Benjamin Cutter.

History of the town of Arlington, Massachusetts online

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liefereiices.

First Parish Church.
Haptist Church.
Universalist Church.
Orthodox Church.
Roman Catholic Church.
Prot. Episcopal Church.
High School.
Hussi'U .School.
Cutter School.
East District School.
Locke School.




Jieferences.

First rnrisli Church.

-'. Baptist Church.

:i. UuivtTsnlist Clmrcli.

4. Orthodox < hun-li.

5. Konmii (';itholio (Mmro
t«. Prot. i:i)isooi):il CI
7. Hish School.
«. Kussi-11 Scliool.

ii. Cutter Scliool.
lu. Kiist District School.
11. l.ocki' School.




Outline Map of Arlington,



HISTORY

OK THK

TOWN OF ARLINGTON,



MASSACHUSETTS.



FORMERLY THE



SECOND PRECINCT IN CAMBRIDGE

OB

DISTRICT OF MENOTOMY,

AFTERWARD THE TOWN OF

WEST CAMBRIDGE.

1635—1879.

WITH A J

GENEALOGICAL REGISTER OF THE INHABITANTS <^
OFTHE^R^mCT.



*J



By benjamin and ^IlffilAM e'.%UTTEB.

'^ So'/



DAVID CL

564 Washu
1(




B

^P^ & SON,



GTOiaJTREET.

8 0S



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-n

m



Copyright.,

i8So.

David Clapp & Son.






PREFACE.



It was the aim of the late Dr. Benjamin Cutter to preserve
the decaying memorials of his native precinct, and much his-
torical and genealogical matter was accordingly collected by him,
and left unpublished at his death. It has been the design of his
son to present this to the public in a convenient shape and dura-
ble form, with such additions as he has been able to collect.
It is trusted that the work will prove valuable as a book of
reference, notwithstanding that inaccuracies may occasionally
be found.

It is remarkable that the great-grandfather of Dr. Cutter was
the first Precinct Clerk, or recording officer — an office which he
held for thirty-two consecutive years. ' The paternal grandfather
of Dr. Cutter (Ammi. Cutter), and his maternal grandfather
(Samuel Locke), were also Precinct Clerks at different periods,
the former holding the office five years, and the latter sixteen
years.

The authorities which have been consulted in obtaining dates
and facts are specified in various portions of the work. The
precinct and town records have, of course, been much relied
upon, and information from them, as well as from gravestones,
is given, as far as practicable, in the phraseology originally
'used. The church records have been found invaluable. Rev.
Mr. Cooke, first minister of the Precinct (1739-1783), was an
admirable recorder, whose specialty was the church records,
and the Precinct births, baptisms, marriages and deaths. The
records by Rev. Dr. Fiske cover forty years (1788-1828).
Care has been taken to make proper reference in the text to two
valuable recent publications — those of Rev. Dr. Paige and



Thoiiiiiti I>. Wymiiii — tVom which important facts have been de-
rived. Reference is also made to these works when further
information on the subject may there be obtained. The author
is greatly indebted to John B. Russell, Esq., a native of the
town, now of New Jersey, for many important and iutercstinu-
statements and reminiscences. He is also under obligations to
Mr. B. D. Locke, the present Town Clerk of Arlington, for
favors granted in the examination of Records in his possession.

The genealogical portion of the work is mainly confined to
the families who had a residence here in the times of the Pre-
cinct, and is as complete and accurate as the greatest labor and
care could make it.

The preparation of the List of Soldiers given at the close of
the volume was a work of greater labor than at first anticipated ;
but the List, as here presented, constitutes a more complete
Record of the men furnished by the town for the late war than
can be found elsewhere. ,

Particulars relating to the later years of the towns of West
Cambridge and Arlington may not be so full, in certain respects,
as some readers might wish ; but the comparative unimportance
of the events of recent times in the place, and the increased
accessibility of modern local records, are ^considered a suflScient
explanation for any such apparent neglect.

William R. Cutter,
David Clapp & Son.



CONTENTS.



HISTORY OP THE TOWN:



I.


General History ....


Page.
1


II.


History before the Establishment of
THE Precinct


5


III.


History of the Precinct


. 21


IV.


Town of West Cambridge


114


V.


Town of Arlington ....


. 161


VI.


List of Public Officers


167


m.


Present Religious Societies .


. 174



GENEAL O GICAL RE GISTER :

Genealogy of the Inhabitants of the

Second Precinct in Cambridge . 183

SOLDIERS AND SAILORS IN THE LAST WAR:

In Massachusetts Regiments . . . 339

In the Naval Service . . , . 348

In Fortieth New York Regiment . . 349

Miscellaneous 350

General Index ....... 353

Index of Names . . . . . . 365



ILLUSTKATIOE^S.



Outline Map of Arlington oi3po. title.

House of the Rev. Samuel Cooke .... 83

The house of the Rev. Samuel Cooke, last owned by his grand-
daughter, Miss Anna Bradshaw, was raised July 17, 1740, at public
expense. It stood on Pleasant Street, and was built on land bought
of Jason Russell, and after standing on the original site more than
one hundred and thii-ty years, was removed in 1871 to another part
of the village, and its exterior very materially altered. The illustra-
tion was taken just previous to the removal. Many interesting as-
sociations are connected with the house, it having been the scene
of various ' important public events, and the abode of eminent
individuals.

Likeness of the Rev. Samuel Cooke .... 89

Portrait of the Rev. Thaddeus Fiske, D.D. . . 105

Centre of West Cambridge in 1817 .... 138

Monument to AVilliam and Mary Cutter . . .141

House of the Rev. Dr. Thaddeus Fiske . . . 240

The House of the Rev. Dr. Thaddeus Fiske was also on Pleasant
Street. The land, which formerly belonged to the estate of Rev.
Samuel Cooke, was bought of Marshall Spring, of Watertown, Aug.
16, 1791. It was a capacious and imposing structure, and after hav-
ing stood three quarters of a century was demolished in 1866.

Copies of three of the above illustrations, in process of heliotyping
for this work, were destroyed by the disastrous fire in Boston, Dec.
28, 1879. It was fortunately found possible to replace them from
copies in the possession of others, to whom we are indebted for the
loan of them.



HISTORY OF ARLINQTON,

FORMERLY

WEST CAMBRIDGE AND CAMBRIDGE SECOND PRECINCT.



I.
GENERAL HISTORY.

The history of Cambridge has been concisely presented by
Rev. Dr. Paige in his invaluable volume. The State Records ,
preserve the action of the Council on a " Petition of Cambridge
Northwest Inhabitants," under date of June 30, 1732, namely a
petition of James Cutler and others, a committee for the inhabi-
tants of the Northwest Part of the town of Cambridge, — show-
ing that on their application to said town to be set off a sepa-
rate precinct, they were pleased to vote that they should be set
off by certain bounds in the said vote particularly described,
with a reservation of the ministerial lands to the old parish,
together with all their gifts and grants made to the church at
Cambridge ; and praying that they may be set off a distinct
precinct without that reservation, and that the ministry lot lying
within their bounds may be assigned to the petitioners, which is
not their full proportion of the ministerial estate. The order
thereon was, that the petitioners serve the town of Cambridge
with a copy of this petition, that they show cause at a time
stated why the prayer thereof should not be granted.

On Nov. 3, 1732, the petition of James Cutler and others, in
behalf of the inhabitants of the Northwest Part of Cambridge,
praying as entered June 30, 1782, being in Council read again,
together with the answer of the town of Cambridge, and the
petition of William Russell and others, and the same being fully
considered, the question was put whether the prayer of the peti-
tion be granted, and it passed in the negative and was therefore
dismissed.

2



2 HISTORY OF ARLINGTON.

Paige slates that as early as May 10, 1725, the people on the
■westerly side of Menotomy River desired better accommodation
for public worship, and petitioned the town to consent that they
might beconie a separate precinct. The tcgs^n withheld its con-
sent, on the ground that near one-half of said inhabitants had
not signed the petition. The request was renewed in 1728.

A second petition of James Cutler and others, a committee
for the Northwest inhabitants of Cambridge, praying they be set
off a separate and distinct precinct, by such boundaries as are
set forth in their petition, was disposed of as follows: order
thereon ; petitioners serve town of Cambridge with copy of
their petition, that they show cause, if any they have, on Wednes-
day, the 6th of December following, why the prayer thereof
should not be granted.

Ebenezer Burrill, Esq., for the committee of both houses on the
petition above, reijorted that said committee, appointed to take under
consideration said petition, having repaired to the lauds petitioned for
by, and notified the petitioners and the agents for the town of Cam-
bridge,' with other petitioners, and having carefully viewed the place
and heard tlie parties, are humbly of opinion that the lands in the
Northwest Part of said town petitioned for, be set off a distinct pre-
cinct by the following boundaries :

On Menotomy River from Charlestown till it comes to Spy Pond
Brook, then on said brook till it comes to a watercourse or ditch in
Whiting's meadow, so called ; the ditch to be the boundary till it comes
to llaniblet's Brook, following the course of said brook to the Bridge,
thence on a straight line to the northwest corner of Mr. Isaac Holden's
orchard, and continuing the same course to Watertown line. And
that the inhabitants of the said precinct be vested with all the powers,
privileges and immunities that other precincts within this Province do,
or by law ought to enjoy.

The above report was accepted, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 1732,
and the order of the General Court for a new precinct in Cam-
bridge was that the lands above-mentioned be set oflF a distinct
precinct accordingly. — 3Iass. Prov. Records, vol. xv.

On June 9, 1762, the inhabitants of the said Second Parish

* Hon. Spencer Phips, Jonathan Remington, Francis Foxcroft, William Brat-
tle, Esqs., and Mr, Andrew Bordman, were chosen the committee of Cambridge,
July 24, 1732, for this purpose. See attested copy of vote, belonging to Mr.
J. B. llusseU of New Market. N. J.



GENERAL HISTORY. 3

in Cambridge, together with certain petitioners then inhabitants
of the town of Charlestown, were incorporated into a District,
generally called Menotomy, since it included all the territory in
the two towns on the westerly side of Menotomy River, now
Alewife Brook, the stream flowing from the Spy-Pond Brook
into the Mystic River.'

On Feb. 27, 1807, an act was passed to divide the town of
Cambridge, and to incorporate the Westerly Parish therein as
a separate town, by the name of West Cambridge.

All that part of the town of Cambridge, heretofore known as the
Second Parish, and as described within the following bounds :

Beginning at Charlestown line where the little river intersects the
same, and running on a line in the middle of said little river until it
strikes Fresh Pond; thence west ten degrees south until it intersects
the line of the town of Watertown ; thence on Watertown and Wal-
tham line, till it strikes Lexington line ; thence on Lexington line till
it strikes Woburn line ; theijce on Woburn and Charlestown line to
the little river first mentioned.

This act contains the proviso that nothing therein shall be so
construed as to impair the right or privilege of the Congrega-
tional minister of the town of West Cambridge, which he now
holds in Harvard College.'

The inhabitants were vested with all the powers and privileges, and
subject to all the duties other corporate towns were subject to in this
commonwealth. They were to hold a proportion of property owned
in common — to pay arrears of taxes, to support their proportion of
poor, to support their proportion of the old bridge over Charles River
between the First and Third Parishes of Cambridge,* to pay state and
county taxes.

• The Mystic River, of which the ancient Menotomy River is a branch, has
its source in Mystic Pond, which was shown on Wood's Map of Massachusetts
in 1633. It almost has its beginning, continuance and end within the limits of
Medford, and hence is often called the Medford River. The names of the Mys-
tic and Menotomy Rivers are apparently aboriginal designations, and like all
Indian names probably describe the locality to which they were affixed. Trum-
bull gives the origin of the name Mystic, anciently written Mistich, as applied
to the Medford River, thus : " Tuk in Indian denotes a river whose waters are
driven in waves by the tides or winds. With the adjectival missi, ' great,' it
forms missi-tuk — now written Mystic — the name of the 'great river' of Boston
Bay." The origin of the name Menotomy yet awaits explanation. The spellings
of the word have been various.

2 The " teaching elders" of six towns, namely Cambridge, Watertown, Charles-
town, Boston, Roxbuiy and Dorchester, by act of 1642, were to constitute a
part of the Board of Overseers of Harvard College.

^ The Third Parish of Cambridge, now Brighton District.



4 HISTORY OF ARLINGTON.

The act had force June 1, 1807. A justice was to issue a
warrant directed to some freeholder of said town of West Cam-
bridge, notifying and warning the inhabitants thereof to meet at
such time and place as appointed in said warrant, for choice of
town officers. — Mass. Special Laivs, iv. 88.

Part of Charlestown was annexed to West Cambridge, Feb.
25, 1842. Namely, "all that part of Charlestown which lies
northwesterly of the thread of ' little river,' so called."

Part of West Cambridge was annexed to Winchester, April
30, 1850. Namely, the extreme northerly portion of West
Cambridge, to a point in the Lexington and West Cambridge
boundary line, one hundred and twelve and one half rods south-
west from the junction of said line with Woburn, Lexington and
West Cambridge lines.

Part of West Cambridge was annexed to Belmont, March 18,
1859. Namely, the extreme southerly portion of the town. For
specification of boundary line between the towns of West Cam-
bridge and Belmont, see the act to incorporate the town of Bel-
mont.

The name of the town of West Cambridge was changed to
Arlington, by act of legislature, April 13, 1867.



THE SECOND PRECINCT IN CAMBRIDGE.

II.

HISTORY BEFORE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE
PRECINCT.

1635. Paige, lllstonj of Cambridge, 1630-1877, mentions
farms granted to inhabitants of Cambridge in 1635, in the terri-
tory now embraced in Arlington and Lexington (p. 36). A
''highway to Menotomy" from the "Town" — now Old Cam-
bridge—existed prior to 1636 (pp. 15, 16); and a weir to catch
alewives on Menotomy River in the bounds of this town was
made in 1636 (p. 38).

In the Proprietors' Records of Cambridge — see Paige, 21-22 —
mention is made of the " new lots next Menotomy," as early as
1638. Instance William Cutter, who had one house and garden
in the " town," of Mr. Santley ; and had also " in the new lots
next Menotomy," three acres planting land ; highway to Meno-
tomy, west. William Patten had also in •' new lots next Meno-
tomy," two acres planting ground at this period.

William Cutter was a wine-cooper and made freeman April 18, 1637,
and member of the Artillery Company in 1638. He had estates in
Cambridge and Charlestown, and resided at different periods in both
places (see Paige, xvi. 487, 521, and Wyman, 260); and by 1653
returned to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in England, where he originated,
and whence a letter he wrote to Mr. Henry Dunster, President of
Harvard College in Cambridge in New England, in 1654, has,been
preserved (see Hist. Cutter Family of K E., p. 368). He was ap-
pointed "assisting water-serjeant " at Newcastle, Eng., and sworn
June 23, 1657. — Brand's History of Newcastle, ii. p. 24. His mother
Elizabeth Cutter, widow, and brother Richard Cutter, cooper, both
settled in Cambridge, and his sister Barbara Cutter married Mr. Elijah
Corlet, the memorable old school-master in Cambridge. The brother
Richard Cutter had many descendants here, but William probably left
no posterity. Richard Cutter had four acres land in the Menotomy
neighborhood, bounded John Brewer east, William Towne west,
Charlestown line north, and Common south, in 1645. Mention is
made of the Menotomy Bridge and Menotomy River in the Proprie-
tors' Records, in 1642.

William Patten was an early resident of Cambridge, who agreed to
take charge of a part of the town herd of cattle, and resided on the
easterly side of North Avenue (in the present Cambridge), opposite
the Common. — Paige. Some of his descendants have resided in the
Menotomy precinct.
- 2*



2 HISTORY OF ARLINGTON.

Paige slates that as early as May 10, 1725, the people on the
•westerly side of Mcnotomy River desired better accominodation
for public -worship, and petitioned tiie town to consent that they
might become a separate precinct. The iQfifn withheld its con-
sent, on the ground that near one-half of said inhabitants had
not signed the petition. The request was renewed in 1728.

A second petition of James Cutler and others, a committee
for the Northwest inhabitants of Cambridge, praying they be set
off a separate and distinct precinct, by such boundaries as are
set forth in their petition, was disposed of as follows: order
thereon ; petitioners serve town of Cambridge with copy of
their petition, that they show cause, if any they have, on Wednes-
day, the 6th of December following, why the prayer thereof
should not be granted.

Ehenezer Burrill, Esq., for the committee of both houses on the
petition above, reported that said committee, appointed to take under
consideration said petition, having repaired to the lauds petitioned for
by. and notified the petitioners and the agents for the town of Cam-
bridge,' with other petitioners, and having carefully viewed the place
and heard the parties, are humbly of opinion that the lands in the
Northwest Part of said town petitioned for, be set off a distinct pre-
cinct by the following boundaries :

On Menotomy River from Charlestown till it comes to Spy Pond
Brook, then on said brook till it comes to a watercourse or ditch in
"Whiting's meadows so called ; the ditch to be the boundary till it comes
to llamblet's Brook, following the course of said brook to the Bridge,
thence on a straight line to the northwest corner of JNIr. Isaac Holden's
orciiard, and continuing the same course to Watertown line. And
that the inhabitants of the said precinct be vested with all the powers,
privileges and immunities that other precincts within this Province do,
or by law ought to enjoy.

The above report was accepted, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 1732,
and the order of the General Court for a new precinct in Cam-
bridge was that the lands above-mentioned be set oif a distinct
precinct accordingly. — Mass. Prov. Records, vol. xv.

On June 9, 1762, the inhabitants of the said Second Parish

> Hon. Spencer Phips, Jonathan Remington, Francis Foxcroft, ■\Villiam Brat-
tle, Esqs., and Mr, Andrew Bordman, were chosen the coniniittce of Cambridge,
July 24, 1732, for this purpose. See attested copy of vote, belonging to Mr.
J. B. llusBell of New Market, N. J.



GENERAL HISTORY. 'S

in Cambridge, together with certain petitioners then inhabitants
of the town of Charlestown, were incorporated into a District,
generally called Menotomy, since it included all the territory in
the two towns on the westerly side of Menotomy River, now
Alewife Brook, the stream flowing from the Spy-Pond Brook
into the Mystic River.'

On Feb. 27, 1807, an act was passed to divide the town of
Cambridge, and to incorporate the Westerly Parish therein as
a separate town, by the name of West Cambridge.

All that part of the town of Cambridge, heretofore known as the
Second Parish, and as described within the following bounds :

Beginning at Charlestown line where the little river intersects the
same, and running on a line in the middle of said little river until it
strikes Fresh Pond ; thence west ten degrees south until it intersects
the line of the town of Watertown ; thence on Watertown and Wal-
tham line, till it strikes Lexington line ; thence on Lexington line till
it strikes Woburn line ; theijce on Woburn and Charlestown line to
the little river first mentioned.

This act contains the proviso that nothing therein shall be so
construed as to impair the right or privilege of the Congrega-
tional minister of the town of West Cambridge, which he now
holds in Harvard College.*

The inhabitants were vested with all the powers and privileges, and
subject to all the duties other corporate towns were subject to in this
commonwealth. They were to hold a proportion of property owned
in common — to pay arrears of taxes, to support their proportion of
poor, to support their proportion of the old bridge over Charles River
between the First and Third Parishes of Cambridge,' to pay state and
county taxes.

' The Mystic River, of whicli the ancient Menotomy River is a branch, has
its source in Mystic Pond, which was shown on Wood's Map of Massachusetts
in 1633, It almost has its beginning, continuance and end within the limits of
Medford. and hence is often called the Medford River. The names of the Mys-
tic and Menotomy Rivers are apparently aboriginal designations, and like all
Indian names probably describe the locality to which they were affixed. Trum-
bull gives the origin of the name Mystic, anciently written Mistiek, as applied
to the Medford River, thus : " Tuk in Indian denotes a river whose waters are
driven in loaves by the tides or winds. With the adjectival missi, ' great,' it
forms missi-tuk — now written Mystic — the name of the 'great river' of Boston
Bay." The origin of the name Menotomy yet awaits explanation. The spellings
of the word have been various,

2 The " teaching elders " of six towns, namely Cambridge, Watertown, Charles-
town, Boston, Roxbury and Dorchester, by act of 1642, were to constitute a
part of the Board of Overseers of Harvard College.

^ The Third Parish of Cambridge, now Brighton District.



4 HISTORY OF ARLINGTON.

The act bad force June 1, 1807. A justice was to issue a
warrant directed to some freeholder of said town of West Cam-
bridge, notifying and warning the inliabitants thereof to meet at
such time and place as appointed in said warrant, for choice of
town officers. — Moss. Special Laws, iv. 88.

Part of Charlestown was annexed to West Cambridge, Feb.
25, 1842. Namely, "all that part of Charlestown which lies
northwesterly of the thread of ' little river,' so called."

Part of West Cambridge was annexed to Winchester, April
30, 1850. Namely, the extreme northerly portion of West
Cambridge, to a point in the Lexington and West Cambridge
boundary line, one hundred and twelve and one half rods south-
west from the junction of said line with Woburn, Lexington and
West Cambridge lines.

Part of West Cambridge was annexed to Belmont, March 18,
1859. Namely, the extreme southerly portion of the town. For
specification of boundary line between the towns of West Cam-
bridge and Belmont, see the act to incorporate the town of Bel-
mont.

The name of the town of West Cambridge was changed to
Arlington, by act of legislature, April 13, 1867.



THE SECOND PRECINCT IN CAMBRIDGE.

II.

HISTORY BEFORE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE
PRECINCT.

1635. Paige, tllstonj of Cambridge, 1630-1877, mentions
farms granted to inhabitants of Cambridge in 1635, in the terri-
tory now embraced in Arlington and Lexington (p. 36). A
"highway to Menotomy" from tiie "Town" — now Old Cam-
bridge — existed prior to 1636 (pp. 15, 16) ; and a weir to catch
alewives on Menotomy River in the bounds of this town was
made in 1636 (p. 38).

In the Proprietors' Records of Cambridge — see Paige, 21-22 —
mention is made of the " new lots next Menotomy," as early as
1638. Instance William Cutter, who had one house and garden
in the " town," of Mr. Santley ; and had also " in the new lots
next Menotomy," three acres planting land ; highway to Meno-



Online LibraryBenjamin CutterHistory of the town of Arlington, Massachusetts → online text (page 1 of 43)