The family bearing this name in East Bridgewater, whose head was the late Hon. Isaac Newton Nutter, descends from an ancient and honorable family of early New Hampshire, and is connected by marriage in later generations with a number of the old and highly respected families of Plymouth Colony, among them descendants of the “Mayflower” Pilgrims. The emigrant ancestor,
Elder Hatevil Nutter, was born in England in 1603. He was one of those of good estate and of “some account for religion” who were induced to leave England with Captain Wiggins in 1633, and to found a town in New England on Dover Neck, in New Hampshire. His wife, Annie, and son, Anthony, accompanied him. He received several grants of land, and became a large holder of real estate. He was a ruling elder in the first church at Dover, and sometimes filled its pulpit. He filled various offices in church and state, was highly respectable, and possessed of a good share of this world’s goods. He died before June 28, 1675 (when his will was proved), at the age of seventy-one years, leaving a “present wife, Ann,” and three children. In all, four children appear of record, namely:
- Anthony, born in 1630
- Mary, who married John Winget some time before 1670
- Elizabeth, who married Thomas Leighton, and who was dead in 1674
- Abigail, wife of Thomas Roberts
Anthony Nutter, son of Hatevil and Annie Nutter, was born in England in 1630, and died Feb. 19, 1686, of smallpox. His wife, Sarah, daughter of Henry Langstaff, survived him. They lived for a time at Dover Neck, but moved to Welshman’s cove, on Bloody Pointside, in what is now Newington, N. H., where his home was a garrison house. He was a prominent man in the Colony and exercised a wide influence. He was admitted freeman in 1662, was “corporall” in 1667, and “leftenant” in 1683, being thereafter known by the latter title. He was selectman, a member of the General Court when under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, and later of the General Assembly of New Hampshire, and in 1681-82 was a member of the Provincial Council. He had three sons, John, Hatevil and Henry, and one daughter, Sarah, who married Capt. Nathaniel Hill.
Henry Nutter, third son of Anthony and Sarah (Langstaff) Nutter, was born probably in Newington, where he was married July 26, 1703, to Mary Shackford. He died before June 30, 1739, when his will was proved. The legatees were his wife, Mary, and children
Samuel Nutter, eldest child of Henry and Mary (Shackford) Nutter, was undoubtedly born in Newington, about 1704, and lived in that town. On April 7, 1728, he “owned the covenant and was baptized at the Newington Church.” He was married May 15, 1725, to Sarah Hoyt, both being residents of Newington. Their children were baptized as follows:
- Richard, Sept. 11, 1726
- Marion, Jan. 26, 1730
- Samuel, April 8, 1733
- Lemuel, March 4, 1739; and there were probably others not thus recorded.
Richard Nutter, eldest child of Samuel and Sarah (Hoyt) Nutter, was baptized Sept. 11, 1726, in Newington, and went to reside upon lands in Rochester, which he purchased from his father Dec. 14, 1761. He was assessor of that town in 1757 and was on the Committee of Safety during the Revolution. His wife’s maiden name was Temperance Nutter, and their children were:
Richard Nutter (2), seventh son of Richard and Temperance Nutter, resided in Rochester. He was married (first) May 14, 1789, to Dorothy Place, and married (second) Nov. 29, 1805, to Temperance Rand, of Somersworth. His children, all by the first marriage, were:
Isaac Nutter, father of the principal subject of this sketch, was born in December, 1800, in Rochester, N. H., and learned the trade of harnessmaker and carriage trimmer. In 1825 he removed to East Bridgewater, Mass., and engaged there in the mercantile business Until 1863, when he retired. He died Dec. 22, 1865, in East Bridgewater. His wife, Margaret Orr (Keen), daughter of Deacon Samuel and Margaret Orr (Clift) Keen, died in 1892. To them were born children as follows:
- Henry (died young)
- Henry (2) (died young)
- Isaac Newton
- Edmund Winslow (born July 22, 1840, died 1906)
- George Clifton (died at the age of three years)
- Fred Clifton (born in 1850, resides in East Bridgewater)
Mrs. Margaret Orr (Keen) Nutter was a descendant through her father of Lemuel Keen, of Pembroke and East Bridgewater, Mass., and through her mother of Edward Winslow, of Droitwich, England, who came in the “Mayflower,” 1620, from whom her descent is through Kenelm Winslow and his wife Eleanor (Newton-Adams), Kenelm Winslow (2), of Yarmouth, and his wife Mercy (Worden), Nathaniel Winslow, of Marshfield, and his wife Faith (Miller), Gilbert Winslow and his wife Mercy (Snow), Anthony Winslow, of Bridgewater, and his wife Deborah (Barker), and Deborah Winslow, of Bridgewater, who married Capt. Nathaniel Clift, the latter being a direct descendant of William Clift, an Englishman, who on coming to this country, lived in Scituate and Marshfield, respectively.
Mrs. Margaret Orr (Keen) Nutter was also descended from Hon. Hugh Orr, a native of Scotland, son of Robert Orr, of Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, who came to America in 1740, and settled in the town of East Bridgewater, Mass., from whom her descent is through Bethiah Orr, who married in 1777 Anthony Winslow Clift.
Isaac Newton Nutter, son of Isaac and Margaret Orr (Keen) Nutter, was born June 23, 1836, in East Bridgewater, Mass., where he spent all of his life, during which, from early manhood, he was closely identified with its development. He was educated in the public schools and at the East Bridgewater Academy under the principalship of William Allen. At the age of sixteen years he entered the employ of his father, as clerk in the country store which the latter had purchased of Hector Orr. Later he bought from his father the dry goods and boot and shoe branch of the business, which he set up in a separate building. This business he carried on successfully until 1884, when he sold it to his younger brother.
In 1871, when the East Bridgewater Savings Bank was organized, Isaac N. Nutter was one of the original incorporators and trustees, and was also elected the first treasurer, which office he held until 1893. After his resignation as treasurer he continued to serve as a trustee and a member of the board of investment, up to the time of his death. The bank was originally located in his dry goods store, where it was conducted until a separate bank building was erected, in 1884. Mr. Nutter then sold out the store business and devoted his entire time to his banking and other interests. He was the last survivor of the incorporators of the bank and of the original trustees.
Mr. Nutter took a leading part in organizing in July, 1893, the Plymouth County Safe Deposit & Trust Company, of Brockton, and was elected its treasurer at the start, when the banking rooms were formally opened, in September. From that time up to his resignation, on July 1, 1908, he devoted himself mainly to its interests, and it was in connection with this institution that he became most widely known in the banking circles of the State. The late ex-Mayor Ziba C. Keith, of Brockton, was one of those most actively associated with him in this important enterprise. During the fifteen years Mr. Nutter filled the position of treasurer he became well known for his tact, sagacity and sound judgment. The trust company flourished to a remarkable extent. On May 11, 1908, at his own request, he was retired from active service, the new treasurer beginning his duties July 1st, exactly fifteen years after Mr. Nutter was first elected. He remained on the board of directors and was clerk at the time of his death. He visited the bank the Thursday before he died. His cheery presence and words of encouragement on all occasions were a stimulus to all who were associated with him.
Mr. Nutter was also one of the organizers of the Brockton National Bank, in 1880, and served as a director until the Plymouth County Trust Company was organized, when he resigned. The earlier street railway ventures in this section also elicited his support and cooperation, especially where he felt that the roads would build up the towns.
Mr. Nutter held numerous positions of trust and responsibility in his native town. He was a trustee of the public library until his death; was for six years town clerk, 1860-1866; town treasurer for a quarter of a century, 1865-93, with the exception of two years; member of the House of Representatives for the district composed of Brockton and East Bridgewater for two years, 1875-76; and senator for the Second District of Plymouth county two years, in 1891 and 1892, serving both years as chairman of the committee on Banks and Banking. Mr. Nutter was selected by the donor, Cyrus Washburn, of Wellesley, as one of the four others associated with the late Hon. B. W. Harris in the care of the fund for the erection of the “Washburn Memorial Library,” in East Bridgewater, and was secretary and treasurer of the board. He was also at the time of his death president and treasurer of the board of trustees of the Howard Seminary, of West Bridgewater, positions which he had held for some years. To his efforts his native town is largely indebted for its superior high school. He was one of the organizers and for many years an officer of the East Bridgewater Board of Trade. In his eulogy delivered at the special meeting of the board held to pass upon his death Judge Robert O. Harris spoke in part as follows:
“As a boy in the public schools and the academy, as a young man just beginning his business career, as a business man, and as a public official, his life has always been clean, honorable and useful In every public place he was a force for good. His activities were not confined to the town, for he was prominent in county affairs, in the agricultural societies, the schools, the Historical Society, the Howard Seminary, and various local societies and organizations During the Rebellion he was zealously earnest in the Union cause. At the close of the war he was active and influential in causing the erection and dedication of the Soldiers’ monument.
“Those of us, a younger generation, who were schoolboys as he was beginning his active career, can look back fifty years, and as we review them, can now realize how helpful, useful and uniformly kindly has been the life of the modest-mannered but earnest gentleman who has been called to his reward.”
Those who have only memories of him in his later years know enough of him to realize that in his death the town has lost a friend, and an influence for good neighborhood life and good citizenship, whose place cannot be readily filled.
“When so good and useful a citizen, so kind and wise a husband and father, is taken from the community, it is well to make some record that shall be appreciative of his virtues and of our loss.”
In politics Mr. Nutter was an earnest Republican, active in the party organization. He served a number of years as a member of the Republican town committee of East Bridgewater. He had been a frequent delegate to party conventions, and for a number of years was a member of the Massachusetts Republican and the Plymouth County Republican Clubs. He was connected with the Odd Fellows fraternity, and was one of the most active and prominent members of Colfax Lodge, of East Bridgewater. He was a past noble commander in Old Colony Commandery of the Golden Cross; member of the West Bridgewater Grange and deeply interested in its work; vice president of the Plymouth County Agricultural Society; member of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society; secretary of the Society of Mayflower Descendants; and member of the Massachusetts Society, Sons of the American Revolution. He and his wife were members of the First Parish (Unitarian) of East Bridgewater.
On July 5, 1865, Mr. Nutter was married to Anna Maria Latham, daughter of Charles A. Latham, of East Bridgewater. Three children were born to them:
- Maria Latham, born in 1866, who resides at home, unmarried
- Richard Winslow, born in 1869
- Charles Latham, born in 1871
Mrs. Nutter passed away in East Bridgewater Jan. 23, 1903, and Mr. Nutter died Jan. 9, 1911.
Although he was in his seventy-fifth year, Mr. Nutter’s death was sudden and a surprise to all who knew him. He had attended divine services the day before, walking to and from church. “Throughout Brockton and the Bridgewaters the news inspired sadness, sympathetic comment and expressions of appreciation of his useful life, manifold kindnesses and unfailing attitude of good cheer and helpfulness toward his fellow men.” On the day of his funeral men prominent in every walk of life came to pay their last tribute of respect to one whose “sterling integrity has stood forth like a beacon light and cast an influence for good everywhere within reach of its searching rays.” The schools, the public library and the town offices were closed; not only in his own town, but in West Bridgewater, where he was long regarded as a leading spirit, there were many evidences of sincere regret at the passing away of so useful a man. Howard Seminary was closed so that the faculty might attend the services and the school bell was tolled during the hour of the funeral. The services were held at the Unitarian Church, and the commitment services at the cemetery were under the direction of Colfax Lodge, I. O. O. F.
Richard Winslow Nutter, son of the late Hon. Isaac Newton Nutter, began his education in the public schools of East Bridgewater, was graduated from the high school, from Phillips Exeter Academy, and from Harvard (in 1891) with the degree of A. B. He read law with Judge Robert O. Harris and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1896, since when he has been engaged in practice in Brockton, where he has his home. For several years he served as assistant district attorney under Asa P. French, for the counties of Plymouth and Norfolk. He is at present a member of the board of trustees of the Brockton Public Library, and a member of the common council. In 1905 he married Alice Moore, of Chicopee, Mass., and they have two children:
- Richard Winslow
- Albert Moore
Charles Latham Nutter, youngest son of the late Hon. Isaac Newton Nutter, attended the public schools and high school of East Bridgewater, Phillips Exeter Academy and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which latter institution he was graduated in 1893. He then entered the employ of the Carver Cotton Gin Company, at East Bridgewater, where he now holds a managerial position. He is also the treasurer, manager and principal owner of the Old Colony Foundry Company, of East Bridgewater. He has been a member of the school committee, and takes an interest in all public affairs of the town. Mr. Nutter is unmarried and resides at the family home with his sister.