Jackson Family of Fall River, MA

JACKSON (Fall River family). While the Jackson family is not strictly speaking an old Fall River one, it is one ancient and honorable in the Commonwealth, and of distinction here in the city named for a generation. Reference is made especially to the sons of Rev. John Jackson, John Henry Jackson, A. M., M. D., and Col. Amos Messer Jackson, A. M., M. D., lieutenant colonel by brevet, U. S. A., both physicians and surgeons here for some thirty-five years, and the younger a veteran and officer of the Civil war, and a man repeatedly highly honored by his fellow citizens in the city of his adoption.

The Massachusetts Jacksons, at least some branches of them, were conspicuous as a family in the American Revolution. Col. Michael Jackson, of Newton, who had been a lieutenant in the French war, at the breaking out of the Revolution was a private soldier in a volunteer company of minute-men of the town. On the news of the Lexington Alarm reaching the town in the captain’s absence Jackson was chosen in his stead and he led the company by way of the shortest route to the enemy, and while near Concord village, en route, came in contact with Lord Percy’s reserve; though his command for a time was dispersed the men soon rallied, formed again in a wood near by, where they were joined by a part of the Watertown company, and hung upon the flank and rear of the retreating enemy with much effect until they reached Lechmere Point at nightfall and took boat for Boston; and for their bravery the men received the thanks of General Warren upon the field. Suffice it to say that Captain Jackson soon after received a major’s commission in the Continental army, then quartered at Cambridge, and was subsequently promoted to the command of the 8th Regiment in the Massachusetts Line, than which no regiment was more distinguished for bravery and good conduct during the war. He was severely wounded in an action with the British on Montressor’s Island, in New York. Five of his brothers and five of his sons were in the army of the Revolution.

But here in this article it is the purpose to treat of but one branch or family of the Massachusetts Jacksons – the family of John Jackson, who was a descendant of the Middleboro settler of the name, one John Jackson, and who in time removed to the State of Maine, the home State for several generations of the Fall River Jacksons in question. The first John Jackson came from England to New England and settled in Middleboro, where in May, 1714, he was married to Mary Smith. They had two children (if not more), John and Cornelius, the latter of whom was born in Middleboro Sept. 11, 1716. The father died in 1731.

On Aug. 19, 1735, John Jackson, Jr., was married to Jemima, born in 1718, daughter of Joseph and Joanna (Tinkham) Bates, of Middleboro, Mass. Both Mr. and Mrs. Jackson were admitted to the First Congregational Church at Middleboro, he March 7, 1742, and she, Oct. 14, 1739. This couple, presumably with the family, removed to the State of Maine before the American Revolution, and there Mr. Jackson died June 11, 1810, aged over ninety years. Mrs. Jemima Jackson died Feb. 28, 1820, aged eighty-seven. Vassalboro, in the State of Maine, and vicinity has continued to be the home of later generations of the Middleboro Jackson family. This town began to be settled as early as 1760, at which time it embraced the territory which forms the town of Sidney; ten families comprised the nucleus of the settlement there in the year 1768.

Deacon John Jackson, son of John and Jemima, and his wife Ruth (Godfrey), the grandparents of Col. A. M. Jackson and brother, of Fall River, were residents of that part of Vassalboro which became Sidney at the beginning of the nineteenth century; and, says family tradition, either this John or an earlier one was a soldier of the Revolution. He died Aug 15, 1831, aged seventy-one years, and she died May 29, 1870, aged ninety-five years, four months, twenty-six days, at the home of’ her son John. They had children as follows:

  1. Benjamin married Mary Trask, who died in 1856. Children:
    1. Silas Plummer;
    2. Benjamin F., who died Sept. 17, 1855;
    3. Arvilla L., who died Dec. 15, 1850, aged twenty; and
    4. Lavina, who married Lorenzo Bates.
  2. Godfrey and his wife Serena had children:
    1. Mary, who married a Mr. Lowell;
    2. Edward B., who lived at Bridgton, Maine;
    3. William, who was wounded in the battle of the Wilderness;
    4. Ruth;
    5. Mrs. Bagley, and Elizabeth, who married Mr. Patten, of Lee, Maine.
  3. Rev. John is mentioned further on.
  4. Ruth married a Mr. Sherman.
  5. Jemima married (first) William Robinson and had sons, Augustus, Charles, Adoniram Judson and George, all deceased, the last named killed in the Civil war. She married for her second husband Lewis Bassett, and had two children,
    1. Lavina Helen and
    2. Hartwell (killed in the Civil war).
  6. Joane married Benjamin McKerson and had children:
    1. Charles, a contractor in the Bronx district in New York;
    2. Frank, who is in the West, and William J., a physician in New Bedford, Mass.
  7. Sylvia married David Dyer.

Rev. John Jackson, son of John and Ruth, was born in Sidney, Maine, Dec. 25, 1804. He was for a period a resident of Lee, Maine, where he was licensed to preach by the Baptist Association, in March, 1848, removing thence to Patten, Maine, and thence to the town of Litchfield Corners, in the same State, for the purpose of educating his children. Here his death occurred May 1, 1882. His wife, Sarah (Cunningham), whom he married in 1835, died May 11, 1882, aged seventy 1 one years. Their children were:

  1. Charlotte M. married (first) Thomas B. Sampson, a druggist, and (second) Ruel W. Hanscom, a dry goods merchant, who did business in Lewiston, Maine (they lived, however, in Auburn, Maine);
  2. John Henry was born March 26, 1838;
  3. Amos Messer was born Oct. 19, 1840.

John Henry Jackson, M. D., a son of Rev. John and Sarah (Cunningham) Jackson, was born March 26, 1838, at Lee, Maine. He was prepared for college in the academy at Litchfield Corners, and then entered Colby University (then known as Waterville College), at Waterville, Maine, from which institution he was graduated with the degree A. B. in 1860, and received the A. M. degree in 1863. He was a Phi Beta Kappa man. After his graduation he was occupied until 1865 in teaching in the high schools of Maine and Wisconsin. In 1865 he entered the medical department of Bowdoin College, at Brunswick, Maine, remaining there three years and receiving the degree of M. D. from that institution in 1868. From 1868 until 1873 he was engaged in the practice of medicine in Vassalboro, Maine. In the year last named he removed to Fall River, this Commonwealth, where for some years, until the time of his decease, he was a successful physician, widely known, highly esteemed and respected.

For some years beginning with 1893 Dr. Jackson was professor of theory and practice of medicine in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Boston. He was a member of the Fall River Medical Society, and of the American and Massachusetts Medical Associations.

On Jan. 29, 1862, Dr. Jackson married Clara, born Feb. 10, 1840, in Waterville, Maine, daughter of George and Sophia F. (Lovejoy) Wentworth, of Sidney, Maine, and a descendant of Elder William Wentworth, the immigrant, who was one of the founders of Exeter, N. H., July 16, 1639, from whom her descent is through:

  1. Benjamin and Sarah (Allen) Wentworth,
  2. Lieut. Benjamin (born Dec. 11, 1703) and Deborah (Stimpson) Wentworth,
  3. Bartholomew (born Nov. 28, 1737) and Ruth (Hall) Wentworth,
  4. Benjamin (born Feb. 21, 1771) and Olive (Cousins) Wentworth, and
  5. George (born June 23, 1810) and Sophia F. (Lovejoy) Wentworth.
  6. Dr. John H. and Clara (Wentworth) Jackson, had one child, Ralph Wentworth, born May 13, 1868, who is engaged in the practice of medicine in Fall River.

Dr. Jackson died Oct. 27, 1908, at his home in Franklin street, Fall River, Mass., when in the seventy-first year of his age. A highly respected and able physician, his death was a matter of general loss.

Ralph Wentwokth Jackson, M. D., son of Dr. John Henry and Clara (Wentworth) Jackson, was born at Waterville, Maine, May 13, 1868. He was educated in the public and high schools of Fall River, and graduated from Brown University with the degree of A. B., in 1889, while there becoming a member of the Delta Phi fraternity and of the Phi Beta Kappa. For one year he studied medicine at the University of Vermont, and for two years at the Long Island College Hospital, graduating in 1892. That year he began practice in Fall River and for about six years lectured on Obstetrics and demonstrated anatomy at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Boston. In 1910-1911 he took a special course on rectal diseases at St. Mark’s and the Gordon hospitals in London, following this with two months’ work at the Post Graduate and Polyclinic Hospitals in New York City, and now makes a specialty of diseases of the colon and rectum. Dr. Jackson is a member of the Fall River, Massachusetts State and American Medical Associations. Fraternally he is a member of King Philip Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and Manchester Unity, I. 0. 0. F.

On Dec. 26, 1896, he married Gertrude Pearson, and they have one son, Eric Pearson, born Feb. 7, 1899. Amos Messek Jackson, M. D., son of Rev. John and Sarah (Cunningham) Jackson, was born Oct. 19, 1840, in Lee, Maine. He was prepared for college at the Liberal Institute at Litchfield Corners, and then entered Waterville College, now Colby University, at Waterville, Maine, from which institution he was graduated A. B. in 1861, receiving in time the A. M. degree. By this time the Civil war had begun and like thousands of the boys of our land young Jackson harkened to the call of his country and went to her defense. In August, 1862, he enlisted in the 24th Regiment, Maine Volunteer Infantry, and was appointed second lieutenant of Company F, of that regiment, detailed to Signal Corps and sent to the Department of the Gulf. He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1863, in the 24th Maine Volunteer Infantry, and commissioned second lieutenant, Signal Corps, U. S. A.; served through the Port Hudson campaign in western Louisiana and Texas, in 1864 in Indianola, Texas, and in charge of secret service department at General Canby’s headquarters; commissioned major, 10th Regiment, United States Colored Artillery (Heavy), in December; in 1865 was president of court martial for several months; provost marshal, city of New Orleans, from July, 1865, to June, 1866; provost marshal general, Department of Gulf, to wind up office; mustered out, Feb. 22, 1867; brevetted lieutenant colonel, U. S. A., for faithful and meritorious service throughout the war.

Returning home after a most creditable and honorable war record Colonel Jackson engaged in the dry goods business in 1867, continuing therein until the fall of 1871. He then prepared himself for the practice of medicine, going first to Long Island Medical School and graduating from Dartmouth Medical College in 1872. He immediately located in Gardner, Maine, coming to Fall River, Mass., about Jan. 1, 1874, and there he has since remained and built up an extensive and lucrative practice. A man well fitted by nature and experience for public position, his fellow citizens have a number of times called him to trusts of honor and responsibility, and as often has he performed their duties with credit alike to himself and his constituents. For some eight or more years he was chairman of the school board of Fall River. He was for three years commander of Richard Borden Post, No. 46, G. A. R. In 1890 he was a member of Governor Brackett’s staff, with the rank of colonel, and in 1897 he was president of the common council of Fall River. In that same year he was elected, as a Republican, mayor of the city, for 1898, and he was again elected for 1899, serving during the period of the Spanish-American war. Dr. Jackson is a member of the Loyal Legion.

On Jan. 1, 1865, Dr. Jackson was married at New Orleans to Susan A. Noe, daughter of James Noe, and a descendant of French Huguenot stock. Their three children are:

  1. Amy L., now the widow of Edward L. Hawkins;
  2. Oliver Howard Jackson, M. D., of Fall River; and
  3. Ruel H.

Oliver Howard Jackson, M. D., son of Amos M. Jackson, was born Aug. 28; 1871, in Andover, Maine. In his early childhood the family came to Fall River, Mass., and there in the public schools he received his literary education, graduating from high school in 1889. For the two years following he was a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, and then entered Long Island Medical College, Brooklyn, graduating from that institution in 1894. He furthered his preparation for the practice of medicine by a year’s service in the King’s county hospital, one and a half years on the staff of the Brooklyn Eye and Ear Hospital and one year in the study of his specialty in London, Paris and Berlin, settling for practice in Fall River in 1897 or 1898. He has since devoted himself untiringly to his professional labors, making a specialty of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat, and his success has been notable, his practice being probably the largest of the kind in the city. The thoroughness with which he prepared for his chosen calling was indicative of the character of the man and the spirit with which he takes up his work, the Doctor being noted for conscientious and faithful attention to his duties and an intellect which finds its most congenial exercise in devotion to the exactions of his profession. He is a Mason, holding membership in King Philip Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and is also a member of the Quequechan Club.

Dr. Jackson married Maud L. Thompson, daughter of A. D. Thompson, of Fall River, and they have had three children,

  1. Paul,
  2. Louise and
  3. Oliver Howard, Jr.

Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts: containing historical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the old families. 3 Volumes. Beers & Chicago. 1912.

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