Archive:250th Anniversary of Stow, Massachusetts
Olivia S. Crowell in collaboration with Preston R. Crowell, Stow, Massachusetts, 1683-1933 : compiled in honor of the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of the town.
Thanks to Diana Minton, who transcribed this material.
JOHN WHITNEY was born in England in 1589--settled in Watertown in 1653; died in Watertown, 1673.
Richard Whitney, son of John, was born in England 1626; in 1650, he married Martha Coldham.
He became a freeman May 7, 1651. Had eight children born in Watertown. He became a "Proprietor of Stow" June 3, 1680. Moved there when it was "the plantation beyond Concord." April 7, 1697, we read, "Richard Whitney of Stow, being 70 years of age, was released from training, by the Court."
Children,--Sarah, born 1652; Moses born 1655; married Sarah Knight of Stow. Johannah, born 1656; Deborah born 1658; Rebecca born 1659, died 1660. Richard born 1660, married Elizabeth Sawtelle. Elisha born 1662, (did he go to Conn?) Ebenezer, born 1672, married Anna ---.
Moses, born 1655, married 1686,Sarah Knight of Stow; Had eight children,--Sarah, married 1734, Jonathan Wood of Stow; Moses, Abraham, Jonas, Jason, Lemuel, John, Ephraim.
He served as a soldier in King Philip's War, 1676. Had land granted him at Stow, 1681. In 1708, he purchased lands (30 acres) swamp and meadow, of Richard Burck of Sudbury, which had been granted him by the town of Stow. In 1692, he sold 4 1/2 acres of upland in Sudbury as per deed of Benjamin Whittmore.
Abraham, married Mary Stone, 1st; married 2nd, Elizabeth -----. In 1749 gave his son, Abraham, Jr., land given him by his father, Moses. Died in Stow, 1782. Had 4 children.
Abraham 2nd, married Marcy Perry of Sudbury, in 1745. Had nine children.
Jacob, married Esther Walcott; Isaac married Lucy Mead, Abraham 3rd had 4 wives; Levi died 1770.
Ruth, married Ichabod Stow, 1781; Molly married Nathan Brooks of Stow, 1784; Levi, Mary.
Jason, son of Moses 1, born in Stow 1704, died in Stow, 1785. Was one of committee of four to seat the meeting-house at Grafton, 1738; Served in the Revolutionary Army in the Company from Stow, under Capt. Whitcomb.
Lemuel, son of Moses No. 1, married Dorcas Gates; Isaac, son of Lemuel, born in Stow, 1747, married Lydia Taylor. Served in Revolutionary War in Capt. Cranston's Company, Stow. Had 3 children.
Isaac, son of Moses No. 1, married Lucy Mead of Harvard, May 1774. He was an extensive farmer in Harvard. Children,--Moses born 1782.
Moses No. 2, son of Isaac and Lucy Mead, married in 1806, Lucy Gates of Stow, daughter of Samuel and Mary Gates, of Stow. He came to live in Stow when 24 years of age. He was a farmer, but very active in town matters. Was Capt. of a company of troops or home guards for several years. For two years he was Representative and several years, Justice of the Peace. Died at Stow, October 1856. She died November 5, 1875.
Children,--Mary Gates, wife of James Fordyce Whitney; died, June 30, 1886. Lucia Mead, wife of Hon. Edwin Whitney, born, October 6, 1810.
Moses Whitney, came to live at the Gates Homestead when he married Lucy Gates. When his daughter Lucia Mead, married Edwin Whitney of New York, about 1840, he built the new house for his daughter. They made their home in this new house which is now in possession of American Unitarian Society of Boston, Mass.
THOMAS WHITNEY No. 1, son of John, born in England, 1629; married in Watertown, 1654, Mary Kettle; died in Stow, 1719. He was admitted freeman, March 18,1690. "May 10, 1642, ordered that six pieces of common called Pequusset, shall be laid out for the present necessity of John Kettle."(Watertown Record)
Thomas Whitney No. 2 (Thomas, John) born Watertown, 1656; married in 1679 Elizabeth Laurence who died 1741. Had eight children. Resided in Watertown, Stow, Lancaster, and the part of Lancaster, now Bolton. In 1719, he bought for 300 pounds, 52 acres in Lancaster. February 26, 1721, he deeded one-half of this purchase with buildings (the homestead) to his son John of "Stow and now designed to remove to Lancaster." He mentions all his children in his will,except Thomas to whom he gave 21 acres in Stow, 1711. He was a soldier in King Phillip's War and was in the garrison at Lancaster and Bolton, Daughter, Abigail, married in 1723, Jonathan Rand of Stow.
Isaiah Whitney No. 1, 10th child of Thomas (No. 1); married Sarah Woodward Eddy. Died. Had -- children.
Isaiah Whitney No. 2, born 1700; married Elizabeth Whitney. He moved to Harvard and purchased lands of Caleb Sawyer on "Bare Hill" 1722. Was a blacksmith. Joined the Harvard church in 1733; his wife in 1734. She lived to be 106 years old. Had 2 children, --Betty, Isaiah, No. 3.
Isaiah Whitney No. 3, married Persis Randell. He was born in Harvard, lived and died on his father's farm on "Bare Hill." He was in the Revolutionary Army. Had five children--Jonah, Dorcas, Isaiah, Amos, Cyrus (No. 1).
Cyrus Whitney (No. 1), son of Isaiah and Persis (Randall) Whitney, was born on the Whitney Homestead, on Bare Hill, Harvard, Massachusetts, 1771. Married, 1st, Asenath Harris; 2nd, Mary Whitney, daughter of Deacon Isaac and Lucy (Mead) Whitney. Had twelve children.
He was a good farmer and business man. Started a cotton factory in Stow, but it was not successful, and was given up. He was much interested in a gold mine in Harvard. A hole said to be 100 feet deep is shown in side hill now. He helped build Union Turnpike from Concord, through his farm, to Harvard and Lancaster, which joined the road to Fitchburg. Built a substantial, brick mansion after the 2nd marriage, over which his wife presided with dignity and grace. She had the first piano in town, also the first carriage. She left in her attic a loom for weaving homespun cloth and carpets, as well as flax wheels, wool spinning wheels and other evidences of her industry, skill and thrift. A well worn copy of the Scriptures and "Baxter's Saints Rest" witness her piety; well did her grand-children remember her cooking, cheery tones, and loving care. Cyrus was very ingenious. Besides his blacksmith shop, he had a cider-mill where native fruit was ground. His cellars had the best of bottled cider. His barns were crowded with hay. His lands were surrounded by heavy walls. In his fields, was an artificial pond well-stocked with fish and lilies.
Hon. Edwin Whitney, (first child of Cyrus (No. 1), born in Harvard, October 2, 1812; married Lucia Mead Whitney, daughter of Moses Whitney (No. 2), October 25, 1841. Had no children. He died, May 6, 1883; she died, March 11, 1894.
James Fordyce Whitney (seventh child of Cyrus Whitney and brother of Hon. Edwin Whitney) was born in Harvard, 1806; married Mary Gates Whitney, daughter of Moses Whitney (No. 2). She died in Stow, 1866. He died from pneumonia, in his 68th year in Stow, 1874. His residence was Albany, New York.
Had 7 children,--
- Charles Augustus, born 1836; died suddenly, 1892. Lucia Caroline, born 1838, died 1851.
- Cyrus Henry, born 1839, residence Quincy, Ill., later Brookline, Massachusetts. Died February 1, 19927.
- James Francis, born 1842; married Emma F. Chamberlain, residence Detroit, Mich. Connected with Michigan Central R. R.
- Mary Elizabeth, born 1844, married, 1869, Charles A. Warren, residence Detroit, Michigan, Died ---.
- Adeline, born 1846, residence Stow, Mass. Died, August 25, 1928.
- Martha Gates Whitney, born 1848, residence, Stow. Died, October 12, 1924.
In the lower village cemetery may be found the Whitney monument, on which are inscribed the names: Moses Whitney; Lucy, his wife; Charles Augustus, his grandson; Edwin, his son-in-law; Lucia Mead, wife of Edwin and daughter of Moses Whitney; Lucia C., niece; James Fordyce, son-in-law, brother of Edwin, and Mary Gates, wife and James and daughter of Moses. On a newer monument are the names: Cyrus Henry, died February, 1927; Adeline, August, 1928; Martha Gates, October, 1924.
James Francis, brother of the last three, is buried in Brookside Cemetery.
This family will be held in lasting remembrance for their generous gifts to this little town, and the "church of their choice."