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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of said town of Lakeville, requiring him to notify and warn the
inhabitants thereof qualified to vote in town affairs to meet at
; the time and place therein appointed, for the purpose of choos-
ing all such town officers as towns are by law authorized and
required to choose at their annual meetings, and said warrant
shall be served by posting up copies thereof, attested by tho
person to whom the same is directed, in four public places at
least in said town, and fourteen days at least before the time
of meeting. The selectmen of Middleborough shall, before said
meeting, prepare a list of voters in said town of Lakeville qual-
ified to vute at said meeting, and shall deliver the same to the
person presiding at said meeting before the choice of moderator

"Sect. 9. This act shall tako effect from and after its passage.

*' Approved by the Governor, May 13, 185:1."

When by the Legislature of Massachusetts it had
beeu determined to divide the town of Middleboro',
and set off the southwesterly portion to constitute a
new and distinct town, notice was given to that body



of the legal voters of Middleboro' residing within the
territorial limits of that portion it was proposed to
detach that they should assemble themselves together,
and iu a legal and proper way and manner determine
upon a name for the proposed new town.

Those legal voters were accordingly notified, and
in pursuance thereof were convened together in the
school-house, standing near the present site of the
town hall, in Lakeville, that meeting being held on
Saturday, the 29th day of January, 1853.

Several ballotings were there and then had to de-
termine upon and adopt a name, and three names were
proposed from which to select, viz. : Bristol, Laketon,
and Nelson. Bristol was the name proposed for
adoption by Oliver Pierce, Esq., who, it was reported,
offered as an inducement the present of such books
as the new town would be required to have in which
to keep its public records. Laketon was the name'
presented by Mr. Austin J. Roberts, then of what is
now Lakeville (but now of Berkeley), who claimed its
adoption on account of its singularly marked expressive-
ness and great propriety, situated as the town is in
the midst of several of the most beautiful sheets of
iulaud waters of which the State of Massachusetts can
boast, — those Middleboro' Lakes, or, as more famil-
iarly designated, G/nut Ponds. Oliver Pierce, Esq.,
did not present himself personally at the meeting to
advocate the adoption of Bristol as a name, but Mr.
Roberts did, and he, by every argument in his power,
labored assiduously to bring to his aid the favorable
opinions, secure the ultimate conclusions, as well as the
votes of those who were thus aud there to determine
this matter.

But there were others present less demonstrative,
as fully persuaded and equally determined, who had
come to that meeting expressly to support, by their
arguments and votes, the adoption of Nelson as a
name for the proposed new town, and who could not
be induced to prove false to their convictions of pro-
priety and right by the offer of a few dollars' worth
of books to vote for Bristol as the name, nor yet were
they convinced by the finely-worded appeals of Mr.
Roberts, whose zeal and rhetoric upon their heads,
hearts, and actions were apparently wholly lost, as the
voters present, by a decided majority, finally fixed
upon Nelson as the name by which the proposed new
town should be known and called ; and this was ac-
complished and intended principally as a well-merited
compliment to Job Pierce Nelson, Esq., to whose in-
defatigable exertions the town, much more than to
any other one persou, owed the successful issue of the
attempt to become detached and set off from Middle-
boro'. The legal voters of what became Lakeville beinir

assembled Jan. 29, 1853, by a decided majority ten-
dered the high compliment of uamiug the new town for
him, and that it be incorporated under the name of
Nelson. But Mr. Nelson discouraged ihe movement,
aud the name of Lakeville was finally accepted as a
compromise between the majority who had voted to
call the town Nelson and the minority who desired
the name of Laketon. 1

The first meeting of the legal voters of Lakeville
for the choice of town otficers was held in the school-
house, near where the public hall of that towu now
stands, upon the 2Sth day of May, 1853, and made
choice of the following-named persons as town offi-
cers : Moderator, Harrison Staples ; Selectmen and
Assessors, Reuben Hafford, Esq., Ezra McCully, and
Nathaniel Sampson ; Town Clerk, Isaac Sampson ;
Overseers of the Poor, Eleazer Richmond, Job Peirce,
and Ebenezer W. Peirce; School Committee, Harri-
son Staples, Calvin D. Kingman, and William T.
Jenney; Constables, Abner C. Barrows and Earl S.

The town clerks of Lakeville have been as follows :

Isaac Sampson, from May 28, 1853, to March 25, 1854 ; Deacon
Horatio Nelson, from March 25, 1854, to April 2, 1855;
Isaac Sampson, from April 2, 1855, to March 3, 1S56;
William T. Jenney, from March 3, 185ti, to March 7, 1 859 ;
James M. Sampson, from March 7, 1859, to Sept. 22, 1862;
Lieut. Churchill T. Westgatc, from Sept. 22, lsti2, to
March, 188.3; Lieut. James M. Sampson, from March,

1883, to March 24, 1884; Jones Godfrey, from March 24,

1884, and is still in oflice.

The town clerk has usually held also the offices of
collector of taxes aud town treasurer.


1853, May 28.— Reuben Hafford, Esq., Ezra McCully, and
Nathaniol Sampson.

1854, March 25. — Earl Sears, John Sampson, and Job T. Tobey.

1855, April 2. — John Sampson, Job T. Tubey, and Nathan S.

1856, March 3. — Job T. Tobey, John Montgomery, and Isaac

1857. — Job T. Tobey, John Montgomery, and Cephas ilaskins.
1858. — Job T. Tobey, Zattu Pickens, and Cephas Jlaskins.
1859, March 7.— Job T. Toboy, Zattu Pickens, and Thomas

Doggett, Esq.
I860.— Thomas Doggett, Esq., Elisha If. Williams, and Asa T.

Winslow, Esq.
1861.— Job T. Tobey, Eleazer Richmond, and Charles II.

1862. — JobT. Tobey, Cephas Haskins, and Charles II. Sampson.
1863. — Cephas Haskins, Job Peirce, Esq., and Capt. Elisha G.

1864. — Cephas Haskins, Job Peirce, Esq., and Charles II.


1 It is worthy of notice that in Norfolk County, ;it about the
same time, a man gave one hundred thousand dullars to induce
a town to adopt his surname, and here a man declined the honor
proffered to hitu without money and without price.




1305. — Cephas Haskins, Job Peiree, Esq.,aud Silas D. Pickens.

1SGG.— Job T. Tobey, Myrick Haskins, and Leander Winslow.

1SG7. — Le.mder Wiuslow, Warren H. Southworth, and Josiah
I; Bump.

1S6S. — John F. Montgomery, Benjamin H. Reed, and Edward
W. Huckett.

1300. — benjamin II. Heed, James P. Peiree, and Horatio

1870. — James P. Peiree, Benjamin H. Heed, ond Henry L.
W'iiliii ins, Esq.

1ST1.— Reuben Hafford, Esq., Sidney T. Nelson, and Leonard
Washburn, Esq.

1872. — P.cubcu Ilallord, Esq., Sidney T. Nelson, and Leonard
Washburn, Esq.

1S73. — James P. Peiree, Sidney T. Nelson, and Leonard Wash-
burn, Esq.

1S74. — James P. Peiree, Benjamin H. Reed, and Leonard
Washburn, Esq.

1S75. — James P. Peiree, Benjamin II. Reed, and one vacancy,
as the person chosen declined.

1S76.— Benjamin H. Reed, John Shaw, and Leonard Rich-

1377. — Benjamin II. Reed, John Shaw, and Leonard Rich-

1878. — John Shaw, Jones Godfrey, and Josiah F. Tinkham.

137'J — John Shaw, Sidney T. Nelson, and Benjamin II. Reed.

18SU.— John Shaw, James P. Peiree, and Siduey T. Nelson.

1881. — John Shaw, James P. Peiree, and Sidney T. Nelson.

1SS2. — John Shaw, Elbridgc Cushman, and Gustavus G. An-

1833. — Johu Shaw, Gustavus G. Andrews, and John II, Paun.

1834, March 24. — John Shaw, Gustavus G. Andrews, and John
II. Paun.

The selectmen of Lakeville have usually beeu the
assessors also, but there has occasionally been some
variation to that general rule.

The following-named Lakeville gentlemen have
been elected to a seat in the State Legislature or — as
is generally termed —


Sessions Commented.

Myrick Haskins Jan. 3, 1855.

Calviu D. Kingman " 7,1857.

JubT.Tohey " 5, 185'J.

Austin J. Roberts " 1,1802.

Kleazer Richmond " 1869.

Job Peiree " —,1870.

Cephas lloskins " 1871.

James P. Peiree " 2,1378.

Leonard Washburn " 1880.

Sprague S. Stetson " 3,1883.

The names of Lakeville gentlemen who have held
county offices are as follows :


Harrison Staples, for three terms, or nine
years' service, commencing in 1863.


Date of Appointment.

Elkanah Leonard June 22, 1736.

John Nelson July 18, 1791.

James Washburn Feb. 20, 1304.

Samuel Pickeus Jan. 23, 1303.

Peter Hoar Feb. 5, 1811.

William Canedy Aug. 3, 1312.

Date of Appointment.

Noah Clark Feb. 3, ISIS.

Amos Washburn Sept. 7, 1821.

Ebcnezor Pickens Jan. 10, 1822.

Abner Clark " 10,1823.

Abiel P. Boothe Aug. 20, 1823.

Oliver Peiree Feb. 17, 1824.

Joshua lloskins, Jr April 21, 1*32.

Luther Washburn Aug. 25, ls:;5.

Abiior T. Harvey Jan. 27, I8S7.

Silas Pickens March 15, 1837.

Tisdale Leonard Sept. 2U, 1S43.

Apollos Haskins March 31, 1840.

AsaT. Winslow " 10,1851.

Job P. Nelson May 14, 1831.

Reuben Hatlord " 11,1851.

Thomas Doggett Jan. 1, 1853.

Harrison Staples May 31, 1S5G.

Jirah Winslow 1S;>7.

Job Peiree 18 — .

Klcazer Richmond lflfi-.

Warren H. Soutbworth 186-.

Henry L.Williams ISO-.

Churchill T. Westgate May 22, 1807.

Leonard Washburn 1S7-.

James P. Peiree.


Dale of Appointment.

Nathaniel Foster Jan. 11, 17-19.

Nathaniel Foster, Jr March 4, 1782.

Mark Haskell Feb. 22, 179'J.

Dean Briggs Jan. 23, 1808.

Peter 11. Peiree Feb. 10, 1811.

Abiatha Briggs May 15, 1812.

Ebcnezur Strobridge Feb. 11, 182(1.

EbenezerW. Peireo Jan. 7, 1854.

The foregoing lists of justices of the peace and
coroners for the county of Plymouth embrace the
names of those persons who held their commissions
while residing within the limits of what, since May
13, 1853, has been the township of Lakeville, and
before that a part of Middleboro'. The commission
of a justice of the peace remained in force seven
years from the date of appointment. Many of those
whose names are herein given as justices of the peace
were reappointed at the expiration of seven years
from the dates of first or origiual appointments.

The commission of a coroner was formerly conferred
for life or good behavior in said office. The office
has now been abolished, the position of medical ex-
aminer taking its place, and that officer attending to
the most of its former duties.

Post-Offices and Postmasters. — While Lakeville
remained a part of the town of Middleboro' a post-
office was established near the present location of
Lakeville town hall, and James Washburn, Esq., ap-
pointed postmaster. He was a lawyer by profession,
removed to and commenced practice in New Bedford,
and the location of Middleboro' post-office appears to
have been thereupon changed, and no post-office was
henceforth kept within that part of Middleboro' that,
in 1853, became Lakeville for several years.

A post-office was re-established in Middleboro',
that part now Lakeville, in or about the year 1824,
and officially designated and known as the Assuwom-



net Post- Office. Daniel Smith was appointed post-

The name as early as 1S31 was changed from
Assawomset to West Middleboro' Post-office, aud Elias
Sampson, Jr., appointed postmaster. The office was
again for several years discontinued, and when re-estab-
lished was located near the Lakeville Depot, upon the
Old Colony and Newport Railroad, with Cephas Has-
kins as postmaster.



King Philip's War. — This war, the open hostilities
of which were commenced in June, 1675, was the
first or earliest in which the people of New England
became engaged, after that section of country, now
Lakeville, began to be settled upon by European

One of the numerous battles of King Philip's war
was fought in what was then Middleboro', but now

Tuspaquin, a son-in-law of " good old Massasoit,"
and brother-in-law of King Philip, was chief of the
Assawomset and Nemasket Indians, having his head-
quarters upon Assawomset Neck, but controlling the
entire country for many miles around, so that in truth,
at least for a time, he might have repeated, —

" I am monarch of nil I survey,
Jly ri^ht there is noue to dispute''

in all Middleboro' and large parts of the adjoining towns
of Dartmouth aud Rochester, together with what has
since become Carver, Marion, Mattapoiset, and Ware-
ham, and so strong and numerous was his support that
none dared attempt to carry the war into his country,
but felt that they were doing well to resist him suc-
cessfully in his attacks made upou Bridgewater and

King Philip's war had been waged nearly one entire
year, and still Tuspaquin occupied in several adjoin-
ing towns contiguous to what is now Lakeville nearly
or quite all the territory hurriedly left aud wholly
abandoned by its European inhabitants at the opening
of that cruel war and commencement of the bloody
aud disastrous conflict.

That most excellent and reliable authority — Drake's
" Book of the Iudians" — informs us that in the spriug
of 1676 Tuspaquin had about three hundred warriors,
aud that he with this force was marching from place

to place in high expectation of humbling the pride
of his enemies.

Although not certainly known, it has come to be
generally considered that Tuspaquin, with his Assa-
womset and Nemasket Indians, made the attack upon
Scituate April 20, 1676, burning the houses of
Joseph Sylvester, William Blackmore, Nicholas Swede,
William Parker, Robert Stetson, Jr., Mr. Sundlake,
Mr. Sutcliffe, Mr. Holmes, John Buck, and some
others, as about nineteen houses were theu destroyed
by fire, and also a mill owned by Cornet Robert Stet-
son, killing William Blackmore and mortally wound-
ing John James. Gen. Josias Wiuslow, writing
about that time, said, concerning the Indians, l; Taun-
ton and Bridgewater men are confident that they are
planting about Assawomset or Dartmouth ; and did
yesterday track two hundred of them, as they judge,
towards Assawomset."

Bridgewater also sustained two attacks, in one or
both of which Tuspaquin was undoubtedly the leader
of the Indians therein engaged. The first attack
upou Bridgewater occurred Sunday forenoon, April
9, 1676, when Robert Latham's house was burned,
some buildings stripped of their contents, and some
horses killed and several horses carried away. The
second attack upon Bridgewater was upon the 8th
of May, 1676, concerning which Barber's " Histori-
cal Collections," page 531, says, " On May 8th about
three hundred Indians, with Tuspaquin for their
leader, made another assault on the east end of the
town, on the south side of the river, and set fire to
many of the houses ; but the inhabitants, issuing from
their houses, fell upon them so resolutely that the
enemy were repelled."

The Indians then renewed their attack, but upou
the north side of the river, where they burned two
houses and one barn. The entire loss of the English
at that time in buildings destroyed, upon both sides
of the river, was thirteen houses and four barns. An
effort was soon after made to prove that Tuspaquin
headed one or more other expeditions in which the
English were made to sutler the loss of life, limb, aud
property, and those expeditions in which he did lead
were doubtless all fitted out from Assawomset aud
Betty's Necks, now formiug parts of the township of

The cheerful anticipations of Tuspaquin were not
realized, for the sad reverses that the Indian cause
was made to suffer about that time in several other
localities required him to give up at least for the
most part his aggressive policy aud confine himself to
acting upon the defensive. Awashonks. the squaw
sachem of the Saconet Indians, becoming disheartened



by the turn that affairs were taking now with her fol-
lowers, left King Philip and the support of the Iu-
dian cause, transferring her allegiance to the English,
and with her chief warriors went to Capt. Benjamin
Church, and told him they were all engaged to fight
for the English, and he might call forth all or any of
them at any time, as he saw occasion to fight the

Quite a number of English soldiers now volun-
teered to serve under Capt. Church, and these, with
the Sacouet Indians, made up what Church called a
" tjuud company" to qualify him to command which
the Governor of Plymouth Colony couferred upon
him the following commission :

" Capt. Benjamin Church, you are hereby nominated, ordered,
commissioned, and empowered to raise a compuny of volun-
teers of about 2UU men, English and Indians, the English not
exceeding the number of sixty, of which company, or so many
of them us you can obtain, or shall see oause at present to im-
prove, you are to take the command and conduct, and to lead
tliem forth now and hereafter at such time and into such places
within this colony or elsewhere within the confederate colonies
as you shall think tit, to discover, pursue, fight, surprise, de-
stroy, or subdue our Indian enemies, or any part or parties
of them that by the providence of iiod you may meet with, or
tliem or any of them by treaty and composition to receive to
mercy, if you see reason, provided they be not murderous
rogues, or such as have been principal actors in those villanies.

" And forasmuch as your company may be uncertain, and the
persous often changed, you are also hereby empowered with the
advice of your company to choose and commission a Lieutenant
and to establish Serjeants and Corporals as you see cause.

11 And you herein improving your best judgment and dis-
cretion and utmost ability faithfully to serve the interest of
God, his Majesty's interest, aud the interest of the colony, and
carefully governing your said compuny at home and abroad.

'* These shall be unto you full and ample commission, war-
rant, and discharge.

" Given under the public seal this 24th day of July, 16713.
" per Jos. Winslow, Governor."

Capt. Church, iu his book entitled " King Philip's
War," informs us that " receiving his commission,
he marched the same night into the woods, got to
Middleboro' before day, aud aa soon as the light
appeared took into the woods aud swampy thickets
towards a place where they had some reason to expect
to meet with a parcel of Narragansett Indians, with
some others that belonged to Mount Hope.

" Coming near where they expected them, Capt.
Church's Iudian scout discovered the enemy, aud
well observing their tires and postures, returned with
the intelligence to their captain, who gave such di-
rections for the surrounding of them as had the de-
sired effect, surprising them on every side so unex-
pectedly that they were all taken, uot so much aa one
escaped." What part of Middleboro' this occurred
in does uot clearly appear, but it is highly probable
that it was in that part now Lakeville.

At a little later date Capt. Church, with his com-
pany, arrived at Nemasket " about the breaking of
the daylight, and discovered a company of the
enemy ; but his time was too short to wait for gain-
ing advantage, and therefore ran right in upou
them, surprised and captivated about sixteen of tliem,
who, upon examination, informed him that Tuspa-
quiu, a very famous captain among the enemy, was
at Assawomset with a numerous company." Church
was obliged to go from Nemasket to Taunton to guard
what was probably a provision train, and he said,
" The carts must be guarded, and the opportunity of
visiting Tuspaquiu must now be laid aside."

" The carts are to be faithfully guarded, lest Tus-
paquin should attack them." He, therefore, con-
veyed his prisoners, and guarded the carts to Taun-
ton ; and added, " Hastening back, he proposed to
encamp that night at Assawomset Neck." " But as
soon as they came to the river that runs into the
great pond through the thick swamp at the entering
of the neck the enemy fired upon them, but hurt not
a man.

" Capt. Church's Indians ran right into the swamp,
and fired upon them, but, it being in the dusk of the
evening, the enemy made their escape in the thickets.
" The captain, then moving about a mile into the
neck, took the advantage of a small valley to feed his
horHes. Some held the horses by the bridles, the
rest on the guard looked out sharp for the enemy,
within hearing on every side and some very uear ;
but in the dead of night, the enemy being all out of
hearing or still, Capt. Church moved out of the neck
(not the same way he came in, lest he should be
ambuscaded) towards Cushnet."

The precise spot where Tuspaquiu posted his
warriors to intercept Capt. Beujamiu Church and
the forces, English and Indians, under his commaud,
can scarcely be mistaken even now, so minutely did
Capt. Church describe it in his book, published a few
years after the event, and from which the foregoing
quotations have been copied. That skirmish oc-
curred where the bridge spans the stream that runs
from the Long Pond into the Assawomset, and be-
tween the present residences of Mr. Ebeu Perry and
Mr. Silas D. Pickens.

Neither Tuspaquiu or Capt. Church appear upon
this oceasiou to have been willing to risk the results
of a regularly pitched battle, unless at the onset he
could gain some decided advantage over the other.
The place selected by Tuspaquin was a remarkably
good one in which to act upon the defensive, and that
he did not maintain the position more resolutely and
persistently than he appears to have doue was proba-



bly construed by Church as a feint to draw him into
a fatal snare, for from the time that Tuspaquiu fell
back, Church appears to have done little or nothing
but plan and execute a successful retreat, and while
Cupt. Church, in the dead of night, was stealthily
leaving Assawomset Neck at one end, Tuspaquiu, in
midnight darkness, was doubtless awaiting him in
silence and in ambush ready to deal death and de-
struction upon him at the other.

The chieftain Tuspaquiu had a son, who, by the
English, was called William Tuspaquiu, but whose
Indian name was Mantowapuet, and who is supposed
to have lost his life in King Philip's war. An
Indian named Felix fought for the English, and iu
consideration of which the Plymouth Colouy govern-
ment, iu 1679, ordered " that all such lands as were
formerly John Sassamons in our collonie, shall be set-
tled on Felix, his son-in-law."

Isaac Peirce, who died in what was then Middle-
boro', but now Lakeville, Feb. 28, 1732, was a
soldier in King Philip's war, and one of those whose
loyalty, courage, and good conduct secured, in ad-
dition to his stipulated wages, the promise made to
the soldiers " when marshalled on that knightly
plain" in Dedham, -viz. : " That if they play J the
man, took the Fort, and drove the Enemy out of the
Narragansett Country (which was their great seat),
that they should have a Gratuity of Land."

He was among those brave men who, in the depth
of winter (Dec. 19, 1675), endured almost incalcu-
lable hardship iu storming and taking the Indian
stronghold, at what is now the town of Kingston,
Washington Co., R. I., where, upon an island in a
swamp, the natives had intrenched and fortified them-
selves, and bad here gone into winter quarters, the
defenses being a well-constructed double row of pali-
sades, about a rod apart, and still further strengthened
by an immense hedge of fallen trees, about a rod in
thickness, presenting the branches outward, and thus
making an impassable abatis.

Within this fortification the Indians had erected
about five hundred wigwams, in which they had de-
posited large quantities of Indian corn in baskets and
tubs, piled oue upon another, and thus rendering the
wigwams bullet proof; and here some three thousand
Indians, including warriors, old men, women, and
children, had taken up their residence for the winter,
which residence, had it continued until the next
spring unmolested or broken up, would probably have
been the last winter that European inhabitants would

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 69 of 118)