History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts
edited by Simeon L. Deyo.
1890. New York: H. W. Blake & Co
CHAPTER XIX.Natural Features.— Settlement.— Incorporation.— Early Town Action.— Town Poor.— Town House.— Industries.— Ordinaries.— Lighthouses and Life Saving Stations.— Mail and Express Business.— Burying Grounds.— Present Condition.— Churches.— Schools.— Civil History. — The Villages and their Institutions: Chatham, West Chatham, Chatham Port, North Chatham, South Chatham. — Biographical Sketches.
THIS is the southeastern town of the county, in the elbow of the great arm as represented by the entire cape; and is bounded north by Harwich and Orleans, east by the ocean, south by the sound and west by Harwich. Its breadth and length are each about four miles, and it lies in latitude 4l°, 40' north. It is encompassed on three sides by water, Pleasant bay being on the north and separating it from Orleans. Its distance from the court house is twenty miles, and from Boston ninety-three. The town has the general appearance of a plain, but is diversified with small sand knolls and corresponding depressions. Great hill, the highest elevation, is the first land visible to the seamen when approaching the town, and from its summit Nantucket is plainly visible twenty miles to the southward, and the long sandy neck of Monomoy is traceable to its most southern point. The numerous bays and sounds that indent the greater portion of its perimeter, render the town very irregular in contour, and greatly lessen its land surface. One-half of a square mile of its surface is occupied by ponds having no visible outlets. Of these, Goose pond is the largest and covers an area of sixty-six acres; four ponds west of Goose cover sixty-eight acres, their area being respectively fifteen, eleven, twenty-nine and thirteen acres; a pond in the southwest part covers fourteen acres; one southwest of West Chatham, fifteen; two east of Goose pond, fourteen and twenty-five; two southwest of Great Hill, ten and thirty-one; one northwest of Great Hill, twenty-four; and one north of that of thirteen acres. There are also many of inconsiderable size distributed throughout the town.
In passing along the principal roads of the town the casual observer might conclude that the soil was too sandy for agricultural purposes; but there is much productive land. The wind in many parts has swept away the turf and soil, leaving abrupt specimens of the original
surface, and no considerable portion of the inhabitants are engaged in husbandry beyond the culture of cranberries in suitable places; and to this industry less attention is paid than in towns to the westward. It excels in harbors, furnishing within its projecting points more and safer anchorage than any other town; but in no other are the changes from wind and tide greater. (See Chapter I). The harbors are free from rocks, but the shifting sands require skill and almost a daily familiarity with them to be safely navigated. Inside the beaches and on the southern side of Strong island are salt marshes, flowed by the tides. The west side of Monomoy, which is virtually an island stretching ten miles toward Nantucket, was formerly a long salt marsh but the wind has filled it with sand.
The streams are short and not available for mill purposes. Mitchell's river connects Mill pond with the Cove and Stage harbor; west of Stage harbor is Cockle Cove river, connecting Salt pond with the sound. Muddy creek, flowing northeasterly into Pleasant bay, forms in part the northwestern boundary between Chatham and Harwich, and Red river, flowing into the sound, the southwestern.
Peat has been obtained for fuel from the ancient bogs in years past; but cranberry culture in these spots is now of more profit. The woodland of the town, comparatively less than in towns to the westward, is mostly along the western bounds. Hundreds of acres of pines have been planted in the central and northern parts. This planting began about fifty years ago.
The original Indian name was Monomoyick and has been variously written with the same significance. In the territory embraced within the limits of the town the natives, unmolested, enjoyed their customs many years after the English had settled Old Eastham and Yarmouth. Early in the spring of 1665, William Nickerson, mentioned at page 458, settled here, having purchased of the Indians, in 1656, the first lands for settlement by the whites. The first territory purchased was of John Quason, chief of Monomoyick, and was a large tract north of the road now leading from Chatham to West Brewster, and south of and near to Potanumaquut. June 19, 1672, the same sachem, Quason, joined with Mattaquason in a deed of land, south of the first, which extended east to Oyster pond, the name Mr. Nickerson gave to that body of salt water and which it now bears. March 29, 1678, August 16, 1682, and at other times he purchased other tracts of the natives, paying valuable considerations of goods as agreed. But Mr. Nickerson had purchased these lands without permission of the court at Plymouth, and much legal strife ensued.
The same year that Mr. Nickerson made his first purchase, the court at Plymouth granted to Thomas Hinckley, John Freeman, William Sargeant, Anthony Thacher, Edmund Hawes, Thomas Falland,
John Rogers and Nathaniel Bacon the right to purchase of the Indians lands at Monomoyick and places adjacent. This invalidated Mr. Nickerson's title to the lands; but he, with his numerous sons and sons-in-law, appealed to the court for the adjustment of their rights. The court was willing to allow him one hundred acres near his house, with some other divisions in the commons, which was not satisfactory. July 3, 1672, Mr. Hinckley and his associates conveyed their rights in the territory, together with what they themselves had purchased under it, to Mr. Nickerson, which made his title indisputable, and which the general court subsequently confirmed. The settlement of Monomoyick was thus commenced by this family, to whom were subsequently added the families of Hugh Stewart, Samuel Smith, William Cahoon, William Gross, George Godfrey, Edward Small, Joseph Harding, Benjamin Phillips, William Eldred or Eldridge, Lieutenant Nicholas Eldred, Joseph Eldred or Eldridge, Moses Godfrey, Nathaniel Tomlon, William Stewart, William Covel and John Ellis. Later, after 1700, we find as residents the names of Roland Paddock, Robert Nickerson, Caleb Lombard, Richard and Daniel Sears; and still later came Thomas Atkins, William Griffith. Nathaniel Covel, Daniel Hamilton, Edmund Howes, Ebenezer Howes, John Atkins, Samuel Taylor, Thomas Howes, Paul Crowell, Thomas Doane, and many others of similar family names. The histories of the villages contain the names of subsequent settlers.
In 1686 Monomoyick was ordered by the court to send grand jurors, and in 1691 to send a deputy to the general court. By this it would seem that when the county was organized this community was recognized as a town. Several pages of the first records of the town, if ever kept, are lost, for there are no records of the first deputies or grand jurors sent. May 12, 1693, in the proceedings of a regular town meeting, the records commence with that assurance and fullness that would indicate prior proceedings. The absence of proprietors' records is noticeable in this town, as the so-called proprietors' early sold their franchises to William Nickerson, from whom and his heirs and assigns all deeds have been received.
But little of interest is found in the town records, beyond the election of officers, for many years subsequent to 1693. June 11, 1712, Monomoy was incorporated a township by the name of Chatham. The people required frequent special town meetings to regulate their church, which, with all municipal affairs, was under the close surveillance of the Plymouth court. In 1718, for the simple omission to elect a hog constable, the town was presented, and Thomas Atkins was sent to answer for the dereliction; and about this time the first pound was erected.
The town received its share of the provincial bills of the issue of
1721, and sent Captain Jonas Atkins and Thomas Doane to receive the sum, they to bring it by land or water, as they chose. The settlement in 1722 had become important and the inhabitants of the east portion of Harwich wished to be set off to Chatham, which was effected the next year, enlarging the town substantially to its present area. The bounds between the two towns were renewed in 1728.
We have given a history of this ancient church for several years prior to the date of the ministry of Rev. Joseph Lord, at which time the Conference dates the organization of the Chatham church. The town records furnish the early history, and the organization of 1720 was doubtless a closer religious union of the old parish. The first real meeting house, erected in 1700, was by the old burying ground; the second was near the later ground of the society; and the present edifice in the village was erected in 1866, the frame of the old one being used. The records of the church were burned with the parsonage, September 29, 1861; but from the assistance of Levi Atwood, who has been superintendent of the Sunday school for the past forty years, and from the records, well preserved since 1866, this sketch is prepared
An almshouse was not erected very early, but the town voted assistance to families in need, and cared for them with ample and rigid supervision. In 1724, in open town meeting. it was voted that Captain Joseph Harding and John Nickerson be appointed a committee "to take care that Nic'los Eldredge and his wife be kept to work for an honest livelihood." This procedure might seem peculiar to the reader, but tradition explains that in those days, prior to the establishment of a proper house, the labor and maintenance of those not willing or able to work were sold at auction to whoever would relieve the town of the expense and care of such persons. Later an almshouse and adjacent lands were acquired in the western part of the town, but were sold in 1878, and the old building that had stood on the former site of the Methodist Episcopal church was removed to Chatham village, to the lot next north of the Baptist church, to be used for a poor house. In 1889 this important institution was closed until again needed.
The citizens of the town had no town house until 1849, when the church site of the Methodist Society, near their cemetery, was purchased and a town house provided. In 1877 the present commodious town hall, forty-five by sixty-five feet. was erected at a cost of $5,000. The building committee were Hiram Harding, George Eldridge and Erastus Nickerson. It stands just north of Oyster pond, near the railroad depot. Prior to the purchase of this meeting house site the town meetings were held at the church there, and in the old academy hall, and still earlier the first meeting house was used.
The industries of the town have been varied; rye, corn and English hay are staple products, and have been from its incorporation. Fishing had been its principal source of revenue until the middle of the present century, and it yet furnishes a livelihood for many. The first fishing station established was by Daniel Greenleaf, who came from Yarmouth in 1731 and purchased land, the town voting "his land, men and boats to be free from rates." Monomoy point was formerly a favored spot, from its facilities for curing and packing fish. About 1847 Thomas Sparrow, Joseph Reed and Isaiah Lewis, as Sparrow, Reed & Lewis, began fishing at Monomoy. Ten years later, Timothy V. Loveland and his deceased brother, Isaac H., formed a partnership with the late Antony Thacher, as Loveland & Thacher, who also carried on an extensive fishing business here. During the civil war
Joseph Reed, David Lewis and Myrick N. Kent were prominent fish and weir men in Chatham. The weir business there now is owned by Mr. Kent, T. V. Loveland, Joseph S. Reed, and seven others, under the firm name of Reed & Loveland. In 1837 the town had twenty-two vessels in the fisheries, yielding annually fifteen thousand quintals of cod and twelve hundred barrels of mackerel. The latter part of this century the culture of cranberries has been advanced, measurably filling the decline of the fisheries. Early in the present century the freight business by packets and vessels was of great importance. It is believed that more freighting was done from Chatham than from any other town in the county.
Soon after 1800 the manufacture of salt from sea water commenced in the north part of the town, and the entire shore line from Pleasant bay around to the Harwich line at Red river was interspersed with the works. The owners' names and the location of these plants will be found in the history of the villages. The industry was at its height in 1830, and in 1837 the product from eighty establishments was twenty-seven thousand, four hundred bushels.
Sheep husbandry commenced as early as 1700, and became the subject of a town vote for its regulation. March 19, 1712, the town meeting voted that no sheep should be driven for shearing before the last Monday of May, the penalty for violation of the rule to be twenty pounds. Many years subsequently various laws were passed by the town in advancing and systematizing this industry—now long extinct.
Of the ills and accidents of life Chatham has had its share. The smallpox caused the death of many of its citizens in 1766, and the prevalence of this loathsome epidemic caused the removal from town of many families for the succeeding three years. Among the many losses by sea was the mysterious murder, November, 1772, of Captain Thomas Nickerson, Mr. Elisha Newcomb and William Kent, jr., on board the vessel sailed by them. The Massachusetts Gazette of November 23d gives a detailed account of the finding of the schooner back of the Cape by Captain Joseph Doane, who, on boarding her, found bloody decks, plundered chests and one man alive. This man was tried for the murder of the officers and crew, and was acquitted. The resolves against the embargo act, the church actions and annual elections are the only matters found in the records during the first quarter of this century.
The population of the town of Chatham under the colonial census was, in 1765, 678; and in 1776, 929. Under the United States census of 1790 it had reached 1,140; in 1800, 1,351; in 1810 it was reduced by some unknown cause to 1,334; in 1820 the population was 1,630; in 1830, 2,130; in 1840, 2,334; in 1850, 2,439; and in 1860, 2,710. After the
Manufacturing forms no part of the occupation of the present generation. In 1800 considerable attention was paid to this, as we find at that date a tannery at Old Harbor, owned by the Crosbys, who ground bark by a wind mill; it was abandoned about 1830. A rope walk, built by Cobb Nickerson, near his homestead in the north part of the town, did good service during the first quarter of this century. The wind mills have naturally declined, and of the seven in town in 1800 only one is now in use. This is owned by Zenas Nickerson and stands on the knoll north of the marine railway. It was built in 1796, and was owned successively by Colonel Godfrey, Christopher Taylor and Oliver Eldridge. About 1883 it was purchased of Eldridge's heirs by the present owner. Of the older ones Chatham Port had one, South Chatham one, Old Harbor one, which was moved to Orleans, and the point at the Light had one. Isaac Bearse, at South Chatham now has one not in use, and another, equally worthless, adorns the knoll, north of Oyster pond.
Of the many old wharves on the east and south borders of the town but little remains beyond tradition; three of recent date, two at Stage harbor and one at Harding's beach, supply the fishing of 1889 as well as several did when this business was active and lucrative.
The town at large, especially along the central road where the first churches stood, had its "ordinaries." Perhaps that term should not be applied; but away back in the dim aisles of tradition, the widow Knowles kept some sort of an institution where, after election, the town officers and their friends ordinarily adjourned for the purpose of swearing in and lengthening the day into the evening. "Esquire Crowe" also had, in the same neighborhood, a store, or ordinary, that in this century has been voted entirely away. Before there was any village of Chatham, and while "Esquire Crowe " was selling to that part of the town, Richard Sears had a general store of necessaries on the spot now next to the hall of the A. L. of H. in the village. The only hotels—the more modern name—are now in the village.
Within the limits of the town, besides that of the village, are two lighthouses—one on Harding's beach and the other on Monomoy point. These are strong iron towers with appropriate lights for the safe guidance of mariners over the shoals. Each has a comfortable residence for the keeper. On the beach east of Morris island is the U. S. life saving station, and near the lighthouse of Monomoy is another. These stations have one man—the captain—during the summer, and
eight in winter; and each is supplied with all the apparatus needed in the humane and hazardous duties of the men.
The facilities of this town in express and mail matter are now second to none. The early packets to and from Boston afforded reliable sources, and Barzilla Harding and Heman Smith were thus engaged prior to 1829. Later, stages connected with the old Plymouth line, and later still, when the railroad was extended along the Cape, more frequent and rapid accommodations were received. In 1861 Rufus Smith started a stage from Chatham to Yarmouth, which, in 1866, was displaced by the railroad to Orleans; but Chatham continued to receive the mails and express by his stage. In 1879 this express was consolidated with the New York & Boston Despatch Express Company, which continues the business; but since 1887 the transportation of goods to this town is by the Chatham railroad.
There are several burying places in the town, of which the Nickerson ground, at Chatham Port, is the oldest, and is said to have been an Indian burial place. The oldest of the church yards, in the center of the town, was first used as a separate ground for the whites; the second is east of this. The others near by are known as the Baptist burying ground, the Universalist, and the Methodist. South Chatham also has a small burial place called the Bethel.
The town rapidly grows in wealth, the increase in the valuation of real estate exceeding that of personal. The present valuation of the real estate is about half a million. The taxes for state, county and town purposes average $12,000 yearly. The taxes for 1889 included $1,900 for the poor and $1,700 for highways. Guide-boards are maintained at the intersections of important roads. While by the decline of its fishing interests many are compelled to seek employment in other channels, and perhaps elsewhere, the energy of the Chatham people is marked by the continued improvement and growth in commercial and agricultural interests.
Churches.— Although the settlement of the town dates from 1665, the church records must commence with a date nearly thirty years subsequent. That a meeting house had been erected prior to any record is evident from the language of the first town meeting; "that Wm. Nickerson and Joseph Harding be appointed agents for the repairs of the Monomoy meeting house." No record is given of the regular service of a pastor until 1699, when the assessment of rates indicates that Rev. Jonathan Vickery must be paid for pastoral duties. From historical and traditionary sources, it appears that the first William Nickerson was a religious teacher, and that for the first years after a place of worship was erected he performed these important duties.
In April, 1702, Mr. Vickery, the preacher, was drowned, and in January following Mr. Gershom Hall was hired to preach. Mr. John Lattimer came in May, 1706, and was retained until 1709. Mr. Matthew Short was made pastor in 1710, and in 1711, after strong and binding conditions had been accepted by the town, Mr. Hugh Adams began his labors, which were closed by dismissal in 1715. Mr. Hall and Rev. Joseph Lord preached until 1719, when Mr. Lord was settled. In 1721 they built him a parsonage, with a chimney of brick made from the clay on the premises. In 1729 the town voted to build another meeting house, and ten years later the pews were first put in and sold. Mr. Lord died early in 1748, and in October Stephen Emery was called, who died in May, 1782, after thirty-three years of ministry. In 1755 a town meeting was called to see if certain religionists called "separatists " should be excused from church taxes— but the majority voted in the negative.
The meeting house, when enlarged and repaired in 1773, was still the only one in the town. The succeeding pastors were; Thomas Roby, 1783; Ephraim Briggs, 1796; Stetson Raymond, 1817; Mr. Scovel and Mr. Fletcher, 1829; John F. Stone, 1831; John A. Vinton, 1833; Charles Rockwell, 1838; E. W. Tucker, 1846; Noadiah S. Dickinson, 1852; Calvin Chapman, 1858; E. B. French, 1860; A. C. Childs, 1862; George Ritchie, 1865; Ogden Hall, 1868; Hiram Day, 1870; P. B. Shier, 1878; Isaiah P. Smith, 1880; L. P. Atwood, 1884; and S. B. Andrews, in October, 1889.
For several years the scattered adherents of the Methodist faith were included in a circuit with Harwich, and in the early days of Methodism the towns of Truro and Wellfleet were included. In 1807 Rev. Joel Steele traveled from place to place and preached, and in 1808 Rev. Erastus Otis came. Joseph A. Merrill was on the circuit in 1809-11. In 1812 Benjamin F. Lumbard received the quarterly collections from Chatham, and in July of the same year Pliny Brett was the pastor. In 1814 the traveling minister was Rev. Noah Bigalow, succeeded by Philip Munger in 1815. In 1816 this charge was joined with Sandwich, Barnstable and Harwich. In 1817 Benjamin R. Hoyt preached, and in 1818 Moses Fifield alternated with him. In 1820 Benjamin Hazelton, and in 1821 I. Jennison, were the preachers of the circuit. In 1822 Benjamin Brown and Edward T. Taylor preached. In 1824-5 we find Mr. Bates. E. Hyde and Mr. Bennett receiving the contributions of Harwich and Chatham.
The first class formed here was in the fall of 1816, when Moses Fifield was in charge. The first annual meeting recorded was held March 5, 1831, at which Christopher Taylor was made secretary of the society, and Micajah Howes, William Hamilton and Henry Gorham were chosen a general committee. Soon after this a meeting house was erected near their present burying ground. In 1838 we find a vote to sell the parsonage and grounds, which fact indicates the existence of this valuable appendage, and that ministers had been settled. The minutes of the society from 1825 to 1837 are not to be found. In 1838, at the annual meeting, it was voted that the class leaders circulate a subscription "to see what amount they can raise for support of preacher the coming year."
The early Methodists who had become members between 1815 and 1822, were Lemuel Hunt, Henry Gorham, Obed Harding, Calvin Hammond, William Hamilton, Micajah Howes, L. Loveland, Joshua Nickerson, jr., Tully Nickerson, Reuben and John Rider, Christopher Taylor, Isaiah Nye and Joshua Atkins. These were followed in 1823 by the membership of David Bearse, Solomon Howes, Thomas Holway, Stephen Hammond, E. Rider, Isaiah Rider, Abner Sparrow, Zenas Taylor and D. Tripp. Many followed these in 1824 and the succeeding years; but our aim is to mention the first who, perhaps, assisted in the organization of the society and erection of the first meeting-house.
Mr. Paine, Mr. Gould and Hezekiah Thacher preached here more or less in 1826-7-8. In 1829 Mr. Thacher received the moneys as pastor, and in 1830 and 1832 Rev. G. Stone was pastor. Rev. Joseph B. Brown preached in 1835, and in 1837 we find J. Steele came for two years. In 1839 Thomas Dodge preached. In 1841 Israel Washburn was pastor, and again in 1846. E. D. Trakey filled the desk in 1845.
The Universalist society was organized August 1, 1822, by twenty-nine members. A meeting house was erected in 1823, near their cemetery, northwest of Chatham village. In 1850 a second edifice was erected on the site of the academy, bought February 14, of that year. This was burned in 1878, and the society erected the present edifice in the village, dedicating it November 19, 1879. In 1831 a church organization of sixteen members was established. Calvin Monroe preached from 1824 to 1827; the church was supplied through 1828; Charles Spear came in 1829, remaining until July, 1832; Abraham Norwood and others supplied in 1833-34; A. P. Cleverly, June, 1835, until August, 1837; H. Chaffee and W. S. Cilley, in 1837; G. Hastings and others, supplies to 1P39; W. S. Clarke, September, 1839-42; Gamaliel Collins, 1842-43; Joshua Britton, May, 1844-49; Alvin Abbott, May, 1850-51; E. M. Knapen, 1851-54; M. E. Hawes, July 1854-58; Benton Smith, November, 1858, to May, 1865; Franklin C. Flint, 1865, to May 1867; W. W. Wilson, October, 1867, to May, 1869; William Hooper, July, 1869, to June, 1871; supplies; George Proctor, March, 1872-74; N. P. Smith, July, 1874-76; B. L. Bennett, April. 1877, to December, 1880; Thomas W. Critchett, January, 1881, to March, 1882; Collins and other supplies; Henry M. Couden, April, 1883, to date. Of this society and church Ziba Nickerson has acted as clerk and treasurer since 1850.
The Baptist society has a church edifice at Chatham village. In June, 1823, Mary Nickerson, of this town, a member of the Harwich church, resolved to hold a Baptist meeting at Chatham, which she did in the school house at Old Harbor, now North Chatham. She held the service alone for several Sabbaths, when she was joined by Myrick Nickerson; after a few Sabbaths Otis Wing joined them; then Jeremiah Kelly. In 1824, the school house having been closed against them, they purchased an old sheep cot, which had been the first school house there, and in this they continued their worship. October, 8, 1824, the church organization was effected by Otis Wing, Myrick Nickerson, Enoch Bassett, Bangs Snow, Nehemiah Doane, Jeremiah
In 1827 a meeting house was built and various ministers filled the pulpit. In 1828 Davis Lothrop was settled, and remained ten years, succeeded by Thomas Conant for nearly two years. In 1841 Rev. William Bowen was pastor; in 1842 George D. Fenton was settled; in 1843, Nathan Chapman; 1845, Davis Cobb; 1848, A. Smith Lyon, until February, 1853; George D. Stowell came in 1853; J. Ellis Guild, in 1854; and in 1857, Rev. Abijah Hall, jr., who remained one year and was pastor again in 1859-60. Andrew Dunn filled the desk in 1858; 1861, supplied by various ministers. In 1862 George Matthews was settled for a year. H. G. Hubbard was settled in 1864 for two years. Rev. S. J. Carr was called in 1866; George W. Ryan in 1868; F. R. Sleeper, in 1872; Jessie Coker, in 1874; Irving W. Combs, in 1876; and in 1877 G. H. Perry was pastor for that and the succeeding year. Supplies filled the time until February, 1880, when C. D. R. Meacham came. Rev. O. P. Fuller, 1881; C. N. Nichols, 1886. In October, 1888, the society settled Rev. Ira Emery, who continues. The society have a pleasant church edifice in the north part of the village on the street leading to North Chatham.
Schools.— This medium for the advancement of all that pertains to civil and religious government was not neglected in Monomoyick, nor in the first years of its incorporation as Chatham. but no records prior to 1720 are found. That year Daniel Legg was employed to teach school, and taught two years. In 1722 Samuel Taylor was sent to the general court with a petition "to consider the low estate of the town, and exempt it from fine for keeping only a schooldame." In 1723 Mr. Legg was again schoolmaster, and the full year was divided as follows; nine weeks at Robert Nickerson's, nine at John Ryder's, nine at Ensign Nickerson's, nine at Thomas Doane's, nine at Joseph Harding's, and seven at Ensign Sears'; he to "diet around" and have his mending done. The records are silent concerning his washing.
In 1732 John Crowell was schoolmaster; in 1734, Thomas Doane, and in 1737 two were hired—John Hallett and John Collins. Others who followed were; David Nickerson in 1738, Richard Mayo in 1747, and Thomas Paine in 1760. James Ryder taught in 1762 for £210, old tenor. In 1768 the town was divided into four sections and the number of teachers increased. Captain Joseph Doane and Seth Smith were chosen to seat a teacher in the northeast quarter of the town; George Godfrey and Joseph Atwood in the southeast quarter; John Hawes and Samuel Taylor in the southwest; and Paul Crowell and Barnabas Eldridge in the northwest quarter. Now the schools
In 1845, and for a few previous years, the appropriation of moneys had been about $1,200 yearly. In 1847 more was urged, and the amount was raised to $1,800. Six hundred pupils were looking to the common school as their only means of education, and the friends of the schools urged larger appropriations and increased facilities. In 1850 the text books were supplied by the town to only those who could not purchase. In 1857 a perceptible advancement was discernible, and the interest increased the attendance to the necessity of opening one more school for three months during the winter.
In 1858, after much discussion and a fair trial of the plan in adjoining towns, the number of districts was reduced one-half, and a partial system of graded schools was adopted. A large building was erected at Chatham village for a grammar school and the intermediate departments, and a high school was even inaugurated in a small way. The grammar school, with a primary department, was also opened in South Chatham in a suitable new building. The Monomoy people had to be furnished with three months school because of their isolation. From this date the advancement of the public schools of Chatham to their present high grade was rapid.
In 1861, the attendance at the primaries was 362; at the South Chatham Grammar School, No. 2, 130; and at No. 1, Chatham village, 274. There were then four departments at the Chatham building— high, grammar, and two intermediates; at South Chatham, two departments — grammar and primary; elsewhere in the town, seven primaries; and a school at Monomoy one-fourth of the year. At that date the annual expenditure for school purposes was $3,200. In 1862 the Monomoy house was sold and the other departments were further consolidated. In 1863 fruitless attempts were made to place the principal of the high school in full jurisdiction over the departments of the building. This year the increase in attendance required assistants in three primaries. In 1864 a primary school was opened in Washington Hall, and the high school was separately instituted. To this all scholars were to be admitted from any part of the town when they were properly advanced. The grammar department at South Chatham
A winter boys' school was opened in 1871, and termed the second department of grammar school No. 1. At South Chatham a similar department was organized in the new building.
About this date the school committee commenced the yearly publication of the names of meritorious pupils, and the town's people, pleased with the good reports, voted four thousand dollars for the schools. In 1872 the board appointed, as superintendent of the schools, D. H. Crowell. In 1874 a new primary building was erected at North Chatham, and the best of edifices had been provided in all sections but one. In 1879, in furtherance of the system, Prof. M. F. Daggett was chosen principal of the high school and subordinate departments, and he perfected the present excellent system, and is still retained.
In 1883 effective changes were made in text books, for which the public paid; and written examinations before advancement in grade were adopted. In 1885 text books upon hygiene were introduced. The expense of the schools in 1887 was $3,732.41. In 1888 the regular teachers were eleven—all educated at home, residents of the town, except the principal. What an example of the efficient school service now fully inaugurated by the town! Seven fine buildings in five sections of the town accommodate the present population.
In 1889 the town had twelve schools in seven buildings—the high, grammar, and intermediate at Chatham village; grammar, and primary at South Chatham; two primaries in the Atwood district, and two in the building in the eastern part of the village; one in West Chatham; one in North; and one at Chatham Port. The appropriation was $3,300—the same as the previous year.
For several years prior to 1849. an academy furnished the means for a liberal private education; it stood just northwest of the present village. After the closing of the academy Joshua G. Nickerson built a seminary called the Granville Seminary, just north of the village, which after a few years was converted into a dwelling, and is now the home of Owen Oneal. The high school, aided by the two grammar departments, now fully supplies the wants of the town.
Civil History.—The loss of the records of Chatham prior to 1693 forbids a history prior to that date, It is evident that a town settled in 1665 must have had a civil history prior to the opening of the records; it is known that in 1686, under the name of Monomoy, the town was required to send grand jurors, and was asked to send a deputy in 1691. The records show thorough action at the town meetings after 1693. In 1696 a singular vote was made at town meeting—that every male who was deficient in killing the number of blackbirds and crows required, should "clear the way to go to mill and go to Nauset." This
The exposure of the coast of Chatham led, in 1712, to the military order that until otherwise ordered, no men of the foot company be taken from town. This was in answer to a petition from the inhabitants who feared French privateers. In May, 1723, no deputy was sent, and it was more from political disagreement than any other cause. The return in default of sending the deputy said, "the town not combined to send," and "town not qualified."
The civil regulations of the town were sometimes queer; and that relating to the ringing of hogs was very strict. In 1728 the law was made that no one should mow hay on the beach until August 26th, and the sheep were even compelled to swelter in their woolen garbs until just before the first of June. The vigilance of the inhabitants was exercised in 1768 by the most stringent rules; "that strangers who came for clams should be summarily dealt with." In 1774 and 1775 strong resolutions were passed against using imported tea; but in 1776 the town voted in the negative on the adoption of the declaration of independence. Notwithstanding this vote, the town was loyal; the whig party far outnumbered the tory. In 1779 the vote was to support the convention called, and the stipulated list of prices was adopted. The church and schools had to have their enactments during the trying times of war, and it was by the most economical methods that the town was enabled to fulfill all its requirements. In 1749 it was necessary to fence the minister's land, and in town meeting it was enacted that nineteen men build two lengths each of the fence, and "Thomas Doane and Nehemiah Harding each bring one post extra."
The embargo made in President Jefferson's administration was a trying period in the civil history of Chatham. Nearly four-score plants for the manufacture of salt dotted the shores, and the check to the industry was severely felt. Meetings were held to petition against the act, and the feeling became so intense that the town recorded a majority of its votes against the war of 1812.
The municipal proceedings of the town were not unusual during the years just prior to the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. When the requisition for men to put down the rebellion was made, then the loyalty of the people was demonstrated. Its parties are mainly those which have predominated in the Commonwealth, the republican largely in the ascendency. The management of its poor has been commendable from the first, and the action of the town, while stringent, has greatly benefitted the chronic tendency to this
The deputies of the town, while acting alone in the election of the representative, with their terms of service beyond one year, have been; Joseph Doane, elected in 1768, served 10 years; Joseph Howes, in 1780; Richard Sears, 1781, 19 years; in 1807, Reuben Ryder, 3 years; in 1827, Richard Sears, jr., 2; 1829, Joseph Atwood, 3; 1830, Joseph Young, 3; 1832, Joshua Nickerson, 5; 1834, Freeman Nickerson; 5; 1837, Seth Nickerson; 1838, Josiah Kendrick, 4; 1839, Thomas Sparrow; 1840; Samuel Doane, 3, and Henry Gorham; 1841, James Gould, 2; 1842, Ephraim Taylor, 2; 1844, Joseph Young, jr.; 1845, John Taylor; 1846, Watson Hinckley; 1847, 0. A. Nickerson; 1849, Lothrop Bearse, 2; 1853, Samuel Doane; 1854, Richard Gould, 2; 1856, Heman Smith; 1857, Thomas Dodge. After Chatham was placed in a district with other towns, the representatives have been stated in the proper county chapter.
The selectmen and their years of service are given in the succeeding list, and where no time is given the service was one year; 1693, William Nickerson, 4, Joseph Harden, 6, and Thomas Atkins, 13; 1697, William Eldred. 3, and William Griffith, 2; 1698, Nicholas Eldred; 1700, Thomas Nickerson, 2; 1703, William Nickerson, 3; 1704, Nathaniel Covel; 1707, Daniel Hamilton, 3, and Edmund Howes, 4; 1708, Ebenezer Howes, 7; 1710, Joseph Eldridge and Moses Godfrey; 1711; John Smith, and John Atkins, 5; 1712, W. Nickerson, Ens.; 1714, Samuel Taylor, 4; 1717, Thomas Howes, Ens., 2, and Richard Sears, 1719, Daniel Sears, 11; 1720, Thomas Atkins, 8; Robert Paddock, 2, and Paul Crowell; 1721, William Eldridge; 1722 Nathaniel Covel, and William Eldridge, jr., 4; 1725, Thomas Doane, 3; 1726, Joseph Harding; 1729, Samuel Taylor, 4; 1731, John Young, 23, and Caleb Nickerson, 3; 1732, John Nickerson, and Paul Crowell, 4; 1733, Samuel Stewart; 1736, Thomas A. Doane, 2, Samuel Atkins, 3, and Samuel Smith, 2; 1739, James Covel, 13; 1740, Thomas Hamilton, 13, and John Eldridge, 3; 1742, Paul Sears; 1748, Thomas Nickerson, 5; 1749, Solomon Collins, 2, and Nehemiah Harding, 2; 1756, Moses Godfrey, 6, and Daniel Sears. jr., 2; 1760, Paul Crowell, jr., 2; 1762, Nathan Basset, 6, and Samuel Collins, 9; 1764, Seth Smith, 7; 1765, John Hawes, 14; 1768, Joseph Doane, 9; 1772, Joseph Atwood, 2; 1776, Joseph Howes, 13, and Barzillia Hopkins, 2; 1779, John Crowell; 1780, Caleb Nickerson, 13, and James Eldridge, 3; 1782, Benjamin Godfrey, 6; 1783, Isaac Howes, 5;
The treasurers have been; William Nickerson in 1693, for 8 years; in 1701, Thomas Atkins was reelected for 7 years; 1708. William Crowell; 1710, Ensign W. Nickerson; 1711, Nathaniel Covel; 1713, Richard Sears; 1714, Thomas Hawes; 1719, John Collins; 1721, Thomas Doane; 1723, Nathaniel Nickerson; 1725, Joseph Harden; 1726, Elisha Mayo; 1729, Richard Knowles; 1731, Thomas Nickerson; 1732, John Atkins; 1733, Daniel Sears; 1735, Paul Crowell; 1736, James Covel; 1740, Paul Crowell; 1748, James Crowell; 1752, Paul Sears; 1753, Daniel Sears, jr.; 1769, Nathan Bassett; 1775, Richard Sears; 1785, John Emery; 1789, Joseph Doane. Since 1791 the office of treasurer has been filled by the town clerk.
The clerks of the town have been; 1693, William Nickerson; 1708, Thomas Atkins; 1714, Daniel Sears; 1722, Samuel Stewart; 1732, Thomas Nickerson; 1749, James Covel; 1752, Paul Sears; 1753, Daniel Sears, jr.; 1769, Nathan Bassett; 1775, Richard Sears; 1785, John Emery; 1789, John Doane; 1790, Joseph Doane; 1797, Nathan Bassett. jr.; 1803, John Hawes; 1824, Reuben C. Taylor; 1827, Richard Sears, jr.; 1828, David Godfrey; 1838, David Atwood; 1839, Christopher Taylor; 1843, Nathaniel Snow; 1844. Ephraim Taylor; 1847, Josiah Mayo; and in 1873, Levi Atwood was elected, and was acceptably filling the offices of treasurer and clerk in 1890.
Villages.— The principal and most important center of the town is the village of Chatham, situate in the southeastern part. The streets environ the ponds of that part of the town, and their windings are only equaled by the undulations of the area over which they lead. It had no group of houses in 1800 by which it was designated from the other portions of the town. No post office was established for a score of years subsequently, and at that time nothing betokened the present flourishing village. The fishing facilities and sites for salt works soon after 1800 brought many families, whose descendants are now the active business men.
Lighthouse ruins at Chatham.
This beach many years ago was still further east, forming a good harbor along the village, but it has since formed nearer the main land. The first wooden light houses erected here in 1808 were washed away and their site is now covered with water. Others of brick were erected in 1841, and the encroachments of the sea has left them in ruins, as appears in the illustration. The scene shows the beach east and north of the ruins at a point where the sea has made, in the contour of the coast, those great changes described in chapter I. The present double light was located in 1877 just west of these ruins, at the left of the picture.
The Collins, Sears, Bangs, Hamilton and Atwood families mostly owned the lands now embraced by the village. Aged citizens who can recall the houses here in 1805, place Richard Howes, Joseph Dexter
Very soon after, in this village of 1805—if it could be thus denominated—we hear of Eben Bangs, Henry Gorham, Elra Eldridge, David Bearse, Josiah Mayo, Joshua Nickerson, Joseph Loveland and David, Josiah and Richard Gould. At the south the bluffs of Morris island and the long neck called Harding's beach are plainly visible; on the east the long beach called Nauset connects with Monomoy point, and beyond this is the Atlantic.
The earliest industry of the village—always excepting fishing— was the manufacture of salt, which soon after 1800 received considerable attention. These works, interspersed with flakes for drying fish, nearly covered the shore from the Sears' plant northeast of the village, southerly to the lights, around the shores of both ponds, and the rivers connecting them with the harbor. Enoch Howes, Henry Gorham, Elra Eldridge, Zenas Nickerson and Isaac Hardy had salt works on the beach east of the village; Joseph Loveland and Joshua Nickerson had extensive works east and south of Mill pond; on the north side of Mitchell's river were the works of Joseph, John and Sears Atwood, and Micajah Howes, and at the head of the pond those of Isaiah Lewis; on the neck, next to Stage harbor, those of William Hamilton, Christopher Taylor and Elisha, Joseph and Isaiah Harding; next west those of Thomas Smith; on the point next to Oyster pond those of Reuben Eldridge and Samuel Taylor; David Godfrey, Solomon Atwood and David Atwood on south side of Oyster pond; Edward Kendrick and Nathaniel Snow on the north side of the pond; Collins Taylor and Benjamin Buck on north side of the river; Nehemiah Doane and Samuel Doane east of these. Some of these works were in use until 1860.
Shipbuilding found a place among the vats and flakes. The sloop Canton, of forty-six tons, was built in 1828 on the east shore north of the lights, for Barzillai Harding, who ran her thirty years as a packet to Boston. About 1835 the schooners Jew and Gentile and Emulous were built here; and at the marine railway after 1860 the schooner T. & C. Hawes was built by James Cannon for Oliver Eldridge. The schooner Deposit was built just above the village by Anthony Thacher.
In 1856 the present Eldridge house was built by Isaac B. Young, who, after experience at Lynn in the manufacture of shoes, started a factory here. The shed in the rear of the house was then attached,
There were stores in this village early, to supply the wants of the few people, but that of Sears & Hardy, about 1830, close to the old lights, was the first general store of importance. After a few years Josiah Hardy became the proprietor, and about 1851 Ziba Nickerson was interested for two years. In 1853 Captain Isaiah Harding had an interest for seven years, when James Tripp became a partner with his father-in-law, Josiah Hardy. Josiah Hardy and Isaiah Harding added to the trade lumber, wood, coal, and cured and packed fish. This, at that time the only general, and by far the most extensive, store of the town, was near the present flag staff by the old lights. This firm brought in the schooner Fovorite, the first coal to the town. The firm of Hardy & Tripp, after a few years, sold to William Hitchings, who sold to Parker Nickerson in 1872; then Robert Miller purchased the building.
From the old store by the lighthouses, in 1853, Ziba Nickerson, on his present site, built the store, and engaged in general merchandise. Besides this, he has been long engaged in the lumber and shingle trade, which he was gradually closing out in 1889; he continues one of the heavy coal yards of the village. In 1854 a telegraph line, now a branch of the Western Union, to Boston, was inaugurated at his store, of which he was the operator many years, succeeded by his son, W. L. Nickerson.
The store of Solomon E. Hallett, on Main street, is the continuation of a dry goods business which his mother, Charlotte W. Hallett, commenced in 1840.
The store of furnishing goods and clothing, by Marcus W. Howard, was started in February, 1873, in the building now occupied by Doctor Robinson's drug and E. T. Bearse's jewelry store. He continued there until his present store building was completed, in 1885.
Sullivan Rogers is one of the oldest business men of the street. In 1846 he began sheet-iron and tin working in the store of Isaiah Lewis, where Erastus Nickerson now is; it stood on the knoll east of Ziba Nickerson's. In 1848 he moved into Samuel H. Young's shop, next west of where Mr. Rogers now lives. After three years he bought and removed to his present store. In 1882 he remodeled the building into its present commodious shape. In 1889 his son, Josiah M. Rogers, become a partner, forming the firm of Sullivan Rogers & Son, dealing in stoves, hardware and house furnishing goods.
The Boston store, by John J. Howes, is exclusively a dry goods establishment. He started in the Library building, in April, l886, and removed his goods to his present store in July, 1887, purchasing the
Hattie E. Gill started a millinery store here in 1879, and after an absence of two years, again opened a store in 18S6. After a business of one year, she built her present store and removed across the street to it, where the ladies find boots and shoes, ladies'-wear and millinery goods. She enlarged her buildings in 1889.
Samuel M. Atwood has an extensive market on the east side of Main street. In this he began in March, 1889. He moved the building from West Chatham in 1887, where it had been a store, occupied by Captain Ephraim P. Steele. He has followed the business here since 1855, and is one of the oldest active men of the street. His customers are regularly served by wagon. He has retailed ice for the past twenty-five years, and is the only one in town so engaged. He has a fresh pond on his farm, from which he obtains his supply. He resides on the Richard Sears farm. Another important market further east on Main street is that of W. F. Harding. In July, 1888, he placed a stock of groceries and general provisions in his store.
An important factor of the Chatham business is the bakery of Kimble R. Howes. His main building was erected for the post office of Josiah Mayo, near Sullivan Rogers' store. In 1884 Mr. Howes moved and enlarged it, converting it into a bakery, and the same year he purchased and moved to the former bakery building the south addition, which gives him ample room for his business.
In 1871 Erastus Nickerson purchased an interest in the marine railway, which he ran about two years; but having had eight years' experience in the grocery trade at Booth Bay, Maine, he preferred that. In December, 1873, he purchased where he is, near the Congregational church, and commenced his present grocery business. He has greatly enlarged and beautified the building.
Isaiah and Simeon Harding had a store over by the shore, which business they sold to Andrew Harding in 1865. Mr. Harding had started a store on Water street in 1864, but bought and combined the two. In 1871, in connection with his stock of paints and oils, he started the painting business with H. M. Smith.
Atlantic Hall was the name given to a building, which was burned, near the Universalist church. Another was erected and called Washington Hall, which, after the erection of the town hall, was sold in 1879 to E. M. Nickerson, who moved it across the street and converted it into a billiard hall and bowling alley.
If the reader will accompany us down Atwood street to the harbor he will pass Oyster pond, where George S. Atwood, John W. Vanhise
At the foot of the street, on Stage harbor, is the marine railway of Oliver E. Eldridge and Thomas S. Arey, doing business under the firm name of Eldridge & Arey. In 1863 Oliver Eldridge, father of Oliver E., purchased the railway at Nantucket, transported and placed it at the Union wharf, a short distance to the west. In 1877 this firm purchased and removed it to its present site, by the side of which, in 1879, the wharf, called Steamboat, was built. This street has long been prominent in the history of the village. Joseph Atwood very early had a store in his house, and more than half a century ago built a building for his trade, and that was subsequently moved to the corner near Levi Atwood's store, where it is used as a dwelling. Jame S. Atwood also had an ancient store on this street.
On the street opening south from the Methodist Episcopal church, John H. Taylor, in 1879, opened a general store. In 1889 he added undertaking, and practices arterial embalming. In 1863 Benjamin S. Cahoon opened business on Depot street, keeping paints and oils, and in 1879 added undertaking.
In 1860 the street in front of the town hall—an extension of Main street—was opened. The previous year Washington Taylor had purchased the site and erected his present fine buildings. He began a store in 1850 on the old street north of Oyster pond, and removed to the new one in 1859.
In 1862 Collins Howes, with J. H. Tripp and Asa Nye, jr., as partners, opened a large outfitters' store on Harding's beach. Ample buildings had been erected, also a wharf, on the bay side. In 1864 Mr. Nye went to Booth Bay, Me., and in 1866 Augustus L. Hardy became a partner, under the firm name of J. H. Tripp & Co. In 1875 Hardy and Tripp moved part of the business to Hyannis, and Collins Howes has continued here since. In its palmy days this wharf and store was the place for drying and curing the cargoes of nearly a score of vessels, and considerable of this business is yet centered here.
Kent & Atkins have a general store north of the depot; Parker Nickerson started a general store on the shore in 1874, bringing goods from his old store; Horace Jones continues the hardware business of
A village like Chatham has many social circles, and the most important will only find a place in this village history. St. Martin's Lodge, A. F. & A. M., now numbers forty-seven members. It commenced work January 27, 1872, under a dispensation, and its first elective officers were; Benjamin D. Gifford, W. M.; Harrison Hamilton. S. W.; Solomon Nickerson. J. W.; and Albert Thacher, secretary. Work with charter began March 12, 1873. The masters have been; Harrison Hamilton, in 1873-5; Parker Nickerson, 1875-8; Rufus K. Nickerson, 1878-80, and 1882-4; Oliver E. Eldridge, 1880-2; and B.D. Gifford, from 1884 to 1889. Parker Nickerson has been the secretary for several years.
The library was opened November 28, 1887, soon after the formation of the association by the liberal-minded citizens. In February, 1889, the reading-room and library properties were presented to the town. The privileges granted are appreciated, and the 640 volumes of valuable works and files of journals are sought by the public.
The enterprising ladies of the village established an effective branch of the W. C. T. U. in April. 1885. It now flourishes with over sixty members.
Mutual insurance societies here are in a prosperous condition. The Royal Conclave of K. & L., Atlantic, No. 51, was established October 8, 1889, with thirty-seven members.
The eldest mutual insurance society is the A. L. of H., No. 937, established May 12, 1882. In an existence of seven years only one of its sixty members has died. C. A. Freeman was its first commander and has served every year except 1885, when Gaius Mullett was elected.
Still another mutual social circle was instituted December 26 ,1888, having for its object the payment of benefits only at death. It is the New England Order of Protection, holding its social meetings every fortnight at Masonic Hall.
At present the village has two houses for the entertainment of travelers. In 1860, Joseph Nickerson built the Ocean House, now the private residence of W. R. Taylor, on Main street, and Isaiah Harding kept it one year. It was then occupied as a dwelling three years by Timothy Loveland. In 1867 Isaiah Harding purchased it and kept it five years. It was sold to Charles H. Smith, who kept it as a hotel for a few years. In the autumn of 1871 Atkins Eldridge opened the Eldridge House, near the town hall. His widow has continued the house since his death, in 1885. Sylvester K. Small, in 1884, opened to the public, the "Travelers Home." It is on an elevation on Main street, well toward the shore. In 1885 he added to the building, in
600order to keep pace with its growing popularity. It is sought by pleasure seekers in the summer months, but is open all the year.
James Hedge was appointed postmaster at Chatham, January 1, 1798. He was succeeded by Eleazer Cobb, appointed January 1, 1801. The next incumbent was Ezra Crowell, appointed March 12, 1802, succeeded February 15, 1821, by Theophilus Crowell. June 8, 1822, Josiah Mayo was appointed. He kept the office first in his kitchen, and afterward in a building prepared for the purpose. June 5, 1861, Ziba Nickerson was appointed and kept the office at his store. In 1881 A. M. Bearse was made postmaster, and moved the office to the Boston store building. In 1885 M. W. Howard was appointed and removed the office to his store. B. D. Gifford was appointed in June. 1889.
This important village is connected with the outside world by the Chatham railroad, via Harwich. Of the one hundred thousand dollars stock for its construction the town of Chatham holds thirty-one thousand dollars; the remainder is owned by individuals. The Old Colony company runs the road, retaining seventy per cent. of the receipts. The road adds much to the wealth and business of the village. Fine depot and freight buildings were erected in 1887, at the completion of the road, and Augustus L. Hardy is the agent.
West Chatham is a genuine New England village, situated just west of Chatham village, south of the center, and in the most fertile portion of the town. The old burying places of the town are northeast of the village, and the settlement of this area between the grounds and the Harwich line was made early. The one street extends from the environs of Chatham to those of South Chatham, a distance of nearly two miles, lined with fine residences. Many of the inhabitants have formerly been engaged in fishing, but the industry is now nearly discontinued, and agriculture, including cranberry culture, occupies their attention.
The first store in West Chatham was kept by Stephen G. Davis, about 1830. It was on the bank of Oyster Pond river. He carried a general stock of goods and cured fish. After several years, he went to Boston, and later became cashier of the Shawmut Bank. Daniel Howes succeeded him at West Chatham, in 1849, where is now the store building erected in 1882, which has since been kept by P. Eldora Harding. L. D. Buck started a grocery in 1865, which he continues in the west part of the little village. Samuel Doane had a small store prior to 1880 where John K. Kendrick resides. The last mentioned place is historic as the site of a post office for two terms. Daniel Howes was the first postmaster in an old store where the present office is located; he began about 1849. He was succeeded by Samuel Doane in his store where John K. Kendrick lives, and who, in 1881, succeeded
Chatham Port is a neighborhood sparsely settled over Nickerson's neck—between Pleasant bay and Rider cove,—and at the south of the cove may be found a considerable community. The name Chatham Port, considered a misnomer by some, was applied when the waters surrounding that part of the town furnished the best and safest harbors. The first permanent settlement of the town was established here in 1665, by William Nickerson, and very soon after by the Eldridge, Crowell, Ryder and other families. A short distance above the head of Ryder cove, on a mound in a valley south of Christopher Ryder's residence, is the site of the original William Nickerson's house; and near by, on burying hill, which was an Indian burial place, his ashes without doubt found their last resting place. The hill is over 150 feet above the sea level, and among the many mounds only three are marked by stones; those of Zenas, John and Elizabeth Ryder, who died in 1766, of smallpox. A few burials were subsequently made here, but the remains have been removed to more modern cemeteries. It was originally on William Nickerson's home farm, but has been reserved in subsequent transfers.
From burying hill, now within the premises of S. A. Bassett, can be seen the entire landscape of the north part of the town and the encircling waters of the bays and coves; and to the south may be seen the greatly improved building, once the old parsonage in which Rev. Ephraim Briggs, and later, Rev. Stetson Raymond, lived to serve in the old church which stood near by. Long ago the elements of two centuries erased all evidence of early habitations; but one of later date remains as a connecting link with the past. It is the small house built by the grandfather of Ensign Nickerson, sr., on the neck, and was moved and refitted by the latter in his lifetime. It is now owned by S. M. Nickerson, of Chicago, one of Ensign's grandsons, and stands near the site sold by that gentleman to a Boston company, who are erecting there a fine summer hotel—the only hotel at Chatham Port. The old ordinary does not appear among the former institutions of the village; but as the old stores were permitted to "draw wines," none was needed. Ezra Crowell, called "Esquire Crowe," kept a tavern later, on the old Queen Anne road, near the meeting house within sight, at the southwest.
But little can be gleaned concerning the stores of the last century; they were few and small, and contained the heavy goods needed for fishing. The Nickersons and Eldridges had primitive stores then, but that first remembered by the living was by Mrs. Ensign Nickerson in 1829. She was familiarly called "Aunt Becky," and kept a small store in her house for forty years. In 1849 Christopher Ryder
H. Harding, jr., opened a store in his house in 1889.
The Cape Cod, a schooner of sixty-five tons, was built at this village by Samuel Moody, for Lumbert Nickerson, and was launched into the bay from the premises of Ensign Nickerson.
For salt manufacturing, the coves and bays of Chatham Port afforded the best of facilities, which were improved soon after 1800. Reuben Ryder is said to have first erected works on the shore of Pleasant bay, and his sons, Isaiah and Christopher, continued them. The second was erected by Ensign Nickerson, sr. These were succeeded as rapidly as the works could be built by Kimble Ryder, his son, Kimble Ryder, jr., Stephen Smith and his son—all on Ryder's river. Still later Ezra Crowell built extensive works on the same river and sold to Jonah and Joseph Young, the latter being an early manufacturer elsewhere. Joshua Crowell, James Ryder and Captain Young soon established works, succeeded by Joseph, Rufus and Samuel H. Young. Edward Kent also erected works here. On Crowe's pond, in 1825, we find the works of Josiah Kendrick and Jonathan Eldridge; on Ryder's cove the works of John Taylor and Reuben Snow; and further east, in the old harbor district, Myrick Nickerson made salt. Later still Ensign Nickerson, jr., the father of Orick and Samuel M., erected works on Crowe's pond; also on the bay side, which were continued until their decay in 1877. David H. Crowell confidently asserts that in 1835 around Ryder's cove he could count within sight twenty-eight wind mills for pumping brine. The only works standing in 1889 were those of Jesse Nickerson, who once owned eighteen hundred feet, and which were more or less used until 1886.
In 1828 Joseph Young established the only block factory ever on the Cape. He started a water mill in 1819, just south of the corner near David Crowell's. In this he first placed, in 1821, cards for dressing- cloth. Mr. Young next started the block-making in this building, but made them mostly by hand. In 1847 Isaac B. Young. his son, formed a co-partnership with him, after having completed machinery to manufacture by water. This is claimed to have been the first manufactory of blocks by machinery in the state. Zenas L. Marston, Samuel Young and George Young were admitted to partnership and the business was successful for a period of ten years; then others had commenced the manufacture and this firm lost six thousand dollars in stock by the burning of their storehouse. The business was
A post-office at North Chatham supplied this people before the appointment of Enos Kent as postmaster for Chatham Port. He began the office in his store in 1862, and continued it until 1875, the year of his death. His daughter, Emma F., served until 1878, when David H. Crowell, who was appointed, removed the office to his residence. In July, 1889, he was succeeded by Osborn Nickerson, who keeps the office at his house.
North Chatham is a beautiful village situated in the northeastern part of the township. The surface of the entire neck between the Bassing place and the sea is uneven and undulating, but the prettiest residences have been erected upon the highest knolls and command a fine view of the harbor, shoals and ocean beyond. Strong island, Nauset beach, and the irregular shores of Orleans on the north, relieve the vision from the vast expanse of ocean, and the village is becoming noted as a summer resort. The territory was early settled by the families who succeeded William Nickerson and those who came across from old Eastham. Fishing, coasting and foreign service have been the principal occupations of the inhabitants, and in no other portion of the town comparatively are found more or a better representation of these worthy callings than among the retired and active sons of North Chatham. Other industries have not been neglected. In the period between 1825 and 1885 the brig Cashier was built near Salathiel Nickerson's shore; and the schooners Classic, Luna, Bertha, Anson, Exit, and Philanthropic were launched near the old wharf. This wharf was built by Smith Eldridge about 1830, or prior, and was broken up by the sea in 1851. Near there, in 1833, Orick Nickerson had a coasting schooner of eighty tons built; and in 1834 another of similar capacity. The builder was Anthony Thacher, son of William, who was the first to build vessels in the town.
A store was built with the wharf by Mr. Eldridge, both of which were purchased in 1834 by Ensign Nickerson, jr. The business was conducted by Orick Nickerson for fifteen years, when he removed part of the store building to Monomoy point, where, it is doing service as a dwelling, and sold the wharf and real estate to Zenas Atkins. At that time Richard, Salathiel, Caleb and Myrick Nickerson, Zenas Taylor, Joshua Atkins, Mulford Howes and others, were largely engaged in fishing. The available anchorage then was dotted with vessels when home from the Banks, and the shores were lined with drying flakes. After the interruption of this branch of thrift by the destruction of the wharf and closing of the harbor by shifting sands, another wharf was built in 1855, by Zenas Atkins, Christopher Taylor, Clement Kendrick and several
Prior to these wharves and in connection with the fishing interest the manufacture of salt was important. The stores around North Chatham and the attention of the people were alike fully occupied in its production. From Myrick Nickerson's works on Ryder's river there were to the east those of Prince Harding, John Ryder, Benjamin Dunbar, Joseph Taylor, Zenas Taylor and Salathiel Nickerson; at Old Harbor were those of Timothy Loveland, sr.—five thousand feet— Joshua Atkins, Allen Nickerson and Caleb Nickerson; and to the south o these the shore was lined with the works of Thomas Howes, Richard Nickerson and others; while well toward the village of Chatham were the extensive works of Richard Sears. The evidence of the existence of this long shore line of salt vats has been obliterated, and but few are living of the enterprising spirits who owned or managed them.
The first store here, of which reliable tradition speaks, was one kept in 1820 by Isaiah Nye and William Hamilton. In 1829 Mr. Nye moved, and started a store on the main road near the old meeting house, Mr. Hamilton continuing the first until he sold it to Joshua Nickerson, who in turn sold it to Captain Benjamin T. Freeman in 1853. Mr. Freeman continued in the store on the shore a few years, then erected and removed to the store now occupied by his son, C. A. Freeman, who succeeded him in 1884. After the store connected with the old wharf another store at the new wharf was kept by Zenas Atkins several years. Among others, Thacher Ryder was a prominent merchant here, opening a store at Old Harbor soon after 1820. At his death, in 1863, his son-in-law, David H. Crowell, of Chatham Port, removed the goods to his residence, where he not only sold them out, but continued in the business several years.
The only tavern regularly kept in the village was by John King, who sold in 1803 to Timothy Loveland, father of the present resident of that name, who discontinued in 1805. This old stand is situated opposite the present Baxter House, a beautiful summer hotel, refitted in 1886 by Hattie Baxter.
Isaiah Nye was the first postmaster at North Chatham, appointed January 18, 1828. He kept the office at the store of Nye & Hamilton. Shadrack N. Howland, appointed March 19, 1831, was the next incumbent; Joshua Nickerson, jr., succeeded him April 17, 1837; and Thacher Ryder, in 1854, was postmaster, with the office on the north side of Old Harbor. In 1861 Captain Benjamin T. Freeman, as postmaster, removed the office to his store, and in 1884 he was succeeded by C. A. Freeman, his son, who continues it at the same place.
South Chatham is not as old a village as West, but excels it in many ways. It is further from the larger villages on either side, and its business is more confined within itself. A fine school building, erected for three departments, and a new depot greet the eye of the traveler who alights from the train. As the visitor walks westerly along the well-kept street, he sees the store of Joshua Eldridge, who for forty years has been engaged in a small grocery trade. The first store here of importance was erected in 1839 by Levi Eldridge, where he opened a general stock. In 1843 his brother, Hiram T., assumed the business which, at his death in 1854, was resumed by the original proprietor. This is not all in which Levi Eldridge is engaged. In 1888, with his son-in-law Cyrus W. Kelley, he opened a coal yard at the depot, and removing here their lumber yard from Deep Hole, the firm now keep in stock coal, lumber, wood, hay and harnesses.
The fishing business was formerly the leading industry here, and many years ago Levi Eldridge, with others, erected a wharf on the bay, at a point just over the line of Harwich, where fish were cured and packed. After a few years he became sole owner, repaired the wharf after the ice had once nearly destroyed it, then gradually closed out his fishing interests, and allowed the wharf to go to pieces in 1887. Levi Eldridge and John G. Doane, in 1866, had six vessels in the cod and mackerel fishing, for which they cured and packed, and packed the mackerel for seven other vessels. After the death of Mr. Doane the business was continued by Mr. Eldridge, aided by his son, who died in 1884. Then he sold the vessels and closed this branch in 1887. The statistics of this one firm would be a fair index of the decline of this industry throughout the Cape. In 1881, Mr. Eldridge, as inspector for his and other's fish at that wharf, reported 8,932 barrels of his own mackerel; in 1882 he had 6,983 barrels; in 1883 only 4,304 barrels; in 1884, 4,216; in 1885, 2,040; and in 1886 but a very few. Now agriculture, especially cranberry culture, commands the attention of the citizens.
A general business in merchandise is still continued by Levi Eldridge at the old site. A little west of him, opposite the G. A. R. Hall, is the grocery store of Elisha M. Eldridge, who followed fishing summers, and mercantile business winters until 1876, when he established here a permanent trade. The hall now owned and occupied by F. D. Hammond Post, No. 141, was erected about thirty years ago by a stock company and was called Excelsior Hall. In 1885 the Post purchased it, and have a flourishing organization, which is comprised of members from Chatham and surrounding towns.
The only distinctive religious society of the Village is the Come-Outers, as they are vulgarly called, and this also includes members from other localities. As this is probably the only mention this sect will have, although there are a few in the south of Dennis, and, perhaps in other towns, it is just to explain that the members have come out from other religious organizations, not agreeing with them in forms of worship.
Pilgrim Library was instituted here February 5, 1875, and now contains 515 volumes. It is kept at the store of Levi Eldridge, and M. E. Kelley is librarian.
The agent of this station of the Chatham railroad, appointed in 1887, is Alfred A. Eldridge. The beautiful rolling fields of this part of the town, the proximity of the village to Chatham bay, and the thrift of its business men, render South Chatham important among the villages.
Thomas S. Arey, born in 1839 in Orleans, is the eldest son of Oliver and Mercy (Snow) Arey and grandson of Joseph Arey, born 1716. He followed the sea fourteen years in early life. He was for sixteen months acting ensign in the navy during the rebellion. Since 1868 he has been engaged in vessel repairs—nine years in South America and twelve years at Stage Wharf, Chatham. He is a member of Frank D. Hammond Post. He was married in 1865, to Lucinda, daughter of Amariah Mayo. They have one daughter living—Bertha M.—and have lost two children.
Alvin Z. Atkins, born in 1849, is a son of Zenas, whose father, Joshua, was a son of William Atkins. His mother was Rhoda, daughter of John and Temperance (Bascom) Crowell. Mr. Atkins has been selectman since 1885. He is a member of St. Martins Lodge. In 1872 he was married to Eunice, daughter of Reuben and Sally (Harding) Hawes. They have lost four children: Nellie E., Susie C., Zenas and Sadie W.
George S. Atwood, son of Solomon and Lucy (Smith) Atwood, was born in 1835, and is a carpenter by trade. He was a contractor and builder until1879, and since that time has been engaged in oyster culture. He was married in 1860, to Mehitable S., daughter of Elisha Holbrook. They have three children: George S., jr., Nellie F. and Benjamin F.
Levi Atwood.—Stephen Atwood, mentioned as Stephen Wood, was enrolled in 1643, at Plymouth, as one able to bear arms; being then over sixteen years of age. Soon after, he came to old Nauset where he married Abigail Dunham, November 6, 1644, settling in Eastham. He was the ancestor of the Atwoods on the Cape. He died in Eastham in 1694, leaving a large family of children. Joseph, his third child, born about 1650, married Apphiah (Bangs) Knowles, widow of John Knowles and daughter of Edward Bangs, in 1677. They had five children. One of these, Joseph Atwood, jr., married Bethia Crowell, and reared nine children. One of these, also named Joseph, was born February 19, 1720, and removed to Chatham, where he married Deborah, daughter of Daniel Sears, in 1742. This Joseph was a prominent man of Chatham, as a shipmaster in foreign commerce, and as mentioned in the records of the town. He died February 8, 1794. His wife died January 6, 1796, aged seventy-four. They had seven children. Sears Atwood, the seventh of these, was born July 26, 1761, and was married October 31, 1782, to Azubah, daughter of Solomon Collins. Their seven children were: Joseph, born September 25, 1783; Solomon, born August 6, 1785; David, August 29, 1787; John, August 20, 1789; Sears, March 31, 1792; James, February 4, 1801; and Azubah, October 18, 1805. Sears Atwood, the father, died March 1, 1832; his wife November 10, 1832. The children, except Sears, who died young, all settled in the immediate neighborhood, giving the family name to the street and the school. It was said to be the boast of the old gentleman that he could stand in his door and make all his children hear his voice in their own homes.
Solomon, the second son of Sears Atwood, and the father of the subject of this sketch, married Lucy, daughter of Stephen and Margery Smith, of Chatham, December 8, 1814, and died March 26, 1848. His wife died November 29, 1868. Their six children were: Sears, Mary, Solomon C., Levi, Lucy S. and George S., of whom Sears, Mary, Levi and George S. still survive. Of this family of four sons and two daughters, Sears Atwood was born November 20,1815, married Phebe N. Harding, December 31, 1840, and they have two children, Solomon
Thus Mr. Atwood finds himself, while scarcely past the meridian of his own life, surrounded by a younger life in his children and grandchildren. and happily sees the generations come as the generations go and a family name preserved which for more than two centuries has been respected on the Cape. He is still actively engaged himself in the mercantile business, on the same site where he commenced, November 1, 1849—over forty years ago. For half a century he has been an important factor in the affairs of church and state, and in every work for the enlightenment and good of his town has done well his part. He has been in the choir of the church of his choice (the Congregational) for fifty years, and superintendent of its Sunday school forty-five years; town clerk and treasurer of the town
During his term of service in these many responsible positions he has never been absent without the most urgent and unavoidable reason, and by his fearless and faithful discharge of the multifarious duties of life this representative of the important family of Atwood has erected to his memory and to the family name some permanent landmarks, which may fitly become a heritage and an impulse for good to the generations of the future.
Samuel M. Atwood, youngest son of John and Margaret (Smith) Atwood, and grandson of Sears Atwood, was born in 1834. He was married in 1858, to Lizzie M., daughter of Robert and Desire (Nickerson) Eldridge.
Sears Atwood, born in 1815, is the eldest son of Solomon and Lucy (Smith) Atwood, and grandson of Sears and Azubah (Collins) Atwood. He followed the sea from 1830 until 1861. He has been for several years engaged in the coal business. He was married in 1840, to Phebe N., daughter of Elisha and Patia Harding. They have two sons; Solomon C. and Charles R.
Azubah C. Ballou is a daughter of Joseph and Patia (Howes) Atwood. She was married in 1838, to Captain James S. Taylor, son of James S. and Lucy (Nickerson) Taylor. Mr. Taylor died in 1863, leaving one adopted daughter, Azubah A. (Mrs. Cyrenus A. Bearse). She was married again in 1867, to Giddings H. Ballou, the oldest son of Rev. Hosea Ballou, 2d., D.D., who was the first president of Tufts College. Mr. Ballou was born November 10, 1820, and was a portrait artist for many years. He was also secular editor of the Gospel Banner during the late war. He was for eight or ten years in government employ at Washington, preparing statistics for the bureau of agriculture. He was a very successful school teacher, and was several years contributor to Harper's and other magazines. He died in Chatham, June 8, 1886.
Charles Bassett, born in 1843, is the only living child of Whitman and Eliza (Doane) Bassett, a grandson of Enoch, and great-grandson of Samuel Bassett. Mr. Bassett was engaged in fishing until 1879, and is now clerk and treasurer of the Chatham railroad. He has been five years selectman, and was six years a member of the school committee. He was married in 1864, to Sarah Harwood, who died leaving one son, Henry A. He was married again in 1871, to Martha Sears. She died leaving three children.
Harriet L. Baxter is a daughter of Christopher and Harriet (Oliver) Taylor, and granddaughter of Christopher Taylor. She was married in 1876, to Allen Baxter, and has one daughter, Eleanor H.
Cyrenus A. Bearse, born in 1842, a son of Ezra and Delilah (Mayo) Bearse, was a master mariner in the foreign trade. He was married in 1869, to Azubah A., daughter of James S. and Azubah (Atwood) Taylor. They had one daughter, Virginia F., and one son, who died in infancy. Captain Bearse died on board the ship George Skolfield, September 7, 1889, on the voyage from Calcutta.
George N. Bearse, born in 1837, is a son of Eben, whose father, Ebenezer, was a son of Simeon Bearse. His mother was Clarissa, daughter of Zoath and Clarissa Nickerson. Mr. Bearse followed the fishing business from 1851 to 1884, and was master of vessels twenty years. Since 1884 he has been in the store and fishing business with Alonzo Kendrick. He was married in 1861 to Rebecca A. Eldridge, who died leaving two children: Lelia L. and David W. He was married again in 1871, to Marietta, daughter of Samuel D. and Mary A. (Crowell) Eldridge. They have one daughter, Lottie M. Mrs. Bearse's paternal grandparents were Isaiah and Rebecca (Davis) Eldridge, and her maternal grandparents were Mark and Anna Crowell.
George H. Buck, son of Nathan and Keziah (Kendrick) Buck, and grandson of Joshua Buck, was born in 1839. He followed the sea from 1852 to 1884, coasting and fishing. He was married in 1863, to Aurelia E., daughter of Charles G. Cook. They have three children living: George H., jr., Madella A. and Clara D.; and two sons deceased.
Benjamin S. Cahoon, born in 1828, in Harwich, is the youngest and only surviving child of Seth and Mehitabel (Small) Cahoon, and grandson of Seth Cahoon. He is a painter by trade, and has followed the business and kept painters' supplies since 1857. Since 1882 he has also done an undertaking business. He served in the war of the rebellion eleven months in Company E., Forty-third Massachusetts Volunteers, and is a member of Frank D. Hammond Post. He was married in 1850, to Mehitabel, daughter of Jonathan Higgins. Their two daughters are: Georgia A. (Mrs. C. F. Simmons), and Bertha T. They lost one son.
Samuel D. Clifford, born in 1812, is a son of Dr. Daniel P. Clifford, of page 224. He followed the sea until 1840, and was seven years in the lightship service as captain of Pollock Rip and Shovelfull. Since then he has devoted his time to agricultural pursuits. He was married in 1840, to Louisa C. Burroughs. She died, and he married in 1846, Rebecca Bearse. They have five children: Ophelia, Cordelia, Mary, Etta and Samuel D., jr.
Rev. Gamaliel Collins, born in 1816, at Provincetown, was the youngest and last surviving child of Gamaliel and Elizabeth (Dyer)
Elijah Crosby was born in Chatham in 1819. At the age of ten years he began going to sea, attaining to master at twenty-six, in which capacity he acted successfully until 1871. He was connected with shipping interests until 1884. On his first voyage he was cook of a fishing schooner of ten men, at three dollars per month. During his seafaring life he contracted for and built several vessels. He never was shipwrecked. After being engaged in the coal business three years, and three years in the lumber business, he retired from active life. He was married in 1841, to Emeline, daughter of Ephraim Taylor. She died leaving two children—Emma C. and Elijah E. They lost three. He was married in 1855, to Rowena, daughter of Joseph Taylor. They have four children: Arthur R., Cora, Annie F. and Rena T. They lost one.
David H. Crowell, born in 1820, is the youngest and only surviving child of Joshua and Hannah (Howes) Crowell, grandson of Jonah and great-grandson of Jabez Crowell. Mr. Crowell followed the sea for twenty-nine years prior to 1863. He was acting master a year and a half in the naval service during the war of the rebellion. He was for nine years superintendent of schools in Chatham, and for eleven years postmaster at Chatham Port. He was married in 1845, to Mercy F. Ryder, who died in 1884, leaving four children: Helen M., David F., T. R. Carlton and Geneva Y.
Thomas H. Crowell, son of Thomas H. and Abigail (Wing) Crowell, was born in 1846. Mr. Crowell is engaged in business in Boston. He was married in 1872, to Amelia, daughter of Charles F. and Mehitable (Taylor) White, and granddaughter of Isaac White.
A. Judson Doane, son of Nehemiah and Betsey (Higgins) Doane, grandson of Samuel, and great-grandson of Nehemiah Doane, was born in West Chatham July 18. 1832. He has been a master mariner about thirty years. He was married in 1857, to Mary F. Rogers, who died leaving one son, Alfred J. He was married in 1867 to Emily C. Kendrick. She died, and in 1889 he was married to Georgia M. Nickerson.
Samuel H. Doane, born in West Chatham in April, 1829, is a son of Nehemiah and Betsey (Higgins) Doane, who had four children,
Benjamin F. Eldridge5 was born in 1813, and died in January, 1890. He was descended from Samuel4, E1nathan3, Ebenezer2, Jehosaphat Eldridgel. His mother was Hannah Mayo. He followed the sea about thirty years, after which he engaged in farming. He was for three years captain of Pollock Rip, light ship. He was married in 1834, to Elizabeth Bassett, who died leaving three sons: Benjamin F., jr., John B. and James W. He was married in 1853, to Abbie A. Doane, who died leaving three children: Lydia C., Samuel and Marcus. He was married again in 1863, and a fourth time in 1882.
Cyrenus Eldridge, born in 1825, is a son of Ensign and Sally (Gorham) Eldridge, grandson of Elisha, and great-grandson of Jehosaphat Eldridge. He went to sea thirty-nine seasons in the fishing business, prior to 1876. He was married in 1851, to Betsey S. (deceased), daughter of Zephaniah Eldridge. They had two sons, Enos A. and Clarinton S., both of whom died. He was married again in 1863, to Olive A. Allen, by whom he has three children: Reuben W., Alida B. and Clarinton E. Mr. Eldridge is a member of the East Harwich Methodist Episcopal church.
Edmund N. Eldridge, born in 1834, is a son of John H. and Salome (Nickerson) Eldridge, and grandson of Atkins Eldridge. He is a wheelwright and carpenter. He was married in 1855, to Rebecca C., daughter of Aaron Small. They have two children: Eddie, born in 1858, and Emma R., born in 1879.
Elisha M. Eldridge, born in 1842, is a son of Elisha and Anna K. Eldridge, and grandson of Ensign, whose father, Elisha, was a son of Jehosaphat Eldridge. Mr. Eldridge has been a merchant at South Chatham since November, 1875. Prior to that time he followed the sea. He was married in 1867, to Hope D., daughter of Isaiah C. Kelley. Their two sons are Alberto M. and Harold L.
James Eldridge, born November 6, 1816, is a son of Reuben and Jane (Taylor) Eldridge, and grandson of James Eldridge. Mr. Eldridge is a farmer at West Chatham, on the homestead of his father. He was married January 8, 1838, to Sarah Kelley, who died June 1, 1881, leaving three children: Jane T., Reuben and Sarah M. Mr. Eldridge was married again April 13, 1882, to Mrs. Lydia A. Eldridge, daughter of Amos Harding.
Levi Eldridge.—This well-known business man of South Chatham, now the president of the Harwich Savings Bank, is the grandson of Nathaniel Eldridge, who was born September 15, 1751, and who married Elizabeth Ryder and reared, in Chatham, six children:
Levi, the youngest of these, the father of the subject of this sketch, was a seafaring man during his early years, subsequently turning his attention to salt-making and fishing. He married Lydia Young, who was born August 22, 1795, and died July 1 6, 1865. To them were born eleven children: Nathaniel, Levi, Nathaniel, Hiram T., William, Lydia, Aurelia, Esther L., William P., Esther L. and James M. Of these, the first Nathaniel was born December 22, 1817, and died October 5, 1818. Levi was born September 8, 1819. Nathaniel. born February 21, 1821, married Charlotte Kenney for his first wife. She died, leaving three children: Hercelia M., who married Timothy K. Stearns; Nathaniel E., who married Lelia L. Bearse; and Aurelia H. His second wife was Mrs. Susan Kenney, and their child is Ethel M. Eldridge. Hiram T. Eldridge, the fourth child of Levi, was born January 15, 1823, and died December 27, 1854, leaving his wife—Aseneth P. Burgess—and a daughter named Eugenia L. Eldridge. William, the fifth child, was born November 26, 1824, and died September 26, 1826. Lydia, the sixth child, born September 23, 1826, married Mulford Rogers and reared three children, who in their turn became heads of families; William P. twice married, first to Olive Holbrook. then to Mehitable Weeks; Betsey N., who married George R. Emerson; and Mulford T., who married Hattie E. Mason. Aurelia, the seventh child of Levi, was born August 21, 1828, married Archelaus E. Harding, and died May 29, 1863. Their three daughters are married. The eldest, Julia A., married Rev. Ebenezer Tirrel of Weymouth; Cynthia M. married Edward J. Clark of Boston; and Nellie M. married Samuel H. Mayo of East Boston. The remaining four children of Levi Eldridge were; Esther L., born November 9, 1830, died May 23, 1833; William P., born November 9, 1833, died November 16,1839; Esther L., born March 14, 1836, died December 18, 1839; and James M., born June 1, 1838,and died December 3, 1839.
Levi, above mentioned as the second son in this family of eleven, was born at Chatham and received a common school education. Commencing at eighteen years of age the carpenter trade, he followed it thirteen years, and then engaged in the fishing business. His first venture in the purchase of a share of fishing vessels was about 1846, which proving successful, he at once gave his attention to owning and fitting vessels, curing and packing fish. The history of his present and former business relations is given in the annals of South Chatham.
He married his first wife. Phebe W., daughter of Jonathan and Mercy Small, November 24, 1841. She was born February 24, 1823,
Levi Eldridge filled many places of trust in the midst of his active business career, and to an extent that the reader may wonder how he could find the time. He was selectman twenty years, to which office then belonged the duties of assessor and overseer of the poor; was on the school committee several years; was president of the South Harwich Marine Insurance Company from the death of Joseph P. Nickerson until the company closed its affairs, a period of nineteen years; was postmaster many years; later being vice-president and director in the Cape Cod National Bank and president of the Five Cents Saving's Bank of Harwich. This long list of trusts shows the worth of the man. His unblemished public and private life, his unselfish benevolence, and his useful and honorable toil, are indelibly stamped in the records of his acts and in the memories of his townsmen.
Oliver E. Eldridge, born in 1840, is a son of Oliver, grandson of Oliver, and great-grandson of Peter Eldridge. He followed the sea from 1851 to 1877, as master thirteen years. Since 1877 he has been engaged at Stage wharf, Chatham, in repairing boats, and has been superintendent of Chatham and Harwich marine railway. He is a member of St. Martins Lodge, A. F. & A, M. He was married in 1861 to Mehitabel, daughter of Benjamin H. Eldridge. Their six children living are: Myra E., Ella M., Ernest S., Benjamin O., Chester A. and Ralph S. They lost three children.
Joshua Eldridge, born in 1819, is a son of Zenas, and Betsey (Allen) Eldridge, grandson of Nathaniel, and great-grandson of Jehosaphat Eldridge. He followed the sea for twenty-five years, after which he was engaged in the fish business for fourteen years. He now keeps a small store at South Chatham where he was postmaster from 1885
Their children are: Charles A. and Henry H.
Luther Eldridge, born in 1818, is a son of Joseph and Data (Baker) Eldridge and grandson of John Eldridge. He followed the sea from 1829 to 1865, as master nineteen years. Since October, 1880, he has been in the light-ship service. He was married in 1845, to Eliza J. Hallett, who died leaving one son, Gustavas H. He was married again in 1889, to Mrs. Eliza A. Eldridge, daughter of Hiram Small.
Walter S. H. Eldridge, born in 1851, is the youngest of eight children of Oliver and Almira (Kenney) Eldridge, and grandson of Oliver Eldridge. He followed the sea from 1866 to 1885, when he started the Crystal Spring's Laundry, which he has operated since that time. He was married in 1873, to Emma, daughter of Elijah Crosby. They have four children: Emma C., Sanford H., Arthur S. and Herbert N.
John Emery was born June 6, 1808, and died March 14, 1882. He was a son of Stephen, grandson of John and great-grandson of Rev. Stephen Emery, who preached in Chatham thirty-three years and died there in 1782. The subject of this sketch followed the business of contracting and building in Chatham until the time of his decease. He was first married January 10, 1832, to Almira Harding, who died August 9, 1843. Their children are: Zelia, born October 21, 1834; married April 1, 1856, to Rufus Howes; John Anson, born November 16, 1837, married October 15, 1872, to Mary T. Morrison, of Alleghany City, Pa.; Minerva Francis, born February 10, 1839, married May 6, 1860, to Bassett J. Smith; Edson, born November 4, 1841, died April 13, 1871; and Rufus, born August 3,1843, married in 1866, to Roxanna Cook, of Provincetown, Mass. Mr. Emery was married February 1, 1844, to Mary Atwood. Their children are; Erastus, born August 7, 1546, died January 16, 1878. (He married December 25, 1873, Anna L. Hughes, of Truro, Mass., who died August 9, 1876. He practiced medicine in Truro nine years); Benjamin Valentine, born February 14, 1848, married April 20. 1880, to Belle Richardson, of Covington, Ky., and lives in Chicago, Ill.; Mary Atwood, born December 26,1852, married December 17, 1879, Dr. Albert F. Blaisdell, of Providence, R. I.; Carrie Luella, born October 27, 1855, died November 6, 1881; and Almira Harding, born December 17, 1857.
Clarendon A. Freeman, born in 1849, is the only surviving child of Benjamin T. and Tamsen E. (Nickerson) Freeman. He is a merchant at North Chatham, where he succeeded his father in 1884, since which time he has been postmaster. He was representative from this district in 1883 and 1884. He is a member of the school committee,
He was married in 1877, to Anna L. Burbank, of Newton Highlands.
George Godfrey, born in 1822, is a son of David and Anna (Young) Godfrey, and grandson of David, who was a son of George, a descendant of George Godfrey, who came to this county in 1670. Mr. Godfrey was engaged in mercantile business in New York from 1838 to 1868, after which he was ten years in New Jersey. He has been trial justice at Chatham since 1885. He was married in 1845, to Tabitha H., daughter of Joshua Nickerson. They have one son, Lorenzo N. They lost three children: Anna, George, jr., and Willie. Mr. Godfrey's father served on the privateer Reindeer during the war of 1812, and about 1822 started the first regular packet to sail between Boston and New York, in the employ of Stanton, Fisk & Nichols. He was also one of the originators of the old Despatch Line of packets. It is said that a great uncle of his, Colonel Benjamin Godfrey, took a company to the battle of Bunker Hill.
Leander Gould, born in 1813, is one of four surviving children of Richard and Sarah (Nickerson) Gould, and is a grandson of Josiah Gould. Mr. Gould was in the fishing and coasting business from 1828 to 1873. He was married in 1834, to Hannah Phillips. They have five children: Leander F., Abby A., Mary A., Josiah A. and Clara J. C.
Solomon E. Hallett, born in 1833, is the only son of John and Charlotte (Mayo) Hallett, and grandson of John and Lydia (Thacher) Hallett. He has been a merchant at Chatham since 1861. He was for five years a member of the school board, eleven years selectman, representative in the legislature two terms, and since January, 1886, has been county commissioner, and is a trustee of Harwich Savings Bank. He is a member of St. Martin's Lodge, A. F. & A. M. He was married in 1855, to Eliza L. Bates. Their three daughters are: Mary S., Lottie F. and Ettie E.
Alfred C. Harding, son of Silas H. and Clarissa C. Harding, and grandson of Joshua Harding, was born in 1849. He was engaged in the meat business several years prior to 1882, when he opened an ice cream saloon in Chatham, where he is still in business. He was married in 1873, to Eliza W., daughter of Warren and Eliza Rogers, and granddaughter of Joseph L. and Phebe Rogers.
Andrew Harding, born in 1836, is the youngest of fourteen children of Barzilla and Hattie (Bangs) Harding, and a grandson of Isaiah Harding. He was married in 1860, to Abbie Eldridge, who died five years later. He was married again in 1867, to Avis A., daughter of Abel Reynolds. They have one son: Heman A.
Daniel Harding, son of Daniel and Eunice Harding, married Phebe Ann, daughter of Zephaniah and Susan (Allen) Eldridge. Their children were: Phebe Eldora, who has been postmistress at West
Captain J. C. Harding.— One of the enterprising young mariners representing the true type of Cape Cod shipmasters is Joseph Clement Harding, of Chatham. Joseph Harding, the first of the name here, came with Governor Gorges in 1623, settling in Plymouth. He married Martha Harding, who survived him and was administrator of his estate. She died a few years later leaving their two sons, John and Joseph, mere lads, who came to Old Eastham in 1644, to serve their minority with Dea. John Doane, their mother's brother. From this Joseph, who made the Cape his home, has descended a long line of worthy and industrious representatives. The male lineage of this branch of the family, including the Joseph last mentioned, is; Joseph, Joseph, Maziah, Joseph, Amos, Amos and Joseph, the father of the subject of this sketch, born in 1822. He is a mariner of note, yet a master in the coastwise trade after a command of forty years in vessels of various build, and passing a large portion of this long period of service in foreign command. He married Eliza A. Payne, of Chatham, who was born in 1826. Their children were: Joseph C., Alice E., born in 1855, married Danforth S. Steele, of West Somerville, and has one son, Leslie; Isaphine, born in 1860, married Edgar N. Nickerson, of West Somerville; and John P., born in 1862, died in 1889.
Joseph C. Harding was born March 13, 1850, the oldest of the four children of Joseph Harding. He was taken to sea at the age of two years, and with the advancing years of boyhood a love for this life work was implanted in his earnest nature. At sixteen he went before the mast, at eighteen was second mate of the bark Chief, at twenty-one first mate, and at twenty-three the master, sailing from American ports to the principal ports of Europe. After several years, he was master of the John H. Pierson and the George Kingman in foreign trade, the Charles L. Pierson in the China trade for seven years, and now is master and part owner of the schooner Puritan, a three-master in the foreign trade.
He was married February 28, 1878, to Mary D., daughter of Alfred and Aseneth Eldridge, of Chatham, and they have one son, Alfred C., born June 30, 1885. Mrs. Harding's father was a very successful sea-captain of thirty-five years' service. His children are: Adalena A., Alfred A., Mary D. and Alberto W., of whom the first three survive. His father, Ensign Eldridge, married Sally Gorham from another prominent and respectable family of the Cape.
Captain Hiram Harding.— This representative of one branch of the ancient family of Harding, is the son of Mulford and grandson of Thomas Harding, who removed from Hingham to Chatham before the revolutionary war. This Mulford Harding was born July 10, 1776, in the house near Oyster pond, now the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Naomi Linnell. He was a seafaring man in early life, and in the war of 1812 was one of the crew of the Reindeer that suffered in Dartmoor prison as prisoners of war. He was married May 14, 1798, to Sally, daughter of Jonathan and Ruth Young, and reared nine children, whose histories appear in the succeeding paragraphs.
Lurana married Thomas Stetson, and they, with their only son, are deceased.
Polly was married to Abner Sparrow and had five children: Joseph, Samuel S., Abner H., Hiram H. and Mary. Of this family, the parents and children are all dead excepting Abner A. Hiram H. was lost on a voyage from New York to the Mediterranean.
Mulford Harding (deceased) married Emily Rogers and had one son, George N., who is now an architect at Hyde Park.
Sally was married to Enos Snow and reared five children, of whom only the youngest survives. The children were; Enos, Sarah, Emeline, Mary E. and Sarah.
Howes married Catherine Hodgden and had one son, Darius H., who passed through the civil war, was paid off and had started for home, when he was stricken with fever at New Orleans, where he died.
David married Elizabeth C. Holway and their children were; David, Marion, John, Andrew, Lizzie and Annette, of whom three survive.
Naomi A. was married to Josiah Linnell, who died in 1887. Their only son, Josiah F. Linnell, is also dead.
Betsey married Freeman Chase, who died in 1887 without issue. The widow survives.
The captain has had eight children, of whom four survive: Lydia F., born May 7, 1843, died November 6,1843; Captain Hiram, jr., born September 24, 1844, married Josephine Young; a daughter born to them lived but four years; Captain Joseph F., born July 19, 1846, married Annie Snow; Maria C, born November 12, 1850, died April 27, 1868; George H., born February 13, 1853, unmarried, is an express messenger; Marianna, born April 5, 1855, lives at home; Sarah G., born February 14, 1857, died April 17, 1872; and Emma F., born September 12, 1860, died in infancy.
Captain Hiram Harding has not only filled a prominent part on the sea, but has been equally efficient on land. He has been notary public, justice of the peace, wreck commissioner, insurance agent, director of Barnstable Fire Insurance Company, trustee of savings bank, and selectman. He has been a member of the Boston Marine Society for thirty-five years, and for many years past a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Chatham. In his life voyage of over seventy-five years, every phase has been met with that confidence and fortitude for which he is marked, and now in life's early evening he enjoys, in his pleasant home at Chatham, the results of his earnest, active, earlier life.
Walden F. Harding, son of Walden and Julia A. (Cahoon) Harding, was born in 1852, and followed the sea from 1863 to 1883. Since the latter year he has carried on the meat business in Chatham, and since 1888 he has also done a grocery business. He was married in 1876. to Ida M., daughter of Sylvanus Bearse. Their three children are: Otis H., Helen F. and Irene A.
Josiah Hardy, born in 1805, was the son of Isaac and Betsey (Eldridge) Hardy, and grandson of Josiah and Rebecca (Hamilton)
Josiah Hardy, born in 1822, is a son of Josiah and Rebecca (Clark) Hardy, and grandson of Josiah Hardy, who came from Virginia to Chatham in 1776, and married Rebecca Hamilton, and had four children. Mr. Hardy was a master mariner until 1866, and since 1872 he has been the keeper of the Chatham lighthouse. He is a member of St. Martin's Lodge, A. F. & A. M. He was married in 1844, to Harriet K., daughter of Jonathan and Olive (Moody) Myrick. They have four children: James H., Joseph M., Ursula M. and Samuel F. They lost two; Joseph M. and Rebecca C.
Ebenezer N. Hawes, born in 1849, is the youngest son of Edward and Polly (Kelley) Hawes, grandson of Samuel, and great-grandson of John Hawes. Mr. Hawes is a blacksmith at West Chatham. He was married in 1870, to Lucy I., daughter of Luther Sears. They have one daughter, Annie M.
Samuel Higgins, born in 1812, in Brewster, was a son of Samuel Higgins. He was a blacksmith by trade, and kept a hardware store in Chatham several years prior to his death, which occurred in 1881. He was married in 1834, to Abby E., daughter of Samuel Hallett, of Yarmouth. They had two daughters; Abby C. (Mrs. Joseph C. Chase) and Adelaide L., who died. Mr. Higgins was several years a member of the school committee, two terms county treasurer, and two terms a member of the house of representatives.
Thomas Holway, born in 1825, is the only survivor of four children of Thomas and Sabrina (Could) Holway, and grandson of Prince Holway, of Sandwich. He has been engaged in the fishing business for several years. He was married in 1867, to Sarah E., daughter of Abel Reynolds, of Rhode Island. They have two children: Sabie S. and William T. Mr. Holway is a member of the Chatham Methodist Episcopal church and a prohibitionist.
Marcus W. Howard, son of Edward and Emily (Nickerson) Howard, was born in 1846. He is a merchant tailor at Chatham, where in 1873, he succeeded his father, who had been in the business since 1839. Mr. Howard was postmaster from 1885 to 1889. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge and Chapter. He was married in 1872, to Susan E. Huckins. They have one daughter, Agnes A.
Oscar E. Howard, son of Edward Howard, was born in 1853. He has been in the tailor shop with his brother, Marcus W., since 1876.
They have one son. Edward S.
Collins Howes, born in 1819, is a son of Collins and Rhoda (Bangs) Howes, grandson of Enoch, and great-grandson of Richard Howes. Mr. Howes followed the sea as a fisherman until 1862, and since that time has been in the store and fish business at Harding's beach. He has been selectman since 1886. He was married in 1840. to Phebe G. Bearse. who died leaving seven children: Dorinda, Phebe H., Collins E., Celestia B., Charles A., James Curtis (deceased), and Selena F. Mr. Howes was married again in 1884, to Mrs. Hannah G. Hammond, daughter of Thomas Allen, of Harwich.
Collins E. Howes, born in 1846, is a son of Collins and Phebe G. (Bearse) Howes. He followed the sea for fourteen years, and since 1874 has been in the merchant fishing business, at Harding's beach. He is a member of St. Martin's Lodge, A. F. & A. M. He was married in 1867, to Lurana E., daughter of Nathaniel and Eunice (Nickerson) Kenney. They have two children: Nathaniel E. and Lottie E.
Frank Howes, the eldest son of George Howes, was born in 1826. He followed the sea from 1840 until 1873. He was master mariner twenty years. He was a member of the Boston Marine Society, and St. Martin's Lodge of Masons. He was a deacon of the Chatham Baptist church and also Sunday school superintendent of the same. He was married in 1853, to Susanna Hawes, who died three years later. He was married again in 1861, to Mercy B., daughter of Clement .and Mercy (Bassett) Small, and granddaughter of William Small. They have eight children: Lizzie, Minnie, Frank, George, Ernest, Samuel, Henry and Emmie. Mr. Howes died on May 7, 1885.
Horatio Howes, son of Collins and Rhoda (Bangs) Howes, was born in 1829. He followed the sea in early life, and is now engaged in the poultry business. He was married in 1851, to Mercy A., daughter of David and Abagail (Young) Howes. They have one daughter, Abbie L.
John J. Howes, born in 1850, is the only son of John H. and Emeline (Sparrow) Howes, and grandson of James Howes. He was sixteen years in a men's furnishing store in Boston, prior to April, 1886, when he came to Chatham and opened the Boston dry goods store. He was married in 1874 to Arlissa, daughter of Richard B. and Mary (Gould) Harding. They have one daughter, Florence E., two sons having died in infancy.
Kimble R. Howes, son of David and Eliza J. Howes, was born in 1851. He followed the sea from 1863 to 1884, and since that time he has run a bakery in Chatham. He was married in 1872, to Ella A., daughter of Franklin and Mehitable C. Smith. She died, and he married her sister, Mehitable C., in 1875.
Edward Kendrick, jr., born in 1849, is a son of Edward and Elizabeth A. (Doane) Kendrick, grandson of Mulford, and great-grandson of Edward Kendrick. Mr. Kendrick followed the sea until 1887, and has since been a farmer. He was married in 1874, to Mattie W. Wilcox.
James A. Kendrick, son of James and Rebecca (Eldridge) Kendrick, was born in 1842. His grandparents were James and Betsey Kendrick, and his great-grandparents were Thomas and Phebe Kendrick. Mr. Kendrick has followed the sea since he was thirteen years old, in the fishing and coasting business. He was married in 1864, to Lucy, daughter of Joseph O. Baker. She died in 1873, and he was married again in 1874, to Phebe E., daughter of Shadrach and Rhoda (Cahoon) Small, and granddaughter of Jonathan Small. They have four children: Eunice B., George W. Martha C. and Rhoda E.
Cyrus S. Kent, born in 1847, is a son of Enos, and grandson of Edward Kent. He has followed the sea since 1860, and has been captain nineteen years. He is a member of the Boston Marine Society. St. Martin's Lodge, and Sylvester Baxter Chapter. He was married in 1870, to Sarah P., daughter of Ziba Nickerson.
Myrick N. Kent, born in 1816, is the only son of David and Elizabeth (Nickerson) Kent, and grandson of Edward Kent. He followed the sea from 1830 to 1860, and was master twenty-three years. He was married in 1839. to Elizabeth, daughter of James and Rebecca (Wing) Harding. They have one son, James H. Three children died: Emma J., Esther E. and David.
Lucy E. Lewis is a daughter of Richard and Lavonia (White) Ryder, and granddaughter of Harding Ryder. She was married in 1866, to David Lewis, who died in 1878. Mr. Lewis followed the sea as a fisherman. He was a son of Isaiah Lewis. Richard Ryder died in 1842, aged thirty years. His widow was married in 1844, to Zenas Taylor, who died in 1881. Of his four children only one is living— John C. Taylor.
Isaac Loveland, son of Timothy and Dorcas (Doane) Loveland, was born in 1817. He was a cooper by trade in early life, from 1847 to 1866 was engaged in the fish and mercantile business, and after that was for some time engaged in weir fishing. He was several
They had one son, who died.
Timothy V. Loveland, son of Timothy and Dorcas (Doane) Loveland, was born in 1810. He worked at the carpenters' trade until 1848, from that time until 1863 was engaged in the fish business at Sandy point, and has since been engaged in weir fishing. He was married first to Patience Nye, who died leaving three children: Susan, Isaiah and Timothy 0. His second wife was Harriet Nye. They have three children: Augustus, Hattie and Isaac H.
Winslow Loveland, son of Joseph and Martha (Snow) Loveland, was born in 1826. He was a master mariner from 1851 to 1887. He has resided in East Boston since 1857. He is a member of the Boston Marine Society. He was married in 1848 to Sarah W. Hammond, who died leaving one daughter, Cleora E. He was married again in 1856, to Maria W. Gould, They have two sons; Herbert W. and Joseph W.
Reuben S. Loveland, son of Joseph and Martha Loveland, was born in 1820, and is a mason by trade. He was married in 1852, to Marinda Mayo, who died leaving two daughters; Clarissa A. (deceased) and Ella M. He was married again in 1867 to Mrs. Abbie Myrick, daughter of Reuben C. Taylor. They have two sons: Reuben C. and Benjamin A. Mr. Loveland is a prohibitionist.
Gaius Mullett, born in 1842, is a son of Gaius and Martha (Nickerson) Mullett and grandson of James Mullett. Mr. Mullett has been twelve years constable, two terms deputy sheriff, and since October 7, 1887, he has been deputy collector of customs for the port of Chatham, and notary public. He was married in 1865, to Louisa B., daughter of Lothrop L. Bearse. They have one son, Lemuel C.
George H. Munroe, who has been for ten years paymaster in the silk mills at Holyoke, Mass., was married in 1872 to Emma I.; daughter of Simeon N. and Mehitabel (Atkins) Taylor and granddaughter of John Taylor. Mrs. Munroe is one of three children. Her brother, Joseph, is deceased, and her sister, Maria L., is visiting- in Europe with her parents.
Alvano T. Nickerson, born in 1839, is a son of Caleb, and grandson of Salathiel Nickerson. His mother is Julia A., daughter of William and Mehitabel (Ryder) Hamilton. Mr. Nickerson has been in business in Boston since he was sixteen years of age. He was married in 1863, to Laurietta, daughter of Lumbert Nickerson. They have five children: Mabel E., Alvano T., jr., Lillian H., Walter L. and Hattie H. Mr. Nickerson spends his summers at North Chatham, where his ancestors have lived for several generations.
Daniel W. Nickerson, born in 1834, is a son of Washington and Ann (Turner) Nickerson, and grandson of Edward Nickerson, mariner.
Erastus Nickerson, son of Lumbert and Rhoda (Eldridge) Nickerson, was born in 1831. Mr. Nickerson followed the sea until 1861. He was several years a member of the school committee, and in 1880 he was representative in the legislature. He was married in 1842, to Rebecca, daughter of Seth Nickerson. She died in 1860, leaving two children: Amanda, who has since died, and Erastus M. He was married again in 1862, to Rebecca H., daughter of James Kendrick. They have two children: Gracie W. and Nellie B.
Erastus M. Nickerson, only son of Erastus and Rebecca Nickerson, was born in 1851. He was in the fish business until 1879, and since that time has kept a pool room and tobacco and cigar store at Chatham. He was married in 1880, to Elizabeth, daughter of Joshua Nickerson.
John H. Nickerson, born in 1844, is a son of John H. and Mary T. (Goodspeed) Nickerson, grandson of Joshua, and great-grandson of Salathiel Nickerson. Mr. Nickerson followed the sea in early life, and is now a carpenter by trade. He was married in 1869, to Emma A., daughter of Edward Howard. They have two sons; J. Howard and Frank G.
Moses Nickerson, son of Ezra Nickerson, was born in 1812, and was a master mariner. He died at sea in 1871. He was a member of the Baptist church. He was married in 1838, to Sarah T. Eldridge. They had two children: Moses E. and Alice P.
Orick Nickerson7, was born in 1814. He is the eldest son of six children of Ensign6, descended from Ensign5, Absalom4, William3, William2, William Nickerson1, who was the first white man to own what is now Chatham. The six surviving children of Ensign Nickerson6 are; Orick, Sparrow M., Sally A. M., Ensign A., Samuel M. of Chicago (who still owns the homestead farm), and Rebecca J. The two daughters now occupy their father's homestead house. Orick Nickerson was married in 1834, to Mary Ryder. She died in 1852, leaving two sons: Cornelius (who married Ellen J. Gulliver), and Osborn (who married Mary L. Dodge.)
Rufus F. Nickerson, born in 1837, is a son of Zenas and Abigail Higgins) Nickerson, and grandson of Silas and Susan Nickerson. Mr. Nickerson has been engaged in the fishing business since 1851. He was married in 1860, to Sarah, daughter of Joshua Atkins. They have ten children: Minnie L., George F., Abbie C., Sadie L., Rufus A., Mary E.. Grace V., Joseph A., Hope R. and Dexter W.
Samuel M. Nickerson received his early education in the public schools of Chatham and Boston. In 1847 he went to Apalachicola, Fla., where he remained in business several years. In 1858 he married the daughter of the late Isaac Crosby. of Brewster, and having been burned out in Florida he removed the same year to Chicago, where he engaged in the business of distilling alcohol, retiring from it in 1864. From that year until 1871 he was president of the Chicago City Railroad Company, but resigned the position on account of the great pressure of his banking interests. Mr. Nickerson was elected vice-president of the First National Bank at its organization in 1863, continuing such until 1867, when he was elected its president, and still remains in that position. In 1867-1868 he built, at the corner of State and Washington streets, the First National Bank building, then acknowledged to be the best fire proof building west of New York city, and still standing—a relic of the great fire of 1871—the only building in the business district not then destroyed.
In 1881-1882 he built, at the corner of Monroe and Dearborn streets, the expensive and commodious building now occupied by the bank, containing the largest banking office in this country, with ample room for its 150 officials and employees. In March, 1868, Mr. Nickerson organized the Union Stock Yard National Bank, located at the stock-yards, remaining its president until 1870. and still retaining a place as one of its directors. He is renowned for his sterling business qualities and for his great experience, and excellent judgment in financial affairs. He is an officer in the new Art Institute, and always a supporter of every local art movement. His private gallery is a favorite haunt to which artists and lovers of pictures can always obtain entrance.
Zenas Nickerson, born in 1897, is one of five surviving children of Zenas and Priscilla (Eldridge) Nickerson, and grandson of Ezra Nickerson. Mr. Nickerson was a master mariner prior to 1867, and since that time he has been a merchant and farmer. He was married in 1849, to Mary A., daughter of Ephraim and Thankful Taylor, and granddaughter of John Taylor. They have six children: Zenas A.. George H., 2d, Mary A. Velma W., Priscilla T. and Geneva T.
Ziba Nickerson, a merchant at Chatham. was born in 1823. He is
Owen Oneal. son of John Oneal, was born in 1848. He has been in the employ of the Cape Cod and Old Colony railroad since 1868, as passenger and freight conductor, seventeen years. He was married in 1877, to Mary McKay. They have four children: Owen A., Charles B., Jennie M. and James B.
Francis B. Rogers. born in 1830, is a son of Francis and Mary (Ryder) Rogers, and grandson of Mulford Rogers. Mr. Rogers is a carpenter by trade. He served nine months in the war of the rebellion, in Company E, Forty-third Massachusetts Volunteers, and is a member of Frank D. Hammond Post, G. A. R. He married Azubah A., daughter of Elnathan and Azubah (Atwood) Mayo. Their six children are: Francis H., George T., Edwin A., Lina B., Cornelia M. and Mary J. Two died; Ella E. and Elmer F.
Sullivan Rogers, born in 1822, is a son of Zacheus and grandson of Daniel Rogers. His mother was Margaret, daughter of Joseph Mayo. Mr. Rogers kept a hardware, tin and sheet iron store at Chatham from April, 1846, and is still carrying on the business in connection with his son. Mr. Rogers is a prohibitionist, and a member of the Chatham Methodist Episcopal church. He was married in 1847, to Catherine, daughter of Josiah Mayo, Esq. They have had five children, three of whom are living: Susan M., Alice and Josiah M., who was married in 1883, to Mary A., daughter of Captain Zenas Nickerson.
Kimble Ryder, born in 1822, is the youngest of seven children of Kimble and Ruth (Eldridge) Ryder and a grandson of Kimble Ryder. Mr. Ryder followed the sea from 1839 to 1870, and was master mariner twenty-six years. He was twelve years in the coal, wood and grain business. He was married in 1846, to Sarah Doane. She died and he was married again in 1857 to Desire B., daughter of Abijah and Prudence B. (Nye] Crosby. He had one son by his first wife—Charles K., born September 26, 1846, died March 30, 1851. Mr. Ryder has been treasurer of the St. Martin's Lodge since its organization.
Sylvester K. Small, son of Samuel and Abigail (Simmons) Small, was born in 1822. He followed the sea from 1834 to 1875, and was master for twenty-eight years. In 1884 he opened "The Travelers' Home" at Chatham. He was married in 1844, to Dorrinda, daughter
They have three children: Emulous F., Willie C. and George K. They lost three children.
Ephraim Smith, born in 1824, is a son of Christopher and Sarah (Eldridge) Smith, and grandson of Richard Smith. He followed the sea prior to 1865, since which time he has been a manufacturer of and wholesale dealer in tinware in Boston. He was married in 1849, to Mercy, daughter of James Hawes. They have three children: Mercena, Susan T. and Sarah A. Two sons died; Henry O., and Ephraim, jr.
Rufus Smith.—Ralph, one of this family name, came to the New World in 1629, but the Ralph Smyth who came in 1633, whose name appears in the Hingham records in 1637, who was in Eastham in 1657, and there took the oath of fidelity, is the progenitor to whom the ancestral line of this representative in Chatham is traced. The male line of descent to the subject of this sketch, inclusive, was; Ralph1, Samuel2, John3, Stephen4, George5, Stephen6, Stephen7 and Rufus8. Ralph's children were: Samuel, baptized July 11, 1641; John, July 23, 1644; Daniel, March 2, 1647; and Thomas.
Samuel married, January 3, 1667, at Eastham, Mary, daughter of Giles Hopkins, son of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower, and their children were: Samuel, born May 26, 1668, died September 22, 1692; Mary, born June 3, 1669, married Daniel Hamilton, of Chatham; Joseph, born April 10, 1671; John, May 26, 1673; Grace, September 5, 1676; and Deborah, born December 10, 1678. This Samuel, son of Ralph, born at Eastham, was a farmer and a large landholder. His house in Eastham is in part still standing. He also owned four hundred acres in Orleans, known as the Smith purchase, and two farms in Chatham that he gave to John and Mary in equal parts, also giving them, with his grandsons, Samuel and Joseph, equal parts in the Cahoon farm, Chatham.
John3 married Bethia Snow, daughter of Stephen, son of Nicholas, who married Constance, daughter of the Pilgrim Hopkins, and their children were; Samuel, Dean, John, Stephen, David, Seth, Mercy, Mary and Bethiah Smith.
Stephen4, the next in the male line, was born in Monomoyick, in 1706, and died in January, 1766, with smallpox, as also did, in the same epidemic, his wife, Bashua, and his two daughters. He was a deacon and a farmer, and an important factor in church and state. His sons were: Stephen and Archelaus, who moved to Nova Scotia; three sons, who built and lived on the home farm—George in the white house that stood near Long cove, Obed on the Doctor Clifford place, and Elijah on the Stephen Ryder place, all side by side. There were also three daughters: Hannah, Bashua and Betty.
George6, a farmer and sportsman, the next in the line, born
Stephen6, born November 18, 1764, married Margery Crowell, daughter of David Crowell. He was a farmer and fisherman, accumulated a nice property in Chatham, and lived until September 14, 1832. His children were: Betsey, Lucy, Levi, Thomas, Sally, Stephen, Thankful, Margery and David.
Stephen7, the father of Rufus, was born September 2, 1800, and married Clarissa H. Lewis, of Hingham, December 18, 1823. She was born February 22, 1802, and died September 29, 1879. Stephen was an industrious citizen, true to his religious principles, and prominent in the town of Chatham. He inherited his father's estate, to which he added largely by farming and investing in vessels. He died November 26, 1864. Of his ten children, David, born October 23, 1824, was a worthy sea captain, a great reader and a man of uncommon intelligence. He was a great inventor and mechanic, and invented the method of freezing ice on large iron plates, which he was prosecuting in New Orleans at the time of his death, in December. 1886. The other children of this family were: a daughter, who died in infancy; Rufus, whose history is set forth in the next paragraph; Stephen V., born February 14, 1829, lived near his father, on his grandfather's farm, and died July 13, 1878; Lewis F., born March 13, 1839, followed the sea for a few years, and subsequently engaged in an express and trading business. (He married Georgia, daughter of Doctor Dodge. She died November 9, 1878, leaving three children: Louie F., Montgomery F., who died in 1888, and Anna Parker Smith); Benjamin Smith, the sixth child, born October 28, 1833, died August 16. 1835; Benjamin F., born December 19, 1836, died January 24, 1844; Mariah Louise, born September 29, 1841, died April 16, 1843; her twin sister, Ann Eliza, died February 13, 1846; and the tenth child, a son, died in infancy without name.
Rufus Smith, born May 2, 1827, now enjoying in Chatham Port the broad acres, fruits of his own industry, worked with his father until after he was twenty-one years old when he purchased a portion of his present farm for sheep husbandry, which not proving profitable, he, at twenty-four, engaged in making brick near where the new hotel is being erected. This enterprise, on account of expensive transportation, did not meet his expectations, and in 1801 he engaged in a mail contract and stage line, between Chatham and Yarmouth. This naturally led to an express business which required, before the advent of the railroad, thirty-two horses for its various branches. Since the cars have run to Orleans he retains a share in the consolidated express company and is engaged in delivering its goods in his own
He was married March 29, 1847, to Mehitable S. Ryder, who was born March 17, 1828, and died August 25, 1867. Their seven children are: Joseph R., born May 9, 1847, died in September of the same year; Rufus C., born September 5, 1850, died January 31, 1877, after one year's study for the ministry in a theological school, where he overtaxed his energies and from a cold went into a decline; Benjamin F., born July 20, 1852, now engaged in the express business between Provincetown and Boston. ( he married Rebecca A. Taylor, of Provincetown. August 29, 1878, who died April 25, 1884, leaving three children—Mary A., Anna F., and Stephen C.); Clara E., born May 12, 1855. died February 2, 1856; Lizzie E., born February 4, 1858; Curtis M., born October 9, 1859, married Betty Mason, of Washington, and has three children—Ralph C., Rufus and an infant son; and Morris K., twin of Curtis, married Anna M. Nickerson. Mr. Smith was married the second time November 36, 1868, to Betsey T., daughter of Constant Sears, direct in the lineage of Richard the Pilgrim. She was born November 37, 1836, and is one of six living sisters. Their children are: Bessie M., born April 21, 1875; and Alice C., September 6, 1882, both in school.
After untiring activity in his business, and a long period of usefulness in religious, social and civil affairs, Mr. Smith is enabled now to spend the evening of his days in the confidence of all who know him. and in the serenity which such a life merits.
David S. Taylor was born in 1817. He is a son of Samuel and Betsey (Smith) Taylor, and grandson of Reuben C. Taylor. Mr. Taylor followed the sea from 1831 until 1870. He was married in 1842, to
daughter of Thomas Taylor. They have five children: Thomas W., Henry W., David S., jr., Adaliza C. and Betsey S.
Ephraim A. Taylor7 was born in 1826. He is descended from Ephraim6, John5, Seth4, Seth3, John2, Richard Taylor1. Mr. Taylor is a carpenter by trade. He was selectman several years, and a member of the school committee. He is a democrat, as was also his father. He was married in 1855, to Ann L. Wight. They have four children: Herman, Gertrude, Winthrop and Edward L. One son, Augustus, born in 1856, died in 1878.
Hiram Taylor, born in 1820, is a son of Samuel and Betsey (Smith) Taylor. He followed the sea from 1832 to 1881, and was master mariner thirty years. He is a member of the Boston Marine Society. He was married in 1843, to Elizabeth. C., daughter of Ezra and Sally H. Nickerson. Of their four children Caroline I., Hiram E. and one infant are deceased. John H., born September 7, 1858, was married in 1883, to Hattie W., daughter of George A. Taylor. They have one daughter, Carrie I.
Captain John Taylor, born in 1824, was a son of Captain John, and a grandson of John Taylor. He began going to sea at the age of eleven years. He was a master mariner until three years prior to his death, which occurred in 1886, and had circumnavigated the globe. He was a member of the Boston Marine Society. He was married in 1847, to Elizabeth, daughter of Gorham and Sarah (Hopkins) Mayo. They had nine children: John B., Gorham M., Edgar R., Walter F., Elwyn O., Lizzie C., Catalina L., and two who died in infancy.
Levi Taylor, eldest son of Reuben C. and Nabby C. (Baker) Taylor, was born in 1824, and has followed the sea since 1836. He is a master mariner, and a member of the Boston Marine Society. He was married in 1846, to Martha B., daughter of Joshua and Bethiah (Eldridge) Howes. They have two children: Collins B. and Mary F.
Reuben C. Taylor7 was born in 1832. He is descended from Reuben C6, Reuben C5, Samuel4, Samuel3, John2, Richard Taylor1. Mr. Taylor has followed the sea for forty-five years, and has been master twenty years. He was married in 1867, to Phebe S., daughter of Sylvanus Gage. They have four children: Clarina S., Sophena C., Phebe H. and Mercy E.
Washington Taylor, born in 1820, is the youngest of fourteen children of George and Sabrina (Ryder) Taylor. He has been a successful merchant at Chatham since 1848. He was married in 1842, to Mary R. Harding. They have two sons: Sylvanus H. and Washington R.
Washington R. Taylor, son of Washington Taylor, was born in 1851. He keeps a livery stable in Chatham. He was married in 1873, to Abbie E., daughter of Reuben L. Bearse. They have one son, Frank R.
Levi C. Wing, born in 1837, is the eldest of five children of Obed and Lurana (Phillips) Wing and grandson of Levi Wing, who was a revolutionary soldier. Mr. Wing has followed the sea since 1846, and has been master mariner since 1870. He was married in 1859, to Abbie A. Gould. They have six children: Curtis A., Clarana M., P. Frankie, Abbie C., Grace L. and Carrie A.
Isaac B. Young was born in Chatham, March 9, 1818, and is the son of Joseph and Bethiah Bea Young. He was married to Maria J. Marston, November 7, 1839. Their children are; Maria Marston, Helen Clarence, Edwin Marcus and Emma F. Young. Mr. Young was representative in the Massachusetts legislature two terms—1863 and 1864—and deputy collector of customs from 1871 to 1877. His father, Joseph Young, son of Joseph and Anna Nickerson Young, was taken by the British and made prisoner in the war of 1812 at the age of sixteen years. Isaac B.'s grandfather, Joseph Young, the son of Hiat and Mercy Hinckley Young, enlisted in the war of the revolution at the age of sixteen years and served five years. His father, Hiat Young, was in the French war and was taken captive by the Indians; also served six years in the revolutionary war. Hiat and his son Joseph's aggregate time in the service of the revolutionary war was eleven years. The wages per month received for their service was the value of one bushel of corn.
James M. Young, born in 1834, is a son of Reuben and Martha (Eldredge) Young, grandson of Joseph and great-grandson of Hiat Young. Mr. Young is a carpenter by trade, but for the past fifteen years has been a farmer. He is a member of St. Martin's Lodge, A. F. & A. 31. He was married in 1877, to Clara L. Harding. They have two children: James W. and Reuben S.