Some notes of the history of Medford from 1801 to 1851.1
I have been requested to speak of the history of Medford
during the first half of the present century.
An old writer once said, ‘Happy are the people who have no history.’
This is only another mode of expressing the quiet happiness of the calm, contented life in which so many of our New England
towns moved on, with little to record and little to disturb them.
Not being a native of Medford
, and not yet a centenarian, I can hardly be expected to have any personal recollection of the early portion of the half-century.
My sources of information are the same that are accessible to most of you, the town records, the history of Medford
so carefully prepared by Rev. Charles Brooks
, and the traditions and recollections of the few survivors of that early time.
Alas, they are but few!
Of the few with whom I became acquainted on my first visit to Medford
, more than sixty-five years ago, not one survives; and of those whom I knew when I became a permanent resident in 1843, scarcely one remains, and some entire families have disappeared.
There were really but two events of importance which marked the first half of the century.
The first was the war of 1812.
At that time Dr. (afterwards Governor) John Brooks
, a native of Medford
, had at the conclusion of the Revolutionary war returned to the home of his childhood and resumed the practice of his profession, living in the old house which was taken down a few years ago and replaced by the building of the Savings Bank.
His second son, John Brooks
, adopted his father's profession, but on the outbreak of the war joined the army, with the rank of lieutenant, and fell on shipboard in the great naval battle of Lake