Plymouth County, Massachusetts
Genealogy and History
Volunteers Dedicated to Free Genealogy
Puritan settler in Plymouth Colony. He came to America on the Mayflower and was prominent as assistant to the governor of the colony.
He moved (c.1627) to Duxbury and there was neighbor and friend of Miles Standish . Alden's marriage to Priscilla Mullens gave rise to the
romantic legend made familiar by Longfellow's poem, The Courtship of Miles Standish.
[The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2008]
A Representative from Massachusetts; born in Hingham, Plymouth County, Mass., November 26, 1850; attended private schools in Hingham
and the Phillips School and Brooks School in Boston; was graduated from Harvard University in 1872 and from Harvard Law School in 1875;
was admitted to the Suffolk bar in 1875 and commenced practice in Boston; member of the State house of representatives 1880-1882; served
in the State senate in 1884 and 1885; commissioner of parks for Boston 1885-1890 and again in 1894; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for
Governor in 1886; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-first and Fifty-second Congresses (March 4, 1889-March 3, 1893); chairman, Committee
on Reform in the Civil Service (Fifty-second Congress); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1892 to the Fifty-third Congress; resumed
the practice of his profession; died in Boston, Mass., May 30, 1895; interment in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Mass
[Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present; Contributed by Anna Newell]
Is the well-known box manufacturer, a resident of Middleboro, Plymouth County, son of Captain Ichabod Francis and Abigail (Thomas) Atwood,
was born in that part of Middleboro known as Fall Brook, June 22, 1844. His father was born at Fall Brook, March 13, 1820; and his paternal
grandfather, Nathaniel Atwood, was born in the same locality, being the son of Ichabod Atwood, who was born in that part of the town of Plymouth
now included in the town of Carver, October 5, 1744. Lieutenant Nathaniel Atwood, father of Ichabod, was born in the same locality about 1700, and
was a son of Deacon Nathaniel Atwood, whose birth took place there about the year 1670. Deacon Nathaniel was a son of John Atwood, or Wood, an
Englishman, who arrived in Plymouth at an early date. Information at hand gives to the name of Atwood a somewhat curious origin; to wit, that John,
the first American ancestor, lived in the woods, and was known among the early inhabitants as "John at the Wood," a designation which in
time became contracted into Atwood. Ichabod Atwood, great-grandfather of Charles Nelson, removed to Middleboro, where he spent the remainder of his
life, and died in 1819. His wife, whose maiden name was Hannah Shasv, died in her ninety-seventh year. Their son Nathaniel, who was a prosperous
farmer of Middleboro, married Zilpha Shurtleff, of Carver. Captain Ichabod Francis Atwood, father of Charles N., has been a lifelong resident of
Middleboro, and now lives retired, in his eighty-first year. He has held various official positions in the town. He served as Trial Justice over
forty-five years, or until 1898. August 18, 1842, he was commissioned by Governor Davis as Captain of Company F, Third Regiment of Light Infantry,
which belonged to the Second Brigade, First Division, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. He married, June 21, 1841, Miss Abigail Thomas. She was born
at Fall Brook, October 21, 1821, daughter of Harvey Cushman and Hannah C. (Atwood) Thomas, grand-daughter of Churchill and Hannah (Cushman) Thomas,
and great-granddaughter of Jedidiah and Keziah (Churchill) Thomas. On the maternal side she is the grand-daughter of Samuel and Patience (Cobb) Atwood.
Captain Atwood and wife are now in the sixtieth year of their married life, and both in the enjoyment of very good health. Their children are: Emery Francis,
born March 23, 1842, who is unmarried and resides at Rock; Charles Nelson, the subject of this sketch; Harvey Nathaniel, born September 12, 1849, who married
Lovetta E. Perkins; Hannah Zilpha, born March 29, 1852, who is the wife of Joshua K. Bishop. Charles N. Atwood was educated in the schools of the town
of Middleboro. His training as a manufacturer of lumber was begun as an operative for the Rock Mills Corporation, and, when that enterprise was
transferred to H. N. Thomas & Co., he was appointed foreman. The business of box manufacturing was started under his supervision; and, purchasing the
entire plant November 1, 1878, he has in the past twenty-two years increased his production to more than four times its original quantity. He manufactures
trunk boxes, packing boxes, shooks, barrel heads, and so forth, consuming four million feet of lumber annually, and, according to the present prospects,
will use a much larger amount in coming years. He has improved and remodeled his factory, the motive power of which is furnished by a one hundred horse power
steam-engine; and he gives employment to about forty men the year round. He is also interested in a similar mill located in Chelsea, Mass., and carried on under
the name of Atwood & McManus. Much of the lumber used in his business comes from his own extensive timber lands. Mr. Atwood in 1866 was joined in
marriage with Ruzilla A. Barrows, of Middleboro, daughter of William O. and Amanda Barrows. She died in 1874, leaving two sons: Alton B., now of Chelsea;
and Levi O., who is residing in Los Angeles, Cal. His present wife, whom he wedded in 1876, was before marriage Sarah A. Gibbs. She was born in Wareham,
daughter of Francis Bradford and Tirzah Swift (Morse) Gibbs and grand-daughter on the paternal side of Reuben and Hannah (Barrows) Gibbs and on the maternal
side of John Norris and Lydia (Look) Morse. Of this union there is one son, Ichabod F., who is now in his second year at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. In politics Mr. Atwood is a Republican. He is a member of the Independent Congregational church.
[Source: Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of MA; Publ. 1901 by Graves & Steinbarger Publishers; Pg. 521; Transcribed for Genealogical Trails by Andrea Stawski Pack.]
John Barstow was born in Scituate, in the State of Massachusetts, on the 11th of February, 1791. He
was the oldest son of John Burden Barstow, of Scituate, and Betsey Eells, of Hanover, Massachusetts. He was a
descendant of the sixth generation from William Barstow, who, with his brother George, left England in 1635 and
came to this country in the ship "Truelove." William, as appears from the public records, was a resident in
Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1636. It is probable that he soon removed to Scituate, where his descendants have
continued to reside to the present time. The parents of the subject of this memoir, while he was but an infant,
bought an estate in the town of Hanover, known as the "Broad Oak," where they built a spacious and, for those
times, a very handsome and sightly house, which has continued to be the family residence for nearly three-quarters
of a century. They were both of them persons of large capacities for business, of great energy of character
and of untiring industry, and, of course, were always "well to do in the world." The father, Colonel
Barstow (by which title he was generally known), following the example of two or three of his immediate
ancestors, for many years carried on the business of shipbuilding in connection with the cultivation of the
soil. He long held a prominent place among the citizens of his town and county. His house was always
open, and noted for its hospitality. It was often the resort of men in the pursuit of business, and participated
largely in the social intercourse of the place. It was here, under the fostering care of the best of mothers, that
the son spent all the earlier years of his youth. He watched the progress of shipbuilding from the laying of
the keel to the bolting on of the last plank and the rigging of the last sail; he listened to the conversation and narratives
of shipmasters and voyagers; he gathered up unheeded many items of information respecting commerce
and trade, the perils and successes of a seafaring life; he looked out almost daily upon the ocean, and was familiar
with its calms and storms. It is not easy to say how much the early bent of his mind and the predilections of
his later life were determined by these circumstances; they evidently were not without a marked influence.
Of the occupations of his youth, he himself has said that his "time was divided between farming, study, and teaching
until the twentieth year of his age." His first preceptress was Miss Priscilla Mann, who taught the town
school at "Broad Oak," and who, as another pupil of hers remarks, "for more than half a century had been distinguished
in that capacity." He has been heard to refer to her with great respect, except that she once punished
him without just cause. I mention this to show how early he was accustomed to govern himself and judge
others by the principle of justice. After enjoying the benefit of such schools as the vicinity afforded, he was
sent to the academy in Fairhaven, then under the charge of a Mr. Gould. In the autumn of 1806, he was sent to
the academy at Sandwich, and placed under the instruction of Mr. Elisha Clapp, who appears to have possessed
eminent qualifications as a teacher, and who, during the period of his preceptorship, about twelve years, placed
the Sandwich Academy among the best classical schools in the State. Mr. Clapp was a graduate of Harvard College,
and had been a tutor there, and, from the testimony of more than one of his distinguished pupils, must have
carried with him to the academy a rare ability and a genuine love for teaching.
Young Barstow entered the academy with the intention of preparing for admission to Harvard College. He
remained there probably about two years. Several of his fellow-students with whom he formed lasting friendships
have risen to honorable distinction in professional and public life. He was in the same class with Peleg Sprague,
a distinguished District Judge of the United States Court in Massachusetts, and of Jonathan M. Wainwright,
a Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the State of New York. The Hon. Albert Smith and the Hon. Francis
Bassett, both of Boston, were members of the academy at the same time. Concerning his character as a student,
I venture to offer the following testimony, extracted from a recent letter of a schoolmate, whose judgment is entitled
to high respect. He says, "His character and habits were then as in after life, — the former being
noted for the high qualities of truth, honor, and unswerving integrity, and the latter for gentlemanly bearing and
circumspection under all circumstances. In these respects he was acknowledged to be one of the models of the
school. As a student, he was persistent, never succumbing to difficulties. He was particularly distinguished in
the mathematics." And from other testimonies I infer that he scarcely fell behind the foremost of his class in
the Latin and Greek languages. From my own observation, I can well credit the statements of his early proficiency
in these studies. Through life he retained a far better knowledge of Latin, and especially of geometry,
algebra, and trigonometry, than most students whose after lives, like his, were thoroughly engrossed with business.
Ceaseless industry, and a determination to master whatever study he undertook, marked his character as a
student. With his high appreciation of scholarship, his love of study, and his aptitude in learning, a noble career
was open before him. The best results of intellectual culture might well have been anticipated as the reward
of his labor. But a sedentary life was found not to be conducive to his health, and in his twentieth year, as
before stated, he turned his attention to more active pursuits. Brought up almost within sight of the ocean,
and familiar from his boyhood with ships and shipbuilding, it was not unnatural that his predilection should be for a
seafaring life; and upon this he soon entered, commencing at the lowest round of the ladder and working his
way up to the summit. In the progress of a few years, he became the master and owner of several merchant
vessels engaged chiefly in the European trade.
In the mean time, his love of study did not forsake him; and his intercourse with the commercial business of foreign
ports probably suggested to him the importance of being able to speak the French language, then, as now,
the common language of Europe. Accordingly, in 1814, as nearly as can be determined, he repaired to Paris, where
he spent a year in perfecting himself in the French language, and in pursuing at the Free College of France
such other studies as were suited to his tastes and subservient to his progress in life. This was during the
closing period of the reign of the Emperor Napoleon I. He often saw the great captain, whom no one, it seems,
ever saw without carrying away a deep impression of the dignity of his personal presence. He was in Paris during
the eventful Hundred Days, in the spring of 1815, and was present when Napoleon reviewed his grand army, —
the grandest perhaps which Europe had ever seen, — before leaving his capital to measure himself with
Wellington on the field of Waterloo. His studies at the College of France were turned to excellent account.
Besides several branches of more general knowledge pursued at the same time, he acquired such a ready use of
the French language as to be of the greatest practical service to him on many occasions in after life.
Soon after his return from France, Mr. Barstow purchased a vessel and sailed for Stockholm, where he disposed
of vessel and cargo, and spent a large portion of the season in travels in the north of Sweden. After a
second brief visit to Paris, he again returned home. Not long after this, probably in 1817, he formed a business
connection with Mr. Jacob Barker, of New York, then extensively engaged in shipping, banking, and general
business. During this connection, Mr. Barstow spent three years in New Orleans, devoted chiefly to the management
of Mr. Barker's banking and commission business in that section of the country. It was also, I think, during
this period that he spent a year in the West Indies and one in Bermuda. Circumstances, it is believed, not altogether
agreeable to him, led him to close his business connection with Mr. Barker; and he again turned his
attention to commerce. He was again for several years engaged in the European trade, sailing for the most part
in vessels built for him in his native town.
On the 1st of January, 1828, he formed a copartnership with his friend and relative, Caleb Barstow, of New
York, and embarked in the general shipping and commission business, under the firm of C. & J. Barstow. In the
autumn of the same year, he was married to Sarah Swoope, second daughter of Edward K. Thompson, of
Providence, Rhode Island, and added the interesting and agreeable cares of the household to those of the countingroom.
In his new business connection, opening as it did an extensive field of operations, he soon became prominent
among his commercial associates. His kuowledge of business on a broad scale, his sound judgment and his
uniform courtesy, made him welcome in every circle where the interests of trade were under consideration.
A commercial friend, speaking of him at that time, says, "There was a high-toned sense of honor about him,
and a dignified presence that commanded the respect of all with whom he had intercourse." He was soon
elected a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and a director in the Bank of America, one of the first banks
in the city. He discharged the duties of both of these trusts with high credit, the former for several years, the
latter until he left New York, in 1838. The firm of C. & J. Barstow was continued for ten years with gratifying
success. They were largely interested in the first line of packets that sailed regularly between New York
and New Orleans. The tastes of the partners determined their respective departments of business. The former
took the supervision of the counting-room and the sale of merchandise; the latter had charge of the shipping
and of the outdoor business generally. It may be added that, during the entire continuance of the firm, the warmest
friendship subsisted between the partners, and was severed only by the hand of death.
Mr. Barstow was well informed on the history and political condition of the country, and especially upon
its financial condition and industrial resources. He had, at the same time, a decided aversion to politics, and would
never consent to be a candidate for any political office. He seldom thought it worth while to discuss party questions
with those whoso opinions differed widely from his own. He belonged to the Republican party, was highly
conservative, never extreme. He reverenced the Constitution, and held to the supremacy of law. He had a
just abhorrence of the institution of slavery. But until the breaking out of the Rebellion he held, as most sensible persons did, that its management and the responsibility
of its removal belonged to the States in which it was established. Yet he foresaw and deprecated its
malignant and disturbing power upon the peace and harmony of the Union. On the breaking out of the Rebellion,
he felt himself called upon by every principle of patriotism and humanity to sustain the government.
And though he knew the Southern character well, and comprehended in a good degree the magnitude of the
undertaking, he never entertained any doubts that the Rebellion would at length be crushed, and the supremacy
of the Constitution and the laws established in all the revolted States. Nor did he doubt that the institution
of slavery would go down in the struggle, never more to rise within the limits of the United States.
He was particularly interested in all the historical researches connected with the early settlers of New
England. He, in some instances, instituted researches himself at home and abroad to elucidate that subject.
He was a liberal patron of the New-England Historic Genealogical Society, which has done so much to awaken
an interest in our ancestral history. For several years prior to his death he was one of the vice-presidents of
Mr. Barstow was elected a Resident Member of the New-England Historic Genealogical Society, March 4, 1857,
and became a Life Member, September 5, 1860. He was chosen vice-president for the State of Rhode Island, January
5, 1859, which office he held till his death. He died at Providence, Rhode Island, March 31, 1864,
aged 73 years, 1 month, and 20 days.
[Source: Memorial Biographies of The New England Historic Genealogical Society, Volume V, 1862-1864,
Published by the Society, Boston, 1894, pp. 376-390]
Caleb Bates was born in Hingham, Masssachusetts, January 11, 1780. His father was Jesse, son of Caleb
Bates. His mother was Abigail, daughter of Cornelius Barnes. They were married by the Rev. Ebenezer Gay,
D. D., December 3, 1767. On his father's side Caleb Bates was a lineal descendant of Clement Bates, an early
settler of Hingham, who died September 17, 1671, aged eighty-one; and on his mother's side, of Thomas Barnes,
who died November 29, 1672, and whose gravestone bears the oldest inscription in the Hingham Cemetery.
Caleb Bates and his sister Lydia, who married Solomon Lincoln, were the only children of their parents who
lived to an adult age.
Caleb Bates was never married. Like his ancestors he was a farmer and lived on the ancestral estate, which
is still the property of a descendant of the Bateses.
His father died when the son was but little more than three years of age, and the care of his education devolved
upon his grandfather, Caleb Bates, who died February 6, 1797, at the age of seventy-eight, before his grandson
had attained his majority. This grandfather was a prominent citizen and selectman of the town of Hingham during
the Revolution and afterwards, and was especially familiar with the history of the town during those critical times.
This knowledge he stored in a wonderful memory, which his grandson inherited; and the grandfather's readiness to
communicate the information at his command stimulated in the grandson a keen relish for historical studies, which
was afterwards not confined to our own country, but extended to all departments of English history.
The early education of the grandson was obtained in the public schools of Hingham. Although nominally a
farmer, he inherited a fortune sufficient to relieve him from the necessity of severe labor and to enable him to
gratify his taste for historical study; and his acquisitions, which his retentive memory held always at command,
supplied material for conversational powers which were developed to a remarkable extent, and which, with their
wealth of fact and anecdote, delighted young and old.
Mr. Bates was a zealous friend of education, and served faithfully for several years as Chairman of the School
Committee of his native town. He was especially interested in the Boston Asylum and Farm School for Indigent
Boys, and took great pleasure in an annual visit which the scholars were accustomed to pay to him. He
gave his decided influence to aid the cause of temperance. The Sunday-school was also an object of his care, and
he remembered the parish by a generous bequest. In the political divisions of former days he was a Federalist.
Mr. Bates became a resident member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society on January 13, 1846.
His health was generally good, but his last illness was painful and severe. He was compelled to resort to the
Massachusetts General Hospital for surgical aid, but without success, and he died there, September 16, 1857.
[Source: Memorial Biographies of The New England Historic Genealogical Society, Volume III, 1856-1859,
Published by the Society, Boston, 1883, pp. 193-194]
ARTHUR CLARKE BOYDEN, eldest son of Albert Gardner
Boyden and Isabella Whitten Clark, was born at Bridgewater,
Massachusetts, September 27, 1852. He comes of a
long line of distinguished ancestors, among whom can be mentioned
Thomas Boyden, who embarked from Ipswich, England, April,
1634, and settled in Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts,
in 1635, and in more recent times Uriah A. Boyden, of Boston,
Massachusetts, "the noted inventor who was the donor of the
"Boyden Fund" of two hundred and forty thousand dollars to
Harvard College. His father, the Nestor of Massachusetts educators,
was born February 5, 1827, and at the ripe old age of eightyfive
still continues in his position of principal emeritus of the Bridgewater
Normal School, the active principalship of which institution
was held by him from 1860 to 1906, a period of forty-six years.
During this time he watched over the wonderful growth of the
school till it occupied the position of one of the leading normal
schools of the country. When he retired from the active duties of
his position he was succeeded by his son, Arthur Boyden. He had
served as an instructor from 1879 to 1896 and as vice-principal
from 1896 to 1906, inheriting from his father the two marked
characteristics which had so much to do with his great success as a
teacher and a principal, logical thinking and executive ability.
Arthur Clarke Boyden early in life showed the bent of mind
which has so strongly marked his work in life. He was from a boy
a great lover of nature, and this love was further shaped by his
early work on a farm. Through this work was stamped upon his
mind the value of manual labor. It was but natural that his love
of nature should lead him to read much of natural history and in
later life to extend that to subjects of historical interest. He owed
much of his intellectual discrimination and literary tastes to
his mother as well as to his father, for it was the strong intellectual
and spiritual influence of his mother which made themselves manifest
in his work of later years.
He received his early academic education at Bridgewater Academy.
He entered the Bridgewater Normal School and graduated
in 1871. Then followed a course at Amherst College, where he was
a member of the class of 1876, receiving in that year the degree of
A.B. and in 1881 the honorary degree of A.M. It was but natural
that he should take up the profession of teaching. After leaving
the Normal School he taught one year, 1871-2, as principal of the
Medway High School, and from 1876 to 1879 was an instructor in
the Chauncy Hall School in Boston.
Mr. Boyden is a teacher of rare ability. His wide experience in
different types of schools has well equipped him for his position as
principal of the State Normal School at Bridgewater. It is rarely
that a son will follow in the steps of his father with such pronounced
success, and that too by winning success by his own initiative.
Mr. Boyden has found time amid the busy scenes of school life to
do his share as a citizen and a lover of his native town. He has
served as President of the Library Trustees for many years. President
of the Bridgewater Improvement Association for many years,
and has also been President of various educational associations.
He is the author of "Nature Study by Months," a book which has
had a wide use in the public schools, and he has also compiled many
outlines of study for normal school work. Mr. Boyden is a valuable
member of Fellowship Lodge of Masons, Harmony Chapter,
Brockton Council, Bay State Commandery, the Economic Club, and
the Alpha Delta Phi College Fraternity. He has served as
Worshipful Master of Masons and District Deputy Grand Master
24th Masonic District, Massachusetts.
He has always been identified in politics with the Republican
Party, but he has never held any political office. He is a member
of the Central Square Congregational Church, of which he has
served as deacon from 1887 to 1897. He has for many years been
moderator of the Standing Committee of this church.
He was married October 11, 1877, to Katherine, daughter of
Frederic and Betsey (Allen), granddaughter of Joseph Allen and
Esther (Babbitt) Allen and of Ichabod Bassett and Joanna (Fuller)
Bassett and a descendant from Samuel Fuller, who came from England
to Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the Mayflower. Two children
have been bom to them: Ethel Boyden, a music instructor, and
Edward Allen Boyden, instructor in the Harvard Medical School.
It is interesting to note that the two sons of Albert G. Boyden,
Arthur C, the subject of this sketch, and Wallace Clarke, are at
the head of two of Massachusetts' most flourishing normal schools,
the one at Bridgewater and the other at Boston.
The commonwealth is fortunate in having men of such a type to
direct the training of those young men and women in whose hands
will be placed the future destinies of her citizens.
[Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading
Men in the State, Volume 8, (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Biographical Society, 1917), pp. 65-66]
WALLACE CLARKE BOYDEN, the popular head-master
of the Boston Normal School since 1900, is one of a family
whose surname suggests "normal" education throughout
Eastern Massachusetts. His father, Albert G. Boyden, was a graduate
of the State Normal School at Bridgewater in 1849, an active
teacher in the same school for more than fifty years — most of the
time as principal — and later principal emeritus; while his only
surviving brother, Arthur Clarke Boyden, has been principal of the
Bridgewater Normal since 1906, when Albert G., the father, laid
down the reins of government.
In 1634 the ancestor of the Boydens in America, Thomas Boyden,
came from Ipswich, England, in the ship Francis, to Boston. His
line of descendants to the subject of this sketch is as follows:
2d Jonathan, 3d Jonathan, 4th Jonathan, 5th Benjamin, 6th Phineas
(1760-1828), 7th Phineas (Feb. 4, 1801-May 18, 1874; married
Harriet Carroll), 8th Albert Gardner, (1827; married (1) Isabella
Whitten Clarke), 9th Wallace Clarke (born at Bridgewater, Mass.,
Nov. 22, 1858). Sketches of some of the early Boydens of note may
be found under the life of Albert Gardner Boyden.
The mother of Wallace Clarke Boyden was Isabella Whitten
Clarke, who died in 1895. She was the first wife of Albert G. Boyden
and daughter of Thomas and Martha (Whitten) Clarke. She was a
lady of marked strength of character, whose influence on the intellectual,
moral and spiritual life of her sons was profound and enduring.
The father was a man whose clear thinking, good judgment, kindly
sympathy and executive ability were early recognized and long
appreciated. Till the end of his life he was at work in educational
lines, and his counsel to the rising (and risen) generations is yet
Wallace C. Boyden, though trained in an educational atmosphere,
developed in no one-sided way. From his childhood he was fond of
sports, and he is still an enthusiast over golf. He has ever had an
ardent passion for nature in her various moods. Living at first in a
country village, he happily found many manual tasks to perform,
which helped to round out the full man. He developed a handiness
with tools, and a variety of occupations added to his zest of life
and brought with them the pleasures of responsibility.
He prepared for college in the public schools of Bridgewater and in
his father's normal school, entered Amherst in 1879 and received
his A.B. in 1883, graduating among the first four in his class and
was taken into the Phi Beta Kappa Society in his Junior year.
Three years later he acquired his A.M. from his Alma Mater.
He had no doubts as to the choice of a profession. If ever one was
to the manor born, it was Wallace C. Boyden. He began his career,
immediately upon graduation, as principal of the Stoughton (Massachusetts)
High School, where he served one year. He then went to
Williston Seminary (Easthampton, Massachusetts) and remained
five years, as head of the mathematical department. In 1889 he
was elected a master in the Boston Normal School, and eleven
years later he became its efficient head.
Mr. Boyden is a man of many activities. He was on the School
Board of Easthampton for three years, in the last of which he was
chairman, and has served two and one half years on the School Board
of Newton, Massachusetts. For eight years he has been a deacon
of the Congregational Church in Newtonville, Massachusetts, and
has served as church clerk ever since 1896. He is a member of the
National Education Association, the American Institute of Instruction,
the Massachusetts Schoolmasters' Club, the Boston Masters'
Association, and is President of the Massachusetts Teachers* Association,
and Secretary-Treasurer of the Massachusetts Council of
Education. He is a member of the Royal Arch Chapter of Free and
Accepted Masons, and is a Past Master of the Blue Lodge. He has
always been identified with the Republican Party.
In 1894 Mr. Boyden published a " First Book in Algebra," which
met with a favorable reception. Since then he has prepared a valuable
genealogical work (published in 1901), entitled " Thomas
Boyden and his Descendants."
Two years after his graduation from college Mr. Boyden married
Miss Mabel R. Wetherbee (July 8, 1885), daughter of George H. and
Martha (Bartlett) Wetherbee. She is granddaughter, on the father's
side, of George H. and Sarah B. (Clapp) Wetherbee; on the mother's
side, of Judah and Eliza J. (Price) Bartlett. Their three children
seem likely to continue the family tradition and give instruction to
American youth. Robert Wetherbee (Mar. 7, 1889) is teacher of
History and English in the Moses Brown School, Providence;
Alice Gordon (July 18, 1892) is in the class of 1914 in Vassar
College; Bartlett Wetherbee (Oct. 2, 1899) is in his second year
in the Newton High School.
[Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading
Men in the State, Volume 8, (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Biographical Society, 1917), pp. 69-70]
Every year witnesses the death of useful and prominent persons who have occupied positions of honor and
responsibility,—professional men, statesmen, politicians, men who have acquired celebrity for their success in the
acquisition of wealth, and with their fortunes are well known for their liberality in private and public enterprises.
While there is no danger of such persons being forgotten there is also another class, useful and deserving, whose
memory should be carefully preserved, who have nobly acted their part and successfully striven to elevate and
enlighten the masses; and if such have been but little known beyond their peculiar sphere, their departure has
left a void not easily filled.
Such a man was the subject of our sketch. Deacon Lewis Bradford was born in Plympton, in the county of
Plymouth, Massachusetts, on Sunday, March 20, 1768. He was a lineal descendant in the seventh generation from
Governor William and Alice (Southworth) Bradford, who was the second Governor of Plymouth Colony, who came
from Austerfield, Yorkshire, England, in the ship Mayflower, and arrived in Cape Cod Harbor, November 11, 1620.
Levi Bradford, his father, was a highly respected and religious man, a husbandman, and part-owner in the mill
privilege near the old Forge on Winnetuxet River, in the southerly section of Plympton. He was of an ingenious
turn, and could easily adapt himself to various kinds of labor and mechanical trade; a steady, upright, and
Christian man, enjoying the confidence of his fellow citizens, as appears by his having held many public offices.
He was often elected collector of the town rates, warden, and constable, also clerk of the military company under
the command of Captain Thomas Loring. He was also a member of the Congregational Church in Plympton. His
grandfather was Gideon Bradford, Esq., who resided in the north part of that town near the old Furnace. He
afterward (1761) removed to the south part of Plympton village, where he purchased a large tract of land (about
two hundred acres). Upon this farm resided the father of Deacon Bradford. Gideon Bradford became the sole
owner of what was known as the old Forge on Winnetuxet River. He conducted this forge till they ceased making
iron, in 1774, at which time he removed with his family to Charlotte Furnace, in the south part of Carver, said to
have been the first place where hollow ware was cast in this country. He held the office of justice of the peace,
and was selectman and assessor as well as moderator of the town-meetings held in his native town.
The mother of Deacon Bradford was Elizabeth Lewis, a daughter of Daniel and Sarah Lewis, born in Pembroke,
Massachusetts, March 22, 1743, a remarkably exemplary woman; her mother having died while she was quite
young, she went to live in the family of her uncle, Rev. John Howland, at Carver, Massachusetts. She was a
grand-daughter of Rev. Daniel Lewis, the first minister of Pembroke. Having thus come of good New England stock,
and reared under religious influence, when she became the mother of a family of children, she was very devoted
to them, and endeavored to inculcate her own principles and those she inherited to her children. She had a mild,
even, and peaceful disposition and was a great lover of peace, attentive and orderly in all her domestic affairs, and
faithful in giving her family religious instruction, never failing to teach her children from that invaluable manual of
Christian doctrine and duty, the "Westminster Assembly's Shorter Catechism" on the afternoon of every Lord's day,
and having them repeat their prayers morning and evening. On Sundays she would never allow them to play or stroll
around, always endeavoring to have them attend church-worship. She was very particular to have her children
avoid every species of profanity or vulgarity, and always solicitous as to their mannerly conduct in public and
In her household affairs neatness and order were particularly noticeable. She was precise and exact in all
matters of business, and a person of uncommon memory. She is said to have been very ingenious at needlework.
Having thus, as we have seen, been brought up under the influence of kind Christian parents in a New England
home, it would be strange if the son had not imbibed some of the qualities that go to make up a purely good
man. In many respects he was a peculiar person. Those who knew him in his youth and early manhood, after he
had devoted himself to the cause of Christ, mention as prominent traits, besides a sincere and consistent religious
character, decision, earnestness, perseverance, promptness, and punctuality, the two latter being prominent in an
eminent degree. Seldom if ever was he known to be absent from the services of the sanctuary upon the Sabbath,
and when there he was always alive to all that transpired. The minister was always sure to have one
hearer whose keen eye and intelligent countenance sufficiently indicated his powers of appreciation.
He was admitted a member of the Congregational Church in Plympton, October 18, 1807, and was shortly
after chosen clerk of the same. At this time the church was without a settled pastor, and the duties of a clerk
were quite numerous.
He was elected deacon of the church, April 29, 1814, which position he held till his death. He was always at
his post of duty, and his record during the time was clean, for he never used the office for any selfish or designing
purpose. The records of the church in his handwriting are a model for clearness, fulness, and correctness, and
are worthy of a descendant of the Pilgrims, and are sufficiently well known to require no extended notice.
He loved the church, which was his home, and to his last days ever manifested the deepest interest in everything
pertaining to the prosperity and usefulness of the same, of whose fellowship and counsels he had so long become
His Christian character was commended by all his neighbors and acquaintance as of a high order, which was
more observable in the purity of his life than in his direct personal appeals to those with whom he was conversing.
He never was obtrusive upon the subject of religion, yet never shrank from duty in giving his words of counsel
Distinguished for his correctness, accuracy, and propriety of conduct in all the relations of life, of the strictest
integrity and uprightness, and as a citizen universally respected, he was everywhere received with pleasure and
The personal appearance of Deacon Bradford was that of manly vigor rather than of grace. His physical constitution
was uncommonly fine, and his health uniformly good. In stature he was of medium height, with broad
shoulders, head slightly stooped, of florid complexion, with a shaven face, and a countenance beaming with intelligence
and benignity, that left no doubt which had the preponderance. His habits were simple, and his manners
an index to his heart. He wore a homespun costume, with a careless trim, —for he was not a devotee of the
toilet,—and might have been taken for a farmer rather than a student; his disposition was social, while he had
dignity and gravity becoming his position, never fond of jesting. He affected no airs, made no pretensions, and
produced no decided impression other than that of an "Israelite in whom was no guile."
The cause of education was a subject in which he ever, from his childhood, had a deep interest. His youthful
days were spent amid rural scenes in his native town where his father and grandfather had lived, and he was
reared in the days when the advantages of learning were exceedingly limited. There were then no Normal Schools,
in which teachers were fitted for the duties of their calling, and no high schools. Only the common elementary
branches were taught, and those who wished to study the languages received instruction from the minister of
the parish or other qualified person. Deacon Bradford received his early education in his native district, and was
engaged in teaching schools during the winter seasons, from 1788 to 1820, and in the summers of 1796-1798 and
1802 he taught in the District of Maine. During the time he was engaged as teacher he was attending somewhat
to the study of Latin and Greek under the instruction of and in the private study of his pastor, the Rev.
His interest in the schools of Plympton never abated even in old age. He was always regular in his visits to
the different district schools, and as regular to give the scholars wholesome advice upon "good manners," of the
duty of becoming good citizens, avoiding profanity, and other equally moral advice. Many persons now living
remember his criticisms on the examples he would give out to the scholars in mathematics, and the incorrect
sentences he would offer for correction from a carefully prepared memorandum, given for the purpose of testing
the knowledge of the scholars, and the kind, happy, and courteous manner with which he addressed them, and
his words of approbation at the conclusion of the exercises.
He always cherished a tender regard for the young, and felt it to be a part of his duty to see to their mental
as well as spiritual instruction, and was hardly ever absent from the examination exercises at the close of the school
He always had a passion for books, and was always engaged in study of some kind, or in writing. He never
sought for public office, although he never shrank from whatever he considered to be his duty. He was for a
long time identified with the municipal affairs of his town. He was elected town clerk of Plympton, March 9, 1812,
and annually chosen till his death. Of his faithfulness to the town during a period of thirty-nine years much might
be said. He not only kept a correct record of the doings in town-meeting, but he gathered from various sources by
his personal effort many facts and incidents which long ere this would have slept in obscurity, and would never
have been handed down to posterity but for his loving care.
Besides the annual proceedings he recorded much of historical interest, the value of which and the usefulness
to those who are inquiring for facts with which to make history cannot be estimated. We never have had
the pleasure of examining any town records so full of personal history and detail of families as is recorded in
the books which Deacon Bradford left to his native town. They are indeed a monument of the most enduring kind to
We regret that his daily records of events did not pass into the archives of the town, or fall into the hands of
some person interested in historical matters, where they would have served as valuable aids to students of history
instead of occupying an obscure and useless position where they have been stored for nearly thirty years.
In everything Deacon Bradford did, he had method, whether it was of little or much importance. If a person
died he would give the name in full, date of death, and the particulars of his sickness and place of burial, of the
funeral services and when he was buried, with reliable accuracy; and it has been said that "when Deacon Lewis
Bradford could not tell the date of any occurrence in his town and vicinity there was no use in inquiring further."
So accurate was he that he would work for days over a small matter, and was never satisfied till he had accomplished
He was elected a corresponding member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, May 12, 1846.
In the years 1812, 1813, and 1817, he was elected assessor of the town. On the re-organizing of the town
as a parish, April 16, 1827, he was chosen clerk, and was annually rechosen till his death. He was also an assessor
of the parish in 1830. On the formation of the Foreign Missionary Society of Plympton and vicinity, March 29,
1814, he was chosen secretary till the same ceased to exist, April 7, 1825, and when a new organization was formed
May 8, 1825, he was chosen secretary. He was secretary of the Plympton Sabbath school, from its first formation,
July 26, 1818, till his death.
During the years 1842, 1843, and 1844 he represented the town of Plympton in the Massachusetts Legislature,
and while there he commanded the respect of all the members, as he was one of the oldest present; and as a
mark of their esteem and friendship, and for his promptness, the Whig members presented him with a goldheaded
The following article is from the late Hon. William Schouler, who knew Deacon Bradford well, and was with
him side by side during the above years in the Legislature: —
" Old Deacon Bradford, -whose sudden and melancholy death is here recorded, was a very worthy and at the same time quite
an eccentric person. He was, we believe, a bachelor, and had many of the peculiarities of that unfortunate portion of our
fellow-citizens. We had the honor of sitting side by side one session in the Legislature with Deacon Bradford, and we always
found him provided with needle and thread, beeswax and thimble, to stitch up rents in his clothes or put on a new button,
and he had the queerest old snuff-box and spectacle-case imaginable. The town books of Plympton as kept by Mr. Bradford
are faithful chronicles of the times. The votes of the town and the names of the candidates are not only recorded there, but the
politics are given, and the opinion of the clerk is also given as to their fitness for office. In the election case which came
before the election committee last year Mr. Bradford was summoned as witness, and his books were brought up also. We
had a good opportunity of examining them, and they were in many particulars remarkable. If every town in the Commonwealth
had its records as well kept, the researches of future historians would be greatly restricted and be much less laborious.
Deacon Bradford was a man of sterling integrity and a most devout Christian. In the celebrated session of 1843 Mr. Bradford
was a member from the town of Plympton, and for his promptness and attention to his duties the Whig members presented
him with a beautiful walking-stick. He has now passed away, and although his warning was brief he was doubtless
well prepared for the summons."
He died August 10, 1851, in the following manner: He had attended church service in the forenoon of the
Sabbath, and officiated at the communion service during the intermission between the two church meetings, and at
its close stepped into the carriage of William Taylor to ride home with him, when the horse started suddenly,
throwing Deacon Bradford out of the carriage to the ground, breaking his neck. A gathering of people immediately
went to his assistance, and a physician was called, who examined him and found the result as stated. He
breathed but a short time only.
[Source: Memorial Biographies of The New England Historic Genealogical Society, Volume I, 1845-1852,
Published by the Society, Boston, 1880, pp. 282-290]
Henry King Braley, son of Samuel T. and Mary A. Braley, was born in Rochester, Mass., March 17, 1850.
He studied law in the office of Hosea Kingman, in Bridgewater, and was admitted to the bar in Plymouth,
in October, 1873. He settled in Fall River, and continued in practice there until 1891, when he was
appointed Judge of the Superior Court. He was City Solicitor in Fall River in 1874, and Mayor in
1882-83. He married in Bridgewater, April 29,1875, Caroline W., daughter of Philander and Sarah T.
Leach. He is still on the bench
[Source: History of the Judiciary of Massachusetts: By William Thomas Davis; Publ. 1900; Tr. by Andrea
ELLIS BRETT, president of the Plymouth County Safe Deposit
and Trust Company, was born in North Bridgewater, Plymouth
County, Massachusetts, October 23, 1840. His father,
Ephraim Brett, son of Joseph and Olive (Beal) Brett, was a stone and
brick mason and farmer, honest, industrious and strictly temperate.
His first ancestor in America, William Brett, was at Duxbury, 1645,
and one of the original proprietors and settlers in original Bridgewater
and in that portion since known as West Bridgewater. He
was an elder of the church, and a leading man in town affairs. He
was wont to preach when the pastor was sick and was a frequent
representative to the General Court. He is referred to in the early
church records of Plymouth as a grave and godly man, their ruling
Ephraim Brett married Ruth, daughter of Ebenezer and Hannah
(Godfrey) Copeland, of West Bridgewater; and their son, Ellis Brett,
was brought up on the farm. He helped his parents by manual
labor on the farm, attending school winters, and completing his school
training at Hunt's Academy during those portions of the year when
there was no pressing farm work. He found in his reading that
books that emphasized the Golden Rule were most helpful and satisfactory.
His mother's influence, through both precept and example,
urged him on to the attainment of something nobler and better in
intellectual, moral and spiritual life. He continued his occupation
as a farmer and served also as assistant town assessor, 1881-84; as
tax collector, 1884; as principal assessor, 1885-97; as overseer of
the poor for many years; as chairman of the Republican City (Brockton);
committee and treasurer of the Republican County Committee;
and as president of the Plymouth County Safe Deposit and Trust
Company of Brockton from 1903.
He is affiliated with the New Jerusalem Church, serving as auditor
and as a member of its leading committee. His services are in
repeated demand to serve his fellow citizens as appraiser and apportioner
of real estate, as trustee, administrator, executor, guardian
and conservator. He is a member of the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows. In writing of his successes and failures in life he says:
"Whatever has come to me has come unsought — I have simply done
my duty as I saw it, not troubling myself further," and he
adds this message to young men: "In whatever position it is one's
lot to live, be it ever so humble, be faithful and honest therein and
do whatever is required cheerfully to the best of your ability; giving
good measure, pressed down and shaken together because it is right,
not trying to give as little as you can, and taking out all you can.
An honest man is the noblest work of God."
He was married November 10, 1892, to Elizabeth Florence,
daughter of Richard and Lucy (Alden) Howes, of Boston, and their
only child, Roger Ellis, aged two years, one month, four days, died
[Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading
Men in the State, Volume 2, (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Biographical Society, 1909), pp. 77-78]
BRINKMAN, Mrs. Mary A., homœopathic physician, born in Hingham, Mass., 22nd February, 1845. On arriving
at womanhood she visited Europe, where she devoted herself to study and travel. Soon after returning to this country, in 1871,
she entered as a student the New York Medical College and Hospital for Women. In 1876, while retaining her professional chair in
the Woman's Medical College, she was appointed physician to the New York Dispensary for Women and Children, and later, to the
college dispensary, and in those positions she did active service for several years. In 1881 she was chosen professor of
diseases of women (gynæcology) in the New York Medical College and Hospital for Women, and continued there until forced by
ill health to resign, in 1889. She was appointed, in 1886, visiting physician on the medical staff of the New York College for
Women, and in 1889 consulting physician to the hospital. Dr. Brinkman is an active member of the New York State and County
Medical Societies, the Christian League for Promoting Social Purity, the New York Woman Suffrage Society, and the Society for
Promoting the Welfare of the Insane. On the subject in which she is most interested she has written articles for the
“North American Review” and other leading journals, which have attracted wide attention.
[Source: American Women, Fifteen Hundred Biographies, A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of the Lives and
Achievements of American Women During the Ninteenth Century, edited by Frances E. Willard and Mary A.
Livermore, Mast, Crowell & Kirkpatrick, 1897, Volume 1, Page 122]
WILLIAM PENN BROOKS is the son of Nathaniel and
Rebecca Partridge (Cushing) Brooks, and was born in
South Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, November
19, 1851. His grandfathers were Nathaniel Brooks, and
Nehemiah Cushing; and his grandmothers were Deborah Brooks
and Deborah Briggs.
He is descended on his father's side from William Brooks who
emigrated to Massachusetts from Kent, England, in 1635, and was
one of the first settlers of Scituate. On his mother's side he is
descended from Mathew Gushing of Hingham, Norfolk, England,
who settled in Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1638. His great-grandfather,
Theophilus Gushing was a Brigadier General in the War of
Professor Brooks' father was a farmer and a man of great
strength of character and of devotion to high moral ideals. He
was also a strong advocate of peace. Like most New England
farmers ' sons, young Brooks began at an early age to help about the
house and barn ; and as soon as he was old enough was initiated into
such farm duties as he was able to perform. His mother died when
he was three years old; but her place was well filled by an older
sister who exercised a strong and beneficial influence upon his intellectual,
moral, and spiritual life.
He began his education at the village school and then entered
the Assinippi Institute, and afterwards the Hanover Academy, living
at home and walking four miles daily to the Academy. After
completing the course at the Academy he taught in the public school
of Hanover for a year, and then taught for another year in the
grammar school at East Abington, earning money enough to warrant
his entering the Massachusetts Agricultural Gollege at Amherst,
where he graduated B.Sc. and Valedictorian in 1875.
After taking a special course in chemistry and botany for a year
he was honored by the offer of the Professorship of Agriculture in
the Imperial Gollege of Agriculture, Japan. This flattering tender
he accepted and began his duties in 1877, when only twenty-five
years of age. He was Director of the Gollege farm and in addition
to his regular professorship filled the chair of Botany for some
years, and at various times acted as President ad interim. When
he left Japan in 1888, he was decorated with the fourth class of the
Order of the Rising Sun. Since January 1, 1889, he has been a
Professor and Lecturer in the Massachusetts Agricultural College
and since 1905 Director of the Massachusetts Agricultural Experimental
Station at Amherst. In 1903 he served for six months as
Acting President of the College. In 1897 he received the degree of
Ph.D. from the University of Halle, Germany.
Professor Brooks has published three volumes on the general
subject of Agriculture and made many scientific investigations of
problems connected with soil treatment and plant nutrition, on
which and kindred subjects he is a recognized authority.
He is a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa (Founder) ; the Phi
Kappa Phi ; the American Association for the Advancement of
Science (Fellow since 1915) ; and the American Association of
Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations. He was at one
time President of the Phi Sigma Kappa; and Vice-president of the
American Association of Agricultural Colleges and Experiment
Stations. His favorite amusements and exercises are skating, riding,
walking, bee-keeping, and gardening. He is an Independent
in politics, and in religion a Unitarian.
He has been President of the Board of Trustees of Unity Church
(Unitarian) since 1897; President of the Hampshire Agricultural
Society 1892-4; and a member of the State Board of Agriculture
Professor Brooks married in Revere, Massachusetts, March 28,
1882, Eva Bancroft, daughter of Stephen A. and Evalina (Newhall)
Hall, granddaughter of William and Susan Sigourney (Oliver)
Hall; and of General Josiah and Rachel (Bancroft) Newhall; and a
descendant from Mary Hall, who came from Warwickshire, England,
to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1636. They have two children,
Rachel Bancroft (Brooks) Drew and Sumner Cushing Brooks.
From his own experience and observation Professor Brooks offers
these suggestions to young Americans as to the principles, methods,
and habits which he believes will contribute most to the strengthening
of sound ideals in American life, and will most help young
people to attain true success in life:
"Cultivate early habits of industry the sense of responsibility,
patience, persistence. Endeavor always to discharge every duty and
to do whatever you undertake to the best of your knowledge and
ability. Seek constantly to increase both knowledge and ability and
to make such gifts as you possess of service to your fellowmen."
[Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading
Men in the State, Volume 8, (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Biographical Society, 1917), pp. 73-74]
CORNELL, Mrs. Ellen Frances, born in Middleboro, Mass., 20th July. 1835. She is the daughter of
George and Marcia Thompson Atwood, and the youngest of a family of nine children. She is a descendant in the seventh
generation from John Atwood, Gentleman, of London, Eng., who came to Plymouth soon after the landing of the Pilgrims.
The first mention of him in the old Colonial Records is made in 1633. Her maternal ancestor, John Thompson, from the
north of England, came to Plymouth in May, 1622, in the third embarkation from England. In the troubles with the
Indians, the people in the vicinity of his home chose him as their commander, and the Governor and Council of Plymouth
gave him a general commission as lieutenant-commandant of the field and garrison and all posts of danger. Ellen
attended the district school near her home and public and private schools in New Bedford, and later the academy in
Middleboro. She became a teacher, and to that work she gave six years of her life. She became the wife, in February,
1859, of Mark Hollingsworth Cornell, of Bridgewater, Mass. Since then they have resided in their pleasant home on the
bank of the Taunton river, in one of the most beautiful spots in that region. For many years Mrs. Cornell was an
invalid, confined to her home, and for seven years of that time unable to leave her bed. Her interest in the world
about her, from which she was isolated, never wearied. The influence of her patient life was felt far beyond the
confines of her own room. Her poems have been printed in various papers and magazines. Mrs. Cornell is a member of the
New Church. Her summers are now passed in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, where she employs many hours of her time in
adding to her already large collection of marine shells, which she has carefullv classified.
[Source: American Women, Fifteen Hundred Biographies, A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of the Lives and
Achievements of American Women During the Ninteenth Century, edited by Frances E. Willard and Mary A.
Livermore, Mast, Crowell & Kirkpatrick, 1897, Volume 1, Page 208]
JOHN GIFPORD CROWLEY, son of Thomas and Mary Ann
(Gifford) Crowley, was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts,
February 19, 1856. His father was a sea captain, and looking
out on the blue waves it was no wonder that all his dreams
were of the sea, and what was beyond where the sky closed down.
He had but a limited opportunity for education. There were
seven children, and John the oldest must work hard. It was
work, he says, that was all he knew in early life. His grandfather
and grandmother on both paternal and maternal sides had
come from that stormy land, Newfoundland, and he, the scion of
hardy stock, would show his grit in life's battle. At the tender age
of eleven, frail of hand but firm of heart, he bravely began his part.
Stepping on board the vessel of which he was later captain, he began
in the cook's galley. Rising from there, and staying on the same
ship, he passed the successive grades of ordinary, able seaman, mate,
and at last at the age of twenty was captain.
Deprived as he had been in all these years of all that school gives
the mind, yet he had not been idle. The remembrance of the intellectual
strength and moral rectitude shown by his parents were his
inspiration in all his way upward. His principal reading had been
that which related to his calling. He felt that that American invention,
the fore-and aft-vessel, the schooner, had not yet come to its
true place in the world's commercial activity, but with his guidance
it should. When his young eyes looked out on the Gurnet and the
white sails passing by it, he saw only "two stickers," as the utmost
that progress had given in the way of a fore-and-aft ship, since
when, in 1713, down the ways went the first fore and after, and an
enthusiast cried, thus giving forever after the name to that type of
craft, "There she scoons." From the time that vessel slid into the
water at Gloucester, for fifty years the farthest reach in the progress
of the fore-and-aft craft toward carrying the coastwise commerce of
our country had been a vessel which, at the utmost, carried perhaps
two hundred and fifty tons. There were very few three masted
schooners on the coast the day he entered the galley of his first
vessel. Under his guidance, however, and directed by his courage,
mast after mast was added, each the seamen said "to be the last."
But he said each time, " One more stick." And one more it has been
until now we see the seven-master under her 14,000 feet of canvas,
instead of the paltry 500 feet spread by the largest schooner on the
coast when, in 1867, young Crowley began life on the sea. The
development of the coastwise trade, its success, as competitor with
the railroads in carrying coal from the ports nearest the mines to
the seaboard of New England, has been accomplished through the
wise and far-seeing guidance of this man.
Captain Crowley has been twice married: first, October 28, 1879,
second, September 8, 1902. Of the four children born to him, a son
and daughter are now living. The son is in college at Dartmouth
and the daughter at home.
He is in religious faith a Baptist, and while not being active
politically, has always voted the Republican ticket. Fraternally,
he is a Mason.
He is now, at the age of fifty-one, treasurer, secretary, director
and member of the executive committee of the Coastwise Transportation
Company, director of the Eastern Fishing Company, general
manager of all vessels owned by the Coastwise Transportation Company.
This company owns many vessels that up and down our
coast set on their six and seven masts their monstrous spread of
canvas, and all because of the genius of John Gifford Crowley, the
boy who at eleven, friendless and unaided, stepped into the galley
Captain Crowley's words of advice to young men are to be "industrious,
honest and upright in all their dealings."
[Source: Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading Men in the State,
editor-in-chief, Samuel Atkins, Eliot, A.M., D.D., Massachusetts Biographical Society, Boston: 1906, Volume I, no page nos.]
The Hon. Nathaniel Morton Davis was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the 3d of March, 1785. The distinguished
family to which he belonged was not, in the male line, of New England ancestry. His father, the
Hon. William Davis, an intelligent and successful merchant, was born in Plymouth in 1758, and died there in
1826. His grandfather, Thomas Davis, was born in Albany, New York, in 1722, and, after passing a portion of
his boyhood in Edenton, North Carolina, came to Plymouth on board of a vessel, while yet a youth, as early as the
year 1742, and died there in 1785, leaving a competent estate gained in navigation and in mercantile pursuits.
The father of Thomas Davis is believed to have been born in England, and to have married Miss Catherine
Wendell, of Albany, removing thence to North Carolina. Thomas Davis, the grandfather of the subject of this
notice, married, in 1753, Mercy Hedge, of Plymouth, whose ancestry is traced to Governor Bradford, Elder
Brewster, and others of the earliest Pilgrims. Their children were: Sarah, born in 1754, died in 1821; Thomas,
born in 1756, died in 1805; William, born in 1758, died in 1826; John, born in 1759, died in 1847; Samuel, born
in 1765, died in 1829; Isaac P., born in 1771, died in 1855; Wendell, born in 1776, died in 1830.
Of the brothers, one who knew them well has said: — "There were six brothers in the family, all of whom held
offices of public trust under the State and United States governments, with the exception of one only. They have all passed
away, and their memory is held in high regard and honor; particularly the late Thomas Davis, a former Treasurer of this
Commonwealth, and the late Judge Davis, so well known as the learned and upright Judge of the United States District
"William, another of the brothers, was extensively engaged, in his native town of Plymouth, in mercantile pursuits, and was
much regarded for his general knowledge, intelligence, and probity. He was frequently chosen a representative in the
State Legislature. Samuel, another of the brothers, was a man of retiring habits and a most modest demeanor, very curious in
antiquarian and genealogical research, and dealt largely in the chronicles of former times. It was always perfectly safe to
quote him in matters of fact. Wendell, the youngest brother, a graduate of Cambridge, became a member of the Senate of this
State at a time when political excitement ran very high. He was esteemed a ready and sharp debater, and distinguished himself
by his apt rejoinders to his opponents. He afterwards held the office of Sheriff of the County of Barnstable."
The Hon. William Davis, mentioned in the above citation, one of the children of Thomas Davis, and the father of
Nathaniel Morton Davis, married Rebecca Morton, daughter of Nathaniel Morton, a great-grandson of Ephraim
Morton, who was brother of Nathaniel Morton, the well‐known author of the "New England Memorial," and
Secretary of the Colony. Secretary Morton was also a direct ancestor of the subject of this sketch, through his
eldest daughter, Remember. Indeed, Mr. Nathaniel Morton Davis reckoned among his ancestors no less than six
of the name of Nathaniel,— so great was the respect entertained by the posterity of the Secretary for his name
and fame. Mr. Davis was descended from Governor Bradford by the seventh generation; and by the sixth generation
from Thomas Clark, who came in the "Ann" in 1623, and who has been supposed to have been the mate
of the "Mayflower."
Mr. Davis was prepared for college by the Rev. Zedekiah Sanger, D.D., of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, entering
Harvard University in 1800, where he graduated in regular course in 1804. He ranked high in a large class
containing scholars of marked ability. He studied law with Theophilus Parsons,—then an eminent counsellor
in Boston, —was admitted to practice, and settled in his native town. His father died soon afterwards, leaving
him a competent estate, —indeed, what in that day was regarded as a large property; and he never pursued the
practice of the law to any extent after that event.
"Connected as he was with so many of the Pilgrims, and living on the spot consecrated by their remains, he
was early led to turn his attention to their history, with which he became familiarly acquainted. His taste for
these pursuits was much encouraged by his intercourse with his uncles, Samuel Davis and Judge Davis, well
known for their antiquarian knowledge and researches. He imbibed much of Samuel Davis's interest in the local
history of Plymouth, and there was no one probably so well versed in this matter as he was. His acquaintance
with Old Colony genealogy was also very accurate and extensive."
His style of writing was clear and attractive. He was frequently called upon to deliver orations and addresses
on public occasions, and always sustained himself with credit. He delivered the address of welcome at Braintree
in September, 1842, upon the reception by his constituents of John Quincy Adams on his return from
Congress. It was spoken of at the time as unusually able and felicitous. These occasional productions of his pen
have never, it is believed, been published in a permanent form. His excellent judgment, his thorough knowledge
of men, his brilliant colloquial gifts, made him an agreeable companion and a welcome guest among a most cultivated
and intellectual society. He had a large circle of relatives and acquaintances who shared his hospitality,
which was dispensed with liberality and with the graces which characterized the gentleman of the old school.
"His fine powers of mind, "says Judge Mitchell, "and the respect and confidence which his integrity inspired,
would have raised him to eminence in his profession or in public life, had necessity compelled him to exertion. But
he was not ambitious of professional or political distinction. He lived, therefore, the quiet and retired life of a
country gentleman. He discharged with great credit such trusts and public duties as were from time to time
imposed upon him. He was Chief Justice of the old Court of Sessions, a member of each branch of the Legislature,
and for several years one of the Executive Council. He was President of the Plymouth Bank, of the Plymouth
County Agricultural Society, and of the Pilgrim Society at Plymouth."
Mr. Davis was a kind, indulgent, and affectionate husband and father, very domestic in his habits, and devoted
to his family. He was conservative in politics, belonging to the Federal party while it existed, and afterwards to
the Whig party. In religious belief he was a Unitarian, and a constant attendant upon, and supporter of, religious
He married Harriet, the daughter of Judge Nahum Mitchell, of East Bridgewater. She died a few years only
before her husband. They had children, all of whom survived them. They were Abby Mitchell, William, and
Elizabeth Bliss. His sister, Betsy Davis, became by a second marriage the wife of the Hon. George Bancroft.
Mr. Davis was elected a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 30th July, 1840, and of the New England
Historic Genealogical Society on the 3d of February, 1848. He died suddenly at the United States Hotel in
Boston, 29th July, 1848, of inflammatory sore throat, while engaged in the settlement of the estate of his
uncle, Judge John Davis, of whose will he was the executor.
[Source: Memorial Biographies of The New England Historic Genealogical Society, Volume I, 1845-1852,
Published by the Society, Boston, 1880, pp. 141-145]
DEXTER, John Lloyd, wholesale flour dealer; born, Mattapoisett, Mass., Apr. 4, 1859; son of Moores R. and Mary A. (Purington)
Dexter; educated in public schools of Massachusetts; married, Boston, July 20, 1887, Emma Scroggs. Began active career with
whaling merchant, at New Bedford, Mass., 1875; came to Detroit, 1882 and was bookkeeper and salesman for the Union Flour Mills
Co., of Detroit, until 1886; has been operating in his own name as wholesale dealer in flour, salt, etc., since April, 1886.
Member Detroit Board of Commerce, Detroit Flour Men's Association (ex-president). Republican. Episcopalian. President Detroit
Newsboys' Association; vice president National Newsboys' Association. Mason. Club: Detroit Boat (commodore, 1904-06).
Recreation: Yachting. Office: 27-29 Atwater St. Residence: 31 Edmund Place.
[Source: The Book of Detroiters. Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis Copyright 1908; CW, Sub by FoFG]
DIAZ, Mrs. Abby Morton, industrial reformer, born in Plymouth, Mass., in 1821. She is descended from George Morton, one of the
Plymouth Pilgrims. Her father, Ichabod Morton, was a prominent anti-slavery worker. Her early reccollections are associated
with anti-slavery meetings, and her first public work was as the secretary of a juvenile anti-slavery society, to whose funds
each member aimed to contribute twenty-five cents weekly, a large sum in those days of scanty pence and simple living. To raise
half her contribution she went without butter and knit garters to earn the other twelve. Educated in the public schools, she
kept her influence at work, using for her home-made copy-books sheets of paper with the figure of a kneeling slave upon them.
Among the men to whose utterances Abby Morton listened were Garrison and Horace Mann. She early began to put her thoughts on
paper. While aiding in the work of her home, she found time to write prose and verse. She was the only daughter, and her five
brothers made plenty of work for her. When the “community” ideas were started, her father seized upon them as
promising realization of his hope for the practical recognition of the brotherhood of the race, and joined the celebrated
Brook Farm Community, building a house and moving there with his family. A few weeks convinced him of the failure of the
scheme, and he returned to Plymouth and resumed his business. Mrs. Diaz' married life was very brief, and she was left with two
little sons to care for. When the boys were small, she cut and made their garments, taught a juvenile singing school, private
and public schools, and was for one summer housekeeper at a summer resort on an island near Plymouth, where she did all the
bread and cake making, because her cook was unsatisfactory. At one time she “put out” work for a large clothing
house and in visiting the “lofts” where this was done she received harsh proofs of the poorly paid work of skillful
women, who had no other recourse. In 1861 Mrs. Diaz sent a story to the “Atlantic Monthly,” under an assumed name,
and was delighted with her success when it was accepted and she received a check for forty dollars for it. From that time she
took up her life work, to reach and help her fellows through her pen. Her stories for children, originally published in
“Young Folks” and other magazines, have a wide fame, and series after series, beginning with “William Henry's
Letters to His Grandmother,” “Pink and Blue,” “The Little Country Girl,” “Farmer Hill's
Diary,” “The Schoolmaster's Story” and “Some Account of the Early Life of a Bachelor,” were full
of the subtle yet simple humor that imbues all Mrs. Diaz's writings. When Rev. Edward Eggleston became editor of “Hearth
and Home,” he was advised by William Dean Howells to write to Mrs. Diaz, and he did so, the correspondence resulting in
the series of papers upon the household life of women which were feigned to have been found in “The Schoolmaster's
Trunk.” These and others are included in two volumes, “The Bybury Book” and “Domestic Problems.”
Her letters and articles on household and domestic difficulties caused her to be looked upon as one speaking with authority,
and she was invited to lecture upon those questions. She read a paper in the Woman's Congress held in Philadelphia in 1876. The
paper was entitled “The Development of Character in Schools,” since published in the “Arena.” She
helped to organize the present Woman's Educational and Industrial Union of Boston. An important work of that association has
been the impetus given to the legal protection of helpless women and girls from employers and advertisers who refuse to pay
honestly earned wages, or by seductive printed promises wile from their victims money and hours of work, for which they elude
payment by trickery. Mrs. Diaz is a profound believer in the “Science of the Higher Life,” otherwise known as
“Christian Science,” and has tested its efficiency in healing and its power for spiritual good, and has written
several pamphlets on the subject. Her latest work has been courses of talks on the questions of the day, including the ethics
of nationalism, Christian socialism, progressive morality, life, or what is it to live? character work in homes and schools,
human nature, competition, and another pamphlet of hers containing a series of papers on arbitration, first published in the
“Independent.” Mrs. Diaz now makes her home in Belmont, Mass., with her oldest son. She has been unanimously
re-elected president of the educational and industrial association every year since its organization.
[Source: American Women, Fifteen Hundred Biographies, A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of the Lives and
Achievements of American Women During the Ninteenth Century, edited by Frances E. Willard and Mary A.
Livermore, Mast, Crowell & Kirkpatrick, 1897, Volume 1, Page 240-241]
DANIEL DORCHESTER, clergyman, was born in Duxbury,
Massachusetts, March 11, 1827, and died in West Roxbury,
Massachusetts, March 13, 1907.
His father, Daniel Dorchester (January 23, 1790 to August 6,
1854), was the son of Daniel (August 3, 1763 to 1820) and Sarah
(Keeney) Dorchester. He was a Methodist clergyman of marked
character and influence.
His mother, Mary (Otis) Dorchester, was a lineal descendant
through her mother, Mary Chester, of Elder William Brewster of
John Dorchester, an ancestor, was prior of a monastery in England
in 1534. Anthony Dorchester immigrated to this country
and settled in Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1630 and removed to
Windsor, Connecticut, in 1634. Twenty-seven ancestors were
soldiers in the Revolutionary War, serving at Concord, Lexington
and Valley Forge, Seven of these bore the name Dorchester, ten
that of Otis, and ten that of Chester, the family of his maternal
grandmother. His ancestors were also conspicuous in civic and
educational affairs, and won renown in law, medicine and other
He is the third of six Daniel Dorchesters, five of whom are or
have been in the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church, four
of whom have attained distinction in that ministry.
Young Dorchester had many difficulties in acquiring an education.
He fitted for college at Norwich (Connecticut) Academy,
and entered Wesleyan University, Middleton, Connecticut, in 1848.
Because of ill health he left during his Junior year. But the University
has since conferred upon him the degree of A.M. in 1856,
and D.D. in 1874.
He commenced his life-work as pastor in Somers, Connecticut,
in 1847, and joined, that year, the New England Southern Conference
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He subsequently became
pastor of six other Connecticut churches. In 1858 he joined the
New England Conference. He held pastorates in Charlton, Worcester,
Lowell, Charlestown, Salem, Chelsea, Natick, Springfield and
Roslindale. He also served three full terms as presiding elder of
Worcester District, 18G5-69; Lynn District, 1874-78, and North
Boston District, 1882-86.
In 1854, when twenty-eight years of age, he was elected to the
Connecticut State Senate, and served on the State Commission of
Idiocy. He served also as a member of the Massachusetts House
of Representatives in 1883. His latest public office was United
States Superintendent of Indian schools.
He was for many years president of the National Temperance
League. He wrote a great deal upon Temperance reform and prohibition.
He lectured extensively, and delivered many public
addresses upon the subject. He wrote a notable work, ''The Liquor
Problem in All Ages." He was also the author of "Christianity in
the United States"; "The Latest Drink Sophistries vs. Total Abstinence";
"The Why of Methodism"; "The Problem of Religious
Progress"; "The Concessions of Liberalists to Orthodoxy"; "A
Half Century of My Ministry," etc. He was also a frequent contributor
to magazines, and the religious press, especially the "Methodist
Review," "Zion's Herald" and the "Christian Advocate."
He was not only renowned in his own denomination throughout
the country, but had large influence among representative men of
other faiths and among prominent citizens generally. He was twice a
delegate to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
and in 1884 received sixty votes for the office of Bishop, although
refusing to take any measures to advance his own candidacy.
April 12, 1850, he married Mary, daughter of Henry and Matilda
Davis, of Dudley, Massachusetts. Their children were Daniel, who
entered the ministry of the M. E. Church in 1877, was thirteen years
professor in Boston University and is now pastor of Christ Church,
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Liverius Hull, for three years pastor of
Lindell Ave. Church, St. Louis, Missouri, now pastor of Elm Park
Church, Scranton, Pennsylvania; Chester Otis, of the National
Shawmut Bank, Boston; Ernest Dean, of Texas, and Mrs. Orrin
L. Woods, of West Roxbury. Two others were early translated.
October 12, 1875, he was again married to Merial A. Whipple,
of North Charlestown, New Hampshire, who did not survive him.
[Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading
Men in the State, Volume 2, (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Biographical Society, 1909), pp. 132-135]
Edward Loring Dyer of South Abington, Massachusetts, the father of Ebenezer A. Dyer, was a merchant and
farmer, a man of very positive convictions, fond of a practical joke, and possessed the happy faculty of
bringing out the humorous side of commonplace events in life. He served in the Civil War as a member of
Company C, 38th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers.
He was born May 16, 1828, and died February 12, 1864. He married Lavinia Crosby, daughter of Deacon Seth
and Eliza (Reed) Gannett, who was born June 28, 1831, and died October 3, 1899. His father was Christopher
Dyer, born October 15, 1786; died September 24, 1868, and his mother was Betsy (Porter) Dyer, born
October 17, 1792; died May 30, 1878. Mrs. Edward L. Dyer's father was born February 10, 1793, and died
May 10, 1883. Her mother was born August 2, 1795, and died October 27, 1873.
Ebenezer Alden Dyer was born in South Abington July 17, 1857. He was well endowed with Pilgrim blood,
being of the eighth generation from Perigrine White, who was born on the Mayflower in Cape Cod harbor,
and of the ninth generation from Francis Cook who came on the same vessel in 1620.
The Dyer immigrant was William of Weymouth, his son Christopher being the first white child born in the
old town of Abington, in 1701. This Christopher Dyer hauled iron ore from Carver to the foundry in the
southerly part of old Abington, where formerly church bells were made, to be cast into cannon and balls,
during the Revolutionary War. A change from call to worship to manufacture of bristling cannon, was a
remarkable incident even in "the times which tried men's souls." Christopher Jr. became a
lieutenant in the patriot army, and a Christopher Jr., 2nd, also enlisted as a soldier.
Ebenezer became aware at an early age that he had his own way to make in the world, and was constant
in his attendance at school until he was fourteen years of age.
He was particularly fond of outdoor life, the fields and the woods, and of books of adventure and travel.
He read the Bible through in six
months. In his more youthful days he read with delight the Oliver Optic tales, then
"Barnaby Rudge," "David Copperfield" and "Ivanhoe."
He still treasures the unbound numbers of the Youth's Companion which he read before leaving home.
While preparing for a college course he read Shakespeare's complete works and much of Poe's and Burns'
poetry. He attended Phillip's Academy, Andover, from 1875 to the time of his graduation in its centennial
year, 1878, and he was elected president and toast-master of his class. He entered Amherst College with
the class '82, remaining one year. He founded the class scholarship of the class of 1878, which at the
present time is available for students, and then entered Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York
where he graduated March 15, 1882, with a degree of M.D.
Dr. Dyer almost immediately began practice at Northampton, Massachusetts, where he remained one year,
and then decided to take up country practice. He established himself in the neighboring town of
Southampton, making it his home for six years, removing to Whitman, Massachusetts, in 1889. He loved his
most excellent mother who had strongly influenced him while in his youthful years he was laying the
foundations of his manhood. She and other relatives had hoped that he would follow the family traditions
and practice and become a minister, but he was given his own choice in the matter of a profession. As
it appeared to him, there was much truth in the words of that writer who said, "The physician of
today is the unordained minister of the Gospel. It is his mission to uplift humanity and restore the
crippled hands to the sanctity of usefulness." Of his mother he says, "Whatever I am or ever
hope to be, I owe everything to my mother. Deprived of a father's care and watchfulness, to a mother's
care and influence, I am what I am."
Doctor Dyer was chairman of the Southampton school committee for three years, and has served upon the
republican town committee of Whitman five years, being chairman twice. He served two years (1906-7) in
the Massachusetts legislature, being House chairman of the committee on Public Charitable Institutions,
and was monitor of the House, and a member of the Public Lighting committee. He was instrumental in
causing fire extinguishers to be placed on all passenger cars in use in the State, for aid in preventing
disaster in railroad wrecks. He spent 1898 to 1902 prospecting in Alaska.
He is much interested in Masonry, being a member of Puritan Lodge of Whitman; Royal Arch chapter of
Abington; Knights Templar, Old Colony Commandery, Abington; Shriner, Aleppo Temple, Boston; Knight of
Constantine and Alabama, and Worshipful Masters Association of the 24th Masonic district, of which he
is past president. He is also Past Master of Puritan Lodge, and Past District Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge of Masons of Massachusetts. The doctor is also a member of Geo. A. Custer Camp No. 11, Sons of
Veterans, Whitman; Phillips Andover Alumni Association; Phi Upsilon Fraternity; Amherst; Gamma Chapter
of ? Massachusetts Medical Society; American Medical Association; Hatherly Medical Club; Republican Club
of Massachusetts; Plymouth County Club; Bridgewater Historical Society, and Board of Trade.
He is a Republican in politics, and says he "can never change so long as party demands
allegiance." He is a Congregationalist in his religious relations. He believes in exercise in the
open air, is a great lover of nature and enjoys with boyish pleasure, hunting, fishing, and working.
Doctor Dyer has never married. To the young Americans who are soon to rule this great country, this is
the doctor's prescription:
"A thorough grounding in the fundamentals in our public schools as they used to be taught.
"Familiarity with nature and the attainment of sound health.
"The broadening influence of preparatory and college life.
"Respect and reverence for the simple honesty and faith of parents and grandparents.
"The avoidance of superficialities and the mastery of details.
"A stifling of the desire to read the horrible details of the murders with which our daily papers
"Respect for law and the constituted order of things, a love of home and country and contentment
with the success or otherwise, of honest effort."
[Source: Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading Men in
the State, Volume VI, by Rev. Paul Revere Frothingham, Massachusetts Biographical Society, Boston,
Historic Trans-Atlantic Two-Way Broadcast
First Radio Broadcast
A Canadian born engineer by the name of Reginald Aubrey Fessenden conducted the first two-way trans-Atlantic radio broadcast in 1906 between his Brant Rock Station and Scotland. Later that year on Christmas Eve, in the Brant Rock section of Marshfield, on property owned by Mrs. Olive Blackman, radio broadcast history was made. Fessenden produced a radio broadcast which included music and the religious hymn “Silent Night” which was heard by ships as far away as the Caribbean. The 420 foot radio tower known as the “Fessenden Tower” was dismantled in 1917. However, the base on which it stood remains today along with a plaque memorializing the event. Fessenden had previously worked for the National Weather Bureau and as chief chemist for Thomas Edison. After moving to New London, Connecticut, he had a successful career in underwater sound. Fessenden’s achievement in 1906 continues to be recognized by the Town of Marshfield, Plymouth County and other national organizations. Compliments of Register of Deeds John R. Buckley, Jr. and Robin L. McGonagle [Marshfield 1896 - Book 712 Page 272] From the “Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Notable Land Records Collection”
John Wilkes Hammond, son of John Wilkes and Maria Louisa (Southworth) Hammond, was born in Mattapoisett (then Rochester), December 16, 1837, and graduated at Tufts in 1861. He afterwards taught school in Tisbury, Stoughton, Wakefield and Melrose, serving: during an interval nine months in the 3d Massachusetts Regiment. He studied law at the Harvard Law School and in the office of Sweetser & Gardner in Boston, and was admitted to the Middlesex bar in March, 1861. He settled in Cambridge, which place tie represented in the General Court in 1872-3, was City Solicitor three years and in 1886 was appointed to the bench of the Superior Court. In 1898 he was promoted to the Supreme Judicial Court and is now on the bench. He married in Taunton, August 15, 1866, Clara Ellen, daughter of Benjamin F. and Clara (Foster) Tweed. [Source: History of the Judiciary of Massachusetts: By William Thomas Davis; Publ. 1900; Tr. by Andrea Stawski Pack.]
The subject of this memoir was proud of his descent from the
Pilgrims. In tracing his ancestry, he found that in his veins
flowed the blood of George Soule, Francis Cook, Stephen Hopkins,
George Morton, and Moses Simmons, and yet he was not
proud as men are usually proud of their descent. It was his
glory, that among his ancestors, from those of European origin
down to himself, exceeding twenty of separate and distinct
blood in both the paternal and maternal lines, not one was ever
convicted of a public offence, or even charged with crime, not
one died a violent or accidental death. All had been members
of some religious denomination, and all of the Puritan faith,
except himself. All, with the exception of himself, had been
practical agriculturists. Not one, except Mr. Hayward, had
ever crossed the Atlantic, followed the sea, or advanced upon
the ocean beyond our own coast. He was the only one who
was educated to a profession, either physician, clergyman, or
He was descended from Thomas Hayward, one of the original
proprietors of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, who immigrated to
this country from England about 1634, and who died in 1681.
His father was Elijah Hayward, who was born in Bridgewater
in 1741. A portion of his life was passed in the Revolutionary
War under Washington. His son speaks of him as a man of
"vigorous intellect, of an unusual reasoning faculty, prompt and
active, with a cheerful disposition and an abiding sense of truth
and honesty which no consideration could change or dissipate."
He married the daughter of Ebenezer Thompson, whose ancestors
came from England in the same ship with his, and at the
Elijah Hayward, eldest son of the above, and the subject of
our sketch, was born in Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts,
November 17, 1786, and died at McConnellsville, Morgan
County, Ohio, September 22, 1864. It was a source of pride
to him, that he was born at the period between the time of the
session of the Continental Congress and the adoption of the
Constitution, when civil liberty had been born, taken root, and
was of luxurious growth. As Plato thanked Heaven that he was
born in the same age with Socrates, so Judge Hayward thanked
God that he was born in the same age with Washington.
He attended the village school of those days, receiving no advantages
except those in common with other children. It was
his ill luck in early life to break his leg while wrestling with one
of his schoolmates, and although it was considered a great misfortune
at the time, it unquestionably gave a new direction to
the future movements of his life. In the summer of 1801 he
entered the Bridgewater Academy, then under the preceptorship
of Rev. Zedekiah Sanger, where he was taught English grammar
and the elements of arithmetic. In three months his school-
days were over, and he entered as a boy the store of Daniel
Howard, Esq., of West Bridgewater, and subsequently that of
James Spooner of Plymouth.
In 1803 he went to Hanover to learn the art of ship-building,
where he became in due time (1807) a partner in a firm with
David Kingman, whose daughter Eliza he led to the altar, February
19, 1809. In 1811 the firm having built a ship of five
hundred tons at Belfast, and named her in honor of that town,
Mr. Hayward on the 28th of January of the following year, took
passage in her for Cork, but not succeeding in selling her cargo in
that port, went to Liverpool and disposed of it, thence to London,
where he purposed to remain until the return of his ship from
another voyage. It was at this time, writes Ellis Ames, Esq., in
vol. xxi., p. 86, of the "New-England Historical and Genealogical
Register," that on May 11, 1812, he was "in the House of
Commons at the very moment when Bellingham shot the Right
Honorable Spencer Percival, then prime minister of England, in
one of the lobbies of the house." A general embargo having
been laid on the shipping in American ports, preparatory to the
war with Great Britain, the expected ship was not permitted to
leave the harbor of Savannah. In the early part of May he received
intelligence of the death of his partner, and on the 2d
of June sailed for home.
On his return from England Mr. Hayward determined to fulfil
the long cherished desire of his heart. A familiarity in early
youth with many of the scenes of the Revolution, described by
those who had been engaged in that conflict, and participated
in its glorious triumphs, had awakened in his mind a curiosity to
know something of that civil and political liberty for which such
deeds of thrilling interest had been performed. The questions
naturally suggested to his mind were, What are the rights of the
nation, and the prerogatives of the people? and, How is the glorious
scheme which our fathers devised, and for which they were
willing to die, to be preserved, secured, and maintained? The
answer to these questions could only be obtained by a thorough
knowledge of law. This, therefore, was hereafter to be the
study of his life, though not with the intention at that time of
practising it. He consulted Honorable Theophilus Parsons, then
Chief Justice of Massachusetts, as to the proper course of reading,
and was furnished by him with a long catalogue of books,
mostly calculated, such being the trend of his mind, to make a
scientific rather than a business lawyer. Mr. Hayward commenced
the study of law in earnest, and entered the office of
John Winslow, Esq., of Hanover, a counsellor of high repute,
and continued for some three years. In the mean time, however,
he was obliged to go to London again to attend to a lawsuit,
between the surviving partners of his father-in-law David
Kingman, and John Inglis and others. This affair brought him
into intimate and friendly relations with many prominent members
of the English bar, such as Joseph Chitty, Esq.; Mr. Scarlett,
afterwards Chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer; Mr. Littledale,
afterwards one of the judges of the Court of the King's
Bench; and Mr, Fell, an author on mercantile guarantees. When
not engaged in continuing his studies at the Inns of Court, he
often wandered into Parliament, and heard and saw all the
prominent men of that day. He had a conversation with Lord
Brougham, and dined with the Duke of Clarence, afterward
On his return to America he continued his law studies in the
office of Honorable Nahum Mitchell of East Bridgewater, a gentleman
of extensive learning and matured judgment; and it was
probably at this time, that, under the influence of this distinguished
genealogist, he acquired the taste for antiquarian research
which was to be so distinguishing a feature in his subsequent
career, and which led his master to say in after years, that,
when he had exhausted all his means of research, he used to
send to Judge Hayward of Ohio, who scarcely ever failed to
solve the mystery.
Having studied law for four and a half years, Mr. Hayward, in
the autumn of 1819, removed to the State of Ohio and opened
an office in the city of Cincinnati, forming a partnership with
David Wade, Esq., which continued eight years. In 1830 he
was appointed by a joint ballot of the General Assembly, Judge
of the Supreme Court of the State, and held the court at nisi
prius in forty-eight counties. In October of the same year he
received from President Jackson the appointment of Commissioner
of the General Land Office, which he held until 1835, when
he resigned on account of the death of his wife the year previous,
and returned to Ohio, where he again took up the practice
of the law.
Judge Haward was well versed in the history of the United
States, as well as that of ancient times. He was conversant
with the landed titles of each State, from that of Plymouth
Colony to the Spanish titles of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri.
He was one of the most indefatigable genealogists in
the country, and would spend weeks in copying the old and
faded records of Plymouth Colony and the towns of Massachusetts.
It is asserted that were the ancient records of births, marriages,
and deaths in many towns of Massachusetts lost or destroyed,
his records would make good the deficiency. He often
expressed the regret that the materials for genealogical information
which existed when he was a boy could not, at the time he
desired them, be found. They had perished, like other memorials
connected with human affairs, by the wasting progress of
time; but he collected all he could, arranged them in order, for
future reference, and was always willing to communicate the
information in his possession for the benefit of those who
desired to become acquainted with their worthy and honored
Judge Hayward was elected a corresponding member of the
Massachusetts Historical Society in 1854. He was also a member
of the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries of Copenhagen.
He was elected a corresponding member of the New-England
Historic Genealogical Society in 1852, and elected honorary vice-president
for Ohio in 1855. He was honored by being admitted
to its social alliance, and proud of the reputation it had acquired.
In 1852 Judge Haward was appointed Librarian of the State
of Ohio. He held this position for three years. His general
knowledge of bibliography, his familiarity with the reputation
and character of authors, his judicious selecting of standard
literature from the ephemeral productions of the day, and his
strict attention to his work, rendered his services of far more
value to the State than the compensation which the General
Assembly pleased to appropriate for that purpose. In 1855 he
received an appointment from the Supreme Court as commissioner
to examine the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company,
and a lengthy report was published by him on the result of his
Aside from his great acquisitions as an antiquarian and historian,
and his profound knowledge of jurisprudence, there was
no science, theoretical or practical, with which he was not more
or less acquainted. He was deeply read in theology and the
result of his researches led him far away from Puritanism. After
a continuance of thirty years in the creed of his ancestors, combined
with all the tender recollections of a faith received at the
knee of an affectionate and pious mother, and with the blood of
five successive generations of Puritans flowing in his veins, he
renounced the faith of his youth, and accepted that of the
Roman Catholic Church.
At the age of seventy-eight years, infirmities began to creep
upon him. His right arm was afflicted with a sudden contraction
of the muscles upon attempting to write, thus depriving
him of the pleasure of keeping up his extended correspondence.
In his Ohio home he was completely alone, having no blood connection
within five hundred miles. One wish of his later days
was, that he might return to Massachusetts to spend the remainder
of his life in his native town of Bridgewater, but it was
not so to be. He was fond of poetry, and spent his leisure hours
in reading Homer and Virgil, Shakespeare and Burns, whom he
esteemed above all others.
Judge Hayward was not ambitious to possess great wealth, or
to have his name placed high on the rolls of fame, but he had a
strong desire that in the character which should survive him,
might be found those good qualities of the mind which command
respect, and those virtues of the heart which inspire esteem, and
we believe that those who were acquainted with him will testify
that this wish of his heart has been fulfilled. His principal employment
during the last years of his hfe, was in making briefs
or law arguments, in cases to be decided by all the judges of the
Superior Court of Ohio, when sitting in banc. This work demanded
great accuracy of discrimination and a vigorous exercise
of the reasoning faculty, in the judicious application of
principles to the peculiar state of facts. In the preparation of
these papers, he showed the same diligence that had been the
characteristic feature of all his work in life, and he became distinguished
among the best legal authorities of his adopted State.
He left one son, Greorge Hayward, who was born at Hanover,
Massachusetts, July 14, 1817.
[Source: Memorial Biographies of the New England Historic Genealogical Society,
published by the society, Boston, 1905, Volume VI, 1864-1871, pp. 41-47]
HERVEY, JAS. K., retired merchant, Marion; born in Bridgewater, Plymouth Co., Mass., April 25, 1804;
lived there until 1818, when he moved to New Braintree, Worcester Co., Mass.; resided there until 1831,
then removed to Oakham, in the same county; lived there until 1851, then went to Boston, where he
remained three years; in 1854, came to Marion; engaged in mercantile pursuits many years. Married Mary
Woods June 30, 1831; she was born in New Braintree, Mass., Jan. 28, 1810; they have had six children;
two died in infancy; the living are Kate W., now the wife of Judge Hubbard, of Cedar Rapids; James F.
is at present a resident of Chicago; Frank G. and George W. Mr. and Mrs. Hervey are members of the
Congregational Church. [Source: The history of Linn County Iowa; Western Historical Company; 1878;
transcribed by Andaleen Whitney]
Harry Clough Howard was born April 23, 1877, in Brockton, Massachusetts. The father, George Howard, the
head of the firm of George Howard and Sons, is a well known and highly respected contractor of Brockton.
The family on both sides is of English descent with a straing of Welsh blood on the mother's side. While,
like the typical American, Mr. Howard placed small emphasis on names and legends of the past, yet naturally
he has a certain amount of pride in the English name of Howard and esteems no less the maternal line
reaching back to Robert Cushman, no prominent in the emigration of the Pilgrims to Holland and thence to
The father Harry C. Howard exerted a strong influence upon his son. He learned the bricklayers' trade
under his father, and later became a partner with him in the contracting business. He obtained his early
education in the schools of his native town and subsequently attended Bryant and Strattons' Business
College in Boston, from which he was graduated. His mother was a pronounced factor in his youthful
training, exerting a strong influence in the formation and cultivation of his moral character. Young
Howard was social and popular, was what is called a good mixer in society. He gained and held friends
readily and this trait had much to do with his early entry into political life. Mr. Howard is not
simply a amiable good fellow. He is a leader with the firmness and decision needed to carry his purposes
to fruition. While ready to serve his city officially he is not so drawn toward political preferment
that he is an indifferent business man. He holds the position of Treasurer of the George Howard and
In 1908 and 1909 he served his city as Alderman and in 1922 and 1912 as Mayor. These successful incursions
into political life were carried through with credit and gave promise of wider responsibilities. The
ambition to serve one's town in a civic capacity is a very honorable one and Mr. Howard's friends hope he is
only at the beginning of a life of public service.
Mr. Howard belongs to the Knights of Pythias and to the Commercial Club. He as been active and prominent in his
services in the Commercial Club. In politics he is a Republican and a good partisan. In his church
relations he is a Unitarian.
May 4, 1898, he was married to Alice, daughter of John and Alice Carver. They have one child.
Mr. Howard is fond of athletics and takes great pleasure in sailing a boat, when his varied duties will
permit him to indulge his yachting tastes.
In estimating the forces which have contributed to the building of his character and to his success, Mr.
Howard places first the good home in whih he was brought up—the patient, never wearying solicitude
and guiding influence of a good mother, the more silent, but no less potent power of a noble father. To
his school life and associates he gives a second, but bery important place. Contact with men in active
life has molded and directed in no mean degree. The attractions and repulsions of strong natures in the
busy round of life have proved a missor held up to nature. As a fourth factor in degree of control, he
places private study. The needs and demands of new and perplexing situations have spurred him to seek
the light and leading of books. Mr. Howard has not yet reached the meridian of life. Opportunity
seconded by the life power already gained, hold out inducement for his to make history which shall be
worthy of further record.
[Source: Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading Men in
the State, Volume VI, by Rev. Paul Revere Frothingham, Massachusetts Biographical Society, Boston,
GEORGE ELDON KEITH, shoe manufacturer, was born in
Brockton, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, February 8,
1850. His father, Franklin Keith, was a son of Zeba and
Betsey (Bailey) Keith and a descendant from Rev. James Keith,
who came from Aberdeen, Scotland, to Plymouth Colony, in 1644,
and located in Bridgewater, where he was ordained to the Presbyterian
ministry, when twenty years of age, and became the first
pastor of the Bridgewaters. He married Susannah, daughter of
Franklin Keith was a shoe manufacturer and selectman of
North Bridgewater, which became the city of Brockton. He married
Betsey, daughter of Paul and Sally (Cary) Bailey of Sidney,
George Eldon Keith was a healthy lad, always making something.
He worked in his father's shoeshop when not at school, and
assisted in the support of the family. His mother was a superior
woman and inculcated in his life the principles of right
living. Her influence largely dominated his moral and spiritual
life. He left the Brockton High School with the first class graduated,
when sixteen years of age, and having already learned the
trade of manufacturing shoes he naturally took up that occupation.
When twenty-four years old he had accumulated $1000, with
which he began business for himself in partnership with William
S. Green. In the first six months his sales amounted to $7000 and
the entire cutting was done by his own hands. In 1880 he sold
out his interest to Mr. Green and built a large factory on Perkins
Avenue, Campello, for his own occupancy. His sales now amount
to millions of dollars annually and he employs thousands in his extensive
That Mr. Keith has the interests and welfare of his employees
at heart is evidenced by his statement: "I believe most men of
affairs to-day are trying to look at their employees as men and
women worthy of consideration and that they have a real desire
to improve their condition both mentally and physically." The
remark he made at the dedication of the G. E. Keith Clubhouse
and Field on July 1, 1914, when this magnificent gift from Mr.
Keith and his partners was turned over to representatives of his
employees in commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the
day on which Mr. George E. Keith began the manufacture of
shoes. At this dedication there were present over 100 men who
had been in Mr. Keith's employ for over twenty-five years, some of
them for over thirty and thirty-five years. This fact speaks louder
than any words can of the cordial relationiship between Mr. Keith
and his employees.
About 1888 Mr. Keith commenced to export shoes to Australia.
In 1899 he established the first American shoestore in London,
England; in 1902 he also established the first in Paris, France;
the same year the first one in Brussels, Belgium. In 1910 he
started the first exclusive American shoestore in Buenos Aires, Argentine;
in 1912 the first one in St. Petersburg, Russia; in 1914
the first one in Shanghai, China, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He was married October 23, 1877, to Anna G., daughter of
William D. and Deborah (Chesman) Reed, and the two children
born of this marriage are Eldon Bradford and Harold Chesman.
Mr. Keith's second marriage was to Miss Elizabeth Archibald
of Sydney Mines, Cape Breton, on July 8, 1908. One child has
been born of this marriage, a daughter.
Mr. Keith is President and Director of the George E. Keith
Company of Brockton; President of the Brockton National Bank;
Director of the Old Colony Trust Company of Boston ; Director of
the United Shoe Machinery Company; Vice-President of the New
England Shoe Leather Association; Director of the New England
Casualty Company ; and President of the Katahdin Pulp and Paper
Co., Lincoln, Maine.
He has always been a Republican in politics. He declined to
accept the candidacy for Mayor of Brockton, but did serve as Alderman
of Ward Four the first year that Brockton was a city. He was
the first President of the Young Men 's Christian Association of
Brockton and his energy and hard work helped largely in placing it
on a firm financial basis. His church affiliation is with the South
Congregational Church of Brockton. He has enjoyed all kinds of
outdoor sports from his youth up and has kept in touch with young
men even as he advanced in life. His favorite exercise is golf.
Mr. Keith wrote for the readers of this work these words which
he believes will assist young people to attain true success in life:
"Hard work and close attention to business for nearly forty years
has brought better success than I ever expected ; correct living and
faith in God have aided me. I would advise young men to spend
less than they earn, to seek Divine help to live, and with hard work
and honesty I believe they may be sure of success."
[Source: Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading Men in
the State, Volume 7, (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Biographical Society, Massachusetts, 1916, pp. 245-246]
PRESTON BOND KEITH, manufacturer and bank president,
was born in North Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts,
October 18, 1847. His father, Charles Perkins
Keith, son of Charles S. and Mahitable Perkins Keith, and a descendant
from the Rev. James Keith, who came from Aberdeen,
Scotland, to Plymouth, in 1644, and settled in Bridgewater. His
mother, Mary Keith Williams, was a daughter of Josiah and Sylvia
(Keith) Williams of West Bridgewater.
Preston Bond Keith was brought up in the country and grew up
a strong and healthy boy fond of play. He was compelled to form
habits of industry, essential to every successful life, by working in
his father's shop when not attending the district and high school,
and he early displayed a greater fondness for manual labor than for
school instruction. His mother largely influenced his moral and
spiritual life and grounded him in the evangelical faith. He began
independent life as a clerk in a Boston boot and shoe store on Pearl
Street in 1866 and he married December 8, 1869, Eldora Louise,
daughter of Josiah W. and Margaret (Dunlap) Kingman, of Campello,
and the one child born of this marriage was living in 1905.
They made their home in Campello village, Plymouth County, and he
has been a justice of the peace, city alderman of Brockton, 1883 and
1884, a boot and shoe manufacturer there from 1871, president of
the Home National Bank of Brockton from 1894, a director of the
Brockton Savings Bank, and a member of the Commercial Club
Mr. Keith is a Republican in politics and a member of the South
Congregational Church. His recreation is in horseback riding and
playing golf. To young men he commends the principles that made
Joseph's life in Egypt a success as applicable to-day: "Faith in God
and a determined purpose to be faithful and earnest in the discharge
of every duty will remain the cardinal principles. Willingness to
apply them is where the rub comes."
[Source: Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading Men in the State, editor-in-chief,
Samuel Atkins, Eliot, A.M., D.D., Massachusetts Biographical Society, Boston: 1906, Volume I, no page nos.]
With an inheritance of energy, uprightness and enterprise,
which the descendants of the Pilgrims often possess,
Theophilus King has won for himself a position which
reflects credit upon his name and State. He has strongly maintained
the principles of his New England parentage, and his success
in the business and industrial world illustrates the strength of
his determination. He is a leading manufacturer and a prominent
financier of Boston, Massachusetts. He ventured upon his business
career at a very early age, unassisted by friends or influence. His
early years were passed in Rochester, Plymouth County, Massachusetts,
where he was born on December 14, 1844. From his father,
whose name he bears, he acquired many characteristics of industry
and business ability. Both his mother and father, by precept and
example, impressed upon their son the importance of truth and virtue
as a foundation for all undertakings. His mother was of the
eighth generation in descent from John Howland, who landed with
the Pilgrims from the Mayflower at Plymouth, and was the last survivor
in Plymouth of the little band. His marriage to Elizabeth
Fillary, who was also one who braved the voyage in the Mayflower,
was the first celebration of the kind among the Pilgrims after the
founding of their homes in New England. Their family was a large
one, which has continued to be the case through many succeeding
generations, thus constituting a great number of descendants.
During Mr. King's boyhood his father owned the mill in the village
where he lived and also acted as town clerk, postmaster and fire
insurance agent. His son, being quick and observing, soon obtained
an insight into many business methods. He took a course in the
public school and also in the academy. At the age of fifteen, by his
thrift and industry, he had bought and paid for, with the money he
had earned himself, a sixty-fourth part of a profitable whaler known
as the Admiral Blake. At the end of the year, although he had
realized a satisfactory gain on his investment, he sold his interest,
making a good profit and removed to Boston, to face the world, and
establish a name for himself amongst men. He was then but sixteen
years of age, and without the assistance of friends or relatives
or any business acquaintance he boldly made his start. Feeling
that confidence in himself that cannot fail, he approached Johnson
and Thompson for the position of clerk in the leather establishment.
His assurance and earnestness were his great recommendations,
and he obtained the position which he sought. He soon proved his
ability, and through his willingness and close application to every
detail he was soon given greater responsibilities and became an
important factor in the business. After eight years with this firm,
he formed a partnership with Charles B. Bryant, and began the manufacture
of leather. The new firm was on the high road to success
and prosperity when the great fire in 1872 swept the city of Boston
and turned the tide of the affairs of so many. Not only was this disaster
distressing to the young firm, but soon a flood at Clinton,
Massachusetts, entirely devastated the factories and completely
destroyed the business. Mr. King and his partner, Mr. Bryant, settled
with their creditors, paying all they were able, which was seventy
cents on the dollar, and six years thereafter voluntarily paid the balance,
with 6 per cent, interest. Nothing daunted, Mr. King turned
his attention to various other manufacturing interests and industries,
which rapidly brought prosperity. His every effort was crowned
with success and has ascended to the prominence his position gives
him in the financial world. One of his strongest characteristics has
been his power and ability to settle business difficulties, and adjust
the personal differences of others, which has led to his close association
with such an extended variety of business widely spread over
this country and in Canada, as appears in the following active business
connections. He is president of the following: National
Granite Bank of Quincy, Massachusetts; Eureka Silk Manufacturing
Company; Tide Water Coal and Coke Company; Climax Manufacturing
Company; and the Quincy Quarries Company. He is also vice president
and director of the Indiana Manufacturing Company; and
was for many years vice-president of the National Bank of Redemption
of Boston. Mr. King is also treasurer and director in the
following corporations: Abington Mills (cotton); Atlantic Mills,
Providence, Rhode Island; Eastern Pocahontas Coal Company; King
Coal Company; Summit Thread Company, and director in the
International Reece Button Hole Machine Company; Reece Folding Machine
Company; Lawrence Duck Company; Wm. L. Barrell Company
(Commission Merchants) Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Company;
the Dallas Cotton Mills, and the Canadian Colored Cotton Mills Company,
limited, of Canada, a corporation including six cotton-mills,
which he was largely instrumental in bringing together.
He is a member of the Reform Club, of New York City, the
Cachato Club, of Braintree, Massachusetts, and other desirable
On December 31, 1873, Mr. King was married to Miss Helen L.
Baxter, of Quincy, Massachusetts. Their two children are Delcevare
and Zayma King. Mr. King is as vigorous as his forefathers and,
although spending more than fifty nights each year for the past
fifteen years on sleeping cars, can enjoy a good game of golf even on
a winter's day. His good spirits and genial temperament contribute
much to his social life, and he is ever ready to offer encouragement
to the young. He would never run for or accept public office,
though at times urged to do so; yet he was frequently heard on the
platform in political discussion, and publicly debated tariff questions
on the side of protection, and was always active as a speaker and
deeply interested in temperance work. He has always been active,
too, in church work, and at the age of twenty-four was elected a
deacon of Park Street Church, serving in that capacity until his
removal from Boston.
[Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading
Men in the State, Volume 2, (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Biographical Society, 1909), pp. 216-220]
Levi Washburn Leonard was bom in Bridgewater, Massachusetts,
June 1, 1790, the son of Captain Jacob and Mary
(Swift) Leonard. Mrs. Leonard was the daughter of Isaac
Swift, and was descended from William Swift, who died at
Sandwich in 1642. Jacob Leonard was the son of Solomon and
Joanna (Washburn) Leonard, grandson of Captain Solomon and
Elizabeth (Perkins) Leonard, great-grandson of Jacob and Susanna
Leonard, and great-great-grandson of Solomon and Mary
Leonard of Duxbury.
Levi's father was a Revolutionary soldier, and a farmer, so
that young Leonard was early inured to hard labor and to industrious
habits. He received the rudiments of his education
in the common schools of his native town. Owing to some injury
received in youthful sports, unfitting him for hard labor,
the whole plan of his life was changed, and he relinquished the
farm-work and prepared for a professional avocation. He therefore
entered the Bridgewater Academy and fitted for college.
He was a great lover of books and a very diligent student. While
in college he took a high rank, and graduated from Harvard in
1815, having for classmates Rev. Convers Francis, D.D., John
Gorham Palfrey, D.D., LL.D., Jared Sparks, LL.D., and other
men of note. After graduation, he was for two years the preceptor
of the Bridgewater Academy, giving at the same time
some attention to theological studies. Subsequently he entered
the Cambridge Divinity School, and graduated therefrom in
Having supplied pulpits in the vicinity of Boston, as he had
opportunity, in the spring of 1820 he was requested to go to
Dublin, New Hampshire, and preach for several weeks. But
his friends enjoined it on him not to think of settling there,
and thus burying himself from the world. For Dublin was
some seventy miles from Boston, in what was then thought the
wilderness of New Hampshire. His candidacy commenced on
the first Sunday of April, 1820; and on the 20th of May following
he was called to the pastoral office, at a salary of six hundred
dollars per year. He was ordained as pastor of the First
Congregational (Unitarian) Society, September 6, 1820.
He married September 8, 1830, Miss Elizabeth Morison Smith,
daughter of Hon. Samuel and Sally (Garfield) Smith of Peterborough,
New Hampshire, a most estimable woman, who died
September 13, 1848. Of this marriage there were two children,
—William Smith, who became a physician in Hinsdale, New
Hampshire, and Ellen Elizabeth, who married Joseph H. Houghton,
and removed to Tacoma, Washington. In 1851 Mr. Leonard
married Mrs. Elizabeth (Dow) Smith, daughter of Jeremiah
Dow, of Exeter, New Hampshire, and the widow of Samuel G.
Smith, Esq., brother of his first wife. There was no issue of
Mr. Leonard was deeply interested in the education of the
young. He was chairman of the school committee in Dublin
for thirty years, and devoted himself earnestly to the endeavor
to improve the condition of the schools. By frequent visits to
the schools, suggestions to the teachers, addresses to the children,
private conversations with the parents, public lectures
upon educational matters, and the publication of school books
fitted to awaken interest among the pupils, he wrought a most
In 1823 he established a Sunday school of one hundred and
twenty pupils, one of the first schools of the kind in that part
of the State. For many years he furnished all the text-books
used in the school, and encouraged the children to be punctual
and studious by rewards and gifts of attractive books.
As at that day there were few books accessible to the young,
he purchased three hundred volumes and lent them freely to
all children in the town, who would come to him for them on
any day of the week. For some years he added new books to
this library. Finally others came to his assistance, and at one
time there were in use nearly two thousand volumes. Mr. Leonard
was largely instrumental in forming the Cheshire County Common
School Association. So devoted was he to the cause of
popular education, sobriety, and good morals, that he received
from a clergyman of a different faith, the appellation of "The
Oberlin of Monadnock."
When he was settled, the drinking customs of society were
very prevalent, and intemperance abounded to an alarming extent
in the town. This state of things he deeply deplored, and
cautiously proceeded to warn the people against this vicious
habit. But notwithstanding his prudence, some were displeased
with his efforts in favor of sobriety, and refused to pay towards
his salary. That the parish might not be burdened by their
withdrawal of support, he cheerfully relinquished so much of
his salary as these malcontents would have paid, and renewed
his zeal in favor of the great reform, with encouraging success.
When the anti-slavery movement commenced, it early enlisted
his support. In his sermon at the dedication of the new meeting-
house, March 2, 1853, he gave his idea of the position the
Christian church should occupy in this respect.
"All mankind," he said, "are brethren. When one is oppressed, all are
implicated in the danger. The gospel of Christ binds the sons of men
together by the universal tie of love and good will. Every church,
therefore, every house consecrated to God and Christ, should be open for
the defence of human freedom and human rights; for without these the
power of the gospel is crushed, and those who outwardly receive it can
have but a name to live."
As a preacher he was plain, practical, and direct. He had,
however, none of the coveted gifts of oratory; was very closely
confined to his manuscript, and seldom, if ever, made a gesture
in the pulpit. He very seldom indulged in controversy. Firm
and decided in his own views, he took little part in the theological
disputes of his day. But in his preaching, as in all other
respects, he was still progressive, and his mind was ever open to
new ideas and methods.
He was a diligent student of nature, and gave much attention
to the natural sciences. He was quite a proficient in botany,
for he was a great lover of flowers; and his garden, full of rare
and beautiful plants, was the admiration of the children. Especially
was he distinguished as an entomologist, and probably
was more eminent in that line than any other person in the
State, and as an expert was known in Europe. His distinguished
college classmate. Dr. Thaddeus William Harris, in his
work on "Insects Injurious to Vegetation," frequently acknowledges
his indebtedness to Mr. Leonard, and dedicated one species,
"Hesperida Leonardus," to him.
As the minister of a rural people he mingled with them freely.
The farmers soon found that he knew more of agriculture and
horticulture than most of them, that he was learned in law, and
knew much of medicine. Hence he was often consulted upon
matters concerning their welfare; for in him all had a friend and
a safe counsellor. Many matters relating to town affairs were
discussed in his study. Personal griefs found in him a ready
listener and comforter. With all his varied scientific attainments
he was a very unassuming man. Though he was the chief
editor of "The History of Dublin," the only evidence in the
volume that he was connected with it is, that the copyright
was secured by "Levi W. Leonard." The degree of Doctor of
Divinity was given him by his Alma Mater in 1849, without his
knowledge. He was a very benevolent man, giving freely to all
deserving charities in his quiet way. He was a member of the
New Hampshire Historical Society, and president of the Dublin
Literary Society, incorporated in 1824.
By his unwearied labors his health, never robust, having
become much impaired, in 1853 he asked for a colleague. In
November of that year he removed to Exeter, New Hampshire,
yet continued as the senior pastor of the society in Dublin until
his death. After his removal he edited The Exeter News Letter
for about eight years, and retired from the position in July,
1863, on account of ill-health. His death occurred at Exeter,
December 12, 1864.
The principal publications of Dr. Leonard were, "The Literary
and Scientific Class Book," 1826; "The North American Spelling
Book," 1835; "An Analysis of the Elementary Sounds of the
English Language," 1848; "A Genealogy of the Descendants of
William Smith," pp. 24, 1852; "The History of Dublin, New
Hampshire," 8vo, pp. 483, 1855. Dr. Leonard was also chairman
of the committee for compiling "Christian Hymns," 1845.
[Source: Memorial Biographies of the New England Historic Genealogical Society,
published by the society, Boston, 1905, Volume VI, 1864-1871, pp. 66-70]
Weston Lewis, who for many years occupied a prominent position in the commercial, financial and political affairs of Boston, was born April 14, 1834, in Hingham, Mass., where the Lewis family is one of the oldest and most respected.
His educational advantages were rather limited, but comprehensive reading and varied contact with the world more than balanced the deprivations of his youth. Natural ability of a high order, united to untiring industry and answering honesty, were the main secrets of his success in life. He began his business career in Boston in 1850 at the age of sixteen, and 10 years later, in 1860, founded the dry goods house of Lewis, Brown & Co., With which he retained his connection until 1883, during which period a large and successful business was developed. While actively engrossed with the exacting nature of his business interest he did not, however, neglect the duties every good citizen of owes to the community. Early in his business career he took an active part in the management of municipal affairs, and in 1865 was elected a member of the Common Council. He was re-elected in 1866 and in 1867, and during the latter year served as president of the council. His imminent fitness for public service was still further recognized in 1870 by his appointment as inspector of State prisons by Governor Washburn, in which position he very credibly served for three years. In 1870 he was made inspector of State charities. In 1872 he was selected by Mayor Gaston as one of the three commissioners to report on the annexation of Dorchester, Brookline, West Roxbury and Charlestown, and in 1886 was appointed on the State Board of Arbitration by Governor Robinson, serving in this body as chairman until 1889, when he resigned to accept the presidency of the Manufacturers' National Bank. He again took a leading part in the shaping of municipal affairs during 1891 and 1892, being a member of the Board of Aldermen from the Eighth District, and serving on many important committees.
He was pre-eminently public spirited, and although a staunch and lifelong Republican his first presidential vote being cast for John C. Fremont in 1856 - he conscientiously and in a thoroughly nonpartisan way strove to advance the best interest of the city. His latter services in behalf of municipal matters were given at the sacrifice of personal interest, and the additional strain imposed by the demands of his work for public causes has undoubtedly undermined his health. Earnest in all he did, a man of excellent judgment, considerite and courteous in manner, he made an official respected and esteemed by all. He was fearless in all his business relations and equally so in all matters pertaining to this city. "He never hesitated," says an intimate associate in the conduct of city affairs, "to state his views, and he would speak them fully and frankly. He did not hesitate to criticize when he did not agree with associates on the subject matter before them. He was never equivocal; we always knew where and how we stood."
In his business career Mr. Lewis was conspicuously successful. He was careful and conservative in methods, but whatever he undertook was carried forward with an energy and judgment that rarely met with defeat. In 1883, on account of ill health, he retired from the firm of Louis, Brown & Co., and upon his resignation from the Board of Arbitration in 1889, accepted the presidency of the Manufacturers' National Bank. To his management of this financial institution its present high standing can be largely ascribed. Well known in the business community as a man of trained and tried business ability of a high order, and personally popular and implicitly trusted, his connection with the bank commanded for it the fullest confidence, and under his lead it more than doubled its deposits during the four years of his presidency.
Outside of his business relations, which were varied and of magnitude, Mr. Lewis was a positive factor for the good in many directions. No movement of a religious, philanthropic or literary career was inaugurated that did not receive his hearty encouragement or substantial assistance. He was one of the founders of the Unitarian Club and of the Boston Merchants Association, and by his efforts in their behalf did much to augment the sphere of usefulness of both these organizations. He was also for 13 years an efficient trustee of the Boston Public Library.
Mr. Lewis died in East Pasadena, Cal., April 6, 1893, whither he had gone for the benefit of his health. He had been in failing health for several months, due largely to overwork, but nothing serious was anticipated, and it was thought a brief respite from his engrossing cares and responsibilities would restore him to his wonted vigor. His death was therefore unexpected, and the receipt of its intelligence was received with sincere sorrow among his many business and political associates. Tributes to his worth as a citizen, public official and businessman were many, and by all his death was deplored as a public loss. At the monthly meeting of the Unitarian Club which was held while his body was being born to the scene of his labors and usefulness, Secretary William Howell Reed spoke as follows in reference to Mr. Lewis's connection with the club:
Mr. Lewis was the originateor, the father of this club. He thought he was building wisely, but he was really building better than he knew.
When we consider the history of this club, the influence it has attained in this community, the inspiring utterances from this platform on themes so vitally touching the life of the time, and that it has been the pioneer from which all the other religious clubs have taken root as from a parent stem, it seems fitting that as his coffin containing his silent dust is borne across the continent to its last resting place, we should pause for a moment as we speak his name, and in silence honor him by this simple recognition of the inestimable service he has rendered to every good cause which through his foresight has found advocacy here through all these years.
The directors of the Boston Merchants'Association, at a meeting to take suitable notice of his death, put on record the following:
That not since the formation of this organization have we lost one so thoroughly identified with its entire history, activity and usefulness. Reaching its highest official position, he nevertheless was not satisfied in retiring there from to discontinue his active interests, but in response to the wishes of the association had continued to serve as a director until the day of his death.
The earnestness and usefulness of Mr. Lewis in this relation is, however, only a part of an exceedingly valuable life which could not be limited in its field of effort. His services for the State in different public trusts, for the city in her highest offices and commissions, for various societies-religious, philanthropic, literary and commercial - all indicate on the part of our community of appreciation of the qualities of mind which made his services so largely called for.
Those of us who knew him most intimately can hardly realize that we shall not witness and share in the prompt and bright way in which he grappled all questions of public concern, and we shall remember him as an able, upright, public spirited citizen, and an exceptionally kind, considerate and genial associate and friend.
At a meeting of the members of the Board of Aldermen of the year 1891 and 1892, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
That in the decease of our esteemed fellow citizen and associate, Weston Lewis, we take this occasion to express our sorrow and regret that he has been called from amongst us. In his career as a member of the Board of Aldermen he was ever guided by the principles of right and justice. During the two years that we were associated with him he was alive to the interest of all the people. Prejudice and partisanship had no place in his makeup, and he retired with a record for independence and high character that has gained for him our lasting respect and remembrance.
At a meeting of the Building Trades Council, held shortly after the death of Mr. Lewis, the following action was taken:
Whereas, By the death of Hon. Weston Lewis, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the city of Boston have suffered the loss of a public spirited citizen distinguished by brilliant services in many capacities, beloved and respected for his warm sympathies and other traits of character, and,
Whereas, It is fitting that the Building Trades Council of Boston, representing labor, commemorate those services which he rendered to working people in the interest of the whole community, therefore,
Resolved, That we place upon the record our keen sense of loss which the labor element has sustained. One of the original members of a commission which had no example in the history of industrial legislation, he contributed to place State arbitration on the highest plane of good government. Although a representative capitol, his manly friendship for the wage earners always prompted just measures, and as aldermen he advocated every project that was calculated to promote the good and welfare of the working people. They have lost a valuable friend.
In words equally eulogistic the public press of Boston referred to the death of this well known in universally respected citizen who had figured prominently in many phases of the life of his community and time. In all positions, either public or private, he acquitted himself with the greatest ability and the strictest integrity. "he has left to his two sons," says one writer, "priceless legacy of an honest and able merchant and banker, a faithful public servant, a genial character which won troops of friends, and a career without blemish, which benefited his fellowmen."
Mr. Lewis is survived by two sons, Weston K. and Frederick H. Lewis. His wife, Martha J. Lewis, daughter of Ezekiel Kendall, of Boston, to whom he was married July 18, 1855, died September 13, 1892. [Source: Professional And Industrial History Of Suffolk County Massachusetts, Volume II, The Boston History Company; TI, Sub by FoFG]
Miss Hulda Barker Loud, editor and publisher, born in East Abington, now Rockland, Mass., 13th September, 1844. She
attended the public schools of that town until she was seventeen years of age. At eighteen she began to teach school
in her native place, and taught there most of the time until 1886, retaining for thirteen years the highest position
held by a woman in that town, and receiving the highest salary, her salary always being the same as that of a man in
the same grade of work. That was owing to her constant agitation of the question of equal rights with her school
committee. In 1884 a new paper was started in her town, and she was asked by the publisher to take the editorial
chair. She consented and named the paper the Rockland “Independent,” of which she has always been
editor-in-chief. In 1889 she bought the business, job-printing and publishing, and is now sole proprietor. That paper
she has always made the vehicle of reformatory principles, social and political. In 1889, when it became her own
property, she announced in the opening number that she had bought the business to help save the world; that it was not
a business venture in any sense of the word; that the business would always be in charge of a foreman; that she
desired a medium through which she could convey her best thought to the world, unhampered by worldly interests. She
represented the Knights of Labor in the Woman's International Council, held in Washington in 1887, and her address was
received with enthusiasm. At that time she spoke also before the Knights of Labor and Anti-Poverty Society of
Washington. She has frequently spoken on the labor and woman-suffrage platform with success. She prefers home life,
and her newspaper work is more congenial. She served three years on the school board of her town, and for many years
she has addressed town-meetings, without question of her right from any of the citizens. In the spring of 1891 she
adopted two boys, relatives, and, besides carrying on her paper and business, she does the work of her household. Her
adopted children are governed wholly without force of any kind. She is an apostle of the new mental science, though
recognizing the claims of her body. She may always be found at home, except for a few hours in the afternoon, which
she spends in her office. She lives away from the village, in a retired spot, on her mother's farm, where she has
built a house of her own. She boasts that she has never known a day of sickness in her life, and that through sheer
force of will, as she has many hereditary weaknesses. Although she works from sixteen to eighteen hours a day, she was
never physically or mentally stronger her life than now.
[Source: American Women, A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of the Lives and Achievements of American Women
During the Nineteenth Century, New York, NY: Mast, Crowell & Kirkpatrick, 1897, Volume 2, Pages 474-475]
PROCEEDINGS OF THE SUFFOLK BAR AND SUPERIOR COURT, JUNE 16, 1905.
The meeting of the members of the Suffolk Bar, called to take action upon the report of a committee appointed to prepare and present resolutions upon the death of the late Albert Mason, chief justice of the Superior Court, was held in the Superior Court Room, second session, on Friday, June 16, 1905, at 2 p.m.
The meeting was called to order by Albert E. Pillsbury, and on his motion Charles Pelham Greenough was chosen chairman of the meeting, and Arthur Lord secretary. Upon taking the chair Mr. Greenough stated the purpose for which the meeting was called, and that it was ready to receive the resolutions of the committee.
Mr. Pillsbury then stated that the committee had performed the duty with which it was charged, and read the following memorial:
The members of this bar desire to place on record their appreciation of the upright life, the sterling character, and the honorable public service of Albert Mason, late chief justice of the Superior Court, whose death brings not only a personal sorrow, but, to the Commonwealth he loved and served so well, a public loss.
Born in Middleboro, in the County of Plymouth, Nov. 7, 1836, and admitted to the bar of that county Feb. 15, 1860, his practice of the law began in the town of Plymouth. In July, 1862, he enlisted in the army for the term of three years, and served with distinction, holding commissions as lieutenant and captain and acting as regimental and brigade quartermaster.
In 1874 he was appointed by Governor Washburn a member of the Board of Harbor Commissioners, and in 1879 Governor Talbot made him the chairman of the Harbor and Land Commissioners. This place he held until his appointment to the bench, discharging his duties with the ability and faithfulness which characterized all his work.
In 1882 Governor Long appointed him an associate justice of the Superior Court. With his acceptance of this office began his most valuable service,—a work for which he possessed unusual qualifications of mind and character.
In 1890, upon the resignation of Chief Justice Brigham, he was appointed the chief justice of the Superior Court, and continued to discharge its honorable and laborious duties until his death on Jan. 2, 1905. The position of justice of the Supreme Court he was compelled to decline on account of his health, which was so infirm as to render it inexpedient, if not impossible, for him to assume new duties.
Following the best New England custom and tradition, in addition to his judicial work, which may be said to have been his life's work, he gave freely of his time in the performance of other civic duty. He filled the office of chairman of the Selectmen in Plymouth, and that of chairman of the School Committee in Brookline for many years. He served on many special committees in municipal affairs, and his clear vision and sound judgment aided much in the solution of practical problems. He had great confidence in the fairness and good sense of the people generally, and believed implicitly in those fundamental principles which underlie and control our institutions and which have their roots deep in heredity, training, and social life. But he was not a blind optimist, and men and women to him were very human, with serious imperfections, and yet with unlimited capacity for growth and progress toward that goal for which, with constant struggles and not without tears, all humanity is striving. He believed in man and in the future of the race, because he believed in the wisdom and the omnipotence of God. His nature was profoundly moral and religious. Unswervingly, but without ostentation, he held the truths of divine revelation. For him the spiritual vision pierced beyond the confines of sense, and revealed those things which, unperceived and unperceivable by the eye, were of the spirit and the beauty of eternal life. Alike in private and public life, his standard of thought and conduct was the appropriate standard of a nature both strong and beautiful.
He had a tall and commanding figure, dignified in carriage, impressive in repose. His face was strong and firm, but kindly; his manner courteous, but direct and decided. As a judge, he had large executive and administrative ability, a strong grasp of legal principles, the power of clear and forceful statement, a knowledge of men and things born of wide experience and much reflection, an instinctive desire for and sense of justice, and, crowning all, a saving common sense, without which no successful attempt to administer justice is possible. His high ideals, his firmness of conviction, and his unquestioning faith were among his most striking characteristics, and gave him a distinct place in the minds and hearts of those who knew him.
Albert E. Pillsbury.
James R. Dunbar.
Walter I. Badger.
Franklin T. Hammond.
[Source: Proceedings of the Suffolk Bar and Superior Court in memory of Albert Mason; By Suffolk Bar, Massachusetts. Superior Court, Boston Bar Association; Publ. 1905; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]
In all the manifold relations of husband, father, friend, citizen, and pastor he acquitted himself excellently, and proved himself as worthy an exemplar of the Christian doctrines as he was an able expounder. Stationed at Landaff, N.H.,in 1822, his itinerary at different times extended all over New England; and he continued to preach until his death, which occurred April 29, 1878. He married February 14, 1817, Nancy Morrison, a native of Windham, N.H., who was born August 17, 1796, daughter of Robert and Eunice (Dow) Morrison. Her parents had twelve children, of whom she was the seventh in order of birth. The Rev. Abraham and Mrs. Merrill had six children, three of whom are now living, namely: Jacob Sanborn, born September 23, 1814, who married Harriet D. Barnes; William Bramwell, born August 15, 1827, who married Mary Bradford Dyer, a lineal descendant of Governor Bradford; and Joshua, whose name begins this sketch. The others were: Martha M., who married Richardson Allen, and died May 13, 1850; John Milton, born December 15, 1819, who married Mary B. P. Hills, and died at the age of sixty-three years; and Abraham Declding, born July 4, 1834, who married Martha A. l5. Forbes, December 21, 1851, and died in March, 1898.
Joshua Merrill completed his education in the high school of Lowell, Mass. At the age of fifteen he left home and school to go to Boston, where he entered the employ of his elder brother, who was engaged in the manufacture of paper-hangings. In 1853 he undertook the sale of the lubricating oil then manufactured by the United States Chemical Manufacturing Company, of Waltham, Mass. ; and in the following year he entered into an engagement with the late Samuel Downer, who had acquired the proprietary rights of the Chemical Company's business, which included the manufacture of the article known as coup oil, a substance derived from the distillation of coal tar obtained in the manufacture of gas. Mr. Merrill disposed of this article for a number of years, or till 1856, to the proprietors of the New England cotton-mills. He then went to Europe to engage in the manufacture of that and other oils, and while there assisted in the erection of a factory for George Miller & Co., of Glasgow, Scotland. After a stay of one year in Europe he returned to America, and began a series of experiments in the manufacture of kerosene oil and other products of' coal distillation, at the Downer Kerosene Oil Company's works in South Boston, which were continued during the ensuing year with varying success. At length, after lavish expenditure, amounting to upwards of one hundred thousand dollars, he and his associates so far succeeded in perfecting the apparatus and manufacturing process that good merchantable oils, both illuminating and lubricating, were produced from 1857 to 1868, a period of eleven years.
Mr. Merrill, however, still felt the need of a better lubricating oil than they had up to that time manufactured; and he bent his powerful inventive genius to its production. Many experiments were made, and failed to accomplish the desired result. Still, they were so far of use that they resulted in such an improvement of the company's product that their oils enjoyed the highest reputation and commanded the highest prices of any in the market.
In 1867 Mr. Merrill was led by an accident that happened to one of the distilling vessels to pursue an entirely new and untried plan of manufacture, the operation being arranged to distil the oil at so low a temperature that the partial decomposition which usually takes place in the distillation of oils at a high temperature might be avoided. The results of this process were so satisfactory that in 1869 Mr. Merrill took out a patent for the new process of manufacture, and also another patent for the oil produced by it. Patents were early obtained in Europe, also, for "Merrill's Odorless Lubricating Oil."
Mr. Merrill's next achievement was equally noteworthy. In 1870 he prepared, after long experimenting, in which he was ably assisted by his brother, Rufus S., an oil for illuminating purposes, to which he gave the name of mineral sperm oil. On the death of Mr. Samuel Downer, the founder of the oil works, Mr. Merrill, in company with his brother, William B., purchased the entire plant from the heirs, and has continued in the ownership up to the present time. He has been very successful; and the results of his life work have been of lasting benefit, not only to the oil industry, but also to the people of the United States and of other countries.
On June 13, 1848, Mr. Merrill was united in marriage with Amelia Grigg, of Boston, a daughter of Richard Grigg, Esq., and Elizabeth Bradley Grigg. Mrs. Merrill was born in Dorchester, Mass., December 25, 1830. Her parents were natives of Manchester, England. Mr. and Mrs. Merrill have had six children, of whom there are four now living, namely: Isabelle Morrison, born April 10, 1850; Amelia Grigg, born March 7, 1854; Gertrude Bradley, born December 11, 1862; and Joshua, Jr., born June 21, 1871. Isabelle is the widow of George Humphrey Richards, and is the mother of three children: Herbert Wilder, born August 20, 1869; Isabelle Morrison, born October 13, 1876; and Joshua Merrill, born January 12, 1883. Amelia is the wife of Mark Hollingsworth, of Boston. Gertrude is the wife of William Allison Newell, and they have two children: William Ellis, born December 27, 1892; and David Calhoon, born January 16, 1894. Joshua Merrill, Jr., married June 30, 1894, Lillian Parsons, of Savannah, Ga.
[Source: Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Publ. 1901 by Graves & Steinbarger; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]
The first ancestor, in this country, of the subject of this memoir was Experience Mitchell. He was with the
little colony of Pilgrims at Leyden, and, in 1623, crossing the ocean in the "Ann," the third of the ships which bore
the forefathers to the shores of the New World, landed at Plymouth. After living there some years, he went to
Duxbury, and later in life to Bridgewater, where he died in 1689, aged eighty years. Among his children was
Ensign Edward Mitchell, who married for a second wife Alice Bradford, granddaughter of Governor William
Bradford, and when he was nearly seventy years old had a son, named Edward. This Edward was a man of note
in the town of Bridgewater. He was a member of the Provincial Congress in 1774 and 1775, and did service
as colonel of a regiment, during the revolutionary war. His son Cushing Mitchell, the second of a family of twelve
children, married Janet, daughter of the Hon. Hugh Orr, a Scotchman, who located in Bridgewater, and manufactured
there the first small arms, and the first cannon cast and bored, that were made in this country.
Nahum Mitchell, the second child of Cushing and Janet Mitchell, was born in the East Parish of Bridgewater,
February 12, 1769. As a boy, he is said to have been active and fond of athletic sports, but at the same time he
was a diligent student, and under the tuition of the Hon. Beza Hayward, of Bridgewater, went through the usual
studies preparatory to a collegiate course. He entered Harvard University in 1785, in the class with John Thornton
Kirkland, afterwards President of the University; Charles Cutts, United States Senator, and others; and was graduated
in 1789, his part at Commencement being a syllogistic disputation, with Asaph Churchill, on the thesis, "Gravitas
non est essentialis materice proprietas." While an undergraduate he kept school at Weston, and after leaving
college taught for a period at Bridgewater and Plymouth. His inclination, however, was toward the legal profession,
and in the latter place he entered as a law student the office of the Hon. John Davis, afterwards Judge of the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Having completed his legal studies he was
admitted to the bar November 24, 1792. He at once opened an office in his native place, East Bridgewater.
Here his industry and learning soon brought him into notice, and secured him a lucrative practice. The marked
characteristics displayed by him as a lawyer were thoroughness, precision, and caution. In all his dealings with
clients and those who were opposed to him, he was honorable and fair. Chief Justice Parsons once spoke of him
as "among the very best of the gentlemen of the Old Colony Bar," saying that "no one was more accurate and
discriminating," and that he had "been in the way of witnessing his accuracy and discernment, having been
frequently associated with him in the same cause." Judge Aaron Hobart, of East Bridgewater, who was a law
student in his office, said of him: "His habits of inquiry were so remarkable that he was never satisfied with
investigation, nor desisted from it so long as he had less than all the light he could obtain on the subject. He
was a man that did, and did well, whatever he undertook."
The esteem in which he was held by his townsmen was early shown by his being chosen in 1798 a representative
from Bridgewater to the General Court. The same position was held by him in the years 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802,
and 1812. When he was a resident of Boston in 1839 and 1840, he likewise represented that city in the Legislature.
In 1803 he was elected a Representative in Congress from the Plymouth District, serving one term
until 1805. He did not take an active part, if any, in debates, but, nevertheless, followed the business of the
"After attending to all his official duties and correspondence,
wrote one who knew him well, he found himself with many
leisure hours on hand. These he employed in reading classic
authors, among them Ovid's Epistolse Herodium, in the original,
— an interesting book, which he found in a bookstore in
Georgetown, stowed away among a heap of second-hand volumes;
in translating the works of Horace into English verse;
and writing an interesting and amusing poem, in one canto,
called the Indian Pudding. He rarely engaged in any amusement,
except an evening game of chess with Samuel W. Dana,
a member of Congress from Connecticut, in which, he said, in
a letter to a relative, 'I am generally conqueror, and have therefore
become more skilful than my teacher.'"
In 1811 he was appointed a justice of the Court of Common Pleas for the Southern Circuit, which comprised
the counties of Plymouth, Bristol, and Barnstable. This appointment was a marked tribute to his merits, and indicative
of the general esteem in which he was held, as he was not of the same political party with the appointing
power. After serving eight years in this capacity, he was appointed chief justice of the court, to succeed
Thomas B. Adams, who had resigned. At the end of two years he left the bench, having been elected Treasurer of
the Commonwealth. To this office he was re-elected five consecutive times. Various other offices of responsibility
and honor were from time to time filled by him. He was president of the first temperance society formed in East
Bridgewater, for some years president of the Plymouth County Bible Society, and for the period of fifty-four
years one of the trustees of Plymouth County Academy. In 1801 he was appointed, with Edward H. Robbins, of
Milton, and Nicholas Tillinghast, of Taunton, to settle a disputed boundary line between Massachusetts and Rhode
Island; and in 1823, with Mr. Robbins and George Bliss, of Springfield, to settle the line between Massachusetts
and Connecticut. In 1813 and 1814 he was a senator from Plymouth County; and from 1814 to 1820 inclusive,
a member of the Governor's Council. His last appointment was chairman of the first commission for exploring
and surveying for a railroad route the country from Boston to Albany.
Amid the cares and labors incident to the life of a professional man, and a man in public office, he found time to
devote to literature and to the science of music, of which he was extremely fond. In an old diary, kept by a resident
of East Bridgewater, was found this record, bearing date December 8, 1794: "The people met and opened a
subscription to promote singing: agreed with Mr. Nahum Mitchell to keep a singing-school at his house two months
for seven pounds." Again: "January 25, 1795, Mr. Mitchell's school first sang at meeting. Very good singing
this day." With the Rev. Joseph S. Buckminster, he published about 1810 a volume of music entitled the
Brattle Street Collections. In 1812, in connection with his brother-in-law Bartholomew Brown, a graduate
of Harvard College in the class of 1799, and a man of musical talent, he published the Bridgewater Collection
of Sacred Music, a work which wrought a needed reform in church music, and passed through more than thirty
editions. His anthem called Lord's Day, a piece beginning with the words, "Jesus shall reign," and other
pieces of his composition became very popular. The familiar tune Brattle Street was harmonized by him.
In addition to these works, he contributed a series of articles to the Boston Musical Gazette, on the history of
music, and wrote a treatise on harmony, which was not published.
He had a great taste and aptitude for antiquarian research, and devoted many years to collecting materials
for a history of Bridgewater. The work was published in 1840, with the title, History of the Early Settlement
of Bridgewater, in Plymouth County, in Massachusetts, including an extensive Family Register. The author
had previously written a short account of the origin and first settlement of Bridgewater, which was printed in the
seventh volume of the second series of the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. The genealogical
part of the work is unusually full and accurate. It is invaluable to the genealogist, and, in this respect, must
always be regarded as a model work. Judge Mitchell was at different times librarian and treasurer of the
Massachusetts Historical Society; and on May 7, 1845, he became a member of the New England Historic Genealogical
Society, displaying much interest in its welfare. He died August 1, 1853, in the eighty-fifth year of his
The following account of the cause of his death is given by Mr. William Allen in the New England Historical and
Genealogical Register, Vol. XVHI. p. 224.
"On the first of August, 1853, Judge Mitchell left home,
apparently in good health, to attend the celebration in Plymouth
of the two hundred and thirty-third anniversary of the
embarkation of the Pilgrims at Delftshaven. Arriving at the
railroad station in Phinouth, he was met with the congratulations
of his many friends, and had the prospect of enjoying a
cheerful day in the commemoration of those good men to whom
principle was dearer than life, and whose memory he had materially
assisted to embalm. He passed from the depot towards
the place of meeting, when putting his hand to his pocket he
discovered that his pocket-book containing one hundred and fifty
dollars, and several valuable private papers, had been stolen.
The sudden shock to his feelings was too great at his advanced
age for nature to sustain. He fainted, fell, and was carried into
the house of the late William Davis, Esq., his grandson, but
human aid was of no avail, and in a few moments his spirit
In his private character Judge Mitchell is said to have been a model for imitation. Judge Hobart wrote of
him in a note read at the celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Bridgewater: —
"He was affable and familiar; his manners were simple and
easy; his temper gentle, even, and cheerful; and his whole deportment
such as to inspire confidence and respect. Hospitality
reigned in his house; and cheerfulness beamed from his
countenance on his happy family, and was reflected back by
them. He was eminently a man of peace, and, all his life long,
exerted a peculiarly happy faculty he had to promote it in his
own neighborhood, and elsewhere within the sphere of his influence.
He had faults, — and who has not ?— but none which
should enter into a candid estimation of his character. It has
been said to be as difficult to compare great men as great rivers.
Some we admire for one thing, and some for another; and we
cannot bring them together to measure their exact difference.
But taking into account, as well as we may, all the various
talents and acquirements that combine to make up the whole
man, I think it may be justly said, without being invidious, that
the old town of Bridgewater, though numbering among her
sons many eminent men, has never produced his superior."
Judge Mitchell married, in 1794, Nabby, daughter of General Silvanus Lazell, of Bridgewater, and had the following
Harriet, born 1796, married Hon. Nathaniel Morton Davis, of
Silvanus Lazell, born 1798; graduated at Harvard University
1817; married Lucia Whitman, 1820.
Mary Orr, born 1801; married David Ames, Jr., Esq., of
Elizabeth Cushing, born 1807; married Nathan Dresser
James Henry, born 1812; married Lavinia Angier, 1833.
[Source: Memorial Biographies of The New England Historic Genealogical Society, Volume II, 1845-1852,
Published by the Society, Boston, 1880, pp. 69-74]
IN the early years of the seventeenth century, Sir Ferdinando
Gorges obtained from King Charles a charter covering all the
lands between the 40th and 48th parallels of latitude in New
England, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The flattering inducements
which he presented to the minds of enterprising Englishmen,
enticed many persons of more than usual talents to enter into his
various schemes for the settlement of the province of Maine, Evidences
of the character of these early settlers are still seen in
the towns which were settled by them in southern Maine. The
quality of their literary taste is often seen in the prevalence of the
exclusively Shakespearian expressions which linger in the language
of the common people.
The men who entered into the enterprise, which resulted in the
settlement of "New Somersetshire," were mostly men of energy and
enterprise. They were not content to be limited by the narrowness,
which in many respects controlled the management of the Massachusetts
Bay Colony, and out of the atmosphere which they created in
their own communities, have been sent forth many strong men. From
such an environment came the ancestors of Henry Phillips Oakman.
Samuel Oakman came from England and settled in Scarboro,
Maine, about the year 1657. A little over thirty years later he
removed to Marshfield, Massachusetts. A mixture of Scottish and
English blood furnished elements of strength in his character. In
early life he was a sea captain and prominent in public affairs, as
were others of the Oakman line, one of them being a somewhat
famous schoolmaster. Hiram Oakman, the father of Henry Phillips
Oakman, lived to the goodly age of eighty-three and was distinguished
for his industry in his trade of shoemaker, and was counted
by his acquaintances as rather "plain spoken." The shoemaker's
shop was the rendezvous for the discussion of public affairs, and
even more than the country store was the political forum in the
New England village.
Of such an ancestry Henry Phillips Oakman entered into life
June 27, 1831, in Marshfield , Massachusetts. In his early boyhood
he was kept busy in his father's shop, a most valuable experience
for any boy. The sturdy and practical ideas of his father were
supplemented by the high and noble ambition of a wise mother,
and although he had only a common school education, this training
prepared him most efficiently for the work of life. At the age of
eighteen he was placed as an apprentice with his uncle to learn the
carpenter's trade. At the age of twenty he had developed sufficient
strength of character and business ability to assume a contract for
building a district schoolhouse in the town of Scituate, thus beginning
a successful career as contractor and builder, in which business
he was engaged for forty years. Mr. Oakman has been a life long
Republican. He served on the board of selectmen and assessors in
Marshfield for two years, and was postmaster at North Marshfield
until in 1868 he moved from Marshfield to Dorchester. Here his
experience and training in public service were recognized and he
served two years in the Common Council in Boston and represented
his section of the city in the Legislature. He has held the
office of Justice of the Peace from the first year of his living in
Dorchester until the present time and has been fire insurance adjuster
for fifteen years. In financial circles his business ability has
been utilized and he has held the position of president of one of
the banks in his community and director in two others. He has
held important trusts in the Church of the Unity at Neponset, and
in those relations gained the respect and cooperation of his associates.
During the Civil War he was a sergeant in Company K,
38th Massachusetts Volunteers, but received his discharge for disability
before the close of the war. He has also been prominent in
the work of the Odd Fellows and G.A.R.
In 1853 he was married to Arethusa, daughter of Ichabod and
Celia Hatch. Five children have been born to them.
Gathering up the fruit of his experience Mr. Oakman has come
to put the highest value upon a careful preparation for the work of
life coupled with a clear and definite aim. "Strict integrity under
all circumstances, loyalty to exalted principles, fidelity to religious
connections "are his words of advice to young people.
[Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading
Men in the State, Volume 2, (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Biographical Society, 1909), pp. 247-248]
Born at Brockton , Plymouth County , Massachusetts, December 31, 1851. His father died when he was
fifteen years of age, after which he was obliged to support the family. Fitted at home and in the
preparatory department of U. W., in 1877 entering her ancient classical course, from which he graduated
in 1883. He worked his way through college by teaching and farming. Was a member of Calliope. Attended
the Chicago Theological Seminary, 1883-86. Upon entering that institution, he won the first prize in
Hebrew, although all of his knowledge of that tongue had been acquired at home, during vacations, and
while working upon a farm. Mr. Packard has held pastorates at Nashua, Ioula, Buffalo Center and Riceville.
He was State evangelist of Iowa, with residence at Charles City; State superintendent of the
Congregational Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor; and president of the Third District society
of the same. He has contributed articles to numerous religions and secular periodicals. On April 26, 1886,
he married Miss Luella Williams, a graduate of Earlham (Ind.) College, and has three children. A
biographical sketch of Mr. Packard, with portrait, may be found in Herringshaw's Encyclopedia of American
Biography, p. 711.
[Source: The University of Wisconsin: its history and its alumni (1836–1900)
Edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites -pages 732-736 (1900)]
Col. Henry Grosvenor Parker, son of Ebenezer Grosvenor and Rebecca Morton (Davis) Parker, was born in Plymouth, Mass., March 19, 1836. He received his primemary education and the public schools of Plymouth. Later he came to Boston and attended the old Adams School on Mason street, and was after words prepared for college at Chauncey Hall School. Although he had strong literary inclinations, he relinquished a collegiate course to enter upon a mercantile career. After passing a year in the wholesale house of Blanchard, Converse & Co., He became assistant bookkeeper for the hardware firm of Callender , Rogers & Co., And was engaged in that capacity for three years. He next became bookkeeper for Blodgett, Clark & Brown, and three years later was appointed confidential clerk for Jordan, Marsh & Co., remaining in the latter position for seven years. He was then offered and accepted the treasureship of two mills operated by Francis Skinner & Co. The bankruptcy of this house put an end to this agreement, and it was then a Colonel Parker turned his attention to journalism, with which he had been more or less identified as a contributor since his sixteenth year. His first article was written for the old Boston Mail. Still later he became the correspondent of the New York Mirror, and also wrote for the Boston Bee, the Boston Post, the Boston Daily Courier, and the Saturday Evening Gazette. When the last name journal was offered for sale in 1870, Colonel Parker purchased it. His success as editor and business manager is well known. He was one of the first, if not the first, journalist in this county to adopt the personal society news. This innovation was not at first received very kindly, more especially by his contemporaries, but he continued until this department, under the caption of "Out and About," was recognized and sought for. The wisdom of the move is attested by the fact that many of the journals that we're most violent in their reprehensions of Colonel Parker, now follow his example with their own departments for society gossip. The Gazette, under Colonel Parker's management, became highly successful, and among the few profitable papers of its class in the country. Colonel Parker's ability as a journalist was in high order. He believed in an outspoken expression of editorial opinion, without fear or favor, and he made more friends than enemies by this frank and manly course. The result was that the Gazette was looked upon as an authority that could always be relied upon in those matters to which it devoted special attention.
At the Peace Jubilee of 1869 and the World's Peace Jubilee of 1872, Colonel Parker acted as general secretary of the executive committee; and while serving in that capacity, an acquaintance previously existing with Hon. Alexander M. Rice was cemented into a warm friendship. When Mr. Rice was installed Governor of Massachusetts, the selected Colonel Parker as a member of his staff. Colonel Parker held this position during the three years of Governor Rice's administration, and was again appointed by Governor Talbot.
Colonel Parker died May 13, 1892, after a brief illness, leaving a widow, the daughter of the late William Brown, and also survived by his mother, Mrs. George S. Tolman, who resides in Plymouth. In social life Colonel Parker was justly a favorite, and his cheery presence will long be missed at the Algonquin and Suffolk clubs, of which he had long been a member.
The following estimate of Colonel Parker's character was written by one who had long been a close and intimate associate, and best able to judge of the qualities of his mind and heart: As a man, one of his characteristics was frankness and admiration of frankness in others. He was outspoken in the expression of his opinions, and was tenacious of them, but was always ready to listen to objections, and to adopt them on conviction.
By nature he was tender and amiable, and those who did not know him intimately were not aware of the sweetness and kindness that lay behind a manner that on the surface was apparently aggressive; nor of the ease with which his gentle emotions were touched. Though mainly known to the community as a business man, he had fine literary tastes, was an earnest reader, and took great delight in the company of men and women of culture. His love of music was intense, and his taste in what was refined in art was marked. To his friends he was devoted heart and soul, and his loyalty to them was as enthusiastic as it was sincere. As a host he was generous in his hospitality, an experienced gienuine pleasure in contributing to the happiness of those to whom his heart went out.
[Source: Professional And Industrial History Of Suffolk County Massachusetts, Volume II, The Boston History Company 1894]
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN POOLE was born at East Abington
(now Rockland), Massachusetts, in the old Clarke Poole
Place on Liberty Street, on June 13, 1842, He died suddenly
at his home on Union Street, May 5, 1911, after sixty-nine years of
active life in business and social and public service in his native
towTi. His father, Franklin Poole, was born September 29, 1811;
and his grandfather was Micah Poole, who was born April 3, 1772.
His mother was Ann Sargent, of Wells, Maine. Nabby Holbrook
married Micah Poole, grandfather of B. F. Poole.
The father (FrankUn Poole) was a merchant in Rockland, and
was well known for his strict honesty in every business transaction.
He was descended through eight generations from Edward Poole,
who came from England to Massachusetts in 1635, and settled at
Wessagusset. This place was originally established by Weston
and his "sixteenth century London Vagabonds" who had thrust
themselves on the Pilgrims of Plymouth in 1622, and had finally
been transported to Wessagusset, and who after the days of starvation
and humiliation before the Indian neighbors had sailed away
in the "Swan."
A few families had come to Wessagusset after this — and in 1632
it is spoken of as "a small village; yet very pleasant and healthful,
very good ground and well timbered, and good store of hay ground."
It was made a plantation by the General Court in 1635 and was
named Weymouth. This year twenty-one families were allowed
to settle in the newly recognized town, and of these was Edward
Poole. They came under the care of Rev. Joseph Hull, who was the
first pastor of Weymouth, and the second in the "Massachusetts
Patent south of the Naponset." The town is spoken of in the
General Court Records of 1666 as very small; but in the Pequot
War of 1667-68 it was assessed for five men and twenty-seven pounds
Benjamin Franklin Poole was educated in the common schools of
his native town. The influence of his loving mother always helped
him on and up. When he was twelve years old, however, he became
clerk and helped in his father's store. It was one of the old-time
country stores, substantial and reliable, and where everything could
be bought that was needed on the farm or in the home.
Every boy must pass through a practical apprenticeship, even if
under no indenture, before he can become an expert in the affairs
of life; and the training acquired in the store was his education.
This course of study young Poole had under the instruction of
his father; and it was, at once, behind the counter and in the counting-
room. He was at once salesman, buyer and bookkeeper. He
was obliged to know every detail of a store in which customers were
supposed to find any article they might call for. In the old-time
country store there is no speciality, and one must range over every
department. To know all there is in such an assortment and to be
able to put one's hand on each identical article requires at once an
education and a quickness of reference that can only come of a long
and faithful tutorage.
Mr. Poole entered into partnership with his father, a relationship
of great confidence and affection, till 1884, when his father retired
from the business and he became sole proprietor. Four years later,
and when only forty-six years of age, he gave up the store to have
more time for outside duties, and to enjoy his well-earned competence.
He married, on the 11th of August, 1862, Harriet E., daughter
of Reuben Hunt and Harriet E. Cushing, and granddaughter of
Reuben and Nancy (Smith) Hunt and Major John and Polly Wales
Gushing, who were descended from Ezra Cushing, of the Cushings
who came from England early in the seventeenth century, and were
distinguished as representatives at General Court or as clergymen.
Thirty of the name had graduated from Harvard College in 1825,
and most of these were in public life. Mr. and Mrs. Poole had
but one child, who died in infancy.
Mr. Poole was called on for much duty outside his store. He
was President of the Weymouth Agricultural Society for eight years;
a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce for twenty years;
Treasurer of the Rockland Commercial Club for sixteen years, and
President of the Poole Family Association. He was appointed a
member of the Board of Fire Engineers in 1869 when the fire department
of Rockford was organized, and served for a number of years.
He was also a very enthusiastic member of the Standish Lodge,
I.O.O.F., and of Rose Standish Rebecca Lodge, Rockland Encampment,
and of the Union Glee Club, and though not a
member of the church, he had been reared in the Congregational
Church of Rockland.
Descended from a Puritan ancestry he was eminently of that
blood, and manifested it in the steadfastness of his life and his
persistency of purpose. It is enough of evidence of a true and
stable life when neighbors say of him, "His word is as good as his
[Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading
Men in the State, Volume 5, (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Biographical Society, 1909), pp. 248-248252]
HENRY HUDDLESTON ROGERS was born in Mattapoisett,
Massachusetts, on January 29, 1840. He died at
his home in New York City, on May 18, 1909. His father
was Rowland Rogers, born March 21, 1809, died November 14,
1861. His mother was Mary Eldridge Huddleston. His grandfathers
were Henry Huddleston, born in 1772, died January 10,
1832, and Abisha Rogers, born June 23, 1782. His grandmothers
before marriage were Rhoda Merrihew, born December 26, 1771,
died September 18, 1841, and Judith Cushman, born December 21,
Mr. Rogers traced his ancestry back to Thomas Rogers who
came in the Mayflower in 1620. Among his maternal forbears
were the Cushmans, after whom Mr. Rogers named the spacious
park he gave to Fairhaven.
His mother, a remarkable woman in many ways, had a powerful
influence over her son and he inherited from her many qualities
of mind and heart.
Mr. Rogers was a fun loving, and alert boy, popular with his
schoolmates in the Fairhaven High School from which he graduated
in 1856. In after years he liked to recall his Fairhaven
school days and made it a point, whenever possible, to attend the
annual re-union and dinner of the High School Alumni Association.
He often furnished the principal attraction on those happy
occasions by his presence and lively interest, and by his reminiscent
After Mr. Rogers graduated from the High School he worked
for a time in a general store for $3 per week. Later he took a
position with the Old Colony Railroad.
In 1861, he went to McClintockville, Pennsylvania, and there,
with Charles P. Ellis, began to produce and refine oil under the
firm name of Rogers and Ellis.
When the Civil War began Mr. Rogers was inclined to enlist
but his diversified business and family interests demanded his
attention. He, however, gave liberally to sustain the soldiers and
was always a loyal friend to the Union.
Actively and aggressively, and with a keen instinct to seize
every available means to advance, he built up his oil business and
acquired an intimate knowledge of the technical methods employed
in the industry; and many improvements were directly due to
suggestions or experiments made by Mr. Rogers.
In July, 1867, he accepted a position as Superintendent of the
Pennsylvania Salt Company at Natrona, Pennsylvania, which conducted
in connection with its chemical works one of the largest
refineries of crude oil in the Allegheny River oil field.
The next step in Mr. Rogers' business career was taken, when
in 1874 an alliance was projected and consummated between the
leading oil refineries of Cleveland, Pittsburg, and New York.
This was the birth of the Standard Oil Company, which has since
become one of the best known commercial and financial enterprises
ever conceived, and which has served a great and useful
purpose in the economy of civilization. Its ships are seen in
all the great ports of the seven seas. It furnishes permanent and
profitable employment for many thousands of men and, as Mr.
Rogers once said, "It steadily carried light and comfort to those
who before sat in darkness."
Mr. Rogers assisted in directing the great corporation until
he was disabled by his first apoplectic seizure in 1907. He once
said speaking of trusts, "If any one can convince me that a trust
has more evil to it than good, I will gladly forego my present attitude.
"He defined a trust as "a combination of ideas backed by
Mr. Rogers started poor and unknown. All he had to begin
with was his hands and his brains. From the little town of Fairhaven
with nothing but his ambition and his never wavering affection
for his mother in his heart, he climbed the hill of difficulty
till he stood master of himself, employer of many thousands of
men and guardian of many millions of money.
On November 17, 1861, Mr. Rogers was married to Abbie
Palmer Gifford, daughter of Captain Peleg Winslow and Amelia
Loring (Hammond) Gifford, granddaughter of George W. and
Judith (Palmer) Gifford, and of Gideon and Abigail (Hathaway)
Palmer, and a descendant from William Gifford who came from
London, England, and settled in Sandwich, Massachusetts, about
1660. Mr. Rogers' first wife died fourteen years before his own
death, and he married for his second wife, Miss Emilie Augusta
Randel of New York.
Mr. Rogers' children, all born of the first marriage are: Anne
Engle, married William E. Benjamin; Cara Leland, married
Urban H. Broughton; Mae Huddleston, married William R. Coe;
and Henry Huddleston Rogers, Jr., who married Mary Benjamin;
and Millicent G. Rogers, a beloved daughter who died in 1890 at
the age of eighteen.
Mr. Rogers built a beautiful summer home at Fairhaven and
made to the town a series of notable gifts. The first was a grammar
school and this is the only building in the town which bears
his name. This was followed by a beautiful library building in
the Italian renaissance style, named the Millicent Library in memory
of his daughter. After the Millicent Library came the splendid
town hall, and then a fine Masonic building, which he asked
the local Lodge of Free Masons to name after his old friend,
George H. Taber.
After the death of his mother, Mr. Rogers built as a memorial
to her, the Unitarian Memorial Church, one of the most beautiful
and costly and impressive specimens of the Gothic style of architecture
in this country. This church and the parish house and
manse, the minister's home, form a group of buildings which Hon.
Andrew D. White has pronounced to be one of the most remarkable
in the land. They are built of granite taken from the Fairhaven
estate of Mr. Rogers and are visited and admired annually
by thousands of people who appreciate what is noble and inspiring
This group of impressive buildings stands on a fine lawn in the
center of the town, surrounded by rare shrubbery and dwarf evergreen
trees. In the stately and lofty tower of the church there
hangs a chime of melodious bells unsurpassed in richness of tone
and quality. Both the exterior and the interior of this wonderful
church are decorated and ornamented with all that art and liberality
can do to create a miracle of beauty and enduring inspiration.
The bronze gates of the cloister and the magnificent gates
of the south portal, the main entrance to the church, are among
the finest and richest in the country. The baptistry contains a
beautifully designed font. The rich and delicate carvings, the
stained glass windows, and the splendid marble with the fanshaped
roof are greatly appreciated by all visitors.
Since Mr. Rogers died, the Unitarian Society of Fairhaven has
placed on the east wall of the interior of the church a memorial
tablet of marble, bearing this inscription, "In grateful and abiding
memory of Henry Huddleston Rogers, erected by the Unitarian
Society of Fairhaven."
Another striking building given by Mr. Rogers is the new
High School, modeled after the English Tudor style as seen at
Eton and Winchester. It stands in commanding position at the
entrance to the town as one approaches over the bridge across the
Acushnet River from the city of New Bedford. In its spacious
grounds there is a large stadium for out-door games and sports.
Attached to the High School is a fine and spacious gymnasium.
This school is equipped in its mechanical, industrial, literary, and
scholastic departments with everything conceivable in the way of
modern methods of training for young people and it has a staff of
teachers of high ability.
Mr. Rogers had a decided opinion that a good high school training
was sufficient education for young people. He did not believe
in the value of a college education for the average young man or
woman, especially for those who have to earn their own living.
He said, "The time to set a young man to work is when he graduates
from High School. Then the youth is willing and ready to
learn. But if you wait until he comes from college, in many instances
you will find he is spoilt by conceit and by the contraction
of habits which unfit him for discipline and application to hard,
patient and efficient work."
Another of the attractive and useful buildings Mr. Rogers
erected at Fairhaven, is a charming and finely situated hotel, which
he named the "Tabitha Inn," in memory of his great-great-grandmother
who bore that name.
Fairhaven is said to have the largest tack and nail factory in
the world. This institution is also due to Mr. Rogers who secured
its establishment and enlargement in Fairhaven to provide occupation
at home for the working people of the town.
Besides all these useful and beautiful institutions and buildings
Mr. Rogers made liberal expenditure on the streets and roads
of Fairhaven and no one who visits the town in summer can fail
to be pleased with the fine trees and clean streets and miles of
excellent sidewalks, that are due to him. Mr. Rogers constructed
the waterworks of the town and in many ways besides those
here mentioned he contributed to the improvement and attractiveness
of the town.
The people of Fairhaven, after Mr. Rogers' death spontaneously
moved to erect to his memory a fitting memorial to express their
gratitude for his unmeasured affection and generosity. Accordingly
they raised and dedicated on the anniversary of his birth,
January 29, 1912, a tall and graceful shaft of granite standing on
a conspicuous site at the western entrance of the town. On a
tablet on the base of this shaft is this inscription, "In grateful
recognition of the worth, achievements and benefactions of Henry
Huddleston Rogers, the people of Fairhaven have erected this
Just above this inscribed tablet is a lifelike medallion bas-relief
of Mr. Rogers. At the top of the shaft is a powerful electric
light. The subscriptions to this memorial came from townspeople
who could give modestly and from others down to little children
who could contribute only very small sums. The memorial is an
enduring and popular testimonial to the gratitude and affection
of the entire town.
Besides the great local gifts mentioned above, Mr. Rogers gave
liberally to the work of the American Unitarian Association. He
established the Robert Collyer Lectureship in the Meadville Theological
School in Meadville, Pennsylvania, a training school for
Unitarian ministers, and endowed it with $250,000. He gave the
town of Mattapoisett, which is within five miles of Fairhaven, a
High School building. He gave St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford,
with its splendid nurses' home; and to every good cause he
was a constant and generous friend.
He was for years the most influential layman in the Church of
the Messiah in New York City, of which Rev. Robert Collyer, his
close friend, was for more than two decades the honored and distinguished
The most striking and memorable contribution of Mr. Rogers
to the industrial life and progress of America was his construe
tion in the last years of his life of the Virginian railroad from
Norfolk, Virginia—Sewall's Point—to the town of Deepwater, on
the Kanawha Kiver, in West Virginia. This railroad is 442 miles
long, it cost more than $50,000,000 and ninety-five per cent, of
the cost was personally met by Mr. Rogers. A prominent journal
said at the time the road was completed, "The fact that a single
capitalist put up so large a share of the money expended in creating
so long and costly an iron highway is an unique event in railroad
Mr. Rogers was a man of marked distinction in his personal
appearance. He was tall and straight with the bearing of a
patrician in every movement, and his fine head and intellectual
face impressed all beholders. He had a high and finely molded
forehead, Roman features, with a strong and determined chin and
jaw, and fine gray eyes. He could be as tender and gentle as a
woman and as strong and as aggressive as a lion. Altogether his
appearance and manner indicated to even a chance observer a man
of unusual ability and character.
If a man is known by his friends, one may judge what Henry
Huddleston Rogers was like from the men and women who were
drawn to him, Rev. Robert Collyer, Thomas B. Reed, Mark Twain
(Samuel L. Clemens), his most intimate friend, Helen Keller, and
Booker T. Washington. These are only representative of the range
and quality of Mr. Rogers' friendships. They indicate the diversity
and the universality of his tastes and interests.
Helen Keller wrote of him after he passed into the unseen,
"How glad I am that I can tell the world of Mr. Rogers' kindness
to me ! He had the imagination, the vision, and the heart of a
great man, and I counted it one of the most precious privileges of
my life to have had him for a friend. The memory of his friendship
will grow sweeter and brighten each year until he takes my
hand again and we gather roses together in the garden of Paradise."
Mr. Rogers gave large sums to Booker T. Washington for his
work and helped many industrial schools of the South. And Mr.
Washington said of him, "Mr. Rogers was one of the best and
greatest men I have ever met, and, as it seems to me, one of the
greatest men of his day and age, and he has left many lessons behind
him which others can follow to their profit."
It was his admiration for Mark Twain's books that led Mr.
Rogers to express his desire to help the famous author even before
the two men had met. The close friendship during the later years
of two such remarkable men as Henry Huddleston Rogers and
Samuel L. Clemens is one of the bright chapters of their lives.
They were almost inseparable when near enough to visit each
other, and many an anecdote and incident could be recounted of
their intercourse. Those who admire Mark Twain must never forget
how much the great American humorist owed to the friendship
and financial assistance of Mr. Rogers.
He took great pleasure in simple and inspiring sacred music
and left a fund to make sure that the Fairhaven Church should
always be able to command the best music and choir.
When he died so suddenly on that fatal morning in May, 1909,
the news of his death stunned and pained the people of Fairhaven
who knew and loved him best. The whole community went in a
body to his funeral and manifested a universal grief in which the
children of the schools shared, as well as the citizens without regard
to creed or condition. They all had the best of reasons to understand
that when his body was borne to its tomb Fairhaven had lost
its best friend and its greatest benefactor.
He was a man who cherished great hopes and he possessed a
will and intelligence which made his life one long series of upward
steps toward power and efficiency.
To young men his advice was, "Be clean and straight and to
lay hold of every opportunity." He believed in a greater future
for America than we have yet dreamed of. He did not think we
have yet reached the summit of our achievements but that we are
only at the cock-crowing and morning star of a day of wonderful
expansion and success in things material and spiritual.
Speaking of Mr. Rogers, Dr. Robert Collyer said, "He was my
dear friend from the time when I came to New York to the end
of his life, and I could depend on him more truly than I can depend
on the hand that holds this pen. Was it money I wanted—
he was the man to give me the money there and then it may be, or
soon after, and I cannot remember a time when I had gone abegging
in this kind when he did not clasp my hand in a good warm
grip and say, 'Come again.' It would not do to tell the story of
our intimacy in the closer and more intimate relations, only to say
that in my long life I have known no nobler man."
[Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading
Men in the State, Volume 7, (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Biographical Society, 1909), pp. 355-361]
Thomas Russell, son of Thomas and May Ann (Goodwin) Russell, was born in Plymouth, Mass., September 26,
1825, and graduated at Harvard in 1845. He studied law with Whiting & Russell in Boston and was
admitted to the Suffolk bar November 12, 1849. He was appointed Justice of the Police Court of Boston
February 26, 1852, and in 1859 an Associate Justice of the Superior Court. He resigned in 1867 and was
made Collector of the Port of Boston by President Grant, serving until after the re-election of
President Grant, when he resigned and was appointed Minister to Venezuela. He married Nellie, daughter
of Rev. Edward T. Taylor, of Boston, and died in that city February 9, 1887.
[Source: History of the Judiciary of Massachusetts: By William Thomas Davis; Publ. 1900; Tr. by Andrea
William Shaw Russell was the second son of James and Experience (Shaw) Russell, of Plymouth, Massachusetts,
where he was born on the 11th of January, 1792. His grandfather came from Glasgow, Scotland, about the
year 1750, and married Mercy, daughter of Nathaniel Foster, of Middleborough.
William's early life was passed amid the rural scenes of his native town, with the exception of a short time
spent in Bridgewater. At the time of his birth the country had not recovered from the effects of the Revolutionary
War, matters were unsettled, and the means of acquiring a complete education were not within his
reach; but being of a studious and inquiring mind, he obtained a good practical knowledge of the people and
affairs around him, and made the most of his opportunities. He was what is styled a "self-made man."
At an early age he commenced business in Plymouth, and soon after, on the 11th of May, 1820, he married
Mary Winslow, the eldest daughter of Dr. Nathan and Joanna (Winslow) Hayward, of that town.
Mrs. Russell was a descendant in a direct line from Governor Edward Winslow, who came over in the "Mayflower"
in 1620, as follows: Edward Winslow was the son of Edward Winslow, and was born in Droitwich,
Worcestershire, England. This place is situated on the river Salwarp, 6-3/4 miles northeast from Worcester, and
118 northwest from London, and is a station on the Gloucester and Birmingham Railway. It is noted for its
saline springs, having been called by the Romans Salinae. It is an ancient Parliamentary borough, and also a market
The family of Winslow was ancient and honorable. Governor Edward Winslow was the third chief magistrate
of the Colony of Plymouth, and married Susanna, widow of William White, May 12, 1621; and this was the
first marriage solemnized in New England. She was the mother of Peregrine White, the first English child born
in the new Colony. This family resided at "Green Harbor, Marshfield, where he erected a fine dwelling-house,"
which he called "Careswell," from a castle in England.
Governor Edward Winslow had a son Josiah, who was noted as a military commander and had command of
the English army against the Indians in the famous "Narraganset Fight," in 1676. He was also a civil
magistrate and Governor of the Colony for seven years, being the first Governor born in New England. He
married Penelope, daughter of Herbert Winslow, Esq., of Boston. The son of Governor Josiah, Hon. Isaac
Winslow, occupied a prominent position as a judge and as a Councillor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. He
married Sarah, daughter of John Wensley, of Boston.
The well known General John Winslow, the elder of the surviving sons of Hon. Isaac Winslow, was a resident
of Plymouth for several years, and lived on the southwest corner of North Street. He married Mary, daughter
of Isaac Little, and left two sons, the elder of whom was Pelham, who married Joanna, daughter of Captain Gideon
and Joanna (Howland) White, and had two daughters. Mary, born in 1771, married Henry Warren, Esq., and
the younger, Joanna, born in 1773, married Nathan Hayward, Esq., the father of the wife of the subject of this
The children of William Shaw Russell and Mary Winslow Hayward were William James, born in 1821;
Edward Winslow, born in 1824; Mary Winslow, born in 1826; Joanna Hayward, born in 1828; Elizabeth
Hayward, born in 1831; and Susan Hayward, born in 1833. Mr. Russell died, February 22, 1863; Mrs. Mary
Winslow Russell died, April 3, 1890; and both lie buried on the easterly brow of Burial Hill, a spot he loved so
well. Their graves are marked by modest freestone tablets erected to the memory of the beloved father
and mother by their children.
In 1826, Mr. Russell removed to Boston, and engaged in business with his cousin, Andrew L. Russell, Esq.,
where he remained till 1835, and was for some years agent for the Boston and Western Land Company. In
1836 or 1837 he became interested in building up a village in Stephenson County, Illinois, on the Pekatonica
River, and named it, after his wife's family name, Winslow. The township contains about twenty-seven square
miles. This, like many other projects of that date, not proving a success, on account of the financial crisis of
1837, Mr. Russell returned to Massachusetts and settled again in Plymouth.
In 1846, Mr. Russell was elected to fill the office of Register of Deeds for the County of Plymouth, which
position he held up to the time of his death. He was a genial, affable, and patient public officer, and an indefatigable
explorer among the interesting records and annals of Colonial history, and compiled several volumes
in relation to it.
During the year 1846, he published a volume entitled "Guide to Plymouth, and Recollections of the
Pilgrims," —a duodecimo volume of four hundred and fourteen pages of local "history, statistical and personal
reminiscences of our Pilgrim ancestors and their early homes, with an appendix of hymns and poems on kindred
When the Commonwealth, many years since, was engaged in printing the "Plymouth Colony Records, "Mr.
Russell rendered valuable assistance to David Pulsifer, Esq., who had the charge of copying and preparing the
same for the press, which work was very carefully and accurately done.
In 1853, Mr. Russell published a volume entitled "Pilgrim Memorials," designed to afford the means of
ready access to the more prominent events and localities connected with the landing of the Pilgrims.
In 1858, he caused to be prepared a complete list of the inscriptions on "Burial Hill," in Plymouth, up to
that date, with the intention of publishing the same. These records passed into the hands of the writer of
this article, who has enlarged the list by bringing the epitaphs down to the year 1892, and has printed them,
with additions, notes, and illustrations.
When William H. Bartlett, Esq., visited this country some years since, he went to Plymouth to learn what
he could concerning the early history of the Pilgrim fathers, preparatory to publishing that very interesting
work entitled "Pilgrim Fathers, or the Founders of New England." Mr. Russell furnished a large amount of information
concerning the early settlement of the Colony, and rendered Mr. Bartlett much assistance in visiting the
prominent portions of the town and vicinity. Much of the narrative relating to the town of Plymouth was in
Mr. Russell's own language,— for which a courteous acknowledgment was made by the author.
Mr. Russell was a most enthusiastic student of antiquarian lore, and one of the best authorities in all that
relates to Pilgrim history. He was ever ready to communicate the knowledge he possessed to those inquirers
who visited Plymouth for the purpose of making historical or genealogical investigations. His eye would
kindle with emotion as he pointed out a fact or made an historical suggestion. He was, apparently, as much
delighted to assist the inquirer as the seeker was to receive his aid, —a rare accomplishment in a public officer,
whose fidelity was equalled only by his accommodating spirit.
He was for a long time a deacon of the First Congregational Church in Plymouth, and was a conscientious
Christian and a highly respected citizen. He was elected a Corresponding Member of the New-
England Historic Genealogical Society, March 6, 1850. The following well deserved notice of Mr. Russell,
written at the time of his decease, is taken from the "Old Colony Memorial."
"By his death our town has lost one whose place as a student of our early history and a repositary of knowledge of our places of
local interest we know not how to fill. We shall miss his ever pleasant face, his never failing courtesy, his kindly manners, and
his truly Christian example. We shall miss him sadly as one to whom all questions of history or genealogy were referred. No one
ever applied to him without receiving a pleasant answer and a kindly interest in the object of their inquiries. The places that
have known him will know him no more, but the memory of Mr. Russell will never be lost while 'Plymouth Rock and Burial Hill'
are cherished and venerated."
[Source: Memorial Biographies of The New England Historic Genealogical Society, Volume V, 1862-1864,
Published by the Society, Boston, 1885, pp. 168-172]
GEORGE SAMPSON was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, May 28, 1825. He was the seventh in descent from
Henry Sampson, one of the Pilgrims who came in the Mayflower in 1620, who married Ann Plummer in 1636 and
settled in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Stephen Hopkins and Francis Cooke, also of the Mayflower, were
ancestors on the maternal side. His father, Isaac Sampson, was a resident of Plymouth where he was a
thrifty merchant, respected for his integrity and exemplary life. Isaac Sampson was the son of Benjamin
and Priscilla (Churchill) Sampson, was born in Plymouth in 1789, and married in 1822, Elizabeth, daughter
of William Sherman of that town. His children were Elizabeth, born in 1824, who married John Kneeland,
a native of Plymouth, who was for many years one of the supervisors of public schools in Boston; George,
the subject of this sketch, and Isaac, who was born in 1830. Mr. Isaac Sampson died at Plymouth,
December 11, 1833.
George Sampson spent his boyhood and youth in the old historic town of his nativity where his education
included several years in the High School. As a boy he possessed fine tastes and good habits. His modest
demeanor, frank and earnest countenance, betokened a lad who was consciously laying the foundation of a
life of unusual effort. While at school he never gave the teacher an occasion to reprimand him for
misconduct, for he was always obedient to the requirements of the school, prompt in his lessons and
truthful in word. He employed time as a precious gift not to be wasted in trivial matters, even very
little in games. He was ever kind to his mates and respectful to his elders. These traits of the boy
were doubtless due to inherent qualities of mind, reinforced by the instruction of a pious and devoted
Having stored his mind with the rudiments of knowledge, he began active life as a clerk in a Plymouth
store, and a little later became a clerk in the dry goods store of A. A. Andrews & Co., of Boston.
In 1847 he engaged service with George Adams, publisher of the Boston Directory, which had been commenced
during the previous year. The first volumes of the venture contained 26,488 names, besides some three
hundred of colored people. Mr. Sampson began his service as a canvasser for the Directory, but he
displayed such faithfulness and accuracy in the performance of the work assigned him, that he was soon
promoted to the position of arranging the material for the press. This work demanded the uttermost care
in every detail and Mr. Sampson met every requirement. After ten years of studious devotion in his
position, Mr. Sampson's continuance in the business seemed so necessary that he was admitted as a partner,
with the firm name of Adams, Sampson & Company.
Mr. Adams retired from business in 1865, leaving the Directory firmly established and having realized
large profits from the publication. In the following year, Mr. Sampson allied himself with O. H. Davenport
and the firm became Sampson, Davenport & Company, with Mr. Sampson as chief director of the business.
Mr. Davenport retired in 1882 and in 1885 William E. Murdock and Charles De Witt Marcy became partners
with Mr. Sampson and the new firm was known as Sampson, Murdock & Company, with Mr. Sampson still
holding the position as chief administrator of its affairs. Mr. Sampson proved equal to the demands of
Greater Boston and added improvements to the Directory as needed in many ways, while Directories of many
other cities were started by the firm. At Mr. Sampson's death, in 1896, the business had assumed great
importance, while the Boston Directory contained 229,829 names with a Street Directory and other features
of great value, indispensable to all concerned.
The New England Business Directory was commenced in 1856 by the firm with which Mr. Sampson was connected,
and is still continued with success. It is issued biennially, requiring a great number of experienced
persons to gather the varied and necessary material needed for such a voluminous publication.
The Directory business founded by Mr. Adams and carried forward by Mr. Sampson will ever continue as a
grand reminder of their wise foresight and business enterprise.
The location of the publishing office of the Boston Directory began by Mr. Adams at 91 Washington Street,
Boston, has been changed time and again because of fires and other causes. It is now located on Franklin
Street, in a building erected by Sampson, Davenport & Company in 1875.
Having accumulated a large fortune, Mr. Sampson considered that he had well earned the privilege of
retiring in some degree at least, from the cares of his large business affairs, and allow his associates
to chiefly assume the burdens in his stead. So during the last fifteen years of his life, he largely
devoted his time to the enjoyment of his cultured tastes, and in the indulgence of the generous impulses
of his benevolent nature in doing good to others less fortunate than himself.
He had long cherished a desire for foreign travel, and now, having ample leisure, he devoted two years
in gratifying the wish and visited the most desirable portions of Europe including Egypt and the Holy
Land. Returning home he devoted much of his leisure in ministering to the needs of others; wherever
he found suffering or poverty.
Thus blessing and being blessed, his waning years glided kindly down the western slope towards life's
sunset till the night came and his gentle spirit passed on to its reward, having lived to make the world
better and many a soul happier. As a further proof of the kindness of his heart, he devised in his will
that the sum of $5,000 should be divided among his former employees according to the date of their
George Sampson was married, June 19, 1855, to Rebecca Francis, daughter of Henry Abbott and Rebecca
(Francis) Hovey of Boston. Mrs. Sampson died May 24, 1915. "While he called Roxbury his home, he
frequently spent his winters in Boston, where he died January 30, 1896.
[Source: Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading Men in the
State, volume VI; by Rev. Paul Revere Frothingham, Massachusetts Biographical Society, Boston,
The first person of the name "who is recorded to have come to this country is Richard Sanger, who is said to
have emigrated from Hingham, in Norfolk, England; and who settled in Hingham, Massachusetts, where he had
lands assigned him in 1636 and 1637, and where he died in 1661. His son, Richard, settled as a blacksmith in
Sudbury in 1646; removed to Watertown in 1649, and died in that town in 1691. It is said that to him and his
two adult sons, with three other persons, was intrusted, during "King Philip's War," the charge of guarding the
mill at Watertown. His son Richard went to the neighboring town of Sherborn, in 1687, at the age of twenty-one
years, and was a blacksmith there. He had lands assigned him in 1689, and at different times afterward,
and was a useful and respectable inhabitant of the town. His seventh child was Richard, born in 1706, for a time
a blacksmith, and afterwards a storekeeper in Sherborn and then in Boston. He acquired considerable property;
was for ten years one of the selectmen of the town; and was active and efficient, for his years, in the war of
the Revolution. In 1776 he was the first man placed on the Committee of Safety with President Locke. He died
in 1786. His fifth son and seventh child was Zedekiah Sanger, the father of the subject of this memoir. He was
born in Sherborn in 1748, was graduated at Harvard College in 1771, studied divinity, and was ordained pastor of
the Church in Duxbury, Massachusetts, July 3, 1776, where his ministry continued until April, 1786. The text of
his first sermon was from Leviticus xxv.10: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants
thereof." In 1788 he removed to South Bridgewater, where he was settled, at first as colleague of the
Rev. John Shaw, and after the decease of Mr. Shaw was pastor of the parish until his death, November 17, 1820.
He married in Duxbury, Irene Freeman of that town, a woman of rare personal and social qualities, of great
intelligence, wisdom, and refinement, and of sincere and pervading, but unostentatious piety. They had fifteen
children; twelve of whom — seven sons and five daughters — reached mature age, and ten of whom became
heads of families. The last survivor of that generation, Samuel F., who for many years lived upon the old homestead,
died in Bridgewater, on the thirteenth of May, 1880, aged ninety-two years.
Dr. Zedekiah Sanger was above the average of the scholars of those days; excelled in mathematics, and was
of good repute as a classical scholar. He was an able and successful teacher. After settling in Bridgewater he received
pupils at his house, and established there a private classical school, which was for many years widely and
favorably known. Many distinguished men of the earlier part of this century were, when young, under his care;
some being fitted for college by him, and others being sent to him during suspension from college; and that
portion of their lives spent under his care and instruction and in his household, was ever affectionately and gratefully
remembered. Many young men pursued their theological studies, and were fitted for the ministry, under his
direction. "He was highly esteemed for his ability and learning, was reverenced as a minister, and sought for as
a counsellor." Few men in that section of the State were more widely known, more highly respected, or more
beloved than he.
Besides the subject of this memoir, two of his sons were college graduates. His eldest son, Richard, was
graduated at Cambridge in 1800, and was tutor in Greek from 1803 to 1805. His third son, Zedekiah, was graduated
at Brown University in 1804. They were both for a time teachers in the Academy at Bridgewater, but
afterwards removed to western New York, and engaged in mercantile pursuits.
He received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Brown University in 1807; and he was one of the
original members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Massachusetts. His widow survived
him. She lived most of the time after his death with her daughters, in Burlington, Vermont; and died at the old
homestead, at the house of her son Samuel, in 1833.
[Source: Memorial Biographies of The New England Historic Genealogical Society, Volume IV, 1860-1862,
Published by the Society, Boston, 1885, pp. 77-78]
Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff, of Boston, was the oldest son of Benjamin Shurtleff, the second of that name, and
was a descendant in the fifth generation from William Shurtleff, who was killed by lightning at Marshfield
in 1666, — the progenitor of all who bear the name in New England, and perhaps of all others in this
country. All that is known of William and his probable origin has been published by the late Nathaniel
Bradstreet Shurtleff, M. D., in a tract entitled "Brief Notice of William Shurtleff
of Marshfield. Boston. Privately Printed, MDCCCL." From the facts therein stated it seems to be
probable that William Shurtleff came to Plymouth before 1635, from Ecclesfield, a village in Yorkshire,
England, about five miles from Sheffield and about twenty from Scrooby, the early gathering-place of the
Pilgrims before they went to Holland. In this village, at a seat called Whitley Hall, once resided the
only family of which we have any knowledge, who bore the name, previous to the appearance of William
Shurtleff, or any other person of the name in America. The name first appears as Chiercliffe, then
Chyrecliffe, Shiercliffe, and afterwards Shirtleff. The present spelling was used by a grandson of the
American progenitor, and has been generally adopted by the family.
Of the other ancestors of Benjamin Shurtleff in this country, eight came in the Mayflower, viz. Isaac
Allerton, his wife Mary and daughter Mary; Francis Cooke; Stephen Hopkins, his wife Elizabeth and daughter
Damaris; and Richard Warren: three came in the Fortune,—Robert Cushman and his son Thomas, and Robert
Hickes: eight came in the Ann,—Thomas Clarke; Jacob Cooke and his mother Esther; Robert Bartlett;
Margaret and Phoebe, the wife and daughter of Robert Hickes; and Elizabeth and Mary, the wife and daughter
of Richard Warren; — making nineteen in the first three vessels. Besides these he was descended from the
following among the earliest Plymouth pilgrims: John Lothrop, John Shaw, John Barnes, Thomas Bourne,
William Hedge, Thomas Lettice, Richard Masterson, Jonathan Morey, Mary Plummer, Widow Mary Ring, Samuel
Sturtevant, George Watson, Robert Waterman, and John Wood alias Attwood.
Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff was born in that part of Plympton which is now the town of Carver, in the county
of Plymouth, on the 7th of November, 1774. He was the oldest of a family of twelve brothers and sisters.
His mother was a woman of great strength of character as well as of large bodily frame, and transmitted
both these characteristics to her son. He passed his childhood and early youth upon the farm of his
ancestors, and went for a short time to the common schools of the town, then to a school in Plymouth, and
by a course of study for forty-eight weeks under several teachers fitted himself to enter, three weeks in
advance, the Sophomore class at Brown University, where he was graduated, with the reputation of a good
scholar, in 1796. After his graduation he taught school for a time in Plymouth, but very soon began the
study of the profession to which his life was afterwards mainly devoted. From May, 1797, to December 22,
1798, he was at Plymouth, pursuing his medical studies under the direction of Drs. James Thacher and
Nathan Hayward. On the 5th of February, 1799, he became Surgeon's Mate in the United States Navy, and set
sail for the West Indies in the United States ship Merrimack, in company with Dr. Nathaniel Bradstreet as
surgeon. The next nine months were spent in cruising among the islands and in the Gulf of Mexico, and on
the 10th of December, 1799, his ship arrived at Boston from Havana. On the 23d of the same month he was
appointed Surgeon, upon the resignation of Dr. Bradstreet, and soon returned to the West Indies. From
this time to the 30th of April, 1801, he continued in the service, when he was honorably discharged under
the Peace Establishment Act of March 3, 1801. The next year he studied with Dr. John Warren, and attended
lectures at the Harvard Medical School, where he received the degree of Bachelor of Medicine in
1802. The same year he was made Master of Arts at Brown and Harvard Universities, and in 1810 received
his degree of M. D. at Harvard. On the 26th of July, 1803, he married his second cousin Sally Shaw,
daughter of Ichabod Shaw of Plymouth. He had, at this time, already entered upon active practice in Boston
as a physician. For a few years he lived in Scott's Court, near Union Street (till the winter of 1810),
afterwards in Hanover Street on the site of the present "Kast Building" (till 1831 or 1832), and
still later in Tremont Street (present No. 16l), opposite the Common. When he was about thirty years old
his health was delicate, and it was thought that he would die of consumption; but he went back for a
while to his father's farm, lived on a milk diet, and fully recovered.
In his profession Dr. Shurtleff was eminently successful, and his practice was, for many years, quite as
extensive as that of any other physician in Boston. He was "distinguished by great natural sagacity,
much good-humor, and excellent judgment." At about sixty he began to seek rest, and a few years later
had almost entirely retired from active practice. He died in Boston on the 12th of April, 1847, in his
Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff lived in Boston very nearly all the first half of this century. In his day
everybody in the town knew him. His appearance was marked; he had a tall, powerful frame, slightly bowed
in his later years, a noble head and face, with handsome and expressive features. Many of our older
citizens remember him well, with his bandana handkerchief about his chin, as he drove through the streets
visiting his patients. Many, too, remember his cheering smile and pleasant voice in the sick-room, and
his kindly hand, equally ready to soothe pain or relieve misfortune. No one knew so many children as he
did, nor was known by so many. They all liked him, and it was seldom that his chaise had not two
or three of them in it when he drove out of town. He was cordial and strong in his friendship, and, like
many warm-hearted men, pretty decided in his aversion. He was a just man; exact, but by no means hard;
liking and practising accuracy in affairs, but always charitable and generous. "He was methodical,
industrious, and successful, performing all the duties of life with fidelity and kindness. He felt and
manifested a lively interest in the benevolent institutions of his day, and contributed generously
to their support." He founded by a handsome gift the college which bears his name in Upper Alton,
Illinois. In religion he was devout from habit and conviction from his youth, and in his age was an
earnest but not intolerant member of the Baptist Church. In politics he was always a stanch Federalist.
Practical and scientific husbandry interested him greatly, and had a large share of his attention as long
as he lived. His farms at Winnisimmet and North Chelsea were models. He gave a great deal of time and
thought to the improvement of the breed of cattle and sheep in this country, and was one of the earliest
importers of Ayrshire stock. He had a strong taste for genealogical research, and industriously gathered
a large amount of information in regard to the ancestors of others as well as his own. His memory was
wonderfully full and accurate, and his use of language in composition elegant and vigorous. At the time
of his death he was said to be the oldest honorary graduate of Harvard College and the oldest physician
in Suffolk County. His membership in the New England Historic Genealogical Society dates from
November 15, 1846.
Sally Shaw, wife of Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff, was the daughter of Ichabod and Priscilla (Attwood) Shaw of
Plymouth, was born in Plymouth, May 4, 1778, and died in Boston, January 20, l845.
The children of Benjamin and Sally (Shaw) Shurtleff are as follows : —
Abby Atwood, born May 26, 1804.
Benjamin, born January 18, 1806; died August 17, 1865.
Sally Shaw, born September 5, 1808; died August 8, 1876.
Nathaniel Bradstreet, born June 29, 1810; died October 17, 1874.
Ann Shaw, born February 4, 1812; died December 1, 1812.
A son who died at birth, born November 4, 1823.
[Source: Memorial Biographies of The New England Historic Genealogical Society, Volume I, 1845-1852,
Published by the Society, Boston, 1880, pp. 32-36]
William Simmons was probably born in Scituate, about 1782, and graduated at Harvard in 1804. He was a
member of the Suffolk bar certainly as early as 1811, and was appointed June 10, 1822, Judge of the Boston
Police Court. He married in 1810, Lucia, daughter of Abraham Hammatt of Plymouth and died in Boston,
June 17, 1843.
[Source: History of the Judiciary of Massachusetts: By William Thomas Davis; Publ. 1900; Tr. by Andrea
Mrs. Elizabeth Barstow Stoddard, author, born in Mattapoisett, Mass., 6th May, 1823. Her maiden name was Elizabeth
Barstow. She received a thorough education in various boarding-schools and in her school-days showed her bent towards
poetry and literature in general. In 1857 she became the wife of Richard Henry Stoddard, the author. Soon after her
marriage she began to publish poems in all the leading magazines, and ever since she has been a frequent contributor.
Her verses are of a high order. She has written for intellectual readers alone. She has never collected the numerous
poems she has published in the periodicals, although there are enough of them to fill a large volume. In addition to
her poetical productions, she has published three remarkable novels: “The Morgesons” (New York, 1862);
“Two Men” (1865), and “Temple House” (1867). Those books did not find a large sale when first
published, but a second edition, published in 1888, found a wider circle of readers. They are pictures of New England
scenery and character, and they will hereafter become standard works. In 1874 she published “Lolly Dinks's
Doings,” a juvenile story.
[Source: American Women, A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of the Lives and Achievements of American Women
During the Nineteenth Century, New York, NY: Mast, Crowell & Kirkpatrick, 1897, Volume 2, Page 691]
THE DEATH OF A NOTABLE AMERICAN
In the death of John L. Sullivan, one of the most famous and victorious boxers and prize-fighters that
ever lived, this country loses a notable figure. That he was an acquaintance and often a respected friend
of many eminent men outside of strictly "sporting circles" is good evidence that he had
excellent personal qualities not often associated in the minds of the gentler sort with the rough and
often brutal profession of prize-fighting. One of these qualities was honesty. John L. Sullivan was never
known to "throw" a fight—that is, to fail to do his best in a contest in order to make money
or enable his backers to make money by the odds in the betting. One of his old sporting acquaintances, so
the New York "Globe" informs us, tells this story of him:
Jem Mace, the old English heavyweight, came to me one day, when he (Mace) was on the down grade, and
suggested that I arrange a match between him and Sullivan. But Mace made one suggestion, which was that
Sullivan should let him stay the four rounds, saying that he could not afford to be put out, even by
Sullivan. I put the proposition up to Sullivan, who replied: "If Mace can whip me, let him do it.
If I can whip him so much the better. I will try to knock his block off from the moment I enter the ring
until I leave it. I wouldn't meet him on the conditions he names for the Bank of
England." About twelve years ago, at the age of forty-seven, Sullivan's unrivaled physique
he came almost hopelessly broken down from drink. He tried moderation, but that did no good, and finally,
as the result of a tragic experience, he became a total abstainer. For the last twelve years he has been
a public and constant opponent of liquor and the liquor interests.
Two years ago, when he was starting out to deliver a series of temperance lectures, in an interview with
a representative of The Outlook he said for publication in these pages: "If I had not quit drinking
when I did and gone to farming with my good wife, there would be somewhere in a Boston suburb a modest
tombstone with the inscription on it, 'Sacred to the memory of John L. Sullivan. That is why I am quitting
the farm and 'coming back ' to have a go with a bigger champion than I ever was—the champion of
champions—John Barleycorn. There is only one way to get the best of John Barleycorn, and that is to run
away from him! There are men who say about liquor that they can take it or leave it, but those are the
ones who always take it. And in the end it gets them."
John was a great fighter. During the ten years that he held the championship of the world he defeated
more than two hundred of the picked men of the earth. Until after dissipation had impaired his strength
and he was beaten by a younger man, he was never so much as knocked down in the ring. But he never made
a finer fight than in his extraordinarily victorious encounter with the nun appetite. And his
well-deserved prize was a regained manhood, a renewed good citizenship, and the respect and regard of all
who knew him, high and low.
Transcriber Note: John Lawrence Sullivan (b. October 15, 1858–d. February 18, 1918), born in Roxbury, MA
died in Mattapan MA. He is a son of poor first generation Irish immigrants Michael and Catherine Sullivan.
[Source: New outlook, Volume 118; By Alfred Emanuel Smith; Publ. 1918; Pg. 235; Transcribed by Andrea
Nathaniel Thomas, appointed Associate Justice in 1712, was the son of Nathaniel and Deborah (Jacobs)
Thomas, and was born in Marshfield about 1665. He was a great grandson of William Thomas, one of the
merchants of London, who assisted the Pilgrims in their enterprise, and came to Massachusetts in 1630,
and settled in Marshfield. He was bred as a lawyer and took the oath as an Attorney of the Superior Court
in 1686. He was a Judge of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas for Plymouth County from 1702 to 1712.
Judge Washburn, in his Judicial History, errs in stating that General John Thomas of the Revolution was
a descendant of Nathaniel. The General belonged to an entirely distinct family, and was descended from
John Thomas, who came an orphan from London in 1635, in the ship Hopewell. General Thomas married Hannah
Thomas, a granddaughter of Judge Nathaniel, and thus the descendants of the General can claim both
William of 1630 and John of 1635 as their ancestors. Judge Thomas left the Superior bench in 1718, and
died in the same year. John Thomas, son of General John and Hannah (Thomas) Thomas was born in
Kingston, Mass., in 1766, and was appointed in 1811 Judge of the Circuit Court of Common Pleas for the
[Source: History of the judiciary of Massachusetts: By William Thomas Davis; Publ. 1900; Pgs. 94, 221,;
Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]
Tom Thumb 1838-83, American entertainer, whose original name was Charles Sherwood Stratton, b. Bridgeport,
Conn. His career as General Tom Thumb began in 1842, when the showman P. T. Barnum gave him the title and
arranged with the child's parents for his exhibition as a midget. His height then was less than 2 ft
(61 cm), and at no time did it exceed 33 in. (84 cm). Barnum aroused the intense curiosity of people
throughout the world by consummately skillful publicity and profitably displayed the general in many
countries, bringing Tom Thumb wealth and fame. At the age of 10 the general had already been the guest of
President Polk, Queen Victoria, Isabella of Spain, and King Louis Philippe of France. His courtship of
Lavinia Warren, a dwarf, led to a fashionable wedding in New York's Grace Church in 1863. In the course
of their wedding trip President Lincoln received them at the White House. Thumb and his wife continued
to entertain audiences in the United States and abroad until their retirement in 1882. He died at the age
of 45, and Mrs. Tom Thumb died at 77.
[Author not available, TOM THUMB., The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2008]
EVERETT TORREY was born in the old town of Scituate, in the part that is now known as Norwell, May 27,
1828, and died in Scituate, October 1, 1911.
His father was David Torrey, born February 20, 1787, died October 10, 1877. His mother was Vesta Howard
of Bridgewater, daughter of Caleb Howard, born December 15, 1760, and his wife Silvia (Alger) Howard.
David Torrey's father was George Torrey, born 1758, died July 13, 1813, and his wife Thankful (Otis)
Torrey. David Torrey was a thrifty, industrious shipbuilder, in the days when ship building was an
important business on the coast of Massachusetts. He was descended from James Torrey who came from
England about 1640 and settled in Scituate.
Everett Torrey was educated in the town school in Scituate and in the Hanover Academy. After leaving the
Academy he served as an apprentice to the trade of bricklaying in Boston, beginning his apprenticeship at
the age of sixteen. In 1852 he established under the name of Torrey and Co., a wholesale marble and
granite business. He was also president of the McDonald Stone Cutting Machine Co., and a trustee of the
Warren Institution for Savings, in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
In 1861 and 1862 he represented Wards 2 and 3 of the city of Charlestown in the Massachusetts House of
He was appointed by the Governor as a member of the State Board of Health, Lunacy and Charity, March 19,
1884, to fill the un-expired term of Thomas Talbot. In June 1884, he was appointed for the full term of
five years, but resigned August 16, 1886. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Public Institutions
of the city of Boston from 1880 to May 1, 1884.
During the years 1867, 1868, and 1869, he was inspector of the State Prison. He became one of the Trustees
of the Winchester Home for Aged Women in 1889 and held the office of first Vice-president until his death.
He was a life member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and of the Massachusetts Charitable
Mechanic Association and was on the Board of Managers of the latter for one year. He was Chairman of the
Charlestown Republican Committee for a number of years. He served on the Board, which represented
Charlestown at the time of its annexation to Boston. He was for a long time an active member of the
Charlestown Improvement Association. He was for many years an active member of the Harvard Unitarian
Church of Charlestown, and served on its Official Board. And when the Church disbanded he was prominent
in closing up its local affairs. After the closing of the Unitarian Church he attended the Universalist
Church on Thompson Square, Charlestown. He was a member of the Masonic Society, and a Knight Templar.
He was Treasurer of the Henry Price Lodge, Royal Arch Chapter of the Signet and Cour de Lion Commandery.
He was married November 24, 1853, to Eliza D. Webb, daughter of Captain Seth Webb. He was descended from
Thomas Webb, who came from Boston to Scituate about 1725. He married for his second wife, October 1, 1885,
Mrs. Julia (Stetson) Whitcher of Concord, New Hampshire, daughter of the Rev. Caleb Stetson of Scituate,
and Lexington, Massachusetts. Mrs. Torrey died in 1915. Many were the beautiful tributes to the memory of
The Resolutions passed by the Warren Institution for Savings (Charlestown), read: "That in the death
of Mr. Torrey, this Institution has lost a valuable member, one who unless prevented by sickness always
attended all meetings of the Corporation, Trustees and Board of Investment. He was one whose genial
disposition made it a pleasure to serve with him and the Trustees desire to place upon the records this
testimony of their appreciation of his service and friendship."
The Memorial put on the Records of the Winchester Home for Aged Woman (Charlestown), reads as
follows: "Mr. Torrey was long known as an honest, noble citizen of old Charlestown. He lived among
his neighbors and business associates, shedding the light of his cheerful face and his benign good will.
None knew him but to love him. None sought his aid in vain. His memory is precious. He won an honored
name in the community. It remains. His duties were well done. His character crowns his life."
[Source: Biographical History of Massachusetts, Biographies and Autobiographies of the Leading Men in
the State, volume VI; by Rev. Paul Revere Frothingham, Massachusetts Biographical Society, Boston,
Charles Henry Warren, son of Henry and Mary (Winslow) Warren, was born in Plymouth, September 29, 1798,
and graduated at Harvard in 1817. He studied law with Joshua Thomas in Plymouth, and Levi Lincoln in
Worcester, and was admitted to the Plymouth bar. He settled in New Bedford, first as a law partner with
Lemuel Williams and afterwards with Thomas Dawes Eliot, and from 1832 to 1839 was District Attorney for
the five southern counties of Massachusetts. In 1839 he was appointed Judge of the Common Pleas Court
and resigning in 1844 moved to Boston and associated himself with Augustus H. Fiske and Benjamin Rand.
In 1846 he was chosen President of the Boston and Providence Railroad and resigned in 1867. In 1851 he
was President of the Senate. The writer of this sketch was told by Judge Warren that as a Judge he took
no notes, as a lawyer never had a brief, and as District Attorney never lost an indictment and only in
two instances failed to convict. He married December 27, 1825, Abby, daughter of Barnabas Hedge, of
Plymouth, and died in Plymouth, June 29, 1874.
[Source: History of the Judiciary of Massachusetts: By William Thomas Davis; Publ. 1900; Tr. by Andrea
Born in New Hampshire in 1792, he was educated and trained in the Law. He established a practice in
Boston in 1820, in that year he delivered an oration in Plymouth celebrating the bicentennial of the
Pilgrim’s arrival. As a lawyer, he came to national prominence as counsel in many Supreme Court cases,
which remain major precedents in the constitutional jurisprudence of the United States. Webster's record
in the House of Representatives and his celebrity as an orator led to his election to the Senate in 1827,
where he served until 1836.
He was appointed Secretary of State by President Harrison in 1840, re-elected to the senate in 1845, and
again appointed Secretary of State by President Fillmore in 1850, where he served until his death in
Marshfield in 1852. He is best remembered for his skill as a Senator in the pre-Civil War era and was so
esteemed that in 1957, he was officially named by the Senate as one of its five most outstanding members.
The deed below represents a portion of his purchase of the two largest estates in Marshfield formerly
owned by the Thomas and Winslow families.
[1833 Marshfield Book of Deeds - Book 175 page 238] Compliments of Register of Deeds John R. Buckley, Jr.
and Anthony M. Markella From the “Plymouth County Registry of Deeds Notable Land Records Collection”
Kilborn Whitman, son of Zechariah and Abigail (Kilborn) Whitman, was born in Bridgewater,
August 17, 1765, and graduated at Harvard in 1785. He studied divinity with Rev. Dr. William Shaw of
Marshfield, and was settled some time over the parish in Pembroke, Mass. After ten years' service
in the ministry, he studied law with his brother Benjamin in Hanover, Mass., and was admitted to the
Suffolk bar in 1791. He continued his residence in Pembroke until his death, and was County Attorney
from 1811 to 1832. He was appointed to the Plymouth County Common Pleas May 10, 1810. He married
Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac Winslow of Marshfield, and died December 11, 1835.
[Source: History of the Judiciary of Massachusetts: By William Thomas Davis; Publ. 1900; Tr. by
Andrea Stawski Pack.]
Pelham Winslow, son of General John and Mary (Little) Winslow, and great-great-grandson of Governor
Edward Winslow, of Plymouth, was born in Plymouth in 1737, and graduated at Harvard in 1753.
Being a Loyalist he joined the British Army in 1776 and died in the service on Long Island in 1783.
He married, Joanna, daughter of Gideon White of Plymouth.
[Source: History of the Judiciary of Massachusetts: By William Thomas Davis; Publ. 1900; Tr. by
Andrea Stawski Pack.]
Samuel Woodworth was born at Scituate, Plymouth County, in the state of Massachusetts, on the thirteenth
of January. 1785. He was the youngest of four children. His father was a soldier of the Revolution.
At the age of fourteen, young Woodworth produced several effusions in verse, in which his schoolmates and
the clergyman of the parish thought they discovered traits of genius deserving encouragement and
cultivation. He was, accordingly, with the approbation of his parents, placed under the care of the Rev.
Nehemiah Thomas. In the family of this excellent man, Master Woodworth remained one year; during which
time he was taught the English and Latin grammars, and made great proficiency in the study of the
Soon afterward he found it necessary to make choice of some occupation by which he might procure a
livelihood. He chose the profession of a printer; and, after bidding adieu to his native town, proceeded
to Boston, where he bound himself an apprentice to Benjamin Russell, editor and proprietor of
the "Columbian Centinel," with whom he continued until the term of his apprenticeship expired,
in 1806. During this period he employed his leisure hours in writing poetry for the different periodical
publications then issued in that city, under the signature of Selim. He continued to use this nom de
plume for most of his writings in after-life, and was often called by this name among his intimate
In 1807, he published a weekly sheet at New Haven, entitled-the "Belles-Lettres Repository,"
and wrote a long poem, from which we have made several selections in the present volume. The following
year he passed in Baltimore, during which time he contributed many of his best poems to the newspapers
of that city. In the spring of 1809 he proceeded to New York, where, in 1810, he married an amiable young
lady, by whom he had a large family of children.
During the contest between the United States and Great Britain, in 1812-1814, Mr. Woodworth conducted a
weekly newspaper in New York, entitled "The War," in which he chronicled our victories by land
and sea. He also, at that period, supplied, with his ever-ready pen, poetical tributes to American valor
and patriotism, which still live in the memory of many whom they then delighted. He edited at the same
time a monthly magazine, called the "Halcyon Luminary and Theological Repository," devoted to
the promulgation of the doctrines of the New Church (Swedenborgian), of which he was a sincere professor,
and for some time a licentiate, in the city of New York.
In 1816, he wrote the "Champions of Freedom," a novel in two volumes; and, at a later date, a
series of papers, in prose, entitled "The Confessions of a Sensitive Man." He subsequently
conducted "The Casket," "The Parthenon," and the "Literary Gazette." He was
associated with the friend who prepares this brief sketch of him in the establishment of the "New
York Mirror," during the first year of its publication, which was commenced on the second of
August, 1823; and ever afterward he remained a frequent contributor to its columns. At this period of
his life, he wrote much for the stage; and his domestic opera of the "Forest Rose" still
retains its popularity.
His poetical correspondence was curious and unique; that with Zorayda is about as fair a specimen of the
whole, as the single brick of antiquity was of the quality of the building it represented.
PREPARED FROM VARIOUS SOURCES, By GEORGE F. MORRIS.
[Source: The poetical works of Samuel Woodworth, Volume 1; By Samuel and Frederick A. Woodworth;
Publ. 1861; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack.]