William L. (William Ladd) Chaffin.

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

. (page 66 of 78)
Online LibraryWilliam L. (William Ladd) ChaffinHistory of the town of Easton, Massachusetts (Volume 3) → online text (page 66 of 78)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ture. Hundreds of families like that of Mr. Willis are carrying into
the ' wild West ' the culture, the thrift, and the sound principles that
have made New England rich in history and powerful in influence."

The Rev. Henry Wood, son of Robert and Elizabeth Wood,
was born in the town of Coole, Westmeath County, Ireland, Oc-
tober 31, 1857, and came to Easton in September, 1869. He
graduated from the Easton High School in the class of 1878,


from Tufts College in 1882, and from the Episcopal Theological
School in Cambridge, Mass., in 1885. He was ordained deacon,
June 17, 1885, and was called to the rectorship of St. James's
Parish, Amesbury, Mass., July 10. He was ordained priest,
June 8, 1886.


The Rev. James W. Conlin was born in Easton, Septem-
ber 6, 1856. After due consideration he resolved to study for
the Church, and in March, 1873, entered the Jesuit College in
Boston. In September, 1874, he went to Montreal College,
where he spent four years. In 1878 he completed his prepara-
tory studies for theology at the Seminary of Our Lady of
Angels, Niagara Falls, New York. In 1879 he began the study
of theology at the Montreal Grand Seminary, — a celebrated in-
stitution, and a nursery for aspirants to the priesthood, — and
three and a half years subsequently, December 23, 1882, was or-
dained priest by the Right Rev. E. C. Fabre, Bishop of Montreal.
St. Lawrence Parish, New Bedford, has been the scene of his
labors since he began his ministry.

The Rev. William T, Doherty was born in Easton, July 7,
1858. In order to secure the advantages of the classics, so ne-
cessary for the clerical state, he entered in the fall of 1873 St.
Charles's College, Maryland, founded by Charles Carroll of Car-
roUton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
His six years at St, Charles's were years of close study, untiring
preparation, and self-culture for his chosen vocation. In 1879
he began the study of philosophy and theology at St. Mary's
Seminary, Baltimore, and December 22, 1883, received from the
hands of Archbishop Gibbons the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
Returning ta the Episcopal city of the diocese, Providence, he
was made chaplain at the celebrated Seminary of Elmhurst, —
a young ladies' academy situated in the suburbs of Providence,
under the supervision of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart.

Edward Farrell, another of Easton's sons, was born No-
vember 22, 1859, and having completed his school education so

1 The sketches of the latter have been kindly prepared for the writer by the
Rev. John W. McCarthy of Providence, Rhode Island.


far as the district school afforded opportunity, entered the Sem-
inary of St. Sulpice, Montreal, Canada, in 1874. His college
education ended within a year ; for having contracted a cold,
which in the severe Canadian climate quickly developed into
consumption, he returned home to North Easton, where he
died May 8, 1875.

Michael J. Long was born in Easton, March 2, i860. In
September, 1874, he entered the college of St. Sulpice, Montreal,
Canada, and having passed two years at that institution entered
Boston College, where he graduated and received the degree of
A. B. in June, 1881. Entering Montreal Grand Seminary, Sep-
tember, 1 88 1, he began immediate preparation for the Catholic
priesthood. His fond hopes were however never realized, for
scarcely six months had elapsed before he died, February 27, 1882,
at the Seminary Hospital, Montreal. His death was rendered
most sad, not alone from the fact that it was unexpected, but also
because he was separated from the loved ones at home. His
body was brought from Montreal, and lies buried in the Roman
Catholic cemetery in North Easton village.

The Rev. John W. McCarthy was born in New Bedford, but
early removed with his family to North Easton. His parents
were both natives of Ireland. He studied in the class in the
Easton High School some of whose members were among the
first to receive diplomas of graduation, Dr. F. E. Tilden being
for a time member of the same class. Of a well balanced char-
acter, a quiet, thoughtful boy, he early gave promise of unusual
reliability. Desiring to become a priest, he entered the Jesuit
College in Boston, Mass., in the spring of 1874, with a view to
making the necessary preparatory studies. After spending six
years in this college he was graduated in June, 1880, receiving
the degree of A. B. Making known to the Bishop of the dio-
cese his intention of entering the clerical state, he was sent to
the Grand Seminary, Montreal, Canada, and for three years
and three months earnestly and successfully pursued the higher
ecclesiastical studies. Being ordained priest by Bishop Fabre,
December 22, 1883, he was immediately sent by Bishop Hen-
dricken as assistant pastor to the church of the Immaculate


Conception in Providence. Blest with excellent health and a
good constitution, he gives promise of many years of usefulness
in the work of his choice.

The Rev. Dennis J. Menton was born in Easton, February
22, 1859. I" 1S70, at the age of eleven years, he entered the
High School at North Easton. He there showed an intellectual
ability, a sound judgment, and resolute self-reliance much beyond
his years, and was in most respects the best student of his class.
He graduated there with high honor in 1874, fifteen years old.
In September of the same year he entered St. Charles's College,
Maryland, where his schoolmates Doherty and O'Keefe had en-
tered the preceding year. As time passed on he gave full scope
to his love for knowledge, and ranked the first among many bright
and intellectual youths. His constant application, however,
tended to impair his health. Advised to secure a change of
climate, he entered St. Michael's College, Toronto, Canada, in
1877, and completed his philosophical studies with extraordinary
honors. As from the beginning, he still persevered in his inten-
tion of becoming a priest, and for this purpose entered upon the
study of theology at the Grand Seminary of Montreal, Septem-
ber, 1878. After a brilliant course of three and a half years he
was elevated to the priesthood at Mount St. Mary's Convent,
December 26, 1881. But years of unceasing toil had shattered
his once powerful frame, and his declining health rendered the
days of his priesthood few. He passed quietly away to his re-
ward on the morning of July 19, 1882. To unusual knowledge
for his years, Father Menton added an admirable humility,
simplicity, and virtue.

The Rev. John D. O'Keefe was born in Easton, March 2,
1856. At an early age aspiring to the priesthood, he was sent
together with his friend Doherty to St. Charles's College, Mary-
land, where he pursued the study of the classics for six years,
graduating in 1879. While in this institution he developed ex-
cellent qualities, and the edifice of true manhood quickly assumed
proportions. He then spent a year on philosophy at St. Mary's,
Baltimore, entered upon the study of theology at the same in-
stitution, and was ordained a priest April 19, 1884, at Wood-


Stock, Maryland, by Archbishop, now Cardinal, Gibbons. He
was appointed immediately after his ordination to the vacant
chaplaincy at Bay View Seminary, on Narragansett Bay. After
remaining at this place a year, he was promoted to be assistant
pastor at St. Mary's church, Fall River, Mass., a position he
still holds.





Seth Babbitt. — Charles H. Cogswell. — George B. Cogswell. —
Horatio F. Copeland. — Edgar E. Dean. — Edward Dean. —
James B. Dean. — Samuel Deans. — Henry L. Dickerman. — Jason
W. Drake. — Daniel Goodwin. — Samuel Guild. — Samuel Guild,
Jr. — Elisha Hayward. — Joseph W. Hayward. — James Howard.
— Ernest W. Keith. — Edwin Manley. — John M. Mills. — James
Perry. — William F. Perry. — Seth Pratt. — Seth Pratt, Jr. —
Daniel L. Randall. — Menzies R. Randall. — Zephaniah Ran-
dall. — Frederic J. Ripley. — W. P. Savary. ^ Caleb Swan. —
George W. J. Swan. — James C. Swan. — Jesse J. Swan. — W. E.
Channing Swan. — Byron H. Strout. — F. Elmer Tilden. —
George Brett. — Asahel Smith. — William B. Webster. — John
P. Wilson.

THE present chapter is devoted to brief biographical sketches
of the physicians (including dentists) who were natives or
residents of Easton. They are given in alphabetical order, but
in two series, — the second series, near the end of the chapter, be-
ing sketches of those who, though not regularly educated for the
profession, have nevertheless engaged in their own way, and with
more or less success, in the practice of the healing art. Several
even of those in the first list did not receive the degree of M.D.,
and had no diplomas of graduation to show ; but they had some
regular instruction, and practised by the usual and regular
methods. The title of M.D. is therefore given to them here by
courtesy, and because the confidence it naturally inspires was
accorded them on account of their experience.

Seth Babbitt, M.D., was the son of Erasmus and Abigail
Babbitt, and was born in Easton, April 20, 1730. He was a vol-
unteer in the French and Indian War, and served at Louisburg.
In 1759 he was surgeon's mate in Colonel John Thomas's Regi-
ment, stationed at Halifax ; served about two years, contracted the


small-pox, and came home to die, his death occurring Febru-
ary 13, 1 76 1. Mr. Babbitt married Elizabeth Vinton, of South
Hadley, and had two daughters.^

Charles Hale Cogswell, M.D., son of George B. and
Catherine (Brown) Cogswell, was born in Bridgewater, Massa-
chusetts, March 23, 1859. ^^ graduated at the Easton High
School in 1876, and from Dartmouth College, June 24, 1880,
studied medicine in the Harvard Medical School, graduating
June 27, 1883, and soon afterward received the appointment of
assistant port-physician of Boston, a position he still holds. He
is a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

George Badger Cogswell, M.D., son of Dr. George and
Abigail (Parker) Cogswell, was born September 15, 1834, in
Bradford, Massachusetts. He fitted for college at the Gilmanton
Academ}'-, and entered Dartmouth College in 185 i, but did not
complete the college course. From 1853 to 1855 he followed a
sailor's life before the mast, going around the world. After
returning home he attended lectures at the Harvard Medical
School, and in 1857 received the degree of M.D. from Dart-
mouth Medical College, New Hampshire. He was resident phy-
sician at the State Almshouse in Bridgewater, Massachusetts,
from June 1857 to July 1859, ^.nd removed to North Easton
village in i860. He was mustered into service in the war of
the Union as assistant-surgeon of the Twenty-ninth Regiment
Massachusetts Volunteers, December 14, 1861, and promoted
to be surgeon August 7, 1862. He was discharged for disability
March 15, 1864. Dr. Cogswell was for a time on the staff of
General Wilcox, as acting medical inspector of the Ninth Army
Corps, gave himself up as a prisoner in order to be of service to
the Union sick and wounded men who were prisoners, and was
on service at Libby Prison in Richmond. During an exchange
of prisoners, knowing that the lives of some members of his
regiment depended upon their immediate release, Dr. Cogswell
presented himself to the guard of the prison with the air of one
having authority, and ordered two members of the Twenty-ninth
away with him. The young officer on guard questioned his au-

^ For further particulars concerning Dr. Seth Babbitt, see p. 167.


thority, and was met with well assumed indignation on the part
of the Doctor for his presuming to question an alleged order from
the superior officer to whom the Doctor referred by name. The
ruse was successful, and the two men followed their liberator,
and were exchanged. One of them, who is a citizen of Easton,
has declared to the writer that but for this move of his surgeon
he would not be alive to-day. Dr. Cogswell liberated others of
his regiment in the same way, and probably saved some of their
lives thereby.

February 18, 1858, Dr. Cogswell married Catherine B. Brown,
daughter of Addison and Catherine B. (Griffin) Brown. She was
born August 13, 1835, i" West Newbury, Massachusetts. They
have had two children, — Charles Hale and Kittie Badger. The
former is noticed in this chapter. The latter married, September
25, 1883, Charles VV. Welch, of Stoughton. Dr. Cogswell was
postmaster of North Easton from 1861 to 1885. He received
the honorary degree of A.M. from Dartmouth College in 1880.
North Easton is still his home, and he has an extensive practice
here and in the vicinity. The Doctor is a member of the Massa-
chusetts Medical Society.

Horatio Franklin Copeland, M.D., son of Horatio and
Delia (Howard) Copeland, was born in Easton, November 15,
1842. He fitted for college in Thetford Academy, Vermont,
but instead of entering, decided to study medicine, which he did
with Dr. Caleb Swan. He studied also in the Harvard Medi-
cal School, graduating there in 1865. He served as assistant-
surgeon in the United States Army at Chapin's Farm, near
Richmond, Virginia, and subsequently had charge of the post
and small-pox hospitals at Bermuda Hundred, Virginia. On
his discharge from the United States service he entered upon
his profession at South Abington (now Whitman), Massachus-
etts, where he has a large practice.

Edgar Everett Dean, M.D., son of Charles and Lydia
(Wilbur) Dean, was born in Easton, December 17, 1837. He
was a student at Bristol Academy for three years, leaving there
in 1856 ; studied medicine with Dr. Luther Clarke, of Boston ;
graduated from the Harvard Medical School; practised for a time




in Boston, but in June, 1861, removed to North Bridgewater,
succeeding to the business of Dr. Alexander Hichborn. He
afterward spent a year in Europe in order to perfect his medi-
cal knowledge. Since his return he has acquired a large and
successful practice in his profession. In 1883 he was appointed
by the Governor a member of the Massachusetts State Board
of Health, Lunacy, and Charity, retaining this position until
June, 1886, when the Health Department was made a separate
board. He still, however, holds his place as a commissioner of
Lunacy and Charity.

January 17, 1866, Dr. Dean married Helen Amanda Packard,
of North Bridgewater (now Brockton). They have had three
children, all of whom are living.

Edward Dean, M.D., son of Deacon James and Hannah
(Hay ward) Dean, was born in Easton, June 30, 1748. On the
6th of March, 1768, he married Joanna, daughter of Daniel and |
Rebecca (Hunt) Williams, They had two children, and she
died March i, 1772. He then married, December 25, 1788,
Anne Hayward. He was, until his death, a practising physician,
though he did not have a regular medical education. He died
September 26, 181 6, and his remains were the first to be buried
in the old cemetery south of the schoolhouse at the Furnace
Village. Four physicians who were fast friends died that year,
and the fact is appropriately recorded in rhyme on Dr. Dean's

James B. Dean, M.D., son of James and Polly Dean, was
born in Easton, April 6, 1809. He studied medicine with Dr.
Caleb Swan, and took a two years' course in the Harvard Medi-
cal School at the same time with Dr. Seth Pratt, Jr., graduating
in 1832. He then entered upon the practice of his profession
in Taunton, where he has remained until the present time, ex-
cept about a year, when he was in practice in North Easton
village. James B. Dean married Elizabeth Holmes, of Plymouth.

Samuel Deans, M.D., was the son of Elijah and Irene Deans,
of Eastford, Connecticut, where he was born August 27, 1794.

1 See the Dr. Edward Dean Cemetery, in the chapter on Cemeteries.


His father was a farmer with thirteen children, and Samuel's
education was gained mainly by his own efforts after he had at-
tained his majority. He studied medicine in the New Haven
Medical School, and came to Easton to practise his profession,
locating at the Furnace Village. He was a man of character
and ability. His interest in education was warm and constant,
being a member of the Easton board of school committee for
fifteen years, and serving in that capacity with efficiency and
zeal. He was very particular to give his children a good edu-

November 14, 1821, Dr. Deans married Hannah LeBaron,
daughter of Daniel Wheaton, Esq., and had six children, two of
whom, Fideha and Charlotte, died when two years old. His
oldest daughter, Elizabeth, and his youngest, Hannah, were edu-
cated at the Wheaton Seminary in Norton. Elizabeth taught
school very successfully many years in Easton, and afterward in
Medway, where she died October 15, 1870. Hannah has also
devoted her life to teaching. The two sons, George Wheaton
and Charles Henry, both became lawyers, and will be noticed in
the proper place. Dr. Deans died in Easton April 22, 1872.
His wife died December 29, 1879.

Henry Lee Dickerman, DD.S., son of Zophar and Nancy
(Webster) Dickerman, was born in Easton, July 29, 1849. He
studied dentistry in Taunton in 1868 and 1869 with his kins-
man Dr. D. S. Dickerman, and December 13, 1869, entered the
office of Dr. James Utley of the same city, remaining there one
year. He entered the Harvard Medical School November 2,
1870, and completed his studies there in 1872. In 1871 he
opened an office in Stoughton, and also practised a short time
in North Easton and Fall River. After finishing his studies.
Dr. Dickerman practised in Taunton several years. In 1879 he
took charge of Dr. George H. Ames's office in Providence, R. I.,
and July i, 1880, opened an office for himself in the same city.
He claims to use neither wedges, engine, gas, nor ether.

March 30, 1833, Dr. Dickerman was elected lieutenant-colonel
of the Slocum Light Guards, holding the office for two years.
November 26, 1885, he married Louise, the second daughter of
William Corner, of Providence.


Jason Williams Drake, M D., son of Jason G. and Mary
W. (Record) Drake, was born in Easton, January 29, 1835, ^"^1
was educated at Pierce Academy, in Middleborough, Mass. He
enlisted in the quota of Fitchburg as private in Company B,
Fifty-third Regiment, nine months' men, October 17, 1862, and
was discharged September 2, 1863, having served under General
Banks in Louisiana. In 1865 he removed to Dover, New Hamp-
shire, and began the practice of medicine. In 1867 he gradu-
ated from the New York Homoeopathic Medical College, and
returned to Dover, where he continued in the practice of medi-
cine until his death, which occurred November 20. 1885. Dr.
Drake was a coroner, a justice of the peace, and prominently
identified with the public schools of Dover. He is spoken of
as " a noble-hearted, manly man, and his death was universally
regretted. He gave to the poor his best services without hope
of pay as freely as where compensation was assured. He had
many personal friends, and the death of no one could be more
sincerely felt than his." ^ December 20, 1857, Dr. Drake married
Phebe J. Keith, of Easton, by whom he had one daughter.

Daniel Goodwin, M.D., was son of Benjamin Goodwin, first
of Boston, and then of Easton, who came to the latter place
about 1785. He succeeded to his father's estate in Easton about
1794 ; this was said to be the old Kingman tavern, located close
by Ebenezer Randall's, on the Bay road. In the old Town
treasurer's book he is paid for doctoring the poor in 1801 and
1802. He soon moved to Norton, and probably abandoned the
practice of medicine, as Mr. Clark in the " History of Norton "
does not include him among the physicians of that town. He
was brother-in-law of Daniel Wheaton, Esq. Dr. Goodwin mar-
ried Polly, daughter of Deacon Timothy and Abigail (Patten)
Briggs, of Norton.

Samuel Guild, M.D., son of Nathaniel and Mary (Boyden)
Guild, was born in Walpole, October 23, 1746; studied medi-
cine with Dr. Daggett, of Medfield, and settled in Easton in
1768, where he had a good practice for forty-eight years. He
officiated at the births of over a thousand children. During the

1 Letter of O. A. Dodge, Esq., of Dover.


earlier part of his life here he taught school for several years, his
pay in 1771 being £1 i6s. per month, and he to board himself.
He was justice of the peace for more than thirty years. Gov.
Elbridge Gerry appointed him also Judge of the Court of Ses-
sions. He was very active as a member of the Easton " Com-
mittee of Correspondence and Safety" in the Revolutionary
War, and served for a while as surgeon in the army. Dr. Guild
was descended from John Guild, who came to this country from
Scotland in 1636, and settled in Dedham, — the descent being
John, Samuel, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, Jr., Samuel. December 25,
1770, he married Elizabeth, daughter of George and Catherine
(Starrett) Ferguson, and by her had five children. She died
August 20, 1784. when he married Catherine, daughter of Elipha-
let and Silence (Hayward) Leonard, by whom he had five chil-
dren. The Doctor himself died May 11, 1816, after an active,
useful, and influential life.

Samuel Guild, Jr., M.D., son of the preceding, was born
July 19, 1775, studied medicine, and became a practising physi-
cian. He married May 28, 1799, Vesta, daughter cf John and
Mercy (Fobes) Howard. He left town about 1806, and in 18 13
his wife sued for and obtained a divorce on the ground of deser-
tion. He is said to have taught school for twenty years. He
died in Maryland, April 3, 1821.

Elisha Hayward, M.D., son of Joseph and Lydia (Barrows)
Hayward, was born in Easton, June 26, 1791. He graduated at
Brown University, studied medicine with Dr. Ebenezer Allen of
Randolph, and settled in Raynham, where he practised his pro-
fession. In 1 82 1 he married Betsy Townsend, of Middleborough,
and died March 16, 1866.

Joseph W. Hayward, M.D., son of George W. and Sylvia
(Pratt) Hayward, was born in Easton, July 11, 1841 ; graduated
at the Bridgewater Normal School in the spring of i860, and
taught school two winters. He began the study of medicine
with Dr. Edgar E. Dean, of North Bridgewater, in 1861, and
entered Harvard Medical School in the fall of 1862. March
13, 1863, having passed the examination of the Regular Army


Board of Philadelphia, he was appointed medical cadet of the
United States Army, and was soon on duty at the Washing-
ton General Hospital at Memphis, Tenn., where he served un-
til February i r, 1864; and for the balance of his year — until
March 11 — he was on duty at the Brown General Hospital at
Louisville, Kentucky.

Dr. Hayward then returned home and entered the Medical
School at Bowdoin, Maine, from which, having passed the required
examination, he graduated in June, 1864. A few days later
he passed the examination of the United States Medical Board
at New York City, and was appointed assistant-surgeon United
States Army by President Lincoln. He was ordered to report
to General Butler in Virginia, and was sent to the Second
Division of the Tenth Corps, in front of Petersburg. In a few
days he was made operating surgeon of the Tenth Corps Artillery
Brigade, making his headquarters with the Fourth New Jersey
Battery. After Butler was superseded by General Ord, Dr.
Hayward was assigned Jo the position of staff-surgeon, serving
in this capacity until after Lee's surrender at Appomattox.
Reaching Richmond April 12, 1865, he was retained upon the
Department Staff as assistant medical director, which position
he held until his resignation in November following. March 13,
1865, he was brevetted major United States Volunteers.

In the winter of 1865-66 Dr. Hayward attended lectures at
the Bellevue Medical College in New York City. April i, 1866,
he formed a copartnership with Dr. George Barrows, of Taun-
ton, the copartnership continuing six years. In 1867 he was
commissioned surgeon of the Third Regiment Massachusetts Vol-
unteer Militia, and in 1874 was made medical director of the
First Brigade, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, holding this
position until an Act of Legislature discharged all its military
officers " for the good of the service." In 1877 he was appointed
United States pension surgeon, and still holds that position. In
1878 he was added to the full faculty of the Boston University

Online LibraryWilliam L. (William Ladd) ChaffinHistory of the town of Easton, Massachusetts (Volume 3) → online text (page 66 of 78)