.

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

Brother Z.S. Wallingford, of Dover, NH, donated $5 to the American Anti-Slavery Society, in March 1856 (Liberator (Boston, MA), April 4, 1856).

The Milton selectmen of 1856 were Jos. Sayward, J.C. Wentworth, and D. Wallingford, Jr. The Milton selectmen of 1857 were D. Wallingford, Jr., C.C. Hayes, and S.S. Wakeham.

Sister-in-law Delania D. (Thompson) Wallingford died in Milton, January 28, 1860.

Brother Z.S. Wallingford was appointed agent of the Cocheco Manufacturing Company in July 1860.

NEW HAMPSHIRE ITEMS. Z.S. Wallingford, Esq., has been appointed Agent of the Cocheco Manufacturing Company. Mr. Wallingford has been in the employ of the Company for many years (Boston Evening Transcript, July 27, 1860).

David Wallingford, Jr., aged forty-one years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Susan A. [(Jones)] Wallingford, aged forty years (b. NH), Sarah E. Wallingford, aged fifteen years (b. NH), Clara J. Wallingford, aged ten years (b. NH), and C.M. [Clarence M.] Wallingford, aged seven years (b. NH). David Wallingford, Jr., had real estate valued at $1,000 and personal estate valued at $500. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Benja Scates, a farmer, aged seventy years (b. NH), and John C. Dore, a farmer, aged twenty-four years (b. NH).

Daniel Wentworth, a merchant, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH), headed an Ossipee, NH, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Mary [((Wallingford) Neal)] Wentworth, aged thirty-nine years (b. NH), Achsa Wentworth, aged twenty years (b. NH), and Kirk B. Neal, aged fourteen years (b. NH). Daniel Wentworth had real estate valued at $1,000 and personal estate valued at $5,572.

Daughter Alta L.G. Wallingford was born in Milton, circa 1862. She was a namesake for her aunt, Alta L.G. (Hilliard) Wallingford (1810-1891), wife of her paternal uncle, Zimri S. Wallingford (1816-1886).

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

Daughter Sarah E. Wallingford married, circa 1868, Charles L. Lord. He was born in Lebanon, ME, May 8, 1843, son of Ezekiel R. and Draxa (Dixon) Lord.

The Milton selectmen of 1870 were Chas. Hayes, D. Wallingford, Jr., and T.H. Roberts.

David Wallingford, Jr., a farmer, aged fifty-one years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Susan A. [(Jones)] Wallingford, aged fifty years (b. NH), Clarance M. Wallingford, aged seventeen years (b. NH), and Alta L.G. Wallingford, aged eight years (b. NH). David Wallingford, Jr., had real estate valued at $2,000 and personal estate valued at $743. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Sarah A. Horne, keeping house, aged fifty-two years (b. NH), and John C. Dorr, works in shoe factory, aged thirty-five years (b. NH).

Charles L. Lord, a shoe cutter, aged twenty-seven years (b. ME), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Sarah E. [(Wallingford)] Lord, keeping house, aged twenty-five years (b. NH), and Charles Downs, works for shoe factory, aged twenty-four years (b. NH). Charles L. Lord had real estate valued at $600 and personal estate valued at $100. His household appeared in the enumeration between those of Ezra H. Twombly, a postmaster, aged forty-one years (b. NH), and John L. Wing, works in shoe factory, aged forty-six years (b. ME).

John Reed, a storekeeper, aged forty-five years (b. ME), headed a Berwick, ME, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Mary E. [(Roberts)] Reed, keeping house, aged thirty-five years (b. NH), Bell Roberts, aged eleven years (b. ME), Helena Roberts, aged nine years (b. NH), and Clara Wallingford, works in shoe factory, aged twenty years (b. NH). John Reed had real estate valued at $500.

Daniel Wentworth, a farmer, aged sixty-seven years (b. NH), headed an Ossipee, NH, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Mary W. [(Wallingford) Neal)] Wentworth, aged forty-nine years (b. NH). Daniel Wentworth had real estate valued at $1,400 and personal estate valued at $460.

Half-brother Charles P. Jones died in Milton, May 8, 1873, aged thirty-nine years, nine months.

Daughter Clara J. Wallingford married, circa 1875, Frederick V. “Fred” Stanley. He was born in York, ME, in 1846, son of William and Lydia M. (Chadbourne) Stanley.

Brother-in-law Daniel Wentworth died in Ossipee, NH, October 27, 1876.

Sister-in-law Betsy (Varney) Jones died in Milton, February 28, 1878, aged forty-one years.

Son Clarence M. Wallingford married in Milton, February 15, 1879, Ida E. Downs, both of Milton. He was a shoemaker and she was a shoe stitcher. Rev. John N. Lowell performed the ceremony. She was born in Milton, June 12, 1856, daughter of Joshua H. and Emily P. (Duntley) Downs.

The Milton Selectmen of 1880 were A.A. Fox, H.B. Scates, and D. Wallingford. The Milton Selectmen of 1881 were H.B. Scates, D. Wallingford, and E.W. Fox.

David Wallingford, a farmer, aged sixty-one years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Susan A. [(Jones)] Wallingford, keeping house, aged sixty years (b. NH), his daughter, Alta L.G. Wallingford, aged eighteen years (b. NH). They shared a two-family residence with the household of his son, Clarence Wallingford, works in shoe factory, aged twenty-seven years and his wife, Ida E. [(Downs)] Wallingford, keeping house, aged twenty-three years (b. NH).

Charles L. Lord, works in shoe factory, aged thirty-five years (b. NH), headed a Berwick, ME, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Sarah E. [(Wallingford)] Lord, keeping house, aged thirty-six years (b. NH). They shared a two-family residence with the household of Fred V. Stanley, a carpenter, aged thirty-five years (b. ME), and his wife, Clara J. [(Wallingford)] Stanley, keeping house, aged thirty years (b. NH).

Mary W. [((Wallingford) Neal)] Wentworth, keeping house, aged fifty-nine years (b. NH), headed an Ossipee, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. Her household included her son, Kirk B. Neal, makes sails [&] clothing, aged thirty-four years, and her boarder, Wm. S. Greenough, a stationer, aged thirty-six years (b. NH).

Daughter Altie L.G. Wallingford married (1st) in Dover, NH, May 30, 1881, Charles A. [Albert] Osborne, she of Berwick, ME, and he of Dover, NH. He was a shoemaker, aged nineteen years, and she was aged nineteen years. Rev. Ephraim W. Ricker performed the ceremony. Osborne was born in Dover, NH, in 1862, son of Charles B. and Lucy A. (Quimby) Osborne.

Brother Zimri Scates Wallingford died of dropsy in Dover, NH, May 28, 1886, aged sixty-nine years, seven months, and twenty-one days. He was an agent for the C.M. [Cocheco Manufacturing] Co. Carl H. Harsch signed the death certificate.

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

Son-in-law Charles A. Osborne died of consumption in Dover, NH, April 6, 1887, aged twenty-five years, six months, and twenty-six days. He had been a teamster. H.R. Parker signed the death certificate.

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

DEATHS. WALLINGFORD. – In Dover, N.H., March 5, Mrs. A.L.G. Wallingford, widow of the late Z.S. Wallingford of Dover (Boston Post, March 10, 1891).

Daughter Altie L.G. [(Wallingford)] Osborne married (2nd) in Boston, MA, December 23, 1891, James G. Shattuck, she of Milton, NH, and he of Boston, MA. He was a horse dealer, aged forty-two years, and she was at home, aged thirty years. (It was a second marriage for each of them). George A. Crawford performed the ceremony. Shattuck was born in Pepperell, MA, circa 1844, son of Jeremiah G. “Jerry” and Nancy C. (Parker) Shattuck.

Son-in-law James G. Shattuck died of peritonitis-rupture of intestine (homicide) in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA, August 5, 1892, aged forty-eight years, seven months, and thirteen days.

Shattuck, James G - BP920802KICKED TO DEATH. That the Fate of Shattuck, the Horseman. ERNEST FLAGG ACCUSED. He Became Angry at Shattuck – Alleged Murderer in Cambridge Jail – A Sad Home Scene. James G. Shattuck, a well-known horse dealer, lies dead at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the victim of an assault committed upon him by a man alleged to have been under the influence of liquor. As a result of his death Ernest Flagg, a well-known Somerville man, occupies a cell in the East Cambridge jail charged with murder. The assault, which ended so seriously, occurred on a public street of Somerville last Friday. The victim was 52 years of age. He was returning to his home on Carleton street, and was passing the Independent Club on Somerville avenue, when he was accosted by a crowd of young men who were standing on the sidewalk. Among the crowd were Ernest Flagg, 21 years of age; “Toby” Lyons, the well-known ball player and variety actor, and “Shorty” Shaw, a well-known member of the club. The boys began to jeer at Shattuck as he approached – so it is claimed by the police and asked him several questions, to which he paid little attention. Finally, as he was in their midst, Flagg cried out: “Take your team and take us to the beach.” Shattuck replied in the negative, and the refusal, it is said, made Flagg angry, He jumped at the old man and kicked him twice in the abdomen. The victim was nearly knocked over by these blows, but managed to reach his home unassisted. Then the consequences of the blows inflicted by Flagg began to show. He was in terrible agony and took to his bed, writhing in pain and groaning as he tossed from one side of the bed to the other. Serious Indeed. Dr. Dearborn was called, and after making a thorough examination prescribed for the sufferer. The patient passed a bad night and throughout Saturday and Sunday continued to grow worse. On Sunday afternoon Dr. Richardson of the Massachusetts General Hospital decided that an operation was absolutely necessary, and that the man should be removed to the hospital. At about 8 o’clock Sunday evening he was taken in an ambulance to Boston. The operation was performed, but the sick man became worse, and his condition was so serious that his wife was sent for. In her presence he died yesterday morning about 4 o’clock. Flagg Is Arrested. When it became evident that Shattuck could not live, Chief Parkhurst of the Somerville police was notified, and a warrant was sworn out for Flagg’s arrest. The paper was put in the hands of Captain Perry, and he, accompanied by Officer Smith, arrested Flagg at the home of his parents, 325 Somerville avenue, early yesterday morning. The prisoner was arraigned before the Police Court yesterday, and pleading “Not guilty” to the charge of murder he was held till Aug. 11 without bail. Flagg is a fresco painter by trade, and was employed in Boston. The victim was one of the best-known horsemen in New England. For years he ran the sale stables on Chardon and Portland streets. He was married last December, and in a neat cottage on Carleton street a Post man found the young widow last evening. The pale face and wet eyes plainly told their pathetic story. She told the facts from first to last, but the terrible recital was too much for her nerves. And now it’s for the jury (Boston Post, August 2, 1892).

Sister Mary E. ((Wallingford) Neal) Wentworth died of apoplexy in Ossipee, NH, June 24, 1899, aged seventy-eight years, one month, and eighteen days. She was a widowed housekeeper. E.B. Andrews, M.D., signed the death certificate.

David Wallingford, a farmer, aged eighty-one years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of fifty-six years), Susan A. [(Jones)] Wallingford, aged eighty years (b. NH), his son, Clarence M. Wallingford, a farmer, aged forty-seven years (b. NH), his daughter-in-law (of twenty-one years), Ida E [(Downs)] Wallingford, aged fifty-five years (b. NH), and his grandchildren, Amos D. Wallingford, aged eleven years (b. NH), and Alice Wallingford, aged eight years (b. NH). Susan A. Wallingford was the mother of one child, of whom one was still living. Ida E. Wallingford was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living.

Charles L. Lord, a farmer, aged fifty-six years (b. ME), headed a Berwick, ME, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty years), Sally E. [(Wallingford)] Lord, aged fifty-four years (b. NH). Charles L. Lord owned their farm, free-and-clear.

Fred Stanley, a farmer, aged fifty-four years (b. ME), headed a Berwick, ME, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-five years), Clara [(Wallingford)] Stanley, aged fifty years (b. NH). Fred Stanley owned their farm, with a mortgage. Clara Stanley was the mother of two children, of whom none were still living.

Seward Durgin, a shoe factory edger, aged forty years (b. ME), headed a Dover, NH, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eighteen years), Cora B. [(Pitts)] Durgin, aged thirty-three years (b. ME), his children, Rena L. Durgin, a shoe factory operative, aged sixteen years (b. ME), Ethel S. Durgin, a shoe factory stitcher, aged fifteen years (b. ME), Nelson N. Durgin, at school, aged twelve years (b. ME), and Clarence E. Durgin, at school, aged ten years (b. ME), and his lodgers, Thomas Hannan, a shoe factory laster, aged twenty-nine years (b. NH), and Alta [((Wallingford) Osborne)] Shattuck, a shoe factory stitcher, aged thirty-seven years (b. NH). Seward Durgin rented their house at 12 Park Street. Cora B. Durgin was the mother of five children, of whom four were still living.

PERSONALS. Mrs. Clarence Wallingford of Milton, accompanied by her father [in-law], Mr. David Wallingford, and her daughter, Miss Alice Wallingford, visited Mrs. John Corson last Monday (Farmington News, August 3, 1900).

LOCAL. Mr. and Mrs. Clarance Wallingford of Milton, with the latter’s sister, Mrs. Elzina Downs, were in town the first of the week. Mrs. Downs, long well known in Farmington, expects to spend the winter at Southern Pines, N.C., with the family of her sister, Mrs. George A. Kimball, formerly of Milton and Newburyport (Farmington News, October 18, 1901).

Daughter Sarah E. (Wallingford) Lord died in Berwick, ME, January 4, 1902, aged fifty-six years, seven months, and fifteen days. She died of “exhaustion, following a fall, and acute bronchitis.” K.V. Noyes, M.D. signed the death certificate.

Susan A. (Jones) Wallingford died of old age in Milton, February 11, 1902, aged eighty-one years, eleven months, and nineteen days. M.A.H. Hart, M.D., signed the certificate.

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

David Wallingford died of old age in Milton, February 22, 1903, aged eighty-three years, ten months, and eighteen days. M.A.H. Hart, M.D., signed the certificate.

Daughter Clara J. (Wallingford) Stanley died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Berwick, ME, May 5, 1903, aged fifty-three, seven months, and eleven days. She was the daughter of David and Susan (Jones) Wallingford and wife of Fred V. Stanley.

Daughter Alta L. [((Wallingford) Osborne)] Shattuck married (3rd) in North Berwick, ME, November 28, 1904, Fred V. Stanley, both of Berwick, ME. He was a farmer, aged fifty-nine years, and she was shoe stitcher, aged forty-three years. Rev. J.L. Smith performed the ceremony. Stanley was born in York, ME, in 1846, son of William and Lydia M. (Chadbourne) Stanley. (He was the widower of her late sister, Clara J. (Wallingford) Stanley).

Married. WALLINGFORD-MEDCALF – At Trinity church, Boston, July 26, 1909, by the assistant rector, the Rev. Ernest Collard Tuthill, Edith Annie, younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Medcalf, of Newburyport, Mass., to Mr. Amos D. Wallingford, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence M. Wallingford, of Milton, N.H. (The Churchman (New York, NY), August 14, 1909). 

Chris L. Lord, own income, aged sixty-nine years (b. ME), headed a Milton household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his brother, Charles L. Lord, own income, aged sixty-seven years (b. ME), and his sisters, Tryphena Lord, aged sixty-five years (b. ME), and Josephine Lord, aged sixty-one years (b. ME). Chris L. Lord owned their house, free-and-clear.

Clarence M. Wallingford, a general farm farmer, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty-one years), Ida [(Downs)] Wallingford, aged fifty-four years (b. NH), his son, Amos Wallingford, a home farm helper, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), his daughter-in-law, Edith [(Medcalf)] Wallingford, aged [twenty-one] years (b. NY), and his daughter, Alice Wallingford, aged eighteen years (b. NH). Clarence M. Wallingford owned their farm, free-and-clear. Ida Wallingford was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living.

Fred V. Stanley, a farmer, aged sixty-four years (b. ME), headed a Berwick, ME, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of five years), Alta [(((Wallingford) Osborne) Shattuck)] Stanley, aged forty-eight years (b. NH). Fred V. Stanley owned their farm on the Berwick Road, with a mortgage. Alta Stanley was the mother of no children. It was his second marriage and her third marriage.

Son-in-law Frederick V. Stanley died in Berwick, ME, March 11, 1911.

Son-in-law Charles L. Lord died of lobar pneumonia in Milton, May 30, 1917, aged seventy-four years, and twenty-two days. He had resided in Milton for fifteen years, i.e., since circa 1902, with his previous residence having been in Somersworth, NH. He was a widowed shoemaker. James J. Buckley, M.D., signed the death certificate.

Son Clarence M. Wallingford died of mitral insufficiency at Plummer’s Ridge in Milton, January 6, 1920, aged sixty-seven years, one month, and seventeen days. He had been a farmer. M.A.H. Hart, M.D., signed the certificate.

Amos D. Wallingford, a teamster (owner) aged thirty years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his mother, Ida E. [(Downs)] Wallingford, aged sixty-three years (b. NH). Amos D. Wallingford owned their farm on Plummer’s Ridge, free-and-clear. (He was divorced).

Seth P. Dillingham, a bleachery spare man, aged forty-six years (b. NH), headed a Somersworth, NH, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Alice L. [(Lord)] Dillingham, aged forty years (b. NH), his children, Marjorie Dillingham, aged twelve years (b. ME), and Alice M. Dillingham, aged five years (b. NH), his mother-in-law, Alice M. [(David)] Lord, a widow, aged sixty-seven years (b. NH), and his lodger, Alta L. [(((Wallingford) Osborne) Shattuck)] Stanley, a widow, aged fifty-eight years (b. NH). Seth P. Dillingham owned their house at 120 High Street, with a mortgage. (There was a separate rear dwelling).

Ida M. (Downs) Wallingford died of natural causes in her home on the State Road through Plummer’s Ridge (“probably heart disease”) in Milton, October 22, 1925, aged sixty-nine years, four months, and ten days. She had been a lifelong resident. Forrest L. Keay, M.D., and Strafford County medical examiner, signed the death certificate.

Belle C. [(Banfill)] Brown, boarding home, aged sixty-two years (b. NH), headed a Berwick, ME, household at the time of the Fifteen (193o) Federal Census. Her household included her mother, Olive J. [(Jackson)] Banfill, a widow, aged eighty-three years (b. NH), her boarder, Alta L. [(((Wallingford) Osborne) Shattuck)] Stanley, a widow, aged sixty-eight years (b. NH), and her roomers, Robert Meiklejohn, a restaurant waiter, aged forty-two years (b. NH), John Mayo, a portable sawmill teamster, aged sixty-nine years (b. Canada), and [his wife,] Elizabeth E. [(Banfill)] Mayo, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH). Belle C. Brown rented their house on Sullivan Street, for $11 per month. They did not have a radio set.


Find a Grave. (2011, November 1). Charles Dana [P.] Jones. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2017, October 16). Sally Worcester Jones. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2022, May 16). Sarah E. “Sally” Wallingford Lord. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2020, August 11). Thomas C. Neal. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2016, May 28). C. Albert Osborne. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2011, August 17). James G. Shattuck. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2016, June 16). Clara J. Stanley. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2016, June 16). Frederick V. Stanley. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2009, November 26). Clarence M. Wallingford. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2017, October 26). David Wallingford. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2017, October 29). Ira Wallingford. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2017, October 16). Samuel Wallingford. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2015, July 19). Zimri Scates Wallingford. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2016, October 23). Mary W. Wentworth. Retrieved from

Milton Mills’ “Bad” Doctor – 1930

By Muriel Bristol | December 31, 2020

A fraudulent physician settled briefly – probably less than a year – in Milton Mills in 1930.

He seems to have begun his career in running a “diploma mill,” i.e., he produced and sold fake diplomas from imaginary medical schools. For this or, rather, for having done so through the U.S. mails, he was convicted and sent to Federal prison.

His own medical credentials, by whose “virtue” he presented himself as a physician for over half a century, seem also to have been questionable at best. (His timeline seems to align more nearly with time spent as a diploma fraudster and convict, then any time spent, as he would later claim, in one of several different medical schools, or in foreign study).

(It may be recalled that an accomplished and legitimate practitioner, Dr. M.A.H. Hart of Milton, had his identity stolen in 1897, so that a fraudster might obtain an Illinois medical license).

And, as we shall see, the “bad” doctor labored lifelong under moral and ethical defects in other aspects of his life too.

Henry Esmond “Harry” Bradbury was born in Norway, ME, January 13, 1863 [?], son of Henry A.M. and Persis (Ripley) Bradbury. (His father served during the Civil War in Co. B, of the 32nd Regiment, ME Volunteer Infantry).

Persis Ripley Bradbury, 1864
Applique Table Cover, by Persis (Ripley) Bradbury, 1864 (Per Barbara Brackman)

Henry A. Bradbury, a carpenter, aged forty-nine years (b. ME), headed a Norway, ME, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Percies Bradbury, keeping house, aged forty-five years (b. ME), and his children, Earnest Bradbury, works in shoe shop, aged twenty years (b. ME), Harry Bradbury, works in shoe shop, aged seventeen years (b. ME), Nina Bradbury, at school, aged twelve years (b. ME), and Pearle Bradbury, aged seven years (b. ME).

Under the name Henry Freeland Bradbury, he pled nolo contendre in U.S. District Court in Concord, NH, to mail fraud, October 9, 1889.

UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE. NASHUA, N.H. HENRY FREELAND BRADBURY, M.D., Secretary, 30 Pearl street. INCORPORATED October, 1888. FRAUDULENT. An investigation of this institution was made by Dr. D.S. Adams of Manchester, President of the New Hampshire State Board of Censors, and by the Boston Herald, which led to the exposure of its true character. Dr. Bradbury, the secretary, was indicted by the U.S. Grand Jury, at Concord, and on October 9th was convicted of using the mail for fraudulent purposes. He was sentenced to pay a fine of $250 and not having any money was sent to jail. He was also interested in the Trinity University of Bennington, Vermont, and seems to have been the agent for the sale of diplomas of fraudulent colleges located in other states. Prices of diplomas varied from $60 to $300, and were sent by express after nominal compliance with rules for graduation. In New Hampshire and Vermont, and until very recently in Massachusetts, the existence of this kind of a school was made possible owing to the laxity of the laws in regard to incorporating for general purposes or for purposes of the dissemination of knowledge (Rauch, 1891).

TRINITY UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY OF THE STATE OF VERMONT, Bennington, Vt. Incorporated in 1889. Fraudulent. An application was made by a Buffalo practitioner for membership in a local association of physicians in that city, the application being based on a diploma bearing the seal of this “university.” Suspicion was aroused and it was soon learned that the institution was nothing more than a “mill,” which ground out degrees to order; and that there were also departments of dental surgery, law, and the liberal arts provided for by this so-called “university.” A hardware dealer in Buffalo, who had never spent an hour in the study of medicine, received by express a diploma dated May 27, 1889, from this “College of Medicine and Surgery,” paying sixty dollars on delivery. The diploma was signed by “P. Ripley Bradbury, M.D., dean,” and “G. Wilmont Averell, L.L.D., president,” and was sent by Bradbury from Nashua, N.H. The names of some of the incorporators of this “university” appear also as incorporators of the University of New Hampshire at Nashua (q.v. ante), of which institution one Henry Freeland Bradbury is secretary. Bradbury of Nashua, N.H., and Bradbury of Bennington, Vt., seem to be one and the same person. A United States grand jury at Concord, N.H., indicted Bradbury of Nashua for using the United States mails for carrying on a fraudulent business, to wit, the sale of bogus medical diplomas, and for using a fictitious name through the United States mails for fraudulent purposes. On the trial it was shown that “Freeland had filed his articles of incorporation in Bennington, Vt., that he, his mother, and Averell, as L.L.D., had signed the bogus diplomas; that while the doctor went under his own name he carried on the bulk of his correspondence under the name of Freeland his middle name; after which Judge Holt sentenced him to pay a fine of $250,” in default of which he was committed to jail (IL State Board of Health, 1894).

MEDICAL NOTES. Boston and New England. Dr. Henry Freeland Bradbury was indicted by a grand jury, and brought before Judge Colt, of the United States Circuit Court at Concord, N.H., October 9th, for using the mails for fraudulent purposes and for the use of a fictitious name, for the pose of aiding or abetting fraud. He is the man who figured as the proprietor of the bogus colleges mentioned in this JOURNAL on October 3d. He replied in answer to the question, “What is your plea?” “I do not wish to contend against the United States.” A fine of $250 was imposed on the first indictment, and $100 on the second (Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, October 17, 1889).

Thereafter, Bradbury had his name changed legally to Henry Bradbury Esmond (a reversal of his original middle and last names). (Not to be confused with the fictional Thackeray character or with the real life British actor and playwright of the same name).

Esmond, HB - 1891Henry B. Esmond married (1st) in Houlton, ME, August 6, 1893, Julia S. (Ganong) Colby, both of Houlton, ME. He was a physician, aged thirty-three years (b. Frost Corner), and she was a housekeeper, aged thirty-six years (b. St. John, New Brunswick). She was a widow. Rev. O.R. Crosby performed the ceremony. She was born in St. John, New Brunswick, circa 1856, daughter of John E. and Mary (Whittaker) Ganong.

The Maine Homeopathic Society held its 28th annual convention in Augusta, ME, June 5, 1894, at which it elected Dr. H.B. Esmond, of Houlton, ME, to be one of three delegates to the American Institute of Homeopathy (Boston Globe, June 6, 1894).

Dr. H.B. Esmond of Houlton, MA [ME], presented a paper before the American Physicians and Surgeons Association conference, in Buffalo, NY, June 24, 1896.

Among the other interesting papers were the following: “Life and Works of Samuel Hahnemann,” by Dr. H.B. Esmond of Houlton, Mass.; “Improvements in Gynecology,” by Dr. John T. Simpson, A. M., of Boston; “Insanitary Character of Vaccination,” by W.B. Clarke of Indianapolis, and “Haemthorpey,” by Dr. T.J. Biggs of New York (Buffalo Evening News (Buffalo, NY), June 24, 1896).

Our Own Folks and Other Folks. Dr. H.B. Esmond, of Houlton, [Me.,] is in the city (Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, October 17, 1896).

WHAT WE HEARD WHEN THE WIRES WERE CROSSED. Dr. Henry B. Esmond has moved to Madison, Me. (Medical Era, February 1897).

Bethel Local Intelligence. Dr. H.B. Esmond, formerly of Newton, Mass., and of the school of homeopathy, has located at Bethel (Bethel Courier (Bethel, VT), June 2, 1898).

CITY LOCAL NEWS. Dr. H.B. Esmond, homeopathic physician of Walden [Malden], Mass., has opened an office at 171 South Main street. Dr. Esmond comes to St. Albans well recommended. He graduated at the Buffalo medical college in 1886, past graduate N.Y. Homeopathic college in 1889 with a special course at London, Eng., in 1891 (St. Albans Daily Messenger (St. Albans, VT), June 22, 1898).

CITY LOCAL NEWS. A dog chased a skunk on to Dr. H.B. Esmond’s veranda last evening and for an hour he held possession of the doctor’s entrance. It would not leave and it was necessary to shoot it (St. Albans Daily Messenger (St. Albans, VT), October 8, 1898).

CITY LOCAL NEWS. Dr. H.B. Esmond left this morning for Stowe where he is to open an office (St. Albans Daily Messenger (St. Albans, VT), November 30, 1898).

ALMOST A MIRACLE. Maine Wesleyan Seminary, W.W. Norcross, Steward, Kents Hill, Me., April 6, 1899. To whom it may concern: I take pleasure in testifying to my confidence in the professional skill of Dr. H.B. Esmond of Stowe, Vt. I called him some 200 miles in the fall of 1897 to attend my wife who had been suffering for two years with what was pronounced by several of the best physicians in New England as Cancer of the liver and a “hopeless case,” her sickness accompanied at times with terrible distress – morphine the only relief. During one of these was Dr. Esmond’s first visit. Under his treatment she rallied – recovered entirely from the distress spells – returned gradually to her usual flesh (she had lost 80 lbs.) and accustomed health. To all who have seen her it seems like a miracle and has caused wide comment among the medical profession. Very truly, W.W NORCROSS. P.S. Mr. Norcross will answer any letter of inquiry if a stamp is enclosed (The Enterprise and Vermonter (Vergennes, VT), April 21, 1899).

Henry B. Esmond, a physician, aged thirty-five years (b. ME), headed a West Fairlee, VT, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his mother, Persis R. Bradbury, aged sixty-four years (b. ME), his cousin, Effie E. Bailey, a nurse, aged twenty-two years (b. ME), and his boarder, Ernest A. Lang, at school, aged sixteen years (b. VT). Henry B. Esmond owned their house, but with a mortgage. He was said to be a widower. Persis R. Bradbury was the mother of nine children, of whom four were still living.

H.B. Esmond, of West Fairlee, VT, was registered as a licensed physician in California, June 28, 1901.

MILLER’S POND. Dr. H.B. Esmond was called to see Mrs. M.G. Kenison the first of the week (Herald and News (Randolph, VT), January 16, 1902).

MILLER’S POND. Mrs. Latouch has been on the sick list and under the treatment of Dr. H.B. Esmond. (Herald and News (Randolph, VT), January 30, 1902).

MILLER’S POND. DEFERRED. Charlie George has been very sick with typhoid fever at Mrs. M.G. Kenison’s. He was attended by Dr. H.B. Esmond. He is on the gain at this writing (Chelsea Herald (Randolph, VT), June 26, 1902).

THE PUTNEY COLUMN. Dr. H.B. Esmond of Fairlee, after coming to Putney and looking over the location, has decided to settle here for the practice of medicine. Dr. Esmond is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, the New York Medical College, and ln 1891 took a special course of study in England (Vermont Phoenix (Brattleboro, VT, November 2, 1902).

THE PUTNEY COLUMN. Dr. H.B. Esmond of Fairlee, whose decision to locate in Putney was announced in The Phoenix several weeks ago, came with his household furniture Tuesday. He has engaged a tenement In one of A.W.J. Wilkins’s houses (Vermont Phoenix (Brattleboro, VT, November 28, 1902).

Minor Locals. Mayor Grime has received a letter from Dr. H.B. Esmond of Putney, Vt., stating that he would furnish a home to the right sort of a boy, from 14 to 17 years of age. Mayor Grime will furnish details upon application (Fall River Daily Evening News (Fall River, MA), December 31, 1904).

THE PUTNEY COLUMN. Dr. H.B. Esmond is breaking up housekeeping. He will board at the hotel (Vermont Phoenix (Brattleboro, VT, June 2, 1905).

THE PUTNEY COLUMN. Dr. H.B. Esmond has settled In Bondville for the practice of medicine. A correspondent of that village writes as follows to the Londonderry Sifter: “He is a graduate of the Medical College of Indiana, 1886, of the University of Tennessee at Nashville, Tenn., and of the New York Medical college. He took a special course of study in Europe in 1891. He has had four years of hospital experience and has been in practice about 18 years” (Vermont Phoenix (Brattleboro, VT, August 4, 1905).

Henry B. Esmond (“name of Esmond legalized”) married (2nd) in Everett, MA, March 7, 1906, Anna Frances ((Humphreys) [Coffin]) Blaney, he of Bondville, VT, and she of 37 Summer Street, in Everett. He was a physician, aged forty years (b. Norway, ME), and she was a divorced music teacher, aged thirty-one years (b. Beverly, MA). Rev. W.I. Sweet performed the ceremony. She was born in Manchester, MA, circa 1873, daughter of Francis and Emily O. (Dennis) Humphreys.

BONDVILLE. Dr. Esmond’s Marriage. A local news paragraph in the Lynn, Mass., Item of March 10 says: Dr. Henry B. Esmond, of Bondville, Vt., and Anna F. Humphreys of Lynn, were married by Rev. W.I. Sweet, pastor of the First Congregational church, Everett, Wednesday evening, March 7. Mrs. Humphreys is from one of the prominent Lynn families and is an accomplished musician, having had an extensive and liberal musical education in this country and in Europe. For several years she has been the leading teacher on piano in the Bostonia Academy of Music and Art, under the management of Signor Angelo Teasta. Dr. Esmond is a leading physician in Vermont, being well and favorably known in southern Vermont, where he has an extensive practice. He is an author of several essays on medical practice and kindred subjects. A wedding reception was given by the bride’s mother, Mrs. J.A. Balcom, at her home, 199 Chatham street, Lynn, when a large number of friends brought congratulations. Dr. and Mrs. Esmond, after a short bridal tour, will be at home on Wednesdays in March at their home in Bondville (Vermont Phoenix (Brattleboro, VT), March 16, 1906).

[Attorney] A.V.D. Piper was called to Bondville Friday on the assault case of Dr. H.B. Esmond upon his wife last Tuesday. Dr. Esmond has left for parts unknown (Vermont Phoenix (Brattleboro, VT), [Friday,] May 24, 1907).

BONDVILLE. Dr. Esmond has packed his goods and stored them in Mrs. H.A. Benson’s barn, He took his horses and wagons and went East (Vermont Phoenix (Brattleboro, VT), July 12, 1907).

GAYSVILLE. Dr. Esmond of Guilford was in town last week looking for a tenement. It has since been reported that he is to locate in Bethel (Bethel Courier (Bethel, VT), October 24, 1907).

Esmond, HB - BC071219Bethel Local Intelligence. Dr. H.B. Esmond of Brattleboro will settle in Bethel for the practice of medicine. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Nashville, the New York Medical college and has taken a post-graduate course of medical study in London, England. His office and residence will be on River street. Dr. Esmond has practised medicine eighteen years, of which nine were in Vermont and six in Maine. He is a widower and his family consists of himself and his mother (Herald and News (Randolph, VT), November 21, 1907).

Esmond, HB - HN080430RANDOLPH. Fleda, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. White, after a years illness from a complication of diseases, is now so much better that she is able to be dressed and about the house. She was taken in December of 1906 with violent hiccoughing, nausea and great distress of the stomach, and the attack was followed by cerebro-spinal meningitis, from which she partially recovered, only to suffer a relapse that left her with a chronic spinal trouble. A tumor then developed in the stomach, and the frequent gathering and breaking of abscesses, with constant distress and nausea, made it impossible for scarcely any food to be retained. This painful condition continued for nearly a year in spite of every effort made for her relief, but in the last few weeks she has gained steadily under the treatment of Dr. H.B. Esmond of Bethel, to whose home she went the 23d inst. in order to be more easily cared for (Herald and News (Randolph, VT), January 30, 1908).

H. Bradbury Esmond married (3rd) in Claremont, NH, May 8, 1909, Fleda M. White, he of Bellows Falls, VT, and she of Randolph, VT. He was a surgeon, aged thirty-eight years (b. S. Corner, ME), and she was at home, aged nineteen years (b. Randolph, VT). She was born in Randolph, VT, July 10, 1890, daughter of Charles J. and Matilda (Harper) White.

BETHEL BUSINESS. Press despatches from Claremont, N.H., Saturday announce the marriage that day of Dr. H.B. Esmond and Miss Fleda White, both of this village, quite recently (Montpelier Evening Argus (Montpelier, VT), [Wednesday,] May 12, 1909).

LUDLOW. Dr. H.B. Esmond has given up practice here and removed to West Bridgewater (Rutland Daily Herald (Rutland, VT), September 23, 1909).

James B. Wallace, [living on his] own income, aged seventy-one years (b. VT), headed a Concord, VT, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his boarder, Henry B. Esmond, a physician, aged forty-three years (b. ME). James B. Wallace owned their farm on the East Concord Road, free-and-clear.

RANDOLPH. Mrs. Fleda (White) Esmond was examined Saturday by Drs. J.P. Gifford and F.C. Angell, who pronounced her mentally unbalanced, and, on the order of the selectmen and overseer of the poor, she was taken to Waterbury Monday by D.D. Howe for observation at the state hospital for the insane. She will remain there until Jan. 4, when a hearing to decide her case will be held in M.M. Wilson’s office before Probate Judge G.L. Stow, with State’s Attorney Stanley C. Wilson of Chelsea present. Mrs. Esmond is a daughter of Charles J. White of Beanville and is in only her 22nd year. She has been a nervous invalid since she was 12 or 13, suffering from continual hiccoughing, and for relief from this affliction she became a patient of Dr. H.B. Esmond, then of Bethel, to whom she was afterwards married in Brattleboro (Bethel Courier (Bethel, VT), December 29, 1910).

Windsor County Court. Fleda May Esmond vs. Henry B. Esmond, divorce. Bill was granted for desertion and neglect to support (Herald and News (Randolph, VT), August 27, 1914).

Henry Esmond married (4th) in Upper Alton, IL, February 15, 1915, Martha Judy (Barber) Herrin. She was born in Troy, IL, June 4, 1858, daughter of Lyman and Elizabeth A. Barber.

Henry B. Esmond appeared in the St. Albans, VT, directory of 1915, as a physician (homeopathic), with his house and office at 70 S. Main street.

Transfers of Real Estate. Dr. H.B. Esmond, of Congress St., has purchased Nathan L. Skinner’s house on South Main st.; Mr. Skinner has bought Edward Sweeney’s house, two houses south on the same street; and Mr. Sweeney has purchased the house of W.O. Morton on High st. The transfers will be made June 1. The considerations named was nominal (St. Albans Daily Messenger (St. Albans, VT), May 17, 1915).

Will Attend Medical Convention. Dr. H.B. Esmond, of South Main St., has gone to Chicago to attend a medical convention which will be in session for about 10 days. At this convention there are two international and one national medical associations, each of which has a three days’ session. It is expected that the physicians from all over the United States, its possessions, and several foreign countries, will be represented. Among the many important subjects to be discussed will be the cause and treatment of infantile paralysis, and the medical treatment of appendicitis (St. Albans Daily Messenger (St. Albans, VT), September 20, 1917).

PERSONAL AND SOCIAL. Dr. H.B. Esmond, of South Main St., who, for the past few months hat been doing medical work on the east Eide of the state, under the auspices of the Volunteer Medical Service, has returned to this city and will resume the practice of medicine here (St. Albans Daily Messenger (St. Albans, VT), March 25, 1919).

WIFE WANTS DIVORCE. Claims Her Husband Deceived Her About His Age. St. Albans, Nov. 17 From the matrimonial bureau to the divorce court is the four and a half years’ history of the case of Mrs. Martha Esmond vs. Dr. Henry B. Esmond, trial of which was suspended in Franklin county court late Saturday morning when a recess was taken to the first Monday in January, 1920, after the libellant had rested and the libelee had stated that it would be impossible to put in his evidence in less than two days. Judge Harrie B. Chase, who is presiding, was obliged to leave here Saturday and his time will be occupied in other courts until next year. After the libellant rested, the libelee made a motion for dismissal, which was denied. Trial of the case was begun last Thursday afternoon. The grounds alleged are intolerable severity and neglect and refusal to support, and Mrs. Esmond bases her accusation of intolerable severity partially upon the doctor’s alleged deception and fraud regarding his past life. It appeared, according to the libelant’s testimony, that, although Dr. Esmond represented himself, when he replied to her matrimonial advertisement, as a man of good character and standing, he was arrested while he and Mrs. Emond were on their wedding trip to Toronto, and also various matters regarding her husband’s past life have come to Mrs. Esmond’s attention from time to time. She testified that on her second visit to him when he was in jail she received a message before she reached him telling her to call for Marcus Eastman. In the trial of the case Policeman Dawson of Toronto testified that the man gave the name of Marcus Eastman when he was arrested. Mrs. Esmond testified regarding to the use of profane, abusive and vile language as the result of which she suffered from loss of sleep, could not eat, her nerves were impaired and she was obliged to seek advice from doctors. It was brought out that to this date she does not know on what charge her husband was arrested at Toronto. A series of exhibits were offered by the libellant as follows: A copy of an indictment filed in 1890 in the United States district court in Boston, containing a plea of guilty, by Henry Freeland Bradbury, setting up that Bradbury undertook to make fraudulent use of the mails by sending out pamphlets advertising falsely that there was a medical school at Bennington of which he was dean. The purpose was to get people to purchase from him bogus certificates and diplomas to practice medicine. A certificate of probate records in Boston, subsequent to the plea of guilty, whereby Henry Freeland Bradbury changed his name to Henry Bradbury Esmond. Copy of a decree of divorce secured at the June, 1907, term of Bennington county court by Anna S. Esmond, for intolerable severity. Copy of a bill of divorce granted to Fleda C. Esmond at the June, 1914, term of Windsor county court for intolerable severity. Saturday morning the indictment and plea of guilty in U.S. court were admitted temporarily by the court but later in an attempt to expedite the trial, the admission was withdrawn and the court suspended during on any of the offers until the reconvening of the court in January (Barre Daily Times (Barre, VT), November 17, 1919).

DR. ESMOND TESTIFIES HE BEAT FORMER WIFE. St. Albans, Jan. 6. – Trial of the case of Mrs. Martha J. Esmond vs. Dr. Henry B. Esmond, divorce, was resumed in Franklin county court this morning at nine o’clock with Dr. Esmond still on the stand under examination. Not until nearly noon were the examination by C.O. Austin, cross-examination by George M. Hogan and redirect examination completed. A.H. George was the next witness. In the examination to-day Dr. Esmond testified that the relations between himself and Mrs. Esmond were always pleasant and happy until the fall of 1918 when Mrs. Esmond rented rooms in the house during the doctor’s temporary absence from home. He testified that up to last spring the income from his medical practice was from $1,000 to $1,200 and this was expended on the family and property. In a gruelling cross-examination during which many exceptions were asked and granted Dr. Esmond admitted that in conversation with Mrs. Esmond before their marriage he had told her of a prosecution of himself in court in 1907 on the charge of pounding and assaulting a former wife to which he pleaded guilty and paid a fine. He was asked whether he ever told this wife before marriage of going by the following names: E.L. Needham. H.G. Bradbury, P.R. Bradbury, H.B. Freeland, P. Whipley Bradbury, P.G., Bradbury and E.A. Bradbury. He replied that he never did. When asked if he told her that he formerly went by the name of Harry Freeland, Bradbury replied that he did, that was his name. Dr. Esmond said he told his wife that two former wives had secured divorces from him and also told her he had pleaded guilty to a federal indictment against him In the United States court in Boston. A certified copy of the indictment was admitted as evidence under objection by the libellee’s counsel. The indictment was for misuse of the mails to issue bogus medical diplomas from a medical college in Bennington known as Trinity University, of which he was an official (Burlington Free Press, January 8, 1920).

GRANTED DIVORCE FROM DOCTOR. Mrs. Martha J. Esmond Wins Case in Franklin County Court. St. Albans, Jan. 10. Before taking final adjournment for the September term of Franklin county court to-day, Judge Harrie B. Chase granted a divorce to Mrs. Martha J. Esmond from her husband, Dr. Henry B. Esmond, whom she charged with intolerable severity. The case had been on trial for several days. Dr. Esmond is given $1,500 interest in the house of which he and Mrs. Esmond hold a joint deed (Barre Daily Times (Barre, VT), January 10, 1920).

Henry B. Esmond, a physician, aged fifty-one years (b. ME), headed a St. Albans, VT, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. He was divorced. He owned his house, free-and-clear.

CITY IN BRIEF. “FROM MY POINT of view vivisection is an unnecessary waste of time and money and is the cause of incalculable and uncalled-for suffering, the results of which are the most unreliable of any to be obtained in experimental medicine or laboratory work” H.B. Esmond, M.D., Ph.D., St. Albans, Vermont. Free literature. Box 1056, Spokane -Adv (Spokane Chronicle, March 4, 1926).

CHARLESTOWN, N.H. Dr. Henry B. Esmond, who has been located here for about a year, has moved to Milton Mills (Springfield Reporter (Springfield, VT), January 30, 1930).

His time in Milton Mills seems to have been quite brief – even briefer than his usual sojourn – perhaps as much as six months, but certainly for less than a year. Henry B. Esmond, M.D., of Milton Mills, signed the death certificates of Isaac Hussey (d. of heart disease, Milton Mills, March 31, 1930, aged eighty-six years), Ida R. (Eastman) Libby (d. of heart disease, Milton Mills, April 5, 1930, aged seventy-six years), James C. Hawksworth (d. of uremia, Milton Mills, April 28, 1930, aged seventy-one years), and perhaps others.

Henry B. Esmond, a general practice physician, aged sixty-one years (b. ME), headed a Milton (“Milton Mills Village”) household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census [April 5, 1930]. His household included his servant, George Barney, an odd jobs laborer, aged seventeen years (b. MA). Henry B. Esmond rented their house on Highland Street, for $10 per month.

Henry B. Esmond married (5th), in Buffalo, NY, October 18, 1933, Annie Ironside, he of Cumberland, ME, and she of Buffalo, NY.

MAINE DOCTOR, 64, WEDS BUFFALO WOMAN OF 70. BUFFALO, N.Y., Oct 20 (A.P.) After a 13-year romance a 70-year-old Buffalo woman and a 64-year-old Maine doctor have been married here, the bride revealed today. She is now Mrs. Henry B. Esmond. The doctor is a resident of Cumberland, Me., his bride, the former Mrs. Annie Ironside, explained. The doctor returned to Cumberland immediately after the ceremony yesterday, and Mrs. Esmond plans to join him in about a week (Boston Globe, October 21, 1933).

HARMONY. Dr. H.B. Esmond of Casco was calling on friends in town Sunday (Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), June 1, 1935).

Henry B. Esmond, a medical doctor, aged seventy-one years (b. ME), headed an Andover, ME, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his servant, Romeo Grondin, a private family servant, aged twenty-seven years (b. ME). Henry B. Esmond rented their house on Main Street, for $15 per month. He was a widower, with five years of college, who had resided in Casco, ME, in 1935. (Grondin had resided in Lewiston ME, in 1935).

No mention of him has come to hand after the October 1940 notation in his Social Security file regarding the spelling of his name. He is buried with his Bradbury family in Norway, ME.


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Milton and the Horne Murder – 1939

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | December 5, 2019

Milton barber John H. Howland brutally murdered Miss Maude F. Horne in her Farmington Road (now Elm Street) home on Friday night, February 3, 1939, after 8:00 P.M.

Howland escaped in his victim’s black 1935 Plymouth automobile, accompanied by his teenage cousin.

The Victim

Maude Francis Horne was born in Milton, July 9, 1877, daughter of John R. and Olive R. (Corson) Horne. Her mother died in Milton, May 22, 1879 (before Maude’s second birthday).

Miss Horne attended Nute High School with one of its first classes (probably during the tenure of Principal Norton). She taught in Milton schools for several years after graduation. Thereafter, she worked in Milton’s shoe industry as a shoe stitcher, shoe repairer, shoe operative, etc.

Susan F. Horne, aged fifty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. Her household included her brother, John R. Horne, a widowed farm laborer, aged forty-seven years (b. NH), her sister, Martha A. Horne, aged forty-five years (b. NH), and her niece, Maude F. Horne, a school teacher, aged twenty-three years (b. NH).

John R. Horne, a general farm farmer, aged fifty-four years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his sister, Mattie A. Horne, aged fifty-five years (b. NH), and his daughter, Maude F. Horne, a shoe factory stitcher, aged thirty-two years (b. NH). John R. Horne owned their farm on the Plummer’s Ridge Road.

John R. Horne, a farmer, aged sixty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his sister, Mattie A. Horne, aged sixty-four years (b. NH), and his daughter, Maude F. Horne, a shoe shop shoe repairer, aged forty-two years (b. NH). John R. Horne owned their farm on the Plummer’s Ridge Road.

John R. Horne, a widower, aged seventy-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fourteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his sister, Mattie A. Horne, aged seventy-five years (b. NH), and his daughter, Maude F. Horne, a shoe factory operator, aged fifty-two years (b. NH). John R. Horne rented their house on Silver Street, for $10 per month. They did not have a radio set.

Maude’s father, John R. Horne, died in Milton, April 11, 1938. Her uncle, Charles A. Horne, a retired Milton meat merchant, died in Milton, October 10, 1938. Her aunt, Martha A. “Mattie” Horne, died at Plummer’s Ridge in Milton October 22, 1938. Maude supplied the personal information for all their death records.

Miss Horne moved from her rented place on Silver Street to her late Uncle Charles’ house on the Farmington Road (now Elm Street). She was said to have felt uneasy there, which she attributed to living alone for the first time in her life.

The Murderer

John Henry “Henry” Howland was born in Stoneham, MA, April 23, 1913, son of Norman and Anna Rose (Burbine) Howland. (He sometimes used the alias John Norman Howland).

His criminal record commenced when he was about thirteen years of age. Police arrested him in Charleston, WV, on suspicion of burglary, June 26, 1927. He posted a $1,000 bond and was released pending trial. A jury convicted him of an auto theft in Monroe, WA, May 16, 1929, for which he received a three-to-five-year sentence.

John H. Howland, an inmate, aged twenty years (b. MA), was imprisoned in the WA State Reformatory in Park Place, Snohomish, WA, at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. Prison authorities assigned him to the building labor detail there; he was said also to have been married when he was sixteen years of age, which they took to be circa 1925-26. (In point of fact, he would have been only about sixteen years of age as of this census enumeration, and not the twenty years that he claimed).

A Bexar County, TX, jury convicted him of an auto theft in Austin, TX, January 26, 1931, for which he received a five-year sentence.

John Howland of Middletown, OH, pled guilty to stealing an automobile from Middletown auto dealer R. Shetter, July 10, 1935, and he received an indeterminate (one-to-twenty years) sentence in September 1935 (Journal News (Hamilton, OH), September 13, 1935). He received a parole from the Ohio State Farm on August 1, 1938, just six months before he murdered Miss Horne.

Several accounts describe Howland as an ex-Navy man, sailor or “gob.” One imagines his service, if any there actually was, to have been brief. He did have a tattoo of a girl’s head and the legend “San Juan,” which might suggest time spent in Puerto Rico. Of course, there are San Juans in Mexico too, and he had spent “time” in neighboring Texas. Howland claimed to have been in the Navy just before getting hired at the Salem Shoe company in Milton, whereas he had actually been just before a prisoner at the Ohio State Farm.

John H. Howland came to Milton due to the presence here of his mother, Mrs. Anna R. “Rose” ((Burbine) Howland) Abrams. She was employed in nursing Maude F. Horne’s uncle, Charles A. Horne, during his final illness. (Her sister and her sister’s family lived also in town).

Howland was in town for less than six months. He took initially a job at the Salem Shoe company factory, and resided with his mother in the ailing Horne’s Farmington Road (now Elm Street) house. Uncle Charles died in Milton, October 10, 1938.

At some point, Howland’s mother left for Reading, MA. Howland remained behind in Milton. He was working in Hervey C. Tanner’s Milton barber shop at the time of the murder.

Maude F. Horne accused him of having stolen $100 worth of household items from her late uncle’s house after his death.

The Cousin

Aida Elizabeth Butler was born in Milton, February 3, 1924, daughter of Edward T. and Margaret J. (Burbine) Butler. Her mother and Howland’s mother were sisters, which made her a first cousin to Howland.

Edward T. Butler, a leather-board mill engineer, aged forty years (b. MA), headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Margaret J. [(Burbine)] Butler, aged thirty-four years (b. MA), and his children, Charles E. Butler, aged fifteen years (b. MA), Benjamin F. Butler, aged thirteen years (b. MA), Margaret E. Butler, aged twelve years (b. NH), John P. Butler, aged eleven years (b. NH), Walter F. Butler, aged nine years (b. NH), Patrick Butler, aged seven years (b. NH), Aida E. Butler, aged six years (b. NH), Thomas U. Butler, aged three years (b. NH), Grace A. Butler, aged one year (b. NH), and George F. Butler, aged three months (b. NH). Edward T. Butler owned their house on North Main Street, which was valued at $1,000. They had a radio set. Fred Chamberlain, a State Road commissioner, aged seventy years (b. NH), was their neighbor.

Aida E. Butler was a student at Nute High School at the time of the murder. Police did not consider her to be an active participant, although she was present at the scene and fled with the murderer on his cross-country getaway. Police arrested her with him on a sort of “holding” charge of flight to avoid testifying. She was slated to be a witness against him, but was never called, as he pled guilty at his trial.

Horne-Howland - BG390206Hunt Young Barber, Girl In Brutal Horne Murder. N.H. Warrant Charges John N. Howland With Slaying Spinster – Seen in House. Special Dispatch to the Globe. MILTON, N.H., Feb. 5. – A warrant charging John N. Howland, 25-year-old barber, with the murder of Miss Maude F. Horne, 61, was issued tonight by Sheriff Clyde R. Cotton. Police throughout New Hampshire and other New England states were immediately asked to aid in the search for the youth, who disappeared from his home here late Friday night. In the same interstate teletype broadcast, state officials asked that a 15-year-old girl who disappeared from her home here at the same time be taken into custody for questioning. Both Howland and the high school girl were placed in Miss Horne’s home here early Friday evening by a neighbor. State Police said that they believe that the girl was a witness to the murder. Three men’s handkerchiefs, used as a gag to shut off the cries of the elderly spinster-victim, were being held by Sheriff Cotton as one of the most Important bits of evidence in the case. The handkerchiefs, Cotton said, bear the initial “H.” Additional evidence was found, the sheriff reported, that the slayer washed his hands and possibly the murder weapon in the kitchen sink in the murdered woman’s home. Bits of human hair found in the sink will be examined tomorrow to determine if it is that of Miss Horne. The murder warrant was issued by Cotton soon after he received the report on an autopsy performed by Dr. Ralph Miller, state pathologist, of Hanover, and Dr. Forest L. Keay, medical referee of Stafford County, stating that Miss Horne “died an agonizing death.” Atty. Gen. Thomas P. Cheney stated that Drs. Miller and Keay said “without qualification” that Miss Horne died in the room where the body was found, from a combination of fractures of the skull and suffocation.

Neighbor’s Tale. “Three handkerchiefs were packed in her mouth,” the doctors’ report read, “displacing her tongue to the extent that it entirely cut off all supply of air. The victim bled profusely. Either the head injuries or suffocation might have caused death.” Sought with Howland is a high school girl who was last reported seen Friday night with the murder suspect in Miss Horne’s home. Earlier on the same night she had told her mother that she was going to a basket-ball game at Somersworth, but nobody has been found who saw her at the game. Mrs. Charlotte Garyait, a neighbor of the murder victim, told state officers today that she visited Miss Horne on Friday night, arriving at the Horne residence at 7:15 and leaving at 7:45. At 7:30, she said, Howland and the 15-year-old girl arrived to visit with Miss Horne. They were still there when she left, Mrs. Garyait said.

Arthur P. Garyait, a fibreboard mill moulder, aged thirty-six years (b. ME), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Charlotte E. [(Wiggin)] Garyait, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), and his children, Richard Garyait, aged ten years (b. NH), and Barbara Garyait, aged seven years (b. NH). Arthur P. Garyait owned their house on the Farmington Road (now Elm Street), which was valued at $700.

Familiar With House. Police said that Howland, a former sailor, was thoroughly familiar with the house in which the murder occurred. Last Fall when his mother, Mrs. Rose Abrams, now of Reading, Mass., was nursing Charles A. Horne, an uncle of Miss Horne, he stayed at the house nights to assist her. Miss Horne, a resident of this town all her life, went to live in the murder house only last October after the death of her uncle. It was believed that she inherited a sizable fortune at that time. Investigators also learned today from neighbors of the murdered spinster that for two weeks before her sudden death she lived in fear for her life. On several occasions she told friends that she feared to go to bed at night, and had slept in an armchair on the first floor of the small house. She was never alone before, she said, and she couldn’t get used to it. The missing Howland had told townspeople for a week before his disappearance that he was planning to go South. Three or four days before the murder he told the postmaster that he wished his mail held for him because he would be out of town for several weeks. Howland is described in the teletype messages sent out by the New Hampshire State Police as being six feet tall and weighing 190 pounds. He is fond of music, the message stated, and plays several musical instruments. A girl’s head is tattooed on his upper right arm and shoulder over a date and the words, “San Juan.” The 15-year-old girl, believed to be with the youth, is described as being five feet, two inches tall and weighing 118 pounds. When last seen she was wearing a brown ski suit, plaid jacket and brown overshoes. She wore no hat.

Put Suitcase in Auto. After leaving the Navy, Howland worked for a time at the Salem Shoe factory here and most recently as a barber. Fellow employees at the factory knew him little, declare that he seemed to prefer the company of women to that of men. Hervey Tanner, owner of the barber shop in which the youth worked most recently said today that Howland a few days ago offered to sell him a “Tommy-gun” for $40. Tanner was unable to tell officials whether Howland had any ammunition for the machine gun. Miss Evelyn Paey, 27, was minding Tanner’s children on Friday night, she told police when she looked out the window of the Tanner home and saw Howland packing a suitcase into the rear of an automobile. She was unable to describe the auto, which police believe may have been that of Miss Horne which has not been seen since the time of the murder. The murder weapon has not been found. Because of the type of wounds on the victim’s head, police think that the weapon may have been a heavy flashlight. The death of Miss Horne was the fourth in her family within a period of 10 months. Her father. John, died last April, and her uncle, Charles, and aunt, Mattie Horne, died last October (Boston Globe, February 6, 1939).

One wonders if Howland had ever actually had a Thompson submachine gun (“Tommy gun”) or whether that was just some sort of scam. (His $40 asking price would have the current value of about $732). Howland was a felon many times over. An actual submachine gun would have been illegal to possess under the National Firearms Act of 1934. So, it would have been impossible for him to have acquired one, right?

George W. Paey, foreman of a shoe shop finishing room, aged sixty-eight years (b. MA), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Josie M. [(Downs)] Paey, aged sixty-two years (b. NH), his sister-in-law, Hattie E. [(Downs)] Hartford, a widow [of Fred S. Downs], aged sixty-nine years (b. NH), and his daughter, Evelyn Paey, a private home houseworker, aged thirty years (b. NH). George W. Paey owned their house on Silver Street, which was valued at $800.

Miss Paey lived on Silver Street, but she saw Howland putting his suitcase in Miss Horne’s car from a window at Hervey C. Tanner’s house on Mill street. One might infer that Howland lived also on Mill street.

Hervey C. Tanner, a barber shop barber, aged thirty-five years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Yvonne E. [(Lessard)] Tanner, a shoe shop stitcher, aged twenty-nine years (b. NH), and his children, Hervey C. Tanner, Jr., aged four years (b. NH), and Patrick Tanner, aged two years (b. NH). Hervey C. Tanner owned their house in the “Milton Community” (Mill street) which was valued at $1,500.

Arrest Asked of Howland in N.H. Murder. ROCHESTER. N. H., Feb. 8 – Maj. Ralph W. Caswell, deputy superintendent of the New Hampshire State Police, today sent to large cities throughout the country circulars asking for the arrest of John Henry Howland on a warrant charging murder. Howland, police say, is on parole from the Ohio State Prison. He is wanted, says the circular, for the murder last Friday of Miss Maude Horne, 61, of Milton, N.H. Howland has been sought for four days, ever since Miss Horne’s battered body was discovered. Also missing is Aida Butler, 15-year-old cousin of Howland, who is believed to have gone with him. The circular says that Howland, who is 25 years old, has a record at “Charleston, W. Va.; Monroe, Wash.; Austin, Tex.; Texas State Penitentiary, and was paroled Aug. 1, 1938, from London, O., state farm.” In Ohio, Howland was serving a one to twenty-year sentence for larceny. Investigators hoped today that need of money would send Howland to acquaintances, many of whom are known (Boston Globe, February 8, 1939).

Howland, John - BG390208BLOODY PRINT SPURS SEARCH FOR HOWLAND. Special Dispatch to the Globe MILTON, N.H., Feb. 7. The imprint of a bloody hand on a door jamb in the little white house where elderly Miss Maude Horne was slain last Friday night definitely connects John Henry Howland, missing prison parolee and amateur song writer, with the crime, state officers said tonight. Since Saturday morning, state fingerprint expert Ivan Hayes has been working in the murder-house. The gruesome mark on the doorway leading from the living room to the kitchen and prints of a couple of fingers found on a water dipper are the best of those which he believes are connected with the crime. Classifications of Howland’s finger prints arrived here today from the Ohio State Prison where the suspect was imprisoned a couple of years ago on an automobile theft charge. Other prints are expected within the next day from Washington.

Nation-Wide Hunt On. After County Solicitor John F. Beamis and state and local police officials had an opportunity to check the prints received from Ohio with photographs of those found in the Horne home, the technical classification of the wanted man’s finger prints were sent to every state in the country. Deputy Supt. of State Police Maj. Ralph W. Caswell announced the finding of the prints on the door jamb and their importance in the search for Howland. Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation searched Howland’s home here today and seized several of his personal articles, including a bundle of letters. Maj. Caswell denied tonight rumors that any of the bundle of letters taken by police from the Howland home contained “love-letters” from admirers of the missing man.

Butler, Aida E - Amazon
Sought by Police: Aida Butler, 15

Believe Girl Innocent. There is a feeling here that Howland, who so far as anybody knows had little or no money last weekend, may seek out some one of his old friends for assistance. Authorities said today that although they believe that Howland’s cousin, 15-year-old Aida Butler, was present at the. time of the murder, evidence points to the fact that she took no active part in the crime and may have been forced to accompany Howland when he quit town. The girl’s mother, Mrs. Edward Butler, sister of Mrs. Rose Howland Abrams, Howland’s mother, has repeatedly said that she was sure that Aida did not leave town of her own volition. Mrs. Butler pointed out that when her daughter left home Friday night, ostensibly to go to a basket-ball game with Howland, she wore no hat and only everyday sports clothes.

Services for Victim. Funeral services were held this afternoon in a heavy snowstorm for Miss Horne at the Edgerly Funeral Home. Only a few relatives and friends were present. Rev. Leland Maxfield of the Baptist Church officiated. After the services, the body was removed to the Rochester Cemetery. Awaited by police is the complete report of Dr. Ralph Miller, state pathologist, who performed an autopsy last Saturday and has since had the vital organs of the murdered woman and also bits of hair found in the sink of the Horne home in his laboratory at Hanover. The hair, police said, was apparently washed off the murder weapon in the kitchen sink by the murderer before he quit the house. There is a chance, the authorities declare, that there may be further proof of the identity of the murderer in the pathologist’s final report.

Leland Maxfield, a minister, aged thirty years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Elizabeth [(Bronson)] Maxfield, aged twenty-seven years (b. NY), and his boarders, Mary E. Willard, aged twenty-nine years (b. MA), and Mary E. Sherborne, aged twenty-three years (b. ME). Leland Maxfield rented their house on Church Street, for $10 per month.

Slaying Motive Advanced. The theory that Miss Horne’s death may have been connected in some way with a series of petty thefts from the home of her late uncle, Charles Horne, who died last October, was put forward tonight by one of the state officers investigating the crime. Rumors have been circulating in this tiny town since the murder that it was because the elderly woman learned of the thefts which totaled less than $100 and threatened to expose the thief, that she was slain. When Miss Horne inherited the property of her uncle, she also inherited an inventory of all the physical goods in the estate. It was after checking the furnishings in her uncle’s house against this list, that she allegedly confronted the thief with her evidence (Boston Globe, February 8, 1939).

Five-State Hunt for Howland in N.H. Murder. MILTON, N.H., Feb. 9 – Police authorities in five states were co-operating today with county investigators in their search for John Henry Howland, chief suspect in the slaying last Friday of Miss Maude Horne, and for his 15-year-old cousin and supposed companion, Aida Butler. Acting on reports that the wanted couple were seen last Sunday afternoon in Ossipee, 36 miles from here, New Hampshire State Police this morning resumed their search of all empty camps and buildings in Ossipee seeking to uncover some clew as to their whereabouts. Meanwhile Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York authorities were endeavoring to check the report of a Boston bus driver that a man and woman resembling Howland and his young cousin had boarded a New York-bound bus with another, couple in Providence last Sunday night and left at Southport, Conn., when their money ran out.

Bus driver Edward S. White’s information was inaccurate. Howland and Butler never boarded his bus, nor were they accompanied by another couple. They had Miss Horne’s automobile.

Driver Roxbury Man. The driver, Edward S. White, 30, of Roxbury, who supplied the information last night at Boston Police Headquarters, said the two couples left the bus Monday morning at 4:10 and asked him how far it was to New York. White was uncertain about the identification of Howland and said he was “positive” in his identification of the Butler girl’s picture. Although sought for questioning by investigators here, the girl, who disappeared Friday night after leaving her home to attend a basket-ball game, is believed by authorities to be innocent of all connection with the murder. White told Boston police that one of the two men wore a navy uniform and the other, dressed in civilian clothes, carried a Gladstone bag. The other girl was tall, dark and about 27 years old, the driver said. His attention was attracted to the couples at the Providence terminal, White stated, when he was told by the ticket agent that when the men purchased tickets they asked him how far the four could travel for $2.50 each. The agent told them that Southport, Conn., was the limit for that sum and the men bought tickets to that point (Boston Globe, February 9, 1939).

Plymouth - 1935SLAYER OF MILTON WOMAN STILL AT LARGE. Near a week has elapsed since the body of Miss Maude Horne, a well-known Milton woman and murder victim, was found in her home on the Farmington road early last Saturday evening. John H. Howland and a 15 years old girl, a cousin of the accused, are at large and the objects of a countrywide search, as Howland is suspected of the slaying of Miss Horne. The story of this brutal assault and the death of Miss Horne, has featured [in] daily newspapers since the finding of the body. Town, state, county and Federal officers have been working on the case. Every effort is being made to trace them together, separately, or in connection with a black 1935 Plymouth coach, the property of the murdered woman, which bore registration plates N.H. 51839, and in which it is alleged Howland and his companion made their getaway. The identification of the missing pair sought in connection with the death of Miss Horne, has definitively established Howland as an ex-Navy man and he has a long criminal record from which finger prints have been compared with those found at the scene of the crime. His companion is a high school girl, known to everybody in her home town and never before has been charged with reprehensible conduct. Miss Horne was a native and lifelong resident of Milton and one of its most esteemed women. She was 61 years old, the daughter of the late John and Olive (Corson) Horne. She was a member of one of the first classes to graduate from Nute high school in her native town, and subsequently for several years was a successful school teacher. She had never married and had always lived a quiet, yet influential, life through her affiliations with church, fraternal and young people’s work. Among the surviving relatives is a cousin, Herbert F. Horne of Farmington. Funeral services were held in Rochester on Tuesday afternoon (Farmington News, February 10, 1939).

Herbert Horne, a retired salesman, aged sixty-four years (b. NH), headed a Farmington, NH, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. HIs household included his wife, Maude D. [(Barker)] Horne, a houseworker, aged sixty-three years, and [her] sister, Ethel Barker, a houseworker, aged sixty-two years (b. NH). Herbert Horne owned their house on Lone Star Avenue, which was valued at $4,700.

Man Wanted For Murder Slips Through Officers Of McAllen. McALLEN – John Howland, alias John Allen King, was fingerprinted by the McAllen police department night of February 17 when he asked for a place to sleep, chief of police Noah Cannon said Saturday. Cannon said Howland, wanted in New Hampshire on a charge of murder and theft of a car, approached on a Main street corner bout 7:30 p.m. February 17, and explained that he had come down to McAllen from San Antonio looking for a job. The man, six feet tall and brown-headed, told Cannon he expected to get a job with a neon sign company the next day. Howland said he wanted a place for he and his “wife” to sleep. The woman with him was not questioned by local police, but Chief Cannon said he assumed she was the Aida Butler, 15, mentioned in the dispatch from New Hampshire. Cannon sent the man to the Salvation Army, where Howland was told they could provide a place for the woman but not for him. The woman said she disliked to be away from her companion, but finally decided to sleep at a place provided by the charity organization, and Howland went to the jail to sleep. The night was cold and misty. The man was fingerprinted as a routine matter by Henry Mallau, the city’s fingerprint expert. The next day, Howland went to the sign company, asked about the job, and when told the man in charge was out, he left and he and his woman companion left town, Chief Cannon said. Howland’s prints were sent to the Texas department of public safety at Austin and the Federal Bureau of Investigation at Washington, D.C. The police chief received a telegram from Joe S. Fletcher, chief of the bureau of identification and records at Austin on February 20, notifying Cannon that’ Howland was wanted in New Hampshire for murder. By that time, Cannon said the McAllen department did not know of the man’s whereabouts. Cannon said the man did not act suspicious, apparently was seeking the job in good faith, and there was no reason to hold him for further investigation. An agent from the federal bureau of investigation was in McAllen Friday seeking information on Howland, Cannon said. The G-men entered the case apparently through the Mann act which prevents a man from taking a girl across a state line, and from the act which prohibits transportation of a stolen automobile across a state line. Records sent McAllen police department by the Texas department of public safety show that Howland was arrested June 26, 1937 at Charleston, W. Va., on suspicion of burglary and entering. He made a $1.000 bond, but disposition of the case was not noted. May 16, 1929, he was arrested at Monroe, Wash., charged with taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s knowledge and sentenced to from three to five years. He turned up at Austin, Texas, January 26, 1931, arrested by state police on a charge of a car theft. He was sentenced to five years from Bexar County on the charge. On July 10, 1935, Howland again was in trouble with the law. He was arrested at Middletown, Ohio, on a charge of auto theft in Columbus, Ohio, and sentenced to from one to 20 years. He was paroled August 1, 1938. On February 10. 1939. the Concord, N.H., police department sought him for the murder of a Mrs. [Miss] Horne, 62. The last notation on the record is: “February 17, 1939. McAllen police department, fingerprinted, investigation” (Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, TX), February 26, 1939).

Howland-Butler - BB390320HOWLAND AND GIRL ARRIVE HERE TODAY. John Henry Howland, 25-year-old writer of love songs, will arrive in Boston this afternoon, nearing the end of a 2200-mile cross-country trip to face trial for the murder of Miss Maude Horne, elderly Milton, N.H., spinster. With Howland on the night of the murder was his cousin, Aida Elizabeth Butler, 15, who left the little New Hampshire mill town with him on his flight. Taken into custody with him, she will be returned on the same train from Corpus Christi, under police guard. Sometime late this afternoon Howland and his cousin will be taken across the city from the South to the North Station and start on the last leg of their return trip to Dover, N.H. (Boston Globe, March 29, 1939).

Indictments formerly employed a legal boilerplate phrase: “not having the fear of God before his eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil and his own wicked heart …” Was Howland insane or wicked when he bludgeoned and suffocated Miss Horne?

HOWLAND TO HAVE MIND EXAMINATION. Pleads Innocent to N.H. Murder; Goes to Hospital. CONCORD, N.H., March 31. (AP). John Henry Howland, 25-year-old ex-sailor who pleaded innocent yesterday to two indictments charging him with the murder of Miss Maude Horne, 61, Milton, N.H., spinster, entered the state hospital today for mental observation. Former County Solicitor Thomas H. McGreal, appointed by Superior Court Judge A.J. Connor as counsel for the accused man, said he would ask that Howland be kept at the hospital for a month. Mental examination is required in capital cases in New Hampshire. Staring at the floor and speaking in a barely audible voice, Howland entered pleas of innocence to both indictments in Dover yesterday. One charge said that Miss Horne died of strangulation Feb. 3, the other said a blow on the head was the cause. The whereabouts of Miss Aida Butler, his 15-year-old cousin, remained undisclosed. The girl, arrested with Howland in Corpus Christi, Tex., after a nation-wide search, will be the “principal witness” against the former sailor, Prosecutor John Beamis said. Attorney General Thomas Cheney told the court Howland had “talked freely about most phases of the case and readily admitted that he had killed Maude Horne” (Brattleboro Reformer, March 31, 1939).

Thomas McGreal, a private practicing attorney, aged forty-three years (b. NH), headed a Somersworth, NH, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Annie McGreal, aged forty-one years (b. MA). He rented their house at 29 Linden Street, for $20 per month. (He died in Boston, MA, November 4, 1940, of post-operative complications).

HOWLAND GOES TO PRISON FOR LIFE. Changes Plea to Guilty to Murder of N.H. Woman. DOVER, N.H., May 1. (AP). John Henry Howland, 25-year-old self-styled jack of all trades, pleaded guilty in Strafford county court today to the blackjack slaying of Miss Maude Horne, 61, at Milton Feb. 3 and was sentenced to life imprisonment by Judge A.J. Conner. The trial lasted only 12 minutes (Brattleboro Reformer, May 1, 1939).

John Howland, an inmate, aged twenty-seven years (b. MA), resided in the NH State Prison in Concord, NH, at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census.


Amazon. (2019). Vintage Photos: 1939 Press Photo WW2 Era Murder Suspect Aida Butler Search Missing Crime Maude Horne. Retrieved from

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Milton and the Hennessey Kidnapping – 1908

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | July 14, 2019

A sensational Charlestown, MA, kidnapping case ended with the kidnapper’s capture in a Milton barbershop. The kidnapped woman steered the kidnapper to Milton, as she had relatives here and was familiar with it.

(The victim’s name was not Eva Tanford, as given in the initial report, nor was she aged seventeen years).

SAYS FORCED TO GO AWAY. Eva Tanford States G. Galella Made Threat. Declares He Compelled Her to Go to Milton, N.H., With Him. Man Arrested, But He Will Be Released. Milton, N.H., May 16. Weeping and wailing and trembling with fright, pretty 17-year-old Eva Tanford of Charlestown, MA, told a startling story last evening to Mrs. Fred M. Chamberlin, wife of the proprietor of hotel Chamberlin, where she and a man had registered shortly before.

Chamberlin, Fred M.
Fred M. Chamberlin, near the Milton train station (Photo: Dianne O’Neill)

Fred M. Chamberlin, a hotel keeper, aged forty-two years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Village”) household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of fourteen years), Grace M. [(Dicey)] Chamberlin, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), his children, Guy Chamberlin, at school, aged twelve years (b. NH), and Pearl Chamberlin, at school aged six years (b. NH), his servant, Albert F. Downs, a hotel servant, aged fifty-two years (b. NH), and a boarder, D.L. Perkins, a paper mill operative, aged forty-six years (b. Unknown).

Mrs. Chamberlin had been attracted to the room assigned to the girl by the latter’s cries, and on her way upstairs she met the man coming down. As soon as he was out of hearing, the girl told Mrs. Chamberlin that her companion had forced her to come to Milton by threatening to shoot her, and after their arrival at the hotel had threatened to kill her then and there unless she consented to marry him at once. The man, it is said, is Granaro Calella, aged 27, an iron molder, who lived in Charlestown the last seven years and who became enamored of the Tanford girl about a year ago, at which time he sent back to Italy his wife and seven [several?] children.

The authorities (and the newspapers) seemed to have a great deal of trouble in comprehending Italian names. The accused kidnapper’s name was Genaro Colella. He was an Italian immigrant, aged twenty-seven years, who had emigrated from southern Italy to the United States, “about” seven years before, i.e., circa 1901. He was married already, with several children. He had sent his wife back to Italy “about a year previously, i.e., circa 1906-07.

McClung Catalog - Twisters
Police Twisters

Mrs. Chamberlin immediately had her husband notify the police of what had occurred. A half-hour later Calella was placed under arrest in the barber shop of Fred Hartford, on Main st., by policeman J. Harris Rines. Calella was plentifully supplied with weapons. There was taken from him at the police station a loaded 38-calibre revolver, a stiletto having a blade nearly a foot long, two rawhide blackjacks and a pair of police twisters, also a supply of cartridges.

Fred Hartford, a barber, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“3-Ponds Village”) household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eighteen years), Hattie E. [(Downs)] Hartford, aged thirty-nine years (b. NH), his mother-in-law, Doris M. Downs, a widow, aged sixty-two years, and his brother-in-law, Fred Downs, a shoe factory leather worker, aged twenty-six years (b. NH). Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Theresa A. Gerould and Anna F. Berry, Nute High school teachers, and that of James D. Parkham, a news dealer, aged forty-three years (b. NH).

The charge on which he is held is assault with attempt to murder. As soon as the arrest was made the Charlestown authorities were notified.

Miss Tanford’s story, as told to a Globe reporter, is substantially as follows: Thursday night Miss Tanford attended a wake in Charlestown. On her way home, about 4 yesterday morning, when passing the foundry of Osgood & Withery, 3 Sherman st., Calella, who is employed by that concern, came out of the shop, and demanded that she accompany him at once to Boston. She refusing, he drew a revolver and threatened to shoot her unless she consented to so. Fearing he would carry out his threat she went with him. He had evidently planned the affair and waited for her return from the wake, as he was dressed in traveling clothes.

On their arrival in Boston, Miss Tanford says. Calella urged her to board a train with him for New York. This she refused to do, but he renewed his threats, and to safeguard herself as far as possible, she suggested that they come to Milton, where she has relatives. She thought that by getting him to come here, she might effect her escape.

In the course of her conversation. Miss Tanford said she was a niece of Lieut. John Dobbin of station 14, Brighton, Mass.

Actually, she was Lt. Dobbyn’s sister-in-law. (His wife was Mary E. (Counihan) Dobbyn, Milton’s lifesaving heroine of 1902).

The two arrived here on the 4:09 p.m. train and went to the hotel where they registered under their own names, but gave Farmington as their place of abode. Later they went out for a walk and Calella began urging the girl to marry him, she says. The girl was seen weeping by persons on the street and was overheard to say: ‘”What will mother say, now that you have brought me up here?”

So insistent was Calella that Miss Tanford go with him to a minister and be married, and so resolute was she in her refusal, that on their return to the hotel. Miss Tanford says, Calella confronted her with his drawn knife and said: “You marry me, or you will never leave this place alive.” Calella. after making the threat, went out to get shaved. It was at this time Mrs. Chamberlin was attracted by the girl’s crying.

Miss Tanford says that Calella had boarded at her home in Charlestown about a fortnight a year ago. and since that time has been urging her to marry him. and has written her many letters. She says he declared in the presence of her mother that he would steal her, unless the latter consented to their marriage.

At the lockup, in broken English, Calella admitted to the Globe reporter that he intended to marry the girl. Said he:

“I brought her to Milton and was going to marry her or kill her.”

He said he came to this country from southern Italy seven years ago and had a wife and seven children, whom he sent back to Italy about a year ago. He declared that the girl’s family was on good terms with him and that they had been teaching him English. He says the girl is 27, but she looks to be no older than she claims, 17.

Miss Tanford. after Calella’s arrest last night, went to the home of a distant relative, John O’Loughlin, a mile and a half above this village, where she passed the night. Her immediate relatives are expected here this afternoon.

John Loughlin, an ice company foreman, aged fifty-four years (b. Ireland), headed a Milton household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-nine years), Ellen Loughlin, aged fifty years (b. Ireland), his children, Margaret A. Loughlin, aged twenty-seven years (b. MA), Celia Loughlin, aged twenty-two years (b. MA), and Robert E. Loughlin, handling ice, aged nineteen years (b. MA), and his grand-nephew, John Waxson, handling ice, aged thirteen years (b. NY).  They lived in close proximity to the household of Thomas B. Hamilton, an ice dealer, aged thirty-five years (b. Canada (Eng.)).

It developed today after the Strafford county authorities had been notified of Calella’s arrest by the local police, that there was insufficient ground for a charge of attempted murder of Miss Eva Tanford, and that he would be released (Boston Globe, May 16, 1908).

At which point we learn that the kidnapped woman’s name was not Eva Tanford at all, but Josephine F. (Counihan) Hennessey. She was born in Charlestown, MA, circa 1876-77, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth (Hand) Counihan. (Mrs. Dobbyn, Milton’s lifesaving heroine of 1902, was her sister).

Josephine F. Counihan married in Boston, November 27, 1900, John F. Hennessey.

TO BRING CALELLA BACK. Patrolman Hoy Goes to Milton, N.H., to Get Alleged Kidnapper of Mrs. Josephine Hennessy. Mrs. Josephine Hennessy of 3 Dorrance st, Charlestown. who caused the arrest of Granara Calella. a night watchman at an iron foundry near the girl’s home, for threatening her life and forcing her to run away with him to Milton, N.H., for the purpose or marrying her, reached home at a late hour last night with her brother, and today is confined to her home. All effort on the part of newspaper men and friends to talk over the case with the girl has been unsuccessful, as she has been urged to rest herself so that she will be able to appear in court against Calella when he is brought to Charlestown and arraigned in the municipal court of that district. She has also been warned against speaking to newspaper men, and these instructions have been faithfully obeyed. Capt. Yeaton had a long talk with the young woman upon her arrival in Charlestown as a result of which an application for a warrant for Calella’s arrest was made to the clerk of the court and granted on a charge of kidnapping Mrs. Josephine Hennessy. Patrolman James Hoy of the Charlestown police station, with the warrant, was instructed to go to Milton. N.H. and he started on the first train this morning for that town to take Calella from the custody of Chief Rhines of that town. Officer Hoy will not arrive in Boston before tonight as the train service is limited from Milton, N H to Boston. His prisoner will be arraigned in court tomorrow morning (Boston Globe, May 18, 1908).

Mrs. Hennessy Still in Milton, N.H. Mrs. Josephine Hennessy, the 27-year-old daughter of Mrs. Everett [Edward] Counihan of 3 Dorrance st, Charlestown, is still under the care of a physician and friends in the home of James O’ Loughlin at Milton, N.H., being in a highly nervous and excitable condition since, as she alleges, her life was threatened In Charlestown by Granuro Calella, a 28-year-old Italian, unless she would go with him to New York and marry him. It is not definitely known by the relatives of the young woman In Charlestown when she will leave Milton for home (Boston Globe, May 18, 1908).

ON KIDNAPPING CHARGE Calella is Held in $10,000. at Charlestown in Hennessy Case. Woman in Court, Veiled, But Did Not Testily. G. Calella. who is accused of threatening Mrs. Josephine Hennessy. 27 years old, of 1 Temple st. Charlestown. last Friday morning, while armed with a 38-caliber revolver, policeman’s billy, two knives and a razor, was arraigned before Judge Bragg In the Charlestown municipal court this morning on a on-charge of kidnapping Mrs. Hennessy on the street. Patrolman James Hoy, who brought Calella back from Milton, N.H., where he had been arrested, appeared against Calella this morning and told the judge about the case. Patrolman Hoy exhibited the revolver, cartridges and some other equipment. Lieut. John Dobbyn of division 14, a brother-in-law of Mrs. Hennessy, also spoke to the judge. When the clerk of the court read the charge against Calella to him, the defendant nodded his head, but did not

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ON KIDNAPPING CHARGE. Continued From the First Page.

Colella, G..jpgspeak. The court held Calella in $10,000 bail for appearance before the superior criminal court. Calella didn’t have any one to put up that amount of bail for him and was committed to the county jail. Calella is 27 years old, and has been employed as night watchman at the foundry of Osgood & Witherly on Sherman st., Charlestown. He boarded at 3 Hildreth pl., Charlestown. The house where Mrs. Hennessy lives with her mother is next door to the foundry. Calella is said to have become infatuated with Mrs. Hennessy because her family had treated him courteously. It is said he misconstrued the young woman’s politeness and began making love to her. Last Thursday, according to patrolman Hoy, Calella wrote Mrs. Hennessy a letter, after having professed his love for her in vain, and in the letter said, according to the way it was read in court this morning: “My eyes blind for you. Me shoot you some time. If you don’t come in to see me some time will kill you Friday, girl. First me kill you; last I kill myself. Me catch you, me kill you if you do not love me, me kill you. Me crazy for.” As the police tell the story, Mrs. Hennessy went to a wake Thursday night. At 4 o’clock Friday morning, when she was on her way home, she asserts that Calella met her in the street near her house and threatened to kill her if she did not accompany him. He took her to a hotel near the North station and menaced her with the revolver, club, the razor and knives. Mrs. Hennessy is married. Calella has a wife and several children in Italy. He insisted on her going to New York with him to be married. Mrs. Hennessy asserts that she was so frightened that she dared make no outcry, but she partly promised to accede to Calella’s wishes if he would take her to Milton, N.H., where she has friends. Calella, she says, took her to Milton, and after taking her to a hotel again threatened her with death unless she married him. Then Calella went out to get shaved preparatory to the ceremony. After he had left the hotel, the landlady heard Mrs. Hennessy crying and the young woman told her of her troubles, with the result that Chief of Police Rhines was notified and he arrested Calella. The disarmament was safely accomplished. The mother of Mrs. Hennessy was notified. She went after her daughter and patrolman Hoy went after Calella with a warrant. Mrs. Hennessy was in court this morning, but wasn’t called upon to testify. She wore two veils, and kept them down so that the photographers couldn’t get a snap shot. At the conclusion of the proceedings in court Mrs. Hennessy was escorted out through a side door by Lieut. Dobbyn, who put her aboard a car for her home (Boston Globe, May 19, 1908).

BEFORE INSPECTORS. G. Calella is Measured, Photographed and Finger Printed at Police Headquarters. G. Calella, who was arrested by patrolman James J. Hoy of the Charlestown police station at Milton, N.H., yesterday on a charge of abducting Josephine Hennessey of Dorrance st., Charlestown, was brought back to this city early last evening. This morning, following roll call at the bureau of criminal investigation, he was paraded before the inspector and measured, photographed and fingerprinted. This morning at headquarters Calella said: “Josie is a very nice girl,” and he tried to spell her name when the reporters were taking notes. In reference to the abduction charge he would say nothing, making strange gestures when he was questioned by the police. When Hoy arrived at Milton, N.H., yesterday, where Calella was being held for the local police, he found that the prisoner had waived his extradition rights and was willing to return to Boston without going through the usual formalities. He passed last night at the Charlestown police station. This morning, following his appearance at Headquarters, he was taken back to Charlestown. The prisoner is short in stature. He is 28 years old. He is said to have threatened the Hennessy woman with a revolver the morning when it is alleged that he compelled her to accompany him to the Granite state (Boston Globe, May 19, 1908).

CALELLA NOT GUILTY. Judge Orders the Verdict on Kidnapping Charge Action Based on Testimony of Mrs. Hennessey, the Complainant. Gerara Calella of Charlestown, accused of kidnapping Mrs. Josephine Hennessey, wife of John Hennessey, May 14, was found not guilty by a jury in the superior criminal court yesterday by order of Judge Pierce. Calella is a night watchman in the foundry adjoining the house where Mrs. Hennessey lives. Mrs. Hennessey claimed that the defendant stopped her on her way home May 14 and compelled her to go with him. He had a revolver with which he intimidated her, she said. He later took her to a hotel in Boston, then to Lynn, and then to Rochester and to Milton. N.H. She was hysterical at times on the stand, and also rather dramatic in her manner. At the close of her evidence the court said that on her own testimony he felt it necessary to ask the jury to return a verdict of not guilty because if a verdict of guilty were returned he would set it aside (Boston Globe, June 11, 1908).

Judge Pierce’s directed verdict of Not Guilty – based upon the alleged victim’s testimony – must surely have been a surprise.

Elizabeth Counihan, a widow, living on her own income, aged sixty-eight years (b. MA), headed a Boston, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census, Her household included her daughter, Josephine Hennessey, aged thirty-four years (b. MA). They shared a two-family dwelling on Temple Street with the household of Phillip J. Timmons, a street railroad flagman, aged forty years (b. MA).

Several men named Genaro Colella resided in the Boston area, although mostly they came in later years. One whose characteristics best seem to match the newspaper accounts would later petition for US citizenship in Boston, MA, March 20, 1933. He had been born in Montemiletto, Avellino, Italy, in February 1879. He stated that he had arrived in Boston, MA, April 26, 1902, on board the steamship Vancouver. His wife, Tomassina [(Palma)] Colella, was born also in Montemiletto, in August 1878, and they married in Montemiletto in 1898. She arrived in 1905. They had three children: Clementina Colella (b. Italy, April 25, 1900), Antoinette Colella (b. Italy,  May 24, 1902), and Italia Colella (b. Boston, July 9, 1906 [July 10, 1905]).

Josephine F. (Counihan) Hennessey died in Somerville, MA, April 16, 1949 (Boston Globe, April 18, 1949).


Wikipedia. (2019, February 8). Montemiletto. Retrieved from


Milton’s Poisoning Murder – 1897

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | May 26, 2019

Milton was the locus in quo for a sensational Jones poisoning murder in December 1896. The crime was discovered in June 1897. (Most of the related events occurred in 1897 and 1898).

Dramatis Personae

William Jones (the Father), was born in Randolph, MA, January 28, 1822, son of Obadiah and Abigail “Nabby” (Madden) Jones.

He married in Randolph, MA, March 29, 1840, Sarah W. “Sally” Ellis (the Mother). She was born in Alton, NH, in 1823, daughter of John and Olive (Bickford) Ellis.

They resided initially in Randolph, MA, where they had children Josiah Jones (b. 1841), Rufus L. Jones (b. 1843), Ezra E. Jones (b. 1845), (the Son) Alfred W. Jones (b. 1848), Maria J. Jones (b. 1850), and (the Daughters,) Henrietta Jones (b. 1852), and Leola I. Jones (b. 1854).

The Jones family then moved to Alton, NH, sometime between 1854 and 1860, where they may be found in the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. They were in Rollinsford, NH, in 1870, and Alton again in 1880. Their son, Alfred W. Jones resided in Milton in 1880, and the parents took up residence there sometime between 1880 and 1896. (They should not be confused with other families of that name residing already in Milton).

The Jones family assets seemed to have belonged to Mrs. Sally W. Jones. Deeds, papers, promissory notes, and even family jewels, are mentioned as being hers personally and kept in her triple-locked strong box.

The Accident and the Death

She and her husband traveled by carriage to Rochester, in October 1896, where they withdrew a final mortgage payment from the bank and set up her pension (perhaps an annuity). They returned via Farmington, intending to pay off the mortgage and to visit one of their daughters on the way. Their carriage took a glancing blow from a passing train near Place’s Crossing and ejected them. (On modern NH Route 11 near the Taylor Rental store). Both were injured, but she more seriously.

They were laid up at their daughter Leola Prescott’s home in Farmington, but he was able to return to Milton after two days. She remained much longer. Their son, Alfred W. Jones, visited her there and prevailed upon her to draw up a will, which named him as administrator. She first became ill, as opposed to injured, at this time. She burned the will upon returning home to Milton.

She died in Milton, December 5, 1896, after suffering two days with a recurrence of her illness. Milton Vital Records attributed her death to an intestinal stoppage.

The Exhumation

Six months later, on April 7, 1897, her son, Alfred W. Jones, and two of his sisters Henrietta (Jones) Dorsey and Leola I. (Jones) Prescott, declared that she had been poisoned and accused their father of having done it.

(Despite the newspaper report, we may note that it was the son, Alfred W. Jones, who put forward the claim of a dispute between his parents).

WANT THE BODY EXHUMED. – Daughters of Mrs. Jones Declare They Relieve their Mother Was Poisoned and They Suspect Their Father.

SOMERSWORTH, N.H., April 7. – Alfred W. Jones of Milton. N.H, and his sisters. Mrs. Henrietta Dorsey of Springvale, Me. and Mrs. Leola Prescott of Acton, Me, were here today and applied to Coroner L.E. Grant for a permit to exhume the body of their mother, Mrs. Sally W. Jones, who died at Milton. Dec. 5, 1896. They stated that they have every reason to believe that their mother was poisoned and that suspicion points to their father, William Jones, as administering the poison. Mrs. Jones, they allege, was taken ill with violent pains in the stomach two hours after eating dinner Dec. 3, and died two days later, being unconscious part of the time. The doctor’s certificate of death gave the cause as stoppage of the bowels. Mr. Jones, they say, desired her to make over her property to him, otherwise “there would be a corpse In the house.” He had poison in the house. they aver, and he is opposed to having the remains exhumed. They called on County Solicitor Nason this forenoon and requested him for the permit. He gave them a letter to present to Atty. Gen. Eastman, which they will present. They state that they will exhaust every means to have the body exhumed and have the cause of death settled. Coroner Grant has made arrangements to consult with Prof. Wood of Harvard college in regard to the case, as the body was embalmed at death, and he desires to know what effect the embalming fluid would have on the body (Boston Globe, April 7, 1897).

(Note that the police seemed to have played no part in all this at all. Milton had then only a part-time police chief (see Milton’s Men of Muscle in 1900), who would not have been equipped to deal with this. Nor did the county sheriff take the fore).

Alfred W. Jones sought an exhumation order from Strafford County Coroner L.E. Grant, of Great Falls (Somersworth), who directed him to Strafford County Solicitor William F. Nason, of Dover, who refused to issue the exhumation order.

NH Attorney General Eastman ordered finally the exhumation, which took place in June 1897.

A forensic expert, Edward S. Woods (1846-1905), was consulted. He was a professor of Chemistry at Harvard College (now Harvard University). Professor Woods seemed to have been consulted in a great many New England murder cases from at least the early 1880s. For example, he had been involved in Rochester’s Hattie Elliott case in 1891, and the infamous Lizzie Borden case in 1892. He was remembered in 1923 as a having been a celebrated toxicologist and medico-legal expert.

The Test Results

Professor Woods reported back to the coroner that Mrs. Jones had indeed been poisoned.

The Globe EXTRA! 5 O’CLOCK FOUND POISON. Prof. Wood’s Report in Mrs. Jones’ Case; Solid Crystals of Arsenic Discovered in Stomach. The Strange Case at Somersworth. Body Buried Last December Was Exhumed in June, Portions Sent lo Cambridge for Analysis. Son’s Suspicions Well Founded – Coroner Grant Will Act.

SOMERSWORTH, N.H, Dec. 13 – Prof. Wood of Harvard university has made a report to coroner Grant of this city to the effect that he found arsenic in the stomach of Mrs. Sally W. Jones, which was submitted to him for examination some time ago.

Mrs. Jones died at Milton, N.H., last winter. In June her son asked that the body be exhumed and submitted to an examination. After considerable trouble the necessary authority was obtained, the body was disinterred and portions were sent to Cambridge.

When Alfred W. Jones, the son, presented his case before coroner Grant he stated that there had been trouble between his father and mother over some property. Other circumstances, which the son considered suspicious, were also referred to.

Mr. Jones was directed by the coroner to present his case to County Solicitor Nason. Mr. Nason, however, after hearing Mr. Jones’ story, declined to take up the case.

Mr. Jones then went to Atty. Gen. Eastman, who granted the man’s petition. The body, which had been buried in December, was taken up in June.

Coroner Grant did not go into the case further than to remove the parts which it was desired should be submitted to expert examination.

Prof. Wood’s report has just been made known. He states that in the stomach and intestines he found solid arsenic crystals. The poison, he states, was administered before death, and its presence could not be due to the use of embalming fluid.

Coroner Grant will communicate the finding of Prof. Wood to County Solicitor Nason. It is expected that steps will be taken at once to bring about the arrest of the person of whom Alfred Jones is suspicious (Boston Globe, December 13, 1897).

The Son Accused

DUE TO POISON. Arsenic in the Stomach of Mrs. Sally W. Jones. Prof. Wood Reports to the Coroner. Son Alfred Had the Body Exhumed. Woman Died at Home in Milton, N.H. Husband and Father, William, Tells of Family Row. Makes Serious Charges Against the Son. Coroner Grant to Consult with County Attorney.

SOMERSWORTH, N.H., Dec 13. The receipt today by coroner L. E. Grant of the report of Prof Edward S. Wood of Cambridge on the. analysis of the stomach and intestines of Mrs. Sally W. Jones, who died under suspicious circumstances at her home in Milton. Dee 5. 1896, has aroused fresh interest in the alleged poisoning case, both here and in Milton.

The case is expected to develop many sensational features from the fact that Prof. Wood’s analysis shows that the stomach and intestines contained arsenic, in crystalline form in considerable quantities, as well as in solution. and that it was probably administered before death.

Prof. Wood has been at work upon the analysis since last June. He writes that much time has been consumed in distinguishing between the arsenic crystals taken into the stomach before death and the poisonous solution used in embalming the body.

Coroner to Act.

Coroner Grant says that Prof. Wood’s analysis practically removes all doubt that Mrs. Jones’ death resulted from poisoning. In addition to this he has it on the authority of the undertaker that no arsenic was used by him in preparing the body for burial. He says the authorities now have a duty on their hands to find how this poison was administered and by whom. He will tomorrow consult with County Solicitor Nason in reference to holding an inquest.

Coroner Grant today notified Alfred W. Jones of Milton, son of the dead woman, that he had received Prof. Wood’s report.

It was at the urgent solicitation of Alfred that the body was exhumed last June, and the examination made and he furnished the funds necessary for conducting the examination. The result is of such a nature, however, that the authorities will probably make a thorough investigation of the case whether Alfred cares to proceed further with it or not.

Alfred has talked much about the affair, and has repeatedly asserted that he knew his mother was poisoned. He is alleged to have pointed the finger of suspicion at his father, William Jones, and then at his sister, who resides in Farmington and at whose house Mrs. Jones first became sick with symptoms of poisoning. The people of Milton, however, entertain no suspicion against either William Jones or his daughter.

Neighbors have said that Alfred had in his possession at his home a large cabinet containing many poisonous drugs, which was given him a number of years ago by Dr. Jenkins. who lived with him and who afterward committed suicide.

Story Told by Jones Sr.

William Jones, the father, tells an interesting story of a family quarrel.

He said in an interview tonight: “On Oct 5, 1896, my wife and I drove to Rochester to prepare her pension papers. She was receiving pension of $12 a month. Before leaving she drew $50 from the bank and paid the last penny of debt on the homestead. We then started on a drive to Farmington to visit our daughter, Mrs. Prescott.

“On the way our carriage was struck by a train at a crossing. and both of us were thrown out and quite severely hurt. Regaining our senses and our carriage we managed to get to Farmington, where Sally was laid up for several days.

“In two days I was able to return home, and then I was taken suddenly ill. The doctor told me I could not recover. While confined to my bed Alfred’s wife came to visit me and told me that mother was growing worse at Farmington, and had had a Rochester lawyer draw up her will, bequeathing the property to me, Alfred to be the administrator and to take care of me.

“When my wife returned she said that Alfred and his wife had visited her. and that a little while after they left she was taken sick and suffered much pain, and she believed Alfred’s wife [Ella S. (Kimball) Jones] hated her and had tried to poison her.

“On the Saturday my wife died my daughter, who was caring for her, came from the sick room and said her mother was very sick and in great distress. Alfred and his wife were at the house and remained in the room with her while my daughter ate dinner with the rest of the household.

“When I went into the room I found

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my wife very sick, and I told the hired man to go for Dr. Hart. As soon as he started Alfred called him back, saying it would be of no use, for nothing could be done to save her.

“Alfred was ransacking my wife’s chest, in which she kept her money, deeds and other papers and valuables. While he was there at work I again ordered the man to go for Dr. Hart, and he arrived a few minutes before my wife died. Alfred was much surprised when the doctor came in.

Missed All Valuables.

“I tried to prevent Alfred from opening the chest and trouble ensued. In spite of this he got possession of the papers and held them while he tried to make the almost dead woman recognize him.

“After Alfred had left the house I got Selectman J.A. Avery to witness my examination of the chest. I missed from it $450 worth of diamonds, presented to us by my son Joseph, who is a sailor; the deeds of our property, insurance and money and jewelry to the value of $1100. Everything of value Alfred had taken.

“I asked him to return the stolen valuables. He became excited and said be did not steal them, claiming that his mother had made a will and appointed him administrator, by virtue of which he had the right to take everything that belonged to her. I told him that she had burned the will on her arrival home and that Mrs. Pillsbury was a witness to the act. Alfred said he knew better and he refused to give up the property.

“He then charged me with having poisoned my wife. The accusation nearly prostrated me. Alfred had had trouble with his sister, Mrs. Prescott, and he also accused her of poisoning her mother.

“Alfred attended the funeral, but refused to go to the cemetery and see his mother buried. After the funeral he wanted me to come and live with him, but I declined. He insisted and grew angry, but I refused and said to him: ‘My son, you have already robbed me, but I shall take care that you do not kill me.’

“He then tried to stir up the people and fasten the crime on me. I was at first greatly alarmed, but when they heard my story and that of other members of the family, they began to pity me. At this turn of public feeling Alfred began his efforts to have the body exhumed and examined. He applied to the selectmen, but did not succeed. He afterward got permission from the county authorities to have this done.”

Mrs. Jones was 74 at the time of her death. Her husband was 71 in November. He has consulted counsel, and intends to take legal action toward recovering the property from his son (Boston Globe, December 14, 1897).

The Trial

The trial of Alfred W. Jones took place in the Strafford County courthouse in Dover, NH.

Strafford County CourthouseFATHER AGAINST SON. Wm. Jones Testifies as to Alfred’s Conduct While Mother Was Dying. Prof. Wood Tells of His Finding Arsenic in Body of Mrs. Sally W. Jones, the Wife and Mother, of Milton, N.H, and of the Respondent’s Requests, Both Written and Oral, Bearing Upon the Examination.

DOVER, N.H. Jan. 3. Slow progress has been made by the state for the first day of the hearing in the case against Alfred W. Jones of Milton, charged with causing the death of his mother, Sally W. Jones, by giving her poison mixed in her medicine, in the early part of December 1896, but enough has been made to show that the defense will fight every inch of the ground in its effort to clear the respondent.

In his opening argument this morning County Solicitor Nason said that the state was prepared to show a motive for the crime and an opportunity to commit it on the part of Alfred W. Jones. The motive attributed to him was the desire to acquire the property held by his mother, and the opportunity lay in his having free access to the rooms of his parents’ home at any and all times.

To show that he made use of that opportunity the solicitor said the state would put in evidence the purchase of 12 horse powders containing 3½ grains each from an Exeter veterinary in the summer of 1896; that Sally Jones was sick with symptoms of poisoning not long afterward, and that on the morning of Dec 3, the day she was taken with her last sickness, Alfred, after making an early trip to Rochester to get a load of piping for a tenement, went to his father’s house, where he remained two hours and had access to all the rooms.

This circumstance, he said, would be shown in connection with the fact that between 2 and 3 in the afternoon, after taking medicine prepared by Dr. Pillsbury for her, Mrs. Jones was taken with violent sickness, and she died on the evening of the second day following.

Motive and Opportunity.

The principal feature of the evidence showing a motive on Alfred’s part, Mr. Nason said, would be his dictating to a Rochester lawyer his mother’s will, which she signed while she was at Farmington in October, 1896, very sick from injuries she received in a carriage accident at Places Crossing, the provisions of which made him the sole owner of her property at the death of her husband who was to receive the income from it during his natural life, Alfred in the meantime to be the administrator of the estate.

That Alfred had in mind this will at he time of his mother’s death the solicitor said the state would show, that he had made statements concerning his coming into possession of the property both to his father and to a neighbor, and that on the evening his mother died he obtained possession of the keys to her triple-locked private chest and removed her money, valuable papers and diamonds, and remarked to his sister, Mrs. Prescott, who was present, that he could not find the will.

It would also be shown, he said, that Alfred was ignorant of the fact that after Mrs. Jones had recovered from the accident she had had the will read to her and had then destroyed it.

This, in addition to the finding of arsenic in the stomach and intestines of Mrs. Jones, comprises briefly the case which the state will endeavor to prove against Alfred Jones.

During the time solicitor Nason was speaking Jones was an attentive listener, but not a shade of expression of nervousness or more than ordinary interest flitted over his face. He was easily the calmest person in the packed court room.

Alfred’s father, William Jones, was among the large gathering of witnesses, and Milton citizens, who had come down to hear the proceedings, but the eyes of father and son did not meet. Both seemed oblivious of the other’s presence.

At the afternoon session, however, when William Jones took the stand, the two men gazed at each other, but the

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gaze of each was cold and expressionless.

Alfred showed his appreciation of the presence of his acquaintances by shaking hands with them all at the close of the morning session.

By request of the defendant’s counsel the court ruled that the state’s witnesses be excluded from the court room while the states side was being put in, and only one witness was present at a time. This was asked for the purpose of preventing these witnesses getting the drift of the cross-examination.

Prof. Wood Testifies.

The first witness called was Prof. Edward S. Wood of the Harvard medical school. He testified:

“I received last June a jar containing the stomach and intestines of Sally W. Jones, with instructions to analyze them for the presence of arsenic, I found in the intestines one-half grain of white arsenic.

“If arsenic were administered one day at noon and the person died the next day the conditions would be the same as found. All the arsenic that had been administered would not be found, in such an examination as I made. In the present case the vomiting would throw off the major portion of the white arsenic. I could not tell whether arsenic caused Mrs. Jones’ death until further examination, but the symptoms described would indicate that.”

Witness said he had received three letters from Alfred W. Jones. Lawyer Crowley objected to the letters going in as evidence until they were identified as being in Jones’ handwriting, and James A. Edgerly was called and testified that they were written by the same hand, that of Alfred Jones. The court then allowed the letters to he introduced.

The first one read was dated June 23, 1897. It asked whether Prof Wood had found arsenic in the body of Mrs. Jones, and stated that if he had it might lead to the discovery of another important poisoning case.

The second letter read inquired as to the cost of examining the stomach of Mrs. Jones. It stated the conditions under which she died, and closed by saying that the writer believed his mother had been poisoned by her husband or youngest daughter.

The third letter was dated April 5, 1897, and in it the professor was asked whether he supposed the embalming of the body would prevent his finding arsenic, and contained the words. “We feel quite sure that there was a second dose of poison given between the dates mentioned. We think it was rat poison. I feel quite sure you will find poison. The symptoms were those that appeared in the case of Sylvester Kimball, who worked on the Learoyd farm.”

Kimball Case Referred To.

On the cross-examination Prof. Wood stated that Jones also came to see him toward the close of his examination.

Lawyer Crowley asked permission to question the witness regarding his finding poison in the stomach of Sylvester Kimball. Solicitor Nason objected on the ground that there was no evidence before the court of any other case of poisoning and that such questioning would be irrelevant.

A long discussion followed, in which the defense stated that in order to explain Jones’ apparent knowledge of his mother’s poisoning it was necessary to show that he was familiar with the circumstances connected with the Learoyd poisoning case, the very knowledge of these coming home to him and exciting his suspicions as to the way in which his mother came to her death, and that in order to make competent this evidence it would be necessary to bring out the fact that Sylvester Kimball had been poisoned. The state’s objection was finally sustained.

The cross-examination then went into the effects of arsenical poisoning.

“It takes from two to two and one-half grains of arsenic to cause death.” said Prof Wood; “that is, it must be absorbed into the system, not merely swallowed. Arsenic taken into an empty stomach would show its symptoms soon. I cannot say that in my examination I found evidence of slow poisoning. I can simply say that I found these crystals.

“The first and only time I saw Jones was early last December. I then told him the examination would be completed in a few days.”

William Jones’ Story.

The next witness was William Jones. husband of Sally W. Jones. He testified:

“I lived with my wife 56 years. We lived alone in Milton for several years before her death. We had four children, three daughters and one son.

“On Oct 5, 1896, my wife and I went to Rochester and drew out of the bank $50, with which to pay off a mortgage. We then started for Farmington to pay the money. While on the way we met with an accident at Place’s crossing. Our horse was a strange one and became frightened at the train, throwing us both out and injuring my wife severely. Her spine was injured and some ribs were broken. I also sustained injuries. We were taken care of at the home of the Robinsons. I was able to return home the next day, but my wife was confined to the bed 10 or 11 days. Dr. Pillsbury attended her.

“After Sally’s return home she gradually recovered and on Dec 3 was about well. She worked about the house and helped tack two quilts. On that day also she superintended the cooking of a chicken for dinner. Alfred came in in the forenoon and stayed an hour and a half. He was accustomed to visit the house at all times of the day. That afternoon about 3 my wife was taken sick and was in great distress with vomiting. Dr. Pillsbury was called.

“Alfred shortly afterward came and remained until Sally died. On the afternoon of that day Alfred said to me, ‘Father, mother is going to die, and now you have got your choice; either you can come and live with me or you must go to the poor farm’.”

Chest Exhibited.

At this point. the chest was shown in which Mrs. Jones kept her valuables. It is a large, square hardwood box, cushioned on top to be used as a divan. In it is a small box or chest of inlaid wood, having a triple lock. In this was kept the property.

William Jones continued: “When mother was dying Alfred asked for the keys to the chests. My daughter, Mrs. Prescott, gave them to him. I was in the room at the time, but when I saw him unlock the inner chest I left the room, for I was powerless to hinder his taking the property and could not stay to see it done. He took $58 in money, deeds of the farm, diamonds sent from Bombay to my wife by my absent son, and notes which were held against Alfred by his mother. These notes were for $150 and $210 respectively.”

On cross-examination witness said: “My wife and I lived pleasantly together. My occupation part of the time was burning charcoal. I have employed James A. Edgerly as counsel in proceedings against Alfred concerning the property he has taken, but I have never talked with him about the poisoning and he has never advised me regarding it. Mr. Wentworth of Milton is the administrator of my wife’s estate.

“I had no trouble with Alfred on the day she died. Mrs. Prescott gave me the keys of the chest and Sally’s bank book a few days after she died. I don’t know where the diamonds are. The reason I made no protest when Alfred opened the chest was that I was sick.

“I never used any poison for any purpose, never gave any to a dog, and have never handled what I supposed was poison. I never made any inquiry in reference to the medicine my wife used. I don’t know what her medicine was, or whether she had got through taking it by Dec 3. I cannot say that I saw her boiling chicken on that day. Those who were at dinner then were my wife, myself and my daughter, Mrs. Prescott. William Ham, who occupied an L of the house, came in after dinner and was given by my wife some of the chicken, which he ate.

“When about an hour after dinner I was told that Sally was very sick. I went right into her room and found her in distress. I never used to go into her room much, and was never told to keep out. She was always kind to me and I to her.”

The witness was asked a second time about his always being kind to her, and he made the same reply. Lawyer Crowley made an exclamation of incredulity of the witness’ statement, whereupon solicitor Nason objected.

The witness stated that he could not recollect whether he had ever had any conversation with his wife regarding her property within the hearing of others.

The hearing at this point was continued until 9 a.m. tomorrow (Boston Globe, January 4, 1898).

Hung Jury and Nolle Prosequi

FRED W. JONES DISCHARGED. No Stronger Evidence Discovered Connecting Him With the Death of His Mother at Milton, N.H. DOVER, N.H, Sept 20. The state authorities today dropped the case against Alfred W. Jones of Milton, who was tried at the last term of the supreme court here on a charge of murdering his mother, Mrs. Sally W. Jones, by poisoning. The jury at that time disagreed, and since then no stronger evidence than that put in at the trial has accumulated. It was therefore decided to ask the court to nol pros the case. In the supreme court today, before Judge Wallace, Messrs. Crowley and Kivel, counsel for Jones, moved for trial. County Solicitor Nason, who had charge of the case for the state, made a motion to have the case nol pros’d, which was granted by the court. Judge Wallace then ordered the discharge of Jones’ sureties (Boston Globe, September 20, 1898).

Interlude, with Sheep

William Jones (the Father) died in Milton, June 17, 1899, aged eighty years, seven months, and five days. His cause of death was not, as one might expect from fiction, a broken heart. He died of pyaemia from a carbuncle, i.e., a septic infection.

Alfred W. Jones spent about a year back in Milton. His farm was situated on a cross road, one mile north of the Milton depot. (In 1880, he had been enumerated between the households of Henry Downs and Benjamin W. Foss). He appeared next as the victim of sheep thieves there.

ACCUSED OF SHEEP STEALING. Elmo Grenier of Dover Arraigned and Hearing Fixed for Monday. DOVER, N H. Aug 19 Elmo Grenier of this city, who was arrested last evening on a warrant sworn out by County Solicitor Scott, charging him with stealing three sheep from Alfred W. Jones of Milton, Aug 9, was arraigned before Judge Nason this morning. Grenier pleaded not guilty. He had no counsel and asked for a continuance of the case, which was granted. The hearing was ordered for Monday at 2.30 p.m. and Grenier was held in bail of $500 for appearance at that time. In default be was committed to jail (Boston Globe, August 19, 1899).

ARRESTED FOR SHEEP STEALING. Elmo Grenier was arrested Friday evening on the landing at Dover by patrolmen Caverly and Smith, on the charge of sheep stealing. A warrant had been sworn out for his arrest by County Solicitor Scott, charging him with stealing three sheep valued at $8 from Alfred W. Jones of Milton, Aug. 9. It was issued on information furnished the solicitor by Jones, who told him that Irvin Corson, who worked for him, had confessed to stealing the sheep in company with Grenier. Jones tried to get Corson free from danger of arrest on the ground that the latter had repented and desired to join the church. A warrant has been issued for him, and he has thus far eluded the sheriff. Grenier was seen by Herman Vyth and John McIntire, two marketmen, this evening at the police station, but was not identified as the young man who tried to sell them the stolen sheep. Grenier wept and admitted that he knew Corson and had been with him, but knew nothing about the sheep stealing (Portsmouth Herald, August 19, 1899).

The Census enumerator found the supposedly repentant Irvin Corsen, a farm laborer, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), and Elmo Greenier, no occupation given, aged twenty-eight years (b. Canada)), residing in the Strafford County jail in Dover, NH, in June 1900. They were two of the twenty-nine prisoners there. (The sheriff and his family resided there too).

Alfred W. Jones, a farmer, aged fifty-one years (b. MA), was also imprisoned there.

Back in Jail

Alfred W. Jones had returned to the Strafford County jail, in 1899, but this time for debt. He was still there years later.

The Strafford County jail had a front portion for administration and the sheriff’s residence, and an unusual “Revolving Jail” behind.

Across the River from Washington Square, on top of a hill in the trees, one can see a sturdy brick structure. Presently the home of the McCoole family, this building was built in 1888 as a jailer’s house. Adjacent to it was a most unusual revolving jail which contained 14 cells. The jail building itself could be turned by means of a hand-crank, so that no two cells lined up with the single door at any one time. The intention, presumably quite successful, was to prevent the prisoners from engaging in any conspiracy for escape, The [Revolving] jail was torn down in 1918 in order to obtain scrap for the war effort (From the 1982 Heritage Walking Tour Booklet).

Strafford County Jail
Strafford County Jail & The Revolving Jail (Behind)

HE PREFERS JAIL, A.W. Jones Won’t Take Debtor’s Oath. Milton, N.H, Man Petitioned Court, Then Refused to Appear. DOVER, N.H., May 16. – Alfred W. Jones of Milton, who petitioned the superior court from the Strafford county jail where he has been confined six years for debt, for release from imprisonment, refused at almost the last moment to appear before the commissioners appointed by the court to hear his petition, and so will continue to live behind jail bars. The hearing on the Jones petition was set for today at the county courthouse before Hon. William F. Nason and Robert Doe as commissioners. Jones sent word last evening to his counsel. James McCabe, that he had changed his mind and did not wish to press his application for release. The hearing accordingly did not take place (Boston Globe, May 27, 1905).

Alfred W. Jones, a farmer, aged sixty-one years (b. MA), was still imprisoned in the Strafford County Jail, in Dover, NH, at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census (April 25, 1910). By this time, he had spent nearly eleven years there.

New Hampshire State Hospital

NH State Hospital - 1907After nearly twelve years, Alfred W. Jones was transferred from the Strafford County jail to the NH State Hospital, around March 1911. That suggests that debt had become the least of his problems.

Alfred W. Jones, of Milton, NH, died at the NH State Hospital, in Concord, NH, February 5, 1913, aged sixty-four years, three months, and five days. He had been an inmate there for one year, eleven months, and nine days. The cause of death was “suicide by asphyxia (handkerchief in throat),”  with insanity as a contributing cause.

Orestes: You do not see these, but I see them! They hound me on, I cannot stay! (Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers).


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Scales, John. (1914). History of Strafford County, New Hampshire and Representative Citizens [Hon. William Francis Nason]. Retrieved from

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Wikipedia. (2019, May 15). Lizzie Borden. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2017, May 25). Locus in Quo. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, April 14). New Hampshire State Hospital. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, April 17). Nolle Prosequi. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, May 9). Pyaemia. Retrieved from

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