Ellery Bicknell Crane.

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of Worcester county, Massachusetts, with a history of Worcester society of antiquity (Volume 2) online

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a year. They went out with Company F, of the
Fifty-second Massachusetts Regiment, under Cap-
tain Stone, and served in the Louisiana campaign.
Only four of the six lived to return home. Mr.
Stowell was director of the Miller River National
Bank, and trustee, vice-president and member of
the board of investment of the Athol Savings Bank.
He was a member of Orange Lodge of Free Masons
of Athol.

He married Lucina Houghton, who died in less
than a year afterward while they were visiting at
her home in Petersham. He married (.second)
Ellen A. Davis, daughter of Jarvis Davis, one of
the leading citizens of Royalston, Massachusetts.
Children of Henry Rufus and , Ellen A. Stowell :
Carrie L., married W. H. Jewell, an attorney-at-
law, residing at South Florida, Massachusetts;
Bertha L., married E. C. Gaynor, bookkeeper for
Stowell & Warrick; Delia E.

NORCROSS FAMILY. Jeremiah Norcross (1),
the' immigrant ancestor of Otis Hubbard Norcross,
of Winchendon, Massachusetts, was born in Eng
land. He was a proprietor of Cambridge before 1642
and was admitted a freeman in February, 1052. He
bought a house and land at Watertown, May, 1649.
and became eventually a large proprietor, owning
twelve lots besides his homestall, which was situ-
ated on the North bank of the Charles river. He
was selectman in 1649. He died in 1657. His will,
presented at court October 6, 1657, had been de-
clared before he went to England. He bequeathed
to wife Adrean; son Nathaniel and his wife Sarah;
son Richard and his wife Mary: Mary, wife of
his wife's son John Smith ; brother's daughter



Anne, wife of Samuel D.nis; brother (harks Chad-
wick; Sarah, wife of Francis Macy; to grandchil-
dren in England. His children who came to Amer-
ica were: Richard, see forward; Rev. Nathaniel,
graduate of Catherine Hall, Cambridge. England,
admitted freeman May 10, 164.5, was minister at
Lancaster, returned to England.

(II) Richard Norcross, son of Jeremiah Nor-
cross (.1), was born in England, 1621. He was ad-
mitted a freeman May 26, 1653. For twenty years
previous to 1681 he was the only school master in
Watertown. He taught Latin as well as English
and writing and continued as late as 10S7. January
6, 1660-1, he was hired by the town for one year
for thirty pounds and was allowed two shillings
"a head for keeping the dry herd." He married.
June 24, 1650, Mary Brooks, who was the mother of
his seven children. She died February 24. 1671-72.
He married (second), November is. 107,5. Susanna
Shattuck, widow of William Shattuck. She died
December 11, 1686; he died 1709. Children of Rich-
ard and Mary Norcross were : Mary, born August
27, 1652, died October 10, 1661 ; Jeremiah, March 3,
1655, died November 30, 1717; Sarah, December 28,
1657, married, September 23, 1680, Joseph Quids
Jr.; Richard, August 4, 1660, see forward; .Mary,
July 10, 1663, married John Stearns; Nathaniel,
December 18, 1665, died December 1, 1717; Samuel,
May 4, 1771.

(III) Richard Norcross, son of Richard Nor-
cross (2), was born at Watertown, Massachusetts,
August 4, 1660. He was a school teacher and dur-
ing several of the later years of his life lived in
Weston, Massachusetts, 'where he probably died. He
married, August 10, 1686, Rose Woodward, daughter
of John and Abigail (Benjamin) Woodward. He
married (second), August 6, 1695, Hannah Sanders,
who died May 14, 1743. Children of Richard
and Rose Norcross were : Richard, born De-
cember 30, 1687; Samuel, born October 14, 1689,
was a soldier in 1690 in the expedition to Canada ;
died at Durham, Connecticut, 1724; Abigail, July 11,
1692. Children of Richard and Hannah Norcross
were: John, December 28, 1696; Hannah. February
16, 1698-99; Joseph, July 1, 1701 ; Jeremiah, see for-
ward; George, August 22. 1705; Rose, March 20,
1707-08, "to be called Ruth ;•" Peter, September 28,
1710, married. 1742, Elizabeth Benjamin; William,
March 14. 1714-5, married at Shrewsbury, November
6, 1741, Lydia Wheeler.

(IV) Jeremiah Norcross, son of Richard Nor-
cross (3), was born at Weston, July 2, 1703. He
settled in Lunenburg. Massachusetts, where he was
frequently chosen to positimis of trust. In 1725 he
was in Captain Samuel Willard's company in the
Indian frontier war. Soon after the drawing of
lots in Rindge, New Hampshire, he became one of
the proprietors and in 1759 was one of a committee
to lay out a road from Ashburnham and another
from New Ipswich to the centre of Rindge. but he
never resided in Rindge except perhaps the last few
years of his life. He married at Groton, January
28, 1730-31. Faith Page, born November 6. 1707,
daughter of Jonathan and Mary Page, of Groton.
Their children: Jabez, born March 10. 1731-32;
Mary. January 24, 1733. died from the effects of a
fall;' Sarah, February 25. 1735-36. married Ephraim
Pierce; Page, April 9. 173S, sergeant in Captain
Hale's company of Minute Men; Hannah, November
10, 1741 ; Jeremiah, February 21, 1744, see forward;
Phebe, January 5. 1745. died S ptember 5, 1766;
Elijah, March 7. 1749-50.

(V) Jeremiah Norcross. sixth child of Jeremiah
Norcross (4), was born at Lunenburg, Massachu-
setts, February 21. 1744. He settled in Rindge



39-'



WORCESTER COUNTY



about the time of his marriage, in 1769. His brother
Jabez also settled there, lit- was a private in Cap-
tain Nathan Hale's company of Minute Men who
marched to Cambridge on the Lexington Alarm,
April 19, 1775. In June. 1776, he signed the Declar-
ation of Arms to oppose the hostile proceedings of
the British fleets and armies against the United
American colonies. He was also in Colonel Enoch
Hale'-, regiment which marched from New Hamp-
shire in August, 177s. to join the Continental army
in Rhode Island. In 1781 he was on the committee
to raise funds for the war and was also constable
and tax collector. During an epidemic of spotted
fever, he died December I, 181 1. His wife died Jan-
uary 5, 1841, aged ninety-one years. He married
November 23, 1769, Lucy Chaplin, at Rindge. She
was born June 14, 1749, in Rowdey, Massachusetts
daughter of Ebenezer and Mary Chaplin, who came
to Rindge from Atkinson, New Hampshire, early
in 1769. Children of Jeremiah and Lucy Norcross
were : David, married, March 8, 1795, _ Lucretia
Chaplin; Daniel, see forward; Lucy, married Peter

Welton ; Sally, married Farr, of Bradford,

Vermont; Phebe, married, March 9, 1795. Luther
Darling ; Nancy, married, February 6, 1804, John
Darling; Jeremiah, Jr., died 181 1 of spotted fever.

(VI) Captain Daniel Norcross. second child
of Jeremiah Norcross (5), was born at Rindge,
New Hampshire, March 28, 1781. He acquired the
usual education of a farmer's boy at that period and
helped his father on the farm. He remained on
the homestead, which he owned after his father's
death, and was a farmer all his days. He was much
respected by his townsmen. He was captain of the
Rindge militia company.

lie married (first) Polly Jones, daughter of Asa
Jones. She died July 21, 1834. He married (sec-
ond), June 16, 1835, Sally (Hubbard) Rand, widow
of Leonard Rand, and daughter of Deacon Heze-
kiah Hubbard. Her father was a farmer. Captain
Norcross died at Rindge, August 1, 185S. Children
of Captain Daniel and Polly Norcross were: Eliza
(twin), born June 25, 1804, died August 20, 1804.
Eunice (twin), born June 25, 1804, died 1856; mar-
ried. May 17, 1827, George W. Bryant, of Temple-
ton, Massachusetts; their children — George E., Ma-
rinda, Lucy Ellen, Harriet, Henry. Eunice Bryant.
Nancy, born January 12, 1806, married, January,
1849. George L. Beals, of Winchendon, Massachu-
setts, and they had — Mary L., born November 21,
1827; George L, Jr., born January ir, 1830; Charles
L.. born May 6, 1835; Nancy E. born April 21, 1837.
<lied 1855 ; Martha E., born April 14, 1844, died 1857.
Daniel, born February 20, 1807. Asa Jones, born
February 15, 1809, died September I, 1810. Lucy,
born April 9, 1S10, married, May 10, 1838, Addison
Hubbard. Asa Jones (twin), born November 23.
1812, died October I, 1813. Betsey (twin), born
November 23, 1812, died April 28, 1843. Jeremiah,
born April 25, 1814. Mary M., born August, 1815,
died March 8, 1816. Josiah, born July 13, 1817, a
physician of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, died South
Reading, Massachusetts, January 15, 1866. Joshua,
born April 6, 1820. Amasa, born January 26, 1824.
Nathan, born July 27, 1826, died July 27, 1828.

(VII) Joshua Norcross, son of Captain Daniel
Norcross (6), was born at Rindge, New Hampshire,
April 6, 1820. He attended the public schools of his
native town and assisted his father on the farm.
When he came of age he left the farm and went
to work at Winchendon, driving a team of horses
for Amasa Whitney. He remained in this position
until 1844, when he returned to his native town and
resumed farming with his father on the homestead,
which was in the possession of the family over a



century up to 1890, when it was sold by Otis H.
Norcross. The farm came into his possession after
his father's death and he carried it on until his
death, June 25, 1888. He made a specialty of sheep
raising. He' attended the Orthodox Congregational
Church. In politics he was a Republican, and in his
early manhood belonged to the state militia.

He married, December 4, 1844, Calista K. Cooper,
nf Alstead, New Hampshire, daughter of Horatio
ami Betsey (Gale) Cooper. Her father was a black-
smith. Their children were: Darwin J., born Oc-
tober 24, 1846, died July 3, 1869; Herbert H.. July
25, 1848; Helen M., November 11, 1849, died July
23. 1851 ; Otis Hubbard, May 8, 1851; Lizzie O.
(twin), March 9, 1853; Anna C. (twin), March 9,
1853. Abby Jane, October 6, 1856. The mother of
these children died November 7, 1893.

(VIII) Otis Hubbard Norcross, fourth child of
Joshua Norcross (7), was born at Rindge, New
Hampshire. May 8, 1851. He received his education
in the public schools, completing his course in the
high school at the age of twenty, when he removed
to Winchendon, where he learned the trade of mason,
of Warren B. Page. After working four years for
Air. Page he returned to Rindge and followed his
trade there for nine years. He worked for J. War-
ren Wilder at East Rindge and for the Cheshire
Improvement Company. Then he went into busi-
ness for himself as mason and contractor and con-
lined in Rindge until August, 1904, wdien he came
to Winchendon, where he has since then carried on
his business as contractor and mason. Mr. Norcross
resides on Elm street in a house that he purchased
on coming to Winchendon. He attends the Congre-
gational Church. In politics he is a Republican; he
has been active in the party organization and has
served as delegate to various countv conventions.
He served the town of Rindge as selectman.

lie married. May 25, 1880, Josie T. Wetherbee,
of Ashbnrnham, Massachusetts. She was born Sep-
tember 28, 1856, daughter of Marshall and Marinda
(Whittaker) "Wetherbee. Children of Otis Hub-
bard and Josie E. Norcross were: Ethel Josephine,
In nil September 26, 1881 ; Anna Lizzie, March 1,
[884; Sadie Hart, September 25, 1888.

Marshall Wetherbee, son of Josiah and Clarissa
1 Saw !.ll) Wetherbee. was born at Rindge, New
Hampshire, June 30, 1817. and died at Ashburnham,
Massachusetts, June 23, 1901, aged eighty-three years,
eleven months and twenty-four days. He was edu-
cated in the public schools of his native town and
his early occupation was farming. He removed to
Ashburnham, Massachusetts, in 1844. and a year
later purchased a livery stable which he successfully
conducted until shortly before his last illness, a
period of fifty-seven years. He was a very promi-
nent man in town affairs and held the office of con-
stable and tax collector for many years. He was
a deputy sheriff for Worcester county for thirty
years and was also a state constable for a time un-
der the old state prohibitory law, a position that he
filled with unusual zeal and success by reason of
his own radical total abstinence and prohibition
opinions. As the head of the Ashburnham Thief
Detecting Society, he did very effective work, and
was instrumental in securing the return of many
stolen horses and the conviction of the thieves. He
had been a justice of the peace since 1869, was se-
lectman in 1869, assessor in 1866-74-75-76 and a
member of the school committee for three years
from 1873. He also served as overseer of the poor.

He was a director of the Ashburnham National
Bank during the last ten or twelve years of its
existence, and was a trustee of the Gardner Sav-
ings Bank.




\C^C^^t^t^




WORCESTER COUNTY



393



He married, October 13, 1842, Marinda Whit-
taker, daughter of Levi and Eunice Whittaker, of
Mason, New Hampshire. She died about two years
before Mr. Wetherbee. Seven children were born
to them, but only three survive : George M., of Ash-
burnham; Josie Emma, wife of Otis H. Norcross,
mentioned above; William H., of Fitchburg, Massa-
chusetts.

EDNA IONE (SMITH) TYLER, principal of
Tyler's Business College, is the daughter of Rev.
Henry Weston Smith, and Lydia Annie (Joslyn)
Smith. She was born at South Hadley Falls, Mas-
sachusetts, October 20, 1861 ; married, at Putnam,
Connecticut. April 27, 1884, to Erastus D. Tyler.
The following year she came to Worcester and be-
gan the practice of her profession as stenographer
and typewriter, in which she met with signal suc-
cess, her early education having given her the neces-
sary training and experience.

She was a pupil at the Louisville (Kentucky)
high school, and fitted for Vassar College, at Hart-
ford, under the tutelage of Professor Harney, but
Tier health failed, and she was compelled to abandon
the college course. Believing that every woman
should be trained for some occupation, should she
be thrown upon her own resources, she studied
shorthand and typewriting at the Cincinnati Phono-
graphic Institute, of which Ben Pitman was the
principal.

When Mrs. Tyler came to Worcester the useful-
ness of the typewriter and the stenographer's pen
Tiad yet to be demonstrated to business men of Wor-
cester. That the typewriter would be considered
an indispensable machine in every office, and that
hundreds of girls would be employed as typewriter
operators in the city of Worcester alone, was a
•condition unforeseen at that time by the most
sanguine. Soon after Mrs. Tyler opened an office
here, a demand for her services as court reporter
and typewriter, was soon created, and for four
;years she was the official reporter of the jury-waived
sessions of the superior court. She reported the
first Metropolitan Water Board cases on account
-of the taking of land for the reservoir at Clinton
and vicinity, and was the official reporter in the
Quigley murder case. In 1887 she reported the
famous Wilson vs. Moen suit. At present she is
the official reporter of inquests for the district courts
of Western Massachusetts: Pittsfield, North Adams,
Athol. Gardner, Gilbertville, Uxbridge. Blackstone,
Southbridge, Webster, East Brookfield and West-
"boro. She reports also for the Boston & Maine,
the New York. New Haven & Hartford, and the
Boston & Albany Railroad Companies. One feature
•of her work shows the indomitable spirit which
she possesses. Her right hand is disabled, and she
was compelled to learn the use of her left hand in
her stenography.

Though for sixteen years she had been giving
private instructions in stenography, in September.
1900, she opened a school to teach typewriting,
stenography, and the branches taught in other busi-
ness colleges, which proved such a success that she
found it necessary to get larger quarters. She re-
tained her office in the State Mutual building, but
removed her school to the Day building, where she
remained for a year. Again, the increase in the
number of students decided her to remove to her
-present location at the corner of Pleasant and Main
streets, and she has twice enlarged her quarters,
-until she occupies the entire floor of the building.
Special attention is paid to English, spelling and
punctuation, and to the fitting of pupils for posi-
tions in every department of business.



Mr-. Tyler was the first teacher of stenography
in the city of Worcester, and that alone is a dis-
tinction. Her sister, Mrs. G. Aglae Dudley is as-
sociated with her in the business. Mrs. Tyler was
for four years, president of the Worcester County
Stenographers' Association, and is justly counted
as among the best of her profession. Besides her
duties in office work and teaching she has found
time to write a number of serials, her first effort
being a short story for the Worcester Spy.

"A Woman's Malice" was published as a serial
in the Boston Globe and the Chicago Ledger. This
was followed by the serial, "The Hand of Destiny,"
published by the same papers. Mrs. Tyler has in
her office a framed letter from the Rev. A. Z.
Conrad, highly commending this story. She is the
author of "Geraldine's Secret," "The Hubbardston
Tragedy," "On the Verge of Ruin," and "A Dual
Nature," the two latter in serial form by the Clii-
cago Ledger. "A Master Mind" is to be published
in book form. Another serial from her pen is en-
titled "The Honor of Labor."

Rev. Henry Weston Smith (Mrs. Tyler's father),
was born at Ellington, Connecticut, January 6, 1827.
He received his preliminary education at the Elling-
ton high school, and afterwards studied divinity at
the Theological Seminary. After completing his
studies he was ordained, joined the Providence Con-
ference and was appointed to the station at Westerly,
Rhode Island. He married (first) Ruth Olive Yeo-
mans, of Norwich, Connecticut. She died in 1856,
aged twenty-seven. He preached in a Connecticut
circuit until after his second marriage, when he
became a local preacher and did not return to hold
a pastorate, although his duties called him to preach
in many towns of southern New England. He mar-
ried (second) Lydia Annie Joslyn. of Tolland, Con-
necticut, at Palmer, Massachusetts, February 23,
1858. He was then preaching at Deerfield, Massa-
chusetts. His family lived at Springfield, Massa-
chusetts, and South Hadley Falls, while he supplied
pulpits in various places and delivered temperance
lectures.

In the autumn 1863 he enlisted in the Fifty-
second Massachusetts Regiment, and was elected
lieutenant of Company H, but waived the appoint-
ment in favor of a friend, and was unanimously
chosen orderly sergeant. His regiment was en-
camped for a few days at Greenfield, Massachu-
setts, and afterwards at Jamaica Plains, New York,
from which point they embarked on the Illinois
for an unknown destination. Off Cape Hatteras they
encountered a terrific storm, but the stanch steamer
escaped and finally anchored off Galveston, Texas.

The regiment was assigned to General Banks'
Department, General Grover's Division, and were
sent up the Mississippi to Port Hudson. In the
sanguinary battle of Irish Bend he took part, and
in many skirmishes, and was under fire from the
guns of Port Hudson for days. After the capture
of Port Hudson his regiment marched up the Teche
country in hot pursuit of the retreating Confederates,
and he participated in the forced marches and severe
hardships. He was offered a captaincy, but declined,
and returned to the North by the "Henry Choteau,"
the first steamer that made its way up the Mississippi
after the river was opened to navigation.

During the war, while he was in the service,
Mrs. Smith and her children made their home with
her parents, in Tolland, Connecticut.

After the war Mr. Smith resumed his work as
a preacher and lecturer, traveled extensively, and
was at Chicago at the time of the great fire.

In 1872 he removed, with his family, to Louis-
ville, Kentucky, and in March, 1876, he accompanied



394



WORCESTER COUNTY



Dr. R. D. Porter's company to the Black Hills, then
a wilderness.

The party readied Whitewood Creek, where the
city of Deadwood now stands, in the latter part of
May, and here the minister began his labors as
missionary. The snow was deep, the weather in-
tensely cold. On June I the snow fell to the depth
of four inches, and remained on the ground three
days. Mr. Smith put a shoulder to the wheel in
' all the labor of the pioneers, helped to rear the
huts, make roads and build bridges, and was one
of the founders of the wonderful western city, since
he helped to build it with his own hands. He
worked with the miners in digging for gold, and
-.nt the fust of his findings to help in founding the
Louisville Methodist Episcopal chapel. He delivered
the first sermon ever preached in the Black Hills.
"He was well known and much beloved by nearly
every miner in the hills ; he had not an enemy in
tht-Mj hills except the Indians, who are the enemies
of all white men," is a quotation from The Black
Hills Pioneer of that date. He labored with them
during the day, and preached evenings and Sab-
baths. It was not uncommon for him to preach in
the various camps, standing upon a dry goods box,
at one end of a line, in competition with the gamb-
ling, and usually one after another of the gamblers
stole from their amusement to listen to his earnest
address. He was popular among the pioneers, and
they took every opportunity to show their apprecia-
tion of his services.

It was just after the massacre of General Custer's
command by the Sioux, Indian depredations were
frequent, and the life of a pioneer was extremely
hazardous, but Henry Smith was brave enough to
venture on journeys from one embryo city to an-
other to preach the Gospel, taking his way over
trails where Indians lay in ambush, although he
was often warned of the danger.

On Sunday, August 20, he left Deadwood in the
early morning. Upon his cabin door he pinned a
note : "Gone to Crook City. Expect to be back
at about 3 P. M."

He reached his destination, preached at Crook
City, and was on his return to Deadwood, where
he had an appointment to preach in the theatre
building, then just erected. As he was riding
through a thick grove, and descended into a vale,
about two miles from Deadwood, he was attacked
by seven Sioux Indians who were lying in ambush,
and mistook the minister for the mail-carrier. He
was shot through both legs, but there was brave
blood coursing in his veins, and he returned the
fire, killing one of the savages. The remaining six
rushed from their covert, he was dragged from
his saddle and literally hacked and shot to death,
before they discovered their mistake.

The Bible in his pocket, a gift of the celebrated
Divine. Rev. Dr. Diodate Brockway to Mr. Smith,
when lie was but a youth in Sabbath school, revealed
the truth to the savages.

Crying nut that they had killed the "Bible Man."
they folded his hands over the Bible upon his breast
and were turning away without scalping the dead,
when they were attacked by three scouts who came
upon the scene too late to save the missionary's
life. Shots were exchanged from cover on both
sides. One scout, Charles Mason, was killed.
Henry Jorgens, who was a distant relative of Mrs.
Smith, and a third scout, were in pursuit of the
Sioux, who earlier in the day had murdered three
white men. The Indians fled, and the two remain-
ing scouts were joined by the mail carrier, who had
discovered the Indians and avoided them by hiding
in a bramble thicket. He witnessed the murder,



and from a partial knowledge of the Sioux dialect^
understood the conversation. The three men hurried
to Deadwood, and a force of seventy-five men was.
sent out with teams to bring in the dead.

Texas Bill, a famous scout, and Calamity Jane,
an Amazon border heroine and Indian fighter, ac-
companied the party. They found that the dead-
savage was a chief, gaudily attired. His horse,,
gaily caparisoned after a barbaric taste, had re-
mained beside his dead master. Texas Bill cut off
the Indian's head and placed it on a pole ; the body
was dragged to the city by a lariat attached to
the pommel of Texas Bill's saddle, the chief's pony
following. The bodies of the minister and Mason
were placed in a cart. At 3 o'clock P. M. the
minister's lifeless form was lying in the cabin; the
last words he penned fluttered at his door. The
ghastly relic of this murder, the Indian's skull, is
in the Smithsonian Institute, together the mission-
ary's Bible, field glass, and rifle.

Airs. Smith has the few notes of the sermon her
husband delivered that day, blood-stained, as they
were taken from his vest pocket, and the lost words
penned by his hand, which were removed from his
cabin door.

Two memorials have been erected to his mem-



Online LibraryEllery Bicknell CraneHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of Worcester county, Massachusetts, with a history of Worcester society of antiquity (Volume 2) → online text (page 115 of 133)