Archive:Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Volume I, Part 1

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Archives > Archive:Extracts > Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Volume I, Part 1

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 2

[p. vi]

Senator Hoar, in a speech made before the United States Senate, on January 6, 1903, said: "Within twelve miles of the spot where I live, was born Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, who doubled the value of every acre of land in this country on which cotton can grow. . . . ."

[p. 12]

(VII) Hon. William Barrett Washburn, son of Asa and Phebe (Whitney) Washburn, and grandson of Colonel Elijah Washburn and Captain Phineas Whitney, was born in Winchenden, January 31, 1820. He fitted for college at the Westminster and Hancock Academies, and was graduated from Yale College in 1844. He clerked three years and then engaged in the manufacture of doors, chairs and wooden-ware at Erving. IN 1857 he moved to Greenfield, where he lived at the time of his death, October 5, 1887. He was a member of the senate in 1854. He was a member of congress from 1863 to January 1, 1872, when he resigned to be inaugurated governor of Massachusetts. April 17, 1874, he resigned as governor to fill the unexpired term of Hon. Charles Sumner in the United States senate, holding the office until March 4, 1875. For many years he was president of the Greenfield Bank and one of the trustees of Yale College and an overseer of Amherst College. He married, September 6, 1847, Hannah Sweetser by whom were born two sons and four daughters.

[p. 45]

WHITNEY FAMILY. John Whitney, the emigrant ancester of George C. Whitney and the late Edward Whitney, of Worcester, settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, 1635. He was born about 1589. His wife, Elinor, was born about 1599. With seven children they embarked at Ipswich, England, in April, 1635. They have a very large posterity in America. Another John Whitney settled in Connecticut and founded an equally large family.

John Whitney bought the sixteen acres homestall of John Strickland at what is now Waltham, in Watertown then, situated on what is now Belmont and East Common streets. Strickland went to Wethersfield, Connecticut, to live. John Whitney was admitted a freeman March 3, 1635-6. He was a constable in 1641 and a selectman from 1638 to 1655 inclusive. He was town clerk in 1655. His wife Elinor died May 11, 1659, said to be fifty-four years old, though other records would make her about sixty. He married (second), September 29, 1669, Judah Clement. He died June 1, 1673, said to be seventy-four years old. The ancestry of John Whitney is given with the Whitney Family elsewhere in this work.

The children of John and Elinor Whitney were: Mary, baptized in England, May 23, 1619, died young; John, baptized in England, 1620; Richard, baptized in England, 1626, married Martha Coldam; Nathaniel, baptized in England, 1627; Thomas, baptized in England, 1629, married Mary Kedall (Kettell); Jonathan, baptized in England, 1634, married Lydia Jones; Joshua, baptized in England, July 5, 1635, married Lydia -----; Mary -----, and Abigail Tarbell; Caleb, born in Watertown, July 12, 1640; Benjamin, born in Watertown, June 6, 1643, married Jane ------ and Mary Poor.

(II) John Whitney, son of John Whitney (1) was born in England in 1620. He settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. He married, 1642, Ruth Reynolds, daughter of Robert Reynolds, of Wethersfield, Watertown and Boston. John Whitney lived on a three acre lot on the east side of Lexington street on land granted to E. How, next the homestall of the Phillips (q. v.) Family. Whitney was admitted a freeman May 26, 1647, at the age of twenty-three. He was selectman from 1673 to 1680 inclusive. He was a soldier in 1673, and was in King Philip's war. He died October 12, 1692.

The children of John and Ruth (Reynolds) Whitney were: John, born September 12, 1643, married Elizabeth Harris; Ruth, born April 15, 1645, married, June 20, 1664, John Shattuck, son of the emigrant William Shattuck; John was drowned while crossing the Charlestown Ferry, September 14, 1675; he was in the Squakeag fight September 4, 1675, and was on his way to Boston to report the disaster to his company; Nathaniel, born February 1, 1646, married Sarah Hagar; Samuel, born July 26, 1648, married Mary Bemis; Mary, born April 29, 1650, died unmarried after 1693; Joseph, born January 15, 1651, married Martha Beach; Sarah, born March 17, 1653, married, October 18, 1681, Daniel Harrington; she died June 8, 1720; he married (second), October 25, 1720, Elizabeth Bridge, widow of Captain Benjamin Garfield; Elizabeth, born June 9, 1656, married, December 19, 1678, Daniel Warren; Hannah; Benjamin, born June 28, 1660, married Abigail Hagar and Elizabeth -----.

(III) Benjamin Whitney, son of John Whitney (2), was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, June 28, 1660. He married, March 30, 1687, Abigail Hagar, daughter of William and Mary (Bemis) Hagar. He married (second) Elizabeth ------. He died in 1736. His children were: Abigail, born in watertown, March 3, 1688, married, Mary 18, 1717, Richard Sawtel; Benjamin, baptized July 10, 1698, married Rebecca -----; Ruth, baptized July 10, 1698, married, July 7, 1715, John Bond, baptized November 23, 1690, removed to Worcester

[p. 47]

before 1752; John, born June 15, 1694, married (first) Susan -----, (second) Bethia Cutter and (third) Mrs. Beriah (Bemis)(Child) Pierce; David, born June 16, 1697; Daniel, born July 17, 1700, married Dorothy Tainter.

(IV) Ensign David Whitney, son of Benjamin Whitney (3), was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, June 16, 1697. He married, 1720, Rebecca Fillebrown, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 6, 1695, and died 1749. He was one of the proprietors of land at Paris, Maine, in 1736. He died in 1745. He resided in Watertown and Waltham, Massachusetts. Their children were: Rebecca, born November 2, 1721, married, July 18, 1845, Thomas Stowell; David, September 25, 1723, married Mary Merriam; Anna, August 8, 1725, married, June 4, 1752, Samuel Merriam; Nathan, born March 12, 1726; Ruth, February 23, 1728, died April 23, 1757; Josiah, November 22, 1730, married Sarah Lawrence; Jonas, June 25, 1733, married Sarah Whittemore; Jonathan, February 10, 1735, died April 9, 1757.

(V) Nathan Whitney, son of David Whitney (4), was born March 12, 1726-7. He married Tabitha Merriam. He settled in Westminster, Massachusetts. He bought of Benjamin Brown, December 26, 1750, a lot of ninety acres of land in the southern part of the town; part of this land is still owned by his descendants and used as the summer home of George C. Whitney and the family of Edward Whitney, of Worcester. He also bought of Thomas Merriam, his father-in-law, the southeast ends of the adjoning lots, 83 and 84, on which he built his first temporary house. His framed house which was built later forms the older part of the present structure on the old homestead. He brought his bride to Westminster in 1752 or 1753. His struggle with the soil and misfortune almost discouraged him. In the epidemic of 1756 both their children were taken. Again in 1764 their four children died of the epidemic. Out of nine children only three lived to maturity.

Nathan Whitney was a persevering and enterprising man, and at length he prospered. He became one of the leading men of the town, and had an honorable military record. He was corporal in Captain Daniel Hoar's company in 1759. From 1771 to 1776 he held a commission from George III as captain. He sided with the colonists against the king, resigned his commission and took what part his age and health permitted in the revolution. In 1776 he was in charge of the Hessian prisoners from the British army stationed at his old homestead in Westminster. He died August 10, 1803, aged seventy-six. His wife Tabitha died December 26, 1822, aged ninety years. Mr. Whitney was one of the largest property holders on the Westminster tax list of 1798.

The children of Nathan and Tabitha (Merriam) Whitney were: Tabitha, born June 29, 1753; Nathan, May 16, 1755, died August 28, 1756; Tabitha, July 6, 1757, died January 27, 1764; Nathan, April 9, 1760, died July 2, 1764; Jonathan, May 14, 1761, died June 21, 1764; Ruth, April 17, 1763, died July 7, 1764; Nathan, July 1, 1765; David, August 10, 1767; John, October 13, 1769.

(VI) John Whitney, son of Captain Nathan Whitney (5), was born in Westminster, Massachusetts. He married Elizabeth Stearns, daughter of Josiah and Abigail (Emerson) Stearns, daughter of Josiah and Abigail (Emerson) Stearns, December 31, 1793. He settled on the first lot bought by his father, No. 90, and built the house now in use as a summer home by the Whitney family of Worcester. He died at the early age of thirty-two years, June 25, 1802. His widow married James Walker, who died without issue. She married (third) Luke Warren, of Hibbardston, by whom she had four children. She died October 30, 1838, aged sixty-eight years. The children of John and Elizabeth (Stearns) Whitney were: John, born January 15, 1795, died February 22, 1796; John, February 20, 1797; Betsy, May 3, 1799, married April 30, 1829, Thomas Merriam, and resided at Westminster; had three children; died July 15, 1888.

(VII) John Whitney, son of John Whitney (6), was born in Westminster, Massachusetts. He succeeded to his father's estate and lived upon it all his life. He married Lydia Allen, daughter of Deacon Ephraim Allen, of Hubbardston (published September 30), 1821. They had a family of eight children, all of whom were of excellent character and reputation. He was greatly interested in the education of his children, fitted up a school room in his house, and maintained a private school, the advantages of which were shared by many children besides his own. He became a Baptist in middle life and joined the church. Later he was chosen deacon. In 1843-4 typhoid fever struck down all the members of the household. The father, mother, and one child died. The date of his death was March 15, 1844, aged forty-seven; of his wife December 19, 1843, aged forty-one.

Their children were: J. Emerson, born September 13, 1822, married twice, resided at Grafton, Massachusetts; Sumner A., June 27, 1824, married Lura Clarke, had three children; he died August 29, 1861; Ephraim, July 6, 1826, died June 20, 1850; Mary, October 23, 1829, married Charles M. Tinley, had three daughters; she died February 25, 1859; Harriet, May 29, 1832, married twice, resided in Worcester and Minnesota; had two children; Edward, August 12, 1834; Francis S., March 25, 1840, died January 16, 1844; George Clarkson, September 19, 1842.

Edward Whitney 1834.jpg

(VIII) Edward Whitney, son of John Whitney (7), was born on the old Whitney homestead in Westminster, Massachusetts, August 12, 1834. He obtained his elementary education in the public schools of his native town. In 1852, at the age of eighteen, he went to New York to strike out in business for himself. There he remained for four years, holding a position of trust in the Metropolitan Bank. In 1856 he came to Worcester, joining his elder brother, Sumner A. Whitney, in the stationery business which was carried on in the Butman block for a few years. His brother died in 1861 and he continued the business alone. He removed soon after to the Bowen block at the corner of Main and Mechanic streets, where he remained for about twenty years. Early in the eighties he removed to the present location of the business at 112 Front street. Shortly before his death Mr. Whitney admitted to partnership his two sons, Edward Cutting Whitney and Harry Sumner Whitney, and they have succeeded to the business which is carried on under the same name. The firm does a large wholesale trade in paper and stationery, blank books, manila paper and paper bags, all over New England. Mr. Whitney occupied a high position in the business community. His sterling character was the foundation of the great business success of his business.

During the last few years of his life he turned his business cares over to his sons and spent some time in foreign travel, visiting various sections of America, Europe and the Holy Land, in which he took especial interest. He was an active and efficient worker in church and Sunday school. When he first came to Worcester he joined the Union Congregational Church and was superintendent of its Sunday school for more than ten years. He was

[p. 48]

also deacon for many years. About 1892 he transferred his membership to the Plymouth Congregational Church. He was president of the Worcester Young Men's Christian Association of Massachusetts. He was president of the Worcester Congregational Club for two years. He was a trustee of the Home for Aged Men. Few men have done more for the religious interests of the city than Mr. Whitney. He never cared for politics to any extent and never considered public office. It has been said of him that he was "interested in whatever was conducive to human welfare, and he did much to promote the better life of his adopted city and to lift the world to a higher level." Mr. Whitney died February 5, 1897. He married, November 26, 1857, Susan Louise Cutting, born August 29, 1838, died January 1, 1880. He married (second), October 27, 1886, Emma Louise Rice, who survives him; she is the daughter of William Rice. The children of Edward and Susan Louise (Cutting) Whitney were: Lillie Marie, born in Worcester, June 19, 1867, died August 24, 1868; Edward Cutting, born July 19, 1869; Harry Sumner, born June 1, 1873, married Alice Wright Gibson, of Germantown, Philadelphia, daughter of Alfred C. Gibson, of Germantown, they have one daughter, Louise, born March 30, 1905.

[p. 81]

WHITNEY FAMILY. John Whitney (1), the immigrant ancestor of Anna Henshaw Whitney, of Lancaster, Massachusetts, was born in England in 1659 [sic: should be 1589.--RLW]. He settled early in Watertown, Massachusetts, where he was living in June, 1635. He married in England, Elinor -----, who was born in 1599 and died at Watertown, May 11, 1659. He married (second) in Watertown, September 29, 1659, Judith Clement, who died before him. He died June 1, 1673. (Something of his ancestry and more of his early history will be found under the sketch of the Whitney family of Worcester, Massachusetts, in this work.)

The children of John and Elinor Whitney were: Mary, baptized in England, May 23, 1619, died young; John, of whom later; Richard, born in England, 1626, married Martha Coldam; Nathaniel, born in England, 1627; Thomas, born in England, 1629, married Mary Kettell; Jonathan, born in England, 1634, married Lydia Jones; Joshua, born in Watertown, July 5, 1635, married Lydia -----; (second) Mary -----; (third) Abigail Tarbell; Caleb, born at Watertown, July 12, 1640, buried July 12, 1640; Benjamin, born at Watertown, July 6, 1643, married Jane ------ and (second) Mary Poor.

(II) John Whitney, son of John Whitney (1) was born in England, 1620. He settled in Watertown. He married Ruth Reynolds, daughter of Robert Reynolds, of Watertown, Wethersfield and Boston. John Whitney's estate was administered by his widow and sons, John and Benjamin. The inventory dated October 26, 1692, included eighteen parcels of land amounting to two hundred and ten acres. His will was dated February 27, 1685; it was not proved. His homestall was a three acre lot on the east side of Lexington street on land granted first to E. How, bought by him in 1643, the lot next south of the homestead of the Phillips family and probably the same lot occupied by his grandson, Bradshaw Whitney. He was a soldier in King Philip's war under Captain Hugh Mason. He died October 12, 1692.

The children of John and Ruth Whitney were: John, born September 12, 1643, married Elizabeth Hinds [sic: Should be Harris; see below.--RLW]; Ruth, born April 15, 1645, married, June 20, 1664, John Shattuck, who was in the Squakeag fight September 4, 1675, and was drowned soon afterward at Charlestown Ferry; Nathaniel, born February 1, 1646, married Sarah Hagar; Samuel, born July 26, 1648, married Mary Bemis; Mary, born April 29, 1650; Joseph, born January 15, 1651, married Martha Beach; Sarah, born March 17, 1653, married, October 18, 1681, Daniel Harrington; Elizabeth, born June 9, 1656, married, December 19, 1678, Daniel Warren; Hannah; Benjamin, born June 28, 1660, married Abigail Hagar.

(III) John Whitney, son of John Whitney (2), was born in Watertown, September 17, 1643, married in 1669, Elizabeth Harris, who was born November 9, 1644, daughter of Robert Harris. She owned the covenant in the Roxbury church March 30, 1671. He was admitted a freeman in May, 1684. He was a member of the Second Church of Roxbury, November 2, 1712, and doubtless had belonged to the First Church there. His house lot, containing nine acres, was situated on Pond street, in that part of Roxbury called Jamaica Plain. He was a soldier in King Philip's war in 1676, and owned the covenant in the church at Roxbury in February, 1684. He was a tailor by trade. His will is dated September, 1718, and was proved March 13, 1726-7. He died March 4, 1726. The children of John and Elizabeth Whitney were: Daniel, born December 3, 1681, married Susanna Curtis; Timothy, born April 16, 1678, married Margaret Bacon; Elizabeth, born September 9, 1670; Ruth, born at Roxbury, baptized August 31, 1674; married, April 22, 1701, Joseph Adams, resided in Brookline; Sarah, baptized August 2, 1684, died July 4, 1689; John, born April 1, 1672, died young.

(IV) Daniel Whitney, eldest son of John Whitney (3), was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, December 3, 1681. He lived at Roxbury. He married, June 21, 1704, Susanna Curtis. Their children were: John, born May 23, 1705, inherited land of his grandfather at Woodstock, Connecticut, then in Massachusetts; Elizabeth, born February 4, 1706; Susanna, born February 21, 1708; Daniel, born March 26, 1711; Anna, born April 30, 1713; Elijah, of whom later; Ruth, born December 5, 1718; Elisha, born October 5, 1722; Esther, born July 11, 1726, married, March 8, 1745, John White.

(V) Elijah Whitney, son of Daniel Whitney (4), was born at Roxbury, Massachusetts, January 15, 1715. He married Hannah -----. They settled in Warwick, Massachusetts, where in 1776 he served on the committee of safety and correspondence. Their children, born at Roxbury, were: Elijah, born September 23, 1744; Elisha, born October 6, 1747, of whom later; John, born November 29, 1749, married May Payson; Hannah, born June 13, 1756, baptized at Roxbury same year; Daniel, married Sarah Gay.

[p. 82]

(VI) Elisha Whitney, son of Elijah Whitney (5), was born at Roxbury, October 6, 1747. He married in Newton, Massachusetts, June 4, 1769, Abigail Dana. He was a lieutenant in the revolution. His picture painted by Stuart is owned by his grandson, Benjamin D. Whitney. He resided at West Roxbury, Massachusetts. The children of Lieutenant Elisha and Abigail Whitney were: Experience, born February, 1776, died September 17, 1777; Abigail, born April 10, 1778, married, November 17, 1799, Joseph Seaver, of Boston; Elisha, born February 4, 1780, married Sarah Heath; Asa, of whom later; Pedy, born July 20, 1784, married in Roxbury, 1801, Colonel Joseph Dudley, who was born October 16, 1780; he owned and occupied the old Dudley homestead in Roxbury; he was a farmer strict in principles, generous with his fortune; he gave a site for a townhouse in Roxbury; William, born June 17, 1788, died unmarried; Elizabeth, born March 3, 1793, died unmarried.

(VI) Asa Whitney, son of Elisha Whitney (6), was born in Boston, May 18, 1782. He married at Pomfret, Connecticut, December 31, 1805, Mary Hammond, who was born December 7, 1787, and died 1845. He died March 4, 1826. He resided at Pomfret, Roxbury, Cambridge and Boston.

The children of Asa and Mary Whitney were: 1. Benjamin Duick, born November 6, 1807, married (first) Elizabeth Williams and (second) Charlotte Genella. 2. Daniel H., born October 7, 1809, died October 6, 1817. 3. Sarah Hammond, born May 23, 1812, died June 23, 1817. 4. Mary, born March 5, 1815, married Professor Cornelius C. Felton, of Harvard University, who was born in West Newbury, Massachusetts, November 6, 1807, and died in Chester, Pennsylvania, February 26, 1862. He graduated from Harvard in 1827, taught school two years at Geneseo, New York, was appointed Latin tutor at Harvard in 1829, became Greek tutor in 1830, college professor of Greek in 1832, and in 1834 was chosen Eliot professor of Greek literature. He was for many years regent of the college; in 1860 he was elected president and continue in the office until his death. He was a member of the Massachusetts Board of Education and one of the regents of the Smithsonian Institute. He was one of the most profound and enthusiastic classical scholars in the country. He edited and translated a number of important works. He wrote, "Greece, Ancient and Modern."--and other important books. 5. Emily, born September 27, 1817, married Dr. Joseph Sargent, of Worcester. (See sketch of Dr. Sargent and his family in this work.) 6. Asa H., of whom later. 7. Sarah, born July 13, 1822, married Frederick W. Gale, of Worcester, both lost on the steamer "Arctic," September 27, 1854. 8. Catherine Dean, born December 17, 1824, married, Mary, 1849, Dr. Henry Sargent. (See Sargent family of Worcester and Leicester.)

(VIII) Asa Hammond Whitney, son of Asa Whitney (7), was born in Boston, June 17, 1819. He married, October 3, 1842, Laura Leffingwell Henshaw, who was born June 23, 1820, at Warren, Ohio, and died April 20, 1886. He prepared for college in Boston schools and was graduated at Harvard College in 1838. After leaving college he made a voyage to the Mediterranean for his health and subsequently went to Rio Janiero as supercargo. On his return he became the junior partner of the firm of Henshaw & Whitney, wholesale druggists, Boston. He resided in Cambridge; later he became interested in railroad business and removed to Norfolk, Virginia, where he managed the financial affairs of the Seaboard & Roanoke Railroad Company, as its treasurer. He was a man of great energy and earnestness of character. He resided late in life at Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he died October 7, 1858.

The children of Asa Hammond and Laura Leffingwell Whitney were: 1. Laura L., born June 15, 1843, died January 24, 1870. 2. Anna Henshaw, of whom later. 3. Richard Sullivan, born June 19, 1846, died August 23, 1847. 4. Catherine Dean, born June17, 1849, married Robert George Lawton, of Hudson, New York, on the English frigate "Narcissus," off Havana, Cuba, May 31, 1871. He was born August 12, 1839, and died December 2, 1904; was a resident of Havana; member of the banking firm of Lawton Brothers. Their children were: Robert Henshaw Lawton, born in Havana, April 3, 1872, died at Lancaster, Massachusetts, December 10, 1881; Sydney Allen Lawton, born at Lancaster, November 2, 1873, graduate of Harvard University, 1895, now with the firm of Wrenn Brothers, brokers, New York city; married, June 29, 1901, Harriet Sheldon Lawton, of Hudson, New York, and they reside at Rye, New York, and have two children--Sarah, born October 19, 1902, and Katharine, born October 14, 1904; Ethel Whitney Lawton, born at Lancaster, October 4, 1875, married Chester Parker [See below.--RLW], of South Lancaster, Massachusetts, at New York city, October 5, 1899; resides in Lancaster and they have had three children--Chester Parker, Jr., born September 29, 1900; Felton Parker, born January 14, 1902, died March 21, 1902; and Lydia Parker, born November 4, 1903; Richard Henshaw Lawton, born in Lancaster, March 23, 1888, resides in Rye, New York. 4. Hammond Moore, born at Norfolk, Virginia, June 28, 1851, resides in Brookline, Massachusetts; married at Boston, November 13, 1879, Catherine Howard Reed, and their children are--Catherine, born at Longwood, Massachusetts, September 28, 1881, married, September 30, 1903, Theodore W. Little, at Cohasset, Massachusetts; they reside in Brookline; Margaret, born at Longwood, Massachusetts, December 28, 1886, resides at Longwood. 5. Emily Stark, born at Norfolk, Virginia, July 10, 1854, resides at Lancaster.

(IX) Anna Henshaw Whitney, daughter of Asa Hammond Whitney (8), was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 30, 1844. She attended school there and in Norfolk, Virginia. In 1855 she was sent to a boarding school at Keene, New Hampshire with her elder sister, Laura L. Whitney. In 1858 they entered Lasell Seminary at Auburndale, Massachusetts, graduating in 1860. During the next two years she was a teacher in Lasell Seminary and in the year following she taught for a year in a private school in Worcester. In February, 1864, she accepted a position as teacher in the academy at Lancaster, which shortly became the Lancaster high school. With the exception of one year, 1880-1, spent abroad, she continued to teach there until 1888.

Miss Whitney has served several three-year terms on the school committee of Lancaster, and is at present secretary of the board. She is also secretary of the board of trustees of the Public Library.

Since giving up her work as teacher in the public schools she has taught drawing and painting to private pupils and in the public schools at times. Miss Whitney has an attractive home at Lancaster and pursues agriculture at her farm, "Few Acres," as on of her avocations. For amny years she kept kennels of St. Bernards and pub dogs for pleasure and profit, and has officiated as judge of these and various other breeds at the leading bench shows in the United States and Canada, beginning soon after her return from Europe and continuing to the present time.

[p. 100]

(VI) Ichabod Stowe, son of Stephen [and Abigail (Smith)] Stowe (5), was born in Stow, Massachusetts, 1759. He married Ruth Whitney, November 29, 1781. He was a soldier in the revolutionary war. He settled in Stow and conducted the old farm. He had a son Moses and other children, namely: Ichabod, Abraham, Levi, Luke.

(VII) Moses Stowe, son of Ichabod Stowe (6), was born on the old Stowe homestead at Stow, Massachusetts, in 1803. He died in Lancaster Massachusetts, in 1883. He attended the schools in Stow. He went to work first on the old farm, but later decided to learn the wheelwright's trade. He followed this business all his active life. He settled Lancaster where he spent his last years. In politics he was originally an "old line Whig" and was deeply interested in his party, for which he worked earnestly and faithfully. He married Eliza W. Jones, January 1, 1829. They had two children: Franklin, born October 16, 1829, died September 23, 1837; and Henry H., born March 29, 1841.

. . . .

[p. 141]

The children of Joseph [and Sarah (-----)] Bemis were: . . . . 2. Mary, born September 10, 1644; died before 1730; married February 16, 1683-4, Samuel Whitney, son of John, Jr., and Ruth (Reynolds) Whitney, of Watertown, born in Watertown, July 23, 1648; died there 1730. John Whitney was born in England 1624, and died in Watertown October 12, 1692. Samuel Whitney was a soldier from Groton or Watertown in King Philip's war. He had a large family of children and has many descendants. . . . .

[p. 148]

(IV) Simon Stone, Jr. . . . . He was one of the first deacons of the church [at Harvard, Massachusetts] with Joseph Fairbanks, Jonathan Whitney and Joseph Haskell. He died in 1746, . . . .

[p. 163]

(XII) Deacon Josiah Fiske, . . ., married Sarah Lawrence, . . . . Children: . . . Amos, born May 10, 1739, married Mary Whitney; . . . .

[p. 164]

. . . . Children: . . . Amos, born May 10, 1739, married Mary Whitney; . . . .

[p. 192]

Children of Captain Amos and Lucy [(Gates)]Fairbanks were: . . .; Lucy, March 24, 1764, married Reuben Whitney; . . . . The children of Captain Amos and Rhoda [(Sawyer)] Fairbanks: Amos, born September 5, 1769, see forward; . . . .

(VI) Amos Fairbanks, son of Captain Amos Fairbanks (5), was born at Harvard, Massachusetts, September 5, 1769, died March 28, 1837. He settled at Harvard, on the old farm. He married, April 27, 1794, Rebecca Whitney, born April 13, 1777, daughter of Israel and Hannah (Mead) Whitney, of Harvard. She died at Charlestown, Massachusetts, October 15, 1763 [sic], at the home of her daughter, Eliza Seymour, aged eighty-six years. Their children, all born at Harvard, were: Horace, October 15, 1795, resided at Boston, married Amelia Dodge, July 13, 1818; Amos, November 27, 1799; Clark, February 13, 1802, died Mary 7, 1885; Israel W., November 1, 1804; Zopher, October 20, 1806, resided at Duxbury, married Harriet C. Longley, December 31, 1833, died December 14, 1879; Rebecca, August 5, 1808, married, February 23, 1836, Edmund Sawyer, of Warner, New Hampshire; Henry, June 11, 1811, see forward; William, May 4, 1813, died 1817; Eliza, September 6, 1718, married, October, 1844, Friend Seymour, and lived at Charlestown.

(VII) Henry Fairbanks, son of Amos Fairbanks (6), was born at Harvard, Massachusetts, June 11, 1811, on the old homestead. He received a common school education in his native town and learned the butcher's trade. He was in business in Princeton and Sterling, and drove a market wagon to Boston for 1850 to 1870. About 1870 he removed to Sudbury and subsequently returned to Sterling, where he died January 18, 1897, in the eighty-sixth year of his age. He married Martha Conant, who died August 25, 1858, in Princeton, and is buried in Acton, Massachusetts. He married (second) Sarah A. Moore, of Sudbury, who died in Sterling and was buried in Sudbury. He married (third) Lucinda Brown, died in Sudbury. They children of Henry and Martha Fairbanks were: William Henry, born at Littleton, November 7, 1841, see forward; Martha Ann, born at Littleton, died aged eight years; Ellen Maria, died December 9, 197; Albert Conant, born September 5, 18552, married Emma T. Sprague; Curtis Albro, born September 27, 1855, died 1871. Albert Conant Fairbanks is a successful manufacturer of musical instruments, and wood rims for bicycles and other vehicles, the patent for which is his. His company has a large plant for manufacturing the wooden rims in England and also at Tonawanda, New York. He was a member of the city council of Somerville, Massachusetts, in 1893-94.

(VIII) William Henry Fairbanks, son of Henry Fairbanks (7), was born at Littleton, Massachusetts, November 7, 1841. He was educated in the public schools of the neighboring towns of Sterling and Acton. He became associated with his father in the meat business. In 1865 he started in business on his own account in South Lancaster. In 1867 he removed to Hudson, Massachusetts, and carried on the meat and provision business there for three years. From 1870 to 1875 he was in the manufacturing business in Boston, making rubber syringes and other goods. He settle in Clinton in 1875 and since then has been engaged in the meat and provision business there. He has also dealt extensively in cattle and horses, buying his stock in the west by the carload. He has been successful in business and commands the esteem and confidence of his townsmen. He is a Republican in politics, but has never cared for public office.

He married, at Sterling, Mary Jennie Bailey, born at Northborough Massachusetts, March 3, 1840, died September 5, 1895, daughter of Charles M. and Mary (Rice) Bailey. Her father was a tanner by trade. The children: May Bailey, born May 30, 1871, formerly a teacher in the Clinton public schools, now residing at home; Harry Conant, born October 23, 1881, now a partner in his father's business.

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Chester Parker, son of George Alanson [and Harriet N. (Felton)] Parker, born in Chester, Pennsylvania, August 10, 1862, was educated in the schools in Lancaster, Massachusetts, a private school in Worcester and at Exeter Academy, New Hampshire, remaining two years at the latter place. He then entered into the real estate business in Boston, and has continued in that with great success as a real estate broker with offices in Devonshire Building and 15 Exchange street, Boston. He resides at Lancaster, Massachusetts, upon the old Parker homestead. He is a member of

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the board of real estate arbitration in Boston, also a member of the Real Estate Exchange in that city. He is a Republican in politics but, like his brothers, not a seeker of public office. He is a gentleman whose opinions are greatly respected, and whose judgment on values of real estate are in frequent demand.

He married, October, 1899, Ethel Whitney Lawton, daughter of Robert G. Lawton, of Havana, Cuba. Their children are: Chester, born September, 1900; Felton, 1902, died the same year; Lydia B. F., November, 1904. [See above.--RLW]

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[William and Susanna (-----) Shattuck's] children were: . . . . 3. John, born February 11, 1647; married Ruth Whitney. . . . .

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(VII) Jesse Springer Norcross, son of Jonathan Norcross, Jr., was born in Wayne, Maine, in 1806. He was a carpenter and builder, also proprietor of the "Norcross Mills," at Winslow, Maine. He married, in 1826, Margaret Ann Whitney, of Westboro, Massachusetts. They resided in various places in the state of Maine, among them the towns of Clinton and Winslow. In 1843 he removed to Salem, Massachusetts, where he continued to ply his occupation as carpenter and builder. In the year 1849 he joined the great concourse of seekers for gold in California. He died the following year and was buried at Bernicia, in that state. His widow, Margaret Ann (Whitney) Norcross, was the daughter of Jonah and Anna (Rider) Whitney. The father of Jonah was Thomas Whitney, a revolutionary soldier from the town of Shrewsbury, Thomas Being in the fifth generation from the emigrant ancestor, John Whitney, who settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, and was admitted freeman there in 1635-36. The children of Jesse Springer and Margaret Ann (Whitney) Norcross were: Rosina C., Julia and James A., twins; Elizabeth, Orlando W., William, died at sea, when nineteen years of age; Leander, who died an infant, and Charles Henry, died when four years of age. As the business career of the two brothers, James Atkinson, born March 24, 1831, and Orlando Whitney, born October 25, 1839, appears so closely interwoven, it seems highly proper that they should be reviewed together.

James Atkinson Norcross, eldest son of Jesse Springer and Margaret Ann (Whitney) Norcross, born March 24, 1831, in Kennebec county, Maine, was a mere lad when the family removed to Salem, Massachusetts. The early death of his father placed upon his shoulders heavy responsibilities. Having inherited in a large degree the mechanical genius of his father, he learned the trade of a carpenter, which he followed at Salem a number of years. In 1864, upon the return of his brother Orlando from three years service in the war of the rebellion, the two formed a partnership which continued until the year 1897. They syle of the firm was Norcross Brothers, and their buisness career was started in Essex county, Massachusetts, in the city of Salem, but they soon removed to the city of Worcester to gain a larger field in which to labor. The Leicester Congregational Church was their first large contact. The excellent manner in which that contract was filled gave the firm an enviable reputation among building contractors, and from that date onward they were awarded a large share of the contracts given out for expensive structures erected within their immediate locality. As their facilities for executing work, and the quality of their workmanship became known to the public, demand for their services came not only from the various cities and towns in the New England states, but far and near throughout the United States, until therre was scarcely a city among those most prominent in the Union but what contained a sample of their handiwork.

During the thirty-three years of most unprecedented business prosperity, James A. Norcross attended to the clerical and financial part, while Orlando Norcross gave attention to directing the men in their employ, an arrangement which proved to ensure signal success. They erected factories, equipped with the latest improved machinery, where they manufacture doors, sash, and all necessary finish required by their contracts, and the firm soon became conspicuous for reasonable prices, promptness, and the skillful way n which all of their contracts were met. Scores of magnificent structures erected by this firm may be found noted in the personal sketch of

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the brother partner, Orlando, which follows at the conclusion of the notice of James A., who retired from the firm in 1897 for the purpose of enjoying some of the ease and comfort to which a lifetime of labor and steady brain work entitled him. For years he had resided in an elegant mansion of Claremont street, Worcester, built of Longmeadow sandstone, but he sought better and more roomy surroundings, and after purchasing a tract of land containing several acres, situated on May street, a short distance west from his Claremont street home, upon a beautiful eminence, furnishing a commanding view of the surrounding country, he reared his "Fairlawn," and passed the remainder of his days within this home of beauty and luxury, into which he with his family removed in July, 1895. After his retirement from business he visited various portions of the United States for the purpose of inspecting rare and choice specimens of work produced by his craft, and in February, 1892, in company with his wife, visited the Old World, passing considerable time in England, France, Holland, and Italy, enjoying the scenes and meditating on the contrast between the New and Old World.

James A. Norcross was not a seeker of public office, although he served the city one term as a member of the common council in 1877. He was a member of the Worcester Board of Trade, the Commonwealth Club, the Sportsman and Continental Clubs, also the Worcester County Mechanics' Association. In the building of the South Unitarian Church he was one of the most liberal contributors. In this society he took an active interest, and within its circle found his religious home. He was a man of charitable disposition, and his kindliness was often evinced by his many acts of charity. He died at his home, August 4, 1903, and was survived by his widow, who was Mary Ellen Pinkham, and their children, as follows:

1. Julia Ellen, born October 14, 1851; married, June 8, 1871, at Worcester, Thomas Seymour Osborne, of Nova Scotia, and had children: John Seymour, born February 28, 1872, died an infant; Mary Gertrude, May 5, 1873, married Alfred Merrifield, of Worcester; Florence Elizabeth, born April 27, 1875, died July 9, 1902. She married, 1892, Fred A. Corey, of Worcester, and had children: Charles E., died August 29, 1893; James Earle, born April 27, 1896; Fred, born September 10, 1900. ROsie Winifred, born April 5, 1878, married, January 18, 1899, Harry E. Mayo, of Worcester, and had one child, Virginia, born June 3, 1899. John Edwin Norcross, born August 24, 1880, married Nellie Billings. James William Thomas, born July 24, 1882, married Ethel Comstock, and have Lawrence Wilmot. Arthur Wilmot, born February 7, 1888, died January 18, 1889. Ellen, born September 28, 1890. David Benjamin, born July 7, 1894.

2. James Ephraim, born 1853, in Salem; died 1855.

3. James Franklin Norcross, born in Salem, Massachusetts, January 8, 1856. He attended the common schools there, and in South Adams and Worcester, in turn. He left school at the early age of fourteen years to enter the employ of Norcross Brothers, and took up carpentering, in which he continue almost three years. He then went to East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, to learn quarrying and stone cutting. After ten years he was made superintendent of all this business for Norcross Brothers, and served in that capacity until April 1, 1897, when he resigned, and later engaged in the same line of business on his own account. After a year he sold his plant, and on December 1, 1898, removed to Springfield, Massachusetts, where he has since resided. He was engaged in caring for his father's business and arranging his own affairs until 1901, when he bought an interest in the Westfield Marble and Sandstone Company, a corporation doing business in Westfield, Massachusetts, where their quarries are located. He was vice-president and manager from the time he entered the company until 1906, when his widowed mother, desiring his assistance in the management of her affairs, he resigned the position of manager, but has retained to the present time, that of vice-president. While in East Longmeadow, Mr. Norcross attended the Congregational church, and served as a member of its parish committee, and was also for one year secretary of the school board. In 1882 he joined Hampden Lodge No. 27, I. O. O. F., of Springfield, Massachusetts, of which he is yet a member. In politics he is a Republican. He married, March 7, 1878, Sarah Etta Robinson, born in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, July 13, 1857, a daughter of Jonas and Martha (Bradbury) Robinson; her father is a leading stone cutter and setter. To Mr. and Mrs. Norcross were born two children: Jonas Walter, May 23, 1879; and Mary Etha, August 21, 1882.

4. Arthur Warren, born at Salem, Massachusetts, July 27, 1861. He received his education in the Worcester public schools, graduating from Woodland grammar school in June 1878. In the fall of that year he entered the Classical High School, where he continued his studies for a time, subsequently taking in Bryant & Stratton's Business College at Boston. In 1881 he entered the employ of Norcross Brothers, contractors and builders, where he remained about a year, subsequently removing to New York city, Baltimore, Cleveland and other cities in the employ of the firm until about 1897, when he became a partner in the firm of Norcross & Cleveland, contractors and builders, of Boston. This firm built the present Brewer building on Front street, Worcester. Mr. Norcross, since the dissolution of Norcross & Cleveland, continued as contractor until recently, and is at present superintendent of a large building concern in New York city. He was an attendant of the First Universalist Church at Worcester, and is a Republican in politics. He married, December 18, 1888, Alice Willard Warren, born in Worcester, adopted daughter of Otis and Caroline E. Warren, of Worcester. One child was born to them, Pauline, born September 12, 1890, died February 10, 1892.

5. Rosa Minerva, born in Salem, June 2, 1863; died April 5, 1877.

6. William Ephraim, born at Salem, Massachusetts, May 11, 1866. At the age of three years he removed with his parents to Worcester, where he attended the public schools at Woodland street, from which he graduated, taking a year's course in the Classical High School. He then entered the employ of Norcross Brothers, where he was paymaster of the outside help for two years, after which time he entered the shipping department as head shipper, continuing for three years. Subsequently he entered the office of the draughting department, where he remained for two and a half years. About a year before the dissolution of partnership of Norcross Brothers, he became interested in the affairs of "Fairlawn," the estate of his father, where he assumed charge of the farm and has remained in charge of affairs to the present day. In 1898 he built his residence at "Fairlawn," adjoining the home of his father, where he resided until the death of his father, August 4, 1903, when he came to live with his family at "Fairlawn." Mr. Norcross is an attendant of the South Unitarian Memor-

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ial Church in which he has served as treasurer and clerk. He is a Republican in politics, and a member of the Worcester Automobile Club; he was a member for two years of the Lakeside Boat Club, and for three years of the Commonwealth Club. He married, November 23, 1890, Lilliam Mabel Blenus, born at South Dedham, Massachusetts, June 17, 1867, daughter of Charles W. and Vesta (Gates) Blenus, of Worcester, Massachusetts. Charles W. Blenus was a piano case maker, a veteran of the civil war, and a member of Post No. 10, G. A. R. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Norcross are: Hazel, born August 19, 1893; Rosemary, born November 26, 1899.

7. Mary Elizabeth, born at South Adams, Massachusetts, October 31, 1868, married, September 20, 1892, William Lorin Davis, of Millbury, Massachusetts, a brick manufacturer. One child, Margaret, born at Worcester, Massachusetts, January 10, 1896.

8. Florence A., born in Worcester, 1871; died July 9, 1871.

9. Jesse Orlando, born at Worcester, Massachusetts, December 1, 1875. He received his education in the Woodland street grammar school, the private school of John Dalzell on West street, where he remained two years. He then entered the employ of Norcross Brothers aas clerk and bookkeeper in his father's office. Here he remained about two years, and then entered the employ of his brother, who was of the firm of Norcross & Cleveland. In the latter position he began to learn the trade of carpenter, and later became a journeyman in the business. He remained about two yars in their employ. In 1901 he purchased an eleven acre farm on Millbury avenue, just over the line in Millbury, where he built an elegant mansion and egaged in the poultry business for some time; he still resides at this place. In January, 1905, the firm of Norcross & Shiland under Massachusetts laws was incorporated with quarters at 214 Summer street, for the sale of automobiles. Jesse O. Norcross is the president and director; H. E. Shiland, secretary, S. Norcross, clerk of the corporation. Mr. Shiland retired from the company six months later. In February, 1906, the company moved to more commodious quarters at the corner of Foster and Commercial street, the firm name having changed to that of Norcross Automobile Company, agents for the "Packard," "Peerless," and "Auto Car." Mr. Norcross is an attendant of the South Unitarian Memorial Church, a Republican in politics, a member of Worcester Grange, No. 22, Patrons of Husbandry, the Worcester Automobile Club, and was formerly a member of the Lakeside Boat Club. He was a charter member of Wellington Rifles, Company H, Second Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, enlisting as private at its organization, May 2, 1894, serving three years. He married, December 16, 1896, Maud Marie Smith, born July 13, 1877, daughter of Marcus M. and Ann Elizabeth (Butterfield) Smith, of Keene, New Hampshire. Marcus M. Smith has been connected with the foundry department of the Cropmton & Knowles Company.

Mrs. Mary Ellen Norcross, widow of James Atkinson Norcross, was born January 8, 1835, in Peabody, Massachusetts, daughter of Hicks and Mary B. Pinkham. Her father was born October 6, 1806, in New Hampshire, and died December 23, 1849; he was a contractor and carpenter; his wife, the mother of Mrs. Norcross, was born in Massachusetts, December 16, 1806, and died January 21, 1850. Mrs. James A. Norcross is possessed of like charitable and philantrophic traits of character with her lamented husband. Like him she has always been deeply attached to the South Unitarian Church of Worcester, to which, since her husband's death, she has presented the sum of $20,000 for the liquidation of its debt. Her benefactions have been constantly extended to all worthy purposes.

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