Otis Olney Wright.

History of Swansea, Massachusetts, 1667-1917; online

. (page 19 of 27)
Online LibraryOtis Olney WrightHistory of Swansea, Massachusetts, 1667-1917; → online text (page 19 of 27)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


plowed up grape shot, eight^nd twelve pounders, and at one time the half
of a twenty-four pound shot. The embankment of the fort is plainly to be
seen, as well as that of the powder magazine. At one time the British had
entire possession of the island of Rhode Island, having a fort at the north
end of the ferry. In the Old Colony records the name of William Pearse
appears as assisting about the fort and furnishing rations for the soldiers.
Members of this Pearse family were wardens of St. Michael's (Episcopal)
Church, Bristol, R. I., for sixty years. The children of William and Lydia
(Brown) Pearse were: Sarah, born Dec. 21, 1742; George, Sept, 15, 1744;
Susanna, Aug. 31, 1746; EHzabeth, June 20, 1748; William and Lydia.

(V) George Pearse, son of William, born Sept. 15, 1744, resided at
Bristol, R. I. His wife's name was Hannah, and their children were:
William, born March 2, 1766; George, April 28, 1768; Mary, June 4, 1770;
and Hannah, Dec. 22, 1772.

(VI) William Pearse, son of George, was born March 2, 1766, in
Bristol. He married Elizabeth Gifford, born Feb. 27, 1769, and (second)
Ruth Lake, who survived him and died in May 1861. They were residents
of Bristol, R. I. Mr. Pearse died June 19, 1834. His first wife, who died
Jan. 25, 1826, was the mother of all his children: George, born Nov. 14,
1787; Hannah, Oct. 4, 1790; Polly, July 29, 1794; William, March 8,
1798; Hannah (2), Aug. 8, 1800.

(VII) Hon. George Pearse, son of William, was born Nov. 14, 1787.
Sept. 12, 1812, he married Elizabeth T. Childs, born March 31, 1792. Mr.
Pearse died at the home of his son, Wilham H. Pearse, in Swansea, Mass.,
May 12, 1862, in his seventy-fifth year. His remains rest in Juniper Hill
cemetery at Bristol, R. I. He was long prominent in the affairs of the town
and State. For many years a useful member of the Town Council, and
represented the town in both branches of the State Legislature. He was
also a leading member in St. Michael's (Episcopal) Church, and devoted to
the offices of religion. Mrs. Elizabeth Tripp (Childs) Pearse died at her
home, Bristol Ferry, Dec. 16, 1854. For about forty years she was a worthy
communicant of the Protestant Episcopal Church, having been baptized
and confirmed by the Venerable Bishop Griswold, then the beloved Rector
of St. Michael's Church, Bristol.

The children born to George and Elizabeth Tripp (Childs) Pearse
were William H., born June 15, 1813, married Rosanna M. Gardner;
Elizabeth A., born March 19, 1815, married William Augustus Richmond;
Mary, born April 10, 1819, married Dr. Charles Gardner; Joseph C. was
born Aug. 19, 1820; Hannah, born June 23, 1821; married (first) Albert C.
Robinson and (second) William Kenyon, of Wakefield, George G. was born
Jan. 25, 1824; Frances C, born April 6, 1826, married Charles C. Chase;
and Rebecca C, born June 26, 1832, married (first) Daniel Gorham
and (second) Elisha Watson.

(VIII) Wilham H. Pearse, son of George, was born at Bristol Ferry,
R. I., June 15, 1813, and in 1816 came with his parents to the farm in
Swansea, Mass., which was deeded to his grandfather William Pearse by
Alexander Gardner, of Swansea. In 1836 he returned to Bristol Ferry to
run the ferry and take charge of the farm. In 1851, on account of his
health, he removed to Cumberland, R. I., and in 1857 returned to the farm
in Swansea. He died May 9, 1892 in Swansea. At the time of his decease
he had been identified with Christ Church and parish as a vestryman thirty-
five years, as Junior Warden, eleven years, and as Senior warden twenty-
two years. He was a devout and regular communicant of the Church, a
cheerful, consistent Christian, fond of society and "given to hospitality."



184 History of Swansea

In public affairs he was interested and active. He served in the town
council in Cumberland, R. I., and in 1863 represented Swansea in the State
Legislature. He was also a volunteer in the Dorr war. Oct. 3, 1836, in the
Clu-istian Church at Swansea Centre, he married Rosanna M. Gardner,
daughter of William and Annie L. Gardner, and grand-daughter of Alexan-
der Gardner, of Swansea. Their children were: Anna EUzabeth, born
April 1, 1838, married James G. Darling, and died at Woonsocket, R. I.,
April 8, 1895; Lydia Gardner, born March 4, 1840, married George C.
Gardner, and died in Somerset, March 2, 1904; Isabel Frances, born Dec. 1,
1842, married Capt. Aaron H. Wood, and died at Santa Clara, Cal., Dec. 2,
1903; WiUiam George was born May 21, 1848; Ruth Ellen, born Nov. 1,
1849, is unmarried and resides at Touisset; Henry Bayhes, born Dec. 7,
1858, died May 29, 1875.

Mrs. Rosanna McKoon (Gardner) Pearse was born Aug. 16, 1817,
daughter of (V) WiUiam (born Aug. 23, 1786) and Annie L. (Gardner)
Gardner, granddaughter of (IV) Alexander and Anne (Luther) Gardner.
(See Gardner Family).

(IX) William George Pearse, son of WiUiam H., was bom at Bristol
Ferry, R. I., May 21, 1848, and obtained his education in the district
schools of the vicinity. He also attended the Bryant & Stratton Commer-
cial School in Providence. While he was quite young the family removed
to Cumberland, R. I. where he worked on his father's farm until 1857,
when he located in Swansea, Mass., and formed a partnership with Daniel
Mason under the firm name of D. Mason & Co., to deal in hve stock,
principaUy horses and cattle. For ten years he continued in this and minor
enterprises, and, Jan. 9, 1877, he engaged in the wholesale fruit and produce
on Second street, in Fall River, associating with himself E. O. Easterbrooks.
Three years later they added agricultural implements to their stock, as
weU as a hne of hardware; and still later they dropped the produce business,
and added harness and horse trappings. At this time Mr. Easterbrooks
withdrew and his interest was taken by his brother, Charles E. Easter-
brooks. Soon after, the latter also retired and Mr. Pearse became the sole
proprietor. In 1897 Mr. Pearse took his son, WiUiam H., into the firm, the
name being changed to William G. Pearse & Son. In August of that same
year, George Marvel was also admitted, at which time the firm took the
name of W. G. Pearse & Co. In 1897-98 Mr. Pearse's health required him
to take a vacation, and upon his return to business Mr. Marvel retired
from the firm.

For more than forty years Mr. Pearse made his home in Swansea,
where he was active in social and pubUc life, and enjoyed the confidence and
esteem of his townsmen in a marked degree. In politics he was a Repub-
lican. For many years he was a member of the South Somerset Methodist
Episcopal Church, and taught in the Sunday School. He was a busy,
active merchant, a genial man, and had many personal friends. He died
June 19, 1912.

Sept. 21, 1870, Mr. Pearse married Elizabeth M. Slade, daughter of
Gardner Slade, of Somerset, a descendant of one of the oldest families of
Southeastern Massachusetts. Two sons were born to this union, WiUiam
H., and Nathan G., the latter, born Sept. 27, 1874, died Feb. 10, 1894.

(X) WiUiam Henry Pearse, son of WiUiam G., was born July 28, 1871.
He married, (first) Bertha Frances Wilbur, daughter of Daniel WUbur and
Marion F. (Brown), of Somerset, and to them were born two children:
Elizabeth W., Aug. 29, 1890 (graduated from the FaU River High School in
1908, died Oct. 17, 1911); and WilUam Henry, Dec. 3, 1891, a graduate of
Thibodeau Business CoUege, of Fall River and one of the firm of W. G.
Pearse & Co., and a 32d degree Mason.

Mrs. Pearse died May 28, 1902. Mr. Pearse married (second) Mrs.



Family Records 185

Mary H. W. Whitehead, Sept. 17, 1907, born Jan. 29, 1871. FraternaUv he
is a Knights Templar and 32d degree Mason and a member of the I.O.O.F.

The Wilbur Family

Since 1680, there have dwelt on their farm in what is now Somerset,
formerly Swansea, six generations of Wilburs. The family name has been
variously spelled: Wildbore, Wilbore, Wilbour, Wilbor, Wilber, Wilbar,
and Wilbur.

(I) Samuel Wildbore, is of record in the First Church of Boston as
follows: "Samuel Wildbore, with his wife Ann, was admitted to this
church bee. 1, 1633. " His wife Ann was a daughter of Thomas Bradford
of Dorchester, in the south part of York, England. Samuel Wildbore
married (second) Elizabeth, who was admitted to the church Nov. 19, 1645.
He was made a freeman in 1634. He bought land largely in the town of
Taunton and removed thither with his family. He with others, embraced
the doctrines of Cotton and Wheelwright, was banished in 1637, fled to
Providence, and under advice of Roger Williams purchased from the
Indians the island of Aquidneck, to which he removed in 1638. In 1645 he
returned to Boston, maintaining also a home in Taunton. He with some
associates built and put in operation an iron furnace in that part of Taunton
which is now Raynham, said to have been the first built in New England.
He was a man of wealth for that period, exerting a wide influence in each of
the places where he dwelt. He died in 1656. His four sons were: Samuel,
Joseph, William and Shadrack. These sons spelled the name Wilbor.

(II) William Wilbor, third son of Samuel, settled in Portsmouth, R. I.,
on lands of his father. His wife's name is not known, but of his nine
children

(III) Daniel Wilbor, born in Portsmouth, R. I., in 1666, was the
first settler of the name in Swansea, now Somerset, on lands purchased by
his father in 1680. He was then fourteen years old, and inherited the
property upon his father's death in 1710. His wife's name wasMary Barney.

(IV) Daniel Wilbor (2), son of Daniel and Mary, born March 31,
1697, was a prominent man and held various town offices. He married Ann
Mason and had Daniel and Elizabeth. His death occurred in June, 1759.

(V) Daniel Wilbor(3), born in Swansea, now Somerset, April 26,
1749, died March 2, 1821. He married Mary Barnaby, of Freetown, who
died Dec. 21, 1826. Children: Daniel, James, Ambrose, EUzabetii,
Barnaby, Mary, William, Hanan, and Anna. Ambrose and Anna died in
infancy, the rest living to old age.

(VI) Daniel Wilbor (4), born Jan. 28, 1773, died Feb. 24, 1844. He
married Sarah, daughter of Zephaniah Sherman, of Somerset, born in
January, 1779, died Feb. 11, 1860. Children: Ambrose B., EHzabeth.
(married Oliver Mason), Daniel (died aged eight years), Mary B., Daniel
(2) and Sarah.

(VII) Daniel Wilbur (5), the fifth of that name in direct succession,
was born Nov. 14, 1818, upon the land where his forefathers had made
their home, and he died there June 19, 1896. He was educated in the

EubHc schools, reared a farmer and pursued that vocation all his Ufe. But,
is thought and energy were by no means confined to the tilling of the soil.
He had an active brain, a very attentive memory, and was a sound logician.
He had read widely and thoroughly; and no topic of general conversation
found hun without some knowledge of the subject, or correlated facts. His
services were always much sought in local affairs, as selectman of his town,
as delegate to conventions, chairman of town meetings, and of public
gatherings of all kinds. He was a member of the State Legislature in 1843,



186 History of Swansea

and was returned to that body in 1879. In 1854 he was in the State
Senate and was a member of the Committee on Engrossed Bills, and chair-
man of the committee on Capital Punishment. Mr Wilbur's services were
also sought by the financial and manufacturing institutions of Fall River,
which from the eminence on which he dwelt he had seen developed from a
small hamlet of less than 2,000 inhabitants to a city of about 100,000 souls.
He was president of the National Union Bank, and a director of the
Wampanaug Mills, and of the Slade Mills. In the death of Daniel Wilbur
the community lost a good citizen, a man upright, honest, and true, one
respected and trusted by all who knew him, a man who did his own think-
ing from premises which he had himself investigated, and whose conclu-
sions were his honest convictions and the basis of his actions in all matters.
He was president of the board of trustees of the South Somerset M.E. Church.
Feb. 3, 1845, Mr. Wilbur married Nancy O. Slade, daughter of John
and Rachael (Horton) Slade. She was born in September, 1822, and died
March 22, 1860. Their children were: Daniel, born Nov. 13, 1845, who
is mentioned below; Angelina, born Nov. 13, 1847, died Nov. 30, 1848;
William Barnaby, born June 30, 1850, died unmarried Sept. 3, 1893; and
Roswell Everett, born Jan. 21, 1854, died Sept. 20, 1876. Oct. 31, 1861,
Mr. Wilbur married (second) Sarah E. Mason, daughter of John Mason
of Swansea. She was born in 1833, Eind died Aug. 2, 1896, the mother of
children as follows: Henry E., born March 31, 1864, married Sept. 22,
1886, Jennie Bushnell, and resides in Swansea; Sarah S., born March 18,
1870, married Rufus P. Walker, of Fall River, and they have one child,

(VIII) Daniel Wilbur (6), son of Daniel and Nancy O. (Slade)
Wilbur, was born at the old homestead in Somerset. He was educated
in the public schools, the East Greenwich Academy, and Scholfield's
Business College, in Providence R. I. After his marriage Mr. Wilbur lived
for a year in the house across the street from his present home, for four
years in the old house on the home farm on Brayton Avenue, where
William W. Slade now lives, and since October, 1898, has resided on the
old homestead.

A Republican in politics, Mr. Wilbur has served his town fsiithfully as
a member of the school committee, for ten years as selectman, and thirteen
years as registrar of voters. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the
South Somerset M. E. Church, and of Fall River, Lodge No. 219, 1. O. O. F.

Dec. 24, 1868, Mr. Wilbur married Marion F. Brown, daughter of
Marcus A. and Maria Frances (Wilbur) Brown. To them was born one
daughter. Bertha Frances, Sept. 7, 1871. She married June 5, 1889,
William Henry Pearse, of Swansea, and they had two children: Ehzabeth
Wilbur, born Aug. 29, 1890, who died Oct. 17, 1911; and WiUiam Henry,
born Dec. 3, 1891. Mrs. Pearse died May 28, 1902.

William Irvin Wilbur, son of Daniel and Nancy (Lee) Wilbur, and
grandson of James, the son of Daniel and Mary (Barnaby) Wilbur, (aU
descended from William of Porsmouth, R. I.), was born Sept. 21, 1863, and
resides on the Warren road, in the house, a part of which was built by
Hugh Cole 2d. He married Caroline Eliza Eddy, daughter of Seth W. and
Ruth Peck (Bosworth) Eddy, who was born Sept. 12, 1863. Their children
are: Mary Eddy, born Nov. 21, 1886; married Arnold Richardson Doe;
and Elizabeth Sherman, born July 14, 1890, who married Charles
William Frost.

Grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. WiUiam Irvin Wilbur:

Virginia Wilbur Frost daughter of Charles W. and Ehzabeth Sherman
(Wilbur) Frost born November 16, 1915.

Wilbur Stanley Doe son of Arnold R. and Mary Eddy (Wilbur) Doe,
born September 29, 1916.



Family Records

Heads of Families in Swansea

First Census of the United States 1790



187



MiUer, Charles
Killey, Edward
Miller, Elizabeth
Luther, Matthew
Luther, Job
Luther, Peleg
Chace, Simeon
Chace, Joshua
Barney, Jonathan
Mason, Saunders
Franklin, Lemuel
Barney, Josiah
Smith, Constant
Peirce, Wheeler
Barney, Benjamin
Grant, John
Barney, Comfort
Rounds, Betsy
Rounds, Nathaniel
Barney, Bethiah
Bryant, Abigail
Ormsby, Jacob
Barney, Daniel
Mason, Joseph
Cole, Nehemiah
Thomas, Hannah
Saunders, Benjamin
Robinson, Samuel
Chace, Royal
Peirce, Job
Thompson, Charles
Peck, Ambrose
Short, Margaret
Martin, Hannah
Jennings, Solomon
Wood, James
Bean, Mary
Cole, Ebenezer
Peck, Peleg
Harding, Jonathan
Kinsley, Peleg
Bowers, Jeffry
Brayton, Pero
Handy, Russell
Martin, Aaron
Strange, John
Kinsley, Asa
Kinsley, Nathaniel
Kinsley, Benjamin
Martin, Benjamin
Mason, Charles, junr.
Fitch, Amos



Rude, William
Cole, Parker
Martin, Anna
Martin, Daniel
Martin, Jonathan
Chace, Samuel
Mason, John
Mason, Prince
Mason, Noble
Wood, Barnabas
Wood, Jonathan
Wood, Israel
Mason, Job
Chace, John
Mason, Phebe
Mason, Edward
Baker, Francis
Mason, Charles
Mason, Joseph
Cole, Edward
Greenman, Zephaniah
Loring, Sary
Wood, Aaron
Salisbury, Daniel
Salisbury, Benjamin
Munroe, John
Cole, Ephraim
Cole, Nathaniel
Anthony, Hannah
Salisbury, Caleb
Munroe, Stephen
Mason, John 2nd.
Kinsley, Hezekiah
Mason, Christopher
Mason, Russell
Kinicutt, Edward
Chace, Benjamin
Chace, Jabez
Chace, Grindell
Chace, Mary
Wood, David
Gardner, Lucy
Wood, John
Mason, Barnabas
Luther, John
Wood, Caleb
Mace, Levisa
Chafee, Stephen
Buffington, Sarah
Wood, Seth
Wood, David, junr.
Handy, Thomas



188



History of Swansea



Hale, John
Hale, Daniel
Martin, Melatiah
Mason, Joshua
Mason, Caleb
Martin, Benjamin, 2nd.
Martin, EHsha
Hale, Job
Mason, Jeremiah
Mason, Peleg
Mason, David
Mason, Isaac
Mason, Edward, 1st.
Mason, Benjamin, 2nd.
Wood, Simeon
Hale, Lurana
Mason, Edward, 3rd.
Luther, Theophilus
Chafee, Thomas
Mason, Aaron
Fitch, Hannah
Mason, Benjamin
Whealand, Joseph
Lewis, Nathaniel
Lewis, Thomas
Lewis, Timothy
Lewis, Timothy 2d
Lewis, Joseph
Baker, William, junr.
Baker, Rhoda

King, Job
West, John

Peirce, Miel

Horton, Job

Martin, Joseph

BuUock, Caleb

Luther, Childs

Wheaton, Jonathan

Wheaton, Miel

Pierce, Miel, junr.

Chace, Enoch, junr.

Chace, Enoch

Chace, Mason

Lewis, Samuel

Lewis, Peleg

Chace, Phillip

Chace, John

Chace, James

Earl, Weston

Baker, Samuel

Cornell, Ehsha

Fish, George

Chace, Caleb

Chace, Nehemiah

Cornell, EHsha, junr.

Fisk, Aaron

Chace, Hezekiah



Eddy, Preserved
Buffington, John
Gibbs, John
Buffington, Benjamin
Chace, William
Chace, Mace
Chace, Benjamin
O'Brien, John
Hicks, Benjamin
West, Ephraim
Peirce, Shubael
Wood, Nathaniel
Hicks, Robert
Luther, Moses
Hale, Richard
Chace, Ruth
Luther, Calvin
Cartwright, Daniel
Luther, Simeon
Lay ton. Job
Lay ton, Isaac
Pine, Benjamin
Luther, Samuel
Luther, Jonathan
Layton, James
Weaver, Peter
Cole, Esau
Luther, Nathaniel
Luther, James
Sherman, Zilpha

Sherman, Levi

Luther, Theophilus, 2d

Sisson, Gilbert

Luther, Ezra

Slade, Peleg

Traffen, Phillip

Traffen, Abiel

Hill, Barnet

Stearns, Isaac

Lee, Warwick

Mason, Simeon

Pratt, John

Luther, Job

Brown, Zebedee

Luther, Amos

Luther, Jedediah

Luther, Job, junr.

Jones, Simeon

Potter, Simeon

Gardner, Samuel

Gardner, Stephen

Gardner, Samuel, junr.

Gardner, Samuel, 3rd.

Gardner, Peleg

Luther, Aaron

Gardner, Alexander

Gardner, Hannah



Family Records



189



Wheaton, Jeremiah
Chace, Samuel, 2d
Chace, Jerethweel
Trott, John
Kinsley, Thomas
Kinsley, Simeon
Kinsley, Jonathan
Luther, Stephen
Luther, Wheaton
Luther, David
Luther, Silas
Luther, Ezekiel
Sherman, Margaret
Lewen, John 2d
Buffing ton, Samuel
Cole, Simeon
Luther, Giles
Luther, Eddy
Buffington, Benjamin 2d
Chace, Royal
Chace, Sarah

Luther, Upham
Luther, John

Luther, Alasson

Chace, Elisha

Luther, Mary

Brown, Dan

McCoon, Jonathan

Kinsley, Benjamin

Kinsley, Amos

Luther, Harlow

Luther, Samuel

Wheaton, Levi

Wheaton, Reuben

Brown, Jarvis

Brown , Seth

Brown, Wilham

Brown, John

Brown, Ehsha

Brown, Aaron

Brown, David

McCoon, James

Luther, James

Luther, James, junr.

Toogood, Nathaniel

Woodmaney, John

Woodmansay, Reuben
' Sisson, Gardner

Cole, Constant

Woodmansse, Squire
' Sisson, George
• Sisson, Richard

Sisson, James
Chace, Sarah
Luther, Betty



Brown, Obadiah
Luther, Barnabas
Luther, Patience
Vose, John
Bayley, Sarah
Eddy, Job, junr.
Terry, PhiUip
Caswell, Nicholas
Caswell, Richard
Eddy, John
Terry, George
Terry, James
Johnson, Jonathan
Eddy, Job
Eddy, William
Pulling, John
Barney, Prince
Chace, Samuel
Earl, Thomas
Chace, James
Benanuel
Baker, Daniel
Chace, John
Bosworth, David
Chace, Silvester
Luther, William
Slade, Joseph
Slade, Stephen
Martin, James
Robinson, John
Gibbs, Joseph
Slade, Benjamin
Chace, Jonathan
Brayton, Daniel
Slade, Edward
Earl, Caleb
Lewen, Thomas
Lewen, John
Lewen, Nathaniel
Pulling, WiUiam
Trott, James
Luther, Richard
Brown, James
Chace, Reuben
Slade, Philip
Eddy, Michael
Reed, Abraham
Chace, Daniel
Chace, Stephen
Baker, Jeremiah
NeiU, James
Hale, Mary
Cotton, John
Antonio
Titus



PERSONAL SKETCHES



PERSONAL SKETCHES



Thomas Willet

This worthy leader was probably grandson of Thomas' Willet.^canon
of Ely, and was son of Dr. Aidrew Willet, that rector of Barley who was
imprisoned for preaching against the proposed "Spanish match" of
Charles I. Young Thomas was reared in Holland, and on reaching Ply-
mouth in 1630, at the age of twenty, was nearly as Dutch as English in
language, habits, and sympathies. His exciting experience in the Castine
affair ended in 1635 (See pp. 387-8); in 1636 he married John Brown's
daughter Mary; he was for a time employed in the Colony's Kennebec
trade, but soon engaged in traflSc with the Manhattan Dutch, whose con-
fidence he won in a high degree.

In 1651, Assistant Collier dying, Willet was chosen in his stead; he
continued to hold the place for fourteen years, and was succeeded by James
Brown. In 1648, as leader of the Plymouth train-band, he had acquired
the title of captain. During these years he joined the Browns at Wana-
moiset.

In 1664, when he was taken to New York in the train of the King's
Commissioners, the Dutch residents urged that if they must be placed
under English rule, WiUet would be especiaUy acceptable from his knowl-
edge of their usages, tastes, and language. The Commissioners there-
fore appointed Captain Willet as the first mayor of the city of New York.
The place had hitherto been ruled by a trading-company, and was small;
but already it was acquiring a metropolitan character, for even then in its
streets the new mayor heard eighteen different languages. How long
Willet filled this post, or when he took it for a second term, is uncertain.
In 1667 he was one of the active corporators at Swansea, to which Wan-
amoiset was transferred from Rehoboth. In the interesting proceedings
of the next seven years, by which that town was developed as a Baptist
community with Congregational support, Willet took a Hberal and leading
part as a representative of the latter element. Yet he appears to have been
at the head of affairs in New York when, in 1673, Evertsen recaptured it for
the Dutch. Willet then came home to Swansea, and there died in 1674,
aged sixty-four. His first wife died in 1669, also aged sixty-four. Their
grave-stones are standing at Bullock's Cove, Riverside, but that of the
"vertvovs" matron blunderingly records her death as in 1699, — which
would make her but two years old at her marriage.

Of Willet's children, the youngest, Hezekiah, was a pubhc favorite.
At the age of twenty, a few months after his marriage to Andia Bourne,
during Philip's War, while there was no thought of danger, he had passed
but a short distance beyond his door in Swansea, when some prowling
Indians killed him with three bullets and carried away his head. This act
exasperated the whole Colony, the more especially from the uniform kind-
ness of the Willet family to the Indians. In all offers of pardon and amnesty
these assassins were excepted; and when Crossman, their leader, was
taken, he was hanged. Even the hostile Wampanoags lamented young
Willet's death, and when the head was recovered, it was found that they
had tenderly combed the hair and decorated it with beads.

A century after this incident the country was called to another war



194 History of Swansea

for its self-preservation. Among her bravest, most loyal soldiers, was
Colonel Marimus Willet, who survived until 1830, when he died at the age
of ninety. He was great-grandson of the pioneer of Swansea, and, like him,
had been a mayor of New York.

— Pilgrim Republic

The grave of Thomas WUIett, first Mayor of New York, who was
buried in Little Neck Cemetery, Riverside, more than 200 years ago, was
marked in a fitting manner there Oct. 18, 1913, when a large, handsome
granite boulder, the gift of the City Club of New York, was unveiled by
Mrs. Lewis B. White of Arnold street, Riverside, who was instrumental in
having the Willet grave brought to the attention of President Strong of the
City Club. Plans for the erection of the memorial, which includes a huge
block of granite, with inscription and surrounded by granite posts and
rails, had been progressing for a year, and the day's event brought the
matter to a very fitting close.

When Mrs. White pulled the string attached to the official flag of the
present Mayor of New York, which was loaned for the occasion and which
covered the boulder, the latter was disclosed to a very large and representa-


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Online LibraryOtis Olney WrightHistory of Swansea, Massachusetts, 1667-1917; → online text (page 19 of 27)