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Medford reminiscences.

My mother (who was formerly Harriett Todd of Medford, and who was born and brought up there) lived on High street opposite the old Meeting House (Unitarian) until she married Jeremiah Jordan. She had many a time told us of Lafayette's visit to Medford; that he was entertained at the Governor Brooks House (later occupied by Samuel Blanchard in my day); that the Medford Company, of which my grandfather, Henry Todd, was Captain, assisted in receiving the visitors, and that the school children, including herself, were lined up in front of the house and each shook hands with Lafayette. It was a memorable occasion to them. [p. 74]

Mother and father attended school in the old brick schoolhouse back of the Unitarian Church. Mother's teacher was Jane Symmes and father's was Luther Anger. Although father was lame and walked with a crutch, it was said he could run and jump better than the other boys. He was a natural born musician and could play on any instrument. He led many of the choirs at the different churches. Mother and Mrs. Peak of bell ringing fame sang in the choir. In later years I sang where-ever father conducted. Dr. Gregg, who used to live in the old brick building at junction of Salem and Ship streets, was committee on music and selected the hymns for church service at Rev. Mr. Marvin's (Orthodox) church.

Jeremiah Jordan organized the first Medford Band and was instrumental in bringing Burdett of the Boston Brigade Band out to Medford to teach band music. My brother, Henry Lincoln Jordan, was the leader. Jordan & Potter's Quadrille Band furnished music for many of Medford's dancing parties. I had always been steeped in music (as you might say), and it was one of my greatest delights when father would allow me to go with him. I hope I may be a dancer in the next world. His next band was called Baldwin & Jordan's Cornet Band and afterward (father having given up playing) it merged under Mr. Thomas Baldwin's leadership into the now famous Germania Band of Boston.

Father was instrumental in having a singing school in Town Hall. He and Theophilus Johnson sailed up and down the river many a calm evening serenading with their cornets.

I remember the old ship-building days and the old chain bridge which frightened me so when it was hoisted to let a vessel pass; the old canal along the banks of which I have many a time ‘tagged’ the horse which drew the boat; the construction of the road from South street to High, and the row of tulips along the path at the Tidd [p. 75] [Royall] place. Children used to call it the ‘old marm Tidd place’ and were much in fear of the occupants, or they would have been minus a few tulips at least.

The old meeting-house bell was of much pleasure to me as its sweet tones fell on my ear, especially on a Sabbath morn when it called the worshipers together and Dr. Towne came over the new road to meet grandma Todd and conduct her to church, and I have always been sorry the church was not built on the old lines after it was burned.

Benjamin Floyd, who is buried in the old burying ground on Salem street, was my great grandfather, and was among the first to respond to the call to arms at the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the first to respond to the second call.

My grandfather, Jeremiah Jordan, married Benjamin Floyd's daughter, Patty Floyd. Grandfather Jordan sailed from Portsmouth on a privateering expedition and was thrice captured by the British and incarcerated in Dartmoor Prison. Finally the vessel was captured by pirates and the captain and first mate (grandfather) were spiked to the deck and the vessel set on fire. The second mate hid in a molasses barrel and was the only one saved. At that time the family of J. J. lived in Portsmouth and soon after went to Medford, when my father (Jeremiah Jordan 3d) was about ten years of age.

My two brothers, George Webster and Henry Lincoln, enlisted for the civil war. G. W. in the navy, ship Ino, and H. L. at Charlestown as the Medford Company refused him on account of his age, so he ran away and enlisted in Charlestown. G. W. lives in Hermosillo, Mexico, and H. L. at Santa Barbara, California. Brother Charlie was drummer for the Medford Company, but did not enlist as he was too young.

In the Medford history it says that Thomas Sabels, or Savels, married Miriam Royall—that was my great grandmother's brother's name. [p. 76]

As the first Benjamin Floyd recorded is as far back as I have any knowledge of, the residence of the Floyd family in Medford must have covered a long period.

Inside the covers (torn from an old ledger probably), and in his own handwriting, is the memoranda below. Thinking it may be of a little interest to your Society (he being a minute man as I have explained), I send it to you. Benjamin Floyd, 2d, was the writer and is the one buried in the old Salem street burying ground at the left front corner.

My father Benj. Floyd (1st), husband of Ruth Floyd, died at sea Jan., 1762.

My mother Ruth Floyd died Feb., 1813. Medford April 1729, Ruth Floyd was born.

Benj. Floyd Jr. or 2nd was born Jan. 5, 1755.

Martha Savels wife of Benj. Floyd was born Sept. 1756.

Benj. Floyd 3rdBorn 1780, lost at sea.
Patty or Martha F.Born 1782, died 1861.
Sally F.Born 1785, lost at sea.
Sukey F.Born 1787, died 1795.
Rebecca Thompson F.Born 1790.
George Hinchman F.Born 1792, died 1794.
Abel Butterfield F.Born 1793, died 1797.
Thomas FloydBorn 1795.
Abel Butterfield 2ndBorn 1798.

[No race suicide here.]

On the back cover is written

Benjamin Floyd

His Book & Property 1819

[p. 77]

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