Century Mass. literature, genealogy,
posted April 2006, revised Jul 2009
History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts
edited by Simeon L. Deyo.
1890. New York: H. W. Blake & Co
Town of Yarmouth.
by Hon. Charles F. Swift
Location and Characteristics. — Settlement. — The Grantees and Early Settlers.— Early Events and Customs. — The Revolutionary Period. — Division of the Town. — War of 1812. — Subsequent Events. — Taverns and Hotels.— Churches.— Schools. — Civil Lists. — The Villages, their Industries and Institutions: Yarmouth & Yarmouth Port, South Yarmouth, West Yarmouth, East Yarmouth — Biographical Sketches.
THE present town of Yarmouth is situated about midway of the peninsula of Cape Cod, having Barnstable for her westerly neighbor, and Dennis on the east. Cape Cod bay washes the north and the Vineyard sound the south shores of the township. The four principal villages are near the borders of the sea or river, and the intervening region of four or five miles is densely covered with oak, pine, birch, cedar and other woods. There are a large number of fresh ponds scattered throughout the town, giving an agreeable diversity to the landscape. Fifteen of the larger, with areas varying from ten to ninety-four acres, have an aggregate area of 564 acres. Long pond, near South Yarmouth, of ninety-four acres, and one south of it of twenty, have no outlet. Dennis pond, of fifty acres; Taylor's, of thirty-nine; Flax, of twenty; and one of eleven acres, form another group with no outlet. Mill pond, of eighty-one acres, is drained by Hamblin brook. Parker's river drains Flashes pond, of sixty-five acres, and Swan pond, of seventy. Thornton brook rises in a pond of fifty acres, and near South Yarmouth is a group of three small ponds with no visible outlet. Large tracts of salt meadow skirt the northern shore of the town. The soil is generally light, although, in Yarmouth Port, especially, there is a considerable region of land well adapted to gardens and orchards. The streets of that village are lined with large and. heavy elms, planted some forty-five years ago, making a boulevard of a mile and a half of attractive shade for promenade and riding. Germans hill is the highest eminence in the town. Bass river, a stream some five miles in length, separates the town from Dennis to that extent; and Chase's Garden river, on the north side, is also the boundary for a short distance. White's brook, on the north, empties into Cape Cod bay; and Baxter's river, on the south, into Vineyard sound.
The original township of Yarmouth comprised, besides its present limits, a region of about a mile in extent from east to west, of what is now a portion of the town of Barnstable; but at a court held in Yarmouth, June 17, 1641, by virtue of an order of the general court, the line between the two towns was established substantially as it now exists. The easterly boundaries of the township were somewhat indefinite, but embraced the whole of the present town of Dennis, and the town also exercised a sort of shadowy jurisdiction over the region now known as Chatham; which, in the language of the old records, was described as "within the liberties of Yarmouth;" the western part of Brewster—then known as Satucket—was at an early period a "Constablerick " of Yarmouth—which probably meant that the town was responsible for the preservation of good order and lawful conduct on the part of the inhabitants of the region. In 1694 those two communities were included in the town of Eastham, and Yarmouth thenceforward included the region now comprised in the towns of Yarmouth and Dennis.
The region in the vicinity of the habitations of the first comers was known by the Indian names of Mattacheese, Mattacheeset, Hockanom and Nobscusset, Mattacheese signified old lands, or planting lands, and the terminal t, was applied to places by the water, making Mattacheeset mean, old lands by the borders of the water. This general term described the region now the eastern part of Barnstable and the western portion of Yarmouth. From near White's brook to Dennis, was known as Hockanom; beyond which, to Brewster, the region was called Nobscusset. The Pawkunnawkuts occupied the vicinity of South Yarmouth and South Dennis, on both sides of Bass river.
But little is known of the region before its settlement by the English. Captain John Smith, as is shown by the map describing his voyages, visited Barnstable harbor and skirted this coast. The Plymouth colonists sent frequent expeditions here but the earliest occupation of the town which is a matter of record, was in August, 1638, when the colony court granted leave to Stephen Hopkins "to erect a house at Mattacheese, and cut hay to winter his cattle, provided it be not to withdraw him from the town of Plymouth." In September of the same year, permission was granted to Gabriel Whelden and Gregory Armstrong to locate here, "with the consent of the committees of the place," which seems to imply some previous organization, at least, for a settlement. Hopkins was one of the Mayflower's company. He afterward conveyed his house to Andrew Hallet, jr., and the locality of his domicile is thus quite accurately defined. This was the first house in town built by an Englishman, the location of which is known. It is in a field now owned by Captain Charles Basset, about seventy-five yards northeasterly of the house of Thomas Thacher.
A depression on the side of the hill clearly indicates the locality of the site.
The permanent and authorized settlement of the town commenced early in 1639. The grantees of the court were, Anthony Thacher, John Crow and Thomas Howes, who had surveyed the lands, preparatory to occupation. They, with John Coite, "to be inquired of," Madrick Matthews, Philip Tabor, William Palmer, Samuel Rider, William Lumpkin and Thomas Hatch were proposed January 7, 1639, "to take up their freedom at Yarmouth." The same page records the following "persons there excepted against: Old Worden (dead), Burnell, Wright, Wat Deville." In March following, Nicholas Simpkins, Hugh Tilley, Giles Hopkins and Joshua Barnes are mentioned in the court records as of Yarmouth. Andrew Hallet was here in March, and there was some complaint that he had "assumed to himself" too large a proportion of the best lands, but his claim was subsequently confirmed by the court. Between the time of the first settlement and the close of the following year the pioneers were joined by Thomas Starr, Robert Dennis, Edward Sturgis, James Matthews, William Nickerson, Samuel Ryder, Yelverton Crow, Philip Tabor, William Palmer, and Thomas Payne. William Chase was chosen constable, and Thomas Payne and Philip Tabor deputies to the court, the first representative assembly in the colony, which met June 4, 1639. William Clark took the oath of allegiance and fidelity in September, and was constable for the town.
The legislation by the colony court relative to the town, the first year of its existence, forbade any one here purchasing two house lots or more and laying them together and maintaining but one house upon them. This was intended to make the settlements compact, as a matter of safety and precaution. Yarmouth men were granted liberty to "keep their swine unwringed," "they keeping them with a herdsman until complaint be made of some hurt they have done." It was ordered that "a pair of stocks and a pound be erected, and that a constable see it done, and have a warrant to distrain such as shall refuse to pay what shall be assessed to the charge thereof." William Palmer was authorized to exercise the inhabitants in the use of arms.
The first mention of Yarmouth as the name of the town is found in the grant by the colony court to Messrs. Thacher, Crow and Howes. Of the first settlers some were Eastern county men, some were from the midland counties, some from Wales, and others from the south of England. Yarmouth, the principal seaport on the eastern coast of England, was the place of embarkation and debarkation between that country and Holland, and was naturally associated in their minds with experiences in the mother country; hence, perhaps, the name of this town.
"Yarmouth," says Mr. Freeman, "was peculiarly fortunate in its incipiency in being under the direction not only of highly respectable and energetic men, but of such as probably in general coalesced better with the leaders at Plymouth than did the majority of those, also highly respectable, who laid the foundation of Sandwich."
Anthony Thacher, it is believed, was born in Somersetshire county, England, about 1589. In 1610 we hear of him at Leyden, where he remained with Robinson and his associates about twenty years. But though imbued with the Pilgrim spirit, he found it consistent with his principles to serve as curate to his brother, Peter, who was rector of the church of the parish of St. Edmunds, at Salisbury, county of Wiltz. April 6, 1635, he sailed in the ship James from Southampton, together with Thomas, son of his brother Peter, a youth of fifteen years, arriving in Newbury, Mass., in June. In a voyage from Ipswich to Marblehead, undertaken in August, 1635, a terrific storm arose and their vessel was driven on the rocks on an island now bearing the name of Thacher, where his four children, his cousin, Rev. John Avery and his six children were drowned, Mr. Thacher and his wife being the only survivors of a company of twenty-three. After a short residence in Marblehead, Mr. Thacher obtained, in company with his associates before named, a grant of the region then known as Mattacheese, surveyed the lands, and early in 1639 commenced the settlement of the town. His homestead was located on the land about three hundred yards northeasterly of the dwelling house of the late James G. Hallet. Mr. Thacher married for a second wife Elizabeth Jones, six weeks previous to sailing for America. His surviving children were: John, born in Marblehead in March, 1639; Judah, born in Yarmouth, who died November 4, 1676; and Bethea, who married Jabez Howland, of Barnstable, and removed to Rhode Island. Colonel John, above named, was a more distinguished man than his father, so far as eminent public position and service is concerned. He was assistant to the governor in 1691, and from 1692 to 1717, inclusive, a counsellor in the province of Massachusetts Bay. A number of other eminent men have been found among the descendants of Anthony Thacher; among them Peter Thacher, judge of court of common pleas, 1729; John Thacher, also judge of court of common pleas, 1736; David Thacher, representative twenty-seven years, senator two years, delegate for framing state constitution, and also delegate to ratify the national constitution, and judge of court of common pleas.
Mr. Andrew Hallet was among the earliest of the first comers, but did not make his permanent residence here until 1641. He was styled a "school master" in Lychford's "Plain Dealing." In 1839 he bought of Dr. William Starr, for ten pounds, seventeen acres of land
and twelve acres of meadow, with the frame of a house to be made by William Chase, the house "to be made and set with a chimney, and to be thatched, studded and latched (daubing excepted)," which Mr. Chase had agreed to do for the sum of five pounds. This house lot was in the northwest part of Yarmouth and the northeast part of Barnstable, on the county road; the house was probably within the limits of Yarmouth. In 1643 Mr. Hallet presented to the poor of the town a cow, which was accepted by the court for the purpose indicated—a gift at that time munificent, as cattle were valued, and evidently appreciated by the recipients. Mr. Hallet is described in the records as a "gentleman," a term which then carried with it high social consideration. His children were: Andrew, Samuel, Hannah, Josias, and Joseph. He died about the year 1647.
Andrew Hallet, jr., came over in 1636, nominally as a "servant " of Richard Wade—a title assumed for convenience—and was first in Lynn, and subsequently in Sandwich. He sold his house in that town in 1640 and in 1642 bought the Giles Hopkins house, the first built in town. He afterward built a house on the knoll, a few feet northerly of the present residence of Captain Charles Basset. He purchased eighteen acres to the eastward of his house lot, of Nicholas Simpkins, and the farm of Robert Dennis on the southwest. By subsequent purchases he became the proprietor of some three hundred acres of the best tillage and pasture land in town, owning from Barnstable line to nearly a quarter of a mile easterly on both sides of Hallet street, named for his family, He died in 1684, aged seventy-six, his wife Anne, daughter of Anthony Besse of Sandwich, surviving him.
Edward Sturgis was a man of wealth and social prominence. He was in Charlestown in 1634, and constable in Yarmouth in 1641. He kept an ordinary and sold large quantities of liquors, which our fathers consumed. His residence was northerly of the old burying ground. He died in Sandwich in 1695. Among his descendants are the late President Quincy of Harvard College, John Quincy Adams, and other distinguished personages.
Mr. Edmund Hawes came to this country in the James in April, 1635. He registered as a "cutler." He resided some time in Dux-bury, and came to Yarmouth in 1645. His residence was on the lot in the rear of the store of J. Knowles & Co. He survived nearly all the first settlers, dying in 1693, at the age of about eighty years.
William Chase was a member of the company of Rev. Mr. Bachilor, who, in 1638, made the first attempt to settle in what was afterward a part of Barnstable. He was appointed the first constable in town, but was deposed at the end of six months, not being in sympathy with the people of the town. In 1640 he was censured by the court, for his language against the minister, and ordered to depart the colony in six
months, but the order was not enforced. His numerous descendants in this section are derived from John, second son of William, jr., who came with his father from England.
John Gorham came to this town from Marshfield in 1652, and purchased the house of Andrew Hallet, sr. He was a native of Benefield, Northamptonshire, where he was born in 1621. With Mr. Hallet's house he bought a part of his farm in Yarmouth and Barnstable, the grist mill at Stoney Cove, and carried on a tannery on the borders of the pond, below the residence of Patrick Keveney. He commanded the military company in town. In June, 1675, Captain Gorham and twenty-five men from Yarmouth "took up their first march for Mount Hope," and saw considerable service. In October he was appointed captain of the second company of Plymouth colony forces, was engaged in the sanguinary fight in the Swamp fort, December 19th, and died at Swansey, from fever contracted in consequence of exposure during that campaign, February 5, 1676, at the age of fifty-five years. He left a family of eleven children, from whom have descended the families in this and the neighboring towns. The Gorhams have been prominent in public affairs in both Yarmouth and Barnstable.
William Nickerson came from Norwich, England, to Watertown,. in 1637, and was in Yarmouth as early as 1641, when with others he was fined for "disrespect for religion," which meant, for Rev. Mr. Matthews. But there seems no good ground for doubting the rectitude of his conduct or his respectable character. He removed to Chatham in 1665 and settled that town.
James Matthews was in Charlestown in 1634, and probably removed to Yarmouth with the first comers, in 1639. The family was doubtless from Tewksbury, in Gloucestershire. Mr. Matthews settled near the westerly borders of Follen's pond. His male children were: Samuel, Benjamin, and probably Thomas, William and John. He died January 29, 1685.
There were two Richard Taylors early in town, both of whom were enrolled among those able to bear arms in 1643, and both had wives named Ruth. To distinguish them, one was called Richard Taylor, tailor from his occupation, and the other Richard Rock, from the circumstance that his house was built beside a great rock. The first Richard, in the year 1646, had a difficulty with Gabriel Whelden, who objected to his marriage with Whelden's daughter Ruth, and the court took cognizance of the matter. This new style of courting succeeded and Whelden's consent was followed by the marriage. The Taylors of Chatham are descended from this Richard. The Taylors of Yarmouth are from "Richard Rock," who married Ruth Burgess. He was constable in 1656 and 1668, surveyor of highway in 1657, excise officer in 1664, and on the grand jury in 1685.
William Hedge was a freeman at Lynn in May, 1634; removed to Sandwich, and from thence to Yarmouth, where he was settled as early as 1643. He is favorably mentioned by a soldier in the Pequot war, who served with him, as a gentleman, of Northamptonshire, England. He was several times captain of the military company in this town, a member of the grand inquest, and of the council of war. He lived near the old church in this town, now the post office. He died in 1670, leaving five children: Abraham, Elisha, William, John and Lemuel. The family is not numerous in Yarmouth, but is well represented in Dennis.
Emanuel White was in Yarmouth in 1641. He was involved in the ministerial quarrel of the time, and in 1646, was fined by the court for villifying Rev. John Miller, a short and summary process to which our fathers usually resorted, to silence opposition to the established religious order of things. The Whites of this town are not his descendants, but of Jonathan, who came here later.
John Joyce removed from Lynn to Sandwich in 1637, and thence to Yarmouth in 1643. He was a man of wealth, residing in the village of Hockanom. He died in 1666. The family name became extinct in 1755 by the death of Jeremiah, his great-grandson.
Richard Berry was of Barnstable in 1643, removed to Boston in 1647, and thence to Yarmouth, where he resided in 1649. He lived near the mouth of Bass river, and came under the discipline of the authorities on several occasions. He had eleven children, who were, as far as known, of exemplary character, and his sons, John and Samuel, from whom those of the name in this town were derived, were useful citizens.
It has sometimes been assumed, without sufficient evidence, that Yelverton Crow was a brother of John, one of the grantees of the town. He was one on the list of those able to bear arms in 1643, was, a grand juryman in 1656, deputy and selectman later, and died in 1683. He lived at "South Sea," near Lewis's bay and had a son, Thomas, who had numerous descendants.
Robert Dennis was in Yarmouth in 1641. In 1645 he was a member of the grand inquest. In 1648 he was appointed on the committee of the town to dispose of the common lands; in 1658 was one of the committee to settle with the sachem Yanno; was afterward excise officer, and committee on the part of the town for oil claimed by the colony. He died in 1669, leaving one daughter, but no male heirs. Dennis pond, adjoining which he owned lands, is named for him.
Besides these men others were here as temporary residents, among them John and Joshua Barnes, Richard Pritchard, Daniel and Job Cole, William Clark, Giles Hopkins, Thomas Hatch, Rev. Samuel Arnold, Thomas Boardman, William Palmer, Richard Hoar, Thomas Payne and John Gray.
When the scattered communities which composed the Plymouth colony took upon themselves a quasi legislative form of government, Yarmouth, with the others, joined the association and sent her deputies to the colonial legislature. From that circumstance her incorporation—for she never had any other—is usually dated as September 3, 1639, when she became one of the represented towns in the colony court.
Expeditions against the Indians were sent out by the colony court in 1642 and again in 1645, the dreaded Narragansetts causing much uneasiness by their unfriendly attitude. The first year Yarmouth furnished two soldiers, and of the second expedition she furnished five. They were absent fourteen days and saw but little service. This "war" cost Yarmouth £7, 2s., 6d. How much of a community the town had become may be gathered from the lists of those capable of bearing arms and the freemen in 1643.
The fifty-two bearing arms were: Anthony Berry, Thomas Boreman, James Bursell, John Burstall, William Chase, sr., William Chase, jr., Daniel Cole, Job Cole, John Crow, Yelverton Crow, Robert Davis, Robert Dennis, John Derby, William Edge [Hedge?], Roger Else [Ellis?], Thomas Falland, Thomas Flawne, William Grause, John Gray, Benjamin Hammon, Andrew Hallet, sr., Andrew Hallet, jr., Hugh Tilley, William Twining, Henry Whelden, Samuel Williams, Samuel Hallet, Richard Hoar, Thomas Howes, Tristram Hull, John Joyce, William Lumpkin, James Matthews, Mr. Martin Matthews, William Nicorson, Hugh Norman, William Norcutt, William Palmer, Thomas Payne, William Pearse, Richard Pritchett, Samuel Ryder, Richard Sears, Thomas Starr, Edward Sturgis, Nicholas Simpkins, Richard Taylor, Richard Templar, Anthony Thacher, Nicholas Wadibone, Emanuel White, Peter Worden. The sixteen Freemen of the town were: Thomas Payne, Philip Tabor, Mr. Anthony Thacher, Mr. John Crow, William Palmer, William Nicholson, Mr. Marmaduke Matthews, Thomas Falland, Richard Hore, Emanuel White, James Matthews, Richard Prichard, Edmund Hawes, Daniell Cole, Job Cole, Thomas Howes.
From the beginning of the settlement there had been a great deal of bitter feeling in relation to the division of the lands. The three grantees were directed to make "an equal division of the lands" "to each man according to his estate and quality." To perform this duty satisfactorily was manifestly impossible, because, although his estate might be estimated, it would be difficult to say what one's quality was in a new place and among new men. Another committee was appointed from among the townsmen, but they did not succeed in allaying the discontent. Then Captain Standish was joined to the former committees, and they succeeded no better. The difficulties
increasing, Captain Standish alone was appointed in 1648, by the court, to "have a hearing and put an end to all differences " on this subject. The fiery captain showed the same pluck and decision in this matter that he exhibited in warlike exploits, and adopted decidedly heroic remedies. Many parties were ejected from lands claimed and occupied by them. Most of the former grants were abrogated and the lands reverted to the possession of the town. They were then reassigned agreeably to the views of the commissioner. There was no appeal, and smothering their resentment as best they might, the townsmen submitted from compulsion. Thus was ended one of the potent causes of internal discontent in the community.
The causes for public concern was sufficient to keep the people fully employed. The ministerial wrangles, the taxation to support Eel River bridge, and the threatening conduct of the Dutch at New Northlands were sources of continual controversy. In 1663 Sergeant Ryder and John Gorham were sent by the town to attend a council of war, and of the sixty men which the colony voted to raise, six were assigned as the quota to Yarmouth. The next year the number was four, and there was another call for a like number.
The action of the court in relation to this town about this period throws some side lights upon the occupations, resources and public interests and concerns of the people. In 1661 the colonial authorities and the towns came to an agreement, by which two barrels of oil from every whale secured in town should be delivered to the treasurer of the colony. Richard Child was warned to desist from building a cottage in town. This matter of "warning out of town" undesirable-settlers may seem harsh, in a new country with plenty of land; but it was in accordance with sound public policy at that time. If Child had been permitted to build without protest, he would have acquired a personal right in the common lands, a tenement right and a claim for public relief for himself and family if unfortunate in his business.
In November, 1667, in relation to attendance upon town meetings, it was voted, "that if any townsman doth not make his appearance upon the second call to answer to his name, he shall be fined 6d, unless the townsmen accept his excuse." The former regulations relating to ordinaries and ordinary keepers were reaffirmed and more accurately defined, and John Howes and Anthony Fray were appointed for this town to enforce the laws on this subject. Edward Sturgis, a leading citizen, gave dissatisfaction by his indiscriminate sale of spirituous liquors, and his license to keep an ordinary was revoked. It was also voted that "every ratable person in town shall kill, or cause to be killed, six black birds or crows, by the last of July next, or else pay 2s., 6d. for his neglect." The town, in 1679, also appointed a committee to collect the minister's salary, "so that he may not remain unpaid of
his due, to the blemish of the town." In 1680 the townspeople agreed with certain parties "to look out for and secure the town all such whales as by God's providence shall be cast up in their several bounds," for the sum of four pounds a whale, to be paid in blubber or oil. An invoice of liquors brought into the town in 1662, shows that six different persons imported one hundred and twelve gallons. In 1663 ten persons brought here ninety-seven gallons, nine cases and a quarter cask. As a result, at the next term of the court, notice was taken of "much abuse of liquors in the town of Yarmouth," and the next year two prominent citizens were fined for bringing in liquors without seasonably notifying the inspectors.
All the citizens of the town do not appear to have been saints, and frequently some of them were disciplined by the court. In 1663 Jonas Hallet, Thomas Starr and two others, of Yarmouth, went to the house of John Doane, jr., of Eastham, and finding no one at home, ransacked the house for liquors, which they drank, and then wrote "a libellous and scandalous paper of verses," which they left there. They were fined fifty shillings each, and their two associates thirty shillings each. Nicholas Nickerson, for making opprobrious speeches against Rev. Thomas Thornton, saying of a certain sermon, that "half of it was lies," was obliged to retract and express regret, though it is doubtful if he felt it. In 1669 sundry persons were fined five shillings each, "for smoking tobacco at the end of Yarmouth meeting house, during the Lord's day, in the time of exercise." In 1671 three persons of Yarmouth were fined thirty shillings each, "for sailing from Yarmouth to Boston on the Lord's day," and three others were summoned to appear to answer a like accusation. One person was fined for "swearing."
The following is a list of the freemen in 1670: Mr. John Crow, Thomas Falland, Emanuel White, James Matthews, Mr. Edmund Hawes, Mr. John Vincent, Jeremiah Howes, John Miller, Edward Sturgis, sr., Richard Sears, Yelverton Crow, Joseph Howes, John Thacher, Henry Vincent, Samuel Sturgis, Judah Thacher, Thomas Howes, John Hawes, Kenelme Winslow. In 1674 the house of Edward Hawes, the town clerk, was destroyed by fire, and with it the entire town records. No attempt was ever made to repair this loss, and much valuable information is thereby lost to the descendants of that and previous generations. The new book of records opens with a list of the soldiers of Yarmouth who were pressed into the service in Philip's war, together with their wages. The quotas of men required were promptly filled. Fifteen men from this town were in the Narragansett swamp fight, but none were killed. Five men from this town were killed at Rehoboth, in the fight in which Captain Pierce's company was annihilated. The pecuniary burden on the
town was great. During the years 1675-'76 war taxes were assessed as follows: £74, 15s., 6d.; £14; £266, 1s.; £297.
Philip's war did not, by any means, finish the troubles connected with the Indian question. The seat of hostilities was transferred to Maine and New Hampshire, and in 1689 Yarmouth was obliged to pay forty-one pounds as her proportion of the war against the Eastern Indians. In 1690 she furnished at one time four, and at another ten men, and paid £104, 2s., 9d., of the debt of what was styled William and Mary's War. Yarmouth in 1690 was regarded by the assessors—or "rate-makers," as they were styled in those days—as the fourth town of the twenty in the colony in point of valuation, those ranking higher being Plymouth, Scituate and Barnstable only. As an important town in the colony, she had her share of anxieties and tribulations in connection with the complications in the other colonies and in the mother country.
In 1694, Captain John Thacher, Lieutenant Silas Sears, John Miller, and Sergeant Joseph Ryder were appointed to "seat the men and women and others in the meeting house." The seating of a congregation was an important and a delicate matter. Seats were assigned according to rank, social position, wealth and other public considerations, and it was not, at all times, an easy task to satisfy the expectations of a society in this respect. In 1695 John Taylor was appointed to take care of the meeting house, for one year, for which service he was to receive one pound. It was also agreed that "each townsman shall give and haul to the minister one load of wood." John Thacher, Thomas Sturgis, and William Hedge were granted leave to set up a wind mill on the commons, to use one acre of land, for the site, the mill not to be rated. The Quakers' scruples were respected, when it was ordered that they "be rated for the support of the ministry, but that the tax be made so much larger, that Mr. Cotton may have his full salary." Major Thacher and Zachariah Paddock were appointed to join the selectmen, to run a line between the town and "the purchasers" of the town of Harwich. John Clark was engaged in 1700 for school master, to have besides his salary provision for keeping his horse, his circuit being so extended as to require that facility. In 1701 John Miller was chosen representative, to have 3s., 6d., per day, and to be allowed two extra days for travel, "in consideration of his age and the greatness of the journey."
The division of the common lands of the town was initiated in 1710. After the division made by Captain Standish in 1648, there appears to have been substantially no change in the system of alloting the common property of the townsmen until 1672, when grants were authorized by the court, and the book containing these awards contains this inscription: " John Thacher was appointed to keep this
book and enter records therein." The committee were: Edmund Hawes, Thomas Boardman, Thomas Howes, Andrew Hallet, and John Thacher. Afterward the court added Jeremiah Howes and John Miller in place of Captain Howes and Andrew Hallet. These persons granted pieces of marsh and upland to a limited extent, but the original estates had been subdivided, the people had increased and were getting cramped for land.
In February, 1710, the town chose as a committee to consider and report upon some plan of division, Colonel Thacher, John Hallet, Samuel Sturgis, Joseph Hall, and Zachariah Paddock, jr. In April the committee's report was accepted by the town. They recommended that the division be made on the following plan, viz.: " 1st. That one-third of the commons shall be apportioned to tenements, the owners to be inhabitants of the town, or the children or successors of those now inhabitants who have tenement rights, or of those who were freeholders in 1661, and had borne charge in settling the town, and that no person should have to exceed two tenement rights. 2d. One-third to all persons 21 years of age and over, born in town and now inhabitants, or those not born here who have been inhabitants 21 years, and have possessed a tenement 21 years. 3d. One-third, according to real estate, as each person was rated in 1709." A committee was then chosen to report a list of persons in town entitled to a portion of the public lands and the number of shares to which each was entitled. The committee's report of May 23d was confirmed, and in February, 1711, the proprietors met, and agreed that two-thirds of the undivided lands be laid out to the individual proprietors. The committee were also authorized to lay out such highways and private ways in those undivided lots as they deemed proper. The whole number of shares was 3,135 (afterward altered to 3,118). The proprietors' clerk was directed to make out a list of proprietors from the town book and record them. By a general average, nine shares were assigned to each tenement right, and 7 1/2 to each personal right. No person was to have more than two of the former, and there were only four persons in town found to be entitled to more than one. All the residue over the tenement and personal rights was on account of proportionate ownership in the taxable real estate in town. The division was made by lot, and the drawings were completed during the summer of 1712. A large portion of these lots have remained in the families of the first owners down to the present time.
Before making the third and final division it was voted at a proprietors' meeting held July 1, 1713, "that a piece of land and beach lying near Coy's pond, about two acres, shall lie undivided for the benefit of the whalemen of the town of Yarmouth forever." It was also voted that " the committee chosen to lay out the third of the
undivided lands shall have power to lay out a certain tract, as much as they shall see fit and convenient for the native Indians of the town to live upon, they agreeing with the Indians where to lay out such land, which land is to lie for their use forever, to live upon and for planting and firewood. And the Indians shall not have any power to sell or dispose of said lands or timber, wood or fencing stuff that grows thereon, or receive any other town's Indians or any other persons whatsoever, either English or Indians." The division made by lot July 14, 1715, absorbed the great bulk of the common lands except the few spots reserved, as already indicated. The locality reserved for the use and occupation of the Indians is particularly described in the proprietors' records, and is substantially the present village of South Yarmouth, contiguous to the streams and shell fisheries, which the Indian prized so highly.
About 1726 commenced a movement from the Cape to seek new homes—this time toward the province of Maine. The division of the common lands had not satisfied the desires of the landless classes, and the legislature of 1727 having granted the heirs of each of the 120 soldiers in the Narragansett expedition during Philip's war, a township in Maine, about forty heirs and their families in 1736 settled the town of Gorham, Me.
No sooner was the last of the French wars ended than the difficulties of the colonies with the mother country began to thicken, and the people of this town not only shared in the general discontent, but made their dissatisfaction known by their acts. There was a patriotic body, here as elsewhere, called the Sons of Liberty, who met usually in the night time and made the few loyalists and those suspected of being such, very unhappy. Two "liberty poles" were erected in the West parish bounds, one on the hill in the rear of the present residence of David G. Eldridge, then called Liberty hill, and another in front of the meeting house, now occupied by the post office. Any one found guilty of drinking taxed tea, or of making impudent remarks, was required to dance around these liberty poles and make solemn recantation of their errors and promises of amendment. In 1774 the West parish contributed £5, 6s., 8d., to the Boston sufferers by the port bill, and a large committee was chosen "on observation and prevention," of which Captain Elisha Basset, Stephen Hallet, Joseph Griffeth and Joseph Crowell were members. Enoch Hallet, Joseph Griffeth and Isaac Matthews, jr., were chosen delegates to the county congress, to meet at Barnstable. Barnabas Eldridge, Reuben Taylor, Abner Crowell, Isaac Hallet, Edmund Bray and Samuel Eldridge were appointed a committee "to see that no tea is consumed in Yarmouth." Enoch Hallet and Daniel Taylor were chosen members of the "standing committee." When the
alarm of the country was sounded by the demonstration upon Lexington and Concord, the town's militia started out for the scene of operations, the western company under Captain Jonathan Crowell mustering sixty officers and men. They had not proceeded far before intelligence of the rout and retreat of the British troops reached them and they returned home. A "committee of safety" was appointed in 1775 and was "indefinitely continued.".
General Washington, having early in 1776 determined upon the expulsion of the British from Boston, wrote to the council of Massachusetts Bay, submitting to their wisdom " whether it may not be best to direct the militia of certain towns, contiguous to Dorchester and Roxbury to repair to the line at those places with arms, ammunition and accoutrements, instantly, upon a given signal," and the suggestion was favorably received. Yarmouth was one of the towns called upon. Captain Joshua Gray, who commanded the militia, at once set forth, accompanied by a drummer, to call for volunteers. Every one was ready and willing to go. The night was spent in preparation. In the chamber of the ancient house now standing at the corner of Hallet and Wharf streets, the mothers and daughters spent the night in moulding bullets and making cartridges, and at early dawn eighty-one men, under the command of Captain Gray, were on the march for Dorchester.
A meeting was held June 20, 1776, in which it was unanimously "Voted, that the inhabitants of Yarmouth do declare a state of independance of the king of Great Britain, agreeably to a late resolve of the General Court, if in case the wisdom of Congress should see proper to do it." This resolve they did their part to carry out, so far as laid in their power. Their men nearly all joined the patriot army. Their commerce and fisheries were destroyed, and they suffered untold hardships and privations for seven long years.
About this time that portion of South Yarmouth now most thickly settled, which had heretofore been known as "Indian Town," was placed in the market and soon developed by an enterprising and intelligent population.
April 10, 1783, a new schooner, called the Perseverance, was launched in town, and a party of young persons went out in her on an excursion. Being without ballast, when in the channel off Beach Point, she capsized, and Miss Anna Hawes, a young lady of seventeen, sister of the late Dea. Joseph Hawes, was drowned. In 1789 occurred a disastrous shipwreck, involving the loss of the lives of seven people belonging to this town. A new fishing schooner, mostly owned by a Mr. Evans, of Providence, R. I., was lost in a gale, on Nantucket shoals, with all on board. Their names were: Howes Hallet, master, Josiah
Hallet, Daniel Hallet, Levi Hallet, Joseph Hallet, Josiah Miller and Moody Sears, all of Yarmouth.
One of the peculiarities of the civil economy of Old Yarmouth may appropriately be noted in connection with the events preceding the division of the town. During the war it was customary to transact the public business by parishes. The people became so used to transacting public business in this way, that it was thought best to make two townships of Old Yarmouth, and by a vote of eighty-six to four, they decided to devide the town. The act of separation passed June 19, 1793, and took effect in February following.
The year of the final separation, the "South Sea" or West Yarmouth parish was also set off, as will be seen by reference to the church history. Party spirit raged at the time as it had never before done. Yarmouth was an intensely Federal town, and the adherents of Mr. Jefferson were regarded as Jacobins and infidels. It was fortunate for the peace of the town that there was so few of them here. In 1797, and for several years afterward, small-pox again raged in town, and a hospital for inoculation was established at Great island, now known as Point Gammon. In 1808 permission was granted to David Kelley and others to build a draw-bridge over Bass river, between Yarmouth and Dennis.
These were the most important acts and votes of purely domestic concern. The relations of the town to the attitude of the general government were of an important character. The position of the administration on the subject of our commercial policy was very obnoxious to our people, who felt that it was destroying their shipping interests and sapping the foundations of their prosperity. The embargo, the non-intercourse act, and all the measures adopted by the government, under the pretext of vindicating our rights as a commercial community, seemed to them to have an exactly opposite influence and tendency. The ships were rotting at their docks, and the men out of employment. Individuals, and the town as a corporate body, protested against the policy adopted. A town meeting, held August 29, 1808, petitioned congress to suspend the embargo; and the town repeated the action in February, 1809. July 8, 1812, twenty days after the declaration of war, the town put on record a protest against the act. The vote of the town for governor in. April, 1813, was 265 for Caleb Strong, the anti-war, federal candidate, and twenty-three for Joseph B. Varnum, the war, administration candidate. Brewster, which town had been served with a demand by the British naval commander for $4,000, sent a committee to Yarmouth to solicit aid. The town was called together on Sunday, and appointed a committee to inquire into any similar errand or demand, if made upon this town, but nothing further transpired in relation thereto.
In 1814, Great Britain, being freed from her continental embarrassments, sent a large fleet to the New England coast, which kept our coasting and fishing vessels within their harbors, and nearly destroyed the remaining industries of the town.
Alarms were frequent, and the militia were constantly liable to be called out. On one occasion the Yarmouth company was a day and night in Barnstable, which was supposed to be threatened with an attack, and bivouacked in the court house. It was once or twice, under the same circumstances, marched to the south side, which was threatened by a visit from the invaders. Party spirit ran high, and the people of the town refused to take any other part in the hostilities, than to repel invasion. Many of those who had fought and suffered in the revolutionary war, utterly refused to engage in the struggle then going on. The opposition to the war was at no time abated in this town, and the treaty of peace was a welcome relief to the people.
The year 1817 witnessed a great temperance reform in the town. The evils of the intemperate and excessive use of spirituous liquors had become very great, and the drinking habits of the people were entailing much misery upon the community. Seventeen retailers were required to supply the demand on the north side of the town, to say nothing of the other portions. The formation of the Boston Society for the Prevention of Intemperance, was followed by the organization of a similar one here—said to be the second of the kind established in this country. Several persons who had been dealers in spirituous liquors joined the organization. The conditions of membership would not be considered very exacting in these days : "No member of the society, except in case of sickness, shall drink any distilled spirit or wine, in any house in town, except his own, or the one in which he resides." "No member shall offer or furnish, except in case of sickness, to any inhabitant of the town, any distilled spirit or wine, whether they be visitors or laborers, but shall use his influence to discourage the ruinous practice." The first officers of the society were: President, Elisha Doane; first vice-president, Seth Kelley; second vice-president, Joseph Hawes; secretary, Calvin Tilden; treasurer, Prince Matthews; committee, Freeman Baker, Howes Taylor, Anthony Chase, Henry Thacher, Edmund Eldridge, Ebenezer Matthews, jr., John Eldridge. This society existed many years, and was instrumental, in a very marked degree, in checking the evil aimed at. In 1826 the town voted to petition the legislature that salt works,, which had heretofore been exempt, should no longer be free from taxation.
The town, in 1829, raised a committee to inquire into the subject of an alms house. Another committee was appointed in 1830, and in March, 1831, it was voted to build, and the following building committee
was chosen: Nathan Hallet, Simeon Lewis, Eben Bray, James, Matthews, and Ezekiel Matthews, jr. The town, in March, 1835, voted to build a new town house, near the geographical center of the town, and appointed as building committee: Matthew C. Hallet, Alexander Baxter, Isaiah Crowell, Isaiah Bray, and James Matthews. Four hundred dollars was appropriated for the purpose. The town, in 1837, voted to receive its proportion of the surplus revenue distributed by the United States government, and placed it in the hands of John B. Doane, as its agent. Mr. Doane dying the same year, Isaiah Crowell was chosen the ensuing year, the selectmen having in the meantime managed the matter. In 1838 a portion of the money was used to pay the current town expenses, and to purchase two hearses; and the next year the balance was absorbed by painting the town buildings and for schools. In 1839 five hundred dollars was appropriated, and a committee was chosen to take effectual measures to check the increase of the sandy wastes east of White's brook, and to restore the region to fertility. The committee consisted of : Peter Thacher, Alexander Baxter, Isaiah Crowell, William Hall, and Matthews C. Hallet. The committee placed over the shifting sand a thick covering of brush, and the waste was in a few years reclaimed, and the most of it is now covered with growing pines.
The gale of October 3 and 4, 1841, was unprecedented in its destruction of life and property of the citizens of this county, especially of those employed in the fisheries. Yarmouth sustained a loss of ten lives, rendering four wives widows, and sixteen children fatherless. The schooner Primrose, Captain Eben Bray, jr., was on George's bank, and was never after heard from; she was supposed to have foundered at sea. The schooner Leo, Captain Freeman Taylor, went ashore, high and dry, on Scorton beach, and was got off without injury. The names of the lost from Yarmouth were: Eben Bray, jr., Peter Bray, John Bray, Ebenezer Matthews, jr., Isaac Matthews, son of Reuben Matthews, David Hall, David H. Hall, Benjamin Whelden, and Andrew Whelden.
Amos Otis, Edward Thacher, and Oliver Hallet were authorized, by a vote of the town, in 1841, to set trees along the highways of Yarmouth Port, provided the road be left thirty feet wide within the trees. The trees were procured in Middleboro, and set from the Barnstable line to the Second District school house, greatly adding to the present beauty and comfort of the street. The legislature of 1843 passed an act incorporating the Long Pond Fishing Company, of Yarmouth, to open an outlet from Long pond to Swan pond, and to improve Parker's river. May 12th, a destructive fire raged in the woods in the southeasterly portion of the town, spreading over four thousand
acres, and destroying standing and cut wood, to the value of fifty thousand dollars.
In 1844 John Reed, of this town, was chosen by the legislature to the office of lieutenant governor, there having been "no choice" by the people. Mr. Reed was re-elected six subsequent terms. December 20, 1852, the magnesia works of Fearing & Akin, South Yarmouth, were destroyed by fire; loss, five thousand dollars. In December, 1853, in a severe snow storm, accompanied by high wind and tide, Central wharf, in Yarmouth Port, was nearly destroyed, the store and packing shed of Hawes & Taylor, located upon it, containing a stock of goods, was washed away and broken up, and five vessels driven from their moorings, floated ashore. The bark Ida, and several schooners went ashore on Sandy neck. The schooner Leo, of Rockland, Me., came ashore on Sandy neck; her crew were doubtless all lost. In October, 1858, the schooner Granite, of Quincy, was wrecked on the outer bar, off Yarmouth, and her crew, five in number, were swept overboard and drowned.
May 3, 1863, the store and stock of goods of James B. Crocker were destroyed by fire; loss, about five thousand dollars. August 11th, a camp-meeting, under the auspices of Methodist Episcopal societies of the Providence Conference, was initiated. The association having the matter in charge, had previously purchased a grove about one mile and a quarter from the Yarmouth railroad station, on the Hyannis road, and erected suitable buildings for the purpose. This grove, with its accommodations, has been greatly enlarged, and improved yearly since that time. The last vessel of the Yarmouth Port fishing fleet was sold this year. October 15, 1868, the ancient cemetery, having, been enlarged and greatly improved, there were impressive services held to commemorate the event; the chief feature of which was an address, by Rev. Joseph Eldridge, D. D., of Norfolk, Conn. March 14, 1869, the schooner Electric Light, of Provincetown, from Boston for Provincetown, was driven by a severe northeasterly gale into Yarmouth harbor, striking upon the bar and capsizing. Her crew of five men, with five passengers, all lost their lives. The severity of the weather of March, 1872, was said by the oldest people to be unprecedented for that month of the year. It was reported in the newspapers of March 23d, that it had been three weeks since any communication was had with Sandy neck.
June 20, 1873, a fire broke out in the woods northeasterly from the town house, burning over a region of a square mile, destroying a large quantity of cut and standing wood. The station house of the Old Colony Railroad Company, in Yarmouth Port, was destroyed by fire November 17, 1878, and a few months after another was erected on the spot. Village Hall, Yarmouth Port, was also destroyed by fire,
December 22, 1880, and replaced during the following year by another and handsome edifice.
Two hundred and fifty years after the admission of the town into the colonial group—September 3, 1889—the event was celebrated by a joint commemoration, in which Yarmouth as a municipality, and Dennis by a large number of its citizens, took part, in connection with many friends from abroad.
Ordinaries, Taverns and Hotels.—Anthony Thacher was the first person in town authorized to "draw wine" in Yarmouth, in June, 1644, which was a perquisite of an ordinary. His house was on the lot near the marsh, southeasterly of the James G. Hallet place, in Yarmouth Port. Edward Sturgis, who was licensed in 1646 "to keep an ordinary and draw wine in Yarmouth, provided Mr. Thacher draw out his," lived a little to the northeast of the old cemetery in Yarmouth. He imported a good deal of liquor, and the inference is that he sold more than was for the public good, as he was fined in 1663 for bringing liquor into town without giving notice to those appointed to invoice it, and his license was taken away. John Miller was next appointed to keep an ordinary. He lived in a house near the site of the present school building. He was the son of the second minister and subsequently the town schoolmaster. The best and most discreet men in town were sought out for this business, which was important to the interests of the towns.
Subsequently to the revolution, Captain John Bear[s]e kept an ordinary or tavern, as the name then began to be written. He lived in a house on the site of the present residence of Captain Isaac B. Gage, near the old meeting house. This old stand was subsequently kept by the successful host, Elisha Doane. Mr. Bear[s]e seems to have done a flourishing business. He used to entertain the ordaining and ecclesiastical councils at his house, furnishing them with spirituous as well as other refreshments. Some seventy-five or eighty years ago there was another much-resorted-to tavern in Yarmouth village: the old Hamblin House, next westerly to the house of Watson Thacher, and kept by Colonel Joshua Hamblin and others. At both of these places there was an abundance of good cheer, and the townsmen at that time, until the great temperance reformation in 1817, were renowned for their social and convivial habits.
The Sears Hotel, in Yarmouth Port, was afterward a most noted hostelry. It was for many years the end of the stage coach route from Boston, the point from which the stages to Provincetown and Chatham diverged. The reputation of the house was acquired for it by Charles Sears, Esq., a brother of Joshua, the great Boston merchant. Mr. Sears kept no bar and sold no liquors, but none of
his customers suffered for want of reasonable creature comforts. He was succeeded by his son Charles, and afterward by Calvin Conant, Eben A. Hallet, and perhaps by others. The house is now the property of R. E. Holmes, of Worcester, and is occupied summers by his family, and all the year round by A. G. Megathlin. It is nearly twenty-five years since it has been used as a hotel.
Churches.—The Congregational church was coeval with the town in its organization. The first minister was Mr. Marmaduke Matthews, the prefix of Rev. not being then employed. He became embroiled in disputes with some of his people, who endeavored to found another society, with Rev. Joseph Hull, of Barnstable, as preacher. The court interfered, Mr. Hull was interdicted from further action in the matter and the project was abandoned. But Mr. Matthews finally decided to seek a new field and left town, probably about 1646, after an incumbency of not far from seven years. He was succeeded in 1647 by Rev. John Miller, who remained until 1661.
Mr. Miller was succeeded by Rev Thomas Thornton, in 1667, though his ministerial labors commenced about 1663. He was one of the ministers of the established church, ejected from their livings for nonconformity, in 1662. He continued with the church and society until 1693, when he removed to Boston, and died in 1700. While pastor of this society he actively engaged in efforts to Christianize the Indians, and also acted as physician among his people. During his ministry, the meeting house, which originally was of rude construction, was greatly embellished according to the fashion of those times. Mr. Thornton was succeeded, in 1693, by Rev. John Cotton, whose incumbency continued to 1705, when he died. In 1708, Rev. Daniel Greenleaf was settled as pastor, continuing in that relation until 1727. During Mr. Greenleaf's ministry, a new meeting house was built, at an expense of four hundred pounds. The old one, which had been located on Fort hill, on the southern side of the ancient cemetery, was given to Mrs. Rebecca Sturgis for a dwelling house, and its timbers are now found in the easterly wing of the house at present owned and occupied by Hannah Crowell. During Mr. Greenleaf's ministry, the parish was divided, the easterly portion settling Rev. Josiah Dennis. Rev. Thomas Smith succeeded Mr. Greenleaf, in 1729, and continued until 1754. Rev. Grindall Rawson was his successor, and in 1760, in consequence of disagreement with members of the church, he retired. Rev. Joseph Green, jr., was pastor from 1762 to 1768, when he died, greatly beloved and lamented.
Rev. Timothy Alden, who was settled here in 1769, continued until his death in 1828, a period of almost sixty years. After him came Rev. Nathaniel Cogswell, from 1822 (when he was settled as colleague of Mr. Alden), to 1851, when he resigned. Rev. Abel K.
Packard was pastor from 1851 to 1859; Rev. Joseph B. Clark, from 1861 to 1868; Rev. John W. Dodge, from 1868 to the present time. The meeting house used in the time of Mr. Greenleaf was enlarged in 1768, and again in 1787. In 1830 the old meetinghouse was taken down and another—the one now used as a post office and grocery store by I. H. Thacher—was erected in its place. In 1870, the spacious edifice now used by the society was erected on a new site, and very near the geographical center of the parish.
The Society of the New Jerusalem was organized in Yarmouth Port in 1843, and for several years held services in the room above the present market, and afterward in that over the store of James Knowles & Co. The present church edifice was dedicated December 29, 1870, with a sermon by Rev. Joseph Pettee. The first pastor settled by the society was Rev. John P. Perry, who continued in that relation from 1853 to 1870. He was succeeded by Rev. William H. Mayhew, from 1874 to 1887. The pulpit has since been supplied by Rev. G. I. Ward.
The Second Congregational Society originated in 1794, when the West Yarmouth, or "South Sea" portion of the old parish, insisted upon having preaching there a part of the time. A meeting house was built and dedicated, Reverends Messrs. Alden, of Yarmouth, and Waterman, of Barnstable, preaching forenoon and afternoon. The sermons were both printed. Mr. Alden agreed to preach at South Sea the proper proportion of the time, and always seemed to enjoy his connection with that portion of his distant parishioners. In 1815, Mr. Alden, being eighty years of age, according to records, was occasionally assisted by his son Martin. One of the duties of the son was to post the notices and appointments, of which the following is a sample: ''There will be preaching in this house three weeks from to-day. If father can't preach, I shall." Rev. Nathaniel Cogswell, Mr. Alden's associate, after 1822 and until 1828, officiated in his place. Until 1840 this society was a part of the old Yarmouth parish. The pastors and supplies since that time have been: Reverends Daniel H. Babcock, 1840; Ebenezer Chase, 1842; Samuel Darling, 1847;—— Cobb, 1848; John H. Wells, 1851; Martin S. Howard, 1856; John E. Corey, 1859; Elisha Bacon, 1861; Robert Samuel, 1863; Henry E. Lounsbury, 1865; Luther Farnham (supplied), 1867; Joseph D. Strong, 1868; De Forest Dodge (supplied), 1872; John F. Norton, 1873; Nathaniel S. Moore, 1877; Stephen Smith, 1880; Marshall B. Angier, supplied from January, 1882, to March, 1882; Roderick J. Mooney, 1882; Jeremiah K. Aldrich, 1885; Frank E. Kavanaugh, 1886; and George Wesley Osgood, present pastor since November, 1887. In 1880 this church and Hyannis Congregational church united, and Rev. Stephen Smith and all since his time preached at both places.
A Methodist Society was organized in Yarmouth Port, in 1819, consisting
of six persons. In 1821, nineteen had been added to the original number, and a church was that year organized. At the present time its numbers have greatly decreased, and for several years its services have been dependent upon a supply. A list of ministers stationed here is not available.
The Universalist Society was organized in Yarmouth Port, in 1836, when the present meeting house was erected. The pastors have been here in the following order. The first, after the erection of the meeting house, was Mr. Abraham Norwood, of Brewster, who officiated half the time for one year, when he left, to preach in Marblehead, Mass. October 22, 1837, Rev. John N. Parker commenced to preach one half the time. In April, 1840, he went to another field of labor. In August, 1840, Rev. Gillman Noyes, then officiating at Hyannis, commenced to preach here one third of the time; his last service being December 12, 1841. In April, 1842, Rev. T. K. Taylor engaged to supply the pulpit one third of the time for one year. In January, 1844, Rev. G. Collins agreed to preach forty Sabbaths of the year; he left in the latter part of December, 1845. There were various supplies for several years, and in 1851, Rev. C. Marston was settled, but was dismissed in 1855. He was succeeded in 1856, by Rev. J. E. Davenport. He was succeeded in 1874, by Rev. Cyrus A. Bradley, who now supplies the pulpit.
The South Yarmouth Methodist Episcopal Society is a flourishing organization. An old meeting house formerly stood southeast of the village by the cemetery and near Silas Baker's homestead. The Bakers were prominent in its erection; but of its history little is known. It was afterward removed to Dennis Port and converted into a store. Of its old ministers, Dr. Lewis B. Bates was one, prior to 1853; Dr. George W. Stearns was another. In 1852 the present edifice was erected, at which period the records commence. The first minister in the new edifice was Henry Aston in 1853-4; followed by James M. Worcester in 1855; Lemuel T. Harlow in 1856; Edward B. Hinckley, 1857; William E. Sheldon, 1858; Lawton Cady, 1859; Benjamin L. Sayer, 1860; F. A. Loomis, 1862; Joseph Gerry, 1864; Charles Hammond, 1865; L. Bowdish, 1867; W. F. Farington, 1869; S. F. Whidden and W. F. Whitcher in 1872; W. L. Phillips, 1875; W. F. Steele, 1877; George E. Fuller, 1879; A. McCord, 1880; Edward Williams, 1881; George W. Wright, 1883; S. H. Day and Joseph H. George, 1885; W. P. Arbuckle, 1886: W. E. Kuyler, 1887; George E. Dunbar, since 1888.
The South Yarmouth Baptist Church was organized November 20, 1824, as the First Baptist Church of Yarmouth. The first church edifice was built in 1825, and the present one rebuilt in 1860. Simeon Crowell was first pastor until his death in 1848. The society united with the Congregationalists a few years in service, when in 1859 they
settled Stephen Coombs as pastor; in 1860, A. W. Ashley; 1862, William Leach; 1860, A. E. Battelle; 1867, J. C. Boomer; 1870, John A. Baskwell; 1872, William Hurst; 1876, J. H. Seaver; 1877, F. B. Joy; 1883, Orange J. Scott, who was dismissed in 1885; and 1888, O. F. Waltze, until the spring of 1889, when he was dismissed. There is now no settled minister.
A chapel was built about 1860 at South Yarmouth by David Kelley. This he has since furnished and maintained as an undenominational place of worship, free to all, and it has proved a Bethel to many.
Schools.—Yarmouth has never been behind the other towns in the county in appreciating the advantages of education for the people. The common school system was not an imported idea; it grew out of the wants and necessities of the inhabitants. The earliest official recognition of this fact by the town is found in the record of 1693, when a committee was "appointed to agree with some fit person to teach school," which was to be done "in squadrons " covering all parts of the town. Mr. John Miller, son of the second minister, had previously taught a private school, in a house near the spot where the North side school house now stands. Dea. Joseph Hawes, soon after the revolution, was a famous teacher. The history of the public schools in this town is a history of all the schools in the county up to 1854, when the present graded system was inaugurated, which since has been subject to frequent improvement.
In 1809 an academy was erected on Hawes's lane, Yarmouth Port. It was the same building now used as a market house by A. C. Megathlin, but stood, when erected, about seventy-five feet southwest of its present location. This was a private school, where a large number of the incipient sea captains and merchants of the town acquired a good solid basis for an education. James Henry, a brilliant and well-educated young Irishman, taught for several years; after him Hugh Montgomery, the early friend of the late Joshua Sears, succeeded. Among its later teachers was Rev. Thomas P. Rodman, a writer of ability. The Yarmouth Academy, situated on the site of the present school house, had such teachers as A. M. Payson and John E. Sanford, who kept up a high educational standard. The present excellent condition of the common schools renders the continuance of private seminaries unnecessary.
Civil Lists.—The deputies from Yarmouth in 1639 were Thomas Payne and Philip Tabor, who served two years each. In 1641 John Crow was first elected and served two years; also Richard Hoar, who served three. In 1642 William Palmer was elected and served 6 years; 1643, Anthony Thacher, 10 years; 1643, Thomas Folland, 2; 1644, James Matthews, 2; 1645, Edmund Hawes, 16; 1652, William Lumpkin and John Joyce, each 1; 1653, Thomas Howes, 9; 1654, Samuel
Arnold, 2; 1655, William Nickerson, 1; 1658, Edward Sturgis, 5; 1662, Richard Sears, 1; 1663, Yelverton Crow, 3; 1668, John Thacher, 9; 1671, John Miller, 13; 1672, Thomas Howes, 5; 1677. Jeremiah Howes, 10 years, and in 1685, Silas Sears, who served 7 years.
Yarmouth's representatives in the colonial and state legislature, with date of each man's first election and total years of service, if more than one, were: 1692, John Thacher and Jeremiah Howes, each 2; 1693, John Hallet; 1694, Thomas Sturgis, 9; 1695, Jaspar Taylor; 1696, John Hawes, 2; 1701, John Miller; 1703, Elisha Hall, 5; 1704, Samuel Howes; 1705, Samuel Sturgis; 1706, Zachariah Paddock, 3; 1711, Peter Thacher, 3; 1713, Joseph Hawes, 2; 1714, John Paddock; 1715, Joseph Hall, 2; 1718, Seth Taylor; 1719, John Hedge, 3; 1721, Eben Hawes, 5; 1727, Josiah Miller; 1728, Shubael Baxter, 4; 1732, Samuel Sturgis, 7; 1737, Judah Thacher; 1739, Daniel Hall, 4; 1740, Thomas Hallett; 1741, John Hallett, 5; 1746, John Miller, 2; 1748, Joseph Thacher, 3; 1751, Joseph Hall, 3; 1757, Thomas Howes, 1758, John Bearse; 1760, John Bare; 1764, David Thacher, 27; 1774, Elisha Bassett, 3; 1775, Enoch Hallett, 2; 1779, Jonathan Howes, 3; 1780, Edmund Howes, 2; 1786, Atherton Hall, 3; 1799, David Thacher, jr., 3; 1802, Elisha Doane, 4; 1806, David Kelley, 2; 1809, John Eldridge, 6; 1809, James Crowell, 16; 1815, Thomas Hedge, 2; 1816, Henry Thacher, 4; 1820, John Reed; 1827, Joseph Eldridge; 1828, John B. Doane, 3; 1830, Charles Hallett, 2; 1831, Isaiah Crowell, 3; 1831, Joseph White; 1832, John H. Dunbar, 3; 1833, David K. Akin, 3; 1834, Oliver Hallett, 2; 1836, Reuben Ryder; 1836, N. S. Simpkins, 3; 1836, Ichabod Sherman; 1837, Ezekiel Crowell, 2; 1838, Freeman Taylor, 2; 1839, Sylvanus Crowell; 1842, Joseph Hale; 1843, J. B. Crocker; 1844, Elisha Jenkins, 2; 1846, Samuel Matthews, 2; 1848, Ezekiel Crowell, 2; 1852, Charles Baker, 2; 1854, Samuel Thacher, 2; and 1856, Zadok Crowell.
The municipal affairs of the town have ever received the attention and commanded the services of Yarmouth's most able men. The selectmen—generally chosen with reference to their devotion to the public good—have included men not perhaps otherwheres noticed in this work; hence we give a list of all, with the date of first election, and if again elected, the whole number of years of service. In 1665 the town chose Anthony Thacher, who served 2 years; Edmund Hawes, 23; James Matthews, 4; John Miller, 28; and Joseph Hawes, 2; in 1667, Edward Sturgis, 16; Yelverton Crow; and Samuel Sturgis; in 1668, Thomas Howes, 8; and John Thacher, 15; in 1676, Jeremiah Howes, 20; 1683, Joseph Howes, 5; 1684, John Hall; 1685, Silas Sears, 10; 1693, Joseph Hall, sr., 2; 1694, Josiah Thacher, 10; 1695, Thomas Folland, 4; 1697, John Hallett, 5; and Thomas Sturgis, 3; 1699, Samuel Sturgis, 29; 1701, Joseph Hall, 28; 1702, Peter Thacher, 5; 1707, Jonathan Howes, 3; John Howes, 8; and Josiah Miller, 15; 1718, Shubael
Baxter, 7; Seth Taylor; and Judah Paddock, 4; 1728, Eben Hall, 13;. 1729, Peter Thacher, 4; Timothy Hallett; Jonathan Baker; 1731, Joseph Bassett, 7; 1734, John Sears, 2; 1737, Judah Thacher, 5; and Daniel Hall, 29; 1741, John Hallett, 13; 1745, John Howes, 6; 1747, Jonathan Smith; 1750, Jonathan Hallett, 8; and Joseph Thacher, 3; 1753, Isaac Chapman, 3; 1755, Eben Taylor; 1756, Prince Hawes, 11; and Lot Howes, 4; 1758, John Hedge, 3; 1760, Thomas Tobey, 14; 1767, Richard Baxter, 3; 1769, Isaac Matthews, 12; David Thacher, 13; and Samuel Howes; 1771, Seth Tobey, 10; 1772, Daniel Taylor, 4; and Edward Hall; 1776, John Hall; 1777, Seth Crowell; 1778, John Chapman, 2; and Samuel Eldridge, 3; 1781, Jeremiah Howes, 10; 1782, Isaac Hallett, 6; and Josiah Hall; 1786, Israel Nickerson, 3; and Athn. Hall; 1788, Daniel Crowell, 2; 1789, Thomas Thacher, 15; and Peter Sears; 1792, Thomas Howes, 2; 1795, Matthew Gorham, 2; 1797, Abner Taylor, 9; and Benjamin Matthews, 13; 1801, Charles Hallett, 2; 1802, Seth Baker; 1806, Joseph Hawes, 2; 1807, Elkanah Crowell, 9; 1808, John Eldridge, 8; 1810, Eben Gage, 3; 1811, Howes Taylor, 5; 1816, Prince Matthews, 10; and Seth Kelley, 2; 1818, Eben Bray, 7; and Gorham Crowell, 17; 1821, Bars. Thacher; 1822, Samuel Thacher, 27; 1825, James Matthews, 25; 1830, William Green; 1834, Ichabod Shearman, 11; 1844, Elisha Taylor, 26; 1848, Samuel Matthews, 2; 1851, Silas Baker, 3: and Thacher Taylor, 25; 1855, Eliakim Studley; 1856, Watson Thacher, 5; 1861, Zadock Crowell, 5; 1865, Braddock Matthews, 16; 1873, Daniel Wing, 2; 1875, Stephen Wing, 5; 1877, Winthrop Sears, 6; 1878, George H. Loring, 2; 1880, Edward Lewis, 10; 1883, Charles Bassett; Stephen Sears, 6; and Thacher T. Hallet, 7.
The first treasurer of the town was Anthony Thacher for twenty-eight years, succeeded in 1667 by Edward Howes for a like period. In 1695 John Howes was chosen and served three separate years; John Paddock, James Sturgis, Thomas Howes, sr., and Thomas Sturgis served a year each and in 1702, Samuel Sturgis was first chosen. His successors, with year of first election, have been: 1709, Peter Thacher; 1715, Josiah Miller; 1721, Edward Sturgis; 1729, Joseph Hawes; 1737, Judah Thacher; 1744, John Crowell; 1748, Seth Hall; 1753, Thomas Tobey; 1759, Jasper Taylor; 1765, Prince Hawes; 1768,, Samuel Howes; 1771, Daniel Taylor; 1776, Seth Tobey; 1778, Josiah Thacher; 1781, Joseph Griffith; 1784, Anthony Hall; 1788, Jeremiah Howes; 1789, John Thacher; 1805, James Hedge; 1810, Elisha Doane; 1811, Oliver Alden; 1812, Isaiah Alden; 1817, Joshua Hamblin; 1829, John B. Doane; 1837, Simeon Crowell; 1841, Thacher Taylor; 1844, William P. Davis began his already remarkably long term in which he is still serving. Prior to 1695 and also since 1837, and quite generally between these two date, the town clerks have been the same as the treasurers.
Villages.—The town contains four considerable villages, known by their post office designations as Yarmouth Port, Yarmouth, South Yarmouth and West Yarmouth. Besides these, a picturesque and rural community called Weir Village is situated on the north side of the town. Here for a long series of years was a mill for grinding, now for fifty years unused.
At Yarmouth Port and Yarmouth, to a great extent, the buildings and residences have been erected upon the one street which extends eastward from the Barnstable line 2 ½ miles. This region, with a portion of the eastern part of Barnstable, comprises the ancient Mattacheese of the Indians. Although there are two post office deliveries in this territory, to all intents and purposes there is but one village, which may as well be designated the North Side of Yarmouth. The school house on the north side, in which are four graded schools; the library and the three principal churches, are all within a short distance of the geographical center of the united village. The national bank, the Mutual Fire Insurance Company's office; the Railroad station and the two printing offices, are in the westerly part of Yarmouth Port. The tendency of the population for the last twenty years has rather been in that direction.
This fluctuating and changeful tendency of population, as in other country towns, is indicated by a survey of the business of the north side of Yarmouth for the last century. One hundred years ago the village of Hockanom, where now but two or three dwellings remain, was a thriving community, in which ship-building was carried on successfully, and where there were several prosperous farmers. After that, the region known as Town Dock, was the scene of busy life, where the Boston packet and coasting vessels were wont to resort. Then the region of the port was the center of the business activity of the north side. There were, forty years ago, two wharves here, both needed for the business of the town—which were known as central wharf, and Simpkins' wharf—and from thirty to forty vessels, of from twenty-five to one hundred tons burthen, were engaged in the fishing and coasting business. Now, neither of these wharves is occupied; the buildings upon and near them have mostly gone to decay, and the vessels have all been sold or have gone the way of all old hulks.
Although not a business community to any great extent, the north side of Yarmouth is a place of residences, with many very pretty houses, neatly kept estates, and with all the public institutions which minister to the taste, intelligence and moral advancement of the people. The estate of the Simpkins family; that of Henry C. Thacher, comprising the paternal homestead, and a fine cottage in the Queen Anne style of architecture; and the residence
of Mrs. Dr. Azariah Eldridge, are conspicuous among several others, hardly less attractive and elegant.
LATE RESIDENCE OF MRS. JOHN SIMPKINS
YARMOUTH PORT MASS.
"Sandy Side," the subject of the accompanying illustration, was built by Mrs. Simpkins upon the death of her husband, John Simpkins (a son of the late Nathaniel Stone Simpkins), and was her residence until her heath, and is now the summer home of her family.
There has always been a taste for forestry and arboriculture among the people. There is evidence of the existence of a tree planting society here more than seventy-five years ago, by which the streets were skirted with rows of stately looking poplars. In 1843 the town granted leave to Amos Otis, Edward Thacher and Oliver Hallet to plant trees on each side of the street at Yarmouth Port; and to them, as the committee of nearly all the citizens, we are indebted for the rows of beautiful elms which are the pride and glory of our streets. Later still, a village improvement society undertook to trim, train and supply deficiencies in the trees upon our highways, with satisfactory results, thus far.
In 1845, by actual count, there were thirty-five masters of ships or other square-rigged vessels resident between Barnstable line and White's brook. Now they may be counted on the fingers of one hand. There are some good farming lands here, the cranberry culture is successful, and summer residents, more and more, seek each year our orderly and romantic woods and groves, the shady and enticing streets, and the pleasant eminences, commanding views of the seacoast from old Plymouth to the "city in the sand,"—a region of nearly a hundred miles in extent, but so situated on a crescent that nearly all parts of the coast are in view from this central point of observation.
There are several of the ancient structures still here. The house occupied by Benjamin Lovell is about two hundred years old. It was built by Timothy, grandson of Andrew Hallet, jr., the prominent citizen two hundred years ago. The house at the corner of Hallet and Wharf streets is some 180 years old. It was built by Thomas Hallet. The house occupied by Eben A. Hallet is about the same age. The house of George T. Thacher was built by his illustrious ancestor, Anthony, for his equally distinguished son, John. The eastern wing of the house now in possession of Hannah Crowell contains the timbers of the first church in Yarmouth. When the parish built a new church they gave to the widow Sturgis the frame of the old church, which may now be seen in the building before mentioned. The frames of all these buildings are in a good state of preservation, and Mr. G. T. Thacher, in a most commendable spirit, keeps the parlor of his house in precisely the form in which it was built by his ancestor, and has been preserved by seven generations of the family
The Simpkins homestead is situated on the eastern side of the common, in Yarmouth Port. This common was a reservation of about two acres, made by the proprietors of the common lands, about 225 years ago, for the use of the inhabitants who might resort to it to manufacture brick for their dwellings, but some thirty or forty years since it was leveled, graded and improved by setting upon its borders ornamental trees. The house of Mr. Nathaniel S. Simpkins was built about seventy years ago by Captain Edmund Hawes, who was subsequently lost at sea, and the estate was afterward acquired by Mr.. Simpkins, who improved and remodeled it, and planted the trees and shrubbery which adorn its grounds. Here his children were born and reared, here he passed the latter portion of his long and eventful life, and here his son, George W. Simpkins of St. Louis, the present owner of the property, passes a portion of his time.
SUMMER RESIDENCE OF GEORGE W. SIMPKINS,
YARMOUTH PORT, MASS.
In the early time the grist mill was an important institution. It was not then as it is now, when we can have our meal ground and sifted by patent. In one of the town meeting reports occurs the alliterative phrase, "The meeting, the mill and the market." There was early, and until within a few years, a mill at the Stony cove stream, between Barnstable and Yarmouth. The last grists were ground there some twenty years since. There is also a record of permission granted, in 1697, to set up a wind mill on the "commons," the mill not to be rated. In 1702 six pounds was granted as a gratuity to Thomas Sturgis and others, the owners of the wind mill, for repairs, they agreeing to grind for a toll of two quarts per bushel for the term of three years; but in 1704 the town released Mr. Sturgis and his associates from this agreement.
On the first of January, 1795, a post office with a weekly mail was established here, with Thomas Thacher as postmaster, the office being then in the house now owned by George T. Thacher. The government records show the appointments of postmasters here as follows: Calvin Tilden, October 1, 1806; Henry Thacher, July 1, 1808; Joshua Hamblin, April 5, 1813; Oliver Alden, May 29, 1826; Benjamin Matthews, jr., June 15, 1829; James Matthews, December 13, 1836; Charles Thacher, May 26, 1847; Frederick Dunbar, January 22, 1853.
The Yarmouth Port post office was established February 18, 1829, and Timothy Reed was appointed postmaster. Edward Thacher was commissioned February 3, 1837; Nathan Hallet, jr., July 21, 1849, and Thomas Arey, June 15, 1853.
During the last seventy-five or eighty years there have been several trading establishments of reputation here. Prior to 1817, one important business of the stores was the liquor traffic. At that time seventeen stores were in operation between White's brook and Barnstable line. In addition to the inevitable "wet goods" department,
they sold cloths, prints, provisions, etc. After that the number of stores decreased to the legitimate wants of the public. Henry Thacher, father of Henry C. and Thomas, kept a large—for the times— stock of staple dry goods and groceries. A part of his store is now unused. He was succeeded in business by his son Thomas, who about forty years ago transferred the business to James Knowles. At the death of Mr. Knowles, about 1880, his son A. A. Knowles succeeded to the business and still continues it. Hon. David Thacher, about the beginning of the century, carried on an extensive mercantile business in the house now occupied by James G. Hallet, Yarmouth Port. Mr. Samuel Thacher, at Yarmouth, was many years engaged in trade at his old stand, near his house. He was succeeded, some years ago, by his son, Isaac H. Thacher, who has recently removed to the old Congregational church, in Yarmouth village. Among the recent business places here is the store, established about 1831 by Foster & Crocker, where Daniel B. Crocker now keeps. Mr. Crocker continued, after Foster retired, afterward taking Sylvester Baker as partner. Daniel Crocker died in 1857, and Mrs. Crocker and Mr. Baker continued until 1865, when the whole business was assumed by his son, Daniel B. Crocker, who still carries on the store. E. Dexter Payne, after clerking ten years in the village, began his general store at one of the best sites here, in 1865, and continues a prosperous business.
The Barnstable Bank, located at Yarmouth Port, was chartered under the State laws in 1825. David Crocker, of Barnstable, was the first president, and Caleb Reed, first cashier. The original capital stock was one hundred thousand dollars. In 1864 it was changed to the First National Bank of Yarmouth, with a capital stock of $525,000, which in 1887 was reduced to the present amount, $350,000. President Crocker of the old bank, was succeeded, in 1843, by Isaiah Crowell, and he by Seth Crowell, in 1864. The latter was also president until the new organization, and thereafter until 1871, when David K. Akin succeeded him. In 1879 Joshua C. Howes was chosen and continues in the position. Timothy Reed succeeded Caleb Reed as cashier of the old bank, and he was succeeded by Amos Otis, who was also cashier when the new charter was obtained, serving in that capacity until his death, in 1875. William P. Davis, the present cashier, succeeded him.
There has, throughout the present century, been a small literary circle in town, giving force and direction to its intellectual growth. Dr. Calvin Tilden and others established the Union Library here in 1808. Other efforts in the same direction followed, and in 1866 a concerted attempt was made, with such success that it promises to be one of the permanent institutions of the town. The first officers were Charles F. Swift, president; Rev. Joseph B. Clark, vice-president; and
among its early directors were Isaac Myrick, jr., William P. Davis, Dr. George Shove, Rev. Nathaniel Cogswell, Frederick Dunbar, James Knowles, Solomon Taylor, David G. Eldridge, Rev. John P. Perry, and Rev. V. Lincoln. Isaac Thacher, a prominent merchant of Boston, contributed the sum of one thousand dollars, and Rev. Cogswell, Henry C. Thacher, and other prominent citizens gave money, books or building lots for the use of the society. In December, 1870, Nathan Matthews, also a native of the town, erected a handsome building, costing about six thousand dollars, and he announced that the interest on five thousand dollars would be placed at the disposal of the trustees. The association was then reorganized to meet the new conditions which existed, and something like four thousand volumes, many of them books of permanent value, have been placed upon the library shelves. In January, 1883, Mr. Isaac Thacher left, by will, five thousand dollars more, which places the institution on a safe and permanent basis. The library is governed by a self-perpetuating board of trustees, of which Rev. John W. Dodge is president. The late Amos Otis bequeathed a valuable collection of historical works, together with a safe and money to provide for their preservation. The present officers are: President, Rev. John W. Dodge; vice-president, Hon. Charles F. Swift; secretary and treasurer, William P. Davis; trustees, the foregoing, and Thomas Matthews, Henry C. Thacher, Dr. Thomas B. Pulsifer, Rev. G. I. Ward, F. C. Swift, and John Simpkins.
The Lyceum Hall Company, reorganized in 1881, was the continuance of one formed some thirty years before, its entire property being destroyed by fire in December, 1880. This company erected, on the same spot, a handsome and convenient hall, at an expense of seven thousand dollars. The present officers are; Thacher T. Hallet, R. H. Harris and D. B. Crocker, directors; William J. Davis and E. D. Payne, auditors.
A lodge of the Knights of Honor was instituted here February 3, 1879, as No. 1357. The present membership is fifty-four.
The Knights and Ladies of Honor, Lodge 298, has a membership of sixteen.
The New England Order of Protection has here a lodge—No. 43— with a membership of forty-four.
The ancient cemetery, "where the forefathers of the hamlet sleep," is still maintained, neatly enclosed, and kept in good repair by the Ancient Cemetery Association, which was organized in 1868. The officers at this time are: President, Charles F. Swift; secretary, David G. Eldridge; treasurer, Charles M. Bray; directors, the foregoing, and Watson Thacher, Isaac B. Gage, Samuel H. Thacher, Edwin Thacher, Kilburn M. Taylor, Benjamin R. Howes and Ebenezer R. Hamblin.
The Woodside Cemetery was opened, owing to the crowded condition of the older one, in 1830, the first interment being in February of that year. It has been under various control, but is now incorporated, with the following officers: President, Edward B. Hallet; secretary and treasurer, Daniel B. Crocker; trustees, H. C. Thacher, D. B. Crocker, and John Simpkins. This cemetery is well enclosed, and has a sufficient fund to keep it in good condition.
South Yarmouth is a prosperous village, situated in the southeast quarter of the town, along Bass river, directly opposite West Dennis, with which it is connected by the Lower Bass river bridge. The territory was formerly an Indian reservation, and where the wigwams of this ill-fated people once stood are now seen the prettiest cottages and busiest marts. The last wigwam remembered was in the front yard of the residence of Daniel Wing, and the squaw later resided in a building nearer the shore. The present village has been reared within the memory of its oldest citizens, although it was a fishing hamlet long before. The Indians were in the occupancy of the lands in 1778, and the town that year ordered that their lands "be sold or hired out" to reimburse the town treasury for the expenses of the small-pox epidemic, which had greatly decreased their already small number.
The first salt works built in South Yarmouth were located between the county road and Bass river, nearly opposite the present site of Standish Hall, upon land sold by John Kelley to Isaiah Crowell, Seth Kelley and Zeno Kelley, for that purpose in 1811. Subsequently, Abiel Akin, Russell Davis, Stephen Smith, Robert Wing, David K. Akin, George Wing, Daniel Wing, Lewis Crowell and Abraham Sherman conducted the industry quite extensively and with a good degree of success. These works have been kept repaired and in use until the past few years; the long rows of covered vats, still visible in the west part of the village, as shown at page 143, are still venerable in their decay. Robert Wing was an extensive manufacturer, whose works are now extant at Lower Village, and owned by David Kelley. David Smith built his on Bass river above the bridge, and Edward Gifford's were still to the north. Prince Gifford erected works northwest of the present main street, on land now belonging to his heirs. In fact this part of the town contained more feet of works than any other; and the residences of Stephen Wing and others along the southerly side of the street are built where stood these vast plants. The more recent manufacturers were Hatsel Crosby, Isaiah Crocker, Asa Covil, Barnabas Sears, Loren Baker, Francis Wood and Howes Berry.
The estate of the Sears family was situated in the western part of the present village. The homestead in which the late Barnabas Sears lived and died, now occupied by his only daughter, is shown in the
accompanying illustration. Here were born his children, of whom further mention follows. In the hearts of his posterity, that love of homestead and birthplace which is ever the characteristic of the New Englander, has been well shown in these lines by Stephen Sears,, whose home adjoins the old manse.
Our house, the dearest of its kind,
Well always call it home,
I'm sure no better we shall find
Wherever we may roam.
What if no paper on the walls,
Nor carpet on the floor ?
What if no brilliant lighted halls,
No knocker on the door ?
We'd softest beds whereon to rest
And clothing without spare,
And then to make our lot more blest
We had a mother's care.
Our father, faithful in his sphere,
Did full supplies provide,
Our constant mother, ever near,
No matter what betide.
Our rooms were known as east and west,
With kitchen in the rear,
And closets, to each room annexed,
Supplied with relics dear.
In silver vessels, not a few,
Of cup and spoon and pan,
With shining tankard bearing, too,
Medallion of Queen Anne.
Then there was narrow porch, and long,
With old brick oven too,
Whence mother, armed with patience strong,
Our early dinner drew.
The milkroom I can ne'er forget,
With all its bright array;
I see the polished pewter yet,
As in my youthful day.
Three chambers too, with well-filled beds
By skillful hands laid high,
Where we could rest our childish heads—
No harmful danger nigh.
The chamber square, with bed of down,
For visitor was used,
Lest we incur parental frown,
To enter, we refused.
The quaint old clock of ancient frame,
With solemn sounding bell,
More than a century's hours hath told;
And days and months as well.
Our home instruction, not severe,
We quite well understood,
Whether or not we willed to hear,
'Twas measured for our good.
Our father kind but firmly stood,
Our mother knew no change,
In just requirement for our good,
Yet broad our playful range.
Both aided in our boyish sports.
They seemed with us as one,
Yet in our plays of varied sorts,
For us they meant the fun.
We'll ne'er forget the leathered ball,
By mother's hand prepared,
Nor skates that aided in our fall,
Our willing father shared.
The outside objects still appear,
As in our youth they stood,
The wooded belt just on the rear
In front the well worn road.
The farming lot on either hand,
We worked as parent willed;
The soil, not rich, but fertile sand,
Quite easily was tilled.
The log-pile that in winter stood,
In form of truncate cone,
For leisure hour to change to wood,
Should leisure chance to come.
The garden too, Our mother's care,
By picket fence surround;
At her command no pains we spare,
To break and dress the ground.
The time-worn barn of ancient frame,
With winter store of hay,
The row of cattle known by name,
And fowls with noisy lay.
The crib well rounded in the fall,
With generous ears of corn,
Appears, as childhood we recall,
Like plenty's fertile horn.
The cherry trees with summer shade,
Of strong and sturdy bough,
With wavy foliage heavy laid,
Like curls on Gorgan's brow.
Those days now mingled with the past,
We cherish still, most dear;
While faithful memory holds them fast,
And youthful scenes bring near.
Of home, the once united head
Has reached a holier clime;
For loved ones, too, so long since dead,
We wait the Father's time.
I would restrain my truant mind,
From wandering out of reach,
For if no olive branch it find,
'Twill gloomy lessons teach.
Some small craft were built on the shores of this village, but tradition gives none of note. Various industries, established during the growth of the village, have been discontinued at the expiration of their charters, or pecuniary advantages. Oil-cloth works were established in 1848, in the old rope walk which had been operated by the Kelleys years before. A stock company composed of David K. Akin, Isaiah Crowell, David Kelley and others, operated the oil cloth factory three years. Stephen Wing was designer and stamp-cutter here, and went to Fall River with the works, where they were consumed by fire in 1853.
Elisha Jenkins in 1829, started a boot and shoe store and manufactory on the site now occupied by Elisha T. Baker, who purchased the store after Mr. Jenkins' death in 1881. Mr. Baker enlarged and remodeled the building and, in 1886, purchased the stock of Elisha Parker, consolidating this branch of business into one store, which he continues. Mr. Parker started his store in the western part of the village in 1836. The growth of the village near the river induced him, in 1860, to move the building and business next to his residence, where he continued until the stock was transferred to Mr. Baker. When Mr. Parker started his store he also purchased the wool of the surrounding country, and had cloth and yarn made from it at East Falmouth; this he, assisted by his son, sold throughout the county.
Russel D. Farris, in 1839, established the manufacture of harness, which he continued successfully for eighteen years, when he sold his stock and trade to Barnabas Easton. In 1857, on the same site, he opened a hardware store and in 1874 added groceries, crockery and paper hangings, still continuing a large store where he commenced fifty years ago.
In 1854 John K. and Barnabas Sears built a steam planing mill on the north side of the street, where they resided. They added machinery for grinding, all of which was a convenience to a large community. This was continued until 1865, when the importation of dressed lumber, instead of the rough stock, rendered the business unprofitable, and four years later the building was removed to Hyannis.
In 1860, and for many years, a trade of at least fifty thousand dollars a year was sustained with New York city in grain and flour, by Hiram Loring, of West Dennis. The firm was H. Loring & Co., and
their store-house was on the Yarmouth bank of Bass river, where Loring Fuller & Co. continue the same business, supplying, by a line of schooners, coal, flour and grain to the public. Purrington & Small succeeded Loring & Wing in December, 1889, in a store on Bridge street. In that business Daniel Wing had been a partner with Mr. Loring for only a few months, but had been there many years with Stephen Wing, as Wing Brothers. The business was established there still earlier by Stephen Wing, who, with Peleg P. Akin, had been engaged across the street.
David D. Kelley, also one of the principal merchants, opened his store, corner of Main and Bridge streets, September 24, 1867, and his term of twenty-two years entitles him to a place on the list of old merchants.
M. H. Crowell's carriage making and undertaking establishment, near the savings bank, on Bridge street; R. K. Farris' and D. S. Taylor's stores, and Zenas P. Howes', are also here. The manufacture of magnesia has also been discontinued for two years, Wing Brothers being the last engaged in it. F. Fearing established the trade here, in 1855. The decline in salt manufacture marked the bounds of the magnesia business here.
The social societies are numerous in South Yarmouth, the eldest of which is the Royal Arcanum, No. 250, Cape Cod Council, organized February 11, 1869, with twenty-nine charter members. Since its organization this society has paid eleven death benefits, aggregating $31,500, and sick benefits amounting to eight hundred dollars. The membership in 1889 was ninety-eight.
Howard Lodge, A. F. & A. M., has a fine hall over Standish Opera House. The charter empowering this Lodge to work, bears date December 14, 1870. The masters have been: Stephen Sears, 1870; William J. Nickerson, 1875; Bernard L. Baker, 1878; Selick H. Matthews, 1882; Elisha T. Baker, 1884; Stephen Sears, 1887; Dr. C. H. Call, in 1889. Zenas P. Howes has acted as secretary since 1874. Victory Lodge of Good Templars was organized November 22, 1887. The opera house referred to has a good stage, with suitable scenery. The rooms above accommodate the social societies. Stephen Sears and Sturgis Crowell purchased, in 1886, the building formerly owned by a stock company and used for a public hall; this they raised, repaired and added to, forming the present spacious building.
The South Yarmouth Social Library, of fifteen hundred volumes, was inaugurated a few years since by a fair, to which a liberal support was given for this purpose. Then shares of five dollars each were taken, placing the library on a permanent foundation. Officers for 1889 were: Stephen Wing, president; Emily S. Gifford, secretary; and William R. Farris, treasurer.
Some important financial schemes have been successfully sustained in this vicinity, some of the officers of the companies being residents of Dennis. One is the Bass River Marine Insurance Company, a mutual, organized in 1878, and was the outcome of a former society. The company did business nine years, paid several losses promptly, and were solvent to the extent of a million dollars. In 1887 the state laws required an incorporation not consistent to the minds of the shareholders, and the affairs of the company were closed, paying $525 to each of the twenty-five shares.
The Bass River Saving's Bank, another important business undertaking, still flourishes. It was organized in 1874 under the laws of the state, David Kelley was the first president until March, 1888, when Hiram Loring was appointed. With him, the officers are Obed Baker, 3d, and Russel D. Farris, vice presidents; David D. Kelley, treasurer; and Hiram D. Loring, secretary. It does business in a suitable building at South Yarmouth. It has six hundred thousand dollars in deposits, and is a sound and prosperous institution. A new enterprise by a stock company was established here in 1886, called the American Metallic Fabric Company, weaving wire cloth. It is said to have the only power loom for this business in the world.
The first post office here was established December 17, 1821, with Thomas Akin, jr., postmaster, who was succeeded February 25, 1842, by David K. Akin, in his store. May 26, 1853, by a change of administration, John Larkin, democrat, in the same store, was appointed, and he in turn was succeeded by Peleg P. Akin until 1889, when Bernard L. Baker was appointed.
West Yarmouth, in the southwest part of the town, assumes the title of a village. There is a beauty to its long Main street of cozy residences, and its avenues extending to the sound. Salt was manufactured as early as 1829 on the shore of Lewis bay and along the sound, by Gorham Crowell, Ezekiel Crowell and others. Prince Gage erected works about that time or prior. One church, two stores and a post office form the principal centers of to-day. Of the old stores, Elisha Taylor continued one many years after its establishment by his father, near the bridge. Sylvanus Crowell built and opened, in 1845, a store which he, with his son, Freeman H., as partner, continued until 1856, when the son was sole proprietor up to 1875. In 1863 Osborn Chase built and opened a store here; this in 1867 was sold to Isaiah Crowell. In 1866 Jabez Perry opened another store, which he discontinued in 1883. In 1867 Theodore Drew planted oysters in Mill creek, under a grant from the town, and in 1870 he secured a renewal for twenty years. In 1871 he sold his franchises to Frank Thacher, who with others carried on the business at Hyannis until 1883, when the culture proved no longer profitable.
Not until about 1827—after the stages run from Sandwich to Yarmouth—was a post office established, then Captain Elnathan Lewis kept the office in his house. Sylvanus Crowell succeeded him, with the office in his store, and he was succeeded by Freeman H. Crowell in the same place. In 1870 Captain Higgins Crowell was appointed, and in 1872 Isaiah Crowell. In 1877 Myron Peak was made postmaster and erected a small building for an office; but in 1880 Julius Crowell succeeded him and removed it to his store. In the spring of 1889 Edward F. Pierce was appointed, and keeps the office at his residence. From a weekly the first years, the office has now a daily mail from Hyannis. The street leading to Point Gammon is called South Sea avenue.
The social and religious relations of this community are of the most elevating character. During the pastorate, of Rev. Daniel H. Babcock, October, 1840, the Women's Benevolent Society was organized in connection with the religious society of the village, and much good has resulted. The Library Association here was formed in April, 1863, by the young people. The first books were purchased in April, 1864, and now the library numbers nearly six hundred volumes. The last officers chosen were: Abbie B. Crowell, pres.; Mrs. Isaiah Crowell, vice-pres.; Mrs. William J. Nickerson, sec; and Mrs. Delia Baker, librarian and treasurer.
The Cemetery here is distinctive from the ordinary grounds of the town, because of an organized effort to beautify and preserve this ancient burial place. After a small donation from the town toward a suitable fence, Captain Sturgis Crowell headed a subscription with one hundred dollars, and soon had the sum of seventeen hundred dollars for this and other improvements. The granite fence was finished in July, 1884. Elkanah Crowell, jr., donated the two gates, besides his subscription.
Yarmouth Farms is the name given to the community at and around the depot at South Yarmouth. A post office was established there a few years ago under the name of East Yarmouth, and the railroad agents have successively been the postmasters. The name was only recently changed. The postmasters have been: N. B. Burgess, W. F. Kenney, Arthur Underwood and W. B. Snow.
Joseph Allen, only son of Joseph and Ruth Allen, was born in 1846. He has been captain of the light ship Pollock Rip since 1881. He was married in 1872, to Mary H. Crowell. They have six children: M. Maude, Joseph E., Albert F., William D., Orra L, and Peyson E.
Allen B. Baker, born in 1832, is a son of Hersey, and a grandson of Washington Baker. His mother was Mercy, daughter of Daniel Homer. Mr. Baker was a sea captain until 1874, and since that time he has kept a livery and boarding stable at South Yarmouth. He was married February 12, 1855, to Betsey A., daughter of Amos and Nancy (Gorham) Farris. They have one daughter, Fanny A.
Bernard L. Baker, born in 1839, is a son of Hiram and grandson of Jonathan Baker. His mother was Keziah, daughter of Benjamin Parker. Mr. Baker followed the sea for some years, after which he drove an express wagon to the South Yarmouth depot for ten years. Since October, 1887, he has been postmaster at South Yarmouth. He was three years on the school committee, as a democrat. He was married in 1871, to Tamsen F., daughter of Prince Gifford. They have two children: Katie F. and Henry C. Mr. Baker is a member of Howard Lodge, A. F. & A. M.
Elisha T. Baker, born in 1848, is a son of Orlando, grandson of Laban and great-grandson of Abram Baker. He has been a contractor and builder for twenty years, and since 1881, he has owned a shoe store at South Yarmouth. He was married in 1872 to Phebe G., daughter of Frederick White. They have one daughter, Annie W.
Joseph Bassett is one of six surviving children of Henry and Abigail R. (Crocker) Bassett. He is engaged in the poultry business. He was in the late war eleven months in Company A., Forty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers, and again two years in the Thirteenth New York Marine Artillery. He was married first to Huldah E. Pierce. She died, and he married Mrs. Ella P. Matthews, widow of Frederick Matthews, who died in 1885, aged eighty years. Mr. Matthews was engaged during his life in agricultural pursuits and salt making, and was one of the first to introduce forest planting on the Cape. He left one daughter, Mary Matthews.
Albert Berry was born in 1833. He is the eldest and only surviving son of Howes and Caroline (Bassett) Berry, and grandson of Isaac Berry. Mr. Berry is a contractor and builder. He was married in 1854 to Lucy A., daughter of Edward Sears. Their children are: Lucy E., Carrie H., Daisy F., and Minnie H. Mr. Berry is a member of Fraternal Lodge and Oriental Chapter, A. F. & A. M. His only brother, Theophilus B., was killed in Oregon, in 1882.
Charles M. Bray, son of Eben and Rebecca (Matthews) Bray, and grandson of Edmund Bray, was born in 1832. He followed the sea several years as a master mariner prior to 1868. Since that time he has dealt in lumber and builders' supplies at Yarmouth. He was married to Kate D. Baker, and they have five children: Charles D., Robert, Carrie D., James G., and Sarah E. They lost one child. Mr. Bray has been deputy sheriff thirteen years.
Alexander B. Chase was born in 1848. He is a son of Rev. Enoch E. Chase, who was ordained as a Baptist preacher in 1832, and died in 1886, aged eighty-two years. He left two children: Rebecca B. and Alexander B., who occupies the homestead where Enoch E.'s father, Anthony Chase, lived. Mr. Chase is a contractor and builder. In early life he followed the sea. He was married in 1873 to Lucy H., daughter of David Bearse. They have two children: George H. and Nellie S. Mr. Chase is a member of the First Baptist church of Hyannis.
Theophilus Chase, born in 1831, is a son of Sylvester and Sarah (Kelley) Chase, grandson of James and Mercy Chase, and great-grandson of Job Chase. Mr. Chase followed the sea from 1840 to 1887, and was master thirty years. He was married in 1856 to Sarah K., daughter of Freeman Crowell. They have three children: Lafayette K., Hattie C, and Herbert C. Mr. Chase is a member of Howard Lodge. John T. Cobb was born in 1858, in the state of Vermont. He came to the town of Yarmouth in 1883, where he has had charge of his brother-in-law's farm since that time.
Daniel Cole, son of Daniel and Mercy (Higgins) Cole, and grandson of Elisha Cole, was born in 1835. He is a carpenter and builder, having followed that business for thirty-five years. He married Eunice M., daughter of Isaac Smalley. They have had two children, both of whom are deceased.
Charles B. Cory bought in 1882 of S. R. Payson, Great island, comprising about six hundred acres, at the extreme southwest corner of the town of Yarmouth, where he now has a rare game preserve. Among his birds we find the golden, silver, copper and English pheasant, and others. He has a part of the island which is thickly wooded (about 120 acres), enclosed with a suitable fence, and in 1883 he placed in this enclosure about forty deer, which have increased until he has one of the finest deer preserves in this country. The island is well supplied with fresh water lakes, which are stocked with bass, pickerel and perch.
Daniel B. Crocker was born in 1844. He is the youngest son of Daniel and Lucinda D. Crocker, grandson of Joseph and great-grandson of Daniel Crocker. Mr. Crocker is a merchant at Yarmouth Port, and is largely engaged in cranberry culture. He married Mary R. Knowles, and they have two sons: Fred R. and Ralph D. Mr. Crocker has two sisters: Joanna B. (Mrs. Otis White) and Susan.
Hatsel Crosby, born in 1807, is the only surviving child of Abijah and Desire Crosby, and grandson of Elisha Crosby. He was a shoemaker in Brewster for fifteen years, prior to 1848, when he came to South Yarmouth, where he was engaged in salt making until 1883. He was married in 1836 to Jerusha S. Homer, who died in 1854, leaving
five children: Susie, Abbie, Hattie E., Herbert F., and Nellie P., who died November 2, 1864. Mr. Crosby was married in 1856 to Elizabeth S. Bangs, who died the same year. He was married in 1858 to Hannah, daughter of Jabez Nye. They have two sons: Benjamin B. and Chester L.
Elbridge Crowell, born in 1822, is the youngest son of Timothy and Polly (Taylor) Crowell, and grandson of Abner and Sarah Crowell. He is one of eight children, of whom three are living. From 1831 to 1884 he followed the sea, then was appointed port warden at Boston, which office he still holds. He was married in 1849 to Susan, daughter of Hersey Baker. Their two children are: Fred A. and Hattie M. (Mrs. Charles B. Whelden). Mr. Crowell is a member of the Boston Marine Society, and a member of the Masonic order.
Isaiah Crowell, born in 1832, is descended from Elkanah6, Elkanah5, Simeon4, Ephraim3, John2, Yelverton Crowell1. Yelverton Crowell died in West Yarmouth in 1683. He had five children. The farm on which he settled in 1640 is still in the Crowell family. Mr. Crowell has kept a general store at West Yarmouth since 1867, the store having been built three years previous by Osborn Chase. Mr. Crowell followed the sea in early life. He was married in 1857 to Mercy, daughter of Zadock Crowell, who was a son of Timothy and grandson of Jeremiah Crowell. They have three children: Joshua F., Thomas S., and Isaiah W. Mr. Crowell was eleven years a member of the school committee, and has been clerk of the West Yarmouth Congregational parish for twenty years.
Manton H. Crowell, son of Gideon and Ruth (Taylor) Crowell and grandson of Gideon Crowell, was born in 1852, and is a painter by trade. Since 1872 he has carried on a wagon and paint shop at South Yarmouth. He was married in 1873 to Christina, daughter of Allen B. Crowell. They have two daughters: Grace E. and Ethel W. Mr. Crowell is a member of the South Yarmouth Methodist Episcopal church.
Nelson Crowell, son of Jabez Crowell, was born in 1822 and died in 1876. He was a seafaring man. He was married in 1848 to Mary P., daughter of Judah and Polly (Parker) Crowell and granddaughter of Judah Crowell. They had three children: Mary N., Lester E. and Albert A. Mr. Crowell was a member of Howard Lodge, A. F. & A. M.
Rev. Simeon Crowell, born in May, 1778, the son of Abner and Ruth (Nickerson) Crowell, departed this life in August, 1848. Abner Crowell, the father, died on board a prison ship in Newport harbor three months before the birth of Simeon, leaving his family destitute. The pressing needs of the family and his tender regard for his mother induced the subject of this sketch to early brave the hardships of a sailor's life. He rose rapidly to the position of master and by the
application of his characteristic energy, made success his reward. At the age of thirty-six he left the sea to engage in the manufacture of salt, which he continued until his death.
After leaving the sea he was impressed with a sense of duty in the direction of special Christian work, and yielding to this impression, he entered the ministry, being ordained at his own house. The Baptist church received his life-long labors. He married Charlotte Clark of Harwich (now Brewster), an estimable lady, whose efficient assistance, especially in his pastoral work, can never be measured. They reared four children: Charlotte, born June, 1803, died March, 1877; Mary, born February, 1806, died December, 1886; Simeon, born January, 1808, died September, 1849; and Ruth H., who was born January, 1810, died October, 1851. Of these children, Charlotte and Mary lived and died unmarried. Simeon, in May, 1841, married Desire Crosby of Brewster, and died without issue. Ruth H. married Barnabas Sears, jr., and of their four children three died in infancy; Simeon, the youngest, died at sixteen in the manner mentioned in the biography of his father.
Rev. Simeon Crowell has left the record of a faithful citizen in all public and private acts. He won the confidence and respect of the entire community, and was many times called to serve his town in responsible positions. As a minister and teacher he was untiring in his devotion to his Master, declaring the counsels of truth whenever occasion presented, and sowing that gospel seed which has brought forth an hundred fold.
Sturgis Crowell, son of Elkanah, was born in 1822, and followed sea from 1832 to 1874, being master thirteen years. He was married in 1858 to Emily, daughter of Elisha and Polly Baker. She died in 1859. He married again in 1874, to Susan J., daughter of Freeman and Patience Baker. They have two daughters: Alice Maude, and Annie S. By his first wife he had one son, Elisha B. S., who died February, 1872, aged thirteen years.
William P. Davis, son of James Davis, was born in 1816, in New Bedford, and came to Yarmouth at the age of four years. He was engaged in salt making until 1858, when he entered the Yarmouth National Bank as assistant cashier. He became cashier in 1875, at the death of Amos Otis. He has filled the office of town clerk since February, 1844. He married Hetty K. Crowell. They have four children: William J., who has been in the bank with his father since 1866; Abbie A., Hannah H. and Lucy W.
Edward S. Ellis, son of George W. E. and Sarah P. (Story) Ellis, was born in 1856, at Bournedale. He has been station agent for the Old Colony Railroad Company since 1882—two years at Bournedale, and since then at Yarmouth. He spent five years in California prior
to 1882. He is married to Louisa P. Blackwell, and has two sons ; George E. S. and Elisha B. P.
James Ellis, born in 1828, is a son of Philip and Dorcas (Robinson) Ellis, and grandson of Philip Ellis. He is a farmer, and since 1889 has kept a livery stable at Hyannis. He was married in 1842, to Mary R., daughter of Job Cash. They have two children living: Helen M. and Judith A. They lost three.
Russell D. Farris, born September 11, 1818, is the oldest son of Reuben K., and a grandson of Samuel Farris. He is a harness maker by trade, but has been a merchant at South Yarmouth for forty-five years. He was married in 1842 to Mercy F. Easton. His second wife was Eliza Kelley. She died leaving one son, William R., who was married in 1885 to Lillian S. Baker. Their only son is Russell D., 2d. Mr. Farris married Mrs. Augusta Copeland, for his third wife, in 1877.
Loring Fuller, born in 1831, is one of nine sons of William and Eliza (Chase) Fuller, and a grandson of William Fuller. He has been a seafaring man since he was ten years old. Since 1866, he has run a packet from South Yarmouth, in connection with the grain and coal store of Loring Fuller & Co. He was married in 1853 to Mary C. Ryder. They have three children: Joseph W., who married Clara E. Hurst in 1876; Lizzie B., Mrs. C. F. Purrington, and Mernie L.
Benjamin T. Gorham, born in 1862, is the only son of Benjamin and Clara (Matthews) Gorham, grandson of Hezekiah, and great-grandson of John Gorham. Mr. Gorham was for six years clerk in the store of A. A. Knowles. In October, 1888, he opened a boot and shoe store at Yarmouth Port, where his father does repairing, having worked at the trade since 1837.
Fred. Hallett is the eldest of four sons of Manchester and a grandson of Nathan Hallett. He learned the printers' trade in the office of the Cape Cod Item, where he was foreman for six years. Since January, 1889, he has run a job printing office of his own at Yarmouth Port. He married Grace E. Ryder.
Barnabas C. Howes, born in 1839, is a son of Cyrus, and grandson of Alexandar, and great-grandson of Jonathan Howes. His mother was Hannah H., daughter of Nathan Crowell. Mr. Howes followed the sea from the age of fifteen years until 1887, as master the last twenty-one years. He was married in 1869 to Rebecca, daughter of Orlando Wood. Their children are: Margaret, Willis and Cyrus P. Mr. Howes is a member of the Boston Marine Society.
Benjamin R. Howes was born in Dennis in 1831, and is a son of Charles and Nancy Howes, both natives of Dennis. Mr. Howes has carried on a coat factory at Yarmouth since 1866. He was married to Louisa, daughter of Joshua Eldridge, of Yarmouth. They have two
children: Charles R., who is with his father in the coat factory, married to Mary E. Edwards, of Dennis; and Mary J., now Mrs. John Thacher. Mr. Howes is a member of Fraternal Lodge of Masons.
Millard F. Jones is a son of Luther Jones, M. D., who was a native of Acton, Mass., and practiced medicine in Yarmouth for several years prior to his death, which occurred in California, in 1862, aged forty-five years. Mr. Jones' mother was Susannah, daughter of Jonathan Kelley. She died, leaving three children: Millard F., Elizabeth K., and Robena. Mr. Jones and his two sisters occupy the house which was built in 1832, by Jonathan Kelley.
David Dudley Kelley, son of David and Phebe (Dudley) Kelley, was born in 1846. Since 1867 he has been a dry goods merchant at South Yarmouth. He was one of the first trustees of the Bass River Saving Bank, and has been its treasurer since 1877. He was married in 1869, to Mary E., daughter of Winthrop Sears. He built a nice residence in South Yarmouth in 1874.
Seth Kelley, born in 1838, is the oldest son of David Kelley6, who descended from Seth5, David4, Seth3, Jeremiah2, David O. Kily1, who took the oath of fidelity to the colony in 1657. Mr. Kelley's mother was Phebe Dudley. He is a machinist by trade and is now engaged with the American Metallic Fabric Company at South Yarmouth. He carried on an ice business at South Yarmouth about twenty-five years. He was married in 1865 to Harriet, daughter of Orlando Baker. They have two sons: David, and Ralph D. Mr. Kelley is a member of the Society of Friends.
Edward Lewis, born in 1817, is one of nine children of Elnathan, and grandson of Benjamin Lewis. His mother was Lavina, daughter of Zachariah Howes. Mr. Lewis followed the sea from 1833 to 1874, as master after 1838. He was married in 1845 to Lucretia, daughter of Ezekiel Crowell. She died in 1886, leaving three children: Martha (Mrs. Levi Snow), Lavina (Mrs. Julius Crowell), and Joseph. Mr. Lewis has been selectman in Yarmouth for eight years, and he has been two years on the school committee. He is a member of the West Yarmouth Congregational church.
George H. Loring, son of John, grandson of David and great grandson of David Loring, was born in 1834. He began going to sea at the age of eleven, continuing until he was forty years old. He was master mariner nineteen years. He was selectman two years (1877 and 1878), and represented his district in the legislature in 1886 and 1887. He was married in 1855 to Alvira. daughter of Laban Baker. Their only surviving child is George E. They lost three children: Elmer E., Lizzie T., and Nellie Y. Mr. Loring is a member of Howard Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and a member of South Yarmouth Methodist Episcopal church.
William D. Loring, son of John and grandson of David Loring, was born in 1823. He was a master mariner twenty-five years, and since 1872 he has kept a grain store at Yarmouth. He married Mary P., daughter of Otis and Sarah (Hallett) Crowell. They had one adopted daughter, Addie W., who died.
Richard Wallace Marston, born in 1861, is a son of Richard and Sophia L. (Grush) Marston, and grandson of John and Temperance (Matthews) Marston. Mr. Marston graduated from Bridgewater Normal school in 1884. Since that time he has been engaged in teaching, and is now teaching his third year in the Yarmouth grammar school.
Braddock Matthews was born in 1812, and is the oldest son of Eze-kiel, grandson of Ezekiel, and great-grandson of David and Anna (Crowell) Matthews. His mother was Bethia, daughter of Eleazer Crowell. Mr. Matthews went to sea from 1824 to 1838, at which time he went into a store at South Yarmouth with David Matthews and. continued until 1865. He has been selectman in Yarmouth sixteen years. He was married in 1837 to Zipporah, daughter of Timothy Crowell. They have one daughter living and have lost three.
David Matthews, deceased, was the representative of two old families of the Cape, one the family name which he bore, and the other the Hallett name. The Matthews family were often mentioned in the civil and military affairs of Old Yarmouth prior to 1700. Ezekiel Matthews married Lydia Hallett and in his lifetime was active in the affairs of the town, departing this life July 17, 1849, at South Yarmouth. His wife died January 25, 1852. They reared eleven children, of whom David, the eighth, was born October 20, 1801. The common schools of that clay afforded the only accessible means of an education, of which he availed himself and started out upon the journey of life. He was married April 12, 1835, to Emeline Hallett, who died August 21, 1849. Their children were: Hebron V., born November 3, 1835; Albert, December 29, 1836; Elnathan, June 2, 1838; Gideon, January 17, 1840; and Mary H., June 17, 1842. Of these, Gideon died in infancy and Albert died August 4,1877, on board the bark Norway, of which he was master, in Lat. 38° 28', Long. 27° 37'. He had been talking with his wife, and as he turned to go on deck, fell; she heard a long, heavy breath, and he was dead. August 5th his remains were committed to the deep, leaving his stricken wife to continue the voyage of life alone. He was twice married: first, November 7, 1870, to Mary H. Lewis of West Yarmouth; and second, on January 18, 1877, to Clara Gilkey of Watertown, Mass., who still survives. He was an active, enterprising master, respected for his integrity and beloved for his thoughtful kindness in contributing to the happiness of others, as a husband, brother and friend.
The three surviving children of David Matthews are residing at South Yarmouth. Hebron V. was married January 27, 1861, to Adeline F. Baker of South Dennis; his life for many years was on the sea, until 1888, when he opened a grocery store at Lower Village, South Yarmouth. Elnathan, unmarried, resides at the homestead near his brother; he learned the tailor trade, but never made it a business. Mary H., a milliner, June 26, 1864, married Frederick A. Baker, who keeps a livery at South Yarmouth. They have one daughter, Eme-line G., born January 29, 1865, and resides with her parents. David Matthews, after the death of the mother of these children, was married November 17, 1850, to Laura A. Hallett, a sister of the first wife, who survived him several years, departing this life January 15, 1888. After a long life of usefulness Mr. Matthews died April 10, 1884.
His life of over four-score years was fraught with the cares of military, civil and business duties which were incidental to the growth of the village. The salt works in his younger days, a grocery and fitting-out store on the shore for nearly half a century, and interests in the coasting and fishing trade, coupled with his social and civil relations, rendered his a busy life. His retiring nature led to the declination of proffered political preferment. Until the last few years of his life he was constantly engaged in some useful employment in which he was always considerate of the welfare of others. At his death the Yarmouth Register said: "David Matthews was a useful citizen, possessing a large heart full of kindness and sympathy for the poor and suffering. He was interested in the cause of religion and assisted greatly in sustaining the gospel. He was a peacemaker, delighting in promoting the best good of others in an unobtrusive manner. He had a kind word for children, and several would be with him when he was able to go out. His removal was a loss to the community where he was so useful. 'Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.' "
Seleck H. Matthews was born in 1819, and died in 1886. He was a son of Freeman, and a grandson of Ezekiel Matthews. Mr. Matthews was a master mariner, and for some years prior to his death he was superintendent of a steamship. He was first married to Rebecca Crowell, who died leaving one daughter, Rebecca H., and one son, Seleck H. In 1848 he married Lucy J., daughter of Apollos Pratt, M. D., who died in Yarmouth in 1860, aged eighty-three years. Mr. Matthews was a member of Howard Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and a steward of the South Yarmouth Methodist Episcopal church.
Isaac Myrick, son of Isaac and Temperance Myrick, was born in Brewster in 1792. He followed the sea in early life, running a packet from New York to Savannah for several years, after which he engaged in business in New York for a time, then was a merchant in Yarmouth
until he retired from active life. He married Lucy, daughter of Eben Sears, and had seven children, four of whom are living: Mary J., Lucy (Mrs. Oliver Crocker), Isaac, and Clara W., now the widow of Captain Winthrop Sears.
Rodman R. Nickerson, born in 1835, is a son of Crowell and Mary Nickerson, and grandson of Sylvanus Nickerson. He has been a mariner since sixteen years of age, with the exception of nine winters, when he was engaged in teaching school. He was married in 1861 to Permelia E., daughter of William and Azubah (Baker) White. They have had two sons, who died.
Sylvanus Nickerson, a son of Henry and Lucy (Shiverick) Nickerson, was born in 1832, and has been a master mariner since he was twenty-one years of age. He was in the naval service four years during the war of the rebellion. He was married in 1855 to Mercy, daughter of Hersey Baker. They have three children: Henry A., Alfred H., and Grace V.
Elisha Parker, the youngest and only surviving child of Benjamin, and grandson of Jacob Parker, was born in 1814 in West Yarmouth, near Parker's river, which derives its name from the Parker family. Mr. Parker's mother was Elizabeth Crowell. He was a shoemaker by trade, and kept a shoe store at South Yarmouth until 1884, when he retired from business. During the last twenty years of his business life he was connected with a woolen mill at Falmouth, and supplied the stores on the Cape with the noted Falmouth jeans and kerseys. He was married in 1837 to Elizabeth Baker, who died. Two of their three sons are living: Edward K. and Silas B.; Benjamin H. died at the age of seventeen years. In 1860 he married his second wife, Mary A. Smith. Mr. Parker is a member of the South Yarmouth Methodist Episcopal church.
E. Dexter Payne, merchant at Yarmouth Port, was born at Eastham in 1840. He is a son of Elkanah K. and Mehitable P. (Knowles) Payne. Mr. Payne came to Yarmouth in 1854, where he was clerk in a store for ten years. Since 1865 he has kept a general store at Yarmouth Port. He was one year in the war, in Company E, Fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, and is a member of Charles Chipman Post, G. A. R. He married Mary L. Gorham.
Charles E. Purrington was born in 1843 in New Bedford, Mass., and is a son of Nathaniel and Louisa A. (Brown) Purrington. Mr. Purrington has resided at South Yarmouth since 1885, and was connected with the grain store of Loring Fuller & Co. until 1890, when he became a member of the firm of Purrington & Small, succeeding Wing Brothers in the grocery business. He was married in 1882 to Lizzie B., daughter of Loring Fuller. Their children are: Wallace F. and Florence May.
Barnabas Sears, deceased, was in the lineage, direct, from Richard Sears, who came with the last of the congregation of Leyden, landing at Plymouth, May 8, 1630. The tax rates of that plantation indicate that he was possessed of a large property. In 1643 a company led by him passed through Mattacheese to Scargo hill and settled at what is now known as East Dennis. The descent was Richard, Silas, Joseph, Barnabas, Stephen, Stephen, and Barnabas, the subject of this sketch. Stephen, his father, born in 1765, married Sarah Gorham, had seven children and died in 1851. He was early at sea and was a thorough seafaring man. He was engaged in the fishing and coasting business during the war of 1812, was captured, shipwrecked, and encountered many reverses. During the war of 1812 he went to the Mediterranean to sell a cargo of fish. The Spanish seized his vessel and cargo, sent him to America, landing him near Wilmington, N. C, to return home on foot.
Barnabas Sears, born July 3, 1790, married Hannah Crocker, who was born November 13, 1792, and died January 7, 1879. Their six children were: John K., born September 11, 1816; Barnabas, September 13, 1818; Stephen, July 15, 1822; Seth, September 27, 1825; Elizabeth, November 18, 1828; and David, born July 6, 1832. Seth died August 8, 1848, and the remaining five reside at South Yarmouth in five adjacent homes. Of these John K., the oldest, lives farthest west, and east of him are the other four, by a curious coincidence, in the order of their births, to David, the youngest, who lives farthest east. These are so many living branches in the wide-spreading tree of which Richard Sears is the trunk.
The early life of Barnabas Sears was spent at sea, shipping at the age of nine in his father's vessel, he and another boy taking a man's share. About 1820 he was induced to stop ashore to engage in the then lucrative business of salt manufacturing at South Yarmouth. He was most successful on the sea, rapidly rising to master. He manufactured salt eighteen years, and passed the remainder of his days in the cultivation of his farm. He enjoyed the full confidence of his townsmen, but would never accept any trust that would interfere with his social and business relations. His life was one of marked loyalty to truth and honesty, and his ready sympathy and genial nature won for him many friends who sincerely mourned his death, which occurred at the homestead, July 17, 1875.
John K. Sears.—This enterprising citizen of South Yarmouth is the oldest son of Barnabas Sears, whose genealogy is given in the preceding biography. He was born September 11, 1816, and passed nearly seventeen of the first years of his life at home, in acquiring a common school education and assisting his parents. Instead of a love for the sea, his mind early turned to mechanics, and at seventeen he
went to Nantucket to learn the carpenters' trade. At twenty-one he was a master builder and was in business for himself, which he continued there until 1850. He was married March 24, 1839, to Sarah, the youngest daughter of the six children of Reuben Burdett—a whaleman of Nantucket, and later, master of a packet, who passed his last years with Mr. and Mrs. John K. Sears, and died aged eighty-eight years.
The great fire of 1846 interrupted the business of Mr. Sears at Nantucket, and after a strong desire to visit California, from which he was restrained, he returned to South Yarmouth in 1850. The seeming need of a mill at his place at South Yarmouth induced him with his brother Barnabas, to erect, in 1854, a commodious building in which planing, sawing and grinding were done for the community. House building was at the same time extensively carried on and he now points with pride to his own and many other beautiful residences of which he was the master builder. In 1865, the planing works were discontinued, and in 1869 the building was removed to the yard at Hyannis, where he had purchased the lumber business of Samuel Snow. This business was at once greatly enlarged, additional buildings were erected, and in 1874 a branch yard was established at Middleboro, which is continued under the name of J. K. & B. Sears. Another branch lumber yard was established in 1882, at Woods Holl, the particulars of which, with that of Hyannis, are fully given in the histories of those villages.
The active, progressive business nature of Mr. Sears has precluded all desire to hold official trusts, but in 1860, and again in 1861, as a true exponent of republican principles, he consented to represent his district in the legislature, since which time he has peremptorily declined all honors. Wherever he has resided he has taken a leading interest in the Sunday schools. The Methodist church of his village now enjoys both his liberal material, and spiritual aid. Broad in his views he has sought to do his duty toward God and toward man, and the impression he has made upon his fellow men is that of a life grounded upon honest principles. Having no children of his own he has filled the position of a parent, in his munificence to those of others.
Barnabas Sears.—This citizen of South Yarmouth was born September 13, 1818. He is the second son of Barnabas Sears, deceased, with whose genealogy the reader of the preceding pages is familiar. Unlike most lads of the Cape, Barnabas turned his mind to mechanics instead of the sea. After such educational advantages as his own village afforded he went to Nantucket at the age of seventeen as an apprentice to the carpenter trade, and there for a short time he attended an evening school. At the age of twenty-one he returned to South
Yarmouth, but was induced to spend the subsequent season on the island before he made a permanent residence in his native place. With his brother, John K., he engaged in the building and planing mill business as has been mentioned in the village histories of South Yarmouth and Hyannis. In the fall of 1873 he, with his older brother, as J. K. & B. Sears, established a lumber yard at Middleboro, where Barnabas removed, remaining there until 1887, when he returned, leaving the business with his youngest son, Henry W. Sears, who continues it.
Mr. Sears has been three times married; first to Ruth H. Crowell, daughter of Rev. Simeon Crowell, whose portrait appears at page 492. They had four children, three of whom died in infancy, Simeon C, then the only survivor of his mother's branch of an illustrious family, met an untimely death on board the ship Fleetwing, off Cape Horn. He was only sixteen when, against the wishes of his parents, he made his first voyage with Captain David Kelley, and during a snow storm fell from the main yard. Twelve days after his fall his body was consigned to the waters of the Pacific. By his death, that branch of the Crowell family has become extinct. The wife and mother died October 13, 1850. Mr. Sears' second marriage was in October, 1852, to Deborah M., daughter of Captain William and Lydia Clark, of Brewster. She died April 22, 1885, leaving three children: Isaiah C, who was born in 1853 and married Sarah P., daughter of Timothy Crocker; Henry W., who was born in , and married Martha, daughter of James and Lucy Pickens, of Middleboro; and Etta Frances Sears, born 1866. The present Mrs. Barnabas Sears, to whom he was married May 2, 1886, was [Susan] H., daughter of Hatsel and Jerusha Crosby, and widow of Edwin F. Doane. She has one son, Walter H. Doane [who married his step-sister, Etta Frances Sears in 7 Jun 1893].
Mr. Sears has persistently declined to hold office, prefering the social relations of life to the strife of party. He is a republican politically, with a strong tendency to promote the cause of temperance wherever an opportunity is presented. He has been earnest and forward in that cause as well as in every other good work. He is a member of the Middleboro Congregational church, but earnestly supports the religious societies of his village. In 1849 he erected his present fine residence, the subject of the accompanying illustration, where he is passing the twilight of his well-spent days in the quiet enjoyment of the association of brothers and sisters and in the full confidence of the entire community.
Stephen Sears, the third son of Barnabas Sears, deceased, was born July 15,1822. During his boyhood he improved the educational advantages afforded him, early developing a love for mechanics and kindred arts. At sixteen years of age he went to sea, where he was
steadily employed until 1848, and later he acted for thirteen months as first officer on Philadelphia steamers. On the 16th of April, 1846, he married Henrietta Adelia, daughter of Andrew and Laura (Leonard) Hull, of Wellington, Conn., married in 1825, and of whose seven children she and one brother are the sole survivors. Dea. Andrew Hull died May 5, 1879; his wife in 1850.
Since Mr. Sears retired from the sea he has constantly filled some trust connected with the social or civil interests of his town. He was teacher of the seminary at Harwich four years, and taught fifteen in grammar schools, the last four at Newport, R. I. He was the agent ten years for New England for the educational works of Harper, Appleton and Sheldon & Co. He was president of the county Teachers' Association five years. In his social relations his usefulness is no less marked. He has been a superintendent of Sunday schools thirty years of his life, and, although really, with his wife, a member of Doctor Bates' Methodist Episcopal church of Boston, he now superintends the school of the Baptist church, South Yarmouth, and renders to that society his spiritual and material aid. For five years he was president of the Cape Cod Musical Association, and has been otherwise largely interested in the libraries, lodges and societies of his town and county.
In civil and municipal affairs his worth is acknowledged by his reelection. He acts on the school committee, and of the board of selectmen has been the chairman for six years. His labors are manifold, yet accomplished with that precision and sound judgment which characterize him.
Of his six children, four daughters have died: Hannah Elizabeth, born October 11, 1852, died May 29, 1862; Henrietta Adelia Hull, September 26, 1855, died January 17, 1856; Sarah Leonard, April 26, 1857, died April 4, 1858; and Mary Pollard, who was born June 5, 1860, and died May 29, 1862. The only surviving daughter, Laura Helen, married James Gordon Hallett, December 6, 1871, and they have two children—Marietta Sears, aged thirteen, and James Gordon, aged seven years. The son, Stephen Hull Sears, M. D., married Marianna B., daughter or D. P. W. Parker and Angeline F. Bearse of Barnstable, and their children are: Stephen Hull, aged seven; Henrietta Frances, five; and Laura Helen, aged four years.
Among the citizens of Yarmouth none are more identified with the welfare and prosperity of the community than he. In every object for the good of society his labor and means are employed, and he commands the respect of his townsmen for his ready skill in mechanics, his undoubted integrity in municipal affairs, his liberal benefactions, and his symmetrical social and religious life.
James F. Sears, born in 1834, is the youngest and only surviving son of James, grandson of James, and great-grandson of James Sears. Mr. Sears' mother was Phebe Lewis, who died September 25, 1889, aged eighty-five years, nine months and fourteen days. Mr. Sears has been a master mariner since 1862. He was married in 1866 to Sophia S., daughter of Francis and Rozetta Small.
Nathaniel Stone Simpkins.—Nathaniel S. Simpkins was born in Brewster, Mass., January 8, 1796. He was the eldest son of Rev.. John and Olive (Stone) Simpkins, and grandson of Dea. John Simpkins, of Boston. The Rev. John Simpkins graduated from Harvard College in 1786, married a daughter of Rev. Nathaniel Stone, the minister of the first church at Harwich. His son Nathaniel, received an Academical education, and was trained to business pursuits. He engaged for a few years, in the book-selling and stationery business in Boston, and established the "County Book Store " in Barnstable, for many years the only one of the kind in the County.
Mr. Simpkins was the founder of two Cape newspapers. In 1835 he established the Barnstable Journal, which he soon placed on a paying basis, and it continued to succeed during the three or four years of his management. In 1836, in connection with four others, he established the Yarmouth Register, being one of its proprietors and its business manager and publisher, for about two years. Nearly forty-five years ago he was engaged in fitting out and managing fishing vessels at Yarmouth Port. He purchased the wharf, store and landing place on the premises, which something like two centuries before had been owned by Capt. Nicholas Simpkins, who in his day was in command of the Castle in Boston harbor, who for a few years was a resident here, and who sold to Andrew Hallet, in 1645, his lands in this town. Mr. Simpkins was a direct descendant of Nicholas, but at the time of coming into possession of this property was not aware that it had ever been held by his ancestor.
Mr. Simpkins was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, in the years 1836, 1850 and 1851. He was one of the earliest advocates and promoters of the Hoosac Tunnel enterprise, and voted for the first bill passed in favor of that project. He was for many years a director of the First National Bank of Yarmouth, and also a director of the Cape Cod Railroad until it was merged with the Old Colony Railroad. In these positions he proved a prudent, faithful and efficient guardian of the interests confided to his care. In his private dealings he was careful, pains-taking, scrupulous in fulfilling his engagements and kindly in his bearing to those with whom he came in contact.
Mr. Simpkins was one of the first members of the Swedenborgian church of Yarmouth, and was efficient in his aid to the local as well
as the general organization. By his union with Eliza Thacher of Yarmouth, five children were born, who arrived at mature age, viz: Charles H., Mary, John, George W., and Nathaniel Stone, jr. John and Nathaniel Stone were prominent and successful business men in New York, both being especially identified in the Calumet and Hecla Mining Copper Company. John died in 1870, and Nathaniel S., jr., in 1883. Of the surviving sons Charles H. Simpkins is engaged in business in San Francisco and was one of the original pioneers of 1849. George W. Simpkins resides in St. Louis and occupies in summer, the old homestead in Yarmouth Port, which belonged to his father.
George H. Snow, was born in 1849, in Harwich; is a son of Caleb and Laurietta (Smith) Snow, and grandson of Laban Snow. He has followed the sea since 1861, and since 1877 has been master of vessels. He is a member of Newport Marine Society and a member of the Masonic order. He married Anna T., daughter of Joseph Robinson, and has one son, Herbert R.
William N. Stetson, born in 1855, is a son of John Stetson, M. D., of West Harwich, and a grandson of John Stetson, cf Bridgewater. His mother was Elizabeth, daughter of Barnabas and Hannah Sears, of South Yarmouth. Mr. Stetson has been traveling salesman for Israel W. Monroe & Co., since 1879. He was married in 1879 to Lucy J., daughter of D. P. W. Parker. They have four children: Elizabeth P., Angeline F., Monroe B. and William N., jr. Mr. Stetson is a member of Howard Lodge, A. F. & A. M., also of Sylvester Baxter Chapter, and is a member of the New England Commercial Travelers' Association.
Hon. Charles F. Swift.—This respected citizen of Yarmouth traces his descent in the ninth generation from William Swift, of Bocking, Eng., who came over in the first expedition with Winthrop's company, was in Watertown in 1632, and in Sandwich in 1638. Charles F. Swift was born in Falmouth, June 18, 1825, and received his education in the common school and academy of his native town. At the age of fourteen he entered a printing office, still keeping up his studies, and in 1847 became associate editor of the Yarmouth Register, of which he has been editor since 1850. With the many cares of an editorial life, during his years of service he has written over 5,000 columns of newspaper matter, published one book, and delivered many lectures and public addresses. Nor has he been idle in affairs of the body social and politic. The first ten years of its existence he was president of the Yarmouth Library Association, has been president of the Cape Cod Historical Society since its organization; two years president of the Barnstable County Agricultural Society; was collector of customs for Barnstable district from 1861 to 1875, with only four months interruption; and in 1859 filled
a vacancy of several months in the office of register of probate. His first election to the office of treasurer of the county was in 1851, to which he was three time re-elected. In 1857-58 he was sent to the state senate, where he served on the committee on fisheries, election laws and the libraries, and was appointed chairman of the joint special committee on the pilotage laws. In 1860 he was a member of the executive council of the state. Later, in 1880 and 1881, he was the representative of the third district of the county in the legislature, serving both years as chairman on the part of the house of the committee on prisons and on the library, and the last term he served on the joint special committee for the revision of the laws of the Commonwealth. Thus for over three-score years has Mr. Swift been a prominent factor in the welfare of the county, and since the formation of the republican party one of its lights in Barnstable county. The wielding of a ready pen, being thoroughly conversant with political and local affairs, and withal his being a genial and obliging friend, has made Mr. Swift a popular and useful man in the county.
In 1852 he was married to Sarah A., daughter of John Munroe, of Barnstable, and they have seven children: Hannah C, wife of Frank E. Chase, of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Francis M., in the railway mail service; Fred. C, counsellor-at-law; Theodore W., in the railway mail service; Caroline M., a teacher; Sarah M., a stenographer; and Charles W., at present assistant editor of the Register.
Elisha Taylor.—The ancestors of this citizen of South Yarmouth were early settlers on the north side of the Cape, and in the growth and wealth of the town were an important element. Abner Taylor, one of .their descendants, settled later at West Yarmouth, where he became the proprietor of a large tract of land. He married Ruth Rogers, and of their children two survive: Elisha Taylor and the wife of Captain Albert Chase, of Hyannis.
Elisha Taylor was born February 1, 1809, at West Yarmouth, where he received the educational advantages of his town and the academy at Sandwich. He was married November 5, 1831, to Sophia, one of the eight children of Timothy and Polly Crowell. Besides her, Captain Elbridge Crowell, of Boston, and Mrs. Mary Jenkins, of South Yarmouth, are the only other survivors of this branch of an ancient family. While young, Elisha Taylor placed his mark high in the road to affluence and distinction, and steadily toward the goal he advanced. He was active in commercial and civil affairs until compelled by physical infirmity to desist.
He was president of the Marine Insurance Company of South Yarmouth seven years; selectman twenty-five years; justice of the peace twenty-eight years, besides other minor offices, and refused to serve in these positions longer because of his infirmity. He has ever taken
a keen interest in public affairs, espousing the cause of the republican party; by careful reading was always abreast the moving world, and in 1889 was still a subscriber to nine different journals. In his religious preferences he is a Congregationalist, but Mrs. Taylor being an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal church, he has given that society his support, contributing at one time, wholly or in greater part, to the erection of what is familiarly called Taylor's Chapel.
For nearly three-score years he and his good wife, although no children bless their home, have journeyed pleasantly together through the morning, the noon, and into the evening of life. His civil and business career is recorded in the books of the town and in the memories of his neighbors and townsmen.
William White7 was born in 1811. His ancestors are as follows: Peregrine6, Deacon Joseph5, Joseph4, Jonathan3, Peregrine2 (born in Provincetown harbor, on board the Mayflower), and William White1. Mr. White's mother was Betsey, daughter of Atkins Matthews. Mr. White was a master mariner until forty years of age. From 1851 to 1883 he kept a lumber yard at South Yarmouth. He was married in 1833 to Olive, daughter of Ebenezer Hallett. Of their nine children only five are living: Helen, Cyrus W., Osborn, Almena, and Edwin M. Mr. White has a cane that is said to have belonged to Peregrine White2.
Stephen Wing, born in 1828, is the eldest son of Daniel, grandson of Stephen and Dorothy (Allen) Wing, and great-grandson of John and Lydia (Allen) Wing. Mr. Wing is a coach maker by trade. He was eight years in California, after which he was for about twenty-five years in the grocery business at South Yarmouth, with his brother Daniel. He has been selectman four years in Yarmouth. He is a member of the South Yarmouth Society of Friends. He was married in 1866 to Minerva, daughter of Orlando and Harriet (Crowell) Baker.
Orlando F. Wood, born, in 1825, is a son of Zenas and Mercy (Howes) Wood, and grandson of Zenas and Lydia (Kelley) Wood. Mr. Wood is a tailor by trade. He worked in Boston and New Bedford for twenty-five years, and has lived at South Yarmouth since 1879. He has been local correspondent for the Yarmouth Register for several years.