Lucius R. (Lucius Robinson) Paige.

History of Hardwick, Massachusetts. With a genealogical register online

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be no possible doubt that all these names were subscribed to the
covenant before the union was formed December 3, 1762 ; after
which new names were added to the list of subscribers on the
same paper. The signatures to the covenant may with perfect
confidence be classed thus : the names in both columns, above the
first cross lines, indicate the members of the Hard wick church ;
those below the line in the first column, the members of the Sun-
derland churcli ; those between the cross lines in the second col-
umn, the Newint members admitted at the time of the union ;
and those below the second cross line, the new members after-
wards admitted. The conclusion of the whole matter is, that
this ancient document, providentially preserved, furnishes incon-
testable evidence that the Separate Church, formed in Hardwick
about 1750, together with the associates admitted December 3,
1762, became not only the first Congregational Church in Ben-
nington, but also the first Congregational Church in the State of
Vermont, retaining its original Covenant, with a single modifica-
tion.

Baptist Society. The earliest notice of Baptists in Hard-
wick, which I have seen, is under date of March 31, 1777, when
Ephraim Pratt, Ebenezer Lawrence, Abiathar Babbitt, William
Perkins, Nathaniel Haskell, Jeremiah Sibley, Ephraim Cleve-
land, Jr., and Zebadiah Johnson, were so named, and their tax for
the support of the ministry was remitted. In the Hardwick Ar-
chives is preserved a certificate, to wit : " The names of those that
formed a Baptist Society in the southwest part of Hardwick :
Moses Winchester, Seth Tucker, Jeremiah Hathaway, Joshua
Tucker, David Elwell, Samuel Bowen, Henry Higgins, Seth
Willis, Samuel L. Robinson, Aaron Chamberlin, Jesse Snow,
A polios Snow. — AroLLOS Snow, Clerk. Hardwick, April 12,
1709." It is observable that this list does not contain a single
name which was mentioned twenty-two years earlier, and when
the society was legally incorporated seventeen years later, Febru-



ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY. 231

ary 3, 1816,^ another almost total change appears : David Elwell
and Seth Willis being the only names which occur in either of
the former lists. Before its incorporation, this society erected a
meeting-house in 1801. In 1832, a new and commodious edifice
was constructed ; but this was sold to Mr. Daniel S. Collins, and
converted into a barn, in 1846, when the society established its
place of worship at Ware. The society was organized November
16, 1797. The church in connection with it was instituted Sep-
tember 16, 1801. The first pastor was Rev. Ebenezer Burt, who
was ordained June 20, 1798. After a faithful and devoted min-
istry of neai'ly thirty years, he was dismissed November 19, 1827.^
He subsequently resided several years in Ware, and then removed
to Athol, where he died November 25, 1861, aged nearly 96. He
continued to preach, occasionally, until extreme old age disabled
him.

The successor of Mr. Burt was Rev. Joseph Glazier, who was
installed August 2, 1831. From the number gathered by him
into the church,^ his ministry seems to have been successful ; but
it continued somewhat less than four years, and ended in April
1835.

Rev. Nelson B. Jones became pastor of this church in May,
1837, and sustained that oflSce about two years. I have not been
able to trace his subsequent pastoral labors ; but in 1881 he was

^ The corporators were John Raymond, Lydia (Tippen) Burt, who were among
Elisha Sturtevant, Seth Willis, Enos the early inhabitants of Norton. When
Newland, Masa Newland, Benjamin Ri- fourteen years old he joined the old Bap-
der, Timothy Hathaway, John Croif, tist church. Aug. 29, 1794, he was li-
Lemuel Wheeler, David Elwell, Judah Si- censed to preacli by the Bajttist church of
monds, Judah Marsh, Gamaliel Collins, Dighton, and preached iu this vicinity till
Asa Sturtevant, John Wetherell, Jere- Nov. 2, 1796, when he removed to Hard-
miah Newland, Daniel Barrows, Aquilla wick, and gathered a society in the south-
Collins, Jonah Collins, Cary Howard, west part of that town, where he was or-
Jeremiah Campbell, Jeremiah Campbell, dained as an evangelist (standing upon a
Jr., Lemuel Gilbert, Aaron Marsh, Zenas great rock), June 20, 1797. A church was
Marsh, Cary Howard, Jr., Isaac Barlow, organized in 1806, and he was installed
Mass. Spec. Laws, v. 87. the pastor, which position he held till

2 Some of these facts and dates were November, 1846, when he preached his

communicated to me in 1838, by Rev. Nel- half-century Sermon." He may have

son B. Jones, then pastor of the church, preached such a sermon ; but he certainly

and are presumed to be correct. A some- was dismissed long before that date, and

what different account is found in Clark's had had at least two successors.

History of Norton, p. 503, wliich I insert ^ -pj^g ^jjole number of baptisms in this

on account of some details: Ebenezer church, up to November, 1838, was 214:

Burt, "born Mar. 9, 1766, was the son of viz., by Mr. Burt, 134; by Mr. Glazier,

Deacon Ebenezer and Abigail (Bassett), 42 ; by Mr. Jones, 7 ; by other persons,

grandson of Ebenezer and Naomi (Camp- 31.
bell), and great-grandson of Ebenezer and



232 HISTORY OF HARDWICK.

residing in Prescott, without official charge, but continuing to
preacli as opportunity offered.

After the dismission of Mr. Jones, the pulpit was supplied one
year by Rev. William Brown. About 1840, Rev. Joseph Glazier
was recalled, and remained pastor of the church until April 1,
1846, when he resigned, and the place of public worship was
transferred to Ware. He was not again settled in the ministry,
but resided in Ware until his death, which occurred September
1, 1860.

The deacons of this church, while it remained in Hardwick,
were as follows : —

Daniel Lamson, elected 1801, dismissed 1806.

Seth Willis, elected 1801, dismissed 1811.

Benjamin Rider, elected 1806, dismissed 1814.

Eseck Brown. elected 1811, dismissed 1812.

Enos Newland, elected 1812, dismissed 1814.

Henry Higgins, elected 1817, dismissed 1833.

Joseph Metcalf, elected 1817, dismissed 1829.

John Pepper, elected 1829.
John Chamberlain, elected 1833.

Universalist Society. At a quite early date there were in
Hardwick several believers in the doctrine of Universal Salvation.
Before 1790, Rev. Caleb Rich, Rev. Zephaniah Lathe, and per-
haps other itinerant ministers, had preached here, in private
houses or elsewhere, as opportunity offered. In 1796, Rev. Hosea
Ballou was engaged to preach, once a month, in that section of
the town which was afterwards incorporated as a part of Dana.
He resided there, doing the manifold work of a pastor at home,
and of an itinerant or missionary abroad, until February, 1803,
when he removed to Barnard, Vt.^ He afterwards removed to
Portsmouth, N. H., in 1809, to Salem in 1815, and to Boston in
1817, where he died June 7, 1852, aged 81, having accomplished
a work such as has been allotted to few mortals. He was one of
the most remarkable men of this age. He has been not inaptly
described as "an uneducated man, but a born theologian, a man
endowed with the simplicity of a child and the intellect of a

1 DurinfT Mr. Ballou's ministry, the Gen- Haskell, George Paige, Robert Dean, Seth

eral Convention of Universalists held its Dean, Elijah Aiken, Solomon Aiken, Jr.,

annual session here in September, 1798. Aaron Fay, Eliakim Fay, and Moses

On his removal to Barnard, he found Fay. They may have been instrumental

among his hearers several Hardwick emi- in his removal, having heard him preach

grants, such as Nathaniel Haskell, Prince when visiting their friends in Hardwick.



ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY. 233

giant." His biography, in four volumes, by his friend and disci-
ple, Rev. Thomas Whittemore, was published not long after his
decease.

Before Mr. Ballon removed to Barnard, the town of Dana was
incorporated, including within its limits that portion of Hard-
wick in which he and many of his hearers resided. Those who
dwelt in the present town of Hardwick did not, for several
years, organize a legal society, or maintain constant preaching.
Some continued to worship at Dana, where Rev. Joshua Flagg ^
had succeeded Mr. Ballon ; and others employed such other
preachers as could be had, generally meeting in the hall of the
Ruggles Hotel until the Town House was erected. Among those
who thus occasionally ministered at the altar, the most prominent
in all respects was the Rev. John Bisbe, who was born at Plymp-
ton, grad. B. U. 1814, studied law for a considerable time with
Hon. Marcus Morton, then prepared for the ministry, and was
ordained at Brookfield, November 14, 1821. From Brookfield
he removed to Hartford, Conn., where he was installed August
19, 1824, and thence to Portland, Me., was installed there in
August, 1827, and died March 8, 1828, at the early age of 36
years. He was regarded as a remarkably eloquent and jDOwerful
preacher, and as an exemplary Christian. During his residence
in Brookfield he preached frequently in Hardwick ; and under
his influence, as it would seem, a petition for the incorporation
of a Universalist Society was presented to the General Court,
which was granted June 12, 1824.^ A copy of the petition re-
mains on file in the Town Archives, sufficiently characteristic to
justify its insertion : —

" To the Hon. the Senate, and the Hon. House of Representa-

1 Mr. Flagg was settled in several towns won general regard, and the clergy of his

in the course of his long life ; but I am town generally attended his funeral and

not able to construct an accurate list, paid due tribute of respect to his mem-

His decease was mentioned in the Uni- ory."

versaUst Register for 1861, then edited by ^ Mass. Spec. Laws, vi. 215. The cor-
Rev. Aaron B. Grosh, with an appre- porators were Daniel Ruggles, Constant
ciative obituary : " Rev. Joshua Flagg Ruggles, Ezra Ruggles, Samuel Weston,
died in Dana, Nov. 10, 1859, aged 86 Ira Ruggles, Samuel Granger, Gardner
years, 6 months, and 20 days, — after a Ruggles, Anson Ruggles, Franklin Rug-
ministry of more than sixty years, and gles, Crighton Ruggles, Moses Man-
the oldest Universalist minister in the dell, Ebenezer Cobb, Simeon Crosby,
State. Though of rude vigor and con- Daniel B. Hinkley, Nathan Perry, James
troversial spirit in his early days, when Sturtevant, William P. Jordan, Seth
persecution and violent opposition were Hinkley, Stephen W. Paige, Ebenezer
met on every side, yet his devotional Perry, and Noah Beach,
spirit and earnest sincerity in later years



234 HISTORY OF HARDWICK.

lives in General Court assembled. The petition of the sub-
scribers, inhabitants of the town of Hardwick, humbly sheweth :
That we, being deeply impressed with a sense of the duty as
well as the privilege of worshipping the Supreme Being agreeable
to the dictates of conscience, and as we believe in the restitution
of all things spoken of by the mouth of all God's holy prophets
since the world began, and tliat God will have all men to be
saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, and believing
that the knowledge of this truth will have the most powerful in-
fluence to produce order, morality, and rational happiness, and
as faith comes by hearing, and as we cannot hear without a
preacher, — the prayer of your petitioners therefore is that we,
together with others that may join us, may be incorporated into
a society by the name of the First Universalist Society in the
Town of Hardwick, in order that we may be enabled to com-
mand our own resources for the purpose of procuring 'and sup-
porting a preacher of this great and common salvation, and other
necessary concerns of said Society. And your petitioners, as in
duty bound, will ever pray."

Little use of the act of incorporation seems to have been
made for several years. Occasional preaching ^ was had from
time to time, but regular services were not established until
1837, when Rev. John Pierce, a young man who had recently
entered the ministry, was emploj'ed, and was ordained Septem-
ber 27, 1837. He remained here about a year ; and subsequently
preached in Dana and Lunenburg in 1838, and in Lunenburg
and Shirley Village, 1839, during which year he also gathered a
society in Townsend. " In the spring of 18-40, he engaged to
labor with the two societies in Lunenburg and Townsend." But
he was soon prostrated by disease of the lungs, and died at
Lunenburg, his native place, August 31, 1840, at the immature
age of 26 years. He was a young man of fair mental endow-
ment, and of great eai'nestness and zeal. His interest in the
cause which he had espoused was manifested by the legac}^ of all
his earthly possessions to the society in Lunenburg, the income
to be devoted to the maintenance of religious worship, on con-
dition that the society should raise a prescribed amount annually,
for the same purpose. ^

The successor of Mr. Pierce was Rev. Gilman Noyes, who was

^ One of the occasional preachers was ^ Memoir of Rev. John Pierce, pp. 39,
Rev. John II. Willis, who labored faith- 68.
fully in many fields, and died on College
Hill, October 9, 1877, aged 70 years.



ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY. 235

born at Atkinson, N. H., in 1804, and gracl. D. C. 1830. He
was settled at Charlton in June, 1831, having charge also of the
parish in Brookfield. He removed to Spencer in 1838, and
thence to Hyannis in 1839. While residing in Spencer, he
preached in Hardwick regularly once a month. About 1843 he
removed to Brimfield, where he devoted a portion of his time
to agricultural pursuits, and where he died October 18, 1863,
aged 59.

Rev. Rufus S. Pope, born in Stoughton, April 2, 1809, was
ordained during the session of the Boston Association at
Gloucester, December 4, 1833. He had commenced preaching
in the previous August, at South Dedham (now Norwood),
where he remained three years, dividing his services a portion of
the time between that parish and Milford. In 1836 he removed
to Sterling, and had chai'ge of that parish until April, 1840,
when he came to Hardwick. While here, his ministry was very
successful. A church of twenty-seven members was organized.
A new meeting-house was erected, under an arrangement with
the Congregational Society, in 1841, and for the next year the
two societies united in one congregation. In April, 1843, he re-
moved to Hyannis, where he died June 5, 1882. He was a rep-
resentative in the General Court, in 1855 ; register of probate
in Barnstable County, from 1855 to 1857 ; and postmaster in
Hyannis from 1862 to 1870.

The subsequent history of the Universalist Society, embracing
its substantial consolidation with the Congregational Society, and
its succession of pastors, — Rev. Messrs. Smith, Sanger, Moore,
Jewell, Crosley, and Stevenson, — has already been narrated,
and need not be repeated. The deacons elected by the Uni-
versalist Church, at its organization December 24, 1842, were :

Constant Ruggles, died April 28, 1846, aged 79.
Joseph Burgess, died July 20, 1879, aged 79.
Constant South worth, died December 5, 1877, aged 63.

Methodist Society. Many years ago a Methodist Society
was organized at the Furnace Village, and erected a neat and
commodious meeting-house on the west side of Moose Brook
about the year 1845. Though not lacking in zeal, it was never
strong in membership and wealth. It has generally been classed
with Barre by the Conference, the same preacher having charge
of both societies. I would be glad to record the names of the
several preachers from the beginning, but all my efforts to ob-



236 HISTORY OF HARDWICK.

tain an accurate list have been unavailing. And equally unsuc-
cessful Lave I been in seeking from both preachers and laymen
such information as would enable me to give a satisfactory ac-
count of the fortunes of this society, whether prosperous or ad-
verse.

Trinitarian Congregational Church. Almost all the
facts here related concerning this church are gleaned from its
Manual, and from a Decennial Sermon by its pastor, the Rev.
Willard D. Brown. " The veiy first words in the records of the
Church are these : ' From the commencement of the present
manufacturing village of Gilbertville in 1860, the proprietors
have felt much interest in the moral welfare of the place, and
have spared no pains to secure the improvement of its popula-
tion.' " ^ The princely munificence of Mr. George H. Gilbert,
of his family, and of the manufacturing corporation bearing
his name, richly deserves this recognition by the beneficiaries.
" The Gilbertville Hall was dedicated December 27, 1863, and
was used as a place of worship until the completion and dedica-
tion, on September 10, 1874, of the house of worship now occupied
by the church and society. From December, 1863, until August,
1865 (except during a portion of the winter of 1864-65), there
was preaching Sunday afternoons by Rev. Messrs. Perkins, Tut-
tle, Gordon, and jMerrill, of Ware, Tupper, of Hardwick, and
Gurnej^ of New Braintree. From that time till March, 1866,
Rev. William H. Beecher, of North Brookfield, preached as a
stated supply, and he was succeeded by Rev. R. P. Wells, from
Tennessee, who became acting pastor of the church, and re-
mained with it until January, 1869." ^ The Rev. Rufus P.
Wells grad. A. C. 1842, and took a partial course at the Theol.
Inst, in Connecticut in the class of 1845. After a successful
ministry at Gilbertville, he preached at Southampton, 1869-
1874, and at Mason, N. H., 1874-1877. He died at Norton,
May 25, 1877, aged 59.

The successor of Mr. Wells was Rev. Willard D. Brown, who
grad. at Middlebury Coll., 1868, and at Andover, 1869. He
became acting pastor of the church in September, 1869, and was
ordained and installed December 6, 1870. The church " was
organized March 7, 1867, and was composed of thirty-eight
members, twenty-three of whom were received by letter, and
fifteen on profession of faith. There were connected with it,

1 Sermon, p. 5. ^ Manual.



ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY. 237

during its first year, forty-eight members. There have been
connected with it, up to the present time (1878), one hundred
and thirty-three members, forty of whom were males and ninety-
three females ; forty-four have been received by letter, and
eighty -nine on confession of faith." ^

Deacons.

Isaac H. Hoyt, elected February 14, 1868, resigned 1868.
Warner H. Joslyn, elected February 14, 1868, resigned 1869.
Wales T. Wilder, elected March 10, 1869.
Melzar Lamberton, elected March 1, 1877.

The meeting-house occupied by this church and society deserves
special notice. Constructed of granite, " from foundation to top
of spire," it is a perfect gem of architecture, and is the crowning
ornament of the most beautiful and neatly-kept manufacturing
village in the Commonwealth. For its erection, Mr. George H.
Gilbert, who died May 6, 1869, aged 63, devised by his will the
sum of 820,000 ; the manufacturing corporation which bears his
name contributed $20,000 in cash, and in addition gave a spacious
lot of land suitably graded and inclosed, and also put in the
foundation of the edifice; his widow gave an organ, and his
children the furniture, together with a memorial window in
memory of a deceased sister. The whole amount of this mag-
nificent gift is estimated at not less than fifty thousand dollars.

Catholic Church. The building up of a large manufactur-
ing establishment at Gilbertville naturally attracted a numerous
foreign population, most of which consisted of Catholics. Hav-
ing worshipped for sevei-al years at Ware, they are understood
to have been organized into a separate parish at Gilbertville. A
spacious brick church was erected in 1872, on the west side of
the river, in the northerly part of the village. Mass is celebrated
in the forenoon of every Sabbath, with Sunday-school exercises
at two o'clock, and Vespers at three o'clock in the afternoon.
The congregation is larger than any other in the whole town,
embracing about eight hundred souls, including children. The
pastor in 1883 is Rev. John T. Sheehan, who resides in Ware.
I am unable to give a more particular account of the parish.

^ Manual.



CHAPTER XIII.

LITERARY HISTORY.

Graduates. — Clergymen. — Lawyers. — Physicians. — Poets. — Poetry. —
Schools. — Early Teachers. — Appropriations. — School-Houses. — High
School. — Social Library. — Early Proprietors. — Catalogue of Books. —
Mount Zion Lodge. — Original Members. — Removal to Barre. — Masters.
— Post-OfBces and Postmasters. — Post Riders and Mail Carriers. — Cen-
tennial Celebration.



Graduates. The number of native-born sons of Hardwick
who have received a liberal education and collegiate honors is not
large. The following list is probably imperfect, but it approxi-
mates the truth. Two graduates, Lemuel Hedge and Sanford
Lawton, though born elsewhere, are included, because they were
brought here in their infancy, were of Hardwick stock, and were
trained in our schools. Further notice of all these graduates,
and also of the lawyers and physicians named, may be found in
the Genealogical Register contained in this volume.



Luther E. Barnes .


A. C.


1871


Andrew J. Bartholomew


. Y. C.


1856


Barnabas Billings . . . .


B. U.


1791.


Joseph Blake ....


. H. C.


1786


George Blake


H. C.


1789


Charles E. Bruce


. A. C.


1845


Henry James Bruce


A. C.


1859.


John Field ....


. W. C.


1807


Horace Gleason


W. C.


1828


Matthew W. Haskell .


. A. C.


1853


Lemuel Hedge . . . .


H. C.


1759


Abiathar Hopkins


. D. C.


1806


John Lawton


Mid. C.


1805


Sanford Lawton


. Y. C.


1825.


William A. Maudell


A. C.


1838


Daniel W. Mandell


Mid. C.


1850


William Mixter . . . .


H. C.


1829


George Mixter ....


. Y.C.


1836



LITERARY HISTORY.



239



H. C.


1863.


. H. C.


1879


Y. C.


1845.


. D. C.


1784


D. C.


1786


. W. C.


1807


B. U.


1828


. H. C.


1850


T. C.


1861


. Y. C.


1803


Y. C.


1789


. D. C.


1790


W. C.


1812


. U. C.


1830


H. C.


1759


. H. C.2


1765



George Mixter

Samuel J. Mixter^

James Monroe

Christopher Paige

Reed Paige

John Keyes Paige

Winslow Paige (honorary)

Lucius R. Paige (honorary)

Charles G. Pope

Thomas Rice

Moses Robinson (honorary)

Jonathan Robinson (honorary)

Alfred Stearns

Squire Whipple .

Thomas Wells White

John White



Clergymen. The several clergymen who have had pastoral
charge in Hardwick have already been mentioned under the
ecclesiastical head, which may suffice.

Lawyers. Timothy Ruggles, H. C. 1732, came here in
1754, and was soon appointed justice, and subsequently chief
justice, of the Court of Common Pleas. He left Hardwick in
1774, at the commencement of the Revolution, and died at Wil-
mot, near Annapolis, N. S., August 4, 1795, aged nearly 84.

Daniel Oliver, H. C. 1762, commenced practice here early
in 1767. He was one of the very few barristers at law in the
Province, and apparently popular and successful. He left town
with General Ruggles in 1774, and died at Ashstead, England,
May 6, 1826, aged 82.

Seth Paddleford, Y. C. 1770, soon commenced practice
here. He removed to Taunton about 1778, was judge of pro-
bate for Bristol County, received the degree of LL.D. from B. U.,
1798, and died January 7, 1810, aged 58.

Pelatiah Hitchcock, H. C. 1785, commenced practice here
before 1791. He removed to West Brookfield, where he died
April 25, 1851, aged 86.

Luke Brown, H. C. 1794, commenced practice here before



1 Educated at the Mass. Inst, of Tech-
nology, and at the Harvard Medical
School.

2 Contractions. A. C. — Amherst
College. B. U. — Brown University.



D. C— Dartmouth College. H. C. —
Harvard College. Mid. C. — IMiddlebury
College. T. C. — Tufts College. U. C.
— Union College. W. C. — Williams
College. Y. C. — Yale College.



240 HISTORY OF HARDWICK.

1799. He removed about 1807, and died at Enfield in 1835,
aged about 60.

Elisha p. Cutler, W. C. 1798, commenced practice here.
In 1805 " he removed to North Yarmouth, Me., and died there
Aug. 29, 1813, aged 32. He was a man of much promise." " Wil-
liams Biog. Annals," p. 214.

Samuel Eastman, D. C. 1802, commenced practice here in
1807. He remained longer than any of his predecessoi-s, but at
length removed to Springfield. He died at Amherst, April 11,
1864, aged 81.

Joseph Knox was here befor,e 1831. He removed in 1837 to
Rock Island, 111., where he died August 6, 1881.

Joel W. Fletchee, A. C. 1838, came here in 1841, and re-



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