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Full text of "Historical memorandum and genealogical register of the town of West Boylston, Massachusetts, from its early settlement to 1858; together with miscellaneous items and incidents"

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niSTOEICAL MEMOKANDUM 



AND 



GENEALOGICAL REGISTER 



OF THE 



TOWN OF WEST BOYLSTON, 



MASSACHUSETTS, 



From its Early Settlement to 1858; 



TOtiElIIER WITH MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS AND INClDENTi^. 



BY BENJAMIN E. KEYES. 



WORCESTER: 
PRINTED AT THE SPI PRINTING HOUSE, 212 MAIN STREET. 

1S61. 



PREFACE, 

The following brief Historical Memorandum and Gen- 
ealogical Register is intended to extend no further onward 
than 1868, or fifty years from the organization of the 
tovrn of West Boylston, and 138 years from the time of 
ihe earliest settlement in tlie town. 

The design of this Memorandum and llegistcr is to 
bring to view the circumstances which led to the origin 
and formation of the to'svn, also to bring to the notice of 
present and succeeding generations those who first settled 
on these hills and in these valleys, thereby opening the 
way for further advancement and future prosperity. It is 
designed likewise to perpetuate the memory and recollec- 
tion of those, who, by their untiring and persevering ef- 
forts, amid opposition and resistance, eventually succeeded 
in establishing and organizing the town. 

The few biographical notes in the genealogical sketch 
are designed merely as a deserved tribute to those who are 
thus noticed. 

The miscellaneous items recorded may be thouirht of 
little consequence by some, while others may feel a deep 
interest in the incidents and occurrences related. It may 
be interesting to the inhabitants of West Boylston fifty 
years hence, who may in 1908 celebrate the centennial 
anniversary of the town, to know who were their prede- 
cessors, from whence they came, together with the particu- 
lar locality where they resided, and also, who may at that 
time be known as the lineal descendants of the early set- 
tlers. Many wish to know something of those who pre- 
ceded them in life, while others have a curiosity to trace 



back their lineage to the early settlement of the country, 
feeling a sympathy and respect for their progenitors, al- 
though tiiey may long since have finished their earthly 
course. It seems necessary therefore that some notice or 
record of individuals, families and passing events, should 
be preserved and transmitted from one generation to anoth- 
er for the use and benefit of the living. There is pleas- 
ure and satisfaction in recognising our ancestprs, and it 
•vvoukl seem that fraternal feeling and filial gratitude alike 
demand a remembrance of our friends and relatives who 
have passed away from the world, and we should ever man- 
ifest a due respect and veneration for their memory and 
departed worth. 

The Memorandum and Register was designed and writ- 
ten in 1858, while its publication has been delayed from 
an apprehension that it might not be useful or acceptable. 
But after further consideration it has been determined to 
give it publicity, trusting that whoever may chance to 
read it will pass lightly over its defects and incomplete- 
ness. B. F. K. 

West Boylstox, March, 1861. 



HISTOMCAL MEMORANDUM 

OF WEST BOYLSTON. 



The town of West Boylston is situated 7 miles from 
the city of Worcester, and bounded on the east by Boy]- 
»ton, on the north by Sterling, on the west by Holden, on 
the south by Worcester and Shrewsbury; being about {if€ 
miles in length from north to south, and about three and 
a half miles in width from east to v/est. 

The natural position and scenery of the town is multi- 
form and somewhat romantic in appearance, diversified 
with hills and valleys, and in all directions interspersed 
with springs and streams of water suited to the wants and 
convenience of the inhabitants. The soil is generally fer- 
tile and productive, and when skilfully managed and 
properly cultivated, amply repays the enterprise and labor 
of the industrious husbandman. 

The early settlers of West Boylston were a hardy, vig- 
orous race, socitii and benevolent in their feelings and 
habits, kind and generous to each other, hospitable to 
strangers, always making them welcome to such accom- 
modations and entertainment as their rude dwellings 
would afford. They were strongly attached to the prince- 
pies and customs of the pilgrim fathers, carefully obser-v- 
ing and sustaining the institutions of religion and learn- 
ing, habitually and conscientiously attending public "wor- 
ship on the Sabbath, and having their children sufficiently 
educated to enable ihem to perform the common duties of 
social life. Their children also, like themselves, were 
carefully taught to cherish the principles and adhere to 
the customs so cautiously preserved and maintained by 
their progenitors, although later generations seem to 
have degenerated and departed to some extent from the 

1* 



6 

tourse of their ancestors, and apparently lost that venera- 
tion and regard for their instruction and example which 
filial res;pect and a fond recollection might justly require 
from their successors and lineal descendants. 

Jacob Hinds, Joseph Wooley, Ebenezer Frizzol, Benja- 
min Bigelow, Jonathan Fairbank, Aaron Newton, Ezekiel 
Newton, Edward Goodale, Stephen Belknap, William 
AVhitney, Phineas Bennett, Jonathan French, Jonathan 
Loveil, and Josiah Wilder were probably the earliest set- 
tlers in this town. They came from the older towns be* 
low and made an opening here. Others soon followed, 
thereby gradually increasing their numbers, thus cherish- 
ing the hopes and encouraging the prospects of the ncir 
settlers. The settlement of the town was probably com- 
menced in 1 720, or soon after that time. 

Tradition says that formerly the Indians were numerous 
in and about this town, having their wigwams and corn- 
patches on the interval and near the river, occupying the 
adjacent hills and plains as huntirig ground, there being 
plenty of deer, turkeys, and other wild game, suited to 
their wants and necessities. Nearly all the natives had 
left this region previous to the settlement of the whites, in 
thig immediate locality and adjacent vicinity. Although 
the early settlers buiJt a garrison or bJock-house to which 
they could repair for the night as a place of security when 
danger was apprehended, yet they were never assaulted by 
the Indians, nor is it known that anv attack or molesta- 
tion of the new settlers was ever contemplated by them. 

The block-house was erected in the southerly part of 
the town near Stony Brook, and about 80 rods distant 
from the dwelling-house of E. F. Brigham. Specimens 
of antique relics of the aborigines have frequently been 
discovered and picked up, such as arrows, stone chisels, 
gouges, etc., clearly manifesting the native genius of these 
sons of the forest. 

The circumstances which ultimately led to the origin 
and formation of this town, were substantially as folloAvs : 
The inhabitants of Boylston having determined to build a 
new meeting-house, the necessity and expediency of which 
was generally conceded, a difficulty arose in regard to its 



location, the majority choosing to erect it neat the old 
house, while the minority, mostly from the west part of the 
town, strenuously insisted that it should be erected half a 
mile northwest of the old house. The majority resolutely 
persisted in their choice and determination, relative to the 
location of the new house, while the minority were equal- 
ly decided and unyielding in regard to their choice and pre- 
ference. It having become apparent that no compromise 
or mutual adjustment of the difficulty could be effected, the 
minority seceded, and being joined by several inhabitant* 
from the adjoining towns of Sterling and llolden, formed 
themselves into a a society and proceeded to build a meet- 
ing-house for their accommodation and convenience, locat- 
ing it in the westerly part of Boylston, about thre« miles 
distant from the locality where the majority portion of the 
inhabitants erected their new meeting-house. Had there 
been at the commencement and during the progress of this 
controversy, m.ore calm, deliberate consideration of the 
subject, and m.ore pacific conciliatory feelings manifested, 
the disruption and division of the town might have been 
avoided and harmony preserved. 

The new society having completed their place of wor- 
ship, it was solemnly dedicated by appropriate religious 
services, January 1, 1795. After the dedication of the 
meeting-house, a petition for an act of incorporation as a 
town was sent to the General Court, signed by ninety in- 
habitants of the towns of Boylston, Sterling and Holden. 
The petition had a hearing in 17U0, but being strenuously 
opposed by the representatives from each of the towns 
where the petitioners resided, they only obtained leave to 
withdraw their petition, when they immediately sent anoth- 
er petition, asking to be incorporated as the second precinct 
of Boylston, Sterling, and Holden. This petition was 
also earnestly opposed, but in June, 1796, an act was 
passed in accordance with the prayer of the petitioners, 
and soon after a legal meeting of the inhabitants of the 
precinct was called, when an organization was effected by 
the choice of precinct officers, etc., as was provided for by 
the act of incorporation. In less than twelve years after 
the legal organization of this precinct or parish, it became 
a town by an act of the General Court, agreeably to a pe- 



8 

lilion of its inhabitants, taking the name of "West Boyl- 
8ton. The incorporating act is dated January 30, 1808. 
The largest part of this town was taken from Boylstou, 
the other portions thereof from the towns of Sterling and 
Holden. That which was taken from Boylston, originally 
belonged to Shrewsbury, that from Sterling once belonged 
to Lancaster, that from Holden was formerly included in 
the township of Worcester. 

At the time of the incorporation of West Boylston, it 
contained 98 dwelling-houses, and about the same number 
of families, with a little less than 600 inhabitants. The 
number of legal voters in the town at the first election of 
State officers, which occurred on the first Monday in 
April, 1808, was 105. The number of ratable polls was 
less than 160 but exceeded 150, which was the number 
then required to entitle the town to a representative to the 
Legislature. The whole number of voles cast at the first 
election held in this town in April, 1808, for governor, 
was 85, of which 66 were for Christopher Gore, 18 for 
James Sullivan, and 1 for Levi Lincoln. At the first 
election held in this town for the choice of a rcpresenta- 
tire to the General Court, on the first Monday in May, 
1808, Ezra Beaman, Esq. was chosen without opposition. 
He was afterwards annually elected until his decease, hav* 
ing been chosen four successive times by his feliovr towns- 
men to that responsible station. 

In 1808, this town contained 60 farmers, some 10 or 12 
mechanics, I clergyman, no physician, several laborers of 
various occupations, and but 1 person of foreign birth. 
There was 1 cotton mill, 2 grist mills, 2 saw mills, 1 
clothier's mill, L tannery, 4 blacksmith shops, 1 cabinet 
maker's shop, and 2 book binderies. There were also 3 
merchants occupying as many stores, and 1 tavern, hav- 
ing been kept by Major Beaman for more than half a 
century. 

Of the 105 legal voters at the April election for Slate 
officers in this town in 1808, 94 have since deceased, and 
11 yet survive ; of those who have deceased, 79 have died 
in this town, and 15 elsewhere ; of those who yet survive, 
5 reside in this town, and 6 elsewhere. Of the 105 vot- 
ers, 97 were at the head of families, while 8 were either 



connected and associated with families, or in the en'^ploy 
of some of the inhabitants. 

The following are the names of the legal voters at the 
first elections for town and State officers, held in West 
Boylston, in March and April, 1808 : 

Ezra Beaman, Jabez Beaman, Ezra Beaman, Jr., Silas 
Beaman, Abel Bigelow, Levi Bigelow, Stephen Bigelow, 
Dennis Bigelow, Stephen Brigham, Edmund Brigham, Jo- 
siah P. Brown, Zachariah Child, Amos Child, Barnabas 
Davis, Klias Davis, Reuben Dinsmore, Silas Dinsmore, 
Joseph Dwellc}', William Eames, Levi Eames, William 
Eames, Jr., Samuel Estabrook, Jabcz Fairbank, Lemuel 
Fairbank, Setli Fairbank, William Fairbank, Alpheus 
Fairbank, Jabez Fairbank, Jr., Davis Fairbank, Barak B. 
Fairbank, Amos Fairbank, John Fisher, Oliver Gale, Ol- 
iver Glazier, Jason Glazier, Moses Goodale, Aaron Good- 
ale, Paul Goodale, Peter Goodale, Aaron Goodale, Jr., 
Abel Goodale, Levi Goodale, Jason Goodale, Elijah Good- 
enow, Ephraim Haclly, David Harthan, Jacob Hinds, Jo- 
seph Hinds, Abel Holt, Abiel Holt, James Holt, Jonas 
Holt, Alvan Howe, Hiram Howe, Timothy Johnson, Reu- 
ben Keyes, Thomas Keyes, Jr., Levi Kilburn, Asa Lovell, 
Amos Lovell, Amos Lovell, Jr., Samuel Mason, Daniel 
Mason, Ezra May, Calvin Maynard, Asaph Merrifield, 
Louis Merrifield, Israel Moore, Joel Moore, Asa Moore, 
Joseph Morse, Sylvanus Morse, Artemas Murdock, Joshua 
Murdock, William Nash, Silas Newton, Ebenezer Paine, 
Moses Perry, Joseph Perry, Oliver Peirce, Levi Peirce, 
Hollis Peirce, James Peirce, Jacob Peirce, Jonathan Plimp- 
ton, Jonathan Plimpton, Jr., Brigham Prescott, John 
Prescott, John Reed, Thaddeus Shattuck, Walter Shat- 
tuck, Isaac Smith, John Smith, Simon Stone, John Temple, 

•Isaac Temple, William Thomas, Robert B. Thoma*-', 
Aaron Thomas, Peter White, Joseph Wliittaker, Reuben 

Wilder, Ebenezer Wiilington, John Winn, William Winn. 

At the tim.e of the incorporation and organization of 
this town in 1808, there were nine persons who were each 
at the head of tlimilies but were not legal voters in conse- 
quence of their not possessing the specific qualifications 
required by the State Constitution to entitle them to the 



elective franchise. The names of these persons were 
Abiel Boynton, Benjamin Carroll, John Dinsmore, Simeon 
Farr, Thomas Hatherly, Benjamin Keyes, Jeremiah 
Morse, Daniel Prouty, and Nathan Wilder. Of these, 
seven died in this town and two in distant parts of the 
country. 

At the first town election in West Boylston, held on 
the first Monday in March, 1808, the following town offic- 
ers were chosen, viz : Silas Beaman, Bloderator ; Robert 
B. Thomas, Toicn Clerk; Ezra Beaman, Jonathan Plimp- 
ton, William Fairbank, Silas Beaman, and Amos Lovell, 
Selectmen ; Robert B. Thomas, Silas Newton, and Moses 
Vtxxy^ Assessors ; Ezra Beaman, Esq., Treasurer; Silas 
Beaman, Constable. 



GENEALOGICAL SKETCH 

OJ those individuals who loerc householder s and legal vot' 
ers in West Boylston, in 1808, the time of the organ- 
ization of the town, and others who were resid- 
ents and also legal voters but had no respon- 
sible connection with anij of the fami- 
lies of the town. 

ABRETiATioys. — Ch. for children, dau. daughter, s. son, m. married, b. 
born, d. died. 

Beaman, Ezra, Esq., more generally known as Major 
Beaman, was the eldest son of Jabez Beaman, was born in 
Bolton, October, 173<i. Jabez Beaman having purchased 
a large tract of land in this town, then belonging to 
Shrewsbury, situated on each side of the Nashua River, 
removed here with his family in 1746. 

At the death of Jabez Beaman, which occurred in 1757, 
Ezra, his eldest son became proprietor of the homestead, 
v/here he ever afterwards resided until his decease, which 
took place Jane 4, 1811, in the 7oth year of his age. In 
1758, he m. Tersis, dau. of Dea. Cyprian Keyes, of Boyl- 
ston, with whom he lived about' 30 years ; she d. in 1788, 
aged 49 years. Their ch. were Jabez, Ezra, Levinah, 
Persis, Betsey, and Eunice. He was again m. to Mary 



11 

Mr 

Boylston of Cliarlestown, who survived him and d. June 6, 
1813, aged 62 years. 

Major Beaman was endowed by nature with a strong 
mind, possessing a remarkable spirit of enterprise, togeth- 
er with great energy and resolution, which enabled him to 
devise and execute various schemes and plans, not only for 
his own emolument and prosperity, but also for the inter- 
est and advantage of the community around him. His de- 
signs seldom failed to result auspiciously and in accord- 
ance with his desires and anticipations. Major Beaman 
possessed and held a large amount of real and personal 
estate, thereby constituting him the wealthiest man who 
has ever been an inhabitant of this town. Although it 
may in truth be said that West Boylston eventually be- 
came a town almost wholly in consequence of his great 
exertions and untiring efforts, and that he laid the founda- 
tion for its fnture growth and prosperity, and, although he 
did more to promote the general interest thereof, than all 
others associated with him, yet very little, if anything, of ad- 
equate importance has been done, (aside from a common 
tombstone erected at his grave,) either by individual citi- 
zens or the town as a testimony of his extensive usefulness 
and great worth as a citizen and public benefactor, or for the 
perpetuation of his memory as one of the most distinguish- 
ed and influential inhabitants of the town and community 
in which he resided. At his decease his remains were in- 
terred in the family burying ground, devoted to that use 
more than fifty years previous, by his father, Jabez Bea- 
man, whose remains were also deposited there. This con- 
secrated spot is situated half a mile east of the old Bea- 
man mansion, near the public road leading to Boylston, 
and is enclosed by a stone wall built in a neat and sub- 
stantial manner. Ma^ Dr Beaman was not only an active, 
leading man in the immediate vicinity where he resided, 
but sustained a prominency and wielded an extensive and 
controling influence in the community at large. When- 
ever a project of a public nature having the benefit of the 
community as its object was originated and brought up 
for consideration, he was at once consulted as to its impor- 
tance and practicability, when his judgment and expressed 
opinion generally had the effect to cause the adoption and 



12 

consumation of the sclieme, or its rejection and final aban- 
donment, thus clearly demonstrating and iinmistakablY 
manifesting the high estimation in which he was held by 
the leading and prominent portion of his fellow citizens, 
on account of his sound judgment and practical wisdom. 
It is a fact, that in justice to him ought to be recorded, 
that several of the public roads in this vicinity were pro- 
jected by him, and although encountering severe and de- 
termined opposition, yet through his unyielding and per- 
severing efforts they were eventually established, and 
became highly useful and beneficial. 

Major Beaman was a patriot, a firm and ardent friend 
of his country, being one of the active and unflinching 
spirits of the American revolution. He early took a de- 
cided stand against tyranny and oppression, taking up 
nrms in favor of the rights of his country, himself march- 
ing to the battle field to resist the encroachments of the 
enemy. He was with the American army at Cambridge 
in 1775, and performed a conspicuous part during that 
memorable period. He Avas ever ready to render aid and 
cissistance in any emergency, not only by his influence, but 
when circumstances required, he promptly devoted his 
time, his property, and his personal exertions, for the pur- 
pose of sustaining and pushing forward the severe and 
arduous struggle for American Independence then in prog- 
ress. Thus it would Bcem that he was one with nianv 
others who had virtually pledged their lives, their proper- 
ty, and their sacred honors in favor of obtaining and se- 
curing liberty, justice, and equal rights to themselves and 
their posterity. He w^as a member of the Congregational 
Church in West Boylston, and contributed liberally for the 
support of the ordinances of religion. 

Beamax, Jaeez, eldest s. of Ezra Beaman, Esq., b. in 
1TG4, and d. in 1812, being 47 years of age. He m. 
Mary, dau. of Jonathan Bond of Boylston, wdio d. soon 
after their marriage. He resided on the homestead dur- 
ing the whole period of his life, assisting his father in the 
various departments of business, connected with his ex- 
tensive farming operations, etc. 

Beamax, Ezra, Jr., youngest s. of Ezra Beaman, Esq., 
was b. December 27, 1770. After the decease of his fa- 



13 

ther which occurred in 1811, he becama the proprietor of 
the homestead, and still continues to be the owner and 
occupant thereof, being now 87 years of age. It is a re- 
markable incident and of rare occurrence, that this ancient 
establishment, has now been held and occupied by father 
and son, each bearing the same name, during a period of 
more than 100 years. Mr. Beaman is the proprietor and 
}iolder of a iarse amount of real estate, beinof so located 
and its soil and scenery being such, as to render it ex- 
tremely valuable. He has ever cherished a filial respect 
for his honored father, and yet speaks of him with that 
deference and regard which true greatness and other valu- 
able traits of character he possessed, justly deserve from 
his immediate descendants and others who were conver-. 
sant with him. This ancient and time honored establish- 
ment still presents in many respects the same general ap- 
pearance as when Major Beaman l6ft it, nearly 50 years ago. 

BEA.MAN, Silas, Esq., s. of Ephraim and grandson of 
Jabez Beaman, was b. in 1765 and d. in 1811, being 46 
years of age. He m. Persis, dau. of Rev. Asaph Rice of 
Westminster, and resided with his parents. At the de- 
cease of his father which occurred in 180-5, he became the 
legal proprietor of the homestead, continuing his residence 
thereon until his own decease. His wife survived him, 
and d. in 1815, aged 46 years. 

Mr. Beaman was a large athletic man, more than 6 feet 
in height, and when in the vigor and maturity of life, 
weighed more than 300 pounds. He had the advan-tage 
of a good education together with superior native talents 
which qualified him to act in the various departments of 
life advantageously to himself and beneficially to the com- 
munity.- He was distinguished and highly esteemed as a 
school teacher, being eminently qualified therefor. So far 
as literary attainments Avere necessary he was well fitted 
for that department, possessing a thorough knowledge of 
the rudiments of education. He •also possessed the very 
important faculty of governing a school without resorting 
to harsh or severe measures, his word or command al- 
ways had a controlling influence, causing immediate sub- 
mission to his wishes and requirements. He commenced 



o 



14 

.school teaching when 16 years of age, and was thus em- 
ployed during the winter seasons for twenty-five years, 
always succeeding to the general satisfaction of his schol- 
ars and employers. Mr. Beaman's residence was three- 
fourths of a mile east of Major Beaman's place, on the 
road to Boylston. It is now the residence of Charles H. 
Baldwin. 

BiGELow, Abel, s. of Dea. Amariah Bigelov/, b. in 
1755, and married Martha, dau. of Capt. Joseph Bigelow, 
in 1778. They had seven ch., six of them living to ma- 
ture age. He d. in 1821, being 66 years of age. His wife 
survived him, and died in 1848, at the age of 95 years. 
Mr. Bigelow was a farmer, and for many years managed an 
extensive farm with profit and success. His residence was 
;^ituated half a mile south of the Common between the 
roads leading to Worcester and Boylston. 

Bigelow, Levi, s. of Dea. Amariah Bigelow, b. in 
1765, and d. in 1R33, being 68 years of age. After he 
liad passed the period of his minority, in consequence of 
a severe sickness, he was frequently subjected to a state 
of mental derangement, thereby causing much trouble to 
his friends and the community. During the latter portion 
of his life he resided with John Temple of this town, as a 
constant and faithful laborer, and having become free from 
paroxisms of mental aberation, he finished out his life a 
quiet and useful citizen. 

Bigelow, Stephen, only s. of Capt. Joseph Bigelow, 
b. in 1760, and d. in lt«S9, being 79 years of age. He 
in. Bachel, dau. of William Pike of Framingham, who 
survived him, and d. in 1855, being 87 years of age. 
They had 6 ch. who all lived to mature age. He was a 
farmer, resided half a mile west of the Common, on the 
road leading from the West Boylston Kailroad Station, to 
the south end of Maiden Hill. His only son, Joseph Big- 
elow, now resides on the same premises, being the legal 
proprietor thereof. 

Bigelow, Dennis, eldest s. of Abel Bigelow. b. in 
1779, and d. in 1851, aged 72 years. He m. Cynthia 
Fletcher from Lancaster, who is yet living. After the de- 
cease of his father, he resided with his mother, occupying 
that portion of the homestead which she received as a 



15 

dowry, together with whut he received as his share of his 
father's estate. lie had two ch. who survived him. 

Brigham, Stephen, was born in 1740, or near tliat 
time, and d. in 1812. He was m. early in life, had sev- 
eral ch., and resided two miles south of the Common in 
this town. He was the proprietor and occupant of a large 
farm, and although not one of the wealthiest citizens, yet 
independent and free from pecuniary embarrassment. He 
came from Westboro' in the early part of his life and set- 
tled in this town, where he resided until his death. 

Brigham, Edmund, s, of Stephen Brigham, b. in 1769, 
and d. in 1841, being 71 ye^rs of age. He m. Mary, dau. 
of Nathaniel Brooks of Worcester, and had several ch. 
She d. in the meridian of life. He afterward m. the wid- 
ow of Jonathan Plimpton, Jr , who survived him and d. 
in 1857. Mr. Brigham settled on the homestead with his 
father at whose decease he became the legal proprietor of 
the premises and continued the occupancy thereof for sev- 
eral years, when he sold out and relinquished the business 
of farming, in which he had been, engaged from his earli- 
est years. 

BuowN", JosiAH P., was a native of Sterling, and re- 
moved to this town with his family in 1802, becoming a 
resident, and occupant of a farm in the north part of the 
town then owned by Major Beaman, but now in the pos- 
session of Lucius Newton. He continued his residence 
on this farm for fifteen years, w^ljen he left it and relin- 
quished the business of farming, and d. by an act of sui- 
cide in 1830, being about 50 years of age. His wife 
survived him and has lately deceased. 

Child, ZACirATirAH, b. in 1763, was the eldest s. of 
David Child of this town. In 178 4, he m. Lydia, dau. of 
David Bigelow of Worcester, and settled on a small farm 
situated in the south part of the town, adjoining the resi- 
dence of his father. Here he resided until his decease, 
which occurred in 1845, at the age of 81 years. They 
had a lirge family of ch., several of whom are yet living. 
His wife survived him, and d. in 1^49, at the ago of Si 
years. He was a soldier of the Revolution and received 
" pension for several y^"?:^^^.;,.^- 



16 

Child, Amos, s. of David Child, b. in 1765, m. Dorcas 
Davenport of Boylston, and resided awhile with his pa- 
rents, but in consequence of some difficulty arising be- 
tween Jiimself and his brother, Zachariah, he left the home- 
stead and purchased a farm in the northwest part of the 
town, which he occupied several years, when he gave up 
farming and became a merchant, occupying a store now 
■used as a dwelling house, and situated a short distance 
from the brick meeting-house in this town. Here he re- 
mained until his decease, which occurred in 1839, being 
74 years of age. His wife d. in 1822, being 56 years of 
age. They had several ch., but one of whom is now liv" 
ing. In 1823, he m. Nancy Rice of this town, who is 
yet living. 

Dayis, Barnabas, Esq., s. of Dea. David Davis of 
Paxton, b. in 1778, m. Mercy Bellows, settled in this 
town in 1802, or about that time, and established himself 
in the business of tanning and currying leather on the 
premises previously occupied for the same purpose by hi.-^ 
brother, Simon Davis. He continued his residence here 
until 1851, when he removed to Paxton, his native town, 
where he and his wife soon after d., being more than 70 
years of age. They had four ch. two of whom are de- 
ceased. Mr. Davis sustained an unblemished character, 
was a quiet, peaceable citizen, enjoying the respect and 
confidence of his fellow townsmen, by whom he was fre- 
quently promoted to stations of trust and responsibility. 
He was six successive years elected to represent the town 
in the State Legislature, performing the duties of that re- 
sponsible station to the entire satisfaction of his constit- 
uents. 

Davis, Elias, a younger brother of Barnabas Davis, b. 
in 1784, came here and w^as employed as an assistant in 
the store of his brother, Simon Davis, several years. Ho 
afterwards erected a store in connection with a dAvelling- 
house and went into trade for himself, but eventually dis- 
posed of his business and went to Keene, N. H., where 
he remained a few years and then returned to this town 
where he has since resided. In 1805, he m. Mary Bige- 
low of this town, with whom he lived in the marriage 
relation more than fifty years. Her death occurred in 



17 

1857, at the age of 72 years. They had three ch., oiif 
son and two daughters, the son died in early life, the 
daughters are yet living. 

DiNSMORE, Reuben, s. of John Dinsmore, b. in 1771, 
and died in 1821, in the 50th year of his age. He m. 
Polly, dau. of Paul Goodale, in 1800, who survived him 
and died in 1856, being 80 years of age. They had sev- 
eral ch,, the most of whom are yet living. He was a 
farmer and tirst occupied the farm now in the possession 
of Benjamin Lee, in the west part of the tOAvn. He af- 
terwards resided on the farm now in the possession of 
Stephen Hemenway, in the north part of the town, and 
finally removed to Princeton, where he died. 

Dinsmore, Silas, s. of John Dinsmore, b. in 1779, 
and d. in 1824, being 46 years of age. In 1802, he m. 
Polly, dau. of Amos Lovell of this town, who survived 
him and died in 1842, aged 65 years. They had a largo 
family of ch., six of whom are yet living. He was a 
cooper, and worked at that business during the earlier 
part of his life. Subsequently he worked in a saw mill, 
an occupation for which he was peculiarly qualified. He 
resided in the house now owned and occupied by Eli W. 
Holbrook, near the central bridge in this town. 

DwELLEY, Joseph, was b. in 1765 and resided in Wsr- 
cester in the earlier part of his life, where he m. Mary 
Stearns in 1791. He afterwards purchased a farm in this 
town, now the residence of James Piske, on which he set- 
tled and resided about 40 years, when he sold his farm 
and removed to Oakham, where he d. in 1840, aged 75 
years. He enlisted into the army of the Revolution when 
15 years of age, and faitrifully served his country as a 
.soldier during the last three years of that war, when he 
was honorably discharged and returned home. He en- 
dured trials and hardships while connected with the army, 
was at the surrender of Cornwallis, and participated in 
other scewes of momentous interest and importance. His 
only ch,, Joseph Dwelley, now resides in Oakham. 

Eames, William, was the proprietor and occupant of 
a large and valuable farm, situated at the extreme south 
part of this town, contiguous to Worcester and Shrews- 



18 

bury, on which he settled in the earlier part of life, and 
where he resided until his decease in 1814, at the age of 
65 years. His wife d. several years previous. They had 
several ch., some of whom are yet living. This farm was 
lately in the possession of Asa Rice, being the place of 
his residence at the time of his death. 

Eames, Levi, s. of William Eames resided with bin 
father until his decease, when he took possession of the 
premises, and there continued as the occupant in connec- 
tion with a younger brother for several years, when he 
left the homestead and went to Worcester where he now 
resides. In 1809, lie m. Hephzibah Winter, who d. in 
1816, aged 38 years. He afterward m. a dau. of Luther 
nice of Worcester, who has also deceased. 

Eames, William, Jr., s. of William Eames, m. a dau. 
of Luther Rice of Worcester in 180S, and resided on the 
homestead in connection with his elder brother for several 
years, when he removed to Worcester, where he d. in 
mature life leaving a familv. 

EsTABRooK, Samuel, s. of Samuel Estabrook, b. in 
1747 and d. in 1816, aged 69 years. He m. Sarah Mar- 
shall of Holden, who survived him and d. in 1820, at the 
age of 77 years. He was a carpenter, and resided on a 
farm of which he was the proprietor, situated in the south- 
west part of this town, being now in the possession of 
John Phelps. 

Fairbank, Jabez, eldest s. of Jonathan Fairbank, one 
of the early settlers of this town, b. in 1738 and d. in 
1822, aged 84 ye;irs. He was m. in 1760 or about that 
time to Miriam Davis, and had a large family of children. 
His wife d. in the meridian of life much lamented. He 
afterward m. Persis IBouker of Petersham, who survived 
)iim and d. in 1833, aged 89 years. He resided in the 
north part of the town on the farm now in the possession 
of his grandson, Uriah Fairbank. 

Fairbank, Lemuel, s. of Jonathan Fairbank, b. in 
1751 and d. in 1819, aged 68 years. He m. Phebe, dau. 
of Jacob Winn, one of the early settlers of tiiis town, 
who survived him and d. in 1824, aged 73 years. They 
had several ch., two of whom are vet living. He was a 



19 

fanner, and resided in the north part of the town, his resi- 
dence being situated on the hill road leading to Sterling, 
and lately in the possession of John H. Stratton. 

Fairba.nk, Seth, s. of Jonathan Fairbank, b. in 1765 
and d. in 1833, aged 78 years. He m. Relief, dau. of 
Amos Sawyer, in 1777, and settled on a farm in the north 
part of the town, near the residence of his elder brother, 
Jabez Fairbank. They had ten ch., fiv^e sons and five 
daughters, all of whom survived their parents. His wife 
d. in 1839, being 80 years of age. They resided through 
life where they settled at the time of their marriage. 

Fairb.vnk, William, youngest s. of Jonathan Fair- 
bank, b. in 175S and d. in 1840, aged 81 years. He m. 
Keziah Hoaghton of Steriincr, and had several ch., some 
of whom are yet living. His wife d. in 1811, and in 1S12 
he m. Persis Sawyer of Boylston, who survived him and 
died in 1851, aged 78 years. He was a farmer, and occu- 
pied a farm now in the possession of Silas P. Bruce, in 
the north part of the town. He was a man of ability and 
prominence, being often chosen to offices of trust and re- 
sponsibility by his fellow citizens. He was a soldier of the 
Kevolution, and received a pension the latter part of his 
life. 

Fairbank, Alpheus, eldest s. of Jabez Fairbank, b. 
in 1766 and d. in 1832, aged 66 years. He m. Polly VVil- 
lard of Sterling, who survived him and d. in 1836. They 
had several ch. who survived them, some of whom have 
since deceased. He became the proprietor of a farm situ- 
ated in the northwest part of the town, now in the posses- 
sion of Solon F. Brown, on which he resided to the close 
of his life. 

Fairbank, Jabez, Jr., s. of Jabez Fairbank, b. in 1773 
and d. in 1843, aged 70 years. He m. Hannah Eager of 
Sterling, who survived hi.m and died in 1847. They had 
several ch., four of whom are yet living. He resided 
with his father on the homestead where he continued un- 
til the close of life, when the premises became th3 pos- 
session of his son, Uriah Fairbank. 

Fairbank, Davis, youngest s. of Jabez Fairbank, b. 
in 1777 and d. in 1857.. aged 80 years. In 1801, he m. 



20 

Rebocc;i Fairbaiik of tliis town, who cL in 1803. ite af- 
terwards m. widow Sally Holt of this town, who d. in 
1852. He occupied during the earlier portion of hig life 
the premises originally held and occupied by his grand- 
father, Jonathan Fairbank, and now in the possession of 
Francis Johnson, situated in the north part of the town, 
He had but one child who survired him. 

Faiebank, Bakak B., s. of Lemuel Fairbank, b. in 
1779 and d. in 1824, aged 45 years. In 1803, he m. Sal- 
ly, dau. of Amos Lovell of this town, and settled in tiie 
north part of the town near the residence of his father, on 
the old road leading to Sterling, where they continued to 
reside until their decease. His wife survived him and d. 
in 1847, aged 67 years. They had several ch., the most 
of W'hom arc now living. He was a carpenter, and work- 
ed at that business the most of his time during the last 
years of his life. 

Faikbank, Amos, eldest s. of Seth Fairbank, b. in 
1779 and is yet living. In 1813, he m. Lucy Houghton, 
■who d. in 1841, being about ()() years of age. He has re- 
sided in this town most of the time durino- his life, work- 
ing as a common laborer. 

FisHKU, Joiix, removed with his family to this town 
in 1806 and resided in the south part of the town, occu- 
pying the farm, since the possession of Cicero Hinds, and 
no»w thej residence of Dana Newton. After a few years' 
residence he sold out and removed from this town and h;i5 
since deceased. 

Gale, Oliver, s. of Jonas Gale, one of the early set- 
tlers of this town, b. in 1771 and died in 1824, aged 53 
years. He m. Esther, dau. of Ebenezer VVillington of 
Worcester, who survived him and d. at an advanced age, 
having been four times legally connected in the marriage 
relation. He v/as a farmer and settled on the farm now 
in possession of the town, and occupied as a pauper es- 
tablishment, where he resided several years, when he sold 
out and purchased a sm^all situation near the centre of the 
town where he resided until his decease. This location 
now belongs to N. H. Goodale. 

Glazier, Oliter, s. of John Glazier of Boylston, b, 
ill 1763 and d. in 1855, aged 92 vears. He was m. in 



21 

17S5 to Rachel, eldest dau. of Stephen Hastings of Boyi- 
ston, who d. in 1841, at an advanced age. They had ten 
ch., nearly all of whom survived their parents. He pur- 
chased a plot of land in this town in 1796, on which he 
erected a dwelling-house, which was the place of his resi- 
dence until after the decease of his wife, when he went to 
Northborough and resided with his eldest daughter until 
his decease. He was a carpenter, and worked at that 
business the most of his time. 

Glazier, Jason, youngest s. of John Glazier, b, in 
1767 and is now living, being 90 years of age. He early 
in life m. Sarah, daughter of John Dinsmore of this town, 
and lived in the marriage state about 30 years, when she 
d. in the meridian of life, leaving several ch. He after- 
ward m. Polly Gerry of Sterling, who is now living. Ho 
resided many years on the premises now in the possession 
of George Dana, situated in the north part of this town. 

GooDALE, Moses, was b. in 1739 and d. in 1815, aged To 
years. He was the eldest s. of Edward Goodale, one of the 
early settlers of this town. In 1797, he m. Silence Good- 
enow of Boylston, who survived him and d. in 1836, being 
about 80 years of age. The place where he resided dur- 
ing the last part of his life and at the tim.e of his decease, 
is situated 40 rods southwest of the railroad station in 
this town, and now the residence of William Bolton. Hr 
possessed mental capacities above mediocrity while he vris 
much accustomed to freaks of whimsical fancy and humor- 
ous caprice which could hardly fail to excite the merri- 
ment of the most serious observer. His decease was sud- 
den and unexpected at the time of its occurrence. 

Goodale, Aaron, second s. of Edward Goodale, b. in 
1743 and d. in 1817, aged 74 years. In 1767, he m. 
Eunice, dau. of William Marshall of Holden, who surviv- 
ed him and died in 1832, aged 84 years. They had eleven 
ch., five s. and six dau., each of them living to mature age 
and all eventually becoming connected in the marriage 
relation. The vouno-est of this family is now the onlv 
surviver, being 68 years of age. Mr. Goodale was a farm- 
er occupying a farm half a mile west of the Common, now 
in the possession of his grandson, Charles Goodale. On 






this farm he settled in early life and there resided until 
hig decease. 

GooDALE, Paul, third s. of Edward Goodale, b. in 1747 
and d. in 1828, aged 81 years. He m. Eunice, dau. of 
Jonathan Lovell, one of the early settlers of this town. 
She d. in 1824, aged 77 years. They had nine ch , four s. 
and five dau., all of whom have deceased. In 182.5, he m. 
Avidow Betty Lovell of this town, who survived him and 
d. in 1837, aged 84 yearp. Mr. Goodale was an enter- 
prising:, successful farmer, occupying an extensive and 
valuable farm on which he resided nearly 60 years. He 
accumulated a large estate, being one of the wealthiest 
citizens of the town. He was posse?sed of ability and 
talents which qualified him for extensive influence and 
usefulness. He was frequently chcsen by the citizens of 
the town to fill important stations of trust and responsi- 
bility, discharging the duties thereof with fidelity and to 
the acceptance of the town. 

Goodale, Peter, youngest s. of Edward Goodale, b. 
in 1752 and d. in 1834, aged 82 years. In 1775, he m. 
Abigail, dau. of Benjamin Hinds, who d. in 1809, aged 
58 years. They had six ch., only one of wdiom is now living. 
He was again m. in 1809, to widow Rachel Flagg of 
this town, who d. in 1828, aged 63 years. He first set- 
tled in Gardner, where he resided 15 years, when he re- 
moved to this town in 1793, and settled on the homestead 
then in the possession of his mother, where he resided un- 
til his decease. 

Goodale, Aaron, Jr., s. of Aaron Goodale, b, in 1779 
and d. in 1840, aged 61 years. In 1805, he m, Mehita- 
ble Blake of Holden, who is yet living. They had six ch., 
two of whom are now living. He settled on the farm 
originally occupied by Ebenezer Frizzol, afterwards by 
David Winch and now in the possession of his youngest 
son, Aaron Goodale, being situated half a mile west of 
the Common on the south Maiden Hill road leading to 
Holden. 

Goodale, Abel, Dea., s. of Aaron Goodale, b. in 1785 
and d. in 1853, aged 68 years. In early life he m. Grace 
Merrifield, who d. in 1819, aged 34 years. They had five 



23 

ch., two of whom are now living. He was again m. in 
1821 to widow Mehitable Hubbard of Holden, wlio is 
yet living. They had two.ch., one of whom is also living. 
He was for nearly 30 years of the latter portion of his 
life the proprietor and occupant of the farm originally the 
residence of his grandfather, Edward Goodale, and now 
in the possession of his son, Gardner E. Goodale. Dea, 
Goodale was a valuable citizen, a firm, substantial man, 
ardent in feeling, discriminating in judgment, decided in 
action, never vacillant or equivocal in his course. He 
would thoroughly investigate a subject or proposition and 
decide upon a proper course of action relative thereto, 
then proceed to act with promptness and energy, never 
turning aside or compromising in the least with opposi- 
tion or antagonism. Thus always exhibiting a consisten- 
cy of character and conduct, he won the respect and con- 
fidence of those with whom he associated and acted in the 
vaiious departments of life. He was irreconcilably hos- 
tile to secret associations whatever might be their charac- 
ter or design, believing them to be anti-repubiican and of 
dangerous tendency. 

Goodale, Levi, s. of Paul Goodale, b. in 1783 and d. 
in 1854, aged 71 years. In early life he m. Abigail Cros- 
by of Holden, who d. in 1810, being 27 years of age. He 
was again m. in 1811 to Eunice H. Brimhall of Oakham 
who d. in 1826, aged 38 years. In 1827, he m. Orinda 
Cleveland of Medfield, who d. in 1845, being 59 years of 
age. He was again m. to Sarah Ann Nelson of Medfield, 
who is now living. He had several ch., the most of 
whom are also living. He was a farmer and resided on 
the homestead until the last years of his life, when he 
changed his residence and became the occupant of the 
prem.ises now in the possession of Winthrop Snow, situ- 
ated 80 rods southeast of the railroad station in this town. 

Goodale, Jason, s. of Peter Goodale, b. in 1780 and 
d. in 1852, aged 72 years. In 1807, he m. Hannah, dau. 
of Dea. Asa Lovell, who died in 1812, aged 31 years. He 
afterward m. Sarah Raymond of Ashby, who is yet living. 
He was a farmer and resided in Winchendon the latter 
part of his life. Several of his ch. are now living. 



24 

GooDENOw, Elijah, eldest s. of Jonas Goodenow of 
Boylston, b. in 1768 and d. suddenly in 1821, aged 5o 
years. He m. Eunice, dau. of Micali Harthan, who sur- 
vived liim and d. in 1828, aged 56 years. They had ten 
ch., only three of whom are now living. He resided witli 
his father-in-law, assisting liim in the managing of his 
iarm and other matters. Jn 1804, he erected a distillery 
which was used several years for manufacturing gin and 
cider brandy. These premises are situated near the Bap- 
tist meetinghouse, and are now in the possession of 
George Holmes, a s. of the late Thomas Holmes of this 
town. 

Hadly, ErHRAiM, was b. in Sterling, came to this 
town and m. Prudence, dau. of John Dinsmore, in 179D. 
He d. in 1814, being nearly 40 years of age, and after his 
tiecease, she m. Jonathan Nichols of Holden, and d. in 
185(3. Mr. Hadly was a cooper, and when not engaged 
in that business, labored where he could find employment. 
He resided in this town some 15 or 20 years. 

Hahthax, David, eldest s. of Micah Harthan, b. in 
1704 and d. in 1823, aged 59 years. He m. Prudence, 
df.u. of Jacob ^Vinn, and had six ch., only two of whom 
are now living. She survived him and d. in 1840, aged 
76 years. He d. suddenly and alone, in consequence of a 
iall. He was a miller, having attended a grist mill from 
his boyhood until his decease. He was the proprietor of 
the well known and far famed Harthan Mills in this town. 
His dwelling place was situated about 50 rods north of 
the railroad station in this town. 

Hinds, Jacoij, s. of Benjamin Hinds, b. in 1767 and cl. 
in 1852, aged 85 years. He m. Elizabeth, dan. of Jona- 
than Fawcett of 13oylston, who survived him and d. in 
1856, aged 82 years. They had four ch., three of whom 
have debased. He settled on the homestead where he 
resided the earlier portion of his life, but eventually left 
the place of his nativity and resided with his son in the 
south part of the town until his decease. He was a farm- 
er and much in the habit of originating new schemes and 
projects of a philosophical and scientific character, sacri 



25 

iicing much time and expense in putting them into opera- 
tion for the purpose of trial and experiment 

Hinds, Joseph, Esq., s. of Benjamin Hinds, b. in 1773 
and d. in 1835, aged 62 years. In 1798, he m. Rebecca 
Sawyer of Sterling, who is now living, being 82 years of 
age. They had seven ch., four of whom are now living. 
He was a bookbinder and a farmer, successfully pursuing 
and managing two kinds of business at the same time. 
He was a prominent, useful citizen of the town, being fre- 
quently chosen by the inhabitants to fill offices of trust 
and responsibility, and several times represented the town 
in the State Legislature. His residence was 70 rods 
«outh of the Common. 

Holt, Abel, s. of Barzilia Holt of Boylston, b. in 1743 
and d. in 1815, aged 72 years. He m. Eunice, dau. of 
Henry Keyes of Boylston, who survived him and d. in 
1840, aged 95 years. They had six s. and two dau., two 
of whom are now living. He was a farmer, and resided 
one mile south of the Common, on the premises now in 
the possession of Cyrus L. Knight. 

Holt, Abiel, a younger brother of Abel Holt, was m. in 
in the early part of life and had several ch., some of whom 
are now living. His v/ife d. in 1819, aged 50 years. He 
survived his wife and d. in 1845. He occupied the farm 
during the former part of his life time, now in the posses- 
sion of Brigham Prescott, situated in the north part of the 
town, on the old road lead to Sterling. 

Holt, James, was a s. of Barzilia Holt, Jr., of Boyl- 
ston. He d. in 1855, being about 84 years of age. In 
1800, m. Eunice, dau. of Dea. Asa Lovell, who d. in 1821, 
by an act of suicide in consequence of mental derange- 
ment. They had several ch., some of whom are yet 
living. He resided in the west part of the town about 
20 years of the earlier part of his life, being the proprie- 
tor and occupant of a small farm. 

Holt, Jona.s, s. of Abel Holt, b. in 1779 and d. in 
1853, aged 73 years. In 1802, he m. Anne Wran, who 
d, in 1845, aged 65 years. They had several ch., four 
of whom are now living. He was a carpenter, and resid- 
ed half a mile south of the Common on the old road lead- 
3 



26 

ing- to Worcester. The premises are now In the posses- 
sion of his son, AYard E. Holt. 

Howe, Alvax, in the earlier part of life was a resident 
of Shrewsbury. He m. Mary Willington, had a large 
family of ch., removed to this town perhaps in 1802 or 
about that time. He resided in the north part of the 
town on the premises now in the possession of the West 
Boylston Manufacturing Company. For several years he 
^vas the occupant of a grist mill then standing near the 
location of the brick factory now occupied by the afore- 
said Company. He d. in 1820, aged 66 years. His wife 
survived him a few years and also died, 

Howe, Hiram, s. of Nathan Howe of Sln-ewsbury, b. 
in 1775 and d. in 1829, aged 5i years. He m. Olive, 
dau. of Micah Harthan, who survived him and d. in 1852, 
ciged 78 years. They had several ch., five of whom are 
now living. He was the proprietor of a farm in the north 
part of the town on the old road leading to Sterling, where 
lie resided at the time of his decease. Since that time the 
house has been burned, and the farm divided and sold to 
different individuals and is no longer a family residence. 

JoHNSox, Timothy, with his family removed- from 
Sutton to this town in 1805, having purchased the black- 
smith shop then situated near where the factory belons;ino: 
to Eli W. Holbrook nov/ stands. Here he pursued the 
business of manufacturing and vending scythes for a few- 
years, having built a dwelling-house for his convenience 
and accommodation, when he sold his establishment to Ja- 
cob and Ezekiel Peirce and removed back to Sutton where 
lie afterward died. 

Keyes, Reubetc, eldest s, of Simeon Keyes, b. in 176G, 
m. Olive, dau. of Capt. Joseph Bigelow, had two sons, one 
cf whom is now living. He was a blacksmith, and erect- 
ed a shoj) on the premises now occupied by Charles Morse, 
near the railroad station in this town, where he pursued 
the business of his occupation awhile, and then disposed 
of his establishment and built a dwelling-house now in the 
possession of N. H. Goodale, where he resided a few years, 
then sold out and removed to Barre, Vt., where he d. at an 
advanced age, his wife and eldest s. having previously de- 
ceased. 






Keyes, Thomas, Jr., eldest s. of Thomas Keyes, h. in 
17<i7 and d. in 1856, aged 89 years. He m. Lydia, dau. 
of Micah Harthan, in 1791, and had six ch., only one of 
whom is now living. She d. in 1824, in the 60th year of 
lier age. He was a farmer and settled on the homestead 
with his father, where he resided during the whole period 
of his life. He was respected by his fellow citizens, who 
frequently selected him to fill stations of trust and re- 
sponsibility. He became the proprietor of the homestead 
by inheritance from his father, and left the same with ad- 
ditions and improvements to his only surviving son, Ben- 
jamin F. Keyes. 

KiJLBUE,]sr, Leyi, was b. in Sterling, and there m. Cath- 
erine, dau, of Manassah Sawyer, from thence he removed 
with his family to this town, having purchased a small 
farm situated in the north part of the town, noAV in the 
possession of John S. Cutting, where he resided until his 
decease, which occurred in 1847, aged 76 years. His 
wife d. in 18S0, and he afterward m. a second wife v>-ho 
survived him and d. in 1857. He had four ch. who are 
now living. 

LovELL, Asa, Dea., s. of Jonathan Lovell, one of the 
early settlers of this town, b. in 1 751 and d. in 1814, aged 
G3 years. He m. Betty Raymond, had one s. and live 
dau., three of vrhom are now living. His wife survived 
him and in 1825 m. Paul Goodale, and also survived him. 
Dea. Lovell was the proprietor and occupant of a farm now 
in the possession of Erastus Broad, situated a mile west 
of the Common, on the north Maiden Hill road leading 
to Holden. He was a man of integrity and exemplary 
character, and a valuable citizen, 

Lovell, A^ios, s. of Jonathan Lovell, b. in 1753 and 
d. in 1815, aged 62 years. He m. Mary Ball of Concord, 
had three s. and five dau., four of whom are now living. 
His wife survived him and d. in 1833, at the age of 77 
years. He was a farmer and resided near his brother, Asa 
Jjovell, on the farm originally occupied by his father, and 
now in the possession of his grandson, x\ddison Lovell. 

LoYELL, Amos, Jr., eldest s. of Amos Lovell, b. in 
1782, and is now living. In 1807, he m. Martha, eldest 



28 

dau. of Abel Bigelow, who d. in 1837, agecj 64 years-. 
They had three s., two of whom are now living. He was 
a farmer and settled on the homestead with his father, 
where he resided during the earlier part of his life, but 
eventually relinquished the possession of the premises to 
his son, Addison LoveJl, and erected a large commodious 
dwelling-house near the Common, where he has since 
resided. 

Mason, Samuel, was b. probably as early as ITAT) and 
d. in 1839, being over 80 years of age. He was m., and 
had several ch., some of whom are now living. He was a 
farmer and resided in the northwest part of the town, oc- 
cupying the farm now in the possession of his children, 
John and Lucy Mason. 

Mason, Daniel, s. of Samuel Mason, b. in 1780 and 
d. in 1818, aged 38 years. He d. by an act of suicide, 
supposed to be in consequence of a depression of mind 
or a kind of mental derangement, to which he seemed to 
be constitutionally predisposed. He was somev/hat re- 
served and serious in his general deportment, industrious 
and frugal in his habits, and respected by his friends and 
associates in life. 

May, Ezra, was b. in Sterling in 1772 and d. in 1815, 
aged 43 years. He m. Elizabeth, dau. of Jabez Pairbank, 
who survived him and d. in 1845, aged 75 years. They 
had several ch., two of whom are now living. He set- 
tled on a farm in the northwest part of this town, now in 
the possession of his son, John May, where he resided 
until his decease. 

Maynard, Calyin, came from Marlboro' in 1804, was 
a trader occupying a store near the Common in this town, 
where he continued in business about five years, when he 
removed to Sterlino-, and there established himself as a 
trader. Hem, Olive, dau. of John L. Whiting, and resid- 
ed in Sterling a few years, wdien they both d., leaving 
no children. 

Merrifield, Asaph, was b. in 1741 and d. in 1820,. 
aged 79 years. He removed with his family from Sher- 
burne to this town in 1785, having purchased a farm situ- 
ated in the southwest part cf the town, now occupied by 



29 

Ira Warren, who m. one of his dau., whero he resided un- 
til his decease. His wife survived him and d. in 1845, 
aged 89 years. He had ten eh., several of whom are now 
living. 

Mehrifield, Louis, s. of Asaph Merrifield,b. in 1781 
and d. in 1851, aged 70 years. He m. Phcbe, dau. of 
Sylvanus Morse, who died in 1839, aged GO years. They 
had several ch., one of whom is now living. They resid- 
ed with her father assisLinp- him in the management of his 
farm. After the father's decease, he became the proprie- 
tor of the farm, and was the occupant thereof during the 
continuance of his life, leaving the premises as a patrimo- 
ny to his only son, Louis W. Merrifield. He was m. a 
second time, his wife survived him and d. in 1853, aged 
62 years, 

MooPtE, Israel, s. of Dea. Israel Moore, b. in 177 7 
and d. in 1811, aged 34 years. lie m. Mary Cheney, 
dau. of Paul Goodale, who survived him and afterwards 
m. Nathan Rogers of Holden, where she d. in 1828, aged 
50 years. Mr. Moore settled on a farm in the north part 
of this town, adjoining that occupied by his father, where 
he resided a few years and then sold out and removed to 
the ho-!^estead, of which he became the proprietor at the 
decease of his father, where he resided until his ovni de- 
cease. He had tv/o sons and two daughters who are now 
living, the eldest son, James H. Moore, being now the pro- 
prietor and occupant of the hom.estead. 

MooEE, JoEJL, s. of Dea. Israel Moore, b. probably in 
1780, in. Susanna Kennan, of Rutland, and settled on a 
small farm half a mile north of the Beaman place, on tiic 
road leading to Lancaster, and now the residence of L. 1), 
Newton. He afterward removed to Holden where he d. 
in 1856, aged 75 years. He had ch. some of whom to- 
gether with their mother are now living. 

Moore, Asa, youngest s. of Dea. Israel Moore, b. per- 
haps in 1784 or about that time. He m. Sabia, dau. of 
Dea. Asa Lovell, in 1804, and settled on a farm in the 
north part of this town, now held and occupied by a fam- 
ily of aliens. He removed from this town, afterward fre- 
(.paently changing his residence, and now resides in Hub- 
3^^ 



30 

bardston. His wife d. in 1854, aged 68 years, and lie h 
again connected in marriage. 

Morse, Sylvanus, s, of Joseph Morse, one of tlie 
early settlers of this town, b. in 1746 and d. in 1813, 
aged 66 years. He m. Phebe Church of New Marlboro', 
v/ho d. in the meridian of life. They had several ch., all 
of them having deceased. He v/as a farmer and during 
the latter part of his life, occupied the premises original- 
iy belonging to his father where he resided until his 
decease. 

MoKSE, Joseph, s. of Joseph Morse, b. in 1758 and d. 
in 1826, aged 68 years. He m. Sophia, dau, of Benjamin 
Bigelow, one of the early settlers of this town, who sur- 
vived him and d. in 1831, aged 70 years. They had nine 
cb., four of whom are now living. The farm on which he 
resided is three-fourths of a mile north of the Common, 
and lately in the possession of his grandson, Joseph 
Morse, now deceased. A considerable portion of this 
farm once belonged to the elder Joseph Morse. It is an 
incident worthy of notice, that four persons having the 
same name in a regular line of descent, have successively 
held and occupied the same premises during a period of 
more than one hundred years. 

MuKDocK, Artemas, Doa., eldest s. of William Mur- 
dock of Westminster, b. in 1776 and d. in 1855, aged 79 
years. He m. Keziah Clark of Medfield, and came to this 
town in 18-01. He settled on the premises now in the 
possession of his eldest s , David C. Murdock, where he 
worked, being a cabinet maker. His v/ife d. in 184S, 
aged 68^ years. They had nine ch., seven of whom are 
now living. Dea. Murdock was a valuable and exemplary 
citizen, possessing a mild, pacific temperament and dispo- 
sition,, together with that honesty of purpose and integri- 
ty of character, which enabled him in all business mat- 
ters and transactions to act with that fairness and just 
regard for the rights and interests of others, that secured 
for him the respect and esteem of all with whom he 
chanced to have intercourse relative to the common affairs 
of life. He d. suddenly, a victim to extreme pain aad 
sufferinsf. 



31 

MuRDOCK, Joshua, Dea., a younger brother of Arte- 
mas Murdock, was b. in 1780. He m. Clarissa Hartshorn 
of Medfield, and in 1806, settled in this town near his 
brother, the phice of his residence being no'w in the pos- 
session of N. H. Goodale. He was a cabinet maker and 
worked with his brother. In 1811, he removed to Lei- 
cester, and there has continued to pursue his occupation 
with success and advantage. His wife d. in 1847, aged 
63 years. They had five ch., four of whom are no\v 
living. 

Nasii, William, Rev., the first minister of this town, 
was a native of Williamsburg, Hampshire County, Mass., 
was b. in 17C9 and d. in 1829, aged 60 years. He came 
here in 1796 and preached as a candidate for settlement, 
and was ordained Oct. 11, 1797, as a minister of the 
church and society previously organized in the second pre- 
cinct of Boylston, Sterling, and Holden. In 1801, or 
about that time, Mr. Nash m. Elizabeth Doubleday, and 
having purchased a farm in the south part of the town, 
now occupied by D. P. Worcester, settled thereon, where 
he continued to reside until his decease. He continued 
in the ministry until 1815, when his connection with the 
chucli and society was formally dissolved at his own re- 
quest. His only surviving s., Charles Nash, nov/ resides 
in Worcester. 

Xewtox, Silas, was b. in 1770 and d. in 1836, aged 
66 years. He came from Paxton to this town in the ear- 
lier part of life, m. Eunice, youngest dau. of Ezra Bea- 
man, Esq., who survived him and is yet living, being 84 
years of age. He had no permanent abode, frequently 
changing his residence until 1810, when he purchased a 
farm now iti the possession of his son, Jabez B. Newton, 
situated in the northwest part of this town, where he set- 
tled and resided until his decease. He had six ch., sever- 
al of whom are novv'- living, lie was a respectable and 
useful citizen, being frequently elected to places of trust 
and responsibility, and once represented the town in the 
State Legislature. In 1811, he united with the Congrega- 
tional church, and afterwards became a prominent membei 
of the Baptist church. . 



3:2 

Pain^e, Ebrxezkk, was b. in 1777 and d. in 1847, aged 
70 years. He cams with his family to this town, proba- 
bly in 1806, and settled on the farm previously in the pos- 
session of Israel Moore, and now adjoining the farm of 
James H. Moore, in the north part of the town, where he 
continued his residence until his decease. His wife d. in 
1825, at the age of 49 years. He afterward m. widow 
Cynthia Harthan, who survived him and d. in 1849, aged 
64 years. They had ch., some of whom are now living. 

Perry, MosEs, was b. in 1758 and d. in 1843, aged 
85 years. He removed vvith his family from Hopkinton 
to this town in IbOl, and settled on the farm once occu- 
pied by Eben^izer Inglesby, an early settler, and now the 
residence of Jabez B. Newton. Here he resided nine or 
ten years and removed to the state of Maine. He remain- 
ed in that state a dozen years, then returned and resided 
in this town until his decease. He had several ch., some 
of vviiom are now living. His wife d. in 1843, previous 
to his death, aged 84 years, they having been connected in 
marriage 64 years. 

Perry, Joseph, s. of Moses Perry, b. in 17 79, came 
from Hopkinton to this town in 1801. He m. Sarah, 
daughter of Manassah Sawyer, was a carpenter, resided 
with his father a few vears, and then removed to the state 
of Maine where he and his wife are yet living. 

Peirce, Oliver, s. of Josiah Peirce 'of Worcester, b. 
probably as early as 1750 and d. in 1813. He had a fam- 
ily and resided in the south part of this town, and occu- 
pied the farm now in the possession of Nathan Morse, 
where he continued to reside until his disease. His wife 
died in 1831. He had some eight or ten ch , several of 
whom are yet living. 

Peirce, Levi, s. of Josiah Pierce, b. in 1760 and d. 
in 1833, aged 73 years. He m. Persis Robinson who sur- 
vived him, and d.'in 1833 aged 71 years. She was a na- 
tive of Lexington and distinctly recollected the battle 
fought in that" place in 1775, the approach of the British 
troops, and other scenes v/hich there occurred on that 
memorable occasion. They had seven ch., all of whom 
are now living. His residence was in the south part of 



33 

the town, being now in the possession of Luke Hipsly. 
He was a surveyor and was much employed in that occu- 
pation. 

Peirce, Hollis, eldest s. of Oliver Peirce, b. perhaps 
in 1777, or about that time, and d. in 1833. He m. Lu- 
cinda Merrifield, who d. previous to 1830. He afterwards 
m. Mercy Merrifield of this town, who survived him and m. 
Timothy Farker and removed to the state of N. Y. He 
built a house and resided during the earlier part of life 
half a mile north of the Common. The premises are now 
occupied by Storrs Eldridge. He afterwards resided south 
of the Common and there deceased. He had ch., some of 
Avhora are now living. 

Peirce, James, s. of Oliver Peirce, b. in 1779 and d. 
in 1844, aged 65 years. He m. Sally Fiske of Holden 
who is now living. They had several ch., some of whom 
are also living. He was a farmer and resided in the south 
part of the town, the premises being now in the posses- 
sion of his youngest son, Lyman Peirce. 

Peirce, Jacoib, came from Sutton to this town in 1805, 
being over 21 years of age. He was a blacksmith and 
worked with Timothy Johnson at scythe making. He 
eventually became the proprietor of the establishment in 
connection with a younger brother. In 1808 he m. Azu- 
bah, eldest dau. of Oliver Glazier of this town; and in 
1823 sold out his interest in business to his brother Eze- 
kiel Peirce, and removed to Northboro' where he died. 

Plimpton", Jonathan, removed from Shrewsbury to 
this tov/n in 1803 with his family, and settled on a farm 
in the south .part of the town, previously occupied by Tim- 
othy Hildreth and now in the possession of James D. 
Moore. Here he resided 20 years and d., being probably 
about 70 years of age. His wife had previously deceased. 
They had two sons and perhaps other children. 

Plimpton, Jonathan, Jr., eldest s. of Jonathan Plimp- 
ton, resided in ths south part of the town on the premises 
now in the possession of J. B. Eames. In 1806 he m, 
Betsey Harris of this town, who d. in ISIO. He subse- 
quently m. Eunice Peirce of Holden, and d. in 18 1 5, aged 



34 

33 years. His wife survived him and m. Edmund Brig- 
ham — she also survived him and died in 1857. 

PnEscoTT, B.RiGHA.?,T, s. of Jonathan Prescott, b. in 
1783, and m. in 1807 Eunice, the youngest dau. of Abel 
Holt. They are both now living, having been connected 
in the married state 51 years. They have had four ch. 
two of whom are now living. Mr Prescott is the proprie- 
tor and occupant of a farm in the north part of the town, 
formerly the residence of Abiel Holt. As a manifestation 
of confidence and respect, he w^as three successive years 
chos'^n by the citizens of this town to represent thenl in 
the State Legislature. 

Prescott, John, s. of Jonathan Prescott, b. in 1785, 
d. in 1848, aged 63 years. He m. Eunice, dau. of John 
Dhismore, who is now living. His residence was in the 
north part of the town, near the residence of George Dana 
on the road leading to Lancaster. They had several ch. 
who are now living, and with whom the mother resides. 

Read, John, was b. in Eutland in 1770. He came to 
this town in early life, m. Hannah Dwelley, and settled 
in the southwest part of the town, residing successively on 
the premises now severally occupied by Benjamin Lee, 
Moses Fisher, and Joseph C. Lovell. In the latter part 
of his life he erected a commodious dwelling house near 
the Common, now in the possession of Silas Dinsmore, 
where he resided until his decease which occurred in 1838, 
ut the age of 69 years. He had four ch., two of whom 
are now living. He was a successful farmer and held in 
possession a large estate at the time of his decease. His 
wife survived him and d. in 1850, aged 77 years. 

Shattuck, Thaddexjs, was b. in 1752 and d. in 1819, 
aged 67 years. He came to this town in the earlier part 
of life, m. Susannah Wait of Sterling, and settled a mile 
from the Beaman place on the old road leading to Sterling, 
where he resided until his decease. His wife survived him 
and d. in 1831. He had two sons v/ho survived him and 
have since deceased. 

Shattuck, Walter, s. of Thaddeus Shattuck, born 
in 1778, and d. in 1843, aged 64 years. He m, Betsey, 
eldest dau. of Jeremiah Morse, and resided on the home- 
stead with his father where he continued his residence 



35 

through life ; his wife survived him and is now living. 
He was a cooper and pursued that occupation as long as 
he was able to labor. 

Smith, Isaac, was b, perhaps as early as 1755, came 
to this town in 1783, m. Prudence Catting, and settled on 
a farm one mile west from the Common now belonging to 
L. W. Rlerrifield, where he resided until his decease. His 
wife d. in 1801, and in 1802 he m. a widow Home of 
Southboro', who survived him and d. in 1846. He d. 
in 1824, having had six ch., four of whom are deceased. 
He was a soldier of the revolution, and performed good 
service for his country durincr that memorable struor'?le for 
liberty and independence, and by the faithful discharge of 
duty and the fatigue and hardship endured, he merited 
and ought to receive the crratitude and veneration of the 
present and future generations. He was truly one of 
those brave spirits, who by their persevering efforts and 
untold sufferings, helped to consummate the patriotic and 
noble enterprise in which they were engaged. 

Smith, John, was born in Southboro' in 1773. In the 
earlier part of life he resided in Boylston, and m. a dau. 
of Artemas Majnard, who lived but a few years after their 
marriage. He afterwards m. Martha Hastings, and in 
1801 removed to this town where he d. in 1855, aged 81 
vears. His wife survived him and is still livino-. He had 
eleven ch., six have died, and five are now living. He 
formerly worked at shoemaking, but latterly at painting. 
His residence was a short distance south of the Common, 
being now the residence of his son Stephen H. Smith. 

Stone, Simon, removed with his family from Bolton to 
this town in 1807, being probably about iio yrs. of age. He 
was a shoemaker, and resided successively in different 
parts of the town about 20 years, when he removed to 
Princeton, and there became the occupant of a farm wli^re 
he with his family still reside. 

Temple, John-, the eldest s. of Jonas Temple of Boyls- 
ton, was b. in 1762 and d. in 1841, aged 79 years. In 
1791 he m. Lois, daughter of Micah Harthan, who d. in 
1792, aged22 years. In 1793 he m. Persis, dau. of Ezra 
Beaman, Esq., previously the wife of Dr. Amariah Bigelow. 



36 

Mr Temple was an enterprising, succes^iful former, possess- 
ing and occupying an extensive farm situated in tlie souths 
erly part of the town, formerly the residence of Dea. 
77 Amariah Bigelow, an early settler and prominent citizen 
' of the town, and now in the possession of Edmund F. 
Brigham. His second wife d. in 1832, aged 70 years. — 
She had three ch. while she was th,e wife of Dr. Bigelow, 
and three after her second marriage, — one of each branch 
has deceased. Mr Temple was a prominent, active citizen, 
possessing an enterprizing, energetic temperament, togeth- 
er with firmness and decision, which enabled him to act 
promptly and unhesitatingly in matters of moment and 
importance. He was chosen several successive years by 
the citizens of the town as chairman of the Board of Se- 
lectmen ; and frequently was called to the performance of 
other important duties of a public character. After the 
decease of his second wife, he m. Polly Dakinof Boylston, 
who survived him and d. in 1856. 

Temple, Isaac, youngest s. of Jonas Temple, b. in 
1784, and d. in 1832 aged 48 years. In 1806, hem. 
Hannah Stillman Bigelow of this town", and settled on the 
homestead, occupying his father's farm. In 1816, after 
the death of his father, which occurred in 1815, he left 
the homestead and became the occupant of the premises 
formerly the residence of Capt. Joseph Bigelow, situated 
a short distance west of the Common, where he resided 
until his decease. His vvife d. in 1839, aged 54 years. 
They had three ch. but one of whom is now living. 

Thomas, William, was b. 1725 and died in 1810, 
aged 85 years. He came to this town and settled on the 
farm now the residence of David D. Prescott, situated 
half a mile northwest from the railroad station at Oakdale, 
where he resided until his decease. He was m. and had 
two sons who survived him. His wife d. in 1781, aged 
43 years. He was again m., his wife survived him and d. 
in 1831, aged 88 years. He possessed a peculiar relish 
for literature and science, and devoted much time to read- 
ing and study, thereby becoming intelligent and interest- 
ing to those with whom he associated. He had also a pe- 
culiar taste for astronomical research and calculation, his 
bias and genius being strongly fixed in that direction. 



37 

Thomas, Robert B., Esq., eldest s. of William Thom- 
as, b. in 1766 and d. in 1846, aged 80 years. He m. 
Hannah Beaman of Princeton, who survived him, and d. 
in 1855, aged 81 years. He resided in the northwest 
part of the town, two miles from the Common, occupying 
a small farm now the residence of Dea. Joseph White, and 
near the railroad station at Oakdale. He was a promi- 
nent man in the town, was the first Town Clerk after the 
incorporation of the town, several times chairman of the 
Board of Selectmen, represented the town in the State Con- 
vention of 1820 for revising the Constitution, and was sev- 
eral years a member of the State Legislature. He originat- 
ed and established the "" Farmers' Alma?iack " in 1793, 
annually preparing and furnishing the matter for that popu- 
lar manual for more than 50 years. He accumulated a 
large amount of property, leaving no children to inherit 
and retain his estate after his decease. He died intestate, 
leaving his estate to his widow and two children of a de- 
ceased brother who were his only legal heirs. 

Thomas, Aaron, youngest s. of William Thomas, b. 
in 1769 and d. in 1833, aged 64 years. He m. Lydia, 
dau. of Dea. Ebenezer Mason of Sterling, who survived 
him a few months and d. the same year, aged 62 years. 
They had three ch., two of whom are now living. He 
resided in the northwest part of the town near the place of 
his father's residence, occupying a farm, although unable 
to perform much labor thereon, in consequence of partial 
deprivation of sight. He enjoyed the confidence and re- 
spect of his family and others, leaving his ch. a valuable 
patrimony at his decease. 

White, Peter, was b. perhaps in 1770, or about that 
time. He m. Sally Moore, and settled in this town in 
1797. He had one son and two daughters, one of whom 
d. young. His s. obtained an education and became a 
settled minister of the gospel in the State of Maine, He 
was a clothier, and pursued that business while he resided 
here. His place of residence and business was near Har- 
than's Mills, the premises being now occupied by Ruel 
G. Co wee. In 1813 he sold out and removed to Spring- 
field, Vt., where he and his wife have since deceased. 



33 

IViiiTTAKER, Joseph, was probably b. as early as l7o(L 
O'l- previous to that time. He d. in 1811. He m. a dau. 
of William Whitney, one of the early settlers of ibis town. 
He resided on or near the premises originally occupied by 
Mr. Whitney, situated in the northwest part of the town 
and now occupied by his grandson, Luther Whiltaker. 

Wilder, Reubex, s. of Asa ^Vilder, b. in 1757 and 
d. in 1832, ag^ed 75 years. He m. Mary Peirce of Boyls- 
ton, who d. in 1807, leaving several children. In 1808 
he m. widow Thankful Whitcomb of this town, who sur- 
vived him and d. in 1855, aged 80 years. He was a hlack- 
.sraith and farmer, and resided in the north part of the 
town, on the premises originally occupied by his grand- 
father, Josiah Wilder, and afterwards by his father, and 
now occupied by John Bruce who is the legal proprietor 
thereof. 

Willi NGTON, Ecexezer, was b. in 17o8 and d. in 
1335, aged 67 years. He m. Susannah, dau. of Jonas 
Gale, .who d. in 1833, aged 64 years. They had five ch. 
tAvo of whom are livins:. He was a blacksmith and also 
a farmer, and resided in the southerly part of the town on 
the premises originally occupied by Mr. Gale, and now in 
llie possession of G. W. Mathews. 

Winn, John, s. of Jacob Winn, b. in 1760 and d. in 
1343, aged 83 years. He m. Abigail Cross of Boston, who 
d. in 1853, aged 89yrs. They had ch., some of whom are 
now living. He resided in the north part of the town, 
was a cooper, and occupied the premises formerly the res- 
idence of his father, and now in the possession of Robert 
C. Toombs. 

Winn, W^illiam, s. of William Winn formerly of this 
town, born perhaps in 1780, or about that time. He ni:. 
Dolly Goss of Sterling— was a cooper, and resided half a 
mile north of the Beaman place, occupying the premises 
]iow in the possession of Windsor Morse. He removed 
from this town, and afterwards died in mature life. 



39 



PRESIDENTS— NOT VOTERS. 



The following persons were residents here in 1808, and 
each at the head of a fauiily, but were notjegal voters : 

Boynton, Ahiel, was b. perhaps in 1755, or about that 
time, and d. in 1810. He m. Lois Raymond who surviv- 
ed him, and was again m. and left this town. He resided 
in the north part of this town, near Stillwater river, and 
had a numerous family of children. 

Carroll^ Benjanmi, removed from Rutland wdth his fam- 
ily to this town in 1807. His wife d. in 1808 and in 180'J 
he left the tov/n. He was a carpenter and millwright. 

Dinsmore^ John, was b. probably before 1750 and d. in 
1811. He m. Sarah Winn who survived him and d. in 
1837. They had some eight or ten eh., two of whom are 
now living. He resided one mile north of the Beaman 
place, where he continued his residence until his decease. 

Farr, Simeon, a native of Stowe, b. in 1745, came to 
this town in 1790, and d. in 1810, ag^ed 65 years. He 
m. Mary Snow of this town, who d. in 1800. In 1803 he 
m. Phebe Blanchard of Harvard, wdio survived him and re- 
turned to that town after his decease. 

Hatherly, Thomas, w^as b. in 1743, and d. in 1828, aged 
85 years. He was a native of England where he was 
pressed into the military service when young, and came to 
this country with the British army, which was stationed at 
Boston at the commencement of the American Revolution. 
He deserted from the army, came to this town, was mar- 
ried, and afterwards resided here until his decease. His 
wdfe survived him and d. in 1833, aged 84 years. 

Keyes, Benjamin, eldest s. of Benjamin Keyes of Boyls- 
ton, b. in 1768, came to this town in 1807 and d. in 1821, 
aged 53 years. He m. Annise, dau. of Capt. Joseph Big- 
elow, who survived him and d. in 1845, aged 77 years. 
Thev had six ch., four of whom are now livinsf. 

Morse, Jeremiah, s. of Joseph Morse of Holdcn, b. i:i 
1759 and d. in 1841, aged 82 years. He m. Relief Strat- 



40 

ton, who survived him and d. in 1848, aged 87 years. 
They had a numerous family of ch., several of ^y horn are 
now living. He was a shoemaker. 

Prouty, Daniel, was b. in 1779, and m. Sarah, dau. of 
Aaron Goodale, in 1803, had ch. ; was a shoemaker ; resid- 
ed in the west part of the town one mile from the Common, 
the place of tiis residence being now in the possession of 
Jonathan M. Keyes. In 1814 he removed to the far west, 
where he and his wife have probably died. 

Wilder^ Nathan, s. of Abner Wilder, b. in 1760 and d. 
in 1822, aged 62 years. He was m. and had ch., some of 
whom are now living. His wife d. when about 50 years 
of age. 



A BRIEF NOTICE 

Of the Original and Earlier Settlers of West Boyhton, 
the time of their Settlement, 4*c., as nearly as can le 
ascertained, 

Beaman, Jabez, came from Bolton and settled here in 
1746, and d. in 1757, aged 52 years. His wife d. in 1774, 
aged 60 years. 

Beaman, Ephraim, s. of Jabez Beaman, settled here 
perhaps in 1763 and d. in 1805, aged 62 years. He m. 
Tamar Howe of Boylston, who survived him and d. in 
1824, aged 81 years. 

Belknap^ Stephen, settled in this town previous to 1740 
and died or went elsewhere before 1773. 

Belknap, Ebenezer, settled here in 1764, and went else- 
where previous to 1773. He m. Silence, daughter of 
David Winch. 

Bennett, Phineas, settled in this town probably as early 
as 1740, or previous to that time, and d. here. 
■<*» Bigelow, Amariah, Dea., came to this town and settled 
perhaps in 1745, and d. in 1780, aged 58 };ears. He m. 



41 

S^arah Eveletli of Princeton who survived him and d. in 
1797. 

Bigelow, Benjamin^ came here from Marlboro', and 
settled in 1735, afterward moving to Connecticut. Hem. 
a sister of William Thomas of this town. 

Bigeiow, Joseph^ Capt., s. of Joseph Bigelow of Boyls- 
ton, settled here in 1750 and d. in 1801, aged 75 years. 
He married Olive, dau. of Jabez Beaman of this towH, 
who survived him and d. in 1810, aged 76 years. 

Bixhy , Samuel, came from Wohurn and settled here 
probably as early as 1750, and d. in 1800. His wife d. 
the same year. 

Child, David, settled here perhaps in 1740 or about 
that time, and d. in 1803, aged 92 years. His wife d. in 
1804. 

Cutting, Jonathan, settled here in 1745, or about that 
time, and d. at an advanced age. He had a laro-e family 
of children. 

Esfahrook, Samud, came from Concord and settled in 
this town perhaps as early as 1750, and d. here, being 
aged. 

Fairhank, Jonathan, came from Woburn and settled 
herein 1735, and d. in 1798, aged 89 years. His wife d. 
in 1799. 

Farr, Daniel, settled here in 1760 or about that time, 
and d. in 1774. His wife surrived him, and afterwards 
left this town. 

French, Joseph, settled in this town in 1740 or about 
that time and probably d. here. He resided near Maiden 
Hill. 

Frizzol, Ebcnczer, came here and settled as early as 
1730 and resided here about 20 years, then d. or left the 
town. 

Gale, Jonas, settled in this town probably as early as 
1750 and d. here, being aged. His wife survived him 
and d. in 1814. 

Glazier, Joseph., settled here perhaps as early as 1755, 
and d. or left the town previous to 1790. 



42 

GoodaJe, Edward, came from Marlboro' in 1738 and d. 
here in 1756, aged 42 years. He m. Sarah Temple of 
Marlboro', who survived him and d. in 1810 aged 96 yrs. 

Goss, JVilliam, settled here in 1750 or about that time, 
and after a fev^^ years' residence d. or left this town. 

Harthan, Micali, came from Marlboro', and settled here 
in 1761, and d. in 1803, aged 68 years. He m. Sarah 
Jones of Marlboro', who survived him and d. in 1820, 
aged 86 years. 

Hinds, Jacob, came from Marlboro' and settled here in 
1720, or soon after that time, being perhaps the first white 
settler in the town. His residence was one mile south of 
the Common, about 80 rods distant from the residence of 
Edmund F. Brigham. He m. Grace Morse of Marlboro'. 
He probably d. in this town. 

Hinds, Benjamin, s. of Jacob Hinds settled here in 
1746. He d. in 1794. aged 69 years. He m. Elizabeth, 
tfldest dau. of Isaac Temple of Boylston. She d. in mid- 
dle life. He afterwards m. Tabitha Holland, who survived 
him and d. in 1826, aged 84 years. He had 17 ch., 16 
of whom lived to mature age. 

Inglcshy, Ebenczcr, settled here probably as early as 
1750, and removed from this town in 1794. He married 
a dau. of Aaron Newton. They had a large family ot 
children. 

Keyes, Simeon, s. of Henry Keyes of Boylston, settled 
herein 1765, and d. in 17S2, aged 42 years. Hem, Lucy, 
dau. of Isaac Temple of Boylston — she died in 1779, aged 
35 years. 

Keyes, Thomas, s. of Dea. Jonathan Keyes of Boylston, 
settled here in 1767, and d. in 1812, aged 75 years. He 
m. Mary, dau. of Isaac Temple of Boylston, who died in 
1 800, aged 59 years. 

Lovell, Jonathan, came from Medfield and settled here 
in 1735, and d. in 1792, aged 79 years. His residence 
was at the west part of this town. 

Marshall, William^ came from Concord and settled in 
this town in 1765. He afterwards removed to Holden 
where he died. 



13 

Moore, hrael^ Dea. settled here probably soon after 
1760, and d. in 1807, aged 73 years. He was a native of 
Sterling, and resided in the north part of this town. 

Morse, Joseph, came from Marlboro' and settled here 
in 1746, and d. in 1776, aged 54 years. He m. Mary 
Thomas of Marlboro', who survived him and d. in 1801, 
aged 71. 

Newton, Aaron, settled here in 1730, and afterwards 
removed to Holden where he probably died. 

Newton, Edward, came to this town and settled in 
1730, and d. here, being aged. 

Newton, Ezekiel, was probably a s. of Edward Newton, 
and settled here in 1752, and d. in mature life. 

Pike, Ehenezer, settled in this town in 1760, or previ- 
ous to that time and d. here being aged. He was a sol- 
dier in the revolutionary war and aerved his country faith- 
fully. 

Presrott, Jonathan, settled in this town in 1770 and 
d. in 1801, aged 78 years. He was a s. of Ebenezer 
Prcscott. 

Prescott, Jonathan, Jr., s. of Jonathan Prescott, settled 
here in early life, and d. in 1805, aged ^b years. He m. 
Marv Bricrham of Shrewsbury, who survived him, and m. 
Joseph Goss of Sterling — she d. in 1834, aged 85 years. 

Raymond, Paul and William, were early settlers here. 
Paul left the town previous to 1780, and William d. sud- 
denly about the same time. 

Snow, S'jth, settled in this town perhaps in 1770, or 
near that time, and resided here some 20 years then remov- 
ed elsewhere. 

Temple, Ephraim, eldest s. of Isaac Temple of Boylston, 
settled here in 1751 and removed from this town in 1767. 
He m. a dau. of Jacob Hinds ; she d. soon after their 
marriage. 

Ward Jonas, settled here in 1758, and d. or went else- 
where previous to 17'50. 

Whitney, William^ settled in this town probably as 
eirly as 1730, and d. here, being aged. 



44 

Wilder, Jonah, settled in this toAvn as early as 1730 
and d. here at an advanced age. 

Wilder Abiur^ s. of Josiah Wilder, settled here in 1750 
or about that time, and d. in 1813, aged 88 years. 

Wilder, Asa, s. of Josiah Wilder, settled here perhaps 
in 1765, and was killed by accident when about 50 years 
of age. 

WiUard, Thomas, settled in this town perhaps as early 
as 1750, he afterwards went to Holden where he d., being 
aged. 

Winch, David, came from Framingham and settled in 
this town in 1750, and died in 1776, being aged. 

Winn, Jacob, came from Woburn and settled in this 
town probably as early as 1745. He d. here, being aged. 
He m. Sarah Buck of Woburn, who survired him and d. 
in 1798. 

Woole?/, Joseph, came from Concord and settled here 
in 1730, or about that time. He afterwards went to 
Princeton where he died. 



THE FOLLOWING PERSONS, 

With their Famiiies, had a residence in this Town some 
portion of the time between the years of \7^Q and 1808: 

Anderson, Allen, came here from N. H. in 1790, went 
to Holden in 1806, and returned to this town and d. in 
1338, being about 70 years of age. 

Andrews, Samuel, settled here perhaps in 1780 or pre- 
vious to that time, and afterwards went to Boylston wlicre 
he died. 

Ball, Jonah, came here from Concord previous to 1795, 
and left this town in 1802. 

Baily, Ephraim, settled in this town, went elsewhere 
previous to 1790. 



45 

Barthtt, Phineas, settled here, left this town in 1801, 
went to Ohio and died. 

Bigelow, Amariah, Dr., s. of Dea. Amariah Bigelow, 
settled here in 1780, and d. suddenly in 1787. 

Henman, Josiah, settled here, left this town in 1805, 
and went to Shutesbury and there died. 

Boutwell, Johriy settled here in 1792, and went to Town- 
send in 1805, where he died. 

Cutting, Josiah, settled here perhaps in 1780, or about 
that time, and d. previous to 1797. His wife d. in 1815, 
aged 91 years. 

Cutting, Silas, was a native of this town, settled here 
probably as early as 1780, went to Boylston in 1806, and 
there died. 

Davis, Simon, came from Paxton and settled here in 
1790, went to Boston in 1803, and from thence to Maine, 
where he died. 

Dtvelley, Joseph, came from Old Colony, settled here, 
and d. in 1807. His wife survived him and d. in 1834, 
aged about 95 years. 

EstabrooJc, Ezra, was a native of this town, settled 
here in 1790, went to Stratton, Vt., in 1795, where he d. 

Flagg, Rufus, came from Worcester and settled here, 
and died in 1805. 

Fletcher, Benjamin, came from New Hampshire in 1790, 
settled here, and went to N. Y. in 1798. 

Goodale, David, a native of this town, went to Oak- 
ham in 1793, and d. in 1832, aged 82 years. He was ;i 
s. of Edward Goodale. 

Gates, Amos, settled here perhaps in 1790 and removed 
elsewhere in 1801 . 

Harris, Daniel, settled in this town, and in 1806 went 
to Lancaster. 

Hildreth, Timothy, settled here, and went to Sterling 
in 1803, and there died. 

Holt, Amasa, s. of Abel Holt, settled here, went to 
Berlin in 1798, and there died. 

KeycSy Francis, s. of Thomas Keyes, settled here in 
1793, went to Central New York in 1807, afterwards to 
Pennsylvania where he d. in 1851 aged 80 years. 



46 

Mr.rri field, Tunothy, came to this to\vn probably in 178o 
h-om Sherburne, and afterwards went to Worcester where 
lie died. 

Partridge, James, came from Medway, settled here in 
1778, and went to Bojlston previous to 1798, afterwards 
returned and d. in 1821, aged 92 years. 

Pike, Ephraim, a native of this town, removed there- 
from previous to 1800. 

Sawyer, Manassah, came from Sterling and d. here 
suddenly in 1801. 

Townscnd Jacob, came from Reading, settled here and 
d. in ISOfi. 

Wkitcnmh, Samuel, came from Sterling, settled here, 
and d. from accident in 1806. He m. Thankful, dan. of 
Lemuel Fairbank. 

White, John, came from Groton, settled here, went to 
Grafton in 1798, afterwards to Springfield, Vt., where he 
died. He m. Acsah Bigelow. 

Whiting, John L., came from Shrewsbury, settled here 
and d. in 1807. 

Winn, William, a native of this town, removed to Ver- 
mont in 1805. 



A BRIEF NOTICE 

Of several Persons who settled in West Boylston, and be- 
came Legal Voters therein after the organizatian of the 
Town and previous to 1820. 

Bigdoiv, Ezra, s. of Dr. Amariah Bigelow, b. in 1782, 
settled here in 1809, m. Cynthia Child, who d. in 1820, 
aged 35 years, afterward m. Sarah Grossman who has also 
deceased. 

Cheney, Joseph, from Newton, m. Sarah Merrifield, set- 
tied here in 1809, d. in 1856, his wife having previously 
deceased. 



.47 

Davif!, Francis f from Northboro', s. of Phineas Davis^ 
settled here in 1818, m. Mary Parmenter, ^vho d. in 1828, 
aged 33 years. In 1833, he m. Eunice Parmenter, and 
d. in 1838, being 44 years of age. 

Fisher, AlpJieus, from Medfield, ni. Sylvia Cleveland, 
settled here in 1813, d. in 1851, aged 66 years. Mr. 
Fisher was honest and just in all the transactions of life, 
ever actuated by the sublime principles of the " higher 
law." 

Fiagnr, Samuel, from Holden, m. Margaret Kennan, set- 
tled in this town in 1808, removed to Worcester in lS4t> 
where he now resides. 

Gerrish, Paul, from Ashby, m. Sophia Kilburn, settled 
here in 1817 and removed to Townsend in 1822. 

HartvjcU, Edmund^ m. Olive Lovell, settled here in 
1810 and d. in 1856, aged 71 years. His wife survived 
him and is still living. 

Hastings, Ezra, from Plolden, m. Eunice Kice, settled 
in this town in 1810 and d. in 1829, being 70 years of age. 

Holmes, Piter, from New Hampshire, m. Olive Graves, 
settled here in 1809, and continued his residence in this 
town 15 or 20 years, then went elsewhere. 

Holmes, Thomas ^ brother of Peter Holmes, m. Sarah 
Graves, settled here in 1810, d. in 1848, aged r»9 years. 
His wife survived him and d. in 1857, aged 72 years. 

Holt, Asa, s. of Abel Holt, settled in this town in 1815 
and d. in 1847, aged 72 years. His wife survived him 
and is yet living. 

Howe, Asa, settled here in 1810, resided in this town 
10 or 15 years then went elsewhere. 

Howe, Joel, a brother of Hiram Howe, b. in 1779, m. 
Dolly Peirce, settled in this town in 1815 and d. in 1843, 
aged 63 years. 

Knight, Elijah, from Worcester, m. Eunice Lovell, set- 
tled here subsequently to the organization of this town^ 
and d. in 1843, aged 63 years. 

Lee, Benjamin, from Douglas, b. in 1776, m. Eunice 
Lesure, settled in this town in 181 1, being now 82 years 



48 

of age. His wife d. in 1888, aged 54 years. He after- 
ward m. Lydia Sheldon. 

Lees, John, from England, settled in this town in 1814, 
resided here 20 years then removed to Worcester. He 
was several years agent for the Beaman Manufacturing 
Company. 

Moore, Oliver, from Boylston, settled in this town in 
1813, m. Olive Temple, d. in 1831, a^ed 40 years. His 
wife survived him and m. Chester C. Cutting. 

JPeirce, Ezekiel, from Sutton, brother of Jacob Peirce, 
b. in 1787, settled in this town in 1808, m. Ruth Perry in 
1811, having been connected in marriage 47 years. 

Sever]/, Caleb, from Boylston, m. Sarah Moore, settled 
in this town in 1813, was suddenly killed in 1815, when 
attempting to stop a horse and carriage while running, 
having escaped from the owner. He d. in early life, be- 
ing 28 years of age, in the midst of usefulness and prom- 
ise, having the respect and confidence of the citizens of 
the town, who greatly lamented his premature death. His 
wife survived him and m. John Merriam of Westminster, 
who has also deceased. 

Taft, Andre, from Uxbridge, settled here in 1818, and 
after a residence of 30 years, removed to Worcester and d. 
in 1850, aged 59 years. His wife survived him and is 
still living. 

White, Joseph, Dea. s of Thomas White, settled here 
soon after the organization of this town, m. Matilda Davis, 
in 1817, and during a series of years, was principal agent 
of the West Boylston Manufacturing Compan)^ 

Whitcomb, John, settled in this town perhaps in 1813, 
was accidentally killed in 1820 while in the employment 
of the Beaman Manufacturing Company. He was 50 
years of age, and left a wife and several children to mourn 
his untimely death. 

JVinter, Calvin, settled here after the organization of 
this town, and d. in 1838. His wife survived him and is 
now living. 

Wood, Nathaniel G., settled here in 1814 or about that 
time, and after a residence of several years, removed from 
this town. His wife died here in 1819, aged 46 years. 



49 



SUMMARY NOTICE 

Of those Individuals, who in 1808, ivcre resident citizens 
of West Boylston, and under 21 years of age, but suh- 
sequcntly attained that age and became legal voters in 
the town. 

Bigelow, Epbraim, s. of Abel Bigelow, m. Mary Brigham in 1812. 
BigeJow, Asa, s. of Abel Bigelow, m. Lois Harthau in 1817. 
Bigelow, Joseph, s. of Stephen Bigelow, m. Betsey Marshall in 1824. 
Child, Amos, s. of Amos Child, m. Eunice Goodenow in 1824. 
Dwelly, Joseph, s. of Joseph Dwelly, m. Tryphosa Parmenter in 1815. 
Fairbaak, Isaac, s. of Seth Fairbank, m. Prudence Gerrish in 1817. 
Fairbank, Aretas, s. of Seth Fairbank, m. Hannah Cook in 182G. 
Fairbank, G. W., s. of Alpheus Fairbank, m. Joanna Flagg in 1828. 
Glazier, John, s. of Oliver Glazier, m. Lucinda Parmenter in 1815. 
Goodale, Asaph, s. of Peter Goodale, m. Betsey Parmenter in 1812. 
Goodale, Ezra, s. of Aaron Goodale, ra. Sena Perry in 1813. 
Goodale, Charles, s. ef Aaron Goodale, Jr., m. Sarah Eurdett in 1829. 
Goodenow, Lyman, s. of Elijah Goodenow, m. Rebecca Flagg in 1830. 
Ilarthan, A. S., s. of David Harthan, m. Cynthia Fairbank in 1810. 
Ilarthan, Silas, s. of David Harthan, d. unmarried in 1813. 
Ilarthan, Dennis, s. of David Harthan, la. Anna Bedding in 1822. 
Harthan, V»'. B., s. of David Harthan, m. Harriet Morse in 1827. 
Hinds, Cicero, s. of Jacob IHnds, d. unmarried in 1856. - 
Hinds, Solon) s. of Joseph Hinds, m. Sarah Underwood in 1839. 
Holt, H. K., s. of Abel Holt, m. Lydia Fairbank in 1813. 
Holt, Tyler, s. of Abel Holt, m. Arathusa Fairbank in 1812. 
ilolt, Russell, s. of Jonas Holt, m. Sarah Parker in 1847. ' 

Howe, Barney, s. of Hiram Howe, m. Melinda Knowlton proyiousto 1840. 
Keyes, B. F., s. of Thomas Keyes, m. Lois Nichols in 1822. 
Keyes, Thomas, s. of Thomas Keyes, m. Eveline Murdock in 1827. 
Keyes, Artemas, s. of Benjamin Keyes, m. Susan Barker in 1837. 
Keyes, Hezekiab, s. of Benj. Keyes, m. Phebe Keyes in 1823. 
Lovell, Asa, s. of Dea. Asa Lovell, m. Hannah Raymond in 1812. 
Lovell, John, s. of Amos Lovell, m. Maria Lyman in 1822. 
May, John, s. of Ezra May, m. Anna Hastings in 1828. 
Moore, J. H., s. of Israel Moore, m. Jane Delano, previous to 1830. 
Morse, Joseph, s. of Joseph Morse, m. Dolly Bullard in 1822. 
Morse, Bernice, s. of Joseph Morse, m. Edna Conant in 1840. 
Morse, Sylvamag, s. of Joseph Morse, m. Harriet Jenks in 1838. 
5 



50 

Morse, "William, s. of Jeremiah Morse, m. Mindwell Prescott in 1818. 

Morse, Windsor, s. of Jeremiah Morse, m. Sarah Glazier in 1820. 

Morse, Simon, s. of Jeremiah Morse, m. Lucy Glazier in 1824. 

Murdock, D. C, s. of Dea. Artemas Murdock, m. Adaline King in 1827. If^ 

Murdock, Artemas, s. of Dea. Art. Murdock, m. Mary Simonds in 1833, 

Newton, E. B., s. of Silas Newton, m. Sarah Turner in 1818. 

Newton, L. D., s. of Silas Newton, m. Nancy Robinson in 1826. 

Peirce, Levi, s. of Levi Peirce, m. Mary Merriam in 1818. 

Peirce, Josiah, s. of Levi Peirce, m. Sarah Merriam in 1821. 

Peirce, E. B,, s. of Levi Peirce, m. Mary S. Bigelow in 1834. 

Plimpton, Simon, s. of Jonathan Plimpton, m, Betsey Brigliam in 1819, 

Prescott, David, s. of Jonathan Prescott, d. unmarried in 1814. 

Prescott, David D., s. of John Prescott, m. Lucy C. Peirce in 1827. 

Heed, John, s. of John Reed, m. Lydia Conant in 1820. 

Smith, Amos, s. of Isaac Smith, m. Lydia Marshall in 1813. 

Whiting, Seth, s. of J. Lake Whiting, m. Mary Kendall in 1813. 

Willington, Oliver, s. of Ebenezer Willington, m. Lucy Abbott in 1823. 



VOTERS IN 1858. 

The following named persons are citizens and legal vot- 
ers of West Boylston, at the present time, (1858) having 
been residents here during a series of past years : 

D. W. Allen, C. H. Baldwin, O. C. Bassett, Ezra Bea- 
man, Joseph Bigelow, A. M. Bigelow, Ezra Bigelow, E. 
W. Bigelow, Luther Bigelow, S. L. Bemis, Ethan Blodg- 
ett, Joseph Blunt, William Bolton, John Bolton, Erastua 
Broad, S. F. Brown, E. F. Brigham, G. T. Brigham, John 
Bruce, S. P. Bruce, Ira Bruce, Charles Buck, Pliny Buck, 
Joshua Chamberlain, B. T. Chase, Abner Chase, Amos 
Child, Lotan Cleveland, C. M. Cleveland, R. G. Cowee, 
J. W. Cross, O. B. Cutler, J. S. Cutting, Lewis Cutting, 
F. L. Cutting, N. L Daggett, George Dana, G. E. Dana, 
Elias Davis, J. H. Davenport, Liberty Dinsmore, Luther 
Fames, G. W. Fames, J. B. Fames, Gershon Fames, Storrs 
Eldridge, Washington Fairbank, Uriah Fairbank, Harri- 
son Fairbank, James Fisk, Lewis Fletcher, Jotham Glaz- 
ier, E. A. Glazier, N. H. Goodale, Charles Goodale, G. 



51 

E. Goodale, Aaron Goodale, F. E. Goodale, Levi Goss, 
Samuel Haley, L. M. Harris, T. H. Harris, 0. B. Harris, 
Nahum Hastings, Dennis Harthan, W. B. Hartlian, S. F. 
Hemraenway, Henry Hennessy, Solon Hinds, Bertrand 
Hinds, Albert Hinds, E. H. Hinds, Luke Hipsley, E. W. 
Holbrook, Stephen Holt, Henry Holt, H. F. Holt, Russell 
Holt, W. E. Holt, George Holmes, Horatio Houghton, 
John Houghton, E. M. Hosmer, L. M. Hosmer, G. B. 
Howe, Samuel Howe, W. P. Howe, Joel Howe, G. F. 
Howe, Barney Howe, Francis Johnson, W. H. Johnson, 
H. S. Jewett, B. F. Keyes, Artemas Keyes, Hezekiah 
Keyes, J. M. Keyes, T. N. Keyes, W. W. Keyes, A. F. 
Knight, C. L. Knight, J. F. Knight, Samuel Lawrence, 
John Lawrence, D. R. Lamson, Benjamin Lee, R. M. 
Lord, Washburn Lombard, L. A. Lesure, H. A. Loring, 
Amos Lovell, Addison Lovell, Ephraim Lovell, J. C. Lov- 
ell, John May, John Mason, Samuel Mason, William 
Mason, G. W. Matthews, William Matthews, Charles 
Merritield, L. W. Merrifield, Windsor Morse, Simon Morse, 
Bernice Morse, Charles Morse, Nathan Morse, F. E. Morse, 
J. H. Moore, J. D. Moore, D. C. Murdock, William Mur- 
dock, G. L. Murdock, Cephas Muzzy, Jonas Muzzy, J. B. 
Newton, L. D. Newton, L. F. Newton, William Nichols, 
Henry Norcross, Albert Oakes, T. V. Phelps, Ezekiel 
Peirce, Estes Peirce, Levi Peirce, Jonathan Peirce, Lyman 
Peirce, E. B. Peirce, Henry Peirce, C. L. Pratt, Alonzo 
Pratt, Brigham Prescott, D. D. Prescott, Sylvester Pres- 
cott, D. G. Rawson, David Reed, R. G. Reed, Thomas 
Sargent, O. B. Sawyer, Henry Sawyer, Randolph Scarlett, 
S. H. Smith, Benjamin Smith, Roland Shepard, Emerson 
SpofFord, A. V. Sheldon, Levi Stiirtevant, Pliny Stearns, 
A. G. Taylor, A. W. Taylor, William Thomas, N. R. Til- 
ton, Aaron Tilton, L. B. Tilton, U. C. Toombs, D. T. 
Tenny, Horace Warner, W. W. Warner, G. W. Warren, 
Ira Warren, Eli Walker, Joseph White, Thomas White, 
W. N. White. T. H. White, Joseph Whittaker, Luther 
Whittaker, Woodbury Whittemore, J. Ni. West, A. E. 
Winter, A. H. Wood, John Wheeler, D. P. Worcester. 

Ezra Beaman, Elias Davis, Amos Lovell, and Brigham 
Prescott, were residents and legal voters here in 1808, as 
they also are in 1858. 



52 



TOWN OFFICERS FROM 1808 TO 1858. 



MoDEEATOR. The following persons were severally 
Moderators of the annual March Meetings in West Boyls- 
ton, from 1808 to 1858, viz. : 

Silas Beaman, Silas Newton, Paul Goodale, W^illiam 
Fairbank, R. B. Thomas, J. M. Smith, Andre Taft, J. F. 
Fay, E. M. Hosmer, D. C. Murdock, Benjamin F. Kcyes, 
J. C. Lovell. 

Town Clehk. Since the organization of the tov/n of 
West Boylston in 1808, to 1S58, the office of Town Clerk 
has been held as follows : 

From 1808 to 1809, R. B. Thomas; 1809 to 1813, Jo- 
seph Hinds; 1813 to 1828, Ezra Bigelow ; 1823 to 1825, 
Francis Davis ; 1825 to 18S0, Seth White ; 1830 to 1837, 
Ephraim Bigelow ; 1837 to 1840, B. F. Keyes ; 1840 to 
1850, Barney Howe; 1850 to 1855, O. B. Sawyer; 1855 
to 1858, Horatio Houghton. 

SELECTMEisr. The following persons were each elected 
and respectively served one or more years as Selectmen 
of West Boylston, from 1808 to 1858 : 

Ezra Beaman, Jonathan Plimpton, William Fairbank, 
Silas Beaman, Amos Lovell, Paul Goodale, John Temple, 
Barnabas Davis, Silas Newton, Jacob Hinds, R. B. Thom- 
as, Joseph Hinds, Hiram Howe, Alpheus Fairbank, Eben- 
ezer Paine, Ezra Bigelow, Caleb Severy, Jonathan Plimp- 
ton, Jr., Ezekiel Peirce, Ezra Beaman, Jr., Thomas Keyes, 
B. B. Fairbank, John Reed, Paul Gerrish, Levi Goodale, 
Francis Davis, Simon Plimpton, Oliver Moore, Jacob 
Peirce, Abel Goodale, Brigham Prescott, Seth White, 
Levi Peirce, Jr., Joseph White, Thomas Holmes, Dennis 
Harthan, Asa Bigelow, Aaron Goodale, Silas W^alker, 
Amos Lovell, Jr., Samuel Brown, John M. Smith, Ephm. 
Bigelow, Charles Nash, B. F. Keyes, J. H. Moore, Thom- 
as White, Jr., John Lees, Cicero Hinds, E. M. Hosmer, 
Moses Brigham, Lotan Cleveland, E. F. Brigham, W. B. 
Harthan, D. C. Murdock, Samuel Lawrence, John May, 
E. W. Holbrook, Addison Lovell, J. D. Lovell, L. D. 



53 

Newton, John Lawrence, Jonathan Peu'ce, h. M. Harris, 
John Prentiss, G. F. Howe, Levi Goss, H. F. Holt. 

CiiAiRMAX OF Selectmen. The several individuals 
here indicated, were each respectively Chairman of the 
board of Selectmen of West Boylston one or more years, 
from 1808 to 1858, as follows : 

Ezra Beaman, 4 years : William Fairbank, 1 vear ; John 
Temple, 6 years ; R. B. Thomas, 3 years ; Ezra Bigelow, 
3 years; Joseph Hinds, 4 years; Francis Davis, 1 year; 
Joseph White, 4 years ; Silas Newton, 1 year ; Asa Big- 
elow, 1 year ; Dennis Harthan, 2 years ; B. F. Keyes, 2 
years; Thomas Holmes, 1 year; E. M. Hosmer, 3 years; 
Lotan Cleveland, 5 years; D. C. Murdock, 4 years ; Addi- 
son Lovell, 1 year; Jonathan Peirce, 1 year; L. M. Har- 
ris, 1 year ; John Prentiss, 1 year ; Samuel Lawrence, 
1 year. 

Overseers of the Poor. From 1808 to 1835 the 
Selectmen had the oversight of the paupers of West Boyls- 
ton. Since 1835, Overseers have been chosen who have 
had the charge and direction of those supported at the 
expense of the town. The following persons here named 
have been severally and successively chosen Overseers of 
ihe Poor from 1835 to 1858: 

Joseph White, Francis Davis, Ephraira Bigelow-, Andre 
Taft, Cephas Muzzy, Waldo Winter, Benjamin Smith, 
Windsor Morse, Thomas White, Jr., Cicero Hinds, E. M. 
Hosmer, Henry Holt, Levi Good^ile, Charles Goodale, J. 
H. Moore, John Lawrence, R. C. Toombs, James Fisk, 
L. M. Hosmer, L. M. Plarris, Aaron Goodale, Levi Stur- 
tevant, Moses Fisher, S. H. Smith, J. C. Lovell, C. C. 
Cutting, E. F. Brigham. 

Assessors. The following persons were chosen and 
served as Assessors for the tow^n of West Boylston, one 
or more years from 1808 to 1858 : 

R. B. Thomas, Silas Newton, Moses Perry, Barnabas 
Davis, Jacob Hinds, John Temple, Hiram Howe, Ezra 
Beaman, Jr., Thomas Keyes, Levi Kilburn, John Read, 
B. B. Fairbank, Ezra Bigelow, Ezekiel Peirce, Jacob 
Peirce, Alpheus Fisher, Francis Davis, J. W. Fairbank, 
Joseph White, Levi Peirce, Jr., Asa Bigelow, A. E. Win- 



54 

ter, Cicero Hiads, Amos Child, Jr., James Lees, D. C. 
Murdock, W. P. Howe, E. M. Hosmer, Francis FJagnr^ 
Samuel Lawrence, Brigham Prescott, A. F. Knight, F. L. 
Catting, Elias Davis, David Read, O. B, Sawyer, Henry 
Holt, Jonathan Peirce, Horatio Houghton, Addison Lov- 
ell, S. H. Smith, L. M. Harris, Uriah- Fairbank. 

Town Theasurer. The office of Town Treasurer of 
West Boylston has been successively held from 1 808 to 
1858, by the following persons, viz : 

Ezra Beaman, Ezra Beaman, Jr., Barnabas Davis, Jon- 
athan Plimpton, Andre Taft, Francis Davis, John Lees, 
Seth White, Thomas Holmes, Ezekiel Peirce, A. E. Win- 
ter, E. B. Newton, Moses Brighan, Samuel Brown, E. W. 
Holbrook, Dennis Harthan, O. B. Sawyer. 

Representatives. ^Vest Boylston has been entitled 
to one Representative each year since her incorporation as 
a town, and has been represented from 1808 to 1H58 as 
follows : 

Ezra Beaman, 4 years; Barnabas Davis, G years ; Jo- 
seph Hinds, 5 years ; R. B. Thomas, 5 years ; Silas New- 
ton, 1 year; Thomas White, jr., 1 year; Silas Walker, 1 
year ;^ B. F. Keyes, 1 year; Levi Pierce, jr., 1 year; 
Dennis Harthan, 1 year; Samuel Brown, 1 year ; Brigham 
Prescott, 3 years; Addison Lovell, 1 year;' Amos Child, 
jr., 3 years ; Eli W. Holbrook, 2 years ; E. M. Hosmer, 2 
years; O. B. Sawyer, 1 year; D. C. Murdock, 2 years. 
Delegates to State Conventions. 

In 1820, a State Convention was held in Boston for the 
purpose of revising the Constitution of Massachusetts. — 
Ptobert B. Thomas was chosen delegate to the aforesaid 
Convention from AVest Boylston, and accordingly repre- 
sented the town on that occasion. 

In 1853, a second State Convention was held in Boston 
for the purpose of further revising the Constitution. Rev. 
Joseph W. Cross was chosen a delegate from this town to 
said Convention and performed the service for which he 
was appointed. 

Delegates to the County Contention of 1812. 
At a legal town meeting in West Boylston, held in July, 
1812, Joseph Hinds, John Temple, and William Fairbank, 



55 

were cliosen delegates to the Counfy Convention then soon 
to be holden at V/orcester, to take into consideration the 
situation of the cquntry in consequence of the war then 
existiiinr between the United States and Great Britain, and 
to adopt such measures as circumstances, the exigences of 
the times, and the public good might seem to demand. — 
They accordingly attended the Convention and participated 
in its procsedinirs. 



ECCLESIASTICAL RECORD, &c. 



THE CONGREGATIONAL SOCIRTr. 

The original church (Congregational) in West Boyls* 
ton was formed in 1796, consisting of 33 members, em- 
bracing widely different opinions relative to religious doc- 
trine. The majoritv favored Armenian sentiments, while 
the minority were decidedly Calvinistic. Rev. William 
Xash, rhe first minister, favored the Armenian side, and on 
that account was opposed at the time of his settlement by 
the Calvinistic portion of the church and society, who 
were never satisfied with his preaching and ministerial 
labors. In lb 02, religious conference meetings were orig- 
inated and regularly held on the first Thursday of each 
month, by a respectable portion of the church, the meet- 
ings being open to all who wished to participate in them. 
This movement received no favor from Mr. Nash, although 
repeatedly consulted and urged to afford aid and assistance 
ill its origin and eventual progress. These meetings were 
sustained, although Mr. Nash and the majority of the 
members of the church declined to countenance or assist 
in promoting the object in any way whatever. 

In 1809, the first religious revival in this town occurred, 
and continued with increased interest for several months. 
It caused much excitement and encountered severe oppo- 
sition, although a large portion of the people were favora- 
bly affected thereby. During this revival season many 
persons became interested, were hopefully converted, and 



56 

afteru^ards professed religion, some joining the Congrega- 
tional church, while others united with the Baptists. 

The Congregational church and soc^ty, during the last 
40 years, have been favored with several interesting sea- 
sons of special religious attention, resulting in the hope- 
i'ulconversion and addition of many persons to the church. 

The first meeting-house (Congregational) in West 
Jjoylston, was dedicated to the service and worship of Al- 
mighty God, January 1st, 1795. A sermon was preached 
on the occasion by Rev. Daniel Grosvenor of Paxton. — 
After that period several candidates were successively em- 
ployed to preach until March, 1797, when Mr. \Villiani 
Xash from Williamsburg and a graduate of Yale College, 
received a call from the church and society to settle with 
them as a preacher of the gospel, with a stipulated annual 
salary of 8333.33, which invitation he accepted, and was 
accordingly ordained the 11th day of October of that year. 
The church and society in extending the invitation to 
Mr. Nash to become their minister were not altogether 
united. In his answer of acceptance, Mr. Nash speaks of 
*• the want of entire unanimity", and further says, *' those 
gentlemen to whom my services have not been so accepta- 
ble as I could wish, I respect." He continues, "' In act- 
ing agreeably to their own best judgment, they have 
exercised a right which belongs to every christian, and 
ought not on that account to receive the censure or disaf- 
fection of any." 

The opposition to Mr. Nash came from those who ad- 
hered to the Calvinistic faith, and supposing him to cherish 
sentiments decidedly antagonistic to their views, believed 
it to be their duty to oppose his settlement with them in 
the ministry. The minority for the time quietly submitted 
to the wishes of the majority, and for several years " kept 
the unity of the spirit, not by an entire union of opinion, 
but in the bond of peace," 

Although the feelings of disapprobation of the senti- 
ments and services of Mr. Nash seemed for a while to be 
dormant, yet they were never extinguished, but remained 
smouldering, preparatory for an explosion wlien the pres- 
sure should become sufficiently intense. In 1812, the 
disaffection toward Mr. Nash had become so great that an 



attempt was made to dismiss him. In 1814, his health 
became seriously impaired, rendering him unable to preach 
or discharge other parochial duties. In 1815, he was dis- 
missed at his own request, and his connection with the 
society formally dissolved by a mutual council, in accord- 
ance with the conditions of his settlement. After the 
dismission of Mr. Nash, various gentlemen were succes- 
sively employed to preach as candidates until 1820, v/hen 
Marshall Shedd from Newton, received a call to settle, with 
an annual sahiry of SnOO, which he declined to accept. 

In December, 1820, Mr. John Boardman from New- 
buryport, a graduate of Dartmouth College, was invited 
to settle here in the ministry, vvith an annual salarv of 
8500, by a vote of 65 to 28, which invitation he accepted 
and was ordained as pastor of the Congregational church' 
and society, February 28th, 1821. In 1834, Mr. Board- 
man was dismissed at his own request, and afterward set- 
tled in East Douglas where he died in 1842, in the merid- 
ian of life. 

In September, 1834, Rev. Elijah Paine, a native of 
Ashiield, and who had been a settled minister in Clare- 
mont, N. H., was invited to become pastor of the Con- 
gregational church nnd society in this town, with an annual 
salary of $600. He accepted the invitation and was in- 
stalled the 3d day of November, in that year. Mr. Pain-.' 
died suddenly, Sept. 14th, 1836, aged 38 years. 

Ill 1837, Mr. Brown Emerson of Harvard, was ordained 
as successor of Mr. Paine, having received a call from the 
church and society, with an annual salary of 8600. He 
was dismissed at his own request, Nov. 6th, 1839. 

Rev. Joseph -V/. Cross, who had been settled in Box- 
borough and dismissed, was installed pastor of the Con- 
gregational church and society in tliis town, March 11th. 
1840, with an annual salary of 8700. 

THE BAPTIST SOCIETY. 

About 70 years ago, a Baptist clergyman from abroad, 
of reputable character and standing, on one or two oc- 
casions, preached at the house of David Goodale in this 
town, being probably the first minister of that denomina- 
tion that had ever preached here. It has been said by 



58 

those who were in attendance at the time, that his labors 
were able, effective, and well received, producing a good 
impression upon the hearers. Not long after this time, 
another minister of the same order preached at Mr. Good- 
ale's to a respectable audience, which Avas edified and much 
interested. After this time it is not known that any Bap- 
tist minister preached in this town until the spring of 
1810, when Elder Luther Goddard of Shrewsbury, was in- 
vited by a member of the Con^reafational church, to attend 
a religious meeting at the Centre School-house in this 
town. He cordially accepted the invitation and preached 
on that occasion, and also on a similar occasion not long 
afterward. Probably the year 1810 is the period from 
which to date the origin of the Baptist denomination in 
West Boylston, which has gradually increased until it has 
become an efficient church and society. 

In 1813, the Baptists formed a society in this town, but 
had preaching only a part of the time for several years — 
In 1819, a Baptist church was organized here, consisting 
of about 50 members, and since that period the church 
and society have sustained and enjoyed the regular preach- 
ing of the gospel. They have also been favored with 
several seasons of special religious interest, resulting in 
the hopeful conversion and ultimate accession of a large 
number to the church. 

The following ministei's have been successively pastors 
of the Baptist Church in this town since 1819, viz : Rev. 
Nicholas Branch, Rev. Allen Hough, Rev. C. C. P. Crosby, 
Rev. Abiel Fisher, Rev. Joseph G. Binney, Rev. Lorenzo 
O. Lovell, Rev. Sewall S. Cutting, Rev. Leonard Tracy, 
Rev. Kazlett Arvine, Rev. Timothy C. Tingley, Rev. Zenas 
P. Wild, Rev. Geo. R. Harrow. 

THE LIBERAL SOCIETY. 

The Liberal Society in this town at the commencement 
of its existence, was composed of those who seceded from 
the Congregational Society, in consequence of the settle- 
ment of a minister who held and preached Calvinistic 
sentiments. 

The history of the origin and formation of this society 
is substantially as follows: — In 1815, the connection exist- 



59 

ing between the Rev. Mr. Nash and the Congregational 
church and society, was dissolved at his own request, after 
which the majority of the society manifested an unyielding 
determination to have Unitarian preaching, and eventually 
to settle a minister of that stamp ; while a majority of the 
Church and a minority of the Society were opposed to 
every movement having a tendency in that direction. The 
exertions put forth to effect the favorite and anticipated 
result eventually proved an entire failure. 

The committee for supplying the pulpit, after having 
employed several Unitarian candidates to preach, inadver- 
tantly procured one of the Orthodox stamp, who made a 
favorable impression, thus entirely changing the feelings 
and course of many of the people, thereby giving the Or- 
thodox the ascendency, which, after much effort and perse- 
vering exertion, resulted in the settlement of a minister 
embracing evangelical sentiments. The O23position event- 
ually seceded and formed a new Society, taking the name 
of The First Liberal Society in West Boylston. This So- 
ciety at the present time (1858) has little more than a 
nominal existence. Most of the prominent original mem- 
bers have deceased, and the society has had preaching 
during the last few years only a portion of the time. 

THE METHODIST SOCIETY. 

The Methodists have also a Church and Society at Oak- 
dale, where they enjoy the stated ministrations of the 
gospel, attended with apparent benefit and success. Re- 
spectable numbers attend meeting here on the sabbath, 
and considerable interest is manifested by the people for 
the support and maintenance of the institutions of religion 
among themselves. 



In former years, dissension and animosity prevailed to 
some extent between the several religious societies in this 
town, but during the last 20 years very little denomina- 
tional feeling has been manifested, while harmony and 
fraternal intercourse have generally been in the ascendent. 



69 



PHYSICIANS IN WEST BOYLSTON. 



Dr. Amariah Bigelow was the first resident physician in 
this town. He settled liere as a practitioner in 1780, or 
about that time, and died suddenly in 1787. 

Dr. Uriah Bigelow from Weston, settled here as a phy- 
sician in 1788, and afterwards went to central New York, 
where he died at an advanced age. 

Dr. Nicholas Jenks from North Brookfield, settled in 
this to'.vn as a physician in 1809, and after a residence of 
ten years, went to Southbridge. 

Dr. John M. Smith settled in this town as a physician 
in 1819, and resided here fifteen years, then went to 
Southbridge, v/here he died in the meridian of life. 

Dr. Jacob Moore settled here as a physician in 1828 and 
died in 1831. He was a young man of amiable character 
and of much promise relative to the future. 

■Dr. Sherman Smith settled here as a physician after the 
decease of Dr Moore, then went to AValpole, N. H. where 
he afterwards died suddenly. 

Dr. Samuel Griggs settled here as a physician in 1832, 
and remained in this town some fourteen or fifteen years, 
then went to Westborouo;h where he now resides. 

Dr. Enhraim Lovell is a native of this town, and settled 
here as a physician in 1841, and still remains here. 

Dr. George W. Warren settled here as a successor to 
Dr. Griggs, and still continues his residence here as a 
practising physician. 

Dr. Isaac Chenery settled in the easterly part of Holden, 
adjacent to this town, in 1770 or about that time, where 
he resided until his decease in 1822, being in the eighti- 
eth year of his age. He was distinguished on account of 
his skill and sound judgment, and also for his moderate 
demands upon his employers for medical attendance. He 
obtained the confidence and respect of the community 
around him, including the population of this town. The 
people here became so attached to Dr. Chenery, and so 
highly appreciated his practice, that younger physicians 
who made the experiment of locating here, failed to obtain 
sufficient encouragement to remain permanently. 



61 



PROGRESS AND IMPROVEMENT IN W. BOYLS- 
TON FROM 1803 TO 1858. 



During the last fifty years, much has been done to pro- 
mote the prosperity and improve the condition and general 
appearance of this town. Within the last fifteen years 
the Worcester and Nashua Railroad has been built, pas- 
sing directly through the town, affording such convenience 
and accommodation to the inhabitants as in no other way 
could be secured. At the West Boylston station, a dis- 
tinct and delightful view of a large portion of the town 
presents itself to the eye of the observer, often attracting 
the special notice and attention of the passing stranger. 

'Jhe several Manufacturing Establishments in West 
Boylston present a thrifty and flourishing appearance. — 
Much taste and skill are discernable in the location and 
construction of the several manufactories, and in laying 
out and building up the villages connected therewith. The 
scenery about them is pleasant and delightful and cannot 
fail to attract the attention of every observer. 

That which first meets the eye when viewing the prem- 
ises of the Beaman Manufacturing Company, is the artifi- 
cial pond filled with water for the operation of machinery. 
This pond was originally designed and built by Major 
Beaman, sixty-five years ago, for the purpose of operating 
a gristmill. It has been recently enlarged, and now pre- 
sents a sublime and magnificent appearance. The trees 
and railing about this pond, and elsewhere in the vicinity, 
contribute essentially to the beauty and splendor of the 
village. The proprietors of this establishment have made 
large expenditures for the purpose of rendering it commo- 
dious and valuable as well as pleasant and attractive. The 
property of the corporation is estimated at more than 
."^100,000. 

The West Boylston Manufacturing Company at Oakdale, 
together with the village connected with it, is pleasantly 
and commodiously situated, exhibiting neatness and order 
in its position and arrangement. This establishment has 
long been mostly under the superintendence and direction of 
6 



62 

L)ea. Joseph White, who is one of the proprietors, and has 
devoted much time and attention to the promotion of its 
prosperity and success. The farm belonging to the com- 
jDany is a specimen of good husbandry, having by proper 
care and judicious management become fertile and produc- 
tive. 

The Central Manufacturing Establishment is conven- 
iently located near the centre of the town and in the vicin- 
ity of the railroad station. The scenery about this es- 
tablishment consists mostly of trees of various kinds 
planted by the proprietor, E. W. Holbrook, and presents a 
tasteful appearance, and a few years hence will probably 
exhibit a degree of beauty and splendor which will attract 
the notice of strangers and others who may chance to view 
.he same. 

The Manufactory at Harrisville has a substantial and 
enduring appearance, being built of stone. This establish- 
ment exhibits apparent thrift and enterprise, and speaks 
favorably of the industry and perseverance of the proprie- 
tors. 

The public roads in various parts of the town are to 
k^ome extent adorned with trees, mostly elm and maple, 
planted by enterprising individuals, not only beautifying 
their localities but also affording convenience and comfort 
iO the passing traveller, protecting him from the scorching 
rays of a meridian sun, during the summer months of the 
year. 

There are now standing in different sections of the town, 
j;ot only within the limits of the highways but also on 
adjoining localities, several large majestic elms and other 
trees of original growth, which it is hoped will long be 
permitted to remain as objects of splendor and attraction. 
It would seem ruthless indeed, and exhibit an utter desti- 
tution of that good taste andgeneroiis feeling which ought 
ever to be cherished, to allow these monuments of individ- 
ual protection and care to be destroyed. 

Within the last few years there have been erected in this 
town two large buildings, which are occupied as Boot 
Manufactories ; one near the Railroad Depot and the other 
on the opposite side of the river near the brick meeting 
house. A considerable amount of business is done at each 



63 

of tliese establishments. A large quantity of boots are 
annually manufactured at Oakdale village in this town ; 
there are also several shops in the town where boots are 
manufactured to some extent. A large number of persons 
are here actively engaged in this business, profitably alike 
to themselves and their employers. 



MISCELLANEOUS, 



, Fire, that devouring element, has occasionally broken 
over the restraints of caution and care, and done its fearful 
work here. The first destructive fire which is known to 
have occurred in this town, one in which was involved the 
most geiious and awful consequences, was the burning of 
the dwelling house of Josiah Wilder, situated in the north 
part of the town, on or near the spot where the house now 
occupied by John Bruce and son stands. This fire 
occurred in January, 1740. About the middle of tlie 
night, Mr. Wilder and his wife were aroused from sleep, 
their house being on fire ; the flames had already made 
such progress as to compel them to leave the house as 
speedily as possible. Mr. Wilder rushed out. siezed an 
axe, cut a hoie through the side of the burninor house near 
the bed where his son Asa lay, and pulled him out thereat, 
while the room was full of fire and smoke. He was nearly 
sufi'ocated and badly burned, but soon recovered. Mrs. 
Wilder, in haste to make her escape, inadvertantly opened 
the cellar door, and with a child in her arms, plunged intt) 
the cellar, where they perished. Three other children also 
perished in this dreadfut conflagration. Abner, the eldest 
son, was fortunately from home at the time, staying at a 
neighbors for a few days, and consequently escaped this 
calamity so fatal in its effects. 

On the 6th of May, 1770, the dwelling house of Capt. 
Joseph Bigelow, situated near where the house of Jonits 
Muzzy now stands, a short distance west of the common, 
took fire by a spark from the chimney alighting on the 



64 

roof, and the house with a portion of Its contents was 
entirely consumed. This fire occurred on the sabbath 
while the people were generally gone to meeting three 
miles distant, and only Mrs. Bigelow with the younger 
children of the family w^ere at home ; consequently no 
seasonable effort could be made to extinguish the fire. 

In 1842, a dwelling house belonging to Liberty Dins- 
more and Mrs. Olive Whitney, situated near the brick 
meeting house, w^as burned with a portion of its contents. 

In 1848, a dwelling house belonging to Luther Eames 
and occupied by him, situated in the southerly part of the 
town, took fire on the roof and was mostly consumed, with 
some portion of its contents. 

In 1853, the Valley Hotel, situated near the Beaman 
place, belonging to Elias Davis and occupied at the time 
by James E. Wood, was destroyed by fire w4th a part of 
its contents. 

A few years since, a dwelling house belonging to Charles 
Fairbank, and 30 years ago the residence of Hiram Howe, 
situated in the northerly part of the town, then unoccupied, 
was entirely consumed by fire, supposed to be the work 
of an incendiary. 

August 23d, 1831, the Congregational Meeting-house 
then standing on the common, was set on fire by a flash 
of lightning, and entirely consumed. The fire took in 
consequence of shavings being carelessly left under some 
part of the flooring at the time the house was erected. 

In 1801, a grist-mill belonging to Micah Harthan, arxd 
the fulling-mill adjoining belonging to Peter White, with 
inost of their contents, were entirely destroyed by fire. 
Another mill upon an improved plan, was immediately 
erected on the same spot, and also burned in 1847, then 
belonging to Amos Child and G. W. Dinsmore. Another 
building standing near, and formerly eccupied as a cloth- 
ier's shop, was also burned at the same time. Still anoth- 
er grist-mill, more valuable and commodious, in connection 
with a shop for mechanical purposes, has since been erect- 
ed and put in successful operation on the same premises 
by Ruel G. Cowee. It is hoped that this valuable build- 



65 

iiig will never fall a prey to the same devouring elcnieiU 
which consumed its predecessors. 

In 1825, the blacksmith shop situated near where the 
Central factory now stands, then belongino; to E/,ekiel 
Peirce, and occupied by him as a scythe manufactory, was 
entirely destroyed by fire. 

Within the last 20 years three valuable cotton manufac- 
tories have been destroyed by fire in this town, and others 
erected in their stead. 

During the last 50 years, 4 barns hare been burned, 3 
by lightning and 1 by an incendiary. 

In 1790, there were four families in this town and nearlv 
in the same neighborhood, whose children then living 
amounted in the aggregate to 4 5, all of whom, with two 
■exceptions, lived to mature life, were married, and had 
from five to ten children each. Four of the original num- 
ber are now livinor. 

Sarah Harthan is the oldest person now living in this 
town. She was the eldest child of Micah Harthan, was 
born January 19, 1763, being now 95 years of age. She 
was born in Lancaster, where she resided 18 years; then 
resided in Sterling five years ; afterwards in Boylston 22 
years ; and during the remainder of life to the present 
time, her residence has been in West Boylston. During 
1)0 years of the first part of her life she resided successive- 
^.y in each of the four towns just mentioned, not changing 
her residence or leaving the place of her nativity. Since 
that time she can hardly be said to have left the homestead, 
still living with one of the family descendants and within 
a short distance of the very place where she commenced 
life. 

The dwelling-hoisse now occupied by Ezra B«aman was 
erected in 1764, by his father Ezra Beaman, Esq. It was 
built in a thorough and substantial manner, perfect and 
complete in all its parts, special care being exercised in 
selecting materials and in the construction, with reference 
to durability and permanence. It is now in a good state 
<3f preservation from its base to the top, clearly showing 
that with proper attention and care, it may remain another 
•century as a memento of its original and venerable occu- 
6* 



66 

pant, unless destroyed by some unforeseen casualty, of 
demolished by a ruthless hand, careing little or nothing for 
antique specimens of innate enterprise and adventurous, 
active energy. This ancient, noble structure, in its size, 
form and appearance, was probably at that time, with few 
exceptions, unsurpassed by anything of the kind in the 
adjacent towns or even in the county. If nothing further 
is to be done to perpetuate the memory of Major Beaman. 
the father and benefactor of this town, it is to be hoped 
that this specimen of early enterprise may be allowed to 
I-emain, and be carefully preserved to mark the residence 
of one, who by bis own persevering efforts, arose to wealth 
and distinction, at the same time acquiring and exercising 
an influence justly belonging to a patriot aad public ben- 
efactor. 

In 1794, the first meetinghouse in this town Vs-as erect- 
ed; and in 1831 it was destroyed by fire, caused by a 
stroke of lightning. At the raising of this house, a man 
whose name is lost, was suddenly killed. In 1832, three 
commodious meeting houses were erected, belonging re-^ 
spectively to the Congregational, Baptist, and Liberal 
Societies. A convenient Hall has been erected at Oakdale, 
and is now occupied by the Methodist Society. A Chapel 
has also been erected in the central part of the town for 
the accommodation of the Catholic portion of the popu- 
lation. 

In 1808, now 50 years since, there was but one church 
and religious society and but one clergyman in this town. 
To that society every family in the town belonged, and all 
taxable persons paid their legal proportion tOAvards the 
support and maintenance of the ordinances of religion. 

In 1818, George Merrifield, a lad nine years of age and 
brother of Charles Merrifield of this town, when sliding 
from a hay scaflfold, came in contact with a hay-pullev 
which entered his body and caused ^is dea^h. 

In 1855, Emmons Glazier, son of Jonas Glazier, wag 
drowned here while bathing in the river. 

There have been six deaths in this town, by suicid^^ 
within the last 50 years. 



«J 



Or 



VARIOUS ITEMS. 



At tiie time of the incorporation of the town of West 
Boylston, Jonas Temple and Thomas Keyes of Boylston, 
and Jonas Mason of Sterling, although included within 
the limits of the new town, were allowed, together with 
their estates, to remain connected with the respective 
towns to which they then belonged. This privilege so 
liberally granted them, they tenaciously adhered to until 
their decease^ when their real estate came under the juris- 
diction of the town within the limits of which it was 
included. 

Anthony Taylor, son of Eleazer Taylor, of Boylston, 
was born in 1749, came to West Boylston in 1808, where 
he resided until his decease wdiich occurred in 1819, aged 
70 years. He was a large, stout built man, and supposed 
by his contemporaries not to be surpassed in physical 
force and muscular strength by any man in New England. 
In early life, while in full possession of vigor and vivacity, 
he performed several extraordinary feats, the relation of 
which might seem to challenge the belief of the most cred- 
ulous. Yet the credibility of those who witnessed and 
have siven an account of the wonderful exhibitions of 
power and strength manifested and put forth by this man, 
svould render it quite certain, and perhaps beyond a rea- 
sonable doubt, that nothing more than the truth has been 
stated relative to him. An instance of the manifestixtion 
of his extraordinary muscular pov/er, was the lifting of a 
field piece, while with the army at Cambridge in 17 75, with 
the intention of placing it upon his shoulder, which he 
probably would have accomplished had not those around 
him by their interference preverlted, regarding such an ef- 
fort imprudent and hazardous. Other accounts relative to 
the developement of the uncommon physical force of this 
individual might be mentioned, having been received from 
reliable sources and corroborated by indisputable testi- 
mony. 

The number of deaths in West Bovlston, from 1808 to 



68 

1858, was near 1100. During the twelve years previous 
to 1808, while the town was a precinct, the number of 
deatiis was between 70 and 80. Much the larger portion 
of the mortal remains of those who have deceased in this 
town since 1796, are deposited in the public burying 
ground adjoining the Common. 

There is a large buttonwood tree, venerable for age and 
appearance, standing by the roadside near the ancient Bea- 
man mansion house, planted there more than one hundred 
years ago by the elder Ezra Beaman while in his boyhood, 
being at the time but thirteen years of age. This relic of 
the early doings of him who once resided on those prem- 
ises, may serve as a memento to awaken the memory rela- 
tive to the distinguished individual who possessed a larger 
share of energy, enterprise, and public spirit than any one 
else who ever resided in this town. 

There is standing at the present time, within the limits 
of the road and opposite the Beaman burying ground, near 
the residence formerly occupied by Ephraim and Silas Bea- 
man, a stately oak of venerable appearance and ancient 
growth, which should be permitted there to remain as a 
specimen of enduring permanence. Although there have 
been instances in this town of splendid and beautiful trees 
situated in special localities, having been unnecessarily 
destroyed, it is hoped that such examples henceforth will 
be of rare ocpurfence. 



MILITARY. 



Benjamin BigelioWj one of the early s*cttlers of this 
town, went as a soldier with others in 1745, and assisted 
in the reduction and capture of Louisburg and Cape Bre- 
ton, then belonging to France and considered as the Gi- 
bralter of America. The capture and possession of this 
place with its fortress was regarded as a highly important 
acquisition to the British crown. On his return from this 
expedition, Mr. Bigelow brought with him several articles 



G9 

of iron manufacture, some of which are yet in use on the 
fiirm which he then occupied, and which is now in the 
possession of B. F. Keyes. 

Ephraim and Ithamer Bennett, sons of Phineas Bennett, 
one of the early settlers of this town, enlisted as soldiers 
in the army which went to Ticonderoga in 1758, and at- 
tempted the reduction of the fortress at that place. They 
were in the so called " Mornim? Fi»-ht " that then occur- 
red, and which continued four hours, resultin«^ in a disas- 
trous defeat. These two young men were both killed in 
that terrible conflict. 

At the commencement and during the progress of the 
war of the American Revolution, the inhabitants of the 
district now comprising the town of West Boylston, were 
zealous and active in efforts to obtain and secure for them- 
selves and the Colonies, liberty and independence. Major 
Beaman was a prominent and leading spirit in this impor- 
tant and patriotic enterprise, while others around him 
were also firm and determined in favor of freedom and 
the rights of the people. On several special and import- 
ant occasions the citizen soldiers here turned out, readily 
leaving their families and business to engage in the service 
of the country, and that without pay or remuneration, 
other than the satisfaction of having promptly discharged 
their duty. During the continuance of the war, several 
men here enlisted and were joined to the regular army at 
different periods, all of whom, wdth a single exception, 
served out their time, returned home, and lived to enjoy 
the blessings and advantages resulting from the toils and 
suffering which they had bravely endured. Their names 
were Ezra Beaman, John Bixby, Jos. Bixby, Zachariah 
Child, Jos. Dwelley, Wm. Fairbank, Oliver Glazier, Benj. 
Hinds, Jr., Jason Hinds, Ebenezer Inglesby, Ebenezer 
Pike, Paul Raymond, Isaac Smith, John Temple, Nathan 
Wilder, and John Winn. These brave and patriotic men 
have all deceased, but their memories should long be cher- 
ished by a grateful people with feelings of respect and 
veneration. Several of them lived to receive from the 
country a pension, which their faithful services merited and 
to which they were justly entitled. Oliver Glazier who 
survived all the others, died in 18o5, aged 92 years. 



70 

The first Military Company or Train Band in this town, 
was organized in 1801, consisting of the able bodied 
men between 18 and 45 years of age. This company 
then numbered about 50 men, and at the first election of 
officers, Silas Newton was chosen Captain ; Elijah Goode- 
now, Lieutenant ; Hiram Howe, Ensign. The following 
persons were severally and successively elected to the Cap- 
tainship of this company, from time to time, during the 
continuance of its organization, viz : Silas Newton, Elijah 
Goodenow, Levi Kilburn, Silas Dinsmore, Barak B. Fair- 
bank, Josiah P. Brown, Jonathan Plimpton, Jr., Peter 
Holmes, Levi Goodale, Ephraim Bigelow, Asa Bigelow, 
Dennis Harthan, Levi Pierce, Jr., Willard Worcester, Eb- 
enezer Fisk, and Ward B. Harthan. This company con- 
tinued some 30 years in an organized capacity, and then 
became extinct. 



RIVERS AND BRIDGES. 



There are two rivers running into this town, the Still- 
water from Sterling, and the Quinepoxet from Holden, 
forming a junction near the village of Oakdale, thence 
passing along through the central portion of the town to 
Boylston and Lancaster, continuing its course to Nashua, 
N. H., where it empties into the Merrimac. 

There are four prominent bridges in the town ; two at 
Oakdale, one at Central Village, and another near the an- 
cient and "well known Beaman situation. 

In 1856, the Beaman bridge was rebuilt with stone, at 
an expense of about $4000, and is considered durable and 
permanent. It has three arches of sufficient capacity to 
take the water that passes along in the channel of the 
river. The committee chosen by the town to superintend 
the building of this bridge, were Addison Lovell, John 
Prentiss, and Samuel Lawrence. 

In 1849, the Central Bridcre was rebuilt in a thorough 
substantial manner, upon an improved plan, principally 
under the direction and superintendence of David C. Mur- 
dock. Chairman of the Board of Selectmen at that time, 
at an expense of about $900. 



71 



THE FARMING INTEREST. 



The number of farmers in West Boylston at the pres- 
ent time (1858,) is 70, having slightly increased during 
the last 50 years. Although some advance has been made 
in the business of agriculture and the art of husbandry, 
yet it is doubtful Avhether larger quantities of grain and 
other valuable products are now produced, than there 
were 50 years ago. In 1808 and previous to that time, 
there were annually produced in this town, probably not 
less than 3000 bushels of rye, and perhaps about the same 
quantities of corn and oats. Most of the farmers produc- 
ed a sufficient quantity of wheat to afford a supply for 
their families. It was an occurrence almost unknown at 
that time, for a farmer to purchase a barrel of flour. During 
the winter season the farmers transported considerable 
quantities of rye meal to Boston, for which they received 
$1.25 per bushel, thereby realizing a fair profit. 

Fifty years ago and previous to that time, large quanti- 
ties of cider were made in the town which was not often 
sold for less than 81.00 and sometimes for 82.00 or more 
per barrel, consequently it was a profitable production. 
It was then generally considered a necessary article for 
common use, and almost every family used several barrels 
annually. Most of the large farmers considered a cider 
mill to be a necessary appendage to their farm, and would 
feel themselves greatly deficient if not in possession oi 
this convenience. 



PECULIAR AND EXTRAORDINARY EVENTS. 



The following peculiar and extraordinary events have 
occurred in by-gone years, operating not only in this im- 
mediate locality, (West Boylston,) but were experienced 
and their effects felt generally throughout New England. 






'' The Great Earfliquakr,'' as it has been termed, hap- 
pened late in the evening of Nov. 18, 17-55, and produced 
great alarm and consternation, its effects being very appa- 
rent and surprising. Dwelling houses were shaken so 
severely as to cause kettles and other tilings to rattle and 
make an unusual noise, dishes, plates, &c., falling from 
shelves, and beds on wiiich people were sleeping, apparently 
rocking like a cradle. In the westerly part of this town 
u small piece of land settled down several feet, evidently 
in consequence of this occurrence, traces of it beiug yet 
visible. 

The Hard Winter. The "Winter of 17S0 has ever 
been spoken of as " The Hard Winter," by those who 
lived at that time, and others who have succeeded them, 
it was remarkable for the great depth of snow which lay 
upon the ground for a long while, and on account of the 
severe cold weather, which continued for several successive 
weeks. A snow of some depth fell in November before 
the ground was frozen, and remained through the winter. 
Towards the last of December, a snow storm occurred of 
several days continuance, and having subsided, the snow 
was ascertained to be five or six feet in depth, entirely 
covering the rocks, fences, &c., the roads being wholly im- 
passable and so remaining for several weeks. Oxen and 
horses were not used for a long time. Wood for the fire 
was cut from day to day in the lots, and drawn to the 
dwellings on hand-sleds, by men and boys wearing snow- 
shoes. By the same process grain and meal were trans- 
ported to and from the mill for family use. After the 
lapse of six or eight weeks the cold began to abate, the 
.snow gradually settled down, and eventually vanished 
away, the ground immediately became dry and ready for 
cultivation. There was no rain after the ground was cov- 
ered in November, until the snow had entirely disappeared 
in the spring — a period of four or five months. 

" The Dark Day," ever remembered and spoken of by 
those who witnessed it, occurred May 19, 1780. It was 
remarkable on account of its extraordinary appearance, 
filling the minds of the people generally with wonder and 
surprise. So strange and novel was the appearance on that 
day that many were struck with consternation, spending 



73 

the most of their time in conversation relative to this sin- 
gular phenomenon and what might follow it. Early on 
the morning of that day, the atmosphere had the appear- 
ance of being filled with dense fog of a yellowish hue, 
beinof in great commotion, apparently rolling about in 
larore masses, constantly rising and moving along. So 
great was the darkness at mid-day that many families 
found it necessary to use lighted candles while they par- 
took of their dinner. The following night was as uncom- 
monly dark as was the preceding day. Nothing unusual 
followed this phenomenon. 

A Severe Frost occurred on the night of May 17th, 
1794, causing great damage and loss to the farmers in con- 
sequence of its destructive effects upon grain, fruit, &c., 
not only in this immediate vicinity, but also throughout a 
large portion of New England. The day preceding was 
unusually cold, and during the night the surface of the 
ground was frozen, and in many localities, ice was formed 
on water an eighth of an inch in thickness. The spring 
was early and unusually forward. The farmers had large 
quantities of winter rye growing upon their lands, which 
at this time looked remarkably well, and seemed to prom- 
ise an abundant crop. It had already attained its full 
height, and was in bloom, but was so severely frozen that 
on the next day being thawed by the rising sun, it fell to 
the ground, and was entirely destroyed. A second growth 
sprung up but produced no grain of any value, being en- 
tirely blasted. Indian corn having been planted early, was 
up and looked well, and although much frozen, was not 
materially injured. Apples at this time, in som^ localities, 
were nearly as large as full grown cranberries, and with 
very few exceptions were wholly destroyed, and most 
other kinds of fruit also shared the same fate. 

Dro2ight of 1805. During the summer of 1805, a 
drought was experienced in this vicinity and other portions 
of New England, probably of greater severity than has 
occurred since that period, or for many years previous. 
On the tenth of June of that year, the rain fell in torrents 
during the day, thoroughly soaking the ground and filling 
the streams with water to overflowing, producing the great- 
est freshet which happened throughout the year. From 
7 



74 

tliat time there was no rain hereabouts until the last day 
of July following, when a small cloud came over late in 
the afternoon, raining moderately twenty or thirty minutes. 
The drought continued with increased severity until Sep- 
t3mber, when frequent showers occurred, sufficient to 
moisten the ground and revive drooping nature, thereby 
dissipating the alarm and gloomy forebodings then exten- 
sively prevalent. During this season of drought the pas- 
tures and other grass lands became sere and destitute of 
any thing green, affording but a scanty subsistence for 
cattle, sheep, &c. In some localities grasshoppers became 
so numerous as to devour and destroy every kind of vege- 
tation that came in their way, causing great injury and 
damage to grain, fruit, and other productions of the soil, 
resulting in loss to the farming interest, and consequently 
to the community. 

A Total Eclipse of the San, visible in this vicinity and 
adjacent parts of the country, occurred June 1^3, ]806 ; 
probably the most remarkable one in its appearance and 
effects, that has occurred for a hundred years. The day 
on which this phenomenon happened, was fair and pleas- 
ant, the atmosphere still and serene, and the sky cloudless, 
thus affording ample opportunity for notice and observation. 
This eclipse occurred in the forenoon, the middle being 
between eleven and twelve o'clock. The sun was in total 
obscuration about two n:iinutes, when nature assumed the 
appearance of evening, the fowls hastened to their roosting 
places, apparently overtaken by surprise, the chill of even- 
ing was felt, and stars were distinctly visible to the eye of 
the observer. The greatest splendor of the scene was the 
suddenness of total obscuration and afterwards the sudden 
and precipitant rush of the sun into open day. Asa whole 
the scene was sublime and magnificent,, and highly grati- 
fying to- the many who beheld it. ^.. (■ 

The Great Blow, as it has generally, been termed, occur- 
red Sept. 23, 1815, was severely felt in this vicinity, anc^ 
throughout a large portion of New .England. It was de- 
structive in its effects, causing much damage and loss to- 
the community. Extensive quantities of wood and timbej 
were blown down, many valuable fruit trees were turne4 
over and destroyed, apples, pears, peaches, &c., were^ 



nearly all blown from the trees, almost entirely covering 
the ground in orchards and other localities where fruic 
trees chanced to stand. In many instances sheds ami 
small buildings were blown down and demolished, and 
wooden fences generally shared the same fate. Traces of 
this tempest are yet to be found in some places, and prob- 
ably will be visible for years to come. This was undoubt- 
edly the greatest and most extensive tornado that has 
occurred in this region since the settlement of New Eng- 
land. 

Cold Summers. During the last fifty years, or from 
1808 to 1858, several seasons have occurred which were 
rather cold and consequently unfavorable to agricultural 
pursuits. The coldest and most unpropitious season was 
that of 1816, it being unusually cold from the commence- 
ment to the end of the year. During the summer months 
there was very little warm weather, and many days were 
so cold as to render the clothing of winter convenient and 
necessary. In June of that year, spots on the sun were 
distinctly visible to the eye, the atmosphere frequently 
presenting a thick, dusky appearance, like that of a severe 
winter's day, the cold at the same time being so severe as 
to make it pleasant and desirable to sit by a fire. It was 
frequently so cold as to render it uncomfortable to labor 
in the field. One farmer in this town (West Boylston,) 
on one of those cold days in the latter part of June, being 
busily engaged in ploughing a piece of land, actually left 
the field and turned out his team, then retired to his house 
saying it was so cold he could not stand it to follow the 
plough. During tlie summer there was a scarcity of feed 
in the pastures, and not more than half the usual crop of 
hay was cut irom the mow-lands. So scanty was the crop 
in some cases, that hay was taken from the field and sold 
for $25 per ton. Many farmers disposed of a portion of 
their cattle the best way they could for fear of starvation. 
Indian corn was mostly spoiled by the autumnal frosts, 
very little of it being fit for use. English grain being 
better adapted to a cold season, was heavy and good, and 
a fair crop was generally obtained by the farmer. 

In 1832, the season was colder than usual. During the 
night of the last Wednesday in May of that year, snow 



76 

fell in this region so as to entirely cover the ground, and 
remained through the next day, it being so cold as to pre- 
vent thawing, but no damage was caused thereby. Indian 
corn on low land was mostly spoiled by the early frosts of 
autumn, Mobile on more favorable localities it ripened and 
produced an abundant crop of hale heavy corn. 

Remarkable Lojigevity. Mrs. Sarah Goodale, relict of 
Edward Goodale, one of the early settlers of this town, was 
born in Marlboro' in 1714, and died here in 1810, being 
in the ninety-seventh year of her age. She was the oldest 
person who has died here since the settlement of the town, 
having been a resident here nearly 80 years. She was a 
robust, vigorous woman, industrious and frugal, being well 
qualified for the station she occupied in life. When about 
40 years of age, Mr. Goodale died leaving six young child- 
ren, (five sons and a daughter,) with their mother, to get 
along in the world the best they could. The mother be- 
came the guardian of the children, assuming the direction 
and management of them until they arrived at the age 
when they might legally act for themselves. She retained 
the farm in her possession, and by her industry and econ- 
omy attended by the blessing of God, she was enabled to 
award to each of her children their just proportion of their 
father's estate, at the time when they became legally enti- 
tled to assume the possession thereof, while at the same 
time herself had become the bona fide owner of the home- 
stead. These children all lived to old age, and in their 
turn manifested a filial respect for their honored mother 
by extending the same dutiful care to her during the latter 
portion of her life, which she bestowed on them while in 
their childhood and early years. She was a professor of 
the Christian religion and always apparently acted in the 
fear of God and in accordance with the principles of " the 
Higher Law." During her life, she manifested a firm 
faith and confidence in Christ as her Savior, and conse- 
quently her death was peaceful and happy. Her children 
survived her and afterwards died as follows : 

Moses died in 1815, aged 75 years ; Elizabeth died in 
1837, aged 96 years; Aaron died in 1817, aged 74 years ; 
Paul died in 1828, aged 81 years; David died in 1832, 
aged 82 years ; Peter died in 1854, aged 82 years. These 






cliiiciren were early taught to regard and observe the prin- 
ciples and customs of the puritans, and manifested through 
life a becoming respect and veneration for the instruction 
received from an affectionate, devoted parent. They were 
also professors of the Christian religion. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF 
THOMAS KEYES, Jr. 

Thomas Keyes, Jr., was born April 20, 1802, and died 
O-ct. 30, 1831, at the age of 29 years. He was the sec- 
end son of Thomas and Lydia Keyes, of West Boylston, 
and grandson of Thomas Keyes who settled here in 1767. 
He was a member of the Congregational Church in this 
town. The following biographic sketch is taken from 
"The Young Mechanic," for April, 1832. The writer 
of the sketch was then and is now a citizen of Boston, as 
indicated by the signature : 

THOMAS KEYES, JH. 

It is a pleasing task, to follow through al! the mazes, 
and to dwell upon the incidents connected wdth the rise 
of an ingenious man, however he may have been favored 
by circumstances, or assisted by fortune. If we dwell 
with pleasure upon the character of such a man, Avith 
what sensations must we trace the rise and progress of 
that man, who, imitating the course pursued by Franklin, 
Ferguson, and Simpson, rises from obscurity by his own 
efforts, without the advantages of education, the assist- 
ance of fortune, or the advice of friends, and beats out a 
path which those in better circumstances would scarcely 
attempt to follow. That the life of a mechanic, distin- 
guished for his perseverence and application, and with all, 
a native of our own states, will be interesting, (at least to 
mechanics,) I will not question. It indeed must be a 
source of interest to any one, to see an individual of their 

7ii 



/55 



own class in society, in circumstances inferior to thertl-^ 
selves and with less means of improvement, struggling to 
overcome the difficulties and disadvantages with which he 
is surrounded ; endeavoring, by every means in his pow- 
er, (without injury to others) to better his condition, 
either in fortune or acquirements. Such an individual 
should surely be the object of universal esteem. It has 
been justly remarked, that although the disadvantages 
are great, of those who are obliged to begin their acquaint- 
ance with science late in life, yet all the chances of the 
race are not against them. Tlie time they have lost, and 
are anxious to redeem, of itself gives a stimulus that will 
make up for many disadvantages. 

Such wai the case with the subject of this sketch, who 
was born at West Boylston, Mass. His time appeared of 
so' much importance to him that he often denied himself 
the necessary time for sleep. As he did not apply hin> 
self to a mechanical business until he was 20 years of age, 
he considered it a duty to redeem it if possible. The 
cause which prevented him until this age from following 
his favorite pursuit, was neither poverty nor inclination, 
but the wishes of his friends, who "not seeing as he saw," 
endeavored to check what they considered his wayward 
fancies, and to fix his mind upon the cultivation of the 
farm, of which he was to become a part possessor. Al- 
though he appeared to yield to the wishes of his friends, 
yet he never could bring his mind to acquiesce in the idea 
of spending his life in a pursuit so contrary to his inclina- 
tions. While with his hands he cultivated the soil, his 
mind was panting for that knowledge which he knew as a 
mechanic he could practice. And, the time which was 
not occupied in labor on the farm, he spent in the cultiva- 
tion of his mind. Althouofh he devoted himself to math- 
ematics, natural philosophy, and astronomy, yet his taste 
for music appears first to have shown itself; and the in- 
genuity displayed in his first attempt to gratify himself is 
worthy of notice, and is thus described by a friend : *'the 
first known of his musical performances was upon an in- 
strument of his own manufacture while he was very 
young ; it was made of a shingle, with silk-strings strained 
across in the manner of a violin, a small stick from an 



TO 

apple tree, and some liair from a hoi'se's tail served for ?l 
bow; and upon this rude instrument the young performer 
has produced music which has been listened to with con- 
siderable pleasure." From this rude but successful at- 
tempt may probably be traced the first desire he had to 
make himself master of the art in which he afterwards 
became very proficient as a performer upon several instru- 
ments. Some time previous to his leaving the farm, his 
attention M'as attracted by a description of an organ in a 
cyclopedia to which he had access, and from the accurate 
account of the different parts there given, he formed the 
idea of making one himself, the parts of which were to 
be of wood. This was considerable of an undertaking to 
one situated as he was, without tools or materials, and 
many would probably have abandoned the scheme as im- 
practicable ; but his persevereance led him to devise means 
to obviate these difficulties, and by the friendly assistance 
of a cabinet maker who allowed him the use of his tools, 
he was enabled to accomplish his object to his perfect 
satisfaction. 

Butj with all the fascination and pleasure which natural- 
ly follows the study of music, it was made to give way to 
the more solid sciences. Of these, mathematics, (which 
is considered by some as the most dry and insipid of all 
studies,) held the first place in his esteem. It was con- 
sidered by him in its true light — as the only foundation 
on which the other sciences could be firmly built. He 
thought no time mispent, while engaged in solving the in- 
tricate and abstruse problems with which it abounds ; and 
I have often heard him observe, that "mechanics were not 
aware of the disadvantage of attending so little to this 
all-important science."' It must certainly be confessed, 
that it has been very much neglected by this class of the 
community; for if we look around and see how many 
have been ruined by schemes, which, with a little atten- 
tion to the truths explained in this science, they might 
have avoided, we cannot fail of being impressed with the 
necessity of urging it upon the candid consideration of 
mechanics. Let it but be realized, that this is the key 
stone by which' the grand arch of science is secured, and 
on which the hopes of genius must be based, then will 



80 

tliose difficulties which appear insurmountable, vanish— 
the abstruse will be simple, the useless important, and 
the tedious pleasing. 

In the study of astronomy, which had engaged his at- 
tention during the latter part of his life, he found his 
k^iowledge of mathematics of the greatest service in mak- 
ing the numerous calculations which were necessary in 
the construction of apparatus, by the aid of which correct 
ideas could be conveyed to the minds of the youthful and 
uninformed, of this sublime and interesting science. An 
Orrery, which he contrived for the purpose of illustrating 
the relative motions of the solar system, is very simple 
and economical, and when united with its correct calcula* 
tions and ease of management, forms one of the most 
useful instruments of the kind. To be used in connexion 
with his Orrery, he had in view an apparatus which was 
to embrace the Lunarium and Tellurium on a difterent 
plan from any at present known. But unfortunately the 
traces of the design which he has left are so obscure, that 
it is impossible for any one to understand his views suffi- 
ciently to complete it. A piece of board which he had 
prepared for the purpose of making a working draft of 
his plans, was not used, in consequence of his being taken 
ill with that disease, from which he never recovered. 

In addition to the studies which have been mentioned, 
he likewise pursued that of drawing and painting ; the 
latter, however, occupied but a small share of his time. 
To his taste for painting, may be attributed an apparatus 
he contrived, a description of which, may not be uninter- 
esting ; an experiment in optics, which is no doubt famil- 
iar to many, and is performed by having a piece of circular 
board painted in equal proportions of blue, yellow and 
red, and made to revolve with great velocity. The board 
will appear while whirling of a dirty white. If the board 
were divided into twelve parts instead of three, and should 
have four series of the colors, blue, yellow, and red, one- 
fourth of the velocity would produce the same effect. The 
* cameleoscope ' is the name of the machine contrived by 
Mr. Keyes, so called from the various changes of color 
produced by it while in motion. It is made by cutting 
out nine of the twelve parts of the board, and leaving but 



i 



81 

one series of colors equally divided. Then by making 
four such boards painted with various colors, revolve be- 
hind each other with diflferent velocities, it will exhibit a 
continual change of color; and if by any means it could 
be stopped, when a pleasing shade presented itself, it 
might be known what colors had produced it. This was 
a scheme, which is probably more curious than useful. — 
But although it might not have been of any practical utili- 
ty, yet it might have contained hints which may hereafter 
be applied with advantage. 

We may here regard a trait in the character of Mr. 
Keyes which is worthy of all imitation, that of communi- 
cating information to others freely, and especially those 
discoveries which we have made, and do not know to 
what purpose to apply them. A free communication of 
sentiment and opinion between different persons, is ac- 
knowledged to be of the greatest benefit. The institu- 
tion of Lyceums, and other societies, is but to assist in 
accomplishing this end. Mr. Keyes was fully aware of 
the advantage resulting from persons associating together 
for mutual instruction ; and acknowledged that he had 
been greatly assisted in the study of astronomy by being 
a member of a small society of individuals in his native 
village, who met together for mutual improvement in that 
science. At the head of this social club, was the venera- 
ble and respected astronomer and philosopher, Robert B. 
Thomas. To this gentleman Mr. Keyes looked up with 
reverence ; his kindness in furnishing books, and assist- 
inor him in his various studies, were favors which were 
never forgotten. 

Let it not be urged, that a person who turns his atten- 
tion to many things can do nothing well ; for, although 
it may be true in some degree, yet it is not without excep- 
tions. Sir William Jones, the greatest civilian of modern 
times, contended, " that no opportunity for improvement 
in any study, which presented itself, should be neglected;" 
and he himself, while studying the law, took advantage of 
vacations to peruse the light works of the French and 
Italians, besides makinor a favorite pursuit of dancing and 
fencing. And yet, all this variety, which would be 
thought to distract his attention, aided in making him 



82 

the greatest lawyer and most profound scholar of his 
age. The whole ohject of all the studies of Mr. Keyes 
tended to one grand point — the acquisition of knowl- 
edge. If his pursuits are various, they were no less 
correct. As a cabinet maker, a clock maker, an ap- 
paratus maker, or a student, his work bore the stamp of a 
inatheniatical mechanic. 

I have thus attempted to compile a few incidents of the 
life of one, worthy of the respect of all classes, but es- 
pecially of that of which he was the ornament. I will 
not pretend to say, that he was more of an ornament to 
mechanics that many others who have preceded him ; for 
there have been those, whose names have been suffered 
to moulder in oblivion, when they deserved to have been 
handed down for the admiration of posterity. But, if 
some have been neglected, it does not follow that we 
should neglect all. Instead of neglecting them, let us en- 
deavor hereafter, to perpetuate the remembrance of those 
whose lives afford an example worthy of imitation. The 
rapid march of intellect and improvement among the pro- 
ducing classes, within a few years past, awakens the fond- 
est hopes for its permanence and duration. If this state 
of things should continue, biographies and examples will 
be needless. And we can now apparently lift the veil of 
futurity and see the existence of that state, " when in the 
proud career of mind our country will seek her fame." 

J. M. w. 



CONCLUDING REMARKS. 



In closing the Historical Memorandum of West Boyls- 
ton, it may not be thought improper to inquire somewhat 
in regard to the past and respecting the future. 

Where are those adventurous, enterprising men, together 
with those directly and intimately associated with them in 
life, who commenced the settlement of West Boylston, 
and others who followed and resided here from 1720 to 



83 

1770, or a portion of that time, some in the maturity of 
life, others in childhood and youth, all looking forward 
with hope and anticipation ? None of that interesting and 
long to be remembered portion of our ancestors and prede- 
cessors are now living, all having paid the debt to nature 
due. 

Where are those who commenced life in this town after 
the close of the first 50 years from the period when the 
original settlers located here and previous to 1808, the 
time when the town assumed a legal organized position r 
Some 50 or 60 of that number are yet living and reside 
here, and perhaps about the same number are also living 
and reside elsewhere, thus showing that since the incorpor- 
ation of the town, now fifty years since, about five-sixths 
of those in life and residing here at that time, have found 
" the last of earth " and gone to participate in scenes be- 
yond this fleeting world. 

What is in the future and will be developed to human 
view and observation during the next 50 years, is to a 
great extent, altogether beyond the stretch of the imagina- 
tion or conception of the far-seeing and accurate calcula- 
tor ; and what might now be suggested for consideration 
as a probable or possible occurrence, may not only be a 
demonstrable fact but an existing reality, before the close 
of the next half century. Events auspicious and desirable 
and also adverse and lamentable, will undoubtedly trans- 
pire, alternately causing joy and sorrow, not only to indi- 
viduals and to distinct families, but to the whole com- 
munity. 

In 1908, when the centennial anniversary of this town 
shall be celebrated, perhaps some, "how many cannot' be 
conjectured, who are now here enjoying and participa.ting 
in occurrent scenes and events, may be present with otHer^ 
yet unborn on that interesting occasion ; while much tfij 
larger portion of the present inhabitants of this to\Yli will -^ 
then be numbered with the silent dead. 

What will then be said of us who are now here actively 
engaged in the busy scenes and transactions of life. Will 
our general course as social beings, residing and acting in 
this community, and our individual moral influence be 
such through life as to merit and elicit the grateful recol- 



i*. 



/^ 



84 

lection and approval of our successors, who may chance 
then to hold and occupy these dwellings, which we must 
ere long vacate, and leave to be remodelled and become 
the residences of our descendants and others ? Shall we 
rightfully deserve the same tribute of veneration and re- 
spect from those we leave behind, to which our ancestors 
and predecessors are justly entitled to from us ? Consid- 
erations like these might profitably occupy some of those 
leisure moments which occasionally overtake us, and may 
the effect be to cause our mark in life to be so made as 
not to prove a blot on our future memory. 



ERRATA. 
0« page 10,— 4th line from the bottom, read Persis for Tersia. 
On page 11. — 9th line from the bottom, read 3Iajor Beaman for Mayor 

Beaman. 
On page 25 — last line in the sketch of Abiel Holt, read leading for lead. 
On page 29 — 5th line from the bottom, read Sabra for Sabia, 
On page 37,— in the sketch of the life of Aaron Thomas, — 3d line, read 

Dca. Jonas Mason instead of Dea. Ebenezer Mason. 



A BRIEF NOTICE 



OF THE L A.TE 



THOMAS KETES 



OF 'WEST DBO'SriL.STOIvr, 

TOGETHER WITH A SHORT 

HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF HIS DESCENDANTS, 

AND ALSO OF HIS ANCESTRY; 

WITH SOME INCIDENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES CONNECTED 

THEREWITH. 

I 



WORCESTER: 
HENRY J. HOWLAND, PRINTER, 

NO. 245 MAIN STREET. 

1857. ^ 



BRIEF NOTICE. 



Thomas Key:es was born at We&tminster, Mass. Janu- 
ary 20, 1767, and died at West Boylston, June, 25, 1856, 
in the ninetieth year of his age. He was the eldest son 
of Thomas and Mary Keyes, who had settled in West- 
minster, but removed to the north-west part of Shrewsbury, 
afterwards Boylston, and now West Boylston, about, six 
weeks after his birth. 

His parents had to depend upon their own active exer- 
tions, to obtain a living and get along in the world, conse- 
quently he was trained to habits of industry and frugality, 
to which he strictly adhered during the whole period of 
his life. 

He often admonished his descendants and others to 
•adopt the assiduous habits, and pursue the economical 
course by which he had at all times been governed, and 
which had, apparently, resulted in his success and prosper- 
ity in the world, enabling him ever to possess and ei.joy a 
competency of the the necessary comforts and luxuries of 
life, and also to accumulate, and leave a valuable patrimo- 
ny for those who should succeed and come after him. 

Although his predominant feelings were somewhat of 
a parsimonious tendency, yet he often manifested a spirit 
of benevolence, by his acts of charity and kindness for 
the relief of want and suffering. 

In his childhood, he was instructed by his parents 
in the principles of morality and religion, and he frequently 
spoke of the salutary effect produced on his mind by the 



I 



admonitions and example of his pious mother, for whom 
he ever cherished a high respect and ve aeration. 

Although, while young, he had received religious instruc- 
tions from his parents, and enjoyed the ministrations of a 
pious evangelical minister, and always cherished, and 
manifested a sacred regard for religi-.-n and its institutions, 
yet lie did not allow himself to believe that his heart had 
been savingly changed, or his feelings brought into true 
submission to the character and government of God. In 
this situation he S3eme 1 to re nain for many years, until 
his only surviving daughter, on whom his hopes and ex- 
pectations for care and assistance for the remainder of his 
life were fondly placed, was taken from him by death. 

This solemn event, severe and trying as it was, seemed 
eventually to result in the production of a decided change 
in his views and feelings, and in a short time he cherished 
a hope in the mercy of God, and after serious thought and 
careful reflection relative to his situation and duty, he made a 
public profession of his faith in Christ, and although he 
entertained views and sentiments of minor importance,' 
thereby differing somewhat from christians of the present 
day, he clung to the cross, and always firmly adhered to 
the fundamental doctrines of the gospel ; and, it is believed 
by those who were well acquainted with the history of his 
life, that he has left this world of trial and sorrow, and 
gone to inherit that rest which remains for the faithful 
children of God. 

He was a friend and advocate of such of the benevolent 
institutions of the age, is he had good reason to believe 
were based upon right premises, and managed in a judici- 
ous and proper manner, cheerfully contributing such aid 
and assistance, from time to time, as occasion and circum- 
stances seemed to demand. 

He was an early friend and patron of the American 
Board of Missions, but for several of his last years, he 
steadily refused to contribute to its funds, on account of 
its connection with slavery, and its refusing to repudiate 



that vile system of oppression and wickedness, which 
curses and degrades our country. 

He maniiested a strong attachment to the American 
Missionary Association, more especially on account of its 
strictly anti-slavery haractei", having from the time of its 
organization, annually and on special occasions, contributed 
to its funds, and at his death, leaving a donation for its 
treasury. 

He was deeply interested in the an ti- slavery cause, in 
whatever aspect it might be viewed, whether religiously, 
morally, or politically considered, manifesting much leel- 
ing and sympathy for the poor slave in his wretchedness and 
degradation, frequently giving something for the benefit 
of down-trodden humanity. He justly appreciated his po- 
litical rights and privileges, and always attended the 
State and national elections, and voted. Although nearly 
ninety years of age, and destitute of sight, he was seen at 
the last annual State election, previous to his death, 
depositing his ballot in favor of liberty and freedom. 

He was an original actor in the temperance movement, 
beins; among; the tirst who declared in lavor of total absti- 
nance ever afterwards denouncing intoxicating liqior as 
a beverage, believing it to be injurious and destructive, 
and consequently immoral and pernicious. 

On account of the loss of his sight, which suddenly 
occurred about eighteen years previous to his death, he 
was ever afterwards unable to read, and although this 
event in its effect was trying and severe, at once depriving 
him of a source of much satisfaction and enjoyment, yet it is 
believed that he never uttered a murmur or complaint on 
account of this affliction, but always seemed to manifest a 
cordial submission to his situation. He never became 
totally blind, but during several of his last years, he could 
only distinguish between day and night, and barely discern 
a brilliant light, as the sun or moon or burning candle. 

He naturally possessed an active, vigorous mind, with 
firmness and decision of purpose and character, always 
ready after proper reflection, to express his opinion rela- 



tive to aiiy subject presented for consideration, without 
reference to the judgment of others, ot waiting to ascer- 
tain whether his opinion or position would accord with 
the general feeling or otherwise. He was regarded by his 
fellow townsmen during the active portion of his life, not 
only as a man of honesty and integrity, but also possess- 
ing the requisite capabilities and qualifications for the 
faithful and proper discharge of duties of a social public 
character. 

He was frequently chosen by the town to fill important 
offices of trust, discharging the duties thereof to the satis- 
faction and acceptance of those who bestowed upon him 
their confidence and support. 

He was originally a federalist, being an arOlent friend 
and supporter of the administrations of Washington and 
John Adams, but decidedly opposed to the succeeding 
admiDistratlons and policy of Jefterson and Madison. He 
approved of the administration of John Quiney Adams, 
highly appreciating the patriotic course of that distin- 
guished and venerable statesman. He manifested a deep 
feeling and interest in regard to national afiairs, almost to 
the close of life ; believing that an important crisis was 
approaching, and fearing that those whom he Svas about to 
leave, might be called to witness scenes alid encoAnter diffi- 
culties of a serious and perplexing character. 

As monuments that may serve to perpetuate a recollec- 
'f> tion of him who had an existence here, but has now taken 
his departure and gone the way of all the earth, are two 
large elm trees, set out by him about sixty-five years ago, 
standing on the road side opposite the dwelling house, 
which he erected and occupied more than fifty years. Also 
on the same side of the road, a few rods distant, stands a 
large, handsome rock maple tree, set out by him in the 
spring of 1800, being taken up, before sun-rise and set out 
after sun-set, on the day of the annual fast, thus avoiding 
a desecration of the day consecrated to sacred purposes. 

The farm on which he resided almost the entire period 
of his protracted life, was first taken up and occupied 



by Benjamin Bigelow, who became the legal proprietor 
thereof about the year 1735. Mr. Bigelow retained the 
possession of the farm and resided thereon about fifteen 
years, during which time, he erected a dwelling house and 
made other improvements, when he sold out to Ephraim 
Temple, who became the owner and occupant in 1750, or / ; 
about that time. Mr. Temple erected a barn in 1753, and /u^^ 
retained the possession of the farm until 1767, when he — ► ^ 
sold it to Thomas Keyes, who held it in possession and 
resided upon it until his decease in 1812, when by a pro- 
vision of his will, it became the property of his eldest son, 
the late Thomas Keyes, who continued to be the legal 
owner thereof until the close of his life, when by lawful 
inheritance, it descended to his son and only surviving 
child, Benjamin F. Keyes, whose residence has been on 
the homestead from the earliest period of his life. 

The whole number of births on this farm since it was 
first settled, is thirty, and the number of deaths during 
the same period is twenty-three. ^ /^^^M/^-' • ^ ' • - 

A new dwelling house was erected 6n this farm in 1784, / A 6 
by Thomas Keyes, who was then the legal proprietor 
thereof, the frame being raised on the 9th day of June of 
that year. After the family had removed into the new 
house, the old one was taken down, having been occupied 
about forty-five years. 

V In 1791, another dwelling house was erected by the 
late Thomas Keyes, on the spot where the original one 
stood, for his own accommodation and occupancy. 

In 1792, another building was erected erected for a 
granary, and other purposes, the frame being raised on the 
14th day of September. This building was used for the 
purposes for which it was designed, until 1812, when it 
was taken down and a more spacious one erected in its 
place, for the double purpose of a granary and a cider mill, 
the frame of which was raised on the 4th day of June. 
Since that time the business of making and vending cider 
having become disreputable and immoral, the portion of 



8 

the building designed for that purpose has been appropri- 
ated to other uses of a more beneficial tendency. 

In 1797, the old barn being too small and much decay- 
ed, it was taken down and a larger and more commodious 
one erected nearly on the same ground. 

Another small barn has been erected the past year, 1855, 
by the present occupant. 

Thomas Keyes, of whom a brief sketch has already 
been given, was married to Lydia, daughter of Micah 
Harthan, of Boylston, May 26, 1791. She was born Feb. 
18, 1765, and died Oct. 25th, 1824, in the sixtieth year 
of her age. She was an amiable woman, possessing a 
kind, sympathetic disposition, friendly to nil, being one of 
the best of mothers, justly deserving the high esteem, and 
warm affection of her children, and others with whom she 
was associated and connected in life. 

They had six children, three sons and three daughters, 
viz.: Benjamin Franklin, born April 15, 1793; Polly, 
born Jan. 13, 1795, died Sep. 18, 1800; Betsey, bom 
Nov. 17, 1796, died May 11, 1839 ; vSally, born March 2, 
1799, died Sep. 18, 1800 ; Thomas, born April 20. 1802, 
died Oct. 30, 1831; Jonathan, born Nov. 17, 1808, 
died Aug. 12, 1813. 

Benjamin Franklin was married to Lois, eldest daughter ■ 
of Thaddeus Nichols, of Holden, December 10, 1822, 
when they took possessien of the house built, and formerly 
occupied by his grandfather, Thomas Keyes, which has 
been their dwellingplace ever since. She was born July, 
17, 1797. They are profesors of religion, having connected 
themselves with the christian church several years previous 
to their marriage. 

Betsey resided with her parents during the whole period 
of her life, and died of consumption, in the forty-third 
year of her age, having been a professor of religion more 
than twenty years. 

Thomas was a son of more than ordinary promise, pos- 
sessed of an amiable disposition, endowed with talents «nd 
capacities of a peculiar character, thereby fitting him for 



9 

extensive usefulness in the world. He was married to 
Eveline, daughter of Dea Artemas Murdock, of West 
Boylston, April 13, 1827, with whom, he lived only 
eighteen months, when she suddenly died, September 24, 
1828, in the twenty-fifth year of her age. He survived 
his lamented wife about three years, when he was attacked 
with a fever, which, eventually, terminated his life. He 
and his wife were each examplary professors of religion, 
and died in anticipation of future blessedness. 
A Benjamin F. Keyes and wife, have lived in the marriage 
state thirty-four years, having had eight children, six sons 
and two daughters, four of whom have died, and four now 
living. 

Their first child was born Oct. 9, 1823, and lived two 
days and died. 

Jonathan Mason, their second child, was born Aug. 
13, 1825. 

Their third child was born Jan. 9, 1827, and died the 
same day. 

Eveline Murdock, their fourth child, was born July 1, 
1828, and died Oct. 25, 1829. 

Thomas Nichols, their fifth child, was born March 18, 
1830. 

William Wirt, their sixth child, was born Jan 29, 1832. 

Lydia Eveline, their seventh child, was born July 15, 
1835. 

John Quincy, their last child, was born Oct. 13, 1837, 
and died Feb. 20, 1838. 

Jonathan Mason Keyes was married to Esther Damon, 
of Kirby, Vt., March 20, 1849. They reside in West 
Boylston, and have had one child, named George Harvey, 
born Sept. 28, 1850. 

Thomas Nichols Keyes was married to Thankful, eldest 
daughter of Jerry and Lucy Smith, of Marathon, N. Y., 
Dec. 4, 1856. They also, reside in West Boylston. 

Thomas Keyes, who was the father of the late Thomas 
Keyes, was the third son of Dea. Jonathan Keyes, of 
Shrewsbury, now Boylston, was born Jan. 4, 1738, and 



10 

died Dec. 21, 1812, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. 
During his childhood and minority, he was instructed by 
his parents, in the doctrines and principles of the Puritans, 
and taught carefully to observe their habits and customs. 
The parental instruction thus early received, was tena- 
ciously regarded, and the general course of his after life 
was in accordance therewith. Although he never made a 
public profession of religion, he always manifested a 
proper regard for divine institutions, and performed many 
of the practical duties, regarded as particularly incumbent 
on christian professors. 

He was a patriot and true friend of his country, and at 
the commencement, and during the progress of the Ameri- 
can revolution, he was active in devising plans, and assist- 
ing in the execution thereof, for the benefit and advantage 
of the cause of the country in her struggle for liberty and 
independence. 

He was married to Mary, daughter of Isaac Temple, of 
Shrewsbury, April 25, 1765, when they went to West- 
minster and settled on a farm given him by his father, as 
a remuneration for three years faithful service after he was 
twenty-one years of age. Here he resided until 1767, 
when he sold out and removed to Shrewsbury, now West 
Boylston, where he purchased a farm, on which he resided 
through life. His wife was a laborious, enterprising 
woman, and a valuable house-keeper. She was a professor 
ofreligion, and it is confidently believed that she lived 
and died a consistent, humble christian. She was born 
March 9, 1741, and died January 21, 1800, aged 59. They 
had seven children, five sons and two daughters, viz. : 
Lucy, born August 18^ 1765, died April 4, 1776, aged 11 
years ; Thomas, born January 20, 1767, died June 25, 
1856, aged 89 years ; Asa, born Sep, 21, 1768, died Dec. 
27, 1850, aged 82 years; Francis, born Apr. 15, 1771, 
died Apr. 18, 1851, aged 80 years; Luther, born Sep. 
21, 1772, died, Nov. 5, 1773, aged 1 year; Lucy, born 
July 27, 1778, is yet living, being in her seventy-ninth 
year. Luther, born May 8, 1781, died Aug. 26, 1826, 
aged 45 years. 



a 



11 

Tliomag was married to Lydia HartKaii, of Soylstoil, iii 
May 1791, and resided on the homestead with his father, 
assisting in the management of the farm, receiring a share 
of the produce in return for his services. 

Asa, was married to Sarah Thurston, of Wcstborough, 
May 31, 1798, when they went to Sterling, and settled on 
a farm which he had previously purchased, where they 
resided so long as they lived. She died suddenly, Feb. 
26, 1807, in the forty-first year of her age, leaving him 
with fout young children to lament her early departure. 

She was a woman possessing good capacities, always 
pleasant and cheerful, combining the various qualifications 
necessary to render her a useful and valuable housekeeper. 
He was again married to Tamer Eager, of Sterling, May 
31, 1808, who survived him, and died Dec. 29, 1854, aged 
81 years. 

He possessed a kind, benevolent disposition, frequently 
furnishing assistance to the unfortunate aud destitute. 
He and his wife, who survived him, were professors of 
religion, possessing those christian hopes, which apparent- 
ly, fully sustained them in the final issue, when called to 
take their departure from this world to their final abode. 

He had five children, two sons and three daughters, viz. : 
Asa, born February 4, 1800, died Aug. 31, 1803 ; Sarah, 
born July 15, 1801, died Dec. 12, 1830 ; Mary, who was 
the wife of Simeon Patridge, of Boylston, was born April 
25, 1803, died April 18, 183G-; Asa, was born Sept. 17, 

1805, and resides on the homestead. Lucy, wife of Wel- 
come Johnson, of Nahant, was born January, 25, 1807. 

Francis, was married to Thankful Fairbank., of Sterling, 
May 2, 1805, resided in Boylston until Dec. 1807, when 
they removed to Cincinnatus, now Marathon, N. Y., where 
she died suddenly, Nov. 21, 1814, aged forty-one years. 
He was again married in August 1816, to Lydia Surdam, 
from Salisbury, Ct., who survived him, and died April 21, 
1853, aged 82 years. 

He had three children, viz. : Persis, born April 9, 

1806, the wife of Ira Surdam, of Hector, Pa. ; Thankful, 



12 

born May 22, 1809. the wife of Jonathan Nichols, of 
Sterling, Mass.; Lucy, born Nov. 21, 1811, the wife of 
Jerry Smith, of Marathon, N. Y. 

In 1841, he removed to Hector, Pa., where he resided 
■until his decease in 1851. 

Lucy, the youngest daughter of Thomas and Mary 
Keyes, was married to Lewis Glazier, of Gardner, Janua- 
ry 15, 1805, are yet living, having beeii connected in the 
marriage state almost fifty -two years. 

They have had seven children, three sons and four 
daughters, viz. : Betsey Coolidge, wife of Harvey Bancroft, 
of Ashburnham, born Nov. 17, 1805 ; Thomas Edwin, 
born March 1807, resides with his parents in Gardner; 
Mary Ann, born May 1812, died Jan. 8, 1813; Smyrna 
Sylvester and Lewis Lysander, born Dec. 2, 1813, and 
died on the 23d of the same month ; Lucy Ann, born Oct. 
1816, died Feb. 15, 1838; Mary Keyes, born June 3, 
1818. 

The parents have long been professors of religion, and 
have been permitted to see all their children, who have 
lived to mature age, follow their example. 

Luther was married to Lydia Parker, of Concord, May 
8, 1803, and settled in Hubbardston, and afterwards 
removed to Cincinnatus, N. Y. where he resided until his 
decease. His wife died March 3, 1816, aged 37 years. 
He was again married to Mary Benedict, who still sur- 
vives. He had five children, viz. ; Breighton, who died 
after arriving at mature age ; Sumner and Grosvenor, now 
living, and two others, who died in infancy. 

Dea. Jonathan Keyes was the second son of Dea. 
Thomas Keyes, of Marlborough, was born November 19, 
1702, and died June 25, 1778, in the seventy-sixth year 
of his age. In 1727, he was married to Patience, daugh- 
ter of Joseph Morse, of Marlborough, and settled in 
Shrewsbury, now Boylston, on a lot of new land, which 
he had purchased a year or two previous, on which he 
had made preparations for a future residence, and on which 
they resided during the whole period of their life. 



13 

One of the first things done_ after clearing and preparing 
a suitable piece of land, was the setting out of an orchard, 
some of the trees of which are yet standing, and in a pro- 
ductive condition. 

The first dwelling house erected on this farm, was des- 
troyed by fire, when another was erected, which is now 
standing, and in good condition having been built more 
than one hundred years ago. 

They had eleven children, six living to mature age and 
five dying young, as follows : Jonathan, born January 21, 
1728, died when about 60 years of age; Miriam, born 
Oct. 27, 1729, died young ; Dinah, born August 22, 
1731, died 1733; Timothy, born 1733, died 1810; 
Miriam, born Dec. 14, 1735, was the wife of Artemas 
Maynard, died when about 80 years of a'>:e ; Thomas, born 
Dec. 24, 1737, (Jan. 4, 1738, N. S.), dioi 1812; Benja- 
min, born Jan. 29, 1740. died when about 65 years of 
age; Asa, born 1742, died 1745; Catherine, and Dinah, 
born August 15, 1743, died in infancy; Catharine, born Oct. 
9, 1747, was the wife of Warren Smith, and lived to be 
nearly 100 vears of a^j-e. Patience the wife of Dea. Keves 
died after an illness of only two days continuance, May 1, 
1776, in the seventy-first year of her age. 

They early made a profession of religion, and lived and 
died exemplary christians. 

Dea. Thomas Keyes, was born Feb. 8, 1674, was the son 
of Elias Keyes, of Sudbury, was married to Elisabeth, 
daughter of John Howe, Jr., of Marlborough, Jan. 23, 
1698. She was grand daughter of John and Mary Howe, 
who were the first white settlers in Marlborough. Dea. 
Keyes died Aug. 25, 1742. aged 68 years Elizabeth, his 
wife, died Aug. 18, 1764, aged 90 years. 

Dea. Keyes and wife, when married, settled on a new 
farm in the east part of Marlborough, on which they resided 
during their life time, and which is still in the possession 
of one of their lineal descendants. 

They had five children, four sons and one daughter, as 
follows: David, born Oct. 30, 1699, killed suddenly by 



u 

accident when twenty one years of age ; Jonathan, born 
No-v. 19, 1702, settled in Shrewsbury, now Boylston, 
where he died suddenly of apoplexy, in 1778; Cyprian, 
born Sep. 15, 1706, settled in Shrewsbury, near his 
brother Jonathan, where he died June, 18, 1802, in the 
ninety-sixth year of his age ; Dinah, born March 4, 1710, 
was married to John Weeks in 1731, when they settled 
on the homestead with her father, v;here they resided 
during their lifetime; Thomas, born Sept. 29, 1713, and 
died young. 

Elias Keyes, was probably the son of Robert Keyes, 
and settled in Sudbury, where he was married to Sarah 
Bianford, Sep. 11, 1665. Robert Keyes, is supposed to 
have been one of the early emigrants to New England, 
and was in AVatertown in J 633, which is the most that can 
be ascertained respecting him. 

Elizabeth Howe, afterwards the wife of Dea. Thomas, 
Keyes, while on a visit to her sister, who had been mar- 
ried to Peter Joslyn, and settled in Lancaster, on the 18th 
of July, 1692, was taken captive by the Indians, and 
carried to Canada, where she remained in captivity about 
four years, when she was redeemed by the government 
and returned home, to the great joy and comfort of her 
friends and relatives, and especially of him to whom she 
was afterwards married, and to whom she was engaged 
previous to her captivity. 

While with the Indians, she endured much unavoida- 
ble hardship and suffering, but was always treated 
humanely, and received as good fare from them as they 
enjoyed themselves. During her captivity, she acquired 
many of the habits and usages of the Indians, which she 
retained for a time after he^r return, but they gradually 
wore off and disappeared. 

John Howe, grandfather of Elisabeth Howe, settled in 
Marlborough, in 1655. He lived in peace with the Indi- 
ans, who regarded him as their superior, believing him to 
be an honest man, and their true and faithful friend. The 
following incident is related : two Indians disputed about 



15 



an article, both claiming to be the rightful owner thereof. 
The case was submitted to Mr. Howe for decision. After 
patiently hearing the parties, he divided the thing in 
dispute, giving half to each of the claimants. Both par- 
ties extolled the equity of the judge, and cheerfully acqui- 
esced in the decision. 



• 



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