Fairy tales often start with a twist of fate. For Frank and Pauline Scruton, that twist came in the form of an October 1944 issue of Merrimack Monthly Messenger, a periodical published by the Merrimack Farmer’s Exchange. That particular issue featured a young Pauline Phelps on the cover. The story goes that Frank’s Mother saw the magazine and told him, “Go find that girl and marry her.” While Frank didn’t always listen to his mother, this time he did. Their first date was at the Rochester Fair in 1945 and in June of 1946 Frank and Pauline were married.
Pauline grew up in Webster and Frank was raised in Farmington. Lifelong members of Farm Bureau, the Scrutons had a tremendous passion for agriculture. Scruton’s Dairy was started in 1942 and, with the addition of Pauline to the family, developed into a successful farming operation over the decades. From 1977 to 1984 they received the Holstein Progressive Breeder award. The two were members of many national and local Holstein organizations and were recognized for their many talents. Pauline was named New Hampshire Mother of the Year in 1981 and Frank received numerous awards and honors throughout his life including the NHFBF Profile Award. Frank was well known for his oxen teams and was recognized in Ripley’s Believe It or Not for having the largest working oxen in the world.
The two were dedicated to their farm, their family, and to Farm Bureau. They went on lots of trips to Farm Bureau conventions across the country. Long-time Farm Bureau members will remember Frank’s jokester nature. Ken Marshall recalled sitting on an airplane waiting to take off to a Farm Bureau convention when he felt an ice cold chill run down his back. It was Frank sitting behind him putting ice cubes down his shirt. Pauline had a sense of humor to match. Henrietta Kenney recalls Pauline saying of her brother (20 years her elder), “I never fought with my brother…but I never lived with him either.”
Frank passed away in 2013 and Pauline in March of this year. The two enjoyed a long marriage and a long devotion to agriculture and community. Four of their six children stayed on farms or in agricultural positions of some sort and three of their grandchildren live on farms as well. The Scrutons are a great example of the traditional Farm Bureau family.
2016 will mark 100 years of New Hampshire Farm Bureau Federation’s dedicated service to agriculture. The Associated Women of NH Farm Bureau Federation are celebrating with the publication of “Century Farms – celebrating 100 years of NH Farm Bureau Federation.”
In order to produce a successful book the Associated Women are seeking ways to fund this endeavor. You can make a donation in Pauline’s memory to the New Hampshire Farm Bureau Associated Women (book fund) by mailing a check to the NHFB office with “book fund” in memo.