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 Hammond.

Females. — Elizabeth Arnold, Mary Hammond,
Sarah Arnold, Mary Haskell, Anna Holmes, Alice
Spooner, Sarah Bumpus, Elizabeth Bumpus, Abigail
Holmes, Lydia Joy, Mercy Winslow, Ruth Perry,
Mary Whitendge, Sarah Dexter, Mary Hammond,
Sr., Mary Hammond, Jr., Elizabeth Arnold, Jr.,
Mehitable Clark.

" The location of their first meeting-house, tradi-
tion tells us, was near the great rocks and the ancient

graveyard. How soon after the Pilgrims lauded at
Plymouth the day-star from on high sent its rays of
heavenly light across the wilderness to this dark spot,
as the pious Arnold calls it, we are unable to deter-
mine ; but the language of Arnold's record would
seem to iudieate that his heart was full of grateful
praises to God that, after having preached the guspel
to the settlers here for sixteen years, he became the
honored instrument of organizing this church of Christ,
composed of 17 males and 18 females."

His pastorate was short, but probably continued
until his earthly labors were finished, and he was
called home to the rewards of the faithful. By all
that we know of his life we are impressed with the
conviction that he was a good man aud a faithful and
successful minister of the gospel. The articles of faith
and covenant which were originally adopted seem to
eviuce that the men and women who first subscribed
them were solemnly impressed with the nature and
importance of Christian obligation.

The conclusion of their covenant with God and
with each other is in these afFecting words, viz. :

" The Lord keep this forever in the thoughts and
imaginations of the hearts of us his poor servants, to
establish our hearts unto him, aud the good Lord par-
don every one of us that prepareth his heart to seek
the Lord God of his fathers. Amen."

The church record shows that Rev. Timothy Rug-
gles became pastor on the 22d of November, 1710.
Supposing he continued iu this relation to the church
until his death, he was pastor not far from fifty years.
The place of meeting, on Little Neck, some time dur-
ing his ministry was changed to Rochester Centre,
and a house of worship was erected there. Tradition
says they had previously worshiped at Little Neck,
for awhile around " Minister Rock," aud in a few
years after the first settlement a small aud unadorned
meeting-house was erected, but iu what year it is im-
possible now to ascertain. The change of public wor-
ship from Little Neck to Rochester Centre was made
that it might be more ceutral for members of the
congregation then living in what are uow called
Marion, Wareham, Rochester (Centre and North),
aud Mattapoisett. Mr. Ruggles was ordained minis-
ter aud pastor of the Church of Christ in Rochester.
Twenty-six years after he was settled a portion of the
members withdrew and formed themselves into the
Second Church of Rochester (now Mattapoisett), aud
this church (that is now the Congregational Church
of Marion) was then designated by the name First
Church of Rochester. In 175S auother portiou of
the members withdrew and formed themselves into
the Third Church (now North Rochester). The Rev.



Timothy Rugbies stood at his post here for almost !
sixty years, received three hundred and three mem-
bers iuto the Church of Christ, aud then died in the
harness. On a slatestone slab in the old cemetery at ,
Rochester Centre is the following inscription:

" In memory of ye Rev'd Mr. Tiinotby Ruggles, pastor of ye
church of Christ in Rochester, who was an able Divine, and a
Faithful Minister. Having a peculiar talent at composing Dif-
ferences and healing Divisions in Churches, he was much iui-
ployed in Ecclesiastical Councils, and having spent his Days
and his >trength in the Work of his Lord and Master, Finished
his Course with Joy, and departed this Life October ye 2tJ,
176S, in the $4"> year of hia age, and &S ' of his Ministry.
Tbey that be wise shall shine as the brightness of ye Firma-
ment, and they that turn many to Righteousness as ye stars,
for ever and ever."

" In 1768, Rev. Jonathan Moore was settled pastor
of the First Church in Rochester. Soon after Mr.
Moore's ministry began, several members of the church
were subjected to discipline, some for having long
absented themselves from public worship aud special
ordinances, and some for other violations of their
covenant obligations. Perhaps one of the chief
causes of the almost constant troubles which long ex-
isted in the church was its vote on the 14th of May,
1753, respecting admission to church membership.
It was, iu effect, that no persons at their receptiou
shall be required to give evidence of a work of grace
wrought on them by the Holy Spirit.

" Difficulties between Mr. Moore and members of
the church arose in 1791, which continued some two
or three years, and issued in his dismission from his
pastoral charge."

Mr. Moore was a man of decided talent, aud an
antagonist to be feared in debate. The late Hon.
Abraham Holmes has left on record a reminiscence of
him that will well repay perusal. In the days of the
Revolution, when the tea question agitated New Eng-
land, " the town of Boston sent letters to all the
towns in Massachusetts requesting them to call town
meetings and agree and advise what was best to be
done. Meetings were generally, if not universally
held. The proceedings were generally very spirited.
In Rochester the meeting was very free, but as the
business was new, and very serious consequences
might How from the proceedings, and as an open op-
position to the government might be considered as
dangerous, the people generally thought it was the
better way to proceed with due caution.

The town clerk (David Wing) for some reason
thought it best to stay at home. The meeting opened,
and Joseph Haskell (3d) was chosen town clerk pro
tern. Deacon Silvanus Cobb was chosen moderator.
He was quite an old man, aud seldom, if ever, at-

tended a town-meeting. He took his seat and read
the warrant, and as nobody wished to break the ice,
perfect silence continued for about fifteen minutes,
wheu N. Ruggles, Esq., arose and asked the moderator
what method was proposed to proceed in. The mod-
erator said as this was a solemu occasion, he thought
it would be proper to commeuce the business by an
humble address by prayer for direction on so critical
and important an occasion. Justice Ruggles replied
there was no article iu the warrant for prayer, and the
law forbade the acting on anything for which there was
no article in the warrant. The moderator said he was
astonished to hear such an observation come from Jus-
tice Ruggles. Ruggles said, " Not more astouished
than I am to see your honor iu that seat." After
some observations, Ruggles said that if there must be
prayer, he hoped it would not be by Mr. Moore, for
he had heard so much of his praying on Sunday that
he could not bear to hear it on a week-day ; for that
man had done more hurt iu Rochester than he ever
did, or ever would, or ever could, do good. The mod-
erator was about making some reply, when Mr. Moore
arose and said, " He wished to have an opportunity to
return his humble and respectful thanks for the great
aud siugular honor that the gentleman last up had
done him. For if any man was to contrive to bestow
the highest possible panegyric on me, he could not do
it in any way so effectually as to get that man, Rug-
gles, to speak reproachfully of me."

On motion, it was voted that the meeting be
opened with prayer by Rev. Mr. Moore.

" He stepped into the moderator's seat, and said
that, previous to his addressing the throne of Grace,
he would make a few preliminary observations. That
as to prayer, he had long been of opiniou that that
gentleman was in general no friend of prayer ; yet, he
did not believe he would have come forward iu open
town-meeting and have sarcastically opposed it if he
had not have had a strong suspicion that what would
be prayed for would be in opposition to the strong
beut of the inclinations and wishes of his depraved
and wicked heart. He then proceeded with his
prayer. Perhaps Mr. Moore never felt more pleasing
sensations than he did in the course of this prayer,
though some people might doubt of the prayer's being
so strongly seasoned with humility as that of Heze-
kiah, after the message brought by Isaiah."

After Mr. Moore's dismission the church was with-
out a pastor for about seven years.

" In 1799, Rev. Oliver Cobb was ordained and in-
stalled pastor of the First Church in Rochester, which
was then composed of members living in tin- First aud
Fourth Precincts of Rochester. Mr. Samuel Briggs,



from the Fourth Precinct, was one of the church com-
mittee, who informed Mr. Cobb of their unanimous
vote, inviting him to become their pastor. The record
shows that the First and Fourth Precincts of Roches-
ter agreed to concur with the church in their invita-
tion to Mr. Cobb, on conditions to which the parties
interested mutually consented.

" During the pastorates of Messrs. Ruggles and
Moore some four hundred members were added to
the church, but such had been the troubles and con-
flicts that when Mr. Cobb commenced his pastorate,
only eleven males, with a few more females, retained
regular standing in the church.

" In 1827, when the Centre Church was formed of
members from this church, the whole number of
members was one hundred and forty. Of these,
fifty-seven remained with the pastor. While this
church continued its connection with the two pre-
cincts the ministerial labors of Mr. Cobb were devoted
to each precinct, according to mutual arrangements.
Two deacous of the church resided in each precinct,
and the sacraments were administered interchangeably
in the meeting-house of each. In this period of about
twenty-eight years, three special refreshings from the
presence of the Lord were eujoyed, and from the two
precincts one hundred and eighty-six pcrsous, pro-
fessiug to have beeu boru agaiu, were received into
the church.

''■ In 1827 the church called a council for the pur-
pose of installing Rev. Jonathan Bigelow, colleague
pastor with Rev. Oliver Cobb. At the meeting of
the council, Mr. Bigelow and his friends in the First
Parish were anxious that the church should be di-
vided, so that he might be the sole pastor of the
church over which he would be installed.

" The council advised that such a division be made.
The pastor of the First Church and the committee
acting with him had no wish for this division, but
cheerfully consented to it, provided at some regular
meeting the church would adopt said advice. Ou
this ground Mr. Bigelow was installed pastor of the
Centre Church, Rochester, and minister of the First
Precinct. At a subsequent meeting of the First
Church, regularly notified by its pastor, it was voted
unanimously that the division be according to advice
of the council, and by this vote the members who
formed the Ceutrc Church were separated from the
original church, and the act of the council made valid.

" The pastoral relation of Rev. Oliver Cobb with
this church, which was formed in 1799, continued
untarnished and untouched to the hour of his death ;
but for the sake of peace and harmony with that
part of his original charge that gave him up and

chose another minister, he relinquished his legal right
to salary, since his services were no longer required.
For the sake of peace, also, and according to advice of
the council, this church conseuted to take the name
South instead of First Church in Rochester. It has
not since by any vote changed its name, but con-
formably to other changes it is now called the Con-
gregational Church of Marion.

" Rev. Oliver Cobb, D.D., the fourth pastor of this
church, was born in Kingston, Plymouth Co., Mass.,
March 18, 1770, in a house still owned and occupied
by his father's descendants. Near by stands the
ancient residence of his grandfather, who lived in
three centuries (1694-1801). Dr. Cobb was gradu-
ated at Brown University, ordained and installed at
Rochester in June, 1779, and continued in this pas-
torate just fifty years, till his death, iu 1S49. Dur-
ing his ministry two hundred and twenty-two were
added to the church. lie was especially esteemed as
a seruiouizer, and some of his characteristic sermons
are well remembered still. He published two ser-
mons preached at Sandwich during the famous Uni-
tariau divisiou. One of these was delivered at the
installation of Rev. Jonathan Burr."

Dr. Cobb left a numerous family. His eldest sou,
Nathaniel, was the eccentric evangelist who died in
1878 ; the second son, Leauder, succeeded him in the
ministry of this ancient church.

Rev. Leauder Cobb was installed colleague pastor
with his revered father iu 1S41, but his ministerial
labors commenced with this church iu 1839. At
that time mauy thiugs in the condition and prospects
of the church and society were discouraging. The
resident members of the church were less than tbrty.
Of the males only one was under forty, and of the
females there were none under thirty years of age.
Some had withdrawn from the society, and only a
small proportion of the youth of the place attended
this place of worship.

A flourishing society had beeu recently organized,
whose religious principles were antagonistic to the
faith of this church. Its preacher was popular, and
among its advocates and supporters were influential

Mr. Cobb had returned from a post of nearly twelve
years' labor iu the West to visit friends and recruit
his health. God had given him favor among strangers,
and prospered his efforts to enlarge Ilis church. A
wide field of promise was opeuing before him, and he
hoped soon to return aud labor in it with renewed
vigor aud efficiency, but Providence had ordered
otherwise. He said to his people in a historical
sketch of the Congregational Church iu Marion,



preached Dee. 29, 1861 (and from which most of
these facts are taken), " You will bear me witness, I
think, that I consented to the change, not because a
larger and lucrative salary was offered me, nor was it
with the prospect that in this limited community of
different and conflicting interests I might hope to
build up a large church and society." Dec. 1, 1841,
a new and beautiful church edifice was dedicated.
Mr. Cobb says, '' That dedication was the com-
mencement of my pastoral relation with you, and I
feel it my duty to say here that I regard the erection
of this house among the most valuable aids to my
ministry in this society." Soon after the dedication,
the church was blessed with an interesting revival of
religion. There were forty conversions, and about
twenty united with this church, a large proportion
being heads of families. This was au important ad-
dition, and the vigor and moral influence of the
church seemed to be more than doubled. The happy
effects of the revival iu the church and society were felt
for vears. A plan was adopted for systematic benev-
olent contributions. In view also of the educational
wants of the children and youth, members of the
congregation formed themselves into a corporation
for the purpose of establishing and sustaining a
private school, iu which the children might be taught
the proper lessous of morality and subordination, aud
be advanced from the primary into the higher branches
of school instruction. Having surmounted many
obstacles, they had the pleasure of sustaining aud
regulating for a succession of years the school, whose
superior excellencies were known aud highly appre-
ciated abroad as well as at home."

Iu 1858 the church was favored with another gra-
cious revival, whose good influences were felt for many

The closing passages of Mr. Cobb's " Historical Ser-
mon" (now a rare pamphlet) are tender aud affecting.
" My best years of active effort are gone. And if
some of you are beginning to feel our pastor is grow-
ing old and his labors less acceptable, and if you are
beginning to think, is it not best that some one should
be selected to stand in his place? I hope that grace
would be given me for such a trial ; but at my pres-
ent age I should be poorly prepared to enter and labor
in the promising fields which in earlier life I forsook
for your good. Such now are my warm attachments,
strengthened by age, to this sacred house and its hal-
lowed associations, to the beloved people of my charge,
to this beautiful harbor, and all its islands, and its
cheering light at the entrance ; to all the land around
it, with the trees aud houses ; to the sweet, retired,
and solemn spot, that instructive repository of our

dead, whither we have so often gone together in silent
procession, bearing the relics of our departed ones ;
such are my warm and growing attachments to all
these that, if it be Thy will, my God, here let
me live my appointed time, and here let me die ! To
yonder graveyard let this mortal body be taken ; and
let it be buried in the dear inclosure which I have
selected and prepared. There let it rest with the
bodies of loved ones, near aud all around, until the
trump of God shall sound, aud the dead shall arise ;
then may this mortal, together with that of my re-
vered father, and of Clarke, and Clapp, and Baker,
and Hiller, aud of all others that have there aud else-
where rested, or that shall rest in Christian hope, come
forth, in the general resurrection of the just, and put
on immortality. Anieu."

Mr. Cobb's death took place Sept. 2, 1872. Rev.
William H. Cobb, the gifted and popular pastor of
the Congregational Church in Uxbridge, Mass., at
the present time (1884) is his son.

Since the decease of Rev. Lcander Cobb, the fol-
lowing pastors have served the church : Charles A.
Kingsbury, 1872-77 ; Edward N. Pomeroy, 1S77-
82 ; J. Lincoln Litch, 1882-84.

Quaker Church. — In the comparatively early his-
tory of Rochester there was a Quaker Church, near
where the Methodist Episcopal Church of Marion
now stands. The society was a flourishing oue for
many years, but it is now difficult to obtain facts and
dates concerning it.

Methodist Protestant Church.— A Methodist
Protestant Church was organized some fifty years ago
within the limits of Marion. The first pastor was
Rev. Calvin Cummings. The following pastors suc-
ceeded him: Nathan S. Clark, N. W. Brittou, R. H.
Dorr, and William Tozer.

Methodist Episcopal Church. — The Methodist
Episcopal Church of Marion was organized in 1860,
aud has been favored with the following list of pas-
tors: Abel Allton, 1866; D. J. Griffin, 1867-69;
N. W. Chase, 1870; supplied, 1871; J. B. Wash-
bum, 1872-74; Frederick Upham, D.D., 1875-76;
E. W. Culver, 1877-78 ; T. B. Gurney, 1879 ; Sam-
uel McKeown, 1880-81 ; Daniel M. Rogers, 1SS2 ;
supplied by J. Lincoln Litch, 1883-84.

Episcopalians. — Among the summer residents
are many Episcopalians, and during the summer
season they have occasional preaching, but no stated

TJniversalist Church. — The Universalist Society
of Marion was formed in the year 1828, and was
called the First Universalist Society of Rochester,
Marion then being a part of Rochester. Among its



original members were Jesse Martin, Ebenezer L.
Foster, Dr. Wilbur Southworth, Noble E. Bates,
John Clark. William Clark, Elisha Wing, John B.
Blankenship, John. Bassett, and Paddock Bates.

Rev. David Pickering. Rev. James M. Bugbee, and
others preached occasionally for a year or two, after
which the society had regular pastors, as follows :
1S31, Robert L. Kilaiu ; 1832, Alauson St. Clair; in
1S33 the church edifice was built; 1834-41, Theo-
dore K. Taylor; 1841-14, Henry C. Vose : 1844-17,
M. E. Hawes ; 1847-52, George J. Sanger ; 1852-54,
Lucius Holmes ; 1854-57, Heury C. Vose ; 1857-61 ,
James E. Bruce ; 1861-60, J. E. Davenport ; 1866-
84, Henry C. Vosc.

The three pastorates of Rev. Heury C. Vose cover
a period of twenty-five years, and under his faithful
ministrations the church at the present time is enjoy-
ing a good degree of prosperity.


1852-56. W. N. Ellis.
1856-53. Sumner Ryder.
1SJ8-59. Christopher C. Luce.
1859-64. Ward P. Delano.
186-1-66. Juhn H. Simmon*.

1866-6S. Ward P. Delano.
1868-69. Jordan B. Bardon.
1869-71. Charles Sturtevaut.
1871-84. Charles II. Delano.


1S59. Marshall E. Simmons.

1S62. Andrew J. Hadley.

1S65. James II. Allen.

1873. Peleg Blankenship.

1876. Isaac N. Hathaway.

1877. Ohcd Delano.
1881. Stephen D. Hadley.


1S52-54.— Gilhert Hathaway, Paul Briggs, Henry D. Allen.

Is55. — Gilbert Hathaway, Barnabas Hiller, Consider Benson.

1856-57 — Andrew J. Hadley, Barnobas H. Gurney, William

1858-61. — Andrew J. Hadley, Barnabas 11. Gurney, Joseph S.

IS62. — Joseph S. Luce, Roubeu B. Swift, Obcd Delano.

1863. — Joseph S. Luce, Obed Delano, Barnabas Hiller.

1864.— George H. Kelley, Franklin L. Hathaway, Ezra S. Par-

1865. — Obed Delano, George U. Kelley, Franklin L. Hathaway.

1866-6S. — George H. Kelley, Samuel H. Elder, Joseph S. Luce.

1869-71. — JusepU S. Luce, George H. Kelley, Henry D. Allen.

1872. — Joseph S. Luce, George H. Kelley, Obed Delano.

1873-76. — Joseph S. Luce, Obed Delano, Horatio N. Washburn.

1877-78. — Joseph S. Luce, Obed Delano, James H. Allen.

1879-81. — Joseph S. Luce, Obed Delano, Isaac N. Hathaway.

1882. — Isaac N. Hathaway, Andrew J. Hadley, Lcandcr C.

1883-S4. — Andrew J. Hadley, Lcandcr C. Cowing, Frederick
P. Vose.

War of the Rebellion. — Marion furnished about
one hundred men, and had a surplus of ten at the
end of the war, over and above all demands. Two
were commissioned otliccrs. The whole amount of
money appropriated and expended by the towu on
account of the war, exclusive of State aid, was four

thousand two hundred and twenty-five dollars and
forty-five cents (§4225.45j.

The amount of money raised and expended by the
town during the war for State aid to soldiers' fami-
lies and repaid by the commonwealth was as follows :
In 1801. $80.57 ; in 1802, $724; in 1603,-31115;
in 1864, $1330; in 1865, $478; total amount,

The following is a list of soldiers aud sailors from
Marion in the war of the Rebellion :

Alexauder A. Atwood.
Warren Atwood.
Charles A. Allen.
Loring T. Ames.
Benjamin II. Bowman.
James W. Blankenship.
Frederick S. Barden.
Samuel J. Bolles.
Elisha Besse.
Edward P. Cowing.
Oliver Cobb.
Gilbort A. Dodge.
George Dickson.
David Faunce.
Richard Gurney.
Charles Gray.
Henry W. Gilford.
Rufus H. Gurney.
Alpbeus Haskins.
Peter A. Holmes.
George B. Hinckley.


Andrew J. Haskell.

George F. Handy.
Martin V. 11. Iiaiuiuoud.
Nathan II. Mcndall.
Alexander MeRivcr.
William II. Potter.
Stephen C. Phinney.
Richard Powers.
Andrew J. Pratt.
Sumner Ryder.
Jesse Swift.
Benjamin II. Swift.
William A. Simmons.
George Seymour.
Marshall E. Simmons.
James Sewell.
James Travcrs.
James D. Weeks.
Nathan II. Weeks.
James Wittett.


George F. Hammond.
Nathan H. Jcnney.

David L. Briggs.
Daniel Baker.
John H. Holies.
William G. Bruce.
Thomas H. B. Briggs.
Nathan C. Briggs.
William Borland.
John Burgic.
John Brown.
Jenison G. Clifton.
Joseph S. Clark.
Joseph Calvin.
James H. Delano.
Robert B. Elder.
Joseph Gahm.
Stephen W. Hadley.
Thomas II. Haskell.
Greenleaf F. Hammond.

James E. Jcnney.
Hiram Look.
George E. Look.
William C. MelKlall.
Elbridge G. Meudall.
Alfred L. Parker.
Richard N. Swift.
Autone Silvia.
Henry Surry.
John Thompson.
Adelbert Trusdcll.
Edward Thompson.
Paul M. Weeks.
James T. Wittett.
Charlton II. Wing.
Joshua G. WlDg.

Industries. — Salt. — From the days of the Revo-
lutionary war until within a short time salt was manu-
factured on the sea-coast of Marion, and this towu
was one of the last to relinquish the business iu
Southern Massachusetts.

Whale-Fishery. — For nearly a ceutury vessels
engaged iu the whale-fishery have sailed from this
port. Sometimes there has been quite a fleet, but at



the present time there is but one, the " Admiral

Box-Boards, Suingles, Staves, etc. — Large
quantities of these are made at the mills of Dr. W.

E. Sparrow and Ezra S. Parlow. The box-boards are
carried to New York, Philadelphia, and other places,
and the business gives employment to quite a large
number of men.

Oysters, Cranberries, etc. — The oysters grown

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 74 of 118)