The life and Times of Glenn F. Pease
Glenn F. Pease was born in his parent's bedroom on the family farm in Orford, New Hampshire on May 17, 1906. He was the first boy born to Francis and Mabel Pease, after six girls, and on his mother's birthday! This 100-acre farm had been in the family since Mabel Pease's father, Luther Sherburn, bought it from Lanson Haines in 1866, for $2400, and moved here from nearby Wentworth, N.H. Glenn's father and mother lived in Easton, NH, for the first several years of their marriage, where Francis was a teamster well known for getting the most out of a team.
One time, when he was hauling sawn lumber from Franconia or Easton to the railroad in North Lisbon, he was asked how much lumber he could haul. He said he didn't know but that he had never been stuck. He started at 3 AM and said that the horses kicked up so much dust on Sand Hilll that he couldn't see the leaders of his four-horse team. When he arrived with load intact, it was said to have been the largest load of sawn lumber ever drawn into North Lisbon. In 1898, after his second wife died, Luther Sherburn told his daughter Mabel that if she and her husband Francis would come to Orford, live on the farm and take care of him, he would leave the place to her. They ageed and made the move from Easton.
Francis Pease worked the farm and did some logging on the side, as well as making maple syrup and sugar. As was common at the time, he was put in charge of a section of the town road in the Mt. Cube area for a few years in the early 1900s, where in one year he was allowed to spend $175 on the road and pay not more than $1.50 per day for labor.
Glenn's father died in 1925 and at 19, Glenn took over the farm at the foot of Mount Cube. He married Theda Louise Howard in 1928 and there were soon three sons and a daughter growing up on the farm.
Over the next 40 years, Glenn slowly built up the farm, fixing and adding to the farm buildings, buying equipment, and using soil conservation programs to put tile drainage in several of the fields. He sold milk for most of this time to a variety of creameries and also raised potatoes and made maple syrup as other cash crops. There was not enough land on the home place to support 25 head of milk cows and the 25-30 young cattle, so land in the neighborhood and as far away as Orford Street and West Rumney was often rented to raise corn or cut the hay. Three silos for corn sileage were added in the 1950s and a bulk tank to hold the milk was required in the early 1960s. His son, Gerald, worked for Glenn on the farm from 1950 to 1973, and then another son, Francis, retired after 21 years in the Air Force and moved back to work on the farm. In his 70s, Glenn had a series of small strokes and was diagnosed with diabetes, so the dairy herd was sold and only beef kept on the farm. Francis still kept the fields hayed rented the pasture.
Pease family around 1948, about the |
time Glenn was calling at Huntington's
Pavillion in East Thetford, Vermont
Howard, Francis, Theda with Arthur, Glenn,
Irene, Mabel (Glenn's mother), Gerald
Following in his father's footsteps as a town official, Glenn became an Orford Selectman in March, 1940 and served for 13 consecutive three-year terms, resigniing in 1979. Quoting from an article in the Lebanon, N.H. Valley News from that year, Glenn F. Pease remembers the day 39 years ago when, as a freshman selectman, he had a conversation with the late Charles Cushman. Cushman, a veteran selectman in 1940, asked Pease for his opinion on a certain subject, if it would be a good idea to proceed with what was being discussed. "Well," said Pease, "I think so." "By God," lectured Cushman, " you want to know it, you don't want to think it," "From that day on, " Pease said the other day in his home, "whenever I've said anything, I've made sure I've known what I was talking about." It was that creed which Pease carried with him through nearly four decades as an Orford selectman. And folks in town will tell you that Glenn Pease knows what he's talking about. For many years, Glenn kept the books for the selectmen, delivered the federal surplus commodities to the down and out and was the person to whom folks came with their porcupine noses as proof that they had killed the porcupines and were entitled to the .50 bounty. I think that Dad generally took their word for the number of noses, as I remember seeing him take the bag of noses and drop them in the wood stove without any counting.
In his early years running the farm, Glenn frequently 'worked out', often for Dr. and Mrs. Baer, summer visitors from Baltimore who owned a place a couple of miles away. Dad helped in the apple orchard, spraying trees, mowing between the rows and picking apples. He also did some hauling of logs and pulp off the side of Mt.Cube in the winters. One winter, he left the farm one morning at 5:30 AM and due to an accident in the woods, got back with his load at 7:30 PM and had earned $3.50 for himself and team. He said he was poor but not that poor and didn't go back to that job. In the 1950s and 1960s, he helped a neighbor who was logging. The horses were used to twitch logs from the stump to the landing and the farm truck then took the logs to the mill. Since much of lumber was hardwood, the tops and small limbs were used for firewood for the house and sometimes for the sugarplace.
Written by Arthur Pease, May, 2009