Paul Ray Myers was hardly the only farmer in Windham raising chickens in 1939. Myers was in the egg business and he primarily sold his product through the New Hampshire Egg Auction in Derry. According to "Images of America: Derry," the auction company processed millions of eggs a year during its 11 year history, having operated from 1930 to 1941. One of their egg candlers, Roger Beliveau, sorted an almost unbelievable 90 million eggs between 1930 and 1934. It was not until after he had candled the 90 million eggs that Beliveau discovered his first, and the company's first, four-yoke egg in 1934. While the odds of finding one of these eggs has been estimated at 1:11-billion, this four-yolk egg would not be the only one of his career. Just five years after his first discovery, he made another in June of 1939. After candling a three-ounce egg and noting an appearance of four yolks, Beliveau carefully broke open the egg and discovered it contained four yolks, but an average amount of egg white. The hen that laid the egg was one of Paul Myers' brood and had been hatched in New Hampshire several months earlier on January 10. According to a period article by The Portsmouth Herald, two-yoke and three-yoke eggs were not uncommon in the state during the summer months, but the discovery of a four-yoke egg was almost unheard of. A census of agriculture statistics in New Hampshire reported over 175 million eggs being produced in New Hampshire in 1939, meaning a single four-yoke egg would be expected to be found in 63 times that production level, and certainly would not have been anticipated in a batch of just 175 million eggs, especially when one had been found just five years prior. When considering the just under nine million eggs produced in Rockingham county that year, and the even fewer eggs produced in Windham, the odds stack up even greater against a four-yoke egg being not only discovered, but originating from Windham
With nearly three hundred years of history, odds have it that Windham has been home to its share of less-than-exemplary citizens. One such citizen was Eben Woodbury. Not much is recorded about Woodbury or when he first turned to a life of crime. If any of his neighbors in Windham were not aware of his criminal past, they may have been alerted to his activities when his exploits earned him a brief mention in The Portsmouth Herald. On April 28, 1899, Woodbury was arrested at his farm in Windham on robbery charges. Accused of multiple house robberies in Nashua, he was brought to the city after his arrest to stand trial. A reporter for The Portsmouth Herald uncovered Woodbury's "reputation for being a sneak thief" who had previously spent six years in prison; a four-year stretch at the Massachusetts state prison and a short two years at the New Hampshire state prison. At the time of his arrest in Windham it was alleged Woodbury may have been responsible for a string of robberies in Manchester, Lawrence, Haverhill, and Lowell. If the allegations are any indication of the time he dedicated to his sideline, Woodbury may have spent just as much time travelling between states to burglarize homes as he did farming.
Derek Saffie is an avid Windham historian who enjoys researching and sharing his collection with all those interested in the history of the New England town.