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He was a lover of peace, and possessed a happy talent at reconciling jarring interests and harmonizing discordant feelings. Such were his mental qualities, so strong his sense of justice and honourable dealing, that he was selected, before he was on the bench, a commissioner or referee to adjust the numerous controversies which prevailed to an alarming degree in the then District of Maine, between those who, without title, had settled on the lands of the Commonwealth, of the Waldo Patent and Plymouth Company on the one part, and the lawful proprietors of them on the other. By his co-operating agency, together with the enactments thereon by the legislature, such a settlement of the contending claims was effected as restored peace and contentment to the parties.
In the course of his professional career, many young gentlemen of liberal education, entered his office as students in law, and derived from him the requisite instruction. Or the distinguished men now living who were his pupils, are the Honorable Edward H. Robbins, late Lieut. Governor of the Commonwealth, now Judge of Probate for the county of Norfolk. The Honorable Nathaniel Paine, Judge of Probate for the County of Worcester.-The Hon. orable Artemas Ward, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,-and John M. Forbes, Esq. now Charge d'Affairs, at Buenos Ayres.
In his domestic relations he was faithful and affectionate ; a good neighbor, unostentatious in his professions of friendship, but manifested his sincerity by kindness and beneficence and untiring efforts to do good. He was a lover of order, and ready at all times to promote the interest and honor of the town. His charities, hospitality and benevolence are by many still remembered. The writer of this memoir, who was his neighbor, and at his desire by his bedside the last twenty four hours of his life, witnessed his calmness and resignation at the approach of death, and his faith in Him who giveth the victory.
His tomb stone, it is hoped, justly repeats the benediction of the Saviour,—“ Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God."
THE FIRST ON RECORD, TO THE PRESENT TIME. 1671 Thomas Beattle,
1737 Jabez Fairbanks, 1672 Thomas Beattle,
1738 Jabez Fairbanks, 1673 (Ralph ?) Houghton, 1739 Ebenezer Wilder, 1689 Ralph Houghton, 1740 Samuel Willard, 1693 John Houghton,
1741 William Richardson, 1697 John Hougbton,
1742 Samuel Willard, 1705 Joho Houghton, 1744 Ephraim Wilder, 1706 John Houghton,
1745 William Richardson, 1707 Thomas Sawyer, 1746 Joseph Wilder, Jr. 1708 Jobo Houghton,
1747 Joseph Wilder, Jr. 7710 Josiah Whitcomb, 1748 William Richardson, 1711 John Houghton,
1749 William Richardson, 1712 John Houghton,
1751 Joseph Wilder, Jr. 1714 Jabez Fairbanks, 1752 Joseph Wilder, Jr. 1715 John Houghton,
1753 Joseph Wilder, Jr. 1716 John Houghton,
1754 William Richardson, 1717 John Houghton,
1755 David Wilder, 1718 Joho Houghton,
1756 William Richardson, 1719 Joho Houghton,
1757 David Wilder, 1720 Joseph Wilder,
1758 William Richardson,
1759 William Richardson, 1721 )
1760 William Richardson, 1722 Jabez Fairbanks, 1761 William Richardson, 1723 Jabez Fairbanks, 1762 David Wilder, 1724 Jobo Houghton,
1763 David Wilder, 1725 Joseph Wilder,
1764 David Wilder, 1726 Joseph Wilder,
1765 David Wilder, 1727 Samuel Willard, 1766 Asa Whitcomb, 1728 Josiah White,
1767 David Wilder, 2729 Josiah White,
1768 Asa Whitcomb, 1730 Josiah White,
1769 Asa Whitcomb, 1731 Josiah White,
1770 Asa Whitcomb, 1732 James Wilder,
1771° Asa Whitcomb, 1733 James Keyes,
1772 Asa Whitcomb, 1734 Ephraim Wilder, 1773 Asa Whitcomb, 1735 Ephraim Wilder, 1774 Asa Whitcomb, 1736 Ephraim Wilder, 1775 Ebenezer Allen,
} } }
} Jacob Fisher
1775 Hezekiah Gates,
1778 1776 William Dunsmoor,
Samuel Thurston, 1777 William Dunsmoor, 1779 Joseph Reed.
UNDER THE PRESENT CONSTITUTION. 1780 William Putnam, 1807 Eli Stearns, 1781 William Dunsmoor,
1808 1782 John Sprague,
Jonas Lane, 1783 John Sprague,
1809 1784 John Sprague,
Jonas Lane, 1785 John Sprague,
1810 1786 Ephraim Carter, Jr.
Jonas Lane, 1787 Michael Newhall,
1811 1788 Michael Newhall,
Jacob Fisher, 1789 Michael Newhall,
1812 1790 Ephraim Carter, 1791 Ephraim Carter, Jr.
18 1792 Ephraim Carter, Jr.
William Cleaveland, 1793 John Whiting,
1814 1794 John Sprague,
Jobn Thurston, 1795 John Sprague,
1815 1796 John Sprague,
John Thurston, 1797 John Sprague,
1816 1798 John Sprague,
, 1799 John Sprague,
1817 1800 Samuel Ward,
Benjamin Wyman, 1801 Samuel Ward,
1818 1802 William Stedman,
, 1803 Jonathan Wilder, 1819 Benjamin Wyman, 1804 Jonathan Wilder,
1821 Jacob Fsher, 1805 Jonathan Wilder, 1823 Jacob Fisher, Jonathan Wilder,
1826 John Thurston. 1806
Eli Stearns, Where any year is omitted the town was not represented. Beattle was afterwards one of the deputies from Concord. I do not know that he ever lived here. Thomas Sawyer was the one who was taken captive in 1705. Col. Asa Whitcomb, the revolutionary patriot who represented the town many years in the Legislature, is particularly mentioned in Mr. Goodwin's history of Sterling.
} Solomon Carter
October, 1774, William Dunsmoor was chosen to represent the town in the Provincial Convention at Concord.
Dunsmoor and Asa Whitcomb were delegates to the Provincial Congress at Cambridge, February 1, 1775.
Joseph Reed and Ebenezer Allen, delegates to the State Conivention in Concord, July 14, 1779, to the County Convention at Worcester on the second Tuesday of August, 1779, and to attend at Concord first Wednesday in October, 1779.
William Dunsmoor, Ephraim Wilder and William Putnam, delegates to the Convention in Cambridge, September, 1779. This was the Convention that formed our present Constitution of State Gorernment.
Timothy Whiting and Ephraim Carter, delegates to the County Convention at Worcester, April, 1782.
Ebenezer Allen, delegate to the County Convention at Leicester, August 1786.
John Sprague, delegate to the Convention for ratifying the Federal Constitution. It is worthy of remark that out of the whole County of Worcester on the question for adopting the Constitution, there were forty three nays and but seven yeas. The latter were Messrs. Sprague of this town, Seth Newton of Southborough, Samuel Baker of Bolton, David Wilder of Leominister, Matthew Patrick of Western, Josiah Goddard of Athol, and Ephraim Wilder of Sterling.
John Maynard, Jonathan Wilder, and William Cleveland, delegates to the County Convention at Worcester, August, 1812.
Jacob Fisher and Davis Whitman, delegates to the Convention in Boston, November, 1820, for revising the Constitution of the State.
County Treasurer, Jonathan Houghton, 1731 to 1733.
Judge of Court of Common Pleas and Chief Justice, Joseph Wilder, 1731 to 1757.
Judge Court of Common Pleas, Samuel Willard, 1743 to 1753. Joseph Wilder, son of first Judge Joseph Wilder, 1762 to 1773. Joho Sprague, June 23, 1798, Chief Justice, July 31, 1798 to 1800.
Clerk of the Courts, William Stedman, 1810 to 1811. 1812 to 1816.
Sheriff, William Greenleaf, 1778 to 1783. John Sprague, 1798 to 1792.
Judge of Probate, Joseph Wilder, 1739 to 1757.
Assistant Justices of the Court of Sessions, John Whiting, March 1, 1808 to April 20, 1809. Timothy Whiting, November 14, 1811.
Scnators, John Sprague, 1785 10 1786. Moses Smith, 1814 te 1816.
Representatives to Congress. William Stedman, 1803 to 1810.
Justices of the Peace. I have no means of being accurate prior to 1788. Soon after the settlement of the town, Major Willard, who resided here for a short time, was a magistrate by virtue of his office, as one of the Court of Assistants. After the town was rebuilt, came John Houghton, and, probably, he was the only magistrate for some years. Then followed Judge Joseph Wilder, father and son, Col. Oliver Wilder, Col. Samuel Willard, father and son, Col. Abijah Willard, and Abel Willard, William Richardson, Joseph Reed, Osgood, &c.
Osgood, &c. After the peace, William Dunsmoor, and John Sprague. Since 1788, they are as follows,* viz:
ATTORNIES AND COUNCELLORS AT LAW.
Worcester C. C. P. Nov. Term, 1755, Abel Willard, to 1775.Removed.
Worcester, C. C. P. March Term, 1768, John Sprague, 1770 to 1800.-Died. Admitted in Worcester, Levi Willard, about the year 1786-Died.
. * This list was furnished by Edward D. Bangs, Esq. Secretary of State.