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avoid the towns between the termini and have no way stations. So the road, instead of its natural course through the Mystic valley, was carried at great additional expense through Winter and Walnut hills and away from the centre of the town. When the road was opened, in the spring of 1835, Mr. P. C. Brooks, desirous of giving his townsmen the novelty of riding for the first time on a railroad, arranged with the managers to have the train stop one morning at West Medford and take a party to Lowell and return. I happened to be here on a visit at the time and joined the party of about forty or fifty, not more than two or three of whom had ever travelled by railroad before. Though at the risk of trying your patience too long, I should like to say a few words of some of my old Medford friends who have passed away—some of whom I hope may still be kindly remembered by some of you. Let me mention Mr. P. C. Brooks, then probably the richest man in New England, Rev. Caleb Stetson, well es
Abiel R. Shed (search for this): chapter 21
dhood 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 Erie, which gave to our fleet the control of the lakes. In this war eighteen Medford citizens enlisted, two of whom, Edmund Gates and Abiel R. Shed, were killed in battle. Another distinguished son of Medford, Alexander Scammell Brooks, eldest son of Governor Brooks, made a good reputation in this war. Born in Medford in 1777, he entered Harvard College in 1801, and leaving it in 1804 entered the merchant service as a mariner. But the Embargo of 1808, so destructive to the mercantile prosperity of New England, closed that career for a time, but it was renewed soon after, and he returned to his chosen profession. But when the
John Hutchins (search for this): chapter 21
a company of one hundred and ninety-six rank and file. Medford, I think, has never mustered so large a company since, for the duty was considered irksome and was evaded when possible. This company was succeeded by the Brooks Phalanx in 1841, which was dissolved in 1849, and was succeeded by the Lawrence Light Guard in 1854. This company was well organized and in a good state of discipline at the time of the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion, in which, under its commander, Capt. John Hutchins, it took an active part; but the period at which its brave and patriotic services were performed covers a later date than that assigned to me to record. I can only say that their valor, their devotion, the patience and the courage with which they underwent the hardships and encountered the dangers of the war, were beyond all praise, and will ever be held in grateful remembrance by their townsmen and their country. I have spoken of Governor Brooks. It was once my good fortune to s
Jane Symmes (search for this): chapter 21
eb 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 kept by Alexander Gregg, afterwards a coal dealer, in a one-story brick building on Cross street, within the grounds of the present cemetery. Who could then have imagined the change which sixty years have made, or dreamed of the magnificent palaces in which our children now are taught? There were, a little before and for many years afterwards, two or three private schools of wide
John Sparrell (search for this): chapter 21
eviews. This company resigned its charter in 1828. You all know the little brick powder-house standing near the top of the hill, just above the house of Mr. A. F. Sise. Within my recollection it was used for the storage of powder and was protected by a lightning-rod. During the war of 1812 the company last mentioned kept guard over it for some weeks. Upon the dissolution of this company the members were, under the existing law, enrolled in the militia company under the command of Capt. John Sparrell, whom some of my elder hearers may remember, and who appeared at the muster that autumn at the head of a company of one hundred and ninety-six rank and file. Medford, I think, has never mustered so large a company since, for the duty was considered irksome and was evaded when possible. This company was succeeded by the Brooks Phalanx in 1841, which was dissolved in 1849, and was succeeded by the Lawrence Light Guard in 1854. This company was well organized and in a good state of
Andrew Bigelow (search for this): chapter 21
't believe more than half of it. But the sleeping embers of dissent and disunion were soon kindled after his death. Early in 1823 a call was made upon the Rev. Andrew Bigelow to become the pastor. This call of course was made by the town, the primary authority, as has been shown, but was far from unanimous, the vote being nine, like the parson under the English law, to have a freehold. It was his property, in the enjoyment of which he could not be disturbed. 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,
B. B. Wisner (search for this): chapter 21
, from many remarks dropped as if casually, and various little incidents which occurred, that for the latter part of his life the assembly's catechism ceased to be held in reverence, and that he was much more in accord with Dr. Channing than with John Calvin. A little anecdote told me more than fifty years ago, by a gentleman who had means of knowing of what he spoke, indicates something of the gradual change in his opinions. He was one of the ordaining council at the settlement of Rev. B. B. Wisner over the Old South Church. He took no active part in the long examination of the candidate, but when the others had finished he said to the candidate, Young man, do you really believe in all this that you have stated? The answer was of course in the affirmative. Well, well, said the doctor, if you live to be as old as I am you won't believe more than half of it. But the sleeping embers of dissent and disunion were soon kindled after his death. Early in 1823 a call was made upon
Joseph Angier (search for this): chapter 21
— Mr. Harlow, are you a sinner? I pleaded guilty, quoting the assembly's catechism as evidence. Well, said she, if you are a sinner, come and take tea with us to-night; a few of our friends will be here to pass the evening, and they will all be saints but you; and as I think a party is pleasanter for being a little mixed, I want a sinner or two to make it more agreeable. Of course I accepted, and with only one layman but myself met half a dozen ministers and theologues of the best the neighborhood afforded, among them Rev. Dr. Furness, Mr. Stetson, I think Dr. Francis, Joseph Angier, Nathaniel Hall, and George I. Briggs; and the cheerfulness and spirit of the evening justified her prediction. I have endeavored to comply with the limited task assigned me. If I have trespassed too long on your patience consider that I had you at my mercy and could have detained you much longer; and remember with the poet Burns, What's done we partly can compute, But know not what's resisted
e— Mr. Harlow, are you a sinner? I pleaded guilty, quoting the assembly's catechism as evidence. Well, said she, if you are a sinner, come and take tea with us to-night; a few of our friends will be here to pass the evening, and they will all be saints but you; and as I think a party is pleasanter for being a little mixed, I want a sinner or two to make it more agreeable. Of course I accepted, and with only one layman but myself met half a dozen ministers and theologues of the best the neighborhood afforded, among them Rev. Dr. Furness, Mr. Stetson, I think Dr. Francis, Joseph Angier, Nathaniel Hall, and George I. Briggs; and the cheerfulness and spirit of the evening justified her prediction. I have endeavored to comply with the limited task assigned me. If I have trespassed too long on your patience consider that I had you at my mercy and could have detained you much longer; and remember with the poet Burns, What's done we partly can compute, But know not what's resisted
Edmund Gates (search for this): chapter 21
e 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 Erie, which gave to our fleet the control of the lakes. In this war eighteen Medford citizens enlisted, two of whom, Edmund Gates and Abiel R. Shed, were killed in battle. Another distinguished son of Medford, Alexander Scammell Brooks, eldest son of Governor Brooks, made a good reputation in this war. Born in Medford in 1777, he entered Harvard College in 1801, and leaving it in 1804 entered the merchant service as a mariner. But the Embargo of 1808, so destructive to the mercantile prosperity of New England, closed that career for a time, but it was renewed soon after, and he returned to his chosen profession.
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