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* HYDE PARK * *
HISTORICAL RECORD

WILLIAM A. MOWRY, Editor







. . VOLUME VI : 1908 . .

The HYDE PARK HISTORICAL SOCIETY
. . HYDE PARK, MASSACHUSETTS . ,



HYDE PARK



HISTORICAL RECORD



Volume VI — 1908



WILLIAM A. MOWRY, Editor



*&*&*



PUBLISHED BY

THE HYDE PARK HISTORICAL SOCIETY

HYDE PARK, MASS.



HYDE PARK GAZETTE PRESS
1908



ciety
1



OFFICERS FOR 1908



President
CHARLES G. CHICK

Recording Secretary
FREDERICK L. JOHNSON

Treasurer
HENRY B. HUMPHREY

Corresponding Secretary and Librarian
HENRY B. CARRINGTON

Curators
GEORGE L. RICHARDSON GEORGE L. STOCKING*

LLEWELLYN S. EVANS CHARLES F. JENNEY

FRED J. HUTCHINSON J. ROLAND CORTHELL

JAMES S. MITCHELL

Vice Presidents

HENRY S. BUNTON EDWARD S. HATHAWAY

ROBERT BLEAKIE WILLIAM A. MOWRY

JAMES E. COTTER RANDOLPH P. MOSELEY

HOWARD JENKINS STILLMAN E. NEWELL

DAVID PERKINS SAMUEL T. ELLIOTT

SAMUEL A. TUTTLE JOHN J. ENNEKING

FERDINAND A. WYMAN G. FRED GRIDLEY

HENRY B. TERRY EDWARD I. HUMPHREY

JOHN R. FAIRBANKS* JOSEPH KING KNIGHT

HENRY S. GREW HENRY B. MINER

• Deceased



CONTENTS OF VOLUME VI



MRS. MARY H. HUNT. Mrs. Hele?i A. Greenwood

CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS. D. Eldredge

BIRDS OF HYDE PARK. Harry G. Higbee

FRANK BOWMAN RICH

Erastus E. Williamson, Henry S. Bunion, Stilhnan



EDITORIAL. William A. Mowry

ELIHU GREENWOOD. Herbert Greenwood



E. Newell



CHARLES FREDERICK ALLEN ....

Samuel R- Moseley, G. Fred Gridley, Charles Sturteva?it

PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY SINCE 1S92 (continued)
Fred L. Johnson



5-9
10-28
29-40
41-49

50-53

54. 55
56

57-64



ILLUSTRATIONS



MRS. MARY H. HUNT (Portrait)
MRS. HUNT'S HOME IN HYDE PARK
FRANK BOWMAN RICH (Portrait)
ELI 1 III GREENWOOD (Portrait)



Frontispiece

Facing page 9

Facing page 41

Facing page 54




MRS MARY H. HUNT



MRS. MARY H. HUNT

BY MRS. HELEN A. GREENWOOD
President Hyde Park W. C. T. U.

Mrs. Mary Hanchett Hunt was born in South Canaan, Conn.,
July 4th, 1830, and died in Boston, April 24, 1906.

Through her mother she was a direct descendant of the English
cavalier, Edward Winslow, an early governor of Plymouth Colony,
also of the gifted and godly Thomas Thatcher, who was the first
pastor of the Old South Church, Boston,

She was educated at Amenia Seminary and at Patapsco Insti-
tute, near Baltimore, Maryland ; was a successful teacher of the
sciences, especially of chemistry and physiology, and in 1852 was
married to Leander B. Hunt of East Douglas, Mass.

In 1866, Mr. and Mrs. Hunt came to Hyde Park, which there-
after was Mrs. Hunt's home until 1893, when she removed to
Dorchester.

A member of the First Congregational Church in Hyde Park,
Mrs. Hunt for several years was an earnest and efficient worker
and leader in many of its departments.

Of the three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Hunt, but one,
Capt. Alfred E. Hunt, grew to maturity. He became a well-
known scientific man, an expert chemist and metallurgist, and
successful manufacturer of aluminum. In the prime of his
manhood, he died in 1899 from disease contracted during the
Spanish war.

In 1874-5, in connection with some of the scientific pursuits of
her son while he was a student at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, Mrs. Hunt's attention was attracted to some British
scientific studies of the nature and effects of alcoholic drinks.
In them she saw the hope of saving the race from drink by in-



6 HISTORICAL RECORD

telligent conviction if only these and other facts about the true
nature of alcohol could be made known. To do this preventive
work on a large scale and effectively, she turned to the public
schools with the conviction that by teaching these truths in the
schools they would not only reach practically all the future citizens
of the nation, but would reach them in the formative period of
life before alcoholic habits had been established. Henceforth she
was under the impelling power of the prophetic inspiration which
became her motto : " If we save the children today, we shall have
saved the nation tomorrow."

In 1879, Mrs. Hunt brought her plan before the National
Woman's Christian Temperance Union Convention at Indianapolis
and was made chairman of the Committee on Temperance In-
struction in Schools and Colleges. The following year, 1880, the
committee system gave way to departments. Mrs. Hunt became
national superintendent of the department of scientific tem-
perence instruction, and for twenty-six years thereafter, until her
death, was the remarkable leader of a remarkable work. In 1887
she became the first superintendent of the same department of
the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and this
position too she held until the end of her life.

Upon her appointment by the National Woman's Christian
Temperance Union there began a unique and most magnificently
conducted campaign. A letter written from Germany in 1906,
by a Boston gentleman, expressed the opinion that " future
generations of Americans will believe what many foreigners seem
to think now, that Mrs. Hunt's success in the matter of scientific
temperance instruction embodies the most important piece of
constructive statesmanship which our day has brought forth."

Nearly three years, 1879- 1882, were spent arousing public
interest in the cause of temperance education from the public
platform, before school boards, colleges, normal schools, etc.,
before she thought it wise to inaugurate legislative efforts. Then,
in 1882, the first temperance education law in the world was
enacted in Vermont. Twenty years later, every state in the
United States and the National Congress had passed laws re-



MRS. MARY H. HUNT 7

quiring instruction in the public schools in physiology and hygiene
including the nature and effects of alcoholic drinks and other
narcotics. It was a wonderful tribute to the ability and persistent
effort of Mrs. Hunt, who, during these years, had been the recog-
nized leader of the movement which had the loyal support of the
Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and, to a large extent,
that of other temperance organizations and of the churches. Very
many of the legislative campaigns were conducted by Mrs. Hunt
personally, whose wise generalship never faltered or hesitated.

The enactment of laws was in reality but the smallest part of
the work. A hitherto unknown and undeveloped study had to be
fitted into the school curriculum, adapted to grade, books had to
be prepared and teachers trained. Hence, along with the con-
stant legislative work Mrs. Hunt developed its practical educa-
tional application in the schools. As a basis of information as to
the facts on the subject, she gathered what is probably the largest
collection in the world of the results of scientific experimentation
and investigation on the alcohol question.

These facts under her guidance were gradually embodied in
school text-books for use by pupils of all grades. Courses of study
were devised which not only have been widely used in the United
States, but have been guides to other nations who are following
the leadership of the United States in this branch of educational
development.

With a vision which took in the whole world, Mrs. Hunt's
eager mind reached out to the children of other nations, and
correspondence with government officials and temperance workers
opened the way to the extension of the principle of prevention
through education.

Her attendance at the International Congress against Alcohol-
ism, held at Brussels in 1897, under the honorary presidency of
the King of Belgium, is said by one familiar with European tem-
perance work to have been " epoch-making," because of the great
stimulus given the European temperance education movement.
She was made first vice-president of the Congress and received
special consideration not only on the continent but in London,



8 HISTORICAL RECORD

where noted British citizens, at whose head stood the late Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, met to do her honor.

Again, in 1903, Mrs. Hunt's presence at the World Congress
against Alcoholism was urged, and with letters from Secretary of
State Hay, Mrs. Hunt was received at this Bremen Congress with
the honors of an official representative of her country. Her
address was printed and widely circulated m Germany, and she
was honored by the Empress by a private interview at which
the Empress was an interested, sympathetic inquirer into the
American plan for temperance education.

A most significant result of this visit to Europe was the move-
ment started among British physicians which, in February, 1904,
led 15,000 medical practitioners of Great Britain and Ireland to
sign a petition asking that regular instruction in hygiene and
temperance similar to that of the United States be given in all
public schools of the kingdom. The work thus begun as a direct
outgrowth of Mrs. Hunt's addresses and conferences in England,
in 1903, is being pressed to a successful issue.

Mrs. Hunt's last days were spent at her home in Dorchester,
where, despite increasing weakness, she continued her work
managing it with her usual skill until the power of speech com-
pletely failed. But even in the last days she was greatly cheered
by learning that the plans she had carried out in America were
being adopted in Great Britain, Germany and other countries. As
a result of America's example, scientific temperance instruction is
being given to some extent in schools of Australia, New Zealand,
Japan, China, British India, South Africa, most of the European
countries ; on this continent, in Canada, Mexico, Chili ; and in
Cuba, Porto Rico and the Bahama Islands.

Mrs. Hunt was a life director of the National Educational Asso-
ciation, and edited and published the School Physiology Journal
for teachers.

She was an attractive and powerful platform speaker, whose
spoken message was in demand to the very end of her life, and
she probably addressed more legislative bodies than any other
person of her day.




MRS. HUNTS HOME IN HYDE PARK



MRS. MARY H, HUNT 9

An inspiring and successful leader, her own words were, "As
a leader of the mighty hosts of godly Christian Temperance
Union women, I have tried to follow the great Leader without
whose guidance our efforts would have been in vain." But her
leadership was not of a forlorn hope. The temperance education
laws that she wrote are not only on the statute books of the
national congress and all the states, but the teaching they require
has been and is being written into the lives of the millions of
children in the public schools and through them into the life of
the nation.

" Her accurate knowledge, her clear vision, her forceful speech
and facile pen, her reverence for God's truth embodied in natural
law, her generous appreciation of her great and noble army of
intelligent and efficient co-workers, her humble piety and prayer-
ful faith in God, has placed her on record as one of the most un-
selfish and useful women of our time and has entitled her to the
lasting gratitude of every lover of mankind."




CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS.

BY D. ELDREDGE

Read before the Meigs Memorial Association, 1906
Read before the Hyde Park Historical Society, 1906

PRELIMINARY.

I am here, my friends, at the request of the Meigs Memorial
Association, to present to you, as best I may, in their name, the
result of my labors in searching for and collating the facts in
connection with the history of old Camp Meigs.

I have brought to them several photographs, comprising por-
traits and camp views, subject to such disposition or future dis-
play as they may see fit.

Of the search, much of which has been confronted by and
surrounded with difficulties innumerable, I need not say that I
have, like the gleaner Ruth, gathered here a little, there a little, or
that where much was expected, little was found.

Crude in some parts, imperfect in others, I lay the facts before
you.

CAMP MEIGS.

By way of prelude, away back in the forties, it was my fortune,
as a very small boy, to live with my widowed mother, by the side
of the pond at Readville — then known as Dedham Lower Plains —
and to attend school very near the present site of the Damon
School. My teacher was Rebecca Bullard, now gone to her rest.
The house was near where the reservation apparently begins,
under the hill near the woolen mills. It required considerable
courage to cross the dam, for its roaring, to my boyish ear, was
terrific.

Many of you readily remember John Farrington. I do, too,
vividly, for he was, at the period I have mentioned, employed in



CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS. II

the mill, then a wholly wooden structure and insignificant in size
compared with the mill of today. As I passed to cross the first
bridge, it was John Farrington's delight to project his body far
out from an upper window, and yell at me like a Comanche.
Frequently I turned and went back to mother, whose reassurance
of my safety again started me for school. A little later, in the
early fifties, I was a youth at Mill Village, now East Dedham,
and passed several years in that village, attending school, where
the Avery School now stands. As a result of my residence as
stated, I knew, practically, everybody, and became familiar with
the geography of the whole town.

Years after I had removed from the town, the civil war broke
out, and I became a minute part of Uncle Sam's great army.

This ends my prelude, only offered to show that I was, at least,
partially equipped to take pickaxe and spade and dig up the facts
concering Camp Meigs.

I early directed my attention to

THE MONUMENT AT DEDHAM.

This branch of my subject may not interest everybody, but my
research developed many items of value for preservation.

The Soldier's Monument at Dedham was erected by the state
to the memory of the sixty-four men who died at Readville. But
there this monument stood, calm, dignified, defiant, resisting all
my early efforts to find its history. It is decorated each Memorial
Day by the Post at Dedham, for which service the state pays the
Post a small sum. But when was it erected ? Who made it ?
Were there dedicatory exercises ; if so, when and by whom ?
Were these men buried there in the order of their death ?

Inquiry among the oldest inhabitants, and a letter in the local
paper, followed a little later by an advertisement, all failed to
produce anything satisfactory. A close examination of the State
Auditors' Reports revealed the cost of the monument, but did not
reveal the maker. Several critical examinations of the monument
itself failed to reveal anything, even remote. At someone's sug-
gestion, I took a fac simile of the lettering to a monument maker



12 HISTORICAL RECORD

in Boston, and he at once expressed his opinion that it was made
in Taunton, and by one D. A. Burt. This is really not of super-
lative value. The latest death lettered upon the monument is
that of Henry A. Gifford, of Co. C, 27th Mass., who died July 12,
1865, and his age is recorded as fifteen years. The earliest death
shown upon the monument was that of Thomas Tracy, and the
monument says, "Died Aug. 1, 1861, aged 33 years." No com-
pany, no regiment, because, although he went to camp to join the
20th Regiment, he met his death by drowning in the Neponset
River before his opportunity came to be actually enrolled as a
soldier, having arrived only the night previous. A very large
proportion of the 64 names are of colored soldiers, of the 54th
and 55th Infantry Regiments and the 5th Cavalry Regiment. I
find that six died of small pox and were buried in the rear of the
barracks that were erected first for the 44th Regiment, the spot
being near the tracks of the New York & New T England Railroad.
These bodies were afterwards removed to the cemetery at
Dedham.

In June, 1864, the state purchased the lot of Mr. Edward Stin-
son. It is long and narrow, being 15 feet wide by 165 feet long.
This was a part of a considerable purchase by Mr. Stinson, and
was next to the old cemetery itself, and practically became an
addition, so called, and now one can observe no line to indicate
where the addition begins. A study of the names shows that the
monument was not made until after the last death recorded
thereon, for the four sides are entirely symmetrical in having
exactly sixteen names each.

There were presumably a few other deaths at the camp, but
evidently relatives or friends took the bodies away. The receiv-
ing tomb was used prior to the time when the lot was ready, and
there were a few burials in the old cemetery, later removed to the
soldier's lot. I have made photographs of the monument — each
of the four sides — and these I also present to the Association.

The State paid $1,000 for the monument and its setting up,
and $450 for the lot. Finally it appears well established that
each grave had originally a marker of wood, bearing the name,



CAMP MEIGS, KEADVILLE, MASS. 1 3

etc., but time and weather so demolished them, that in 1892 the
lot was graded, the graves levelled and resodded, the markers cast
aside, and since then the entire lot is of one level, broken only by
the beautiful monument in the centre.

BEFORE THE WAR.

Again let us go back to the /jo's and to the land under con-
sideration. It was then called Sprague's Plain, and was one
general whole prior to the building of the Providence Railroad.
State musters were held in those far-off days, and it was here that
the "striped pig" is said to have made its advent, or more properly
speaking, it was here invented. To those who are uninformed, I
will explain that it was a ruse to cover the clandestine sale of
intoxicants. The tent which served as a cover to a bar bore the
legend " Striped Pig." About 1840 there appeared this verse in a
local paper :

In Dedham now there is a great muster,

Which gathers the people all up in a cluster;

A terrihle time, and what do you think ?

They've found a new way to get something to drink.

And now we come to the Civil War, and the occupation of
these acres by soldiers.

Mr. Ebenezer Paul, living near Paul's Bridge, owned the land,
it having been willed to him and another by his Uncle Isaac, who
died in 1852. The will was a peculiar one — really full of peculiari-
ties, but I only mention a few. The widow, Ebenezer's Aunt
Lydia, was quite fully protected in her rights as widow, and
apparently as having a " life estate." The boys were to milk the
cows and carry the milk to the house ; they were to cut wood for
the widow's use and carry it to the wood house and pile it up, and
in time to dry for use. They were to provide annually one and
one-half tons salt hay, and carry on the farm in the interest of the
widow.

These few points are sufficient for my purpose, in calling your
attention to what happened later.



14 HISTORICAL RECORD

It is related that the first that Ebenezer Paul knew of any
designs upon his land as a camping ground, was his sudden dis-
covery one morn of two or three men sitting under one of the
long rows of elms, a few of which are now standing, and his cows
gazing upon them with interest. Later, it is said, they came
and took the land, leaving him to apply to the State for compensa-
tion, which he did, and I am credibly informed that he received
three hundred dollars per year rental.

The first call for troops — insignificantly small as it proved — ■
was succeeded in May, 1S61, by a second, this time for 500,000,
and it was under this call that the first troops assembled " On
Sprague's Plain near Sprague's Pond in the town of Dedham."
I have quoted the language of the order of Governor Andrew
dated July 2, 1861.

When it became known that troops were to occupy this field,
the neighbors were apprehensive lest the cows would fall into the
hands of military separators, or that the morning examination of
the chicken coop would reveal the fact that many chickens had
been foully slain, or that their vegetables would be ruthlessly
removed from their beds at night; but nothing of the kind hap-
pened, for Col. Lee was a strict disciplinarian.

The first to arrive upon these grounds, — and they came within
a few days after the 4th of July, 1861, — were the 18th and 20th
Regiments, the latter commanded by Col. William Raymond Lee,
who is credited with having selected the spot. The ground over
which we now are was covered by the tents of the 20th, while a
little farther away from Milton Street, near the Elms, the 18th
pitched its tents.

Two companies for the 18th Regiment came from Dedham.
One company was purely local and the other was from Wrentham.
They had been quartered together in the hall of the old Agri-
cultural Fair Building at Connecticut Corner. They were escorted
all the way by the five fire companies of the town, and two brass
bands, creating quite a furor as they marched along.

The press announced the occupation of the Camp and said the
camp is fine. Col. Lee in selecting it had an eye to the comfort



CAMP MEIGS, READVILLE, MASS. 1 5

and health of the men. The field contains twenty-four acres and
is in the vicinity of Sprague Pond and Ncponset River. The soil
is light and no marshy ground. There will be ninety tents for
officers and men, and one kitchen for each company, built of
rough boards. The storehouse has already been built and fur-
nished with provisions. A well has been dug and water will be
pumped from the pond.

Another paper said the spot is the old Dedham Muster Field,
twenty-four acres, nearly square, perfectly level, and the camp is
within 50 rods of the station. The large storehouse is near the
kitchens, and they are in a row across the further end of the field
as one approaches from Boston. A deep tub has been set, into
which water flows from the middle of the pond, for cooking pur-
poses. Another account says on the left flank of the camp is
Sprague Pond, and in the rear Neponset River. Adjacent is a
field of thirty-four acres at the disposal of the (20th) regiment for
drill.

I have been somewhat minute in details, at this initial occupa-
tion, for several reasons not necessary to relate at length.

In connection with the accounts of the 18th Regiment, the
press announced that the camp would be called Camp Brigham,
and the 20th named it Camp Massasoit. This shows that each
regiment adopted a name for its own camp, and this method con-
tinued for awhile, until the general name of Camp Meigs was
placed upon the whole. The name Brigham was in honor of the
Commissary General of Massachusetts, Col. Elijah D. Brigham.

And now camp life is fully inaugurated on Sprague Plain. Two
regiments are in tents, and all the busy preparations for war are
going on. The drilling of squads, platoons, companies and regi-
ments ; the dress parade, the uniforms, the officers, and even the
individual soldier, all upon exhibition, for there are hundreds of
visitors daily. Later in the war there were thousands daily, a
constant, never-ceasing stream, and upon extra occasions, like
a review, it was a difficult matter for the camp guards to walk
their beats.

Camp life goes on apace, The arrival of clothing, of arms, of



1 6 HISTORICAL RECORD

any sort of supply, created more or less excitement, and just the
same if such did not arrive when expected or desired. There
was then a general feeling among the men that each Company
had a right to choose its officers, but this idea became modified
as the war went on, and finally disappeared. But alas and alack,
when confronted with the facts that their wishes would not be
wholly met, they rebelled and indulged in verbiage replete with
adjectives and many violent parts of speech.

Of the two regiments under consideration, the accounts show
that the 20th regiment was the greatest sufferer. For when that
regiment was mustered in on the 18th of July, the men of Co. B
absolutely refused to raise their hands, because they had not been
assured that the officers of their choice would be commissioned*
The next day apologized, and on the 26th they were mustered in.

This records the first semblance of mutiny, and then not a very
serious matter. Later in the war it would have had a different
coloring, and been summarily dealt with.

Of the items of interest in this first encampment, many of
which might be related, a few only are selected. About the
middle of August, several men of the 20th Regiment went to
Sprague Pond, ostensibly to bathe, but really to desert. They
were captured at Mansfield. They were to join an Irish Brigade
in New York.

A hospital was established, a little removed from the noise of


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