But in the settlement of Mr. Bigelow a novel clause was for the first time in the history of Medford, and perhaps of Massachusetts, introduced, providing that the relation between them might be terminated by either party, upon six months written notice.
Mr. Bigelow availed himself of this provision in November, 1825.
My first visit to Medford was to my uncle, the Rev. Caleb Stetson, who then lived in the house in West Medford afterwards occupied by Jonathan Brooks, where Miss Lucy Ann Brooks, the last of his descendants, lately deceased.
In June, 1833, before going to college, I came here and took charge for one year of the grammar school kept in the west end of the little one-story whitewashed brick school-house standing in the rear of the church and west of the horse sheds.
In the other end of the building was a school for little children, taught by Miss Jane Symmes (afterwards Mrs. Hunt), whom many of you doubtless remember.
The only other grammar school in town was
is now known as Rock Hill.
The old house on the corner of Hastings lane and High street was probably built by Mr. Bradshaw prior to the year 1700.
It is a very old house.
In 1685, Mr. John Whitmore sold to Mr. Bradshaw three-fourths of an acre of land, the land being that upon which his dwelling house stands.
This land was bounded east upon the country road; north and south on Thomas Willis.
This house stood on the westerly side of Woburn street, near the northerly corner of the Lucy Ann Brooks estate.
There was an old house that stood on the corner of High and Grove streets, on land formerly of Captain Timothy Wheeler, and it was sold by his grandson, Mr. Ebenezer Prout, to Messrs. John and Stephen Francis.
It subsequently became a part of the Brooks estate.
This estate contained sixty acres of land, and was bounded westerly, on Mistick Pond; southerly, on the way to the Weares; easterly, on the road to Woburn, and northerly, on a ditch and hedge.
The deed to the Messrs
killed during the tornado of 1850.
The site is now owned by the heirs of John H. Norton, whose wife was a daughter of Mr. Huffmaster.
About half a mile farther east, in the colonial mansion which still beautifies the street, resided Master Kendall, the teacher of the town school.
After him came Mr. Stickney, Rev. Caleb Stetson and Jonathan Brooks, who formerly lived in the ancient dwelling still standing at the corner of Woburn street. Both these houses are owned by the estate of Miss Lucy Ann Brooks, daughter of Jonathan.
The mansion crowns the second slope of Ma'am Simonds hill, which in early days was called Bishop's hill, being dignified by a separate name in honor of the Bishop family who were large land owners between Woburn and Allston streets.
Directly opposite the old Jonathan Brooks house dwelt Jeduthan Richardson, in a very ancient house which seems destined soon to vanish before the march of modern improvement.
Edward L. Staniels, who married Mr. Richardson's daug
oks estate, Dennis Harrigan, the section master of the railroad.
A. B. Morss lived near Woburn street and later printed the Chronicle.
Rev. Charles Brooks, the able historian of Medford, Rev. D. A. Wasson, the radical preacher, Abner J. Phipps of the Board of Education, and Jefferson Hascall, D. D., were then also residents.
Mr. Cross was the master at the Brooks school and Miss Ellen Lane one of the teachers.
Of the women of the village I can say but little, but must allude to Miss Lucy Ann Brooks and Mrs. Usher, each in their own way rich in good works, and Auntie Cheney, a veritable mother in Israel.
A little later comers were B. C. Leonard, H. B. Nottage, Gardner Chapin, Herman Judkins, and others whom time forbids to mention.
1872 marked the organization of churches, and the call for more school accommodations, while a few fires emphasized the need of something more than the ancient hose carriage for protection.
New dwellings and churches were built, new residents ca
, at different times, the office of engine-man, wood corder, salt-measurer, assessor, and fire-warden.
At a town meeting held in May, 1789, it was voted to petition the General Court for a lottery, to widen the bridge and pave the market place, so called.
Isaac Hall was appointed a member of the committee.
Among his friends was Col. Isaac Royal, who halted between two opinions respecting the revolution, until the cannonading at Lexington drove him to Newburyport and then to Halifax.
In Brooks' history of Medford is an account of an examination respecting the political behavior of Colonel Royal.
Among the persons examined was Captain Isaac Hall, who declared: That the winter before said battle (Lexington) he went to settle accounts with said Royal at his house; and that said Royal showed him his arms and accoutrements (which were in very good order), and told him that he determined to stand for his country, etc.
Isaac Hall died November 24, 1789.
A sword, said to be the one
is marriage with Elizabeth Albree, also a descendant of one of Medford's early settlers, went to live in this house, which has since borne his name.
There all his children were born, among them the Rev. Charles Brooks, who was so active in Medford school matters.
Here and in the adjoining house his accomplished daughter Elizabeth dispensed the gracious, old-fashioned hospitality, the fame of which still lingers.
About her own childhood, in this old house, the last of that family, Miss Lucy Ann Brooks, told many charming stories as she sat smiling in the invalid chair, from which she watched with kindly interest the children of the Brooks School a few years ago as she was pushed along High street for her daily ride.
The brick part and eastern L of the adjoining house are also very old. That house Jonathan's brother Isaac owned and lived in for a few years but his widow sold it. Years afterwards Jonathan bought it back and his family lived there, renting the house on Woburn stre
ord, there passed away one, a native of Medford (and whose boyhood days were spent here), who is kindly remembered by his old associates still living.
These lines are not intended as obituary; rather an appreciative mention of one we have never met, or even heard of, till in recent years.
Thomas Meriam Stetson was the son of Rev. Caleb Stetson, the second Unitarian pastor of Medford's First Parish.
His birth occurred in the house on High street, later the home of Rev. Charles and Miss Lucy Ann Brooks, June 15, 1830.
His later boyhood home was the parsonage house, erected on the site of the present St. Joseph's parochial residence.
His early education was in the schools of Medford (public and private), and his college course was at Harvard, graduating there in 1849.
After study in the Dane Law
Zzz. to the bar in 1854.
His father's pastorate (of twenty-one years) in Medford closed in 1848, prior to the son's graduation, and this may account for the settlement of this Medford
A Medford teacher has recently prepared such a work, advance sheets of which have been submitted to us for inspection.
They give evidence of much thought and labor in their preparation, quote authorities, and refer to many writings.
As a matter of course, the printed histories of Medford are frequently quoted or referred to. After sending the author our criticisms, we gave the sheets to former President Hooper, which has led to the preparation of his article in our present issue.
Mr. Brooks' work was one of the earlier town histories of Massachusetts.
He said in its preface, The gathering of these annals has been too long delayed, and prophesied discovery of facts beyond his reach.
With no local records of the first forty-four years, it is no wonder that he fell into some errors.
He was an excellent annalist and wrote interestingly.
In his day, and since, he had not the credit he deserved for his work for public education, he was even railed at in the public press.
now. It is not known that any photograph was ever taken of the building itself.
The picture mentioned is a photographic enlargement of the engraving illustrating Brooks' History of Medford, which was probably made from the architect's drawing, and was made by Erving Conant at the instance of some friend of the school.
Of the ehe appearance of the second will be striking as compared with the then prevailing style and appearance of schoolhouses.
There was a reason for this.
Historian Brooks devoted nearly a page to this house and its public exercises, and records that on March 10, 1851, the town voted to build it and appropriated $2,000 therefor, andced the striking architecture of this building (the more noticeable because of the few adjacent houses), and very naturally thought it was the village church.
Mr. Brooks gives the names of the building committee and adds, they spared no pains in procuring a skillful draughtsman.
We wish he had given his name, as careful search
literary work was done.
It was not his birthplace.
He was born in the older house just below it facing eastward on old Woburn street, the story of which has been told in Vol.
XVI, p. 69, of the Register, by the present occupant, Mrs. Ellen Newton Brooks.
It is said to have been the home of his uncle Isaac Brooks (who died in 1819), and sold by his widow.
The historian's father, Jonathan, purchased it, and made it his home until his death in 1847, when his son Charles, and daughter Lucy Ann Brooks, succeeded in its occupancy.
Rev. Charles passed away in 1872 and Miss Lucy Ann many years later.
It is a fine example of the type of New England dwellings of the better class of the early nineteenth century, and succeeded that of Deacon Bradshaw, which was probably like Medford's oldest, the Bradbury-Blanchard-Wellington house at Wellington.
The central or main portion has end walls of brick, not carried above the roof, but covered by it but with no projecting cornice.