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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(V) Asa married in Barrington, Elizabeth Low,
June 25, 1769. Their children were : Asa, died aged
sixteen years; Otis, died aged twenty-two years;
Releaf; John Wilson; William; Elizabeth; Benja-
min; Ellery; Asa; and Francis.

(VI) John Wilson, born April 10, 1780, in Bar-
rington, married Keziah Paine, April 14, 1805. She
was the daughter of Peleg and Joanna (Vial) Paine,
of Seekout, where he died August 25, 1837, aged
eighty-five years. Mr. Paine served as sergeant in
Captain Joseph Franklin's (Rehoboth) company,
Colonel John Daggett's regiment ; he entered service
January 7, 1778, and was discharged March 31,
1778. He enlisted again July 30, 1778, and was dis-
charged September 10, 1778. He served in Captain
Isaac Hix's company, Colonel Josiah Whiting's
Bristol county regiment. When a mere lad he be-
came enamored with the life of a sailor, and began
making voyages as boy before the mast, continuing
the seafaring life for nearly thirty years, and pass-
ing through the various stages of promotion to the
rank of captain. He made voyages to the West
Indies, to both the east and west coast of Africa,
and to China, was twice shipwrecked. About the
year 1817, he removed his family from Barrington,
Rhode Island, where they had made their home dur-
ing his voyages, to Canterbury, Connecticut, where
he kept a hotel ; after remaining here about four
years he removed to Canaan, Vermont, where he
purchased a farm. Twenty-two years later he sold
this farm, and with his family, now grown to man-
hood and womanhood, emigrated to the then new
state of Wisconsin, settling in what is now Beloit,
Rock county, where he died in 1859. Mr. Bicknell
was a prominent Mason, having taken the capitular
degrees, and filled the office of grand high priest,
and while visiting various places in Wisconsin, for
the purpose of establishing and instructing certain
chapters, contracted a severe cold which terminated
in pneumonia, causing his death. Children were:
George Wilson, born November 7, 1807; Amanda,
November 18, 1809; Otis Paine, June 10, 1813; Ed-
win, July 18, 1S14; Almira Paine, June 1, 1816;
Charles H., March 7, 181S; Andrew H., February 6,
1820; Martha Wilson, April 19, 1822; Anna Mariah,
April 19, 1825; Rebecca Warren, adopted daughter.

(VII) George Wilson Bicknell was born in Bar-
rington, Rhode Island. After receiving the ad-
vantages of the schools of his native town, he went
to Providence, where he learned the trade of a
jeweler and silversmith, and for a few years fol-
lowed that occupation in the city of Providence.
His life here brought him in daily contact with
the family of Dr. Jacob Fuller, an uncle by mar-
riage, the Doctor having married Abigail Paine, a
sister of Mr. Bicknell's mother. The associations
formed here were of the most pleasant and bene-
ficial character. Through the influence emanating
from this home he resolved to enter the medical
profession, and for several years much of his spare
time was occupied in studying medical authorities
and reciting to his uncle. It was his custom, while
engaged in his trade, to have an open book on the
bench before him, that he might pursue his medical
studies while at work. Having secured his right
to practice medicine, he took a full course in
dentistry. Confident that he was now well qualified
to embark in his newly chosen profession, and learn-
ing of the intention of his father and the remainder
of his family (then residing in Canaan, Vermont)
to emigrate to the western country, he went to Ver-
mont and joined the New England Emigrating
Company, which included his father's family, and
located at a place in Wisconsin, on Rock river, now
known as Beloit. After a residence here of three








fe^<^



WORCESTER COUNTY



29



or four years, Dr. Bicknell went further west, locat-
ing in Potosi, in Grant county. Before leaving
Beloit he had written to Miss Abigail Rawson, of
Mendon, Massachusetts, that he was now ready to
have her join him in his western home, and accord-
ing to previous plans Miss Rawson left her .Men-
don home for Wisconsin, traveling by stage, canal
boat and steamboat to Chicago, where Dr. Bick-
nell met her. They proceeded on to Beloit, and
the marriage ceremony was performed at the home
of Mr. R. T. Crane. On the death of Dr. Horace
White, with whom Dr. Bicknell had been asso-
ciated while in Beloit, the people there urged him to
return to them, which he did about 1847. In 1849
he, with several others, made the overland trip to
California, returning to Beloit in 1852. When the
civil war came, he enlisted and received a commis-
sion as surgeon in the Twenty-second Regiment,
Wisconsin Volunteers. The severe strain incident
to a large practice in this sparsely settled country
during the ten years passed in Beloit, had gradually
been undermining a once vigorous constitution, and
the further exposure of camp life at the front be-
gan to develop symptoms of a serious nature within
himself, causing his resignation and return to Beloit.
But there followed him soon after a commission as
acting assistant surgeon, U. S. A., at Camp Doug-
las, Chicago, Illinois. He continued his services
in charge of this camp until it was about to be de-
serted, when he again resigned his commission and
returned to take up his private practice in Beloit,
when he died June 16, 1870. His wife died Decem-
ber 26, 1867. He was a very skillful and therefore
successful practitioner, and was thoroughly devoted
to his profession, enjoying the confidence of all who
knew him as their family physician. Their children :
George Wilson, born August 17, 1843, at Potosi,
died 1892; John Francis, November 8, 1846, at
Potosi ; Maria, in Beloit, died in infancy ; Hattie,
in Beloit, died in infancy; Frederick, in Beioit, died
aged two and one-half years; Mary Augusta, May
4, 1858, at Beloit, married Richard J. Burdge, Es-
quire of Beloit, where they now reside.

(VIII) John Francis Bicknell, the second son
of Dr. George W. Bicknell, received his early educa-
tion in the public schools of Beloit, and in the
preparatory department of Beloit College. When
about to enter upon his collegiate course, in re-
sponse to the call of Abraham Lincoln, President of
the United States, for more men to fight the bat-
tles for the preservation of the Union, Mr. Bick-
nell enlisted in a company of nine months men. At
the close of his term of service he returned to his
home in Beloit, and subsequently entered the employ
of a firm engaged in the hardware business in Chi-
cago. After the great fire in that city, which oc-
curred in October, 1871, he went to the state of
Kansas and took up wild land. Being discouraged
by the tardy development of the country, he sold
his claim and returned to Chicago, and in the sum-
mer of 1872 came to Worcester, Massachusetts, and
entered the employ of E. B. Crane & Company,
dealers in lumber, as bookkeeper. In 1879 he was
given an interest in the business, succeeding to the
place in the firm of William S. Perry, who retired.
In June, 1882, Mr. Bicknell withdrew from this linn,
and engaged in the lumber trade on his own account,
soon building up a large trade and conducting a
successful business, in which he continued to the
time of his death, November 15, 1899.

June 16, 1875, he married Hattie M., daughter
of Joseph W. and Nancy Harrington (Gibbs) Spring,
of Weston, Massachusetts, the ceremony being per-
formed by Rev. William W. Adams, D. D., at the
home of the latter in Fall River, Massachusetts



On returning from their wedding trip they made
their home with Mrs. Bicknell's mother, at No. 5,
Seaver street, Worcester, where they remained until
Mr. Bicknell built a fine residence, No. 910 Main
street, where he died, leaving one child, Roscoe
Gibbs Bicknell, born December 11, 1881, who re-
ceived his early education in the Worcester schools,
and after taking a two years' course at the Worces-
ter Academy entered Dean Academy, at Franklin,
Massachusetts, graduating with the class of 1900.
He immediately succeeded to the business left by his
father. He was married January 25, 1905, to Har-
riet West Kellough, of Boston, and resides in
Worcester.

JOHN HOLDEN. Richard Holden (1), the
immigrant ancestor of John Holden, of Worcester,
was born in England in 1609. He came to this coun-
try in the ship "Francis," sailing from Ipswich,
England, April 30, 1834, and settling first at Ips-
wich, Massachusetts, where he was a land owner.
His brother Justinian, who was born in 161 1, came
over a year later and settled in Watertown, .Massa-
chusetts, whither Richard Holden removed soon
after. Justinian removed to Cambridge; Richard
to Woburn, where he was a proprietor in 1658;
he had been a proprietor of Watertown as early as
1642, owning a lot adjoining his brother's; he sold
in 1655 to J. Sherman. He was admitted a freeman
May 6, 1657. Richard Holden resided at Cambridge
and finally in 1656-57 at Groton, where he had nine
hundred and seventy-five acres of land in the north-
tarly part of the town, now Shirley, part of which was
lately occupied by Porter Kittridge. His land be-
gan on the west bank of the Nashua near Beaver
Pond, extending north. He lived with his soil
Stephen, to whom he gave his real estate March 23,
1691. He then called himself "aged, infirm and a
widower." He died at Groton, March I, 1696; his
wife died at Watertown, December 6, 1681. The
records show his name spelt variously Holden, Houl-
den, Houlding and Holder.

He married, 1640, Martha Fosdick, daughter of
Stephen Fosdick, of Charlestown. Their children:
Stephen, born July 19, 1642, killed by fall from tree
at Groton, 1658; Justinian, born 1644; son James set-
tled in Worcester; Martha, born January 15, 1645-46,
married Thomas Boyden; Samuel, settled in Groton

and Stoneham, married Anna , who died June

18, 1731; Mary, married Thomas Williams; Sarah,
married, December 20, 1677, Gershom Swan ; Eliza-
beth, Thomas, John, died young; John, born 1657;
Stephen, born about 1658, see forward.

(II) Stephen Holden, son of Richard Holden (1),
was born in Watertown, about 1658. He went to
Groton with his father and his brother Justinian
in 1656 or 1657. During the interruption caused in
the colony by King Philip's war, he went to Charles-
town or Woburn and several of his children settled
in Charlestown. Stephen returned to Groton and
died there about 1715. His estate was divided among
his heirs, March 19, 1718-19* and the widow's estate
was divided among the same heirs, January 30,
1737. The children of Stephen and Hannah Hol-
den: John, had children born at Charlestown;
Stephen, Jr., married Sarah Cresy; Nathaniel, Will-
iam, Simon, blacksmith, married Abigail

and had ten children born at Charlestown; Jonathan,
Benjamin, see forward; Rachel, Hannah, Sarah,
Nehemiah.

(III) Benjamin Holden, son of Stephen Holden
(2), was born in Groton, Massachusetts, probably
about 1690. He settled at Dedham, Massachusetts.

He married Hannah and she married (second),

June 5, 1746, Samuel Bullard, of Dedham. Holden







WORCESTER COUNTY



renewed his covenant with the Dedham church,
April 13, 1729; Ins wife was received into the church
-and her daughters Sarah, Mindwell and Jerusha all
baptized April _', 1738. The children of Benjamin
and Hannah Iloklcn: Benjamin, born at Dedham,
March 10, 1728-29, see forward; John, born Decem-
ber 31, 1731, died February 19, 1731-32; .Mindwell,
born February 16, 1732-33, married, September 12,
1751, Samuel Farrington ; Sarah, horn July 13, 1735;
Jerusha, born 1738, baptized April 2, 1738. All were
born at Dedham. Massachusetts.

(IV) Colonel Benjamin Holden, son of Benja-
min Holden (3). was born in Dedham, Massachu-
setts, March 10, 1728-29, and baptized in the Ded-
ham church, April 13, 1729. fie died at Prince-
ton, Massachusetts, November 24. 1820, aged nine-
ty-two years. He was prominent in the town of
Princeton where he settled, and in the army. He
was probably in the French war as he held the
rank of lieutenant-colonel when the revolution be-
wail. He was in Colonel Ephraim Doolittle's regi-
ment on the Lexington call, April 19, 1775. He was
m the service in 1770-77-78 with the rank of colonel.
He was an assessor of the town of Princeton 111
1773. His wife Catherine died at Princeton, July
.28, 1817, aged eighty-four years. Their children,
all born in Princeton, were: Lucy, born November
29, 1762, married, December 11, 1808, Captain Addi-
-on Richardson, of Salem; Joseph, born September
28, 17(14; Katherine, born April 23, 1767, married,
January 30, 1797, Ephraim Mirick, Jr.; Benjamin,
born November 19, 1769, see forward; Joel, born
November 30, 1772; John Hancock, born February
23, 1775, died March 15, 1778.

1 V ) Benjamin Holden, son of Benjamin Ffolden
(4), was born in Princeton, Massachusetts, Novem-
ber 19, 1769. He settled there and married, Decem-
ber 2. 1793, Hannah Gill, daughter of John and
Hannah Gill, of Princeton. His wife died there
August 29, 1846, aged seventy-one years, seven
months and nineteen days. He lived at Rutland after
his marriage until 1805, when he returned to his
native town and died there April 8, 1832, aged sixty-
two years, according to his gravestone. Children of
Benjamin and Hannah Holden: Catherine Richards,
bom at Rutland. February 11, 1796, married, at
Rutland. April 16, 1817, Moses Smith ; Hannah, born
at Rutland. January 8, 1802, married, January 9,
1823. at Princeton, Captain Miies Demond (Damon) ;
Rebecca, born at Rutland, February 6, 1804, married,
April 19. 1827, Charles Demond; Benjamin, born
April 5. 1806, at Princeton, see forward ; Moses Gill,
In iin November 24, 1807, at Princeton, married, at
Rutland. January 3, 1837, Emeline Davis; Elizabeth,
horn July 13, 1812, at Rutland; William Penn, born
at Rutland, March 6, 1813; Caroline, born 1817,
died July 5. 1821, aged four years, at Rutland; Abi-
gail, born March 13, 1820, at Rutland, married, at
Princeton, May 7, 1846, George Darling.

(VI) Benjamin Holden, son of Benjamin (5),
was born in Princeton. Massachusetts, April 5.
[806. He settled in Princeton. He married, May
o. [833, Elmina Watson, born May 6, 1812, daugh-
ter of Jacob Wheeler and Lydia Watson, of Prince-
ton, Her father was born April 15, 1777, son of
John and Sarah Watson, of Princeton. Children of
Benjamin and Elmina Holden: Lucy Richardson,
horn November 12, 1833; Mary Townsend, born
July 4, 1835; Benjamin, born August 12, 1836;
Henry, born October 18, 1837; Eliza Waters, born
June 26. 1839; John, born February I, 1841, died
[list 2, 1843, aged two; Amelia Elmina, born
November 14, 1842; Abba Augusta, born July 29,
1844; William, born December II, 1845. member of
the linn of Wilson & Holden — Merrick Wilson is his



partner — at 154 Main street, dealers in flour, grain,
lime, cement, seeds, feed, straw, baled bay, etc., an
old and prosperous concern; Mr. Holden resides at
45 Forest street. Worcester; John, born May 26,
1847, see forward; Jacob, born April 30, 1849, is a
partner in the weil-known firm of Holden & Earle
(A. F. Earle), 434'^ Main street, Worcester, dealers
in tobacco and cigars; Mr. Jacob Holden resides at
Si Elm street; Milton, Francine A., Ehnira,
Frank, Hattie, di ci >ed, aged two years. All the
i 1 eMiing children were born in Princeton.

(Vil) John Holden. son of Benjamin Holden
(6), was born in Princeton, Massachusetts, May 26,
]>'47. Fie was educated in the district schools of his
native town. He learned the carpenter's trade and,
when a young man. made his home in Princeton,
removing after a few years to Worcester, For the
pa 5 t twenty years Mr. Holden has been a prominent
contractor and builder of Worcester, lie has had
many large contracts and built many of the resi-
dences and business block- of Worcester and vicinity.
For many years his office and place of business was
at 41 Central street, destroyed by fire in 1906. His
office at present is on Exchange street, nearly oppo-
site Worcester Theatre. He 1 as 3ted by his son
in the management of hi- business. He resides at
24 Second street. Mr. Holden is a Republican, but
has never been active in politics. He is a Free
Mason, a member of Morning Star Lodge of Wor-
cester. He is also a member of Chapter and
Council.

He married Purses N. Waite, daughter of Aaron
and Purses (Ware) Waite, of Hubbardston, Massa-
chusetts. Their children: Frank Eugene, born
October 22, 1871, died December 6, 1876; Albert O.,
July 3, 1876; Ida Blanch, February 10, 1S82, died
March II, 1895-96.

HUGH HENRY O'ROURKE. The O'Rourke
family, according to the authority of Burke, was a
sept who were chiefs of West Breifne, Ireland, now
comprised in the counties of Cavan and Leitrim, de-
riving their name from Ruarire, a chieftain who
lived A. D. 893. He gives no genealogy of the, family
hut in this same county and district the family
i- to hi' found today. Three of this sept were kings
of Connaught. Of these the most distinguished was
Art O'Rorke, as the name was anciently spelled.
He was king of Connaught when slain in battle A.
D. 1046. His coat of arms and those of all the
family of that section is : Or two lions pass, in pale
sa. Crest : Out of an ancient Irish crown or, an
arm in armor erect, grasping a sword ppr, pommel
and hilt gold, motto over "Buagh" (victory). The
family motto is: "Serviendo Guberno." (I rule
by serving.)

The family has had many distinguished representa-
tives in later times. Sir Brian O'Rorke was knighted
at Dublin, May 3, 1579, by Sir Henry Sydney, lord
deputy of Ireland. He used the same coat of arms.
Sir Tiege O'Rorke was knighted by Sir John Cary,
lord deputy of Ireland. He was of county Leitrim.
Shane Oge MacShane O'Rorke, son of Shane
( I'Rbrke, grandson of Loughlin O'Rorke, and great-
grandson of Owen O'Rorke, all of Leitrim. was
knighted. He bad the same arms. Edmond Roch
O'Rorke, who descended from Thady O'Rorke, lord
of Breifne, county Leitrim, had in 1470 the same
arms. Count John O'Rourke, also of this family,
became famous in military circles. lie was born in
Oghteragb, in Breifne, emigrated to France and
was employed there as captain of the Royal Scotch;
became major of horse in the service of Russia;
colonel of horse again in France and was made
count by the king of France in 1771.



WORCESTER COUNTY



3i



Michael O'Rourke, son of Lackey O'Rourke,
was born in 18.51, in Leitrim county, where his
O'Rourke ancestors have been located for a thou-
sand years. His father was a fanner and his an-
cestors doubtless lived by agriculture from time
immemorial. He was brought up on the farm and
received a common school education in his native
parish. In the early days of the Irish emigration
to America Mr. O'Rourke determined to seek his
fortune there, lie landed in Boston, May 10, 1854.
He came immediately to Worcester, where he has
lived ever since, where his family has been reared,
and where he has made many friends, He began
work in the wire mill of Washburn & Moen at
South Worcester, and was employed there for thirty-
five years. He had no other employer. He was a
vvireworker, a skillful workman. He retired in 1890,
and is at present living with his family at 597 Cam-
bridge street, Worcester. He married Ellen Flynn.
Their children are: I. Mary, graduate of the public
and high schools of Worcester, the State Normal
si h 10I of Worcester, a teacher in the Millbury street
public school, ninth grade, assistant principal. 2.
Bernard, weaver in the Whittall Carpet Mill, South
Worcester, married Bessie Burke and has three chil-
dren; resides at 5 Riley street. 3. John, journey-
man plumber, in the employ of William Cahill,
Pleasant street, Worcester; married Eliza Keany
and has two children; resides at 595 Cambridge
street. 4. Hugh Henry, see forward. 5. Michael A.,
hatter with the firm .of Charbonman & Co., 8 Front
street: attended public and high schools; married
Elizabeth Mullins, resides at 40 Irving street. 6.
Nellie, educated in the public and high schools of
Worcester, resides at home with her parents, 597
Cambridge street. 7. Edward, was employed as
clerk by the Worcester Construction Company, rail-
road contractors, for ten years; resides with par-
ents. 8. Joseph, educated in the Worcester public
and high schools, clerk for eight years with Pink-
ham & Willis, furniture dealers, until the firm went
out of business ; now with the Ferdinand Furniture
Company ; resides at home with parents. 9. Peter,
died at age of two and one-half years. 10. Ann,
died at age of seven years. II. William, died aged
one and one-half years.

Hugh Henry O'Rourke, son of Michael O'Rourke.
was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, March I,
1867. He received his early education in the public
schools of his native place. He began at the age
of fourteen to learn his trade in the mill of the
Worcester Carpet Company, then owned by William
J. Hogg. He became an expert at weaving and be-
came familiar with the various departments of the
carpet mill. He became the head of the finishing
department, a position he held when he resigned to
go into business on his own account in 1892. He
started a drug store on Ward street under the name
of Wachusett Pharmacy, and has been successful in
business from the outset. After about three years
on Ward street he removed to his present location,
360 Millbury street.

Mr. O'Rourke is well known among Wore ster
musicians. He organized the Lyceum Orchestra
and was first violin and leader for eight years, re-
signing on account of his business. He is still a
member of the Worcester Musical Union, however.
He is a member of William E. Russell Council,
Royal Arcanum ; of Alhambra Council, No. 88,
Knights of Columbus; of the Wachusett Boat Club;
of the Caribou Club ; of Division 34, Ancient Order
of Hibernians; of the Knights of Robert Emmet;
•of St. Mathew's Athletic Association and of the
.South Worcester Cricket Club. He is a member of
the East-side Improvement Association, which has



been active recently. He is one of the trustees of
St. Vincent Hospital. He was formerly connected
with the Sacred Heart Cadets. He belongs to Sacred
Heart Parish of the Roman Catholic church.

In politics Mr. O'Rourke is a Democrat, and his
five years as a representative to the general court
from the district comprising the fifth ward of
Worcester have brought him into touch with the
public men from all parts of the state. He was
elected first in 1003 after an exciting contest and
has been re-elected annually since then. The news-
paper Practical Politics thus speaks of Mr. O'Rourke
in its biographical number for 1906 :

"Hugh H. O'Rourke of Worcester, representa-
tive of the Nineteenth Worcester District, has gone
through this session as the friend of the Worcester
children. A man who is willing to bring down
three hundred children or more and devote an en-
tire day to taking them around the city, paying all
their expenses, must have a pretty good sized heart,
and that is the way the house has taken up O'Rourke.
He is deserving of it. The last session has been an
interesting one for the Worcester member. His
public health committee, for instance, brought for-
ward a pretty drastic patent medicine bill, which
provides that people shall nut be dosed with prepara-
tions unless they have a chance at least to know
the proportion of alcohol in them. It represents an
agitation which has been going on for some time.
Again, the long fight of years which O'Rourke has
been making with the idta that trolley cars should
be provided with lifting jacks in cases of accidents,
and also for a better style of fenders, has been
crowned with success. War after year the Worces-
ter man has brought forward the proposition, and
while he has heretofore been turned down, he dis-
played as much activity each succeeding session.
It is a question if he would not have beaten the
railroad commissioners in the end, and so they
capitulated. This year, the big corporations which
have been fighting his plan for years, allowed a bill
to go through, making an appropriation for the
specific purpose of investigating fenders and lifting
jacks. It has been a great victory for Hugh H.
O'Rourke." Few men have a better record for at-
tendance and faithful performance of duty than
Mr. O'Rourke.

Mr. O'Rourke is unmarried and lives at the
parental home, 597 Cambridge street.

PLINY WILLIAMS WOOD. Thomas Wood
(1) was the emigrant ancestor of Pliny Williams
Wood, of Worcester, Massachusetts. He is first
mentioned in the records of Rowley, Massachusetts,

April 7, 1654, when he married Ann . Her



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