Alfred Sereno Hudson.

The history of Sudbury, Massachusetts, 1638-1889 online

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18, 1820, and has two children, — Ellen Maria, born July 2,
1847, and Sylvester Dwight, born Jan. 4. 1851.

Powers. — Abijah Powers, first of the name in Sudbury,
was a native of Maine. He went from Stirling to Sudbury
in 1841, and purchased a place at the Centre where he still
lives and carries on the blacksmith's business. In 1838, he
married Delia Maynard of North Sudbury and has had four
children, — Emily R., Edwin A. (died in 1846), Clara A.
and Edwin A. Edwin A. married Emma F., daughter of
Francis and Sarah Garfield, in 1869, and has one son, —
Willard M.

Pratt. — An early Sudbury resident of the name was
Ephraim, who, with othere, in 1729 signed a petition asking
that the subscribers, who claimed to be owners of the New
Grant lots, might hold a legal meethig " to be at the house
of Jonathan Rice (North West District) in said Sudbury,
Innholder." The farm occupied by Ephraim Pratt was
known as the Wedge-Pratt farm, which was sold in 1743 to
Jabez Puffer of Braintree, and is now included in the town
of Maynard. Mr. Pratt moved to Shutesbury, where he
died in 1804 at the age of one hundred and sixteen years.
He was born in Sudbury in 1687. Dr. Dwight, having
visited him a short time before his death, in his " Travels "
gives the following facts concerning him : " He was of
middle stature ; firmly built ; plump, but not encumbered
with flesh; less withered than multitudes at seventy; pos-
sessed of considerable strength, . . . and without any marks
of extreme age." But a short time before, his sight and
hearing had become impaired. " His memory was still vig-
orous ; his understanding sound and his mind sprightly and
vigorous. He had been a laborious man all his life ; and had
mown grass one hundred and one years successively. The
preceding summer he had been unable to perform this labor ;
but in 1802 he walked without inconvenience two miles and
mowed a small qUantit}'- of grass. . . . Throughout his life he
had been uniformly temperate. ... In the vigorous periods
of his life he had accustomed himself to eat tiesh, but more
abstemiously than most other people in this country. Milk,


which had always been a great part, was now the whole of
his diet." He was never sick but once, and then with fever
and ague. Nathan Pratt, one of the founders of the Amer-
ican Powder Company, was a native of Fitchburg, came to
Sudbury from Charlestown about 1833, moved to Arlington
about 1855, and left the powder business in 1865. He had
no children. Nathan, a nephew of Nathan and present resi-
dent of the town, was a son of Capt. Levi Pratt. He was
born in Fitchburg in 1829, and came to Sudbury Jan. 1,
1849. He was for twenty-one years in the employ of the
American Powder Company, and from 1860 to 1870 super-
intendent of the Powder Mills. In 1870, he bought and took
possession of the property previously known as " Moore's
Mills " in the west part of the town, which consists of a saw,
grist and planing mill. Mr. Pratt is a Director in the
American Powder Company and the Hudson National Bank
and Trustee of the Hudson Savings Bank. He has also held
various town offices and was chairman of the board of select-
men for four years. In 1855, he married Harriet, daughter
of Aaron Hunt of Sudbury, and has three children, — Sarah
E., Harriet M. and Nathan R. Sarah E. has for the past
nine years been a teacher in the State Normal School, Fram-

PuFFEE. — This family first appeared in Boston in 1640,
and was granted land at Mount Wollaston, now Quincy.
George, who sometimes was called Poffer, had three chil-
dren. James the oldest married at Braintree, 1656, Mary
Ludden. He had six children, — James, born 1663, and
Jabez, 1672 ; both removed to Sudbury in 1712. James
married Mary Ellis of Dedham in 1690, and had six children
born in Braintree ; he died in 1749. Captain Jabez married
Mary Glazier in 1702 and had seven children, all but the
last two born in Braintree ; he died in 1746. Jabez 2d
married Thankful Haynes in 1731, Samuel married Dorothy
Haynes in 1732. They were sons of Jabez 1st and married
sisters. Reuben, son of Jabez 2d, graduated at Harvard
College in 1778, and was settled at Berlin. He died in 1829.
He was distinguished in his profession, and received the
degree of D. D. from Harvard College in 1810. A. D.


Puffer — a great-grandson of Jabez 2d, who resides in Med-
ford and is an extensive manufacturer of soda fountains —
was born in Sudbury in 1819. Daniel, grandson of Jabez
2d, was an extensive land owner. The Puffer family have
lived mostly in the north-west and north-east parts of the
town. Deacon Samuel Puffer lived in the latter district in
the early part of the present century. One branch of the
Puffer family, in which the name Daniel has been prominent,
was so noted for skill in catching wild pigeons as to give
rise to the term, familiar in Sudbury, of Pigeon Catcher
Puffer. Luther, a son of Samuel, Jr., graduated at Bowdoin
College in 1853. Alpheus, another son, is a resident of
South Sudbury. James, a son of Josiah, resides at Sudbury

Richardson. — Major Josiah was the first of the Richard-
son family in Sudbury. He was born in Woburn Jan. 12,
1701-2, and married Experience, daughter of Benjamin
Wright of Sudburj'. They had four children, — Gideon,
Josiah, Experience and Luther, Gideon went into the
ministry and settled at Wells, Me., but soon afterwards died.
The Richardsons of the present day are descendants of
Josiah, Jr., who was the only son living when his father
made his will in 1758. Major Josiah Richardson lived on
the Israel HoAve Brown place, which once included what are
now the Newton and Hiram Goodenow farms, — the first of
which formerly belonged to Gideon, son of Josiah, Jr., and
the latter to Joseph Cutter, who married Lucy, one of
Gideon's daughters. Major Richardson has already been
mentioned in connection with the Sudbury militia. In 1765,
Josiah was appointed coroner of Middlesex County. The
family have lived mostly at South Sudbury. Abel Richard-
son, son of Gideon, for years owned the saw and grist mill
there, and his brother Josiah was a well-known musician.
Benjamin, a son of Benjamin, who was brother of Josiah and
Abel, represented Sudbury in the Legislature in 1858, and
is a justice of the peace. He has had eight children, —
Anna M., Merrick L., Clifford W., Waldo F., Emily C,
Leonard F., Ralf L., Nellie M.

Robinson. — A member of this family early in town lived


in a house which stood on or near the Smith Jones place
(Hurlbut place). He had several children, among whom
were Paul, Oliver and Silas. He went from Stow to Sud-
bury, where he died. Paul was born in Stow, went to
Sudbury, and had several children, among whom was Dexter,
who still lives at South Sudbury. Dexter had two children,
Fitz A. and Martha A. Fitz married Louisa Tower of Sud-
bury Centre and resides in Weston. Martha married Elias

Rogers. — The Rogers famil}'- has been in town more
than three-quarters of a century. The first was Walter,
born in Marshfield Aug. 6, 1767; he came from Braintree
in 1805. His wife was Betsey Barstow of Hanover, born
Aug. 1, 1772. He purchased of Mr. Waite a part of the
Jonas Holden place, of which the C. G. Cutler farm is also
a part, and both of which belonged to the George Pitts
place in the early part of the eighteenth century. He
erected a house on the farm and died in Sudbury at an
advanced age. He was a person of considerable mechanical
ability, having made a hand fire engine for his own use. He
had nine children, — Betsey, Lydia, Lucy, Abigail, Mary,
Jane, Walter, Nancy, Samuel B. Betsey, widow of Deacon
Gardner Hunt, is still living at the age of about ninety.
Walter married for his first wife Emily M. Hayden, Dec. 1,
1831, and for his second wife Emeline S., daughter of Wil-
liam Stone of Sudbury, July 10, 1855. He owns and occu-
pies the old homestead, and has had five children, — Bradley,
Edwin, Albert, Homer and Elizabeth, Samuel B. has been
a prominent business man in South Sudbury, He married
Eliza, daughter of Noah Parmenter, and has had four chil-
dren, — Alfred S,, Bradley S,, Melvina A., Atherton W.
Atherton resides at South Sudbury and is chairman of the
present board of selectmen,

Taylor, — The name of Mello C. Taylor is recorded in
connection with a petition to Governor Dudley by the West
Side inhabitants in 1706-7 ; and among the inhabitants of
the north-west district, early in the century, was Richard
Taylor, who was one of the Proprietors of and prominently
connected with the settlement of Grafton. (See page 167.)


Hezekiali and John were early settlers of what is now May-
nard. The immediate ancestor of the present Taylor family
in Sudbury was John, who went to Sudbur} - from Stow
about 1800. He married for his first wife Mary Conant of
Framingham, and for his second wife Elizabeth Hews of
Weston, By his second marriage he had six children, —
Mary, Eliza, Cyrus, Sarah, Rebecca and Susan. Sarah mar-
ried Thomas B. Battles of Sudbury. Cjtus, born 1796,
married Mary Barker of Sudbury and had nine children, —
John, Sewall, Mary, George, Henry, Susan, Lewis, Andrew
and Martha. John married Caroline, daughter of Samuel
Jones of Sudbury, and has one child, Carrie, who married
"W. H. Bent, formerly of Sudbury, Sewall married Mrs.
Susan (Moore) Moulton. George married Susan Spring of
Weston, and has one son, Edward.

Thompson. — Tradition says that the first Thompson in
Sudbury was born on the passage from England to America.
While living in Sudbury, but absent from home, his house
was at one time attacked by the Indians. His wife, with an
infant child, escaped to the woods. In her flight she
received a musket-ball in the leg from which she suffered
greatly, being obliged to stay in the woods all night. A son,
James, was town clerk in the latter part of the eighteenth
century. Jedediah, son of James, was born and died in
Sudbur}'-. Nahum, son of Jedediah, was a prominent citizen.
In the early part of his life he was town clerk, and later
town treasurer. He had seven children, three of whom
are sons, of whom Alfred is a Sudbury resident. The old
Thompson house at South Sudbury stood just west of the
track of the Massachusetts Central Railroad at its junction
with the county highway. A part of it was moved to the
Thadeus Moore place west of Ilayden's Bridge.

Walker. — Thomas Walker is mentioned as teacher of a
free school in Sudbury in 1661. (See page 139,) He is also
mentioned as an Innholder in 1672. Thomas, probably the
same one, had eight children, among whom were Mary and
Thomas. Mary married Rev. James Sherman ; and Thomas,
born May 22, 1664, bought sixty acres of land, April 10,
1688, of Gookin and How, in the territory now Framingham,


and built a house near Rice's End. He married Martha,
daughter of Samuel How, Dec. 7, 1687, and had ten chil-
dren, among whom was Samuel, born Sept. 24, 1689, who
married, Nov. 3, 1715, Hannah Jennings. Samuel and
Hannah had five children, among whom was Azariah, born
June 24, 1722, who married Abigail Seaver. The youngest
son of Azariah was Mathias, who married, in 1792, Jane
Moulton of East Sudbury, and one of whose sons, Azariah,
born Nov. 1, 1798, married Miranda Bogle and moved to
Sudbury. His son Francis married Ellen, daughter of Ed-
ward Brown of Sudbury, and lives on the old homestead.
Their children are Eugene, Prentiss, Elinor, Shirley and
Carlton. Thomas has been a common family name. It is
found on the " Old Petition " in 1676, in a list of those who
shared the town's stock of ammunition in 1688, and in the
muster-roll of the 2nd Foot Company in 1757. From
William, son of Thomas 1st, has descended the Walker
family that long lived in the west part of the town. He had
a son Thomas who was deacon of the Sudbury Church and
father of Paul, who was sent as a representative to the
Legislature. Willard Walker, son of Paul, lives on the old
farm. He has been twice married and has three children, —
Roselbie, Caroline and Georgiana.

Wheeler. — It is quite probable that this family came
from Concord, where the name appears from the settlement
of the town. It is stated (History of Concord) that the
family came from Wales, and that the descendants have been
so numerous and so many have borne the same Christian
name that their genealogy is traced with great difficulty.
The name of George Wheller is on a muster-roll of the 2nd
Foot Company in 1757 ; and the name of Caleb Wheeler is
attached to a petition to the selectmen asking that a town-
meeting be called to consider the matter of purchasing a
house for small-pox patients. A prominent member of the
family in the present century was Loring, whose father,
Abel, was born in Sudbury July 21, 1776. Loring married,
April 10, 1827, Polly Cutter of Temple, N. H., and had
seven children. He lived until his death, Oct. 15, 1855, on
the place formerly occupied by his father in the east part of


the town. He had five children, — Emily, Adaline, Loring,
Henrietta and Abel. Emily married J. Parker Fairbanks ;
Adaline, John Goodenow ; and Henrietta, James Puffer, all
of Sudbury. Loring, Sen., was for years on the board of
selectmen. ^

Willis. — The names of Samuel and Joseph Willis appear
on a petition of 1706-7 ; and on a list of the 2nd Foot
Company of 1757 are the names of Serg't Joseph, Jesse,
Reuben and John. The family have, for the most part,
lived in the westerly or north-westerly part of the town, and
Willis Pond and Willis Hill are familiar landmarks. Among
well-known citizens of the present century, descendants of
whom still live in town, were Smith and James Prescott,
brothers ; Daniel Lyman and George W., brothers ; and Eli.
The former two were sons of Silas. Smith had two daugh-
ters, Adaliza and lantha. James P. married Adaline R.
Haynes, lived near Sudbury Centre and had five children, —
James L., Albert, Adaline, Edward and Charles P. James
L. married for his first wife Emily R., daughter of Abijah
Powers, June 17, 1866 ; for his second wife, Ella S. Simpson,
July 7, 1870. Charles P. married Cora E. Willard. Both
are residents of Sudbury. Daniel Lyman married Sarah,
daughter of Joseph Reed, and had eleven children, — Jerusha,
George, Charles A., Nancy, Mary, Abi, George L., Joseph H.,
Samuel A., Charles A. and John F. Joseph H. married
Caroline Hunt and had one child named Samuel. George W.
married Adaline Haj-nes and had six children, — Edward,
Cyrus L., Harriet E., Mary, Adaline and Ella. Eli married
a daughter of Israel Haynes of Sudbury and had several
children, one of whom, Eli, married Sarah Butterfield and
lives at Lanliam.

By this brief review of family history, we are reminded
that the years have brought changes in the homesteads and
among the households of Sudbury. There has been a going
out and coming in of inhabitants, and not only highways,
occupations, churches and schools have changed, but whole
families have vanished, leaving no one to perpetuate their



Continuation of Old Customs to the Beginning of the Present Century.

— Inventory in a Will of 1806. — Extracts from an Old Account
Book. — Description of Manners and Customs by an Old Inhabitant.

— Changes in the Early Part of the Nineteenth Century. — Extract
from " Fireside Hymns." — Highway Work. — North Sudbury Road.
South Sudbury Road. — Rebuilding Wash Bridge. — Railing the
Causeway. — Setting out Willow Trees. — Rebuilding the Canal
Bridge. — Miscellaneous. — Educational Matters. — Report of School
Committee in 1802. — Removal of Centre School-House to the Com-
mon. — Singing Society. — Church Music. — Military Matters. — Pa-
triotic Attitude Assumed by the Town. — Money Pledged to Soldiers
as Wages. — As Bounty. — Patriotic Resolutions. — Militia Officers.

— How Chosen. — Where. — Specimen of Company Order. — Sol-
diers in 1812. — Wages per Day. — Settlement of Rev. Timothy
Hilliard. — Ordaining Council. — Dismission. — Bill Allowed for En-
tertaining the Dismissing Council. — Sketch of Mr. Hilliard. — Ap-
pointment of a Day of Fasting and Prayer Relative to the Settlement
of a New Minister. — Call Extended to Rev. Rufus Hurlbut. —
Accepted. — Death of Rev. Jacob Bigelow. — His Annuity. — Money
Paid his Widow for Service Rendered by the Clergy as a Gift to
her. — Funeral Expenses. — Sketch of Mr. Bigelow. — Addition to
the Church during his Ministry. — Enlarging the Burying Ground.

— Purchase of a Bier and Hearse. — Formation of " Sudbury Min-
isterial Land Corporation." — Sale of Ministerial Land. — Report of
the " Ministerial Fund Corporation."

By the fireside there are old men seated
Seeing ruined cities in the ashes,

Asking sadly
Of the Past what it can ne'er restore them.


The interest of the community in ecclesiastical matters in
the beginning of the nineteenth century was similar to that
of the century that preceded it. The town was the parish
and the church was still at the front. The people regarded



the minister as the exponent of a system of truth that
they revered and of a faith that they cherished and taxed
themselves to support. Marked respect was shown him
by both old and young ; the former not being too busy to
leave the workshop or field when he called, and the latter,
not having so far outgrown that civility which is becoming
to youth, as to pass unnoticed one whose calling was held in
such esteem by their elders. The Sabbath was observed by
a general attendance at church, and a large share of the
town officials were either church members or regular church
attendants. Special church occasions, such as ordinations,
installations and dedications, were gala days to the com-
munity, and days of fasting and thanksgiving were relig-
iously observed. The outward form of religion was not
then divorced from the town-meeting, the school or the

Politically and socially, at the beginning of the present
century, affairs were conducted largely as in the century
preceding. Officials were elected mainly on the basis of
merit. Military honors were still recognized. The same
strict economy was practised and the same careful consid-
eration of need before the smallest expenditure. If it was
only to decide upon the location of a horse-shed, the town
deemed the matter of sufficient importance to adjourn its
town-meeting to take a look at the premises, and, if thought
desirable to erect a "noon-house," it might be essential to
bring the subject before the town.

The custom and manner of living had not yet undergone
any radical change, and all " new fangled " things were still
looked upon with suspicion. The fireplace was the same as
when the family group sat about it at evening and listened
to the tales of Indian warfare. The people still wore the
coarse cloth their own hands spun and wove. The hired
man and the housemaid might be children of some of the
most well-to-do families in town. Travel was largely on
horseback or on foot. The horseblock by the meeting-house
was still in use. Malt was a common commodity. New
England rum was considered essential in hay-time. Tlie
wooden plow was in use, and the hay-fork and other farming


tools were still made by the village smith. As late as 1806
the following articles are mentioned in the will of Hopestill
Willis of Sudbury, which is, perhaps, a fair specimen of the
inventory of a householder about the beginning of this
century : " One calaca gown. A small Spinning Wheel.
Wooden Ware. Meal sieve. Old Chist. Pewter Ware.
Warming pan. Flax comb. Candle sticks and shears.
Tongs, Trowels, meat tub. Cyder barrel."

In order to show the articles manufactured and used in
town about the beginning of the present century, the price
of work and of some common commodities, we quote a few
extracts from the account book of James Thompson of South

Jeduthan Moore D""

To making a slead 0- 4-0

to two Bushil of Malt : 9:0

to two pecks of Ground Malt : 2:9

to mending a Spinning Wheele : 0:6

to a pair of temples. : 1:0

Hezekiah Moore D' Old Tenor £ s d

1770 to making a Bedstead 2- 0-0
to making a flax Breake 1- 2-6
1771. to one Days Reaping of Abel 0-15-0

Ashur Cutler D' Old Tenor.

1772 to two days Labour at the Mill 1-16-0

1773 to Ashur's Trundle Bedstead 0-18-0
to a kneeding Trough 0- 9-0

1774 Making the Sawmill whele and work in the mill 5-10-0
Making a foot to a Little whele 0- 3-0

Credt to Mr Ashur Cutler Old Tenor

1771 by one Bushil of Rie 1-7-0
one Bushil of Indian Corn 1- 2-6
and one Bushil of Malt 1- 5-0

Capt John Nixon D' Old tenor

Jan y® 10"^ 1774 to making a Slay and finding nails 3- 0-0

May y" 26, 1774 to mending a Spinning Wheele 0- 5-0
July at the Begining to making a cart and Ladders

and finding boards 3- 7-6

and making an ox yoke - 7-6

Jany 1775. to one Bushil of Malt 1 - 5-0

April 17. 1775 to a Chist 2-8-0

1 :




• 0-






























- 7-



- 7-






Col° John Nixon D"^ old Tenor
1776. to Kneeding trough
to four Bushils of Barley Malt
Dec. 27"' 1776 to Coffin for his wife
July 1783. Reed of Gen" Nixon

1781, Isaac Hunt. Debtor in Lawful money,
to making a cart body
To a Coffin for his Father
To making a Slead

Jonas Holden Ju' Debtor to James Thompson

1790 to 2 Days framing

and half a Day Covering the Mill

1791. to two Bushils of Malt

to four Days on the Gates

To Aaron Johnson Dr Old Tenour
to making two Margent window frames
to making three plain frames
to making 203 Squares of Sashes at ^

Confirmatory of the truth of our conjecture that, up to
the time of which we write, no great changes had taken place
in the customs and ways of society, we quote the following
description of manners and customs by Mrs. Israel Haynes,
a resident of Sudbury, written about the year 1864, at the
age of eighty.


" * » I still remember seventy-five years back more cor-
rect than what has been transacted within a week. * * I
think people enjoyed their simple way of living as well as
they do now. I recollect when the old meeting [house] was
standing. A plain Building Ceiled with Boards and a few
pews. There are several Barns now in town Finished much
handsomer than that was. * * There was no bell on the
house. But a small school house stood near by on the
common finished of as poorly as the meeting house, there was
a little entry-way where there was a little Bell Hung all
that belonged to the town to ring for meetings or funerals
or what not. There was Body seats below for the oldest
people And seats in the gallery for other people. The most
popular took the front seats and had Pegs put up to hang


their Cockt Hats on. [they] made quite a show. * * The
Deacons used to read the hymns two lines or a verse and
then they sung it. They had a pitch pipe to pitch the tune.
After awhile there was a bass viol Introduced and brought
into town and did not suit the old People, one Old Gentle-
man got up took his hat of the peg and march'd off, said
they had begun fidling there would be dancing next. The
children occupied the stairs when the seats were full, and I
believe they enjoyed [it]. They chose tithing men to keep
them regulated but still there was some confusion. I would
describe their dress as near as I can remember, it Consisted
of one Dress one of their Mother's old Dresses she had when
she was married or a Cheap Calico Coarser than A strainer
I ever used. I recollect the first one I had — it was thirty
three cents a yd as we recon now and I thought it as Beau-
tiful as they think of A Nice silk. As to bonnets I dont
seem to remember as far back as I went first to meetiuff.
But Children went to meeting in such clothes as they had —
now if they have not such clothes as they like they stay at
home. They want a gold watch a breast pin and rings on
the finger. In my young days we did not know what such
things were. There was a minister in each adjoining town
I Believe all of one Denomination, old People called it the
old standing Order * * I have not described the men's

Online LibraryAlfred Sereno HudsonThe history of Sudbury, Massachusetts, 1638-1889 → online text (page 41 of 58)