CapeCodHistory.us home page, 19th Century Mass. literature, genealogy, Deyo intro
History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts
edited by Simeon L. Deyo.
1890. New York: H. W. Blake & Co
TOWN OF EASTHAM.
Territory of the Nausets. —Purchase of the Lands.—Settlement and Incorporation of Nauset.—The Present Town of Eastham.—Natural Features.—Early Settlers.— Growth and Progress.—Industries: mills, salt, fishing, shellfishing, farming.—Light houses.—Civil History.—Churches.—Burying Places.—Schools.—Villages and stores.—Biographical Sketches.
THE territory of the Nausets, of which the present town of Eastham forms a part, was familiar to the Pilgrims, and its lands had been favorably considered since their visit in November, 1620, when exploring the Cape. In 1622, and years subsequent, they resorted to this territory for means of subsistence, of which the natives had a surplus. In 1640, Mourt says, some of the Pilgrims became dissatisfied with the barrenness of the soil in the vicinity of Plymouth, which presented the seeming impossibility of building up an opulent capital, and they naturally turned their attention to Nauset, from whence had been furnished ample supplies. At this time the purchasers had surrendered to the court the lands embodied in the grant of 1629, as set forth in Chapter IV., and in 1643 a committee of seven, who subsequently became the first settlers, with Governor Bradford at their head, repaired to this territory with a view to determine the feasibility of removing the entire church and seat of government from Plymouth to Nauset. This committee reported, as also had one that was sent in 1640, that Nauset was not as extensive as desired, and was also too remote from the center of the colony to be a suitable location for the seat of government.
The church, while relinquishing the idea of removal as a body, resolved to give those who desired liberty to remove and commence a new plantation. The grant obtained was as follows: "The Court doth grant unto the Church of New Plymouth, or those that go to dwell at Nauset, all the tract of land lying between sea and sea, from the purchasers' bounds at Namskaket to the Herring brook at Billingsgate, with said Herring brook and all the meadows on both sides the said brook with the great bass pond there, and all the meadows and islands lying within the said tract." This grant was for a tract of land about fifteen miles long, extending from Pleasant bay northerly to the south bounds of Truro, bounded east by the ocean, west by the bay and the
reservation of the purchasers, since comprising the towns of Harwich and Brewster. The seven mentioned as a committee settled here in April, 1644, having purchased of Mattaquason, sachem of Monomoyick, the land at Namskaket, Pochet, and all lands extending north-ward to the territory belonging to the sachem George, the successor of Aspinet, except Pochet island, which the sachem reserved; and of George they purchased all the land belonging to him, extending still further northward. The Indians reserved a small neck lying by the harbor on the east side of the tract, which neck the settlers promised to fence that the natives might have a separate corn field; and the privilege was also granted them for digging shellfish in the cove and that they should have a share of the blubber of the whales driven ashore, their proportion of the latter to be determined by the English.
This territory is now substantially embodied in the towns of Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet. The settlement of the plantation began with Mr. Thomas Prence, Edward Bangs, John Smalley, John Doane, Nicholas Snow, Richard Higgins and Josias Cook, who, with their respective families, constituted a colony of forty-nine persons. In 1646 the entire tract received from the court an incorporation as follows: "June 2d, Nauset is granted to be a township, and to have all the privileges of a township as other towns within the government have." Town officers were elected and in 1647 the first deputy from Nauset appeared at general court. In 1651 it was ordered by the court "that the town of Nauset be henceforth called and known as Eastham;" which name the entire territory bore until the erection of Wellfleet in 1763 and Orleans in 1797; and which name the central portion of the original purchase still bears. In the dismemberment of old Eastham the retention of the name to the middle portion was most appropriate, for here the first settlement of the tract was made by white men, and here for more than 150 years, before its present limits were defined, was the seat of the town government. The old training ground is still pointed out; southwest of the present Eastham depot.
The territory of the present town six miles in length by three in width, has Wellfleet on the north, the ocean on the east, Orleans on the south and Cape Cod bay on the west. Its surface as a whole is a continuous plain, with undulations of hills and valleys, the seashore on the east containing sand bluffs of considerable height. The Indian name, Nauset, still designates the northeastern portion; Silver Spring was the former name of North Eastham; the central portion north of the ponds has been known as Half-way ponds, and to that portion south of the ponds the term Great neck is still applied. A small harbor is on the southeast, one branch extending northerly inside of the beach and the other terminating in the Town cove.
The surface and soil of the town have been, and still are, better than would be supposed by the casual observer. Successive crops of wheat, corn and other grains are produced, furnishing a large amount for export. The sandy tract between Great pond and Town cove, now planted to pines, was once fertile farming land.
Several fresh-water ponds dot the surface, around which the soil is alluvial. The largest of these, Great pond, embraces 112 acres; Long pond, east of that, covers 39 acres: Meeting-house pond, north of the center, contains 17; Herring pond, south of Great pond, has 45 acres, and others of less magnitude swell the aggregate pond surface to more than 225 acres. One salt pond in the southeast part is connected with the harbor.
A tract of oaks and pines in the north part of the town constitutes the principal wood land, although tracts elsewhere about the town are being planted with trees. Along the west shore, from the Orleans line to the bounds of Wellfleet, stretches a sandy flat nearly a mile wide and quite dry at low water, along which are evidences of a once larger growth of timber than now is found anywhere on the Cape. Great Meadow river empties into the bay on this side, and just south is Boat Meadow river, with its marsh extending nearly to Town cove. It is said that high tides have flowed across here from bay to ocean. Some inconsiderable brooks are found that connect with the waters of the bay in the north part of the town, of which the largest are Grape Swamp brook, Snow's, Cook's and Indian brook, in part the boundary between this town and Wellfleet.
Billingsgate point is on the extreme northwest point of the township, on an island three miles from the main land, with which it would seem to have once been connected. In 1822 a lighthouse for the benefit of Wellfleet harbor was erected here; but subsequently the washing away of the remaining beach compelled the removal of the lighthouse to a larger island north, and the lighthouse is now just within the bounds of Wellfleet.
In the south limits of the present town of Eastham six of the original settlers of Nauset erected their first dwellings, Nicholas Snow, of those mentioned, having located on Skaket, now in Orleans. Mr. Prence had two hundred acres of the most fertile land, which is still pointed out as his home farm, also the site where grew the first pear tree planted in Old Eastham. John Doane occupied two hundred acres north of the harbor, which farm is also pointed out by the descendants, and the other settlers were each located on the same number of acres to the westward. They were joined by others from Plymouth and from the older settlements on the Cape, and ten years subsequent to its incorporation as Eastham we find the old town contained these heads of families: Henry Atkins, Stephen Atwood, Richard Booshop,
Daniel Cole, George Crisp; Job Cole, John Freeman, Richard Higgins, Giles Hopkins, Richard Knowles, John Mayo, Nathaniel Mayo, William Myrick, Thomas Paine, Thomas Roberts, Ralph Smith, Joseph Roberts, Mark Snow, Jonathan Sparrow, William Twining, Rt. Wexam, Thomas Williams and John Young.
Still later other settlers were: Thomas Crosby, Samuel Freeman, Joseph Harding, George Godfrey, George Brown, Lieutenant John Cole, John Smith, Stephen Hopkins, Jonathan Cobb, William Walker, Jonathan Higgins, Eldad Atwood, Benjamin Higgins, John Knowles, Thomas Newcomb, Joseph Collins, Jonathan Linnell, Isaac Pepper, John Witherell, William Dyer, George Ward, John Herd, Moses Hatch, George Herd, William Nickerson, Samuel Horton and Samuel Rich.
These had settled around the Town cove prior to 1684, mostly north and west.
The claims of the Indians were not fully adjusted until 1666, when they were placed more by themselves at Potanumaquut, that the plantation might not be wholly surrounded by these native residents. The cloud of King Philip's war hung over the plantation, and every precaution was taken for the safety of the settlers. Eastham also furnished men in this war, and provided for home protection by organizing military companies. Samuel Atkins and John Knowles, of the eighteen who went out in 1675, being slain.
The town joined with others in an affirmative vote for a new charter in 1691, and to pay for their share of the expenses mortgaged to John Freeman two islands at Billingsgate. The inhabitants of the town at this time were in straitened circumstances from the suspension of the fishing and agricultural interests, consequent upon the war and the ceaseless vigilance required for the safety of their homes. In 1695 this depression was ameliorated and the affairs of a growing community continued. John Doane, jr., built the stocks and whipping post near the church, more land was laid out and the church enlarged. The people were able, and soon after 1700 each widow in the town was voted four acres of land.
In 1720 a road forty feet wide was laid out from Harwich to Truro, which in part is known as the county road, from which during the succeeding thirty years many others were laid. In 1765 the bounds between Eastham and Wellfleet were marked as follows: "Beginning at a white-oak tree at the head of Indian brook marked E. W., thence due east by marked trees to a marked pine, thence east to the sea; then from the first-mentioned point at the head of the brook, westerly as the brook runs to a stake on the beach at the mouth of said brook, crossing the end of Billingsgate point to the bay."
When Orleans had been incorporated the population of Eastham was reduced to 840; but the town was not retarded in its growth and
action. New records were opened, the salt manufacture was commenced, and a canal was constructed from Great Meadow river to Herring pond. The embargo of a few years later greatly affected the town, and its population was decreased, being in 1809 only 782. During the war of 1812 the people of this town found it impracticable to reach Boston by vessel to exchange for supplies, and a market was found at New York by watching the opportunity to creep along the coast to Sandwich, cart the boats and cargo across to Buzzards bay, and creep along the south shore to that market to exchange dried fish for flour and other necessaries.
One of the interesting incidents of the town during the blockade was the capture of Captains Matthew H. Mayo and Winslow E. Knowles, who succeeded in reaching Boston with a whale boat loaded with rye. After an exchange for family supplies, they exchanged their boat for a more capacious craft, and in this were captured. On board the English ship they were offered a ransom, and Captain Knowles was permitted to return to Boston to obtain the money. Captain Mayo was compelled to pilot a crew of British on a cruise, and he contrived to bring the vessel to anchor at Billingsgate point. He then managed to cut and weaken the hawser, which broke, and the vessel went ashore just south of the old camp ground at North Eastham. Captain Mayo waved back Edward C. Clark and George Collins until more men could approach, and when sufficient of his neighbors had assembled, the crew was captured. The British were confined one night in George Collins' barn and allowed to depart the next day, as the town was at the mercy of the privateers; and upon the demand for satisfaction the town paid a large sum.
In 1820 the population had declined to 766; but in 1830 had increased two hundred. Its share of the surplus revenue, $2,100, was partly used in constructing a bridge over Boat river, in 1837, and the remainder was the next year, with the interest, appropriated to the support of schools.
For the past half century the population has steadily declined, being in 1840 only 955, and in 1875 it had decreased to 639; in 1880 the population was 692; and in 1885, the last census, it had declined to 638.
An epidemic scourged the town in 1816, which decimated the population, and perhaps directly influenced the town's future prosperity. In the four months ending June first of that year seventy-two persons died. The disease had no regard for age, class or locality, and nearly every family mourned the loss of one or more members.
The town having never erected a poor house, the poor were either assisted in their homes by the officers, or their keeping for the year was let to the lowest bidder; but for many years past the selectmen have arranged for their keeping with those who would keep them in
the most equitable manner for the town. All town meetings were held in the meeting houses—in the one until the Methodists erected theirs, then dividing the use—until 1851, when M. C. Horton, Barnabas Doane, Sylvanus Smith and Seymour Bangs were appointed a committee to choose a site for the town house. The site was selected, and the same year Elijah E. Knowles, Barnabas Doane and Myrick Doane were chosen as a building committee. The house was erected, and since has furnished a place for the public meetings, as well as a suitable hall for rent.
The industries of the town have been varied and scattered over the territory. The most ancient mill was a tide mill in the river that connects Salt pond with the harbor. Tradition cannot furnish the name of the builder, and the only recent evidence of its location was the mill stone in the river half a century ago. Two wind mills have since furnished the people with grinding-one at North Eastham, of which Isaiah Gill and Freeman Horton were the last millers, was taken down twenty-five years ago; and the other in the south part of the town, still serves the public. This latter was moved from Provincetown in 1795 (or a few years prior, as some think) where it was built in 1776. It is owned by Thomas Paine and Seth Knowles.
About 1799, and a few succeeding years, the manufacture of salt received much attention, and was a source of profit. The works along the bay, commencing at the north side, were owned by Nathan F. and Elkanah Cobb, the latter selling his to Edward C. Clark; Joshua Higgins; Barnabas Mayo; George Collins; Peter Walker, who sold to E. C. Clark; Edward C. Clark; Dea. Benjamin Clark; George Clark; Timothy and Joshua Cole; Joshua and Seth Paine; Major Joel Snow; and Benjamin Walker. Around the north part of the Town cove and at Salt pond were: Herman S. Doane; Thomas Cobb; Michael and B. H. A. Collins; George Seabury; Joshua Knowles, who sold to Joshua Cole; Samuel Knowles; Samuel Snow; Joshua and Seth Paine; William and Harding Knowles; and Barnabas Freeman. In all, the number of feet exceeded one hundred thousand, from whose evaporating vats were annually made large quantities of salt. As late as 1837 there were fifty-four plants, yielding 22,370 bushels.
The fishing business was also an early source of revenue, furnishing food and the dried fish being a commodity that in exchange would purchase necessaries in any city along the coast. The cod-fishing in 1837 gave twelve hundred quintals and the mackerel, 4,550 barrels. This business, like the salt making, declined, and the past few years but little has been done, except in the four weirs on the bay. The oyster business was once prominent, but their propagation ceased. Clams are still plentiful, but not as much so as formerly. Five hundred barrels of clam-bait have often been furnished from the
town in a single year, of which the digging, opening, salting and heading in casks, give employment to two hundred persons.
The declination of fishing and other industries has created new ones, of which cranberry culture is most prominent. The peculiar adaptation of the soil to the culture of turnips and asparagus, and the increasing demand for these vegetables as an export, has led to a thorough trial which promises good results. Of the latter, forty acres have been so readily and profitably cultivated that nearly as many more have been planted. Some years ago the ice in the bay breaking up ploughed out a great quantity of quahaugs which parties picked up and put on the packet. Sometime the packet did not sell them all and would bring them lack. It was suggested to put those returned in the Salt pond. The quantities of quahaugs that came from this operation were actually fabulous. They could not be thicker, and if some had not been taken out must have died for want of room. Parties raked them and picked out those half grown and shipped a large number of barrels to Boston.
The government found it necessary to invest the shores of the town with safeguards for the world's commerce, and besides the light at Billingsgate, have erected a breakwater for the protection of its beach and harbor. In 1838 a beacon of three lights was erected on the Atlantic coast, in which, with other enterprises of this nature, Captain Michael Collins was prime mover. The life saving station, called Nauset Harbor station, is on the neck near the harbor of that name, and is commanded by Alonzo N. Bearse. This station is one of the Second district, of which Benjamin C. Sparrow is superintendent.
The Camp-ground established in 1828, by the Methodist society in the western part of the town, was noted for many years as a place of resort. Ten acres were laid out and beautified, being incorporated in 1837 as the Millennial grove, which continued a popular place of worship for thirty years.
The decline in population since the middle of the century is, perhaps, not proportionately greater than other Cape towns of like industries. Sons have gone forth to other scenes —to tread the busy marts of trade; but statistics of the present do not indicate the same domestic relations of 1802, when, according to Rev. Mr. Shaw's writings, 122 families, aggregating over eight hundred persons, occupied one hundred dwellings, of which only seven were two stories high. The population is now at its lowest ebb, the dwellings are mostly large and neat, and the business of the town is in a healthy condition. Scattered here and there are some of the substantial dwellings of last century, but greatly modernized, occupied by the descendants of those who rendered the town important at that time. Of these early dwelling's
that of William H. Nickerson, on the old training ground, is among the most marked. In the visits to the old burying grounds, the sites of ancient churches, and other spots of historic interest, the antiquarian finds pleasure.
CIVIL HISTORY. —In 1646 the town of Nauset, the name of which was changed in 1651 to Eastham, opened books for the registration of births, marriages and proceedings of the town meetings. The proprietors kept a record of their lands and the divisions. Of these proprietors there were 137 in the final division of the remaining uplands in 1743. The records of the proprietors are safely preserved in the town, but the town records were given to Orleans in the division of the towns, and from these Eastham has transcribed the more important. These records abound in ancient enactments deciding ear-marks for the settlers' domestic animals, annual town meetings for the election of officers, votes enabling the constables to collect taxes and giving them half in collecting fines, and in 1659 the military enactments commenced. In that year the civil authorities provided for a military company, of which Mark Snow was captain, Jonathan Higgins lieutenant, and Jonathan Bangs was ensign. A troop of horse was provided for, but this was not difficult, as only three were to be supplied by Eastham; and of these Thomas Prence and Edward Bangs, each agreed to supply one full equipment if the town could supply the third.
The first voting by proxy, or by representation, was in 1661, when for general elections the people could cast their votes in open town meeting instead of the tiresome march to Plymouth for that purpose.
The disposal of the whales cast on the shores occupied the attention of the officers, and in 1662, and many years after, the town voted upon this question, sometimes applying the revenue to the support of the church, at others to town expenses. This year the increase of intemperance among the Indians required strong acts to repress the sale of liquors, and a fine of five shillings was imposed for furnishing it to any one.
Selectmen were first elected in 1663, with many powers which divided more distinctively the civil affairs from the religious; but for many years the court at Plymouth ruled even these offices with religious severity, causing them to whip all who denied orthodoxy, and place in the stocks those who stood outside the meeting house during service.
In 1671 the vote was that no wood be taken from the town, and the bounty on wolf scalps was promised which was doubled in subsequent years. On these matters the town was without party spirit; but in 1691, on the vote to assist in obtaining a new charter, the
minority dared vote against the move. Then for a few years the neglect to attend the town meetings was so marked that in 1705 a vote was carried to fine any freeman who lived within seven miles of the polls if he did not attend.
The jurisdiction of the Indian lands between Harwich and Eastham was settled by committees from the towns —that the jurisdiction of Eastham remain as formerly, that the lands be improved in common, and that Eastham pay annually £2, 10s., to the proprietors of Harwich. The division line was run in 1712 through this tract, and in 1714 the Indians served a notice of trespass on the Eastham selectmen, to settle which John Paine was appointed a committee to go to Plymouth court in behalf of the town.
Many meetings were held in 1721 in reference to the portion of a loan tendered to the town but it was decided to loan it out on good security. The people were very spirited in their calling for a division of the county in 1734, and failing in this, they were equally as strenuous in urging a reduction of the number of courts. This people, with those of the lower Cape towns, persisted in a reduction of these courts without effect for three years.
In 1754 the town voted that the representative elect remain at home. This was to save the expense of sending him; but the town subsequently had occasion to petition the court for a release from the liability incurred. In 1773 the town met and passed strong resolutions in favor of the rights laid down by the Boston committee, and in 1774 strong action was taken against the use of teas; but there were two parties in the town, the opposition to the Boston move being greatly in the minority. In 1779, on the question of a new constitution, the town vote was thirty against and two for. During the war of 1812 two parties existed, but those opposed to the war did nothing to thwart the demands of the government. In 1856 a large majority espoused the doctrine of free soil, and identified themselves with the party that soon came to rule the people during the struggle that ensued. With true loyalty the town in its actions did all it could in furtherance of the quelling of the rebellion.
The reader is reminded that the officers named in the following paragraphs were the officers of Nauset until 1651, and that during that period and until Wellfleet and Orleans were incorporated, many of these men were leading residents of the districts not now included in Eastham.
The deputies, dates of first election and terms of service, were: In 1647, Josias Cooke, 13 years, and Richard Higgins, 7; 1648, Nicholas Snow, 3; 1649, Samuel Hicks, 2, and John Doane, 6; 1654, Daniel Cole, 12, and John Freeman, 8; 1655, Richard Sparrow, 3; 1660, Nathaniel Mayo; 1668, Jonathan Sparrow, 18; 1671, Thomas Paine, 7;
1674, Jonathan Bangs, 3; 1675, Mark Snow, 6; 1680, John Cook, 2; 1690, Thomas Paine, jr., 2.
The representatives were: 1692, Jonathan Sparrow, 2, and Jonathan Bangs; 1693, John Doane; 1696, Thomas Paine; 1697, Samuel Knowles, 23; 1698, Israel Cole, 4; 1702, Joseph Doane, 2; 1709, John Paine, 9; 1711, Samuel Mayo, 2; 1722, Isaac Pepper; 1730, Joshua Higgins; 1731, William Paine, 6; 1735, Ralph Smith; 1751, John Freeman, 4; 1756, Solomon Pepper, 3; 1757, Jonathan Doane, 6; 1758, Sylvs. Snow, 2; 1767, Willard Knowles, 2; 1768, Elisha Doane, 3; 1769, Thomas Paine, 5; 1772, Barnabas Freeman, 10; 1774, Naaman Holbrook; 1775, Amos Knowles, 2; 1778, Josiah Rogers; 1782, Nathan Doane, 4; 1785, Elijah Knowles, 10; 1797, Simeon Kingman, and Michael Collins; 1798, Benjamin Clark; 1800, Elisha Mayo, 2, 1802, Samuel Freeman, 11; 1811, John Doane, 3; 1813, Heman Smith, 3; 1818, Joshua P. Atwood, 2; 1820, Harding Knowles, 5; 1829. Jesse Collins; 1831, Samuel Knowles; 1832, Michael Collins, 3; 1834, David C. Atwood, 2; 1836, George Collins, 2; 1838, Philander Shaw, 2; 1840, Bar. Freeman; 1841, Henry Horton, 2; 1843, B. H. A. Collins; 1844, Elijah E. Knowles, 2; 1848, Barnabas Doane; 1851, Scotto Cobb, 2; 1853, Reuben Nickerson; 1854, Jonathan Snow; 1855, Elijah E. Knowles.
The selectmen have been as follows (the dates preceding the names show the years of first election, and if the same man was again elected the whole number of years of service is indicated): 1663, John Freeman, 10, Nicholas Snow, 7, and John Doane, 14; 1665, Edward Bangs, 2, and Richard Higgins, 3; 1667, Mark Snow, 18, and Daniel Cole, 9; 1670, John Doane, jr, 8, and William Nickerson, 2; 1671, Jonathan Sparrow, 10, and Thomas Paine, 19; 1673, Joseph Harding; 1674, Jonathan Bangs, 3; 1687, Daniel Doane and Jabez Snow, each 4; 1688, Benjamin Higgins; 1690, Thomas Mayo, 12; 1691, Thomas Paine, jr., 3, and Isaac Pepper, 11; 1692, Samuel Knowles, 6; 1693, Samuel Freeman, 6, and John Paine, 6; 1694, Israel Cole, 5; 1695, Edmund Freeman, 7; 1697, Daniel Cole, jr.; 1698, Samuel Paine, 6; 1700, Samuel Mayo, sr., 6, Thomas Mulford, 4, and Joseph Doane, 5; 1703, Joseph Snow, jr.; 1706, William Freeman; 1707, Nathaniel Freeman; 1717, Edward Knowles, 10; 1718, Micajah Snow, 4; 1719, Jonathan Young, 2, and Israel Doane, 3; 1722, Samuel Knowles, jr., 6; 1733, Samuel Doane, 8, and James Rogers, 7; 1735, Benjamin Higgins; 1736, John Knowles, and John Freeman, 3; 1736, Ralph Smith; 1737, Samuel Doane, 6, and Samuel Freeman, jr.; 1738, John Rich, 5; 1741, Samuel Knowles, 3; 1743, John Freeman, 2, Jabez Snow, jr., 2, Zoeth Smith, 6, Jonathan Doane, 2, and Sylvanus Snow, 2; 1744, Thomas Knowles, 3, Joshua Higgins, jr., 8, and Jeremiah Mayo; 1747, Samuel Smith, Amos Knowles and Jonathan Smith; 1749, Joshua Knowles, 2, and Edmund Freeman, jr., 2; 1750, James Higgins, 7; 1752, Ebenezer Higgins, 2;
1754, Daniel Doane, jr., 4; 1760, Ebenezer Atwood and Willard Knowles, 4; 1761, Joseph Cole, 14, and Samuel Smith, 3d, 4; 1762. Samuel Doane, jr.; 1765, Joshua Knowles, 2, and Jonathan Higgins, 12; 1769, James Snow; 1771, Simeon Doane, 6; 1773, Elisha Smith, 2; 1775, Amos Knowles, jr., 5; 1777, Barnabas Freeman, 2; 1778, William Myrick, jr.; 1779, Nehemiah Young, 6, and Nathaniel Mayo, 2; 1780, Jonathan Linnel, jr.; 1781, John Doane, jr., 8; 1782, Gideon Freeman, 2, and Heman Linnel, 12; 1784, Joseph Knowles; 1788, Nathan Doane, and Samuel Higgins, 3; 1791, Joseph Pepper, 6; 1794, Hezekiah Higgins, 2; 1797, Judah Rogers, 2, and James Mayo, 2; 1799, Michael Collins, 2; 1801, James Cole, 4, and Samuel Smith, 9; 1805, David Brown, 4; 1807, Obed Knowles, 9, Harding Knowles, 13, and John Doane, 5; 1815, Elisha Mayo, 2; 1817. Joshua Atwood and Freeman Knowles, 4; 1818, Timothy Cole and George Clark, 2; 1819, Joshua Higgins, 4; 1823, Parker Brown, 4; 1824, Samuel Knowles, 13; 1826, James H. Knowles, 5; 1830, Cushing Horton; 1831, Barnabas Doane, 2, and Barnabas Freeman, 5; 1834, Noah Doane, 3, and Michael Collins, 17; 1836, David C. Atwood, 21, and Joshua Paine, 10; 1845, Alvan Rogers, 4; 1846, Zera Higgins, 27; 1848, Heman Doane; 1849, Jesse Collins and Henry Harding, 2; 1852, Crowell Doane, 4, and Abijah Mayo, 5; 1855, Joshua Knowles, 3; 1857, Joshua Cole, 2; 1858, Prince S. Harding, 8; 1859, Henry Knowles, 4; 1861, Jonathan Snow, 3; 1865, Josiah M. Cole; 1865, Jonathan Snow, 2; 1866, Sylvanus Smith, 6; 1867, John H. Bangs, 2; 1869, Myrick Clark, 3; 1872, Nicholas P. Knowles, 2, and Isaiah H. Horton, jr., 2; 1874, Reuben Nickerson, 2; 3874, Beniah G. Higgins, 2; 1875, Silas H. Stuart, 8; 1876, Nicholas P. Knowles. 7; 1876, Heman S. Gill, 3; 1879, I. H. Horton, 5; 1882, John A. Clark, 3; 1884, R. H. Horton; 1884, Eldad Higgins, 7; 1885, J. N. M. Hopkins, 3, and T. K. Paine, 5; 1888, James Phillips, 2; 1890, Freeman A. Collins and George 0. Mayo.
The succession of incumbents of the important office of town clerk is shown in the following list, wherein the date of commencement of each man's service is noticed: 1646, Nicholas Snow; 1663, Mark Snow; 1676, Daniel Doane; 1695, Thomas Paine; 1704, John Paine; 1729, Joseph Doane; 1743, Thomas Knowles; 1746, Nathaniel Free-man; 1759, Jabez Snow; 1761, Edward Knowles; 1774, Gideon Baty; 1779, Richard Knowles; 1782, Isaac Pepper; 1786, Samuel Higgins; 1790, Isaac Sparrow; 1793, Elijah Knowles; 1797, Benjamin Clark; 1805, Ebenezer Paine; 1824, George Clark; 1830, Joshua Paine; 1837, Samuel Knowles; 1842, N. S. Knowles; 1847, David Higgins; 1848, Heman Doane, 2d; 1865, Josiah M. Cole; 1866, Joshua Paine; 1874, Heman Doane, and since 1878, George H. Clark.
The town treasurers have been: 1646, Edward Bangs; 1666, Daniel Doane; 1676, Thomas Paine; 1703, Joseph Doane; 1709, John Paine;
1731, Edward Knowles: 1741, Samuel Freeman; 1759, Jabez Snow; 1775, Gideon Baty; 1780, Richard Knowles; 1783, Isaac Pepper; 1786, Samuel Higgins; 1791, Isaac Sparrow: 1794, Elijah Knowles; 1797, Benjamin Clark; 1805, Ebenezer Paine; 1825, George Clark; 1831, Joshua Paine. Thus it appears that the offices of clerk and treasurer had practically been one since 1793, and in 1837 they were actually united, since which time the duties of treasurer have devolved upon the men noticed in the above list of clerks of the town.
CHURCHES. —The Congregational Society, the first in Eastham, was transferred from Plymouth in 1644. As soon as possible a meet-ing house, twenty feet square, was erected near the Town cove, adjoining the first and now unused burial place. John Mayo, in 1646, took charge of the church for a few years, and was succeeded in 1655 by Thomas Crosby, who was hired to conduct public service on the Lord's Day. He was succeeded in 1672, after a few months without a pastor, by Samuel Treat, who, learning the Nauset language, preached also to the Indians. He continued a faithful pastor until 1715—a period of forty-three years. During this period a new and better meeting house was needed, and in 1676 Dea. Samuel Freeman, Lieutenant Sparrow, John Doane and Thomas Paine were appointed to carry on the erection of a new house near the old burying ground. In 1695 a steeple with a bell was added, which Rev. Mr. Pratt, in his history, says was the first, as well as last, church bell in the town, but the oldest residents do not claim to have any traditions that confirm the assertion. This meeting house was enlarged in 1700, the appropriation being £180, to add fifteen feet, which made the house square.
In 1713 the meeting house was repaired by the committee, Captain Samuel Freeman and Samuel Mayo. In 1714 Mr. Nehemiah Hobart was hired to teach the school and to assist Mr. Treat in the pulpit. Mr. Treat died in 1717. Mr. Lord preached a few weeks, but went to Chatham, when Rev. Samuel Osborn was called. In 1718 the South parish meeting house was erected, to which Mr. Osborn moved. The old church was occupied until a new one was erected in 1720, the site being changed to near the second burial place of this society. Through their agent, Isaac Pepper, the society procured the services of Rev. Benjamin Webb, who filled the pulpit until 1746 —twenty-six years. After Mr. Webb's decease Rev. Edward Cheever was installed in 1751, and continued until his death in 1794. Rev. Philander Shaw, who was ordained in 1795, served forty-two years—until 1838.
In 1830 a new meeting house was completed in a more eligible situation, one and a half miles north. Stillman Pratt preached in 1839, and in November of the same year Daniel H. Babcock was ordained, but was dismissed the next year. Solomon Hardy supplied for two years, and in 1842 Rev. Enoch Pratt was called. Edward W. Noble
preached from 1846 to 1849, and was succeeded by J. H. Wells and Stephen Bailey for two years. In 1851 Rev. Ebenezer Chase, the last minister of the society, assumed the pastorate and remained until 1859.
Rev. Mr. Shaw in 1802 made the record that the people of Eastham are happily united in the same mode of religious worship as in the days of their fathers, there being not an individual in town that does not belong to the Congregational Society; but his statement long ago was inapplicable, for, after a short term of disuse, the edifice was sold in 1864 for secular purposes, the greater part being used in the construction of the residence of John A. Clark.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized here in 1820. It then belonged to the Wellfleet charge, the pulpit being supplied by Rev. E. Wiley. In 1821 a meeting house was erected, and Rev. Edward Hide of the same circuit supplied the desk. Rev. L. Bennett and Mr. Perry preached through 1822, and in 1823 the church was made a separate charge, with Rev. Nathan Paine pastor. At this time the membership was one hundred. The successive pastors have been: In 1825, Rev. E. K. Avery; 1826, Benjamin Keath; 1828, Frederick Upham; 1829, Joel Steele; 1831, H. Brownson; 1833, Lemuel Harlow; 1834, T. W. Brown; 1836, Warren Emerson; 1838, Thomas Ely; 1839, Josiah Litch; 1841, E. W. Jackson; 1842, 0. Robbins; 1844, Henry Smith; 1840, Joseph McReading; 1847, Samuel Fox; 1848, Dixon Stebbins; 1850, William Leonard; 1852, Anthony Palmer; 1853, Thomas D. Blake; 1854, William H. Stetson; 1855, George Burnham; 1857, Abel Alton; 1859, Edward Hinckley; 1861, B. K. Bosworth; 1863, C. Hammond; 1865, Benjamin L. Sayer; 1867, Francis A. Loomis; 1868, John L. Fish; 1870, Lawton Cady; 1871, George S. Macomber; 1872, Eben Tirrell, jr.; 1874, John Cooper; 1875, John S. Fish; 1877, Charles N. Hinckley; 1879, Philo Hawks; 1881, Frank Bowler; 1883, S. F. Harriman; 1885, Martin S. Braley; 1888, Samuel Fox. The bell, which was presented by Moses Wiley some twelve years ago, is the only church bell in the town. The present edifice was dedicated November 28, 1851.
Early in 1889 steps were taken to establish a Universalist Society in Eastham. On the 12th of August twenty-three members made John E. Ryder their president, and organized the First Universalist Parish of Eastham. Rev. Donald Fraser, of Orleans, held services in the town hall during the summer, and in August a Sunday school of thirty-three pupils, with six teachers, appointed Luther B. Smith their first superintendent. Measures for erecting a place of worship were considered, Captain Edward Penniman heading a subscription list for the necessary funds and taking untiring interest in the completion of the edifice. A site was donated by W. E. Nickerson, on which a pretty church, forty by fifty feet, was built, and on the last Wednesday in
January, 1890, it was dedicated. The membership of the society numbered forty-nine at that time. I. F. Crosby of Brewster, John Kenrick of Orleans, and others not residents of the town, gave cordial support to the movement, the result of which is a credit to the town of Eastham. The pastor in charge is Rev. Donald Fraser.
BURYING PLACES. —The town has four places of burial, of which the oldest—now more than 240 years old—is that laid out north of Town cove by the side of the first meeting house, and is not used. Two churches were erected near the old ground, and when the third was built another ground was laid out near it, and is the second one of the town. The Methodists next had one laid out by their meeting house—the third burial place of the town; and when the Congregationalists built their last meeting house a fourth—the third for this society—was opened. These are all under the care of the town.
SCHOOLS. —No mention of a school is made in the records of Old Eastham until 1666, when Jonathan Sparrow was hired to teach a school, for which a small appropriation was made by the town, to teach reading, spelling, writing and arithmetic. In 1700 some advancement had been made, but there was yet only one school for the entire town. That year the town agreed to pay ten pence per week for each child, and the people north of the Town cove could have a separate school if the people who wished it would pay the master. In 1713 the Town cove was made the dividing line between two schools, and from neither side of this line should the scholars attend the other. The school was to be located in a convenient place on the north side of the cove, being in the present territory of Eastham, and Peter Barnes was hired to teach. In 1714 Nehemiah Hobart was the master, with a salary of ten pounds extra for assisting Mr. Treat in the ministry.
The increase in population rendered two schools necessary in 1749, each having within its jurisdiction about one hundred families, and a committee for each was appointed. These two schools received more liberal support from the town funds, for in 1762 the schools were removed from private houses to school houses. In 1785 a grammar school was organized, and the following year a still better division of the two districts was effected.
After Orleans was erected, there were only two districts remaining in Eastham; but in 1800 another was created and a school house erected. In 1804 the town needed another district, and the four now had $120 for their yearly support. The increase in settlers and scholars was now more rapid than in last century, and adding the fifth district only accommodated the scholars of the town for a few years. In 1834 the town was divided into six districts, and three hundred dollars appropriated for the support of their schools. In 1844 these
schools had acquired a standing that compared favorably with sister towns. The report of the committee in 1858 shows the discontinuance of one, and the gradation of the pupils of the remaining districts; and in 1861 the first building for a graded school was erected in what was known as district No. 4. The state school fund was now adding to the growth of the school, and inducing a still better grade. A reduction of the districts to four, with a new house in No. 1, was made in 1862. In 1866 improvement was reported, and still further changes made in gradation and the books used in the schools. In 1867 four districts were supplying suitable accommodations for the scholars, with one male teacher in the principal village. In 1869 music was taught with good results. Much care was taken to have the most competent teachers, although the number of pupils gradually decreased. The schools, during the winter of 1871-2, were taught by students of Dartmouth College, and the advancement in most of the schools was greater than usual. The strictness of these teachers and the flagellations necessarily imposed, led to strong discussions among the patrons as to the right to do so, which was very judiciously disposed of by the school committee.
In 1873 a new school house was urged in District No. 3, then using the old town hall, and during the year one was erected. In 1875 the town received a severe rebuke from the school committee for wishing the abolition of such officers, but the feeling which was consequently detrimental to the interests of the schools, soon abated. In 1876 nine teachers were employed, singing was generally taught, and the pupils were receiving advantages superior to those of any former year. In 1877 the meritorious scholars were reported by the committee, wall maps had been added to the rooms, and other improvements inaugurated to elevate the schools, so that the school year ending April, 1878, showed not only increased attendance, but a high standard of scholarship. The town paid in the year $1,185 for school expenses. In the school year of 1881-2 six teachers were employed. The truant law had been adopted, the visitors' list was published, a superintendent had been appointed, the schools were better graded, and the people were pleased with the progress. In 1883, the school committee was increased to six and the schools diminished to three. In 1885 there were in the public schools 125 pupils, and $1,158.41 was expended. For the school year ending April, 1888, the committee expended $1,182.54, receiving of this $306.44 from the state school fund, and employing seven teachers.
The condition of the schools in 1889 was much advanced. Regular lessons in music had been given, the attendance being eighty-four for the school year ending in April, but the percentage of attendance was increased from the previous year. The expenditures for the last school year were $1,160.34, which indicates that the children of Eastham
are enjoying advantages in this respect, that have never been exceeded in the history of the town. They have now three good buildings, conveniently located, and containing every needed device for instruction.
VILLAGES. —This town does not contain the compact villages that are seen in sister towns, but the store, post office, mill, railroad station, town house and churches in the south part of the town form the nucleus of the village of Eastham. It is the largest centre of the town and embraces the territory upon which the pioneers erected their first dwellings in 1644. That the village is scattered across the southern portion of the town is due to the fact that the excellent quality of the soil has rendered rural pursuits the leading industry, in the absence of good harbors and commerce that would tend to develop a more compact business center. A rural, sparsely-settled New England village now greets the eye, with roads winding over knolls and around ponds. Thrift appears in the neat surroundings of the cottages, and the two towering church spires in the distance and whistle of the approaching locomotive remind these aspiring denizens of their approximation to the title of villagers. The county road is embraced in the eastern part of the extended community, and west of this, between the railroad and the shore of the bay, is the most considerable portion of the community. Many residents of the southern part make Orleans their post office and business center.
The primitive stores of last century have passed away, and with them nearly every connecting tradition. During the first years of this century Colonel Samuel Stinson had a store and tavern near the present Methodist church. Others had stores about that time, among which that kept by Joseph Knowles on the hill by the old Congregational meeting house was a favorite resort. He discontinued the business soon after another meeting house was built to the north of the old site, near which Thomas Crosby had opened a store, which interfered greatly with the most profitable branch of Mr. Knowles' trade. Peter Walker, a rhyming blacksmith of the time, who loved his gill of rum as well as any, used in the evening gatherings, to sing this truthful stanza:
"We've no such lengths to go,
Nor wander far abroad—
Crosby's set up keeping shop
Close to the house of God.''
In connection with the last meeting house built, and when Mr. Shaw was closing his labors with the declining society, another of Mr. Walker's store and workshop ditties was:
"A learned Treat, a pious Webb,
And Cheever—all no more;
Mr. Shaw then took the helm
And run the ship ashore."
In 1837 Elijah E. Knowles and Mark Crosby took the store that Joshua P. Atwood had long before opened, near Salt pond. After one year Winsor Snow became a partner with Mr. Knowles and continued another year, when the latter became the sole proprietor. He removed to Orleans in 1885, and the building he occupied as a store is now the storehouse of George H.Clark, near the railroad track. In the month of October, 1871, Edward Clark opened a general store in the present post office building, which he erected for the purpose. He sold the entire business to his son, George H. Clark, who is the present proprietor.
The only industry of recent years was instituted in 1866 by Edward Clark, a currier by trade. He purchased the Congregational meeting house in 1864, the sills and some other timbers of which were used in 1866 in the construction of a large shop on the west shore of Great pond, where he carried on the currying business until 1880, since which date the shop has been used for farm purposes.
A pretty building, with its sitting room and offices for railroad purposes, is the center of attraction for sightseers and tourists. The first train of passenger cars passed though this village on the last day of December, 1870, and the depot was at once erected. Nicholas P. Knowles was station agent until his death in 1883, when the present incumbent, Eldad Higgins, was appointed.
Across the track, in the store of George H. Clark, is the village post office, an institution established here January 1, 1798. William Myrick was the first postmaster, holding the position until October 1, 1807, when Samuel Freeman was appointed, who held it until July 3, 1811. Harding Knowles was then appointed and was succeeded by Joseph Mayo, August 18, 1813, and he by Heman S. Doane, January 3, 1822. Elisha Cobb was the next, appointed March 15,1827; held until April 13. 1841, when Elijah E. Knowles took the office to his store. August 14,1843, George Seabury was appointed and September 19, 1860, Henry Knowles succeeded. Four years later Seth Paine assumed the postmastership, which he held until his death, and his widow was appointed in October, 1868, who, with Micah S. Paine, held it until the appointment of George H. Clark in 1878. The office receives two daily mails from the train and accommodates a large territory.
The taverns of former times existed here as the wayside retreat along the county road, and of these that of William Myrick, in the south part, was the most important.
From the citizens of this village a number have been selected to fill government offices of trust, among whom was Elijah E. Knowles, who acted as assistant assessor of internal revenue from 1863 until the
abolishment of the division; and the same person, with Obediah Doane, Abijah Mayo, and others, served as commissioner of wrecks for a term of years.
Here is the Eastham Library of several hundred volumes, an institution established by individual munificence and now supported by the town, the citizens voting a sum yearly. Myrick Clark was its first president, continuing until his death in December last. Reuben Nickerson, Mrs. Isaiah H. Horton and Mrs. Julia Knowles have been the trustees since its organization. The town clerk, by virtue of his office, is treasurer, at present George H. Clark; and the librarian, Mrs. Herbert C. Clark. Every Saturday the library —in the hall over the store of G. H. Clark—is open to the public. One of the principal donors in the permanent establishment of the library was Augustus E. Denton, who gave one hundred dollars. Sixty dollars was voted by the town last year for new volumes and other expenditures.
North Eastham is the name given to the territory of the north part of the town, which embraces the community that centers at the stores and depot under the title above given. It is more level —has more the appearance of a plain—than the south part of the town. Its general productiveness has created broad farms, upon which the citizens more closely follow agricultural than horticultural pursuits. Cook's brook, named from Josiah Cook, one of the pioneers of 1644, empties into the bay to the westward, formerly forming a sufficient harbor for the fishing vessels of the town, and in the decline of the business, comparing the vessels of that day with the boats of the present, the harbor is still sufficient, notwithstanding the filling with sand. At the mouth of this creek the schooner Belvidere, of 101 tons, was built in 1812 for Elkanah Cobb, Michael Collins and the Doanes, by a master builder of Plymouth, assisted by Andrew Lincoln and others. The greater part of the timbers were cut upon surrounding territory, which, coupled with the fact that at present many sturdy oaks are seen in this part of the town, indicates to the reader the character of a portion of the soil. The salt-makers along the west shore of this territory have been given.
Stores were opened here early, but subsequently to those in the south part. The earliest we find to have been established prior to 1800 were those of Michael Collins and Elkanah Cobb, and later that of David Brown. Abraham Horton had a store about 1830, which he continued many years, in what is now known as the Nauset House. In 1881 Arthur H. Cobb erected a building and opened a store adjoining Millenial Grove. George P. and Samuel F. Brackett purchased the business in 1886, and are yet there engaged in a general mercantile business. In 1886 Robert R. Horton engaged in the grocery business in a new building near the depot, and after one year sold the
goods to S. S. Dill, who transferred the trade to Alfred H. Gill in the autumn of 1889.
The reader will expect to find the inn with the old stores, but tradition gives no definite data of any prior to that of Abraham Horton, which was the usual stopping place for the early stages to and from the lower extremity of the Cape. He continued until his death, and the old tavern has since been open as the Nauset Hotel, with John Horton proprietor. In the large hall of this hotel the only society of North Eastham meets. In the large building near the depot is Excelsior Hall. In 1886 Robert R. Horton, Caleb Haley, Philip and Reuben Smith, as a company, erected this building, the first floor for store purposes and the large hall on the second floor for a skating rink. The rapid decline of this pastime induced R. R. Horton and Frank Duchman to start a pants factory, which, after four months, was discontinued, and the hall is now kept for rent.
The first postmaster at North Eastham, appointed March 28,1842, was Cushing Horton, who was succeeded December 15,1845, by David C. Atwood. September 4, 1871, Abram W. Horton was appointed, keeping the office in the old tavern until 1882, when the present official, Robert R. Horton, was appointed, and removed the office to the depot. The depot was built in 1871, Cushing Horton being the first agent until his death, when his son, Winslow T., assumed the duties. The present agent, R. R. Horton, has been in the employ of the railroad company since 1877.
Longfellow Council, No. 89, of the Order of Home Circle, was instituted April 1, 1885, with twenty-five charter members. Heman S. Gill was the first leader, and was reelected in the December election of 1889. The intervening rulers were Everett G. Dill and Louise H. Ellis.
In this village resides H. Osborn, the superintendent of the French cable, and the office of transmission, near the lighthouse, properly belongs within its limits. The company's main office is in France, from whence the cable was laid, landing at North Eastham in November, 1879. In the office here three relays of competent men-three operators, every eight hours-are constantly employed, and often more. One must receive the message across the ocean, one check, and another transmit the same to New York city. The buildings are ample, furnished with sleeping apartments, billiard room and every convenience. The principal operators employed the past few months were: Chief A. F. Toovey, J. D. B. Stuart, George S. Hall, John Chapman, Frederick Sugg and Ernest Horton. What would be the astonishment of the aborigines of Nauset or the pioneers who purchased and settled their territory if they could see this office, from which lightning messages between the Old and New
Worlds are received and sent by a submarine cable formed of seven copper wires, insulated and protected from the waters of the sea ?
Scatter P. Bangs, son of Seymour and Annie M. (Cobb) Bangs, grandson of Seymour, and great-grandson of John D. Bangs, was born in 1837. He learned the carpenters' trade when a boy. He returned to Eastham in 1888, after having been away twenty-six years. He married Julia, daughter of Hatsel Nickerson. They had one daughter, Lois F., born in Eastham in 1858, died 1862.
Alonzo N. Bearse, son of George and Penina (Bassett) Bearse, and grandson of David Bearse, was born in Chatham in 1842. He followed the sea from 1854 until 1884, since which time he has been on the Nauset life saving station, and since 1887 he has been keeper there. He married Abbie T. Brewer, who died, leaving three children: Linnie O., Jessie C. (Mrs. R. W. Horton) and Washington I. Mr. Bearse was in the late war from August, 1862, until July, 1863, in Company E, Forty-third Massachusetts Volunteers. He is a member of Frank D. Hammond Post, G. A. R., and of Fraternal Lodge, I. O. of O. F.
John Chapman was born in England in 1853, and came to Eastham in 1879, where he has since been operator for the French Atlantic Cable Company. He married Ada B., daughter of William and Annie (Hamilton) Hopkins.
Sara M. Chipman, daughter of Freeman D. and Abigail (Mayo) Hatch, married Barnabas H. Chipman, son of Ebenezer and Martha (Higgins) Chipman. They had three children: Abbie F. (Mrs. John H. Smart), Arthur C. and Edgar W., who is supposed to have died in Texas. Mr. Chipman was a sea captain for twenty-six years prior to his death in 1874.
George H. Clark, oldest son of Edward C. and Rachel (Collins) Clark, grandson of Edward C., great-grandson of Benjamin, and great-great-grandson of Lot Clark, was born in 1847. He has been a merchant at Eastham since 1877, town clerk and treasurer since 1878, and is now postmaster at Eastham. Edward C. Clark married Jerusha6 daughter of Elkanah Cobb5 (Jonathan4, Jonathan3, Samuel2, Elder Henry Cobb1).
Roland D. Cobb, son of Thomas and Priscilla M. (Doane) Cobb, and grandson of Thomas Cobb, was born in 1831. He is a farmer. He married Maria H., daughter of David and Sally (Swain) Higgins. They have one daughter, Sarah M.
Austin E. Cole, son of Joshua and Sophia (Cobb) Cole, grandson of Joshua, and great-grandson of Timothy Cole, was born in 1859. He is a farmer. He married Eulalia A., daughter of James and Hannah R. (Higgins) Savage. They have one daughter, Minnie C.
Josiah M. Cole, son of Joshua and grandson of Timothy Cole, died in 1866, aged thirty-six years. He was a farmer. He married Mary E., daughter of Knowles and Mary (Knowles) Doane, granddaughter of Jesse, and great-granddaughter of Jesse Doane. They had three children: Wilber S., Elsie F. and Josiah A. Wilber S., was born in Eastham, January 29, 1858.
Ezekiel Doane, born in 1812, is a son of Obed and Phebe (Atwood) Doane, and grandson of Sylvanus Doane. He is a farmer, having owned the Governor Prince farm since 1842, where with his two sons, Charles T. and Abealino, he now lives. He married Rachel, daughter of Dawson Lincoln. She died in 1881, leaving seven children: Obed, Josephine, Charles T., William P., Georgiana, Rachel and Abealino E.
Russell Doane8, born in 1837, is a son of Isaiah7 and Temperance (Knowles) Doane (Heman6, Isaiah5, Simeon4, Samuel3, John2, John Doane1). Mr. Doane followed the sea from 1850 until 1877, and since that time he has been engaged on the Nauset life saving station. He married Lucinda A., daughter of Thomas Paine.
Henry K. Harding, son of Prince S. and Nancy B. (Knowles) Harding, and grandson of Ephraim Harding, was born in 1829. He followed the trade of carriage making with his father until 1864. He was afterward twenty years in Tiverton, R. I., engaged in menhaden oil manufacture. He is now living, retired, at his old home in Eastham. He married Betsey F., daughter of Alvin and Eliza (Gould) Smith. They have one son —George M.—and an adopted daughter—Susie W.
David Higgins, son of Joshua and Mercy (Mayo) Higgins, grand-son of Elkanah, and great-grandson of Ebenezer Higgins, was born in 1804. He is a farmer. He married Sally, daughter of Walter P. Swain. They had six children, three of whom are living: Maria H. (Mrs. Roland D. Cobb), Asa and Levi W.
Peter Higgins, born in 1838, is a son of John W. and grandson of Benjamin, whose father, Elkanah, was a son of Ebenezer Higgins. Richard Higgins was born in England and came to Plymouth, Mass., soon after that town was settled, as his name appears in the list of freemen of 1633. He married Mary Gates of Plymouth. He was chosen deputy in 1649, 1661 and 1667, and was selectman three years. His son Jonathan was married to Elizabeth Rogers in 1660, and had eight children. From these have descended all the families of the name in Barnstable county. Peter Higgins is a farmer and fisherman. He served in the civil war from July, 1862, to June, 1865, in Company I., Thirty-third Massachusetts Infantry, and is a member of Frank D. Hammond Post, G. A. R. He was in the lighthouse service four years and has held several minor town offices. He married for his first wife, Harriet E. Baker, who died leaving one son, Henry F. His second
marriage was with Phebe E. Burroughs. They have two sons—John W. and William B.—and have lost three daughters—Sarah E., Florence E. and Flora B.
Elkanah Hopkins, son of Elkanah and Sally (Mayo) Hopkins, grandson of Elkanah and great-grandson of Joshua Hopkins, was born in 1827. He has been a carpenter since 1845. He married Sabra A., daughter of Ephraim Doane. She died, leaving two daughters: Paulina (Mrs. N. J. Kidder) and Effie D., who died. His second marriage was with Alma S. Herrick, who died in 1882.
Isaiah H. Horton, son of Isaiah H. and Rebecca (Higgins) Horton, grandson of Barnabas and great-grandson of Cushing Horton, was born in Wellfleet in 1835. He followed the sea for twenty-five years prior to 1870, and since that time has been weir fishing and farming. He was for six years selectman of the town. He married Rachel, daughter of Whitfield Witherell Their children are: Osgood W., Ernest R., Betsey E., Lillian R., Myra S., Isaiah H., jr., Obed W., Reuben W. and Lester G.
Robert R. Horton, son of Isaiah H. and Louisa (Doane) Horton, was born in 1856. He has been station agent at North Eastham since 1877, and postmaster there since 1882. He married Jennie A., daughter of Isaac W. Landerkin. They have three children: Elwood R., Carroll W. and Edwin W.
Winslow T. Horton, son of Cushing and Mehitabel (Knowles) Horton, grandson of Barnabas and great-grandson of Cushing Horton, was born in 1844. He is a fisherman. He married Betsey H., daughter of Isaiah H. and Rebecca (Higgins) Horton. Mr. Horton served in the civil war eighteen months, in the Fifty-ninth Massachusetts Volunteers.
Freeman Knowles, son of Freeman and Martha (Mayo) Knowles, and grandson of William Knowles, was born in 1822. He followed the sea from the age of seventeen until 1879, and since that time he has been a farmer. He married Joanna, daughter of Freeman and Phebe (Gill) Smith. They have four children: Walter O., Esther A. (Mrs. S. H. Lincoln), Freeman E. and James P. One daughter, Esther S., died.
Josiah M. Knowles married for his first wife Susan Snow. His second wife was Rebecca F., daughter of William F. and granddaughter of William Knowles. She died, leaving three children: Herbert L., Susan W. (now the widow of Walter H. Dill) and Edward E. Mr. Knowles married for his third wife Mary P. Knowles, sister of his second wife. Since his death in 1885, his farm has been occupied by his widow and his children, Edward E. and Mrs. Dill. Herbert L. married Carrie K. Baker and has one son, Arthur Herbert Knowles, who was born August 6, 1883.
Seth Knowles, born in 1822, is a son of James H. and Ruth
(Knowles) Knowles, grandson of Seth, and great-grandson of Seth, who was a son of Colonel Willard Knowles, who bought the farm where Mr. Knowles now lives in 1742, of the widow of Rev. Samuel Treat. Mr. Knowles is a farmer. He married Abbie, daughter of Francis Kragman. Their children are: Frank I., James G., Seth E. and Abbie M.
Lewis Lombard, born in 1819, in Wellfleet, is a son of Caleb and Abigail (Higgins) Lombard, and grandson of Oliver Lombard. He followed the sea from 1830 until 1886, fishing and coasting, being several years master of vessels. He has lived in Eastham since 1862. He married Lucinda C., daughter of Michael and Dorcas (Cobb) Collins, granddaughter of Michael and Elizabeth (Atkins) Collins, and great-granddaughter of Benjamin Collins. They have two sons: Oliver C. and James H.
Oliver Mayo8, son of Timothy7 and Lydia (Doane) Mayo (James6, James5, Joseph4, James3, John2, Rev. John Mayo1), was born in 1817. He followed the sea for twenty years prior to 1847, and has been a farmer since that time, with the exception of ten years, during which he was in the oyster business in Boston. He married Rebecca F., daughter of Joshua Knowles. She died leaving two children: Ella L. and George O., who has one daughter, Sophia C.
Reuben Nickerson, born in Provincetown in 1814, is a son of Reuben and Keziah (Young) Nickerson, and grandson of Seth Nickerson, who was a native of Chatham, removing from there to Provincetown. Mr. Nickerson has been a farmer and salt maker. He has been representative one term, senator one term, selectman several years, and a member of the school board several years. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Beriah Doane. She died leaving two children: Isabelle and Alpheus, who died. His present wife is Sarah, sister of his first wife. They have had two children: one who died and Herbert D.
Thomas K. Paine, son of Elkanah K. and Mehitable P. (Knowles) Paine, grandson of Ebenezer, and great-grandson of Isaac Paine, was born in 1833. He followed the sea several years, was sixteen years keeper of Billingsgate lighthouse, and since 1884 has been a farmer, occupying the homestead of his father. He has been selectman of Eastham five years. He married Deborah S. daughter of Joshua and Deborah (Sherman) Paine. They have two children: Edwin C. and Ruth E.
CAPTAIN EDWARD PENNIMAN. —In the upper towns of the Cape are several captains whose sea life has been spent in the capture of whales, but in passing along down the towns of the county we find that Captain Penniman, of Eastham, is the only surviving captain in the northern part of the Cape who has attained special prominence in Arctic whaling. In 1842, when eleven years of age, he first went to
sea as a cook on board a schooner bound for the Grand Banks, and on this voyage he experienced the only shipwreck of his long career. The vessel was cast away on the back of the Cape, near the Three Lights, but the crew and cargo were saved. He followed fishing until he was nineteen years old, when Thomas Knowles, of New Bedford, a former resident of the Cape, and one who knew the worth of the young man, asked him if he would go whaling, to which he replied that he would when he was twenty-one. He continued fishing with his father until he was twenty, and soon after, in 1852, shipped for his first whaling voyage to the North Pacific in the bark Isabella. His strength and merit enabled him to ship as boat steerer on this first voyage, and in his second, in 1855, he took the position of second mate of the bark Minerva in which, with Captain Swain, he went on a cruise of four years to the South Pacific. In 1860 he took command of the bark Minerva, and in this third whaling voyage went again to the South Pacific for sperm. His return from this voyage, during the war of the rebellion, was fraught with dangers from rebel privateers. One of the vessels encountered near the West Indies, and which he was dodging, proved to be commanded by a friendly captain and acquaintance from Provincetown, who was as watchful of rebel privateers as he, and equally suspicious of his craft, and who ran a narrow risk of personal injury from Captain Penniman and his men, who were prepared to give him a volley.
Captain Penniman sailed in the same vessel upon his fourth voyage, and his wife accompanied him to the Arctic. The war was virtually ended, and he certainly feared no interruption from rebel cruisers in that direction; but one day while his vessel lay in a field of ice in a high latitude, the captain of a passing French ship, flying the American flag, asked him to come aboard, and gave him the unwelcome information that a pirate was at a port not far off, where several vessels were in flames by his act. The whale boats were out of sight, and the captain was compelled to fire a cannon before he could recall them. Anxiety to have his men hear the report and return to the vessel induced him to load the old gun too heavily, and the concussion broke the glass of the lights, which in falling so cut the faces of his wife and son, who were in the cabin below, that they looked as though they had themselves been the target of the shot. The boats came in, and Captain Penniman made all sail to a safe anchorage, where he remained a month, until all danger was over from rebel privateers. He subsequently learned from good authority that the enemy was the Shenandoah, and that his vessel—the Minerva—was the special object of the cruiser's search. He also learned that the enemy's craft had passed near enough to have discovered him had not a fog prevailed.
In 1874 the captain made his fifth voyage, in command of the Cicero, from New Bedford, making a short voyage to the South Pacific. In 1876 he went to the coast of Patagonia in command of the Europa, completing a long and successful voyage. His last and seventh voyage, on which he started in 1881, was in the Jacob A. Holland, to the Arctic regions, from which he returned in 1884, leaving his vessel at San Francisco and returning home across the continent, accompanied by Mrs. Penniman, who had taken three long voyages with him. A singular fact may be stated: he never lost a vessel, but every one in which he sailed has since been destroyed or condemned. The Isabella was burned by Captain Semmes; the Minerva was lost on the coast of Africa; the Cicero was condemned; the Europa was wrecked at Japan, and the Howland was lost on Johnson's island in the Pacific.
Of the ancestry of Captain Penniman little is known. Scammel Penniman, his grandfather, was a heavy grocer in Boston early in this century, where he died November 12, 1836. He had three children: Fannie, Maria and Daniel —the father of Captain Penniman—who, early in life came to the Cape, where he died in 1872. He married Betsey A., daughter of Samuel Mayo, of Eastham, and had nine children: Elvira, born November 10, 1829, is now the widow of Solomon Mayo, of Eastham; Maria, now Mrs. George H. Sanborn, of New Hampshire, was born September 3, 1833, and first married William H. Tendler, to whom two children were born; George Penniman, of Eastham, born September 18, 1835; James, also of Eastham, born January 24, 1837, married Caroline Dill and has three daughters and one son; Daniel, born March 22, 1840, lives in Maine, and has five children—two sons by his first wife, Phebe Thompson, and one son and two daughters by his second wife, Minnie Johnson; Silas, born January 31, 1842, after serving through the war settled in Maine, where he married and has one son; Charles, born January 6, 1844, was also in the federal army during the rebellion and now lives at Franklin, N. H., where he has a wife, two daughters and a son; Francis W., born January 6, 1846, enlisted in the civil war, passed through many battles, and was fatally wounded at Kenesaw Mountain, and died at Chattanooga, July 8, 1864, aged eighteen years.
Captain Edward Penniman, the second child in this family of Daniel, was born at Eastham, August 16, 1831. His education was limited to the common schools of his native town, but in the forecastle and the cabin he completed the education which has since enabled him to take an honorable rank among the most successful shipmasters of the Cape. The most of his life has been spent upon the sea and the greater part of thirty-two years as master of whale ships through those experiences already alluded to. In 1868 he engaged in business in Chicago, where he spent the winters of four years, and during the
time passed the summers at Eastham where he was erecting and beautifying his present fine residence. He was married in 1859, to Betsey A., daughter of William F. Knowles, a descendant of that old family name. Their children are: Eugene B., born September 11, 1860; Bessie A., born September 2, 1868; and Edward D., born March 25,1870.
The captain, now in the meridian of life, is passing his days pleasantly in his home overlooking the sea, to both of which he is devotedly attached. He has never shirked his duty as a citizen, but has preferred to see his neighbors and friends fill the local political offices, himself preferring his retirement amid his pleasant social relations. Of the Universalist church he is a strong supporter and an earnest and liberal friend to all good works. In his kindness and firmness he lives respected by all who know him.
His oldest son, Eugene B., was married in 1890, to Carrie S. Harding, and at this writing is on a whaling voyage as first officer of the bark Reindeer.
Francis M. Smith, born in 1852, is a son of Heman and Louissana C. (Crosby) Smith (both lost at sea in 1875), grandson of Myrick, and great-grandson of Sylvanus Smith. Mr. Smith has been a harness maker since 1872. Since 1886 he has kept summer boarders. He married Mary A., daughter of Hinckley Lincoln. They have one son, Ivan G., and lost one, William M.
Francis W. Smith, son of Nathaniel and Hannah (Cole) Smith, and grandson of Elkanah Smith, was born in 1858. He is a fisherman and farmer. He married Sarah, daughter of George and Amanda (Snow) Doane, and granddaughter of Barnabas Doane. They have one daughter, Amanda D.
Heman Smith, 2d, born in 1839, is a son of Lewis and Mehitable Smith, and grandson of Lewis Smith, who was a native of Orleans and a farmer. Mr. Smith has followed the sea as cook since he was twelve years old, and since 1883 he has been cook on a yacht. He married Olive M., daughter of Franklin and Lucy (Cummings) Freeman. Their children are: Charles W., Frank R., Emma O. and Joshua F.
Philip Smith, born in 1821, is a son of Freeman and Phebe (Gill) Smith, and grandson of Philip and Sarah Smith. He is a fisherman and farmer. He married Esther, daughter of Richard F. Smith. Their children are: Luther B., Sarah P. and Nathan S., who died.
Luther B. Smith, son of Philip and Esther Smith, was born in 1845. He was in business in Worcester, Mass., from 1869 to 1889, and is now a garden farmer at his native place in Eastham. He married Mercy H., daughter of Daniel Cole. They have two children: Philip M. and Florence M.
Wallace A. Smith, born in 1857, is a son of James and Thankful L. (Hopkins) Smith, and grandson of Asa and Polly Smith. He is a farmer, occupying his father's homestead. He married Olive A., daughter of Freeman Snow. Mr. Smith has one brother, Earnest L.
Agnew F. Toovey was born in England in 1849, came to America in 1875, and since 1879 he has been engaged as operator at the French Atlantic Cable station in North Eastham. He married Betsey S., daughter of Isaiah H. Horton. They have one son, Sidney E.
William Wareham, born in 1836, in Yarmouth, is a son of William and Jedidah (Cole) Wareham. He followed the sea from 1845 until 1884, twenty-three years as master of vessels. He has lived in Eastham since he was two years old, with the exception of twenty-three years, during which he was in Provincetown. He married Alice, daughter of Elijah and Lydia (Smith) Doane, and granddaughter of Nehemiah Doane and Freeman Smith. Their children are: William M., Bessie M. (Mrs. Abealino E. Doane), Augustus W. and Alice L.
Samuel S. Sparrow, son of Abner and Polly Y. (Harding) Sparrow, was born in Chatham. He was a master mariner until within one year of his death, which occurred in 1882. By his first marriage he had two children: one who died in infancy and Paulina F. (Mrs. Richard S. Myrick). She died in 1881. Mr. Myrick is a son of John Q. and Mercy (Lincoln) Myrick, and is a carpenter. Mr. Sparrow's second wife, who survives him, is Mary S., daughter of Haskell and Fanny (Atwood) Crosby, and granddaughter of Isaiah and Betsey Crosby.