Excelsior Lodge, K. and L. of H.
J. K. Jenness Camp, S. of V.
flaverhiircommandery, K. G. C.
Washington Council, O. U. A. M.
Mizpah Lodge, I. O. 0. F.
Excelsior Council, A. L. of H.
Lincoln Relief Association.
Puritan Council, Home Circle.
Eagle Assembly, R. S. G. F.
Excelsior Lodge, N. E. O. P.
Pentucket Lodge, K. of L.
The eighth annual report of the Board of Health,
for the year 1887, is comparativtly satisfactory. The
board is progressive in its views and action, and en-
deavors, each year, to hold up and sustain a higher,
standard of sanitary condition. From this report to
the mayor and City Council, dated January 2, 1888,
have been gleaned some facts and extracts of interest.
During the year past eighteen tenement-houses
were ordered vacated on account of unsanitary con-
dition, eleven of which were put in proper order and
seven were vacated.
Night-soil is removed by a person under license,
and at a price fixed by the board. Ashes and gar-
bage are collected by the Highway Department, but
the method of disposing of them is not satisfactory
to the board, which believes they should be completely
destroyed by cremation, or some other equally efl'ec-
tive method. House-offal is collected by an agent,
acting under contract with the board.
Only one complaint of an offensive trade was made
to the board during the year.
During the current year it is intended to make a
systematic inspection of all school buildings, with a
view of determining their sanitary condition.
Most of the sickness from zymotic diseases is as-
cribed by the board to defective systems of house-
drainage and poor workmanship. After careful study
HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS.
of the theory and practice of some of the best known
authorities on this subject, and comparison in the
liglit of information obtained by their own experi-
ence, a code of regulations for the construction of
liousc-drainage was framed and adopted by the board
in October. Thoy are believed to be practicable, and
not too stringent.
Although diphtheria and scarlet fever were un-
usually prevalent in Massachusetts last year, there
was a marked reduction in the number of cases re-
ported at the office of the'Board of Health in Haver-
bill. The whole number of cases of contagiou^i diseases
reported during the year was 258 against 362 in 1886.
Of this number, 142 were diphtheria, 34 were scarlet
fever, 72 typhoid fever, and 10 cases of measles \vere
reported. The number of deaths was forty-five, five
less than in^ 1SS6, and making 17.40 per cent, of the
cases reported. By far the Larger number of conta-
gious disea.ses reported are from the poorer class of
tenement-houses and in families, where, by reason of
poverty and overcrowding, the necessities of isola-
tion cannot be commanded.
The mortality records for the twelve months end-
ing December 31st show that 1887 was one of more
than average good health. While the population of
the city increased, the number of deaths was less
than in 1886. The whole number of deaths in the
city was 465, exclusive of still births, as compared
with 481 for the yearprevious. Estimating the mean
population at 25,000, this represents an annual death-
rate of 18.60 for every 1000 of population. This
diminution in the death-rate has occurred chiefly in
the constitutional class and the zymotic diseases,
which class comprises those commonly considered to
represent the.sanitary condition of places, because in
^a measure preventable by the observance of sanitary
regulations. The ratio of deaths in this division was
22.58 per cent, of all deaths against 25.36 in 1886,
and varying in difl!erent wards from 10.00 to 38.46 per
cent. This proportion of preventable deaths, altliough
not so large as last year, is a good deal higher than it
The disease which most largely contributed to mor-
tality in this class was cholera infantum, which
caused thirty-five deaths, which number, notwith-
standing the unusually high temperature of the sum-
mer months, did not differ materially from that of the
Under the constitutional class 97 deaths were re-
corded, or 20.86 per cent, of the total mortality.
Cases of consumption numbered 72, or 15.27 per cent,
of all deatlis, as against 14.76 per cent, the year before.
From the local class were 189, or 40.64 per cent.
Diseases of the heart caused 7.74 per cent, and acute
lung diseases 8.G2 per cent, of deaths from all causes.
The mortality in the development class, including
1!) deaths from old age, was 51, or 19.67 per cent., and
the number of violent deaths, or those caused by ac-
cident, negligence or suicide, was 16, or 3.44.
The number of deaths under five years of age was
162, or 34.84 per cent, of the whole number, as
against 37.00 per cent, in 1886, and those under one
year constituted 20.64 per cent.
The whole number of deaths occurring among
French Canadian residents was fifty-nine. The cen-
.sus of the French Canadian population, taken under
the supervision of St. John the Baptist Society in
July, 1887, places that portion of the population at
2872; on this basis, with the total before given, the
annual death-rate was 20.54 to the thousand. Con-
sumption, the leading disease of the constitutional
class, caused 15.36 per cent, of the whole number of
deaths, and 33.89 per cent, were in the zymotic class.
The mortality among children under five years of
age was 57.62 per cent, of the 59 deaths recorded,
more than one-half; and 33.89 per cent, were under
the age of one year. Owners of tenement-houses are
growing to realize more and more the value of im-
proved sanitary conditions, particularly in regard to
the plumbing work in new buildings, the standard of
which was raised very much during 1887, and they
are more willing to give intelligent support to meas-
ures for the public health. Though great improve-
ment must yet take place, before the sanitary condi-
tion of Haverhill can be regarded as satisfactory, the
board believed that there was a better condition of
things than ever before in its history as a city.
ROBERT GREEX WALKER.'
The Walkers are a family long established in Hav-
erhill, and many of its members have been much
employed in the town matters. February 23, 1737-38,
Nathaniel Walker married Lydia Ayer, both being
of Haverhill. Theirthirdson, James, was born January
17, 1748-49. This is undoubtedly James Walker, of
whom Chase says that " he was of the sixth genera-
tion since the settlement of the town." During the
Revolutionary War he was ensign in a company
raised here, and it is said that on the night previous
to the battle of Trenton, December 25, 1776, he com-
manded a detachment of men in charge of the boats
employed to carry one of the divisions across the
Delaware. From 1818 till his death, February 8,
1846, at the age of ninety-eight, Mr. Walker was a
pensioner. In 1840 there were six pensioners still
living in Haverhill — James Walker, at ninety, and
David How, at eighty-four, heading the list.
Nathaniel Walker, the fiither, died April 10, 1775.
In 1765 he was one of the selectmen. His fourth son,
Samuel, born August 7, 1751, married Abigail Badger,
of Haverhill. Their children were Samuel Ayer
1 By John B. D. Cogswell.
\^\^3U.y.Jt ^ . V^
o_A>a-2 - ^_^
Walker, the late well-known auctioneer of Boston,
and Kobert Green Walker, born June 19, 1803, the
subject of this sketch.
Nathaniel Walker, second son of Nathaniel, Sr.,
was born 1744, and married Hannah Peaslee, Oct. 17,
1771. Their eldest son, Samuel, born January 26,
1779, was probably that Samuel Walker, of Haverhill,
who graduated at Dartmouth College in 1802.
Nathaniel Walker, the elder, is in the list of Hav-
erhill tax-payers in 1741, and was enrolled in the
militia in 1757. He was moderator of the town-meet-
ing April 9, 1770, at the beginning of the troubles
with Great Britain, when it was voted " that we
will by all lawfuU ways and means, exert ourselves
and expose to shame and contempt all persons who
shall offer to make sale of British goods imported
conterary to the agreement of marchants, or that
shall purchase such goods in this town, or be aiding
or assisting to bring them Into it, till a general im-
portation of such goods shall take place, and that all
persons who shall violate or Counter act this vote and
resolve, shall be rendered incapable of being chosen
to any office of profRt or Honour in this town." And
Nathaniel Walker, with Thomas West, Nathaniel
Peaslee Sargent (afterwards chief justice) and others,
were made " a committee to inspect and see that all
salutary resolves and agreements with lespect to such
Goods be Duly obsarved, and to give notice & expose
all who shall violate them ; that their names may be
remembered with infamy." . . . "The moderator
dismissed the meeting."
July 28, 1774, " Nathaniel Walker, Jr.," was placed
upon the Committee of Inspection upon the same
general subject. He was a member of the Artillery
Company, organized September, 1774, and, with Bailey
Bartlett, Israel Bartlett, Thomas Cogswell, Nathaniel
Marsh and Doctor Brickett, sent to England for a
copy of the " Norfolk Militia Book," in which to study
In 1779 he was one of the town's creditors for money
advanced to meet its expenses. Ten years before, in
1769, he was the " clark " of the company which or-
ganized to buy the first fire-engine. The three
brothers, Nathaniel, James and Samuel, were mem-
bers of the Fire Society. Nathaniel and Samuel both
find a place in the valuation list of householders in
1798. In 1801 Benjamin Willis, Jr., Nathan Ayer,
Samuel Walker, Jonathan Souther and Jesse Harding
petitioned the town " for leave to conduct the water by
means of an aqueduct, from the round pond, so-
called, into this part of the town, for private and
public convenience." This was the beginning of the
Haverhill Aqueduct Company which was organized
the same year under a general State law.
Nathaniel Walker, the elder, was a witness to
one of the bills of sale by which the " negro boy
Cesur" was transferred. July 10, 1739, Thomas
Kuss, of Suncook, " cordwainer," in consideration of
one hundred pounds, sold his " negro boy named
Cesur, being about seven years old," to Benjamin
Emerson, of Haverhill, yeoman. June 16, 1640, Em-
erson sold him to Nathaniel Cogswell, of Haverhill,
trader; and August 23, 1742, being now about ten
years old, Nathaniel Cogswell sold him for one hun-
dred and fifteen pounds to Samuel Phillips, Jr., of
Andover, " trader " (the son of Eeverend Samuel
Phillips, first minister of the South Parish in An-
dover). Nathaniel Walker and .lonathan Buck (of
Water Street) witnessed this last bill of sale. These
were all highly respectable people, and the public
conscience did not begin to be disturbed about do-
mestic slavery for many years after.
Samuel Walker was ensign of Captain Thomas
Cogswell's company, drafted for Continental service
in 1775. He also marched, September, 1777, with a
volunteer detachment to reinforce the Northern army.
Samuel Walker was afterwards a prominent person
in town aflairs. For more than thirty consecutive
years and to the day of his death he held positions
of honor and trust. He was especially interested in
the school system. October, 1790, he reported to the
town, as chairman of a committee, a code of thir-
teen rules, which was adopted, for the government of
the grammar schools in the town. They are printed
by Chase in his history, in substance. They are very
elaborate, even minute in character, and wholesome
in tendency. The school committee of the First, or
Centre District,a little later, was habitually composed
■of the sterling and most highly educated men of the
At a town-meeting, December 12, 1791, a proposi-
tion was made to divide the town into school dis-
tricts, and a committee of twelve was chosen for the
purpose, Samuel Walker being chairman. At an ad-
journed meeting, December 26th, the committee re-
ported a recommendation that each of the four par -
ishes be erected into a school district. The report
The record of the First School District says: "In
1793 the town was divided into school districts. At
the town-meeting, held on March 26th the following
Gentlemen were chosen a Committee for District No. 1,
viz : Rev. John Shaw, the Rev. Hezekiah Smith
Bailey Bartlett, Esq., Samuel Blodgett, Esq., Samuel
Walker, Joseph Dodge, Doct'r Saltonstall, Doct'r
Brickett and William Cranch." Mr. Shaw was the
minister of the First Church and Mr. Smith of the
Baptist. Bailey Bartlett was sheriff" and soon after
Congressman. Dr. Nathaniel Saltonstall and General
Brickett were distinguished citizens, and William
Cranch, then a young lawyer here, was afterwards
chief justice of the District of Columbia. Samuel
Walker continued to be chosen annually of this com-
mittee for a number of years. He died July 12,
Robert Green Walker was educated at the Haver-
hill schools, and at the Bradford academy, under the
celebrated Benjamin Greenleaf. He went to Boston at
HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS.
the age of twenty and found employment there ; after-
wards to the South, where he was engaged in travel-
ing commercially for a year or two, making his head-
quarters at Charleston, South Carolina. About 1837
he entered into business in Haverhill with Moses E-
Emerson, under the firm-name of Emerson & Walker.
Their place of business was Bridge Street, and their
neighbors there were William Smiley and Edmund
June 30, 1835, Mr. Walker married Mary W. Emer-
son, of Haverhill, who died in 1872. Their only
surviving child was Frances Abby, who married
Charles Butters, of Haveihill, July 22, 1863. Their
only child is Eobert Green Walker Butters, at present
(1888) a student at the Massachusetts Institute of
Robert Green AValker died suddenly February 19
1862. He was interested in the first steamboat enter-
prise between Haverhill and Newburyport — the
steamer "Merrimack," Capt. William Haseltine^
which made her first trip from Haverhill April 8,
1828. The boat continued running, though quite
irregularly, for several years, when the enterprise was
Like his ancestors, Mr. Walker was for many years
active and prominent in the affairs of the town. He
was moderator of the town-meeting in 1846, and from
that time till the day of his death was engaged in the
He was on the Prudential (School) Committee from
1848 to 1857. He was selectman from 1851 to 1861^
with the exception of two years, and during one of
those the board employed him to keep the records and
practically conduct the business, surrendering their
compensation to him.
He was assessor from 1849 to 1854, inclusive. He
was also road surveyor for many years.
In 1852, when party feeling ran very high, Mr.
Walker was the only selectman chosen at the first
The reason why Mr. Walker was so much in the
j)ublic employment is to be found in his great apt-
ness and skill in the conduct of busineS'S of that
character. He was neat, accurate and methodical
and had a decided taste for that kind of work. He
took pride in doing it well. Again, his system and
promptness were appreciated by the public. He had
a genuine interest in the public schools, which en-
deared him to teachers and pupils alike ; testimonials
from them to that eflect are highly prized by his
Mr. Walker took a similar interest in the afKiirs of
the religious society with which he was a worshipper
— the Centre Congregational. He was never weary
of arranging details for its meetings and providing
that everything should be done decently and in order.
In a word, he loved to be useful, and had a great
capacity for taking trouble. The same tendency made
him very valuable as a ro.ad surveyor. Emerson and
other streets, bear witness to his efficiency in that de-
He was always ready to accept new methods, and
never discarded a proposition simjily becau^^e it was
In 1859 the town appointed a committee to con-
sider the subject of building a new town hall, to
obtain estimates, make plans and report. Hon. James
H. Duncan was chairman of the committee; Mr.
Walker was the second named upon it, and took deep
interest in the affair. January 7, 1861, the committee
reported a plan, which was adopted, and measures
were at once taken for the erection of a new building.
During its construction Mr. Walker was indefatigable
in his attention to details connected with it. This is
the structure which, with some alterations, has so far
served acceptably as the City Hall.
In private life Mr. Walker is spoken of as a genial
and agreeable gentleman, whom it was always a
pleasure to meet, ever social, with cordial manners
and ready wit. One gentleman said, " I remember
him as a tall, well-proportioned man, very courteous,
though I thought a little reserved, and very well bred.
He had great aptitude for public business, and in that
respect, as in every other, much confidence was re-
posed in him. Too much cannot be said in judicious
praise of Robert G. Walker."
Mr. Walker was a faithful, kind and indulgent
husband and father.
He was from an early day a member of St. John's
Lodge of Masons in Boston.
It is characteristic of Mr. Walker's scrupulous care
in all things that to him, according to the historian
Chase, is to be ascribed the prerervation of the in-
valuable roll of the " minute-men " of 1775, which
had been " part of a parcel of loose papers in an old
bag which had been kicked about the arsessor's room
for years." He rescued and carefully preserved it.
Among her citizens who have been an honor to |
Haverhill, was Paul Spofford, the son of Joseph Sjwf-
ford and Mary Chaplin. He was born in 1792, in the ,<
neighboring town of New Rowley, now Georgetown. i
and was sixth in descent from the Rev. John Spofford, I
appointed by the House of Lords in 1642, Vicar of ]
Silkstone, in Yorkshire, and who resigned in 1662, when
seventy-four years old, rather than at the sacrifice of
his convictions become a conformist. The present ,
Vicar of Silkstone, the Rev. W. S. Barker, in a recent |
letter to one of Mr. Spofford's family says: I
"I enclose you an extract from Wilkinson's Wors- *
borough which quotes the character of your ancestor."
" Chapter 23, page 278, John Spofford. Vicar of Silk- f
stone was 74 years of age when, refu.-^ing to comply jH
with the terms of the Act of Uniformity, he resigned his I
living, and spent the few remaining years of his life at 1
the house of Mr. Cotton, one of his parishioners, who l
resided at Hawkhirst iaSilkaton. The character giveu
of him by the biographer of the nonconforming clergy,
i8 that he was a pious man, of competent parts and
abilities, verj' plain in his preaching, holy in his life,
facetious in discourse, and a lover of all good men."
The Spoffords had lived in Yorkshire from before
the time of the conquest in 1066. At that date their an-
cestor's chief seat was in that county, where, and in the
neighboring counties he had large possessions. A
large portion of them wereseized by that ruthless rob-
ber, William the Conqueror, and bestowed on William
de Percy, one of his followers.
John Spoftbrd, son of the vicar, and ancestor of the
New England Spoffords, was one of the pilgrims who
accompanied the Rev. Ezekiel Rogers, to this country
in 1638, of whom their contemporary Governor Win-
throp says, Mr. Rogers arrived in this country with
about twenty families of his Yorkshire friends, " godly
men " and " most of them of good estate."
The subject of our notice, until the age of nineteen
worked upon his father's farm. His mother died
when he was a child, but he had a kind and
devoted father, and loving sisters, and it was a happy
As a boy he was fond of riding, shooting, wrestling,
skating and other athletic sports ; he had but little
time for them, for there was plenty of work on his
father's farm, and he was not one to shirk it. He
had quite an inventive mind. When a mere child,
he built himself a mill upon the little brook that ran
through their place, and usinga piece of tin which he
had notched into a saw, and potatoes for his logs, he
would saw out the slabs to the great delight of his
little sisters. On one of the few holiday afcern oons
that fell to his lot, he obtained his father's permission
to go duck-shooting. Taking with him Mr. Aubin,
a man that worked upon their farm, he went to the
Pond a mile or so distant, but when in the middle of
it the boat upset, and as he could not swim a stroke,
down he sunk to the bottom. The writer has heard him
say that, as he lay there, he was free from pain, but
that thoughts and memories rushed through his mind
with such inconceivable rapidity that it seemed as
if everything in his life was before him, and
that he thought how his father and sisters would
mourn when they should hear that he was drowned.
But Mr. Aubin, who was an excellent swimmer, found
him, after diving several times, and seizing him by
the heel brought him to the surface, and got him
ashore. He soon revived and was able to walk home,
where a heartfelt welcome, a dry suit, and a good
fire soon made him feel all right.
In 1812 he came to Haverhill as a clerk in a store.
Soon after this his employer opened a general country-
store in Salem, N. H.. and Mr. Spofi'ord went thither
with him, but a good opening offering in Haverhill,
they again returned to the city. While yet a clerk
his employer chanced to be sick, at a time when it
to go to Boston to buy a general assort-
ment of goods. With many misgivings he entrusted
this, to him all important matter, to his young clerk.
In those days a trip to the city of Boston from the re-
mote little village of Haverhill was a great affair.
Mr. Spofford, though a county lad, probably on his
first visit, spared no pains to justify the trust reposed
in him. Fortunately he could carry in his mind the
exact appearance of the goods shown him, the fine-
ness of cloth, the color and grain of the sugar, the flav-
orofthetea, the pattern of crockery, indeed the appear-
ance of the various articles needed for a general
country-store, and by pricing eachat several stores, he
could judge which were the best bargains. So well
did he perform his trust, that his employer always
sent him afterwards to make the Boston purchases,
and soon found it for his interest to promote him to
a full partnership.
Much of their business was a barter-trade. At
times some of the articles taken — such as shoes, hats,
etc. — suited for the South, would accumulate. It was
very desirable to find a ready outlet. Mr. Spofford
decided to establish a commision-house for that pur-
pose, and proposed to his friend, Thomas Tileston,
then editor of the Haverhill Gazette, to join him.
They formed a partnership, and, in the spring of
1818, founded the house of Spofford & Tileston,
which in time became so well and favorably known
through all the commercial world. In this age of
steam and telegraph we cannot realize how formida-
ble this undertaking must have been to them — the
going so far from friends and home, unknown, with
an untried business, and but slender means to make
their way amongst strangers. What a contrast be-
tween leaving Haverhill now in the afternoon, arriv-
ing in New York in time for supper, after a ride of
seven and a half hours in luxurious cars, and their
They left Haverhill in May, 1818, in the stage-
coach, at 7.30 A.M. The roads were bad and the
whole day was consumed in getting to Boston. Early
the next morning they .left Boston by stage, and an-
other day was spent in reaching Providence, R. I.
The following morning they took stage, and by night-
fall they reached Norwich, Conn. At an early hour
the next day they embarked in the steamboat, and
arrived at New Haven about eleven that night,
and thought that they had made an excellent pas-
sage. They were transferred to another steamboat,
which lay alongside (I think it was the Fulton), and
about noon next day were landed at Fulton Street,
New York. Two or three years after this, Mr. Spof-
ford was the only through passenger from Boston to
New York. Only one stage came out from Boston
that day. All his fellow-passengers had left by the
time they reached Hartford, and at that city other
passengers took their places. This stage was about