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Gregory Stone and some of his descendants

By Sara A. Stone
Gregory Stone, and Simon, his elder brother, came to this country with their families from England in 1635. Their English ancestry has been traced with probable accuracy back to one Symond Stone, who lived in Much Bromley, Essex County. His will was probated in 1510, and is now in possession of the British Museum. Simon and Gregory were greatgreat-grand-sons of this Symond, and the record of their baptisms has been found in the church register of Much Bromley, February 9, 1585-6, and April 19, 1592, respectively. The marriage of Simon to Joan Clark in 1616 is also there; but the marriage of Gregory to Margaret Garrad has been found in the parish register at Nayland, Suffolk County. There are also records of the birth of four children, and the burial of the mother and youngest within two days of each other.

Gregory married for his second wife the widow Lydia Cooper, who already had two children by her former husband. The births of three more childen are recorded at Nayland. With this family of eight children, the oldest seventeen, the youngest three years, he crossed the water. Paige, in his History of Cambridge, thinks it probable that he came in the ship Defence, from London, with the Rev. Thomas Shepherd, and some others. This company, fleeing religious intolerance at home, embarked in the early days of July, 1635, in a ship having ‘a bottom too decayed and feeble indeed for such a voyage, so that a perilous leak endangered her safety on the way hither.’

Simon Stone came with his family on the ship Increase, also from London, and settled in Watertown, where he and his descendants for several generations took a prominent part in the affairs of the locality. He was a grantee of eight lots, and later was one of the largest land owners in the town. A considerable [74] part of the land now occupied by Mt. Auburn and Cambridge cemeteries once belonged to him. According to tradition it was he who built the old-fashioned house of colonial style, that, with the extensive buildings connected with it, served six generations of his descendants for two hundred years, till it was destroyed by fire.

In the beginning, Watertown included a tract which now is divided into Waltham, Weston, and the largest part of Lincoln, and that part of Cambridge lying east of Mt. Auburn Cemetery, between Fresh Pond and Charles River, though these tracts were probably not inhabited, and even Watertown proper being but sparsely sprinkled with houses. Charlestown had already been settled, and Cambridge, then called ‘Newe Towne,’ seems to have been ‘designed merely as a fortified place, very small in extent, and apparently without definite bounds.’ The dividing line between Charlestown and Cambridge was established in 1632-3, and was substantially the same as that which now divides Cambridge from Somerville.

A grant by the court in March, 1635-6, agreed that ‘Newe Towne’ bounds ‘shall run eight miles into the country from their meeting-house.’ This grant secured to Cambridge, on its northern border, the territory now embraced in Arlington, and the principal part of Lexington. The reason for this extension was that a restless spirit seemed to pervade the inhabitants, due to several causes. Their large herds of cattle demanded more room than was available. There were two clergymen having great influence and large following, one of whom, Mr. Hooker, deemed it wise to withdraw to some place more remote from Boston, leaving Mr. Cotton a clear field in Newe Towne. There were also political rivalries.

This was the state of affairs when the ship Defence arrived in October, 1635. Mr. Hooker tried to induce some of this company to go with him to Connecticut, where he proposed to establish a settlement, and did succeed in doing so. But Gregory Stone decided to remain in Cambridge, probably being only too glad to reach terra firma, after the long and arduous voyage. If he had gone on to Connecticut, the lives of many people, his [75] descendants, would have been different, and this story, perhaps, would not have been written.

It is presumed that he settled first in Watertown, as he had large grants of land there, which he afterward sold. The first incident of note after his arrival must have been the establishment of the ‘first church gathering’ in Newe Towne, destined to become the first parish in Cambridge, now, as then, located in Harvard Square. A quaint historian says the people were probably summoned to the gathering by the roll of a drum, and could be seen coming from all quarters. When the list of the church members was written years later, Gregory Stone and all his family were members in full communion; all his children had been baptized there. It is not known just when he joined, but it must have been in the early days, as he was made a freeman in May, 1636. The conditions of this privilege, which was earnestly desired by every man, were, ‘to be orthodox members of the church, twenty years old, and worth £ 200.’

As part of the unrest of this time, there was moving to and fro between Watertown and Newe Towne, and Gregory Stone was one of those who moved to Newe Towne in 1637. He bought a house and five acres of land of Roger Harlackenden, Esq. By the boundaries given, this homestead or ‘homestall,’ must have been in the neighborhood of the Cambridge Observatory and Botanic Gardens.

By purchase and grants in later years he became a large land-holder. In 1638 he was Representative for Cambridge. In the meantime there was work to do in the laying out of Newe Towne, which, by order of the General Court in 1636, was called Cambridge, and providing for its government. The records are full of these transactions, with the regulations accompanying each.

For example, ‘Severall lotts granted by the Towne for wood lots unto divers perfons, But the land to ly in Comon for ye townes use.’

‘And the other fide Menotime Bridge, Gregory Stone, 13 acres.’

Gregory Stone hath liberty to fell fome timber on the Comon for his fence against the Comon.’ [76]

‘At a Gen all meeting of the Inhabitants the 8th mo. 1652.’

‘The Towne do choofe mr Richard Champney, Gregory Stone, Tho: Marret, Ri: Jackfon, and Gilbert Cracbone to draw up inftructions ffor the Townfmen, and prefent the fame to the Towne 4th, 10th. 52. to be allowed or diflowed by a Generall Vote of the Towne then met.’

There seems to have been some question ‘whether or Cow Common were already lawfully stinted,’ so serious as to require an audience before the magistrate of the county. Gregory Stone was one of a committee which should present ‘ye true state of ye buifsiness before them.’

Later, there was a fence to be erected on the Watertown line, and he was one of a committee of seven to ‘confider & determine, the ordering, making & maintaining of that fence.’

People on the south side of the river, finding it a long distance to go to church in Cambridge, petitioned from time to time to be set off as a separate precinct. A committee was appointed, of which Gregory Stone was one, ‘to treat with or Brethren & Neighbors on the fouth side the River & to ifsue the matter with them according to the above proposiccon made & agreed by the Towne.’

Gregory Stone was by this time called ‘Deacon’ in all the records, and his name appears on nearly every important committee, from that which was appointed to thin out the wood lots, to one commissioned to present before the General Court a protest against the arbitrary government of a Council or Parliament in which they were not represented, this being contrary to the intent of their first patent, as they interpreted it, at the same time avowing their personal loyalty to the King. Here was the first whispering of the spirit which, more than a hundred years later, was heard in full tones in the Declaration of Independence.

At a special session, commencing October 19, 1664,—

The Court being met together and informed that several persons, inhabitants of Cambridge, were at the door and desiring liberty to make known their errand, were called in, and Mr. Edward Jackson, Mr. Richard Jackson, Mr. Edward Oakes, and Deacon Stone, coming before the Court, presented a petition from the [77] inhabitants of Cambridge which was subscribed by very many hands, in which they testified and declared their good content and satisfaction they took and had in the present government in church and commonwealth, with their resolution to be assisting to and encouraging the same, and humbly desiring all means might be used for the continuance and preservation thereof:—

To the honoured Generall Court of Massachusetts Colonie. The humble representation of the inhabitants of the towne of Cambridg.

For as much as we have heard that theire have beene representations made unto his Majesty conserning divisions among us and dissatisfaction about the present government of this colonie; we whose names are under written, the inhabitants and house holders of the towne above mentioned, doe hearby testify our unanimous satisfaction in and adhearing to the present government so long and orderly estableshed, and our earnest desire of the continuance theirof and of all the liberties and privileges pertaining theirunto which are contained in the charter granted by King James and King Charles the First of famous memory, under the encouredgment and security of which charter we or our fathers ventured over the ocean into this wildenesse through great hazards, charges, and difficulties; and we humbly desire our honored General Court would addresse themselves by humble petition to his Maiesty for his royall favour in the continuance of the present establishment and of all previleges theirof, and that we may not be subjected to the arbitrary power of any who are not chosen by this people according to theire patent. Cambridge the 17th of the 8. 1664.

Similar petitions were sent in from neighboring towns the next day.

Among the names signed to this petition were those of Gregory Stone and David and Samuel Stone, his sons. By this it would seem that two at least of Gregory Stone's sons had followed their father's footsteps.

In 1647, he had received a grant of 200 acres, more or less, abutting ‘uppon the Heade of the8 mile line toward Concord.’ In this locality many had now settled, and his sons on their marriage [78] became influential members of this community, which was called ‘The Farms.’

Perhaps here might be interposed a brief record of the children of Gregory Stone, other than Samuel, in whom we are chiefly interested.

John, the oldest, settled in that part of Sudbury which is now Framingham, but in the latter part of his life came back to Cambridge, occupying the homestead after the death of his father, in 1672, carrying out a wish expressed in the latter's will. He was deacon of the church at Sudbury, and was employed by the town in civil affairs. He was Representative for Cambridge in 1682 and 1683. He was elected ruling elder of the church at Cambridge in 1682, but held the office for a short time only, as he died the next year. The stone which marks his burial place may be found in the old cemetery at Harvard Square.

Daniel, the second son, was a ‘Chirurgeon,’ and resided in Cambridge and Boston.

David, the third, did not hold any important office, but apparently was well known in the precinct of ‘The Farms,’ as his son Samuel sometimes signed his name, Samuel Stone, ‘David's Son.’

There were two daughters, Elizabeth, who settled in Ipswich, and Sarah, who married Joseph Merriam and lived at Concord. John Cooper, the son of Gregory Stone's second wife, by her first husband, became a prominent citizen of Cambridge. He was selectman thirty-eight years, town clerk thirteen years, and deacon of the church twenty-three years.

His sister, Lydia, married David Fiske, and resided part of the time on Linnaean Street, Cambridge, and afterwards at ‘The Farms,’ where he was one of the most prominent men. He was a wheelwright, but much employed in public service, especially as a surveyor of lands. He was selectman in 1688, Representative in the critical period of 1689. At ‘The Farms’ he was precinct clerk and assessor; the first subscriber for a meeting-house there, and the first named member of the church.

In tracing the career of Gregory Stone, as found in the [79] records, one comes upon the same names again and again. Comparison with the list of those who, it was presumed, came in the ship Defence at the same time as he, shows that they were fellow-workers in the upbuilding of the infant settlement. In 1647, on the death of one of these, Nathaniel Sparohauke, father of John Cooper's wife, he was appointed appraiser of part of his estate. He was one of the executors of the will of his brother Simon, who died in 1665.

At the beginning of the year 1668 there is recorded an order of the selectmen for the ‘cattichifing of the youth of the town.’ Deacon Stone, and Deacon Chefholme were appointed to perform that office for the youth at ‘The Farms.’ Two years later a similar order is recorded, with Edward Oakes as his associate. Another item says: ‘Deacon Stone & Deacon Cooper for those fam. on the west side of the Common, and for Watertown lane, as far towards the town as Samuel Hastings'.’

At this time he was on a committee for dividing the common lands on the south side of the river in the precinct which I presume is now Brighton; there also seems to have been a tract which for some reason reverted to the town, and a committee was appointed to settle the damages. In nearly all work of this kind, requiring good judgment and impartial decision, he had a part.

Two curious items in the church records show that Deacon Stone was called on to take charge of the arrangements and pay the expenses of certain funerals. They are as follows:—

March 16, 1668-9. To Deacon Stone by a pair of Shooes and a pound of suger, because the deacon had silver though they cost him 4s 6d had 3s 6d

February 4, 1670. Payd in silver, by the apoyntment of the committee for the mynister house unto the deputie governor Mr Francis Willoughby, by Deacon Stone and Thomas Chesholm, as appears by his discharge wch Deacon Stone hath, for the dischong of Mr. Mitchell's funerall the sum of 8 pounds, 13 shillings, 6 pence. I say the sum of £ 8 13s 6d

Mr. Mitchell had served the parish long and faithfully as its minister. [80]

The last committee upon which Gregory Stone served was one which was to have charge of building a stone fence four feet high, with two gates, on the line between Watertown and Cambridge. There is reason to think that this work was never carried out on the part of the committee.

On November 30, 1672, Gregory Stone died at the age of eighty years. He was ‘the last survivor’ of the original members of the ‘first church gathering’ at Cambridge. He had been its deacon for at least fourteen years, and in all probability for twice that length of time.

Ten days before his death he made his will, expressing in clear and definite terms his wishes as to the disposal of his effects. The will has been printed in the New England Historic-Genealogical Register, volume 8, page 69, and is one of the very few papers left by him which the worms and teeth of time have not devoured, and which lies at the foundation of the genealogy of his race. The opening paragraph is worthy of full quotation:—

‘In the name of God-Amen. I, Gregory Stone of Cambridge in New England, being through the Lord's favor of sound judgment and memory, do make and ordeine my last will & Testamt in manner following, viz.: my immortall soul I do freely resigne into the armes and mercyes of God my Maker, Jesus Christ my only redeemer, and to the holy spirit, to carry mee on & lead mee forever, my body to be decently interred at the discrcion of my Xian friends.’

For some unknown reason out of the twelve or more known grandchildren, he singled out one, to whom he gave by special bequest ‘my little cow called mode and my little young colt, or five pounds, provided he live with my wife one year after my decease, & do her faithful service according to his best ability, during which time my wife shall find him his meat, drink, and cloathing, & at the end of the year deliver him the above-named cow and colt.’ His sons John and Samuel were appointed executors. To his wife's children, John and Lydia Cooper, were given ten pounds each, and Lydia's daughter, whom he called his grandchild, was given two acres of land. [81]

Judging from the inventory, the house he left was a commodious one for the time. The inventory mentions a parlor and hall, with chambers over both, but the contents of all are of miscellaneous description. A few of the items will give some idea of the price of different articles:—

A tann coatt001200
A gray Jackit000500
A red wastcoatt000106
A man's hoode000106
A payrr of moofe leather gloves000200
A feather bed, bolfter, and two pillows021300
A payrr of sheets000300
Two blankits001200
A coverlit001600
A payrr of Cotton sheets001500
A warming pan000700
A bible000400
pfalme booke000100
Three printed books000200
17 pewter difhes great & small020000
Three pewter pots and a beaker000900
16 spoons000206
Two pewter candlesticks000300
A fowling piece010000
fine table cloth & towolls010200
A table and forms000700
A table and two forms010400
Three bedsteds000900
12 Busholls of Apples001200
beefe tallow, a butter tub and lanthorn000700
A gray mare and colt030000
A young cow030000
Two oxen110000

It would seem by this list that cotton sheets and pewter ware were among the high-priced articles of household furniture, probably because they were imported articles. We wonder what kind [82] of a bedstead could be worth only three shillings. It will be noted that forms are mentioned instead of chairs. Bed furnishings and wearing apparel were abundant, but held at a low valuation.

In the old cemetery at Harvard Square, a foot stone, marked G. S., shows the last resting place of Gregory Stone. A few years ago a descendant erected a granite monument near it, with suitable inscription.

Deacon Samuel Stone

Samuel, the only son of Gregory Stone by his second wife, was baptized on February 4, 1630, in the church at Nayland, Suffolk County, England. He was five years old when the family came to this country. His education must have been obtained in the schools of the time. Possibly he went to the ‘faire Grammer School,’ the first one established in the settlement, taught by Elijah Corlet, a school which prepared students for Harvard College, and which was situated near the spreading chestnut tree, celebrated in Longfellow's poem.

He was married on June 7, 1655, to Sarah Stearns, of Watertown, and located at ‘The Farms.’ He was made freeman in 1657. He became a prosperous farmer and land-holder, and his name frequently appears on the records for various services.

For the first and almost the only time the name of Stone is found among those fined for ‘felling and ftroying timb on ye comon lands,’ in the record of a meeting of the selectmen, held in 1660. This was not an unusual misdemeanor in those days.

In 1663-4-7 he was appointed surveyor of highways. In 1669 he was one of a committee to run the bounds between Concord and Cambridge. In 1673 he was appointed constable, an office somewhat similar to that of townsman or selectman. Later he was commissioned ‘to looke after the Common fencis for the farmes neere Concord.’

Upon complaint made by him and Joseph Merriam, his brother-in-law, ‘of the low and pore Condifhon of John Johnson, the selectmen doe reqeft Samuell Stone and Joseph Merriam to take care for his fuply for his present nefefitye, and tobe fupplyed [83] out of the town rate from the Constable Ifack Stones, not exceeding fourty fhillings untill further order be taken.’

In 1681 he was appointed selectman, and also in 1688 and 1692; the selectmen then performed the duty of assessors, until 1697, except in the year 1694. He was also appointed on a committee to make a ‘rate for the ministry’ in 1683 and 1691, and was chosen Commissioner in 1693 and 1695.

The following quotation from a report of a committee appointed to lay out the bounds of a meadow of eighty acres, more or less, not far from the Concord bounds, is interesting from the curious spelling:

this is by us marked Rounde that medow where it is next the Comon with this mark M with A markin oyrn on that side of many trees nex the medow, the proprietors being with us and consenting to what we have done.

famuell ftone, fenr, david fifke, fenr, Mathew bredge, fenr.

He served on a committee which was appointed to ‘devid the lands conteyned betwixt oburne Concord and our head line,’ and ‘alsoe to leave Convenient high ways of two rod wide between the divifions or Squadrents where need requires for a high way.’

An order of the Court establishing what was called a ‘single rate’ was passed in November, 1646, the rate to be one penny for every twenty shillings estate. In the list of persons and estates taken in August, 1688, the name of Samuel Stone, Sr., is given as paying the highest tax, showing that he was a man of large landed property. In these days of high rates of taxation the sum of 11s 9d seems absurdly small, however.

Meanwhile the inhabitants of ‘The Farms,’ finding it difficult to perform their religious duties, which no ‘right New England man’ thought of shirking, living, as some of them did, ten miles from the meeting-house, petitioned to be set off as a separate precinct. Cambridge was so much opposed that the petition was not granted; nor was a second appeal two years later. But ‘The Farmers,’ feeling the justice of their cause, persevered, and in 1691 were given permission to establish a church, though they remained a part of Cambridge in civil affairs until 1713. [84]

Samuel Stone was prominent in this new venture, being one of the signers of the petition to the General Court, on the committee to engage the preacher, and one of the first deacons. The funds for building the meeting-house were raised by subscription, and the paper is the oldest upon the records, and is prized accordingly, bearing, as it does, the names of the principal inhabitants of the precinct at a critical time in its history. It is needless to say that Samuel Stone's name is among the foremost, people in those days giving according to their means. The same is true of the tax for the payment of the minister's salary. The next year a piece of land was bought for the ‘benefit of the ministry,’ and it was paid for by the same means.

It was the custom of the time to invite the magistrates to be present at such important occasions as the organization of a new church. The event at ‘The Farms’ was no exception, and combined the ordination of the minister with the signing of the covenant by the members. Judge Sewall was one of the invited guests, and in his journal, after a description of the exercises, adds, ‘Mr. Stone and Mr. Fiske thanked me for my assistance there.’ David Fiske was chosen clerk, and Samuel Stone deacon. The two were the first to sign the covenant, being among the ten men dismissed from churches in Cambridge, Watertown, Woburn, and Concord to enter into the work. The names of a son of each are also found in the list, and their wives were admitted later. Deacon Stone had been a member of the church at Cambridge, and all his children had been baptized there.

The minister chosen served less than a year, and a meeting was called to consider a new supply. The Rev. John Hancock was their choice, and the senior deacon and the clerk were appointed ‘to treat with him.’

While the affairs of the church were proceeding so satisfactorily, civil affairs were also progressing. The settlement had come to be called ‘Cambridge Farms,’ and in the year 1694, by the order of the Treasurer of the Province, a board of assessors was chosen to perform the duties which had previously been attended to by the selectmen. Samuel Stone was one of these, and was appointed again in 1695 and 1697. [85]

Early in the new century the question of the bounds between Cambridge and Watertown seems not to have been settled, or, at least, the marks and monuments needing to be renewed, a committee was appointed in each town to attend to the matter. Samuel Stone was one of the committee from Cambridge.

At a town meeting held in April, 1711, the people voted to buy a piece of land near the meeting-house for a public common, the same to be paid for by subscription. The names of several Stones appear on this list.

Samuel Stone was twice married; his first wife died in 1700, and his second survived him thirteen years. He died at the age of eighty-five, September 27, 1715. ‘In ye old burying ground’ in Lexington, on the circular drive at the southern end, is a row of twelve slate stones, bearing the name of Stone. The first is that of Samuel Stone, Sr., the second that of his first wife.

Samuel Stone, West

Samuel Stone, the oldest son of Deacon Samuel Stone, was born at Cambridge Farms October 1, 1656. On account of duplicate names in the family, to avoid confusion, he was designated Samuel Stone, West, to distinguish him from his cousin, David Stone's son, who was called Samuel Stone, East.

He married Dorcas Jones, of Concord, June 12, 1679. He probably resided in what is now Lincoln, somewhat nearer the church at Concord than the one at Cambridge, for the births of all his children are recorded there. He was taxed, however, in Cambridge, as his name is on the tax list of 1688. He was freeman in 1682. He took a prominent part in the establishment of the church at ‘The Farms’ in 1691 and later, being one of the signers of the first covenant, as has been related. In 1698 his wife was admitted to the church from Concord, and from that time their interests seem to have been wholly in the town of Lexington, as it was called by order of the Court, in 1713.

According to an (unofficial) estimate of the population, it had increased from forty-five to over 500 in the sixty years between 1655 and 1715, so that it is not remarkable that he should be interested in and take a prominent part in the affairs of the town which had grown with his growth. [86]

A grandchild of one of the early settlers in Lexington says: ‘The old patriarch has often related with tears in his eyes the poverty and destitution experienced, the hardships borne, and the trials endured by the first inhabitants of the place. Their dwellings were small and rude–the same room serving the various purposes of kitchen and parlor, dining-room and bedroom, storehouse and workshop. Their furniture was of the most primitive kind; blocks or forms made of split logs furnished seats, wooden spoons, made with a knife, enabled them to eat their bread and milk, or bean porridge, out of rude bowls or troughs, cut with an axe from blocks of wood.’ The terror from Indians must have been even worse. It is related that, after a massacre by the Indians at Framingham, during King Philip's War, a little girl was taken away to Canada, but was afterward rescued and brought back. The tales she could picture to her daughter, who figures in this narrative later on, can best be left to the imagination.

On the death of Samuel Stone's father, Deacon Stone, in 1715, he was appointed deacon to fill the vacancy. He also succeeded his father in the homestead. He was selectman in 1714, 1715, and 1723. In 1735 there were twenty-five slaves in town, in most cases kept as house servants. It is said that Deacon Stone had one. His long life of eighty-seven years was brought to a close June 17, 1743. In the row of slate stones in ‘ye Old Burying Ground,’ his is the eleventh, or the second from the further end; and that of his wife, who died three years later, has been placed beside it. This couple lived together sixty-four years.


The schools of Charlestown beyond the Neck—Revolutionary period

Frank Mortimer Hawes

Our account of the ‘school’ beyond Charlestown Neck has been brought down to 1754. The object of this paper will be to continue its history to 1793.

After the bounds of Medford were definitely established, there were left three school districts, which we, not the records, have chosen to call the Milk Row, the Alewife Brook, and the Gardner Row. The first of these embraced nearly the whole of what is now Somerville; the second may be said to have extended from the Old Powder House well up into Arlington; the third lay wholly in that town and along by the Mystic ponds. As we have indicated, the town books afford very meagre information, and we are forced to content ourselves, for the most part, with a list of the local committee for each year, and the sums of money appropriated.

From 1754 to 1765, a period of eleven years, the amount voted in town meeting for these outside districts was £ 180, or £ 24, 1. m. In the last-mentioned year a readjustment of the taxes increased this appropriation to £ 34, 1. m., and it remained at this sum until 1775. As was stated in our last chapter, no money seems to have been raised by taxation for school purposes that year. Evidently the schools on the peninsula were both closed for a time, but from a perusal of the selectmen's books we conclude that the three schools which we are considering were continued without any marked interruption, for the local committee ceased not to disburse sums received from the town treasurer, sums varying, to be sure, from year to year, but which by 1781 had returned somewhat to the old basis of things. From that time the appropriation slowly increased, until the sum for outside educational purposes amounted in 1792 to £ 80.

The management of all the schools was nominally in the hands of the selectmen, but for many years previous to 1754 a local committee was annually appointed, to attend to all matters [88] pertaining to these outside schools, such as furnishing wood for the winter fire, making repairs, hiring and paying the teachers.

For nineteen years, from 1752 to 1770, inclusive, the local committeeman for Milk Row was Samuel Kent, whose father, Joseph Kent, we have seen, held a similar position for some years before that. During this long period he disbursed, on an average, less than £ 12 yearly of the town's money for this school. Compared with the present outlay in the same district, this seems a mere trifle, but perhaps this man, for his faithfulness to public duties, is deserving of an enduring monument, such as the naming of a school building for himself and his family, full as much as some of our more modern worthies who have been thus honored.

The Kent family was long identified with the history of Charlestown. The grandfather of Samuel came here from Dedham in 1653, and left a good estate to his children. Ebenezer, a distant cousin of Samuel, was the ancestor of Hon. William H. Kent, one of the mayors of Charlestown. Joseph Kent died May 30, 1753, in his seventy-ninth year, and was the father of nine children. In his will there is mention of seventy-four acres at Winter Hill, bounded, east, by a rangeway; west, by Peter Tufts; etc. Besides several smaller parcels, he left to his son Samuel sixteen acres, bought of N. Hayward, near Winter Hill, and the use of twelve acres of wood. He bequeathed his negro Peggy to his daughter Mehitabel; Venus to his daughter Rebecca; Jenny to his son Benjamin; and Violet to his son Stephen. The will of his widow, probated 1762, mentions her negro girl Jane.

Samuel, the fifth child, born July 18, 1714, lived and died probably on what is now Somerville avenue. The family homestead is still standing above the Middlesex Bleachery, near Kent street. Mr. Kent was a blacksmith, and, like his father, held various town offices, including that of selectman. Wyman's invaluable work, to which we are indebted for much of our information, is wrong when it says that Mr. Kent was schoolmaster outside the Neck May 2, 1768. On that date the record merely states that he received an order for his proportion of the money for the said school. Probably he served in his capacity as committeeman [89] until his death. His estate was administered by the widow, 1771. In the inventory, among other items, was a parcel of forty acres, bounded, south, by a range; east, by W. Tufts; north, by D. Wood; west, by Peter Tufts, John Pigeon, etc. With the house and shop went seven and one-half acres, bounded by the road on the northeast, and southwest by land of Samuel Tufts.

November 27, 1740, Samuel Kent married into a remarkable family, remarkable as far as Somerville history is concerned, among whose numerous descendants are many of the present day to rise up and call them blessed. Of the children of Joseph3 (Joseph2, John1) Adams, of Cambridge, Rebecca married Samuel Kent; Anne became the wife of Peter Tufts, Jr.; and Mary married Nathan Tufts, his brother. Two sons of Joseph Adams, through their children, figure in this history,—Thomas4 Adams being the father of Hannah, the wife of Walter Russell, to whom reference will be made in our next paper; and Joseph4 Adams (styled deacon), whose children contrive to confuse us still further with their marriages, for Anna became the wife of Timothy Tufts, another brother of Peter, Jr., and Hannah married Peter Tufts, the third; Nathan5 Adams took to wife Rebecca, the daughter of Peter, Jr., and Joseph5 Adams (styled major) married, for his first wife, Lucy, the daughter of our Samuel Kent. Samuel and Rebecca (Adams) Kent had seven children, some of whom died in infancy. Besides the above-mentioned Lucy, there was an ‘only son,’ Samuel, Jr., and daughters Sarah and Rebecca, who became the first and the second wife, respectively, of Nathaniel Hawkins.

The next to serve the Milk Row school was a prominent personage, in his day, in this part of Charlestown. He and the faithful partner of his toils are perhaps the best-known local figures of that eighteenth century time. We refer to Peter Tufts, Jr., and Anne Adams Tufts. He was elected to his office May 7, 1771, and continued therein two or three years. For an account of him the reader is referred to the admirable article on the Tufts family, by Dr. E. C. Booth, in Vol. I. of this magazine. A few additional dates may not be out of place. This worthy [90] couple were married April 19, 1750. Their graves may be seen in the old Phipps-street yard, Charlestown, where it is recorded that Mr. Tufts died March 4, 1791, aged sixty-three, and his widow, February 7, 1813, aged eighty-four. A list of their twelve children, with some of their descendants, may be found in Wyman's ‘History of Charlestown.’

The next name to interest us is that of Stephen Miller. May 2, 1774, it was voted that he have an order for what he had expended for the school, £ 21 3s 4d; and April 18, 1776, we read: ‘Agreed with Stephen Miller, one of the committee for the school without the Neck, that he have an order for £ 34 10s Od, the whole sum named for said school. But as Mr. Gardner's and Mr. Russell's orders were drawn (but not paid) and recorded in this book, this is deducted, and makes his payment £ 20 17s 4d.’ These amounts, then, represent what it cost the town of Charlestown to maintain the Milk Row school, at the time of the Revolution. It also shows us that, unlike the one on the peninsula, this school was not suspended, at least for any length of time, during the exciting scenes that followed the eventful April 19, 1775.

Stephen Miller represented one of the old families of Somerville. He was the son of James3 (James2, Richard1) Miller and Abigail Frost, and was born in 1718. He followed the blacksmith's trade, and died February, 1791, aged seventy-three. By his will, he left to the negroes of the town £ 20, and made generous provision for the widow and children of his brother James, besides remembering other relatives. This James Miller was slain on Somerville soil by the British on the day of the Lexington and Concord fight, and near the spot a tablet has been placed to commemorate the event.

From 1776 to 1793 Milk Row school was directed by three men, who in turn acted in the capacity of local committeeman, Timothy Tufts, Samuel Tufts, and Nathaniel Hawkins. Some time before 1776 we read that the citizens in town meeting assembled, for some reason or other, discontinued the practice of choosing a local superintendent, and voted that the selectmen should have sole charge of the school without the Neck, and full [91] powers ‘to proportion the money among the inhabitants as they shall judge equitable.’ Often, no doubt, these three gentlemen, without any special appointment, performed their school duties because they were members of the board of selectmen; and Stephen Miller may have served his constituents in consequence of such authority.

October 10, 1776, Timothy Tufts is first mentioned, when he received for the school under his care the sum of £ 22 13s 5d. May 8, 1780, the year of inflated values, the selectmen, with Samuel Gardner added, were made a committee to regulate all the schools, and the following December Mr. Tufts, as one of this body, received for his school the enormous sum of £ 1,771 2s 6d. In 1782 Mr. Tufts, selectman, was empowered to disburse for the Milk Row school £ 35 5s. And thus it was, with varying amounts, from that year to 1788. In November, 1790, he seems to have been appointed to this office for the last time. More than once, with Nathaniel Hawkins, he was empowered to make a division of the school money, and December, 1791, we read that he had an order on the town treasurer for £ 3 17s 6d, to furnish wood for the school under his care.

The name of Samuel Tufts does not occur very often in connection with school affairs. As town treasurer, he was thrown into close relations with the selectmen, and must have been intimately acquainted with the school in his own section. May 11, 1778, with Caleb Call, Samuel Gardner, and Philemon Russell, he was appointed to regulate the outside schools of the town. The following year this committee consisted of Samuel Tufts, Samuel Gardner, and Amos Warren. February, 1782, the school, under the direction of Samuel Tufts, received £ 29 10s to offset the expenses of the year before.

Nathaniel Hawkins, generally styled Collector Hawkins, as one of the selectmen, was acting for the schools as early as 1783. His first recorded service was in 1784, when he was appointed, with Esquire Tufts, to select teachers for the outside schools. January 2, 1786, he was put at the head of a committee of three ‘to collect the number of children, both male and female, in each of the three districts, between the ages of 5 and 16.’ This was [92] our first school census. It is much to be regretted that we have not the results of their investigations. We have already referred to Mr. Hawkins' services, in company with Mr. Tufts, in dividing the school money. To do this to the satisfaction of all concerned required men of tact. We have no reason to believe that these gentlemen were unsuccessful. June, 1788, Mr. Hawkins is first recorded as receiving his proportion of the town money for the school in his district. Again, January 5, 1789, he is one of a committee of five to divide the school money for the year preceding, according to the taxes, and Milk Row received £ 31 2s 8d. February 7, 1791, the same amount was disbursed by him; in 1792, £ 38; in February, 1793, £ 41. These sums are each for the year preceding. As Mr. Hawkins continued his services into the next period of our school history, we will leave further mention of him for some future chapter.

Samuel Tufts, like his brothers Peter, Nathan, and Timothy, found a helpmate among the Adamses, of Cambridge, but Martha Adams, his wife, was not, I believe, a daughter of Joseph Adams. Our interest in Samuel Tufts to-day centres chiefly in the old homestead on Somerville avenue, where his father dwelt before him. Here he lived out a useful life of ninety-one (91) years, and died in 1828. Dr. Booth, in the article before mentioned, gives us a delightful picture of the old gentleman—tall, white-haired, and rather stern—as he used to sit sunning himself on his porch as the children from the old schoolhouse at the corner of the burying ground would come to his house for water. This house, now marked with its historic tablet, we are told, is the oldest building in our city. Long may it be spared for its venerable associations!

We can see these brothers, fair types of the generation which they represented, as they rode to Charlestown and back, often late at night, summer and winter, in their faithful attendance to public duties. Timothy, who died in 1805, seems to have gained the more distinction, and no doubt the title of ‘Squire’ became him well. That he was regarded with some familiarity, in spite of the dignity of his office, we gather from the fact that the town books not unfrequently speak of him as ‘Timy’ Tufts. An interview [93] with his grandson and namesake, who is peacefully passing his days as Somerville's oldest (native) citizen, in the home of his ancestors on Elm street, should not be missed by those who have any veneration for the past services of a noteworthy family. The college on our borders, we trust, will add lustre to the name of Tufts when all of that race are dead and gone. What can Somerville do to honor those who so carefully guarded the domestic interests of this little community in days that were fraught with great deeds, but marked, as well, with an Arcadian simplicity?

During all the years which we have been considering the name of not a single teacher for the Milk Row school appears upon the records. Again, there is no evidence that the town of Charlestown had as yet incurred the expense of building a schoolhouse for this section. To judge from the records, there was never a time, after 1736, when there was no building. Perhaps its erection dated from the days when Isaac Royal was making his munificent gifts to the school without the Neck. The following are some of the brief references to a structure which stood probably where a later schoolhouse was built, on a corner of the present cemetery lot, Somerville avenue. After January, 1790, the school districts were designated by numbers, that in Charlestown proper being No. 1, and ours at Milk Row No. 2:—

February 11, 1783, to pay Samuel Tufts £ 9 10s for repairs at the schoolhouse.

February 24, 1785, to allow Timothy Tufts, Esq., order for repairs of schoolhouse, £ 5 3s.

February 7, 1791, Timothy Tufts, Esq., bill for repairing school without the Neck, 7s.

July 3, 1792, Joseph Adams' bill for repairing school No. 2, £ 2 4s 7d.

[To be continued.]

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