Carleton Wentworth loved being outdoors, tending his expansive vegetable and flower gardens and picture-perfect lawn. His love of nature began in his childhood during summer visits to the family camp on Great East Lake, N.H. He especially enjoyed fishing, a pastime he pursued throughout his life.
He was married to Dorothy Laton, a descendent of the owners of the Kingman Farm in Madbury, N.H., for 61 years until her death in 1999. In 1941 the Wentworths took over management of the farm from Thomas Laton, Dorothy’s father and a professor of engineering at UNH, and ran it as a successful dairy operation for the next 11 years. In addition to mastering all the skills needed to keep the farm running smoothly, Wentworth put his woodworking talents to good use restoring antique furniture that had been in the Kingman family for generations. It was a happy life, but in the early 1950s farm help became increasingly difficult to find and the couple reluctantly sold off their 55 head of cattle.
Wentworth went on to a new career as a parole officer for the state of New Hampshire, a position he held until his retirement in 1976. They never had children, but the Wentworths were always community-minded, seeking ways to improve Madbury for all its citizens. Wentworth was one of four founding members of the Madbury Fire Department. He was also past president of the Strafford County Forest Fire Warden’s Association, rarely missing one its monthly meetings, and served as Madbury’s deputy state forest fire warden for more than 50 years. In his role as Ballot Clerk for the Town of Madbury Planning Board he never missed an election. He was elected a trustee of the Madbury Cemetery, which he had been instrumental in helping to establish, and was active in the Madbury Historical Society.
His interest in history extended to studying his own genealogy, says nephew Bruce Cedar, who often talked with him about their family history. Wentworth also shared his knowledge of his wife’s family tree and the development of the Kingman Farm, which had been worked since 1750. “He had an incredible memory,” Cedar says.
Wentworth died on August 24, 2014, at age 98. His ashes were scattered on the Kingman Farm where he and Dorothy had held their wedding and begun their married life. Today, 350 acres of the farm are owned by UNH and used extensively for educational research and recreational purposes.
Originally published in UNH Magazine—Spring/Summer 2015 Issue