History of West Bridgewater Massachusetts

The early history of what is now the four Bridgewater, was of course interwoven, so that previous articles on the other towns, have forestalled much that would otherwise have been mentioned in the sketch of this town.

Agriculture is the principal business in West Bridgewater, and the large farms of rich, mellow land, under the skillful management of our intelligent farmers, yield good returns. There are also several boot and shoe establishments, as well as good water power, used in the manufacture of iron.

Centre and Cochesett villages, in West Bridgewater, about two miles apart, are neat, and busy in the labors of domestic industry.

West Bridgewater lies twenty-five miles south from Boston, twenty north-west from Plymouth, ten north north-east from Taunton, and twenty-five north by east from Fall River.

The following were the names of the fifty-four original proprietors; those whose names are printed in italics, became permanent settlers.

William Bradford
William Merrick
John Bradford
Abraham Pierce
John Rogers
George Partridge
John Starr
William Collier
Christopher Wadsworth
Edward Hall
Nicholas Robbins
Thomas Hayward
Ralph Partridge
Nathaniel Willis
John Willis
Thomas Benney
Miles Standish
Love Brewster
John Paybody
Francis Sprague
William Bassett
John Washburn
John Washburn jr.
John Ames
Thomas Gannett
William Brett
Edmund Hunt
William Clarke
William Ford
Constant Southworth
John Gary
Edmund Weston
Samuel Tompkins
Edmund Chandler
Moses Simmons
John Irish
Philip Delano
Arthur Harris
John Alden
John Fobes
Samuel Nash
Abram Sampson
George Soule
Experience Mitchell
Henry Howland
Henry Sampson
John Brewer
John Howard
Francis West
William Tubbs
James Lendall
Samuel Eaton
Solomon Leonard
Wm. Paybody

Thus it will be seen that of the fifty-four original proprietors, only sixteen became inhabitants of the new settlement The grant of the Bridgewater plantation, as we have seen, was in 1646, and the settlement made in 16.50. The first settlers had a house lot of six acres each on the town river, and the place was called Nuckatest, or Nuncketetest. The first lots were taken up at West Bridgewater; first houses built and the first improvements made there. The settlement was compact the house lots being contiguous, with a view for mutual protection and aid against the Indians; and, as a further protection from the natives, they erected a stockade or garrison on the South side of the river, and fortified many of their dwellings. From this original home, the settlers scattered into other portions of the town, extending their dwellings first into the South part of the town, toward Nippenicket Pond, on the road to Taunton, whither they were in the habit of going either to mill or to trade; and we are told they frequently went to that place on foot, with the grists upon their backs, a distance of several miles.

The West parish was never incorporated by an Act of the Legislature, but the parochial affairs were for many years, transacted by the old town. It was incorporated as West Bridgewater, Feb. 16th, 1822, thus leaving the South Parish to retain the old name of Bridgewater.

On the 3d of June, 1856, the four Bridgewaters, united in celebrating the two hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of the old town. An address was delivered by Hon. Emery Washburn, of Cambridge, and a Poem by Rev. James Reed, of Boston. A dinner was prepared for a thousand people, at which appropriate and interesting remarks were made by a number of distinguished gentlemen.

A hymn was sung at the celebration, written by William C Bryant, Esq., of New York, and another by Rev. Daniel Huntington, of New London, which, after alluding in grateful terms, to our fathers, who:

“Bought these fields of savage men,
And reared their homes and altars here.”

closed with the following stanzas:

“They left us freedom, honor, truth;
Oh ! may these rich bequests descend
From sire to son, from ‘age to youth,
And bless our land till time shall end!

So, as successive centuries roll,
When we shall long have passed away,
Here may our sons, with heart and soul,
Still hail Bridgewater’s natal day.”

Died in Revolutionary Service From West Bridgewater

There were in the Army and Navy, from West Bridgewater, about 210 men. The persons named below, died in the service. There are several whom we have no account of. Probably others died.

Myron E. Alger, C, 29th Reg’t.
George Colwell, K, 3d Reg’t.
Patrick Cunningham, K, 9th Reg’t.
Timothy Callahan, killed, E, 19th Reg’t.
Alvan E. Coffin, in rebel prison, 2d Cavalry.
John B. Dunbar, of fever, H, 2d Reg’t.
James E. Jacobs, killed in Navy.
Leonard Jones, D, 58th, of wounds, in hospital at Washington, June 30th, 1864.
Henry M. Folsom, D, 58th Reg’t, of disease.
John B. Gould, K, 26th Reg’t, killed Sept. 19th, 1864.
Eustace Howard, D, 58th Reg’t, of wounds, at the Wilderness, June 30th, 1864.
Lyman E. Howard, K, 26th Reg’t, killed Sep. 19th, 1864.
Granville Howard, K, 26th Reg’t, killed Sep. 19th, 1864.
Charles H. Hayden, C, 29th Reg’t, of disease.
Hector O. Kingman, C, 58th Reg’t, of disease, Feb. 5th, 1865.
Francis Lothrop, K, 26th Reg’t, of fever, Aug. 1863.
Timothy O’Leary, P, 12th Reg’t.
Michael McMurphy, 59th’Reg’t, of disease.
Charles H. Parker, I, 40th Reg’t, of disease.
Henry Quinley, H, 7th Reg’t, killed.
Charles H. Turner, C, 29th Reg’t, of disease.
Roscoe Tucker, I, 1st Cavalry, in rebel prison, Jan. 29th, 1805.
James Ryan, in Navy,
Asa P. Shaw, I, 40th Reg’t, in rebel prison, Dec. 22d, 1 864.
William Dewyre, in Navy.

Search Military Records - Fold3

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top