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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port of a Congregational minister." Seth Drew, El-
kanah Cook, and David Beal were chosen to draw up
a petition, and Seth Drew, who was the representative
that year, was chosen agent to present it to the
General Court. Although a majority of the people
were in favor of the repeal of the law by which this
church or town property was funded for the support
of a Congregational minister, yet their efforts were of
no avail with the Legislature, which was probably in-
fluenccd more by a few persons of high standing iu
the towu than by the actual majority. It is related
that the late Hon. Seth Sprague, who was then the
representative from Duxbury, asked during one of
the sessions " why so little notice was takeu of that
petition from a respectable majority of the people of
Kingston ?" and the answer was heard around him
from several members, " the Honorable Squire Sever
is against it." As before stated, their efforts were not
successful, and the General Court gave the petitioners
leave to withdraw.

1804. The town voted thanks to John Faunce for
his long and faithful services as clerk, he having held
thatofSee twenty-seven years continuously from 1777.

1805, Jan. 3. William Sever, Esq., proposed pay-
ing every person that is dissatisfied with the minis-
terial fund their proportion of said fund.

January 7th. Voted " to apply to the General Court
for an amendment for an alteration of the act of in-
corporation of the ministerial fund."

June 20th. David Beal, Stephen Drew, Wrestling
Brewster, Jr., Stephen Bradford, Amos Cook, Sam-
uel Everson, Rufus Ring, Uriah Bartlett, Lysander
Bartlett, Sylvanus Bradford, and Francis Ring peti-
tioned the town " to make the ministerial tax separate
from the other town tax, as they had joined the
Baptist denomination." At a subsequent meeting
this request was refused.

1806. It was decided lo build the magazine on the
north side of the burying-ground. This building,
known as tho powder-house, remained there many
years, not being taken away until after 1860.

1808. Moses Inglee, Nath. Foster, and Jedediah



HISTORY OF KINGSTON.



267



Holmes, Jr., were appointed to procure a new bell
for the Congregational meeting-house. It was
brought from Boston iu the brig " Three Thomases,"
owned by John, Nathaniel, and Sylvauus Thomas.
When the vessel arrived at the Cow Yard, in the
harbor, it was hoisted to the mainstay and rung.
This bell was in use forty-three years. A petition
was sent to President Jefferson to remove partially
or wholly the embargo.

June 15th. The Hon. William Sever died, aged
eighty years. He had been a very prominent man
in town and State affairs ; was one of the first Com-
mittee of Correspondence at the commencement of
the Revolution, and for many years judge of probate
for the county of Plymouth. Rev. Dr. Dwight, in
his " Journal of Travels," in that part relating to the
Old Colony, speaks of him thus : " Mr. Sever was
the most respectable and worthy character I have
known," and Dr. Thatcher, in his " History of Plym-
outh," says, " But I venerated him the more on ac-
count of the remarkable similarity in his person and
appearance to Gen. Washington. The resemblance
in erect form and in dignity of manners was so pe-
culiarly striking that the comparison was almost per-
fect, and my interviews with him brought to my mind
the most delightful recollections." Mr. Sever was
the first president of the Plymouth Bank, which was
organized in 1804.

1810. April 26. Col. John Gray died in his eighty-
first year. He was also one of the Committee of
Correspondence, and conspicuous in the affairs of
the town, having been one of the selectmen thirty-
four years, during the period between 1758 and 1803,
and was the treasurer continuously from 1769 to
1804. Mr. Gray was the direct descendant from
Edward Gray, and lived at Rocky Nook, on part of
the estate of his ancestor. January 26th, Deacon
Ebenezer Washburn died, aged seventy-four years.
He was the representative to the General Court fif-
teen years, during the period 1776-97.

1811. The road by the houses of Nathaniel Holmes,
Nathan Chandler, and Oliver Sampson was laid out
this year.

1812. The ministerial tax was made separate from
the other town tax. One hundred dollars was appro-
priated '• for a woman school." A town-meeting
was held July 28th to express disapprobation of the
war with England. A vote was taken, and a wish
for the restoration of peace and an abhorrence to an
alliance with France was expressed.

1813. During the spring of this year an unusual
number of deaths occurred. Rev. Z. Willis records
the deaths of eight adults in the month of April,



and all of the same disease, which he names lung
fever. The sickness that then prevailed proved so fatal
that it was termed " the plague." Dr. Jabez Fuller,
the principal physician of the town at that time, fell
a victim to the disease, and died April 12th, aged
fifty nine years.

1814. June 24. It was voted " to choose four
men to join with the selectmen to contract with as
many men as are required to be drafted on as good
terms as possible by the month." Hezekiah Ripley,
Ellis Bradford, Peter Winsor, and William Holmes
were chosen, and the selectmen were requested to call
on the adjutant-general for the quota of fire-arms, ac-
coutrements, and ammunition for the town. Eli
Cook, Benjamin Delano, and Ellis Bradford were
chosen a Committee of Safety. Six hundred dollars
were raised for war expenses. " Three anchors were
made at the forge in the northwest part of the town
by Hyde & Holmes (Charles) for the government
ship 'Independence.' This ship was originally a
seventy-four-gun ship, but razeed to a fifty-seven this
year. The largest of the anchors weighed nine thou-
sand three hundred pounds; the others, eight thou-
sand three hundred each." (Cornelius A. Bartlett's
MSS.)

1815. Amount of the ministerial fund this year,
two thousand nine hundred and thirty-seven dollars
and forty-five cents.

1816. The Southwest District was allowed to set
their school-house on town's land south of road lead-
ing to Elkanah Washburn's, and west of road to
Plympton, bounded southwest by land of Ebenezer
Adams. This was the Crossman Pond school-house.
The selectmen were directed to collect all the musket-
balls belonging to the commonwealth and hold them
at the disposal of the quartermaster-general.

1817. On account of the failure of the crops, " Rev.
Mr. Willis is willing to abate his salary from what it
would be (partly payable in corn at 7 shillings per
bush. ; rye, 7/6, pork, 10 c, and beef, 5 c. per lb.),
five hundred to four hundred and eighty dollars."

1820. The road between the house of Seth Ever-
son and that of Martin Cook was laid out. George
B. Holmes was chosen delegate to the State Conven-
tion for revising the Constitution of Massachusetts.

1821. April 9. The town voted on the fourteen
constitutional amendments of 1820, and rejected
them all.

1822. At the meeting, May 6th, Maj. George
Russell, the clerk, was suddenly taken ill, and lived
but a short time after being removed to his residence,
dying the same day.

1824. The sum of five hundred and thirty dollars



268



HISTORY OP PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



was raised for the grammar, English, and woman's
school. The ministerial fuDd was five thousand three
hundred dollars.

1826, June 5. Samuel Stetson, who had been the
treasurer of the town for seventeen years, resigned
the office.

1S27. The town purchased the present almshouse
of Miss Abigail Drew for six hundred and fifty dol-
lars. It wa3 the same house that had formerly been
occupied by her father, Mr. Zeuas Drew.

1828. Oct. 3. Spencer Bradford resigned the office
of treasurer, and Eli Cook was chosen.

1829. The great bridge over Jones River was re-
paired, and a new arch or passage-way was built.

1830. The town was districted anew for schools,
and the northwest district had forty-five families; the
west, thirty-nine ; south, twenty ; southeast, fifty ; aud
the middle district, one hundred and seven.

1832. The election for State officers was held in
November instead of May, as had been the law for
many years previously. Thomas P. Beal, Esq., pe-
titioned for a road to be laid out from Loring's gate in
Duxbury to the Boston road along the river by the
landing.

1833. Eight hundred dollars was raised for the
schools.

1836. The selectmen were ordered to finish the
Landing road, the same petitioned for iu 1832. A
petition was offered for a new road at Rocky Nook,
through what is known as the "Spirit Pasture."

1837. Rev. John Allen, Rev. Abraham Jackson,
Rev. John Davis Sweet, Jedediah Holmes, and Rob-
ert Holmes were chosen the school committee. The
first movement was made for the enlargement of the
old burial-ground. A committee, consisting of Eli
Cook, Thomas C. Holmes, Nathaniel Paunce, Jede-
diah Holmes, Nathaniel Holmes, James Poster, and
Nuhum Bailey, was chosen to receive the town's
proportion of the surplus revenue of the Uuited
States, and to invest the same.

1838. Voted that the prudential committee in the
several school districts be authorized to contract for
teachers.

1839. A committee was appointed to present a plan
and estimate the cost of a towu-house, but this action
was afterwards reconsidered.

1840. The burial-ground was enlarged by laud
bought of Daniel Adams for six hundred dollars. A
committee, consisting of Thomas C. Holmes, Eli Cook,
James N. Sever, Alexander Holmes, David B. Bart-
lett, Nathauiel Paunce, Asaph Holmes, Thomas Brad-
ford, and Rufus B. Bradford, was chosen to build a
town-house, the building to be completed Oct. 1, 1841.



The road from Boston road by the iron-works on Stony
Brook to the Landing road was laid out. Also the
one from the great bridge along the river to the
Plympton road.

1841. Two hundred and fourteen persons were eu-
rolled in the militia this year.

1843. Rev. Joseph Peckham, Rev. Thomas E.
Keely, Rev. Augustus R. Pope, Aldeu S. Bradford,
and Thomas Cushman were chosen the school com-
mittee. The great bridge was repaired, a part of it
having fallen during a freshet.

1844. It was decided to divide the United States
surplus revenue amoug the school districts for schools
or school-houses aud for no other purpose. District
No. 1 received 8589.69; No. 2, 8946.16; No. 3,
8503.89; No. 4, 8437.89; No. 5, $451.08; No. 6,
8556.69. Total amount, 83485.40. In all these
districts new school-houses were built within a year
or two. Joseph Sampson, the treasurer, died Decem-
ber 6th.

1845. Jan. 25. A meeting of the town was held
to see if liberty would be given to the directors of the
Old Colony Railroad to build a permanent bridge
over Jones River, but it was not granted. The free
use of the town hall was allowed for anti-slavery and
temperance meetings, also for singiug-schools.

1847. Rev. Zephaniah Willis died March 6th, aged
ninety years.

1848. Several events occurred this year calculated
to disturb the usual quietness of the towu. Iu April
the dwelling-house of Mr. E. P. Richardson was con-
sumed by fire, and the same month Capt. Perez H.
Sampson, of the old packet " July," while on a trip
to Bostou, absconded or met with foul play, and his
whereabouts was never known to his family or friends.
In August a barn of Mr. Joseph Holmes' near the
Old Colony Railroad depot was totally consumed by
fire, and before the year closed a store iu the centre of
the town was entered by burglars, thus making an
eventful year.

1849. In June of this year a bell was placed in
the tower of the Baptist meeting-house, and rung
for Sunday service on the 1st day of July for the first
time.

1850. April 25. The town voted to procure a
fire-engine, and an attempt was made to organize a
fire company, but the votes were all reconsidered
June 8th.

1851. The old meeting-house was demolished in
May, and the present Unitarian Church was built
during the year. In April occurred the memorable
storm and unprecedented high tide on the Atlautic
coast of Massachusetts, aud a great deal of damage



HISTORY OF KINGSTON.



269



was done at the Rocky Nook wharves and at the
landing iu this town.

1852. Joseph Holuies and sous presented a clock
to the Unitarian Society, and it was put into the
tower of the church. The first hour struck after it
was in order was four o'clock P.M., June 26th.

July 16th. Hon. Thomas Prince Beal, one of the
prominent members of the Plymouth County bar,
died, aged sixty-six years.

July 24th. Hun. Daniel Webster's friends from
Bostou and many lowns of the county received him
at the depot, and escorted him to his country-seat at
Maralitield. This was soon after his defeat in the
Baltimore Convention, when he failed to receive the
Presidential nomination. Three months later a sim-
ilar demonstration took place in town, when hundreds
were conveyed from the depot to Marshfield, October
29th, to attend the funeral services over the remains
of the departed statesman.

1853. Thomas Cushman was chosen delegate to
the Constitutional Convention.

1854, June 19. A terrific thunder-storm was ex-
perienced in the afternoon, about four o'clock. The
services attending the first interment' in Evergreen
Cemetery were being held (as this new burial-place
had not then been consecrated) when the tempest
commenced, and people hastened to their homes.
Seven or eight trees were struck within the bounds
of the cemetery, then the spire of the new Unitarian
Church was shattered by the lightning, and several
dwelling-houses were damaged.

August 2d. The consecration services took place in
Evergreen Cemetery this day. Rev. Frederick D.
Huntington delivered the address, aud Epes Sargent,
Esq., the poem.

1855, Feb. 1. Col. John Sever, the first president
of the Old Colony Railroad, died, aged sixty-two
years.

1857. The Boston road, near the place called the
" Punch-Bowls," was shortened by being laid out
along the course of the ancient foot-path down the
steep part of the hill.

1858. This year Kingston aud Duxbury form one
representative district, according to a late act of the
Massachusetts Legislature.

1861. Soou after the breaking out of the Southern
Rebellion this year, the town voted, May 18th, "to
pay iu addition to the government pay, to all persons
inhabitants of Kingston who have or may voluuteer
iu the service of their country, the sum of six dollars
per month while employed iu the service."

1 Mrs. Juliu Purris, widow uf Itev. Martin Parria.



1862, March 3. One thousand dollars were ap-
propriated to aid the parents, wives, aud children of
those mustered into the service.

July 26th. Twenty men were ordered from the
towu by the Governor, and the town offered one
hundred dollars bounty to each person volunteering.

August 30th. The selectmen were authorized to
offer a bounty of one hundred dollars to each man
who may volunteer to fill the quota under Presideut
Lincoln's proclamation for nineteen thousand and
eighty men from the State of Massachusetts.

1863, The sum of eleven thousand seven hundred
dollars was appropriated for town expenses.

1864, April 23. The selectmen were authorized
to pay a bounty of one hundred and twenty -five dol-
lars each for such number of volunteers as may be
necessary to fill any existing deficiency in the quotas
of this town under all calls of the President previous
to date.

May 31st. The selectmen were authorized to pay a
bounty of one hundred and twenty-five dollars each
for recruits, in anticipation of a call from the Presi-
dent, and for filling this town's quota in any call
previous to March 1, 1865.

1866. March 26. A committee, consisting of F.
C. Adams, Philander Cobb, H. K. Keith, W. H.
Faunce, and Noah Prince, was chosen to have charge
of the building of a high-school house.

1867. The high-school house was dedicated May
10th.

1868. Mr. Benjamin Delano died January 19th,
in his ninetieth year. He was a merchant, and was
engaged in the building of vessels aud in the fishing
business for many years.

November 15th. Dr. Paul Louis Nichols, who had
been a practicing physician in town for fifty-five
years, died, aged eighty years.

1869. April 9. The death of James N. Sever,
a prominent and worthy citizen of the town, occurred.
With him the male line of the Sever name ceased in
Kingston.

May 27th. Alexander Holmes, another prominent
citizen, died. For years he was the president of the
Old Colony Railroad.

1870. The town accepted a bequest of ten thou-
sand dollars from Hon. Ichabod Washburn, of
Worcester (a native of Kingston), to be applied to
the relief of aged and indigent women.

1874. Frederick C. Adams died October 7th, iu
his fifty-third year. He was a public-spirited citizen,
and made provisions in his will whereby the Fanners'
Lodge, No. 189, I. 0. of 0. F., will receive at some
future time the sum of one thousand dollars, and the



!70



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



town, at the same time, the sum of five thousand
dollars, to be devoted to certain purposes which Mr.
Adams specified. He represented the town in Gen-
eral Court, 1861.

1876, June 27. The one hundred and fiftieth
anniversary of the incorporation of the town was
celebrated, and the accouut of the day's proceedings
was published at the time.

1877. The town hall, which was built in 1841,
was remodeled this year. Five thousand dollars was
appropriated for that purpose. Edward Gray, one of
the selectmen for twenty years, with the exception of
the year 1858, and a most valuable man in town
affairs, died April 13th.

1879. Nathan Brooks, who had been the town
clerk from 1851, and treasurer siuce 1858, retired
from the offices, and the town voted thanks for his
long and faithful services.

1880. Alden S. Bradford, one of the selectmen
since the year 1845, with the exception of six years,
and who acted as moderator of most of the town-
meetings for thirty years, retired from all town offices
on account of ill health, and the town passed resolu-
tions regretting his withdrawal, " as he had filled so
many offices with such distinguished ability and
faithfulness."

1882. George Thomas Adams, a well-known citi-
zen of the town, died November 29th, in his sixty-
third year.

1883. June 23. Leave was granted to " Martha
Sever Post," No. 154, Grand Army of the Republic,
to erect a soldiers' monument on the green. Mis.
Abigail H. Adams, widow of the late Samuel Adams,
caused a soldiers' monument to be erected on the
green, and it was dedicated with appropriate and
interesting ceremonies November 1st.

1884. The thanks of the town were given to Mrs.
Adams " for her thoughtful, tasteful, and munificent
gift of the monument," and " to the surviving mem-
bers of Silver Lake Division, Sous of Temperance,
for their wise provision of the means by which the
circular curbing around the monument was secured
and placed in position."

May 17th. Rev. Joseph Peckham died suddenly
this day. 1

1 See history of the Second Coo^regutiouul Church, p. 274.



CHAPTER IV.

ANCIENT LANDMARKS— TOPOGRAPHICAL AND
HISTORICAL.

Ancient Landmarks. — Monk's Hill, the highest
point of land in Kingston, is situated near the Plym-
outh line, in the southeasterly part of the township,
about midway between the ocean and the bounds of
Carver. It rises three hundred and twelve feet
above the level of the sea, and the view from its
summit, when the atmosphere is clear, is very beau-
tiful. The Blue Hills of Milton. Sprague's Hill
in Bridgewater, and prominent objects in most of
the towns of Plymouth County are distinctly seen.
This view, combined with the ocean in the east,
where the shores of Cape Cod are often visible, and
the vast stretch of woodland, with hardly a sign of
habitation, on the south side, gives a varied scene of
singular beauty. During the wars with England this
hill was one of the points where beacon-tires were
lighted to alarm the neighboring towns in time of an
expected invasion by the euemy. The origin of its
name is doubtful, but the late William S. Russell, of
Plymouth, says, " It is called in the Old Colony
Records Mont's Hill Chase, a name supposed to have
been applied to a hunt in England."

Indian Pond Hill. The surface of the land westerly
of Monk's Hill is hilly, but no particular name is ap-
plied to auy of these elevations, with the exception
of the one here meutioued, which is situated just on
the bounds of Plympton and a short distance south
of Indian Pond.

Pine Hill is in the same district, about three-
quarters of a mile north of the last-uamed pond.

Thatcher's Hill is situated at the Nook, on the
easterly side of Jones River, near where it flows into
the bay, and where the Pilgrim, John Ilowland,
lived.

Pagan Hill is in the southerly part of Rocky Nook
district, near the Plymouth line.

Abram's Hill, just south of Stony Brook, probably
takes its name from Abraham Pierce, who owned
lauds there as early as 1637. A large portion of the
ceutral village of Kingston is really on this hill, but
the name is usually applied to the northerly and east-
erly parts, from the junction of the roads at the
Patuxet House around to the estate of the late Wis-
well S. Stetson, on the Landing road. From the brow
of the hill, at almost any place between the poiuts
just designated, a very pleasant view meets the eye.

Ridge Hill extends iu a northerly direction from
Evergreen Cemetery towards Blackwater Pond. It



HISTORY OF KINGSTON.



271



is a long ridge, of slight elevation. At the marsh
surrounding the pond it only appears as an upland,
but on the southerly shore it suddenly rises into prom-
inence, and that portion is called Castle Hill. On
the northerly shore a similar ridge commences, and
runs nearly, if not quite, to the bounds of Duxbury.
The different portions of the town have long been
designated as the Village or Centre, Rocky Nook, In-
dian Pond, Wapping, Northwest, Stony Brook, Trip-
hammer, and Blackwater. While the schools were
under the district system their names corresponded
with the first six districts above mentioned.

Silver Lake. This beautiful sheet of water for
many years bore the simple name of Jones River
Pood. About the year 1850 an ice company was
formed, and preparations were made to carry on an
extensive business there, and to give a more attractive
name to the ice there obtained was the principal rea-
son why the old name was dropped and the present
one adopted. The company referred to suspended
business after a short time, and nothing is left to re-
mind one that it ever had an existeucesave the name
of Silver Lake. Ouly a part of the eastern portion
of the lake is embraced within the limits of Kingston.

Indian Pond is in the southwest part of the town,
on the Plympton line.

Smelt Pond lies at the northerly base of Monk's
Hill, and in the section between the two last named
are many ponds, bearing the uames Little Smelt, Rocky,
Muddy, Pratt's, Lyon, Great and Little Snake, Goose,
Trakle, Wolf, Turtle, Great and Little Mink Hole,
and Duke's Hole. Crossman's, or Crossing Pond, as
it has been incorrectly called by the townspeople, is
between the villages of Triphammer and Wapping,
on the south side of the Bridgewater road.

Blackwater Pond is situated in the northerly part
of the township west of the Boston road. Near by
is a very small poud called the Teal Hole, now smaller
than it formerly was, owing to the growth of the
marshy meadow surrounding it. In ancient times it
was a favorite resort for the waterfowl of that name,
but for many years past they have been seldom seen
there.

Jones River is the largest stream flowing into the
bay from Plymouth County, with the exception of
North River. It is the outlet of Silver Lake, aud for
the first part of its course it flows south, thence in au
easterly direction, for the larger part of the way
through the town, until it passes the great bridge,
where it takes a northerly course for a short distance,
and theuce proceeds in a winding way to the sea.
The tributaries to this river on the north side are
Beaver Dam aud Pine Brook, which unite in the



Northwest District and join the river about one mile
from its source; Hall's, Bassett's, Sampson's, and
Mile Brook flow into Blackwater Pond, aud the only
outlet from that is Stony Brook, which joins with
Tussock Brook (at a point near where the latter forms
the bounds between Kingston and Duxbury), and
then after a short distance empties into the river at
the " Landing." On the south side, Smelt Brook,
which has its rise at the pond of the same name, joins
the river at Rocky Nook, about half a mile from its



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 62 of 118)