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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and duly appreciated by the workmen. In the
polishing and grinding room this is very noticeable.
One would hardly know they were in a manufac-
turing plant so free is it kept from dust. In May,
1901, a concession was made to the workmen from
the company which could be obtained in most places
only after bitter disagreements, expensive strikes
and a general upheaval of labor conditions. It was
a voluntary offer of "nine hours work for ten hours
pay." This happy announcement was greeted with
much pleasure on the part of all the employes and
as they came out of the shops they gathered to-
gether and gave Mr. Starrett three hearty cheers
and a tiger. Subsequently they gave the head of the
business and his associates an informal demonstra-
tion of good-will, which was thoroughly understood
and appreciated and which gave them genuine satis-
faction. Athol will never have labor troubles when
employers show such consideration for their help
as Mr. Starett does. Having been himself a work-
ing man all his life, working with brain as well as
with hand, he could readily comprehend the feel-
ings of his employes as they paid their respects
to his character, his generosity and his manhood.

While he is much interested in the political life
of the town, state and country, Mr. Starrett has
never entered that arena himself, but has confined
himself solely to business. He is a leader in phil-
anthropic works, but being quiet and unassuming
in his wav of distributing gifts, no one, not even
himself, really knows the amount of good he has
done. He has a dislike of publicity in any form
and is the last man to seek recognition for meritori-
ous deeds. He is a member of the Home Market
Club of Boston and of the Poquaig Club. He is a
prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal
church, of which he is trustee, and president of the
Young Men's Christian Association, in which he
is very much interested. He has given the Method-
ist Episcopal church a fine pipe organ and a nice
parsonage. His career has been one of persever-
ance and enterprise and is indeed worthy of com-
mendation, and should serve as an example to young
men who are ambitious and desire to succeed in
the business world. Mr. Starrett contributed one
thousand dollars in money and two thousand dol-
lars in tools to the San Francisco fire and earth-
quake sufferers.

Mr. Starrett married, April 28, l86r, Lydia W.
Bartlett, daughter of Henry A. and Hannah Bart-
lett, of Newburyport, a descendant of Josiah Bart-
lett, one of the signers of the Declaration of Inde-
pendence. The ceremony was performed by the
Rev. J. M. Merrill. Mrs. Starrett died February
3, 1878. Their children were: Frank Elmer, born
February 4. tS6j. married Lena Hain and they had
nine children : Arthur, Mildred, Sarah. Frank,
Dora, Carrie, Philip. John and Charles. The father
of these children died January 5, 1904. The family
re-ide in Athol. Ida Stella, born April 24, 1864,
married Frank A. Ball. They have two children.
Alice Emily, born February 3, 1867. married M. B.
Waterman. Thev are the parents of three children.
Lydia A., born January 10, 1878, married Willard
G. Nims and they have one child. Mr. Starrett's



three sons-in-law are associated with him in The
L. S. Starrett Company, of which he is president.

THE MEAD FAMILY is among the oldest of
England. It dates back to the time when surnames-
were first used in England after the Norman Con-
quest, the origin of the name being doubtless from
the old Saxon word for meadow. A similar name
is Lake, Pond, Wood, Hill, Brook, River and num-
erous others. The name was spelled Mede, Meades-
and Meade as well as Mead, and the spelling with
a final "e" is still common in some branches of the
family in America.

Among the first emigrants from England to New
England were a number of this family. The immi-
grant ancestor, whose descendants are given in this.
sketch, was Gabriel Mead, who will be mentioned
below. He was of Dorchester, while in the ad-
joining town of Roxbury settled William and Rich-
ard Mead, known to be brothers. William was the
John D. Rockefeller of his day, making a liberal
bequest to the Roxbury Free School. There was
another William Mead at Gloucester before 1639.
Joseph Mead was an early settler of Stamford,
Connecticut. There is no proof of relationship
other than that mentioned, but the nearness of Rich-
ard and William to Gabriel suggests that the family
tradition about four brothers emigrating may be
correct. The birthplace of none of the first settlers,
is known, so the lien of English ancestry has not
yet been traced

(I) Gabriel Mead, the immigrant ancestor of
Charles Torrey Mead, of Holden, Massachusetts,
was born in England, 1589, and was an early settler
of Dorchester, Massachusetts. He was admitted
a freeman there May 2, 1638, and his wife Joanna
was a church member there in 1638. He died at
Dorchester, May 12, 1666, aged seventy-seven years.
His will was dated January 18, 1654, and proved
July 17, 1667. He mentioned his wife Joanna;
children Lydia. Experience, Sarah and Patience, all
under age. The children : Lydia, named in will,
married, October 19, 1652, James Burges ; Israel,
baptized September 2, 1639, resided in Watertown!
and Dorchester; Experience, baptized January 23,
1641-42, married, December 4, 1664, Jabez Heaton - :
Sarah, baptized January 4, 1643-44, married. No-
vember 31 (sic), 1664, Samuel Eddy: Patience, bap-
tized March 29, 1646, married, April 28, 1669, Mat-
thias Evans ; David, baptized July 7, 1650, see for-
ward.

(II) David Mead, son of Gabriel Mead (1),
was born at Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1650, bap-
tized July 7, 1650. He settled at Watertown, but
lived also at Lexington, Billerica and Woburn,
Massachusetts. He was admitted a freeman 1683.
He ow.ned land at Billerica bought of Christopher
Web. He married (first), at Watertown, Septem-
ber 24. 1675. Hannah Warren, probably daughter
of Daniel and Mary (Barrow) Warren. She died
in 171 1 and he married (second), at Woburn, Mary
Dana, September 15, 1713. Children of David and
Hannah Mead were: 1. Hannah, born September
7. 1676, married Lieutenant Ebenezer Locke. 2.
David, born 1678. at Cambridge, died in Waltham,
February 25. 1767, aged eighty-nine years: mar-
ried, February 5, 1707-08, Hannah Smith and had
six children; she died October 4, 1723; their grand-
son. Jonathan Mead, settled in Hardwick, Massa-
chusetts. 3. Hopestill, born in Cambridge, was
selectman of Waltham 1746. also selectman of Cam-
bridge; married Elizabeth Hastings. 4. John, bom
at Woburn, Massachusetts, August 14. 1685, see
forward. 5. Joshua. 6. Sarah, born October 24,



WORCESTER COUNTY



215



1688, at Woburn. 7. Susanna, born October II,
1690, at Woburn. 8. Benjamin, born January 19,
1693, at Woburn, and lived tbere.

(Ill) Jobn Mead, son of David Mead (2),
was born at Woburn, Massachusetts, August 14.
1685. He settled at Weston, formerly part of Wat-

ertown. He married (first) Rebecca and

(.second), September 30. 1733, Mary Coolidge. Chil-
dren of John and Rebecca M'ead were : Lydia, born
April 7, 1714; Israel, born August 27, 1716, see
forward; Rebecca, born March I, 1718-19; Hannah,
born August 13, 1721.

1 IV) Israel Mead, son of John Mead (3), was
born in Woburn, Massachusetts. August 27, 1716.
He resided in Medford, Watertown and finally
Charlestown, Massachusetts. He was taxed in
Charlestown in 1765-66. He owned considerable
property that was destroyed when Charlestown was
burned by the British. It was located in the vicin-
ity of what is now called Mead street. He was a
hatter by trade, with a shop in Charlestown. Family
tradition informs us that Israel had a negro slave
and at the battle of Bunker Hill, in which his master
took part as a volunteer, he offered the man his
freedom if he also would fight. The negro won
his freedom fairly. Several sons of Israel Mead
appear on the records as serving in the revolution.
Israel Mead served in one of the expeditions to
Canada during the revolution, and was allowed his
pay for the service October 8, 1776. He was commis-
sary (assistant) of issues under John Lucas in 1779.
He married, about 1750, Mary Robbins, born in
1728 and died at Cambridge, September, 1797, aged
sixty-nine years. Their children were: 1. Israel,
Jr., born December 27, 1751, died at Medford, De-
cember 29, 1835, aged eighty-four years ; said to
have been in the revolution. 2. Mary, born June 23,

J7S3. married Cutter and lived in Arlington

on the road to Lexington, and when, April 19, 1775,
the British soldiers were in retreat several of them
asked her for shelter and she concealed them in a large
brick oven until she was able to hand them over
to the proper Continental authorities as prisoners;
a snuff box taken from the clothing of a British
soldier who was killed in her garden that day is
preserved in the family of Charles Mead. 3. John,
born February 22, 1755, said to have settled in
Vermont. 4. Susanna, born at Charlestown, July
14. 1765, died February 23, 1766. 5. Nathaniel,
born April 25. 1768, see forward.

(V) Nathaniel Mead, son of Israel Mead (4),
was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, April 25,
1768. He lived most of his life in Charlestown,
vicinity. He was well educated and his writing
shows him to have been a skillful penman. During
his active life he was a butcher and prospered in
his business. He was in feeble health for some
years before his death. His grandson, Charles T.
Mead, has some of the furniture with which he
began housekeeping about 1793. Nathaniel died June
5, 1813. He married (first) Sally Martin, Novem-
ber 10, 1793. She was born March 7, 1770, and died
August 3, 1806. Their children were: 1. Mary
Cutter, named for her aunt, born June 10, 1796,
died July 8, 1798. 2. Nathaniel, Jr., born Novem-
ber 4. 1797, died March 31, 1828. 3. Sally, born
September 10, 1802, died May 25. 1S05. He mar-
ried (second), October 11, 1809, Sally Kendall,
born January 4, 1780, daughter of Jonathan, Jr..
and Subbire (Johnson) Kendall, of Harvard. The
only child of Nathaniel and Sally (Kendall) Mead
was: 4. Marshal Spring, born October 16, 181 1,
see forward.

(VI) Marshall Spring Mead, son of Nathaniel



Mead (5). was born at Medford. Massachu
a town adjoining Charlestown, October 16, 1811.
Mis father dud when he was two years old, and at
the age of eight years he came with his mother
to live in Leicester. He received a common school
education in Medford and Leicester, and prepared
for college in Leicester Academy which he attended
for four years. He expected to go to Amherst
College, but at the last moment had to give up his
plans for a liberal education. But he was always
a student. He was fond of Greek and used to read
his Greek Testament a great deal. He took charge
of his step-father's farm after his mother married
(second) Abel Green. He was later given the farm
and carried it on from the time he left school until
he sold it in 1855 to John Daniels. He then bought
the old Willard Howe place in the northern part
of the town, about a mile from the Leicester com-
mon. He carried on this farm for the next twenty
years, when he made another change. He bought
the Joseph Hubbard farm in Holden in 1875. This
farm of one hundred and sixty acres in the west
part of Holden on the road to Rutland, he
conducted until 1879, when he sold it to his son,
Charles Torrey Mead, the present owner. The
father, Marshall S. Mead, bought a farm in Pax-
ton Centre, where he lived until he gave up farm-
ing in 1887. He lived the remainder of his days
in Holden, where he died March 25, 1890. He was
living with his son on his old farm in Holden dur-
ing the last three years. Mr. Mead was a member
of the Leicester Congregational church originally,
but had transferred his membership to the Paxton
church late in life. In politics he was a Whig. Free
Soiler, member of the Liberty party and Republican,
in turn. He was a delegate to one of the conven-
tions of the short lived Liberty party. He was very
active and earnest in the anti-slavery movement.

He married, December 29. 1842, Mrs. Tirza
(White) Bemis, born at Spencer. October 15. 1806,
daughter of Jonathan and Ruth (Converse) White,
of Spencer. Her father was a farmer. Children
of Marshall Spring and Tirza Mead were: Charles
Torrey. born October 12, 1848, see forward; George
Whitfield, born June 17. 1851. married Myra Wil-
lard. of North Grafton, and they had no issue.

(VII) Charles Torrey Mead, son of Marshall
Spring Mead (6), was born at Leicester, Massa-
chusetts. October 12, 1848. He attended the public
schools and Leicester Academy. When not in school
he spent his time helping his father on the farm.
At the age of twenty he began to work for Jere-
miah Drake, of Spencer, and later for D. H. Wil-
son, of Leicester, then for Josiah Green, Jr., at
S]iencer. He left farm work to enter the employ
of Horace Lamb, at Northampton, where he had
charge of a tinning frame in the wire mill for
two "years. He returned to Leicester and worked
there a couple of years, and then went to work for
hi- father in Holden. He has resided in that town
since February 23, 1875. After four years he
bought his father's farm, and has since then con-
ducted it with fair profit and success. He has an
excellent dairy and makes butter for the neighbor-
ing market in Worcester. He is a member of the
Holden Congregational church. In politics he is
a Republican. He belongs to Holden Grange. Pat-
rons of Husbandry, and of the Farmers' and Me-
chanics' Club of Holden.

He married. May 31. 1877. Augusta M. Hubbard,
born at Holden, January 14. 1848, daughter of
Stephen Nye and Lucy Ann (Fulhr) Hubbard, of
Holden. Their children are : Roy White, born
January 7, 1886; Hazel Alma, born August ir, 1897.



2l6



WORCESTER COUNTY



JOHN MARSHALL FRENCH, M. D., of Mil-
ford, Massachusetts, well known as one of the lead-
ing members of the medical profession in his vicin-
ity, and prominent in literary, fraternal, and relig-
ious circles, is a lineal descendant of Lieutenant
William French (ffrench or ffrenche), who was
born in Halsted, Essex county, England, March 15,
160.3. He married (first) Elizabeth (surname un-
known, but now believed to be Elizabeth Symmes,
sister of Rev. Zachariah Symmes), and had four
children born in England. He came to America
with Rev. Thomas Shepard and his brother Samuel,
Roger Harlakenden, and George and Joseph Cooke,
in the ship "Defense," in the summer of 1635. He
settled first in Cambridge, and in 1652 was one of
the original proprietors and first settlers of Bil-
lerica. He was lieutenant of the militia, and after-
wards captain ; was the first man chosen "to sit
in the deacon's seat.'' 1659; "Comitioner to estab-
lish the cuntry rates" the same year; one of the
first selectmen in 1660. and served nine years ; com-
mittee to examine children and servants in "Read-
ing, religion, and the catechism," 1661 ; the first
deputy, or representative of Billerica in the general
court at Boston, chosen in 1660, and taking his seat
in 1663. A tract written by him, entitled "Strength
Out of Weakness." in which he gives a detailed
account of the testimony of an Indian convert, was
published in London, and afterwards republished
in the Massachusetts Historical Society Collection.
His wife Elizabeth bore him ten children: Francis,
Elizabeth. Mary. John. Sarah. Jacob, Hannah. Han-
nah (second), Samuel, and Samuel (second). She
died March 31, 1668. and he married (second),
Mary, daughter of Thomas Lathrop, of Barnstable,
and widow of John Stearns, of Billerica. by whom
lie had four children: Mary (second). Sarah (sec-
ond), Abigail, and Hannah (third). He died No-
t-ember 20, 1681, at the age of sixty-eight years and
eight months, being survived by his second wife,
who afterwards married Isaac Mixter, of Water-
town, as his second wife.

A descendant of Lieutenant William French
through his second son, John, himself named Will-
iam French, a resident of Dummerston in the New
Hampshire Grants, was the celebrated victim of the
"Westminster Massacre" in 1775. As this was the
direct result of the first organized resistance to
British authority in the American colonies, William
French had been claimed as the first martyr to the
cause of American Independence. On his tomb-
stone is still to be seen the following quaint in-
scription :

" In memory of William French.
Son to Mr. Nathaniel French. Who
Was shot at Westminister March ye 13th.
1775, by the hands of Cruel Ministerial tools
Of Georg ye 3d, in the Corthouse at 11 a clock
at Night in the 22d year of his Age.

" HERE WILLIAM FRENCH his Body lies.
For Murder his Blood for Veiigeance Cries
Kin,: Geors: the third his Tory Crew
tha with a Bawl his head Shot threw.
For Liberty and his Countrys Good,
he Lost his Life his Dearest blood."

Sergeant Jacob French, the sixth child and sec-
ond son in the family of Lieutenant William and
Elizabeth French, was born in Cambridge, Massa-
chusetts. March 16, 1640. His house was one of the
"garrisons" of 1675. and was probably the same
venerable brick-lined building which was occupied
by James Fletcher in 1S79. He was a sergeant in
the militia. He married (first), September 20, 1665,
Mary Champney, daughter of Richard Champney,
ruling elder of the Cambridge church. She bore
him ten children : Jacob, William, Mary', John,



Joseph, Jabez, Mary (2d), Hannah, Elizabeth, and
Sarah; she died April 1, 1681. He married (sec-
ond), July 30, 1685, Mary Convers, of Woburn,
by whom he had one child, Abigail ; this wife passed
away June 18, 1686. He married (third) Mary

, who was drowned November 6, 1709. He

married (fourth) Ruth вАФ , who died November

6, 1730. His death occurred May 20, 1713, at the
age of seventy-three years and two months.

Deacon William French, second child and son
in the family of Sergeant Jacob and Mary (Champ-
ney) French, was born in Billerica, Massachusetts,
July 18, 1668. He was deacon of the church, and
prominent in church and town affairs. He married,
May 22, 1695, Sarah Danforth, daughter of Jona-
than Danforth, who was for many years the most
eminent citizen of Billerica. Nine children were the
issue of this marriage: Jacob, Joseph, Sarah, Will-
iam. Jonathan, Elizabeth, Ebenezer, Mary, and
Nicholas. Deacon French died September 30, 1723,
aged fifty-five years and two months; and his widow
afterwards married Ebenezer Davis, of Concord.
The descendants of Deacon William French
through his daughter Elizabeth, who married Josiah
Crosby, include many prominent members of the
Crosby family, among who are Hon. Nathan Cros-
by, of Lowell ; Alpheus Crosby, Professor of Greek
at Dartmouth College, and author of a Greek Gram-
mar ; and Drs. Asa Crosby, of Gilmanton, New
Hampshire, Josiah Crosby and George A. Crosby,
of Manchester, Thomas R. Crosby, Dixi Crosby, and
his eminent son, Alpheus Benning Crosby, of Han-
over, and A. H. Crosby, of Concord, men whose
names are household words in thousands of homes
throughout New England, while some of them are
honored wherever medical science is cultivated.

Nicholas French, youngest child and sixth son
in the family of Deacon William and Sarah (Dan-
forth) French, was born in Billerica, Massachu-
setts. September 5. 171 1. He removed to Hollis,
New Hampshire, about 1741. He was a member
of the church in Hollis, and held several minor
offices. He married, June 5, 1744, Priscilla Mooar,
daughter of Timothy and Annie (Blanchard)
Mooar. of Andover, who was born June 12, 1724,
and died February 18. 1784. His death occurred
August 20, 1796, at the age of nearly eighty-five
years. Nicholas and Priscilla French were the par-
ents of nine children, namely: Timothy. Priscilla,
Nicholas, Isaac, Lucy, Sarah, Jonathan, Sarah (2d),
and David.

Jonathan French, the seventh child and fourth
son in the family of Nicholas and Priscilla (Mooar)
French, was born in Hollis. New Hampshire, Au-
gust 21, 1759. He was a soldier in the revolution-
ary war. serving in the company of Captain Goss
at Bennington in 1777. and taking part in the ex-
pedition to Rhode Island in the following year.
He removed to Deering, New Hampshire, about
1797, and thence to Fairfax (that part which is
now in the town of Cambridge). Vermont, about
1806. In 1788 he married Mary Keyes, daughter
of Abner and Mary (Shed) Keyes, of Dunstable,
Massachusetts, and* she bore him eight children:
Jonathan, Mary. James, David. John. Cynthia,
Christopher, and Mark. He died September 18,
1835. aged seventy-six years, and his wife died
October 6, 1853. both in Cambridge, Vermont.

Deacon Mark French, youngest child and sixth
son in the family of Jonathan and Mary (Keyes)
French, was born in Fairfax (now Cambridge),
Vermont, February 27. 1S0S. He lived during the
most of his life in the towns of Cambridge and
Johnson, Vermont. He married. March 24. 1833,
Mary Lyon, daughter of Abel and Lucinda (Olds)



WORCESTER COUNTY



217



Lyon, of Swanton, and a descendant of William
Lyon, of Roxbury, 1635, an d who was also the an-
cestor of Mary Lyon, the founder of Mount Holy-
oke Seminary, and of General Nathaniel Lyon, who
was shot at the battle of Wilson's Creek in 1861.
In their home the guiding principles of life and
chief topics of conversation were religion, anti-
slavery, and temperance ; and in these, with a love
of education, and a patriotic devotion to their
country, their children were early indoctrinated. In
the early months of the civil war, when one after
another of their children volunteered to serve in
defence of their country, the consent of the parents
was never withheld ; and at the end of four years
of war, in which two of their sons died of disease
contracted in the service, and both the others were
wounded and broken in health, the patriot mother
declared that she could not regret the sacrifice she
had made for her country. Deacon French's wife
died August 6, 1882, and he himself passed away
April 14. 1888, at the age of over eighty years. He
was the last surviving member of a family of ten,
including the parents, whose ages at death aver-
aged sixty-eight years and seven months. All of
his father's family but one were at some time in
their lives members of the First Congregational
Church of Cambridge, Vermont, as is shown by
their names still to be seen upon the records; and
he himself was towards the close of his life the
first deacon of the Second Congregational Church
of Cambridge. located in the village of Jefterson-
ville. The children of Mark and Mary (Lyon)
French were seven in number, all sons, and all born
in Cambridge, Vermont, as follows :

1. A son, unnamed, born and died May 13. 1S34.

2. James Foster, born February 26, 1836. In
the spring of 1861 he enlisted from the town of
Johnson in the Fifth Regiment of Vermont Volun-
teers, and served three years: he was in every bat-
tle with his regiment, being slightly wounded in the
battle of the Wilderness ; and was mustered out of
the service at the end of his term of enlistment.
After the war was over, he west west, where he has
ever since lived. He is now a retired farmer and
stock raiser, and resides in Lebanon, Smith county,
Kansas. He has never married.

3. George Quincy, born June I, 1838. At the
time of the Free Soil agitation in Kansas, he was
one of those who went out from the east to help
make Kansas a free state. He returned to Ver-
mont in i860, and when the war broke out in 1S61
he was fitting for college in the academy at John-
son. He was the first volunteer from that town,
enlisting for three years in the Third Vermont Vol-
unteers, and serving as corporal in Company E. He
died of chronic diarrhoea, in the Hospital at Fort
McHenrv, Baltimore, Maryland, on November 4,
1862.

4. Jason Olds, born June 28, 1830. In the
spring of 1861 he enlisted in the Fifth Vermont
Volunteers, and at the battle of Savage's Station,
June 3, T862. he was wounded through the shoulder,
and immediately taken prisoner. He was carried

from the battle field to the famous Libby Prison
in Richmond, where he was confined for about
three weeks, at the end of which time he was liber-
ated on parole, and soon afterwards exchanged, dis-
charged for disability, and returned home. A few
months later, having somewhat imoroved in health,
he re-enlisted as a veteran in the Seventeenth Ver-
mont Volunteers, and at the battle of Cold Harbor,
in June, 1864, he was shot through the liver, the
bullet passing out close to the spine. Injuries of
this character were at that time considered as neces-
sarily fatal, and his survival was looked upon as



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 63 of 133)