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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Adams's company, Colonel Thatcher's regiment, in
177O. In 1777, when the resources of the colonies
were severely strained, he lent the town of New-
ton twenty-four pounds to help pay its soldiers. He
owned one slave. He married, May 28, 1747, Abi-
gail Brown, daughter of Thomas and Abigail
(Cheney) Brown, of Newton. She died May 20,
1775- He married (second), February 8, 1776, Eliza-
beth Brown, of Cambridge. He died August 23,
1786, aged sixty-three years. Children of Josiah
and Abigail Hall were: Susannah, born April 30,
1749; Abigail, born September 27, 1751, married
Royal Wood; Mary, born March 3, 1753; Samuel,
see forward; Hannah, born May 6, 1760, married,
1782, Ezra Dana; Sarah, born November 22, 1763,
married John Rogers; Susanna, married John

(V) Samuel Hall, son of Josiah Hall (4), was
born in Newton, Massachusetts, January 3, 1755.
He was a soldier in the revolution, a private in
Captain Jeremiah Wiswall's company, Colonel
Hatch's regiment, at the taking of Dorchester
Heights in 1776. He was in Captain Stephen Dana's
company, Colonel Josiah Whitney's regiment, in the
Rhode Island campaign in 1777. He was in Captain
Joseph Fuller's company, (Second Newton) Colonel
Thatcher's regiment, at Cambridge, guarding Brit-
ish prisoners, in 1778. He was a hand loom weaver
and farmer. He died at Newton, November 17,
1828, aged seventy-three years.

He married, September 18, 1882, Sarah Cheney,

of Newton, daughter of Ensign Timothy and Sarah
(Prentice) Cheney, of Newton, a descendant of that
stout old Puritan, Captain Thomas Prentice. She
died September 25, 1842, aged eighty-six years.
Their children, all born in Newton, were : William,
born May 10, 1783, married Martha Greenwood;
Sally, born February 24, 1785, died 1802; Samuel,
see forward; Isaac, born July 21, 1789, died Decem-
ber 8, 1840; married, May 16, 1816, Mehitable King;
Prentice, born October 9, 1791, died without issue
January 10, 1837; Josiah, born December 7, 1793;
Baxter, born April 24, 1798, died March 31, 1875;
married Lucinda Brackett; Abby, born January 24,
1800, married, May 25, 1837, Timothy B. Mason, and
died April 15, 1875; among their children were:
Rev. Edward B. Mason, William L. Mason, of Cin-
cinnati, and Helen A., wife of General Henry V.
Boynton, of Washington, D. C.

(VI) Samuel Hall, son of Samuel Hall (5), was
born in Newton, May 7, 1787. He lived during his
minority at Newton with his father, attended the
district schools and learned the trade of blacksmith.
In 1816 he settled in Grafton, Massachusetts, and in
1822 bought the Wood estate on the road to Mill-
bury, took down the old house and built a new one.
He became captain of the militia company there. He
luved music, had a good voice and ear and was
deemed one of the best musicians in the county.
He played the bass viol and led the choirs in vari-
ous churches in Grafton and vicinity. He retained
his youthfulness to a great age. He played the
bass viol at the celebration of his ninetieth birth-
day. He was a man of truth, justice and charity,
despising pretence and hating corruption. In politics
he was originally a Whig, later a Republican, and his
last ballot was cast for Hayes and Wheeler. He died
at Grafton, February 24, 1878.

He married, January 1, 1813, Sophia King, of
Newton, daughter of John and Lois (Jackson)
King. She died at Grafton, May 3, 1872. Children
of Samuel and Sophia Hall, all born at Grafton,
were : Sarah, born October 10, 1813, married, No-
vember 15, 1832, Mixer Stow, of Southboro ; Samuel.
born February 18, 1815, married, August 24, 1S40,
Harriet Bridges; Simon, born November 22, 1816,
died j'oung; Salmon Davis, see forward; Sanford
Jackson, born March 31, 1S20, married, May 6, 1843,
Emily Prentice; Sophia Abigail, born April 15, 1822,
married, 1S56, Deacon Lewis Holbrook; Sophronia
Woodward, born January 22, 1824, married, Octo-
ber 6, 1846, Deacon Horace Batcheller ; Susan Ellen,
born September 19, 1825, married, November 17,
1846. Willard Aldrich Morse ; Statira Maria, born
August 1, 1827, married, October 11, 1854. Joseph
Daniels; Samantha Ann, born June 11, 1829, mar-
ried, December 30, 1852, Charles E. Buswell; Syl-
via Jane, born August I, 1831, died October 7, 1851 ;
Sabrina, born August 3, 1832, died October 2, 1832.
(Note the family preference for the letter S.)

(VII) Salmon Davis Hall, son of Samuel Hall
(6), was born at Grafton, Massachusetts, June 15,
1S1S. He was educated there in the public schools.
He learned the trade of shoemaker and for seven-
teen years warked for the firm of E. B. & A. M.
Bigelow, shoe manufacturers, advancing to a re-
sponsible position in the business. In 1858 he was
appointed a deputy sheriff for the town of Grafton
by the high sheriff of Worcester county, and he held
this important and responsible office until his death,
January 4, 1888. He was well known, especially in
the legal fraternity of the county and to his own
townspeople. He represented the town of Grafton
and his district in the general court in 1866. He
was for a number of years collector of internal
revenue in his district. In town affairs he was al-



most constantly kept in public service. He was
moderator of the town meetings for a period of
twenty-six years, an unequalled record probably in
the county. He served on the school committee, the
board of assessors, was constable, justice of the
peace, etc. Few men of his generation were more
useful or more highly esteemed by their fellow

He married, May 8, 1843, Elizabeth Gates Staples,
daughter of Alpheus and Polly (Torrey) Staples,
of Mendon. She was born March 16, 1823, and was
educated in the public schools of her native town,
She was the daughter of John and Mary (Fair-
banks) Torrey, of Mendon, whose children were:
Mary, married Richard Hamilton; Henry, Elias,
Samuel, Abbie, Sarah, Harriet, Elizabeth, William.
all born in Mendon. Mrs. Hall has in her possession
a silver spoon which belonged once to a Mellen who
married into the Torrey family some two hundred
years ago. Children of Salmon Davis and Elizabeth
(Staples) Hall were: Samuel, born September 14,
1844, married Jennie Reynolds, resided in Abing-
ton, Illinois; died August 4, 1896; Mary L., see for-
ward ; Edgar Clifford, born December 6, 1859,
died December 31, i860; Harry Lincoln, died Janu-
ary 31, i860, day of birth.

(VIII) Mary Elizabeth Hall, daughter of Sal-
mon Davis Hall (7), was born in Grafton, Massa-
chusetts, October 15, 1848, married Alfred J. Kirby,
mentioned below in Kirby family sketch.

The name of Kirby is probably of Danish origin.
It was originally written Kirkby, from Kirk, mean-
ing church and' By?, dwelling. Although originally
written Kirkby, the name has long been pronounced
as if spelled Kirby. The earliest appearance of
the name as designating a particular family is found
in the title given to the barons of Kirkby Kendal
in Westmoreland. The first Baron Kirkby came
over with William the Conqueror. His name was
Ivo Taillebois and the barony in default of male
issue passed to his brother Gerard. Many dis-
tinguished members of the Kirby family are re-
corded in various parts of England.

(I) John Kirby. the immigrant ancestor of
Alfred J. Kirby, of Grafton, Massachusetts, was
born in England, probably in Rowington, Warwick-
shire, and it is thought that the New England
Kirby family descends from Sir John Kirkby, whose
daughter Matilda married William Beauchamp. the
first earl of Warwick of that family. John Kirby
came to America on the ship "Hopewell," sailing
about September II, 1635, from England. His age
was given as twelve years. He was in Plymouth
in 1643, and before April, 1645, was in Hartford,
where his daughter Elizabeth was born 1646. He
was in Wethersfield in 1647 and finally settled in
Middlebury, Connecticut, after December, 1651, and
before January 16, 1654. His homestead was on the
north side in what is now Cromwell, at the extreme
western part of the present town. The bridge there
is still called Kirby's bridge, and the foundations
of the old house are still visible. He was ad-
mitted a freeman May. 1658. He died April, 1677,
making his will April 6. It was proved April 27.
It bequeathed a goodly estate valued at over five
hundred and fifty pounds.

He married Elizabeth . She married (sec-

cond) Abraham Randall, of Windsor. Connecti-
cut, and died after 1697. She may have been Eliza-
beth Hinds, niece of Sarah Hinds Cheplin, from
Bury St. Edmunds. Suffolk county, England, later
of Wethersfield. Children of John and Elizabeth
Kirby were: Mary, born 1644, probably in Hart-
ford, Connecticut, married Emanuel Buck ; Eliza-
beth, born September 7, 1646, in Hartford, married
ii— IS

David Sage; Hannah, born March 2, 1649, in
Wethersfield, married Thomas Andrews; John, born
December 18, 1651, in Wethersfield, killed by
Indians, 1676, on the road between Wethersfield
and Middletown ; Eunice, born December 18, 1651,
in Wethersfield (twin of John), died, 1677, un-
married ; Esther, born 1652, in Middletown, married
Benajah Stone; Sarah, born January 16, 1054; Jo-
seph, see forward ; Susanna, born May 3, 1664, mar-
ried Abraham Cruttenden ; Abigail, born March 6,
1666, in Middletown, married David Robinson.

(II) Joseph Kirby, only surviving son of John
Kirby (1), was born July 17, 1656, in Middletown,
Connecticut. He was a wheelright or turner by
trade. In May, 1684, he removed to Southampton,
Long Island. By November, 1687, he was back
in his native town. Savage says that he went to
Carolina, but at the end of some years came
home poor and had a law suit with the other heirs
about the estate of his father. He was in Milford,
Connecticut, from July, 1706, till after June, 1708.
He prosecuted his own case in the courts and was
admitted to the bar in 1709, one of the first at-
torneys practicing in the state.

He married, December 10, 1681, in Wethers-
field, Sarah Markham or Mackoon. He married
(second), October 17, 1704, in New Haven, Con-
necticut. Mary Plum, daughter of John Plum, of
New Milford, and his wife, Elizabeth Norton. Jo-
seph Kirby died December 2, 171 1, in Middletown.
His will is dated November 28, 1711. Children of
Joseph and Sarah Kirby were : Elizabeth, born
February 20, 1683, married James Brown ; Sarah,
born August 10, 1685, married Samuel Baldwin;
Deborah, born March' 27, 1688; John, see forward;
Mary, born June 10, 1693, married Benoni Steb-
bins; Joseph, born 1695, died young; Bethiah, born
about 1698, married Nathaniel Sanford. Children
of Joseph and Mary were : Joseph, baptized July,
1706, died December, 1725; Susanna, baptized De-
cember, 1706, died 1733; Margaret, born Septem-
ber 2. 1709, married Captain Nathaniel Wooster.

(III) John Kirby, only surviving son of Joseph
Kirby (2), was born in Middletown, Connecticut,
February 16, 1691. ' He inherited a third part of
his father's estate and added to the lands by buying
the shares of his two sisters, the land formerly
belonging to his grandfather Kirby. He lived in
that part of the town known as the Upper Houses,
now the town of Cromwell. He was a large tax-
payer, and influential member of the Second Church,
organized January 5, 1715. He died April 25, 1760,
aged sixty-nine years. His will is dated April g.
1759. He married, March 3, 1718, at Middletown,.
Hannah Stowe, born February 11, 1696, daughter-
of Thomas and Bethiah (Stocking) Stowe, of Mid-
dletown. She died May 7, 1780, aged eighty-four
years. Their children: Joseph, born January r,
1719, married Esther Wilcox; John, born Septem-
ber 26, 1720, married Lucia Norton ; Hannah, born
April. 1723, married Solomon Sage; Daniel, born
October, 1724, married Lucretia Porter ; Sarah, born
July 19, 1726, married Solomon Savage ; Mary, born
December, 1727, married Amos Johnson and (sec-
ond) William Parmelee ; Thomas, born December,
1729, married Lucy Stocking: Bethia, born Decem-
ber, 1731, married Daniel Stocking; Susan, born
February 8, 1734, married Benjamin Bulkeley;
Jonathan, born 1736, married Lucy Burgess; Eliza-
beth, baptized September 24, 1738, married Joseph

(VII) John Kirby, a descendant of John Kirby
(3), perhaps through his son, Daniel Kirby, his
grandson Amos, and great-grandson, John Kirby,
was born in Canada about 1815. He married Mary


R. Brigham, also a native of Canada, and they
cme to Massachusetts soon after their marriage.
After spending several years in various towns of
Worcester county, Oxford, Spencer and Leicester,
they removed to Vermont where Mr. Kirby died.
Mrs. Kirby returned to Worcester county and lived
at Webster until her death, Their children were:
Alfred J., born in Spencer; Leander T., born in
Soencer, February 25, 1841 ; May Olive, born in
Leicester. August 25, 1844; Elizabeth Ann, born at
Leicester, December 22, 1845.

(VIII) Alfred J. Kirby, son of John Kirby (7),
was born in Spencer, Massachusetts. He was edu-
cated in the public schools of Oxford, whither his
parents removed when he was very young. At the
age of seventeen years he began making boots and
shoes. He followed this trade until 1861, when
he enlisted in Company K, Twenty-fifth Massachu-
setts Volunteers, as a musician. He remained in
the service for three years and participated in the
battles of Roanoke, Newbern and Little Washing-
ton, North Carolina; of Whitehall, Cold Harbor,
Fort Darling and in the six days of fighting in front
of Petersburg, Virginia. About a year after he
was mustered out, having recovered his health which
had been impaired by the hardships of the service,
he went to work in the woolen mills of Hill &
Chapman at Providence, Rhode Island. Subse-
quently he worked for Thomas Harris at Putnam,
Connecticut, and for Benjamin James, at James-
ville, in Worcester. Later he was for a few years
employed in setting up woolen mill machinery in
New England and New York. In 1868 Mr. Kirby
bought the hotel in East Douglas, but not being
satisfied with that location, removed to Ware, where
he was proprietor of a hotel. He moved thence
to the village of Eagleville, in the town of Holden,
where he kept a hotel for two years. He was next
engaged for four years as a traveling salesman for
a hardware concern. In 1876 he became the pro-
prietor of Hotel Kirby in Oxford, Massachusetts.
Two years later he engaged in the wholesale
produce business in Worcester in the firm of Kirby
& Bristol, dealing in hay, grain, potatoes, etc., and
buying for firms in New England, Lower Canada,
New York, Michigan and other states. Although
successful in this business he decided to return to
the hotel business, and conducted the De Witt Hotel
at Webster for two years. He then opened a real
estate office in Tremont Row, Boston. In 1883 he
ibought the Hassanimisco House at Grafton, re-
modelled it and refurnished it. As Hotel Kirby
it has become one of the most popular hostelries
iu the county.

Mr. Kirby is well known among Grand Army
men and is a member of Post General Charles
Devens, No. 27. Nothwithstanding his busy life
Mr. Kirby has found time to become one of the
most skillful and successful checker players in New
England. In fact, he has made a good showing
against the best players in the country. He has
played in matches in New England, Iowa, Kansas,
Illinois and elsewhere. He has played exhibition
games in Grafton, against all comers, ten games be-
ing in progress at a time, winning twenty-four and
losing but one out of thirty. He has furnished many
original games for the checker columns of periodi-
cals. The North American Checker Board said of
him recently : "He first began to play checkers
at the age of thirteen, but not scientifically until
1872. Since then he has met and played such
notables as C. F. Barker. C. H. Freeman, R. E.
Bowen, A. R. Bowdish. R. D. Yates, J. P. Reed,'
II. 7.. Wright. J. Cairns, D. Dickinson and many
•others. At Woonsocket, February, 1893, he tied

W. H. Wales and J. Cairns and had close scores
with Fitzgerald and E. Mee ; also at Boston, in
the same year, he won the only game he played with
E. A. Durgin and defeated P. Kelly, Mr. Mack and
Lang; tied Bugbee and lost to Grover and Dean.
It was the only sitting in which Dean ever won
from Mr. Kirby. In March, 1S93, at Grafton, the
tournament resulted: Kirby 4, W. H. Wales 1,
drawn 3. In the same month at Woonsocket he
tied both Deeley and Ed Mee." Hotel Kirby is
headquarters of the Grafton Chess and Checker
Club, which was organized by Mr. Kirby, and many
tournaments have been played there.

Mr. Kirby married Mary Hall, daughter of S.
Davis Hall, of Grafton. (See sketch of the Hall
family for her ancestry). Their only child died in
infancy. A few years ago Mr. Kirby rebuilt his
present residence, a sightly and substantial building
on Worcester street, formerly the home of Mrs.
Kirby's parents.

GEORGE FAMILY. The members of this
ancient and distinguished family trace their origin
to Nicholas George (1), who with wife Elizabeth
settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts, where his wife
joined the church in 1641 ; he was admitted
to the church in 1665. He died there April
3, 1675, and she died there November 8, 1699,
aged ninety-eight years. Of their children Eliza-
beth, John, Mary and Joshua were born in Dor-
chester, and Nicholas, Jr. and Richard, possibly
others, were born prior to the settlement at Dor-

(II) Richard George, son of Nicholas and Eliza-
beth George, married Mary Pell and they resided
in Boston, Massachusetts. The records at hand
are not clear about this son.

(III) Thomas George, presumably the grand-
son of Nicholas George, Sr. and his wife Elizabeth,
of Dorchester, and son of Richard and Mary (Pell)
George, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, Octo-
ber II, 1663. He and his wife Hannah were among
the early settlers of Wrentham, removing to that
place from Dorchester.

(IV) Richard George, son of Thomas and Han-
nah George, was born April 10, 1701. He mar-
ried, February 8, 1737-38. Jerusha Hancock, in
Wrentham. April 27, 1760, a petition was pre-
sented to the judge of probate, Edward Hutchin-
son, asking that John Hancock, of Wrentham, be
appointed, he having been chosen to take the care
of Thomas and John George. Thomas, then about
sixteen years old (born 1744, mentioned hereafter),
and John, then about fourteen years old (born

(V) Thomas George, son of Richard and Jerusha
(Hancock) George, was born in Wrentham, 1744.
With his brother John he responded to the Lexing-
ton alarm and marched in Captain Samuel Cowell's
company. Colonel John Smith's regiment, April 19,
1775, serving at that time eleven days. Again he
was chosen lieutenant in Captain Samuel Cowell's
company, September 24, 1777, and commissioned
September 27th. This company was from the east
precinct of Wrentham, Colonel Benjamin Haws'
fourth Suffolk county regiment. He again served
as lieutenant in Nathaniel Heath's detachment, en-
gaged September 27, 1778, and discharged Decem-
ber t6. 1778. serving two months and nineteen days.
He was commissioned lieutenant in Captain Sam-
uel Cowell's third company, North company in
Wrentham, Colonel Haws' fourth Suffolk county
regiment. June 20. 1779. He was also lieutenant in
s-'ine company, Seth Bullard's regiment, marched
July 28. 17S0. discharged August 7, 1780. Wer.t to

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Rhode Island and served thirteen days. Anotner
service of forty days, return dated Medfield, March
2, 1781, serving under Captain Fisher, also of Wrent-
ham, as lieutenant, also another expedition of forty
days into Rhode Island under Major-General Lin-

Thomas George married Hannah Brastow,
daughter of Thomas Brastow, who was the only
son of Thomas Brastow, a native of England, who
settled in Bristol, Rhode Island, where he died,
leaving three children, this Thomas being the only
son, and he settled in Wrentham, Massachusetts.
Thomas George and wife Hannah lived in Wrent-
ham, and had the following eleven children:
Richard, born October 24, 1768, mentioned here-
after; Thomas, July 25, 1770; Hannah, January 9,
1772; Warren, December 28, 1775, died 1776; Timo-
thy, July 25, 1777; Sally, May II, 1779; Polly, May
19, 1781 ; Artemas, May 7, 1783; Roxa, May 16,
1785; Amanda, October 13, 1788; Lewis, April 29,

(VI) Richard George, Esq., son of Thomas and
Hannah (Brastow) George, was born October 24,
1768, in Wrentham, Massachusetts. He became a
graduate of Brown University, class of 1797. He
was styled a counsellor and practiced his profes-
sion ; he was in 1809 and 1810 employed by the town
of Mendon, where he early located and where he
•died, in prosecuting and defending any suits for or
against the town. He was selectman, school com-
mitteeman, and served on various committees. One
in 1819 for building the meetinghouse, giving five
Iiundred dollars towards its construction and twen-
ty-five dollars towards the bell. He was chosen
in March, 1827, on committee to look out a poor
farm for the town, and in the month of October
•of that year he died, leaving an only son. Under
date of November 6, 1827, this only son, Nathan
George, then a minor, petitioned the judge of pro-
bate for Worcester county to appoint Caleb V.
Allen, his kinsman, administrator of his father's
estate, he having left no widow. This petition was
witnessed by Olive Thompson. The appointment
was made and the estate was valued November 27,
1827, at about nineteen thousand five hundred dol-
lars. Richard George married Patience Verry, born
June 10, 1774. died October 23, 1827, daughter of
Nathan and Sarah (Scott) Verry. Nathan Verry
was a prominent citizen of Mendon. Patience died
1818; Richard died October 23, 1827.

(VII) Nathan George, Esq., only son of Richard
and Patience (Verry) George, was born in Men-
don, Massachusetts, January 4, 1810, and died there
May 29, 1872. He was a prominent citizen and
favored by his townsmen with various positions of
public trust. He was a justice of the peace, fre-
quently served on important committees for the
town and for many years was the popular chosen
moderator at the various town meetings. He was
a graduate of Brown University, class of 1830,
although his chief occupation was farming, he fre-
quently gave attention to matters of law. He mar-
ried Caroline Thayer, who was the mother of his

(VIII) Nathan Richard George, son of Nathan
and Caroline (Thayer) George, was born in Men-
don, Massachusetts, November 10, 1837. After at-
tending the schools of his native town, he entered
the Leicester Academy, a popular educational in-
stitution, and after taking a full course there was
employed for a number of years as accountant in
the office of the Aaron Claflin Shoe Manufacturing
establishment in Milford, Massachusetts. In 1863,
in company with his brother, Julius A. George, he
"began the manufacture of boots in the town of

Mendon which industry they continued until 1868,
since which time Mr. George has been engaged in
carrying on the homestead farm and developing its
resources. Upon one portion of this farm, orig-
inally deeded in 1821 to Mr. Richard George, grand-
father of Nathan R. George, there is a remarkable
spring of pure water, which, after various trials,
has proved to contain valuable medicinal and cur-
ative properties. The analysis of this water, made
in 1894 and again in 1897 by Henry Carmichael,
Ph. D., of Boston, confirms its value as a pure and
life-giving drink, and considerable demand for its
use has sprung up, not only in the neighboring
towns, but in the larger cities. Mr. George has
served his native town as selectman, and for six "
years held the office of town treasurer.

Mr. George's first wife was a daughter of Genery
Taft, by whom he had one child, a daughter, Rosa
F., who married Arthur R. Taft, of Uxbridge, a
prominent citizen of that town, a sketch of whom
appears elsewhere in this work. She received her
education at Framingham Normal school and
Wellesley College. Mr. George's second wife was
a daughter of Joseph Blanchard, of Uxbridge, by
whom he has had Nancy C, Nathan R., Melissa
B. and Herbert J. Nancy C. George is a graduate
of Wellesley College, and a successful teacher in
music, languages as well as other branches. For
three years she was superintendent of the public
schools in Mendon. Nathan R. George, Jr. was
graduate of Harvard College, class of 1890, receiv-
ing his diploma with a "Magna Cum Laude," and
became instructor of mathematics in the Massachu-
setts Institute of Technology. He received his

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