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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mouth. First, Second, aud Third Brook flow into
the river between the great bridge and the Plympton
road. Furnace Brook runs through a part of Indian
Pond district, and meets the river a short distance
west of the Factory Pond. Fountain Head Brook
flows into the river above Triphammer Forge Pond.
Another brook, without a name, above the last, is
shown on the map of the town, aud finally Barrow's
Brook, which flows from Plympton through a part of
Wapping, has its junction with the river at a point
opposite that of Pine Brook on the north side. Gray's
Brook, at Rocky Nook, is a small rivulet flowing
through Spirit Pasture to the sea, just south of the
wharves there.

Continental Field. During the war of the Revo-
lution many families were very destitute, as husbands,
sons, fathers, and brothers were called from home for
the defense of their country. This fact, aud the great
depreciation of paper money, made it necessary for
the towns to devise measures for the relief of mauy
persons. This town, or individuals therein, set apart
a tract of land lying northwest of Smelt Poud, so that
needy families could have therefrom what wood was
necessary for their use and comfort. It has ever since
been known as the Continental lot or Geld.

Spirit Pasture. The swampy pasture, situated be-
tween the junctions of the old and new roads to Plym-
outh, at Rocky Nook, has for au unkuown period
borne the name given above. In the olden times,
when the belief in ghosts, witches, aud hobgoblins
really produced an effect upon the minds of men, this
locality was credited with being the abode of such
beings, and many aged persons have given their testi-
mony of the courage it required to pass the place in
the night-time, for any unusual sound, even the rus-
tling of a leaf, would be enough to seud a thrill of
horror to the faint-hearted. It is related that a cer-
tain judge, while on his way to attend a session of
court at Plymouth, was detained, so that he did not
reach Kingston until after dark, and while passing the
dreaded place heard a most dismal souud, accompanied
at intervals by the clanking of a chain. At first a
sudden fear came upon him, but he was determined



272



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



to know what was the cause of the noises that had so
startled him, and he therefore called at the house of
Col. Gray, who lived just opposite, and informed him
what he had heard. The colonel took his lantern and
walked with the judge into the pasture in the direc-
tion whence the sounds proceeded, all the while feel-
ing doubtful what discovery they would make in that
lonely spot where spirits were believed to abound.
An old horse had been fastened with a chain about
his leg, but had broken away from his confinement
and fallen into a large hole (where rocks had been
taken from the ground), in such a manner that the
poor old animal was unable to get out. When the
judge and colonel reached the place, the ''spiritual
manifestation" was explained. In more modern times,
as the old superstitious ideas have in a measure passed
away, many have been the plots and schemes laid to
frighten people in that locality, especially those who
were known to be returning from some jovial occasion.
Within a few years the appearance of this tract of
land has greatly changed, for the swampy portion has
been cleared, yet it will probably continue to be known
as the Spirit or Ghost Pasture.

Raboth is a name applied to a locality at Rocky
Nook, south of that last mentioned, and not far from
the places where the Gray families formerly lived.

Sunderland is the name of a small tract of land
just at the ledge of rocks where the Old Colony Rail-
road passes, and near the place that was known in
the last ceutury as Cushman's Landing. It was
bought of Jonathan Cushmau by William Rand, Jr.,
in 1763, who probably gave the name to it, as his
father, Rev. William Rand, was of Sunderland, Mass.,
before his settlement in Kingstou.

Howland's Poiut was at the extremity of the Nook,
at the mouth of Jones River. It was formerly a
more projecting point than at present, so that it re-
quired greater care in sailing vessels iuto the river.

Flat House Dock was a short distance up the river
from Sunderland, and is mentioned in the records as
the place where Joseph Bradford, the son of the Gov-
ernor, lived.

Pall Mall is an ancient name for a tract of meadow-
land on the south of the river above the Forge Pond,
at Triphammer. The hill ou the Bridgewater road,
in the immediate vicinity, is sometimes called by the
same name.

Cohorse is a locality on the opposite side of the
river from that last described. Worcester says, " The
term cohors, or cors, originally signified an enclosure
for sheep or poultry, and was afterwards used to
designate the number of men which could stand within
such an enclosure."



Egypt is the name of a section on the road to Sil-
ver Lake, between Wappiug and Northwest, and
where the railroad passes.

Centennial Ground is not an ancient landmark,
but will be known in the future as the place where
the services attending the celebration of the one hun-
dred and fiftieth anniversary of the incorporation of
the town were held, June 27, lS7u\

Nick's Rock is near Monk's Hill ou the east, and
is one of the points given in the boundary line be-
tween Kingston and Plymouth.

Pulpit Rock is a bowlder of considerable size, situ-
ated about half a mile south of the estate of William
A. Thomas.

Devil's Rock is a quarter of a utile west of the
mouth of Jones River, in the section that was, until
a few years ago, a part of Duxbury, and is now very
near the present boundary. Another small bowlder
near the iron-works at Stony Brook, on the land of
Deacon Foster, bore the same name, and youthful
curiosity was often aroused in beholding uu the top
of it a depression that very much resembled a human
footprint of large dimensions.

The Punch-Bowls. This was a name given to the
small, deep depressions on the hill north of Stony
Brook village, near the junction of the Boston and
Duxbury roads.



CHAPTER V.



ECCLESIASTICAL, EDUCATIONAL, AND POLITICAL—
CUURCH HISTORY AFTER 1SU0— SCHOOLS— TEM-
PERANCE REFORM— ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY.

Church History after 1800. — As previously
stated, the history of the church thus far has been
given in the annals of the town, but soon after the
beginuing of this century a secession from the First
Church took place, followed in twenty-five years
more by another, so that it becomes necessary to
write separate histories of the three church organiza-
tions that have since existed.

Rev. Zephaniah Willis continued as minister of
the old church until 1828. He had been settled
forty-seven years before any action was taken by the
parish to make any changes in the church attains ;
but on the 27th of March, 1S27, a committee was
appointed to wait on Rev. Mr. Willis and consult
with him, and he authorized them to report to the
parish " that he requests that a colleague may be
settled with him." Oct. 15, 1827, Rev. W. H. White



HISTORY OF KINGSTON.



273



received a call " to settle as colleague with the Rev.
Mr. Willis," but he declined the iuvitatioo, and set-
tled in Littleton. On the 11th of March, 1828, Mr.
Willis sent the following communication to the com-
mittee :

" Oeuili men, — Wishing to do all thut is possible to promote
the peace and prosperity of the society, und to meet their de-
sires, I du hereby relinquish the pecuniary contract which re-
lates to me as their minister into their hands, to be disposed of
as they see lit. I am induced to this step by many considera-
tions, only one of which need be mentioned, — the propositions
which have been made for my assistance and relief in distress.
" Yours, with respect,

" Z. Willis."

On the same day it was voted " That as Mr. Willis
has relinquished his pecuniary contract with the



and the work of raising the buildiug commenced on
the 12th of June. The society held their services
in the town hall until the new church was completed,
and there Rev. Mr. Edes closed his labors in town,
preaching his final sermon on the 26th of October.
The new meeting-house was dedicated Wednesday
A.M., Dec. 10, 1851. Rev. Dr. Kendall, of Plymouth,
was the first minister to speak from its pulpit. Rev.
James Richardson, Jr., was the pastor from July,
1S53, to October, 1855.

Rev. Charles J. Bowen was installed April 30,
1856, and continued with the society about four
years. During his ministry (1S58), his father-in-law,
Rev. Dr. Samuel Gilman, of Charleston, S. C, died
in this town while on a visit to Mr. Bowen's family.



parish, he be released from the performance of pas- 1 Rev. Joseph H. Phipps, who had been settled in
toral duties amougst us from aud after the 18th of | Bridgewater, was installed May 26, 1861, and re-



March, 1828, which have heretofore made a part of
that contract." Jonathan Cole, of Salem, a graduate
of Harvard Uuiversity, 1825, was the next minister.
He accepted a call, and was ordained Jan. 21, 1829.
He continued in the ministry here little more than



mained with the society ten years, until his sad death,
which occurred July 20, 1871. Rev. C. Y. DeNo-
mandie was installed Oct. 9, 1872, and still continues
the minister of the society. Since the year 1800, the
office of deacon has been held by Martin Parris,



six years, aud was dismissed April 25, 1835. Rev. | George Russell, Jedediah Holmes, Jr., John Prince,



John D. Sweet, of Norton, who was settled at South-
boro', received a call in September, 1835. He was
graduate of Brown University in 1829. His instal-
lation took place Oct. 21, 1835, and his ministry ter-
minated Oct. 21, 1843. Mr. Sweet died in East
Boston, December, 1852, and was buried in King-
ston, Jan. 1, 1853. Augustus R. Pope, of Boston,
a graduate of Harvard University, 1839, received a
call Feb. 27, 1S43, and was ordained April 19th of
the same year. During his ministry the venerable
Rev. Zephaniah Willis died (March 6, 1847), aged
ninety years and ten days. On the 14th of March
Mr. Pope preached a discourse commemorative of his
life and ministry, that was afterwards published. His
ministry in this town ended July 15, 1849. He
afterwards settled in Somerville, where he died May
24, 185S. Rev. Henry F. Edes supplied the pulpit
for a time, and he preached the last sermon that was
delivered in the old meeting-house on the afternoon
of May 4, 1851, from the text, " Who is left amoug
you that saw this house in her first glory ? and how
do ye see it now ? is it not in your eyes in comparison
of it as nothing?" (Haggai ii. 3.) This, the second
meeting-house of the town, which had stood fifty-
three years, was taken down, the work of demolition
commeuciug on the 6th of May, and in a few days
the two-steepled edifice, that had long been a promi-
nent object in the town, was removed from sight,



Nathan Chandler, James Foster, and others. Deacon
Foster was the last of the older deacons. He died
July 13; 1878, in his eighty-fifth year.

1884. Within the past year Mrs. Joseph S. Beal
made a munificent donation of ten thousand dollars
to this church. It was in memory of her father, and
she directed it to be known as the " Joseph Holmes
Fund."

The Baptist Church. — Until after 1800 there
was no one in this town belonging to the Baptist de-
nomination. Mr. David Beal, a prominent merchant,
was for a while the only professor of that faith, and
he had united with the church in Boston of which
Dr. Baldwin was pastor. In 1802, about thirty-eight
persons, with their families, left the old parish on ac-
count of the incorporation of the ministerial fund,
and for some time they were not members of any
religious society. Rev. Ezra Keudall, a Baptist
minister in Middleboro 1 , soon came among these
people, and held meetings one Sabbath each mouth
in the house of Mr. Stephen Bradford. The upper
part of the house being in an unfinished state would
accommodate quite a large congregation, and there
the Baptist Church of Kingston was organized in
1804. Dr. Baldwin, on that occasion, preached the
sermon from the text, " Ye are God's husbandry, ye
are God's building." (1 Corinthians iii. 9.) Many
of the seceders from the old society embraced the



much to the regret of many. The present house of | tenets of the Baptists, and soon quite a flourishing
worship was built upon the same site as the former, society was doing its work. In 1806 they erected a
18



J74



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



house of worship that is still standing, and now
known as Fuller's Hall. Rev. Mr. Kendall preached
for them some time, but on the 23d of May, 1808,
he gave his farewell sermon from the text, " It is ex-
pedient for you that I go away." Samuel Glover, a
graduate of Brown University, was the next minister.
He began his work with the church in 1808, soon
after Mr. Kendall retired, but was not ordained until
March 21, 1S10. He labored with the society eigh-
teen years, until the autumn of 1S26, when he was
succeeded by llev. John Allen, who was settled in
November of that year. Duriug Mr. Allen's minis-
try a new house of worship was built, the same now
occupied by the society, and it was dedicated Nov. 11,
1S35. Rev. Mr. Stowe, of Boston, preached the
sermon from the text, " Above all these things, put
on charity, which is the bond of perfectness." (Colos-
sians iii. 14.) Mr. Allen remained until November,
1837, and Rev. John S. White was the pastor for
four years. From November, 1841, until October,

1842, there was no settled minister. Rev. George J.
Carleton, an evangelist, was with the society during
the winter of 1841-42, and by his labors many were
added to the church. He baptized fifty-seven per-
sons. In October, 1842, Rev. Thomas E. Keely, of
Haverhill, was settled. The following year (1843)
will be remembered for the excitement produced by
the preaching and prophecies of William Miller, who
had predicted that the end of all things terrestrial
would come on a certain day of that year. His fol-
lowers were called Millerites, or, as they termed them-
selves, Adventists. In this church it was the cause
of a very serious division. A large number of the
prominent members became converts to the new faith,
and many meetings were held for the purpose of pro-
moting the doctrines of the new prophet, but at last
the church took action, and on the 25th of August,

1843, by a vote of thirty-seven to twenty-four, re-
fused the use of the meeting-house to the Advent
members. This created an intense feeling, causing
many to withdraw from their usual place of attend-
ance upon public worship, and they fitted up a hall
that they called a tabernacle, and thus they held their
meetings for several years. Some of these Advent-
ists returned to their former place of worship, while
others never renewed their feelings of attachment to
their old church. Mr. Keely's ministry terminated
iu 1853. Siuce that time the following ministers
have been settled over the society : Rev. George B.
Williams, January, 1S54-C0 ; Rev. Kimball Holt,
1SC0-63; Rev. Josiah II. Tilton, Oct. 4, 1863, to
Nov. 11, 1SGG; Rev. Titus H. Merriman, April,
1SG7, to Oct. 18, 1S71 ; Rev. Mr. Crawley, 1872, to



October, 1874; Rev. Horace B. Marshall, March 17,
i 1875-79; Mr. Burdett, who was ordained Sept. 2,
1880, but soon left for the missionary service iu a
foreign country; Rev. Mr. Lane, who succeeded him ;
and Rev. Mr. Gunn, who was settled here in April,
1S83.

The Second Congregational, or Mayflower
Church. — In the year 1827 several members of the
First Church wished to form a new Evangelical
Church, and they requested letters of dismission from
that with which they were conuected. The request
was not granted, and an application for a mutual
council was also refused, so they deemed it expedient
to call a council themselves, and refer the whole sub-
ject to them. The council thus called met at the
academy March 19, 1828, and consisted of Rev.
Samuel Green and Mr. William Ropes, of the Union
Church in Boston ; Rev. Elijah Dexter and Deacon
Cephas Bumpus, of the church in Plympton ; Rc-v.
Frederic Freeman and Mr. John Harlow, of the
Third Church in Plymouth. Rev. Mr. Dexter was
chosen moderator, and Rev. Mr. Freeman scribe.
After due deliberation, the council passed the follow-
ing vote : " That in view of the statements made to
this council, it is expedient that the connection of the
brethren and sisters respectively, who have petitioned
for a dismission from the First Congregational Church
in this place, in reference to being organized into a
new evangelical church, be dissolved, and that said
connection be, and hereby is, ecclesiastically dissolved,
according to the Cambridge platform and the usages
of the New England churches." Rev. Mr. Green
preached a sermon in the afternoon of the same day
at the Baptist meeting-house, which had beeu kindly
offered for the purpose, at which time and place the
church was organized iu due form. The original
members of the church were James Cuslinian, John
Cook, Tilden Holmes, Nathaniel Cushman, Martin
Cushman, George Russell, Hannah Drew, Abigail
Foster, Persia Brewster, Lucy Wadsworth, Rebecca
Cushman, Sally Cook, Zilpah Waterman, Sarah Cubb,
and Francis Collier.

A house of worship was erected duriug the year
1829, and until it was finished the church and so-
ciety held their meetings in the academy, the use of
which had been kindly permitted by its owner, Rev.
Martin Parria.

While many of the churches of our land were very
negligent in protesting against the great evils of their
times, this church, by its action in those days, is now
able to show a good record, for, Dec. 13, 1829, it
voted unanimously " to become a temperance church,
relinquishing entirely the use of ardeut spirits, except



HISTORY OF KINGSTON.



275



as a medicine, and not to receive hereafter to the
church any person who continues its use."

Jan. 1, 1838, it was voted, unanimously, "that
this church withhold fellowship from slave-holding
ministers and slave-holding members of churches, ou
the ground that while the church of Christ continue
to fellowship such a system as slavery, the evils con-
nected with it will continue to increase." John Cook
and Nathaniel Cushmau were chosen deacons April
27, 1829. Rev. Plummer Chase preached for several
months after the church was organized. Rev. John
W. Salter, who was ordained as their minister April
29, 1829, was dismissed Oct. 13, 1830. Rev. Josiah
W. Powers was installed June 15, 1831, and dismissed
February, 1834. Rev. Abraham Jackson was in-
stalled Nov. 12, 1834, and dismissed October, 1837.
Rev. Erasmus D. Moore was installed May 15, 1839,
and dismissed June 15, 1840. Rev. Henry L. Ham-
mond was ordained as an evangelist, and officiated
one year. Rev. Joseph Peckham was the next min-
ister. He was born in Bolton, Mass., April 23, 1816,
but his parents removed to Westminster in 1821.
He attended the public schools and academy in the
latter town, and then entered Amherst College, where
he graduated in 1S37. He was then in Andover
Theological Seminary one year, and in 1838 was pre-
ceptor of the Atkinson Academy, New Hampshire.
He entered the Union Theological Seminary, New
York City, December, 1839, and graduated June,
1842. On the 30th of November, 1842, he was or-
dained as an evangelist in Kingston, but he continued
to be the pastor for the larger part of the forty-two
years following. In 185G he went to Cannon Falls,
Minn., where he resided until September, 1858. In
that time he was a member of the convention which
was called to frame a Constitution for that State, and
was also a member of its first Legislature, where he
introduced the bill for the establishment of three
normal schools. His services were considered very
valuable, especially those pertaining to educational
affairs. Rev. L. Famhani and Rev. Byron Bosworth
supplied the pulpit during Mr. Peckham's absence at
the West, but soon after his return he resumed his
labors among the people with whom he had so long
been counectcd. Owing to ill health, in 1876 he was
obliged to have an assistant, and Rev. Mr. Kilburn
supplied the pulpit. Of the connection of Rev. Mr.
Peckham with the public schools in the town, mention
has been made in its appropriate place. He resigned
the ministry in 1882, but his resignation was never
formally accepted. His successor, Rev. C. L. Mer-
riam, was ordained and installed over the church Sept.
13, 1882. This church had been designated as the



Second Congregational until a few years since, when
it was named the Mayflower Church.

Schools. — Nearly all of the important items that
have been recorded in regard to the schools of King-
ston previous to 1800 have been noted in the fore-
going annals.

Giles Rickard's name as schoolmaster appears first
in 1730, and as late as 1759. Supposing it to be the
same person, he probably taught school in the town
for at least thirty years. He was of Plymouth, and
the name of Giles Rickard appeared for several gen-
erations in the same family, which fact may leave a
doubt in some minds whether the Kingston teacher
of the two dates was the same person or a father and
son. On the 8th of March, 1756, the following let-
ter was sent to the town clerk, Hon. William Sever:

" Mn. Clerk : Sir, — I would pray you to read ye following
lines iu your town meeting.

11 Gentlemen, — It has been my Usual Practice to send in a few
lines every Annual Meeting, but I have no great matter at this
time. If you be pleased to accept of me to Serve you another
Year to keep School, I will endeavor to Discharge my duty as
well as I am Capable, and since (Gentlemen) you have had ye
good news of our Sovereign Lord George's promising to Defray
ye Charge of Lust Summer's Expeditions (by which great Gift
it will much Lessen the Taxes of this Province it may be for
many years to come) I hope inasmuch as I am One of 11 is
Majestie's Subjects, you will sutler me to have a Little benefit
of Our gracious King's Generosity and mako a Little addition
to my Salary, if so I Shall be very thankful altho' it be but a
Little.

" Gentlemen, I Remain your humble Servant,

"Giles Kukaiid."

About 1770, Peleg Wadsworth (afterwards Gen.
Wadsworth) taught the school for a while in town.
Mr. Esterbrook, afterwards a minister iu Athol,
Mass., was employed for a time.

In May, 1794, Mr. Martin Parris was engaged at
a salary of seventy pounds per year, " so long as he
shall give satisfaction to the town." He continued
to serve the town for about eight years, and after-
wards went to Plymouth, where he taught school
awhile, then returned to Kingston. After he gave up
teaching he was settled as a minister in Marshficld
for about twenty years. He died in Kingston in
1839.

Persons are now living who received instruction
from him. Of the schoolmasters who followed Mr.
Parris previous to 1830 the names of John Thomas,
Hersey B. Goodwin, Freemau B. Howland, Morton
Eddy, Samuel Ring, and Jason Wiunett are remem-
bered. After the establishment of the Massachu-
setts Board of Education the interest iu the common
schools increased the same as in other towns of the
State. In 1839 only $800 was appropriated for the
support of the schools ; 1840, $1000 ; 1844, §1200 ;



270



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



1845, $1300; 18-iS, $1000; 1850, $2000. After
the high school was established (1S07) the annual
appropriation was much increased, so that at the pres-
ent time it is about four thousand dollars. Of the
teachers employed in the town between the years
1S30 and 1850, the following are brought to mind:
E. GirTord, David Thayer, William H. Whitman
(now clerk of the courts for Plymouth County),
Joseph S. Beal, Jonathan, Arnold, Jr., S. H. Stone,
Jesse E. Keith (now judge of probate, Plymouth
County), Benjamin W. Harris (representative in
Congress), Lewis E. Noyes, G. S. Newcomb, Henry
M. Miller, Miss Molina Darling, Miss Abby J. Bos-
worth, Miss Lucy F. Bartlett, Miss Eveline Holmes,
Miss L. T. Bradford, Miss Catharine ltussell, Miss
S. C. Simonds, Miss Jane Foster, Miss H. C. Drew,
Miss B. P. Burgess.

In 1839 there were but five school districts in the
town ; but in 1841 District No. 6, Stony Brook Dis-
trict, was created. The district system continued
until March 26, I860, wheu it was abolished. As
early as 1S47, Rev. Joseph Peckham, in his school
report, suggested that a high school be established ;
but it was not until twenty years after that the work
was accomplished. Tlieu a handsome building was
erected, at a cost of about ten thousand dollars, and



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 63 of 118)