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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in lumber in connection with his real estate busi-
ness. He is a veteran of the civil war. He enlisted
for nine months in the Fifth Massachusetts Volun-
teers. While Mr. Estabrook has been too busy to
accept public office he has always taken his part
in politics. He is a stanch Republican.

Mi married Harriet A. Roper, April 3, 1866,
daughter of John Roper, a prominent citizen of
Princeton, Massachusetts. Their children were :
Harriet I., born June 17, 1867, died July 23, 1871 ;
Alvin C, February 18, 1874, died July 23, 1884.
Mr. and Mrs. Estabrook are both members of the
Leominster Congregational church. While Mr.
Estabrook is popular in the social circles in which
he moves he seems to be particularly fond of home
life. He has a very attractive residence at Leo-
minster.

LEVI W. PORTER. Richard Porter (1). the
emigrant ancestor of Levi W. Porter, of Leominster,
was born in England. He sailed from Weymouth,
England, March 3, 1635, and settled in Weymouth,
Massachusetts, among the Ci r - 1 . He was a member



8o



WORCESTER COUNTY



of the original church, constable and selectman of
the town. He took the freeman's oath and became
a citizen of Weymouth, May 18, 1653. He died in
1689, leaving a will mentioning his four children.
The original name of Weymouth was Messaguscus.
The children of Richard Porter were : John, of whom
later; Ruth, born October 3, 1639, married Thomas
Bailey, Jr., September 19, 1660; Thomas, married
Sarah Vining; Wary, married John Bicknell, Jan-
uary 2, 1659.

(II) John Porter, son of Richard Porter (1),
born probably at Weymouth, Massachusetts, married
Deliverance Byrum, daughter of Nicholas and Mar-
tha (Shaw) Byrum, of Bridgewater. He was a
sergeant in the militia and was one of the soldiers
in King Philip's war. He was one of the most enter-
prising, useful and honored citizens of the colony.
He drew land 1686-87-94-96-99. He built the saw
mill at South Abington in 1693. He held at various
times all the town offices. He died at Weymouth,
August 7, 1717; his widow died September 3, 1720.
Their children were : Mary, born October 12, 1663,
married William Pittee ; Susanna, June 2, 1665, mar-
ried Matthew Pratt; John, July 2, 1667, married

Mary ; Samuel, married Mary Xash;

Nicholas, married Bathsheba Reed ; Ruth, September
18, 1676, married Nathaniel Willis, of Bridgewater ;
Thomas, married Susanna Pratt; Ebenezer, married
Sarah Humphrey; Sarah, married John Dingley, of
Marshfield.

(III) Thomas Porter, son of Sergeant John
Porter (2), was born at Weymouth. He married
Susanna Pratt, daughter of Matthew and Sarah
(Hunt) Pratt, in 1706. She was born in 1684. Their
children were : Nathaniel, born November 23, 1707,
died April 2, 1724; Thomas, April 27, 1713, married
Mercy Bates, January 24, 1740; Jonathan, March 6,
1715, died young; Jonathan, January 22, 1718;
Josiah, March 6, 1720, died young; Ezra, April 0,
1722, died young; Matthew, September 8, 1725, mar-
ried Sarah Pratt, 1750; Ezra, September 8, 1725,
married Hannah Lovell, 1751; Susannah, July 12,
1728.

(IV) Ezra Porter, son of Thomas Porter (3),
was born at Weymouth, Massachusetts, Septem-
ber 8, 1725. He married, 1751, Hannah Lovell,
daughter of Joseph and Ruth (Richards) Lovell.
She was born December 17, 1723. After her death
he married (second) Patience Hathaway, daughter
of Solomon and Temperance Hathaway, who was
born October 21, 1741. They resided at Weymouth.
Their children were : Josiah, baptized December
22, 1751 ; Molly, born January 26, 1753, married
Samuel Pratt, 1770; Lucy, baptized October, 1769;
Ezra, born August 23, 1763.

(V) Asa I'orter, son of Ezra Porter (4), was
born at Weymouth, Massachusetts, November 3,
1756. He married Eunice Williams, for whom Levi
Williams Porter is named. She was born at Gro-
ton, July 23, 1760. He was distinguished by his
service in the American revolution. He was in
seven of the most famous battles. He removed
from Weymouth and settled at Marlborough, New
Hampshire, about 1780, and resided for a short
time in a place known as The Tomb, a sort of dug-
out in the side hill at the corner roads near what
is now called the Alger place. He bought a tract
of wild land and cleared it. He died in Marlboro,
December 1. 1852, the oldest man who had lived in
the town. His wife died December 18, 1821. Their
children were: Asa, born May 3. 1779, died October
14, 1780; Lydia, March 17, 1781, married Israel
Flood; Polly, November 24, 17S2, died young;
Eunice, July 27, 1784, married Nathan E. Wild;
Daniel, September 5, 1786, died March 6, 1790;



Asa, July 5. 17S8; Abel, March 8, 1791 ; Mary, June
8, 1793, married Calvin Starkey, of Troy, New-
Hampshire, moved to Townsend, Vermont ; Levi,
March 21, 1795; Reuben, June 8, 1797, married Pru-
dence Hills, removed to Chesterfield, New Hamp-
shire; Permilla, June 15, 1799, married Levi Gates;
Lovell, February 20, 1801, died November 28, 18J4,
unmarried; Elvira, March 12, 1805, lived at Marl-
boro, unmarried; Adaline, January 1, 1807, married
Fuller Clark.

(VI) Levi Porter, son of Asa Porter (5), was
born at Marlboro, New Hampshire, March 21, 1795.
He married Sally Sawyer, daughter of Moses Saw-
yer, of Sharon, New Hampshire. They settled on a
farm in Marlboro inherited by their son, George A.
Porter. Levi died April 6, 1867. His wife died
August 19, 1866. Their children were : Moses Saw-
yer, born August 23, 1824, married, May 4, 1870,
Emily Gates, daughter of Elijah and Amorite
(Wild) Gates, removed to Leominster, Massachu-
setts; Levi Williams, April 5, 1826, married, June I,
1853, Caroline Philista Gilbert, daughter of Charles
and Emily (Frost) Gilbert, at Leominster, Massa-
chusetts; George Augustus, January 9, 1828, mar-
ried, October 24, 1861, Lucy A. Smith, of Fitchburg,
Massachusetts, resided on the homestead at Marl-
boro, New Hampshire.

(VII) Levi Williams Porter, son of Levi Porter
(6), was born on the old homestead at Marlboro,
New Hampshire, April 5, 1826. He attended the
common schools of his native town and then took
up the trade of carpenter which he followed for ten
years. In 1853 he moved from Marlboro to his
present home at Leominster, Massachusetts. He was
employed in a piano case factory as foreman and has
been engaged in some department of that business
for forty-five years. For a dozen years the firm of
S. & L. W. Porter was well known to the trade
and that firm was succeeded by F. G. Smith in 1900.
Mr. Porter is an active Republican, but has de-
clined to accept public office. He attends the Leo-
minster Congregational church.

He married, June I, 1853, Caroline Philista Gil-
bert, daughter of Charles and Emily (Frost) Gil-
bert, of Marlboro, New Hampshire. She died in
1890. They had three children, two of whom died
in infancy. Mary, their only surviving child, mar-
ried F. J. Whitney, of Leominster.

LEVI WHITNEY. John Whitney (1), the emi-
grant ancestor of Levi Whitney, of Upton, was born
in England, 1589. He was the son of Thomas
Whitney, and the grandson of Robert Whitney, of
England. For further particulars of John Whit-
ney and his ancestry see Whitney family elsewhere
in this work. He settled in Watertown, Massachu-
setts, June, 1635. He married in England, Elinor

— , who was born there in 1599 and died in

Watertown, May II, 1659. John Whitney married
(second), in Watertown, September 29, 1639. Judith
Clement. He died June 1, 1673. Children of John
and Elinor Whitney are given elsewhere in the
Whitney family sketch.

(.ID John Whitney, son of John Whitney (1),
was born in England, 1620. He settled in Water-
town. He married Ruth Reynolds, daughter of
Robert Reynolds. (For further particulars see
sketch of Whitney family elsewhere in this work.)

(Ill) Nathaniel Whitney, son of John Whitney
(2), was born in Watertown. Massachusetts, Feb-
ruary I, 1646. He married, March 12, 1673, Sarah
Hagar. She was born September 3, 1651, and died
May 7, 1746, in Weston. He settled in Weston,
about a mile and a half from the village, on the
road to Lexington. Dr. Bradbury, who now or



WORCESTER COUNTY



SI



lately owned the place, has built on the original
site of the first house an attractive modern house.
Nathaniel died in Weston, January 7, 1732. Chil-
dren of Nathaniel and Sarah (Hagar) Whitney
were: Nathaniel, born March 5, 1675; Sarah, Feb-
ruary 12, 1678; William, May 6, 16S3; Samuel, bap-
tized July 17, 1687; Hannah, born in Weston, bap-
tized March, 1688; Elizabeth, born December 15,
1692; Grace, born 1700; Mercy.

(IV) Nathaniel Whitney, son of Nathaniel
Whitney (3), was born in Weston, Massachusetts,
March 5, 1675. He married, November 7, 1695,
Mercy Robinson, born September 6, 1676, died De-
cember 31, 1740. They resided in Watertown, Massa-
chusetts, where he died September 23, 1730. Chil-
dren of Nathaniel and Mercy (Robinson; Whitney
were: Nathaniel; Sarah, born March 3, 1698;
Amos, April 19, 1701 ; Elizabeth, July 23, 1702, mar-
ried Daniel Bigelow ; they were the parents of
Colonel Timothy Bigelow, from whom the local
chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolu-
tion is named; Jonas, December, 1703; James, born
about 1710; Susanna, baptized June 17, 1711; Solo-
mon, (twin), baptized June 17, 1711 ; Samuel,
(twin), baptized June 17, 1711; Ebenezer, baptized
April 25, 1714, was a doctor, resided in Worcester
county, died January 23, 1743 ; Joshua, born March
25, 1714; David, born in 1716.

(V) Nathaniel Whitney, son of Nathaniel
Whitney (4), was born in Weston, Massachusetts,
January 23, 1696. He married, June 22, 1721, Mary
Childs, born 1699 and died December 3, 1776. They
settled in Westboro, Massachusetts, where he and
his wife were admitted to the church, January 21,
1728. He had owned the covenant in Concord, Massa-
chusetts, October 15, 1727. Children of Nathaniel
and Mary (Childs) Whitney were: Ephraim, born
in Groton, July, 1722; Oliver, born December 1,
1724; David, baptizea November 8, 1726; Mary, born
February 15, 1727; Nathaniel, born July 22, 1728;
Anna, born March 8, 1730, married, May 4, 1749,
David Forbush, son of one of the earliest and most
prominent citizens of Westboro, Massachusetts (an-
cestor of Judge Forbes of Worcester) ; Amos, born
March 17, 1732 ; Lucy, born April 26, 1734; Love,
born September 13, 1736; Lois, born February 9,
1738; Eli, baptized May 3, 1740. The inventor of
the cotton gin, Eli Whitney, was of this Westboro
family.

(VI) Ephraim Whitney, son of Nathaniel Whit-
ney (s), was born in Groton, Massachusetts, July,
1722. He married, December 6, 1749, Thankful
Harrington, born in 1729, died July 16, 1795. He
moved with his parents from Groton to Weston
and thence later to Westboro, Massachusetts. After
his marriage he purchased a large farm in Upton,
Massachusetts, on which he resided the remainder
of his life. At his death the farm was divided
equally between his two sons. He died at Upton,
July 21, 1797. Children of Ephraim and Thankful

(Harrington) Whitney were: Thankful, born No-
vember 11, 1750, married Jonathan Batchelor, and

resided in Upton (See Batchelor sketch) ; Beulah,
born January 23, 1753, married, May 7, 1772, Sam-
uel Forbush, grandson of Daniel Forbes, the emi-
grant from Scotland ; Ephraim, born May 13, 1766,
married Jemima Whipple and Joanna Sadler; Amos,
born June 29, 1759.

(VII) Amos Whitney, son of Ephraim Whitney
(6), was born in Upton, Massachusetts, June 29,
1759. He married Eunice Taft, February 7, 1782.
He always lived in Upton. At his father's death he
inherited part of his farm, on which he lived the
remainder of his life. He died September 22, 1841.
Eli Whitney, the inventor, was a cousin. Eli's

ii— 6



father was Eli. Amos' father, Ephraim, was a
brother of Eli Whitney, Sr., father of the inventor,
whose pedigree back of his father is the same as
that here given. Children of Amos and Eunice
(Taft) Whitney were : Esther, born October 26,
1783, married Deacon Morse; Hannah, born No-
vember 26, 1785, died unmarried; Levi, born March
26, 1788; Elijah, born March 5, 1791, married Sarah
Reed ; Amos, born May 8, 1793, married Nancy
Warren; Polly, born November 21, 1795, died un-
married; Daniel, bom July I, 1799; Sally, born Au-
gust 11, 1801, married, April, 1827, Eron Fiske;
Joel, born April 19, 1804, married Mary J. Whit-
ney.

(VIII) Elijah Whitney, son of Amos Whitney
(7), was born in Upton, Massachusetts, March 5,
1791. He married in Stow, Massachusetts, April
12, 1822, Sarah Reed. They lived in Upton and
Harvard, Massachusetts. Children of Elijah and
Sarah (Reed) Whitney were: Levi, born May 22,
1827'; Harriet, born September 7, 1832, married
Emory Whitney King, born March 31, 1826, and
lived in Upton ; he was a farmer and highway sur-
veyor of Upton for many years ; he was a son of
Samuel and Sabra King, of Upton; their children
are : Arthur Elijah, married Isabel McBride, of
Northbridge; Etta Sarah, Myrtice Samantha.

(IX) Levi Whitney, son of Elijah Whitney (8),
was born in Upton, Massachusetts, May 22, 1827.
When he was a young boy his parents removed to
Harvard, Massachusetts, and he attended the dis-
trict schools there. His father returned to Upton
to help his grandfather with the farm. Levi Whit-
ney worked on his father's farm in Upton until he
was twenty-seven. He worked in the straw shop
of William Knowlton & Sons in the winter, and
after he left the farm worked at the carpenter's
trade during the summer months. Mr. Whitney
possesses a modest competence largely through his
habits of industry and good management of his
property. In 1894 he built an attractive home on
Maple avenue West Upton, where he has since re-
sided. He is a steadfast Republican in politics. He
is an active member of the Upton Methodist church.

He married, November 13, 1859, Violetta J. Gil-
man, daughter of Stephen and Jane (Creddiford)
Gilman. She was born in Wells, Maine, January
I 5> T 834- Her father was a native of Monmouth,
Maine. They were married at Upton. Children of
Levi and Violetta J. (Gilman) Whitney are: Clara
B ile, born September 10, i860, died unmarried July
22, 1903; Charles Oscar, born December 13, 1861,
married Sarah Ryder, of Middleboro; he was edu-
cated in the Upton district and high schools ; is em-
ployed in the straw shop of William Knowlton &
Sons; their son George Gilman, born September 1,
1884, is in the class of 1906, Worcester Polytechnic
Institute; Dora May, born September 6, 1863, is-
bookkeeper for William Knowlton & Sons ; gradu-
ate of Upton high school, 1881 ; Ella Maria, born
September 16, 1865, married Allen W. Risteen, of
Hartford, Connecticut, editor of the trade paper
Locomotive published by the Hartford Steam Boiler
Insurance Company; she was a graduate of the
Upton high school, 1883, and of the State Normal
school in Worcester, in 1885 ; Nellie Frances, born
September 18, 1869, graduate of the Upton high
school, 1887, and of Becker's Commercial School in
1888; works in the Knowlton shop; lives with her
parents in West Upton.

ELLERY BICKNELL CRANE, of Worcester,
is a descendant of Henry Crane (1), who, as early
as 1655, settled with his brother, Benjamin, in
Wethersfield, Connecticut. They were tanners and



82



WORCESTER COUNTY



curriers of leather. After conducting business in
company for some years, Henry removed to Guil-
ford, previous to 1660, and a few years later be-
came one of the first planters of "Hammonassett,"
the name having been changed in 1667 to Kenilworth,
or Killingworth, that portion now being known as
Clinton. About the year 1663 he married Concur-
rence, daughter of John Meigs, and became one of
the leading spirits in this new settlement; was the
schoolmaster, and captain of the Train-band; ap-
pointed one of the commissioners for the town ;
besides serving on various important committees,
locating boundary lines and settling estates. On
the death of his brother Benjamin, of Wethersfield,
in 1693, he was appointed one of the distributors
of his estate. His wife Concurrence died October
9, 1708, and he married (second) Deborah Cham-
pion, widow of Henry Champion, of Lyme, De-
cember 26, 1709. He died April 22, 171 1, and his
widow married Richard Towner. Of his ten chil-
dren, three died young. John, Concurrence, Mary,
Phebe, Theophilus, Henry, and Mercy grew to
mature years and had families.

(II) Henry Crane, Jr., son of Henry and Con-
currence Crane, was born October 25, 1677. He
married Abigail, daughter of Robert Flood, of
Wethersfield, January 27, 1703-04, and settled in
that part of Killingworth afterward set off to
Durham. He was one of the original proprietors
of Durham, one of the deacons of the Congrega-
tional church, and for twenty-eight sessions (1718
to 1740), represented the town in the state legisla-
ture. He was also a military man, and advanced
from the ranks through the various stages to cap-
tain of the Durham Train-band. In 1734 the general
assembly of Connecticut appointed Captain Crane
and James Wadsworth, Esq.. a committee to return
the thanks of the assembly to Rev. Mr. Nathaniel
Chauncey for the sermon he preached before that
body, May 9, that year, and solicit a copy of the
same for publication. In October, 1738, he, with
Mr. Wadsworth, both of Durham, were again ap-
pointed by the assembly, with Captain Samuel Hall,
to locate a site for a meeting-house in the parish of
Amity, New Haven county, the place now known
as Woodbridge. He died April II, 1741. His
widow died August 31, 1754- They had children:
Silas, born January 25, 1705 ; Concurrence, 1708 ;
Henry, 1710; Abigail, 1712, died 1724.

(III) Silas Crane, eldest son of Henry, Jr.. and
Abigail (Flood) Crane, was called Sergeant Silas,
for service rendered during the French and Indian
wars. He was also prominent in matters relating
to the affairs of both church and state. He resided
on a part of the farm of seven hundred and fifty
acres left by his father, and here, for more than
twenty years, the two brothers resided with but a
partition deed dividing their estates in about equal
parts. He died January 15, 1763. He married
Mercy, daughter of Samuel Griswold ; she died
August 29, 1782. Of their eleven children, three
died young. Abigail, Jesse, Silas, Robert G., Eli.
Hulda, Ruth, and Frederick, lived to mature age.

(IV) Robert Griswold Crane, fourth child and
third son of .Silas and Mercy (Griswold) Crane,
was born February 18, 1739. He married, October
31, 1765, Mary Camp, daughter of Eleazer Camp,
of Durham. She died April 30, 1790. In February.
1791, he married (second) Sybilla Judson, who died
January 12, .1808. April 7, 1769, Mr. Crane, with
his family, removed from Durham to the town of
Bethlehem, where he died March 6, 1820, at the
age of eighty years, having had eight children: Mary.
Robert, Molly, Achsah, Eleazer; Jesse, died young;
Phineas and Sarah.



(V) Eleazer Crane, second son of Robert G.
and Mary (Camp) Crane, was born December 28,
1773- He married, December 9, 1798, Anna (aft-
erwards called Nancy), daughter of Fletcher Prud-
den, and his wife, Sarah Treat, who was daughter
of Edmund, and granddaughter of Governor Robert
Treat. Mr. Crane first settled on a farm in the
town of Woodbury, where his two eldest children
were born, but during the summer of 1802 removed
to Colebrook, New Hampshire, where he purchased
wild land and began to improve a farm. He also
built a saw mill on the stream called Mohawk
creek, where he manufactured lumber until 1807,
when owing to the frequent depredations, including
theft and murder, on account of the controversy
regarding the boundary 'line between the United
States and Canada, he abandoned all his property,
home, mill, and lumber manufactured, and with
his family returned to Connecticut, locating 111
Bethlehem. In 1823 he returned to Colebrook, to
find that the mill, buildings and lumber had been
burned, only the old irons remaining. He rebuilt
the farm buildings, cleared up a portion of the land
for agricultural products, and there made his home
until the year 1836, when the family removed to
Wisconsin, and as members of the New England
Emigrating Company, helped to settle the town (now
city) of Beloit, where he died June 14, 1839. His
widow died April 3, 1859. They had five children :
Emeline E., Orlando F., Sarah Treat, Robert Prud-
den ; and Nathan F., who died in infancy.

(VI) Robert Prudden Crane, fourth child and
second son of Eleazer and Nancy (Prudden) Crane,
was born in Colebrook, New Hampshire, April 17,
1807. Sixteen years of his early life were passed
in Bethlehem, Connecticut, where he attended school
during the winter terms, and worked on the farm
in the summer seasons. After returning with his
father's family to Colebrook, in 1823, his time was
given to assisting in re-establishing a new home near
his birthplace, which, in the absence of the family,
had been practically obliterated. Thirsting after
rather more than a common district school educa-
tion, he went several winter seasons to the acad-
emy at Lancaster, where he was graduated in 1831.
For a few years he taught school in the neigh-
boring towns about Colebrook during the winter
terms. In the fall of 1836 he joined the New Eng-
land Emigrating Company, which comprised a dozen
or more families from in and about Colebrook,
organized for the purpose of migrating to the ter-
ritory then known as "The Far West." In the
winter of 1836-37, Mr. Crane, with one other mem-
ber of this company, started on their westward
journey, reaching the locality now known as Beloit,
Wisconsin, in the early spring of the latter year.
Here they "set their stakes," and were soon fol-
lowed by the remainder of the emigrating company.
Mr. Crane had previously married (February 25,
1836) Almira P., daughter of Captain John W.
Bicknell and Keziah Paine, his wife. Mr. Crane
was active and prominent in the early settlement of
Beloit, making his home there until 1881, when, to
avoid the cold winters, he removed to Micanopy,
Florida, where he died, November 3, 1882. His wife,
Almira, died in Beloit, January 6, 1854, leaving one
child Ellerv Bicknell Crane.

(VII) Ellery Bicknell Crane, only child of Robert
Prudden and Almira (Bicknell) Crane, was born in
Colebrook, Coos county, New Hampshire, Novem-
ber 12, 1836. He was a babe when he and his
mother rejoined the husband and father in what
is now Beloit, Wisconsin, on August 7, 1837. Here
the son grew to manhood, receiving his education
111 private and public schools, Beloit Academy, and



WORCESTER COUNTY



83



the preparatory department of Beloit College. After
taking a full course of instruction in single and
double entry bookkeeping, he was employed as an
accountant in the office of a lumber and grain mer-
chant in his native town. The financial stress of
1857 and 1858 proved so discouraging to the credit
system of trade, that his employer decided to con-
duct a cash trade only, during the year i860, and
Mr. Crane joined a party of gentlemen bound for
California via the overland route. They started on
this journey May 4, i860, and Sacramento was
reached October 12, after an interesting and ex-
citing trip on account of the warlike attitude as-
sumed by the Indians against the whites during
that season. Mr. Crane remained on- the Pacific
coast, passing the time in the states of California
and Oregon, until the winter of 1862. In December,
that year, he left San Francisco, to return via the
Isthmus of Panama, to the east. Reaching New
York city, he decided to locate in New England,
among relations, and, proceeding to Boston, se-
cured a position as bookkeeper and salesman for a
wholesale anl retail lumber dealer, where he re-
mained four years, and until his employer sold out
his business and the accounts were all 'settled
through the hands of Mr. Crane.

Mr. Crane located in Worcester, Massachusetts,
in 1867, and started in business for himself in the
lumber trade, establishing a yard and office on Mad-
ison street, near Southbridge street, with Jonathan
C. French as a partner. Within three months he
purchased the interest of Mr. French, and for the
greater portion of the succeeding thirty-four years,
conducted the business alone. On Sunday afternoon,
July 8, 1900, a fire was started in some mysterous
way from an adjoining building, and his stock and
building went up in smoke. As a change in the build-
ing laws prohibited the erection of wooden store-
houses on the site he had occupied, the business
was given up, and Mr. Crane retired from mercan-
tile pursuits, and has since devoted his time to
historical and genealogical work. For nearly thirty



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