Skip to main content
!1 lilH !1U!
College of Liberal Arts
Louise F. Burke
TOWN OF WESTON
Col. DANIEL S. LAMSON
PRESS OF GEO. H. ELLIS CO.
I. Ecclesiastical Origin of the Town 1
II. General Description and Military Organization . 18
III. Civil and Ecclesiastical Organization and French
AND Indian Wars 27
IV. The Old Town Records 39
V. Thrifty Finance of ye Fathers (Rates, Taxes,
Bounties, etc.) 50
VI. Weston in the Revolution 67
VII. In the Wake of the Revolution 102
VIII. A Record of Forty Quiet Years 118
IX. The Story of the Town from Year to Year . . . 130
X. War Veterans, Railroads, etc 137
XI. Business Interests of the Town 152
XII. Schools and Teachers 165
XIII. Evangelical Churches in Weston . 173
XIV. The Medical Profession 182
XV. The Taverns 186
I. Rev. Samuel Kendal's Letter of Acceptance. . . . 195
II. Rev. Joseph Field's Letter of Acceptance 197
III. Seating the Meeting-house 201
IV. Town Clerks 202
V. Town Treasurers 203
VI. Representatives 204
VII. Selectmen 206
VIII. The Separation from Watertowtst as a Precinct . . 210
IX. Location and Present Ownership of Historic Build-
ings AND Places mentioned in this History . . 212
It is scarcely a debatable question, in the opinion of the writer
of these lines, as to whether this or any other town history is worth
writing and publishing. The story of any town is worth telling,
and the story of any man's life is worth narrating, either briefly
or at length. So, when requested to edit this History of the
Town of Weston by the late Colonel Daniel S. Lamson, I was
glad to address myself to the task of getting the manuscript into
shape and seeing it through the press. In these annals of a quiet
neighborhood and these outlines of homely but strong and sturdy
lives, the good colonel has limned for us, with praiseworthy toil
and zeal, many a pleasant little sketch of scenes in the past life
of Weston. His work is meritorious for its graphic anecdotes, its
annals of the church and of the town meetings, and especially
for its full account of Weston in the Revolution, and for its pro-
nounced patriotic tone throughout.
Such features of the work as the description of the grand wagon-
freight routes from the North to the South along the coast and
paralleling the Alleghany Range in the days before railroads;
of the farmer-lads' wagon-freighting of wood to Boston from far
New Hampshire and Vermont; or of the great trunk stage-road
between Boston and New York which passed through Weston,
the logical results thereof being visits to the town by Presidents
Washington and Adams, events upon which the citizens prided
themselves not a little, — these things, including minute accounts
of the schools and of the business enterprises of the community,
are interesting reading and cheer one's way through the dryer
details. I take it that the latter are not intended for consecu-
tive reading at all, but for consultation or peeping into on rainy
days when the mood serves. In other words, a town history is,
to a large extent at least, a reference book, however interesting
it may be.
And how, then, do our ancestors look to us.'* What is the
verdict on them.'' For my part, aside from that matter of offering
a bounty for the destruction of crows, jays, and red-winged
blackbirds (see Chapter V.), I find little or nothing in the history
of Weston and its inhabitants in which we may not take pride.
They had perhaps a little too close a grip on the gear, which is
the familiar New England trait. But in that matter of the birds
they were not at all to blame, because a fuller knowledge had not
yet taught them that the birds put vastly more into one's pocket-
book than they take out.
It would require a Velasquez or a Carlyle to give us an immortal
portrait gallery of the men and women of early days, for they had
strong and heroic lineaments and were worthy of the most gifted
pen and pencil. And yet what finer characters can you find in
the annals of New England than those of the early ministers of
this parish as depicted by Lamson, Russell, Hornbrooke, and
Putnam, and other writers on the church and town.? And who
can do full justice to the plain homespun lives of the laity? We
all know them, — those sturdy. God-fearing, rugged -featured,
strong-willed farmers and merchants; those patient, sweet-souled
New England mothers. They are nearly an extinct race now.
But, having known and respected them, we think the greatest
genius in the world could hardly have chronicled worthily their
I happen to have just been reading the story of a community
as different from that of Weston, Massachusetts, as it is possible
to conceive, — the story of the Italian hill-town Perugia. There
is a terrible fascination in the blood-bespattered annals of its two
thousand years of struggle and war, the insane feuds of its rival
families, its Baglioni and its Oddi, the endless pageants, rejoicings,
wailings, slaughters, and conflagrations of the turbulent popu-
lace and nobility, and a nameless charm, too, in the environing
landscape of the warm Southland, where, alas! ever "the tender
red roses of the hedges tossed above the helmets and glowed
between the lowered lances," and the foliage of the trees waved
in the twilight "only to show the flames of burning cities on the
horizon through the tracery of their stems," and the "twisted
olive trunks hid only the ambushes of treachery." Well, out of
all that internecine passion and pain and splendid war there has
resulted to the weal of mankind only a few great paintings and
a massive and picturesque mediaeval city still standing to shelter
its inhabitants and give pleasure to tourists. Good art may
have been in the past the concomitant or resultant of war. But
it is not necessarily so. Again, there is something greater than
art in the world, and that is noble character developed through
the quiet, peaceful work of useful lives built into the fibre of the
race. For my part I am prouder to be descended, as I am, from
such plain Scotch-English stock as produced a Carlyle and a
Lincoln than if I were sprung from the proudest high-stomached
steel-clad brabbler lord of the Middle Age or any age. And so,
doubtless, are the citizens of the fair and fertile hill-town of
Massachusetts, the story of which is told in this volume.
As to the accuracy of Colonel Lamson's History of Weston, all
has been done that could be done to authenticate and correct
the data without expending upon them an amount of research
that would have been almost equivalent to rewriting the whole
book. The proofs have passed under the critical eye of several
persons. The transcript of the Act of Incorporation of the town
(see page 18) has been, with scrupulous care, collated with the
crumbling old record of Acts and Resolves in the State House
at Boston, and other similar collations have been made, while
in Appendix VIII. is given a transcript from the State Records
of the legislative Resolve setting off the town as a precinct. It
may also be stated that, although Colonel Lamson's chronicle of
the town's history ended with the year 1890, yet in a number of
instances we have added statistics that bring the record down to
1910 and 1912.
Finally, the editor cannot but express his regret that Colonel
Lamson himself had not lived to see his work through the press.
For we all feel that he would have afforded no exception to the
well-known law that the turning of manuscript into the printed
page is always accompanied by innumerable corrections and bet-
terments. We have done our best to do this work for him. The
task was not altogether an easy one. Hence over our short-
comings would it be too much to ask that kindly charity draw
the veil of silence? w. s. K.
Belmont, Mass., February 24, 1913.
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF WESTON
Ecclesiastical Origin of the Town.
At the second Court of Assistants, held at Charlestown, Septem-
ber 7, 1630, it was ordered "That Trimount be called Boston;
Matapan should be called Dorchester; and the town upon
Charles River, Watertown" (Prince's Chronological History of
New England, pp. 248, 249).
The exact period when what is called Weston began to be
settled is not known. It must have been at an early period of
the Watertown settlement, for there are still standing houses
or parts of houses which were erected a hundred and fifty years
ago. June 26, 1637, "A grant of the remote or West Pine
Meadows were divided and alloted out to all the Townsmen
then inhabiting Watertown, being 114 in number, allowing one
acre for each person, and likewise for cattle, valued at £20 the
head, beginning next the Plain meadow, and to go on until lots
are ended" (Watertown Records). These meadows were prob-
ably in the south and south-eastern part of Weston. In July,
1638, it was ordered
that all the land lying beyond the Plowlands [lots in the further plain]
and the lots granted extending west of Stoney Brook, having the great
dividents on the one side [north] and Charles River and Dedham bounds
on the other side [south], and the Farm lands at the further end [west]
of it, shall be for a common for cattle, to the use of the Freemen of the
Town and their heirs forever, and not to be alienated without the con-
sent of every freeman and their heirs forever.
This is the first instance upon record where the term "Farm
lands" is applied to Weston. The earliest proprietors of land in
2 HISTORY OF WESTON
Weston in 1642 are Bryan Pendleton, Daniel Pattrick, Simon Eire,
John Stowers, Abraham Browne, John Whitney, Edward How,
Jeremiah Norcross, and Thomas Mayhew. From 1647 to 1663
there was much dissatisfaction and contention about the early
allotments of the Remote Meadows in Lieu of Township, and of
the Farm Lands; and in 1663 this portion of the town was resur-
veyed and plotted by Captain John Sherman. It contained
1,102 acres, bounded on the south by Dedham, west by Natick
and Sudbury, and on the other side by the Farm Lands. This
district is frequently referred to in early deeds as "the land of
In ecclesiastical affairs what is now Weston was connected with
Watertown about sixty-eight years, and in civil concerns about
eighty-three years.* The inhabitants of the Farms, and those
in the remote westerly part of Watertown, went to worship in
the easterly part of Watertown, at a house situated in the vicinity
of the old burying-place. The first church in Massachusetts was
planted at Salem; the second, at Charlestown, including Boston;
the third, at Dorchester; the fourth, at Roxbury; the fifth, at
Lynn; and the sixth, at Watertown. On July 30, 1630, at Water-
town, forty men subscribed a church covenant, and from that
date seem to have been considered a distinct church. It would
appear from Governor Winthrop's Journal that the Watertown
church had a prior existence to the one at Charlestown, and was
second only to that at Salem.
In 1692 began the contention in Watertown growing out of the
location of the new meeting-house considered "most convenient
to the bulk of the inhabitants." There was great opposition to a
* A history of Weston from the date of its separation from Watertown in 1698, as a dis-
tinct precinct, must necessarily commence with a history of its church. There are no records
of the town other than those of the church for a period of fourteen years. In the early settle-
ments of New England the church was the nucleus of organization, the bond which held to-
gether the scattered population of the rural districts, around which the people gathered and
formed that essentially New England form of government which we call the Town Meeting.
It was through the action of the town meetings that the democracy of New England was de-
veloped and brought the population of the towns to take personal action in all that pertained
to the common interests. They voted to levy taxes on themselves and to dispose of their
own money, they kept control upon money appropriations and watched carefully their expen-
diture. It was through the agency of town meetings and the public spirit they developed
that the country was successfully carried through the Revolutionary War, and they became
ultimately the framework of our general government. No better test of their efficiency can
be found than in the successful maintenance of personal liberty and the Constitution against
the assaults upon them at the time of our Civil War.
ECCLESIASTICAL ORIGIN OF THE TOWN 3
change in their place of worship, and in this dilemma the Select-
men agreed to refer the matter to the governor, Sir William
Phipps, and his council. This mode of bringing the disputes of
a town to an issue by referring them to the chief magistrate of
the State would be deemed singular at the present day, but at
that early period was not uncommon. The committee appointed
by the governor to take the matter into consideration consisted
of William Stoughton, John Phillips, James Russell, Samuel
Sew all, and Joseph Lynde. They made their report in May, 1693.
The Selectmen not being satisfied with some of the provisions
of the report of the committee, it was subsequently revised in
1694. The report was still unsatisfactory to the townspeople,
and a protest was placed on record, signed by one hundred citizens,
of which thirty-three were inhabitants of the Farmers' District,
later known as Weston.
The dissensions growing out of the new meeting-house loca-
tion continued for some years; and as early as 1694 that part of
Watertown now known as Weston appears to have had separate
interests of its own in ecclesiastical matters. On October 2,
1694, "our neighbors the farmers [the name given to the settlers
west of the present boundary of Watertown] being upon endeav-
ours to have a Meeting house among themselves the town consents
that they may come as far as Beaver Brook, upon the road leading
to Sudbury; to the end there may be peace and settlement
amongst us." Beaver Brook still retains its old name to remind
us of this boundary. It passes the main road at the lower part
of Waltham Plain. The origin of the name will be seen in the
following extract from Winthrop's Journal, under date of January
The Governor and some company with him went up Charles River,
about eight miles above Watertown, and named the first brook, on the
north side of the river, Beaver Brook, because the beavers had shorn
down great trees there, and made divers dams across the brook. Thence
they went to a great rock upon which stood a high stone, cleft asunder,
that four men might go through, which they called x\dam's chair, because
the youngest of their company was xidam Winthrop. Thence they came
to another brook, greater than the former, which they called Masters
Brook, because the eldest of their company was one John Masters.
4 HISTORY OF WESTON
This is the present Stony Brook, which forms the boundary
between Waltham and Weston. The high hill which Winthrop
mentions west of Mount Feake is, undoubtedly, Sanderson's Hill
in Weston, upon which during the Revolution the beacon light
was established, Jonas Sanderson being its keeper. General
Sullivan speaks of this beacon light in his Memoirs as the con-
necting light, uniting his command in Rhode Island with Boston.
The town of Watertown included what is now Waltham, Weston,
Lincoln, and a part of Concord.
In 1697 Mr. Angier became the pastor of the West Precinct of
Watertown. But as early as 1694 the inhabitants of the Farmers'
Precinct, to the number of one hundred and eighteen, petitioned
to be set off into a separate precinct, alleging the great distance
to the church and protesting against being obliged to go so far
from home. The prayer of the petitioners was not granted at
once, — in fact, not until after a period of three years. Justice
Sewall, who presided over the conference, states in his Diary
that so great was the contention that he had to pray hard to keep
the contending parties from coming to blows. Weston became
a separate precinct in 1698; but on January 1, 1697, they were
exempted from ministerial rates in Watertown, though not in
legal form until a year later. After the incorporation of Weston
in 1712 (up to which period it had been called the "westerly,"
"more westerly," and "most westerly" precinct of Watertown)
the middle part acquired the name of the West Precinct, or Water-
town West, and was incorporated as a town by the name of
Waltham in 1737, or twenty -five years after the incorporation of
Weston. It would seem that the inhabitants of the Farms were
in earnest in their determination to be separated from Water-
town, and probably feared that Watertown would not consent to
the prayer of the petitioners, for in August, 1695, money was
contributed by sundry persons for the purpose of preferring a
petition to the General Court to that end. No record of any
such petition, however, can be found. Some doubts arising about
the eastern boundary of the precinct (see Appendix IX.), the
General Court in May, 1699, passed an order, viz.: —
The bounds of said precinct shall extend from Charles River to
Stony Brook Bridge, and from the said Bridge up the Brook Northerly
ECCLESIASTICAL ORIGIN OF THE TOWN 5
to Robert Harrington's farm; and the brook to be the Boundary; In-
cluding the said Farm, and comprehending all the Farms, and Farm
Lands to the lines of Cambridge and Concord; and from thence all
Watertown lands to their utmost Southward and Westward Bounds.
The same bounds, in the same words, are defined in the act
of incorporation of the town.
January 9, 1695, the inhabitants of what is now Weston agreed
to build a meeting-house, thirty feet square, on land of Nathaniel
Coolidge, Sr. In March, 1715, the deed of this land was passed
to the church by Jonathan Coolidge, son of Nathaniel. This
church was never completed, but services were held in it in 1700.
It was styled the Farmers' Meeting-house. It was begun by sub-
scription and afterwards carried on at the expense of the precinct.
Meetings were held November 8 and November 15, 1698, officers
of the precinct were chosen, and provision made to complete the
church begun in 1695. On August 25, September 15, and Novem-
ber 16, 1699, still further measures were taken to finish the meet-
ing-house. February 14, 1700, the precinct voted to have a
minister to preach in the meeting-house, to begin the second
Sabbath of the ensuing March. Thus it appears that the small
house begun in 1695 was not so far completed as to be occupied
till March, 1700. On March 5, 1700, money was granted to sup-
port preaching, and grants continued to be made from time
to time for this purpose. A committee was chosen September
13, 1700, to apply for advice, as to the choice of a minister, to the
Rev. President Mather of Harvard College. The committee con-
sisted of Rev. Mr. Angier, Mr. Brattle, and Mr. Gibbs, and they
were asked to make a report. Mr. Thomas Symmes was chosen,
but no mention is made of him in the records. It is to be pre-
sumed he declined the call. Mr. Mors would seem to have been
the choice of the Precinct Committee, as in December, 1701, it
was voted that Mr. Mors should continue in order for a settle-
ment. July 2, 1702, they gave him a call to settle in the min-
istry, the vote of the church being thirty for and twelve against
him. In September, 1702, they renewed the call and granted
him an annual salary, also engaging to build him a house forty by
twenty feet. This house stood on the present site of the house of
Deacon White. In 1704 the house was put into the possession of
6 HISTORY OF WESTON
Mr. Mors and a grant of money made to enable him to finish it.
In this year difficulties arose respecting Mr. Mors's settlement
in the ministry, but there is no record of what the difficulties
were. In the controversy between the precinct and Mr. Mors,
whatever might be the grounds of it, there appears to have been
considerable irritation, and his opposers were thought to have been
at fault. Mr. Mors had steadfast friends, who were zealous for his
settlement; but they agreed to relinquish their object, and unite
in the choice of another man, if the precinct would join in calling
in mediators who would attempt a reconciliation between Mr.
Mors and his opponents. Justice Sewall (Memoirs, vol. ii. p.
156), under date of March 6, 1706, speaks of a council held at the
house of Mr. Willard, and they advise that after a month Mr.
Joseph Mors should cease to preach at Watertown Farms. He
left in the spring of 1706, and was afterwards settled in Stoughton,
now Canton. A committee was appointed to treat with him for
the purchase of his house and land, for the use of the ministry, but
no agreement was reached until 1707, when he conveyed the prem-
ises to the Precinct Committee, as will be found in Registry of
Deeds, lib. 14, fol. 646. The committee consisted of Thomas
Wilson, Captain Josiah Jones, Captain Francis Fullam, Lieu-
tenant John Brewer. These premises were assigned to Rev.
William Williams, April 28, 1714 (lib. 22, fol. 211). In 1706 the
precinct was presented at the Court of Sessions for not having a
settled minister. A committee was appointed to answer the
presentment at Charlestown.
February 11, 1707, the precinct chose Mr. Nathaniel Gookin
to be their minister, but he did not accept the call. The precinct
was again presented, May 9, 1707. In June, 1707, a petition was
prepared to be presented to the Court at Concord, assignino-
reasons for not having a settled minister. The petitioners say
"once more we humbly pray that the Honourable Court would
not put Mr. Joseph Mors into the work of the ministry in our
precinct." They were fearful the Court would place Mr. Mors
here and not by their own election. July 16, 1707, they chose
Mr. Thomas Tufts, but he declined the call in September. Janu-
ary 14, 1708, they agreed to keep a day of fasting and prayer.
In February, 1708, the people gave Mr. William Williams a call.
ECCLESIASTICAL ORIGIN OF THE TOWN T
Mr. Williams accepted in August, 1709, and he was ordained
November 2, 1709, eleven years after the Farms had become
a distinct precinct. It would appear that the church had no
regular organization until 1710, when two deacons were chosen.
They were Captain Josiah Jones and John Parkhurst. The mem-
bership consisted of nineteen males, — nine from other churches
and ten who were not communicants. The following are the
names of those who gathered with the church: Nathaniel Cool-
idge, Thomas Flagg, John Livermore, Francis Fullam, Abel Allen,
Joseph Lowell, John Parkhurst, Ebenezer Allen, Francis Peirce.
The ten others were Joseph Jones, Thomas Wright, Joseph
Allen, Josiah Jones, Jr., Joseph Woolson, Joseph Livermore,
Joseph Allen, Jr., Josiah Livermore, Samuel Severns, George
It would seem from the following that, although Mr. Williams
was only ordained in November, 1709, he held a conference at
his "lodgings" as early as October 12 of that year, and began at
that date the organization of the church in Weston. The cove-
nant then subscribed by the inhabitants who gathered with this
church is so very interesting that its introduction here will not
be out of place. It would also seem that twelve years after the
signing of the covenant, March 12, 1721, a "Profession of Faith"
was also signed by the young people of the parish, or what should
properly be called a renewal of baptismal vows and promises.
This last covenant is still more interesting, as it gives us an idea
of the strong abiding faith which characterized our forefathers,
but which in too many instances in this our day has given place
to laxity and indifference in those things which our sires held in
such love and veneration.
Says Mr. Williams: "October 12, 1709, was the day appointed
(by the members of the Parish) to meet and confer together (at
my lodgings) where they expressed their charity towards each
other, and that there was no discord between them, or any thing
that should hinder their Communion and fellowship. Some time
was spent in reading the Confession of Faith put forth by the last
Synod of churches held in Boston in New England, to which they
assented, and in praying for the Divine Blessing. The covenant
was read and subscribed by them all."
8 HISTORY OF WESTON
We do under an abiding sense of our unworthiness of such a favour
and unfitness for such a blessing, yet apprehending ourselves to be called
of God to put ourselves into a way of Church communion, and to seek
the settlement of all the Gospel Institutions among us, do therefore in
order thereto, and for better promoting thereof as much as in us lies,
knowing how prone we are to err, abjuring all confidence in ourselves,
and relying on the Lord Jesus Christ for help, Covenant as follows : —
First, having perused the Confession of Faith put forth by the last
Synod of Churches, held in Boston in New England, we do heartilj^ close
in with it for the substance of it, and promise to stand by maintaining,
and if need be contend for >e Faith therein delivered to the People of
God, and if any one of us shall go about to undermine it we will bear
a due testimony against them. We do all combine to walk together
as a particular Church of Christ, according to all those Holy rules of ye
Gospel prescribed to such a society, so far as God has revealed, or shall
reveal his mind to us in this respect. We do accordingly recognize the
Covenant of Grace, in which we do professedly acknowledge ourselves
bound, rooted to ye fear and service of the only true God our Supreme
Lord, and to ye Lord Jesus Christ the High Priest, Prophet and King
of his Church unto the conduct of whose Spirit we submit ourselves,
and on whom alone we rely for pardon, grace and glory: to whom we
bind ourselves in an everlasting Covenant never to be broken. W^e
likewise give up ourselves one unto another in the Lord, resolving l)y his
help to cleave to each other, as fellow-members of one body in brotherly
love and holy watchfulness over one another, for mutual edification, and
to submit ourselves to all the Holy administrations appointed by him
who is the head of the Church, dispensed according to the rules of the
Gospel, and to give our constant attendance on all the public ordinances
of Christ's Institutions, walking orderly as becometh saints.
We do all acknowledge our Posterity to be included with us in the
Gospel Covenant, and blessing God for so rich a favour do promise to
bring them up in the nurture and admonition of ye Lord, with greatest
care. Further we promise to be careful to ye utmost, to procure the
settlement and continuance among us of all ye ofiices and oflBcers ap-
pointed by Christ, the Chief Shepherd, for the edification of his Church:
and accordingly' to do our duty faithfully for their maintenance and en-
couragement, and to carry it towards them as becomes us. Finally we
do acknowledge, and promise to preserve communion with the faithful
Churches of Christ, for the giving and receiving mutual Counsel and as-
sistance, in all cases wherein it shall be needful. Now the good Lord
be merciful unto us, and as he hath put it into our hearts thus to devote
ourselves to him, let him pity and pardon our frailties, humble us out
of all carnal confidence, and keep it for ever more upon our hearts to be
ECCLESIASTICAL ORIGIN OF THE TOWN 9
faithful to himself, and one to another, for his praise and our Eternal
comfort, for Christ Jesus sake, to whom be Glory for ever and ever.
A FORM OF YE COVENANT ASSENTED TO BY YE YOUNG PEOPLE, MARCH
You do thankfully acknowledge ye Divine goodness towards you,
that you have been by ye act of your parents dedicated to God in your
Baptism and by their pious care educated in ye Christian religion, do
now willingly ratify their act, and solemnly choose ye Lord, Father, Son
and Holy Ghost into ye profession of whose name you have been baptised,
for your God and portion. And professing a serious belief of ye holy
Scriptures as ye word of God, you resolve by his grace to take them for
ye Rule of your lives : to guide and govern both your faith and practice,
renouncing all you know to be contrary to his revealed will. You depend
on the Lord Jesus Christ the mediator of ye Covenant for righteousness
and strength — that you may be pardoned and accepted with God, and
may be enabled to walk in sincere obedience before him. You do also
subject yourselves to ye Government of Christ in his Church, and to ye
regular administration of it in this Church while his Providence shall
continue you here.
In ISIarch, 1720, the following young persons owned the cove-
nant and became members of the church: Isaac Harrington,
Joseph Livermore, Joseph Woolson, Josiah Jones, Robert Allen,
John Allen, Ebenezer Felch, Josiah Brewer, John Hastings, Joshua
Bigelow, Jonathan Bullard, Benjamin Rand, Isaac Allen, Jonas
Allen, Elezebeth Spring, Zedakiah Allen, Benjamin Brown, Jr.,
Francis Allen, Thankful Harrington, Mary Woolson, Hannah
Woolson, Patience Allen, Prudence Allen, Elezebeth Hastings,
Mary Livermore, Elezebeth Allen, Ruth Allen, Anna Brow^n,
Mary Spring, Mehitable, wife of Dr. Warren.
In January, 1715, at a church meeting it was voted that on
communion day the contributions, or collection, shall in future
be made previous to the blessing. Also voted that each com-
municant contribute a sum not less than ten cents at each com-
On March 30, 1710, money was granted to finish the meeting-
house, by which we learn that the small meeting-house, thirty
feet square, in Parkhurst Meadow, begun in 1695, had not been
10 HISTORY OF WESTON
completed in fifteen years. In 1718 a motion was brought for-
ward to build a new meeting-house, but the matter was then
deferred. However, it was probably begun soon after, as, by a
record extant of a town meeting held October 23, 1721, it was
voted "to appropriate their proportion of the bills of credit issued
by the General Court, and that they will forthwith proceed to
cover and close in ye meeting house with the materials that are
provided by the Committee." This committee consisted of
Benjamin Brown, Benoni Gearfield, Ebenezer Allen, Joseph
Allen, and James Jones. At this meeting it was also "Voted to
grant the Rev. Mr. William Williams ye sum of seventy and four
Pounds for his salary, for his labor in the Gospel Ministry amongst
us for the present year, and six pounds for cutting and carting
his fire wood ye present year." The location of the new church
was upon that ground now called the Common, and not upon the
land granted to the church by Nathaniel Coolidge in 1715.
In what year the new church was completed is not recorded.
It is probable that at the time of Mr. Williams's pastorate there
were no pews in the church, only benches, the men ranged on one
side, the women on the other, the boys being kept by themselves,
in charge of a constable. Pews were introduced much later, and
were built one or two at a time, at the expense of individuals,
upon obtaining permission from the Selectmen or more frequently
by a vote in town meeting.
Mr. Williams continued in the ministry in this church until Oc-
tober, 1750, covering a period of forty-one years, and was then
dismissed by a mutual council. No reasons are given on the par-
ish records for this action. He remained a parishioner after his
dismissal, assisted his successors, and for a time was school-
master of the town. He died in Weston, March 6, 1760, aged
seventy-two years, and lies buried in our old burying-ground.
Mr. Williams's wife, Hannah Williams, died in Weston, Sun-
day, December 29, 1745, aged fifty-eight years. Mr. Williams
preached her funeral sermon, which is still extant. Four of
Mr. Williams's sermons were published in book form as early
as 1741. One of these, on "The Nature of Saving Faith," de-
livered in Mr. John Cotton's church in Newton, is still preserved.
One of his sermons, on "The Prodigal Daughter," is illustrated,
ECCLESIASTICAL ORIGIN OF THE TOWN 11
and is a most extraordinary production. In this publication is
given what is supposed to be a picture of ISIr. Wilhams delivering
the sermon from the pulpit. Altogether it would seem that Mr.
Williams was a man of no ordinary ability and energy.
At a meeting of the church held April 27, 1726, it was voted
as the general sentiment that "turning ye back towards the
minister to gaze abroad, and laying down ye head upon ye arms,
in a sleepy position, in ye time of public worship, are postures
irreverent and indecent, and which ought to be reformed where
any are faulty therein, and carefully avoided."
In 1800 the church of 1721 underwent thorough repair. A
steeple and two porches were added, and a new bell procured of
Paul Revere, for which the sum of $443.12 was paid by subscrip-
tion of the people. Mr. Kendal makes no mention of the orig-
inal bell in his centennial sermon. It weighed only one hundred
and sixty -four pounds, and was probably brought down from
Canada in one of the expeditions against the French and Indians.
It was a bell probably belonging to some chapel or convent. Mr.
Revere purchased the bell at the time he sold the new bell, and
paid $72.88 for it. The history of this old bell would be interest-
ing to us to-day. There are persons still living who can remem-
ber the old church with its high-backed pews, sounding-board,
and pulpit. There was an air of solemn dignity, an emphasis of
religious fervor, which this old church typified, that impressed the
beholder with a reverence its successor never succeeded in doing.
The destruction of this old landmark, built of solid oak, and re-
placed by a monstrosity which only a nineteenth-century archi-
tect could devise, shows both lack of reverence and the decay
of faith, — a marked trait of our times. When this church of
1721 was taken dowTi in 1840, it was one hundred and eighteen
years old. The church of 1840 was erected a little east of the
old one, on land given for that purpose by Mrs. Clarissa Smith.
Rev. Samuel Woodward succeeded Mr. Williams, Septem-
ber 25, 1751, and died October 5, 1782, at the age of fifty-six
years and in the thirty -first year of his ministry. He was greatly
beloved by his people and his brethren of the clergy. His com-
pany was sought and enjoyed by all classes, old and young, the
serious and the gay.
12 HISTORY OF WESTON
At a town meeting held February 24, 1783, Rev. Dr. Samuel
Kendal received forty -three votes against nineteen opposing
votes for his settlement in the gospel ministry as successor to
Mr. Woodward. It was also voted "to grant £200 as an encour-
agement for his settling with us." And at an adjourned meeting
held August 11, 1783, Mr. Kendal's answer was received and
read in open town meeting. Mr. Kendal's letter is a long one
and somewhat peculiar. His acceptance is conditioned upon an
increase in the salary offered (£80), and the town voted him
an additional £10 and an additional five cords of wood. The
letter will be found interesting, and can be found in full in
Appendix I. Mr. Kendal was ordained November 5, 1783. It
is rather curious in this connection to note that eleven of those
who voted adversely to the settlement of Mr. Kendal entered
a protest against the proceedings which led to his settlement.
The protest was placed on the records, but received no other
attention. Mr. Kendal continued as pastor of the church for
thirty years, and during this long period was kept from his
pulpit but one Sunday, either by sickness or inclemency of
It is to Mr. Kendal's centennial sermon, delivered in 1812,
that we owe what little we have of the past history of the town
from the time of its incorporation. The loss of all the precinct
and town records down to 1754 renders this sermon a most valu-
able document. Three ministers ordained in Weston had filled
the pastoral office for over a century. Including the first eighteen
years of the parish, 694 persons had been admitted to church
fellowship, — namely, 425 under Mr. Williams, 163 under Mr.
Woodward, 106 under Dr. Kendal. There were 2,569 baptisms,
— 1,082 in Mr. Williams's time, 18 between his dismissal and
Mr. Woodward's ordination, 922 by Mr. Woodward, 15 between
his decease and Mr. Kendal's induction to office, and 532 by
Mr. Kendal. Ten deacons were chosen, as follows: Captain
Josiah Jones, 1710; John Parkhurst, 1710; Benjamin Brown,
1715; Ensign John Warren, 1733; Thomas Upham, 1767; Thomas
Russell, 1767; Samuel Fiske, 1780; Isaac Hobbs, 1780; Nathan
Warren, 1808; Thomas Bigelow, 1808.
The population of the town was a little over 1,000. In 1895
ECCLESIASTICAL ORIGIN OF THE TO^VN 13
it was 1,710.* Mr. Kendal gives the bill of mortality for thirty-
years, from 1783 to 1812. Before that time there were no
means of computing. During these thirty years there were 396
deaths, making the annual average 13.5, or 66 in five years. Of
the 396 who died, 90 arrived at the age of seventy and up-
wards. Out of the 90 that lived to this age, 52 attained to their
eightieth year, giving more than 1 in 8 that reached fourscore
years. Of the 52 that arrived at this age, 27 lived to be eighty-
seven and upwards, giving 1 in 14 ^^ that attained to advanced
J' ears. Twelve lived to be ninety and upwards, making 1 in 33
of this very great age. Three lived to be ninety-five and up-
wards, giving 1 in 132. One lived to be a hundred and two
years old. This was Mary Hastings, widow of Mr. John Hast-
ings, who died at the age of eighty-eight years. This bill
of mortality shows Weston to be as healthy a spot as any in
When Mr. Kendal was called to this parish, he made a condi-
tion that he should receive £100 a year. Mr. Woodward had re-
ceived £80, and Mr. Williams £74. It was represented to him
that the times were very hard, as indeed they were, there being
no money in the country and the Continental money hardly worth
the paper it was printed on. iVlthough the people had added
£10 and five cords of wood to the salary paid Mr. Woodward,
Mr. Kendal wrote them a letter addressed as follows: —
My Christian Fathers, Brothers and Friends, ... As the times are pe-
culiarly difficult by reason of very heavy taxes, I do freely give up what
you have now added for three years, so that until after three years are
expired I shall expect no more than £80 and fifteen cords of wood an-
nually. [Mr. Kendal well saj's] that since our ancestors landed on these
shores, the wilderness has bloomed as the rose, and the desert become a
fruitful field. The haunts of wild beasts or of savage tribes have become
populous cities, villages or towns. Where nothing met the eye but nat-
ure in her rudest dress, where nothing saluted the ear but the yell
of savages and the howling of beasts of prey, these spacious temples are
erected to the living God, and the blessings of civilization enjoyed.
Mr. Kendal gives a list of the young men, natives of the town,
who had received a collegiate education, — 20 at Cambridge and
1 at Providence at the close of the centennial period: William
*Cf. p. 20, line 3.
14 HISTORY OF WESTON
Williams, 1729; Nathan Fiske, 1754; DanielJones, 1759; Phineas
Whitney, 1759; Daniel Stimpson, 1759; Ephraim Woolson, 1760;
Samuel Savage, 1766; Isaac Bigelow, 1769; Stephen Jones, 1775;
Samuel Woodward, 1776; Abraham Bigelow, 1782; Thaddeus
Fiske, 1785; Ebenezer Starr, 1789; Silas Warren, 1795; Isaac
Allen, 1798; Isaac Fiske, 1798; Charles Train, 1805; Benjamin
Rand, 1808; Alpheus Bigelow, 1810; Abraham Harrington, 1812;
Isaac Fiske, 1812 (Providence).
Mr. Kendal married Abigail, daughter of Rev. Samuel Wood-
ward, in 1786. She died in 1793, and he married her sister
Miranda Woodward in 1794. A newspaper of the day speaks
of the marriage, "and the mark of joy and approbation at this
alliance manifested by the people of the town, rarely incidental
to such an event." Mr. Kendal purchased for £490 3d. the es-
tate of Mr. Benjamin Peirce, who before his death kept a tavern on
the site now owned by Mr. Francis B. Sears. In 1791 the house
was destroyed by fire, the family moving into the house of the
widow Woodward, now that of Mrs. Dickson, which house Mr.
Woodward built in 1753. Young collegians who were suspended
for a longer or shorter term for breaches of college discipline
were sent to rusticate with Dr. Kendal, who kept them up in
their studies and classes, imparting moral stamina as well. Many
men who have become famous in the dififerent walks of life passed
terms of rustication under Dr. Kendal's roof, among these the
venerable Dr. Bigelow, who was one of the most noted physicians
of his day. His name may still be seen on a pane of window
glass in one of the rooms. Dr. Kendal prepared young Alvan
Lamson for college, who later became a noted divine. In 1814
Dr. Kendal died. A long notice of his death appeared at the
time in a Boston paper: —
On the 15th inst. departed this life the Rev. Samuel Kendal, pastor
of the church in Weston. A man highly esteemed in life, and deeply
lamented in death. Few characters, more deserving of respectful atten-
tion, have been found and exhibited in our country. In 1782 he re-
ceived the honors of Harvard University and becoming settled as pastor
over the respectable town of Weston he became at once the guide and
father of his people. The degree of Doctor of Divinity was bestowed
upon him by the University of New Haven in 1806.
THE ELLIS PLACE, CENTRAL AVENUE.
Formerly owned and occupied by Hon. James Lloyd, at one time United States senator
from Massachusetts. In 1S22 it was bouglit and occupied by John Mark Gourgas, of a
notable Huguenot family. It is now owned by the heirs of Mrs. Lucinda A. Ellis.
'f^^ '^ ' ' "X «•**
THE OLD DR. KENDAL HOUSE, CENTRAL AVENUE.
Built by Rev. Dr. Samuel Kendal in 1795 from hand-hewn timber, given by Dr.
Kendal's parishioners, and hand-made nails. Later Mr. Alpheus Cutter owned the place,
and it is claimed that here he made the first cotton batting in this country, and then cotton
cloth, later moving to Waltham and starting the industry there. Mr. Luke Brooks bought
the place about 1840 and remodelled the house. In ISdl it was sold to Mr. George Spar-
hawk, and is still owned by his daughter, Mrs. Francis B. Sears. The house was de-
stroyed by fire February 25, 1906.
ECCLESIASTICAL ORIGIN OF THE TOWN 15
After the death of Dr. Kendal, Joseph Allen, a student at
Cambridge under the elder Ware, was invited to fill the vacant
pulpit as a candidate for a settlement; but he declined, and the
town voted on December 27, 1814, to give Mr. Joseph Field, Jr.,
an invitation to settle in the ministry (three only voting against
him), and "that his sallary shall be $800 annually." Mr. Field's
answer to the invitation was read in town meeting January 9,
1815, and will be found in Appendix II. These letters of the
several pastors require no apology for their insertion in these
pages. When we consider that the pastorate of this church has
been held for nearly two centuries by only four ministers, and
that Mr. Field held the position for over half a century, we see
that he cannot but have left in the memory of the inhabitants
a grateful sense of his many virtues and his marked ability. Mr.
Field was ordained February 1, 1815, President Kirkland of
Harvard College preaching the sermon. The thermometer on
that day was eight degrees below zero, and the refreshments
provided for the occasion by the people froze on the tables, the
fruit being hard as stones. In 1865, at the completion of the
half-century of his pastorate, his age and increasing infirmities
compelled him to relinquish his duties. In compliance, how-
ever, with the wishes of his parishioners he continued to remain
their senior pastor. He held this position at the time of his
death, which occurred November 5, 1869, at the age of eighty-one
years. The semi-centennial anniversary of Mr. Field, just
alluded to, was attended by a large concourse of his brethren
of the clergy throughout the county, as well as by others to the
number of about three hundred souls. He delivered a vale-
dictory discourse from Acts vi. 4, "The Ministry of the Word."
His remarks were made with great feeling and with that peculiar
emphasis which those who sat under him in earlier days will
recall. Many were moved to tears as their aged pastor rehearsed
his life and Christian ministry among them. The deacons chosen
since his ordination in 1815 were as follows: Mr. Isaac Hobbs,
Mr. Abraham Hews, Mr. Samuel Hews, Mr. Marshall Hews.
He stated that he had solemnized over 200 marriages and 180
baptisms. Over 100 had been admitted to the church, and 480
deaths had occurred, many of those who had died being very
16 HISTORY OF WESTON
aged. He stated that the venerable father of Dr. Kendal, his
predecessor, lived to the age of ninety-nine years. Rev. Dr.
Sears followed Dr. Field in an address to the people. The hospi-
talities tendered the guests on this occasion were of that liberal
character for which the town has always been celebrated. With
Dr. Field, it may be said, was first introduced into this parish
what is now styled Unitarianism, in contradistinction to the old-
time Congregationalism of the early fathers.
Rev. Dr. Edmund H. Sears succeeded Dr. Field in the
pastorate of this church from 1865 to the time of his death in
This was a period of great importance for the town and its
inhabitants. The Civil War had not ended when Dr. Sears suc-
ceeded Dr. Field, and the trying time of reconstruction came
within his ministry. Questions of internal improvement became
prominent. In all these matters he gave wise and practical
counsel, and served the town in many and varied ways. He re-
vised the covenant of the church and increased its membership.
At his initiative and urgency the parish in 1874 built a new vestry
with Sunday-school rooms. It was diiring his ministry that he
wrote his greatest literary work, entitled, "The Fourth Gospel —
The Heart of Christ," a book of ripe scholarship and research and
pure diction, which made a profound impression upon the relig-
ious public. In many hymnals are included his well-known
Christmas lyrics, "It came upon the Midnight Clear" and
"Calm on the Listening Ear of Night." But most of all, by his
devout and conscientious ministry, by his lovely and refining
personality, by his eloquent preaching and his inspired pen, he
gave impetus and sanction and power to the best in the com-
munity, and, dying, added to the list of the town's worthy min-
isters a most illustrious name.
Rev. Francis B. Hornbrooke succeeded Mr. Sears, and was
installed October 18, 1876, and resigned in October, 1879, to take
charge of a larger congregation at Newton.
Rev. Hobart Clark succeeded Mr. Hornbrooke in March, 1880,
and resigned in February, 1882, and removed to England.
Rev. Charles F. Russell followed Mr. Clark in November,
1882, the interval being filled by Rev. Chandler Robbins, who
ECCLESIASTICAL ORIGIN OF THE TOW\N 17
became a resident of Weston after resigning from the Second
Church in Boston.
From the settlement of Mr. Mors in 1702 to the death of Dr.
Sears in 1876, a period of one hundred and seventy-four years,
there had been but six ministers over this church. They are
buried in the town within a short distance of each other, with
the exception of Mr. Mors, who, after leaving Weston, was settled
in what is now Canton, where he died.
It has been necessary to dwell at unusual length on the his-
tory of the church in Weston, as its history is that of the early
settlement and the Farmers' Precinct. In those early days
there was but one church, but one congregation, around which
the settlers gathered, and paid their tithes for the support of
the gospel. All things pertaining to the church were voted at
town meeting, and that down to a very late period, — as solid a
union of Church and State, while it lasted, as ever existed in the
old country. As the town and precinct records are all lost, the
history of the Weston church is the history of the town down
to 1746 and 1754.
Gexeral Description and Military Organization.
In 1711/12 the Precinct of Weston, called the Farmers' Dis-
trict, assembled and drew up a petition to the Great and General
Court, praying that the precinct be incorporated as a town, and
chose a committee of three to carry their petition to the legisla-
ture. This petition was presented by Captain Francis Fulham,
Lieutenant Josiah Jones, and Mr. Daniel Eastabroke. A peti-
tion was also presented to the town of ^Yatertown, that the
Farmers' Precinct be allowed to form a separate town. "The
Town of Watertown by a free vote manifested their willingness
that the said precinct should be a township, according to their
former bounds," with proviso and conditions, viz.: —
1. That the Farmers continue to pay a due share of the ex-
pense of maintaining the great bridge over Charles River.
2. That they pay their full and due share of the debts now
due by the town. (This second proviso does not seem to have
been insisted upon.)
3. That they do not in any way infringe the rights of proprie-
tors having land, but not residing among the Farmers. (The
petition of the precinct to the legislature cannot be found.)
The following Act of Incorporation of the Town of Weston
is copied from the Court Record of Acts and Resolves, vol. ix.
p. 216, in the State Library: —
^ Present in Council.
January 1st, 1712/13.
His Excellency Joseph Dudley, Esqr Governor.
The Hon. William Tayler Esq., Lieut. Governor.
Elisha Hutchinson Joseph Lynde Edward Bromfield
Samuel Sewall EUakim Hutchinson Ephraim Hunt
John Phillips Esqr Penn Townsend Esqr Isaac Winslow Esqr
Peter Sergeant Andrew Belcher Daniel Epes.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION AND MILITARY ORGANIZATION 19
Upon reading a Petition of Francis Fulham, Josiah Jones, and Daniel
Eastabroke, a Committee of the West Precinct in Watertown, commonly
called the Farms, Praying that (Having the Consent of the Town therefor)
They be granted to be a distinct Township, to enjoy the Privileges and
Immunities which other Towns do and may by Law enjoy — Ordered, that
the Prayer of the Petition be granted, and that the West Precinct in
Watertown, commonly called the Farms, be erected and made into a
Township, to contain all the Lands and Farms within the boundaries
following: That is to say, To extend from Charles River to Stony
Brook Bridge, and from the said Bridge up the Brook Northerly to
Robert Harrington's Farm; and the brook to be the Boundary; In-
cluding the said Farm, and comprehending all the Farms and Farm
Lands to the lines of Cambridge and Concord; and from thence all Water-
town lands to their utmost Southward and Westward Bounds, The
town to be named Weston, subject nevertheless to the Reservations
and Savings made by the Town of Watertown in their setting off the said
Lands — And further granted that the Inhabitants of Weston have use
and exercise all such Powers, Privileges and Immunities as other Towns
have and do by Law use and enjoy, as to the Choice of Town officers, al-
lotting out Lands, Raising of Taxes and for ordering of other Town affairs.
Concur'd by the Representatives.
Consented to, J. Dudley.
The Precinct of Lexington was made a township in March,
1712/13, over two months after the town of Weston. In the
article of its incorporation a proviso was inserted that Lexington
should bear a part of the two-thirds of the charge of the great
bridge over Charles River in Cambridge annually. This bridge
was built in 1662 (destroyed in 1685). The expense of its main-
tenance was apportioned two-sixths upon Cambridge, one-sixth
upon Newton, and three-sixths upon Middlesex. In 1733 the
second bridge was destroyed by ice, and rebuilt by the sale of
town lands belonging to Cambridge. It was again rebuilt in
1862, at the expense of Cambridge and Brighton.
The importance of these bridges and the early mode of reach-
ing the town of Boston by carriages and teams will be treated of
later on, Weston continued to pay its share toward the main-
tenance of the great bridge at Watertown down to the year 1803.
The town of Weston lies twelve miles west of Boston. It meas-
ures about five and a half miles north and south and three and
a half miles east and west, and contains about eleven thousand
20 HISTORY OF WESTON
acres of land. It originally formed a part of Watertown, settle-
ments from which made up what are now Waltham, Weston,
and Lincoln. The population of Weston, according to the 1910
census, is 2,259 souls. The town is bounded on the north by
Lincoln; on the east by Waltham and Newton, Stony Brook and
Charles River being the dividing line (Charles River divides it
from Newton); southerly by Wellesley; westerly by Wayland
(formerly East Sudbury) and Natick.
The old post-road from Boston to New York passes through the
centre of the town, and for many years was one of the most
important and best travelled roads of the Union. Over this road,
in the mail-coach, travelled John Adams when on his way to
Washington to take the oath as President of the United States, as
did Daniel Webster and Samuel Dexter when they first went to
Congress. They breakfasted in the old tavern on Ball's Hill, in
its day one of the most important taverns in Massachusetts, but
now gone to decay and condemned. Could the history of this
house be told, it would make very interesting reading. Down to
very nearly our own day it was famous among the lovers of good
cheer, frequented by the Strattons, Rutters, Smiths, and others,
who were its constant guests, particularly at night, in the times
when card -playing was not looked upon as a vice. The Lancaster
turnpike, or, as we call it to-day, the Concord road, passes through
the northern part of the town, and in former years was the great
thoroughfare between Boston and New Hampshire, and into the
Canadas. The Framingham turnpike runs through the southern
part of the town, but was of less importance in point of travel.
It was over the post-road, so called, in the centre of the town,
and over the south (or Framingham) road, that the prisoners,
after the surrender at Saratoga, passed on their way to Winter
Hill, Somerville, and there still exists in West Newton the bar-
room at which the British and American officers stopped on their
way, to take a drink. This tap-room is still in very much the
same condition as at that period.
Weston is a generally uneven and broken tract of land. High
clifiFs and rocks are found within its limits. There are still grounds
for believing that Mount Feake and the other very high rock,
mentioned by Governor Winthrop, lie within the Weston boun-
GENERAL DESCRIPTION AND MILITARY ORGANIZATION 21
dary. The town is elevated above the adjacent country, and the
views from its heights are unsurpassed by any within twenty
miles of Boston. The soil is rich, though in parts rocky. Per-
haps one reason of the undeniable salubrity of the town, over
nearly every other section of our State, arises from the fact that
the substratum of the soil is blue gravel. The hills are full of
springs. A number of brooks and rividets run into streams which
empty into Stony Brook and Charles River. These brooks,
for the greater part, rise within the town, and are fed by springs.
A part of None-such Pond is within the southern limits of the
town. The meadows in former days were much used for the ex-
traction of peat of excellent quality, — an article now gone out of
general use. Snake Rock at Stony Brook, more generally styled
"Devil's Den," is a cave which, tradition says, was formerly a
place of refuge and deposit for thieves and their plunder.
The inhabitants of Weston are mostly farmers, and perhaps
there are few other towns in the Commonwealth where the land
has descended from the early settlers to their descendants in such
unbroken succession as in the case of Weston. It is pleasant
for us of to-day to look back through the lists of the soldiers of
the early French and Indian Wars, the patriots of the Revolution,
and the men of the sectional war of 1861, and find among them
many, very many, of the descendants of the pioneers of the
Farmers' District, which came out from Watertown in 1650. Wes-
ton can count among its inhabitants many who have distinguished
themselves in every walk of life, as soldiers, lawyers, judges, mer-
chants. An account of some of these will be found as we go on.
There were no Indian settlements within the bounds of Weston.
The country hereabouts was probably used as their hunting-
grounds. They had their settlements higher up on the banks
of the Charles and Sudbury Rivers. The only tradition of a
threatened incursion into the limits of the town relates to the time
of the attack on Sudbury in 1676, when the Indians planned the
destruction of Watertown and the other settlements. They then
penetrated to the western part of the town, and burnt a barn
standing on the farm now of Mr. Nahum Smith. It does not
appear that any one was killed by them at that time. A few
months before the attack on Sudbury, December, 1675, a war-
HISTORY OF WESTON
rant was issued to the militia of Watertown for impressing
"twenty soldiers, with provisions, arms, amunition and cloth-
ing," for the defence of the colony. In Captain Mason's return
thereto (Mass. Archives, vol. 68, fol. 74) may be seen many
names of the inhabitants of Weston, or what was then styled the
"Farmers' District." The list follows: —
Names of those who responded.
Daniel Warren Sr.
John Bigulah Sr.
Joseph Tayntor Jr.
John Whitney Sr.
Wm. Hager Jr.
Wm. Prior Jr.
Those most fit to goe upon the Service.
Daniel Warren Sr.
John Bigulah Sr.
John Whitney Sr.
William Hager Jr.
William Prior, Jr.
Sd Hugh Mason, Watertown.
Jacob Fullam, of Weston, son of Squire Fullam, joined the ex-
pedition, commanded by Captain Lovewell, against the "Pequaw-
ket" tribe of Indians in 1725. Fullam held the rank of sergeant.
This tribe of Indians, with Paugus, their chief, had its home in
the White Mountains, on the Saco River in New Hampshire.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION AND MILITARY ORGANIZATION 23
They were very troublesome, and this expedition was under-
taken to capture and destroy them, and also to gain the large
bounty offered by the province, of £100 for every Indian scalp.
The expedition consisted of about forty men. They were led into
an ambush by the savages, and the greater part were killed, in-
cluding Captain Love well and Sergeant FuUam. Sergeant Fullam
is reported to have distinguished himself in this fight. He killed
one savage in a hand-to-hand encounter, and, when a second
savage came to the rescue of his friend, Fullam and the second
savage both fell at the same instant, killed by each other's shot.
There was an old song about this fight, one verse of which runs
as follows: —
"Young Fullam, too, I'll mention
Because he fought so well;
Trying to save another man,
A sacrifice he fell."
The first steps taken toward a military organization were in
September, 1630, induced probably by the danger which was
threatening the charter of the province. This charter King
Charles was said to be about to withdraw, and the withdrawal,
had it been undertaken, would in all probability, in the then
temper of the colony, have brought matters to an early crisis.
The complications in which the British king found himself
engaged on the Continent of Europe about this time led to the
American colonies being for a time forgotten.
In 1636, at the time of the Pequot War, a more general organi-
zation of the militia took place. In this year all able-bodied
men in the colony were ranked into three regiments, the Middle-
sex regiment being under command of John Haines. In 1637
lieutenants and ensigns were appointed for the train-bands in the
towns. Information concerning these train-bands is difficult to
obtain. Neither town nor county records give any very satis-
factory information of them at this early date. All persons above
the age of sixteen were required to take the oath of fidelity, and
that was probably the age when they became subject to military
duty. It was not uncommon for men to hold office in the mili-
tary service to a very advanced age. In fact, they were never
too old for duty.
24 HISTORY OF WESTON
In 1643 the danger from the Indians and the scattered popu-
lation of the township led to the league of the four colonies
of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven,
under the title of "the United Colonies of New England." These
four States, or colonies, contained thirty-nine townships, with a
population of about 24,000 inhabitants. In 1648 the Narragan-
sett settlers asked leave to join the confederacy; but they were
refused, as not having any stable government. Of the 24,000
people in the confederacy, 15,000 belonged to Massachusetts,
while the three other colonies had a population of only about
3,000 each. In 1643 the thirty towns of Massachusetts were
divided into four counties, -^Middlesex, Essex, Norfolk, and
Suffolk, — each county, as before said, containing a regiment, the
chief commander of which held the rank of lieutenant, and the
second in command was styled sergeant-major. The history of
the Middlesex regiment, which more particularly interests Wes-
ton, will be found in its place. The train-bands organized at this
time in every part of the colony were intended for any public
service in which they could be utilized. But, out of the total
number in the train-band, one-third were set apart under the title
of "Alarm Men." These men were to be ready at a moment's
notice to repel any Indian invasion of the town or settlement.
They were the home guard, and never went on expeditions calling
the train-band away from home. They were reported separately
on the "return lists" which the commander of the train-band
was required to send to his colonel or superior officer. Some of
these lists will be found later on in this volume. The "Alarm
Men" took their arms to the fields when they worked at a dis-
tance from home. They took their guns to meeting on Sunday,
and stacked them in the church during divine service. After
meeting they were formed in front of the church and inspected
by the captain of the train-band (under whose orders they were,
as forming part of his company), and in his absence by one of the
deacons of the church. Every man was provided with a certain
amount of powder and ball, furnished by the precinct, and, if
any of the precinct ammunition had been used in hunting or other-
wise, the delinquent was made to pay for such ammunition. All
the early settlers were famous marksmen. The rifle was their
GENERAL DESCRIPTION AND MILITARY ORGANIZATION 25
usual weapon. One of the most frequent sources of complaint
against the "Alarm Men," as well as the men of the train-band,
was the illegitimate use of powder and ball in hunting and turkey
matches. Turkey shootings in the fall of the year formed a favor-
ite amusement, and continued all over New England down to
1840. The matches would now be considered as against law, and
come under the head of cruelty to animals, but in their day they
served an excellent purpose and made good marksmen, as many a
bloodthirsty Indian could (if alive) attest. Even boys at twelve
and thirteen years of age were familiar with gun and rifle, and
were excellent shots. The change from this school of the soldier,
as it certainly was in early days, was very perceptible in the War
of 1861. It was then found that a large percentage of the agri-
cultural contingents were utterly ignorant of the first principles
of loading and firing a gun, and in this respect were very much
inferior to the rank and file of the enemy. At a later period, when
the danger from Indian incursions had passed, the "alarm list,"
taken from companies, still continued, and, as we approach the
Revolutionary period, they were styled "Minute Men," and were
held in readiness against the British, as were their fathers against
the savages. The company returns still contained the "alarm
list and minute men" down to about 1800.
John Speen and his Indian kindred, who owned 16,000 acres of
land, described as the Indian plantation of "Xaticke," were in-
duced by the General Court to give up their title freely in 1650,
and their consideration was the "bettering of their souls" (!), re-
serving the right to take up lots after the English fashion, and
also in the turbary, piscary, and staveries.
From 1700 until 1715 there were continual petitions from the
towns about Natick for a division of this Indian commonage at
Natick; and finally Adam Winthrop, Governor John Leverett,
Judge Sewall, and the overseers of Harvard College formed the
scheme of settling an English missionary at Natick. The heirs
of the Speens were found, and those of the chief praying Indians
of Eliot's day, — in all about nineteen families. The Indian
missionary. Rev. Oliver Peabody, was made a "co-heir" with
them, making twenty proprietors of John Speen's 19,000 acres.
Hon. Francis Fullam, of Weston, a justice of the Middlesex
26 HISTORY OF WTSTON
Court, was intrusted with the business of forming the proprietor-
ship; and he selected Samuel Jones, of Weston, to survey the
land, a task he had completed by 1716. By 1719 the proprietor-
ship had got into working order, and it was announced that the
minister should receive his portion, the chiefs 60 acres apiece,
all others 30 acres, and 100 acres should be set apart for the min-
istry. Elijah Goodnow was proprietors' clerk. In 1799 the
town took possession of the ministerial lot, and erected a meeting-
house upon it, the first meeting-house belonging to the town,
all former meeting-houses being missionary affairs.
Civil and Ecclesiastical Organization and French and
We have seen, in the preceding chapter, that the Farmers'
District, or what is now Weston, w^as made into a legal precinct
in 1698, with all the rights, privileges, and duties which go with a
precinct organization. It has been shown that, after some delays
and difficulties which arose concerning the settlement of a min-
ister over the Farmers' church, Rev. William Williams was chosen
pastor in 1709, and that soon after, in 1710, the Weston church
was fully organized by the choice of deacons and the signing of
the covenant by the eighteen members who then formed the
church. The church records are full and complete in all that
pertains to organization and matters purely ecclesiastical, by which
is meant the record of births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths.
They are of great value to us of the present day. The careful
entry of all things pertaining to church matters is in perfect keep-
ing with the exalted character of its eminent pastors, — Williams,
Woodward, and Kendal. With all the above, and valuable
as the church records are to-day, we have no precinct records
down to the separation of Lincoln from Weston in 1746, a period
of forty-eight years. We shall find in the next chapter that the
town after its incorporation in 1712 performed all the functions
which may have belonged to a precinct down to the year 1746,
when a precinct record was begun, but continued only for the
period of eight years, when its records again are merged into
the town records, and entirely cease to exist. Whatever precinct
records may have existed, and probably did exist, previous to the
year 1746, are entirely lost, along with the records of the town.
The Lincoln petition to be set off from Weston was made in
1742, but was not granted until 1746. The petition of the people
of what is now Lincoln to be set off into a separate precinct
grew, as we have seen, out of the great difficulties they labored
28 TOWN OF WESTON
under of reaching the place of public worship in Weston, in con-
sequence of the bad condition of the roads leading thereto, and
the great distance from their homes they were obliged to travel,
which in winter particularly rendered the proper observance of
the Lord's Day impossible to them. Although the petition of
these people was presented to the General Court in 1742, it was
not until 1744, August 16, that the order granting their prayer
was issued in the shape of the following document: —
Read and ordered that the Petitioners serve the Towns of Concord,
Lexington and Weston with copies of this petition, that so they show
cause if anj- they have, on the first Tuesday of the next sitting of this
Court, why the prayer thereof should not be granted.
Sd J. CusnrN'G, Speaker.
The town of Weston made no objections to the separation
or to the bounds regulating that precinct. At the time of the
above separation the inhabitants of Weston addressed a petition
to Edward Trowbridge, Esq., justice of the peace, for a precinct
warrant. In the warrant that he issues he states that the inhab-
itants had "never yet assembled." It must be borne in mind
that this was forty-eight years after Weston had been made a
precinct and thirty -four years after the incorporation of the
Weston, November 19th, 174:6.
To Edward Trowbridge, Esq., one of His Majesty's Justices of the
Peace of the County of Middlesex.
Whereas by an order of the Great and General Court of the Province
of the Massachusetts Bay, passed the 26th day of April last, a number of
the Inhabitants of Weston with others, inhabitants of Concord and
Lexington, are set off to be a precinct and thereby the remaining part of
the said town of Weston is an entire parish. Therefore we are to request
that your honor would issue a warrant for calling the first precinct meet-
ing in the first precinct of Weston to choose precinct officers as the law
jAiiES MiRiCK Nathaniel Allen
Jonathan Bull-\rd Abijah Upham
John Walker John Hastings
Daniel Liveraiore Elisha Jones
CniL AND ECCLESIASTICAL ORGANIZATION 29
To John Walker of Weston in said County, yeoman. Greeting.
Whereas application has been made to me the subscriber by more than
five of the Freeholders of the First Precinct in Weston in writing, under
their hands, for calling a meeting of the inhabitants of said precinct,
never yet assembled.
You are hereby in his Majesty's name required to notify ye free holders
and other inhabitants of said precinct qualified to vote in town affairs,
that they assemble at ye public meeting house in Weston aforesaid, on
Thursday ye eleventh day of December next at 2 o'clock afternoon.
Then and there, first, to choose a Moderator of ye said meeting and then
to choose a clerk to enter and record all such votes and orders as from
time to time shall be made and passed in said precinct, and also a
Committee for ye calling meetings of the said precinct in the future.
Sd Edward Trowbridge, J. P.
Middlesex, ss. Weston, December 11th, 1746.
In obedience to this warrant I have notified the Inhabitants within
mentioned to meet at ye within mentioned time and place for ye ends
Sd John Walker.
At the meeting, as above warned, which assembled on the
twenty -fifth day of December, 1746, Mr. John ^YaIke^ was chosen
moderator, and Elisha Jones, Nathan Fisk, and John Walker
assessors. At this meeting no treasurer was elected, but in the
March meeting the following year Elisha Jones was made clerk
and treasurer, and Ensign Joseph Woolson was chosen to take
care of the meeting-house.
An interesting precinct meeting took place on the 2oth of
March, 1751. Francis Fullam presided, and after solemn prayer
to God for his direction and assistance in so weighty a matter
as the choice of a minister of the gospel to settle with them
it w-as voted to invite Mr. Samuel Woodward to settle in the
ministry of the church, the vote standing sixty-eight in favor, and
not a vote for any other person. Deacon "Perkhurst," Deacon
Allen, and Deacon Upham were made a committee to desire
Mr. Williams, the former pastor, to deliver to the committee
the church covenant, records, and papers which belonged to the
church and which were in his keeping. It was also voted at the
April meeting to give Mr. ^Yoodward, as an encouragement to
30 HISTORY OF WESTON
settle with them, the sum of £133 6s. 8d. At the fall meet-
ing of 1752, in concurrence with the church, it was again voted
to give a call to Mr. Woodward, and the vote stood eighty in
favor and none for any other person. His yearly salary was
fixed at £66 13s. 4rf. for such time as he should remain in the work
of the gospel ministry. Colonel Fullam, Deacon Parkhurst,
Deacon Allen, Deacon Upham, and Captain Jones had been pre-
viously chosen a committee to wait upon Mr. Woodward and
acquaint him with the votes of the precinct. His letter is dated
Newton, June 4, 1751.
To THE Church and Congregation in Weston:
Gentlemen, — It is some considerable time since you were pleased to
honour me with an Invitation to settle with you in the Mi:iistry, which
was backed with a desire that my resolution of the matter might be as
speedy as was consistant with prudence. Wherefore, gentlemen, after
my hearty thanks for the favourable opinion you have conceived of my
labours, I would inform you that although your circumstances seemed
to call for a sudden answer, yet the work you call me to engage in (as
it appears to me) is of such moment, that the most mature consideration
can't be more than it deserves. I have therefore been asking that wisdom
from above that is profitable to direct: and I have kept you in suspense
the longer because in the mvdtitude of counsellors there is safety: and
am now ready to inform you that the unanimity of your call appears
matter of great encouragement to me, and affords a happy prospect
of the good success of my ministry: and notwithstanding your circum-
stances are something peculiar, yet I hope the consideration of duty
would be more than a counterbalance for all the difficulties which at
present appear. But, gentlemen, you are all, I presume, sensible of the
great inconvenience and danger there is in a minister's being dependent
upon the favour of his people. He must needs then have a great tempta-
tion to unfaithfulness: lest otherwise he hurt his private interests.
Wherefore as I propose to devote myself (by the grace of heaven) to the
service of that people's souls whose minister I am: so I desire that if
I sow unto them spiritual things, it may not be thought a great thing
(by them) if I so far reap of their carnal things as to render my life com-
fortable. And now, gentlemen, notwithstanding your proposals as to
the nominal sums seem to be considerable: yet who is there among your-
selves, were he to estimate what he spends in his family, that would not
find that were he to purchase all by the penny, it would cost him more
than sixty six pounds, thirteen shillings and four pence per annum.'
Gentlemen, upon consideration that you propose this without any privi-
leges or perquisites which are common in other towns (I mean with
THE OLD JONES TAVERN, CENTRAL AVENUE.
It was formerly owned by Ephraim Bigelow, and later by William Smith and his de-
scendants. His grandson, Joel Smith, occupied the tavern before the Revolution, and it is
here that Howe, the British spy, was traced by the Liberty Men of Weston (see page 77).
Later the property was purchased by Colonel John Jones, whose descendants still own and
THE ARTEMAS WARD HOUSE, CENTRAL AVENUE.
Built about 1785 by two brothers named Eaton, and purchased about 1789 by Artemas
Ward, son of General Artemas Ward, of Revolutionary fame. Through various purchases
it became in 183G the property of Mr. Benjamin Pierce, Sr., and is still owned and occupied
by his descendants.
CIVLL AND ECCLESIASTICAL ORGANIZATION 31
respect to a parsonage or any donations in lands or buildings or with
regard to wood), and upon consideration that yours must needs be a
place of great expense because near a great road, my best friends in,
as well as out of, the ministry assure me from their own experience that
I can by no means live with your offers. And now upon the whole,
gentlemen, I think that nothing short of the addition of thirty cords of
wood and in some other way a valuable consideration more to my yearly
salary can be sufficient encouragement for my acceptance of your call. . . .
Sd SAiiUEL Woodward.
Mr. Woodward ended by accepting the call in a letter dated
June 17, 1751, and was granted thirty cords of wood. He was
also granted £26 135. 4rf. for his ordination expenses. In 1773
his salary was increased by £13 Qs. 8d. The precinct meetings
continue down to March, 1754, w^hen they cease entirely, and
the town records commence in the same book, under date March,
1754. No mention is made of the transfer of church matters
to the town; but from that date the town, in town meeting
assembled, assumes all the duties toward church affairs (as we
have seen by old town-meeting records) that they performed
after the incorporation of the town. As the record books now
stand, it would appear to any stranger that the precinct was
set off in 1746 and the town incorporated in 1754. Bond
gives the names and the year of each and every representative
to the General Court from the town of Weston from 1712 to 1754,
and it stands to reason that there always had been regular and
legal town meetings throughout the interval of the lost records.
From 1754 on the inhabitants in town meeting assume all charge
of the church, pay the minister's salary, provide his firewood,
make all the repairs the church requires, seat the congregation,
and from time to time build and let the pews. In 1755 it would
appear that the first pews were built upon petition of individuals
who were willing to pay (in consideration of the use of them),
the money to be expended in building a porch on the foreside of
the house and also stairs in the porch to go into the galleries.
A life interest in these pews w^as granted upon payment of certain
rates and the pev/s were to be built at the cost of the applicants.
It may prove interesting in our day to be made acquainted with
the manner of the disposal of these pews and the names of those
who were the first owners. (Up to this period the congregation
32 HISTORY OF WESTON
was seated on benches, and the places on these benches were
redistributed by order in town meeting every few years.)
To Elisha Jones, the second pew east from the pulpit.
To John Warren, the second pew in the north-west corner.
To Theophilus Mansfield, the pew next to the south door on the east.
To Nathaniel Felch, the pew between the men's stairs and the west door.
To Braddyll U. Smith, that next the middle alley on the women's side.
To John Walker, that next the middle alley on the men's side.
To Nathan Fisk, the middle pew on the women's side.
To Abraham Gale, the middle pew on the men's side.
To James Stimpson, the pew next the women's stairs.
To Joseph Steadman, the pew next the men's stairs.
The town was extremely watchful that no persons should be
permitted within town limits who would be likely to become a
charge and burden upon the town, and any inhabitant of the town
who harbored any such person and failed to give notice to the
Selectmen was prosecuted to the extent of the law, and was re-
sponsible personally for all charges the town incurred. Accord-
ingly, we find that in the year 1755/6 Bathsheba Moulton, widow
Mary Flagg (and her infant child), Jane Thomas and Hannah Ha-
gar, and Thomas Partridge and his wiie were ordered out of town.
In 1764 the town ordered that the church be newly shingled,
and that a workhouse should be built, and an acre and a half
of land should be purchased of Josiah Smith adjoining the land he
gave to the town for a workhouse. This workhouse cost the sum
of £208 I9s. lOd., and was situated on what is now land of Mrs.
James B. Case, nearly opposite Mr. Pennock's house. After 1781
it was let from year to year as a dwelling and finally taken down.
In 1767 the gallery pews were made in the church, although
previously there had been opposition to this being done. The
people this year were reseated in the church. The towns of
Watertown, Waltham, and Weston owned jointly a farm near
Wachusett Hill. It is probable that this was a poor-farm, where
the people at the charge of these towns were sent, and either sup-
ported or made to work out their board. A committee appointed
by the town of Weston sold the town's interest in this farm for
£267 6s. 8d., and it was after the sale of this farm that the town
voted to build in Weston the workliouse above mentioned.
CIVIL AND ECCLESIASTICAL ORGANIZATION 33
An act was passed in the General Court of Massachusetts Bay
in the reign of George II., held at Boston in 1760, for assessing
the sum of £97,345 135. The assessment of the following towns
in Middlesex County is interesting as showing the relative value
of property in these towns, viz.: Waltham, £339 16*. Sd.; Weston,
£302 45.; Watertown, £374 14^. 4rf.; Lincoln, £261 19s. Id.;
Lexington, £447 12s. 8d.; Newton, £638 6s. 8d.
Weston seems to have gained in importance, as shown in the
relative enumeration for beef, as seen by an order of the legisla-
ture requiring the following amount of beef for the supplies for
the army in the year 1780, viz.: Waltham, 7,200 cwt.; Weston,
7,930 cwt.; Watertown, 8,340 cwt.; Lincoln, 5,640 cwt.; Lexing-
ton, 7,770 cwt.; Newton, 10,980 cwt.
An order was passed in the legislature, June 30, 1781, to raise
2,700 men for the army at West Point, at the earnest request of
General Washington. The Weston quota was eleven men, the
same number as Watertown and one more than Waltham.
In 1755 ^Massachusetts held 3,000 slaves. Of this number
Boston had 1,000, and Weston 10. In 1773 there were 16 slaves
in Weston, and 218 voters.*
Although we have no detailed records of the part the Weston
contingent took in the French and Indian Wars from 1753 to
1759, what little we have will not fail of interest to the descend-
ants of the men whose names are upon our muster-rolls, the more
so as many of the names on these lists are still on the voting
lists of our own time, the latter representing direct descendants
of the former. While our ancestors of a century and a half ago
were fighting for the crown, and most frequently at their own
expense, they were being instructed in the school of the soldier,
and were veterans when the War of the Revolution broke out.
Many of our most distinguished generals and officers of the Revo-
lution served in the ranks as soldiers of the crown. During the
French and Indian Wars, from 1735 to 1760, it became necessary
to keep open direct ways of communication between eastern
Massachusetts and the frontiers of Canada. Massachusetts, until
* In July, 1771, Nathan Patch, of Worcester, for the sum of £40, sells to Isaac Jones,
of Weston, a negro female slave, about twenty years old, together with her wearing apparel.
She was then called by the name of "Lucy," but the said Jones proposed to call her "Venice."
The sale was made by regular deed as of real estate.
34 HISTORY OF WESTON
1740, claimed all the territory that now constitutes the States of
Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and manned and sup-
ported the forts at Keene, N.H.,and on the Connecticut River at
Westmoreland, Charlestown,N.H., Fort Dummer,and Brattleboro,
Vt. To make the transportation of ammunition of war possible
to these frontier forts, roads had to be and were constructed.
Massachusetts constructed the road through New Hampshire to
Crown Point on Lake Champlain. To hold Crown Point was of
first importance, as it was through this route that the French
and Indians made their incursions upon the eastern settlements.
The Indians had trails through northern Massachusetts and New
Hampshire on which they travelled with their booty and cap-
tives, but these were useless for the transportation of guns and
heavy material of war.
Weston men served in the expedition of 1755 in the Massachu-
setts regiment commanded by Colonel Moses Titcomb. The
major of this regiment was Ephraim Williams, of Newton. The
same year Major Williams was made colonel of a Massachusetts
regiment. There seems to have been no little difficulty in placing
Colonel Williams where he belongs, but, judging from the pages
of the Jones genealogy, there can be no further question. Ephraim
Williams's father married for his second wife Abigail Jones, daugh-
ter of Josiah Jones, of Weston. After his marriage he came to
Weston to live, moving from Newton in 1753. Mr. Williams
lived in the house which at one time stood facing the Baptist
parsonage. j\Ir. Williams's son, INIajor Ephraim Williams, came
to Weston with his father, but soon after the father moved to
Stockbridge. Both father and son had received from the crown
large tracts of land in Berkshire County, as had also Colonel
Josiah Jones. These lands were granted them for services in the
earlier wars and in payment for dues. Below is a bill * made out
*1753. Major Ephraim Williams, Dr.
Feb: 20th To Saddle £2:10:8
" a pair saddle bags 17:4
" ye change of hats 2:8
" one Dollar 6:0
" a bridle 16:0
" pair brass stirupa 16:0
" a fringe housen 1:9:4
" cash for mending watch 12 :
Jan. 20 " a quilted saddle 2 : 12 :
£10 :2 :0
CIVIL AND ECCLESL\STICAL ORGANIZATION 35
to Major Ephraim Williams (dated February, 1753) for his mili-
tary equipment for the expedition of that year, — the material
purchased of the Joneses in Weston. The Joneses kept a store
at that time in a building east of the present house.
Colonel Williams was never married. The night before the
battle in defence of Fort William Henry, at Lake George, in
1755, Colonel Williams made his will, bequeathing his lands in
Berkshire County to found a school. The school was founded
under the title of Williams College. The bequest at the time of
his death was valued at $10,000.
Colonel Williams was killed with Colonel Titcomb and old
Henrick, the Indian sachem, on the morning of the fight. In
this battle Israel Putnam was a private, and John Stark, the
victor of Bennington, was a lieutenant. I cannot find that there
was any family relationship between Colonel Williams's family
and that of Rev. Mr. Williams of the parish in Weston. It has
been claimed that Rev. Mr. Williams was his uncle, but of this
there is doubt. Mr. Williams was connected with the Connecti-
cut Williams family.
In 1758 we have the list of the men from Weston who enlisted
or who were impressed for His Majesty's service within the
Province of Massachusetts Bay to serve under Jeffrey Amherst.
This list is interesting as giving the ages of the men enlisted and
the number of years they served.
Return of the Men Enlisted or Impressed for His Majesty's Service within
the Province of Massachusetts Bay under Jeffrey Amherst, Esq., Gen-
eral and Commander-in-Chief for the Invasion of Canada, 1758.
In a former expedition, etc,
1755, 6, 7, 8.
1755, 6, 7.
Owned his own gun.
Owned his own gun.
1755, 6, 7, 8.
HISTORY OF WESTON
In a former expedition, etc
Samuel Cory Jr.
Owned his own gun.
Owned his own gun
N.B. — Cuffee Peacock, slave of Jonathan Bullard of Weston,
was in Captain Jonathan Brown's company of Colonel Williams's
regiment in the attack on Canada from May 2 to November
List of the Train Band in Weston in 1757.
CIVIL AND ECCLESIASTICAL ORGANIZATION
The foregoing is a true list of the Train Band in the town of Weston.
[Signed] Albert Braddyll Smith, Clerk.
Weston, April 18, 1757.
Mr. Braddyell Smith, clerk of the Military Company in said town,
made oath that this is a true list of the Train Band in Weston.
[Signed] Col : Elisha Jones, Justice Peace.
[Copied from State Records, vol. 95, fol. 277.]
Alarm Men in Town of Weston, 1757.
HISTORY OF ^"ESTOX
Samuel Woodward (Rev.).
This is a true Alarm List made by Capt. Elisha Jones.
[Signed] Att. Bbaddyll Smith.
Middlesex, ss. April 18, 1757.
Mr. Braddyll Smith, Clerk of the Military Company in Weston, made
oath that according to the best of his Knowledge The foregoing is a True
List of the "Alarm" men Belonging to said Company.
Col. Elisha Jones, Jus. Peace.
Roll of Captain Henry Spring's Company of Weston in Colonel William
Williams's Regiment, December, 1758.*
Samuel Jones, 49 Days.
Increase Leadbetter, 47 "
Joseph Stimpson, 47 "
Joseph Jones, 47
John Abbot, 47 "
Samuel Stimson, 47 "
Samuel Cory, 47 "
Henry Smith, 47 "
Christopher Capen, 41
Joseph Allen, 58
William Cory, 51
Josiah Mirick, 30
Stephen Harrington, 46 "
Joseph Norcross, 47
* The men were paid " 6d. per day." State Records, vol. 97, p. 5.
The Old Town Records.
The records of the town of Weston, as has already been stated,
are lost from the date of its incorporation in 1712 to the opening
of the second volume of records in 1754, a period of forty-two
years, the more to be regretted as these years cover its first records
as a town, which would be of great interest to-day, besides which
we are deprived of all knowledge of the part the inhabitants took
in the French and Indian Wars of that period. ^Miat would
seem strange, if these records were lost previous to the opening
of the second volume, is that no mention should have been made
of their loss at the date of 1754. The labor and research of the
writer in seeking out these documents cover some four or five
years. By the kindness of those who have taken an interest in
the hunt for any part of the records scattered about among
family papers, the search has been, to a moderate degree, success-
ful. The portions recovered will be given here, for they will prove
of interest as filling the gap in some small measure of what has been
lost. A curious fact in relation to the recovery of what docu-
ments have been unearthed is that they have been sent to the
writer by persons no longer belonging to the town of Weston.
Mr. Kendal in his centennial sermon mentions that in the
year 1718 a motion was brought forward in town meeting to
build a new meeting-house, but the subject was deferred. How-
ever, in 1721 the subject was considered, as follows: —
At a Town Meeting of the Inhabitants of Weston orderly warned
and met together on Monday ye 5th day of March 1721 to hear ye towns
Treasurers accounts; to elect and choose Select Men and all other town
officers as ye Law directs, to know ye towns minds whether they expect
ye Committee to lay ye foundations of ye New meeting house and also
to know the towns mind relating to their giving.
Lieut: Josiah Jones, Chosen Moderator.
40 HISTORY OF WESTON
The town treasurer's accounts read: —
Voted by said town at said meeting that they do expect ye towns
The town then proceeded to ye choice of Selectmen.
Selectmen, 1st Lieut: Josiah Jones. 2d Benoni Garfield. 3d James
Jones. 4th Dea: Benjamin Brown. 5th Sergt. Joseph Allen.
Town Clerk, Deacon Benjamin Brown.
Town Treasurer, James Jones.
Constables, 1st Jonathan Bigalo. 2d Joseph Brooks.
Assessors, 1st Joseph Woolson. 2d Benoni Garfield. Dea: Brown.
Surveyors, 1st John Madab. 2d John Jones. 3d John Parks. 4th
Tythingmen, 1st Thomas Upham. 2d John Warren.
Fence Vewers, 1st Jacob Pierce. 2d Josiah Coolidge.
Hogrives, 1st Jacob Fullam. 2d Abijah Upham. John Whitney and
Sealer of Weights, John Fitch.
Voted that ye assessors take the Invoice.
Sexton, Richard Norcross.
Voted by ye Town that their Service go at large for ye year.
Voted by said Town that the Committee prepare ye foundations for
ye New Meeting house & to appropriate their proportion of the bills
of credit to this object.
All the above sworn in March 12th 1721.
In 1720/21 the General Court, to meet public charges, au-
thorized the province treasurer to issue bills of credit, which were
to be distributed by loan at five per cent, per annum to the dif-
ferent towns, in a specified proportion according to each town's
proportion to the last province tax, one-fifth part of which sum
loaned was to be refunded each year. The first emission of these
bills, under this act, was to the amount of £50,000. There is
no record of the part of Weston in these bills. We have also the
following record: —
The select men of Watertown met on December 26th 1718 and ad-
journed to meet on the first Wednesday of January next, to consider
what may be most proper or further to be done in the affair about the
Bridge over Charles River, and the select men of Weston have present
notice of the same, who are desired to be present at the same meeting,
to hear what proposals are made by Jonathan Groom of Newton as to
the building of a Bridge over said river.
THE OLD TOWN RECORDS 41
The town of Weston entered with Watertown into a contract
for the building of this bridge. By the wording of this notice
to the Selectmen of Weston, it would seem at first blush that
this was the first bridge over Charles River at Watertown. But
this must not be understood as stating that there never had
been any kind of a bridge at Watertown before this date. The
bridge above alluded to was evidently the first bridge for the pas-
sage of carriages and teams. The Watertown foot-bridge, later
adapted for horses, was probably the first bridge of its kind built
in Massachusetts. At the time of the early settlements, and even
down to the time of the Revolution, all travelling was done on
horseback, and teams were transported to Boston at different
points by ferriage. For many years Boston could only be reached
by land through Roxbury. In IT^^ Thomas Prentice and
Thomas Learnard, the men who built the Watertown bridge in
1719, appealed to the towns of Watertown and Weston for ad-
ditional remuneration, as they find they have been very great
losers, and state that other towns are backward in paying
their share for the building. The town voted to dismiss the
Here follow certain fragments of the town records from 1722
At a General Town INIeeting of ye freeholders and other Inhabitants
of Weston qualified according to Law to vote In town affairs : orderly
warned and met together, on ye third day of August 1722.
1. In order to hear the accounts of ye Committee, who were chosen
to procure a frame for a new meeting house, &c.
2. To know ye Towns mind what they will do with respect to the Cover-
ing and Closing or finishing the new Meeting house.
Benjamin Brown chosen Moderator.
1st, Voted by said town at ye above said meeting, that the Committees
accounts be referred to some other Town meeting when it may be con-
venient : and if they be then offered to the Town.
2d, Votedhyssiid Town at said meeting: that they will forthwith pro-
ceed to cover and close ye new meeting house with the materials that
are provided by ye Committee.
42 HISTORY OF WESTON
3d, Voted by said town at said meeting that Benjamin Brown, Benoni
Garfield: Ebenezer Allen: Joseph Allen: and James Jones be a Com-
mittee for the town to manage the affairs of Covering and closing the
new meeting house.
At a General Town Meeting of the freeholders and other inhabitants
of ye Town of Weston qualified as ye Law directs to vote in Town Affairs:
orderly warned and mett together: on Monday ye 5th day of November
1st, To grant the Reverend Mr. William Williams his sallary for his
Labour in ye Gospel Ministry amongs us ye present year, begining the
10th day of September 1722 and to take care of cutting and carting his
firewood this year.
2d, to hear the Committees accounts how they have improved the
Public money that was appropriated to the building a new meeting
3d, To hear the account of what hath been done in hand labour and
carting for said house.
4th, To see if ye town will grant a rate of so much as upon Computa-
tion shall be thought convenient: so ye labour that hath been done at
said house may be proportioned: and that there may be money for ye
further carrying out work on said house.
5th, To see what the Town will do about schooling.
Benjamin Brown chosen Moderator.
1. Voted by said town at said meeting that they do grant to the
Reverend Mr. William Williams ye sum of Seventy and four pounds
for his sallary: for his labour in ye Gospel ministry amongst us in this
present year beginning the 10th day of September 1722.
2. And Six Pounds for cutting and carting his fire wood ye present
year. Voted by said town at said meeting: that they would accept
the committe accounts of laying out the sum of 181: 16: 5 of ye publick
money towards the new meeting house.
3. Voted by said town at said meeting: that they accept ye credit
offered by the Committee in said meeting: of the hand labor: carting
of boards : and Cedar for the enclosing and also stone for ye foundations
of the new meeting house amounting to the sum of 36: 18.
4. Voted by said town at said meeting that they do grant the sum of
one hundred and fifty pounds money, that so ye labor that hath been
done may be proportioned and that there may be money for ye further
THE OLD TOWN RECORDS 43
carrying on of the work of said meeting house: and that the said 1.50
Pounds be paid in by the last day of May 1723.
5. [The remainder of this report of the above town meeting is torn off.]
Here is an extract or close of a vote passed in a town meeting in
Weston on Monday, the first day of March, 1730/1, relating to
a Town way leading from Lexinton through ye lands of Dea° Benjamin
Brown and Liut: Thomas Garfield and others, &c., viz. The above said
way to be Two rods wide saving at ye Causeways above mentioned and
to be opened at ye expiration of three years from the date above mentioned
in ye meantime hang convenient Gates. The above said way Confirmed
by the Town on the 1st day of March 1730.
James Mirick, Town Clerk.
The road from Lexington to Weston would seem to have been
laid out as early as 1730, as will be seen in the following: —
An extract for a particular and private way marked out by the Select-
men of Weston in the Northerly part of Said Town from Lexington line
to the Town road by Josiah Brewer's. The Selectmen judging it neces-
sary. Beginning at Lexington line, so running Southerly over John
Headley's land and through Joseph Brooks' land the said Brooks to have
liberty to hang a gate on the said way at his Southerly bounds, till such
time as there is a way laid out in Lexington to accomodate the said
Joseph Brooks, so through other land of said Headley, so through the
land of Joseph Peirce, through a piece of Judah Clark's land and through
the land of Jonathan Jackson to Deacon Benjamin Brown's and Thomas
Garfield's corner, so entering at the corner on said Garfield's side of said
corner and running on the Devission line Southerly to the next Squadron
Strait and coming out at said squadron half on the one side and half
on the other side of the said Division line, so along still Southerly one
rod on each side of said line to the causid and over said causid but one
rod wide, so unto the Drawbara one rod in each then turns South east-
erly on and through said Brown's land as marked, viz., a gray oak tree
on the east side thence to a walnut tree on the West side, thence to a pine
on the West, then bowing about to another pine on the east side, then
to another pine on the east side, through to another pine on the east
side. The turning about toward the east under the hill side to a gray
oak tree on the north, then turning Southerly to a white oak tree on ye
east side, thence to the end of the two rods reserved by Deacon Brown
between Josiah Brewer & Daniel Carter. So along Southerly on said
44 HISTORY OF WESTON
Two rods to the squadron line to a heap of stones on a rock on the said
squadron line. (So over Brewer's land and Jackson's land to the Town
road first mentioned.) The way upon record out of which this is ex-
tracted was brought to the Town for confirmation at their annual meet-
ing on the 1st day of March 1730/1 and voted in the afiirmative.
Extract from the Weston Book of Records, pages 130, 131.
Examined per Nathaniel Goddard, Town Clerk.
It would seem at this period, when a road was made through
land of owners, such as that of the above-mentioned Brown and
Garfield, instead of the town paying damages, the owners were
allowed to erect gates and charge toll. There seems to have
grown out of the above privilege granted to Brown and Garfield
a complaint made to the Selectmen in 1734/5 by both Brown
and Garfield. As is probable (there being no paper to show by
whom), a petition had been made to the town to have the gates
removed, etc. Both Brown and Garfield protest against any
action being taken by the town.
This matter of the Brown and Garfield gates seems to have
come up continuously until 1735, when, at a town meeting held
May 13 of that year, the town voted to reconsider the privilege
granted to Brown and Garfield, but that the road should not
be laid open till after the first day of December next ensuing.
The action of this meeting is attested by Ebenezer Allen, town
The road of which mention is made in the following present-
ment before the Court of Sessions was probably a part of the
Lexington road before mentioned. This road over Lamson's
Hill has no longer any existence. It was a narrow rod-wide
road, running from the meeting-house past Richardson's farm-
house, formerly Ihe dwelling of John Lamson, along the wall
north-east through the meadow, over the hill now heavily wooded,
still belonging in part to the Lamson estate, and coming out on
the old road near house of Jesse Viles. It was over this road,
still traceable, that Captain Samuel Lamson marched his com-
pany to Concord on April 19, 1775. A part of this old road still
has a wall on each side.
THE OLD TOWN RECORDS 45
At a meeting of the Selectmen of Weston with Justice Fullam,
held in ^Nlay, 1734, they addressed John Jones, one of the Sur-
veyors of Highways, the following warrant, viz.: —
At a meeting of the Selectmen of the town, in order to appoint to
the Surveyor of said town, their respective divisions or Districts of high-
ways to amend and repair for this succeeding year, have appointed to
you the Division and district as follows, viz, Begining at Needham luie,
near Nathaniel Dewing's, and along by John Hastings and Thomas
Peirce into ye great country road near Mr. AVilliams. 2dly from Thomas
Peirce to Needam line near the house of Josiah Upham and ye w^ay from
Thomas Peirce to ye run of water east of Colonel Fullam's barn, and
from thence by Jonas Harrington's out into the way near BuUard's: and
from Abel Allen's house out into ye Town way near Adam Smith's.
The persons named with those of their families upward of sixteen
years old are in proportion enjoined by law to work at high way belong-
ing to your Division or District:
Deacon John Parkhurst. Jonas Livermore.
George Parkhurst. Thomas Peirce.
Adam Smith. Joseph Lovel.
Abel Allen. John Train.
John Felch. Samuel Train.
Nathaniel Felch. Nathaniel Dewing.
Ebenezer Allen. _ Nathaniel Jennison.
Benjamin Bullard. John Jennison.
John Barnard. Jonas Harrington.
Weston, May 22, 1734.
Benjaivun Brown, ^
Ebenezer Allen, r Selectmen.
John Jones, ^
Francis Fullam, Justice of Peace.
This is the only allotment of surveyors to be found, and the
above list remained in force until 1737, when a new one was
drawn, but the names are not given.
In 1738 the town was presented at the Court of Sessions for
obstructions on the king's highway "leading from the Meeting
House to what is called the Concord road, and near a place called
46 HISTORY OF WESTON
Lamson's hill in Weston." Below will be found the statement of
the case as appeared in the petition or presentment: —
To the Sheriff of the County of Middlesex, his under sheriff or Deputy,
Whereas before the Justices of His Majesty's Court of General Sessions
of the Peace, begun and held at Charlestown in and for the County of
Middlesex, aforesaid, on the second Tuesday of March last, the Grand
Inquest for the body of the said County, did present that the King's
Highway leading from Weston Meeting house to what is called Concord
road in the County of Middlesex, aforesaid, then was and for the space
of three months last past hath been, and still continues to be very much
obstructed for the length of almost a quarter of a mile at and near a
place called Lamson's hill in Weston, in the County aforesaid. It being
there very steep, dangerous and full of great rocks so as renders it almost
impassable for teams, and carts loaded, so that the same is and hath been
for the time aforesaid a common nuisance, and yet like to continue so,
and the said Grand Inquest further presents that it belongs to the In-
habitants of the town of Weston, to repair, amend, and render the same
passable for loaded teams, carts and horses &c, all which is in evil ex-
ample to others and contrary to law as also to the Peace, Crown and
dignity of our Lord the King.
These are therefore in his Majesty's name to will and require you
to summon the selectmen of the Town of Weston, aforesaid, to appear at
the next Court of General Sessions of the peace to be holden at Cam-
bridge within and for the County of Middlesex on the third Tuesday of
May next, then and there to make answer to the said presentment and to
abide and perform the judgment of the said Court that shall be given
thereon: and you are likewise required to summon as witnesses for the
King, John Walker, Deacon John Warren, Samuel Miller and Josiah
Hobbs: hereof fail not and make return hereof under your hand, with
your doings therein before the sitting of said Court. Dated at Charles-
town the 14th day of April In the eleventh year of His Majesty's reign
Anno Domini 1738.
By order of Court.
Thaddius Mason, Clerk.
Middlesex, ss., April 29th, 1738.
A true copy examined
per Richard Foster, Jr., Sheriff.
At a general town meeting of the freeholders and other inhabi-
tants of Weston, qualified according to law to vote in town affairs,
on the twelfth day of May, 1738, it was —
THE REV. DR. FIELD MANSION, CENTRAL AVENUE.
Built by Isaac Fiske in 1805, and became the property of Rev. Dr. Field in 1S1.5, who.se
descendant.? still own and occupy il.
THE GOLDEN BALL TAVERN, CENTRAL AVENUE.
Built in 17G8 by Colonel Isaac Jones. The old sign of the Golden Ball still exists. Its
fame as a tavern' lasted eighty years. It was the headijuarters of the local Tory element
during the Revolution. The house is still owned and occupied by the descendants of Colonel
THE OLD TOWN RECORDS 47
Voted by said To^ti at said Meeting that they desire Francis Fullam,
Esq., and Deacon Benjamin Brown to make answer to the presentment
of the way over Lamson's hill, so called, at the next Court of General
Sessions of the Peace to be holden at Cambridge on the 3d day of May
A true copy taken off from Weston book of Records
examined per Ebenezer Allen, Town Clerk.
Mat 19th, 1738.
In August, 1744, the inhabitants or proprietors of tenements in
the easterly part of Concord and the northerly part of Weston
and the westerly part of Lexington petitioned
His Excellency William Shirley, Captain General and Governor-in-
chief in and over his Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay in
New England, to the Honourable his Majesty's Council, and the hon-
ourable House of Representatives in General Court assembled at Boston
August 10, 1744, That your Petitioners labour under great difficulties
and inconveniences by reason of their distance from their respective
places of publick Worship in said town; their families being many of
them numerous, in the winter season more especially they have been
obliged for many years past to promote and maintain the preaching of
the word of God amongst them in a private House, or otherwise many
of them must have been deprived of the great benefit thereof; your
Petitioners have applied themselves to the said towns to consent that
they should be set off from their respective Towns or otherwise to relieve
them, both which they refused your Petitioners. Difficulties yet remain-
ing, whereas your Petitioners have not where to go but to your Excellency
and Honours for relief in the premises. We humbly pray this honourable
Court will be pleased to take their case into your wise and serious Con-
sideration and make them a precinct, and invest them with such priv-
iledges as this honourable Court shall see fit, the bounds of the lands for
which your Petitioners pray may be made a precinct, begins where the
line between Sudbury and Concord goes over the Great river, so called,
and so to run down said river to a brook running out of Well meadow,
so called, from thence to the South easterly side of Walden Pond, so called,
from thence to the South Westerly Corner of Daniel Brooks' land lying
upon the South side of the County road and then across the said road
to the South West Corner of said Brooks' land upon the North side of said
road from thence in a straight line to the North west Corner of said Brooks'
meadow by a way leading to Brick Kiln Island, so called, and by said
way to a small White oak tree at the North West Corflfer of said Brooks'
field, upon said Island, from thence in a straight line to a small black
oak tree at Bedford line in Timothy Wheeler's land near the end of a
HISTORY OF WESTON
ditch, and by Bedford line to Concord corner, adjoining to Lexington, and
from thence in a strait line to the Bridge in Concord road. Westerly of
Thomas Nelson's house; thence to the top of a little hill eastward of
Nehemiah Abbott's house, from thence to Waltham North west Corner
including Ebenezer Cuttler's land, from thence to the South west Corner
of John Bemis' land, from thence to the South east Corner of Concord,
and from thence by Concord line to the place first mentioned, or by any
other such bounds as the Court shall see meet, &c., &c.
Joseph Peirce, Jr.
Joseph Brooks, Jr.
Thomas Garfield, Jr.
Benjamin Brown, Jr.
The inhabitants of the south side of Weston seem to have had
equal trouble with those of the north side in their travelling to
and from the house of public worship. The petition for a new
road leading to the meeting-house is preserved, but the names of
the petitioners, with the exception of those of Jonathan Stimson
and Ebenezer Allen, are torn off the existing copy. The follow-
ing is the petition: —
Weston, February 15, 1742.
To THE Select Men of Weston, &c.
The petition of us the subscribers humbly show that we labor under
very great diflSculty in travelling to and from the place of public wor-
ship in said town by reason of the badness of some parts of the way,
which we apprehend can never be made much better, as also by reason
of the many great crooks and turns which are therein: which makes
the way so much the longer for our petitioners to travel every Lord's
day: Therefore your petitioners humbly pray the said selectmen would
please to take our circumstances into your consideration and lay out a
THE OLD TOWN RECORDS 49
way through the land of Daniel Modub and James Stimson Jr. along
under the westerly side of the great hill, and also through the lands be-
longing to the heirs of George Parkhurst, deceased, and through the
lands of the Reverend Mr. Williams and others across the meadow land
to the meeting house: which will very much redress our difficulties in
travelling morning and evening: and sundry of us which now cannot
with any comfort do it may then go to their respective houses in the
intervening season on the Lord's days: and your humble petitioners
as in duty bound shall ever pray.
The petition to the General Court, as seen above, was signed
by fifty-six heads of families. It will be seen by these petitions
of the inhabitants of what is now Lincoln that they were laboring
under the same difficulties in their distance from meeting-house
that caused the inhabitants of the Farmers' district to apply for
separation from the Watertown precinct in 1695, and which was
finally accomplished in 1698. As we have seen, the refusal of the
Weston town officials to repair their roads communicating with
Lincoln led to the petition to the Governor and General Court to
be made into a separate precinct in 1744, which being granted in
August, 1746, with the injunction that they serve the towns of
Concord, Lexington, and Weston with copies of their petition, so
that they may show cause, if any, why their prayer should not
be granted, Weston made no objection to their being so set off.
However, when the precinct of Lincoln applied to the General
Court to be incorporated as a town, in 1754, —
at a Town Meeting held in Weston April 11, 1754, it was voted:
1. That the prayer of the Petitioners ought not to be granted because
it included four families that have never belonged to said precinct of
Lincoln, viz., Theophilus Mansfield, Benjamin Hager, John Binney, and
2. Because the parties above named are unwilling to be set off, but
choose rather to remain with the town of Weston.
3. Voted that they consent that the other inhabitants of Weston in-
cluded in said petition be set off as a Township with the following bounds.
The bounds referred to are those before given.
The discovery of an old document, the existence of which does
not seem to be known in our day, is of great interest in the his-
tory of the difficulties which seem to have beset both the north
HISTORY OF WESTON
and south sections of the town upon the question of reaching the
meeting-house on the Lord's Day, owing to the bad condition of
the roads at all times, but particularly in winter. A scheme was
set on foot on the north side of the town to have the meeting-
house removed to the North Road, or Lancaster Turnpike. This
petition was signed by forty-eight heads of families, and is suffi-
ciently curious to warrant the whole story being inserted here.
It certainly forms an episode known to few, if any, persons of
the town at the present day. Here follow the names of those
signing the petition on the north side of the town : —
Ensign Joseph Livermore.
Lieut: Josiah Livermore.
Capt. Joseph Harrington.
Wid: Sarah Warren.
It would seem that, to checkmate this movement for the re-
moval of the church to the north side, a counter-movement was
made on the south side. This south-side movement would seem
to have been rather to serve the purpose of a check to the north
rather than any desire that the church should be moved south.
The list is signed by fifty-five heads of families. Rev. William
Williams heads the south-side list: —
Rev. William Williams.
Benjamin Harrington. Joseph Bigloe.
THE OLD TOWN RECORDS
William Smith, Jr.
Deacon Benjamin Brown writes the petitioners of the north
side, where his lands lay, an able, well-reasoned letter, in which
he gives his reasons for not signing their petition. (They had
evidently been annoyed at his refusal to do so.) The letter is
here inserted, since it explains the whole business fully, and is
withal very interesting: —
Dear and Honored Sirs, — I being yesterday closely questioned whether
I had done justice to my opposing neighbours in joining with the peti-
tioners, I freely acknowledge that as I profess to be a Christian I am
under obligation to render a reason of my conduct to every man that does
soberly ask it of me: and soever I was not joyned with you formerly:
what was then my reluctance was 1, I thought that in as much as the
meeting house was sot near the middle of the town that if we on the
north should get off the meeting house must be removed. 2d, That
in as much as I had helped to build one meeting house and settle one
minister &c., and had now my own family to take care of I might be
excused as having done the work of my day. But what gave a turn
to my mind was as to the first, it was told to me by a person over in
the town: said he, if you do get off the meeting house will never be
moved, for said he, those that remain on the North won't vote it away
from them: and the Warrens corner and the Aliens corner, so called, will
still remain at a considerable distance: and all they that are upon the
great road can't be better on't and all that are at a convenient distance
on the South they won't give a penny to move it: and then you will
find but a very few that will vote lor moving it, and then besides if any
should petition the General Court to move it they will find that if it
should be moved it must go over on ye southerly side of a Great meadow
52 HISTORY OF WESTON
that lyetli in the way: and would said house be removed it would en-
commode more of the remaining inhabitants than where it now standeth.
Sly. My neighbours used these arguments with me: viz., that al-
though I might possably travel so far myself: yet there were ten or eleven
families of my neighbours that the nearest of them had near a mile farther
to travel to meeting than I had: and some of them had no way at
all to go to meeting and some of those that had: the way was so un-
tollarable that at some times in the winter it was altogether impossible
for a man to ride along either double or even single : the bushes and trees
hanging down, being loaded with snow: besides the way being very rocky
and mountainous: and that the town, although being often requested,
had done nothing effectual for their help — and further they told me that
when any thing of this nature was done it was necessary that some per-
sons must do it themselves for the sake of others or else there could be
no relief in such cases, which seemed to me were reasons that I was not
able to gainsay: and which I hope will not be unseasonable for me at
this time to offer.
Your much obliged and humble servant,
Weston, April 23, 1746.
It may prove interesting to see the invoice, as it was then
called, or the tax list of the inhabitants of Weston in the year
of its incorporation as a town. While many of the names are
those of persons who w^ere then residents of Weston, but are no
longer on our tax lists, and many more are those of persons now-
belonging to the town of Lincoln, still there remain on the list
the names of many families now with us.
The Tax Rate in Weston in 1712.
Captain Jones 1
Captain Fullam 1
Mr. Woollson 1
Corporal Benjamin Harrington 1
Lieutenant John Livermore 1
Joseph Wollson 1
THE OLD TOWN RECORDS 53
Richard Robins 18 3
Daniel Warren 1 16 6
Joshua Biglo 17 9
Joseph Abbott 1 11 6
Joseph Allen 1 16 10
Simon Tozer 12 7
Joseph Dunn 17 9
Abbot Allen 1 14 8
Samuel Jones 1 11 5
Corporal Benjamin Allen 1 14 9
Nathaniel Jones 1 10 6
Michael Falshaw 18 2
Samuel Philips 10
James Biglo 10
James Jones 1 16 4
Benjamin Bullard 19 3
Daniel Livermore 19 8
Thomas Fladge [Flagg] 1 17 4
Joseph Whitney 17
Jonathan Stimpson 1 11
Isaack Madob [Modock] 12 3
Ensign Josiah Jones 2 3 3
John Smith 1 2 10
Thomas Spring 1 11 5
John Parkhurst 1 16 10
Nathaniel Coolidge 1 11 10
Abolm. Allen 1 1 6
Samuel Jones 15 9
Corporal Benjamin Allen 1 1
Nathaniel Jones 15 9
Michael Falshaw 7 3
Samuel Philips 10
James Biglo 9 6
James Jones 12 5
Benjamin Bullard 10 6
Daniel Livermore 10 6
Thomas Fladg [Flagg] 1 1
Joseph Whitney 10 6
Jonathan Stimson 4
Isaac Madoc 10 6
Samuel Robins 10 6
Ensign Josiah Jones 1 1
John Smith 12 7
Thomas Spring 1 1 5
John Parkhurst 1 1
54 HISTORY OF WESTON
Richard Norcross 1
John WeUington 1
Benjamin Brown 1
Thomas Gearfield 1
Benoni Gearfield 1
Benjamin Gearfield 1
John Warren Jr 1
Joseph W'right 1
Jacob Piori 1
Thomas Waight 1
Lieutenant John Brown 2
Jonathan Bullard 1
Jonathan Bullard Jr 1
Joseph Bullard 1
Joseph Lovewell [Lovell] 1
John Wellington 1
Benoni Gearfield 1
Benjamin Gearfield 1
John Warren Jr
Thomas Waight 1
Lieutenant John Brown 1
Jonathan Bullard 1
Jonathan Bullard Jr 1
Francis Pirrico 1
Daniel Madob Jr
James Stimpson 1
Samuel Gonorans 1
George Robinson 1
Daniel Estabrook 1
Caleb Grant ^
THE OLD TOWN RECORDS 55
Samuel Lov 1
Jonathan Biglo 1
John Mixor 1
John Sawin 1
Thomas Woolson Jr
Corporal John Warren 1
Benjamin Harrington 1
George Robinson 1
Capt. John Warren 1
John Sawin 1
Thrifty Finance of ye Fathers (Rates, Taxes,
The Narragansett townships were grants by the General Court
to each county of the State, divided among the several towns by
lot. These grants of land were by way of payment and gratuities
to the soldiers of the crown in previous Indian wars. The Mid-
dlesex grants and several divisions were made about 1734. There
were six townships, or allotments. Weston and Sudbury drew
Township No. 2. The loss of records of the town prevent any
full or interesting account of the part Weston had in this town-
ship (now Westminster). In 1737 John Sawin, of Natick, drew
his father's, Francis Sawin's, lot in No. 2. John, Thomas, and
Manning Sawin owned a part of the Livermore farm in Weston,
afterwards sold to John Train. The only documentary evidence
of the part Weston took in Township No. 2 bears date of June,
1736, when Mr. Abijah Upham is appointed collector of the
Narragansett grantors, originally of Weston, with orders to collect
the sum of five pounds on each lot or right in said township for
the encouragement of settlers. The following names are those of
proprietors belonging to Weston: —
Ebenezer Boynton, Lot No. 51. Drawn by Deacon Brown, £5.
Onesiphorus Pike, Lot No. 81. Drawn by Benj: Robbins, £5.
Thomas Cory, Lot No. 44. Drawn by Ebenezer Cory, £5.
Nathaniel Norcross, Lot No. 37. Drawn by Nathaniel Norcross, £5.
Daniel Warren, Lot No. 34. Drawn by Daniel Warren, £5.
A total of £25. This is signed by Joseph Bowman, Richard
Foster, Jr., and Benjamin Brown as assessors.
Newton would seem to have also been included in Township
No. 2, as a list was addressed to Edward Jackson, as collector
of that town.
The following letter from Rev. Elisha Marsh, settled over
Township No. 2, has a pathos about it that makes it worthy of
THKIFTY FINANCE OF YE FATHERS 57
being entered here. Judging from his statement of his condition
for want of his salary, unpaid for years back, it would a])pear
that the settlers or the grantors were deficient in religious zeal,
or perhaps the distance which separated them rendered them
somewhat careless in their treatment of him. The letter, how-
ever, speaks for itself: —
Narragansett, No. 2: Deer. 30th, 1737 (?),
When I was down last I desired Mr. Cooke to acquaint the Committee
of my request, which was that there might be a Proprietors' meeting called
as soon as possible, and see whether they would make my sallary good,
according to contract, that I might know what to depend upon. Sir,
you can't but know that since my settlement, everything of the necces-
saries of life is almost if not quite doubled and I can't possibly live unless
I have my sallary: and have it paid when it is due to me, but instead
of that I am greatly injured and abused either by the Committee or
the Clerk or Proprietors or all of them. Dear, how do you and the rest
of the Committee think I can live without my just dues from the Pro-
prietors, when by reason of the war I have not been able to raise my
provisions but must buy all, this present year, but pay which way
without money.'' I have not received all of my fourth year's salary yet
by considerable, and not one penny of the fifth, and you know how far
the sixth year is advanced. This is in my opinion, and I think must in
all honest people be looked upon wrong and oppressive, the wise man
tells us the ringing of the nose brings forth blood, and opression will
make a wise man mad. If there is not a meeting called immediately
and I am paid of what is my due, and I have my full sallary I must be
obliged to take some other measures. Pray don't oblige me to it, by the
Committee neglecting their duty. Let a meeting be called directly
and you will oblige your sincere and abused friend and servant.
In 1738 appears the following bill for building the meeting-house
at Township No. 2, now Westminster: —
HISTORY OF WESTON
The Proprietors for Building the Meeting House.
To Building the House £365 : :
" Sundry Articles Do 1:10:0
July 5. By Cash ,
Sept. 8. By Cash ,
Dec. 20. " "
Oct. 31. " "
Nov. 9. " "
By Paid John Wood
by Mr. Joseph
May 17. By Cash
July 2. " "
Sept. 24. " " .
June 10. " "
It is to be hoped this is only a copy, although it has all the
character of an original bill. It is not, however, receipted, which
perhaps was not necessary. In 1744 appears the following account
of the Proprietors' Standing Committee, by which we see they
began to pay up some part of poor Mr. Marsh's salary : —
The Standing Committee for the Proprietors of the Narraganset
Township No. 2 who were appointed to inspect their Treasurer's accounts
(viz. Mr. Daniel Cook), and to lay them before the Proprietors, as also
to call to account such as had before neglected to account with the
former Committee, do now report thereon, as followeth, viz., that the
Balance of the former acct. due the Proprietors September
17th 1744 was the sum of £359:13:10
and that upon Sept. 19, 1744 the proprietors at their General
Meeting granted a Tax of one pound, new Tenor to be
laid upon each rate, which amounts to the sum of — in
old Tenor— 472:0:0
also on said day granted the Revd. Mr. Marsh his second
year's sallery, viz., forty -five pounds. Current money:
which in old Tenor amounts to 180:0:0
Also on said day they granted the Revd. Mr. Marsh his third
year's sallary, viz., £45: Current money, which in old
Tenor amounts to 180: 0:
THRIFTY FINANCE OF YE FATHERS 59
Mr. Benjamin Brown, of Weston, seems to have been the prin-
cipal manager of the township. His bills and accounts run from
1736 to 1750, when he makes a general settlement with Mr. Cook,
the treasurer of the proprietors. There exists a map of this
township, with a list of all the grantees. Should it be found, it
will appear in an appendix.
Before leaving the period of the earliest history of Weston, it
will be interesting to give a tax rate previous to the incorporation
of the town, — that of 1708, — by which we shall notice who were
the inhabitants at that early period and the then rate of taxation.
The province tax for the west precinct of Watertown, by assess-
ment made September 17, 1708, by Benjamin Gearfield, Palsgrave
Wellington, and John Warren, assessors, was £101 12s. of which
sum £80 15s. 6d. was collected. It will be noticed that on all
very old tax rates, or invoices, as they were called, there is a
column set apart and styled "Faculty." This denotes that any
person in the town having a "knack" at anything, or a faculty
of trade wherewith he earned his livelihood, was supposed to be
taxed thereon, probably very much in the sense of our present
license. But, as it will be noticed that all under this head,
even Captain Jones and Squire Fullam, confessed to no "Faculty,"
it is to be presumed that it was not insisted upon by the assessors.
In all the rates that have been examined none have been found
where a person has confessed to possessing any faculty for any-
thing, and yet these old settlers had certainly one great faculty, —
that, at least, of getting on in the world with a multitude of cir-
cumstances of those early times which, to say the least, would
be considered difficult to surpass in the present day. The habit
of passing over or ignoring the disagreeable questions which asses-
sors are apt to indulge in has been successfully handed down to
our own day, with more or less success. Assessors of those early
times were probably as disagreeable companions in the spring
of the year as are those of the present epoch.
HISTORY OF WESTON
The Provincial Tax Rates or Assessment made September 17, 1708,
for the West Precinct.
Lt. John Bruer.
Jonathan Bullard Jr.
Joseph Love well.
Daniel Modup Jr.
Geo. Robinson Jr.
Thomas Woolson Jr.
Corp. J. Warren.
Capt. F. Fullam.
Corp. B. Harrington.
Lt. J. Livermore.
THRIFTY FINANCE OF YE FATHERS
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 I 1 i*i Trade or
J. Allen Senr.
Corp. B. Allen.
En: Josiah Jones.
John Warren Jr.
To Benjamin Brown, Constable of Watertown, this is your part of
the Province Tax, for you to collect and pay, according to your Directions
in the Treasurer's Warrant and amounting to the Sum of £101 12s.
Benj: Gkarfield, i Assessors
Palsgrave Wellington, > for
John Warren, ^ Watertown.
62 HISTORY OF WESTON
The country hereabouts must have been infested at an early
period with noxious animals, among these squirrels and blackbirds,
probably to the great injury of the crops. A record exists cover-
ing several years, beginning in 1731 (but probably earlier records
existed), where bounties were paid by the town for the killing
of all such animals. In 1731 £7 19^. 4td. was paid; another year,
£14 4ts. Sd.; and again £11 11^. 10c?. The statutes provided that
towns might pay a bounty for the killing of wolves, crows, squir-
rels, and other wild animals, and all birds that were destructive
of crops. The bounty for killing crows in the months of April,
May, and June varied in different years. Twenty -five cents was
paid for old crows, and half that for young ones, and half a cent
for red-winged blackbirds. Swine and cattle were allowed to go
at large in this and most towns of this State from a very early
period and down to our own day. The nuisance was not abated
here until late in the '40's. The law regulating the going at
large of swine was never enforced in Weston, so far as the records
show. The law stated that they should be properly yoked and
ringed, and further set forth "that no yoke shall be accounted
sufficient which is not the full depth of the swine's neck above
the neck, and half as much below the neck : and the sole or bottom
of the yoke to be three times so long as the breadth or thickness
of the swine's neck." The standing complaint in Weston regard-
ing animals going at large was the damage done by horses, which
in early days got their principal feed in the roads and in the
gardens of the inhabitants.
Following is one of the old accounts of the town relating to
aforesaid bounties: —
lilK OLD FLAdC; TAVERN, CENTRAL A\ENUE.
Here General Washington, when President, passed a night on his way to Boston.
Here, too. President John Adams stopped. This tavern was for many years "the principal
stopping-place for the New York mail-coaches. It was destroyed bv fire November 6, 1902.
THE OLD MARSHALL HOUSE, CHURCH STREET.
Confiscated by the government after the War of the Revolution, antl later bought by
Colonel Thomas Marshall, great-uncle of General James F. B. Marshall, who, after service
in the Revolutionary War, came here to live. It was later owned by William M. Roberts,
who in 1867 sold it to General Charles J. Paine. In 1SS2 it was moved from its former
location on Highland Street to its present site on Church Street by Charles H. Fiske, who
now owns and occupies it.
THRIFTY FINANCE OF YE FATHERS
Payment made in 1742 Old and Young £11: 11: 10.
1 Grey Squirrel
4 " "
3 young greys
10 young squirrels
The military company of Weston was in active duty in 1710.
In the diary of the clerk of the company at that time he makes
charges on the several training-days of two shillings for the drum-
mers' dinners, and enters the following fines of the rank and file
for non-attendance at drills and training-days, viz.: —
July 12, 1710. Received of Thomas Flagg a fine of 3s.
July 15, 1710. Received of Joseph Whitney a fine of 3s.
August 9, 1710. Received of Isaac Modob a fine of 10*.
August 9, 1710. Received of Saml. Severance a fine of 5s.
August 9, 1710. Received of Thomas Flagg a fine of 5s.
October 16, 1710. Received of James Jones a fine of 5s.
October 16, 1710. Received of Benj: Bullard a fine of 5s.
These accounts run from 1710 to 1718, when he resigns and
passes all funds in his possession into the hands of Captain
FuUam. In the same book is a charge for making town rates
for the year 1707, — six days' labor, twelve shillings. This assessor
should have lived in our days, and charged one hundred dollars.
64 HISTORY OF WESTON
His duties were more arduous, probably, considering the times
in which he lived, much more so than at the present time, at
least judging from the labors of the committee chosen in town
meeting to collect the minister's salary. This committee un-
doubtedly found it very hard work, for we find on Amos Lam-
son's ledger sundry charges to this committee for rum, brandy,
crackers, and cheese, which attest the difficulty they labored
under in performing their task.
As has been stated in a previous chapter, great precautions
were taken by the town officials, from a very early date, that
no persons should be allowed to remain within the town limits
who were likely to become a town charge. All persons har-
boring such persons were liable to a fine, besides which they
became responsible for the costs attending their future care.
Heads of families were obliged to give notice to the Selectmen
of all these unfortunates in their employ, giving their place of
birth and the period of their stay. Our records are full under
this head from 1756 to the period of the Revolution. And even
in our own day great precautions are still taken that strangers
from other towns shall not come on the town for support. The
following were warned and cautioned out of town: —
1756. Bathsheba Moulton, Jonathan Knight, Christopher Capen, and
1757. Jonas Bowman, Mary Chubb, Silence Chubb, and Samuel Good-
ing and wife, from Waltham.
1771. Nathaniel and Lois Parkhurst, wife and daughter, from Waltham.
Jacob Bull, wife and six children, from Cambridge.
Susannah Gage and daughter from Lincoln.
Lucy Jones from Worcester.
Percival Clark, Abijah Hurd and M. Willard from Newton.
Jedediah White, wife and six children, from Watertown.
Reuben Shed from Billerica.
Jeremiah Goodnow, wife and four children, from Marlboro.
And so on. The record book of these warnings is quite full.
It is said that such poor folk were sent out from certain towns
to other localities to be rid of them, and in the hope that they
might gain a foothold somewhere.
THRIFTY FINANCE OF YE FATHERS
Here is another item from the old records which may prove
interesting; namely, a table showing date of the erection of
some of the early houses in Weston. It is taken from the Natick
Historical Records by Horace Mann, Esq., and concerns the
houses of: —
Nemiah Williams, 1749
Adam Betty, 1757
Danl. Parks, 1750
William Keny, 1754
William Tenny (?), 1750
Timothy Bemis, 1765
Joseph Underwood, 1748
(later of Nicholas Boylston)
Saml. Child, 1749
John and Saml. Train, 1738
Joshua Train, 1740
William Train, 1747
James Stimpson, 1756
Samuel Stimpson, 1761
Saml. Jenison, 1754
Nathan Fiske, 1760
Thaddeus Spring, 1760
Jonathan Spring, 1764
Tho: and Epm. Peirce, 1766
Danl. Wyman, 1740
Saml. Severence, 1741
Josiah Coolidge, 1758
(this is the Schwartz house)
Josiah Smith, 1757
James Livermore, 1750
Saml. Livermore, 1757
(this is the Albert Hobbs house)
Abraham Gale, 1751
Abraham Jones, 1765
Isaac Jones, 1752
(Golden Ball Tavern)
William Upham, 1760
The old house which stood where now is located the Richardson
farm-house was erected by John Lamson, who came from Reading
to Weston in the early years of the eighteenth century. It was
probably one of the oldest houses near the centre of the town.
The barn, built probably at the same time as the house, was in
perfect preservation when taken down by Mr. Cutter, and the
oak timbers of it were used in the new house now occupied by
As the custom existed for so many years throughout our country
of binding out to apprenticeship (for the purpose of learning a
trade) boys averaging the age of twelve or fourteen, usually
until they reached the age of twenty-one, it will not be amiss
to give here the indenture made between Benjamin Brown, Jr.,
and Isaac Hobbs, of Weston, in 1762. It is perhaps useless to
add in this our day of progress that the boys of this early
period started out to make their way well equipped in the knowl-
edge of some trade which rendered them independent in a great
66 HISTORY OF WESTON
measure of the vicissitudes of life. It is a question whether
higher education has in every respect placed the rising generation
in as favorable a position (taking our young people as a whole)
to win their pathway upward and prevail.
This Indenture Witnesseth that I Benjamin Brown Jr. of Lincoln in the
County of Middlesex, a minor, Hath put himself, and by these presents
doth voluntarily, and of his own free will and accord, and with the con-
sent of his father Benjamin Brown aforesaid, put and bind himself Ap-
prentice to Isaac Hobbs and Mary his wife of Weston in the County
aforesaid, to learn tanning and curreing Art, Trade or Mystery, and with
the said Isaac & Mary Hobbs after the Manner of an Apprentice, to
serve from the 16th day of January a.d. 1762 for and during the term of
five years and two months, to be complete and ended: During all which
term the said Apprentice the said Isaac Hobbs faithfully shall serve, his
secrets keep, his lawful commands gladly everywhere obey; he shall
do no damage to the said Isaac Hobbs nor see it to be done of others,,
without letting or giving Notice thereof to the said Isaac Hobbs, he shall
not waste the said Isaac Hobbs' goods, nor lend them unlawfully to any:
he shall not commit Fornication, nor contract matrimony within the
said term: At Cards, Dice, or any other unlawful game he shall not
play, whereby his said master may have damage, with his own goods
nor the goods of others: he shall not absent himself by day or by night
from his said master's service without his leave; nor haunt alehouses.
Taverns, or Play houses, but in all things behave himself as a faithful
Apprentice ought to do towards his said master and mistress during the
said term of five years and two months. And the said Isaac Hobbs doth
hereby covenant and promise to teach and instruct, or cause to be taught
and instructed in the Art, Trade, or calling of tanning and curreing by
the best ways or means he may or can be taught, (if the said x\ppren-
tice be capable to learn) finding unto the said Apprentice suitable meat,,
drink, washing and lodging (and also to be well instructed in reading,
writing and cyphering, during the said term) : And at the expiration there-
of to give unto the said Apprentice two good suits of apparrel for all parts
of his body, one for Lord's days the other for common use — suitable for
such an apprentice. In Testimony whereof the parties to these pres-
ents have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and seals the 16th day
of January in the 2d year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, George the
3d King of Great Britain, a.d. 1762.
Weston ix the Revolution.
The contest of the colonies with the English Parliament may
be said to have begun soon after the peace of 1763, at which
period the Indians were generally subdued. We have seen
that the French and Indian Wars preceding this date had been
excellent training-schools for our inhabitants. The ability of
the colonies to defend themselves had been demonstrated, — and
that, for the greater part, at their own expense, as w^iatever
recompense they received from the British crown was rarely
in money, but mostly in land grants, the Massachusetts troops
being allotted lands in the remote sections of the State, then a
One thing had been thoroughly shown in these wars, and that
was the incompetency of the British generals sent over to com-
mand the troops in the subtle warfare of the Indian tribes. The
American system of "bushwhacking" (a word that has become
historical since the War of the Rebellion), at which the colonists
had become adepts in their Indian experiences, was incompre-
hensible to these foreign soldiers. Our colonists soon discovered
that their ow^n officers were better able to conduct military opera-
tions and lead them to victory than the titled aristocrats of
England. From all this it w'as but a step for them to discover
their ability to maintain their independence of all foreign control.
The wars that England had been called upon to sustain on the
Continent for a quarter of a century had impoverished its treas-
ury, and Parliament undertook to tax the colonies, and thereby
in a short space of time succeeded in utterly alienating the people
from the mother country.
The Stamp xA.ct of the year 1765 may be regarded as the begin-
ning of our Revolution. Whatever previous Acts had been
attempted in the way of taxation had not materially touched
68 HISTORY OF WESTON
the distant sections away from tide-water. The effect of the
Stamp Act upon the agricultural population was necessarily in-
significant, and the country towns were slow in responding to
the stirring appeals of Samuel Adams and James Otis. A great
gloom had settled over Massachusetts. The courts were closed
and business was at a standstill. There is no record by which
we can judge of the effect of the Stamp Act on Weston. Perhaps
its influence may have been modified by the fact that a similar
Act had been passed by the province of Massachusetts in the
January session of the General Court in 1755, and possibly the
English Act may not have had the influence with the people of
the country towns it otherwise would have had but for this pre-
vious tax. This Act of Massachusetts of 1755 may be found in
Volume XIV. of the State Register of that year, together with
a description of the stamps used at that period. To give an idea
of the magnitude and importance of the Act of 1765: blank
bail-bonds had been sold before the Act for £15 the ream; stamped
bonds cost £100; a ream of insurance bonds or policies that for-
merly cost £20 were under the Act to cost £190. The effect of
this law was to cause the settlement of lawsuits and disputes
by arbitration rather than through the medium of the courts.
The only mention in the Weston town records of the Boston
riots, which grew out of the Stamp Act, is found in the account
of the November meeting of that year, when the town voted that
Samuel Phillips Savage, Elisha Jones, and Captain John Brown
should be a committee to draw up instructions to their representa-
tive Abraham Bigelow in relation to these riots, and the com-
mittee reported as follows: —
The Town directs you to give your vote in the General Assembly to
make full compensation to the late sufferers in the Town of Boston,
by the rioters on the 27 day of August 1765, that they be paid out of
the public Treasury: and that you also do your best endeavour that the
same be replaced in the Treasury by action against the said rioters.
The custom prevailed before the Revolution, and during a period
somewhat later, for the inhabitants in town meeting, through-
out New England, to draw up instructions for their representatives
to follow at the General Court, regulating their action and their
WESTON IN THE REVOLUTION 69
votes on particular subjects of general interest. These instruc-
tions were always obeyed, and it was not infrequently that the
representatives were called upon to explain their action in certain
cases before a town meeting. Such action on the part of towns
has now become obsolete, and, in fact, would be universally
resented to-day on the part of public servants. The town meet-
ings are of purely New England origin, at least so far as this
continent is concerned, and they have had more to do with the
foundation of our institutions and government, both State and
Federal, than has been sufficiently considered or credited to them.*
With us here they were the outgrowth of the church assemblies
and conferences. Our earliest records are those of the precincts,
presided over by elders and governed by church regulations.
No man could vote in precinct or town affairs, or be made a
freeman, unless a member of the church in good standing. Town
meetings originated here, at our own doors. They are the best
examples of pure democracy that are left to us throughout New
England. Nor do they vary essentially from what they were
a century ago. All tax-payers had an equal voice in matters
pertaining to public affairs. They voted their own taxes and all
money for public purposes, and kept a keen eye on appropria-
tions and expenditures. They held all town officers to a strict
accountability in the performance of their respective duties.
Massachusetts has never lost her attachment to this system
of self-government, and it would be well if all the people could
act upon its principles to-day as strictly as was formerly the case.
The large increase in population has interfered in too many cases
with the direct action of the people at large in public affairs.
Political machinery has now intervened between the people and
their purposes and responsibilities. The power once emanating
* To the town meetings of New England more than to an>-thing else are due the suprem-
acy of the English in America and the failure of the French to hold their own during the
long struggle for the possession of Canada. In the next and harder struggle, that for inde-
pendence of Great Britain itself, the towns again had a decisive part. When Governor Ber-
nard, the royal governor, obedient to his instructions from home, prorogued the Assembly,
and left the province of Massachusetts without a legislature, the king and his ministers thought
by this course they had deprived the patriots of their opportunity for concentrated action
and that they could nip in the bud the incipient rebellion. And so it would have proved, had
it not been for the town meetings, which were the real fountain of power, so that in place of
one General Assembly the royal governor found he had to deal with two hundred or more local
assemblies, small, indeed, for the most part, but self-reliant, aggressive, trained to the considera-
tion of public affairs, and ready for action.
70 HISTORY OF WESTON
directly from the people has become a delegated power, and
the party caucus now usurps the place once held by them. The
rage for municipal government has become the fashion, and, in
so far as this delegated power gains foothold, in that ratio the
people lose their hold and their interest in town meetings. With-
out these town meetings and the direct action which they had
upon public affairs, it is doubtful if the Revolution would have
been successful. The public spirit and love of freedom, together
with the jealousy with which the charter rights of the colony
were held and maintained, were the means by which men and
money were provided to carry out the war, and which no action
of the weak Provincial Congress could have accomplished.
Middlesex County took the lead in all the preliminary acts that
led up to the Revolution. To Samuel Adams and James Otis
is due in great part the inspiration which gave nerve to the
actions of the town meetings of that period. In this again we
see the conservative influences of these town meetings. While
the Boston leaders of the advocates of rebellion against the Acts
of the British Parliament were sending out letters and broad-
sides calling upon the towns to back them up in their daring
attacks upon the existing royal government, the towns were
backward in taking any hasty action. They calmly calculated
the chances and costs. The Stamp Act, the Tea Party, and the
Boston Massacre (or the mobs as some old heads, who should
know better, now call the defensive acts of our forefathers) do
not seem to have created any very marked ruffle on the calm sur-
face of the Weston town meetings. In fact, they are nowhere
mentioned on the records. It required the march of the British
regulars on Lexington and Concord to arouse the sleeping lion,
who, when once thoroughly aroused, as was the case on the ever
memorable 19th of April, never again drew in his claws until
every shred of British and royal dominion had been torn to pieces,
• — to the regret, it would seem, of some of our latter-day historical
oracles. In speaking of the famous Tea Party, we must not
overlook two of our townsmen who figured on that occasion.
Samuel Phillips Savage, of Weston, was made moderator of an
adjourned meeting held in the Old South Church in Boston on
December 14, 1773, called to consider the question of the intro-
WESTON IN THE REVOLUTION 71
diiction of the tea into Boston. Mr. Savage continued as mod-
erator of the meetings until the evening of the 16th, when the tea
was steeped in the salt water of Boston Harbor. Samuel Hobbs,
also of Weston, at work in Roxburj^ as a journeyman in Simeon
Pratt's tannery, took part in throwing the tea overboard.
The most important steps taken to arouse the dormant sense
of the country towns to the coming storm was the action of Samuel
Adams at Faneuil Hall in Boston on the 20th of November,
1772, at which meeting was organized the famous Committee of
Correspondence, the influence of which was to play so great a
part in the plan of resistance. A letter was forwarded to the
selectmen of the various towns, expressing a belief that the wisdom
of the people would not "suffer them to doze or sit supinely
indifferent, on the brink of destruction." In a few days many
towns sent in their adhesion to the plan proposed. This Com-
mittee of Correspondence was a sharp thorn in the side of the
officers of the crown, and was particularly obnoxious to the
Tory element. They looked upon it "as the foulest, subtilest,
and most venomous serpent ever issued from the egg of sedition."
This secret correspondence was not confined to Massachusetts
or to New England, but spread throughout the neighboring and
distant colonies, and became the means of uniting all the people
of the continent.
At a town meeting held in the month of March, 1773, Colonel
Elisha Jones was elected to represent the town in the General
Court for the following year. The Liberty Men of the town
took umbrage at his election, as Colonel Jones was a strong and
bitter Tory, and some of the most prominent among them drew
up the following protest, which was sent to the House of Rep-
resentatives : —
To THE Honorable House of Representatives sitting at boston
June 8th, 1773.
Humbly shews the Subscribers, Inhabitants of Weston; That Hon^'^
House after Declaring the late choice of a Representative in Weston
to be illegable, ordered a Precept to issue to the Selectmen of said Town
Directing them forthwith to assemble the Inhabitants thereof, in order
to elect some person to Represent them, in the Present Session of the
General Court, as well as the Remaining Sessions of the year, and the
72 HISTORY OF WESTON
said Selectmen were possessed of said Precept on the last day of May
last, but have taken no other notice thereof than to propose a meeting
of their own, some time about the middle of this month of June: Then
to determine whether they will give the Town an opportunity to chose a
member or not; which conduct of the Selectmen gives great uneasiness
to the Inhabitants of Weston, as we are thereby deprived of the Priviledge
of a Representative in the General Court, which other towns enjoy, and
we esteem a priviledge which we desire to share in. Therefore we humbly
pray that the Hon'''® House would take our circumstances into their
wise consideration and releive us from such arbitrary proceedings, by
directing the said Selectmen to appoint a meeting for the purpose afore-
said. And also appoint some suitable, impartial gentleman to preside
at said Meeting as in duty Bound will ever pray.
[Sd] Jonathan Bullard Jacob Mirrick
Isaac Jones Joseph Harrington Jr.
Elisha Harrington Phinehas Upham
John Flagg Samuel Train
Jonathan Stratton Asa Smith
William Lawrance John Mirick
Jonas Sanderson Samuel Child
Weston did not appoint a Committee of Correspondence until
the town meeting of September 29, 1774, when Benjamin Peirce,
Thomas Upham, and Samuel Baldwin were chosen such a com-
mittee. Somewhat later a Committee of Public Safety was
added to that of Correspondence. There is no record of the
doings of the Weston Committee of Correspondence, if we except
an entry in Force's Archives, vol. iii., 4th Series, where men-
tion is made of a letter addressed by Benjamin Peirce to Rev.
Asa Dunbar under date of September 8, 1775, in which excep-
tions are taken to remarks made by him in a sermon delivered
on Fast Day. These remarks were distasteful to the Liberty
Men, and against them they entered complaint.* As there is
* An occurrence took place in April, 1774, which displayed the courage and open avowal
of resistance to the royal government. In 1722 the government, in order to render the judges
of the Supreme Court independent of the people of the province, made provision for their
being in future paid out of the royal exchequer. The power and dignity of this court as then
conducted was very imposing, and raised it above the ordinary criticism with which the other
branches of the government were discussed. In view of the unlimited power of this court
to fine and imprison such as presumed to disturb the course of its proceedings, it is difficult
to imagine the gravity of a measure which had for its purpose to assail one of its members,
and that in the person of its chief justice. Chief Justice Oliver alone had accepted his salary
WESTON IN THE REVOLUTION 73
no record of any Mr. Dunbar among the clergy of this section,
he was probably a stranger to the town.* At the town meeting
of September 29 Captain Elisha Jones, being a Tory, was recalled
as the representative of the town at the General Court, and Cap-
tain Braddyll Smith was appointed in his place.
At this meeting Josiah Smith and Samuel Phillips were ap-
pointed to attend the Provincial Congress at Concord to be held
October 2, and Captain Braddyll Smith was added to go with
them. No instructions were given to their representatives at
Concord. The session was, for a great part of the time, held in
secret, and adjourned after three days to meet at Cambridge,
October 17. The Congress at Cambridge lasted eleven days,
and was presided over by John Hancock. It undertook to frame
a form of government for the people, but to this Weston refused
its consent. The Congress appointed a Committee of Public
Safety, composed of nine persons, with power to call out the
militia, if necessary; also a committee of five persons with power
to procure cannon, muskets, and ammunition, and to provide stores
for the troops that the Committee of Safety might call into
service. They appointed five commanders of regiments, viz.:
Jedediah Preble, of Falmouth; Artemas Ward, of Shrewsbury;
Seth Pomeroy, of Northampton; John Thomas, of Marshfield;
and William Heath, of Roxbury.
The question has often been asked. By whom and by what
authority were issued the commissions of general oSicers at
the beginning of the Revolution? Previous to that period,
commissions were issued by the secretary or deputy secretary
and countersigned by the royal governor. The last commission
under the crown to the Third Middlesex Regiment, appointing
Nathan Barrett, of Concord, senior major of the regiment,
from the crown, and in consequence had made himself the object of general odium. The
term of the court was to be held in April, 1774, at Worcester. A panel of fifteen jurors at-
tended. Instead of offering themselves, as usual, to be sworn as jurors, they handed the court
a written protest, signed by them all, in which they refused to act as jurors if Chief Justice
Oliver was to act as one of the judges, and they declare that " by his own confession he stands
convicted, in the minds of the people, of a crime more heinous than any that might come before
him." Fortunately, for some unknown reason, he did not attend the term of the court.
* The editor of this posthumous history of Weston finds on a slip of paper in the manu-
script the following note, presumably intended by Colonel Lamson to be inserted here: It
is, however, known that a Rev. Asa Dunbar, of Salem, married Mary, a daughter of Colonel
Elisha Jones, of Weston, October 22, 1772.
74 HISTORY OF WESTON
and dated February 14, 1776, is signed by Perez Morton, deputy
secretary, and countersigned on the margin by the members
of the council, beginning at the top of the commission. On
the 3d of May, 1776, Major Barrett is made Ueutenant-colonel
of the same regiment, but there is no mention of King George
in this commission. It is issued by a majority of the council,
and signed by J. Avery, deputy secretary. This council was
composed of the following persons: Joseph Powell, Artemas
Ward, William Spooner, H. Gordon, Benjamin Austin, A. Fuller,
T. W. Dana, Samuel Niles, Jos. Stimpson, John Pitts, Eleazer
Brooks, Oliver Wendell, Oliver Prescott.
The commission of 1781, making Francis Faulkner colonel
of the Third Regiment, is dated July 1, 1781, and is issued by
John Hancock, governor and commander-in-chief, countersigned
by him and signed by the Secretary of State.
The Congress of Cambridge elected Henry Gardner, of Stow,
as treasurer and receiver-general, in place of Harrison Gray, who
was treasurer under the crown. Orders were issued that all
funds and taxes in the hands of collectors, throughout the province,
should be paid over to Henry Gardner instead of being paid into
the royal treasury.
At a town meeting held January 2, 1775, John Allen, Israel
Whittemore, and William Whitney were chosen a Committee of
Inspection to enforce the non-importation agreement of 1770,
and they were ordered to report the names of any or all persons
who may have disobeyed the injunction. Tar and feathers
were sure to follow any Tory disobedience of town-meeting
At this meeting it was ordered that £45 Qs. 6d., which was
Weston's proportion of the province tax for 1774, be paid by
the town treasurer into the hands of Henry Gardner, Esq.,
and that he take his receipt in full for the same. The town
also voted to hold their treasurer free from all personal liability
in the matter.
Colonel Braddyll Smith was again delegated to represent the
town at the Provincial Congress to be held at Cambridge on
February 1. The Middlesex County was represented by forty
members. Congress adjourned to meet at Concord, March 22,
WESTON IN THE REVOLUTION 75
and continued its sessions in that town until April 15, four days
before the British attack on the town.*
As we approach the period of the battle of Concord, we find
that the "Liberty Men" were wide-awake and watchful of all
the movements of the British troops in Boston. A thorough
system of information had been established by means of beacon
lights and other effective means. This organization does not
appear to have been established upon any given rules or by any
body of leaders, either in Boston or elsewhere, but rather to have
been the spontaneous action of the Liberty Men generally, and
in each town, who passed the word of warning one to another.
In fact, the acts of all suspicious persons were made known far
and wide with a promptness which is surprising. Each Tory
household was as carefully watched in the country towns as were
the British in Boston, and to this is due the little aid the British
general received from them. The Tories considered their lives and
property at the mercy of the Liberty Men. This rendered them
apprehensive and timid, discouraging them from taking part
in the defence of the crown, which they otherwise would have
been inclined to do. The Journal of John Howe, who was a ser-
geant in the British army, relates the adventures of only one of
three parties sent out over different routes by General Gage
early in April, 1775, to discover what arms, ammunition, and
provisions were in the hands of the rebels. Howe's Journal is
particularly interesting to us of Weston, as the town played a
conspicuous part in defeating the original plan of the British
general. This was, namely, a movement of troops to secure the
stores of the Continentals at Worcester. The spy's report was
very unfavorable as to the possibility of reaching Worcester,
the roads being unfit for transportation of artillery and, above all,
dangerous in consequence of the general preparation of the people
to repel an invasion. Howe's report was instrumental in chang-
ing General Gage's original plan to attack Worcester, and at the
* The records of the Secretary of State give the following account of the different con-
gresses. The first congress was held at Salem, October 7, 1774; then at Concord, October
11, 1774, adjourned to October 15; at Cambridge, October 17, 1774, adjourned to December
10; at Cambridge, February 1, 1775, adjourned to February 16; at Concord, March 22, 1775,
adjourned to April 15; at Concord, April 22, 1775, adjourned to the same day; at Water-
town, April 24, 1775, adjourned to May 29; at Watertown, May 31, 1775, adjourned to
76 HISTORY OF WESTON
last moment Concord was made the objective point. So much
of Howe's Journal (printed by Luther Roby, Concord, N.H.,
1827), which is somewhat long, as has connection with Weston,
is here given in condensed abstract: —
On April 5, Howe was selected to accompany Colonel Smith who was to
examine the road, bridges, and fording places and discover the best route
to Worcester for an armed force to march and destroy the stores and am-
munition deposited there. Howe goes on to state: We dressed our-
selves as Countrymen, with grey coats [probably frocks], leather breeches,
and blue mixed stockings, with flag handkerchiefs round our necks, a small
bundle tied up in a homespun handkerchief in one hand and a walking
stick in the other. Thus equipped we set out like Countrymen to find
work. At Watertown where we stopped at the tavern for breakfast, a
negro woman recognized Colonel Smith, and when he asked her if she could
tell him where he could find work, she looked him in the face, and said,
"Smith, you will find employment enough for you and all General Gage's
men in a few months." Smith was thunder-struck, my own feelings
were not much better; the black woman had been living in Boston and
had acted as washerwoman for the British ofiicers, and thus recognized
Smith. We travelled about one mile and found the road good: here
we got over a wall out of sight to consult what was best to be done. It
was not safe for Smith to continue on, he gave me his book, pencil and ten
guineas and returned to Boston, leaving me to pursue the route. Smith
said if he came out with his regiment over that road he would kill that
black wench. He also told me if I got through all right he would insure
me a Commission. The last I saw of him, he was running through the
barbary bushes to keep out of sight. I found the road good to Waltham
Plain. Here I pretended to be a gunsmith and was told to go to Spring-
field, where they wanted guns, as they expected the regulars out of Bos-
ton, and they meant to be ready for them. I took some rum and molasses,
knowing it to be a Yankee drink. From the plain I found the roads
hilly, stony and crooked for about three miles, when I came to a hollow
with a narrow causeway over it [Stony Brook] ; here I left the road and
went below to see if there was any place where our artillery could cross,
but found none. I examined above and found it bad. Here I saw a
negro setting traps: about ten feet from this narrow road stood the
largest buttonwood tree I ever saw. The negro said that the people were
going to cut it down to stop the regulars from crossing with their cannon.
[This tree stood on the edge of the little pond near the house of Mr. Turner.]
I asked him how they would know when the regulars were coming in
time to cut the tree down. He said they had men all the time at Cam-
bridge and Charlestown watching them. This tree would completely
blockade the road. I asked the negro how far it was to a tavern; he
WESTON IN THE REVOLUTION 77
said a mile, by Weston Meeting house, and another half a mile above,
the first kept by Joel Smith [now house of Mrs. John Jones], a good tavern
and a good liberty man; the other was kept by Captain Isaac Jones, a
wicked Tory, and said a good many British officers go there from Boston.
I found the road to Smith's hilly, stony and crooked. Came to Smith's
tavern, where two teamsters were tackling their teams. I asked them if
they knew of any one who wanted to hire; one of them answered, he did
not know of any body who wanted to hire an Englishman, for they be-
lieved I was one : they said I looked like them rascals they see in Boston. I
went into the house and asked for a drink of rum and molasses, one of the
men followed me and told Smith he guessed I was a British spy. Smith
questioned me very closely, where I was from and where I was going.
He sent me to Captain Jones who kept a tavern at the sign of the Golden
Ball. I handed Captain Jones a letter from General Gage. He took
me by the hand and invited me up stairs. I informed him of all that had
taken place since I left Boston: it being fourteen miles. He told me it
would not do for me to stay at his house over night, for his house would
be mobbed and I would be taken a prisoner. He gave me some dinner
and sent me by his hired man to the house of one Wheaton in a remote
part of the town, where I must remain, until he sent for me [the Dr.
Wheaton house is now that of Mr. Ripley]. The man told Dr. Wheaton
I was a British spy. I was conducted into a chamber, where I found a
bottle of Brand5% candles and paper. I went to work to write up my
journal. The next day Captain Jones' man came and told me that the
news of what had occurred at Watertown between Col. Smith and the
black woman had reached Captain Jones's in the night, by the same
teamsters that had seen me at the Smith tavern. By eleven o'clock
that night some thirty men had collected at the Jones tavern [with tar
and feathers.] Capt. Jones gave them permission to search the house.
The black girl told them some persons had been sent into Jericho swamp.
After dinner Dr. Wheaton introduced me to his two daughters as a British
officer in disguise and we played cards until tea time. That night Cap-
tain Jones's man came to take me to Marlboro'. We came out on the
road about a mile above Jones's on the Worcester road. I found the roads
good to the Sudbury river, twenty-five miles from Boston. I examined
the river for a fording place, should the bridge be destroyed, and found
a fordable place in Framingham. We went to the house of Squire Barnes
[Barnes had married Jones' daughter]. I gave him a letter from General
Gage. He had already heard of the Watertown affair. I had also been
seen examining the bridge over Sudbury river. Squire Barnes gave me
an account of the militia and ammunition from Worcester to Weston.
While we were talking, a knock came at the door. He told me if he did
not return at once to make my escape qut of the window and make
for the swamp and go to Concord. When I leaped upon the shed, snow
78 HISTORY OF WESTON
having fallen, I fell to the ground on my back. Picking up my bundle
and hat, I ran for the swamp. When I got away some distance, I looked
back and could see lights dodging at every window. [The people were
searcliing the house for him. Having got to Concord, he falls in with
Major Buttrick and Major Parmenter, who invite him to dinner and then
take him to the storehouses to see the guns, as he pretends to be a gun-
smith. He examines closely the doors and locks of the storehouses, and
sets off for Lexington on pretence of getting his tools. He reaches Boston
on the 12th, and makes his report to General Gage, who takes his papers
and gives him fifty guineas.] The General asked me how large an army
it would take to get to Worcester and return safe. I told him if he should
send 10,000 men and a train of artillery to Worcester, which is 48 miles,
the inhabitants generally determined to be free or die, that not one of
them would get back alive. Here Smith exclaimed, "Howe has been
scared by the old women." Major Pitcairn said not by a negro wench
anyway, which turned the laugh on Smith. The General asked what I
thought of destroying the stores at Concord, only eighteen miles. I told
him a force of 500 mounted men might go in the night and return safe,
but to go with 1,000 foot, the greater part would be killed or taken. He
asked me what I thought of the Tories. I told him they were generally
cowards and no dependence was to be placed on them. — Howe was en-
gaged on the 18th of April to carry letters to the Tories in Maiden,
Lynn, and Marblehead. He arrived at Concord in the midst of the fight
on the 19th, and was sent back to Boston for reinforcements.*
Regardless of Howe's admonitions, General Gage sent out
to Concord infantry instead of cavalry, and the result was not
far different from that predicted by the spy.
The news that the "British are coming!" passes from town to
town with the speed of a modern telegram. Parson Woodward,
of Weston, sends his family into the woods for safety, and they
drive their cow with them. Mrs. Woodward seizes a skillet as
she leaves the house, telling the children they may need it. The
Weston company gathers at the house of Captain Samuel Lam-
son, then situated where now stands the farm-house on the
Richardson place, and Parson Woodward after a prayer takes
his gun and falls into the ranks with the men. Numbering one
hundred men and three officers, they strike for Concord over
Lamson's Hill. On their way they meet a man on horseback,
probably Howe, the spy, who tells them the British are driven
* Mrs. E. T. Lamson, of Weston, mother of D. S. Lamson, remembered seeing Mr. Howe
when she was a young girl in Boston. — Ed.
THE COBURN HOMESTEAD, CHURCH STREET.
This estate came into the possession of Mr. Jonas Coburn in 1801. It was formerly
owned by Mr. Aaron Whittemore. For many years and until his death it was the home of
Mr. Isaac Coburn, and i.s still owned by his descendants.
THE OLD NATHAN HAGAR HOUSE, NORTH AVENUE, CORNER OF
Built in 1786 by Deacon Isaac Hobbs, .Jr., whose daughter married Nathan Hagar.
Their descendants still own and occupy the hou.sc. The land has been in the possession of
the same family for one hundred and eighty-three years.
WESTON IN THE REVOLUTION
out of Concord, and directs them to go through the woods to the
Lexington road, where the company strike the retreating British
and follow them to Charlestown.
The Muster-roll of Captain Samuel Lamson's MiUtia Company.
Jonathan Fiske .
Mathew Hobbs .
Josiah Seaverns .
John Wright . .
Abraham Hews .
Samuel Nutting .
Nathan Hager .
John Allen Jr . .
John Warren Jr .
Wm. Hobart . .
Micah Warren .
John Frost . . .
Abijah Warren .
Isaac Flagg . . .
Isaac Walker . .
Isaac Cory . . .
James Jones . .
Amos Jones . .
David Sanderson .... 3
John Walker Jr . . .
Saml. Underwood .
Eben Brackett . .
Oliver Curtis . . .
Josiah Corey . . .
Reuben Hobbs . .
Thomas Rand . . .
Thomas Rand Jr .
Benjamin Rand . .
Benjamin Peirce. .
David Fuller . . .
Saml. Child ....
David Livermore .
Jonas Harrington 3d
Jacob Parmenter .
Thomas Corey . .
Roger Bigelow . .
Elijah Kingsberry .
Jonas Underwood .
John Stimpson . .
Thomas Williams .
Elisha Stratton . .
Isaac Hobbs . . .
Samuel Twitchell .
William Bond Jr .
John Flint ....
John Nor cross . . .
William Cary . . .
John Bemis . . .
* The company marched from Weston under Lamson's command on the 19th of April,
1775, See Lexington Alarm List, vol. xii. p. 170.
HISTORY OF WESTOxN
Daniel Lawrence .... 3
Jedediah Bemis . . .
Lemuel Stimpson . .
Benjamin Dudley . .
William Lawrance .
Nathaniel Parkhurst .
Samuel Fiske . . .
Elias Bigelow . . .
William Whitney .
Samuel Train Jr . .
Josiah Allen Jr . .
Daniel Benjamin .
Joseph Whitney . .
Jos. Steadman . .
Jonas Peirce . . .
Eben Phillips . . .
Jedediah Wheeler .
Benjamin Peirce . .
John Peirce . . .
William Jones . .
John Gould 7
John Lamson "
Solomon Jones "
Phineas Hager "
Paul Coolidge "
Samuel Taylor '*
Peter Gary "
Thaddeus Fuller ....
Samuel Woodward ...
Hezekiah Wyman ....
Ebenezer Steadman ...
Amos Parkhurst ....
Muster-roll of Captain Israel Whittemore's Militia Company of Artillery.
James Smith Jr.
Sd Israel Whittemore,
* This company also marched from Weston to Concord on the 19th of April, 1775. The
total amount paid for their services was £5 17s. 2d. See State Records, vol. 13, fol. 20.
Examined and compared by Josiah Johnson and Jonas Dix, Committee.
WESTON IN THE REVOLUTION 81
A new organization of the militia was made in February, 1776.
The Third Middlesex Regiment was composed of three com-
panies in Concord, Weston, Lexington, Acton, and Lincoln.
Eleazer Brooks of Lincoln was colonel, Francis Faulkner lieuten-
ant-colonel, Nathan Barrett of Concord first major, and Samuel
Lamson of Weston second major, Joseph Adams surgeon. On
Monday, March 13, 1775, there was a review of all the militia
held at Concord, and a week later at Acton. Congress ordered
that provisions and military stores sufficient for 15,000 men
should be collected at Concord and Worcester.
Charlestown sent 20 loads, containing 20,000 pounds of musket-
balls and cartridges, 206 tents, 113 spades, 51 axes, 201 bill-hooks,
19 sets of harness, 14 chests of medicine, 27 hogsheads of wooden
ware, 1 hogshead matches, and 20 bushels of oatmeal. Boston
sent 11 loads, containing 150 tents, axes, hatchets, spades, wooden
spoons and dishes, 47 firkins and 2 barrels butter, and 80 barrels
of beef. Marblehead sent 14 hogsheads, containing 35 half-barrels
of powder, 318 barrels of flour (a part of this flour was destroyed
on April 19), 7 loads of salt fish (l7,000 pounds), 18 casks of wine,
47 hogsheads and 50 barrels of salt, 4 loads of tents, 1 bundle
of sheet lead, several hogsheads of molasses, and a quantity of
linen. Salem sent 35,000 pounds of rice. Nor is this all the
stores that were collected. On April 18 these stores were ordered
to be divided in nine different towns. One-third was kept in
Concord, one-third in Sudbury, and one-third in Stowe. 1,000
iron pots were sent to Worcester.
At the battle of Concord and during the retreat of the British
to Charlestown, of the provincials 49 men were killed, 36 wounded,
and 5 missing. Captains Charles Mills, Nathan Barrett, Jonas
Brown, and Abel Prescott, Jr., were wounded. Captains Isaac
Davis, Abner Hosmer, and James Hayward, of Acton, w^ere
killed. Luther Blanchard was wounded. Captain Wilson, of
Bedford, killed, and Job Lane wounded.
Of the British 73 were killed, 172 wounded, and 26 missing.
Among these were 18 oflBcers, 10 sergeants, 2 drummers, and 240
of the rank and file. It is stated that none of those taken pris-
oners returned to the British army.
The files of the Provincial Congress give the loss at Lexington
82 HISTORY OF WESTON
of property destroyed by the British on the 19th of April as
£2,576 25., — real estate £615 10^., and personal £1,960 125.
But as this estimate was made in 1782, or seven years after the
fight, the Selectmen state that the loss and damage could not
be ascertained at that date.
The battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, following the fight at
Concord, closed all political connection of the colonies with the
British government. While that battle was a virtual defeat of
the Continental forces, the victory, if so it can be called, of the
ministerial party, was of the kind that in their results overturn
empires, as was proved in this case. The news of this battle was
taken to England by Captain Derby, of Salem. He reached
England in advance of General Gage's official report. The news
created a great sensation throughout the country. A strong sym-
pathy w^as manifested for the Americans, and a London paper of
that date states that a subscription of £100 had been raised for
the benefit of the widows and orphans of the brave Americans who
had been inhumanly murdered by the king's soldiers. The
records of the town of Weston make no mention of there having
been any of its inhabitants in the battle of Bunker Hill. Mr.
Abraham Hews, our former postmaster, once told the writer that
he remembered, when a boy, sitting on his father's doorstep and
hearing the report of the guns that were being fired on that day.
At a town meeting held on the 25th of May, 1775, Colonel
Braddyll Smith was chosen to represent the town at a Provincial
Congress to be held in Watertown on the 31st of May, and to
continue as their representative for six months and no longer;
"to consult, deliberate, and resolve upon such further measures
as under God shall be effectual to save this people from ruin."
It was also voted later that Colonel Smith should use his influence
to raise more men "to defend our lines against our enemies."
It may be well here to consider the drift of the country at this
time. Our grandfathers looked upon themselves as Englishmen,
and were proud of England. Their determination to resist unjust
measures and laws which were infringements on their charter
rights (which charter they had received at the hands of the king
alone) was not associated in their minds with the idea of a sepa-
ration or disaffection towards England and the king. The possi-
WESTON IX THE REVOLUTION 83
bility of contending against the mother country by force of arms
was thought impracticable, and not until after Concord fight
and the battle of Bunker Hill did the Liberty Men of the country
feel confident of success. Throughout the Revolution such facts
as that the Tory element openly sympathized with the enemy;
that the timid among our own people feared the country had
been led too far on the road to a contest which would ultimately
lead to destruction; that there existed a state of depression over
defeat and want; and that universal uncertainty prevailed, the
friends of freedom being goaded by the satire and ridicule of the
Loyalists everywhere,^such things as these, I say, can be little
understood at the present day. From the commencement two
men, above all others, seem to have had a clear purpose and
unfailing confidence in the result, and to have inspired others
both with energy and courage in the fight for freedom. They
were George Washington and Samuel Adams. At the beginning
of the Revolution, Massachusetts was entitled to have one of its
ofiicers appointed to the command of the army, the more so as
the contest was wdthin her territory; but she relinquished her
claim to Virginia, and Washington was made commander-in-
chief. The appointment of Washington to supreme command
was a great disappointment to John Hancock, who felt he was
entitled to that position; but that he was not qualified for so
exalted a position was best exemplified by his display of wounded
self-esteem and his want of courtesy towards Washington.
Washington arrived in Cambridge on July 2, 1775, and, while
his headquarters were being prepared for him in the Vassal house,
he was entertained at the expense of the Congress sitting in
Watertown. Congress provided him with a steward and cooks.
The following bill paid by Congress (Journal of Congress, pp.
493-495) goes to show that not all the spirits and old Madeira,
not all the lemons and loaf sugar, were in control of the British
in Boston. Washington could not have depended on the Pro-
hibition vote, had he lived in our day. Temperance, as now
understood, had little to do with the making or unmaking of our
great men a century ago. President Lincoln was about right.
\\Tien told of General Grant's intemperate habits, he inquired
what liquor he drank, as he would like to send some of it to other
84 HISTORY OF WESTON
generals he could name. The bill above alluded to is sufficiently
curious to be given here: —
General Washington & Co. To Solomon Lothrop. Dr.
To 6 Bottles of Madeira £1:10:0
" 5 Dozen Lemons 1:3:103^
" 63^ lbs. Loaf Sugar 0:11:3
" 7 Quarts Brandy 14:0
" 24 Dinners 2:8:0
" 7 Ditto for Servants 10:6
" 1 Bowl of Punch 1:4
" 1 Gallon Spirits 8:0
13 Suppers 16:9
2 Quarts Spirits 4:0
" 13 Breakfasts 16:9
" 1 man to make Liquor 3:0
" 6 Bottles of Madeira 1:10:0
*' 1 Dozen Lemons 4:93^
"5 Do. Do 1:5:0
" 3 Bottles Jamaica Rum 6:0
" 1 Bottle West India Rum 1:4
" 12 Bottles Madeira 3:0:0
and so on, a long list, amounting to £24 Qs. 9d. Congress cannot
be accused of overlooking the spiritual condition of the staff.*
Washington took command of the forces before Boston on
July 3. He found an army destitute of every munition of war, —
of powder, in particular. The powder-house at Mystic was for
the greater part stored with barrels which, instead of containing
powder, were filled with sand, the better to deceive the enemy,
should a spy by chance look in. Watson, in his reminiscences,
tells some amusing stories of the motley gathering of inexperi-
enced men, assembled to defend their country, animated with
zeal and patriotism, but entirely ignorant of military discipline.
While passing through the camp, he overheard a dialogue between
a captain of the militia and one of his privates, which well illus-
trates the character of the army. "Bill," said the captain,
* When General Washington was on his way to take command of the army at Cam-
bridge, he passed over our Weston road with his staff, and stopped for dinner at the Baldwin
tavern in Wayland. Mrs. Baldwin made great preparations for the dinner, but, much to
her disgust, Washington went into her kitchen and asked for a bo%vl of bread and milk [or
corn mush and milk?] which he ate there, leaving his staff to eat the formal dinner. This
tavern was burned, but the property is yet in the Baldwin family.
W^ESTON IN THE REVOLUTION 85
"go and bring a pail of water for the mess." "I shan't do it,"
was Bill's reply. "It is your turn now, captain: I got the last
one." Even the elements of subordination had then scarcely
been introduced. Officers and men had rushed to the field under
the ardent impulse of a common patriotism, and the selection
of the officers by the troops (or their appointment) was rather
accidental and temporary than controlled by any regard to supe-
rior qualifications. All the warlike stores in Massachusetts on
April 14, 1775, according to a return made by the several
towns, were little more than half a pound of powder to a man,
as shown herewith: —
Fire Arms 21,549
Pounds of Powder 17,441
Pounds of Ball 22,191
No. of Flints 144,699
" " Bayonets 10,108
" " Pouches 11,979
In a Weston town meeting held June 18, 1776, it was voted by
the citizens to instruct their representative to use his influence for
independence from Great Britain, "if the Honorable Congress
thinks it best for the interests of the Colony." The town also
voted that their representative should not be paid out of the pub-
lic chest, which was still in the hands of the royal governor. At
the May meeting it had been voted that he should be allowed four
shillings a day out of the town rates for one hundred and thirty-
seven days' services in the Congress. At this meeting Major Lam-
son receipts for the use of two guns belonging to the town 12^., and
also for powder, ball, and flints from Selectmen amounting to
£23 10s. 2d.* General Washington having decided to fortify
Dorchester Heights, and thus command the city of Boston and
force Lord Howe to evacuate that city, which he had held for
♦ Mr. Shattuck, in his valuable and now exceedingly rare book giving the history of Con-
cord, says (p. 353): "A new organization of the militia was made in February, 1776, and
Concord, Lexington, Weston, Acton, and Lincoln were assigned to the Third Middlesex
Regiment in Oliver Prescott's brigade, Eleazer Brooks, colonel, Francis Faulkner, lieuten-
ant-colonel, Nathan Barrett, first major, and Samuel Lamson, second major, Joseph Adams,
surgeon. The captain of the Weston company was Jonathan Fiske; Matthew Hobbs, first
lieutenant; Josiah Seaverns, second lieutenant. In March, 1780, the Weston company was
commanded by Matthew Hobbs; Josiah Livermore, first lieutenant; and Daniel Livermore,
HISTORY OF WESTON
a year and a half, the Third Middlesex Regiment was ordered
on the 4th of March to occupy the Heights, and the Weston
company, which was a part of this regiment, proceeded to the
appointed position under Captain Jonathan Fisk. The officers
of the Third Regiment at this time were Colonel Eleazer Brooks,
of Lincoln, Lieutenant-colonel Nathan Barrett, of Concord, and
Major Samuel Lamson, of Weston. The names of the Weston
company are as follows (Mass. Reg. Rolls, vol. 19, p. 88) : —
Captain Jonathan Fisk.
Sergeant Samuel Fisk.
Sergeant Isaiah Seaverns.
Corporal Abijah Stedman.
Corporal Simeon Smith.
Fifer Abijah Seaverns.
Privates Isaac Corey.
Thomas Russell Jr.
Benjamin Peirce Jr.
Jonathan Stratton Jr.
John Allen Jr.
John Warren Jr.
Thomas Rand Jr.
The company travelled twenty -eight miles, and served five days.
At the town meeting held in June it was voted to appoint
one of the Selectmen to take a census of the town as directed
by Congress. There is no record of the result of this census.
It is to be regretted that the records of the town do not give the
organizations, companies, and regiments to which the Weston
men who fought in the Revolution were assigned. We have the
WESTON IN THE REVOLUTION 87
payments made to all who served in the war and some of the
campaigns in which they took part, but nothing more definite.
A more detailed account would have added interest to the de-
scendants of all the old soldiers. The little that has been ac-
complished in identifying our soldiers in the several commands of
that period has been done in searching through the rolls at the
State House, and in some instances these are not complete.
Returns of companies and regiments were not attended to with
the promptness and regularity of our own days. There are extant
records which show sharp and frequent reminders from the head-
quarters of the army about the delinquency and carelessness of
officers in this respect.
In town meeting held July 1, 1776, it was voted to give £G 6s.
8d. to each man (in addition to the bounty granted by the General
Court); i.e., to those men that were to go to Canada. Major
Lamson, Ensign Isaac Hobbs, and Captain John Warren were
appointed a committee to hire the money, and the town treasurer
was ordered to give his security on behalf of the town at 6 per
The Weston men who went to Canada at this time are Con-
verse Bigelow, John Warren, Jr., Samuel Train, Matthew Hobbs,
John Hager, Lemuel Stimpson, James Cogswell, Benjamin Rand,
Samuel Danforth, William Helms, Paul Cooledge, John Baldwin,
Benjamin Bancroft, Daniel Sanderson, Reuben Hobbs, Elias
Bigelow, Thomas Russell, Jr., John Stimpson.
Nearly all of the above men were of the Weston company.
The Weston men who were in Captain Asabet WTieeler's company
(of Colonel John Robinson's regiment) in 1776 at the siege of Bos-
ton and stationed at Cambridge were Josiah Cary, Roger Bige-
low, Paul Cooledge, Converse Bigelow, Nathaniel Bemis, Elias
Bigelow, Daniel Benjamin, Nathaniel Parkhurst, Oliver Curtis,
Phineas Hager, Lemuel Jones, Daniel Livermore, Thomas Bige-
low, A. Faulkner.
The three months' and ten-day men at Cambridge were as
follows, and they received £346 lis. 2d.: Edward Cabott, Joseph
Coburn, Isaac Gregory, Isaac Peirce, Artemas Cox (Wyman),
Daniel Bemis, John Bemis, Joseph Mastick, Peter Cary, Simeon
Pike, Keen Robinson, Daniel Rand, Thomas Harrington.
88 HISTORY OF WESTON
The five months' men at Cambridge were paid £200 18s.
They were Philemon Warren, Joseph Stone, John Hager, George
Farrar, Jedediah Warren, Nathan Fisk, Henry Bond, Josiah
Jennison, Nathan Hager.
The Weston men to guard the beacon on Sanderson Hill in
Weston were as follows (they were paid £127 85.): Jonas San-
derson, Nathaniel Felch, Joel Harrington, Nathaniel Parmenter,
Thaddeiis Peirce, Daniel Rand.
This beacon is spoken of in General Sullivan's Memoirs, and was
the connecting link of signals between the army at Cambridge
and Sullivan's command in Rhode Island.
The nine months' men for the Continental army were as fol-
lows, and they were paid £900 bounty money: Keen Robinson,
Jeduthun Bemis, Joseph Mastick, James Bemis, Samuel Bailey,
Daniel Davis, Peter Cary.
On July 4, 1776, Congress issued to the country the Declara-
tion of Independence by the representatives of the United States
of America in General Congress assembled, and in council at
Boston, July 7, it was ordered to be printed and a copy sent to
the minister of each parish, and that the ministers be required
to read the same on the first Lord's Day after they shall have
received it, and that it should then be copied into the town records
as a perpetual memorial. The Declaration of Independence was
read in Weston by Rev. Samuel Woodward on the eighth day
of September, 1776.
At a special town meeting held January 27 the petition of
Josiah Smith and others, inhabitants of Weston, was read: —
To THE Selectmen of Weston, Gentlemen:
Whereas it is difficult coming to justice in drafting men to go to the
service of the United States by a common draft, we think it more
just and equitable to come to justice for the town to choose a Committee
to hire men whenever there shall be a call for men, and to have them
paid by an assessment on ye inhabitants and estates by the same rule
that common town rates are made and collected and in the same way,
and ye money when collected to be delivered to said Committee in order
to pay ye men: And also to make an estimate of what every person
has done in the service since ye 19th of April 1775.
WESTON IX THE REVOLUTION 89
It was voted to choose five as such committee; namely, John
Warren, Thomas Rand, Abraham Jones, Isaac Hobbs, and Samuel
Livermore. This committee continued throughout the war, and
did valuable service. At the same meeting it was
Voted to allow £3 to each man that was in service at Cambridge for
Voted that £10 be allowed each man in service 12 months and marched
to New York.
Voted that £18 be allowed each man in service twelve months and
marched to Canada.
Voted that twelve shillings be allowed each man in service two months
at Cambridge, February and March.
Voted that £o be allowed to each man in service five months at Ticon-
Voted that £2 be allowed each man in service four months in Boston.
Voted that £5 be allowed each man in service two months at Horse-
Voted that £7: 10 be allowed each man in the Jersies.
Voted that £l : 10 to men in service 5 months in Boston.
Voted that 18 shillings be allowed for service 3 months in Boston.
At a town meeting held February' 17, 1777, it was voted to
add four more to the committee on the war; and Colonel Smith,
John Lamson, Deacon Russell, and Deacon Upham were chosen
to be of that committee.
The close watch which the friends of liberty held over the
unfriendly, or Tory, element among them, is well exemplified in
an occurrence which took place in Lincoln in August of 1777.
The account is taken probably from a diary, as no name is signed
to the statement: "This very day a mob came, it being on Sun-
day morning: the mob consisted of sixteen persons, by violence
drove me away and kept me under guard for twenty six hours,
insulting me to the highest degree." He then gives a list of the
names of the persons who composed the mob: Colonel Abijah
Peirce, Lieutenant Samuel Hoar, Lieutenant James Parks, Ser-
geant Ephraim Flint, Sergeant Daniel Harrington, and eleven
others. This person, whoever he was, had probably ventilated
his Tory proclivities, and been arrested by a company of soldiers.
90 HISTORY OF WESTON
The Third Middlesex Regiment served on the Hudson River
and the Canada border, and it is probable the Weston company
was with the regiment at White Plains in October; but there is
no record on the town books of their services, beyond the pay-
ment made to Weston soldiers. The eight months' men on North
River, New York, are as follows, and were probably drafted:
Oliver Curtis, Ebenezer Philips, Joseph Stone, John Hager, John
Richardson. There were eight Weston men in Captain Jesse
Wyman's company, of Colonel Josiah Whiting's regiment serving
in Rhode Island, discharged at Point Judith: Oliver Curtis,
Joseph Mastick, George Farrer, Amos Hosmer, Buckley Adams,
Joseph Stone, Josiah Parks, Eleazer Parks.
A draft was ordered by Colonel Brooks of one-sixth of Cap-
tain risk's Weston company (Records, vol. 53, p. 192), dated
August 18, 1777, as follows: William Hobbs, Samuel Nutting, Silas
Livermore, Alpheus Bigelow, Nathan Warren, Daniel Benjamin,
Joel Harrington, Isaac Jones, Jr., Phineas Hager, Phineas Upham,
Isaac Flagg, Thomas Hill, William Bond, Amos Harrington, Isaac
Harrington, Jr., John Allen, Jr., Jeduthun Bemis, Daniel Weston.
Captain Fisk reports that Isaac Jones, Jr., could not be found.
The six months' men who served in Rhode Island were as fol-
lows: Abel Peirce, Phineas Stimpson, Jonas Parmenter, David
Livermore, John Roberts, Solomon Parmenter, William Richard-
son, Samuel Bond, Alpheus Bigelow, Panamuel Pratt, Daniel
Bemis, Abner Mathias, Nathan Fisk, Amos Peirce, Phineas Hager,
Silas Livermore, Jonas Underwood, James Peacock, James Coggs-
well, Joseph Storrs, John Bemis, Joseph Walker.
When Washington was defeated at Brooklyn, the army came
near being broken up by the discharge of short-term enlisted men,
and Washington appealed to the Continental Congress to organ-
ize an efficient army. As an inducement to enlist for the term
of the war, Congress offered a bounty of £20 at the time of mus-
ter and the following grants of land: to a colonel, 500 acres; to
a major, 400 acres; to a captain, 300 acres; to a lieutenant,
200 acres; and 100 acres to privates and non-commissioned offi-
cers. Massachusetts passed a resolve requiring each town to
furnish every seventh man of sixteen years of age, excepting
Quakers. By this order Weston's quota was eighteen men.
WESTON IN THE REVOLUTION
The town borrowed money of the townspeople to pay for the
men ordered, in sums as follows: —
Samuel Fisk . .
Anna Bigelow . .
Jonathan Fisk .
Elisha Warren . .
Jacob Bigelow .
Joseph Russell . .
John Sanderson .
Abijah Warren . .
Sarah Cox ....
. . 27:3:0
all to ....
The full amount of money borrowed of sundry persons for the use of
the town from May, 1778, to 1779 was £4,281:5:0
Town Debt 3,965:9:11
It is possible that the records of the campaign of Ticonderoga
and Crown Point are defective for the reason that at the sur-
render of Ticonderoga by General St. Clair, on the 5th of July,
the American army lost their effects. We have a record of the
application made by Colonel Thomas Marshall to the General
Court, to be reimbursed for his outlay in providing clothing for
his command after the surrender. General Burgoyne surrendered
his army at Saratoga on the 17th of October, and General Brickett
escorted one wing of the British prisoners over the Framingham
turnpike, or our south road, through Newton to Winter Hill in
Sonierville. General Glover escorted the other wing of prisoners
over our Main Street to the same destination. General Glover's
troops passed a night on our Main Street.* Over one hundred
men enlisted in the army from Weston in 1777. In the year 1778
four men from Captain Fisk's company enlisted in the Conti-
nental army, viz.: John Norman, Isaac Green, Peter Cotton,
* On August 29, 1777, Lieutenant-colonel Paul Revere, in command of Fort Independence,
was ordered to march with five drummers and five fifers, one hundred and twenty sergeants,
corporals, bombardiers, gunners, and matrosses, with their commissioned officers, to Worcester,
there to meet and take charge of the prisoners captured at Bennington by General Stark.
They left Watertown at six o'clock, breakfasted at the Golden Ball Tavern in Weston, and
dined at Sudbury. While there. Colonel Revere received a letter from Mrs. Jones, of Weston,
complaining that her store had been broken open and twelve loaves of sugar stolen. She
suspected the soldiers of doing the deed. Colonel Revere had all the packs searched, but
found nothing. He says in his report that he suspects they stole the sugar themselves, and out
of pretence charged our people. The sugar, he says, belonged to the government, and they
are Tories. When he was at the Jones tavern, the pocket of Captain Todd's servant was picked
and two dollars taken therefrom while the coat was hanging in the kitchen.
From Worcester several hundred prisoners — Highlanders, Germans, Canadians, etc. —
were marched to Boston.
92 HISTORY OF WESTON
These four men not being on the muster-roll of the company,
were undoubtedly hired (or substitute) men.
In July Major Lamson, by order of Colonel Brooks, drafted
three men from the Weston company to serve as guards to the
prisoners at Winter Hill, viz.: John Bemis, Isaac Gregory, and
Nathaniel Wyman. Major Lamson in his return states that
John Walker, Jr., a Continental soldier of Weston, has not re-
turned to his duty as he promised to do, and the major suggests
that Colonel Brooks should issue an order for his return at once
(Records, vol. 53 [23 ?], p. 192).
The nine months' men drafted from Weston to serve at Fish-
kill, N.Y., were as follows (vol. 28, p. 160): Samuel Bay ley. Keen
Robinson, James Beaman, Peter Cary, Jeduthun Bemis.
On October 15, 1778, Colonel Brooks, of the Third Middlesex
Regiment, was made brigadier-general, and was succeeded in
command of the regiment by Nathan Barrett, of Concord (vol.
28, p. 120).
At a town meeting held the 18tli of May, 1778, it was
Voted to choose a committee of nine to report upon the proposed
plan of government.
Voted that Elisha Warren be dismissed as treasurer, and that Isaac
Hobbs be appointed in his place.
Voted that £433 : 6 : 8 be granted Rev. Samuel Woodward as a gra-
tuity for the present year.
At an adjourned town meeting held June 8, 1778, it was voted
to act upon the constitution and form of government sent to
the town for its consideration. The vote stood: —
For the approbation of the constitution, 6.
Against it or in disapprobation, 57.
At an adjourned meeting held on the 22d of October, 1778, the
town voted the following instructions to their representative at
the General Court: —
Mr. Joseph Roberts:
Sir, — As you are chosen by the inhabitants of this town to represent
them in the General Court, your constituents think they have a right
WESTOX IX THE REVOLUTIOX 93
to instruct their representative from time to time as they shall think need-
ful. Therefore, the inhabitants of this town think it proper to give you
1. That you use your best endeavours in the General Court to have
such laws made as may prevent the return of any of those persons into
this town or state who have sought and received protection from the
2. That you also endeavour in said Court, that the Judge of Probate
be lawfully authorised to appoint agents over the estates of all such
persons as have died in the town of Boston or elsewhere while under the
protection of the British army.
At a town meeting held the 24th of May, 1779, it was
Voted to send two delegates to the convention, for the sole purpose
of forming a new constitution or form of government. [Joseph Roberts
and John Allen were chosen.]
That the delegates transmit to the Selectmen a printed copy of the
form of government they shall agree upon, in order that the same may
be laid before the town.
Voted the sum of £3,000 to support the war.
At a town meeting held the 2d of August, 1779, it was
Voted to hear the proceedings of the convention, held at Concord
on the 14th of July last, for the purpose of forming a constitution or form
Voted unanimously that we approve of and will abide by the proceed-
ings of said convention.
Voted to chose two delegates to attend the convention at Concord
the first Wednesday in October next. [Samuel Fisk and Thomas Rand
were so chosen.]
A subject brought before the Concord convention was that
of domestic trade, the establishing of a system of prices at which
the necessaries of life were to be sold. The scarcity of money,
the high rates which towns were obliged to pay for money to
support the war, and the unreasonable prices charged for all prod-
uce of daily consumption rendered action necessary. This con-
vention fixed a scale of prices for goods and merchandise and
for farm produce and wages. Weston chose a committee to see
94 HISTORY OF W-ESTON
that the agreement was faithfully observed in this town, and to
publish the names of those persons who did not comply with the
regulation. The convention did thorough work and took in all
kinds of business. The prices were in the depreciated currency
of that time, which was about 20 shillings paper to 1 shilling in
silver. This would bring the price of tea to $1.33 per pound, and
wages per day in summer to 58 cents. West India rum, £6 9s,
per gallon; New England rum, £4 16s. per gallon; coffee, 18
shillings per pound; molasses, £4 155. per gallon; brown sugar,
from 10 to 14 shillings per pound; tea, £5 I65. per pound; salt,
£10 85. per bushel; beef, 5 shillings per pound; butter, 12 shillings
per pound; cheese, 6 shillings; hay, 30 shillings per cwt.; yard-
wide tow cloth, 24 shillings per yard; cotton cloth, 36 shillings
per yard; men's shoes, £6 per pair; women's, the same; carpenter,
per day, 60 shillings; mason, per day, 60 shillings; common
laborer, 48 shillings in summer; flip (West India), per mug,
15 shillings; flip. New England, 12 shillings; toddy in proportion.
Extra good dinner, £1; common dinner, 12 shillings. Best sup-
per and breakfast, 15 shillings; common supper and breakfast,
12 shillings. Horse-keeping, 24 hours at hay, 15 shillings; on
grass, 10 shillings.
At a town meeting held the 15th of November, 1779, it was
voted to choose a committee of five persons to ascertain the
bounds of the meeting-house lot and the road adjoining
thereto. Captain Estes How, Captain \^^littemore, Lieutenant
Stratton, Jonas Harrington, and John Allen were chosen such
At a town meeting held May 29, 1780, it was voted to accept
the committee's report relating to town lands, but the report
is not entered on the records.
The two months' men for service in Rhode Island were Ben-
jamin Peirce, Jr., Joseph Stone, Jonas Peirce, Nathaniel Billings,
William Gill, Daniel Livermore.
The four months' men were Isaac Walker and John Bemis.
The nine months' men in the Continental army from Weston
were Thomas Bemis, Jacob Bemis, Abel Peirce, Simeon Pike,
Ephraim Capron, John Roberts. They were paid £2,216 75.
For guarding the beacon: John Hager's son, Samuel Liver-
THE HOBBS HOUSE, NORTH AVENUE.
Built by Deacon Isaac Hobbs as a double house, one-half being occupied later by his
grandson, Captain Samuel Hobbs, and the west end by Captain Henry Hobbs. Mrs. Samuel
Hobbs was the daughter of Rev. Dr. Kendal, and resided here until her death in 1S83. She
was succeeded by her nephew. General James F. B. Marshall, who extensively remodelled
the house and named it Kendal Green. It is now owned and occupied by George N. Aber-
THE OLD WHITNEY TAVERN, NORTH AVENUE.
This ancient house, now owned by Thomas E. Coburn, has been a commonplace tenement
house for seventy-five years or more, and its early history i.s almost forgotten by the few
who ever knew it. Mr. Whitney, who owned and occupied it as a tavern, once kept the
famous "Punch Bowl" tavern in Brookline.
WESTON IX THE REVOLUTION 95
more's son, Thomas Graves's son, Thomas Rand's son. They
were paid £50.
There were seven three months' men sent to the army on the
Hudson, besides those above mentioned; but they were all hired.
The six months' men in the Continental army at Fishkill num-
bered 15, and were all hired by the town.
The three months' men from Weston were John Bigelow,
Samuel Lamson, Jr., Thaddeus Peirce, Daniel Ward, Peter Carj%
Jeduthun Bemis, John Clark, and two hired, or substitute,
men. These men were paid in bills of the new emission at four
At a town meeting held May 29, 1780, it was voted to accept
the constitution or form of government as it now stands, "but it
is our opinion that it should be revised within ten years." The
vote stood: yeas, 54; nays, 20.
It was also voted to search for Mr. Goddard's deed of gift, to the
town of Weston, of a piece of land near the meeting-house. No
report is made by the committee appointed, which consisted of
Captain Flagg, Israel ^Miittemore, and Thomas Spring. It is
probable there is no such deed.
Sixteen men were raised for the Continental army. They were
all hired men and strangers to the town. They were to serve
six months. Two of these men deserted, and three were
A resolve of the legislature required the following amount
of beef for Washington's army: Waltham, 7,200 c\si:.; Weston,
7,930 cwt.; Lincoln, 5,64'0 cwt.
In 1780 the Weston company enlisted for three years, or for
the war. The company was commanded by Matthew Hobbs,
and the two Livermores were lieutenants. The company was
employed in the western and northern parts of New York, and
was discharged at Newburg on the Hudson. Captain Hobbs
died in 1817.
At a town meeting held September 4, 1780, the vote for gover-
nor and lieutenant-governor was taken. His Excellency John
Hancock had 38 votes; Hon. James Bowdoin had 29 votes.
Lieutenant-governor Hon. Henrj' Gardner had 30 votes; Hon.
James Bowdoin had 22 votes.
96 HISTORY OF WESTON
It will be interesting to follow the votes for governor and lieu-
tenant-governor for the next few years, as indicative of the re-
spective popularity of the leaders of the Revolution in this State.
John Hancock was evidently the most popular of all, and it will
be noticed that it required a long time for James Bowdoin to
supersede him in the affection of the people. Bowdoin was one
of the most efficient and public-spirited men who ever held the
executive office of Massachusetts, and was free from many of the
small traits of character which were prominent in Hancock.
Samuel Adams was still the moving power in the background,
giving force and animating the public mind to sacrifice and pa-
triotism. Mr. Adams was secretary of the Provincial and State
Council; but Jonathan Avery as deputy secretary signed public
documents, and the military commissions of the day were
countersigned by him.
At a town meeting held December 27, 1780, it was voted to
grant money to purchase the Weston quota of 15,227 pounds
of beef ordered by the General Court, and also voted to raise
£20,000 for the purpose, and to procure the thirteen men called
for by government and raise the money to pay them. It had
now become difficult to find men willing to enlist, and equally
difficult to hire men. The Continental currency had so far depre-
ciated as to render it almost useless, and loans of money on any
terms were extremely difficult to obtain. The times were very
hard, and the necessaries of life exhausted all available means.
The year ended in general gloom.
At a town meeting held January 8, 1781, it was voted to choose
a committee of five to meet with Josiah Smith and his son Joel
to set the bounds of the town lands near the meeting-house.
At a town meeting held March 5, 1781, it was voted to present
Rev. Mr. Woodward the thanks of the town for relinquishing
fifteen cords of his firewood.
At a town meeting held April 2, 1781, the votes for governor
and lieutenant-governor were taken. His Excellency John Han-
cock had 30 votes; Hon. James Bowdoin had 28 votes. Lieu-
tenant-governor Hon. Thomas Cushing had 23 votes; Hon.
James Prescott had 16; Hon. Azor Orne had 14.
At the same meeting, " Voted to grant the Rev. Mr. Woodward
WESTON IN THE REVOLUTION 97
£33:6:8 for his salary for six months, in silver money at the
rate of 6 shillings 8 pence per ounce, or the exchange in paper
currency at 75 of the latter for one of the former."
The surrender of Lord Cornwallis and the British army at
Yorktown, which occurred October 19, 1781, checked enlist-
ments, and, although they continued on a small scale for a period,
the war was felt to be virtually at an end.
At a town meeting held April 1, 1781, the votes for governor
and lieutenant-governor were taken. His Excellency John Han-
cock had 49 votes; Hon. James Bowdoin had 21. Lieutenant-
governor Hon. Thomas Gushing had 61.
At a town meeting held October 14, 1782, it was voted to hear
the proposals of the proprietors of a bell, which was purchased
with a view to the benefit of the town, and act thereon. It was
voted to accept the offer of the bell, with the conditions there-
unto annexed, which are as follows, namely: "The proprietors
make a present of the bell to the Town, provided they will hang
it decently for the use of the Town." It would be interesting
to give the names of these proprietors; but the diflSculty of
obtaining an inspection of the papers in the town safe, which
have not been examined for probably half a century, has been
so great that it had to be abandoned by the writer. Documents
belonging to the town are treated too much as private property,
not to be examined or touched. At this town meeting it was
voted to grant £66 13^. 4c?. "for the relief of the distressed
family" of the late Rev. Mr. Woodward, "our faithful and be-
loved pastor," also £15 for the funeral charges.
It is to be regretted that we have no record of the men from
Weston who were killed or who died in the army of the Revolu-
tion. Mr. Woodward gives the names of only two, — Daniel and
Elisha Whitehead. The company and regimental rolls contain no
mention of casualties. We have no record of the pensions
awarded to soldiers of that period. The wife of Colonel Samuel
Lamson received from the government in lieu of yearly pension
a life lease of a tavern which stood in the westerly part of
Watertown, upon which site now stands a school-house.
Pursuant to the order of the honorable House of Representa-
tives (May 1, 178l), the committee for the sale of the estates
98 HISTORY OF WESTON
of conspirators and absentees lying in the county of Middlesex
"ask leave to report that they have sold the Estates hereinafter
mentioned and described at the time, to the persons and for the
suras set against the same," namely: —
In Weston, March 9th, 1781.
Elisha Jones, Esq., House, two barns, 75 acres of land sold
to Colonel Thomas Marshall for £1,000
53 Acres of land sold to Thomas Rand 185
30 " " " JohnCoburn 155
43 " " " M. A. Townsend 152
20 " " Natick sold to N. Jennison 75
25 " " sold to J. Dammson 85
20 " '• sold to J. Roberts 40
Total amount received from sale of land of Elisha Jones, Esq., £1692
At a town meeting held February 24, 1783, the business was: —
1st, to know the minds of the Town whether they were ready to come
to the choice of a Person to settle in the Gospel ministry, and it passed
affirmatively by a vote of 43 to 19. 2d, Voted to grant £200 settlement as
an encouragement to Mr. Kendal to settle with us in the work of the
ministry. Voted that the deacons of the church be a committee to inform
Mr. Kendal of the proceedings of the town.
At an adjourned meeting of the town August 11, 1783, —
Voted, That Deacon Thomas Russell, Samuel P. Savage, Esq., Mr.
Jonathan Stratton, Deacon Isaac Hobbs, and Deacon Samuel Fiske be
a Committee to wait on Mr. Kendal and inform him that the town are
now ready to receive his answer to their call to settle with them.
The meeting was adjourned for fifteen minutes, and Mr. Kendal
came into meeting and exhibited his answer.
In town meeting held in March, 1783, it was voted that a
committee be appointed to draft instructions to the representa-
tive of the town, who this year was Samuel Fiske, for his gov-
ernment in the General Assembly. The committee was composed
of Samuel Phillips Savage, John Warren, Thomas Russell, Thomas
Marshall, and Isaac Hobbs, and on May 26, 1783, submitted the
following report, written by Mr. Savage: —
Mr. Samuel Fiske.
Sir, — The Freeholders and Inhabitants of this Town having elected
you to represent them in general Assembly the ensuing year, and con-
WESTON IN THE REVOLUTION 99
sidering that some matters of the last importance to the happiness,
if not to the being, of this Commonwealth, may very probably be laid
before the house of Assembly for their Consideration, have thought
proper to give you the following Instructions.
While conflicting with a powerful enemy, through a long and bloody
war (though ever disposed for Peace that was safe and honorable), we
flattered ourselves that when Peace returned, we should be quiet under
our own Vine and Fig tree, and none would make us unhappy: but we
were mistaken — for although we have sheathed the sword, yet, un-
happy for us, a new scene of trouble opens by an article in the Treaty;
for Congress are there bound earnestly to recommend to the different
States, that they admit the Return of those men and restore to them
their estates, who, at the beginning of the Contest, when their invaded
Country called for their aid, fled to the Enemy, and many of them joined
them in their endeavors to subjugate and ruin it. Is it possible the
real friends of America can ever be happy if these men return, until
the horrid scenes they have both devised and perpetrated be obliterated
from our memories, or what is equally as impossible, they be so changed
as to relish the pleasures which flow from real Liberty.''
We cannot but approve the prudent conduct of the Commissioners
of these States (ever we trust under the Guidance of unerring Provi-
dence) that the article though inserted, is but conditional, and not obliga-
tory on the States: by which the happiness or misery of America, at
present, seems to rest on the Virtue of the People and their Rulers. If
ever a time called for the watchful eye, the wise head and the honest heart,
it is now. We have waded through a sea of blood, and been at an immense
expense of Treasure to support the glorious struggle; and we most sin-
cerely hope we shall not now by one weak act undo what has cost us the
blood of thousands to effect. Shall it ever be said those men participated
of the first fruits of Liberty who for eight long years have strove to tear
up the fair plant by the roots. The thought opens to the mind such
scenes of distress, that it is painful to dwell upon it.
To you Sir, (next to Heaven) as one of Guardians of our Rights and
Liberties, we look. — Our choice of you evidences how much we rely on
your W^isdom and Integrity — yet we must instruct and enjoin it upon
you, that when you know, or have reason to believe, this important
matter is coming before the house of Assembly for their Consideration,
that you be present, and to the utmost of ability, both by your vote
and influence prevent, if possible, the return of these men, or either of
them to this Commonwealth, or the Restoration of their justly forfeited
Estates. There are other things which on this occasion, might have
been mentioned, but as our principal Design is instructing you, as for
your Government in the above mentioned matter, we shall only say,
that every thing which to you appears of real Importance to your Conn-
100 HISTORY OF WESTON
try's peace, freedom, Sovereignty and Independence, you will be par-
ticularly attentive unto.
We are sure Sir the Goodness of your heart will keep you from a base
act, and we trust your good sense and firmness will, in the hour of Danger,
secure you against the poison of the smooth Tongue and the insmuating
address of the Secret Enemies of your Country, who are lying in wait
Samuel Philipps Savage
Weston, May 26th, 1783.
At a town meeting held September 8, 1783,
Voted, That the 5th day of November next be the day for the ordina-
tion of Mr. Samuel Kendal.
Voted, That the method of procuring money to defray the expenses of
said ordination be by way of collection, and that those who shall advance
money for said purpose shall be allowed the same on the next tax assess-
Voted, That Major Samuel Lamson, Enoch Greenleaf and Deacon
Samuel Fiske be a Committee to Provide for the Venerable Council.
Protest. We the subscribers conceiving that the proceedings of this
town of Weston in the meeting of this date, has been illegal and unconsti-
tutional in calling, granting settlement money and salary to Mr. Samuel
Kendal in settling among us in this place in the Gospel ministry — we
hereby declare our protest against the said proceedings, and we advise
that this our protest might be of public record in this town, and we plead
the advantage of the Bill of Rights in that case provided.
Joseph Harrington. Isaac Jones.
Hezekiah Wyman. Samuel Train.
Samuel Seaverns, Jr. Jonas Harrington
Moses Harrington. John Flagg.
Elisha Harrington. William Cutter.
No attention seems to have been paid to this curious pro-
test. The names are probably of those who voted against the
call of Mr. Kendal in the meeting of February 24 preceding.
As 1783 virtually closes the war period, it will not be amiss
to give a brief account of the money expended and men pro-
vided by the following States: —
WESTON IX THE REVOLUTION 101
Between the years 1775 and 1783 Massachusetts furnished
67,907 soldiers, while New York supplied only 17,781. In ad-
justing the war balance after the peace, Massachusetts had
overpaid her share in the sum of $1,248,801 of silver money.
New York was deficient in the large sum of $2,074,846.
New Hampshire, though almost a wilderness, furnished 12,496
troops for the Continental ranks, or quite three-quarters of the
number enlisted in New York State.
New York was the Loyalist stronghold, and contained more
Tories than any other colony in America (Sabine, vol. i. p. 29).
In the Wake of the Revolution.
Having passed in review the period of the Revolution, from
1775 to the treaty of peace, we have seen that every available
man of Weston had been in the army for a longer or shorter term
of service, many re-enlisting several times and serving at remote
points, the town straining every nerve to raise the means to
carry on the war to a successful termination. We can form no
adequate idea at the present day of the privations and sufferings
our forefathers went through in the battle for freedom. These
severe sufferings of body and soul were not alone felt by the sol-
diers in the field, but the women and children at home bore their
full share of privation and want. All, then, were glad when
they at last saw that their struggles were to have an end. There
was no money, or what might be called money. The paper
currency had depreciated to an extent which rendered it almost
useless. Clothing was all home-made. Tea and coffee, sugar
and salt, there was none. Flour had reached the price of $500
a barrel in currency, and at points where the army was stationed
was not obtainable at any price. The flour mills had been de-
stroyed both by friend and foe. It is a question whether our
people, if they had had a forecast of what they would be forced
to endure for seven long years, would have thought flesh and
blood equal to the attempt of a war against the crown. Men's
hearts had become heavy. Mothers in the absence of their
husbands looked upon their children and trembled for their
future. The inhabitants of the frontier towns were in constant
dread of Indian incursions, and those at the seaboard dreaded
British invasion and ravages.
But the war came to an end, and at once, on the cessation of
hostilities, business of all kinds received a great impetus. The
agricultural population soon felt the improved state of things.
IN THE WAKE OF THE REVOLUTION 103
Abundance succeeded want and privations, which for so long a
period had been the lot of all. Money was still scarce, and taxes
very high in consequence of the debts incurred in prosecuting
the war. This state of things continued for several years, and
brought about the Shays Rebellion of 1787. Among farmers the
system of exchange of work and barter took the place (in most in-
stances) of hard money. Land was cheap and mostly wooded, and
in the purchase of farms throughout New England the standing
wood would pay for the land. Distances to market were little
considered, if for no other reason than because at central points
hard money was to be had for wood and all farm produce. Pro-
visions became very cheap, even when compared with the prices
of our own day: beef, 6 to 8 cents; veal, 4 cents; pork, 6 cents;
butter, 12 and 14 cents; eggs, 8 to 10 cents; hay, $8 to $10 a
ton. There being no coal, wood was in good demand, and Boston
took all the wood at fair prices. The farmers even brought it
from far Vermont and New Hampshire. Ox-teams were then
the only motive power, and long journeys were but little re-
garded. In this work the boys came into play. Long lines of ox-
teams — each load of from four to six cords of wood, piled high in
the air — were driven by boys of fourteen and sixteen years of
age. The trip to the market occupied several days and nights.
Each division of eight or ten teams had one or two men along
with the boys to sell the wood and help in case of accident. No
money was to be spent on the road. Each boy had his allowance
of crackers and cheese, which was to last until he got back
home. Feed for the cattle was stowed away in bags on top of
the loads. In the fall of the year the streets of Boston were a
sight not seen nowadays. The official street-inspectors and anti-
obstructionists live in pleasant times to-day; but in the early
days of this century and down to 1840 lines of wood-teams with
innumerable yokes of oxen filled the streets, the cattle feeding
on the sidewalks.
A good story is told of old Solomon Rice, of Sudbury. After
the Worcester Railroad bridge was built, crossing the road to
Brighton, he noticed one day, when driving a load of wood, that
the stakes of his wagon barely cleared the bridge. He went home
and put in longer stakes and piled his wood to their top. ^Mien
104 HISTORY OF WESTON
he reached the bridge, he whipped up his team, striking the
bridge and scattering his wood all over the road. He sued the
railroad for damages, and obtained a considerable sum of money,
while the company were obliged to raise the grade of their
This wood-teaming continued profitable into the '40 's, when
the railroads bought the wood at their stations, to be used in their
engines. Locomotives were not fitted for the use of coal until
in the '50's.
There is probably no part in the lives of our honored ancestors
so little understood by the young people of to-day as the prin-
ciple of bondage, or apprenticeship, which was in general use
down to about 1820. Let the well-dressed, comfortable, easy-
going graduate of a high school put himself, for a moment only,
in the place of a young boy of those days, of from fourteen to
twenty years of age, — stout, ruddy, and full of health; dressed
in a pair of leather breeches coming down to his knees; his legs
covered with a pair of long blue woollen stockings reaching up
to his knees; his feet encased in a thick pair of cowhide shoes,
well greased; his shirt of blue homespun, and on a Sunday covered
with a false bosom, which was taken off on his return from meet-
ing and carefully folded away for the next Sabbath. Then think
of him on a cold morning in winter, the thermometer below zero;
snow blown through the cracks of his garret chamber, filling his
breeches and freezing them stiff ; the kitchen fireplace to be cleared
of the snow which had fallen down the capacious chimney in
the night; no matches, and lucky if the turf in the embers had
not gone out, rendering the use of the tinder-box and flint a
Under the old system of apprenticeship, boys at about the
age of fourteen were bound out by their parents for a specified
term of years, usually until the age of twenty-one, when they
were presumed to have become proficient in their trade and
capable of establishing themselves on their own account. Before
the establishment of shoe factories conducted by large capital,
which is only of recent date, all New England farmers were shoe-
makers. There is scarcely a farm to-day without its building
formerly devoted to this industry. It was then necessary, in
IN THE WAKE OF THE REVOLUTION 105
order to enable the farmers to eke out a comfortable living, which
their farms did not always insure. Young boys were bound out
to farmers just as in other occupations, and devoted the winter
months to the trade of shoemaking. Many men, who in after life
became wealthy merchants, had the early training given by a
In these days of much-talked-of prohibition it seems strange
to look back to the time when our progenitors never looked upon
water as made to drink. In fact, water was scarcely used by them
as a common beverage. New England rum and cider were looked
upon as the proper drink. Tea was a luxury, used in sickness
or on special occasions of social gatherings. It was purchased
by the ounce. Coffee was not in general use, and among farm-
ers never seen on the breakfast table, as now. Two quarts of
rum and a pint of molasses was the weekly allowance of the
average family. This was independent of the frequent potations
of flip, — a home-made beer of hops, heated by a flip-iron always
at hand. The rum and molasses charges in the books of retailers
and grocers in early days are a sight that would overturn the
equilibrium of our Prohibitionists.
On Isaac Lamson's books is a charge for New England rum,
brandy, and sugar against the committee of three chosen in town
meeting to collect the minister's tax of £3 3^. Qd. When we
consider that the best rum sold for thirty-seven cents a gallon,
some idea can be formed of the wear and tear to which the com-
mittee was subjected in the performance of this religious duty.
The women aided and abetted in the general use of wines and
liquors, but their brew was of their own make. In every house
could be found an abundance of currant, elderberry, and noyau
wines. No visitor, however humble, was allowed to depart with-
out an invitation to the sideboard or cupboard. To have over-
looked this act of hospitality was an offence not to be forgotten or
readily forgiven. Notwithstanding the universal use of spirits,
confined to no one class and forming a part of all contracts be-
tween master and servant, there was little or no drunkenness, as
we see it in its disgusting form in our day. The men drank hard,
perhaps: they certainly drank often; but they worked hard, and
black-strap was with them an article of food as well as drink.
106 HISTORY OF WESTON
The standing amusement among the neighbors of a rainy day,
when outdoor work was impossible, was to congregate at the
tavern and pitch cents. On one occasion, having become tired
of that fun, one of the party made a bet that there was nothing
in Dexter Stratton's store in Waltham one could ask for that he
did not have. Joel Smith, or "Uncle Joel," as he was called
by old and young, took the bet, and they all started for Strat-
ton's, where they asked for all the impossible things they could
think of, and Joel was called upon to pay up. But he had
made up his mind what he wanted, and asked for an old pulpit.
This Stratton reluctantly acknowledged he had not got, but
his boy called out that the old Lincoln church pulpit was out
in the shed; and there it was found, sure enough! Stratton was
not so fortunate as to purchase the old Weston pulpit, for
a townsman elevated it to the position of a barn ventilator.
Having served its time as a vehicle of the wrath of God to
the unrepentant sinner, it finally went up in a blaze of
We have said that every farm-house had its shoe-shop attach-
ment. So every farm had its cider-mill. Apples were not then, as
now, a marketable article to any extent, and all apples were made
into drink, excepting what were needed for pies. These were made
at Thanksgiving in numbers sufficient to last the whole winter.
The food used by farmers was largely brown bread and Indian
pudding. Apples were introduced into Massachusetts by Gov-
ernor Winthrop, and Governor's Island in Boston Harbor was given
to him for this service to the State. The governor planted it all
over with apple-trees. Boys and girls were brought up on brown
bread and milk for breakfast and supper the year round, and they
were lucky when they got enough of that. Meat was as little
in use by our forefathers as is the case now in the old country.
There were no butchers going about, as now. Farmers took
turns in killing a cow or a calf, and the meat was distributed
among the neighbors, generally without money consideration,
but in exchange one with another. There is extant a note from
Artemas Ward for a quarter of veal sent him by a neighbor.
Bean porridge was also a staple article of food. Little is said,
however, of the Yankee pork and beans.
IN THE WAKE OF THE REVOLUTION 107
At a town meeting held April 5, 1784, a protest was read from
the Baptists against being taxed for the support of Rev. Mr.
Kendal, since they paid their proportion of a tax for the sup-
port of the gospel ministry to the minister of their own church.
A committee was chosen to examine into their grievances, consist-
ing of Colonel Marshall, Captain Jones, and Jonathan Stratton.
The names of the Baptist petitioners are as follows: Oliver Hast-
ings, Jonathan Spring, Josiah Severns, Mary Ballard, John
Hastings, Jr., James Hastings, Samuel Pratt, Samuel Train, Jr.,
Enoch Bartlett, Thaddeus Spring, James Stimpson, Joseph
At a meeting held April 5, 1786, it was voted to hear the report
of the committee appointed to listen to the reasons that might
be oflFered by the Baptist society relative to their paying the
ministerial taxes. Here is their report: —
Your committee chosen the 6th of March last, to wait upon those
who call themselves of the Baptist Society, to hear the reason they have
to offer why they should be released from paying taxes to the Rev. Mr.
Samuel Kendal for his services in the Gospel Ministry, report as fol-
lows, viz.: "That it is our unanimous opinion that those whose names
were sent in to the Selectmen and Assessors of Weston, upon a schedule
dated February 13th, 1786, signed by Oliver Hastings, Samuel Train, Jr.,
and Thaddeus Spring, Committee for said Society, should be released
from paying taxes aforesaid for the reasons they gave us, except Messrs.
Joseph Roberts, Samuel Seaverns, Jr., and Increase Leadbetter, whose
reasons in our humble opinion are not sufficient to exempt them from
paying their proportion of the Rev. Mr. Kendal's settlement and first
salary at least."
In 1784 the town applied to the legislature for authority to
raise the sum of £1,000 by a lottery, which petition was granted
and a committee appointed by the town to dispose of the tickets.
It does not appear how this venture turned out. The purpose
for which the £1,000 was to be devoted was the widening of the
In town meeting held March 7, 1785, it was voted that the
pews in the church be sold, and that the purchasers of said pews
shall hold the same to themselves, their heirs and assigns, forever,
so long as the present meeting-house shall stand. Eight pews
108 HISTORY OF WESTON
were sold. The committee report that the pew then occupied
by Mr. John Coburn was not sold, as the power to sell it was dis-
puted by Mr. Coburn, who doubted the right the town had in it.
The committee report that there were other pews in the same
predicament. They were not inclined to give occasion for
lawsuits, and state that the town should now settle the
matter. The report is signed by Isaac Jones, Enoch Greenleaf,
and Israel Whittemore. For a complete list of pew sales in
1772, a little earlier than the time we are now reviewing, see
At a town meeting held April 2, 1787, it was voted not to
offer any bounty to men who marched in the "Shays rebellion."
On January 1, this year, the limit fixed by the General Court for
taking the oath of allegiance and for receiving pardon expired.
At the time of the "Shays rebellion" the State debt was enormous,
and the people were saddled with taxes beyond endurance.
Farmers especially felt the burden, and many were sold out of
their farms on account of not being able to pay their taxes and
personal debts. Discontent was universal. Massachusetts' pro-
portion of the federal debt was about £1,500,000. Private debts
were computed at £1,300,000, and £250,000 was due to the soldiers
of the Revolution. Dr. Samuel A. Green estimates that from
1784 to 1786 every fourth, if not every third, man in the State
was subjected to one or more executions for debt. In 1784 there
were over 2,000 actions entered at the court at Worcester, and in
1785 over 1,700 actions. Executions could be satisfied by cattle
and other means besides money, thus putting the creditors at the
mercy of the debtors. In 1786 Governor Bowdoin called a special
session of the legislature, but the General Court failed to offer
any relief to the people. Daniel Shays, who had been a captain
in the Continental army, led a party of 1,000 men, took posses-
sion of Worcester, and closed the courts. Shortly after he closed
the courts in Springfield and held the town, demanding the sur-
render of the arsenal. Governor Bowdoin finally decided on vig-
orous measures, and 4,400 troops and two companies of artillery
were enlisted to serve thirty days. £6,000 was raised in Boston
to equip the army. General Lincoln was given command, and
Shays's forces were overthrown on January 25, 1787, by one dis-
IN THE WAKE OF THE REVOLUTION 109
charge of grape-shot, which killed four men and scattered the rest.
A reward of £150 was offered for the capture of Shays. It was
not long before all were pardoned. Moses Harvey, who was then
a member of the General Court, was sentenced to stand on the
gallows an hour with a rope around his neck, to pay a fine of £50,
and be expelled from his seat.
At the April town meeting the petition of Mrs. Abigail Wood-
ward was read, setting forth her inability to pay the taxes that
had been laid upon her since 1785, and praying to be excused from
any in the future, as the circumstances of her family were such as
to render her unable to discharge them, and her petition, hav-
ing had several readings, was finally granted. December 10,
1787, Captain Abraham Bigelow was elected to represent the
town in the convention to be held at the State House in Boston
in January, 1788, to take into consideration the ratification of the
Constitution, or form of government for the United States of
America, as reported by the Convention of Delegates held at
Philadelphia in the previous May. It is known that at the time
of the Shays rebellion the governor of the State could place
very little reliance upon the militia forces. The rank and file
were to a very great extent in sympathy with those engaged
in opposing the onerous taxation which was bringing ruin on the
State. The officers (field and staff) were equally unreliable,
and it was in consequence of this prevailing distrust that general
officers were placed in command. At this period the "Indepen-
dent Companies" were organized and received their charters.
Among these were the Weston Light Infantry and Medford
companies. The following letter will explain the organization of
our Weston company: —
Weston, January 16, 1787.
Sir, — In Conformity with your advice I have encouraged the raising
of a Company of Light Infantry in the town of Weston, which has been
so far carried into effect that a sufficient number have associated for
the purpose of choosing their Commissioned officers: and did on Monday
the 15th Inst: at a meeting appointed for the business elect iVbraham
Bigelow Captain, WilHam Hobbs Lieutenant and Ebenezer Hobbs Ensign
of said Company. I therefore make this return of the proceedings of
said Company with a request that your honor would give information
110 HISTORY OF WESTON
to His Excellency the Commander in Chief for the procurement of their
Commissions. I am with respect Your Honors Obt Servt.
Samuel Lamson, Colonel.
To His Honor John Brooks, Major General.
This letter is indorsed as follows : —
It is my opinion that the formation of the above company will be for
the advantage of the Commonwealth.
[Signed] Jo. Brooks, Major General.
In 1770 there had been formed at Cambridge a voluntary
association of the collegians, and Governor Hutchinson had
ordered the commander at Castle William to deliver one hundred
stand of arms for their use. The history of this college company
is very interesting. It continued to exist down to the period of
the charter of the Weston company, when, it being difficult to
find arms for this company, Captain Bigelow obtained the written
consent of Dr. Willard, the president of the college, and applied
to Governor Bowdoin for permission to receive the arms belong-
ing to the college company. This permission was granted on
condition that a reasonable compensation for the arms should be
paid to the quartermaster, General Davis, for the use of the Com-
monwealth. This was promptly done, and the arms removed
from the college armory and delivered to the Weston company.
The Weston company is reported to have joined the forces which
passed through the town on their way to Springfield, but the
town records make no mention of it, excepting that in town meet-
ing the citizens refused to pay any bounty to the troops engaged
in that expedition. The Weston Light Infantry continued in ser-
vice till the 13th of May, 1831, when it was disbanded for insubor-
dination at the muster-field in Watertown. The particulars of
this affair, while not relieving them from the charge of conduct
prejudicial to military discipline, will at least place their conduct
in a light affording some excuse for their action on that day.
The Weston company was attached to no regiment, reporting to
the general of brigade. Its successive commanders were as fol-
lows: Abraham Bigelow, 1787; Artemas Ward, Jr., 1789; Will-
iam Hobbs, 1793; Alpheus Bigelow, 1797; Nathan Fiske, 1800;
THE OLD JONATHAN WARREN PLACE, NORTH AVENUE.
Built prior to 1780 and occupied then by the Widow Wright, afterwards wife of Jonathan
Warren, Sr., father of Jonathan Warren, Jr., and of Mrs. Jonas Hastings, and grandfather
of Rufus Warren. Tliis place was occupied successively by F. V. Stowe, Samuel Patch,
and others, and is now owned by Francis H. Hastings.
THE FLSKE HOUSE, NORTH AVENUE.
Built in 184.5 by Alonzo S. Fiske, then taking the place of the ancient house that had
formed the Fiske home for many generations. In 1912 it was bought by W. F. SchrafTt.
Until this date the Fiske estate had been in the family since 1673, and was originally a mile
IN THE \YAKE OF THE REVOLUTION 111
Josiali Hastings, 1802; Isaac Hobbs, 1804; Thomas Bigelow,
1808; Nathan Upham, 1809; Isaac Childs, 1811; Isaac Train,
1813; Charles Stratton, 1814; Henry Hobbs, 1817; Luther
Harrington, 1818; Marshall Jones, 1821; Sewell Fiske, 1822;
Elmore Russell, 1828.*
A detail from this company was ordered, in the War of 1812, to
guard the powder-house at Cambridge, namely: Sewell Fiske,
Nathan Warren, Nehemiah Warren, Jesse Viles, Charles Bemis,
William Bigelow, Henry Stratton, Jacob Sanderson, David Viles,
Major Daniel S. Lamson, Charles Daggett, William Harring-
ton, Deacon Isaac Jones, and Cooper Garfield also took part
in this war. Major Lamson was of the Third Middlesex Regi-
ment, of which his father had been colonel. He was lieutenant-
colonel of the regiment when he died in 1824. Cooper Garfield
lived to be over one hundred years old, and died in 1875, hav-
ing spent the last thirty-six years of his life in the Weston poor-
house. The Weston Light Infantry, under Captain Sewell Fiske,
attended the reception in 1824 given to General Lafayette at
* The muster-roll of the independent company at the time of its charter in 1787, under
Captain Abraham Bigelow, is not at hand. The roll of the company commanded in 1797 by
Captain Aipheus Bigelow is as follows: —
Captain Aipheus Bigelow. Privates: Ephraim Allen.
Lieutenant Abijah Whitney. Elisha Furbush.
Ensign Nathan Fiske. Amos Hobbs.
Sergeant Josiah Hastings. Charles Hews.
" Abraham Hews. Wm. Pitt Jones.
" Isaac Hobbs. Samuel Lamson, Jr.
" Nathan Hobbs. Amos Lamson.
Music: Ebenezer Fiske. Ephraim Livermore.
" Enoch Flagg. William Livermore.
" Isaac Train. Joshua Locke.
Privates: William Bogle. Charles Parks.
David Brackett. Joseph Parks.
Thomas Bigelow. Amos Pierce.
Jonas Billings. Thaddeus Peirce.
Lot Bemis. Isaac Peirce.
Ebenezer Bullard. Abner Russell.
Nathan Child. Josiah Starr.
Solomon Child. Josiah Smith.
Samuel Child. Nathan Spring.
Jonas Coburn. Jacob Sanderson.
Jonathan Fiske. Jonas Sanderson.
Daniel Flagg. Amos Sanderson.
A total of forty-four officers and privates. Captain Bigelow died in 1847 at the age of
112 HISTORY OF WESTON
The town vote for governor in 1788 gave 80 votes for John
Hancock, but no other vote is recorded, which neglect occurred
frequently. On May 9, 1788, news was received in Boston that
the convention held in Philadelphia on the 28th of April had
adopted the new constitution by a vote of 63 out of 74.
At a town meeting held December 11, 1788, the vote was taken
for the first representative of this district in the Congress of the
United States under the new constitution. John Brooks received
26 votes, and Hon. Elbridge Gerry 20 votes. The vote was
also taken for presidential electors, and Hon. Francis Dana re-
ceived 58 votes, and Nathaniel Gorham 41 votes.
In 1789 the town borrowed £50 of Harvard College and £50
of Hon. Francis Dana.
At a town meeting held September 3, 1789, a committee ap-
pointed at the spring meeting to fix upon a location for a new
burying-ground reported that they had selected the south-east
corner of Captain Jones's field; that a lane 3 rods wide ran
upon the east end of said field, about 12 rods, to the burying-
ground, which with the lane is to certain 13^^ acres, valued at
£20. At the same meeting it was voted to allow Artemas Ward
and others to build a number of pews in the rear part of the
church, and apply the proceeds of their sale to discharge the
town debt. These pews were sold to Artemas Ward (£29 14s.),
Elias Jones (£27 18s.), Nathaniel and Mirick Warren (£22 10s.),
Nathan Hager (£20). Total, £100 2s., which sum was de-
posited in the hands of the town treasurer.
In October, 1789, General Washington, President of the United
States, proposed a journey to the New England States, which
he had not visited since the evacuation of Boston by the British
army. He travelled in his own carriage, drawn by four horses,
and was accompanied by Mr. Lear and Major Jackson, his sec-
retaries, and six servants on horseback. Notice was given in
Boston that the President would reach Weston on October 23.
He passed the night at the Flagg tavern, now the residence of
Mr. Emerson, and while at Weston he wrote Governor Hancock,
accepting an invitation to dinner the next day. The letter is
dated at Weston. On the morning of October 24 he was waited
upon by the inliabitants of the town, and Colonel Marshall wel-
IN THE WAKE OF THE REVOLUTION 113
corned him in an address, after which the notables of the town
were presented to him. Among these were officers who had served
under him in the Continental army. He was escorted to Cam-
bridge by the Watertown cavalry company. His progress through
the towns of New England was one uninterrupted ovation, the
people far and near flocking along his route. To those who had
belonged to his army the visit was particularly pleasing. They
were greeted by the general with affection and consideration.
It was while in Weston that Washington kissed Hannah Gowen,
then a child, and it was for her a matter of great pride and glory
as long as she lived. (For a visit of President John Adams to
Weston see end of this chapter.)
In 1791 the town ordered that the meeting-house be put in
thorough repair and painted. The committee reported, April
4, that in their opinion the back side of said house should be new
clapboarded, that the glass should be removed, and new window-
frames with glass, and new window-heads, be made, etc. From
the date of the incorporation of the town there had been elected
each year an officer whose duty was the preservation of deer,
but from 1791 the election of this officer ceases.
In 1792 Concord was made the shire town of Middlesex County,
but Weston voted against it being so made. In 1791 and 1792
small-pox prevailed extensively throughout the town, and in
1792 the following houses were selected as pest-houses and places
for inoculation: the Captain Fiske house on the north side,
which was the first house built by that family, and stood on the
hill back of the present location; Joel Smith's (this was proba-
bly the poorhouse given to the town by his father); the Park-
hurst house, now that of Oliver Robbins; Deacon Fiske's, now
of Henry White; Ephraim Livermore's; the widow Upham's,
now in Loring Place; Josiah Starr's; Joseph Seaverns's; Amos
Lamson's, now of James Upham. The alarm occasioned by this
epidemic and the large number of deaths caused very stringent
measures to be enforced by the Selectmen. The physicians were
required to give bonds that they would not allow any person to
visit the hospitals but those they were to see thoroughly smoked
when they withdrew therefrom; and that they would uniformly
cause themselves to be smoked; that there be a smoke-house
114 HISTORY OF AVTSTON
erected at each hospital, and bounds set round about each hos-
pital, to which those that had the distemper might come, and
no further. There is no record of the number of deaths in Weston
from small-pox. The dead were buried in the south-west corner
of the old yard without ceremony and without headstones.
Pleasure carriages were not introduced until the close of the
century. The sole way of travelling was on horseback, the pil-
lion-saddle being most in use, the father in front, the mother and
small children on the pillion, the boys astride the horse's back as
far as the crupper. The first chaise seen in Weston was owned
and probably made by Isaac Hobbs, inasmuch as he made nearly
all the vehicles of this sort used in Weston and neighboring towns
for many years.
In January, 1793, in honor of the French Revolution, a grand
fete was held in Boston, in which neighboring towns joined. An
ox was roasted whole, then decorated with ribbons and the flags
of France and the United States, and placed upon a car drawn
by sixteen horses, followed by carts loaded with 1,600 loaves of
bread and two hogsheads of punch. The school children paraded,
and cakes were distributed, marked "Liberty and Equality."
A party of three hundred, with Samuel Adams, lieutenant-
governor of the State, at their head, sat down to a dinner in
In 1795 a petition was presented to the town for a road from
Abraham Harrington's, now Perry's, over the flat lands, around
the base of Ball's Hill, and coming out on the Concord road, thus
avoiding the great hill. The town objected, and chose Artemas
Ward and Thaddeus Spring a committee to defeat the project.
A petition was also presented that four seats nearest the wall in
the front gallery of the church be removed, and converted into two
pews, "to be decently furnished for the use of the singing men
and singing women that already have or may hereafter acquire
skill in that sublime art, as shall qualify them to carry on that
part of the public worship of God in a decent and becoming
manner." Fifty dollars was voted to encourage the art of sing-
ing. It was also voted that a plan of the town be ordered made,
with the length and direction of all the roads therein, with notice
of all public buildings, etc. It is probable that this order of the
IN THE WAKE OF THE REVOLUTION 115
town was not carried out, as no such plan is in existence, so far
as can be discovered.
In 1796 is the first entry in the town accounts with substitution
of dollars and cents for pounds, shillings, and pence. The change
was slow and fitful. A sum of twenty dollars was voted for the
relief of Samuel Livermore, Jr., who was reduced to straits by
having his dwelling destroyed by fire.
In 1791, as we have seen, the town had ordered the meeting-
house to be repaired. In 1799 it was voted again to repair the
house and erect a steeple on the tower, if the expense be paid by
subscription. A committee was appointed to collect the sub-
scription of the people for this purpose. The list is still in exist-
ence, and should be among the parish records.
There were sixty-eight subscribers for various sums, in all
amounting to $414.75. The old bell was valued at $75.25,
making total amount raised $490. The subscribers, however,
make conditions that the additional expense for the spire and
purchasing a new bell, to weigh not less than 800 pounds, shall
be paid by the town. The subscribers who have a right in the
old bell shall have credit for their proportion of the amount of its
sale in their subscription. The new bell was purchased of Paul
Revere, as I have stated in Chapter I. A copy of his bill to
the town, traced from his ledger in his own handwriting, is now
in the vestry of the church. The cost of repairing the church and
building the cupola and pews was over $3,000, and the proceeds
of the sale of the new pews was $1,066, leaving a balance paid
by the town of $1,431.03.
The eighteenth century closed with great prosperity. The
need of hard money was alone the drawback to large commer-
cial ventures. In 1790 the whole capital of the United States was
only $2,000,000, invested in Philadelphia, New York, and the
Massachusetts Bank in Boston. In 1791 the National Bank of
the United States was established with a capital of $10,000,000,
but it did not commence business until 1794. The country at
this time was thrown into political convulsions. The French
Revolution was at its height, and the sympathies of Jefferson
and his party were with the radical republicans of France.
Among the JefFersonians there was a feeling of gratitude for the
116 HISTORY OF WESTON
assistance rendered to the colonies by France in the American
Revolution. Washington and Adams realized from the first the
difiFerence between the French republic and our own, and they
had little confidence in or sympathy with the hot-headed French
radicals. The French Convention, acting upon a claim they pre-
tended to have upon this countrj^ for the aid rendered by France
in our Revolution, treated our ports as a part of their own domin-
ion, and fitted out privateers sailing from the United States.
The French minister Genet finally became so overbearing and
insulting as to render his dismissal necessary. The settlement
of the eastern boundary with the English, together with their
impressment of American seamen on the high seas, added other
grounds of enmity in the country, and war between the United
States, France, and England seemed inevitable. Jay's treaty
with England put off the evil day, which, however, followed a
few vears later. The debt of the United States in 1799 was
We have already seen in the foregoing pages some account of
the visit of President George Washington to W'eston on his way
to Boston in 1789, when he passed the night at Flagg's tavern.
In 1798 we were visited by President John Adams, when he was
on his way to Quincy. The Massachusetts Mercury of August
17, 1798, gives a full account of the visit and his reception by the
citizens of the town. The Mercury states that.
Had it not been supposed here that the President of the United States
had passed through a different road to his seat at Quincy, our company
of Light Infantry, in complete uniform, would liave met him at the line
which divides East Sudbury from this town, and would have escorted
him and his suite to Flagg's tavern, and have done him all military honors
in their power. As the case was circumstanced, it was impossible.
The address delivered by Hon. Samuel Dexter is signed by
the following prominent persons among many: Samuel Dexter,
Thomas Marshall, Samuel Kendal, Isaac Jones, Artemas Ward,
Amos Bancroft, and Caleb Haywood. The address delivered by
Mr. Dexter on behalf of the citizens was as follows: —
To have the best government in the world, and that government ad-
ministered in the best manner, is the distinguished lot of our happy
IX THE WAKE OF THE REVOLUTION 117
nation. Ever since the adoption of the Constitution we have felt its
benign effects: but in increased and increasing degree of late; since all
have now learned the important lesson to respect themselves and de-
spise foreign influence. This we owe, in a high degree, to your wisdom
and patriotism. No longer ignorant of the devises of our enemies, ac-
quainted with their true character, and with the means of defeating their
nefarious designs, union and fortitude we are persuaded will be our
impenetrable shield. In the town of "Weston, Sir, there are no disorgan-
izers. When called to elect public men, our suffrages upon every occa-
sion have proved our federalism: and we pray you to be assured that,
while we shall continue firm in the cause of our Country, and be ready
to defend it upon all emergencies, we shall not cease to implore the
Supreme Governor of the universe to "think upon you for good, accord-
ing to all you have done for the people."
To this address President Adams made the following reply : —
GentUmen, — I thank you for this Address, in which much excellent sen-
timent is expressed in a few words. If in any degree I have contributed
to assist my Countrymen in learning the important lesson to respect
themselves and despise all improper foreign influence, I shall not have
lived in vain. I sincerely congratulate the TowTi of Weston on their
signal felicity in having no disorganizers. Two or three of this descrip-
tion of characters are sufficient to destroy the good neighborhood, inter-
rupt the harmony, and poison the happiness of a thousand famiUes. A
Town that is free from them will ever prove their federalism in election,
be firm in the cause of their country, and ready to defend it in all emer-
gencies. Upon all such towns may the choicest of blessings descend.
A Record of Forty Quiet Years.
On June 1, 1801, by a tripartite agreement between Watertown,
Waltham, and Weston, the towns of Waltham and Weston ceased
to have any further obligation in the matter of keeping in re-
pair the Watertown bridge over Charles River, which had for
years been a great expense and no little annoyance to those towns.
In 1802, complaints having been made that cattle were allowed
to pasture in the old burying-ground to the injury of the graves
and stones, a question arose as to the town's title to the land of
said burying-ground. No record could be found of any deed, and
Jonas Harrington, the then claimant of the soil, held that the
town had no title to it, but only permission to bury their dead,
the fee of the land remaining with him. In January, 1839, a deed
of the land was, however, obtained.
The town voted this year for representative in Congress, and
Rev. Samuel Kendal had 32 votes, Hon. Timothy Bigelow had
27, and Hon. Joseph B. Varnum had 21. It was also voted to
build an armory and powder-house for the deposit of arms and
ammunition, the Selectmen being a committee to build the ar-
mory. The building was placed in the north-east corner of what
later became the second "God's-acre," where it stood until the
latter part of the '30 's, and after ceasing to be a powder-house
was for a time used for the hearse.
In 1803 it was voted to pay Rev. Mr. Kendal $130 a year,
in addition to his salary, instead of his twenty cords of fire-
wood. The town was summoned before the Supreme Court
about the highway from East Sudbury to Waltham. Five hun-
dred dollars was voted for the repairs of said highway, and Isaac
Fiske was chosen to make answer before the court on behalf of
In 1804 Isaac Fiske was made town clerk. He held the ofiice
for twenty-four years, until 1828, in which year Dr. Benjamin
A RECORD OF FORTY QUIET YEARS 119
James succeeded him. Dr. Kendal's salary, which had been
$300, was raised to $550, a sum that included his firewood. The
electors-at -large for President and Vice-President of the United
States were in two party lists, nineteen in each list. The first
list of electors received 97 votes each. The second list received 38
votes. These two lists represented the federal and anti-federal
parties. For representative to Congress Hon. Timothy Bigelow
received 98 votes, and John Slack was elected representative for
Weston at the General Court.
In 1805 Moses Gill, of Princeton, releases to Reuben Carver his
pew in the church and his title to the shed, and also all his rights,
title, and interest in and to the Baptist meeting-house or any
money due from said meeting-house, or society. By this it would
appear that the first Baptist church was built upon the Nicholas
Boylston place, Moses Gill by marriage being an heir to that
property. The question came up of the advisability of selling
the old poorhouse. The committee reported it to be capable of
repair, and they add: —
It having been argued that the town's owning such a house augmented
their poor, we find among those who have been its inmates Mrs. Middle-
sex and Cornell, altogether objects of pity. Very few there are who
would be willing to act the good Samaritan and administer to their
wounds. There are others the town has to proxnde for by boarding or
hiring a house for them. The poor we shall have ever with us, and it
is for the interest of the town to have a house.
It was voted that, in the future, town meetings shall be warned by
posting up the notice at the public meeting-house in the centre of
the town. Before this regulation the constables gave notice of
town meetings from house to house. It was also voted to lay
out the Concord road from Dr. Bancroft's house, and $600 was
appropriated for that purpose. It was voted to get a bath-tub
for the town, probably for the poorhouse.
In 1808 the Worcester Turnpike Corporation was established
from Roxbury to Worcester, through Framingham. This new
route shortened the distance between Boston and Worcester con-
siderably, and took off many of the stage-coaches which up to this
time had run through Weston.
120 HISTORY OF WESTON
In 1810 a committee was chosen to contract with Waltham,
Watertown, and Newton for a road from Stony Brook to Water-
town bridge; and it was agreed that the town would appropriate
$2,000, provided said road be laid out by the court. It does not
appear that this project was accomplished until some time later.
It was voted to employ a music-teacher.
It was voted in 1811 that the meeting-house be painted, the
expense of the work to be drawn from the town treasury.
War against England was declared early in 1812.* It had been
threatening for many years, and matters had arrived at the stage
when the United States was forced to assert itself or become
little else but a dependence of England. The great prosperity
of the New England States, particularly of Massachusetts, since
1800, created strong opposition to warlike measures. The Em-
bargo and Non-importation Acts of 1808 were bitterly opposed
by this State. There was at this time fully as much disaffection
expressed towards the general government as there was in the
South previous to the breaking out of the Civil War in 1861. So
strongly was this feeling expressed that it encouraged England to
attempt to separate the Eastern States and have them unite with
Canada. The party spirit between the federal and anti-federal
factions was as bitter as we have seen was the case in 1795. A
reference to the population and business interests of this section
will explain the grounds of opposition to the war. By the census
* While the not over-glorious War of 1812 eventually gave this country commercial inde-
pendence and the freedom of the seas, it developed during the war a system of inland trans-
portation between the North and the South by wagon, due to the suppression of the coasting-
trade by the blockade of our ports. Great canvas-covered wagons, drawn by double and
triple teams of horses or oxen, wound their way like an Oriental caravan between Salem and
Boston and intermediate cities to Augusta and Savannah. It was estimated that four thousand
wagons and twenty thousand horses and oxen were employed in this transportation business.
Two months went to a wagon-journey from Boston to Savannah; and what with the long
time, the searches by customs officers for smuggled goods, and in New England the stoppage
of Sunday travel by the tithing-men, and other mishaps of the way, the merchants became
anxious for news of their ventures. So the wagons were named, and the teamsters instructed
to keep a log of their meetings with other wagons, their destination and condition, and report
to the newspapers of each town and city they passed through, the news to be published and
copied by newspaper after newspaper for the benefit of the shippers. The journals entered
into the spirit of the thing, and in the columns once devoted to shipping news recorded the
wagon chronicles under such headings as "Horse Marine Intelligence," "Horse and Ox Marine
News," " Jeff ersonian Commerce." The wagons figured under such names as "Teazer,"
"Salt Hog," "Commerce Renewed," and "Old Times," "Sailors' Misery," "Cleopatra,"
"Don't give up the Ship," etc. One sample of the wagon "log" was this: "Port of Salem. —
Arrived the three-horse ship Dreadnaught, Captain David Allen, 16 days from New York.
Spoke in the latitude of Weathersfield the Crispin, Friend Allen, master, from New York,
bound homeward to Lynn, but detained and waiting trial for breach of the Sabbath."
A RECORD OF FORTY QUIET YEARS 121
of the United States the population was 5,90o,78i, of which the
New England States and New York contained 2,615,587, almost
half the population of the Union. The exports in 1811 amounted
to $58,643,711, of which $27,045,425 was the amount from these
States. The tonnage of vessels was 1,424,000, and these six
States owned 882,005 tons. Massachusetts alone owned 496,000
tons, or more than a third of the total. * On the passage of the war
act the six States voted in the House of Representatives against
the w^ar by a majority of 31 to 15, and in the Senate of 6 to 4.
In July Governor Strong appointed a day of humiliation, fast-
ing, and prayer, and on the day appointed the pulpits everyw^here
resounded with bitter invective against the war. The governor
was very lukewarm during hostilities, and refused the requisi-
tion of the general government for Massachusetts troops to go
out of the State. It was only when danger threatened our terri-
tory or seaboard that he took any active measures. The State
has no records at the State House of this war. All documents
relating to the action of the State were sent to Washington, when
the claim was made for money due the State in the war, and they
never have been returned. The claim of the State against the
government has not been paid.
In July a convention of the friends of the "Independence,
Peace, Union, and Prosperity" of the United States (consisting
of delegates from forty-three towns of Middlesex County) was
held at Concord. Hon. James Prescott was made moderator, and
Isaac Fiske, of Weston, was made secretary. There is no mention
on the town records that he was a delegate of the town to the con-
vention. A strong appeal to the people of the county was issued,
and is still preserved.
It was voted in town meeting that Cambridge should continue
to be the shire town and that the jail should be kept there.
Voted, That the soldiers, who volunteered and have actually been mus-
tered shall draw from the treasury $3.25 each, and also those who shall
hereafter be mustered.
Votes were taken for electors-at -large for President and Vice-
President of the United States. The first ticket had 5 candi-
♦This includes Maine, which was not set off as a separate State until 1820. — Ed.
122 HISTORY OF WESTON
dates, and each received 93 votes. The second ticket had also
5 candidates, and each received 61 votes.
Voted, That proper gravestones be erected in memory of the Rev. Dr.
Kendal, as large as those erected in memory of the late Mr. Woodward,
at the town's expense.
Dr. Kendal died in 1814, after thirty-one years' service as
pastor of the Weston church.
In town meeting held April 16, 1814, it was voted that the town
pay the expenses of Dr. Kendal's funeral, including mourning
apparel for the family, but they refused to print the sermon
preached by Rev. Dr. Osgood at the funeral of Dr. Kendal.
Isaac Fiske, Deacon Warren, Ebenezer Hobbs, Deacon Bigelow,
and Captain Isaac Hobbs were chosen a committee to hire a
minister to supply the pulpit, and granted $550 for that purpose.
Voted that the town accept the stove given by individuals,
and that it remain in the meeting-house.
Voted to ascertain the bounds of the town's land (?) on which
the meeting-house stands, and to erect monuments and make a
plan thereof. No report is made, and no bounds set. The land
goes to the church, and the town has no claim upon it whatever.
The town passed a similar vote about 1784, and then failed to
find any deed or bounds. The same is the case with the sheds
land. It was voted this year (1814) that the Selectmen cause
new sheds to be erected, near the town's pound, "where, or near
where, the old horse-sheds now stand, with the right of having
them remain there during the pleasure of the town" (it should be
of the church), "and no longer, provided they can agree with the
proprietors of said horse-sheds; and also that they be authorized
to place an estimate of said pound upon the land of the heirs of
Isaac Lamson deceased, and provided also that the whole shall be
done without any cost to the town." The pound land and also
the land upon which the sheds are built are all one, and the fee is
in the Lamson heirs. In the deed to Jonas Sanderson it is stated
that the sheds are partly on town's land (church) and partly upon
land of the heirs of Isaac Lamson.
At a town meeting held December 27, 1814, it was voted to
give Mr. Joseph Field, Jr., an invitation to settle in the ministry
A RECORD OF FORTY QIIET YEARS 123
in the town of Weston, three only voting against it, as we have
previously stated (see Chapter I., near end, for details of the
At the March meeting in 1815 it was voted to remove the pews
on the lower floor of the meeting-house, and also the body seats,
and to erect in their place long pews, so as to cover the whole floor,
excepting space for the aisles and stove; to lay a new floor; and
to provide a new door, to swing outwardly. It was voted not to
send any representative this year.
At a town meeting held September 18, 1815, the Selectmen
were empowered to agree and settle with the Boston Manufact-
uring Company for all injuries or damages that have been done
or may hereafter be done to the bridge and causeway over Charles
River (so far as the limits are within the town of Weston) by
reason of the dam which said manufacturing company has erected,
etc. This was miportant, since the bridge was carried away and
destroyed some years later, and it was said that the dam of that
company was the cause. It was an accident that may occur
It was voted in 1816 that all the inhabitants who shall pay
their taxes within thirty days shall have an abatement of six per
cent., within sixty days five per cent., and all within one hundred
and twenty days four per cent. $1,000 was voted for Mr. Field's
salary for this year, but the year following it is only the $800
agreed upon with him. The addition of $200 was probably for the
expense attending his settlement. Voted to build a new school-
house in the South-west District. Voted that those soldiers who
were drafted and served in the late war should be paid $14 per
month for the time they served, and the same be allowed those of
the Independent Light Infantry Company of Weston (who actu-
ally served) upon a return made by the clerk of the company.
In town meeting, March 3, 1817, voted to sell the old poor-
house and land, and purchase a site for a new poorhouse. Voted
$60 for salary of town treasurer and collector.
In 1818 the committee appointed to purchase a site for the new
poorhouse report that they have purchased of Habakkuk Stearns
a farm on the northerly part of the town, containing about eighty
acres with the buildings thereon, and have taken a deed therefor
124 HISTORY OF ^YESTON
for the sum of $2,513.27; that the expense for placing the afore-
said premises in condition for the use of the town was $1,550.62;
that they have sold the old poorhouse and land to Samuel G.
Derby for $230, leaving a balance due from the town of $3,835.89.
Voted in 1819 that the soldiers belonging to the town of Weston,
whenever they are lawfully called to do military duty out of the
town, shall each receive one dollar from the treasury, provided the
clerk of the company shall certify that said duty was performed,
said sum being in lieu of the powder now by law provided by the
town when they are called to attend reviews.
Daniel S. Lamson was made town treasurer in 1819.
In 1820 $100 was voted for instruction in sacred music; also
that a committee be appointed, consisting of three from the Con-
gregational church, one from the Methodist, and one from the
Baptist, w^ho shall be authorized to draw said money for that
At a town meeting held August 21, 1820, to consider whether
it be expedient that delegates be chosen to meet in convention
for the purpose of revising or altering the constitution of govern-
ment of this Commonwealth, the vote stood as follows: in favor
of appointing delegates, 35; against the appointment, 15; and
Isaac Fiske was appointed such delegate. At a town meeting
held November 6, 1820, to choose electors-at -large for President
and Vice-President of the United States, Hon. William Phillips
had 47 votes; and Hon. William Gray, 47.
Dr. Benjamin James contracted with the town to inoculate the
inhabitants of Weston with cow-pox for $50.
Voted in 1824 that there be appropriated to the use of the
soldiers of Weston so much of the powder and ball as the law
requires each soldier to be furnished with, the same, however, to
remain in the powder-house. Elect ors-at-large in 1824 for Presi-
dent and Vice-President of the United States: Hon. William
Gray, 91 votes; Levi Lincoln, 91 votes.
The contest in town meeting in 1826 over the election of a rep-
resentative to the General Court was quite animated. Five ballots
were taken, resulting finally in the election of Mr. Nathan Hobbs.
The town meeting held April 2, 1827, was held in the hall of
John T. Macomber's tavern; but, as all the other warrants of
A RECORD OF FORTY QUIET YEARS 125
town meetings are ordered to meet in the meeting-house of the
town, it would appear there was a special meeting held at the
tavern. It may be, however, that this was the first meeting out
of the church. They were so accustomed to follow old formulas
in the warrants that it may be the meetings were henceforth
held at the tavern. The warrants, however, order meetings at
the church down to 1840, when the church was ordered to be
taken down. The contest over the election of representative
occurs again this year. Four ballots were taken, and Alpheus
Bigelow was elected. Mrs. Patience Lamson, widow of Daniel
S. Lamson, applies for abatement of her taxes for 1825. The
assessors report there was an error made. Her tax should be
$9.15 instead of $23.63.
In 1828 Mr. Isaac Fiske ceases to be to^-n clerk, after filling the
oflBce for a period of twenty-four years. He is succeeded by
Dr. Benjamin James, who is also elected a selectman, assessor
of taxes, and school committee man; and it was voted that the
school committee should consist of three members only. In
1828 it was voted that a committee provide a place for holding
town meetings in the future. No report is on the records.* The
tithing-men, who had been elected each year since the incorpora-
tion of the town, from 1830 on ceased to be elected.
In 1830 a petition was sent to the County Commissioners for a
road from Luther Harrington's house to Ball's Hill. The town
opposed the road as prayed for, and the Selectmen were authorized
to employ counsel. Mr. Hoar was engaged.
In 1832 to promote sacred music $100 was voted, and Charles
Merriam, Uriah Gregory, and John Jones directed to spend the
Voted in 1833 to extend the stone bridge over the watering-
place and the canal, near the house of the late Dr. Kendal, and
make the same passable. There had been here up to this time
a place to water cattle and a driveway through it, as may be still
seen in places in town. In old times, when there were large droves
* No vote of the town is recorded this year, 1S28, for painting the meeting-house, as had
been the case up to this time in all pertaining to the church. The painting, however, was
done by private subscription. There were sixty-eight subscribers, and the sum raised was
$190. [a list of the subscribers found among Colonel Lamson's papers puts the total sum at
126 HISTORY OF TV-ESTON
of cattle on their way to market, such places were not very far
apart; and, where they were not near enough to each other,
the farmers were induced to have wells and troughs for cattle
near the road, and a certain abatement of taxes was made to induce
the citizens to establish them. One of these pumps may still
be seen in front of Mr. Frank Hastings's house. It was voted to
build the road and bridge from a point near the barn of the late
Abraham Bigelow to the centre of the brook at the Waltham line,
so far as the same is within the limits of Weston, and $400 was ap-
propriated for that purpose. Up to this time the road to Waltham
had run over the bridge through the Sibley property back of the
present main road.
In 1834 a tract of_ land was purchased by the town from Isaac
and Stephen Jones, to enlarge the burying-ground on its northern
side to the great road, and one rod in width upon the west
side, extending from the great road to the southerly side; to cause
the walls to be removed and suitable gates erected, provided the
same should not exceed the sum of $300. Voted that an abstract
of the treasurer's account be prepared and 220 copies printed for
the use of the town. This abstract was printed on sheets of paper
about eighteen inches square. The publication of this abstract
was probably not continued, inasmuch as only the one dated
1834 can be found. They are now very rare, but one of them
should be among the records. The publication of town reports
in pamphlet form did not begin until the year 1844. In 1834
Charles Merriam was made town treasurer. Voted to enlarge
the East Centre School-house about twelve feet, and procure a
title to the land on behalf of the town. Voted that the Selectmen
procure a new building for a hearse-house or repair the old one,
which had been the old powder-house in the burying-ground ; but
in 1835 the powder-house was sold by auction, for the space was
needed to enlarge the ground.
In 1835 the town authorized the treasurer to borrow $500 in
anticipation of taxes. This is the first time authority was given
to make any such loan.
In 1836 Dr. James was elected to fill six offices of the town.
It was voted to make the road between Dr. Field's meeting-
house and the house of Mr. Alpheus Cutter in accordance with the
THE SAMUEL PHILLIPS SAVAGE PLACE, NORTH AVENUE.
Probably Iniilt by Mr. Savage, who died in 1797. This place was owned and occupied
a long time by Captain Thomas Bigelow, son of Josiah Bigelow, of Weston. It was later
bought by Samuel G. Snelling, who extensively remodelled it about 1880. It is now owned
by the heirs of Samuel Lothrop Thorndike.
THE WARREN HOUSE, LEXINGTON STREET.
The main portion of the house was built in 174.3. The new part was built in 1810. This
was known as the Benjamin Pierce, Jr., house previous to 1SS5, when it was bought by Francis
H. Hastings, and by him sold in 1893 to George H. Ellis.
A EECORD OF FORTY QUIET YEARS 127
order of the County Commissioners. Starr bridge, or, as it is some-
times called, Stack bridge, and the causeway over Charles River
were ordered rebuilt of wood or stone, in conjunction with the town
of Newton; the structure to be not less than eighteen feet wide
in the clear, and the cost to the town not to exceed $1,000. This
bridge was carried away, as has been stated, and probably by ice.
The debt of the United States, which in the year 1791 was
$75,463,476.52, w^as entirely paid off in 1835. The interest on
this debt in 1816 was $7,156,500.42. In 1826 the interest was
$4,000,000. After that year the government paid off, including
interest, nearly $100,000,000 over and above current expenses;
and so great was the general prosperity of the nation that the pay-
ment of this large sum was but little felt by the people.
In 1833 the six winter and summer schools cost the town
$859.91; town treasurer's salary, $200; and the total expenses of
the town were $1,468.95 with a population as large as that of
In 1837 the town voted to procure a new hearse and pall, such
as would be decent in appearance and respectable for the town.
This hearse was kept in the north-end church shed, which, when
the town house was built, reverted to the Lamson estate, and in
1882 was sold by auction for $6.
In March, 1837, the legislature passed an act, distributing by
instalments to the towns of the Commonwealth the surplus
revenue of the State. The treasurer of Weston was directed to use
the fund as he received it, and pay off the indebtedness of the
tow^n. Weston received from the State treasurer $2,259.17, which
paid the town debt at that time and left a balance in the treas-
ury of $9.17.
The city of Boston brought an action against the town for the
support of Abijah Bemis, and the town defended the case. There
is no record of the result, but later it was found that Bemis had
been sent by the city to the House of Correction, and they applied
to have him removed to the Weston poorhouse.
The vote for governor in November, 1837, was about equally
divided between the Whigs and Locofocos. Edward Everett
received 75 votes, and Marcus Morton 73 votes. Morton was
elected governor of the State. There was considerable excite-
128 HISTORY OF WESTON
ment throughout the State at this election, and party spirit
In 1837 great excitement prevailed throughout the State, grow-
ing out of the rescue of the slave Shadrach by a mob that forcibly
entered the Supreme Court room in Boston, and took him from
under the nose of Judge Shaw, and secretly conveyed him to Con-
cord. Francis Edwin Bigelow,son of Converse Bigelow of Weston,
had removed to Concord about 1836, where he worked at the trade
of blacksmithing until his death in 1893. He was one of the origi-
nal Abolitionists, who at that early date had begun to make them-
selves felt in the community. He harbored the fugitive Sha-
drach, and drove him at night to Sudbury on his way to Canada,
having clothed him in a suit of his own clothes, including a hat
of Mr. Nathan Brooks. Later Elizur Wright, Lewis Hayden,
Robert Morris, and others were arrested and brought to trial for
aiding the rescue of the slave. They were defended by John P.
Hale, of Maine, and Richard H. Dana, Jr. The most curious part
of this strange episode is that Mr. Bigelow was summoned as a
juror from Concord to sit upon the case to be tried. The eminent
counsel had little hope of an acquittal, the evidence against the
accused being so strong. To their surprise, notwithstanding the
judge's charge to the jury, they were acquitted. Some years after
Mr. Dana, meeting Bigelow, asked how the jury could bring in such
a verdict after all the evidence. "Well," said Mr. Bigelow, "/
drove the wagon that took Shadrach to Sudbury.'' Mr. Dana asked
no more questions. When called upon to take the juror's oath,
Mr. Bigelow said he felt some doubts, but, seeing an iVbolition
friend from Littleton take the oath, he thought he could do so, thus
carrying out the "Higher Law" laid down by Theodore Parker.
In 1838 the town ordered a new road to be laid out between
the house of Isaac Jones and the house of Otis Train. The old
road was too narrow and circuitous. The petitioners for this
new road were Alpheus Morse, Otis Train, Abijah Upham,
Swift Leadbetter, Samuel Train, Jr., Adolphus Brown, Mar-
shall Brown, Henry Leadbetter, and Tyler Harrington.
The great commercial and financial crisis of 1837 and 1838, the
first of its kind since the Embargo Act of 1808, was seriously
felt throughout the United States, and produced wide-spread
A RECORD OF FORTY QUIET YEARS 129
ruin, but was not of a kind materially to affect the agricultural
interests of our people.
The years 1838 and 1839 were noted for the great crusade
against the indiscriminate sale of liquor. It was in fact a tem-
perance movement. George W. Cutting was arrested for the
sale of liquor, and taken to Cambridge jail. Joel Smith was
summoned as a witness, but did not see fit to obey the summons.
He also was arrested and sentenced to a week's imprisonment
and a fine of $50 for contempt of court.
In 1839 took place the Dedham muster, locally famous in story
and song. This was better known as the Striped Pig Muster,
and was the last of the rollicking musters so famous in the old
times. There was more of fun and frolic at these old meets
than drilling, more of drunkenness than discipline; and yet
there was this about them, — they kept up among the farmers
and their sons military organizations now completely gone out
of date. Towns that formerly had one, two, and three com-
panies, now have none, and there are many towns that have
not a single inhabitant belonging to any military company.
The militia of to-day is made up of the inhabitants of large cities
and manufacturing centres, to the utter exclusion of the yeomanry,
and we shall be fortunate if we escape the realization of this error
in the near future.
The STORr of the Town from Year to Year.
With the close of the year 1839 that which can be called the
ancient history of Weston closes. With the year 1840 begins a
new era, within the memory of many now happily living. We
cannot enter upon this period without making a few reflections
in keeping with the subject-matter of this book. All that relates
to the past of our town and country is hallowed to us of the pres-
ent day by story and tradition, and a comparison with all that
has gone before with that which follows is not in every respect
to the advantage of the times we live in. Every period of time
has its special defects, but it is essential that the moral element
be kept at a high level, if these defects are to be safely overcome.
As the American people progress in wealth, comfort, and luxury,
and enjoy all those appliances in every-day life which were un-
known to our ancestors, it is to be feared that the young men
and women are losing sight of those sturdy moral principles which
gave force and decision to the early settlers. Faith in God is
not so firmly established in the minds and hearts of youth as was
formerly the case. Education has become materialized, and the
aims of life have taken in consequence a more sordid and vulgar
The marvellous progress of our country in every walk of life,
unparalleled the world over, may be said to date from 1840,
when railroads came in and horse chaises began to disappear.
Families are not so large now, and perhaps we can say with
equal truth that their virtues are less prominent. Time has be-
come so valuable in the pursuit of wealth and comfort that it is
thought wasted upon local affairs over which our sires fought
with a tenacity little understood or appreciated to-day. People
throughout New England do not love the town meetings as they
THE STORY OF THE TOWN FROM YEAR TO YEAR 131
used to do. Trivial matters, such as money grants, low taxation,
sanitary measures, good order, and discipline, are left to the few
ambitious of local honors, and the inliabitants transfer all re-
sponsibility and interest to the hands of those who will do the least
work for the most pay. The result of all this is that the State is
yearly encroaching upon the rights of towns that no longer care
to preserve their liberties, the best guardians of which are the old
town meetings, the corner-stone of the Constitution of the United
States. While generous sums are being spent on education,
our boys and girls are less able to cope with the labors and diffi-
culties of evers'-day life than were their fathers and mothers
before them, who little enjoyed the privileges purchasable by the
plethoric purse of the tax-payer or the liberal State bounties. The
fundamentals in education are being less thought of, and seem to
be giving place to 'ologies and 'isms, which, while perhaps more
ornamental, are but poor aid to people in the battle of life.
The majority of farm lads find themselves incapable of doing
the work of the farms or unwilling to do it. Consequently, these
are passing into the hands of the stranger or the foreigner. Young
men flock to the cities, where the scramble for employment each
year becomes greater, and where they sacrifice their independence
to do the bidding of their wealthy employers, who rarely take
them into their confidence. Unless young men, who go out from
their modest, happy homes into large cities, are established in
sound moral and religious principles, they become careless in their
methods of life, and are easily led into unscrupulous business
transactions. ^Mien the country loses $8,000,000 in one year by
fraud and dishonesty, it is time to study a remedy; and this can
be found in a higher standard of moral education rather than in
the broad range of study which educates the mind at the expense
of the heart.
The year 1840 opens with the taking down of the old church
which stood upon the church green and the action taken by the
town in connection therewith. Some of the steps taken will be
new to many of us, and, although not carried out, it will be in-
teresting to state them here as a part of the history of that period.
Before doing so, however, the reader must be told of a feat per-
formed by Joel Harrington and Elisha Whitney. They climbed
132 HISTORY OF WESTON
to the top of the Hghtning rod of the church steeple, drank a
bottle of wine on the top, and left their tumbler on the rod, where
it remained until a hawk is said to have picked it off.
At a town meeting held May 4, 1840, the committee appointed
at a previous meeting reported that they had conferred with Rev.
Dr. Field's parish upon the subject of the construction of a new
meeting-house in such a manner as should furnish a convenient
place for holding town meetings and for other public purposes.
They were to agree upon cost, making proposals to the committee
of the parish as to the terms upon which the same should be done;
and also to ascertain whether a convenient spot of land could be
procured upon which to build a town house, and what a town
house would cost.
Your committee was in conference with said church committee, who
propose a building 60 feet in length and 46 feet in breadth, with a base-
ment story, or hall, under it of the same dimensions, with one conven-
ient room partitioned off for the use of the Selectmen, and another for
the assessors of the Town, which they offered to do for $1,300, or what-
ever sum the contractors shall say will be the actual cost. That when
completed to the acceptance of the Town, they will convey the same
to the Town of Weston, will covenant to keep the same externally in
good repair and will also covenant to pay over and refund to the said
Town the original cost of the same whenever the said house shall be
permitted to fall into decay, or cease to be occupied as a Meeting house
for the Worship of Almighty God. The Committee of the Town are
of opinion that a convenient spot of land and a building for the Munici-
pal and other public purposes sufficiently capacious, durable, and comely
would cost the town $2,500; they are therefore, on the principle of
economy, of the opinion that an agreement be made with the Parish for
the accommodation of the Town, or with some individual whereby the
town may be permanently accommodated, and a committee of five was
appointed with ample powers to effect the same.
Alpheus Bigelow, Jr.,
It was voted to accept the proposal of the parish committee,
the expenses of which were to be determined by the contractors,
together with Oliver Hastings, of Cambridge, and Samuel Sanger,
THE STORY OF THE TOWN FROM YEAR TO YEAR 133
of Brighton; and the treasurer was authorized to borrow the
money and give his notes for the same.
The town meeting last held in the old church was on May 4,
1840. At the town meeting of April 6, 1840, the citizens voted
for and against a proposed article of amendment to the Consti-
tution, as follows: for, 35; against, 45.
In accordance with the militia law of the Commonwealth the
town made a return of those inhabitants of Weston subject to
military duty for the year 1840. They numbered 147 men.
This law is still in force, and returns are made each year to the
State. The votes this year for electors-at-large for President and
Vice-President of the United States were William P. Walker, of
Lenox, 116 votes; Ebenezer Fisher, of Dedham, 116; Isaac C.
Bates, of Northampton, 83; and Peleg Sprague, of Boston, 83.
The vote for governor was 118 votes for Marcus Morton, and
82 for John Davis. William Spring was elected representative
to the General Court from Weston. Eleven guide-posts were
erected in several parts of the town in 1840 in accordance with a
law of the Commonwealth. The town debt in 1840 was $4,241.55.
An inventory was taken of property belonging to the town, but
no valuation of said property is reported.
In 1841 it was voted that the name of no person shall be re-
tained on the jury list unless as many as 10 votes are cast in
his favor, and that each shall be voted upon separately.
Samuel H. F. Bingham was elected to the General Court.
In 1843 an agreement was made by the committee appointed
to contract for a place to hold town meetings, and they reported
that a lease had been made with Marshall and John Jones for
five years, at a yearly rental of $30, for the hall in the dwelling-
house near Rev. Mr. Field's meeting-house, for the purpose men-
tioned and for other town business. Meetings had already been
held in this hall since 1840.
In 1843 it was voted to have Town Reports printed in a pam-
phlet form, and a copy distributed to each family. This pam-
phlet appeared in 1844, and has continued to be issued in this
form down to our own time.
In 1844 the town voted to build a barn on the poor- farm, 40
by 50 feet, and 16-feet posts. Five hundred dollars was ap-
134 HISTORY OF WESTON
propriated for that purpose. The actual cost of the barn, when
finished, was $828.50. The vote for governor of the State was:
George Bancroft, 102 votes; George N. Briggs, 100. Edwin
Hobbs was elected to represent the town in the legislature.
As early as 1845 a petition of Leonard C. Drury and others
for the widening and straightening of the road between the meet-
ing-house and Hobbs's Depot was sent in, but opposed by the
town. It was done, however, on an extensive and expensive
scale, costing the town about $8,000. This road is now called
Church Street. The vote this year stood 49 for George N. Briggs
and 60 for Isaac Davis. No representative was sent to the
General Court this year.
At a town meeting held March 1, 1847, a vote of thanks was
proposed, and unanimously carried, to be presented to Dr. Benja-
min James for his long and faithful services as town clerk. He
had held the position since 1828, a period of nineteen years. Dr.
James was succeeded by Mr. Nathan Hager in the office. The
school committee was directed to draft a plan for a high school.
In May, 1847, it was voted to l)uild a town house, and Benjamin
Peirce, Nathan Hager, and Marshall Jones w^ere appointed a
committee for said purpose. June 7 this committee reported: —
That the plan of a house, such as we think would be satisfactory when
completed, should be 60 feet long, including the colonnade, 40 feet wide,
and two stories high. The cost of such a house finished like those in
neighboring towns would probably be about $3,000. Town Committee
would recommend that the Town House be located on the northerly
side of the meeting-house Common, which is now occupied by a pound
and for horse-sheds and a highway, provided satisfactory arrangements
can be made with the parish and the owners of the sheds.
It was voted that acceptance of the report be decided by a
yea and nay vote. The result was: yeas, 76; nays, 46. A
resolution was also carried that the committee be authorized
to hire the money for all expenses pertaining to the building of
December 13, 1847, the committee reported that the expense
incurred in erecting and furnishing the town-house building
amounted to $4,078.62, which amount was then due. At this
meeting it was voted that any inhabitant or inhabitants of
THE STORY OF THE TOW'N FROM YEAR TO YEAR 135
Weston shall have a right to the use of the hall for singing or
lectures or discussions on any subjects which are intended to
diffuse useful knowledge in the community, provided they are
free to all, and that they furnish fire and light. Voted that the
next town meeting be held in this house. The vote for governor
in 1847 stood 76 for George N. Briggs and 57 for C. Gushing.
At a town meeting held March 6, 1848, it was voted that the
lower rooms in the town hall may be used for school purposes.
Voted that all demands for abatement of taxes, heretofore passed
upon in open town meeting, be henceforth referred to the assessors
for their action thereon. In 1848-49 no vote is recorded for a
representative to the General Court. Otis Train was sent in
In 1851 it was voted to build three new school-houses, one in
the North-west District, one in the North-east District, and one
in the West Centre District, which three houses cost $4,111.92.
At a town meeting held November 10, 1851, on the question
"whether it was expedient that Delegates be chosen to meet in
Convention for the purpose of revising or altering the Constitu-
tion of this Commonwealth," the vote was as follows: yeas, 58;
Again, in 1852, the same question arose as to the appointment
of delegates in convention for the same purpose, resulting in a
tie vote, 76 to 76, and Edwin Hobbs was chosen delegate.
In accordance with the law passed by the legislature in June,
1855, concerning the sale of spirituous liquors, the Selectmen
appointed Joel Upham an agent for the purchase of spirituous
and intoxicating liquors to be used in the arts or for medicinal
purposes in the town of Weston.
At a town meeting held March 3, 1856, a breeze was created
after the election of the Selectmen and town clerk. Objections
were made by J. Q. A. Harrington to these officers being sworn,
on the ground that the check-list had not been used in their
election, as required by law. It was decided to go back and
proceed to a new election. The vote, as declared, elected John
A. Lamson towTi clerk, and Nathan Barker, Luther Upham, and
Edward Coburn Selectmen, John A. Lamson acting as town
clerk. Nathan Hager, who was undoubtedly legally elected
136 HISTORY OF WESTON
town clerk and had been sworn as such, entered into the book
of town record at the close of the meeting that "the proceedings
of this meeting are irregular, informal, illegal, and do not form
part of the Records of the Town of Weston."
At a town meeting held November 3, 1857, it was voted by
the citizens assembled to establish a library, to be called the
"Weston Town Library," for the use of the inhabitants thereof.
They chose Isaac Fiske, Dr. Otis E. Hunt, and Rev. C. H. Top-
liff a committee to prepare rules and regulations for the organi-
zation and government of the library. This committee reported,
December 21, 1857, "that the people of Weston, impressed with
the necessity and importance of a public library, commenced a
subscription in the several school districts for this purpose."
The movement was initiated by a committee of twelve gentle-
men and seven ladies, with the result of a subscription of about
$500 in money and donation of books valued at about $70. It
was voted to choose a library committee of six members by ballot,
and Rev. C. H. Topliff, Otis E. Hunt, Charles Dunn, Nahum
Smith, J. Q. Loring, and Isaac Coburn were chosen, with Marshall
Jones as treasurer of the library.
In 1858 appears the first vote by district for representative
to the General Court. George W. W^arren, of Weston, had 74
votes, Nathan Barker 34, and Julius M. Smith, of Concord, 27.
In 1859 Mr. Charles Merriam donated $1,000 to be appropri-
ated for the purchase of books for the town library. It was
voted that this sum be securely invested, and no part of the
principal be expended for the above purpose for a period of ten
years. This money is still invested, and the interest alone de-
voted to the purchase of books.
Voted that the thanks of the town be tendered to Marshall
Jones for his long and faithful services as town treasurer. Mr.
Horace Hews at the same meeting was chosen town treasurer,
which office he held until 1889, when in consequence of failing
health he felt obliged to resign the trust which he had held
for thirty years. Mr. Hews's resignation was much regretted,
and sympathy was expressed for him by all.
War Veterans, Railroads, etc.
At the town meeting of April 2, 1860, the committee appointed
to report on the condition of the poorhouse deposed that,
with regard to the plan of "letting out" the poor to board with the
one who would do it the cheapest, we can only say that the time has
gone by when a course so advdsedly opposed to every good principle
can ever again be adopted. We have considered it a settled policy of
the town to support their poor upon a farm of their own. We believe
they should be pro\"ided with a warm and comfortable shelter, with whole-
some food and proper raiment. We do not feel that it would be wise
or pohtic for the town to exchange the present location for another
one. We believe a building might be erected at an expense not exceed-
ing $2,500. It has been said that the town is in debt and that much
money has been expended during the last ten or fifteen years. If money
has been expended, it has not been wasted or squandered, but has been
wisely and judiciously expended, giving us an equivalent in our neat
and commodious public buildings.
Voted that Edwin Hobbs, Horatio Hews, Isaac Coburn,
Alpheus Morse, and John W. Harrington be a committee to build
the house on the town farm, for the best interest of the town,
and that they be authorized to draw on the treasurer for the
money. In November, 1861, this committee reported the build-
ing as completed, 32 by 40 feet, with an "L" 14 by 34 feet, at a
cost of $2,450. School appropriation, $1,629.28. Town debt,
$3,700. Treasurer's salary, $25.
The list returned to the State of those inhabitants of the town of
Weston subject to military duty in the year 1860 formed a roster
of 161 men. The vote for the governor this year stood: John A.
Andrew, 100 votes; Amos A. Lawrence, of Boston, 39; Benjamin
F. Butler, 4. In the fall of the year 1860, when the clouds were
thickening over us, but before any overt act had been committed
138 HISTORY OF WESTON
by the slave States, a Home Guard was organized by Captain
D. S. Lamson for the purpose of drill and general preparation
for future contingencies. The men purchased their own arms,
which were deposited in the town hall. About fifty young men
joined the company, and were drilled in the manual of arms and
street marching. This (Ismpany never entered a regiment as a
whole, but all its members enlisted in regiments as they were
later formed by the State.
In June of the ^ear 1861 Mr. Lamson was appointed major of
the Sixteenth Regiment, which was then forming at Camp Cam-
eron, North Cambridge. The mustering into the service of the
United States for three years took place July 13, 1861. The
vote for governor this year stood: John A. Andrew, 74 votes;
Isaac Davis, 80. In the same year the town treasurer was chosen
to be collector of taxes. Heretofore it had been the custom,
from the earliest period of the town records, to put up the duty of
collecting the taxes to the highest [ ? ] bidder, and the sums awarded
for this duty varied from one cent and five mills to one cent and
six mills on a dollar. Isaac Fiske, Esq., who had died, bequeathed
three hundred dollars for the town library.
At a town meeting, July 19, 1862, it was voted to pay a bounty
of $100 to each man who should enlist in the army of the
United States for the purpose of fighting the South, till the
quota of seventeen required of the town should be furnished,
the bounty payable on presentation of a certificate that the vol-
unteer had been accepted and mustered into the service. In
August this bounty was increased to $200 "to all who enlist
within ten days for nine months." The town further voted to give
to each man now or hereafter to enlist $10. Twenty-six young
men enlisted, and the town voted to pay them the above bounty,
although the number exceeded the quota of the town. It was
also voted that the treasurer give a note to any of the volunteers
for his bounty, payable on demand at six per cent, interest.
At a town meeting, September 27, 1862, the following reso-
lution was carried: —
That, whereas we have learned that Ralph A. Jones, one of our volun-
teers, has fallen in battle, and that others are known to be wounded,
therefore Resolved, That the Rev. C. H. Topliff proceed to Maryland and
WAR VETERANS, RAILROADS, ETC.
recover, if possible, the body of said Jones or any others that have since
died, and attend to the wants of the wounded men suffering in any of
the hospitals. Voted, That in case of the death of any volunteers of the
town whose families are entitled to State aid the same shall be con-
tinued to them.
At a town meeting, October 11, 1862, Rev. Mr. Topliff re-
lated the incidents of his journey to Maryland. A committee
was appointed to make the necessary arrangements for the funeral
of Ralph A. Jones. The following is the list of volunteers, in the
service of the United States for three years, "from the town of
Daniel S. Lamson
William Henry Carter
John E. Powers
Charles L. Field
Philip J. Meyer, Jr.
2d Battery Artillery
Corporal Co. H
Adoniram J. Smith
William G. Clark
Frank W. Bigelow
Sergeant Co. G
Henry H. Richardson
David E. Cook
Sappers and Miners
John Vt. Drew
John L. Ayer
Samuel Patch, Jr.
Henry A. Tucker
George T. Tucker
Wm. C. Stimpson, Jr.
Frederick A. Hews
George G. Cheney
Charles G. Fisher
Ralph A. Jones
HISTORY OF WESTON
Andrew C. Badger
Daniel H. Adams
Jabez N. Smith
James M. Fairfield
35th Regt. Infantry
3d Rhode Island Battery
The following are nine months' men under the call of August
Henry L. Brown
. 44th Regt.
Charles E. Cutter
George E. Rand
Edward L. Cutter
Marshall L. Hews
Edwin P. Upham
James A. Cooper
Francis H. Poole
Samuel H. Corliss
George W. Rand
George C. Floyd
Isaac H. Carey
Herbert B. Richardson
Wm. C. Roberts
Benj. A. Drake
James M. Palmer
George E. Hobbs
George J. Morse
Henry W. Day
Abner J. Teel
Saml. W. Johnson
H. A. Whittemore
Walker W. Roberts
Caleb W. Lincoln
Making a total of thirty -eight three years' men and twenty-
nine nine months' men. Of the thirty-three men drafted at Con-
cord, July 18, 1863, twenty-eight were exempted, one commuted,
two found substitutes, and two entered the service, one of whom
(Lucius A. Hill) was killed. May 10, 1864.
WAR VETERANS, RAILROADS, ETC.
The following 16 men enlisted and constituted the quota of
Weston under the call of the President, October 17, 1863: —
Daniel J. Webber,
Henry W. Ober,
John S. Doane,
John W. StoweU,
2d Mass. Cav'ry
5th Mass. Batt'y
5th Mass. Batt'y
7th Reg. Infan'y
William Chandler, 2d Mass. Cav'ry
John Vaughn, 59th Reg. Infan'y
Hugh J. Sharpe,
2d Heavy Artill'y
56th Reg. Infan'y
Mchl. Cavanaugh, 56th Reg. Infan'y
The enlistment under the additional call of 200,000 men, four-
teen being Weston's quota, was as follows: —
James Welch, 59th Regt. Arthur Martin,
Charles H. Burton, 59th " WiUiam Barry,
John Lund, 59th " Charles A. Fitch,
Joseph Faybien, 59th " John Robinson,
Daniel Robinson, 56th "
WiUiam C. Roberts, 55th "
James J. O'Conner, 4th Cavalry
Wilham H. Carter, 26th Regt.
William Carnes,* U.S. Navy.
The vote for governor stood: John A. Andrew, 78 votes;
Charles Devens, Jr., 64. It was voted that "the Rev. Mr. Top-
liff be a committee of one to bring home the bodies of any of
our soldiers who have or may hereafter fall in battle and render
any assistance necessary to our sick or wounded soldiers."
The town debt as reported by the treasurer was stated to be
$20,072.82. In April, 1863, bonds were ordered for $10,000 of
the town debt, payable in ten years from May 1, at five per cent,
interest. The bonds were to have interest coupons attached,
signed by the town treasurer, payable semi-annually each year.
These bonds to be issued in sums of $100, $250, and $500 each.
In 1863 John A. Andrew had the entire vote of the town for
governor. At a town meeting, November, 1863, Nathan Hager,
town clerk, having died on the 14th of that month, Horace Hews
was chosen town clerk pro tern. ISIr. Hager had been town clerk for
twenty years. He had filled various other offices of trust, and the
town was indebted to him for his judicious management of their
affairs. It was voted that the resolution passed March 7, 1864,
* Died in Andersonville Prison in 1864.
142 HISTORY OF WESTON
be transmitted to his family and entered on the records of the
Voted that a committee of six be appointed, one for each dis-
trict, to assist the recruiting officer in filling the town quota of
troops, and $3,200 was placed in their hands for that purpose. At
a town meeting held on November 28, 1863, Horace Hews,
clerk pro tern., declined to serve longer, and Benjamin F. Morrison
was chosen clerk 'pro tern. The Selectmen appointed Dr. Otis
E. Hunt clerk until another should be legally chosen.
At a town meeting held on March 7, 1864, George W. Cutting,
Jr., was chosen clerk. Three hundred dollars was voted for hay
scales, which were to be of the size called ten tons. In May the
town voted $125 a man, if necessary, "to aid in filling any and
all calls that the general government has made or shall make
upon this town for soldiers for the year ending in March, 1865."
In 1864 the quota of Weston for three years' men was twelve,
and they were all hired by the town.
The number of men furnished by Weston during the War of
1861-65 was a hundred and twenty-six. Of these eight were
killed, three died of wounds, and one in prison. The names of
the killed are as follows: —
Ralph A. Jones, killed at Antietam, September 17, 1862, 35th Regiment.
James M. Fairfield, killed at Port Hudson, June 1, 1863, 38th Regiment.
William Henzy, killed at Knoxville, November 20, 1863, 35th Regiment.
Lucius A. Hill, killed at Laurel Hill, May 10, 1864, 22d Regiment.
John Robinson, killed at Drury Bluffs, May 14, 1864, 24th Regiment.
George T. Tucker, killed at Petersburg, July 4, 1864, 35th Regiment.
William H. Carter, killed at Wmehester, September 19, 1864, 26th
William C. Stimpson, killed at Poplar Springs, September 20, 1864,
The following soldiers of Weston died of wounds in hospital: —
Frederick A. Hews, 35th Regiment; died in Washington, January 5,
Fuller Morton, 43d Regiment; died in Kingston, N.C., January 6, 1863.
Edmund L. Cutter, 44th Regiment; died in Newbern, N.C., April 31,
William Carnes, United States Navy; died in Anderson ville, June 13,
THE CUTTING HOUSE, LEXINGTON .STKEET.
This it- on the original Warren estate, where John Warren, Sr., settled soon after his
arrival from England in 1031. For over a century and since the marriage of Cynthia Warren
to the senior John Cutting it has been the home of the Cutting family.
THE OLD DR. WOODWARD HOUSE, CONCORD STREET.
Built by Rev. Mr. Woodward when pastor of the church at Weston, preceding Dr. Kendal.
It was later owned by Dr. Bancroft, the town physician, and here Dr. George C. Shattuck,
of Bo.ston, studied with Dr. Bancroft. It was bought by Augustus H. Fiske in 1848, and is
still owned by his descendants.
WAR VETERANS, RAILROADS, ETC. 143
The amount the town paid for bounties during the war was
$9,0'25; the expenses attendant upon drafts were $3,524.90; a total
of $12,549.90. To this total voted by the town must be added the
money raised by voluntarv'^ subscription, amounting to $5,104.95,
or a total of $17,654.85. To this amount must be added the sum
paid for recovering the bodies of George T. Tucker, William
H. Carter, and John Robinson, killed in battle ($416.03), — making
a grand total of $18,070.88, which must be admitted as a very
liberal and patriotic showing for a population of about 1,400.
Nor is this all; for the town paid out for State aid the sum of
$4,870.16 during the years from 1862 to 1868.
In October, 1864, a petition was addressed to Edwin Hobbs,
Esq., justice of the peace for Middlesex County, as follows: —
"\Miereas the Methodist Episcopal Church Society in Weston, having
for several years neglected to choose Trustees of the Society, and there
being no clerk legally qualified to call a meeting, we, the undersigned
members thereof, respectfully request you to issue a warrant, calling a
meeting of the qualified voters of the Society agreeable to the provisions
of the Revised Statutes.
The petition was signed by Franklin Childs, Amos Carter, Jr.,
Daniel Stearns, Abijah Gregory, and Abijah G. Jones. A
warrant was issued accordingly, returnable November 7, 1864,
and E. F. Childs was made clerk, and seven trustees were chosen.
In March, 1865, Mr. Charles Merriam, of Boston, addressed
a letter to the Selectmen of Weston, enclosing bonds to the amount
of one thousand dollars for the purpose of establishing a fund for
the "silent poor of Weston," the interest of which sum shall
be paid over to the "honest, temperate men and women who
work hard and are prudent and economical and yet find it difficult
to make both ends meet." Upon the reading of Mr. Merriam's
letter, Mr. A. S, Fiske presented the following resolution: —
Resolved, That we tender to Mr. Charles Merriam, Esq., our sincere
thanks for his munificent donation, presented to the inhabitants of the
Resolved, That we gratefully accept the trust, and that the fund shall
be called the "Merriam Fund for the Benefit of the Silent Poor of
144 HISTORY OF WESTON
The trustees of this fund were chosen by ballot; namely, Edwin
Hobbs, George W. Dunn, C. H. Topliff, Benjamin F. Cutter,
Increase Leadbetter, and Alonzo S. Fiske.
Samuel Patch, Jr., of Weston, a soldier of Company I, 35th
Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry, having been promoted to
the rank of lieutenant of that company, the citizens of Weston
presented him with a sword and sash. His letter of acknowl-
edgment for the gift, dated in camp before Petersburg, Va.,
December 29, 1864, was read and recorded.
At a town meeting November 7, 1865, the following resolutions
were presented by Rev. C. H. Topliff: —
Resolved, That we have heard with sincere regret and sorrow of the
accident by which the valuable life of Charles Merriam, Esq., formerly
a citizen of this town, and a noble-hearted and liberal benefactor to it,
was terminated. By his generous gift for the foundation of a public
library, and also by a similar generous gift for the relief of the "silent
poor" of Weston, he had enshrined himself in the hearts of the people,
and secured grateful remembrance for his name in all future years.
Resolved, That the above be entered in the records of the town and a
copy transmitted to the family.
It was voted as the sense of the town that a monument should
be erected in commemoration of our fallen soldiers, and that
a committee of five be appointed to inquire the probable cost of
a suitable monument and report at the March meeting. At the
April meeting the above committee's report was, in substance,
as follows: —
The object of a monument is not that it may serve as a tombstone on
which to record the names and deaths of our valiant soldiers who offered
their lives upon the altar of their country. Its design is to honor the fallen
by inspiring the souls of the living with their noble deeds and their un-
selfish love of country. The necessity which at present exists, and in any
event cannot long be delayed, of making some provision for the town
library and the expediency of enlarging the town hall, our inability on
account of our obligations incurred by the war to meet these outlays and
build a monument also, have led us to the conclusion that a Memorial
Hall will secure to us the additional room and conveniences needed, and
will be the wisest plan for the town to adopt. These objects will be
obtained by the addition of 20 or 25 feet to the westerly end of the town
house. We find that the cost of the addition, which is put at $2,o00,
may be wholly provided for in the taxes of this year.
WAR VETERANS, RAILROADS, ETC. 145
The report was accepted, and a committee of three chosen
bv ballot to carrv out the recommendation of the above. Edwin
Hobbs, Isaac Coburn and Alonzo S. Fiske were duly elected.
The Library Committee reported that the number of books
taken out from the library during the year was 5,207, and the
number purchased and given was 93. The vote for governor in
1866 was 106 for Alexander H. Bullock, 15 for Sweetzer.
At a town meeting on March 4, 1867, the following resolution
was voted: ^'Resolved, That the thanks of the town be presented
to the Rev. C. H. Topliff for his long and faithful services in the
various offices which he has held in towTi affairs, and that a copy
of this vote be communicated to him."
The vote for governor in 1867 stood: Alexander H. Bullock,
149 votes; John Quincy Adams, 6.*
In 1868 an enlargement of the cemetery' of the town was
deemed necessary, and the committee chosen by the town, which
consisted of Edwin Hobbs and Isaac Coburn, reported in favor
of purchasing, for the sum of $900, the land west of the present
cemetery, being about one and one-third acres, belonging to Mr.
Charles Jones. Objections were made by the owners of property
on the street to this selection, and a minority report was presented
to the town by Mr. Horace Hews, in which these objections were
fullv set forth bv him, and the recommendation was made for the
purchase of twenty-three acres of land south of the present ceme-
tery, which could be obtained for $2,300. The town voted to
accept the minority report, and that measures be taken to secure
the lot and take a deed. The vote for governor in 1868 stood
149 votes for William Claflin, of Newton, and 31 for John Quincy
At a town meeting held January 30, 1869, it was voted to recon-
sider the vote whereby the town voted to purchase the land of
Marshall Hews for a burial-lot. The matter seems to have re-
mained in abeyance until the May meeting in 1873, when the com-
mittee again reported in favor of the land on the westerly side of
the present cemetery, "and, if it cannot be obtained by agreement
with the owner, to petition the County Commissioners to adjust
* In 1867 Mr. Charles H. Fiske was elected in this district as representative to the Gen-
eral Court. He received 93 votes in Weston and 259 votes in Concord.
146 HISTORY OF WESTON
the damages." At a later meeting, held in June, better counsel
seems to have prevailed, and the committee state that
We have now three burial-grounds in town, and the creation of a fourth
one widely separated from the others is quite objectionable. From
many lips we have heard the expression, "Let us all lie near together
when life's work is done and we are called to take our places with the
slumbering dead." This feeling was beautifully expressed by the
patriarch Jacob more than three thousand years ago, when he charged
his sons, saying, "Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field
of Ephron the Hittite. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife;
there they buried Isaac and Rebecca his wife; and there I buried
Leah." Influenced by these considerations, we have sought a place as
nearly connected with the present cemetery as to make it one and the
same, this lot embracing seven to ten acres. It can be had for $250
It was voted to accept this report. In 1874 $1,000 was voted to
be expended on the new cemetery.
In 1869 it was resolved "that the citizens of this town do
most earnestly remonstrate against the annexation of the city of
Charlestown to the city of Boston."
The vote for governor in 1869 stood 82 votes for William Claflin
and 19 votes for John Quincy Adams.
In town meetings of January 3 and February 14, 1870, it was
Resolved, To authorize the town treasurer to subscribe to 500 shares
of the Massachusetts Central Railroad upon certain specified conditions
regarding depot accommodations for the town; and also that the road
shall be an independent through line to the city of Boston.
A vote was taken by ayes and nays upon this resolution, and it
was defeated by a vote of 72 ayes and 85 nays.
The vote for governor in 1870 stood: William Claflin, 80 votes;
Wendell Phillips, 12; John Q. Adams, 19.
The Massachusetts Central Railroad, in its inception purely a
speculative enterprise, has now come to maturity on a solid basis,
after twenty years of incubation. Not one of the original officers
had personally any practical experience either in building or oper-
ating railroads. They went to work blindly, and began their road
"nowhere," and ended it in about the same place, as regards
WAR VETERANS, RAILROADS, ETC. 147
being within the reach of business. In 1868 an act passed the
legislature incorporating the Wayland & Sudbury Railroad, which
was to run from Mill Village in Sudbury to Stony Brook on the
Fitchburg Railroad. This was the origin of the Massachusetts
Central. In 1869 the bill incorporating the Central passed the
legislature, superseding the act of the year before. The capital
stock was fixed at $6,000,000, but the company voted to issue only
$3,000,000. As the two years in which to file a location was about
to expire, a special act was passed, extending the time to 1874.
N. C. Munson, the contractor for building the road, failed, and all
the sub-contractors failed with him. For several years the road
was in a comatose condition. The cost of construction in the fall
of 1878 amounted to $2,782,932.78, there was a funded debt of
$995,000, and an unfunded debt of $37,428.76. Work was resumed
on the eastern end of the road, and in October, 1881, the road was
opened from Boston to Hudson, 28 miles; in June, 1882, to Oak-
dale, 41 miles, and to Jefferson, 48 miles. Governor Boutwell
became president in 1880, remaining such until 1882, when he was
succeeded by Hon. S. N. Aldrich, of Marlboro. Upon the failure
of Charles A. Sweet & Co. work on the road was again suspended.
In 1883 the road was sold under foreclosure to a committee of the
bondholders, — S. N. Aldrich, Thomas H. Perkins, and Henry
Woods. In 1885 they made a contract with the Boston & Lowell
Railroad to operate the Central. It was in operation under this
contract for one year. In 1886 the Lowell road leased the property
to the Boston & Maine for ninety-nine years, the company issu-
ing bonds to the amount of $2,000,000. The road has to earn
$500,000 to meet the interest on the bonded indebtedness, and
there is prospect of its doing better than that. The credit for res-
cuing the Central road from total wreck is due to the president,
Hon, S. N. Aldrich, Assistant Treasurer of the United States. The
road, running, as it does, through ^Middlesex County and central
Massachusetts, has a great and prosperous future before it. If
the directors follow in the footsteps of the Boston & Albany, they
can in a few years create a suburban population along the route
equal to that which now secures the yearly dividend of the Boston
& Springfield branch of the Albany road. Weston, through which
the Central runs, can by generous accommodation be made the
148 HISTORY OF WESTON
centre of a large population. The present size of Weston is 10,967
acres by actual survey, and it has 155 acres in ponds. It is in gen-
eral an uneven and, in some places, a broken tract of land. High
cliffs, or ledges, of rock are found within its limits. The town is
elevated above the common level of the surrounding country, and
affords an extensive view of other parts. The soil is of a deep,
strong loam, favorable to the growth of trees, for the beauty of
which this section is noted. The hills are springy, and suffer but
little from frost or drought. Brooks and rivulets abound on every
side, and for the greater part rise within the limits of the town.
The character of its inhabitants would not suffer by a comparison
with those of any other town in the Commonwealth. Few towns
within a radius of twenty miles of Boston have preserved the old-
time characteristics, both as regards population and customs, as has
Weston. The names of the descendants of the men of Concord
and Lexington are to-day on the voting list of the town. Property
and estates have changed owners but little within the past century.
The finances of the town are managed with great care, while its
roads and public buildings and general improvements are liberally
provided for in the yearly grants.
In 1871 it was again proposed to sell the poorhouse farm and
to purchase a smaller place, more centrally located. It was
thought at the time that the people of the north side wanted
to get rid of it in their neighborhood, and an effort was made to
have the house located in the centre of the town. For this purpose
the property now owned by Miss Marshall was proposed. No
definite action seems to have been taken on this proposition until
the May meeting in 1873, when the committee who had the matter
in charge reported that they had examined several places, among
them the farm of John A. Lamson, of 71 acres, valued at $8,000,
that of Henry J. WTiite, of 25 acres, valued at $8,500, and that of
Nathan Barker, of 40 acres, with buildings valued at $8,000.
None of these places being considered suitable for the purpose,
the report was tabled. The vote for governor stood: William
P. Washburn, 96 votes; John Q. Adams, 25; Robert C. Pitman, 7.
ISIr. C. H. Fiske was elected representative to the General Court.
The vote for governor in 1872 stood: William P. Washburn,
159 votes; Francis W. Bird, 12.
WAR VETERANS, RAILROADS, ETC. 149
The vote in 1873 stood: William B. Washburn, 53 votes;
William Gaston, 9.
In town meeting, March 1, 1875, it was voted that a committee
of three be appointed to purchase a lot of land of Henry J. AMiite,
fronting the house of Oliver N. Kenny, for a site for a high-school
building. This lot was duly purchased, and $500 paid to Mr.
White. The committee consisted of George W. Dunn, Nathan
Barker, and George B. Milton. The sum of $3,300 was ap-
propriated for schools, and $600 for school incidentals. At the
April meeting the town directed the Selectmen to establish a town
pump near the town house, and they were directed not to dig the
well when the springs were full, but at the proper time.
Voted to accept the invitation of the towns of Concord and
Lexington to be present at the celebration of the centennial
anniversary of the opening of the Revolutionary War.
A letter was received from General Charles J. Paine, donating
a town clock, if the to^Ti would provide a site for the same.
Voted that the clock be placed on the Unitarian church, if agree-
able to the society; and a committee, consisting of Edwin Hobbs,
Alonzo S. Fiske, and George B. Milton, was chosen to confer
with the trustees of the church and also with General Paine
regarding the matter. Voted a sum not to exceed $500 for plac-
ing the clock.
The vote for governor stood: Alexander H. Rice, 69 votes;
John J. Baker, 10; and William Gaston, 13.
Edward Coburn was elected to the General Court. Weston
gave him 83 votes; Concord, 178; and Lincoln, 66.
In town meeting, March 6, 1876, the matter of the high school
came up, and a committee, consisting of James B. Case, George
W. Dunn, and George W. Cutting, Jr., was appointed to con-
struct the building. They were instructed not to expend above
$9,000. On March 20, same year, the above was voted to be re-
considered and to be declared null and void. At a meeting held
in April it was voted that a committee of three be appointed to
procure plans for a high-school house and estimates of cost, and
report at the March meeting. At this March meeting, held in
1877, it was again voted to build a high-school building, the
expense of which should not exceed $8,500. The Committee on
150 HISTORY OF WESTON
Plans, Site, and Estimates were George B. Milton, Isaac Coburn,
and Eli E. Fox. In April the committee reported that the lot at
the corner of the Willow Lane and the main road presented more
advantages on account of being near the post-office, library, and
store, while the other was a commanding and cheaper site. The
price asked for the corner lot was $1,500 for an acre or $1,000
for half an acre. The choice of sites was voted by ballot, but,
before this vote was taken, a motion was made to reconsider the
whole matter. This motion was lost, however, by a vote of 84 to
69. The vote on the site for the school-house being then taken,
66 voted for the corner lot on the main road, and 77 voted for the
lot already purchased of Mr. White. The Building Committee
chosen were George B. Milton, Edward Coburn, George W. Dunn,
Henry J. White, and William N. Gowell.
The vote for governor stood: Alexander H. Rice, 121 votes;
William Gaston, 33. In November, 1877, the town voted on a
State Constitutional Amendment making it eligible for the presi-
dent, professors, and instructors of Harvard College to hold seats
in the Senate and House of Representatives of Massachusetts.
This vote stood: yeas, 30; and no nays.
The vote for governor in 1878 stood: Thomas Talbot, 202;
Benjamin F. Butler, 26. In 1879, John D. Long, 164, and Ben-
jamin F. Butler, 21.
In 1878 Alonzo S. Fiske was elected representative to the Gen-
eral Court. The vote stood: Weston, 200; Sudbury, 124;
Maynard, 129; Wayland, 149.
In May, 1884, the charter of the Henry A. Upham Lodge,
No. 52, of Weston was granted by the Ancient Order of United
Workmen, Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, to Luther F. Upham,
Nathan Barker, Jr., Edwin A. Newbury, Oliver L. Sherburne,
Merrill French, William N. Gowell, E. O. Clark, Elias King,
Charles Wark, and Charles A. Moody, and to their successors.
This society of workmen has for its purpose the encouragement
and support of the brothers of the order when in sickness and
distress, and has the further purpose of securing to the family
or heirs of the brother, in case of death, two thousand dollars.
Other objects are " the practice of charity, the inspiration of hope,
and the protection of all good and true brothers." In 1887 there
were fifty-three members of this lodge in Weston.
WAR VETERANS, RAILRO.\DS. ETC. 151
There is nothing of especial interest connected with the town
and its affairs from 1880 to 1890 worthy of being noted here.
The town has gone on during these last ten years in the even
tenor of its way towards development and liberal management.
It may prove interesting to my readers to know the increase
of voters and of personal and real property during the past
century : —
Number of polls . .
" " horses . .
" " cows . . .
" " oxen . . .
" " sheep . .
" " swine . .
" " slaves . . .
Value of personal estate
Value real estate . . .
Debt of the town (1889), $5,695.93. Rate of taxation, $6.
Number of deaths, 14, including six persons of seventy years and
upwards, viz.: Mary Warren Hastings, seventy -seven years;
Amanda Cheney, eighty years; Louisa K. Gregory, seventy -one;
Martha Derby, eighty -three; Isaac H, Jones, seventy -nine;
Beulah R. Livingston, eighty-four.
In 1911 there was no town debt. The rate of taxation was
Business Interests of the Town.
The early industries, commerce, and trade of Weston, from
the date of its settlement, were quite extensive for so limited a
population. Almost every trade was to be found within its limits.
To enumerate some of them will give the reader an idea of the
extent of the business interests of the town before the intro-
duction of railroads. Among these was a brewery, or malt-house,
numerous groceries, dry- goods stores, clock-makers, hatters,
straw-braiders, grist-mills and saw-mills, machine-shop, pottery,
cabinet-making, wheelwrights, shoemaking, tannery, and apothe-
cary shop. All this activity seems strange to us to-day, when,
until a few years ago, we were reduced to a blacksmith-shop,
one grocery, and a grist-mill. We have seen how prosperous and
numerous were our taverns, and how speedily they succumbed,
one after another, upon the introduction of railroads. All the
above enumerated industries followed the example of the taverns,
and after a few years of fitful existence disappeared. Many
Westonians who were storekeepers here in the early years of
this century became prosperous merchants in Boston.
The oldest store of which we have any record is that of Elisha
Jones, who was followed by his son Isaac. The original resi-
dence of Lieutenant Jones was opposite the Baptist parsonage.
It is probable that the store, which was east of the present house,
was built at a very early period. This building was moved some
years ago to the rear of the house, and fell into decay. The date
of the ledger of this store is 1745. Here was carried on one
of the most extensive businesses outside of Boston. It included
many lines of goods, — groceries, liquors, dry goods, etc. Judging
from the books, Mr. Jones provided all the taverns far and near
with their rum, brandy, and molasses. He was the banker of the
town also, and his credit in Boston was perhaps better than that
of his obscurer neighbors. He carried the notes of the town
BUSINESS INTERESTS OF THE TOWN 153
clergj'^man and farmers, all of whom borrowed monej^ of him and
gave their notes for loans and goods. We have seen that Colonel
Ephraim Williams purchased his military outfit for the campaign
of 1753-54 of Mr. Jones, and during the latter part of the War
of the Revolution he had extensive dealings with the army on
the Hudson, shipping large quantities of clothing. We have the
receipts for nine hogsheads of blankets carried by ox-team
215 miles, and Ezekiel INIoore receipts for another lot teamed
to Fishkill (£27 125.). The old account books are extremely
interesting and of historic value. James Otis, the patriot, was
attorney for Mr. Jones, and his bold, handsome signature appears
as such attorney, followed by that of Harrison Gray Otis. It
seems to have been the custom in early days for both the debtor
and creditor to receipt for settlement of accounts in the ledger
in sign of satisfaction. Consequently, we have an uninterrupted
series of autographs of the early settlers and inliabitants of Weston,
and also of those living in adjoining towns and counties. Many
of these autographs are valuable to-day. The present house, or
what is known as the Golden Ball Tavern, was built in 1753-5-i, as
is shown in the ledger. At this time Mr. Jones vacated his
old house; and Colonel William Williams, who had married Mr.
Jones's daughter, moved from Newton into the old house. Colonel
Ephraim Williams, his son, came with his father, and remained
until they both took up their residence at Stockbridge. The
landed possessions of Lieutenant Jones and of his son Isaac
were very extensive, both in Weston and in towns adjoining, and
particularly in Berkshire County. The Berkshire property was a
grant from the crown, as was also true in the case of William and
Ephraim Williams. Mr. Jones's book shows purchases of farms
and lands in Barre, Templet on, Framingham, and other places.
It looks very much as if some of these properties were taken
in settlement of outstanding accounts. Elisha and Isaac do not
seem to have been disagreeable creditors, judging from the fact
that several years' accounts were allowed to run without a settle-
ment, although interest was charged in some cases.
In the accounts of the different stores in Weston it is impossible
to make any distinction between groceries and dry goods. There
was nothing properly called "dry" in former days, and the people
154 HISTORY OF WESTON
never went dry long or when they could help it. All dealers were
licensed as retailers.
It has also become difficult to classify the different stores in
the date of their establishment. Peter Jennison seems to have
been a tailor here in 1750, but there is no mention of any other
until 1800, when Hugh McPherson takes that position. All
women were more or less tailors everywhere in country towns,
and so continued down to about fifty years ago.
In 1782 Isaac Lamson, son of Colonel Samuel Lamson, kept
a grocery on the site of the present Cutting store. He died in
1806. His books are in excellent condition to-day.
Ralph Abrahams, of the Isaac Jones family, kept a store on
what is now the Minor property. The store stood east of the
present house. In 1820 x\brahams sold the property to Alpheus
Bigelow, and Bigelow sold to Oliver Shed, who remained until
1830, when the store was destroyed by fire.
In 1804 George W. Smith opened a grocery store where now
stands the Cutting house, then the property of Joel Smith, his
father. Upon the marriage of George Smith with Clarissa Lam-
son (sister of John and Daniel S. Lamson), Joel Smith gave his
son George the estate now of Mrs. Robbins, and the store was
moved to a position about where the driveway of that estate
now is. It remained in this position until the death of Mrs.
Smith in 1852, when it was bought by Mr. Cutting, and again
moved to its original place. Mr. Cutting kept the store at this
place for a short period, and then it was altered into the present
dwelling-house in 1867. Previous to the last removal Captain
Smith leased the store to William S. Barker, of Medford. He
remained until 1828, when Mr. Smith again took the store. He
died in 1829, and was succeeded by Jonathan P. Stearns, the
business being conducted by Mr. George W. Cutting, who came
to town from Way land in 1822. In 1830 Mr. Cutting bought out
Mr. Stearns, and remained the leading and deservedly popular
storekeeper of Weston until his death in 1885. In 1852 the
old Lamson stand, with the house and barn adjoining, which had
been occupied as a store for a century, came into the possession
of Mr. John Lamson, who took down the old buildings and erected
the present store. It was leased to Charles Johnson, who with
BUSINESS INTERESTS OF THE TOWN 155
his son, Byron B, Johnson, later the first mayor of Walthani,
kept both a grocery and dry-goods store until 1856, when Mr.
Cutting took the lease, and in 1875 purchased the store of iVIrs.
E. T. Lamson. Mr. Cutting was succeeded by his son, G. W.
Cutting. The old store above mentioned, and the one occupied
by Isaac Lamson in 1782 (died in 1806), were taken about 1810
by Daniel S. Lamson as a dry-goods store. Under his manage-
ment this store became one of the most important in Middlesex
County. The business was very extensive, taking in all the
towns west of us to the Vermont and New Hampshire line. It
was the custom in old times for women to make their purchases
in the spring or fall for the whole year. They would drive down
from long distances in their "one-horse shay," put up over night
at the tavern, returning home the next day. No one ever thought
of going to Boston to buy goods. Waltham ladies came to Weston
to buy. Cloths of all sorts were to be had. But, complaint
being made that there was no one to make up the cloths, Mr.
Lamson built the little shop about 1817, and installed a tailor.
Mr. Lamson died in 1824, leaving what was considered a hand-
some fortune in those days, all of which he had made in Weston.
Mr. Charles Merriam, who had served his time with Mr. Lamson,
coming to Weston in 1821, was very popular. He succeeded Mr.
Lamson in the business, and maintained the reputation of the
store to the last. In 1836 Mr. Merriam, with Mr. Henry Sales,
established the large business house of Sales & Merriam. Mr.
Merriam died in 1865, leaving a large fortune. He was succeeded
in Weston in 1836 by Henry W. Wellington, who remained until
1838. He is now of H. W. Wellington & Co., Chauncy Street,
With the departure of Mr. Wellington the prestige and glory
of this store and business began to decline. The days of rail-
roads had begun. George W. Smith kept the store for a while,
but the profits of the business had gone to Boston. George W.
Bigelow opened a store in the west end of Mrs. John Jones's-
house, but he was not one to recall the halcvon davs of those
who had gone before him. Both Bigelow and Smith went down
at the whistle of the steam-engine. Mr. Merriam, when here,
built the house now belonging to E. O. Clark; and here Charles
156 HISTORY OF WESTON
Merriam, the present wealthy Boston merchant, was born in
In 1791, 1792, and 1793 Wareham Woodward, son of Rev.
Mr. Woodward, kept a store in the west end of what was later
the paint-shop of M. & J. Jones. Mr. Frank Kendal, son of
Rev. Dr. Kendal, appears to have been associated with him for a
while. There was a small store next the west wall of the bake-
house property, at one time used as a school and also as a shop.
This building was moved to property now owned by George W.
Dunn. The farm-house on the Lamson estate was at one time a
hat store. Hats were manufactured here by Royal Mcintosh.
He sold this bake-house property to Benjamin Peirce in 1816,
and in 1859 Mr. Peirce conveyed it to Mrs. E. T. Lamson. In
1823 and 1824 Sarah Woodward kept a store in the building
formerly occupied as a store by Woodward and the Kendals.
Abraham Hews built the Marshall Jones house somewhere about
At one time, with Ralph Plympton, Mr. Hews carried on the
manufacture of chairs and other cabinet-work. Many of the
chairs are still in use in the town, and were so faithfully and sub-
stantially put together as to promise a lasting existence. Mr.
Hews sold this property to Plympton when he removed to his
new house and pottery works, now belonging to Marshall Lam-
son Hews. Plympton sold to Marshall Jones in 1824.
In 1765 Abraham Hews established the pottery business, said
to have been the first industry of its kind in New England. This
business was transmitted from father to son in Weston from
1765 to 1871, a period of one hundred and six years. In 1871
it was found necessary, owing to the rapid increase in the business,
to remove the works nearer the central market, and a large factory
was erected at North Cambridge, at which time the name of the
firm was changed to that of A. H. Hews & Co. The pay-roll
of 1871 contained fifteen names; that of 1889, from eighty-five
to one hundred. In 1871 800,000 pieces of pottery were required
by the trade; in 1889, 7,000,000 are needed. The account books
of the concern from 1769 are still preserved. The quaint charges
and small beginnings of those early days make interesting reading
to-day. It seems to have been the custom to mix up family
BUSINESS INTERESTS OF THE TOWN 157
affairs and general running expenses with the work of the business;
for instance: "Samuel Brocett to my horse to Framingham,
12 miles, three shillings"; "Samuel Lamson, to my horse to Con-
cord, two shillings"; "Isaac Lamson, to my horse and cart to
Boston to bring Samuel's wife and children up to Weston, twelve
shillings"; and so on. Dr. Gowen, at one time in the last
century, had his office and apothecary shop in a building in front
of the present school-house on Highland Street. This building
belonged to the Isaac Jones estate, and was removed to their
house. A grocery and dry-goods store was located in the William
Hastings house. D. G. Ingraham kept it for some years, followed
by Enoch Greenleaf in partnership with Caleb Hayward. Ad-
joining the Hastings place on the west was that of Ralph
Abrahams, who was one of the Jones family. He kept a store
in a building east of the present Minor house from 1802 to 1821,
when he sold the property to Alpheus Bigelow; and he in turn,
in 1824, sold it to Oliver Shed, who kept a grocery and retail
liquor store until 1830, at which time the store was destroyed by
The next place was that of the Livermores, who owned and
operated the malt-house. It has been found impossible to discover
the actual date when it was so operated and how long. The
Livermores sold to Alpheus Bigelow, and he sold later to Mr.
Cutting. Bigelow again purchased it some years later, and
sold it to Jane Caswell, and Mr. Caswell still owns it. One
of the first school-houses of the town stood about where the
Caswell barn now stands. The Simeon Brown farm was owned
by Marshall and Josiah Livermore, who sold it to Mr. Brown in
Henry Flagg kept a dry-goods store on the east corner of the
estate now of Mr. Bennett. The building was moved, and is
now the Bigelow farm-house. In the early part of this century
there was a clock-maker in town named Cutter. Mr. Cutting
has a handsome parlor clock made by Cutter. His shop was
afterwards owned by Mr. Bingham, who invented the butter and
cheese drill, since so generally in use. Orders came to him for
these implements from all over the country, and they were in
such demand that he had difficulty in filling his orders, Mr.
158 HISTORY OF WESTON
Bowen succeeded Mr. Bingham in this business, and continued
in it to the time of his death in I860.*
It was a custom throughout the State, in early days, to locate
houses and people in Weston by the distance from the tannery.
Bark was brought to the tannery from Vermont and New Hamp-
shire, and as late as 1795 vessels loaded with bark from Maine
came to Watertown. Thence the material was teamed to the
tannery. Old bills for all this kind of work abound.
It has been difficult to fix the exact date when the Weston tan-
nery was established by the Hobbs family. It has only been by
overhauling the family papers that anything like a clear statement
has been possible concerning this ancient industry. Perhaps a
sketch of the Hobbs family in this connection will not be out of
place, the better to understand the business, probably one of the
first established in this country.
Josiah Hobbs came to Weston from Boston in 1730, and the
same year purchased large tracts of land, a part of which is now
owned by Mr. Edward Brown and Mr. Gowing. The deed of this
property, bought of Cheeney, is dated October 4, 1729. Josiah
Hobbs died in 1779, aged ninety-four. He had eight children,
all born in Boston, excepting Nathan, who first saw the light
in Weston in 1731. Ebenezer Hobbs, the eldest son of Josiah,
born in Boston in 1709, is the ancestor of all the Hobbs family
in Weston. He had nine children. He is mentioned as a shoe-
maker in old records as early as 1750. Isaac Hobbs, the eldest
son of Ebenezer, was born in 1735. He married Mary Sanderson,
of Waltham, in 1757. Isaac built the double house, one-half of
which was occupied by his grandson. Captain Samuel Hobbs,
and the west end by Captain Henry Hobbs. Isaac Hobbs was
a deacon in the Weston church, and filled the office of town clerk
* The following note about Messrs. Cutter and Bingham appears in the papers of Colonel
Lam son: —
Ezekiel Cutter bought the place known as the Bingham place of Abel Rice, of Sudbury,
who was a school-teacher at East Cambridge in 1827. There was previous to this purchase
a grist-mill on the premises, run by one Sanderson. Cutter was a clock-maker, and George
W. Cutting bought his parlor clock of him when he married in or about 1830. The clock is
to-day in good condition. Bingham succeeded Cutter, and made machinery for the manu-
facture of coarse woollen goods, purchasing the property about 1830."
Between 1835 and 1840 the United States government contracted with John Cutting,
of Weston, to manufacture the plumbago for the government crucibles, to melt the jgold and
silver of the mints. While the material was baking, the mill took fire and was destroyed and
not rebuilt. The work was being done by Mr. Hews, of Weston. — Ed.
illK JJKACOX URIAH GREGORY HOUSE, MERRIAM STREET.
Said to have been one of the oldest houses in Weston. The property was in the Gregory
family for over two liundred years. It was torn down in 1885.
THE ABRAM BIGELOW HOUSE, CONCORD STREET.
Mr. Bijjelow was one of the selectmen of Weston, and a prominent man in the history of
the town from 17.57 to 1771. He was the orisinal of "Deacon Badger" of IMrs. Stowe's
"Oldtown Folks." In recent years it was bought by .John Poutas, who.se descendants still
own and occupy it.
BUSINESS INTERESTS OF THE TOWN 159
for forty years. He died in 1813, at the age of seventy-eight.
Matthew Hobbs, the sixth son of Ebenezer Hobbs, was an active
promoter of the Revolution. In 1780 he was captain of the
^Yeston Company, the men enlisting under him for three years,
or the war. Isaac Hobbs, the third son of Isaac, was born in
1765, and married Mary Baldwin in 1790. He died in 1834,
aged sixty-nine. The Hager house was built by Isaac Hobbs,
in 1786, for his sons Isaac and Ebenezer. Ebenezer, by his
will dated October 13, 1762, bequeathed to his son Isaac all
his stock in leather and hides, and also his tan-houses and
bark for tanning. So far as can be gathered by records, the tan-
nery was started between 1750 and 1760. Captain Henry Hobbs,
son of Captain Matthew Hobbs, was born in 1784. He died in
1854, aged eighty. Henry was a harness-maker, and occupied
the building which stood on the south-east corner of the double
house, later the shoe factory of Hobbs & Hager. Henry was
also a carriage- maker, and occupied for this business the sheds
which formerly stood on the south-west end of the Hager barn.
The first chaise ever seen in Weston was owned by him, and
was probably of his make. In 1795 he took out a license for this
chaise, for which he paid three dollars. The license mentions "a
two-wheel carriage, called by him a chaise, to be drawn by one
horse and to carry two people." Henry owned the land now of
Curtis Robinson, and the little building formerly Dr. Kendal's
study was moved to this property and is now the Robinson shoe-
Nathan Hager owned and lived on the present Eldridge farm.
His son Nathan married in 1832 Mary Ann Hobbs, daughter
of Isaac Hobbs. Nathan Hager, Jr., owned and lived on the
farm now of Mr. Frank Hastings, where he lived after his mar-
riage. On the death of Isaac Hobbs in 1834 Nathan Hager
moved over to the present Hager house, and formed the partner-
ship of Hobbs & Hager. Mr. Hager sold his farm to Captain
Dickinson, whose daughter married ]Mr. Hastings. The shoe
factory was given up about 1850, and a short time before Mr.
Hager's death, in 1860, the tannery also ceased to exist. Mr.
Hager served as town clerk for twenty years. David Jacobs
worked in the tannery for over forty years. Thus we see the
160 HISTORY OF WESTON
tannery was in operation for a century, and the shoe factory
about fifty years.
The business of cutting and selling barrel hoops would seem
to have been quite extensive, if we may judge from the partial
returns on record from 1764 to 1770, a period of five years only.
The figures represent the returns of the several farmers employed
in this industry, and are only partial. For instance, in 1763
there were made and sold 18,940; in 1764 the figures are 9,300;
and in 1766 they are 11,080, etc.
One of the most important industries of Weston is that of the
Stony Brook mills. This water power was rendered effective
by one Richard Child, who in 1679 erected a corn-mill and later
a saw-mill.* The grist-mill remained standing until about the
year 1840. It was at the saw-mill that a great part of the
timber was sawed for the early houses of the town. This prop-
erty was sold in 1802 by Isaac Lamson, executor of Amos Bigelow,
and was bought in by the heirs. x\t the time of the sale the
property consisted of the mills, a dwelling-house, and two acres
of land. Washington Peirce leased the mills, but, upon his mar-
riage with the daughter of Joel Smith, removed, and kept the
tavern. Coolidge, Sibley & Treat bought the property of Abra-
ham Bigelow in 1831. They erected a machine-shop, and operated
for a number of years the grist-mill, and also a mill for the manu-
facture of cotton yarns. In the machine-shop for many years
the specialty was the manufacture of cotton machinery, looms,
etc. They supplied the factories of Lowell, Lawrence, Lancaster,
and Clinton, besides which they manufactured extensively for mills
in New York. Here was also made the first machinery for cotton
mills in Alabama and Tennessee. Here also later were made
large quantities of door-locks, expanding bits, and other articles
of'steel and iron hardware. In 1859 was begun the manufacture
of wood-planing machines, the Sibley dovetailer, and the Sibley
pencil-sharpeners for schools, now in use from Maine to Alaska.
♦The third grist-mill, or corn-mill, erected in the Watertown district, was that at Stony
Brook. At a town meeting held January 5, 1679, it was "granted that the new mill now
set up and to be finished at Stony Brook be freed from rates for twenty years from date."
In 1684 it was owned by John Bright and others. For many years it was known as Bigelow's
Mill. Lieutenant John Brewer's Mill, established about the same time, was in the north-
western part of Weston, now a part of Lincoln, and is at present operated by Mr. Harrington
as a grist and saw mill.
BUSINESS INTERESTS OF THE TOWN 161
Sibley became the owner of this valuable property, having bought
out both Coolidge and Treat.
Near these machine-shops was the little canon, enclosing the
pool out of which the cascade fell. From above, the waters of
the brook came down the rapids white with foam, the banks
covered with mosses and ferns, the oaks and hemlocks overarching
the stream. Altogether it formed one of the most beautiful
bits of natural scenery to be seen this side of the WTiite Moun-
tains, the delight of artists and the admiration of all beholders.
All the available portions of this valuable plant have now been
completely destroyed by the Cambridge water board, who have
seized the mills and rendered its future usefulness as a factory
impossible. This act of the Cambridge authorities wipes out all
this important factory privilege and destroys the taxable value
of this industry for the town. It is time our people should
realize the immense injury to farms and manufactories which the
free and easy grants of the legislature of late years to water com-
panies are doing. They are giving away for the asking the control
of springs and waterways, which bids fair to destroy the value of
our farms and property. In 1833 a furniture factory was built
over the dam on this estate belonging to Mr. Sibley, and was
leased to Joseph H. Cummings. This building was destroyed by
fire about 1850, George W. Cutting, Jr., worked for Mr. Cum-
mings when a young man.
In 1852 Dr. Otis E. Hunt and Nathan Barker together pur-
chased the Harrington farm, and in the year 1854 sold a part of
the property to Mr. Samuel Shattuck. This gentleman estab-
lished a chair factory there, which eventually did a large business.
In 1875 Oliver Kenney succeeded Mr. Shattuck. The firm is
now engaged in the manufacture, on a large scale, of school furni-
ture, and employs a number of hands.
Marshall Jones, who was born in the Hannah Gowen house in
1791, bought the old Abraham Hews property in 1824. It was
then in rather a dilapidated condition, and had never been painted
since its erection in 1765. Mr. Jones had served his apprentice-
ship in the harness business with Mr. Hobbs at the north side of
the town, and here established the paint and harness business.
His brother, John Jones, worked with him as a journeyman
162 HISTORY OF WESTON
until taken into partnership, the firm then taking the name of
M. & J. Jones. This business became very extensive, and the
brothers became men of considerable wealth. Marshall Jones
died in 1864, and Colonel John Jones in 1861, being killed while
lifting a rock out of the ground on his estate. Colonel Jones was
highly esteemed throughout the county, and was largely engaged
in the settlement of estates in the town, so great confidence had
our people in his ability and integrity. In 1825 he succeeded
Colonel Daniel S. Lamson as lieutenant-colonel of the Third
David Brackett, a blacksmith of the town, had his forge on
the main street in 1788-89, on the site of the Upham shop. He
was succeeded by his son David, Jr., followed by Isaac Bigelow,
son of Deacon Thomas Bigelow, who at that time owned the
property. He was followed by Whitten and John Parks, and
in 1830 Joel Upham bought the house and shop, Mr. Upham
retired from the business in 1887, at the ripe age of eighty-five.
John Hobbs, sixth child of Nathan Hobbs, born in 1771, was a
blacksmith on the north road in a shop west of Mr. Edward
Brown's barn. In 1802 he was bitten by a mad dog, and died of
hydrophobia. Jonathan Warren was a shoemaker, and a maker
of ploughs on property now of Mr. Hastings. Ebenezer Tucker
was a blacksmith in the old shop still standing near the Garfield
wheelwright-shop. Converse Bigelow, also a blacksmith, had
a smithy on property now of Mr. Coburn. Park Boyce was a
blacksmith near the Daggett tavern. George and Nathan Up-
ham erected a blacksmith-shop on property of General Derby,,
facing the house and land they purchased in 1839 of the heirs of
John Lamson, Luther and Quincy Harrington had a machine-
shop where the shoddy mill stood, near Kendal Green station.
Abijah Upham, son of Lieutenant Phineas, born in 1747, built the
house now the property of Abijah Coburn. and had a blacksmith-
shop at this place. He moved to the old place when his father
Lieutenant John Brewer, who died in 1709, left a farm and
216 acres of other land, together with a saw-mill and grist-mill.
His widow, Mary Brewer, in 1715 entered into a copartnership
or agreement with Richard Parks for the purpose of carrying
BUSINESS INTERESTS OF THE TOWN 163
on the saw-mill, provision being made in the articles of agreement
that this work should not interfere with the running of the grist-
mill in possession of said Mary Brewer. These mills are still
in operation, and are now o\\Tied by Mr. Harrington. The store
of Henry Fiske on the north road was built in 1815, and the
business was conducted by Henry and Sewell Fiske, John Williams,
and Alonzo S. Fiske until 1852. Abijah Stearns was a clerk to
Henry Fiske. Thaddeus and Abijah Peirce were wheelwrights,
and in early days all such mechanics were also house wrights,
or carpenters. Benjamin Rand was a housewright previous to
1800. He signs a "covenant, bargain or agreement made and
concluded with Benoni Garfield, Benjamin Brown, James Jones,
and Ebenezer Allen, of Weston [other names to contract lost], in
behalf of the town of Weston for the building of the second church
erected in Weston." The contract is signed by Randall Davis
and Benjamin Rand, and is dated 1720. This interesting paper
(the original) is badh' torn, and only a part of it is decipherable.
When Mr. Rand died, the town was in his debt over £300 for
building this church. Daniel Rand, a wheelwright, began busi-
ness in 1800 on the farm now owned by Mr. Caswell, and died
The organ factory in the north part of Weston, now called
Kendal Green, on the line of the Fitchburg Railroad, was estab-
lished here by Mr. Francis H. Hastings in 1888. He moved his
factory from Roxbury on Tremont Road, or Street, to Weston.
It had been in operation there for forty years. In the year 1827
Mr. Elias Hook began the building of organs in Salem with his
brother George Hook. They removed to Boston as E. & G. G.
Hook. In 1855, when nineteen years old, Mr. Hastings entered
their service, and in 1865 was admitted as a partner. Later the
name of the firm was changed to "E. & G. G. Hook and Hast-
ings," and in 1880, after the death of Mr. G. G. Hook, it was again
changed to Hook & Hastings. In 1881 Mr. Elias Hook died,
since which time the business has been conducted by Mr. Hastings.
The business dates back over sixty years. Mr. Hastings has
devoted himself to the building of church organs for thirty-five
years. His relations with eminent European builders, the em-
ployment of experts trained in their factories, the ingenuity and
164 HISTORY OF WESTON
skill of our American workmen, and his constant endeavor to
advance the standard of his work have enabled him to obtain
and to hold the highest place in his craft. The work of the house
is found in every part of the country, and has a world-wide reputa-
tion. The large new factory at Kendal Green is situated on
the Fitchburg Railroad, twelve miles from Boston. Trains stop
at the factory for the accommodation of workmen and visitors.
Mr. Hastings built this factory on land which formed part of
the old Hastings homestead, and which has been in the family
for four generations. He has built cottages for his workmen,
and a club-house and hall, with reading-rooms attached, for pub-
lic use. At stated times, lectures are given in the hall, together
with musical and other entertainments fully appreciated by the
workmen as well as by the townspeople generally.
Schools and Teachers.
The earliest mention of the pay of a schoolmaster was Jan-
uary 6, 1650, when £30 was voted to Mr. Richard Norcross.
This sum continued to be the salary for about seventy -five years.
In 1683 it was agreed that those who dwell on the west side of
Stony Brook be freed from the school tax of 1683, that they may
be the better able to teach among themselves. Mr. Norcross
was employed in 1685-86. Those who sent children to school
were to pay threepence a week each, and all short of £20 the
town would make up to Mr. Norcross; the town to pay for such
children as their parents were unable to pay for, the Selectmen to
be the judges. November 16, 1690, the town allowed £15 for
the schoolmaster's maintenance. The rate parents were to pay
for tuition was established at threepence a week for English,
fourpence for writing, and sixpence for Latin.
The town rates for 1687 were: rye, 4 shillmgs; Indian corn, 3
shillmgs; oats, 2 shillings. In 1691 the prices were: rye and
barley, 4 shillings; Indian corn, 4 shillings. Two shillings in
money were to be taken as 3 shillings in grain. In 1697 oak wood
was 7 shillmgs; walnut, 8 shillings. In 1703 carpenters working
in the water were allowed 3 shillings a day, laborers on land 2
shillings and 6 pence, and teams 5 shillings per day.
In 1690 Nathaniel Stone was chosen schoolmaster at £15,
which was granted by the town, 20 persons agreeing to pay 50
shillings a quarter in addition. In 1693 Richard Norcross was
chosen for one year to keep a month at the school-house, when,
if a considerable number of scholars did not appear, he had liberty
to keep all the year round at his house, the town to pay him £5
additional. If he finds the scholars to increase, then from April
to October in the school-house and the remainder of the year at
his own house. He was also to catechize the children and all
166 HISTORY OF WESTON
others sent to him. In 1696 Edward Goddard was invited to
teach the school. He replied, if the town would repair the school-
house and give him £20, he would accept; but the toT^Ti refused
his terms. The result was the town was fined at General Sessions
for not having a school. In 1696-97 the town refused to have a
grammar school, and appointed a committee to estimate the cost
of repairing the school-house. Two of the committee reported
the cost at £3 to £4. The others reported from 30 to 40 shillings,
and 40 shillings was granted. In 1697 Mr. Goddard was again
asked to keep the school, but it does not appear whether he ac-
cepted or not. In 1699, however, he did agree to keep the gram-
mar school. The next year he obtained his £20 salary and the
rates from the "parents and owners of children." Mr. Goddard
could not have continued long at his post, for in 1700 Rev.
Samuel Parris agreed to keep the school at his place of abode until
some other person could be chosen. In September, 1700, Mr.
Norcross again becomes the schoolmaster at £10 and the usual
rates from parents, they agreeing to send one-quarter cord of
wood in winter. At this time Mr. Norcross had been a school-
master forty -nine years, and he was seventy -nine years old. In
November, 1700, it was voted to keep the school in the first and
third quarters at the old school-house and the second and fourth
quarters in the middle of the town. In 1705 £30 was voted for
In 1706, Mr. Mors having ceased to be the minister of the
church in Weston in consequence of difficulties in the settlement,
he was invited to keep the school and to be helpful to the
minister for £40, and fourpence a week for all who sent their
children. He accepted. This school was kept at Mr. Bigelow's
house at Stony Brook. Mr. Mors removed to Dorchester in 1707,
and died at Canton in 1732. In 1707 and 1708 Thomas Robie ,
who was graduated at Harvard in 1708 (probably the same who
later is known as Dr. Robie of Wayland), engaged to keep the
school half a year for £15, — the first quarter, seven hours, and
the second quarter, eight hours, a day. Benjamin Shattuck fol-
lowed in 1709, and continued to be the schoolmaster for six
years, until 1714, In 1714 the town is presented at General Ses-
sions for not having a writing-school, and the Selectmen report
SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS 167
they have chosen Mr. Joseph Woolson for such a master, and
that he is acceptable to the town. The presentment was dis-
missed with costs. In 1714 the Selectmen visited the president
of Harvard College in search of a schoolmaster. He informed
them "they could not have any student to keep their school."
The teacher whom the town reported to the General Sessions
they had procured was Abraham Hill, who married Thankful,
daughter of Ebenezer Allen, of Weston. Mr. Hill was gradu-
ated at Harvard College in 1737.
In 1737 the town was again presented at General Sessions for
not having a grammar-school master, but the Selectmen made
return that they had provided one. The case was dismissed with
costs. The town records being lost from 1712 to 1754, it is im-
possible to give a history of the early progress in schooling for
these years, but from other sources we jBnd that from 1714 to
1751 (or thirty-seven years) there had been 14 teachers, some
of them serving for three and four years each. They were all
graduates of Harvard College. Benjamin Brown, in his diary
for 1718, charges the town for schooling 4 boys one week 10
shillings; 2 boys five weeks, 5 shillings; and 1 boy four weeks,
The first mention of schools in the second volume of town
records, dated March, 1754, is the vote to pay Schoolmaster
Cotton his last quarter, £6 6s. lid., and to Nathaniel Williams
£3 96'. 4c^. for boarding Mr. Cotton. The town refused to grant
money for a reading and writing school. They voted that the
school shall be kept two months on the north side at Josiah
Hobbs's, and two months at Benjamin Bond's.
In 1755 the town voted £40 for schools. This probably does
not include the board of teachers, which the town paid.
In 1760 the town votes £100 for schools. Beginning with 1761,
the citizens vote £160 for the same and for other town charges,
so that it is found impossible to keep informed of what sum was
paid for schooling. This system continued down to a very late
period. Many of the townspeople, both men and women, kept
school, and all took turns in boarding the schoolmaster, being
paid by the town for so doing. The minister took his turn with
the other inhabitants, and was probably glad of the addition to
168 HISTORY OF WESTON
his slender salary. During the period of the Revolution the
school-houses seem to have been very little in use, for we find at
the close of that period that the buildings had been allowed to go
to decay. Whatever schools there were during this time of trial
were at private houses. Mr. Woodward and Dr. Kendal both
kept school, and were paid by the town. Dr. Kendal received
at his house the boys who were "rusticated" by the faculty of
Harvard College for offences against discipline, and kept them up
in their studies with the college classes. As we have elsewhere
stated, many names of those who in after-life became distin-
guished men in Boston passed periods of punishment in Weston.
The small allowance of wood for the schools in winter strikes us
to-day as almost cruel.
In the year 1782 a committee, appointed by the town to select
a spot for the Centre District School-house, reported that the
south-east corner of the Eaton land would best serve the pur-
pose, and it was voted that Major Samuel Lamson, Captain
Isaac Jones, and Jonathan Fiske be a committee to purchase the
land and build the school-house. This land measured forty by
sixty feet. It was bought of Daniel and Ebenezer Eaton, who
then owned as far as the Benjamin Peirce place, and the school was
situated just west of Joel Upham's blacksmith-shop. The land
was bought for £12, and the town gave the Eatons its note for
the purchase money; but as late as 1812 the note was not paid,
and the town refused to pay it. This central school -house
continued in use until 1793, when Isaac Jones gave land twelve
rods square for a building on Highland Street, somewhat back of
the present school-house. In 1793 Dr. Kendal gave land for a
school building on Wellesley Street, and he received the thanks
of the town. In the year 1795 all the school-houses were over-
hauled. They were clapboarded, porches were added, and new
benches and stoves introduced. In 1795, the old Eaton school-
house being no longer occupied, Artemas Ward and others peti-
tioned the town for the use of the building for a private school,
which was granted. It would seem that at this early day it
was as difficult to satisfy both parents and scholars as is the case
to-day. The town officers receive a list of six charges brought
against a teacher, signed by ten parents of children, who ask the
SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS 169
dismissal of the teacher, as the money paid him is thrown away.
The charges are worthy of a place here : —
1st. You are requested to make the boys get their lessons, if not to
thrash them and make them get them.
2d. That you ride down hill upon a hand sled with your largest scholars,
and that you break the sled.
3d. You are charged with ha\ang severely punished the boy who owned
the sled, without sufficient reason.
4th. You are charged with using insulting language and gestures to
5th. You are charged with partiality.
6th. You are charged with talking and laughing for a very consider-
able time together with your largest scholars.
The final result of these charges is not recorded.
In 1796 the town voted $1,000 to build a school-house in the
North-west District. The old school-house in the North-east Dis-
trict was sold by auction, and bought by Joseph Russell for £6.
In 1803 $25 is appropriated to each district for a woman's
school, $600 for the support of schooling, and $40 for each dis-
trict for painting and repairing school-houses. In 1804 the ap-
propriation is $125 for each district, a total of $750. In 1805
$150 for each woman's school and $750 for men's schools. In
1806 Dr. Bancroft, Isaac Fiske, and Dr. Samuel Kendal were
chosen a committee to examine persons who apply to become
In 1807 a census of school-children between the ages of four
and eighteen was taken as follows: whole number, 374, — East
Central District, 71; West Central District, 71; South-east Dis-
trict, 58; South-west District, 37; North-west District, 54;
North-east District, 83. It was voted to enlarge the North-east
School-house. Voted $716 for the reading and waiting schools
and $200 for the women's schools. In 1810 voted to employ a
music-teacher. In 1812 voted to build a new school-house in
Dr. Kendal in his centennial sermon, delivered in 1812, saj^s: —
Our schools in general have been well taught; the youth in this place
have been as fully prepared for active service and usefulness as in any town
of equal size in this Commonwealth. The schools are the hope of our
170 HISTORY OF \^^STON
country. The culture of young minds, especially in religious and virtu-
ous sentiments and habits, is of vast importance, not only to individ-
uals, but to the community at large.
In 1813 the town had six school districts, each provided with
In 1816 a new school-house was built in the South-west District.
In 1817 $650 was appropriated for schools and wood, and $200
for women's schools. This appropriation continued down to
1837, with slight variation. In that year $1,000 was voted for
schools and wood. In 1834 $50 was appropriated to purchase
maps for the schools. In 1839 no teacher was allowed to keep
an evening school without a vote of the majority of the in-
habitants of the district. In those days, children were not
allowed to wander about at night under any pretence whatever,
and in many schools it was a rule for the scholar to report to
the teacher the hour he reached home after the school of the day
In 1832 and 1833 Mr. Andrew Dunn taught the South School.
He next taught in Way land until 1836 and 1837, when he kept
the winter term at the school "on the rocks" (so called) in Weston.
In 1838 Mr. Dunn held a school in the hall in the Jones tavern,
now the dwelling of Mrs. John Jones. This was probably a
private establishment, answering to what later on became our
"High School." This school was very largely attended, numbering
about fifty scholars of both sexes. The charges were three dollars
for the common course; higher English and Latin, four dollars. In
the winter of 1838 Mr. Dunn taught the school on the north side.
He was a most painstaking teacher, a strict disciplinarian; and
to those who were refractory or idle he applied liberally the
essence of birch, sending the boys to the Willow Lane, so called,
to cut and bring in to him the rods which were to be applied
in corrective measures. Mr. Dunn is still in active life and a
clergyman in the Baptist church.
It was voted in 1839 "that a female teacher shall be employed
in every school containing fifty scholars as the average number,
also that the Selectmen report such measures as ought to be
adopted to prevent the scholars from cutting, mutilating, defacing,
and otherwise injuring the school-houses in the town and what
SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS 171
punishment ought to be inflicted or penalty incurred for such
In 1834 the State School Fund Act was passed under Governor
John Davis. This fund was to be derived from the sale of lands
in the State of Maine and from the claim of the State on the
government of the United States for military services, provided,
nevertheless, that said fund shall not exceed $1,000,000. A cen-
sus of the population of Weston was taken by order of the Com-
monwealth concerning the disposal of the surplus fund, and the
return of the assessors gave a population of 1,051. A return was
also made to the town of the number of scholars in each school
district in the town. The schools were kept fifteen weeks in
winter and fourteen weeks in summer. The wages paid the
female teachers was $2.75 per week; the master, $26 per month if
he boarded himself, or $18 if boarded by the town. The female
teachers were paid $10 a month if they boarded themselves, or
$5 a month if boarded by the town.
East Centre "
West Centre "
Men's School. Female School. Total Pupils.
27 19 46
37 19 56
36 24 60
22 17 39
27 33 60
16 16 32
Average in winter school attendance, 30; summer school, 10.
155 scholars in men's school, 128 in female; total, 283 scholars.
The books directed to be used by the School Act of the legislature
were: American First Class Book, Walker's Dictionary, Wilkins's
Astronomy, Almy's Geography, Smith's Grammar, Emerson's
Arithmetic, Goodrich's History of United States, Perry's Spelling
Book, Parley's Geography. The money grant from town for
schools was $1,000, with $200 for women's schools in addition;
and this sum continues down to the year 1840.
In 1846 $1,050 was voted for schools, including fuel, and $300
for summer schools, increased in 1849 to $1,100 and $350. In
1851 three new school-houses were built at a cost of $4,111.92.
In 1852 the West Centre School-house was built, one-quarter of
172 HISTORY OF ^^STON
an acre being purchased of Miss Martha Jones for $50, but twelve
rods more were taken, amounting to $72, upon which sum inter-
est was to be paid, as there were too many heirs to obtain a
deed. It was again found necessary to form rules and regulations
concerning the use made of the school-houses by the scholars.
In 1853 new school-houses were built in Districts 5 and 6 at a
cost of $3,198.68. In 1854 a grant was made of $150 for a high
school, and $5 to each school district, to be applied to the care of
the school-houses and in making the fires. Mr. Ebenezer Gay
was the first high-school teacher (one year, 1854-55). Mr. Train
followed in 1855-56. He died in October, 1858. He taught the
grammar school in Watertown in 1856 and 1858.
In 1857 $500 was appropriated for summer schools out of
the total sum of $1,400 appropriated. In 1860 the sum set
aside for schools was $1,629.28; in 1870 it was $2,934; m 1880,
$4,149.61; in 1889, $6,900.
In Chapter X, (pp. 149, 150) details have been given of the
construction of the high school. At a later date an additional
plot of ground was purchased by the to^Ti from Henry J. White
for a playground to be attached to this school. The sum of $400
was paid therefor.
Evangelical Churches in Weston.
The history of the original Puritan church of Weston (which,
like so many others of New England, gradually and almost im-
perceptibly merged into Unitarianism, and is now represented
by its direct descendant, the First Parish Unitarian Church of the
town) is almost identical with the history of the town itself
in the first century of its existence. The town was a theocracy,
and the records of the early settlement and of the later town
proper are, as we have seen in previous chapters, thickly sprinkled
with the records of the church. The old Puritan church was the
church of the place, the established church; and for over a century
or a century and a half no other denomination had any following,
or at any rate any objective existence in the shape of buildings
and organized corporations.*
Of other sects the Methodist Episcopal Church (or society, as it
was first called) was organized about 1794, the first preacher
being Rev. John Hill. A chapel was erected in the rear of the
present church on the Lexington road. It was a very modest
building, without paint or plastering, having neither pulpit nor
pews. This chapel was in the old Needham circuit, which con-
sisted of Needham, Marlboro, Framingham, and Hopkinton;
the whole under the charge of one preacher, afterwards increased
to three. The original society consisted of twelve members, and
the first trustees were Abraham Bemis, Habakkuk Stearns, Jonas
Bemis, John Viles, and Daniel Stratton. The membership of the
church consisted of Ephraim Stearns, Susannah Adams, Jonas
Bemis, Tabitha Bemis, Abraham Bemis, Abigail Bemis, Daniel
Stratton, Elizabeth Bemis, Mary Bemis, Elizabeth Adams, Martha
Stratton. The present church building was erected in 1828. In
1833 this church became a station with a regularly appointed
preacher, which included Waltham and Lincoln. In 1839 Wal-
* Readers of this volume who are interested in the old church should read the interesting
and scholarly volume of addresses published on the occasion of the celebration of the two
hundredth anniversary of its existence in 1898.
174 fflSTORY OF WESTON
tham was detached, thereby reducing the membership of the
Weston society from 141 to 83, and it has not materially in-
creased since that date. From 1794 to the present time this
parish has had 107 preachers. In March, 1888, George Weston,
of Lincoln, died, aged eighty-eight. He had been a member of
this society for seventy years.
In October, 1864, the following petition was addressed to
Edwin Hobbs, Esq., justice of the peace for Middlesex County: —
Whereas the INIethodist Episcopal Church Society in Weston, having
for several years neglected to choose trustees of the Society, and there
being no clerk legally qualified to call a meeting, we, the undersigned
members thereof, respectfully request you to issue a warrant, calling a
meeting of the qualified voters of the Society agreeable to the provisions
of the Revised Statutes.
The petition is signed by Franklin Childs, Amos Carter, Jr.,
Daniel Stearns, Abijah Gregory, and Abijah G. Jones. A war-
rant was duly issued accordingly, returnable November 7, 1864.
E. F. Childs was made clerk, and seven trustees were chosen.
The following interesting printed account of the Methodist
society in Weston, clipped from some magazine apparently, and
not signed, was found with the manuscript of this book after its
author's decease. It is styled "A Brief History of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, Weston (Kendal Green), Mass."
The first house for public worship was erected in the year 1797, and
stood in the pasture now owned by Mr. Fiske, to the right of the road
leading toward the "poor farm." The structure was not imposing, but
it was often filled with devout worshippers, and as a very aged member
of the church told the waiter of this article, though there were no stoves
to warm them in winter, and they had but slabs on which to sit and hear
the word of God, still the services were very helpful, very spiritual, and
seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.
DifiSculties which we need not mention and opposition of which we
need not speak were successfully met and overcome, and the society
steadily grew until the place of meeting became "too strait" for them,
and they began to agitate the building of another church. The old record
refers to various meetings held in which the building of the "New Church"
formed the main subject of discussion for the meeting.
It was not, however, until the year 1828 that the arrangement was
finally made and the church put under contract. On February 20 of that
year an agreement (the old records say) was entered into between Francis
THE RIPLEY HOUSE, WHEATON LANE.
Built prior to 1740 by Dr. Whoaton. Here the Tory doctor secreted the British spy in
1775. The phice was confiscated, and later came into the possession of Dr. Bancroft. It is
now owned and occupied by Mr. Francis B. Ripley.
THE WILLI.\M H. HILL HOUSE, WELLESLEY STREET.
In his oration of July 4, 1876, Mr. Charles H. Fiske said that the house was then
supposed to be from one hundred and fifty to two hundred years old. There is much in
its appearance to justify the greater age. It is supposed to be the oldest house still
standing in the town to-day.
EVANGELICAL CHLTICHES IX ^^STON 175
A. Pickering, Emery Bemis, George Weston, Thomas Jenkins (all of
the town of Lincoln), and Marshall Jones, of "Weston, on the one part,
and ^Yllitman Peterson, of Duxbury, on the other; said Peterson to fur-
nish materials and build a "meeting house" for the Methodist Society in
Weston, on a lot of "land not far from the old meeting house." And
the said Peterson to receive for his work the sum of one thousand seven
hundred dollars ($1,700). Mr. Peterson entered at once upon his work,
and the church was completed the following November, the church
being dedicated January 8, 1829.
The dedication was a great event, the Methodist people coming from
near and far to join in the celebration. The singers seem to have been
held in special favor, for at a meeting of the trustees it was voted that
those assisting in the singing "on the day of dedication" shall have some-
thing to eat and something to drink at "INlilton Dagett's Tavern";
and that the expense shall be paid by the building committee. And there
is a bill placed in the old record in which so much is charged for brandy,
wine, and loaf sugar. It really looks as if our fathers were not quite as
sound on the temperance lines as we are to-daj'.
It would appear from an old subscription paper of the date July, 1828,
that it was in the thought of the builders of the church proper to erect
also a chapel for prayer and social meetings, and the names are given of
quite a large number who pledged money for the piu-pose, but for some
reason not given the chapel was not built.
As the years went by, the necessity of a "Preacher's house," as the par-
sonage used to be called, was more and more apparent, and various meet-
ings of the trustees and stewards are recorded in which the matter was
agitated; but it was not until the year 1850 that it was deemed "specially
necessary" that a parsonage be built on "this station," and at a meeting
held at the house of Brother Marshall Smith, May 14, it was finally
voted to build a house for the preacher. Rev. H. C. Dunham presided
at the meeting. Prayer was offered by Brother J. Whitman. Brother
Hagar was appointed to secure a suitable "building lot." At an ad-
joxu-ned meeting the report of Brother Hagar was received, and it was
voted to accept the offer of Captain S. Fisk, and take 48 rods of land on
Marshall Smith's line, 4 on the road, and 12 in the rear, and pay the sum
of $100. It was further voted to build an "upright" house, 28 by 22, with
an ell 24 by 14.
Brothers H. C. Dunham, Joseph WTiitman, Ephraim Brown, Rufus
Babcock, and Franklin Childs were the building committee. The com-
mittee proceeded at once with their work. The cellar was dug and stoned
without charge. jNIr. Samuel A. Willis, of Sudbury, contracted to build
the house for $800. He commenced the work in July, and finished about
the 1st of October. It has been occupied as a parsonage ever since.
Repairs have been made on the church from time to time as it has needed,
some $600 the last year of the pastorate of Rev. jMt. Noon and quite ex-
176 HISTORY OF WESTON
tensive during the pastorate of Rev. C. C. Whidden. It was at this time
that the vestry over the vestibule was built, which is very convenient for
the weekly meetings and the various social gatherings of the church.
The church has been remembered recently by will in the gift of some
$600 by the late Mr. Joseph Whitman, a former member of the society,
and gift of an organ from Mr. Hastings's factory has just been presented
to the church by Mrs. George F. Harrington. This latter gift is given
in memory of Mrs. Harrington's mother, who for many years was a most
faithful and devoted member of the church and deeply interested in its
The society has been favored with a succession of most worthy and
faithful ministers, who have found their chief joy in declaring the glad
gospel and doing what they might be able for the people in the ways of
The list following dates back to the year 1794: —
1794, John Hill.
1795, John Vanneman.
1796, Joshua Hall, George Pickering.
1797, Daniel Ostrander, Elias Hull.
1798, David Brumley, Epaphras Kibby.
1799, Stephen Hull, Elijah R. Sabin.
1800, Nathan Emory, John Finnegan.
1801, Joseph Snelling.
1802, Joshua Soule, Dan Perry.
1803, Reuben Hubbard, Thomas Ravlin.
1804, Nehemiah Coy, Joel Wicker.
1805, Clement Parker, Erastus Otis.
1806, John Gove, Thomas Asbury.
1807, Benjamin Hill, Isaac Scarrett.
1808, John Tinkham, Isaac Locke.
1809, Benjamin R. Hoyt, Nathan Hill.
1810, Isaac Bonney, Robert Arnold.
1811, Isaac Bonney, Elias Marble.
1812, Elisha Streeter, John Vickory.
1813, Orlando Hinds, Vanransalear R. Osborn.
1814, Orlando Hinds, Zenas Adams.
1815, Vanransalear R. Osborn, Bartholomew Otheman.
1816, Orlando Hinds.
1817, V. R. Osborn, B. Otheman.
1818, John Linsey, Isaac Bonney.
1819, David Kilburn, Isaac Stoddard.
1820, V. R. Osborn, Nathan Paine, J. W. McKee.
1821, Benjamin Hazeltine, J. W. Case.
1822-23, Erastus Otis, George Fairbank.
EVANGELICAL CHURCHES IN WESTON 177
1824, Benjamin Hazeltine, Ira Bidwell, John E, Risley.
1825, John Lindsey, Hezekiah S. Ramsdell, and Jared Perkins.
1826, Joel Steel, Leonard B. Griffin, and Jared Perkins.
1827, Ephraim K. Avery, Giles Campbell.
1828, Ephraim K. Avery, Louis Jansen.
1829-30, Daniel Fillmore, Isaac Jennison, and A. B. Kinsman.
1831, Jacob Sanborn, Sanford Benton, and Samuel Pahner.
1832, Abraham D. Merrill, Samuel Coggshall.
1833-34, Ames Binney.
1835, Benjamin F. Lambord.
1836-37, Epaphras Kibby.
1838-39, Nathan B. Spaulding.
1840-41, George Pickering.
1842-43, WiUiam R. Stone.
1844-45, Henry E. Hempstead.
1846-47, Kinsman Atkinson.
1848-49, Thomas Hicks Mudge.
1850-51, Howard C. Dunham.
1852-53, John Cadwell.
1854-55, John S. Day.
1856, Abraham M. Osgood.
1857-58, Moses P. Webster.
1859-60, John M. Merrill.
1861-62, Oliver S. Howe.
1863, Nathan A. Soule.
1864, William A. Braman.
1865, Jabez W\ P. Jordan.
1866-67, Porter M. Vinton.
1868-69, George Sutherland.
1870-71, WiUiam F. Lacount.
1872-74, William H. Meredith.
1875, S. O. Dyer.
1876-77, George E. Sanderson.
1878, William Merrill.
1879, William P. Blackmer.
1880, WiUiam H. Adams.
1881-84, Samuel H. Noon.
1884-85, J. W. Adams.
1886-87, Charles Nicklin.
1888-91, E. H. Thrasher.
1891-92, A. A. Loomis.
1892-94, C. C. WTiidden.
1894, Samuel H. Noon.
178 HISTORY OF WESTON
The first Baptists in Weston began to gather together about
1776, meeting at each other's houses, under the lead of Deacon
Oliver Hastings, who was baptized in Framingham in 1772.
March 29, 1784, four young men — Justin Harrington, Samuel
Train, Jr., James Hastings, and Joseph Seaverns — contracted
to build a meeting-house thirty-one feet square. This building
was first occupied in 1784, and finished in 1788. It was erected
on land belonging to the Nicholas Boylston estate. As we see
by the deed of Moses Gill, he releases "all right, title, and interest
in and to the Baptist meeting-house in Weston, or any money due
from said meeting-house or society, to Reuben Carver." Moses
Gill was an heir to this property through his marriage with
Rebecca, daughter of Thomas Boylston.
In 1789 a church of sixteen members was recognized by the
ecclesiastical council. When the Baptists and Methodists began
to erect places of public worship in the town, they signified their
intention to "sign off" (so termed in those days) from the estab-
lished church, as it may very properly be called. But, before they
could be released from paying their taxes to this town church,
they were required to produce, to the satisfaction of the Select-
men of the town, a certificate from the Baptist or Methodist
church, testifying that they paid the tax for the support of the
gospel ministry in their respective churches. This was done in
the following manner: —
This may certify that Mr. Samuel Bingham and Jacob Leadbetter have
attended public worship with the Baptist Society in Weston, since March,
1788, and pray to be excused from paying tax to the other religious so-
ciety, as they bear their part in supporting the gospel with the Baptist
In 1788 a protest was presented in town meeting concerning this
matter of town taxation for the support of the minister and repairs
of the town church, as being against the "bill of rights" and illegal.
The town does not seem to have paid any attention to this pro-
test, as there is no action recorded on the town records, and the
protest cannot be found among the town papers.
The Baptist society had no settled minister till 1811, at which
time they ordained Charles Train as pastor of this church, and
EVANGELICAL CHURCHES IN WESTON 179
a branch was formed at Framingham that year. The Weston
church from 1811 to 1826 was known as the Weston and Fram-
mgham church; but in 1826 the Framingham branch became a
distinct church, retaining Mr. Tram * as their pastor until 1839.
The Weston church numbered about forty members.
The present church, near the centre of the town, was erected
in 1828, Mrs. Bryant giving $1,000 to the parish for that purpose,
and Mr. Hews giving the land. The material of the old church
was used in erecting the parsonage in 1833. In 1830 Rev.
Timothy P. Ropes, a graduate of Waterville College, was ordained
as pastor of this church, remaining three years. At the twenty-
fifth anniversary of the Boston Baptist Association, held at New-
ton in 1832, mention was made of the growing church in Weston,
and of the fact that a sister had given a thousand dollars to the
society and a brother had given the land. At the twenty-sixth
anniversary of the association the delegates from the Weston
church were Joseph Hodges, Jr., Deacon Uriah Gregory, Isaac
Jones, and John Dunn.
In 1835 candidates who were preparing for the Baptist minis-
try, and belonged to the Weston church, were Andrew Dunn,
Elbridge Smith, and Benjamin W. Roberts.
In 1822 a second protest was made in town meeting as follows:
The undersigned members of the Baptist and Methodist Societies in
Weston, having been compelled in years past, by illegal assessments, to
defray a proportional part of the expenses annually recurring in the Con-
gregational Society of said town, such as the making and collecting the
ministerial tax, ringing the bell, providing wood, abatement of parish
taxes, repairing the meeting-house, &:c., do earnestly petition that some
♦Charles Train, the third child of "Deacon" Samuel and Deborah (Savage) Train, was
born January 7, 1783. Receiving his elementary education in the Weston district school,
he completed his preparation for college with Rev. Samuel Kendal. He graduated from
Harvard with distinction in 1805. At first he intended to become a lawyer, having aptitudes
which enabled him to perform distinguished service in civic affairs. But in 1806 he decided
for the Baptist ministry. At this time, through particular interest in his native town, he united
with the Baptist church, and thereafter he continued to preach to this church until 1826,
dividing his time between Weston and Framingham. This was due to his attachment to his
native town and church. Although living and working mostly in Framingham, he continued
his double service, and caused the society at Framingham to be a branch of the Weston church.
He served several terms after 1822 in the House and Senate of the State legislature, being
prominent in the formation of the State library and in revising the laws relating to common
schools. Not least was his championship of religious liberty and social improvement. For
a considerable period, while serving as the first pastor of the Baptist church, this son of Weston
enjoyed a high reputation and wielded a large influence in civic and religious concerns.
180 HISTORY OF WESTON
measure may be taken by the town effectually to prevent the like im-
position in future; that the aforesaid Baptist and Methodist Societies
may be entirely exempt from all unjust charges and unlawful taxation.
This petition was signed by twenty-two members of these
societies. But the evil they complain of does not seem to have
been effectually done away until the year 1840. Those who suc-
ceeded Mr. Ropes in the ministry of this church are as follows:
Rev. Joseph Hodges, Jr., settled in 1835, resigned in 1839; Rev.
Origen Crane, settled in 1840, resigned in 1854; Rev. Calvin H.
Topliff, settled in 1854, resigned in 1866; Rev. Luther G. Barrett,
settled in 1867, resigned in 1870; Rev. Alonzo F. Benson, settled
in 1870, died in 1874; Rev. Amos Harris, settled in 1875, resigned
in 1890; Rev. Charles S. Hutchinson, settled in 1891, resigned in
1892; Rev. J. Mervin Hull, settled in 1893, resigned in 1899;
Rev. Frederic E. Heath, settled in 1900, resigned in 1904; Rev.
Harry E. Hinkley, settled in 1905, resigned in 1911; Rev. James
M. Leub, settled since August, 1912, the present pastor.
(For more details as to the protests of the Baptists against
paying money to support the all-prepotent Puritan, or First Parish,
church in the town, see Chapter VII.)
The first meeting of the Congregational Society as a constituent
part of the Congregational denomination, or sect, was held in
Weston Town Hall, January 4, 1891. In September following, by
a cordial invitation of the First Parish, the meetings were trans-
ferred to the chapel of that society. On October 29, 1891, the
society was duly organized by the ecclesiastical council of the
Congregational churches through the admission of Francis and
Mary Hastings, Lucy Sherman, George A. and E. J. Hirtle, F. T.
and Ella J. Fuller, Mary and Voluny Poor, H. F. and N. F.
Davis, A. S. Burrage from Park Street Church, Boston, of Mrs.
Burrage from Lancaster, of Mrs. Nathan Upham, John Schwartz
from Bangor, Me., of Mrs. Harriet Warren from Weston Metho-
dist Church, of Mrs. John McDonald, and Mrs. A. M. Upham
The reception sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. Sturgis, of
Natick. At a meeting the same day a call was extended to Rev.
EVANGELICAL CHURCHES EN W^ESTON 181
R. F. Gordon, and accepted by him. At a meeting held De-
cember 8, 1892, steps were taken for the incorporation of the
church. Land was purchased from Mr. A. H. Hews on Central
Avenue, containing 21,150 square feet, and thereon a chapel was
erected. The first service in the new chapel was held December
18, 1892. The following is the list of the church officers: clerk
of the parish, Mrs. F. C. Burrage; treasurer, A. S. Burrage;
standing committee, H. F. Davis, E. J. Hirtle, A. S. Burrage,
senior deacons, H. F. Davis, Francis Hastings; junior deacon;
G. A. Hirtle.
The Medical Profession.
Robert Jennison would appear to have been the first doctor
in Weston (in 1750), so far as any record can be discovered.
It is probable that the physicians who visited Weston at an earlier
period were from other towns. Dr. Jennison's charge for pulling
a tooth was sixpence, or ninepence for two teeth! Peter, the
doctor's brother, was tailor in Weston in 1750.
In 1754 Dr. Josiah Converse receipts for attendance and medi-
cines for the Jones family £12 13^. He was probably not of
Weston. Perhaps it would be safe to say that Dr. John Binney
was the first physician who settled in Weston (about 1750). His
widow married Daniel Adams, of Lincoln, in 1765.
Dr. Josiah Starr, born at Dedham in 1740, settled in Weston
in 1762, and in that year married Abigail Upham, daughter of
William Upham. He owned the Brookside Farm, now in the
possession of heirs of Mr. Frederick T Bush. His son Ebenezer,
born in 1768, was a physician in Newton. Dr. Starr was prac-
tising medicine in Weston in 1781. The date of his death is not
Ephraim Woolson, born in 1740, was graduated from Harvard
in 1760; practised medicine in Weston, and died in 1802.
Dr. William Ward, of Athol, born December 8, 1750, settled in
Weston about 1780, and in 1785 married Lucy Jones, daughter
of Isaac Jones. He was physician of the town until 1791. He
died m 1793.
Dr. John Clark was born in Halifax, N.S., May 14, 1778.
His father was living at Halifax, having charge of the Ameri-
can prisoners. He married Jennett, daughter of Mrs. Ruth
Mackey, of Weston, and would seem to have been in practice as
a physician in Weston between 1802 and 1805, the latter being the
year of his death at the age of twenty-seven.
Dr. Isaac Hurd, of Concord, practised largely in the north part
of Weston. Dr. Bancroft studied medicine with him. He re-
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 183
ceipts to Deacon Isaac Hobbs for a Continental (Congress) cer-
tificate for $574 bequeathed him by Mrs. Abigail Jones, daughter
of Isaac Hobbs.
Joseph Taft was probably of Lincoln, but practised in Weston.
He makes out a bill to Isaac Hobbs, from "the beginning of the
world to date," March, 1795, twelve shillings.
Dr. Amos Bancroft was widely known throughout Middlesex
County. He was born in Pepperell in 1767, and was graduated
at Harvard College in 1791. He studied medicine with Dr.
Hurd of Concord, came to Weston about 1795, and remained
until 1811, when he removed to Groton. He filled several offices
of the town, and took a leading part in town affairs. He married
Sally Bass, of Boston, in 1796. She died in Weston in 1799.
Dr. Bancroft had an extensive practice, and at various times a
considerable number of students under his charge. Among these
was Dr. George C. Shattuck, who in 1811 married Eliza Cheever
Davis, of Weston. During the winter, when the roads were
blocked up with snow, he travelled on snow-shoes, and often he
would be absent from home several days at a time. On one
occasion he stopped at night at a tavern in order to see a patient.
Passing through the bar-room, he noticed two evil-looking men,
who eyed him in a suspicious manner. When he came out, the
men had gone. The road from the tavern was lonely, and the
place was three miles from the village. As the doctor had con-
siderable money with him, he felt anxious, and not without cause,
for, when he reached a secluded spot, these very men stepped out
and tried to stop his horse. One of them snatched at the bridle,
but missed it. The doctor, whipping the animal, left the men
behind, but not before a bullet passed through the back of his
sulky. While in Weston, Dr. Bancroft owned and occupied the
Parson Woodward house, now Mrs. Dickson's. In 1848 he was
one day crossing State Street in Boston, when he was knocked
down and injured so severely that he died a few hours later. He
was attended in his last moments by his old student. Dr. George
C. Shattuck. He was seventy-seven years old at the time of his
Dr. Bancroft's son, Thomas Bigelow Bancroft, was graduated
at Harvard m 1831, and studied medicine with Dr. Shattuck.
184 fflSTORY OF WESTON
Dr. Benjamin James followed Dr. Bancroft as the physician of
Weston in 1812, and remained its very popular and highly
esteemed practitioner for over thirty-six years, until 1847 or 1848,
when he removed to New Jersey, where he died. Dr. James
filled different offices in the town, and was for many years town
clerk, succeeding Isaac Fiske, Esq., in that office. He occupied
for many years the house which stood adjoining the old Lamson
store, where now stands the Cutting grocery. In 1814 Dr. James
published a book on Dentistry, which was highly considered in its
Dr. Otis E. Hunt was born in Sudbury in 1822, and settled in
Weston in 1848, where he remained until 1864, when he removed
to Waltham, and now resides in Newtonville as a consulting
physician. Dr. Hunt built the house now owned by Mrs. Sears.
Edgar Parker, of Framingham, followed Dr. Hunt in 1865.
He was graduated at Harvard Medical College in 1863, and was
assistant surgeon in the Thirteenth Regiment at the time of the
war, and severely wounded in the battle of Gettysburg. He
remained in Weston until 1867, when he relinquished his profes-
sion and became a portrait painter, and is now among the ablest
of our artists. While in Weston, he was very popular both as a
physician and for his social qualities, and his leaving was much
regretted by the people. From 1867 to 1878 Dr. Parker was
followed by three or four young men, whose stay was too short
to leave much, if any, noticeable record. Dr. Parker died at
Bridgewater in 1892.
In 1878 Dr. Mayberry followed Dr. Smithwick. Little is known
of his antecedents. He remained in Weston until 1885, when he
removed to Weymouth.
Dr. Frederick W. Jackson, born in Jefferson, Me., in 1858,
studied medicine with Dr. Wliittemore, of Gardiner, Me. He
was graduated at the Long Island Medical School, and came to
Weston in 1885. He built the house south of the church, and
still continues to be the resident physician of the town.
No mention is made among the records of Dr. Wheaton, of
Weston. The only mention made of him is in the Journal of
Howe, who was General Gage's spy in Weston previous to the
battle of Concord. Howe was secreted in Dr. Wheaton 's house
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 185
when the Liberty Men of the town gathered at Isaac Jones's
tavern, the Golden Ball, carrying tar and feathers with which
to decorate the spy, if caught in the house. Mr, Jones had,
previous to their visit, sent him to the doctor's house, he being
a Tory friend. Dr. Wheaton's house was that now owned by
Mr. Ripley, then known as the Goldthwaite house, and later
occupied by the inventor, Ira Draper.
It has been found impossible at this late date to give what
would otherwise be a highly interesting history of the old-time
taverns that existed in such great numbers throughout Massa-
chusetts previous to, and for many years after, the Revolution.
It is often asked how it was possible for so many taverns to have
been profitable in so close proximity to each other, as was the
case in every village along main routes throughout New England.
The main road through Weston was the most important thorough-
fare in early days, connecting Boston with Connecticut, New
York, Pennsylvania, and Washington. As late as 1835 the mail-
coaches passed through Weston for Boston (about midnight).
The mail agent, who accompanied each coach, was required by
law to blow a horn as he passed through the towns, that heavy
teams and other obstructions might be moved out of the way of
the United States mails. The horn also gave notice to those
desiring to take passage that they should be on the spot and not
delay the mails. President Quincy gives an interesting picture
of stage-coach travel at the close of the last century. He travelled
frequently over our road on his way to New York, when he was
engaged to a New York lady. Boston then had 20,000 inhabi-
tants, and New York had only 30,000. Two coaches and twelve
horses sufficed for the travel between the two commercial centres
of our continent. The journey between the two cities was under-
taken by few, and took as long to accomplish as it now takes a
steamer to go to Europe. Mr. Quincy writes: —
The carriages were old, and the shackling and much of the harness made
of rope. One pair of horses took the coach eighteen miles. Stopping-
places for the night were reached at ten o'clock, and passengers were
aroused between two and three in the morning, by the light of a farthing
candle. Sometimes they were obliged to get out of the coach to help
get it out of a quagmire or rut. They arrived at New York after a week's
THE TAVERNS 187
hard travelling, but wondering at the ease as well as the expedition with
which the journey was effected.
"Oh! the days are gone when the merry horn
Awakened the echoes of smiling morn,
As, breaking the slumbers of village street,
The foaming leader's galloping feet
Told of the rattling swift approach
Of the well-appointed old stage-coach."
The country postmaster's duties in those days (particularly
in winter) were of a more disagreeable nature than now, to say
nothing of the small compensation then received from the govern-
ment. There w^ere then few newspapers, and what there were
the postmasters w^ere not required to mail. Their transmission
over mail routes w^as done by the drivers of the coaches, w^ho
threw the papers out as they passed along their routes. The
new^spapers of that day w^ere taken by clubs of three or four
persons, and were passed from one to another, as is still the
practice in some parts of England. This is probably one reason
why so few old newspapers have been preserved. They were
printed on very poor paper, usually manufactured at the printing-
offices, and were consequently little calculated to stand the wear
and tear of time and handling.
As stage routes increased and opposition lines were established,
each had its tavern headquarters for the exchange of horses and
for the entertainment of travellers. This business, together
with the enormous amount of teaming from Vermont and New
Hampshire, as well as from back towms of our State, and the large
droves of cattle and hogs which passed over our road on their way
to the towns of Brighton and Charlestown, w^as a great source
of profit to the numerous taverns. The access to Boston for
some years after the Revolution was not so easily accomplished
as now. It was long and circuitous. All teaming and travel to
that city from the interior was through Cambridge, over Winter
Hill in Somerville to Charlestown on one side, and through
Brighton and Roxbury on the other. In 1780 there was no bridge
over Charles River. All communication was by ferriage. Isaac
Jones, of Weston, provided timber for the Charles River bridge
to the amount of £159 18^. Qd.
188 HISTORY OF T^T:ST0N
The oldest record of a tavern in Weston is that of Thomas
Woolson, who settled in the town in 1660. In 1672 he purchased
250 acres of land of Richard Xorcross, and in 1697 he bought
the farm of John and Richard Coolidge. He was sentenced in
1685 to a fine of 20 shillings and costs and one hour in the stocks
for selling drink without a license. He kept a tavern from 1685
to 1708, and died in 1713. He was a Selectman in 1699, 1700,
1702, and 1703. Thomas Woolson, his son, succeeded his father
in the tavern. He was born in 1677. Thomas's daughter, Mary,
married in 1724 Major Fullam, she being his second wife. In
1737 Isaac Woolson, who succeeded his father, Thomas, in the
tavern, petitions the Court of General Sessions, prajdng that
his license may be continued to him, as he has moved his house
some distance from the original site. The Woolson stand was
that now in possession of the heirs of Isaac Fiske.
The next tavern of which we have any record is that of Lieu-
tenant John Brewer, who was born in 1669 in Sudbury, but moved
to Weston in 1690. In 1693 he married Mary Jones. He died
in 1709, leaving a farm and 216 acres of other lands, also a saw-
mill and grist-mill. His nephew. Colonel Jonathan Brewer, Jr.,
commanded a regiment at Bunker Hill, and was afterwards a
tavern-keeper in Waltham. In 1716 John Brewer's widow was
licensed to keep a public house in Weston. Josiali Smith, son
of William Smith, born in 1722, married Hepzibah Stearns, of
Lexington, in 1744. It is presumed he kept the tavern, now the
residence of Mrs. John Jones. His son Joel succeeded to the busi-
ness at his father's death. He was a leading Liberty Man during
the Revolution, and his tavern is spoken of in Howe's Journal
just previous to the battle of Concord. This tavern was one
of the most noted between Boston and Worcester. It has passed
through many hands since the death of Joel Smith Washington
Peirce succeeded Joel in the tavern in 1817 on his marriage with
a daughter of Joel, and continued to be its landlord for ten years.
He was succeded by J. T. Macomber, Colonel Woods, and others,
until the property was purchased by Colonel John Jones. The
tavern of the Golden Ball, kept by Isaac Jones (born in 1728),
is also mentioned in Howe's Journal. Mr. Jones was a noted
Tory, and was reported to have kept General Gage informed of
THE TAVERNS 189
the arms and ammunition held by the Liberty Men throughout
this section. Squire Barnes, of Marlboro, also mentioned in
Howe's Journal, married a daughter of Mr. Jones, and was also
a pronounced Tory. So dangerous and obstinate an opponent to
the cause of liberty was Mr. Jones considered that he brought
down on himself the following denunciation in the Worcester
Convention in 1775: —
Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended to all the inhabitants of
this coimty, not to have any commercial transactions with Isaac Jones,
but to shmi his house and person and to treat him with the contempt
Mr. Jones died in 1813. The British officers were frequent
guests at this tavern, driving out from Boston for suppers and
sleighing parties. It was said that General Gage was also of
these parties. Rebecca Baldwin, in her highly interesting diary,
extending from 1756 to 1787, makes mention in 1773 of a dinner-
party at Mr. Savage's at which her husband was invited to meet
General Gage and his officers.
Captain Samuel Baldwin, who married for his second wife Re-
becca Cotton, daughter of Rev. John Cotton of Newton, in
1762, succeeded Isaac Woolson in the tavern on the Isaac Fiske
property. Captain Baldwin figures largely in town affairs through-
out the Revolution. At the time of the Shays Rebellion in 1787
the troops from Boston, on their way to Springfield, bivouacked
one night along our road, and the officers lodged at the Baldwin
tavern. Here Dr. Gowen, of Weston, joined the forces as surgeon,
and acted as such until the termination of the trouble. In 1806
Jonas Green kept this tavern, but in 1811 it became the
property of Isaac Fiske.
The John Flagg tavern figures in history as the place where
General Washington and suite passed the night in 1789, when
on their way to Boston. A full account of this will be found in
Chapter VII. of this volume. At what date Mr. Flagg began
keeping this tavern has not been discovered. The first license on
record is that of 1791; but he was the landlord before the Revo-
lution, and continued to be such until 1812, when he sold the
property to Thomas Stratton, taking up his residence on the prop-
190 HISTORY OF ^ATSTON
erty now owned by Horatio Hews. Mr. Stratton kept the tavern
until 1823, when he sold the estate to Alpheus Bigelow, who leased
it to Lyman H. Hunter, J. T. Macomber, Dana Bruce, and William
Drake, who succeeded each other in rapid succession down to
1830, about which time Mr. Bigelow sold to Mr. James Jones.
Mr. Jones kept the tavern until his death, and was succeeded by
his son James Jones, at whose death it ceased to be a tavern, and
is now the property of Mr. Charles Emerson.
Benjamin Peirce, father and son, kept a tavern down to 1785
in what is now the house of Mr. Beals. The estate in that year
was sold by Colonel Samuel Lamson, executor of Mr. Peirce, to
Rev. Dr. Kendal for £490 Sd.
Previous to the Benjamin Peirce tavern on the site of what is
now the Beals house, Mr. Peirce either built or owned a tavern
situated on a bridle road running through the present Perry farm,
which road connected Weston with Lexington and Reading.
The cellar of this old house may still be seen.
There were few houses of any importance in all these 3'ears that
had not first or last served as taverns. It was the most profit-
able business of all country towns along the main arteries of
travel. It was not unusual for fifty to one hundred teams to
be put up over night at a single tavern. The Lamson house
was also a tavern for a while, even down to the death of Colonel
Lamson in 1795. Benjamin Peirce, who married Mary Lamson,
died there in 1819.
Joseph Russell, son of Thomas Russell, who was born in 1745,
and in 1773 married Susannah Upham, kept a tavern for thirty-
one years, from 1791 to 1822. How^ many years before 1791 he
may have done so there is no record to show.
The Daggett tavern, so called, was built in 1821 by Charles
Wesson. Daggett kept this tavern for twelve years, until 1833,
when Davis succeeded him, but it was unoccupied when destroyed
by fire in 1844. This tavern was on the Concord road, on the
corner of the road to Lincoln. There was also an inn on the
Charles Warren at one time kept the famous Punch Bowl
hostelry in Brookline, but sold out and returned to Weston in
1821, and assisted Wesson in building the Daggett tavern The
THE MARSHALL UPHAM HOUSE, ASH STREET.
Supposed to have been built about the year 1700, perhaps even earlier. It was torn down
a few years ago by the Metropohtan Water Works, when their new water system was estab-
THE FREDERICK T. BUSH HOUSE, SOUTH AVENUE.
Probably about two hundred years old, and originally known as the old Starr Farm.
Formerly owned by Dr. Bowditeh, by whom it was sold in 18.'J6 to Frederick T. Bush, who
extensively remodelled the house in ISoS. It is still owned and occupied by the descendants
of Mr. Bush. The photograph is of the old house.
THE TAVERNS 191
property on both sides of the road is still owned by George W.
and Cornelius Warren, of Waltham.
Isaac Train kept a tavern on the south side of the town, the
estate now of Irving, near the Needham line. Train was landlord
for eight years, — from 1802 to 1810.
Daniel Upham, Luther Robbins, Samuel Clark, Joseph Darrah,
and T. A. Stone were also licensed innliolders in Weston, but
their several locations are not stated.
It is deeply to be regretted that much of the jovial and social
life within these taverns has not been handed down to us. Gam-
bling, or, perhaps more correctly speaking, card-playing, was
before the Revolution, and for many years after, a common
practice, not by any means confined to any one class of people,
but prevailed generally among rich and poor, old and young
alike. None would have thought it wrong to stake money or
valuables upon the result of games of chance of any sort. In
fact, no games were played without a stake, however small.
Lotteries both among individuals and towns. States and col-
leges, prevailed everywhere. In 1784 Weston petitioned the
General Court for authorization to institute a lottery to raise
£1,000 for the purpose of widening the great bridge at Water-
town, and a committee was appointed by the town to dispose of
the tickets. Isaac Jones would seem to have been the selling
agent of these tickets. In 1790 the monthly State lottery was
drawn in the chamber of the House of Representatives in Boston.
In 1791 Thomas Hancock advertises State lottery tickets for
sale, in halves, quarters, and eighths, for a prize of $10,000. Har-
vard College raised funds by lottery, and in New York State
lotteries were instituted for every conceivable purpose, until
finally they became so corrupt that the legislature prohibited
them by statute. Private lotteries in churches and fairs have,
however, continued down to our own day. About the year 1830
commenced the temperance and anti-card-playing crusade, result-
ing in 1838 in the first stringent laws against liquor selling, and
especially against retailers. This movement led up to the famous
"fifteen-gallon law," the result of which was that, from being
obliged to have a large quantity of spirits on hand at one time, old
topers were perpetually drunk.
192 HISTORY OF WESTON
With regard to card-playing and games of chance of whatever
sort, the habit had become so general and firmly established that
all manner of devices were resorted to for the purpose of con-
cealment in taverns and public houses. Until within a few years
there existed in the attic of Joel Smith's tavern a concealed
room, not easily discovered by the uninitiated, in which was a
table covered with a green baize cloth, where card-playing was
continued as long as the house was a tavern. If report is true,
the degenerate sons of early Bible-loving Christians were in the
habit of resorting to this unhallowed spot even on the Lord's
Day, and, while within reach of the preacher's voice across the
way, would deal around the damning cards, now and again seek-
ing to drown their quickening consciences in free potations of
rum and sugar. While the names of some of these Sabbath-
breakers are familiar to our people, suffice it to say, as a consola-
tion to those who have forsaken the Calvinism of Dr. W^atts or
the strict letter of the Westminster Catechism, that many of those
so unmindful of the ordinances of religion and propriety were, in
after-life, overtaken with great worldly prosperity.
Although the taverns were gradually declining in their business,
they continued to exist until about 1830, when the steamboats and
railroads rendered stage routes unnecessary and competition un-
profitable. Add to these obstacles the increasing restrictions on
the sale of spirits, which finally broke down this once interesting
and wide-spread business. So great has been the change in this
respect in Weston that for more than thirty years there has not
been an abiding-place for man or beast in the town outside of
private hospitality. There are probably few other towns in the
Commonwealth of which this can be said.
Rev. Samuel Kendal's Letter of Acceptance.
(See Chapter I.)
Mr. Samuel Kendal's answer delivered in town meeting: —
My Christian Friends, — You having given me a call to settle with you
in the gospel ministry may justly expect that I should consider it in a
religious view, and give such an answer as may appear to me to be con-
sistent with my duty. My answer is important to both you and myself,
and to heaven have I looked for direction and earnestly desired to know
wherein my duty consisted, with a disposition to conduct accordingly;
I have likewise used the ordinary means for obtaming direction by con-
sulting many friends, whose advice ought, as in such cases, to be taken and
well considered. The first thing to be attended in the call is the minority
of the people, this not so great as I could wish. Several whose friendship
would afford me peculiar satisfaction, are opposed to my settlement,
but, having conversed with the majority of them, I find that their objec-
tions are mostly founded upon misinformation and wrong apprehensions
with respect to those things to which they object, and considering 'tis
not probable the town will be better united in the choice of another, I
can by no means suppose it to be my duty to give a negative answer,
because some worthy men have not given their votes in favor of me, but
I am sorry to say, that the measures taken by some amongst the nays, do,
in some degree, lay me under a necessity to accept your call, and were
there nothing further to be considered my answer would be affirmative,
but it is no less a minister's duty to exercise prudence about those things
that tend to his comfort and support, while he is engaged in his ministry,
than it is for any denomination of men to provide for the comfort of them-
selves and families: and as the salary proposed is thought by all my
advisers and by myself, insufficient for the support of a minister, and as
the wood offered will not, in my opinion, and the opinion of those who
judge from experience be sufficient to maintain the fires that are neces-
sary in a family, I must decline accepting your invitation upon the
terms offered. Your offers too being less than for years past you found
necessary to the support of your late worthy pastor you can hardly
suppose that I should be willing to accept the call under the present cir-
cumstances. I do not wish to burden the people more than to enable me
to do my duty among them, nor would I dispute the generosity of this
people more than that of any others, but those that better know than I
196 HISTORY OF WESTON
do what is necessary to support a family do say that what you offer is
not sufficient, and therefore you will receive this as a Negative answer,
unless such alterations with respect to my support be made as may
render it expedient for me to accept your invitation. This answer would
have been given some months ago had it not been for the encouragement
given me that the offer would be made better at the renewal of my call,
so that you will not blame me for keeping you so long in suspense.
I am with love and respect your sincere friend and well wisher,
The town, having considered Mr. Kendal's answer, voted to
grant the sum of £10 in addition to the £80 heretofore granted,
and also five cords of woods in addition to the fifteen cords of
firewood, which makes in the whole £90 of money and twenty-
cords of firewood, upon which Mr. Kendal accepts the call.
Rev. Joseph Field's Letter of Acceptance.
(See Chapters I. and IX.)
Boston, January 7th, 1815.
My Christian Friends, — The result of your last meeting, and the vote
by which you express your desire of my becoming your pastor has been
officially announced to me. When I consider the office I am thus invited
to accept, the duties which you are calling on me to perform, the char-
acter which I am to assume, the relations in which I am to stand towards
you, my mind is ffiled with anxiety and solicitude. I feel that it is no
light matter to take upon me the load of a Christian minister. I feel
that I am now called upon to decide a question the most importa"nt, the
most interesting in its effects both to you and myself, whose decision
involves subjects of the highest concern; consequences that extend
beyond the grave. In forming a connection so lasting, so solemn, so in-
timate as that between a minister and people, perhaps more time than
you have given might have been desired for reflection and consideration ;
but the peace and harmony with which you have acted and the unanimity
which you have shown has prevented those difficulties which might
otherwise have arisen on my mind, and by opening to me the prospect of
being useful and successful in my calling has made the path of duty
more plain and easy before me. In forming my determination, however,
I trust that I have not acted with rashness, nor been influenced by any
but the purest motives, and it is not without having first seriously con-
sidered the duties of the station and deeply and prayerfully reflected upon
the importance of the subject, that I now, with the approbation of those
whose opinions are ever to be valued by me, and impelled by the feelings
of my own heart, solemnly accept in the presence of that being whose
servant I am, and whose cause I am to defend, the invitation you have
given me to exercise over you the pastoral charge. In doing this I am
sensible of my inability to fulfill so perfectly as I would wish, the many
obligations which arise out of the ministerial office, an office which I
enter upon with more diffidence, when I reflect upon the ability and faith-
fulness with which he discharged its duties whose labors I am to continue.
I tremble, indeed, at the great and awful responsibility of the station.
But I put my trust in God, and look up to him for strength, for knowledge,
for help. And I earnestly hope and trust your prayers, my brethren,
may mingle with mine, in imploring our common father and friend,
that he will make me sufficient for these things, that the connection in
which we are about to engage may be mutually useful, and that having
been faithful to each other on earth, we maj^ hereafter meet in another
198 HISTORY OF WESTON
and a better world, and enjoy forever the riches of divine love. With
esteem and respect I subscribe myself yours, ^ _, ,
Joseph i ield, Jr.
At the period of the call and installation of Rev. Mr. Field
to the church in Weston in 1815 the long and heated controversy
between Orthodoxy and Liberal Christianity may be considered
to a certain extent as having culminated in this town; and, upon
Mr. Field's occupancy of the Weston pulpit, its Congregational-
ism ceased and Unitarianism became the prevailing creed, if so it
can be called, of that church. It had become a rule at the latter
part of the last century, when ministerial rates formed a part
of the town taxes, and when the Baptist and Methodist churches
were organized, to evade the taxes so levied for the maintenance
of the ministry by declaring or "signing off" to other churches,
and, by showing to the Selectmen of the town that they paid the
tax for the maintenance of other churches, they were released
from the town tax imposed for that purpose. By this means were
removed in great part the doctrinal antagonisms which might
otherwise have prevailed. That there should be still a sharp dis-
play of criticism from many quarters over the new departure
in church doctrine was to be expected. One of these criticisms
was the charge made against the Unitarians of practising an
adroit concealment of the changes of opinions they had under-
gone in passing from Orthodoxy to Free Religion, the assigned
motive for such concealment as stated being "to deceive an un-
suspecting and confiding people" by "secretly undermining the
prevailing faith" and "by working under covert towards a result
which became too powerful for the people to resist." "Guilty
silence had been practiced"; "insinuating methods had been
used," etc. Dr. Morse, of Charlestown, published in 1815 a work
in which all these explosive charges were made, and then war
was indeed opened on the tented field of controversy. So far
as Weston was concerned in all this war of creeds, the only re-
maining published record which interested the Weston church
were the verses written by Henry Pason Kendal, son of Rev.
Dr. Kendal, of Weston, in the Concord Gazette of 1830, and
addressed to those who say "religion is not preached at the Uni-
tarian church in Weston, and is not possessed by its members": —
REV. JOSEPH FIELD'S LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE 199
Come! ye who deem yourselves so pure —
To Truth and Justice bow !
You've shown your zeal too long I'm sure —
Come! show your knowledge now !
Ye boldly say, it profits naught
To seek our House of Prayer;
Ye say, there's naught but morals taught —
There's no Religion there!
And say you this without a blush?
And of your neighbors too?
Henceforth let all our tongues be hush —
Religion dwells with you!
Then teach us your religious faith!
In charity impart;
tell us what the Bible saith —
We'll learn it all by heart !
To say "Atonement should be taught.
But that's kept out of view;"
Not so ! Christ's blood Atonement wrought.
Our Preacher says so too !
" He preaches Morals ! nothing more.
Which are of small account;"
But are they not what Christ before.
Once taught upon the Mount!
Go ! bring that sermon to your view !
Then say, are Morals naught?
1 fear ye never read it through —
Or, maybe, have forgot !
"Judge not!" I think you can't deny.
Is in that sermon shown;
And never search your neighbor's eye,
Till you have cleans'd your own!
Some say, that plunging saves from harm —
Send sprinkled souls to hell !
We don't believe the quantum charm
Since tantum does as well!
Now comes a solemn charge! ye say.
There's no Religion there!
What is Religion? tell us, pray —
If James did not declare?
Religion pure and undefil'd
The Apostle says is this !
To visit every orphan child
And Widow in distress —
200 HISTORY OF WESTON
To show the world's deceitful ways,
And live unspotted here !
Exactly what our Preacher says,
In words distinct and clear!
And therefore, he must stand or fall.
With James th' Apostle sure !
If ye believe the Saint at all.
Our Preacher is secure!
He preaches pure Religion then !
And this ye can't deny;
Or else, his preaching's all in vain.
And James has told a lie!
There's one more charge I yet perceive-
Ye think a weighty one!
The Triune God we don't believe
Nor Christ — Eternal Son!
But surely we a Saviour need.
To wash our sins away !
A Mediator, who will plead
For such as go astray !
Our Heavenly Father answers well
As God of all supreme!
And Christ we cannot spare at all.
To make a God of him!
That Christ was sent to mediate.
Himself declares is true!
Is Christ your God ! then plainly state
Who mediates for you!
And here I'll let the subject rest.
You feel fatigued I know!
You cannot answer now the test —
But will to-morrow though !
I wish I could believe that all
Your words were kindly meant;
The road was bad, and we might fall!
You spoke with good intent!
But much I fear 'tis no such thing!
I think I plainly see.
That these ill-natured charges spring
From want of Charity!
And when you find yourselves inclin'd
To censor us at all;
Just call the Saviour's words to mind
And let the weapon fall!
Weston, January 18, 1830.
Seating the Meeting-house, March 2, 1772.
First Seat Below.
Dea. Abijah Upham
Isaac Jones ....
Jonathan Stratton .
Jonas Harrington .
John Jones . .
John Allen . .
Isaac Hager .
Elisha Warren . .
Samuel Train . . .
Samuel Lamson . .
Jonas Harrington .
Saml. Philipps Savage
William Whiting .
James Merick . .
Samuel Severns . .
James Smith . . .
First Seat Front Gallery.
John Merick . .
Samuel Child . .
John Lamson . .
Joseph Whitney .
Isaac Hobbs . .
Third Seat Below.
Daniel Livermore .
Jediah White . . .
Benjamin Jones . .
Josiah Bigelow . .
W^illiam Lawrance .
Thomas Rand . .
Joseph Peirce . . .
Fourth Seat Below,
James Livermore .... 93
Thomas Russell 89
Joseph Lovewell . .
Thaddeus Spring . .
Lydia Goddard . . .
John Bemis . . . .
David Stearns . . .
Moses Harrington . .
Samuel Severns, Jr. .
First Seat Side Gallery.
Benjamin Bond .
Samuel Fiske . .
Jonas Peirce . .
Joshua Peirce . .
James Stimpson .
Oliver Hastings .
John Brown . .
Josiah Severns .
Jonathan Stratton, Jr
Joel Smith . . .
John Flagg, Jr. .
The Fifth Seat
John Walker, Jr. .
Timothy Bemis, Jr.
Uriah Gregory . .
Asa Smith ....
Benjamin Pollard .
Nathaniel Bemis .
Matthew Hobbs . .
Abraham Hews . .
Sixth Seat Below.
William Bond 36
Oliver Barber 35
Hezekiah Wyman .... 31
Josiah Gary 29
The second and third seat in the front
left for the singers.
Town Clerks from 1721-1913.
1721, Benjamin Brown, Ebe-
1722, Josiah Smith.
1730-31, Nathaniel Goddard.
1732-34, Josiah Livermore.
1734, James Mirick.
1735, Ebenezer Allen.
1738, Ebenezer Allen.
1754, Elisha Jones.
1755-58, Nathan Fiske.
1758-68, Braddyll Smith.
1768-69, Josiah Smith.
1770-74, Samuel Baldwin.
1775, Samuel Samson.
1776-77, Joel Smith.
1778, Samuel Lamson.
1779-80, Joel Smith.
1781-86, Isaac Hobbs.
1787, Samuel Lamson.
1788, Isaac Hobbs.
1789, Joseph Russell.
1790-93, Isaac Hobbs.
1794, Ebenezer Hobbs.
1795-98, Isaac Hobbs.
1799, Joseph Russell.
1800-03, Isaac Hobbs.
1804-08, Isaac Fiske.
1808-09, Isaac Hobbs, Jr.
1810-12, Isaac Fiske.
1813-15, Nathan Hager.
1817-18, Ebenezer Hobbs.
1819-21, Isaac Fiske.
1822-23, Daniel S. Lamson.
1824-27, Isaac Fiske.
1828-46, Benjamin James.
1847-63, Nathan Hagar.
IBenjamm b . Morrison.
1864-, George W. Cutting, Jr.
Town Treasurers from 1754-1913.
1754, Elisha Jones.
1755, Nathan Fiske.
1756-57, Elisha Jones.
1758-68, Braddyll Smith.
1769-70, Jonas Harrington.
1771-73, Braddyll Smith.
1774-78, Samuel Lamson.
1779-82, Samuel Fiske.
1783, Isaac Hobbs.
1784-87, Samuel Lamson.
1788-90, Joseph Russell.
1791, Isaac Hobbs.
1792, Artemas Ward.
1793-97, Ebenezer Hobbs.
1798-99, Joseph Russell.
1800, Artemas Ward.
1801-06, Isaac Lamson.
1807-09, Isaac Hobbs, Jr.
1810-11, Isaac Train.
1812-15, Nathan Hager.
1816-18, Ebenezer Hobbs.
1819, Daniel S. Lamson.
1820, Nathan Fiske.
1821-23, Daniel S. Lamson.
1824-34, Isaac Hobbs.
1835, Charles Merriam.
1836-46, Benjamin James.
1847-58, Marshall Jones.
1859, Charles Dunn.
1860-89, Horace Hews.
1890-, Henry J. White.
Representatives from the town of Weston from the date of
incorporation, 1712, to 1890: —
Francis Fullam, 1713 to 1720, 1722, 1724, 1729, 1730, 1731,
1736, 1737. He represented the town for fourteen years.
Josiah Jones, Jr., 1716, 1721, 1725, 1726.
Joseph Allen, 1727, 1728.
Ebenezer Allen, 1732, 1733, 1734, 1735.
Joseph Livermore, 1738, 1739, 1740, 1742, 1743, and 1749.
Josiah Brewer, 1741, 1744, 1745, 1746, 1747.
Abijah Upham, 1750, 1751.
Elisha Jones, 1752, 1753, 1754, 1756, 1757, 1758, 1760, 1761,
1762, 1763, 1773.
Braddyll Smith, 1774, 1775, 1776.
Abraham Bigelow, 1755, 1759, 1764, 1765, 1766, 1767, 1769,
1770, 1771, 1772.
Isaac Hobbs, 1777.
Joseph Roberts, 1778, 1780.
Josiah Smith, 1779, 1781.
Samuel Fiske, 1782, 1783, 1786.
Isaac Jones, 1784, 1785, 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790.
Amos Bigelow, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794.
Town refused to vote for representative in 1795.
Artemas Ward, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1800.
John Slack, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806.
Ebenezer Hobbs, 1807, 1809, 1810, 1811.
Isaac Fiske, 1808, 1812, 1813, 1814.
No representative sent in 1815, 1816.
George W. Smith, 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820, 1821, 1822.
Nathan Hobbs, 1823, 1824, 1826.
No representative sent in 1825.
Alpheus Bigelow, 1827, 1828.
Jonas Cutter, 1829, 1830.
Samuel Hobbs, 1831, 1832.
Abijah Coburn, 1833, 1834.
Henry Hobbs, 1835, 1836.
Jonas Hastings, 1837, 1838.
William Spring, 1839, 18-iO.
S. F. H. Bingham, 1841, 1842.
Edwin Hobbs, 1843, 1844.
Voted not to send, 1845, 1846,
Otis Train, 1847.
No vote recorded 1848, 1849.
Isaac Coburn, 1850, 1851.
John A. Lamson, 1852, 1853.
Voted not to send 1854, 1855.
Alpheus Morse, 1856, 1863.
Charles H. Fiske, 1867, 1871.
Edward Coburn, 1875.
Alonzo S. Fiske, 1878.
Henry J. White, 1883.
George W. Cutting, 1889.
From second volume of Records, 1754: —
Elisha Jones, 1754, 1756, 1757, 1761, 1762.
Deacon Abijah Upham, 1754, 1755.
Captain Samuel Bond, 1754.
Samuel Seaverns, 1754, 1756, 1757.
Isaac Hager, 1754.
Nathan Fiske, 1755.
Abraham Bigelow, 1755, 1756, 1757, 1758, 1759, 1760, 1761, 1762,
1763, 1764, 1765, 1766, 1767, 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771.
Ebenezer Hobbs, 1755, 1757.
Lieutenant Isaac Allen, 1755, 1756, 1757.
John Hastings, 1756.
Braddyll Smith, 1758, 1759, 1760, 1761, 1762, 1763, 1764, 1765,
1766, 1767, 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771.
Henry Spring, 1758.
William Whitney, 1758, 1759, 1760, 1761, 1762.
John Warren, 1758, 1759, 1760, 1761, 1762, 1763, 1764, 1765, 1766.
John Allen, 1759.
James Stimpson, 1760.
Samuel Train, 1763, 1764, 1765, 1798, 1799.
Thomas Upham, 1763, 1764, 1765, 1766, 1774, 1775, 1776.
Josiah Smith, 1766, 1767, 1768, 1769, 1771, 1772, 1773, 1774, 1775,
1777, 1778, 1779.
John Myrick, 1767, 1768, 1769, 1770, 1772, 1774.
Jonathan Stratton, 1767, 1768, 1772.
Abraham Jones, 1769, 1770, 1780.
Jonas Harrington, 1770.
John Lamson, 1771.
Josiah Whitney, 1771. • [1793.
Isaac Jones, 1772, 1778, 1779, 1784, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789,
Joseph Whitney, 1772, 1773.
Thomas Russell, 1773.
Thomas Rand, 1773, 1774, 1775, 1776, 1777.
Benjamin Peirce, 1773, 1774, 1775, 1776.
Samuel Baldwin, 1775.
Israel Whittemore, 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780.
Jonathan Underwood, 1776, 1777.
Isaac Hobbs, 1777, 1782, 1783.
Samuel Fiske, 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783, 1784, 1785.
Joseph Roberts, 1778, 1779.
Nathan Hobbs, 1780.
Thaddeus Spring, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789,
1790, 1791, 1792, 1794, 1795.
Isaac Fiske, 1781, 1808, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1813, 1814.
Samuel Lamson, 1781, 1782, 1783, 1784, 1785.
Uriah Gregory, 1781.
Jonathan Fiske, 1782, 1783, 1784, 1785.
Samuel Livermore, 1784, 1785.
Jonas Sanderson, 1786, 1787, 1788.
Nathan Hager, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1794, 1795, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799.
Matthew Hobbs, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1791, 1792.
Joseph Russell 1789, 1790, 1791, 1799.
John Coburn, 1789, 1790, 1793.
Amos Bigelow, 1790, 1791, 1792.
Joel Smith, 1791.
Artemas Ward, 1792, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1800.
Daniel Stratton, 1792.
Elisha Stratton, 1793, 1794, 1795, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1799.
Nathan Warren, 1793, 1809, 1810, 1812, 1813, 1814.
Joseph Nichols, 1793, 1794, 1795.
Abraham Harrington, 1794, 1795, 1796, 1797, 1798.
Samuel Train, Jr., 1796, 1797.
Alpheus Bigelow, 1799, 1806, 1807.
Isaac Lamson, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803.
John Slack, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805.
Nathan Fiske, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1808, 1815,
1816, 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820.
Ebenezer Hobbs, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807,
1809, 1810, 1811.
Enoch Train, 1801, 1802, 1803.
Amos Harrington, 1804, 1805.
Abijah Fiske, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1811.
Moses Fuller, 1806, 1807.
208 HISTORY OF WESTON
Amos Bancroft, 1806, 1807, 1808.
Nathan Hobbs, Jr., 1808, 1809, 1810, 1811, 1821, 1822.
Josiah Hastings, 1808, 1809.
Reuben Carver, 1809, 1810.
Moses Fiske, 1811.
William Boyle, 1811.
Isaac Hobbs, Jr., 1812, 1813, 1814, 1815.
Thomas Bigelow, 1812, 1813, 1814.
Daniel Clark, 1812, 1813, 1814, 1815.
Nathan Hager, 1815, 1816, 1817.
Jedediah Thayer, 1815, 1816, 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820.
Jonas Coburn, 1816, 1817, 1818, 1819, 1825, 1827, 1828.
Amos Hobbs, 1816, 1817.
George W. Smith, 1818, 1819.
Washington Peirce, 1818, 1819, 1821, 1822.
Henry Hobbs, 1820, 1821, 1822, 1838, 1839, 1840, 1843.
Eliphalet Slack, 1821, 1822, 1823, 1824.
Luther Harrington, 1821, 1823, 1824.
Isaac Jones, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1825, 1826, 1837, 1843, 1844, 1845,
1846, 1847, 1848, 1849, 1850.
Isaac Brackett, 1823, 1824.
William Spring, 1823, 1824, 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841.
Benjamin James, 1825, 1826, 1827, 1828, 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832,
1833, 1834, 1835, 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839.
Abijah Coburn, 1825, 1826, 1827, 1828.
Sewell Fiske, 1825, 1826, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833, 1834.
James Coburn, 1826.
Marshall Jones, 1827, 1828, 1829.
Benjamin Peirce, 1827, 1828, 1829, 1843, 1844, 1845, 1846, 1847,
1848, 1849, 1850, 1851.
Jonas Cutter, 1829, 1830, 1831.
Ld. W. Gushing, 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833, 1834.
John Jones, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833.
Ezra Warren, 1832, 1833, 1834, 1835.
Converse Bigelow, 1834.
Charles Merriam, 1835.
Rufus Babcock, 1836.
Jesse Viles, 1837, 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841.
Samuel Hobbs, 1837.
Charles Warren, 1838, 1839.
Alpheus Bigelow, Jr., 1840, 1841, 1842.
Amos Warren, 1840.
Chester Dickinson, 1842.
Elisha Childs, 1842.
Edwin Hobbs, 1844, 1845, 1846, 1847, 1851, 1852, 1853.
Isaac Coburn, 1848, 1849, 1850, 1851, 1852, 1853.
William Hastings, 1851, 1852, 1853.
Nathan Barker, 1855, 1856, 1857.
Luther S. Upham, 1855, 1856, 1857.
Edward Coburn, 1855, 1856, 1857, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1871,
1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881.
Benjamin Peirce, Jr., 1858, 1859, 1860, 1861.
Alonzo S. Fiske, 1858, 1859, 1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865,
1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1871.
George B. Cutter, 1858, 1859.
Increase Leadbetter, Jr., 1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, 1866.
Simeon W. Brown, 1862.
Horace Hews, 1863, 1864, 1865.
Benjamin F. Cutter, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875.
Abijah Coburn, 1870.
George W. Dunn, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876.
Oliver R. Robbins, 1876, 1877.
George B. Milton, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880.
Marshall L. Upham, 1878, 1879, 1880. [l889.
Henry J. WTiite, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888,
Samuel Warren, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888.
Nathan S. Fiske, 1882, 1883, 1884.
Arthur L. Coburn, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889.
Henry J. Jennison, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892.
Francis Blake, 1890, 1891, 1892.
Nathan S. Fiske, 1891, 1892.
[To the above list by Colonel Lamson may be added these:
Selectmen 1892-99, Henry J. Jennison, Francis Blake, Nathan S.
Fiske; 1900-09, Francis Blake, Nathan S. Fiske, Alfred L. Cutting;
1910-, Alfred L. Cutting, Nathan S. Fiske, Benjamin Loring
The Separation from Watertown as a Precinct.
(From State House Records, June 14, 1698, O.S., June 24, N.S.)
The following order sent up from the Representatives, was read
and concurred with.
Upon reading the report of a Committee of this Court upon the
Petition of the Inhabitants of the West End of the Town of Water-
town, praying to be a distinct Precinct for the setting up the pub-
lick worship of God among themselves:
Resolved and Ordered, That the Petitioners be and hereby are
permitted and allowed to invite, procure, and settle a learned
and Orthodox Minister to dispense the word of God unto them
at the West End of the said Town of Watertown, viz., the farmers
and inhabitants living on the West Side of Stony Brook, and that
for that purpose they be a distinct and separate precinct, and their
Bounds to extend from Charles River to Stony Brook Bridge,
the Brook being the Bounds from said Bridge, containing all the
Farm Lands to Concord Line, and from thence all Watertown
Bounds to their utmost Southward Bounds and to Westward, and
that all the present Inhabitants on the West Side of Stony Brook
aforesaid, together with such as shall from time to time settle
among them, have liberty to convene together to advise, agree
upon and take such methods as may be suitable and convenient
for the securing, encouraging, settling and support of a minister,
qualified as aforesaid, and for the Building and furnishing of a
meeting house according as shall be determined by a Major vote,
and also to nominate and appoint a Committee of three or more
persons amongst themselves to transact and manage that afiFair;
and all the Inliabitants and Estates under their improvement,
lying on the West Side of Stony Brook, within the precincts before
mentioned, shall stand charge towards Building of the Meeting
House, the Settlement and Support of the ministry in said place,
in manner as the Law relating to the maintenance and support of
SEPARATION FROM WATERTOWN AS A PRECINCT 211
Ministers doth direct and provide, and be assessed thereto pro-
portionately by two or more assessors as shall from time to time
be elected and appointed by the Major part of the said Inhabi-
tants for that purpose who may also nominate and appoint a Col-
lector to gather and pay in the same as by warrant or order under
the hands of such assessors shall be directed and ordered.
[Signed] Wm. Stoughton.
Location and Present Ownership of Historic Buildings
AND Places mentioned in this History.
Page 4. "Sanderson's Hill."
Now owned by General Charles J. Paine, where
his residence is located on Highland Street.
Page 5. "land of Nathaniel Coolidge, Sr."
Probably in vicinity of present high-school
Page 20. "old tavern on Ball's Hill."
Now demolished, the cellar being still visible
on the northerly side of Stony Brook road from
Page 44. "Richardson's farm-house."
Located back of the residence of George D.
Pushee on Church Street and owned by him.
Page 65. "occupied by Mr. Richardson."
Residence on Church Street now owned and
occupied by George D, Pushee.
Page 112. "now the residence of Mr. Emerson."
Estate of George H. Emerson on Central Avenue,
the building having been destroyed by fire on
November 6, 1902.
Page 113. "now of Oliver Robbins."
On Wellesley Street, now owned and occupied
by William H. Hill.
Page 119. "Nicholas Boylston place."
On the north-east corner of South Avenue and
Wellesley Street, now owned by General Charles
Page 124. "John T. Macomber's tavern."
On the Town Square, now owned by the heirs
of John Jones.
HISTORIC BUILDINGS AND PLACES MENTIONED 213
Page 154, "the Minor property."
On Central Avenue, now owned and occupied
by Edward C. Green.
Page 154. "where now stands the Cutting house."
Now the Town Library lot.
Page 154. "the present dwelling-house."
Removed in 1899 to Church Street, and now
owned by Charles H. Fiske.
Page 156. "the paint-shop of M. & J. Jones."
Now demolished. It was located on Central
Avenue in front of the present blacksmith's
shop of M. E. Crouse.
Page 157. "the present school-house on Highland Street."
Remodelled into a dwelling-house, and now
owned by Mrs. Albert H. Hews.
Page 157. "the William Hastings house."
On Central Avenue, now^ owned and occupied
by Andrew B. Driver.
Page 157. "present Minor house."
On Central Avenue, now owned and occupied
by Edward C. Green.
Page 157. "owned by Mr. Bingham."
Near Crescent Street, now owned by Charles
A. Freeman, and used for a screen factory.
Page 158. "the double house."
On North Avenue, now owned and occupied by
George D. Abercrombie.
Page 159. "land now of Curtis Robinson."
Taken in building overhead crossing on Church
Street at Central Massachusetts Railroad sta-
tion in 1912.
Page 159. "Dr. Kendal's study."
Now located on estate of Charles A. Freeman
on "Old Road," Pigeon Hill.
Page 162. "The Upham shop.
Now demolished, formerly standing close to,
and west of, the house on Central Avenue now
owned and occupied by Arthur E. Upham.
214 HISTORY OF WESTON
Page 162. "the Daggett tavern."
Now demolished. It was located on the south-
west corner of North Avenue and Conant Road,
on land now owned by George E. By ram. The
cellar is still visible.
Page 162. "property of Abijah Coburn."
On South Avenue, now owned by Bancroft C.
Page 163. "owned by Mr. Harrington."
On North Avenue, near the Lincoln line, now
owned by Frank T. Harrington.
Page 163. "store of Henry Fiske."
Now demolished. It was located on North
Avenue to the north of the house now owned by
W. F. Schraflt.
Page 173. "erected in 1828."
Destroyed by fire on December 31, 1899, and re-
placed by the present edifice built in 1900.
Page 184. "owned by Mrs. Sears."
Removed in 1907 to the south side of Central
Avenue, and now owned by Horace S. Sears.
Page 184. "house south of the church."
On Central Avenue, now owned and occupied
by Harry L. Bailey.
Page 190. "now the house of Mr. Beals."
Estate on Central Avenue now owned by Mrs.
Francis B. Sears, the house having been de-
stroyed by fire on February 25, 1906.
II III II
1 17n D1517 STbb
DO NOT REMOVE
CHARGE SLIP FROM THIS POCKET
IF SLIP IS LOST PLEASE RETURN BOOK
DIRECTLY TO A CIRCULATION STAFF MEMBER
BOSTON UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
771 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, Mass. 02215