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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Nathaniel Haskell, March 1, 1794.
Peleg Whitridge, Jan. 26, 1802.
Nathauicl Haskell, Jr., June 17, 1815.

John Hammond, 1718.
Samuel Prince, 1721.
Thomas Dexter, 1722, '34, '37, '38.
Josoph Benson, 1723, '24, 26.
Thomas Turner, 1725, '29.
Joseph Benson, 1727.
Benjamin Hammond, 1728, '33, '35.
Samuel Sprague, 1730.
John Freoman, 1731, '32, '39, '40, '41, '43.
Timothy Ruggles, Jr., 1736.
Noah Sprague, 1742, '50, '56, '57.

Elisha Barrows, 1744, '45, '52, '54, '55, '64, '65, '66, '67.
Samuel Wing, 1746, '48, '51, '58.
Nathaniel Ruggles, 1759, '60, '61, '62, '63.
Samuol Sprague, 1768, '69, '70, '71, '72.
Lieut.-Col. Ebenezer White,» 1773, '74, '75, '76, '77, '78, '79,

'80, '81, '82, '83, '84, '85, '86.
Nathaniol Hammond, 1787.
Abraham Holmes, 1787, '88, '89, '90, '97.
Ebenezer White, 1791, '92.
Nathaniel Sprague, 1793, '94, '95.
Nathan Willis, 1799, 1804.
Elisha Ruggles, 1800, '01, '02, '03.
Gideon Barstow, Jr., 1805, '06, '08, '09, '10, 'It.
Rev. Calvin Chaddook, 1806.
Caleb Briggs, 1810.
Jesse Haskell, 1810, '16.
Thomas Bassett, 181],
Elijah Willis, 1811.

1 Compiled by A. W. Bisbee, Esq.

- Unauimously chosen the fourteen elcotions. He was lieu-
tenant-colonel Fourth Regiment, Plymouth CountyMilitia.



Samuel Winslow, 1811.

Elisha Ruggles, 1S14.

Abraham Hullnes, 1814, '15.

Charles J. Holmes, 1S16, '17, 'IS, '20, "24, '26, '27, '32, '33.

Joseph Meiggs, 1816, '21, '22, '2i», '30, '31.

Philip Crandon, 1823, '33.

Gideon Barstow, 1825.

Wilson Barstow, 1829, '30.

George King, 1829, '30.

Ebeu Holmes, 1829, '30, '32.

Amith B. Hammond, 1832, '33, '55.

Tlicophilus King, 1333, '35, '36, '37.

Malaehi Ellis, 1834.

Benjamin Barstow (2d), 1834.

Zucheus M. Barstow, 1835, '36, '37, '38.

Joseph Hammett, 1835.

William Sears, 1835.

James H. Clark, 1838, '39.

Isaac Smith, 18.18, '39.

Samuel Sturtevaut, Jr., 1839, '40, '41.

James Ruggles, 1840, '41.

Silas B. Allen, 1S42, '43.

Loring Meiggs, 1842, '43.

George Bouney, 1844, '45.

Nathan Cannou, 1844, '45.

Nathan S. Clark, 1846, '47.

Solomon K. Eaton, 1846, '47.

John H. Clark, 1849, '50.

John A. Le Baron, 1851, '52.

William Sears, 1853.

Thomas Ellis, 1854.

G. B. Blnckinur, 1S56.

David Lewis, 1869, '62.

Israel F. Niekersou, 18U5.

Thomas Ellis, 1868.

George W. Humphreys, 1S71.

John S. Ryder, 1874.

Judah Hathaway, 1878.

Isaac F. B. Perry, 1882.

Note. — In years not given the town cither neglected, voted
not to send or has sent (since 1S56) with other towns.

Military Record. — List of soldiers furnished by
Rochester, Mass., during the war of the Rebellion: 1

Three Years' Service,

George H. Clark. William T. Bryant.

Eoos Bolton. Thuuius A. Cushman.

William T. Comstock. John W. Phipps.

William II . 11. Chase. George B. Ashley.

John A. Fuller. Henry C. Kingman.

David Ryder. Nchemiah It. Davis.

Joseph F. Ryder. Willard E. Clark.

Charles Kieketson. Charles M. Maxim.

George 11. Randall. Martin S. Tinkham.

Nine Mouth* Service.

Thomas B. Bourne. Isaiah T. Wilbur.

Lucius E. Pierce. Saliiu Jefferson.

William T. Ellis. Stephen C. Sears.

Thomus W. Raymond. Lawrence R. Rankin.

Moses W. Pierce. Theodoro W. Cole.

John L. Nye. Israel S. Bishop.

Henry E. Crapo. Edmund Williams.

Francis N. Crapo. Madison N. Rydor.

Handel J. Tripp. Thcophilus Burgess.

George E. Duulap. Micah S. Bishop.

1 Compiled by A. W. Bisbee, Jr.



The first Blackmer of whom we have authentic
record was William, who came from England as early
as 1637, and settled at Lynn, Mass., afterwards re-
moving to Sandwich. It is inferred by Joel Black-
mer, of New York, who has made researches into the
genealogy of the family, that this William was the
ancestor of the Blackmers of Rochester.

Peter Blackmer, born May 25, 1GG7, resided iu
Rochester, was a man of much influence and import-
ance in the town, and held many positions of office
and trust. He was selectman from 1090 to 1715, in-
clusive, and town clerk from 1G99 to 171G, inclusive.
He Wits also an officer in the military. lie died Aug.
1, 1717. Among other children, he had Stephen,
born July, 1704. Of his record we kuow but little
further than that he married and had a son, Salisbury,
who purchased the farm now owned by his graudsou,
Garrison B. The original deed, bearing date April
8, 179G, is now in Mr. Blackmer's possession. Salis-
bury was born April 2, 1750. He married Phebe
Read. Their children were James, Thomas, William,
Tisdell, John, Salisbury, Phebe, Betsey, aud Rufus.
He was by occupation a master-mariner, anil com-
manded vessels plying between New England ports
and Cape de Verde Islands. On the occasion of one
of his voyages to the islands he found the inhabitants
ou the verge of starvation, in consequence of a great
famine which prevailed throughout the islands. Capt.
Blackmer at ouce unloaded his cargo, aud repairing
to the nearest port where a supply of provisions could
be obtained, he loaded his vessel with supplies for the
unfortunate people, returned to the islands and relieved
i their necessities. This generous action was uever for-
gotten by the grateful people, and they always hailed
his appearance among them with the most extravagant
manifestations of delight. He followed the sea most
of his life, aud finally died at his home in Rochester
of a prevailing fever. Of this fever we quote the
following from a historical sketch of the town :

" Iu 181G the spotted fever made fearful ravages iu
the village of Mattapoisett and iu the western part of
the central village. The population of the entire town
being two thousand eight hundred, sixty-one Jttads of
families were stricken down with the disease."

John Blackmer was brought up to a seafaring life
with his father, and upon the latter's death succeeded
to his trade with the Cape de Verde islauders. In
September, 1827, he sailed from Bostou in the sloop
" Elizabeth" for Cape de Verde Islands, and the vessel



with all on board was lost, never afterwards being
heard from. He married Nancy Bullen, of Farm-
ington, Mc. They had seven children, — James, born
1S15, was lost at sea when about seventeen years
old ; Fanuy W., died in childhood ; John, who was
brought up on the farm, and after attaining his ma-
jority went to sea two or three, voyages, and then
weut to California witli the early gold-seekers, where
he remaiued two or three years, when he returned to
his native town, purchased a farm, where he resided
several years, and was selectman of the town ; he

now resides in New Bedford ; he has two children,

Hannah J. and Herbert A., both married. Mary F.,
married Henry H. Smith, of Martha's Vineyard, a
seafaring man ; he died in California, 1851 ; she is
now a widow, and resides with her brother, Garrison
B. Elizabeth, married Benjamin S. Clark, of New
Bedford, and now resides in Brockton ; her' husband
was a sea-captain many years ; they have four chil-
dren, — Arthur B., Elizabeth J., Fannie B. and Annie
B. (twins). Garrison B. (see portrait). Nancy S.,
married John W. Phipps, of Maine ; he was a teacher
and painter, and resided in Rochester ; they had five
children, — S. Franklin B., deceased; Henry G., resides
in Brockton ; Mary E., deceased (this young lady,
together with four other persons, was drowned April
21, 1883, by the upsetting of a pleasure-boat in
Snow's Pond, Rochester. There were six in the
boat, — Fannie R. Church, aged twelve ; Isabella R.
Church, aged ten ; Charles H. F. Church, aged
eight; Ella Rounseville, aged nineteen; Albert
Rouuseville, aged eleven ; and Mary E. Phipps, aged
tweuty-three. The boat, a very frail affair, upset, and
all were drowned except Albert Rounseville) ; Charles
E., deceased ; Elmer E., graduated at Bridgewater
State Normal School, and is now a teacher. John
W. Phipps enlisted in Thirty-eighth Massachusetts
Volunteer Infantry, August, 1861, and died of fever
in New Orleans, May, 18G2. He was sergeant of
Company H. He was a man much respected in

Rochester, and was a member of the school committee
several years.

Garrison B. Blackmer had, besides the usual attend-
ance at the public schools of the town, the advantages
of the private tutorship, at his father's house, of a
Miss Hamblin, who taught him during summers until
he was large enough to work on the farm, when his
services were brought into requisition in that sphere.
The father being lost at sea when the oldest child was
but twelve years of age, left great responsibility rest-
ing upon the widowed mother and orphaned children.
When Garrison B. was but twelve years of age his
elder brother went to sea, and left him at that early
age to conduct a large farm. This he did with very
good success. This circumstance, together with sub-
sequent unexpected responsibilities which devolved
upon him, contributed to make the avocation of agri-
culture his pursuit through life, and he has made the
old homestead his abiding-place. He assumed the
care of his mother, and, later on, his widowed sisters
have resided with him at the old homestead.

While Mr. Blackmer had not the advantages of
collegiate training, yet he has always been a readiug
man, and has kept himself posted not only on the
current events of the day, but has given his leisure
time to the perusal of standard literature, and espe-
cially all things pertaining to local historical aud
statistical matters. He has held many positions of
office and trust in his town. He was town treasurer
aud collector, 1876 to 1879, inclusive ; selectman,
1882-84; represented the towns of Rochester,
Marion, and Mattapoisett in General Court, 1S5C;
was moderator at most of the town-meetings from
1870 to 1884 ; and was justice of the peace seven
years. He is considered one of the foremost men of
the town in all matters pertaining to public interest.
In politics he has been Whig and Republican, aud is
a member of the Christian Church of Acushuet.
He is a member of Pythagorean Lodge, F. A. M., at



Much of the early history of Hanson is embraced
in that of Pembroke, of which it was originally a
part, and with the latter town formed the western
portion of Duxbury till the year 1712, when Pem-
broke was incorporated.

The territory of Hanson consists largely of what
is known as the " Major's Purchase," bought by Jo-
siah Wiuslow and thirty-four others of the Indian
sachem Josias Wampatuck, which was executed July
9, 1G62. It was " Bounded by the lands of Plymouth
and Duxbury on the one side, and of Bridgewater on
the other side, and extending North and South from
the lands formerly purchased by Capt. Thomas South-
worth unto the Great Ponds at Mattakeeset, provided
it include not the thousand acres given to my sou and
George Wampy about these ponds." It is probable
that the thousand acres referred to were never bought
of the aborigines, but gradually became occupied by
the early settlers as they died or left for other parts
of the country. The Bridgewater Hue mentioned in
the deed ran near where the school-house ou Beal's
Hill now stands in a direct line to the west part of
the "Tilden place." In April, 1G84, " The Propri-
etors agreed and chose John Thomson (of Middle-
boro'), Nathaniel Thomas (of what is now Hanson),
and John Soule (of Duxbury) a committee of said
proprietors to settle the bounds of the said tract called
the Major's Purchase." For this service they had
grants of land set off, that of John Thomson being
in the eastern part, and one of the bounds, a pitch-
pine tree on the "shore of Herring pond" (now
called Stetson's Pond), in Pembroke, is still staudiug.
For about seventy-five years before incorporation
Hanson was called the West Precinct of Pembroke,
and so established at a meeting of the town, May 19,
1746, by the following vote : " The question was put
to know whether the town would vote off the west-
erly part of the town agreeable to their request and
set forth in the warrant, and it passed in the negative,
and then the questiou was put in the following words,
viz. : If it be your minds that all of that part of the

town to the westward of a straight line run at right
angles with a straight line from the meeting-house in
Pembroke to the new meeting-house erected in the
westerly part of said town, said line to begin eighty
rods to the westward of the centre betwixt said meet-
ing-houses, measured by the road, shall be dismissed
from this town or Precinct, and be incorporated into
a town or Precinct with part of the towns of Han-
over, Abington, Bridgewater, and Halifax, excepting
those inhabitants which are not willing to be set off,
please manifest it, and it passed in the afiirmative."
In 1759, Elijah Cushiog and Edward Thomas were
chosen to join with a committee of the First Pre-
cinct to settle the line more definitely, and reported :
" We, the subscribers, being chosen a Committee to
settle the line betwixt the two Precincts, have accord-
ingly met the committee of the First Precinct, and
have considered on the affair as well as we could under
our present situation, not having the grant of said
Precinct, concluded that if Lemuel Crocker choose to
belong to the First Precinct, that we should not con-
tend in the luw about his rate at present." Parish
records show that the unsettled line caused various
controversies, and in June, 1811, Oliver Whitten was
chosen agent for the West Parish, and David Oldham,
Jr., aud Isaac Hatch East Parish agents, to adjust
the bounds, which resulted as follows :

" We, the subscribers, being appoiuted agents by
the two Parishes in Pembroke to renew and settle
the division-line between said Parishes, have proceeded
as follows, viz. : Beginning four rods and four feet
down stream below Salmond's Forge, so called ; thence
south one degree east to a stake and stones standing
between two small pines in Seth Perry's pasture ;
thence on the same course to an apple-tree standing
six rods and twenty-three links to the eastward of the
northeast corner of Jacob Bryant's dwelling-house;
then on the same course to a stake and stones stand-
ing in Halifax line." This proved satisfactory so far
as the records show, but the desire to be an incor-
porated town kept the subject agitated, and on Mon-



day, Feb. 8, 1819, it was voted "To be separated
from the other Parish in this town, and be incor-
porated into a distinct township ; but three dissentiug
votes." Thomas Hobart, Esq., was chosen agent for
conducting the business. The act of the Legislature
was passed Feb. 22, 1820, and the West Parish of
Pembroke became the town of Hanson, a name se-
lected in honor of Alexander Conte Hanson, the
victim of the Baltimore mob in 1812. The facts ob-
tained from the Boston Athenaeum, American Traits,
1812, were collected by Rev. S. L. Rockwood, from
which we copy: "Alexander Conte Hanson, the son
of John Hanson, was editor of the Federal Repub-
lican, Baltimore, 1812. He published articles criti-
cising the administration. A mob destroyed his office
and press. The paper was again started July 2G,
1S12, and on the same evening a mob attacked the
office, and the next day Hanson and others were
placed in jail for security. The mob got possession
of the jail and seized uine or ten of the prisoners,
and threw them down the stone steps for dead, where
they lay about three hours, exposed to the basest in-
sults. Hanson, among others, was resuscitated, car-
ried out of the city, and hid in a bay-cart. In a
short time popular feeling chauged : Hanson was
elected representative to Congress. In 1816 he was
elected senator, and died in office, July 25, 1819."
It appears evident that it was largely due to the influ-
ence of Maj. Thomas Hobart, representative to the
General Court in 1820, that this name was given to
the new town. An attempt was made afterwards to
change the name, but the town voted " to pass over
the clause in the warrant." In the early settlement
the name of Tunk (or sometimes spelled Tunck) was
given to the West Parish. From what it camecanuot
with certainty be determined. By some it is said to
have come from a local tribe of Indians in the
southern part, but, as no mention of such tribe is
made iu history, this is probably without foundation.
Another source is that an Indian or negro of some
notoriety gave the locality its name.

The area of the town comprises about niue thou-
sand seven hundred and thirty acres, and its present
bounds are South Abington, Rocklaud, aud Hanover
on the north, Pembroke on the east, on the south
Halifax, and on the west East Bridgewater and South
Abiugton. The surface is generally level, though
there are several hills of considerable elevation,
Bonuey Hill, in the central part, being one of the
highest iu Plymouth County. The present number
of inhabitants, according to the census of 1880, is
thirteen hundred and nine.

There are several small rivers and streams running

through the town, though none large enough to give
any great facilities for manufacturing purposes. In-
dian Head River, the earliest mentioned stream, is
the outlet of Indian Head Pond, and after a circui-
tous run it empties into North River. It is noticed
by this name in the earliest records concerning the
territory now Hanson. The northern boundary of
the " Major's Purchase," when it was re-established
in 1699, "was Marshfield Upper lauds to Indian
Head River Pond, thence to Indian Head River,
and by that river till it comes to a little brook, which
comes out of the swamp and empties into Indian
Head River."

It is also mentioned as the western bouudary of
Scituate. Deane's History has the following: " March
7, 1642, we find this court order: 'The bounds of
Scituate township, on the westerly side of said town
shall be up the Indian Head River to the pond which
is the head of said river, and from thence to Accord
pond.' " By this we learn that the northern part
of Hanson was originally a part of Scituate. It was
on this stream, near where it crosses the road,
soon after leaving the poud, that John Thomson
bad '• four acres of meadow" set off to him for ser-
vices as surveyor. This shows the value of land that
produced hay, as he resided in Middleboro', and it
must have cost considerable labor to transport his
hay so long a distance. Drinkwater River has its
source in Rockland, forms part of the northern
boundary of Hanson, and empties into Indian Head
River. According to Barry, tradition gives as the
derivation of the name Driukwater, " That an old
saw-mill formerly stood near Ellis' bridge, which was
burned by the Indians in 1676, aud the erection of
a new mill on the spot, at whose raising cold water,
instead of spirituous liquors was furnished as a bever-
age, gave rise to the name Drinkwater." Poor
Meadow River is formed by waters running through
the Abingtons from the swamps in Weymouth, aud
runs south through the westerly part of the town
into East Bridgewater, and empties into Bobbins
Pond, and thence into Taunton River. White Oak-
Brook takes the waters of the swamps iu the south-
eastern part, and empties into Monponsett Poud.
Cedar Swamp Brook, near South Hanson Station,
takes its name from its source, and flows north through
meadows into Poor Meadow River.

Rocky Run River rises in the swamp in the
northeastern part, and runs north iuto Indian Head
River, and is part of the boundary between Hanson
and Pembroke. The ponds are Indian Head, Ma-
quan, and a small part of Oldham, all in the eastern
part of the town, also a small portion of Monponsett



in the southern part. Indian Head and Maquan
Ponds are connected by a small brook, but are unlike
in the quality of water, the first named having a
muddy bottom, with some tinge of color to the water,
caused by the presence of iron ore, while Maquan
has a sandy gravel for its bed, with clear, sparkling
water. There are also several mill-ponds formed by
constructing dams.

In many localities Indian relics have been found.
In some instances their settlements and camping-
grounds have been determined by the remains of
utensils. On the land where William Tubbs had his
grant in 1684, has been found near a spring of water
a portion of a pot or kettle which was doubtless
broken while after water, and left to be cherished by
the white man as a relic. Numerous arrow-points,
broken hatchets, and various remnants of articles have
been found, which show the ingenuity of the Indian
to have been equal to his necessity. Many pleasaut
legends concerning them have been handed down
which are fanciful in their conception. «

Roads. — The oldest roads are known to have been
the paths of the Indians. The road leading from
Duxbury to Bridgewater was anciently called " The
Bridgewater path." The location has been consider-
ably changed in many places. It formerly turned to
the west, a short distance north of the Methodist
Church in Bryantville, and followed near Indian Head
Pond till it came out to where the road now is, a little
west of the Baptist Church, thus demonstrating that
it was first used by the Indians on their way from
the ponds in Pembroke to those in Hanson. There
is an Indian way, so called in old deeds, leading
southwest from the " Dea. Bearse place" through the
swamp and woods to the ponds in Bridgewater. One
of the oldest records of establishing any roads in
Hanson is in 1712, when it was ordered " that a road
be made from Josiah Foster's house to Cotton's mill,"
it being the road leading from the John Fish place, in
Pembroke, to the mill at the foot of Almshouse Hill.
The instructions were " to run in the most conveni-
ent place," with no specifications for width or grade.
The main road running north to Abington is fre-
quently mentioned as the " Country road." There
must also have been roads or ways at an early date that
are now disused, and some entirely obliterated, as the
site of houses can be found that are far from any liue
of travel.

Early Settlers. — It is not known who first settled
in what is now Hanson, nor the time, but as early
as 1679 James Bishop owned laud on Indian Head
River, and was living in 1710. The name was
originally spelled Bushop.

In 1684, William Tubbs was granted laud " upon
condition that he bear his part of the church and towu
charges." His land was adjoiuing that of Abraham
Peirce and Nathaniel Thomas. The land of Nathaniel
Thomas was in the northwestern part, and was granted
him for services in dividing the " Major's Purchase"
into lots. It is worthy of note that his homestead
has never changed hands by deed, but passed from
father to son by inheritance. The Congregational
Church lot is from this laud.

In 1712, Josiah Bourne, great-grandson of Thomas
Bourne, one of the first settlers iu Marshfield, bought
a large tract in the extreme southern part, next to the
" Great Cedar Swamp," " with ye house on it," and
traces of its location can still be seen. It is said of
him that he was small in stature, a man of good prac-
tical sense, determination, and perseverauce, who made
the hills and valleys laugh and shine with their abund-
ance. He had three sons and five daughters, whose
descendants are scattered over various parts of the

Elijah Cushing, born 1697, bought land farther
north, and about 1730 built the house now standing,
which bears his name, and which has been owned and
occupied by his descendants to the present time. It
is a large, commodious two-story house, such as were
built at that period, and with care might survive many
of later date. Mr. Cushing was one of the principal
men of the parish and took a prominent part in all
its proceedings. He died iu 1762, and lies buried in
the old town burying-placa, where his tombstones
attract attention by their immense size.

The Bisbees and Peirces were early located on the
Bridgewater road, iu the vicinity of South Hanson
Station, on the Old Colony Railroad.

Later we find the names of Smith, Torrey, How-
land, Robinson, Munroe, Bonney, Real, Stetson, Soper,
Hobart, Phillips, Soule, Hayford, Cole, Gould, Allen,
Perry, Hamlin, Barker, Dammon, and others. Eleazer
Hamlin, who was prominent in parish matters, was
the grandfather of Hon. Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine.
Many of these names have entirely disappeared from
the town. These were men of intelligence and re-
spectability, whose lives were given to activity and

Ecclesiastical History. — When the early church

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 77 of 118)