Celestial Seasonings – September 2021

By Heather Durham | August 31, 2021

This month brings a great deal of activity for sky watchers. We have three meteor showers, the Harvest Moon and also the autumnal equinox along with other sites. I’ve included a Youtube video in the References, which should be viewed first for a close up visual effect. Enjoy folks and feel free to write or comment please. Thank you so much and I hope you have an opportunity to enjoy what’s ahead!

September 1. The Aurigid meteor shower should reach its peak today. From the eastern horizon, this will become visible after 10 pm and remain active until dawn. This shower comes from the constellation Auriga. You may be able to see about 5 showers per hour providing the weather cooperates. The Aurigid does not appear every year according to Wikipedia. The last time it peaked was in 2007.

September 9. The September e-Perseid meteor shower will peak today and will be most vibrant. This is from the Constellation Perseus. The Moon and Venus will rise and head towards the right together. According to Wikipedia, “the constellation gives its name to the Perseid cluster, a massive galaxy cluster located 250 million miles from Earth.

September 10. The Moon and Venus will travel closely to one another.

September 13. The first quarter of the Moon will appear in the shy tonight. Mercury will travel to its further distance from the Sun heading east.

September 15. The Moon and Saturn will rise together and pass each other as closely as ever.

2021-09 - PlanetsSeptember 18. The Moon and Jupiter will rise to the right in close proximity to one another this evening.

September 20. The full Harvest Moon will brighten up the night sky. This is the Harvest Moon for it is the closest one to the autumnal equinox.

September 22. The autumn equinox arrives today in the northern hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. An equinox date brings us almost 12 hours or daylight and nightlight.

2021-09 - EarthThis is the second of two equinoxes each year where the center of the Sun lies directly over the Equator.

September 27. The Daytime Sextanid meteor shower from the Constellation Sextans will peak today and might be visible from New Hampshire from around 4:23 pm in the evening until dawn comes just past 6:00 am. According to Wikipedia,” the Constellation is the location of the field studied by the COSMOS Project, under taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.”

September 28. The Harvest Moon will show its last quarter.


Ford, D.F. (n.d.). September 2021. Retrieved from In-the-Sky.Org/Newscal.Php?Month=9&year=2021&maxdiff=1#datesel.

Wikipedia. (2020, April 22). Aurigid. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurigids

Wikipedia. (2021, July 13). September e-Perseids. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseus_(constellation)

Wikipedia. (2021, July 13). Sextans. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sextans

Youtube. (2021, August 14). September 2021 Astronomical Calendar. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDDAXcbbkKg

Milton in NH Education Report, 1877

By Muriel Bristol | August 29, 2021

In the thirty-first (June 1877) report, the NH Superintendent of Instruction provided some statistics regarding Milton.

Milton’s town school committee members were identified as being J.P. Bickford (1844-1910) of Milton, Freeman H. Lowd (1853-1933) of Milton Mills, and Ambrose H. Wentworth (1832-1913) of West Milton.

Milton had 11 school districts and 13 schools in town, 2 of which were graded schools. 1 of the district schools had an average of 12 scholars of less; and none had an average of 6 scholars or less. The average run of district school classes was 14.0 weeks. (The Strafford County average was 19.8 weeks).

Milton had 12 schoolhouses, 3 were unfit for use, none were built during the year. They all had blackboards, but none had maps or globes. The estimated cash value of its school buildings, furniture and sites was $12,000; and the estimated cash value of its apparatus was $100.

Milton’s selectmen reported 152 male and 165 female children between 5 and 15 years. Its school committee reported that they had 159 male and 175 female students enrolled. Of these, 14 were aged under six years, 299 were aged between 6 and 16 years, and 21 were aged over 16 years. The average daily attendance was 264 students. There were 26 students pursuing higher branches, and there were 10 students aged between 5 and 15 years that were not attending any school.

There were 5 male teachers, making an average of $60.00 per month, and 10 female teachers, making an average of $25.00 per month. Of these, 3 were teaching for the first time, and 5 had been teachers for more than one term. (One might infer that the remaining 5 had been teachers already for a single prior term). None of them had been to Normal school. Of 344 Strafford County teachers, only 12 (3.5%) had been to Normal school).

The school committee had available to it $3,551.22; of which $1,008.00 came from the town tax for support of schools, $2,009.38 came from district school taxes, $145.34 came from the library fund, $142.50 came from local funds and the dog tax, $0.00 came from the railroad tax, and $246.00 came from contributions. It spent $3,543.43 (leaving $7.79), including $1,453.51 for new buildings, $319.87 for permanent repairs, $169.05 for miscellaneous expenses, and $1,619.00 for teacher salaries. A marginal table note indicated that the remaining amount, $42 in the case of Milton, went for school committee salaries, i.e., $14 for each of three committee members.

Milton expended an average of $5.14 per pupil; the Strafford County average was $7.20 per pupil.

The school district with the largest sum on hand had $324.87, and that with the smallest had $34.37; the school district with the longest term had run 30 weeks, and that with the shortest term had run for 8 weeks; the school district with the largest number of students had 78 students, and that with the smallest number had 11 students. The school assessment rate was $0.003 [per thousand]. Elsewhere in the same report, the Milton’s longest term was said to have been 36 weeks and its shortest term to have been 16 weeks.

Under the heading Private Schools of a Higher Grade, Milton had its Classical Institute, which was situated at Milton Three Ponds. The value of its building, apparatus and grounds was $1,500. It had a 36-week school year, which began in September. It had 1 male teachers and no female teachers; and it had 37 male and 32 female students. Of these, 65 of them were NH residents, 12 were pursuing higher branches, and 2 were studying ancient languages. (This entry was marked as having been based on a return of the previous year).

Previous in sequence: Milton in NH Education Report, 1876; next in sequence: Milton in NH Education Report, 1878


NH Superintendent of Public Instruction. (1877). Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, June Session, 1877. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=ayMlAQAAIAAJ

Milton’s Milton House Hotel, c1842-70

By Muriel Bristol | August 22, 2021

John S. Edgerly, c1842-185?

John Staples Edgerly was born in Wolfeboro, NH, October 29, 1814, son of Jonathan and Nancy (Hanson) Edgerly. His family relocated to Wakefield, NH, soon after.

John S. Edgerly headed a Brookfield, NH, household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male, aged 20-29 years [himself], one female aged 30-39 years, and one male aged 10-14 years. Two members of his household were engaged in agriculture. His household appeared in the enumeration between those of William G. Leavitt and John Dow.

Wakefield, NH, town officials licensed John S. Edgerly to keep an inn there, in the late 1830s or early 1840s.

John S. Edgerly married in Tuftonboro, NH, March 17, 1841, Harriet Lyford, both of Brookfield, NH. Rev. James Dow performed the ceremony. She was born in Brookfield, NH, August 18, 1810, daughter of Robert and Mary (Lyford) Lyford.

John S. Edgerly kept a Milton hotel at Milton Three-Ponds as early as 1842. It stood in close proximity, if not right next door, to the home of Dr. Stephen Drew. Daughter Helen A. Edgerly was born in Milton, June 29, 1842.

The US Postal Department appointed John S. Edgerly as Milton postmaster, October 26, 1846 (during the presidency of Democrat James K. Polk). James M. Twombly and others replaced him in that position, between January 18, 1850 and May 1, 1854 (during the presidencies of Whigs Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore). John S. Edgerly was again appointed postmaster, between May 2, 1854 and September 14, 1855 (during the presidency of Democrat Franklin Pierce). One might reasonably infer from this sequence of appointments, and the political affiliations of those holding office when the appointments were made, that Edgerly was a Democrat.

Constituent petitions came in to the NH legislature from various districts seeking “a law to remedy those defects in the existing laws regulating the sale of spirituous liquors which enable wealthy and influential persons through the unfaithfulness or inefficiency of prosecuting officers to escape their penalties” (NH Senate, 1847). NH Representative Thomas W. Mordough (1810-1858) of Wakefield, NH, presented to the NH House such a petition from John S. Edgerly and others, June 16, 1847. (Thomas W. Mordough built the Wakefield Town House in 1838).

Mr. Mordough presented the petition of John S. Edgerly and others praying for an alteration of said laws.

John S. Edgerly, an innkeeper, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His immediate family included Harriett Edgerly, aged thirty-eight years (b. NH), and Helen Edgerly, aged eight years (b. NH). He had real-estate, i.e., the hotel, valued at $2,000. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of John M. Hanson, a carpenter, aged twenty-nine years (b. ME), and Stephen Drew, a physician, aged fifty-eight years (b. NH). (Blacksmith Hazen Duntley appeared just after Drew).

William A. Jones, a hostler, aged forty years (b. NH), resided in the hotel in that enumeration. He presumably kept the livery stable. There were seven guests on that particular day, although they likely stayed longer than just that day. They were mostly shoemakers: Samuel Emerson, a shoemaker, aged twenty-three years (b. NH), John L. Wing, a shoemaker, aged twenty-seven years (b. ME), Albert Gilman, a shoemaker, aged nineteen years (b. ME), Richard H. Paine, a teamster, aged thirty-two years (b. ME), [his wife,] Sarah A. [(Edgerly)] Paine, aged thirty years (b. NH), Charles Horney, a shoe cutter, aged twenty-five years (b. NH), and Jesse Knox, a shoemaker, aged sixteen years (b. NH) .

At some time between September 1855 and June 1860, John S. Edgerly left Milton for Saco, ME. (William H. Huntress had taken over Edgerly’s Milton House hotel by 1860).

Daughter Helen A. Edgerly married (1st) in Saco, ME, October 14, 1859, Parker R. Libby. John S. Edgerly was keeping the Mechanics’ House hotel in Saco, ME, by 1860-61.

The term “mechanic” does not have exactly the same meaning as it does today. It refers to a skilled worker, making his living in one of the trades, especially one involving the use of a machine. In 1840, 84.8% of Milton’s workers were engaged in agricultural pursuits, i.e., farming; 12.2% of them were engaged in manufacture and the trades, including “mechanics;” 1.6% were engaged in commerce, such as shop-keeping, running a hotel, etc.; and 1.4% were engaged in the learned professions, such as physician, lawyer, engineer, etc.

Jacob D. Barry, foundry, aged fifty-five years (b. NH), headed a Saco, ME, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Eunice L. [(Edgecomb)] Barry, wf [wife], aged fifty-three years (b. ME), Phebe M. Barry, dressmaker, aged eighteen years (b. NH), Charles H. Barry, aged seven years (b. ME), Winfield S. Howe, a sawyer, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), Daniel Sanborn, foundry, aged thirty years (b. NH), John S. Edgerly, hotel keeper, aged forty-five years (b. NH), Harriet Edgerly, wf [wife], aged forty-seven years (b. NH), Parker R. Libby, junr. barber, aged twenty-seven years (b. ME), Hellen A. [(Edgerly)] Libby, wf [wife], aged seventeen years (b. NH), Maria Nason, servant, aged twenty-three years (b. NH), Stephen T. Whitney, cigar maker, aged forty-five years (b. ME), Wm Duran, junr. harness maker, aged thirty years (b. ME), George T. Blake, junr. painter, aged twenty-five years (b. ME), Monroe Boynton, junr. cigar maker, aged twenty-one years (b. ME), Eliakim Richards, nothing, aged thirty-eight years (b. ME), and Charles J. Richards, nothing, aged sixteen years (b. ME). John S. Edgerly had personal estate valued at $700 and Stephen T. Whitney had real estate valued at $700.

John S. Edgerly appeared in the Maine business directory of 1862, as proprietor of the Mechanics’ House hotel, on Stor. street, in Saco, ME, in 1862 (Willis, 1862).

 John S. Edgerly died in Biddeford, ME, May 7, 1863.

Daughter Helen A. (Edgerly) Libby married (2nd) December 25, 1875, William W. Friend, both of Boston, MA. She was aged thirty-three years, and he was a teamster, aged twenty-eight years. Rev. L.L. Briggs performed the ceremony.

William W. Friend, clerk in store, aged thirty-four years (b. ME), headed a Boston, MA, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Hellen A. Friend, keeping house, aged thirty-seven years (b. NH), his step-children, Gertrude Libby, in commercial agency, aged nineteen years (b. ME), and Ernest Libby, in commission house, aged fifteen years (b. ME), his mother-in-law, Harriet [(Lyford)] Edgerly, aged sixty-nine years (b. NH), and his boarders, Laura E. [(Lewis)] Aldrich, aged twenty-four years (b. MA), George W. Aldrich, a police officer, aged thirty-three years (b. NH), William Maxwell, a salesman, aged twenty-four years (b. ME),  Emma Carr, a servant, aged twenty years (b. England), Leroy Ford, in market, aged twenty-eight years (b. NH), Annie Rennolds, a servant, aged fifteen years (b. MA), Albert Long, provision store, aged seventy-eight years (b. ME), George Hartshorn, a R.R. conductor, aged thirty-one years (b. MA), Julia W. [(Merrill)] Hartshorn, aged twenty-eight years (b. MA), and Willie B. Hartshorn, aged three years (b. MA). They resided at 611 Shawmut avenue.

Harriet (Lyman) Edgerly, widow of John S. Edgerly, died of paralysis in Somerville, MA, August 1, 1892, aged eighty-one [fifty-one] years, eleven months, and ten days.

William H. Huntress, 185?-1870

William H. “Howard” Huntress was born in Milton, January 17, 1822, a son of William and Lydia A. (Hatch) Huntress. His mother died in Milton, December 19, 1830; and his father remarried there, July 1, 1832, Dorcas Dore.

William H. Huntress, left town for some years in the 1840s. He was a shoemaker, aged twenty-eight years (b. NH), residing in the Natick, MA, household of his elder brother, Thomas H. Huntress, also a shoemaker, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. Younger brother Hezekiah R. Huntress, also a shoemaker, aged twenty-six years (b. NH), resided in the neighboring household of brother-in-law, Darwin Morse, a farmer, aged thirty-eight years (b. MA).

William H. Huntress married, circa 1852-53, Sarah C. Tuttle. She was born in Barrington, NH, August 1, 1832, daughter of John and Esther C. (Moulton) Tuttle. They settled in Milton, where their first two children were born in 1854 and 1859.

William H. Huntress may have owned his Milton hotel as early as September 1855. (He appears to have employed managers to run it for him in some years).

In the April 1858 trespass case of Palmer versus Tuttle, William H. Huntress was mentioned as a western abutter to the trespassed property.

In a plea of trespass, for that the defendants, on the third day of April, A.D. 1858, at said Milton, with force and arms broke and entered the plaintiff’s close, situate in Milton, in said county, and bounded easterly partly by land of John Foss and partly by land of James C. Roberts, southerly by land of Stephen Downs westerly by land now occupied by William H. Huntress and James F. Place, and northerly by the road leading by the houses of William W. Ricker and James B. Downs; and cut down and carried away ten hemlock trees, twenty five pine trees, fifty beech trees, one hundred birch trees, one hundred oak trees, and two hundred maple trees, property of the plaintiff, of the value of two hundred dollars, and converted the same to their own use; and cut down and carried away thirty cords of the plaintiff’s wood, of the value of hundred dollars, and converted the same to their own use, and with their oxen and horses trod up and injured the plaintiff’s soil, against the peace and to the damage of the said plaintiff (as he says) in the sum of three hundred dollars (NH Supreme Court, 1860).

William H. Huntress, a shoemaker, aged thirty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Sarah C. Huntress, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH), Charles A. Huntress, aged six years (b. NH), and John W. Huntress, aged one year (b. NH).

Huntress’ household appeared next to that of his brother-in-law, Darwin Morse, a farmer, aged forty-seven years (b. NH). (His father, stepmother, sister Phebe A. Morse, and nephew resided in the Morse household). They lived near School House No. 12 on what is now Silver Street, approaching its intersection with what is now Winding Road.

Joseph Jenness (1823-1892) lived in the hotel in 1860, which he apparently ran on Huntress’s behalf.

Milton - 1871 (Dist. 9 Detail)
Milton Three Ponds in 1871. Dr. S. Drew’s house (indicated with red arrow), was in close proximity to Huntress’ Milton House hotel. (The original location of Milton’s PGF&C railroad station (indicated with the green arrow) was on the opposite side of the river from where it would be not long after).

Joseph Jenness, a landlord (“Milton Hotel”), aged thirty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Reliance C. Jenness, aged thirty-one years (b. NH). He had no real estate (and Huntress would be taxed for the licenses). It stood in the Milton downtown, in close proximity, and likely right next door, to the home of Dr. Stephen Drew (another marginal note: “Practicing Physician in Milton 40 years”).

C. Crosby, a hired man, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), resided there, with Emeline Crosby, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), Lydia M. Crosby, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), and Charles G. Crosby, aged seven years (b. NH).

Nine men were listed as “boarders”: B.F. Rankin, aged twenty-five years (b. NH), Charles Neal, aged twenty-two years (b. NH), David Wentworth, aged twenty-three years (b. NH), Charles Peckham, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH), Charles Nudd, Esq., aged twenty-seven years (b. NH), D. Palmer, aged twenty-five years (b. NH), J.C. Robinson, aged thirty-two years, C.C. Smith (b. NH), aged forty years, and James Miller, aged twenty-six years (b. NH).

There were three female guests: Mrs. C. Lane, a teacher of music, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), [sister-in-law] Pamelia C. Weatherell, aged twenty-nine years (b. NH), and S.C. Goodrich, a dressmaker, aged twenty-two years (b. NH).

Also staying in the hotel were three male guests: John R. Palmer, postmaster, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), Dr. Jackson, a physician, aged forty-two years (b. NH), and George Hattan, an “Indian Doctor,” aged fifty-five years (b. NH).

The US Class II military draft list of June 1863 included both William H. Huntress, a hotel keeper, aged thirty-seven years, and Joseph Jenness, a stabler, aged thirty-nine years.

The Federal government assessed Huntress for his 8th-class hotel, liquor license, and livery stable in the US Excise Tax of May 1864.

The Federal government again assessed Huntress for his hotel, liquor license, and livery stable in the US Excise Tax of May 1866. He appeared as proprietor of the “Milton” hotel in 1868 and 1869-70.

William H. Huntress, a saloon keeper, aged forty-three years (b. NH), headed a two-family Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Sarah C. Huntress, keeping house, aged thirty-four years (b. NH), Charles A. Huntress, a clerk in saloon, aged sixteen years (b. NH), and John W. Huntress, aged eleven years (b. NH). Huntress had real estate valued at $1,600 and personal estate valued at $1,377.

Robert Brown, works in shoe factory, aged forty years (b. NH), headed the other household in the two-family residence. His household included Sarah A. [(Runnells)] Brown, keeping house, aged forty-four years (b. NH), Everitt O. Brown, works in shoe factory, aged fourteen years (b. NH), and Elmer E. Brown, at school, aged nine years (b. NH).

William H. Huntress appeared in the Milton business directories of 1871, and 1873, as proprietor of a livery stable.

William H. Huntress died of dropsy in Milton, January 16, 1873, aged fifty years.

Sarah C. Huntress, keeping house, aged forty-five years (b. NH), headed a Dover, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. Her household included her son, John W. Huntress, a shoe cutter, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), her daughter-in-law, Lura B. [(Perkins)] Huntress, at home, aged eighteen years (b. NH), and her nephew, Alvah H. Place, a drug clerk, aged eighteen years (b. NH). They lived at or near Garrison Hill.

Sarah C. (Tuttle) Huntress died in Dover, NH, July 25, 1880.

Continued in Milton’s Franklin House Hotel, 1870-76


NH Senate. (1847). Journal of the Senate of New Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=TC4TAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA229

NH Supreme Court. (1860). Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Judicial Court of New Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=EJg0AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA487

Willis, William. (1862). A Business Directory of the Subscribers to the New Map of Maine. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=mKm9lz1RH_0C&pg=PA167

West Milton Selectman Martin V.B. Cook (1838-1891)

By Muriel Bristol | August 20, 2021

Martin Van Buren Cook was born in Milton, November 16, 1838, son of Joseph and Rebecca (Ricker) Cook.

Martin V.B. Cook was obviously a namesake for the eighth U.S. President, Martin Van Buren, who held that office between 1837 and 1841. Cook’s father, Joseph Cook, was presumably an admirer and likely a Democrat. (Naming people after presidents and other political figures was much more common in the nineteenth century than it is currently). Van Buren was President Andrew Jackson’s hand-picked successor. The inflationary banking Panic of 1837 cast a shadow over his presidency and he was not reelected.

M.V.B. Cook’s mother, Rebecca (Ricker) Cook, died in 1843. His father, Joseph Cook, married (2nd) in Milton, December 28, 1843, Lydia Blaisdell, both of Milton. Elder Jacob Davis performed the ceremony. She was born in Lebanon, ME, circa 1807, daughter of Enoch Blaisdell.

Joseph Cook, a farmer, aged fifty-one years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Lydia Cook, aged fifty-three years (b. NH [SIC]), M.A. Cook, aged twenty-three years (b. NH), M.V.B. Cook, a farmer, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), and Joseph Kenney, a farm laborer, aged twenty-one years (b. NH). Joseph Cook had real estate valued at $6,000 and personal estate valued at $3,000. Their household was enumerated between those of Henry Varney, a farmer, aged thirty years (b. NH) and Stephen Twombly, a farmer, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH).

M.V.B. Cook appeared in the Milton business directory of 1869-70, as a Milton justice-of-the-peace. (Joseph Cook appeared also as a justice-of-the-peace).

The Milton School Superintendents of 1869 were James Doldt, M.V.B. Cook, and James W. Applebee. (Rev. James Doldt (1809-1886) was a Congregational minister; and James W. Applebee (1844-1931) was a Milton teacher).

Joseph Cook, a farmer, aged sixty-one years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lydia Cook, keeping house, aged sixty-three years (b. ME), Mary A Cook, a teacher, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), Martin V.B. Cook, a farm laborer, aged thirty years (b. NH). Joseph Cook had real estate valued at $5,000 and personal estate valued at $1,765. Martin V.B. Cook had real estate valued at $800 and personal estate valued at $300. Their household was enumerated between those of James H. Varney, a farmer, aged forty years (b. NH) and Stephen Twombly, a farmer, aged sixty-six years (b. NH).

Martin V.B. Cook married in Wakefield, NH, December 27, 1870, Lizzie S. “Sarah” Sanborn, he of Milton and she of Acton, ME. He was a farmer, aged thirty-two years, and she was aged thirty-two years. Rev. Nathaniel Barker performed the ceremony. She was born in Acton, ME, September 11, 1838, daughter of Luther and Abigail (Berry) Sanborn.

Daughter Nellie A. Cook was born in Milton, May 31, 1872.

M.V.B. Cook appeared in the Milton business directories of 1873, 1874, and 1880, as a Milton justice-of-the-peace. (Joseph Cook appeared also as a justice-of-the-peace in those years and 1875, 1876, and 1880).

Daughter Argie Cook and son Archie Cook, twins, were stillborn in Milton, March 30, 1874.

The Milton School Superintendents of 1875 were G.W. Olney, M.V.B. Cook, and J.F. Joy. (George W. Olney (1840-1894) was a woolen mill superintendent; and Rev. Joseph F. Joy (1838-1912) was a Free-Will Baptist minister).

Martin V.B. Cook replied to an 1876 NH state education question, with a description of the new Milton Mills school building. (See Milton in NH Education Report, 1876).

The Milton School Superintendents of 1876 were M.V.B. Cook, J.N. Lowell, Freeman H. Lowd. (Rev. John N. Lowell (1846-1903) was a Congregational minister; and Freeman H. Lowd (1853-1933) was a clerk and bookkeeper (his wife was a daughter of Ira Miller)).

Daughter Bertha E. Clerk was born in Milton, in 1877. Daughter Nellie A. Cook died of consumption of the blood in Milton, July 24, 1878, aged six years.

The Milton Selectmen of 1878-79 were C.C. Hayes, Asa A. Fox, and M.V.B. Cook. (Charles C. Hayes (1822-1893) was a farmer and setter of water wheels; Asa A. Fox (1837-1913) was a Milton Mills carpenter (and a son of Asa Fox)).

Joseph Cook, a farmer, aged seventy-one years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lydia Cook, keeping house, aged seventy-three years (b. ME), his son, Martin V.B. Cook, a farmer (b. NH), aged forty-one years, his daughter-in-law, Sarah E. Cook, keeping house, aged forty-one years (b. ME), and his granddaughter, Bertha Cook, aged three years (b. NH). Their household was enumerated between those of James H. Varney, a farmer, aged fifty years (b. NH), and Deborah Pike, keeping house, aged seventy-nine years (b. NH).

M.V.B. Cook appeared in the Milton business directories of 1881, 1882, 1884, 1887, and 1889, as a Milton justice-of-the-peace.

The Milton Board of Education of 1887 was John Simes, Luther Hayes, and Martin V.B. Cook. (John U. Simes (1836-1927) was a Milton Mills merchant; Hon. Luther Hayes (1820-1895) was a lumber manufacturer).

M.V.B. Cook’s step-mother, Lydia (Blaisdell) Cook, died of lung congestion in Milton, October 28, 1890, aged eighty-three years, five months, and twenty-eight days.

DIED. In Farmington, Oct. 29, Lydia Cook, aged 83 years, 5 months and 27 days (Farmington News, October 31, 1890).

WEST MILTON. M.V.B. Cook continues to draw wood into town (Farmington News, December 26, 1890).

WEST MILTON. M.V.B. Cook is quite ill with rheumatic fever (Farmington News, December 4, 1891).

Martin V.B. Cook died of Bright’s Disease in Milton, December 21, 1891, aged fifty-three years, and one month. J.E. Scruton, M.D., of Union, [Wakefield,] NH, signed the death certificate.

M.V.B. Cook’s father, Joseph Cook, died of cystitis in Milton, August 12, 1892, aged eighty-three years, and two months. John P. Elkins, M.D., of Farmington, NH, signed the death certificate.

LOCALS. Joseph Cook of West Milton died last Friday at his home (Farmington News, August 19, 1892).

WEST MILTON. The M.V.B. Cook place is said to have been sold to Mr. Kimball and spring work is being done there (Farmington News, May 2o, 1898).

Daughter Bertha E. (Cook) Drawbridge married in Union, Wakefield, NH, June 11, 1899, Edward F. Drawbridge, she of Milton and he of Middleton, NH. He was a clerk, aged twenty-six years, and she was a milliner, aged twenty-two years. Rev. Robert H. Drawbridge performed the ceremony. She was not well and died of Bright’s Disease in Milton, less than a month later, July 6, 1899, aged twenty-two years, three months, and twenty-one years. Charles W. Gross, M.D., signed the death certificate.

WEST MILTON. On last Sunday relatives and other friends of the late Martin V. Cook went from this neighborhood to Milton Mills to attend the funeral of Mrs. Bertha Cook Drawbridge, formerly of West Milton. The Rev E.W. Churchill was the officiating clergyman, and singing was given by a mixed quartette. A great many persons were present in the large house which had been the home of the deceased, and others were in the grounds, and many beautiful flowers breathed of sympathy felt for the widowed mother, a woman held in deep respect, who mourns the loss of the last of her family, the death of the latter having been preceded by that of Mrs. Cook’s twin children, of a little daughter named [Nellie] Lizzie, and of their father. These having been removed some time ago from a private cemetery to the public enclosure near the Cutts place in Milton Mills. Mrs. Drawbridge was interred in the latter grounds. She attended in her girlhood the Nute high school, after leaving the district school, remaining as a pupil in the high school until an affection [affliction] of her eyes compelled her to relinquish her studies. She was twenty two years of age last March (Farmington News, July 14, 1899).

Administrator’s Notice. The subscriber hereby gives notice that he has been duly appointed administrator of the estate of Martin V.B. Cook, late of Milton, deceased, Intestate. All persons indebted to said estate are requested to make immediate payment, and all having claims to present them to the subscriber for adjustment. EDWARD F. DRAWBRIDGE, Administrator. Middleton, N.H., September 18, 1899. 29 (Farmington News, September 22, 1899).

William F. Cutts, a farmer, aged sixty-nine years (b. ME), headed a Milton household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his sister-in-law, Sarah E. Cook, a housekeeper, aged sixty-one years (b. ME). William F. Cutts owned their farm, free-and-clear. Their household was enumerated between those of Lincoln Goodwin, a farmer, aged thirty-nine years (b. ME), and Arastus B. Shaw, a carpenter, aged fifty-nine years (b. NH).

Mrs. Martin V.B. Cook appeared in the Milton directories of 1900, and 1902, as having her house ½ mile south of Milton Mills. (William F. Cutts appeared also as a farmer, ½ mile south of Milton Mills).

M.V.B. Cook’s sister, Mary Ann Cook, died of apoplexy, i.e., a stroke, in North Rochester, NH, September 17, 1904. M.A.H. Hart, M.D., signed the death certificate.

WEST MILTON. Mrs. Lizzie Cook of Milton Mills is visiting Mrs. Annie Cook (Farmington News, September 1, 1905).

J. Frank Farnham, an excelsior manufacturer, aged fifty years (b. ME), headed a Wakefield (“Union Village”) household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Ora E. [(Cutts)] Farnham, aged fifty-one years (b. ME), his daughter, Hazel A. Farnham, aged sixteen years (b. NH), and his boarder, Sarah L. Cook,  a widow (own income), aged seventy years (b. NH). Ora E. Farnham was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living. Sarah L. Cook was the mother of three children, of whom none were till living.

West Milton. Mrs. Lizzie Cook of Union, a former resident, is visiting Mrs. Annie Cook this week (Farmington News, May 10, 1912).

Annie E. (Davis) Cook (1851-1927) was the widow of Ira A. Cook (1843-1898). Her West Milton residence was known as “Maple Cottage.” It was situated on the Middleton road, so called, in the second house north of the Farmington road. That is to say, she lived on what is now called Governor’s road, two houses from its intersection with what is now NH Rte. 75). She entertained guests and boarders (boarders being usually Nute Ridge or West Milton schoolteachers), and she was active in local school activities.

West Milton. Mrs. Lizzie Cook of Union is visiting Mrs. Annie Cook the present week (Farmington News, June 21, 1912).

West Milton. Mrs. Lizzie Cook and Mrs. Frank Farnum of Milton Mills were guests at Maple Cottage on Tuesday (Farmington News, September 27, 1912).

West Milton. Mrs. Annie Cook is visiting her friend, Mrs. Lizzie Cook, at Union this week (Farmington News, April 4, 1913).

West Milton. Mrs. Annie Cook was the guest of Mrs. Lizzie Cook at Union one day last week. On Saturday the former Mrs. Cook visited her aunt, Mrs. Sophia Boyden of Dover (Farmington News, March 6, 1914).

Lizzie S. “Sarah” (Sanborn) Cook died of interstitial nephritis in Union, Wakefield, NH, June 4, 1914, aged seventy-five years, eight months, and twenty-three days. She had been resident there for twenty years, with her previous residence in neighboring Milton. Charles C. Rogers, M.D., of Farmington, NH, signed the death certificate.

WEST MILTON. The old friends and neighbors of former resident Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Cook were grieved to learn of her death, which occurred at the home of her niece and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Farnum of Union, Last Thursday morning. Death followed a short illness at the age of 76 years. The deceased was born in Acton, Me., the daughter of Luther and Abbie (Berry) Sanborn. She was the widow of Martin V.B. Cook of this town, whom she survived about twenty-two years. Mrs. Cook passed many years at the old Cook homestead, now owned by C.P. Grace. She was a woman of gentle and motherly kindness, possessed of a Christian character and the attributes of a high and noble purpose. Many among us have reason to remember her by these qualities. Funeral was held from the home last Sunday afternoon, with a large attendance of relatives and friends and a profusion of beautiful floral tributes (Farmington News, June 12, 1914).


Find a Grave. (2013, August 13). Martin V.B. Cook. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/115375461/martin-v.b-cook

Find a Grave. (2013, August 13). Bertha Cook Drawbridge. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/115375165/bertha-drawbridge

Wikipedia. (2021, August 10). Martin Van Buren. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Van_Buren

Milton in NH Education Report, 1876

By Muriel Bristol | August 15 2021

In the thirtieth (June 1876) report, NH Superintendent of Public Instruction John W. Simonds included some information regarding Milton schools.

J.W. Simonds (1829-1885) appeared in the Concord, NH, directory of 1876, as Supt. Public Instruction, with his office in the State House, and his house at Franklin, NH.

Milton was one of thirty-three communities, including neighbors Farmington and Middleton, NH, whose superintending school committee failed to submit a report, as required by law.

The Milton Board of Education had available to it $7,463.00; of which $1,048.00 came from the town tax for support of schools, $6,000.00 came from district school taxes, $145.00 came from the literary fund, $30.00 came from local funds, and $240.00 came from contributions and the dog tax. (The $6,000 in district school taxes was raised and used to construct a new Milton Mills School (see below)). The school assessment rate was $0.030 [per $1,000].

The Milton Selectmen reported having 232 students. School District No. 3 had the largest expenditure, of $320. The district with the smallest expenditure spent $33. The longest district school term ran 32 weeks, while the shortest ran only 6 weeks. The largest district had 79 students, and the smallest district had 13 students.

In a table of Academies, Seminaries, High and Select Schools, Milton (Three Ponds) had its Classical Institute, under Principal J.P. Bickford (who was also one of three Milton town school committee members). Its building, apparatus and grounds were valued at $1,500. Its school year began in September and had a schedule of 36 weeks. It had 1 male teacher (presumably Bickford himself), 0 female teachers, 37 male students, and 32 female students.

Of these 69 Institute students, 65 (94.2%) of them were residents of New Hampshire (leaving 4 (5.8%) of them with homes in other states); 12 students were pursuing “higher branches,” 2 of them were studying ancient languages, and 0 were studying modern languages.

School Buildings

Martin V.B. Cook (1838-1891) replied to a School Buildings question, with a description of the new Milton Mills school building.

Question 4: State at length what has been done in erecting new school buildings, or in permanent repairs. If a new house has been built, give a full description, – size, material, number of school-rooms, number of ante-rooms kind of finish, furniture, entire cost, and account of dedication exercises. 

MILTON.M.V.B. Cook. During the past year an excellent wooden school-house has been erected in district No. 7, situated in the thriving village of Milton Mills. The main building is 40×40 ft., one and a half stories high, with French roof, and basement; also tower in front, 10×12 ft. It contains two school-rooms, four ante-rooms, and a library, and is finished with western pine and black walnut. The furniture is of the latest improvements. The entire cost exceeds $6,000, besides some valuable presents, – among which was a bell, presented by Hon. John Townsend, of Brookline, Mass. The dedication consisted of music and an address by Rev. Geo. Michael.

History of Education

Elbridge W. Fox (1834-1912) wrote the following in answer to a question regarding the History of [Milton] Education. His reply suggests that he had access to sources – both town records and people – that are no longer available to us.


In the early settlement of the town, the children, even when very young, were compelled by circumstances to do their part toward supplying the necessary food for sustenance, providing comfortable places for shelter, and clearing roads through dense forests, as a means of communication from neighbor to neighbor. This, together with a limited thirst for mental culture and the scarcity of the required books and proper instructors, allowed them to grow to manhood and womanhood without advancing, intellectually, much beyond the preceding generation.

The town was settled about the year 1775, it being then a part of the town of Rochester, from which it was taken by an act of incorporation, dated June 11, 1802, with a population of about 570.

At the time of  the Second (1800) Federal Census, Milton-soon-to-be had actually a population of about 899 persons. (See Northeast Parish in the Second (1800) Federal Census).

At this time, and for years prior to incorporation, the town consisted of but three school districts; but in the year 1806 two more were added, by a sub-division of the original three, with a total adult population in the town of 185.

The adult population, i.e., those above 16 years of age, totaled actually about 429 persons. (See Northeast Parish in the Second (1800) Federal Census).

In the year 1815, district No. 6 [Hare Road] was formed by a division of No. 2 [Hare Road & Nute Ridge]. The same year the town voted to divide No. 3 [Milton Mills and north of Milton Mills], and thereby form No. 7 [Milton Mills]. A legal division was not fully made, however, till 1819.

New districts were formed from time to time to meet the demands of the increasing population; and in 1827 the town was districted anew, forming ten districts. This number was subsequently increased to fourteen, and later, reduced to twelve, and still later, 1854, increased to thirteen, – which number still exists, although schools are taught in but twelve of them.


For years prior to the incorporation of the town, and before school-houses were provided, teachers, who received but a mere pittance for their services, were commonly employed by the inhabitants of neighborhoods, and would occupy for school purposes, alternately, the dwellings of the several inhabitants, from three to six days each, at which all the children of suitable age in the particular neighborhood would eagerly gather for instruction.

One of the earliest teachers of whom there is any recollection was —– McFarland, a native of the Emerald Isle, who was a thorough scholar and a practical and successful teacher, – a man of singular devotion, large experience, and established reputation, but so strict in discipline as to be termed by his pupils a “hard master.”

Mercy Merrick, who taught in district No. 1 [Plummer’s Ridge], was also one of the pioneer teachers. Not having books at that time containing the alphabet, she taught her pupils the different letters by drawing or marking them on chips of wood. “Old Master Sullivan,” as he was familiarly called, was also a teacher of early times, and of established reputation. The names of Joseph Main, who was quite celebrated as a neighborhood teacher, Isaac Chesley, Daniel Melcher, James Libbey, Ephraim Pinkham, Ebenezer Toy, Polly Bergen, Daniel Dame, and Druzilla Hayes may also be mentioned as successful teachers of early days.

Some other early Milton teachers might be mentioned too. Sophia Cushing (1781-1857) taught at Plummer’s Ridge and Milton Three Ponds. John Brewster (1813-1886) and Lewis W. Nute (1820-1888) were for a time teachers at Nute Ridge. Benjamin B. Dorr (c1815-1901) was “engaged for many years in educational work” in the mid-19th century (See Milton in the News – 1901). James W. Applebee (1844-1931) was a teacher (and school committee member) around 1870.

For the service of the latter teacher one term, the town warrant at one time contained the following article: “To see if the town will vote to pay Druzilla Hayes six dollars, for teaching a school in district No. 2 [Nute’s Ridge].” The article was disposed of by referring the matter to the discretion of the selectmen.


During the existence of neighborhood schools, and in the early history of district schools, only one term in each was held for the year; but at a later period, and even to this day in a majority of districts, two terms were and are held, one designated as the summer and the other as the winter term, – the former almost invariably taught by female teachers, and the latter, in a majority of cases, by male teachers, at a salary in early times, for females, of one dollar per week, and for male teachers, of ten dollars per month, including board, which was generally furnished by the several families without charge in order to lengthen the school.

One might suppose that potential male teachers might have been busy farming until the harvest was completed and so only then became available for the winter term. The pay difference is less explicable.


This style of boarding was so customary with school-teachers in early days, that it originated the phrase “boarding ’round,” which is not unfrequently used at the present time in connection with itinerant boarders.


The first text-book used is said to have been Webster’s Speller; then gradually came into use the Testament, American Preceptor, Columbian Orator, Merrill’s Arithmetic, Alexander’s Grammar and Murray’s Small Grammar.

Noah Webster was author of the American Spelling Book [also known as the “Blue-Backed Speller”] (1783); Caleb Bingham was author of the American Preceptor (1794) and Columbian Orator (1797); Lindley Murray was author of English Grammar (1795); and Caleb Alexander was author of the Columbian Dictionary (1800).

The text-books of to-day are, – Progressive Speller; Monroe’s Series of Readers, six numbers; Cornell’s Series of Geographies, four numbers; Greenleaf’s Series of Arithmetics, six numbers; Tower’s, Quackenbos’s, and Kerl’s grammars; Quackenbos’s History and Philosophy; Robinson’s Algebra.

Benjamin Greenleaf was author of Introduction to National Arithmetic (1845); Horatio Nelson Robinson was author of An Elementary Treatise on Algebra (1850); Sarah S. Cornell was author of Primary Geography (1854), Intermediate Geography (1857), and High School Geometry (1857); George P. Quackenbos was author of A School History of the United States (1857), Natural Philosophy (1859), and An American Grammar (1862); David B. Tower was author of Common School Grammar (1859); Simon Kerl was author of First Lessons in English Grammar (1866); Lewis B. Monroe was author of First Reader (1873) Second Reader (1873), Third Reader (1873), Fourth Reader (1873), Fifth Reader (1873), and Sixth Reader (1873); (See also Milton’s Arithmetic Textbooks of 1878).

Not till the year 1817 was a superintending school-committee chosen; and in the year 1833 the town voted to dispense with their services, so far as relates to the inspection and examination of schools, except when called upon by the prudential committee.

The first appropriation for schools by the town was in 1807, and was a sum equal to fifty per cent of the amount required by statute. In 1810 and 1812 all the interest collected was appropriated for this purpose. In 1811 a direct appropriation of one hundred dollars was made; and in 1829 the interest of the Literary Fund was made a part and parcel of the school-money, and has ever remained so. An effort to appropriate the interest of the Surplus Revenue Fund was successful in the year 1838 only. Since that time the required statute appropriation, with an occasional town and district appropriation, has been regularly distributed.

The NH State Literary Fund’s principal originated as taxation extracted for a state university, which was not spent as being inadequate for that purpose. The town-level Literary Fund’s principal would have derived from several sources, including a share of the annual interest from the NH State Literary Fund, if any, local fines, forfeitures, etc., and any interest accrued and not spent. It was often supplemented by a local tax on dogs.

As nearly as can be ascertained, the first total expenditure of schools after the incorporation of the town was less than one hundred dollars. The present year the amount falls little short of fourteen hundred dollars.

Since the establishment of school-districts in this town, rapid strides have been made in the methods of education, and the appliances and means have been multiplied an hundred-fold. In the early history of schools, it was a common practice for the girls to bring their sewing and knitting-work, and devote such portion of time to these pursuits as would not interfere with their studies while in the school-room.

Advance has also been the watchword in the matter of wages and salaries of teachers, – beginning in “ye olden time,” with one dollar per week for female and ten dollars per month for male teachers, and gradually advancing till the former command six to ten dollars per week, and the latter forty-five to seventy dollars per month.

Next in sequence: Milton in NH Education Report, 1877


Find a Grave. (2011, December 4). James W. Applebee. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/81520949/james-w.-applebee

NH Superintendent of Public Instruction. (1876, June). Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=EL0EB85xXZQC

Wikipedia. (2018, November 16). Caleb Bingham. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caleb_Bingham

Wikipedia. (2021, July 17). History of English Grammars. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_English_grammars

Wikipedia. (2019, October 24). Lindley Murray. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindley_Murray

Wikipedia. (2021, June 24). Noah Webster. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_Webster

Milton’s Riverside House, c1879-1902

By Muriel Bristol | August 8, 2021

Charles Henry Downs was born in Milton, circa June 1845, son of Moses and Lovina (Hanson) Downs.

Moses Downs, a farm laborer, aged sixty-two years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton P.O.”) household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Lovina Downs, aged fifty-five years (b. NH), E.A. Downs, aged nineteen years (b. NH), Albert Downs, aged twelve years (b. NH), and Chas. H. Downs, aged eleven [fifteen] years (b. NH). Their household was enumerated between those of Samuel F. Nute, a farmer, aged twenty-nine years (b. NH), and Cyrus Leighton, a farmer, aged thirty-five years (b. NH).

Charles H. Downs of Milton, a shoemaker, aged nineteen years, enlisted for the term of one year in the NH Eighteenth Regiment Volunteer Infantry, in Portsmouth, NH, April 3, 1865. He was 5′ 10½” tall, with gray eyes, dark brown hair, and a dark complexion. He was mustered in the same day under Captain Daniel Hall. He had answered the president’s call for volunteers, i.e., President Abraham Lincoln, who would be assassinated not two weeks later, April 15, 1865. Downs’ service was brief, as he was mustered out again, May 6, 1865.

Downs’ father, Moses Downs, died of consumption in Milton, December 1, 1868, aged sixty-eight years, three months, and seventeen days.

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 in shoe factory, aged twenty-four years (b. NH). Charles L. Lord had real estate valued at $600 and personal estate valued at $100. Their household was enumerated between those of Ezra H. Twombly, postmaster, aged forty-one years (b. NH), and John L. Wing, works in shoe factory, aged forty-six years (b. ME).

C.H. Downs appeared in the Milton directory of 1880, as proprietor of the Riverside House in Milton. (The Riverside House was actually located just across the bridge in Lebanon, ME).

Charles H. Downs, a hotel keeper, aged thirty-four years (b. NH), headed a Lebanon, ME, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his mother, Lovina Downs, keeping house, aged seventy-four years (b. NH), and his boarder, H.N. Knox, at home, aged eight years (b. ME).

C.H. Downs appeared in the Milton directories of 1881, 1882, 1884, 1887, 1889, as proprietor of the Riverside House in Milton. (The Riverside House was actually located just across the bridge in Lebanon, ME).

Downs’ mother, Lovina (Hanson) Downs, died of pneumonia in Milton, November 7, 1884, aged seventy-eight years.

Riverside House
Milton Bird’s Eye View Map of 1888 (Detail). Riverside House is indicated with red arrow

MILTON. Herman Moulton has leased the Riverside House – for several years occupied by Charles Downs – and assumed proprietorship May 1st. Mr. Bailey of Farmington has leased the store adjoining the Riverside House and will soon open with a line of stoves, hardware, paints and oils (Farmington News, May 23, 1890).

The tenure of Herman L. Moulton (1859-1941), if any, was brief. C.H. Downs appeared in the Milton business directories of 1892, 1894, and 1898, as proprietor of Riverside House, on the West Lebanon road.

MILTON. Charlie Downs of Boston is at the Riverside house (Farmington News, September 14, 1894).

MILTON. The directors of the Union Ice Company were at the Riverside House last Sunday (Farmington News, October 12, 1894).

WEST MILTON. Mr. Wilder Johnson, who has been training a span of horses, has had an advantageous offer for a position at Riverside hotel at Milton for the season (Farmington News, May 3, 1895).

Wilder Johnson (1831-1903) of Farmington, NH, served in Co. K of the First ME Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War. Perhaps the advantageous position being offered was providing Riverside House’s advertised “free carriages to and from all trains.”

C.H. Downs appeared in the New England Business Directory of 1896, as proprietor of the River Side hotel in Milton. (E.M. Bodwell and F.N. Chamberlin appeared also as proprietors of the Milton and Phoenix hotels, respectively).

HERE AND THERE. Mr. Charles Downs of the Riverside Hotel in Milton broke his leg on Monday, and will be for some time confined to the house (Farmington News, May 1, 1896).

Riverside House - 1900Charles H. Downs married in Milton, May 10, 1900, Sarah Gorman, both of Lebanon, ME. He was a hotel proprietor, aged fifty-five years, and she was a housekeeper, aged twenty-five years. Rev. R.M. Peacock performed the ceremony. She was born in Ireland, circa 1874, daughter of Peter and Mary Gorman.

Charles H. Downs, a hotel keeper, aged fifty-five years (b. NH), headed a Lebanon, ME, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of zero years), Sarah Downs, aged twenty-five years (b. Ireland), and his boarder, Harry Curran, a paper mill fireman, aged nineteen years (b. ME). Charles H. Downs owned their house, but with a mortgage. Sarah Downs had been seven years in the U.S., having immigrated in 1893.

Riverside House - 1902C.H. Downs appeared in the Milton business directory of 1901, as proprietor of Riverside House.

MILTON. C.H. Downs, proprietor of the Riverside House, had twenty-eight transient boarders last week (Farmington News, February 15, 1901).

The most likely source of so many wintertime transient boarders would have been Milton’s ice industry.

NEWS OF THE STATE. Milton is the largest storage centre for ice on the Boston & Maine R.R., with a capacity of 114,000 tons. Sanbornville stores 80,000 tons (Farmington News, March 15, 1901).

C.H. Downs appeared in the New England Business Directory of 1902, as proprietor of the Riverside hotel in Milton. (E.M. Bodwell and F.M. Chamberlin appeared also as proprietors of the Milton and Phoenix hotels, respectively; C.D. Fox appeared as proprietor of the Central hotel in Milton Mills).

Charles H. Downs died of stomach cancer in Lebanon, ME, April 20, 1902, aged fifty-seven years, three months, and nineteen days. James J. Buckley, M.D., signed the death certificate. He was a married hotel keeper.


Find a Grave. (2009, November 26). Charles Henry Downs. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/44820130/charles-henry-downs

Sampson and Murdock. (1896).New England Business Directory and Gazetteer, 1896. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=AOw1AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA291

Last Will of Luther Hayes (1820-1895)

By Muriel Bristol | August 1, 2021

Luther Hayes (1820-1895) was a South Milton lumber dealer and farmer. He served also as NH State Representative (1857-58 and 1876-77), Strafford County Commissioner (1864-67), Strafford County Sheriff (1866-69), Strafford County Deputy Sheriff (1870-71), NH Fish Commissioner (1876-86), and NH State Senator (1879-80).

Hayes was thrice married and had eleven children. (Those in bolded type survived to appear in his last will). By his first wife, Louise A. Bragdon (1820-1859), he had six children: Lydia E. Hayes (1841-1876), Clara A. Hayes (1843-1879), Louisa M. Hayes (1846-1915), Charles H. Hayes (1849-1916), George A. Hayes (1852-1924), and Samuel L. Hayes (1855-1859).

By his second wife, Sarah M. Cochran (1834-1871), he had four children: Samuel L. Hayes [II] (1862-1946) (aka S. Lyman or Lyman S. Hayes), Fannie L. Hayes (1865-1953), Hattie E. Hayes (1868-1951), and Luther C. Hayes (1869-1952).

By his third and last wife, Ellen R. Morrill (1840-1909), he had one child, Clarence M. Hayes (1878-1915).

His last wife and eight of his eleven children were living and mentioned in his last will.

Ellen R. [(Morrill)] Hayes, a widowed housekeeper, aged fifty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. Her household included her [step-] daughter, Hattie [(Hayes)] Dewolfe, a divorcée, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), her [step-] granddaughter, Helen Dewolfe, at school, aged nine years (b. NH), her [step-] son, Luther Hayes, a farm laborer, aged thirty years (b. NH), her son, Clarence M. Hayes, aged twenty-two years (b. NH), and her servants, Edgar J. Wyatt, a farm laborer, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH), and Helen Crossman, a house servant, aged twenty-nine years (b. Canada (Eng.)). Ellen R. Hayes owned their farm, free-and-clear. Ellen R. Hayes and Hattie Dewolfe were each mothers of one child, of whom each had one still living. Their household appeared in the enumeration after that of Annie M. George, a widowed housekeeper, aged seventy-one years (b. NH).

Will of Luther Hayes

In the name of God, Amen!

I, Luther Hayes, of Milton in the County of Strafford and State of New Hampshire, being of sound mind and understanding [and] considering the uncertainty of life, do make, publish and declare this my last will and testament, in manner following, viz:

First. I direct my Executors hereinafter named to pay all my just debts, if any, and funeral expenses, soon as may be after my decease.

Second. I give, devise and bequeath to my beloved wife, Ellen R. Hayes, one acre of land in said Milton with the buildings thereon, known as the Bragdon place and situate directly opposite my homestead where we now live.

Milton - South Milton (Detail)Also the field north of said Bragdon place bounded by the highway and the Railroad landing and the Boston and Maine Railroad and partition wall opposite the Bragdon barn, so called.

“The writer [John Scales] is of the opinion that Jonathan Twombly is entitled to the honor of making the first settlement [in Milton] near the Twombly brook, and upon the farm now owned by Hon. Luther Hayes, and sometimes called the Bragdon farm. Samuel Bragdon having purchased the farm from a son of Mr. Twombly in about 1800. Mr. Twombly and his wife and some of their children were, no doubt, buried upon this farm. An ancient headstone records that Hannah Twombly died in February, 1769. She was doubtless a daughter of Jonathan and this is believed to be the oldest grave in Milton” (Scales, 1914).

Also the wood lot on the easterly side of the Boston and Maine Railroad, and bounded by land of Henry B. Scates and Salmon Falls River and the field herein given my son Luther C. Hayes, reserving a right of way across said wood lot to my said son, his heirs and assigns.

Neighbor Henry B. Scates (1831-1919) was one-half of the partnership of Scates & Lyman, competing South Milton lumber dealers. At this time, he was also Strafford County jailor in Dover, NH (Farmington News, March 31, 1893).

Also the sum due from the N.H. Odd Fellows Relief Association, at my decease, and provided said sum then due shall not equal Five Hundred Dollars, a sufficient sum to be paid by my Executors to make said sum of Five Hundred Dollars.

The NH Odd Fellows Mutual Relief Association was based in Manchester, NH. John A. Glidden (1836-1913) was its president and S.C. Gould (1840-1909) was its secretary (Spectator Company, 1897). Glidden was an undertaker in Dover, NH, and S.C. Gould was a bookseller in Manchester, NH.

Burley-Usher - 1880sAlso a good family horse wagon, sleigh and harness, and robe, of the value of two hundred and fifty dollars. Also one cow of the value of thirty dollars, to be pastured by my son Luther C. Hayes.

Also one Silver Service, being the same given me by Burley & Usher on my seventieth birthday, for her own use and benefit during her natural life, and at her decease to my daughter Hattie E. DeWolfe, if living, otherwise to my granddaughter Helen M. DeWolfe.

Granddaughter Helen M. DeWolfe married in Somersworth, NH, April 28, 1913, Milledge G. Leeman, both of Milton. She was a milliner, aged twenty-one years, and he was a moulder, aged twenty-three years. Rev. Burton H. Tilton performed the ceremony.

Also the right to use such farming tools belonging to my son Luther C. Hayes, so long as she shall choose and elect to remain there, on condition that during such time my said son Luther C. Hayes shall have the use and income of the real estate herein given her.

Also the right to sit in the pew now owned by me in the Free Baptist Church in said Milton so long as she may choose. All the hereinbefore mentioned legacies given my beloved wife being in lieu of dower and homestead.

Third, I give and bequeath to my son Clarence M. Hayes the sum of Two Hundred Dollars, and in the Event of my death before he arrives at the age of twenty-one years the income of said sum shall be used for his education until he shall become of age. I also give and bequeath to my said son Clarence M. my Masonic bosom studs.

The youngest of the surviving children, Clarence M. Hayes, resided with his mother in the Hayes’s South Milton homestead at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census.

Clarence M. Hayes married in Orono, ME, June 14, 1904, Mary A. Cowan, he of Milton and she of Orono, ME. He was a mechanical engineer, aged twenty-six years, and she was a teacher, aged twenty-eight years.

Fourth. I give and bequeath to my son Samuel Lyman Hayes the sum of Five Hundred Dollars, also my gold Masonic sleeve buttons.

The fourth of the surviving children, S. Lyman Hayes, had married in Milton, October 9, 1885, Annie F. Corson, both of Milton. He was a R.R.P. [railroad postal] clerk, aged twenty-two years, and she was a lady, aged twenty-one years. Rev. Charles E. Mason performed the ceremony.

Samuel Lyman Hayes, a railway postal clerk, aged thirty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Village”) household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of fifteen years), Anne F. [(Corson)] Hayes, aged thirty-four years (b. NH), his children, Walter Y. Hayes, aged fourteen years (b. NH), Lawrence C. Hayes, aged twelve years (b. NH), Luther H. Hayes, aged ten years (b. NH), Morris L. Hayes, aged six years (b. NH), Blanche C. Hayes, aged four years (b. NH), and Norman H. Hayes, aged nine months (b. NH), and his mother-in-law, Clara [(Downs)] Corson, aged fifty-five years (b. NH). Samuel Lyman Hayes owned their house, free-and-clear. Anne F. Hayes was the mother of six children, of whom six were still living. Clara Corson was the mother of four children, of whom one was still living. Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of William Stevens, a painter (house), aged thirty years (b. ME), and Henry Drew, a farm laborer, aged sixty-four years (b. NH).

Fifth. I give and bequeath to my daughter Fannie L. Hayes the sum of Five Hundred Dollars; also one Prescott Organ, now in my house at said Milton.

The fifth of the surviving children, Fanny Hayes, a school teacher, aged thirty-four years (b. NH), headed a Haverhill, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. Her household included her lodger, Ada B. Berry, a school teacher, aged forty-two years (b. MA). Fanny Hayes rented their part of a two-family house at 272 Washington Street, which they shared with the household of William Martin, a hat finisher, aged thirty-two years (b. England). (Her brother, Charles H. Hayes, resided at 266 Washington Street).

Fannie Lawrence Hayes married in Milton, December 25, 1919, Frank Nathaniel Rand, she of Milton and he of Haverhill, MA. She was a schoolteacher, aged fifty-four years, and he was a widowed real estate contractor, aged fifty-six years. Rev. James W. Tingley performed the ceremony.

Sixth. I give and bequeath to my daughter Hattie E. DeWolfe the sum of Five Hundred Dollars, also my China Tea Set, she to have a home with my son Luther C. Hayes for five years after my decease if she wishes.

The sixth of the surviving children, Hattie E. Hayes, had married (1st) in Milton, November 30, 1890, Charles F. DeWolf, she of Milton and he of North Adams, MA. Both were aged twenty-two years; she was a lady. Rev. John Manter performed the ceremony. They had one daughter, Helen M. DeWolfe. Hattie E. DeWolfe of Milton, MA [NH], divorced Charles DeWolfe of Marlborough, MA, in Strafford County Court, September 1894. She alleged abandonment.

Hattie E. [(Hayes)] DeWolfe (and her daughter, Helen DeWolfe) resided with her step-mother in the Hayes’s South Milton homestead at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census.

Seventh. I give and bequeath to my son Charles Hayes my undivided one-half interest in and to a certain wood lot in Lebanon, Maine, known as the Tuttle lot, owned by me in common with my said son. Also my one-half interest in a certain other piece of real estate owned in common with my said son, George A. Hayes and Louisa M. Wentworth, their interest being through inheritance from their mother, Louisa M. Hayes, said land being situate in said Milton on the easterly side of the highway leading past my homestead premises, bounded by the land of Ellen H. Twombly, Salmon Falls river and a stone wall, and line continued from said stone wall to said river, being the partition wall hereinbefore mentioned, bounded also by the one acre of land herein devised to my wife. I also give and bequeath to my said son Charles H. my two Masonic charms.

The second of the surviving children, Charles H. Hayes, had married in Milton, July 2, 1870, Nellie M. Gile[s], he of Milton and she of Raymond, NH. He was a boxmaker, aged twenty-one years, and she was aged twenty years. Rev. Ezra Tuttle, V.D.M., performed the ceremony.

Charles H. Hayes, a box manufacturer, aged fifty-one years (b. NH), headed a Haverhill, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty years), Nellie M. Hayes, aged fifty years (b. NH), his children, William C. Hayes, an order clerk for a box manufacturer, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), and Marian Hayes, at school, aged eight years (b. MA), his nephew, Harry F. Hayes, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), and his servant, Julia A. McCarthy, a servant, aged twenty-two years (b. Ireland). Charles H. Hayes owned their house at 266 Washington Street, free-and-clear. (His sister, Fanny Hayes, resided at 272 Washington Street). Nellie M. Hayes was the mother of five children, of whom three were still living. Julia A. McCarthy had immigrated into the U.S. in 1897.

Eighth. I give and bequeath to my son George A. Hayes the sum of Three Hundred Dollars, the same being in addition to One Hundred Dollars recently given him, together with one hundred Dollars’ worth of lumber for the erection of a house.

The third of the surviving children, George A. Hayes, had married in Rochester, NH, May 1, 1872, [Norma] Eldora Tuttle, he of Milton and she of Lebanon, ME. He was a farmer, aged twenty years, and she was aged seventeen years. Rev. George S. Hill performed the ceremony.

George A. Hayes, a carpenter, aged forty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Village”) household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-eight years), Norma E. Hayes, aged forty-five years (b. NH), his children, Theodore L. Hayes, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH), Guy L. Hayes, a carpenter, aged twenty-two years (b. NH), his daughter-in-law, Myrta E. Hayes, aged twenty-six years (b. ME), and his mother-in-law, Mary H. Tuttle, aged seventy-nine years (b. MA). George A. Hayes owned their house, but with a mortgage. Norma E. Hayes was the mother of four children, of whom three were still living. Mary H. Tuttle was the mother of seven children, of whom two were still living. Their household appeared in the enumeration between the households of Henry Meader, employed in the paper mill, aged thirty-three years (b. ME), and Ann A. [(Wiggin)] Hersom, a widowed nurse, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH).

Ninth. I give and bequeath to my daughter Louisa M. Wentworth the sum of Three Hundred Dollars. Also such articles of household furniture and furnishings not herein disposed of specifically, not exceeding in value the sum of twenty-five dollars.

The eldest of the surviving children, Louisa M. Hayes, had married in Dover, NH, January 17, 1865, Henry H. Wentworth, both of Milton. Rev. J.T.G. Colby performed the ceremony.

Henry Wentworth, a truckman, aged fifty-six years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton Village”) household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Louisa M. Wentworth, aged fifty-three years (b. NH). Henry Wentworth owned their house, free-and-clear. Louisa M. Wentworth was the mother of one child, of whom one was still living. They appeared in the enumeration between the households of George E. Wentworth, a butcher, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), and Daniel Corkery, proprietor of hand shoe shop, aged fifty-seven years (b. Canada).

Tenth. I give, bequeath and devise to my grandson Luther Howe Hayes, son of Samuel L. Hayes, a certain tract of land in said Milton, bounded by lands of Ellen H. Twombly, George H. Jones and others, containing about ten acres and known as the Eri Wentworth lot, the above named grandchild is thus remembered in my will because of his name.

The former owner of the ten-acre lot, Eri Wentworth, died of consumption in Milton, January 31, 1869, aged fifty-three years, two months, and twenty-one days. He was a farmer, and son of Isaac and Lucy (Twombly) Wentworth. One of the adjoining properties was owned still by their daughter, Ellen H. (Wentworth) Twombly, wife of James H. Twombly.

Namesake grandson Luther H. Hayes resided in the Milton household of his parents, Samuel L. and Anne F. (Corson) Hayes, at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census.

Luther H. Hayes married in Palmer, MA, June 22, 1915, Irene C. LeGro, he of Keene, NH, and she of Palmer, MA. He was a manager, aged twenty-five years, and she was at home, aged twenty-seven years.

Eleventh. I give, bequeath and devise to my son Luther C. Hayes, my homestead farm with the buildings thereon situate in said Milton where I now reside, known as the Walker farm. Also a field on the Easterly side of the Boston and Maine Railroad, situate in said Milton, bounded by the before named partition wall and straight line, to the Salmon Falls River, by said River to wood lot hereinbefore devised to my wife, and said Boston and Maine Railroad, said tract being formerly owned by John Bragdon.

Also one other piece of land situate in said Milton known as the Wakham [Wakeham] lot, and owned by me in common and undivided with George A. Hayes, Charles H. Hayes, and Louisa M. Wentworth, any interest herein devised being one undivided half part.

I also give and bequeath my said son Luther C. all my farming tools and household furniture not hereinbefore disposed of, my gold watch and chain; also to my said son Luther C. I give, devise and bequeath my pew in the Free Baptist Church in said Milton, with all other rights and franchises I now hold in said Church or the Society.

Also all crops gathered or ungathered at the time of my decease, meaning the crops of that year. Also the sum of Five Hundred Dollars in money. The specific legacies of Five Hundred Dollars each given my children Samuel L., Fannie L., Hattie E. and Luther C. are the two thousand dollars due them at my decease on Policy No. 17,565 of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, and the legacy and devise herein given my son Luther C. Hayes, is chargeable with the payment of the sum of Five Hundred Dollars herein given to my son Clarence M. Hayes.

Also the support and maintenance of my wife and the rights of a home for my daughter Hattie E., as hereinbefore provided.

Also the payment of twenty-five dollars annually for the term of five years after my decease for the support of preaching in the Free Baptist Church in said Milton. Also the proper care and maintenance of the family burial lot on my homestead farm.

The seventh of the surviving children, Luther C. Hayes, resided with his step-mother in the Hayes’s South Milton homestead at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census.

Luther C. Hayes married in Rochester, NH, September 2, 1903, Cora E. McDuffie, he of Milton and she of Rochester, NH. He was a farmer, aged thirty-three years, and she was a teacher, aged twenty-two years. Rev. John Manter performed the ceremony.

Twelfth. All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, real, personal, and mixed, wherever found and however situate, I give, devise and bequeath to my daughter Hattie E. DeWolfe.

Hattie E. DeWolfe married (2nd) in Milton, 1903, Edgar J. Wyatt, she of Milton and he of Farmington, NH. She was a housekeeper, aged thirty-four years, and he was a teamster, aged thirty-one years.

Thirteenth. I hereby nominate and appoint Charles H. Hayes, Samuel L. Hayes, and Charles A. Jones, of said Milton, Executors of this my last will and testament, revoking and all former wills by me made. Said Executors to serve without bonds.

Two of the executors were Hayes’ sons, one from each of his first two marriages. The third executor, Charles A. Jones (1851-1934), was a Milton farmer.

Witness my hand and seal this second day of April, 1894.

Luther Hayes (Seal)

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the above named Luther Hayes, as and for his last will and testament, and by us in his presence and in the presence of each other, at his request, subscribed as witnesses.

Augustine S. Parshley, Horace L. Worcester, George E. Cochrane

Civil War veteran Augustine S. Parshley (1840-1901) appeared in the Rochester directory of 1900, as an insurance and real estate agent with the firm of A.S. Parshley & Son, at 14 Main street (the Wentworth Block), with his house at 62 Charles street.

Civil War veteran Horace L. Worcester (1846-1928) appeared in the Rochester directory of 1900, as being retired, with his house at 42 Wakefield street. Prior to his retirement, he was a partner in the periodicals store of Worcester & Greenfield.

Civil War veteran George E. Cochrane (1844-1912) appeared in the Rochester directory of 1900, as a lawyer at 30 No. Main street, with his house at 16 Autumn street.

One might suppose that Luther Hayes traveled from his home near Hayes Station in South Milton to Rochester, possibly via the Boston and Maine Railroad. There he would have visited lawyer Cochrane for the drafting of the will. After Hayes signed the will, Cochrane and the other two men, who were also Rochester residents, then signed as witnesses.

The State of New Hampshire. Strafford, Ss. – At a Court of Probate holden at Dover in and for said County on the second day of April, A.D. 1895. Upon due consideration of the foregoing petition, praying that the instrument herewith presented, purported to be the Last Will of Luther Hayes, late of Milton, in said County of Strafford, deceased, may be proved and allowed in common form, and letters testamentary be issued to them, the Executors herein named, no party objecting thereto, and it appearing to me, the Judge of Probate for said County of Strafford, by the testimony in Court of George E. Cochrane, one of the witnesses whose names are to the same will subscribed, – that at the time of the Execution of said instrument the deceased was of the age of twenty-one years and of sound mind, that he did sign and seal the same as his last Will, and that the said George E. Cochrane, with Augustine S. Parshley and Horace L. Worcester attested and subscribed the same together as witnesses to the Execution thereof in the presence of said Testator. I do therefore decree that the said instrument be, and is hereby, proved and allowed as the last Will of the said Luther Hayes, deceased, and that letters testamentary be issued to said petitioners, they having filed bond as required by law.

Robert G. Pike, Judge of Probate (Strafford County Probate, 104:542).

The abbreviation S.s. seen at the head of so many legal documents is short for the Latin phrase scilicet, which means “namely” or “in particular.” In this case, the identifications State of New Hampshire and County of Strafford specified insufficiently the location of what follows. “Namely” or “in particular” at Dover was required to complete the picture.

See also South Milton’s High Sheriff Luther Hayes (1820-1895)


Find a Grave. (2011, March 26). Lydia Elizabeth Hayes Cloutman. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/67476190/lydia-elizabeth-cloutman

Find a Grave. (2011, March 26). Clarence M. Hayes. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/67487329/clarence-m-hayes

Find a Grave. (2010, March 8). Luther Hayes. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/49429209/luther-hayes

Find a Grave. (2010, March 9). Luther C. Hayes. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/49457974/luther-c-hayes

Find a Grave. (2014, June 27). Luther Howe Hayes. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/131950581/luther-howe-hayes

Find a Grave. (2011, March 26). Clara A. Hayes Pounds. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/67476266/clara-a-pounds

Find a Grave. (2011, March 26). Hattie E. Hayes Wyatt. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/67486671/hattie-e-wyatt

NH Historical Society. (2009). Music: Prescott Organ (1882). Retrieved from www.nhhistory.org/object/300546/music

Scales, John. (1914). History of Strafford County, New Hampshire and Representative Citizens. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=nGsjAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA508

Spectator Company. (1897). Hand-book of Life and Accident Insurance on the Mutual Natural Premium Plan. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=YP_YAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA169

Celestial Seasonings – August 2021

By Heather Durham | July 31, 2021

Greetings Folks! I hope you are enjoying your summer and sky watching. This month, I added three videos that will give you a greater perspective as well as more in-depth information on our evening skies this month. There is one about our Moon, the most popular as well as easily visible happenings, plus.

The day will come when diligent research over long periods will bring to light things that now are hidden. A single life time, even though entirely devoted to research, would not be enough for the investigation of so vast a subject… And so this knowledge will be unfolded through long suggestive ages. There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them… Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come, when memory of us will have been effaced. Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has in it something for every age to investigate… Nature does not reveal her mysteries once and for all (Seneca, Natural Questions, Book 7, ca. first century).

This month, we have the Perseids, the Seasonal Blue Moon and more so let’s get to reading this summarization.

August 2. Saturn will align with the Earth and Sun. Saturn will be as high as it ever is as well as very bright.

Sunrise Behind EarthWhen a planet is at opposition, it forms a straight line with the Earth and the Sun, with the Earth at the center of the three. According to Royal Observatory in London, opposition typically presents the best opportunities for viewing far-off planets like Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune because the planets will be brightly illuminated and riding high in the sky (Smithsonianmag.com).

August 11. The Moon and Venus will rise and ascend close together.

August 12. The Perseid meteor shower will peak today. Between moonset and dawn the next morning will be for prime viewing.

August 15. The Moon will be at first quarter.

SaturnAugust 20. The Moon and Saturn will ascend closely together.

August 22. The Moon and Jupiter will rise closely to one another. Jupiter will be bright and right above the moon then later, to the right of the Moon. The Sturgeon Blue Moon will be full.

The moon’s name derives from America’s largest freshwater fish, the lake sturgeon. While they used to thrive, sturgeon fish are now one of the most critically endangered species. Legend has it that, during August’s full moon, you can still catch a glimpse of a sturgeon fish in America’s lakes (Countryliving.com).

August 24. Mercury will peak today.

August 30. The Moon will be at its last quarter.


Brian Dunbar, B.D. (2020, April 10). Planets. Retrieved from https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/overview/

Eyes Turned Skyward. (2021). Astronomy & Cosmology. Retrieved from www.eyesturnedskyward.com/astronomyquotes.html 

Ford, D.F. (2021, July 10). August 2021 Events. Retrieved from https://in-the-sky.org/newscal.php?month=8&year=2021&maxdiff=1#datesel

McGreevy, N.M. (2021, January 7). 10 Celestial Events to Look Forward to in 2021. Retrieved from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ten-celestial-events-look-forward-2021-180976687/

Nieskins, A.N. [Old Farmer’s Almanac]. (2019, April 30). The Full Moon [Video]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/jiRUNI_GDwk

Now, N.N. [New Now]. (2021a, June 26). Perseids Meteor Shower 2021 [Video]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/tnluA3d6ehA

Now, N.N. [New Now]. (2021b, July 1). Blue Moon, August 22, 2021 [Video]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/MmDP6WKUe4c

Walden, L.W. (2020, August 2). The Sturgeon Moon. Retrieved from https://www.countryliving.com/uk/news/a28560453/full-sturgeon-moon-august/

Milton Mills’ Block Printer John Meikle (1835-c1904)

By Muriel Bristol | July 25, 2021

John Meikle was born in Glasgow, Scotland, circa April 1835, son of James and Jane Miekle.

John Meikle married, circa 1856, Mary McArthur (or McCarthy). She was born in Scotland, circa May 1836.

Daughter Mary J. “Jennie” Meikle was born in Milford, NH, in October 1858.

John Mickel, a machine printer, aged twenty-six years (b. Scotland), headed a Lowell, MA, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Mary Mickel, aged twenty-two years (b. Scotland), and Jane Mickel, aged two years (b. MA [SIC]). John Mikel had personal estate valued at $80.

Son John Miekle, Jr., was born in Massachusetts, probably Lowell, MA, in October 1860.

John Meikle, a calico printer, aged twenty-six years (b. Glasgow, Scotland), enlisted in the NH Militia in Milford, NH, October 24, 1861, for the term of three years. He was 5′ 7½” tall, with blue eyes, light hair, and a fair complexion. He was mustered into Co. B, of the 8th NH Volunteer Infantry Regiment, in Manchester, NH, December 20, 1861. He was promoted to Corporal, July 16, 1862; wounded at Port Hudson, LA, June 14, 1863; and mustered out at New Orleans, LA, October 24, 1964 (NH Adjutant, 1895).

Son Andrew J. Meikle was born in Milton Mills, May 30, 1866. (At the time of his death, in 1934, it was said in his death certificate that his father had been a dye mixer).

Daughter Jeanette “Nellie” Miekle was born in Milton Mills, circa September 1868.

John Meikle, a printer in woolen mill, aged twenty-eight [thirty-four] years (b. Scotland), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Mary Meikle, keeping house, aged twenty-eight years (b. Scotland), Jane Meikle, at school, aged eleven years (b. NH), John Meikle, at school, aged nine years (b. MA), Andrew Meikle, aged four years (b. NH), and Jennette Meikle, aged two years (b. NH). John Meikle had real estate valued at $700 and personal estate valued at $300.

John Meikle appeared in the Milton business directory of 1871, as a Milton Mills dyer and table-cover printer (or painter). He appeared in the directories of 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1876, as a Milton Mills table and piano cover manufacturer. (It is unclear whether or not he was involved also with the woolen mills already there).

John Miekle of the I.O.O.F. Miltonia Lodge, No. 52, was inducted into the I.O.O.F. Grand Lodge, in Manchester, NH, October 13, 1875, he being a former Grand Master.

John Meikle would later be said (in 1907-08) to have built the Union Felt mill in Wakefield, NH, some thirty years before, i.e., circa 1876-77.

The woolen mill of Arthur L. Taft at Union was built by John Meikle, about thirty years ago. For twelve or fifteen years, Mr. Meikle manufactured felt and carried on block printing there, until the plant came into the possession of the Star Woolen Co., which remained only a few years (Mitchell-Cony, 1908)

.On March 1st , 1876, an agreement was made between John Meikle of Wakefield and Robert Taylor of Sanford, Maine to form a partnership under the name of “John Meikle and Company” at Union for the purpose of manufacturing and printing felt and woolen goods. The capital amounted to $9000, with Mr. Meikle investing $6000 and Mr. Taylor $3000. The two parties agreed to share the profits and losses in that ratio – Mr. Meikle to be the manager of the manufacturing and printing department and to have exclusive control of the operations. They bought one mill privilege and 242 acres of land from Robert H. Pike. The mill, known [later] as the Star Mill, was a 4 story building in Union (MacRury, 1987).

Meikle’s partner Taylor was a native of Lancashire, England, and had arrived in New York, NY, August 16, 1863. Robert Taylor, a printer in a mill, aged twenty-nine years (b. England), resided in 1870 in the Milton household of Cyrus F. Hart, a farm laborer, aged forty-nine years (b. NH). Taylor was naturalized in Alfred, ME, September 27, 1874.

Meikle’s Union Felt Mill ran into financial difficulties fairly quickly. One might say nowadays that it had a “cash flow” or “liquidity” problem, rather than any basic unsoundness. Meikle did surmount these initial difficulties, but the ensuing legal snarl provided us with a unique snapshot of his mill, suppliers, equipment, materials, and consigners. (More than we have for the Brierley mill, the Townsend mill, or the Miltonia mill).

John Meikle of Wakefield, NH, “assigned” his assets to Nathan Wimpfheimer of Somersworth, NH, May 15, 1877 (Carroll County Probate, 25:196). As they would have said at the time, Meikle’s business had become “embarrassed,” i.e., it could not pay its debts, and Wimpfheimer had been appointed by the court to run the business, or even liquidate it if necessary, in order to settle the outstanding accounts, either in full or to the extent possible. (Original partner Robert Taylor was not mentioned).

Nathan Wimpfheimer appeared in the Great Falls, [Somersworth,] NH, directory of 1878, as working for Wimpfheimer & Co., with his house on High Street (opposite the Great Falls Hotel). Wimpfheimer & Co., a partnership consisting of Nathan Wimpfheimer and H.A. Hayes, were dry goods merchants at 12 Central buildings on High Street. His partner, H. Ansel Hayes, had his house on Pleasant street.

First, Wimpfheimer sought to determine to whom Meikle owed money and in what amounts.

A list of the names and residence of all the creditors of said John Meikle the debtor and the amount and nature of their respective claims.

Chamberlain Bros., Boston, Mass., Account, $691.58; W.S. & F. Cordingley, Boston, Mass., [Account,] $315.84; Davis & Furber, Andover, Mass., [Account,] $3.60; C&W Slade, Boston, Mass. [Account,] $1839,68; Rawitser Bro’s. & Co., New York, [Account,] 760.82; Joseph Plummer, Milton, [Account,] $77.60; A&W Smith, Providence, R.I., [Account,] $2159.72; Holbrook Manfg. Co., New York, [Account,] $70.12; Tibbetts Bro’s., Great Falls, N.H., [Account,] $73.10; Richard Rothwell, Dover, N.H., [Account,] $250.00; John F. Titcomb, [Blank,] Labor, $18.00; Sullivan & Bowman, Newton Lower Falls, Mass., [Account,] $270.90; J.H. Roberts, Boston, Mass., [Account,] $3.47; Townsend & Co., Milton Mills, N.H., [Account,] $84.81; E. Briely & Co., Milton Mills, N.H., [Account,], $34.21; J.J. Duxbury, Dover, N.H., [Account,] $42.34; Wombeck Manf’g Co., Milton Mills, N.H., [Account,] $11.69; Benjamin Edgerly, Wakefield, N.H., [Account,] $34.38; James F. Baxter, Boston, Mass., [Acct.,] $4.15; Hagen & Co., Boston, Mass., [Acct.,] $10.04; W.D. Carpenter, Rochester, N.H. [Acct.,], $9.72; James Jenkins, Wakefield, N.H., [Acct.,] $2o.99; Robert H. Pike, Wakefield, N.H., [Acct.,] $242.98; Eastern Railroad, [Blank,] Freight, $48.39; Eben Osgood, [Blank], Acct., $40.00; Swamscott Co., Newmarket, N.H., [Acct..] $100.00; Amount carried over, $7216.12.

Meikle’s New York creditors appeared in the New York, NY, directory of 1877, as Holbrook Manuf. Co., soap, 62 Church street; and Rawitser & Brother, wool merchants, 92 Warren street.

Meikle’s Providence creditor appeared in the Providence, RI, directory of 1877, as Albert W. Smith, wool and waste merchant, at 13 Exchange place.

Meikle’s Boston creditors appeared in the Boston, MA, directory of 1877, as James T. Baxter, wool broker, at 152 Federal street; Chamberlain Bros. & Co., cotton and wool commission merchants, at 114 Federal street; William S. & Frank Cordingley, dealers in wool, waste, etc., at 490 to 496 Atlantic avenue; Hagar & Co., paper merchants, at 35 Arch street; James H. Roberts & Co., machinery, 118 and 120 Merrimac street; and Slade Dye, wood and dye stuff mills, at New street, near Sumner street, East Boston.

Meikle’s North Andover creditor was the Davis & Furber Machine Co. It specialized in woolen mill machinery.

Meikle’s Dover creditors appeared in the Dover, NH, directory of 1876, as John J. Duxbury, commercial agent manufacturing supply, house at 1 Union street; and Richard Rothwell, machinist, house at Young street, near Water street.

Meikle’s Great Falls creditors appeared in the Great Falls directory of 1876, as Tibbetts & Bro., hardware, iron and steel merchants, at 20 Market street.

Meikle’s Milton creditors were: Ebenezer Osgood, a Milton Mills blacksmith; Joseph Plummer, a Milton farmer; and John F. Titcomb, a Milton Mills carpenter.

Meikle’s Wakefield, NH, creditors were Benjamin Edgerly, a hardware dealer; James H. Junkins, a blacksmith; and Robert H. Pike, a hotel proprietor.

Next, Wimpfheimer took an inventory of the assets belonging to the troubled business. It included Meikle’s assets, including his property, machinery, stock, materials and debts owed to him.

Schedule of all the property embraced in the assignment of John Meikle to Nathan Wimpfheimer, for the benefit of all said Meikle’s creditors, dated May 15, 1877, a copy of which assignment is hereto annexed as follows, viz.

Real Estate. Felting Mill, Mill Privilege, Dam & Land connected therewith, and the fixed machinery in said mill, all situated on Union River, so called, at Union Village in Wakefield in the County of Carroll and State of New Hampshire, being the same mill and property heretofore occupied by the said Meikle estimated to be of the value of Four thousand dollars; $4000. Said property is subject to a mortgage of Robert H. Pike to secure said Meikle’s two notes for the sum of three hundred dollars each, and the interest that may be due thereon. Also subject to a mortgage to the Wolfeborough Savings Bank to secure said Meikle’s note for the sum of Three thousand dollars on which interest is paid to June 2d 1877. Also to a lien of the Swamscott Machine Company on the Steam Boiler in said mill, for the sum of Five hundred dollars and the interest thereon.

Swamscott Machine Boiler
Swamscott Machine Company Corliss Steam Boiler

Personal Property. Movable Machinery. Embossing Machine, $400.00; 3 Embossing Plates, $125 e., $375.00; 3 Hand Presses, $100.00; Printing Blocks, $100; [Total,] $975.00.

Manufactured Stock. 360 yds. Red Felting, .25, $90.00; 1785 yds. Lining Felt, .35, $624.75; 582 do. [Lining Felt], .35, $203.70; (in hands of Robert H. Peirce, Boston); 323 Table Covers, .50, $161.50; 288 do. [Table Covers,] 0.60, $172.80; (in hands of H.B. Claflin & Co., New York); 39 yds. Carpeting, .60, $23.40; 40 yds. Duck, .30, $12.00; [Total,] $1288.15.

HB Claflin Dept Store, New York, NY
Stereoscopic View of H.B. Claflin Department Store, New York, NY

Robert Pierce, in whose hands the felting lay, appeared in the Boston directory of 1877, as a commercial merchant at 17 Kingston street, with his house at Melrose, MA. Horace B. Claflin, in whose hands the table covers lay, appeared in the New York, NY, directory of 1877, as a dry goods merchant at 140 Church street, with his house at 55 Pierpont street, Brooklyn, NY.

Unfinished Goods. 324 yds. Felting, .20, $64.80; 94 do [yds.] Carpet Felt, .45, $42.30; 54 do. [yds.] Felting, .25, $13.50; [Total,] $120.60.

Wool and Shoddy. 560 lbs. Wool, .50, $280.00; 250 do. [lbs.] Blk do. [Wool], .30, $75.00; 148 do. [lbs.], Wool and Shoddy Mix, .25, $37.00; 1095 do. [lbs.] Shoddy, .17, $186.45; 578 do. [lbs.] Black do. [Shoddy], .08, $46.24; 100 do. [lbs.] do. [Black Shoddy], .15, $15.00; 150 do. [lbs.] Card Waste, .05, $7.50; 800 do. [lbs.] Felt Rags, .12, $96.00; 125 do. [lbs.] Grey [Rags], .08,; 80 do. [lbs.] Black Shoddy, .08,; Packing Cases & Wood,,; 5 Cords Soft Wood, 1.50,; 50 Packing Cases, 0.38,; Dyewoods, Dyestuffs, Chemicals &c.,,; 44 galls. Fastic, 4½,; 125 lbs. Grey Rags, .08, $10.00;  80 do. [lbs.] Black Shoddy, .05, $7.50; .08, $6.40.

The crossed-out error would seem to have been a “category error.” Wimpfheimer had begun to include packing materials and dyestuffs under wool and shoddy materials, rather than in their own category.

Packing Cases & Woods. 5 cords Soft Wood, 1.50, $7.50; 50 Packing Cases, .38, $19.00.

Dyewoods, Dyestuffs, Chemicals &c. 44 galls. Fastic, 4½, $1.98; 44 do. [galls.] Extr. Sapan, .15, $6.60; 10 do. [galls.] Archel, .25, $2.50; 12 lbs. Oxalic Acid, .75, $9.00; 6 do. [lbs.] Blue Stone, .12, $.72; 6 do. [lbs.] Bro. Potash, .20, $1.20; 40 do. [lbs.] Cochineal, .75, $30.00; 4 do. [lbs.] Sal Ammoniac, .16, $.64; 6 do. [lbs.] Calorinc, .20, $1.20; 270 do. [lbs.] Alum, .03, $8.10; 100 do. [lbs.] Tin Crystals, .18, $18.00; 6 galls. Extr. Indigo, .20, $1.20; 18 lbs. Gum Arabic, .35, $6.30; 18 do. [lbs.] Block Tin, .25, $4.50; 400 do. [lbs.] Pipe Clay, .01¾, $7.00; 500 do. [lbs.] Fulling Soap, .07, $35.00; 60 galls. Red Liquor, .20, $12.00; 25 do. [galls.] Chlorite Potash, .20, $5.00; 60 do. [galls.] Extr. Logwood, .32½, $19.50; 55 do. [galls.] Red Liquor, .20, $11.00; 400 lbs. Soda Ash, .04, $16.00; 10 do. [lbs.] Nitric Acid, .60, $6.00; 150 do. [lbs.] Muriatic do. [Acid], .02½, $3.75; 25 do. [lbs.] Picric do. [Acid], .40, $10.00;; 12 do. [lbs.] Copperas, .01½, $.18; [Total] $1003.46; 6 lbs. Flavin, .60, $3.60; 188 do. [lbs.] Starch, .06, $11.28; [Subtotal,] $14.88; 2 Scales, $12.00; Horse Waggon, Sleigh & Harness, $100; 150 lbs., Chloride of Lime, 0.04,  $6.00.

Accounts Due. Jordan Marsh &Co., $248.00; F.E. Duglas, 43.50. [Total,] $1811.59.

Jordan, Marsh & Co. was a well-known Boston department store right up until a few years ago. They presumably carried Meikle’s products in their store. (See the References for a link to their lunch counter’s blueberry muffin recipe).

The assignment’s outcome was not clearly explained, but Meikle seems from the following to have been up and running not long thereafter.

UNION. Will you please accept a few lines from old Union. Although we have no great enterprises here yet we are a stirring people, and trying to keep pace with the outside world. We support four stores and two blacksmith shops. For manufacturies we have the Union Felt Mill, John Meikle Prop’r, Union Lumber Co., Union Marble Works, and Excelsior Mill of S.H. Buzzell (Farmington News, March 21, 1879).

UNION. The Union Felt Mill, John Meikle proprietor, is running on full time manufacturing carpets, table covers, and shoe linings (Farmington News, May 2, 1879).

UNION. The Eastern Railroad Company are putting a large stone culvert across the railroad and the main road between the Freight house and Passenger station, to turn the brook that comes down back of the station into Meikle’s mill pond. Hitherto it has run under the Freight house, through Mr. Gilman’s land, and thence across the street and flowed into the river below the Felt mill. What little business we have here looks as though it would be good during the fall and winter, as both the Felt and Excelsior companies have quite a number of  orders for goods, and are receiving more by nearly every mail (Farmington News, October 10, 1879).

John Meikle, felt mill, aged forty-four years (b. Scotland), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included Mary Meikle, keeping house, aged thirty-nine years (b. Scotland), Jane Meikle, a bookkeeper, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), John Meikle, works in felt mill, aged nineteen years (b. MA), Andrew J. Meikle, at school, aged fourteen years (b. NH), and Nellie Meikle, at school, aged twelve years (b. NH).

Other Wakefield inhabitants identified in 1880 as working in the felt mill were Henry W. Burnham, brothers George B. and John E. Corson, Charles W. Horne, Anson A. Moore, and Herbert D. Stevens, as well as Miekle’s brother, William Meikle, and a niece’s husband, Ogilvie Heggie. (Heggie was married to Mary Mickle, i.e., Miekle). The felt mill employees appeared in a cluster on the same Union village page as Meikle, as did his creditor, Robert H. Pike, hotel proprietor, aged fifty years (b. NH), several railroad employees, and Daniel S. Burley, commission business, aged thirty-eight years (b. NH), or on the following page.

William Miekle, works in felt mill, aged forty years (b. Scotland), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Catherine Miekle, aged thirty-eight years (b. Scotland), and his children, John S. Miekle, at school, aged eight years (b. ME), William A. Miekle, at home, aged five years (b. ME), Mary A. Meikle, aged four years (b. NH), and Ellen W. Meikle, aged nine months (b. NH). Their daughter, Catherine E. Meikle, at school, aged ten years (b. NH), boarded with Rhoda Burley, keeping house, aged sixty-eight years (b. NH).

Ogilvie Heggie, works in felt mill, aged thirty years (b. Scotland), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Mary Heggie, keeping house, aged twenty-five years (b. Scotland), and his children, Andrew M. Heggie, aged four years (b. Scotland), and Ellen Heggie, aged two years (b. Scotland).

UNION. John Meikle, proprietor of the felt mill, had just erected a brick picker house, which is the first brick building ever erected in this place. Mr. Meikle now gives employment to over twenty hands, and he intends to increase the number as soon as he can put in more machinery. He is manufacturing crumb cloths principally with a few robe linings and table covers. Varney & Drew are doing a driving business at their mill. Mr. John Hart of Milton Mills has purchased an interest in the saw mill here, and, it is reported, contemplates going into the excelsior business. Reuben Sanborn, our popular chair manufacturer, is about to put up a new mill. Success to all of the above parties (Farmington News, December 17, 1880).

UNION. Mr. Meikle is now putting additional machinery into his Felt Mill, preparatory to doing a more extensive business (Farmington News, January 14, 1881).

UNION. Mr. Geo. E. Prescott, second hand in the card room of the Union Felt Mill, got his left hand caught in the cards on Monday of last week, and nearly the whole hand was drawn in before he could extricate himself. The flesh on the inside of the hand was very badly lacerated and at first it was thought that he might lose the use of his hand, but hopes are now entertained that it will be saved. Mr. Prescott is a young man about 18 years of age and is full of courage. He is under the care of Dr. John E. Scruton (Farmington News, March 25, 1881).

The unfortunate Prescott was a son of Jonathan and Deborah (Gile) Prescott of Lebanon, ME. (He would later be a carpenter in Alton, NH).

UNION. Business is still good with us, though a few of the hands at the Felt Mill are working on short time while some changes are being made in some of the machinery, but they will be going full blast again before this is in print (Farmington News, August 12, 1881).

UNION. Mr. John Meikle is putting additional machinery into his felt mill (Farmington News, January 12 1883).

John Mickle of Union, [Wakefield,] NH, appeared in a list of American textile manufacturers published in Dockham’s Directory in 1884.

Despite John Meikle’s initial opposition, his son, Andrew J. Meikle, went to work in 1884 as a brakeman for the northern division of the B&M railroad.

Meikle, Andrew J - PH340728FIFTY YEARS IN LOCOMOTIVE CAB. Engineer Meikle Rounds Out Half Century Of Railroad Life With Fine Record. Fifty years in the cab of a locomotive as fireman and engineer without an accident is the record of engineer Andrew Meikle of North Conway who hauls to North Conway and Portsmouth passenger trains No, 2916 and 2917. His first railroad work was that of a brakeman on the Wolfeboro branch where he labored for only a short time. When a boy he was always around where he could watch the operation of a locomotive and wondered if he could ever handle the throttle valve of one of the old wood burners that hauled the trains by his home in Milton Mills. The time came in 1884 and he  reached the height of his ambition when he began throwing wood into the fire box of one of the old Northern Division locomotives. He was promoted to engineer in 1889 and with the exception of five years when he ran between North Conway and Boston, he has been on the now Conway branch in both passenger and freight service. In going back over his railroad life he tells of some interesting experiences with the old wood burning engines and what heavy snow storms meant to the operation of trains on the branch line of 71 miles. His father was always opposed to him engaging in railroad work but he could see that the son was bound to be a railroad man and with some degree of reluctance finally gave his consent. He was then 18 years old and admits the day he received word from the late John W. Sanborn, superintendent of the division, that he was to become an employe of the old Eastern Railroad was the happiest day of his life. He has never been in any accident through any fault of himself or any locomotive he has piloted over the rails in a half century. He is a native of Milton Mills and makes his home in North Conway (Portsmouth Herald, July 28, 1934).

UNION. Our old friend David E.D. Frost, the veteran schoolmaster of Middleton, has obtained a situation as night watchman at the felt mill (Farmington News, May 21, 1886).

UNION. Mr. John Meikle is giving his felt works a new coat of paint. That veteran knight of the brush, Albra P. Hanson does the work (Farmington News, September 10, 1886).

John Meikle, Sr., a merchant, aged fifty-two years, and John Meikle, Jr., a clerk, aged twenty-seven years, both U.S. citizens, on their return trip from Paisley, Scotland, traveled in a first class cabin on the Anchor Line’s S.S. Devonia from Glasgow, Scotland, to New York, NY, arriving January 27, 1887.

UNION.  We hear that J.W.S. Clark & Co. are putting in new machinery at the felt mill for the manufacture of shoddy. … It is reported that if satisfactory arrangements can be made a new mill will be erected soon below the felt mill, for the manufacture of hosiery (Farmington News, August 19, 1887).

J.W.S. Clark was agent for the Elmira Woolen mill of Elmira, NY. His brother, Thomas M. Clark, was superintendent for the Sawyer Woolen Company of Dover, NH. (They were natives of Scotland).

Son Andrew Meikle married in Conway, NH, April 28, 1888, Nellie C. Francis, he of Conway, NH, and she of Livermore, ME. He was a [railroad] fireman, aged twenty-two years, and she was aged twenty-four years. Rev. M.E. King performed the ceremony.

4-Set Mill For Sale - 1889John Meikle advertised for sale or lease his 4-set mill building in the Fibre & Fabric trade periodical in 1889. He offered good water and steam power, but no machinery. It was situated at the Union railroad depot.

FACTS WHITTLED DOWN. The picker at the felt mill in Union, N.H., was set on fire by a pair of small shears getting into it. The room was damaged before the flames were extinguished (Fibre & Fabric (Boston, MA), April 20, 1889).

UNION. John Meikle has started up block printing at his old printery. It is hoped Mr. Meikle will make things lively around there soon (Farmington News, January 23, 1891).

UNION. Mrs. John Meikle is visiting her niece, Mrs. O’Heggie, in Dover (Farmington News, April 17, 1891).

Mary Mickle married in the High Church in Paisley, Scotland, September 22, 1875, Ogilvie Heggie. (The Farmington News reporter meant presumably Mrs. O. Heggie, rather than O’Heggie). Ogilvie Heggie, works in felt mill, aged thirty years (b. Scotland), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Mary Heggie, aged twenty-five years (b. Scotland), and his children, Andrew M. Heggie, aged four years (b. Scotland), and Ellen Heggie, aged two years (b. Scotland).

UNION. Miss Jean Meikle came home from Dover to spend the Fourth with her parents (Farmington News, July 10, 1891).

UNION. Mr. John Meikle, Sr., returned home on Saturday from a ten days’ trip to New York and New Jersey (Farmington News, July 24, 1891).

The Union Felt mill was said in 1891 to be not in operation, at least it was no longer operated by John Meikle. (Meikle had run it for about twelve to fifteen years). The Runnells brothers (Jay and Samuel W. Runnells) took it over next and ran it as the Star woolen mill.

UNION. All our mills here except the old Felt mill are in operation (Farmington News, August 21, 1891).

UNION. The old felt mill is being put in readiness to run for the manufacture of woolen goods. Miss Jean Meikle was at home from Dover over Sunday (Farmington News, November 6, 1891).

UNION. John Meikle, Jr., is at home on a week’s vacation from Rahway, N.J., and his sister, Jennie, was at home over the Sabbath and Monday from Dover (Farmington News, July 8, 1892).

Son John Meikle, Jr., married in the United Methodist Church in Rahway, NJ, September 7, 1892, Jane B. Thompson, she of Clark, NJ. He was a mechanic, aged thirty-two years, and she was aged twenty-three years. Rev. R.F. Hayes performed the ceremony.

UNION. The Star Woolen company are now making an average of over 1000 yards of cloth per day, giving employment to over thirty hands, They intend to put in more machinery in a short time. Mr. Jay Runnells, who was in the blacksmith business at Wolfeboro Junction for a number of years, is proprietor and his brother, Samuel W. Runnells of Cherry Valley, Mass., is superintendent. The finishing room is in charge of William Byrnes, recently of Lisbon, Me. He has four men with him. The card room is under the care of Joseph Boocock of Sandford, Me. He has three hands with him and Mr. Storer of Limerick, Me., has charge of the weave room, which employs fourteen hands. Then there is the picker room and spinning department (Farmington News, September 30, 1892).

UNION. John Meikle, wife and daughter are visiting relatives in Dover (February 3, 1893).

UNION. Mrs. John Meikle has been visiting her son Andrew at North Conway (Farmington News, March 17, 1893).

UNION. Mr. John Meikle returned home from Patterson, N.J., Saturday. Miss Jennie Meikle of Dover and Mrs. Andrew Meikle and baby Ruth of North Conway, spent Sunday week with their mother, Mrs. John Meikle (Farmington News, April 7, 1893).

This would seem to be the last mention of Union being the “at home” location for John and Mary Meikle. They moved to Clark, NJ, where their eldest son was living, or at least they began wintering there prior to a move. (Their daughters, Mary J. “Jennie” (or “Jean”) Meikle and Jennette Meikle, seem to have remained in the area until after the 1898 marriage of Jennie Miekle; their younger son, Andrew J. Meikle, lived in [North] Conway, NH).

UNION. Miss Jean Meikle is at home for a week’s vacation from her work in Dover (Farmington News, May 5, 1893).

John Mickle, Sr., aged over-60 years, headed a Clark, NJ, household at the time of the NJ State Census of 1895. His household included Mary Mickle, aged over-60 years. They were both foreign-born of “all other nationalities,” the other choices being Irish and German. They shared a two-family residence with the household of John R. Mickle. John R. Mickle was native-born, aged 20-60 years. His household included Jennie Mickle, native-born, aged 20-60 years, and Mary E. Mickle, native born, aged 5-or-younger years.

Jennie Miekle, aged thirty-seven years, and Jenett Miekle, aged twenty-seven years, traveled second cabin, i.e., second class, on the White Star Line’s R.M.S. Majestic, departing New York, NY, June 26, 1895, bound for Liverpool, England. Jeanie Mickle, Janet Miekle, and Kate Allan, all adults, traveled second cabin on the Allan Line’s State of California, departing Glasgow, Scotland, August 16, 1895, bound via Moville, [Northern] Ireland, for New York, NY, arriving there August 26, 1895.

Daughter [Mary J.] Jennie Meikle married in Wakefield, NH, March 26, 1898, Edward E. Lynn, she of Wakefield and he of Fall River, MA. She was a pantographer, aged thirty-nine years, and he was an engraver, aged forty-nine years.

UNION. There are unclaimed letters at the postoffice for Herbert Tanner, John B. Shirley, Mrs. Lizzie May, Miss Janett Meikle, Arthur Denis, Melisa Downing (Farmington News, September 30, 1898).

The Star Woolen Co., which had taken over the Union Felt Co. mill from John Meikle in 1891, ran only for a “few years” (Mitchell-Cony, 1908). In 1899, the mill was converted for a time to the manufacture of excelsior.

UNION, NH. The “Star” woolen mill is being converted into an excelsior mill (Fibre & Fabric, December 30, 1899).

“Excelsior” was a packing filler consisting of thin strips of wood shavings, a natural material then used in the same manner as modern Styrofoam “popcorn” packing materials.

Arthur L. Taft acquired the mill property next and converted it back to woolen manufacturing, or at least something like it. He appeared in the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census of Wakefield (“Union”), NH, before he took over, as a satinet manufacturer, aged forty-eight years (b. MA). (Satinet is a satin-like material made of mostly cotton with some wool).

UNION. It is reported that the Star mill, which has recently been bought by A.F. Taft, is soon to be started up (Farmington News, September 20, 1901).

John Meikle, a block printer, aged sixty-four years (b. Scotland), headed a Clark, NJ, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of forty-three years), Mary Meikle, aged sixty-three years (b. Scotland). John Meikle rented their house. Mary Meikle was the mother of five children, of whom four were still living. They had both immigrated into the U.S. in 1856.

John Miekle of Cranford, NJ, made his last will, January 31, 1903. He devised all his real and personal property, wherever found, to his wife, Mary Meikle, whom he named also as executrix. John Meikle, Jr., Jeanette Meikle, Jennie Lynn of Providence, RI, and Mary Heggie of North Adams, Mass., signed as witnesses. He died at sometime between that January 31, 1903 date and January 18, 1905, when his will was proved in the Union County Surrogate’s Office in Elizabeth, NJ. Jeanette Meikle then and there swore that she saw the testator sign the will in the presence of herself and the other witnesses. George H. Parrott authorized Mary Meikle to proceed as executrix (Union County Probate, T:489).

Mary Meikle, a housewife, aged sixty-nine years (b. Scotland), headed a Garwood, Elizabeth, NJ, household at the time of the NJ State Census of 1905. Her household included her daughter, Jeanette Meikle, a milliner, aged thirty-two years (b. NH). Mary Meikle owned their house of Centre Street, free-and-clear. She had been in the U.S. for fifty-one years.

Son-in-law Ernest E. Lynn died in Providence, RI, May 28, 1906, aged fifty-nine years.

Arthur L. Taft’s Union Woolen mill burned in 1908 (Guild & Lord, 1908).

UNION. Miss Jeanette Meikle is visiting her brother Andrew at North Conway this week (Farmington News, April 30, 1909).

Mary Meikle, own income, aged seventy-three years (b. Scotland (Eng.)), headed a Garwood, NJ, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. Her household included her daughter, Jennett Meikle, own income, aged forty years (b. NH). Mary Meikle owned their house at 306 Centre Street East, free-and-clear. She was the mother of four children, of whom four were still living. She reportedly immigrated into the U.S. in 1854.

UNION. Jeannette Meikle of Garwood, N.J., was called here by the illness of Mrs. Mary Horne. Mrs. Mary F., widow of the late Charles W. Horne, died of typhoid fever Saturday, Jan. 18, after a few days’ illness. She had been a resident of Union for many years and will be greatly missed in the community. Funeral services from the church Tuesday under the direction of Unity Chapter, O.E.S. Rev. R.H. Huse conducted the service (Farmington News, January 24, 1913).

Charles W. and Mary F. (Allen) Horne had been next-door neighbors of the Meikles in Union village, and Charles W. Horne had worked for a time in the Union Felt mill.

Mary Mickle, retired, aged seventy-nine years (b. Scotland), headed a Garwood, NJ, household at the time of the NJ State Census of 1915. Her household included Jennie Lynn, retired, aged fifty-six years (b. NH), and Jeanette Mickle, aged forty-six years (b. NH). Mary Mickle owned their house at 306 Centre Street, free-and-clear.

Mary (McArthur) Meikle died October 15, 1915, aged seventy-nine years.

Jenette Meikle, aged fifty-one years (b. NH), headed a Garwood, NJ, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. Her household included her sister, Jennie Lind [Lynn], a chemical factory matron, aged sixty-one years (b. NH). Jeannette Meikle owned their house at 306 Center Street, free-and-clear.

Personal Paragraphs. Miss Jeanette Meikle and her sister, Mrs. Jean Lynn, have returned to their home in Garwood, N.J., after visiting local relatives (North Adams Transcript (North Adams, MA), August 28, 1926).

Jeannette Meikle, aged sixty-one years (b. NH), headed a Garwood, NJ, household at the time of the Fifteenth (1930) Federal Census. Her household included her sister, Jennie Lynn, a widow, aged seventy-one years (b. NH), and her roomer, Hans E. Stacey, a piano co. cost clerk, aged thirty-two years (b. Australia). Jeannette Meikle owned their house at 409 Center Street, which was valued at $9,000. They had a radio set.

North Conway Station - 1958
Boston & Maine Railroad Station, North Conway

RAILROAD NOTES. Andrew Meikle, engineer on the train which runs between this the city and North Conway, had the misfortune to break his leg of Friday. He had gone from his home in North Conway to Intervale in his car to get a lawn mover which he had left to be sharpened. While lifting the lawn mower into the rumble seat of the car his foot slipped from the step and he fell, resulting in a bad fracture to his leg. His place on this run is being taken by a spare engineer from the Dover board (Portsmouth Herald, [Tuesday,] June 21, 1932).

Son Andrew J. Meikle of North Conway, NH, died in the Portsmouth Hospital in Portsmouth, NH, November 7, 1934, aged sixty-eight years.

VETERAN OF B&M RAILROAD DIES IN HOSPITAL. Andrew Meikle, Engineer, Stricken After His Regular Run To This City. Andrew Meikle, veteran locomotive engineer for the Boston & Maine railroad, died on Wednesday night in the Portsmouth Hospital where he was removed earlier in the day. After completing the morning run between North Conway and this city he suffered an ill turn in a passenger car in the railroad yard. Dr. Luce was called and he ordered him to the hospital where he remained unconscious and passed away shortly before 11 p.m. He was a native of Milton Mills but has resided for some years in North Conway. His railroad life covers a period of 60 years, 50 of which he has been employed as fireman and engineer. His first work was as brakeman on the Wolfeboro branch. With the exception of five years when he worked on the main line between North Conway and Boston, he has run on the Conway branch in both freight and passenger service. He has never been in any accident, through any fault of his own. He was highly respected in the town where he lived and among railroad workers in general. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, New England Railroad Veterans Association and Masons. He is survived by his wife and one daughter, Mrs. Ora McCrellis of Sanbornville. He recently received a gold pass from the railroad in honor of his long and faithful service (Portsmouth Herald, November 8, 1934).

Daughter Jeannette Miekle died in Rahway, NJ, October 6, 1938, aged seventy years.

Sister Is Beneficiary. (Elisabeth Bureau of The Courier-News). Elizabeth – Miss Jeannette Meikle, who died Oct. 6 in Garwood, left her estate to a sister, Jennie M. Lynn, according to the will which was admitted to probate yesterday by Surrogate Charles A. Otto Jr. The decedent was the aunt of Hazel M. Meyers and Miss Jeannette Meikle, both of 7 Picton St., Westfield, and Charles Meikle, Clark Township (Courier News (Bridgewater, NJ), January 21, 1939).

Son John Meikle, Jr., died in New Jersey, in 1939, aged seventy-nine years.

Andrew Heggie, a post office mail carrier, aged sixty-two years (b. Scotland), headed a North Adams, MA, household at the time of the Sixteenth (1940) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Elizabeth Heggie, aged sixty-eight years (b. NY), his children, Norman Heggie, a taxi proprietor, aged thirty-four years (b. MA), and Edith Heggie, a high school physical instructor, aged thirty-three years (b. MA), and his cousin, Jennie Lynn, a widow, aged eighty-one years (b. NH). Andrew Heggie owned their house at 24 Jackson Street, which was valued at $2,500. They had all resided in the same house in 1935, except Jennie Lynn, who had resided in Garwood, NJ.

Daughter [Mary] Jean “Jennie” (Meikle) Lynn died in Clark, NJ, June 1, 1944, aged eighty-five years.

Mrs. Jennie Lynn, Clark Township. Funeral services for Mrs. Jennie Lynn, 85 years old, who resided with her nephew and niece, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Meikle of Grand St., were held Saturday afternoon from Gray’s Funeral Home, Westfield. The Rev. R.E. Potter of Rahway conducted the service, and interment was in Rosedale Cemetery, Linden. Mrs. Lynn died Thursday (June 1, 1944) after a short illness. Mrs. Lynn, widow of Ernest Lynn, had resided in Clark Township five years, and prior to that lived in Garwood 25 years. She was a native of Milton Mills, N.H. Surviving are nephews and nieces, including Charles and Herbert Meikle of Clark, John Meikle of Rahway. Mrs. Hazel Meyers, Miss Jeannette Meikle of Clark, Mrs. Charles Bloom of Watsonville, Calif., and Mrs. Ora McCrillis of North Conway, N.H. (Courier News (Bridgewater, NJ), June 5, 1944).

Many a mickle makes a muckle.


Find a Grave. (2013, January 6). Andrew Meikle. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/103168720/andrew-meikle

Find a Grave. (2016, March 17). John Meikle [Jr]. [Its linked information regarding his parents and siblings is incorrect]. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/159632829/john-meikle

Find a Grave. (2013, January 14). Mary Miekle. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/103558012/mary-meikle

Find a Grave. (2014, February 28). Edward Edward Lynn. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/125705977/ernest-edward-lynn

Find a Grave. (2012, March 7). Robert Taylor. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/86389506/robert-taylor

MacRury, Elizabeth B. (1987). Footsteps of Pride to the Past, 1774-1974, Wakefield, New Hampshire. Wakefield, NH: Wilson’s Printers

Mitchell-Cony. (1908). The Town Register: Farmington, Milton, Wakefield, Middleton, Brookfield, 1907-8. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=qXwUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA180

New England Today. (2020). Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins. Retrieved from newengland.com/today/food/breakfast-brunch/muffins/jordan-marsh-blueberry-muffins/

NH Adjutant. (1895). Revised Register of the Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=w1MzAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA436

Wakefield Heritage Commission. (2017). Heritage Park Railroad Museum. Retrieved from www.historicwakefieldnh.com/heritage-park-.html

Wikipedia. (2021, April 25). R.M.S. Majestic (1889). Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Majestic_(1889)

Milton and the Measles, 1900

By Muriel Bristol | July 23, 2021

A measles (rubeola) outbreak took hold in Milton and the surrounding towns beginning in the winter of 1900. Alton, Farmington, and Rochester, NH, seemed particularly hard hit in this year.

Measles is the single most contagious transmissible viral disease: about 90% of the non-immune people exposed to it will become infected. Between 1 and 3 in a 1,000 of those infected would die of it or its respiratory complications. It would be another sixty years before a vaccine became available.

LOCALS. Measles is prevalent here as well as in other towns in the state. It is a disease not to be neglected (Farmington News, February 9, 1900).

STATE NEWS. During February 238 cases of measles were reported to the Manchester board of health. (Portsmouth Herald, March 2, 1900).

WEST MILTON. Ralph Jenkins has the measles (Farmington News, March 2, 1900).

LOCALS. Measles to the right of us, measles to the left of us, measles all around us, not to say how many scores of cases in the midst of the town. Fortunately it soon passes, and with the right care there seldom are dangerous complications (Farmington News, March 9, 1900).

STATE NEWS. An epidemic of measles is raging in and around Rochester. The health department reported to the state board during the past week 70 cases (Portsmouth Herald, March 10, 1900).

WEST MILTON. Mrs. F. Davis has been ill with a cold, and Mildred has had measles (Farmington News, March 23, 1900).

WEST MILTON. One of the mill boarders at G. Canney’s has been suffering quite severely with measles (Farmington News, May 4, 1900).

The NH State Board of Health provided quarantine placards to be posted at houses and other places with infected persons.

MEASLES. Any person having measles, however mild the case may be, and all persons in a family where measles exists, except those who have had the disease, are forbidden to attend school or any public or private gathering, or to mingle with persons who have not had the disease. Persons who have not had measles are prohibited from entering these premises. All persons are strictly forbidden to remove this card without orders from the board of health. Any violation of these regulations will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. BOARD OF HEALTH (NH Department of Health, 1901).

At which point Malcolm A.H. Hart, M.D., acting in his capacity as Chairman of Milton’s Board of Health, sought clarification regarding the State measles quarantine placard, and its accompanying literature, from the Secretary of the NH State Board of Health.

MILTON, N.H., May 18, 1900

Irving A. Watson, M.D., Secretary, State Board of Health, Concord, N.H.

Hart, Malcolm A.H. - 1897DEAR DOCTOR, – Would you kindly inform me what is your recommendation relating to the prevention of the spread of measles? Literature from the state board is incomplete for guidance in this matter. In looking up authority I find the rules laid down in Hare’s “System of Therapeutics” much less exacting than those by Williams in Stedman’s “Twentieth Century Practice.” We are having occasional cases in this town this spring, and I am, of course, anxious to keep the disease in at least such control as not to affect the scholars.


(Signed) M.A. HART, M.D., For Board of Health

Dr. Irving A. Watson (1849-1918), Secretary of the NH State Board of Health, since its creation in 1881, sent the following reply.


CONCORD, N.H., May 24, 1900

M.A. Hart, M.D., Chairman, Board of Health, Milton, N.H.

Watson, Irving AllisonDEAR DOCTOR, – In reply to your favor of recent date, I would say that the State Board of Health has never issued any regulations in regard to measles other than is printed upon the placard issued from this office.

I am aware that there is a difference of opinion, as to how far restrictive measures should be carried and to what extent they are practicable and of value.

The regulation referred to should be enforced as far as possible by the local board of health. Of course a local board has the undoubted right to make such additional rules and regulations as it may deem advisable. Measles is a most difficult disease to restrain, for the reason that it is infectious in its earlier period, as you know, and it is often communicated to others before it is recognized. We are of the opinion that if the regulations referred to were more strictly enforced when the disease first appears, it might be restricted to a very large extent; but after the infection has become general throughout a village, the matter seems to be almost beyond the control of a local board of health.

We expect a local board of health to use its judgment, largely, in the matter as to what should be or may be done in addition to the regulations referred to. I do not think it necessary to close schools on account of this disease, unless it has become so general that the schools are almost certain to be infected.

Very truly yours,

(Signed) IRVING A. WATSON, Secretary

None of the forty people that died in Milton that year actually died of measles, although those that had it and survived might have incurred some long-term health problems.


Find a Grave. (2017, April 25). Dr. Irving Allison Watson. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/178753909/irving-allison-watson

Hare, Hobart A. (1901). A System of Practical Therapeutics (Volume 2). Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=l_I0AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA137

NH Department of Health. (1901). Sixteenth Report of the State Board of Health of the State of New Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=rEtNAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA82

Stedman, Thomas L. (1898). Twentieth Century Practice: Infectious Diseases (Volume 20). Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=KaAwAAAAIAAJ&pg=pa117

Wikipedia. (2021, June 19). Measles. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measles