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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John Crocker, ensign, from July 19, 1828, to May 29, 1829.
James Sproat, ensign, from , 1830, to May 30, 1830.

Cavalry Company. — A company of cavalry was
raised from amoog the militia of the towns of Mid-
dleboro,' Rochester, and Wareham, and among its
commissioned officers those residing within the terri-
torial limits of what is now Lakeville were as follows :
Seth Southworth, capt., from Aug. 2, 1813, to 1815.

Hurry Jackson, lieut., from to Jan. 29, 1823.

Ephraiui Loach, 2d lieut., from May 22, 1815, to ISIS.

Harry Jackson, 2d lieut., from June 9, 1818, to .

Gideon Southworth, 2d lieut., from 18 — to 1823.

Harry Jackson, eornet, from May 22, 1815, to June 9, 1818.

Gideou Southworth, cornet, from June 9, 1818, to .

A company of light infantry was raised in Middle-
boro' and what is now Lakeville, and this company
was known as the " Middleboro' Grenadiers," and of
which one of the captains was a resident of what is
now Lakeville.

Job l'eirco, capt., from April 24, 1827, to April 25, 1829.


David B. Johnson, 1st lieut., from May 28, 1S50, to .

David B. Johnsou, 2d lieut., from May 30, 1355, to May 23,

Churchill T. Wcstgate, 3d lieut., from May 23, 1856, to April

30, 1S57.


Churchill T. Westgate, 4th lieut., from Aug. 22, 1357, to Oct.
25, 1860.

From the date of the incorporation of the towu of
Middleboro', June, 1669, until the commencement
of the war of the American Revolution, the local
militia of that town, including what is now Lake-
ville, constituted a part of the First Regiment in the
Plymouth County militia, save for the few years that
intervened between 1669 and 1685, when it formed
a part of the first and only regiment that existed in
the militia of Plymouth Colony.

But at the commencement of the Revolutionary
war the First Regiment of Plymouth County militia
was divided into two regiments, the First and Fourth,
and the militia of Middleboro' thenceforth were em-
braced in the Fourth Regiment.

Names of persons residing within the limits of
what is now Lakeville who iu the local militia
attained to positions higher than that of eaptaiu :

Ephraim Ward, brig.-gen., from Jan. 27, 1325, to 1S29.
\nl lUy "itnC of Infantry.

Elkanah Leonard, maj., from , 1741, to 17 — .

3a! Healincnt of Lit/hi Infantry.
Ebenezer W. Peirce, lieut.-co!., from April 2, 1S52, to Nov. 7,

George Ward, maj., from May, 1850, to 1S51.
Ebenezer W. Peirce, maj., from Aug. 3, 1851, to April 2, 1852.

4th Retjintent of Infantry.
John Nelson, col., from July 1, 1781, to 1787.
Ephraim Ward, col., from April 25, 1817, to Jan. 27, 1S25.

Ephraim Ward, lieut.-col., from , 1816, to April 25, 1817.

Peter Hoar, senior maj., from July 22, 1300, tu 1806.
John Nelson, junior maj., from May 9, 1776, to July 1, 17S1.
Peter Hoar, junior maj., from Jan. 4, 1797, to July 22, 1800.
Ephraim Ward, junior maj., from 1314 to 1816.

Battalion of Caralry.

Harry Jackson, maj., from Jan. 29, 1323, to death, 1823.



The Congregationalists. — Only one church of
this denomination exists or has existed iu Lakeville,
and this is what was formerly the Second Congrega-

1 Abiel Washburn, who was born in what is now Lakeville,
and passed his youth and early manhood hero, was, alter re-
tuoviug to what is now Middleboro', commissioned a brigadier-
general, to rank froin Sept. 4, 1816.

Eliab Ward, who passed his youth in what is now Lakeville,
while living in Middleboro', was commissioned brigadier-gen-
eral, to rank from April 3, I860.

Ebenezer W. Peirce, after moving to Freetown, was commis-
sioned brigadier-general, to rank from Nov. 7, 1S5j.



tiooal Church of Middleboro'. As a very full ac-
count of this church and society has been prepared
fur and preseuted in connection with what herein j
appears concerning; the history of Middleboro', the |
reader is referred to that account as giving all that
is in this work required concerning that religious

The Separate Church. — This was detached and
eauie off from the Cougrcgationalists, and was prob-
ably a result of the preachiug of llev. George White-
field. Nearly or quite all the members probably re-
sided in that part of Middleboro' that afterwards
became Lakeville, but the history of the brief exist-
ence of this church is already sufficiently noticed in
the ecclesiastical history of Middleboro', to which
account the reader is referred.

The Calvinistic Baptists. — Nearly all the mem-
bers of the Second Baptist Church of Middleboro'
resided in that part of the town set off in 1853 and
made a new town called Lakeville, and hence the his-
tory of that church may not improperly be preseuted
as a part of that of Lakeville.

Those in this section who drew off from the Con-
gregationalists, and took upou themselves the name of
Separates or Separatists, seem to have been the first
" come-oii/ers" whose numbers were sufficient to form
a distinct church.

The Calvinistic Baptists had for many years num-
bered a few, but so few that they contented themselves
with joiuing churches of their faith and practice in
other towns where the commuuicants were much more

That distinguished historian of the Baptists, Rev.
Isaac Backus, has informed that Thomas Nelson was
the first or earliest resident of Middleboro' who be-
came a Baptist, and Thomas Nelson spent quite a
portion of his life, died, and was buried in what is
now Lakeville.

Concerning the matter the Rev. Mr. Backus wrote :
"The rise of the Second Baptist Church in Middle-
boro' was as follows : Mr. Thomas Nelson, who was
born in the town June G, 1675, just before Philip's
war broke out, removed into that part of it called
Assawamset in 1717, about which time he joined the
First Baptist Church in Swanzey, as his wife also
did, August 5, 1723.

" In 1753 he and his sons, with a few more, set up
a meeting at his house, and obtained Mr. Ebenezer
Hinds to preach to them.

" Four miles southwestward from thence Mr. James
Mead was ordained pastor of a Separate Church in
1751 ; but he died in 1756, after which the body of
his church became Baptists, and Mr. Hinds' hearers

joined with them and ordained him their pastor Jan.
20, 1758."

Under date of Feb. 12, 1758, Rev. Isaac Backus
addressed a letter to his mother in which he wrote:
" Loving Mother, — A church was gathered in the
south part of our town on the sixteeuth of No-
vember, and Brother Hinds was ordained pastor
January 2Gth past.

" I was over there again at the ordination of their
deacons last Thursday, and I can but hope that God
has many blessings in store for that people."

Concerning Thomas Nelson, the Rev. Mr. Backus
states that he discovered such evils in Mr. Palmer,
the second minister of the " Congregational Church
in Middleboro'," as caused him to examiue the Scrip-
tures concerning the Congregational principles, aud
finding nothing therein for infant baptism, he went
and joined the Baptists.

The records of the Separate Church, as also of the
Calvinistic Baptist Church that succeeded it, are
supposed to be lost. Of the Separate Church, from
the records of the Congregational Church at North
Middleboro' we learn that, in 1751, James Mead and
William Smith were dismissed " to embody together
into a church where they live at Beech Woods, in one
edge of Middleboro'," and this was what came to be
the Separate Church, of which, on the 3d of October,
1751, James Mead was ordained the pastor, and he
continued to fill that position until his death, that oc-
curred Oct. 2, 1756, or a term of five years.

Of that Separate Church the evidence is very con-
clusive that William Smith was a deacon. Of priest
or people at this date very little is known or can be
learned, but that Rev. James Mead was sometimes
employed to teach school in this or some of the ad-
jacent towns may reasonably be inferred from an entry
upon the public records of Freetown, under date of
Dec. 17, 1744 : " James Mead was dismissed from
serving longer as schoolmaster."

The church edifice used by this Separate Church,
and afterwards by the Calvinistic Baptists, is thought
to have been erected in the east part of Freetown,
and near the site of the former residence of the late
Rev. George Tyler, from whence it was removed to
" Beech Woods" and used as a place of worship by
Rev. Mr. Mead's people until his death ; and at the for-
mation of the Calviuisdc Baptist Church, a little more
than one year later, this church edifice became the place
of that body's public worship, as Mr. Backus has in-
formed that the body of this Separate Church became
Baptists, and Mr. Hinds' hearers juiued with them
and ordained him their pastor. That church edifice
continued to be the Calvinistic Baptist place of public



worship until May 19, 1TU8, when it was accidentally
destroyed by fire, that at the same time burued
the parsonage-house. A new meeting-house was, a
few years later, erected upou or near the site of that
burned, and was occupied until in or about the year
1843, when taken down aod another built near by
that was never completely finished aud was a few
years since demolished.

A new parsonage-house that is still standing was
erected soon after the other was burned. The entire
absence of all church, and also of all society or parish,
records of this Calvinistic Baptist Church aud so-
ciety renders the transmission of the history of the
same an extremely difficult task, and, in fact, for the
most part, impossible.

That house of Thomas Nelson, in which the Rev.
Isaac Backus informed that a Baptist meeting was set
up in 1753, stood near where now (1884) is growing
an apple-tree in a meadow still owned by the lineal
descendants of that Thomas Nelson, aud near the
highway, almost directly opposite the house of the
late Mr. Hersey, a slight indentation in the grouud
has until within a few years since marked the former
site of that house.

This spot has an uncommon historic interest, for,
besides being that where the first Baptist meeting
was set up in what is now Lakeville, it is also that
where the first white man's house was built upon
Assawomset Neck.

Thomas Nelson purchased lands here in 1714, and
located thereon with his family in 1717. His pur-
chase was bounded by the Assawomset Pond on one
end, and by the Long Pond on the other, and by In-
dian lands upon both sides, being, as he was, a Daniel
Boone among the pioneers of civilization in this sec-
tion, and although christened Thomas, he in practice
proved a veritable John among the Baptists, for
his was " the voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way" for the progress of things secu-
lar and things sacred, aud make all the paths for im-
provement straight. But, like Moses, he was not
permitted to enter into that rest he had done so
much to prepare, and, like that meekest of men, only
to view these good things in the prospect of a near
future as the precious lot and happy inheritance of
others, and thus did Thomas Nelson see and was sat-
isfied. Rev. Isaac Backus, in his excellent history,
said, " Mr. Nelsou died before this church was formed,
iu his eightieth year, but his wife, Mrs. Hope Nelson,
lived to be a member of it, and communed with them
at the Lord's table after she was a hundred years
old. She died Dec. 7, 1782, aged a hundred aud five
years and seven months." The reverend historian

was not sufficiently exact, as her precise age was one
hundred and five years six months and twenty days.

Another and very reliable authority, iu a commu-
nication many years since made to the Massachusetts
Historical Society, said that the lineal descendants of
Mrs. Hope Nelson at the date of her death numbered
about three hundred and thirty seven persons. Mrs.
Hope Nelson was the fourth child of John Huckius
(or Higgins, or Hutchins, as the families of all these
surnames have the same origin), and born at Barn-
stable, May 10, 1677, united iu marriage with
Thomas Nelson, of Middleboro', March 24, 169S,
and died Dec. 7, 1782. A most remarkable " mother
in Israel" was she, and to whom might have been
properly addressed that language of the Scripture,
" Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou
excellcst them all." (Prov. xxi. 2D.) The ashes of
Thomas Nelson and wife rest in the ancient ceme-
tery on the southerly shore of Assawomset Pond,
both graves being marked by stones bearing inscrip-

As early as 1728 a law was passed in the province
of Massachusetts Bay " that, from aud after the pub-
lication of this act, none of the persons commonly
called Anabaptists, nor any of those called Quakers,
that are or shall be enrolled or entered in their several
societies as members thereof, and who allege a scruple of
conscience as the reason of their refusal to pay any part
or proportion of such taxes as are from time to time
assessed for the support of such minister or ministers
of the churches established by the laws of this province,
in the town or place where they dwell, shall have
their polls taxed toward the support of such minister
or ministers, nor shall their bodies be at any time
taken in execution to satisfy any such ministerial rate
or tax assessed upon their estates or faculties ; provided
that such persons do usually attend the meetings of
their respective societies, assembling upou the Lord's
day for the worship of God, aud that they live within
five miles of such meeting "

Ebenezer Peirce and Thomas Peirce, both of whom
probably resided in what is now Lakeville, had their
names entered upon the public records of Middleboro'
as professed Baptists as early as 1737, or about six-
teen years before Mr. Hinds commenced to preach
regularly at the house of Mr. Thomas Nelson ; aud
they, perhaps with Mr. Nelsou, during those years
were accustomed to attend the meetings of the Calvin-
istic Baptist Church in Swansea.

It is deeply to be regretted that the loss of records
makes the task of presenting the history of this
Calvinistic Church and society (that existed in what
is now Lakeville) so difficult to obtain, and the labor



of presenting the same so unsatisfactory both to the
writer and the reader.

Rev. Ebenezer Hinds, the first pastor of this church,
was born at Bridgewater, Mass., July 29, 1719. He
was the second son and fifth child of John Hinds
and wife (Hannah Shaw). When about thirty years
of age Mr. Ebenezer Hinds made a public profession
of religion, and was baptized by immersion by Rev.
Ebenezer Moulton, pastor of the Baptist Church in
Brimfield, and soon after commenced to exercise his
gifts in prayer and exhortation.

On the 3d of March, 1751, Mr. Hinds became a
member of the Second Baptist Church in Boston,
then under the preaching of Rev. Ephraim Bouud ;
and about two years later he commenced to preach
regularly at the house of Mr. Thomas Nelson, upon
Assawomset Neck (then in Middleboro', but now in
Lakcville), and as one of the fruits of that preaching
a Calviuistic Baptist Church was formed at Beech
Woods Nov. 16, 1757, and of which church Mr.
Hinds was, on the 26th day of January, 1758, or-
dained as pastor.

An extensive revival of religion occurred under
the preaching of Rev. Ebeuezer Hinds, in 1773, by
which the membership of this church became in-
creased to one hundred and four persons, but as many
of these resided in the east part of Freetown, they
were dismissed to embody themselves into a Calvin-
istic Baptist Church that was formed there Sept. 13,
1775, and this church probably never afterwards at-
tained so large a number of communicants as it had
about sixteen years after the date of its original
gathering. Rev. Ebenezer Hinds continued as the
pastor of this church for something more than forty
years. With this people he lived, and here the most
of his large family of fifteen children were born, and
here eight of his children died. Rev. Mr. Hinds
was twice married. His first wife was Susanna Keith,
of Bridgewater, who died in 1751. His second wife
was Lydia Bartlett. She died May 12, 1801, being
in her sixty-seventh year. Rev. Ebenezer Hinds died
April 29, 1812. For several years immediately after
Mr. Hinds closed his ministerial labors here the pul-
pit of this church appears not to have been regularly
supplied, but in or about 1805, Rev. Simeon Coombs
settled here as pastor.

Mr. Coombs was a member of the Third Baptist
Church in Middleboro', and on the 10th of November,
1791, was ordained pastor of the Calvinistic Baptist
Church at Montague, Mass. The larger part of his
society resided in Leverett. He ministered to them
about three years, and then removed to and took the
pastoral charge of a Baptist Church in Wardsboro',

Windham Co., Vt., and from thence, probably, he
removed to Middleboro', now Lakeville.

Rev. Mr. Coombs appears to have labored in the
gospel ministry with this people until in or about
ISIS, wheu, for a term of years, the pulpit was again
vacated, or at most supplied only one-half of the time,
aud the church aud society dwindled both in its num-
bers and influence, and many who had attended its
meetings became Free-Will Baptists, and joined a
church of that denomination gathered here.

The United Brethren. — These, at the first, were
probably nearly, if not indeed quite all, members of
the Calvinistic Baptist Church, whose place of public
worship had long been at Beech Woods, and their
embodying together was doubtless a result of the fact
that Rev. Mr. Hinds had ceased to be the pastor, for
he had already served them in that capacity about
forty years, and was becoming so strickeu with age as
to require relief from longer service.

United Brethren was the name by which this re-
ligious body were at first known, but subsequently
came to be called, as they in fact were, the Fourth
Calviuistic Baptist Church in Middleboro'.

These United Brethren were constituted and formed
into a church Aug. 19, 1800, and during the first
seven years of its existence the following-named per-
sons appear to have become members: Rev. William
Nelson, Rev. Samuel Abbott, Rev. Ebenezer Briggs,
Josiah Smith, Dean Briggs, Abiatha Briggs, Juhn
Pickens, Samuel Pickens, Elizabeth Peirce, Lueinda
Andrews, Abigail Niles, Anna Pickens, Hannah
Briggs, Polly Nelson, Sally Nelson, Patience Doug-
lass, Betsey Nelson, Matilda Pickens, Hannah Nel-
son, Judith Nelson, Chloe Nelson, Zilpah Briggs,
Sally Briggs, Elizabeth Omey, Abigail Nelson, Mere-
bah Cole, Deborah Redding, Mehitabel Macomber,
Sarah Abbott, Hopestill Townsend, Deborah Town-
send, Remembrance Durfee, and Auna Nelson.

Their numbers during the first seven years were
reduced from the following causes, as appears from
the church record : Rev. William Nelson died April
11, 1806; Josiah Smith, Patience Douglass, Chloe
Nelson, Abigail Nelson, and Deborah Townsend
moved away ; Remembrance Durfee died, aud Lu-
einda Andrews and Deborah Redding were " cut
off," which doubtless meant that they were excom-
municated from the church, and thus in the early
part of 1807 their numbers were reduced to twenty-
four communicants.

Rev. Samuel Abbott was the first settled minister,
and he commenced his pastoral labors a short time
after the church was formed, aud continued until
about 1809 or 1810, when he was succeeded by Rev.



Ebcnezer Briggs, who occupied the pulpit for a long
term of years, aud iu fact as long as regular preach-
ing to this church and society was continued.

The church edifice used as a place of public wor-
ship by this body of United Brethren appears to
have been erected by the Second Baptist Society of
Middleboro', and for its time was considered a very
fine structure.

Maj. Peter Hoar appears to have been au agent
of the proprietors to oversee the construction, and lie
left a very ruiuute record of his services thus per-
formed, from which a few extracts will serve to show
how the labor of building progressed :

" Second Baptitt Society, Dr.

" 1796, Feb. lo. To meeting to proffer the timber for the
Meeting-House, and agree with the carpenters."

•' Feb. lG tb . Time spent to purchase timber for the window-

" Feb. 29 th . Time *pent to set oil' the land to set the Meeting-
House on."

" May 19" 1 . To going to Plymouth to buy clap-boards for s a

'June 17. Paid Dean Griggs for Rum for raising s d Meet-

" June 30 tb . To going to lierliloy to bye shingles for tho

"Sept. 28 lh . To carting the glass for tho Mecting-House from
Levi Pcirce's shop."

"Sept. 29"'. To going to Plymouth to purchase oil to paint
the meeting-house."

'• Dec. 9 tu . Paid Col. John Nelson for 9 whitu pine stieks for
the spire of tho Meeting-House."

Lieut. Benjamin Chase and Ensign Ebenezer
Peirce were the carpenters employed to build the
meeting-house, aud Maj. Peter Hoar's accounts show
that lie paid them for labors thus performed at differ-
ent dates in 1796 and 1797. On the 10th of Au-
gust, 1797, Maj. Hoar charged for going to Plym-
outh to purchase a vane for the meeting-house, that
leads to the conclusion that the building at that date
was nearly completed.

The vane, procured probably iu Plymouth, had to
be sent to Taunton to be gilded, and this, witli the gilt
ball, was not ready for use until Oct. 31, 1797, and,
as near as can now be ascertained, the vaue and ball
were raised and put in position Nov. 2, 1797, at
which time it is reasonable to conclude that the
meeting-house was considered completed. This
church edifice was finally sold, aud part of it devoted
to a public hall, called Sassamon Hall, and a part
converted into a grocery-store, and the remainder
used as a tenement. It took fire and was entirely
destroyed in the early part of 1870.

The Free-WLU Baptists.— Soon after Rev. Sim-
eon Coombs closed his labors as pastor of the Second

Calvinistic Baptist Church of Middleboro', clergymen
of the Free-Will Baptist deuomiuatiou began to
preach to some of Mr. Coombs' former hearers, aud
as a result a Free-Will Baptist Church was ere long-
formed, of which the successive pastors were llov.
Horatio Loring, Rev. Mr. Spindle, and Rev. Mr.
Steere. This church and society, about forty years
since, erected a place of public worship, in which for
a time Rev. Mr. Steere preached. This house was
taken down several years ago. The church and so-
ciety are apparently extinct. Of this Free- Will
Baptist Church Samuel Hoar was deacon.

The Christian Church. — There existed for a time
iu this town a branch of the Long Plain Christian
Church, that was under the care of llev. Daniel Ilex.
Rev. George Peirce probably preached to this branch
for a few years. Abiel Nelson appears to have been
the deacon and also clerk. This branch of a church
long since ceased to have a visible existence.

A Christian Church was gathered in that part of
Middleboro' now Lakeville some forty-two years ago,
and is still in existence ; but, singularly enuugh, the
records are " nun est inventus."

Near the date of this church's formation a society
was also formed that took upon itself the name of the
Christian Society of Middleboro', the first legal meet-
ing of which for the transaction of business was held
Feb. 19, 1842.

The following are the names of the original mem-
bers of this society, sixteen in number : Joseph
Shockley, Asa T. Winslow, Abiel P. Booth, Charles
H. Sampson, Oliver Peirce, Sumner Hinds, Salmon
M. Washburu, Elbridge G. Ashley, John Booth,
Noah Ashley, John Edminster, Ezra Clark, Job P.
Nelson, Nathaniel Caswell, Luther Ashley, Calvin
Ashley. Additional members have beeu obtained as
follows: March 18, 1844, Barnabas Clark; March
11, 1848, Earl S. Ashley, March 15, 1852, Earl
Lewis; March 27, 1854, Silas P. Ashley, Reubeu
Hafford, Harrison Staples; March 27, 1858, Solo-
mon T. Fletcher; March 21, 18(J3, John W. Sears;
March 1, 18G4, Thomas M. Nelson; March 2S,
1807, Leander Winslow; March 2, 1808, William
H. Fletcher, Asa Winslow ; March 25, 1809, Euos
Peirce; April 13, 1878, James P. Peirce, Stephen
V. Hinds ; March 9, 1881, John E. Ashley.

The clerks of this Christian society of Middleboro'
(but since 1853 of Lakeville) have been Charles II.
Sampson, from Feb. 19, 1842, to April 21, 1843;
Asa T. Winslow, from April 21, 1843, to March 27,
1854 ; Earl Sears, from March 27, 1854, to March
21, 1S03; Solomon T. Fletcher, from March 21,

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 72 of 118)