West Bridgewater, Plymouth County,
The early history of what is now the four Bridgewater, was of
course interwoven, so that previous articles on the other towns, have
forestalled much that would otherwise have been mentioned in the sketch of this
Agriculture is the principal business in West Bridgewater,
and the large farms of rich, mellow land, under the skillful management of our
intelligent farmers, yield good returns. There are also several boot and shoe
establishments, as well as good water power, used in the manufacture of iron.
Centre and Cochesett villages, in West Bridgewater, about two
miles apart, are neat, and busy in the labors of domestic industry.
West Bridgewater lies twenty-five miles south from Boston,
twenty north-west from Plymouth, ten north north-east from Taunton, and
twenty-five north by east from Fall River.
The following were the names of the fifty-four original
proprietors; those whose names are printed in italics, became permanent
John Washburn jr.
Thus it will be seen that of the fifty-four original
proprietors, only sixteen became inhabitants of the new settlement The grant of
the Bridgewater plantation, as we have seen, was in 1646, and the settlement
made in 16.50. The first settlers had a house lot of six acres each on the town
river, and the place was called Nuckatest, or Nuncketetest. The first lots were
taken up at West Bridgewater; first houses built and the first improvements made
there. The settlement was compact the house lots being contiguous, with a view
for mutual protection and aid against the Indians; and, as a further protection
from the natives, they erected a stockade or garrison on the South side of the
river, and fortified many of their dwellings. From this original home, the
settlers scattered into other portions of the town, extending their dwellings
first into the South part of the town, toward Nippenicket Pond, on the road to
Taunton, whither they were in the habit of going either to mill or to trade; and
we are told they frequently went to that place on foot, with the grists upon
their backs, a distance of several miles.
The West parish was never incorporated by an Act of the
Legislature, but the parochial affairs were for many years, transacted by the
old town. It was incorporated as West Bridgewater, Feb. 16th, 1822, thus leaving
the South Parish to retain the old name of Bridgewater.
On the 3d of June, 1856, the four Bridgewaters, united in
celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of the old town.
An address was delivered by Hon. Emery Washburn, of Cambridge, and a Poem by
Rev. James Reed, of Boston. A dinner was prepared for a thousand people, at
which appropriate and interesting remarks were made by a number of distinguished
A hymn was sung at the celebration, written by William C
Bryant, Esq., of New York, and another by Rev. Daniel Huntington, of New London,
which, after alluding in grateful terms, to our fathers, who:
"Bought these fields of savage men,
And reared their homes and altars here."
closed with the following stanzas:
"They left us freedom, honor, truth;
Oh ! may these rich bequests descend
From sire to son, from 'age to youth,
And bless our land till time shall end!
So, as successive centuries roll,
When we shall long have passed away,
Here may our sons, with heart and soul,
Still hail Bridgewater's natal day."
There were in the Army and Navy, from West Bridgewater, about
210 men. The persons named below, died in the service. There are several whom we
have no account of. Probably others died.
Myron E. Alger, C, 29th Reg't.
George Colwell, K, 3d Reg't.
Patrick Cunningham, K, 9th Reg't.
Timothy Callahan, killed, E, 19th Reg't.
Alvan E. Coffin, in rebel prison, 2d Cavalry.
John B. Dunbar, of fever, H, 2d Reg't.
James E. Jacobs, killed in Navy.
Leonard Jones, D, 58th, of wounds, in hospital at Washington, June 30th, 1864.
Henry M. Folsom, D, 58th Reg't, of disease.
John B. Gould, K, 26th Reg't, killed Sept. 19th, 1864.
Eustace Howard, D, 58th Reg't, of wounds, at the Wilderness, June 30th, 1864.
Lyman E. Howard, K, 26th Reg't, killed Sep. 19th, 1864.
Granville Howard, K, 26th Reg't, killed Sep. 19th, 1864.
Charles H. Hayden, C, 29th Reg't, of disease.
Hector O. Kingman, C, 58th Reg't, of disease, Feb. 5th, 1865.
Francis Lothrop, K, 26th Reg't, of fever, Aug. 1863.
Timothy O'Leary, P, 12th Reg't.
Michael McMurphy, 59th'Reg't, of disease.
Charles H. Parker, I, 40th Reg't, of disease.
Henry Quinley, H, 7th Reg't, killed.
Charles H. Turner, C, 29th Reg't, of disease.
Roscoe Tucker, I, 1st Cavalry, in rebel prison, Jan. 29th, 1805.
James Ryan, in Navy,
Asa P. Shaw, I, 40th Reg't, in rebel prison, Dec. 22d, 1 864.
William Dewyre, in Navy.
Notes About Book:
Source: Plymouth County Directory and Historical Register of the Old Colony,
Middleboro, Mass: Published By Stillman B. Pratt & Company, 1867.
Notes about Online Publication: This manuscript has been ocr'd and heavily
edited. Many of the Native American words have been reproduced as clearly as
online publication will allow us, but not all are exactly the way they were in
the original work. The structure of this manuscript has been changed to allow
better online presentation.