HISTORY OF BROOKLINE
By Ithamar B. Sawtelle
Brookline is situated on the southerly border of the county, having Milford on the north, Milford and Hollis
on the east, Pepperell and Townsend, in Massachusetts, on the south, and Mason and Milford on the west. It has
an area of ten thousand two hundred acres, nearly four hundred of which are covered with water. Except a square
mile, taken from its northwest corner in 1794, when the town of Milford was incorporated, it is quadrilateral in
form, the longer lines extending north and south. It is drained by the Nissitisset River, which is formed principally
by the confluence of small streams from Mason and Milford. It passes through the town in a southeasterly direction,
entering the southwest corner of Hollis, and onward through a part of Pepperell, where it empties into the Nashua.
Its waters are extensively utilized in each of these three towns to drive machinery. There are two natural ponds
in this town, -- the Massapetanapus,* situate in the southern part, near its postal centre, and Lakin's Pond, in
the northeast part. The former is about a mile in length, varying from one-third to one-half of a mile in width;
the latter is much smaller, but an exceedingly beautiful sheet of water. These ponds are much frequented by sailing
and fishing-parties. The surface of the town is uneven, and the soil for cultivation is generally ordinary; still,
there are some farms which well pay the husbandman for his toil, yielding the fruits, grasses and grains in abundance.
In order to give a distinct idea of the manner in which this town came into existence, from its fragmentary origin,
it will be necessary to give some dates of the grants of land from the General Court of the province of Massachusetts
Bay. In 1673 the old town of Dunstable (then and until the running of the province line in 1741 in Middlesex County)
was incorporated, and embraced within its limits more than two hundred square miles of land. The whole of the towns
of Nashua, Hollis, Hudson, Dunstable and Tyngsborough, and parts of the towns of Amherst, Milford, Merrimack, Litchfield,
Londonderry, Pelham, Brookline, Pepperell and Townsend were carved out of this township. In 1732 Townsend was incorporated,
its northerly line passing, in the language of its charter, "West 31 1/2° North," just at the south
of Brookline village. In 1734 the General Court granted to Benjamin Prescott and others, inhabitants of Groton,
for losses of land which went to make up the town of Littleton, "10,800 acres of land in a gore between Townsend
and Dunstable." This tract was bounded, --
"Beginning at the N.W. corner of Dunstable, at Dram Cup Hill, by the Souhegan River, just South of the Rail
Road bridge over the river, near Wilton line; then running South on Dunstable line past the West side of Massapetanapas
pond to the line of Townsend; thence Westerly on Townsend line 2056 rods, to a pillar of stones; thence Northeasterly
2048 rods, to Dunstable corner first mentioned."
*Being translated from the Indian tongue, signifies great bear pond
In 1739 that portion of Dunstable situate west of a line running north three hundred and forty-eight rods west
of Flint's Brook was legalized as a precinct known as West Dunstable. This precinct, in 1746, was incorporated
into the town of Hollis, known to the
Indians by the name of Nissitisset. The settlement of the province line by His Majesty in Council, surveyed in
1741, caused a commotion among landowners and chartered bodies politic. By this line nearly one-third of the town
of Townsend from its north part was cut off into New Hampshire. Dunstable was severed in twain, leaving about an
equal amount of territory in each province. The new line left the grant at the west of Dunstable, known as Groton
Gore, entirely in New Hampshire, and legally in possession of the Masonian proprietors. In 1749 Joseph Blanchard,
for the Masonian proprietors, deeded a large part of this gore, with other ungranted lands, to William Lawrence
and thirty-two others, it being the same territory which, in 1768, was incorporated into the town of Mason. The
southeast corner of Mason was then established in the province line, three hundred and seventy rods westerly of
Hollis' southwest corner; and the northeast corner thereof was the same distance from Hollis' northwest corner.
Mason in no part approached nearer Hollis than three hundred and seventy rods; hence the Mile Slip, so called.
Most of the early settlers of Hollis chose the best lands situate in the eastern part of the precinct. The most
eligible place for a meeting-house was considerably east of a line drawn due north and south through the centre
of the town. Everything was quiet when the first minister was settled in the parish in 1743; but in 1746, after
its incorporation into a town, and at the time when the second meeting-house was being built, there was much excitement
about its location. Citizens of the western part of the town (now a part of Brookline) felt much aggrieved at being
left at "so great a distance from public worship," thirteen of whom petitioned the General Court of New
Hampshire, praying for the "appointment of a committee to view the situation, and to fix a place for the meeting-house,
and that the raising of it might be postponed till the committee could report."
This petition was dismissed by the House of Representatives August 11, 1746.
For a long time the voters of the west part of Hollis submitted to taxation to support the ministry there, the
same as the rest of the inhabitants, although a new town, made up from the west end of Hollis, the Mile Slip and
that part of Townsend left in New Hampshire, by the running of the province line, was the topic which engrossed
the attention of the people living in these several portions of territory.
The attention of Hollis was called to this matter in 1764, when that town "voted to measure east from the
meeting-house to the town line, and then measure west from the meeting-house the same length of line, and all west
of a north and south line to be set off to the One-Mile Strip, so called." The like vote was passed in 1768,
at the annual town-meeting.
On the 30th day of March, 1769, this new town was incorporated by the name of Raby, so called from a town of that
name in the county of Durham, in the north part of England, from which some of its settlers emigrated.
It thus appears that the west part of Hollis, the northeast part of Townsend, cut off by the running of the province
line, and the southeast part of what was Groton Gore (the Mile Slip) were combined to form this township.
The first settlers were Scotch-Irish Puritans by the name of McIntosh and McDonald. Three brothers of the last
name located in the east part of the town on Hollis line, where a few rough, split head-stones,' in the forest
shade, still mark the spot where they were buried.
All the settlers, except Jasher Wyman, the town clerk of Townsend, who was greatly disgusted at being cut off into
New Hampshire by the new province line, were exceedingly poor.
At first, after its incorporation, the dwellers in different parts of the town were not social; but the War of
the Revolution soon coming on, united them, and they went into that struggle in good earnest.
The Raby records are very full during this period. No census of the town had yet been taken, but, as near as can
be learned, it contained about one hundred and seventy inhabitants, and sent forty persons into the land and naval
service of the patriots.
At a town-meeting, in April, 1777, the Committee of Safety was instructed "to see what every man has done
since Concord fight."
Eleven Raby soldiers went in a Hollis company, two of whom belonged to the Raby Committee of Safety.
Mr. Worcester, in his history of Hollis, wrongfully claims them as Hollis men. The Hollis tax-lists of 1777 show
that they were non-residents, and on pages 379, 380 and 381 (A.D. 1779) of Hollis records are the names of all
tax-payers who paid the "Continental tax," or the tax assessed to pay the Hollis soldiers. Not one of
the names of the eleven soldiers he claims can be found in this list.
"Facts are chiels that winna gang,
And daurna be disputed."
The following are the names of the Raby soldiers in the Revolutionary War:
Alexander McIntosh, Archibald McIntosh, James McIntosh, James Conick, William Spaulding, Nathaniel Badger, Nathaniel
Patten, Jeremiah Hobart, Swallow Tucker, Daniel Shedd, Josiah Seward, John Conick, Isaac Shattuck, Benjamin Patten,
Benjamin Shattuck, William McIntosh, Samuel Douglas, Clark Brown, Samuel Russell, James Dickey, Jonas Flagg, Phineas
Aston, John Cummings, Isaac Stevens, Jr., Elias Dickey, Caleb Brown, Benjamin Mussey, Aaron Russell, Randall McDonald,
James McDonald, Thomas Robb, Moses Powell, James Campbell, Andrew Russell, Jonas Shedd, Robert Seaver, Thomas Dickey,
Matthew Wallace, Samuel Farnsworth, Joshua Smith.
So poor were the people at the close of the war that they were unable to support either a schoolmaster or a minister
of the gospel. The records made by James Badger, Alexander McIntosh and Randall McDonald, the town clerks of that
period, will, however, compare favorably with those of the neighboring towns. On the 15th of February, 1786, on
petition of the citizens of Raby, setting forth their narrow limits and other grievances, the General Court annexed
a tract of land, of the uniform width of three-fourths of a mile, from the west side of Hollis to the town of Raby.
This time Hollis was the disappointed party. The town had been settled for more than thirty years before it felt
able to bridge the Nissitisset at the mouth of Massepetanapas Pond. A source of much trouble and disgust to the
people of the place was the existence of a gang of thieves in this vicinity, the leader of which belonged to Raby.
In such disrespect was the town held that a citizen took no pride in, or scarcely owned that he belonged to Raby.
A change of the name of the town was discussed, and finally, on the 1st day of December, A.D. 1798, -- in answer
to the petition of the selectmen Randall McDonald, Benjamin Farley and Alexander McIntosh, -- the General Court
changed the name of Raby to Brookline.
Ecclesiastical. - The town raised small sums of money from time to time to support preaching till a church
was gathered, on the 10th of December, 1795, consisting of the following members: Benjamin Farley, Ezekiel Proctor,
Joshua Smith, Clark Brown, Ephraim Sawtelle, Eleazer Gilson, Joshua Emerson, Joshua Smith, Jr., Samuel Farley,
Lucy Farley, Rebekah Campbell, Hannah Shattuck, Abigail Sawtelle, Hannah Gilson and Lydia Emerson. Tradition says
that these people were accustomed to attend church quite regularly in the adjoining towns previous to this time.
Rev. Samuel Dix, of Townsend, took much interest in this little band of believers, visiting and preaching to them
often after his usual Sabbath services with his people had closed. The first pastor of the church was Rev. Lemuel
Wadsworth, who was ordained October 11, 1797. He was born in Stoughton, Mass., March 9, 1769, was graduated from
Brown University, 1793. He was a man of exemplary character, and he secured and held the confidence of his people
during the entire twenty years of his ministry, till his death, November 25, 1817. After his death the church was
without a pastor for a long time; meanwhile one William Warren, a graduate from Dartmouth College, of 1800, was
employed to supply the pulpit. He came from Dighton, Mass., and united the offices of preacher and physician. He
caused much excitement, and many joined the church, but he finally proved to be a bad man. The town record of September
18, 1821, "chose the selectmen a committee to notify Dr. Warren that he is discharged from any further ministerial
services." From this time till 1827 quite a number of different men supplied the pulpit, among whom was the
Rev. Samuel H. Tolman. The second pastor of the church was Rev. Jacob Holt, a graduate from Dartmouth College,
1803, a native of Andover, Mass., ordained January 31, 1827; sermon by Rev. Humphrey Moore, of Milford, N.H. Mr.
Holt was a good man, strictly sincere and conscientious, but of moderate ability as a preacher. He was dismissed,
at his own request, (no record) some time in the summer of 1831. He moved to New Ipswich soon after, and he died
there in 1847, aged sixty-six years.
The third pastor was Rev. Henry E. Eastman, ordained December 9, 1835; sermon by Rev. James Howe, of Pepperell.
During his pastorate there was a strife between the different sects about the meeting-house. The Congregationalists
left the house, and for a long time held their meetings in the school-houses. Mr. Eastman remained about two years,
when he entered the service of the American Home Missionary Society. During the years 1837 and 1838, Rev. Ebenezer
Hill, of Mason, labored with this church and people.
The present Congregational meeting-house was built in 1838, and on the 27th of February, 1839, it was dedicated
with appropriate services, and on the same day the fourth pastor, Rev. Daniel Goodwin, was ordained; sermon by
Rev. Edward L. Parker, of Derry, N.H. Mr. Goodwin is a native of Londonderry, was born January 25, 1809, graduated
from Dartmouth College, 1835, Andover, 1838. He was dismissed May 2, 1855, by an ex parte council, "with renewed
expressions of fraternal confidence and esteem; the Council recommend him to the churches of our Lord." Soon
after, Mr. Goodwin moved to Mason, where he became a settled minister, from the duties of which he has since retired.
In November, 1884, he was chosen representative to the General Court for the town of Mason.
Rev. Theophilus P. Sawin was the fifth pastor of this church, installed December 11, 1856; sermon by Rev. Ezra
E. Adams, of Nashua. Mr. Sawin was born in Sherborn, Mass., 1817. He obtained a good academic education, was a
teacher in Lynn, preached in Harwick, Mass., and from April, 1851, to the time of his installation, in Brookline,
he was city missionary for Manchester, N.H. On the 7th of May, 1866, he resigned his pastorate, much to the regret
of his people. He is a man of excellent natural ability, is possessed of a good share of "mother wit"
and is popular with his denomination. He is now (1884) located at Lyndeborough, N.H. The sixth pastor was Rev.
John H. Manning, ordained March 6, 1867; sermon by Rev. Charles Smith, of Andover, Mass. August 19, 1868, Mr. Manning
died suddenly of brain fever, aged forty-four years. The seventh pastor and present incumbent is Rev. Francis D.
Sargent, ordained October 20, 1869; sermon by Rev. A. H. Plumb, of Chelsea, Mass. He was graduated from Amherst
College in 1866, Andover, 1869. Mr. Sargent is the peer of any minister of his age in the county, and he is appreciated
by his entire acquaintance. The meeting-house of this society was removed, raised up and remodeled, with excellent
taste, in the summer of 1875, and recently a clock, the gift of some person or persons unknown, has been placed
in the belfry. The outlook for the future promises well to the Congregationalists.
THE METHODISTS.-There was a certain Methodist preacher who labored in this vicinity during 1850 and 1851,
called "Father Moulton" by some, and by others "the breaking-up plow for Methodism," and who
belonged to the New England Conference. The biographer of Rev. Horace Moulton says of him: "He probably organized
more Methodist Churches from converts saved through his instrumentality, the last half-century, than any other
minister of our Conference." At that time the Methodists worshiped in the old meeting-house on the hill, and
its walls echoed his ringing appeals in his revival work, in which he had been engaged in more than forty towns.
He preached the first Methodist sermon in Brookline.
Rev. Samuel Tupper, of Townsend, during 1851, supplied the pulpit part of the time. He was succeeded by Rev. Amos
Merrill and others. The church was organized by the presiding elder, Rev. C.N. Smith, May 12, 1852, and it consisted
of Rev. Amos Merrill (preacher in charge), Ralph Burns, Gardner Shattuck, Samuel Gilson, Henry Spaulding, Randall
Daniels and Eliab B. Shattuck. Mr. Merrill remained about two years, when he left for another field in Vermont,
the church membership having increased to twenty-two in number. About this time, by vote of the town, the Universalists
came in possession of the old meeting-house, when the Methodists hired Union Hall, and they worshiped there most
of the time, till they had a church edifice of their own. They increased in numbers slowly till 1856, when Mr.
Goodwin was dismissed, at which time his warmest friends joined them. Some of them that went over from the orthodox
were men of considerable worldly wealth, which was a perfect god-send to this feeble little church. Gaining numbers
for the next dozen years, they built their meeting-house, which was dedicated November 11, 1868; sermon by Rev.
Sullivan Holland. This church, during its history, has enjoyed the services of many pastors of various degrees
of ability and spirituality, and since its organization it has been held in the bonds of peace and fraternal kindness.
Industries. - Among the first goods made in this town, which brought in any money, were potash and shaved
shingles. There was plenty of hard wood to be used for the former, while the hills were crowned with gigantic pines
for the latter business. For the first thirty years in the present century there was a large amount of chestnut
posts and rails made and sold to the farmers in the northern and central towns of Middlesex County, Mass. The manufacture
of hard wood, beef, pork and rum-barrels was the principal business. These goods were drawn to Boston by ox-teams,
and it required four days to complete the journey both ways. Wool-carding and cloth-dressing were carried on by
Abraham Betterly from about 1818 until he was unable to compete with better machinery and more skilled labor. More
than fifty years since, the firm of K. & E. Bailey did an extensive and lucrative business in morocco-dressing.
The large three-story structure standing near Hall & Smiths' mill was their manufacturing establishment. Lumbering
has been, and still is, a prominent business. At present there are four saw-mills in town, used principally in
making pine-coopering stock. This branch of industry is in the hands of Joseph A. Hall, who employs about fifty
workmen. Hobart Kendall & Co., cabinet-makers, have an excellent water-power and good facilities for carrying
on that trade. They employ more than forty workmen and are putting some elegant furniture into the market.
War of the Rebellion. - New Hampshire responded promptly to the call of the "martyr President"
for men to assist in the suppression of the slave-holders' Rebellion. At a town-meeting in Brookline, May 11, 1861,
after the passage of some spirited resolutions, "Voted, to give the families of men who enlist the sum of
ten dollars per month." Brookline furnished sixty-six of its citizens and thirty-three substitutes, during
the war, for the land and naval service. Fourteen legal voters of the town lost their lives, either in battle or
by the casualties of war. Not having men enough at any one call to form a company, they served in different regiments.
Four of them were in the navy. The following list contains the names of the Brookline volunteers, no notice being
given the substitutes. The names of those who lost their lives are in italics:
Thomas D. Bennett, John C. Bennett, Moses Bohonon, Charles Bohonon, Clinton Bohonon, John Bohonon, George P. Brown,
David H. Burge, Benjamin D. Burgess, Asa S. Burgess, William C. Boutwell, Irvin Colburn, David H. Cochran, Lewis
L. Emery, Jonas C. French, Albert M. French, Lorenzo Green, Cyrus N. Griffin, Harvey M. Hall, David A. Hill, Edgar
J. Hobson, Daniel Kendall, Asa J. King, James A. Merrill, Ward Messer, George W. Pierce, Oliver P. Ricker, Charles
H. Russell, Augustus I. Sawtelle, Warren Shattuck, Daniel W. Smith, Perley A. Smith, Stephen A. Spaulding, Albert
Spaulding, Amos F. Spaulding, Charles H. Stiles, David P. Stowell, John F. Wetherbee, Ezra S. Wright, William M.
Wright, Bryant W. Wallace, Edward E. Parker, Charles Currier, James H. Burgess, James S. Burgess, John C. Burgess,
Eli S. Dunphee, George W. Foster, John A. French, Orrin A. French, Charles H. Gardner, Charles Gilson, James Gillis,
Peter W. Gould, Warren C. Hardy, Albert N. Jefts, George H. Jefts, Oliver Y. Mann, Joseph C. Shattuck, Eugene L.
Nelson, Charles Wetherbee, William H. Wright, Lewis T. Wright, George Little, Edward F. Jefts.
In those battle-years, which seem so near, but are so far away, these men went at their country's call steadily,
sometimes wearily, but never doubting the justice of their cause. At the close of the war they separated and old
comrades went their way in life, never to meet again. But Decoration Day affords some of them the gracious privilege,
for a brief hour, to greet their brothers in arms; to call to mind again the scenes and trials of a soldier's life;
to talk of the bivouac and battle, and to commemorate those sterner days noted for the bravery both of the living
and the dead.
A post-office was established at Brookline in 1828, and David Harris, M.D., was the postmaster. The office was
kept in his house for a number of years. It was for some time kept in the ell part of the hotel (then a store),
and from thence it went across the street to the store built by James N. Tucker. Its location was changed twice
after this time, with the change of the national executive magistrate, and finally, in 1861, it was moved to the
north end of the street, where it still remains. The route commenced with a horse-back mail carrier from Townsend
to Brookline, and return three times during the week. Soon after, a route from Nashua to New Ipswich through Hollis,
Brookline and Mason, went into operation, and mail-stages made three trips weekly from Nashua to New Ipswich, till
some time after the completion of the Worcester and Nashua Railroad, when the route was abandoned; the mail was
carried from Pepperell to Brookline. Now two daily mails ply between the railroad station in Townsend and Brookline.
The following is a list of postmasters:
David Harris, appointed January 2, 1828; William S. Crosby, appointed June 4, 1832; David Harris, appointed September
11, 1834; James N. Tucker, appointed July 30, 1841; Ithamar B. Sawtelle, appointed December 4, 1844; Reuben Baldwin,
appointed April 6, 1846; James N. Tucker, appointed July 25, 1849; Joseph C. Tucker, appointed April 26, 1850;
Sumner S. Kendall, appointed April 14, 1853; Henry B. Stiles, appointed June 5, 1861.
Fire-Engine. - About 1820 the militia system began to be unpopular in New England. Training in the "old company"
was anything but agreeable to the beaux of that period. Fines were often paid rather than to bear arms. In the
large towns uniformed companies were organized, which were filled by those able to meet the expense and spend the
time necessary to make a good appearance on dress parade. A few young men in Brookline, in order to escape this
duty, petitioned the General Court for a charter for a fire-engine company, which was granted in 1826. This act
exempted about a score of the soldiers from military duty. This company has kept up its organization from that
time to the present, has had its regular meetings, has worn out one or two engines, and has been the means of saving
considerable property from the devouring element.
At the beginning of the present century, and for some time after, the number of books and newspapers to which the
people had access was very limited. The Farmers' Cabinet, published at Amherst, was the only paper circulated in
this town. The weekly bundle of papers for Brookline used to be sent by the publisher to Milford, and the subscribers
took their turns regularly every Saturday to go over after it. In 1823 the Brookline Social Library was incorporated.
It contained a small number of volumes of travel, history, biography and English literature, and at first was circulated
freely. After the postal service reached the town, newspapers from Boston and other places took the attention of
its readers and it was little used. About 1855 the young men of the town, by subscription, purchased a collection
of books and held them in common for their own amusement and instruction. Additions to this library of a few books
were made annually till 1878, when it was assumed by the town, and it is now a free public library, containing
between one and two thousand volumes.
Representatives. - From 1775 till 1793, when Mason had the legal number of ratable polls, Raby was classed
with that town in the choice of representative to the General Court. James Campbell, of Raby, represented this
constituency several times during this period. After Milford was incorporated (1794) Raby was classed with that
town, and for 1796 and 1798, Benjamin Farley represented them. From the last date till 1804 the town records do
not show who filled this office, and the presumption is that a Milford man was chosen. The following is a list
of the representatives:
Samuel T. Boynton, 1804, '05, '06, '07,'08, '09
James Parker, 1810, '11, '12, '13, '14
Benjamin Shattuck, 1816, '17, '18
George Daniels, 1819, '20, '23, '24 '66
Thomas Bennett, 1821, '22, '25, '26, '28
William S. Crosby, 1829, '30, '31
David Harris, 1832, '33
Reuben Baldwin, 1834
Horace Warner, 1835
Jos. C. Tucker, 1857, '58, '62, '63
Nathaniel W. Lund, 1859
Francis A. Peterson, 1860, '61
William J. Smith, 1864, '65
Joseph A. Hall, 1867, '68
James H. Hall, 1869, '70 (biennial)
James C. Parker, 1871, '72
Joseph Sawtelle, 1873
Ensign Bailey, 1836, '37, '40, '41
James Parker (son of the above James Parker), 1838, '39
Alpheus Shattuck, 1842, '43, '44, '45, '49,
Ithamar B. Sawtelle, 1846, '47, '48
James N. Tucker, 1850, '51
Benjamin Gould, 1852
Nathaniel Shattuck, 1853
Henry B. Stiles, 1854, '55
David S. Fessenden, 1874, '75
Franklin McDonald, 1876, '77
Rufus. G. Russell, 1878, '79, '80
Edward T. Hall, 1881
Charles E. Shattuck, 1882
Samuel Swett, 1884
The following-named gentlemen have been the justices of the peace:
Richard C. Shannon, Benjamin Farley, Randall McDonald and Samuel Douglass, appointed previous to 1800; Samuel T.
Boynton, James Parker, Benjamin Shattuck, George Daniels, William S. Crosby, Thomas Bennett, Nathaniel Shattuck,
James Parker (son the former James Parker), Alpheus Shattuck, Ithamar B. Sawtelle, Isaac Sawtelle, Benjamin Gould
and George W. Bridges.
Population. - The first enumeration of the people of Raby was made by the selectmen in 1786, at which time
its population was 262. The United States decennial census gives the following numbers: 1790, 338; 1800, 454; 1810,
538; 1820, 592; 1830, 641; 1840, 652; 1850, 718; 1860, 756; 1870, 741; 1880, 698.
In 1870 only twenty-four of its population were of foreign birth, and at present there is not a specimen of negro
or mixed race residing in Brookline.
The town is connected by telephone with Nashua, Hollis, Townsend and Fitchburg. For so small a place its citizens
are quite enterprising. On the 8th of September, 1869, they had a spirited centennial celebration, addressed by
Ithamar B. Sawtelle, poem by Edward E. Parker and chronicles by Theophilus P. Sawin. These exercises, although
of ordinary interest, except to people of the town, engaged the close attention of about three thousand people.
From the stand-point on the hill, where the McDonalds settled, looking westerly and southerly, Brookline presents
to the eye rather a pleasing picture. The glassy shimmer of Massapetanapas Pond adds a water view to the scenery;
and then the green hills beyond, and nearer at hand the village nestling at the base of "Little Tanapas Hill,"
arrest the attention. Here the houses, while they are not expensive, are, for the most part, kept in good repair,
giving an air of thrift to the general appearance. An abundance of shade-trees, especially when they are clothed
in their summer verdure, adds much to the attraction of the place. The town has none very rich and few that are
poor; and, although they altercate and jostle at the ballot-box and different church-bells call them to worship
on the Sabbath-day, they are very friendly with each other, and enjoy happy homes.
"Whatever deep science has given at our call,
The science of home is the choicest of all.
'Tis to beat back these demons of discord and sin
That always are trying to steal their way in -
To use all the means God has placed in our sight
To make our homes innocent, happy and bright."
Alonzo S. Wallace, M.D.
Alonzo Stewart Wallace, M.D., of Brookline, Hillsborough County, N.H., was born in Bristol, Me., on the 17th
day of February, A.D. 1847, and consequently is thirty-eight years of age. He is the only son of David and Margarett
Wallace. His father, David Wallace, was born in New Hampshire, being the son of David Wallace, one of the pioneer
settlers of that State, and is doubtless of Irish descent. His great-grandmother was Nancy Palmer, in whose veins
flows English blood.
Dr. Wallace is essentially a self-made man. Born and bred in the humbler walks of life, in a section of our country
far removed from business centres, and at a time when the best advantages for education and self-improvement had
not reached that section of his native State, he early felt that yearning for personal advancement - sometimes
called ambition - which, in our New England life and training, has led the way to high and scholarly pursuits.
Unaided and alone, almost unadvised, this young man, with that resolute will and unyielding determination that
has characterized his whole life, began his journey in pursuit of an education. Receiving little encouragement
from his surroundings, at a time and in a community when higher education was rather despised than commended, he
set to work with a zeal and fervor that found partial satisfaction in attendance upon the district school in winter
in the little "red school-house."
Being born and bred in a maritime town, he began the career of a sailor when very young, and rose with surprising
rapidity in that calling, and when he abandoned it for higher pursuits had filled many responsible positions, the
last being that of first mate of a barque.
At the age of eighteen he began a career of teaching in the district schools of his native town, and began his
first work for a higher education in Lincoln Academy, New Castle, Me., then under the direction of Grenville M.
Thurlow. He pursued with great diligence and perseverance his studies, teaching in winter, attending on the academy
a term now and then, till he had mastered its full course of study and was fitted for Bowdoin College. Afterward
he attended the East Maine Conference Seminary, Bucksport, Me.
He was engaged in teaching in various sections of his native State and in Massachusetts from 1868 to 1872. At an
early age he was called to fill the position of principal of the Rockport (Me.) High School, and superintendent
of the schools of his native town. He resigned his position at Rockport to accept the position of first assistant
teacher of the Reformatory School for the city of Boston, and was soon promoted to the position of principal. He
held this position for a number of years, which was an exceedingly difficult one to fill, on account of the character
of the pupils who necessarily attend there. He, from the first, was master of the situation, and at once gained
the love and confidence of the boys under his charge and the esteem and respect of the city officials. During his
labors here he became intimately acquainted with Dr. S.H. Durgin, then port physician for the city of Boston, since
and for many years the able and efficient chairman of the Board of Health for that city. This acquaintance ripened
into a strong and personal friendship, which exists to this day, and this, no doubt, gave choice to Dr. Wallace's
chosen profession. While in charge of this important school he began the study of medicine, and had obtained a
good knowledge of anatomy and physiology when he gave up his charge to enter upon an extensive and thorough preparation
for his life-work. He attended the medical school of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Me., and also that of Portland,
Me., graduating at the medical school of Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., in the year 1874.
During his preparation for medical practice he was under the instruction of Professors Frost, Crosby, Brackett
and Green, and it is safe to say that few young men ever entered upon their profession better equipped.
After six months' service at the Massachusetts State Lunatic Hospital, he resigned to accept the position of first
assistant port physician for the city of Boston. He was soon afterwards promoted to port physician of the city,
to fill the place formerly occupied by his friend, Dr. Durgin. In 1879 he resigned the office and entered upon
his practice in Brookline, in this county, where he now enjoys a large and increasing practice, and has the respect
and esteem of the whole community and of all who know him. Dr. Wallace is a member of the secret Order of Odd-Fellows
and of the United Order of the Golden Cross and Massachusetts Medical Society. In politics he has been a life-long
Republican and a strong advocate of the temperance cause.
He joined the Orthodox Church while attending school at the Lincoln Academy, and has ever since adhered to that
faith. He is by no means in his Christian life a bigot, but follows the advance-guard of religious thought.
He married an estimable lady in the person of Mary F. Maynard, of Lowell, Mass., the only child of Charles and
Harriett Maynard, by whom he has three children, one bearing the name of Arthur Lowell, in honor of the birth-place
of his wife.
The Puritan spirit, the master-influence of New England civilization, has a satisfactory type in Dr. Wallace. He
has always regarded the influence of the humble homes of New England as the great influence that has shaped our
New England character and wrought the "amazing miracle of America!" His estimation of early New England
life is best expressed in that passage of New Hampshire's greatest man, Daniel Webster, which has always been to
Dr. Wallace the choicest gem of all that man's writings, as follows: "It did not happen to me to be born in
a log cabin, but my elder brothers and sisters were born in a log cabin, raised amid the snow-drifts of New Hampshire,
at a period so early that when the smoke first rose from its rude chimney and curled over the frozen hills there
was no similar evidence of a white man's habitation between it and the settlements on the rivers of Canada. Its
remains still exist. I make to it an annual visit. I carry my children to it, to teach them the hardships endured
by the generations which have gone before them. I love to dwell on the tender recollections, the kindred ties,
the early affections and the touching narratives and incidents which mingle with all I know of this primitive family
abode. I weep to think that none of those who inhabited it are now among the living, and if ever I am ashamed of
it, or if ever I fail in affectionate veneration for him who reared it and defended it against savage violence
and destruction, cherished all the domestic virtues beneath its roof and, through the fire and blood of a seven
years' Revolutionary War, shrunk from no danger, no toil, no sacrifice to serve his country and to raise his children
to a condition better than his own, may my name and the name of my posterity be blotted forever from the memory
Dr. Wallace's New England character and training, united with persistent energy and untiring industry, have given
us, in the subject of this sketch, another and striking example of that reward which attends upon honest effort
among a people governed as we are governed.
In the year 1879, Dr. Wallace came to Brookline. The position was one of peculiar difficulty on account of existing
conditions occasioned by the great popularity of his predecessor, -- Dr. D.H. Dearborn. Three years before this
quite a number of the citizens took the matter in hand of securing a resident physician. For years the community
had depended upon medical skill from the surrounding towns. The time seemed to have come when a physician was demanded,
whose home should be in their midst. By chance Dr. Dearborn was secured, and the hearts of the people went out
towards him. This heartiness of welcome, coupled with a skill in his profession, won him a large place in the affection
of both the town and the outlying villages. On this account nearly every one predicted failure for any one who
should succeed him. Dr. Wallace entered upon the work of this field under stern circumstances, and while an entire
stranger, he soon gained a popularity that was as remarkable and more wide-reaching than that of his predecessor.
Within a very short time his practice enlarged to such an extent that only the possession of an almost perfect
physique enabled him to attend to the multiplied calls upon his time and skill. From almost the first four horses
were in constant requisition, and night and day, in many seasons of the year, were alike working hours for him.
Many difficult and delicate surgical operations have been performed by Dr. Wallace, some of which taxed the nerve
and knowledge of older physicians in the neighborhood. As a citizen, Dr. Wallace, from the first, identified himself
with every reform, -- social, moral and religious. No subscription paper or solicitor for a worthy object ever
met his disapproval or failed to receive hearty indorsement and substantial aid. In 1884 he was elected a member
of the School Board, and his labors in that direction, often performed under a stress of business that would have
unnerved most of men, have been valuable to the town and encouraging to every well-wisher of youth.
Dr. Wallace has gained the reputation of being an ardent temperance man, exhibiting his absolute dislike and even
hatred of the rum traffic and fashionable tippling both in his professional life and public career. It has been
said many times and with truth that while some physicians may by their prescriptions lay the foundation for a drunkard's
career in many lives, Dr. Wallace can never be charged with such a responsibility, for if he found it necessary
to prescribe a stimulant to one whose taste was vicious, he would so disguise it with drugs as to make it well-nigh
nauseous. We think we speak what we know when we say that he has done more towards suppressing the swinish habit
of cider and beer-guzzling than any man in our community. Although Dr. Wallace did not unite with the Congregational
Church in this place by letter from the church in New Castle, E., until March, 1885, yet he was ever in sympathy
with church and pastor. No firmer friend to the cause of truth and religion could be found in the community, and
the pastor always felt that he had in him a firm friend, a valuable helper and a sympathizing worker. Generous
to a fault, no poor person ever applied to him for aid but he received more than he asked. Hundreds of dollars
in bills were given to the deserving poor or those who were otherwise unfortunate. Many will be able to rise up
in the future and call his name blessed and his works noble. To lose such a man from any community would seem to
be a loss almost irreparable.
The following letters will show the esteem in which he was held by his associates in Boston:
"OFFICE OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH
"Boston, March 1879.
"Dear Sir, -- Dr. A.S. Wallace, our port physician, is about to leave us, and asks me for a letter to you.
His leaving us will be a source of regret, but a letter in his behalf is a pleasure to me. I have known him well
for ten years. His student course, largely under my direction, was pursued at Boston, Brunswick and Hanover, taking
his degree in medicine at the latter place in 1874. He was selected by the Dean, from his class of twenty-five,
at Dartmouth, to assume the duties of assistant physician, under Dr. Earle, at the Northampton Lunatic Asylum,
which duties he began four weeks before graduating. He filled that position with credit to himself for six months,
and was then reluctantly let off to accept the position of assistant port physician under our charge. At the end
of about six months he was promoted to the position of port physician and assistant physician to the city institutions
at Deer Island. He has held the last two positions for nearly four years, and has won for himself the reputation
of a prompt and efficient officer, a polite gentleman, a kind, devoted and untiring physician. His record is one
of which he may well be proud. He has done about half the work at the institution, where over two thousand patients
are treated in bed and as many more outside, annually, including a great variety of medical and surgical cases
in both sexes, from infancy to old age.
"He has also had the advantage of the rare opportunities afforded by our quarantine service. This experience
has been an unusual one, and will be of great service to him and his patients wherever he settles. He is strictly
temperate, moral and upright in every particular. His present position necessarily separates him from his wife
and two children, whom he loves dearly, and with whom he feels he must be, and therefore seeks a home and private
practice. If he comes to your place I think you will not be disappointed in speaking of him in unmistakable terms.
To his faithfulness to duty and powers of endurance I have never seen any limit. Of our regret in losing this officer
we shall speak at another time. Of his success in private practice I can have no doubt.
Very truly yours,
"S.H. Durgin, M.D.
"Chairman Boston Board of Health."
[SEAL] "PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS.
"Deer Island, Boston Harbor, April 15, 1879.
"Dr. A.S. Wallace:
"Dear Doctor, -- We, who hereunto sign ourselves, deeply regretting your departure from among us, desire you
to accept the accompanying pieces of gold as a slight expression of the high regard and esteem in which you are
held by your friends and associates, both officially and socially, during the past ten years.
"Wishing you 'God speed' and a glorious success in your new field of labor,
"Yours most truly,
"Guy C. Underwood, Superintendent,
"John W. Dadmun, Chaplain.
"Horace Berry, M.D., Resid't Physician.
"Charles C. Paige, Engineer.
"John J. Collier, Clark
"John B. Swift, M.D.
"W. Preston Wood, Asst. Superintend't.
"Seth Perkins, Carpenter.
"Eben. M. Seaver."
JAMES HARVEY HALL
James Harvey Hall, the son of William Hall, Jr., was born in Brookline, N.H., June 22, 1810. His educational advantages
were limited to the common schools of his native town; but, being of a bright, active turn of mind, he obtained
a fair rudimentary education. He worked on a farm during boyhood, and also learned coopering, and when he had attained
his majority he went to the town of Lyndeborough and engaged in barrel manufacturing; this he continued there until
the time of his marriage (1835). He then went to Francestown, where he resided four or five years, when the advancing
age and declining health of his parents made it necessary that he should return to his native town of Brookline
and take care of them.
Upon his returning to Brookline he engaged in a branch of business which he continued through life, and which proved
The homestead and adjoining lands were quite heavily timbered, and he engaged in burning charcoal. He was a man
of untiring energy, and he pushed his business assiduously and earnestly, and, meeting with eminent success, he
gradually added to his landed possessions; conducted farming on quite a large scale, became the owner and conductor
of a grist, saw and planning-mill on property adjacent to the home farm, and also the owner of valuable tenement
property in Charlestown, Mass.
He represented his town in the State Legislature in 1869 and 1870. He was an ardent temperance man and a total
abstainer, and from early manhood was a consistent and valued member of the Congregational Church, and one of its
most generous supporters, paying yearly, for several years, two hundred dollars and over for the support of the
gospel in his native town. He remembered in his will the church of his native town, and his memory has further
been perpetuated in this direction by a generous contribution by Mrs. Hall for the remodeling of the church edifice,
and by his son, E.T. Hall, in the gift to the church of an excellent bell, which now hangs in the tower.
In business matters Mr. Hall was remarkably far-seeing and sagacious. While proverbially slow in expressing an
opinion or forming a conclusion on any subject, yet his judgment, once pronounced, was almost invariably found
to be correct. Every improvement in the social or business affairs of the town found in him an earnest advocate.
He was an active, honest, earnest man, and one of the most useful citizens of his town.
He was twice married, -- first, to Mary A., daughter of Major Nehemiah Boutwell, of Lyndeborough, November 10,
1835. They had five children, only two of whom are now living, -- Edward T. and Mary F. (now the widow of Deacon
George W. Peabody). Mrs. Hall died January 24, 1853. Mr. Hall married, as his second wife, October 20, 1853, Mary
J., daughter of Matthew A. and Jane W. (Christie) Fisher, of Francestown, N.H. By this marriage there are no children.
Mr. Hall died August 15, 1874. Mrs. Hall still survives (1885). She is a great-granddaughter of Deacon Samuel Fisher,
who came from Ireland in what was known as the "starved ship," and a niece of Mrs. Levi Spaulding, who
was a missionary at Ceylon for more than fifty years. Mrs. Hall's mother (recently deceased) was a sister of the
late Hon. Daniel M. Christie, of Dover, N.H.