History of Hingham Massachusetts

The earliest record concerning the disposal of lands in Hingham, was in 1635. The first settlers came from Hingham, County of Norfolk, England, about two years previous.

Sept. 18, 163.5, thirty inhabitants drew for house lots. The settlement was first called Bear Cove.

Rev. Peter Hobart was the first pastor. He died in 1679, leaving four sons who became ministers. Present Pastors, Joseph Richardson, and Calvin Lincoln.

The ancient Congregational Meetinghouse erected in 1689, is now standing in good state of preservation, and is the oldest house of worship in New England, if not in the United States. The original size was 55 by 45 feet, with posts 20 feet, and cost $2,150 and the old house.

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The Second Church was organized in 1745. Present minister, John Savary. The Third Church was formed in 1805. Pastor, Joshua M. Young.

The M. E. Church, located on North St., West Hingham, was organized 1818.

The First Baptist Church, Hingham, was organized, March 9, 1828, with 20 members. Present number 161. Jonathan Tilson is now in the sixteenth year of his settlement as pastor. The house of worship was dedicated Dec. 3, 1828. A vestry was built underneath, in 1832, and in 1851, the house was raised and a new vestry, committee room, pulpit, and other improvements were made.

The First Universalist Society was organized Nov. 1st, 1823. The Evangelical Congregational Church, Main St,, Hingham Center, was organized Dec. 21st, 1847. First Pastor, Rev. E. Porter Dyer, installed Jan. 4th, 1849. ‘House of Worship dedicated Jan. 4th, 1849. Present Pastor, Rev. Henry W. Jones, installed May 24th, 1866.

The Derby Academy was incorporated, June 7th, 1797; President. Rev. Joseph Osgood, of Cohasset. Trustees. Ebenezer Gay, Esq., of Dorchester; Rev. John L. Russell, of Salem; Rev. Calvin Lincoln, of Hingham; Benjamin Cushing, M. D., of Dorchester; John Q. Adams, Esq., of Quincy; Solomon Lincoln, jr., Esq., of Salem; Henry A. Clapp, Esq., of Dorchester; Rev. Joshua Young, of Hingham; Henry C. Harding, of Hingham; Charles C. Tower, M. D., Weymouth.

In 1676, John Jacobs was killed by the Indians, near his father’s house, at Glad Tidings Plain. The next day they burned the houses of five settlers. Three forts and numerous garrison houses were early established.

Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, of Revolutionary fame, was born in Hingham, Jan. 23, 1733. He was second in command, of the army under Gen. Gates, that captured Burgoyne’s forces. He was afterwards Secretary of War, Lieutenant Governor, &c., and died in the house in which he was born, in 1810.

The first Engine in town, was purchased in 1802, and was located at the Centre. It was private property and owned by a company, of 15 men. “Precedent,” was its name. During the war of 1812, when fire company membership exempted men from the draft, the proprietors made money out of it, by selling rights to persons liable to draft. Soon after this engine was obtained, in the same year, one was purchased at the lower part of the town. The Town first took control of the engines in 1819.

The soil in many sections of Hingham is very fertile. The place has long been noted for its wooden box and bucket manufactories. Among the institutions of Hingham, we would mention its Banks, Insurance Company, Cordage Works, Tassel Factory, Nail Works, Furnaces, &c.

In 1865, Hingham had ten vessels employed in the mackerel and food fisheries, with a tonnage of 790; taking 8,058 barrels of the former. Three small crafts also engaged in the coasting trade.

The “Hingham Journal” is a weekly paper established more than eighteen years ago. It is published by Blossom & Easterbrook.

The “Hingham Agricultural and Horticultural Society” has been in existence about nine years, and has held eight exhibitions. Meetings for discussions are held every month, and sometimes oftener. The Society owns an Agricultural Library, and has raised about $20,000, by subscription, and is about buying grounds with the view of building a large hall for its use. The officers are: Hon Albert Fearing, President; Hon. Solomon Lincoln, George M. Soule, Charles W. Cushing, Vice Presidents; DeWitt C. Bates, Recording Secretary; Fearing Burr, Corresponding Secretary; Joseph H. French, Treasurer; Lincoln Fearing, librarian; Directors, David Whiton, John R. Brewer, Alfred Loring, Amasa Whiting, John Stephenson, John Lincoln, Bela Whiton, William Gushing, George Lincoln, jr., William B. Johnson of Cohasset, Dexter M. Wilcutt, of S. Scituate, Joseph Totman of Weymouth.

The First Social Library, founded in 1771, now contains about 1800 volumes, kept at Centre Hingham.

The Second Social Library was organized 1773. It is located at Ford’s Building, North St., and contains 1300 volumes.

During the summer months, one or more steamers constantly ply between Hingham, Hull and Boston. Indeed, the town has more intimate business relations with Boston than with Plymouth County.

Died in Revolutionary Service From Hingham

The soldiers’ Record for Hingham, is as follows, so far as can now be ascertained:

Alvin Tower, Co. A, 20th, from wounds at battle of Fair Oaks, at Mill Creek Hospital, Fortress Monroe, June 8th, 1 8612, aged 30
Lieut. Nathaniel French, jr., 32nd Reg’t, at Harrison’s Landing, August 9th, 1862, from Fever
Nelson F. Corthell, Co. A, 18th, at Battle of Second Bull Run, Aug. 28th, 1862;
Lieut. Geo. W. Bibby, 32d Reg’t, killed May 30th, 1864, at battle of Tolopotomy Swamp
Capt. Edwin Humphrey, Co. A, 11th, from wounds received at Gettysburg’, July 3d, 1863, aged 31 years
James Haskell, Co. A, 32d, from Wounds received at Gettysburg, July, 1863
Demerick Stodder, Co. F, 32d Reg’t, killed at Gettysburg, July 3d, 1863, aged 23
William J. Stockwell, Co. I, 30th, from disease, at Baton Rouge, La., August 12th, 1863, aged 21
Michael Fee, Co. F, 16th, of disease, at Stanton Hospital, Washington, D. C, Sept. 25th, 1863, age 40
Sewell Pugsley, Co. F, 22d, from disease, at Mount Pleasant Hospital, Washington, D. C, Nov. 12th, 1863, 32 years
Sergt. William H. Jones, jr., Co. K, 18th, at Carver Hospital, Washington, D. C, Feb. 12th, 1864, 22 years
Richard J. Farrell, Co. G, 2d Reg’t, U. S. Regular Artillery, from effects of wounds received at battle of Gaines Mill, March 17th, 1884, aged 22
George D. Gardner, Co. G, 39th Reg’t, at City Point, August 5th, 1864, of Typhoid Fever
Jeremiah J. Corcoran, Co. A, 40th, June 8th, 1864
William H. Jones, Co. C, 4th Mass. Cavalry, at Magnolia, Florida, Sept. 19th, 1864
Henry F. Miller, Co. G, 39th Reg’t, from wounds received at battle of Laurell Hill, May 25th, 1864, at Stanton Hospital, Washington, D. C.
William Breen, Co. A, 32d Reg’t, at Salisbury Prison, from disease and exposure, Jan., 4th, 1864;
Thomas Tinsley, Co. K, 1st Reg’t, from wounds received in battle, May 11th, 1863, aged 42
John Q. Hersey, Co. E, 32d Reg’t, from disease, at Hospital in Washington, D. C, Nov. 28th, 1863
Edward A. F. Spear, Co. G, 39th Reg’t, at Salisbury Prison, from Pneumonia and exposure, Jan. 20th, 1865, aged 35
Charles E. French, Co. G, 39th Reg’t, at Salisbury, N. C. Prison, from Chronic Diarrhea and exposure, November 26th, 1864
Sergt. Henry O. French, Co. G, 39th Reg’t, was shot by the rebel guard at Belle Isle, Richmond, Va., Aug. 26th, 1864
Gardner Jones, Co. F, 32d Reg’t, from wounds received in battle, at Campbell Hospital, Washington, D. C, June 1st, 1864, aged 19 years
John S. Neal, Co. G, 39th Reg’t, of Chronic Diarrhea and exposure at Salisbury Prison, Jan. 16th, 1865
Albert S. Haynes, Co. G, 39th Reg’t, in Hingham, from wounds received at Battle of Wilderness, June 11th, 1864, aged 22 years
Daniel L. Beal, 32d Reg’t, at City Point Hospital, July 30th, 1864, from disease
Albert Wilder, Co. G, 39th Reg’t, at Hospital, in Washington, June 1st, 1864, from wounds received at battle of Wilderness
Sergt Peter Ourish, Co. B, 32d Reg’t, from wounds received in battle of Wilderness, May 3d, 1864
James T. Churchill, Co. G, 39th Reg’t, from exposure and starvation at Andersonville, June 23d, 1864
Charles E. Wilder, 32d Reg’t, in Hingham, of disease, December 23d, 1864, aged 32 years
William H. Beal, Co. K, 24th Reg’t, at Hingham, December 20th, 1865
Sergt. Charles Mead, Co. A, 32d Reg’t, March 7th, 1864, aged 20 years
Samuel Spencer, 12th Reg’t, July, 1864, aged 20 years
Dennis Sculley, Co. D, 4th, Mass. Cavalry
Washington I. Stoddard, Co. F, 32d Reg’t, from wounds
Thomas Sprague, Co. G, 39th Reg’t, died from disease
Wallace Humphrey, Co. E, 32d Reg’t, from wounds
Jacob Gilkey Cushing, Co. F, 32d Reg’t, died of wounds
Thomas Churchill
Don Pedro Wilson, last seen at Banks’ retreat
James Fitzgerald
Henry B. Livingston, V. R. C.
John W. Gardner, 8th Maine Reg’t, died July 24th, 1865, from disease and ill treatment in Rebel Prison
Lieut. Thomas Andrews, at New Orleans, in the Navy, from disease
Geo. Merrett, in the Navy, from disease.


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