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Depot Street, 131, Willis House, Melville Morton, Randall, Eugene F., 131 Depot Street, South Easton, MA, info, Easton Historical Society

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posted by alias Historical Images on Saturday 1st of March 2014 01:20:46 AM

More information on this image is available at the Easton Historical Society in North Easton, MA. , image, Willis, J. D., 131 Washington Street, South Easton, MA, 1920, info, Easton Historical Society , The development by Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation of the factory and village land use in a rather organic manner with a mix work-related classes created an integrated geographic network. The housing on perimeter edge with factories and business affairs in the center creating the village concept in North Easton. Other important concepts were the Furnace Village Cemetery, Furnace Village Grammar School and the Furnace Village Store, which explains Furnace Village and other sections of Easton. source: Massachusetts Historical Commission , South Easton Cemetery This cemetery is situated above South Easton Village on the west side of Washington Street. It is a level tract of light sandy soil, has been planted with evergreen trees, and is neatly kept. The first interment here was that of Catherine Lothrop, wife of Thomas J. Johnson, who died at Newtonville, together with an infant son, on May 27, 1851, thirty-five years of age. In November of 1885, there can be counted two hundred and seventy-one graves, forty-four of which are unmarked, of these latter, however, many are new graves, to which headstones will probably be supplied. The following are names of most of those buried in these unmarked graves, Dean Ramsdell, Lizzie Ramsdell, and Emma, wife of Dean Ramsdell, Jr., Joseph Heath, a soldier, and Fred H. Greenleaf, a child of Fred Clapp, also one of Lucius Darling, of James Willis, of H. Y. Mitchell, of Fred C. Thayer, and of Warren Jones, two children of Eugene Willis and others of Martin Willis, Mrs. Carrie Kilburn and child, Rosanna, wife of Thomas James, Rebecca, wife of John Bailey, and the wife of John Bailey, Jr., Ella, wife of F. C. Thayer, Tyler F, Clapp, a soldier, Hattie Bosworth, Caleb S. Lothrop, Frank Nelson, and Asa Packard. There are a few others whose names are not easily ascertainable. Among the well-known citizens of other days whose graves are here may be mentioned those of E. J. W. Morse, Solomon W. Morse, Elijah Howard, Dr. Caleb Swan, Capt. Barzillai Dean, Lenard Williams, Capt. Milo Williams, Col. John Torrey, and John Bisbee, the latter well deserving the inscription upon his tombstone, - An honest man, the noblest work of God. - source: History of Easton, William L. Chaffin, 1886 . Description of Depot Street below History of the South Easton and Eastondale Fire and Water District below , 131 Depot Street By 1917, the Melville Morton Willis House at 131 Depot Street was owned and occupied by Melville Morton, and Ada Theresa Landers Willis. In the early 1880s, Nathaniel W., a carriage painter, and Sara B. Mitchell Perry owned and resided on a four acre parcel at 123 Depot Street, with a house, shop, and barn. In 1886, the map of South Easton shows the parcel at 131 Depot Street as noted with the name, - N. W. Perry. - In 1889, Nathaniel W., and Sara B. Mitchell Perry sold a half-acre of land west of their house to Francis J. Smith, a cotton mill worker for one hundred and seventy-five dollars. In 1889, the Easton Massachusetts City Directory listed Francis J. Smith as an employee of the E. J. W. Morse & Company at Seven Central Street. In 1893, Francis J. Smith sold the parcel at 131 Depot Street to Horace Dow, and Susan E. Purinton residing at 122 Depot Street for two hundred dollars. In 1900, owning and residing at 122 Depot Street were Horace Dow, a wooden heel factory Treasurer, and his wife, Susan E. Purinton, with their son, Charles Fessenden Purinton, and Horace's sister, Annie M. Purinton, and a servant, Kerrie B. Johnson, and a boarder, Walter Lovejoy, a bookkeeper. On May 7, 1902, Horace Dow Purinton passed away in Easton at the age of sixty-five, with his burial in the South Easton Cemetery. In 1911, Horace Dow, and Susan E. Purinton's son, Charles Fessenden Purinton sold the property at 131 Depot Street to Melville Morton, and Ada Theresa Landers Willis, who were renting on Central Street. In 1900, Melville Morton Willis, a shoe laster, was living on Depot Street, not this house, with his parents, James Warren, a iron moulder, and Wealthy Clorinda Leonard Willis, and his three brothers, Fred Leonard, John D., and Benjamin C. Willis, and his sister, Edna Gertrude Willis. On March 8, 1902, Melville Morton Willis married Ada Theresa Landers in Easton, daughter of Robert and Ellen O'Leary Landers. In 1910, renting and residing on Central Street were Melville Morton, a shoe shop laster, and his wife, Ada Theresa Landers Willis, with their daughter, Doris Ellen Willis, and their son, Harold E. Willis. In 1917, the Brockton Massachusetts City Directory listed Melville Morton Willis, a shoemaker, residing with his wife, Ada Theresa Landers Willis on Depot Street, opposite Church Street. In 1920, owning and residing at 131 Central Street were Melville Morton, a shoe shop laster, and his wife, Ada Theresa Landers Willis, with their daughter, Doris Ellen Willis, and their son, Harold E. Willis. On October 29, 1922, Melville Morton Willis' wife, Ada Theresa Landers Willis passed away in Easton at the age of forty-eight. On September 1, 1923, Melville Morton, and Ada Theresa Landers Willis' daughter, Doris Ellen Willis married Ernest John Garbitt II in West Roxbury, son of Ernest John, and Annie Louisa Gurner Garbitt. In 1926, widowed Melville Morton Willis sold the property at 131 Depot Street to his daughter, Doris Ellen Willis Garbitt II, and her husband, Ernest John Garbitt II. In 1930, Eugene Frederick Randall, a toy factory woodworker, was residing on Pine Street with his parents, Frank Martin, a railroad signal operator, and Lillian M. Randall. In 1930, Esther Emma Darling was residing in Wolcott, Vermont with her parents, Vern Marcus, a dairy farmer, and Cassie Lemyra Boyce Darling. On May 6, 1936, Eugene Frederick Randall married Esther Emma Darling Randall in Merrimack, New Hampshire, daughter of Vern Marcus, and Cassie Lemyra Boyce Darling. In 1940, owning and residing at 131 Depot Street were Eugene Frederick, a carpenter, and Esther Emma Darling Randall, and their two sons, Raymond Franklin, and Robert Darling Randall, and their daughter, Roberta Mae Randall. source: Easton Historical Society source; Massachusetts Historical Commission source: Ancestry source: History of Easton, William L. Chaffin, 1886 source: Easton’s Neighborhoods, Edmund C. Hands, 1995 . Early School Days in Eastondale, Edwin H. White, 1950s The following is part of a paper that Edwin H. White presented to the Easton Historical Society in the 1950s. In 1818, Asa Howard sold land for a school house at the intersection of Turnpike and Washington Streets, upon which a school house was built. In 1869, the building was moved near what is now Joseph Dardeno's House at 390 Turnpike Street. (1950s) This was where my father attended school. Also in 1869, a second building was erected on this site. It has recently been torn down, but it was a sore spot to our neighborhood for several years. It was set afire several times, but true to their duty, our firefighters saved a part of the building each time. I understand that during the last fire, the State Inspector appeared while it was still burning and ordered the firemen to extinguish the fire. This was the building in which I first attended school at the age of six. The following are the names of the teachers in their order while I attended school in this building: Miss Henrietta Gilmore, William Springer. Miss Cathell, Miss Jessie Bird and Miss Mary Young. The janitor was one of the older boys, and it became my job for two years, from 1882 to 1884. I had to be there early in the morning to sweep the floor three times a week, start the fire, and heat the school room where the pupils were taught, some of them walking a mile from either direction. There were no buses to carry us and our ears and toes many days seemed frozen even though we were dressed warmly with heavy woolen or red flannel underclothing, woolen stockings, and scarves or tippets as they were called, all of which our mothers had knitted in the long hours of the evening. I also had to fill the wooden pails with fresh water every morning, one for the girls ante room and one for the boys. These pails of water were kept on a shelf over an old iron sink, and a single long handled dipper hung on a nail nearby. I often wonder where the germs were in those days that two dippers were sufficient for all the children. There was no well on the school grounds, and I had to go a distance to a neighbor's old well sweep to fill the pails and return them to their proper place. Sometimes I had to fill the pails more than once if the children were unusually thirsty. However, the last year I was there, the Town dug a well on the school, and installed a cucumber pump, which made the job easier. For fear some of you may not know about a cucumber pump, it was a six inch square box. extending down into the well and about five feet above the well. A long handle attached allowed long strokes for pumping the water. The schoolhouse was heated by a big oblong wood burning stove in the cellar. This stove, for safety from fire, was built upon a stone foundation and the upper part was enclosed with brick up to the floor and to the register which was in the front of the school room. The smoke pipe came up through the register to the the of room and extended the length of the room to a chimney in the north end of the building suspended by wires attached to the ceiling. Many a one and one-half foot log have I put into that stove. I received twenty-six dollars and fifty cents a for the school year. That was enough for a suit of clothes, a hat, and a ticket for Dickerman's Sunday School Excursion during summer vacation, a big annual event in those days. The building was about thirty by forty feet. Doors on each side, one for the girls and one for the boys, opened into entries where our outer wraps were left. These entries opened into a vestibule and here the register was located. This vestibule could be separated from the classroom by two sliding gates which could be locked when occasion required. The classroom itself was occupied by four rows of double desks, not open tops. Two pupils sat at each desk. Boys were on one side of the room and the girls on the other, but notes could get across the line sometimes. Long seats were built on both sides of the room, and these seats were used for recitation purposes. As classes were called by the teacher, the pupils left their seats and went in order to these long seats. Then, as called upon, each pupil would rise and recite. The hours were from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and I p.m. to 4 p.m., with fifteen minutes recess both morning and afternoon. On pleasant days, we were allowed to play in the rear. All grades were taught in this school, from the ABC's to the fourth and fifth readers. Some of these books I have in my home. One is marked, Entered according to Act of Congress 1871. For the writing period, we were supplied with a lined blank book. Each page had a sample of writing at the top, and our lesson was to copy it. One day, hands were raised frantically. Teacher, there is something the matter with the ink. It was the janitor's responsibility to keep the ink wells filled, and the teacher looked to him for an explanation, but he was as puzzled as the other children. The teacher boarded on Purchase Street at the home of Mr. Rankin who was on the school committee. He supplied the ink for this school, and after hearing the teacher's story, he went to his cellar where the ink was stored, and found he had made a mistake and sent a bottle of boiled cider in place of the bottle of ink. The poor janitor had poured the cider in the ink wells, and as you can readily guess, the cider and the ink already in the ink wells did not mix well. And now about discipline. I do not remember that there were any very bad boys. Of course we had our fights and disagreements. A skunk sometimes found his way into the cellar and the school had to be closed. I would not care to tell you if the skunk got in there alone or if was aided by cellar windows being left open. I should like to speak again about the stove. As I think of it now, it was an interesting arrangement. The doors in front of the stove were lifted by chains. A tiny hole no larger than a screw hole was discovered, or made, in the floor near the desk of one of the boys, who attached a cord from this spot through the floor to the cellar, and far enough across to be attached to the outer housing doors, which were made of steel and had two handles. This boy could be studying apparently, and one of the most studious, when by pulling the rope under his desk, the doors which were hung on chains would drop down with a bang, and this noise would startle the teacher and children. She said, Janitor, I fear you did not close the stove doors properly. Please attend to it. But just as the janitor returned, the same thing happened again. But now the teacher caught glances from various parts of the room. This led her to the culprit and the rope. This school building was used until the new brick building of two rooms was erected on Pine Street and dedicated June, 1930. A third room-was later added. In our Eastondale building, we especially liked to watch the cattle being driven through the street, and the shepherd dog that accompanied the driver and helped to keep the drove in order. If they were going by at recess time, we forgot school and went along to help, only to return and find ourselves late. It was a common sight in those days to see cattle driven through the streets. They were being driven from the Brighton cattle mart and delivered to the respective buyers. In closing, I have a tale of how I was teased by some of the boys in the school. I took a pair of shoes one morning to the cobbler just below the school. They were to be retapped. Today we say resoled. That afternoon, the cobbler was seen trudging by with a side of sole leather on his back. A side was probably enough to sole twenty-five or thirty pairs of shoes. The boys said he had to get all that leather for my shoes. They really did razz me considerably as to the amount of leather required for my shoes. , Edwin C. White, following in the tradition of his grandfather and father, was President of Simpson Spring Company in 1967 until his retirement in 1988. For decades, Ed and his wife Evelyn (Lyn) lived in the second oldest house in Easton, the Benjamin Williams home at 539 Bay Road, which they totally restored. Ed and Lyn have been extremely active in the Easton community. Ed was the first president of the restored Easton Historical Society (1967-69), and facilitated many Antique Auto Meets at the Station. He was also the first Ames Free Library president to come from outside the Ames family, and was a trustee of the North Easton Savings Bank for 46 years, retiring as Chairman of the Board in 20I0. Lyn was one of the major spokespeople for saving Wheaton Farm, and provided the leadership for the creation of the Natural Resources Trust of Easton. (See History of Easton, Massachusetts: Volume Two, page 271.) She was also Executive Director of the Neponset River Watershed Association. Both Ed and Lyn have been active in Unity Church for many years. In 2001, the Lions Club presented the Whites the Outstanding Service Award, the highest award given. In addition, several years ago the Natural Resources Trust of Easton dedicated a bench on the foundation of the mansion of - Sheep Pasture - to Lyn and Ed White --Stewards of the Land. source: Reminiscences, Early School Days in Eastondale, Edwin H. White, 1950s, Easton Historical Society , In the year 1915, a second district was established within the town of Easton known as the South Easton and Eastondale Fire and Water District. This district comprises a section of the town about 5 miles long and averaging a little over 1 mile in width lying along the easterly border of the town adjacent to Brockton and West Bridgewater. Its northerly limit is about 2 miles south of the boundary between Easton and Stoughton, and this limit extends from the boundary of the North Easton Village District to the boundary line of the city of Brockton. The North Easton Village District is supplied with water from wells situated in the valley of a tributary of the Coweeset River within the limits of the district. The South Easton and Eastondale Fire and Water District is supplied from separate works through an extension of the pipes of the city of Brockton. The arrangement of the two districts herein described leaves in the extreme northeasterly corner of the town of Easton an area about 2 miles long in a northerly and southerly direction and from miles in width which does not form a part of either district and is practically wholly cut off from the remaining portions of the town. This district, known as Unionville, is inhabited by about ninety families, and, in response to a petition of certain inhabitants thereof, the State Department of Health during the past year investigated the condition of the water supply in Unionville, as a result of which it was found that many of the wells in use were badly polluted, and the Department is informed also that many of them have failed during the dry seasons that have occurred in recent years. source: Annual Report of the State Board of Health of Massachusetts, 1915 , South Easton and Eastondale Fire and Water District At the turn of the century, this section of Easton consisted of the Civil War monument area, including the Town Hall, the Evangelical Congregational Church, the Almshouse, and the Center School, with the one-story Easton Center Depot a little to the east. There were a number of farms along accessory roads like Purchase Street. The village area along Washington Street, from Morse's square stucco house near the southeastern corner of the intersection of Washington and Grove (now Belmont) Streets to the South Easton Depot south of the Green. Sequasset area, now called Eastondale, included the Eastondale Depot. Those who were not self-employed or employed in the South Easton/Eastondale area were apt to be workers in one of the many Brockton shoe factories. Transportation to their place of employment was by train via West Bridgewater and Matfield to Campello and locations north. Lighting was by oil, or a reasonable facsimile, since electricity was not available until the first decades of the twentieth century. Police protection was on an informal level and there were no physicians in the South Easton-Eastondale area. At this time each home had its own well and pump. The South Easton-Eastondale Fire and Water District was not organized until 1916. Fire protection was either by neighborhood assistance or had to come from North Easton or Brockton. Such was the case when the Rankin house at the duck farm burned. The duck farm, located on Purchase Street, was owned by James Rankin and employed a number of people. A large wagon load of crated duck, would be shipped each morning from the Easton Center railroad station to destinations throughout the United States. The farmers sold their products by horse and wagon with daily milk routes being serviced. The milk was sold by the quart measure from eight-quart cans kept cool by ice. Seasonal products, such as apples and vegetables, were also sold. Another provision ordered and delivered to the home was meat. South Easton was serviced by Henry Heath and his son, Alfred Heath, who slaughtered their own beef. They delivered on a weekly basis and in the early 1900s two pounds of beef cost approximately twenty-four cents. A large part of their meat business was in smoked meats. Mr. Heath had a large smoke house, and people came from all over the area to have hams and bacon smoked. Many farmers did their own butchering, but had no smoke house, so they brought their meats to the Heath Smoke House. The same kind of services were provided by Cyrus Alger, who had meats and vegetables at his place on Turnpike Street. The Washington Street area contained the thread mills of the E. J. Morse Company, the post office, the general store operated for many years by the Horace Mitchell family, and the Grammar School (both the old and the new, built in 1903). Further south, at the Easton Green, was the very busy J. 0. Dean grist mill. In back of the mill was the Ross Heel Company which was owned by Mr. Dean's son-in-law, Edwin Kennedy. This was also where the Puritan rollaway screens were made in the early 1900s. Further south, along Washington Street, were the blacksmith shop, the depot on the left, and a new and thriving company on the right, the Simpson Spring Company. There were several paint and varnish shops in the area, and thermometers were made by the Poole's on Foundry Street. In the Eastondale area, grain, lumber, and daily provisions were available at James E. Howard and Sons Store. Originally his father, James M. Howard, had operated a store as part of his home on Pine Street before buying the two-and-a-half story structure on Turnpike Street. It was burnt on the evening of October 5, 1930, and it was replaced by a smaller one-story store built on the site and ready for operation by March, 1931, by members of a third generation of the Howard family. Just as the South Easton Post Office was housed in or adjacent to the general store on Washington Street, so also was the Eastondale post office, operated by the Howard family for approximately fifty-five years. Other businesses on Turnpike Street were poultry farms and livery stables. Many of the residents attended the Evangelical Congregational Church at the CenteL Those in the southern part of Easton who were Catholic would travel by horse and wagon or train to North Easton and the Immaculate Conception Church. In Eastondale. those who did not attend the Congregational Church organized a Unitarian Society. For about fourteen years, until 1904 when the church on Turnpike Street was built, religious services and meetings, including church school classes, were held at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall. This Hall had been built in 1886 and was the site of many social affairs. The Grand Army of the Republic was very active with its annual winter fair being the popular attraction for young and old. Many dramatic presentations and dances were held at the Hall which was not torn down until !946. Many South Easton residents were also active members of the Harmony Grange on Bay Road in Furnace Village. source, History of Easton, Massachusetts, Vol. II, M. McEntee, Easton Historical Society, ET AL, 1886-1974 source: Easton Historical Society , August 23, 1915. To the Board of Water Commissioners, South Easton and Eastondale Fire and Water District, Mr. William N. Howard, Chairman. Gentlemen: — The State Department of Health received from you on Aug. 14, 1915, the following application for the approval by this Department, under the provisions of chapter 232 of the Special Acts of the year 1915, of the taking and use of water from Silver Lake for the water supply of the South Easton and Eastondale Fire and Water District through a contract with the water commissioners of the city of Brockton made under the provisions of said act. In order to comply with the conditions of the special act of 1915, chapter 232 in relation to the South Easton and Eastondale Fire and Water District, it becomes necessary to secure a certificate of approval by the State Department of Health of the source of supply and location of dams, reservoir, wells, etc., in compliance with the section two of said act. The South Easton and Eastondale Fire and Water District is under contract with the city of Brockton, which city is furnishing the district with water from its regular supply which is Silver Lake, which source of supply has already been approved and is under constant inspection by the State Department of Health. The attorneys who are passing upon bonds require, however, that a certificate of approval from the State Department be furnished as the law states. The Department has considered the results of examinations of Silver Lake, the proposed source of supply, by the engineer of the Department and finds that the water is of good quality for domestic use and the supply adequate for the requirements of the South Easton and Eastondale Fire and Water District in addition to those of the city of Brockton and the towns now supplied by that city from Silver Lake. The State Department of Health hereby approves the use of water taken from Silver Lake and supplied through the works of the city of Brockton for the water supply of the South Easton and Eastondale Fire and Water District under the provisions of chapter 232 of the Special Acts of the year 1915. source: Annual Report of the State Board of Health of Massachusetts, 1915 , (1915) A new water district was established during the year in the town of Easton to supply the villages of South Easton and Eastondale. The supply is obtained from the works of the city of Brockton. source: Annual Report of the State Board of Health of Massachusetts, 1915 , In 1915, South Easton and Eastondale Fire and Water District connected to the Brockton water system, which pulled water from Silver Lake in Pembroke. A series of pipes were laid and connections made to houses on Washington, Depot, Turnpike, and Pine Streets. Maps of the district were drawn locating the water connections, identification of the resident's properties. Illustrated plans of the homes and businesses that connected to the districts water supply. The fire equipment for the South Easton and Eastondale Fire and Water District was housed in a barn on the southeast corner of Depot and Washington Streets. In 1932, the Town of Easton appointed a fire chief to supervise all the town's fire departments. source: Massachusetts Historical Commission , Depot Street Depot Street extends from the Bay road at the Furnace Village through the Centre, past the railroad station, through the Green and to the turnpike. Sections of it were laid out at different times ; that near the Centre is alluded to as early as 1716, and that part just east of the Green, in 1703. It was laid out from the Furnace Village to Black Brook in 1752 ; from the Centre to Black Brook it appears to have been relaid in 1838, and in 1885 it was widened. The extreme eastern end was added in 1848. source: History of Easton, William L. Chaffin, 1886 , Depot Street The Eastondale section of Depot Street parallels the Queset River from Easton Green to the intersection with Turnpike Street, formerly a section of the Taunton and South Boston Turnpike. Although Depot Street was a section of the first road to be formally laid out in Eastondale in the last decade of the 17* century, very little residential development occurred along the road until the early 20th century. source: Massachusetts Historical Commission

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