Archive:Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Volume I, Part 2

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Ellery Bicknell Crane, Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity (The Lewis Publishing Company, 1907). Volume I.

From Google Books.

Part 1


[p. 264]

(V) Elijah Houghton, son of Thomas [and Maria (Moor)] Houghton (4), born in Harvard, or what is now Harvard, then Lancaster, Massachusetts, June 2, 1739; married Mercy Whitney, and settled in Harvard. Their children were: 1. Thomas, born January 11, 1767. 2. Elijah, born October 23, 1769. 3. Abraham, born January 23, 1771. 4. Moriah, born November 7, 1772. 5. Mercy, born September 27, 1774. 6. Abraham (2d), born April 26, 1777. 7. Elizabeth, born December 3, 1779. 8. Hanah, born April (?), 1781. 9. Alice, born February 22, 1784. 10. Hannah, born April 22, 1786. 11. Sally, born September 22, 1788.

(VI) Abraham Houghton, son of Elijah Houghton (5), born in Harvard, Massachusetts, April 26, 1777. He settled in Harvard, Massachusetts, and died there. He married Elizabeth Parks. They had six children Betsey, Maria, Andrew, Martha, William, Thomas, Stillman.

(VII) Stillman Houghton, son of Abraham Houghton (6), born in Harvard, Massachusetts, June 19, 1820; died April 26, 1889. He was raised on the farm in Harvard and attended school there. He learned the machinist trade and started the first loom for the Clinton Wire mill, where he was employed for a number of years. He came to Worcester to associate himself with D. H. Fanning, who in 1861 started the manufacture of hoop skirts in Worcester. The company was called the Worcester Skirt Company. Out of it grew the Worcester Corset Company, at the head of which Mr. Fanning has continued. Mr. Houghton was engaged in the manufacturing of skirts and corsets for many years. For a time he was in business for himself in the manufacture of pocketbooks. He retired some years before his death. His widow now lives in their old home, 19 Oak avenue, Worcester. He died April 26, 1889, in Worcester. He was a Republican in politics.

He married, 1845, Mercy Randall Weatherbee, daughter of Silas and Mary (Taylor) Weatherbee, born in Boxboro, Massachusetts, November 8, 1824.

[p. 265]

Her father was born in Boxboro, her mother in Harvard, Massachusetts. She was one of fourteen children. Her grandfather was Simeon Weatherbee.

Children of Stillman and Mercy Randall (Weatherbee) Houghton were: 1. Evander, born 1847, died 1853. 2. Herbert O. (see forward). 3. Lilla, born February 12, 1861, married Albert C. Marble and had: Ralph L., born, 1898.

(VIII) Herbert O. Houghton, son of Stillman Houghton (7), born in Clinton, Massachusetts, October 22, 1850. He was educated in the Worcester schools and is in the city directory business. He resides at 19 Oak avenue, Worcester. He married Carried L. Stockwell, daughter of Deacon Leander and Julia (Lealand) Stockwell, of grafton. Children are: 1. Arthur S., born February 17, 1879; attorney in Worcester. 2. Mable S., born July 18, 1881. 3. Cecil F., born September 20, 1883; is a teacher in Sharon, Connecticut. 4. Louis H. (twin), born May 14, 1887; is now on training ship Enterprise. 5. Louise M. (twin), born May 14, 1887.


[p. 293]

The children of Thomas and Elizabeth [(-----)] Mellen were: . . .; Tabitha, born January 4, 1703-4, married Mark Whitney, of Hopkinton, 1727.


[p. 334]


Mrs. Bancroft is the daughter of WIlliam H. and Mary (Howe) Mason. . . . . Mrs. Bancroft's great-grandfather was Samuel Mason, and his wife, her great-grandmother, was Hannah Whitney, daughter of William Whitney, said to be the first settler in what is now the town of West Boylston, Massachusetts. He was a descendant of John Whitney, of Watertown, the emigrant. (See Whitney Family.)


[p. 337]

(II) Alexander Cuthbertson, Jr., . . . married Addie Thompson, and their children are: . . . . Jeanette, married Andrew Keogh, of Holden, and their children are: . . . Charlotte, married Randall M. Whitney, commercial traveler . . . .

[Note: Randall Marshall Whitney was son of Joseph S. and Elizabeth A. (Smith) Whitney of Holden, MA, and perhaps grandson of Jonas L. and Rebecca W. (-----) Whitney of Holden in 1870.--RLW]


[p. 373]

(VII) Frederick William Blackmer, son of William H. [and Harriet Newell (Howe)] Blackmer (6), ws born April 10, 1858, at Hardwick, Massachusetts. He attended the common schools in towns where his parents lived, and fitted for college at Barre Academy and the Hitchcock high school at Brimfield, Massachusetts. He came to Worcester in 1880 to enter the office of Francis T. Blackmer, his brother, and take a course at the law school. He had hardly become familiar with the details of his brother's practice when his

[p. 374]

brother was taken sick, retired and died. The business needed him and his legal education was gained by hard work in actual practice. He had to give up the plan to go to the law school. In 1883 he was admitted to the bar at Fitchburg. Shortly after his brother's death he formed a partnership with Ernest H. Vaughan. In March, 1884, the new firm opened offices in the old postoffice building on Pearl street. After a year they moved to the Walker building, and on the completion of the State Mutual building they took the corner suite, No. 801-804, where they are at present. For about ten years Blackmer & Vaughan have ranked as the oldest firm of lawyers in Worcester. They have been extremely successful in their practice for over twenty years. They have made a specialty of corporation cases, especially bankruptcy proceedings, and settlements of financial embarrassments. They have organized hundreds of corporations and are regular counsel for over fifty different corporations. Their most notable achievement in court perhaps was in the famous Kettle Brook litigation. They won some one hundred and twenty suits for damages against the city of Worcester on account of the taking of water for city uses. The damages amounted to $680,000 in all.

Mr. Blackmer is a member of the Commonwealth Club and the Worcester Golf Club. He and his family attend the Central Congregational Church. He enjoys travel and has made frequent trips to the south and west. He is familiar with every city in California and with most of the cities of the north-west. He resides in a very attractive new home on Massachusetts avenue.

He married in 1883, Maggie Osgood Whitney, daughter of Lovell and Hannah (Moore) Whitney, of Boylston, Massachusetts, and a descendant of John Whitney, who came to Watertown in April, 1635. Their children are: Ralph Fred, born in 1885, graduated from Worcester Academy in the class of 1904; Albert Whitney, born in 1887, graduated from Worcester Worcester Academy in the class of 1905, and now a member of the class of 1909 in Amherst College; Waldo Harvey, born in 1890; and Bernice, born in 1893.


[p. 389]

(III) Benjamin Wellington, son of Benjamin [and Elizabeth (Sweetman) Wellington] (2), was born January 21, 1676, died at Lexington, November 15, 1738. He married Lydia Brown, and settled in Lexington, Massachusetts, where they were admitted to the church, June 10, 1705. She died May 13, 1711, and he married (second), December 25, 1712, Elizabeth Phelps. She died January 7, 1730, aged fifty-four years, and he then married Mary Whitney. He was for many years one of the most popular men of the town, having been elected as assessor, serving sixteen years; town clerk, fifteen years; treasurer, three years; and representative, three years. Of his seven children one was:

(IV) Timothy Wellington, son of Benjamin (3), was born July 27, 1719, and died previous to 1760. He married Rebecca Stone, born January 22, 1721, daughter of Jonathan and Chary (Adams) Stone, of Lexington, Massachusetts. . . . .


[p. 402]

(V) Robert Scott, son of Ebenezer Scott (4), was born probably in Bernardston, Massachusetts, or a town in that vicinity in Massachusetts or southern Vermont, in 1763-64. He died in Bakersfield, Vermont, in 1833, aged sixty-nine years. He was brought up in Vernon, Vermont. He lived for a time after his marriage in various towns in the vicinity. He settled first in Townshend. He removed to Bakersfield, an adjoining town, in 1804, and his descendants are living there at present. He was the first of the name in that town. He had a farm, but his regular occupation was carrying the freight from Bakersfield to Boston and return.

He married Hannah Hesseltine, about 1690. Her sister, Judith Hesseltine, married, 1782, Ebenezer Brigham, who was born March 3, 1761, in Sutton. Massachusetts. The mother of Hannah Hesseltine married (second) Silas Whitney. [sic: this should be Eli Whitney.--RLW]


[p. 431]

(VI) Marston Eaton, seventh child of Marston [and Charlotte (Dutton)] Eaton (5), was born in Pelham, Massachusetts, May 26, 1806. He received his early education in the district schools of his native town, but he was a self-educated man in the proper sense of the word. He was a life-long student. He began to teach school when he was about nineteen years old, working at home on his father's farm during the summer seasons. For about fifteen years he was a school teacher in Pelham, Amherst and vicinity. During this time he worked two summers for his brother DeMarcus, in Canterbury, Connecticut, in his axe factory. He then returned to his home and resumed teaching and farming for two or three years. In 1847 he came to Worcester with his family and settled near Millstone Hill. Later he bought a farm in Holden and lived there for six or seven years, during which time he had charge of the quarries at Millstone Hill. He finally exchanged his Holden property for a farm at the corner of Belmont and Elizabeth streets, as the location is now known. He built two dwelling houses there. He lived there and in other parts of the city. In 1869 he retired from active business and went to Shrewsbury where he bought another farm on which he spent the remainder of his days and where he died January 3, 1873. He was a member of the Baptist church. He was a Republican in politics. He served in the militia in his younger days and was drummer of the Pelham Company, being very expert with the drumsticks.

Marston Eaton married (first), May 23, 1829, in Millbury, Massachusetts, Betsey, daughter of Sylvanus and Alice (Sprague) Joslyn, of Douglas, Massachusetts. Sylvanus Joslyn was a farmer. He was drowned in a pond on his own farm. Marston Eaton married (second) Sarah Whitney, of Boylston, Massachusetts. He married (third) Abigail Winter, of West Boylston. He married (fourth) Angeline L. Bond, of Worcester. [No children by Sarah Whitney.]


[p. 438]

(VIII) Rufus Reed Fletcher, third child of Calvin [and Nancy (Reed)] Fletcher (7), born at Westford, July 2, 1823, died April 16, 1906. He was brought up and went to the public schools in his native town. He became a nurseryman and florist in early life, and followed that occupation during his active life, over fifty years, and at the time of his death was living at Rutland, Vermont. When a young man he owned some valuable inventions and travelled extensively in the west and south. He was an active member of the Unitarian church in Ayer, where he resided until recently. He was at various times trustee, collector and treasurer of the church. Mr. Fletcher was a gifted conversationalist. He had a fund of goad stories and good nature that attracted everybody who knew him. He made friends everywhere, and few men were more fortunate in winning the good-will and esteem of a multitude. He married first, 1848, Sarah Marble Whitney, born November 3, 1819, died September 17, 1892. He married (second) Mrs. Mary E. Hayward, of South Acton, Massachusetts. Children of Rufus Reed and Sarah Marble (Whitney) Fletcher: 1. Harriet Josephine, born August 25, 1849, resides in Worcester, unmarried. 2. Sarah Elizabeth, born October 5, 1850, married Charles B. Felch, a printer, of Ayer, Massachusetts, who died 1881; she resides in Worcester; they had one son, Percy Fletcher Felch, born March 5, 1878, died July 8, 1900. He attended the city schools of Worcester and then entered the Massachusetts Agricultural College at Amherst, and graduated in 1901, well advanced in his class. He was very popular among his classmates; he was persuaded to remain after graduation for a few days with his friends, and two days later, while bathing, was drowned. He possessed marked musical talent. His death was a severe blow not only to his widowed mother, but also to his numerous friends, who revered and esteemed him for his many noble characteristics, which shone forth clearly in his daily walk and conversation. 3. Daniel Whitney, born February 1, 1852, resides at Ayer; president Middlesex Northwest Sayings Bank of Ayer, and vice-president Ayer National Bank; is owner of Fletcher block; a dealer in men's clothing, furnishings, shoes, etc., and has his two sons in business with him. He married Emma Phelps, and has five children: Ethel A., Howard P., Frank W., Dorris, Hazel died June, 1894. 4. Edward Foster mentioned below. 5 Samuel Wyley, born May 28, 1857; was engaged in the clothing business at Nashua, but March 1, 1906, sold this and associated himself with his brother, Edward Foster, in business in Worcester. He married Susan Fletcher; two children. 1. Mary M., a teacher in the kindergarten at Nashua, New Hampshire; she has a fine contralto voice and sings in public, thus furnishing pleasure for many people; she is noted for her many acts of charity among the poor and deserving. 2. Nina G., the well known violinist, who has been heard with favor in Boston Symphony Concerts and many recitals, and gives promise of a brilliant career.

(IX) Edward Foster Fletcher, fourth child of Rufus Reed Fletcher (8), was born in Littleton, Massachusetts, June 17, 1854. When he was four years of age his parents removed with him to Ayer, and he attended the public schools of Ayer and Lawrence Academy, at Groton, Massachusetts. At the age of twenty-one he entered into the boot and shoe business in Ayer, where he continued for six years, and then formed a connection with the Oakdale Shoe Company, at Oakdale, Massachusetts. Two years later he formed a partnership with Gilbert G. Bemis, and began business in Worcester in the Cromptoii block, on Mechanic street, 1883, under the name of the Wayerly Shoe Company. The rapid growth of the business necessitated its removal in 1886 to larger quarters on Front street, where the firm continued for five years, when, having again outgrown their quarters, they removed to the large factory building in the rear of 560-62 Main street. The Waverly Shoe Company was one of the most prosperous shoe concerns making shoes in Worcester. In 1895 the firm was dissolved and Mr. Fletcher sold his interests to his partner. Mr. Bemis moved the business to Laconia, New Hampshire. Mr. Fletcher retained for ten years a special partnership in the company. In 1896 Mr. Fletcher formed the Lincoln Shoe Company, and built up an extensive business as jobber and wholesaler of shoes. George F. Leavitt and P. E. Bassett had an interest in this corporation. In 1904 Mr. Fletcher disposed of his stock in the Lincoln Shoe Company to the White Shoe and Rubber Company, of Worcester, Franklin White, president, Front street, Worcester. The companies were consolidated and at present are conducted by Mr. White under the name of White Shoe & Rubber Company and Lincoln Shoe Company, Consolidated.

Mr. Fletcher had become interested in the Hough Shade Corporation at Janesville, Wisconsin, and since disposing of his shoe business has devoted much time to this business, which is in a very prosperous condition. He is vice-president of the company, which has a capital stock of two hundred thousand dollars, employs one hundred and fifty hands,

[p. 439]

and owns large brick and stone factories covering seventy-four thousand square feet of land. More recently Mr. Fletcher purchased the patents of the Criss-Cross tube cleaner, and is now engaged in the manufacture and sale of this very useful contrivance. His office and factory are at 26 Southbridge street. The device for cleaning tubes is the best known for use in boilers, gun barrels, etc. It is a metallic spring arrangement that will adjust itself to the variations of size and shape in the tube and yet effectively cut the dirt and deposits to be removed. The factory is rushed with orders from all parts of the country. Mr. Fletcher is doing business under the name of the Reversible Tube Cleaner Company. He has secured additional valuable patents since buying the original in 1905. He has salesmen on the road in Canada and England as well as in this country. He is director and active in the management of the Thurston Wrench Company, a rapidly growing concern with a very valuable patented wrench. The factory is on Hermon street. With these business interests and the care of his real estate, Mr. Fletcher is a busy man. He is not only successful in the various lines of business he has undertaken, but his methods have been fair and honorable, and he has the respect and friendship of even his active rivals in trade. He is a Republican. His personal popularity and success in business brought to him requests to run for office, which in most cases he declined. He served the city as member of common council in 1892, however, and again in 1893. When the city had elected a Democratic mayor through dissensions in the Republican party, and the city seemed to be about to continue the administration then in power, a conference of leaders was held and Mr. Fletcher selected as the man best fitted in the city to bring harmony in the party and redeem the city for the Republicans, as well as to give a thoroughly capable business administration. He was consulted and reluctantly consented to run. At the city convention next day the nomination was made, and Mr. Fletcher's election followed. He was mayor of Worcester in 1902, and re-elected for the following year by an increased majority. He gave the city a clean, honest and business-like administration; the tax rate was, reduced; waste in various departments cut off and less money borrowed; he paved Main, Mechanic and School streets, and made many important improvements in the highways of the city. He became interested in the City Hospital and great improvements have been effected in that institution. The coal strike occurred while he was mayor, and he organized the Fuel League, contributing one thousand dollars of his own money to buy Welsh coal to be sold to the people at cost. The day the coal arrived in Boston, Worcester dealers dropped their price from fifteen dollars a ton to twelve, and the day the Fuel League began to sell at eight dollars and a quarter a ton Worcester dealers dropped their price to eight dollars and a quarter, while coal was selling elsewhere in the state as high as twelve dollars a ton. He made a strong effort to establish a consumptives' home, or hospital, and though the movement has not yet resulted in building, he organized a cornoration, of which he was the first president, for the purpose of holding the funds collected and raising more for the purpose. In a word, Mr. Fletcher gave the city a business administration of its municipal affairs. Mr. Fletcher is a member of Montacute Lodge, F. and A. M.; Quinsigamond Tribe of Red Men; the Worcester County Agricultural Society; and the Worcester Board of Trade. He is president of the board of trustees of All Souls Universalist Church. He has been a director of the Worcester County Mechanics' Association.

A statement issued December 3, 1901, by a committee of twenty-five Republicans, contained this summary of Mr. Fletchers character: "He is a successful business man, in the vigor of manhood, trained and fitted by previous service in the city government to manage its affairs. He has not sought the office, but the office has sought him. He stands as the type of honest, independent, clear-headed, vigorous and successful since Worcester needs these qualities in her mayor in the coming year." James Logan, general manager of the United States Envelope Company, was chairman of this committee.

He married (first), June 17, 1880, Mary E. Milant, of Boston, one child, Charles Edward, died August 23, 1881. Mrs. Fletcher died August 8, 1881. He married (second), February 18, 1887, Helen Bassett, born February 17, 1860, died December 22, 1893, daughter of Hon. William Bassett, of Berlin. The children of Edward F. and Helen (Bassett) Fletcher were: Raymond Bassett, born April 16, 1890, a student in the Worcester high school; and Earle Whitney, born February 11, 1892, died March 10, 1894. Mr. Fletcher married (third), July 7, 1897, Florence M. Bassett, a sister of his second wife. Mr. Fletcher resides at No. 2 Tirrell street and has a summer home at Berlin, Massachusetts.


[p. 440]

(V) Phinehas Jennison, fourth child of Samuel [and Abigail (Holden)] Jennison (4), was born in Watertown, September 27, 1743, married, August 28, 1767, Susan Newton; married (second), August 27, 1792, Sarah Whitney, who died in 1815 at the age of seventy-two years. Phinehas Jennison removed from Watertown to the adjoining town of Newton in 1795 and died there February 11, 1825, aged eighty-two years. His children were: Phinehas, baptized January 14, 1770; Susan, baptized January 14, 1770; Elias, baptized April 26, 1772, died 1842, married Sally Tallman and had twelve children; Benjamin, baptized October 23, 1774, of whom later; Phineas, baptized September 30, 1781; Josiah, baptized September 30, 1781, settled in Holden, Massachusetts; William, baptized 1784, died unmarried; Fanny, born in Newton.

(VI) Benjamin Jennison, fourth child of Phinehas Jennison (5), was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, and baptized October 23, 1774. He settled in Newton and was for many years an undertaker at West Newton. He was a leading citizen. He attended the Congregational church. He married, 1804, Mary Tolman, who died March 7, 1842, aged sixty years. (Records of marriage give name Sukey. Gravestone gives the name Mary and age fifty-six.) The children of Benjamin and Mary Jennison were: Joel, married Lucy Trowbridge, November 10, 1831; George; Albert, married Elizabeth Wilton; Edwin, Matilda, Mary.

(VII) George Jennison, second child of Benjamin Jennison (6), was born in Newton, Massachusetts. He handled the freight in the early days of the Boston & Worcester Railroad at the first depot in Worcester. He was a member of the Congregational church. In politics he was a Whig. He married Nancy Fiske. Their children were: George, of whom later; Mary Jane, born May 25, 1838, at Worcester, married Curtis E. Robinson, of Framingham, and had one child, Fred N. Robinson, born at Holyoke, Massachusetts; Martha Sophia, born February 25, 1840, in Worcester, died there; married William H. Richardson, of Poullney, Vermont, and had one child, George William Richardson.

(VIII) George Jennison, eldest child of George Jennison (7), was born January 6, 1836, at Worcester, Massachusetts. His father died when he was only four years old and he went to live with his grandfather, Benjamin Jennison, at West Newton. He went to schooj there until he was thirteen, when he removed to Millbury, Massachusetts, and worked for a year on the farm of Charles A. Smith. He then came to Worcester and started to learn the trade of tin, sheet iron and copper worker in the shop of his brother-in-law, Isaiah D. Russell, on Front street. After his four years of apprenticeship was out he worked two years for various concerns, and four years for George R. Peckham making condenser rolls for carding machines. He made copper pumps for N. G. Tucker, Pleasant street, for several years. He finally changed his occupation and became clerk in the fish market of G. P. Cobb & Co., on Front street, and about eighteen months later opened a store on his own account at 24 Green street. The business was prosperous and he acquired a competence, retiring in February, 1903, when he sold out to George W. Barker.

Mr. Jennison attends the First Universalist Church. He is a Republican and has been somewhat active in politics, having represented his party in municipal, councillor, senatorial and state conventions, and received the nomination for representative to the general court. He is a member of Athelstan Lodge of Free Masons; Eureka Chapter of Royal Arch Masons; Hiram Council and is a fourteenth, sixteenth and eighteenth degree Scottish Rite Mason. He is a member of Quinsigamond Lodge, No. 43, Odd Fellows; of Blake Lodge, Knights of Pythias; of the Worcester Veteran Firemen's Association, having been a member of the fire department twenty-five years, of which he has been the president; and of the Worcester County Mechanics' Association.

He married, December 26, 1861, Caroline Blanchard, born January 26, 1840, in Lyndeboro, New Hampshire, daughter of Asa and Elizabeth Blanchard, of Lyndeboro, New Hampshire. Her father was a farmer. The children of George and Caroline Jennison, all born in Worcester, were: Alice Marian, born September 13, 1863, died February 25, 1864; Benjamin Fiske, born August 21, 1869; Mabel Blanchard, born May 27, 1872; Grace Goodwin, born April 28, 1875, works at the City Hall; Walter Russell, born September 14, 1877, is in the grocery business at Edison, Washington; Harry Irving, born August 6, 1880, died October 23, 1882.


[p. 457]

(VI) Thomas Harlow, son of Gideon [and Patience (Ford)] Harlow (5), was born May 17, 1775. He learned the tanner's trade at Weymouth by a term of regular apprenticeship (seven years), which expired March 16, 1706. The very next morning, which was that of his twenty-first birthday, he made an early start to go on foot to Shrewsbury—-fifty miles—-for the purpose of buying the tannery of one Seth Pratt, who welcomed his customer on the evening of the same day that he left Weymouth and sold him the tannery for $1,000. A house and twenty-one acres of land went with the tannery, of which no vestige now remains, but the house which Pratt built in 1775 is still standing, and the land was the nucleus of the farm, now owned by Henry Harlow, grandson of Thomas. There Thomas Harlow followed his calling about forty years and invested his gains therefrom in land, until he came to own at one time nearly three hundred acres. The only civil office that he ever held was, that of highway surveyor, to which he was elected in accordance with an understanding in his highway district, that the taxpayers should each serve in rotation. Though a public-spirited man and regular attendant and voter at elections and town meetings, he never sought or desired public office. In the Congregational Church of Shrewsbury, of which he was a member, the office of deacon was thrust upon him and he served as such many years. He was a great reader of the Bible, and was accounted high authority on all Bible questions.

He married, May 17, 1708, Thankful Banister, daughter of Nathan and Sarah (Whitney) Banister, of the North Parish of Shrewsbury, now Boylston. Nathan was born in Brookfield, removing in 1775 to Shrewsbury to live with his wife's father and mother on their farm in the southwest part of the North Parish. His father was Joseph Banister, son of Christopher, who came from Marlboro to settle in Brookfield, and grandson of Nathan, Jr., whose parents, Nathan and Mary Banister, came from England in or before 1669 and settled in Charlestown. The first mentioned Nathan Banister, Thankful's father, was a blacksmith by trade, and a soldier in the revolutionary war. Two of Thomas Harlow's brothers followed him later to Shrewsbury and settled there-—Arunah (whose grandson, George H. Harlow, is the present register of probate for Worcester county) in 1798 and Abner in 1812. And most of the Harlows now living in Worcester county are lineal descendants of the three who a century ago came here from Duxbury. Thomas Harlow died November 20, 1865, aged ninety years; his wife Thankful died January 5, 1847, aged seventy-three years. Their children were: Gideon, see forward; Nancy, born July 25, 1802, died in infancy; Elmira, born April 23, 1805; Abigail, born April 25, 1810.

(VII) Gideon Harlow, son of Thomas Harlow (6), was born in Shrewsbury, February 17, 1799. He succeeded his father under the latter's will as owner of the home farm. He built the brick house now standing on the farm and occupied it with his family during his life, his father and mother continuing to occupy the older house built by Seth Pratt. Like his father, Gideon Harlow served his term as highway surveyor, and he was selectman several years, also assessor and member of the school committee. He was elected deacon of the Congregational church, but declined to serve. He did not like the tanner's trade in which he was brought up, and devoted his life with untiring energy and application to improvement of the homestead by good culture, and the planting of fruit trees. There was

[p. 458]

a great quantity of wood and timber on the farm which he cut off and marketed chiefly in Worcester, where demand for firewood, telegraph poles, railroad sleepers and lumber for building purposes in his time always seemed to exceed supply. Many years before his death, his father had by will devised the farm to him, and ever afterwards, with his father's consent and approval, he made the same use of it, as if the fee simple of it were already his.

No man ever did or could, with more persistent self-denial and conscientiousness than Gideon Harlow, devote himself to the welfare of his family. That his children should have opportunity by education and every other way to do better in life than he had himself, was the mainspring of all his conduct. Often did he say in the presence of his children: "I had rather lose a day in haytime than have a child of mine lose a day in school." The writer often recalls with gratitude his father's reply, now nearly sixty years ago, to the request of some friends for leave to start a movement in Shrewsbury to nominate him for representative to the general court. He thanked them, but instantly added: "No, I have so many things to do this coming winter that I cannot attend to it." One of the things he had to do was to haul to market in Worcester a lot of wood to pay his son's expenses in college.

He married, January 1, 1828, Harriet Howe, daughter of Nathan and Mary (Parker) Howe. Her father was the son of Captain Nathan and Hepzibah (Taylor) Howe, and grandson of Daniel Howe, who, with William Taylor, Hepzibah's father, and several others, came from Marlboro to Shrewsbury and settled there in 1717. Daniel Howe was the son of Josiah and grandson of John Howe, who was in Sudbury in 1638, when, or very shortly before, he is supposed to have come over from England. Mary Parker, wife of Nathan Howe, Jr., was the daughter of Simon Parker, who came to Shrewsbury from Groton in 1742, and was the son of Samuel and grandson of James Parker, both also of Groton. Simon Parker and both the Nathan Howes were soldiers in the revolutionary war. Of Nathan, senior, Ward says in his history of Shrewsbury: "He was an officer in the (British) service at Lake George in the French war and aided in the building of Fort William Henry. In 1776 he commanded a company in throwing up works at Dorchester Heights during the night (March 4-5). From an illness taken there he never recovered.

Nathan Howe, Jr., only fourteen years old in 1776, was not permitted by his father to enter the United States service until after the fatal nature of his own illness had unmistakably developed.

Captain Howe died March 21, 1781, aged fifty-one years, of a lingering consumption. His original commission as captain, dated February 5, 1776, at Watertown, and signed, not by Royal Governor Gage, who was then over in Boston with the Redcoats, but by William Sever, of Kingston, and fourteen others "Major Part of the Council of the Massachusetts Bay in New England," is in the possession of the writer.

Gideon Harlow, of Shrewsbury, died October 26, 1877, aged seventy-eight years and six months. His wife Harriet died March 15, 1870, aged seventy years and seven months. The children of Gideon and Harriet (Howe) Harlow were: William Taylor, see forward; Thomas, born August 18, 1830; Henry, born October 13, 1833; Hiram, born November 27, 1839, died October 5, 1858; Harriet Ann, born December 4, 1841, died April 2, 1883.

MAJOR WILLIAM T. HARLOW

By Charles Nutt.

(VIII) William Taylor Harlow, son of Gideon Harlow (7), was born in Shrewsbury, October 3, 1828. He was named for his great-great-grandfather, William Taylor, one of the first settlers of the town of Shrewsbury, and donor to the town of the site of the Congregational meeting house, origmally fifteen acres of land, old style measure. His American ancestry on the Harlow side, down to his grandfather, all belonged to Plymouth colony and included six "Mayflower" pilgrims and eight other exiles, three in the "Fortune," 1621, and five in the "Ann," 1623, who followed the pioneers of 1620 to New Plymouth, as appears in greater detail in the foregoing sketch of the family. His four great-grandfathers and one of his grandfathers were soldiers of the American revolution, and brief mention oi their service has been made above.

He received his early education in the district schools of his native town, supplemented by a few terms of private schools. When not attending school he worked with his father and brothers on the homestead. He continued his studies at home, and was prepared for college chiefly by himself without a teacher. He attended Monson Academy one term in the spring and summer of 1848 under the instruction of Principal Charles Hammond, and upon his recommendation was admitted to the sophomore class of Yale College in 1848, where he was graduated in 1851. He studied law with Thomas and Foster of Worcester (Benjamin F. Thomas and Dwight Foster, both afterwards justices of the supreme court of Massachusetts) and was admitted to the bar at the March term of the court of common pleas, 1853. He opened an office for the practice of law, first in Worcester, but in less than a year removed to Spencer, where he practiced until the civil war.

He entered the United States service as first lieutenant of Company C, Twenty-first Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, in August, 1861, having been occupied since the war began in April, mainly in recruiting and drilling recruits, first at Spencer and later at Camp Lincoln, Worcester. He took part in the engagements of 1862-—at Roanoke Island, February 8, at Newbern, March 14, and at Camden Court House, April 19, in North Carolina; at the second battle of Bull Run, August 28-31, and at Chantilly, September 1, in Virginia; at South Mountain, September 14, and at Antietam, September 17, in Maryland; and at Fredericksburg, December 12-15, also in Virginia. He was detailed and acted as regimental quartermaster after the battle of Newbern for about three months arid was promoted captain July 29, 1862. The losses of his company by wounds, disease and death in the campaigns of 1862 were such that he had in his company only nine men left for duty. One of his lieutenants was killed at Chantilly and the other at Antietam. Though so fortunate himself as to escape serious wounds, he suffered much from malaria. As the other companies of this regiment had suffered similar losses to those of Company C, the colonel and several other officers, of whom Captain Harlow was one, resigned with the expectation that the Twenty-first would soon be consolidated with some other regiment. He received another commission, as major of the Fifty-seventh Veteran Regiment, and assisted in recruiting it, but did not go with it to service in the field.

He returned to the practice of law in Worcester in October, 1863, and continued it there until January, 1866, when he went to California with a view

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to locate there. At Red Bluff in the Sacramento Valley, (head of river navigation,) where his brother Thomas had been living for several years, and was then extensively engaged in wheat raising, Major Harlow remained nearly two years. Soon after his arrival there he received appointments as county surveyor (Tehama county) and assistant assessor of United States internal revenue. With these offices and practice of law he did not lack employment, but suffered much from malaria contracted during the war, more, in fact, than he had ever suffered in the river valleys of the Neuse and Rappahannock. He finally on account of health decided to return to Massachusetts, reluctantly giving up his business in California; for he said that like opportunity for doing well in the law and most other kinds of business he had never found elsewhere.

He was appointed, June 22, 1869, assessor of internal revenue for the eighth Massachusetts district, identical territorially with the eighth congressional district, then represented in congress by Hon. George F. Hoar, through whose kindness he received the appointment. He held the office until it was abolished. It was laborious and responsible, but with the aid of assistant assessors and clerks, its duties were performed by him to the satisfaction of the government at Washington and to the taxpayers of the district. The four years employment, during which he held this position, is said by Major Harlow to have been the most agreeable and remunerative of any of his life.

He again returned to the practice of law in Worcester, and continued in practice there until January, 1877, when he was appointed by the justices of the supreme judicial court assistant clerk of the courts for the county of Worcester for a three-year term, and held the office by successive re-appointments until January 1, 1904, when, pursuant to an intention of long standing to retire at the age of seventy-five years, and thereafter to take cum otto what of life might remain to him, he declined another appointment.

On retiring, he was surprised by his brethren of the Worcester bar by the tender of a banquet, whereat he was overwhelmed with expressions of their esteem, friendship and good will. And he has received not only from the bar, but from the justices of the courts, and the county commissioners of Worcester county cumulative assurances of their satisfaction with his discharge of his clerical duties.

Major Harlow spent the summer of 1904 abroad with his daughter. He is a member of the First Unitarian church of Worcester. In politics he is a Republican. He served on the school committee of Spencer and later at Worcester on the school board and as a director of the Free Public Library. He is a comrade of the George H. Ward Post, No. 10, Grand Army of the Republic, and a companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Massachusetts Commandery.

After his return form the war, at Spencer, May 31, 1863, Major Harlow married Jeannette Bemis, daughter of Lewis and Maria (Stearns) Bemis. Her father, a farmer, merchant and manufacturer, was born, lived and died in Spencer. He was the son of Joshua, grandson of another Joshua and great-grandson of Samuel Bemis, the second settler in Spencer, who came there from Watertown in 1721. Maria, wife of Lewis and mother of Jeannette Bemis, was the daughter of Charles and Elizabeth (McFarland) Stearns, of Worcester. Children of Major Harlow and wife, all born in Worcester, were: Frederick Bemis, see forward; Gideon, died in infancy; Margaret, see forward.

(IX) Frederick Bemis Harlow, son of Major Harlow (8), and named after his uncle, First Lieutenant Frederick A. Bemis, of the Twenty-first Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, who was killed September 1, 1862, at Chantilly, Virginia, was fitted for college at the Worcester high school and entered Williams in 1881. After remaining there two years he entered Amherst (junior class) and was graduated there in 1885. He studied law, and was admitted to the Worcester bar in the superior court, February 24, 1888. He opened an office in Worcester and remained there in practice until May, 1900, when he removed to Paris, France, where he has since been practicing his profession.

(IX) Margaret Harlow, daughter of Major Harlow (8), graduated from the Worcester high school in 1891. She then went abroad and spent most of the next two years in the study of the German and French languages. Returning to Worcester she taught German in the Worcester high school until her mother's death, when she resigned her place as teacher to become her father's housekeeper. Mrs. Harlow died January 11, 1901. Younger than her husband by nearly eight years, he had not expected to survive her. A true helpmeet to him in life, her death, sudden and unexpected, by apopletic stroke, was to him an irreparable loss. "Her children rise up, and call her blessed, Her husband also, and he praiseth her, saying Many daughters have done virtuously, But thou excelleth them all."

. . . .

(VI) Arunah Harlow, son of Gideon [and Patience (Ford)] Harlow (5), grandfather of George Herbert Harlow, of Worcester, was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts, January 29, 1773. He removed to Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, in 1798, where his brother had settled and where he became a prominent and highly respected citizen. He was a carpenter by trade and built the house, wherein he spent his remaining days, upon the lines of the Duxbury homestead. He married, June 27, 1799, Sarah Banister, who died September 14, 1841, the daughter of Nathan and Sarah (Whitney) Banister, of Boylston, Massachusetts. Their children were: Sarah, born September 20, 1800, married, September 9, 1824, Nathan Pratt, Jr. Eliza, born March 26, 1802, married, May 4, 1826, Samuel A. Knox. Patience, born March 1, 1804, married, March 18, 1834, John Barnes, of Boylston, Massachusetts. Nancy, born August 7, 1806. Nathan Bannister, born September 2, 1808, married (intentions dated April 20), 1844, Louisa D. Kendall, of Warwick, Massachusetts. Clarissa, born May 2, 1811, married Christopher C. Doty. Arunah, Jr., born April 17, 1813, married, November 7, 1839, Maria C. Adams. Cleora Eager, born August 15, 1815, married Samuel G. Reed, of Worcester. John Thomas, born May 29, 1818, married Laura J. Wood. George Henry, born June 18, 1820, see forward.

(VII) George Henry Harlow, son of Arunah Harlow (6), was born at Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, June 18, 1820. He received his education in the common schools of that town and at the Worcester Academy and the State Normal school at Barre, and became a popular and successful school teacher in several towns of Worcester county. He settled in Worcester in 1850, where he was a merchant and fire insurance agent, his place of business being on Front street in the block afterward owned by Dr. Frank H. Kelly, just east of William Bush's drug store, where Brewer & Company are now located. He continued in this store until 1861, when he returned to Shrewsbury and purchased the farm formerly belonging to his wife's father and known as the Dr. Edward Flint place, situated near the centre of the village, on the old Worcester turnpike. The house was built in 1752, in 1768 was owned by Dr. Edward Flint and is at present owned by George Herbert Harlow, of Worcester. On this farm George Henry Harlow spent the remainder of his days, and died May 7, 1891. Aside from his merchant and farm interests he carried on a fire insurance business upwards of forty years, representing the Merchants & Farmers Worcester Mutual Companies of Worcester and others.

He was a member of the Shrewsbury Congregational church. In politics he was a Republican from the organization of the party. Active, earnest and steadfast, prominent in the councils of the party and interested alike in town, state and national affairs, he was frequently elected delegate to important nominating conventions but never sought office for himself. He served on the school board of Worcester from ward four in 1855 and from ward six in 1856. After removing from Worcester to Shrewsbury, he represented the district composed of that town and Grafton in the general court of 1873, being elected by the largest majority ever given a candidate for that office in the district. He was trusted by all men, regardless of political beliefs. For more than twenty-four years he was president of the Farmers and Mechanics Club of Shrewsbury, and was for many years a trustee of the Worcester Agricultural Society. He was widely known among Worcester county farmers, who held him in high esteem, and his enthusiasm for the work of the Farmers Club was characteristic; he had the nature of a leader and organizer and stirred others to action by his energy and example, and his influence was shown particularly in the annual fairs of the Farmers' Club.

He married Jane Flint, who was baptized December 22, 1822, the daughter of Major Josiah Flint, who was born December 15, 1775, and his wife, Mary (Stone) Flint, daughter of Luther Stone, of Southboro, Massachusetts. Jane Flint was a granddaughter of Dr. Edward Flint, who came from Concord, Massachusetts, to Shrewsbury in 1758 and bought the old homestead of eighty acres in 1768. She was a lineal descendant of Hon. Thomas Flint, who came from Mattock, Derbyshire, England, to Concord in 1638 and died there October 3, 1653. Dr. Edward Flint, grandson of the immigrant, Thomas Flint, was surgeon in the expedition to Canada in the French and Indian war in 1758, and served with the Massachusetts Troops at Cambridge in 1775 in the revolution. He died November 13, 1813, aged eighty-five years. The only child of George Henry and Jane (Flint) Harlow is George Herbert, see forward.

(VIII) George Herbert Harlow, son of George Henry Harlow (7), was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, educated there in the public schools, and at Shrewsbury and Worcester high schools. When a young man, he entered the internal revenue office as clerk for Major William T. Harlow, then assessor. He afterward became deputy collector of internal revenue under General Augustus B. R. Sprague, of Worcester, and Judge Adin Thayer. He was appointed assistant register of probate and insolvency for Worcester county, June 1, 1886, by Judge Adin Thayer, a position that he held until January 3, 1894, when he was elected the register, his present position. The high reputation of the Worcester county probate office for system, neatness, accuracy and efficiency, speaks for his ability and his attention to the details of his position. In politics Mr. Harlow is a Republican.

He is an active member in the Masonic order; was made a Master Mason February 12, 1892, in Quinsigamond Lodge of Worcester; became a member of Eureka Chapter of Royal Arch Masons April 26. 1892; of Hiram Council, Royal and Select Masters, May 3, 1892; of Worcester County Commandery, Knights Templar, June 23, 1892. Is a member of Worcester Lodge of Perfection, Goddard Council, Princes of Jerusalem and Lawrence Chapter of Rose Croix, A. and A. S. Rite. In 1876 he became one of the early members of the Worcester Continentals, an independent military organization, organized that year in memory of the fathers of our country, for the purpose of preserving the customs and ideals of the Minute Men of Revolutionary days; a kindred organization, of though not so old as the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston; Mr. Harlow was elected clerk of the company with rank of sergeant in 1878, and in 1891 was made first lieutenant and clerk upon the staff of Lieutenant-Colonel Aaron S. Taft. He was elected to the command of the organization, February 10, 1905, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He was for some years a member and secretary of the Hancock Club. He is a member of the Commonwealth Club and of the Tatassit Canoe Club, both of Worcester.

He married Ella Eliza Walker, daughter of Appleton and Zibah (Beaman) Walker, of Worcester. She is a member of the Worcester Home Club, the Worcester Woman's Club and of the Colonel Timothy Bigelow Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.


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(III) John Knapp, son of John Knapp (2), was born May 4, 1661, in Watertown, Massachusetts. He settled in Newton, Massachusetts, the adjoining town. He married, August 4, 1686, Sarah Parks, and their children were: John, born in Newton, December 11, 1688, died 1730; he married (first), July 13, 1713, Mary Whitney, of Watertown, and married (second) Sarah -----, who died in 1736. . . . .


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(IX) Dana Stone, son of William [and Sukey (Cutter)] Stone (8), born at Stow, Massachusetts, February 19, 1806. He attended the common schools at Sudbury. He worked at farming at Marlboro and Wayland, and also engaged in stage driving. After his first wife's death he settled in Northboro. He died June, 1883. He married first, Mary A. Whitney, a native of Weston, Massachusetts, and descendant of John Whitney, of Watertown, the immigrant ancestor of most of the Massachusetts families of Whitney. He died June, 1883. In his younger days he was in the state militia and trained for many years. He was at one time road commissioner of the town of Ncrthboro. He was first a Whig in politics, later a Deniocrat. He attended the Unitarian church. He married (second) Mary Newton, of Northboro, (third) Lois Newton, of the same town, and (fourth) Mrs. Nancy Rogers, also of Northboro. Children of Dana and Mary A. (Whitney) Stone: 1. George Dana, born November 10, 1833, resided in Northboro. 2. Mary Ann, born October 1, 1835,

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married Emery Coolidge, who held a position on a transatlantic steamship and crossed the ocean over a hundred times; both died at Northboro. 3. John Alphonzo, born December 25, 1836, resided in Hudson, Massachusetts. 4. Susan Ellen, born October 27, 1838, died a young lady. 5. William, born November 1l, 1839, died when about thirty years old. 6. Louise, born October 17, 1841, married Albert Wheelock, and resided in Shrewsbury. 7. Lyman T., mentioned below. 8. Lavinia, born May 25, 1846, married Joseph Fairbanks, and resides in Worcester.

(IX) Lyman T. Stone, son of Dana Stone (8), was born in Northboro, Massachusetts, April 23, 1843, and attended the public schools there. He began life on a farm, but when a young man learned the trade of butcher. When the civil war broke out he enlisted in Company A, Fifty-first Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for a period of eleven months, and was honorably discharged at the end of his term of enlistment. He returned to Massachusetts and settled in Boylston, where he bought a farm and combined with farming the business of butcher and dealer in meats and provisions, and he has acquired a competence. In politics he is a Republican, and he has served the town very acceptably as highway commissioner. He attends the Unitarian church. He married, October 1, 1867, Mary E., daughter of Henry Southwick, a native of Connecticut. Their children: 1. Theodore H., born July 4, 1868; died November 2, 1901; married Bernice Peckham, and had one son, Ernest W. 2. Louis C, born February 13, 1870; married Amy Taylor. 3. Lois M., born November 25, 1871. 4. Carrie E., born February 26, 1873; married Ernest Doty, and had one daughter, Clarissa. 5. Alfred A., born March 20, 1876. 6. Herman H., born May 30, 1878; enlisted in Twenty-second Regiment United States Infantry, afterwards in the Twelfth Infantry; killed in the Phillipine Islands, October 27, 1899. 7. Angie B., born March 20, 1888: married George Bruseau. 8. Laura A., born June 28, 1884; married Rupert Smith, and they have two children: Bernard R. and Ethel Irene.


Copyright © 2009, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group

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