John Stone and his descendants in Somerville.
[continued from Vol.
III., no. 4.]
Before continuing with the narrative of ‘Gregory Stone
and Some of His Descendants,’ which ended in Historic Leaves
III., No. 4, it may be well to add to the notes of the ancestry of Gregory Stone
there given further information as to the line of his immediate predecessors, which has been published by the Stone Family Association within two years. A thorough search of the parish records of Great Bromley, Essex county
, has led to the following conclusions on the part of the investigators: The Symond Stone
whose will was probated February 10, 1510, had a son David, who was the great-grandfather of Gregory Stone
; the intervening relatives were a Symond and a David.
The parish of Ardley adjoined that of Great Bromley, and the Stones
named in the Court
Rolls of Ardley are without doubt of the same family as that from which Gregory
and Simon Stone
The latter were emigrants to this country in 1635–'36, and left their mark on the early history of Watertown
, where they settled.
Their descendants for two generations, at least, were prominent in public affairs.
With the increase of population and the advent of new families, any given name sinks into obscurity.
So it was in the case of the Stone
family for one or two generations, and then it emerged, not, indeed, to shine with such prominence as was the case with Gregory Stone
, of whom all his descendants are proud, but at least to make some mark on the records of time which shall forever be an honor to the family.
It is intended in this paper to give as fully as it is possible, from the scanty records and traditions, some account of John
and his descendants, the first of the name to live on Somerville
As Dr. Holmes
recommends beginning with a man's grandfather if you wish to reform him, so I will begin with John Stone
's grandfather, who was the next in line from Samuel, who was the grandson of Gregory
, and with whom the first paper, above referred to, closed.
, the son of Samuel Stone
, was born in Concord
February 8, 1687.
He married Cheree Adams
, of Concord
, November 17, 1712.
was the daughter of Margaret Eames
, the little girl who was kidnapped by the Indians, carried to Canada
, but fortunately rescued.
Very little information about this member of the Stone
family outside of the probate papers can be found, beyond the mention of the baptisms of his children in the church records of Lexington
, and the fact that he ‘owned the covenant,’ a form of joining the church, necessary in the case of the baptism of children, and voluntarily performed by the parents on that occasion.
Some time previous to 1727 he moved to Watertown
, with his wife and family of five children.
In 1727 or 1728 Chary Stone
, with several others, was received into ‘full communion’ with the First Church of Christ in Watertown
by the pastor, Rev. Seth Storer
two more children were born, as the parish record of births, deaths, and marriages shows.
Immediately following these two entries, all three having apparently been set down at the same time, is the record of the death of Jonathan, scarcely a month after the birth of the youngest child.
He was buried in the old cemetery at Watertown
, and his gravestone gives his age as forty years. The probate papers are of great interest, as they are so full in the details.
The bounds of the homestead lot, estimated at 100 acres, it would seem, might be traced by one who had access to old maps.
One of the bounds is given as bordering on land belonging to Rev. Mr. Storer
In addition, there was pasture land in Waltham
, twenty-one acres, right of land in Townsend
, 300 acres, also in Concord Bridge, and ‘the little orchard near Ebenr Chenny
's,’ one and three-fourths acres.
The inventory contains even more than the usual vagaries in spelling.
It itemizes a light Coullered Broad Cloth Coat, a Dark Collered Coat, a Jaccott, and another Jacott; pair of Spatter Cfhes, a Bedsted with Cord and Blue Curtains, a negro boy, utensils for house-hold use, and for husbandry.
The whole is valued at between three and four thousand pounds, old tenor.
To the widow was set off a third part of the dwelling, in the southerly end of the house, with certain parts of the barn, ‘with privilege of the floorway for carting and thrashing,’ also ‘a third part of the cellar, with privilege of passing and repassing through the ketchin to sd Cellar, to fetch wood and water as she shall have occasion.’
As Jonathan Stone
died in 1729, and his widow married Thomas Wellington
, of Cambridge
, February 1, 1735, and the estate was not settled until 1746, on the coming of age of the oldest son, it is difficult to see what use she could have had for these privileges.
In September, 1739, the church of the second precinct of Cambridge
, that is, Menotomy
, now Arlington
, was organized; and letters of dismissal from other churches were received, among them that of Thomas
and Chary Wellington
was a member of the prudential committee of the second precinct in 1737, so it would seem that the couple moved there soon after their marriage.
died in 1759, and in 1763 his widow married Captain James Lane
, of Bedford
Her gravestone is in the Bedford Cemetery
When the oldest son came of age (1746), as before stated, Chary Wellington
, who had been guardian of the children and administrator of the estate, rendered her account.
Two-thirds of the remaining part of the house and land in Watertown
, and all the wood and timber standing on the pasture in Waltham
was set off to the oldest son, Jonathan.
All the right of land in Townsend
was allotted to the other two sons.
What the four daughters received does not appear.
That all the children signed a paper declaring themselves contented with the doings of the commissioners goes to show that they had agreed to the partition.
Three of them were married then, and their husbands
were the said commissioners; so it would seem to have been wholly a family affair.
The settlement of the estate involved a three-days' trip to Townsend
on horseback, and the expense is duly charged in the account of the administrator.
The next year Jonathan married Martha Cutler
, or Cutter
, of West Cambridge
, May 21, 1747.
was a descendant, in the fourth generation, from Richard Cutter
, a youth who came from England
in the ship Defence
at the same time as Gregory Stone
The couple probably lived in Watertown
in the homestead, and possibly in Medford
for some years, as Wyman
mentions his name as of Medford
They were admitted from the church in Watertown
to that in Shrewsbury
in 1769, though they may have lived in Shrewsbury
for some years previously.
He died in Shrewsbury
October 3, 1805, in his eighty-first year, and his widow passed away two years later.
They left a family of twelve children.
The oldest, Jonathan, was killed during the retreat out of New York, 1776. Two others, Seth and John, lived in Charlestown
, and their descendants used to visit cousins in Shrewsbury
The items of the inventory, filed April 1, 1806, are valued in dollars and cents.
Here, again, the spelling of the names of articles is too amusing to be passed by. A walking caine is valued at $.25; six pair pillow Casefs at $2.05; 1 Caise Drawers, $1.00; 8 Citching Chiers at $1.33. All the effects, especially articles of wearing apparel
, are valued at a very low figure.
, in his ‘Charlestown Estates,’ in the list of Stones gives three names of persons who may be claimed by members of the present family as relatives.
The first name mentioned is that of Samuel Stone
, son of Jonathan and Chary Adams Stone
, and brother of the Jonathan Stone
whose record has just been reviewed.
He came from Watertown
to this place in 1750, and afterward moved to Ashby
Seth and John Stone
, sons of Jonathan Stone
, next claim our attention.
They were both born in Shrewsbury
, although one authority mentions Menotomy
first, December 26, 1752, the second, March 7, 1755.
Both served for a short time in the Revolutionary Army
, in different companies.
was a corporal in Captain Benjamin Lock
's Company, Lieutenant-Colonel William Bond
's (late Thomas Gardner
's) Thirty-seventh Regiment.
His age is given as twenty-three years, his stature as five feet, ten inches. The company return is dated Camp Prospect Hill, October 6, 1775.
There is company receipt for wages for October, 1775, dated Prospect Hill
, and an order for money in lieu of bounty coat dated Prospect Hill
, December 22, 1775.
, of Cambridge
, a private in Captain Benjamin Edgell
's Company, Colonel John Jacob
's Regiment, enlisted July 6, 1778; service, five months, twenty-seven days, including travel home (sixty miles); enlistment to expire January 1, 1779.
His name is also mentioned on the muster rolls of the same company and regiment dated at Freetown
, September 13 and October 18, 1778.
In 1782 Seth Stone
bought ten acres of land of Isaac Mallett
, next the Powder House
; two years later this land was deeded to Peter Tufts.
The births of three children of Seth and Mary Stone
are recorded in Medford
, where they owned a pew in the church; the pew was sold by the widow in 1796.
The claim that Seth Stone
at any time resided in Somerville
, then a part of Charlestown
, is based on land transactions in which he is mentioned as of Charlestown
in the years 1782 and 1785; previously he was of Cambridge
; in some of the deeds he is designated as ‘gentleman.’
Of the three children of Seth and Mary Stone
, one daughter, Susanna, married and lived in Somerville
She was born May 10, 1783; she married April 27, 1807, Benjamin Tufts
(son of John Tufts
, son of Peter and Ann Adams Tufts
). They lived for a time on Broadway
, on the site now numbered 280.
Later they lived in the old Hawkins house, which stood on Washington Street, near the railroad bridge, and there Benjamin Tufts
His widow moved to the old Cutter house on the corner
and Cross street. To support her family she became a tailoress.
She lived there till her death in November, 1852.
Her daughter, Elizabeth Perry Tufts
, one of seven children, was born February 20, 1818.
She was one of the teachers of the first Sunday School in Somerville
, and her daughter claims that she had as much to do with the starting of it as Miss Whitredge
, whose name now bears all the honor.
She was one of the first to join the church when it was organized under the title of the First Congregational Society in Somerville
She was married by its first pastor, Rev. John Sargent
, to James M. Coburn
May 30, 1847.
This couple had three daughters, all of whom have lived in Somerville
in recent years.
One of them still lives here.
was married April 13, 1780, to Mary Tufts
, daughter of Nathaniel and Mary Pierce Tufts
(son of Nathaniel, son of Captain Peter
, son of Peter). One source of information says he and his wife joined the church at Menotomy
August 27, 1780, that they were dismissed from that church to the First Church of Cambridge December 30, 1803.
So it would seem that they lived in Menotomy
for a time.
According to Wyman
, they came to Charlestown
with their family in 1782.
He bought at various times, in large or small lots, land on the southerly side of Prospect Hill
The combined area of these lots formed a tract which extended from Vinal Avenue to and including the Prospect Hill Schoolhouse
lot, as it is still called; and from the line of the Thorpe land on Walnut Street, some 100 or more feet north of Boston Street, and for about half the length of Columbus Avenue, along the northerly bounds of the lots on that avenue, to Bow and Washington Streets. Later, through his wife, Mary, who inherited from her father, the area was extended to School Street, as far north as Summer Street.
The situation of the house he lived in when he first came to this locality is a matter of uncertainty.
An early purchase (1783) was a lot of land above Columbus Avenue, where possibly
there was a house.
It was not until 1793 and 1795 that he bought land on Bow Street, where was located the ‘home lot’ mentioned in the partition of his real estate
after his death, bounded southerly by ‘Milk Row, so called,’ which at that time took the course now laid out as Bow Street. At a later date he possibly lived in the old house, formerly in Union Square, which was moved before Pythian Block was built.
This house was moved to Medford Street, and perhaps to this day the front door bears the original knocker.
In the records of his land transactions there are three different words used to describe or designate his station or occupation.
The first is ‘cooper,’ the second ‘husbandman,’ the third ‘yeoman.’
Possibly these indicate the different steps of his advancement and prosperity.
Probably he took some part in the affairs of the town, especially those connected with his immediate neighborhood; if he did so, it is buried in the manuscript records of Charlestown
That he was looked up to in his own family is shown by the fact that all the children called him ‘Sir Stone.’
Whether or not this is a contraction of ‘grandsire’ is a conundrum we cannot now answer.
He was associated with Timothy Tufts
, Nathaniel Hawkins
, Samuel Kent
, Samuel Shed, and others in the purchase from Samuel Tufts
of a lot of land for a cemetery in 1804.
This was the well-known rectangular lot on Somerville Avenue at the foot of School Street, on one corner of which stood the school known as the Milk Row School.
There is an old Bible containing ‘the records of Mr. John Stone
and Mrs. Mary Ston
's children and the time of their births.’
They were blessed with thirteen, two of whom died in infancy.
was born October 27, 1780.
was born November 14, 1781.
was born August 4, 1783.
was born August 8, 1784.
, born December 2, 1788.
, born June 7, 1790.
, born November, 1792; deceased May 14, 1793.
, born January 18, 1794.
, born November 9, 1795.
, born September 10, 1797.
, born April 19, 1800.
, born January 26, 1802.
Thomas Jefferson Stone
, born March, 1804.
The title and the first four names were written at one sitting apparently, probably with a quill pen. Additions have been made by a later hand, or hands, judging by the two different inks used to complete the record, which is nearly correct.
The proper dates, or, more correctly speaking, the dates of baptism have been found in the records of the Firsh Parish
Comparison of dates shows that the children were baptized in from four to fifteen days after birth.
It may be further noted that Mary Stone
was baptized ‘Polly Tufts
,’ that Hannah was given Adams
for a middle name, and John the name of Cutter
owned a pew in the First Parish Church, and in all probability attended church there.
It seems safe to surmise that the children went to the Milk Row School, a description of which Mr. Hawes
has given us in his papers on the schools of Charlestown
Most of the children on their marriage settled, it might be said, within a stone's throw of the old homestead.
One lived in East Cambridge for a time, and two or more in Boston
John Cutter Stone
, the oldest son, owned land on the southerly side of Union Square, as far down as Prospect Street. That he married and settled near is shown by the record of the baptism, ‘by her own desire,’ of his wife, Eliza Stone
, on the presentation of a child, John Tufts
, for baptism December 5, 1802; another child, David, was baptized in 1804.
Jonathan owned land below Prospect Street, bounded by Miller's River
He was a house-wright, according to Wyman
It is said that he met his death by drowning in Miller's River
He was a sleep-walker, and while being anxiously followed one
night was suddenly awakened by his brother's outcry when the latter found him up to his neck in the river.
His father had just built a tomb in the old cemetery at Harvard Square, and the young man's body was the first to be put into it. An interesting item in the life of this unfortunate young man is that the record of his birth written in the book at Cambridge
is in the handwriting of old Dr. Holmes
, then the minister of the church, the father of Dr. Holmes
, the humorist.
Three daughters made their homes near the family rooftree.
Betsy was the first of the daughters to leave the home nest.
She married Benjamin Grover
November 13, 1803.
In 1804 there is recorded the renewal of the covenant for the baptism of children by this couple, and their residence is given as New Bridge
Later, in 1807, the baptism of another child is recorded, and they are put down as of Cambridgeport
It is evidently the same place under a new name, which still clings to it. The old custom of naming the children after the parents was followed in this case, Benjamin
They moved to Concord, N. H.
, and the present generation knows them by name only, and nothing of their descendants.
A receipt in full for the share of John Stone
's estate falling to the Grover children appears in the petition of his real estate
in 1823, and is signed by an uncle, showing that Elizabeth died before her children came of age.
Mary, whose baptismal name was Polly Tufts
, followed her sister Betsy in the matrimonial quickstep executed by this family with a wedding every year for four successive years.
She married Philip Bonner
, of Boston
, in 1804.
Their marriage only is recorded in the Cambridge Parish
records, as they lived in Boston
for a number of years, on Spear Place, off Pleasant Street. Mary Stone
is put down as of Charlestown
). They sang in the choir of the Old South Church, and later at the Hollis Street Church.
They came to Charlestown
, and lived in a house which stood under the large elm tree in the Prospect Hill School yard.
After a time it was moved a little further up the hill.
Later a larger house was built still further
up the hill, and here Mary Bonner
died, at the age of eightythree.
The old house was moved to the neighborhood of Wyatt's Field a few years ago. Mary Bonner
had beautiful hair and dark eyes.
At her death she had no gray hair.
Her teeth were sound; it is said, all double.
There were nine children in this family, David, Mary, Emily, John, William, Eliza, George, and twins, Jonathan and George Washington
The three latter children died young, and Mary was burned to death at the age of thirteen.
Emily married Augustus Hitchings
, and they lived on Bonner Avenue. An only son of this couple was killed in a coasting accident at the foot of Bonner Avenue, coming in contact with the horse cars.
Eliza married Thomas Goodhue
They lived for many years in the little house on the corner of Bonner Avenue, and for a few years, their last days, in a new house further up the hill.
A daughter still lives with her family in the little house.
married Mary Ann Noble, and with their family of four or five children lived for many years in Somerville
; all have now died or moved away, and have no descendants.
married Sarah Scoville
A daughter of this couple lives at the Home
for the Aged, and her memory has been ready with events of the past for this story and for many others which have been presented here from time to time.
She was a scholar in the Milk Row School; she worked in the Middlesex Bleachery
in the days when nearly all the hands were native born.
She was twice married, but has no children of her own to comfort her in her declining years.
The three who came died as children, but she treasures the memory of their sweet voices, and speaks with pride of one of them who could hum with his father every tune the latter knew, at the age of eleven months. Of all the descendants of Mary Stone Bonner
, this lady, who was her granddaughter, most resembles her in appearance.
In the year 1805 another sister, Lucy, left home.
She was married by Rev. Dr. Morse
on November 3 to David Bolles
of Richmond, N. H.
Of the five children of this couple, two died in infancy, and one, at least, lived in Somerville
in after years.
This one, Lucy Stone Bolles
, was married to James Freeman Wood
January 7, 1841, by Rev. William Hague
They lived in Boston
on Federal Street for twenty years, then moved to Somerville
, where Mr. Wood
died October 10, 1864, at the age of fifty-four years. The widow lived on Bow Street for many years.
The last years of her life were passed in the home of her son, James A. Wood
, of Cambridge
Her daughter, Miss Sarah Bolles Wood
, was for thirty years a clerk at the Registry of Deeds.
She was of a sweet and retiring disposition, much interested in church work.
James A. Wood
married Caroline A. Blaisdell
April 19, 1870. Two of their four children live with them at Cambridge
Nathaniel Tufts Stone
married May 25, 1817, Sarah Rand
, daughter of Thomas Rand
, who lived under the old elm tree on Somerville Avenue, near the foot of Central Street. They lived for a time in the old house which was moved before Pythian Block was built, before mentioned.
Nathaniel died in 1822 of consumption.
A child was born the following year, and named for his father.
Of the three born previously, the eldest, Charles Henry
, lived with an uncle and aunt in Cambridge
, and was drowned in the Charles River
at the age of fourteen. One died in infancy.
A lady now in the nineties remembers the old house which she used to pass on her way to school, and she has a picture in her memory of Nathaniel Tufts Stone
sitting in his hallway.
It seemed to her that the house was not an old one, being painted, not weather-beaten.
She tells this anecdote of Mr. Stone
: that one day, in April, he had some business in Cambridge
, or the port, and drove over in a sleigh, there being considerable snow on the ground.
It was a very warm, spring-like day, and when he came out, after finishing his business, the snow had all melted away.
married Robert Sanborn
, and they lived for many years on Bow Street. The house stood some little distance from the corner of Walnut Street. It had a flower garden
in front, with a grape arbor over the walk to the front door, little used, as it seemed to the writer, who was much more accustomed to going in at the side door, when sent on errands to the mistress of this house.
A red barn adjoined the house, with its great doors always open, revealing a hay wagon and hay mow, and, most fascinating of all, a row of cows and oxen.
They were always munching their cuds, with watchful eye turned on passers-by, particularly the one on the end next the street.
Of the four children born to this couple, two were well known as proprietors of a grocery store in Union Square in the sixties, George A. and Albert L. Sanborn
A daughter, Martha Maria
, married Richard H. Sturtevant
Another daughter, Mary Jane
, died while attending the high school.
Hannah Adams Stone
is said by her granddaughter to have taken care of her father in his last years, and of those of her younger brothers and sisters who were at home, after the death of their mother in 1816.
Lydia, it is said, lived with her sister, Mary Bonner
There were two children of the next generation belonging to Lucy, who married Mr. Bolles
, in the family, also.
worked in Geddis
' twine factory previous to her marriage to David A. Sanborn
, a brother of Robert Sanborn
, on September 30, 1821.
He was a farmer, and also engaged in the manufacture of bricks.
The writer has a vivid mental picture of these two aunts, who were called by their given names, Aunt Hannah and Aunt Martha, in the family, and not by their surnames, as was the case with Aunt Bonner and Aunt Vinal.
There was a great contrast between them, in disposition, as well as in physical appearance.
Aunt Martha was tall, dark, and of a serious demeanor.
Aunt Hannah was short, fleshy, blue-eyed, and cheery, in spite of a lameness which lasted from early married life to the end of her days.
There was a great contrast between the brothers Sanborn, also, though not so pronounced.
Robert was short and roly-poly, always jolly and joking, while his brother was a large, tall man, of a keen, though dry, wit. David Sanborn
was interested in the formation of the First Universalist
Church, and at the first meeting held his granddaughter on his knee.
This couple celebrated their golden wedding by a family dinner party; the only guest outside the family was Rev. Mr. Russ
, of the First Universalist Church, who made an address.
lived and died a bachelor.
He was a very fine horseman, with an erect, military carriage.
He was prominent in the Lancers.
He was in the grain business with Robert Vinal
for a number of years.
He always wore a high silk hat. He was guardian for the Grover children on the death of his father, and received their share of the estate in trust.
Thomas Jefferson Stone
married Mary Rice
, and they lived in Boston
They had two sons.
One died at Nahant
of typhoid fever, the other went West and disappeared.
Both these brothers, Daniel and Thomas
, though promising in youth, had a dreary old age, but found homes with relatives or friends.
Lydia, the youngest daughter, who had lived and grown up in the home of her sister Mary, met there a young man who came to the house on business with Mr. Bonner
, of Scituate
They were married May 21, 1820, and their first home was in Boston
In 1824 they moved to Somerville
and, according to one authority, built a large, square house on Bow Street, near the corner of what is now Warren Avenue. Another authority says the house was inherited by Mrs. Vinal
, that it was new, and had never been occupied.
It may have been built by John Stone
just previous to his death.
It was a handsome and notable place for many years.
There was an air of refinement and gentility about it which made it very attractive.
took a prominent part in the formation of the First Congregational Society in Somerville
, and was well known as Deacon Vinal
was very charming and easy in company, entering a room with a graceful courtesy.
She always had a pleasing and agreeable manner; this is the testimony of one who remembered her well.
She was frequently sent for in case of sickness.
There were eleven children in this family, and all arrived at maturity: Robert Aldersey
, Lydia M., Mary Elizabeth
Quincy A., Lucy A., Martha A., Alfred E., Edward E., Margaret F., John W., Emmeline A.
died in 1819, and on the partition of his real estate
a good slice fell to each married son or daughter.
Mary, the oldest, had a piece running up the hill from Washington street, on which she had already located, the present Bonner Avenue perpetuating the name.
had a piece next westerly, Nathaniel had the next strip, where Stone Avenue runs through now, Lydia Vinal
next, to or somewhat beyond Warren avenue, Martha Sanborn
next, up to Walnut street, and Lydia again west of Walnut Street. The lots of land were somewhat unequal in size and value, and the balance was made by means of money, which Lydia paid, she having a much larger share of land.
Sanborn Avenue will carry down that name, and Vinal Avenue, Aldersey Street, and Quincy Street will recall members of the Vinal family.
Since so many men of two generations connected with this story had a part in it, perhaps a digression here may be pardoned, to refer to an institution which attained great prominence for a number of years in the early days of Somerville
as a town.
In 1838 the Charlestown
authorities assigned a ‘tub’ hand engine, Mystic No. 6
, to duty in ‘Charlestown
's big back yard.’
In August the selectmen appointed the foremen and engineers, and among them we find the names of David A. Sanborn
, William Bonner
, Daniel Stone
, Robert Vinal
, and Robert Sanborn
The salary of the firemen, all volunteers, was $1.50 per annum, paid by abatement of the poll-tax.
In 1840 Robert A. Vinal
was clerk and treasurer.
In 1849 a ‘Hanneman tub’ was purchased by the town, and the department was organized with Nathan Tufts
as its first chief engineer
He was followed by Abram Welch
, Robert A. Vinal
, and John Runey
‘A small bell was hung in the cupola of the engine house.
For years, even after the Somerville company was organized, an alarm of fire could be rung only by means of this bell.
For years, also, according to a law then in force, every man in town was required to hang two buckets, usually of leather and
painted, in his front hall, and when an alarm of fire was sounded it was his duty to seize those buckets, hurry to the fire, and range in line with others to assist in passing water from well or cistern to the men who worked the engine.’
In 1846 the ‘boys' company,’ so called because composed of young men from sixteen to twenty years old, was organized.
According to some of its members, David A. Sanborn
was assistant foreman.
Other members were Quincy A. Vinal
, Robert A. Vinal
, Albert L. Sanborn
, and Daniel Sanborn
In November, 1849, the town appropriated money for the purchase of a ‘good and sufficient fire engine.’
It was styled Somerville
, Number 1.
The selectmen appointed a board of fire engineers, and more than fifty men at once enrolled in the company.
Soon it was one of the leading and most popular organizations in the town, and as such was closely identified with the social life here.
There was a patriotic spirit in it, too, for the first flagstaff in town was put up by the firemen in 1853, in Union Square. They also contributed liberally toward the first building erected by the Methodists, on Webster Avenue. In 1865 the hose company was organized, and David A. Sanborn
and Jairus Mann
were sent by the town to New York to select a hand hose carriage.
Proceeding now to the second generation from John Stone
, we see a group of cousins, young men and maidens, who met in the social life of the time.
Some had spent their schooldays at the old Milk Row School; the younger ones may have attended a school at Central Square. A few had been given further privileges in the educational line.
One of the sports which many, if not most, of the young men of the time enjoyed was gunning.
The marshes of Chelsea
were convenient and favorite places for this pastime; possibly Walnut Hill
, where Tufts College is now, also.
When guns got out of order it fell to the mechanic of the crowd, familiarly called ‘Jonty,’ to repair the same.
Balls, with dancing often prolonged till daylight, were another recreation.
The young women had their sewing circle, and doubtless developed ability in buying cloth and cutting and making garments.
One of the ‘young men’ has furnished reminiscences which may be of interest.
When asked in regard to the woods round about Somerville
, he said that
the wood had all been cut off in Revolutionary times.
There was no forest round here; the nearest approach to it was on Prospect Street, where the gasholder stands, just this side of Cambridge Street. We used to cut birches for stable brooms.
Where the Bell Schoolhouse is was a pasture; a little lane ran up to it just above the Methodist Church.
We let down a pair of bars, and ran across to the corner of the Johnson land.
There were plenty of rose bushes and wild gooseberries.
We played with powder some, and came pretty near having an accident.
Powder was for sale, all the stores were licensed, “licensed to keep and sell gun-powder.”
The Orcutt boys came up with their box of powder one day. They were making fusees, and there was an explosion.
The boys scattered.
Horace and George Runey came over very often.
One Fourth of July they came and wanted us to go to Boston to see the fireworks.
Father did not want us to go, and set us to hoeing a little field of cabbages that morning.
So when they appeared I was as busy as I could be, and could not go. We could hear the Orcutt boys firing a salute.
We sent the Runey boys up there, telling them we would come when we were ready.
So they started off as merrily as could be, but it was not an hour before a crowd of people came into the yard bringing George Runey.
Some one had maliciously put a charge of shot in the cannon, and one had penetrated George's eye. One of the Orcutt boys was hurt, and George Runey lost his eye.
The Orcutt boys used to go gunning in the evening for muskrats on the creek.
There was a little power mill on the creek, and it was a great place for eels; we often caught a barrelful in one night.
We used to get bullfrogs in the brook that ran through from Walnut Street to Washington Street. We depended on the brook in dry times.
I went to school in Central Square. They had beautiful penmanship then.
Mr. Pierce, Miss Wheeler, and Miss Dodge
were the teachers.
We boys were regularly engaged to sweep out the schoolhouse.
It was made very easy, two or three boys one week, and so on.
The best playground round the Square was a ten-acre lot near the Hawkins House.
A building used to stand on it. Later Uncle Robert hauled one home from near there, with twenty-four yoke of oxen.
Robert Aldersey Vinal
, son of Robert and Lydia (Stone
, born in Boston
March 16, 1821, entered the grain business with his father; then formed a partnership with Edwin Munroe
, and later with his brother, Quincy A. He was interested in the development of the town, and served as selectman, town treasurer, and member of the water board.
He, with his brother Quincy, was a charter member of the Boston Corn Exchange
, now the Boston
Chamber of Commerce.
He was active in the First Congregational Society in Somerville
, was its treasurer for a number of years, and superintendent of the Sunday School.
He married Almira L. Pierce
, of Revere
, and after living a few years in that town, built a house on Walnut Street in Somerville
He was of a particularly social nature, always genial, decided in opinions, active and pushing when a new enterprise in which he was interested was at the front.
Three of his six children now occupy the home on Walnut Street.
Quincy Adams Vinal
was born in Charlestown
September 23, 1826, in the vicinity of Union Square. After a successful career in the grain business with his father and brother, and in the grain commission business, he filled many positions of trust in public and private life.
He was a trustee of the estate of Charles Tufts
, who founded Tufts College, an assessor, representative in the legislature, a member of the common council, and on the board of aldermen.
He was a member of the committee to lay out Broadway Park
, and spent much time in supervising the work.
He was interested in the founding of the Public Library
; was the first president of the Somerville National Bank, and a director and president of the Cambridge Gas
He was active in the First Congregational Society of Somerville
, and was for many years a deacon.
He married Augusta L. Pierce
, of Revere
, and they lived to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.
A sister and two brothers also lived in Somerville
, Alfred E., John W., and Lydia, who married John Runey
David A. Sanborn
, son of David A. and Hannah Adams
, was born April 21, 1828, the youngest of four children, but the only one who continued to live in Somerville
after arriving at maturity.
He became a contractor and builder, and was a man of enterprise and public spirit, taking his share in offices of responsibility and trust.
He was on the board of assessors, an overseer of the poor, chief engineer of the fire department for seven years, president of the Veteran Firemen
's Association, and treasurer of the Firemen
's Relief Fund.
He was an active member of the First Universalist Church.
He married Ann Sarah Magoun
, and they rounded out fifty years of married life at their home on Prospect Street. Two children survive their parents.
Nathaniel Tufts Stone
, son of Nathaniel Tufts
and Sarah (Rand
, was born January 19, 1823, and lived all his life, except the first three years, on the Rand homestead, at the foot of Central Street. He was one of the young men who helped to set the bonfire on Spring Hill
, to celebrate the event of the setting off of Somerville
In the first Somerville
directory he was called ‘yeoman.’
He carried on farming, and had an innate love for the life, and for the livestock incidental to the business.
He planted an orchard, and some of the trees are still bearing fruit on the Unitarian Parsonage grounds
He was one of the last to drive a load of native hay, made on his own land, through the streets of Somerville
, for his own use. Much of his hay, that grown on meadow ground, was very long, and went to the American Tube Works for use in some part of their manufacturing.
He married Evelina Cutter
, of West Cambridge
, son of Nathaniel Tufts
and Sarah (Rand
, was born December 28, 1819, in the old house at Union Square, twice before referred to in this paper.
After schooldays, he worked for a time in the Middlesex Bleachery
, making boxes; then went to Cambridgeport
to learn the carriage-making trade of Mr. Davenport
, afterward one of the firm of Davenport
Here, or when he worked for Edmund Chapman
, of Cambridge
, he became acquainted with Silas Holland
, for whom Holland Street was named, and with Frank Chapman
, for whom he afterwards worked.
The young men kept up a friendly rivalry at their work, trying to see who would be the first to show a carriage body put together in the rough after a day of brisk work.
In 1850 he established a home, and started business for himself at Union Square, making chaise bodies and carriage and wagon bows, and also buggy bodies for Thomas Goddard
When the Somerville Light Infantry was formed he was chosen armorer.
Of a retiring disposition, he took little part in public affairs, being content with turning out first-class work in his chosen vocation.
The day's work was livened by the whistling of merry tunes.
He had a warbling whistle which rivalled the bobolink's note.
He was a constant attendant at the meetings of the First Congregational Society in Somerville
He was a trustee of the Somerville Savings Bank from the beginning until his death, in 1896.
He married Emma M. Cutter
, of West Cambridge
After living for twenty years at Union Square, he moved to Central Street, and built on the spot occupied by his former home a brick building which bears the family name.