Orion T. (Orion Thomas) Mason.

The handbook of Medway history : a condensed history of the town of Medway, Massachusetts online

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1713. 1913.

The Handbook

.... OF ....
A Condensed History of

The Town of Medway, Massachusetts,


Our old town lies beneath the hill,
Its shady streets are wide and still,
Its river murmers past the mill
As years increase*
The church and school retain their place,
While on the whole a quiet grace
Rests like God's blessing; On the race,
In sweetest peace.

— Rev. J. O. Knowles.

G. M. Billings, Printer.


IA srs-M.



This little pamphlet in a humble way aims to fill a his-
torical want. Our town is this year two centuries old and its
history is worthy of record and preservation.

The compiler believes that the facts contained herein will
be of value and interest to anyone who has any association
whatever with Medway or Millis.

Every fact recorded is believed to be true.

I wish here to thank all friends who have in any way as-

Medway, April 1, 1913.



Salem first mentioned, Aug. 23, 1630.
Charlestown first mentioned, Aug. 23, 1630.
Boston first named, Sept. 7, 1630.
Dorchester first named, Sept. 7, 1630.
Watertown first named, Sept. 7, 1630.
Roxbury first mentioned, Sept. 28, 1630.
Medford first mentioned, Sept. 28, 1630.
Marblehead first mentioned, July 2, 1633.
Ipswich first named, Aug. 5, 1634.
Newbury first named, May 6, 1635.
Hingham first named, Sept. 2, 1635.
Weymouth first named, Sept. 2, 1635.
Concord first named, Sept. 3, 1635.
Dedham first named, Sept. 8, 1636.


1653, Nicholas Wood of Dorchester.
1653, Thomas Holbrook of Dorchester.
1653, Henry Leland of Dorchester.
1653, Hopestill Leland of Dorchester.

1657, Daniel Morse of Medfleld.

1658, John Hill of Dorchester.
1658, Thomas Breck of Dorchester.
1658, Benjamin Bullard of Dedham.
1658, George Fayerbanke of Dedham.
1660, Thomas Bass.

All of these, except Fayerbanke, settled on land now
Sherborn. The sites of the dwellings built by them can in
some instances be discerned at the present time. They all
sleep in the old burying ground at South Sherborn, near
Death's bridge, in unmarked graves, and their descendants
are scatteied all over our countrv.


1614. Charles River discovered by Capt. John Smith; first
called the Massachusetts River.

1628. March 19. Plymouth Council sealed a patent of that
part of New England between three miles south of
Charles River and three miles north of the Merrimac
from the Atlantic to the South Sea.

1629. Royal charter giving power of government passed the

1636. Dedham, Incorporated September 7th. Its territory
including all the lands along the easterly and souther-
ly banks of the Charles River.

1638. Extract from Dedham Records: "The 21st of ye
seventh month, Jno. Rogers, and Jno. Fayerbanke ap-
poynted to goe upon ye discovery of Charles River
with such men as shall be by ye courts appoynted call
them upon ye second day of ye next week."

1649. Dedham granted lands west of Charles River three
miles from east to west and four miles from north to
south. This was the old grant, so called, in Medway,
Its western line is just west of Christ Church in Med-

1651. Jan. 11. Medfield incorporated a town with jurisdic-
tion on west bank of the river.

1652. First highway laid out on west bank across broad

1653. Abraham Harding and Peter Adams have grants of
land in Grape Meadows.

"Great Bridge" across the river first mentioned in
Medfield Records.
1655. July 22. First white child born on the west bank of
the river. Mehitable, daughter of Nicholas Wood.

1658. Sergeant George Fayerbanke, son of Jonathan, of Ded-
ham, became the first settler (on land afterward in the
limits of Med way) at "The Farms."

Medfield voces to lay out uplands on the west side
of river.

The Palisade built on George Fayerbanke' land on
north side of Boggestowe Pond by settlers at "The
Farms," as a refuge from Indians.


1659. General Court grants to Medfield land in addition to
their former bounds on the west side of the river, two
miles east and west and four miles north and south.
(This embraced what is now West Med way, Metcalf
Station, the south part of Holliston, and the most of
Medway) and was called the New Grant.

John Fussell granted eight acres of upland, (now
Union street, Millis).

May 11. On same day, new grant made to Med-
field, and three Quakers, Stephenson, Dyer, and Hen-
derson, executed in Boston.

1660. At Medfield annual town meeting, Feb. 6th, ordered
that New Grant be divided among all the inhabitants in
Medfield that were proprietors.


1660. One of the twelve copies of the Law Books allotted
to Medfield, placed with George Fayerbanke for the use
of the inhabitants on that side of the river.

April 20th. Ordered that highways be laid out in
New Grant. (Vine Lane, Evergreen, Mechanics and
Oak streets constituted one of these highways.)

1661. Ralph Wheelock, founder of Medfield, was the first
man to draw by lot, land in the New Grant, 156 acres.
(Taking in part of the Village.)

Dwight's Causeway made a town road. (Now
Dwight street in Millis.)

Medfield grants Robert Hinsdell 46 acres of land
on Boggestowe brook in exchange for a bell.

1662. Joseph Daniel second white settler. (On farm now
owned by Louis LaCroix of Millis.)

1665. First wedding on the west bank. (Joseph Daniel and
Mary Fayerbanke, daughter of Sergeant George Fayer-

Committee chosen by the town to consider the
complaint of George Fayerbanke and view the cartway
across Boggestowe Brooke at ye mill.

1669. Committee chosen by Medfield to join with one from
Mendon "for the settling of the Common Rode way
from town to town." (Afterward the old Hartford Post

Hinsdell sells his mill to Peter Woodward.

1670. Highway from Great Bridge to Mendon laid out.

1672. Boston and New York post established through Hart-
ford, via Dedham, Medfield and Mendon.

Medfield paid 21£ 4s to John Aw ash nog, a Natick
Indian, in settlement of his claim to land in the New

1674. George Fayerbanke was a principal citizen in the new
town of Sherborn from this date until 1681, holding
town office several years. Medfield afterward protest-
ed and collected taxes from his estate.


1675. Sixty persons in Medfield and the Farms subscribe to
the new Brick College. (Harvard).

Out of fourteen families - at Boggestowe Farms,
seven live within the limits of original Medway.
George Fayerbanke, George Fayerbanke, Jr., Joseph
Daniel, Jonathan Adams, Peter Calley, John Fussell
and William Allen. (Thirty souls.)

Mill in Boggestowe destroyed by Indians.

1676. Medfield surprised at daybreak, Feb. 21st, by Indians
under King Philip. Nearly half the houses and barns
on the east side of the river burned. Seventeen per-
sons killed. Savages retire across Great Bridge, which
they burn, and hold a feast on what is now the Moses
Adams farm in Millis. The spot is marked by a group
of Tupello trees which have been called the King Philip
tiees for over two hundred years.


John Fussell, nearly one hundred years old, burned
by the Indians in Jonathan Adams' house. All the
rest of the dwellers at the farms were in George Fayer-
banke's palisade.

Jonathan Wood killed by Indians at Deaths bridge.
His brother Eleazer struck down by a tomahawk,
scalped and left for death, but afterwards recovered.


1676. Five dwellings burned by the Indians on the west side
of the river. (Those of George Fayerbanke, Jr., Joseph
Daniel, William Allen, Jonathan Adams and Peter

Feb. 22. Indians make an attack on the palisades
at the farms, but are repulsed and retire to the south-

Feb. 22. Fayerbanke palisade sheltered six fam-
ilies from Sherborn side, numbering 38 souls, and six
families from Medway side, 30 souls.

May 6th. Another Indian attack on the palisades,
burning arrows shot over and a cart loaded with burn-
ing flax rolled down the hill in an attempt to fne the
place. For a second time the Indians are repulsed and
beaten off.

July 2nd. A band of Indians found near the
farms. With help from Medfield town, they are driven
away and the war was ended in this locality.

Abraham Harding completed the first frame house
on this side of the river.

1677. Josiah and John Rockwood build. (On land near Oak

Grove Farm in Millis.)

1678. John Richardson becomes a citizen on the west side of
the river. (On the farm now occupied by E. F. Rich-
ardson, a lineal descendant )

1680. Peter Adams and Samuel Daniel remove to the Farms.

1681. Vincent Shuttleworth settled near the Joseph Daniel
place. He was afterward fined 4£ for deserting from
the impress to fight Indians and was the first town pau-

John Partridge, John Adams and John Clark move
across the river and become settlers.

Medfield votes to give fifty acres of land to anyone
who would build a grist mill on the river. This mill
was built where the Rockville Felt Mill now stands.

1682. George Fayerbanke, Sr., the first settler, drowned
while crossing the river.


1685. Colony of Massachusetts Bay agrees to pay half the
expense of building Great Bridge, "as it is a County

Gamaliel Hinsdale was appointed to prosecute John
Sunchamang, an Indian, suspected of firing the mill.
(At Rockville )

1686. The Great Bridge, burned by the Indians ten years
previous, this year rebuilt.

Granted Joseph Daniel the stream of Boggestowe
Brook if he would maintain a grist mill.

1688. Jonathan Adams, second, a settler on the west bank.

John Pond built on the south bank of the river on
Wrentham land. (This house, now standing and owned
by Monroe Morse, is the oldest house in Medway.)

1691. Oct. 7. Union of Massachusetts and Plymouth Colo-
nies by Uoyal Charter.

1692. May 14. Sir Win. Phips arrives in Boston with new

1693. Samuel Hill, Joseph Daniel, 2nd, and Jonathan Fisher
become settlers.

George Fayerbanke and Joseph Daniel two of the
selectmen of Medfield.

1695. Joseph Daniel a selectman of Medfield.

1698. Medfield raises 12£ 10s to be expended for schooling,
"50 shillings on the West Bank of the river."

1699. B£ raised for schooling on the West Bank and Ser-
geant Joseph Daniel chosen to take care of same.

1700. "Payed unto Peter Adams for his wife's keeping
School on that side of the river, it being the full of his
due, 2£ 9s lid." And Mrs. Adams was Med way's first
school teacher.

1702. Black Swamp laid out in one hundred and twenty-three
lots and given to Medfield owners. Twenty six allotted
to settlers on the West Bank.

1704. Voted school to be kept on both sides of the river, pro-



portionately to the charges of the inhabitants on either
1705. Medfield votes to build a new Meeting House. "The
inhabitants on the West Side of the river shall have
half their pay toward building refunded if they build a
Meeting House on that side within twenty years."

George Fayerbanke and Joseph Daniel are appointed
and act on this committee in charge of building the
new Meeting House.

1710. Edward Clark moves from Medfield and builds the Clark
Homestead, now standing in Millis, the oldest in town.

Timothy Clark, brother of Edward, starts a tavern
on the old Hartford Road. (Now the Dr. Emerson
place, so called, in Medway )

1711. Timothy Clark, Constable to collect taxes on this side
of the river.

Nathaniel Whiting comes from Wrentham and builds
a grist mill and dwelling at the falls on the river. (The
site now occupied by the Sanford Mills. This property
remained in the possession of his descendants until



173 2. July 12. The dwellers on the west bank of the river
petition the General Court for a division.

1713. The General Court recommends that Medfleld build an-
other meeting house on the west bank of the river
but on March 9th the town petitions declaring "their
inability to do so."

A committee sent out from Boston reports to the
Court in favor of a division of Medfleld.

George Fairbanks empowered by the General Court
to notify and summon voters for the first town meet-

October 25th a bill was passed by the General Court
for the incorporation of the Town of Med way (in the
12th year of the reign of Queen Anne). Honorable Jo-
seph Dudley, Provincial Governor of Massachusetts Bay.

Nov. 23. First town meeting held at home of Peter
Adams. John Rocket chosen town clerk. John Rocket,
Sergeant Samuel Partridge, Jonathan Adams, Jr., Ser-
geant Jonathan Adams, Edward Clark, Selectmen.

1714. Med way's proportion of the Province tax, 52£ 14s.

First Meeting House built on Bare Hill.

First death recorded in Town Book, Sarah Rocket.


1714. 22£ 9s 4d received from Medfield to help build the
Meeting House.

June 3. First birth recorded in Town Book, that
of Samuel Richardson.

First public worship in the town October 7th at the
house of Peter Adams, whose drum called the people to

Burial place laid out on Bare Hill. (Now the older
part of the Millis cemetery.)

First Church of Christ organized.


1715. Rev. David Demming called as Minister, with a yearly
salary of 52£.

Rev. David Demming granted 60£ yearly by the
town Sept. 12, and the same day he accepted

Stony Plain Road laid out June 4th.

Joseph Daniel, second settler, died, aged eighty.

Granted to Rev. David Demming 28 acres south-
ward of ye Meeting House. (Now owned by Charles La
Croix in Millis.)

Proprietors of undivided land in Medfield and Med-
way hold a joint meeting.

1716. Sarah and Abigail Allion first twins born in the

Sarah Adams drowned in a spring near her fath-
er's house April 1.

1717. Rev. David Demming acknowledges his gratification
and ministerial salary in the Town Book.


1717. May 13. 4£ voted for building a pound and keeping
a school.

1718. Voted 2£ for a school.

1719. Voted to put in a casement not to exceed four feet of
glass in Meeting House.

Voted the minister's pew to be next the pulpit.

1720. Highway laid out from "Bouggusty Neck to ye brook
commonly known as Charles Brook."

1721. First tea set brought into town by Timothy Clark,
Tavern Keeper. (The sugar bowl is still in the posses-
sion of a descendant.)

1722. Rev. David Demming dismissed from the pastorate of
the First Church at his request.

May 14. Town loans rated at "12 pence on ye
pound." No person to borrow above 20£ nor under
10£ and one Bonus man be required."

1723. Dea. Peter Adams died Dec. 8th.

1724. Rev. Nathan Bucknam of Boston called to First

Dec. 23 Rev. Nathan Bucknam ordained and in-
stalled at twenty-one years of age.

3£ 10s voted to make glass windows in the Meet-
ing House.

1725. Fence Viewers first chosen.

1726. On Nov. 30th the town committee perambulated the
bounds with a Holliston committee "until the later not
being fully satisfied broke off."

First Noon House built by Lieut. Bullard and Sergt.
Hill near the Meeting House.

Jonathan Adams first representative to the Gene-
ral Court.

The northern part of the New Grant called Mucks-
quit in the town record.
1728. March 4. All town bills paid and 1£ Is 9d in the


1730. Town fined 16£ lis 7d for not sending a representa-

Voted "to buy a burying cloth *yt is deacent for ye

Jonathan Adams representative.

About this date Bears ceased to be troublesome
around Winthrop Pond.

1731. Proposed to have Meeting House in the "Senter" of
the town. Negatived.

Voted to sing Psalms the old way. Jonathan Par-
tridge chosen to lead.

1732. Feb. 9. Selectmen warned Mary Burnit out of town
before Feb. 13th.

Voted 30s to Doctor Jairo for "nsicking Hezikiah

1733. Potatoes began to be planted in Massachusetts.

Voted to choose three assessors to make the rates.
Paid John Richardson for sweeping the Meeting
House 1 year, 16s.

Voted swine shall go at large.

1733. On March 5, Rev. Mr. Bucknam came into open town
meeting and declared that his salary was not sufficient
for his support, whereupon the town voted him 20£

1734. Selectmen procure a book at the town's expense to re-
cord births and marriages in.

Town Pound built by Michael Metcalf for 7£

1735. Edward Clark representative.

"Paid Mr. Salter of Boston for one hundred weight of
bullets, for one half bbi. of powder and one hundred
flints 15£ 15s."

Several families living near Long Walk brook in
Wrentham set off to Medway.

1736. First Covenant signed by members of the First Church.

Rev. Nathan Bucknam sold his Negro Boy London
to Jasper Adams for 140£.


1737. First schoolhouse built.

Town paid Seth Harding for "killing a 'wild catt'

Eight voters request to be set off from the New
Giant to Holliston, "negatived."

Samuel Metcalf, representative.

Mar. 7. Voted to build three schoolhouses, one at
the East part, one in the New Grant, and one at u ye
Bent of ye river."

May 16. Town refused to grant any money for
building schoolhouses.

17 88. Jeremiah Adams, representative.

Lieutenant Daniel Richardson and Deacon John
Barber first jurymen drawn from Med way.

1739. Edward ("lark, representative.

London and Sambo, negroes baptized by Mr. Buck-

Town joins with Wrentham in building a bridge
over Charles River at "The falls." (The site of the
Franklin Bridge in Medway.)

1740. First persons bound out by the town. Elizabeth and
Mercy Vickors bound out to Hugh Brown.

Edward Clark first town treasurer.

1741. Church refused to allow baptism of a negro child until
of age.

Jeremiah Adams, representative.

Town paid 48s to Samuel Daniel for "boarding ye
School Mrs. and for house room to keep ye school."

Stephen, slave of Lieut.Timothy Clark, and Charles,
slave of Capt. Nathaniel Whiting, baptized by Rev. Na-
than Bucknam.

1742. Town paid almost 20£ this year for bounties on squir-
rels and blackbirds killed.

1743. Oct. 13. "Thanksgiving Day for ye Kings victory ."

1744. Town pays 45£ 5s to find out the exact centre of its

Town meeting called to order and moderator chosen


in the open air on the exact geographical centre of the
town. Then adjourned to the Meeting House on Bare
Hill and voted not to build a new meeting house in the
centre of the town.

1745. Captain Nathaniel Whiting impressed sixty-five men
this year for service in the French and English war.

45£ expended this year for maintaining five schools.
July 18. Thanksgiving day for victory at Cape

1746. Upon the incorporation of the west precinct in Wren-
tham, six families set off from Medway to Wrentham
where they originally belonged.

30£ old tenor paid to "New Grant Neibors" for four
months' preaching in the winter time.

Esquire Edward Clark died, aged 67.

Paid Uriah Morse for entertainiagthe Selectmen 1£

1747. Town votes not to maintain two ministers, one at the
east and one in the New Grant.

Benjamin Gould killed by a tree in Black Swamp,
Jan. 14.

1748. Seven storms in February and enormous drifts.

Captain Nathaniel Whiting and forty- eight other in-
habitants of the New Grant petition the General Court
for a new precinct.

Paid l£ to John Carpenter for "marching soldiers."
West precinct established by the General Court.

1749. Voted "an equal or suitable quantity of Cyder Rum
and Beer and a baiting furnished to the men engaged
in raising the new meeting-house at first Precinct."

Separation of town and church in town records.

First Meeting House burned Jan. L8.

First precinct organized Feb. 3rd.

Second meeting house built on Bare Hill and occu-
pied first time May 21st.

First meeting house built in west precinct, site op-
posite Winthrop St.

25£ voted for a military company in the New Grant-


1750. "Chicking Brook" first mentioned in Town Book.

Town stocks built.

Second Church organized, covenant signed by thir-
ty-four persons.

Second burying place laid out. (Now the old part
of Evergreen Cemetery, West Medway.)

1751. Mendon Association of ministers formed.

First town meeting held at the west precinct May
15 th.

1752. Rev. David Thurston of Wrentham ordained as minis-
ter of the Second precinct Church June 23.

1753. Captain Nathaniel Whiting and John Pond chosen
ruling elders of the west precinct Church.

Hope Lovell accepted by the town as constable
"notwithstanding his being removed out of the town

1753-4. Year of the great mortality in Sherborn and Hollis-
ton ; 53 persons died in Holliston in two months, 41 in
22 days. Medway apparently exempt.

1754. Jonathan Adams, Jr., gave the town 1£ 4s and it was
accepted and put in the town treasury.

Mr. Eleazer Adams, a Baptist, fined for non-payment
of Ministerial rates. On his refusal to pay the fines, he
was carried to Boston and imprisoned.

Sixty men from the town did duty in the French
and English war.

1755. "Dear Reives" John Carpenter and Moses Thompson.

1756. Forty -two men did duty as Provincial soldiers.

1757. The French family of Neutrals assigned to the town,
cost 9£ 18s 2d this year.

1758. Jonathan Adams, representative.

Ninety-four men served in the war against the
French this year.

One hundred weight of beef bought for the French

1759. Fifty men on the war pay roll.


1759. Seventeen Med way men in Fort Cumberland, Nova
Scotia, in Captain Adams' company.

1760. Elisha Adams, representative. Also '63 and '65.

Voted to allow four pence an hour to a man that
labors on the roads.

Voted to build a house for the poir, eighteen feet
square, without chimney room. 10£ voted.

Aug. 20. The General Court assigns a family of
French Neutrals to this town. James Oaiiro, his wife
Lucy, Nistazza, the daughter, and Barzilla, the son.

On Nov. 24th Lieutenant Theophilus Clark, aged
forty-four, and his sou, Jothara, aged seventeen, having
been engaged in the defence of their country, on the
way from the camp to their friends, they died.

1761. Town votes to appropriate the 10£ voted the year
previous for a house for the poor for schools.

1762. Sambo, a negro man, late of VVrentham, warned out of

1763. Elisha Adams, representative.

Voted to sell the law books now in the treasury
for the most they will fetch.

The Stamp Act passed by the English Parliament.

1764. 30£ spent for schools.

1765. First Town Census. Houses 123, females 388, males
380, negroes 17. Total 785.

Elisha Adams representative to General Court and
this year the town votes instructions for his conduct,
ordering him to work against the Stamp Act.

1766. Jonathan Adams, representative. Also '67.

A committee of three chosen to seat the meeting

1767. Jonathan Adams, representative.

1768. Elisha Adams, representative.

Ishmael and Hannah Coffee, negroes, have sixteen
children born to them between this date and 179 3.

Town votes to accept from Widow Mary Adams
"her negro and other articles."


1768. Town concurs with town of Boston by vote "to
lessen the use of superfluities imported from afar."

1769. Jonathan Adams, representative.

Reverend David Thurston granted dismissal from
church in second precinct.

Special seats built in meeting house of First
Church for negroes.

Caesar Hunt, a slave, buys his freedom of Joseph
Lowell for 13£ 6s 8d.

1770. Town votes unanimously to forego the purchase or use
of tea.

Negroes, Mulattoes and Indians prohibited sitting
or standing in any of alleys or stairs of the meeting

Coffee begun to be used.

Voted to forego the purchase of any goods that are
imported from Great Britain.

First auditing of accounts of the town officers.

1771. Town paid 2s to Simeon Fisher "for rum for workmen
in the water at the bridge/'

1772. Aug. 16. "Dyed. Seth Barber, aged some minnets."
Town records.

Bounty of Is offered for each crow killed in town.

1773. Committee of Correspondence chosen by the town.

Rev. David Sanford of New Milford, Connecticut,
installed minister over church in west precinct,
April 14.

Town votes that any head of a family buying or
using tea will be viewed as an enemy of the country.

1774. Daniel Adams first Medway boy to graduate from

Town adds 100 lbs. of powder, 200 lbs. of bullets
and 200 flints to its stock of ammunition.
Two iron field pieces bought by town.

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Online LibraryOrion T. (Orion Thomas) MasonThe handbook of Medway history : a condensed history of the town of Medway, Massachusetts → online text (page 1 of 6)