D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) Hurd.

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

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in the shipment of their goods, the firm decided to
include their manufacture in their already extensive
business, and in 1870, at the cost of about fifteen
thousand dollars, erected on the site of the old tack-
factory, which was destroyed by fire in 1859, a sub-
stantial frame building as a box-factory. Here are
not only manufactured all the boxes requisite for this
firm's business, but large quantities are furnished the
shoe manufacturers and others in the vicinity.

The trade of the house extends to every section of
the United States, including large shipments to the
Pacific coast, and their goods are also in demand in
Canada, England, South America, British Colonies,
Australia, New Zealand, etc.

The individual members of the firm are Messrs.
William H. Dunbar, Henry Hobart, aud H. F. Whid-
den. The senior member has been for many years
identified with the boot and shoe trade, and the two
last-named gentlemen have had an experience of fifty
and forty years respectively in the tack-making busi-
ness, Mr. Whidden having also patented many inven-
tions which have contributed largely to the excellent
reputation of the articles manufactured.

The South Abington Water-Works were built in
1883. The water is pumped from the Hobart Pond
into an iron tank or reservoir twenty feet in diameter
and one hundred and five feet high, surmounted with
a wroughtiron top thirty-five feet high, making a
total height of oue hundred and forty feet above the
foundation, and when full contains two hundred and
forty thousand gallons of water.

The reservoir is located on one of the highest
points, and nearly in the centre of the towu. The
average head of water is about one huudred and thirty-
five feet. There have been laid about eight miles of
pipe made of wrought iron coated inside and out with
asphaltum, and lined both inside and out with cement.
The iron plates used in building the reservoir are
made of the best refined iron, and guaranteed to stand
four thousand pounds tensile strength to the square
inch. The bottom and first twenty-five feet are made
of iron five-eighths of an iuch in thickness; second
twenty-five feet of one-half inch ; third twenty-five
feet, three-eighths : and fourth, one-fourth iuch.
Sixty-six hydrants have been set, which cover all the
thickly-settled portions of the town, also much of the
outskirts. The average head of water through the
town gives sufficient force to throw hydrant-streams
over any of the largest buildings.

The town pays twenty-five dollars for the use of
each hydrant. The whole cost of the works is fifty-
thousand dollars.

The South Abington Fire Department was organ-
ized about the 1st of January, 1884, by the appoint-
ment of seven engineers, viz. : C. F. Allen, Rufus
Cass, B. C. Reed, B. S. Atwood, D. A. Walker, E.
B. French, M. C. French. The above-named engi-
neers organized three hose companies of fifteen men
each, aud one hook-and-ladder company of twenty-five
men. The above companies are organized as follows :
Foreman, first aud second assistant foremen, clerk, and
steward to each company.



The town lias built three houses, with a fifty-feet I
hose-tower in each, for the storage of their fire de-
partment equipage, with a fine room furnished in [
the second story for the convenience of the firemen.

In each of the houses they have placed a light .
hose-carriage fully equipped witli all the appurtenances |
and six hundred feet of hose. In the house of Hose
No. 1 (centre of the town) they have placed a hook-
and-ladder truck fully equipped.

Public Library. — Immediately on securing a sep-
arate municipal existence the people of South Abing-
tun began to work for a public library. In 1879 the
friends of the movement secured an appropriation of
five hundred dollars. By gifts of books and pur-
chase a collection of fourteen hundred volumes was
obtained, with which the library was opened in August
of that year. In 1880 the town gave to that object
seven hundred dollars. Since then it has received
without opposition an annual appropriation of one
thousand dollars.

At this date (July 1, 1884) the library contains
about five thousand volumes, with an aunual circula-
tion of more than twenty thousand volumes. Its great
need now is a suitable building and a reading-room.

The public school teachers in South Abiugtou are
as follows: High School, Horace E. Henderson,
principal; Mrs. Henrietta B. Blake, assistant ; Gram-
mar, Miss Deborah A. Partridge, Miss Florence
Blauchard, Miss Emma R. Nash, Miss Joanna F.
Fullerton, Miss Flora M. Shurtleff, Miss Maria F.
Eddy ; Primary, Miss Emily B. Peterson, Miss
Emma B. Maloy, Miss Effie M. Edes, Miss Lizzie B.
Bosworth, Miss Grace E. Cooper.

Webster Lodge, No. 113, I. 0. 0. F., was insti-
tuted on Friday evening, Oct. 6, 1882. The follow-
ing charter members were present and obligated:
Lewis Goulding, Edward B. Peterson, Clarence A.
Randall, Andrew N. Bates, Roland W. Chase, Ben-
jamin F. Churchill, James C. Wood, Christopher B.
Capen, John G. Higgins, E. Willard Shaw, David A.
Walker, Samuel G. Capen, Francis A. Guruey, Rufus
F. Wright, Stephen Griggs, J. Thomas Doten, Wil-
liam H. Dudley, Benjamin F. Peterson. It has lost
one member by death.

Names of persons who have been voters fifty years
or more : Charles Bates, Cyrus Bates, David Bates,
Robert Cook, Sherebiah Corthell, Samuel Dyer,
Daniel M. Fullerton, Davis Gurney, Lebbeus Gur-
ney, Walter S. Harding, Reuben Churchill, Luke B.
Noyes, John Noyes, James W. Osborue, Marcus
Reed, Aaron Reed, Melviu Reed, Gibbens Sharp,
Martin S. Stetson, Orange Wilkes, Horatio Williams.

Massasoit Lodge, No. GS4, Knights of Honor, was

orgauized July 5, 1877, a charter having been
granted by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to the
following persons : L. D. Robbius, C. D. Nash, C. W.
Bradbury, J. E. Biekford, Joseph Puttee, Jr., Jo=iah
Churchill, E. H. Atwood, Edward Keating, A. W.
Bates, A. C. Brigham, E. S. Shepherd, Bola Aldcn,
M. E. Brown.

The lodge was instituted on that date, and held
its meetings in Graud Army Hall until April, 1SS1,
when it removed to American (now Odd- Pel lows')
Hall, where it still holds its regular meetings.

The first application for membership was received
from B. S. Atwood, who was initiated Dec. 3, 1S77.

The first death, which occurred Nov. 27, 1870,
was that of Millard E. Brown. Brother Browu was
the first reporter of the lodge, which position he filled
in a very acceptable manner, and his loss was a serious
one to the lodge as well as to the community.

May 22, 1884, seven members, resident in East
Bridgewater, withdrew by card and became charter
members of Sachem's Rock Lodge, No. 3093.

Massasoit Lodge has initiated and received by card
over fifty members, in addition to the original charter
members, and is in a healthy condition.

The following members became Past Dictators by
virtue of office: L. D. Robbins, C. D. Nash, C. W.
Bradbury, B. S. Atwood, and M. L. Harlow.

Brothers Robbins and Nash served each one term ;
Brothers Bradbury and Atwood two terms each, and
Brother Harlow four terms. The present reporter,
Brother Ferguson, has served the lodge in that capacity
since January, 1880.

Officers for the year 1884 are Past Dictator, M. L.
Harlow ; Dictator, J. E. Jenney ; Vice-Dictator, E.
V. Clift ; Assistant Dictator, B. F. Winslow ; Re-
porter, II. C. Ferguson; F. R., Edward Kealiug;
Treas., H. A. Whiting; Chaplain, H. M. Soule ;
Guide, C. P. Reed ; Guardian, W. W. Josselyu ; Sen-
tinel, C. S. Churchill.

Lawyers. — There are two lawyers in this town, —
Charles H. Edsou and Edgar O. Achrou.

Physicians. — The present physicians are II. F.
Copeland, A. A. MacKeen, and B. F. Hastings.

Post-Offices. — Previous to 1844 there was no post-
office at South Abington. Elihu Hobart, at that time
postmaster at Abington, used to bring the mail for the
residents of this locality daily. In 1844 "South
Abington" post-office was established, aud William
Bonney appointed postmaster. He held the office
until his death, in 1847. Cyrus A. Dyer was ap-
pointed his successor, and was postmaster until 1801,
when George W. Reed was appointed, holding the office
two years. Albert Davis was then commissioned, aud



is the present incumbent. He was reappointed Jan.
18, 1882, for four years. Iu 1863 the office paid
four hundred dollars; business however iucreased
UDiil, in 1878, the salary became twelve huudred dol-
lars. In the same year " South Abiugton Station"
post-office was established ; Joseph Pettee, Jr., post-
master, with a salary of five hundred dollars. He is
postmaster at the present time.

Ecclesiastical History. — The Congregational
Church was organized Aug. 19, 1807. The church
was formed by sixteen members leaving the Third
Church in Bridgewater (now East Bridgewater). Rev.
Daniel Thomas was the first pastor, and was ordained
the same day of the dedication of the new house of
worship, June 1, 1808. Mr. Thomas ministered to
this people about thirty-five years, and resigned in
1842. He died Jan. 5, 1847, aged sixty-eight years.
Rev. Denuis Powers succeeded Mr. Thomas in 1842.
The following-named ministers have been pastors
of this church iu the order named : Rev. Alden
Hayues, Alfred Goldsmith, Henry L. Edwards,
W. F. Ober, John Thomson, F. P. Tompkins,
B. M. Frink. Present membership, two hundred
and thirty-four.

The South Abington Methodist Episcopal
Church was not the outgrowth of a purely sectarian
policy. It was suggested spontaneously to many
minds dwelling in that part of the town where the
church is located. It grew out of the conscious moral
needs of that part of the community, and it was
thought by persons members of other churches in the
town that a Methodist Episcopal Church would do
better than any other not represented in the town be-
cause of its aggressive spirit, its adaptability to all
classes of society, and its well-tested polity as espe-
cially exemplified in its method of ministerial supply.
A few persons thus encouraged established a Meth-
odist preaching service iu Union Hall in the year
1874, the first sermon being delivered on Sunday,
January 4th. From this time to the meeting of the
Providence (uow New England Northern) Conference,
in March of the same year, the preaching was by
students from the School of Theology of Boston

At the meeting of the Annual Conference, Rev. E.
L. Hyde, a member of the Conference, was appointed,
March 30, 1874, to take charge of the new " enter-
prise" at South Abington. Mr. Hyde was cordially
received by the people, and immediately set about the
organization of the movement into a Methodist Epis-
copal Church, the first Quarterly Conference being
held by the presiding elder, Rev. W. V. Morrison, on
the 8th of May, 1879, the young society having at

that time a membership of twelve. Mr. Hyde was
reappointed in the spring of 1875, and felt that the
time had come for building a church edifice for the
young and growing society. To this end a lot was
donated by the well-known tack firm of Dunbar, Ho-
bart & Whidden in a convenient locality on South
Avenue, and subscriptions were solicited for a build-
ing fund. In addition to contributions by people in
South Abington, money was contributed by persons
and churches in Brockton, East Bridgewater, New
Bedford, Providence, and many other places. As
none of these gifts were large, and, in addition to the
subscriptions in the place, Mr. Hyde, by personal
visitation and otherwise, obtained contributions from
sixteen cities and towns, in three different States,
some idea can be obtained of the financial labors of
the first pastor. In fact, Mr. Hyde was the man for
the place; for not merely did he attend to the gath-
ering of small sums of fifty cents and upwards until
it aggregated nearly four thousand dollars, but, being
a practical architect, he drew the plaus and specifica-
tions for the proposed edifice.

The ground was broken July 27, 187G, and the
building was dedicated Feb. 24, 1877, Bishop Ran-
dolph S. Foster, of the same denomination, preaching
at the morning service. The structure is of Gothic
architecture, and will seat two hundred and fifty per-
sons, and, with three other rooms beside the main au-
dience-room, is well adapted to the present wants of
the society, and tasty within and without.

According to the law of limitatiou iu the Method-
ist Episcopal Church, a pastor is only appointed to a
church for one year, but may be reappointed the two
successive years. The full extent of his stay at one
time in any church is therefore three years. Mr.
Hyde remained at South Abington three years.

At the end of his three years the Rev. \V. II.
Starr was appointed pastor, April 16, 1877. Various
improvements were made during Mr. Starr's pastor-
ate. The second year of his term was marked by
great spiritual prosperity, a large number of persons
being affected by the spiritual power which went out
from the church. The moral tone of the whole com-
munity was directly influenced, and this in the minds
of many was a sufficient justification for the estab-
lishment of the church.

On the 13th of April, 1880, Rev. J. G. Switzer, a
probationer in the Conference, was appointed to South
Abington. Mr. Switzer's health was not firm, and
he was compelled to resign the succeeding year (July,
1881), but during his term of office the church con-
tinued to go forward in all that a church should.
Mr. Switzer's second year was completed by G. A.



Reeder. Jr., a theological studeut in Boston Uni-

In April, 1S82, the present incumbent, Rev. S. H.
Day, was appointed to take charge of the South
Abington Methodist Episcopal Church.

Although the church at the present writing (1884)
ouly dates back ten years as an organization, its his-
tory already has been one of healthy growth. Its
characteristics thus far have been Christian unity,
aggressiveness, and steady atteution to the true work
of an Evangelical church. At the present rate of
growth, another decade will bring it to a point of
efficiency undreamed of by any of its most sanguine

Its class-leaders, who in the economy of Methodism
are sub-pastors, are, at the date of this writing,
Lucius Cook and T. E. Tenny.

Its stewards, who have charge of the temporal con-
cerns, — Ambrose Bosworth, T. F. Bosworth, T. E.
Tenny, Lucius Cook, Horatio N. Winslow, W. F.
Stacy, T. G. Higgius, A. T. Le Baron. Its trustees,
who hold the church property in trust for the uses of
the Methodist Episcopal Church (one-third of whom
are not required to be members of the church), are
T. Frank Bosworth, A. Bosworth, L. Cook, T. F.
Thayer, Joseph D. Beuson, T. E. Tenny, T. G.

First Baptist Church. — This church was organ-
ized Oct. 30, 1822. The delegates to the council
were Rev. Thomas Baldwin, D.D., from Second
Church in Boston ; Rev. Daniel Sharp, from Third
Church in Boston ; Rev. John Butler, from Hanover
Church ; Rev. Thomas Conant, from Marshfield
Church ; Rev. Joseph Torrey, from Pembroke and
Hanson Church. Rev. Dr. Baldwin was chosen
moderator ; Rev. J. Torrey, scribe. The following
persons, who were present, were invited to join the
council : Rev. Joel Briggs, Deacon 1 Ionian Lincoln,
Deacon Levi Farwell, Deacon William Eames, and
Ezra Chamberlain. The followiug record in the
church book presents a brief account of the action
taken on that occasion : " The brethren present wish-
ing to unite together as a church read and adopted
their articles of faith and practice, and solemnly cov-
enanted together as a church of our Lord Jesus
Christ, much to the satisfaction of the council.
Whereupon the council resolved unanimously pub-
licly to recognize them this afternoon as a sister
church of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the name of the
First Baptist Church of Christ in Abington."

The first house of worship was situated on the site
occupied by the present one, the land haviug been
purchased of Levi Shaw for thirty dollars. It meas-

ured twenty-seven by twenty-four feet on the ground,
and contained thirty-six pews, capable of seatiug two
hundred persons. It cost about one thousand dollars,
and was secured by the untiring exertions of Deacon
Rausford, who largely met the expense by his own
munificent liberality. Deacon Hansford was the com-
mittee and Ebenezer Porter the builder.

The pastors have been as follows : Revs. Thomas
Conant, May 22, 1823; Willard Kimball, May 9,
1824; Davis Curtiss, July 26, 182G ; Silas Hall,
Aug. 21, 1830; W. H. Dalrymple, April 20, 1S35 ;
Edward C. Missinger, May, 1837 ; William F. Stub-
bert, April 16, 1846; Nathaniel Colvcr, April 1,
1852; Horace T. Love, Nov. 1, 1853; F. A. Wil-
lard, Nov. 4, 1854 ; N. Judson Clark, Dec. 11, 1860 ;
George R. Darrow, April 3, 1S64 ; Rev. James E.
Wilson, Oct. 1, 1868; Charles A. Snow, iNov. 1,

The successors of Rev. Mr. Snow have been Rev.
L. B. Hatch, Rev. Luther G. Barrett, and Rev. N.
Newton Glazier.

There have been revivals during several of the pas-
torates. The most extensive was during the pastorate
of Mr. Hatch, when fifty were added to the church.

The present house of worship, which was dedicated
Jan. 1, 1833, is about being remodeled and refur-
nished, twelve thousand dollars having been raised
for this purpose. The present membership is two
hundred and fifty ; of the Sunday-school, one hun-
dred and ninety-two. The salary paid the first pas-
tor was one hundred and fifty dollars, and that of the
last, twelve hundred dollars. The amount of money
raised for all purposes the past year was two thousaud
three hundred aud fifty-one dollars. This is the
strongest Baptist Church, with one exception, in
Plymouth County. George A. Reed is treasurer ;
J. L. Corthell, clerk; and D. B. Gurney, J. L. Cor-
thell, and Obed Ellis, deacons.

Population of the town, 3500 ; valuation, S2,187,-
830; number of polls, 1028.



The historian pauses from the narration of events
to record a little tribute to one who did much in vari-
ous ways to entitle him to more than a passing notice,
as one of the distinguished sons of old Abington, and
who by the uprightness of his character, his personal

J ^2^~





ability, and his large business interests, did much for
its advancement and improvement.

Benjamin Ilobart, son of Col. Aaron Hobart and
his second wife, Thankful Adams, was born on the
homestead of several generations of his forefathers in
South Abington (then Abington), Oct. 24, 1781. He
was a descendant iu the sixth generation of Edmund
Hobart, the emigrant, who came from Englaud in
1633, settled first in Charlestown, second in Hing-
ham, where he was prominent in public matters, and
was the ancestor of most of those bearing the name
in New England. The line of descent is Edmund 1 ,
Thomas 2 , Aaron 3 , Isaac', Col. Aaron 5 , Benjamin 6 .

The Hobart family has been from its first settle-
ment in Abington identified in much more than an
ordinary degree with the interests, growth, and his-
tory of the town. Isaac Hobart' was a farmer of
great energy, strength of mind, and perseverance of
character. Iu 1745 he made a mill-privilege by
means of a canal a mile long and a tunnel fifteen rods
in length, and for this the inhabitants agreed to allow
him three quarts of corn instead of two quarts, the
legal amount, as toll for grinding a bushel. Impor-
tant results have followed the construction of this
tunnel. As Mr. Hobart well says, in his " History
iu Abington," " Except for the union of the two
streams, the present extensive works for making
tacks, brads, shoe-nails, and mauy other useful arti-
cles, would uever have been established." This was no
doubt the means of originating the entire manufac-
turing interest now so extensive in South Abington.
Col. Aaron Hobart 6 was a noted man iu his day, and
did honor to his town. He was representative in
the State Legislature for fourteen consecutive years
(1792-1807), aud was the owner of several forges for
making bar-iron and iron " shapes," and a blast-fur-
nace for casting hollow-ware aud canuon-balls. He
was among the first, if not the very first, to cast
church-bells in the country. He cast a bell for the
first religious society in Abington, as early as 17C9,
and after that for numerous other places in this State
and elsewhere. In 1769 he advertised in a Boston
newspaper that he would do " bell-casting at his fur-
nace in Abiugton," and the editor remarked " that
we need not be obliged to send to Englund for bells,
as they could now be cast in this couutry." He was
the first person to cast cannon iu America. We con-
dense from Hayward's " Gazetteer of Massachusetts :"
" In the year 1775-76, Col. Aaron Hobart contracted
with the State to make cannon and shot, and the
State furnished him with a large amount of material
to begin with, as pig-iron and coal. This was a bold
undertaking. Col. Hobart had no knowledge of the

business, but the Revolutionary war had just com-
menced, and there were but very few cannon in the
country, hundreds of merchant ships demanded them
to fit for privateers. The first attempts were very
unsuccessful, — the cannon burst in proving. All the
stock provided by the State was expended, and his
own fortune besides. Providentially, iu this dark
hour, a Frenchman, accustomed to this work, passed
through the town, and hearing of the failure to ob-
tain perfect cannon, inquired the cause, and poiuted
out to Col. Hobart the remedy. No time was lost in
making the necessary change, and the success was
complete. The contract with the State was filled, and
individuals supplied extensively. About three years
after this the concern was disposed of to the State,
and removed to Bridgewater." Col. Hobart was very
active in the war of the Revolution, and always iden-
tified with the best interests of his town, and distin-
guished for his enterprise, perseverance, unsullied
character, and deep religious principle, he possessed
the confidence, esteem, and warm personal affections
of the best people of this sectiou of the State.

Benjamin Hobart 4 received a liberal education, aud
was graduated at Brown University in 1804. He
was admitted to practice as a lawyer in 18US, but
never followed that profession. He married, first,
Lucy, daughter of Gen. Sylvanus Lazell, of East
Bridgewater; second, Deborah, daughter of Edmund
Lazell, of Cummington. They had twelve children.
Mr. Hobart was connected during most of his active
life with the progress and development of one of Ab-
iugtou'3 most important manufacturing interests, that
of cut tacks. We take from Hayward's "Gazetteer: '
In 1815-16 a machine was invented by Mr. Jesse
Reed to make tacks at one operation. Mr. Melville
Otis, of Bridgewater, claimed aud received a consid-
erable share of the invention. Soon after, the ma-
chines were much improved by Thomas Blauchard,
of Millbury, Mass., and Samuel Rogers, of East
Bridgewater. For the exclusive patent-right of these
inventions Benjamin and Elihu Hobart paid thirty
thousand dollars. When they had just got their
machine into operation they learned that a large
consignment of tacks had been received from Eug-
land. On inquiry they found that a model of their
" patent tack-machine" had been taken to Englaud
and patented, and the taok3 sent here for sale. The
tendency of this was to stop the American manufac-
ture entirely, and ruin the proprietors of the patent.
On showing this to Congress, a bill was passed imme-
diately placing a protective duty on imported tucks.
The protective .manufacture was then cuntinued,
although, strange to say, instead of combining their



interests, Elihu and Benjamin carried on separate
establishments. Benjamin built the first tack-factory
in the town, and followed the business for nearly fifty
years through its many, and not always, profitable
changes. Mr. Hobart inherited the strong constitu-
tion of a long line of robust ancestors, and preserved
his powers of mind and body to a great age. A
strong proof of this is evidenced by his writing a
comprehensive and extended " History of the Town
of Abiugton," of four hundred and fifty pages, when
a very old man, the most of it being written after he
was eighty years old, and which for defiuitencss, accu-
racy, and completeness of statement cannot be excelled.
He was largely interested in agriculture, being presi-

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 112 of 118)