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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Willard Stevens, see forward; Florence Clarke, un-
married.

(VIII) Ransom Frederick Taylor, son of Ran-
som Clarke Taylor (7), was born in Worcester
He married Virginia Byrd Chapman, of York,
Pennsylvania. He was educated at the Highland
Military Academy, Worcester, and Phillips Andover
Academy. He has for a number of years been as-
sociated with his father in business and has shared
the management of his property largely. In recent
years he himself has been a large investor in real
estate and is accounted as one of the shrewdest
and most accurate judges of the values of real
estate in the city. His children are : Marie Louise,
Helen. Margaret, Paul.

(VIII) Forrest W.Taylor.son of Ransom Clarke



2 3 8



WORCESTER COUNTY



Taylor (7), was born in Worcester. He received
his education at the Highland Military Academy of
Worcester and at Phillips Academy, Andover,
Massachusetts. Since he began his business career
he has been associated with his father in the man-
agement of his vast real estate interests and in the
care of his own property. He owns a large amount
of business property in the city of Pawtucket, Rhode
Island, and in Worcester. In partnership with his
brother Ransom Frederick, he is owner of a busi-
ness block in Boston. To him and his brother the
care of the great business property acquired by
their father in Worcester, Pawtucket, Taunton and
Newton, Massachusetts, has come in recent years,
and he is a very busy and energetic man of affairs.
He is a member of the Tatnuck Country Club, of
the Worcester Club, of the Boston Athletic Associa-
tion and of various business and social organiza-
tions in Pawtucket. He is unmarried and lives at
home.

(VIII) Willard Stevens Taylor, youngest son
of Ransom Clarke and Mary Susan (Stevens) Tay-
lor, of Worcester, was born there December 23,
1881. On the maternal side he is a descendant of
the Stevens family, whose sketch follows this.

Willard S. Taylor was educated in the public
and high schools of Worcester and at Phillips Acad-
emy, Andover, Massachusetts. After attending the
academy for two years, he returned to Worcester
to assist his father in the management of his large
real estate interests. Mr. Taylor is well and favor-
ably known in the social circles of the city. In
business circles he is equally well known for his
. successful management and knowledge of real
estate investments. He is the owner of the
Franklin Square Theatre building in Worcester.
He is a member of the Tatassit Canoe Club of
Worcester, the Tatnuck Country Club, Uptown Club,
and Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He
married Pauline Lapham, daughter of Frederick
Lapham, and granddaughter of Mowry Lapham, of
Worcester, May 6, 1902. They reside in West street,
Worcester. They have one son, Reginald Lapham,
born October 27, 1906.

STEVENS FAMILY. Colonel Thomas Stevens
was the ancestor of the Stevens family of Wor-
cester county to which Mrs. Ransom C. Taylor and
her sister, Caroline Weld Stevens, belong. While
there are many branches of the Stevens family in
England, those in Middlesex and Essex, and London,
to which Colonel Stevens the progenitor of the
American family belonged, had similar or identical
coats of arms. The designs were of an eagle or
a demi-eagle variously modified. In Middlesex the
crest was an eagle displayed with two heads, sa.,
beaked and legged, or. In Essex, probably of the
same family, an eagle, or, preying on a (lion's gamb,
erased), gu.

Colonel Stevens was born about 1575 in Devon-
shire. He removed to London and followed there
his trade of armorer. His shop was in Bittulph
Lane. London. He contracted with the Massachu-
setts Ray oniony and government in March, 1629,
for a supply of arms, and was himself a stock-
holder in that company. Three son's and a daugh-
ter srMW! in Massachusetts. Colonel Stevens was
one- of the signers of the instructions of Captain
Endicott before his coming to New England.

His children were: 1. William, born in London,
never emigrated: hnd three sons and three daughters,
four of whom crime to America. 2. Thomas, see
forward. 3. Cvnrian. born in England, came with
his hrntliT Themis in 1660; married. January 22,
rfWT-72, Mnv Willard, daughter of Maior Simon
Willard, chief founder of Lancaster: resided in Lan-



caster and Boston ; father of Deacon Joseph Stevens,
of Rutland. 4. Richard, born in London, married
in England and came over later than his brothers ;
settled in Concord, Massachusetts ; died in 1683
and his widow and daughter returned to England ;
his son Samuel settled in Marlboro married (first)
Thankful Stow, March 29, 1710; (second) Mrs.
Alary (Gove) Martin, who is said to have been
kidnapped from home. 5. Mary, born in London,
married in Ipswich, Massachusetts, Captain Whipple.

(II) Thomas Stevens, son of Colonel Thomas
Stevens (1), was born in England, about 1623, if
it is true that when he first came to America, a
boy of twelve in the ship "Abigail" from London
in 1635, his age was twelve as then recorded. He
returned to London and learned the trade of his
father, iron-monger or armorer. He and his brother
Cyprian came to New England to live in 1660. They
located first at Chelsea (Rumney Marsh), but soon
removed; Cyprian went to Lancaster, Thomas to
Sudbury to settle. He was well educated, for the
town of Sudbury offered him land there if he would
teach their school. He was town clerk for fifteen
years. He was admitted a freeman in 1665. In
the records he was called blacksmith, and prob-
ably found more to do in making tools than armor
in the new country. After King Philip's war he
became one of the first settlers in the neighboring
town of Stow, where the previous settlement had
been destroyed and abandoned in 1675-76. He and
ten others were allotted land there in 1681. Before
March, 1086, twenty-three others had settled in the
town. He was appointed by the prudential com-
mittee with Boaz Brown, Thomas Gates and Stephen
Hall to take charge of the new plantation, as it was
at first called. This committee was invested with
the powers of selectmen "for carrying on of such
affairs as shall relate to the good settlement of
the place." subject, however, to instructions from
the prudential committee appointed by the higher
authorities. In the early part of 1683 the inhabitants
became anxious to take their place among the towns
of the colony and made known their wishes to the
prudential committee, who on the ninth of April
chose Thomas Stevens of the plantation clerk and
directed the inhabitants to meet and choose five
selectmen to order and manage the town's affairs, etc.
The meeting was held April 19, 1683, and Stevens
was one of the selectmen elected. He was one of
the leading citizens and town officers the remainder
of his life. He died in Stow.

He married Mary , and their children, born

in Sudbury, were: Ann, born March 20, 1664;
Thomas, born April 14, 1665, settled in Pomfret,
Connecticut, with his cousin, Simon Stevens, son
of Cyprian Stevens, of Lancaster ; John, born April
23, 1667; Cyprian, born April 19, 1670; Jacob, see
forward. The Stow history indicates that he had
other children after settling there.

(III) Jacob Stevens, son of Thomas Stevens
(2), was born in Sudbury, Massachusetts. March I,
1673-74, ar] d removed with the family when he was
very young to Stow, an adjoining town. He al-
ways lived there. He learned the trade of car-
penter or housewright. He owned land in Rutland,
Massachusetts, which he deeded to his eldest son
Cyprian, one parcel in Meeting House Meadow May
27, '731. and twenty-five acres of common land also
bv deed of gift December 23, 1732. Jacob Stevens
deeded various lots in Stow and vicinity, adioining
the Lancaster river, October 18. 1728, to his son
Israel. He may have had other children. The name
of hi* wife does not appear in records available.
The children : Cvpmn. the eldest son. see forward ;
Israel, see forward.

(IV) Lieutenant Cyprian Stevens, son of Jacob



WORCESTER COUNTY



239



Stevens (3), was born in Stow, Massachusetts, about
1700. He settled in Rutland about 1725. He bought
of his cousin, Phineas Stevens, of Rutland, a quarter
of a fortieth part of a tract of three hundred acres
near Rutland, originally granted to Captain Andrew
Robinson, of Gloucester, by the general court for
services (May, 1731), deeded to Stevens, Decem-
ber 7, 1733. He bought land in the northwest part
of Worcester (in or near Holden), May 12, 1731.
His father gave him land in 1731 and 1732 as
described above in Rutland. He sold various lands
in Rutland to Thomas Frink, of Rutland, May 17,
1734. He bought of Moses How, of Rutland, land
in or near Rutland in the Six Mile Square near
the south end of the meeting house and other lands
June 6, 1734. He bought a lot of land in the north
part of Worcester of John Bigelow, then of Marl-
boro, April 1, 1738, and he sold land the same year
and in 1741 to Bigelow. He bought also of Bige-
low, then of Worcester, December 10, 1740, land in
the northwest part of Worcester, formerly belong-
ing to John Bigelow, Sr. This land was probably
in Holden, which was set off of Worcester. In
1739 or 1740 Stevens removed to Holden and lived
there the remainder of his life. He was the first
town clerk, serving from 1741 to 1746, inclusive.
He joined the new Holden church, December II,
1742, being dismissed from Rutland, and was prom-
inent in the church. The school was held at his
"house in 1752 and perhaps other years. He was
third on the tax list for many years. He was mem-
ber of the school committee in 1741 and selectman
1741-44-45-46. He was lieutenant of the militia com-
pany in Rutland or Holden. He died in 1754 and
the inventory of his estate, dated May 16, 1754, is
printed on page 399 of the history of the town.
His eldest son Ephraim administered the estate,
which was settled in September, 1756.

Cyprian Stevens, Sr., married Damaris , who

survived him. Their children, born in Rutland,
were: Charles, baptized December 3, 1727, died
young; Thomas, born March 3, 1727-28, married,
1752, Martha Rogers, died before his father, leaving
children, Thomas and Martha ; Ephraim, baptized
November 9, 1730, married, October 11, 1759, Syble
Gay, of Needham, settled in Holden : Anna, born
March 18, 1732-33; Sarah, born in Rutland, bap-
tized July 20, 1736; Mary, baptized July 17, 1737.
The following were born in Holden : Damaris, born
September 30, 1740; Betty, born August 5, 1742;
Eunice, born February 13, 1745-46, died at Holden,
February 15, 1745-46; Cyprian, Jr., born August 18,
I7_'7. see forward.

(V) Cyprian Stevens, youngest child of Cyprian
Stevens (4), of Hnlden, was born there August
18, 1747. He resided in Holden, Worcester, Stur-
bridge and Holland, Massachusetts. He learned
his father's trade of housewright and carpenter. He
was a soldier in the revolution in 1775 in Captain
Jonas Hubbard's company. Colonel Artemas Ward's
regiment. This was originally the company of Cap-
tain Timothy Bigelow, for whom the Worcester
Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolu-
tion was named, the most prominent revolutionary
patriot of the town of Worcester. When Bigelow
was promoted. Hubbard became captain. After his
removal from Worcester he served in 1780 in Cap-
taiti MhI Mason's company. Colonel Jacob Davis's
regiment, on the Rhode Island alarm in 1780.

The first deed on record of land owned by him
was frr>rn Robert Cook, of Worcester, of land on
the Oxford road in Worcester dated October 23,
1771. He was then living in Worcester, probably
on land belonging to his father or Flisha Smith,
who wss Cyprian's guardian after his father's death
and also lived in Worcester. Cyprian Stevens



bought land March 7, 1772, of Captain Jonas Hub-
bard, in whose company he fought in the siege of
Boston. Cyprian Stevens sold his lands to Ezra
Cary, of Bridgewater, June 7, 1776, taking a mort-
gage in part payment. He bought a farm at Stur-
bridge. part of it being in Brimrield, consisting of
ninety-two acres of land, adjoining farms of Simon
Tarbell and John Tarbell by deed dated February
18, 1778, of Ezekiel Upham, of Sturbridge, Mr.
Stevens lived in Sturbridge on this farm until about
1810. He was living there in 1803, but in a lease
dated April 6, 1803, to his son-in-law, David W.
McFarlin, he mentions twenty-one acres of land in
Holland. As he sold his place to McFarlin, May II,
1807, taking a mortgage in part payment, perhaps
that is the date of removal. The mortgage was
discharged August 25, 1813, when Cyprian Stevens
was living in Holland. He died in Holland, 1837,
aged ninety years.

He married Sarah . Their children were:

Tyler, born in Worcester, August 30, 1769, settled
in Sturbridge and had children there ; Phineas, bap-
tized in Worcester, October 13, 1771; Asa, baptized
in Worcester, May 8, 1774, at the First church;
Reuben, born in Sturbridge, December 10, 1780, see
forward ; Sally, born in Sturbridge, November 15,
1782. married, November 29, 1804, Stephen Lyon, of
Holland, Massachusetts ; Polly, born at Sturbridge,
August 27, 1784, married, September 24, 1801, David
W. McFarlin, whose son established a foundry in
Worcester ; Lyman, born in Sturbridge, October 12,
1786: Peircy, born in Sturbridge, October 29, 1787.

(VI) Reuben Stevens, fourth child of Cyprian
Stevens (5), was born in Sturbridge, Worcester
county, December 10, 1780, and died at Worcester,
April 3, 1864, aged eighty-four years. He went
to Holland with his father when a young man. He
lived on the farm now or lately owned by L. C.
Howlett in Holland, and in addition to farming
was a cloth dresser or fuller. In his old age, after
giving up his business in Holland, he removed to
Worcester and lived with his daughter Hortense,
Mrs. Frank Oliver. He died in Worcester and his
gravestone in Rural cemetery is suitably inscribed.

He married (first) Abigail Richardson, of Hol-
land, who died there in 1817, aged thirty-seven years,
when her son Fitz Henry was an infant. She was a
native of Charlestown, Massachusetts, and was of
the Richardson family, a sketch of which will be
found elsewhere in this work. Reuben Stevens
married (second) Betsey Wells. Children of Reuben
and Abigail were : Jarvis, who was a railroad
man, died of heart disease while on duty; unmar-
ried ; Merrick Reuben, see forward ; Fitz Henry,
married Martha Bellows, of Northboro ; Emeline,
married Samuel K. Bailey and have children : Eliza,
married Curtis Clapp, of Boston. The children of
Reuben and Betsey were : Laura, married Over-
ton : Hortense, married Frank Oliver, of Worcester;
Martha Ellen, married (first) Moore; (sec-
ond) Reuben Champion, of Worcester.

(VII) Merrick Reuben Stevens, second child
of Reuben Stevens (6), was born at Holland, Mas-
sachusetts, August 24. iSit, and died in Westboro,
Massachusetts, July 4, 1888. In early life he at-
tended the public schools at Holland, worked on
his father's farm and at cloth finishing with his
father. He removed to Southbridge after his mar-
riage and went into business with Daniel Towne,
conducting a large bakery. He resided for a short
time at Sturbridge, and from there went to Boston
and was for a time associated in business with Sam-
uel K. Bailey, who married his sister Emeline. He
went tii Webster about i8j6 to settle an estate in
which he wa^ interested. He finally removed, about
1848, to Newton. Massachusetts, where he resided



240



WORCESTER COUNTY



for the remainder of his life, conducting business
there and in Boston. He became senior partner of
the firm of Stevens & Dodge, produce merchants,
Lincoln street, Boston. Later the firm was Stevens,
Dodge & May. His first partner was Rufus Dodge,
of the Charlton (Massachusetts) family. In 1862
he retired from active business, spending the re-
mainder of his days quietly in attending to his prop-
perty. He was a Republican in politics, but would
never accept public office, though often urged by his
friends to so do. He was highly respected through-
out the community, and was a regular attendant and
liberal contributor to church work, although not a
member of any church.

married, October 9, 1837, Susan Weld, born
at Sturbridge, Massachusetts, June 4, 1815, died at
Newton, Massachusetts, March 23, 1882, daughter of
Willard Weld, born April 15, 1789, died September
II, 1848, descended from Joseph Weld, who was born
in Wales and came to New England in 1638, and
his wife, Mary Peck (Church) Weld, born March
-вАҐ4. 1791, died November 26, 1846, descended from
Richard Church, born in 1608, came to New England
with Governor Winthrop in 1630 and served as
sergeant in the Pequot war.

Children of Merrick Reuben and Susan (Weld)
Stevens were: Caroline Weld, born at Southbridge,
1839. of whom later. Henry Merrick, born at
Southbridge, September 29, 1840, of whom later.
Mary Susan, born at South Boston, November 25,
1842, of whom later. George Willard. born at Bos-
ton. February 12. 1845, died September 13, 1863,
aged eighteen years, six months, nineteen days ; he
was a young man of rare promise and ability and
much beloved by all his associates. Abbie Richard-
son, born at W'ebster, January 26, 1S48, married
Hendrick Gordon Webster, at Newton, November
17, 1870. Emma Louise, born at Newton, Decem-
ber 4. 1853, married, December 18, 1879, at Newton,
Joseph Elisha Whitman. Herbert Barton, born at
New ton, July II, 1855. of whom later.

(VIII) Caroline Weld Stevens, daughter of Mer-
rick Reuben Stevens (7), was born in Southbridge.
Massachusetts, February 2, 1839. She married, at
Newton. December 21, 1859, Alpha Entler Roden-
mayer, of Baltimore, Maryland. They were divorced
and she resumed her maiden name. Miss Stevens
has traveled much of the time, stopping for the win-
ters in the south and living at times in New York
city. Washington, D. C. and Boston. Her life
work has been largely helping her friends and fam-
ily in the ways their needs suggested. Her life,
in a word, has been devoted to others.

(VIII) Henry Merrick Stevens, son of Merrick
Reuben Stevens (7), was born at Sturbridge. Massa-
chusetts, September 29, 1841. He became a mem-
ber of Company C, Forty-fifth Regiment Massa-
chusetts Volunteers. He was a brave and brainy
soldier, as instanced when: In command of detach-
ment detailed to escort families of camp-followers
back into the southern lines, loaded some onto float-
cars and proceeded until train had passed sentries.
Stopping the train, he advanced alone, carrying flag
of truce until met by a considerable force of the
enemy, who stated their orders were not to receive
the camp-followers or a flag of truce, and to fire
on bearer of flag if the advance was persisted in.
Sergeant Stevens asked why thev did not fire on
him and, detecting a hesitancy in their reply, he
coolly signaled the train to unload, while he engaged
the enemy in conversation, after which he turned
his back and walked back to the train, having ac-
complished his duty. He died February 29, 1880,
aged thirty-nine years.

He married. April 27, 7871. at Brighton, Massa-
chusetts, Mary Jane Ludgate. Their children were :



Mary Susan, born at Brighton, August 14, 1874;
Carrie Louise, born at Brighton, January 23, 1876.
(VIII) Mary Susan Stevens, daughter of Mer-
rick Reuben Stevens (7), was born in Boston, No-
vember 25, 1842. She married Ransom Clarke
Taylor, March 4. i8cto. at Newton, and has since
resided in Worcester. (See sketch of Ransom C.
Taylor and ancestry.) Their children are: Wil-
lard Stevens, born December 23, 1881, at Worcester;
Florence Clark, born February 23, 1883, at
Worcester.

(VIII) Abby Richardson Stevens, daughter of
Merrick Reuben Stevens (7), born January 26, 1848,
in Webster, Massachusetts, married Hendrick Gor-
don Webster, of Plymouth, New Hampshire, in
Newton Massachusetts, November 17, 1870. They
have one son, George Gordon Webster, born in Fall
River, Massachusetts, May 2, 1873.

(VIII) Herbert Barton Stevens, only surviving
son of Merrick Reuben Stevens (7), was born in
Newton, Massachusetts, July 11, 1855. He was edu-
cated in the public schools of Newton, and com-
menced business life in 1872 as a clerk in the woolen
jobbing house of E. Allen & Co., No. 36 Franklin
street, Boston, Massachusetts. Later he traveled as
salesman for that house, and for one year for the
woolen and tailors trimming house of Morris &
Lewis, Market street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
covering territory from eastern Maine to Kansas,
Kentucky and northern Vermont. He entered the
employ of Gowing, Grew & Co., Leonard and
Church streets, New York city, dry good commis-
sion merchants, in 1880, and later in the same year
made contract with Rock Manufacturing Co., Rock-
ville, Connecticut, manufacturers of worsted and
woolen cloth for men's wear, representing them as
salesman in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and
Baltimore. In 1884 he became a partner in the
woolen commission house of Otheman, Dyer &
Southwick, 22 White street, New York city, and the
following year purchased an interest in the National
Worsted Mills of Providence, Rhode Island, man-
aging the sale of its product through the firm of
Otherman, Dyer & Southwick. In 1894 he estab-
lished the firm of Stevens, Sanford & Hardy, 41
Worth street, New Y'ork city, dry goods commis-
sion, and removed a few years later to 47-49 Worth
street. N. L. Hardy of the firm dying, the firm
became Stevens, Sanford & Jordan, who in 1906
purchased the Neurasket Worsted Mills, Middleboro,
Massachusetts, also interests in woolen mills in Mas-
sachusetts and cotton mills in North Carolina, also
operated in real estate in Greenwich, Connecticut,
and Newton, Massachusetts.

Mr. Stevens is a Republican in politics. He
drafted the constitution for the Taxpayers Asso-
ciation of Greenwich, Connecticut, the object of
which was: "To promote an active interest on the
part bf its members in the management of the pub-
lic affairs of the town." He is a member of the
Second Congregational Church of Greenwich, Con-
necticut, serving several years on the business com-
mittee. He is a member of the New England So-
ciety of New York, Merchants Club of New York,
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Green-
wich Casino, Greenwich, Connecticut. Realizing at
an early age that the privileges and blessings of
American citizenship demanded that every citizen
should participate, so far as his or her ability per-
mitted, in the public concerns of the community, and
being accustomed to think and act quickly, and pos-
sessing a genial and attractive manner, owing to the
nature and demands of his business life, has been
called, and responded, to many and varied activities
of public and social character.



WORCESTER COUNTY



241



Mr. Stevens married, at Newton, Massachusetts,
June 13, 1881, Lilla Frances Field, who was edu-
cated at Bradford Academy, Bradford, Massachu-
setts. She was the daughter of Deacon John Field,
of Arlington, Massachusetts, and Sarah Ann (Bald-
win) Field, of Brighton, Massachusetts. Among
her direct ancestors were John Alden and Priscilla
Mullins. Their children were : Laurance Field,
born November 25, 1882, at 655 Greene avenue,
Brooklyn, New York, died March 24, 1902, while
in sophomore class at Princeton University, and
Weld Merrick, born June 12, 1884, graduated from
Princeton University in 1904, entered Columbia Law
School, New York, same year, and was admitted
to New York bar in July, 1906.

After marriage Mr. Stevens lived at 655 Greene
avenue, Brooklyn, New York. He established his
first home at 253 Jefferson avenue, Brooklyn, resid-
ing there several years, taking an active interest in
the Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church and 1
its enterprises, the Men's Association and Young
Men's Irving Club. He built his summer home at
north end of Conanicut Island, Narragansett Bay,
Rhode Island. Disposing of both homes in 1897, he
spent one winter at LaRochelle apartments, Seven-
ty-ninth street and Columbus avenue, and then
established his home at 79 Maple avenue, Greenwich,
Connecticut, in 1898, connecting himself with the
Board of Trade, Indian Harbor Yacht Club, Green-
wich Casino, Fairfield Golf Club, and Greenwich
Hospital, of which he is a charter member.

HENRY H. BANCROFT. Lieutenant Thomas
Bancroft, (1), the immigrant ancestor of Henry H.
Bancroft, of Millbury, is the progenitor in America
of many prominent men. He was born in England,
1622, son of John and Jane Bancroft, and settled in
New England, first in Dedham where he was living
in 1647. His mother had land assigned to her in



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 70 of 133)