William L. (William Ladd) Chaffin.

History of the town of Easton, Massachusetts (Volume 3) online

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Grand Lodge, March 24, 1868, the installation, however, occur-
ring in the Methodist Church. The Lodge occupied this hall
until the completion of the Ames Memorial Hall, elegant apart-
ments having been provided for them in the upper part of that
building, and secured for fifty years at a rental of one dollar per
year ; they were dedicated by the officers of the Grand Lodge,
November 22, 1881, in the presence of a large number of the
brethren and of ladies and gentlemen. After the dedication
exercises were over, while sitting in the ante-room, the record-
ing grand-secretary, Tracy P. Cheever, remarked : " My record
is finished ; it will read right a hundred years hence." Within
half an hour he was taken suddenly ill, and was carried from the
hall in an unconscious state. He died of apoplexy about three
o'clock the following afternoon, without having recovered his

The Lodge has grown to a membership of one hundred, and is
now in a prosperous condition. The following brothers have
served as masters : —

Geo. B.Cogswell, 1868, 1870. and 1871.
George G. Withington, 1869.
Lewis H. Smith, 1872 and 1873.
Edward R. Hayward, 1874.
Samuel K. Kelley, 1875 and 1876.

John H. Swain, 1877 and 1878.
J. D. Atwood, 1879 and 1880.
Luther Sisson, 1881 and 1882.
George K. Davis, 1883.
L. B. Crockett, 1884, 1885, and li


The order of which the local organization known as the Miz-
pah Chapter formed a part, is an association composed of the
wives, daughters, mothers, widows, and sisters of Master Masons,
who unite for purposes of friendship, sympathy, and aid, similar


to some of the objects of Freemasonry. This order is not in
any proper sense a branch of Masonry, and its members cannot
therefore with propriety be called Lady-Masons, as they have
been. The presiding officer, however, is a Master Mason.
Mizpah Chapter was instituted in North Easton, September,
1874. The first list of officers was as follows: —

Mr. Henry P. Waite Worshipful Patron.

Mrs. Mary A. Smith Worshipful Matron.

Mrs. Joan B. Waite Assistant Matron.

The second board of officers was —

Mr. Frank P. Keith Worshipful Patron.

Mrs. Sarah M. Sisson Worshipful Matron.

Mrs. Nellie M. Pinkham .... Assistant Matron.

The meetings of this Chapter were discontinued in December,

A. B. RANDALL POST, G. A. R., NO. 52.

The A. B. Randall Post of Easton was organized at North
Easton, March 9, 1868. The charter members were Dr. George
B. Cogswell, A. W. Thompson, R. H. Willis, N. H. Talbot, John
A. Lynch. William H. Willis, M. F. Williams, William E. Bump,
Jr., Charles S. Packard, and R. F. J. White.

It was styled A. B. Randall Post, in honor of the brave cap-
tain of that name, who, though serving on the quota of Abing-
ton, was born and brought up in Easton. He enlisted first in
a nine months' regiment, and served out his full time. After
being mustered out he found that he could not be contented to
stay at home. He converted his dentist's office into a recruiting
station, and was soon at the front again. He received an injury
at the battle of the Wilderness and came home, but was un-
willing to wait for perfect recovery before returning to duty, and
was soon participating in the siege of Richmond. Randall had
first enlisted, a sergeant, in Company G, Forty-third Regiment ;
was commissioned first lieutenant of Company A, Fifty-sixth
Regiment, and afterward promoted captain, May 17, 1864. Cap-
tain Randall was mortally wounded in the attack on Petersburg,
being shot in the head by a sharpshooter, surviving the wound


only five hours. He was rightly named Ansel, which means " an
heroic defender."

The Post had its headquarters at North Easton until January,
1878, at which time the interest had so declined that it was
thought advisable to surrender the charter. But the suggestion
was made to establish its headquarters at South Easton in the
hope of adding to its membership soldiers from the borders of
neighboring towns on the east. The experiment proved a sub-
stantial success, for there has been a constantly enlarging mem-
bership ever since, the number at the present time being over
eighty. White's Hall became the Post headquarters, and was so
used until August, 1884, when the building was destroyed by
fire, in which was consumed nearly the entire property of the
organization. Since that time the meetings have been held in
the upper hall of Spooner's building, at North Easton. Aided by
subscriptions from non-members, and generously contributing
themselves, the Post has just erected a new hall at White's
Village, upon which there still remains a considerable debt,
which it is hoped will be liquidated by further contributions.
The following is the list of different commanders in the order
of their service : John A. Lynch, John W. Allen, Thomas Bean,
Oliver H. Blaisdell, S. Herbert Bates, Willard Lothrop, R. H.
Willis, William L. Chaffin, William A. Linehan, George A.
Lackey, and Ellis R. Holbrook, the present commander.

The present organization of the Post is as follows : —

Commander Ellis R. Holbrook.

Senior-Vice Cotnmander George G. Smith.

Junior- Vice Comma7ider Luther H. Clark.

Adjutant John N. Lufkin.

Quartermaster David Howard.

Surgeon John A. Freese.

Chaplain Daniel W. Burrell.

Officer of the Day Cyrus A. Freeman.

Officer of the Guard William Crockett.

Sergea7it- Major Emory Packard.

Quartermaster-Sergeant Charles S. Packard.

The following is the list of the present members of the Post
in alphabetical order : —



Willard Ames.
Frank H. Amsden.
Ansel T. Bartlett.
Samuel D. Bartlett.
Thomas Bean.
Clark T. Berry.
George N. Blanchard.
Luther Blood.
William H. Bosworth.
John Brown.
Daniel W. Burrell.
Oscar Calkins.
Dennis Callahan.
James S. Card.
William L. Chaffin.
Luther H. Clark.
William E. Cobbett.
George B. Cogswell.
William E. Cole.
Patrick Conlan.
Charles F. Cook.
Thomas Cox.
William Crockett.
Theodore Darling.
Marcus F. Delano.
Thomas Donahue.
James Donovan.

Patrick Dorgan.
George H. Drake.
Lucius Dunbar.
Philander W. Fecto.
Peter Fisher.
Andrew H. Frame.
Cyrus A. Freeman.
John A. Freese.
Bernard F. Galligan.
Andrew N. Grady.
Linus E. Hayward.
Herbert A Hewitt.
Ellis R Holbrook.
David Howard.
William H. Jennings.
James H. Keenan.
William H. Keenan.
George A. Lackey.
Maitland C. Lamprey.
James K. Lashure.
Jacob Leason.
Augustus J. Leavett.
William A. Linehan.
Augustus W. Lothrop.
Azel Lothrop.
Willard Lothrop.
John N. Lufkin.

James N. Mackey.
John W. McDonald.
Thomas McGrath.
Charles H. McGuire.
Thomas Mason.
Henry G. Mitchell.
Charles T. Morse.
Thomas Murray.
Charles S. Packard.
Emory Packard.
George T. Packard.
Henry A. Phillips.
William W. Prince.
Simeon A. Randall.
Alfred A. Rhodes.
Charles E. Simmons.
Ansel Small.
George G. Smith.
William B. Smith.
John Sweeney.
Oliver Thompson.
Luther C. Turner.
Clinton B. Webster.
Berlin White.
Ezra G. Whittemore.
Munroe F. Williams.
Rufus H. Willis.

Since the organization of Post No. 52 it has expended about
two thousand dollars for relief and charity, the recipients being
sick comrades, or widows and orphans of soldiers. Efforts to
increase its charity fund deserve the hearty support of all our
townspeople, and also of the friends of the members of the Post.
This fund at present consists of less than three hundred dollars,
and it is steadily decreasing, as there are more calls than usual
upon it at the present writing.

From the date of its organization in 1868, A.B.Randall Post
has faithfully observed Memorial Day. Its members, either in a
body or by special detachments, have strewn the graves of their
fallen comrades with flowers, placed a flag over each, and some-
times in the larger cemeteries have held appropriate services.
Since the erection of the soldiers' monument, however, the graves
are decorated without religious services, and a single service is
celebrated at the monument, there being at that place a prayer,


addresses, an oration, and music. The floral and flag decora-
tions are not restricted to the graves of those who served in the
Rebellion ; the graves of those who fought for their country in
other wars are also remembered. This is especially appropriate
in the case of Capt. Nathaniel Perry, who died in the French
and Indian War, and also of the Revolutionary heroes ; but it
does not seem so fitting for the Easton soldiers in the War of
1812, since scarcely one of them saw any active service, their
military experience being confined to a few weeks of guard duty
with no Redcoat in sight. Moreover, this decoration has been
limited to a few graves of those soldiers, while there are many
other graves equally entitled to this notice. It would be better
either to discontinue decorating any graves of these 1812 sol-
diers, or to decorate them all. The chapter on the War of 1812
in this History will furnish the information necessary, if the
latter alternative is accepted.

Below is given a list of soldiers whose graves are in our
several cemeteries at this date (November 1886.) It should be
distinctly noted that this is not intended as a complete list of
Easton soldiers who died in the Civil War, but only of those
whose remains are buried in this town, — although in a few in-
stances graves have been made in honor of soldiers whose re-
mains were not brought here.

Easton Cemetery {South Eastott).

Tyler F. Clapp. Charles A. Morse.

Eleazer B. Clark.^ O. Marshall Phillips.

Arthur Clifford. Edward E. Randall.

George H. Davis. John M. Randall.

Willard Drake. 1 Peleg F. Randall.

Joseph Heath. Linton VValdron.

Jackson D. Mitchell. Milo M. Williams.

John W. Mitchell. Charles H. Willis.

The Roinan Catholic Cemetery (^North Easton).

John Connell. John Finnigan.

Patrick Conroy. John Fitzpatrick.

Edward A. Cotter. Edward Galligher.

Daniel Donovan. John Johnson.

1 The graves of Clark and Drake are on the east side of the road, in the older
Seth Pratt Cemetery.


Michael McCool. David Mulhern.

Patrick McCourt.^ John Mulhern.

Daniel F. McDonald. Nicholas Murphy.

James McEvoy. Timothy Murphy.

David Middleton. James Powers.

James P. Middleton. Cornelius Slattery.i

The Village Cemetery {North E as ton).

William Hepburn. James A. Morse.

George McFarland. Ansel B. Randall.

Jacob J. Randall.

Washington St7'eet Cemetery.

Charles E, Ellison. Oren S. Marshall.

David Fisher. John A. Mills.

Solomon R. Foster. Job Randall.

Calvin A. Marshall. J. Manley Tinkham.
James Wells.

The Central Cemetery.

Billings Fisher. Minot E. Phillips.

William M. Packard. Henry L. Reed.

John Phillips. Uriah H. Reed.

The Furnace Village Cemetery.

Dennison S. Drew. Mason A. Hill.

John A. Henry. Benjamin W. Price.

Wallace W. Smith.

Dr. Edward Dean Cemetery {Highland Street).
Franklin M. Godfrey. Josiah Williams.

Pine-Grove Cetnetery.

William S. Henrys. H. Frank Pool.

William A. Lothrop. Bernard L. Ripley.

1 Patrick McCourt and Cornelius Slattery were both killed in battle, and their
remains were not recovered. But graves have been made here in their memory, and
their names are accordingly included in the above list in order that they may not be
overlooked in the annual decoration of graves. The same is true of Timothy Mur-
phy, whose remains are still in the Canton burying-ground.


Elijah Howard Cemetery {Prospect Street).
Edward Hudson.

Isaac Lothrop Cemetery {Purchase Street).
Frank Lambert.

Silas Phillips Cemetery {Depot Street).
Joseph Legro.

Keith Cemeteiy {Bay road near Beaver Street).
Major Crockett.

Selee Cetnetery.
Benjamin F. Boodry.

The Soldiers' Monument was erected in accordance with a
vote of the town in March, 1881, and was ready for dedication
on Memorial Day, 1882. The picture here presented renders
any detailed description of it needless. It is made of a very
fine granite, and stands at Easton Centre where Centre Street
joins Depot Street ; the excellent statue at the top faces the
southeast. The monument is twenty-five feet high including the
statue, which is eight feet, and is inscribed with the names of
forty-seven Easton men who enlisted in the Civil War and died
before its close. It was dedicated with appropriate exercises May
30, 1882. Dr. George B. Cogswell was President of the day. The
Rev. William H. Dowden offered prayer. Introductory remarks
were made by the President of the day ; Joseph Barrows, Esq;,
gave the Historical Address, and William L. Chaffin the Ora-
tion. Charles R. Ballard recited an original Memorial Poem,
and addresses were made by Capt. Nahum Leonard, of Bridge-
water, and Capt, A. C. Munroe, of Brockton. The vocal music
was furnished by the Gilbert Quartette, and the instrumental
music by Martland's Band, of Brockton. A platform erected
in front of the Unitarian church was occupied during the exer-
cises by members of A. B. Randall Post, of Easton, and Post
No. 13, of Brockton, besides the speakers and singers. Seats
were arranged in front of the platform in a semicircle, and more
than two hundred carriages were in the rear of them. About
two thousand persons were present. The day was pleasant,



;xcellent order prevailed, and nothing occurred to disturb the
lannony and interest of the occasion. The monument is re-
rarded by many as exceptionally fine and satisfactory. As the


observer gazes at it and considers the sacred purpose for which
it was erected, he may well repeat the prayer expressed on
the day of its dedication by Charles R. Ballard in his Memorial
Poem, —



Heaven guard it ! and let no rude hand

Deface or mar this sacred Shrine ;
But in its beauty let it stand,

Wiiile suns unnumbered rise and shine.

While Spring arrays the fields in green,

While Summer lends her ruddy glow,
While Autumn spreads her mellow sheen,

While Winter robes the earth in snow ;

By day, by night, in weal or woe,

When sun shall parch or torrent pour;
' Mid calm or storm, 'mid rain or snow,

When lightnings flash and thunders roar, —

Safe may it stand, where three ways meet,

To catch the traveller's peering eye,
To check betimes his hurrying feet.

And prompt him meekly to draw nigh,

And read the names recorded here

Of those who once War's havoc braved,
And offer thanks and praise sincere

For home and friends and Nation saved !


On the 1 6th of May, 1872, there was organized at North Eas-
ton a temperance lodge of Good Templars. The leading spirit in
inaugurating this movement was David S. Hasty, editor of the
" Easton Journal." This society took the name of Bristol Lodge,
No. 136. It organized of course on the total abstinence basis,
rapidly acquired a large membership, and became vigorous and
full of life. It united people socially, and had a decided influ-
ence in quickening a temperance sentiment in the minds of many
young persons whose attention might not otherwise have been
drawn to the subject. Both ladies and gentlemen were eligible
to its offices. Its meetings were lively, interesting, and help-
ful ; and it was for some time considered to be one of the
brightest and most flourishing lodges in the State. It met in
Spooner's Hall, which was pleasantly fitted up. But the his-
tory of this organization was like that of most of its kind, —
speedy growth, lively interest, prosperity, and then, when the
novelty was gone, a slow decline and death. It did a good work,
however, and afforded much pleasure to its numerous members,
many of whom will recall with great satisfaction the evenings


spent in the literary and social exercises of the lodge-room. For
the last year or two Rufus H. Willis was the presiding officer.
Bristol Lodge disbanded early in 1879, having lived nearly seven
years. It left a fund of about one hundred dollars, which was
finally given to A. B. Randall Post 52, of Easton, to assist in
building their new hall.


In February, 1883, there was organized a division of the Sons
of Temperance in North Easton. It took the name of Arcana
Division No. 4, and met in the upper hall of Spooner's building.
It acquired a membership of about forty persons, and held weekly
meetings devoted to social, musical, and literary entertainment,
with special reference usually to the cultivation of the temper-
ance sentiment. It had its day and ceased to be, disbanding
late in 18S5.


In May, 1871, under the lead of the Rev. Father Quinn, there
was organized in North Easton a society called the Catholic
Lyceum. William Twohig was the first president ; Cornelius
Doherty, vice-president ; M. D. Schindler, treasurer. It attained
a membership of about two hundred. Its headquarters were the
chapel by the pond, in which it had a reading-room, a library,
and the appointments for social games of draughts, cards, etc.
There were debates and dramatic entertainments, and the society
was the means of much pleasure and benefit to its members.
It is now discontinued. The chapel, however, is occasionally
used by the young people for dramatic performances and other


This organization is for insurance purposes, the amount of
insurance in each case being two thousand dollars. The lodge
in Easton was instituted November 5, 1879, Dr. George B.
Cogswell, William Robinson, and twelve others being the char-
ter members. It took the name of Easton Lodge of Knights of
Honor, No. 1,859, and hired for its headquarters the old Masonic
Hall in Spooner's building, which hall it now controls. The



Early in the spring of 1886 a movement was started looking
to the establishment of an Assembly of the Knights of Labor in
North Easton village ; but this occurred at the time when an in-
junction had been issued from the headquarters of the order for-
bidding, until further notice, the instituting of any new assemblies.
The organization of the Assembly in North Easton was therefore
delayed until the evening of May 26, when it was effected under
the charge of an officer from the Assembly in Brockton. Its name
is The Workingmen's Assembly of North Easton, No. 7,627.
The master-workman (the chief officer) of this Assembly of
Knights is Patrick Costello, and it has a large membership,
there being at this date (September 10, 1886) two hundred and
eighty members.

The interest now attaching to the Knights of Labor organiza-
tion in this country is so great that it seems desirable to state
here the essential principles for which it exists.

The Knights of Labor demand the public lands for actual
settlers ; the enactment of laws to compel corporations to make
weekly payments of wages to their employees ; the abolition of
the contract system on public works ; the prohibition of the im-
portation of foreign labor under contract ; the prohibition by
law of the employment of children under fifteen years of age in
work-shops, mines, and factories ; the prohibition of hiring out
convict labor ; the levy of a graduated income tax ; the abolition
of banking corporations, and the issue of a circulating medium
direct to the people. They demand that no interest-bearing bonds
shall be issued by Government, but that when need arises, the
emergency shall be met by the issue of legal tender, non-interest
bearing money ; that the Government shall organize financial
exchanges, safe deposits, and facilities of deposit of the savings
of the people ; that the Government shall purchase and control
all telegraphs, telephones, and railroads, " and that hereafter no
charter or license be issued to any corporation for construction
or operation of any means of transporting intelligence, passen-
gers, or freight." The Knights of Labor advocate also the es-
tablishment of co-operative institutions to supersede the wage
system, the giving of equal pay to both sexes for equal work,


the adoption of the eight-hour system, and the regulation of
differences between employers and employed by arbitration.
On the face side of their blank form of " Proposition for Mem-
bership " is printed the following sentence, which is condensed
from their Declaration of Principles : " N. B. No proposition [for
membership] can be received from a lawyer, banker, rumseller,
or professional gambler."


Easton was held in the old town hall a short time before the
election for President in the Fall of 1832, and so intense was
the antagonism between the parties here that this meeting was
assaulted by a mob. The assailants gathered outside, making
noisy and riotous demonstrations. The door being closed against
them, they procured a stick of timber and broke it in, and not
without some violence dispersed the meeting. This mob was not
instigated by the Masons, of whom there were very few in
town ; a leading Whig was understood to have incited it, or at
least to have been its leading spirit.

It was at just this time that the ecclesiastical contest in the
Congregational parish was at its height. The whole town was di-
vided on the issue ol pro or anti Sheldon. Beginning about 1830,
this division existed more or less for the next ten years. Its in-
fluence affected the town-meetings, candidates for town offices
being selected with reference to their position on the church quar-
rel, and the voting determined by sectarian considerations.

This unpleasant condition of things was greatly changed by
the absorbing political canvass that took place in 1840, with
" Tippecanoe and Tyler too " as candidates. This was the fa-
mous " Log Cabin and Hard Cider " campaign. The Whigs of
Easton entered into the contest with zeal and vigor. They or-
ganized an association called the Democratic Republican Whig
Association of Easton, a sufficiently comprehensive title. Oliver
Ames, Sr., was president. They met weekly in the old chapel ;
they formed a glee club to sing campaign songs, that fell from
the press as thick as snow-flakes. The Democrats did what
they could to stem the swelling tide of enthusiasm. They ac-
cused their opponents of stealing their name, and called them
Federalists and British Whigs. The Whigs retaliated by throw-
ing at them the name of " Loco-focos," which was all the more
offensive because its meaning was not understood.

On the Fourth of July the Whig Association turned out to at-
tend the Whig celebration at Bridgewater. The old stage-driver,
John Taylor, drove an omnibus with six horses gayly decked with
flags. About one hundred carriages were in the procession.
Elisha Page, the chief marshal, and his assistants wore white
sashes and Harrison badges, and carried batons. The procession
was over a mile in length. As they wheeled round Asa Howard's



corner, a squad of Democrats stood on the opposite side of the
road with an effigy of Harrison dressed as an old woman, in red
petticoats ; they called Harrison the " old granny candidate."
Soon after this the Association got up a meeting at Easton
Centre. Speaking began in the Unitarian Church ; but the crowd
was larger outside than inside, and so the windows were taken
out, and some of the speakers stood in the windows as they
addressed both the out-door and in-door meeting. John H.
Clifford and T. D. Eliot of New Bedford, Thomas Prince Beal
of Kingston, and John C. Park of Boston were among the
speakers. Great excitement was caused by Oliver Ames read-
ing letters from fifteen Easton Democrats, who renounced their
party and cast in their lot with the Whigs. The " Boston At-
las" published these letters ; and the " Boston Post," to offset the
effect of them, charged that they were obtained by fraud, that
the men who signed them were " of no account any way," etc.

Soon after this the Democrats got up a great meeting at the
same place, with John A. Bates, Col. Seth J. Thomas, of Boston,
and other eminent speakers. The Whig Association made a
fine show in attending a celebration in Boston on the loth of
September, Col. Alanson White being marshal. Party feeling
ran high in town ; exciting discussions often occurred in stores
and shops, where Macey Randall, Linus Manley, Alva Holcomb,
Daniel Randall, and scores besides, measured swords with one
another in political discussion.

Online LibraryWilliam L. (William Ladd) ChaffinHistory of the town of Easton, Massachusetts (Volume 3) → online text (page 57 of 78)