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Samuel A. (Samuel Abbott) Green.

An historical sketch of Groton, Massachusetts. 1655-1890 online

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his tuition, including among them the brothers James
Freeman Dana and Samuel Luther Dana, who were
grandsons of the Eeverend Samuel Dana, a former
minister of the town, and graduates of Harvard Col-
lege in the class of 1813. He was frequently called
in consultation by other physicians, and often at a
long distance from home. In those days there were
no railroads, and traveling was attended with many
diflSculties. During the winter, when the roads were
blocked up wnth snow, he was obliged, sometimes, to
travel on snow-shoes; and, as his patients lived many
miles apart, he was often absent from home for sever-
al successive days. To add to his discomfort on such
occasions it was difficult to obtain proper food, though
there were at that period but few dwellings where he
could not obtain some New England rum or other
spirit to help restore exhausted nature. In the year
1811 bis Abna Mater conferred upon him the honor-
ary degree of M.D.

On July 12, 1848, while walking down State Street,



GROTON. 103

in Boston, he stepped from the sidewalk, in order to
cross the way, when a wagon, coming along rapidly,
knocked him down, and injured him so severely that
he died in the course of a few hours.

Dr. Mansfield and Dr. Bancroft were the last phy-
sicians of the town, who, while visiting patients, used to
ride on horseback with saddle-bags, although they
also drove much in sulkies. In early days, owing to
bad roads, physicians on their professional rounds
were in the habit of riding, and it was near the be-
ginning of the present century, in this neighborhood,
that the sulky, or covered gig, came into fashion
among them. At the present time the four-wheeled
buggy solely is used by physicians.

Dr. Joshua Green was a son of Joshua and Mary
(Mosley) Green, and born at Wendell, on October 8,
1797. He attended school at the academies in New
Salem, Westfield and Milton, and graduated at Har-
vard College in the class of 1818. He studied medi-
cine in the office of Dr. John Collins Warren, of Bos-
ton, and took the degree of M.D. at the Harvard
Medical School in the year 1821. Soon after taking
this degree he was appointed apothecary at the
Massachusetts General Hospital, then just opened
for the reception of patients, where he remained for
one year. At that time the apothecary, in addition
to his own duties, performed those of the house-
physician and the house-surgeon. In March, 1823,
Dr. Green began to practice his profession at Sunder-
land, and on January 5, 1824, was married to Eliza,
daughter of Major Samuel and Susanna (Parker)
Lawrence, of Groton. His wife was born on March



104 GROTOX.

13, 1796, and died on August 20, 1874. During a
winter of his college course he taught a district school
at Groton, now known as the Moors School, and
boarded in the family of Major Lawrence, who lived
on Farmers' Eow.

In the spring of 1825 Dr. Green removed to Gro-
ton, where he continued the practice of medicine, but
after about ten years, owing to ill health, he gradually
gave up his profession. In the year 1832 a pulmon-
ary hemorrhage compelled him to pass a winter in
the island of Cuba, where to a fair degree he regained
his health. He joined the Massachusetts Medical
Society in 1826, and for many years was one of its
councillors. He represented the town in the Legis-
lature during the years 1836 and 1837, and was one
of the trustees of Lawrence Academy from 1831 to
1867, and during most of this time either the secre-
tary or the president of the board. On the seventy-
fourth anniversary of his birth (October 8, 1871) he
had a paralytic stroke, from the effects of which he
never fully recovered. After the death of his wife he
went to live with his only daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth
Lawrence (Green — Kendall) Swan, at Morristown,
New Jersey, where he died on June 5, 1875.

Dr. Micah Eldredge was a son of Hezekiah and
Abigail (Whiton) Eldredge, and born at Ashford,
Connecticut, on May 24, 1776. He studied medicine
with an elder brother, Dr. Hezekiah Eldredge, and
in 1798 began the practice of his profession at
Dunstable, where he resided for many years, living
first on one side of the State line and then on the
other. On October 1, 1797, Dr. Eldredge was married



GROTON. 105

to Sally, daughter of Tilly and Abigail (Hale) But-
trick, of Princeton. In 1826 lie removed to Groton,
where he remained for two years, when he established
himself at Dunstable, New Hampshire, (now Nashua).
The honorary degree of M.D. was conferred upon him
by Dartmouth College in 1841. He died at Milford,
New Hampshire, on July 2, 1849, and was buried in
the Hollis Street Cemetery at Nashua.

Dr. Jacob Williams was a son of Jacob and Han-
nah (Sheple) Williams, and bora at Groton on July
16, 1789. About the year 1816 he was practicing med-
icine at the Gilmanton Iron Works, New Hampshire,
and in June, 1822, he was married to Irene Locke, of
Epsom. In the year 1828 he returned to his native
town and established himself as a physician ; and
while here his wife died on March 11, 1831. During
the next year he was married, secondly, to Betsey
Wakefield, of Kennebunk, Maine. He remained at
Groton until the year 1835, when he removed to Ken-
sington, New Hampshire, where he died on July 7,
1857.

Dr. James Wilson was a son of the Honorable Abiel
and Abigail (Putnam) Wilson, and born at Wilton,
N. H., Decejjiber 4, 1796, on the farm where his great-
grandfather, Jacob Putnam, began a settlement in the
year 1739. He studied medicine under the tuition of
Dr. John Wallace, of Milford, New Hampshire, and
graduated at the Dartmouth Medical School in the
class of 1821. He was practicing his profession at
Boston in the early part of 1825, as his name appears
in the directory of that year, and he removed to Gro-
ton near the beginning of 1828. He was married, in



106 GKOTON.

February of that year, to Elizabeth P. Wilson, of Bos-
ton, a daughter of the city crier; and he came here
under the patronage of Dr. Amos Bancroft, who de-
sired some respite from a large practice, and acted
as his sponsor in the community. After living at
Groton during two years he returned to Boston and
passed a brief period, and then removed to New
York, where he remained for a short time. Soon af-
terward he went to Cuba, where he spent the remain-
der of his days, and died in Matanzas on November
23, 1868.

Dr. George Stearns was the youngest child of Eph-
raim and Molly (Gilman) Stearns, and born at Wal-
pole, New Hampshire, on May 10, 1802. He gradu-
ated at the Harvard Medical School in the class of
1827, and began the practice of his profession in Bos-
ton, where he remained about three years, when he
settled at Groton. He was married, on July 2, 1868,
to Mrs. Ann (Moulton) Gilson, widow of Joshua Gil-
son, of Groton. Dr. Stearns was the last survivor of
thirteen children, and died on March 7, 1882, at which
time he was the oldest physician in the town.

Dr. Amos Farnsworth was a son of Major Amos and
Elizabeth (Rockwood) Farnsworth, and born at Gro-
ton on August 30, 1788. He studied his profession
with Dr. Calvin Thomas, of Tyngsborough, and with
Dr. John Collins Warren, of Boston, but before his
graduation he was commissioned as surgeon's mate in
the Fourth Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, on
April 14, 1812, just before war was declared by the
United States with Great Britain ; and two months
later, on June 15th, his regiment left South Boston for



GROTON. 107

Burlington, Vermont, for service on the frontier. He
remained with the Fourth Infantry during thirteen
months, when he resigned his commission on May 14,
1813. During the following summer he graduated at
the Harvard Medical School, and began the practice
of his profession in Boston, where he remained until
the year 1832, when he removed to his native town.
On March 21, 1823, Dr. Farnsworth was married to
Mrs. Mary (Bourne) Webber, widow of Captain Seth
Webber, of Bos^.on. He died in Roxbury on July 31,
1861, and his wife in Boston, on October 27, 1828,
aged thirty-seven years.

Dr. Amos Bigelow Bancroft was a son of Dr. Amos
and Sarah (Bass) Bancroft, and born at Groton on
April 3, 1811. He graduated at Harvard College in
the class of 1831, and at the Harvard Medical School
in 1834. He began the practice of his profession at
Groton in connection with his father ; and on June
11, 1840, was married to Marietta, daughter of Nathan
and India (Emerson) Shepley, of Pepperell. Dr. Ban-
croft remained in town until the spring of 1853, when
he removed to Charlestown, where for more than ten
years he was physician to the State Prison. Under
the administration of Gen. Grant he was appointed
superintendent and surgeon in charge of the Marine
Hospital at Chelsea, which position he held from Au-
gust 1, 1869, to June 30, 1877, when he took up his
residence in Boston. While traveling abroad with
his family he died in Florence, Italy, on November
8, 1879, much lamented by a wide circle of friends
and patients at home, — leaving a widow and two
daughters to mourn his loss.



108 GROTOX.

Dr. Abel Hervey Wilder was a native of Winchen-
don. where he was born on June 16, 1801. He was a
son of Levi and Grace (Wilder) Divoll ; but by an
Act of the Legislature on February 7, 1812, his name
was changed from Hervey Divoll to Abel Hervey
Wilder, keeping the surname of his mother. He
graduated at the Dartmouth Medical School in the
class of 1828, and began to practice his profession at
Temple, New Hampshire. On February 29, 1828, he
was married at New Ipswich, New Hampshire, to
Mary, daughter of Ephraim and Elizabeth (Bent)
Brown, a native of Lincoln.

Dr. Wilder subsequently removed to Pepperell, and
in the year 1836 came to Groton, where he had the
management of an institution for the treatment of
nervous diseases. He continued to live here until
the death of his wife, which took place on February
12, 1843, when he removed to Pittsfield. After leav-
ing Groton he was married for the second time ; and
after a residence in different parts of the country, he
died at Bloomtield, New Jersey, on January 2, 1864.

Dr. James Merrill Cummings was a son of Jacob
Abbot and Elizabeth (Merrill) Cummings, and born
in Boston on July 27, 1810. He graduated at Bow-
doin College in the class of 1830, and at the Bowdoin
Medical School in 1834. On November 4, 1835, he
was married to Sarah Thurston Phillips, daughter of
Joel and Sarah Phillips (Thurston) Hall, of Portland,
Maine. In the spring of 1842 Dr. Cummings came
to Groton and bought out the establishment of Dr.
Wilder, which he conducted for four years; and in
the spring of 1846 he removed to Salem, where he re-



GROTOX. 109

mained for four years, when he settled in Portland,
where he died on July 20, 1883. His widow died on
January 29, 1890, at the advanced age of eighty-five
years.

Dr. Rufus Shackford, a son of Captain Samuel and
Hannah (Currier) Shackford, was born at Chester,
New Hampshire, on December 17, 1816 ; studied
medicine under the tuition of Dr. Cummings, and
graduated at the Harvard Medical School in the class
of 1845. He pracjticed for a brief period at Groton in
the office of his preceptor, after which he lived in
Lowell for a short time, when he removed to Port-
land, Maine, where he is now in practice.

Dr. Norman Smith was a son of Jesse and Nabby
(Kittredge) Smith, and born at Mount Vernon, New
Hampshire, on October 13, 1811. He graduated at
the Vermont Medical College, Woodstock, in the
class of 1843, and began to practice medicine at Gro-
ton, where he passed his whole professional life, with
the exception of four years spent in Nashua, New
Hampshire. In April, 1861, at the outbreak of the
Rebellion, he went out as surgeon of the Sixth Massa-
chusetts Militia Regiment, and was with that famous
organization^on its march through Baltimore and
during its first campaign of three months. He was a
member of the Union Congregational Church, and
prominent in all matters connected with the welfare
of the town. His death took place at his farm on
Common Street, on May 24, 1888, and the funeral, on
May 28th, was conducted under Masonic rites.

Dr. Smith was married, first, on May 3, 1838, to
Harriet, daughter of John and Lydia Sleeper, of



110 GROTON.

Francestown, New Hampshire, who died on Septem-
ber 2, 1839 ; secondly, on November 6, 1843, to Mari-
ett Sleeper, a sister of his first wife, who died on July
6, 1846; thirdly, on September 22, 1847, to Abigail
Maria, daughter of Ephraim and Sarah (King)
Brown, of Wilton, New Hampshire, who died on
July 17, 1852; fourthly, on September 12, 1853, to
Sarah Young, daughter of Solomon and Dorcas (Hop-
kins) Frost, who died on December 4, 1856, and,
fifthly and lastly, on September 11, 1866, to Mrs.
Mary Jane (King) Lee, daughter of Daniel and Ee-
becca (Parmenter) King, of Eutland, Massachusetts.

Dr. Lemuel Fuller was a son of Dr. Lemuel and
Mary (Shepherd) Fuller, and born at Marlborough,
on April 2, 1811. He graduated at the Vermont
Medical College, Woodstock, in the class of 1844,
and came to GrotOn from Harvard in the year 1847.
On June 6, 1844, he was married to Catherine Palli-
seur, daughter of Francis and Maria Foster (Palliseur)
Barrett, of Concord. Dr. Fuller left Groton in 1850,
and died at Harvard during a temporary visit from
home February 11, 1864. During the last ten years
of his life he lived at North Weymouth.

Dr. Miles SiDaulding was a son of Qtoptain Isaac
and Lucy (Emery) Spaulding, and born at Townsend,
on April 4, 1819. He graduated at the Berkshire
Medical Institution, Pittsfield, in the class of 1842,
and he soon afterward established himself at Dunsta-
ble, where he remained until the year 1851, when he
removed to Groton. Dr. Spaulding was married,
first, on January 12, 1848, to Sophia Louisa, daughter
of Aaron and Lucinda (Munson) Miller, of New



GROTON. Ill

Haven, Connecticut, who died on September 4, 1852 ;
and, secondly, on August 27, 1863, to Mary Mehetable,
only child of Stephen and Mary (Kilborn — French)
Stickney. He still lives at Groton, the senior physi-
cian of the town.

Dr. Peter Pineo is a son of Peter and Sarah (Stead-
man) Pineo, and was born at Cornwallis, Nova Scotia,
on March 6, 1825. He graduated at the Bowdoin
Medical School in the class of 1847, and was married
in Boston, on May 8, 1850, to Elizabeth, daughter of
Kendall and Betsey (Hill) Crosby. In the spring of
1853 he came to Groton, where he remained for two
years, after which time he removed to Quechee, a
village in the town of Hartford, Vermont. On June
11, 1861, he was commissioned as surgeon of the
Ninth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, and soon
afterward was promoted to a brigade surgeoncy,
which office was abolished on July 2, 1862, by an
Act of Congress, when officers of that rank became
surgeons of United States Volunteers. On February
9, 1863, he was made medical inspector United
States Army, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel,
and he served with distinction until the end of the
war. At the present time he is a resident of Boston.

Dr. Kendall Davis was a son of Joseph and Han-
nah Davis, and born at New Ipswich, New Hamp-
shire, on December 4, 1802. According to the State
Register of the years 1847-50, he was then living at
Groton, where he practiced for a short time. From
this town he went to Athol, and died at Templeton
on September 20, 1875.

Dr. Richard Upton Piper is a son of Samuel and



112 GROTOX.

Mary (Folsom) Piper, and was boru at Stratham,
Xew Hampshire. He graduated at the Dartmouth
Medical School in the class of 1840, and began the
practice of his profession at Portland, Maine, \Nhere
he was married, on November 8, 1841, to Elizabeth
Frances Folsom, a native of Portsmouth, New Hamp-
shire. In the year 1864 he came to Groton and re-
mained five years, though without engaging in the
active practice of medicine. He afterward lived in
Chicago, but is now a resident of Washington. He
is an author of some note, having written a work en-
titled " Operative Surgery Illustrated," and another
on " The Trees of America."

Dr. Joseph Franklin Coolidge was a son of Charles
and Nancy (Spauldiug) Coolidge, and born at West-
minster on Sept. 11, 1837. He graduated at the Har-
vard Medical School in the class of 1862, and in the
year 1864 came to Groton, where he remained until
his death, which took place on June 1, 1865. Dr.
Coolidge was one of a family of ten children, and was
never married.

Dr. William Ambrose Webster was the only son of
William Gordon and Susan (Ambrose) Webster, and
born at Rochester, New Hampshire, June 13, 1830. He
graduated at the Medical School of the Long Island
College Hospital, Brooklyn, N. Y., in the spring of
1862. Soon after graduation, on July 1, 1862, he was
commissioned as surgeon of the Ninth New Hamp-
shire Volunteers, which left for the seat of war on
August 25, 1862, and he continued in that capacity
until January 5, 1865, when he was honorably dis-
charged. In September of that year he came to Gro-



GROTON. .113

too, where lie remained during three years, when he
removed to Westford. He died in Manchester, N.
H., on February 8, 1887. Dr. Webster was twice
married, — first, in August, 1851, to Mary Anne Kaime,
of Pittsfield, N. H., and secondly, on August 9, 1858,
to Marion M. Ladd, of Middlesex, Vt. By the first
marriage two daughters were born, who both are now
living, and by the second marriage one daughter,
Susan Marion Webster, was born at Groton on June
25, 1866, but she died before her father.

Dr. David Roscoe Steere is a son of Scott and Mary
(Mathewson) Steere, and was born at Lisbon, Connec-.
ticut, April 27, 1847. He graduated at the Dartmouth
Medical School in the class of 1871, and, after gradu-
ation, practiced for a few months at Savoy. In July,
1872, he came to Groton, where he has since re-
mained ; and in the year 1878 he built the house, at
the corner of Main and Church Streets, which he
now occupies. On June 18, 1873, Dr. Steere was mar-
ried to Adelia, daughter of Jephtha and Betsey (Boyn-
ton) Hartwell.

Dr. Edw^ard Hubbard Winslow was a son of the
Eeverend Hubbard and Susan Ward (Cutler) Wins-
low, and born in Boston on Dec. 26, 1835. He was
married, on Sept. 1, 1859, to Helen H.Ayer, of Mont-
vale, Me., and in the early spring of 1875 came to
Groton, where he remained about two years. Dr.
Winslow died in New York on Oct. 16, 1873.

Dr. George Washington Stearns is a son of Paul and

Lucy (Kneeland) Stearns, and was born at Reading,

Vermont, on Dec. 25, 1814. His mother was a sister

of Abner Kneeland, the preacher and author. He

8



114 GROTOX.

took his medical degree first in March, 1857, at Penn
Medical University, Philadelphia, and secondly, in
1858, at the Hahnemann Medical College, in the same
city. In the spring of 1878 Dr. Stearns came to Gro-
ton from Marblehead, and in November, 1882, re-
moved to Holliston, where he remained a few years,
when he went to Holyoke, of which city he is now a
resident. He was married, first, on May 8, 1838, at
South Yarmouth, to Sylvia Crowell, and secondly, on
July 19, 1877, at New Bedford, to Julia Amanda,
daughter of Cyrus and Eliza Eastman (Cottrell)
Ware.

Dr. William Barnard Warren is a son of Noailles
Lafayette and Mary (Barnard) Warren, and was born
at Leominster on Nov. 16, 1853. He graduated at
the Medical Department of the University of the
City of New York in the class of 1881, having pre-
viously attended a course of lectures in 1879 at the
Dartmouth Medical School. In December, 1882, he
came to Groton and established himself in practice,
where he now remains. Dr. Warren was married at
Groton on Oct. 31, 1883, to Ardelia Temple, daughter
of Thomas Haines and Eelief (Cummings) Smith, of
Boston.

Dr. Marion Zachariah Putnam is a son of John and
Sophia (Weaver) Putnam, and was born at Mount
Sterling, Illinois, on August 14, 1844. In the year
1870 he graduated at the Medical Department of
the Northwestern University, Chicago, and began to
practice in his native town. On September 9, 1880,
Dr. Putnam was married to Harriet Elizabeth, daugh-
ter of Thomas Spencer and Harriet Heyward (Law-



GROTON. 1 1 5

ton) Farnsworth, of Groton. About the year 1883 he
came to this town from Lowell, where he had resided
for a short period. He lives on Pleasant Street, but
has retired from the active practice of his profession.

The Fitchburg Railroad was first opened to public
travel, through the southerly part of Groton, on De-
cember 30, 1844; and the Peterborough and Shirley
Railroad, under the management of the Fitchburg
company, was opened during the year 1847. The
Worcester and Nashua Railroad was operated for reg-
ular business, through its entire length, on December
18, 1848, though the section from Groton Junction to
Clinton had been previously opened on July 3, 1848,
and from Clinton to Worcester on November 22d; and
the Stony Brook began its operations on July 1, 1848.
Soon after these interconnections were made, a village
sprang up in the neighborhood, which became popu-
larly known as the " Junction," though by the Post-
Office Department at Washington it was officially called
" South Groton." On March 1, 1861, the name of the
post-office was changed by the Department from
South Groton to Groton Junction. This settlement,
growing in numbers, after a while was setoff from the
parent town, and, by an act of the Legislature on
February 14, 1871, incorporated as a distinct town-
ship, under the name of Ayer. After this date, there-
fore, the list of physicians, so far as they relate to the
Junction, and their biographicaL sketches, will cease.

Dr. Ebenezer Willis was a son of John and Nancy
(Spriggens) Willis, and born at Newmarket, New
Hampshire, on January 26, 1815. He was married at
Exeter, on July 23, 1836, to Mary Frances, daughter



1 1 6 GROTON.

of Benjamin and Mary Seavey (Neal) Batchelder.
Dr. Willis came to Groton Junction in March, 1849,
and was the pioneer physician of the place. He died
at Ayer on May 10, 1890.

Dr. John Quincy Adams McCollester is a son of
Silas and Achsah (Holman) McCollester, and was
born at Marlborough, New Hampshire, on May 3,
1831. He took his degree of M.D. from the Jefferson
Medical School in March, 1856. Dr. McCollester was
married, first, on May 6, 1856, to Sarah Elizabeth,
daughter of Joseph and Anna (Longley) Hazen, of
Shirley, who died on May 5, 1858 ; and, secondly, on
August 9, 1859, to Georgianna Lydia, daughter of
Daniel and Lydia (Fisk) Hunt, of Groton. During
the War of the Rebellion he was the surgeon of the
Fifty-third Regiment Massachusetts Militia, having
been commissioned on December 1, 1862, and mus-
tered out of the service on September 2, 1863. He is
now a resident of Waltham.

. Dr. Edson Champion Chamberlin, a native of Thet-
ford, Vermont, came to Groton Junction in the sum-
mer of 1859 and remained one year. He graduated
at the Worcester Medical Institution on June 20,
1854. He was married to Mary A. Pierce, of South-
bury, Connecticut, where he died on January 26, 1877,
aged fifty-six years.

Dr. Gibson Smith came to Groton Junction from
the State of Maine about the year 1866. He was an
" eclectic " physician and a spiritualist, and died at
Ayer on September 26, 1885, aged seventy years.

Dr. John Eleazer Parsons is a son of John and
Rosalinda Davis (Robbins) Parsons, and was born at



C4EOTOX. 117

Harrison, Maine, on November 20, 1835. He gradu-
ated at the Harvard Medical School in the class of
1863, and on March 18th of the same year was com-
missioned as assistant surgeon of the Twenty-eighth
Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, but for disability
was discharged on July 30, 1863. Dr. Parsons next
served as acting assistant surgeon. United States
Navy from October 10, 1863, to December 10, 1866,
when he resigned. During the last week of Decem-
ber, 1866, he came to the village of Groton Junction
(Ayer), where he is still living.

Dr. Benjamin Hall Hartwell is a son of Benjamin
Franklin and Emma (Whitman) Hartwell, and was
born at Acton February 27, 1815. He received his
early education at Lawrence Academy, Groton, of
which institution he is now one of the trustees, and
graduated at the Jefferson Medical College, Philadel-
phia, on March 7, 1868. In the early spring of 1869
Dr. Hartwell came to Groton Junction (Ayer), where
he still resides, having filled many prominent posi-
tions of trust and usefulness. He was married, on
September 10, 1879, to Helen Emily, daughter of
Major Eusebius Silsby and Mary Jane (Shattuck)
Clark.

Dr. James Moody Moore was a son of Dr. Ebenezer


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