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THIS town was purchased of the Indians, in 1686, for £23 of the currency of that time, and a deed executed
to Henry Willard, Joseph Rowlandson, Joseph Foster, Benjamin Willard, and Cyprian Stevens, by Wanapapan and Walipunit,
of Natick, and others, Indian proprietors. The general name of this tract was Naquag.
This deed was recorded, but nothing further was done with the purchase for 26 years. In 1713, upon petition of
the proprietors, it was confirmed to them by the general court, coaditionafly, that within 7 years’ time 60 families
should be settled upon it. The conditions of the grant being fulfilled, the town was incorporated by the legislature,
at their May session, in 1722. The Rev. Joseph Willard was chosen unanimously by the inhabitants to be their minister,
but, as events took place, was never settled with them. The church was gathered in November, 1727, and at the same
time Rev. Thomas Frink was ordained their first pastor. He was dismissed in 1740, and was succeeded by Rev. Joseph
Buckminster in 1742. He preached to the people 50 years, and died 1792. In about S months he was succeeded by Rev.
Hezekiah Goodrich. Mr. Goodrich died in 1812, and was succeeded by Rev. Luke B. Foster, in 1813. The next pastor,
Rev. Josiah Clarke, was ordained in 1818.
The above is a south western view of the Congregational church, town house, and hotel, in the central part of Rutland.
These buildings are situated on a very elevated situation, having a commanding prospect in almost every direction.
This town is situated on the height of land between the sea and Connecticut river, and is hilly and very uneven.
It has no large stream, hut is watered by a branch of Ware river, which affords power for several mu is. This is
a good grazing township, and the inhabitants export considerable beef, butter, and cheese. There is fine fishing
at Mustapaug and Long ponds. About half a mile east of the meeting house is a spring, the waters of which soon
divide; part runs to the Merrimac and part to Connecticut river. Population, 1,265. Distance, 12 miles from Worcester,
and 51 from Boston. In 1837 there was 1 woollen mill, which manufactured 26,000 yards of cloth; value, $15,080;
there were 10,304 pairs of boots, and 5,950 pairs of shoes manufactured; value, $23,369; males employed, 37; females,
13. The following account of the disturbances from the Indians is from Whitney's History of Worcester County:
"We have said the settlers, in 1721, invited the Rev. Joseph Willard to settle with them, which invitation
he accepted. This Mr. Willard had been ordained a minister of Sunderland, in the county of Hampshire, but continued
a very little time with them before he was dismissed. After he had accepted the invitation to settle with the people
of Rutland, he met with many and great discouragements, and particularly by reason of the fears and dangers arising
from the Indians; so that an appointment of his installation was deferred. However, at length a day was fixed upon
for his solemn separation to the work of the ministry in that place, in the fall of the year 1723; but he lived
not to see the day, being cut off by the enemy, as shall be now related. As Deacon Joseph Stevens and four of his
sons were making hay in a meadow, at Rutland, a little north of the place where the meeting house now stands, August
14th, 1723, they were surprised by five Indians. The father escaped in the bushes; two of his Sons were then and
there slain; the other two, (Phineas the eldest, and Isaac the youngest,) were made prisoners. Two of the five
Indians waylaid a Mr. Davis and son, who that afternoon were making hay in a meadow not far off, but, weary of
waiting, they were returning to the others, and met Mr. Willard in their way, who was armed. One of the Indians'
guns missed fire, the others did no execution. Mr. Willard returned the fire, and wounded one of them, it is said
mortally; the other closed in with Mr. Willard, but he would have been more than a match for him, had not the other
three come to his assistance; and it was some considerable time before they killed Mr. Willard. This account Phineas
Stevens gave upon his return from captivity, who was a spectator ot some part of the tragedy. The Indians having
killed and scalped Mr. Willard, and taken some of his clothes, went off to Canada, with the two captives above
named. They were redeemed in about a year. Phenieas Stevens was a famous warrior, a captain, and a principal man
in building up and defending the then young plantation No. 4, now Charlestown, in New Hampshire state. Isaac Stevens
lived at Rutland. They have both been dead many years. On the 3d of August, 1724, the Indians came again upon Rutland,
killed three persons. wounded one, and made another prisoner. This is as I find it related in Governor Hutchinson's
history. Others speak of but two killed; but the names of the killed, wounded, or prisoner, cannot now be ascertained.
This was the last mischief done at Rutland by the Indians, so far as we can learn."
Historical Collections Relateing to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
By John Warner Barber.
Published by Warren Lazell.