Read before the Medford Historical Society, April 4, 1908.]
ONE of the most prominent men in Medford for fifty years subsequent to 1820, was Galen James, who came to this town in early manhood and gave to it and its interests the best part of an active and earnest life.
Born in Scituate, Massachusetts, near the Block House Yard on the North River, where his family had carried on ship building for several generations, he inherited the trade of a ship carpenter.
He was the son of Major John James and Patience Clapp; he was born September 29, 1790, and baptized June 5, 1791, as Galen Clapp James, in honor of his maternal grandfather.
He did not habitually use his middle initial, but it appears in his two marriage intentions filed in Medford.
His ancestry includes the pioneers of Plymouth County, Mayflower passengers and sturdy men of Kent, who settled Scituate in 1628.
We find among his forebears, the names of Brewster, Turner, Briggs, King, Otis, Brooks, and others prominen