US GenWebLynnfield, MAMA GenWeb

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Essex County GenWeb

Lynnfield First Families

Wellman's "History of the Town of Lynnfield. 1635 - 1895 " makes mention of many of Lynnfield's earliest inhabitants.  Among these are his thanks to those who encouraged him in his labours to write the book, including Dea. George E. Batchelder, Rev. H. L. Brickett, Mr. and Mrs. Ebenezer Parsons, and George H. S. Driver, found in the preface.  The history goes on to discuss the summer residences of several prominent citizens located on the shores of Humphrey's Pond, now named Suntaug Lake.  These were properties of David P. Ives, Henry Saltonstall and Francis Appleton.

        The earliest settlers were recipients of land grants, the first of whom was Mr. John Humphrey, who died in 1661.  Later, a part of his 500 acres was owned by Ensign Joseph Newhall.  In 1663, the sawmill, on Saugus River between Wakefield and Lynnfield was built, owned by John Poole.  In 1672, Thomas Wellman died, one of the earliest settlers of "Lynn End", which was what ultimately the Town of Lynnfield was then called.  On September 18, 1675, (called "the saddest day that ever befell New England")  at South Deerfield, Mass., the infamous "Battle of Bloody Brook" occurred.  A company of ninety picked men, led by Capt. Lothrop were beset by not fewer than 700 Indian savages, and but seven or eight at the utmost escaped.  Among those killed was Stephen Wellman, of what is now Lynnfield.

          In 1711, several of the inhabitants petitioned to become a "precinct by ourselves", which was granted, and this was Lynnfield in the bud.  In 1729, the following persons were assessed in the parish:

          Moses Aborn, Moses Aborn Jr., Thomas Aborn, Samuel Aborn, Eben Aborn, Ensign John Bancroft, Dea. John Bancroft, Ebenezer Bancroft, Josiah Brown, John Bancroft Jr., John Darling, Benj. Chaplin, Peletiah Crocker, Dea. Wm. Eaton, Jeremiah Eaton, Joseph Eaton, Benj. Eaton, Widow Eaton, Lieut. Flint, Nath'll Gowing, Nath'll Gowing Jr., Jonathan Gowing, Benj. Gowing, Ezekiel Gowing, Daniel Gowing, Daniel Gowing Jr., Samuel Gowing, Thomas Gowing, Thomas Gould, Capt. Sam'l Hart, Thomas Hart, Samuel Hart, John Hart, Nath'll Hutchinson, Francis Hutchinson, Thomas Hutchinson, John Hawkes, Thomas Hodgman, Capt. Timothy Horn, Martin Herrick, Thomas Newhall, Elisha Newhall, Samuel Newhall, Ebenezer Newhall, Daniel Newhall, George Nurse, Andrew Mansfield, James Pearson, Ebenezer Pearson, James Pearson Jr., Samuel Parker, Samuel Potter, John Poole, Timothy Poole, Thomas Poole, William Perkins, Stephen Pepper, Benj. Pope, Samuel Pope, Shubael Stearns, Samuel Stearns, Nath'll Sharman, Daniel Townsend, John Williams, Thomas Wellman, Stephen Wellman, Abraham Wellman, Jonathan Wellman, John Wellman, John Woodward, and Samuel Wasson.s  

          He then goes on to describe some of the prized dwellings and their owners, beginning with the former summer residence of Isaac Cook, which became known subsequently as "Smith place", located about a mile East of the Common.  About a quarter mile toward the Center, we find the homestead of Henry Endicott Smith.  The site of another may be seen near the Peabody lineand it was burned around 1890.  It was here that Capt. Ebenezer Hart spent his remaining days.  Also nearby is the Shute house, built by the Hart family in the late 1700's.

          The land in that area was known as "Hart's grant", and here was where Hon. Thomas N. Hart's ancestors on his father's side lived.  Other homes in the area were the Emerson farm, Jeremiah Coney's residence, Joel Hewes' home, the Norwood house.  The Shearman house stood on the site of Mrs. Sarah Wiley's home, and another where is the residence of David F. Parsons.  Other old homes, mostly gone today, included the Tremont house, the Newhall house, the home of Mrs. James Reed.  The Pearson housewas built near the beginning of the nineteenth century, and the Perkins house was built about 1700, inhabited by six John Perkinses.   The Hart house was said to be the 2nd built in the town.  A farm, once known as the "Charlestown farm", burned in 1842, and was replaced with the home of Mr. W. Newhall.

          The Sparhawk house, built about 1720, where the Wheeler house stood around 1900, was moved around 1860, a mile up the streen, and was further moved to Malden, where it still stood in 1895.  It was the home of Rev. Nathaniel Sparhawk.  Other names of early townsfolk were Judge Nash, Rev. Mr. Mottey, his daughter Mrs. Eliza Bancroft, F. P. Russell, Esq., The Gowings, Bryants, Flannagans. Joseph Henfield, Charles Derby, the Ornes, Miles Thurston.  There is the Danforth house, built by Dea. Nathaniel Bancroft, the Joseph Gowing Tavern, to which it is said were brought the remains of Lynnfield's son, killed in the famed Battle at Lexington on April 19, 1775.  There were the Wellman's, George E. Herrick, Andrew Mansfield,  "Aunt Fanny Walton", the Ramsdell's, Mrs. James Hewes, the Larrabee's, the Aborns, Nourse's, Foster's, Tates, Timothy Munroe

          The Old Meeting House, built in 1715, was one of the oldest houses of worship in the Commonwealth, and it is said that the assignment of pews was an indication of a person's station in the community.  In May 1782, the parishioners petitioned to enlarge the building, and in 1783, the following were the pew assignments:

Mr. Josiah Newhall                    the pew next the ministerial pew

Mr. Jonathan Wellman              the corner pew adj. Mr Newhall

Dea. Daniel Mansfield              floor pew, S.E. side of 'broad alley'

Lieut. James Bancroft               pew adj Dea. Mansfield, same side

Thomas Townsend                     two pews adj Lieut. Bancroft

John Bancroft                            wall pew, N. end

James Brown,                            N.E. corner pew

Capt. John Burnham                 pew at Right hand of door, no. 1

Thomas Reed                            pew at Left hand of door, no. 2

Andrew Mansfield                    pew at West side of pulpit, no. 3

Nathaniel Howard                    pew no. 4

John Hewes                              pew no. 5

Daniel Mansfiled (sic)             pew no. 6

Matthew Newhall                     pew no. 7

William Mansfield                    pews no. 8 and 9

Timothy Walton                        pew at West side of  "broad alley"

          Many prominent citizens participated, on January 28, 1892, in a dedication celebration of the town's first town hall.  Henry Law presided.  The American Band of Lowell, furnished fine music.  The Rev. H. L. Brickett, of Lynnfield Centre, offered prayer, as well as being orator of the day.  Mayor Elihu Hayes, of Lynn spoke of the close connection between Lynn and Lynnfield.  The keys were received by John M. Danforth, Esq., and the reading of the report by George E. Batchelder.  Mayor William M. Tyler spoke for Wakefield.  Judge E. A. Upton spoke in a happy vein.  Hon. Nathan M. Hawkes, a native of Lynnfield, had prepared a paper --- "Why the Old Town House was built and some Things which have been Talked of Since."  The time had so passed away that his remarks were brief, but the article was printed and is a valuable addition to the history of this old historic town.

          Hon. Asa Tarbell Newhall, ex-mayor of Lynn, and a native of Lynnfield, gave an address full of patriotism, enthusiastic in praise of Lynnfield.  An oriignal poem was read by its author, Mr. Annie Stevens Perkins.  After the three hours of the dedication exercises, there was a catered supper in the lower hall, followed by a ball, which lasted until two o'clock in the morning.



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