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Samuel Warner Niles

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WHITE CREEK, N.Y. -- Samuel Warner Niles, 97, of County Route 68, died peacefully on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2004, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. He was the widower of Eleanor Payne Niles, who died May 8, 1987.

Sam was born April 5, 1907 in Shaftsbury, Vt., the son of John Clark and Mary Wheeler Allen Niles. The family moved to White Creek when Sam was very young. He attended and graduated from the local school. He became self-employed at 12 years old when he started drawing milk to the H.P. Hood Plant in Eagle Bridge. His father loaded the cans on the wagon and, with a team of horses, Sam took the load of milk to the plant before going to school.

As trucks became the mode of transportation, he purchased a truck and continued to pick up milk from the local farmers. His route began in Shaftsbury Hollow and took in a lot of the side roads between there and Eagle Bridge. In later years it extended to Gold Medal Farm in Buskirk.

Everyone was always welcome to ride along with Sam and listen to the stories he told of the Indians coming over the hills, the Red Coats invading the town, hunting and fishing stories, some true and some embellished.

After his marriage in 1934, he purchased the house in White Creek that he lived in until he left in 2002. All through the years he was noted for his punctuality and for over 30 years he never missed a day picking up the milk. He was always ready to help anyone in need and for many years people depended on him to deliver the Sunday paper.

He was a naturalist and, being an avid reader, he was self-taught in many fields. He knew the history of White Creek and will be greatly missed by those who went to him for information.

Survivors include his older sister, Harriet Byars: a niece, Marilyn Robinson; a great-nephew, Duane Robinson, all of White Creek, and a great-niece, Mary Weinfurt of Bennington.

A graveside service will be held when Sam’s ashes are buried at the North Bennington Cemetery in the spring.

Memorial contributions may be made to the White Creek Fire Department, where both Sam and Eleanor were hard workers in the organization of the company in the 1940s.

Arrangements are under the direction of Ackley & Ross Funeral Home, Cambridge.
Published in Bennington Banner on Dec. 24, 2004
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