D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) Hurd.

History of Worcester County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men. (Volume 2) online

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HISTOEY



OF



WOECESTEE COUNTY,



MASSACHUSETTS,



WITH



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES



OF MANY OF ITS



Pioneers and Prominent Men.



COiMPILED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF



U. HAMIL'TON HURK.



VOL. II.



I L LTJS T I?. J^T E ID .



P H I L A D E L P II I A :

J. W. LEWIS & CO.

1889.



PRESS OF

JAS. B. RODQERS PRINTING COMPANY,

PHILADELPHIA.



77^
/V| 3'S >ch/? c, -h



Copyright, 1889,
By J. W. LEWIS & CO.



y4// Rights Reserved.



/'



CONTENTS OF VOL. II.



TOWN HISTORIES.



CHAPTER CXVII.

BOYLSTON

Territory iind Surface — Situation — Geology — Population
— Stiilistics — Public Library — Town Officers.

CHAPTER CXVIII.



BOYI^STON— (Continued)

Early Families and Settlements.

CHAPTER CXIX.

BoYLSTON — (Continued)

Civil and Political History.

CHAPTER CXX.



BOYLSTON — (Continued)

Ecclesiastical History.



8S5



888



891



S95



CHAPTER CXXI.

BOYLSTON — (Continued) 899

Proniiueut Persons, College Graduates, Etc,

chapter cxxii.
Upton 902

chapter cxxiii.
Grafton 921

CHAPTER CXXIV-
Grafton— (Continued) 935

An Historical Address.

CHAPTER CXXV.

Sutton 953

chapter cxxvi.
Sutton — (Continued) 957

Church History.



CHAPTER CXXVII.



Sutton — (Continued)

Educational.



CHAPTER CXXVIII.



Sutton — (Continued)
Manufactures.



CHAPTER CXXIX.



Sutton— (Continued)

Miscellaneous.



965



968



972



chapter cxxx.
Princeton 981

chapter cxxxi.
southbridge 995

chapter cxxxii.

Athol I02I

Location — Boundaries — Face of the Country— Produc-
tions — Ponds and Streams — Wild Animals, Etc,

CHAPTER CXXXIII.

Athol — (Continued) 1022

Loss of the Proprietors' Records -Efforts to Ee-establish
their Authority — Orant of the Township — Drawing for
House-lots— First Settlers— Perils from Indians — First
Meeting-House— Second Meeting-House — Call of Mr.
James Humphrey to the Pastorate — Ordination— Pas-
tor's Home— Second and Other Di visions of Lands- Acts
of the Proprietors.



CHAPTER CXXXIV.
Athol (1762-iSoo) — (Continued) . .



1028



Its Incorporation as a Town— Its Name — Its Organiza-
tion — Civil History — Provision for Schools and Relig-
ious Privileges — Patriotic Measures at the Opening of
the War of the Revolution — Service in the War — Con-
dition at the Close of the Century.

CHAPTER CXXXV.
ATHOL (1801-1888)— (Continued)



1034



Cuuditiun of the Town before tho Civil War— Excite-
ment in 1801 — Acts of the Town to Encourage Enlist-
ment of Soldiers — Eiilistnieuts— Bounties Offered —
Military Companies Organized — Private Munificence
to Obtain Recruits— Aid to Soldiers' FaTuilies — Number
of Soldiers from Athol — Expense Account of the War.

CHAPTER CXXXVI.
Athol — (Continued) 1038

Public Schools — Early Provision for Them — Interest
in Them Gradually Developed — Early School Commit-
tees — Branches Taught — Athol High School — Its Mas-
ters—Census of Scholara— Appropriations^Athol Town
Library.

CHAPTER CXXXVII.
Athol — (Continued) 1043

Miscellaneous.

CHAPTER CXXXVIII.
WiNCHENDON 1054

CHAPTER CXXXIX.
Oakham 1079

CHAPTER CXL.
MiLLBURY 1092

iii



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER CXLI.
Hardwick 1 129

CHAPTER CXLII.
Westminster . 1142

Origiu — Settlement — Eiirly Annals — Incorporation.
CHAPTER CXLIII.

Westminster — (Continued) 1149

Name — Locution — Physical Clharacteristics — Roads—
Industries.

CHAPTER CXLIV.
Westminster — (Continued) 1155

Education — Religion — Military Affairs — Miscellaneous.

CHAPTER CXLV-
Harvard 1164

chapter cxlvi.
Bolton 1165

chapter cxlvii.
Phillipston 1 168

CHAPTER CXLVIir.

Hubbardston 1170

Settlement — The Pioneers — "Old Eph Grimes" — Fami-
lies in 18U0.

CHAPTER CXLIX.

Hubbardston— (Continued) 1172

Petition for Incorporation — Act of Incorporation — First
Town-Meeting — Officers Elected — Various Votes.

CHAPTER CI,.
HUBB.\RDSTON — (Continued) 1173

Response to (Circular from Boston — Committee of Cor-
pondence — Votes — Bunker Hill — Bounties — Deprecia-
tion of Currency — Names of Soldiers.

CHAPTER CLI.
HUBB.\RDSTON^(Continued) 1177

Shays' Rebellion— War of 1S12— War of the Rebellion
— Amount E.vpended by the Town— Number of Men —
Names of Soldiers.

CHAPTER CLII.
Hubbardston — (Continued) iiSo

The First Congregational Church — The Evangelical
Congregation — Methodist Church — The Willianisville
Society — Schools — Libraries — Fire Oomp-nny — Promi-
nent persons — Centennial— Copperas Mines — Physicians
— The Militia— G. \. R.— Soldiers' Moninuent- Post-
OfBce — Manufacturing — Hubbardston Grange, P. of H.
— Civil History — -Town Officers.

chapter cliii.
Warren 1185

chapter cliv.
i,eominster 1200

Early History.

CHAPTER CLV.
Leominster — (Continued) 1203

Ecclesiastical,



CHAPTER CLVI.
Leominster — (Continued) 1213

Educational.

CHAPTER CLVII-
Leominster— (Continued) 1224

Industrial.

CHAPTER CLVIII.
Leominster— (Continued) 1236

Military.

CHAPTER CLIX.
Leominster — (Continued) 1246

Civil and Miscellaneous.

CHAPTER CLX.
MiLFORD 1261

CHAPTER CLXI.

Milford — (Continued) 1266

Boundaries— The Revolution.

CHAPTER CLXII.
Milford — (Continued) 1279

chapter clxiii.
Rutland 1287

Indian Deed and Grant of Twelve Miles Square- Pro-
prietorships and Hardships of Early Settlers — Location
and Surface — Roads and Schools — Revolutionary War —
Encampment of Burgoyne's Army — Indians.

CHAPTER CLXIV.
Rutland — (Continued) 1294

Ecclesiastical History— Cemeteries — Physicians — Busi-
ness Enterprises — Civil War — Grand Army— Dedication
Soldiers' Monument — Eminent Men.

chapter clxv.
Oxford 1306

CHAPTER CLXVI.
Dana 1322

CHAPTER CLXVII.
Westborough 1331

CHAPTER CLXVIir.
Dudley 1360

CHAPTER CLXIX.
RoyalsTON 1370

CHAPTER CLXX.

HOLDEN 1381

Location— Original Grant — Indian Deed — Division of
Lots— Settlement — The "Lime Lot" — First Survey —
Incorporation — Petition —Act of Incorporation — Names.

CHAPTER CLXXI.

HoLDEN — (Continued) 1383

French and Indian War — The Revolution — Sfaays' Re-
bellion—The Civil War.



CONTENTS.



I



CHAPTER CLXXII.

HOLDEN— (Continued) 1385

Kiret Congregational — First Baptist — Roman Catholic.

CHAPTER CLXXIII.
H01.DEN — (Continued) 1387

Early Schools— Statistics of 1840— The Schools of 1888—
School Committee — The DamoD Memorial — Manufac-
tures.

CHAPTER CLXXIV.
HoLDEN — (Continued) 1389

Physicians— Masonic — The Centennial Celebration —
Town House — Distinguished Natives — Population — Val-
uation.

CHAPTER CLXXV.
HOLDEN — (Continued) 1390

The First Town-Meeting- OtBcers Elected— List of
Town Clerks from 1741 to 1889 -Selectmen — Assessors
— Treasurers— Representatives— Delegates to Provincial
Congress.

chapter clxxvi.
Douglas 1395

Territorial — Early Grants — Boundaries — Topography —
Geology.

CHAPTER CLXXVII.

Douglas— (Continued) 1398

Early Settlements.

CHAPTER CLXXVIII.
Douglas — (Continued) 1410

First Congregational Church — Second Congregational
Church — Reformed Metiiodist— Methodist Episcopal —
Catholic — Manufactures — Educational — The Willis
Fund — Masonic — G. A. R. — The Press — The Revolution
—The Rebellion,

CHAPTER CtXXIX.

Worcester 141 2

CHAPTER CIvXXX.
Worcester — (Continued) 1432

Civic and Political H istory from the Close of the Revo-
lution to the Present Time.

CHAPTER CLXXXr.

Worcester— (Continued) 1453

Ecclesiastical History.

CHAPTER CLXXXII.
Worcester— (Continued) 1491

Public Libraries.

CHAPTER CLXXXirr.
Worcester— (Continued) 1509

Educational History.

CHAPTER CLXXXIV.
Worcester — (Continued) 15 21

Societies, Associations and Clubs.

CH.\PTER CLXXXV.

Worcester— (Continued) 1538

The Newspaper Press.



CHAPTER CLXXXVI.
Worcester— (Continued) 1542

The Drama in Worcester.

CHAPTER CLXXXVII.
Worcester — (Continued) 1546

Banking and Insurance.

CHAPTER CLXXXVIII.
Worcester— (Continued) 1554

Medical History — Individuals — Societies — Hospitals.

CHAPTER CLXXXIX.
Worcester— (Continued) . . 1574

Homoeopathy,

CHAPTER CXC
Worcester— (Continued) 1576

Military History.

CHAPTER CXCI.
Worcester— (Continued) 1592

Early Encouragement of Manufactures — Saw and Grist-
Blill— The Silver Mine — Potash— Timothy Bigelow —
Early Manufacture of Cloth — PaperMills — Character
of Business prior to 1-20 - Trades-people Disconteuted
with Heavy Taxes Public Jlen Appear in Home-made
Cloth — Worcester Honorable Society- The First Exhi-
bition of the Worcester Agricultural Society.

CHAPTER CXCII.
Worcester — (Continued) 159S

streams and Mill Privileges — Population of Worcester
— Blackstone Canal — The Railroads — 'I'lie First Ex-
presses—The Old Coal Mine — Peat — Stage Lines,

CHAPTER CXCIII.

Worcester — (Continued) 1605

Textile Fabrics and Machinery for Making Them —
Early Manufacture of Cloth — Condition of Woolen
Manufacture — John Goulding — Manufacture of Cotton
and Woolen Machinery — Card Clothing — Looms — Car-
pet — Thread.

CHAPTER CXCIV.

Worcester — (Continued) 1617

Foundries — Slachinists^ Tools — Agricultural Imple-
ments — French's.

CHAPTER CXCV.

Worcester— (Continued) 1625

Wire — Wire-Workers— Copperas.

CHAPTER CXCVI-

Worcester— (Continued) 1632

Cairiagesand Cars— Wood-Working Machinery — Musi-
cal Instruments — Envelopes.

CHAPTER CXCVII.
Worcester — (Continued) 1637

Fire-Arms- Iron and Steel Business — Screws — Steam
Engines — Boilers,



VI



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER CXCVIII.

Worcester— (Continued) 1644

Boots and Shoes — Bigelow Heeling- Machine — Leather
Belting— Boot tind Shoe fllHchinery — Lasts— Dies.

CHAPTER CXCIX.

Worcester — (Continued) 1649

Paper Machinery— Razors— Holyoke Machine Company
— Norton Eniery-Wheel Company — Corsets— Skates—
Cliaira— Gas— Contractors and Biiildeils- Summary of
Industries not lieretofore Mentioned.

CHAPTER CC
Worcester — (Continued) 1654

Reasons for Worcester's Prominence as a Manufac-
turing City — Room witli Power for Rent- Merrifield
Building — Hey wood Buildings Estabrouk Building —
Enterprise of Worcester Business Me ii — Mechanics'
A«ociation— Worcester Polytechnic Institute — Wash-
burn Shops— The Laboring Chisses — Evening Schools —
Worcester's Rapid Growth — Heart of the Common-
wealth.

CHAPTER CCI.

Worcester— (Continued) 165S

Worcester County in the Free-Soil Movement.



CHAPTER CCII.



Worcester- (Continued)

The Settlement of Kansas.



1669



Appendix :

Bench and Bar 1749

Hon. John D. Washburn.

BERLIN 1745

Business Men.

New Braintree 1745

Soldiers who served in the French War and the Revo-
lution.

Millbury 1746

Sketch of Leonard Bunnell Gate.

Holden 1747

The Damon Memorial.

Douglas 1748

List of Soldiers, continued from page 1141.



HISTORY



OF



AYOECESTER COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS.



TOW^N HISTORIES.



CHAPTER C X V 1 1 .
BOYI.STON.

BV GRORGK h. WRICHT.



Territorii atid Siirfari'-



-Httiiatioti — Gciilogn — Puptihilioii— Slulislii
Ltbrnry — Towii (IfflcerH.



This town is situated in the easterly part of Wor-
cester County, about seven miles northeast from Wor-
cester and Hbout thirty-five miles in a nearly due west
line from Boston. It is bounded on the north by West
Boylston, Sterling and Clinton ; on the east by Berlin
and Northborough ; on the south by Shrewsbury; and
on the west by AV^est Boylston. The boundary lines of
the city of Worcester come within about one mile ol
the present town lines. The total area of the town is
twelve thousand six hundred and eighty acres, of which
eleven thousand seven hundred and thirty-seven acres
are taxable, and three hundred and twenty-five acres
are covered by water. The surface is broken and un-
even, but not hilly. There are three swells or undula-
tions of laud extending through the town. One of
them extends across the southeast part of the town
and is a part of the range of highlands reaching from
BoFton to Shrewsbury, and here, with another range ol
hills in the southwest part of the town, forms a portion
of the water-shed between the Nashua, Assabet and
Blackatone Rivers. The third range of hills is situated
in the northwest part of the town, and extends into
West Boylston and Sterling, and on this range, just
over the town-line in Sterling, near the Waushacum
Ponds, was once the Indian town and residence of
Sholan, the sachem of the " Nashaways." On these
swells are some of the strongest lands in the town, and
they are especially adapted to grazing purjjoses. In
the southwest part of the town the soil is lighter and
largely plain land, well adapted to the cultivation of
the ditl'erent kinds of grain and market produce, and
good crops are raised with comparatively little labor.
On Muddy Brook there is a large tract of valuable
meadow land, a portion of which, now covered with
water, is knowu as the " Dover Ponds," and furnishes
power for the saw-mill of Asa Bee at Scar-bridge.

( )u the intervales of the Nashua River lies some of



the most fertile land in Worcester County, equally
adapted for grazing or arable purposes, and producing
abundant crops of the various productions common to
this section. The soil in the remaining portions of the
town is heavier and more broken, but is capable, under
a proper state of cultivation, of producing large crops.
The highlands are wooded with the different kinds of
oak, walnut, chestnut and pine. Along the intervales
of the Nashua Kiver the oak, walnut, maple, elm and
buttonwood grow in luxuriance. The scenery from
the highlands of the town is magnificent. On the
north, Mt. Wachusett, with the picturesque village of
Princeton nestling at its base and surrounded by the
lesser highlands of Worcester and Middlesex Counties,
terminating in the extreme northeast in the Monad-
nocks and hills of New Hampshire, and dotted here
and there with pleasant villages, lakes, wiudingstreams
and wooded hills and valleys, offers a fitting background
to a most charming picture of nature. From the high-
lands in the southern portion of the town a fine view
can be had of the State Lunatic Hospital, at Worces-
ter, Lake Quinsigamond, and portions of the Black-
stone Valley, and from the easterly parts of the town
fine views may be had extending over some of the
pleasantest towns of western Middlesex County.
There are four natural sheets of water in the town,
the largest of which lies in the easterly part, near the
Northborough line, and is called Rocky Pond, on ac-
count of the innumerable granite boulders with which
the bottom is covered. This pond contains forty-five
acres, according to a survey made by Gardner Smith
under a resolve of the Legislature in 1830.

An outlet flowing southeasterly from this pond pa.sses
into Cold Harbor Brook, in Northborough, and thence
into the Assabet River. Sewall Pond is in the south-
erly part of the town and is a part of one of the grants
made by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay to
Judge Samuel Sewall, after whom it received its name,
and contains about eleven acres. This pond is noted
for its great depth. Adjacent to it and flowing into it
is Pout, or Mud Pond, which contains according to
Mr. Davenport, in his history of the town, about twenty-
three acres. An outlet flows from Sewall Pond .south-
erly through a part of Shrewsbury into Lake (.^uinsig-
amond. On this outlet is situated a saw and grist-

885



886



HISTORY OF WORCESTER COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS.



mill, long known as Banister's Mills. Spruce Pond, the
only other remaining sheet of water, is also situated in
this part of the town, and contains about five acres.

The south branch of the Nashua Kiver enters the
town on the west, about one and one-half miles east
of the confluence of the Quinnepoxet and Stillwater
Rivers in West Boylston, and flows in a circuitous
course nearly six miles, through the northerly portion
of the town to the Clinton line. There are also num-
erous brooks and livulets in every section of the town,
the most important of which is Muddy Brook, called
in the early records Malagasco Brook, which rises
about one-half mile easterly of Boylston Centre, and
flows in southwesterly, westerly and northeasterly
courses into the Nashua River at Scar-bridge. Another
brook rising within a short distance of the one above-
mentioned, and called on the early records Spring
Garden Brook, flows into Sewall Pond, near the house
of Sumner Moore. On this stream was formerly a
saw-mill, known as Locke's Mill.

Mill or French Brook rises in the easterly part of the
town, in East Woods (so-called), and flows westerly,
for a distance of nearly four miles, into the Nashua
River. On this stream several saw and grist-mills have
sto<id at different periods of the town's history. There
are also several smaller brooks in the westerly, north-
erlv and easterly portions of the town. The ponds are
well stocked with fish, and the brooks furnish some of
the best fronting places in Worcester County.

The geological formations consist of Merrimack
schist, calcareous gneiss and the St. .John's group.
Sulphate of iron is found in different sections of the
town. On Diamond Hill, about one-half mile south-
west of Bovlston Centre, are found large and beautiful
specimens of crystallized quartz, and which, according
to Rev. Peter Whitney, the historian of Worcester
County, gave the name to the hill from their similarity
in size and shape to diamonds. Coal, resembling that
found in Worcester, has been discovered in the north-
westerly part of the town. In the easterly part, about
two miles from Boylston Centre, on the road to Berlin,
extensive gold-mining operations were carried on un-
der the lead of the late Rev. Andrew Bigelow, D.D.,
of Southborough, a native and former minister of
Boylston. A shaft about forty feet in depth was sunk,
and considerable quantities of ore taken out and trans-
ported to New York for analysis. The precious metal
is said to exist in paying quantities; but the work was
abandoned upon the death of Rev. Dr. Bigelow, in 18S2,
and nothing has since been done. In thissection of
the town, upon the farm of Israel L. Barnes, is a val-
uable quarry of building stone. Excellent clay for the
manufacture of brick is found in several places, and a
spot of clay ground on the farm of Cliarles (1. Allen,
about one mile from Boylston Centre, was set apart by
the proprietors of Shrewsbury in 1728 for the common
use of the settlers in the manufacture of their pottery-
ware and kitchen utensils. The manufacture of brick
is now quite extensively carried on by George Hazard,
about two miles from Boylston Centre.

The town is well accommodated with very good
roads; there are nearly fifty miles of highways within
iU limits. The Nashua River is spanned by three iron



bridges, all of which have recently been erected by the
town at a cost of about $7,000. The present county
road to Clinton was built aboutl860, at a cost of nearly
$4,000. Mr. Davenport, in his history of the town
published in 1830, says the principal road at that time
was the county road, which passes through the north-
westerly, northerly and northeasterly portions of the
town to Berlin, and crossing the Nashua River at Saw-
yer's Mills. At th.at time a stage passed over this road
three times a week from Boston, and Mr. Davenport
says the road was then thought to be the most direct
and level route for a road from Boston to Northampton ,
and a petition was presented about that time to the
County Commissioners for the location of a road from
the line of Worcester County at Ware Factory Village
through Barre, Rutland, Holden and West Boylston to
the Middlesex County line,— a fact interesting as the
beginning of the project of communications between
Boston and Northampton now carried out by the Cen-
tral Mass. R. R., and being the same route taken by
that railroad, which passes through the town from east
to west, and has two stations within the town limits, —
one, called South Clinton, is in the northeast part, near
the Clinton line; the other is known as Boylston, and
is situated at Sawyer's Mills. There are two post-offices
in the town, the older of which is known as Boylston,
and is located at Sawyer's Mills, and supplies the po.stal
wants of that village, the population of which is largely
made up of operatives in the cotton-mills there and a
few farmers in the northerly part of the town and the
southeasterly part of Sterling. Thomas C. Sheldon is
the present postmaster. The other and principal post-
oflSce is located at Boylston Centre, and supplies the
wants of nearly three-fourths of the town. At this
village islocated the town-hall. Congregational Church,
public library, etc., and it consists of about thirty
dwelling-houses. John Tucker is the present post-
master. There is a small village situated in the south-
east part of the town near the Northborough and
Shrewsbury lines, called "Straw Hollow," and it was
at one time largely the property of David T. Moore &
Sons, who carried on extensive farming interests,. to-
gether with a large cider and vinegar refinery. In 1878
there were furnished from this place for the Boston
market, 55,224 quarts of milk and 17,60.3 quarts of
cream, selling for $6,165.13; 19,801 bushels of apples
were made into eider, producing 860 barrels. The cider
and vinegar refinery and the home buildings of the late
D. T. Moore were destroyed by fire several years since
and have never been rebuilt. A portion of the farm is
now called the Adelphia farm, and is operated by Clapp,
Moore & Co., who do an extensive creamery business.
In the northeast part of the town there is a tract of
land extending into the southerly part of Clinton,
known by the name of the "Six Nations," and so
called according to the tradition of there having ouce
lived families of six different nationalities at one time
within the territory. In this section of the town is a
high wooded, rough tract of land, called in the early
records Rattlesnake Hill, and said to have once been
a great haunt for these reptiles. It is said that the
other sections of the town were much infested by
them during the early settlement and that it was not



BOYLSTON.



887



uncommon for them to enter the houses of the settlers.
East Woods, a large wooded and rocky tract of land
in the easterly part of the town, was said to be another
favorite haunt of the reptiles.

It is perhaps known to but few of the present inhab-
itants of the town that a search was ever carried on
here for buried treasure. Mr. Davenport, in his his-
tory, says, about the time of the incorporation of the
town, in the autumn of the year, twenty or thirty per-
sons from tlie towns of Northborough, West BoyUton,
Hubbardston and Brookfield, upon the authority of
dream!", began to break the earth on land of Nathaniel
Davenport, E-^q., now belonging to the estate of the
late Nathan L. Daggett, where they continued their
labors, occasionally, for several weeks, until they had
made an excavation eight or ten ftet in depth, and
perhaps forty feet in circumference. The labor w:\s
principally performed in moonlight evenings, with a
table on the ground, with an open Bible and rusty
sword upon it, one man at the same time sitting upon
the bank, with smeet apple-true or witch hazelroAs in his
hands, to inform the workingmen in what particular
spot the money was, as it was believed the money had
the power of locomotion, and was, therefore, uncer-
tain whether it would remain stationary for any length
of time. The money was supposed by the searchers
to have been placed there by pirates, and that some
person was murdered and buried there to take care of
it. To appease the manes of this person a dove was one
day procured by one of the party and bled over the spot
where the treasure was supposed to have been buried,



Online LibraryD. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) HurdHistory of Worcester County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men. (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 214)