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Cornell University Library 
F 74A87 C35 

Athol Massachusetts, past and present / 


3 1924 028 819 162 




£ Jl t\^%& 



*^ f 




Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

i^Ssj^ A SoMrdt 



Past ^i^^TpRESENT 








Athol from the Ledges, 1 

Boundary Map, (initial) 1 

Round Top, 5. 

Fitchburg E. E. Depots. 7 

Indian Fording Place, 11 

Churches, 68 

Main Street School House, 126 

Lake Park School House, 127 

Highland School House, 128 

Old High School Building, 137 

High School House, 138 

Grand Army Badge, 14g 

Scene of the great fire of 1890 and portrait of Alexander McLeod, 175 

"Water Works Elevations, 178 

Eesidence of George "W". Horr, Esq., Igg 

Millers Eiver National Bank, 348 

Ginery Twichell as the Unrivalled Express Eider. 356 

Letter from John Brovpn to Col. George H. Hoyt. 360 


The athol transcript co., 

Athol, Mass. 



Drscriptive. Location — Boundaries — Surface — Streams — Ponds — Hills 

— Products — Census — Growth of the Town — Valuation. 1—8 


Ancient Pequoig. The Nipnets— Survey ol the town— Names of the men 
who drew house lots in 1734 — First settlers — Indian depredations — 
French and Indian War. 9— It 


Naming thE^Town. The name of Paxton— Act of Incorporation— Slietch 

of John Murray. 18—24 


Town Government Call for first town meeting — List of Selectmen — 
Sketches of Wilson D. Smith— George W. Bishop -Chas. A. Carruth 
—Henry Gray — Town Clerks — Sketch of John D. Holbrook — Town 
Treasurers — Slietch of Samuel Lee— Collection of taxes— The town's 
poor — Roads and bridges — The currency. 25 — 44 


Churches. The first church — Evangelical Congregational Church— First 
Baptist — Methodist Episcopal — South Athol Methodist Church — Sec- 
ond Unitarian — St. John's Episcopal — Second Advent — St. Catherine's 
Catholic. 4.5—83 


Athol in the Revolution. Action of the town just before the Revolu- 
tion — Minute men— Sketch of Ichabod Dexter, Athol's first captain — 
Marching order of Capt. Ephraim Stockwell — List of Athol men in the 
Revolution — Votes passed by the town during the war. 84 — 94 


Wat of 1812 and Political History. Opposition of the town to the 

War of 1812— Political History— Representatives— Senators. 95—104 

Athol in the Rebellion. Opening of the Rebellion— First volunteers 

—"War meetings— Roll of Honor. 105— 12a 



Educational. First provision made for schools— School expenditures — 
Sketch of Flora E. Kendall— School Committee— Sketches of Charles 
A. Chapman and W. D. Luey— Teachers— High School— Principals of 
the High School— College Graduates— Libraries— Library committee. 123— lf6 


Grand Army of the Republic. Parker Post, No. 123— Sketches of 
James C. Parker and Commanders — Hubbard V. Smith Post, No. 140 
—Sketches of Hubbard V. Smith and Commanders— Memorial Day 
Orators— Gen. W. T. Sherman Camp, Sons of Veterans— Hoyt Post, 
Matrons of the Republic — Woman's Relief Corps, No. 82 — Sketch of 
Mrs. Clare H. Bnrleigh. 147—165 


Fire Dbpartmeht. First engines — Stea^r contest — Sketches of Fred A. 
HaBkins — James McManamy — Charles F. Smith — Harry F. Boutell — 
The great fire of December, 1890— Water works. 16&— 178 


The Legal Profession. First Lawyers— Sketches of Clough R. Milps- 
Isaac Stevens — Hon. Charles Field — Geo. W. Horr — Sidney P. Smith 
— ^Henry M. Burleigh — Edgar V. Wilson — Charles Field, Jr. — Joseph 
A. Titus— Trial Justices — District Court — Deputy Sherifls. 179 — 194 


The Medical Profession. Early doctors— Sketches of Dr. Wm. H. 
Williams — Dr. George Hoyt — Dr. George D. Colony— Dr. James P. 
Lynde — Dr. Samuel H. Colbum — Dr. Marshall L. Lindsey — Dr. 
Charles H. Forbes — Dr. Hiram H. Bums — Dr. Alphonzo V. Bowker 
—Dr. H. R. Thayer— Dr. Windsor A. Brown— Dentists. 195—208 


Old Athol Families. The Lords— Olivers— Kendalls— Mortons— God- 
dards — Sweetser family — Estabrooks— Fish familj' — Humphreys — 
Hoar family — Morses — Havens — Stockwells — Fays. 209— 28 T 


Biographical. Sketches of Addison M. Sawyer— Capt. Charles C. Bassett 

— John C. Hill— Daniel Appleton Newton — Joseph B. Cardany 

Cephas L. Sawyer-J. Sumner Parmenter-Frank C. Parmenter-Edwln 
Ellis— Lyman Wilder Hapgood — Nathaniel Richardson — George T. 
Johnson— Washington H. Amsden— Pardon D. Holbrook— Daniel W. 
Houghton — J. Wesley Goodman. 288—306 



Biographical Continued. Sketches of Theodore Jones-Frederick Jones- 
George Sprague— Jonathan Stratton— Abner Graves Stratton— Wm. 
H. Garfield — Jonathan Wheeler — Joseph Proctor — Major Warren 
Horr — Col. Wilson Andrews^Joseph F. Packard — Thomas D. Brooks 
—Edmund J. Gage — Alexander Gray — James M. Rice — Joseph F. 
Dunbar— Russell Smith— Azro B. Folsom— Daniel Bigelow— Dexter 
Aldrich— Gilbert Southard— James W. Hunt. 307—328 


Journalism. Athol's first newspaper, Freedom's Sentinel — Worcester 
West Chronicle — Sketch ol E. Wm. Waterman — Athol Transcript — 
Sketches of Dr. Vernon O. Taylor— Wells h. Hill— Edgar A. Smith 
Frank W. Gourlay — Cottager Company and W. H. Brock & Co. — 
Sketches of Wiofield H. Brock— Will K. Briggs. 329— '!.3!) 


Post Offices and Banks. Early post offices- List of Postmasters at 
Athol Center — Sketches of James F. Whitcomb — Edwin B. Hortou — 
Athol Depot post oflice — List of Postmasters — Change of name of 
post offices — Sketches of Howard B. Hunt — Arthur C. Longley — Justin 
W. Clayton — Millers River Bank — Athol Savings Bank— Athol Na- 
tional Bank — Athol Co-Operative Bank — Sketches of Hon, Alpheus 
Harding — Thomas H. Goodspeed — Col. Albert L. Newman. 340—353 


Sons of Athol. Sketches of Hon. Ginery Twichell — Col. Geo. H. Ho\ t 
— Joel D. Stratton — Lysander Spooner — Edwin Loriug Sprague — 
Henry Harrison Sprague — Lucius Knight Sprague — Jerome Jones — 
Frederick E. Proctor — Wilson H. Lee— Roland T. Cakes — Charles 
W. Cheney — Henry M. Phillips — Joel D. Miller — Frederic E. Stratton 
— Seth Twichell— Dr. Maurice H. Richardson— Josiah W. Flint. ."54—384 


Early and Latkr Industries. First grist mill and saw mill — Indus- 
tries in the early part of the century — Boot and shoe industry — 
Sketches of Charles M. Lee — Solon W. Lee — Merritt Lee — William D. 
Lee, Jr. — James M. Lee — Athol Shoe Co. — Hill & Greene — Eli G. 
Greene — Sketches of Leroy S. Starrett— George D. Bates— Charles A. 
Bates— Arthur F. Tyler— C. Fred Richardson— Herbert L. Hapgood 
— Almond Smith— Henry R. Stowell— Abijah Hill— Charles L. Morse 
Frank E. Wing— Lewis Sanders— Fred R. Davis. 385—409 



Commercial. Sketches of Oscar T. Brooks — Charles M. Sears — Charles 
A. Crosman — Nelson Whitcomb — Harding R Barber — Herbert S. 
Goddard — Adolphus Bangs — Converse Ward — George H. Cooke — 
James Cotton — Calvin Miller — George S. Brewer — Andrew J. Hamil- 
ton — Albert R. Tower — Frank S. Parmenter — William H. Kendall — 
Chas. W. Bannon — Russell S. Horton — Americus V. Fletcher — Allen 
P. Fletcher — Augustus Coolidge — Lilley B. Caswell — Isaiah L. Cragin 
Adin H. Smith — Azor S Davis — Hiram C. Dunton — Henry F. Pres- 
ton — John W. Donavan — Enoch T. Lewis — John Swan — Moses Hill 410 — 439 

MisscELLANEOUs. Free Masons — Odd Fellows — Worcester Northwest 
Agricultural and Mechanical Society — Spanish-American War — 
Sketches of William L. Pike— Hugh G. Davis— William H. Rivett^ 
Harland H. Knight — Samuel French Cheney — George S. Cheney — 
Amos Cheney — Wheelock A. Cheney. 440 — 448 



Aklrich , Dexter 


Amsden, Wiishin^on H. 


Andrews, Col. Wilson, 


Avery F. C. 


Bangs, Adolphus 


Baunon, Charles W. 


Bassett, Capt Charles C. 


Barber, Harding R. 


Bates, Charles A. 


Bates, George 1). 


Bennett, George A . 


Bigelow, Daniel 


Bigelow, P:ilen JI. 


Bishop, George W 


Boutell, Harry F. 


Bowker, Dr. !Alphonzo X. 


Brewer, George S. 


Briggs, Will K. 


Brock, WinHeld H. 


Brooks, Oscar T. 


Brooks, Thomas D. 


Brov.n, Rev. Horace F. 


Brown, Dr. Windsor A. 


Burleigh, Clare H. 


Burleigh, Henry M. 


Bums, Dr. Hiram H. 


Cardany, Joseph B. 


Carruth, Charles A. 


Carruth, Ida E. 


Caswell, Lilley B 


Chapman, Charles A. 


Chenev, Amos 


Cheney, Charles W. 


Chenev, Geo. S. 


Cheney, S. F. 


Cheney, W. A. 


Clayton, Justin W. 


Colony, Dr. George D. 


Cook," Caleb A. 


Cooke, George H. 


Coolidge, Augustus 
Cotton, .James 



Cragin, Isaiah L. 


Crosman, Charles A. 


Davis, .Azor S. 


Davis, Fred R 


Doane, Roswell L. 


Donovan, .John W. 


Drury, Susie F. 


Dunbar, Joseph F. 


Dunton, Hiram C. 


Ellis, Edwin 
Estabrook, llev. .Joseph 



Fav. Capt. Farwell F. 

28 1 

Pay, J. Ward 


Paj- Levi B. 


Pay, Rev. Lysander 


Fav, Sereno K. 


Field, Hon. Charles 


Pish, William W. 


Fletcher, Allen F. 


Fletcher, Americus V. 


Flint, Josiah 


Folsom, Azro B. 


Forbes, Dr. Charles H. 




Gage, Edmund J. 
Garfleld, William H. 
Goddard, GoodeU 
Goddard, Herbert S. 
Goodspeed, Thomas H. 
Gould, Rev. Edwin S. 
Gould, Samuel N. 
Gourlay, Prank W. 
Gray, Alexander 
Gray, Charles 
Gray Henry 

Hamilton, Andrew J. 
Hapgood, Herbert L. 
Hapgood, Lyman W. 
Harding, Hon. Alpheus 
Harris, Henry W. 
Hasliins, Fred A. 
Heustis, William H. 
Hill, Abljah 
Hill, John C. 
Hill, Wells L. 
Hoar, Timothy 
Holbrook, Pardon D. 
Horr, George W. 
Horr, Major Warren 
Horton, Russell S. 
Houghton, Daniel W. 
Hoj't, Dr. George 
Hoyt, Col. George H. 
Humphrey, Henry M. 
Hunt, Howard B." 

Jaquith William E. 
Jones, Jerome 
Jones, Theodore 

Kendall, Miss Flora E. 
Kendall, Ira Y. 
Kendall, Joab 
Kendall, John 
Kendall, Ozi 
Kendall, William H. 

Lee, Charles M. 
Lee, Wilson H. 
Lindsey, Dr. Marshall L. 
Lombard, Rev. Charles P. 
Longley, Arthur C 
Lord, Charles L. 
Lord, Ethan 
Lord, Franklin G. 
Lord, Gardiner 
Lord, Gardiner Jr. 
Lord, Lucien 
Lord, Nathaniel Y. 
Lynde, Dr. James P. 

Martin, Rev. Edward F. 
McManamv, James 
Mellen, William H. 
Miller, Calvin 
Morse, Charles L. 
Morse, Frank F. 
Morse, Henry T. 
Morse, Laban 










Morse, Leander B. 
Morton, John D. 
Murray, Col. John 

Newman, Col. Albert L. 
Newton, D. Appleton. 
Norton, Rev. John F. 

Oakes, Roland T. 
Oliver, Dr. James 

Packard, Joseph F. 
Parker, James C. 
Parmenter, Frank C. 
Parmenter, Frank S. 
Parmenter, J. Sumner 
Preston, Henry F. 
Proctor, Frederick E. 
Proctor, Joseph 

Rice, James M. 
Richardson, C. Fred 
Richardson, Nathaniel 

Sanders, Lewis 
Sawin, Levi C. 
Sawin, Lewis H. 
Sawyer, Addison M. 
Sawyer, Cephas L. 
Sears, Charles M. 
Shaw, E. J. 
Shrimpton, Rev. C. J. 
Smith, Adin H. 
Smith, Almond 
Smith, Charles F. 
Smith, Edgar A. 
Smith, Hubbard V. 
Smith, Russell 
Smith, Wilson D. 
Southard, Gilbert 
Spooner, B. W. 
Sprague, Edwin Loring 
Sprague, George 
Sprague, Henry Harri.sou 
Sprague, Lucius Knight 
Starrett, Leroy )S 
Stowell, Heury K. 
Stratton, Abiier G. 
Stratton, Frederic E. 
Stratton, Jonathan 

Taft, Charles E. 
Tavlor, Dr. Vernon O. 
Tower, Albert. R. 
Townsend, Harlan P. 
Twichell, Hon. Ginerv. 
Twichell, Seth 
Tyler, .Arthur F. 

Ward, Converse 
Waterman, R. Wm. 
Wheeler, Jonathan 
Whitcomb, James F. 
Whitcomb, Nelson 
Williams, Dr. William H. 
Wil.son, Edgar V. 
Wing, Frank E. 
















When Athol Past and Present was first conceived it was designed 
to be a Gift Book of two hundred pages or more, but after the woi'k 
had been commenced and a portion of it was printed, the author pur- 
chased all the interest that Mr. W. A. Emerson, its originator, had in 
the work, and its plan was materially changed until it has reached 
proportions never thought of at fii'st, with upwards of four hundred and 
fifty pages, exclusive of the portraits, which number about one hundred 
pages more. 

The author has performed all of the work, not only of gathering 
the material and writing the history, but has also solicited all of the 
portraits and sold the books, during the time that he could get while 
not engaged in his regular profession and other business, and most of 
this has been done in the few months of the winter season of each year 
for the last nine or ten years. Those who have never written or as- 
sisted in writing a historical work are not aware of the vast amount of 
labor involved. The fields from which the material of the following 
chapters have been garnerned are the town and church records, old 
muster rolls in the state archives at the State House, family records and 
manuscripts and printed volumes wherever found. The files of the 
Athol Transcript and Worcester West Chronicle have been freely con- 
sulted as well as those of the Barre Gazette and Greenfield Gazette and 
Courier, and we have also availed ourselves of the valuable information 
contained in the centennial discourse of the Rev. 8. F. Clarke, the 
well prepared work of "Athol in Suppressing the Great Eebellion," 
and the history of Athol by George W. Horr in Jewett's history of 
Worcester County. 

We have also received valuable assistance from the Fitchburg 
Public Library, and from Edmund Barton, librarian of the American- 
Antiquarian Society at Worcester, and are indebted to the publishers of 
Picturesque Worcester North for the unique little poem on "Margery 
Morion" bv Mrs. Clare H. Burleigh, which we have incorporated in our 
sketch of the Morton Family. The author is also largely indebted to the 
assistance of George W. Horr, Esq., and Herbert L Hapgood, who 
have enabled him to cari-y out his plan for a more complete history than 
was at first contemplated. To these and all others who have in any 
way contributed to the advancement of the work, and have thus en- 
abled us to present to the people of Athol the first published history of 
the town, we would tender our grateful acknowledgements. 

The first five chapters of the work were printed during the year 
1893, and the succeeding ten chapters in 1896, and consequently the 
events of the departments treated in those chapters and the sketches 
of individuals there appearina-, do not bring them up to the present 














" Whatever strengthens our local attachments is favorable both to individual 
and national character. Show me a man who cares no more for one place than an- 
other, and I will show you in that same person one who loves nothing but himself." 

ATHOL is situated in 
the north-western 
part of Worcester 
County, on the Hoo- 
sac Tunnel line of 
railroad, 8 2 miles 
from Boston, and is 
connected with 
Springfield, from 
which it is 48 miles 
distant, by a branch 
of the Boston & Al- 
bany Railroad, form- 
merly known as the 
Springfield, Athol & Xortheastern. 

The township, as originally laid out and surveyed in 
October and November, 1732, consisted of a territory six 
miles square, but from time to time portions of the original 


territory have been annexed to other towns, and set off in 
the formation of surrounding towns. 

Portions of Athol were annexed to Eoyalston Feb- 
ruary 26, 1799, and March 7, 1803; a part of Athol was 
taken to form Gerry in 1786, and a portion of the north- 
west corner was set off to form Orange. There has also 
been several additions to the town, a part of Gerry being 
annexed February 26, 1806; a part of Orange February 
7, 1816, and parts of New Salem February 5, 1830, and 
March 16, 1837 ; the boundaries now present a very irregu- 
lar outline, especially on the Phillipston line. The town is 
bounded on the north by Orange and Koyalston ; on the 
east by Eoyalston and Phillipston; on the southeast by 
Petersham, and west by New Salem and Orange. It now 
contains 19,000 acres. The southeast corner, as at first 
surveyed, was south of the meeting-house now standing in 
PhUlipston; the northeast corner was northeast of South 
Royalston meeting-house ; the northwest corner was a few 
rods south of North Orange meeting-house, and the south- 
west corner probably remains unchanged. 

The surface is very uneven, hills abounding in almost 
every part of the town, but rising to the greatest height in 
the northern and eastern sections. Here, Millers River, 
after entering the town a short distance from South Roy- 
alston, flows for several miles through a narrow valley 
among the hills, forming some of the wildest and grandest 
scenery in this portion of the State, until just below the 
village it expands into fertUe meadows, which with their 
emerald hues in Summer form a beautiful setting for the 
village which lies along the Aalley, and stretches up the 
sloping hillsides until it merges in the "Highlands," and 


the "Street," the home of the first settlers of the town; 
indeed, beautiful for situation is Athol, the Queen of North- 
western Worcester. 

Millers River, known by the Indians as the Pequoig, 
like many of our New England rivers and mountains, was 
robbed of its name, and given one which has no special 
significance, except that unfortunately for the generations 
coming after him, a man by the name of Miller was drowned 
in the waters of this river while attempting to cross it, and 
thus gave his name to the stream. The most important 
tributary is TuUy, which coming from the north unites with 
MUlers River where the meadows expand northwest of the 
village. This stream, according to tradition, derived its 
name from an Indian's dog, which in following a deer, 
drove the animal over the meadows into these waters, and 
while attempting to seize his prey, was struck by the deer 
and held under the water until poor TuUy was drowned. 

This has been the generally accepted theory until re- 
cent investigations tend to show that this is not probable, as 
TuUy has been found to be a good old English family name, 
instead of an Indian name. 

As there were persons by the name of TuUy in Massa- 
chusetts and other New England States it seems more likely 
that the brook was named after some of these early settlers, 
who in some way became interested in this section, perhaps 
some surveyor, as has been suggested by those who have 
investigated the matter. 

Another stream entering MUlers River, which is of 
more importance to the town, is " Mill Brook," that has its 
source among the hUls in the eastern part of the town and 
the edge of PhUlipston, aiid comes rushing down, making a 


descent of several hundred feet in the course of two or 
three miles, and affords numerous sites for mills and facto- 
ries, and upon which are located some of the most flourish- 
ing manufacturing establishments of the town, while many 
other privileges of equal value are yet undeveloped. 

This stream was known by the name of " Mill Brook '' 
as early as 1737. In regard to the origin of its name, Rev. 
Mr. Clarke, in his Centennial address, says : " Whether it 
was so called from the circumstance that a mUl had been 
previously built on it, or because it afforded numerous sites 
for nulls, or from some other cause, I have been unable to 

But aside from the business connected with this brook, 
it possesses attractions for the scenery connected with it ; 
the waters of this stream and its tributaries form what is 
now known as Lake Ellis, a beautiful sheet of water, dot- 
ted with islands, upon some of which are located tasty 
Summer cottages. Before reaching the Lower Village the 
brook, in a series of cascades and falls, flows along a rocky 
bed, above which forest trees rise, forming most romantic 
and picturesque spots. 

The largest sheet of water is South West Pond, situ- 
ated in the westerly part of the town, while Silver Lake, 
secluded among the hills, only a few rods from the village, 
is a perfect gem, bordered on the east by the beautiful 
cemetery bearing its name, and on the south and west by 
" Lake Park," which, ere long, will be covered Avith fine 
residences, and is destined to become a favorite rural resort. 
Near by was the home of .Jason Babcock, whose name 
these waters formerly bore, and who was taken prisoner by 
the Indians and carried to Canada ; the newh-laid streets 


of this section bear old Indian names and those of the 
early settlers. 

The principal hills are Chestnut HUl in the north, 

Eound Top, Ward's and 
Pierce's in the east, from 
which extensive and wide- 
sweeping views of the coun- 
try for mUes around can be 
obtained, with villages dot- 
ting the hilltops ; below, 
seeming almost at your feet, 
winds the river, and by its side 
curves the iron track over 
which is daily being trans- 
ported the passengers and 
traffic of a continent ; looking to the west, stretching away 
in the dim distance, can be discerned the peaks of the 
Green Mountain range of southern Vermont and Berkshire, 
while to the north, rising in clear, bold, outline, Monad- 
nock's rocky summit seems to be within hailing distance. 
To the west, across the intervening valley, is "West Hill," 
one of the locations of the early settlers, with its " Sentinel 
Elm," a landmark seen from every direction. High Knob, 
south of the Centre, is another eminence from which an 
enchanting view of a deep valley and the western hills 
beyond is obtained. 

To the lover of beautiful scenery, pleasant and attrac- 
tive drives stretch out on every side. Would you like a 
Avild mountain road,'-jiow on the breezy hilltop, anon dijD- 
ping into deep gorges, and traversing rocky hillsides, travel 
over " Bear's Den Road," as it winds o^er and among the 


kills of tke northeastern section of the town ; another ro- 
mantic drive is the " Gulf Eoad," connecting the Bear's 
Den Eoad with Chestnut Hill Road. 

If meadow and river scenery is desired, most charm- 
ing bits of these can be found on the Orange and South 
Athol roads. 

Athol is not distinguished as a farming town, yet there 
are good farms in various sections of the town that yield 
fair returns for the labor expended on them, and the farm- 
ers of Athol have been among its most substantial and 
reliable citizens. According to the State census of 1885, 
the agricultural property was valued at $647,319, and the 
agricultural products amounted to $143,653, of which $43,- 
"252 was the value of dairy products. 

But it is as a manufacturing town that Athol is most 
distinguished, and few towns of its size possess such a 
variety of manufacturing industries as the people of this 
busy and thriving community are engaged in. Among the 
products turned out from the factories and shops are shoes, 
cotton and woolen goods, silk, doors, sash and blinds, pine 
furniture, piano cases, billiard tables, rattan chairs and baby 
carriages, packing boxes, paper boxes, wallets, machinery 
of various kinds, fine mechanical tools, matches, building 
material, soapstone articles, etc. The State census of 1885 
gave 114 manufacturing establishments, turning out pro- 
ducts to the value of 1 1,3 28, 948, which at the present time 
has been largely increased by new industries coming into 
town, and by additions to those already established. With 
all these varied industries, there is little danger of a general 
depression of business. The town has had a healthy growth, 
both in population and business. 


fDamaged by Fire. July, 1892.) 

■* T^F-^ fe^ 



The first census of which we have any record was in 
1776, when the population was 848, and the first census 
enumerator was Hiram Newhall, the town records of 1777 
stating that it was voted to allow his account for numbering 
the people. The population had increased but little up to 
1800, when the number was 993 ; the various census returns 
since that time are as follows: 1810, 1,041 ; 1820, 1,211 ; 
1830, 1,325; 1840, 1,591; 1850, 2,084; 1855, 2,395; 
1860, 2,604; 1865, 2,814; 1870, 3,517; 1875, 4,134; 
1880, 4,307; 1885, 4,758 ; 1890, 6,319. The per cent, of 
gain from 1880 to 1890 was 46. 

The growth of the town dates from the building of the 
Vermont & Massachusetts Eailroad, which was completed 
as far as Athol in December, 1847, the cars commencing to 
run to this town on the last Monday of that month, when 
the event was duly celebrated by a large gathering of the 
people. Since the completion of the Hoosac Tunnel the 
raUroad facilities have wonderfully increased, until now 
seven passenger trains a day, each way, pass over the 
Fitchburg road, while another important factor in the rail- 
road communication of the town is the branch of the Bos- 
ton & Albany, which was constructed in 1871 as the Athol 
& Enfield Eailroad, and in which the town took nearly 
$100,000 in stock, two passenger trains, each way, pass 
over this road daily, between Athol and Springfield. The 
railroad station is an elegant structure, built in 1873, and is 
an ornament to the town. 

The valuation of the town, as returned by the Assess- 
ors for 1891, was $3,156,287. Real estate, $2,473,000 ; 
personal estate, $683,287 ; polls, 1820 ; dwelling-houses, 
1 123. '■ The taxes assessed amounted to $69,895.83, and the 


rate was |21 per thousand. The growth for the last four 
or five years has been rapid, more than $600,000 having 
been spent in the erection of buildings during the past 
three years, among which are the new Bank Block of the 
Millers River National Bank, Webb's new Main Street 
Block, the Commercial House, three new school buUdmgs, 
including a fine High School building, Lucien Lord's Aca- 
demy of Music, and C. F. Richardsons Block. 

The natural and acquired advantages of Athol are 
many ; with abundant water-power furnished by MUlers 
River and Mill Brook, good streets and roads, more miles 
of sidewalk than any town of its size in Western Massa- 
chusetts, a good system of water-works, streets lighted by 
electric lights, a good public library and schools, and sur- 
rounded by beautiful scenery, it is fast being filled up with 
beautiful homes. 


" Within a lone, sequestered glen, 

All desolate and wild, 
The haunt of beasts and savage men. 

Here roamed the forest child." 


The valley of the Pequoig seems to have been among 
the last portions of Eastern and Central Massachusetts to 
be settled ; the country to the east and south, and the Con- 
necticut Valley on the vilest, had contained for many years 
flourishing settlements, but along this valley and on these 
hills the white man had scarcely penetrated. From the 
eastern headwaters of MUlers River in Ashburnham, down 
the valley, until the Connecticut was reached, there were 
no settlements before 1735. 

This was the country of the Nipnets, or Nipmucks, 
whose territory extended bver nearly the whole of Worces- 
ter County, and an old map makes the Nipmuck region 
also extend beyond the Connecticut, on the west, and north- 
ward into New Hampshire. According to Eliot, Nipmuck, 
or Nipnet, was a " great country lying between Connecticut 
and the Massachusetts, called Nipnet, where there be many 
Indians dispersed." These were the Indians out of whom 
the Christian settlements were gathered, of whom Eliot 
was the missionary and apostle. One branch or faction of 


the tribe, whose home or headquarters was around Wicka- 
boag Pond, in West Brookfield, was called the Quabogs. 
To the east of the Quabogs lay the possessions of the Nip- 
nets, or Nipmucks. The Nashaways lived north of the 
Nipnets, and are sometimes called the Wachusetts, from 
their strongholds in the mountain of that name in Princeton. 

Another tribe was the Squakheags, who occupied the 
territory now included in Northfield, Vernon and Hinsdale, 
and the Millers River Valley. It has been customary with 
most writers to class all these tribes, under the general 
name of Nipnets. 

These natives had many places of temporary sojourn, 
as the rich valleys for planting, and by the falls of the 
rivers and shores of ponds for fishing. The meadows of 
Athol formed one of the favorite corn-plantuig places of 
the Indians, while the forest-covered hills around, which 
abounded with wild game, were their hunting-grounds. 
This was also upon one of the most frequented Indian 
trails from southern New England to Canada, and there 
were two Indian crossings of the Pequoig within the limits 
of this town, one a little above Lewis' Bridge, and the 
other not far from the house of the late James Lamb. 

Sqviakheag, now Northfield, was one of the gathering- 
places during King Phillip's War, and during that strife 
bands of the dusky warriors traversed this valley. During 
this war the Indians had gathered at their Menameset 
camps, which were located in what is now New Braintree 
and Barre. Major Thomas Savage was sent with a force 
of troops to break up this gathering. Upon learning of 
the near approach of the English the Indians left Mena- 
meset, and pushed on northward, heading for Paquayag. 



This band comprised the Narragansetts, the Nipmucks 

__ and the Grafton Indians, a 
miscellaneous crowd, num- 
bering, in all, about 2,000 
souls. The English pur- 
sued, but the Indians, by a 
feigned attack, drew them 
off on the wrong trail, and 
reached Millers River, 
which they crossed, prob- 
ably at the crossing near the 
James Lamb place. Mrs. 
Eowlandson, who was a 
prisoner with the Indians, gives an interesting account of 
the flight and the crossing of the river. She says : " They 
went as if they had gone for their lives, for some consider- 
able way, and then they made a stop, and chose out some 
of their stoutest men, and sent them back to hold the 
English army in play whilst the rest escaped ; and then, 
like Jehu, they marched on furiously, with their old and 
young ; some carried their old, decrepit mothers, some 
carried one and some another. Four of them carried a 
great Indian upon a bier, but going through a thick wood 
with him, they were hindered, and could make no haste ; 
whereupon they took him upon their backs, and carried 
him, one at a time, till we came to Pacquag River. Upon 
a Friday, a little after noon, we came to this river. They 
quickly fell to cutting dry trees, to make rafts to carry 
them over the river, and soon my turn came to go over. 
A certain number got o,ver the river that night, but it was 
the night after the Sabbath before all the company got over." 


When the English came np to the river, which was in 
the forenoon of Monday, they saw on the other side the 
smoke of the wigwams, which the retreating Indians had 
set fire to, but the stream was swollen by the Spring floods, 
and they did not attempt to cross. 

The Massachusetts Council were deeply chagrined at 
the signal failure of this expedition, and in a letter to 
Major Savage, who had made his headquarters at Hadley, 
said: " Leaving Captain Turner in Captain Poole's place, 
with the rest of the army we expressly command you 
to draw homeward, and endeavor in your return to visit 
the enemy about Pachquake (Paquayag), and be careful 
not to be deceived by their lapwing stratagems, by drawing 
you off from your nest to follow some men." 

Early in May the Indians that had gathered at Squak- 
heag separated into four parlies. One remained at Squak- 
heag for planting and fishing ; one went to Pacomptuck 
Meadows to plant corn, and one to Paquayag, now Athol, 
for the same purpose. 

Nearly sixty years after King Phillip's War, a vote is 
passed, by both Houses of the General Court, in July, 
1732, " that there be four towns opened of the contents of 
six miles square each ; " of these the first one named was 
to be at Paquoag, on Millers River. This was ordered 
to be surveyed in October, or November, of that year, and 
that there be sixty-three house lots laid out, one for the first 
settled minister, one for the ministry, one for the school, 
and one for each of the sixty settlers who shall settle 
thereon in his own person, or by one of his children. 
Among the conditions that the settlers were to comply 
with, was, that each settler actually live on his land within 


three years from his admission ; build an house on his land, 
of eighteen feet square and seven feet stud, at the least, 
and, within the same time, do sufficiently fence in and till, 
or fit for mowing, eight acres of land. The settlers in 
each town were also required to buUd a suitable meeting- 
house, and to settle a learned orthodox minister, withm the 
space of five years from the admission of the settlers. In 
case the settler failed to perform these conditions he was to 
pay a forfeit of twenty pounds. 

In the Proprietors' Records is found the following : 
" The following is a List of the Names of the men admitted 
by the Honorable William Dudley, Chairman of the Com- 
mittee and others, the Great and General Court's Com- 
mittee, to draw House Lotts in the Township of Pequoiag 
on Miner's River, on the 26 of June 1734 at Concord, as 
Settlers of said Pequoiag." 

The names of the settlers given are as follows : Ed- 
ward Goddard, Daniel Epps, Jr., Daniel Epps, Sr., Eben- 
ezer Goddard, Zechariah Field, Nehemiah Wright, Richard 
Wheeler, Richard Morton, Samuel Morton, Ephraim Smith, 
Nathan Waite, Charles Dulharty, Gad Waite, Joseph Lord, 
Benoni Twichel, John Wallis, Samuel WUlard, John Smeed, 
William Chandler, Jonathan Marble, William Higgens, 
James Kenney, Abner Lee, Abraham Nutt, John Headley, 
Isaac Fisk, Daniel Fisk, Thomas Hapgood, Richard Ward, 
Samuel Tenney, John Wood, Benj. Townsend, Jonathan 
Morton, Joseph Smith, William Oliver, Moses Dickinson, 
Joshua Dickinson, James Kellogg, Richard Crouch, Ezekiel 
WaUingford, James Jones, John Grout, Daniel Adams, 
John Cutting, Samuel Kendall, Jonathan Page, John Long- 
ley, Joseph Brown, John Child, Nathaniel Graves, George 



Danforth, James Fay, Captain Joseph Bowman, Francis: 
Bowman, Stephen Fay, Israel Hamond, Benjamin Bancroft, 
Joseph Harrington, James Holden. 

The next year after the drawing of the house lots, on 
the 17th of September, 1735, there arrived in the township 
five of these proprietors — Richard Morton, Ephraim Smith, 
Samuel Morton, John Smeed and Joseph Lord; they had 
traversed the -\vilderness from Hatfield and Sunderland, on 
the Connecticut, and had come to make their homes on 
these unimproved hills, and commence the first civilized 
settlement in old Pequoiag. 

These five pioneer settlers must have been men of 
resolute spirit and bravery ; here they were on these hills 
with their families, miles from any settlement, surrounded 
by the virgin forest, through which roamed wild beasts, and 
the savage Indian. 

All the means for their sustenance, except what they 
could procure from the wild game of the forests, must, for 
months, be transported from the Connecticut Valley ; their 
labors in clearing up their lands for cultivation must have 
been arduous, and they must have had a constant anxiety 
for the protection of their families and themselves against 
the prowling and wHy Indian. 

It is probable that they located their dwellings and 
spent the first Winter together, about a mile south of the 
Highlands, on what is now called the Street; here they 
built their first log huts, and here during the first Winter 
after their arrival, according to tradition, were born three 
sons, the first white natives of old Pequoig — these were 
Abraham Morton, son of Richard Morton, Abner Morton, 
son of Samuel Morton, and Thomas Lord, son of Joseph 


Lord. The &st white female born in town was Margery 
Morton, who was born in 1738 ; the baby shoes worn by 
her are still treasured as relics in the Kelton famUy, by 
Mrs. Electa Kelton, who is a descendant of the Morton 

In the Spring of 1736 this little company of settlers 
were joined by others, among whom were Aaron Smith, 
Samuel Dexter, Robert Young, Noah Morton, Nathaniel 
Graves, Eleazer Graves, Robert Marble, William Oliver 
and his three brothers — John, James and Robert. Other 
settlements were soon commenced in different parts of the 
town — " West Hill," in the northwest part of the town, 
and Lyon's HUl, in the east part, being the first localities 
cleared. Chestnut Hill was first settled about the year 
1761, and the first settler was John Haven. 

This was a frontier township, and especially exposed 
to the depredations of the Indians ; while the breaking out 
of the French and Indian War, soon after the arrival of the 
first settlers, together with the fact that this was a favorite 
haunt of the Indians, made it necessary to exercise the 
greatest care and precaution against attacks from the wily 
foes around them, and the settlers were not only obliged to 
carry firearms with them while about their work, but also 
to buUd forts, for the mutual safety and protection of the 
settlement. Three of these forts are said to have been 
built, the first and principal oncbeing on the " Street," in 
cl6se proximity to where the first dwellings were erected; 
another was located on what was called " West HUl," not 
far from where the old " Sentinel Elm" now stands, as if a 
monument to perpetuate the memory of the deeds and 
scenes of those trying days of Ancient Pequoig. The third 


place of refuge is said to have occupied the spot where the 
Pequoig House, in the Lower Village, now stands. 

Notwithstanding the perilous situation, it is not known 
that more than one person was ever kUled by the Indians 
in this toAvn, and that was Mr. Ezekiel Wallingford, who 
was living at the time in the fort on "West HUl;" it 
is stated that, supposing he heard bears in his cornfield, 
one evening, he went out to watch, but soon discovered 
that he had been deceived by the Indians, who had imi- 
tated the noise of bears, and were surrounding him ; he 
immediately started to regain the fort, which was about 
a hundred yards away, but was soon stopped by a musket- 
ball, and his life ended by the tomahawk. This was in 
August, 1746, and the next Spring, in April or May, Mr, 
Jason Babcock, \Vhile looking for his cows on the meadows 
of TuUy Brook, was fired upon by the Indians, wounded, 
taken prisoner, and carried to Canada; in the course of a 
few months he was redeemed, and returned to his home, 
near what is now SUver Lake, where he lived for many 

Rev. Mr. Clarke, in his Centennial discourse, gives an 
account of a little Athol girl, Mary Smeed, six years old, 
who, with her father, mother and brothers, was taken pris- 
oner at " Fort Massachusetts," on the Hoosac River, where 
they had gone for safety; they were carried through the 
wilderness to Canada, and, after a captivity of nearly two 
years, those of the party who survived were ransomed, and 
returned to their former home, at Pequoiag. 

Several Athol men were in the army during the French 
and Indian War, among whom were Samuel Graves and 
Adonijah Ball ; also Abraham Morton, the first white child 


born in Athol, who was engaged in the expedition agaiast 
Canada under Colonel Rogers, and of whom tradition teUs 
the following: That after Rogers' defeat, the party to 
which Morton belonged, on their return home, being out 
of provisions, came near starving, and the strong proba- 
bility is that the party drew lots to determine who of their 
number should yield his body to save the rest from fam- 
ishing. It is supposed that the lot fell on Mr. Morton, for 
he. was never heard of afterwards. • 

One of the first settlers, Mr. Josiah Holmes, lost his 
life in consequence of sickness brought on by exposure and 
fatigue, "experienced while guarding and defending the 
garrison in which the little flock was obliged to resort for 
shelter and safety." 

Such, briefly told, are some of the perils and privations 
passed through by the courageous and sturdy pioneers and 
their families, who planted on these hills the first homes of 
Ancient Pequoig. 


" What's in a Name ? ' 


^- i-^f^ HE FOUNDING of a New England 
town, and investing it with aU the 
rights and privileges possessed by a 
town, was an event of great impor 

Every day brought its labors and 
duties that must be attended to; roads 
must be made, schools established and school-houses built, 
the young men trained to arms against the savages, the 
bears, wolves and wild cats; the preaching of the gospel 
must be maintained and meeting houses erected, and for 
all these taxes must be laid and collected. 

AU of these duties the first settlers of Old Pequoig 
performed, and laid for us the foundations of all that we 
enjoy to-day. For more than a quarter of a century this 
little settlement had grown and prospered under the Pro- 
prietors' control, when a movement was made for the 
incorporation of " Pequoig on Miller's Eiver " into a town. 


What name should be conferred upon this new town 
when admitted to the sisterhood of towns in the Common- 
wealth'? It seems somewhat singular that in aU the State 
there are so few of our towns that bear their old and ro- 
mantic Indian names, but in most instances were given the 
names of towns in Old England, or those of the rulers or 
prominent men in the colony. 

It would seem from the record of a warrant for a pro- 
prietors' meeting that appears in the second volume of the 
Proprietors' Records, that a different name than the one it 
now bears was first selected for the new town, but why and 
by whom we have not been able to determine. The 
record reads as follows: 

[Seal] " Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New 
England, to Nathaniel Graves, of Paxton, in the county of 
Worcester, New England, Gentleman: 


You are hereby required to notify the Proprietors of 
said Paxton, lately known by the name of Pequoig, lying 
on Miller's River so called, in the County of Worcester, 
that they assemble and meets at the Publick Meeting House 
in said township on the second Wednesday 'of March next, 
for the transaction of their usual business, &c." 

This warrant was dated February 22, 1762, just 
twelve days before the town was incorporated with an en- 
tirely different name. Why the name of Paxton, which 
certainly was expected by the clerk of the proprietors to 
be the one selected, did not appear in the act of incorpora- 
tion is not known. 

We may consider it a fortunate circumstance that the 
town escaped bearing the name of Paxton, for the people 


of another Worcester County town upon which it was 
bestowed a few years after became so disgusted with the 
character of the man from whom they received the name 
that they petitioned the Legislature to change the name, 
but for some reason the petition was not granted. Charles 
Paxton, the man referred to, was one of the Commisioners 
of the Customs at Boston. He was remarkable for finished 
politeness and courtesy of manners, but is said to have 
been an intriguing politician and a despicable sycophant. 
On one occasion he was exhibited between the figures of 
the devil and the pope, in proper figure, with this label; 
" every mamus humble servant, but no ■man's friend." 

He made himself so obnoxious to the people of Boston 
because of his issuing search warrants to discover supposed 
smuggled goods, and was so insolent and tyrannical, that he 
became an object of such hatred that he was hung in efiigy 
upon Liberty Tree, and was driven into Castle WUliam. 

On the evacuation of Boston he accompanied the 
British army to Halifax, and subsequently went to Eng- 
land, where he died in 1782. 

The corporate act creating the new town is recorded 
in chapter XX of " Acts and laws passed by the Great and 
General Court or Assembly of His Majesty's Province of 
the Massachusetts Bay in New England," and reads as 
follows: — 

" Anno, Regni, Regis., Georgii III, Secundo, IJ62." 


"An act for erecting the new Plantation called Payguage, in the" 
County of "Worcester, into a Town by the Name of Athol. 

Whereas, it hath been represented to this Court that the inhabitants 
of the Plantation of Paygauge in the County of "Worcester, labor under 
great Difflcultie? by reason of their not being incorporated into a Town, 
and are desirous of being so incorporated; 


Be it therefore enacted by the Governor, Council and House of 
Eepresentatives that the said Plantation be and hereby is erected into a 
Town by the Name of Athol, bounded as follows, viz.. Northerly on 
the Plantations of Royashire and Mount Grace, Westerly on Ervingshire 
and New Salem, Southerly on Petersham and the Plantation called 
Number-Six, and Easterly on said Number-Six ; and that the inhabitants 
thereof be and hereby are invested with all the Powers, Privileges and 
Immunities that the Inhabitants of the Towns within this Province are 
by Law vested with. And be it further enacted, that John Murray, 
Esquire, be and hereby is directed and empowered to issue his Wan-ant, 
directed to some of the principal Inhabitants within said Town, requir- 
ing them to warn the Inhabitants of said Town, qualified to vote in 
Town Affairs, to afesemble at some suitable Time and Place in said 
Town to choose such Officers as are necessary to manage the Affairs of 
said Town : Provided nevertheless the Inhabitants of said To^\m shall 
Ijay their proportionable part of such County and Province Charges as 
are already assessed in like manner as tho' this Act had not been 

It is established beyond a reasonable doubt that Athol 
received its name fronji John Murray, Esq., whose name 
appears in the charter of incorporation as the one directed 
and empowered to issue the warrant calling the first town 
meeting, and who was also the moderator of that meeting. 
He was largely interested in lands in the township, owning 
several hundred acres before the incorporation of the town, 
and acquiring nearly as much more thereafter; several of 
the old deeds of his Athol property are now in possession 
of his descendants in New Brunswick. 

That he was probably the most distinguished man 
among the proprietors is evident from the fact that the 
title of Esquire is attached to his name as it appears upon 
the records, which title is bestowed upon no other one of 
the proprietors. It seems reasonable also that he should 
desire to bestow his family name upon one of the New 
England townships in which he was so largely intereisted, 
and as Rutland, the town where he made his residence, had 


already been named, lie would naturally look to the one in 
which he was next most largely interested, which was old 

The fact that the beautiful and romantic scenery of 
the hills of the new town, which is said to resemble 
Blair-Athol, his ancestral home, might recall to his mind 
that (Pleasant Land) among the Scottish hills, and thus be 
an additional motive for the naming of the town. 

Athol, in Scotland, is a district of 450 square miles, 
situated among the hills of Perthshire on the southern 
slope of the Grampian hUls, and is intersected by many 
narrow glens, down which flow the rapid tributaries of the 
Tay. It is chiefly composed of gneiss and quartz rocks, 
with beds of primary limestone. It was once one of the 
best hunting districts in Scotland, and the Athol deer 
forest is said to contain 100,000 acres and 10,000 head of 
deer, of which 100 are killed annually. The larch trees 
surrounding Blair Castle, the seat of the Duke of Athol, 
are said to be remarkable for their enormous size, and for 
the fact of their being among the first planted ia Scotland. 
In the picturesque pass of Killiecrankie in this district, 1 7 
miles northwest of Dunkeld, Claverhouse feU in 1689, 
though victorious over the troops of King 'WJ.illiam III. 

In this connection a sketch of the man who gave 
Athol her name will be of interest. 

John Murray of Rutland, Mass., was the youngest son 
of the Duke of Athol in Scotland. Becoming displeased 
with his family, he left his country and went to America 
before the Revolution. It is said that by his enterprise 
and good fortune he became the wealthiest man of the 
town. He was the principal man in his section of the 



country, and represented Rutland in the General Court for 
twenty years, and was one of the country gentlemen or 
colonial noblemen who lived upon their estates in a style 
that has long siuce passed away. 

He was a colonel in the militia, and in. 1774 was ap- 
pointed a Mandamus Councillor, but was not sworn into 
office. When the Revolution broke out he remained loyal 
to his King, and was proscribed and his property seized. 
He abandoned his house on the night of the 25th of 
August, 1774, and with a friend, Mr. Hazen, escaped in 
the darkness of the night to the woods, and only their 
wives knew their hiding place. These watched their op- 
portunities, and carried them bread and meat. Sometimes 
the ladies would be so closely watched that they could not 
elude the revolutionists, and once it was three days that 
they could take them no food. Finally they escaped to 
Boston, and in 1776 Col. Murray, with his family of six. 
persons, accompanied the royal army to Halifax. In 1778 
he was proscribed and banished; and in 1779 his extensive 
estates in Rutland, Athol and Lenox, valued at 23,367 
pounds, 17 shillings and 9 pence, were confiscated, with 
the exception of one farm for his whig son, Alexander. 
After the Revolution Col. Murray became a resident of St. 
John, New Brunswick, and buUt a house in Prince Wil- 
liam street. He was allowed a pension of £200 
per annum by the British Government. The descendants 
of Col. Murray, in New Brunswick, have several relics of 
the olden time of much interest ; among these are articles 
of silver plate of a by gone fashion, books of accounts, bus- 
iness memoranda, muster rolls, or list of officers of the 
regiment which he commanded, deeds of his estates, &c. 



Of the latter, there are no less than twenty-two of his lands 
in Rutland, and several of property in Athol. One of the 
deeds is stamped, but it bears date some years previous to 
the passage of the odious stamp-act. The manner in 
which he kept his books and papers, shows that he was a 
careful, calculating and exact man in his transactions. In 
person he was about six feet three inches high, and well 
proportioned, A picture of Col. Murray, by Copley, is in 
the possession of Hon. J. Douglas Hazen of St. John's, 
New Brunswick. In this picture he is represented as sit- 
ting, and in the full dress of a gentleman of the day ; and 
his person is shown to the knees. There is a hole in this 
portrait, and the tradition in the famUy is, that a party 
who sought the Colonel at his house in Rutland after his 
flight, vexed because he had eluded them, vowed they 
would leave their mark behind them; and accordingly 
pierced the canvas with a bayonet. 

Chapter iv. 


"No other practicable human institation has been devised or conceived to 
secure the just ends of local government, so felicitous as the town meeting.'' 

HE FIRST Town Meeting of Athol was 
held March 29, 1762. The call for the 
meeting read as follows : 

"WoRCESTEB, ss. To George Cutting of 
Athol, in the County of Worcester, and one 
of the principal inhabitants of said Town; 
"Whereas I, the Subscriber, am Impowered by 






act of the Great and General Court, to call a meeting of the Inhabitants 
of the Town of Athol, to choose Town Ofllcers, etc. These are there- 
fore in his maiestie's name to Require you forthwith to warn and Notifle 
the said Inhabitants of Athol, qualified to vote in Town Affairs, that 
they meet at the Meeting- House in said Town of Athol, on Monday, 
the 29 of this Instant March, at one of the clock in the afternoon, then 
and there to Choose a Moderator, Selectmen, Town Clerk, Assessors, 
Town Treasurer, Wardens, Constables, Surveyors of Highways, Tyth- 
ingmen. Fence Viewers, Sealers of Weights and Measures, Field 
Drivers, Hog Reaves, and all other ordinary Town Officers, as Towns 
Choose in the month of March, annually. 

Hereof fail not, and make return hereof with your Doings hereon, 
unto me before said meeting. 


Given under my Hand and Seal at Rutland, In said County, this 
fifteenth day of March, 1762, in the second year of his present Majestie's, 
Beign, etc." John Murray, Jus. Peace. 

At this meeting John Murray was chosen moderator 
and the following town officers were elected : 

Selectmen and Assessors, William Oliver, vlaron Smith, 

John Haven ; Toum Treasurer, Nathan Goddard ; Wardens, 

Robert Young, Nathan Goddard ; Constable for South 

Ward, Richard Morton ; Constable for North Ward, Eph- 

raim Smith ; Surveyors of Highways, Nathan Goddard, 

John Oliver, Seth Kendall ; Tythingmen, Jesse Kendall 

and Jotham Death ; Fence Viewers, WUliam Biglo, Martin 

Morton ; Sealer of Leather, Jotham Death ; Sealer of 

Weights and Measures, WUliam Oliver ; Field Drivers, 

Joseph Dexter and James Oliver ; Deer Reeves, Eleazer 

Graves and Jason Babcock ; Hog Reeves, Silas Marble and 

Ichabod Dexter ; Sealer of Boards and Shingles, Jesse 

Kendall. No Town Clerk was chosen untU the next 

annual meeting, March 7, 1763, when John Haven was 
chosen to that office. 

The second town meeting was held May 25, 1762, 
when the first appropriations made by the town of Athol 
after its incorporation were voted. The following are 
some of the votes passed at that meeting : 

"Art. 2. Voated the Rev. Mr. James Humphrey Fifty-two 
pounds for the ensuing year, beginning the year when we ware made 
a Town." 

"Art. 3. On the third artecal, voated twenty pounds to repair 

"Art 4. On the fourth artecal, voted seven pounds to buy a 
book for records, and build a pound, and to defray other necessary 


'■•Art. 5. On the fifth artecal, voted Lay out a I'oad from the 
Eiver to Royalshea line." 

"Art. 7. On the seventh artecal, voted that men be allowed three 
shillings a day for highway work, and one shillipg and six- pen^e for 
two oxen a day, and nine pence a day for a cart and nine pence a day 
tor a plow, and that eight hours be esteemed a day's worli.^' 

It is interesting to know who tlie men have been who 
have been called upon by their fellow citizens to manage 
the affairs tjf the town, and to learn something of their 

The following is a list of those who have served as 
Selectmen : 

1763 — Samuel Morton, Aaron Smith, John Haven. 

1764 — Aaron Smith, John Haven, Martin Morton, Samuel 
Morton, Silas Marble, 

1765 — Wm. Oliver, Aaron Smith, Nathaniel Graves, John Haven 
Abraham Nutt. 

1766 — Aaron Smith, Wm. Oliver, John Haven, Abraham Nutt, 
Seth Twichell. 

1767 — Wm. Oliver, Aaron Smith, John Haven. 

1768— Nathaniel Graves, Wm. Oliver, Aaron Smith, Jesse Ken- 
dall, Ichabod Dexter. 

1769 — Nathaniel Graves, John Haven, Lieut. Wm. Oliver. 

1770 -Aaron Smith. John Haven, Jesse Kendall. 

1771 — John Haven, Jesse Kendall, Nathaniel Babbitt. 

1772- -John Haven, James Oliver, Geo. Kelton. 

1773 — Aaron Smith, John Haven, Jesse Kendall. 

1774 — Dea. Aaron Smith, James Stratton, Jr., James Oliver. 

1775 — Aaron Smith, James Stratton, Jr., Hiram Newhall. 

1776— Aaron Smith, James Stratton, Hiram Newhall. 

1777 — Geo. Kelton, Hiram Newhall, Abner Graves. 

1778— Geo. Kelton, James Stratton, Josiah Goddard. 

1779 — Josiah Goddard, Abner Graves, Hiram Newhall, 

1780— Josiah Goddard, Hiram Newhall, Abner Graves. 

1781 — Josiah Goddard, Hiram Newhall, Johir Foster. 

1782 — Josiah Goddard, Caleb Smith, Daniel EUenwood. 

1783 — Daniel EUenwood. Thomas Lord, Simon Goddard, Josiah 
Godilai-d, John Poster. 


1784 — Geo. Kelton, Josiah Goddard, Abner Graves. 
1786 — Geo. Kelton, Josiah Goddard, Abner Graves. 
1786 — Josiah Goddard, Abner Graves, Caleb Smith. 
1787 — Josiah Goddard, Abner Graves, Caleb Smith. 
1788— Josiah Goddard, Aaron Oliver, Abner Graves. 
1789 — Josiah Goddard, Abner Graves, Aaron Oliver. 
1790 — Josiah Goddard, Joseph Pierce, Eleazer Graves, Jr. 
1791 — Josiah Goddard, Joseph Pierce, Caleb Smith. 
1792 — Josiah Goddard, Thomas Stratton, Aaron Oliver. 
1793 — Thomas Stratton, Eleazer Graves, Jr., Caleb Smitli. 
1794 — Josiah Goddard, Thomas Stratton, Eleazer Graves, Jr. 
1795 — Josiah Goddard, Thomas Stratton, Eleazer Graves, Jr. 
1796 — Josiah Goddard, Thomas Stratton, Eleazer Graves, Jr. 
1797 — Samuel Young, Joseph Pierce, Aaron Oliver. 
1798 — Josiah Goddard, John Humphrey, Aaron Smith, Jr. 
1799 — Josiah Goddard, John Humphrey, Aaron Smith. 
1800 — Eleazer Graves, Samuel Young, JoshuaBallard. 
1801 — Eleazer Graves, Jpshua Ballard, Wm. Young. 
1802 — Eleazer Graves, Aaron Smith, Elijah Goddard. 
1803 — John Humphrey, Eleazer Graves, Elijah Goddard. 
1804 — John Humphrey, Eleazer Graves, Samuel Young. 
1805 — Eleazer Graves, Samuel Young, James Humphrey. 
1806— Eleazer Graves, "Wm. Young, James Humphrey. 
1807 — Eleazer Graves, James Humphrey, James Oliver. 
1808 — James Oliver, Elijah Goddard, Joseph Pierce. 
1809 — Eleazer Graves, Elijah Goddard, Joel Morton. 
1810— Eleazer Graves, Joseph Proctor, Elijah Goddard. 
1811 — Eleazer Graves, Elijah Goddard, James Oliver. 
1812 — Joshua Ballard, James Humphrey , James Oliver. 
1813 — James Humphrey, James Oliver, Joseph Pierce. 
1814— James Humphrey, James Oliver, Joseph Pierce. 
1815— James Humphrey, James Oliver, Theodore Jones. 
1816 — Eleazer Graves, Joseph Pierce, Zachariah Field. 
1817— Eleazer Graves, Zachariah Field, Ezra Fish. 
1818— Lieut. Eleazer Graves, Ezra Fish, Eliphalet Thorpe. 
1819— Lieut. Eleazer Graves, Eliphalet Thorpe, Capt. James Oli- 

1820— Eliphalet Thorpe, Joseph Proctor, Capt. James Oliver. 
1821— Eliphalet Thorpe, Joseph Proctor, Capt. Jam'fes Oliver. 
1822— Eliphalet Thorpe James Oliver, Abner Graves, Jr. 


1823— Eliphalet Thorpe, James Oliver, Abner Graves, Jr. 
1824— Ellphalet Thorpe, James Oliver, Abner Graves, Jr. 
18-25 — Eliphalet Thorpe, James Oliver, Abner Graves, Jr. 
1826— James Oliver, Capt. Abner Graves, Col. Nathan Nickerson. 
1827- Col. Nathan Nickerson, James Young, Daniel Ellenwood. 
1828— James Young, James Oliver, Esq., Dr. Ebenezer Chaplin. 
1829— James Young, Samuel Sweetzer, Jr., Josiah Fay, 
1830 — James Young, Samuel Sweetzer, Jr., Josiah Fay. 
1831 — James Young, Eliphalet Thorpe, Josiah Fay. 
1832 —James Young, Eliphalet Thorpe, Josiah Fay. 
1833 — James Young, Eliphalet Thorpe, Josiah Fay. 
1834 — James Young, Eliphalet Thorpe, Noah Stockwell. 
1835— James Young, Gideon Sibley, Noah Stockwell. 
1836 — James Young, Gideon Sibley, Noah Stockwell. 
1837 — Benj. Estabrook, Amasa Lincoln, Nehemiah "Ward. 
1838 — Benj. Estabrook, Amasa Lincoln, Nehemiah Ward. 
1839 — Benj. Estabrook, Stillman Knowlton, Nehemiah Ward. 
1840 — Theodore Jones, Elias Bassett, Joseph Stockwell. 
1841 — J. W. Humphreys, Elias Bassett, Alexander Gray. 
1842— J. W. Humphreys, Henry Fish, Alexander Gray. 
1843 — John H. Partridge, Alexander Gray, John Kendall. 
1844 — Eliphalet Thorpe, Benj. Estabrook, Elias Bassett. 
1845— Elias Bassett, Theodore Jones, Samuel Sweetzer. 
1846— Theodore Jones, Elias Bassett, Samuel Newhall. 
1847 — Samuel Newhall, Benj. Estabrook, Nehemiah Ward. 
1848 — Calvin Kelton, Nathaniel Kichardson, Wm. D. Lee, Jr. 
1849 — Calvin Kelton, Nathaniel Richardson, Wm. D. Lee, Jr. 
1860 — Calvin Kelton, Nathaniel Richardson, Benj. Estabrook. 
1851 — Benjamin Estabrook, Isaac Stevens, Josiah Haven. 
1852 —Benjamin Estabrook, Isaac Stevens, Josiah Haven. 
1853 — Samuel Newhall, Josiah Haven, Nathaniel Richardson. 
1854 — Nathaniel Richardson, Josiah Haven, Laban Morse. 
1855 — Josiah Haven, George Farr, Calvin Kelton. 
1856— Calvin Kelton, James Lamb, A. G. Stratton. 
1857— Calvin Kelton, A. G. Stratton, Benjamin Estabrook. 
1858— Nathaniel Richardson. Calvin Kelton, John Kendall. 
1859 — Nathaniel Richardson, Calvin Kelton, John Kendall. 
1860— Calvin Kelton, A. G. Sti-atton, Jona. Drury. 
1861— Calvin Kelton, Amos L. Cheney, John Kendall. 
1862— Amos L. Cheney, John Kendall, A. D. Horr. 


1863— Calvin Kelton, A. D. Horr, Amos L. Cheney. 
1864— Calvin Kelton, Josiah Haven, G. Lord, Jr. 
1866— Calvin Kelton, J. W. Hunt, J. M. Rice. 
, 1866— Calvin Kelton, J. W. Hunt, J. M. Eice. 
1867— Calvin Kelton, J. W. Hunt, J. M. Rice. 
1868— Calvin Kelton, N. Richardson, John Kendall. 
1869— Benjamin Estabrook. N. Richardson, John Kendall. 
1870 — Benjamin Estabrook, A. G. Strattou, Josiah Haveu. 
1871— Edwin Ellis, A. G. Stratton, Josiah Haven. 
1872— Edwin Ellis, A. G. Stratton, Josiah Haven. 
1873 — Solon W. Lee, A. G. Stratton, Josiah Haven. 
1874 — A. G. Stratton, Josiah Haven. E. J. Gage. 
1875— A.G. Strattou, W. H. Amsden, G. Southard. 
1876— W. H. Amsden, Wm. W. Fish, G. Southard. 
1877— Wm. W. Fish, G. Southard, W. D. Smith. 
1878— Wm. W. Fish, Gilbert Southard, W. D. Smith. 
1879— Wm. W. Fish, G. Southard, W. D. Smith. 
1880 — G. Southard, Geo. W. Woodward, Josiah Haven. 
1881— G. Southard, O. F. Hunt, O. T. Brooks. 
1885J — G. Southard, Henry Gray, Josiah Haven. 
1883— G. Southard, C. F. Richardson, A. J. Nye. 
1884— C. F. Richiirdson, W. D. Smith, Henry Gray. 
1885— W. D. Smith. Henry Gray, J. W. Sloan. 
1886— W. D. Smith, Henry Gray, J. M. King. 
1887— C. F. Richardson, Ira Y. Kendall, A. J. Nye. 
1888— C. F. Richardson, Ira Y. Kendall, Henry Gray. 
1889— Gardiner Lord, Henry Gray, Orrin F. Hunt. 
1890 — Gardiner Lord, Henry Gray, James Cotton. 
1891— Geo. W. Bishop, James Cotton, Edwin W. Ellis. 
1892— C. F. Richardson, Edwin W. Ellis, James Cotton. 
189,3— W. D. Smith, Geo. W. Bishop, Herbert L. Hapgood. 

Wilson D. Smith, chairman of the board of Selectmen 
for 1893, was born in New Salem, Jan. 11, 1845. His 
parents removed to Athol when he was five years of age, 
and this town has since been his home ; he attended the 
public schools of Athol and continued his studies at Wes- 
leyan Academy, Wilbraham, Mass., and Eastman's Busi- 
ness College at Poughkeepsie, N. Y. After leaving school 


he engaged in business with George Farr in the manufact- 
ure of matches on South Street, in which he continued 
three years, and in 1866 went into the wool and wool 
waste business, being in company with G. P. Sloan for 
about a year since which time he has carried on the busi- 
ness alone ; for about a year he run the cotton mUl, and 
sold out that business to Jones Brothers. 

In 1877 he was elected on the board of Selectmen, 
assessors and overseers of the poor and held that position 
for three years ; he was elected to the same position in 1884 
and again served three years, and in 1892 was elected on 
the board of assessors of which he was the Chairman. In 
1893 he was elected Selectman, Assessor, Overseer of the 
Poor and Road Commissioner. He has been actively inter- 
ested in a number of the business enterprises of the town, 
having been one of the directors of the Athol Machine Co. 
from its organization until 1892, and has been in almost 
every stock company that has been organized in town. 
He is a member of Star Lodge of Masons, Union Royal 
Arch Chapter and Athol Commandery of Knights Templars, 
and was a charter member of the Poquaig Club. He was 
married in 1867 to Lucretia Wheelock, daughter of Dea. 
E. M. Smith of Athol, and has had two children, only, 
one of whom, Ray, is now living. Mrs. Smith died in 

Geo. W. Bishop was born in West Burke, Vt., Oct. 4th, 
1849. He graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy at the 
age of 17, and then entered the employ of the Connecticut 
& Passumpsic River Railroad in the train service and main- 
tenance of way. After four years of service with this com- 


pany he went to work for the old Vermont <fe Massachu- 
setts Railroad in 1870. He had charge of a section until 
1874 when he was appointed roadmaster of the Fitchburg 
Railroad which position he still holds, having charge of the 
road from Fitchburg to Greenfield, Worcester to Winchen- 
don and the Ashburnham and Turners Falls branches. He 
holds a high rank among railroad men, having been pres- 
ident of the New England Roadmasters' Association, and 
also a delegate to the conventions of the Roadmasters of 
America Association at Denver, Col., in 1889, and Detroit 
Mich., in 1890. He is prominent in the Masonic frater- 
nity, having become a member of Star Lodge of Athol in 
1872 ; is a member of Union Royal Arch Chapter, Athol 
Commandery of Knights Templars, Titus Strong Council 
of Greenfield and the Mystic Shrine. He has been master 
of Star Lodge, Commander of Athol Commandery and Dis- 
trict Deputy Grand Master of the 12th Masonic District, 
and in December, 1893, was elected (^rand Senior Warden 
of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. He is also a mem- 
ber of TuUy Lodge of Odd Fellows, and various other or- 

Believing in the future growth of Athol he has, during 
the last few years, invested largely in building operations, 
He was elected a member of the board of Selectmen in 
1891, and was the Chairman that year, and was elected 
again in 1893. He married Annie B. King Sept. 16, 1873. 

Charles A. Carruth was born in Petersham, Dec. 13, 
1853. He attended the common schools of his native town, 
and Highland Institute, and immediately after finishing his 
studies at the Institute was called upon to take charge of 






a. difR-Cultt school in the west part of Petersham, which he 
conducted successfully. 

He commenced his mercantile career in 1870 when 
he came to Athol and entered the employ of Parmenter 
& Tower as clerk, where he remained four and a half 
years, when in company withF. S. Parmenter he purchased 
the dry goods and clothing business of J. S. Parmenter, 
the firm being known as Parmenter & Carruth ; this part- 
nership was continued for two years when the business 
was sold to Holbrook & Twichell in 1876 and Mr. Car- 
ruth entered the store of Walter Thorpe as clerk in his 
dry goods and clothing business where he remained for 
five months, and in February 1877 bought out the clothing 
business of Wm. Bixby in Masonic Block, where he con- 
tinued until the building was destroyed by fire in 1890; 
after occupying a temporary store for some time he moved 
into his present store in Starr Hall Block. 

He married Lizzie I. Bassett Feb. 15, 1877. She 
died March 24th, 1879, and he was married a second 
time Jan. 23, 1880 to Ida E. Davis of Orange. 

In 1891 be was elected on the board of assessors and 
again for the year 1892, and re-elected for 1893. He is a 
prominent society man, being a member of the several Ma- 
sonic and Odd Fellow organizations and of Corinthian 
Lodge Knights of Pythias, and was one of the organizers of 
Poquaig Club of which he has been one of the Executive 
Committee since its formation. 

Henry Gray was born in Athol, Jan, 16, 1830, a son 
of Alexander Gray. He attended the common schools and 
worked on the farm irntil about 23 years of age when he 


came to the Centre to live, working at the carpenter busi' 
ness for several years, and later vv^as employed in the shop 
of W. H. Amsden at Kennebunk. For quite a number of 
years he has been engaged in farming and the milk busi- 
ness, and has frequently been called upon to serve the town 
in official positions. He has served as Selectman seven 
years, and has also been assessor, overseer of the poor and 
road surveyor, and was a member of boards of Assessors 
and Overseers of the Poor for 1892 and 1893. Was mar- 
ried March 10, 1859, to Lucinda M. Peirce of New Salem; 
they have one daughter, the wife of Dr. Z. E. Luce of Bos- 
ton. Mr. Gray has been a member of Athol Lodge of 
Masons for about twenty years, and was the first Master of 
Athol Grange. 

Town Clerks. 

It is interesting to know who have transcribed the 
records of the Town's doings through the years of its his- 
tory and to learn something of their lives. The first Town 
Clerk was John Haven, who was chosen at a town meeting 
held March 7th, 1763, and served continuously until 1774, 
and during the years 1776 and 1777. 

Those holding this office since that time, have been, 
William Bigelow 1774 and 1775, John Foster from 1778 
to 1782, Hiram Newhall 1782 to 1788, Thomas Stratton 
1788 to 1797, John Humphrey 1797 to 1818, Theodore 
Jones 1818 to 1829, Wm. H. Williams 1829 to 1833, Ben- 
jamin Estabrook 1833 to 1840, John W. Humphrey 1840 
to 1845, Joseph E. Jones 1845, Isaac Stevens 1846 to 1850, 
James I. Goulding 1850 to 1863, T. H. Goodspeed 1863 
to 1873, Edwin Ellis 1873, J. S. Parmenter 1874 to 1881. 


John D. Holbrook the present Town Clerk was appointed 
to that office by the Selectmen on the death of J. S. Par- 
menter in the faU of 1881, and was elected by the town at 
the next annual meeting in March, 1882, and has held the 
office continuously since that time. ^ 

Mr. Holbrook was born Oct. 6th, 1843, at Townsend, 
Vt. ; he attended the public schools of his native town and 
Leland & Gray Seminary. The war of the Eebellion 
breaking out when he was a student, he enlisted from 
school when about 18 years of age, in 1862 in the 16th 
Vermont Regiment in which he served nine months, and 
on the expiration of his term of service enlisted in the 26th 
New York Cavalry for three years or during the war. On 
his return from the war he taught school in Townsend dur- 
ing one winter, and then went into the country store of 
Winslow & Piper of that town as a clerk ; after five years' 
service in this position he went to Fayetteville in the town 
of Newfane, and carried on a general country store for two 
years, from which place he came to Athol to reside in the 
Spring of 1872, the firm of Holbrook, Twitchell & Co. 
having been established in Athol the previous year vrith a 
store in the Music Hall building at the Centre. The firm 
continued to carry on business at that place, doing a dry 
goods and clothing business, untU the burning of Music 
Hall in April, 1876, and in September of that year re- 
moved to the Lower Village and occupied the store where 
he now carries on business in Parmenter's block. In 1878 
Mr. Twitchell retired from the firm which then became J. 
D. Holbrook & Co. In August, 1877, he married Miss 
Lydia A. E. Smith of Barre. Mr. Holbrook represented 


this district in the Legislature of 1879. He is a member 
of the Congregational Church, Hubbard V. Smith Post, G. 
A. E.., and Acme Lodge Knights of Honor. 

Town Treasurers. 

The first Town Treasurer was Nathan Goddard who 
was chosen at the first town meeting in March, 1762, and 
held the office during that year and 1764. 

Others who have held that position are ; William Oli- 
ver 1763, Abraham Nutt 1765 to 1775, Hiram Newhall 
1775 to 1779, Daniel EUenwood 1779 to 1787, Joshua 
Morton 1787 to 1793, James Humphrey, Jr. 1793 to 1797, 
Thomas Stratton 1797 and 1798, Joseph Peirce 1799 to 
1803, Joseph Crosby 1803 to 1806, Joel Morton 1806 to 
1821, Henry Lee 1821 to 1840, Theodore Jones 1840 to 
1850, Benjamin Estabrook 1850 to 1855, Merrick E. Ains- 
worth 1855 and 1856, Chas. C. Bassett 1857 and 1858, 
Abner G. Stratton 1859 and 1860, S. E. TwitcheU 1861 
to 1865, Nathaniel Eichardson 1865 to 1875, Thomas H. 
Goodspeed 1875 to 1879, Enoch T. Lewis 1879, Samuel 
Lee 1880 to the present time. 

Samuel Lee, who has been the efficient Town Treas- 
urer since 1880, belongs to the well known Lee family, 
and was born in Athol, Feb. 10, 1834, on what was known 
as the old Morton farm, on the Orange road, now occupied 
by J. W. Sawyer. He is a son of Henry Lee, who was 
also a popular town treasurer, having held that position the 
longest of any one in the history of the town, He attended 
the common schools of the town, and before completing his 
school life was for a time clerk in a store at Royalston, 
attended the select schools that were held at the Town 


Hall, and was also a clerk in the store of James I. Gould- 
ing when about 15 years old. In 1855 he went into busi- 
ness with the late W. D. Lee, Jr., in a general country 
store, the firm being known as Lee & Co. In 1885 he sold 
out his interest in the business and in company with Charles 
Horr built the Summit House; he was also in company 
with T. H. Goodspeed for about four years, and was ap- 
pointed as postmaster by President Buchanan in 1858, 
serving untU June 25, 1862. For the next six years 
he was largely engaged in the real estate business, 
and in 1868 in company with Geo. W. Stevens was 
engaged in trade where H. M. Humphrey's drug store 
now is. In ] 873 he went into partnership with J. F. 
Humphrey in the general hardware business and in 1888 
bought out Mr. Humphrey's interest and has continued 
the business since, dealing in hardware, building materials, 
sash, blinds, etc. He has been clerk of the old first parish 
of Athol since 1874, was assessor for three years, 1869, 
'70 aud '71, and has been tax collector five years. He has 
always taken an active interest in politics, having been 
chairman of the Democratic Town Committee for several 
years, and president of the Young Men's Democratic Club, 
and has several times been a candidate of the party for 
representative to the Legislature. Was married May 1st, 
1861 to Hattie L. Nourse of Athol, and has one son, Fred 
H. Lee. 

The ofiice of Assessors has varied, sometimes having 
been combined with the Selectmen and Overseers of the 
Poor, and at other times a separate board. For the last 
number of years, the Assessors have been elected as a sep- 
arate board. 


The collection of taxes for most of the time in the past 
has been let out to the lowest bidder, and occasionally the 
office of Collector and Treasurer has been combined, as in 
1860 when at the March meeting A. G. Stratton was 
elected as Collector on the condition that he act as Col- 
lector and Treasurer for the sum of $35, the same as paid 
him the year before. In 1793 we find it recorded that 
"the Collector was struck off to John Jacobs at six 
Pounds," in 1799 "Hired Calvin Kendall for $18.25 to be 
Collector of Taxes." In 1803 it was struck off to Samuel 
Morse at |16.75, and m 1806 and 1807 the work of col- 
lecting must have been considered either as an honor or a 
profitable occupation as Samuel Morse offered to serve the 
Town as Collector of Taxes without compensation during 
those years, and was elected, while the position was still 
more eagerly sought after in 1812, when James Oliver 
offered to give One Cent for the Collector's office ; the 
town accepted the offer and he gave bonds and was sworn. 
Samuel Lee has been the Collector for several years, 
and receives a salary for the same of $250. 

The Towns Poor. Athol like other towns in the early 
days took care of her paupers by disposing of them to the 
lowest bidder, and early in the present century we find 
numerous records like the following : At a town meeting 
held May 2d, 1803, "voted to give Francis Green Ten 
Dollars annually for keeping Hannah Marble (one of the 
Town's poor) during her natm-al life." In 1811 "the sup- 
port of the Paupers was disposed of to the lowest bidder in 
the following manner : Hannah Marble struck off to John 
Crosby at fifteen dollars for one years Board and Clothing. 


Violet, a Negro, struck off to Abner Stratton at seventy- 
five cents per week for the term of one year." This Violet 
was for many years the slave of the first minister Rev. Mr. 
Humphrey. She was sold by Mr. Humphrey to Mr. 
Thomas Stratton, and finally after the death of Mr. Strat- 
ton and the manumission of slaves in this Commonwealth, 
she was supported by the town until she died at a very ad- 
vanced age. One of the last records of this kind is found 
in 1828 when it was "voted that the Provision for the 
Paupers for the year ensuing be set up by the Overseers 
of the Poor, and sold at auction to the lowest bidder. 
Voted that a fortnight from this day be the time for the 
selling of the Poor." A more humane method is soon inau- 
gurated for at the annual meeting held in 1829, it was "vot- 
ed to purchase a Farm to use for the support of the paupers 
and that a committee be chosen to effect that purchase, 
provided they can do it to their own satisfaction as regards 
price and payment, and the board of Selectmen was chosen 
thier committee." At a town meeting held in May of the 
same year, "Voted to accept the following Report" — The 
subscribers a Committee chosen by the inhabitants of the 
Town of Athol at their last meeting to purchase a farm for 
the use of their paupers, have attended to the duties of 
their appointment and submit the following report, viz: 
That on the Twenty-third AprU last James Young the 
chairman of your Committee bid off at auction, for the in- 
habitants of the Town, the farm lately owned by xldonijah 
Ball, Jr., deceased, for the sum of f 1856 ; that the Ad- 
ministrator considered the said Young as purchaser, etc.'' 
This farm has been used as the Poor Farm to the present 


There used to be a statue of the province that existed 
before the Revolution and was continued for some time 
after, which provided that if persons were legally warned 
to depart from a town, they could not gain a legal resi- 
dence there, and so the town would not be chargeable for 
their support in case they came to want. When any ob- 
jectionable persons came into town, the Selectmen and 
Constables were diligent in serving this notice upon them. 
It was called a "warning out." In the town records we 
find a copy of one of these documents that reads as follows: 

" Worcester, ss. — To John Jacobs Constable of the 
Town of Athol in said County— Greeting. You are in 
the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts directed 
to warn and give notice unto Jerusha Bradish of Athol in 
the County of Worcester, Spiner, who has lately come 
into this Town for the purpose of abiding therein not hav- 
ing obtained the Town's consent therefor, that she depart 
the Limits thereof 'within fifteen days. And of this pre- 
cept with your doings thereon you are to make return un- 
to the office of the Clerk of the Town within twenty days 
next coming, that such further proceedings may be had in 
the premises as the Law directs. Given under our Hands 
and Seals at Athol aforesaid this Second day of January. 
A. D. 1794. 

Caleb Smith | Selectmen 

Thomas Stratton > of 

Eleazer Graves Jr. j Athol. 
Athol, January the lOth, 1794. 

In obedience to the above Warrant I have this day fully 
executed the same as the Law directs. 

John Jacobs, Constable." 


Roads and Bridges. — The building and repairing of 
roads" and bridges was a source of heavy expense to the 

inhabitants of Athol in the early days of its history, as it 
was to all our New England towns, and always has been 
in later times. In 1733 the Provincial Government had 
caused a road to be laid out and opened for travel from 
Lancaster to the valley of the Connecticut, near Deerfield, 
through Hubbardston, Templeton, Petersham, etc , to its 
westerly terminus at Sunderland, which gave it the name 
of the "Sunderland Road." This road was undoubtedly 
used by the early settlers of Athol in their journeys to and 
from the towns of the Connecticut Valley. In 1740 a 
road was marked and cleared from Templeton to Pequoig, 
and in 1754 a county road was laid from Lancaster to Po- 
quaig through Narragansett No. 6 (Templeton.) In 1753 
the town of Warwick chose a committee to lay out and 
clear a road to Pequeage (Athol.) Prior to 1761, when 
the first gristmill was erected in AVarwick, the inhabitants 
of that tovpn were compelled to go to Northfield and Athol 
with their grain, and not only to go on foot, but to carry 
home on their backs their grain, and even hay, which they 
were obliged to buy for their cattle. At the second town 
meeting after the incorporation of the town, held in May 
1762, one of the articles called for the building of a road 
to Royalshea (Royalston) line. 

For many years there were no bridges over the rivers, 
and it was necessary either to ford the streams or cross on 
boats or rafts. Among the arrangements made by the 
proprietors in September 1750, for the ordination of Rev. 
James Humphrey as pastor of the first church, we find 
that Lieutenant Graves, Lieutenant Morton, Mr. Nutt, 


Mr. Samuel Morton and Mr. Aaron Smith were appointed 
"a Committee to make a Boat so big as to carry two Horses 
at once." The building and rebuilding of bridges over 
Millers River and Tully was a heavy expense, and among 
the ways suggested to lighten the burden was that of a 
lottery, it having been voted by the town in September 
1784, "to petition the General Court for leave to make a 
lottery to build the Bridges over Tully and Millers River 
and repair the Causeway and chose Hiram Newhall , Josiah 
Goddard and WUliam Bigelow a Committee for that pur- 
pose." Among the necessary and indispensable articles 
for the buUding of a bridge in those days was an abund- 
ance of rum, sugar and powder, as the following bill which 
appears on the town records will show : 
The Town of Athol, Dr. 

To the Subscribers for rebuilding the bridge over Millers River in 
the year A. D., 1793. 


s. d. 

For Timbei-, 



To Framing, 



To erecting Abutment, 


15 7 

To Rum, Sugar and Powder, 


11 6 

Samuel Young, 
Benjamin Blanchard 
William Young, 
Eleazer Graves, Jr., 




Rebuilding said 


Some degree of relief was afforded the towns during the 
first half of the present century by the turnpike system in 
which companies were formed and incorporated with the 
design of making better roads than the towns could afford 
to make, and toll was collected by the company from those 
who travelled on them. I^his part of the state obtained 
relief in that way from the Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike 
Corporation, which was incorporated about 1800 by the 


Legislature. A section of the act of iucorporation states 
the object to be "for the purpose of laying out and making 
a Turnpike road from Capt. Elisha Hunts in Northfield 
aforesaid, through Warwick, Orange, Athol, Gerry, Tem- 
pleton and Gardner to Westminster meeting house, from 
thence to Jonas Kendall's Tavern in Leominster, and also 
from Calvin Munn's Tavern in Greenfield through Mon- 
tague and up Millers River through unincorporated land 
so as to intersect the road aforesaid in Athol and making 
the same in such place or places as the said corporation 
shall choose and keeping the same in repair, which road 
shall not be less than four rods wide and the path to be 
travelled in not less than eighteen feet wide in any place." 
The location of the toll gates is described as follows: 
"One of which gates shall be near where David Mayo 
keeps a tavern in Warwick, one oth«r near where Samuel 
Sweetzelr keeps a tavern in Athol ; one other to be near the 
line between Gardner and Westminster. One other near 
where Jonas Kendall keeps a tavern in Leominster, the 
other one gate where the Corporation may judge most con- 
venient on the road from Greenfield to Athol aforesaid." 
In 1806 what was known as the Monson Turnpike was 
laid out, which extended from Monson in the southern 
part 6f the state to Richmond, N. H., and intersected the 
Fifth Massachusetts Turnpike. Athol was largely inter- 
ested in these roads, and several of its prominent citizens 
held the office of clerk of the board of directors, Joseph 
Proctor, Clough R. Miles and Benjamin Estabrook having 
held that position. In 1832 the Fifth Massachusetts 
Turnpike Corporation gave up its franchise and the road 
was laid out as a county road. 


The Currency. — Great difficulty was experienced dur- 
ing the Revolutionary War with the currency. The paper 
money had become a legal tender, and it had depreciated 
to an alarming extent, the prices of everything being high 
and unstable while hard money was extremely difficult to 
obtain and grain became a legal tender for the payment 
of taxes and other debts. The greatest trouble was expe- 
rienced from 1779 to about 1785, as is evidenced by the 
various votes passed by Athol during that time. At a town 
meeting held in 1783 the Constables were impowered to 
receive rye for town rates, and it was voted that Benjamin 
Sanders collect twenty bushels of rye to be delivered to 
Nathaniel Graves, Jr. Also chose Eliphalet Moore and 
William Bigelow to receive grain and pay whom the town 
owes, grain. In July 1780 "Voated to raise Fifty Seven 
Thousand five pounds to pay the town debt." "Voted to 
give sixty pound for a blanket, and thirty-six pound for a 
pair of shoes, and thirty pound for a shirt, and twenty 
pound for a pair of stockings." At a town meeting held 
in 1779 it was "voated to give as a Bounty to any man in 
this Town that shall kill a grown wolf thirty pound, and 
for a young one fifteen pound, said wolves to be kiUed 
within ten miles from this meeting house in Athol." The 
next year this bounty was increased to three hundred 



" Great is the Lord our God, 
And let his praise be great ; 

He makes his churches His abode, 
His most delightful seat. 

These temples of his grace, 
How beautiful they stand ! 

The honors of our native place. 
And bulwarks of our land." 

gjgpg] T IS impossible to fix the exact date of the 
Wk I ifl building of the first Meeting House, owing 
H(^i)fil to the loss of the early records of the Pro- 
prietors, but from the best information to be 
obtained, it seems probable that it was not 
buUt previous to the year 1741. 

An ancient document referred to by Rev. 
S. F. Clarke in his centennial discourse con- 
tains a description of "fifty-eight acres of land" lying on 
both sides of "Mill Brook," surveyed and laid out by 
Abner Lee, agreeably to a vote of the Proprietors, " Sept. 
ye 2d, 1741," "and to ye election and choice of Lt. Samuel 
Kindle," "on the original Right of Jonathan Marble, No. 
30, ye eight acres to Lyee in common for a Buririg 
Place and Meeting house place, if ye Proprietors shall 
think proper to put them too." 


From the reading of this it would be inferred that the 
lot was not then occupied by a meeting house. 

These eight acres referred to lay upon the north bank 
of Mill Brook, and included what is now known as the 
Old Indian Burying Ground on the Hapgood road, and the 
land where the school house recently erected stands ; it is 
believed that the first meeting house was located very near 
the spot occupied by the school house. Here, in a rough 
and uncompleted log structure, the fathers of Athol first 
engaged in public worship. But there are no records to 
tell by whom religious services were conducted, nor how 
long they were held in that place. It is reasonable how- 
ever, to suppose that Dr. Joseph Lord, who was the best 
educated of the early settlers, officiated as the first preacher. 
This structure was destroyed by fire in a few years, and 
there is a tradition that it was burned by the Indians ; but 
later investigations point to the fact that the fire caught 
from a fire in the woods. 

Another house was soon erected on " East Pequoiag 
Hill," or street, in close proximity to the Fort. 

No record gives any exact date of the erection of this 
building, or of its size or cost. 

It is said to have had but one pew, and that original- 
ly belonged to Dr. Joseph Lord, the first proprietor's clerk 

Here the few inhabitants of old Pequoiag assembled 
Sunday after Sunday to engage in worship, and whUe a 
portion were worshiping God within, others were obliged, 
arms in hand, to keep guard outside, lest the worshipers 
should be surprised by the wily and treacherous Indians. 

The first record of any provision made for preaching 
in the settlement is as follows: "Oct. 18, 1749. Voted 


that Mr. Brown be allowed for one day's preaching, five 
pounds, Old Tenor." It is possible, however, that a regu- 
lar preacher may have been employed previous to this date 
as the early records are lost. 

Kev. Timothy Brown and Eev. John Mellen are re- 
ferred to in the records as ministers to whom the Proprie- 
tors were indebted, and they probably preached for them 
in the year 174:9, or just previous. Rev. John Mellen was 
pastor of the first church in Sterling and he is said to have 
been a man of superior ability, who probably stood at the 
head of the clergy in the county. His pastorate at the 
Sterling church extended over a period of 34 years, and 
after a long controversy regarding the veto power of the 
clergy, which right he maintained, he was excluded forci- 
bly from the pulpit. But his friends united with him in 
maintainuig separate worship, for about 10 years, either in 
his own house or in a school house. 

On the third Wednesday of May, 1750, the Proprie- 
tors "Voted that we choose an Orthodox minister to settle 
in this Place," and also voted that ]Mr. James Humfries, 
our present Preacher, be the Orthodox Minister in this 
Place." Mr. Humphrey, it appears by the records, had 
been supplying the pulpit at Pequoiag from the 10th of 
December, 1749, to the 16th of May, 1750. 

The terms of settlement which were to be offered Mr. 
Humphrey were: "Voted that we give Mr. James Hum- 
fries, our present Preacher, the sum of Fifty Pounds law- 
ful money of this Province of the Massachusetts Bay, per 
Annum, while he continues in the work of the Gospel 
Ministry, in this Place, and farther, add to that right, a 
whole share of Land in the Township of Pequoiag laid 


out by the General Court for the first Minister of sd. Pe- 
quoiag, of which the House Lott on East Pequoiag Hill, 
on the west side of the High Way, Number Eight in Part, 
the sum of Sixty-six Pounds, thirteen shillings and four 
Pence lawful money of the Province of the Massachusetts 
Bay, to be paid, one-half within one Year after the Pay- 
ment of the first half, if he accepts of the work of the 
Gospel Ministry in this Place." 

Mr. Humphrey's answer to the committee chosen to 
see if he would accept the call reads as follows : 

"To the Proprietors of the New Township, called Pe- 
quoiag, at their Meeting continued by Adjoiirnment from 
May 16th to August 8th, ensuing"" — 

" I received by the Hand of Lieut. Richard Morton a 
Copy of your Votes passed at your Meeting, on the 1 6th of 
May last, respecting my settling among you in the Capacity 
of a Gospel Minister. And in Answer thereto, — In the 
first Place, I do heartUy thank you for the good will you 
have expressed to me in your Invitation. After mature 
Deliberation upon the important affair, I now signify my 
acceptance of the Salary and Encouragement you have 
given me to Settle in the Work of the Ministry among you 
in this Place, in Case the Propriety will make me an addi- 
tion of Forty Shillings lawful money to your former En- 
couragement for my Annual Support, — and if it please God 
in his aldisposing Providence regularly to introduce me 
into the Pastoral Office over you, I hope by his grace and 
Spirit I shall be enabled in some good measure to fulfil my 
ministry. So I remain with hearty regards your Servant 
in Christ Jesus." 



"Pequoiag, August 8, 1750." 

The terms of Mr. Humphrey were accepted, and a 
committee was chosen to make arrangements for the ordi- 
nation, also " to send to a Neighboring Miaister or Minis- 
ters to assist them in a Fast and in Gathering a Church in 
this Place. " 

The church was formed August 29th 1750, when the 
pastor elect, and Eichard Morton, Nathaniel Graves, Abra- 
ham Nutt, Eobert Marble, Samuel Morton, Nathan Wait, 
Eleazer Graves, Ephraim Smith and Aaron Smith affixed 
their signatures to the solemn church covenant. 

The ordination took place Nov. 7th, 1750, and from 
that time for nearly 25 years Rev. Mr. Humphrey minis- 
tered in peace and happiness to his people, until an inno 
vation in the custom of singing brought on a controversy, 
which finally, after nearly seven years of exciting town and 
church meetings, led to the severing of the pastoral rela- 
tion, and the dismissal of Mr. Humphrey Feb. 13, 1782, 
and nearly resulted in the dismemberment of the town. In- 
deed, there is but little doubt that the setting off" of a por- 
tion of Athol to form the town of Orange was effected in 
consequence of this quarrel and the dismission of Mr. 
Humphrey. During his ministry there were 121 mem- 
bers added to the church. Mr. Humphrey continued to 
reside in town from the time of his dismissal to that of his 
death, which occurred May 8, 1796, in the seventy-fifth 
year of his age. 

The town and church were without a settled miaister 
for more than five years, during which time various attempts 
were made by both church and town to unite upon a 
preacher, but all was in vain, until July 25, 1787, when 


the right man seems to have been found. The church 
then voted " unanimously to invite Mr. Joseph Estabrook 
to take the pastoral care of them in the Lord, " and on the 
8th of August the town concurred with the church in extend- 
ing an invitation to Mr. Estabrook. 

He was publicly ordained on the 21st of November, 
1787, the terms of his settlement being as follows: 

The town voted to give him two hundred pounds for 
his " encouragement to settle with them, and also the use 
of a pew in the meeting house so long as he should remain 
the minister of the town. " For his " support " or salary 
they obligated themselves to give him "Seventy-five 
pounds" in cash, and twenty cords of good fire-wood an- 
nually. He soon succeeded in bringing harmony and peace 
out of discord, and for nearly forty-three years ministered 
to a united parish and happy people until his death, April 
18, 1830. 

Through his careful oversight and good judgment 
the religious controversies of the day that agitated other 
communities had not crept into his parish, but on his death 
the question of exchanges between the minister that shoul i 
be called and ministers of other churches came up, and a 
division of the church resulted. 

After several exciting Town Meetings had been held 
regarding the hiring of a minister it was finally, at a 
Town Meeting held Nov. 6, 1830, " Voted unanimously 
that we give the Rev. Josiah Moore a call to settle as 
Minister over the First Congregational Church and Society 
in the Town of Athol, upon the following terms : — 

1st. He shall exchange Ministerial labours with all the Consre- 
gational Clergymen in the neighborhood, who are of regular standii'.g 
and who will exchange with him : 


2d. Whenever two-thirds of the voters of said society shall have 
given Mr. Moore three months notice that they msh the connexion 
between him and the Society dissolved, it shall be dissolved; and when- 
ever Mr. Moore shall have given the Society three months notice that he 
vishes the connexion dissolved, it shall be dissolved accordingly: 

3d. We will pay Mr. Moore as a salary, at the rate of Five Hun- 
dred Dollars for each year, which sum shall be paid at the expiration of 
each year, and if the said connexion be dissolved before the completion 
of any full year, the salary which shall then remain unpaid, shall be 
paid at the dissolution of said connexion." 

The ordination of Mr. Moore took place Dec. H, 
1830, and he served the church as pastor until August, 
1833. He was followed by Rev. Liuus H. Shaw, who 
was ordained Nov. 12, 1834 and dismissed Aug. 29, 1836. 

Following Mr. Shaw's dismission there was no settled 

minister for nearly 12 years. Among those who supplied 

the pulpit during this time were Stephen A. Barnard, 

Rev. Crawford Nightingale and Rev. E. J. Gerry. Of 

these Rev. Crawford Nightingale became the best known 

to the people of the town through his marriage into a 

prominent Athol family. Mr. Nightingale was born in 

Providence, R. I., Nov. 3, 1816. He was educated in 

the public schools of that city, and at Brown University, 

gi'p^duating from that institution in 1834. After leaving 

college he entered the Divinity School at Cambridge, from 

which he graduated in 1838. He was at Charlemont and 

Shelburne as pastor for two years, and came to Athol in 

1841 and was pastor of the church here for two years 

and at Chicopee for six or seven years. In 1846 he 

married Mary Hoyt Williams, daughter of Dr. William 

H. Williams, a physician and prominent citizen of Athol. 

Mr. Nightingale was pastor of the church in Athol a 

second time for a year or more, and was then pastor at 

Groton for 13 years and at Ayer for 10 years, leaving the 


former place on account of his anti-slavery sentiments. 
He had no settled pastorate after leaving Ayer, and resided 
in Ashmont, a suburb of Boston, from 1876 until his 
death, which occurred Aug. 20, 1892, in Providence, 
where he was crusned to death by a cable grip car on 
College Hill. During his pastorate in Athol his public 
spirited and genial ways made him popular, and he was 
always a welcome visitor in town. 

Tiev. Samuel F. Clarke was ordained as pastor April 
19, 1848, and continued until 1856, having had, next to 
the pastorates of Rev. Messrs. Humphrey and Estabrook, 
the longest term of service in the history of the church. 
He was stirring and active, not only in his church, but in 
social and town affairs, being for several years a member 
of the School Committee, and was the first historian of 
the town, his Centennial Discourse delivered at the cele- 
bration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the First 
Church and Society in Athol, Sept. 9. 1850, being the 
first attempt to rescue the early history of the town from 
the oblivion to which it was fast hastening, and preserve 
it in such a permanent form as to make the people ac- 
quainted with it. This discourse has been the basis of all 
subsequent historical sketches of the early church and 
town history. 

Mr. Clarke was followed by Rev. D. C. O'Daniels, 

who served 1857-59. Rev. George Bradburn became 

pastor in 1859. 

Of all the ministers who have occupied the pulpits of 

Athol churches, the one who was the best known to the 
world at large, and the most distinguished was Rev George 
Bradburn, who occupied the pulpit of the Unitarian 
Church for one year, during 1859. and was also a resident 

cnrECHEs. 53 

of the town for two years longer, and who for the last 
twenty years of his life spent a portion of each summer 
here with his old friends and co-laborers, the Hoyts, He 
was born in Attleboro, Mass., March 4, 1806, his lather 
James Bradburn, being one of the earliest manufacturers 
of woolen cloth in New England. He was educated a 
practical machinist and at the early age of nineteen stood 
at the head of a large number of employees, but his love 
of study and desire of usefulness to his race impelled him 
to leave this business ; and after pursuing his studies at 
Exeter Academy and the Divinity "School at Cambridge, 
he became a Unitarian minister, his first settlement being 
over a church in Nantucket. While at Nantucket he 
was elected to the Legislature by the Whigs in 1839, 
was a Representative from that place for three years, and 
was considered one of the most remarkable men in the 
House of Representatives. 

He allied himself to the Anti-slavery cause and en- 
dowed with rare gifts as a popular speaker, a face and 
figure of rare dignity and beauty, and a courage that 
feared no antagonism, he stood among the strong men of 
the Anti-slavery cause, and became at one time more 
widely known throughout the Northern States than almost 
any of the orators of that cause. 

He was an intimate associate of Garrison, and 
had the confidence and friendship of Whittier, Chief 
Justice Chase, Gerritt Smith, Governor Andrew, and other 
prominent leaders in that great conflict. He was a dele- 
gate to the World's Anti-slavery Convention, held in 
London in 1840, and took a prominent part in its pro- 


From 1846 to 1849 he edited the " Pioneer and 
Herald of Freedom" at Lynn, in 1850 was associated with 
Elizur Wright on " The Boston Chronotype," and in 1851 
removed to Cleveland, Ohio, to become one of the editors 
of " The True Democrat," a daily paper, afterwards the 
" The Leader." He resigned this position at the end of 
two years and entered the lecture field throughout the 
Western States. He worked through the Fremont 
political campaign, speaking twenty-six evenings con- 

His health faiUng him, an entire change of climate 
was ordered by his physician, and he soon came to 
Athol, where he remained until 1861, when his friend, 
Salmon P. Chase, offered him his choice of consulship 
abroad, or an honorable position in the Boston Custom 
House. He accepted the latter, which position he re- 
tained for 14 years, making his home in Melrose. He 
died July 26, 1880. 

"Rev. Ira Bailey served from 1861 to 1866, Rev. 
W. S. Burton 1868-73, Rev. S. R. Priest 1874-76, Rev. 

E. P. Gibbs 1877 The pastors since then have 

been Rev. W. C. Litchfield, Rev. D. H. Rogan. Rev. 
Caroline R. James supplied the pulpit in 1888 and 
A. L. Ferry in 1889. 

Rev. Herbert Whitney, the last pastor, was born 
in Hancock, Vt., Nov. 6, 1850. He studied theology 
at St. Lawrence University, and also took a course in 
philosophy at Harvard. He has been pastor of churches 
at Waterloo, Canada ; Webster, N. Y. ; Ludlow. Vt. ; 
Storm Lake, Iowa and Sherburne, N. Y. He came to 
Athol in July, 1890, and closed his labors Jan. 29. 


1893. Rev. Charles Conklin supplied the pulpit in 1893. 

The second meeting house, which was located on 
the "Street," was used for public worship until 1773. 

When it became necessary to build a new meeting 
house, the town was agitated from centre to circum- 
ference regarding the location, and for a year or two 
Town Meetings were held every few months to 
determine the spot ; votes would be passed and then 
annulled and made void at the next meeting, until fi- 
nally, as the best way out of the trouble, it was decided 
to choose a committee from other towns in the County, 
and at a meeting held Jan. 16, 1772, " A Committee 
consisting of Capt. Oliver Witt of Paxton, Capt. Stephen 
Maynard of Westboro and Col. John Whitcomb of Bolton 
were chosen to fix a spot for the inhabitants of Athol to 
sit a meeting house to accommodate the whole town." 

The Common was finally decided upon as the place, 
and here the third meeting house was erected and opened 
for public worship, on the first Sunday of July, 1773. 
This was occupied until its destruction by fire, probably 
by an incendiary, on the night of July 2, 1827. 

The present church edifice was built in 1828, at an 
expense of between five and six thousand dollars, on land 
donated for the purpose by Mr. Samuel Sweetzer. This 
building was remodelled and repaired in the fall of 1847 ; 
the upper part was finished into a hall and disposed of to 
the Town, being the prfesent Town Hall. The church 
below was rededicated, Dec. 8, 1847. 


As a result of the controversy on the theological doc- 
trines which rent the old First Church after the death of 


Rev. Mr. Estabrook, all but eight of the church member- 
ship, with two of its deacons, withdrew in October, 1830, 
and formed the, "Evangelical Society of Athol, " articles of 
faith being adopted by the new church, March 25, 1831. 

The first meetings were held in the Town House, 
which stood where now is the yard in front of James M. 
Lee's stable, on the corner of Common St. 

The newly organized church worshipped here until a 
meeting-house was built in the summer of 1833, which 
is the present house of worship. The church was ded- 
icated in June of that year, the sermon being preached 
by Rev. Mr. Winslow of Boston. The land on which the 
church was built was given by Mr. Frederick Jones of 
Boston, and the timber was contributed and many days 
work were put in by individuals. When the building was 
completed the pews were sold at auction and the money 
received was used in paying the cost of building. In 1859 
the church was enlarged and repaired at a cost of about 
$6000, at which time the present tall and stately steeple 
took the place of the old black belfry that had formerly 
surmounted the structure. In 1868 a fine pipe organ was 
put into the singers gallery, taking the place of the violins, 
bass-viols, trombone, flute and seraphine, that had for 
many years pealed forth their music for the singers ; later 
the organ was removed to the left of the pulpit in front of 
the audience, and other changes and improvements have 
been made about the building. 

Rev. George J. Tillotson, who had preached for six 
weeks in the old First Church, before the call was ex- 
tended to Rev. Mr. Moore, and before the division, 
continued to minister to' the new church for three months, 


wlieii he was invited to become its settled pastor but de 
clined. During his short ministry there was a revival of 
religion, when about forty were converted. Mr. Tillotson 
is remembered as a wise, strong and earnest Christian 
minister. Soon after leaving Athol he was ordained as 
pastor of the Congregational church of Brooklyn, Conn., 
which position he held for twenty-seven years. He served 
other churches in Connecticut, his native state, for eighteen 
years, when he retired from active service, after a ministry 
of forty-five years. In 1860, he married for his second 
wife Mary Wood, a well-known teacher and descendant of 
the Sweetzer family of Athol, 

The first settled minister was Eev. B. B. Beckwith, 
-who was ordained June 8, 1831, and dismissed Nov. 11, 
1834. A notable event in his pastorate was a great re- 
vival under the labors of Evangelist Foote, which resulted 
in the conversion of nearly sixty people, and awakened 
such opposition that it is said a cannon was fired near the 
church during services, while a stone was thrown through 
the window in the direction of the pulpit ; another event 
of importance to the society was the erection of the 

Mr. Beckwith was born in Lyme, Conn., was a gradu- 
ate of Williams College, and a student of Yale Theological 
Seminary. His last pastorate was with the First Presby- 
terian church at Gouverneur, N. Y., where he died July 
4, 18T0. He was succeeded by Rev. James F. Warner, 
who served from March 4, 1835, until Dec. 18, 183T. 

Mr. Warner is said to have been a man of a quick 
and excitable temperament, and evidently had mistaken 
his calling, for after leaving Athol he did not again engage 


in the ministry, but went to New York City where he be 
came a teacher of music, and died March 6, 1864. 

The next pastor was Rey. E,. M. Chipman, whose 
ministry began Aug- 15, 1839, and ended Dec. 23, 1851, 
lasting a little over 12 years, and is succeeded in length by 
only one pastorate in the history of the church. This pas- 
torate was made exciting by the Temperance Reform and 
Anti-Slavery agitations as well as the Millerite excitement 
which at this time was sweeping over the country, and 
in these agitations this church put itself on record on the 
side of Temperance and human freedom. Mr. Chipman 
was a native of Salem, Mass., and a graduate of Dartmouth 
College, his theological studies being pursued at Princeton, 
N. J., and at the University of New York. He was an 
energetic pastor and is remembered with esteem by many ; 
he was for seven or eight years a member of the School 
Committee. After his removal from Athol he served 
churches in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and was also 
engaged in historical and genealogical work. 

The fourth settled pastor was Rev. John F. Norton, 
who was installed March 17, 1852, and served for 15 years, 
his pastorate terminating March 11, 1867, and being the 
longest of any pastorate of any church in town with the 
exception of the two first ministers of the old First Church. 
No minister of Athol during the last half century has 
probably made a deeper impression upon the people of the 
town than Mr. Norton, and under his leadership the church 
enjoyed a season of uninterrupted prosperity with several 
revival seasons and large ingatherings to the church. He 
was also held in high regard and esteem by the towns 
people, irrespective of church membership, and was given 


Rev. E. S. GOULD. 

Rev. H. F. brown. 


lesponsible and honorary positions. He was for many 
years a member of the School Committee, and served as 
chairman much of the time. On the breaking out of the 
Eebellion, he was made chairman of a committee appoint- 
ed by the town to keep a record of all the town did in 
support of the government. This resulted at the close of 
the war in the publication of " Athol in Suppressing the 
E.ebellion," the large part of the work on which was the 
labor of Mr. Norton, 

He was born in Goshen, Conn., Sept. 8, 1809, and 
and was educated at Yale College and East Windsor 
Theological Seminary. After teaching school for a num- 
ber of years, he was ordained to the ministry at Milton, 
Conn., Oct. 23, 1844. He remained there for five years 
in home missionary work, and previous to coming to 
Athol was installed as the first pastor of the Porter Evan- 
gelical Church of North Bridgewater, Mass. After 
leaving Athol Mr. Norton served churches at Eitzwilliam, 
N. H., West Yarmouth, Mass., and Hubbardston. He 
resided for several years in Natick, Mass., where he died 
Nov. 3, 1892. He left a widow and one son, Lewis M., 
a professor in the Institute of Technology, at Boston. 
His remains were brought to Athol and buried at the 

Rev. Temple Cutler, the successor of Mr. Norton, 
was installed March 4, 1868, and served eight years, being 
dismissed April 19, 1876. These were years of great 
spiritual growth and numerous additions to the church. It 
was during this pastorate that a parsonage was purchased 
by forty individual members and presented to the Society. 
Mr. Cutler is still reg rded with the greatest respect and 


affection here. He was born at Lynn, Mass., May 4, I828» 
graduated at Marietta, Ohio, in 1857, and studied theology 
at Andover, Mass. He was ordained at Skowhegan, Maine, 
Feb. 20, 1861, and preached there seven years before 
coming to Athol. After leaving Athol, he spent several 
years in the service of the American Missionary Associa- 
tion, preaching and teaching at Chattanooga, Tenn., and 
Charleston, S. C. He now lives at Essex, Mass. 

Mr. Cutler was followed by Rev. Henry A. Blake, 
who was ordained Sept. 13, 1876, and closed his labors; 
May 1, 1883. This, also, was a period of prosperity in the 
church. It was during this pastorate that the 50th anni 
versary of the organization of the church and Sunday 
school was observed, and the historical addresses delivered 
by Mr. Blake on these occasions are valuable additions to 
the church history of Athol. After leaving Athol Mr. 
Blake became pastor of a church in Providence, R. I., and 
is now settled over the church at Webster, Mass. 

Rev. H. W. Stebbins, a graduate of Andover Theo- 
logical Senainary, was settled Sept. 1, 1883, and remained 
five years, terminating his labors Dec. 31, 1888. He was 
born in Worcester, Nov. 15, 1857. In his boyhood he 
went to Montpelier, Vt., where he fitted for college, and 
entered Dartmouth College, graduating in the class of 
1878. He studied another year at that place, after his 
graduation, and entered Andover Theological Seminary ; 
he was a member of the class of 1882, but as he took an 
advanced and extra year, did not leave there until 1883, 
when he came to Athol. While in Athol he married Miss 
Anna Spear, a well known vocalist and musician, the 
daughter of Mr. Caleb Spear. 


It was during Mr. Stebbins' pastorate, that the memor- 
able church trouble, regarding the pastor, occurred that 
nejirly divided the church, and resulted in the calling of 
one of the most important and exciting ecclesiastical coun- 
cils ever held in this section of New England ; the council 
included some of the most eminent clergymen and leading 
laymen of the denomination in the State. The decision 
was, that although recognizing the ability and faithfulness 
of the pastor, and the more than common success of his 
work, they deemed it for the best interests of the church 
that he resign at an early date, not later than the end of 
the calendar year. In accordance with this recommenda- 
tion Mr. Stebbins tendered his resignation to take effect 
Dec. 31, 1888. Soon after finishing his labors in Athol, . 
Mr. Stebbins received a call to become the pastor of the 
Congregational church of West Medford, where he com- 
menced his duties in October, 1889. 

The present pastor. Rev. Edwin S. Goidd, was born 
in New Braintree, Mass., Feb. 20, 1844. When five years 
old his parents moved to Oakham. His early education 
was received in the schools of Oakham and at Williston 
Seminary, Easthampton, where he prepared for college and 
was also a student of Phillips Academy, Andover. In the 
war he enlisted in the 51st Mass. regiment, and was hon- 
orably discharged with his regiment, at the expiration of 
the term of service. He also served in the 60th Mass. 
regiment. After the war he was for three years local and 
associate editor of papers in Hartford and Worcester. In 
the fall of 1869 he entered the Hartford Theological Semi- 
nary, where he graduated in 1872. He studied a year in 
Andover Theological Seminary as a resident graduate, and 


was ordained to the ministry in Providence, R. I., Oct. 1, 
1873, and installed as pastor of the Richmond Street Free 
Evangelical church in that city. He was married Oct. 20, 
1875, to Phebe Sherman Gladding, of Providence. He 
has held pastorates in West Brookfield, and with the 
Globe church, Woonsocket, R. I., and came to Athol May 
18, 1890. 


In the early town records appears the following : 
"We, the Subscribers being chosen a Committee by the Society of 
the people called Antipedo Baptists, who meet together for religious 
worship on the Lord's Day in Athol to exhibit a list or lists of the names 
of such persons as belong to said Society or Congregation do certify, 
that Zadok Hayward, Benjamin Dexter, Silas Kendall, Daniel Lamson, " 
Thomas Lord, Nath'l. Babbitt, Joseph Crosby, Ben'm. Powers, John 
Ballard, do belong to said Society or congregration and that they do fre- 
quently and usually, when able, attend with us in our meeting for reli- 
gious worship on Lord's day, and we do verily believe are with respect 
to the ordinance of Baptism of the same religious sentiments with us." 

Whitman Jacobs, Elder, "f 

Simeon Chambeklen, > Committee. 

Asa Jones, ) 
August 30th, 1775. 

Similar lists dated the previous year give the names of 
Eliphalet Moor, Simon Haven, Ebenezer BuUard, Martin - 
Morton ; these, with others, constituted the adherents of 
Elder Whitman Jacobs, who was at that time the second 
pastor of the Baptist Church in Royalston, but who was a 
resident of .4thol, and of whom Governor Bullock, in his 
historical address delivered at the Centennial anniversary 
of Royalston says, " he left many of those marked and de- 
cisive influences which control a local history." 

In May, 1802, three men were baptised in this town 
by Rev. Ebenezer Burt, pastor of the Baptist church in 
Hardwick, two of whom afterwards served the church as 


deacons and one as pastor. Soon after, others were bap- 
tized, all of whom became members of the Baptist church 
in Templeton. June 24th, 1810, the Athol members were 
constituted a branch of the Templeton church and Isaac 
Briggs and Aaron Oliver were chosen deacons. 

They were occasionally supplied with a preacher from 
abroad, but when they were not, the deacons, in turn con- 
ducted religious services on the Sabbath. On April 13, 
1813, this branch was organized as an independent church 
with 22 members at school house No. 2 on the " Street." 
For the first seven years of its existence the church had no 
regular pastor, and the services were generally conducted 
by the deacons. 

The first to be ordained as pastor was Deacon Isaac 
Briggs, who was called to the pastorate and ordained Oct. 
4, 1820, and served the church faithfully for nearly 12 
years until, in consequence of the infirmities of age, he re- 
signed the pastorate of the church March 11, 1832. He 
died July 12, 1837, at the age of 75 years. This is the 
longest pastorate in the history of the church. 

Services were first held alternately at the school house 
on the " Street," and at the old brick school house in the 
Lower VUlage. The first house of worship was buUt in 
1828 or 1829, and is now the dwelling house of E. T. 
Lewis, Esq., on the corner of Main and Summer streets at 
the Highlands. The second and present house of worship, 
on the corner of Church and Walnut streets, was built in 
1848, and dedicated Feb. 14, 1849. The leading spirits 
in this enterprise were Dea. Job Fry and Dea. Jonathan 
Wheeler, together with Eev. Lysander Fay, who was then 


pastor of the church at Orange and who canvassed the 
church and village to obtain funds for the enterprise. An 
addition was made to the front, and the present stately 
spire erected in 1859. The interior was entirely remod- 
eled in 1885 at a cost of about |5,()00, including the fine 
organ which cost $1,800, and the formal re-dedication of 
the renovated structure took place on Oct. 1st, 1885. 

The church has had during the 79 years of its exist- 
ence as an independent body, fifteen settled pastors. The 
second settled pastor was Rev. Ambrose Day who came in 
the spring of 1833 and remained two years ; Rev. J. Gla- 
zier was settled in April 1835 and served two years; Rev. 
Asaph Merriam was settled Oct. 13, 1839, and remained 
until the spring of 1846, a term of six and one-half years ; 
in May, 1849, Rev. Oren Tracy became pastor and served 
a little more than a year; April, 1855, Rev. Charles Far- 
rar became pastor and held the office three years ; in the 
spring of 1858 Rev. J. D. Reid was settled, but he soon 
changed his religious doctrines and declared his purpose to 
return to the communion of the Episcopal church ; he 
asked a dismission but the church had become greatly at- 
tached to him and voted to retain him until the end of the 
year for vvhich he was engaged. This caused trouble and 
a division of the church and community, and resulted in 
the closing of the meeting house for a year The next set- 
tled pastor was Rev. Charles Aver, who commenced his 
labors in September, 1862, and remained a year and a 
half; April 2d, 1864, Rev. G. L. Hunt became pastor and 
held the office for three years ; On April 7, 1867, Rev. D. 
H. Stoddard preached his first sermon to this church and 
was settled as pastor the 1st of June following; this pas- 


torate continued for seven years, being next to the longest 
in the history of the church, and was emiuently successful. 
In 1B74 Rev. J. C. Emery became pastor and served 
two years, when he was succeeded by Rev. E. M. Bartlett, 
who commenced his labors on the first Sabbath of July, 
1876 and continued four and one half years ; Rev. J. H. 
Cox became pastor in 1881 and served six years during 
which time the church enjoyed a great degree of prosperity. 
Rev. Horace F. Brown, the next pastor, was born in 
Hopkinton. N. H. He attended the schools of his native 
town and prepared for college at the New London Literary 
and Scientific institution, New London, N. H. He gradu- 
ated at Brown University in 1876 and three years later 
from the Newton Theological Seminary. He was ordained 
Oct., 1879, as pastor of the Baptist church in Antrim, 
N. H., where he remained five and one fourth years. 
After a pastorate of between two and three years at 
Rumney, N. H., he came to Athol in 1887, and was the 
loved and popular pastor until March, 1893, when he re- 
signed to accept the pastorate of the church in East Green- 
wich, R. 1. 

Rev. Byron H. Thomas, the present pastor commenced 
his duties July 1, 1893, and the services held in ■' Recogni- 
tion" of the pastor took place on the evening of Sept. 13 
following. Rev. Charles A. Eaton of Natick preaching the 
sermon. Mr, Thomas was born May 22d, 1865, at South 
Bay in the Province of New Brunswick, and is of Welsh 
parentage, his father, Benjamin Thomas, coming from 
Wales to America when a boy. His education was re- 
ceived in the Boston public schools, Acadia University, 
■ Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and the New Brunswick Baptist 


Seminary at St. John's, N. B. He was ordained to the 
ministry at Maugerville, N. B., June, 18, 1888, and has 
served successful pastorates at Sackville, Maugerville and 
Jacksonville, New Brunswick, more than three hundred 
being added to these churches under his labors. In April, 
1889, he was married to Miss Bessie M. Harrison, daughter 
of C. B. Harrison, a man well-known in the provincial 
parliament of his country. Mr. Thomas has always been 
interested in the temperance cause from a boy, and early 
connected himself with temperance organizations, in 
which he has held the highest offices ; he is a Past Grand 
Chief Templar of New Brunswick. Over nine hundred 
members have been connected with this church, since its 

Rev. Ebenezer Biirt, a prominent Baptist, although 
not a pastor of the Athol church, was well known in this 
town, which was his home during some of the latter years 
of his life, and where he occasionally preached. He was 
born in Norton, March 9, 1766, and died in Athol Nov. 
25, 1861. He was ordained as a Baptist minister upon 
a rock in Hardwick, June 20, 1798, Elder Enoch Goff of 
Dighton preaching the ordination sermon. He lived to 
preach 4961 sermons, to solemnize 97 marriages, attend 
827 funerals and baptize 200 candidates. Of all the 
sermons he ever preached, it appears that but one was 
written, and this after he had been fifty years in the 

Among the Societies that have been connected with 
the Baptist Church, we find the records of one that will 
be interesting to the members of the church to-day, as 
showing the self-sacrificing spirit of the sisters of the 


church a half a century ago. This society flourished from 
1835 to about 1845, and bore the name of " The Female 
Judson Plain Uress Society in Athol." 
The constitution read as follows: 

"Akt. 1st. The object of this Society is to lessen our expenses 
tor dress that we may be enabled to iiierease our charities, and aid in 
■sending the gospel and means of grace to the many millions of our 
tellow creatures who are perishing for lack of a knowledge of the 
•Savior — And also to encourage the heart of that beloved and devoted 
Missionary (Mr. Judson) who has recommended that such societies be 
iformcd, and is willing to deny himself of many things if he may but 
give the bread of life to the perishing, 

Akt. 2nd. All females contributing annually twenty-five cents 
(or more if they feel disposed) shall be members of this Society. 

Art. Mrd. The funds of this Society arising fi-om contx-ibutions 
by the members of the Society, or by others disposei I to aid their be- 
nevolent design, shall for the present, be appropriated to aid in supply* 
ing the Burmans with the Bible, which is now being printed in their 
own language." 

Other articles related to the officers of the Society, 
their duties, the times of meetings, etc. 

The first meeting of this Society was held at the 
Parsonage, Aug. 11, 1835, and the records of the Secre- 
tary read as follows : " The meeting was opened with 
prayer by Sister Dexter, after which the constitution was 
read and adopted. We then proceeded to choose the 
officers for the year ensuing, and the following were 
chosen, viz. : Hannah Glazier, Secretary ; Miss Lucinda 
Fay, Treasurer ; Mrs. Frances Dexter, Mrs. Hannah 
Briggs, Miss Hannah Ann Ball, Mrs. Mary W. Brooks, 
Collectors. The meeting was then adjourned to the 
second Wednesday in August, 1836. Prayer was offered 
by Sister Goddard — ' May the blessing of Heaven rest on 


this Society, and may oiir united efforts be a means of 
putting the Bible into the hands of many a Burman. 

H. GLAZIER, Sec'y. 

Hannah Glazier, the secretary, was probably the 
wife of Eev. J. Glazier, who was the third pastor of the 
church, while the names of the more than 40 members of 
the Society are those of old Athol families. 


The first Methodist meeting held in the village of 
Athol Depot, as far as can be learned, was in the fall of 
1851 at the house now standing at the corner of Main and 
School Streets, then the residence of George (Jerry, and 
the congregation consisted of three persons. On Novem- 
ber 30th of that year Rev. Wm. A. Qapp, then the 
preacher in charge of the Phillipston Church, came to 
Athol Depot and organized a class of fifteen persons, and 
appointed Mr. George Gerry as leader. The persons 
constituting the class were Ephraim W. Weston, Roxanna 
C. Weston, George Gerry, Sophia Gerry, William R. Bat- 
tles, Cynthia Battles, James Giles, Parthena Giles, Sumner 
R. Morse, Mary T. Morse, Edwin J. Decker, Charlotte C. 
Hinckley, Roswell Graham, Sylvester Davis and Catherine 

Meetings continued to be held at the house of Mr. 
Gerry until the spring of 1852, when the presiding elder 
appointed Rev. .Mr. Heywood of Gill as pastor of the 
society. Mr. Heywood did not reside in town, but came 
here every week to preach and visit his people. Services 
were held at this time in what was known as Hill's Hall, 
in the upper part of the building, now known as the Old 





Arcade standing at the corner of Main and Canal Streets. 

After a few months Mr. Heywood was succeeded by 
Rev. John Goodwin, who moved into town, and lived 
under the hall in which services were held, making shoes 
during the week and preaching on Sunday. Mr. Goodwin 
was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Rice, who also resided in the 
village. The next minister, and the first one appointed 
by the New England Conference, was Rev. N. H. Martin, 
whose pastorate commenced in the spring of 1855 and 
continued two years. The ministers since then have been 
as follows : Rev. Linus Fish, '57-58 ; Rev. W. J. Hamble- 
ton, '59 ; Rev. Increase B. Bigelow,'60-61 ; Rev. John 
H. Coolidge, '62 ; Rev. F. T. George, '63-64 ; Rev. John 
Capen, '65 ; Rev. C. H. Hanaford, '66-67 ; Rev. Mr. 
Hardmg, '67 ; Rev. N. T. Harlow, '68 ; Rev. C. L. Mc- 
Curdy, '69-70-71 ; Rev. John Peterson, '72-73-74 ; Rev. 
xiustin F. Herrick, '75-76-77 ; Rev. Lorenzo A. Bosworth, 
'78-79-80 ; Rev. Wm. Full, '81-82 ; Rev. A. R. Nichols, 
'83 ; Rev. P. M. Vinton, '84-85-86 ; Rev. W. N. Rich- 
ardson, '87-88-89-90 ; Rev. Wm. W. Baldwin, '91-92 ; Rev. 
James H. Humphrey, '93. 

At the commencement of the pastorate of Rev. Mr. 
Martin in 1855 the place of meeting was transferred to 
Houghton's Hall, the building now occupied by the City 
Hotel, and in 1861 the present church edifice was erected, 
the dedicatory exercises taking place Nov. 6th, 1861. In 
1887 during the first year of the pastorate of Rev. W. N. 
Richardson, the interior of the church building was re- 
modelled and repaired at an expense of about $4000, and 
was re-dedicated Jan. 25th, 1888. In 1892 a corner tower 
was erected which adds much to the appearance of the 


building, and the grounds in front were graded and en- 
closed with a stone curbing. Both interior and exterior 
now present a most pleasant and attractive appearance. 
During the 42 years existence of this church 696 persons 
have been in its membership. The present membership 
is 224. Sixteen revival "seasons have been enjoyed, in 
which from 20 to 113 names have been entered as pro- 
bationers, the latter number being during the ministry of 
Rev. W. N. Richardson, whose pastorate of four- years 
was the longest of the twenty-two ministers who have 
served this church as pastors. Two anniversary occasions 
have been observed by the church ; the first being Nov. 
22, 1881, the 30th anniversary of the organization of the 
church, when Rev. Mr. Full, the pastor, gave an historical 
address and Mr. C. R. Bruce, Superintendent of the Sun- 
day School, gave a brief history of the School. At this 
time the sum of $500 was raised by subscription as a 
thank offering to pay olf the floating debt of the church. 
There were five of the former pastors present. Rev. N. FT. 
Martin, Rev. Increase B. Bigelow, Rev. C. H. Hanaford, 
Rev. A. F. Herrick and Rev. L. A. Bosworth. The second 
occasion was the 40th anniversary which was observed 
Nov. 29, 1891, with a historical sermon by the pastor, Rev. 
W. W. Baldwin, a sketch of the Sunday School by the 
Superintendent, L. B. Caswell, and short addresses by 
those representing the various departments of the church. 
Rev. W. W. Baldwin, pastor in 1891 and '92, was 
born in Blenheim, N. Y., May 30, 1837, the youngest in 
a family of twelve children. His father was of the Con- 
necticut family of that name, and his mother came from a 
Scotch Presbyterian family who came to this country 


about 1790. Mr. Baldwin was educated at Union College 
and at the Theological School of Boston University. He 
was licensed to preach at Seward, N. Y., in August, 1859, 
and joined the Maine Conference of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, in May, 1862, when he was sent into 
mission work in northern New Hampshire. In 1865 he 
Was sent into the Colorado Mission among the gold and 
silver miners. In 1867 he planted the Methodist church 
in the then new territory of Wyoming, at its capital, 
Cheyenne. From 1868 to 1873 he labored in Michigan, 
and from 1873 to 1884 he served churches in Maine, and 
from that time his pastorates^ have been in Massachusetts. 

Rev. James H. Humphrey, the present pastor, was 
born in New York State, and when two years of age 
moved with his parents to Wisconsin. He received his 
coUege training at Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis., 
and afterwards took a law course at the Wisconsin State 
University. In 1871 he went to Boston and entered the 
Theological School of Boston University, from which he 
graduated in 1873, and subsequently received the de- 
gree of Ph. D. He is a veteran of the war, having served 
in the 40th Wisconsin Regiment. His first pastorate was 
at Marshfield, in 1873, and he has since had appointments 
at Mansfield, Bourne, New Bedford, Reading, Ashburn- 
ham, Edgar town and other places. 

A name dear to Athol Methodists is that of Rev. J. 
N. Mars, or Father Mars, as he was known among New 
England Methodists. He was born of slave parents, June 
22, 1804, in Norfolk, Conn., but was never a slave, as his 
father and mother had escaped from bondage, or had 
committed " An Exodus," as he called it. In a sketch of 


his life, entitled, "Battles with Bondage, or My Life for 
Three Quarters of a Century," which he prepared for 
a Methodist publication, he says, " My father, whose name 
was Jupiter Mars, and mother, whose name was simply 
Fannie, were not of Puritan stock, but were owned by a 
Presbyterian preacher, which was no mean -inheritance, 
and what was more, they were both born in Virginia. 
Married in the South, they were brought to the North a 
few years later by their master, the Eev. Mr. Thompson, 
who had come into New England to live. The minister 
settled in Canaan, Conn., where my father and his family 
continued to be his ■ slaves." Father Mars had only six 
months schooling and worked on a farm until nearly 19 
years of age, but he was a natural speaker, with a bright 
intellect, and being profoundly converted to God, labored 
with most powerful effect as a minister of the gospel and 
evangelist. At camp meetings his bronzed face would 
beam with light, and the vast congregations swayed like 
the tree-tops in the wind under his powerful exhortations, 
and he would move his audiences as few other men could. 
During the war he was Chaplain of the First North Caro- 
lina colored regiment, and had charge of the army stores 
at Newbern for several months ; he was ordered to Norfolk 
and Portsmouth, Va., where he was the Chaplain of a 
number of regiments until 1864, when he was admitted to 
the New England Conference, and stationed in Clinton, 
Mass. Afterwards he became presiding elder in the 
Washington Conference, (colored,) and was also the 
honored pastor of a large congregation in Baltimore. 
Returning to New England in 1870, he was stationed at 
Revere Street, Boston, was city missionary in 1871 and 


stationed in Athol in 1872, which was ever after his home 
until his death, Sept. 18, 1882. 


The Methodist Church at South Athol was first or- 
ganized in December, 1831. The members of the first 
class were Royal Smith, James Giles, Benjamin Cook, 
James GUes, Jr., BraddyU Smith, Jr., Daniel Hale, Nathan 
Smith, James Oliver, Elbridge Smith, Asa Adams, Frank- 
lin GUes, Ebenezer Wilber, WUlard Blanchard, Daniel 
Hager. Their meetings were first held in school houses 
and private dwellings, and sometimes in the summer in 

The present house of worship, which was among the 
first Methodist meeting houses in this part of the State, 
was built in 1836. At that time it was within the limits 
of the town of New Salem, but the next year after 
its erection that section became a portion of Athol. 
The first Methodist converts were baptized in a pond 
called Hacker's pond in New Salem, and the woods were 
full of people to witness the ceremony. The first minis- 
ters were a Rev. Mr. HuU, Eev. Hezekiah CoUer, Rev. 
Geo. W. Green, Rev. John Brackett, Rev. Simon Pike, 
Rev. T. W. Gile, Rev. Amasa Taylor, Rev. Jarvis Wilson. 
The ministers since 1860 have been as follows: Rev. 
H. T. Eddy, Rev. Alonzo Sanderson, Rev. Mr. Smith, 
Rev. J. J. Woodbury, Rev. H. S. Booth, Rev. Randall 
Mitchell, Rev. Wm. Jagger, Rev. Alphonzo Day, Rev. Mr. 
Ferguson, Rev. T. C. Martin, Rev. Mr. Ross, Rev. J. J. 
Woodbury, Rev. Mr. Sherman, Rev. Mr. Bragg, Rev. 
George Hudson, Rev. Wm. Silverthorne. The present 



pastor is Rev. J. W. Fulton. A large pulpit Bible was 
presented to the Society at the dedication of the church 
in October, 1836, by Sumner R. Morse of Athol. The 
present membership is 29, 


This Society was legally organized, at a meeting held 
at Starr Hall, June 11, 1877, and was composed largely 
of those Avho had been members and attendants of the 
Old First Church. The first officers of the Society were : 
Hon. Alpheus Harding, moderator ; Lucien Lord, clerk ; 
D. A. Newton, treasurer ; Edward F. Brown, collector ; 
and an Executive Committee of ten as follows : Hon. 
Alpheus Harding, George T. Johnson, E. F. Brown, A. 
A. Ward, A. L. Newman, D. A. Newton, A. L. Cheney, 
W. W. Fish, Hon. Charles Field, Lucien Lord. 

The first pastor was Rev. James C. Parsons of Wal- 
tham, to whom a unanimous call had been extended on 
April 3rd, 1877, and who preached his first sermon as 
pastor the first Sunday in May, and was installed June 12, 
1877. The installation was a memorable occasion, and 
was participated in by some of the most distinguished 
Unitarian clergymen of the State, including Rev. A. P. 
Peabody, D. D., of Harvard University, who preached the 
sermon, Rev. A. D. Mayo of Springfield gave the charge 
to the pastor, and Rev. J. F. Moors, of Greenfield, the 
address to the people. The Society held its meetings m 
Starr Hall for over four years, until its present church 
edifice was built. Land was purchased in the spring of 
1880, and the erection of the church was soon commenced 
and was first opened to the public April 13th, 1881, at 


which time the choir gave an organ concert. The first 
rehgious services were held on Easter Sunday, and on the 
7th day of September following, the church was dedicated 
free from debt, with interesting exercises, the sermon being 
preached by the Eev. Rush R. Shippen, of Washington, 
D. C. 

Mr Parson's pastorate was successful throughout, and 
under his efficient leadership the Society was rapidly built 
up. He was a man of culture and fine education, and 
actively promoted the intellectual life of the community. 
He was prominently identified with the organization of 
the Athol Library Association, that has since become the 
Athol Public Library, and to his labors much of the credit 
for its successful formation is due. He tendered his res- 
ignation July 17, 1881, to take effect October 1st of that 
year, and has since been the, popular Principal of the 
Prospect Hill School for young ladies at Greenfield. 

The second pastor was Rev. Charles P. Lombard, who 
was installed April 11, 1882, Rev. Dr. Bartol, of Boston, 
preaching the sermon. Mr. Lombard was born in Boston, 
June 9, 1845, and attended the Mayhew Grammar School 
in that city, entering the Public Latin School at ten years 
of age. Preparing to enter college his health failed him, 
and it was several years before he regained strength to 
enable him to study for the ministry. He graduated from 
the Harvard Divinity School in 1878, and received a call 
to Ellsworth, Maine, where he remained three years, and 
then came to Athol. He remained as pastor of the church 
for six years, and then resigned to accept a call to the 
First Parish of Plymouth, which is the old historic society 


of the Pilgrim Fathers, established in England in 1606, 
and where he stUl ministers. During Mr. Lombard's pas- 
torate the handsome and pleasant parish building known 
as Unity Hall was built, and was dedicated June 11, 1885, 
with interesting services. Mr. Lombard's pastorate was 
eminently successful, and when he resigned it was deeply 
regreted, not only by his own church, but by the towns- 
people generally. 

Rev. Charles E. Perkins, the third pastor, was born 
in La Porte. Ind., June 12, 1853. His early education 
was obtained in the public schools of Maumee City, Ohio, 
from the High School of which he graduated in 1867. 
He was for a time clerk in a dry goods store in Oswego, 
N. Y., and for eleven years was employed in the office of 
the Kingsford Starch Works of that city, which position 
he resigned to take the pastorate of the Universalist 
Churches in Clifton Springs and Geneva, N. Y., where he 
remained three years, resigning in May, 1888 to accept 
the call extended to him by the Second Unitarian Church 
of Athol. He was installed on the 29th of June of that 
year, the installation sermon being preached by Rev. 
Edward Everett Hale, D. D. He resigned the last of 
April, 1892, and in May went to Iowa City, Iowa, as pas- 
tor of the Unitarian church of that city 

During the summer of 1892, Walter Eustace Lane, 
of Saco, Maine, preached as a candidate on several occa- 
sions, with such general satisfaction that in September he 
was given a unanimous call to become pastor of the 
church, and was ordained and installed Nov. 17, 1892, 
Rev. Francis B. Hornbrooke, of Newton, preaching the 
sermon. Rev. Walter Eustace Lane, the present pastor 


of the Second Unitarian Society, was born in Gloucester, 
Mass., Sept. 6, 1866. His home, since he was six years 
of age, has been in Saco, Maine, where his parents now 
reside. In his early, school life he conceived a desire to 
enter the ministry, but circumstances forced him to en- 
gage in journalistic labors, instead of fulfilling his plan of 
taking a university course. During several years of 
newspaper work he furthered his prospects and prepara- 
tions for the ministry, and in 1888 the way opened for 
him to enter the Meadville, Pennsylvania Theological 
school where he took a four years course graduating in the 
summer of 1892. His energy, enthusiasm and devotion 
have made him popular as a preacher and in the social 
life of the church. 

The cost of the church property owned by this society, 
including the church edifice, Unity Hall and the parson- 
age has been about $23,000. 

A Sunday school was organized June 23rd, r877, 
with Mr Lucien Lord as superintendent, who has contin- 
ued to serve in that capacity to the present time. The 
annual fair, held by the ladies of this society, has become 
one of the social events of the year and the average net 
receipts of these fairs during the last twelve years has 
been over $500. 

ST. John's episcopal church. 

According to Whitney, the historian, there was one 
family of Episcopalians in Athol in 1793, but we have no 
record of religious services being held by this denomina- 
tion prior to June 1864, at which time the Rev. P. 
Voorhees Finch, now of Greenfield, ofiiciated. The meet- 


ings were then held in the Town Hall where E.ev. Dr. 
Huntington and others continued to hold occasional ser- 
vices up to the time of the formation of the parish. On 
September 3, 1866, St. John's Parish was organized and 
on the third of December following was incorporated. 
Rev. James D. Eeid was at once chosen as rector of the 
new parish, but after laboring for about a year he removed 
from town and for several years thereafter few services 
were held. In the autumn of 1881, however, Rev. J. S. 
Beers was elected diocesan missionary and under his 
faithful labors interest in the work of this organization 
was revived and prospered and in December, 1888 a suc- 
cessful effort was made to reorganize the parish. Regular 
meetings were held in the To\\ti Hall imtil March of the 
following year, when Temple of Honor Hall was secured 
where the meetings continued to be held. On March 10, 
1889 a Sunday school was established and March 18, a 
call was extended to Rev. C. J. Shrimpton of Ridgeway 
Pa., to become the rector of the parish. The call was ac- 
cepted and on the 7th of April following Mr. Shrimpton 
began his labors. 

At that time there were about sixty communicants, 
and the pressing need of a suitable house of public 
worship was so apparent and the desire for a permanent 
church home so generally felt that steps were immediately 
taken to secure an eligible site for a church edifice. 
The house and lot of HoUon Farr on the corner of Park 
Avenue and School Street and extending to Allen Street 
was purchased, and in June 1890 ground was broken, 
and the erection of a building begun, the corner stone of 


which was laid June with appropriate and interesting 
exercises. It is a unique structure the interior of which is 
tastily and beautifully arranged and furnished ; the cost of 
the buUding was $3,500, and it was first occupied on Sun- 
day, Oct. 5, 1890. The church was consecrated Oct. 22, 
1891 by Rt. Eev. Phillips Brooks, and was one of his first 
oflacial acts after assuming the duties of Bishop of the 
Diocese of Massachusetts. 

The present number of communicants is seventy. 
Rev. C. J. Shrimpton, the present rector, was born in 
Montreal, in 1835. He was educated in Woodstock 
Institute, Woodstock, Canada, and was ordained as a 
Baptist minister in 1861, serving churches at Stratford, 
Canada, and at StUlwater and Ithaca, N. Y. He was 
ordained a priest of the Protestant Episcopal church, at 
Fayetteville, N. Y., in 1878, and was in charge of parishes 
in Galesburg, 111., and at Ridgeway, Pa., until coming to 
Athol in April 1889. 


Those who have given historical sketches of the 
churches existing in Athol at the time of the great MUlerite 
excitement which swept over the country in 1842 and '43 
allude to its eff'ect upon their societies. Rev. S. F. Clarke 
in his Centennial discourse of 1850 says, "the two most 
remarkable excitements experienced in town were those 
which were felt more or less over a large portion of our 
country, and which were very similar in their nature, — - 
the one known here, in popular phrase, as the "Foote," 
the other as the "Miller" excitement. Upon either of 
these we forbear comment, or even an attempt at descrip- 


tion. We would be charitable in our judgment, especially 
of the latter." Rev. D. H. Stoddard in his history of the 
Baptist Church delivered in 1873 says, "The vagaries of 
Millerism also brought discord and division to this church 
as to many others. At one time fifteen members having 
been led to believe that the church as it then existed w^as 
Anti-Christ, went out from the church." And Rev. H. A. 
Blake in his historical address of the Evangelical Congre- 
gational church delivered on the occasion of its fiftieth 
anniversary in 1880 said, regarding the converts of Evan- 
gelist Foote, "Some were intemperate, some altogether 
indifferent and many were drawn into the excitement and 
error of the Adventist movement of 1843." Evidently 
there was a great searching and shaking up in the 
churches while the agitation attending this movement was 
in progress. 

In 1842 the Millerites, as they were called, held largely 
attended camp meetings in a grove not far from the south 
end of Pleasant Street, and these meetings were kept up 
for years by a few of the faithful who accepted these 

These faithful few on May 17, 1863, effected a 
church organization with twenty-eight members. This 
first church roll contains the following names: Addison 
Cutting, Daniel EUinwood, J . F. Sawtell, Geo. A. Streeter, 
Ensign K. Marsh, LaRoy EUinwood, J. F. Crawford, 
Daniel W. EUinwood, Henry W. Stratton, Persis F. 
Cuttmg, Jane Sawtell, Caroline Stratton, Mary E. Streeter 
Hannah Stratton, Lydia W. KendaU, Hannah Whitman, 
Lutherea Weaver. Fannie M. Stratton, Sarah T. EUin- 


wood, Hannah Ellinwood, Sarah R. Stratton, Martha J. 
Crawford, Anna E. Kendall, Sarah Hager, Lydia Co^ok, 
Diantha Stockwell, Wealthy J. Stockwell, Laura M. 
Stratton. Meetings were at first held in the school house, 
near the Drury farm, on the Petersham road, and in 1870 
the hall of the engine house at the Upper Village was 
engaged and services were held there until 1872. In 
January of that year the church was reorganized with 54 
members a tract of land was purchased on Main Street, 
nearly opposite the Town Hall, and during the year 1873 
the present neat church building was erected at an ex- 
pense of about $3000. Soon after the new church was 
occupied Rev. Roland D. Grant became the pastor and 
served the society from Jan. 5. 1876 to Nov. 1, 1876. 
Mr. Grant has since become one of the most eminent 
Baptist preachers of the state, serving churches at Beverly 
and Boston and is now pastor of a church in Portland, 
Oregon, with a salary of $4000. Dr. James Hemenway, 
who has been the acting pastor of the church most of the 
time since its organization, was born in Framingham in 
1823, and began to work in a mill in that town when only 
seven years old. He educated himself outside of working 
hours and rose to the position of overseer. He removed 
to Concord in 1840 and became superintendent of the 
woolen department of Damon's factory which position he 
held until 1844, when he was converted and soon began 
travelling as an independent evangelist. He was ordained 
in 1859 by the Rhode Island Advent Christian Conference, 
serving societies in Danielsonville, Conn., Dover, Me., and 
other places, and came to Athol in 1864. 


Mr. Hemenway has practised dentistry much of the 
time since he has resided in Athol, and at one time had a 
Boston office in connection with his Athol office. He was 
or nearly four years business agent and treasurer of the 
Advent Publication Society, and largely increased its bus- 
iness during his connection with it. He has also devoted 
much time to a study of the pyramids of Egypt, upon which 
he has lectured successfully in many places. Dr. Hemen- 
way has been for several years president of the Advent 
Camp Meeting Association at Springfield, and is one of the 
leading men of his denomination. He has been active in 
temperance and other reformatory work, and was the can- 
didate of the Prohibition party for Representative to the 
Legislature in 1893. 

ST. Catherine's catholic church. ■ 

Previous to 1850 the Catholics of Athol had no reg- 
ular services, but were visited occasionally by priests from 
different places. After this time Rev. M. W. Gibson, of 
Worcester, held services here, and in 1853 purchased the 
old Baptist Church in the Upper Village, which was the 
church home of this denomination for thirty years. In 
1855 Rev. Father Turpin, of Fitchburg, took charge of 
Athol as a mission. About 1862 Otter River in Temple- 
ton became a parish, and Athol and Orange were attached 
to it. For several years Rev. Father Bannon, the resident 
pastor of Otter River, visited Athol monthly and held 
services. Following hira were Rev's. William Orr, two by 
the name of McManas, R. J. Donovan and Robert Welch. 
Rev. Joseph Coyne for several years held services three 
times each month, until 1882, when Athol became a 


parisli, and Rev. E. F. Martin was appointed as the first 
resident pastor. 

Eev. Edward F. Martin was born in Barre, Mass., in 
1844. His eariy life was spent in Worcester. During 
the war of the Rebellion he enlisted in the United States 
Navy, and served on board the "Cannndaigua" and 
"Miami," and was captured at Fort Temple, Sept. 8, 1863. 
He spent fourteen months in Andersonville and other 
Southern prisons, and was discharged from the service in 
1865. He soon after took up college studies at St. 
Charles, Maryland, and was ordained at St. Joseph's Sem- 
inary, Troy, N. Y. He was first stationed at Lee and 
Adams, in this state, as assistant, and was appointed pastor 
of St. Catherine's Parish in 1882. The old church build- 
ing soon proved too small to accommodate the Society, and 
meeting swere held for a time in the Town Hall. In 1883 
the valuable real estate known as Drury's Grove, contain- 
ing about four acres, and situated between the villages, 
was purchased, and in 1884 a commodious basement was 
built and roofed over where the church services have since 
been held. The next year a fine parochial residence was 
erected. The Society numbers about nine hundred souls. 
In addition to ministering to this large number. Father 
Martin also holds services every Sunday at Orange, which 
is attached to the Athol Parish. 



"Few were the numbers she could boast, 
But every freeman was a host, 
And felt as though himself were he 
On whose sole arm hung victory." 

HE ANNALS of the town leave no 
doubt as to the patriotism of Athol in 
the dark days of the Revolution, and the 
records of the frequent town meetings 
held through the years of the war bear 
testimony that the town was not behind 
her sister towns in resisting the oppres- 
sion and tyranny of Great Britian, and in furnishing food 
and clothing for the suffering armies of freedom, while the 
families of her citizens who were taking part in the great 
struggle for liberty were kindly cared for. As early as 
May, 1770 a vote was passed granting "six pounds to pro- 
vide a stock of ammunition for the town." When the 
news of the order for closing the port of Boston was re- 
ceived, we find the men of Athol gathering at a full meet- 
ing of the Freeholders and other inhabitants of the Town 
July 7, 1774, with Deacon Aaron Smith as Moderator, and 


unanimously agreeing to enter into a '■'•League or Covenant 
binding ourselves to renounce the use and consumption of 
all goods that shall arrive in America from Great Britain 
from and after the last day of August next ensuing, 
until the act for blocking up the Harbor of Boston shall be 
repealed and us restored to the free use and enjoyment of 
our national and charter rights, < or until other measures 
shall be adopted by the body of the people or the General 
Congress of the Colonies that are soon to meet shall be 
thought more likely to afford deUverance." A Committee 
of Correspondence was also chosen consisting of Dea. 
Aaron Smith, Wm. Bigelow, Josiah Goddard, Capt. John 
Haven, Ephraim Stockwell, James Oliver, Abner Graves, 
James Stratton, Jr. and Daniel Lamson, to correspond with 
similar committees in other towns ot the Province. 

At a meeting of the freeholders and other inhabit- 
ants of the town duly assembled and convened, on the 
25th of August following, seven patriotic resolutions were 
unanimously passed. 

The 1st. of these resolutions points to a closer and 
firmer bond of union between the colonies. 

The 2d. acknowledges the loyalty of the people to 
King George the Third, so long as he shall rule and govern 
agreeable to the English constitution and our chartered 
rights, but no longer. 

The 3d. condemns the blockade and plunder of Bos- 

The 4th. complains of the injustice involved in the 
practical repeal of the charters of the colonies. 

The 5th. is a pledge of resistance to the unjust meas- 
ures pursued by the British Government. 


The 6th. signifies their approbation of a County meet- 
ing that is to be held at Worcester, and appoints William 
Bigelow and Daniel Lamson to attend said meeting. 

The 7th. is as follows: "Resolved, that if any persoa 
shall accept any commission or post of office to serve under 
the new establishment, he ought to be looked upon and 
treated as an enemy to his country; as he, thereby, is joining 
with, and lending a helping hand to those who are endea- 
voring to enslave us." Such were the sentiments of the 
men of Athol in the days of the Revolution. 

The votes passed at the various town meetings show 
that the voters of Athol were determined that as far as 
they were concerned, the rights of freemen should be pro- 
tected at any cost. 

At a town meeting held on the 29th of September 
1774 it was voted "to enlist thirty men exclusive of officers 
to send in case of alarm," and also "to have two companies 
of militia in town," one on each side of the river. At the 
same meeting William Bigelow was chosen a delegate to 
attend and represent the town "in the Provincial Congress 
to be hoi den at Concord on the second Tuesday of October" 
ensuing. He was also chosen as a delegate to attend at 
Cambridge and "join with the Provincial Congress at their 
first sessions if the Continental Congress breaks up and the 
members that went from this province return home." 

Jan. 11, 1775, the town voted "that we do approve of 
and wUl adopt the non importation agreement recommend- 
ed by the Continental Congress." And on March 6, 1775 
the last town meeting is warned in his Majesties name. 
On the 15th of the following June it is voted to raise a 
Minute Company consisting of 25 men commissioned offi- 



cers included. Who were these minute men? Geo. Wm. 
Curtis in his address at the Centennial anniversary of the 
battles of Concord and Lexington most truly describes 
them : 

"The minute man of the American Revolution, who 
was he 1 He was the husband and father who, bred to 
love liberty, and to know that lawful liberty is the sole 
guaranty of peace and progress, left the plow in the furrow 
and the hammer on the bench, and kissing wife and child- 
ren marched to die or to be free. He was the son and 
lover, the plain shy youth of the singing school and the 
village choir, whose heart beat to arms with his country, 
and who felt, though he could not say, with the old English 

cavalier : 

•'I could not love thee, deare, so much, 
Loved I not honor more." 

When the decisive moment came and "the shot heard 
round the world" was fired, the minute men of Athol were 
ready to respond to the Lexington alarm, and among the 
musty old records preserved at the State House in Boston, 
we find their names recorded on "X Muster Roll of ye 
Comp. that marched on ye 19th of April under ye com- 
mand of Capt. Ichabod Dexter in Col. Doolittles Regt. 

Ichabod Dexter, captain, Benja. Death, " 

;) Ephraim Stockwell, lieutenant, vJ Abner Morton, " 

^ Abner Graves, lieutenant, U»o'')^-i Joshua Mortpn, " 

-i Thomas Lord, sergeant, (Jj^-^ -i Moses Ball, " 

/ Simon Goddard, sergeant, J Isaac Ball, " 

Caleb Smith, sergeant, -^ Jonathan Train, " 

y Asa Smith, corporal, «-< j' —• — John Dike, " 

; John StockweU, corporal, ,i Bamble Woods, " 

v| Joseph Cummings, corporal, \ Zebulon Stratton," 

,i Ezra Hudson, private, i Joseph Fay, " 

\Kobbart Young, " \ Ebenz. Goddard, " 


^' Samuel Young, " Jleuben Graves, " 

^-i Wmiam Young, " , Samuel Hall, " 

Benja Townsing," -4 Jonathan Biglo, " 

Robbai-t Oliver, " J Asa Hartuess, " 

Most of these were in service 13 days and their travel 
was 160 miles. 

Ichabod Dexter, Athol's first captain in the Revolu- 
tion, who led the minute men in the Lexington Alarm, 
was a son of Samuel Dexter, who is supposed to have come 
to Athol in 1736 and settled on what was called West 
Hill, irij the vicinity of the old fort. Samuel was a son of 
Benjamin Dexter who was born in Rochester, Mass. in 
1670 ^nd married Sarah Arnold, daughter of Rev. Samuel 
Arnold the hrst minister of Rochester, and was a descend- 
ent of Thomas Dexter who came from England in 1630, 
being one of the 1500 that came with Winthrop. 

^chabod was a young blacksmith and according to 
trachtion was in the French and Indian war, and was at 
the taking of old Fort Ticonderoga when all the men in 
line, on both sides of him were shot down and his clothes 
wejfe riddled with bullets, but none happened to draw 
blood. He and his brother Samuel were also out as scouts 
at one time, and were taken prisoners by the Indians, who 
started with them for Canada, but as they were camped 
one night the brothers woke up and finding thfeir captors 
were all asleep they sent the whole company to the happy 
hunting grounds, and started through the wilderness for 
Athol, which they barely lived to reach, being obliged to 
kill and eat their dog which was vsdth them. He was one 
of the early Selectmen of Athol and held other town offi- 

Sometime before 1781 he moved to Hardwick, for 


according to the records of that town he was one of the 
Selectmen of Hardwick in 1781, 1782 and 1785 and re- 
presented that town in the General Court in 1782 and 
1783. He was an active promoter of Shay's Rebellion in 
1786 and his name with Samuel Dexter was among a list 
which the Sheriff of Worcester County in a letter to the 
Governor says are "the names of a number of their princi- 
pal leaders and commanders," but he afterwards made his 
peace with the Government. 

He died of apoplexy Feb. 13, 1797, being at the time 
of his death 59 years, 7 months and 19 days of age. On 
the settlement of his estate in April 1798, shares were 
allotted to seven children. After returning from the 
Lexington Alarm it seems that Capt. Dexter soon led 
another company to the field, for we find a muster roll of a 
company under command of Capt. Ichabod Dexter in Col. 
B. Ruggles Woodbridge Regt, to Aug. 1, 1775, most of 
whom enlisted the last days of April or first of May. On 
the roll appear the names of seven who were in the first 
company that marcbed, whUe eighteen new recruits appear. 

Another Athol captain was Capt. Thomas Lord, who 
was Sergeant in the first company that marched and was 
afterwards captain in several different companies. "A 
Continental Pay Roll of Capt. Thomas Lord's company 
in Col. Nathan Sparhawk's Regt., of Militia from Athol 
in State of Mass. Bay to Bennington including the time to 
return" contains the names of thirty-one men including 
the Captain. This company enlisted Aug 21, 1777, and 
was discharged Aug. 26, 1777. Their distance from home 
was 96 miles, and the time of service including time to 
return, ten days. 


Another continental pay roll of Capt. Thomas Lord's 
company in Col. Job Cushing's Regiment of Militia from 
the state of Mass. Bay, including the time to return home, 
contained the names of forty-five men, most of whom 
marched a distance of 220 miles from home, and were ten 
or eleven days in service. The name of John Oliver also 
appears on some of the muster rolls at the State House as 
an A.thol captain. 

A statement in the town records of llll shows that 
Athol had furnished soldiers who were distributed 
throughout the Continental army, at Cambridge, Roxbury, 
Dorchester, Nantastick, York, Ticonderoga, Tarrytown, 
the Jerseys, Rhode Island, Bennington, Saratoga and Fort 

There is preserved in the Sprague family an interest- 
ing relic in the shape of an ancient document which con- 
tains the marching orders sent to an Athol captain : 
"To Capt. Eph'm Stockwell: 

Sir: — By virtue of an express from Genr'l Warren in which i am 
Directed to detach Every Sixtli man out of my Regiment to go to the 
releaf of our Distressed Breatheren to the westward. I do Hereby Di- 
rect and Order you forth-with with-out the Least Delay and with the 
utmost Despatch to Detach Every Sixth man out of the Training Band 
and alarm List of your Company for the purpose affores'd and See that 
they are acquipt according to Law with armes, ammunition, also with 
Kittles and Cooking utejisils. The Selectmen are Directed to acqnip 
those that are not acquiped, you are also to detach one Corporal. And 
when you have so Done you are to march them to Petersham on Mon- 
day the twenty-eighth day of this Instant July to meet on the Paraid 
near the Meeting House in said Town at nine o'clock in the forenoon, 
you are also to take the command of the men Detached from captains 
Nye. Henery and Lord's Companey's Together with your own Detach- 
ment. And from sd Petersham you are to make your Route By the way 
of Bennington, where you are to receive further orders from Colo- 
Cushing, you are to Return me a List of the names of those men De- 
tached from your Company Immediately. 

Barre, July 26th, 1777. 




This company was in the battle of Bennington and 
afterwards captured, in New Jersey, a British detachment 
one less in number without firing a shot. In the terrible 
conflict of White Plains two of its men were killed who 
bore the Athol names of Morse and Goddard. The first 
pastor of Athol, Eev. James Humphrey, has left this rec- 
ord respecting them, "Mr. Earl Cutting, their townsman 
and messmate, was between them when they fell." Tra- 
dition adds that one of them when wounded, leaped over a 
fence arid died without uttering a word. 

Preserved ia the archives of the State House at Bos- 
ton on the various muster rolls and continental pay rolls 
of companies and regiments we find the names of 156 
Athol men who served in the Continental Army at some 
time from 1775 to the close of the war. 

Capt. Thomas Lord, 

Capt. Ichabod Dexter, 
" John Oliver, 

Lieut. Abner Graves, 
" Zebediah Allen, 

Sergt. Caleb Smitli, 
" Ezra Hudson, 
" Martin Morton, 
" Ebenezer Goddard, 
" Geo. Cutting, 
" 'William Smith, 

Corp. Asa Smith, 
" Joseph Morse, 
" Samuel Hara, 
" John Stone, 
" Francis Smith, 
" Ithamer Bowker, 

Drummer Jesse Stockwell, 

Fif er Moses Goddai'd, 

Nathaniel Ara, 

Isaac Sail, 

Noah Bates, 

" Ephraim Stockwell, 
Lieut. Benj. Townsend, 
Sergt. Simon Goddard, 
" Steven Stratton, 
" Joseph Cummings, 
" Joseph Buckman, 
" John Humphrey, 
" David Oliver, 
" Aaron Smith, 
Corp. John Stockwell, 
" Eobert Young, 
" Benjamin Death, 
" Nahum Fairbanks, 
" Wm. Braimond, 
" James Wilson, 
Drummer Isacher Bates, 
Fiter Simeon Prosson, 
Moses Ball, 
Aaron Ball, 
Theodor Bates, 



Uri Babbitt, 
Joshua Bea] 
Eeuben Buckman, 
Daniel Bushnell, 
Lucas Carlton, 
Ephraim Cady, 
Stephen Crosby, 
Samuel Cutting-, 
Wm. Cutting, 
David Copeland, 
Joshua Davis, 
John Dike, 
Benjamin Fairbanks, 
Philemon Fairbanks, 
Jason Fisk, 
James Fletcher, 
Ebenezer Goddard, Jr., 
Stephen Goodell, 
Eeuben Graves, 
Asa Hartness, 
Lucas Hilton, 
Daniel How, 
Moses Huckans. 
Elhathan Jacobs, 
Eli Jacobs, 
Jonathan Johnson, 
Jonathan Kelton, 
Samuel Kendall, 
Joseph Knights, 
William Lord 
James Lucas, 
Joshua Morton, 
Silas Marble, 
Aaron Marble, 
Daniel Mayson, 
Moses Mixture, 
John Muuro, 
Abraham Nutt, 
Aaron Oliver, 
Joseph Parker, 
David Peri-y, 

Nathaniel Babbitt, 

Jotham Biglo, 

Samuel Bradish, 

Jabez Carter, belonged to Eeading-, 

but enlisted for Athol. 
Ephraim Cheney, 
Wm. Crosby, 
Earl Cutting, 
Isaac Commings, 
Jonathan Childs, 
Jotham Death, 
Benjamin Dollbear, 
John Fairbanks, 
Joseph Fay, 
Jonathan Fletcher, 
Bartholomew French, 
David Goddai-d, 
Timothy Goodell, 
Samuel Hale, 
Edward Hamon, 
Wm. Holman, 
Jacob Huckans, 
Seth Hutson 
John Jacobs, 
Whitman Jacobs 
John Kelton, 
Lucas Kelton, 
Timothy Kendall, 
William Lewis, 
Eobert Love, 
Abner Morton, 
Eichard Morton, 
Moses Marble, 
John Mansur, 
Josiah Moor, 
Sam Mixture, 
Asa Buckman, 
Eobbart Oliver, 
Daniel Parling 
Eben Parsons, 
Nathaniel Powers 

ATHOL m THE teJSVOLtmoK. 93 

Benj. Pressoii, Peter Thompson, 

Seth Rider, Enos Twichell, 

Zacheus Rich, Josiah Wait, 

Daniel Rice, Peleg "Watson, 

■Jotham Rice, Nicholas Watson, 

teilfus Richardson, Sam Watson, 

Benj. Russell, Ichabod Warner, 

Luke Robbins, Abel White, 

Solomon Smith, Eben Williams, 

bayid Smith, Jacob Winslow, ■ 

Eben Stratton, L/evi Witt, 

Peleg Stratton, Kimble Woods, 

Zebulon Stratton, Jonathan Wood, 

Thomas Stow, Samuel Young, 

Ruf us Taylor, William Young, 

Isaac Train, David Youngs 
Jonathan Train, 

When we consider that the entire population of 
Athol during the Revolution did not exceed nine hundred, 
we can form some idea of what the people of this town 
were called upon to do, when almost the entire able bodied 
male population of the little town must have been in the 
service at some time during the war. 

We have no means of ascertaining how many of these 
soldiers were killed in battle, or died from disease brought 
on by the hardships and perils encountered, or the feats 
of valor or heroism they may have performed ; it would be 
interesting to know something more of their lives, but the 
records of both town and state show that Athol was ever 
ready with a noble spirit of self sacrifice to contribute of 
her sons and money most liberally for the cause of free 

The following are some of the votes passed by the 
town during the war: 

94 Afaoh, -PAsr Anv ttcESEm', 

July 24, 1776, voted "to grant six pounds to eacli 
man who should enlist into the colony service to go to 
Canada." March 10, 1777, "voted to raise thirty pounds 
to provide a town stock of ammunition." April 29 of the 
same year, voted to pay twenty-four pounds to each man 
who "shall enlist himself into the Continental army for 
three years or during the war," and the selectmen were 
directed to borrow the money. June 6, six pounds were 
granted in addition to the above to each man so enlisting. 
Dec 2, 1777, it was "voted to raise 1128 pounds 16 shil- 
lings to pay the extraordinary charges of the war." At 
a town meeting held April 9, 1778, a committee consisting 
of John Haven, Aaron Smith and Jesse Kindal were 
chosen to supply the Continental soldiers' families with the 
necessaries of life, according to the act of contract. June 
16, 1778, voted "to raise 125 pounds 11 shillings, to pay 
for tbe Continental clothing and for transporting the same 
to the army." July 15, "voted to raise 1583 pounds, three 
shillings and eight pence to pay those men that have done 
service in the war for the town of Athol." June 28, 1779, 
voted "to give 500 pounds for each man that will engage 
in the nine months Continental service." Voted "to allow 
170 pounds for any man that will engage in the six 
month's service to Providence Plantation," October 27, 
1780, voted to allow 7,650 pounds to Oliver Holman, for 
beef procured by him, as agent for the town, for the army. 



*' A weapon that comes down as still 
As snowflakes fall Upon the sod, 

But executes a Freeman's will 
As lightning does the will of God, 

And from, its force, nor doors nor locks 
Can shield you^ — "'tis the hallot-box.'' 

HE WAR of 1812 was most strenuously 
opposed by the people of Ath.ol, and the 
significant language of the various 
petitions which they addressed to the 
President of the United States and the 
State Legislature show the intense feel 
ing that prevailed and that they were in earnest. The 
first action taken by the town was at a town meeting held 
August 31, 1808, when it was voted to petition the Pres- 
ident of the United States to repeal the laws laying an 
embargo. The following were chosen a committee to 
prepare the petition: James Oliver, Elijah Goddard, 
Joseph Pierce, James Humphrey and Joseph Proctor. 

The following petition was read and unanimously 
adopted : 


"To THE President op the United States: The inhabitants of 
the Town of AthoJ in the County of Worcester and Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts in legal town meeting assembled, beg leave respectfully 
and unanimously to represent that although the evils resulting from the 
late embargo laws may not be so immediately and sensibly felt by inland 
towns as by our seaports, and although the farmer may not at present sO' 
much as the merchant feel their deliterious efiects, yet they are consid- 
ered of suiiicient magnitude to create a general alarm and distress in 
this interior part of the country, and that the riyn of the husbandman 
will soon follow that of the merchant unless said evils can speedily be 
removed. We therefore pray that said laws may be suspended as soon 
as may be consistent with the nature and fitness of things, and as in duty 
bound will ever pray." 

This petition not having the desired effect, the fol- 
lowing winter a town meeting is called to take action on 
the subject, when the doctrine of state sovereignty and 
resistance to national control is advocated in a most 
emphatic and unequivocal manner. The records of this 
town meeting are most interesting and read as follows : 

"The inhabitants of the Town of Athol in legal town meeting oii 
Wednesday, the 16th day of February, 1809, assembled for the purpose 
of taking into consideration the late measures of our National Admin- 
istration affecting our Navigation and Commerce, voted to choose a 
committee to draft an address to our State Legislature upon the subject 
aforesaid and the following gentlemen were chosen, viz: James Olivei- 
Joseph Pierce, James Humphrey, "William Young and Joseph Proctor. 
Adjourned half an hour at the expiration of which time said inhabitants 
met agreeably to adjournment and their committee reported as follows: 
"That whereas civil liberty and the pursuit of happiness are considered 
by us as inalienable rights, and no less essential to the good and well be- 
ing of Political Society than publick authority, therefore : Eesolved that 
we will never surrender these Rights but with the surrender of our lives 
and as the late measures of our national administration by which our 
commerce is well nigh destroyed, the right of Trial by Jury in many 
instances taken away, the civil authority subjected to the military, 
standing armies distributed over our peaceful land and the right of 
property left unprotected, are in our opinion, partial, unjust, inexpedient 
and unconstitutional, the opinion of any earthly judge to the contrary 


. notwithstanding, therefore : Resolved that we are not bound to support 
and we will not support such measures: Resolved that we will con- 
tribute all in our power to aid and support our State Legislature by all 
proper means, in opposing such oppresive measures hoping and 
earnestly requesting that Honorable Body not to quit their posts until 
they shall have asserted the Sovereignity and Independence of this State 
and secured to its citizens their wonted privileges. 

James Oliver, Chairman." 
William Young and Abnev Twichell entered their verbal protest 
against said report. 

Political History. It was in 1776 that the first step 
was taken toward the formation of a State Constitution, 
when the Legislature recommended to the people that 
they choose deputies to that body authorized to fix a form 
of government. The plan or form of government for this 
state as agreed upon by the convention held Feb. 28, 1778 
and submitted to the people was rejected by a large 
majority, because no declaration of rights was attached to 
it. That it was not satisfactory to the citizens of Athol is 
evident by the action of the town meeting at which it was 
presented, when one hundred and one voters, voted not to 
accept it, and a committee of nine were chosen "to take 
into consideration and point out what amendments they 
think proper on the said form of government and report 
to the town." 

In January, 1780, the existing Constitution was 
formed and submitted to the people who ratified it by a 
vote of more than two to one. A declaration of the 
Constitution was that "all men are born equal," and under 
this provision it was decided by the Supreme Court of the 
State that slavery was abolished. At the first state 
election under the Constitution Sept. 4, 1 780, Athol's vote 
for governor was, John Hancock 39, and for lieutenant 


governor, James Warren 19. In 1790 Athol's vote for 
governor was, John Hancock 29, Hon. James Bowdoin 9, 
and Hon. Nathaniel Gorham 6. In 1794 when the 
immortal Samuel Adams was chosen governor Athol did 
not cast a single vote for him, the vote for governor that 
year being Wm. Gushing 22, Samuel Phillips 17 and 
Francis Dana 12. 

The insurrectionary movement known as the Shay's 
Eebellion which had its greatest following in the interior 
and western parts of the state does not seem to have been 
looked upon by the citizens of Athol with much favor. 
This is clearly shown in the action of Athol in the conven- 
tion held at Boston in 1787 for the purpose of considering 
the proposed National Constitution, when the entire 
northern part of Worcester County with the exception of 
Athol voted against its adoption, assigning as a principal 
reason that too many of the rights of the citizens were not 
well guarded. As a general rule those towns and indivdi- 
uals who favored the Shays movement, opposed the 
Constitution, from the fear that there would be too much 
power in the central government. 

It is interesting to note the part Athol has taken in 
the various political movements that have agitated the 
state and nation. At the first presidential election held 
Dec. 18, 1788, Abel Wilder Esq., and John Sprague, Esq., 
each received forty votes as candidates for electors of the 
president and vice president of the United States. A 
large majority of the voters of Athol were Federalists 
all through the early years of the century, and in 1800 
when Caleb Strong, the renowned Federalist, who held the 


office of governor longer than it was held by any other 
man, and is said to have been the man of the most decided 
character that has ever been at the head of the state, 
Athol's vote for governor was Hon. Caleb Strong 75 votes, 
and Hon. Elbridge Gerry 10. Governor Strong was 
defeated in 1808 by James Sullivan, a democrat. 

The Federalists regained power again in 1809, when 
Christopher Gore was chosen governor, but in 1810 the 
Democrats were again successful, making Elbridge Gerry 
governor and re-electing him in 1811. All through these 
changes Athol was steadfast to the federalist cause, and in 
1812 when a most vigorous and successful eff'ort was made 
to "redeem" the state from the democrats, and Hon. 
Caleb Strong was again their leader, Athol rolled up her 
largest vote when Hon. Caleb Strong received 169 votes 
for governor and Hon. Elbridge Gerry 27. 

In 1829 the voters of Athol and other towns in this 
section of the state were unusually agitated over the rail- 
road question and broke away from all party allegiance. 
This was known as the anti-railroad election. Governor 
Lincoln who was in favor of a railroad line from Boston 
through Worcester and the southern part of the state 
to Albany was opposed by Hon. Samuel C. Allen of 
Greenfield, who was supported for governor by many of 
the towns in the northern part of the state. In 1828 
Lincoln had received 66 votes in Athol against 26 for Hon. 
Marcus Morton, but at the election of 1828 Governor 
Lincoln received only two votes, Hon. Samuel Allen 142 
and Marcus Morton seven. The following year Athol's 
vote was reversed, Allen receiving but two. Morton 41 
and Lincoln 59. 


During the ascendency of the Whig party in Massachu- 
setts, Athol was a Whig town, and in the famous Log 
Cabin campaign of 1840 when the great victory of "Tip- 
pecanoe and Tyler too" was achieved, cast 233 votes for 
the Whig electors, 79 for the Democratic and 11 for the 
free Soilers. 

In the great political overturn in 1854 when the new 
American or Know Nothing party elected Henry J. 
Gardner as Governor and buried the old Whig party in 
Massachusetts so deep that it has never had a resurrection, 
Athol went overwhfelmingly in favor of the new party, the 
vote for Governor being Henry J. Gardner 200, Emory 
Washburn 67, Henry Wilson 13 and Henry W. Bishop 
20. The year before, Emory Washburn, the last of the 
Whig governors, received 146 votes, Henry Wilson 122 
and Henry W. Bishop 63, but the Know Nothing candi- 
date for representative to the Legislature, Josiah Haven, 
was elected after an exciting contest of two days, receiving 
on the last ballot but two votes more than the number 
necessary for election, it requiring a majority vote to elect 
at that time which rendered the representative contests, 
especially, very exciting. 

From the formation of the Eepublican party in 1855 
to the present time the vote of Athol, with a few excep- 
tions, has been given to the candidates of that party for 
national and state officers. The state campaign of 1860 
was a tremendous struggle, and the coming war loomed 
up on the political horizon. The Republican state con- 
vention had nominated John A. Andrew for governor, and 
against him was pitted Erasmus D. Beach, the old Dem- 


ocratic war horse, the candidate of the Douglas faction of 
his party. Amos A. Lawrence was the nominee of the 
conservatives and Benjamin F. Butler of the Breckinridge, 
or ultra wing of the Democratic party. In this memorable 
election Athol gave the Republican presidential electors 
347 votes, and all others 55. The vote for governor was 
John A. Andrew 338, Erasmus D. Beach 31, Amos A. 
Lawrence 13 and Benjamin F. Butler 10. 

Seldom have political campaigns been fought that 
created such excitement and interest as always attended 
the State campaigns when Gen. Benjamin F. Butler was 
a candidate for Governor of Massachusetts. The very air 
seemed surcharged with political electricity, and it was 
said regarding Athol in those days, "that the politics of 
each child can be ascertained, even before the time of 
teething is gone by, for men, women and children talk 
politics." The vote of Athol for Governor in those mem- 
orable campaigns, was as follows: In 1878, Thomas Tal- 
bot 419, Benjamin F. Butler 407, Alonzo A. Miner 9. 
1879, John D. Long 431, Benjamin F. Butler 428, John 
Q. Adams 4, Daniel C. Eddy 1. 1882, Benjamin F. 
Butler 422, Eobert E. Bishop 409, Charles Almy 1. 
1883, Geo. D. Eobinson 549, Benjamin F. Butler 537, 
John F. Arnold 4, Charles Almy 4, John Q. Adams 1. 

Some of the caucus gatherings held here, have at- 
tracted more than local interest. When Butler made his 
first attempt to secure the republican nomination for Gov- 
ernor in 1871, the Athol republicans engaged in a most 
exciting contest for the election of delegates to the State 
Convention. The caucus that was called to meet at the 


Town Hall organized, and immediately after, the Wash- 
burn men, fearing that the caucus might be carried for 
Butler, adjourned to the High school building, where the 
officers of the caucus, with many others repaired. Dele- 
gates to the State Convention at Worcester were chosen 
at both places, the school house delegates being for Wm. 
B. Washburn, and the town hall delegates for Butler. 
Both delegations went to Worcester, and the Butler dele- 
gates were admitted to the convention, on the ground that 
they met at the place at which the caucus was called. 
The Butler delegates were Col. George H. Hoyt, A. M. 
Sawyer and Kev. C. L. McCurdy, then pastor of the Meth- 
odist church. The unsuccessful delegates were Dr. J. P. 
Lynde, Ozi Kendall and Hon. Charles Field. 

Representatives. Athol was represented in the vari- 
ous Provincial Congresses as follows : William Bigelow 
was chosen to attend the Congress, to be holden at Con- 
cord, on the second Tuesday of October, 1774, and was 
also chosen as delegate to the Congress held at Cambridge 
Nov. 23, 1774. John Haven was chosen to represent the 
town in a Provincial Congress held at Watertown, May 
31, 1775. 

The first mention of a Representative to the Great 
and General Court, is in 1775, when Capt. John Haven 
is elected. The following are the Representatives since 
that time: Josiah Goddard, 1792, '95, '96, '98, '99, 
1800; Lieut. Eleazer Graves, 1802, '04, '05, '17 ; James 
Humphrey, 1806, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '16, '21, '23, '25 ; 
Samuel Young, 1808; James Oliver, 1814, '15; Joseph 
Proctor, 1819 ; Dr. Ebenezer Chaplin, 1827, '29; Col. Sam- 


uel Sweetzer, 1830, '44, '46 ; Eliphalet Thorpe, 1832 ; 
Col. Nathan Nickerson, 1833 ; Benjamin Estabrook, 1835, 
'36, '52. In 1837, two representatives were sent, Benja- 
min Estabrook and James Young, and in 18S8, Benjamin 
Estabrook and Abner Young; Theodore Jones, 1840, '43, 
'45 ; John W. Humphrey, 1841, '42 ; Nathaniel Richardson, 
1847 ; Lysander Fay, 1848 ; Stillman Simonds, 1850 ;' Ne- 
hemiah Ward, 1851 ; Josiah Haven, 1854 ; Laban Morse, 
1855 ; James I. Goulding, 1856 ; Charles Field, 1857. 
In 1857, Atholand Royalston were constituted as the Sec- 
ond Representative District of Worcester County, and re- 
mained so until 1877, being represented as follows: 

Isaac Stevens of Athol, 1858, George Whitney of 
Royalston, 1859, Nathaniel Richardson of Athol, 1860, 
Elisha F. Brown of Royalston, 1861, Farwell F. Fay of 
Athol, 1862, Alpheus Harding, Jr., of Athol, 1863, Ebe- 
nezer W. BuUard of Royalston, 1864, Calvin Kelton of 
Athol, 1865, Wm. W. Clement of Royalston, 1866, Al- 
pheus Harding, Jr., of Athol, 1867, Jeremiah A. Rich of 
Royalston, 1868, Thomas H. Goodspeed of Athol 1869, 
Benjamin H. Brown of Royalston, 1870, Ozi Keudall of 
Athol, 1871, Geo. H. Hoyt of Athol, 1872, '73, Jeremiah 
A. Rich of Royalston, 1874, Edwin Ellis of Athol, 1875, 
Wm. W. Fish of Athol, 1876. 

Under the apportionment of 1876, Athol and Roy- 
alston constituted the Eighth Worcester District, and were 
represented as foUows; Joseph Walker of Royalston, 
1877, J. Sumner Parmenter of Athol 1878, Leander B. 
Morse of Athol 1879, Russell S. Horton of Athol, 1880, 
Ira Y. Kendall of Athol, 1881, Henry M. Humphrey of 


Athol, 1882, Dr. Frank W. Adams of Royalston, 188^, 
C.Frederick Richardson of Athol, 1884, Washington H. 
Amsden of Athol, 1885, Benjamin W. Rich of Royalston, 

Under the apportionment of 1886, based on the cen- 
sus of 1885, the towns of Athol, Royalston and PhUlipston, 
were constituted the First Representative District of Wor- 
cester County, and have been represented as follows : 
Sidney P. Smith of Athol, 1887, '88, John D. Holbrook of 
Athol, 1889, C. V/aldo Bates of PhilHpston, 1890, Lucien 
Lord of Athol, 1891, Charles A. Crosman of Athol, 1892, 
Col. Geo. Whitney of Royalston, 1893, C. Waldo Bates of 
Phillipston, 1894, Harding R. Barber of Athol, 1895, '96 

Athol has been represented in the Senate by James 
Humphrey in 1817 and '18, Benjamin Estabrook, 1843, 
Charles Field, 1858, '59, Alpheus Harding, 1879, '80, 
and Sidney P. Smith, 1891, '92. Lyman W. Hapgood 
was elected delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 
1853. Those who have been honored by their political 
parties as national delegates and electors are : Hon. Chas. 
Field, who was one of the Republican Presidential electors 
in 1860, Hon. Alpheus Harding, delegate to the National 
Republican Convention at Chicago in 1880, and Leander 
B. Morse, delegate to the National Democratic Convention 
at Chicago in 1884. 



"But these are deeds which should not pass away, 
And names that must not wither." 

HE NEWS of the thrilling 
events that were transpir- 
ing in the South, during 
the opening days of the 
Rebellion, as it came to the 
people of Athol, fiUed them 

with amazement and indignation. 

When the telegraph wires flashed over the country 
the startling news that the brave sons of Massachusetts 
had been shot dovni in the streets of Baltimore, the excite- 
ment was intense, and the patriotic spirit of the days of the 
Eevolution burned fresh and bright in the sons of Athol, as 
with enthusiasm they hoisted the stars and stripes from the 
buUdings and over the streets, and gathered at the spirited 
meetings that were held in both villages. 

On the evening of AprU 20th, 1861, at an immense 
meeting held in the Town Hall, stirring speeches were 


made by the Orthodox and Unitarian clergymen, Isaac 
Stevens, Esq., Dr. J. P. Lynde, Principal Lathrop of the 
High School, Hon. Charles Field and others, counciUing 
prompt and energetic action in support of the government, 
and to stand by the flag through all dangers and under all 
circumstances ; sentiments vphich were received with deep 
and tumultuous applause. A general illumination fol- 
lowed, of all the dwellings in both villages, making the 
night Ughter than the day, while the streets were traversed 
by long processions, headed by the band playing national 
airs, untU a late hour, and patriotism reigned supreme. 

Vigorous measures were taken to form and equip a 
military company, and at a meeting held April 22nd, after 
brief addresses 26 volunteers, all young, active and brave, 
stepped forward and subscribed their names to the enlist- 
ment papers amidst a perfect shower of cheers. 

The first Athol man to enlist and be mustered into 
the United States Service was Leander W. Phelps ; vsdth 
him were fifteen young men who share with him the honor 
of standing at the head of the long list of Athol soldiers, 
and of being the first to start for the seat of war. Their 
names are: David E. BUlings, J. B. Billings, Delevan 
Hichardson, Hubbard V. Smith, Edward L. Townsend, 
Charles H. HUl, Charles S. Green, Columbus Fox, William 
L. Clutterbuck, Horace Hunt, William Nute, Frederic 
Cummings, John D. Emerson, Thomas Johnson and Aurin 
B. French. These were assigned to the Second Regiment 
of Massachusetts Volunteers, under command of Col. 
George H. Gordon. Two brothers, John F. Merrill and 
James L. Merrill' joined the Tenth Eegiment, which left 
for the seat of war a few days after the Second. Durino- 


the summer 23 men joined the Twenty-first Regiment, 
most of whom were coimected with Co. A, which was 
raised in Templeton, and was imder command of Captain 
George P. Hawkes. A successful effort was made in Sep- 
tember to recruit a company in Athol and vicinity, and in 
ten days from the time the list was opened for recruits, 
Mr. Adin W. Caswell had raised a fuU company of 101 
men, mainly from the citizens of Athol, of which he was 
made captain. 

The first day of the annual Cattle Show and Fair of 
that year, Oct. 4th, 1861, was made memorable as the date 
of the departure of the company for the encampment at 
Springfield, when a dinner was given the soldier boys on 
the Common at Athol ; and the men were addressed from 
the balcony of the Summit House. Dr. James P. Lynde 
presided, and with words of encouragement and patriotism 
addressed the soldiers and immense audience assembled. 
A sword, sash, etc., were presented to Captain Caswell, 
Hon. Chas. Field making the presentation address. Capt. 
CasweU responded, and addresses were made by Hiram 
Woodward Esq., of Orange ; James Brooks Esq., of Peters- 
ham ; J. H. Goddard, editor of the " Barre Gazette "; Rev. 
I. S. Lincoln, of Warwick ; Rev. A. Harding, of New 
Salem; Calvin Kelton Esq., Chairman o'f the Board of 
Selectmen ; Rev. Ira Bailey and Rev. John F. Norton of 
Athol. A patriotic poem, prepared for the occasion, was 
read by Rev. D. J. MandeU of Athol. At the close of the 
exercises the company was escorted to the depot by the 
large assembly, the Athol High School Guard, under com- 
mand of Principal Lathrop, with fifty mounted men of 
Athol, and nearly the same number from Royalston, doing 


escort duty. The company left with the cheers and bene- 
dictions of the assembled multitude, and at Springfield 
were mustered into the United States Service as Co. B, of 
the Twenty-seventh Eegiment, Massachusetts Volunteers. 

On Aug. 4th, 1862, President Lincoln issued an order* 
for three hundred thousand men to serve for the term of 
nine months ; the quota of Athol under this caU was sixty- 
one men. Great enthusiasm was manifested while the 
enlisting for nine months service was going on, and many 
offered themselves who could not be accepted on account 
of physical disabihty. Farwell F. Fay Esq., of Athol, re- 
cruited this company, and was elected its captain. This 
company was assigned to the Fifty-third Regiment of the 
Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, and became Co. E of that 
regiment. They went into camp at Camp Stevens, Groton 
Junction, Oct. 1st, 1862, and left that place for New York 
Nov. 30th. 

Athol had representatives in many other regiments, of 
this and other states, and always responded promptly to 
the various caUs, and when the quota of the last call of 
Dec. 19, 1864, was filled, the Tovpn had a surplus of 28 
men to her credit. 

The whole number furnished by the town was 387, 
and of this number 50 died in the service, or from diseases 
contracted in it. Fourteen were killed, or died of wounds 
received in action. Thirty-four died of various diseases. 
One was kOled by the cars, and one thrown from a horse. 

Among the early town meetings after the breaking 
out of the war, was one held April 30th, 1861, when upon 
the recommendation of a committee, consisting of C. C. 
Bassett, Hon. Charles Field, Nathaniel Richardson, Lyman 


W. Hapgood and John Kendall, it was voted " that |5000 
be appropriated " for the purpose of encouraging men to 
volunteer for military service; and that ten dollars per 
month be given to each unmarried volunteer and twenty 
dollars to each married volunteer, in addition to the pay 
insured them by the laws of the United States. And, "if 
more be necessary to support the families of the married 
volunteers, the committee is to make up the deficiency." 

And thus, all through the years of the war, the voters 
of Athol were ever ready to provide liberally for the sol- 
diers who were fighting the battles of their country, and 
for their famUies left at home, and when the war closed, 
the total amount of expenses of the town and individual 
citizens had reached the sum of $39,565,62. 

One of the great war meetings was held at the Town 
Hall, July 2nd, 1864, when, by special iuAdtation of many 
citizens, Geo. W. Horr Esq., delivered an address. The 
poster announcing the meeting called upon the citizens of 
Athol, both ladies and gentlemen, to meet at the Town 
HaU on that evening. "To consult together upon the 
state of the country — to review the heroic past — to act in 
* the living present — to provide for the uncertain future — to 
make a united ofiering in aid of our struggling country." 
The ladies of both villages organized Soldiers' Aid 
Societies, and all through the war were actively engaged 
in sending supplies and hospital stores for the comfort and 
relief of the brave defenders of the country. 

athol's roll or honor. 

The following are Athol's soldiers, who died in the 
service or from diseases contracted in it: 


Andrew J. Ames, private, was born at Brattleborty, 
Vermont;, he enlisted at the age of 18 years in Company 
K, Twenty-seventh Regiment. He died of congestion of 
the lungs at Newbern, N. C, April 2nd, 1862, and was 
buried at Newbern. 

Thomas G. Barry, private, was bom in Leominster. 
He enlisted in Company B, Twenty-seventh Regiment; 
was m the engagement with his regiment at Roanoke 
Island. While at that Island he took a severe cold and, 
remaining sick, was discharged September 12, 1862. He 
returned to Athol, where he died October 18th, 1862, of 
the disease contracted at Roanoke Island. 

Warren A. Beaman, private, was bom m MUlbury ; 
he was drafted in July, 1863, and reported for service, 
when be was mustered into the Niuth Regiment, August 
21, 1863, and joiaed the regiment in Virginia. In May, 
1864, he was in the engagements when General Grant 
moved towards Richmond and is supposed to have been 
taken prisoner in the battle of the WUderness, or about 
that time. He was carried to Andersonville, Georgia, and 
was in other rebel prisons ; was sick of chronic diarrhoea 
at the time he was paroUed for exchange at Charleston, ,, 
S. C, in December, 1864. He was brought to AnnapoHs 
very low, and died there January 2nd, 1865. He left a 
wife and one child. 

Harry R. Blackmer was bom in Dana ; enlisted as a 
private in Company B, Twenty-seventh Regiment, and 
joined the regiment in North Carolina in the fall of 1862. 
He was in the engagements at Kingston, Whitehall, 
Goldsboro, Gum Swamp, and at the seige of Washington, 
N. C. In October 1863, he came with his regiment to 


Newport News, Va., and served with it ia Norfolk and 
Portsmouth, having been promoted Corporal August 14, 
1863. In January, 1864, he was taken with small-pox, of 
which he died Jan. 28th, at Norfolk, Va. 

EU Bodet, private, was bom in Canada East ; he en- 
listed in Company A, Thirty-second Eegiment, and partic- 
ipated with his regiment in the marches of Porter's Corps 
in the retreat down the peninsula, and during the 
campaign ia Maryland supported batteries at the battle of 
Antietam. He was taken sick with chronic diarrhoea and 
removed to a hospital in Washington. He was discharged 
Jan. 22, 1863, and, while being removed to his home, died 
in New York, Jan. 26, 1863. His remains were brought 
to Athol, and funeral services held at the Congregational 
church, Jan. 29, 1863. He left a wife and two children. 

Francis B. Brock, private, was bom in Dudley and 
enUsted in Company A, Twenty-fifth Regiment. He was 
with his regiment in the expedition of General Burnside to 
North Carolina and was a participant in the battles of 
Roanoke Island, Newborn, Kingston, Whitehall and 
Goldsboro, N. C, and in engagements in Virginia. In 
the battle of Coal Harbor, while engaged in a desperate 
but unsuccessful assault upon the enemy's works, he was 
killed June 3, 1864. His body lay upon the ground about 
a week before it could be reached by our troops, and 

George H. Clark, private, was born in Athol. He 
enlisted in Company F, Thirty-second Regiment, when 
only 16 years of age; was in the campaign in Maryland, 
at the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancel- 
lorsville, and was in the thickest of the fight at Gettysburg 


and in the battles in the WUdemess ; he is supposed to 
have participated in 21 battles. Late in the year, 1864, 
he was taken sick with chronic diarrhoea, and died in 
Washington, Dec. 15, 1864, in which city he was buried. 
Welcome J. Cleveland, private, was born in Barre; 
he enlisted in Company E, Fifty-third Regiment, at the 
age of 18 years, and went with his regiment to Louisiana. 
He was taken sick with the measles, and was three months 
in the hospital, but going into the first day's fight near 
Brashear City, the effort was too much for him, and he 
was taken worse and died at that place, April 24th, 1863. 
His remains were removed to New Orleans for burial. 

Cyrus W. Conant, private, was born in Stowe; he 
enlisted in Company E, Fifty-third Regiment, and was 
with the regiment in its first engagements, but being taken 
sick at VermUlionville, La., he was taken to the hospital 
at New Orleans, where he died July 10, 1863, of chronic 
diarrhoea. He was buried at New Orleans. 

James Connell, private, was born in Ireland; he en- 
listed in Company A, Thirty-second Regiment, and went 
with the regiment to Washington and Harrison's Landing, 
Va. ; at the latter place he was taken sick and was re- 
moved to Philadelphia. After his recovery he did service 
with his regiment. In January, 1864, he reenlisted and 
came home on a furlough of 30 days. Returning to his 
regiment he was in the great battle of the Wilderness, and 
was instantly killed, not far from Spottsylvania Court 
House. He was shot in the morning and his remains lay 
upon the breast works until evening, when they were 
recovered and buried by his comrade, Ebenezer Kneeland, 
and others. 


Joseph H. Collins, Color Sergeant, was born in 
Marlboro; be enlisted in Company A, Twenty-first Regi- 
ment, and was with his regiment in the engagements at 
Roanoke Island, Newbern, Camden, and in the forced 
march to Pollocksville to rescue the Second Maryland 
Regiment; he was in the Bull Run battle, No. 2, in 
the battles of ChantiUy and Antietam, and finally in the 
terrible contest at Fredericksburg, Dec. 12, 1862. He 
was Color Sergeant in the battle of Fredericksburg, and 
when about sixty rods from the city, was severely wounded 
in the leg and fell. This was when Sergeant Plunkett of 
Company E seized the colors, and, as he was bearing them 
forward, a shell from the rebel earth works carried away 
both of his arms. Mr. CoUins was removed, with other 
wounded ones, to a hospital at Washington, where he died 
from the effects of his wound, Jan. 3, 1863. He was 
buried at Southboro, Mass., Jan. 12, 1863. 

Marshall CoUins, private, was bom in Marlboro ; he 
enhsted in Company E, Fifty-third Regiment, and was with 
his regiment at the capture of Fort Bisland, and in the 
long marches to Opelousas and Alexandria : was sent sick 
with chronic diarrhoea from before Port Hudson, June 6, 
1863, to Baton Rouge, where he died July 14, 1863. He 
was buried at Baton Rouge, and left a wife and two chil- 
dren in Athol. 

George S. Dresser, private, was born in Orange and 
enlisted at the age of 18 years in Company B, Twenty- 
sevelith Regiment, in the fall of 1863. He was taken 
prisoner at Drury's Bluff, May 16, 1864, was removed to 
Libby Prison, Richmond, and then to Danville, where he 
was taken sick with lung fever. He was afterwards 


carried to Andersonville, Ga., where it is supposed he 
died in the summer or fall of 1864. 

Theodore Jones Dyer, private, was born in Athol; 
he enlisted in Company I, Twenty-fifth Regiment, and as- 
sisted in the captures of Roanoke Island and Newbern, 
and was with his regiment in all its engagements and 
expeditions in North Carolina ; he went with his regiment 
to Virginia, and was probably in the battles at Drnry's 
Blufi" and Coal Harbor, but during the siege of Petersburg 
he was taken sick and died near that city Sept. 19, 1864. 

Daniel W. Foster, private, was born in Phillipston ; 
he enlisted in Company D, Thirty-sixth Regiment, and 
was with his regiment in Maryland and Virginia. He was 
taken sick with an intermittent fever on board the Trans- 
port, " South America," in Chesapeake Bay ; was landed at 
Newport News, and died in the hospital there Feb. 14, 
1863. His remains were brought to Athol, and funeral 
services were held Feb. 26, 1863. 

Jacob Orlando Gould was born in Athol. He en- 
listed in Company E, Fifty-third Regiment, and was made 
Corporal May 1, 1863; was with his regiment in the fight 
of Fort Bisland, and in the long marches to Opelousas and 
Alexandria. He died at Baton Rouge, July 27, 1863, of 
chronic diarrhoea. 

Charles S. Green, private, was bom in Oakham. He 
was one of the first young men to enlist, from Athol, in 
Company F, Second Regiment. He was with his regiment 
on the Upper Potomac and in the Shenandoah Valley. 
Early in December, 1862, he was taken sick with brain 
fever, and died at Frederick City, Maryland, on the 20th 
of that month. His remains were sent home to his 


Charles E. Hagar, private, was born in Athol. He 
enlisted ia Company A, Twenty first Regiment, and was 
with the regiment in the engagements in North Carolina. 
He was thrown from a horse in Alexandria, Va., and 

James Harkins, Jr., private, was bom in Ireland. He 
went into the service first as a member of the First New 
York Mounted Riflemen. He was taken prisoner in North 
Carolina, and taken to Richmond ; after a few months was 
exchanged, and, his time of service having expired, was 
discharged. Jan. 1, 1864, he enhsted in the Thirty-first 
Regiment, but was transferred to the Sixth Massachusetts 
Cavalry, and went vdth General Banks on the Red River 
expedition. In a desperate engagement he was again 
taken prisoner and carried to Texas ; he escaped and made 
his way back through swamps and thickets to Louisiana, 
but was soon taken sick with rheumatic fever, and died at 
New Orleans, August 30, 1864. 

William HUl, private, was born in Athol. He 
enlisted in Company B, Twenty-seventh Regiment ; in the 
engagement at Roanoke Island, Feb. 8, 1862, he was mor- 
tally wounded by a ball that passed through him and 
lodged in his overcoat, and died two days after, being the 
first man from Athol who was kUled in the war. He was 
buried at Roanoke Island, and left two sons in service and 
two daughters in Athol. 

Andrew J. HUl, private, was born in Athol, a son of 
William HiU. He enlisted in Company A, Twenty-first 
Regiment, and was in the engagement at the capture of 
Roanoke Island. Whole standing in the water during the 
battle he took a severe cold that brought on a fever, from 


which he died March 3, 1862. He was buried at Eoanoke 

James S. Hodge, drummer, was bom in Athol. He 
enlisted in Company B, Twenty-seventh Regiment, and 
was with his company in the various engagements in 
North Carohna. WhUe on a furlough to visit his family 
in Athol he was killed by the cars, at Springfield, Sept. 20, 

John W. Howe, private, enlisted in Company B, 
Twenty-seventh Regiment, and was taken prisoner at 
Drury's Blufi" from whence he was carried to Richmond, 
and finally to Andersonville, Ga., where he died of chronic 
diarrhoea July 24, 1864. He left a wife in Athol. 

John Humphrey was born in Athol. He joiaed the 
United States Navy in the summer of 1861, going first on 
board the receiving ship at Charlestown ; he was after- 
wards a marine on board the Cumberland when that ill 
fated vessel was attacked by the rebel ship, Merrimac, 
near Newport News, Va., March 8, 1862, and was one of 
the six marines who were killed by a shot before the 
sinking of the Cumberland. His remains were not recov- 

Horace Hunt, private, was born in Prescott. He was 
among the first men to enlist from Athol in the Second 
Regiment ; was clerk for his captain, and afterwards in the 
Commissary Department. While with his regiment in 
New York, to suppress riots, he took a severe cold, and 
going with the regiment toTullahoma,Tenn.,he was taken 
sick and returned to his home in Athol very feeble, where 
he died April 7, 1864. Funeral services were held at the 
Baptist church. 


William H. Johnson, private, was bom in Athol. He 
enlisted in Company A, Twenty-first Regiment, and while 
participating in the battle of Newbern fell, mortally 
wounded, dying the next day, March 15, 1862. His 
remains were buried at Newbem. 

C. Dwight Kelton, son of Calvin Kelton Esq., was 
bom in Athol. He enlisted in Company F, Thirty-second 
Regiment, and went with it to Washington and Harrison's 
Landing, Va., and to Maryland when the rebels invaded 
that State. He was taken sick at Alexandria, Va., of 
pneumonia, and died there Oct. 31, 1862. His remains 
were brought to Athol for burial, and the funeral was held 
in the Congregational church, Nov. 11, 1862. 

Patrick Leonard was bom in Ireland. He enlisted 
in Company C, Twenty-first Regiment. He went with his 
regiment to North Carolina ; was wounded very severely in 
the right leg at the batttle of Roanoke Island, from the 
effects of which he died, eight days after, and was buried 
on tlie island. 

Horatio W. McClellen was born in Athol ; he enlisted 
in Company B, Twenty-seventh Regiment, when 18 years 
of age; was in the Kinsgton, Whitehall and Goldsboro 
fights and participated in the defence of Washington, N. C, 
and the Gum Swamp engagement. He was made Corporal 
June 19, 1863. He was wounded at Arrowfield Church, 
Va., May 9, 1864, and was removed to Philadelphia, where 
he died of scarlatina, June 21, 1864. 

Adin Oakes was born in Athol. He enlisted in Com- 
pany E, Fifty-third Regiment, and took part in the capture 
of Fort Bisland, in the marches to and from Alexandria, 
and in the first engagement at Port Hudson; he was 


wounded at the latter, place, May 29, 1863, and sent to the 
hospital at Baton Eouge, where he died June 29, 1863. 
He was buried at Baton Bx)uge, and left a wife and chil- 
dren in Athol. 

Sylvanus E. Oliver was bom in Athol. He enlisted 
in Company B, Twenty-seventh Regiment. He was with 
his regiment in the various engagements in North Carolina, 
and in the desperate battle of Drury's Bluff, May 16, 1864, 
where he was taken ]li;isoner with 247 others of his regi- 
ment, and carried to Libby Prison, Richmond, afterwards 
to Andersonville, Ga., where he died of chronic diarrhoea 
Aug. 14, 1864. 

James C. Parker was bom in Stickney, C. E. ; he 
enlisted in Company A, Twenty-first Regiment, and went 
with his regiment to North Carolina. In the battle of 
Newbern he was in the thickest of the fight and was mor- 
tally wounded, dying the next day, March 15, 1862. He 
was buried at Newbern, leaving a wife and three children 
in Athol. 

Chauncey Parkman Jr., was born in Northfield. He 
enlisted in the First Heavy Artillery, and went with his 
company into service in Virginia, and was in the battle at 
Spottsylvania, May 17, 1864, when he was fatally wounded 
by a shell in the head and side, and was removed with the 
wounded to Washington, where he died June 3, 1864. 
He was buried at Washington, and left one chUd in Athol. 

Asa Phillips was born in Hubbardston. He enlisted 
in Company E, Thirtieth Regiment, and started for the 
seat of war under General Butler, but died at or near 
Fortress Monroe, Jan. 30, 1862. His remains were 
brought to Athol for burial, where he left a wife and 


Joshua Rich was born in Royalston; he enlisted in 
Company H, Thirty-sixth Regiment, and went with his 
regiment into service in Virginia, and accompanied it to 
Mississippi. He was killed in the battle of the Wildemess, 
May 6, 1864, a ball passing through his body from side to 
side, and he lived but three hours, his remains falling into 
the hands of the enemy. He was made Corporal April 1, 

Samuel Rich was born in Atho!* he enlisted ia Com- 
pany B, Twenty-seventh Regiment, and was with the 
regiment nearly three years in North Carolina and Virgia- . 
ia. At the battle of Drury's Bluff he was taken prisoner, 
and died at Andersonville, Ga., of Chronic diarrhcea, 
caused by starvation and cruel treatment about Aug. 1, 

Neri F. Ripley was born in Tinmouth, Vt.; he enlisted 
in Company A, Twenty-first Regiment, and was with his 
regiment in North Carolina. He died at Winchendon, 
Jan. 16, 1863, of an abscess in the stomach, brought on in 
the service. His remains were brought to Athol for 

Harvey Robbins was born in Warwick ; he enlisted 
in Company B, Twenty-seventh Regiment, and joined the 
regiment in North Carolina in 1862. He was taken sick 
and died of a fever, at Newborn, June 23, 1863. He left 
a wife and four children in Athol. 

Cutler Seaver was born in MUford; he enlisted when 
17 years old in the Forty-second Regiment and went to 
Great Falls, Maryland, where he did garrison duty till the 
term for which he had enlisted expired. He reentered the 
service, and while in camp at Readville, was taken sick 
and died. 


Spencer Stockwell was bom in Athol; he enlisted in 
Company E, Fifty-third Regiment, and went into camp at 
Groton Junction, where he was taken sick with diptheria, 
and died Nov. 20, 1862. His remains were brought to 
Athol for burial. 

Horace O. Thayer was bom in Ware ; he enlisted in 
Company B, Fifty-sixth Regiment, and went into camp at 
ReadvUlem the fall of 1863, but before the regiment left 
for the seat of war was taken sick of brain fever, and died 
Feb. 2, 1864. 

Lauriston A. Thorpe was bom in Athol; he enlisted 
in Company B, Twenty-seventh Regiment, and went with 
his regiment to North Carolina, and after taking part in 
the battles at Roanoke Island, Newbern, and other places, 
he was sent to the hospital sick ; after recovering he served 
in various departments of the hospital until the period of 
his enlistment expired, when he started for home, but the 
vessel upon which he embarked was sent into quarantine 
at Fortress Monroe, on account of the prevalence of yellow 
fever, and Mr. Thorpe died at that place, of the disease, 
Oct. 7, 1864. His remains were brought to Athol, and 
funeral services were held at the Methodist church, Oct. 

Robert W. Thrower was born in Athol ; he enlisted 
in Company B, Twenty-seventh Regiment; was in the 
battle of Roanoke Island, but was sick on board a transport 
at the battle of Newbern, and was landed at that place, 
where he died of lung fever, March 31, 1862. He was 
buried at Newbern. 

Nathaniel B. Twichell was born in Erving ; he enlisted' 
in Company B, Twenty-seventh Regiment, and was in va- 


rious engagements in North Carolina ; was made Corporal 
Feb. 20, 1863. Hereenlisted in January, 1864, and after 
a furlough, returned to his regiment and was killed in the 
engagement at Arrowfield Church by a baU that struck his 
head, killing him instantly. May 9, 1864. He left a wife 
and two children in Athol. 

Willard Twichell was born in Athol ; he enlisted in 
Company D, Eleventh U. S. Infantry, early in the war, 
and was in six of the seven days' conflicts before Rich- 
mond in 1862, also at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and 
Gettysburg, the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania 
and North Anna, and was fatally wounded in the engage- 
ment before Petersburg, June 24, 1864. 

William Washburn was born in Orange ; he enlisted 
in Company D, Thirty-sixth Eegiment, and was with his 
regiment at the siege of Vicksburg. After the surrender 
of Vicksburg he returned with his regiment to Kentucky, 
where he was sick with dumb ague, and died near Nich- 
olasviUe, Ky., Sept. 5, 186f3. He left a wife and five 
children in Athol. 

Edmund R. West enlisted in Company A, Twenty- 
fourth Regiment, and is supposed to have died a prisoner 
at Andersonville, Ga., May 24, 1864. 

Chandler Whitney was born in Royalston ; he enlist- 
ed in Company E, Thirtieth Regiment, and died in camp 
atPittsfield, Mass., Feb. 1, 1862, after an illness of three 

Nelson G. Wood was born in Royalston ; he enlisted 
in Company B, Twenty-seventh Regiment, and was with 
his regiment in various engagements in North Carolina 


and Virginia, and was instantly killed in the conflict at 
Arrowfield Church, May 9, 1864. He was buried near 
the battlefield. 

George B. Wood was born in Shutesbury ; he enlisted 
in Company E, Fifty-third Regiment ; was taken sick while 
his regiment was at New York, and was removed to 
Shutesbury, where he died Jan. 2, 1863, the day after his 
discharge from the service. 

Asa Wyman was born in Winchendon; he enlisted in 
Company K, Thirty-sixth Regiment, and went with his 
regiment to Virginia, and along the Mississippi. Was 
sent in the sick boat up the river and removed to An- 
napolis, where he died of a fever and chronic diarrhoea 
May 3, 1864, 



"Yet, on her rocks, and on her sands, 
And wintry hills, the school-house stands, 
And what her rugged soil denies, 
The harvest of the mind supplies. 

The riches of the Commonwealth, 

Are free, strong minds, and hearts of health; 

And more to her than gold or grain. 

The cunning hand and cultured brain." 

EXT TO liberty and religion, educa- 
tion was the object nearest to tbe 
hearts of the fathers of New Eng- 
land, and consequently we find in 
the settlement of all these towns that 
the school house soon followed the 
church. Of the original grant of the 
township, one sixty-third part was 

reserved and forever set apart "for the support of a 
school." The Proprietors records give no information re- 
garding schools or teachers, but undoubtedly there were 
schools formed within six or seven years after the first set- 
tlement, and probably as in the early history of many other 
towns, schools were first held in private houses. 

The first public provision made for schools after the 
incorporation of the town, was at a town meetiag, March 
7, 1763, when it was voted to raise thirteen pounds, six 
shillings, eight pence, " to provide a school," and " to di- 


vide the school money by the river, and those that live ori 
the south side to have what they pay towards the sum 
raised ; and those that live on the north side to have what 
they pay toward the said sum." Nathan Goddard, Jesse 
Kendall and John Oliver were chosen a committee to hire 
a school-master. The town voted March 3, 1766, "to 
build two school houses, one on the West Hill, between 
Deacon Aaron Smith's and Ichabod Dexter's, the other on 
the East Hill, [now known as the " Street,"] at the head 
of Capt. Field's lane, so-called ; and the above houses are 
to be buUt sixteen feet wide, and eighteen feet long, and 
six feet and a half stud." In May of the same year, it 
was " voted to raise twenty-six pounds, thirteen shillings, 
four pence, to build these school houses, and that men 
should be allowed to work out their raits on the school- 
houses at two shilliiigs and four pence per day, under the 
direction of the committee chosen for that purpose, by the 
first day of November next." These were probably the 
first school houses of Athol, and were doubtless built of 
logs and furnished in the most primitive style. As other 
portions of the town became settled, new schools were 
opened, and in 1770, the town voted to have four addi- 
tional schools, " one at the north end of Meeting-house 
hill ; one in the east part of the town ; one at the south- 
west part, and one on Chestnut Hill, and each part to 
enjoy the benefit of the money they pay for schooling." 

In 1774, the town was divided into school districts, or 
" squadarns," as they were termed, of which there were six, 
two on the north side of Millers river, Tully east branch 
being the dividing line of these two, while the south side 

TEDt)t!AT10NAL. 125 

of the river was divided into four. The work of providing 
school masters for these six schools, must have been one 
of great responsibility. For some years a committee of 
thirty was appointed for this purpose; this number by 
1796, had become reduced to seven, which thenceforth 
was the usual number chosen until the State law of 1826 
was passed, requiring towns to choose three^ five or seven 
School Committeemen, since which time the town has 
chosen a School Committee of three, until 1893, when the 
number was increased to six. The first General School 
Committee was chosen in 1829, and consisted of Rev. 
Joseph Estabrook, Horatio Willard and Abel Sweetzer. 

In 1772, it was voted to allow Jesse Kendall five shill- 
ings for going to Salem, to provide a school master. 
Among the early school masters and dames whose names 
appear on the town records are; Joshua Poor, who was 
paid one pound for keeping school in 1776; one pound 
thirteen shillings, four pence, was also paid to John Bal- 
lard for his sons keeping school. Among the bills paid 
in 1777, was one of fifteen shillings to Nathaniel Babbitt 
for keeping school; Nehemiah Ward received three 
pounds, twelve shilliugs, and Paul Church received five 
pounds, four shillings, for his wife keeping school, also 
the wife of Capt. John Oliver received five shillings, ten 
pence. All through the Revolution, liberal appropriations 
were made for the schools, and in 1793, the sum of seventy 
pounds was granted for schooling. In 1795, in addition 
to seventy pounds for schooling, twelve pounds was also 
granted for the use of a singing school, and an appropri- 
ation for this purpose was regularly made for some years, 



James Oliver being named quite frequently as the agent to 
lay out said money. From 1819, for a period of ten 
years, $550 a year was raised for schools, and in 1850, the 
sum of $1600 was raised. In 1860, there were 540 child- 
ren of school age, and the amount expended on the 


schools was $2,518.45. In 1870, the total expenditure 
for schools was $8,176.93, and in 1895, it was $19,894.78. 
In 1889, the town became awakened to the need of better 
school buildings, and under the lead of some of the pro- 



gressive citizens of both villages, a sentiment was aroused 
that has resulted in our present beautiful, and well furn- 
ished school houses. The first to be erected was the Main 
street building in 1889 ; this was followed the next year 
by the Highland school house; in 1892, the High school 
building, and in 1894, the one at Lake Park, making 
within five years' time, more than $75,000 expended in 
new school houses. 


ft jT^ 


The town first employed a Superintendent of Schools 
in 1870, when Dr. J. P. Lynde was engaged at a salary 
of |450. He held that position for three years. In 1874, 
the School Committee, in accordance with a vote of the 
town, procured the services of Virgil M. Howard of Deer- 
field, as Principal of the High school, and Superintendent 
of schools. He received for the former, a salary of f 1000, 



and for the latter, |500. He held the position for two 
years, from which time, no Superintendent was employed 
until April 1, 1893, when Miss Flora E. Kendall was 
elected Superintendent of Schools, which position she 
holds at the present time. 


Miss Kendall is a native of Montague, and received 
her early education in the schools of that town, together 
with a course under private instruction ; this was sup- 
plemented by a course at Wellesley College, and at a 


school of oratory in Boston. She believes that however 
much one may have been in the schools, that education is 
never completed, and much of the time of her summer 
vacations is spent at summer schools. She began teach- 
ing in the district schools of Ashby, Mass., and worked her 
way up through the diiFerent grades to the High School. 
While a teacher in the schools of Leominster, she was 
elected in 1890, Superintendent of the schools of the 
Princeton district, which includes the towns of Princeton, 
Westminster and Sterling, with twenty-eight schools, and 
held the position for three years. Miss Kendall's work in 
the Athol schools has been highly commended by promi- 
nent educators, and she receives frequent calls to address 
Teachers' Institutes and various educational gatherings. 

The following persons have served the town as mem- 
bers of the School Committee : 

1829, Kev. Joseph Estabrook, Horatio Willard, Abel Sweetzer. 

1330, Rev. Joseph Estabrook, Dea. Elijah Ballard, Emerson Fay. 

1831, Rev. Josiah Moore, Wm. H. Williams, Capt. Adin Holbrook. 

1832, Rev. Josiah Moore, Rev. B. B. Beckwith, Wm. H. Williams. 

1833, Dr. Geo. Hoyt, Rev. B. B. Beckwith, Rev. Lysander Fay. 

1834, Rev. Linus H. Shaw, Rev. B. B. Beckwith, Rev. Ambrose 

1836, Rev. Wm. Warner, Dr. Geo. Hoyt, Col. Samuel Sweetzer. 

1836, Rev. Linus H. Shaw, Rev. Wm. Warner, Rev. J, Glazier. 

1837, Dr. Geo. Hoyt, Col. Samuel Sweetzer, Rev. Wm. Warner, 
Lincoln B. Knowlton. 

1838, Rev. Lysander Fay, Kev. Mr. Smith, Benj. Estabrook. 

1840, Rev. R. M. Chipman, Rev. Stephen A. Barnard, Rev. Asaph 

1841, Rev. R. M. Chipman, Rev. Asaph Merriam, Dr. Geo. Hoyt. 

1842, Benjamin Estabrook, Chas. Field, Samuel Sweetzer. 

1843, Rev. R. M. Chipman, Rev. Crawford Nightingale, Rev. 
Asaph Merriam. 


1844, Kev. R. M. Chipman, Rev. Ci-awford Nightingale-, Rev. 
Asaph Merrism. 

1846, Dr. Geo. Hoyt, Benjamin Estabrook, Daniel Heywood. 

1846, Rev. Richard M. Chipman, Rev. Asaph Merriaim, Isaac 

1847, D1-. Geo. Hoyt, Benjamin Estabi-ook, Elbridge G. "Wood. 

1848, Rev. R. M. Chipman, Rev. Samuel F. Clark, Dr. Geo. Hoyt. 

1849, Rev. R. M. Chipman, Rev. Samuel F. Clark, Dr. Geo. Hoyt. 

1850, Dr. Geo. D. Colony, Benjamin Estabrook, ,Rev. Oren Tracy. 

1851, H. W. Carter, Dr. Geo. D. Colony, Lyman W. Hapgood. 

1852, Dr. Geo. D. Colony, H. W. Carter, Lyman W. Hapgood. 

1853, Rev. S. F. Clarke, Lyman W. Hapgood, Dr. Geo. D. Colony. 

1854, Dr. Geo. D. Colony, Lyman W. Hapgood, Rev. Lysander 

1855, Rev. Lysander Fay, Daniel Davis, G. Rice. 

1856, Rev. John F. Norton, Rev. Nathaniel H. Martin, Dr. Geo. D. 

1867, Rev. John F. Norton, Dr. Geo. D. Colony, C. B. Swan. 

1868, R*jv. John F. Norton, Dr. Geo. D. Colony, Rev. D. C. 

1859, Rev. John F. Norton, Dr. Geo. D. Colony, L. W. Hapgood. 

1860, Rev. John F. Norton, L. W. Hapgood, F. F. Pay. 

1861, L. W. Hapgood, Rev. I. B. Bigelow, J. B. Gould. 

1862, Rev. John F. Norton, Rev. Ira Bailey, James Coolidge. 

1863, Rev. John F. Norton, Rev. Ira Bailey, Rev. Charles Ayer. 

1864, Dr. J. P. Lynde, S. E. Fay, Edvsrin Ellis. 

1865, Dr. J. P. Lynde, S. E. Fay. Rev. Geo. L. Hunt. 
866, Dr. J. P Lynde, Rev. Geo. L. Hunt. 

1867, Dr. J. P. Lynde, Kdwin Ellis, S. E. Fay. 

1868, T. H. Goodspeed, Rev. Temple Cutler, Rev. I). H. Stoddard. 
1869.'iRev. Ira Bailey, Benj. Estabrook, Jennie L. Case. 

1870, \V. H. Amsden, F. G. Lord. 

1871, W. H. Amsden, F. (t. Lord, S. M. Osgood. 

1872, A G. Stratton, Edwin Ellis. 

1873, Rev. W. S. Burton, Geo. W. Horr, H. A. Stearns. 
1»74, E. F. Brown, S. M. Osgood, Edwin Ellis. 

1875, E. F. Brown, S. M. Osgood, Edwin Ellis. 

1876, H. M. Humphrey, E. A. Thomas, S. M. Osgood. 

1877, H. M. Humphrey, Rev. E. M. Bartlett, Fred Allen. 


1878, H. M. Humphrey, Rev. E. M. Bartlett, Fred Allen. 

1879, H. M. Humphrey, Eev. E. M. Bartlett, Fred Allen. 

1880, L. B. Caswell, Fred Allen, Eev. E. M. Bartlett. 

1881, L. B. Caswell, Dr. James Oliver, E. V. Wilson. 

1882, L. B. Caswell, Dr. James Oliver, Rev. J. H. Cox. 

1883, L. B. Caswell, Dr. James Oliver, Rev. J. H. Cox. 

1884, L. B. Caswell, Sidney P. Smith, Rev. J. H. Cox. 

1885, L. B. Caswell, Sidney P. Smitli, A. J. Nye. 

1886, L. B, Caswell, Sidney P. Smith, A J. Nye, 

1887, L. B. Caswell, A. J, Nye, E. V. Wilson, 

18S8, L. B. Caswell, E. V. Wilson, Rev. F. B. Knowlton. 

1889, E, V. Wilson, Rev. F. B. Knowlton, Ellen M. Bigelow, 

1890, Rev. F. B. Knowlton, Ellen M. Big-elow, E. V. Wilson. 

1891, Ellen M. Bigelow, E. V. Wilson, Chas. A. Chapman. 

1892, E. V. Wilson, Chas. A. Chapman, Ellen M, Bigelow. 

ISgS, Chas. A. Chapman, Ellen M. Bi-gelow, Lucien Lord, Dr, 
James Oliver, Geo. D. Bates, W. D. Luey. 

1894:, Chas. A. Chapman, Elien M. Bigelow, Lucien Lord, Drv 
James Oliver, Geo. D. Bates, W. D. Luey. 

1895, Chas. A. Chapman, Ellen M. Bigelow, Lucien Lord, Dr. 
James Oliver, Geo. D. Bates, W. D. Luey. 

Charles A. Chapman was born in Springfield, Mass., 
in 1848, where he attended the public schools Until he was 
fifteen years of age. The last year of his school life he 
worked in a store, before and after school hours, on Satur^ 
days and during vacations, and when eighteen years of age, 
received the position of confidential clerk and first book- 
keeper in the firm, which was doing the largest wholesale 
and retail grocery business in Springfield. After three; 
years of this work, his health failed, and he was obliged to 
give up the position for one that would take him out of 
doors more. In 1868, he was elected teller of the Lee 
National and Sa\angs Banks, where he remained until 
1874, when he was chosen cashier of the Athol National 
Bank, then just organized, which position he still occupies. 


Mr. Chapman has been prominently identified with the 
Congregational church of Athol, of which he has been a 
member since his residence in this town. He has been 
treasurer of the church for ten years, of the parish four 
years, and has led the singing for eighteen years, and 
Was Superintendent of the Sunday school for six years. 
In 1891, he was elected a member of the School Com- 
mittee, which office he now holds, and has also served 
the town on important committees. He was married 
October 13, 1875, to Miss Frances A. Rowland of Spring- 
field, the daughter of a prominent business man and citi- 
zen of that city, who was one of the first members and or- 
ganizers of the Republican party, and was noted for his 
strong anti-slavery principles. They have one daughter. 

Wm. D. Luey was born in Deerfield, Mass., April 6, 
1855. He attended the lower grade schools of his native 
town, and the Greenfield High school. After leaving 
school he worked in a store for a year, and then became 
clerk in the Franklin County National Bank of Green- 
field, and was with that institution and the Packard 
National Bank for six years, when he went to the Con- 
way National Bank, where he was cashier for a year and 
a half, and came to Athol in May, 1881, to take the 
position of cashier of the Millers River National Bank, 
which position he has held to the present time. He was 
elected a member of the School Committee in 1893, and 
is also one of the Sewer Commissioners. He is prom- 
inently identified with the Second Unitarian Society, and 
is the collector and a member of its executive committee ; 
interested in the social life of the town, he was one of 






the organizers of the Poquaig Club, and is also a mem- 
ber of the Masonic fraternity. In September 1880, he 
married Emma C. Allen of Greenfield; they have four 

Among those who have been teachers in the schools of 
Athol are : Wm. La Roy Haven, now Superintendent of 
the schools of Morristown, N. J., Hon. Samuel C. Gale of 
Minneapolis, Minn., Col. Lyman A. White, of Chicago, 
Hon. Henry H. Sprague of Boston, Hon. Joel D. Miller, 
Leominster, Frederic E. Stratton, Ph. D., of Carleton Col- 
lege, Minnesota, Hon. Percival Blodgett of Templeton, 
the late Capt. Farwell F. Fay, Beriah W. Fay of New 
Salem, Geo. S. Cheney, Boston, Horace Mann, Petersham, 
Wilson Smith, Phillipston, Dr. James Oliver and Prof. 
Harlan P. Townsend. 

In selecting a few teachers of whom to give brief 
sketches, we have taken those who have been connected 
with our schools for the longest time during the last 
twenty-five years. The teacher best known to the people 
of Athol, and who numbers among her former pupils 
members of almost every family who has resided in town 
any length of time, is Miss Ellen M. Bigelow, now teacher 
of the Grammar school. Miss Bigelow is a native of Phil- 
lipston ; she commenced her first school in the Fry ville dis- 
trict in the summer term of 1856, and for forty years, with 
the exception of a few terms, has been a popular teacher 
in the Athol schools, having had charge of the Grammar 
school for' more than twenty years. She has taken an ac- 
tive interest in the educational work of the town aside 
from her duties in the school room, and in 1889 was 


elected a member of the School Committee, which positoin 
she now holds ; she has also been a member of the Public 
Library committee for the last ten years. 

Susie F. Drury was born in Royalston, a-nd educated in 
the public schools of that town. She is a graduate of the 
Westfield Normal school, and was a teacher in the Athol 
schools for ten years, eight years of which time she was in 
the Advanced Primary and Intermediate grades, where she 
proved one of the most successful teachers of the town. 
After leaving the Athol schools in 1887, she was a teacher 
in the Gardner schools for two and a half years, when she 
took a position in the schools of Everett, Mass., and in the 
summer of 1893, was elected Principal of the Devens 
school building in that city, which position she now holds, 
having charge of more than four hundred pupils. 

Ida E. Carruth is a native of Petersham. She attende d 
the public schools of that town and the Highland Institute, 
also Barre Academy in Barre, Mass., and commenced 
teaching in Dana, where she remained one year, when she 
came to Athol, and was a teacher for eleven years in the 
Advanced Intermediate school at the Lower Village. Af- 
ter leaving Athol in 1888, she was a teacher in the schools 
of Orange nearly three years, when she took a position in 
the Brockton schools, which she now holds, 

Nettie A. Doane was born in Boston, and attended the 
schools of that city and the Templeton High school. She 
taught her first school in Phillipston, and commenced 
teaching in the Athol schools in 1869, where she remained 
continuously for twenty-six years as a teacher in the 






Primary grade, resigning in 1895, to accept a position in 
the schools of Melrose, Mass. 

Miss Nellie E. Clark came from Winchendon, where she 
had already attained an excellent reputation as an instruc- 
tor and disciplinarian in 1872, and took charge of the Ad- 
vanced Intermediate school at the Upper Village, where 
she has remained to the present time, giving general sat- 
isfaction to the committee and parents for nearly a quar- 
ter of a century. 

Clara Jackson commenced teaching in the Athol schools 
in 1883, and has taught continuously to the present time, 
now having charge of one of the Lake Park schools. 

Minerva K. Pitts was a teacher from 1881 to 1891, 
most of the time in the Advanced Primary grade at the 

Harlan P. Townsend, who has been connected with the 
schools at different times, and has also attained distinction 
as a teacher of elocution in various institutions of the 
country, was born in Athol May 26, 1844. He attended 
the Athol schools, and graduated from the High school, of 
which for a short time he was assistant teacher. In Sep- 
tember, 1862, he enlisted in the 53d Mass. Kegt. of Vol- 
unteers, and was with his regiment during its time of ser- 
vice. After returning from the war, he taught schools in 
Phillipston, Warwick, Fitzwilliam, N. H., and Athol. In 
1870 he resigned his position in the Athol schools to be- 
come first assistant in Trenton Academy, Trenton, N. J. 
In 1873 he went to the National school of Elocution and 
Oratory in Philadelphia, where he graduated in 1874, and 
soon accepted a position in Marietta College, Ohio. After 


a few months in that institution, he went to the Lane The- 
ological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio, as teacher of elocu- 
tion, and while there was also one of the teachers in the 
Conservatory of Music of the Western Female Seminary. 
Poor health compelled him to resign his position iu those 
institutions. He studied for two or three years with Prof. 
James S. Murdock, the celebrated actor and Shakesperian 
reader, and in 1887 was called to the National School of 
Oratory at Philadelphia, to have charge of the department 
of voice culture and expression reading. He has also 
been a teacher of elocution in various other institutions, 
but for the last number of years his health has not per- 
mitted him to take any permanent position. 

One of the most prolific sources of controversy between 
the citizens of many New England towns arises when the 
locations of public buUdings are to be decided, and Athol 
passed through one of these experiences in 1856, when 
the town had attained the number of families which made 
it necessary to establish a High school. In the March 
meeting warrant of that year was an article relative to the 
establishment of a High school, and then occurred that 
memorable struggle between the two vUlages in regard to 
the site for the building ; meeting after meeting was held, 
and the excitement ran high, even to such an extent as to 
break up long and intimate friendships, and endanger the 
ties of church membership. Finally the present location 
was selected, and a High school building was erected that 
did service for thirty-five years. This gave place in 1892 



too the present fine building that was built at a cost of 
$25,000, and was dedicated on Labor Day, Sept. 5, of that 
year, when Rev. A. E. Winship delivered an eloquent ad- 
dress before a large audience upon "The Mission of the 
High school." 

The first term of the High school was held in the spring 
of 1857, vidlh Geo. A. Wheeler of Topsham, Me., a grad- 
uate of Bowdoin College, as the teacher. The salaries of 
the teachers of the school for the first year amounted to 
$543, and the largest number of scholars during any one 
term was ninety-three. During the first year of the 

school some of the 
older scholars assist- 
ed the Principal in 
hearing recitations, 
and among those 
V whose names are 
mentioned in this 
connection , in the 
_^___ school reports, are 
OLD HIGH SCHOOL BuiLDiNu Henry H. bprague, 

Henry M. Humphrey, Horace Mann and James Oliver, 
Jr.; also during the year 1858, each member of the school 
committee frequently instructed some of the classes in the 
recitation room. The first to be engaged as a regular as- 
sistant was H. H. Sprague, who in 1858 received a salary 
of |16 per month for his services. There was no regular 
course of study until 1873, when a graded system of schools 
for the town was completed, and a three years course 
of study established for the High school, the School 



Committee at that time being, Eev. W. S. Burton, Geo. 
W. Horr, Esq., and Henry A. Stearns. The first class to 
graduate from the school with this course of study was the 
class of 1876, consisting of nine members. This course 
was continued until 1882, when the School Committee, 
consisting of L. B. Caswell, Dr. James Oliver and Eev. J. 
H. Cox, with the Principal of the school, Mr. B. F. 

^■-.1 :■ "^Fiff -'-^-^*^- 


"-it^JSRy^^Ti^V^^ T^ ^r^~- Z^ __J( ,^'<^^ ^ ' ^ 


Brown, arranged a four years course of study, and in 
1883, the first class to complete a four years course grad- 
uated with honor to themselves and the school. This 
course was continued for only a few years, as the people 
evidently were not ready for the change, and again the 
classes were graduated in three years time. In 1892 the 


present courses of study, consisting of classical, literary 
and general courses of four years, and an English course 
of three years were adopted. 

During the forty years existence of the school there 
have been thirty-one Principals, those serving the longest 
being, Sidney P. Smith, who taught eleven terms, and L. 
McL. Jackson and W. H. Terrill, each of whom held the 
position nine terms. 

The following list contains the names of those who have 

held the position of Principals of the High school, and the 

year in which they served : 

Mr. Geo. A. Wheeler of Topsham, Me., 1857. 

Mr. Farwell Fay of New Salem, 1857. 

Mr. D. D. Leavittof Grantham, N. H., 1857, 1859. 

Mr. H. Toothaker of Holden, Me., 1858, 1859. 

Mr. Geo. B. Towle of Saco, Me., 1860. 

Mr. A. J. Lathrop of Watertown, 1861. 

Mr. L. S. Burhank of Lancaster, 1862, 1863. 

Mr. Francis E. Tower of Petersham, 1864. 

Mr. H. E. Morse of Chelmsford, 1864. 

Mr. H. F. Lane of Templeton, 1865. 

Mr. Joel D. Miller of Athol, 1865, 1866. 

Mr. Oscar H. Stearns, 1867. 

Mr. H. Brown of Qnincy, 1867. 

Mr. A. L. Gleason of Amherst College, 1867. 

Mr. Stephen A. Snow, 1868. 

Mr. J. P. Fielden, 1868. 

Mr. F. W. Bardwell, 1868. 

Mr. Sauford B. Cook of Petersham, 1869. 

Mr. Fred F. Foster of VVeare, N. H., 1870, 1871. 

Mr. A. TV. Bacheler of Boston, 1872, 1873. 

Mr. Geo. G. Pratt of Boston, 1873. 

Mr. Virgil M. Howard of Deerfield, 1874, 1875. 

Mr. E. A. Baldwin, 1876. 

Mr. Sidney P. Smith of Princeton, 111., 1877 to 1880. 


Mr. Lewis Parkhurst of Fitchburg, 1880. 

Mr. B. F. Brown of Fitchburg, 1881, 1882. 

Mr. L. McL. Jackson of Bernardston, 1883 to 1886. 

Mr. W. H. Terrill of Mon-isville, Vt,, 1886 to 1889. 

Mr. W. J. Rushmore ol Cambridge, 1890, 1891. 

Mr. Geo. M. Strout, 1892, 1893. 

Mr. F. C. Avery of Waterbury, Vt., 1894, 

There have been employed as assistant teachers, twenty- 
two as follows : H. H. Sprague, 1858 ; James Oliver, 
Jr., 1860 ; Geo. A. Black, 1873 ; Emma L. Pierce, 1873; 
Annie Knapp Cheney, 1874 to 1876 ; Etta V. Cutter, 
1876 to 1878 ; Mary Durkee Robinson, 1878, 1879 ; 
Ellen M. Bigelow, 1880, 1881 ; Kate Tower Pinney, 1882 
to 1887 ; Elizabeth Bridgeford Amsden, 1887 to 1889. 
Since that date the teachers have been : Clara Preston, 
Fanny Bugbee Cobb, Grace G. Rickey, Henry A. Roberts, 
Mary Lang Strout, Janet G. Patterson, Cora Coolidge, 
Mary Epps, Helen M. Humphrey, Julia Strong and Anna 

We give brief sketches of some of the principals who 
have recently served the school. 

Benj. F. Brown was born in Lowell, Vt. in 1849. He 
removed to Fitchburg, Mass., in 1866, where he was fitted 
for college at the Fitchburg High school, and entered Am- 
herst College, from which he graduated in 1874. From 
the time of graduation until 1890, he was engaged in 
teaching in the following places : High school and Day 
Street Grammar school of Fitchburg, 1874 to 1881 ; Athol 
High school, 1881 to 1883 ; Montpelier Vt. High school, 
1883 to 1885, and the Gibson School, Boston, 1885 to 
1890. In 1890 he engaged in the development of a 


macMne for automatically measuring, filling, and sealing 
packets of seeds, dyes, powders etc. The machine was 
perfected and put into successful operation the following 
year, and a company organized in Fitchburg to manufac- 
ture them, of which Mr. Brown is President and Manager. 
He was married in 1880 to Zephirine Normandin of Mil- 
ford, and their present residence is at Dorchester, Mass. 

Mr. W. H. Terrill, who was principal of the High 
school for three years, beginning with September, 1886, 
was born in Morristown, Vermont, He prepared for Col* 
lege in the Academy of his native town, and entered Wes- 
leyan University in the Fall of 1879, graduating in the 
class of 1883. He entered upon the work of teaching im- 
mediately upon graduation. For three years he filled the 
chair of Natural Sciences in the Vermont Methodist 
Seminary at Montpelier, Vt., resigning that position to ac- 
cept the Principalship of the Athol High school. Since 
leaving Athol, Mr. Terrill has held the position of in- 
structor in Greek and Latin in Phillips Academy, An- 
dover, Mass., where he is still employed. 

F. C. Avery, the present Principal of the High school, 
was born in Tunbridge, Vt., April 14, 1861. His early 
education was received in the Grammar schools of Staf- 
ford, Vt. He was for three years at Kimball Union Acad- 
emy, Meriden, N. H., and graduated from Dartmouth Col- 
lege in 1888. After graduating he was Principal of 
Wells River High school and Superintendent of Grammar 
schools in that town for two years, and held the same 
position in Waterbury, Vt. three years, from which place 
he came to Athol as Principal of the High school in 1893. 


Under his charge the school is attaining a high rank 
among the High schools of the state. He was married in 
August, 1894, to Miss Mabel Ripley Hatch, of Stafford, 

The whole number of graduates from the school since a 
course of study was established and diplomas awarded, 
commencing with the Class of 1876, and including the 
Class of 1896, is 199. Of this number, divided among the 
twenty-one classes, more than forty have been engaged as 
teachers, some of them filling important positions. The 
largest class to graduate was the Class of 1896, with 
twenty- two members, and the Class of 1887 was the next 
in rank, sending out nineteen. Thirteen graduates have 

College Graduates. — The following persons, natives of 
Athol, have received a College education : 

Williams College. — Jesse Stratton, 1814; Joseph Es- 
tabrook, 1818 ; John Wiswell Humphrey, 1823 ; John 
Drury, Jr., Wm. La Roy Haven, 1864 ; Joel Drury Mil- 
ler, 1864, Frederick Eugene Stratton, 1871. 
Harvard University. — Joseph A. Shaw, 1858 ; Henry H. 
Sprague, 1864 ; Maurice H Richardson, 1873; George A. 
Black, 1879, Albert H. Newman, 1895. 

Amherst College. — Chas. H. Sweetser, 1862 ; Henry 
A. Simonds, 1883 ; Eugene T. Allen, 1887. 

Yale College. — HoUon A. Farr, 1896. 

Princeton College. — Ward Talbot. 

Brown University. Lucien E. Taylor, 1895. 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. -Louis Mills 


Norton, 1873 ; James P. Lynde, 1886 ; Walter J. Eickey, 
1895 ; Mortimer A. Sears, 1896. 

Military University, of Norwich, Vt. — Henry M. Phil- 

Wellesley College. — Arline Smith, 1895, Grace G. 

Louis M. Norton took his degree of Ph. D. at Gotten- 
gen University, Germany. 

Eugene T. Allen, after graduating from Amherst Col- 
lege, also took a course at Johns Hopkins University, from 
which he received the degree of Ph. D. 

Wm. H. Parmenter entered Yale College, and after two 
years in that institution entered the Harvard Law school. 

Ralph W. Drury entered the Massachusetts Agricult- 
ural College, and left that institution to take an appoint- 
ment at the United States Military Academy, West Point, 
where he remained two years. 


Previous to 1830, the Athol Social Library had been in 
existence, as we find in a copy of Freedom's Sentinel of 
1828, an advertisement of books belonging to that organi- 
zation for sale. During the decade between 1850 and 
1860, three libraries were in existence, as follows : A 
" Ladies' Social Circle Library," organized in 1^56, hav- 
ing 239 volumes, in charge of Miss Anna Cobleigh, and a 
" Ladies' Library Association," organized in 1857, having 
270 volumes and officered as follows : President, Miss 
Clara Thorpe ; Vice President, Mrs. Geo. D. Colony ; Sec- 
retary, Miss Ellen M. Bigelow ; Treasurer, Miss Emma J. 
Knowlton ; Librarian, Mrs. J. S. Parmenter, with the fol- 


lowing assistants: Mrs. Alvin Houghton, Mrs. Leander 
Cheney, Mrs. Geo. Sprague, Emma J. Knowlton, Miss 
Josephine M. Knowlton and Mrs. Susan Ainsworth. 
Another was " The Athol Agricultural and Mechanical 
Library Association," organized in 1858, "with the object 
of diffusing among the people a greater knowledge of the 
acts and sciences," having 150 volumes, and the following 
officers : President, L. W. Hapgood ; Vice President, 
F. F. Amsden ; Secretary, J. I. Goulding ; Treasurer, C. 
B. Swan ; Librarian, J. I. Goulding. 

The largest collection of books gathered by any Society 
was that of the Athol Library Association, which was or- 
ganized in December, 1878, with Hon. Chas. Field as 
President. This association collected a library of upwards 
of 1000 volumes during the three years of its existence ; 
the library room of the Society was at the residence of 
Joel M. Doane on School street, and Mrs. Eliza Doane 
was the librarian. In the -spring of 1882, this association 
offered to make over to the town its library on conditions 
that the town should furnish a suitable place for the 
books, and appropriate money for the support of the 
library and the purchase of new books. This offer was 
accepted by the town, and at a town meeting held in April 
1882, a library committee was chosen, consisting of Hon. 
Charles Field, Kev. H. A. Blake, Rev. J. H. Cox, E. V. 
Wilson, Esq., and L. B. Caswell. 

Mr. Field was chairman of this committee, and Mr. 
Caswell the secretary and treasurer. The Athol Library 
Association then made over its library to the town, and 
the Free Public Library of Athol was established. Ar- 

^•^iigfeiAeiits were made to continue the library room at the 
"same place, and also to retail! the services of Mrs. Doane 
las the librarian, during the first year that the library was 
>open to the public 650 persohs availed themselves of its 
^rivileges^ and 88t3 books w6re delivered. 

Duriiig the year 1895^ 13,869 books wete delivered. 
'The Library was continued in its first quarters, a room in 
the dwelling hwuse of Joel M. Doane on School street, and 
in charge -of th'e samfe librarian, Mrs. Miza F. I)oane, un- 
til April, 188 '7, when it was removed to its present qtiart- 
fers, and the present librarian, Mrs. Mercie S^ Doane was 
lengaged. The appropriation by the town the first year 
Vvas |300, and from that time until 1894, it was f 500 each 
year, since which time it has beeii flOOO per year. 
Special attention has been paid t6 making the library an 
laid in school work, and in the selection of books calte has 
been takteti to secure a goodly number of such works as 
"w ould be of value and stervite to teachers and scholars in 
their daily work , and the library committee evety ye^ar in- 
cludes one of more membei« of the iSehool Committee<. 

The Library now contains 5000 volumes. The organi- 
fealion of the Library Committiee has been as follows * 

1882, Chaa-le* Field, Chairman^ Lilley B. Oas-W^ell, B6V. H. M 
felake, Bev. J. H. Cox. Edgar V. Wilson. 

1883, Charles Field, Chaiiiiiau, Lilley Bi. Cafitvell, Heaiy M- 
Humphrey, Daniel A. Newton, Lucieii Lord. 

1884, ChaWes Field, Chairman, Lilley B. Caswfell, Thomas H, 
"(ioodspeed, Mrs. A. H. iFrenchs Hsenky M. HikmphSrey, EeV. Chai-les Pv 
fciombardi, Mi-g Sarah It. Smith. 

1886, Lilley B. CaSweli, Chairman, feohfert Bi-oOkhouse, Miss Ellea 
"M.. Bigelow, Thomas H. Goodspeed, Eevi ChaS. Pi Lorafeard, Mi's* 
Sarah Hi. Sulith, "Vfilliara Fi ThOniasi. 


1886, Kev. Charles P. Lombard, Chairman, Sidney P. Smith, Rob- 
ert Brookhouse, Miss Ellen M. Bigelow, Augustus Coolidge, Mrs. Sarah 
H. Smith. 

1887, Rev. Charles P. Lombard, Chairman, Miss Ellen M. Bigelow, 
Robert Brookhouse, Almond Smith, Mrs. Sarah H. Smith, Edgar V. 

1888, William H. Terrill, Chairman, Edgar V. Wilson, Miss Ellen 
M. Bigelow, Rev. H. W. Stebbins, Almond Smith, Mrs. Sarah H. 

1889, Edgar V. Wilson, Chairman, Mrs. Sarah H. Smith, Miss Ellen 
M. Bigelow, Rev. Chas. E. Perkins, Almond Smith, Rev. H. W. 

1899, Edgar V. Wilson, Chairman, Mrs. Sarah H. Smith, Miss Ellen 
M. Bigelow, Rev. Chas. E. Perkins, Rev. C. J. Shrimpton, Almond 

1891, Edgar V. Wilson, Chairman, Mrs. Sarah H. Smith, Miss Ellen 
M. Bigelow, Rev. Chas. E. Perkins, Rev. C. J. Shrimpton, Almond 

1892, Edgar V. Wilson, Chairman, Mrs. Sarah H. Smith, Rev. H. 
F. Brown, Miss Ellen M. Bigelow, Rev. C. J. Shrimpton, Almond 

1893, Rev. C. J. Shrimpton, Chairman, Mrs. Sarah H. Smith, Miss 
Ellen M. Bigelow, Mrs. Clare H. Burleigh, Liicien Lord. 

1894, Rev. C J. Shrimpton, Chairman, Mrs. Sarah H. Smith, Miss 
Ellen M. Bigelow, Lucien Lord, Mrs. Clare H. Burlfeigh. 

1895, Rev. C. J. Shrimpton, Chairman, Mrs. Sarah H. Smith, Miss 
Ellen M. Bigelow, Lucien Lord, Mrs. Clare H. Burleigh, Rev. S. W. 

1896, Rev. C. J. Shrimpton, Chairman, Mrs. Sarah H. Smith, Miss 
Ellen M. Bigelow, Lucien Lord, Rev. S. W. Sutton, Lilley B. Caswell. 



"Loyal to country I Brothers dear, be true 

Unto the right, in whatsoe'er ye do I 

And He who died for man will care for you ! 

With armor golden, free from sinful dross. 
Bearing the glorious banner of the cross. 
In the last conflict, ye shall fear no loss 1" 

EFOEE THE organization of a 
Grand Army Post in Athol, some of 
the old soldiers became members of 
Abraham Lincoln Post, now the 
General Sedgwick Post, No. 17 of 
Orange. Early in 1870, a move- 
ment was started for the formation 

of a Post in Athol, which resulted in the organization of 

one during the summer. 

PARKER POST, NO. 123, G. A. R. 

Parker Post was organized June 8, 1870, with sixteen 
charter members. The Post was named in honor of 
James C. Parker, who enlisted in Co. A., 21st Regiment 
Mass. Volunteers, which left Athol for the seat of war, 
Aug. 22, 1861. Mr. Parker was born in Stickney, C. E., 
in the year 1826, and was thirty-five years of age at the 





time of his enlistment. He went with his regiment t(% 
North Carolina, and was sick at the time of the capture* 
of Roanoke Island, and on board a transport. In the bat- 
tle of Newbern he was in the thickest ©f the fight, and was, 
mortally wonnd.ed.. 

The historian of the 5flst Regiment says ; "^Parker was. 
one eC our many men who went into the fight with an un-. 
seifTiceable gun, but stood courageoitusly in his place, 
though unable to fire a shot. He and Wm. H.. JohnsoQ 
died in the field hospital on the 15th 
of March- Parker's and Johnson's, 
names are engraved on the brass> 
rebel cannon belonging to a battery 
of flying artillery which was silenced 
by a bayonet charge of the 21st Reg- 
iment Mass. Volunteers, under Lieut, 
Col. Clark, at the battle of New- 
bern, N. C, March U, 1862. This, 
cannon was preseiftted to Amherst 
College in memory of Adjutant. 
Stearns. Mr. Parker was buried at 
Newbem, leaving a wife and three 
children in Athol. A daughter married Monproe F. Gage, 
The Post has expended in charity during the twenty^ 
six years of its existence upwards of two thousand dollars, 
and many a veteran and his family have had cause to 
bless the organization for the fraternal sympathy and 
needed relief of which they have been the recipients in 
times of trouble and sickness. The faHowing is a list of 
those who have been Commandeirs ; 


Farwell F. Fay, 1870, '71 ; Geo. H. Hoyt, 1872, '73, 
'76; li. M. Burleigh, 1874, '75; Charles Gray, 1877; 
Henry T. Morse, 1878 ; Geo. R. Hanson, 1879; Eoswell 
L. Doane, 1880; E. J. Shaw, 1881 ; James Oliver, M. D., 
1882, '83, '86 ; Samuel N. Gould, 1884, '85 ; Chas. E. 
Taft, 1887 ; Henry W- Harris, 1888, '89, '91 ; Benj. W. 
Spooner, 1890; Wm. H, Heustis, 1892; James Oliver, 2d, 
1893 ; Hiram A. Bancroft, 1894, '95. 

Sketches of Commanders Fay, Hoyt, Burleigh and Dr, 
James Oliver will be found in other chapters of this work. 

The fourth Commander was Charles Gray, a son of 
Alexander and Elvira Gray, He was born in Athol, Aug, 
19, 1841. In September, 1861, he enlisted in Co. B., 
27th ttegiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, and was ap- 
pointed sergeant soon after enlisting, which office he held 
until discharged from the service, June 26, 1865. He 
participated with his regiment in the battles and sieges in 
which it was engaged in North Carolina and Virginia, 
among which were Roanoke Island, Kingston, Goldsboro, 
siege of Washington, N. C., and Drury's Bluff, Va., in the 
latter of which he was taken prisoner and confined in the 
rebel prisons of Libby, Danville, Anderson ville, Savannah 
and Millen, being exposed to the weather for over seven 
months without a change of clothing. Soon after his re- 
turn from the war he was married Aug. 11th, 1865, to 
Hattie N. Horton of Athpl, He was a member of the 
Athol Fire Department for twenty-five years, having joined 
first in the spring «f 1860, and was for ten years the chief 
engineer ; he alsq served the tqwn as one of its constables 


for eighteen years, and was for several years one of the 
truant officers. 

Henry T. Morse, the fifth Commander, is the oldest son 
of the late Laban Morse, and was born in Athol, Jan. 11, 
1840. He received his education at the common schools 
of the town, and then went to work in the shop of his 
father. He enlisted in the 27th Eegiment band and went 
with his regiment to North Carolina. When the regimen- 
tal bands were discontinued in Aug., 1862, he returned 
home, but reentered the service in 1863, in the band of 
the 1st Brigade, 2d Division, 6th Army Corps, and was 
three months at Harper's Ferry, and afterwards in the bat- 
tles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Coal 
Harbor, and before Petersburg. On the consolidatirm of 
his Brigade, Nov. 11, 1864, he was discharged and re- 
turned home. In 1865, with his brother Leander, he en- 
gaged in business with his father, under the firm name of 
L. Morse & Sons. This continued for about a year, when 
he went to California, where he remained two years, and 
then returned to Athol, which was his home until 1881, 
when he removed to Boston, and has since been engaged 
as an inventor. He was the inventor of Morse's folding 
settee, and one of his latest inventions is Morse's rotary 
engine. While in Athol he was connected with the fire 
department for a long time, being the foreman of the 
Athol Steamer Co. when it was first organized. He mar- 
ried Helen S. Sibley of Athol. 

George E.. Hanson, the sixth Commander, was born in 
New Salem. He enlisted when nineteen years old in the 
27th Regiment, and was one of the band accompanying the 








regiment to North Carolina in Burnside's expedition. On 
the discontinuance of regimental bands he was discharged 
Aug. 30, 1862. He reenlisted July 14, 1863, in Co. A, 
2d Mass. Heavy Artillery. Was on detached service for 
six months with Capt. Geo. W. Bartlett, 27th Mass. In- 
fantry, was provost marshal at Beaufort, N. C, and clerk 
at regimental headquarters of the 2d Mass. Heavy Ar- 
tillery for nearly a year, and held the office of Sergeant 
in this company. Was commissioned First Lieutenant in 
the 14th IT. S. Colored Heavy Artillery, June 21st, 1865, 
and Nov. 7, 1865, was commissioned as Captain in the 
same. He was discharged from the service Dec. 11, 1865. 
Eoswell L. Doane, the seventh Commander, was born 
in Phillipston, Jan. 26, 1843. He attended the schools 
of his native town and the Templeton High school* leav- 
ing the latter to enlist in April, 1861, and was mustered 
into Co. A, 21st Regiment Mass. Infantry in July of that 
year. He went with the Burnside expedition, and was 
with his regiment in all the battles in North Carolina, at 
the second battle of Bull Eun, Chantilly, South Mountain, 
Antietam and Fredericksburg, in the latter of which he 
was shot in the right hip, the bullet remaining in him to 
the present day. He was discharged from the service 
June 1, 1863, and after six years spent in Worcester and 
other places, came to Athol in 1869, which has since been 
his home. He carried on the slating business for ten 
years, and was also extensively engaged in the teaming 
business for many years. On Jan. 1, 1893, he was ap- 
pointed deputy sheriff. Was on the staff of department 
commander Richard F. Tobin in 1886, and accompanied 

153 ItWdt, i^Agf Mb PREsMf, 

iiiflt to the National Encampment at l^an Francisco. A 
prominent member of the Knights of f ythia*, he wa^ 
elected in 1893 to the office of Lieut. Col. of the First 
Hegiment Uniform Eank Knights of Pythias, and has held 
the office of Judge ' Advocate Qeneiral, oil thd staff of* 
Brigadier General John H. Abbott, of the Mass. Brigade^ 
with the rank of Colonel. lie was married Oct. 10, 1864^ 
to Miss MerCie S. Gray of Templeton. 

E. J. Shaw, the eighth Commander, was born in SU 
George^ New Brunswick, July 11, 1840. In 1855 he 
Went to New York City, where he attended school four' 
years, after which he learned the druggist business, and in 
January, 1860, opelied a drug store ill company with hi^ 
brother, who was a graduate of the New York tlniversity 
Medical College^ In September^ 1861 ^ he was appointed 
Surgeon's Steward in the United States Navy, and or-- 
dered for duty to the tJ. S. S. "Montgomery", under Sur- 
geon David T Lincoln of Cambridge, Mass. The vessel 
sailed from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Sept. 29, 1861, and 
joined the Gulf Squadron ulider Admiral Farragut. 

Mr. Shaw was proprietor of a drug store in Worcester' 
from 1864 to 1868, when he sold out his business and 
came to Athol to take the position of agent and superin-' 
tendent of the cotton mill, owned by his father-in-law, W^ 
A. Fisher. He held this position Until the fall of 1881, 
and since that time has been in the hotel business, being 
iiow proprietor of the Central Hortse at Plymouth, Mass. 

Saniuel 1^. Gould, the tenth Comniandei', was born iri 
Abington, Conn., Jan. 20, 1830. He canle to Massachu^ 
setts when about sixteen years of age aild learned the car-^ 


E. J. SHAyv. 






penler's trade, which he followed for a number of years. 
In 1853 he married Miss Sally M. Davis, who died in 
■early life, leaving one son, and in 1857 he married Miss 
Phcebe S. Davis. He enlisted from Templeton, July 19, 
1861, as musician in Co. A, 2lst Eegiment Mass. Vol- 
unteers, and followed the fortunes of his regiment through 
its term of service, being discharged Aug. 30, 1864. He 
came to Athol in 1874, and entered the Athol Machine 
Co., where he was employed until the time of his death, 
Feb. 24, 1892. Soon after coming to Athol he became a 
member of Parker Post, served as adjutant three years, 
and was elected as commander for 1884 and 1885, always 
maintaining a deep interest in the Grand Army. 

Charles E. Taft, the eleventh Commander, was born in 
PitzwilUam, N. H., Aug. 9, 1846. He enlisted in Co. A, 
21st Mass. Eegiment, and joined his regiment early in 
1864, going into service in Virginia ; was first under fire 
at the explosion of the mine in front of Petersburg, July 
30, 1864, and was also in the great battles near Peters- 
burg, in April 1865. Since his return from the war, Mr. 
Taft has been a resident of Athol ; in 1870 he kept a 
billiard hall at the Lower Village, was for a time engaged 
in canvassing for various papers, and has for many years 
been employed at the furniture works of L. Morse & Sons, 

Henry W. Harris, the twelfth Commander, was born in 
Petersham, July 28, 1845. He enlisted from New Salem 
in 1863, in the 4th Mass. Cavalry, and also served in Co. 
H, 4th Mass. Heavy Artillery. His service was mostly in 
Virginia. In his early life he was a shoemaker, but most 
of the time since his return from the war he has been en- 


gaged in the meat and provision business. He has been 
prominently identified with the Grand Army, and was on 
the staff of Department Commander Myron P. Walker. 
He is a member of various Odd Fellow and Masonic or- 
ganizations, and was appointed a Justice of the Peace by 
Governor xlmes. He was married Jan. 19, 1893 to Lizzie 
Eldridge of Maine. 

B. W. Spooner, the thirteenth Commander of the Post, 
was born July 8, 1837, at the old Spooner homestead in 
Petersham, where his father and grandfather were also 
born, and which has always been his home. He was mar- 
ried Jan. 1, 1862, to Fanny M. Grout of Westminster, 
Vt., and in September of the same year he enlisted in Co. 
F, 53d Regiment Mass. Volunteers, under Capt. J. G. 
Mudge, and was with his regiment during its term of ser- 
vice in Louisiana. After he returned from the army he 
engaged in the meat business in connection with his farm- 
ing, and continued it for fifteen years, when he gave it up, 
and devotes his entire time to his farm, on which he has 
made many improvements. He has five children, four 
daughters and one son. 

Wm. H. Heustis, the fourteenth Commander, was born 
in Boston, May 5, 1841, and attended the public schools of 
that city. He removed to Leominster when about eigh- 
teen years of age, and on the breaking out of the war went 
to Annapolis, Md , where he was in government employ un- 
til September, 1862, when he enlisted in Co. C, 53d Mass. 
Volunteers, and was appointed corporal. He was wound- 
ed at Port Hudson June 14, 1863, and was discharged 
from the service Sept. 2, 1863, after which he re-enlisted 


in the 4tli Regiment Heavy Artillery, and was honorably 
discharged from the same. Mr. Heustis has been promi- 
nently identified with the Grand Army, having joined 
Timothy Ingraham Post May 3, 1872, and was transferred 
to the H. V. Smith Post, No. 140, of which be was the 
third commander, and later to Parker Post, No. 123, of 
which he is still a member. He has served on the staff of 
Department Commander Geo. L. Goodale, and on the 
staffs of National Commanders John Palmer and John J. 
B. Adams. He has been prominent in the Masonic frater- 
nity, having been made a Mason in 1864 in Wilder lodge 
of Leominster ; he has held many of the prominent offices 
of the local lodges, having been Master of Star lodge and 
Eminent Commander of Athol Commandery, and is also a 
member of many of the higher orders of the fraternity, in- 
cluding the Massachusetts Consistory 32d degree, and 
Aleppo Temple Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a 
prominent Odd Fellow, and has held the office of High 
Priest in Mount Pleasant Encampment and Captain of 
Canton Athol. He came to Athol in September, 1873, 
which has since been his home. 

James Oliver, 2d, Commander in 1893, was born in 
Royalston Sept. 29, 1832, and came to Athol in 1849, 
working at first in the cotton mill. He worked in various 
machine shops until 1862, when he enlisted in the 27th 
Mass. Regiment, and was in the various battles in which 
his regiment was engaged in North Carolina. In Decem- 
ber, 1863, he was detailed as Regimental Armorer at 
Norfolk, Va., and later was detailed as nurse in the hos- 
pital, and also as carpenter. He was discharged from the 
service Sept. 27, 1864. 


After his return from the war, he worked four years 
for the Vermont & Mass. R. E. Co., was in the 
machine business in Athol for five years, and commencing 
in 1874, was employed by the Fitchburg Eailroad Co. as 
locomotive foreman for thirteen and a half years, his home 
being for several years at North Adams. He returned to 
Athol in 1890, which has since been his home. He is a 
member of the Methodist church and one of its trustees. 
He was married Oct. 19, 1854, to Charlotte D. Bailey of 
Lunenburg, Mass. They have one daughter, Miss Idella 

Hiram A. Bancroft, the fifteenth Commander, was born 
Dec. 21, 1847, in Templeton. His parents moved, to 
Phillipston when he was eight years of age, from which 
place he enlisted Oct. 26, 1863, in Co. G, 34th Mass. 
Volunteers, being at the time less than sixteen years of 
age. He joined his regiment at Harper's Ferry, Va , in 
January, 1864, and was under Gen. Sigel in the Shenan- 
doah Valley, on Hunter's raid to Lynchburg, and after- 
wards under Gen. Sheridan at the time of his ffimous ride 
from Winchester to Cedar Creek ; was afterwards trans- 
ferred to the army of the James, and in 1865, to the army 
of the Potomac, where he was engaged in the final cap- 
ture of Petersburg and Richmond and the surrender of 
Lee. He was transferred to the 34th Mass. Regiment, 
and was finally mustered out of service Jan. 20, 1866. 
He was married Dec. 22, 1876, to Miss Lizzie Moore of 
Athol. He joined the Grand Army Post of Orange in 
1869, and later was transferred to Parker Post, of which 
he was elected commander for 1894 and again for 1895. 



This post was organized Feb. 22, 1882, with twenty-five 
charter members, and was composed almost wholly of com- 
rades residing in the lower village. Chief Mustering offi- 
cer A. C. Monroe, was the installing officer, and the first 
meetings were held in Phoenix hall on Exchange street, 
and then in Cardany's block, until December, 1886, when 
the present fine hall was dedicated, which has since been 
the home of the Post. The Commanders of the Post have 
been Wm. E. Jaquith, Lewis H. Sawin, Wm. H. Heustis, 
Levi C. Sawin, W. H. Mellen and Geo. A. Bennett. 

Hubbard V. Smith, from whom the Post takes its name, 
was a son of Abner and Florilla Smith, and was born in 
Shutesbury, April 27, 1840. He came with his parents 
to Athol in 1850, attended the public schools, and was 
one of the first to join the army from this town on the 
breaking out of the Rebellion, enlisting in Co. F, 2d Mass. 
Infantry ; was in the Shenandoah campaign under Gen. 
Burke, and was wounded on the retreat from Winchester, 
May 25, 1862, a minie ball entering his body just above 
the right hip, and passing so nearly through him that it 
was extracted above the left hip. He was taken prisoner, 
and when the rebels were obliged to retreat, he was 
paroled for exchange ; after being in hospitals at Harper's 
Ferry and Annapolis for several months he was able to 
come home in October, and was discharged Jan. 1, 1863. 
After his return home, he went to WUbraham Academy, 
but his wound was so troublesome that he was obliged to 
return home ; he sufiered a great deal and died Aug. 2, 


William E. Jaquith, the first Commander, was born in 
Orford, N. H., Sept. 9, 1838. Most of his life has been 
spent in railroad work, he having served as section fore- 
man on the Rutland and Burlington, Rutland and Wash- 
ington, Worcester and Nashua, and New London North 
ern railroads previous to coming to Athol in 1876. At 
that time he became a foreman on the Fitchburg railroad, 
which position he filled for nearly twenty years. 

On Aug. 29, 1862, he enlisted in Co. A, 15th Regi- 
ment Vermont Volunteers. He was married April 3, 
1867, in Keene, N. H., to Miss Addie D. Fisher. Since 
residing in Athol, Mr. Jaquith has been deeply interested 
in the Grand Army, having joined Parker Post in 1877, 
and was one of the organizers of Hubbard V. Smith Post 
in 1882, being its first Commander, and serving in that 
position at different times for five years. He was instru- 
mental in the organization of the Gen. W. T. Sherman 
Camp Sons of Veterans, and also of the Woman's Relief 
Corps. He was Aide De Camp on the staff of Command- 
er in-Chief Palmer of the Grand Army, and a delegate to 
the National Encampment at Milwaukee. 

Lewis H. Sawin, the second Commander of the Post, 
was born in Athol Oct. 5, 1845. He was educated in the 
public schools of the town, and went from the High school 
into the Navy, in which he enlisted March 6, 1862. For 
four months he was on the Receiving Ship Ohio, at the 
Charlestown Navy Yard, and was then transferred to the 
Gun Boat Sonoma, The Sonoma was sent to the James 
River, and remained there until McCellan made his 
famous retreat, when she was sent up the Potomac to 

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Washington, and joined the flying squadron in the West 
Indies. While on this cruise the Sonoma took three 
vessels ; this was the first gunboat to go through the ob- 
structions at Savannah, and did picket duty at Charles- 
ton the next night after the surrender of the city. He re- 
ceived his discharge from the Navy March 17, 1865. Af' 
ter returning home he w^ent to a business college in New 
Haven, and worked in Boston for a year. Was engaged 
in the grocery business in Athol, under the firm name of 
Packard & Co. for about three years, and was in the em- 
ploy of Smith & Jaquith at Templeton four years, and for 
nearly twenty years has been book-keeper for the Athol 
Machine Co. In 1891, served on the staff of Commander- 
in-Chief Veazy. Is a member of the Sons of Veterans 
and the Knights of Honor. Was married June 22, 1869, 
to Miss Marietta Bangs of Leverett. 

Levi C. Sawin, the fourth Commander, was born in 
Ashburnhara, Aug. 11, 1838. When sixteen years of age 
he went to Fitchburg and learned the machinists' trade, 
and afterwards the carriage makers trade, which occupa- 
tion he has ever since followed. He went to Gardner and 
engaged in business for himself, where he enlisted in Co. 
G, 53d Mass. Regiment, and remained Avith his regiment 
during its term of service. On his return from the war he 
resumed his business in Gardner, where he remained un- 
til 1876, when he came to Athol, where he has built up a 
flourishing business. In 1864, he married Miss Euth E. 
Temple of Gardner. While in Ashburnham he joined 
the Methodist church, of which denomination he has since 
been a momber, and is one of the trustees of the Athol 


church. Mr. Sawin was commander of the Post for three 
successive years, and has been captain of the Athol Divis- 
ion Uniform Rank, Knights of Pythias. He was also one 
of the constables of Athol for nine years. 

William H. Mellen, the fifth Commander, was born in 
Spofford, N. Y., Nov. 9. 1842, being the youngest of a 
family of eight children ; removed with his father's family 
to North Orange, Mass., when but a few years old. He 
learned the mechanics trade at Templeton, and on the 
breaking out of the war of the rebellion enlisted in Co. A. 
21st Mass. Volunteers, and was mustered into the U. S. 
service Aug. 23d, 1861. He was in the battles of Roa- 
noke Island, Newbern, Camden and Second Bull Run, in 
the last of which he was wounded and sent to hospitals ui 
Philadelphia, Washington and Portsmouth Grove, R. I, 
Was discharged from the service May 6, 1864. In July, 
1864, he was married to Miss Gertrude E. Squire of Rus- 
sia, Herkimer Co., N. Y. He returned to Templeton and 
resumed his trade, remaining there about a year, when in 
company with J. W. Lamb, he engaged in the manu- 
facture of pine and chestnut furniture in the town of Or- 
ange, under the firm name of Mellen & Lamb. In 1881, 
they bought a steam mill and did custom sawing ; later 
Mr. Mellen purchased his partner's interest, and is still en- 
gaged in the same business, having converted into lumber 
upwards of twenty million feet of logs. 

He was elected as Commander of Hubbard V. Smith 
Post for 1891, and re-elecicd to the same position for 
1892, and served on Department Commander Innis staff 
in 1890. He is also a member of the Knights of Honor 


and Knights of Pythias. He was elected on the board of 
Selectmen for 1894, and was re-elected in 1895 and 1896, 
serving the latter year as chairman. He was also elected 
to represent the First Worcester District in the Legisla- 
ture of 1897. 

George A. Bennett was born in Salem, Mass., April 
21st, 1844. He received his education in the public 
schools of that city, and after leaving school was apprent- 
iced to learn the cooper's trade. He eidisted Aug. 21, 
1862, in Co. A, 50th Mass. Eegiment, serving one year, 
and then re-enlisted in the 13th Unattached Co. M. V. 
M., and also later in Co. E, 1st Frontier Cavalry. After 
returning from the war he learned the shoe cutting busi- 
ness, and since 1878 has been employed as foreman of cut- 
ting rooms by S. B. Fuller & Son at Essex, Mass., for 
Francis W. Breed at factories in Lynn and Eochester, N. 
H., coming to Athol with Mr. Breed in the fall of 1887. 
For the last three years he has been employed as foreman 
for Hill & Greene. He was married April 7th, 1874, to 
Miss Helen F. Lufkin of Essex, Mass. 

The first few years after the observance of Memorial 
Day was commenced, Parker Post united with the Orange 
Post in the decoration ceremonies and exercises in both 
towns, the speaking being by local speakers. The most 
distinguished soldier of the Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic who ever participated in the exercises of Memorial 
Day in Athol, was Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, who was 
the honored guest of Athol comrades on Memorial Day, 
1873, when the greatest Memorial Day demonstration 
ever witnessed in this section of the state took place. 


The town was profusely decorated with flags and bunt- 
ing, and Depot Square was thronged with an immense 
crowd when the morning train arrived with General Burn- 
side, accompanied by Gen. Richmond and Sergt. Plunkett, 
the armless hero of Fredericksburg, and as these old 
heroes were received by Gen. Hoyt, and escorted to the 
barouche in waiting for them, the enthusiasm and demon- 
strations of the veterans of the Grand Army was almost 
beyond description. The procession, which extended from 
the Pequoig House, nearly to the Lower Village cemetery, 
included Parker Post, the Grand Army Posts of Gardner 
and Orange, the Athol Fire Department, Father Matthew 
Temperance Society, the school children, and nearly one 
hundred carriages containing the citizens of the town. 

Speeches were made by Gens. Burnside and Richmond 
in front of the Summit House at the Upper Village, and 
in the afternoon Music Hall was filled with nearly two 
thousand people to listen to the exercises. The Memorial 
day orators since that occasion have been as follows : 
1874, Hon. Rufus Liver more of Orange ; 1875, Hon. Geo. 
S. Boutwell ; 1877, Col. J. A. Titus of Worcester ; 1878, 
Hon. Frank Gargan of Boston ; 1879, Col. W. S. B. Hop- 
kins of Worcester ; 1880, Capt. A. A. White of the 36th 
Regiment; 1881, William H. Hart of Chelsea; 1882, 
Gen. S. G. Griffin of Keene, N. H. ; 1883, Rev. Melville 
Smith of Newburyport ; 1884, Hon. J. R. Thayer of Wor- 
cester; 1885, Rev. Geo. S. Ball of Upton, chaplain of the 
21st Mass. Regiment ; 1886, Rev. P. M. Vinton of Athol ; 
1887, Capt. John F. Ashley of Gardner of the 53d Regi- 
ment ; 1888, Col. Asa L. Kneeland of Worcester, an old 


Athol soldier of the 32d Regiment ; 1889, Rev. I. J 
Lansing of Worcester ; 1890, Rev. F. O. Hall of Fitch- 
burg ; 1891, Wm. H. Bartlett' of Worcester ; 1892, C. S 
Chapin of Fitchburg ; 1893, Prof. A. S. Roe of Worcester; 

1894, J. B. McCabe, Commander-in-chief of the Sons of 
Veterans of the United States; 1895, Col. G. W. Hooker 
of Brattleboro, Vt. ; 1896, Past Department Commander 
Geo. S. Evans of Cambridge. 


This Camp was organized May 26, 1886, with twenty- 
one charter members. The present membership is fifty. 
The first captain was W. D. Mellen, and C. H. Upham 
and Edward Hosmer served during 1887. The Captains 
since that time have been : F. H. Brock. 1888, F. H. 
Sprague, 1889, C. W. Chapin, 1890, '91, E. H. White, 
1892, F. P. Hall, 1893, W. B. Gould, 1894, H. L. Doane, 

1895, P. H. Starrett, 1896, 


Post 3, Matrons of the Republic, was organized as aux- 
iliary to Parker Post, at Athol Centre, May 3, 1878. The 
object of the organization is to assist Parker Post in caring 
for disabled soldiers and their families, and during the 
eighteen years of its existence, has expended upwards of 
three thousand dollars in relief work. Soldiers wives, 
widows J mothers, sisters, daughters and Sons of Veterans' 
wives, only, are eligible to membership in the Post. Those 
who have served as. Commanders, are: Mrs. Mary A. 
Hoyt, 1878, '79 s Mrs. Sarah L. Drury, 1879, '80 ; Mrs. 
Mercie S. Doane, 1881, 82, '83, '84 ; Mrs. Fannie Kil- 


burn, 1885 ; Mrs. Mary F. Wellman, 1885 ; Mrs. Abbie A. 
Hill, 1886, '87, '96 ; Mrs. Kate J. Oliver, 1888, '89 ; Mrs. 
Carrie M. Pond, 1890, '91, '94, '95 ; Mrs. Nettie C. 
Stevens, 1892, '93. 


The Woman's Relief Corps, No. 82, auxiliary to Hub- 
bard V. Smith Post, was organized Feb. 22, 1887, with 
forty-one charter members. The officers were installed by 
Mrs. Mary M. Perry of Springfield. The organization has 
done, and is doing, a grand work in comforting sorrowing 
hearts and relieving the necessities of needy ones, and 
ranks high in the state department for relief work. The 
present membership is one hundred and ninety-seven. 

The Presidents have been : Mrs. Clare H. Burleigh, 
who served three years, Miss Minerva K. Pitts one year, 
Mrs. Mercie S. Doane two years, Mrs. Julia Hamilton 
three years. Mrs. Sarah H. Smith, who now holds the 
office is serving on her second term. Mrs. Smith is a 
daughter of the late Lyman W. Hapgood, and has always 
been prominently identified with the musical and social 
circles of the town. She has for some time been the Sec- 
retary of the Public Library committee. 

Mrs. Clare Hoyt Burleigh, daughter of Dr. Geo. Hoyt, 
was born in Athol. Her early education was obtained in 
the Athol schools, after which she attended the famous 
Seminary of the Misses Stone in Greenfield for a year 
and a half, and was also a pupil for about the same length 
of time of Mrs. Willard's celebrated Seminary in Troy. N. 
Y. Her musical and art education was obtained under 



the instruction of some of the most distinguished teachers 
of Boston and New York ; among them were Madame Ar- 
nault, Keller and Kriessman of Boston, Bassini of New 
York and Madame Nora of the Eoyal Academy. She was 
the only soprano soloist in Christ and St. John's churches 
at Hartford, Conn, for six or seven years. She was mar 
ried in Kansas, April 22, 1869, to H. M. Burleigh, Esq., 
who died in March, 1894. She is a graceful and able 
writer, and in the early days of the Athol Transcript was 
the writer of its editorials, and has contributed poems and 
sketches for various magazines and papers, also for many 
local celebrations and anniversaries. A number of these 
poems have been collected into a volume bearing the title 
ot " A Four-Leaved Clover and Wayside Rhymes." 

Her greatest work, however, has been done for the vet- 
erans of the late war and their dependents. Instrumental 
in the organization of the local Woman's Relief Corps, 
she was its first President, which position she held for 
three years. Her enthusiastic and earnest work caused 
her to be recognized in the State Department, where she 
served as Department Inspector, Junior and Senior Vice 
Presidents, and finally in February, 1894, was elected 
President of the Woman's Relief Corps of Massachusetts. 
A woman of more than average talent, gifted as a public 
speaker, and possessed of great executive ability, she held 
that position with honor to herself and the women of 
Massachusetts. Soon after her retirement from that office 
she was offered the position of Superintendent of the 
National Home of the Woman's Relief Corps, at Madison, 
Ohio, which she accepted, and where she is now engaged. 


"A little fire is quickly trodden out; which, being suffer'd, rivers cannot quench." 

T a town meeting held April 7, 1817, 
a committee consisting of James Oli- 
ver, Geo. Oliver and James Humph- 
rey, chosen to investigate in regard 
to a fire engine made the following 
report: "As to the engine, your 
committee are of the opinion that a 
large majority of the inhabitants of 
the town could not be directly benefitted by it, but as it 
will be a benefit to the whole town to have the buildings 
of any of the inhabitants preserved from fire, we are of the 
opinion the town will be willing to be at one third part of 
the expense, if individuals should see fit to pay the residue 
of the expense of obtaining one all which is submitted." 

The recommendation of the committee was adopted by 
the town. The origin and minutes of Fire Engine No. 2, 
are first recorded under date of May 26, 1817, and at a 


meeting of the inhabitants of the town, a committee is ap- 
pointed to confer with the town's committee to carry in- 
to effect the intentions of the subscribers, viz : to purchase 
a good effective engine. 

George Fitts, Esq., an Athol mechanic, is engaged to 
build an engine upon the conditions, that if it does not 
answer a good and sufficient purpose, and answer the ex- 
pectations of those concerned in it, and be satisfactory as 
to price, the committee shall not be under obligation to re- 
ceive it. As the records further state, that three hundred 
dollars was paid to G. Fitts, Esq. for engine, we conclude 
that it proved satisfactory in all respects. The sum of 
thirty-six dollars was also paid Morton & Sheldon for 
twelve buckets, and of the total amount individuals paid 
two hundred and twenty-four dollars, and the town one 
hundred and twelve dollars. 

The engine men appointed for this engine were as fol- 
lows : Ebenezer Sheldon, Charles Crosby, Josiah M. 
Jones, Alden Spooner, Asa Spooner, William Hoar, Peter 
Wilder, Loring Hascall, Theodore Jones, Paul Morse, 
George Fitts, James Brown, David Orcut, Joel Kendall, 
Jr., Wm. Fowler, Wm. Morse, Nathaniel Wilder. The 
old records of this company refer to suppers had at early 
candle lighting at Z. Field's and at Mr. Preston's. At one 
of these festive occasions, the company from the Lower 
Village, with the Selectmen, Fire Wards and others, were 
invited guests, who, " to the number of about eighty, took 
supper, drank toasts and had a jovial time, all which was 
done in order." Occasionally a vote like the following is 
recorded : " Voted that the company after the roll call 


return to the tavern-, for the purpose of taking something 
to cheer up their spirits, and that the clerk should pay for 
the same out of the fine moneys." 

There was also an engine and a company in the Lower 
Village at the same time, and the records of 1817 read as 
follows: "We, the subscribers, inhabitants of the town 
of Athol, are appointed by the gentlemen selectmen of the 
town to man and exercise said engine : Eliphalet Thorp, 
Adin Holbrook, Ezra Fish, Perley Sibley, Stephen Har- 
wood, William Newhall, David Young, Jr., David Har- 
wood, Reuben Fairbanks, Amos Blodgett, John H. Morse, 
Thomas Barry, Gideon Sibley, Moses Fish, Ira Thorp." 
The meetings of this company were held at the old " fact- 
ory store," for which they seemed to have a singular affec- 
tion, for a term of years, and where undoubtedly their 
warm deliberations were slaked by installments of "moun- 
tain dew." 

In 1840, it was voted to raise sixty dollars to furnish a 
suitable carriage to convey the ladders and hooks belong- 
ing to fire engine No. 2, and also to furnish suitable sleds 
to carry the engines of the town in winter in case of fire, 
and also a reward of two dollars was voted to the person 
who shall be first at the depositories of the engines with 
suitable horses in case of fife. 

In the summer of 1846, the town purchased two hand 
fire engines, one for the Upper, and one for the Lower 
Village. The one for the former was called the Despatch, 
and that for the latter the Tiger. The officers of the 
Tiger were C. W. Bannon, foreman, E. A. Puffier, 1st as- 
sistant, Russell Smith, 2d assistant, Henry Mason, Jr., 


clerk, David Drury, foreman of leading hose, F. G. Lord, 
foreman of suction hose, Eufus Putnam, steward ; the 
company numbered forty-five men. The Despatch had as 
officers : J. R. Pierce, foreman, Erastus Smith, clerk and 
1st assistant, Samuel A. Hill, foreman of leading hose, 
Wilder Stratton, foreman of suction hose, Wayland Peck, 
brakemaster, C. W. Morse, and W. Cram, stew^ards. 
There was great rivalry between these two companies, and 
a grand trial was arranged. The contest was a great 
affair for those days, and was witnessed by a large crowd. 
The Tigers won, making the quickest time, and throwing 
the longest and highest streams. The fire department in 
those days was a great institution, and was called upon to 
do escort duty on many occasions, as well as to extinguish 

In 1868, a steam fire engine was purchased for the 
Lower Village. In the spring of 1871, a committee was 
appointed to obtain an engine for the Upper Village. The 
committee consisted of Lyman W. Hapgood, Nathaniel 
Richardson, A. G. Stratton, Laban Morse, E, T. Lewis, F. 
G. Lord and D. W. Houghton. At a town meeting held 
May 4, 1871, a verbal report was presented by L. W. 
Hapgood, chairman of the committee, the substance of the 
report being that the committee were divided in opinion 
between the Amoskeag engine made at Manchester, N. 
H., and the Jucket made at Fitchburg, as to which should 
be purchased by the town. The members of the commit- 
tee of the Upper Village were in favor of the Jucket, and 
those of the Lower Village favored the Amoskeag; and 
now occurred that memorable controversy between the 


citizens of the two villages that agitated the whole town, 
from the children to the gray-haired old citizens and staid 
matrons. At one of the town meetings it was voted to 
purchase the engine made in Fitchburg, and then the con- 
test waxed hot, several town meetings were called and at- 
tempts made to rescind the vote. The two factions of the 
committee each purchased an engine, one the Amoskeag 
the other the Jucket, and the greatest efforts were made 
by both parties to get their machines to town first. The 
Jucket, or Fitchburg machine, arrived first, was met at the 
depot by a band of music, and amid the most intense ex- 
citement was escorted by the victorious citizens of the 
Upper Village to their engine house. It did service until 
the spring of 1893, when a new engine was purchased. 
The Amoskeag steamer, which arrived soon after the 
other, was after a short time sold to the town of Orange. 

A new era of the fire department commenced in 1 877, 
on the completion of the Athol Water "Works, when the 
town made a contract with the Athol Water Co. for fifty 
hydrants. The apparatus at that time consisted of two 
steamers, two hand engines, four hose carriages, and one 
hook and ladder carriage, and the water supply was ob- 
tained from fifty hydrants and three reservoirs. The board 
of engineers at that time consisted of L. B. Morse, chief 
engineer, and J. M. King, O. A. Fay and H. H. Haskins, 

In 1893, an elegant brick engine house was erected on 
Exchange street, at a cost of fifteen thousand dollars, and 
in 1896, one was built at the Highlands,^on the corner oi 
Main and Pleasant streets, costing about twelve thousand 


dollars. In 1894, an electric fire alarm system was es- 
tablished at a cost of three thousand dollars. 

The engineers of the department for 1896. were Fred 
A. Haskins, chief engineer, and Chas F. Smith and James 
McManamy, district chiefs. 

Fred A. Haskins, Chief Engineer of the Fire Depart- 
ment, was born in Hardwick, in 1855. At the age of five 
years his parents moved to the southwest part of New 
Braintree, where his father carried on a large farm. He 
remained at home on the farm until fifteen years of age, 
when he went into the railroad business, serving in 
various capacities as fireman, brakeman, etc., on the Bos- 
ton & Albany, Ware Eiver, and New London Northern 
railroads. After being engaged in this business for up- 
wards of five years, he learned the carpenter's trade, and 
came to Athol in June, 1876, where he has been engaged 
ever since as a builder and contractor, having had charge 
of the erection of some of the large buildings of the town, 
among which are the shoe shops of C. M. Lee, the Com- 
mercial House, Ellsworth's Opera House, the Green 
Mountain shoe shop, the new Engine House, in the 
Lower Village and many others. In September, 1881, he 
married Miss Kate Finn of Athol. Mr. Haskins has been 
in the fire department five years, four years of which time 
he has been one of the engineers, and for the last three 
years has been the chief engineer of the department. 
He was one of the constables of the town two years. 

James McManamy, one of the district chiefs, was born 
in Athol, Feb. 6, 1860. He attended the public schools 
of the town, and commenced working in the mills when 


only ten years of age. Among the first places in which 
he was employed were the saw mill of J. M. Cheney, W. 
A. Fisher's cotton mill, and Leander Cheney's cotton bat- 
ting mill. For more than fifteen years he has been em- 
ployed in the sash and blind factory of A. F. Tyler. He 
was one of the constables for three years, commencing with 
1892, and was appointed one of the engineers of the fire 
department in 1895, which position he now holds. He 
was one of the organizers of the Highland Association of 
Firemen, and a member of the committee under whose di- 
rection the Highland Engine House has been erected. 

Charles F. Smith, one of the district chiefs for 1896, was 
born in Townsend, Mass., Dec. 5, 1855. He learned the 
cooper's -trade, and has been employed in that business 
most of the time since coming to Athol, in March, 1882, 
He has been coimected with the fire department thirteen 
years, and has been one of the Engineers six years. He 
has also served as constable eight years. He married 
Mary E. Newton, May 23, 1874. 

Harry F. Boutell, son of James and Martha H. Boutell, 
was born in Athol, Sept. 28, 1855. He attended the pub- 
lic schools of the town until thirteen years of age, when he 
entered the store of Thorpe & Thomas as clerk, and re- 
mained in their employ five years. In 1875, he purchased 
the interest of Geo. Ward, in the firm of Ward Brothers, 
and the firm of Ward & Boutell was formed, which did a 
milling and retail hay and grain business at Athol Center. 
He was also associated with Dexter Aldrich in the same 
business for a short time, and for quite a number of years 
carried on the business in his own name until April 1, 






1895, when he sold it to his brother, Geo. W. Boutell, 
and removed to Barre, where he now resides. He mar- 
ried Eliza W. Upton of Burre, Aug. 1, 1877. There is 
probably no person that has been connected with the fire 
department during the last thirty years for so long a time 
as Mr. Boutell. He joined the Despatch Hand Engine 
Co. in 1871, when sixteen years of age, and served con- 
tinuously in some position of the department for twenty- 
four years, during which time he never missed but one fire 
when in town, and he had seen every member who was on 
the rolls when he joined go out of the department. He 
served for several years on the Athol Steamer Co., and 
was appointed foreman of Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1, May 
1st, 1879, which position he held for eight years, when he 
was appointed as one of the board of Engineers, May 1 , 
1887, and served as such until Feb. 1, 1895. He was one 
of the organizers of the Highland Association of Athol 
Firemen, and its president in 1895. He is a charter 
member of TuUy Lodge of Odd Fellows and Banner 
Lodge Daughters of Rebekah, and is a member of various 
other organizations. He was elected one of the constables 
of the town in 1887, and served until March, 1895. 

Among the great fires of Athol, we have space to men- 
tion only three : The burning of Music Hall at the Up- 
per Village, April 8, 1876, when the citizens of that sec- 
tion saw swept out of existence in a few minutes what had 
been the pride of their village, for it was the most elegant 
and perfectly equipped, as well as the largest hall in north- 
western Massachusetts. The loss amounted to nearly 
sixty thousand dollars, and was a severe blow to the busi- 


ness of that village. Another was the destruction of the 
large shoe shop of C M. Lee, when upwards of two hund- 
red and fifty hands were thrown out of employment, and 
the loss was estimated at nearly seventy thousand dollars. 
This occurred Dfec, 26, 1883. 

Athol's greatest conflagration was that of Dec. 21, 1890v 
when Masonic block and Central block, two of the largest 
business blocks of the town, with their contents were de- 
stroyed by fire, causing a loss of one hundred thousand 
dollars worth of property. It was a memorable day, and 
thousands of people lined the streets, while the Athol fire- 
men, and a large delegation of the ablest fire fighters of 
Orange did heroic work, and achieved victory by the most 
magnificent fire fighting ever witnessed in this section. 
The saddest event of the day was the accident to the fire- 
men, n which four of the Athol firemen, and two from 
Orange were seriously injured, and which resulted a few 
days after in the death of Alexander McLeod, from in- 
juries received while in the discharge of his duty as fore- 
man of Star Hose Company. This was the first time in 
the history of Athol that one of her firemen had met with 
death resulting from injuries received while in the dis- 
charge of duty, and a sadness rested upon the entire com- 

Alexander McLeod was native of the Province of 
Quebec. He had been a resident of Athol for more than 
fifteen years, and was employed in the shoe shops. He 
had been for more than thirteen years a member of the 
Fire Department, and was considered one of the most faith- 
ful and able firemen of the department. His ability had 



been recognized by his appointment as one of the en- 
gineers of the Department in 1889. At the time of the 
iire he was foreman of Star Hose Company, The funeral 
was held at the Methodist church and was largely attend- 

ed, every member of the Fire Department in town, with 
the exception of the injured men, being present, while a 
large number of the citizens by their presence attested 
their respect and esteem for the deceased fireman. The 


remains were conveyed to Windsor Mills, Quebec, where 
the burial took place. 

Water Works. In 1876, Robert Wiley and Solon L. 
Wiley, co-partners under the firm name of the Athol 
Aqueduct Company, " agreed, under seal, with the inhabi- 
tants of Athol. to furnish them with pure water for fire 
and domestic purposes, and to provide fifty hydrants at 
fifty dollars each per year, and others needed at the same 
rate. This agreement was signed by Eobert and Solon L. 
Wiley, and the selectmen of Athol, June 7, 1876, and ap- 
proved by the town June 13, 1876. During the summer 
and fall of that year, the street mains were laid and the 
reservoirs constructed. The source of supply selected was 
among the PhUlipston hills, just over the Athol line, 
where the Wellington and Cutting brooks, and numerous 
springs furnished water of purest quality. The main res- 
ervoir was located partly in Phillipston and partly in 
Athol, a short distance east of the buildings of the Athol 
town farm, contains nineteen acres, with a storage capacity 
of nearly sixty million gallons, and is five hundred and 
eight feet above the Pequoig House in the Lower Village. 
The water shed of this reservoir has an area of four hund- 
red and twenty-one acres. Two distributing reservoirs 
were also built, one known as the Summer street reservoir, 
situated north of the Highland cemetery, and the second, 
of about an acre in area, known as Pleasant street reser- 
voir, located north of the farm of C. K. Wood. Water 
was first introduced into town in November, 1876. About 
this time the Athol Water Company was organized, with a 
capital of eighty thousand dollars, its act of incorporation 


being dated April 10, 1877. The officers of the company 
were: Robert Wiley, president; Solon L. Wiley, treas- 
urer ; Joseph B. Cardany, superintendent. In 1886, an 
additional source of supply was made available by the con- 
struction of the Buckman brook line, around the Bears 
Den hills, which brings water from the " Newton" reser- 
voir to Summer street reservoir, a distance of over four 
miles. The "Newton" reservoir has a storage capacity of 
eight million gallons, and a water shed area of five hund- 
red and twenty-two acres. A Water Committee were 
chosen by the town in March, 1876, consisting of the 
board of selectmen, W. H. Amsden, Wm. W. Fish and 
Gilbert Southard, together with Jonathan Drury, James 
M. Lee, A. H. Smith, Edwin Ellis, J. W. Hunt and J. S. 

A controversy between the town and the Athol Water 
Co. regarding the efficiency of the hydrant service, and the 
refusal of the town to pay the rental due for hydrants, re- 
sulted in a law suit in 1888, which was the most extensive 
law case, in which the town was ever engaged, and which 
was decided in favor of the Water Company. 

The management of the Water Works changed hands 
January 1, 1892, gentlemen from Portland, Me., being the 
purchasers. The officers of the new management are : 
Arthur W. Merrill, president ; George F. West, treasurer ; 
Warren G. West, superintendent. There are at the pres- 
ent time seventy-one public hydrants and four private, and 
about twenty-four miles of water pipe laid. The ac- 
companying diagram gives the elevations of the several 
reservoirs and other localities in town, with distance above 
or below Main street at the Pequoig House. 




508 F.-ra L-lN-^ar DVWFLQW- — 

r^ PH1LL1P5T0N 


325 F. 
322 R 


\SUMMEaST. reservoir" 

The return of the Athol 
Water Company filed in the 
Tax Commissioner's office, 
and dated May 1, 1895, 
states that the capital stock 
of the Company is eighty 
thousand dollars, the num- 
ber of shares eight hundred, 
and the par value of each 
share one hundred dollars. 
The certificate of condition 
filed by the Company with 
the Secretary of State dated, 
July 16, 1895, gives the 
value of land, water power and buildings as upwards of 
two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and the total as- 
sets at nearly two hundred and fifty-four thousand dollars. 
In February, 1895, the Company made two proposals to 
the town of Athol, one of which was an offer of sale. A 
committee was appointed by the town, and an investiga- 
tion of the water supply has been made. 

'^^^ ^- ■ — HIG-HLANDS 





ABOVE -nuiififeHftCENTER OF MAIN 5T. " ., 





"The time ahall come when his more solid sense 
With nod important shall the laws dispense ; 
A justice with scrave justices shall sit; 
He praise their wisdom, they admire his wit." 

'HE FIRST lawyer of Athol, whom we 
have any record of, is Solomon Strong. 
He was a native of Amherst, the son 
of Hon. Simeon Strong, Judge of the 
Supreme Court, and was born in 1780. 
Graduated at Williams College in 1798, 
was admitted to the bar in 1803, and soon after com- 
menced the practice of law in Athol. He remained in 
town three or four years, during which time he was prom- 
inent in town affairs, serving as moderator at town meet- 
ings, on various committees, and was one of the first post- 
masters after the establishment of the post office. The 
records show that he was the agent of the town in vari- 
ous cases that came before the courts. He removed to 
Westminster, became distinguished in politics, and reached 
the most elevated position in the legal profession. From 
1812 to 1814, he was a member of the State Senate, and 
again in 1844. Served two terms in Congress, and was 


appointed Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1818, 
which office he reitained until 1843. He removed to 
Leominster after his appointment to the bench, and resid- 
ed there until his death in 1850, at the age of seventy 

Hon. Emory Washburn in an address, referred to him 
as follows : " A few of us remember him before he had 
been elevated to that place, when he honorably filled a 
seat in Congress, and was called thence to a vacancy upon 
the bench. With a good legal mind, and respectable at- 
tainments in his profession, he brought much experience 
in the practical affairs of life, to the business of the court, 
and did much to elevate and sustain its character. He 
won the confidence of all, by his uprightness as a Judge, 
and the diligence and fidelity with which he performed his 

Another lawyer who commenced practice in xlthol early 
in the century, was Joseph Proctor. He was born in Lit- 
tleton, Mass., Feb. 11, 1766, and graduated at Dartmouth 
College in 1791. In 1811, he married Mary Orcutt of 
Templeton. His house stood in the corner of the roads at 
the junction, of what is now Main and School streets, near 
the lot now owned by Mrs. F. C. Parmenter, and his office 
was a small building located on what is now the Music hall 
lot at the Highlands. About 1812, there seemed to be 
more enterprise starting in town, and the town offered to 
give Mr. Proctor that spot of land where his office was 
located, and which was then a ledge of rocks, if he would 
build a residence upon it. Accordingly, he began the 
task of clearing this ledge away, at a great expense, and 


built a substantial, square, brick house, which was re- 
moved to make room for the erection of Music Hall. Mr. 
Proctor was a man of strict integrity, of few words, but 
«ound judgment, and his counsel was considered of great 
worth in his profession, and was sought by the people from 
all the surrounding towns. He was prominent in town 
and political affairs ; was one of the committee chosen by 
the town in 1808, to draw up a petition to the President of 
the United States for the repealing of the laws laying an 
embargo, served as moderator at town meetings, was one 
of the selectmen. Representative to the Legislature in 
1819, and postmaster from 1809 to 1822. He died in 
August, 1822, of paralysis. 

(jLough R. Miles, who succeeded Mr. Proctor as the 
lawyer of the town, was born in Westminster, May 31, 
1796. Graduated at Harvard College in 1817, and was 
admitted to the bar in 1820. He commenced the practice 
of his profession in Athol, where he resided until 1835, 
when he removed to Millbury, Mass. In 1865, he relin- 
quished the practice of law and moved to Graniteville, then 
a part of Needham, now Wellesley Hills, where he died in 
1879. He was one of the postmasters of the Athol office, 
and prominent in town affairs. 

Isaac Stevens, who succeeded Mr. Miles, was born in 
Wareham, Mass., April 12, 1792. He was admitted to 
the Bar in 1821, and commenced the practice of the law 
immediately after that, in Middleborough, which town he 
represented in the Legislature. In 1836, he removed to 
Athol, and continued in the practice of his profession, un- 
til within a few months of his death, which took place 


Sept. 6, 1866. He enjoyed in a large degree the respect 
and esteem of his associates at the Bar, and the community 
at large. He was an honest man, and a safe and judicious 
counsellor. Was honored by his fellow citizens with posi- 
tions of honor and responsibiUty, serving as Representative 
to the Legislature in 1858, was several years on the Board 
of Selectmen and was postmaster from July 13, 1841, to 
Sept. 5, 1842, and again from June 10, 1850, to May 13, 
1854. He was an honored member of the Masonic frater- 
nity. His sense of justice was very acute, and of his life 
as a christian, a citizen and a lawyer, too much cannot be 

Charles Field, is one of the senior members of the 
Worcester County Bar, and one of the vice presidents of 
Bar Association. He was born in Athol, June 9, 1815, 
where he lived until his father moved to Greenfield, in 
1826. He was educated in the public schools and Fellen- 
berg Academy, and fitted for college by Professor Coffin, 
but was obliged to relinquish a collegiate course on ac- 
count of an affection of the eyes, threatening blindness, 
caused by over study. On the removal of his father to 
Troy, N. Y., in 1830, he became an inmate of the fanaily 
of Hon. Daniel Wells, the leader of the Franklin County 
Bar, and afterwards Chief Justice of the Court of Common 
Pleas, in whose office he studied law, and with whom he 
remained until he was twenty-two years of age. After his 
admission to the bar he spent four years in the West and 
Southwest, returning thence to Massachusetts and to his 
native town, where he has since resided and practiced his 
profession. In 1856, he was elected to the House of Eep- 



resentatives, and in the two years following to the State 
Senate, in which he rendered creditable and faithful ser- 
vice. In the fall of 1860, a few months before the Civil 
War, when politics were literally seething, he was chosen 
a Republican Presidential Elector, and with Chief Justice 
Chapman, John G. Whittier and others, few of whom sur- 
vive, cast the electoral vote of Massachusetts for Abraham 
Lincoln and Hanibal Hamlin. Great interest attached to 
this vote in the Electoral College and in the country gen 
erally, for strong and impassioned appeals had been made 
to the electors, in view of the excited state of public feel- 
ing at the time touching the slavery question, to do noth- 
ing that would drive the southern states out of the Union, 
or to arms, which seemed probable if they voted for Lin- 
coln and Hamlin. But the electors were unmoved by 
these appeals, and discharged the plain and patriotic duty 
for which they were chosen. 

In 1862, Mr. Field was appointed an assistant assessor 
of the U. S. Internal Eevenue, and held the office until the 
great majority of taxes under that system were abolished 
by Congress. Since then he has confined himself to the 
duties of his profession. On the establishment of the First 
District Court of Northern "Worcester in 1884, he was ap- 
pointed J ustice of the same, and still holds that office. Ip 
1856, he married Caroline C. Alden, a native of Green- 
wich, and a lineal descendent of John Alden, of Pilgrim 
memory, and has one son, Charles Field, Jr., who gradua- 
ted at Williams College in the class of 1881, and follows 
his father's profession. In religious belief, Judge Field is 
a Unitarian of the conservative type. Prominently identi- 


fied in the organization of the Second Unitarian Society in 
1 877. he has been for many years a member of its execu- 
tive committee, and is now one of its most interested and 
attached members. He was president of the Worcester 
County Conference of Unitarian and other Christian 
churches, comprising thirty-three societies, for two success- 
ive terms, 1885-1887, decUning a reelection. 

Mr. Field is a charter member and President of the Po- 
quaig Club, a social club embracing many of the business 
and professional men of the town, incorporated in 1891, 
which has become a popular and permanent institution. 

George W. Horr. the senior member of the bar of 
Northwestern Worcester, was born in New Salem, June 
22, 1829, and is descended from good old New England 
stock, his great grandfather, Robert Horr, having held an 
official position in the war of the Revolution, his duties be- 
ing to collect forage for the army. His father was Major 
Warren Horr, 'and mother Sally Peirce (Sloan) Horr. 
He attended the, district schools of his native town, and at 
thirteen years of age entered New Salem Academy, and 
when fifteen years old was teaching school, which he con- 
tinued for three successive winters. Few young men of 
his day had the educational opportunities with which he 
was favored, for in addition to the training received at 
New Salem Academy, he was also a student at Quaboag 
Seminary, Warren, and Phillips Academy, Andover, and 
graduated from Williston Seminary, Easthampton, in 
184:8, as the Salutatorian in a class of twenty-eight. He 
entered Harvard College, Aug. 26, 1848, and received his 
certificate of matriculation from President Edward Everett 




Jan. 11, 1849. He was a member of the Lawrence Scien- 
tific School, and the Harvard Law School, from the latter 
of which he received the degree of L. L. B. iq 1860. 
Soon after graduating he entered the law office of George 
T. Davis and Charles Allen of Greenfield, and later was 
student and clerk in the law office of Lincoln, Maynard & 
Chatfield of New York City, the latter being Attorney- 
General of the State. He was admitted to the Massachu- 
setts bar at Greenfield in 1860, and was admitted to prac- 
tice in the United States Courts in 1870. He first opened 
an office in New Salem, but attracted by the enterprise of 
Athol, came to this town in 1863, where he has been in 
continuous and successful practice for more than a third of 
a century. His practice in the department of the Inte- 
rior at Washington is extensive, his thorough knowledge 
of and success in pension claims having gained for him an 
extended reputation. Always interested in the cause of 
education, he was chairman of the School Committee of 
New Salem in 1859 and 1860, and was also chairman of 
the School Committee of Athol in 1874. While a resi- 
dent of New Salem, he also frequently served as mod- 
erator at town meetings, and was chosen for two terms as 
Commissioner of Insolvency of Franklin County. He has 
also served frequently as moderator at some of the most 
important and exciting town meetings of Athol. 

Notwithstanding his extensive professional business, 
Mr. Horr has always been engaged to quite an extent in 
literary work from 1854, when in company with the late 
Charles G. Colby, he organized a literary bureau in 
Brooklyn, N. Y. In 1876, he prepared interesting his- 


torical articles on Athol for the Worcester West Chronicle, 
was author and compiler of the histories of Athol, Peters- 
ham, Royalston, Phillipston and Dana, for Jewett's History 
of Worcester County, published in 1879, and was also a 
contributor to Lewis History of the same County in 1889. 
He was the author of the sketch of his native town of New 
Salem, that appeared in the Centennial Souvenir of the 
Greenfield Gazette and Courier, and the Flora of North- 
ern Worcester published in Picturesque Worcester, and is 
now engaged on an extended history of New Salem 

He is always a welcome speaker on public occasions, 
and his eloquence has stirred the people to hearty applause 
and deep feeling, as he has presented to them the political, 
educational and social questions of the day. Among the 
addresses delivered by him are : Addresses at the dedica- 
tion of the town hall in Erving in 1875, at the dedication 
of the town hall of Warwick in 1895, the Centennial 
Fourth of July address in Athol in 1876, also a Fourth of 
July oration at a large gathering on the Worcester North- 
west Fair Grounds in 1887, the first address delivered be- 
fore the Worcester Northwest Agricultural & Mechanical 
Society, after its incorporation in 1867, the Memorial Day 
address at Hatfield in 1890, one at the annual meeting of 
the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, of which he 
is a life, member, in 1893, on "Academic System of 
Schools in Massachuisetts," was the orator of the Alumni 
Association of New Salem Academy in 1890, elected the 
president of the Association in 1892, and gave an address 
at the Centennial of the Academy in 1895. He was one 














torical articles on Athol for the Worcester West Chronicle, 
was author and compiler of the histories of Athol, Peters- 
ham, Royalston, Phillipston and Dana, for Jewett's History 
of Worcester County, published in 1879, and was also a 
contributor to Lewis History of the same County in 1889. 
He was the author of the sketch of his native town of New 
Salem, that appeared in the Centennial Souvenir of the 
Greenfield Gazette and Courier, and the Flora of North- 
ern Worcester published in Picturesque Worcester, and is 
now engaged on an extended history of New Salem 

He is always a welcome speaker on public occasions, 
and his eloquence has stirred the people to hearty applause 
and deep feeling, as he has presented to them the political, 
educational and social questions of the day. Among the 
addresses delivered by him are : Addresses at the dedica- 
tion of the town hall in Ervlng in 1875, at the dedication 
of the town hall of Warwick in 1895, the Centennial 
Fourth of July address in Athol in 1876, also a Fourth of 
July oration at a large gathering on the Worcester North- 
west Fair Grounds in 1887, the first address delivered be- 
fore the Worcester Northwest Agricultural & Mechanical 
Society, after its incorporation in 1867, the Memorial Day 
address at Hatfield in 1890, one at the annual meeting of 
the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, of which he 
is a life, member, in 1893, on "Academic System of 
Schools in Massachusetts," was the orator of the Alumni 
Association of New Salem Academy in 1890, elected the 
president of the Association in 1892, and gave an address 
at the Centennial of the Academy in 1895. He was one 











of the invited guests at the unveiling of the statue of 
Josiah Bartlett, the first signer of the Declaration of In- 
dependence, at Amesbury, Mass., July 4, 1888, and was 
one of the speakers on that occasion. For more than 
thirty years consecutively, he lectured before public 
schools, academies, lyceums, and other popular assemblies 
upon the subject of astronomy, illustrated by maps, charts 
and diagrams. 

During the great civil war he enlisted in the 33d Regi- 
ment of Massachusetts Volunteers, but after three exami- 
nations was refused enrollment on account of severe in- 
juries received before the war. He was an ardent sup- 
porter of the government through the war, and is a warm 
friend of the old soldiers, who always welcome him to their 
gatherings and listen to him with pleasure. He is an As- 
sociate member of the Hubbard V. Smith Post, G. A. R. 
In politics he has been a consistent democrat, and cast in 
1865, for General Darius N. Couch, the democratic can- 
didate for Governor, the only democratic vote polled in 
town that year. He is a member of the Harvard Law 
School Association and the Worcester County Bar Associa- 

Sidney P. Smith was born in Princeton, 111., July 13, 
1850. His father was from Massachusetts, being a native 
of Hampshire County. He was educated in the common 
and High schools of his native town, and entered Amherst 
College in 1870, and graduated in 1874. After graduat- 
ing, he taught school for two years in the West, and came 
to Athol in 1876, as principal of the Athol High school, 
which position he held until 1880, when he resigned to 


pursue his law studies, which he did at the Union College 
of Law in Chicago, graduating in 1882, and was the same 
year admitted to the bar in Illinois. In the spring of 
1883, he returned to Athol, was admitted to the Massachu- 
setts bar, and commenced the practice of law in July, 
1883. In 1884 he was elected a member of the School 
Committee and served three years. On the establishment 
of the First District Court of Northern Worcester in 1884, 
he was appointed one of the Special Justices, and was 
twice re-appointed after vacating the oiRce while a mem- 
ber of the House of Eepresentatives. 

He represented the First Worcester District in'the Leg- 
islature in 1887 and 1888, and was elected to the Senate 
from the Worcester-Hampshire District, serving in 1891 
and 1892. He was a member of the Judiciary committee 
in both the House and Senate, and served on other im- 
portant committees. Mr. Smith is a member of the Con- 
gregational church, and was for three years the Superin- 
tendent of its Sunday school. As moderator of town 
meetings for several years, he has gained a reputation as 
an able presiding officer. Prominently identified with all 
of the Masonic organizations in town, he was master of 
Athol lodge for two terms, and has been Worthy Patron 
of the Eastern Star. He married Miss Stella M. Parmen- 
ter, daughter of F. C. Parmenter, Dec. 26, 1879. They 
have three daughters. 

Henry M. Burleigh was born in Hartford, Conn., 
March 2, 1835. He was fitted by private tutors for the 
profession of law, and admitted to the bar of Suffolk 
County, in July, 1858. He settled in New York City, 


where lie practiced law until AprU 1861, when he enlisted 
in the First Regiment New York Volunteers under Col. 
Allen. He held various offices in his company and regi- 
ment, served as provost marshal of Camp Hamilton at 
Fortress Monroe, and in the spring of 1862, was com- 
missioned by Abraham Lincoln as assistant adjutant gen- 
eral, and assigned for duty on the staff of Brigadier Gen- 
eral Max Weber, with whose command he" went to New- 
port News, May 8, 1862. The following September, with 
General Max Weber and four regiments of infantry, he 
joined the army of McClellan, and participated in the bat- 
tle of Antietam, in which he was badly wounded by a shot 
through the right shoulder. After recovering from his 
wound he was assigned to duty in Washington, later at 
Harper's Ferry, and was then assigned to Custers' division 
of Sheridan's Cavalry Corps at Winchester, and served in 
the Shenandoah VaUey campaign untU the surrender of 
Lee at Appomattox, April 9, 1865. After the war he re- 
turned to New York, and soon after located in Levan- 
wOrth, Kansas, where he practiced his profession seven 
years, holding the office of United States Commissioner for 
five years, and also served two terms as prosecuting attor- 
ney of Allen County. While in Kansas he married Clare 
Hoyt, daughter of Dr. George Hoyt of Athol, AprU 22, 
1869. In 1872, he came to Athol, where he engaged in 
the practice of his profession. He was appointed by Gov- 
ernor Eussell as one of the special justices of the First 
District Court of Northern Worcester. He was prominent 
in Grand Army cii'cles, was one of the early Commanders 
of Parker Post, and in ^1893, was appointed Judge Advo- 


eate of the Department of Massachusetts. He was a mem- 
ber of St. John's Episcopal church, and Superintendent of 
its Sunday School for three years. He died March 2, 

Edgar V. Wilson was born in Winchendon, Mass., July 
1, 1847. His early childhood was passed in Winchendon, 
Gardner and Baldwinville, and when about five years of 
age, his parents removed to New Hampshire, where his 
early education was obtained in the schools of Stoddard 
and Sullivan. From the latter place he entered Cornell 
University, from which he was graduated in 1872. After 
teaching school several terms he read law with Wheeler 
& Falkner in Keene, N. H., and was admitted to practice 
in the New Hampshire courts in 1875, with a year's less 
study than is usually necessary. In 1876, he was admit- 
ted to the Massachusetts bar at Greenfield, and after a few 
months practice in Orange, came to Athol in May, 1876, 
where he has continued to practice his profession to the 
present time. He was appointed Trial Justice by Gov- 
ernor Long which position he held until 1883. For 
several years be was prominent in political aff'airs, and was 
an active member of the republican town committee dur- 
ing some of the most exciting campaigns ever held in 
town;. He has been prominently identifi<;d with the edu- 
cational interests of the town, and for several years de- 
voted much of his time to school work, serving as a mem- 
ber of the school committee seven years. He has been 
auditor for the town several years, and was a member of 
the Sewer Commissioners during the construction of the 
sewer system. He married Miss Emma M. Pollard of 
Woodstock, Vt., July 23, 1879. ■ 


■LSGAt tRlOFESSIOlil.. 191 

CsA'RLES Field, Jr., son of Judge Charles Field, was 
born in Cambridge, Mass. His early education was ob- 
tained in the schools of Athol. He was fitted for college 
at Phillips Academy, Andover, and with private tutors, and 
graduated from Williams College in 1881. He studied 
law in his father's office for two years, was two years in 
the Boston Law School, and was admitted to the Massa- 
chusetts bar in June, 1886. 

Joseph A. Titus, son of Vernon and Mary (Moore) 
Titus, was born in Leicester, Mass., January 21, 1838, 
His ancestors on his father's side settled at RehobotK 
Mass., about 1640, and his mother was a descendant of 
one of the first settlers of the city x>{ Worcester. He at- 
tended the public schools of his native town and Leicester 
Academy, from which he graduated in 1859, and entered 
Amherst College, At the close of bis junior year he en- 
listed in the 42d Regiment Mass. Volunteers, and was 1st 
Sergeant of his company. After the term of service of his 
regiment expired, he taught school in North Brookfield^ 
and had charge of the High School of Leicester for two 
years, with the exception of five months, which he spent in 
the army as 1st Lieut, of Co. F, 60th Regiment Mass* 
^^oluntee^s. He commenced his legal studies in the office 
of Judge Henry Chapin and Apple ton Dadmun in Wor- 
cester, and in the year 1868, was admitted to the bar, and 
opened an office in Worcester, where he remained till the 
summer of 1891. Ill health obliged him to give up active 
practice in the city, and he went to Orange, Mass., where 
he took up the practice of his profession, and from which 
place he came to Athol in 1894. After his return from 


the army to private life, he remained in the military ser- 
vice of the state of Massachusetts for nearly twelve years, 
commanding the Worcester City Guards for four years, 
and serving the remainder of the period as chief of staff, 
under the command of Brigadier General Kobert H. 
Chamberlain, of the 3d Brigade Mass. Volunteer Militia. 
In 1868, he was appointed Associate Justice of the Muni- 
cipal Court of Worcester by Governor Bullock, which of- 
fice he retained until that court was abolished in 1872. 
In 1872 he was elected a member of the Legislature from 
the city of Worcester for the year 1873. He also served 
two years as a member of the Common Council of the 
city of Worcester. He is a charter member of Geo. H. 
Ward Post, No. 10, G. A. R., and was for nearly three 
years its commander. He has spoken in nearly every 
town in Worcester County on the varied topics connected 
with politics, agriculture. Memorial Day services and other 
matters. In 1868, he was married to Bertha G. Manning 
of Worcester, who died October 29, 1894. He has three 
children, George A. Titus and Albert G. Titus, now of 
Boston, and a daughter. Bertha M. Titus, now residing in 

Sketches of Farwell F. Fay and Geo. H. Hoyt, promi- 
nent as Athol lawyers, will be found in other chapters of 
the history. Other members of the green bag fraternity, 
whose names appear as practicing in Athol are : Frederic 
H. Allen, a graduate of the University of Vermont, Wm. 
Bliss, graduate of Harvard College in 1818, Ephraim 
Hinds, graduate of Harvard in 1805, Wm. H. Jewell, 
who was admitted to the bar in 1883, Henry Hogan, ad- 


mitted to the bar in 1888, Simeon Saunderson, admitted 
in 1820, J. C. B. Ward, and Geo. H. Graves, who was 
a graduate of the Albany Law School. 

Trial Justices. In the early part of this century law 
cases both civil and criminal were tried before a Justice of 
the Peace. For many years Eliphalet Thorpe was the 
magistrate of Athol before whom cases were tried. In 
1858, an act was passed by the Legislature as follows; 
"The justices of peace, designated and commissioned un- 
der chapter one hundred and thirty-eight, of the Statutes 
of 1858, shall continue to hold their offices and powers, 
according to the tenor of their several commissions; and 
the governor with the advice and consent of the council, 
shall from time to time designate and commission in the 
several counties a suitable number of justices of the peace 
as trial justices." 

Under this act, the following Trial Justices, residing in 
Athol, have been appointed for the County of Worcester, 
the term of appointment being three years : Isaac Stev- 
ens, May 7, 1858, and held the office until his death, Sept. 
6, 1866. Franklin E. Haskell, Dec. 4, 1866, was re- 
appointed twice. Thomas D. Brooks, June 25, 1873. 
Samuel M. Osgood, Jan. 4, 1876, resigned Dec. 31, 1878. 
Enoch T. Lewis, Nov. 30, 1878. Edgar V. Wilson, May 
12, 1880. Lilley B. Caswell, June 13, 1883. Before the 
the terms for which Enoch T. Lewis and Lilley B. Cas- 
well were appointed had terminated, the First District 
Court of Northern Worcester was established, and the 
powers of all Trial Justices within the towns included in 
the district ceased. 


District Court. The act establisMng the First Dis- 
trict Court for Northern Worcester, was approved in 
May, 1884, and took full effect July 1st, of that year. 
The towns included in the district were Athol, Petersham, 
Phillipston, Royalston, Templeton, Gardner and Hubbard- 
ston. The court is held in the towns of Athol and 
Gardner. Charles Field was appointed Justice, James 
Stiles and Sidney P* Smith, Special Justices, and Julian 
Dunn, Clerk. In December, 1889, Charles B. Boyce 
was appointed clerk, which position he now holds, and 
Henry M. Burleigh was serving as Special Justice at the 
time of his death, in 1894. The officers now holding the 
positions are the same as first appointed, with the excep- 
tion of Clerk. 

Deputy Sheriffs. Of the residents of Athol who have 
held the office of Deputy Sheriff, we find the names of 
William Bigelow and Joseph Pierce, as holding the office 
previous to 1807. Since that time the ofiice has been 
held by the following: James Oliver, 1807-28; Flavel 
Humphrey and Abijah Hill, 1828-38 ; John H. Partridge, 
1838-59; Gardiner Lord, 1859-90; Albert W. Tyler, 
1890-94, and Eoswell L. Doane, the present incumbent 
who was appointed in January, 1894. 



"Nothing is more estimable than a physician who, having studied nature from 
his youth, knows the properties of the human body, the diseases which assail it, 
the remedies which will benefit it, exercises his art with caution, and pays eqilal 
attention to the rich and the poor." 

jHE first physician of Athol was Dr. 
Joseph Lord, one of the first five set- 
tlers of the town, who had practiced 
his profession in Sunderland, Mass. 
Among the early doctors of the town 
were Dr. Daniel EUinwood, Dr. Koyal 
Humphrey, a son of Rev. James 
Humphrey, and Dr. Joshua Morton, 
who was born in Athol Oct. 20, 1744, and was a life long 
and successful physician. He died Feb. 13, 1827. His 
home was on the place now occupied by J. W. Sawyer. 
He was much interested in town affairs, and was town 
treasurer from 1788 to 1793. Among the doctors of the 
early part of the present century were: Dr. Ebenezer 
Chaplin, who is described as a tall portly man. He lived 
on the east side of the common at the Highlands, and was 
prominent in political and town affairs, representing the 
town two years in the Legislature, and was also one of the 


selectmen. Dr. Jacob Holmes was an old school gentle- 
man, who lived in the house now occupied by Gilbert 
Southard. He was succeeded by Dr. George Hoyt, and 
removed to Leicester, where he practiced from 1834 to 

Dr. William H. Williams was born in Deerfield, June 
28, 1792. Among his ancestors were the first minister of 
Deerfield, and the founder of Williams College. His 
father was a physician of Deerfield, and the son studied 
medicine there. His first wife was Marietta Stebbins, 
daughter of Col. Asa Stebbins of Deerfield, a descendant 
of one of the early settlers of the town, by whom he had 
three children. Mr. Williams came to Athol about 1816, 
and in 1822 married Frances Humphrey, a granddaughter 
of the first minister of the town. They had two children, 
John H. Williams and Mary Hoyt Williams, who married 
Eev. Crawford Nightingale. Dr. Williams, in addition to 
his profession, was largely interested in public and town 
affairs, having served as postmaster of the town from 1837 
to 1847, with the exception of a little more than a year, 
was town clerk from 1829 to 1833, served on the school 
committee, was a Justice of the Peace, and a surgeon in 
the militia. After withdrawing from active practice, he 
kept the only drug store in town. He died June 22, 
1855, and Mrs. Williams, who lived to the age of ninety 
years and three months, died in 1887. 

Dr. George Hoyt was born in Deerfield, Mass., April 
17, 1801, a son of Ebenezer Hoyt, and a descendant of 
Lieut. Jonathan Hoyt, who was taken captive by the In- 
dians and carried to Canada. One of his ancestors owned 



StU'^- lX,T£^i^ 




and occupied the " Old Indian House " in Deerfield. He 
attended the Deerfield Academy, and graduated at the 
Pittsfield Medical School, and then practiced in the hos- 
pitals of Boston, especially in surgery. He commenced 
practice in Hubbardston, Mass., where he remained two 
years, and where he married Miss Avaline Witt, the eld- 
est daughter of Clark Witt, Esq, Removed to Athol in 
1^32, and succeeded Dr. Jacob Holmes, who lived where 
Gilbert Southard now resides. He had a large medical 
practice, and was one of the first to introduce the use of 
water medically in baths, etc., establishing a Water Cure, 
which became quite extensively known. He was an active 
abolitionist and reformer, and espoused the cause of the 
slave when it was unpopular and even dangerous to do so. 
At one time, while speaking against slavery in an evening 
meeting, the minister pronounced the benediction. 

His action in a habeus corpus case, where he caused a 
young slave who had been brought to Athol by his mis- 
tress, to be liberated, caused great excitement at the time, 
and was the first case of the kind in Massachusetts. The 
young negro, who was nine or ten years of age, lived in 
the families of Dr. Hoyt and Eev. Richard Chipman for 
several years, and attended the Athol schools. For his 
position in this affair he was almost mobbed, and was 
threatened so that he did not dare to ride about the town 
with his gig without carrying stones in it as weapons for 
his protection. In 1851, he removed to Boston, where he 
resided for five years, and then returned to Athol and pur- 
chased what was known as the Morton place, now the res- 
idence of Dr. James Oliver, which was henceforth his 


home, until his death. June 24, 1866. He was deeply in- 
terested in the business and social life of Athol, and buUt 
the first mill where the Hapgood & Smith match factory 
now stands. He was also for several years a member of 
the school committee, in which position he did excellent 
service. He was a great student during his whole life, 
and was especially interested in the science of Geology, ac- 
companying Prof. Hitchcock about the state in his geolog- 
ical investigations. He had two children, George H. and 
Clare, who married H. M. Burleigh, Esq. 

Dr. Geo. D. Colony was born in Keene, N. H., May 6, 
1821, and graduated at Dartmouth College in 1843. Af- 
ter graduating, he studied medicine vpith Dr. Amos 
Twitchell at Keene, attended the Woodstock Medical 
School, and graduated from the Medical College of the 
University of Pennsylvania in 1846. He came to Athol, 
August 6, 1846. One of his first professional calls after 
coming to town, was to the terrible accident, when a rail- 
road bridge on the Vermont & Massachusetts Railroad 
went down and several were killed. His cotemporaries in 
Athol during most of his practice here were. Dr. George 
Hoyt and Dr. Wm. H. Williams. He was for a number 
of years a popular member of the school committee. He 
was married May 23, 1849, to Harriet N. Stevens, daugh- 
ter of Isaac Stevens. He removed to Fitchburg, May 1, 
1861, where he has continued in the practice of his pro- 
fession to the present time. 

When Dr. Hoyt removed to Boston, in 1851, he sold 
his practice and Water Cure establishment to Dr. J. H, 
Hero. Dr. Hero is said to have been a man of unusual 



natural ability, endowed by nature with a commanding 
physique and a pleasing manner. He ran the Water Cure 
for several years with varying success, and sold out to Dr. 
George Field, who, after a few years gave up the busi- 
ness. For a number of years previous to 1856, Dr. Aus- 
tin was a well known physician of the town. He died 
from the results of an accident on the Phillipston road, and 
was succeeded by Dr. James P. Lynde. 

Dr. James P. Lynde. Of the members of the medical 
profession in Athol, the one best known to the present 
generation was Dr. James P. Lynde, who was for more 
than a third of a century a prominent factor in the pro- 
fessional, social and educational life of the town. Dr. 
Lynde was born in Gardner, March 19, 1H28, and was 
the oldest son of Wm. S. and Christiana Comee Lynde. 
His early education was obtained in the common and pri- 
vate schools of that town, and at Lawrence Academy in 
Groton. He studied medicine with Dr. Harriman of 
Gardner, and the late Dr. Ira Eussell of Winchendon, at- 
tended medical lectures at the Dartmouth Medical School, 
and at the Medical department of Harvard University, 
where he graduated March 3, 1852. The same year he 
commenced the practice of medicine in Hardwick, Mass., 
where he remained until 1856. WhUe in Hardwick he 
represented that town in the Legislature of 1855. He re- 
moved to Athol in 1856 ; for a period of thirty-four years 
continued in the active practice of his profession, until his 
death, Jan. 28, 1890. He was an earnest investigator in 
his profession, and associated himself with various medical 
societies, being a member of the Massachusetts Medical 


Society, and also was one of the seventeen original sub- 
scribers to the constitution and by-laws of the Worcester 
North District Medical Society, of which he was at one 
time president; he was also one of the founders of the 
Millers River Medical Society. Though devoted to his 
profession, he was a public spirited citizen, and took an 
active interest in all measures for the advancement of his 
town and the community. Educational interests always 
found in him an active worker, and for several years he 
held the position of school committee and superintendent 
of schools, and was often called upon to serve the town as 
moderator of town meetings, and in other capacities. In- 
terested in Agriculture, he was one of the organizers of the 
Worcester Northwest Agricultural Society, was its first 
President, and its delegate on the State Board of Agricul- 
ture from 1880, until his death ; he was also a member of 
the Board of Control of the Amherst Experimental station, 
and for some time its treasurer. As a public speaker he 
was listened to with interest, and delivered well prepared 
papers before the State Board of Agriculture, farmers in- 
stitutes and medical societies, his annual address before the 
Massachusetts Medical Society in 1887, on " Pure milk as 
a diet for infants," being received with more than usual 
enthusiasm, while his address on " Sanitary Conditions of 
the Home and Farm," was most favorably received at va- 
rious farmers' institutes. 

In whatever position he was placed, he brought to the 
discharge of his duties, life and enthusiasm, and impressed 
upon his associates, a great degree of the same spirit that 
animated himself. On the organization of the present sys- 


tem of Medical Examiners, he was appointed the Medical 
Examiner of this district, which position he held until his 

In 1857, Dr. Lynde married Miss Candace Brooks, a 
daughter of John Brooks, a prominent and wealthy citi- 
zen, and proprietor of the up town hotel, known as 
" Brooks tavern." They had two children, Helen and 
James P., both of whom survive, the latter being engaged 
in the drug business at Palmer. A memorial of him, pre- 
pared by his associates of the Worcester North District 
Medical Association, has the following to say of him : 
" His social qualities, his general intelligence and cultiva- 
tion, added to his professional accomplishments, made him 
among his patients, as among his friends generally, a most 
entertaining and agreeable companion, and won for him in 
the community in which he lived, many warm and devo- 
ted admirers. His surviving professional friends and as- 
sociates, who mourn his loss and cherish his memory, will 
not soon forget his cheerful presence, his sympathetic na- 
ture, his unfailing humor, his entertaining anecdote, and 
the overflow of good spirits, which added so much to the 
pleasure of all brought into his association." 

Other physicians who practiced in Athol at different 
periods between 1860 and 1880, are: Dr. Kendall Davis, 
Dr. J. B. Gould, Dr. James Coolidge, who was eminently 
successful in his profession, and who died in the prime of 
manhood from a disease produced by nervous prostration 
and excessive professional labor. Dr. O. M. Drury, Dr. 
M. F. Cragin, Dr. Alfred G. WLlliams,who served in the 
army in the rebellion, as assistant surgeon. Dr. Vernon O. 


Taylor, Dr. Jackson, Dr. Kemp, Dr. King, Dr. Chamber- 
lain, Dr. Donnell, Dr. Simmonds, Dr. D. A. Chase, Dr. D. 
D. Davis, Dr. F. Broons, and Dr. H. A. Deane, who was 
a well known physician in town from 1860 to 1879, when 
he removed to South Hadley, and later to Easthampton, 
where he is now located. 

Dr. Samuel H. Colburn was a graduate of the Hahne- 
mann Homoeopathic Institution of Philadelphia in 1870, 
and came to Athol from Springfield, Vt., in October, 1875, 
opening an office in the bank building. He secured an 
extensive and successful practice, which he continued until 
May, 1883, when he removed to Worcester. He returned 
to Athol with impaired health in the autumn of 1888, and 
died Aug. 22, 1890, aged sixty-four years. Previous to 
entering the medical profession he was a Methodist minis- 
ter in the Vermont Conference for sixteen years. His 
widow, one daughter and one son still live in town. 

Among those who have practiced in town since 1880, 
not residing here now, are Dr. A. W. Parsons and his 
brother, Dr. C. W. Parsons, Dr. H. R. Dunne, now of 
Westerly, R. I., Dr. Geo. L. Perry, removed to Petersham, 
Dr. H. O. Dunbar, who came to Athol in 1873, and was a 
prominent physician until his death, Dec. 27, 1894. Dr. 
Sumner T. Smith, a graduate from the College of Medi- 
cine of the University of Michigan, and who had a large 
practice in Alstead, N. H., for more than twenty years, 
practiced in Athol for a few years previous to his death, 
which took place March 26, 1892. 

Of the resident physicians at the present time. Dr. 
James Oliver is the senior in practice. A sketch of him 
will be found in another chapter of this work. 


Dr. Marshall L. Lindsey, son of Dr. Daniel Lindsey, 
was born in Swanzey, N. H., Dec. 9, 1831. His parents 
removed to New Salem in 1832, and from there to Peters- 
ham in 1834, where he attended the public schools, and 
also was a student at New Salem Academy for several 
terms. In 1849, he removed with his parents to North 
Dana, where he commenced studying medicine with his 
father. In August, 1855, he went to the Berkshire Med- 
ical College, and in December of the same year entered 
Harvard Medical School, and after leaving there, practiced 
with his father until 1862, when he again attended lec- 
tures at Harvard, graduating in March, 1863. He then 
returned to North Dana, and practiced there until 1882, 
when he removed to Athol, where he has siace practiced 
his profession. He married Luella M. Sly of Webster, 
Mass., May 14, 1878. 

Dr. Charles H. Forbes was born in Millville, N. J., 
Jan. 25, 1860; when about five years of age his parents 
moved to Monson, Mass., where he lived about ten years 
and attended the public schools of that town. The re- 
mainder of his early life was spent in Brookfield and West 
Brookfield, and he graduated from the High school of the 
last named town. He pursued his medical studies at the 
New York Homoeopathic College and Hospital, from which 
he graduated in 1883, and immediately commenced to 
practice his profession at Athol in the spring of 1883, 
where he stUl continues in practice. He was married to 
Miss Eva L. Bush, daughter of H. W. Bush, Esq., of 
West Brookfield, Nov. 14, 1883. Mr. Forbes is a mem- 
ber of the Worcester County, and Western Massachusetts 


Homoeopathic Societies, and is also a prominent member 
of the Masonic and Odd Fellow organizations, and a mem- 
ber of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and 
Ehode Island Knights Templars. 

Dr. Hiram H. Burns was born at Kingston, Mass., in 
1856. His early education was received in the public 
schools of his native town, and he graduated from the 
Kingston High school in the class of 1876. Entering 
Tufts College in the class of 1880, he graduated as vale- 
dictorian of his class, having attained the highest average 
during his four years course, of any student in that Insti- 
tution for years. After leaving College, he was a teacher 
for four years, being Assistant in Natural Sciences at the 
Marlboro, Mass. High School, Principal of the Hollis, N. 
H. High School, and teacher of Natural Sciences at Dean 
Academy, Franklin, Mass. Mr. Burns then turned his at- 
tention to the study of medicine, studying wtth Dr. J. B. 
Brewster of Plymouth, Mass., and also taking the course 
at the Harvard Medical School, from which he graduated 
in 1887 ; practiced for a short time at Kingston, his native 
town, and removed to Athol, in February, 1888, where he 
has since practiced, moving to the Upper Village in Feb- 
ruary, 1890. He was married in March, 1888, to Sarah 
B. Faunce, of Kingston, Mass., a graduate of WeUesley 
College, and former Principal of Kingston High School. 
Dr. Burns is a member of the following medical societies ; 
American Medical Association, Massachusetts Medical So- 
ciety, Harvard Medical Alumni Association, and Millers 
River Medical Society. Also of the Tufts College 






Dr. Alphonzo V. Bowker was born in Savoy, Mass., 
Jan. 17, 1857. His parents moved to Bernardston, Mass. 
in 1865, which was his home until he commenced the 
practice of his profession. His education was obtained at 
Powers' Institute, and he graduated from the medical de- 
partment of the University of Vermont, in June, 1879. 
He then practiced for two years in Millers Falls, after 
which he took a post graduate course in the hospital of 
Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He returned 
to Millers Falls, where he practiced his profession until he 
came to Athol, in 1890. While in Millers Falls he was a 
member of the school committee of Montague for several 
years, and also served on the Board of Health of that 
town. He married E. Louise Amidon of Millers Falls, in 
November, 1884. 

Dr. H. E.. Thayer, born in Pittsford, Vt., November 5, 
1819. Graduated from the Hahnemann Homoeopathic 
School, Philadelphia, in March, 1855. Was in the South 
from 1855 to 1860, and had a large practice in the city of 
Augusta, Georgia, from; which place he was driven out 
with his family just before the war, because he was a 
northern man. He practiced in Athol from 1871 to 1876, 
when he removed to Boston, and returned to Athol in 
February, 1892, where he has since practiced. 

Dr. W. L. Edgar, a graduate of the Hahnemann Medi- 
cal College of Philadelphia, in 1894, and commenced prac- 
tice in Athol, in June of that year. 

Dr. Lilley Eaton", graduated at the Dartmouth Medical 
College in 1892, served in the Boston City Hospital, as as- 
sistant superintendent and physician at the Hospital Cot- 


tages for children at Baldwinville, and commenced practice 
in Athol, in January, 1895, 

Dr. Harbib M. Gardner, a graduate of the Medical 
School of the University of Vermont, at Burlington, in 
1895, commenced to practice in Athol, in July of that 

Dr. Windsor A. Brown, is a native of Aurora, 111., 
where he was born Nov. 15, 1868. He graduated from, 
the Medical Department of the University of Vermont in 
1889, practiced in Oakham and North Brookfield, and 
came to Athol, in October, 1895. 

Dr. Garrett Larkeque commenced practice in Athol 
in 1894. 

W. F. Whitman has been employed as a Medical Clari- 
voyant upwards of forty years. He was born in Palmer, 
Mass., Dec. 10, 1825, and came to Athol in 1857. O. S. 
Wheeler has also had quite an extensive practice in the 
same profession for more than fifteen years in Athol. 

Dentists. The first dentist in town was Dr. John H. 
Williams, a son of Dr. Wm. H. Williams, who was born 
Aug. 24, 1824. He studied dentistry with Dr. Ball of 
Boston, and was engaged in the business for twenty-five 
years. He also combined the drug business with his dent- 
istry, and was engaged in that for about thirty years, be- 
ing for a long time the only druggist in town. He was 
one of the most genial and companionable of men, and had 
a strong vein of humor hidden under a surface appearing 
to be the opposite. He was for nearly four years post- 
master of the Centre ofiice. He married Harriett M. 
Ball, Oct. 14, 1850. His death took place Aug. 22, 1875. 


"Dt. H. M. Humphrey studied dentistry in Boston for 
two years, and then took a course in the Philadelphia 
Dental College, from which he graduated and received his 
degree of D. D. S., and practiced ten years. 

Dr. H. C. Smith, the senior member of the dental pro- 
fession, was born in Cooperstown, N. Y., where his father 
was a manufacturer, in 1837. He attended the schools of 
that town and Hartwick Seminary. He pursued his 
•studies at the Baltimore Dental College, and studied den- 
tistry with Dr. Robinson, of Watertown, N. Y. In Dec- 
ember, 1861, he commenced to practice dentistry in Athol, 
and has been engaged in his profession continuously, to 
the present time. His first office was in the old Foster 
house, now owned by A. J. Hamilton, and for many years 
in the old Bank building, until he moved into his present 
office in Webb's block. He was married in 1861, to 
Sarah F. Steere, daughter of Rev. M. J. Steere, of Provi- 
dence, R. I. 

Dr. E. Ward Cooke studied dentistry with Dr. H. C. 
Smith, and finished his dental studies at the Dental Col- 
lege in Philadelphia. He commenced practice for himself 
in AthoL in 1875, and remained here eight years, going 
to Cambridge in August, 1883, and has continued in prac- 
tice there to the present time. He married Etta J. Lewis, 
June 16, 1875. 

Dr. J. J. Coxeter commenced to study dentistry with 
Dr. L. F. Tolman in 1876, and afterwards was in partner- 
ship with him for three years, when he opened an office 
for himself, and practiced here until 1888, when he re- 
moved to Newton. 

208 ATHOL, 

Dr. C. E. Smith first studied his profession in the office 
of Dr. L. F. Locke, of Nashua, N. H., his native city. He 
graduated from the Dental Department of the University 
at Pennsylvania, in 1888, with the degree of D. D. S. He 
came to Athol in 1888, purchasing the business of Dr. J. 
J. Coxeter. He now has an office in the Bank building, 
and has a good practice. 

Dr. L. F. Tolman was born in Fitchburg in 1843. 
When the rebellion broke out, in 1861, he enlisted in the 
sixth New Hampshire Infantry, and served until the close 
of the war. After the war he studied dentistry with Dr. 
Stebbins, of Shelburne Falls, for three years, and con- 
tinued in his office until 1875, when he removed to Athol, 
having purchased the dental business of Dr. James Hem- 
enway. He continued in the practice of his profession un- 
til partial blindness compelled him to give up business, 
when he was succeeded by his son, Leon C. Tolman, in 

Dr. James Hemenway practiced dentistry in town for 
many years, and others of recent years have been Dr. A. 
O Stoddard and Dr. V. W. Leach, who had offices at the 



" If, however, a man says that he does not care to know where his grandfather 
lived, what he did, and what were that grandfather's politics and religious creed, 
it can merely mean that he is incapable of taking interest in one of the most in- 
teresting forms of human knowledge— the knowledge of the details of the Past." 

N this chapter we give sketches of some of the 
old Athol families, whose history is inter- 
twined with that of the town through many 
decades. Although much attention has been 
paid to the ancestry of many families, yet we 
have not attempted a complete genealogy of 
all branches of the various families of whom 
sketches are given. Sketches of the heads 
of families, and some of the most important members, 
who have been residents of this town, or who have gone 
out into other communities and become distinguished in 
various walks of life vdll be given. Among the families 
selected are the Lords, Mortons, Olivers, Humphreys, 
Kendalls, Morses, Sweetsers, Estabrooks, Havens, God- 
dards and others. 

x\ \ 



Of the first five settlers of old Pequoig, the one whose 
family has been most prominently identified with the town 
through all the generations to the present time, was 
Joseph Lord. 

The first ancestor of the Lords in New England was 
Robert Lord of Ipswich, whose name appears on the rec- 
ords of that town as a freeman in 1636, and a representa- 
tive in 1638. He was town clerk, clerk of the courts and 
register of deeds. He married Mary Waite, and had 
eight children. He died in 1638. Of his children, 
Thomas, born in 1633 at Ipswich, married Alice Rand ; 
they had eight children. Of these, Joseph Lord, was born / 
in Charlestown, Mass., June 30, 1672, and graduated at 
Harvard College in 1691. From 1692 to 1695, probably, 
he taught the school in Dorchester, He married Abigail, 
daughter of Governor Thomas Hinckley, (by his first 
wife ) on the third of June, 1698. In the fall of 1695, a 
church was gathered in Dorchester with the design of re- 
moving to South Carolina, and Joseph Lord was ordained 
as pastor. He accompanied the church to that state and 
remained as its pastor over twenty years, when he re- 
turned to Massachusetts, and in 1720 was installed pastor 
of the church in Chatham, where he continued to preach 
until his death in 1748. His diary containing many in- 
teresting notes and observations relative to the church and 
people on the Cape, is said to be in existence. He had 
eight children, of whom Joseph and Abigail were born 
Sept. 27, 1704. 

Joseph Lord, who was one of the first five settlers of 


Athol, was graduated at Harvard College in 1726, and i/' 
practiced medicine for a time in Sunderland, Mass., being 
the first physician of that town. In September, 1735, 
with four others, he came to Pequoig, and commenced the 
first settlement of this town ; his dwelHng was located on 
the " Street," on the place known for a long time as the 
Humphrey place. He appears to have been the principal 
man among the company of settlers, both in education and 
infiuence, and was the first clerk of the Proprietors, which 
office he continued to hold up to Oct. 18, 1758. He was ^ 
during all these years the leading spirit in ancient Pe- 
quoig, being the first doctor, the first preacher, the first 
magistrate, the first treasurer, the first tax gatherer, the 
first surveyor, in fact, as an old manuscript has it, he was 
"■ Boss and all hands." At- length a misunderstanding 
arose between Mr. Lord and the proprietors, the particular 
cause for which it is impossible for us to satisfactorily de- 
termine. For some reason he refused to give up the rec- 
ords, and an action was commenced against him for the 
recovery of the books, records, plans etc. The court rend- 
ered judgment against Mr. Lord in November, 1759, for 
one thousand pounds. The result was that Mr. Lord left 
Pequoig and went to Putney, Vt., then New Hampshire, 
where he lived for thirty years, holding high and responsi- 
ble positions. By commissions dated the 16th of July, 
1766, he was appointed second judge of the Inferior Court 
of Common Pleas, and a justice of the peace for Cumber- 
land County. These commissions were renewed on two 
subsequent occasions, and he was continued in office until 
the commencement of the Revolution. He was also ap- 


pointed by a writ of dedimus potestatem, a commissioner to 
" swear all officers " chosen in that county, and held the 
office until the 14th of AprU, 1772, A few months pre- 
vious to the time for appointing judges, in the year 1772, 
Mr. Lord was desirous of withdrawing from the service of 
the province. In his letter to Governor Tyron, dated the 
29th of January, he declared his reasons for wishing to re- 
tire, in these words : " I being now arrived at the sixty- 
eighth year of my age, and attended with the infirmities 
common to advancing years, such as great deafness, loss of 
memory, dimness of sight, and at times, a paralytic tremor 
in my hands, etc., which disqualifies me for the full, free, 
and perfect discharge of the offices of second judge of the 
Inferior Court of Common Pleas, and justice of the peace, 
which I have sustained in the county for several years last 
past, and having a desire to retire from public business and 
spend the remainder of my days in a calm retirement 
therefrom, and concern myself in nothing else, but doing 
good to my numerous family and neighbors, and praying 
for the King, your Excellency, and all others, the King's 
officers, and prepare for a glorious Immortality — therefore 
humbly entreat your Excellency to appoint some other 
person to said offices in my room and stead." 

Having been informed that his colleague had tendered 
his resignation, Judge Chandler wrote to Governor Tryon, 
begging him to continue Judge Lord in office in the next 
commission, and suggesting the propriety of rewarding 
him for his past services — especially for his efibrts in quell- 
ing a disturbance, in which the inhabitants of Windsor 
had been engaged. Previous to this time the court had 


been constituted with three judges. A fourth was added 
at the next commission, and Judge Lord was continued, 
but with the understanding that he was to take only " as 
little share of the burden of the office " upon himself as 
should be agreeable to him. Governor Tyron wrote him 
in a letter dated the 3d of April, 1772 : " His Excellency 
desirous of retaining in office the most respectable persons 
in the county, could not think of appointing any person in 
your stead." Hall, the historian of Vermont, says of him : 
" Respecting his abilities, there are no means of deciding ; 
but of his uprightness and candor as a man and as a judi- 
cial officer, there can be no doubt. The little that is 
known of this worthy magistrate is so favorable, that a 
natural regret arises at the absence of the data which 
might supply the details of his life, character and services." 

He died at Westmoreland, N. H., Dec. 7, 1788, in the 
85th year of his age, having moved to that place from 
Putney, some time before. 

Dr. Joseph Lord had seven children, viz : Joseph, born 
April 17, 1730, William, born May 3, 1732, Mary, born 
May 2, 1733, Thomas, born Jan. 17, 1736, the first winter 
after the settlers 'arrived in Athol, Stephen, Nathaniel and 
Sarah, who married Judge Thomas Chandler of Vermont. 
Thomas Lord, the third son of Dr. Joseph Lord, married 
Leonard Smith, Oct. 18, 1760. He was one of the Athol 
minute men who marched to Lexington, being sergeant of 
the company, and was afterwards captain of a company 
that went to Bennington. He had eleven children : Asa' 
born Oct. 1, 1761, married Lydia Humphrey, Joseph,* 
born Oct. 26, 1763, married Esther Johnson, Aaron, born^ 


Dec. 25, 1766, married Hannah Graves, Abigail, bom 
July 7, 1772, married Abijah Ellis, Abel,"' born March. 
12, 1774, died in 1799, Rhoda,'born March 1, 1776, 
Thomas, Jr., born Jan. 17, 1780, was a hotel keeper at 
Northfield, Jotham, born June 4, 1783, married Julia 
Allen in 1806, Leonard, born in 1785, Gardiner, born 
April 8, 1788, married Nancy Young, and Absalom, born 
June 30, 1790. Jotham Lord, the sixth son of Capt. 
Thomas Lord had ten children. 

Ethan Lord, the second child, was born in Athol, 
Aug. 9, 1808. In his twentieth year he left home, and 
came to what was then known as the factory village, to 
begin life for himself. His fidelity to his parents and 
love for them was shown, when his father had lost a 
number of cattle by disease, and in consequence was 
forced to mortgage his httle farm. This misfortune 
weighed heavily upon Ethan, and at the end of his first 
years service, he carried home his entire earnings, one 
hundred dollars, and gave it to his father to clear oif the 
mortgage. He was married Sept. 6, 1836, to Thankful 
Richardson of Swanzey, N. H. He had a saw mill and 
grist mill on Freedom street, and carried on business there 
for more than fifty years. He bought large tracts of real 
estate in the village and near by, that at the time of his 
death had become some of the most desirable property in 
town. He always shrank from positions of a public na- 
ture, was a man of unflinching integrity, just and exact in 
his business dealings, and generous in every cause to every 
person that appeared to him as worthy. Was identified 
with the old First Church until the founding of the Sec- 



ond Unitarian church, when he became an earnest sup- 
porter of the latter. He had three sons and two daugh- 
ters: Ethan, Jr., Lucien, Wallace, Sabra J. and Mary. 
Sabra married Dr. Vernon O. Taylor, and Mary married 
John L. Earle. 

Lucien Lord was born in Athol, Oct. 11, 1840, a son 
of Ethan and Thankful ( Richardson ) Lord. He attended 
the village schools, and at an early age went to work for 
his father in the lumber and saw mill business. When 
the war broke out Mr. Lord wished to enlist, but ill 
health prevented him, and he purchased the store of H. 
K. Barber on Exchange street. A year later he sold the 
business and went into the store of Walter Thorpe and 
J. W. Sloan as clerk, where he remained three years. He 
then went in company with Howard B. Hunt, who Was 
then the village postmaster, in the book and music busi- 
ness. In 1869, Mr. Hunt resigned as postmaster, and on 
his recommendation, Mr. Lord was appointed his successor 
by President Grant, April 21, 1869. He held this posi- 
tion through the administrations of 'Presidents Grant, 
Hayes, Garfield and Arthur, nearly 19 years, when he 
was succeeded by Wm. W. Fish, in February, 1888. He 
also during most of the time that he was postmaster, 
carried on an extensive book and stationery business. In 
1873, he purchased the Twitchell property on the south 
side of Main street, and soon after built the fine Masonic 
Block, which was destroyed by fire in December, 1890, 
and other blocks of stores and tenements. Few citizens 
of the town have been so prominently identified with the 
social, religious and business interests of Athol during the 


last quarter of a century as Mr. Lord. He is one of those 
who believe that every man should have a family home, 
a religious home, and a business home, and he has been 
eminently successful in building up all of these, not only 
for himself, but in assisting others to have the same. 
Since retiring from the post office and mercantile business, 
Mr. Lord has been engaged in real estate operations of 
great magnitude. Among his enterprises has been the 
development of the Lake Park property, which has 
opened up to the town from the pine forests of six or 
seven years, a most desirable location, from which the 
chimneys of more than thirty homes look out upon the 
village. He has also developed other tracts known as 
South Park, Intervale and Pleasant Valley, nearly two 
hundred acres in all. But the enterprise that has re- 
quii-ed the most courage and backbone, was the building 
of the new Pequoig House and the Academy of Music, 
the former of which erected at a cost of sixty-five thousand 
dollars, is the finest hotel building in Western Massachu- 
setts, while the Academy of Music, built in 1892, at a cost 
of nearly forty thousand dollars, is the pride of the town. 
Mr. Lord started the first street sprinkler, was instrumen- 
tal in organizing the Board of Trade, and was actively 
interested in the introduction of the gas and water sys- 
tems. He has also assisted generously in promoting other 
local business enterprises, among which is the Athol Silk 
Co. Li 1871, with the late E. F. Jones, he started the 
Athol Transcript. In religious belief he is a Unitarian, 
and was for several years superintendent of the Sunday 
school of the old First Church. He was instrumental in 



the organization of the Second Unitarian Church, and has 
been the superintendent of its Sunday school ever since it 
was organized. In 1891, he represented the First Wor- 
cester District in the Legislature, and is now a trustee of 
the Athol Savings Bank, a member of the School Com- 
mittee, Trustee of the Fubhc library, and Secretary of 
the Board of Trade. He married DeHa M. Pierce of 

Gardiner Lord, youngest chUd, save one, of Captain 
Thomas Lord, was born in Athol, April 7, 1788, on the 
place now owned and occupied by Ira Wright, on the 
road leading from the brickyard of E. A. Bailey & Co., 
to North Orange. Being of a large family, and his 
father's means limited, he was obliged at an early age to 
earn his own living. He worked as a farm hand and 
hostler until 1813, when on March 4, he married Nancy 
Young, daughter of Samuel Young of Chestnut Hill, and 
went to her home to live. His wife died in less than a 
year, leaving a daughter who died in early womanhood. 
On March 2, 1815, he married Sally Smith, a native of 
Truro, Mass., whose father had lately moved to Phillip- 
ston, then Gerry; by her he had six children: Abigail, 
born Nov. 6, 1816, Nathaniel Y., born Nov. 5, 1820, 
Sarah S., born July 30, 1822, Gardiner, Jr., born Feb. 
26, 1B24, Franklin G., born Oct. 4, 1827, and Charles 
L., born Dec. 26, 1832. 

He continued on the farm until his death, Nov. 24, 
1869. Of his children, Abigail, the oldest, married John 
Wood of, Royalston, Dec. 5, 1834; they had four child- 
ren, three of whom are now Kving, Henry S. Wood and 


Mrs. B. H. Brown of Koyalston, and Geo. H. Wood of 
Tangerine, Florida. Nathaniel Y. married Sarah Miller 
of Phillipston, Feb, 11, 1847; she died Sept, 16, 1854, and 
he married Elvira E. Goodnow of Whitingham, Vt. He 
had no children. In early life he assumed the care of his 
father's place, which he occupied to the time of his death, 
April 28, 1876. He was one of the cemetery committee, 
who had charge of the laying out of Silver Lake cemetery, 
and was one of the first to be buried there, Sarah S. 
Lord was never married, and resides in Athol with Mrs. 
C. L. Lord. 

Gardiner Lord, Jr., in early life learned the shoe- 
makers trade, and was for several years identified with the 
firm of F. G. & C. L. Lord & Co., boot manufacturers. 
He was Deputy Sheriff for thirty years, and was one of 
the Selectmen of Athol in 1864, 1889 and 1890, and has 
also served as Overseer of the Poor for several years. He 
married Mary Barker, of Oswego, N. Y., March 18, 1868, 
He has one son, William G-, born Sept. 7, 1871. 

Franklin G. Lord, worked on his father's farm until 
seventeen years of age, attending school about eight or 
nine weeks during the winter, and then went to work bot- 
toming boots. When twenty-one years of age he went to 
Natick, and worked at cutting shoes for George Walcott, 
the goods made being brogans for the Southern trade; 
Mr. Lord for two years had charge of the shop. He re- 
turned to Athol and engaged in the manufacture of boots 
and shoes, at first with the late C. C. Bassett, then with 
Geo. W. Babbitt, and later formed a partnership with his 
brothers, Gardiner and Charles L., for the manufacture 




of boots, which continued from 1863 to 1872. When 
this firm was dissolved, he went into mercantile business 
with S. M. Osgood for two years, and afterwards was 
travelling salesman for O. Kendall & Co. for fifteen years. 
He has been in the retail boot and shoe business since the 
fall of 1887. He was one of the engineers of the fire de- 
partment for thirteen years, and also served on the School 
Committee. On July 4, 1851, he was married to Eliza 
A. Flint of Athol ; they have two sons, Geo. F. Lord and 
Fred W. Lord, both of whom have been engaged in busi- 
ness in Athol. 

Charles L. Lokd also learned the shoemakers trade, 
and was in company with his brothers, as already stated, 
in the manufacture of boots. For a few years he carried 
on the crockery and furniture business on Exchange street. 
which he sold out on account of failing health. His first 
wife was Lottie A. Wight, by whom he had two children, 
one who died in infancy, and Milton Kirke, who died 
Dec. 21, 1889, aged twenty-two years. On April 18, 
1876, he married for his second wife Miss Eldora Bur- 
nett of Holden, Mass., who survives him. Mr. Lord died 
Mav 14, 1892. 


Among the early settlers of Athol, were four brothers 
John, Robert, William and James Oliver, who settled in 
town either in the fall of 1735 or the spring of 1736. 
They were Scotch-Irish, and came to America directly 
from the north of Ireland. They are said to have been 
healthy, stout, robust men, who had the strength and will 
to build for themselves homes among the forests of old 


Pequoig. They were prominent in town and church af- 
fairs, WiUiam Oliver having been one of the first Select- 
men and Assessors of the town, and also the second town 
Treasurer. Robert, William and James, subsequently re- 
moved to other states, John alone remaining in Athol, and 
it is from him that the present Olivers of Athol and vicin- 
ity are descended. 

John Oliver settled in that part of the town known as 
Lyon's Hill, and built his first house of logs on, what is 
now, the east side of the road, a short distance north of 
the house occupied by Charles H. Moulton. For many 
years he lived here and cleared up and cultivated the land 
around, and it was in this log house that most of his child- 
ren were born. Later he built a gambrel roofed house a 
few rods above the house known as the Drury house, near 
the Petersham road. John Oliver was a young man un- 
der twenty years of age when he .came through the wild- 
erness from Hatfield, and settled here on these hUls ; 
every account of him goes to show that he was one of 
nature's noblemen ; a young man of daring energy, he de- 
veloped into a man of noble proportions, both physically 
and mentally. He is described as having been a very 
large man, six and one half feet tall, straight and well 
built, a powerful man. He was familiarly known as '' Old 
Dap." His name appears frequently on the early records 
as a town ofiicer, and as prominently identified with 
church affairs, and he was also a Captain in the Revolu- 
tionary War. He was married about 1746, and had a 
family of eleven children. He lived to a very old age, 
and died Dec. 23, 1811, at the age of ninety -three years, 


iand ^vas buried in the cemetery known as the Street Hill 
burying ground. He died during the great snow storm of 
1811, and his remains lay for eight days in the house, be^ 
fore they could be taken to the grave yard. 

Aaron Oliver, the oldest child of John Oliver, was 
born Sept. 15, 1748, in the old log house built by his 
father. Although his early life was full of cares and re- 
sponsibilities that usually fall to the lot of the oldest child 
of a large family, yet his leisure was improved in such a 
manner that he obtained a good education for those days. 
He was a man of prominence in town affairs, and served 
the town as one of its Selectmen ; was often chosen as 
moderator to preside at town meeting, and served on im- 
portant committees. He also had strong religious convic- 
tions, and was one of the first to espouse the Baptist doc- 
trines in this town. Aaron Oliver, and his near neighbor, 
Isaac Briggs, were the prime movers in founding the pres- 
ent Baptist church in town, and were the two first deacons 
of the church, being elected to that position Dec. 1, 1810. 
He married Lucy Smith, Jan. 19, 1T7J:, and had seven 
children. He buOt a large square story and a half house, 
about half a mile northeast from the old homestead on 
the old turnpike road to PhiUipston. This was one of the 
first carriage roads of the town, and was discontinued over 
eighty years ago. He lived here about thirty years, and 
finally sold the farm to his son James. He died Jan. 3, 
1826, at the home of his son George, on the farm formerly 
owned by Thomas Brooks. 

James Oliver, was the second son of Aaron Oliver, and 
was born April 19, 1778. Tradition says he was a prom- 


ising boy, full of daring and energy. He learned surrey- 
ing, and became the surveyor for this and adjoining towns; 
his plans of farms and lands surveyed are now in exist- 
ence, and are skillfully and accurately made. He also did 
a large amount of business in making out deeds, contracts 
and all kinds of legal documents. He married Hannah 
Kendall, Sept. 30, 1801. Miss Kendall was the daughter 
of Jonathan Kendall, one of the early settlers of Chestnut 
Hill; they had seven children. In 1804 he built the large 
two story house, now standing on the old place near the 
Petersham road, and known as the " Drury place." He 
was one of the Selectmen of the town from 1807 to the 
time of his death in 1829, with the exception of six years, 
and was the Deputy Sheriff for this section for a period of 
twenty-one years. He was also elected Captain of the 
militia company, and became known as Captain Oliver. 
As captain, surveyor, selectman, farmer and deputy sher- 
iff, he was an exceedingly busy man; and, in addition to 
all these, he was also sent to the General Court at Boston 
as Eepresentative, in 1814 and 1815. He acted as auc- 
tioneer for the whole town for more than twenty years, 
and during this time settled a large number of estates. 
The last few years of Capt. Oliver's life were passed in 
a house on " Athol Street " on the site of the residence 
of the late Ebenezer Brock. He died there, of erysipelas. 
May 7, 1829, at the age of 51 years. 

James Olivee, (2,) the oldest son of Capt. James 
Oliver, was born July -31, 1802. His early life was 
spent upon the farm. Soon after he was of age he 
learned the blacksmith trade, and in the Fall of 1828, 



moved to Orange, aad bought the old Putnam shop on 
the north side of the river, where he did blacksmithing 
with water power. He lived there four years, when on 
uccount of his health he vras obliged to sell, and moved 
to South Athol, then called Podunk, and opened a store. 
He remained in South Athol about four years, and then 
moved to Athol street and engaged iu blacksmithing and 
house building. In September, 1843, he moved to the 
Upper Village and continued the blacksmith business, and 
in 1845, built a house upon the Common, which was his 
home for nearly thirty-five years. About 1850, he com- 
menced the manufacture of steel garden rakes, potato dig- 
gers, etc., which he continued with yarying success for 
ten or fifteen years, and in I860, engaged in getting out 
house finish, which business he followed for twelve years 
or more. He married Minerva Fay, Sept. 18, 1827. She 
died Aug. 16, 1879, and Mr. Oliver April 20, 1887. 
They had seven children, two of whom died in infancy. 

Dr. James Oliver, (3,) the only son of James Oliver, 
( 2, ) was born June 28, 1836, on Athol Street. His school 
days commenced at the early age of three years, when he 
went to school with an older sister. When about seven- 
teen years of age he taught his first school in the New 
Sherborn district, where his wages were fourteen dollars 
per month, and he paid one dollar per week for his board. 
He taught other schools at North Orange and Phillipston, 
and during the intervals between his teaching attended 
the High school. He was the teacher of the Athol Cen- 
tre Grammar school for several terms, and was one of the 
first assistant teachers of the High school. 


In 1860, he first commenced the study of medicine as a. 
student, with the late Dr. J. P. Lynde, and attended med- 
ical lectures at Boston for several terms, graduating July 
16, 1862. During the last year of his studies the Civil 
war was raging, and several times he almost decided tO' 
leave his studies and enter the army ; fearing the war 
might close before his graduation. As soon as he grad- 
uated from the Medical College, he was commissioned as- 
sistant surgeon in the 21st Mass. Eegiment, and joined 
his regiment at Falmouth, Va. At the second Bull Eun 
battle, which was his first engagement, Dr. Oliver was left 
in charge of the sick and wounded, and was taken pris- 
oner, but soon managed to escape. He rejoined his regi- 
ment at Alexandria, and participated in the battles at 
South Mountain and Antietam. He was promoted as sur- 
geon of the 21st Regt. May 26, 1864, and passed through 
the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Bethesda 
Church and Coal Harbor. His term of service having 
expired, he was mustered out Aug. 30, 1864, and in Sep- 
tember of the same year was commissioned assistant sur- 
geon of the 61st Mass. Regt., Oct. 18, surgeon of the 
same, and June 2d, 1865, brigade surgeon. He partici- 
pated in the great battles of April 1865, which resulted in 
the fall of Richmond, and was mustered out with his regi- 
ment July 30, 1865. 

After the war Dr. Oliver was for a number of years 
engaged in cotton raising in South Carolina, but returned 
to Athol upwards of twenty years ago, and has continued 
to practice his profession to the present time. He has 
been actively interested in town affairs and politics, sue- 


ceeded the late Dr. J. P. Lynde as the Medical Examiner 
of this district, is prominent in Grand Army circles, and 
has been a member of the school committee for several 
years, being a member of the present board. He married 
Miss Kate Johnson, daughter of the late Geo. T. Johnson, 
Jan. 25, 1876. They have two children, Annie J. and 

The other children of James Oliver, (2,) are, Harriett 
K., who married S. B. Pitts, Jane T., married Foster J. 
Benjamin, Eosella A., married Ransom Ward, and Min- 
erva, married Delevan Richardson. 

George Oliver, a son of Aaron Oliver, was born in 
Athol in 1776. He lived for many years on the farm 
known as the Brooks farm on the North Orange road. 
He removed to Vermont, where he lived a few years, 
and then came back to Massachusetts and resided in Roy- 
alston, until his death in 1841. He was married three 
times. His first wife was Rhoda Young, by whom he 
had four children, Hepzibah, Samuel, George and Na- 
thaniel. His second wife was Deborah White, and by 
her he had four children, Catherine, Cynthia, Moses and 
Caleb. Cynthia Goddard, the third wife, bore him five 
children, Charles, James, Aaron, Mary and Lucy. A 
sketch of James Oliver is given in the Grand Army chap- 
ter. Chas. Oliver was born April 5, 1831, and married 
Ellen Davis, a sister of A. S. Davis, April 5, 1854. He 
resides in Fitchburg. Moses is a civil engineer, and lives 
in Lawrence, where he has been prominent in building 
the mills of the city. 

Franklin Oliver, a son of James (1,) was born March 


24, 1810, and lived and died in the vicinity of his native 
place. He had a saw miU near South Athol, and manu- 
factured lumber, in which he was an extensive dealer. 
He married Emily, a daughter of Bartholomew Wood- 
ward, and had eleven children: Ozi, Sylvenus E., Otis, 
Franklin, Jr., Sally E., Franklin 2d, Solon J., Orville, 
Orrin, Edd O. and Lilia E. 


Among the names in the "• List of men admitted by the 
Great and General Court's Committee, to draw House 
Lotts in the Township of Pequoig, on Millers Eiver, on 
the 26 of June, 1734, at Concord, as settlers of said Pe- 
quoig," we find the name of Samuel Kendall. This Sam- 
uel Kendall was from Woburn, where he was born, Oct. 
29, 1682, a son of Thomas and Ruth Kendall. He was 
a man of great activity and enterprise, well known as 
Lieutenant Kendall, having received a Lieutenant's com- 
mission from Governor Belcher, Oct. 5, 1732. He was 
an extensive land-owner in his native town, and was also 
an original proprietor of Northtown, or Townsend. He 
was one of the principal men among the early settlers of 
Pequoig, and here he and several of his sons suffered from 
flood and from depredations of the Indians in the French 
war between the years 1744 and 1760. He was a car- 
penter by trade, and did good service in the settlement of 
the town. He died at Woburn, Dec. 13, 1764. 

It was either this Mr. Samuel Kendall, or his son Sam- 
uel, that the proprietors made an agreement with for 
building a mill, for at a meeting of the proprietors, held 
by adjournment on the 18th day of October, 1738, a grant 


of sixty acres of land was made " to Mr. Samuel Kendall 
for building a corn mill and keeping it in Repair for ye 
space of ten years, so as to Grind for ye Above said Pro- 
prietors." Jesse Kendall, a son of Samuel, was a promi- 
nent man in the early days of Athol, especially in building 
mills and developing the water power, and was one of 
the deacons of the old first church, being chosen to that 
position Nov. 10, 1774. Mrs. Anstis Kendall MUes, a 
granddaughter, in the Kendall genealogy which she ar- 
ranged in rhyme, has the following in regard to him : 

"Now Jesse, eleventh of Samuel, I'll show, 
Whose wile was Elizabeth Evans, I know, 
He moved to " Pequoage " and lived near the river, 
Now Athol, for the Kendalls are millers forever. 

He dug a canal, took the water away. 
Which moves much mechanical busmess to-day. 
And built the first mill to ijrind corn and wheat, 
Eye, barley and oats, for the people to eat. 

He owned a good farm, which he cleared up with care, 
And contended for crops with the flood ancl the bear. 
And the men of the forest, being loth to depart, 
Shot their arrows of vengeance," but ne'er reached his heart. 

He was honest in toil, was constant to meeting, 
And the brethren united and made him a Deacon, 
Yet at this distant day, it seems rather odd. 
That they carried their guns to the house of their God. 

The scripture injunction they fully obeyed, 
And some watched without while the minister prayed. 
'Twas the war with the French that kindled their ire. 
To murder and steal, and burn up with fire. 

How little we think what our fathers went through, 
As we till the green fields that they strove to subdue, 
E'en my father, when young, caught a cub by the way. 
When going to meeting one fine Sabbath day. 

This Jesse a patriarch was in his day, 

Had twelve sons and daughters, all handsome and gay." 

Joel Kendall of this family, owned a saw and grist mill, 
where the factory of the Millers River Manufacturing Co. 
is now located, and also owned a large tract of land be- 
tween the villages. He was succeeded in business by his 
sons, Lyman Kendall and Joel Kendall, Jr., the former's 


residence being the house now occupied by M. L. Lee, 
while the latter lived where the S. E. Fay house now 
is, and had a mill where the Goddard and Manning piano 
shop is now located. 

Another family bearing the name of Kendall, which 
has been prominently identified with the town all through 
its history down to the present day and generation settled 
on Chestnut HUl. Six Kendall brothers came from Scot- 
land and settled in Massachusetts. Jonathan Kendall, 
one of the six, came to Athol and settled on Chestnut 
Hill. He built a log house and cleared up about half an 
acre of land, where the old Kendall house now stands. 
In 1765, he married Anna Oliver. He was a soldier in 
the Revolutionary war, and participated in the capture of 
Ticonderoga; his grandson, John Kendall, now has the 
old powder horn that he carried in the war. His wife, 
Anna, was a woman of uncommon strength and endur- 
ance, and is said to have been a great marksman. She 
did much of the farm work while her husband was in the 
war, and is said to have dug forty bushels of potatoes in a 
day. He kept a store, and people came from Warwick to 
get codfish, salt, rum and molasses, which they carried to 
their homes through the wilderness on foot. The old 
store stood until seven or eight years ago on the farm. 
Jonathan Kendall also owned the up-town common, which 
he sold to Samuel Sweetzer. He had six children, five 
girls and one boy. He died in 1817, and his wife Anna, 
died in 1824. 

John Kendall, the only son of Jonathan Kendall, mar- 
ried Susan Smith in 1796. He was prominent in mili- 






tary affairs of those days, and was a captain in the militia. 
He had ten children, six boys and four girls : Jonathan, 
Stephen, Wyman, Annie, Joab, Lydia, Ozi, John, Maria 
and Susan, Stephen and Susan died young. Annie mar- 
ried Joshua Young, and died in a few years, Lydia mar- 
ried Gardner Davis, and was the mother of Azor S, 
Davis, and Maria married Russell Smith, who was one of 
Athoi's prominent manufacturers. Jonathan settled in 
Orange, and was the father of Aral Kendall. Wyman 
went South, and was engaged in peddling saddles and 
other articles. He returned to Athol and worked at shoe 
making, and subsequently went to Vermont, where he re- 
mained for some time. 

Joab Kendall was born Dec. 22, 1805. He lived at 
home on the farm, and his education was received in the 
district school. When twenty-one years of age he went 
to Worcester, and lived for a year, after which he re- 
turned to Athol and purchased a farm on Chestnut Hill, 
near the old homestead. He was married Sept. 26, 1830, 
to Louisa Young of Orwell, Vt. He carried on his farm 
for nearly forty-five years, until October, 1871, when he 
removed to the Village and retired from active business. 
He was a prominent and active member of the Congrega- 
tional church, and was one of its deacons for fifteen years. 
He had one son, Ira Y. Kendall. He died Dec. 14, 

Ozi Kendall was born Sept, 13, 1810. He received 
the common school education afforded in those times, and 
when a young man of seventeen, entered a Worcester 
leather store, and later went to Templeton, where he 


learned the shoemakers trade of Jonathan Bowker. He 
returned to Athol, and in 1834, began business for him- 
self in a small way, in the shop on Main street, which for- 
merly adjoined the house in which he lived and where he 
died. His business grew slowly, but steadily, until it out- 
grew the Main Street shop, and the large brick factory 
on Exchange Street was erected in 1814. In 1855, he 
admitted his son George N., into partnership with him, 
which was continued until 1875. the firm name being O. 
Kendall & Son. In 1870, his nephew, Ira Y. Kendall 
and Geo. S. Pond, were admitted to the firm, and the 
name was changed to O. Kendall & Co., which it re- 
mained until the business was given up in 1887. In 
1884, which completed half a century of his business, he 
sold out his interest to Ira Y. Kendall and Geo. S. Pond. 
He married Miss Fanny A. Ainsworth, a sister of the 
wife of Jonathan Bowker, his early employer in Temple- 
ton. They had two children, George N. and Helen F., 
who married Rev. Alonzo Sanderson, a Methodist min- 
ister, now of Worcester. Mr. Kendall was a trustee of 
the Athol Savings Bank for many years, and in 1871, 
represented this district in the Legislature. He was one 
of nature's noblemen, quiet and retiring, with a tender 
heart and generous impulses, while the most solid virtues 
were ingrained in his character, and when he passed 
away on Nov. 16, 1884, the whole community mourned 
the loss of a good man. 

John Kendall was born Oct. 26, 1812, and has always 
lived on the old homestead settled by his grandfather 
Jonathan. In addition to carrying on his farm he en- 



gaged quite extensively for many years in the lumbering 
business. He has served his fellovr citizens in positions 
■of responsibility, having been for six years a member of 
the board of Selectmen, two of the years being the first 
years of the late war, and was for forty years one of the 
sextons. For many years he was a prominent member of 
the old First Unitarian church, was a teacher ill its Sun* 
day school, and one of the committee of arrangements for 
the Centennial celebration of the church in 1850. He 
is now a member of the Second Unitarian church. The 
divining rod works well in his hands, and his reputation 
in this du-ection has been such that his services have been 
in demand in all of the towns of this vicinity, and he has 
also been called to a distance. He has discovered more 
than one hundred and fifty springs in Athol alone. He 
married Cynthia Garfield, in November, 1836. She died 
Mar. 13, 1877, and he was married to Almira Goodell, 
Feb. 22, 1878. He had two children by his first wife, 
Henry and Susan who married Simeon B. Jiewton. 

Ira Y Kendall, son of Joab, Was born Dec. 25, 1831. 
He attended the common schools of the town, and in the 
fall of 1853, went to Brandon Seminary, in Brandon, Vt.^ 
where he became acquainted with Miss Ettie Thomas of 
that town, whom he married Sept. 6, 1855. He learned 
the shoemakers trade and the bottoming of boots, and 
settled down at home on the farm, where he was engaged 
in farming and lumbering, until he moved to the Village, 
April 1, 1870. He went into company with his uncle, 
Ozi Kendall, in the manufacture of boots, the firm name 
being O. Kendall & Co. In 1884, with Mr. Geo, S. 


Pond, he bought out the business, and continued it under 
the old firm name, until the spring of 1887. when they 
retired from business. Since then he has been engaged 
in the lumber business most of the time. Mr. Kendall has 
always taken an active interest in town and public affairs, 
represented this district in the Legislature of 1881, served 
the town as Selectman, Overseer of the Poor and Road 
Commissioner in 1888 and 1889, and was for a number 
of years one of the Republican town committee. During 
the war of the Rebellion, he was one of the committee for 
raising money for the volunteers. He is also prominently, 
identified with the Congregational church, was Superin- 
tendent of its Sunday School for three years, and was 
chosen Deacon in 1879, which position he holds at the 
present time. He had one son, Warren, a young man of 
much promise, who died in 1890, at the age of eighteen, 
while a student at Cushing Academy. 
Among the first five settlers of Athol were two brothers, 
Richard Morton and Samuel Morton, while a third 
brother, Noah, came a few years after. They came from 
Hatfield, and were the sons of Abraham Morton, who was 
born in May, 1676, and married Sarah Kellogg, May 8, 
1701. The first ancestor of the family in America was 
George Morton, one of the Pilgrims, who was their finan- 
cial agent in England, and the one who chartered the 
"Mayflower," which brought over the first colony that 
landed at Plymouth in 1620, coming himself in 1623. 
Richard Morton married Mary Waite, a granddaughter of 
Sergeant Benjamin Waite, the " Hero of the Connecticut 


Valley," Feb. 25, 1731. He came to Athol in Septem- 
ber, 1735, and built the first dwelling in town, which was 
a log hut near the house formerly occupied by Mr. Lynda 
Smith. He was actively engaged in the organization of 
the first church of Athol, and was one of the first to afiix 
his signature to the solemn covenant. He had seven 
children: Martin, Jeremiah, Abraham, Margery, Ben- 
jamin, Mary and Submit. 

( 1 ) Martin Morton, the oldest, was born in Hatfield, 
Feb. 7, 1732. He had fifteen children, born in Athol 
between 1754 and 1782. This family probably removed 
from town. 

( 2 ) Jeremiah Morton, the second son, was born in 
Hatfield, Nov. 20. 1733, and married Alice Ford, Nov. 
30, 1766. They had seven children, Daniel, the oldest 
son, married Electa Fairbanks, and had five children, all 
of whom died within six months of each other, with the 
exception of Electa, who married John W. Kelton, and 
died in 1892, at the age of ninety-five years. She was the 
mother of John and Cornelius W. Kelton. 

Lieutenant Joel Morton, the second son of Jeremiah 
Morton, was born Dec. 17, 1770. He married Annie 
Kendall of Athol, and was a man of wealth and influence 
in the town, holding the position of town treasurer for 
many years. He had several daughters, of whom, Alice 
married Bela Putnam, and Fanny married Lyndes Smith. 

Jeremiah Morton, the youngest son of Jeremiah and 
Alice (Ford) Morton, was born Nov. 30, 1781, and mar- 
ried Olive Morse, March 30, 1809. He was engaged in 
the saddlery and hatter business, and built the house now 


occupied by Dr. James Oliver, which was his home until 
his death Feb. 1, 1854. 

John Dwight Morton, his son, was born Oct. 3, 1830. 
His education was obtained in the public schools of Athol, 
and he served his first apprenticeship in business when 
fifteen years old in a store in Koyalston kept by Austin & 
Work. He remained there three years, after which he 
returned home and spent another year in school, when he 
started business on his own account, in what is now the 
town of Putnam, Conn., where he remained three or four 
years, and went to Boston in 1853. He first obtained a 
situation in the store of Stimson & Valentine, wholesale 
dealers in paints, oils and varnishes. In 1859 he entered 
the employ of the house of Banker & Carpenter, who 
were engaged in the same business, and became a partner 
in 1864. In 1868, the firm name was changed to Car- 
penter, Woodward & Morton, and remained the same un- 
til Jan. 1, 1893, when the business was incorporated, un- 
der the name of the Carpenter-Morton Company, of which 
Mr. Morton is the treasurer and general manager. This 
company does the largest business of any in New Eng- 
land in its special line of goods, and is one of the largest 
in the United States. He has had much to do in mould- 
ing and influencing the business and social organizations 
of Boston. He was one of the founders of the " Paint 
and Oil Club of New England," serving as its President 
in 1886 and 1887, was also one of the organizers of the 
" National Paint, Oil and Varnish Association," which was 
organized at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1888, and served as its 
President in 1893 and 1894. He first suggested the for- 



mation of the present " Boston Associated Board of 
Trade," and served as its first vice president. Among the 
various clubs and associations of which he is a member 
are: The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, 
Bostonian Society, Boston Art Club, Boston Commandery 
of Knights Templars, Boston Chamber of Commerce, Rox- 
bury Club, Boston Young Men's Christian Union, Ameri- 
can Unitarian Association, and many others. He was in 
1889 and 1890 President of the Worcester Northwest 
Agricultural and Mechanical Society. He married Mar- 
cia E. Wesson, daughter of William C. Wesson of Hard- 
wick, Oct. 7, 1862. They have three children, two 
daughters and a son. Arabel, the oldest daughter, mar- 
ried in 1887, Joseph H. Goodspeed, treasurer of the West 
End Railroad Co., and Clara married George F. Gray of 
Boston, who is associated with the Shephard & Morse 
Lumber Co. George C. is associated with his father, and 
is a director of the Carpenter-Morton Co. 

( 3 ) Abraham, the third son of Richard Morton, born 
Dec. 25, 1735, was the first white child born in Athol. 
His supposed tragic death is related in the chapter on 
Ancient Pequoig. 

(4) Margery, born Oct. 28, 1737, was the first white 
female born in Athol. She lived a maid. The following 
poem was written of her by Mrs. Clare H. Burleigh for 
" Picturesque Worcester:" 

"No poet, or painter, no hero of fame 
We 8mg, but of Athol's first baby," whose claim 
The records preserve undisputed. Her same 
Was Margery Morton. 

We know not the tint of her hair or her eyes, 
If sombre, or gleaming with light from the skies ; 
If sober, or smiling, if foolish or wise, 
This Margery Morton. 


But " Athol " her balJy lips learned to repeat, 
The dust of the highway, the first village street i 

Was trodden oft-times, by the wee toddling feet , 

Of Margery Morton. 

No garment of her's bright with cochineal hues. 
No apron of jean, dyed with indigo blues. 
Hare we, but one of the queer little shoes 
Of Margery Morton. 

She looked from her home, on the valleys below, 
On hills clad with verdure, or covered with snow ; 
The famous old " fort tree " began first to grow 
With Margery Morton. 

For her, all the wild flow'rs made haste to unfold 
Their petals of crimson, of purple and gold ; 
As lovely as now, were the blossoms of old. 
For Margery" Morton. 

Perchance a fierce savage, with dark painted face 
Frowned on her young beauty, her innocent grace. 
And danger may always have haunted the place 
For Margery Morton. 

We follow her not through life's devious way, 
A fair winsome maiden, or sad spinster gray ; 
We sing but of Athol's first daughter to-day, 
Our Margery Morton. 

( 5 ) Benjamin, son of Eichard Morton, was born Oct. 
20, 1739, and married Mary Dexter, Sept. 28, 1760. 
They resided in Orange, and had nine children. 

( 6 ) Mary married Stephen Lord of Athol. 

( 7 ) Submit married Caleb Smith of Athol. 

Samuel Morton, who came to Athol with his brother 
Eichard in 1735, was born at Hatfield, Sept. 8, 1708, 
and married Lydia Smith, daughter of Nathaniel Smith 
of Hatfield, June 23, 1731. They had nine chUdren: 
Lydia married Eobert Bradish, Abigail married James 
Stratton, Jerusha married Jonas Bradish, Lois married 
Samuel Humphrey, a brother of Eev. James Humph- 
rey, and Martha married Daniel Lamson, all of Athol. 

Julius Sterling Morton, who is descended from Sam- 
uel Morton, is the most distinguished descendant of the 
old Athol families. He was born at Adams, Jefferson 


County, New York, April 22, 1832, a son of Julius 
Dewey Morton and Emeline (Sterling) Morton. When 
he was but two years old his parents removed to Monroe, 
Michigan. Until he was fifteen years old he attended a 
private school in Monroe, and was then placed in the 
Wesleyan Seminary at Albion, Mich. In 1850, he en- 
tered the Michigan University at Ann Arbor, and after 
nearly four years at this institution, he went to Union 
College, and in 1854 received his degree of A. M., from 
Dr. Eliphalet Nott, the famous president of that college. 
During the last two years of his college life he was a fre- 
quent contributor to the editorial columns of the Detroit 
Free Press. Soon after graduating he married, and in the 
fall of 1854, started for the newly organized territory of 
Nebraska, where he pre-empted a claim of one hundred 
and sixty acres, and in true pioneer style built a log 
cabin, which was the home of himself and wife for a year. 
The cabin then gave place to a cottage, and that spot has ■ 
ever since been Mr. Morton's home. His early purpose 
had been to become a lawyer, and he practiced that pro- 
fession until 1860, when his office and library were burned, 
when he abandoned law for business, and occupations 
more congenial to him. In April, 1855, he established 
the Nebraska City News, which he edited for many years, 
and which is still in existence, being the oldest paper in 
the state. He took a lively interest in public affairs, and 
became a member of the territorial legislature, and was 
appointed by President Buchanan, Secretary of the Ter- 
ritory, in 1858, which position he held until 1861, and 
during a portion of this period he was the acting governor. 


Mr, Morton has been repeatedly the candidate of his party 
for governor, and a seat in the United States Senate, but 
during his entire political career, his state has been stead- 
fastly Kepublican, and it was not until 1893 that he came 
into power as a member of President Cleveland's Cabinet, 
when he was selected as Secretary of Agriculture. It was 
exceedingly appropriate that this importaut position 
should be conferred upon one whose devotion to agricul- 
ture and forestry had become of national renown, as being 
the originator of Arbor Day, and through whose influence 
the treeless lands of the West, are being transformed in- 
to gardens and orchards, and dotted with vigorous forest 
growth. As a farmer and stock raiser, he has labored un- 
tiringly to promote the agricultural interests of his state. 
His entire course of public life has been characterized by 
an uncommon independence of merely popular and super- 
ficial movements. His wife died twenty years after their 
removal to Nebraska. He has four sons, who have grown 
to manhood and become heads of families. 

Abner Morton, son of Samuel, was born Jan. 17, 1736. 
He married Sophia Goddard, May 14, 1764. They be- 
longed to the church in Athol, he joining in 1765, and 
she in 1774. The records give the names of four children 
as born to them. 

Dr. Joshua Morton, another son of Samuel, was born 
in Athol, Oct. 20, 1744. He married three times, his 
first wife being Azubah, daughter of Capt. Nathaniel 
Graves, the second Eebecca Rich, and the third Azubah 
Williams. Seven children are recorded as having been 
born to him. A brief sketch of him is given in the Medi- 
cal chapter. 



IS^oah Morton, who came to Athol a few years after Ms 
brothers, Eichaid and Samuel, w«,s born in Hatfield, Dec 
5, 1718, and died in Athol, March W, 1798. H« mar- 
ried Ehoda. Waite, and they had three children. 

Several of the Goddard families of Athol are descend- 
ants of one Edward Goddard -of Norfolk County, England, 
His seventh son, William, was a wholesale merchant in 
London, and came to New England in 1665 to look after 
property that he had in this country. He liked so well 
that he sent for his family and settled in Watertown, Mass. 
His son, Benjamin, born in 1668, married Martha Palfrey, 
and lived in Charlestown. Thesy had a son, Benjamin, 
born in 1705, who married Mary Kidder, and resided in 
Grafton, Mass. Their son James, born in 1740, came to 
Athol sometime between 1760 and 1765, with his second 
cousin, Josiah Goddard, and settled on Chestnut Hill, 
Josiah on the last farm in Athol, since known as the Flint 
farm, and Lieut. James Goddard on the next farm south 
on the east side of the road. 

Josiah Goddard, or "Squire Goddard," as he was called, 
was for more than a quarter of a century, probably, the 
most prominent man in public affairs in town. In the 
opening days of the Eevolutiou, he was one of the commit' 
tee of Inspection and Correspondence, and was from 1778 
to 1800, one of the selectmen. He was moderator of town 
meetings for many years, was on many important commit- 
tees, and was Eepresentative to the Great and General 
Court for six years. 

James Goddard married Miss Betty Goddard of Shrews- 
bury, a sister of Josiah Goddard, in 1767. They had five 


Elijah Goddard. the second child of James Goddard^ 
was born in 1771. He married Miss Mehitable Goodell 
in 1794, and had twelve children, most of whom died 
young. He was a staunch supporter of the old First 
Church, and was one of its deacons from 1807, until the 
separation of the Evangelical Church in 1830, when he 
went with the new church, and was one of its deacons un- 
til his death, in 1854. He was the Superintendent of the 
first Sunday School in town, until the division of the 
church, and was for several years one of the selectmen. 

GooDELL Goddard, the second son of Elijah, was born 
May 1, 1797. He married Miss Hannah Paine of Green- 
wich. He rebuilt the hfiuse of his grandfather, Lieut. 
James Goddard, where he lived until after the death of 
his mother in 1836, when he returned to his early home to 
care for his father. He remained on this farm until about 
1858, when he removed to the village and occupied a 
house that he had built on the corner of Park and Central 
Streets, where he lived during the remainder of his life. 
He never cared for office of any kind, but loved a quiet 
life. He dealt largely in real estate, and had an interest 
at different times in three or four stores, the last one be- 
ing where Dr. H. M. Humphrey's drug store now is. He 
was a prominent member of the Congregational church, of 
which he was elected Deacon, May 1, 1863. He was a 
member of the church for forty-six years, and a deacon 
fourteen years. Quiet and unobtrusive in manner, yet 
firm to the truth at all times, he was respected and be- 
loved in the community. He died July 12, 1877, being 
the last survivor of his family. 



During the first half of the present century the Sweet- 
ser family was one of the most prominent families of 
Athol, but for the last thirty or forty years there has been 
ao descendant in town bearing the family name. Samuel 
Sweetser, son of Phillip and Sarah (Richardson) Sweetser, 
was born in Leominster, Mass., Oct. 16, 1764. Before 
his marriage he kept a store in Warwick for a year or 
two, and then moved to Athol. where he bought the tav- 
ern at the Centre. In 1792 he married Miss Hannah 
Moore of Cambridge, and their home was at the tavern 
until 1806, when Mr. Sweetser sold to Thomas Lord. The 
family then moved to the substantial house which Mr. 
Sweetser had just built on the opposite side of the street 
from the tarern and further to the north. Upon the death 
of Mr. Sweetser, this house was occupied by his son Sam- 
uel until his death in 1847, when it was sold to Mr. Ly- 
man W. Hapgood. 

Mr. Sweetser was for many years widely known as a 
grazier, owning large farms and pastures in Athol, Royal- 
ston, Wendell, Petersham, Phillipston, Northfield, Heath, 
and Warwick. He drove great numbers of cattle to the 
Brighton market, and there, his ruddy face, and portly 
figure in its long white coat, and his reputation for business 
ability made him a person of note. One year it was said 
that he pastured and sent to Brighton 400 head of cattle. 
Mr. Sweetser was kind and generous to the poor and un^ 
fortunate, especially to women deprived of their natural 
supporters, and many supplies from his abundant larder 
found their way to the needy. He died in 1842 ; but Mrs. 


Sweetser, whose home was for five years with her son 
Samuel, and afterward with her daughter, Mrs. Frederick 
Jones in Boston, survived him fifteen years. Mrs. Sweet- 
ser was a sister of Mrs. Prescott Jones of Athol. She 
directed her large household skillfully, and without bustle, 
and lived in the fear of God. The Sweetsers had nine 
children, all of whom lived to, maturity. 

(1) Mary, born in 1794, the exemplary and beloved 
eldest sister died unmarried at the age of twenty-four. 

(2) Abby, born in 1195, was an intellectual and deep- 
ly religious woman ; a teacher in the first Sunday school 
in Athol. In 1818 she married Mr. Joel Wood of West- 
minster, by whom she had five children. The three sons 
died in youth. Her oldest daughter, Mary, is better 
known in Athol than any other descendant of the Sweetser 
family. After a wide experience as a teacher, she mar- 
ried in 1860 Rev. Geo. J. TUlotson of Connecticut, in 
which state she has since resided, and for some years in 
the town of Wethersfield. Her sister Abby Maria, lived 
for some years with her imcle, Luke Sweetser, in Am- 
herst, and married in 1855, Rev. Daniel Bliss, who was 
first a missionary, and is now president of the College at 
Beirut, Syria. 

(3) Samuel Sweetser, Jr., who was born in 1798, and 
died in 1847, always resided in Athol, and was associated 
with his father in business. His house, until the death of 
the father, was that now occupied by Roswell Beard. He 
was a deacon in the Orthodox Church, and justly re- 
spected and beloved. To him were fitly applied the 
words, -'Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving 



the Lord." Mr. Sweetser married in 1823, Anna E. 
Humphrey of Athol, who died in 1835, three of whose 
children are living. Hannah A., who in 1847 married 
Wm. B. Washburn, afterward Governor of Massachusetts. 
Her home is in Greenfield. George D., of the firm of 
Sweetser, Pembrook & Co., large jobbers in dry goods in 
New York, and Wm. Penn, with Charles Fox of Stafford 
Springs, Conn. Mr. Sweetser was married' the second 
time in 1836 to Nancy Maria Harbach of Worcester, who 
died in 1B47, and their son, Charles H., who died in 
1871, was a journalist of ability. 

(4) Luke Sweetser, born in 1800, went to Amherst, 
Mass., at the age of eighteen. After serving Mr. Wright 
Strong as clerk for a short time, he bought Mr. Strong's 
store, and was a successful merchant for thirty-eight years. 
He represented Amherst in the Legislature and served the 
town, the college and the church in various offices with 
fideHty. In 1833, Mr. Sweetser married Abby G. Mun- 
sell in New York, and their son, John Howard, is also of 
the firm of Sweetser, Pembrook & Co., of New York. 
Mr. Sweetser died in 1882, and his wife survived him less 
than a year. 

(5) Abel Sweetser, born in 1802, resided in Worces- 
ter, where he engaged in mercantile business, and later in 
Springfield, Mass., where he had a milk and fruit farm 
and nursery, and where, in 1845, he died from an ac 
cident. His first wife was Almira Jennison of Phillipston, 
whom he married in 1833, by whom he had two children, 
Horatio, a house decorator in New York city , and Sarah, 
now Mrs. Fish of Quincy, 111. In 1841 he was married 


the second time in Lowell to Eunice White, whose son 
Luke resides in Peoria, 111. 

(6) Miranda, born in 1804, was married in 1827 to 
James Goldsbury of Warwick, and their life together was 
numbered by almost 65 years, when her death occurred, 
November 6, 1891. Mr. Goldsbury, who throughout his 
life has possessed the confidence and esteem of his towns- 
people, still retains health and a clear mind at the age of 
96. Their daughter, Ann Maria, lives with him, while 
the son James resides in Minneapolis, Minn., engaged in 
real estate business. A younger son, Sweetser, died in 
early manhood. Mrs. Goldsbury held strong convictions 
concerning a Christian living and duty, and when, ten 
years before her death she was crippled by an accident, 
maintained a lovely spirit of submission to God's will. 
She outlived all her brothers and sisters, and looked for- 
ward with clear faith to the life beyond our sight. 

(7) Maria, born in 1806, married Frederick Jones of 
Athol in 1831. Mr. Jones continued his father's business, 
as a tanner, and early commenced the manufacture of 
boots and shoes, in which he secured a large fortune. In 
1836 he removed to Boston, which was ever after his 
home. The Athol boot and shoe factory was owned by 
Mr. Jones and Mr. Milton Baker. For half a century, 
the hospitality of Mr. Jones' city home was enjoyed by the 
large family circle and many friends, and with it are con- 
nected delightful memories Mrs. Jones' character was 
singularly well balanced. With a quick perception of 
character, and of the humorous side of things, and the 
rare faculty of saying much in few words,, she had the 


charity that never faileth. Although deeply interested in 
the church and a wide range of charities, chief of which 
was the Boston Y. W. C. A., her tastes were preeminently 
domestic and womanly. She died suddenly of apoplexy, 
July 16, 1884, and Mr. Jones' death, June 7, 1887, was 
from the same cause. Two sons died in infancy and 
a daughter Jane M., at the age of 21. The older 
daughter, Caroline S., the wife of F. F. Emery, Mr. Jones' 
partner, died Oct. 1, 1890. 

(8) Joseph Artemas, born in 1809, early removed to 
Amherst, and in 1835 married Catherine, daughter of 
Saihuel Dickinson of that town. Mr. Sweetser became a 
dry goods merchant in New York City, and their home 
was first in Brooklyn, then for many years in New York, 
and after his retirement from business, upon a large estate 
in Poughkeepsie. He was a man of cultivated tastes and 
agreeable manners, and much attached to the Madison 
Square Church and to its pastor, Rev. Wm. Adams. In 
January, 1874, when the family were boarding in New 
York, Mr. Sweetser fell upon the ice, striking the head 
severely. It is supposed that inflammation of the brain 
ensued, for after a few days of prostration, he walked 
away from the hotel on the evening of a dense fog, and 
has never since been heard from. Mr. and Mrs. Sweetser 
had eight children, of whom three only are living. The 
oldest, Henry E. was a valued member of the staff of the 
New York World. Two children died in childhood, and 
two daughters, Emma and Kate, in young womanhood. 
Samuel, connected with the Metropolitan S. S. Co., of 
New York, and Mary, Mrs. Charles H. Sweetser, reside 


with their mother in Orange, N. J. The youngest daugh- 
ter, Mrs. Edward Winslow, resides in New York. 

(9) Carohne, born in 1814, was married in 1838 to 
Ebenezer L. Barnard of Worcester. Of their five child- 
ren, Lewis died in infancy ; Edward L., in the civil war ; 
Caroline, wife of John K. Tiffany of St. Louis, in 1871. 
The second son, Frederick J., a lavi^er, and Eliza, reside 
in Worcester. Mr. Barnard died in 1850, and in 1870 
Mrs. Barnard married Alphonso Wood, author of the 
standard works on botany, and their home was in West 
Farms, New York City. After Mr. Wood's death in 
1881, Mrs. Wood resided with her son in Worcester, until 
her death in 1885. She was a woman of strong character, 
ardent temperament and wide interest ; and it is to her 
care in collecting and recording the history of the family 
that this record is due. The Sweetser family were charac- 
terized by intelligence, industry, and thrift ; by strong con- 
viction of duty, sometimes sternly held ; and by devotion 
to the church and to the needy. 


The Estabrooks are descended from a ministerial family, 
their ancestor, Rev. Joseph Estabrook, coming from Eng- 
land in 1660 with two brothers. He entered Harvard 
College, where he was graduated in 1664, and was settled 
in Concord in 1667, as colleague with Rev. Mr. Buckley, 
where he continued till his death, which happened in 
1711. He had four sons, of these, Joseph Estabrook. the 
oldest, was born in 1669, and died in Lexington in 1733 ; 
he was a deacon in the Lexington church, and filled almost 
every office in the gift of his townsmen, and also com- 


manded a military company. He was a man of more than 
ordinary education for that day, was often employed as a 
surveyor, and was engaged to teach the first mans school 
in the town. His son Joseph, who was born Oct. 10, 
1690, and died Aug. 19, 1740, was like his father, captain 
of the military company, deacon of the church, and filled 
almost every important ofl&ce in town. 

His son, Benjamin Estabrook, was born Dec. 20, 1729, 
and married Hannah Hubbard of Concord, May 9, 1757. 
He was for many years a coroner and a justice of the 
peace, and was in the campaign to Ticonderoga in 1776. 
He died March 8, 1803. 

His son, Joseph Estabrook, was born in Lexington, 
March 4, 1758. Although but a boy of seventeen when 
the memorable Lexington fight of April 19, 1775 oc- 
curred, he was one of those who resisted the advance of 
the English troops on that eventful morning ; after having 
assisted his father in carrying his mother, with a young in- 
fant, to a place of safety, he seized his musket and did 
valiant service in checking the invaders of his country. 
He was graduated at Harvard College in 1782, and after 
pursuing his theological studies with Rev. Jonas Clarke, 
the minister of his native town, he came to Athol, and was 
ordained as pastor of the Athol church Nov. 21, 1787. 
The town was most fortunate in securing for its second 
minister, one whose lemarkable abilities and tact were not 
only able to bring harmony and peace to a community rent 
by years of discord and bitter feeling, but who also exerted 
a most salutary influence upon his associates in the min- 


istry and the people of this whole region, where his name 
has always been held in blessed memory. 

He was a man of large perceptive powers, and pos- 
sessed a rare knowledge of human nature, which enabled 
him to win the confidence and love of all ; courteous and 
affable, he was every one's friend, and thus was often let 
into many family secrets and difficulties where his soothing 
words and friendly counsel and advice acted like oil upon 
the troubled waters, and he became known far and wide 
as a peace-maker. The older residents, even at the pres- 
ent day, relate many amusing stories of the tact displayed 
by him in settling troubles among his parishioners and 
fellow townsmen. Not only was he a peace-maker in the 
domestic affairs of his people, but among his ministerial 
associates at that time, when the theological controversies 
of the day were being hotly contested, and were distracting 
many of the churches throughout the state. He would 
not preach upon these doctrines, nor did he wish others to 
do so in his pulpit. He wished to keep free of human 
creeds, and advised his brethren in the ministry to do the 
same. He used repeatedly to say, '■ I am neither a Trini- 
tarian nor a Unitarian, but a Bibletarian." To the close 
of his long ministry, Mr. Estabrook retained fellowship 
with all the neighboring clergy, and all respected him. 

Soon after his settlement in Athol, Mr. Estabrook was 
married (Sept. 3, 1788,) to Miss Lucy Gushing of Pem- 
broke, Mass. Her parents were wealthy residents of the 
old colony, and she was their only daughter. Born and 
educated in affuence, she left her home and came into a 
land of strangers, at that time almost a wilderness. She 



acquainted herself with the duties of her situation, and 
resolutely and successfully performed them. She pos- 
sessed a strong mind, which study and reflection had dis- 
ciplined and stored with useful knowledge. For nearly 
forty-three years, Rev. Mr. Estabrook continued the faith- 
ful minister of a happy people, and finally closed his life 
on the morning of Sunday, April 18, 1830, lamented by 
the entire community. 

He had seven children, four boys and three girls. Lucy 
Gushing Estabrook married Col. Abner Young, Marcia 
married Theodore Jones, Esq., and had a large family, and 
Fidelia married Rev. Preserved Smith, who became one of 
the most prominent clergymen of western Massachusetts. 

Turner Estabrook went South and died young. Gen. 
Nathaniel Estabrook attained distinction in the militia, and 
removed to Leominster, where he died at a good old age. 

Dr. Joseph H. Estabrook graduated from Williams Col- 
lege in 1818, was also a graduate of the Harvard Medical 
school, and studied in Boston with Dr. Ezekiel Cushing, 
and settled in Camden, Me., about 1825, where he prac- 
ticed fifty years. He was demonstrator of Anatomy in the 
Brunswick Medical school, and was for two years Presi- 
dent of the Maine Medical Association. He died at Port- 
land, Me., in 1885, at the age of eighty seven years. 

Benjamin Estabrook, the youngest son, was bom Nov. 
23, 1803. He remained at home with his father until the 
decease of the latter, when he came into possession of the 
" home place." He always remained a resident of the 
town, and on the place of his birth, and became the most 
prominent man of his day, wielding a powerful influence 


in the moulding of the town affairs of those days, and by 
his energy and prudence accumulated property, until at 
the time of his death he was reported to be one of the 
wealthiest men of the town. He held almost every office 
in the gift of his townsmen, having been for many years a 
member of the board of selectmen, was town clerk, town 
treasurer, member of the school committee, post-master, 
represented the town for a number of years in the Leg- 
islature, and in 1843 was State Senator, and in all the 
offices that he held there was never a question as to his 
faithfulness, honesty and capability. The words of condo- 
lence to friends from one intimately acquainted with him, 
at the time of his death, are exceedingly appropriate ; 
" Like all men he had his faults, yet he was a noble heart- 
ed, philanthropic gentleman of the old school, always hon- 
est and honorable, possessing a character among his fellow 
men, that you can feel a just pride in being one of the 
same blood. That greatest and grandest of human virtues, 
— that which Christ himself personified and impressed on 
mankind — charity, " Uncle Ben " practiced to a large and 
commendable degree." He died October 19, 1872. 


One of the old-time Athol families, which has been 
identified with the history of the town for a century or 
more, and has become interlinked by marriage relations 
with many of the old families, is the Fish family. Simeon 
Fish, the ancestor of this family in Athol, came from 
Mendon some time between the close of the Revolution 
and the opening of the present century, and settled here. 
He was a sheriff in Mendon, and had been a soldier in 


the Revolution, being with. Ethan Allen at the taking 
of Ticonderoga. He was also an extensive landholder. 
When he came to Athol there were only two houses in 
that portion of the town that has been known as the 
lower village ; one of these was the old Pequoig House 
which had been built several years, and which he pur- 
chased of Dea. Jesse Kendall. He had seven children : 
Hannah, Ezra, Samuel, Benjamin, Eunice, Sally and 

( 1 ) Hannah, married Joshua Smith, and was the 
mother of Adin H. Smith. 

( 2 ) Ezra Fish was a farmer, and came into possession 
of the broad acres of his father, that included nearly all 
the tract now occupied by the busy shops, elegant busi- 
ness blocks and fine residences of the Lower Village. He 
had four children, one of whom died in infancy. Moses 
married Ann Young, lived in Athol a number of years 
and died in New Jersey. Henry became the owner of 
his father's farm, and he and his brother Moses were 
among the first landlords of the old Pequoig House. He 
married his cousin, Sally Fish. Lucy married Amos L. 

( 3 ) Benjamin moved from town and resided for a 
time in Prescott and New Salem. He afterwards re- 
moved to Peoria, 111., where he died. 

( 4 ) Eunice married Absalom Ball of Warwick. 

( 5 ) Sally married Capt. Francis Twichell, and was 
the mother of Ginery Twichell. 

( 6 ) Lucinda married Reuben Fairbanks, and moved 
to Champlain. 


( 7 ) Samuel Fish, son of Simeon, came to Athol from 
Mendon, but whether at the same time as his father or 
not, we are unable to determine. When he first came to 
town he settled on Lyon's hill, towards Petersham, but as 
he felt that he was at too great a distance from school 
for his children to attend, he purchased the farm now oc- 
cupied by Charles H. Moulton, on the Petersham road. 
He also at one time lived on Chestnut Hill, on the place 
now owned by Eev. F. B. Knowlton. He had eleven 
children : Joseph, Jason, Francis, Nancy, Lucinda, Bet- 
sey, Sally, Samuel, Jr., Esther, Lucia and Horatio. 

(1) Joseph, the oldest, went to Putney, Vt., when 
about twenty-one years old, and afterwards resided in 
Dummerston in the same state. 

( 2 ) Jason was born in Athol, Feb. 14, 1796, and for 
several years occupied the farm of his father on Lyon's 
Hill. He left Athol in 1820, and lived in Vermont for 
about fifty years. He had four sons and one daughter : 
Frederick A., Prescott M., Henry L., William W. and 
Abby M. 

William W. Fish, son of Jason Fish, was born in 
Dummerston, Vt., May 11, 1832. He remained at home 
with his father until about seventeen years of age, when 
he went to Angelica, Alleghany County, New York, and 
learned the blacksmith trade with his brother. He re- 
mained there about two and a half years, and came to 
Athol in September, 1852, and went to work at his trade 
for Mr. Asa Foster, at the Upper Village. In the spring 
of 1853, he went into partnership with Mr. Foster, their 
place of business being a shop where the Chronicle block 



now stands. In 1855 he bought the business of Mr. Fos- 
ter, in which he continued for many years, and also en- 
gaged in the carriage business, putting up the first build- 
ings on the " Island " for that purpose. He carried on 
this business until he was burned out in 1871, and then 
went into the real estate business with the late J. B. 
Cardany, and about that time built the block now known 
as the " Chronicle Block." He is one of the few demo- 
crats that have represented this district in the Legislature 
during the last quarter of a century, being a member of 
the House in 1876. He served the town as selectman 
four years, has been assessor and road commissioner, and 
is now one of the cemetery commissioners. President 
Cleveland appointed him postmaster of the Athol office 
Jan. 16, 1888, which position he held until Feb. 14, 
1891. An active worker in the Masonic organizations, he 
was for fifteen years prelate of Athol Commandery 
Knights Templars, of which he has also been Eminent 
Commander, and High Priest of Union Royal Arch Chap- 
ter. In 1855, he married Rosella B. Hey wood of Athol, 
who died in 1867. He was married again in June 1875, 
to Mrs. Abbie P. Bingham, of Nashua, N. H., by whom 
he has one daughter, Grace Fish. Since his retirement 
from the post office, Mr. Fish has not been engaged in 
active business, except to manage his farm on Chestnut 
HiU Avenue. 

Abby M. Fish married Henry L. Sargent. They lived 
in Athol many years, and moved to Newfane, Vt., where 
Mrs. Sargent died in 1892. They had one son, Fred H. 


( 4 ) Nancy married Henry Lee, and was the mother 
of Samuel Lee. She died at the age of seventy-three 

( 5 ) LuciNDA married Eber Goddard, and lived on 
Chestnut Hill. 

( 6 ) Betsey married Samuel Newhall, and was the 
mother of Mrs. Kate L. Newton. 

( 7 ) Sally Fish was born in 1808, and died March 3, 
1887, at the age of seventy-nine years and nine months. 
She married her cousin, Henry Fish. They had two 
children, Wilson and Samuel, both of whom died in early 
manhood. On the death of her husband, Mrs. Fish came 
into possession of a large amount of real estate. She 
deeded to the town the Lower Village Common, and gave 
to the Baptist Society the lot on which their church 
stands. She was averse to selling her real estate, and at 
her death retained some valuable tracts in the heart of 
the town. She was a woman of great independence of 
character and a determined will, was true to her friends, 
and helpful in times of trouble and need. 

(8) Samuel Fish, Jr., was for many years Superin- 
tendent in one of the Amoskeag mills in Manchester, N. 
H. He died Jan. 16, 1863, and his widow, Elvira Fish 
died Dec. 12, 1896. 

( 9 ) Esther married Laban Morse. Mrs. Morse died 
Sept. 5, 1896. 

(10) Lucia married Jotham D. Otterson, who was 
Superintendent of the Lancaster Gingham Mills in Clin- 

(11) Horatio died young. 


A family prominent in the history of Athol from the 
organization of the First Church in 1750 to the present 
time, is the Humphrey family, whose first representative 
in this town was Rev. James Humphrey, the first minis- 
ter of old Pequoig. The first one of the Humphrey fam- 
ily who came to this country was Jonas Humphrey, who 
came to Dorchester with his wife Frances, and son James, 
from Wendover, in Buckinghamshire, England, in 1634. 
James, the son, was twenty-six years of age when they ar- 
rived. He was grantee of Necklands in 1637 ; member 
of the church in 1639 ; freeman May 13, 1640 ;. and pro- 
prietor in the great lots in 1646. He lived in what is 
now called Humphrey Street in Dorchester, and the es- 
tate or portions of it are now in possession of his descend- 
ents. In the ancient graveyard in Dorchester is a monu- 
ment vvith the following inscription : 


'•' Inclosed within this shrine is sacred dust, 
And only waits for the rising of the just. 
Most useful while he lived ; adorned his station, 
Even to old age he serv'd his generation: 
Since his death thought of with great veneration." 

'■ How great a blessing this Ruling Elder he 
Unto the Church, and Town, and J?astors, three. 
Mather, he first did by him help receive ; 
Flint, he did next of burdens much relieve ; 
Renowned Danf orth, he did help with skill. 
Esteemed high by all ;— bear fruit until 
Yielding to death his glorious seat did fill." 

Elder James had a son Hopestill, whose son Jonas was 
the father of James Humphrey, who was born in Dorches- 
ter, March 30, 1722. He graduated at Harvard College 
in 1744, taught school in Dorchester in 1748, and was 
ordained minister of Pequoig Nov. 7. 1750. Mr. Humph- 
rey commenced his duties as pastor of this town under 


very trying and discouraging circumstances. His salary 
was small, a trifle over twenty shillings a week. His 
parishioners were few, there being probably not more than 
twenty families in the place at the time of his settlement, 
and they were in constant danger from the hostile Indians. 
For three years did the young minister preach with his 
gun by his side, while some of his flock guarded the doors. 
The next year after his settlement, Rev. Mr. Humplu:ey 
was married, Oct. 9, 1751, to Miss Esther Wiswell of 
Dorchester, a lady of high respectability, and much energy 
of character who was highly esteemed and much re- 
spected by the people of this town, and lived to an ad- 
vanced age. The record of this marriage is entered upon 
the Church Book in the handwriting of Mr. Humphrey as 
follows : 

" — Dorchester, October the 9th, 1751, James Humph- 
rey and Esther Wiswell was married, and the third day 
we got home to Perquage." The reception of the pastor 
and his young wife by the people of Pequoig is thus de- 
scribed : " The occasion of the return of their pastor vdth 
his young and accompHshed bride was one of lively and 
exciting interest to the unpolished but affectionate parish- 
ioners of Pequoig. Before the sun had dissipated the dew 
on the morning of the third of November, a company of 
happy men and joyous youth mounted on horseback, each 
with his good wife or smiling maiden seated on the pillion 
behind him, were riding over the old street, now moving 
with cautious step along the obstructed path, and now 
galloping in frolicsome glee across some open plain, full 
of high anticipation, on their way to Barre to welcome the 


arrival of their absent pastor, and escort him with his pot 
ished bride within the precincts tjf their own rude but 
happy homes. That was a joyous day for the settlers on 
these hills. The few who remained were busy making 
due preparation for the reception of so important a per- 
«onage as their pastor's welcome bride." For more than 
twenty years pastor and people lived together in harmony, 
during the entire period of which, but three church meet- 
ings are recorded. Elements of discord began to appear 
in 1773, and increased in intensity through the years un- 
til his dismission by an ecclesiastical council, Feb. 13, 
1782. After his dismission, Mr. Humphrey withdrew his 
connection with the church in Athol, and connected him- 
self with the church in Warwick, but continued to reside 
in Athol until his death. May 8, 1796. Mrs. Humphrey 
died March 8, 1822, aged ninety-four years. Their re- 
mains rest in the family tomb in the old burying ground, 
a short distance from the lower end of Pleasant Street. 

Rev. James Humphrey had six children, Sarah, John, 
Lois, James, Royal and Calvin. Sarah died in infancy, 
and Calvin died when but little more than six years of age, 
Lois married an Oliver. 

John Humphrey, the oldest son, was born Jan. 8, 1758, 
and died Jan. 24, 1837. He was prominently identified 
with town aifairs, served as selectman for several years, 
and was Town Clerk for twenty-one years, the longest 
time the ofiice has ever been held by one person. He 
had eight children. Of these two died in infancy. Fran- ' 
ces married Dr. Wm. H. Williams, and died in 1887, at 
the age of ninety years and three months. Anna married 


Samuel Sweetser, Jr. Clarissa married Spencer Field, a 
brother of Hon, Charles Field, and lived for many years 
in New Orleans. 

Charles Humphrey, born Oct. 9, 1807, married Jane 
Jones, and moved to Lancaster, Mass., where he died. 

John Harvey Humphrey, the youngest son, was bom 
Jan. 16, 1813. He married Urania Barrett, of Putney, 
Vt., May 9, 1837. He was a farmer. He moved to 
Boston about thirty years ago, and after a few years to 
Philadelphia, where he died. His son John was killed on 
board the Cumberland in the late war. He has a daugh- 
ter. Flora Corson, living in Philadelphia. 

Royal Humphrey, the second son of Rev. James, was 
born Sept. 22, 1761. He was one of the early physicians 
of Athol. He had five children, John Flavel, Arathusa, 
Otis, Henry and Esther. 

John Flavel Humphrey, the oldest son of Dr. Royal 
Humphrey, was born Sept. 7, 1788. He married Betsey 
Eager, of Gardner, Mass. He was clerk in a store before 
marriage, and went to Albany, N. Y., where he engaged 
in the grocery business. His health failed him, and he re- 
turned to Athol, where he served as Deputy Sheriff for 
some time. He had four children ; Edwin, bom July 15, 
1814, John Flavel, Jr., born Jan. 29, 1819, Caroline, bom 
June 28, 1821, and Rebecca, born Sept. 15, 1823. 

John Flavel Humphrey, Jr., was bom in Albany 
while his father was in business in that city, and removed 
to Athol with his parents when a few months old. He 
learned the carpenter's trade, which he worked at for sev- 
eral years, was engaged at one time in manufacturing, and 


was for fifteen years in the general hardware business with 
Samuel Lee at the Centre. He married Cordelia Baker, 
■of Troy, N. H. They had one son, George ilavel. Mrs. 
Humphrey died April 29, 1S92, and Mr. Humphrey was 
married again Sept. 30, 1894, to Hattie A. Crosby. 

Rev. George Flavel Humphrey, son of John Flavel 
Humphrey, Jr., was born in AthoL May 4th, 1847. He 
prepared for college at the Athol High school, and en- 
tered Williams College in the junior class in 1871. Hav- 
ing completed the junior and senior years, he entered Au- 
burn Theological Seminary, graduating in 1874. He was 
ordained in the gospel ministry of the Congregational 
church by the Hampshire East Conference, Mass., Jan. 7, 
1875, and has served the following churches as pastor; 
North church, Amherst, Mass.', 1874 and 1875; Elmwood 
church. Providence, R. I., 1877 to 1880 ; the Presbyterian 
church, Milford, K Y., 1882 to 1885, and in April, 1885, 
became pastor of the church at Ninevah, N. Y., where he 
is now located. He married H. Beatrice Hotchkiss, of 
Virgil, N. Y., Jan. 28, 1875, 

Caroline Humphrey, daughter of John Flavel Humph- 
rey, Senior, married Ebenezer Brock, and Rebecca mar- 
ried Solomon Hoyt of Bernardston. 

Arathusa, the oldest daughter of Dr. Royal Humphrey, 
was born Nov, 7, 1795, and married Rev. John Walker, 
Otis died young, and Esther, the youngest daughter, mar- 
ried Hiram Allen of Amherst, Mass. 

Henry Humphrey was born Nov. 7, 1795. He mar- 
ried Sophronia Parker, June 21, 1836, and had three 
children, Henry Martin, and two who died in infancy. 
He was a farmer, and lived on "Athol Street." 


Dr. H. M. Humphrey, son af Hrairy Humphrey, wass 
Born in Athol, Aug. 10, 1840. He received his educa- 
tion in the public schools af the town, studied dentistry 
two years in Boston, and was graduated from, the Philadel- 
phia Dental College. He engaged with the late Dr. J. 
H. Williams, in the dental business in Septeraiber, 1863, 
with whom he was associated for five years, and also con- 
tinued the business alone for a year or two. In 1870, he 
purchased the drug business of Mr. "Williams, which he 
has continued to the present time. He has been honored 
with various positions of trust by his townsmen, having 
served on the School Committee for several years, and is 
now one of the board of Registrars of Voters. In 1882, 
he represented this district in the Legislature, and was a 
prominent member of the Committee on Education. He 
has for many years been an active and influential member 
of the Congregational church, and was for three years the 
Superintendent of its Sunday School. He is also one of 
the directors of the Athol National Bank, and has been 
prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity, having 
held the position of District Deputy Grand Master of this 
Masonic district. He was married Oct. 18, 1866, to Ab- 
bie F. Holton of Athol, and has two children, John H, 
and Helen. 

John H, Humphrey is a graduate of the Athol High 
School, and is now associated with his father in business. 
He is the Secretary of the Worcester Northwest Agricult- 
ural Society, and chairman of the Republican Town Com- 
mittee, and is prominently identified with the social and 
political aff"airs of the town. Helen is also a graduate of 




the Athol High School, and of the Bridgewater Normal 
School, and is now one of the teachers in the Fitchburg 
Normal School. 

James Humphrey, the third son of Rev. James, was 
born Dec. 29, 1763. He was the merchant of the town, 
and prominent in town and political affairs, serving as 
selectman seven years, town treasurer four years, was rep- 
resentative to the Legislature for ten years, between 1806 
and 1825, and was State Senator in 1817 and 1818. He 
was also postmaster of the Athol office. He had four 
children. Lucy married Fenno Thorpe, and one died in 

John Wiswell Humphrey, son of James Humphrey, 
was born Aug. 9, 1801, graduated at Williams College in 
1823, commenced the study of law at Greenfield, but sub- 
sequently went into the dry goods trade in Athol. He 
represented the town in the Legislature two years, was 
town clerk five years, and selectman two years. 

James Humphrey, son of James Humphrey (2,) had 

three children : Antoinette, who married a brother of 

Gov. A. H. Bullock, and died in Athol, leaving a son, 

Rufus A. Bullock, who is a lawyer in Boston. James, 

who married Mary D. Ripley, was a merchant in Boston, 

and left a widow and three children, two daughters and a 

son, James Humphrey ; another son, Fred, died in his 

youth in Athol. 


The origin of the name of this family has been ascribed 
by some to Mount Horeb, the tribe of Horites, the terri- 
tory of La Hore, and even to the Egyptian Horeis, but 


probably all this is merely imaginary, dating too far back 
into the distances and darkness of long past ages. Fam- 
ilies of the name of Hore have been found in very early 
times of English history, many of that name having sat as 
members of Parliament in early times from various bor- 
oughs and counties in England. In early times the name 
was spelled " Hore," later Hoare; the family that came to 
America omitted the final letter " e " in their name, and 
have ever since continued spelling the name Hoar, al- 
though there are certain branches of the family that have 
adopted the spelling of the name as " Horr." The Latin 
"hora, signifies an hour," a mark and boundary of time. 

The ancestor of the family that settled in America was 
one Charles Hoare, who was of Frampton-on-Severn, near 
Gloucester, England, according to the statement of Capt. 
Edward Hoare of England, who a few years since pub- 
lished a history of the family. This Charles Hoare mar- 
ried Annie Clifford, and they had a son Charles, who was 
an alderman and sheriff of Gloucester in 1634. The son 
Charles married Joanna Hinkesman. He died in 1638, 
and administration was granted to his widow, Joanna 
Hoare, in December of that year. Not long after his 
death, his widow with all the children except the eldest 
son, came to New England about 1640, or perhaps a 
little earlier. Joanna died in Braintree, Dec. 20, 1661. 
She had four sons and two daughters. Leonard Hoar, 
son of Charles and Joanna Hoar, graduated at Harvard 
College in 1650, and was President of the College from 
1672 to 1675. The son John, settled first in Scituate, 
but later went to Concord, Mass., where he died April 



2, 1704. He was an eminent lawyer, and had much 
to do with the Indians. He was the agent for the colo- 
nies in negotiating with the Indians for the liberation of 
Mrs. Eowlandson, who was taken captive at the destruc- 
tion of Lancaster, Mass., in 1676. He was present at 
the interview with King Phillip and chiefs at Redemp- 
tion Rock, Princeton, Mass., which resulted in the lib- 
eration of the captive. Daniel, the son of John, married 
Mary Stratton, July 19, 1677. She was the mother of 
eleven children. Her son, Lieut. Daniel, born in 1680, 
married Sarah Jones, Dec. 20, 1705, and was the 
father of Timothy, who married Abigail Brooks of Con- 
cord, Jan. 23, 175-2. Their son Timothy was born in 
Concord, Mass., March 15, 1759, and served in the con- 
tinental army in the Revolution. He married Lydia 
Hunt,- also of Concord, Oct. 9, 1788, whose ancestry can 
be traced far back in the annals of EngHsh history, 
Queen Elizabeth conferring many favors upon the Hunt 
family in her reign. ' They moved from Concord to West- 
minster, Mass., in April, 1789, Mrs. Hoar carrying her 
eldest son William, in her arms on horseback, a dis- 
tance of thirty-three miles. They had eleven children, 
seven sons and four daughters. 

Timothy Hoar, Jr., the second son of Timothy and 
Lydia (Hunt) Hoar, was born in Westminster, Mass., 
July 24, 1791. When about sixteen years of age, he 
commenced to serve an apprenticeship with Mr. Ephraim 
"WiUiams of Templeton, and went with him to a place 
called Black Rock, near what is now the city of Buifalo, 
N. Y. He returned to Westminster, probably in 1812, 


where he remained but a short time, when he went^to 
Templeton and worked at his trade of a carpenter, and 
came to Athol about 1816, and located at the Centre. 
With Paul Morse he developed the water power on the 
property now owned by Geo. S. Brewer, at the corner of 
Main and Pleasant streets. There he engaged in the 
wheelwright business, and the manufacture of sleighs. 
He added a dwelling house to his factory, which was oc- 
cupied by his brother William and family with whom he 
boarded until his marriage. In the records of the old 
First Church we find the following : " Athol, January the 
21, 1819, were married Timothy Hoar and Lydia Bow- 
ker, both of this town, by me Joseph ^Estabrook." Lydia 
Bowker was a daughter of Asa and Susannah ( Bryant ) 
Bowker, and was born in Phillipston, June 9, 1794. 
They settled down and commenced housekeeping in the 
house adjoining his factory. About 1832, he built and 
moved into a new house nearly opposite the old one on 
the north side of Union Square. At about the same time 
he also erected the building now occupied by Newton & 
Call, grocers, and established in it the first bakery in 
town. Between 1833 and 1835, he built a dam and 
erected a factory on Mill Brook on the site now 
occupied by the factories of L. Morse & Sons. In this 
factory he put in operation the first circular saw mill in 
this part of the state. He made a spoke machine for 
turning spokes, axe handles, etc., which was a great labor 
saving machine. He used it for two or three years, when 
other parties claimed priority, and he discontinued the use 
of it. Later he invented a mitre dovetailing machine for 


jfQakmg boxes strong enough at the corners without nails 
<or glue. He made a trade with Boston parties, and this 
business was continued by himself and others for several 
years. In 1841, his fectory was burned and was a total 
loss, there being no insurance upon it, but he immediately 
commenced to rebuild. About the year 1842, he asso- 
ciated himself with William Fletcher and Jonathan Kid- 
der of Athol, and they built a dam and saw mill on Mill 
Brook. The saw mill formed a part of the sash and blind 
factory of Edwin Ellis & Son, that was destroyed by fire 
in December, 1896, and the pond flowed by the dam is 
now known as "Lake Ellis." This dam gave away in 
December, 1845, destroying considerable property along 
the stream, but was soon rebuilt. The first shipment to 
Boston of sash and blinds, made by machinery in the town 
of Athol, was from the shop of Mr. Hoar, about 1845. 
In 1847 or- 1848, he sold out his business to his son, Ad- 
dison D. Horr and Joseph Proctor, He purchased a part 
of the old hotel, and moved portions of it on to Central 
street, and also in 1852, built a residence for himself at 
the corner of Park and Central streets, which was his 
home until he removed to Worcester, in 1866. He was a 
man of great business activity and push, and did much 
for the building up of the Athol of his day, indeed, it 
would seem that from the Ellis dam to the corner of Park 
and Central streets, his footsteps were marked with either 
a mill or dwelling built and owned by himself. He was 
a man of positive and pronounced opinions, and not afraid 
of expressing them. He was a member of the First Uni- 
tarian church. Politically he was a Whig, until that 


party met its death. The Free Soil movement met his 
approbation, and when the Republican party was organ- 
ized, he voted that ticket, and continued in the party the 
remainder of his life. He seemed to care little for office 
but was ready to work on committees for the improve- 
ment of the town. 

Mrs. Lydia Bowker Hoar, his first wife, died Sept. 11, 
1848, after a short illness. He married for his second 
wife Miss Hannah H. Ellis of Barre, Mass., daughter of 
Bethuel Ellis. She died in Cambridgeport, Mass., April 
2, 1884. The funeral services of each were held in the 
First Unitarian church of Athol, and their remains were 
placed in the family lot in the Highland cemetery. Mr. 
Hoar lived only about two years after removing to Wor- 
cester, and died in that city Feb. 20, 1868. His remains 
were broaght to Athol, and buried in the family lot. 
There were six children by the first marriage, and one by 
the second. Those by the first marriage were Addison D., 
Lucy Ann, Susan Graves, Christopher C, Charles and 

( 1 ) Addison D., the eldest son, was born March 28, 
1820. In 1847 or 1848, he associated himself with 
Joseph Proctor, and purchased the box factory owned by 
his father, which they operated successfully until he en- 
gaged in the sash, door and blind business with Sumner 
R, Morse and his brother Charles Horr, in Detroit, Mich., 
in 1852. At the same time he was engaged in the box 
business, he was also engaged with others in the sash, 
door and blind business in a shop just across the stream 
from the box factory. He remained in Detroit until the 


spring of 1856, when he went to Boston, where he en- 
gaged in business and built a house. He returned to 
Athol, and served on the board of selectmen in 1862 and 
1863, having much to do with recruiting soldiers for the 
suppression of the rebellion. He was also for some time 
associated with Lyman W. Hapgood, in the manufacture 
of matches. He never married, and died in Boston Aug. 
5, 1890. 

( 2 ) Lucy Ann and Eliza, both died young, the former 
being only four years old, and the latter two years. 

(3) Susan Graves, was born Jan. 24,. 1825. She 
married Matthew Cheney, a native of North Orange, and 
their residence for many years was Boston, Mass., where 
he was engaged in the Chickering & Sons piano factory. 
They had one daughter, Ella Bowker Cheney. Mrs. Che- 
ney died in Boston, Aug. 13, 1892, and Mr. Cheney Dec. 
3, 1896, in Dorchester. 

(4) Christopher C. Horr, was born March 9, 1827. 
He was employed for many years by the Vermont & Mass. 
R. E. Company, first as brakeman, and later as conductor 
of freight and passenger trains. He married Mrs. Lucy 
F. Wadsworth, Dec. 20, 1868. She died June 14, 1886, 
and he married Miss Louisa Darling, Jan. 28, 1888. He 
died Dec. 15, 1889. 

( 5 ) Charles Horr, was born Aug. 9, 1830. He was 
associated with his brother Addison D., and Joseph Proc- 
tor, in the manufacture of sash, doors and blinds for about 
two years, when he went to Detroit, Mich., in the fall of 
1851, and was associated with his brother and Sumner R. 
Morse, in the same business that he had been engaged in 


Athal, where he remained until 1856. He then retuxnedl 
to Athol, and was soon after associated with Samuel Lee- 
in building;, the Summit House at the Centre, which was 
opened to the public, April 1, 1858. He has never 

Frederick E. Horr, the only child of Timothy and 
Hannah H, (Ellis) Horr, was born in Athol, April 11, 
1853. He married Miss Ellen H. Dimond of Concord, N. 
H., Feb. 15, 1882. He has for some years been in the 
United States post office service as carrier in and about 
Boston, being now in the Brighton district. 

The family of Geo. W. Horr are descendants of Jona- 
than Hoar of Taunton and Middleboro, Mass., who was a 
grandson of Daniel, of Concord. 


The Morses of Athol are descended from Samuel Morse, 
of whom history gives the following: Born, in England, 
1585 ; emigrated to New England 1635 ; settled at Ded- 
ham, 1637, and died at Medfield, April 5, 1654. 

It further says, that he belonged to that class of I'uri- 
tans who strove to separate from the corruption of the 
English church, yet continued in her communion until the 
embarkation for this country. His emigration evidently 
originated in the same circumstances, and was undoubted- 
ly dictated by the same well known motives as that of the 
earlier emigrants to New England. 

The first member of the family of whom we have any 
record as being a resident of Athol, was William Morse, 
of the sixth generation, son of Paul, who resided at Hollis- 
ton and Medway. Wm. Morse was born May 10, 1738, 


and died in Athol, Feb. 6, 1830, aged eighty-eight years. 
He was in the" second French war, and was compelled with 
his company to march fourteen miles on the bed of a river 
in water ; he was with his companions seized with a fever, 
with which half of the company died ; the remainder be- 
came temporarily insane. His insanity regularly returned 
at intervals of fourteen years during the remainder of his 
days, and finally led to his exposure and death in a snow 
storm, among the Bear's Den hills, near where he lived. 

Paul Morse, the fourth son of William, was born in 
1780, and died Aug. 29, 1838 ; he married Sally Rice of 
Ashby, and had eight children. Two died in infancy. He 
was one of the early manufacturers of Athol, and estab- 
lished a tan yard on Mill Brook in 1807 where he carried 
on a flourishing business for many years, being assisted in 
his later years by his son, Laban Morse, who continued 
the business until 1845, when the works were destroyed 
by the great freshet of that year. The six sons of Paul 
Morse who grew to manhood were, Sumner R., Laban, 
George, John Edwin, Gushing B., and Charles W., and 
these six brothers are said to have measured thirty-six feet 
in height, and weighed twelve hundred pounds. 

Sumner R. Morse, the second son of Paul Morse, was 
born Dec. 8, 1808 ; he married Nancy Stratton, April 25, 
1833. With his brothers, Laban and Gushing B., he pat- 
ented an improved grate, called the Air Distributor, for 
burning light fuel, such as sawdust and bark, for which 
they were awarded a silver medal at the State Fair in 
Buffalo, N. Y., in 1848. He was a merchant in Athol 
and Wendell for many years, and was also engaged in 


various business enterprises, among which was the palm 
leaf hat ousiness. He was a prominent member of the 
Methodist Church. He married for his second wife Mary 
Stratton, and died Dec. 11, 1870. 

Laban Morse has been more prominently identified 
with Athol and its manufacturing interests than any of the 
children of Paul Morse, of whom he was the third son. 
He was born in Athol, Jan. 30, 1812. In his early life he 
worked with his father in the tannery, and when that was 
swept away by the freshet of 1845, he turned his atten- 
tion to furniture making, beginning with towel racks and 
cribs, in a little shop in the rear of the homestead, where 
he was born and always lived. In 1865, he took his sons 
Leander B. and Henry F.. in company with him, the firm 
being known as L. Morse & Sons, in which he continued 
until 1877, when he retired from business. 

He married Esther Fish, April 16, 1838, by whom he 
had three children, Henry T., Leander B. and Frank F. 
Personally, Mr. Morse was a quiet man, never seeking 
publicity, but always interested and helpful in local affairs. 
He was prominently connected with the fire department 
for many y^ars, and took a great interest in it, was a mem- 
ber of the board of Selectmen, and was elected to the Leg- 
islature of 1855 by the Know-Nothing party. During the 
war of the Rebellion, he was a great worker in behalf of 
the soldiers, and in 1862, when the reports of the sufl^er- 
ings and loss of the Athol soldiers who were in the thick- 
est of the fight at Newbern reached Athol, he was appoint- 
ed the agent of the people, to repair at once to Newbern, 
and to aid in every possible way, our sick and wounded 



soldiers. He left home the next morning, March 21, and 
arrived at Newbem March 25, where he was most joyfully 
greeted by the soldiers. He slept, rolled in his blanket 
upon the floor of the hospital, that he might be ready for 
any service, and devoted all his energies to the welfare of 
the soldiers. After an absence of more than five weeks, 
he returned with a number of sick and wounded soldiers, 
and at a public meeting called to hear his report. May 5, 
1862, a unanimous vote of thanks was extended to him for 
his faithful and laborious services. For aU his time and 
labor Mr. Morse declined any renumeration. His name 
will ever be held in grateful remembrance by the many 
whom he relieved and comforted. He died Jan. 31, 1890. 

A sketch of Henry T. Morse will be found in the Grand 
Army chapter. 

Leander B. Morse, the second son of Laban Morse, 
was born in Athol, March 29, 1842. He attended the 
common schools and the High School the fixst term it was 
opened, and then worked in the shop of his father until he 
enlisted in the Band of the 27th Regiment. He was on 
duty at Roanoke Island and Newbern, and was discharged 
in August, 1862, by a government order discontinuing 
the Regimental Bands. After returning home he went 
to Boston in April of the following spring, and was Fore- 
man on Boston Common and Public Garden until Novem- 
ber, 1863, when he reentered the service as a musician in 
the 56th Regiment, and was mustered out of service July 
22, 1865. In the fall of 1865, he engaged in business 
with his father and brother. Henry T. , in the manufacture 
of towel racks, settees, cribs and other furniture, under 


the firm name of L. Morse & Sons, in which business he 
has continued to the present time. 

Mr. Morse has been prominently identified with the 
political afifiairs of the town and district ; he was elected by 
the Democrats and Greenbackers as Representative to the 
Legislature of 1879, was a delegate to the National Dem- 
ocratic Convention at Chicago in 1884 ; has been the 
Democratic candidate for State Senator and Councillor 
from this district, and for many years was a member of the 
Democratic Town Committee. He has not held town 
ofiice with the exception of being one of the Engineers of 
the Fire Department for several years. He is a member 
of Parker Post, G. A. R., and of Athol Lodge of Masons, 
Union Royal Arch Chapter, and Athol Commandery of 
Knights Templars. He was married November, 1868, to 
Martha E. Brooks of Athol, and has one son, Sumner L. 

Frank F. Morse, the youngest son of Laban Morse, was 
born in Athol, Nov. 7, 1848 ; attended the common schools 
of the town, and then went to work in the shops of his 
father, becoming a member of the firm of L. Morse & Sons 
in 1877, in which business he has since continued. He 
was married May 19, 1872, to Maria L. Smith, daughter 
of the late Russell Smith of Athol. Mr. Morse was for 
several years leader of the old Athol Brass Band, and is a 
prominent member of all the Odd Fellow organizations of 
the town. 

George Morse was born Oct. 31, 1813, and married 
Sophia Proctor, Nov. 5, 1835. He was engaged in the 
manufacture of boots, in the building now occupied by 


]!^e-wton & Call. He enlisted in Co. B., 27th Mass. Regi- 
ment. His son, John E.., also enlisted in the same Com- 
pany, and another son, Frederick P., was in the 56th 
Mass. Regiment, 

John Edwin Morse was born May 12, 1817. He went 
South when a young man, and lived for many years in 
Washington, D. C, where he died. He was clerk in some 
•of the promiuent hotels of the city, and was also at one 
time employed on the public parks. He married Eliza- 
beth Stratton, in 1845, 

Cdshing B. Morse, was born September IB, 1820. He 
was for several years engaged in the palm leaf hat busi- 
ness, and later in the manufacture of shoes, at one time 
with Andrew Chubb, and afterwards with W. D. Lee. He 
also travelled several years selling shoes, and had a shoe 
store where the Centre post office now is. He married 
Julia Munsell. Nov. 24, 1847. They have two children, 
Mary A., who married Charles Sanderson, and now lives 
in Amherst, and Walter E., who lives in Athol, and is en- 
gaged in the trucking business, 

Charles W. Morse was born July 1, 1825. He mar- 
ried Hannah Cheney of Athol, a sister of Amos L. Che- 
ney, and was employed for many years in the Chick ering 
piano factory in Boston, being one of the oldest employees 
of that company. They had two children, Charles Edgar, 
who is head bookkeeper in the North Packing and Pro- 
vision Co. of Boston, and Evelyn, who is a teacher in the 
Boston schools. Mr. Morse died April 18, 1896. His 
remains were brought ro Athol and buried in the High- 
land Cemetery. 



The Havens of Massachusetts are descended from one 
Eichard Haven, who came from England and settled in 
Framingham. His grandson, John Haven, came from 
Framingham to Athol about 1760, and was one of the first 
settlers of Chestnut Hill. He was one of the most promi- 
nent men in town, having been one of the first board of 
Selectmen, wq,s the first Town Clerk, the first Representa- 
tive to the Great and General Court, and was chosen dea- 
con of the old First Church, Nov. 10, 1774, which office 
he probably held until his death, July 12, 1807, at the 
age of eighty-one years. He had two sons, John Haven, 
Jr., and Daniel. John Haven, Jr., was in the Revolution, 
and on his return in 1777, built the house now standing 
on the Josiah Haven farm. He had six boys and five 
girls, all of whom grew up to manhood and womanhood. 
The boys were, Levi, John, Asa, Samuel, Chauncey and 
Jotham. Levi lived near the brick yard, and removed to 
Vermont ; John married a Miss Death of Wendell, and 
lived on the place now occupied by Merrick Sly, near 
South Athol. Among his children were Samuel S. Haven, 
who died in Athol in 1894, at the age of seventy-seven 
years, and Ezra Haven, who is now living near South 
Athol. Of his daughters, one married the late Edmund 
Gage, and another, William G. Fay ; Asa lived in Hard- 
wick and Barre, and died in the latter town ; Samuel died 
when twenty-two or twenty-three years of age ; Chauncey 
went to Girard, Pennsylvania, where he died, over eighty 
years of age ; Jotham lived in Athol, on the old home- 
stead. He married Hannah Taft, and had seven child- 


Ten, Oramel, Josiah, Eunice, Jotham F., Hannah M., John 
H. and WiUiam La Roy. 

(1) Oramel lived at home on the farm, and died at the 
age of fifty-two years. 

(2) Josiah Haven was born March 16, 1818. He 
learned the carpenter's trade, at which he worked until 
1850, when he took his father's farm, and during the re- 
mainder of his life was engaged in farming. He was of- 
ten called upon by his fellow townsmen to assume offices 
of public trust, having served on the Board of Selectmen 
thirteen years, between the years 1851 and 1883, and al- 
so held various other town offices. He was a member of 
the Know-Nothing party, and in 1853, was elected Repre- 
sentative to the Legislature by a majority of one, after an 
exciting contest of two or three days, and served in the 
Legislature of 1854. He married Susan Wiley, Oct. 14, 
1857, by whom he had four children, Herbert, who is en- 
gaged in the drug business at Seattle, Washington ; Er* 
win J., who lives on the old homestead ; Evelyn, who was 
teacher in the Athol schools for several years, and married 
Fred Judkins of Worcester, and Viola E., who is a gradu- 
ate of the Athol High School, and has been a teacher in 
Athol, Phillipston and Petersham. 

( 3 ) Eunice, born in 1820, married Deacon James G. 
Smith of Phillipston, and died in Athol in 1894. 

( 4 ) Jotham F. Haven was born in 1825. He married 
Mary Prouty, and had two children, John, who is a clerk 
in the grocery store of O. T. Brooks & Co., and Isabella, 
who married Frank W. Whitney. He died in 1886. 

( 5 ) Hannah M., born in 1829, married Levi W. Car- 


ruth, and is now living 'with her brother, Wm. La Eoy fra 
Morristown, N. J. 

( 6 ) John H., born in 1833', died in 1&55, of consump- 

( 7 ) William La- Roy Haven was born May 24, 1835^ 
and lived at home working, on the farm and attending the 
district school for ten or twelve weeks in the winter, until 
twenty years of age. He then taught school during the 
winter season, attended school in the fall and spring, and 
worked on the farm summers until the fall of 1860, when 
he entered Williams College, from which he graduated in 
1864. The two following years he taught school in Wis- 
consin, and in the fall of 1866, was appointed Principal of 
Plattsburg Academy, Plattsburg, N, Y. The following 
year the public schools of the town were graded, and the 
Academy was merged into the High School, when he was 
appointed to take charge of the schools of the town, re- 
maining in that position two years. In the fall of 1869^ 
he received the appointment of Principal of the High 
School and Superintendent of the public schools in Morris- 
town, N. J., which position he still holds. In December, 
1867, he married Florence A. Watson of Fredonia, N. Y. 
She died in 1870, and in 1873 he married EHzabeth 
Stuart Tweed, of Williamstown, N. J., by whom he has 
two sons, Samuel C, who has graduated at Amherst Col- 
lege, and Wm. La Roy, Jr., about thirteen years of age. 

John Stockwell, who emigrated from Scotland to Amer- 
ica in 1626, was the father of the American Stockwells. 
His grandchildren settled in Sutton, Mass., about the year 


1700. Among the children of John Stockwell, Jr., of 
Sutton, was Noah Stockwell, who was born in Sutton, 
May 6, 1746, and came to Athol about 1796. He bought 
the farm on the Petersham road, which has been in pos- 
session of the Stockwell family ever since, and the owner 
of the place when he purchased it was one John Stockwell. 
Noah Stockwell was married twice, and had twelve child- 
ren, all of whom were born in Sutton. He died Oct, 19, 
1839, aged ninety-three years. 

Noah Stockwell-, Jr., who was born in Sutton, July 10; 
1 784, came with his father to Athol. He married Polly 
Briggs, daughter of Elder Isaac Briggs of Athol. He was 
a farmer, a worthy and respected citizen, served the town 
several years as Selectman, and was Deacon of the Baptist 
church for many years, until his death, Feb. 9, 1846. His 
children were : Freeland, Cyrus, Stillman, Mary, Sarah, 
Nancy and Francis J. 

( 1 ) Freeland Stockwell was born March 19, 1808. 
He married Minerva Ball, by whom he had two children, 
Harrison, who served in the Union army, and lives in 
Springfield, Mass., and Maria, who married E. Hopkins, a 
merchant of Belchertown. Mr. Stockwell was a mill- 
wright by occupation. He died June 17, 1887. 

( 2 ) Cyrus Stockwell was born in 1809, married Ruth 
Bancroft of Erving, Dec. 3, 1835, and died Sept. 29, 1895. 
He had one child, George Stockwell, born Dec. 27, 1836, 
who married Diantha P. Burrill, of Auburn, May 1, 1860, 
by whom he had two children, George F., who died in 
childhood, and Lena B.. born in August, 1872. Mr. 
Stockwell is a farmer, and a deacon in the Second Advent 


(3 ) Stillmaii Stockwell was born March 31, 1812, and 
married Wealtha Spencer of Westfield in 1833. She died 
in 1838, and he married for his second wife Jane Seaver 
of Phillipston, in 1839, by whom he had three children, 
Spencer Stockwell who enlisted in the army and died 
while in the service, Alfred, who died at the age of sixteen 
years, and Wealtha J., born in 1844, who married Albert 
J. Battersby, and lives in Petersham. 

( 4 ) Mary, born April 5, 1819, married Kimball Cole, 
and resided in Laconia, N. H. She had four children. 

(5 ) Sarah, born Jan. 4, 1821, married Amos Drury of 
Wendell. They lived in Athol, and left one child, Henry 

(6) Nancy, born July 22, 1825, died when twenty 
years of age. 

( 7 ) Francis J. Stockwell, born July 25, 1830, mar- 
ried Harriet Whitney, by whom he had one child, Frank 
J. Stockwell, a machinist. He married for his second wife 
Ruth L. Alexander, by whom he had two children, both of 
whom are dead. He lives at East Walpole, Mass. 

John Stockwell, brother of Noah, Jr., was born Sept. 
21, 1793. He married Betsey Briggs of Athol in 1815. 
They had six children, all of whom removed from town. 

Another Stockwell family settled in Phillipston, near 
Prospect Hill. Josiah Stockwell of this family, was one 
of the old-time stage proprietors, and run a stage route 
from Worcester to Winchester, N. H. Ginery Twichell 
commenced his career driviag stage for Mr. Stockwell. 

Sylvester Stockwell, a son of Josiah, was born in Phillip- 
ston in 1808. He carried on the sash and blind business 


with Chandler Skinner, in the Upper Village, where the 
John E. Woodis shop now is, and later came to the Lower 
Village, and carried on the same kind of business in a 
building that stood where the shop of Horace Hager is 
now located, until his shop was destroyed by fire. For 
many years he did all the teaming for the shops of the 
Lower Village. He married Polly Fay, Sept. 4, 1832, 
and had six children, two boys and four girls. He died 
March 27, 1890. His sons are Sylvester J. and Otis J. 

Otis J. Stockwell was born in Athol, Sept. 26, 1844. 
He was clerk in the grocery store of S. E. Fay two years, 
and in the dry goods and clothing store of Thorpe & Sloan 
five years. He also for many years carried on a store in 
the Main street block, which he bought in 1869. He is 
now engaged in farming just over the line in Orange. He 
married Eliza A. Wheeler of Athol, July 7, 1868, and has 
three boys and two girls. He is a prominent member of 
the Methodist church and one of its trustees. 

Sylvester J. Stockwell has been for many years a fore- 
man in the C. M. Lee shoe shops. 

Solomon Fay came from Shrewsbury, Mass. to Athol, 
and was deeded a grant of land from Massachusetts Bay 
Co. in 1760. He was in the French and Indian War 
and participated in the battle on Abraham's Heights. He 
settled on the place now occupied by William Oliver. 
His brother Joseph, settled on the place known as the 
Hiram H. Gage farm. Solomon and Joseph were mem- 
bers of a family of twenty-five children. Solomon had 
hree sons and eight daughters. The sons were Arte- 
mas, Nahum and Jonas. 


Artemas Fay married Delight Cleveland of Walpole, 
Mass. Their children were: Sabra, who died in child- 
hood, Emerson and Lysander. 

Emerson Fay was the father of Farwell F. Fay and 
Gelestina M. He married Nancy A. Foster of New Salem. 
He was a prominent citizen of New Salem, and represent- 
ed that town in the Legislature. 

• Rev. Lysander Fay was born in Athol, May 3, 1805. 
His parents were poor and hard-working people, and his 
early educational advantages were very limited. He how- 
ever, made the most of the opportunities offered by the 
district school, and by hard study at home by the light of 
the pine knot, supplemented with a few weeks study at 
New Salem Academy, at the age of seventeen was ready 
for his first experience in teaching school. From this 
time for seventeen years, he was engaged as ^a teacher, 
having taught twenty-eight district and select schools, 
ninety-three writing schools, and having under his charge 
at different times more than four thousand pupils. He 
was desirous of taking a college course, and had nearly 
fitted himself to enter college, when failing health and 
the care of his aged parents, changed his plans. In the 
summer of 1828, when twenty-three years of age, he was 
baptized by Elder Briggs, and united with the Baptist 
Church, of which he was ever after an honored member. 
In September, 1831, he was licensed to preach, and from 
that time onward, was a successful preacher of the gospel, 
being pastor of the church in Orange nearly eleven years, 
at Royalston Centre five years, at Warwick about, the same 
length of time, and at Winchendon for eleven years. Be- 

Rev. lysander fay. 



sides these regular pastorates, he labored in other church- 
es, having preached over four thousand sermons, baptized 
one hundred and seventeen persons, and attended nearly 
five hundred funerals. As vpas truly said at his funeral, 
" all along these hills and valleys are scattered the faithful 
witnesses of his godly life and noble service". He served 
several years on the School Committee, and in 1848, rep- 
resented the tow^n in the Legislature. In 1830, he mar- 
ried Prfscilla E. Chamberlain. They had eight children . 
Adoniram J., Sereno E., Lovinia E., Josephine A., Deb- 
orah M., Othello A., Priscilla E., and Clara L. In 1880, 
Mr. and Mrs. Fay celebrated their golden wedding. Mr. 
Fay died July 9, 1881. His widow is still living, at the 
age of ninety-one years. 

( 1 ) Adoniram J., married Altamiah A. Smith, and 
resides in Athol. They have had five children, three of 
whom are now living: Charles L., of the firm of Fay & 
Fay, grocers, Rosa and Clarence. 

(2) Sereno E. Fay was born in 1833. In early life 
he was a school teacher, having taught for six years in 
Athol and adjoining towns. He engaged in the grocery 
business in 1861, in what is now known as the City Hotel 
block, where he remained five years, when he purchased 
the property on the opposite side of the street, where he 
continued in the grocery business for twenty-two years. 
When he retired from business, in 1888, there was not a 
person in the village in trade that had continued in busi- 
ness that length of time. He was for several years a 
member of the School Committee, and has been promi- 
nently identified with the Baptist Church for many years. 


having been clerk of the Church for more than twenty 
years, and also for several years vs^as Superintendent of the 
Sunday School. He married Emma P. Holton of Gill, 
in 1862. They have two children: Frederick H., en- 
gaged in the grocery business in the firm of Fay & Fay, 
and Perley E., who is connected with W. E. Wood in his 
hot^l and railway eating houses in Greenfield. 

( 3 ) Lovinia E. married Deacon Amos Breck of Ster- 
ling, and died about 1868, leaving one son. 

(4) Josephine A., married Geo. A. Bishop, and died 
in Leominster in 1892. They had four children. 

( 5 ) Deborah M., married Levi Bourne of Athol, who 
died in the army, leaving one son. She afterwards mar- 
ried Geo. Woods of Leominster. 

(6 ) Othello A. Fay, the youngest son, was born in 
Athol, Oct. 14, 1844. When eighteen years of age he 
went to work in the sewing machine shops at Orange, 
where he continued for three years. He then entered in- 
to partnership with his brother Sereno E., in the grocery 
business, which they continued for twenty-two years. 
They had stores in both villages, Othello A. having charge 
of the store at the Centre. He has been engaged in the 
lumbering business for upwards of fifteen years, operating 
extensively all through Western Massachusetts, and is 
now engaged in that and the brokerage business. In 
1868, he married Clara A. Lee, daughter of the late Wm. 
D. Lee, Jr,, and has two children, a daughter, the wife of 
C. W. Pratt of Orange, and a young son. Mr. Fay is one 
of the most prominent Masons in this part of the country, 
having taken the degrees of that order up to the thirty- 


second. He has been a director of the Athol National 
Bank for several years. 

( 7 ) Priscilla E., married Charles F. Tandy, Sept. 12, 
1872. They have three children : Charles Eugene, Wil- 
bert Clifton and Ruth L. 

(8) Clara L., married Joseph Slate, Oct. 15, 1868, 
and lives in Edinburg, 111., and has three children. 

Nahdm Fay, son of Solomon, left no issue. 

Jonas Fay married Anna E. Ward of Athol, and had 
six children: Lucy, Charles, Beriah W., William G., 
Freeborn and Nancy. Lucy and Charles left no issue. 

Beriah W. Fay was born in Athol, Dec. 2, 1819. His 
education was obtained in the public schools and at New 
Salem Academy. In early life he was a popular school 
teacher, having taught in the Athol schools for eleven 
winters, and also conducted several select schools. About 
1850 he took up surveying, and for nearly half a century 
has done much of that work in the towns of Northwestern 
Worcester, and throughout Franklin County. He has 
been prominently identified with town and public business. 
In 1861 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace, and in 
1872, was elected one of the special commissioners of 
Franklin County, both of which positions he has held con- 
tinuously to the present time. In 1865, he was a mem- 
ber of the Legislature, representing the district including 
New Salem, Orange and Warwick. For thirty-nine years 
he was a member of the School Committee of New Salem, 
serving most of the time as chairman of the board. He 
also served his town for several years as Selectman, As- 
sessor and Overseer of the Poor, and was recruiting officer 


for the town in 1864. He married Hattie L. Ballard of 
Wendell, Oct. 1, 1868, and they have two children, Har- 
ry W. and Beatrice A. 

William G. Fay married Emily King of New Salem, 
Oct. 21, 1846. She died and he married for his second 
wife Sally E. Haven of Athol, in 1850. He served in the 
war, being a member of Co. E, 53d Regiment. His oc- 
cupation has been that of boot-maker. 

Freeborn E. Fay married Lucy Augusta Foster June 
4, 1849. He enlisted in Co. E, 53d Eegiment, and 
served as Surgeon's Orderly with the regiment in Louis- 
iana. He died in Athol, May, 1865. Mrs. Fay and three 
children are living, Leona, who married Frank A. Gates, 
and Waldo and Helen. 

Farwell F. Fay, son of Emerson Fay, was born in 
Athol Feb. 17, 1833. He was a successful teacher in the 
Athol schools, and was the second Principal of the High 
School, which position he relinquished to engage in the 
study of law in the Harvard Law School. He was ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1859, and for many years had a large 
and lucrative practice in Athol. In August, 1862, he re- 
cruited Co. E, of the 53d Regiment, of which he was 
chosen Captain Sept. 13, 1862, and was commissioned by 
Governor Andrew five days later. At the time of the 
surrender of Port Hudson, he was in command of the reg- 
iment. In July, 1864, he was commissioned as Assistant 
Adjutant General of Massachusetts, to recruit for the Com- 
monwealth in the Department of Mississippi, in which he 
did successful work. In 1862, he represented this district 
in the Legislature, was president of the Worcester North- 

capt. farwell f. fay. 



west Agricultural Society in 1868, and also represented 
that Society for three years as its delegate on the State 
Board of Agriculture. He married Hattie Babbitt, by 
whom he had three children, one of whom died in infancy, 
Carrie J. Fay, who died in 1888, and Wm. L. Fay, who 
is engaged in business in Boston, and who married Arria 
Flint of that city. The last year's of Mr. Fay's life were 
spent in Boston, where he was engaged in the practice of 
law, and where he died in May, 1888. 

Joseph Fay, who first settled the place known as the 
Hiram H. Gage farm, came from Wales with his brothers, 
Solomon and Stephen, and settled in Westboro, Mass., 
from which place he came to Athol about 1760. He mar- 
ried Abigail Twichell of Athol, and had ten children : 
Josiah, Nehemiah, Dolly, Matilda, Sally, Nabby, Benja- 
min,' Seth, Hannah and Lucinda. Nehemiah, Sally and 
Benjamin moved to New York state in early life, Dolly 
married Daniel Ellenwood, and Matilda married Seneca 
EUinwood, and lived in Erving. 

JosiAH Fay, the oldest son of Joseph Fay, was born 
March 16, 1774. He married Molly Ward of Orange, 
Sept. 18, 1798. He died March 16, 1834, and MoUy, his 
wife, died Aug. 14, 1866, over ninety-three years of age. 
They had seven children: Esther W., J. Ward, Minerva, 
Polly, James S., Adaline and Betsey. 

( 1 ) Esther W. Fay married Jonathan Stratton March 
8, 1821. 

( 2 ) J. Ward Fay was born April 25, 1801. He was 
engaged in farming most of his life. For several years he 
was the collector of taxes, and in 1840 was the only con- 


stable in town. He married Mary Babbitt of Taunton, 
and they had six children: Joseph F., Rebecca L., Jo- 
siah, Abbie, Martha and Levi B. Mr. Fay died May 6, 
1892, at the age of ninety-one years and ten days. Of 
his children, Rebecca L., Josiah and Martha, died young. 

Joseph F. Fay enlisted in the 27th Regiment, and 
served in the Regimental band. He died Nov. 27, 1892, 
at the age of sixty-two years. 

Abbie Fay married Charles Lamb, and resides in Athol. 

Levi B. Fay was born April 14, 1843. During the late 
war enlisted in Co. E, 53d Regiment, and was with his 
regiment during its entire campaign in Louisiana and 
Mississippi. In 1873 he entered into partnership with the 
late Orrin F. Hunt, in the sale stable, carriage and sleigh 
repository business, and the firm of Hunt & Fay did an 
extensive business throughout this part of the country. 
This partnership was continued until Mr. Hunt's death, 
and since that time Mr. Fay has conducted the same busi- 
ness. Mr. Fay is one of the leading business men of the 
town, is a trustee of the Athol Savings Bank, of the Wor- 
cester Northwest Agricultural Society, and one of the ex- 
ecutive committee of the Athol Board of Trade. He mar- 
ried Hattie A. Smith, Jan. 8, 1866. They have only one 
child living, Miss Katie Fay. 

( 3 ) Minerva Fay married James Oliver, Sept. 18, 

( 4 ) Polly Fay married Sylvester Stockwell, Sept. 4, 

( 5 ) James Sullivan Fay married a Miss Farrar of 
Petersham, by whom he had one son, James Humphrey 



Fay. He was married a second time to Harriet A. 
Twichell, May 31, 1848, by whom he had two children, 
one of whom, Mary A., married Amos Blanchard. Mr. 
Fay died Jan. 10, 1857, and his widow married Hiram H. 

( 6 ) Adaline Fay married Abel Lord, and Betsey died 



"There is no life of a man, faithfully recorded, but is a heroic poem of its sort, 
rhymed or unrhymed." 

MONG THE business men and man- 
ufacturers of Athol, who have dur- 
ing the last half century, laid the 
foundations for and conducted suc- 
cessful business enterprises, that in 
many instances are still continued 
and carried on by their sons or suc- 
cessors, and who, having accomplished 
their work and mission, have passed on to their reward, we 
may mention the names of John C. Hill, Capt. C. C. Bas- 
sett, Lyman W. Hapgood, Edwin Ellis, W. H. Amsden, 
Nathaniel Richardson, J. Sumner Parmenter, Frank C. 
Parmenter, D. A. Newton, Geo. T. Johnson, Daniel W. 
Houghton, Addison M. Sawyer, and many others. These, 
by their untiring industry and ability, have contributed in 
a large degree in making the Athol ' of to-day what it is, 
and have left examples worthy of emulation, and names 

■S'lgo-ljij AflliltcniC' 


that will stand high on the roll of Athol's honored busi- 
ness men through the coming years. 

Addison M. Sawyer was born in Templeton, Aug. 14, 
1827, a son of John and Lucy (Balcom) Sawyer. The 
family had for several generations been distinguished for 
its mechanical skill and ingenuity. The father, John 
Sawyer, was a farmer and mechanic of unusual ability. 
The sons attended the public schools of their native town, 
became familiar with labor in their early days, and were 
trained in habits of industry and frugality. Addison was 
employed by the American Eattan Co. on its organization, 
and becoming familiar with the machinery, his mechanical 
genius soon discovered where important imptovements 
could be made, and he invented and perfected many con- 
trivances of great value. One of these, the Tubular 
Spurred Cutter, invented by Mr. Sawyer, and patented in 
1854, revolutionized the business. It was adopted by the 
Wakefield Rattan Co., and yielded the inventor a hand- 
some revenue. From his boyhood, Mr. Sawyer had been 
an expert with the gun and rifle, and his familiarity with 
these led him to investigate the science of projectiles, 
which resulted in the "Sawyer Gun," and other ordnance 
materials, which were valuable to the government in the 
late war. The Sawyer canister shot was tested by the 
Government, and proved of such value that the inventor 
was awarded twenty-five thousand dollars. He was also 
the inventor of other valuable machines. One of his last 
investigations was the invention of a process of refining 
and giving the ripeness and qualities of age to distilled 
spirits, which attracted the attention of scientific men. 


Mr. Sawyer became a resident of Athol about 1860, and 
soon after coming to town invested in real estate at the 
Highlands. He built the finest and most costly home in 
town, spending upwards of eighty thousand dollars upon 
the buildings and grounds. He purchased the Summit 
House, built a large shop on Main Street opposite the 
cemetery, was largely instrumental in the building of 
Music Hall, and active in the starting of the Athol Na- 
tional Bank. He was always interested in town affairs, 
and ready in town meeting to advocate whatever his judg- 
ment approved. A great friend and admirer of General 
Butler, he always supported him in his campaigns for 
Governor. -He was a member of the Congregational 
Church, to which he was a liberal contributor. A man of 
commanding presence, he was affable, courteous and kind, 
and his social qualities, with his unbounded hospitality, 
made his beautiful home the centre for a host of warm 
friends. He married Harriet Elizabeth Blackmer, a 
daughter of Hosea Blackmer of Dana, Oct. 23, 1854. She 
died July 23, 1876, having borne him four children, none 
of whom are now living. He was married a second time 
to Mary E. Stevens, a daughter of Darwin H. and Harriet 
(Andrews) Stevens of Guilford, Vt. Mr. Sawyer died 
Jan. 23, 1890. 

Capt. Charles C. Bassett, for thirty years one of 
Athol's most honored citizens and prominent business men, 
was born in Norton, Mass., Feb. 24, 1805. When a 
youth he moved with his family to Phillipston, where for 
many years he was in business with his father, Isaac Bas- 
sett, and others, including the late Col. Artemas Lee of 




Templeton. More business was done by this firm than by 
any other in this part of the state. They were the pion- 
eers in the palm leaf hat business in this vicinity, and the 
second firm in the state to put out palm leaf to braid, their 
sales in this branch alone amounting to one hundred and 
twenty-five thousaiid dollars in one year. Not only was 
Mr. Bassett an enterprising business man of Phillipston, 
but he was also prominent and active in town and church 
affairs. He was town clerk from 1834 to 1845, with the 
exception of three years, and was clerk of the parish dur- 
ing the memorable church controversy about the year 
1830, when as clerk he had nearly a dozen actions 
brought against him in the courts, for refusing in a parish 
meeting, the votes of those who had once withdrawn from 
the society. He represented the town of Phillipston in 
the Legislature of 1851, and held various other offices and 
positions. He joined the Congregational church in 1832, 
and was for some time Superintendent of its Sunday 
School, and was also Captain of one of the largest mihtary 
companies of the state In 1856 he removed to Athol, 
where he continued to engage in mercantile business, and 
afterwards in manufacturing, being a member of the Mill- 
ers River Manufacturing Co., and prominent in the es- 
tablishment of the Athol Silk Co., of which he was the 
largest local stock-holder. He was one of the incorpora- 
tors of the Millers River Bank in 1854, and was interested 
in the organization of the Athol Savings Bank and its 
vice president. He took an active interest in town affairs 
served as town treasurer, and was often appointed on im- 
portant committees. Interested in agriculture and horti- 


culture, he was for several years the delegate to the State 
Board of Agriculture from the Worcester Northwest Agri- 
cultural Society. He was one of the most prominent 
members of the Congregational Church, and served the 
church and Sunday School in the most important positions. 
In 1845 he married Miss Lucinda S. Jones of Phillipston. 
They had two children, Charles H., who has been for 
many years engaged in the drug business in Boston, and 
Helena, who died of consumption in 1881. Mr. Bassett 
was one of the most kind and genial of men, jovial and 
cordial, and one o'f the most respected and honored men of 
the town. 

John C. Hill was born in North Orange, March 2d, 
1816. He came to Athol when a boy, and was adopted 
by the late Abijah Hill, who was for a long time Deputy 
Sheriflf, and grew to .manhood in his family. Early in life 
he showed promise of unusual business ability, and started 
out for himself in the tinware and foundry business, which 
he built up to large proportions, his tin carts traversing the 
whole western section of the state. His first foundry was 
located on South Main Street, in rear of the house form- 
erly the residence of W. L. Hill, and later he built a 
larger one near Canal Street, which he operated himself or 
leased to others for many years. He also started the man- 
ufacture of pails in the "old White mill," and before the 
building of the Vermont & Mass. E. E., was engaged in 
teaming merchandise and supplies from Boston, also coal 
and sand from Montague. W^hen the building of a rail- 
road from Fitchburg to Brattleboro was first agitated, he 
rendered timely and valuable assistance to the project. 



foreseeing the great advantage it would be to Athol, and 
in him the late Alvah Crocker found a most efficient co- 
laborer in pushing the enterprise to completion. He was 
also equally as earnest in favor of the building of the 
Athol and Enfield railroad, and advocated the town's as- 
sistance in that enterprise in the face of much opposition. 
He was a director of this road until it was merged into the 
Springfield, Athol and Northeastern. In 1859 he became 
interested in the manufacture of woolen cloth, satinets and 
horse blankets, and was the pioneer of that industry in this 
section ; the firm of Johnson. Hill & Co. was organized, 
Mr. Geo. T. Johnson moving from North Dana to Athol 
to engage in the business. In 1863, the business was en- 
larged, and became the Millers River Manufacturing Com- 
pany, now one of the flourishing business concerns of the 
town. In 1873, Mr. Hill retired from the business, and 
devoted his time to mills that he had at Eagleville, Fry- 
ville, Otter River and in New Hampshire. He was also 
one of the organizers and directors of the Athol Machine 
Co. Scarcely any enterprise was started in towa for near- 
ly forty years, from 1840, but had his active co-operation. 
Among others was the organization of the Millers River 
National Bank, of which he was one of the founders, and 
a director for twenty-six years. He was also one of the 
incorporators of the Athol Savings Bank, organized in 
1867, of which he was a trustee at the time of his death. 
From 1865 to 1875, he was the largest real estate owner 
and tax payer in Athol. He never held any town or 
political office, but always took an active interest in town 
affairs, and was a prominent figure in the exciting town 


meetings, for which Athol has been noted, speaking" with 
earnestness in favor of what he believed for the best in- 
terests of the town. He married Dolly Smith, a descend- 
ant of one of the first settlers of the town in November, 
1837. They had five children, a boy who died in infancy, 
iSTettie, who died in 1863, at the age of 21 years, and 
three who are now living, Clara, Abijah and Wells L. 
Mrs. Hill died Oct. 9, 1889, and Mr. Hill March 11, 1890. 
Daniel Appleton Newton was born in Templeton, 
March 25, 1833, the youngest of six children of Mr. and 
Mrs. Daniel Newton, he being the only son. In early life 
he was clerk in the store of Col. Lee at Templeton. He 
first came to Athol as clerk for Lee & Bassett, and subse- 
quently in connection with Roland T. Oakes, he bought 
out the firm, and the Oakes & Newton store for several 
years did a prosperous business where Starr Hall block 
now stands. Later, Mr. Newton bought Col. Lee's busi- 
ness in Templeton, and operated it a few years, leaving 
that to become the manager of the Otter Kiver Woolen 
Mill in Templeton. In 1869 he went to Chicago as agent 
of the Athol Machine Co., and at the same time estab- 
lished an office in New York. He conducted these agen- 
cies until about 1873, when he returned to Athol and con- 
nected himself with the home management of the Machine 
Co. At the time of his death he was the general mana- 
ger and treasurer of the Company. He was one of the 
most prominent members of the Second Unitarian Church, 
and was treasurer of the Society from its first organization. 
Although an aggressive and determined fighter in politics 
and town affairs, he had a never failing fund of cheerful- 




ness "and good humor, and in all his business dealings was 
honorable, systematic, courteous and hopeful. He mar- 
ried Miss Kate Newhall, a daughter of one of Athol's old 
time business men, Oct. 31, 1877. They had three child- 
ren. Mr. Newton died May 19, 1889. 

Joseph B. Cardany was born in Rouses Point, N. Y., 
April 6, 1829, and at an early age moved to Eoyalston, 
Mass., where he learned the cabinet makers trade, and re- 
mained seven years. He came to Athol in 1858, and en- 
gaged in the furniture business in a portion of Richard- 
son's machine shop, in company with Charles Frye, and 
subsequently carried on a large business on Exchange 
Street, at one time under the firm name of Cardany & 
Spooner. He had finishing shops on South Street, and 
did a wholesale business. Mr. Cardany was a large owner 
in the Athol Gas Co., and was its superintendent for sev- 
eral years, as he was also of the Athol Water Co. Dur- 
ing the last few years of his life, his attention was given 
exclusively to his furniture, crockery and undertaking 
business, which was. the largest in this section of the state. 
He was pre-eminently a business man, and cared nothing 
for public office. He was an active member of the Second 
Unitarian Society, and one of its executive committee, also 
a member of TuUy Lodge of Odd Fellows. He married 
for his first wife a Miss Holman of Royalston, by whom he 
had one child, who died in infancy. In 1862 he married 
Miss Sarah Lamb, daughter of James Lamb of Athol, by 
whom he had two daughters, only one of whom is now liv- 
ing, Mrs. T. S. Mann of Orange. He died June 16, 1889. 

Cephas L. Sawyer was born in Northfield, Mass., Aug. 


1837, and his early life was passed in his native town. At 
the age of twenty-one, he went to Greenfield, where he 
was engaged as a cracker dealer, buying his goods at the 
bakery, and selling them out in that and neighboring 
towns. He continued in that business for two or three 
years. He married Miss Ellen Wood, only daughter of 
Mr. S. N. Wood, of Williamsburg, in January 1861. Mr, 
Sawyer, then in company with his father-in-law, purchased 
the bakery business in Greenfield, which they carried on 
for three or four years, under the firm name of Wood & 
Sawyer, when they sold out and came to Athol in June, 
1867, and purchased the bakery business at the corner of 
Main and School Streets. They made extensive improve- 
ments here, and increased the business until the annual 
sales amounted to nearly forty thousand dollars, and the 
products of their shop were sold throughout the towns of 
Vermont, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts. 
In April, 1879, Mr. Wood retired from the business, and 
Mr. Sawyer continued it alone until his death. While 
residing in Greenfield, he joined the Baptist Church, and 
on his removal to Athol took a letter to the Baptist church 
of this town. He was one of the most prominent and 
loved members of the church, ever ready with his means 
and influence to aid the cause of the church, and was for 
eight years Superintendent of the Sunday School. He 
was also a prominent Mason, and at the time of his death 
was Eminent Commander of Athol Commandery Knights 
Templars. He was especially interested in the temperance 
cause, in which he took an active part, and was ever ready 
with cheering words and an open purse to assist those who 




were unfortunate or in trouble. He had one daughter, 
May E. Sawyer, who married William E. Mayo of War- 
wick. Mr. Sawyer died Aug. 14, 1880, 

J. Sumner Parmenter, son of Joseph Parmenter, was 
born in Petersham May 7, 1827. At the age of twelve 
years he became clerk for Wetherell & Hamilton, and two 
years after came to Athol, where he obtained a situation 
with Thorpe & Simonds, and also attended school. In 
1848, he became one of the firm of Thorpe & Parmenter, 
which was continued to 1865, when he entered into part- 
nership with his brother Frank C, and the firm was J. S, 
and F. C. Parmenter, until 1870, when his brother retired, 
and his son Frank S. took his place for four years, when 
Mr. Parmenter retired from mercantile business. He was 
prominently identified with the religious, political, finan- 
cial and business interests of Athol, and when he died, 
Dec. 7, 1881, in the prime of manhood, and in the midst 
of a successful business career, the community felt that it 
had lost one of its strong men and most valued citizens. 
He was a member of the Legislature in 1878, and at the 
time of his death was vice president of the Athol Savings 
Bank, clerk of the Millers River Manufacturing Co., treas- 
urer of the Athol Library Association, trustee of the Up- 
ham Machine Co., and had been town clerk nearly seven 
years. He was one of the leading members of the Con- 
gregational Church, which he served as deacon, and was 
also superintendent of its Sunday School. He married 
Caroline B. Baker of Troy, N. H., June 7, 1848, and had 
two children, Frank S. and William H. 


Feank C. Parmenteb was born in Petersham, Oct. 17, 
1830. When fifteen years of age he went to work for 
Bassett, Chiokering & Co. in Athol, and later for Thorpe 
& Parmenter. He was with these two firms for six and a 
half years, when he returned to Petersham and opened a 
store, where he carried on business for ten years, after 
which he came back to Athol, and was in company with 
Lewis Thorpe, at the Centre for two years, and with his 
brother, J. Sumner Parmenter, at the Village five years. 
After being out of business for a time, he formed a part- 
nership with Albert R, Tower in the dry goods business in 
1870, and the firm of Parmenter & Tower did a flourish- 
ing business for twenty-two years, when Mr. Parmenter re- 
tired from the firm. He joined the Congregational Church 
in Petersham in 1858, and after locating in Athol, became 
a member of the Congregational Church of this town, of 
which he was for many years one of the most prominent 
members, being one of its deacons, collector and treasurer, 
and superintendent of the Sunday School. He was con- 
nected with nearly all of the temperance organizations of 
the town, in which he took an active part. He was a di- 
rector of the Athol National bank, and auditor of the 
town for two years, and was interested in several of the 
manufacturing companies in town. He was married Oct. 
17, 1852, to EHzabeth J. Goodnough of Athol. They 
had one daughter, Stella, who is the wife of Hon. S. P. 
Smith. Mr, Parmenter died Oct. 28, 1893, 

Edwin Ellis was born in North Orange on the old Ellis 
homestead Jan. 10, 1822. He was a son of Seth Ellis, 


^BRP' ' tfjF- 

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^^H^r . -n^^^^ 

7r^ '-^M 

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■who had a family of ten children. Seth was a descendant 
of Samuel Ellis, one of the first settlers of Cape Cod, and 
whose descendants were quite prominent among the early 
settlers of Sandwich, Yarmouth and Harwich. Mr. Ellis 
came to Athol and he soon commenced the manufacture 
of sash and blinds in 1847, at the site on Water street, 
where he continued the business until his death. In his 
early business career he had a partner, his brother-in-law, 
John Wood, who, after retiring from the partnership, con- 
tinued in the employ of Mr. Ellis, until the latter's death. 
In 1888, he admitted to partnership his son, Edwin W. 
Ellis, and the firm was known as Edwin Ellis & Son. Mr. 
Ellis was not only successful in building up a flourishing 
business, but he also had the confidence of his fellow citi- 
zens who elected him to positions of trust and honor. He 
served on the board of selectmen, was a member of the 
school committee, and was elected as representative to the 
Legislature in 1875. Prominently identified with the 
Congregational church, he was one of its deacons and 
superintendent of the Sunday School. Honorable in all 
his business affairs, sound and prudent as an adviser, a so- 
cial and cordial friend, he was a true man in every rela- 
tion. He married Lois L. Wood of North Orange, Jan. 
10, 1846, by whom he had three children, Adele C, wife 
of Frank S. Parmenter, Orrin P. and Edwin W. He died 
July 9, 1888. 

Lyman Wilder Hapgood was born in Barre, Mass., 
Nov. 27, 1811, where he was educated in the public 
schools, and learned the trade of a wheelwright. He came 

Md AtflOL, tA&f A&f) M£8ESrf.. 

to Athol in 1838, and engaged in the wheelwright busi- 
ness with his brother Asa, in the building now occupied by 
Newton & Call, grocers. He commenced the manufacture 
of match splints in company with Cyrus Stockwell, on the 
Petersham road, and also carried on the bnsiness where 
the L. Morse & Sons shops are now located, and was in 
company with A. D. Horr, under the firm name of Horr, 
Hapgood & Co., having an office in Boston. In 1844 he 
removed his business to where the present match shops are 
located, and built up one of the most flourishing industries 
of the town, which was continued after his death by his 
son and son-in-law, under the firm name of Hapgood & 
Smith, and which was purchased by the Diamond Match 
Co. in 1882. He had natural talents as a leader, and ex- 
erted a strong influence in church, political and town af- 
fairs. He was for many years connected with the Fire 
Department as Chief Engineer, served as school committee 
seven years, was active in the establishment of both local 
banks, both of which he served as director, and also held 
other positions of trust and responsibility for the town. 
He was the leader of the Free Soil party in Athol, and 
Was elected as ddegate to the Constitutional Convention of 
1853. He was also prominent in the old First Unitarian 
Church, of which he was the clerk for many years, and 
was also superintendent of the Sunday School for twenty 
years. He married Eliza J. Finney, April 18, 1839, and 
had two children, Sarah H., who married Almon Smith, 
and Herbert L. He died Oct. 18, 1874, 

Nathaniel Richardson was bom in Swanzey, N. H., 



Dec. 31, 1804. He was the second son of a family often 
children, and his early life until twenty-one years of age 
was spent on the farm and in the blacksmith shop of 
his father. He came to Athol and engaged in work as a 
machinist for the Athol Manufacturing Co., April 25, 
1826. In 1835 he bought the house on Main street, 
which was his home for nearly half a century, and in 
June, 1838, he purchased the machine shop, now occupied 
by C. F. Richardson & Son, where with his brother Luna, 
or alone, he carried on a most successful business for many 
years. He was prominent in town and public affairs, was 
representative to the Legislature in 1847 and 1860, a 
member of the board of selectmen for nine years, town 
treasurer from 1865 to 1875, and was for thirty-one years 
a Justice of the Peace, having received his first appoint- 
ment in 1852. In 1854 he was elected a director of the 
Millers River Bank, and filled that office to the time of 
his death, and was also a trustee of the Athol Savings 
Bank from the time of its organization. In 1827 he uni- 
ted with the Free Masons, in which he always took an ac- 
tive and prominent part, and at the time of his death was 
the oldest Mason in town. In all of his relations he was a 
true and honorable man. He married Emeline Young, 
daughter of Reuben Young, a descendant of Robert 
Young, who was one of the early settlers of Athol, Oct. 
31, 1830. They had two children, George H. and Charles 
F. Mr. Richardson died Feb. 16, 1883. 

George T. Johnson, who for more than thirty years was 
one of the leading business men and citizens of Athol, 


was born in Springfield, Mass., Feb. 11, 1823. At the 
age of seventeen years he went to Boston as clerk in a 
grocery store, where he remained five years, when he went 
to Dana, Mass., where he was employed for some time as 
a clerk, and then engaged in business in the company of 
Lindsey & Johnson, in a general country store. In 1860 
he removed to Athol, and engaged in the satinet business 
with the late John C. Hill and Charles C. Ba,ssett, the 
firm being known as Johnson, Hill & Co., of which Mr. 
Johnson was president. This firm was soon merged in the 
Millers E.iver Manufacturing Co., which was incorporated 
in 1863, with a capital of forty thousand dollars, and the 
Kendall mill water power was purchased, and a large 
factory built. Mr. Hill soon retired from the company, 
which was continued by Messrs. Johnson and Bassett, un- 
til the latters death in 1886, when Mr. Johnson with his 
son, W. G. Johnson, took the management of the busi- 
ness, and continued it until his death. He was active and 
public spirited, taking an interest in nearly all of the new 
enterprises that were started in town during his residence 
in it. He was one of the organizers of the Athol Machine 
Co., of which he was the president and treasurer at the 
time of his death, was active in the establishment of the 
Athol Silk Co., the Citizens' Building Co., and the Upham 
Machine Co. He was one of the first directors of the Mil- 
lers River Bank, which position he held at the time of his 
death, was a trustee of the Athol Savings Bank for many 
years and its vice president. He was one of the charter 
members of TuUy Lodge of Odd Fellows, and the treas- 



urer of the lodge from its organization until his death. 
He was one of the leading members of the Second Unita- 
rian church from its organization, and a constant attend- 
ant at its services, where he was ever ready to extend a 
hearty greeting and handshake to all as they entered the 
house of worship. He married Eunice Fales in March, 
1845. They had three children, one of whom died in in- 
fancy, and William G. and Kate, who married Dr. James 

Washington H. Amsden was born in Dana, April 19, 
1825, and came to Athol about 1844. Some time after- 
wards he purchased a factory, located where the L. Morse 
& Sons shops now are, and engaged in the sash and blind 
business with his brother Festus. His factory was burned 
March 4, 1864, and he purchased the Kennebunk prop- 
erty, November 19, 1865, where he continued in business 
until his death, with the exception of a year and a half in 
1879 and 1880. He built up one of the flourishing in- 
dustries of the town, and his reputation for honor and in- 
tegrity as a business man was above reproach. In town 
affairs his judgment was sound and keen, and he was al- 
ways outspoken and forceful in the expression of his views. 
He exerted a strong influence in the community, and 
served the town as selectman, assessor and supervisor of 
roads for several years. He also represented this district 
in the Legislature of 1885, was one of the first directors 
of the Athol National Bank, a trustee of the Athol Sav- 
ings Bank and Worcester Northwest Agricultural Society, 
and a liberal supporter of the First Unitarian church. He 


married Chloe Ann Gates of Wendell Nov. 23d, 1846. They 
had four sons and one daughter: Otho F. and William H., 
who succeeded their father in business, Henry, who is a 
merchant in Shelburne Falls, Festus G., who has been en- 
gaged in business in Athol, and Anna, who married Sum- 
ner L. Morse, William H. died Oct. 1, 1891, Mr. 
Amsden died Nov. 3, 1886. 

Pardon D. Holbrook was born in Townsend, Wind- 
ham County, Vt., March 6, 1842. His parents died when 
he was fifteen years of age. His education was received 
in the public schools of his native town and at Leland 
Grey Seminary in East Townsend. In the war of the Re- 
bellion he enlisted in the 16th Vermont Regiment, and 
served honorably for nine months, being severely wounded 
in the battle of Gettysburg, from the efiects of which he 
did not recover for a long time. After his return from 
the army he engaged in the livery business in Townsend, 
and also purchased a hotel, which he managed in connec- 
tion with his livery business for several years. During his 
residence in Townsend he was appointed a Deputy Sheriff 
of Windham County, which position he held for two years. 
He married Theodosia M. Twitchell of Townsend, Vt. , 
May 6, 1868. Mr. Holbrook came to Athol in 1872, and 
in company with F. F. Twitchell and John D. Holbrook, 
engaged in the clothing and dry goods business in Music 
Hall block in the Upper Village. After three years he 
sold out to his partner and went back to Townsend, where 
he engaged in farming for two years, when he returned to 
Athol and engaged in the grocery business with Joseph 
W. White, the firm being known as Holbrook & White. 




He continued in this business until his death April 19,1886, 
He was a prominent member of the Baptist church, 

Daniel W. Houghton was born in "Wendell, now Sun- 
apee, N. H., in 1820. He removed to Lunenburg, Mass., 
when four years of age with his parents, and there lived 
with them until his seventeenth year, when he went to 
Boston, where he engaged in business for the next ten 
years. He was afterwards in business in Clinton, from 
whence he removed to Millington in New Salem in 1857, 
and to Athol in 1863. While in Athol he was engaged 
in the foundry business, which then was one of the flour- 
ishing industries of ihe town. He was also connected 
with the Athol Machine Company from its organization, 
and was one of its directors. He was one of the engineers 
of the Fire Department at the time of the memorable 
steamer contest. While living in Boston Mr. Houghton 
united with the Bennett Street Methodist church, and dur- 
ing his whole life in Athol he was one of the strong piUars 
of the Methodist church, being a member of the official 
board and superintendent of the Sunday School. The 
Athol Transcript at the time of his death referred to him 
as follows : "The death of Mr. Houghton removes from 
our community one of the most honorable and upright 
men who have ever contributed to its moral and spiritual 
welfare. He was a just and high minded man, with whom 
it was a pleasure to deal." He devoted much of his time 
to the cause of temperance, and was very efficient and 
successful in that field of work, entering into it with his 
characteristic wisdom and earnestness. No matter what 


his surroundings, his every desire and act was guided by 
the purest principles," About the time that he came to 
Athol, Mr. Houghton married Sarah H. Hale of New 
Salem, Nov. 26, 1863. They had one child, Effie Hough- 
ton. He died Dec. 16, 1879. 

J. Wesley Goodman, was bom in North Dana, Sept. 
17, 1839, a son of the late Dr. Allen Goodman, who with 
Warren Hale established the business of piano and bUliard 
table leg manufacturing about 1845. In 1861 J. Wesley 
was admitted as a partner in the firm which was then 
Warren Hale & Co., and in 1876 he purchased the entire 
business, to which he added the construction of billiard 
table frames and all the wood work connected with the 
tables. He continued this business at North Dana until 
1880 when he moved to Athol and occupied the building 
known as the Upham shop with his business. His billiard 
tables obtained a high reputation and the industry was one 
of the largest of the kind in the country. His oldest sons 
were associated with him in the business for several years 
before his death. While living in North Dana he was 
actively interested in the building of the Athol and Enfield 
railroad and was one of the directors of the company. He 
was a member of Athol Commandery of Knights Templars 
and a prominent Mason. Of a social and genial nature he 
had a large circle of friends, and was one of the organizers 
of the Poquaig Club. He married Julia A. Amsden of 
Dana, Oct. 1, 1861. They had four children, Frank A., 
Fred L., Will A. and Minnie. Mr. Goodman died May 
15, 1893. 




"There is no heroic poem in the world, but is at bottom a biography, the 
life of a man." 

HEODOEE JONES was born in Tem- 
pleton, Mass. His early mercantile 
experience was obtained in the employ 
of John Chandler, who had, stores in 
Petersham, Athol and other places. 

Mr. Jones at one time had the su- 
pervision of all of these stores. He 
came to Athol and was in partnership 
with Mr. Chandler for a number of years, when he bought 
out the business, and was in trade in Athol for forty 
years, his store occupying the site of the present Union 
block at Athol Centre. He was prominent in the busi- 
ness, social, public and church life of his day, and was 
one of the staunch men of the town, whose influence was 
felt in a marked degree, and whose judgment was sought 
in all public matters. He was courtly in his manners, of 
innate courtesy, and manifested a kindly interest in all. 

308 ATHOL, 

He served as a Savings Bank for the young people who 
wished to save their pennies, and when a boy or girl car- 
ried a dollar to him, he gave his note for the amount with 
interest. He served the town as selectman, was town 
clerk from 1818 to 1829 inclusive, town treasurer from 
1840 to 1850, and represented the town in the Legislatures 
of 1840, 1843 and 1845, and was a deacon of the First 
Unitarian church for many years. He married Marcia Es- 
tabrook, daughter of Rev. Joseph Estabrook, the second 
minister of Athol, Aug. 29, 1819. They had eight child- 
ren : Joseph E., Theodore, Frederick, Charles, Nathaniel, 
Benjamin, Jerome, Ellen and Marcia. Of these, Theo- 
dore and Charles are dead, Joseph F. resides in Newton, 
Frederick in San Francisco, Nathaniel in Chicago, Jerome 
is head of the extensive crockery establishment of Jones, 
McDuffee&Stratton in Boston, and Ellen and Marcia reside 
in Athol at the old homestead. Mr. Jones died Jan. 5, 1863. 
Frederick Jones was born Aug. 31, 1803, at Athol, a 
son of Prescott and Jane (Moore) Jones, and was a lineal 
descendant of Lewis Jones, who came from England and 
settled in this country, at Roxbury, about 1635 to 1640. 
His descendants settled at Weston, Templeton, Athol and 
other places. The family is of Welsh origin, and its mem- 
bers have always been practical people, distinguished for 
acts and deeds, rather than for theories and sentiments ; 
sensible, God-fearing and well to do people. Frederick 
Jones appears to have inherited in a marked degree the 
characteristics of the family. He was eminently practical 
in his purposes, a close calculator, cautious and deliberate 


in forecasting and planning : enterprising, energetic and 
persistent in the execution of his plans, a man of excellent 
judgment and uniformly successful. At an early age he 
entered the tannery of his father at Athol, as an appren- 
tice, and served the regular time at that branch of indus- 
try. In 1825 his father retired from business, and Fred- 
erick, in connection with his brother, Prescott, Jr., suc- 
ceeded to it. They operated it together for a year or two, 
when the last named removed from Athol to Boston, where 
he engaged in business as a dealer in hides and leather, 
and at which place he died in 1839. 

In 1831 Frederick Jones added to his business of tan- 
ning, that of manufacturing heavy shoes and brogans. 
Some lighter shoes had been made previously in Athol, 
but only in a small way. Mr. Jones started the industry 
upon a larger plan, and four years afterwards the manu- 
facture was changed from shoes to boots, and the business 
finally became one of the important industries of the town. 
The tannery and the boot factory were operated by him 
and his partners until about 1872. In 1833 he enlarged 
his business operations, by embarking in business in Bos- 
ton as a dealer in boots, shoes and leather, being associated 
with his cousin, Nahum Jones, under the firm name of F. 
and N. Jones. He continued to reside in Athol, and per- 
sonally conducted operations at the tannery and boot fac- 
tory until 1838, when he removed his residence perma- 
nently to Boston. The firm of F. and N. Jones was dis- 
solved in 1848, and Frederick Jones continued alone until 
1853, when Francis F. Emery became associated with Mr. 


Jones as partner, the firm being Frederick Jones <fe Co., 
which was continued until 1882, when Mr. Jones retired 
permanently, and the business was continued by Mr. 
Emery. The firm of Frederick Jones & Co. manufactured 
and sold all kinds of heavy boots and shoes, selling only to 
the wholesale and jobbing trade, the manufactured pro- 
duct aggregating from five hundred thousand to one mill- 
ion pairs per year. The firm had factories at Ashland, 
Milford, Athol, South Braintree, Brockton and Plymouth, 
Mass., and at Dover, Farmington and Alton, N. H. 

Mr. Jones was in active business in the boot and shoe 
trade for fifty-seven years, and no man in the guild was 
more highly respected. His business life was an example 
of gentleness, purity and uprightness. He was married 
December 1, 1831, to Maria Sweetzer, daughter of Sam- 
uel and Hannah (Moore) Sweetzer of Athol. They had 
four children. The oldest, Caroline Sweetzer, born at 
Athol Oct. 28, 1835, married Francis F. Emery, Sept. 18, 
1855, and died at Boston. Oct. 1, 1890. Jane Maria, born 
at Athol, May 28, 1837, was unmarried, and died at Bos- 
ton, March 16, 1858. Two sons died in infancy. Mr. 
Jones died at Boston, June 7, 1887. He did not confine 
his usefulness to his business, but gave the benefit of his 
counsel and active cooperation to various organizations. 
He was a life member of the New England Historical So- 
ciety, the Museum of Fine Arts, the American Board of 
Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the Young Men's 
Christian Association, and other kindred societies to which 
he contributed liberally. He endowed the Andover Theo- 



logical Seminary with a professorship of elocution known 
as the Jones Professorship, and also endowed the Young 
Woman's Christian Association of Boston with a fund 
known as the Frederick Jones fund. 

George Sprague, son of Josiah Sprague, was born in 
1796. He was a direct descendant of Edward Sprague of 
Upw&,y, Dorset County, England. The three sons of Ed- 
ward Sprague emigrated to Charlestown, in this state, in 
1628. Of these, William Sprague, who went to Hingham 
in 1636, is the ancestor of George. He was granted a 
tract of land in Hingham that year, and soon took a prom- 
inent position in the management of the town's affairs, 
holding the ofl&ces of selectman and constable. One An- 
thony Sprague of this family, Avho was an invalid, is said 
to have read the Bible through once a month for thirty 
years. George was the third child in a family of nine, and 
from an early age was deeply interested in mechanics. On 
becoming of age he engaged at once in business, which 
was the manufacture of shingles by hand. From this he 
turned his attention to the making of sleighs and wagons, 
which he sold himself, his trade extending as far as Cana- 
da. After this he engaged in cabinet making, and about 
1830, came to the lower village of Athol, then known as 
the "factory village," where he first did the mechanical 
work for the cotton factory. He also manufactured vari- 
ous kinds of machinery, and soon commenced a hardware 
business, which he gradually enlarged and carried on until 
1862, when he sold it to his son Lucius K. On June 1, 
1826, he married Nancy Knight of Phillipston. They had 


six children : George Lorenzo, Martha Angeline, Lean- 
der Milton, who are dead, and Lucius Knight, Edwin 
Loring and Henry Harrison, now living in Boston. Mr. 
Sprague died June 25, 1870. 

Jonathan Stratton, second son of Joseph Stratton, was 
born in Athol Oct. 5, 1795. His grandfather, Elias Strat- 
ton, came from England and settled in Sherborn, Mass., 
and came to Athol about 1770, where he purchased a 
large tract of land in the south part of the town, to which 
he gave the name of New Sherborn, after the town from 
which he came, a name which that district has borne to 
the present time. Elias had five sons and two daughters. 
As the sons grew to the age of maturity, each one of them was 
given a farm from this tract and settled around their father. 
Four of the sons lived on their farms until they died, and 
from these are descended most of the Strattons of Athol 
and vicinity. 

Jonathan lived on his father's farm, the place now occu- 
pied by S. C. Perham. He was frequently called upon to 
settle estates, was appointed guardian of many children, 
and on many occasions was chosen as referee to settle dis- 
putes both in Athol and surrounding towns. He also did 
considerable town business, serving on the board of assess- 
ors, and on many important committees. He was a prom- 
inent member of the old First Church, and was chosen as 
deacon May 25, 1835, which office he held until his death. 
At the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the 
organization of the church, he was chairman of the com- 
mittee of arrangements. He married Esther W. Fay 




March. 8, 1821, and they had six children: Eleanor, who 
married Amos T. Stratton, J. Henry, who lives in the up- 
per village, Otis, who lived in San Jose, California, and 
Lucena, Winsor and J. Milton, who are dead. Mr. Strat- 
ton died Feb. 21, 1852. 

Abner Graves Stratton was born Feb. 8, 1820, in the 
■south part of Athol, his ancestors being among the early 
settlers of the town. He received his education in the dis- 
trict schools, and first embarked in the active duties of life 
as a farmer in that part of the town, now known as "Athol 
■Street." He was engaged in farming for several years, 
and then associated himself with Asa W. Twitchell in the 
manufacture of palm leaf hats, occupying a building in the 
rear of the present Chronicle block. On retiring from this 
business he was for a short time landlord of the old Pe- 
■quoig House, after which he again associated himself with 
Mr. Twitchell in the livery stable and express business, at 
the place now occupied by C. W. Moore, on Exchange 
Street. This firm continued for a long time, doing a very 
successful business, which was carried on for some years 
after Mr. Twitchell's death by Mr. Stratton alone. In the 
early seventies he entered into partnership with Charles 
Adams in the retail boot and shoe business in the old 
Houghton block, and retiring from the business in 1876, 
was not again engaged in active business, with the excep- 
tion of auctioneer, in which capacity he was in constant 
demand. He was chosen to the office of constable in 
1842, and for a third of a century held various town offices 
continuously, having served the town as selectman, assessor, 


overseer of the poor, constable, tax collector, treasurer, and 
many other minor offices, indeed, it is said that at one time 
he held every town office with the exception of town clerk. 
He was a member of the fire department for twenty-eight 
years, and for a time its chief engineer, and was tax col- 
lector nineteen years. He was active in the organization 
of the Worcester Northwest Agricultural and Mechanical 
Society, and up to the time of his death was a familiar fig- 
ure as chief marshal at the annual fairs. He was a man 
of strong physical constitution, and his keen wit and Yan- 
kee genius are well remembered by the older inhabitants, 
who can tell many amusing incidents of his public and 
private life. He married Ophelia Barton of Athol July 7, 
1842, and by her had two • sons, Frederick A. and Solon. 
His wife died in 1875, and he was again married Jan. 5, 
1876, to Mrs. Fanny Forrester of North Orange. Mr. 
Stratton died March 26, 1882. 

William H. Garfield was the second son of George 
and Pattie Garfield, who settled in Athol in 1814. Will- 
iam was born in Harvard Dec. 31, 1809. His boyhood 
from the time he was four years old was spent in Athol. 
At the age of nineteen years he left the paternal roof to 
go out into the world, and went on foot to Concord, Mass. 
to obtain work. He remained there two years, and went 
to Boston in 1831. He was the first one to introduce in 
Boston the New York daily papers, and was for four years 
one of the proprietors of the Boston Daily Times. He en- 
gaged in the coffiee and spice business in 1856, in which 
he continued for nearly forty years, doing an extensive and 




successful business, and attending personally to his affairs 
eyery day when over eighty-two years of age. Mr. Gar- 
field was twice married, his first wife being Sarah Teague 
of Portsmouth, N. H., whom he married iu Boston, Dec. 
2, 1839. Mrs. Garfield died April 18, 1879, and May 5, 
1880, he married Mrs. Eliza A. Maine, formerly of Dor- 
chester. Mr. Garfield died July 18, 1894. 

Jonathan Wheeler was born in Athol, March 30, 
1790. His parents, Zacheus and Silence (Leland) 
Wheeler, came from Grafton, Mass., in February of the 
same year and settled on the north bank of TuUy brook, 
near where Pine Dale is now situated. A log cabin was 
built for their home, a large tract of land was purchased, 
and a grist mill was erected upon the brook. Jonathan 
was the ninth of eleven children, and the youngest son. 
He attended the district school in Athol, going through 
the forests to school by means of blazes on the tree trunks. 
After he left school he worked for his father on the farm 
until twenty-one years of age. He then went into busi- 
ness for himself making trunks, and later sent lumber to 
Worcester and Boston. He soon was able to buy out his 
father's interest in the farm, mill and woodland, built up 
the little village called Wheelerville, now Pine Dale, and 
in 1834 began to manufacture pails, being one of the first 
to engage in that industry in the country. As his busi- 
ness increased he built larger mills, and also engaged in 
the manufacture of matches and of sash and blinds. He 
was very successful in his business life and accumulated 
considerable wealth, but reverses soon came, and he lost 


a large amount of property by fire, which destroyed three' 
large shops and thousands of dollars worth of stock. Ow- 
ing to his heavy losses he was obliged to sell his property 
at Wheelerville, and with a portion of the proceeds pur- 
chased real estate in the village of Athol, which proved a 
good investment. He was a prominent member of the 
Baptist church, to which he contributed most liberally. 
He was married three times, and by his second wife, Mrs, 
Hannah Fisher, had seven children, of whom three are 
now living, Mr. Augustine Wheeler and Mrs. Hollon Farr 
of Athol, and Mrs. Bela Dexter of Eutland, Vt. He died 
July 19, 1872. 

Joseph Proctor, son of Joseph Proctor, one of Athol's 
first lawyers, was born in Athol Feb. 20, 1823. He lived 
in town until 1855, being engaged in the manufacture of 
boxes and sash and blinds, in company with Charles 
Spooner at the Kennebunk mills, and also with Addison 
and Charles Horr, at the Ellis mill. Owing to failing 
health he went to the West in 1855, and was one of the 
pioneers in the state of Minnesota. He made his way on 
foot up the Mississippi river to St. Cloud, where he located 
and engaged in the hardware business in company with N. 
P. Clark of Hubbardston. He soon took his family there, 
and the hardware business was changed into that of gen- 
eral merchandise. This was one of the outposts of civili- 
zation, and was made a great distributing point for all the 
Northwest, controlling a large business from the Indians 
and the Eed River country. The breaking out of the In- 
dian war changed entirely the plans of Mr. Proctor's life. 



Mrs. Proctor and the children were sent to the East, and 
in a year or two Mr. Proctor closed out his business and 
came back to Athol. After a while he went to Logans- 
port, Ind., and engaged in the retail boot and shoe business, 
the firm being Proctor & Myers. About 1866 he com- 
menced the manufacture of boots and shoes in Athol with 
a Mr. Albee, their shop being in Union block. This was 
continued for about three years, when he closed out the 
business, and after that was not engaged in any active 
business. He married Lucia Baldwin, a daughter of Jon- 
athan Baldwin of Baldwinville, June 7, 1848. They had 
seven children, of whom two died young. Mary Jose- 
phine married Herbert L. Hapgood, Fred E. is engaged 
in business in Boston, Carro F. is bookkeeper at the Athol 
National Bank, Anna F. married Chas. Eobbins of Or- 
ange, and Joseph L., is engaged in business in Chicago. 
Mr. Proctor died Aug 2, 1888. 

Major Warren Horr was born in New Salem, July 
17, 1803, a son of Warren Horr who was at one time 
treasurer of the town of Shutesbury. His education was 
obtained at New Salem Academy, of which he was the 
oldest graduate at the time of his death. His early life 
was devoted to farming, and he was honored by his fellow 
townsinen with many positions of trust and responsibility, 
representing New Salem in the Legislature of 1850, and 
also served the town as selectman, assessor and overseer 
of the p6or for seven years in succession. Actively inter- 
ested in the old militia he held the office of major, and 
was elected colonel, which office he declined. He removed 


to Athol in 1857 and engaged in the grocery business with 
J. W. Hunt and J. F. Packard for a few years, and then 
gave his attention to agricultural pursuits. In 1826 he 
married Sally P. Sloan, a sister of Jonathan "W. Sloan. 
She died in 1868 and in 1869 he married Mrs. Harriet 
Townsend. He had one chUd, George W. Horr. He 
was the oldest member of the Masonic fraternity in this 
section, having been made a Mason in Golden Rule Lodge, 
New Salem, in 1826. His life and character may be sum- 
med up in the following words : He was a just man, a 
true man, and a Christian. He died Feb. 14, 1890. 

Col. Wilson Andrews was born in New Salem, April 
3, 1804, the second son of Daniel Andrews of that town. 
Through all his more active life from early manhood until 
seventy years of age he was well known throughout Cen- 
tral Massachusetts in his business relations with the promi- 
nent and leading men of those days. He was appointed a 
deputy sherriff of Franklin County in the year 1832, which 
office he held for thirty years. In 1833 he was elected 
colonel in the militia of Massachusetts, his commission 
being signed by Gov. Levi Lincoln. For this office he 
was eminently adapted, his fine figure and bearing, with 
his commanding presence rendered him ever a pleasing 
picture to the eye as he commanded his regiment. After 
holding this position for some years, he was elected to the 
office of General. But with a young and growing family 
which rendered it necessary for him to devote himself un- 
ceasingly to his business, he felt it his duty to decline the 
office, and Col. James S. Whitney, father of Ex-Secretary 








of the Navy Whitney was appointed in his place. He was 
a Mason for nearly forty years and actively interested in 
the order. He removed to Athol in 1871, which was ever 
after his home until his death June 5, 1886. He married 
Miss Samanthy O. Hastings of New Salem, Feb. 26, 1827. 
They had six children: Ophelia M., George W., Ellen S., 
Waldo H., Phoebe L. and Henry O. Ophelia married 
Dr. O. S. Lovejoy and resides in Haverhill, Mass., Phoebe 
L. married Henry M. Smith of Enfield, and Ellen S. and 
Henry O. reside in Athol. 

Joseph Fairbanks Packard, oldest child of Winslow 
and Eachel (Freeman) Packard, was born in New Salem, 
Oct. 12, 1812. His early life was spent upon his father's 
farm. When about nineteen years of age he left the old 
homestead and went to Hadley, Mass., where he engaged 
in manufacturing brooms. It was there that he made the 
acquaintance of a most estimable young lady, Susanna 
Hinds Bowman, to whom he was united in marriage Jan- 
uary 28, 1833. He soon after returned to his native town 
and to his former occupation of farming. Two children 
were born to him, Susan Sophia, February 3, 1834, and 
three years later, a son Joseph Henry. While a resident 
of New Salem he was for some years engaged with J. W , 
Hunt in driving cattle and sheep from Vermont to the 
Brighton market, and held many town and society oifices, 
serving the town a number of years as selectman, assessor 
and overseer of the poor. In the spring of 1857, with his 
family, he removed to Athol and engaged in business with 
J. W. Hunt under the firm name of Hunt & Packard, 


grocers, at the store now occupied by O. T. Brooks & Co. 
In the fall of 1866 this co-partnership was dissolved, Mr. 
Packard taking up his residence at Athol Centre, where 
he was engaged in the same business with Lewis H. Sawin 
and George H. Cooke. He continued this business until 
suffering from a paralytic shock he was obliged to give up 
work, and with his wife passed the remaining years of his 
life at the home of his daughter and son-in-law Mr. and 
Mrs. Adolphus Bangs. Both Mr. and Mrs. Packard were 
for many years worthy members of the Congregational 
church. Mrs. Packard died February 2, 1883, and Mr. 
Packard April 30 of the same year. 

Thomas D. Brooks, a son of Capt. Joel Brooks, was 
born in Petersham in May, 1811. He worked on his 
father's farm until twenty-four years of age, when he pur- 
chased a farm in the south part of Petersham, and after a 
year's experience on the farm moved to the Centre and 
commenced the manufacture of boots and shoes with 
Gardner Farrar. In 1841 he removed to Wendell, where 
he continued the same business, and also kept a store with 
his brother Otis. In that town he held the offices of 
selectman, overseer of the poor, town clerk and assessor, 
and was one of the trustees of New Salem Academy. He 
was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Franklin County 
in 1850. During the Rebellion he took an active part in 
helping the soldiers of Wendell, and was liberal in gifts of 
money and in assisting their families. 

In 1874 he moved to Athol and purchased the Eichard 
Moore farm on the old North Orange road where he re- 



sided until his death. He was appointed Trial Justice 
June 25, 1873, which position he held ahout two years 
and a half, when he resigned. His last years were spent 
upon his pleasant farm, which his vigorous health enabled 
him to carry on almost to the time of his death. He 
married Miss Mary L. Sawtelle of Templeton. Their 
golden wedding was celebrated in a most pleasant and 
interesting manner at their hospitable home in 1886. 
They had three sons and one daughter, Oscar T., a grocer 
in Athol, Herbert of Brg,ttleboro, Vt., Charles C, a grocer 
in Orange, and Eliza A., who married Marcus M. Stebbins 
of Erving. Mr. Brooks died March 23, 1893. 

Edmund J. Gage was born in Wendell, Mass., Feb. 22, 
1821. He lived there until nine years of age when he 
moved to New Salem, which was his home until eighteen 
years old. He came to Athol in 1841, and worked at the 
boot business for a few years, and then purchased a farm 
in the south part of the town, where he resided until 
about 1875, when he moved to the village and took charge 
of the new Silver Lake cemetery, of which he was the 
efficient superintendent until his death. He served the 
town as selectman and assessor in 1874, and always took 
an active interest in town affairs. He was a member of 
the Congregational church, and of Star Lodge of Masons. 
He married Mary H. Haven. They had two children, 
Charles F. and Monroe F. Mrs. Gage died April 16, 
1885, and he was married a second time to Mrs. Maria F. 
Taft, Dec, 17, 1885. Mr! Gage died Oct. 9, 1893. 

Caleb A. Cook, son of David Cook, was born in Roy- 


alston, April 10, 1821. His early life was spent on his 
father's farm in West Royalston. He learned the 
watchmaker's trade when a young man, and did quite a 
business at his home repairing watches, clocks and jewelry. 
While a resident of Royalston he was interested in public 
affairs, and held various town offices. He came to At hoi 
in May, 1864, and engaged in the grocery business with 
P. C. Tyler. He soon disposed of his interest in the 
grocery business and went into the jewelry business with 
S. W. Bliss, and after a few years .went into the jewelry 
and watchmaker's business for himself, in which he con- 
tinued until his health failed, and he sold out to S. N. 
FoUansbee. He married Susan Herrick of Royalston, 
May 8, 1842. They had three children, a son who died 
at four years of age, Stella, who married Frank Hutchin- 
son, and Saran A. the wife of Charles H. Tyler. His wife 
died Aug. 11, 1881, and he was married again March 30, 
1882, to Jane L. Case. Mr. Cook died April 13, 1888. 

Alexander Gray was born in Worcester, July 21, 1798, 
and came to Athol in 1805, when about seven years of 
age. His home was on the farm known as the Twichell 
place, near the Petersham Road, where he lived until 
about 1850, when he purchased another farm further 
north and lived about ten years, and then came to the vil- 
lage and bought a home on Central Street, where he lived 
until his death in 1876. He was a millwright by 'trade, 
and did much work in Athol and surrounding towns in 
building and repairing waterwheels, machinery, etc. He 
was interested in public affairs, and served the town as 







selectman, assessor and overseer of the poor for several 
years. He married Elvira Bancroft of Wendell, Dec. 21. 
1825. They had four sons and three daughters; two of 
the sons died young and the remaining two, Henry and 
Charles, are well known citizens of Athol. 

James M. Rice was born in Athol, Sept. 10, 1827. In 
early life he worked on a farm and drove an ox-team 
between Athol and Worcester, conveying produce, etc. 
About 1853 he went into business for himself, manufac- 
turing stands and tables of various kinds. In 1857 he 
enlarged his business, and bought the saw mill of Mr. 
Button "Wood, and also engaged in the lumber business 
with J. Milton Stratton. They built a new mill in place 
of the old one and continued .the partnership for about a 
year, when Mr. Rice bought out his partner and continued 
the business alone. In 1867 he built an addition to his 
furniture factory. Soon after this his buildings were 
burned, but he immediately replaced his factory with a 
new one, with enlarged facilities for the business. In 
1871 he again enlarged his business and built an addition 
to the factory, at the same time putting in steam power. 
He continued in the manufacture of furniture until his 
death, July 27, 1878. He was interested in town affairs, 
and served as selectman, assessor and overseer of the poor 
for three years, was enterprising in his business, and ever 
ready to help along anything that he believed was for the 
best interest of the town. The furniture business was 
continued after his death for several years by the firm of 
Rice, Barlow & Co. He married Clarissa Meacham of 


New Salem, Nov. 18, 1846. They had four children, 
two of whom are now living, B. Madison and Harriet 
Ellen, wife of Charles F. Barlow. 

Joseph F. Dunbar was born in Orange, Feb. 4, 1819. 
In early life he worked for Jonathan Wheeler in the pail 
factory, at what is now known as Pine Dale, for seventeen 
years. About 1852 he came to the lower village in Athol 
and, in company with George Farr, engaged in the manu- 
facture of matches, and also made pails. The firm was 
known as Farr & Dunbar, and their shops were located on 
Walnut Street, and where the box shop of Horace Hager 
now is. In about four or five years he sold out to Thorpe 
& Parmenter, after which he was engaged for some time 
in the lumber business. He was also a painter by trade, 
and did considerable work in that business. He was mar- 
ried Dec. 31, 1850, to Sarah E. Goodrich of Gill, Mass. 
They had three children, Jennie G., the wife of Charles 
F. Amsden, Joseph A., who is clerk at O. T. Brooks & 
Co's., and Sarah May. He died Jan. 3, 1892. 

Russell Smith, a son of Luther and Abigail Smith, was 
born in Athol, Sept. 11, 1812. As soon as he became of 
age, he learned the trade of scythe making of the Sibley's, 
and when about twenty-five years old engaged in business 
for himself, purchasing the interest of Stephen Hammond 
in the scythe factory. He carried on this business success- 
fully until a few years before his death, which took place 
Aug. 24, 1870. He was prominent in the fire department, 
and served as foreman of one of tho old-time engine 
companies. He married Maria Kendall Aug. 21, 1893. 

/At 0i 

t *►■ 







They had six children, four boys and two girls. The boys 
are all dead. The daughters are Mrs. Hattie Moore and 
Maria, the wife of Frank F. Morse. 

AzRO B. FoLSOM was born in Worcester, Vt., in 1830. 
He removed to Athol about 1856, and soon after engaged 
in the jewelry business, which he continued until a few 
months before his death. He enlisted in Co. E, Fifty 
Third Regiment, and returned from the war in feeble 
health. Several years after his return from the war he 
united with the Methodist church, and was ever after one 
of its most prominent members, serving as trustee and 
superintendent of the Sunday School. He was also an 
earnest and active worker in the temperance cause, a man 
of upright character and honorable in his business rela- 
tions. He died Aug. 29, 1882. 

Daniel Bigelow was born in Athol, June 8, 1800, and 
was a descendant of one of the old families of the town. 
His grandfather, William Bigelow, came to Athol about 
1746, and settled on a farm in the south part of the town. 
WiUiam Bigelow was one of the most prominent men of 
the town in his day, and was especially active during the 
opening days of the Revolution. He was one of the 
Committee of Correspondence, Delegate to the Provincial 
Congress and other gatherings, town clerk, the first Dep- 
uty Sheriff, and was chosen deacon of the old First Church 
in 1795. Daniel lived on the old ancestral farm most of 
his long life, but during his latter years lived on Pleasant 
Street. He became a Spiritualist in 1853, and ever after 
was a firm believer in those doctrines. He married 


Hannah Stockwell April 29, 1827, and had three children, 
one who died in infancy, Elmer S. and Sarah. He was 
married a second time Aug. 22, 1872, to D. E. Grout. 
Mr. Bigelow died Jan. 2, 1894. 

Dexter Aldrich was born in Pittsford, Vt., in April, 
1822. His parents resided in various places, and moved 
to Athol from Royalston about 1834. He first worked at 
shoemaking, which he continued until about 1852, when 
he commenced selling goods for Horace Partridge, of 
Boston, travelling over the country and selling his goods 
at auction at the various cattle shows, musters and other 
occasions where large numbers were gathered. He was 
also engaged at different times as travelling salesman for 
several Boston firms. He was the first one to occupy a- 
store in the Summit House block, where, in 1857, he 
opened a millinery and dry goods store which was one of 
the first of that kind, of importance in town, and where 
he did an extensive business. He was one of the projec- 
tors of Union block, and was also among the first of those 
who favored the introduction of gas and water into town. 
He also did an extensive business as an auctioneer. 
In company with T. H. Goodspeed he purchased Music 
Hall a short time before it was burned. For several years 
before his death he occupied a store in his block adjoining 
the Summit House. Mr. Aldrich died Dec. 19, 1882. 

Gilbert Southard was born in Swanzey, N. H., Dec 7, 
1820. He was left an orphan at the age of eight years, 
and his boyhood was one of hardship and work. When 
a young man he engaged in the manufacture of pails at 



Fitzwilliam, N. H., and after a few years there removed to 
Athol, locating near South. Athol, where the village which 
was built up by his business became known as Southard- 
ville. He continued the manufacture of pails at that place 
from 1848 to 1858, when he sold out his business and 
removed to Athol Centre, and bought the residence on 
Chestnut Street, which was his home until his death. He 
engaged in the grocery business at the store now occupied 
by Newton & Call, and sold out in a few years to S. E. and 
O. A. Fay. He then engaged in the stove and tinware 
business in the store where Samuel Lee is now located. 
After continuing this business a few years, he sold out and 
became interested in lumbering operations and other busi- 
ness. He became prominently identified with town ajffairs, 
and from 1875 was a member of the board of selectmen 
for nine years continuously, serving also most of that time 
as overseer of the poor and road commissioner. In 1891, 
he was elected overseer of the poor and served three years. 
He also for a number of years was elected to defend the 
town in law suits, and served on important committees for 
the town. He was a member of the Congregational 
church, and for many years the leader of its choir. He 
was married in 1842, to Miss Lucy A. Ellenwood of 
Athol. She died Nov. 13, 1895. ■ They had five children, 
the only survivor of whom is Henry Southard, who now 
lives at the old homestead. Mr. Southard died Feb. 1, 

James W. Hunt was born in Prescott, June 1, 1821. 
and was one of eight children of Samuel and Polly 


fSloane) Hunt. His early life was spent upon the farm, 
and attending the district schools. He was for a number 
of years engaged in driving sheep and cattle from Vermont 
to Brighton market, in company with J. F. Packard. He 
was for many years one of the leading citizens of Prescott, 
serving the town as selectman, assessor and overseer of 
the poor for twelve years in succession. He came to 
Athol in November, 1856, and engaged in the grocery 
business with J. F. Packard and Warren Horr, where the 
store of O. T. Brooks & Co. is now located. He contin- 
ued this business for fourteen years, and afterwards had a 
grocery store with his brother, Orrin, where the Chronicle 
block now is. Later he engaged in lumbering operations, 
alone or in connection with others. He was one of the 
purchasers of the Pinedale property and also of the 
Uphartl shop near the depot, and he also had much to do 
in the settlement of various estates. He was a prominent 
factor in town aifairs, having been selectman for three 
years, assessor eight years, and was often chosen to act on 
important town committees. He was a charter member of 
the Poquaig Club. He was an attendant of and liberal 
contributor to the Baptist church, and sang in the church 
choir for many years. He married Sophia L. Haskins of 
WiUiamstown, May 23, 1844. She died Nov. 23, 1879, 
and Aug. 8, 1881, he married Miss Lizzie M. Rugg of 
Montague. Mr. Hunt died March 1, 1898. 



"Here shall the Press the People's right maintain, 
Unawed by influence and unbribed by gain, 
Here patriot Truth her glorious precepts draw, 
Pledged to Religion, Liberty and Law." 

^ ^s.1 yj, FIRST venture in the field of jour- 
nalism in Athol was that of Alonzo 
Rawson who, Dec. 18, 1827, issued the 
first number of his "Freedom's Senti- 
nel." It was printed in folio form on 
a sheet eighteen by twenty-six inches wide, and contained 
twenty columns. The oflace was located at Athol Centre, 
and Mr. Rawson was the editor and publisher. His 
editorials were ably written, and he expressed his views 
upon the public questions of the day in a fearless manner. 
One of the principles which he stated he should be con- 
trolled by in the discharge of his editorial duties, was the 
following : "We shall never hesitate to reprobate, in the 
strongest terms, the injustice and horrors of slavery." 
This paper was continued for two years, the last issue 


appearing Dec. 14, 1829, when Mr. Eawson gives his 
farewell as follows: "This week we issue the last numher 
of Freedom's Sentinel, in Athol. It has been published 
two years, during which time the publisher has devoted 
his whole time and attention to its editorial and mechan- 
ical departments ; and now he thinks he has an undoubted 
right to take a friendly leave of his patrons, and depart in 
peace, good spirits, and with empty pockets." 

The next paper to be printed in Athol was the 
"White Flag," the first number of which was issued Sept. 
7, 1850, M. H. Mandell, publisher, and D. J. Mandell, 
editor aud proprietor. The object of this paper was 
briefly stated by Editor Mandell, who said, "The object of 
this journal is to promote the Christian Confederacy of 
Neighborhoods, Towns, States and Nations." Evidently the 
people did not appreciate the good intentions of this jour- 
nal, for only a few numbers were issued in the second 
volume, when the publication suspended. From 1851 
until Nov. 28, 1866, Athol was without a newspaper. "The 
Worcester West Chronicle" was established in Barre by 
R. Wm. Waterman, in January, 1866. During that year a 
movement was started in Athol for the establishing a local 
paper in town, and several meetings were held by the citi- 
zens to see what inducements could be offered, and 
arrangements made with some journalist to establish a 
weekly paper in town, devoted to its local interests and 
independent in politics. An invitation was extended to 
the proprietor of the "Worcester West Chronicle" to remove 
his plant from Barre to Athol. He accepted the offer 

Journalism. S3l 

ttlade him by the citizens' committee, and on Nov. 28, 
1866, the first issue of the "Worcester West Chronicle" 
was published in Athol. It. was printed on an Adams 
hand press, on a sheet twenty-four by thirty-six inches, 
folio form, with twenty-eight columns. In 1867 a power 
press was purchased. In 1870 the paper was enlarged to 
thirty-two columns, and on a sheet twenty-seven by fofty- 
two inches. In January, 1875, it was again enlarged to 
forty-eight columns on a sheet thirty by forty-four inches 
quarto form, and, in 1881, a new cylinder press was 
purchased. In 1890, two more pages were added, the 
paper continuing to be a ten page weekly until September, 
1895, when it was made a semi- weekly, being published 
on Thursdays and Saturdays. The paper has been from 
the start under the same business and editorial man- 

R. William Waterman, the editor and proprietor of 
the Chronicle, was born at St. John's, Newfoundland, 
Nov. 8, 1836, and came to Massachusetts with his mother 
when quite young. His parents were of American and 
English descent, his father, William Waterman, being a 
descendant of one of the oldest Massachusetts families of 
that name. His mother was Jane Ryland Burton, 
daughter of George Burton, a commissioned officer in the 
English army stationed at Newfoundland. His father 
died when he was an infant, and at the age of fourteen 
young Waterman commenced to learn the printing busi- 
ness, graduating in 1857 from the University office in 
Cambridge, after serving seven years apprenticeship. 
Notwithstanding he had gained as thorough a knowledge 


of book printing as could be obtained in one of the best 
offices in the country, he gave a year's time soon after in 
another office in gaining a still further knowledge of type 
setting in foreign languages. At Andover, Mass , he did 
the composition on Henderson's Commentary of the Minor 
Prophets, in which he set six languages, all but one 
Oriental. Mr. Waterman was afterwards employed at the 
New England Type Foundry in Boston, and at the Eiver- 
side Press, Cambridge, as a type setter. While at the 
former place he worked upon "Uncle Tom's Cabin," in 
the manuscript of Harriet Beecher Stowe. At the 
University office, when a boy, he worked upon the 
manuscript of the first edition of Longfellow's "Hiawatha," 
carrying the proofs to the author daily. He was also 
employed at the Boston Stereotype Foundry, and at 
Wright & Potter's State Printers, going from the latter 
place to Barre, Mass., as foreman of the Barre Gazette 
office in 1864, and in January, 1866, established in that 
town the Worcester West Chronicle, which he removed 
to Athol in the fall of that year. He has been promi- 
nently identified with various Press Associations, having in 
1870 been one of seven to organize, at Worcester, the 
Massachusetts Press Association, of which he has several 
times been elected vice-president, and it was through an 
invitation issued by him to newspaper publishers, that the 
Suburban Press Association was organized at Athol, in 
1881, which has now become the "Suburban Press Asso- 
ciation of New England," the largest and most useful in 
the United States, and of which he has been the 


Slurt^^stec %\)mi (£kmvA. 

vol- XXYIU 





1 r , 310 

MO 2. 

f hrCI 





corresponding secretary to the present time. He was also 
one of the delegates sent to Cincinnati to organize the 
National Press Association in 1885 which has since 
held its sessions in the different states of the Union, most 
of which he has attended. He has had an extensive and 
varied experience in travelling in the United States and 
Mexico, having been in every state except Washington. 
Mr. Waterman was married Jan. 1, 1861, at Cambridge, 
Mass., to Henrietta Florence Taylor, daughter of Charles 
and Mary E. Taylor of that city. Miss Taylor was a native 
of North Heading, and was born at the old Whittredge 
homestead, which has been in the possession of her family 
from the Colonial days. Mr. and Mrs. Waterman have 
had three children, Charles A. J., who was born in Cam- 
bridge, and for a number of years was successfully engaged 
in the job printing business in Athol. He died in 1889, 
leaving a widow, one daughter and a son. George 
Burton, born in Barre, died in infancy, and Marshall B., 
born in Barre in 1866 is the only surviving child. 

The first number of the "Athol Transcript" was 
issued Tuesday morning, Jan. 31, 1871, byE. F. Jones & 
Co. Mr. Jones was an able and popular printer, and had 
been for several years the foreman of the Chronicle office. 
Lucien Lord was the silent partner, and Dr. V. O. Taylor 
became the first editor. The changes that have taken 
place in the ownership and management of the paper are 
as follows: July 3, 1872, Col. George H. Hoyt bought 
Mr. Lord's interest, and the firm name of E. F. Jones & 
Co. was continued. Col. Hoyt doing the editorial work, 


and giving the paper a strong political tinge. During the 
absence of Col. Hoyt in the Legislature the editorial duties 
were ably assumed by his sister, Mrs. Clare H. Burleigh. 
June 24, 1873, Lucien Lord, W. L. Hill and E. A. Smith 
purchased the entire business and plant and a new firm 
was organized, under the name of Smith, Hill & Co., with 
Mr. Smith as business manager, Mr. Hill as editor, and 
Mr. Lord as silent partner. This partnership continued 
until April, 1881, when Messrs Lord and Hill purchased 
Mr. Smith's interest, the former continuing as silent 
partner, and the latter as editor and business manager, the 
company name being the Athol Transcript Company. In 
September, 1893, W. H. Brock purchased Mr. Lord's 
interest, and succeeded him as silent partner, the firm 
name remaining as before. 

Dr. Vernon O. Taylor, the first editor of the Trans- 
cript, was born in Charlestown, Mass., Aug. 28, 1847. 
He was educated in the public schools of Charlestown, 
and Park Latin School of Boston, entered Tufts College, 
but left that institution in the sophomore year to enter the 
Harvard Medical School, from which he received the 
degree of M. D., in July, 1868. In September of that 
year he went to the west coast of Africa, and sojourned 
in the colony of Senegal until April, 1869. In September, 
1869 he located in Athol, and commenced the practice of 
medicine. In addition to the duties of his profession he 
was local and special correspondent for the Springfield 
Republican, and was editor of the Transcript for nearly 
two years. He was married Sept. 15, 1871, to Sabra J. 


Lord, eldest daughter of Ethan Lord, and they have one 
child, Lucien Edward Taylor, born June 24, 1872. In 
1874 he removed to Lowell, Mass., to accept a position 
with the firm of Dr. J. C. Ayer & Co., and in 1882 went 
to Providence, R. I., where he took the position of foreign 
correspondent, and had charge of the advertising depart- 
ment of the Rumford Chemical works. He resigned this 
position in July, 1889, to accept the special agency of the 
Winner Investment Co., of Kansas City, Mo. While in 
Athol Mr. Taylor was appointed a Justice of the Peace by 
Gov. Wm. B. Washburn, was regular correspondent of the 
Massachusetts State Board of Health, and also United 
States Examining Surgeon for Pensions. He took a great 
interest in Masonry, was Master of Star Lodge, and was 
active in securing the dispensation and charter for Athol 
Commandery of Knights Templars, of which he was the 
first Eminent Commander. 

Wells Louet Hill, editor and part proprietor of the 
Athol Transcript, was born in Athol, July 25, 1850, the 
youngest child of the late John C. and Dolly (Smith) Hill. 
He is descended, on his mother's side, from Aaron Smith, 
one of the early 'settlers of the town, and a member of 
Athol's first board of selectmen. He was educated in the 
common schools of the town, until a severe attack of 
scarlet fever deprived him wholly of his hearing, at the 
age of twelve years. He then attended for four years the 
American School for the education of deaf people at 
Hartford, Conn., and entered the college at Washington, 
D. C, in 1868, from which he graduated with high honors 


in 1872. A few years after he was honored by his alma 
mater with the degree of Master of Arts. His first 
newspaper work was done while in Washington, as 
correspondent, first for the Worcester West Chronicle, and 
later for the Athol Transcript. In June, 1873, Mr. Hill, 
in connection with Edgar A. Smith, purchased an interest 
in the Transcript, forming a partnership with Lucien Lord, 
one of the founders of the paper. Mr. Hill became the 
editor at that time, and has held the position ever since. 
In 1889, he was chosen by the directors of the American 
School for the deaf at Hartford, Conn., to represent that 
institution at a grand international congress of the deaf, 
held in Paris, France, called for the purpose of considering 
methods of educating the deaf. He was absent abroad 
about two months, and on his return made a lengthy 
report of his doings, which was printed and widely dis- 
tributed at the instance of the directors of the Hartford 
school. Mr. Hill has frequently been called upon by his 
friends among the deaf to make addresses in their behalf, 
and he has ofiiciated in this way in Boston, Hartford, 
Conn., Washington, D. C, New York, Worcester and 
other places. In May, 1875, he married Abbie M. Earle, 
a member of the well-known Hunt family. Four children 
have blessed this union, the oldest son, J. Clarence Hill, 
being local editor of the Transcript. 

Edgar A. Smith, son of Abner Smith, was born in New 
Salem, Sept. 2, 1849. In 1865, he entered the employ of 
the Vermont & Massachusetts R. R. Co., as the first tele- 
graph operator at the Athol station. He was afterwards 






operator at Fitchburg, and in 1869 was appointed time- 
keeper and clerk in the master mechanics' office at 
Fitchburg, then general utilitj' man on the trains, and 
private secretary to Otis T. Ruggles, superintendent of the 
Vermont and Massachusetts R. R. He then became train 
dispatcher on the Fitchburg road from Boston to North 
Adams, and in 1890 was made General Superintendent of 
Telegraph from Boston to Troy, and was empowered to 
or^nize and put in operating condition the entire tele- 
graph system of the Fitchburg railroad between those 
places. In 1897, he was appointed Passenger Train 
Master, having general direction of the whole passenger 
equipment. Mr. Smith was for nearly eight years one of 
the owners of the Athol Transcript, having in June, 1873, 
with Lucien Lord and W. L. Hill, purchased the business 
and plant, the firm name being Smith, Hill & Co., Mr. 
Smith being the business manager. This partnership 
continued until April, 1881, when Mr. Smith sold out his 
interest. He was married May 3, 1875, to Josie M. 
Chapin, of Hartford, Conn. 

Frank W. Gourlay was born in Boston, Jan. 17, 
1859. He attended the public schools of that city, which 
was his home, with the exception of four years spent in 
New Haven, Conn., until he came to Athol in 1876. He 
immediately entered the Transcript office, where he has 
been employed to the present time, and has for the last 
nine years held the position of foreman. He is a 
member of all the local Masonic and Odd Fellow organi- 
zations, is a charter member of Tully Lodge, Mount 


Pleasant Encampment and Canton Athol, and is Past 
Commandant of Canton Athol. He is also a member of 
the Knights of Pythias and the Ancient Order of United 
Workmen. He was married June 20, 1889, to Miss Mary 
E. Stowell, of North Orange. 

No sketch of the newspaper enterprises of the town 
would be complete that overlooked the unique and 
successful undertakings of the Cottager Company and W. 
H. Brock & Co. These are "The Cottager," The Healthy 
Home," "Progress" and "Our Church Eecord." The "Cot- 
tager" was established in 1881, and is an eight-page family 
monthly devoted to "good literature and a concise record 
of current events." It has gained a phenomenal circulation, 
and was long ago ranked by Pettingill's agency as having 
the largest subscription circulation of any paper in the 
state outside of Boston, with but one exception. "The 
Healthy Home" is a hygienic publication, also a monthly. 
It is published by W. H. Brock & Co., and the mechanical 
work is done by the Cottager Company. It was founded 
in 1890, and is known all over the country as the leading 
paper of its class. The "Progress" is the weekly edition 
of the "Cottager," and contains numerous local features. 
"Our Church Record" is a successful and unique weekly, 
devoted to the interests of the local churches. All these 
papers, except "The Healthy Home," are published by the 
Cottager Company, an organization incorporated in 1896, 
under Massachusetts law, to carry on the printing and 
publishing business previously owned by W. H. Brock & 
Co. It has a paid-up capital of fifteen thousand dollars. 






with these officers: President, W. K. Briggs; clerk, 
Ernest Shriver ; treasurer, Winfield H. Brock. 

WiNFiELD H. Brock is well known as the stirring and 
successful moving and managing spirit in this large print- 
ing and publishing house. He was born Oct. 24, 1861, 
and is a descendant of one of the oldest families in town, 
and lives in the ancestral homestead on Pleasant Street. 
He graduated from the Athol High School in 1878, and 
after teaching school and pursuing further studies in other 
institutions, began newspaper work as local man for the 
"Springfield Republican." He bought an interest in "The 
Cottager" in 1885, and has since been at the head of the 
business department of that paper, and its associated un- 
dertakings. No small part of their growth and success 
has been due to his tact and enterprise. In 1893, he 
bought a half interest in the "Athol Transcript," though 
never taking an active part in its management. He was 
married September 22, 1889, to Angela B. Ford, of Han- 
over, Mass. They have one son, Roland Humphrey. 

Will K. Briggs has been associated in the ownership 
and management of the Cottager Company's various 
undertakings since 1890, having sole charge of the me- 
chanical part, and is now president of the corporation. 
He was born in Athol, Feb. 9, 1856, and has been 
connected with the printing business since early boy- 
hood. He is one of the stewards of the Methodist 
church, and has been connected with the choir for many 
years. He is a member of TuUy lodge of Odd Fellows. 
He was married March 30, 1878, to Miss Jennie L. Gage, 
and has one son, Merton L., a graduate of the Athol High 
School, and now a student at Boston University. 



"The post is the grand connecting linlj of all transactions, ot all negotiations. 
Those who are absent, by its means become present; it is the consolation of life." 

EFORE the establishment of a post 
office in Athol, those having mail 
probably received it, as did the peo- 
ple of most of the other towns in 
the state, either by sonle post rider 
passing through the village or by the 
service of private parties. In 1769, the only post oifice 
in Massachusetts was in Boston, and in 1793 the nearest 
offices to .\thol were those of "Worcester and Greenfield. 
A post office was established in Athol in 1802, and the 
first record we find of mail coaches passing through the 
town is in 1803, when a line of mail coaches from 
Leominster to Greenfield Avas established, connecting at 
Leominster with mail stages for Boston. These coaches 
left Leominster at 6 a. m., on Thursdays, via. Westminster, 
Templeton and Athol, arriving at Greenfield at 7 p. m., 


and returning on Saturdays. The first postmaster of the 
Athol ofiace was Joseph Estabrook, appointed Oct. 1, 1802. 
He held the ofiice only six months, and was succeeded by 
Solomon Strong, a young lawyer who had just located in 
Athol. He was appointed April 1, 1803, and held the 
office two years. The postmasters of the Athol office since 
that time, including those who have served since the name 
of the office was changed to Athol Centre, with the date 
of their appointment, have been as follows: 

James Humphreys, April 1, 1805; Joseph Proctor, 
Feb. 11, 1809; Nathaniel C. Esterbrook, Sept. 13, 1822; 
Clough E. Miles, March 24, 1823 ; Lincoln B. Knowlton, 
Feb. 25, 1835; Wm. H. Williams, Aug. 24, 1837; Isaac 
Stevens, July 13, 1841 ; Wm. H. Williams, Sept. 5, 1842; 
Benjamin Esterbrook, Dec. 30, 1847; Stillman Simonds, 
Aug. 25, 1849 ; Isaac Stevens, June 10, 1850 ; John H. t 
Williams, May 13, 1854; Samuel Lee, March 27, 1858; 
Thomas H. Goodspeed, June 25, 1862; Frank H. Eay- 
mond, July, 1885 ; James F. Whitcomb, Dec. 20, 1889 ; 
Edwin B. Horton, March 28, 1894. 

The office at the Centre has been known as the Athol 
Centre office since July 1, 1875. The business of this 
office for the year 1897 is shown by the following figures: 
Gross receipts for the year, $3,213.65; domestic orders 
issued, 1,075. amounting to $6,316.57; domestic orders 
paid 253, amounting to $1,945.04 ; pouches received daily, 
ten, despatched daily, nine. 

James F. Whitcomb, who succeeded F. H. Eaymond 
as postmaster of the Athol Centre office, was born in 


1835, at Claremont, N. H. At the age of five yea^s he 
had lost both of his parents, and was taken to the home 
of a relative in Templeton, Mass., vi^here his childhood 
was passed. When twelve years of age he was appren- 
ticed to learn the boot business in Brooks village, where 
he worked at boot making until twenty-five years of age. 
After two years spent on a farm in Phillipston, he came to 
Athol about 1863, and was employf^d at the shop of Jones 
& Baker until that firm closed up business here, when he 
went to work for M. L. Lee & Co., where he w^as engaged 
for six or seven years. Since that time he has been 
engaged in the tin and stove business in the firm of Frost 
& Whitcomb. Mr. Whitcomb was appointed postmaster 
by President Harrison, Dec. 20, 1889. He was secretary 
of the Worcester Northwest Agricultural Society about 
♦ fifteen years, first taking that position in 1874, has served 
as assessor of the town for several years, been one of the 
engineers of the fire department, Master of Athol Grange, 
and prominent in the various Masonic organizations of the 

Edwin B. Horton, the present postmaster of the 
Athol C'entre ofiice, was born in New Salem, Jan. 28, 
1839. His parents moved to Athol when he was about 
twelve years of age, and this town has been his home ever 
since, with the exception of about a year and a half, when 
he was employed in the United States Armory at Spring- 
field. He was an employee in the Edwin Ellis sash and 
blind shop for eighteen years, and has also been employed 
in the C. M. Lee shoe shops and the Kennebunk mill. 


He was also in the stove and tin ware business with E. W. 
Train, at the lower village, for five years. He has been 
prominent in the Masonic fraternity, having been Master 
of Athol lodge. He was married in 1860 to Martha M. 
Drake of Warwick, and has two children. He was ap- 
pointed postmaster by President Cleveland, March 28, 
1894, and took charge of the office April 7 of that year. 

The residents of the "factory village," as it was 
formerly called, used to have their mail brought to them 
by the school children in their dinner pails, and about fifty 
years ago a boy was hired to go to the post office at the 
Centre every day, who brought the mail to the village in 
his hat except on Fridays, when the papers came, and he 
then carried a small bag. 

A post office was first established in the village in 
1849, and was called Athol Depot. The first postmaster 
was Joseph W. Hammond, who was appointed Aug. 4, 
1849. He was a tailor, and opened the office in his shop, 
situated where C. F. Gage's store now is. Sylvanus 
Twichell, landlord of the Pequoig House, was appointed 
postmaster Aug. 7, 1851, and moved the office to the hotel, 
where it remained for thirteen years. The postmasters 
since that time with the date of their appointments are ; 
Howard B. Hunt, Nov. 1, 1864 ; Lucien Lord, April 21, 
1869; William W. Fish, Jan. 16, 1888; Arthur C. Long- 
ley, Feb. 14, 1891; Justin W. Clayton, March 12, 1895. 
Some time in 1873 the citizens of the Lower Village 
petitioned the Post Office Department to change the name 
of their post office from Athol Depot to Athol. This 


petition did not succeed, but another and more determined 
effort was made in the spring of 1875, when W. H. 
Bigelow, a special agent of the Post Office Department, 
was sent to Athol to investigate the case. He spent sev- 
eral days in town, during which time public hearings, 
which were largely attended and of a most exciting 
nature, were held in Starr and Music halls on the twelfth 
and thirteenth of March. Hon. Charles Field represented 
the petitioners and Col. George H. Hoyt appeared for the 
remonstrants, who were the citizens of the Upper Village, 
with a few residents of the Lower Village, and who 
objected most strenuously to any change in the name of 
their office. As a result of these hearings. Postmaster 
General Jewell issued the following order in April: 
"Ordered that the name of the post office at Athol Depot 
be changed to Athol; the post office now called Athol 
may be called Athol Centre, or it may be made a station 
of Athol post office, or may be given another name than 
Athol which the people interested may desire. The 
change of name is to take effect July 1st." In 1854, the 
business of this office for the quarter from April 1 to July 
1 amounted to only $79.98, and for the same quarter in 
1874 the full business amounted to $1,078.70. The busi- 
ness for the year 1897 was as follows: Gross receipts for 
the year, $12,210.61; total expenditures, $6,257.20; 
domestic orders issued, 4,007, amounting to $22,128.12; 
domestic orders paid, 2,454, amounting to $16,730.07; 
pouches received daily, twenty, despatched daily, eighteen. 
This office handles more newspapers than any office of its 




BANKS. 351 

for the Athol Savings Bank, of which he was the treasurer 
until Jan. 1, 1892, when he was elected president, which 
position he still holds. In 1879 and 1880, he was sena- 
tor from the Fourth Worcester District, serving the first 
year as chairman of the committees on banks and banking, 
and education. In 1880, he was a delegate from the 
Tenth Congressional district to the national republican 
convention at Chicago, and assisted in nominating Gen. 
Garfield for president. He was married Sept. 6, 1842, 
to Maria Prudence Taft, they have two children, William 
B. who resides in Holyoke, and Ella who married A. L. 

Thomas H. Goodspeed was born in Phillipston, Nov. 
15, 1833. He attended the public schools of his native 
town, and served as clerk in the store of his uncle, Jason 
Goulding, where he commenced his business career, at the 
age of thirteen years, going to school during the winter 
and working in the store the remainder of the time. 
When fifteen years old he went to New Salem as clerk in 
the store and postoifice of Alpheus Harding, where he 
was the only clerk. From New Salem he went to Willis- 
ton Seminary at Easthampton, where he was a student for 
a year, after which he returned to Phillipston and the 
store of his uncle. At the age of nineteen years he 
engaged in business for himself in Phillipston, which he 
conducted for three years, and came to Athol in 1856, and 
went into business with his uncle, James I. Goulding, at 
the Centre. Subsequently he bought out his uncle, and 
continued the business alone for several years, and then 


went in company with Samuel Lee. His mercantile life 
in Athol extended over a period of about twelve years, 
from 1856 to 1868, after which he was largely engaged in 
conveyancing, insurance and real estate business. Few of 
our citizens have held so many positions of trust and 
honor as Mr. Goodspeed. He was appointed postmaster 
of the Centre office June 25, 1862, which position he held 
until July, 1^5, was town clerk from 1863 to 18-73, town 
treasurer from 1875 to 1879, and a Representative to the 
Legislature from this district in 1869. He has been pres- 
ident of the Athol National Bank from its incorporation, 
in 1874, to the present time, and has served the Worcester 
Northwest Agricultural Society as its treasurer from its 
incorporation in 1867, a period of thirty years, and is now 
the Delegate of the Society on the State Board of 
Agriculture. He was also treasurer of the Athol SUk Co. 
from 1882 until it was reorganized under the new man- 
agement in 1895. Mr. Goodspeed has been an active 
worker in the Hepublican party for many years, and was 
the alternate delegate from this congressional district at 
the National Convention of 1896, in St. Louis. He has 
always been actively interested in town aifairs, and has 
served on many important committees. He married L. 
Elvira Richardson of Phillipston, Oct. 22, 1856. 

CoL. Albert L. Newman, who was for upwards of 
fifteen years, one of the most prominent factors in the 
financial, social and political affairs of Athol, was the 
second son of George and Lydia Newman, of Brattleboro, 
Vt., where he was born. He came to Athol when a young 


size in this part of the country, there being twelve publi- 
cations entered at the second class rate, the total w6ight 
of which, for the year 1897, amounted to 48,514 pounds. 
The free delivery system went into effect Nov. 1, 1897, 
when Charles A. Perry, Josiah P. Bigelow, Irwin L. 
Knowlton and Harry L. Doane were appointed as the 
first letter carriers, with Charles S. King and Charles E. 
Tandy as substitutes. There are twenty-eight street letter 
boxes, and one package box. Miss Minnie E. Slate, 
assistant post master, was first appointed as clerk in 
February, 1888, and has served as assistant to postmasters 
Longley and Clayton. 

Howard B. Hunt, who succeeded Sylvanus Twichell 
as postmaster, was born in New Salem, Nov. 22, 1834. 
His education was obtained in the schools of New Salem 
and Orange, and at Monson Academy. He taught school 
several years, and came to Athol about 1862, when he 
entered the employ of J. S. Parmenter as clerk. In 1864, 
on the death of Postmaster Twichell, Mr. Hunt was ap- 
pointed to the office by President Lincoln. In 1868, he 
resigned in favor of Lucien Lord, and engaged in the 
music and insurance business with his brother. Nelson H. 
Hunt. From small beginnings this business became one 
of the most important and extensive in this vicinity, and 
increased to such an extent as to necessitate the removal 
to a larger field, and in 1875 the firm removed to Spring- 
field and, in 1878, to Boston, where as the New England 
agents for the Estey Organ Manufacturing Co., of 
Brattleboro, Vt., they did an extensive business. While 


a student at Monson Academy Mr. Hunt was converted, 
and joined the Baptist church at North Prescott and, soon 
after coming to Athol, connected himself with the Baptist 
church of this town, in which he was deeply interested, 
and took an active part during his residence in town. In 
1862, he married Miss Jennie Scott, who died a few years 
after. Mr. Hunt died suddenly of apoplexy, April 4, 
1880, at the home of his brother in Newton. The remains 
were brought to Athol, where they were received by a 
committee of the citizens and escorted to the Baptist 
church, where a large number had assembled to pay the 
last tribute of love and respect to one who had been 
deeply loved and honored. The burial took place at Silver 
Lake cemetery. He was a man of the kindliest impulses, 
who brightened his own pathway through life by lessening 
the burdens of others. 

Arthur E. Longley, who succeeded William W. Fish 
as postmaster of the Athol ofl&ce, was born in Peterboro, 
N. H., Aug. 20, 1861. When he was eight years old his 
parents moved to New Ipswich, N. H., and after a residence 
there of six years removed to Royalston, which was his 
home until he came to Athol as assistant postmaster, June 
6, 1881. He served as assistant under the administrations 
of Lucien Lord and William W. Fish, and performed the 
duties of his position in such a satisfactory maniier that at 
the expiration of Mr. Fish's term of office a petition for 
the appointment of Mr. Longley a,s postmaster was circu- 
lated, and largely signed by the patrons of the office. He 
was appointed by President Harrison, Feb. 14, 1891, and 






served until April 1, 1895. After retiring from the post 
ofSce, Mr. Longley was employed as clerk in various stores 
until the fall of 1897 when, in company with Fred B. 
Oliver, he purchased the stationery and paper business of 
E. E. Cleveland. 

Justin W. Clayton, the present postmaster of the 
Athol office, was born in Windham, Vt., April 20, 1867, 
His father, Rev. A. W. Clayton, was an Adventist minis- 
ter, and a veteran of the war of the rebellion. Justin 
was graduated at Glenwood Seminary, in Brattleboro, Vt., 
in 1887, and pursued his studies at the University of 
Vermont for a year. He came to Athol in September, 
1888, to enter the employ of Goddard & Manning, then 
starting the manufacture of piano cases. He was for six 
years foreman of the veneer department of that iudustry, 
and was appointed postmaster March 12, 1895, and took 
charge of the office April 1. He is a prominent member 
of the Baptist church and has been active in the work of 
the church and Sunday School. He is one of the direc- 
tors of the Young Men's Christian Association, and also of 
the Massachusetts Baptist Sunday School Association. He 
is a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the Poquaig 
Club, and in 1892 was the candidate of the democratic 
party for representative to the Legislature. A short time 
before coming to Athol he married Miss Claudia M. 
Campbell, daughter of C. C. Campbell of Westminster, 
Vt. During his administration of the post office the free 
mail delivery system has been established, and other 
improvements made. 



Millers Eiver Bank. In 1854 Charles C. Bassett, 
Isaac Stevens and Lewis Thorpe, their associates and suc- 
cessors, were made a corporation by the name of the 
Millers River Bank, and September 12th, of that year, 
commenced business with a capital of one hundred 
thousand dollars. The first president was John Boynton, 
a successful tinware manufacturer of Templeton, who was 
the founder of the Free Institute of Industrial Science at 
Worcester. The first cashier was also a Templeton man- 
ufacturer, Merrick E. Ainsworth. In 1856, Seth Hapgood 
of Petersham succeeded Mr. Boynton as president, and 
Alpheus Harding, Jr., was appointed cashier in August of 
the same year. On the death of Mr. Hapgood, Isaac 
Stevens was chosen president in 1864, and in January, 
1866, Alpheus Harding succeeded Mr. Stevens as presi- 
dent, which position ke still holds. On the promotion of 
Mr. Harding to the presidency, Albert L. Nevsman became 
cashier and held the position until May, 1881, when he 
was succeeded by Wm. D. Luey, who still holds the posi- 
tion. In August, 1857, the capital was increased to one 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and March 1, 1865, 
the name was changed to the Millers River National 
Bank. In 1889 the present fine banking house which it 
now occupies was built at a cost of upwards of seventy 
thousand dollars. 

Athol Savings Bank. The Athol Savings Bank was 
chartered Feb. 12, 1867, and commenced business in 
March of that year. Charles C. Bassett was its first pres- 












"i*hC-# /i 


BANKS. 349 

ident, wMch position he held until 1882, when he was 
succeeded by John G. Mudge of Petersham, who held that 
office until his death in 1891. Alpheus Harding was the 
treasurer from the organization of the bank until he be 
came president in Jan. 1, 1892, when Wm. D. Luey was 
elected as treasurer. The deposits Jan. I, 1898, amount- 
ed to 12,019,786.95. 

Athol National Bank began business Sept. 15, 18T4, 
with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars. Its first 
board of directors were Thomas H. Goodspeed, Solon W. 
Lee, Lyman W. Hapgood, Edwin Ellis, James M. Lee, 
Washington H. Amsden and Gilbert Southard, Athol; S. 
S. Farrar, South Royalston ; Edward Powers, PhiUipston ; 
D. C. Paige, Petersham ; Isaac Bourn, Templeton. Thomas 
H. Goodspeed has been president of the bank since its 
organization, and Charles A. Chapman, cashier. 

Athol Co-Qperative Bank was organized in July, 
1889, with George D. Bates as president, T. H. Goodspeed, 
vice president and C. F. Richardson, secretary and treas- 
urer. Eighteen series of shares have been issued, and it 
now has loans on real estate amounting to $77,205, and 
on shares of |4,990. 

Hon. Alpheus Harding, son of Rev. Alpheus and 
Sarah (Bridge) Harding, was born in New Salem, Jan. 12, 
1818, and was the fifth in a family of seven children. 
His father was a settled minister in New Salem for more 
than forty years, and especially prominent in connection 
with New Salem Academy, the public schools, and the 
general educational interests of his time. Alpheus, Jr., 


was fitted for college in the Academy at New Salem, and 
entered Amherst College in 1833, leaving, on account of 
ill health, the following year. In 1835, he entered the 
store of Jonathan Haskell & Co., and was engaged in 
mercantile life in Petersham and New Salem for twenty- 
one years. During ten years of that time he was 
postmaster of New Salem, and served the town about the 
same length of time as town clerk and treasurer. He 
was also at various times chairman of the board of select- 
men, assessors and overseers of the poor, and has been one 
of the trustees of New Salem Academy since 1856. He 
was a member of the House of Representatives from New 
Salem in 1851, and took part in the long and memorable 
struggle which resulted in the election of Charles Sumner 
to the United States Senate for the first time, and was 
again a member representing the same town in 1853. His 
first political affiliation was with the democratic party, and 
he was elected to the Legislature as a democrat, but the 
slavery question took him out of that party, and he 
assisted in the formation of the free soil party, with which 
he acted until the formation of the republican party, of 
which he has always been an ardent supporter. In 1856, 
he received the appointment of cashier of the Millers 
River Bank, and removed to Athol. He held that position 
eleven years and was then elected president, which office 
he has held to the present time. In the years 1863 and 
1867, he represented Athol and Royalston in the Legisla- 
ture, serving both years on the committee on railroads, and 
was instrumental in the latter year in obtaining a charter 


BANKS. 353 

man less than twenty years of age, and began his duties 
as teller of the Millers River National Bank, from which 
position he was promoted to that of cashier, in January, 
1866, and continued in that position until May, 1881, 
when he resigned to accept the vice presidency of the 
National Bank of the Commonwealth, in Boston. Mr. 
Newman had managed the affairs of the Millers River 
Bank with such ability and success that it had attracted 
attention from abroad, and when he left Athol for the 
wider field of the great metropolis of New England, his 
commanding abilities as a financier and business man soon 
gave him honorable rank among Boston financiers, and 
after serving the National Bank of the Commonwealth as 
vice president for a short time he became its president, 
which position he continued to hold until about 1892, 
when he retired, on account of failing health, and with 
his wife spent several months in Europe. On his return 
home he engaged in the brokerage business with H. A. 
Rogers and J. S. Tolman. Mr. Newman was one of the 
founders, and always a generous supporter of the Second 
Unitarian church of Athol. He served on the staff of 
Governor Oliver Ames, with the rank of Colonel. He 
was a man of engaging social qualities, absolute integrity, 
and of strong and tender affections. He married Miss 
Ella M. Harding, only daughter of Hon. Alpheus Harding, 
June 16, 1868. They had one son Albert Harding 
Newman. Col. Newman died in Boston, May 2, 1894. 



'"the heights by great men reached and kept 
"Were not attafned' by sudden flight ; 
But they, while their companions slept, 
"W^ere toiling upward through the night." 

MONG the Sons of Athol,, reared 
among these hills who have gone 
forth into the world and performed 
deeds that have set in motion influ- 
ences that have assisted in moulding 
public opinion and the legislation of 
the country, and have made their 
names distinguished beyond the 
boundaries of their native town, 
county and state, may be mentioned the names of Ginery 
Twichell, Lysander Spooner, Joel D. Stratton and Col. 
George H. Hoyt. 

Ginery Twichell, a son of Captain Francis Twichell 
was born in Athol, August 26, 1811. He left school at 
the early age of sixteen to take charge of a portion of the 
business of Mr, Joel Kendall, an extensive miU owner. 
After that he went into the employment of Samuel Sweet- 
ser, and subsequently worked as clerk in a store in 
Petersham. At the age of nineteen he took charge of the 
stage line from Barre to Worcester. 

Ur-(nip-}ri[aiLR/.lilL3'mn^ &^T\gn( Co Boaton 


By patience aud kindness, not only to his pat- 
rons, but also to rivals and competitors in business, by the 
strictest fidelity to all the trusts committed to him and by 
wise economy in the conduct of his business, he advanced 
from the position of driver to that of owner; and finally, by 
thus conciliating and winning the public patronage ex- 
clusively to himself, he drove his rivals from the field. For 
five years he was employed as driver on the stage line from 
Barre to Worcester, He then secured an interest in the 
business; and so rapid was his success that in ten years he 
became sole proprietor of over two hundred horses, and of 
several lines of stage-coaches between Worcester and var- 
ious points in the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire 
and Vermont. For ten years from 1840 Mr. Twichell was 
engaged to collect the votes of the State on election day 
so that they could be published in the Boston papers the 
following morning, and in the accomplishment of this he 
took many stiiTing and daring rides. The most remark- 
able feat in the way of conveying news was performed by 
him in 1846, which illustrates his indomitable energy as 
well as the rival enterprise of the newspaper press. It 
appears that the steamship Hibernia had arrived in Boston 
in January, 1846, nineteen days out, with news that 
Robert Peel was to return to office as Prime Minister, 
John Russell having failed to form a ministry. This had 
an important bearing on the question of the Oregon bound- 
ary, Russell being for war with the United States and Peel 
for peace. The New York papers were anxious to secure 
the news as soon as possible. The Herald had made ar- 



rangements with the railroad and steamboat companies to 
carry its despatches to New York, and the Tribune and 
other papers of New York and Philadelphia were ex- 
cluded by the Herald from participating in its arrange- 

Mr. Twichell undertook to carry the despatches to the 
papers that were excluded by the Herald, and was obliged 
to use horses instead of steam power for most of the dis- 
tance. He could obtain an engine to run from Boston to 


Worcester only on condition of its being fifteen minutes 
behind the Herald's train. From Worcester to Hartford, 
a distance of sixty-six miles, he rode on horseback through 
a deep snow in the remarkably short time of three hours 
and twenty minutes; thence from Hartford to New Haven, 
by railroad, thirty-six miles; from New Haven to New 
York, seventy-six miles, by horses; and reached New York 
City in season for the printing of the despatches before the 


arrival of those of the Herald. In this case horse power 
surpassed steam power. Mr. Twichell's remarkable feat 
of horsemanship excited so much interest that it was com- 
memorated by a large and beautiful engraving entitled 
"The Unrivalled Express Rider." 

Although the railroad from Boston to Worcester was 
opened July 6, 1835, Mr. Twichell continued his extensive 
stage business until June 1, 1848, when he was appointed 
Assistant Superintendent of the Boston & Worcester Rail- 
road. In less than a year — May 1849 — he was promoted 
to the oflB.ce of Superintendent. After holding this posi- 
tion for ten years he was advanced to that of President of 
the road, in February 1857, and was elected to the same 
position annually for ten successive years. 

Soon after the opening of the war of the Rebellion he 
rendered valuable assistance to the Government in the 
transportation of the mail from Washington to the North. 
Communication with the East was blockaded, when Mr. 
Twichell tendered his services to the Government to re- 
move or escape the blockade. The mails had been accum- 
ulating for five days when the Post Master General con- 
fided the mails to his care, and they were safely delivered 
to the towns and cities of the North. Mr. Twichell was 
elected to Congress, and was a member of the fortieth, 
forty -fir St and forty-second Congresses, serving on the Com- 
mittee of Post OflRces and Post Roads. In 1870 he be- 
came president of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe 
Railroad, which he served four years, was elected president 
of the Boston, Barre and Gardner Railroad in March 


1873, and continued until February, 1878. Also, in 1882, 
became president of the Hoosac Tunnel and Western, 
Railroad Company. He was twice married, first on Aug. 
26, 1846, to Miss Theodotia R.,daughter of Mr. Creighton 
Ruggles of Barre, by whom he had eight children. He 
was married a second time, June 28, 1877, to Mrs. Cath- 
erine M. fBurt) Vinal, daughter of William S. Burt, of 
Ithaca, N. Y. 

Among the sons of Athol, none have attained a more 
famous name, or engaged the attention of the public to a 
greater extent than did Col. George H. Hoyt, who in the 
brief time of less than two decades had performed deeds 
that link his name with some of the most stirring events 
of the last half century. 

CoL. George H. Hoyt was born in Athol, Nov. 25, 
1837, a son of Dr. George Hoyt. In 1851, Dr. Hoyt 
moved with his family to Boston, and at an early age 
George entered a law office in that city. He was engaged 
in the study of law at the time of the ever memorable 
John Brown raid on Harpers Ferry. He had inherited 
from his father those fearless and daring qualities of his 
nature that were characteristic of him throughout his life, 
and with the enthusiasm of his young manhood, he offered 
himself as volunteer counsel for Brown, and his services 
having been accepted he went to Charlestown, Va., where 
he defended Brown with courage and ability. Soon after 
Hoyt's arrival the Southern counsel appointed to defend 
Brown withdrew, and left the responsibility for the defence 
upon the young lawyer until the arrival of Messrs Chilton 



and Griswold, who were to conduct the defence. A paper, 
in referring to these advocates for Brown, had the follow- 
ing: "The zeal and devotion of Messrs Chilton, Griswold 
and Hoyt in behalf of an unfortunate fellow being, 
surrounded only by those against whom his crimes were 
directed, and from whom, therefore, he could expect no 
sympathy, are worthy of all praise. Hoyt had come from 
Boston travelling night and day, to volunteer his services 
in defense of Brown." As showing the danger to which 
those who defended Brown were exposed, we quote from 
a Richmond letter: "Judge Russell of Boston started for 
home this morning. Mr. Hoyt, the lawyer, also returned. 
That he was suffered to depart without molestation is 
considered here a powerful proof of the forbearance of 
the people." We next hear of the young lawyer in 
Kansas where early in 1861 he enlisted in John Brown, 
Jr's. company of sharpshooters, and afterwards became 
connected with the First Kansas Cavalry, being commis- 
sioned Second Lieutenant. Early in 1862 he was made 
a Captain in that regiment, and as such served with dis- 
tinction under Generals Grant and Rosecrans in various 
campaigns. After the sacking of Lawrence, Captain Hoyt 
assisted in raising the Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry, and was 
made Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, leading it with 
great bravery in the battles of Lexington, Little Blue, 
Independence and other severe conflicts. He was com- 
missioned Brigadier General by Brevet, March 13, 1865, 
for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of New- 
tonia, Missouri, Oct. 28, 1864. A Kansas paper referred 


to this battle as follows : "In this charge, one of the most 
glorious in its results during the war, and perhaps per- 
formed with less loss to the attacking party, acts of 
individual daring might be mentioned, deserving special 
commendation. The conduct of Lieut. Col. Hoyt, in 
particular upon this occasion, was such as to elicit the 
highest encomiums from all, and deserves to be recorded 
as worthy of particular emulation." He served in the 
army until the close of the war. Although so busily 
engaged in fighting the battles of the Union, yet he found 
time during those eventful days to worship at Hymen's 
altar, and on March 10, 1862, was united in marriage with 
Mary Anzonette Cheney, an Athol girl, who, courageous 
as her lover was fearless, journeyed from Massachusetts to 
Kansas for that purpose. After the war Gen. Hoyt 
resumed the practice of his profession in Kansas, in which 
he attained considerable distinction, and was in 1868 
Attorney General of the State, residing at Topeka. He 
was also for a time editor of an influential daily paper of 
that state. In 1871, he removed to Athol with his family, 
and continued to practice law, and also purchased an 
interest in the Athol Transcript, then recently established, 
and of which he was the editor until the summer of 1873. 
He was twice elected as Representative to the Legislature 
from this district, serving in 1872 and 1873, and attained 
quite a reputation as a leader in legislation. He was 
commander of Parker Post, G. A. R., for three years, and 
was prominently identified Avith the Masonic fratemitv. 
He had two children, George DeWitt and Mary. He 
died Feb. 2, 1877. 

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JoelD. Stratton was born in Athol, Aug. 11, 1816. 
He spent his boyhood and youth with his parents, laboring 
upon his father's farm until he was twenty- one years of 
age, when he removed to Worcester and was employed by 
Thomas Tucker, Esq., the proprietor of the American 
Temperance House. It was while he was there, in the 
capacity of a waiter, in the autumn of 1842, that occurred 
the memorable event in his life, which made him so widely 
known throughout the United States, and still more widely 
in Great Britain and Ireland, as the man who was the 
instrument of John B. Gough's reformation. Mr. Gough, 
in his autobiography, describes in a feeling manner the 
circumstances of his meeting with Mr. Stratton, and of 
signing the pledge. At the time of this interview Mr. 
Stratton was a single man, and is said to have been a 
modest, unobtrusive and retiring man, and those who 
wished to become acquainted with him were compelled to 
seek his society. On the 6th of May, 1845, he married 
Miss Susan P. Day, an excellent Christian lady, who was 
his constant and faithful companion through life. There 
was little to distinguish his later years, and the care and 
support of a family compelled him to follow closely his 
occupation, which was that of a boot- crimper. With the 
exception of four years spent in the town of Paxton, his 
home was Worcester during all his later life. He died 
Nov. 4, 1860, and on his death bed received the blessing 
of the reformed man, who reminded him of the thousands 
who were thankful that he ever lived. Mr. Gough said 
of him : "I owe to him all that I am, since I have been 


worth anything to my fellow-men." Regarding the results 
of this act, Francis A. Gaskill says in his sketch on the 
History of Worcester, "The consecration to a life of 
sobriety and moral effort made by John B. Gough, when 
at the Worcester Town Hall on Oct. 31, 1842, he took 
the pledge of total abstinence, had doubtless a more ben- 
eficial effect upon the whole land in the grand efforts for 
the reclamation of those addicted to the excessive use of 
liquor, and in the elevation of the moral sentiment of the 
country, than any other agency." 

Lysander Spooner was undoubtedly the most unique 
and remarkable character Athol ever produced, and his 
work and influence were of a national character. He was 
born Jan. 19, 1808, on the farm bordering Lake Ellis on 
the east, now occupied by George J. Sutton. He was a 
son of Asa Spooner, who had a family of children several 
of whom attained distinction. Young Spooner spent his 
boyhood, and a few years of his early manhood, on his 
father's farm, and at the age of twenty-five, equipped with 
such learning as a country school education then afforded, 
he went to Worcester where he obtained a clerkship in 
the Registry of Deeds. After a year's experience there 
he gave up his clerkship and began to read law in the 
office of John Davis, a celebrated member of the Worces- 
ter bar, and later studied in the of&ce of Charles Allen, 
one of the foremost of Massachusetts lawyers. At that 
time Massachusetts statutes required three years extra 
study from men not college bred as a condition of admis- 
sion to the bar. In utter disregard of this law, Mr. 


Spooner opened a law office in Worcester, and this bold 
move, made still more forcible by an argument that he 
printed and circulated among the members of the Legis- 
lature, secured the repeal of the obnoxious law. After a 
residence of six years in Ohio he returned to the East, and 
commenced the memorable contest with the government, 
which gained for him the title of "father of cheap postage 
in America." At that time the rates of postage were 
enormous, as compared with the present. Mr. Spooner 
saw that the evil could be remedied by competition, and 
failing to convince the people of this fact by arguments, 
he accordingly, in 1844, started a private mail between 
Boston and New York, and soon extended it to Philadel- 
phia and Baltimore, charging but five cents a letter 
between any of these points, which was a very much 
smaller sum than the government was then charging. 
The business was an immediate success and was rapidly 
extending. As the carrying of each letter was a separate 
offence, the government was able to shower prosecutions 
upon him and crush him out in a few months. The 
matter had, however, created such an excitement in the 
country that the following year public sentiment compelled 
a large reduction in the government rates of postage. He 
was also prominent in the abolition conflict, and attained 
considerable fame at the time by his pamphlet on "The 
Unconstitutionality of Slavery." The work and doctrines 
were endorsed by Gerrit Smith and Elizur Wright, and 
became the text book of the Liberty Party. He was the 
author of numerous pamphlets, the most largely circulated 


of which was one which appeared under the title of 
"Eevolution" and which treated the Irish land question in 
a most vigorous style. This pleased the friends of Ireland 
so much that an edition of one hundred thousand was 
printed, and a copy sent to each member of the English 
aristocracy, to each member of the House of Commons, 
and to every official of any note in the British dominions, 
and the remainder throughout the centres of England and 
Canada. The last years of his life were spent in Boston, 
where he could be seen almost every day in the Boston 
Athenseum Library, busily engaged in studying and 
writing. He died May 14, 1887. 

The Sprague Brothers, Lucius Knight, Edwin 
Loring and Henry Harrison', all of whom are Sons of 
Athol, trace their paternal ancestry back to Edward 
Sprague of Upwey, Dorset County, England, whose 
ancient stone fulling mill, erected probably at the begin- 
ning of the seventeenth century, is still standing, a silent 
memorial to one of Upwey's old-time industries. William 
Sprague, youngest son of Edward and the founder of this 
branch of the family in America, was one of the early 
planters of Massachusetts, arriving at Naumkeag, now 
Salem, in 1628, with Governor Endicott. He originally 
settled in Charlestown, whence he removed in 1636 to 
Hingham, and was a leading man of that settlement. His 
father-in-law, Anthony Eames, was also active in the 
town's affairs, and was the first commander of the militia 
or "train band." They are also descendants of Richard 
Warren, one of the immortal band of Mayflower pas- 



George Sprague, their father, was a son of Joshua 
Sprague who removed from Hingham to Petersham and 
married Lois Stockwell, daughter of Capt. Ephraim and 
Sarah Stockwell. Capt. Stockwell was one of Athol's 
captains in the Revolution and led a company to the battle 
of Bennington. 

Edwin Loking Sprague was born in Athol, July 6, 
1838, and received his education in the schools of the 
town. Upon the opening of the Millers River Bank in 
1854 he became its clerk and so remained until his 
removal to Boston in 1858. In Boston for three years he 
was book-keeper for Clement, Colburn & Co., a prominent 
boot and shoe firm, which position he relinquished on 
account of impaired health early in 1861. After a long 
vacation he returned to Boston, and engaged in the shoe 
manufacturing business as junior partner in the firm of 
Geo. N. Spear & Co., the firm name, after several 
changes, becoming and thereafter remaining, E. L. 
Sprague & Co, Although Mr. Sprague has never held 
public office he has always been an active worker in 
public matters, some of which have been of lasting influ- 
ence. In 186T he was chairman of the committee of 
Young men whose labors culminated in the organization, 
after a temporary suspense of operations, of the Boston 
Young Men's Christian Union upon its present successful 
basis; and from 1868 to the time of his resignation in 
18 7 T was its vice president, giving much time and thought 
to the work. lu 187"2 he initiated the final attempt which, 
after a hard struggle with powerful contending interests, 


resulted in the establishment of the Board of Health of 
the city of Boston, the first commission of its kind in 
Boston. In 1873 after the "great fire" had demonstrated 
the imperative need of a reorganized fire department, he 
did like service towards the establishment of the Fire 
Commission on a basis similar to that of the Board of 
Health. The years of 1876 and 1877 were largely 
passed in Europe on account of ill health. In 1889 he 
proposed and secured the trial of a new manner of holding 
caucuses in Ward Eleven, where he resided; and in 1890, 
as Chairman of the Republican City Committee of Boston, 
he took the leading part in framing and securing the 
adoption of the rules which embodied the "Australian 
caucus" system, which later was incorporated into the law 
of the state. In 1892 he pioneered, and was most active 
in, the movement which resulted in the enactment by the 
Legislature of the so-called "Corrupt Practices Act," the 
first elaborate Act of its kind enacted in the United States, 
the provisions of which have since, to a considerable 
extent, been adopted in other States. 

As Chairman of Committees of the Massachusetts 
State Board of Trade, having the work so far as that body 
was concerned, in charge, Mr. Sprague in the years of 
1893-7 was an influential factor in securing the Anti-Stock 
Watering Legislation, which has placed Massachusetts far 
ahead of any other state in enactments which serve to 
place public service corporations upon a sound and 
equitable basis. Much of the "literature" upon this sub- 
ject has come from his pen. He was one of the founders 


of the Boston Civil Service Reform Association, the second 
if not the first Civil Service Association formed in this 
country, and has always been one of its officers. He is 
also a Director of the Massachusetts Civil Service Reform 
League, of the Municipal League of Boston, and the 
New England Shoe and Leather Association ; a trustee of 
the permanent fund of the Boston Young Men's Christian 
Union, a Vice President of the Massachusetts State Board 
of Trade, and since its formation has been President of the 
Election Laws League of Massachusetts. He was married 
April 18, 1881 to Miss Elizabeth Searle Davis, daughter 
of Brevet Brigadier General Hasbrouche Davis, a son of 
Governor John Davis. They have had five children, 
Edwin Loriug, Jr., Ruth Davis, Henry Bancroft, John 
Davis and Richard Warren, of whom all but John Davis 
are now living. 

Henry Harrison Sprague, youngest son of George 
and Nancy (Knight) Sprague, was born in Athol, Aug. 1, 
1841. He received his preparatory education in the 
public and high schools of Athol and at the Chauncey 
Hall school of Boston, and was graduated from Harvard 
College in 1864. He spent one year in Champlain, New 
York, as a private tutor, and in 1865 entered the Harvard 
Law School and also became a proctor of the college. In 
the fall of 1866 he became a student in the law office of 
the late Henry W. Paine and Robert D Smith in Boston. 
He was admitted to the Suffolk bar, Feb. 25, 1868, and 
at once began the general practice of his profession in 
Boston, where he has come into prominence as an able, 


and industrious lawyer. Mr. Sprague very early devel- 
oped an interest in public affairs, and has for many years 
filled important positions of trust and responsibility. He 
was a member of the Boston Common Council for the 
municipal years of 1874, 1875 and 1876, and served 
during his second and third terms as a trustee of the Bos- 
ton City Hospital on the part of the city council. In 1878 
he was elected one of the trustees at large of that hospital, 
and continued to act as such until the establishment of the 
board as a corporation in 1880, when he was appointed a 
trustee by the mayor. He has held this office by succes- 
sive reappointments down to the present time, a period of 
more than twenty years, and for eighteen years also served 
the board of trustees as secretary. In 1880 Mr. Sprague 
was elected to the lower house of the Legislature, and was 
twice re-elected, serving through the sessions of 1881, 
1882 and 1884. He was a member of important commit- 
tees, and his service was marked by untiring fidelity, not 
only to his constituents, but to the best interests of the 
entire Commonwealth, and won for him the reputation of 
an able, honest and conscientious legislator. In 1884 be 
was a member of the Municipal Reform Association, and 
as its senior counsel was largely instrumental in securing 
the passage by the Legislature of 1885 of the important 
amendments to the Boston city charter by which the 
executive authority was vested in the mayor. 

Mr. Sprague was a member of the Massachusetts Senate 
in 1888, 1889, 1890 and 1891, representing the Fifth 
Suffolk district, and during his first term served on the 


SONS OF ATHOL. '' 369 

committee on rules, on the judiciary, on cities, and on 
election laws. As chairman of the last named committee 
he drafted and introduced the new ballot act, the passage 
of which accomplished ballot reform. He was elected 
President of the Senate in 1890, and was re-elected to 
that office in 1891. He made an excellent presiding offi- 
cer, displaying great parliamentary ability, and winning 
the respect and confidence of both opponents and friends 
for his strict impartiality and firm, yet courteous rulings. 
In 1862 Mr. Sprague was appointed by Governor Russell 
as chairman of a commission to revise the election laws 
of the Commonwealth and the revision recommended was 
adopted by the Legislature of the following year. He 
was appointed by Governor Greenhalge a member of the 
Metropolitan Water Board upon its organization in 1895 
aud made chairman of the board which position he still 
holds. He has served as President of the Boston Civil 
Service Reform Association since 1889, and has been a 
prominent member of the board of government of the 
Boston Young Men's Christian Union since 1867. He 
was for many years a manager of the Temporary Home for 
the Destitute, or Gwynne Home, and was one of the "Com- 
mittee of Fifty" on the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He 
has been secretary of the Massachusetts Charitable Fire 
Society since 1883, and is a member of the New England 
Historic Genealogical Society, of the Bostonian Society, 
the Harvard Law School Association, the Union and Uni- 
tarian Clubs and St Botolph Club. He is also one of the 
trustees appointed to hold the buildings of the Woman's 


Educational and Industrial Union on Boylston Street, Bos- 
ton, and is treasurer of the board, and was a member of the 
board of overseers of Harvard College from 1890 to 1896. 
In 1884 he published a treatise entitled "Women Under 
the Lavp of Massachusetts, their Rights, Privileges and Dis- 
abilities," and in 1890 another treatise on "City Govern- 
ment ; Its Rise and Development," and he compiled for its 
one hundredth anniversary, "A Brief History of the Massa- 
chusetts Charitable Fire Society." Mr. Sprague was mar- 
ried in 1897 to Charlotte Sprague Ward, a daughter of 
the late George Lee Ward, of Boston. He resides in Bos- 
ton, and in the practice of law as well as in various capac- 
ities in which he has served, has worthily and honorably 
represented the sterling characteristics of those who have 
so long borne the family name in New England. 

Lucius Knight Sprague, the oldest of the children 
now living of George and Nancy (Knight) Sprague, was 
born in Athol, Aug. 7, 1836. His education was obtained 
in the Athol schools, and his first business experience as 
clerk in the dry goods store of Thorpe & Parmenter, where 
he remained two years. In 1857 he went to Iowa, then a 
frontier state, where he was with his brother, Leander M., 
for two and a half years, when he returned to Athol, tak- 
ing his former position with Thorpe & Parmenter. In 
1861 he went to Boston, into the employ of Farley, Ams- 
den & Co., returning to Athol again in 1862 to succeed 
his father in the hardware business, which he conducted 
with marked success for two years, when, because of im- 
paired health by reason of close attention to business, he 



sold out to Frank Hutchinson. He spent part of the 
year 1873 travelling in the West, and on his return to 
Athol was made secretary and treasurer of the Athol Ma- 
chine Co., which position he held till 1875. On the ill- 
ness and consequent long absence of his brother, Edwin 
L., in 1876 he went to Boston to take the personal man- 
agement of his brother's business and has maintained his 
connection with it to the present time. He is engaged in 
the shoe machinery business, being treasurer of the Steam 
Heated Horn Co., of Boston. In 1862 he married Electa 
L. Roberts of Norwalk, Ohio. They have one child, 
Rufus Bates, a graduate of Harvard College in the class 
of 1897, and now a member of the Harvard Law School. 
Mr. Sprague, with his son, has recently returned from an 
extended tour in Europe intended mainly for health and 
recreation, but resulting in establishing extensive business 
connections for the machinery company of which he is the 

Jerome Jones, youngest son of Theodore and Marcia 
(Estabrook) Jones, and grandson of Rev. Joseph Estabrook, 
the second minister of Athol, was born in Athol, Oct. 13, 
1837. He was educated in the common schools of the 
town, and when a boy began his commercial life in a 
country store and post office. He was for a time a boy of 
all work in the store of Goddard & Ward of Orange. In 
June 1853 he began an apprenticeship with Otis Norcross 
& Co., of Boston then the leading crockery merchants in 
the United States. After serving in this position for sev- 
eral years he was in 1861 admitted as partner, being then 


twenty-four years of age. For fifteen years he was the 
foreign buyer for the firm, going to Europe every year, 
where he selected the goods from the potteries and glass 
factories of England, France and Austria. After a long 
career of honor and success, the firm of Otis Norcross & Co. 
disappears from the list of Boston's great business houses, 
and is succeeded by that of Jones, McDuffee & Stratton, 
the largest establishment of its kind in the United States, 
and of which Mr. Jones is the head. Possessed of a keen 
judgment, innate tact, and an executive ability of the 
highest order, Mr. Jones has been called upon by various 
organizations to assist in their management, and especially 
is the high esteem in which he is held by his fellow 
citizens of Boston shown by the positions of trust and 
honor to which they called him. No Bostonian is more 
active in everything tending to promote the commercial 
interests of Boston than Mr. Jones, and when Mayor 
Quincy requested the leading commercial organizations of 
the city to choose representatives to form the Merchants 
Municipal Committee, Mr. Jones was chosen by the Boston 
Board of Trade to represent that organization in the 
Mayor's cabinet. Among the various positions of honor 
and trust that he has been called upon to fill are the 
following : President of the Boston Commercial Club, 
trustee of Mt. Auburn Cemetery, vice president of the 
Home Savings Bank; president of the Boston Board of 
Trade, director of the Third National Bank and of the Mas- 
sachusetts Loan and Trust Co. He is a member of several 
clubs, also of the Sons of the Revolution, the Bostonian 






Society, the Bunker Hill Monument Association, the 
Young Men's Christian Union, and other organizations. 
He served the Worcester Northwest Agricultural Society 
several years as its president. He married Elizabeth R. 
Wait of Greenfield, Mass. She died July 10, 1878, leav- 
ing four children, Theodore, Elizabeth W., Marcia Esta- 
brook and Helen Reed Jones. He was married the 
second time Feb. 16, 1881 to Mrs. Marcia E. Button of 
Boston. Their home is at Corey Hill in Brookline. 

Frederick E. Proctor, son of Joseph H. Proctor, 
was born in Athol, Jan. 4, 1855. He attended school until 
the age of fifteen, when he went to Boston and entered 
the employ of Jones, McDuffee & Stratton. After spend- 
ing a number of years in the office, he travelled extensively 
through the western and southern states and went abroad 
twice in the interest of the firm. He was given an interest 
in the business in 1 884, and became a partner in the firm 
in 1887, in which he has continued to the present time. 
He was married in 1877 to Sarah Pierce Fenno of Revere. 
She died Feb. 5, 1882, and he married for his second wife 
Martha Cunningham of Newtonville, June 1, 1887. He 
has six children, two daughters and four sons. One of the 
daughters is a member of the senior class of the Newton- 
ville High School and the eldest son is a student at Cornell 

Wilson Horatio Lee, son of Joseph Lee was born in 
Hard wick. May 3, 1852. His mother died when he was 
two years of age, and he came to live with his grandmother 
in Athol, which was his home until nineteen years old, 


when he left Athol to take a position as canvasser for a 
directory publisher. His education was received in the 
Athol Schools and one term at New Salem Academy. He 
was so successful in his work as a canvasser that in two 
years, in 1873, he formed a partnership with Wm. H. Price 
and purchased the directory rights in Bridgeport Conn., 
where they opened a publishing office. A year later 
they purchased the New Haven directory and moved their 
office to that city. The business has grown until the Price 
& Lee Co. publish more directories than any other firm in 
the United States. The firm do their own printing and 
binding, and employ about one hundred and twenty-five 
hands. This extensive business has been built up by 
energy, accuracy and fair dealing, and Mr. Lee has been a 
prominent factor in its success. He is a member of the 
Sons of the American Revolution, the Quinnipiac and 
Pequot Clubs of New Haven, Poquaig Club of Athol, New 
Haven Typothetae and New Haven Chamber of Commerce 
and is actively associated with other social and business 
societies. He is serving on his second term as Police 
Commissioner of New Haven, and was for two years presi- 
dent of the Worcester Northwest Agricultural Society, 
which he has rendered valuable assistance. He married 
Orianna Lewis, daughter of Henry Lewis of Athol, Feb. 
10, 1875. They have one daughter, Miss Prudence. 

Roland T. Oakes was born in Athol in 1835. At the 
age of eighteen years he commenced to learn the mercan- 
tile business as clerk for Thorpe & Parmenter. After 
serving as clerk he was engaged in business in Athol for 


several years with, the late D. A. Newton, under the firm 
name of Oakes & Newton, their store being in a block that 
occupied the site of the present Starr Hall building. He 
was actively interested in the aflfairs of the lower village, 
and conferred the names upon the streets of the village 
then existing. In the fall of 1861 he removed to Chicopee, 
where he continued in the mercantile business under the 
firm names of Oakes, Bragg & Co., and Roland T. Oakes 
& Co. He remained in business in Chicopee, with the 
exception of eight years when he was purchasing agent for 
the Ames Manufacturing Co., until 1885 when he removed 
to Holyoke to engage in the electrical business. This 
has grown to a large and successful business, occupying 
one of the best stores in Holyoke and carrying the largest 
stock of electrical supplies at wholesale and retail in the 
state outside of Boston. In 1893 the firm became a cor- 
poration under the state laws as The Roland T. Oakes Co., 
with Mr. Oakes as president and treasurer. The company 
has been extensively engaged in constructing electrical 
plants in various places, and employ a large force of men 
for the purpose. Mr Oakes has been a member of the 
city council of Holyoke, serving for 1889 and 1890. He 
has been for many years deeply interested in Sunday 
School work, and was superintendent of the Sunday School 
of the Third Congregational church of Chicopee from 1867 
to 1885 with the exception of one year. He is now super- 
intendent of the First Congregational Sunday School of 
Holyoke, having served in that position nine years, making 
twenty-six years that he has officiated as superintendent of 


Sunday Schools. He married Ellen E. Baker of Athol, 
Nov. 30, 1854. She died May 5, 1857, and he was mar- 
ried the second time to Mrs. Betsey Snow of Hardwick, 
Mass. in 1859. 

Charles W. Cheney, only son of C. Warrea Cheney, 
was born in Boston, Nov. 7, 1857. The first five or six 
years of his life were passed in Boston, and from that time 
his childhood and youth was spent in Athol where he re- 
ceived his education. He went to Boston, May 1, 1876, 
and began his career as apprentice with Joseph T. Brown 
& Co., apothecaries on Washington and Bedford Streets, 
his salary the first year being fifty dollars. He remained 
there three years, and then entered the store of J. P. T. 
Percival apothecary, then located in the front of of Young's 
Hotel, where he remained a year, and in June, 1880 en- 
gaged with T. Metcalf & Co., apothecaries at 39 Tremont 
Street. In 1883 Mr. Cheney accepted a position with the 
company engaged in the manufacture of Mellin's Food. In 
order to acquire a more complete knowledge of chemistry 
he attended the lectures of the Massachusetts College of 
Pharmacy, and graduated in the spring of 1883, with the 
degree of Ph. G. 

The works of the Doliber-Goodale Company, of which 
Mr. Cheney is vice president and a director, occupy seven 
large buildings on Central Wharf, while the offices of the 
company are in a fine structure on Atlantic Avenue and 
India Street He is superintendent of the works, which 
employ over one hundred men, and also has the general 
management of the advertising department. In 1890 he 



was sent to London for the company which resulted in 
largely increased business for the company in foreign 
lands. He is a member of the Algonquin Club of Boston, 
the Boston Druggists' Association, Riverdale Casino, Brook- 
line, and the Boston Commandery and St. Paul's Chapter 
of Masons. He was married June 15, 1887 to Miss Flora 
Hutchinson of Cambridge. They have three children, two 
sons and a daughter. Their home is in Brookline. 

Henry M. Phillips, son of Alonzo D. and Mary A. 
(Robinsonj Phillips, was born in Athol, Aug. 11, 1845, his 
father being at that time landlord of the Pequoig House. 
He is descended from the Rev. George Phillips, who came 
to America in 1630, and was the first minister of Water- 
town, Mass. His education aside from the public schools, 
was received at Deerfield Academy and the Military Uni- 
versity of Norwich, Vt. He was but a lad of sixteen 
when the war broke out, but his ardor led him to enlist in 
the Seventh Squadron of Rhode Island Cavalry, and later he 
served in the Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry. His ready 
capacity and efficiency soon won for him a lieutenant's 
commission, and gave him constant stafi" duty during his 
term of service. He served as Assistant Provost Marshal 
of the Tenth Army Corps, and was at several times on the 
staffs of Generals Birney, A. H. Terry and Weitzel. He 
began business life as private secretary to Hon. Henry 
Alexander, Jr., then Mayor of Springfield, immediately 
after his discharge from the army. In 1871 he was ap- 
pointed deputy collector in the United States internal 
revenue service and assistant assessor of the Tenth Massa- 


chusetts District. The same year he organized the firm of 
Phillips, Mo wry & Co., for the manufacture of steam-heat- 
ing apparatus, in which he has been engaged since, his 
firm being succeeded in 1876 by a corporation under the 
title of the Phillips Manufacturing Co., of which he is 
the President. He is also a director of the Second National 
Bank of Springfield, of the Springfield Five Cents Savings 
Bank, the Hampden Loan and Trust Company, and has 
been a director of the Springfield Board of Trade since its 
organization. He served on the staff of Gov. William 
Washburn, and also on that of Governor Talbot. Probably 
no native of Athol ever filled more positions of public 
honor and trust than Mr. Phillips. He commenced his 
public career as a member of the Springfield City Council, 
in which he served two years. In 1880 and 1881, he rep- 
resented Springfield in the lower house of the Legislature ; 
in 1883, '84 and '85 he was mayor of Springfield; in 1886 
and 1887 a member of the State Senate for the First 
Hampden District, and in 1894 he was elected as treasurer 
and receiver-general of the State, and was re-elected in 
1895, but resigned the office in April of that year to accept 
the secretaryship of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insur- 
ance Company. 

Joel D. Miller was born in Athol, October 10, 1837 
the son of Isaac and Asenath Miller. His early education 
was received in the public schools of Athol and at 
Powers Academy in Bernardston. From the Academy he 
entered Williams College and graduated with high hon- 
ors in the class of 1864. He taught school for a year in 


Jewett, N. Y., and then for nearly two years was principal 
of the Athol High school, which position he left to 
assume charge of the Field High school in Leominster, 
and was its principal for twenty-five years. He was or- 
dained to the ministry in 1866, but was never a candidate 
for settlement. He has been editor and proprietor of the 
Leominster Enterprise upwards of ten years, was a mem- 
ber of the Leominster School Committee for six years, and 
has been a member of the public library committee over 
twenty-five years. Mr. Miller has been an active worker 
in -the Republican party all his life, and although not am- 
bitious for political distinction his popularity was so gen- 
eral that in 1893 he was induced to be a candidate for 
State Senator from his district. He was elected and re- 
elected the two succeeding years serving, in the Senate for 
the years 1894, '95 and '96. He was soon recognized as 
the most interesting speaker of that body, and one of its 
most important members, serving as chairman of the most 
important Senate committees. It was mainly through his 
efforts that Fitchburg secured one of the new normal 
schools. In 1895 he was appointed a member of the state 
board of education, which position he now holds. Mr. 
Miller was married July 18, 1865 to Miss Maria Sanderson 
of Athol. 

Frederic E. Si'Ratton, son of Joseph and Alice W. 
(Mann) Stratton, was born in Athol, July 5, 1847, and 
attended the public schools of the town until sixteen years 
of age, when, with the reluctant consent of his parents he 
went West, stopping for a while in the oil regions of 


Pennsylvania, and continuing his trip into Illinois. After 
a little more than two years he returned to Athol and pre- 
pared for college at the High School and Shelburne Falls 
Academy and entered Williams College in 1867. He 
maintained a good standing in his class during the course, 
carrying off the first prize in mathematics during the soph- 
omore year, and graduated in 1871. While at Williams 
he was chosen one of a party of six who went to Central 
America on a scientific expedition, the experiences and 
discoveries of which are recorded in "Life and Nature 
under the Tropics," published by D. Appleton & Co. 
After graduating he taught a private school in Warwick, 
Mass., where he became acquainted with Miss Mary T. 
Goddard, step-daughter of the late Rev. John Goldsbury, 
whom he married March 14, 1874. In 1872 he accepted 
the position of principal of the Orange High School, was 
principal of New Salem Academy from 1874 to 1877, and 
of Powers Institute at Bernardston for the two succeeding 
years. In 1879 he went to Boston and passed the super- 
visors examination, after which he substituted in various 
schools in the city and suburban High schools for nearly 
four years, when he accepted the principalship of Daven- 
port, Iowa, High School in 1883, then the largest High 
school in the state of Iowa, where he remained until 1892. 
While in Davenport many of the educational associations 
and other organizations of his city and state called upon 
him to occupy positions of honor and influence. He was 
for five years president of the Davenport Y. M. C. A., 
was the first president of the Secondary Section of the 



State Teachers' Association, and a member of the Educa- 
tional Council. In 1891 he received the degree of Doctor 
of Philosophy from the Illinois Wesleyan University of 
Bloomington 111. In 1892 he accepted the principalship 
of the academy connected with Carleton College in North- 
field, Minn., where he now resides. He is deacon and 
trustee of the First Congregational Church, and is promi- 
nent in other organizations of the town of which he is a 
worthy and honored citizen. Mr. Stratton's picture appears 
in the educational chapter. 

Seth Twichell son of William and Susanna Twichell 
was born in Athol, July 10, 1822. During his early life 
he worked on a farm and run a saw mill at South Athol. 
In 1846 he moved to Fitchburg and worked at the car- 
penter's trade for two years, after which, in 1848, he com- 
menced moving buildings, which business he has continued 
for half a century, and in which he attained such a reputa- 
tion that his services were sought in all parts of the coun- 
try. One of his first ventures was the moving of the 
Fitchburg hotel a large brick structure. He remained in 
Fitchburg five years, and then went to Worcester, where 
he carried on business for seventeen years. Among the 
important buildings that he has moved are the State 
House at Columbia, S. C, which was done in 1854. The 
building, one hundred and thirty-seven feet long and sixty- 
two feet' wide, was removed a distance of one hundred and 
sixty feet, and was done without any injury to the struct- 
ure and with the chimnies standing. Another large build- 
ing was the Fort William Henry hotel at Lake George. 


New York, three hundred and twenty-five feet long, over 
forty feet wide and four stories in height, with a dining hall 
extending at right angles one hundred and thirty-five feet, 
three stories high; the whole structure was raised fourteen 
and one-half feet. Other places in which he has success- 
fully moved large and important buildings, many of them 
of brick, are Worcester, Boston, New Bedford, Philadel- 
phia, Pa., Chester, Pa., New London, Conn., Fitchburg, 
Leominster, Keene, N. H., and many other places. 

Mr. Twichell has made his home in Fitchburg for 
many years, and owns extensive and valuable tracts of land 
and buUdings in that city. He has been a special police 
officer for over thirty years, is a member of the Fitchburg 
Board of Trade, the Fruit Growing Association and the 
Worcester North Agricultural Society. He has never 
taken much interest in political affairs, having voted but 
once in his life, which was in the days of the abolition 
party. He married Phebe O. Farnsworth, daughter of 
Asa Farnsworth of Athol in 1845, by whom he had one 
child. Mrs. Twichell died Aug. 8, 1855, and he was 
married again in 1856 to Martha C. Whitney, by whom he 
had three children. She died in 1885 and Oct. 12, 1886 
he married Emma S. Merriam. They have one son. 

Dr. Maurice H. Richardson, son of Nathan H. 
Richardson, was born in Athol, Dec, 31, 1851. His par- 
ents moved to Fitchburg when he was six months old. 
He attended the Fitchburg schools, fitted for college in the 
Fitchburg High School, and entered Harvard College in 
1869, from which he graduated in 1873. He began the 

^ H^**^ 

T^Btt^tf'" /l^^uALi. ' 






study of medicine in the office of Dr. Peirson of Salem in 
1873, and entered the medical school of Harvard Univer- 
sity in 1874, from which he graduated in 1877. He vras 
surgical house pupil at the Massachusetts General Hospi- 
tal in 1876, and resigned that position to be assistant in 
anatomy to Dr. Porter who was the Demonstrator of 
Anatomy. He dissected for the lectures of Oliver Wendell 
Holmes, until Mr. Holmes retired from the school, about 
1882, and was then made Demonstrator of Anatomy, in 
which position he continued until 1888 or 1889 when he 
became Assistant Professor of Anatomy. In 1894 he was 
transferred from the anatomical to the surgical department, 
and is now Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery. He 
now holds the position of surgeon at the Massachusetts 
General Hospital, and is consulting surgeon to the follow- 
ing institutions: Carney Hospital, New England Hospital 
for Women and Children, the Free Hospital for Women, 
the Public Hospital at Deer Island, the State Hospital 
at Tewksbury, the State Farm at Bridgewater, the Melrose 
Hospital, Fitchburg Hospital, etc. He is secretary of the 
American Surgical Association, and a member of several 
surgical and medical societies. On the 10th of July, 1879, 
he married Margaret White Peirson of Salem and has six 

JosiAH W. Flint was born in Athol, on Chestnut 
Hill, Nov. 4, 1839. He lived at home on the farm until 
fifteen years of age, attending the district schools. When 
sixteen years old he went to Hardwick to live with a sister, 
where he also attended school, and then took charge of his 


sister's farm for nine years. He then carried on the meat 
business for a year or two, and then purchased a farm in 
Enfield, Mass., which town has since been his home. After 
farming a few years he sold his farm and then engaged in 
the lumber business in which he has continued to the pres- 
ent time. For many years he has been in partnership 
with Hon. D. B Gillett of Enfield, and they have carried 
on an extensive lumbering business all through Hampshire 
county and southeastern Franklin, employing from fifty to 
seventy-five men. Mr. Flint has been prominently identi- 
fied with town affairs in Enfield, having been selectman 
since 1891, was road commissioner twelve years, constable 
eighteen years and tax collector nine years. He has also 
been one of the Deputy Sheriffs of Hampshire County since 
1891, and has been frequently called upon by the Boston 
& Albany Railroad Co. to appraise fire damages. He has 
been married three times, his first marriage being Dec. 27, 
1865, to Emma E. Taft of Athol. She died Aug. 12, 
1891, and in 1894 he married Martha Maria Shoals of 
Easthampton. She died the same year, and he was mar- 
ried a third time to Charlotte Maria Shoals, March 4, 1896. 



The artisan with cunning skill 

Compels the idle flood 
To bow obsequious to his will, 

And labor for his good. 

' ITES of wate rpower along Millers River, 
Mill Brook, TuUy Brook, and other 
streams in the south part of the town, 
have from early days of the town been 
utilized for manufacturing purposes, 
until Athol has become conspicuous as 
one of the manufacturing towns of the 
State. The first record we have in re- 
gard to any mill is an agreement made 
by a committee of the Proprietors of 
Poquoaig and Samuel Kendall, Jr., of Woburn, May 24, 
1737, whereby Mr. Kendall was to receive fifty acres of 
land as part pay or encouiagement for building a saw mill. 
The next year, Oct. 18, 1738, the Proprietors made a 
grant of sixty acres of land "to Mr. Samuel Kendall for 
building a corn mill and keeping it in repair for ye space 
of ten years, so as to grind for ye Above said Proprietors." 


Rev. S. F. Clarke in his centennial discourse says, "It is a 
matter of doubt where the saw mill or grist mill was first 
erected." As near as can be ascertained the first grist mill 
was built near where the Richardson machine shop is 
now located, and it is believed that the saw mill was 
erected near the location of the present match shop on 
Mill Brook. The first grist mill must have been given 
up for some reason for at a Proprietors' meeting held Jan. 
3, 1759, article three of the warrant was to see "Whether 
the Proprietors will give any encouragement to any suita- 
ble person or persons, or be at any expense towards build- 
ing a good Grist Mill in said Pequoig, provided a suitable 
stream can be obtained whereon to build one — and it 
passed in the affirmative." It was also "Voted to raise 
four shillings lawful money on each Right for the use 
and encouragement of any Person that shall build a good 
and sufficient Grist Mill at Mill Brook, so called, provided 
the said person shall come under proper obligation to have 
the same running on or before the 18th Day of October 
next ensuing and to keep the same in due repair for the 
space of fifteen years next coming — and to give due at- 
tendance at said mill, two Days in the Week if business 
requires, during said term, allowing for extraordinary oc- 
currences." The place that this second grist mill was 
built was undoubtedly the location near the Richardson 
machine shop, from which place it was moved about 1768 
to the present location of the Ethan Lord grist mill. Those 
who owned and operated the mill before it came into the 
possession of Ethan Lord were Simeon and Ezra Fish, 


William and Augustus Newhall, Joshua Newhall and 
Joseph Richardson. 

At a town meeting held Jan. 11, 1775 an article ap- 
pears in the warrant as follows: "To see if the Town will 
choose a Committee to look out for, and to see if they can 
find a good Clothier to come and settle in Town so that the 
town may be the Better Enabled to carry on their own Man- 
ufacturies." Under this article it was voted to choose a 
committee, said committee to do the service of getting a 
clothier gratis. In 1791, according to the Historian 
Whitney, there was in the town four grist mills, six saw 
mills, one fulling mill and one trip hammer. The trip 
hammer was located near what is now known as Pine Dale, 
where there was also a grist mill. Previous to 1798 Just- 
ice Ketcham had mills in the south part of the town, and 
in 1801 Levi Lovering had a fulling mill on what is now 
Freedom Street. 

-Early in the present century quite an impetus was 
given the manufacturing interests of Athol by the intro- 
duction of several new kinds of business into the town. 
Before the close of the last century David Lilley was mak- 
ing nails in a shop near the present silk mill. About 
1800 he sold the premises to Perley Sibley and Stephen 
Hammond who established a scythe factory, which for 
more than half a century was a flourishing industry. Sum- 
ner, Gideon, Paul and Willard Sibley were engaged with 
their father in the business, which was also carried on by 
Russell Smith for many years. Eliphalet Thorpe came to 
Athol from Dorchester, in 1812, and bought a paper mill 


on Freedom Street then owned by a man by the name of 
Leland. He manufactured paper for more than a third of 
a century, and the business was also carried on by his sons, 
Albert and Fenno, until about 1868 when it was discon- 
tinued. Greenfield and Amherst newspapers were printed 
on paper made at this mill. 

The cotton factory was built in 1811, where business 
has been carried on to the present time by various owners. 
In 1837 the factory contained ten hundred and twenty-four 
spindles, employed ten males and forty-five females and 
turned out three hundred and sixteen thousand yards of 
cotton goods. At the Centre, Paul Morse established a 
tannery on Mill Brook in 1807, which was carried on by 
himself and his son Laban until 1845, when the works 
were destroyed by a freshet. Prescott Jones also had a 
tannery on Mill Brook, on the premises now owned by 
Geo. S. Brewer, which was operated many years by him- 
self and also by his sons Frederick and Prescott, Jr. About 
1816 Timothy Hoar commenced to develop the water 
power at the corner of Main and Pleasant streets, and en- 
gaged in the manufacture of sleighs, and between the 
years 1833 and 1835 he built a dam and erected a factory 
on Mill Brook, on the site of the Morse factory, and about 
1842 with William Fletcher and Jonathan Kidder built a 
dam and saw mill on the site of the Ellis factory. 

We shall not attempt in this chapter to give a history 
of all the various manufacturing enterprises of the town 
as many of them are described in connection with personal 
sketches of their founders in other chapters. 

early and later industries. 389 

Boot and Shoe Industry. 
The manufacture of boots and shoes has been the lead- 
ing industry of the town for more than half a century. In 
1831 Frederick Jones added to his business of tanning that 
of the manufacture of heavy shoes and brogans. Some 
light shoes had been made previously in Athol, but only 
in a small way. Mr. Jones started the industry on a 
larger plan. In 1832 he enlarged his operations and- took 
his first lot of shoes to New York for sale, teaming them 
over the road to Hartford, and then by steamer. Four 
years afterwards the manufacture was changed from shoes 
to boots and the business finally became one of the impor- 
tant industries of the town. The tannery and boot factory 
were operated by Mr. Jones and his partners until about 

In 1834 Ozi Kendall commenced the manufacture of 
boots in a little shop on Main Street adjoining the house 
in which he lived. As the business increased he took in 
partners and the firm became Ozi Kendall & Co., the fame 
of whose boots extended all over New England and the 
West. At one time they turned out calf boots to the value 
of seventy thousand dollars a year. Mr. Kendall retired 
from the business at the end of fifty years, and the other 
members of the firm continued three years longer, until 
1887, when the business was closed up. 

There is no one family that occupies so prominent a 
position in the manufacturing annals of Athol for the 
last half century as the Lee family. The father, William 
Dexter Lee, was descended from John Lee, or Leigh, as 


the name was originally spelled, who came to this country 
in 1634 and settled in what is now Ipswich, Mass. The 
family is said to have been noted for ability and energy. 
The family of William Dexter Lee was large, there having 
been twelve children born to Mr. Lee and his wife, Lydia 
H. The family was in humble circumstances, and each 
member was dependent on his own resources at an early 
age. The boys of the family who grew to manhood were 
William Dexter, James M., Merritt, Charles Milton, John 
Howard and Solon Wetherbee. 

Charles Milton Lee, who for many years was the 
largest manufacturer and the leading figure in the up- 
building of the town was born May 23, 1828. He com- 
menced the manufacture of shoes in 1850 with a capital of 
about one hundred dollars, going on foot to Boston to 
purchase his stock, and returning to his father's farm 
among the Bears Den hills, where he made his first shoes, 
a few dozen pairs, which were sold to the merchants of this 
and adjoining towns. During the first year the goods 
made and sold by him brought about six hundred dollars. 
His first real shop was on Exchange street, where he em- 
ployed about twenty-five hands, and Mr. Lee himself did 
all the selling of his goods, travelling in northern Vermont 
and New Hampshire with his shoes packed away, at first 
in an old box, and later in a fine two-horse wagon. In 
1858 he formed a partnership with his two brothers, John 
Howard and Solon W., which continued for ten years, 
meanwhile establishing a business house in Boston for the 
sale of their goods. In 1869 this partnership was dissolved, 



C. M. Lee continuing the manufacture in Athol, while his 
brothers carried on the business in Boston. He year by 
year increased his business until in four large shops he was 
employing about six hundred hands, and turning out goods 
to the amount of nearly half a million dollars annually. 
This business, which was for many years the great industry 
of Athol, was built up by the indomitable energy and 
enterprise of Mr. Lee, who believed in every fibre of his 
being in industry and persistent effort. He cared nothing 
for public honors and devoted himself steadfastly to his 
business and his family and home. He married Amanda 
M. Simonds of Lyme, N. H., by whom he had seven chil- 
dren, George M., Everett, W. Starr, Angie, Auburn, Bay- 
ard and Carrie, who married Chas. H. Brown. Of these 
all but Angie and Bayard are living. He was married a 
second time to Miss Minnie Howe of Post Mills, Vt., by 
whom he had two daughters, Marion and Minnie. Mr. 
Lee died June 29, 1896. Since his death the business has 
been continued by his sons, George M., W. Starr and 
Auburn, under the firm name of C. M. Lee Sons. 

John Howard Lee was born in Athol, Aug. 15, 1834. 
He attended the public schools of the town, and the Acad- 
emy in Townsend, Vt., for one term. When a boy he 
worked in the pail factory of Jonathan Wheeler, and was 
clerk for a year in the store of Lee & Bassett. He en- 
gaged in the manufacture of shoes with his brothers, Chas. 
M. and Solon W., in 1858, which was continued for ten 
years, when the partnership was dissolved, and he con- 
tinued the business in Boston. He was also in the shoe 


business for many years with his brother Merritt. He in- 
vested largely in real estate in Boston and also engaged in 
other business, in all of which he has been eminently suc- 
cessful. He married Miss Abbie M. Lamb, daughter of 
James Lamb of Athol, Jan. 4, 1858. She died Oct. 31, 
1859. He was married a second time, Oct. 9, 1862, to 
Sarah E. Emmons of Boston. They have had five children, 
Carlton Howard, Evelyn, Bertha, John Howard, Jr., who 
died when four years old, and Robert E. Mr. Lee is a 
director of the Continental National Bank of Boston, Athol 
National Bank, and the Merchants' and Clerks' Saidngs 
Bank of Toledo, Ohio. He is a member of the Ancient 
and Honorable Artillery Co., St. John's Lodge of Masons, 
and other organizations. 

Solon W. Lee was born in Athol, July 11, 1836. He 
attended the Athol schools, and the High school of Peters- 
ham three terms. He engaged in the shoe manufacturing 
business with his brothers, Chas. M. and J. Howard, in 
1858, and when the partnership was dissolved in 1869, 
and the business divided, he with his brother Howard took 
the Boston part of the business, where he remained until 
1871, when he sold out and returned to Athol and engaged 
in the manufacture of boots and shoes in which he contin- 
ued until 1883 when he went into the lumber business, in 
which he has remained to the present time. Mr. Lee 
has served the town as selectman and assessor. He was 
married in 1859 to Martha A. Coville of Templeton. 
They had three children, Myra A., Cora H. and Mary H. 
The latter, who married C. J. Kratt, is the only one now 


Merritt Lee was born March 22, 1825. He was 
employed for a number of years in the shoe shop of Jones 
& Baker at the upper village, and in 1861 with his broth- 
ers, established the firm of M. L. Lee & Co., for the man- 
ufacture of men's, youths' and boys' kip boots, brogans and 
plow shoes. The business was carried on for thirty-five 
years, when he retired in 1896. His shop for three or 
four years was in the building known as the Pitts block on 
Exchange Street, and later in the block now occupied by 
W. H. Brock & Co., opposite the depot, and in Union 
block at the upper village. In 1879 the firm employed 
upwards of one hundred hands, and the annual sales 
amounted to one hundred thousand dollars He married 
Ellen E. Fessenden, of Guilford Vt., in May, 1852. Their 
children are Walter M., Geo. H., Wm. D. and Ellen F. 

William D. Lee, Jr., was born Aug. 7, 1816. He 
was engaged for some time in the manufacture of women's, 
and children's shoes with John S. Lewis at the upper vil- 
lage. He was for a number of years in business with 
Samuel Lee in a general country store, the firm being Lee 
& Co., and was also engaged with John Lewis in the lum- 
ber business at Warwick, and was an extensive dealer in 
real estate. He was a member of the board of selectmen 
in 1848 and 1849. On June 27, 1841, he married Sarah 
H. Munsell of Winchester, N. H. They had two daugh- 
ters, Clara the wife of O. A. Fay, and Anna, who married 
Elmer Merriam. Mr. Lee died Nov. 29, 1869. 

James M. Lee, the only one of the Lee brothers not 
engaged in the shoe business, was born March 2, 1822. 


From early boyhood until his death he kept a livery stable, 
and was an extensive dealer in horses. He invested largely 
in real estate, and his judgment in business matters was 
excellent. He was trustee of the Athol Savings Bank, 
and a member of its investment committee, also a director 
of the Athol National Bank, in which he was a large stock- 
holder. He served the town as assessor and road surveyor, 
and was one of the founders of the Worcester Northwest 
Agricultural Society. He accumulated a large property, 
the result of shrewd business management and good in- 
vestments. He married Rachel Dexter of Royalston in 
1847. They had two children, Warren D. and Mabel. 
Mr. Lee died Nov. 10, 1893. 

Athol Shoe Co. F. W. Breed of Lynn commenced 
operations in November, 1887 in a large brick factory, one 
hundred and fifty feet long, sixty feet wide and three stories 
high, which was built that year for his occupancy at the 
upper village at a cost of over twenty thousand dollars, in 
which he did business five years. Employment was given 
to about three hundred hands, and nearly four hundred 
thousand dollars worth of goods were produced annually. 

Hill & Greene. This firm moved a part of their busi- 
ness from Beverly to Athol in February, 1889, and occupied 
the large shop that had been erected on Riverbend Street 
by the Citizen's Building Co., where they employed about 
one hundred and fifty hands and turned out about twelve 
hundred pairs of shoes a day. They bought the shop for- 
merly occupied by the Athol Shoe Co., to which they 
moved their business in January, 1893, and are now em- 
ploying about two hundred hands. 


Eli G. Greene, the resident partner of the firm, was 
born in Cambridge, Mass., July 11, 1854. He engaged 
in the wholesale shoe business in Boston in 1882 and be- 
gan manufacturing shoes in Beverly in 1886. Mr. Greene 
takes a deep interest in the affairs of his adopted town and 
its social organizations, and is a member of the Republican 
town committee. He married Miss Grace Putnam Kilham, 
daughter of Capt. Daniel A. Kilham of Beverly, Jan. 22, 
1890, and came to Athol in February, 1891. 

Leroy S. Starrett was born in China, Maine, April 25, 
1836. He is of Scotch descent, and one of twelve children 
of Daniel D. and Anna Starrett. He was brought up on 
a farm and attended the public schools but two or three 
months in the year. He had a natural taste for mechanical 
pursuits, and when a boy spent his pennies for small tools, 
such as knives, gimlets, chisels, planes, etc., with which he 
delighted to work. When seventeen years of age he left 
his home and came to Massachusetts where he engaged in 
farming, and from 1861 to 1864 carried on a stock farm 
of six hundred acres in Newburyport, Mass., called "Tur- 
key Hill Farm." At the same time that he was success- 
fully engaged in carrying on this farm he displayed his 
inventive genius in the mechanical line by taking out sev- 
eral patents in 1864, and the next year sold his farming 
interest and started a machine shop in Newburyport, 
where he employed several skilled mechanics. In the 
spring of 1868 he came to Athol and put his business into 
the Athol Machine Company, which was incorporated 
especially for the manufacture of his inventions, prominent 


among which was the American meat-chopper. He was 
the general agent and superintendent of this company, 
and was connected with it until 1878, when he resigned 
and made arrangements to manufacture some of his inven- 
tions on his own account, having taken out a number of 
patents. One of the inventions that entered into his new 
enterprise was the combination square, and others were 
surface gauges, steel rules, caliper's etc. He started his 
business in 1880, employing ten hands. The usefulness 
of his inventions and the thorough manner in which the 
articles were made soon gave his goods great popularity 
among mechanics and established his business on a solid 
foundation. The quarters in which he commenced were 
soon outgrown, and he purchased a new building eighty by 
forty feet, three stories high, and equipped it with the most 
improved machinery. This soon proved insufficient to 
accommodate his rapidly increasing business, and in three 
years he added a story and a half to the building, and in 
1894 built an addition one hundred and sixty by forty feet, 
with three stories and a basement, and a brick annex 
seventy-five by forty-two feet. These buildings are fur- 
nished with all modern improvements and everything for 
the comfort and convenience of the employees. In 1887 
he bought out the Fay Caliper Manufacturing plant of 
Springfield, and in 1894 a Providence plant, engaged in 
the manufacture of milling cutters, and added them to the 
Athol establishment, making one of the best plants en- 
gaged in the manufacture of fine mechanical tools in the 
country, that gives employment to one hundred and eighty- 



five skilled workmen. In 1882 Mr. Starrett visited Europe 
vphere he established agencies in England, France, Belgi- 
um and Germany that have made his productions about as 
well known in Europe as in the United States. The busi- 
ness is conducted under the name of the L. S. Starrett Co. 
Mr. Starrett devotes his whole time and energy to his 
business, and has not been tempted to turn aside into poli- 
tics or public life. He is a member of the Methodist 
church of which he is one of the trustees. He was married 
April 20, 1861, to Lydia W. Bartlett, daughter of Henry 
A. and Hannah Bartlett, of Newburyport, a descendant of 
Josiah Bartlett, one of the signers of the Declaration of 
Independence. Mrs. Starret died Feb. 3, 1878. He has 
four children living. 

George D. Bates, son of Alonzo and Eliza Bates, 
was born in South Deerfield, April 2, 1846. He attended 
the common schools and High school of his native village, 
and commenced his life work at the age of sixteen years. 
From eighteen to twenty-one years of age he was em- 
ployed in the wallet shop at South Deerfield. In 1867 
he went to Montague and formed a copartnership with 
the late George K. Palmer, for the manufacture of 
wallets, under the firm name of Palmer & Bates, employ- 
ing about thirty hands. In 1871, desiring a more central 
field of operations the business was removed to Atliol, 
and temporary quarters were fitted up for it in Lord's 
block on Exchange Street. In the fall of that year the 
firm occupied the large and commodious factory built for 
them by the citizens of Athol near the Lower Village 


common. In 1879 the firm of Palmer & Bates was dis- 
solved, and the firm of Bates Brothers was formed, consist- 
ing of James P., George D. and Charles A. Bates. They 
commenced business in a building near the Upham Ma- 
chine shop. The business soon outgrew the quarters it 
occupied, and in June, 1882, a factory was built on the 
Island, near Main Street. Additions have been made at 
various times, the latest and most extensive being the 
improvements of 1897. The business has now been in- 
corporated as the Bates Brothers Company of which Geo. 
D. Bates is treasurer and resident manager. Upwards of 
two hundred hands are now employed. In addition to 
looking after the interests of this extensive business Mr. 
Bates is prominently identified with various other business 
and financial interests of the town, and his worth as a citi- 
zen and business man is shown by the important positions 
he holds. He is president of the Athol Co-Operative 
Bank, vice president and director of the Millers River 
National Bank, president of the Athol Board of Trade, 
president of the Athol and Orange Electric Railway Co., 
and a member of the school committee. He married Hat- 
tie M. Warner, daughter of H. W. Warner of Greenfield 
in 1869. She died in 1876, leaving one daughter, Maud, 
now the wife of A. N. Ellis. He married a second time 
Miss Abbie J. Sheldon, June 9, 1880, by whom he had 
two daughters. She died March 17, 1897. He married 
Anna M. Tenney, Aug. 31, 1898. 

Charles A. Bates, son of Alonzo and Eliza Bates, 
was born in South Deerfield, Dec. 2, 1848. His educa- 




tion was obtained in the schools of that village, and at 
Deerfield Academy. He learned the wallet business in 
South Deerfield and came to Athol with the Palmer & 
Bates Co., in 1871. In 1879 he became a member of the 
firm of Bates Bros., successors to Palmer & Bates, and was 
the energetic superintendent of the works until his death ; 
his practical knowledge of the business, good judgment and 
tireless energy being of great value in the building up of 
this important industry of the town, Although of a quiet 
and genial nature, he was a man of strong convictions, and 
was especially tenacious in his political views. He was a 
member of the Democratic town committee for a number of 
years, and was an active worker for his party. He was a 
member of Acme Lodge Knights of Honor, and a charter 
member of the Poquaig Club in the prosperity of which he 
was deeply interested. He married Josephine Pratt, Nov. 
23, 1875. They had three children. Mr. Bates died 
Dec 3, 1894. 

Arthur F. Tyler, one of Athol's most successful 
manufacturers, was born in the historic town of Lexing- 
ton, March 12, 1852. His father died when Arthur was 
eleven years of age, and he went to New Hampshire on 
to a farm, where he remained a year, when he returned to 
Lexington and attended school. He first came to Athol 
in December, 1866, and remained until the following fall 
as clerk in the dry goods store of T. W. Savage at the 
Upper Village. When fifteen years of age he entered 
the works of Geo. F. Blake & Co., manufacturers of steam 
pumping machinery in Boston, as an apprentice, where he 


served an apprenticeship of three years, and continued in 
their employ another year. After leaving this company he 
went to work in the repair shops of the Fitchburg Railroad 
at Charlestown. At this time the Westinghouse air brakes 
were being introduced, and Mr Tyler had charge of putting 
these upon the engines running between Boston and Fitch- 
burg. He remained in this business four years, and came 
to Athol in April, 1876, and commenced the manufacture 
of window blinds with Wallace Cheney in the old Cheney 
Mill. At the expiration of a year he purchased his part- 
ner's interest in the business which he has continued to 
carry on to the present time. He continued to manufac- 
ture window blinds for seven years in the old mill, running 
by water power, and at the end of that time had increased 
the number of workmen in his employ from five or six 
which he had when he commenced business to sixteen. In 
January 1883 he bought the tract of land known as the 
Estabrook lot on Main street and commenced to build a 
new factory to run by steam power. He also commenced 
the manufacture of window sash. His business gradually 
increased, and in 1890 he bought out the window frame 
department of the Kennebec Framing & Lumber Co., of 
Fairfield, Me., and removed it to Athol. The original 
factory was thirty-two by seventy-two feet, but additions 
have been made until the capacity has more than doubled, 
and he has one of the best equipped factories of the kind 
in New England. He has employed upwards of eighty 
hands. He also has an office and store in Haymarket 
Square in Boston. Mr. Tyler, in addition to his manufac- 



turing business, is interested in many of the business and 
financial enterprises of the town. He is a director of the 
Millers River National Bank, trustee of the Athol Savings 
Bank, and one of the owners of the Athol and Orange 
Street Railway. In 1895 he served as selectman, and is 
chief engineer of the fire department. He is a member 
of all the Odd Fellow and Masonic organizations of the 
town, of Acme Lodge Knights of Honor and of the 
Congregational church. He was married May 12, 1875, 
to Mary Baker Cheney, daughter of J. Munroe Cheney of 

C. Fred Richardson, son of Nathaniel Richardson, 
was born in Athol, Sept, 28, 1839. He attended the pub- 
lic schools of the town until about eighteen years of age, 
when he went into his father's shop and learned the 
machinist's trade. He was for four or five years in the 
sewing machine shops at Orange, and a year in the rattan 
shop at Fitchburg, and the rest of his life has been spent 
in Athol. In 1870 he succeeded to the business of his 
father, which was a general machine jobbing business, and 
has since added to it the manufacture of architects' and 
carpenters' levels and transits, and also deals extensively 
in bicycles, his son Fred R., being in company with him. 
Taking an active interest in the business and financial 
affairs of the town, he has been called upon to serve in 
various capacities. He has been a member of the board of 
selectmen eight years, represented this district in the Leg- 
islature of 1884, and on the resignation of John D. Hol- 
brook as town clerk in 1897, he was appointed to fill the 


Tacancy, which position he now holds. He is a trustee of 
the Athol Savings Bank, secretary and treasurer of the 
Athol Co-Operative Bank, and secretary and treasurer of 
the Citizens Building Co. He is a member of the Masonic 
fraternity, and Knights of Honor, and has been Master of 
Orange Lodge of Masons. He married Celia C. Lamb, 
Sept. 21, 1862. They have two children, Fred R., who is 
in company with him, and Carl. 

Herbert L. Hapgood, son of Lyman W. Hapgood, was 
born in Athol, Feb 5, 1850. His education was obtained 
in the public schools of the town and at New Salem Acad- 
emy. After leaving the Academy he went to Winchendon 
and spent about two years in the shops of Baxter D. Whit- 
ney, learning the machinist's trade. He returned to Athol 
and in 1874 formed a partnership with his brother-in-law. 
Almond Smith, to carry on the match business, established 
by his father. The firm was known as Hapgood & Smith, 
and did an extensive business until 1882, when they sold 
the plant to the Diamond Match Co. They conducted the 
business for that company four years, and then bought the 
plant and continued the business until 1892, when they 
sold again to the same company. While engaged in the 
match business Mr. Hapgood's inventive genius added 
much to its value and prosperity, through his improvements 
in machinery and methods of handling. Among his inven- 
tions was a sand papering machine that has been used quite 
extensively. Since retiring from manufacturing, Mr. Hap- 
good has been engaged to some extent in the lumber busi- 
ness, and has also devoted much time to town affairs. He 



-•sr - -IK./^I 

' "^IK^ 



has served on the board of selectmen five years, has been 
one of the assessors for the same length of time, and super- 
intendent of streets three years. He is also one of the 
sewer commissioners, having been a member of the first 
board elected, under whose direction the system of sewerage 
was constructed. He is a member of all the Masonic and 
Odd Fellow organizations of the town, the Highland Fire- 
men's Association and the Poquaig Club, In politics he 
has always been a Republican, and has been an active 
worker in the party, serving as chairman of the town 
committee several years. He was married Feb. 25, 1875, 
to Mary Josephine Proctor, daughter of Joseph Proctor, 
and granddaughter of one of Athol's first lawyers. They 
have had five children, three of whom are now living, 
Lyman P., Edith and Frederic H, 

Almond Smith was born on a farm in Petersham, 
Oct. 23, 1845. When he was nine years old his father 
died, and three years later the death of his mother broke 
up the home and caused the separation of the nine chil- 
dren then living out of the original family of eleven. He 
found a home in Athol first under the guardianship of 
Calvin Kelton. After that he lived in several families, 
doing chores and general work, while receiving his educa- 
tion, which was completed in the Athol High School. He 
then worked at the shoe business for ten years. Novem- 
ber 21, 1874 he went into the match splint business in 
company with H. L. Hapgood, under the firm name of 
Hapgood & Smith. This was continued for eight years, 
when they sold their plant, mill and entire interest to the 


Diamond Match Company. They carried on the business 
for the company for three years and a half when they re- 
purchased it and continued the business for themselves 
for six and a half years, when they sold out again to the 
same company. Mr. Smith has since continued in the em- 
ploy of the company, and is engaged most of the time in 
looking after the lumber supply. He was for about 
twenty-four years a member of the fire department, during 
a number of years of which time he was the clerk and 
treasurer of the board of engineers. He was also superin- 
tendent of the First Unitarian Sunday School ten years. He 
has been an active worker in politics, and has been a mem- 
ber of the Republican town committee for several years. 
He married Miss Sarah L. Hapgood, daughter of Lyman 
W. Hapgood, Dec. 29, 1870. They have one child, Miss 
Arline Smith, a teacher in the Hyannis High school. 

Henry R. Stowell was born in Petersham, June 19, 
1832. He received a common school education, and left 
home at sixteen years of age to make his way in the world. 
For three years he worked on farms in Amherst, Deer- 
field and Greenfield and then went to Indiana and Illinois, 
where he spent a year or two and then returned to Green- 
field and engaged in the grocery business. While in 
Greenfield he was married in 1854 to Miss Lucina Hough- 
ton of Petersham. He carried on the grocery business for 
a year when he sold out and went to Tully, in Orange, 
where he obtained employment in the furniture factory of 
Pierce & Mayo. In 1860 he engaged in the manufacture 
of furniture with Joseph Pierce at Tully, but soon pur- 



chased the interest of his partner. In 1862, while in the 
midst of a good and profitable business he enlisted as a 
private in Co. F, 52d Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers 
with seven of his employees. This furnishes one of those 
striking exhibitions of patriotism which abounded in the 
Northern States in the early days of the war. The quota 
required of the town of Orange was lacking eight men, 
and unless that number would volunteer a draft must be 
ordered. At this crisis in affairs Mr. Stowell and his em- 
ployees present themselves and make up the required num- 
ber. The gate of the factory is shut down and the work- 
ing jackets of the men are hung upon the walls of the shop, 
some of them never to be donned again, their owners lay- 
ing down their lives in the far South lands. Mr. Stowell 
had promised his men that he would carry a musket with 
them, and this he did through their term of service, al- 
though he might have served in higher positions, having 
been for several weeks General Banks private secretary 
which position he might have retained. At the close of his 
term of service, with his surviving comrades, he returned 
to TuUy, and resumed business at the factory where it had 
been left the year before. In 1865 fire destroyed his fac- 
tory and all his stock of lumber, on which there was no 
insurance, leaving him hundreds of dollars in debt. He 
immediately bargained for part of another factory and re- 
sumed business, which he has continued to the present 
time. In 1883 he removed to Athol and purchased a fine 
estate on School Street, which has since been his home. 
He has become prominently identified with the business 


and social affairs of the town, is a director of the Millers 
Eiver National Bank, vice president of the Athol Savings 
Bank, and one of its board of investment, and has been 
chairman of the executive committee of the Poquaig Club 
since its formation. He was married the second time July 
10, 1856 to Miss Ellen A. Davis of Royalston. They have 
three children. 

Abijah Hill, oldest son of John C. Hill was born in 
Athol, Feb. 16, 1847. He attended the public schools of 
the town and a business college at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., 
for a year. His first business was running a blanket mill 
in Swanzey, N. H. He then was engaged in building the 
Eagleville and Tully blanket mills, and a blanket shop on 
Canal Street. He run a mill at Otter River for a year or 
two, and then carried on the Eagleville mill most of the 
time until about ten years ago. He is now eagaged in 
farming and real estate business. He was made a Knight 
Templar in the Connecticut Valley Commandery at Green- 
field, and was one of the organizers of the Athol Com- 
mandery. He was married Feb. 6, 1895 to Isabel Vaughn. 

Charles L. Morse was born in Rochester, Vt., March 
26, 1849, where he lived until fourteen years of age. His 
grandfather, Charles Morse, and his father, Charles Morse, 
Jr., both served their country, the former in the war of 
1812 and the latter in the war of the Rebellion, his father 
being killed in the battle of Gettysburg. His early life 
was spent in farming during the summer and lumbering in 
the winter season until about twenty-one years of age, 
when he went to Canton, Mass., where he learned the car- 



penter's and joiner's trade. While there he married Mari- 
ella F. Howes of that town, Nov. 30, 1873. He continued 
to work at his trade in Canton, until the spring of 1877, 
when he went to Topeka, Kansas, to work for the Atkin- 
son, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Co. The next winter 
he accepted a position on the Kansas Pacific Railroad, where 
he had charge of the wood work on the Eastern Division 
of that road, until he lost a foot in the employ of that com- 
pany. After a season spent in travelling among the 
Rocky Mountains he came East and worked for the Eureka 
Silk Co., until the fall of 1881 when he came to Athol as 
master mechanic for the Athol Silk Co., and is now super- 
intendent of the silk business of D. E. Adams. He is the 
inventor of the Morse valve reseating machine, is promi- 
nently identified with the Masonic, Odd Fellows and other 
organizations of the town and is an earnest worker in the 
temperance cause. 

Frank Edward Wjng, son of Edward E. and Helen 
Newman Wing was born in Conway, Mass. June 27, 1865, 
where four generations of Wings had lived before him. 
He attended the public schools of Conway; was graduated 
from Smith Academy, Hatfield in 1882, and entered Yale 
College in the fall of the same year, from which he gradu- 
ated in 1886. While in college he was Fence Orator, 
Class Historian and chairman of the "Courant" editorial 
board. In April 1887 he came to Athol and was em- 
ployed in the oiiice of L. S. Starrett, where he has remained 
ever since In 1887 he composed the entire office and 
shipping force of the establishment, where now nine per- 


sons are required to do the work. Mr. Wing's attention 
now is confined mainly to the finances and advertising of 
the company He was married Sept. 28, 1892, to Miss 
Edith May Smith of Athol. He has been a member of the 
Eepublican town committee and president of the Athol 
Eepublican Club, and is a Justice of the Peace and Notary 
Public, and clerk of of the Second Unitarian society. He 
is a prominent member of the Masonic organizations of the 
town, is past High Priest of Union Royal Arch Chapter, 
present District Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand 
Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts and Eminent Com- 
mander of Athol Commandery, Knights Templars. 

Lewis Sanders was born in Townsend, Mass., March 
15,1842. He attended the public schools of his native 
town and several terms at Lawrence Academy, Groton, 
where he was preparing for a college course, when, his 
father having lost his sight, Lewis was called home to take 
charge of the business when seventeen years of age. In 
1865, with others, he purchased the Stevens mill in Town- 
send and engaged extensively in lumbering. At the end 
of three years he had bought out his partners, and then 
engaged in the manufacture of kegs and barrels. His 
business continued to increase, and in March 1882, he 
moved it to Athol; employing at that time about twenty- 
five hands. After coming to Athol the business increased 
rapidly, outgrowing the buildings in which he first located, 
and a larger plant was erected south of the village, which 
at one time in its various departments gave employment to 
upwards of seventy-five men, the manufacture of boxes 








and match blocks having been added to the original busi- 
ness. This was discontinued in 1897, and Mr. Sanders 
went to Seattle, Washington, where he is engaged in the 
wood business. He is an Odd Fellow of long standing, 
and on the organization of Tully Lodge was elected its 
first Noble Grand, and was also the District Deputy Grand 
Master of this district in 1889 and 1890. He is also a 
member of several Masonic organizations, and was for five 
years one of the engineers of the fire department. He 
married Ellen M. Gilchrist, a native of Lunenburg. They 
have one daughter, Jennie I. 

Fred E. Davis was born in Waltham, July 4, 1856. 
He went through the public schools of his native town, 
and after graduating from the High school learned the 
iron founders trade and was for twelve years engaged in 
the construction of gas and water works. He came to Athol 
Jan. 1, 1883 and took the position of superintendent of 
the gas and water companies. He has been for several 
years superintendent and treasurer of the Athol Gas and 
Electric Company. He was married Nov. 24, 1875 to 
Miss Jennie M. Emerson. They have one son, Forest 
Davis. Mr. Davis is a member of the various Masonic 



"Seest thou a man diligent in hie businese? He shall stand before kings ; he shall 
Jiot stand before mean men." 

OST of those connected with the commer- 
cial interests of Athol, from the early 
days through all the years of its history, 
have been men of integrity and worthy 
business principles, and the town has 
been fortunate in the character of its 
merchants and those engaged in kindred 
occupations or business. Sketches of 
many of these have already been given in connection with 
other departments of this work, and this chapter will be 
devoted more especially to those doing business at the 
present day- 

Oscar T. Brooks was born in Petersham, June 6, 
1839. When two years of age his parents moved to Wen- 
dell, Mass., which was henceforth his home during his 
youth and early manhood. His education was obtained 
in the common schools of Wendell, the Winchester, N. H., 
High school and the New Salem Academy. In 1859 he 


engaged in mercantile business in Wendell in company 
with his father and was the postmaster there several 
years. In the fall of 1862 he came to Athol and with the 
late J. M. King bought out the general country store busi- 
ness of P. C. Tyler, and carried on business in the store 
now occupied by Chas. H. Tyler for about a year and a 
half. In the fall of 1864 in company with J. M. King 
and Franklin E. Haskell he engaged in business in the 
store now occupied by A. E,. Tower, and in 1869 in com- 
pany with J. F. Packard he commenced business in the 
store which he has occupied to the present time. This 
partnership was continued for about a year when Mr. 
Brooks purchased the interest of his partner, and in 1870 
in company with Chas. M. Sears established the firm of 
Brooks & Sears, which was continued until the death of 
Mr. Sears, Sept. 28, 1885, since which time Mr. Brooks 
has continued the business alone. In 1881 he served the 
town as Selectman, Assessor and Overseer of the Poor. 
He is a trustee of the Athol Savings Bank, director of the 
Athol Co-Operative Bank and a member of the executive 
committee of the Board of Trade, and at the 1897 election 
was elected Representative to the Legislature from the 
First Worcester district. He is a member of the Second 
Advent church, and has been superintendent of its Sunday 
school for fifteen years or more, and is also president of the 
Young Men's Christian Association. On Jan. 3, 1866 he 
married Cornelia R. Smith, daughter of the late Abner 
Smith. They have had five children, only two of whom 
are now living, Annie and Ralph. 


Charles M. Sears was born in New Salem, April 4, 
1842. When fifteen years of age he went to Hartford, 
Conn., where he was employed in a grocery store. He 
returned to New Salem in 1862 and engaged in the palm- 
leaf business until he came to Athol in May, 1866, and 
opened a small grocery store. In 1870 in company with 
O. T. Brooks, he established the firm of Brooks & Sears, 
which was continued without change until the death of 
Mr. Sears Sept. 28, 1885. Mr. Sears never held political 
or town office, but was for several years one of the trustees 
of the Methodist church of which he was one of the most 
loved and efficient members. He married Annie F. 
Chapin of Hartford, Conn., Sept 15, 1863. They had two 
children. Mrs. Sears died April 12, 1868, and he was 
married a second time to Mrs. Annis J. Smith, Nov. 10, 
1870. By this marriage he had two children, a daughter 
and son. The daughter died in infancy, and the son, 
Mortimer A. Sears, is a mining engineer. 

Charles A. Crosman was born in Athol, Dec. 27, 
1839. He received a common school education in his 
native town, and attended New Salem Academy two terms. 
In 1860 he removed to Barre, Mass., and was a resident of 
that town until 1874, being engaged most of the time in 
the market business. In 1874 he returned to Athol and 
engaged in the grocery business at Athol Center with 
George W. Stevens in which he continued until his death, 
Aug. 7, 1896. He represented this district in the Legis- 
lature of 1892, and served the town as assessor two years. 
He was made a Mason in 1868 in Mt. Sinai Lodge of 

'^ ^, 








Barre, became a Chapter Mason in 1886 and was made a 
Sir Knight in 1889. In 1895 he was Eminent Commander 
of Athol Commandery Knights Templars. 

Nelson Whitcomb was born in Bolton, Mass., Feb. 1, 
1814. He lived in his native town on a farm until twenty- 
one years of age, attending school ten weeks in the winter 
and the same in the summer. After leaving home he went 
to work in Jaffrey, N. H., and later at Harvard and Bolton. 
He went to Worcester and learned the trade of making 
plows, and then returned to Bolton and engaged in the 
manufacture of plows and farming, which he continued for 
eleven years, when he went to Clinton where he was in 
the livery business for ten years, and also started a passen- 
ger and express team from Clinton to Northboro. He 
then went to Fitchburg and was express messenger from 
Fitchburg to Boston for the United States and Canada Ex- 
press Co., for five years, commencing in 1867. He was 
proprietor of the Leominster Hotel for two years and a 
half and came to Athol in 1874 and engaged in the coal 
business which he carried on until his death, April 6, 
1895. He married Elvira Holman of Bolton in October, 
1837, and their golden wedding was happily observed in 
1887. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and of 
the Second Unitarian church. 

Harding R. Barber was born in Warwick, Mass., 
Dec. 20, 1839. He was educated in the public schools of 
his native town, and at the age of seventeen years com- 
menced his commercial life as clerk in a country store at 
Erving. He came to Athol in 1857 and entered the em- 


ploy of Alvin Houghton, who had stores where the City 
Hotel now is. He was also clerk in stores at Greenfield 
and South Royalston, and in August, 1862, enlisted in Co. 
E, 53d Regiment, Mass. Volunteers and participated in 
the various battles and engagements of his regiment until 
it was discharged. Soon after leaving the army he returned 
to Athol and purchased a harness business which he has 
continued to the present time. He also at one time did 
quite an extensive business in the manufacture of horse 
blanket straps and other leather goods. In additioa to his 
store for the sale of goods, he has for many years em- 
ployed several skilled workmen in his manufacturing de- 
partment. He has always taken an active interest in 
political affairs, and for a number of years served on the 
Republican town committee. He represented this district 
in the State Legislature for the years 1895 and 1896, and 
was also State Senator for 1897 and 1898. In the Senate 
he was chairman of the agricultural committee for both 
years, and served on other important committees. In Jan- 
uary 1899, the question of who should be postmaster of 
the Athol oflBLce having been given by Congressman Gillett 
to the Republican patrons of the office to decide by a cau- 
cus, he was elected by a large vote for that position. He 
has been prominently identified with the Grand Army and 
Masonic organizations of the town, having been master of 
Star Lodge two terms, and is one of the executive commit- 
tee of the Second Unitarian Church, of which he has been 
a member since its formation. In 1859 he married Josie 
M. Knowlton, daughter of Stillman Knowlton a prominent 






citizen of Athol, by whom he had two children, Henry H. 
and Fred K. In 1874 he married Miss Annie Clapp of 
Montague, by whom he had one daughter, Mabel, and in 
April, 1883, married Miss Alice Nims of Keene, N. H. 
They have two daughters, Grace E. and Helen R. 

Herbert S. Goddard was born in Royalston, April 
11, 1852. He lived at home on the farm until sixteen years 
of age, attending the district schools. His education was 
supplemented by several terms' attendance at Powers In- 
stitute in Bernardston, and a year at the State University of 
Minnesota. He then returned to Royalston and was en- 
gaged for about fifteen years in the portable steam mill and 
lumbering business with C. D. Davis, also of Royalston, 
their field of operations being mostly in Royalston and 
Petersham. In 1888 he engaged in the manufacture of 
piano cases in Athol, in company with the late Robert 
Manning, the firm being known as Goddard & Manning, 
and a successful business was conducted until the death of 
Mr. Manning in March, 1895. The business was continued 
with another partner until 1897 when Mr. Goddard sold 
out his interest, and has not since engaged in any business. 
He is a member of the Baptist church of which he was 
for several years the treasurer, and has been a director and 
vice president of the Y. M. C. A., since its organization. 
He is also a member of the board of assessors of the town. 
He was married Sept 15, 1880, to Miss Sarah E. Forristall 
of Boston, and they have two daughters. 

Adolphus Bangs, youngest son of Joel and Minerva 
(Haskins) Bangs was born in New Salem, May 19, 1830. 


He remained at home upon tJie farm until eighteen years 
of age, when finding agricultural pursuits not congenial to 
his tastes, he went to Hadley, Mass., where he learned the 
broom-making business. He was engaged in the manu- 
facture of brooms in Leverett until January, 1857, when he 
commenced his career as a hotel keeper, leasing the hotel 
in Montague. In the fall of 1858 he moved to Athol 
and entered the employ of Hunt & Packard, grocers, where 
he remained until August', 1862, when he enlisted in Co. 
E, 53d Mass. Eegiment. He returned home with his reg- 
iment, Aug. 24, 1863, and in the summer of 1864 went to 
Vicksburg as recruiting officer for the State of Massachu- 
setts, and at the close of this service engaged in the gro- 
cery business with his father-in-law, J. F. Packard. He 
continued in this business until Jan. 1, 1867, when with 
the late Orrin F. Hunt he purchased the Pequoig Hotel 
property. In 1868 Mr. Bangs became sole owner of the 
property, and the landlord of the hotel, which he success- 
fully managed for nearly two decades. He has been iden- 
tified with the growth and enterprise of the town, always 
taking a deep interest in the introduction of new business 
into the place, not only using his influence but his money 
in that direction. He is a member of the various Masonic 
organizations of the town and of Titus Strong Council of 
Greenfield, and also of the Hubbard V. Smith Post, G. A. 
E. He was married May 27, 1852, to Miss Susan S. Pack- 
ard of New Salem. They have one daughter, the wife of 
Chas. A. Fairbanks of Boston, with whom they have made 
their home since the sale of the hotel property in Athol. 


CoNVEESE Wakd. a well known druggist in town, was 
born in North Orange, Sept, 23, 1845. He attended the 
district and private schools of that village, and at the age 
of eighteen years he came to Athol and entered the em- 
ploy of S. E. Fay in his drug and grocery store in Hough- 
ton's block, now the City Hotel building. He remained 
in that position for seven years, and was then clerk for 
Hunt Bros , about two years, when he went to Turners 
Falls and was confidential clerk and bookkeeper for the 
late Hector L. Goss for five years. He then returned to 
Athol and purchased the drug store of Wm. H. Puffer in 
the Starr Hall block, in which building he has ever since 
carried on that business. Mr. Ward has been a member 
of the board of Registrars of Voters for fifteen years. He 
is a member of the three Masonic organizations of the town, 
and has been treasurer of Union Royal Arch Chapter for 
eight } ears. He is also a member of TuUy Lodge of Odd 
Fellows, and a charter member of Poqaaig Club, and its 
treasurer since its organization. He was married Oct. 31, 
1867 to Mary E. Haskins of Athol. They have two chil- 
dren, Franklin E. and Ethel V. 

George H. Cooke, son of Jacob Smith Cooke, was 
born in Athol, Aug. 15, 1851. His education was received 
in the Athol schools and at New Salem Academy. His 
first work was in the sash and blind shop of Edwin Ellis, 
where he received twenty-five cents per day. He was 
assistant postmaster for T. H. Goodspeed at the Athol 
Centre office for two or three years, and then went in com- 
pany with J. F". Packard in the grocery business fi)r about 


a year, when he sold out and went to Leominster, where 
he was engaged in the grocery and drug business for five 
years, two years of which time he was in company with 
Bela J. Jacobs, and three years alone. He then returned 
to Athol and engaged extensively in building, having 
erected the Grand Army blocks in each village and about 
fifty dwelling houses, and has also invested heavily in cen- 
trally located real estate, becoming one of the largest real 
estate owners in the town. He has been active in getting 
new business interests into town, and has been largely in- 
terested in the Millers River, Citizens' and Athol Building 
Companies, and has also been engaged to some extent in 
the lumber business. He married Mary A Patterson, 
Nov. 25, 1875. They have one son, Charles Henry, now 
a student at Amherst College. 

James Cotton was born in Princeton, Mass., Nov. 1, 
1848. He came to Athol when fifteen years of age and 
obtained employment in the mill of the Millers River Manu- 
facturing Co. In August, 1864, he enlisted iu Co. H, Fourth 
Mass. Heavy Artillery, and served until the close of the 
war. He returned to Athol and went to work for J. M. 
Cheney in the match business, and in 1875 hired the shop 
of Mr. Cheney and carried on business for himself for three 
years, since which he has been engaged in the lumbering 
business. Mr. Cotton served on the board of selectmen 
for three years and was a constable of the town for nearly 
twenty years continuously. He is a member of Parker 
Post, G. A. R., and of the various Masonic organizations 
in town and the Mystic Shrine. He married Miss Maria 
Plunkett of Athol, Nov. 15, 1866, and has eight children. 







Calvin Miller was born in Westminster, March 18, 
1837; his education was obtained in the public schools of 
his native town and at the old Westminster Academy. 
Born on a farm near old Wachusett Mountain, his early 
life was spent on the farm until twenty-one years of age, 
when he went into a htore in Westminster as clerk for 
four years. In 1864 he went to Milwaukee, Wis., and 
that year and the following was employed in a dry goods 
store of that city. He then returned to Massachusetts and 
was book-keeper in one of the chair manufacturing estab- 
lishments of Gardner for four years. He came to Athol 
in 1871 and engaged in the manufacture of furniture with 
the late J. B. Cardany, under the firm name of Cardany & 
Miller. At the end of two years the firm was dissolved 
and Mr. Miller continued the business alone for ten years. 
He was also engaged in the coal business from 1875 to 
1883, built the bakery on Exchange Street with A. A. 
Ward in 1881, bought him out in 1883, and after continu- 
ing the business alone till 1886, sold out to Albert Ells- 
worth. From that time until his removal to Worcester in 
1894, he was engaged in lumbering and the real estate 
business. Mr. Miller served the town as collector of taxes 
in 1883, '87 and '88. He married Miss Amelia V. Alger 
of Winchendon. Feb. 15, 1870, and has two children. 

George S. Brewer was born in Petersham, June 11, 
1851. His education was received in the common schools 
of his native town, and at the Highland Institute of Pet- 
ersham. He remained at home on the farm until twenty 
years of age, and came to Athol in 1872 when he went to 


work for J. M. Cheney in the match bushiess, where he 
remained two years. He then in company with Dwight 
Bass established, the wood turning business in the old 
Drury & Allen shop, but soon removed to the Hapgood & 
Smith shop, where he was in the same business alone for 
four years. He has been largely interested in the im- 
provement of real estate at the Highlands, having in 1878, 
purchased the Oliver property on the corner of Main and 
Pleasant streets, and in 1882 the Milton Baker property, 
extending from the Congregational church to the grist mill. 
This property he has improved by the building of new 
blocks and shops. He furnished the land and put in the 
water plant for the Hill & Greene shoe shop, and was 
largely interested in the building of the Ellis dam. He 
has been for several years engaged in the manufacture of 
boxes, window frames and mouldings. He is a member 
of TuUy Lodge of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of 
United Workmen, and was a membei- of the Republican 
town committee for several years. He was married Dec. 
8, 1890 to Miss Mabel Lee, daughter of James M. Lee. 

Andrew Jackson Hamilton, oldest son of Harrison 
and Lucy A. (Gilbert) Hamilton, was born in Shutesbury, 
Mass., March 12, 1846. He removed to Bernardston in 
1856, where he attended Powers Institute five years under 
the noted principal, L. F. Ward, served one year in a vil- 
lage grocery store, followed by three years' service in the 
"old brick" general store of R. F. Newcomb. While in 
the latter place his employer was absent about a year in 
the Civil war, leaving young Hamilton with a clerk still 


younger in charge of" the business. Later a year's service 
as dry goods clerk in Holyoke, Mass., was followed by one 
year in a general store and post office at Hinsdale, N. H., 
during which jear he was united in marriage with Miss 
Julia Wilkins of Orange, who still shares his fortunes. 
They have one son, Andrew Foster, a student in Amherst 
College, class of 1901. In April, 1869, Mr. Hamilton 
came to Athol as clerk for S. E. Fay, druggist and grocer, 
with whom he remained two years, and then accepted a 
clerkship in the insurance office and music store of H. B. 
& N. H. Hunt, later Hunt Brothers, where he continued 
until July ], 1878, when with J. Luther Hunt as a co- 
partner the business was purchased and continued under 
the firm name of Hunt & Hamilton until July 1, 1883, 
when the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Hamilton becom- 
ing sole proprietor of the "Athol Life & Fire Insurance 
Agency," which had been established in 1865 by the late 
Howard B. Hunt. In 1894 he made extensive additions 
and improvements to the premises now known as Hamil- 
ton's Block, and occupies a convenient insurance office on 
the ground floor. Mr. Hamilton has been prominently 
identified with the social, religious and political affairs of 
the town, is a member of the Congregational church, treas- 
urer of the Young Men's Christian Association, and a 
member of the board of cemetery commisioners. In poli- 
tics he has always been a Republican, and an active worker 
in the party. He is a Past Dictator of Acme Lodge 
Knights of Honor, Past Grand of Tully Lodge of Odd 
Fellows, Past High Priest of Mount Pleasant Encampment, 


a member of Banner Rebekah Lodge, Canton Athol, the 
Poquaig Club, and an associate member of Post 140, G. A. 
E,., and holds commissions as Justice of the Peace, Notary 
Public and commissioner to qualify civil officers. 

Albert R. Tower was born in Boston, Sept. 19, 
1849. His mother died when he was only a few days old, 
and he was brought to New Salem to live with his uncle, 
William Rice, where he lived until twelve years of age. 
After two years spent in Petersham he came to Athol, 
which has since been his home. In September, 1865, he 
went to work for J. S. and F. C. Parmeuter in the store on 
the corner of Main and Exchange Streets, where he re- 
mained five and one-half years. In April, 1871, he went 
into partnership with F. C. Parmeuter, under the firm 
name of Parmeuter & Tower, and in May, 1892, Mr. Tower 
bought out the interest of his partner and still continues 
the business. He was married Oct. 15, 1873 to Miss Nar- 
cissa A. White, daughter of Rev. L. White, then principal 
of New Salem Academy, in which institution Miss White 
was also a teacher. They have two daughters, Jennie W., 
who married Rev. A. V. House of New Salem, and Mary 
Elizabeth, wife of David Findlay of Athol, and one son, 
Albert R. Jr., who lives at home. Mr. Tower has been 
for many years a prominent member of the Congregational 
church of which he was chosen deacon in January, 1892, 
and was for three years superintendent of the Sunday 

Frank S. Parmenter, son of J. Sumner Parmeuter, 
was born in Athol, Oct. 26, 1849. His education was 






received in the Athol schools and at Trenton Academy in 
New Jersey. After returning to Athol about 1867, he 
entered the store of J. S. & F. C. Parmenter as clerk, and 
in 1870 engaged in the dry goods business with his father, 
which partnership was continued for four years, when his 
father retired from the business and he continued it in 
company with Charles A. Carruth for two years. After 
this he was engaged in the dry goods business in Spring- 
field, Mass., for three years, St. Albans, Vt., about two 
years and Orange, Mass., three years, when he returned to 
Athol and was engaged in the clothing business with W. 
H. Kendall for four years, the firm name being Parmenter 
& Kendall. After being out of business for a time, he was 
in the West for a short time, and then again engaged in 
the dry goods business in Orange, where he continued un- 
til the fall of 1897, when he removed his business to Athol. 
He was married Aug. 26, 1873 to Adele C. Ellis, daughter 
of Edwin Ellis. Mr. Parmenter has been town auditor, is 
a member of the Congregational church and of Athol 
Lodge of Masons. 

William H. Kendall was born in Boston, April 14, 
1851. He came to Athol when fourteen years of age, and 
after attending school in Petersham for two or three years 
went to work in the sash and blind factory of Edwin Ellis, 
where he was employed for nine years. He was then 
clerk for several years in the stores of Chas. L. Lord and 
Chas. A. Carruth, after which he became manager of the 
clothing store of S. Packard in the Houghton block. After 
a year or two in this position, in company with Frank S. 


Parmenter he bought out the busmess of Mr. Packard, 
which was continued for three or four years, when he 
bought out the interest of his partner anl carrisd on the 
business until February, 1897, when he sold out and since 
that time has been clerk in several stores. He was married 
May 20, 1873, to Miss Flora M. Wood, daughter of the 
late John C. Wood. 

Charles W. Bannon was born in Springfield, Mass., 
Dec. 14, 1824. He attended the schools of his native city 
until sixteen years of age, and then learned the tailor's 
trade of Cole & Brownell in Springfield. He came to 
Athol April 28, 1846 to superintend a tailoring establish- 
ment for Hardon & Houghton, and this town has been his 
home ever since. He carried on business for himself from 
1857 to 1873, and then was connected with the late Alvin 
Houghton for three years. In 1876 he again commenced 
business on his own account which he continued until 1883 
when he opened a merchant tailor and ready made cloth- 
ing store in Orange, which he carried on fifteen years. 
Mr. Bannon entered the fire department in 1846, when he 
first came to town, and was soon made foreman of the old 
Tiger Engine Co., No. 1, which position he held for sev- 
eral years. He was one of the first board of fire engineers. 
He has been prominent in the Masonic fraternity, having 
been the first Master Mason raised in Star Lodge in 1864, 
was Master of the lodge in 1871, High Priest of Union 
Royal Arch Chapter in 1872, was the first High Priest of 
Crescent Chapter of Orange in 1884, and has been Grand 
Principal Sojourner of the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts. 






He was one of the committee to publish the book, "Athol 
in Suppressing the Rebellion," upon which he did much 
work. In 1850 he commenced investigating the philosophy 
and phenomena of modern Spiritualism, and was one of the 
first in Athol to give attention to that subject. He is 
president of the first Spiritual Association of Athol. He 
was married Jan. 10, 1849 to Miss Betsey H. Mayo of 
Worcester. They have two sons, Frank W. and Charles A. 
Rdssell S. Horton was born in Gill, Jan. 16, 1825. 
He was educated in the common schools of J'ranklin 
county towns and the High school at Warwick. After 
leaving school he traveled in the West about two years. 
He came to Athol in 1850, and went to work for C. M. 
Lee, who had then just commenced making shoes. He 
remained in the employ of Mr. Lee until 1852, when he 
went to Lynn, and was engaged for several years in manu- 
facturing shoes. While in Lynn he married Ruth Adaline 
Newhall, July 25, 1857. He served in the war in the 
Fourth Mass. Heavy Artillery. In 1869 he came back to 
Athol and again entered the employ of Mr. Lee, where he 
remained until 1881. He represented the eighth Worces- 
ter district in the Legislature of 1880, and has served on 
the board of fire engineers. He was the head of the Sov- 
ereigns of Industry, when that organization flourished, and 
has been interested in nearly all of the labor organizations 
that have existed in Athol. After leaving the employ of 
Mr. Lee in 1881 he worked for Horace Hager several years 
making shoes and has also worked at the Hill & Greene 


Americus V. Fletcher was born in Athol, Oct. 24, 
1835. His mother died when he was a young boy, and he 
lived with different families in town until thirteen years of 
age when he went to Greenwich, which was his home about 
two years. He then went to Greenfield where he was 
employed in the John Russell cutlery works for two or 
three years, and then to Pratt's Hollow in New York state 
where he worked for a time in the hop fields. After en- 
gaging in different occupations for a few years he went to 
Hubbardston and learned the stove and tin ware business. 
Returning to Athol he started in business with his brother, 
A. F. Fletcher, in 1858, in the basement of the house 
known as the Stockwell house, near E. T. Lewis's office at 
the upper village. In 1859 they built what is known as 
Fuller's block at the Centre, and later purchased the Hum- 
phrey sash shop, where the piano case shop has since been 
located, and where they manufactured pumps. In 1868 
Mr. Fletcher purchased a stove and tin ware business on 
Exchange street in which business he has been engaged 
ever since in different places in the village. He is a mem- 
ber of Star Lodge of Masons. He was married July 4, 
1860 to Emeline O. Peckham of Dana. They have two 
children, Edith, the wife of Chas L. Fay, and Carl A., who 
is a student at the University of Pennsylvania.' 

Allen Florentine Fletcher was born in Athol, Mar. 
!28, 1839. His mother died when he was five years old, 
and his boyhood was spent with relatives in Templeton, 
North Orange, Greenwich Village and other places. In 
1853 he went to Greenfield and worked in the John Rus- 


sell cutlery factory for a short time, after which he returned 
to Athol and was employed in the Hapgood match shop 
for a while. In 1855 he went to Hubbardston and engaged 
himself to Appleton and Leonard Clark for three years to 
learn the tin trade. In 1858 in company with his brother, 
Americas V., he bought the tin and stove business of Col- 
lins Andrews, and the next year they built the block 
which has been known as Fuller's block at the Centre, 
now occupied by Samuel Lee and others. About 1862 he 
added the manufacture of pumps to his business, and in 
1 868 sold his interest in the tin and stove business to his 
brother, and has since that time given his attention to the 
manufacture of pumps, having taken out several patents 
and made valuable improvements, his shop being located 
near the junction of Riverbend Street with Hapgood Street. 
In 1863 he built the first brass foundry in town where the 
piano shop is now located. He was married May 28, 1862, 
to Miss Ann Jane Chamber lin. They have two children, 
Grace G., who married Wellington I. Dow and Edgar 

Augustus Coolidge was born in Erving, Mass., Oct. 
2, 1842. His education was obtained in the public schools 
of his native town and at Burnham's Business College in 
Springfield. He was employed for two or three years in 
the cartridge manufacturing establishment of CD. Leete 
& Co., of Springfield, and then engaged in canvassing for 
books, pictures, etc., which he followed for several years, 
and then took up the life insurance business, locating in 
Worcester in 1869. In 1874 he commenced to build up a 


fire insurance business which he conducted successfully 
until his removal to Athol in July, 1884. He opened an 
insurance office in a small room in Parmenter's block, 
where he remained two years, was in Starr Hall block five 
and one half years, when he removed to his present office 
in his Main Street block which he erected in 1891. Soon 
after coming to Athol, having faith in the future growth 
and prosperity of the town, Mr. Coolidge commenced to 
invest in real estate. His first venture was the purchase 
of the Simonds block in 1886, which he followed up in 
1887 with buying the cotton mill property, which had been 
in the market for years. He developed the property by 
laying out a portion of it into building lots, erected houses, 
and sold various parts of the estate, making therefrom a 
handsome sum. In 1890 he purchased the Charles L. 
Lord estate on Main Street. He was secretary of the 
Athol Board of Trade for several years, and spent much 
time and money in his labors to induce business enterprises 
to locate in town and one of the results of these efibrts was 
the piano works of Goddard & Manning. While in Wor- 
cester he was a member of the Main Street Baptist church, 
and was an active worker in the Young Men's Christian 
Association of that city. On coming to Athol he connected 
himself with the local Baptist church, and first came into 
public notice by revolutionizing affairs in that church, be- 
ing at the head of a committee for raising five thousand 
dollars for repairing the church. He has been Noble 
Grand of TuUy Lodge of Odd Fellows, and is also a mem- 
ber of the various Masonic organizations in town, and for 



the last number of years has been an active and influential 
worker in town and political affairs, and was chosen Re- 
publican presidential elector in the campaign of 1896. In 
1888 he delivered the historical address at the 50th anni- 
versary of the town of Erving. He was married July 30, 
1869 to Hannah P. Blake of Springfield, a teacher in the 
public schools of that city. 

Ltlley B. Caswell was born in Fitchburg, March 
29, 1848. His early education was obtained in the district, 
Grammar and High schools of his native town. In 1867 
he entered the Massachusetts Agricultural College at Am- 
herst as a member of the first class, known as the "Pioneer 
Class," and graduated in 1871. While in college he 
taught school during the winter terms in several towns, 
aud also for several terms after graduating. Soon after 
leaving college he entered the office of George Raymond, 
civil engineer of Fitchburg, and in May, 1873, came to 
Athol and in company with Samuel D. Baldwin of Fitch- 
burg opened an ofiice for the civil engineering business 
under the firm name of Baldwin & Caswell, This partner- 
ship was continued between three and four years when it 
was dissolved, Mr. Caswell retaining the business, which 
he has continued to carry on to the present time. During 
his residence of twenty-five years in Athol he has been ac- 
tively interested in town affairs, and in the religious, educa- 
tional and political life of the community. For several 
winters after coming to Athol he taught the Grammar 
school at South Koyalston and the High school at Royal- 
ston Centre, and conducted evening schools in Athol. In 


addition to his civil engineering business, which has ex- 
tended into all the towns in this part of the state, he has 
done much work as a correspondent and reporter for various 
papers, among which are the Boston Globe, Boston Her- 
ald, Worcester Spy, Greenfield Gazette and Courier, Athol 
Transcript and others. He has also compiled and published 
several directories. In 1880 he was appointed a census 
enumerator of Athol, for the United States census of that 
year, and in March of the same year was elected a member 
of the school committee, which position he held for nine 
years. In 1882 he was chosen one of the library commit- 
tee by the town to receive the library from the Athol 
Library Association, when it became public a library, and 
was a member of the committee until 1886, and has also 
been a member of the committee for the last three years. 
He has also served the town in various other positions, is 
serving his second term on the Board of Health, is one of 
the Sewer Commissioners, and has served on important 
committees. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace by 
Governor Long in 1882, and has received successive re- 
appointments to the present time. In June, 1883, he was 
appointed one of the Trial Justices for the county of Wor- 
cester by Governor Butler, and held that position until the 
establishment of the First District Court of Northern Wor- 
cester abolished the office. He was also appointed by 
Governor Butler a commissioner for qualifying civil officers, 
which position he now holds. He is a member of the 
Methodist church, with which he has been prominently 
identified, is one of the stewards of the church, and is 



serving on his ninth year as superintendent of the Sunday 
school. He has been one of the directors of the Young 
Men's Christian Association since its organization, is a 
member of Tully Lodge of Odd Fellows and Mount Pleas- 
ant Encampment, was one of the charter members of Athol 
Grange, and is a corresponding member of the Fitchburg 
Historical Society. For many years he was a member of 
the Democratic town committee, and several years the 
chairman. He was married Jan. 2, 1877, to Mary Eliza- 
beth Keyes of Melrose. 

Isaiah L. Cragin was born in Alstead, N. H., Aug. 
'22, 1819. His parents moved to New Ipswich when he 
was one year old, and this was his home until 1831. After 
attending the public schools he pursued his studies at 
Appleton Academy, New Ipswich, and Lawrence Academy, 
Groton. In 1837 he went to Boston and was employed 
in a shoe store on Hanover Street, where he remained un- 
til he had an appointment in the Navy as assistant surgeon 
under Commodore Stewart at the Washington Navy Yard. 
In 1843 he went to Groton and engaged in farming, but 
owing to ill health he was obliged to give up the business. 
He again went to Boston and was engaged in business, 
being for a year or two in the firm of J. Nourse & Co., 
dealers in agricultural implements. About 1866 he went 
to Philadelphia and had the agency of Dobbin's Electric 
soap for about a year, when with his son he purchased the 
business, and developed an extensive and profitable busi- 
ness, which is now carried on by his son. In 1877 Mr. 
Cragin came to Athol and purchased the old Humphrey 


homestead on "Athol Street," which he greatly improved. 
He is one of the owners of the Cragin Cattle Co., in the 
Indian Territory which has had at times nearly twenty 
thousand head of cattle. He has been deeply interested 
in the agricultural interests of Athol, and was for three 
years president of the Worcester Northwest Agricultural 

Adin H. Smith, son of Joshua and Hannah (Fish ) 
Smith, was born in Athol, June 18, 1815, on the farm 
known as the "brick yard farm" in the west part of the 
town, where his father was also born. His great grand- 
father, Lieut. Ephraim Smith, was one of the earliest 
settlers of Athol, who came from Hatfield when tweuty- 
one years old built a log house, where the house of Charles 
L. Goddard now stands. He was one of the minute men 
who marched on the Lexington alarm in the Revolution, 
and his son Caleb was also a sergeant in the same com- 
pany. Caleb. Smith had eleven children, all of whom with 
the exception of Joshua, Adin's father, went to Vermont 
and New York and settled around Lake Champlain. Adin 
lived on the farm where he was born and engaged in farm- 
ing and brick making until 1874, when he removed to 
the village, which was ever after his home. He continued 
to carry on his farm and brick business until 1889, when 
he retired from the latter. The bricks from the Smith 
yard were considered among the best manufactured in the 
state and were used extensively by the Vermont & Massa- 
chusetts Railroad Co., and in Worcester, Fitchburg, Athol, 
Orange and other places. He was interested in the intro- 



duction of gas and water into town, and was the first 
president of the Athol Gas Light Co., and one of the first 
directors of the Athol Water Co. He woul never accept 
of town office, though he took an active part in town affairs. 
He was a member of Star Lodge of Masons and Athol 
Commandery Knights Templars. He was married Nov. 
10, 1837, to Miss Mary C. Adams of Orange by whom he 
had two children, Martha J., the wife of Jonathan W. 
Sawyer, and Ellen, who married Jonathan Davis of Sterl- 
ing, and died in 1883. He was married a second time, 
March 2, 1843, to Louisa M. Adams, a sister of his first 
wife. By this marriage there were three children, Mary 
A., who married Edgar Hanson, Lucy M., widow of L. C. 
Parmenter and H. Waldo. Mr. Smith died of pneumo- 
nia, Jan. 21, 1898. 

AzoR S. Davis was born Sept. 26, 1830, in Kingston, 
R. I , and when two or three years old came with his par- 
ents to Athol, who made their home on Chestnut Hill on 
the farm now owned by George A. Merrifield. He attend- 
ed the district school in that part of the town, working 
evenings and on Saturdays making boots. His school life 
closed when only twelve years old, and he continued to 
work for his father until about twenty years of age, when 
he came to the village and went to work for his uncle, Ozi 
Kendall. After working for him three or four years a 
co-partnership was formed between Ozi Kendall, Geo N. 
Kendall, and A. S. Davis with the firm name of O. Ken- 
dall & Co., for the manufacture of calf boots. This part- 
nership was continued until about the time of the civil war, 


when Mr. Davis enlisted in August, 1862, as a musician 
in Co. E, 25th Mass. regiment, and served until the ex- 
piration of his term of enlistment, Oct. 20, 1864. On his 
return to Athol from the war he commenced making cus- 
tom work at his home on Walnut street, employing two 
or three hands until about 1870 when he opened a retail 
boot and shoe store on Exchange Street, where he contin- 
ued until about 1883, when he removed his business to 
Stockwell's block on Main Street, where he remained until 
1898, when he moved to his present location in the 
Academy of Music block. Mr. Davis is one of the trustees 
of the Methodist church, and has been a member of its 
choir since the society was organized in 1851, except while 
absent in the army, serving most of the time as leader. 
He married Elizabeth M. Morse, April 7, 1853. They 
have one daughter, Florence, the wife of N. S. Beebe. 

Hiram C. Donton was born in Phillipston, Nov. 4, 
1855. He attended the district school until fourteen years 
of age, and remained at home on the farm until twenty- 
one years old. The following year he entered the employ 
of J. D. Parker & Co. of Goulding Village in Phillipston, 
working on the farm and in the chair shop for three years. 
Desiring to enter mercantile business, he took the hard- 
earned money of those three years and attended Glenwood 
Classical Seminary at Brattleboro, Vt., for one year, pay- 
ing his tuition by caring for the school buildings. He then 
took a six months' course at French's Business College at 
Boston. In 1879 he became clerk in the store of N. L. 
Johnson at North Orange where he remained until the 






following April, and then entered the employ of Charles 
T. Hudson in the grocery business at Springfield, com- 
mencing at the bottom and working up to be head clerk. 
He continued there until 1882, when he went to Orange 
as clerk for Chas. Towne, where he was engaged until the 
fall of 1885, and then came to Athol to work for J. B. 
Cardany, with whom he remained until Mr. Cardany's death 
in 1888, and continued to work for C. F. Dow, who pur- 
chased the business, until September 1890, when he 
bought the Henry Cook crockery and furniture business, 
and has increased it until it has become one of the largest 
complete house furnishing establishments between Boston 
and Troy. He is also the leading undertaker of the town. 
He is a member of TuUy Lodge of Odd Fellows, of the 
Knights, of Pythias and is one of the cemetery commission- 
ers of the town. He was married in January, 1882, to Miss 
Mary E. Newton, a teacher of large experience. They 
have two daughters. 

Henry F. Preston was born at Peterboro, N. H. 
Dec. 8, 1848. He attended the common schools and later 
the Academy in that place, after which he was employed 
in several wood working shops, and was also assistant over- 
seer in the cotton mill there. When seventeen years of 
age he joined the Peterboro Cornet Band as cornetist, and 
was chosen its leader three years after, which position he 
held until January, 1874, when he became leader of , the 
East Jafirey Band, and was engaged by the Winchendon 
Band from January, 1875, to October, 1878, when he came 
to Athol as leader of the Citizens Band, which he conducted 


until the breaking up of that organization eight years later. 
He has been temporary leader of nine other bands, and has 
filled engagements with thirty four bands, among which 
are the Fitchburg, Medford, Metropolitan of Boston, two 
in Newburyport, Manchester, N. H., Brattleboro, Vt., and 
other places. He has filled summer engagements at Lake 
Pleasant, the Isle of Shoals, White Mountains, Bar Harbor, 
while his band engagements have extended from St. Al- 
bans, Vt., to Martha's Vineyard and from North xidams to 
Portland, Me. In 1892 he bought and has since carried 
on the Highland photograph studio. He is a member of 
Athol Lodge of Masons. He was married Nov. 11, 1875, 
to Belle L. Bartlett, a native of Monroe, Wisconsin. 

John W. Donovan was born in Athol, June 8, 1857. 
He attended the public schools from the lowest grade 
through the High school, and after leaving school went to 
work for H. R. Barber, making buckle straps, where he 
was employed for two years. He was then clerk in the 
grocery store of S. E. Fay for three years, and worked at 
the Athol Machine shop for two years, after which he 
learned the business of a barber, in which he has continued 
since 1880, having been in business for himself with the 
exception of the first three years. He was married Nov. 
23, 1884, to Miss Joanna Fitzgibbons of Athol. They 
have one daughter. Mr. Donovan has been superintend- 
ent of the Sunday School of St. Catherine's church four 
years, and is a member of Court Athol, Foresters of Amer- 
ica and of the Knights of Pythias. 

Enoch T. Lewis was born in Poyalston, Sept. 6, 1830. 


His father, Timothy Lewis, was a native of Athol and 
lived here during his early life, being a surveyor and Just- 
ice of the Peace. Enoch lived at home until about four- 
teen years old when he went to Warwick and worked on 
a farm, but soon came to Athol and learned the trade of 
marble worker of Whitman T. Lewis, who carried on busi- 
ness at the Centre. He worked at Laconia, N. H., and 
Marlboro about four years. He married Almira M. Jen- 
nison of Prescott. July 4, 1^52, and the next year started 
the marble business in Athol which he carried on until 
about 1^73, when he sold out to L. M. Wellman. He 
was appointed sexton in 1853, and engaged in the under- 
taking business in 1869 which he continued until 1884. 
As sexton and undertaker he officiated at the burial of 
over eighteen hundred persons. In 1862 he enlisted in 
Co. E, P^ifty-third Mass. regiment, and was with the regi- 
ment in all its marches and engagements. He has served 
in many public ofl&ces. He was appointed a Justice of the 
Peace in 1863, and has by successive reappointments served 
to the present time; has been a Notary Public since 1874, 
was one of the Trial Justices from 1878 to 1884, and a 
coroner from 1870 to 1871. He was one of the enumer- 
ators of the United States census of 1880 and the state 
census of 1875. He served the town as constable for nine- 
teen years, tax collector seven years, auditor for two or 
three years and treasurer one year. He has been one of 
the most prominent members of the Worcester Northwest 
Agricultural Society, serving as secretary from 1864 to 
1880, with the exception of one year and was also secre. 


tary in 1883 ; represented the Society as delegate to the 
State Board of Agriculture three years, and was its presi- 
dent in 1882. Since retiring from the undertaking busi- 
ness in 1884, he has engaged in the settling of estates and 
in looking after his extensive real estate interests. He has 
one daughter, the wife of Dr. E. Ward Cooke of Cam- 

John Swan, son of John and Polly (Levering) Swan, 
was born in Phillipston, March 2, 1833. His mother was 
killed by lightning when he was about six years old, and 
he went to live with an uncle until ten years of age, when 
his father married again and the family moved to Ham- 
mond, St. Lawrence County, New York. John lived there 
until fifteen years old, when he came to Athol, which has 
since been his home. He engaged in butchering and had 
a market under the old Pequoig House for ten years or 
more. His market was also located for a number of years 
under the old Bassett & Chick ering store, where Starr 
Hall block now stands. Soon after the old block was 
burned he moved his market to the building on Exchange 
St., where it has ever since been located, and where it is 
now carried on by his son, W. L. Swan, Mr. Swan retiring 
from the business in 1887. About 1861 he purchased the 
farm known as the Partridge place, on an elevation west of 
the village, which has since been his home, and where in 
addition to the market business, that he carried on so long, 
he has engaged extensively in farming. He has devoted 
much attention of late years to the raising of horses, and is 
also the owner of several noted trotting horses. His first 


venture in this line was the celebrated trotting mare, Lady 
Sheridan, which in 1891 won five more races than any 
other horse in the country, besides numerous ice races in 
which she participated in Canada and New York, where 
she won every race in which she engaged. Her fastest 
time is 2.15 1-4, Other trotters owned by him are Checo 
and Claremont. Mr. Swan is one of the few men of the 
present day who does not belong to any secret organiza- 
tion. He was married in June, 1858, to Augusta S. Fox 
of Wilmington, Vt. They have three children, Minna, the 
wife of Albert Ellsworth, and William L. and Everett L. 

Moses Hill, son of Asa and Anna ( Ballard) Hill, was 
born in Athol, Aug. 15, 1822. His grandfather, Moses 
Hill, was one of the first settlers of Chestnut Hill. The 
family have now in their possession an old deed dated 
Juue 21, 1765, in which Aaron Jones of Weston deeds 
to Moses Hill of Spencer, in consideration of Ninety 
Pounds, land in the northerly part of Athol, containing by 
estimation two hundred and forty-five acres. Moses Hill 
probably came to Athol about 1767 and built a house on 
Chestnut Hill about twenty feet square. This farm has 
ever since been in the possession of the Hill family, and is 
now the home of Moses Hill and his son-in-law, Oren M. 
Lawton, who married his daughter, Lucy Hill. Mr. Hill 
has always been engaged in farming. He is a member of 
the Congregational church. 



"I will pick up a few straws here and there over the broad field and ask you a 
few moments to look at them." 

lEAELY all of the secret societies of the 
country are represented in Athol, 
many of them with large and flour- 
ishing lodges. 

F'ree Masons. The earliest Free- 
masonry in Athol ot which any rec- 
ord has been preserved was about 
the year 1790: when the names of a 
few brethren from this town appear on the rolls of two or 
three of the older lodges of the County. They went long 
distances to attend the meetings without railway or decent 
road facilities, and at great expense of time and labor. At 
a meeting of the Grand Lodge, Sept. 13, 1802, a charter 
was granted for a lodge named "Harris" to be held in 
tliis town. Harris Lodge was duly constituted and conse- 
crated, and its officers installed by the M. W. Isaiah 


Thomas (the Patriot Printer of the Eevolution), on Oct. 
13, 1803. The Grand lodge was formed in the Crosby 
tavern, where the house of Winfield H. Brock now is, and 
after the private work was over a grand procession was 
formed, headed by a coach drawn by two black horses, 
which had brought the Grand Master and his aids from 
Boston, and a band of clarinets and bugles, which wended 
its way to the only meeting house in town upon the com- 
mon at the Centre where an appropriate sermon was 
preached by Rev. Bro. Elliott of Watertown. The lodge 
was composed of the Athol Masons together with those of 
Gerry, Templeton, Petersham and Orange. In 1812 the 
lodge was removed to Gerry, and a year or so later to 
Templeton, where meetings were held until 1834. For 
more than half a century there was no Masonic institution 
of any kind in Athol, until July 4, 1864, when Star Lodge 
was chartered, with Andrew Atwood as the first Master. 
The first meetings were held in the lower village, but the 
place of meeting was soon changed to the upper village. 
The first Mason raised in Star Lodge, and consequently 
the first in Athol for more than fifty years was Charles 
W. Bannon. 

As showing the feeling against Masonry during the 
great Anti-Masonic excitement prevailing during the first 
half of this century, we quote a verse from a song pub- 
lished in "Freedom's Sentinel," Athol's local paper in 1829 : 

"Mourn, mourn, ye mystic sons of woe, 
In sadness bow the head ; 
Bend everj' back in sorrow low, 
Poor Masonry is dead." 


Union Eoyal Arch Chapter received its charter March 
13, 1866, with Rev. George L. Hunt as the first High 
Priest. Athol Lodge was chartered Sept. 12, 1872, with 
Erastus Smith as the first Master. Athol Commandery of 
Knights Templars was instituted Jan. 23, 1874 with Dr. 
V. O. Taylor as the first Commander, It has had a total 
membership of two hundred and forty-six. 

Themis Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star was 
instituted Oct. 3, 1890, with fifty-six charter members, and 
Mrs. George F. Lord as Worthy Matron. 

Odd Fellows. Odd Fellowship as a permanent or- 
ganization in Athol dates from Oct. 15, 1884, when Tully 
Lodge, No. 136, was instituted, with Lewis Sanders as the 
first Noble Grand. Previous to this several in Athol had 
been members of Social Lodge of Orange. Mount Pleas- 
ant Encampment was instituted April 23, 1889, and Can- 
ton Athol was organized Sept. 6, 1889. 

Banner Lodge No. 89, Daughters of Pebekah, was 
instituted April 17, 1890, under most favorable circum- 
stances with Mrs. Maria L. Morse as the first Noble 

Worcester Northwest Agricultural and Mechani- 
cal Society. The first cattle show in Athol was held 
Sept, 28, 1858, on the common at the Centre. The next 
month, Oct. 27, the Athol Agricultural and Mechanical 
Society was organized. The first ofiicers were : President, 
Dr. J. P. Lynde ; secretary, Samuel Lee ; treasurer, Moses 
H. Wood; trustees, Elias Bassett, Calvin Kelton, Joseph 
F. Dunbar, Lyman W. Hapgood. The new society started 


off with ninety-eight members. The society existed as a 
town organization until April 2, 1867, when it was incor- 
porated as the Worcester Northwest Agricultural and 
Mechanical Society, and was admitted to the sisterhood of 
agricultural societies, enjoying the bounty of the state. 
During the years it was a town society the fairs were held 
on the uptown common, and the vestry of the Congrega- 
tional church was used as a hall. The first annual fair 
of the newly incorporated society was held Sept. 25, 1867. 
In 1868, the present fair grounds were purchased and in 
1869 a half-mile track was built, and the hall and other 
buildings erected, and the grounds were enclosed by a 
fence. On the completion of these improvements the 
society found itself in debt to the amount of fourteen thous- 
and dollars. The first fair held on the new grounds was 
Oct. 5 and 6, 1869. The fairs of this society have become 
noted throughout the State, and especially the dinner and 
after-dinner speaking have become famous. Among the 
speakers at the dinners have been some of the most noted 
agriculturalists, politicians, clergymen, business and liter- 
ary men, not only of the state, but of the nation. Nearly 
every governor of the state for thirty years or more has 
honored the society with his presence at the fairs. 

Spanish-American War. As in all the wars of our 
country in the past Athol nobly did her duty, so in this the 
latest conflict for the rights of humanity, the sons of Athol 
went to the front in the thickest of the fight and did 
their duty bravely. Although the town did not have the 
honor of sending a full company to the war, it was well 


represented in the company raised in our sister town of 
Orange, Co. E, of the Second Massachusetts Regiment U. 
S. Volunteers. The Athol boys in this company were as 
follows : Sergeant Harry L. Doane, Corporal Joseph T. 
Bemis, Corporal Adolphus C. Sweezey, Corporal Elwin W. 
Barton, Corporal Harland H. Knight, Corporal Herbert 
F. Burdick, Corporal Lester L. Luey, Corporal James D. 
Smith, Musician, Frank H. Rainey ; Privates, Fred J. 
Betters, Sylvester O. Cheney, Ernest L. Coburn, Oliver D. 
Cook, Harry E. Dennis, Hugh G. Davis, George L. Davis, 
Frederick A. Hastings, Ernest W. Haskins, Albert Little- 
wood, Thomas McRae, Halbert V. Morse, William L. Pike, 
William H. Rivett, William L. Smith, Frank E. Wheeler, 
Byron J. Whitcomb. 

Co. E was the first to put foot on Cuban soil, and was 
in the thickest of the fight at El Caney and San Juan. 
Although none of the Athol boys were killed on the field 
of battle or died from wounds received there, yet four gave 
up their lives, two having died at Santiago, and two a short 
time after reaching home. 

William L. Pike was the first Athol boy to give up his 
life in the war. He was born in Worcester, July 8, 1874, 
a son of Albert L. Pike. When about four years old his 
parents moved to Athol and William attended the Athol 
schools, completing his education in the Grammar school, 
after which he was employed in different shops in town. 
He was a popular member of Athol Hose Co., No. 3. 
When war was declared and volunteers called for, he en- 
listed in Co. E, at Orange. He died Aug. 7, 1898, at San- 
tiago of malarial fever. 


Hugh Goddard Davis was born in Royalston Aug. 10, 
1878. He came to Athol with his parents when about 
fourteen years of age and entered the High school from 
which he graduated in the class of 1896. After graduating 
he immediately entered his father's box shop where he was 
engaged in work until that business was closed. When 
the war broke out he was among the first to enlist at the 
Orange recruiting station in Co. E, and passed a high med- 
ical examination. He was a prominent member of the 
Y. M. C. A., and took an active interest in the athletic 
sports of that organization. He died Aug. 11, 1898, at 
Santiago of embolism. 

William H. Rivett was born in Hinsdale, N. H., Dec. 
25, 1874. He attended the public schools and was then 
employed in the Kauffman woolen mill, and for about four 
years in the Bates Bros, wallet shop where he was at 
work at the time of his enlistment. For nearly a year 
previous to the outbreak of the war he had been a member 
of the militia in Co. E, at Orange. When the call for 
volunteers came he enlisted and went with Co. E to Fram- 
ingham and through the campaign in Cuba. He came 
home from Camp WikofF with others of his company a little 
in advance of the regiment, suffering from the deadly 
typhoid fever, and died at his home Aug. 31, 1898. He 
was a brave soldier and a noble young man. 

Harland H. Knight, the last of the Athol boys who 
died, was born in Phillipston in January, 1877. He 
moved to Athol with his parents when very young and 
attended the public schools until he reached the High 


School, when he entered Hill & Greene's shoe factory. 
When the war broke out he was employed at the C. M. 
Lee shoe shops. He had been a member of Co. E for 
over two years and was considered one of the best shots 
in the company, having represented it at State tourna- 
ments on several occasions. Soon after reaching Cuba he 
was taken sick with malarial fever, from which he never 
fully recovered. He was one of the last to return home 
and died Sept. 21, 1898. 

Other Athol boys serving in the war were Everett 
Young and Leon H. Crosman, who were members of the 
Sixth Massachusetts Eegiment, and Harry Hutchins, who 
served on the Government dispatch boat Huntress. 

Samuel French Cheney was born in Orange in 1802. 
He married Laurinda Battle, also a native of Orange, and 
settled in Athol Factory village in 1825. Four children 
were born to them, all of whom grew up: Elizabeth, 
who died at the age ■ of eighteen ; Nathan, who died in 
1871 at the age of thirty-nine ; George S. and C. Warren, 
who still survive. He worked at his trade of shoemaker, 
and built up a wholesale business, employing a number of 
workmen until 1840, when having suffered severe losses 
in the financial crash of that period, he abandoned the 
business and engaged with his brother Amos, and later 
with Amos L. Cheney in the manufacture of cotton batting, 
first in the old mill on the spot where Starrett's shop now 
stands, and afterwards building a dam on Mill Brook and 
flowing Cheney's Pond. He spent the later years of his 
life not engaged in active business, except as he built vari- 







ous houses on the land which he purchased when a young 
man. He was a man of kindly disposition and genial 
companionship. He died April 17, 1874, and his wife 
survived him untU 1885. 

George S. Cheney, son of Samuel F. and Laurinda 
Cheney was born in Athol, May 19, 1834. He attended 
the schools in town and New Salem xicademy, and after 
teaching several terms in the district schools of Athol, he 
fitted at the Boston Music school for the avocation of music 
teacher, which he followed succcessfully about twenty 
years, teaching singing schools in the towns of Worcester, 
Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties and spending 
seven years in Amherst, where he taught in both the old 
college and the Masssachusetts Agricultural college. In 
1875 he entered the employ of Hunt Bros., who were then 
general agents for the sale of Estey organs, and in 1878 
went with them to Boston. He was for some time mana- 
ger of the business of the Estey Organ Co., for New England 
and the Lower Provinces, and has for several years been 
connected with the A. M. McPhail Piano Co. His residence 
is Brookline. He was married Nov. 2, 1865, to Francelia 
E. Perkins of Woodstock, Vt. They have three children, 
Grace Perkins, Jessie May, who married Almon J. Fair- 
banks, and Nathan. 

Amos Cheney was born in Orange, Nov. 2, 1793. He 
resided for a few years in Weare, N. H., where he was 
engaged in the manufacture of cotton batting. Later occu- 
pied a Connecticut River farm in Gill and came to Athol 
about 1846. He was for a time engaged in the manufac- 


ture of cotton batting, and then served as clerk in the 
stores of Col. Nickerson, Alvin Houghton and P. C Tyler. 
He was an enthusiastic lover of Free Masonry, having 
joined the order in his early manhood. He was married 
May 7, 1826, to Elvira, daughter of Solomon and Anne 
(Wheelock) Mallard of Gill. They had five children. 
One died in infancy, and the others, all of whom are now 
living, are Wheelock A., of Worcester, Ann Maria, who 
married George A. Flagg, Hiram W., of Cambridge, and 
Mary A., who married the late Col. George H. Hoyt. He 
died Dec. 5, 1871. 

Wheelock A. Cheney, son of Amos and Elvira (Mal- 
lard) Cheney, was born in Weare, N. H., April 22, 1830. 
He came to Athol with his parents when a boy of fourteen 
or fifteen years old. His first employment was in the 
printing office of the Mandell's, who published Athol's sec- 
ond paper, the "White Flag." He then went to Fitchburg, 
where he was employed in a printing office for several 
years, and from there to Worcester, where he was for some 
time foreman and manager of the Edward Fiske printing 
office, after which he established a printing office of his 
own, which has grown to large proportions. He was mar- 
ried May 22, 1852 to Lavinia Browning of Hubbardston. 
They have three children, two daughters and a son. The 
son, Wilfred Leroy, is in the office of his father , the oldest 
daughter, Florence Lilla, married Frank P. Kendall, and 
Alice, the youngest daughter, lives at home. 

I ! 


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