D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) Hurd.

History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) online

. (page 10 of 118)
Online LibraryD. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) HurdHistory of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) → online text (page 10 of 118)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

tration were among the most satisfactory which the
State had ever known, and it was with reluctance
that the people accepted as final his Excellency's ex-
pressed wish, iu the fall of 1882, to retire from the
Governorship. He was gladly taken up, however, by
the voters of the Second Congressional District as a
candidate to represent them in the National House of
Representatives, and, being nominated for that office
by the Republicans by acclamation, he was elected
without the least difficulty. His record while in
Congress has been such as to give every citizen of
Massachusetts the highest satisfaction. As a debater
and a parliamentarian he has proved his skill, and he
has abundantly demonstrated his ability to " hold his
own" in the larger arena of the National House as
certainly as he did beneath the burnished dome on
Beacou Hill. Probably his most effective and im-
portant speech was that in opposition to the " Bonded
Whiskey Bill," so called, on March 25, 1884, to which
it was said that he dealt " a death-blow." His speeches
respecting the Chalmers-Manning and Peelle-English
contested election cases also earned him the merited
congratulations of his congressional associates. At
the Republican National Convention, which opened
in Chicago on June 3, 1884, Congressman Long was
chosen to preseut to the convention the name of
Massachusetts' choice for Presidential nominee, — the
Hon. George F. Edmunds, of Vermont. His speech
on that occasion was a model of its kind, and one of
the very best of the nomiuatiug addresses of the

In accordance with a former custom, Harvard Col-
lege conferred upon him, in 1880, as Governor of the
State, the degree of LL.D. Although, under the cir-
cumstances, hardly more than a pleasant complimeut,
there was in Governor Long's case a decided fituess
in his recognition by the most ancieut and most noted
educational institution in the State, if not in the
country. The recipient was an educated man, re-
taining, despite the excitements of political life, a
marked and most unusual devotion to books. In
1879, just before the opening of the campaign for
the Governorship, in which he was to be the success-
ful candidate, there was published, by a Boston house,
a blank verse translation of Virgil's " j-Eueid" from
his pen, which, though it may not find, as that of
Dryden did, another Pope to commend it as " the
most noble and spirited translation I know in any
language," has yet received approval from competent
critics, and has served to give its author a deservedly
high reputation as a classical scholar. Had he but
mingled, even to a slight degree, the victories of the
field with the triumphs of the forum, the writer of
the present imperfect sketch might not inappropri-
ately have begun his task as Virgil did his " JEneid,"
— "Arma virumque cano." Governor Long has also
written a number of poems, essays, etc., for various
periodicals, while his inaugural addresses, his Thanks-
giving and Fast-Day proclamations, and his political
speeches in general, have been models of correct

One secret of his remarkable success in so short a
time is his possession of that valuable faculty, denied
to so many men and women, of fixing firmly in his
memory names and faces. To be able to say, as the
Governor could, to some gentleman whom he had met
but once before, long previously, and then but for a
moment, " How do you do, Mr. Jones ?" is to give
the possessor of such a capability a hold upon the
man so addressed which is not to be lightly over-
looked. It is the most delicate possible flattery, and
all the better and more effective for being entirely
unstudied and natural, as in the case of Governor
Long. As a public speaker he is in great request. He
is not an orator, in the true sense, since he is neither
blessed with a commanding presence, a full, sonorous
voice, nor a proper capacity for gesticulation. But
as a " speaker" — whether upon the political stump or
in response to an after-dinner toast at some festive
gathering — he is one of the most effective and pleas-
ing men in New England. His voice, though not
trumpet-like in its quality, is clear, smooth, and well
modulated, and at times not lacking in power. His
gestures, though but sparingly employed, are graceful

'sf/// s/////




and effective. But his chief charm as a speaker lies
in the admirable way in which the matter and the
manner of his remarks harmonize with each other.
His sentences are always polished, clear-cut, and
trenchant, and they mean just what they are in-
tended to mean, — no more and no less. No slipshod
diction makes him appear either a blunderer or an
equivocator, as in the case of some public men of his
time, nor is there any but the most careful method
observed in arranging the proper sequence of different
portions of the same address. Even in a heated polit-
ical campaign his speeches never contain an offensive
word, though neither lacking in sarcasm nor ridicule,
within proper bounds. His political speeches are
clear, connected, logical arguments, such as a lawyer
might make to a jury of intelligent, thoughtful men
in behalf of a client in the justice of whose cause he
has perfect faith. As an after-dinner speaker, he is
one of the most felicitous.

His official career thus far, as outlined in the pre-
ceding pages, is a remarkable one, and is one to be
held up as an encouragement to all young men, though
but few can hope to make so rapid progress as his has
been. Within a very few years he has been the re-
cipient of a multitude of honors, any one of which
would be regarded by most men as a sufficient reward
for a lifetime of endeavor. And the end is not yet.

Williams Latham, eldest son of Galen Latham,
was a native of East Bridgewater, was educated at
Bridgewater Academy and Brown University, from
which latter institution he was graduated in the class
of '27. He studied law with Zechariah Eddy, and
began the practice of his profession in Bridgewater,
where he actively engaged in the duties pertaining
thereto for over half a century. He married Lydia
T. Alger, of West Bridgewater, who survives him,
and who, like her husband, occupies high place in the
esteem of all who know her. His death occurred
Nov. 6, 1883, at the age of eighty years and two
days. In equity and real-estate cases he had a large
practice, and his professional life was one of untiring
industry and faithfulness to his clients, among whom
he was noted for his fairness and integrity. He was
for many years active as a trustee and in the settle-
ment of estates. He never aspired to be an orator or
to argue cases at the bar, yet few lawyers more fully
informed themselves so much in detail concerning all
possible ramifications of the law and the facts. He
would have been a model attorney for an English
barrister. He was the last man to make a display of
bis knowledge, and his work in many a cause of set-
tlement, often more difficult and laudable than a case
in court, was seldom known to the world. He was

a peacemaker, not a stirrer of strife. He abhorred
shams and appeared wholly without guile, which the
world would declare was saying very much for a law-
yer. He had a native bluntness of speech which
never gave offense but went directly to the centre of
his subject, and with this always came his hearty and
earnest denunciation of anything savoring of mean-
ness or wrong-doing. He believed in the homely
maxim, "Pay as you go." Of the strictest integrity,
he had those qualities which attract men and always
win appreciation and confidence. Of perfect method,
exact, exhaustive, industrious, enthusiastic, faithful in
everything he undertook, he took pride and excelled
in perfecting a title, tracing a lineage, settling family
strife, and, with sagacious foresight, guarded against
all evils in the future. It is no small thing for any
man to have practiced at the bar of Plymouth County
for more than fifty years, and to have enjoyed so good
a reputation, such universal respect and esteem, and
have maintained during so many years so solid, firm,
and excellent a character. He was early interested
in antiquarian research, and his knowledge of the Old
Colony was surpassed by few, if any, of his contem-
poraries. He was much versed in Indian history, and
had given much study to the origin of Indian names.
His knowledge of the genealogical history of this
region was quite remarkable. Indeed, his well-kept
records upon this subject would furnish material for
an interesting history of the families of the three
Bridgewaters. His interest in public affairs was not
such as to lead him to take any active part in political
matters, though he usually cast his vote at the annual
elections, and was discriminating in his judgmeut of
character and the claims of men put forth for public
office. His public spirit was early manifested in a
desire to adorn and beautify his town with shade-
trees, and many hundreds of these monuments to his
memory are the pride of his town and the neighbor-
ing one of East Bridgewater.

His interest in the Plymouth County Agricultural
Society was of years' duration, and as its secretary,
and as a trustee, be was active in securing and beauti-
fying the present grounds of the society. For many
years he held the office of town auditor, and fre-
quently was appointed as an auditor or referee by the
courts. In all places of public trust he discharged
his duties with rare fidelity. One of the last of his
numerous benefactions was the preparation of a rec-
ord of the ancient burial-grounds of this vicinity,
which he had printed in a handsome volume. He
was a member of the Massachusetts Historical So-
ciety, and also of the New England Historico-Genea-
logical Society, and was a regular attendant upon



their meetings. His familiarity with ancieot records
rendered him high authority upon the early history
of New England, and his home was a museum of in-
teresting and valuable material that would enrich the
archives of a historical society. His love of music
identified him with musical circles, and his collection
of church music embraced nearly all the ancient and
modern publications of note. He was a member of
the Stoughton Musical Society, and was a regular
atteudaut upou its meetings. Socially he was specially
attractive to persons of antiquarian tastes. He was
oue of the active members of the First Congregational
Society, and was liberal in contributions towards
erecting its beautiful church. His broad catholic
spirit was in sympathy with all true Christian de-
nominations, aud he often remarked that he would
rejoice to see one church that would embrace all the
sincere believers of the Christian religion. His piety
was not demonstrative, but gave ample proof of its
siucerity aud power by the benign and excellent fruits
that adorned its path. His memory is cherished
among the people of " Old Bridgewater," among
whom his daily life was passed, aud where his sterliug
character was known aud appreciated, and his liberal
contributions so often distributed. He was fortunate
in his domestic relations. His marriage was a union
which proved uncommonly felicitous, aud to which,
by reason of its sympathies aud encouragemeut, must
be attributed no small part of the noble results of his
life. One who knew him well writes thus : " Mr.
Latham always appeared to be living and working for
others, and his loyalty and fealty to his native town
was as strong and enduring as the most zealous piir-
tisau could desire. He had a real love for horticul-
ture without beiug amateurish, and certainly his love
for our native trees was second to none in the State.
His work in caring for the many beautiful trees be
planted in Bridgewater and elsewhere will gladden
the hearts and shelter, if not destroyed, thousands of
persons one hundred years from now, while the soft
winds chant a perpetual requiem. Mr. Latham
learned somewhat early in life that time and riches
were for use, and the best and a greater portion of
his life was spent in an effort to rescue from obliviou
the few facts now left to us of the ancient settlers of
the Old Colony. With the exception of possibly
Mr. Ellis Ames, of Canton, he knew more about
the history of Plymouth County, and particularly of
Bridgewater, than any man then living. Mr. Latham
left wealth and a good name ; but the wealth fades,
while his labors with the pen will make him one
to be always remembered."

Jacob Heksey Loud was born in Hingham on

the 5th of February, 1802. He was descended from
Francis Loud, who appeared in Sagadehock as early
as 1675, and removed to Ipswich, where he had a son
Francis, born in the year 1700. The son settled in
Weymouth, about the year 1720, and married Honor
Prince, of Hull, probably either the sister or niece of
Thomas Prince, the distinguished annalist of New
England. Honor Prince was probably the daughter
of Samuel Prince, of Hull, by his second wife, Mary,
daughter of Thomas Hinckley, the last Governor of
Plymouth Colony before its union with the Massa-
chusetts Colony in 1692 ; his first wife having been
Martha, daughter of William Barstow, of Seituate.
Samuel Prince was the son of John Prince, who ap-
peared in Cambridge in 1635, and grandson of Rev.
John Prince, of East Shefford, of Berks County, in
England. Francis Loud and Honor, his wife, had
fourteen children, among whom was one who had a
son John, who was the father of Thomas, the father
of the subject of this sketch.

Mr. Loud received his earlier education in the
common schools of his native town, and fitted for col-
lege at the Derby Academy in Hingham. He grad-
uated at Browu University, in the class of 1822,
which included among its members Thomas Kiuui-
cutt and Isaac Davis, of Worcester, Solomon Lincoln,
of Hingham, and Samuel L. Crocker, of Tauutou.
After readiug law in the office of Ebenezer Gay, of
Hingham, he was admitted to the bar at the August
term of the Court of Common Pleas, held at Plym-
outh in 1825, and opened an office in that town. The
office occupied by him was in the old building now
stauding on the gore of land between Summer Street
aud Mill Lane. On the 5th of May, 1829, he mar-
ried Elizabeth Loriug Jones, daughter of Solomon
and Sarah Joues, of Hingham, and first occupied as
a residence after his marriage the house now owned
and occupied by Miss Lucy Marcy, on the lower
corner of Carver Street and Le Baron's Alley. In
1832, after residing a short time in the house on
Middle Street recently occupied by Chandler Holmes,
he bought of the heirs of Dr. Nathaniel Lothrop the
northerly part of the lot of land on which the old
Lothrop house formerly stood, nearly opposite the
head of North Street, and built the house now owned
aud occupied by Mrs. Isaac L. Hedge. He occupied
this house until 1871, when he bought the house on
the easterly side of Court Street, now owned aud occu-
pied by Dr. Alexander Jackson, which he coutiuued
to occupy during either the whole or a part of the year
until his death.

The children of Mr. Loud were Sarah Loring,
boru June 13, 1830 ; Thomas Hersey, boru June 15,





1835; Hersey Jones, born June 24, 1838; and
Arthur Jones, born Feb. 12, 1846. The second and
third child died in early childhood, and Arthur
Jones died in early manhood, after graduating at Har-
vard in the class of 1867. Sarah Loring, the oldest
child, married Dr. Edward Hammond Clarke, of
Boston, Oct. 14, 1851, and died before her father, in
1877. Mr. Loud became a member of her family
after the death of his wife, and thus continued to
retain that sympathy and companionship which his
gentle and affectionate nature specially needed.

After the death of Beza Hayward, who for many
years had occupied the office of register of probate
for Plymouth County, he was appointed to that office
in June, 1830, and remained its incumbent until the
spring of 1852. For the performance of the duties
of this office he possessed rare qualifications. Well
grounded in the law, of quick comprehension, and a
ready penman, the execution of his official labors was
easy, prompt, and always satisfactory. Fidelity to
his office and an appreciation of its responsibilities
marked his whole career as register ; and the facility
with which the timid and ill-informed fulfilled their
trusts as administrators or guardians was largely due
to his ready and generous advice and aid. No man
in the county would have received the appointment
of judge of the court in which he officiated with
more general and deserved approval.

But a wider field of activity and usefulness was
opening before him. He had been faithful over a
few things ; he was now to be ruler over many. The
year after he left the office of register he was chosen
by the Legislature State treasurer, and was rechosen
in 1854 and 1855, in which latter year, by an amend-
ment of the Constitution, the office of treasurer was
made elective by the people, and in 1856 he was
succeeded by Thomas Marsh, who was chosen in the
November preceding. Up to 1855 he had served
for a number of years as chairman of the board of
selectmen of Plymouth, and never lost the confi-
dence of his fellow-citizens in his administration of
their affairs. He was upright, prudent, and wise
in the management of the finances and the general
business of the town ; and as moderator of town-
meetings, in which capacity he was repeatedly called
on to act, he exhibited a familiarity with parliament-
ary methods and a marked executive ability. During
eleven years, from April, 1855, to January, 1866, he
was president of the Old Colony Bank and its suc-
cessor, the Old Colony National, and did much to-
wards establishing the successful career which has
distinguished that institution. During tho last few
years of his life he was president of the Plymouth

Savings-Bank, and by his well-known integrity aud
cautious habits inspired the commuuity with con-
tinued confidence in that substantial aud trustworthy
depository. He was also a member of the first board
of directors of the Old Colony Railroad Company,
and continued in its management from 1845 to 1650.
Iu 1868 he was again chosen a director, and re-
mained in the board up to the time of his death.
In 1862 he was chosen a member of the House of
Representatives, and in 1863 and 1864 a member of
the Massachusetts Senate. Iu both Huuse aud Senate
he was an active, intelligent, aud useful member, aud
met the fullest expectations and requirements of his
constituents. In 1865, when, at the close of the
war, the finances of the State had become compli-
cated, he was again selected as the man eminently fit
for their management, and in the autumn of that
year he was returned by popular election to his old
post of treasurer and receiver-general. He held the
office by successive annual elections during the con-
stitutional term of five years, and retired in 1871.
Iu that year he was appointed actuary of the newly-
organized New Eugland Trust Company, from which
position he retired in 1879. The indispensable quali-
fications for this office were prudence, discretion, an
ability to apply to business methods and measures
the principles of law, a courteous deportment, an in-
genuous spirit, a conscientious fidelity to every-day
duties, and an integrity without a flaw. These Mr.
Loud possessed, and to these has been due much of
the firmly-grounded success which has marked the
career of that organization. After his retirement
from the office of actuary he assumed no uew respon-
sibilities, but continued active in the discharge of the
various private trusts which had been confided to his
care. After a brief illness, during which he was
spared both mental and bodily sufferiug, he died in
Boston, at the huu.se of his grauddaughter, on the 2d
of February, 1880, at the age of seventy-eight years.
The character of Mr. Loud, in its relation to his
public life, has been sufficiently indicated in the nar-
rative of the stations he was called on to fill, and the
honors which confiding communities and associations
bestowed on him. Iu its relation to his private life
it possessed the added graces of uniform courtesy,
kindness of heart, and a sympathetic nature which
bound him by the dearest ties to his family and
friends. In both these relations he was always the
same, yesterday, to-day, and to-morrow, au earnest,
conscientious, true man. With a caution which was
almost timidity in the management of his personal
affairs, he was as sure of a gradual accumulation of
personal wealth as he was safe from the impairment



of liia fortune by the results of bold speculation ; and
in the management of larger trusts, in which the in-
terests of others were involved, he displayed himself
in no brilliant financial exploits, which with a flow of
the tide might result in eularged dividends and an
increasing capital, but with an ebb, in embarrassment
and ruin. In both public and private station his life
afforded an example of rectitude, industry, and devoted
affection, which was not without profit to his family,
and friends, and the communities in which he lived.

Hon. William H. Wood was born in Middle-
boro', Mass., Oct. 24, 1811, and was a descendant in
the sixth generation from Henry Wood, the first
American ancestor, who came from England prior to
1641, and purchased lands in Middleboro', in 1667,
where the family has since resided. His father was
Judge Wilkes Wood, also judge of probate for Plym-
outh County for many years prior to the date of his
death. His early education waa received in the pub-
lic schools of his native towu, at Peirce Academy and
Brown University, where he was entered at the age
of nineteen, aud graduated with honors in the class
of 1834. After leaving college, and previous to his
settling down into his life's work, he taught school
about a year as principal of Coffin Academy, Nan-
tucket. He then pursued the study of law in his
father's office and in the Harvard Law-School, where
he was under the tuitiou of that eminent jurist,
Judge Story. He also studied under Horace Maun.
Upon his admission to the bar he opened a law-
office in Boston in company with John S. Eldridge,
afterwards so well knowu as president of the Hartford
and Erie Railroad. Owing to ill health he was com-
pelled to give up his practice in Boston and return to
his native town, where he opened an office in 1840,
and practiced up to the time of his death, March 30,
1883. He was one of the original founders and
"promoters of the Free-Soil party, and, by his elo-
quence, ability, and political sagacity, at once took
aud maintained a high rank among its acknowledged
leaders. In 1848 he was elected to the State Senate,
and served on the judiciary committee. In 1849 he
was defeated by the Whigs because of his unflinching
advocacy of anti-slavery doctrines ; but, in 1850, he
was again elected, and became one of the prime movers
and supporters of that coalition which sent Charles
Sumner to the United States Senate. In 1853 he
was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and
took a conspicuous part in its deliberations. He
represented the town in the House of Representatives
in 1857, and in 1858 he became a member of the
Governor's Couucil, of which he was a member when
commissioned as judge of probate. His successful

administration of the most difficult and varied duties
of that office for a period of twenty-five years, where
the incumbent must be judge, counsel, and sympa-
thizing friend at one and the same time, amply dem-
onstrated his mental, professional, and moral fitness
for the duties and responsibilities of the office.

Judge Wood was one of those rare men who needed
neither the spur of ill-tempered criticism nor of in-
dulgent compliment to keep him steady in the per-
formance of duty. His mental and moral organization
was so evenly balanced and well perfected that censure
did not retard nor compliment hasten the pulsations
of his heart. As was well said by his pastor in his
eloquent tribute to his memory, " His ideal of charac-
ter was a grand and exalted one, no less than the
character of Him who said, ' Be ye perfect, even as
your Father in heaven is perfect.' " He was the
same William H. Wood through all the years of his
private and official life, thoughtful, conscientious,
patient of labor, courteous, affable in his relation to
others. He was rarely guilty of a foolish act or silly

Online LibraryD. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) HurdHistory of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) → online text (page 10 of 118)