February 1, 2014

  • Bernard’s Book Chapter 8


    This chapter will be about my research into the spiritual side of life. It was my mother who piqued my interest in spiritual things, as I have already told you. I had been to Lakewood with her a couple of times. After my 15th birthday, when I had my driver’s license, Mother said, “Let’s you and I go to Etna.” That day at Etna, Mother was given a picture of a woman, drawn by a medium. It was colored with crayons on wax paper. She thought it was the likeness of her mother.

    In January 1943, I was drafted into the Army and ended up in the 90th Division 357 Battalion I Company. I had a feeling, maybe it was from Spirit, that I should try to get into the Air Force. I took a test at least twice and finally passed. I believed my prayers were answered. Nine-thousand Air Force men and I were soon on our way to the South Pacific. We sailed on the Monticello, an Italian luxury liner, that was caught in an American port when war was declared. They closed in the deck, put two rows of bunks six high all around the deck. They even had bunks in the swimming pool twelve high. After 22 days at sea, we ended up in New Guinea. Two years later, when I returned home I met a fellow from F Company. He told me that I was extremely lucky that I transferred out, because all the soldiers in I Company were killed. I believe it was Spirit’s help that saved me.

    In March of 1950, Professor Maurice Jones, who I had been working for part time while a student and full time in the summer, called me into his office and told me about this man in Gardiner, Maine who was looking for a Farm Manager to run his dairy farm. I called Mr. Gardiner set up an interview and met with this wonderful man. Mr. Gardiner hired me and gave me the farm checkbook. I moved my family into the farmhouse and Olive kept the checkbook. I slept on the couch at the fraternity and finished school. I went to my new home on weekends and signed the checks.

    It was August of 1957 when my friend Parker Samborn, who was the manager of the Augusta State Hospital Farm, at the time, said to me, “Let’s go down to the Spiritualist Church tonight. My father says it’s true about Spiritualism.” So, we went with our wives and sat in the back row of the church. I never let on that I had been to a Spiritualism service before. The medium that night was Madelyn Wing, from South Gardiner. When it came time for the messages, the medium came to me and said she saw the American flag flying over my head (meaning I’d been in the service) and that I was going down the turnpike. I was going to tell people what to do and how to do it. Also I was going to keep records on everything. We laughed all the way home.

    In about two weeks, I received a letter from the University of Massachusetts with an application form, asking me if I was interested in applying for the Farm Superintendent position. Later I had an interview with a committee of three. Olive came with me. They asked me if I minded if she attended the meeting too. At the end of the interview they asked me when I could start working. I told them not for a couple of months as I had several things to do for Mr. Gardiner. I was told that Mr. Gardner sent them a letter giving them the devil for stealing his man. I think that letter helped me get the job. It was early December 1957 that I started working at UMass.

    That message from Madelyn Wing got me to thinking about spiritualism and prayer. I thought I would try something, I don’t remember who, but someone told me if you say your prayers out loud you would get better results. I hadn’t been on the new job long when I decided to try out my idea. I went to check on things at the barns at 9 o’clock one night. Out behind the barns I said my prayer, “If there is a circle with a trance medium in this vicinity I want to join.” In about 10 days I got a letter from a lady in Springfield named Ruth Agerup. She gave me her address and telephone number and said, “Spirit says that you want to join our group.”

    At that first meeting there were nine of us sitting around the kitchen table. Ruth was telling us where to sit. Alyce Andrews, the trance medium, was seated at the end of the table. I wanted to sit next to her so bad, and what do you know, Ruth seated me there. I wanted to watch every move Alyce made. It took about 10 minutes for her to go in trance. The experience was amazing. Soon I became friends with Alyce and she was considered part of my family. I drove her to nearly all the Spiritual Churches in Massachusetts and Connecticut, where she shared her spiritual gift for many years.

    I had the privilege of attending numerous trance sessions with Alyce. Sometimes we were given past life readings. Spirit told us that Alyce and I had many past lives together. One life we were on Bali Island. Alyce was a man and I was a woman. We had a 10 year old son. One day we were out on the water in our boat, when a typhoon came and tipped the boat over. The 10 year old boy was washed ashore and clung to a tree. Alyce and I both drowned. Our son was raised up by someone else. We also had a life together in Colonial Virginia. Alyce said she saw us in a big house with a large stairway. Another time I was a woman and we were seen on the street at the time of Jesus.

    Some of the spiritual messages received through Alyce Andrews’ trance work have been included in previous postings on this blog.

    I want to say a few words about a member of my farm crew, Ed Tobacco. Ed was Polish. His father changed the family name to Tobacco, because although it started with a T, his Polish surname was very difficult to say. Ed smoked and died from lung cancer. I happened to have a meeting with Alyce right after he died. Ed came through Alyce. He asked me if I would tell his wife that he wasn’t dead. I told him that I would. The next day I went to his home in Hatfield. Mrs. Tobacco was just finishing her breakfast. I told her that Ed asked me to tell her that he wasn’t dead. She said “Oh, I know he isn’t dead. He materialized this morning right in front of that bathroom door.”

    I have to tell about the time that my Grandmother Kate came through Alyce. It was the younger Kate, the one I knew, that I lived with, and whose classroom I went to in the 7th and 8th grades. I spoke to the spirit of my grandmother reminding her of the time I went to see her in the nursing home. I spoke about how I held up that old reel-to-reel tape recorder for her to hear the message that I had received from the wonderful medium named Mrs. Gladys Custance. The message was from several old time neighbors that Kate knew better than I. That day in the nursing home she listened and said, “Isn’t that wonderful, but I still don’t believe. This time, however, my grandmother’s spirit said to me, “I know Bernard, but now I know it’s true.”

    Another medium, one of the greatest, was Mr. Theodore C-Russell from Buffalo, New York. There he lived with his friend, Henry Mullens, who at one time was a heat expert in a steel plant. I never knew the details, but Mr. Russell saved Henry’s life. Mr. Russell was in vaudeville when he was 5 years old and was still acting on stage in Toronto, Canada at an elderly age. I met Mr. Russell in the late 50’s and we became real friends. He would either write me and tell me when he was coming or call me when he got here. I sat with him in his kitchen many nights.

    After my father died, Mr. Russell gave me a message with 22 family names. The name “Ralph” came through. “Not your father,” Mr. Russell told me, “He hasn’t been there long enough.” (Of course it was Uncle Ralph Yeaton.) One night we were talking about things at work and my department head came up. Mr. Russell said, “Don’t be concerned about him. He’s leaving for another job.” Mr. Russell turned out to be right, as I learned a short time later. I received many messages from Mr. Russell, but one that I always remembered was one at a public meeting. He came to me and said, “Why do I feel so old? Does the name, Melvina, mean anything to you?” Melvina was my great-grandmother who died when she was nearly 101.

    Another wonderful medium I knew was Miss Alice Hughes from Albany, New York. In her younger years she was a teacher at Morris Pratt Institute; a school for mediums, healers, and teachers. Miss Hughes told us a family story when she was a young girl. She was the oldest of several children and her mother had passed into spirit. One day her father was taking the family to church. They were going down the road in a wagon and when she looked behind, she saw an apparition of her mother running, trying to catch up. The apparition was disappearing as the horse trotted along. She told us that from that experience, no one could ever tell her that she would never see her mother again.

    Miss Hughes lived to be 103. On her 100th birthday, I gave her a set of paints and brushes. Sometime later she presented me with a large beautiful painting of a white stallion coming out of a dark background, something she had painted. A car load of us Spiritualists went to Albany to see her just before she passed. She was in the Sisters Hospital lying in a child-like crib, in the fetal position. Just before leaving, I leaned over and thanked her for all she had taught us. She whispered to me that she hoped she would soon go somewhere soon, so she could help people again.

    Here are a few other messages I have received from Spirit…

    The spirit of Uncle George Gray came to me in a message and asked me to organize the family get-together at the Wood Place in 1977.

    My father, Ralph, came to me five years after his passing. It happened at a service at Onset at the Wigwam. The medium said, “There is a man standing beside you. He says he dug up a dead horse. He also says, “You and your mother were right, but I couldn’t believe it.”

    My wife, Olive, came to me in a message saying that she was helping the souls of stillborn births and miscarriages. She also said that my mother, Lora, was very busy helping souls who passed from abortions.

    About five months after Olive went to spirit I began having a tickling sensation on the back of my neck, behind my left ear. I thought it was the tab on my shirts and was about to cut them off. Olive had been gone about six months when I received a message from another great medium, Joyce Orcutt from Willimantic, Connecticut. At the end of the message the medium said to me, “Do you have a question?” I said, “Yes, my wife has been gone six months and I would like to hear from her.” Mrs. Orcutt said, “She is standing right behind you. Can’t you feel her on your neck?” I replied, ”I thought that was the tab on my shirt.” I later discovered in a book by Dr. Michael Newton, “Destiny of Souls” (page 15) where a man from the spirit world describes how he communicates with his earth bound wife, “I can feel the point where there is the least amount of blockage. I find it on the left side of her head behind her left ear.”

    Spirit told us that they were not doing table tipping anymore, because they now have enough believers and don’t want their mediums to waste their energy on such things. In the past, they thought they had to do it to convince people, but now there are many here who believe.

January 21, 2014

  • Bernard’s Book Chapter 7


    The following letters were sent to me from my parents (Ralph and Lora Hilton) when I was in the service. The first letter is from my mother. At the time, I had been in the service just a year. I had been recently transferred from Camp Barkley, Abilene Texas at the home of the 90th Infantry Division, to Amarillo Army Air Field in Amarillo Texas. My hopes were to do something in the air. I should explain, that I received $50 a month, but $6.50 was taken out for a $10,000 insurance policy and another $6 to purchase war bonds. I was left with $37.50. With this $37.50, plus the money I had saved; I purchased Christmas presents for everyone in the family. As I remember, I got them all at one small store in Amarillo. These were the first and only presents that my brother and sisters ever got from me, that I can remember.


    Norridgewock, Maine
    December, 31, 1943

    Dear Son,

    A line to let you know your box arrived yesterday Carol and Louise walked up to the mailbox. Well everything is lovely. Frank is displaying his nice belt today. Dad bought him a nice pair of pants yesterday, but they’re too small. Rena had the bucking bronco pin. Dad is worried for fear she won’t get home with it tonight. She had it pined on her coat, big sisters eyed it. Louise and Jennie are delighted with the belts. Carol thinks she is going to make all the girls envious of her compact. Polly wore the pink head scarf to school this morning. She needed one, so did I. We have both promised to loan them. Jen and Louise each got one, only they’re different from Ellen’s.

    Dad and all of us think his tie is nice and will go nice with his new suit. Of course, Mary has the soldier doll. She and Rena had it in the bed between them last night. I gave Mary a doll for Christmas, as well as Rena. Mary says her little girl has a brother now. She is quite a kid. Here are a few of her expressions when she wants us to pay attention to her. “I’ll kick you in the teeth”, “I’ll holler in your ear” and others I can’t recall. She knows they are naughty.

    Well, Dad had four double teeth out yesterday and rode home in the truck with no glass in the doors. He was pretty sick last night. He had a man hold his head down in the dentist chair. They came pretty hard. He had a terrible headache. His jaw is quite badly swollen, but he feels pretty good this morning. He has eight more upper ones to come out. He will have to have an upper plate in from three to six months. He is taking Carol to Waterville to see Dr. Quite today for a check up. Louise is to have a permanent in Skowhegan. Grandmother is going along to see Eva Corson. Guess I forgot to tell you Eva has had a leg taken off up to her knee. She is home now. I hope there is a letter in the mail from you today. We are glad you liked the picture. Mary and I have to hold the fort this afternoon. Wish you were here.
    Lots of love


    Norridgewock, Maine
    January 9, 1944

    Dear Son,

    Here it is Sunday night again. I heard on the radio that you had a big blizzard in Amarillo and Fortworth, causing a great deal of damage to farmers, etc. The worst since 1898. How did it seem? We had another big snowstorm. Dad says about 15 inches. They had 26 in Jackman on top of 42 or so. They must have some snow. The temperature was down to 26 below this morning it’s some cold tonight, but I guess it won’t be quite so bad. We got our road plowed out this time before the storm was hardly over. We heard they were having trouble with the tractor before they got back to town.

    Dad had quite a time with his teeth pulling. Several days he took on here with pain in his jaw and face and headache. Finally he and Louise went back Tuesday. The dentist removed some process or casing that is around the teeth and it relieved him right away. Louise had some work done and they brought home to me a birthday present of a nice little rocking chair, to sit on when I peel potatoes.

    Today Dad went up to Annie’s he wanted to see George about road plowing It seems no one with a rig will take on extra because of labor. George Walker’s new ice house went down in the Thanksgiving snowstorm. He don’t plan to put it up again this winter. His health is poor and so is Annie’s. Agnes Hilton is in the Osteopathic Hospital in Waterville. She hasn’t been well lately. Marian was up with her sister a few days.
    We had no school Friday because of the storm. I wonder if they will get there tomorrow. We expect Ellen home Monday or Tuesday for a few days. She says they don’t want her gone more than a couple of days because they have a lot of patients. I guess she has been having a pretty good time up there, going to Saturday night dances and parties. Margaret Gray has been home two weeks or so. She and Edwina were down last Thursday. Caught Louise and I helping Dad saw wood. We seldom have more than a week’s supply ahead.

    Dad has to go to court one day this week on jury same as September. Franklin exercises the horses a little, breaking roads to henhouses. Went up to Bennie’s yesterday found Dean had got home he was hauling up stove wood. Carol is back to Farmington. Has her work pretty well caught up. She wanted yours and Earle Gray’s addresses as she forgot to take them with her. I have mailed them to her in the letter that I wrote to her today. I’ll be looking for your picture by the last of this week. I think it is nice you are sending it.

     Of course, you know Jen is playing basketball this winter. They played Madison and the Norridgewock girls won. Boys lost. Louise went over with Margaret and they walked out to the game. Louise walked home the next morning. She used skis as far as Helens. Edwina and Margaret used snowshoes. Dad went on skis today. The car is laid up for repairs. Sheaf didn’t know if he could weld it or if he could get a new piece. Dad and Louise got almost to Gillins and found that about all the oil had gone out of it. Sheaf seemed to think he knew what ailed it. They towed it down, Dad and Louise, with the truck.

    Mayland Hilton has a girl. She is a Billings from Madison. Steve Ladd of Mercer is her grandfather. He has had her out home for several days. Maybe Etta will get him married. She told him to bring her home. I guess he was out there most of the time until he did. Oh, the neighbors are talking, Edwina gave us the low downs, and Dad got an ear full out to Annie’s. I reminded him of Earland. Guess it’s no worse than that. I don’t think I will ever want to live in that neighborhood.

    Don’t lose your patience with the way things are going there. From what we hear on the radio tonight they are having upheavals in some other camps. We don’t see any justice in a lot of things, quite often there isn’t; but someone else will speak up, someone with influence. They will be moving a lot of men out of camps across to different places, before the winter is over. I think Reginald Pooler has been gone since before Christmas. So the Corsons say. His personal things were sent to them. He is in the parachute troops. Oh well, seems as though the war will never be over.

    Here we have lots of potatoes, too many eggs, and too much pork. I wonder if we’ll ever move these potatoes. Too cold now anyway, but we wonder. I was wondering, if you could afford it, you might find something in leather good to save for yourself. You might wish you had some day, though I expect they are pretty expensive. They look it anyway. Dad can’t even buy a strap of harness. They need repairing bad. He told Carol to inquire for the harness man in Kingfield, when she gets there. She plans to go the last of this month. Guess I have scribbled enough this time. Will be looking for a letter.
    Love Mother


    Norridgewock, Maine
    January 16, 1944

    Dear Bernard,

    It is Sunday and we are not very ambitious so I will answer your letter. Your mother has told me to write you about Amos. She said, “Tell him about Amos just as you told us, and that will entertain him for awhile. To begin with, we haven’t been through to the village for four days with a car. The road is full in some places. The sides of the road are as high as a man’s head in some places. Yesterday we had three days milk on hand. We are getting about three cans a day. We can put only seven cans in the tank. So, I took a pair of horses and dumpcart body on a front sled and took the milk and started to meet the milkman at Albee’s.

    I got over to Amos’ and before I got there I saw him coming out to the road and start to shovel out his mailbox. He took only one shovelful and lugged it across the road and went back and stood and waited for me. Then he said he guessed he would go down with me. We got over to Clair’s and Alice hollered out for me to get her a half pound of tea. She said she forgot to send by Harold Buzzell, who had just started for town on foot. I got over to Watson’s and we loaded in their milk and Clinton went down with us. We overtook Harold by the Paquette Place.

    Clinton lifted the milk out of their tank and I said to Amos, “load it on”, and he put in one can or two and then he stopped. I said, “Put the other one in that goes too.” He said to Clinton, “Does this one go?“ Clinton said, “Yes it all goes.” So, Amos had to lift another one in. We met the milkman, whose name is Tukey from Belgrade, at monument square. I made Amos slide the cans from the front end of the cart body to the back end where Clinton loaded them into the milk truck. We got him to roaring a few times en route. He had to go to Gilman’s to get feed and groceries. He got three bags of grain. He was in the store fifteen or twenty minutes. After awhile, Robert Gilman wheeled out his grain and we loaded it, and then Amos came out into the grain room a picking his nose, and standing around and Robert told him it was all loaded. He said, “Is it?

    I drove over to Piper’s to get a couple bags of feed. I left Amos to hold the horses. I went into the store and Piper and I got to talking about fifteen minutes. In the meantime there was a lot of traffic going by and a couple of trucks stopped there and the horses were uneasy, that made Amos very nervous. When we came back he said to Piper, “Where in hell have you been? Don’t you see all this traffic here and these trucks, these dam horses won’t stand.”. Piper said, “What’s the matter Amos?” I said, “Amos is in a hurry today. Didn’t you ever see him in a hurry before?” They all laughed.

    We stopped at Albee’s to get our milk cans where the milkman had left them in the morning when he got Albee’s milk. We were loading in the cans, Amos was taking them from Clinton and placing them in the body. I said, “You can’t throw them in that way you will have to pack them in or we won’t get them all in.” He moved his feet out of the place where we were packing the cans. Clinton had the mail all done up in a bundle laying on the bags of grain and Amos had his groceries laying on the grain. He got his feet on the mail and punched a big hole in Henry Gillin’s daily paper. Among his groceries were two loves of bread. He trod on them and broke the paper on both and got dung on it. It was sliced bread and it fell apart some. He noticed it after awhile. He gathered it up some and said, “The god dam stuff. Anybody that will buy the dam stuff ought to have it trod on.” Coming home I commenced to pick on him some more. I started in about the white-collared bastards and he said the people ought to have a war and kill off about half of the dam bastards. They ought to take a gun. I asked him where he would get his bullets? He said, “Take an ax”.The rest of the trip was uneventful. I dumped his grain at his driveway. He didn’t have it shoveled out yet.

    Harold Buzzell has got to go to the Army. He has taken his physical at Bangor. He has been working up to the Forks with Bennie loading pulpwood on a truck. Bennie is raising hell hauling pulpwood 18 miles above the Forks to the Forks with three trucks. Harold Buzzell said they are overloading their trucks and breaking them down. Some days making only one trip sometimes four trips. He said that Roland lost off both hind wheels the other day and dragged his brake drum and split the brake drum. It is for the Hollingworth and Whitney Company. I think Albert Foster is doing the logging. They go up above Cold Stream and go into the woods about 8 miles on the left hand side.

    Clifford Fields has gone into the Navy, was drafted. He has 7 children. Ray Burrill has to go and be examined. Robert Hilton has had to be deferred for 6 months. Dean Yeaton is home he has been working at Bangor for a contractor. The contractor had go to the Army.

    I was on the Grand Jury two days last week. I have to go again the second Tuesday in May. I saw by the paper, Orion Luce was transferred to New Jersey. It seems to me the war is going awful slow. I am afraid the Russians will get to England before the Allies start a second front. I guess the politicians want to wait until after election before they finish the war.

    Hib Dow died about a week ago with pneumonia. There is no one living at the Frank Estey Place this winter. I have had to cut wood to burn since Thanksgiving. It takes a cord a week of gray birch. I tried Amos cutting. He cut two days and we saved it up and measured it to be one and a quarter cords, for two days work. I paid him six dollars in money and two dinners, which made the cutting of wood cost very near six dollars a cord. I cut 8 hours (one day) and I had 1 cord, besides I picked up wood he left. The snow is about 3 feet deep. I haven’t cut any ice yet. I suppose I will have to have him help do that. I have got the car fixed and new chains for it. Jennie and Louise are to take their degrees at the Grange next Thursday.

    I heard on the radio that they are closing up the Bangor Airport and also the one at Houlton. I expect to help George Walker get ice this next week or soon anyway. I am having my upper teeth all out, that is some job. They are so solid the doctor can hardly pull them. Then they are sore for two weeks afterwards. He takes about 4 at a time.

    Charles is taking it easy this winter, he has about 16 head of young cattle for chores. He isn’t cutting any wood or anything. I tried cutting some logs with Amos, but he was so dead I had to give it up. We couldn’t saw the tree down, it went so hard. The stump would be concaved where I pushed the saw and bent it, trying to saw. Amos worked 4 days in December. He came over last Monday and stood around picking his nose. After an hour and a half he said, he had ought to have done it before but he hadn’t. He said he wouldn’t bother with the dam stuff now if he didn’t need it to burn, which was probably so. I helped him fix up some wagon sleds. The next morning at 11 o’clock he came after the horses and made two trips to the woods that day, and hasn’t been after them since. The snow is so deep the horses can hardly go through it. He has shoveled out a turn next to his field two times already and it has blown full now.

    People don’t seem to think there is a war on. All they seem to think of is big pay. George Harlow offered $1 an hour for a truck driver, they say. Eggs have gone down to 30½ to 35½ a dozen, and there is a glutted market. Hogs are too plentiful and potatoes are not moving very well. About all there is that is moving is pulpwood and milk. We get about $200 out of our cows a month(9 in all).

    Clair and Steve are cutting pine and hauling it up the road with Clair’s oxen they make a picture of the 49er’s. They including the oxen act if each was trying to move slower than the other so the whole outfit is almost at a standstill. They hauled up 2 or 3 logs that 2 men could easily carry. Both have to ride. I don’t know whether this interests you or not, but it is very exasperating to see the Buzzells do as they do, when they might be earning good wages if they wanted to brace up. The old woman, Mrs. Amos gets $45- a month out of Wayman’s death. Both girls are home helping eat it up also.

    Your father
    R.B. Hilton


    Norridgewock, Maine
    March 6,1945

    Dear Bernard,

    I thought I would write you a line to let you know I am alive yet. I am very busy so I put off writing letters. By the way it don’t take much to keep me busy. The snow has settled quite a lot in the last week. We have had real spring weather for a week or ten days. We have had quite a severe winter here with lots of wind and snow. There are several snow banks along the roads that you can’t begin to look over them in a truck. There was over 3 feet of snow in the woods a week ago. I haven’t done any work in the woods this winter.

    It is impossible to hire anyone at any price. What help anyone can hire is from 75½ to $1.00 per hour; and the quality is very poor. Amos, Steve, and Clair don’t work hardly any. They don’t have to. Amos and Clair are behind on there taxes this year. They were printed in the town report. Amos was at the head of the list this year. Your Ma and I went to town meeting yesterday. It being the only one I ever attended where Ames(D) and Folsom(R) (lawyers) were both absent. It went off pretty good. Frank Estey tried to take Ames’ place; but made a poor showing. Frank did more than his share of talking. Frank Estey got $1500 to be spent on Winding Hill. Henry Gillen and I tried to get them to open the cross road from Crowes to Mrs. Spencers on the other road; but Frank and Bittle who lives on the Cheveoit Place, won the day.

    Old Jim Gillen tore all the town officials apart and also committee of ten. They had quite an argument about buying land for a cemetery. Fred Jewett was bound they would buy his piece out on the Mercer Road, between Mercer Road and Wilder Hill Road, and call it the Jewett Memorial Cemetery for $1500. Everyone but the committee of ten were mad. They voted on it 11 for and 31 against it. But, Dan Jones 1st selectman got up and argued and Charles made a motion that they raise $1500 for a cemetery not necessarily Jewetts. I expect they will but it is being left with the selectmen. Jewett was Moderator and was he tore up about it. He asks about three times what the land is worth.

    Frank Estey got in an argument with Mr. Wing who is town manager. Frank got real personal. Wallace Sheaff told me he was walking down the street with Frank and Frank was spouting about Mr. Wing and Mrs. Wing came along and heard Frank and did she peel him down. Sheaff said he walked off and left them. They had a chew about the big 10 in town meeting, they wanted to put on two new members and the old ones have to stay off for 5 years, which was carried. It it going to be tough on Mr. Jewett and Walter Tailor and Frank Estey who have been on ever since it started.

    Our cows are caving now 4 have come in this winter and we have 18 more before June 1. Their bags swell quite bad. It takes me about all my time to tend them. We are milking our 1st heifer raised from artificial breeding. She gives better than 35 lbs a day about 2 yrs.9 mo. She is the best 2 yr. old I think we ever raised. We have 10 head of artificial calves and heifers now. We have 16 head of registered cattle now. We have 41 head now in all.

    The girls said they told you that I bought a new cooler ten can size $535, a bath tub, and flush and a new set of harnesses for Frank’s horses. I paid the mortgage off in full this last fall, and all other bills. I have been putting your money you send home or most of it into bonds. I have bought $150 worth for you. That is three $50 ones, for $37.50 each. I used some you sent home to buy cows last spring. Will give cattle or cash for it sometime. We have sold most of the potatoes, have about 250 bushel left. They are quite scarce now. I have ordered a new grain drill from Frank Estey. I am trying to save all the money I can so I will be able to furnish jobs for some of the returning soldiers when they get home. I want to build a barn and do lots of other things then.

     Crib Whiting died about 2 weeks ago; age 84yrs. I think Milford Tibbets is quite bad off hasn’t been out all winter. Bennie has sold all his cows; he has only about a dozen head of calves and yearlings. He had mastitis so bad most of them went for beef. Charles has only 5 or 6 head of calves and yearlings. He is going into the hay business. Hay is awful scarce and high around $30 to $40 or $50 a ton. We have enough. Louise just blowed in an announced that Frank’s heifer is caving so I will have to run. The calf is born and it is a heifer. Regular artificial calf out of an artificial heifer. Our cows attract quite a of attention when anyone comes around. We sold $3300 milk last year from an average of 12 half of them were first calf heifers.

    I have just taken out a $5000 life insurance it will come due when I am 65 so I would be independent then. It cost $282 per year. I get $5000 at death or at age 65. I think I will sell the sheep this spring unless I can hire a place to pasture them. I may sell 4 heifers, Nightingale heifers I got down there when they were small calves. I am enclosing a couple of pictures cut out of the Holstein World. They charge $500 for service (artificial) of this bull. I guess this is all I can think of.

    Your father
    R.B. Hilton

    Next Posting: Chapter 8 Spirit Messages

January 18, 2014

  • Bernard’s Book Chapter 6


    In the early ‘30s Father started to add to his flock of sheep. The fall of 1935, a flock of very poor sheep were purchased from Lee Foss of Athens. This put the number of sheep over 100. Father learned from the County Agent how to castrate lambs. First he cut off the tip of the scrotum, push down and pinch next to the body. When the testicle popped out, he would grasp them one at a time with his teeth and pull them out. (Father’s upper two front teeth were peg teeth. This happened when he was a young man. As he was pulling the rein over the back of a horse, the snap struck him in the mouth and broke off his front teeth.) When castrating the lamb, Father had to do the grasping on the side of his mouth because one of his peg teeth was missing. The reason for doing it this way was to avoid infection. Nothing touched the wound. What he grasped with his teeth, he spit out.

    At the same time as the castration, the lamb’s tails were also cut off. The shearing of sheep, which was done in April and May, was something I dreaded. Usually Mother or I had to turn the crank for the old clippers. Not being a professional, it was a good day’s work for Father to do from 25 to 30 sheep a day. It was my job to wade over the river at the Tailor interval and go to Dan Waugh’s to get the sheering blades sharpened. Dan was a distant relative and would question me for all the news.

    We started binding some of the field corn at this time and shocking it in the field to dry. This was Indian corn, flint corn eight rows of corn on a cob. Late in the fall, we would take these bundles of corn and pitch them on top of the hay in the barns. We built a long feeder for the sheep in the barnyard and fed this to the sheep. They really liked it and got fat on it, but in the spring before the sheep went to pasture a lot of the best lambs couldn’t walk. We would carry some of them to pasture. Many never recovered. At the time no one knew what caused this problem. The same problem can happen to cattle that have a complete diet of corn. It is the lack of selenium in the diet. Our soils in the east lack selenium, so we must give vitamin E, or feed a small amount of soy bean meal to the sheep, which comes from the west where the soils are high in selenium.

    We were gradually getting a little bigger in the dairy business. We always had cows to milk it seems. Mother made butter and it was peddled for 17 cents to 27 cents a pound. Mother also made cheese, not to sell but for our own use. She told me that she learned to make cheese from Gram Butler who was known as the best cheese maker around. Father put shelves in a closet by the old fireplace to store the cheese.

    We sold cream and when we didn’t have ice, Father build a box at the spring, down over the riverbank, to set the cream in to keep it cool. This water was so cold you couldn’t drink a full glass straight down without stopping. The water came right out of the blue clay in the bank. It was quite a job for us kids to get the can of cream up the steep bank until Jim Fentiman swamped out a new path down over the bank. Old Jim was a great woodsman he certainly knew how to lay out woods roads. We had to take the cream to the spring night and morning after separating. Two or three times a week we had to go down to the spring and get the can of cream, take it with the old Franklin car or a horse and wagon down to the old ferry road opposite the Pease Place. Then we put it in the boat, paddle across the river, and lugged it up the other side, where it sat in the sun until it was picked up by the cream truck.

    I think it was late in the summer of 1935 that we moved the camp that stood on the south side of the Butler House. This camp was used for summer sleeping when Father and his brothers were young. It may also have been used as sleeping quarters when Leander built the house. Jim Fentiman helped Father jack-up the building and put it on two beech skids. The butts behind and the front end was chained to a sled rocker and pinned to a set of forward wheels. The horses were put on the pole and the oxen were put on lead. I drove the oxen, Father drove the horses, and Jim walked behind to watch the rear. Of course, the road was a dirt road, but there was concern whether the skids would wear out before we got home. Everything went fine and this building became our new milk room. We soon got inspected to sell whole milk.

    That fall the icehouse was built, just east of the milk room. The icehouse never had a roof. We would fill it a couple of layers of ice above the walls. Sometimes the top layer would melt before we could get sawdust to cover it. Getting the ice was sometimes a problem with Father away in the woods. One year Uncle Maurice sawed the ice and Ellery Tuttle had to haul it from the river with his team. Ellery hauled ice the first day. On the second day he sent Emmons Young with the team. There was slush from a snowstorm that covered the hole. Emmons drove the team on the road right up beside the ice hole. He looked over and could see Maurice sawing on the other side and decided to go over to meet him. Emmons jumped off the sled right into the water. He said he never got his pipe or his hat wet. It was a very cold day, so he jumped on the sled and ran the horses to the house. Us older children were in school, but when we got home Mother told us how Emmons stood on the register, while she tried to find something for him to put on. Father had taken most all of his clothes with him to the woods. She finally found some old rags for him to wear while his clothes dried. Emmons told mother that if there were any fish there they would be all dead for he hadn’t had a bath for a good while. This was the story that mother relayed to us when we got home on the bus.

    Probably the last time ice was put up was 1944. I was home on furlough and Father put me to work driving the team hauling ice from the river. Father had George Walker with his machine to saw the ice. This machine was and old Hudson car engine mounted on steel runners with a big circular saw mounted on the engine. It would saw just about as fast as a man could walk and push it along. The cakes of ice were 2 feet by 2 feet by 3 feet and weighed over 300 pounds. Ten or twelve cakes to a load was a good load for the horses going up the riverbank by the Kennebec. In order to load the ice we used a wooden chute placed in the water. The team was stopped at end of the chute in the middle of the sled. Then we took one of the horses off and with a rope and a special made hook, the horse would pull the cakes of ice on to the sled.

    At this time, I was sweet on Olive, you might say, and she was riding with me. We put a blanket on the ice to sit on. When we were on the river, I noticed George was real sweet with Olive and it reminded me of a story that I heard in one of the lumber camps. When I heard a man in camp mention the name George Walker I kept quiet never saying that he was married to a relative of mine. The fellow said, “Do you know George Walker the iceman in Madison? George is quite a man with the women. His wife, Annie, got word of something. She told George if he didn’t cut it out that she would start doing what he was doing and catch up with him. George told Annie, “You might keep up, but you’ll never catch up.”

    In the spring of 1934, Father took a job to cut pine on Willie Hilton’s land. He landed it on Hilton Brook. He also cut pine on land owned by the Clark and Bunker heirs and put that in the river at Norton and Greenier. All the logs were for the Augusta Lumber Company. Father told me that he could buy a pair of oxen for the price of a horse and that was all he could afford. We had a pair of steers that made a four-ox team and Amos Buzzell drove them. Father would get upset with Amos because he tended to slow them down and maybe didn’t put on a very big load. Father insisted that they could haul as much or more than a pair of horses.

    A truck and trailer owned by Uncle Benny Yeaton and driven by Uncle Maurice hauled some of the logs from the Clark and Bunker land. These logs were put in the river by the spring, at the farm where my brother Franklin lives. I drove the oxen to load the logs on the truck. We used a rope and the oxen to roll the logs up skids onto the truck. This nigh ox was a really nice ox. I used to hitch him up in the driving wagon and give the children rides. He was so strong that he broke two ox yokes. Father finally traded oxen for a horse. He told me that he saw one of oxen pull at Topsham Fair with another ox. They won first money in the sweepstakes class. A few years later Father saw the old ox again and said it was sad to see him. He was old and thin and didn’t do well at the pull.

    We had a pasture in Starks on a road out to the right of the corn shop. It was about seven miles to the pasture from the Butler Place. In the spring when the water was high we would put the cattle over on the ferryboat and drive them to the pasture. One of the last times that we put cattle there Franklin, about 7 years old, had a pair of steers that were about a year old. The steers were used, thinking that the cattle might see them and follow along with them. It was a hot day and when we got out to Jonas Greenleaf’s place, the cattle were hot and left the road and went into the swamp. While we were trying to get the cattle back on the road, Franklin was talking with Jonas, who was an old man. After we got the cattle back on the road and were proceeding down the road, I said to Franklin, “What did the old man have to say?” Franklin said, “He said if I had been home, I would have had a picture of those steers.” I said to Franklin, “But he is home.” Pretty soon Father came along and I asked him what did Jonas mean. Father thought for a moment and said, “He meant that if his wife Fide had been home, he would have had her take a picture of the steers.”

    Each summer we would try to go see the cattle at Starks pasture at least a couple of times, usually on a Sunday. We would go in the horse and wagon and take a lunch for us and some salt for the cattle. One time Caroline, Louise, and I went with Father. We left the horse in the pasture tied to a tree and went looking for the cattle, usually about twenty five to thirty head. The pasture had a large acreage so we went quite a ways from the horse before they would respond to Father’s calling them. Finally they came a running.

    We were in a small opening that was once a field. In this field was a huge rock as big as a small house. Caroline, Louise and I were up on this rock when the cattle came and with the cattle was a Jersey bull about two years old that didn’t belong to us. Father didn’t want the young heifers breed by him, if he could help it. So, as they were eating the salt, Father sneaks up on the bull grabs him by horns and threw him. I was sent, as fast as I could go, back to the horse, to tie the horse with a rein and bring his halter to put on the bull. And to bring a bag which we had seen hanging on a tree to make a blindfold to put on the bull. I now I had to part with my shoe strings and at least one of the girls did also. The shoe strings were used to tie the blind fold on the bull. We took the bull got him through the fence and Father deposited him in someone’s barn.

    I think it was in August in 1936, I was cultivating corn with a pair of horses and everyone else was picking string beans. A truck came and Father went with the man named Dana Robbins, who was after bob calves. We had just had two Holstein heifers, out of several that were bred to a Hereford bull that had red and white bull calves. We all told Franklin that if he would hurry to the barn and show an interest then maybe Father wouldn’t sell them. Well those turned out to be a great pair of steers. Franklin trained them well.

    One of the first jobs Franklin did with his steers was when he and his cousin Ray hauled Gram Kate’s wood from a pile around the turn, and put it down cellar. I guess there were 5 or 6 cords of wood and it was quite a sight to see these 2 boys in operation. In the winter of 1939, when Father was in New Hampshire logging in blow down of 1938 hurricane, these steers were our transportation. I fixed the old pung up with a pole. This pung had two seats and a little room for a couple of children to stand on back. One day that winter, after a big snowstorm, that blocked the road so the school bus couldn’t get through, we decided to go to school with the steers. Franklin was nine. I was sixteen and a half and could run faster than Franklin, so I drove. There were high snow banks on the sides of the road. All we had to do was hang on. I would stand. If the steers happened to take a wrong turn, all I had to do was jump off, run a few steps, and I would have them under control. We put the steers in a lady’s stable, across the street from the school.

    Next Posting: Chapter 7 Letters From Home

January 16, 2014

  • Bernard’s Book Chapter 5


    Father bought his first pair of horses, Harry and Queen, a white horse and a dapple-gray mare from Wesley Watson in 1923, the year that I was born. In the spring of 1925, he bought the black horses Nig and Lion. Father described the pair, “They were what you would call green broke, they wouldn’t turn good at first.” When I was five, I would ride Harry and sometimes Nig to unload hay with the horse fork. They knew pretty much what to do, all I had to do was hang on to the hames. When they had gone as far as they could, I would turn the horse and they’d go back to the barn. Before I was elevated to this job, Mother or Molly had to do it. They would walk and drive the horse with long reins.

    In addition to his black horses, Father also bought a bay team called, Dan and Maud. There were like a pair of cats. They were the only team that could go up a pinnacle on the mountain to get the wood. This was rough pulp; some that was cut late in the summer, too late to peel. Father was using a drag dray, probable fourteen to sixteen feet long. He put on about a cord and a half on the dray and dragged two bundles, a quarter of a cord each, one behind the other with a bridle chain on each runner. Down the mountain he went, quite fast at first, I watched and caught up after, when he undid the bundles. He placed them beside the road to be picked up later, when the road got better from further use.

    The bay mare, Maud, stepped on a piece of wood. It left a splinter in her foot and caused an infection. She got lame. Father treated her for months. Her foot grew out like a stump and made that leg longer than the other three. She wasn’t used for regular work, so I used her as my driving horse. Maud could go very fast and in the wagon it didn’t matter that she went up and down. One day I went up to call on the Bishops, which was located across the road from Amos. Old Maud was going at a good clip. I was standing up for some reason and when I turned in I pitched out, landed on my belly, and got dragged a ways. Joe was in the yard and grabbed old Maud’s head, while I got to my feet. I never let go of the reins, so there wasn’t any damage to anything except my pride.

    One day Father decided to get rid of Maud. He took her up in the woods with a pole ax in his hand. We didn’t know what had happened. We kind of laughed to ourselves as Maud appeared dragging the halter rope. Father never took her back to the woods. In addition to her bad foot, Father said Maud’s wind was bad. He talked with Wesley Watson about him selling her for him. Father asked me to ride her down to Watson’s Pasture on the Skowhegan Road. I had never ridden in a saddle, but I heard that Helen Pease had one. I told Father if he would borrow Helen’s saddle, I would do it. Mother called Helen and made arrangements for Richard, Helen’s son, to bring it over in their boat. It turned out to be a ladies side saddle with an up and down ride, but I made it to the pasture and let her loose.

    Father said, “Every time I went by the pasture, I looked to see if she (Maude) was still there. One day he went by and she was gone. Father went over to the stable and said to Wesley, “It looks like you sold the mare.” He said, “I did, but all he could get was $75. Father said to him, “Did anyone around here get her.” Wesley said, “No, she has gone a good long ways and I don’t even know the man’s name.”

    My father told me that his grandfather, Benjamin F. Hilton, called BF, bought our pony, Don, as a foal. When they first got him, Don was kept for a short while behind the kitchen stove, to keep him warm. He was a pretty dapple-gray when young. He came from a farm in Emden, I think where the Piper farm is today. Father said B F. Hilton had his own blacksmith shop where he made the pony cart. It had springs under the seat. Father said that one of the springs broke, but soon his Grandfather Hilton drove in with a new spring he had made. Father wondered how he knew, for he didn’t think anyone had told him that it was broken. Eben Miller’s children Robert and Elizabeth had Don for a time, until I was old enough to ride him.

    Ellen and I drove Don up to the Butler Place to catch the school bus for a time. It was difficult for me to get on his back. He wouldn’t stand near anything that I could get on. I discovered that if there was grass to eat I could straddle his neck and he would throw up his head and I would be on his back, then I would turn around. One time us kids decided to visit Uncle Benny’s family. There were four of us: Caroline, Louise, Jennie, and myself. It was a good load, but no problem for Don. It was Sunday and the Yeatons were not home, so we decided to go to visit Uncle Harry instead, just about a mile further up the road. Uncle Harry was really surprised to see us and very happy about our visit. He insisted that we unhitch, Don put him in the barn, and feed him. Aunt Gussie and son, Donald, were there and had us playing games. We were having a great time, but we stayed too long. When we got home, Father was fit to be tied and I had to be punished. When we rode or drove old Don a lot, he would leave home and go up to the neighbors. He would be gone for several weeks, but as the kids there began to ride him, he would soon come home.

    Father told me he had a great feeling of love and respect for his Grandfather Hilton. He spoke about the day his grandfather made a visit on his way to Mercer to see Uncle Allie. It was shortly after the death of his son, Charles, Father’s father. Grandfather Hilton stopped by to cheer up Kate, but Father said he couldn’t help thinking that his grandfather needed cheering up as much or more than his mother did.

    One Sunday, Father and I went up to the Yeaton Place to see Uncle Benny’s new pair of horses. When we got there it seemed that the whole neighborhood had turned out to see them. They were a real nice pair of black mares. They were backed out of their stalls one at a time and everybody admired them. When they were turned out, each horse rolled over 5 or 6 times. Some old fellow hollered out, “They’re worth 100 dollars each time they roll over!” Later in the barn, a new Farm Mall tractor was demonstrated. It could turn in a fifteen and a half foot radius. I went back into the horse stable and Uncle Ralph Yeaton said to me, “Those tractors will never replace horses will they?”

    I made two trips out West to buy Belgium horses with Father in the late 50’s. The first time we got Lula Bell a big mare and a two year old stud at an auction in Indiana. The last time we bought horses, we went to Toronto to the Winter Royal Fair for a couple days. We slept in the back of the truck and enjoyed the fair very much. Father bought two horses from somebody he had corresponded with, one was a nice two year old mare. He raised quite a number of good horses. Father gave me a dark sorrel mare he didn’t like, called Lady and sold me a blonde mare, named Bonnie.

    I am going to close this chapter with a couple of stories that shows Fathers love of horses. Lion, the off horse of the black team and the oldest, died at the farm. Nig, the nigh horse, lived on and one day Father traded him. On a trip to the Starks pasture, after removing a young jersey bull, we were walking along the line fence and we spotted a man cultivating corn with a pair of horses. One of the horses was black. Father said, “Wait here I want to speak to that man.” When Father came back he was nearly in tears and said “Poor Nig has to work for somebody else. I never should have sold him.”

    I haven’t written anything about Tom and Prince. Father used this team for everything, before the war, during the war, and after the war. He planted the corn, he sprayed the corn for weeds, and he mowed the hay with Tom and prince. One day Father went to the Wood Farm to get out some cedar he had cut for fence stakes. The horses were getting old and when they turned, Prince got his feet caught in the brush and broke his leg. Father got Erland Peterson, a neighbor, to shoot Prince to put him out of his misery. Erland offered to get his tractor and haul Prince down to the interval to bury him, where it would be easy digging. Father said, “No, he would get another horse to hitch with Tom, and haul Prince down. He wanted Prince to be hauled with horses, not a tractor. The family told me that Father dug a hole with the help of his tractor loader. He built a box for Prince and buried him. A few years later Tom died and he was buried at home behind the barn. Father didn’t like the idea of one horse buried at home and the other horse three miles down the road. He wanted the horses buried together. So, Father dug up Prince at the Wood Place and trucked the horse up the hill and buried him at home beside Tom.

    Next Posting: Chapter 6 Farm Life

January 12, 2014

  • Bernard’s Book Chapter 4


    From 1924 to 1942, Father went to work in the woods every year, except in 1932. The pay was so low that year, as my father told me, “It wouldn’t pay for the wear and tear of my clothing and equipment.”

    I remember in 1933, when Father had a job to haul 600 cords of peeled spruce and fir at Sandy Stream, which was located seven miles above Highland Lodge. Father called Mother to meet him in New Portland. I remember hitching up a little bay driving horse in a sleigh for Mother. The horses name was Tony. All this horse wanted to do was to go as fast as he could. We used the harshest bit on him, a J.I.C. bit, even then he would nearly pull your arms off. Mother started off with Tony for New Portland to pick up Father for a visit. She used a winter road down the field, across the river, at the Pease Place.

    When Father arrived at New Portland, he thought he had plenty of time to get a shave and a hair cut, before Mother arrived. He must have been in the barbershop when Mother and the little horse whizzed by. I don’t know how far she went before she turned around, but Mother said her arms got tired holding the horse back so, she let him go. She told me, “I was going right along with the cars.” When they got back to our interval, Father had to hold the horse’s head up to keep him from falling down. The little horse that didn’t weigh but 800 pounds was exhausted. The next morning Father told me, “Go out and see if your little horse is still alive.” Tony was standing, but his hair was all matted down.

    In 1934 Father was working for Walter Robinson on Spencer Stream. He had three camps two were about 13 miles north of Flagstaff Village; the other one was eleven miles back. There was a C.C.C. road into Shaw pond about 8 miles from Flagstaff. C.C.C. stood for the Civilian Conservation Corps. A government organization that took young men 18 to 21 put them in camps and built roads and trimmed up the National Forests. His brother Charlie worked as a foreman in one of these camps over in New Hampshire. The roads they built were gravel roads not hardly wide enough for two cars to pass. To get into this country we had to cross Flagstaff Lake, which was a mile across. They had a scow on the lake big enough to take a car or a pair of horses. They had to ferry all their provisions, which was quite a job, for they had 65 horses and 135 men to feed.

    They started toting with a pick-up-truck from the further side of Flagstaff Lake to Shaw pond a distance of 7 miles. They traveled on the C.C.C. road on bare ground; but snow came early and fast by the first of January there was over 2 feet of snow. They had no snowplow so they had to abandon the pick-up–truck they just pushed it out of the road and left it there. They had to tote all the way from Flagstaff to Spencer Stream with horses. That tote road had a lot of snow in it and it was trod down and froze. Robinson brought in a big snowplow made out of hardwood plank. The runners were 18 feet long; it had 3 sections one in the center and one on each side of the center. The outside sections had grousers, which could be hoisted or lowered by long levers using manpower. It also had big wings on the side made out of hardwood plank, which could be raised or lowered by hand of course. Robinson wanted to plow this road right down to the gravel so he could go back to toting with the pick-up truck between Flagstaff Lake and Shaw Pond.

    One morning Robinson asked for 20 horses to be at the lower camp at 6:00. These horses were all hand picked. Father said he was lucky he was called on to go, for there were some pretty good horses picking 20 out of 65. They hitched the horses in 4-horse teams a total of five 4-horse teams. Each 4-horse team was hitched to a forward sled. The first 4 were hitched directly to the snowplow. Then the next 4-horse team was put on ahead with a chain running back to the plow and so on until we were all hitched on. They had some difficulty getting things moving because it was somewhat difficult to get them all going at once. They broke some chains at first, but after a few minutes everything was running smooth. The horses seemed to get used to things soon and they could stop and start anytime they wanted. Father told me, “When they put them grousers down and those wings down, we didn’t have any horsepower to spare.”

    In the winter of 1934-35, I had my first experience in the woods with Father. I was 11 years old. It was during a two week Christmas vacation. Father took a job of 2800 cords, mostly peeled spruce pulpwood from the Viles Timberland or the Augusta Lumber at Michael Stream five miles from Highland Lodge. I went in with some of the crew who had come out for Sunday. There were a number of the crew that I knew: Amos Buzzell, George Dickerson, and Norman Keene, to name just a few.

    This was an old camp with bunks for about thirty men. The bunks were about five feet wide, one row over the other along one side and one end of the camp. Next to the bunks in front was a bench to set on or to stand on when getting into the upper bunk. Some men would get small fir branches four to six inches long and stand them up in the bunk for a mattress. Two men slept together with one spread under and one over them. The spreads were gray stuffed quilts that couldn’t be washed easily and were outlawed in the middle forties. When I came home after my two weeks, mother thought I had the hives, but we soon learned that they found bed bugs in an old mattress under the bunk that Father and I slept in. The mattress was taken out and burned. They used some Flit insecticide and a spray pump to get rid of them.

    I went back during spring vacation that year. There was over seven feet of snow with several layers of crust. The snow was so deep that when you looked around you wouldn’t see any pulpwood, just a little snowcap. After shoveling off this snowcap you would find the woodpile. When you got to the bottom of the wood pile you had to throw the wood out of a six-foot hole. They had to do a lot of shoveling that year. They had a crew just to shovel. The men also challenged each other to see who could slide the farthest down the mountain on their shovel, on their way back to camp. The story was that Ray Raymond was the best at sliding in his shovel. There were at least 3 layers of snow crust in the roads not yet broken. The crust was harmful to the horse’s legs so, a small Caterpillar tractor was used to drive through the unbroken roads to break down the crust, so the horses could go safely.

    I came home with Father, Erving Morrill, Norman Keene, and the horses. The day we left for home, we were up long before daylight. When we arrived at the Highland Lodge it was raining so hard, we had to wait several days before leaving for home. I ate my first Needham candy bar there. It was a chocolate bar with coconut inside. On the way home we passed a farm with a sign, “Honey For Sale”. Someone bought some and I had my first taste of honey.

    In 1936, Father took a small job three miles above Carratunk Village for Frank Nadeau. After finishing early in February, he worked for the Augusta Lumber Company at Deadwater Station seven miles above Bingham. This is when Father was taken sick with meningitis. The Fall of 1936, Father built a set of camps at Pleasant Ridge. He bought cull boards from the Augusta Lumber Company. They delivered them to Bingham for $10 a thousand all spruce. The next fall they delivered some matched boards planed on both sides to cover the ceiling of the tie-up for $35 a thousand at the farm. Father took a job to cut and haul 500,000 feet of hardwood to a mill at Pleasant Ridge for the Augusta Lumber Company in 1937. This was the last time he ever worked for them. In 1938 Father worked about 3 weeks for the Great Northern at Mt. Abraham seven or eight miles from Kingfield. In 1939 Father went to New Hampshire and logged in the blow down from the Hurricane of ‘38.

    In the winter of 1940-41, when I was seventeen, I went in the woods at Ten Thousand Acres, a township on the right just this side of Jackman. Father had gone in with the horses a week or two before I went in. He had come home on the weekend and I went back with him. It was late at night, with no moon. We had to walk in. It was a long way, probably 15 miles to the first camp. The woods were all large hardwood trees. At one point, Father didn’t know which road to take, so he lit some matches to see which road had the fresh horse manure. When we got within a mile of the first camps, we could smell the biscuits along with the other camp odors. I was so tired from walking, but the camp smells gave me courage to go on. Once at the lumber camp, the first stop we made was with the cook to have some tea and donuts, and maybe pie. They seemed to have everything you could want to eat.

    I worked with Father some, because we had three horses and I drove a single horse rig for awhile. This was a large camp. There were about 40 company horses. One thing that I noticed in the morning were the huge hogs, about eight of them on a very large horse manure pile. The manure was steaming and the hogs made themselves nests to lie in. Most of these hogs were red and weighed five to eight hundred pounds each. They had been well fed with the garbage of a large crew for probably a couple of years.

    The main camp was large. It slept probably 40 men. It was connected on one end to the cook’s shack. There was a space between the two that was covered over by a roof connecting the two buildings. The cook kept some of his supplies in this area, things that could be frozen like meat and flour. This area with its roof, helped protect the men in this camp when going to meals in foul weather. There was also the teamster’s shack. There was about twenty of us. Our camp was just a log frame with some old thick canvas nailed to the frame that must have been discarded by the pulp mill. All the other camps around the campsite were of log construction. Beside the main camp and the teamsters shack; there was the hovel that housed the horses, the blacksmith shop, and the bosses camp which was a real nice looking little log cabin.

    The body lice were awful in the teamster’s shack, where Father and I slept. We boiled our clothes every Sunday. That was the only time we had time to do it. This worked for a day or so and then the lice was back again. Father said he had heard that if we put our long underwear under the horse’s blanket at night, this would keep the lice away. We each had two suits of long underwear. We needed one suit to sleep in, so we put the other one on the sweaty horse under his blanket. This idea didn’t work. I think I only did it for one day. After a few weeks of this, Father said to me one Sunday, “You stay away from the camp for awhile, for us old fellows have a job to do.”

    There was a young Canadian that slept in and upper bunk next to Father and me. He was in his early twenties and drove a small white company team. This fellow never boiled his clothes and didn’t seem bothered by the lice. Father asked two men if they would confront this fellow with him and they agreed. While this was going on, I went down to the blacksmith shop where a couple of young men were trying to makeover their pulp hooks. They thought they could improve them by changing the angle and point out the hook. After awhile I noticed that the meeting was over and my father was heading for the hovel to tend the horses, so I joined him. Father told me they asked the guy to strip and when he took off his long underwear, it looked as if you’d thrown two handfuls of grass seed on it. The men asked him to throw the underwear in the woodstove. He did and said, “I never felt lousy.”

    Our camp, as I mentioned, was made of thick canvas. There were two bulldog stoves back to back, that took four foot wood. Of course heat rises, so the men in the bottom bunks were always cold, while we in the top bunks were roasting. I remember one night the old fellow who slept in the bed under Father and I, had just loaded up the stove, when this other fellow gets down from his bunk, grabs a pail of water, and throws it in the stove.

    One day it was 40 degrees below zero, so they said. Most didn’t go out but, that didn’t stop us. We had roads to break and records to set. I didn’t know it at the time but, Father told me years later that he was often hired to “bull the crew”, to shame them into doing more work. Well, that day was very cold and when we got up the mountain where the wood was, my hands were nearly frozen. The steam was rising over the horses and Father said, “Take off your mittens and put your hands up between the horse’s hind legs.” The horse didn’t seem to mind and that warmed me up in good shape. Soon we were putting on a load of pulpwood.

    The landing was the place on the stream where a large area of about ten acres, maybe more, was clean cut and a wooden dam was constructed with a sluice. Early in the fall, they flooded this area and when it froze over, they started to haul on the pulpwood. I heard them telling how they went on it too soon, and put a team of horses through the ice. They didn’t lose the team, but I guess it was quite a sight. This happened sometime before we arrived. We piled the wood on the ice. The weight of many loads caused it to sink into the water. At times water would surround the woodpile. Now, with this wood sinking and freezing, it became a solid block, especially that which was in the water.

    The main road was as good as any highway made out of skids, ice, and snow. At night they hauled water with a pair of horses with a wooden box the width of the road. This box had two holes in the bottom, one in each end right where the sled runners went. When they got to where they wanted water on the road, they just pulled the plugs and drove along. They loaded the water wagon on the lake. They cut a hole in the ice and loaded with a wooden barrel and a horse. It was a two man operation, one to lead the horse the other to handle the barrel. There was a pole attached with a strap to the bottom of the barrel. With this, the barrel could be maneuvered to fill it with water. The top of the barrel had a rope attached for the horse to pull it up a chute. When it got pulled up. it would tip and dump the water in the box.

    In the spring of that year, I went back on the drive, after having a fight at home with my father. I worked as a “cookee” (the cook’s assistant) washing dishes and doing what the cook asked me to do. One day he said, “I am going to make tomato soup. Go open those four gallons of tomatoes and dump them into the copper boiler.” After opening the cans, I noticed that one of the opened cans was ketchup. The cook seemed to have a hard time getting the flavor just right, but as the men left the table they were telling him it was the best tomato soup they ever had. The cook had two cook stoves with oven doors on front and back. One night he fried steak right on top of the stove, no frying pan. I noticed that he kept a box of baking soda handy. Soon it started to rain and the lake was over flowing. We had water. Time to move pulp. They woke us up at three in the morning. Now we had to light lanterns, get our pick poles, and go to the dam.

    In 1942, Father went to Moose River hurt his leg and spent the rest of the winter in the hospital. Father says that this was the end of his up river jobs. When I got out of the Army in January 1946, Father handed me the reins of a pair of horses and we were yarding hemlock at Willie Hilton’s.

    Next Posting: Chapter 5 Horses

January 10, 2014

  • Bernard’s Book Chapter 3


    One of my earliest childhood memories is being left alone with my great-grandmother, Melvina Butler. It was in the winter or early spring. My mother had gone with my Grandmother Kate in a horse and sleigh, across the river to Annie Hilton Walker’s house in Anson. My mother was getting a fitting. This meant she was getting measured for a new corset. My father’s cousin, Annie, was in the business of measuring women and fitting them for corsets.

    I had been left with my great-grandmother, who was obsessed with the idea that I would get something in my mouth and choke, so she kept me in an old antique walker with the casters were missing. The walker was a wooden box about eighteen inches square with four legs at the corners that held the box up about ten inches off the floor. Inside at the bottom of the box were two slits for my legs. I couldn’t move the thing. I felt trapped. Finally, sometime after dark about seven or eight o’clock we heard the sleigh bells and mother came and rescued me. I think I cried most of the day.

    Gram Butler, her maiden name was Holt, had her bedroom upstairs on the east side over the kitchen. Also in the kitchen on the east side between the two windows, Gram had her small bureau where she did her work, which was mending clothes, making of patch work quilts, and knitting. The Portland Press Herald came daily and in it were patchwork quilt designs she would cut them out and save them. Now, her bureau was off limits to us children, but I got to know the rest of the house quite well. The parlor, which was in the southeast corner of the house, was somewhat off limits, but I remember two weeks before Christmas when Ellen and I found our presents behind the old couch that was arranged across a corner of the room. We were small and could crawl under the couch. After we got in the corner we had plenty of room to play. I can’t remember what my present was, but Ellen had a doll with a china head and all kinds of doll clothes.

    If I ever lost anything small, like marbles, that Gram thought that any of us children would put in our mouths and she happened to find them, they would go into one of the drawers in her bureau. Once taken they were gone forever. Melvina was a hard worker and made many patchwork quilts and knitted lots of mittens and stockings. She knitted new feet on the bottom of many old worn out stocking legs.

    We all sat at the big table in the kitchen for meals. The men were seated on the back next to the wall and the women and children on the ends and front. As soon as the meal was over, sometimes there was conversation, but during these times Gram Butler would leave the table and start the dishes. First, she would wash the milk pails making quite a noise in that slate sink. This upset Mother, Kate, and Ruby for they wanted to rest a minute and carry on a little conversation, before going back to work. I would hear one of them say, “Look at that old woman,” then the women would get up and get to work and order Gram out of the sink.

    When Ruby and Uncle Maurice first married, they lived upstairs in the north end of the Butler House. Ruby was like another mother to us children. Maurice and Ruby could get their own meals up there, but usually they ate at least one meal a day with us. One Christmas, I got a pair of small stuffed horses and for several nights Uncle Maurice had me up to the apartment. He made a cart and harnesses for these horses. They were really neat. I enjoyed playing with them.

    I remember Ruby had a waffle iron and occasionally she had us kids up for waffles. She also had a curling iron and would give herself a marcel. Of course Ellen and Caroline didn’t need a marcel for they had natural curly hair. I remember when Ellen had her curls cut off. She wanted it done and was happy, but it was a sad day for everyone else.

    When Maurice and Ruby’s little girl, Janice died from diphtheria, they didn’t tell Gram Butler for about a year. She kept asking where Janice was, so Kate felt that she had to tell her. I happened to be there right after she had been told and saw Gram Butler in tears.

    When I was about four years old, I was gathering the eggs when a big Plymouth Rock roaster attacked me. He pecked me on my eyebrow and the blood was coming down. When he jumped at me again I caught him in mid air by the neck. I proceeded to take him, by the neck, to the back porch, which was sort of a deck, hollering, “Kill him, Gram. Kill him, Gram!” The hen house was about 150 feet from the house down a sleight grade. I carried the old rooster by the neck back to the hen house. He soon came to life and never bothered me again. After that episode I could go into the hen house any time I wanted and pick up eggs.

    My great-grandmother Melvina told me a story once that I always remembered. It was about a mother who went out to milk the cow and got lost. She walked all day before she found her way home. When she got home the milk had soured in the pail. At home she had two small children, a baby and another young child. When the mother was gone the baby got hungry and cried. To satisfy the baby, the child dipped a cloth in a pan of milk she got from the cellar and put it to the baby’s mouth. In the early days they set milk in pans in the cool cellar to keep it and to let the cream rise, so they could skim it. Gram also told me that she was once in a railroad station in Grafton, Massachusetts when a train went through with Abraham Lincoln on board.

    Melvina lived to be nearly 101. The last three years she couldn’t walk. She had what we would call the flu and never walked again. Uncle Maurice put casters on a straight back chair so Kate could push her around. She spent most of her time in bed. The day Gram died, Grandmother Kate told me that she had an awful feeling, while trying to get Gram to eat her breakfast, then she realized she was dead. I was seventeen when my great-grandmother died.

    I spent a lot of my early years exploring the old hen house, milk room, and ice house building. There were some interesting things stored upstairs over the milk room such as crock-pots, clay jugs and the like. The ice house was a nice place to play in the sawdust, in hot weather. We lost Caroline and Louise once and after a frantic search for what seemed like an hour, they finally responded to our hollering and appeared at the ice house door. After questioning, it was learned that they had fallen asleep while playing in the cool sawdust.

    I can remember that I was playing in the hen house, one day, when someone hollered from the house, “Ellen is here!” My sister Ellen, a year and a half older than I was going to school in Norridgewock, staying with Grandmother Kate (we called her Molly), who was the teacher of English in the high school. When Grandmother and Ellen stopped to get groceries, on the way home from school, the grocer named Chester Jones, would give Ellen a chocolate and she would save them up and bring them home to the girls and I. This was quite a treat for us and something we looked forward to when Ellen came home.

    Ellen started school when she was four years old, but she was soon five, her birthday being in November. I started when I was five, having my birthday in May. We both stayed with Molly, as we called Grandmother Kate. One of the first rents we had with our grandmother was a house on a street behind where Cumberland Farms now is in Norridgewock. Every time it rained we had to get out pans and kettles to catch the rainwater. We didn’t stay there long. Musa Hale, a cousin of Molly’s, had apartments and we stayed in one of hers. In 1928, we stayed in an apartment in a big house that was taken down to build the present schoolhouse. Uncle Maurice and Aunt Ruby had and apartment in the same house when we were there. Uncle Maurice helped build the cement bridge over the Kennebec River. It was built just below the old covered bridge. It was at this apartment that I lost my little dog, Wow, down the backhouse. He jumped up in my lap and slipped down the adjacent hole. Molly told me to stay put, but I looked out the window and saw what she had to do. This was an upstairs apartment the dog had quite a drop and Grandmother had quite a job by the time she finished washing up the poor pup.

    I want to say a word about taking baths when I was young. When we were children we were given baths in a big old brass kettle. I can remember being given a bath in that kettle, in the slate sink, when I could barely fit in. The girls took their baths first, because they thought I would pee in the bathwater. (But of course they wouldn’t.) When we were older it was a washtub every Sunday night in the kitchen by the wood stove. Even at the apartment with Molly we took baths in a washtub. Of course, in the summer we took a cake of soap and went swimming in the river.

    The last apartment that we stayed in and where we stayed the longest was an apartment upstairs in the house owned by Allie Longley. He was the rural mail carrier out to Sandy River for years. This house is up the hill towards Smithfield across the street from the Miller Place. I can remember looking out the window and seeing Robert and Elizabeth Miller getting into their car on their way to Colby College. Eben Miller always had a beautiful garden. One time, in the ‘30s, my father in order to get a little money went out to town to plow gardens. I saw him plow the Miller’s garden and haul a dumpcart load of manure for them.

    In those days the grocery store had salesmen that came to the house, before we left for school, and took Grandmother Kate’s grocery order for the week. We would stop in at the store on the way home to get bread. Bread was six cents a loaf, then it went to seven. Molly gave me seven cents to get a loaf of bread. On the way home one of my school mates grabbed me and wrestled me to the dirt sidewalk. When it was over, I only had six cents in my pocket. I never said anything to anybody about what happened. When I got to the store to buy the bread, Chester Jones said to me, “Bread is seven cents”. I gave him the six cents saying “That’s all I got.” He gave me the loaf of bread.

    It seemed a long walk home from school. We would take a short cut, usually across the railroad track. There is a trestle across Millstream that was a little scary at first, but it didn’t seem to bother Molly.

    Ellen had her own bed; but I shared a bed with my grandmother. I had the bed most of the night, as Molly stayed up late correcting papers most nights. Sometimes she would fall asleep in her chair. She would say, “All I need is ten minutes,” and then she would go back to work. We ate a lot of welsh rabbit, she called it, and she could make this quickly. (It’s melted cheese poured over crackers.) We also had tomato soup. We never took a lunch that I can remember. We always went up the hill to eat lunch at the apartment.

    Some may wonder why Grandmother Kate was called Molly? She was only married ten years when her husband, Grandfather Charles died. She had four boys; so with the help of her parents to care for the boys; she went to Farmington State Teachers College got a degree and became a teacher. She taught first at the Sandy River Country School, where her four sons as well as my mother went to school to her. She told me that her boys didn’t like the idea of referring to her in school as mother. Uncle Harold saw the name “Molly” on a calendar and started calling her, Molly. We all called her Molly until she retired from teaching, then we called her, Gram.

    The last years of her teaching, they gave her a room down in the basement where it was dirty and cold. The walls were cut granite with little cellar windows. It was the worst room in the school. On top of that she had the worst class in the school for homeroom. That was my class, the seventh grade. They were the worst ever. Two of the students were Nate and Earl Tracy. Rodney Gillian was in this class. Rodney and Nate were put in reform school for burning down Billy Gray’s house. Nate was killed while trying to run away from the police and didn’t make a turn in the road.

    Molly taught English and Math to this seventh grade, as well as English to the four high school classes. All the good students liked her and always said how good a teacher she was. One day she called on Robert Gilman and he didn’t respond. She announced, “It’s time all dead people were buried!”

    There were years during the ‘30s that Molly’s salary was fifteen dollars a week. The town paid in town orders, which meant when and if the town got money the town would redeem the order. God bless Chester Jones, for he took the town orders and held them until the town got money.

    Years ago my father answered a list of questions that I wrote and asked him about, so I am quite certain that I have my facts right about these things I’m about to say. I remember the herd of Guernsey cows at the Butler Place. At this time they were using a milking machine. I was watching them milk and fell asleep squat down behind the cows with my back against the wall. They finished milking turned out the lights and left me. Well, when I came to, I was a bit scared to say the least. The cow stalls were connected to the stable. The worst thing for me was to have to walk behind the horses to get out of the barn.

    In the stable there were five horse stalls one for a driving horse and four for the draft horses. The stable was very efficiently laid out. You could drive in with a horse and wagon and unhitch the horse and turn the wagon. There was a long bench along the south side. There was a door, so you didn’t have to go out side to put the horse away. On the right as you went in there were stairs up to the hayloft. Each horse had his individual chute where the hay was pushed down. The manure was put down a scuttle to the stable cellar.

    The stable cellar was where the pigs were kept. If you put a little corn on the horse manure pile, the pigs would root it over and keep the pile level. When Caroline and I were three and four years old we were in this stable cellar with two little pigs and our small dog. We were chasing the pigs around and around the pile of horse manure. I was sicking the dog on the pigs. Ever so often we would fall face first and Caroline would holler, “Sick them some more Barnard.” The next thing I noticed, my father was there to get us.

    Father says the Guernsey herd was sold in the winter of 1925-1926, because they reacted positive to the Federal Government TB test. I must have been two and a half years old.

    In the fall of 1927, Father told me he bought the Haynes Place. We moved down for good in 1929. When Franklin was about to be born and we were living at the so called Haynes Place (where Franklin lives now), Mother went up to the Butler Place to have him. I remember us kids going up, standing on the porch, and looking in the window to see our new brother soon after he was born.

    In the fall of 1929, Ellen and I were coming home with Father in the old Model T Ford Truck. It was a rainy day. We were going up the Oxbow Hill. It was higher then. Years later they took off about 12 feet off the top of the hill. As we were going up the hill, a paper bag of red kidney beans sitting on the transmission, got wet and burst. The beans ran down by the transmission into the road. I remember helping to pick up those beans in the rain. None of us were very happy, especially Ellen. I believe we were coming home, probably Thanksgiving. Ellen was not interested at all in going to the Haynes Place. The Butler Place had a flush toilet. It had running hot water, a bathtub, and electric lights.

    At the Haynes Place we had running water most of the time. It ran in a barrel in the kitchen. This barrel had an over flow pipe and the barrel leaked or slopped over because the kitchen floor rotted where the barrel sat. The water pipe to the spring was always filling with sand and we had to rent the force pump from Miller and Jones hardware to clean out the pipe. One year the pipe froze even though the pipe was in the ground three to four feet. When the pipes froze we would have to get the welding company with their D.C. welder to thaw out the pipes, and of course the old force pump was used to get the water to flow again.

    The mailman and the school bus wouldn’t come to the Haynes Place for a time in the early 1930s. At one time, those of us who went to school would hitch up old Don. We’d drive up to the Butler Place, put the pony in the stable, and catch the bus there. There was a time when we would meet the bus at the mailbox. The mailbox was up the road about a mile through the woods where the road forked off to go down to the Oxbow Farm.

    I believe that Ralph Tuttle was the first bus driver. He had an old Star car that he used to haul us when he could get over the road. The road from the mailbox down to the farm was just two deep ruts full of water most of the time. The running boards of the old car would drag in places. In the winter, when Tuttle couldn’t go with the old Star, he mounted the body of an old car with its doors, windows, and windshield on a long sled. Us boys would stand and hang on the back. There was room for only three to stand and the one in the middle didn’t have much to hang on to. Ralph rode up front. There was room for a boy with him. I remember coming home in a blizzard and Ralph was so cold that he opened the windshield a crack and put the reins through it and rode inside. At that time we would get a couple weeks off from school for mud season. Tuttle had a nice four-seated horse wagon with a roof that he used at times. Ralph Tuttle was quite a teamster. His horses were nearly always in a trot or a dead run.

    Grandmother Kate was a good friend of Ralph Tuttle’s wife and had great respect for her. I always liked their son, Ellery. He was the same age as Uncle Maurice. They drove to California when they were young men. Part of my education was the day I jumped on the milk wagon with Ellery and delivered milk with him. This milk wagon was on rubber tires. The old black mare knew just where to go and where to stop. Ellery took me to his home for dinner. His wife, Shirley, put on an extra plate, and asked no questions. There were two little girls, one in the high chair.

    After the Tuttles drove the school bus, Ansel Clark had the job. He was a very quiet, accommodating, nice person and drove the bus the rest of my school days. In 1936, Ansel bought a new half-ton V8 Ford Truck chassis and built a wooden body to make a small bus. This bus was very adequate for the number of students on the Winding Hill Road, which was the route at the time. Ansel would occasionally bring things home for us, such as cottonseed meal and grist that was ground at Emmons Gristmill And Feed Store.

    Next Posting Chapter 4 In The Woods

January 8, 2014

  • Bernard’s Book Chapter 2


    I have been asked if I might include something on the psychic aspects pertaining to the Yeaton Family, particularly those stories about the mediumship of my grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Yeaton (Frank). I have been told that his mother, Sabrina, is recorded in Augusta as a “Witch”. This term was often used to label those who prescribed herbs for the sick.

    Now, this may come as a shock to some that read this, but we have Native American blood in our veins and I believe it is Penobscot. My Mother once told this story that back in the early 1700′s or late 1600′s there was this family and the father had gone hunting and he never returned. This left the mother with a family of five very young children. There was an Indian who lived nearby and came to help this mother by cutting wood and hunting game for food. Well, evidently this Indian man soon came to live with this family and there were four or five more children born.

    A number of years ago, I was visiting with Aunt Edwina and I asked her if she could add to this story. Edwina being older than mother I thought she might be able to add something. Aunt Edwina said she had heard the story and said that when she ever asked about it someone would snap back and say, “Yes, you had a grandmother who slept with an Indian”. That is all we really know. However, psychically, through the mediumship of my good friend, Alyce Andrews, there was a Penobscot Indian spirit-lady who came to me saying that she was a grandmother of mine. If you look at the few pictures that we have of Sabrina, I believe you can discern some of the Indian features. I want to point out that if this is true, and I believe it to be, then the children of Ralph and Lora Hilton have a double dose, because they have Betsy, Sabrina’s sister, as a grandmother also.

    I wish that I had been able to talk more with some of my older aunts and uncles, because Mother said that when her older brothers and sisters were in their teens and early twenties they would go to the schoolhouse, probably with other young folks in the neighborhood, and for entertainment Grandfather would demonstrate his mediumship. One of the things that he did was to let the boys tie him up with rope in such a way that he couldn’t possibly get himself undone.

    She told me that they literally wound the rope around him from head to foot Grandfather said that he had an Indian guide named, Adavada, who helped him. After being tied up he was put into the closet and in a short time the ropes would come off. I know from Mother that these things took place between 1886 and 1895, because they moved to the Yeaton Place in 1886 and Sabrina died in 1895. Sabina had said that when she got to Spirit she would put a stop to such things. The reason why she wanted to stop it was because the boys wanting to see what was taking place would open the door a crack to peek in. Sabrina knew that under certain conditions it can be harmful to allow light to shine on the medium when some of these things take place. (Spirit told me that I am mispronouncing Adavada’s name.)

    Mother said she heard it said that her father had difficulty going into trance after his mother Sabrina died. Another time, probably before his mother died, they were shingling the barn when all of a sudden Adavada took control of Grandfather and he went to the ridgepole with a hatchet in his hand and did an Indian war dance.

    Down river from the Yeaton Place, about a mile, was the home of Joe Crips. He lived there with his sister Tilly Simpson. Mother told me that, one evening when she was a young girl they were having dinner; her father got up all of a sudden from the table and left the house. Her mother, evidently realizing that Grandfather was in trance, went with him. They walked to the Crips Place, about a mile, and found that Tilly had fallen down at the barn. It seems that Joe was away and that Tilly’s hip was broken. The two of them found an old door and were able to get Tilly on it and carry her into the house, When they came home Grandfather sat at the table and coming to his senses, looked at the mud on his shoes and asked Grandmother where he had been, and she proceeded to tell him.

    My mother also told me about a time when she was young and sick with a fever. On this occasion her father seemed to have difficulty going into trance, but he eventually did and then proceeded to go out to the barn where he pawed around and found a stick of green wood. While still in trance he told Grandmother Ellen to heat the piece of wood in the oven and then to place it under the blankets at the foot of the child’s bed. My Mother told me it was like in a steam bath and that it put her into a sweat, which broke the fever.

    My sister Mary reminded me of the story told by Mother about her father going swimming in the river. Grandfather couldn’t swim and he got in over his head. His Indian guide took over, swam out into the river up stream, and returned to shore.

    My mother, Lora, was also psychic, but at times her gift made her nervous and somewhat afraid. When Father was sick with meningitis in the spring of 1936, Mother had an osteopathy doctor named Dr. Whitney, from Madison, come several times to see Father. There was a lot of snow in the field 5, 6, 7 ft. in places that spring and the doctor came on snowshoes across the river by the Pease Place. The last day that the Doctor came he brought a medical doctor with him and after the examination of Father, Dr. Whitney told Mother that there was so much force around Father’s head that he was afraid that he might be doing more damage than good and that she better get another doctor. The next day the new doctor in town, Dr. Laney, came and right away knew that Father had Meningitis. If Dr. Whitney hadn’t been stopped by the force about Father’s head he would have killed Father.

    When I had been investigating into spiritual phenomenon for 15 to 20 years, I was visiting with Mother and said to her, “I have been looking into the spiritual things that you tell about and find them to be true. Now I would like to observe some of the phenomena.” It was a quiet sunny day and Mother started talking, she asked me if I remembered what happened at cousin Donald Yeaton’s funeral. I told her that I wasn’t there, so she proceeded to tell me how the lid on the coffin came shut three times. The funeral director Henry Hilton had to put a book against the lid to keep it open. Just as she spoke, a loud rap came on the door leading to the hallway that goes upstairs. Then there was another rap on the door to the outside, and then a third rap on the hallway door.

    It was in the spring, when my brother, Franklin, was sick and lost part of his eye sight. Mother, Father, and I were helping out the best we could, when Franklin’s wife, Shirley, came home from the hospital with the news that Franklin might not make it through the night. Mother and I went to Anson for the night and as we sat wondering what was in the future I asked Mother to lay back, relax and see what she might get. First, Mother said she saw Franklin’s farm and there was a black cloud over the buildings. I told her I could understand that. What else did she see? “I see the Pease Place”, she said. I asked if she could tell what time of the year it was. She said, “It is the fall of the year because there are no leaves on the trees”. I told her that means when the fall comes Franklin would be able to see the Pease Place. When fall came Franklin was heard to say, “I can see the Pease Place”.

    Another time when I was up for a visit I asked Mother if she had experienced anything psychic, she then told me about being out in the woodshed bent over feeding the cats, when she saw a spirit building up on the floor this startled her, so she looked up to see who it was and saw nothing, looked back at the floor and the apparition was no longer there.

    There are a number of family members who have psychic abilities. Uncle Harry had this ability, as did Aunt Etta, and her daughter Alice was a good medium. Aunt Etta told me that when she knew spirit forces were about, she would speak out loud saying that she wasn’t afraid of anything that they might do. Nothing was going to frighten her. Pretty soon the dish cupboards began to shake, all the dishes were rattling, and then the wind blew all the doors open. She finally begged them to stop, admitting she was scared. Cousin Roland Yeaton’s oldest son, Roland Jr. (Skip Yeaton) is a very strong medium. And Cousin Dean Yeaton has psychic ability. There is no doubt others in the family have this gift, especially among our grandchildren.

    I will close this chapter with a little story about my grandmother, Kate Hilton. I had been investigating into psychic phenomena for awhile, when I went to visit my grandmother in a nursing home in Madison. I went alone and brought my tape recorder (one of those old reel to reel tape recorders). What I had on the tape was a message that I had received from a wonderfully gifted medium, Gladys Custance, who lived in Onset, Mass. This message contained a lot of family names whom my grandmother new better than I did. I held the tape recorder up close to her ear. She looked at me and smiled saying, “Isn’t that amazing, isn’t that amazing. Then she paused and said, “But, I still don’t believe”.

    Sometime later, several years after Grandmother had gone to spirit, we were having a spirit meeting with my friend, Alyce Andrews. While Alyce was in trance Grandmother Kate started talking to me. During the conversation I reminded her that I had tried to convince her about the truth of spirit communication when she was here. She said, “I know Bernard, but at that time I just couldn’t believe. Now I know it’s true.”

    Some will say, “Are you sure it was your grandmother?” I say, if there was a hole in the wall and you couldn’t see who it was, but you could put your ear close and could hear their voice and their inflections, I guess you would know who it was. I lived with her a number of school years as a child and as a teenager I had her as a teacher for two years. I knew who was speaking right away. It was my grandmother.

    Next Posting Chapter 3: Early Years

January 7, 2014

  • Bernard’s Book Chapter 1


    Several years ago a psychic medium friend gave me the message that I should write a compendium. When I asked her, “What’s that?” she replied, “I don’t know, you’ll have to look it up in the dictionary.” For those, like me, who don’t know what a compendium is, this is what the dictionary says: “A compendium is a short summary of the main points or ideas of a larger work: abridgment: condensation.” My first thought was to put together what I had and knew about my grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Yeaton. I had some facts about him and recollections from conversations with my mother, Lora.

    In order to more fully understand what life was like during my grandfather’s childhood, we must first paint the best mental picture that we can of that period before his birth. To begin, Benjamin Franklin Yeaton’s grandfather, Paul Yeaton, came to Belgrade in 1793. He was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, a Private 2nd class in Bartlett’s Company, New Hampshire Militia in 1780 and 1781. Paul’s father, Richard Yeaton, was also a Revolutionary War soldier having died in late 1776 from exposure. Paul Yeaton came to Belgrade in 1793 with brothers Philip and Joshua and sister Mary Jane.

    On January 4, 1795 Paul Yeaton and Mary Hussey were married in Lebanon, Maine. There is a reference to Paul Yeaton in the History of Kennebec County, Maine by Henry D. Kingsbury and Simeon L. Deto, published in 1892. It states in the chapter on Belgrade the following: “The year 1816, which is remembered throughout New England as the cold season, brought special hardships to the people of Belgrade. Not even in the days of the first settlers, twenty-five years before, when hunting and fishing, as well as tilling the soil, were depended upon to furnish food, and when what few store supplies had were brought upon their backs many miles through the woods from Hallowell and Gardiner, was there more suffering or privation among the inhabitants.”

    The crops were all failures, and less than 25 bushel of corn was raised in town. Paul Yeaton, who raised twelve bushels from several acres of land, was regarded as a wonderfully fortunate man. The snowstorm of June 12th drove the men from the fields, and snow began to fall again in October. The next spring the price of hay was 20 dollars a ton and higher; wheat 15 shillings a bushel; potatoes, 4 shillings; and corn 2 dollars.

    These were exceedingly high prices for the times, and no less than a score of families in town, becoming discouraged fearing the cold season would be followed by another like it, moved away. Most of them moved to Ohio then regarded as the land of promise. There were 28 births in town during the cold season. Paul and Mary’s first two children were born in a log cabin in Belgrade. The third child, my great grandfather, Richard, was born September 22, 1799.

    Great-Grandfather Richard Yeaton married Sabina Corson and raised fourteen children. The following item from an 1876 newspaper found in the wall of the old Winslow home in Manchester now Jacques’ Turkey Ranch, by John Wadleigh in 1957 and given to Bertha Bartlett: “The family of Capt. Richard Yeaton met at the homestead in Belgrade on Saturday July 29th. The family consisted of the father age 77 years, and the mother age 70 years and fourteen children and their wives and husbands, and thirty-four grandchildren, and two great grandchildren, comprising a family of sixty-four members present. Capt. Yeaton and his wife have been married and lived on the same farm fifty-one years; and raised up a family of fourteen children.”

    We know that my grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Yeaton, was born in Belgrade on August 13,1846 and was the twelfth child of Richard and Sabrina. Grandfather Yeaton (known as Frank) was nineteen at the close of the Civil War and twenty-seven when he and my grandmother, Ellen Mari Caswell were married. She was born in Belgrade on October 6, 1855 and was nine years younger than Grandfather.

    At this gathering in 1876, just related to, were Grandfather, Grandmother, and there first two children Uncle Harry who was two years old having been born June 13, 1874 and Uncle Ralph 45 days old having been born June 4, 1876. The record shows that Harry and Ralph were born in Auburn; Clara and Edith were born in Belgrade; Richard and Albert in Augusta; and Earl in Windsor August 20, 1885.

    We know from Grandfather’s own words that the family moved to what is now known as the Yeaton Place in Norridgewock on June 22, 1886. It was also documented that he moved from Augusta.
    From the court document: “How long had you lived in Augusta?”
    Mr. Yeaton: “I had lived in Augusta on and off most of the time or part of the time for 20 years.”
    Question: “What do you mean by off and on?”
    Mr. Yeaton: “Part of the time I worked in Augusta. I was married in Augusta. I went from there to Auburn, lived in Auburn 3 years, and I came back to Belgrade and bought a farm. I lived there some four years, was burned out of the Darley block in Augusta, in the fire in the winter of 1885 in January.”

    The above mentioned words of Grandfather Yeaton were taken from a court document found in the Yeaton House under the eaves by my sister, Louise, while she was living in this house. These papers were in a very tight roll and after reading them she gave them to me. These particular papers are most interesting for they are of the March term of the 1889 Somerset County Probate Court. These proceedings took place in Skowhegan for Skowhegan stole the County seat from Norridgewock in 1872, Norridgewock having been the County seat since 1809 when Somerset County was set off from Kennebec. The Yeaton Place on the Sandy River was at one time in the Town of Starks but during Grandfather’s time became a part of Norridgewock.

    My father, Ralph Hilton, told me that towns were originally laid out six miles square, in answer to my question about the location of a particular stone marker. It seems that the farmers on the East Side of the Sandy River got upset when they couldn’t get across the river for town meetings in the spring. This strip of farms along the East Side of the river about one half mile wide from the Kennebec River to the Mercer line, partitioned to be set over to the town of Norridgewock.

    Grandfather was in court, on complaint of Owen G. Corson, administrator of the Estate of Benjamin F. Corson of Starks, for embezzlement. Minta S. Powers was appointed stenographer to take testimony. S. S. Brown appears for complainant, J.J.Parlin for respondent. It is shown by the court testimony that Grandfather and B.F. Corson had a verbal agreement, that Grandfather would come and make a home for B.F. Corson, called Uncle Franklin, as well as for himself and family. Although Grandfather tried to get a written agreement, he hadn’t succeeded. Uncle Franklin died in December of 1887 after Grandfather had been living there only a year and a half. This caused ill feelings on the part of the heirs; they thought Grandfather hadn’t earned what he was getting.

    The daughters and sons of Ralph and Lora Hilton have the Corson Family on both sides of their Family Tree. Sabrina is our great-grandmother on our mother’s side and Betsy Corson, Sabrina’s youngest sister, is our great-great grandmother, on our father’s side. Betsy Corson and Theodore Holt were the parents of our great-grandmother, Melvina Holt Butler, the mother of H. Kate Butler Hilton.

    Although this court case took place two years before our mother was born, I believe, from conversations with Mother, that some objected to Father’s courting Mother, but it wasn’t Melvina, for on one occasion she held a window open for Ralph, so he could be on his way and not have to confront others in the house. All Mother ever told me was that there was this lawsuit and that the court found in her father’s favor.

    According to the court record Grandfather was living in Augusta in June 1886. His family included Ellen, his wife, and seven children. Harry was 12 years old that very June 13th; it is mentioned in the court proceedings that Grandfather had the help of a boy. The rest of the children were Ralph age 10, Clara ages 8, Edith age 6, Richard age 4, Earl Age 10 months. Grandfather says he was out in Mercer for a marble firm in Augusta, (probably as a traveling salesman). While in Mercer he made inquiries and found he was about three miles from his Uncles, Isaac Lyman (called Lyman) and Benjamin Franklin (called Franklin) brothers of his mother Sabrina.

    Their place at that time was what was called an undivided farm. They each had their own house; they each occupied a part of the large barn. The intervals were divided by what Grandfather called a picked fence, mostly stumps. That night Grandfather stayed at his Uncle Lyman’s House and it seems that Franklin was also living at Lyman’s house. Lyman’s house was just south of the large barn and Franklin’s house was what is known as the Yeaton House. I remember the cellar hole for the Lyman house. I believe that house burned about the time I was born in 1923. I remember when Uncle Ben Yeaton bulldozed in the cellar hole.
    Grandfather says, “I stayed over night and talked with Uncle Franklin”, that “Uncle Franklin wanted me to come and take his property, and make a home for him, myself and family, while he lived, after he got though I should have his property.” Also stated in the document was that Grandfather left the next forenoon, with the request from Uncle Franklin that he go home and talk it over with his wife and see if she would consent to his proposal. He was asked by the court if he talked to his Uncle Lyman about Franklin’s offer and this was his answer.

    “After Uncle Franklin retired, Lyman says to me, “What has Brother Franklin on his mind tonight?” I said to him, that Uncle Franklin wants me to come here and take his property and take care of him; Lyman says to me, there have been two parties tried that before, he has had two men here before, and they didn’t stay. I said to him, is Uncle Franklin getting fussy? He says to me to ask the neighbors. We dropped the subject, I didn’t ask any neighbors.” Grandfather says in the testimony that he thought the two neighbors were Frederick Clark and Williamson.

    According to my father, Ralph, Grandfather Yeaton always had very good driving horses. During this time, he had a seven-year-old colt. In court testimony he stated, “I left the next forenoon, stopped in Belgrade in the afternoon (probably to talk things over with his mother, Sabrina. Nothing like your mother who was, a good medium, at a time like this) then he headed home to Augusta, reaching home that night.” (No record, but a good distance for a horse.)

    We don’t know just where in Augusta he lived. We know Earl was born in Windsor on August 20, 1885. Maybe they lived out of Augusta towards Windsor. (Phil Andrews says that his father and another fellow named Hill put their driving horses together on a sleigh took two girls to a dance in North Fryeburg returned the ladies home after the dance and then drove home. Phil and I measured the distance. We figured the mileage to be very close to 50 miles.)

    Grandfather talked it over with Grandmother Ellen and they decided to accept the offer. They notified Uncle Franklin of their acceptance by mail. It was June 22, 1886 when the family moved into Uncle Franklin’s house. At this time, there had been 4 acres of corn planted.Uncle Franklin had let the corn planting to Oliver Otis and his brother. When asked by the court, “What personal property did he find there?”Grandfather said, “A two year old heifer, a horse, somewhere from 125 to 140 sheep and lambs, and 6 or 7 hens.
    There was some old farming tools, a horse rake, an old mowing machine, a horse cart, a light buggy wagon, and two old harnesses of not much account either of them. The Court questioned him about the sheep a good deal. He said he had killed and eaten perhaps a dozen and some had died. He said he wintered 123. He said there was a pasture in Smithfield and he believed that parties who like sheep took some of them.

    At that time he was told the farm was about two hundred acres, an undivided farm, and no legal division. When he cut wood Hartley, Lyman’s son, told him where to cut. There was a picked fence when he went there that divided the intervals, part of it being a stump fence and part a rail and stake fence. The first farming he did was to plant some potatoes in the cornfield, where the corn didn’t come.

    That year he said they had cut about 20 tons of hay. Grandfather brought with him the seven-year-old colt mentioned, a cow, and his team of horses. Uncle Franklin sold his horse on May 4, 1887 to A. O. Frederick for $103.25. Grandfather said he went to Starks with $600, which he had withdrawn from the bank, plus about another $100 in cash.

    Uncle Franklin died in December 1887. He was only sick about a week; undressed himself and went to bed; dying just after dusk. A great deal of questioning is given by the Court about all of Franklin’s papers and money, even a ten and a fifty cent piece that he had in his pants pocket. There was $120 for wool, which Franklin sold in Sept. or Oct. of 1887. It was money for the 84, 85, and the 86 clips. Grandfather sold and received the money for the clip of’ 87.

    Grandfather tells the Court about spending his own money the first year on things to fix the house; a lot of glass needed replacing, especially in the house and stable. He had to buy hay and in Jan.1887 he bought a cow. He laid out $65 for materials to fix up the house and stable. There was an old barn on land in Smithfield; he took it down and moved it up in the spring of’ 87 for a sheep barn. He made repairs to the house such as plastering, papering, whitewashing, and carpeting. He bought window screening and made doorframes.

    This barn that he moved was 30ft.by 44 ft. He had to put in 2 or 3 new sills and a couple of new beams; most of the roofing was all-new. He spliced all the posts and made the barn three feet higher than it was originally. Franklin furnished 6,000 of the shingles; Grandfather bought 8,000 from Samuel Harding of Norridgewock.

    When asked if there was anything else that Franklin sold Grandfather tells about some hay that Franklin sold that was on the land at Smithfield to a John Smith for $10. This money was not collected. They agreed that they didn’t want to bring this hay onto the farm because it had whiteweed in it. (Whiteweed is a term used for white daisies) There were two notes, one for $100 to be paid with interest when called for by Hartley Corson and the other showing where Franklin had paid $69.14 a judgement rendered in the Supreme Judicial Court in Sept.1887 to Henry K. Sawyer as Administrator of the Estate of John H. Sawyer, Norridgewock October 3, 1887.

    The Court Record ends with several pages of questions and answers about words that were exchanged between Grandfather and his Uncle Franklin, which took place in the summer of’ 87, when Franklin wanted to take the lambs off the sheep and Grandfather wanted to get his second cutting in. These papers tell nothing about the disposition of the case. As far as is known Grandfather won. How he got the other half of the farm, I do not know. Perhaps he purchased it from Hartley Corson.

    Next Posting Chapter 2 Family Psychics

November 18, 2013

  • The Sacred Symbols Of Mu

    Excerpts from “The Sacred Symbols Of Mu” by Colonel James Churchward

    Jesus was a Master, he did not teach a new religion; he simply taught the First Original Religion as it is written in the Sacred and Inspired Writings of Mu.

    The Lord’s Prayer

    My old friend, the Rishi, never tired of talking of the Great Master, Jesus. One day he said to me: “The- Lord’s Prayer, as the Christians call it, is the greatest masterpiece of phraseology and condensation ever written, for it embodies the whole of the ancient religion in a few short paragraphs.

    Take, for instance, the beginning,” Our.Father which art in Heaven.” In these six words many points in the ancient religion are covered. It first tells us that we are His children; therefore all mankind are brothers and sisters.

    “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others that trespass against us.” These simple words tell us our duty one to the other, and that we should love one another like brothers and sisters. Again ‘Our Father’ tells us that we should approach Him as we would our earthly father, with love and confidence.

    “Give us this day our daily bread” is another wonderful sentence and far-reaching. It tells us that we should avoid greed and the craving to amass wealth and depend on Him for our daily needs. He will care for us, thus leaving us free to amass spiritual wealth without anxiety about the material.”

    “You will notice, my son, our temple has no wealth nor have those connected with it any wealth. We depend entirely on what the Heavenly Father sends us day by day through the people. Our faith in Him is implicit, so he never allows us to want.”

    And so the Rishi could go on through every sentence of the Lord’s Prayer.

    Another favorite sentence in the Lord’s Prayer to comment on was: “Lead us not into temptation.” This, he said, “was unquestionably a mistranslation of the Master’s words and, no doubt, was unintentional, arising from careless reading,”

    “I think the words of the Master, correctly translated, would be: (Let us not be led into temptation’; for in the Sacred Writings we find: ’0 Heavenly Father, let not temptation overtake or surround us. If it does, deliver us from it.’


    The Rishi told me that one of the cardinal themes of the Great Master, Jesus, was re-incarnation, something almost entirely omitted in our Biblical account of Him, also in our religious services.
    He told me many legends about Jesus that permeated Oriental lore, one of which he said was universal and told everywhere. The scene is laid in Lahore where Jesus was staying with one, Ajainin, who was one of Jesus’ pupils.

    One day Jesus and Ajainin were sitting in the porch of the temple and while sitting there a band of wandering minstrels entered the court and began to play. Their music was very rich and delicate, and Jesus remarked: “Among the highest of the land we have no sweeter music than that which these young people bring to us.” ,

    Ajainin asked: “Whence do they get this talent? In one short life they surely could not acquire such perfection of voice and such knowledge of harmony and time.”

    Jesus answered: “Men call them prodigies. They are no prodigies; all things result from natural laws. These people are not young; a thousand years would not suffice to give them such divine expressions and such purity of voice. Ten thousand years ago these people had mastered harmony. In days of old they trod the busy thoroughfares of life and caught the melody of the voices of nature. They have come again to learn still other lessons from the varied notes of nature.”

    Jesus Studied Mu Writings in Himalayan Monastery

    On one occasion the old Rishi informed me that temple legends stated: “Jesus, during his sojourn in the Himalayan monastery, studied the contents of the Sacred Inspired Writings, the language, the writing and the Cosmic Forces of the Motherland.”

    That Jesus was a Master of the Cosmic Forces, with a perfect knowledge of the Original Religion, is manifest in the Books of the New Testament; but it is not there shown that he understood the language of Mu.

    His acquaintance with it is proved by his last words when nailed to the Cross:
    “Eli, Eli, lama sabac tha ni.”

    This is not Hebrew nor any tongue that was spoken in Asia Minor during the life of Jesus. It is the pure tongue of the Motherland, badly pronounced and misspelled
    in the New Testament. It should have been spelled, read and pronounced:
    “Hele, hele, lamat zabac ta ni.”

    English Translation:
    Hele (I faint) Hele (I faint); lamat zabac ta ni (darkness is coming over my face. )

    I do not stand alone on this translation. The late Don Antonio Batres Jaurequi, a prominent Maya scholar of Guatemala, in his book, “History of Central America,” says: “The last words of Jesus on the Cross were in Maya, the oldest known language.” Jaurequi says they should read, “Hele, Hele, lamah sabac ta ni.”
    English translation: “Now I am fainting; the darkness covers my face.”

    Thus we virtually agree on all material points. The slight differences are easily explained. Jaurequi spells the word “lamah.” I spell it “lamar.” He spells the word “sabac.” I spell it “zabac.”

    This difference is brought about by the translations coming from two different lines of colonization. Mine comes from the Naga-Maya of Eastern Asia; Jaurequi’s comes from the modern Maya of Central America. The two, taken from vastly distant parts of the earth, agree in all material points.

September 24, 2008

  • Bud Mitchell

    Father tells about Bud Mitchell

    I must tell you about Bud Mitchell.  His real name was Lewis Mitchell.  Bud was, in his younger days, one of these people who would steal just for the sake of stealing.  I guess today you would call him a kleptomaniac.  Bud used to collect old iron and take it to the foundry in Skowhegan.  Bud has worked for me two times in the woods and was a pretty good man if I could keep him.  Bud had collected a load of old iron; he had hired a team (one horse) and was loaded to take off for Skowhegan, when Charlie Crowe met up with Bud.  Charlie was some younger than Bud, probably fifteen or sixteen.  They made a deal; Charlie was to cover himself up with a horse blanket, which was with the team and hide himself in the load of old iron.  Bud was to pay him one half of what Charlie would come to  after the load of iron was weighed Charlie took off out of sight.

    That was not the end of the story.  Bud refused to give Charlie what was coming to him.  Charlie got nothing, the story got all over town, and Bud’s rating went down a few points.  One time about two years after this I asked Charlie which one of the Crowe boys was it that Bud Mitchell sold in the load of old iron.  He said that was Charlie.  Charlie said I should have blowed on the S.O.B. Both men are dead now, Bud was in State Prison once.

    Bud was working for me once up at Michael Stream in the woods after he had been in State Prison.  One Sunday night someone woke me up and said there are two men here sent up from Highland Lodge who want jobs.  It was late at night and everyone had gone to bed.  I said, to whoever woke me up, “Tell them to get into that empty bunk”.  The next morning I was washing my face and hands at the sink; when Bud stepped along beside me and said, “Are you going to hire them fellows. “I said, I guess so.”  Bud whispered to me, “You don’t want ‘um I knew one of them down at the big house”. So after breakfast I told them I had no jobs for them.  I thought if Bud didn’t recommend them there must be some reason for his not doing so.

    Once Bud went into Dan Jones hardware store and put some stuff into his pockets.  He went out on the street and stood around for awhile then walked back in and took the stuff out of his pockets, laid it on the counter and said to Dan I don’t want this dam stuff anyway.
    Bud was in Mont Stanley’s garage once.  I never heard what the particulars were, but Roy Macklin knocked him through the plate glass window.

    They said when Bud was young he used to steal hens and chickens and someone made up a song about him.  He had a nick name Crazy Mitchell.  This song carried the tune of Red Wing, which was quite popular around 1916.

     The Song;
    And the moon shines tonight on Crazy Mitchell
                 His hens are cackling, His rosters crowing
                 And all around the town it is snowing
        The wind is blowing his feathers all away.

    One time Lindley Lambert and I went into the restaurant in Norridgewock, in the evening.  Bozo Blaisdell (Wallace Blaisdell) and Bucky Johnson were in there and so was Bud Mitchell.  After awhile, Bud started for the door, but didn’t quite get out of the door when Bozo said, “Now boys you want to look out for your chicken coops”. Bud turned around quick and said, ”you want to lookout for about a yard of your dam yap.

    He came up to work for me once in the woods when he had a full beard of thick dark  whiskers.  A French man said to me, “who is dat” I said, “That is Bud Mitchell from Norridgewock”.  The French man said, “Jeme, first I think it was Abraham Lincoln”.  I told the boys what the French man said and after that they called Bud, honest Abe.

            “Bud used to build himself a camp like house, one room big enough for himself to live in.  He would go down to Harry Falls, of Skowhegan, who was a lumber and building supply dealer, and get the materials with which to build his camp; but he never had the money to pay for them.  Harry Falls would let him have the stuff and take a mortgage of Bud’s camp for security.  It would end up by Harry foreclosing on the house and Bud would be out in the cold. 

    After a spell he would go back to Harry Falls and get some more materials and build another camp.  Bud repeated this procedure probable four or five times.  The time that Bud was working for me at Michael Stream, the mail came and went out from Highland Lodge, which was also a general store.  Our camp was five miles up in the hills from Highland Lodge.  We traveled by horses or on foot to and from the camp to Highland Lodge.  Many of the boys would walk out to the store at the Lodge on Sunday to buy things. 

    One Sunday Bud walked out with some of the boys and mailed a letter.  That afternoon some boys came up from Norridgewock thinking they might get a job with me.  I probable hired them.  Monday morning Bud said to me, “I have got to go out to the Lodge this morning, I have got to get a letter out of the mail”. I didn’t ask him anything about his business. The thought came to me knowing Bud, that this was probable the end of his working for me.  I didn’t think I would see him again that winter.  But, he was back before noon ready to go to work in the afternoon. 

    In a day or two it leaked out, that the letter that he mailed Sunday contained money to pay the town taxes on his camp of which the town would be putting a lien on in a few days.  These boys that came up from Norridgewock informed Bud that he had lost his house. That Harry Falls had foreclosed the mortgage and had a family living in it.  So Bud decided it would be a waste of money to pay taxes on a house he didn’t own.  He went after the letter with the money in it and he was successful in getting it back before the mail went out.  Bud used to get awful drunk especially in his old age; he died two or three years ago at the age of eighty.