Thanks to the Jensen family for donating their father’s Bedford Farms milkman uniform. William “Bill” Jensen was a milkman from 1958-1966 and the family donated 2 uniforms in pristine condition. The uniform included a black and white striped jacket with dark maroon details, matching striped overalls, black and white check overalls, and two caps – all with a yellow and red “Bedford Farms” patch.
What really makes this donation special are the photos, archival materials, and biography that the family provided. See below for a wonderful picture of Bill wearing his uniform in a Bedford Farms delivery van. Rather than donating just a uniform, the family donated a story that we can share with generations to come.
Kathleen Fahey, for the Bedford Historical Society
Members of the Bedford Minutemen march in the Concord Patriots’ Day Parade on April 18, 1994.
The Bedford flag is the oldest existing flag in North America and dates from the early 1700s. The flag was present during the battle at the Old North Bridge in 1775 and a replica is proudly flown at Patriots’ Day parade each year. Other historic flags were also used during the time of the American Revolution and the following years. Included in this photo are the Gadsden flag with the words “Don’t Tread On Me” from 1775 and the Betsy Ross flag from 1792 held by our very own town historian, Sharon McDonald. The Bedford Historical Society offers a variety of Bedford flag merchandise; to purchase, click here.
By Catherine Miller, Bedford Historical Society Spring 2019 archives intern and Simmons University MLIS student.
From the Concord Enterprise newspaper, March 12, 1913 “J. H. Brown, Springs Rd, while cutting ice on his pond one day last week, had a narrow escape from drowning. He stepped on a loose piece of ice and touched bottom in seven feet of water. Eddie Temple, who was with him at the time, with great presence of mind, rushed to the spot where he had last seen Mr. Brown and when he arose to the surface, grabbed him by the coat collar and dragged him to safety. Mr. Brown is a Civil War veteran and the spryest man of his age in this town. He states that he suffered nothing from his involuntary bath in the icy waters.”
John Henry Brown (1844-1918) was a life-long resident of Bedford who served in the Civil War; he enlisted in 1864 and was assigned to the 6th Regiment of Company D. The United States Census lists Brown as a butcher in 1870 and 1880 and as a dairy farmer in 1900 and 1910. John’s younger brother was Abram English Brown, author of the History of the Town of Bedford (1891).
Brown may have used ice tongs like the ones pictures above to harvest ice; these tongs and other ice harvesting tools are part of the Bedford Historical Society collection. The postcard below is also from our collection and shows the Ice House on Wilson Mill Pond and the Shawsheen Meadows, c.1900.
Thanks to member Brian Oulighan for locating this newspaper article. Brian grew up in Bedford and now lives in Hudson, NH. Brian combs through old newspapers online for items related to Bedford history and sends them along to the Bedford Historical Society for our archives.