Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Clark-Kingsbury Home Medfield MA

Kingsbury Homestead Medfield, Massachusetts

My Grandmother, Mildred Mabel Phelps daughter of Melissa Cross Davenport and Frederick Winsor Phelps (1877-1947) grew up in this Medfield home known as the Clark-Kingsbury Farm Historic District.  
Her mother died of typhoid when Mildred was 9 months old. 
Mildred's family was living in Peterborough, New Hampshire.  Her father was working for the railroad company that the Phelps family owned. 
Mildred went to live in Medfield with her aunt Lillian Phelps Kinsbury (1869-1951) married to Allen Alanzo Kingsbury (1865-1952)

Lillian Phelps Kingsbury (1869-1951) daughter of Francis Henry Phelps (1840-1877) and Esther Antoinette Hall (1846- 1938) and husband Allan Alonzo Kingsbury (1865-1952) son of George Williamson Kingsbury (1838-1912) and Olive Atarah Smith (1839-1925)

Mildred Mabel Phelps born June 8 1909 Peterborough, NH died June 8 1995 Lynn, MA
The photo from This Old Town: The long history of Girl Scouts in Medfield shows Medfield Troop I “Red Rose” in 1920. In the top row are: Florence Johnson, Mary Kennedy, Muriel Holmes, Ruth Hunt, and Grace Wilbur. In the second row are Grace Kelly, Captain Evelyn Byng, Lucy Newell, Laura Mills, Marjorie Doane, Lieutenant Gwendolyn Morse, and Dorothy Allen.
In the third row are Ester Peterson, Frances Tubridy, Marjorie Platt, Dorothy Gardiner, Edith Mills, Marion Kelly, Threta Platt, Doris Cobb, and Mildred Weiker. Seated are Winifred Griffin, Lois Heard, Betty Crooker, Gertrude Leroux, Ruth Sauer, Mildred Phelps, and Carolyn Hamant

  Kingsbury Homestead 1931

Courtesy Theresa Knapp.

Priscilla Kingsbury with Robert Levi Berry, JR at Kingsbury Pond

Robert Levi Berry

Robert Levi Berry, Jr with his dad Robert Levi Berry, SR in Medfield at the house

Mildred Phelps, Robert Berry and Francis

              Read More about the Mystery Lady (believed to be Lillian Phelps Kingsbury)
Grave A A Kingsbury


Kinsgbury-Lord House Ipswich MA  

See Kingsbury genealogy: the genealogy of the descendants of Joseph Kingsbury of Dedham, Massachusetts, together with the descendants in several lines of Henry Kingsbury of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and our Canadian cousins

On Saturday, January 5, 1924, a fire almost completely destroyed the original church building. The Kingsbury, Greene, and Crossman memorial windows, along with the Communion silver, the old bell, some flags, the pulpit, and a few other furnishings were the only items to survive. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Joseph Kingsbury was one of the three Kingsbury brothers who sailed to America on the ship known as the Talbot which was part of a fleet of four ships under the command of Gov. John Winthrop. they set sail March 27, 1630 from Southampton, England, and arrived in Salem, Massachusetts, about July of 1630. Gov. Winthrop was not satisfied with Salem and the fleet moved down the coast eventually settling in Shawmut (now Boston). About 1635 they sent an exploring party up the Charles River and they established a settlement at Watertown. John and Joseph Kingsbury were part of this party. The community flourished and they quickly organized in what was referred to as a "Contentment" recording all events. The Kingsbury brothers were apparently of strong pioneer stock and considered Watertown too crowded. A small band of like minded individuals again used the Charles River which turned South just beyond Watertown and settled in what is now Dedham. They petitioned the General Court on 9-5-1636 for a large tract of land to form their community. The petition was granted on 9-10-1636 and the name Dedham was assigned by the court.

(NOTE: Current county boundaries have Dedham and Needham in Norfolk County, but prior to 1800 Norfolk County did not exist and all of this area was included in Suffolk County. Apparently, on 8-18-1636, before the group left Watertown, theymet at the home of John Dwight and drew up a Covenant for their political organization. John Kingsbury signed the Covenant that day, but Joseph did not sign until1637, after he arrived in Dedham. The Dedham town records for 11-1-1637 indicate that Joseph Kingsbury deeded part of his land to the town for the purpose of building a town meeting hall. In 1638 the records show that Joseph Kingsbury deeded one acre of his land abutting on High Street to the town of Dedham for a church site. A second structure for Old First Parish Church was erected on the same site at the corner of Court and high Streets in 1763. In 1819 ownership of the church passed to the Unitarians.The records go on to note that Joseph was in turn given an acre of land to replace that which he had given for the church. However, this land was rocky swamp land and the land he gave the church was prime land. Joseph held against the town fathers for some time and apparently this was the basis for a long feud between Joseph and the Church fathers. In several official writings of the church Joseph Kingsbury is noted as having a bad temperament and was not allowed into the church fellowship. For his part, Joseph appaently did not want to be part of this church body. Later Joseph was again called upon for land and he granted another acre of his land to the town for a burying place. With this in mind, there is some question as to why Joseph was buried in Norfolk. Among the records of Dedham it is noted that the first child born in the Community was Ruth Morse, born 7-3-1637 and Mary Kingsbury, born 9-1-1637 was the second. The Church of Dedham was "gathered' on 9-8-1638, but Joseph was not one of its originators. In fact, he was apparently rejected at the time because he was considered too worldly and "the Lord left him into a such a distempered passionate flying out on one of the Company that we thought him unfit for the church". This could refer back to the problems over the tract of land for the church. Millicent Kingsbury was accepted into the church on 4-24-1639 and Joseph finally admitted on 6-26-1641. In the writings of Arthur F. Kingsbury in 1912, it is interesting to note that the majority of the descendants of Joseph
Kingsbury for a period of over 275 years lived their lives within a 15 mile radius of Dedham. Joseph was apparently a skilled metal worker and mechanic, in addition to his farming endeavors. A young man who trained under him, Robert Crossman, married his daughter Sarah. In 1638 he as not admitted to the Dedham Church because he was "too much addicted to the world", but on the 9th of the 2nd month 1641 the church wa persuaded of repentance and faith and he was received. Perhaps in keeping with his long feud with the church, Joseph was buried in Norfolk Cemetery.

Will dated 22 March 1675, proved 1 June 1676, bequeaths to sons Joseph, John, Eleazer and Nathaniel, wife Millicent; daughter Sarah Crossman; son-in-law Thomas Cooper of Rehoboth; to grandchildren Elizabeth Brewer; sons-in-law Robert Crossman and Nathaniel Brewer. Refers to deceased brother John Kingsbury.

Dedham Births & Burialls recorded in Boston 1635 - 1643
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
The Register of the Births and Burialls in DEDHAM from the Yeare 1635 unto the Yeare 1643.

Mary the daughter of Joseph Kingsbury & Millecent his wife borne 1 (7) 1637.
Elisabeth the daughter of Joseph Kingsbury & Millecent his wife was borne 14 (7) 1638.
Joseph the son of Joseph Kingsbury & Millecent his wife was borne 17 (12) 1640.

From the "Great Migration Newsletter":
Joseph Kingsberry (De): Joseph Kingsbury of whom mention was made before that he was left out of the foundation of the church for some cause there mentioned? was admitted to Dedham church on 9 April 1641 [DeChR 24-25]. On 18 July 1637, the town of Dedham authorized Ezechiell Holliman of our society to turn over his lot, as also that which he purchased of Raffe Shepheard, unto John Kingsbery & Joseph his brother? [DeTR 1:32]. On 1 September 1637, ?Mary, the daughter of Joseph & Millicent Kingsbury? was born at Dedham [De VR 1]

Built in 1755 by John Bird. It was built on 216 acres which is now known as Bird Hill. John lived in the house with his wife Mary Lyon. The land and house have both changed over the years. Some of the low areas have been filled in and high ground has been leveled. Some of the original farmland was used for a glue factory and then the land was subdivided into many different building lots in 1810 when the property was sold to John and Joseph Kingsbury.

Needham Fire Company, Hose 1, 1898. The members of Fire Company, Hose 1 sit for a portrait at the Abell Photo Studio. They are: G. Horace Pierce, Alger E. Eaton, Fred N. Mills, Edgar Pierce, Henry A. Kingsbury (Chief), Alston R. Bowers, Charles C. Barnes and H. Howard Upham.

More Family Photos of Phelps Kingsbury, Berry & Davenport

In Medfield Robert Levi Berry SR & Mildred Phelps


Mildred Phelps University of Michigan1926 Sorority

Melissa Cross Davenport Phelps

Francis Whiting Kingsbury wife of Lewis Hall Kingsbury son of Samuel and Hannah (Hall) Kingsbury of Walpole, Mass., and was born on September 28, 1814, the youngest of nine children; married Eunice A. daughter of John Aldis and Judith (Richards) Haven, of Dedham, who died in June 1882. In November, 1887, he married Frances M. Whitney. He died in Boston on December 9, 1892, as the result of an accident which occurred on the 8th, while he was there on business for the Dedham National Bank.
He received a common school education in his native town, and after following various pursuits while living in Allegheny County, New York, he came to his uncle, Mr. Hall of Framingham, and with him visited his oldest sister, Mrs. J. N. E. Mann, of Dedham, on Christmas Day, 1838. From this time he has been actively identified with Dedham history. In the spring of 1842, he became a clerk in the Registry of Deeds and continued in that capacity until September, 1844, when he was appointed as clerk in the Dedham Bank. In December, 1846, Ebenezer Fisher Jr., cashier of the bank resigned, and Mr. Kingsbury was chosen to fill his place, entering upon his duties on January 1, 1847. Upon the reorganization as a National Bank in January 1865, he was elected President to follow Dr Jeremy Stimson. In 1873 at the request of Mr. John H. B. Thayer, the retiring cashier he assumed the duties of that position, with Ezra W. Taft as president. In January, 1885, he was again elected President and continued in that ofiice until his death. For thirty years Mr. Kingsbury has served the town as Treasurer, and in all the offices which he has held, has shown marked character and ability. He was a member of the Dedham Historical Society from September 5, 1865, to the time of his death. From Dedham Historical Society Register

Charles Herbert Kingsbury son of William Prescott Kingsbury and Madeline Florence Brown

Lillian Phelps Kingsbury and Allen Alazona Kingbury Children:

Francis Henry Kingsbury (1889 - 1969)

Carlton Winsor Kingsbury (1893 - 1963)

Amos Clark Kingsbury (1897 - 1955) 


Medfield book by Richard DeSorgher now on sale Richard is Medfield's new Selectmen and local Historian

Article on Willis Phelps Railroad

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bradford Academy Braddford MA

An Act to establish an Academy in the West Parish in the Town of Bradford, by the Name of Bradford Academy. [This Act passed February 10, 1804.] "Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, from November 28, 1780 to February 28, 1807" In 1932 the academy became Bradford Junior College.
The Bradford Academy in the West Parish of Bradford, was incorporated in 1804; tuition from 4 dollars to 6 dollars a quarter. 

Benjamin Greenleaf, was the last principal---He was the son of Caleb, who was the son of Timothy, who was the son of John, who was the son of Samuel, who was the son of Stephen, who was the son of Edmund, born in England in 1600. On the 12th of December, 1814, Mr. Greenieaf became the Preceptor of Bradford Academy. From A memorial of Bradford Academy: In 1810, Benjamin Greenleaf was entered as a sophomore in Dartmouth College, in a class of sixty. A quote from his diary.

"Sept. 26th, 1810. Exhibition Day at Atkinson; spoke the valedictory oration. Had a large ball in the evening; Betton, Nichols, and myself were managers.
"27th. Went to Haverhill in the morning for my horse, and set out for Dartmouth College, and take my farewell of Atkinson Academy. Arrive that day with Nichols and his father at Concord, and put up
"29th. Arrive at Hanover 8 of the clock, A. M. At a' quarter past 9 offer myself for examination before the officers of the College. After one hour and three quarters, was admitted to a regular standing in the sophomore class without any difficulty."

If there was anything striking in his scholarship while in college it was in the mathematical line, an indication of which we have in the fact that he calculated and sketched the transit of Venus while there, an event to take place December 8, 1874. He was the first to work this problem in Dartmouth College. After graduation he taught in Haverhill.

He married Lucretia Kimball, a teacher at the academy and former student.  Lucretia was the daughter of Capt. James Kimball and Lucretia Haseltine born 28 Feb 1794 in Bradford, Essex, MA, and died 02 Oct 1880 in Bradford, Essex, MA-Elmwood Cemetary. She married Benjamin Greenleaf on Oct 1821 in Bradford, MA. see The Kimball Family News, Volumes 3-4

More About Lucretia Kimball and Benjamin Greenleaf:
Marriage: Oct 1821, Bradford, MA.
Children of Lucretia Kimball and Benjamin Greenleaf are:
  1. James Kimball Greenleaf, b. 31 Dec 1832, d. 07 Mar 1834.
  2. Lydia Kimball Greenleaf, b. 14 May 1836.
  3. Moses Poor Greenleaf, b. 07 Feb 1818, d. 23 Jan 1848.
As a Teacher, Mr. Greenleaf was popular and successful. He had, at different times, as many as three thousand pupils under his care. More than two hundred of these afterward became connected with colleges; many of them entered the Christian ministry, and more than forty the legal profession. One of them thus distinctly reproduces a portrait of Mr. Greenleaf as he appeared in the school-room, and before his classes, and in social life, in his early days at Bradford. We quote from a letter of the Honorable Ira Perley, Chief Justice of the State of New Hampshire.

"I entered the Academy in April, 1816, and remained till the end of the summer term in 1818. His personal appearance and manners were marked and somewhat peculiar. Everything in the man was frank, direct, and wholly unaffected. Though very plain and perhaps a little careless in his dress, he was always perfectly tidy and scrupulously neat. His manners were not much regulated by artificial rules of politeness; but he had, what is much more important, great real kindness of heart, and habitual regard for the feelings of others. His loud voice and abrupt address were perhaps the more remarked from their contrast with the easy self-possession and calmer dignity of the excellent lady who presided so long over the other department of the school. He was understood to have an excellent head for mathematics, and to have pursued those studies with success.

"I do not think that the range of his classical studies was very extensive. But he had drilled himself, as well as his pupils, very faithfully in the Latin and Greek books which he taught, and his tastes did not lead him a great way beyond. He took greater pleasure, as I have always understood, in solving a knotty problem in mathematics, than in the perusal of a Latin or Greek classic. He, however, shirked no duty, and taught with great fidelity and diligence such of his pupils as were learning Latin and Greek. Indeed, he entered with great zeal and energy into all his work, and had that invaluable and indispensable gift of a good teacher, the faculty of imparting some of his own earnestness to those whom he taught. They could not fail to perceive that he was deeply interested in their improvement, and took great pleasure and pride in their success. He was devoted to his business of teaching, and justly regarded it as of the highest importance. It is quite clear that he chose the profession for which his natural endowments and all his training and habits had best qualified him.

"When I was there the school was very orderly, without any severity, or much sternness of discipline. I never knew the discipline to go beyond a rough and round reproof, except in a single instance, when a contumacious young man was expelled, after calling a meeting of the trustees to deliberate on his case.

"Mr. Greenleaf was very arduously devoted to the work of the school, and the studies immediately connected with it. I never knew that he had anything of what is commonly regarded as amusements or recreation— no games like chess or backgammon, no rides or even walks, for exercise. He sought no relief from the routine of his daily work in novels, poetry, other light reading.

"Mr. Greenleaf was a thoroughly sincere and honest man. He was wholly incapable of disguise or false pretense. He had but one way of accomplishing an end, and that was the most direct. And yet he was a prudent and sagacious man, and singularly fortunate, I believe, in avoiding personal differences and disputes. His moral and religious principles I believe to have been very firmly established, and made the uniform guide of his life. His influence was all on the side of religion and virtue. His numerous pupils who survive him will always cherish the memory of his kindness and devotion to their welfare."


Miss Harriet Briggs, daughter of Dr. Calvin Briggs of Marblehead, Massachusetts. "She was then a teacher in Bradford Academy, so hallowed by the memory of Harriet Newell and the first Mrs. Judson." With beauty of person and sweetness of natural disposition, she united a high degree of intelligence and culture, and a rare devotedness to the service of Christ. Her missionary spirit is told in a single line of a letter from Mr. Stoddard shortly before leaving the country. "As I write the date of this letter, I am forcibly reminded that the time is rapidly coming when I shall bid you farewell, and set my face toward Jerusalem. But as Harriet says, so say I—' When I think of the trials that will come upon me, my heart does not shrink.'" These two kindred hearts were united in marriage,.February 14th, 1843. From Memoir of Reverend David Tappan Stoddard By Joseph Parrish Thompson

Marion Coats, Principal of Bradford Academy, is hired as President-Designate of Sarah Lawrence College for Women 1929


Some Notable Dames of Bradford Academy:
Harriet Atwood Newell (1793-1812) She was member of the first American missionary venture. See Memoirs of her life. Pioneer of American Foreign Missions

Ann Hasseltine Judson (1789 - 1826) was one of the first American missionaries. In February 1812, she married the Rev. Adoniram Judson, one of the first members of the newly established American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions

Caroline Atherton Mason  Poet. She and her seven sisters attended the nearby Bradford Academy, where they were collectively nicknamed "the Pleiades."

MarianTrue Gehring  Helped to establish Gould Academy

Portia Marshall Washington Pittman (June 6, 1883 – February 26, 1978), the first Black graduate of Bradford Academy in 1905. Musician and teacher, and the only daughter of Booker T. and Fanny (Smith) Washington

Mary Montague Smith. She was first City Librarian. She was educated in the Bradford Academy, MA

Mabel Wheeler Daniels

More Info
"Historical Collections" By John Warner Barber
Historical Sketch of Harriette Briggs Stoddard: Bradford Academy By Mrs. J. D. Kingsbury