A sharp spike in deaths in 1918 was due to the influenza pandemic. Town records show that 35 deaths in the last quarter of 1918 alone were caused by the flu.
Much like deaths, births per thousand population have also decreased dramatically over time. One hundred years ago the national birth rate was on the order of 30/1,000/year, declining to the present day 14/1,000/year. As in many cultures, the desire to have many children decreased as the likelihood of infant and childhood death decreased, while at the same time the cost of raising a child to independent adulthood increased.
Births show three large, sustained peaks. The first two coincide with increases in population. By 1902 the moribund woolen mill (bankrupt in 1898) had been bought by the American Woolen Company, reopened, and started on a major expansion program. Young workers were being hired—mostly immigrant Finns, Poles, Italians and Russians - and the birthrate exploded accordingly. No surprise—there was an uptick in marriages which overlapped the first birth peak. From 1895-1902 the marriages average was 42/year, while from 1903-1917 the average was 100/year.
One mystery is why the birth rate dropped so dramatically after the 1960 peak. Looking back, this is the period when birth control pills became widely accepted, when birth control sales to unmarried women became legal (1972) and when abortion became legal (1973). Demographics also played a role. Locally, population growth had stalled, new housing had stalled, and what was left was a mature, post-child-birth population aging in place.