Oliver N Bacon.

A history of Natick, from its first settlement in 1651 to the present time; with notices of the first white families, and also an account of the centennial celebration, Oct. 16, 1851, Rev. Mr. Hunt's address at the consecration of Dell Park cemetery, &c. .. (Volume 2) online

. (page 20 of 22)
Online LibraryOliver N BaconA history of Natick, from its first settlement in 1651 to the present time; with notices of the first white families, and also an account of the centennial celebration, Oct. 16, 1851, Rev. Mr. Hunt's address at the consecration of Dell Park cemetery, &c. .. (Volume 2) → online text (page 20 of 22)
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"The body, di-owned beneath the wave,
Was hurried to the insatiate grave ;
The soul, pure spark of heavenly flame,
Returned to God from whom it came,"




• But three instances of suicide are known as ever having taken
place in town.

George W. Titus, in the fall of 1838, shot himself, in a building
adjoining his house. He was an intemperate man, and the cause
of the commission of the deed was supposed to be partial insanity
brought on by using too much liquor.

In the summer of 1853, Samuel Bigford shot himself in his house.
He was also addicted to the habit of intemperance.

Mrs. Louisa Reed, was found suspended in an out-building of her
mother's residence, in June of 1854. She was undoubtedly insane.

The following persons have, at different times, been found in fields,
or on roads, dead : Dr. William Patterson, Jenny Fayer, Bulah
Ward, Purley Howe, William Muzzey, Jonas Loker, Josiah Drury.




In 1805 the house of Levi Sawin, which stood where Charles
Perry now lives, was destroyed by fire.

The next fire was in 1810. The house stood on the south side of
Charles River, above the village, and was owned by a woman named
Hannah Dexter, who was burned to death in the flames.

It is said that the house which stood where the large square house
just vacated by Hon. John Wells now stands was burned ; but from
that time, for thirty years, no fire occurred in town. In December,
1843, the brick house on Central street, owned by Richard Hayes,
was consumed by fire.

In August, 1843, a carpenter's shop, owned by Stephen Boulter,
was set on fire and demolished.

On the loth of September, 1846, the barn of Jedediah Washburn,
with the contents, including a valuable horse, was burned.

On the 19th of April, 1845, the dwelling house, shop and barn of
Amory Morse in " Little South," with their contents, were con-
sumed by fire. — Loss estimated at $8000.

On the 4th of December, 1854, a fire was discovered in Walcott
Block. It was finally subdued, but not until it had nearly consumed
a large portion of the central part of the building. — Damage esti-
mated at |5000.

In July, 1854, the house of Mr. Townsend, on Central street, was
consumed ; and in the same month of 1855 the block owned by
Horace T. Hildreth, was seriously damaged by fire.



Until 1847 we hear of no murder taking place in town ; since that
time four persons have fallen victims to the knife of the assassin. It
is difficult to account for this fact ; — it is useless to ascribe it to any
general depravation in morals, or any unusual disregard of the
sanctities of religion, for we see from all sources that nothing of this
kind has taken place.

A perusal of the past pages of this volume will, we think, prove
to all that there never has been so general a regard for each other's
rights of person and property as during the last thirty years. We
must then attribute it to providential and accidental circumstances,
that four persons, three of them foreigners, and not residents of the
town, should, within five years, be guilty of the crime of murder.

On the 1st of April, 1848, Mr. Josiah Childs, for a long time
resident in town, was found about half way between his own house
and Felchville, insensible, with his head badly bruised. He was
taken to his home and survived a few days, but died of the woimds
he had received. He was with his team, returning from Cochituate,
to which place he had moved the goods of two Irishmen, brothers of
the name of Riley. It was supposed that he was followed by them
in returning, and murdered for his money, a large amount of which
he had in his possession at the time. They were accordingly
arrested, but acquitted at the final trial, on account of deficiency of

On the night of September 17, 1852, the second and most dread-
ful of the tragedies occurred.

Orra Taylor and wife, with three children, lived in the " Little
South Village," so called. On the morning of the night alluded to,
the oldest two of the children went to the house of the nearest
neighbor, in their night dresses, and said their father and mother had
been murdered. On entering the house, Mr. Taylor, a man about
thirty years of age, was found lying dead, with five or six ghastly
wounds upon his head and other parts of his person, inflicted with an


axe, which was afterwards found in one of the apartments; Mrs.
Taylor was found in an adjoining room, still alive, with her head
almost cloven asunder, and an infant lying at her feet bathed in
blood. Thomas Casey, an Irishman about nineteen years of age,
who worked for Mr. Taylor, was suspected of the murder. He had
fled, but was found the next day in the woods in Framingham. He
was tried in Cambridge, found guilty of the murder, and executed.

At one o'clock Sunday morning, July, 1854, James Warren, a
resident of Natick, was stabbed in the Long Pond Hotel. It appears
that several persons were engaged in drinking and gambling, when
an altercation arose between Mr. Hilliard, the keeper of the house,
and Warren, during which the latter struck the former on the face,
whereupon Hilliard, drawing a dirk knife and following him into an-
other room, gave him two severe stabs, one in the abdomen, the other
in the right breast. Warren died in great agony about nine o'clock
Sunday morning. •

Hilliard is now in prison, awaiting his trial.



The following anecdotes relating to events in Natick are published
on authority of tradition :

While Eliot was engaged in translating the Bible into the Indian
language, he came to the following passage in Judges 5 : 28 : " The
mother of Sisera looked out at the window, and cried through the
lattice," &c. Not knowing an Indian word to signify lattice, he
applied to several of the natives, and endeavored to describe to them
what a lattice resembled. He described it as framework, netting,
wicker, or whatever occurred to him as illustrative, when they gave
him a long, barbarous and unpronounceable word, as arc most of the
words in that language. Some years afterwards when he had learned
their dialect more correctly, he is said to have laughed outright
upon finding that the Indians had given him the true term for eel-pot,
" The mother of Sisera looked out at the window, and cried through
the eel-pot."

One of these sons of the foresji is said to have discovered a more
appropriate emblem of the Trinity than even the triangle itself.
The missionary had been lecturing on the sublime and incomprehen-
sible mystery, when one of his red auditors, after a long and thought-
ful pause, thus addressed him : "I believe, Mr. Minister, I under-
stand you. The Trinity is just like water and ice and snow ; the
water is one, the ice is another, and the snoAV is another, and yet
they are all three water."

The following is handed down as a true copy of a warrant issued
by an Indian magistrate :

" You, you big constable, quick you catch um Jeremiah Oflfscow,
strong you hold um, safe you bring um afore me.

Thomas Waban, Justice Peace."


When Waban became superannuated, a younger magistrate was
appointed to succeed him. Cherishing that respect for age and long
experience, for which the Indians are remarkable, the new officer
waited on the old one for advice. Having stated a variety of cases
and received satisfactory answers, he at length proposed the follow-
ing: — " When Indians get drunk, and quarrel and fight and act like
divvil, what you do den ? " " Hah ! tie um all up, and whip um
plaintiff, whip um 'fendant, and whip um witness." Query — Can a
more equitable rule be adopted on a like occasion by any nation ?

In the course of Mr. Peabody's ministry there Avas a long and
severe drought, which induced him to offer public prayers for rain.
Among others he used the following petition : " May the bottles of
Heaven be unstopped and a plentiful supply of rain be poured down
on the thirsty earth." It very soon began to rain, and continued for
many days in succession. Before it ceased an Indian met Mr. P.
and observed, " I believe them are bottles you talked of be un-
stopped, and the stopples be lost."

Wit and humor have not been confined to the red natives of the
place, but some of the whites com.e in for their share. One, being
warned to do military duty, requested the Captain to excuse him.
His officer told him that he might state his case to the company, and
if they would vote in the affirmative he should be excused.

He accordingly made the following address : — " Fellow soldiers, I
am rather hard of hearing, and don't always understand the word
of command ; besides, at the age of sixteen, I was drafted to go into
the army, but my father went in my room and was killed, and never
got home. Now, if I had gone myself and got killed, I should have
got clear of military duty to all etarnity.

He was excused by acclamation.

llev. Mr. Badger was fond of wit and humor ; he could rehsh a
good-natured joke even at his own expense ; he had a trial of this
in the following manner : One Daniel Bacon, a horse doctor and
dealer in besoms and bean-poles, was invited by Mr. B. to visit his
horse, which appeared to be somewhat unwell. Bacon examined the
beast with close attention, and then gave it as his opinion that the
horse and the town of Natick were in a similar situation — both



needed a better pasture (pronounced pastor.') Another facetious
clergyman, knowing Bacon's character, had a mind to enter into con-
versation with him, and commenced bj asking, " Of what profession
are you ? " "A farmer," says Bacon : " and what are you ?" "A
cannon of the Gospel " was the reply. " A cannon I If you had
not told me, I should have thought you a hlunderhuss,^^ was the

Bacon took a journey to one of the towms in the vicinity of Boston
with a load of bean-poles for sale. Seeing a lawyer's office hard by,
he stepped in, pretending to want advice in a difficult case. The
squire telHng him he could have it for a dollar. Bacon observed, " I
wish very much to know where I can get five dollars for my bean-poles,
and if you will tell me I will give you two of them."



Beside Natick, there were within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts
fourteen praying towns.

The following is a table of them, with the communicants in each
church, and the English name of the towns :

Pemkapaog 1

lad 60 communicauts

— present name



" 60


present name is Grafton.


" 50

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 22

Online LibraryOliver N BaconA history of Natick, from its first settlement in 1651 to the present time; with notices of the first white families, and also an account of the centennial celebration, Oct. 16, 1851, Rev. Mr. Hunt's address at the consecration of Dell Park cemetery, &c. .. (Volume 2) → online text (page 20 of 22)