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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the colouists ran high against this form of worship.
The government was in the hands of the Congrega-
tional ists. The greater portion by far of the inhab-
itants hereabout was decidedly opposed to the church,
and at the eud of Mr. Davenport's residence he states
that there were but three recipients of the holy

One of the greatest sources of trouble to the Epis-
copalians was the church taxes, which all were
obliged by law to pay, regardless of their religious
belief. Episcopalians were thus taxed to help sup-
port other churches. Frequent arrests of Episco-
palians are noted for non-payment of this tax, fol-
lowed iu some cases by imprisonment. Later a yearly
rebate of these taxes was made to Episcopalians.

Mr. Davenport's interest in this society was so
strong that on his decease he gave to the " Society

for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts,"
iu trust forever, for the use of the miuisters of St.
Andrew's Church in Scituate, his residence here, con-
sisting of seven acres of land, with dwelling-house,
barn, and other buildings thereon. By authority of
the Legislature this land was sold in 1817, and the
sum of $466.09 was realized therefor. This fund
was added to a fund for the support of religious
worship iu the Episcopal society of St. Andrew iu
Hanover, and was also increased by $183.82, realized
by the sale of the old church building. This fund
was then sold for $1274.20. Additional gifts of
$1315.70 increased it to $2589.90, which was used
in building a rectory, which was first occupied in
1849 (July 13th). This rectory is a plain, substantial
dwelling-house, and is situated on the southwest side
of Washington Street, in Hanover, nearly opposite
the junction of Back Street.

Mr. Davenport's successors were as follows : Charles
Brockwell, 1737; Ebenezer Thompson, 1762-75;
Edward Winslow, 1775-76 ; Samuel Parker, 1780-
S3; William Willard Wheeler, 17S3-1810.

During Mr. Thompsou's ministry here the church
edifice was enlarged. " It is said," in a letter from
Henry Caner, D.D., to the secretary of the Society
for the Propagation of the Gospel iu Foreign Parts,
" that the death of the Society's faithful and very
worthy Missionary, Mr. Thompson, of Scituate, was
owing partly to bodily disorder, and partly to some un-
civil treatment from the rebels iu his neighborhood."
These were troublous times for the Church of
Euglaud people in the colonies. Their litany taught
them to pray morning and eveuing for the king and
the royal family. The " rebels" were in a vast ma-
jority iu this neighborhood. Feelings which prompted
the colonists to such tremendous sacrifices as were
endured by them iu defending their rights and liber-
ties, could not brook open sympathy with their arch
oppressor. It is not, therefore, strange that the min-
isters who did not yield, and the people of their
flocks who still maintained their adherence to tho
crowu, should have been derided and persecuted.
This all-controlling passion of patriotism is enough
to explain the conduct of colonists toward their oppo-
nents in their midst.

The rectors of this parish siuce the removal of its
church to Hanover, iu 1811, were Joab G. Cooper,
1811-16; Calvin Wolcott, 1818-34; Samuel G.
Appleton, 1835-38; Eleazer A. Greeuleaf, 1S39-41 ;
Samuel Cutler, 1841-72 (this was Mr. Cutler's only
pastorate,— he died July 17, 1880) ; William II.
Brooks, 1872, who is its present rector.

Dr. Brooks came to Hanover April 14, 1872, from



Webster, Mass. He graduated at the Theological
Seminary of Virginia in 1S52, and has since received
the honorary degree of " S.T.D." His various
charges have been in their order at Newark, Del.,
Lenox, Mass., Brockport, N. Y., Plymouth, Mass.,
Oxford, Mass., Webster, Mass., and Hanover. The
latter has been his longest pastorate. He is highly
respected and much beloved in his parish. He is
deeply interested in matters historical pertaining to
the church. His researches have succeeded iu bring-
ing to light one interesting document which illustrates
the truth of the old adage we used to see in our copy-
books, " Times change and men change with them."
It is a subscription-paper, with a long list of names,
the " suras set against" which are for the purpose of
purchasing lottery tickets, the proceeds of which, if
fortunate, are to go towards the support of the Gos-
pel in St. Andrew's parish. Under Dr. Brooks St.
Andrew's is flourishing, and is slowly but steadily
gaining in numbers and strength.

The Baptist Society. — The Baptist is the only
society in town still worshiping in its original church
edifice. Ou Main Street, facing Walnut Street, stands
this building. It was raised and a vestry placed under
it in 185!), but has undergone no other substantial
changes since it was built, in 1812. This is the First
Baptist Church in Hanover. It is an offshoot of the
Baptist society in Marshfield, aud is now prosperous.
The date of its establishment as a separate organiza-
tion is 1S06 (February 11th). Its first pastor was
Rev. Barnabas Perkins. The list of its pastors is as
follows after Mr. Perkins: William Curtis, 1807-0;
John Butler, 1S10-24. From 1S24 to 1833 the
church had no settled minister for much of the time.
Darius Dunbar, 1S33-35 ; Robert B. Dickie, 1834-
36 ; Horace Seaver, 1836-38 ; Nathan Stetson, 1S39-
40; Thomas Conant, 1840-42; Nathan Chapman,
1S45-40; B. N. Harris, 1846-49; William N.
Slason, 1849-53; Caleb Benson, 1853-54; Thomas
Conant, 1854-56' ; J. M. Mace, 1856-57 ; Jacob
Tuck, 1857-61 ; W. H. Stewart, 1801-63 (entered
the United States service as chaplain) ; Andrew
Read, 1S63-S2; C. D. Swett, 1882-S4.

Iu the minutes of the Old Colony Association of
1S59, it is recorded of this church that it "has re-
modeled its house of worship by building underneath
it a vestry and other commodious rooms, and has
otherwise improved the whole structure." In 1867 a
pipe organ was placed in the church. The spire was
raised to the improvement of the building's architec-
tural appearance.

Rev. Andrew Read's pastorate of nearly tweuty
years demands more than a passing notice, if for no

other reason than its long continuance in the midst of
so mauy of short duration. During his residence
here ho identified himself with the interests of the
town in many ways, among others .serving fur many
years on the school committee. One of his children
(Grace) was for several years a faithful and eflicieut
teacher in her own district, aud was a girl of much in-
tellectual ambition and activity.

Universalist Society. — The church of the Uni-
versalist society is situated about two rods northerly
of the northerly line of the town in Assinippi village.
While this edifice is outside of the town limits, so
mauy of the society reside iu Hanover that it is
thought best to insert some history of this church

Its present, is its second church building upon this
spot. It has been built a little more than half a cen-
tury. During that time its interior has beeu remod-
eled. The pulpit was lowered, and a more modern
one substituted. Its singers' seats also were lowered,
and a fine organ added. Its pews were newly painted,
and the entire interior handsomely frescoed. It stands
upon an eminence, back some distauce from Wash-
ington Street. Here stood also the old church. It
had no steeple, and no plastering. Its interior was
not warmed by a stove for mauy years. A gallery
surrounded three sides of it, and its pulpit was large
and lofty. The seats in the gallery were mere benches,
while pews filled the floor. The roof pitched cast and
west. The front porch extended from the ground to
the roof. Midway on each side of the building was a
doorway. Here were often heard the voices of the
old apostles of Universalism, Hosea Ballon and John

This society, one of the first of this denomination
to be established in the county, did not enter upon its
existence without a struggle. Its first petition to be
set off as a separate parish came from the inhabitants
of the northerly part of Hanover. This petition was
renewed in 1767, and the town of Scituate opposed
it by a committee especially chosen for the purpose.
The petition was agaiu presented unsuccessfully in
1771 and 1796, and it was not until IS 12 that it was
granted. The act of incorporation is dated June 18,
1812, and the members of the society whose names
appear therein are Enoch Collamore, Peleg Simmons,
Jr., Josiah Witherell, Seth Stoddard, Samuel Sim-
mons, George Litchfield, John Jones, Elisha Gross,
Reuben Sutton, Theophilus Corthell, Edward F.
Jacobs, Elisha Barrell, Loriug Jacobs, Elisha Bar-
rell, Jr., Ichabod R. Jacobs, John Jones, Jr., Calvin
Wilder, James H. Jacobs, Charles Totuian, Charles
Jones, Isaac N. Damon, Joshua Bowker, James Ja-



cobs, Abel Sylvester, Stcpben Jacobs, Charles Sim-
mons, William Hyland, David Turner, Samuel Ran-
dall, Jr., Joshua Damon, Samuel Randall, Ebenezer
Totuian, Jonathan Turner, Enoch Collamore, Jr.,
Beujaruin Bowker, John Gross. Edward Curtis.

Its ministers have been David Pickering, Samuel
Baker,, Abuer Kneeland, Elias Smith, Joshua Flagg,
Benjamin Whittemore, Robert L. Killam, 1829-38 ;
H. W. Morse, 183S ; John F. Dyer, 1S39; J. E.
Burnham, 1840; John S. Barry, 1841-14; M. E.
Hawes, 1844-45 ; Horace P. Stevens, 184G-47 ;
Robiusou Breare, 1849-52.

Lewis L. Record, Henry E. Vose, 1850; Edward
A. Perry, 1867 ; James B. Tabor, Augustus P. Rein,
Jacob Baker, B. F. Eaton.



The Bench and Bar in Hanover. — The first
lawyer to settle in Hanover was Hon. Benjamin
Whitiuau, born in 1768. He came here in 1792,
and in 1806 followed the tendency which is supposed
to be entirely modern, and moved to Boston, where he
was justice (chief) of the Police Court for many
years. He graduated at Brown University in the
class of 17S8, and settled in Pembroke, in this
county. During his entire residence in Hanover, he
lived at or near the Four Comers. Iu 1799 he built
the elegant mansion now occupied by Horatio Bige-
low, and formerly the residence of Seth Barker, near
North River bridge, ou the high ground overlooking
the river. Barry, in his history of the towu, speaks of
him as an " able lawyer ; a man of great business en-
terprise ; an active politician." He seems to have been
successful as a politician, for he was for years post-
master at Hanover, and, after moving to Boston, was
representative from that city. Among his students
was Barker Curtis, son of Simeon Curtis, of Hanover,
who emigrated to Maine after having an office in As-
sinippi village, iu the northeasterly part of the town,
for a short time. John Winslow, a direct descendant
of Gov. Josiah Winslow, and a graduate of Brown
University in the class of 1795, settled in Hanover
about 1S10. He lived at the " Four Corners" until
his death, in 1830. His practice is said to have been
very extensive, and he was called a thorough lawyer.

Hanover at this time boasted two lawyers in the same
village. Almost opposite the house which Mr. Wins-
low built for himself, and which was afterwards occu-

pied by Capt. John Cushing, lived Jothain Cushman,

Isaiah Wing, another Hanover man, and a pupil at
the academy, practiced law for a short time at Han-
over before his removal to Ohio. He was a student
of Mr. Winslow.

Hon. Aaron Hobart, the author of" An Historical
Sketch of the Town of Abimrton," came to the Four
Corners about 1812. He graduated at Brown Uni-
versity in 1805. In 1820, while living here, he went
to the Massachusetts Senate from Plymouth County.
He was in 182G— 27 a member of Congress. Soon
after his removal to East Bridgewater he was ap-
pointed judge of probate for Plymouth County, a
position which he held until his death, in September,
1858, at the age of seventy-one. His public services
were long-continued, and always carefully and up-
rightly performed. His little historical sketch of
Abington is a classic in its way, and a gem among
local histories.

Alexander Wood, Esq, came to Hanover from
Middleboro', before 1830, and opened an office in
Hanover at the Corners, which seems to have been
the favorite part of the town for attorneys. He
studied law at Middleboro', with Hou. Wilkes
Wood, judge of probate, and father of Hon. William
H. Wood, recently deceased, also judge of probate
and insolvency of Plymouth County.

Alexander Wood practiced law but a short time.
He became a store-keeper at the Corners, and died
there some years since.

Hon. Perez Simmons, a native of Hanover, and
graduate in 1833 of Brown University, is still living
at Assiuippi, in the practice of his professiou. His
biography appears elsewhere.

His son, John Franklin Simmons, born in June,
1851, lives with his father at Assiuippi. He is a
graduate of Harvard University, class of 1873, and
was chosen by the class as their orator on class
day of that year. After being at the Harvard Law
School for a year and a half, in February, 1S75, he
was admitted to the bar at Plymouth. He went at
once to Abington, in this county, where he opened an
office with Hon. Jesse E. Keith, the present judge of
probate and insolvency for this county. His partner-
ship was dissolved in 1883, and Mr. Simmons imme-
diately formed a new business connection with Harvey
H. Pratt, Esq., of Abington, who had been a student
in his oflice. In addition to his Abington office, Mr.
Simmons has had much practice from and in HaD-
over, which his residence in the latter town has ne-
cessitated. He has been for the past six years a
member of the board of school committee of the towu.



Physicians in Town. — The first physician to
settle within the limits of the town was Dr. Jeremiah
Hall, who came here iu 1749. Then wc have records
of Dr. Lemuel Cushiug (who was a surgeon in the
Ilevolutiou), Dr. Peter Hobart, Dr. Marsh, Dr. Mel-
zur Dwelley, Dr. Cartier, Dr. Joshua Studlcy, Dr.
Ezekiel D. Cushing (a most distinguished man in his
profession), Dr. Henry Wade, Dr. Jacob llichards,
Dr. Calvin B. Pratt, Dr. Joseph B. Fobes, Dr. Ben-
jamin Whitwell, Dr. Alfred C. Garratt, Dr. John 0.
French, Dr. Downes, Dr. Woodbridge It. Howes,
and his sou, Dr. Clarence L. Howes. Of these there
are now liviug, — Dr. Fobes, at Bridgewater (a most
successful physician), Dr. John 0. French, and the
two Drs. Howes, all three of whom are settled at
Hanover Four Corners in active practice.



Early Wars— The RevolutionaryWar— War of 1S12— The Civil
War — The Soldiers' Monument — Grand Army of the Re-

In the early times, about the period when the
territory of this town was first settled, it is prob-
able that the settlers iu common with the early pio-
neers everywhere throughout the colonies were of
necessity skilled in the use of arms. The constant
presence of unseen foes, the necessity for being
perpetually on the alert, made soldiers of the farmers
and fortresses of their houses. Even at the pres-
ent day houses are standing whose wooden walls
are filled with brick, which, while sufficiently ac-
counted for by the added stability and warmth thereby
acquired, tradition with its love for the romantic also
attributes to the necessity of guarding against the
bullets of the red man.

After the town of Hanover was incorporated the
colouies passed through the constant series of border
fights, diguified by the name of wars, the French and
Indian wars, and the contests between France and
England fur supremacy upon the sod of the new con-

In all these the town bore her part by furnishing
soldiers. It usually kept a stock of powder of its
own, which at one time was stored in the chamber
of the first church over the women's gallery. This
town powder, as years went by, bore an unfortunate
existence. It was once the subject of an investiga-
tion, as modern fashion terms them, for we learu that

on Oct. 30, 1744, Capt. Elijah Cushing was instructed
" to inform his Excellency concerning Dea. Thos. Jos-
selynn's making way with the Town stock of gun-
powder." This Capt. Cushing did with so much
credit that November 5th he himself was appointed
" to take care of the Town's Powder and bullets."
Later on (1795) the towu's stock of powder was stolen,
and the vote of the town to buy a new stuck is re-

The first military expedition in which Hanover
men participated was in the expedition to the West
Indies, in 1740, — a most unfortunate scheme, in which
over four huudred died.

Then came the contest which resulted in the dis-
lodgment of the French from Canada, lasting from
1745 to 1763. Hanover men were constant partici-
pants iu these contests. Barry states that " one or
more" of the " Acadians," whose misfurtunes are im-
mortalized in Longfellow's " Evangeline," settled in
Hauover after their removal from their homes, but
cannot give their names.

Next came the mutterings of the approaching
Revolution. Hanover's patriotism then, as ever, ran
high, and during the whole of that long, desperate
contest it never flagged, although the suffering pa-
triots were beset with difficulties, whose severities no
pen can picture, no imagination can puint. Yet even
here Toryism dared to raise its head. The royalist
compact known as the "Ruggles Covenant," pledging
its signers to the support of the crown, crept stealthily
about town in 1774 and obtained a few signers. It
is a source of congratulation that most of its signers
were those " Friends" or Quakers whose religion taught
them to abhor all war. The rest were members of
the Church of England, whose religion forbade them
to rebel against the head of the church on earth.
There are traditions of others iu town whose sympa-
thies led them to espouse what seemed to be the
stronger cause, and who dreaded the approach of a
patriot, especially if he carried a gun.

From the first Hanover sent delegates to every
convention or congress whose object was redress for
the colony's grievances. In 1768, Joseph Cushing,
afterward judge of probate of this county, weut to the
convention called at Boston, September 21st, "to con-
sult upon measures for the safety of the province."
Afterward, in 1774, the same gentleman, with Joseph
ltauisdell, Joshua Simmons, Capt. Hubert L. Eclls,
and Dr. Lemuel Cushiug as colleagues, attended a
conference of delegates from every town in the county,
for the consideration of means for the furtherance of
the cause of freedom. Col. Cushing was here, and
also in tho Provincial Congress, an active and promi-



nent participant, and the honor to which his name ia
entitled Hauover shares.

Our first record of militia or minute-men in town
is in 1773. According to Col. J. B. Barstow, Hanover
raised two companies. The road now called Hanover
Street asf ar as the Centre, and thence westerly to the
Driukwater Forge and Abiugton line, marked the
bounds of the two districts. The Southern Company
was commanded by Capt. (afterwards Col.) Amos
Turner and Lieut. Samuel Barstow. The captain of
the Northern Company was Capt. Joseph Soper, and
the lieutenant Samuel Curtis.

All through the war an extra body of men with
special and large powers, called a Committee of Safety,
was in existence, and was again resorted to iu 1812.
The members of these committees were usually the
most prominent and substantial citizens of the com-

Hostilities actually commenced on the famous 19th
of April, now doubly commemorative of the initiative
battles of two great contests. After this we find
Hanover men participating in most of the local mili-
tary mancjcuvres.

They were with Col. John Bailey in his attack on
the regulars sent by Gen. Gage to guard Marshfield's
trembling Tories. One of the ancestors of the writer,
who was present at the fiasco (for such it was), said
that Col. Bailey, under one pretext or another, held
back his men until the regulars had gone, when he
began urgiug on his soldiers by shouting, " Come on,
my brave boys, we'll have 'em yet !"

They went to Plymouth " to guard the sea-coast"
iu May, 1775, and they were at Boston under Gen.
Washington, and participated in the midnight occu-
pation of Dorchester Heights.

June 30, 177G, a meeting was held which showed
the unhesitating loyalty of Hanover. The Declara-
tion of Independence had not been promulgated, but
was being seriously considered throughout the little
strip of sea-coast settlements then constituting the
rising nation. The citizens of Hanover spoke with
no doubting voice, and they then " voted to instruct
their Representative that, if said Congress should
think it safest to declare them Independent of the
Kingdom of Great Britain, they, the inhabitants [of
Hanover], will support them in this measure."

But while zealously urging on the severing of the
ties which bound them to the oppressive mother-laud,
they none the less carefully guarded their liberties
and their rights. In 1778 a constitution had been
prepared and submitted to the towns for their action.
Most towns, Hauover among them, refused to accept
it. The town chose a committee of fifteen to consider

the matter, and they reported against it. At a subse-
quent meeting, June 8, 1778, the town " voted the
plan null and void to a man."

Then came darker hours. Tired, poor, and dis-
heartened, the currency depreciated, the cause appar-
ently not gaining, food getting scarce and high, sol-
diers' families suffering, and soldiers enlisting only
after bounties were offered, the patriots seemed about
to become rebels by failure instead of patriots by suc-
cess. Yet they still remembered their manhood and
stood steadfast in their strength. The bounties were
raised, supplies for the needy were forthcoming, taxes
were levied for the care of soldiers' families, and re-
cruits still offered themselves " for .three years or the
war." Such pluck, the truest sort of Anglo-Saxon
perseverance, cannot fail. The war was a revolution
and not a rebellion.

Military taste and love for military parade grow by
being indulged in. The bitter taste of actual military
life deadened this desire somewhat in Hauover, and
from the end of the Revolutionary war to the begin-
ning of the present century there existed but two
short-lived military organizations, which have not
even left their names behind.

The Hanover Artillery, the greatest and oldest of
the Hanover military organizations, was organized
about 1798, by Benjamin Whitman, Esq., then a
lawyer at Hanover, who was its first captain. The
first lieutenants were Dr. Melzar Bailey, first lieuten-
ant, and Dr. Charles Turner, second lieutenant. One
of its last commanders, Capt. Benjamin N. Curtis, at
the present writing is still living, and is the postmaster
at Assinippi village, a hale and hearty man.

The equipments of the members were blue coats,
with red facings, brass buttons, and cord, inclosed
by a red leather belt and brass breastplate. Buff
pants and vests set off this brilliant uniform below,
while above a chapeau de bras or cocked hat, sur-
mounted by a black plume tipped with red, com-
pleted the outfit.

Their gun-house, at first located near Robert Syl-
vester's, was afterwards moved to the Centre, where
it remained until its services were no longer re-

Later an " independent infantry company" was
formed by Col. Jesse Reed, which lasted for some

Then, in 181C, we chronicle the existence of the
Hanover Rifle Company. Its local habitation was
finally removed to Hanson, and it ceased to be a
Hanover institution.

The Hanover Artillery Company saw active service
i in the war of 1812. For sixty-eight days, July 1 to



Sept. G, 1814, under Lieut. Elisha Burrell, Jr., a
detachment of it was at Scituate harbor, and from
Sept. 19 to Oct. li), 1814, the whole company was at
Plymouth, under command of Capt. Edward P. Jacobs.
The fort at the Gurnet, at the entrance to Plymouth
harbor, was for a year under the command of Lieut.
Ebenezer Simmons, of Hanover, then in the service
of the Uuited Stales. The Hon. Perez Simmons,
his son, now living at Assiuippi, remembers perfectly
being held up as a child to see from a window of
the barrack the engagement betweeu the British ves-
sels and that fort.

Hanover in the Civil War. — In the year 18G0
about eighty-five per ceut. of the votes of this towu
were cast for Abraham Lincoln. During the conflict
which followed his election it promptly filled every

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 85 of 118)