Archive:History of Westminster, Tolman, A-G

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Tolman, Newton F., editor, A History of Westminster, Massachusetts, 1893-1958, compiled by The Westminster Historical Society (Richard R. Smith Co., Inc., Peterborough, New Hampshire: 1961); Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 61-17914; New England Historic Genealogical Society Call No. F/74/W72/W72.


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[p. 149] ABAR

The Reverend Edmund J. Abar b. August 11, 1874, in Pittsford, Vermont; s. of Joshua and Esther (Fredette) Abar. He m. February 14, 1814, Mary Knower (17). (See Knower.) He graduated from Crozier Seminary, Chester, Pa., in 1902; was ordained in the Baptist ministry and became pastor of the First Baptist Church, Westminister, in that year. He has held parishes in Fitchburg; Orange; Cal.; LaConner, Wash.; and Alton, N. H. Mr. and Mrs. Abar returned to Westminster in 1934, and since that time he has supplied many pulpits in this and surrounding towns.
Children of Rev. Edmund J. and Mary (Knower) Abar:
1. Edith P. b. January 21, 1916, in LaConner, Wash., m. Homer Vine. (See Vine.)
2. Jean W. b. April 26, 1917, in Lincoln, Vt., Ostheopathic Doctor in Cranston, R. I. m. Joan Libretti.
3. Marjorie M. b. May 11, 1919, m. Norman Gray, lives in Oakfield, N. Y. 4 children.

[p. 150] ADAMS

In the large family of George (44) and Mary (Woodward) Adams, only one son and his descendants lived in Westminster:

Aldin F. Adams (54) b. January 29, 1839, d. June 10, 1915; his wife Eliza Ann Estey, b. June 15, 1837, d. February 28, 1920.
Children of Aldin F. and Eliza Ann (Estey) Adams:
1. Addie Estey (57) b. December 21, 1869; m. March 10 1898, Carlos Edwin Barron (8) b. February 11, 1869. [p. 162] He was an active and public-spirited citizen, serving the town in many positions of trust, including those of selectman and assessor. From 1892 to 1915 he was Postmaster. He was a Justice of the Peace continuously from 1902 until the time of his death. At one time he carried on a lumbering business with E. B. Lynde. For many years, he was in the real estate and insurance business. Both he and Mrs. Barron were among the most active members of the Westminster Historical Society. He was also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Mr. Barron's genealogical records of original families, kept until 1944, and Mrs. Barron's scrapbooks have been invaluable in compiling this work. They celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1948. Mr. Barron d. May 25, 1949; Mrs. Barron d. September 16, 1949.
2. Frank Aldin (58) b. August 28, 1871; m. June 25, 1902, Jessie G. Scott of Gardner, dau. of Daniel and Jeannette (MacIntosh) Scott. They have always lived on Adams Street. He has been a Rural Mail Carrier, but both before and since his retirement he has devoted much time to farming. (Of late years he has been the only man in town to run a cider press.) His wife has taken an active interest in community enterprises. They celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1952.
Child of Frank Aldin and Jessie G. (Scott) Adams:
1. James Aldin b. September 1, 1904; m. on October 23, 1933 in Bronxville, New York, Ernestine E. Brewer, dau. of James and Ellen (Galliford) Brewer of Fitchburg. He graduated from Fitchburg High School and Bryant & Stratton in Boston. He also attended New Hampshire University. For a time they lived in his father's house. Later they purchased land on Adams Street that had formed a part of the Bruce estate, and built their home there. During WW II, Mrs. Adams served on the local Rationing Board. Mr. Adams served on the Board of Selectmen for one term. He is employed as cashier at the Worcester North Savings Institution in Fitchburg, and is a partner in the Barron-Adams Insurance Agency. Since 1951 he has been Town Treasurer.

Child of James Aldin and Ernestine E. (Brewer) Adams:
1. Ruth Ellen b. January 7, 1938; attended local schools, and is a student at Bates College.

[p. 157-158] BAKER

According to Heywood's History of Westminster, the Baker family was represented among the early settlers by two brothers, Robert and Richard. The present Baker family in Westminster are all descended from Robert. The descendants of Richard for the most part settled elsewhere; his last descendants here died in 1945.
Richard Baker Descendants:
1. Artemas J. Baker (29) b. September 28, 1868; m. January 15, 1891, Margie Ward Richard. They lived for a number of years in Westminster, later removing to Watertown.

Children of Artemas and Margie (Richard) Baker:
1. Richard Merriam b. September 25, 1896.
2. Doris L. b. October 7, 1901.
3. Russell F. b. June 30, 1915.

2. Eva M. Baker (30) b. October 15, 1877, d. April 9, 1945; m. September 19, 1900, Luther F. Smith (d. May 20, 1914). She lived on Leominster Street, in the house now owned by Robert Bliss.

Child of Luther F. and Eva (Baker) Smith:
1. Clayton Baker Smith b. August 8, 1913 d. April 7, 1826.

[p. 164] BATTLES

Frank H. Battles (15) b. January 25, 1853, d. August 28, 1922; m. Sarah E. (47) Merriam, d. July 30, 1836, dau. of Francis and Eliza (Pratt) Merriam. They owned Robert Denton house on Bacon Street. He was elected to the Board of Selectmen for several terms. He engaged in several businesses, in all of which he prospered. Among them were the meat business with E. B. Lynde, the lumbering business with Fred (7) Goodridge, and the cracker-making business with the Dawleys.

[p. 176] CLARK

Colonel Harry A. Clark b. February 13, 1885, in Gardner, s. of Ainsworth and Sarah E. (Herndon) Clark; m. July 10, 1912, Grace E. Urban (3) b. August 22, 1887, dau. of G. Frank (1) and Emma K. (Merriam) Urban. He graduated from Tufts in 1910 and served on active duty in the United States Army Medical Corps from July 13, 1917 - January 31, 1950, when he was retired with rank of colonel. From November 1, 1950, he served eight years as Supt. of the Lakeville State Sanitorium. Mrs. Clark graduated from Sargent School of Physical Education in 1910. In October, 1958, they bought of Mrs. Laura Miller her house and the Brick Store on Main Street, and came here to make their home.
Children of Harry A. and Grace (Urban) Clark:
1. Elizabeth M. b. September 13, 1930, Cristobal, Canal Zone; d. Oct, 1931.
2. Barbara U. b. August 5, 1915, in Port Lima, Costa Rica; m. James M. Humphreys; lives in Marfa, Texas; 3 children.
3. Harry A., Jr. b. March 21, 1917, in North Andover, graduate of West Point; m. Frances C. Tully; serving in United States Army with rank of lieutenant colonel; 7 children.

[p. 183-184] DERBY

Andrew Darby came to Westminster in 1748 and is the ancestor of the present citizens of the town, as well as the founder of a large family now widely scattered. No one bearing the name of Derby (or Darby as originally spelled) now lives here, the last of the direct line being Frank W. (99), son of Henry N. and Julia (Murphy) Derby.

Frank W. Derby (99) b. April 19, 1868, d. April 9, 1937, m. April 12, 1893, Mary A. Rice (d. March 21, 1950), dau. of Joel and Mary (61) (Whitney) Rice. (See Rice.) He followed several occupations. When rural mail delivery was begun in Westminster in 1901, Mr. Derby became the first rural mail carrier. He resigned in 1918 and thereafter worked in Gardner at chair factories. He served as Tax Collector, Selectman, Assessor, Moderator, and was a member of other committees.
Children of Frank W. and Mary A. (Rice) Derby:
1. Paul Edmund b. September 29, 1826; m. Mary (Merrill) Viall; 1 child; resides in Fitchburg.
2. Ruth Laura b. December 10, 1898; m. Roger M. Greenwood of Gardner; 3 children; resides in Northfield.

[p. 199-200] GATES

The Gates family has long been associated with the Beech Hill section of Westminster, now owned by the Gardner State Hospital. Several generations of the family had lived on the Hill before Eugene Gates (25) made his home there.

Eugene (25) Gates b. January 2, 1839, d. July 31, 1908; s. of Leonard (20) and Martha (Leland) Gates; m. September 2, 1862 Helen (29), dau. of Anson and Emily (Jackson) Ray, b. April 3, 1845 [p. 286]. Mrs. Gates died October 4, 1932.
Children of Eugene and Helen (Ray) Gates:
1. Luella F. (30) b. Septembr 18, 1864; m. George A. Sargent. (See Sargent.)
2. Albert E. (31) b. January 9, 1871, d. June 15, 1950; m. Jannette Forsyth, b. June 16, 1892; dau. of George and Ellen (McLaine) Forsyth. He first lived with his parents and farmed their land. Later he lived on two different farms on what is now part of Gardner State Hospital, finally locating at his home on Main Street now owned by Adams and Halliday. For many years he served the town as a member of the Board of Assessors. For a number of years he was a rural mail carrier. His wife d. October 21, 1939.

Children of Albert E. and Jannette (Forsyth) Gates:
1. Esther Helen b. August 10, 1893; m. Arthur Charles Hicks of Westminster. (See Hicks.)
2. Willard Albert b. January 17, 1908; m. October 21, 1950 Blanche Rena Parker of Rochdale. He is a veteran of WW II. They live in Holden.

[p. 202-203] GOODRIDGE

Fred A. Goodridge (7) m. October 24, 1905, (1) Lulu Marion Battles, dau. of Alton and Emma (Cummings) Battles. By himself or with associates he has operated the sawmill and box-making business now at the foot of Bacon Street, and he has prospered in that business. For fifteen years he was engineer of the Fire Department; he has served on the Board of Selectman. After he and his wife were divorced he married (2) Mrs. Hazel M. (Cooley) Bevis of Dana. They occupy the village dwelling of his father, adjoining the sawmill.
Children of Fred A. Goodridge :
1. Wilfred Howard b. December 2, 1906; m. September 15, 1928, Kathryn Agnes McAuliffe of Fitchburg. He has been road commissioner since 1933, and Superintendent of the Water Department ever since the system was installed in 1955. He is a faithful member of the Fire Department.

Children of Wilfred H. and Kathryn Agnes (McAuliffe) Goodridge:
1. Barbara Ann b. December 27, 1931; m. December 27, 1952 Robert Lidberg; lives in Fitchburg; 2 children.
2. Philip b. September 1, 1941, d. September 10, 1941.

2. John Clifton b. July 8, 1918, d. December 26, 1941; m. September 24, 1939 Francella Blossom May of Gardner, a granddaughter of Lucinthia Eaton (64) of Westminster. They built a new house on Elliott Street. He died suddenly and his widow occupied their home until she m. William H. Kohnke of Arizona on September 12. 1942 and left town. No children.

Copyright © 2000, 2006, 2011, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.