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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He was a member of the church in 1731, and was
elected deacon of the first church September 27,
1750. He was on the school committee as early as
1736. He was on the list of alarm soldiers from
Grafton in 1757. Children of Abner Stow -were :
Mary, born July 10, 1734; Sarah, September 27,
1738; Jonathan, see forward; Abner, September 5,
1743; Samuel, November 24, 1746, died November
12, 1751 ; Lydia, March 12, 1748, died August 28,

1751-

(VI) Jonathan Stow, son and third child of
Abner Stow (5), was born in Grafton, Massachu-
setts, February 4, 1740. He married Elizabeth .

He inherited his father's farm and became a promi-
nent citizen. He was selectman. He was sergeant
in the company of Captain Aaron Kimball and
marched to Lexington, April 19, 1775, in General
Ward's regiment. He appears to have served as a
young man in 1757 under Captain Warren in the
French war. He was elected . deacon of the church,
April 14, 1790. Children of Jonathan and Elizabeth
Stow, all born in Grafton, were : Elizabeth, born
July 29, 1766; Lucy. November 23, 1771 ; Sarah,
March 11, 1776; Jonathan, see forward.

(VII) Jonathan Stow, youngest son of Jona-
than Stow (6), was born in Grafton, Massachusetts,
May 22, 1779. He inherited his father's farm, the
old Stow homestead on George hill. He was in Cap-
tain Joseph Merriam's company in 1804 and 1805.
and probably longer. His wife died February 17,
1836; he died 1840. Children of Jonathan and Eliza-
beth Stow' were : Jonathan \V., see forward ; Sum-
ner E., born January 24, 1812, married, April 3,
1834; Irene E., January 15, 1814, married Charles
J. Fay; Silas N., January 16, 1816, removed to Ux-
bridge, Massachusetts ; Fred A., 1818, settled in
Troy, New York, where he was a pioneer in the
manufacture of shoes ; had large tannery and
amassed a fortune in his business; Ann M., March
25, 1820, married Lawson Munyan; Charles, June

26, 1X22, resided New York city; John A., June 29.
1S24. resided New York city: Mary A., October 21,
1826. married Otis Fay ; Moses P., December 3,
1S28.

(YIII) Jonathan W. Stow, eldest son of Jona-
than Stow (7), was ■born in Grafton, Massachusetts,
November 25, 1810. He inherited the Stow home-
stead on George hill and made many improvements.
He married Mary Hunt, of Grafton, who was born
March 9. 1809. He was a Whig in politics and held
a number of town offices. He died March 13, 1866;
she died March 5, 1868. Children of Jonathan W.
and Mary (Hunt) Stow, all born in Grafton, were:



Jonathan P., born July 26, 1832, died of wounds
received in the battle of Antietam ; Silas E., see for-
ward ; Elliot M., May 15, 1835, died August 14. 1843;
Horace \\'., August 28, 1837, resides in San Fran-
cisco; Louisa A,. November 17, 1841 (twin), died
April 20, 1865, unmarried; Louis A., see forward.

(IX) Silas E. Stowe, second son of Jonathan
W. Stow (8), was born on the old Stow homestead,
where he now lives, October 10, 1833. His Stow an-
cestors have lived on this farm since 1733-34, when
Samuel Stow gave it to Abner. Mr. Stowe was
educated in the common schools of his native town.
As the oldest son living he inherited the home-
stead. It came into his possession in 1867, and in
1874 he built the present residence which was
pronounced at the time and for years afterward
the finest farm house in the county. The farm
If ranks among the best in a region of ex-
cellent farms. He has taken a prominent part in
ti iwn affairs. He has served as assessor and select-
man. He is a trustee of the Grafton Savings Bank,
elected in 1879. In politics he has been a Republi-
can since the party was organized. He is a member
of the Unitarian church and assessor, as its financial
officers are called. Mr. Stowe and other members
of the family in late years have spelled their name
Stowe. The early records give the name as often
one way, perhaps, as the other. Mr. Stowe repre-
sents the best type of New England farmers. Com-
ing from a long line of prudent and thrifty ancestors,
he possesses ample means. He is respected among
his neighbors for his probity and esteemed for his
excellent character and attractive personality.

He married (first), October 14, 1857, Lucy A.
Geary, born May 7, 1835, died November 11, 1874.
She was the daughter of N. H. Geary, of Grafton.
He married (second) Emma F. Burgess, daughter
of James Burgess, of Grafton. Children of Silas E.
and Lucy (Geary) Stowe were: Mary E., born
January 1, 1859, married Charles Wood ; they have
one child; Lucy J., September 17, i860, married
Clinton Ball ; Jonathan W., August 30, 1867, died at
the age of nineteen ; Anna Louise, June 20, 1869,
married Joseph Goddard; Rosie A., August 5, 1871 ;
Harris G., November 4, 1873, married Nellie A.
Shaw ; is in partnership with his father in the firm
of S. E. Stowe & Son, farmers ; Silas M., November
11, 1876, died young. The only child of Silas E.
and Emma F. (Burgess) Stowe was: Chester, died
young.

(IX) Louis A. Stowe, son of Jonathan W.
Stow (S). was born in Grafton, Massachusetts,
November 17, 1841. His twin sister, Louisa A .
died unmarried, April 20, 1865. Mr. Stowe had a
common school education in the Grafton schools.
He has made farming his business and owns one of
the best farms and dairies of the section. His farm
is on Stowe street, near Upton. In politics Mr.
Stowe is a strong Republican. He has served the
town on the school committee and on the road com-
mission. He is counted upon as one of the most
substantial citizens, a man of kindly disposition, ex-
cellent judgment and good business capacity.

He married, November 25, 1868, Mary S. Leland,
of Grafton, daughter of Rodney and Orinda (Car-
penter) Leland. She was born November 5, 1850.
Her father was born in Grafton, 1808, married,
April 3, 1833. Orinda Carpenter. The Leland line
of descent from Henry Leland, the emigrant ancestor
is: John (VI), Eleazer (V), Phineas (IV). James
(III), Ebenezer (II), Henry (I). Children of
Louis A. and Orinda Carpenter (Leland) Stowe
are : Lola M., born December 16. 1869, lives with
her parents; Frederick A., October 21, 1871, one of
the prominent business men of the town, manufac-



232



WORCESTER COUNTY



turer of cider, owner of grist mill and wheelwright
shop, on George Hill, road off Upton street, beyond
Stowe street; resides on Upton street; married Grace
Ford ; Walter L., February 3, 1874, works for his
father at home, married, June 13, 1906, Winifred E.
Pope ; Frank R., December 19, 1876, married Elinor
Warren, works on the homestead.

CHARLES ANDREW WHITNEY. John
Whitney (1), of Watertown, was the immigrant an-
cestor of Charles Andrew Whitney, of Millbury,
Massachusetts. He was born in England, 1589, and
came to Watertown, June, 1635. He bought a six-
teen acre homestall of John Strickland. He became
an extensive land proprietor and an influential citi-
zen. He was admitted to freemanship March 3,
1635-36, appointed constable of Watertown by the
general court, September 29, 1769.

He married (first) in England, Elinor and

(second) in Watertown, September 29, 1659, Judith
Clement. She died before her husband. He died
June 1, 1673. Further details of the immigrant will
be found elsewhere in this work. Children of John
and Elinor Whitney were : Mary, baptized in Eng-
land, May 23, 1619, died young; John, born in Eng-
land, 1620, married Ruth Reynolds ; Richard, born in
England, 1626, married Martha Coldam ; Nathaniel,
born in England, 1627 ; Thomas, born in England,
1629, married Mary Kettell; Jonathan, born in Eng-
land, 1034, married Lydia Jones; Joshua, born in
Watertown, July 5, 1635, married three times; Caleb,
born in Watertown, July 12, 1640, buried July 12,
1O40; Benjamin, born in Watertown, June 6, 1643,
married twice.

(II) John Whitney, son of John Whitney (1),
was born in England in 1620. He settled in Water-
town. He was admitted freeman May 26, 1647,
and was selectman from 1673 to 1680 inclusive. His
home was on a three acre lot on the east side of
Lexington street, on land first granted to E. How.
He was a soldier in King Philip's war. He died
October 12, 1692. His will was dated February 2J,
1685, but was not probated. He married, 1642, Ruth
Reynolds, daughter of Robert Reynolds, of Water-
town, Massachusetts, and Wethersfield, Connecticut.
Their children were: John, born September 17,
1643, married Elizabeth Harris; Ruth, April 15.
1645. married, June 20, 1664, John Shattuck ; Na-
thaniel, see forward; Samuel, July 26, 1648, married
Mary Bemis; Mary, April 29, 1650; Joseph, Janu-
ary 15, 1651, married Martha Beach; Sarah, March
! 7. !653, married, October 18, 1681, Daniel Harring-
ton; Elizabeth June 9, 1656, married, December 19,
1678, Daniel Warren; Hannah, about 1658; Benja-
min, June 28, 1660, married Abigail Hagar.

(III) Nathaniel Whitney, son of John Whit-
ney (2), was born February 1, 1646, at Watertown.
He settled in Weston, formerly a part of Watertown.
He married Sarah Hagar, of the Watertown family.
He died at Weston, January 7, 1732. Their children
were: Nathaniel, Jr., born March 5, 1675, married
Mercy Robinson ; Sarah, February 12, 1678, married
Jonathan Ball; William, May 6, 1683, see forward;
Samuel, 1687, married Ann Laboree ; Hannah, bap-
tized March, 1688, married Billings ; Eliza-
beth, December 15, 1692; Grace, 1700, died March
23, 1719; Mercy, married Greaves.

(IV) William Whitney, son of Nathaniel Whit-
ney (3), was born in Weston, Massachusetts, May
6, 1683. He settled in Weston. He married, May
17, 1706, Martha Pierce, born December 24, 16S1.
He died January 24, 1720. Their children were:
William, born January II, 1707, married Hannah
Harrington. Mrs. Mary Pierce, Margaret Spring
and Mrs. Sarah Davis; he was founder of the fam-



ily at Winchendon, Massachusetts ; Judith, born
November 15, 1708; Amity, born October 6, 1712;
Martha, born April 4, 1716, married in Sudbury,
February 26, 1734, Timothy Mossman; they were
living 111 Princeton at the same time that Silas Whit-
ney was there and later lived at Westminster; Sam-
uel, born May 23, 1719, married Abigail Fletcher ;
Silas, see forward.

(V) Silas Whitney, presumed to be the son of
William Whitney (4), though the birth record is not
found, was born about 1714 in Weston, Massachu-
setts. He removed to Rutland, Massachusetts, where
he followed his trade of blacksmith. He bought a
farm in Rutland District, now Princeton, May 2,
1758, lot No. 16, comprising one hundred and twenty
acres of Joshua Wilder, Jr., of Rutland. He bought
lain! of Samuel Minot, John Jones, Jr., and Nathan
Merriam, all of Concord, November 1, 1759. He
bought land of Richard Parsons in Ipswich Canada

( Winchendon), July 15, 1762. He bought a tax ti-
tle in Princeton, June 23, 1781, but may have been
living in Winchendon, of which he was an early
settler. He went there to live about 1764 and became
a prominent citizen. There was an auction at his
tavern there in 1771 of public lands and he was one
of the purchasers. He was closely related to the
Westminster family of Whitney, and may be the
Silas Whitney, who bought of Sweetser et al. land
there March 18, 1777- Another Silas Whitney of
the Stow family, relatives of this line, settled in
Ashburnham.

Fie married Jane . Their children were :

Andrew, born 1754, see forward; Love, born at
Princeton, December 18, 1758, baptized at Rutland,
June 10, 1759; David, baptized at Rutland, October
12, 1760; Silas, Jr., born at Princeton, August 31,
1760, baptized at Rutland, August 15, 1762.

(VI) Andrew Whitney son of Silas Whitney
(5) (no birth record found), was born in Sterling
or vicinity, probably in 1754, before Silas Whitney
came to Rutland. He married Lucy Miles, of West-
minster, of the family to which General Nelson A.
Miles belongs, (intentions dated October 1, 1787).
She died June 26, 1842, aged* seventy-six years. He
died October 26, 1818, at Princeton, aged sixty-four
years. Andrew Whitney settled in Princeton and
brought up nine children of the eleven born to him.
All of the sons were over six feet in stature, and
robust mentally as well as physically. Children of
Andrew and Lucy Whitney were : Reuben Miles,
born May 23, 1788, at Princeton ; Lucy, born Feb-
ruary 8, 1792, died young; John, see forward; Lucy,
born January n, 1795, married September 4, 1819,
Merrill Davis, who was guardian to the younger
children after the father's death ; Charles, born
April 4, 1797, died August 18, 1808; William, born
February 10, 1799, never married ; Anna Miles, born
February 21, 1801, married Captain Nathan Whit-
ney, of Westminster, January 8, 1822, a relative;
Elisha Dana, born June 29, 1805; Caroline, born
July 8, 1808, married March 8, 1830; Charles An-
drew, born August 20, 1810.

(VII) Colonel John Whitney, son of Andrew
Whitney (6), was born in Princeton, Massachusetts,
December 31, 1792. He died there May 15, 1846.
He was a farmer and stock dealer, buying cattle
and driving them to market at Brighton. He held
various town offices and was representative to the
general court. He was active in the militia and rose
from the ranks to the command of a regiment. He
married (first) (intentions dated August 23, 1822),
Mary Newton, of Royalston, Massachusetts. She
died October 6, 1831, aged thirty-one years, leaving
three of her six children. He married (second),
October 4, 1832, Eliza Ann French Watson, born in



WORCESTER COUNTY



233



Princeton, April 22, 1814, died January 2, 1891. She
is buried in the Rural cemetery, Worcester. Chil-
dren of Colonel John and Mary Whitney were:
Abigail Perkins, born June 28, 1823, died December
10, 1826; John Newton, born September 21, 1824,
died young; William Newton, born December 15,
1825 ; Abigail Perkins, born November 25, 1827,
died 1830: Marion Eugene, born October 20, 1829,
died December 19, 1845 (a daughter). Mary New-
ton, born September 28, 1831, died in Omaha, Janu-
ary 22, 1892; she married Samuel C. Nash and had
three children : John W., William F., and Samuel
C. The children of Colonel John and Eliza A. F.
Whitney were : John Newton, born July 6, 1833,
has a cattle ranch in Wyoming with ten thousand
head of cattle ; is unmarried ; Charles Andrew, see
forward; Eliza Ann French, born February 26, 1836,
died February 18, 1839; Levi Lincoln, born Janu-
ary 20, 1839, is a stock broker in Boston ; Eliza Ann
French, born July 1, 1840, married H. L. Norton;
Lydia, born March 19, 1843, died February 21,
1844.

(VIII) Charles Andrew Whitney, son of Colonel
John Whitney (7), was born in Princeton, Massa-
chusetts, November 14, 1834. He attended the pub-
lic schools of Princeton until he was fifteen years
old, when he went to Millbury and began to learn
the trade of cutter in the boot and shoe factory of
Amasa Wood & Son at West Millbury. Nine years
later, in 1859, he engaged in manufacturing shoes in

Chicago with Thompson and his brother, Levi

L. Whitney, under the firm name of Thompson,
Whitney & Company. For about ten years this firm
carried on a prosperous and growing business, hav-
ing a factory in North Clark street, and having
from three to five salesmen on the road selling their
products in the northwest. They also had govern-
ment contracts. At the time of the great fire in Chi-
cago they lost their plant and suffered heavy losses.
In 1875 Mr. Whitney returned to Millbury and has
since made his home there. Mr. Whitney is a well
known Free Mason, being a member of all the bodies
up to that of the thirty-second degree. In politics he
is a Republican, and since 1898 has been the collec-
tor of taxes of the town of Millbury. He has been
two years on the board of selectmen, during one year
of which he was the chairman. He has been engaged
in the real estate and insurance business since 1888
in Millbury and has won a high standing among the
business men of the town.

He married, November 29, 1864, at Millbury,
Martha E. Waters, daughter of Jonathan E. and
Martha R. (Leland) Waters, of Millbury, descendant
of the Waters family, which located among the
early settlers of Sutton in what is now Millbury.
The farm formerly owned by Mrs. Whitney, sold
in 1897, was a part of the three thousand acres owned
by Nathaniel Waters, the pioneer. (See sketch of
the Waters family.) The two children of Charles
Andrew and Martha E. Whitney are: Charles Dana,
born in Chicago, March 18, 1866, was educated at
Chicago and Millbury, is agent at Millbury of the
Adams Express Company ; married Nellie L. White,
and they have one son. Raymond Cyrus, born
March 19, 1893. Jesse Marion, born in Chicago,
March 2, 1869, graduate of Wheaton Seminary ; mar-
ried S. Foster H. Goodwin of Duncan-Goodell Hard-
ware Company, Worcester ; they have two children
— Haven Whitney Goodwin, born March 31, 1895;
Marjory, born August 6, 1896.

THE STAPLES FAMILY of America is de-
scended from an ancient English family. The origin
of the name is in doubt. Judging from the most
common use of the word "staple," meaning a piece



of hardware, and the fact that some of the English
coats-of-arms of the family bear a picture of a sta-
ple, the first Englishman who adopted the name was
in some way associated with staples. Many Eng-
lish surnames were derived in this simple way. An-
other origin of the name as given by the family
historian is that it came from the occupation of the
first one bearing the name, wdio was probably in
the wool business, known as staple, during the
early history of England. A guild of woolen mer-
chants in London holding a charter from Edward
111 about 1450 is called "The Staple," wool being
then the staple of the country. The family name was
originally spelled without the s. Another probable
origin of the family name is from the French town
of Etaples, formerly Estaples. There was a Hugh
d'Estaples with William the Conqueror, and though
his history cannot be traced in England, it is likely
that some member of the family whose seat was in
this little French seaport, eleven miles from Bou-
logne, established the present family of Staples.

(I) John Staple, the immigrant ancestor of the
Staples family of Mendon, was born in England,
about 1610. He was in Weymouth, New England,
1637, and settled in North Weymouth, about ten
miles from Boston. His home was at the foot of
King Oak Hill. He was admitted a freeman May
10, 1648, and died at Dorchester. The inventory of
his property was taken July 13, 1683. His will
dated March 18, 1681-2, was proved August 2, 1683.
He bequeathed to his children, as given below, all
born in Weymouth: John; Rebecca, born November
2 7> 1639; Abraham, mentioned below; Joseph, born
February 19, 1641-2; Sarah, married Increase
Sumner.

(II) Sergeant Abraham Staples, son of John Sta-
ple (l), was born at Weymouth, Massachusetts,
about 1637. He learned the trade of weaver at Dor-
chester, where he united with the church of Rev.
Richard Mather, March 20, 1658. He was dismissed
January 13, 1660 to the Weymouth church. In 1662
he became associated with other Weymouth men in
the petition for the grant at Mendon. He must
have settled there in the spring of 1663, for his son
Abraham was born in June, the first white child
born in the town. The first birth on the records of
the town on file at Cambridge is that of Abraham
Jr., Abraham Staples's farm was located near the
present site of the Congregational church on Main
street, long known as the site of the Stone Tavern.
The original place was owned by the Staples family
for about one hundred and forty years. When King
Philip's war broke out in 1675, the Staples family
like all the rest, had to abandon their home. They
returned when the resettlement began and built a
new house, and as a sergeant in the military com-
pany of the town also may have been in the In-
dian wars. He was granted the Staples farm on
the border of Little Pond in 1685, and this estate
has remained to the present time in the hands of
his descendants. He served on various town com-
mittees, and was admitted a freeman in 1673. He
was a man of influence and good character. He
married, July 7, 1660, Mary, daughter of Robert Ran-
dall, who came to this country from Berkshire, Eng-
land. Some of the records mention children of
Abraham and Hannah, an error on the part of the
clerk, it has been proved, for he had but one wife.
He died October 20, 1703, and his will was proved
December 21, 1703. The date 1704 on the grave-
stone is another proved error. There is a similar
error on the gravestone of the wife, who died
March 2, 1712, instead of 1712-3. The stones were
erected long after the death of the pioneers, and the
errors are due probably to reckoning by subtraction,



234



WORCESTER COUNTY



or to the change in the calendar. The descendants
placed a monument on the grave and dedicated it
with appropriate ceremonies October 31, 1877. 1h. e
speakers were Rev. Carlton A. Staples, of Provi-
dence, Rhode Island, and Hon. Hamilton B. Staples,
of Worcester, and their addresses were published in
pamphlet form. Judge Staples said of the memorial :
"The structure is plain, but enduring in matter and
construction. The granite column quarried out of
the earth here harmonizes with the qualties of char-
acter possessed by the early settlers of New Eng-
land — simplicity, strength and a certain hardness or
severity. It rests on a deep-laid foundation pre-
pared in the most solid manner." Staples is the
only one of the twenty pioneer settlers of Mendon
whose grave is known and marked. He removed
to Taunton in 1697, but returned to Mendon in 1700
and died there. Children of Sergeant Abraham and
Mary Staples: 1. Abraham, mentioned below. 2.
Ebenezer, inherited the homestead in the village;
married thrice ; was a blacksmith by trade. 3. John
(non compos). 4. Jacob, married Abigail Winter,
1690. 5. Ephraim, born Mendon, 1678. 6. Mary,
born 1680. 7. Benjamin, born 1682. 8. Hannah,
born 1686, married John Darling 1708.

(III) Abraham Staples, eldest child of Abra-
ham Staples (2), was born in Mendon, the first na-
tive of that town, June 14, 1663. He inherited the
farm on Little Pond, and his descendants have
owned it to the present time. Six Abraham Staples
in successive generations have owned the old place.
Abraham's homestead was in Uxbridge, at the cor-
ners, in what is now called "the city." His farm
lay to the south of the old Hartford turnpike, to-
wards the Wheelock factory. He bequeathed the
old homestead of his father to his son Abraham.
He was a carpenter by trade. He married Mehita-
ble, daughter of Samuel Hayward, of Mendon.
Abraham Staples died at the early age of forty-three
years, in 1706. The children; Mehitable ; Mary;
Abraham, mentioned below.

(IV) Abraham Staples, only son of Abraham
Staples (3), was born in Mendon, 1705. He in-
herited the farm on Little Pond, and built the old
gambrel roofed house there in 1752. Some of the
older residents still remember the building. He
married first, 1727, Abigail, daughter of Daniel Taft,
who died in 1736. Staples married (second) Thank-
ful, daughter of Woodland Thompson, first pro-
prietor and settler on Wigwam Hill. She died be-
fore 1740. He married (third) 1740, Lydia White
of Uxbridge. He died in 1767; his widow lived to
be ninety-eight years old. Abraham Staples (4),
was a large owner of real estate and for his day
a man of wealth and prominence. His children,
by first marriage: 1. Deborah. 2. Abigail, married
Benoni Benson, 1752. 3. Mary. 4. Abraham, men-
tioned below. 5. Lydia. Children of Abraham and
Thankful : 6. Thankful, married, 1762, Asa Fletcher.
Children of Abraham and Lydia were : 7. Deborah,
married Joseph Marsh, 1759. 8. Isaac, married
— Benson. 9. Ruth, died young. 10. Ruth, married
Amos Cragin. 11. Chloe, died unmarried. 12. Hay-
mintal. 13. Nahor, was grandfather of Rev. Carle-
ton A. Staples.

(V) Abraham Staples, fourth child of Abra-
ham Staples (4), was born about 1730, died 1792.
I l< was a man of wealth and position, called a Gen-
tleman on the records. He inherited the homestead.
He was a member of the South Parish or Chestnut
Hill parish. Of the long line of Abraham Staples
he was accounted the ablest and best educated. He
married, first, 1753, Mary Harvey, of Taunton; and
(second), 1774, Ruth Wheelock. His children:
Jonathan ; George, mentioned below ; Abigail ;



Lydia; Abraham; Jacob; Mary. The children of
Abraham and Ruth Staples were: Ruth, Lendol, and
Susanna.

(VI) George Staples, son of Abraham Staples
(5), was born in Mendon, Massachusetts, about
J 755- He was a farmer and a large owner of real
estate. He deeded his farm to his son Welcome.



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