Lucius R. (Lucius Robinson) Paige.

History of Hardwick, Massachusetts. With a genealogical register online

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the east bank of Wave River, at the northwest [northeast ? ] corner
of a tract of land laid out to James Hovey, and confirmed this
present session ; from thence running southerly, as that line runs,
to Brookfield bounds ; and from thence easterly, as Brookfield
bounds run, to the southwesterly corner ^ of Braintree six thou-
sand acres ; and from thence extending northwesterly, bounding
northeasterly on said six thousand acres, till the line comes to
Ware River ; and then bounding on Ware River to the first
bounds : in lieu of the four hundred acres taken off by Braintree
grant, and the three hundred acres taken off by land of John
Read, Esq., and the ponds, etc., as aforesaid, provided it inter-
feres with no former grant." The Council concurred three days
afterwards, and the Governor gave his consent.

At the time of this grant, Lieutenant (afterwards captain)
Eleazar Warner resided with his family on a farm, which was
given to him and his wife by her father, Thomas Barns of Brook-
field, in 1729, and included part of the Winnimisset swamp and
upland. His house stood about a mile east of Ware River, at
the corner of the old turnpike and the road leading to New
Braintree meeting-house, and was afterwards long known as the
Perez Cobb house. He was probably the first English settler
on this territory.^ At this time also very few settlers had be-
come resident on the original grant. By the Proprietors' Records
it appeal's that on the 12th of June, 1733, seventy-four of the one
hundred and eleven proposed lots had been laid out ; " and there
is sixteen persons already settled and entered on them ; " and it
was " proposed that twenty-four persons ^ more shall at this time
be admitted as settlers thereon, who, together with the pro-
prietors, shall draw for the lots already laid out. . . . Then the

1 This "corner" was not far south- no settlement had been commenced in
easterly from the point where the road what is now Hardwick.

from New Braintree to West Brookfield ^ These "twenty-four" were not j'et

passes the head of Ditch Meadow. The resident, as they had not drawn their lots,

tract thus described became the westerly and some of them never personally oc-

part of New Braintree when that town cupied those lots. Several were delin-

was incorporated. quent for a full year, and it was voted,

2 It is a family tradition, and it is so June 12, 1734, "that the Committee write
stated in the Massachusetts Spy, Decem- forthwith to each settler that has not yet
ber 10, 1817, that his son Warham War- been at work on their lots, to come into
ner, who was born November 1, 1730, the meeting on the adjournment to j^ive
and died December 4, 1817, "was the bond to fulfil their settlements according
first [English] child born in New Brain- to agreement; and provided they do not,
tree." At the date of this birth, probably others shall be admitted." Five such

lots were declared forfeited July 21, 1736.
8



34



HISTORY OF HARDWICK.



proprietors and the twenty-four proposed as settlers proceeded to
draw their lots." And December 26, 1733, " The proprietors
pro6eeded to draw for their two hundred acre lots, and drew the
same as follows : ' ' three lots of two hundred acres each to " Coll.
Lamb, Gardner's heirs, Mr. Haskall, Mr. Paige, Ebenezer Pier-
pont, Mr. Tucker's heirs. Coll. William Dudley, Mr. Draper's
heirs, Mr. Gamblin's heirs, Capt. Willis, Mr. Curtis's heirs, Capt.
Ruggles' heirs.'' At the same meeting "the lots were drawn
amongst the proprietors and settlers, viz. : the remaining thirty-
two as follows." The list, however, was not entered on the Pro-
prietors' Records until November 3, 1743, when it was " voted,
that the list of the lots drawn by the proprietors and settlers,
laid before the proprietors by their Committee, be and hereby is
accepted, and that the Proprietors' Clerk be desired to record
them forthwith in their Book of Records." Eour one hundred
acre lots are recorded, as drawn by each of the twelve proprietors.
Then follows a record of the settlers' lots : " The following is a
list of the persons' names and the lots drawn by them, with the
number of acres belonging to each lot di'awn by the persons ad-
mitted settlers in Lambstown, so called." I omit the numbers
of the lots, as no plan of them is known to exist.





Acres.


James Akius


. 100


Mr. James Allen


100


John Amadown .


. 100


Thomas Bennett


100 and addition.


Lidel Buck


. 120, now Ri Church


Roger Carary .


100


Nathan Carpenter


. 110


Capt. Will'" Chandler


94


Jonath" Church .


. 100, now Miricks.


Sam^ Church .


100


Sam' Cook ....


. 100


Ebenez"' Cuttler


120


Sam' Davis


. 100


Samuel Duglass


104


Michal Gilson


. 100


David Goldlhright .


100


Stephen Griffen .


100 Ezra Leonard.


Stephen Gi-iifeth


100 and 50.


Griffeu .


98, now Pikes.


John Ilarvvood


102


Joseph Ilaskal


. 125



CIVIL HISTORY.



35



Mr. Jos'' Haskal


102


John Hunt ....


. 100, now Robinsons.


David Ingersole


100


Dudley Jordan .


. 100


Edmund Jordan


100


John Jordan


. 116


Coll. Joshua Lamb .


100


Ezra Leonard


. 100


William Maccoy . .


99, a mill lot, with 6




rodds allowed for a




highway.


Sam^ INIarsh


. 104


Thomas Mayo . . .


100, purchas'd.


JNorcross


. 100


Christopher Page


100


Christop"" Page .


. 100


Ebenezer Pierpont .


100


Elisha Pike


. 100, now Gillet.


Thomas Powers


100


Ramsdel


. 100


Sam^ Robiuson


103


Capt. Jos^ Ruggles


. 100


Mr. Timo^ Ruggles


112


Mr. Timo^ Ruggles


. 100


Mr. Timothy Ruggles


100


Shaw .


. 100


Sam^ Shumway


100


Benjamin Smith .


. 100


Jonatli" Southwick .


100


Moses Stockbridge


. 100 and 50.


Benj° Sumner


100, now Edw*^ Sumner.


Edw*^ Sumner


. 100


William Sumner


104, now Edw*^ Sumner.


William Thomas


. 104


John Tompson


100


Seth Twitchel


90, forfeited by him.


Wells ....


100


Andrew White


, now Hunt.


Mr. Will" Williams


100


Capt. Sam^ Willis


. 100


Coll. Sami Willis ^ .


100



^ After the lots were drawn in 1732,
Bome were forfeited, and others changed
owners, before the list was recorded in
1743, as indicated on the record; and
Captain Willis was promoted to the office



of colonel. Mr. James Allen, Mr. Tim-
othy lluggles, and Mr. William Williams
were clergymen. Many of those who
drew lots never became settlers.



36



HISTORY OF HARDWICK.




Acres.


The Common ....


10


Mill Lot


.


Minister Lot


200


Ministry Lot ....


. 200


School Lot ....


200


On the East Side of


Ware River.


George Abbot ....


. 100


Barr ....


100


Josiah Barrett ....


. 100


Blair ....


100


Robert Gatchell ....


. 100, now Haskal


Nichols


50


Ebenezer Pierpont


. 50


Jeremiah Powers


100


Sam^ Smith . , . . • *


. 100


Lt. Warner


50 and addition



October 30, 1733. " Voted, That the Rev. Mr. Timothy Rug-
gles shall have the Mill Lot for one of his settlers' lots to the west
side of the 69^^ lot." ^ "Voted, That Lieut. Leonard shall have
the Mill lot adjoining to Ware River, at the southerly corner of
the town, 2 provided he erects a good grist mill on the River in
one year from the last day of June next, and that he keeps and
maintains the said mill in good repair for the space of twenty
years, so as to supply the inhabitants of the town with grinding
from time to time, and for the usual toll ; said lot to be accom-
modated as the Committee shall see cause, but not to include
above one hundred and fifty acres of land."



Although never actually attacked by hostile troops, in its ex-
posed situation on the frontiers the settlement of the town was
retarded by fears of invasion. Hence the proprietors voted, De-
cember 27, 1733, " that if the inhabitants or settlers are mo-



1 This lot was probably on Moose
Brook at the Furnace Village, where a
grist mill was very early in operation.

2 At Gilbertvillc. Lieutenant Leonard
failed to perform the conditions, and the
lot was granted, September 10, 1735, to
" William Jennison, Esq., and Thomas
Stearns, both of Worcester, and Stephen
Harrington of Lambstown in equal parts.
. . . And it is to be understood that the
said mill is to be set on either Ware River



or the Brook running through said lot, as
may best answer the end of the builders
and inhabitants, both." The mill and lot
subsequently became the property of John
Wells, after whose death they were sold,
24th October, 1750, to Jonathan Warner.
The water-power at this place is the most
important within the town. Instead of a
grist mill it now moves an extensive man-
ufactory.



CIVIL HISTORY. . 37

lested by a wai' with the Indian or French Enemy, it is agreed
and allowed that if they, within two years after the expiration of
the war, shall fulfil and bring forward their settlement according
to the Court's grant, they shall enjoy their rights." And six
months later, June 12, 1734, it was "represented to the proprie-
tors, that Mr. Stephen Griff en ^ was desirous to build and settle
on his brother Norcross's lot, that the neighborhood might be
more complete and defensible in case of a war ; " and liberty was
granted accordingly.

A somewhat suspicious vote was adopted, December 27, 1733 :
" Voted, to Mr. Ebenezer Pierpont the quantity of three hundred
acres of land, to be disposed of by him to two particular gentle-
men, viz., one hundred acres to one of said gentlemen, and two
hundred acres to the other gentleman." The m^^stery is partially
solved by a memorandum made on the fourth Wednesday of Sep-
tember, 1734, that " whereas there was a grant of three hundred
acres of land to Mr. Ebenezer Pierpont some time ago for two
particular gentlemen : now the meaning is, that the Honorable
Judge Dudley shall have two hundred acres, and one hundred
acres to William Dudley, Esq." What service these gentlemen
had rendered or were expected to render in consideration of this
gift does not appear ; nor is any reason obvious why their names
were not mentioned in the original grant, like those of other re-
cipients of land, whether by gift or purchase.

Until 1736, the settlement of the township made slow prog-
ress ; but in that year there seems to have been a large accession
of inhabitants. In the House of Representatives November 29,
1736, "a petition of Benjamin Smith and sundry other inhabit-
ants of lands lately granted to Joshua Lamb, Esq. and others, at
a place called Lambstown, setting forth that they have fulfilled
the conditions of a settlement, being arrived to the number of
sixty inhabitants,^ and performed what was enjoined on them as
to subduing and improving the lands, and have called and settled
a minister, praying that they may be incorporated into a town-

1 Stephen Griffith. then only twenty-three families in the

2 If this mean sixty families, — the place,
number required in the grant, — the

greater part must have become inhab- " In thirty-six I came into

itants during this year. Deacon Joseph This then a wilderness :

Allen moved into the town in the early Great hardships we did undergo,

part of the year ; and he says there were Our wants did daily press.



38 HISTORY OF HARDWICK.

ship, for the reasons mentioned. Read, and ordered that the
prayer of the petition be granted." ^ The Council non-concurred ;
but two days afterwards proposed to incorporate the place as a
district, to which the House assented, and it was enacted, " That
the prayer of the petition be so far granted as that Mr. Benjamin
Smith, one of the petitioners within named, be and is hereby
authorized and empowered to notify and warn the inhabitants
and residents on the tract of land within mentioned, qualified by
law to vote in town affairs, to convene as soon as may be in some
public place, then and there to choose town officers, and agree
upon methods for the support of the ministry, and defraying
other charges ; the said officers to stand until the twenty-fifth
day of March, one thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight.
Provided, nevertheless, and it is hereby declared, that nothing
herein contained shall extend or be construed to extend to the
confirmation of the original grant of the said tract of land, but
that the same remain as heretofore until this Court be fully
satisfied that the grantees have fulfilled the conditions of the
grant." 2 The meeting, thus authorized, was holden February 9,
1737 ; and its proceedings are here entered in full, as they show
to a certain extent who were then inhabitants. It was voted :

" 1. That Mr. Benjamin Smith be the Moderator of said meet-
ing-

" 2. That said meeting be adjourned to the house of Nathan

Carpenter, on said day.

" 3. That Samuel Robinson be Town Clerk.

" 4. That Benjamin Smith, Joseph Allen, Samuel Robinson,
Stej)hen Griffeth, and Benjamin Ruggles be Selectmen.

" 5. That John Wells be Town Treasurer.

" 6. That William Maccoye, Benjamin Ruggles, and Expe-
rience Johnson be chosen Assessors.

" 7. That George Abbot and Ichabod Stratton be Constables.

" 8. That all the remaining town officers be chosen by hold-
ing up of hands.

t' 9. That Thomas Perry and Benjamin Andrews be tiding
men.

" 10. That Josiah Barret and James Aikens be surveyors of
highways.

"Tlie families were twenty-three, Joseph Allen to the Church and Congrega-

Tliat then did here belong : tion of Hardwick. Printed at Brookfield,

They all did hardships bear with me, 1795, pp. 51, 8vo.

But now are dead and gone." ^ Printed Journal of House of Repre-

sentatives.
Last Advice and Farewell of Deacon 2 General Court Records.



CIVIL HISTORY. 39

"11. That D utile}' Jordan and John Hunt be fence-viewers.

"12. That Phineas Powers and Samuel Church be hog-reaves,

" 13. That this meeting be adjourned to the 23d of this in-
stant February, at the Meeting-house, at ten of the clock on said
day."

Up to this time, the Rev. Timothy Ruggles was more active
than any other person in carrying forward the settlement of the
town. Although he sold, in 1736, his proportion of the share
inherited from his father. Captain Samuel Ruggles, of Roxbury,
he made frequent and extensive purchases from the heirs of other
proprietors and from those who had received grants as settlers.
His activity and the extent of his possessions by grant and pur-
chase are partially indicated by votes passed June 29, 1737 :
" Whereas Mr. Timothy Ruggles of Rochester, one of the pro-
prietors, was obliged to settle five lots, called settlers' lots, in
said Lambstown, as granted to himself, each of them one hun-
dred acres, and there was a vote passed, that if he did the duties
of settling on the thousand acres, so called, that it should answer
for the same, and he having performed his duty as such on said
thousand acres, as appears by the view of the proprietors' com-
mittee, voted that those lots in said thousand acres which are No.
1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, No. 6, No. 7, according to the plan
of that part of the thousand acres, so called, which lies on the
westerly side of Ware River ^ in Lambstown, containing in the
whole eight hundred and seventy-three, signed William Chandler,
Surveyor, and as entered on the original plan, &c., be and hereby
are confirmed to the said Timothy Ruggles, and to be to him, his
heirs and assigns forever." At the same time three other lots
were confirmed to him, he having bought them of Samuel Willis,
Esq., Samuel Shumway, and Samuel Douglass, and "■ having
performed the like duties on the same."

During the two years between the grant of authority to elect

1 This portion of the " thousand acres " homestead, and south on the mill lot, this
was in the northeasterly part of the town, line being " the line between the mill lot
between the Moose Brook Road and the and the thousand acres." The proprie-
River. The farm marked " D. Billings " tors voted, in September, 1734, " that the
on the R. Map was the southwest corner piece of land decyphered on the plat 'of
of this tract, being described in the deed one hundred and twenty-eight acres, lying
from Nathaniel Ruggles, of Roxbury, to eastward of Ware River, and on Brain-
Daniel Billings, May 8, 1765, as bounded tree grant, and on Mr. Barnes's heirs, is
west on the west line of the thousand acres, allowed to make up the complement of
north on Caleb Nye (formerly Samuel one thousand acres on Ware_River," etc.
Nye), east on Captain Benjamin Ruggles's



40 HISTORY OF HARDWICK.

certain oiBcers and the full incorporation of the town, the inhab-
itants transacted very little business at their public meetings,
except providing for the erection of a meeting-house and the
maintenance of a minister, which will be noticed elsewhere.
Heretofore the provision made by the proprietors for this purpose
was inadequate ; and the inhabitants manifested a strong desire
for incorporation, that they might thus become able to raise a
sufficient revenue by taxation of all the land, whether owned by
residents or non-residents. Accordingly it was voted, June 30,
1737, " That Mr. Christopher Paige be the man to go to the
General Court, to get the Town incorporated, or the land taxed."
When this petition was under consideration in December, 1737,
the proprietors asked the General Court to delay the act of in-
corporation for another year, and their request was granted.

At the election of officers, March 6, 1738, several new names
appear : John Amadou, Matthew Barr, Samuel Gillett, Robert
Gitchell, Roger Haskell, Stephen Herrington, Constant Merrick,
Christopher Paige,^ Eleazar Sanyer, Jonathan AVarner, and
Samuel West.

August 8, 1738, voted, " That Benjamin Smith's yard be a
pound for the town this year."

October 19, 1738, voted, " That the town-meetings for the
time be warned by posting at the meeting-house." Personal
notice seems to have been given, heretofore, by two constables,
each being directed " To warn all freeholders and other inhabit-
ants in Lambstown, so called, in your district." The Great
Meadow Brook was then the division between the two districts.
At a later period, the county road, which afterwards became a
turnpike, was established as the line between the north and south
districts.

November 2, 1738, voted : " 1. That Lieut. Eleazar Warner
be the INIoderator of this meeting. 2. That the town will send
to the General Court, to pray for a tax of two pence per acre
. upon all the land lying within the limits of Lambstown. 3. That
Deacon Christopher Paige be the man to go to the General
Court, to pray for the laying of the aforesaid tax." ^

This petition was presented in December, and an order of

1 Deacon Christopher Paige was Mod- by " Ebenezer Ayers, Eleazar Warner,
erator of the meeting April 4, 1737, and and sundry others, proprietors and in-
had then been here about two or three habitants of the southeasterly part of
years. Lambstown, so called, on the southerly

2 In anticipation of this movement, a or southeasterly side of Ware River,
petition was presented, December 2, 1738, showing that though they live on farm



CIVIL HISTORY. 41

notice was issued to the proprietors. December 15, 1738, in the
House of Representatives, " The petition of Christopher Paige
in behalf of Lambstown, so called, praying as entered the 9'^
current, read again, together with the answer of Joshua Lamb,
Esq., and others, a committee of the proprietors and non-residents
of Lambstown, and the matter being maturely considered, in
answer to this petition, voted. That the Assessors of the plan-
tation of Lambstown, so called, are hei-eby allowed and era-
powered to levy an assessment or tax of three half pence per acre
per annum, for the space of five ^ years next coming, on all the
lands therein and belonging either to resident or non-resident
proprietors ; the money arising hereby to be annually applied
and paid, viz. one half thereof to the Reverend Minister there
for his better encouragement and more comfortable support, the
residue for building and finishing a handsome meeting-house for
the better accommodating the inhabitants in attending the public
worship of God. And the constables or collectors of said plan-
tation for the time being during the said term are also hereby
directed and required duly and seasonably to collect and pay in
the sum of the said tax annually, for the uses and purposes afore-
said. And the petitioner is hereby further allowed and empow-
ered to prepare and bring in a Bill for erecting the said planta-
tion into a township, that so the inhabitants thereof may be
vested with, hold, and enjoy, equal powers, privileges, and
immunities, with the inhabitants of the other towns of the
Province." The Bill or Act of Incorporation was duly enacted,
and approved January 10, 1739.^ It is inserted in full at the
end of this chapter. On the following day it was "ordered,
That Mr. Christopher Paige, a principal inhabitant of a new

land which they hold by purchase, and ^ j^^ tjjjg time the township received

lately by this Court annexed to the said the name of Hardwicke, and it was thus

plantation of Lambstown, and are ac- written for many years. The final letter

counted to help make up the number of has since been omitted, and in conformity

Lambstown settlers, yet they never re- to the almost universal custom, I have

ceived any of the propriety lands, that written Hardwick, in this sketch. Hard-

their habitations are so situated as ren- wicke, however, is undoubtedly the orig-

ders it much more convenient for them to inal name. This name was i)robably

be annexed to Braintree new grant than given in compliment to Lord Hardwicke,

to remain as they are ; praying the order an English nobleman. But if the whole

of the Court to annex them to Braintree vocabulary had been searched for the

new grant, for the reasons mentioned." pur])ose, it would have been difficult to

This petition failed ; but it was renewed find a name more accurately descriptive

several years later, and was then success- of the character of this township; for it

ful. imports a place favorable for husbandry

^ Amended by substituting three years and the raising of cattle. See Rees's En-

for five years. cyclopedia.



42 HISTORY OF IIARDWICK.

Town, lately erected at a plantation called Lambstown, in the
county of Worcester, b}^ the name of Hardwicke, be and liereby
is fully authorized and empowered to assemble the free-holders
and other qualified voters there, on the first Monday in March
next, at some convenient public place in said town, in order to
their choosing a Town Clerk and other town officers for the year
then next ensuing." A meeting was accordingly holden March
6, 1738-9, at which town officers were elected, to wit : Chris-
topher Paige, Moderator ; Cornelius Cannon, Town Clerk ; Elea-
zar Warner, John Wells, Benjamin Smith, William Thomas,
and Constant Merrick, Selectmen ; John Wells, Treasurer ;
Samuel Robinson and Matthew Barr, Constables ; Samuel Giliet
and Josiah Barrett, Tythingmen ; Icliabod Stratton, John Ama-
dou, Roger Haskell, and Nathan Carpenter, Surveyors of High-
ways ; Phineas Powers and Jeremiah Powers, Fence-viewers ;
Richard Church and Amos Thomas, Hog-reeves.

Act of Incorporation.

" Ajino Ilegni Regis Cieorgii 2d, ^c. 12 mo.

" An Act for erecting a plantation in the County of Worcester,
called Lambstown, into a township by the name of

" Whereas the plantation of Lambstown, so called, in the
County of Worcester is competently filled with inhabitants, who
labour under divers inconveniences and difficulties for want of a
power of enjoying and exercising town's privileges among them,
and have addressed this Court setting forth the same, and pray-
ing for relief therein.

" Be it enacted by his Excellency the Governor, Council, and
Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the author-
ity of the sauie, that the said plantation of Lambstown inclusive
of the additional grant, lying and being on both sides Weare
River as the same is hereafter bounded and described, be and
hereby is constituted and erected into a separate and distinct
township, by the name of

"The bounds of said township being as follows; viz. Begin-
ning at the East bank of Ware River at the northwest corner of
a tract of land laid out to James Hove}^ ; from thence extending
southerly as that line runs to Brookfield bounds ; and from thence
easterly as Brookfield bounds run, to the southwesterly corner of
Brantree six thousand acres ; and from thence extending nortli-

1 The name "Hardwicke" was inserted by the Governor, agreeably to the usual



Online LibraryLucius R. (Lucius Robinson) PaigeHistory of Hardwick, Massachusetts. With a genealogical register → online text (page 5 of 73)