HAWLEY - Florence E. Carlton, generally known as “F.E. Carlton,” was a long time educator in one-room schools. He served as vice principal at the Hawley Graded School in the late 1880's. Highly civic minded, the Arlington, Pa. farmer was elected as Wayne County Commissioner in the 1920's.

HAWLEY - Florence E. Carlton, generally known as “F.E. Carlton,” was a long time educator in one-room schools. He served as vice principal at the Hawley Graded School in the late 1880’s. Highly civic minded, the Arlington, Pa. farmer was elected as Wayne County Commissioner in the 1920’s.
Carlton was born in Greene Township, Pike County, January 10, 1863, to John S. and Mary (Banks) Carlton. His father was a farmer. The 1870 census placed him as second youngest among five children: James, William, Samuel, Florence and Elizabeth.
As a child he attended common school in Greene Township. He supplemented this with a course at the Waymart Academy, finishing in 1884. A year later he graduated from Mansfield State Normal School, studying to be a teacher. He was president of his class.
 
Wedding train

On November 28, 1889, he and Susie G. Cole, of Salem Township, were united in marriage. The Evening Gazette (Port Jervis) reported in the December 6 edition that Carlton and Cole “celebrated Thanksgiving in a practical way.” They had boarded the evening train in Honesdale with a marriage license, and after a short call on Miss Carrie Rohne at Hawley, took her along with them to the Hawley Methodist Episcopal (later known as the United Methodist) parsonage as a witness. Here, Carlton and Cole were married by Rev. G.A. Cure.
“Both are well known in Hawley and highly esteemed,” the newspaper stated. “Their many friends with applaud their Thanksgiving service.”
They made their home on a farm in Arlington, Salem Township, Wayne County. Motorists on Route 590 today, traveling between Hamlin and Hawley, have likely seen the Arlington Cemetery sign, locating this long-time agricultural hamlet. Arlington is between The Hideout and Lakeville.

Teaching career

In 1880 he began teaching and was hailed as highly successful and competent.
In 1885-1886 Carlton served as principal of Starrucca graded schools, in the far northern hinterlands of Wayne County. The next year, he transferred to Hawley, where he the school’s vice-principal.
Hawley, Pa. took a great leap forward in 1879 with the opening of the large wood frame graded school, on top Academy Street. Several area one-room schools were closed at that time, and students attended Hawley where for the first time, a free public high school education was offered. Honesdale had a high school only since 1875. Prior to these schools opening, families in the Honesdale or Hawley areas only had the option of a few, small local private academies, or sending their child to board at Wyoming Seminary or other distant school.
Most children did not pursue secondary education in that era, and many families did not perceive the need, with the ample supply and high demand for labor not requiring advanced schooling.
In fact, once Hawley Graded School opened, families whose children were being sent to work at the Bellemonte Silk Mill (which opened in 1881- the present Hawley Silk Mill), were keeping their children at the factory.
A news brief, July 22, 1910, reported of the teachers that were hired for the schools in Paupack Township, located at Uswick, Bone Ridge, Lakeville and Audell. Carlton was picked for the Lakeville School (Another source says he started there in 1898).
Also known as the Hemlock Hollow School, the Lakeville schoolhouse has been preserved and is located on Avoy Road. Little did Carlton realize that this would be the last functioning one-room school in Wayne County, when it closed in 1977. The Hemlock Hollow School Community Association maintains it as a museum and has had open houses on special occasions.
For a time, he and his family lived in Philadelphia. They moved there in April 1904 where he had a government position. Bert Bartelson occupied his house in Arlington and worked the farm in his absence. They were due to return from Philadelphia in the spring of 1908, but the 1910 census still listed he and his family as renting a home in Philadelphia, where he worked as a meat inspector.

Elected office

Carlton was elected as county auditor on the Republican ticket in 1896 and re-elected in 1899. He was also auditor of Salem Township.
From 1923 to 1927 he served as county commissioner. Serving on the board with him were George Erk and Charles A. Herman. Their offices were on the first floor of the courthouse in front, on the left side as one walks up to the entrance. Lettering for “Wayne County Commissioners” may still be discerned in an upper window that has been painted over. The offices are used today by the District Attorney.

Farmer

While he was teaching, Carlton was still active in agricultural pursuits. In November 1911, a new creamery was opened in Arlington, run by the Cooperative Creamery Company. Carlton was treasurer and on the board. He was named as treasurer of the Lakeville Grange, No. 1447 in 1913.
The 1920 census listed him as a laborer; the 1930 census states he was a farmer.
He was also secretary of the Arlington Epworth League. This organization was a Methodist young adult association for people aged 18 to 35. Carlton and his wife were members of the Lakeville Methodist Church.
F.E. also belonged to Wangum Lodge of the I.O.O.F. in Hawley.
F.E. Carlton was 80 years old when he died Sunday morning, August 1, 1943, of infirmities due to advanced age (as the obituary stated). Susan, his wife, had lived until August 31,1930, when she was 64.

Their family

He and his wife raised a son, Lester M. Carlton.
Lester, born in 1890, graduated high school in 1909 while living in Philadelphia. He served in the Army (Company I First Regiment) in the 1910’s. He was well known as a long distance runner. Like his father, he took up teaching, but became a farmer. He also served as a Wayne County Auditor. Lester continued to live and work on the family farm in Arlington.
Lester served on the County Agricultural Conservation Committee as an elected county committeeman in the late 1940’s.
Serving as chairman in 1948, Lester Carlton stated in a newspaper article that too often the pasture is the “most neglected” part of the farm. The 1948 Green Pastures Contest revealed a deep interest in pasture improvement, but there was still further need for good pasture management, The Hancock Herald reported on December 30.
The Wayne County Agricultural Conservation Committee funneled federal money used to assist farmers in carrying out soil and water conservation practices on their individual farms. The county committee were largely given the authority to decide which practices would be funded and decided how much a farmer would be abel to receive. The committee also had charge of activities related to price support, purchase agreement, and loan programs.
Lester M. Carlton was wed to Ruth Sawyer, September 3, 1913.
She and their infant son died in 1915. Like other members of the Carlton family, they were laid to rest in the Lakeville Cemetery.
Lester was later married to Edna K. Singer. They had a daughter Elizabeth and son, Lester. The elder Lester Carton died in 1983; Edna, in 1992.
Their daughter Elizabeth D. “Bette” Jackson served as Board Secretary for the Wallenpaupack Area School District. She was 88 when she died in 2012. Her husband was William J. Jackson. She was survived by her daughter Doris.
Elizabeth’s brother Lester Carlton and his wife Eleanor were living in Audubon, PA in 2012.

Main sources:
Illustrated Wayne (1900)
Vintage newspapers at Fultonhistory.com
Census data, etc., Ancestry.com (Hawley Public Library)