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The history of the town of Royalston, Massachusetts online

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1762 1917



THE HISTORY
OF THE

TOWN OF ROYALSTON
MASSACHUSETTS

BY LILLEY B. CASWELL



INCLUDING



Royalston's Soldier Record
Written and Compiled by

HON. FRED W. CROSS



Published by the Town of Royalston
1917



r



J^^ldS







^






FOREWORD OF THE AUTHOR

The writer of this history of Royalston, in performing the
work given him l>y your Town Committee, feels that in many
respects this task might have been assigned to abler and more
eloquent writers.

Although not the town of his birth or residence, he has,
ever since as a young man he came to this town as a teacher in
its schools, had a love and admiration for this good, old town,
for its grand and beautiful scenery, the people who have lived
among these hills, and the history they have made. It has
truly been a typical New England town, where men and wom-
en have shown a zeal for religion, a sturdy patriotism, and a
desire for educational privileges all through the history of the
town.

With the material which has been at our disposal, we have
endeavored not to fill the work with too much statistical mat-
ter, such as may easily be obtained in the annual town report,
but rather have deemed it wise to describe more fully than
manv town histories, the old families of the town that have
made the history of Royalston one to be proud of. In this,
we have not attempted to make what would be complete fam-
ily genealogies, but have described those branches of the fam-
ilies that have been more or less connected with the town, or
have attained prominence or distinction in the various com-
munities in which they have made their homes, scattered in all
parts of the Union and in foreign lands.

Another feature of this work, not common in town histor-
ies, is the chapter on " Writers of Royalston Poetry." We be-
lieved that such a vivid description of the events of the Civil
War as contained in Dr. Frank W. Adams' Epic Poem on the
Civil War in America was worthy of a place in this history,
while the town that claims Nancy Priest, the gifted author of
" Over the River," surely should give her a place in the annals
of the town. The Red Letter Days of Royalston History will
recall the celebration oi important events in the history of the
town. The military history has been most carefully written,
and ably presented by Hon. Fred W. Cross in the chapter en-



IV HISTORY OF ROYALSTON

titled " Royalston's Soldier Record," and is a record that any
town should be proud of.

The hrst chapters of the work treat of the early settlers,
incorporation of the town, town government, and of Col. Isaac
Royall. who named the town. It seemed appropriate that
vSouth Royalston. occupying^ one corner of the town, should
have its families, industries, churches and organizations
treated as a villag^e or community, instead of being: scattered
through the pages of the history, and this has been so ar-
ranged.

The early records of the town do not contain many excit-
ing and dramatic events, with no Indian traditions, and as
Governor Bullock said, " A church without a schism in a cen-
turv : a ministry that never knew how to quarrel and a people
that have walked in the paths of unambitious duty." the life
and activities of those early generations was so peaceful and
regular that the history of those days is comparatively tame
to that of many towns.

We have been indebted to the Royalston ^lemorial. pub-
lished in 1865, for much valuable information, which was
gathered l)y your historical committee of half a century ago.
at the time of the Centennial Anniversary, one member of
which, the late Daniel Davis, assisted us in obtaining material
for some of the family histories. We have also been reminded
during the years of collecting material, of the fact that each
passing year destroys or renders less available historic mat-
ter of interest and value, while every year has removed from
the scene of life's activities men and women whose memories
\vere treasure houses of historic facts.

In comj)iling the material contained in this work the writer
has received valuable assistance from many sources. The
town records and annual reports of the town have kindly been
placed at our disposal by Town Clerk Dr. Frank W. Adams,
and we have availed ourselves freely of the hies of the Athol
and Worcester West Chronicle. Athol ']Vanscri])t. Barre
Cazette and Fitchburg Sentinel. The archives and State
Library at the State House in Bosttm have been consulted,
while various town hist(M"ies and family genealogies contained
in the libraries of the American Antiquarian Society at
Worcester, Worcester Public Library and the Fitchburg and



HISTORY OF ROYALSTON V

Athol piil)lic libraries have furnished us with much valuable
material. Also members of many of the old Royalston families
have gladly aided us in the preparation of the family histories
which we have presented,

\\> would like to have given a complete list of the indi-
viduals who have aided us in our work, but do not feel at
liberty to give the space it would occupy. To all such w'e ex-
tend our sincere thanks. Our relations with the Town Com-
mittee, who have charge of this work, have been pleasant all
through the vears we have been engaged in our labor, and
they have rendered us much valuable assistance. The work
involved in securing the originals of the portraits and illustra-
tions which appear in the history has been great, but we be-
lieve they add much to the value of the work. The half-tone
plates, from which the portraits and illustrations are printed,
are the work of the Howard-Wesson Company of Worcester.

\\> had hoped at one time that the History would have
been ready for the 150th Anniversary, but found that it would
be impossible to do so and do justice to the book. This His-
tory will therefore contain two Anniversary Celebrations, the
Centennial and the Sesqui-Centennial, with much other valu-
able material that could not have been included in the book
had it been published at that time.

LILLEY B. CASWELL.



REPORT OF THE TOWN COMMITTEE

The cclehraticjii (jf the Centennial Anniversary of the
Town of Royalstcjn with Hon. Alexander H. P>ullock — three
months later elected (lovernor of the Commonwealth — as
orator of the day was an occasion which inspired our citizens
with so much local pride and created such genuine historic
interest that there was an immediate poinilar demand for the
puhlication of a History of the Town.

Accordinti^ly. at a Town Meeting- called in- the following-
Septemher, a series of Resolutions were adopted covering
this matter, one of which was framed as follows: " Resolved,
that the history proposed should be compressed in an octavo
volume of from 150 to 200 pages bound in a neat and sul)-
stantial but not expensive binding, and that the copies printed
should not exceed 500."

The volume was hastily edited and promptly issued.

Hut if the good fathers of that period had taken time for
a more extended research in the held there opened up so
richly before them and had aifordcd more abundant space in
that volume for the mass of " varied and important matter "
which could not possibly be compressed into an " octavo of
200 pages " they would have won additional api)reciation
from a grateful ])osterity.

The need of a more complete and accurate Histor^• of
Royalston has for many years been recognized, and as one
after another of our older citizens whose memories were
stored with historic facts of value have passed awav. the
insistence for a new History of the Town became more
pronounced.

On Alarch 6, 1911, the Town voted "To raise and appro-
priate the sum of five hundred dollars for the purpose of
preparing and publishing a History of the Town of Rovalston.
Chose Dr. iM-ank W. Adams, Charles H. Brown, William H.
Leathe, Fred W. Cross and Colin AlacKenzie, Committee to
have charge of the work."

1 he work of compiling and writing the Histor}- was given
by the Committee to Air Lilley B. Caswell of Athol, whose
acquaintance with Royalston and her p-oi)le was intimate and



HISTORY OF ROYALSTON VII

who had already achieved a creditable success as Historian of
the Town of Athol. The writing of the Military History of
the ToAvn. however, was given to Hon. Fred W. Cross, whose
researches into the causes and events of the Civil War had
been a life work and whose interest in Military History in
general had been phenomenal.

On March 2, 1914. as the work seemed nearing completion,
the Town voted " To raise five hundred dollars toward print-
ing and binding the History of the Town of Royalston. and
that permission be hereby granted to any individual or group
of individuals to furnish the additional amount required for
the purpose, with the distinct understanding that any such
volunteer contributors shall be reimbursed from the proceeds
of the sales of the book."

There has been some delay in publishing the work, but
there is no legal process by which persons in possession of
valuable historic information can be made to resign it, and
we think, on the other hand, the reader will admit that the
history is richer because patience has been allowed to have
her perfect work.

FRANK W. ADAMS,
CHARLES H. BROWN,
WILLIAM H. LEATHE,
FRED W^ CROSS,
COLIN MACKENZIE,

Committee on History of Royalston.



TABLE OF CONTENTS



CHAPTER I.
Early Land Grants — Pierpont's Grant — Joseph Priest's
Grant — Hapgood's Grant — Royalston Leg — Area —
Proprietors — First Settlers. 1 — 7

CHAPTER IL
Naming the Town — Hon. Isaac Royall — Old Royall House —

Incorporation of the Town. 8 — 13

CHAPTER in.
Town Meetings — First Town Meeting — Early Town Meet-
ings — Roads — Day of Fasting and Prayer — First Town
House — New Town Hall — Dedication of Town Hall. 14 — 21

CHAPTER IV.
Town Government — Selectmen — Sketches of Charles H.
Brown — Luke B. Shepardson — Alfred W. Neal — As-
sessors — Sketches of Levens G. Forbes — Myron E.
Stockwell — Eugene G. Twntchell — Assessors' Reports
— Town Clerks — Town Treasurers — Overseers of the
Poor — Sketches of Charles A. Stimson — Colin Mac-
kenzie — Franklin A. Brown. 23 — 39

CHAPTER V.
Scenery of Royalston — Brooks of Royalston — Forbes Falls
— Doane's Falls — Old Elm — Minerals — Beryls — Beryl
Hill Mine — Wild Animals — Wolves and Bears — Last
Bear Hunt. 40 — 51

CHAPTER VI.

Churches of Royalston — First Congregational Church —
Sketches of Pastors — Meeting Houses — Parsonage —
The Church Bell — Statuette of the Angel Gabriel —
Baptist Church at West Royalston — Sketches of Bap-
tist Pastors — Baptist Meeting Houses — Baptist Church
at Royalston Centre — Free Donation Society. 52 — 74



HISTORY OF ROYALSTON IX

CHAPTER VII.

Political — Petition to the President of the United States —
Representatives — Delegates and Senators — Whigs —
Vote for Governor — Vote for President. 75 — 84

CHAPTER VIII.
Education — First School and School Master — School Dis-
tricts — Early School Committees — School Committees
from 1845 — Sketches of Nellie G. W. Farrar — Charles
E. Richardson — Eri S. Stew^art — High School Exhibi-
tion of 1852 — Teachers — School Superintendents —
College Graduates — Sketches of College Graduates —
Libraries — Trustees of Public Library — Post Office. 85 — 112

CHAPTER IX.
Medical Profession — The Doctors Bacheller — Sketches of
Doctors — The Legal Profession — Sketches of Law-
yers. 113 — 126

CHAPTER X.
Red Letter Days of Royalston History — Centennial Celebra-
tion — Rev. E. W. Bullard's Address of Welcome — Hon.
Alexander H. Bullock's Address — Great Whig Gather-
ing of 1840 — Dedication of Phinehas S. Newton Public
Library — Royalston's First Old Home Week — Old
Home Day of 1904 — Old Home Day of 1910 — Biennial
Reunion of School District No. 7 — One Hundred and
Fiftieth Anniversary — Sunday Services — Second Day
— Third Day — Parade — Dr. Frank W. Adams' Address
of Welcome — Addresses of Speakers at the Dinner —
Address of Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge. 127^ — 160

CHAPTER XL
Old Royalston Families — Metcalf Family — The Brown Fam-
ily — Bullock Family — P'rye Family — Bliss Family —
Woodbury — Walker — Ballou — Shepardson — Nichols — •
The Estabrooks — Gale Family — Bartlett — Dexter —
White Family — Charles W. Bowker Family — Richard-
son — Gregory — Goddard — Pierce — Perkins — Newton
— Cutler. 161 — 282



X HISTORY OF ROYALSTON

CHAPTER XII.
Old Royalston Families — The Peck Family — Gates — The
Wood Family — Holman — Raymond — Chase — Bragg —
Fisher — Davis — Morse — Leathe — Lyman Stone Family
Jacobs — Clement — Estey — Garfield — Shebna Paine
Family — Pratt Family — The Chamberlain Family — Al-
bion P. Mosman Family — The Blandings — The Greeley
Family — Geo. D. Bolton Family — Bemis Family — Tan-
dy Family — Bosworth Family — The Doane Family. 283 — 347

CHAPTER XIII.
Royalston's Writers of Poetry — Dr. Frank W. Adams' Epic
Poem — Nancy Priest — Rev. Albert Bryant — Mrs.
George Woodbury's Centennial Hymn — Sidney G. Bos-
worth's One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary Hymn
— Amanda Bemis Smith's Johnstown Flood Poem —
Dulcenia M. Russell — Peck's Poem on Universalism —
Wm. M. Leathe. 348—372

CHAPTER XIV.
Biographical — Col. George Whitney — William Fordyce Big-
elow — George Fletcher Miller — Herman M. Partridge
— J. Milton Partridge — Stephen H. Hejnvood — Cyrus
P. Reed — Wm. D. Ripley — Benjamin Ward Upham —
Caleb A. Cook — Rev. Ebenezer Cutler — Rev. Henry
Cummings- — Solon Bryant — George Edward Miller. 373 — 383

CHAPTER XV.
Sons of Royalston — Asahel Peck — James Ormond Wilson —
Hon. George Carter Richardson — Stephen Holman —
Lieut. - Colonel Charles Cummings — Thomas Norton
Hart — George Ellis Whitney — Frederic C. Nichols —
Leonard Nichols — Robert Winthrop Adams — Edwin
Augustus Fisher — Arthur A. Upham — John V. Hazen
— John B. Bowker — Jenner E. Morse. 384 — 400

CHAPTER XVI.
Royalston's Soldier Record — Our Soldier Stock — The Rev-
olution Period — Shay Insurrection — The War of 1812
— The Civil War — List and Records of Royalston Sol-
diers — Royalston Men Who Went from Other Towns
and States. 401 — 445



HISTORY OF KOY ALSTON XI

CHAPTER XVII.
Mercantile and Industrial — Stores on Royalston Common —
Early Saw and Grist Mills — Royalston's Manufactures
— -Plans of Royalston — Population — Income Taxes. 446 — 453

CHAPTER XVIII.
Organizations — Masonic Fraternity — Royalston Grange,

No. 195. 454—456

CHAPTER XIX.
Cemeteries — Grave Yard Under the Hill — Early Grave

Yards — -New Cemetery — Epidemics. 457 — 459

CHAPTER XX.
Old Taverns — Stage Coaches. 460 — 462

CHAPTER XXI.
Old Customs and Practices — Warning Out — Tithing Men —
Pounds — Perambulation of Town Bounds — Sealer of
Weights and Measures. 463 — 466

CHAPTER XXII.
South Royalston — Desci'iptive and Industrial. 467 — 471

CHAPTER XXIII.
Churches of South Royalston — Second Congregational

Church — Methodist Church — Catholic Church. 472 — 480

CHAPTER XXIV.
Sons of South Royalston — William Clark Peckham — Ches-
ter Twitchell Stockwell — Hon. Fred Wilder Cross —
Frederick Lysander Drury — Geoffrey B. Lehy — -Rev.
John F. Lehy — V/illiam H. Bullard — J. Herbert King — -
Fred D. Weeks. 481—491

CHAPTER XXV.
Biographical — Edward A. Carpenter — Everard B. Hanson
— Ruel Roby Safford — Jesse Edgar Bodett — Nahum
Longley — Josephus T. Day — Jonas M. Turner — John
King — Silas Hale — Elisha F. Brown — Nathaniel G.
Beckwith. 492—502



XII



TIISTORV OF KOYAL.STON



CHAPTER XXVI.
South Royaiston Brass Band— South Royalston Forty-Nin-
ers— Silas Hale's Famous Green Mountain Morgan-
South Royalston Grange— South Royalston Post Office
—South Royalston Hotel— South Royalston School As-

. ,. ' 503—512

sociation.

CHAPTER XXVII.
Cemeteries — Memorial Tablets — The Cross Memorial —

The Lehy Memorial. 513—518

CHAPTER XXVIII.
South Royalston Families— Salmon S. Farrar Family— Caleb
W. Day Family — Timothy Lewis Family — Luther
Harrington Family— The Hale Family— Rich Family—
The Bacheller Families— The Silas W. Bachellor Fam-
ily The Sherwin Family — Addison Sherwin Family —

Melancthon Sherwin Family — The Whitmore Families
—The Jones Family — Luther Bowker Family — Brasier
H. French Family — The Stockwells — The Wheeler
Families — Paul Wheeler Family — Russell Wheeler
Family — The Clark Family — Timothy Clark Family —
Charles Howe Brooks — Sylvender B. Forristall — Er-
nest F. Porter. 519 — 558

CHAPTER XXIX.
South Royalston Physicians and Fire Department — South

Royalston Physicians — Dr. J. B. Gould — Dr. Henry 0.
Adams — Dr. Walter H. Adams — The Fire Department
— Fire of 1892 — Fire of 1904. 559 — 562

CHAPTER XXX.
Royalston Hall of Fame. 560 — 566

APPENDIX
Historical Address at the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary by
Fred W. Cross — Sketch of Luther E. Stewart — Sketch of Mrs.
Mary (Pierce) Turner — Sketch of David P. Foster — Sketch of
Myron Walker Sherwood.

INDEX



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



Portraits



Adams, Robert Winthrop 394
Adams, Dr. Henry O. 498

Adams, Dr. Frank W. 117



B



114
211
211
211
422
422
422
235
427
374
195
496
246
437
360
308
306
306
306
27
173



Bacheller, Dr. Stephen J
Ballou, Almando
Ballou, Luther
Ballou, Mrs. Luther
Barrus, John W.
Barrus, Marshall
BaiTus, William J.
Bartlett, John N.
Barton, Willis H.
Bigelow, William F.
Bliss, Harrison
Bo'lette, Jesse Edgar
Bo.vker, Charles W.
Bowker, George W.
Bosworth, Sidney G.
Bragg, Everett B.
Bragg, Everett Eugene
Bragg, Dr. Francis A.
Bragg, Henry O.
Brooks, Charles H.
Brown, Col. Benjamin
Brown, Benjamin Hammond

175, 424
Brown, Charles H. 27

Brown, Edward A. 439

Brown, Franklin A. 38

Brown, Nancy (Wood) 176

Brown, William O. 439

Bryant, Rev. Albert 360

Bryant, Mrs. Almeda (Dexter)

240
Bullard, William H. 490

Bullock, Hon. Alexander H.

180
Bullock, Bamett 183

Bullock, Bamett Ellis 184

Bullock, Brigham Newton 184
Bullock, Calvin 184

Bullock, Charles S. 184

Bullock, James Frederick 184
Bullock, Hon. Rufus 178



Carpenter, Edward A. 492



Chase, Chauncy 300

Chase, Elizabeth Waite 108

Chase, Francis 300

Chase, George 300

Chase, John S. 432

Clark, Cortland A. 420

Cook, Caleb A. 379

Cross, Edward W. 431

Cross, Hon. Fred W. 484

Cutler, Major - General Lysan-

der 440

Clement, Wm. W. 332

D

Davis, Daniel 313

Day, Caleb W. 523

Day, David W. 432

Day, Josephus T. 498

Day, Nathan S. 428

Day, Uri C. 431
Deavitt, Caroline (Harrington)

529

Dexter, Bela 240

Dexter, Cynthia 238

Dexter, Ezenezer Wheeler 238

Dexter, Moses 240

Drury, Frederick Lysander 486



Fairbanks, Rev. Francis J. 59

Fallon, Martin 427

Farrar, Salmon S. 519

Fisher, Augustus J. 308

Fisher, Edwin A. 308

Forbes, Levens G. 38

P'rye, Benjamin 188

Frye, Mrs. Benjamin 188

Fry, Benjamin A. 434

Frye, Frank B. and Family 188

Fry, George E. 420

Fry, Capt. John 186



Gale, Harlow A. 229

Gale, Samuel C. 229

Garfield, Moses, Jr. 332

Goddard, Franklin H. 267

Greeley, Jonas 428

H

Hanson, Everard B. 496



XIV



HISTORY OF ROYALSrON



Harrington, Henry M. 529

Harrington, Dea. Luther 529
Harrington, Sarah (Nourse)

529
Hazen, Rev. Norman 59

Hunt, James N. 442



Jones, Dea. Aaron



548



Peck, Hamilton S. 285

Peck, Henry 288

Peck, Lyman 283

Peck, Lovina (Davis) 283

Peck, Sullivan 288

Pierce, George 269

Pierce, George E. 269

Pierce, Horace 267

Fierce, Milo H. 267

Priest, Nancy 355



King. Clarence E. 434

Knight, Henry E. 428

king, John 498



Leathe, William H. 321

Lee, Rev. Joseph 54

Lee, Mrs. Rachel (Dexter) 240

Lehy, Geoffrey B. 488

Lehy, Rev. John F. 489

Lewis, Enoch T. 527

Lewis, Timothy 525

Lewis, Mrs. Timothy 525

Longley, Nahum 496

Lord, Mrs. Delia (Pierce) 269

M

Mackenzie, Colin 38
Mackenzie, Mrs. Emeline

(White) 108

Mellen, Joel B. 444

Metcalf, Eliab Wight 166

Metcalf, Isaac Stevens 166

Metcalf, Jacob 166

Morandi, Sophia (Ballou) 211

Morgan, George W. 431

Moore, Henry C. 431

Moore, John S. 424

Morse, Russell 300

N

Neale, Alfred W. 514

Newton, Charles H. 278

Newton, Edward Elmer 278

Newton, Col. Elmer 277

Newton, Phinehas S. 278

Nichols, Frederic C. 394

Nichols, Joseph T. 224

Nichols, Mrs. Joseph T. 224

Nichols, Leonard 394

Norcross, Chauncy W. 428



Partridge, Harlan P. 442

Partridge, Herman M. 424

Peck, Benoni 286



Raymond, Alfred Dwight 297

Raymond, Alfred J. 298

Raymond, Joseph 296

Rich, B. Warren 534

Rich, Benjamin W. 534

Rich, Jeremiah A. 534

Rich, Jeremiah E. 534

Pichsrdson, Charles E. 96

Richardson, Stephen 332

Richmond, E. J. 514
Royal, Col. Isaac

Facing title page

Rugg, George N. 439



Safford, Roby R. 496

Shepardson, Rev. Daniel 219

Shepardson, Eri 221

Shepardson, John 434

Shepardson, Rev. John 221
Shepardson, Luke B. 27

Sherwin, George P. 498

Stewart, Alexander 432
Stewart, Luther E. 96

Smith, James B. 420
Smith, Mrs. Amanda (Bemis)

360
Stimson, Charles A. 38

Stone, Lvman and Family 322

Stockwell, Caleb N. 548

Stockwell, Edwin 548



Townsend, James 439

Turner, Dea. Jonas M. 548

Turner, Mrs. Mary (Pierce) 269



U

Upham, Benjamin W.
Upham, Charles M.



Vose, Edwin O.

W
Walker, Dea. Joseph
Wheeler, Ezra L.



379
424



422

59
434



HISTORY OF ROYALSTON



XV



Wheeler, Lyman S. 420

Wheeler, R. P. B. 444

Wheeler, Warren L. 432

White, Adriel C. 243, 442

White, Asaph M. 243, 437

White, Erastus 243

White, Philetus D. 243

White, Rollin N. 437

White, Stephen P. 437



White, Wellington 243, 444

Whitney, Colonel George 373

Whitney, George Ellis 394

Wood, George H. 427

Wood, Henry S. 444

Wood, John M. 442

Woodbury, George 59

Woodbury, Mrs. George 360



Buildings, Scenery, etc.



Old Bullock Mansion — Summer
Home of Donald M. Hill 1
Old Royall House and Slave
Quarters 9

Map of Original Grant of Roy-
alston 10

Town Hall Built in 1867 19

West Side of Common 19

Forbes Falls 43

Doanes Falls 44

Old Elm on Athol Road 45

First Congregational Church,
Royalston Centre 61

Second Congregational Church,
South Royalston 6 L

Baptist Church, West Royal-
ston 61
Statuett of the Angel Gabriel

63
Old Baptist Church, Royalston
Centre 73

Phinehas S. Newton Public Li-
brary 108
Isaac Metcalf House, Summer
Home of Miss Edith Metcalf
171



Old Metcalf House " Under the
Hill" 171

Old Tavern and Store Build-
ings
West Side of Common 447

Old Fire Engine 447

Amos Doane's Mill 449

Fitchburg Railroad Station,



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