William Richard Cutter.

Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts; (Volume 3) online

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succession in the family, being now occupied
by his great-grandson, Edwin Smith McEl-
wain. He married, in Somers, Connecticut,
January 9, 1772, Jane Brown, who died Janu-
ary 2, 1832, aged eighty-one. He served in
the Revolutionary War, and was a prominent
military figure in his day. Children: 1. Timo-
thy, born October 21, 1772. 2. Anne, born
June 12, 1774. 3. Jane, born September 24,
1776: died January 7, 1787. 4. Alexander,
born November 9, 1778. 5. James, born Feb-
ruary 22, 1 78 1. 6. George Washington, born
May 4, 1783. 7. Betsey, born August 18,
1785. 8. Sarah, born March 30, 1787. 9.
David, born April 19, 1789. 10. Jennet, born
March 31, 1791. 11. Jonathan, born June 11,
1793; see forward. 12. Laney, born June 21,


(IV) Jonathan, son of Timothy McElwain,
was born at Middlefield, June 11, 1793, died
February 23, 1866. He lived all his life on the
McElwain place. A broad minded man. he
was thoroughly devoted to the town and its
interests, at one time representing his district
in the legislature. His breadth of view is well
illustrated by the fact that, wdien Mary Lyon
went through that section soliciting money for



the founding of Mt. Holyoke, an institution
for the education of women, he contributed
one hundred dollars, no small sum for the
New England farmer of that day, and this in
spite of the fact that he himself had five sons
and no daughters to educate. Only two other
men in the town subscribed to the fund. He
married, October 15, 1818, Lucy Smith, of
Middlefield. Children:

1. Jonathan (2nd), born July 14, 1819. died
January 23, 1809. He succeeded his father
on the farm and was also prominent in town
affairs, holding the office of town clerk for
nearly thirty years, and that of secretary of
the Highland Agricultural Society for many
years. He married (first) May 20, 1847,
Clarissa Lyman, of Chester; (second) Decem-
ber, 1852. Alar}- Smith, of Salisbury, Con-
necticut. Children : i. Albert, born Novem-
ber 1853, died in 1855: ii. Edwin Smith, born
April 20, 1855 ; succeeded his father on the
old place; married, February 13. 1876, Lucy
Maria Graves, of Middlefield; children: (a)
Bessie Lillian, born April 18, 1879; married
July 18, 1898, Walter S. Newell; (b) Jessie
Bell, born July 10, 1880; married, October 18.
1904, Reuben Franklin McElwain, of West
Springfield: (c) George Edwin born Decem-
ber 16, 1885, engaged in the paper manufac-
turing business at Holyoke. iii. Mary Jane.
born June 5, 1858: married (first) June 12,
1885, Fitzhugh Babson, of Gloucester ; ( sec-
ond") Clark B. Wright, of Middlefield. iv.
Lura Verona, born April 20, 1862; married.
November 19, 1891, Arthur D. Pease, of Mid-

2. Oliver, born August 24, 1821 ; married
at Becket, February 10, 1853, Paulina Doane
Witherell, of South Wellfleet; children, born
at Becket: i. Lucy Hannah, born December
6, 1854; married June 16, 1881, Clifton A.
Crocker, of Springfield; ii. Laney Smith, born
April 14, 1857; married, January 4, 1888, Ar-
thus E. Ford, of Chicago ; iii. Harriet Aurelia,
born February 12, 1859; not married. Was
graduated at Mt. Holyoke Seminary, became a
teacher, and was for nineteen years the head
of the Department for Women at The Penn-
sylvania State College ; iv. Oliver Dwight,
born February 10, 1862 ; not married ; v. Reu-
ben Franklin, born March 30, 1865 : married,
October 18, 1904, Jessie B. McElwain, of Mid-
dlefield ; one daughter, Paulina Witherell, born
March 8, 1906. He is vice-president and man-
ager of the Crocker-McElwain Paper Com-
pany of Holyoke ; vi. Carrie Mabel, born Feb-

ruary 20, 1870: married, February 12, 1896,
Edward P. Butts, of Springfield.

3. Timothy Dwight, born August 10, 1825;
died September 3, 1841.

4. John Smith, born March 17, 1828, men-
tioned below.

5. Edwin, born November 5, 1833; married
December, 1863, Caroline Church, of Middle-
field. Children : i. Charles Church, born May
19, 1872; married, November 8, 1899, Greta
Parks, of Springfield; one son, Edwin (sec-
ond) born December 17, 1908; ii. Arthur Ed-
win, born February 8. 1879, died July 14,
1880. On leaving the firm of McElwain Bros,
(see below) he entered the firm of The Kibbe
Brothers & Co. of Springfield, confectionery
manufacturers, and, on the death of the Kibbe
brothers, he, with S. D. Porter, acquired the
business. His son Charles is now also of the
same firm.

(V.) John Smith McElwain, son of Jona-
than McElwain, was born March 17, 1828. He
attended the public school of Middlefield, ac-
knowledged as one of the best of that day, and,
later, Williston Seminary at Easthampton. At
about eighteen years of age he had an oppor-
tunity to go into mercantile business, which he
much wanted to accept, but his father would
not consent, saying he would do what he could
to make a farmer of him by keeping him on
the farm till he was of age. After attending
Williston Seminary and teaching for a time, he
wished to be nearer Springfield. Starting on
foot from Easthampton with a friend, he ob-
tained a school in West Springfield, where he
taught successfully for two seasons. In addi-
tion to his duties as teacher he worked at gar-
dening for Richard Bagg, Jr. During vaca-
tions he also worked in the gardens and sold
vegetables for Mr. Bagg. His first attempt at
selling farm produce was hardly prophetic of
his ultimate business success, since he failed
to sell a single beet from the wagon load which
he took out — an experience he never forgot.
He stayed with Mr. Bagg for four years, and
later, after Mr. Bagg's death, returned to car-
ry on the place for Mrs. Bagg, remaining in
this position two years. He then took a place
as clerk in the agricultural store of Allen &
Mason, of Springfield, later bought out the
concern, and, with his younger brother Edwin,
under the firm name of McElwain Brothers,
built up a prosperous business.

During this period Mr. McElwain was on
the watch for an opening in the paper manu-
facturing business. In 18(17, ne accepted the


1 94 1

position of general manager of the office of
the Parsons Paper Company of Holyoke, and
assistant salesman, becoming the agent of the
company in 1886, after Mr. Parsons' death.
He held this office until 1893, when he helped
to organize the Linden Paper Company and
became its president. During this period as
agent, the Parsons Company's business was
enlarged by the building of a second mill,
known as "Parsons No. 2." Meantime, for
several years, he was treasurer and general
manager of the Valley Paper Company; also
during this time, in 1880, he organized the
Nonotuck Paper Company. This proving a
success, in 1892 the Symes and Dudley mill
was added to the Nonotuck, the company suc-
cessfully carrying on its work till the mills
were merged into the American Writing Paper
Company in 1899.

As a citizen, Mr. McElwain has always been
closely identified with the interests of the city
of Holyoke, serving as member of the city
council during the first years of its existence ;
as a member of the Library Commission ; as a
director of the City National Bank ; as director
of the City Hospital, and trustee of the bene-
faction known as The Whiting Street Estate.
He is also a director of the Third National
Bank of Springfield. His religious affiliations
are with the Second Congregational Church.
The vigorous young Grace Chapel stands as
the outgrowth of suggestions as to practical
piety made by him to his Sunday school class
of young men. In politics he is a Republican
of the broader minded type.

He married (first) in West Springfield, in
1858, Esther M. Ely, daughter of Homer Ely,
and has one son by this marriage, Henry Ely
McElwain, treasurer of the Linden Paper
Company until it entered The American Writ-
ing Paper Company combination. He is now
of Denver, Colorado, engaged in mining. He
married ("second) in 1863, Celia S. Ely, a sis-
ter of the first wife.

Henry Ely McElwain married, December
11, 1883, Isabel Hazen, of Hartford, Vermont.
Children: 1. Esther Ely, born December 13,
1884, died July 2, 1885. 2. John Hazen, born
May 29, 1886. 3. Henry Ely, born June 19,
1891. 4. Leicester Kent, born May 10, 1895.
5. Louise, born January 8. 1897.

Wood or Woods is a surname of
WOOD ancient English origin and had its

origin in designating some men
from their residence near woods. Atwood
and Bywood are forms of the same name.

The surname Hill is of similar origin and
perhaps quite as generally used. Other sur-
names formed in this way are Pond. Rivers,
Lake, Bridge, etc. The medieval spelling of
tin- surname was Atte Wode. afterwards soft-
ened to Atwood. Since the immigrants came
to this country with the early settlers at Plym-
outh, we find Wood and Atwood used inter-
changeably. Almost every conceivable Wood
in England surnamed some family back in the
tenth, eleventh or twelfth centuries, and hence
the multitude bearing this name. In Domes-
day the name is found in the Latin form De
Silva, in county Suffolk. In the Hundred Rolls
the forms de la Wode, In le Wode and Ate
Wode are found. Many famous men in Eng-
land and America have belonged to the Wood
family. In England and Scotland one hun-
dred different coat-of-arms belong to various
Wood families. A branch of the Scotch
Wood family is numerous in Ireland. There
is a general similarity of design in the armor-
ials of many of these families that indicate
common origin at some remote period. The
Derbyshire family coat-of-arms : Azure three
naked savages proper each holding in the dex-
ter hand a shield argent charged with a cross
gules and in the sinister a club resting on the
naked hand proper. The families bearing arms
and the surname Wood are common in Devon-
shire. Gloucestershire, county Kent and coun-
ty Middlesex. Thomas Wood, chief justice
of the court of common pleas in 1501 had
these arms : Gules semee of crosses crosslet
fitchee argent three demi-woodmen holding
clubs proper. Note the resemblance to the
other. Viscount Halifax bears : Azure three
naked savages ambulant in fess proper in the
dexter hand of each a shield argent charged
with a cross gules, in the sinister a club rest-
ing on the shoulder also proper on a canton
ermine three lozenges conjoined fess sable.
Crest : A savage as in the arms the shield
sable charged with a griffin's head erased ar-
gent. Motto : Perserandox Most of the
Scotch and Irish families bearing arms have
the following or one very like it : Azure an
oak tree eradicated or. The family had seats
in Fife or Forfarshire, as early as the six-
teenth century.

(I) Henry Wood, immigrant ancestor of
the Middleborough family, was in Plymouth
as early as 1641. He was sometimes called
"alias Atwood." He was a proprietor of
Plymouth. September 16, 1641 ; on the list of
men of Plymouth able to bear arms. 1643. He
removed to Middleborough where he married.



April 25, 1644, Abigail Jenney. He died be-
fore September 30, 1670, when the inventory
of his estate was taken. Administration was
granted to his widow Abigail. His son John
made a nuncupative will dated April 13, 1673,
bequeathing to his two youngest brothers, his
sister Mary and his mother. The court order-
ed land of his to be given over to Abiel and
Isaac, the two youngest brothers, by Samuel,
the eldest. Children: 1. Samuel, born May
25. 1647, mentioned below. 2. Jonathan, Jan-
uary 1, 1649. 3. David. October 17, 165 1.
married Mary Coombs, daughter of Cuthbert
Cuthbertson and widow of Francis Coombs;
children: i. John, born 1686; ii. David, 1688;
iii. Jabez, 1691. 4. Sarah. 5. John. 6.
Isaac. 7. Abiel, married Abiah Bowen : chil-
dren, born at Middleborough : i. Elnathan,
1686; ii. Abiah, 1689; iii. Abiel, 1691 : iv.
Timothy, 1693 : v. Jerusha, 1695 ; vi. Eben-
ezer, 1697; vii. Judah, 1700; viii. Thomas,


(II) Samuel, son of Henry Wood, was
born May 25, 1647. He married Rebecca

and lived in Middleborough. Children:

1. Henry. 2. Ephraim. 3. Samuel, mention-
ed below. 4. Jabez, married Mercy Fuller.

5. Hannah, married Smith. 6. Ann.

7. Susanna.

(III) Samuel (2), son of Samuel (1)
Wood, was born in Middleborough about

1675. He married Joanna . Children.

born at Middleborough: 1. Abner. 2. Susan-
na. 3. Azubah. 4. Rebecca.

(IV) Robert, cousin of Samuel (2) Wood,
and grandson of one of the family given
above, was born at Middleborough about 1740-
60. He was a soldier in the revolution in Cap-
tain Nathaniel Wood's company. Colonel Sim-
eon Gary's regiment at Roxbury in 1776.
There were no less than twenty families in
Middleborough. all descended as far as can be
ascertained from Henry Wood, living in Mid-
dleborough when the federal census of 1790
was taken. Robert died, removed or was un-
married in 1790. He is not given among the
heads of families.

(Y) Robert (2), son or nephew of Robert
( 1 ) Wood, was born in Middleborough, No-
vember 16, 1796, died October 12, 1867. He
was a ship-builder in early life, afterwards a
farmer. He married December 28, 1820. at
Cumberland, Mary Trask, born in Cumber-
land, died December 15. 1884, daughter of
James Trask Jr. Their children: 1. Lucinda,
born September 10. 1829. 2. Owen, February
.20. 1831, mentioned below. 3. George, May

13. 1838. 4. Jenet. 5. Robert. 6. John. 7.
Horace. 8. Albert.

( VI ) Owen, son of Robert (2) Wood, was
born at Franklin, Massachusetts, February 20,
1831, died July 17, 1891. He was educated in
the public schools, and learned the trade of
shoemaker. In early life he engaged in the
manufacture of shoes and boots at Hopkinton,
Massachusetts. His product was called the
Mansfield Shoe and attained a wide fame and
popularity. Previously he had been a soldier
in the Mexican war, enlisting from Fort
Adams. Rhode Island ; he was wounded and
stricken with malarial fever in the service and
he was disqualified for service in the civil war
later. He worked at farming for a time after
he was mustered out, then he engaged in the
shoe business as superintendent of the Pin-
gree & Smith factory at Detroit. Michigan,
remaining for three years, and afterward es-
tablished the business at Hopkinton. He was
prominent in public life in Hopkinton and held
many offices of honor and trust. He was a
member of the Hopkinton school committee
for three years, town treasurer six years, se-
lectman ten years. He was representative to
the general court of Massachusetts in 1881-82
from the twenty-seventh Middlesex district,
and served on important committees in the
house. His popularity and the confidence in
which he was held by his townsmen without
regard to politics is shown by the fact that he
was never defeated, though a candidate for
office no less than thirty-two times. In na-
tional politics he was a Democrat, but in local
affairs he voted with the non-partisan Citizen
party, a distinctly local organization. In re-
ligion he was a Congregationalist. He was a
trustee of the Hopkinton Savings Bank for
many years. He was a prominent Free Mason,
one of the charter members and founders of
John Warren Lodge, in which he held all the
offices in succession. He was a member of
Montgomery Lodge of Milford previously.
He married, 1853, Emily Maria Mansfield,
born May 1, 1836, died April 12, 1891, daugh-
ter of Franklin Brown and Eliza (Loomis)
Mansfield, and granddaughter of William and
Marv (Piper) Mansfield, of Camden, Maine.
Children : 1. Eugene, married Mary J. Bates,
who survives him, living at Millbury. Massa-
chusetts : child, Owen E. 3. Charles I., re-
sides in Richmond, Virginia : married Mary
E. Ferguson ; children : Jessie and Donald. 3.
Hattie. 4. George O.. June 18. 1869, men-
tioned below. 5. Theron, married Sarah E.
1 I'Brien; three children died young.



(VII) George Owen, son of Owen Wood,
was born in Hopkinton, June 18, 1869. He
was educated in the public schools of his na-
tive town. He began his business career in
the employ of Clath'n, Coburn & Company.
He started' in the grocery business in partner-
ship with his brother, Charles I. Wood, at
Putnam, Connecticut. Since 1893 he has been
a real estate broker with offices at 31 Milk
street, Boston, and has built up a large and
profitable business. His residence is at 333
Park street, Dorchester. In politics Mr. Wood
is a Republican. From 1898 to 1906 he was a
member of the common council of Boston and
served efficiently in this office. He was on the
committee on collections, contingent expenses
of which he was chairman, on institutions and
on legislative matters. He is a member of
Abadour Lodge, Free Masons ; Mt. Vernon
Royal Arch Chapter; Joseph Warren Com-
mandery ; Aleppo Temple, Mystic Shrine ;
the Eastern Star ; Eagle Lodge, No. 1 14, Odd
Fellows ; Daughters of Rebekah ; Dorchester
Council, Royal Arcanum. He is also a mem-
ber of the Dorchester Club and of the Chris-
tian Science church. He married, June 10,
1891, Grace L. Adams, born March 31, 1871,
daughter of Amos R. and Sarah E. (Fisk)
Adams, and granddaughter of Aaron and
(Rockwood) Adams. She has a sis-
ter, Nellie Adams, and a brother, Wilbus F.
Adams, who married Hattie A. Phipps. Her
father had a brother, Henry Adams, and a
sister Mary, who married James Palmer, of
South Framingham. an inspector in the Bos-
ton custom house. Children: 1. George
Amos, born September 27, 1892. 2. Carl
Adams. August 10, 1895. 3. Katherine Louise,
March 22, 1899.

(For preceding generations see Christopher Avery 1).

(IV) Captain Christopher Av-
AYERY ery, son of Captain James and
Deborah (Stallyon) Avery, was
born in Xew London (Groton), Connecticut,
January 2^, 1679, and died in Groton, January
2 °' I 753- He married (first) December 9,
1704, Abigail, daughter of Captain John
Parke. She died February 12, 1713, and he
married (second) April 1, 1714, Prudence,
widow of Richard Wheeler, and whose family
name was Payson. He married (third) Janu-
ary 1, 1735, Mrs. Esther Prentice, died 1753.
daughter of Nathaniel Hammond ; married
( fourth ) Suanna Stoddard, who survived him
and is mentioned in his will. Captain Christo-
pher Avery had four children by his first and

five by his second wife: 1. John, born August
26, 1705, died August 21, 1790. 2. Abigail,
born July 16, 1707. 3. Christopher, Novem-
ber 16, 1709. 4. Nathan, March 10, 1712, died
September 7, 1780. 5. Priscilla, born April
29, 1715 : married Joseph Breed. 6. Isaac (or
Jabez), born March 26, 1717, died before
1726. 7. Hannah, born February 10, 1719.

8. Jacob, August 25, 1721, died May, 1792.

9. Temperance, born September 14, 1725.

(V) Colonel Christopher, son of Captain
Christopher and Abigail (Parke) Avery, was
born in Groton, November 16, 1709, and died
there July 2, 1778. He married, September

10. 1735, Eunice Prentice, born 17 16, died
March 22, 1796. Children: 1. Esther, born
April 14, 1736; married Daniel Williams. 2.
Christopher, January 23, 1737-8, died July 5,
1819. 3. Eunice, December 11, 1740; mar-
ried George Avery. 4. Lucy, December 10,

1742; married Allyn. 5. Nathan, May

2, 1744. 6. Thomas, February 10, 1746. 7.
Anna, February 2, 1748, died before June 10,
1778. 8. Samuel, November 15, 1752, died
August 12, 1836. 9. Prentice, February 10,
1755, died before June 10, 1778. 10. Oliver,
February 8, 1757, died November 3, 1836.

11. Abigail, February 22, 1759; married Oc-
tober 30, 1785, Vine Stoddard. 12. Sarah,
August 7, 1761. 13. Hannah, January 20,

(VI) Nathan, son of Colonel 'Christopher
and Eunice (Prentice) Avery, was born in
Groton, Connecticut, May 2, 1744, and mar-
ried, in 1770, Rebecca Elderkin, the dates of
whose birth and death are not known. Ac-
cording to the "Avery Genealogy" they had
four children, of the first two of whom noth-
ing is known except their names: 1. Nathan,
Jr. 2. Rebecca. 3. Prentice ; see forward.
4. Roxcelena, October 19, 1779.

(VII) Prentice, son of Nathan and Rebec-
ca (Elderkin) Avery, was probably in Nor-
wich, Connecticut, October 5, 1776, and died
there September 22, 181 1. He married, Oc-
tober 9, 1802, Mary Gallup, born 1780, died
1870. daughter of Jesse Gallup. Children, all
probably born in Norwich: 1. Ardelia Ever-
ett. November 5, 1803 ; married Benjamin
Durfey. 2. Eunice Allyn, March 13, 1805. 3.
Mary, January 3, 1807, died October 20. 1809.
4. Nathan Prentice. January 22, 1809.

( YIII) Nathan Prentice, only son of Pren-
tice and Mary (Gallup) Avery, was born in
Norwich, Connecticut, January 22, 1809, and
died September 13, 1863; married (first) May
11, 1835. at Griswold, Connecticut, by Rev.



Mr. Jewett, Lydia Durfey, who died Decem-
ber 31, 1843; married (second) January 12,
1845, Sybil B. Woodworth, of Norwich. He
had four children, all born of his first mar-
riage and in Norwich : 1. Edwin P., October
26, 1836. 2. Lucy Jane, May 29, 1839, died
February 27, 1850. 3. Mary C, February 6,
1841, died December 7, 1842. 4. Albert L.,
December 18, 1843, died February 8, 1844.
Nathan Prentice Avery was a carpenter and
joiner during the early part of his life, later
became a contractor and builder, and also be-
came somewhat extensively interested in the
manufacture of paper. He was in all respects
a capable, successful and straightforward busi-
ness man. He was an ardent supporter of the
old Whig party and its principles, and lived
long enough to witness and take part in the or-
ganization of the Republican party and to see
its first successful candidate inaugurated at
Washington as our national president and be-
gin the righteous work of slave emancipation
and the still more arduous work of subduing
the states in rebellion against the federal
union ; but he died two years before Lincoln's
work and the first great mission of his party
were fully accomplished. In religious prefer-
ence Mr. Avery was a consistent member of
the Congregational church, and one of the
deacons of that church in Norwich.

(IX) Captain Edwin Prentice Avery, son
of Nathan Prentice and Lydia (Durfey) Av-
ery, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, Oc-
tober 26, 1836, and after completing his early
education in the public schools of that city be-
came interested in the paper manufactory of
which his father was proprietor. Soon after-
ward, however, he left that employment and
engaged in business in New York and Nor-
wich, Connecticut. He went to Florence,
Massachusetts, in 1881, where he became con-
nected with the Nonotuck Silk Company. In
1891 he came to Holyoke and became book-
keeper for the William Skinner Manufactur-
ing Company. He enlisted in Company A,
Eighteenth Connecticut Volunteer Infantry,
during the civil war, and he made an excellent
war record. During his service he was cap-
tured by the enemy and held prisoner at Libby
and Belle Tsle for a considerable time. Cap-
tain Avery was a Free and Accepted Mason,
and a regular attendant at the services of the
Congregational church. Fie married. October
16, 1866. Adelaide L., daughter of Deacon
Simeon and Mary Ann (Morgan) Smith, of
East Lyme, Connecticut. Mrs. Avery, through
her mother in the Morgan line, is of the same

ancestral family as was Aaron Burr, and had
in her possession letters written by that noted
figure in our early national history. Captain
Edwin Prentice and Adelaide L. (Smith) Av-
ery had two children: Nathan Prentice (see
forward), and Sybil Louise, born January 18,


(X) Nathan Prentice, only son of Captain

Edwin Prentice and Adelaide L. (Smith) Av-
ery, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, May
13, 1869, and acquired his elementary educa-
tion in the public schools of his native city,
his secondary education at Northampton high
school, class of '87, and his higher education
at Amherst College, where he graduated A.B.
in 1891. The next few years after leaving
college were devoted to pedagogical work, first
as principal of Yates High and Union School
at Chittenango, Madison county, New York,
and he afterward took a post-graduate course
at Clark University. He is a member of two
college fraternities — Theta Delta Chi and Phi
Beta Kappa. In the meantime he took up the
study of law, and in 1896 was admitted to
practice in the courts of this state. In the
same year he began his professional career in
association with Judge Edward W. Chapin,
of Holyoke, and soon came to be recognized
as one of the leading young members of the
Hampden bar. For five years he was city
solicitor of Holyoke, and for five years has
served as mayor of that city by successive re-
elections. Mr, Avery is an independent in

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