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Hannah Chutr Poor. 


Brooks and Houghton 




Hannah Chute Poor 



AUGUST 7, 1908. 








At the Brooks Reunion held at Mt. Pleasant, 
Indiana, two years since, one of the speakers said: 

"It seems to me, however, that the most fit sub- 
ject for thought and reading for our next reunion 
would be in remembrance of the good woman and 
helpmate of Thomas Jefferson Brooks, Susanah 
Poor, and her remarkable line of ancestry through 
the Poors, Chutes, Thurstons and others." 

It was thought to carry out the spirit of this senti- 
ment at the reunion of 1908. The mind went back to 
Hannah Poor, who was remembered by the older 
members of the Brooks family and the conclusion was 
reached to make her the central figure of the reunion. 
Another branch of her famil}^ the Houghtons, had 
always lived in the same neighborhood with the 
Brookses and in spirit were as closely related as that 
of the kinship. It was thought meet and right that 
they should be invited to become part of the reunion 
of this year, so the meeting was of the two families in 
honor of their common ancestor, Hannah Chute Poor. 

As was so fittingly said by Major Houghton, her 
husband was a remarkable man and one to be held in 
highest regard and dear memory along with her, but 
as he had died so many years before the famih' came 
to jMt. Pleasant and none now livmg had ever seen 


him, while his widow had spent all of her last days 
among her people in this county, it was natural that 
she would be the one most talked of. 

The reunion ot the Brooks and Houghton families 
who represent ihe descendants of Hannah Chute 
Poor, who came with her husband and family 
to Indiana from Massachusetts in the year 1818, and 
the survivors of the school of Mrs. Rebecca Trask 
of 1845, was held Friday, August 7, on the same 
ground in old Mt. Pleasant as w^as occupied by the 
Brooks reunion two years ago. The day was ideal 
and about one hundred people gathered in the beauti- 
ful locust grove where the old Fraim residence stood 
fifty years ago. The morning hours were spent in 
roaming over the old historic grounds. The site of 
the old school, the play grounds, the cemeteries where 
rest tlie pioneers, and the different land marks of the 
old town many of which had been alinost obliterated 
by the changes made by time. Will Trask, a cousin 
of Col. Lewis Brooks, came from his home in Erie, 
Pennsylvania, to be present at the reunion. A long 
table had been prepared in the grove near the old 
Fraim spring where a bountiful repast was served at 
noontime. Superintended by Mrs. L. C. Brooks and 
Miss Susan Brooks assisted by a score of able helpers 
the dinner could not fail being a success and full jus- 
tice was accorded it b}' all the assembled guests. 

After dinner the time was spent in pleasant social 
intercourse until two o'clock when Hon. Thomas J. 
Brooks, chairman of the reunion association, called to 
order and an interesting program w'as rendered. 


A few well chosen remarks were made by the 
chairman after which America was sung, led by Mrs. 
Mary Shirley. Col. James T. Ro<^ers as a member 
of the old Trask school of sixty-three years ago, gave 
an interesting talk on "Early School Teachers of the 
County," pronouncing Mrs. Trask's school the be- 
ginning of a new era in school teaching in this 
country and expressed the belief that but little had 
been gained in practical instruction since her time. 
Will Trask gave an interesting talk on some of the old 
New England customs. 

"Greetings from absent friends" was then called. 
Miss Hattie Houghton read letters from Prof. W. R. 
Houghton, of Sigourney, Iowa, and Dan Poore, of 
Morrisville, Missouri. Mrs. Mary Shirley read letters 
from Mrs. Martha Smith, of Peru, and Grace Brooks, 
of Washington. A beautiful letter was also read from 
Mrs. W. R. Gardiner, of Washington, who was a 
member of the Trask school. Thomas J. Brooks 
read contributions and letters from Miss Mary Colman 
Thurston and Miss Harriet W. Colman, relatives in 
the East, also from Shirley and Lewis lirooks, of 

Major William Houghton gave a sketch of the 
life of Hannah Chute Poor, including the line of the 
Poor ancestry from the arrival of John Poor in 
America in 1634 to the death of John Poor, of the 
5th generation in 1818. Miss Ida Campbell read 
Mrs. Emily Campbell's worthy tribute to her mother, 
Susan Poor Brooks, giving a detailed history of 
her life and bringing into prominence the many 



beautiful traits of her character. Judge H. Q. 
Houghton followed with a feeling and eloquent ad- 
dress on the life and character of his mother, Harriet 
Poor Houghton, emphasizing the labors and dis- 
adv^antages of the pioneer families who laid the foun- 
dation of the future wealth and prosperity of the state. 
Dr. Earl Niblack, of Terre Haute, recited a poem 
dwelling on the achievements of the Brooks family 
which was much enjoyed and greatly applauded. 
Mrs. Eugenia C. Chappell read an elaborate and care- 
fully prepared paper on the ancestry of Hannah Chute 
Poor, giving the family history of the Chutes for 
generations in England before the advent of the Amer- 
ican progenitor Lionel Chute, who settled in New 
England in 1634. Co\. Lewis Brooks gave Hannah 
Chute Poor's contribution to the Civil War and 
showed that seventeen direct descendants and eiuht 
others who had married into the family had borne 
honorable part in the service of their country. The 
services concluded by singing "Auld Lang Syne." 
Supper was then served and enjoyed by all after which 
goodbyes were spoken. 

There were present ten members of Mrs. Re- 
becca Trask's school of 1845 at Mt. Pleasant, includ- 
ing her son, W. B. Trask, of Erie, Pa., whose pres- 
ence is one of the features of these reunions. 

The occasion was truly one of rare pleasure to all 
present — nothing occurring to mar the harmony of the 
da}'. Even the sadness caused while visiting the 
homes of departed loved ones, was gently softened as 
each one noted the neatness and perfect order around 



the quiet tombs, telling of the tender care and faithful 
watchfulness of Uncle Mase Reily, who while serving 
the silent dead shows his great love and devotion to 
their living friends. 

As the evening shadows darkened over those old 
Mt. Pleasant hills, so dear to all, the gathered throng 
of relatives and friends bade farewell to the scenes of 
the day leaving the old school house play ground to 
the protection of the trees and hills until such time 
when they should come again. 

In the intervening time between the two reunions 
God had called home one of the most beloved and 
highly respected members of the tribe of Brooks, Mr. 
Sanford Niblack, of Wheatland. He was an affect- 
ionate husband, a kind father and loving friend and 
relative and his presence was missed. But he was not 
like one without hope for he awaits upon the other 
shore to bid all welcome to a reunion where parting 
will be no more and all dwell in love and happiness. 

He had lived a Christian life, fought a good battle, 
our loss has been his gain and may his memory never 
grow less. 

Hannah Chute Poor 


Major William Houghton, 

A Grandson. 

There is a story that in the days of the Norman 
Conquest there landed in England a benevolent priest, 
who took upon himself a vow of perpetual poverty and 
as a perpetual reminder of his vow he took the name 
of Poor and was known as Roger Le Poer, Bishop of 
Salisbury. This appears to be the commencement of 
this famil}^ surname from which has descended a large 
familv, both in England and America. 

The name has been variously spelled as Poor, 
Poer, Poore and sometimes Power. Alfred Poor, the 
historian of the famil}-, spells it Poore, but John Poor, 
our grandfather, writes his name John Poor. The 
progenitor of the family in America also named John 
Poor, moved from Wiltshire, England, in 1635, and 
settled in Newbury, Mass. We are informed that 
his wife's name was Mary, but there is no record 
showing her family name. John Poor seemed to have 
been a man of some influence in his settlement. He 
held positions of trust and honor in his town, and 
when the seats in the meeting house were assigned in 
1680, it was recorded that John Poor, Sen., was to sit 
on the fore seat. He died Nov. 21, 1684, but the 


house which he built with the additions were still 
standing in 1878, having been owned from father to 
son for eight generations, the ninth generation occupy- 
ing it at that time. Ben Perley Poor, who addressed 
a reunion of the Poor family at Newburyport, Mass., 
several years ago, said that none of the Poor family 
had ever achieved greatness, and none of them had 
fallen below mediocrit3^ They have always been a 
part of that great middle class who have furnished the 
brawn and bone and brain of our country; who have 
made its wilderness to blossom as the rose, have 
developed its industries, controlled its commerce, 
established its schools, and borne aloft its Flag. I be- 
lieve it was Lincoln who said, "God must have loved 
the common people, He made so many of them." 

It is iiardly within the scope of this narrative to 
follow closel}^ all the generations of the Poor ia.m\\y. 
The second generation in America in the line of our 
ancestr}' was Henry, the third Samuel, the fourth 
Joseph and the fifth was John Poor, who was the 
grandfather of Col. Lewis Brooks and others present 
toda3\ He was born at Rowley, Mass., Nov. 26th, 
1775, was by trade a cordwainer. He was married on 
Nov. 30, 1797, to Hannah Chute, a daughter of Dea. 
James and Mehitable Thurston Chute. Hannah 
Chute Poor was born in Rowley, Mass., Nov. 30, 
1780, being a little past seventeen at the date of her 
marriage. Her family was also of old Colonial stock, 
descended from Lionel Chute, who came to America 
about 1634. The year following their marriage the 
young couple moved to Salisbury, New Hampshire, 


and remained until 1799, when they returned to Massa 
chusetts and resided in Reading until January, 1801, 
when they bought a place in Newbury, consisting of 
a house and six acres of land. Here they remained 
until 1816, which was always remembered as the cold 
summer. Several frosts occurred each month and 
hardly any corn ripened in New England. They then 
decided to go west. Of their life during these years 
we have no record. We only know they were not 
burdened with wealth. That nine children had been 
born to them (one d}ing in infancy) and inter that 
toil and sacrifice had been their portion. In the 
autumn of 1816 they started on their long -journey to 
Pittsburg, Pcnn. They traveled as all movers had to 
do in those days, with wagon and team, camping out 
at nights, exposed to all the vicissitudes of the weather, 
crossing streams by primitive ferries, toiling over 
mountain ran<jes and traversinjj hundreds of miles of 
unbroken forests. 

It is hard for us to realize the difficulties and dis- 
couragements of such a trip, which must have occu- 
pied many weeks. But the promised land was before 
them and they toiled on with that courage and fortitude 
which was the inheritance of the Puritan until the 
beautiful Ohio was before them. In a letter from our 
grandfather to his brother, Joseph Poor, Bytield, 
Mass., dated Pittsburg, Pa., Feb. 12, 1817, he says 
"on the whole we had a prosperous journey and have 
enjoyed our usual health since we have been hence." 
He speaks feelingly of his aged mother left behind and 
refers to the criticism of his friends who had tried to 


dissuade him from making the trip. He says, "No 
undertaking of my life was ever more premeditated or 
more evidently a point of duty, otherwise I would 
never have done violence to the finest feelings of 
human nature in breaking away from my old connect- 
ions. We thought it best and have seen no cause to 
regret it, on the contrary much cause of gratitude to 
the great dispenser of all events who has preserved us 
thus far." This letter gives more insight into the 
character and feelings of our grandfather than all the 
other records that have come to us. 

He was a man of more than usual culture, a 
Christian gentleman and he possessed the courage of 
his convictions. Had his life been spared he would 
doubtless been prominent in that new society forming 
in the Great West, towards which they were moving 
and of which they were soon to become a part. They 
remained at Pittsburg over a year. Their son John 
was born in February, 1818, and when the child was 
two months old they loaded all their belongings on a 
flatboat and floated down the Ohio, past Cincinnati 
and finally landed at Madison, Indiana. Shortly 
afterwards he purchased some land in the wilds about 
40 miles west of Madison, built a rough log cabin to 
live in and moved the family to this place October 
2nd, 1819. It is hard to realize today what it meant 
to move in a log cabin with a family of eight children. 
Recollect, the reception hall, sitting room, parlor, din- 
ing room, bed room and kitchen were all combined in 
one room, made of rough logs and daubed with clay, 
with a door and possibly two small windows. A lean- 


to was usually added as soon as circumstances would 
permit, but many of the pioneers lived for years in log 
cabins while they cleared the forest and laid the foun- 
dation of wealth and empire that few of them lived to 

"Let not ambition mock tlieir useful toil. 

Their homely joys, their destinies obscure. 
Nor yrandeur iiear with a disdainful smile 

The short and simple annals of the poor." 

From the log cabin has come some of the great- 
est minds in our history. The home of Lincoln was 
the humblest cabin in Kentucky. Daniel Webster in 
speaking of the cabin of his father among the snow- 
drifts of New Hampshire hills, said, "I make it an an- 
nual visit. I take my children to it, to teach them the 
hardships endured by the generations gone before 
them. I love to dwell on the tender recollections, the 
kindred ties, the earl}^ affections and touching narra- 
tives and incidents which mingle with all I know of 
this primitive family abode. And if ever I am asham- 
ed of it or if ever I fail in affectionate veneration for 
him who reared it and defended it against savage 
violence and destruction, cherished all the domestic 
virtues beneath it's roof, and through the fire and 
blood of a seven years' Revolutionary War, shrank 
from no danger, no toil, no sacrifice to serve his 
country and raise his children to a condition better 
than his own, may my name and the name of my pos- 
terity be blotted from the land." 

It was into a home like this that our grandparents 
moved on that October da}. Before them spread out 
the years of privation and toil, but we can imagine 


that they were happy in the promise the future held 
for them. They were still in the full strength of man- 
hood and womanhood. They had faith in themselves 
and implicit trust in the decrees of Divine Providence, 
and thus commenced their new life in a strange land. 
The work of clearing tlie forest began immediately 
and all progressed well until December 9th, just two 
months and seven days after their establishment in the 
new home, when Grandfather Poor was suddenly 
stricken and died after only four hours' illness. 

I have tried to picture in my mind the desolation 
and anjiuish of that hour. Most women would have 
collapsed when this cataclysm of misfortune swept 
across her path. 

She had one son with her, Alvin, sixteen years of 
age, (the oldest son Wendell having been left in New 
England to finish learning his trade.) The rest of the 
family except the baby were girls. Friends in the 
East offered to send money to pay the expenses if she 
would return there, but she chose to remain, and her 
children all co-operating, they attacked the forest, 
raised corn for bread and, as Alfred Poor records it, 
"her uncommon wisdom and energy, with an exceed- 
ingly quiet and amiable disposition accompanied also 
with piety, enabled her to succeed in raising a family 
which she could look upon with pleasure, and her 
children and grandchildren rise up and call her 

Of the years spent on the farm, (which was about 
12 miles east of New Philadelphia, in Washington 
count}',) after the death of the father we know but 


little. All the actors have passed to their reward. 
But we know that under her careful guidance her 
children grew into honorable, God learing men and 
women, who filled honorable places in their several 
walks in life. 

Wendell, the eldest, was treasurer and sheriff of 
Jackson county, Indiana, 1839 to 1844. In 1854 he 
moved to Ringold County, Iowa, was postmaster at 
Redding, and probate judge and county recorder 
1862-65. Alvin, the second son, learned the shoe- 
maker trade and worked some years at the cooper 
trade in connection with farming business, which he 
also carried on. He was all the while a great reader 
and deep thinker; a man of ability and sterling worth. 
He was a natural orator and always in demand on 
4th of July and other occasions requiring a public 
speaker. He also moved to Iowa, where his family 
now reside, and during the last few years of his life 
was regularly engaged in the ministr}-. 

Amanda, the oldest girl, married Moses B. Pear- 
son, of Madison, Indiana. Hannah married Jonathan 
Prosser, a practicing physician of Orleans, Indiana. 
Betsy Chute married Walter Wright, of Greencastle, 
Indiana, but died tw^o years after marriage. She has 
no descendants. 

Mehitable Thurston married William S. Merrill, 
of Cincinnati, one of the greatest botanists of his day, 
who gave to science a number of remedies which have 
made his name famous. The Wm. S. Merrill Drug 
Company was established by him and is still success- 
fully carried on by his children. Susannah married 


Thomas J. Brooks. Harriet married William Hileary 
Houghton, both of whom were known by all present. 
Amelia married John Dewitt and settled near the old 
home near New Philadelphia. 

One wonders at the education and general in- 
tellectual attainments of this pioneer family. The 
older children of course received schooling in Massa- 
chusetts, which always excelled in educational matters, 
but the younger children were also advanced far be- 
yond the average of that day. All of which was 
largely due to the personal teaching of the mother. 
My own mother who was the baby when they left New 
England, possessed a fair education and Aunt Susan 
who was a successful school teacher at 15, was but 
five years old when they started West. Robert Bry- 
ant speaks of Aunt Susan's school in the old Dad 
Byram school house near Orleans, when he was a boy. 
They had been told that a Yankee school marm would 
teach school that year and had pictured a tall, angular 
spinster of severe countenance and uncertain age, who 
would make life a burden to the offending boy. But 
when the eventful day arrived what was their surprise 
to see an angel in curls float into the school room, who 
charmed them with her beauty and genial, sunny dis- 
position, while she made them respect and admire her 
for her intellectual acquirements. 

It was here she met Thomas J. Brooks and they 
were married Aug. 5th, 1830, afterwards settling on 
the farm one mile west of Mt. Pleasant, where they 
established a home whose name was "hospitality" and 
to which her mother, Hannah Chute Poor, was to find 


a genial home during the last forty years of her life. 
She was a fixture in this home of her later life. Serene 
and dignified, honored and loved, she was essentially 
the head of the household. Always engaged in look- 
ing after little details to which she was given charge, 
knitting, mending, aiding by her advice and counsel, 
she made her presence known, respected and loved bv 
all. She was well informed on almost any subject, 
was a great reader, keeping abreast of the times. She 
was keenly interested in politics, being an Abolitionist 
of the most pronounced type, an admirer of Garrison, 
Phillips and Horace Greeley. For a generation of 
years she was a reader of the New York Tribune. 
Patriotism was inherent in her nature and she held it 
to be the duty of men to rally in the defence of the 
flag when their country called. This picture may 
savor of the strongminded woman, but she was an}-- 
thing but that. She was a humble christian and a re- 
fined woman. She loved liberty because she was 
reared under the influence that made Faneuil Hall, the 
cradle of liberty. Slie believed it was wrong to en- 
slave men and she prayed and worked in her humble 
sphere to bring about that universal freedom that she 
happily lived to see. In appearance she was some- 
what above medium height. Strongly built, inclining 
to stoutness but with little surplus flesh. She was 
erect in carriage and even in her extreme old age was 
not bent or stooped. Her face was large with pleas- 
ant blue eyes, regular features, well shaped mouth 
and firm chin. She always wore a front of light 
brown hair beneath the frill of her dear starched cap. 


which gave a youthful appearance to her face and 
comported well with her active, busy ways. She had 
a strong though kindly face and children loved her. 
She was always just and kind. She exalted the truth 
and insisted that children should never be told a false- 
hood even in jest, as it destroyed the faith of the child 
and taught it the lesson of deceit. She was like all 
Puritans of her day; religion was to her "a life to 
live." She was thoroughly familiar with the Bible, 
having used it as her guide through the daily walks of 
her entire life. She had an abiding faith in the good, 
ness and justice of God's decrees, and no matter how 
great the calamity she was always ready to say "God 
knows what is best for us and everything is for our 

Her's was the faith that never doubted. Like an 
anchor to the soul it was sure and steadfast and with 
perfect trust she could say: 

"I know not where His islands left 

Their fronded palms in air. 
I only know I cannot drift 

Beyond His love and care." 

This picture of Grandmother Poor drawn from a 
memory of fifty years only touches upon the salient 
points of her long and beautiful life. 

She was tried as by fire in the crucible of poverty 
and adversity and came out pure gold. Hastening to 
a close I can only add that in the latter 3'ears of her 
life the old busy ways changed to quiet waiting. Her 
mind was clear as of old and owing to her second eye- 
sight she read easily without glasses. She was alwa5's 
entertaining and full of reminiscences, but her hold on 


life was \veak.enin<^ She had been one of the nation 
builders. Born almost with its birth she had witnessed 
its growth, the wonders of steam and electricity, had 
sympathized and prayed for the human slave until at 
80 years she read the great proclamation that made 
him free. Her work was done and in the words of 
her beloved New England poet she could say: 

"Far more than all I dared to dream 

Unsout'ht before my door 1 see 
On wiiiys of (ire and steeds of steam 

The world's treat wonders come to me. 

And holier signs unmarked before 

Of love to seek and power lo save. 
Tlie ritrhtinfj of the wronu'ed and |)0or. 

'Ihe man evolving from the slave. 

And life no longer chance or fate 

Safe in the glorious fatherhood. 
I fold o'er wearied hands and wait 

In full assurance of the good. 

.And well the waiting time must be. 

Though brief or long it's granted days, 
If faith and hope and charity 

hit by my evening's hearthfire blaze. 

I know the solemn monotone 

Of waters calling unto me. 
I know from whence those airs have blown 

That wiiisper of the eternal sea. 
As low the fires of memory burn. 

I hear that sea's deep sound increase, 
.\nd fair in sunset life discern 

Its mirage lifted isles of peace." 

And thus she drifted on, awaiting the call. Hon- 
ored and beloved b}- all, she passed away January 30, 
1872, aged 91 years, five months and nine days. She 
is sleeping in God's acre in sight of where we are gath- 
ered, yet she is with us today. I see her in the bright, 
intellectual faces of those around me. As her blood 
permeates us all, so may her many virtues descend to 
her posterity through the years to come. 

Ancestry Of Hannah Chute Poor 

Mrs. Eugenia Chappell, 
A Great Granddaughter. 

Hannah Chute Poor was the daughter of James 
and Mehitabel (Thurston) Chute, being their third 
child. Both she and her parents were natives of 
Rowley, Massachusetts. All of her immediate an- 
cestors lived in this town or the adjoining one of New- 
bury. This section of northern Massachusetts is as 
much hallowed by their memory as old Mt. Pleasant 
is by the memory of our own grandparents. Perhaps 
not all of the early settlers of this part of Massachu- 
setts were Puritans, but we are quite sure that all of 
our ancestors were of that faith. 

We have made a more complete study of her 
father's family than of her mother's. We have, with- 
out doubt, as many reasons for feeling proud of the 
Tnurston family or of the Collin, Adams or Jewett 
families, as we have of the Chutes — only it is our mis- 
fortune not to know so much about them. The Chutes 
have left us so many more fragments of their history 
in England before the discovery of America, than have 
any other family of our progenitors. 

The Chutes were a noble family in Normandy be- 
fore the Conquest, and if not related to the Conqueror 


by blood, were at least held in high esteem by him. 
Baron Edward Le Chute came to EnMand with the 
Conqueror in 1066 and was an officer in the Norman 
arm}- at the battle of Hastings, which victory placed 
William I on the throne of England. This Baron is 
said to be the ancestor of all the families bearin<r the 
name Chute, whether livin<r in En<rland, Ireland or 
America. This was about the that surnames be- 
gan to be "the fashion" in England and Chute was 
among the first in use. The name means a descent, 
down slope or down from an elevation. But in the 
case of this remote ancestor of ours, the meaning was 
not correctly applied, for instead of sliding down a 
slope he was elevated to a higher position and reward- 
ed for his services by the Conqueror bestowing on him 
the manor of Taunton and making him Lord of it. 

After the death of Baron Edward Le Chute, the 
family records were unkept for two hundred years, 
then in 1268 history records that Alexander Chute, 
Lord of the Manor of Taunton, had died, and that his 
title and his estate had passed to his son John. From 
that time down to the present there have been au- 
thentic family records kept, so that we are able to 
trace our descent from Alexander Chute. 

After John followed ten generations of Chutes un- 
til in 1502 it is recorded that Edmond Chute, of Sus- 
sex, had died and that it v^-as he who had sold the 
Manor of Taunton to Lord Denham. Why did he 
sell Taunton? Could it have been about this time that 
the Chutes did indeed come sliding down a slope from 
an elevated position to a lower one? Was the head of 


the family in such straits that he was forced to part 
with the ancient family seat? The record gives no 
answer to these questions and neither can we find an 
answer after the lapse of four hundred years. And 
after this we hear no more about the title for a time — 
not until it was restored to George Chute in 1684. It 
will be seen that this restoration was made fifty years 
after our ancestor, Lionel Chute, left English shores 
for America. So the titled Chutes, if there are any in 
England now, are merel}' distant cousins of ours. It 
is perhaps true that the line of descent of our ances- 
tor who came to Ipswich, Mass., in 1634, is through a 
younger brother. 

This sale was made in the reign of Henry VII 
and it may have been that Edmond Chute had in some 
wa}' incurred the displeasure of his sovereign and had 
wisely sold his estate before it could be confiscated by 
the Crown. Perhaps his title was taken from him for 
the same reason. On the other hand, we know that 
there have been titled Chutes in England since that 
time. To show what the Chutes (our cousins) have 
been doing in England since the immigration of our 
ancestor we quote the following statements from the 

"George Chute, of Surrey, was knighted July 
II, 1660." 

"George Chute was created baronet in 1684, and 
devised his estate to Edward Austin, Esq., the Chute 
title being extinct." 

Charles Chute, first cousin of Lionel (our ances- 
tor,) was tutor to James I." 


"Challoner Chute (1595-1659) was made knight 
of the Shire of Middlesex in 1656, and in 1658 upon 
the assembling of Parliament was unanimously chosen 
speaker. The French embassador, INI. de Bordeaux, 
on writing home said, "Parliament elected its speaker 
who is one of the most celebrated lawyers in the na- 
tion, and there appeared no opposition." 

"Challoner Chute Jr., his son, was also in Par- 
liament. They were great, good, pious and honest. 
Their wisdom and judgment were extraordinary." 

"Edward Chute was close friend of the poet, 
Thomas Gray and of Walpole. He was the former's 
correspondent for twenty years." 

"Thomas Wiggate Chute was in Parliament in 
1793, was friend of William Pitt, entertained the Duke 
of Wellington and owner of Pickenham Hall." 

"William Lyde Wiggate Chute, having taken the 
surname and arms, became the proprietor of the Vyne, 
which he enriched and improv'ed with pictures, statu- 
ary, furniture, etc., very finely, in the year 1879." 

"Challoner William Chute born in 1838, of the 
Vyne, Bassingstoke, Southampton Co., J. P. M. A. 
of Oxford, Barrister of Law, etc., is a bright scholar." 

From the foregoing it is readily seen that the 
Chutes in England have been and are in modern 
times, people of wealth, culture and influence. 

The Chute family in America have always kept 
the design of their Coat of Arms, which we suppose is 
the same as has been used in England. This coat of 
arms was granted by Henry VIII, though it seems that 


the family had another one that was used in earlier 

After Edmond Chute sold the Manor of Taunton 
there were live more generations of Chutes born on 
English soil — or six generations, counting Lionel's son 
James, who was twenty one years old when he "came 
over" with his father. Lionel Chute was the son of 
Lyonnell Chute, and was born about 1580. He came 
to Ipswich, Mass., in 1634, married in England in 
1610, Rose, daughter of Robert Barker, had two sons 
and one daughter. Almost immediately on his arrival 
at the new colony he began to teach school; and it 
can be truthfully said that each of the ten generations 
that have succeeded him in America, has produced 
teachers of exceptional ability, some of whom are here 

This record of fifteen generations of his ancestors 
Lionel brought to Ipswich with him in his sea-chest. 
It was written on parchment and after his death the 
chest and the record within it passed along down seven 
more generations, until about 1790, when they came 
into the possession of Amelia Parish, who was Grand- 
mother Poor's first cousin. By this time the record 
was musty from having lain in the chest so long and 
was hardly legible, so Amelia Parish took great pains 
to make a true copy of it and her copy finally fell into 
the hands of William Edward Chute, who has prepar- 
ed for us the Chute Genealogy. 

As to temperament the Chutes were cheerful, 
mild and gentle-mannered. They were, almost to an 
individual, pious and God fearing — many of them 


holdinf^ the office of Deacon in the Con2rerrational 
churches of Rowley and Newbury. Having embraced 
the Puritan faith in England they adhered steadfastl}- 
to their belief and patiently bore all persecution until 
they came to the New World. 

I will not give the Chute line in Massachusetts, as 
an eastern cousin has written so well of it for this day's 

James Chute, father of Hannah Chute Poor, and 
of the sixth generation in America, was a minute man 
in Captain Jacob Gerrish's company, which marched 
on the alarm of April 19, 1775, from Bytield to Cam- 
bridge. After tlie Revolution he was a farmer and a 
good, thrifty farmer, too. He served as Deacon in 
the church of Boxford for many years. He and his 
wife reared a familv of three sons and five daughters, 
all of whom grew up and married, all led honorable, 
useful lives that reflected credit on the training 
their parents gave them. Mehitabel Thurston Chute 
died in 1819 and after that the Deacon visited his 
children living in Indiana, Hannah, Daniel and James. 
His eldest son, Richard, was living in St Louis, Mo., 
at that time. He died at Madison, Indiana, April 28, 
1825, and was buried there, although the location of 
his grave has been lost. He probablv closed his eyes 
on earthly scenes in the home of his son Daniel, who 
was a pioneer teacher of Madison then. There still 
lives in Madison a lady who attended his school when 
a small child, and who remembers him very well. I 
refer to Mrs. Goode, mother of Mrs. Edward Eggles- 
ton, and daughter of Judge Eggleston, one of the most 


brilliant men living in Indiana at that time; a man of 
rare culture and wide influence. This man was Dan- 
iel Chute's friend. Shortly after his father's death, 
Daniel Chute removed to Evansville and taught school 
there until he was quite an old man. The school au- 
thorities of Evansville always accredit Daniel Chute 
with having perfected the organization of their schools. 
It was here that his family grew up and here that his 
dau<rhter Charlotte, married Governor Conrad Baker. 
He and his sister Hannah would exchange visits, mak- 
ing the trip in a buggy, while she was making her 
home at Grandfather Brooks's, and he living in Evans- 

All of the Chutes who came west joined the Pres- 
byterian church, because they found no Congre- 
gational churches here, James became a Presbyterian 

To sum up, we can trace our line of descent 
throu<rh Hannah Chute Poor back to five heads of f am- 
ilies who "came over" to Massachusetts between the 
years of 1634 and 1640. Their names are: Lionel 
Chute, Daniel Thurston, Robert Adams, Tristram 
Coflin and Maxmillian Jewett. These were five 
worthy men and all of us having this good ancestry, 
should see to it that the character and worth do not 
diminish nor degenerate, and that rising generations 
may never trail these records in the dust. 

The Chutes Of New England 

Contributed By 

Harriet W. Coleman, 


Newburyport, Mass. 

It is fittinf:^ and natural that the Chute family 
should feel an interest in ancestry, for with them it is 
not an acquired taste — a following after fashion — hut a 
matter of inheritance, judging from the fact that the 
emigrant ancestor, Lionel Chute, brought with him to 
this country a parchment upon which appears the fam- 
ily tree, dating back to the times of Alexander Chute, 
born in England and who died in 1268. This parch- 
ment is further ornamented with the Chute coat of 
arms. The crest a gauntlettcd hand holding a broken 
sword, on the upper left hand corner of tlie shield 
vert a lion of England, while the main decoration is 
three swords surrounded by six stars, "Fortune dc 
Guerre," the motto. 

Lionel Chute when about fiftj-'-four years of age, 
came to America bringintj with him his wife and child- 
ren. Dr. Ewell gives as the potent factor in deter- 
mining him to emigrate, the preaching of the great 
Dedham Puritan. 

However this may be, Lionel Chute left Dedham, 


England, the place of his birth, and came to Agawam, 
now Ipswich, a small Massachusetts town, but a place 
of importance in 1634. 

Ipswich was settled by a little colony of which 
John Winthrop, son of the Governor, was the leader. 
This gave the settlement great prestige and attracted 
people of unusual intelligence, so that we find them 
early establishing a grammar school of which it is pre- 
sumed Lionel Chute was the first teacher. 

Lionel Chute's will dated "the fourth day of the 
seventh month Anno Dom, 1644," was presented June 
25th, 1645, sliowing us that he lived here but little 
more than ten years. 

He made his wife his executrix and left her "for 
the term of her natural life, all this my dwelling house, 
with the barn and all the edifices (the two chambers 
over the house and entry only excepted, which I will 
tnat James my sonne shall have to his only use for the 
term of one year next after my decease with ingress, 
egress, regress, etc.,) with the yards, gardens, the 
home lott and planting lott purchased of Mr. Bartholo- 
mew with the commonage and appurtenances thereto 

He left to a friend five shillings and to the poor of 
the church twenty shillings to be distributed by the 

After his debts were paid his whole estate was 
valued at "84 pounds, eleven shillings and four 

From the inventory we gather that his farm was 


well stocked and his home well supplied, for we read 
of cow, calf, heifers, steers, goats, hoggs and piggs, 
as well as a feather bed and bolster, valued at 3 lb. 
10 shillings; table cloth and napkins, 14 salts and 11 
porringers, one silver spoon, valued at six shillings, 
but one dozen "alcamy" spoons, (an alloy of brass) 
books, parchments and other things in a chest. His 
only w^eapon mentioned was a halberd. 

Lionel Chute's son. Nathaniel, died about 1640, 
so that left James sole heir after his mother's death. 

James Chute was baptized in Dedham, England, 
in 1613, and as it was tlie custom to baptize Puritan 
children the first Sunday after birth, we infer tliat he 
was born that year and that he was twenty-one years 
old when he left England. The exact date of James 
Chute's marriage is not known, but it is thought to be 
1647. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Daniel Epps 
and INIartha Read. 

James Chute and his wife, Elizabeth, both seem 
to have been people of education, and frequently wit- 
nessed deeds and various legal papers as one sees from 
the old court records. 

They always spelled the name Chute, although in 
later generations we find various corruptions. 

In the Ipswich Town records dated Feb. 13, 
1678, we find the name of Mr. Chute among the list 
of those "p'sons that have right of commonage." 

James Chute died in the spring of 1691, and let- 
ters of administration were granted his son, James, by 
the court held at Ipswich, Nov. 3, 1691. 

From one silver spoon possessed by his father 
Lionel, James had acquired six, yet his whole estate 
was valued at 70 pounds. 

James, •^ son of James, son of Lionel, was the first 
Chute to be born in America. This birth occurred in 
Ipswich, in 1649. Mr. William E. Chute in his 
Genealogy writes; "He was said to be a man of kind 
disposition, mild temperament and pious. Judging 
from his writinjjs he must have received a (jood edu- 

Nov. loth, 1673, he married Mary, the daughter 
of William and Mar}' Wood. They moved to New- 
bury-B^yfield in the summer or fall of 1681, where his 
son James, third, was born June 1686. 

January 26, 1715, he married Mary Thurston, and 
had five children, three of whom were boys. 

February 14, 1715-16 James Chute, Sen., gave to 
his son, James, whom he calls his "loving and dutiful 
son," his house, barn and land and meadow lying in 
ye township of Rowley, called ox pasture, which was 
a part of the parish of Byfield. 

Byfield is not a civil but a religious division, and 
embraces a part of three towns, so that a man and his 
wife may sit in the same pew in church and yet be in 
different towns. 

James died January 31. 1769. He was deacon of 
the Congregational church for over thirty years. 

His wife was one of the founders of the church in 
Byfield, and her pastor. Rev. Mr. Parsons, records 
her death: "Mary Chewte, wife of Dea. James 

Chewte — She was a very useful woman, and as she 
lived desired, so died much lamented." 

Deacon James Chute and his wife, Mary, had five 
children, of whom Daniel, born in Newbury-Byfield, 
May 6th, 1722, was the oldest son, practically the only 
one, as his two younger brothers died in childhood, 
and the two oldest children were girls. 

Before he was twenty-one years old Daniel mar- 
ried April 20, 1742, Hannah Adams. Twelve child- 
ren sprang from this union, of these three were daugh- 
ters and five died in childhood. 

Daniel Chute and his wife were people of marked 
ability and took a lively interest in parish and colonial 
affairs, indeed Dr. Parish said ot" Mrs. Chute that 
"next to George Washington he knew none more lit 
to govern this nation than she." 

When the master of Dummer Academy, a famous 
school where two of her sons were being educated, 
introduced a French dancing master, she wrote a long 
poem in protest, beginning: 

ie sons of Byfield now draw near. 

Leave worship for the dance. 
Nor farther walk in wisdom's ways. 

But in the ways of France. 

In the French War of 1757, Daniel Chute was a 
member of Capt. John Pearson's troop of horse. And 
in the spring of 1760 when the French forces in Can- 
ada were preparing to recapture Quebec, Daniel 
Chute enlisted his servant, James Martin, as a member 
of the company of Captain Davenport. 

His service in the Revolutionary period was that 


of a leffislator rather than a warrior, for December 
29th, 1772, he was a member of a committee chosen 
to consider public affairs and to determine what steps 
should be taken to protect and preserve the rights and 
privileges granted and guaranteed by the charter of 
the Province. 

Again in 1776 he was one of five elected as dep- 
uty from Newbury, "to attend the Great and General 
Assembly to be held at Watertown, May 29, 1776." 
At this time he was called Captain Daniel Chute, but 
how he earned this title, whether for service or simply 
by the esteem in which he was held, is not clear. He 
was parish clerk for thirty-three years and died Jan. 
6th, 1805. 

In his diary dated April 27, 1778, he gives an ac- 
count of the "Fl}ing Giant" supposed by the majority 
of the people, including Rev. Mr. Parsons, to be the 

"A form as of a giant, I suppose rather under 
than over twenty feet high, walked through the air 
from somewhere nigh the Governor's school, where 
it was first spied by some boys, till it passed the meet- 
ing house. It strode as fast as a good horse might 
gallop and two or three feet above the ground, and 
what more than all we admired, it went through walls 
and fences as one goes through water, yet they were 
not broken or overthrown." 

James Chute was born in Rowley, Feb. 16, 1751, 
and eventually was the oldest son of Daniel and Han- 
nah Adams Chute, the three older children dying of 


throat distemper and the subsequent one a girl gave 
him the position. 

James was educated at Dummer Academy, and 
was a private in Capt. Jacob Gerrish's Company that 
marched to Cambridge on the alarm of April 19, 1775. 

June 13, 1775, he married Mehitabel, daughter of 
Richard Thurston, and moved to Boxford, where his 
eight children were born. All of his children lived to 
manhood and womanhood, all were married and had 
issue. He was a selectman in tne years 1791-1792. 

He returned to Byfield in 1793 and occupied the 
site where August 15, 1760, his grandfather had deed- 
ed to his son, the father of James, all his real estate 
in Rowley, near the meeting house in Byfield, about 
130 acres. Now 

ausht remains the saddonini,,' tale to tell 
Save home's last wrecks, the cellar and the well." 

James Chute was a deacon in the church from 
1795 to his death. He was collector of the parish in 
181 1. Three of his sons and one daughter and his 
oldest granddaughter went west at different times so 
that after the death of his wife he went there to visit 
and c.ied in Madison, Indiana, April 28, 1825, and Is 
buried in the cemetery by the side of his grand- 
daughter, Eliza Hale. James Chute had over fifty 

9kv{/. /3^-Cr^^^^ 

Hannah Poor's Contribution to the Civil War 


Col. Lewis Brooks. 

The descendants and the husbands of the de- 
scendants of Hannah Poor who served their country 
in the great War of the Rebellion were as follows: 

Sons of Wendell Poor, son of Hannah: Daniel 
W. Poor, Captain 29th Iowa Infantry; Thomas J. 
Poor, same company and regiment; and Samuel L. 
Poor, of the 145th Indiana Infantry. 

Sons-in-law of Wendell Poor: William Henry 
Morgan, 51st Missouri Infantry; Isreal Seimiller, 51st 
Missouri and 4th Iowa Infantry; and Socrates Wil- 
liams, 9th Iowa Infantry. 

Sons of Samuel W. Poor, son of Hannah: James 
Harrison and Wendell Poor, 120th Indiana Infantry. 

Sons of Alvin Poor, son of Hannah f John Mar- 
shall and Alvin Mansfield Poor, 29th Iowa Infantry; 
Daniel Webster Poor, 46th Iowa Infantry. 

Son of Hannah Prosser, daughter of Hannah 
Poor: E. Edwin Prosser, 2nd Minnesota Infantry. 

Son of Mehitabel Merrill, daughter of Hannah 
Poor: Albert L. Merrill, 2nd Ohio Infantry and Cap- 
tain Battery 8 Light Artillery; Samuel E. Martin, son- 

in-law of Mrs. Merrill, surgeon in a Kansas regiment. 

Sons of Harriet Houghton, daughter of Hannah 
Poor: William Houghton, Major 14th Indiana Infan- 
try and member of Gen. Hancock's staff; Walter R. 
Houghton, 137th Indiana Infantry : Eugene Houghton, 
i8th Indiana Infantry; and Lemuel L. Dilley, son-in- 
law of Mrs. Houghton, 22nd Indiana Infantry. 

Son of Amelia Dewitt, daughter of Hannah Poor: 
Charles H, DeWitt, 66th Indiana Infantry; James H. 
Tucker, son-in-law of Mrs. DeWitt, in the same regi- 

Sons of Susanah Brooks, daughter of Hannah 
Poor: Lewis Brooks, Captain 14th Indiana Infantry 
and Colonel of the 80th Indiana Infantry; Thomas J. 
Brooks, Captain of the Both Indiana Infantry; John C. 
L. Campbell, son-in-law of Susan Brooks, Both In- 
diana Infantry and Assistant Surgeon in the ist Heavy 
Artillery; Stephen White Chappie, Company I, 143rd 
Indiana Infantry, is the husband of Eugenia Chappie, 
daughter of Emily Brooks Campbell, the only great 
granddaughter of Hannah Poor who is the wife of a 
soldier of the Rebellion. 

Alonzo B. Pearson, the son of Amanda Pearson, 
daughter of Hannah Poor, was a soldier in the Mexi- 
can War. 

There were seventeen (17) descendants of Han- 
nah Poor in the war and eight (8) who married de- 

Susan Poor Brooks. 

Susan Poor 


Emily B. Campbell, 

A Daughter. 

Susan Poor was born in Byfield, Mass., December 
15, 1811, in a six-roomed, two story frame house. It 
was sold to Joseph Hale by lier father when he went 
West in 18 16. In 1853 her dauf^hter Emily was 
shown over the house which was in good condition 
and occupied by Dr. Root. 

When five years old her parents started for the 
West via Pittsburg, where they lived until April, 1818, 
when they took a flatboat for Madison, Ind. After 
living there a year they bought a farm forty miles west 
of Madison, in Washington county, where her father 
died very suddenly December 9, 1819, 

She remained with her mother and brother Alvin, 
who managed the farm until 1822, when her mother 
went to Cincinnati to keep house for her father, Dea. 
James Chute. While there Susan attended a school 
taught by her uncle, James Chute, a graduate of Dart- 
mouth College. She was a promising pupil and 
learned rapidly, much to the delight of her uncle, who 
was the only teacher we know of her ever having, al- 
though she was well informed. She was well read in 


history and imparted lier love of il and of literature to 
her children. 

At the age of fifteen she began to teach school in 
Washington County, about fifteen milts from her 
home on Elk Creek. She boarded at Mr. Wright's 
and sometimes at Mr. Blanchard's. It was in one 
room of the latter's house that she ''kept sciiool." 

The Wright family was a large one. In the sum- 
mer time two pecks of string beans were daily cooked 
for their dinner. 

Later she taught school in Orange county in what 
is known as Orange Valley. Among her pupils here 
were James and Robert Bryant, known to many here, 
who ever after regarded her with affection and respect. 
She boarded with Mr. Byrum. In his family were 
two negroes, Judy, who was a good cook, and Jack- 
son, who belonged to Mrs. Byrum's mother in Ken- 
tucky. She made Jackson read the Bible on Sunday. 
He would go upstairs, lie down on the bed and occas- 
ionally shout out "Jerusalem" and "the Jews," thus 
deceiving the old lady, who was quite deaf into the 
belief that he was reading. The old lady was pleased 
to claim relationship with Danitl Boone. 

It was here that she became acquainted with her 
husband, Thomas J. Brooks, who boarded at Mr. By- 
rum's while running a mill, store and distillery at the 
same time. She next taught in Orleans, Indiana, and 
boarded at Mr. Worrell's. In after j'ears her daugh- 
ter was shown a stump in the garden where she went 
to read her love letters. Here she was married to 


Thomas J. Brooks on Aug. 5, 1830. The}' began 
housekeeping in a small log house about six miles 
west of Orleans. It was built on a hillside, west of a 
fine spring and in that beautiful spot known as 
Orange Valley. They soon built a substantial two- 
roomed, hewed log house, having an immense double 
chimney, containing two large fire places between the 
two rooms. This was the birthplace of her eldest 
child, the writer. While living here Henry Clay and 
son, attended by a colored servant, spent the night 
with them. She often talked of frying batter cakes 
for his breakfast and of giving up her bed room to 
him, she sleeping in the attic. At that time all travel- 
ing was on the state road by their house, so they often 
entertained travelers over night as well as friends and 

In July, 1832, they moved to a farm one mile 
west of Mt. Pleasant. Mr. Peek, the former owner, 
allowed them to live in his kitchen while their new 
house was being built. It was six weeks from the day 
the first log was cut until the family moved into the 
new house. The planks were sawed and the shingles 
made by hand. The house which was a story and a 
half high, consisted of two large rooms and a ten foot 
entr}' between on the lower floor. The planks were laid 
down loosel}^ but ere cold weather arrived they were 
nailed down and the cracks between the logs were 
chinked and daubed, the windows put in and the doors 
hung. During the summer quilts were hung at the 
doors at night. Outside blinds and a mantel from the 
abandoned town of Hindostan, were added later. At 

different times additions were made to the house and it 
was otherwise improved. 

In 1834 they moved to Mt. Pleasant. In 1836 
they moved into the brick house now occupied by 
Riley Routt. Here her sister Harriet, who had lived 
with her since her marriage, was married to William 
H. Houghton. 

In 1S37 they returned to the farm where the}- re- 
sided during the remainder of her life. 

She was a most excellent housekeeper, tireless in 
her efforts to make her family and visitors comfortable 
and happy. Being a fine cook all at her table were 
served bountifully. It has been remarked that the 
children and grandchildren who bear her name inherit 
these characteristics. She cooked at the fireplace un- 
til 1S39, when they bought a cook stove. The family 
kept a strict watch over the children lest they should 
get burned on the new stove. 

In September, 1849, she went to Massachusetts, 
where she spent six weeks visiting her relatives there. 
She rode in a stage from her home to Louisville ; from 
there to Cincinnati on a steam boat; and from Cin- 
cinnati to Boston by rail. This was a most delightful 
visit. She lived it over in recalling the incidents and 
her impressions of the people she met for the en 
joyment of her mother and her children. 

Her mother came to live with her in 1S34 and re- 
ceived her most tender care during her last years on 

In infanc}' she was baptized by Dr. Parrish, a 


Congregational minister of Bytield. When fifteen she 
united with the Methodist church of which she was a 
devout member ever after, 

Susan Brooks was extraordinarily gifted intellect- 
ually. Her mind kept pace with the rapid develop- 
ment of our national life in its material, intellectual and 
moral spheres. It is needless to say that her heart 
and voice were for freedom and the preservation of 
the national life. Two sons, all that were old enough, 
went to the war. Both, though young, soon won the 
esteem of their fellow soldiers and confidence of their 
superior authorities and became officers, one leading 
a regiment, another a company in his brother's regi- 
ment. The younger soon came home to die of mortal 

His widow and infant son were taken to the heart 
and home of the dead soldier's parents and were ever 
afterwards the object of loving solicitude as long as 
the parents lived. 

As her husband was the leader and founder of 
real education in the neighborhood, so the wife was in 
the forefront of all that was for the relief of the needy, 
the comfort of the troubled and afflicted, and that 
would advance the reli<i"ious and moral w^ell beinjr of 
her family and friends. 

Especially was she held in worshipping affection 
by her grandchildren. To them she was all that was 
good, kind and considerate. To them her memor}- is 
a bright halo, the richness of which is more and more 
real as they journey through life, but not further from 

her blessed spirit which is ever near. She had the 
blessed experience of living not as a memory, but as 
an abiding influence that remains with all who were 
objects of her love, care, attention and acquaintance. 

Harriet Poor Houghton. 

Harriet Poor Houghton 


Judge Hileary Q. Houghton, 

Her Son. 

I approach the subject in hand with a mingled 
feeling of pleasure and sadness. Pleasure as I recall 
the devotion of my mother to her family, her kind dis- 
position and pure and unselfish life. Sadness that she 
could not longer abide with us. 

The various members of the family have furnished 
me with data concerning incidents associated with her 
life, and with their views of her life and character. 
These matters I have appropriated and embraced in 
what I have to say, so my remarks will be in the nature 
of a contribution by her living children to the memory 
of their mother. 

Harriet Poor was the ninth child of John Poor 
and his wife, Hannah Chute, and was born at New- 
buryport, Massachusetts, on the 27th day of August, 
1815. When less than two years old her father with 
his family left the ancestral home and in October, 
1819, settled on a farm which he had purchased, about 
twelve miles east of the city of Salem, on Elk Creek, 
in Washington county, Indiana. About the same time 
and during the same year William Houghton, a native 
of New Jerse}'^, but fresh from Kentucky, settled on a 


farm in Daviess county, two miles west of the place on 
which I now stand with his family, one of whom was 
William H. Houghton, then a boy of nine summers, 
whose wife she afterward became. So "ar as I know, 
I am the only one of the relatives who was ever in the 
locality where grandfather settled. Over thirty years 
ago I spent the holidays with a college classmate, who 
lived in that county. We went from Salem to his 
home on horseback, and while on (he way fell in with 
a man who told me that he knew my grandmother 
when he was a boy, and that he had gone to school 
either to or with my Aunt Susan during his school 
days. We crossed a small stream which I was inform- 
formed was Elk Creek, and the man pointed out the 
location of the place where grandfather settled. 

Though very young, mother remembered two in- 
cidents of her life on that farm which occurred soon 
after they settled there. She has told me that soon 
after they moved in the little cabin on the farm on Elk 
Creek, that her lather took the children fishing in that 
stream; that he made fish hooks by bending pins, 
fastened them to strings which were tied to poles cut 
from the trees The fish favored her line and slie 
caught several small ones much to the pleasure of her 
father, who commended her to the other children on 
account of her success. That was the one distinct 
memory she had of her father. The other presents a 
different scene. About two months after they located 
on this farm, her father one day in December was 
taken suddenly ill, four hours later he was no more. 
No one save the family was there at the time. They 

were three miles from the nearest neighbor, and no 
male present except her sixteen-year-old brother 
Alvin, and the infant John. 

Thus she was left fatherless when less than five 
years of age ; but her mother kept the family together 
until the older girls were married. 

In 1826 her sister, Betsy Chute, married Walter 
Wright. They lived in Greencastle and mother made 
her home with her from that time until her sister's 
death, which occurred two years later. She then lived 
with her sister, Hannah Prosser, at Orleans, Indiana, 
for about two years, when her sister Susan, married 
Thomas J. Brooks, after which she made her home 
in his family at Mt. Pleasant until her marriage. 

Though there were no schools in her girlhood 
days of account, she had a good education for the 
time. It came principally from her mother and sis- 
ters, with perhaps two school terms at Greencastle. 
And yet she could not recall the time when she could 
not read, and so beautiful was her style that to listen 
to her read aloud was like listening to the notes of 
sweet music. As a reader of the liible she could not 
be excelled, for being possessed of a poetic nature, 
she threw the poetry of that nature into the poetry of 
her text. The quality of her mind was such that she 
was able to take such hold on the subjects she studied 
that she mastered them. To those of us who have had 
better advantages in this behalf, thanks to her, when 
we consider her opportunities compared to ours, and 
note her knowledge of affairs, her attainments seem to 
be remarkable. 

In Mount Pleasant she met William H. Houghton, 
whom she married on the 17th of March, 1836. He 
at the time lived with his mother on a farm two miles 
west of that place. He was a blacksmitli by trade and 
was also a farmer. He was a high t^-pe of a pioneer 
young man, honest, his name a synonym for integrit}-, 
industrious, energetic and courageous. His capital 
was his strong right arm. His ambition was to con- 
quer the forest before him, to do his part in the devel- 
opment of his adopted state, and turn a wilderness into 
a happ}' home. He succeeded. 

They were both of New England ancestry. The 
Poors settled in Massachusetts in 1635, the Hough- 
tons in 1654; but one of the Houghtons later settled in 
New Jerse}' and there our grandfather Houghton was 

The young couple settled on a farm in Daviess 
county, Indiana, which father bought some time after 
their marriage. Here they lived most of their lives. 
She was an ideal wife and mother. She loved her 
home, her children and her friends. She was of a 
sunn}^ disposition, and when amused her laughter came 
in ripples, her eves would sparkle and her frame 
shake. Those about her she made cheerful, and her 
hearty laugh w^as the comment of her friends, who 
said that it made them happy to hear it. 

She lost no occasion to point a moral from an 
object. Being in the field one day in early spring, 
where she was gathering wild flowers, she called me 
to her and pointing to the new!}' whitewashed build- 
ings which sparkled in the rays of the setting sun, 

asked me if I did not think them pretty, and on ans- 
wering in the affirmative, she said that they were pretty 
because they were clean and pure. And then she ad- 
monished me that if I would gain the confidence of 
my fellows, I must live a clean pure life. 

She was frank with her children and come what 
may, they always got the absolute truth from her. 
Santa Claus brought the children presents on Christ- 
mas morning, but when the question was put to her as 
to who he was, the answer came that the good fairy 
was father and mother. She did her part as a pio- 
neer's wife in the support of the family. Hers was not 
an idle life. From the fleece from the back of the 
sheep she spun the yarn and from it made the foot 
wear for the whole family. From cloth woven in the 
loom of a neighbor, she cut and made the clothes for 
the whole household. From the products of the farm, 
the dishes were prepared by her hands that furnished 
the family sustenance. Into her home riches, as 
riches go, never came, but there was plenty for the 
ordinary comforts of life, as comforts were in her day. 
But that home was always rich in love and purity, and 
in the confidence the husband and wife had in each 

She was a great entertainer and lover of children. 
Often from church on Sunday many persons with 
children would be invited home by her for dinner, and 
the ease with which she made all of them feel at home 
and kept the children in a good humor was a wonder 
to all. 

She performed to the letter an}' duty imposed up- 


on her, and shrunk from none. She possessed this 
characteristic from childhood. Traveling with a fam- 
ily from Greencastle to Orleans when about twelve 
years old, they camped in the forest by an old mill on 
a stream of water. The darkness was dense. She 
was directed by the woman of the family to take a 
chicken back from the camp and kill it for their sup- 
per. As she proceeded, the dogs about began to bark, 
and looking in the direction of the sound all she could 
see, peering at her through the inky darkness, were 
dog's eyes looking like balls of tire suspended in the 
air. She never retreated, but dischargd tiie duty. 

But the crucial test of her life came when the 
Civil War broke out. At that time she had among her 
children three boys aged respectively 21, 16 and 14 
years. Before that conflict ended all three of them 
had seen service in that war, and two of them carry on 
their persons battle scars caused by wounds received 
in action while fighting in defense of the flag. 

There was no protestation that she was the victim 
of a cruel fate. A condition confronted her. The 
country was in peril She and her husband had de- 
scended from Revolutionary ancestry. Her grand- 
parents on both sides had fought for liberty at Lexing- 
ton and Bunker Hill. His great grandfather was with 
Washington's army at Long Island, was in the retreat 
of that army across the short hills of New Jersey and 
the Delaware, fought in the battles of Long Island and 
White Plains, and for a time commanded a regiment in 
the brigade of General Nathaniel Green. Their fath- 
ers had done their part in establishing the Republic. 


Their children would help preserve it. She first saw 
her oldest living son depart to the front. No mother 
and son were ever more attached to each other. She 
had lost two boys older than he and her affection for 
them all seemed to center in him. This affection was 
reciprocated by the son. They were bound to each 
other as by bands of steel. I saw tliat parting, and 
though a mere child, it made an impression on me I 
will never forget. Impressing upon him the danger 
that threatened the country, the peril of the undertak- 
ing into which he was about to enter, and choking 
back the rising tears with Spartan fortitude, she bade 
him go and do his duty in the defense of his country's 
flag. She afterwards sent the other two sons to add 
to the force, with the same injunction; and with a fer- 
vent prayer that their Hves be spared, and that they all 
be returned to her. Her prayer was answered. They 
all returned and helped to lighten the burden of her 

She was as familiar with the Bible as with the A- 
B-C. She made the stories of Holy Writ so interest- 
ing in the telling that her children sought no sweeter 
pleasure than to gather around her and listen to her 
many narrations. She possessed to a strong degree 
that wonderful combination of virtues which go to form 
a great character, a nature filled with loving tender- 
ness, and yet with the firmness of a stoic, God fearing 
and strong in all of her convictions, and tempered with 
that loving tenderness that marks the womanly woman. 

She loved her home and family, neither seeking 
nor desiring greater position than that of queen of her 


own household, looking ever to the Most High for 
guidance in the rearing of her children, and her duty 
to home and society. 

Nine children were born to her, six of whom: 
William, Jeanette, Walter, Eugene, Hileary and Har- 
riet lived to mature years, Silas, Aaron and John 
died in infancy. Jeanette, the first to go of the first 
six named, passed to the "hills beyond" nine years 


She spent her declining years on the old home- 
stead where she had returned after an absence of a 
few years at Bloomington, where the family had gone 
to give the children better educational facilities. She 
lived to see the children spared to her, settled in busi- 
ness; and after an unselfish life spent for those she 
loved, and after having struggled on through the hard- 
ships of a pioneer woman from a home in a primeval 
forest to a home on a well appointed farm which she 
had helped to develop, she passed away on the 27th 
day of May, 1883, at the old homestead on which she 
had lived for almost forty years, beloved by all who 
knew her. 

She was a Puritan by birthright and training, and 
was blessed by a mother whose excellencies were so 
many that she must be regarded as one of the most 
remarkable women among the early pioneers who 
crossed the Alleghenies in the westward march of the 
nation. This aged woman had a memory like a book, 
and a mind like that of a sage. Harriet possessed in 
a great measure the qualities of her mother, among 
which was her knowledge of the Sacred Writings, and 


her deep conviction of the perfect life they set forth. 

She strove through her influence and opportunity 
to imbue the minds of her ciiildren with the excel- 
lencies of the hijjhest moral and religious life. To 
this end she would gather her children around her, 
and through precept and interesting stor}' create in 
them a dislike of evil and wrong, and inspire in them 
a love for the higher life, and a determination to reach 
the high plane which she ever held up to their view. 
The circle around her knees was a school in which her 
children inhaled the breath of nobler things. 

She was a lover of nature, often seeking it in the 
solitude of the woods near our home, where she had 
her secret nooks, that no one might intrude when she 
wished to commune with God and drink in the poetry 
of the trees, the birds, the air and the skies. Often in 
the summer months, when the sun's rays were declin- 
ing, she would be seen walking with her children over 
the flowering meadow or in the refreshing grove. An 
attractive flower, a beautiful sunset, a shooting star, an 
impressive landscape would elicit from her vivid mind 
some marked expression worthy of a record in perma- 
nent form. 

She was a woman of great industry, and in the 
rearing of her family accomplished what to the aver- 
age woman of the present day, with modern conven- 
iences, would seem an impossibility. Her environ- 
ments, the condition of her family and her pioneer 
farm life required this effort. Yet her children feel 
that with less expense of energy on her part in their 
behalf in the early years of her life, she may have lived 


to a riper old age than the number of days accorded 

She knew tlie value of a mind well stored with 
worthy and lasting impressions, and felt that the road 
to this was through the channel of an education. 
Moved by this conviction she endeavored to keep her 
children in the best local schools that could be secur- 
ed. Our public schools were then a thing unknown, 
and a good instructor of children was the exception 
rather than the rule. Mt. Pleasant, however, through 
the efforts of her brother-in-law, Thomas J. Brooks, 
was blessed with well trained teachers from the East, 
and to these she sent her older children. But good as 
these schools were, they could be nothing more than 
elementary, and she accordingly held high in view the 
value of a college education. Her frequent conversat- 
ions on this theme fixed in the mind of her children 
the views which she herself maintained. Such was 
regarded at first as impossible, but she and her hus- 
band overcame all obstacles in that behalf, and she 
lived to see a part of her children in the possession of 
a degree granted them by the university of their native 
state upon graduation therefrom, and she realized in a 
measure the golden dream of her active and devoted 

She was a great reader of such books as she 
could command. A book or an article worthy of per- 
usal, when read by her, was the property of her mind. 
She would delight her children by narrating the facts 
that she had thus gathered. In this way she was both 
entertaining and instructive. Impressions from this 


source remain as the permanent and pleasing posses- 
sions of her children derived when thoughts could be 
impressed most vividiy. 

She was of a poetic turn of mind and committed 
to memory long selections of poetry, and often recited 
them to her children. Here is one of her quotations 
from "The Lady of the Lake" : 

It is the wail of Blanch of Devon: 

"Oh. were I now where Allan grlides. 
To hear my native Devon's tides. 
So sweetly would I rest and pray 

'Twas thus my hair they bade me braid. 
They bade me to the church repair; 
It was my bridal morn they said, 
And my true love would meet me there. 

But woe betide the cruel gruile 

That drowned in blood the morning smile: 

And woe betide the fairy dream, 

I only waked to sob and scream." 

And we can in memory hear her sweet pathetic 
voice as she repeats: 

"It was a stag, a stae of ten. 

Bearing his branches steadily. 

And he came safely down the glen. 

Ever sing hardily, hardily. 

'Twas there he met with a wounded doe 

And she was bleeding deathfully; 

She warned him of the toils below 

O. so faithfully, faithfully," 

These few lines give us a glimpse of her poetic 
mood. Her soul could be nothing short of a lover of 
the beautiful in all of its phases of language and art, a 
conclusion to which we must arrive when we reflect 
upon her deep communion with nature, and with that 
great creative soul that fills all space and time. 

She passed through life with confidence and assur- 
ance that she had stored awa}' in the summer land of 


song such abundance of treasure as would meet her 
fullest needs in the lapse of endless time. 

She is sleeping beside her husband beneath a 
green mound in the cemetery near by. They trod 
life's stony and rugged path together, hand in hand. 
She rests in death beside him she loved in life, but her 
words and hopes and influence, her motives and her 
faith are alive and active and growing and powerful; 
and her soul gently brooding over her abiding works 
on earth, looks down upon the world as the arena of 
her endless activity, and lends approving smile to this 
gathering of children, relatives and friends, who meet 
to honor her illustrious mother whose excellence shines 
on as a brilliant star. 

Hannah Poor Prosser 


Martha Smith, 

A Daughter. 

Hannah Adams Poor was the daughter of John 
and Hannah Chute Poor. She was born at Byfield, 
Massachusetts, Nov. 17, 1804. She lived for twelve 
years in the home of her childhood and that life was 
among her treasured memories. She came to Indiana 
with her parents in 1819, and lived with them in the 
cabin home. 

Two months later after retiring to rest in his usual 
health, the father was taken suddenly very ill and be- 
fore the morning dawned he had passed away from his 
agonized and distracted family. Far from friends and 
kindred, three miles from the nearest neighbor, alone 
in the wilderness, the light had gone out and night had 
settled down upon that cabin home. 

The winter following the father's death was a sad 
and dreary one, fall of hardships and privations. The 
mother's health at that time was poor and much of the 
work for and care of the family rested upon Hannah, 
who was then the eldest daughter at home; and her 
brave, patient, loving heart aud self-sacrificing spirit 


did much to cheer the mother and brinjj the sunshine 
back to that home. 

October 24th, 1826, she married Dr. Jonathan 
Prosser, and the year following they settled in Or- 
leans, Indiana, where she lived for more than thirty 

Here seven of her eight children were born and 
five of them and her husband lie buried. 

Quiet and retiring in disposition, gentle in man- 
ners, with a pure, sweet face and kindly heart she 
drew around her many friends; ever ready to minister 
to the sick, she was often called upon for aid. As 
there were no trained nurses in those days in Indiana, 
friends depended upon friends, and neighbors upon 
neighbors in all cases of severe sickness. 

Soon after her marriage she united with the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church and ever remained an earnest, 
devoted Christian, faithful alike in her church and 
home duties. 

She was the companion and confidante of her 
children. To her they came with their griefs and 
cares and found in her a wise and judicious counselor, 
and tender, loving sympathy. Her husband, a man of 
more than ordinary intellectual ability, in the prime of 
his professional career, at the age of forty, was strick- 
en with paralysis, and through many years of affliction 
and helplessness, she ministered to him with the un- 
selfish devotion of a loving wife. 

Though often called to pass through sore trials 
and bereavements, she maintained a calm and cheer- 


ful disposition and an unwavering faith in the Divine 

One by one as she advanced in years she saw 
those upon whom she leaned laid in the grave; yet she 
never murmured or complained, but from each new 
grave she turned and gathered up the broken threads 
of life, striving to make of the remnant a perfect pat- 
tern that the Master might approve. 

After the death of her husband she continued to 
live with her eldest son, Benjamin, until his death, 
which occurred two years later. Then she went to 
Miami County to reside with her daughter, where she 
lived for a number of years and then went to live with 
her youngest daughter, Mrs, Mary Daniels, at Hunt- 
ington County about 1873. 

While on the farm her daughter Mary died. She 
remained with her son-in-law and the grandchildren, 
who soon moved to the city. 

Her health, never very rugged, failed gradually 
until May 15, 1884, she passed away like a child sink- 
ing to sleep, to open her eyes on the Land Immortal. 
She was buried in the cemetery at Brown's Corners 
beside the daughter she had loved so well and with 
whom she had lived for so many years. 

Walter R. Houghton. 

Sends deep-felt <^reetin<^s to the grateful kindred 
assembled on the 7th of August, 190S, in honor and 
memory of Hannah Poor, our common mother, whose 
name we recall with a thrill of pride. Though absent 
in body he is wath you in spirit and may be placed 
among the invisible witnesses, who seated in the sur- 
rounding air, will note your movements and hear your 
words, and will inhale breaths of added joy as they 
receive your testimon}- to the truth that a noble soul 
can never die. In that unseen circle will appear the 
relatives who have preceded us to the shore beyond 
the tide. It will contain the little boys and girls 
snatched away to be shielded from the storm of years; 
it will contain the fathers and mothers who crossed the 
wide ocean of human career and attained at last a 
hidden treasure in the house not made with hands; and 
it will contain the beaming face of her whose great 
worth of mind and soul a throng of descendants will 
always delight to honor. There is nothing great on 
earth but man; there is nothing great in man but mind, 
and it is this priceless gift, heaven sent, to the noble 
ancestress, that draws together in common cause the 
numerous and admiring kindred. 

May the occasion be s(\ great that it will prove a 
historic event; may it be one of similar events extend- 


ing into the future and may the magnetic mind, spir- 
itual life and noble soul of our mother, owned in com- 
mon, draw her many sons and daughters to her own 
unending presence, to those abodes in the distant world 
reserved for those who honor their fellow men and 
who do the will of their Father in heaven. 

These words are submitted in fraternal sympathy, 
in the hope of one day greeting the unseen witnesses; 
and in the anxious desire that the coming together so 
near at hand, may be an earnest of a distant gathering 
where separation is unknown. 

Your brother, cousin and relative, 

Walter R. Houghton. 
Sigourney, Iowa. 

Mr. Thomas J. Brooks, 

Dear Friend: — Yours received duly, wish I 
could send you something that would be interesting for 
your gathering August 7th. I had great pleasure in 
seeing you and have read with intense interest the 
account of the Brooks family reunion. I had never 
seen any of the descendants of Aunt Poor except Mrs. 
Susan Brooks and two or three or the Merrill family. 
Your account of the reunion introduced me to another 
branch of the family, the Houghtons. 

Mehitable Thurston, who married James Chute, 
was the daughter of Richard and Mehitable (Jewett) 
Thurston, and the father of Richard was Daniel 
Thurston and the probable ancestor of all the Thurs- 
tons of Newbury. Hannah Adams was the daughter 
of Richard and Susannah (Pike) Adams born in 1721, 
married in 1742 Capt. Daniel Chute. In the records 


in the state house in Boston it is written that "next to 
General Washington there was no one so well fitted to 
govern the Colonies as she." If grandma Colman 
had not held the English idea that everything should 
revert to the oldest son we might have the iienealojTical 
tree to send you at this time, the Chute genealogy 
which dates back to 1269. It was the first parchment 
brought to America. The Hon. Rufus Choate's fam- 
ily tried in vain to make the Chutes and Choates one 
and the same family. I enclose a letter of John Poor 
to his brother in Byfield, thinking it expressed aunt 
Poor's views as well as his. Mrs. Poor's father, three 
brothers and the descendants of Betty Chute all lived 
and died in the west, so that Mehitable Chute, Emily 
Chute and Mary Chute were all that lived in the east. 
Two grandchildren of Richard Chute, James Chute 
and Sarah Chute live in Newburyport. Asa Wilson 
Waters, a lawyer of Philadelphia, Pa., is a great 
grandson of Betty Chute, who married Daniel Chute. 
Mehitable Chute married Major Jonathan Elliot, Eu- 
nice Chute married Joseph Hale. Their descendants 
live in Salem, Mass., and New York City. Mary 
Chute married Col. Jeremiah Colman. Their de- 
scendants live in Boston and Newburyport. 

Of the generation of your grandmother, Mrs. 
Susan Brooks, I know of no one living but my uncle, 
Mr. James Chute Colman and Mrs. Jeannette Chute 
Shoop, of Hoboken, New Jersey, the daughter of 
James Chute. 

On the seventh I shall be with you in spirit, but 
should much enjoy being there in person. Am glad 


that you are all well. With kind remembrances for 
Mrs. Brooks and your daughter and yourself, 

Very truly yours, 
Mary Colman Thurston. 
Newburyport, Mass., 8 Harris Street. 

Some Old New England Customs 


William B. Trask. 

Havin(( taken a journey of five hundred miles to 
be present with you at another of your reunions, you 
may know that I appreciate the honor and the pleas- 
ure of the invitation to be present with you on this 

The very pleasant memories of the former re- 
union still linger with me, and when I received Col. 
Brooks' invitation to this one I immediately accepted 

Now I think I lind myself somewhat in the po- 
sition of another gentlemen, who was once called on 
to address a large audience; he got up and came for- 
ward and said: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I hardly 
know what to talk about." Just then some one in the 
rear of the audience who had evidently heard him be- 
fore, called out: "Talk about a minute." 

As I look over this audience I realize that prob- 
ably the most of you were born in this good old state 
of Indiana, but nevertheless I cannot help but feel 
that you are really a little colony of New Englanders, 
settled here in Indiana, for you come from the same 
good old Puritan stock that I do, and your ancestors 
were my ancestors. 

I read a history of old New England churches 


last winter, and I found in it many odd and curious 
incidents, and so, like the other gentleman, not know- 
ing exactly what to talk about, perhaps I might interest 
you for a few minutes by relating a few of the customs 
and manners that prevailed among the people of New 
England some two hundred years ago and later. 

The Puritans settled in Salem and Boston in 1628 
and 1630, and according to my cousin, Thomas J. 
Brooks, our ancestors were found in Concord, Massa- 
chusetts, in 1638. 

The Puritans came to this country that they might 
enjoy that libert}/ of conscience, and the right to wor- 
ship God after their own manner, which was denied 
them in the Old Country, and to escape persecution. 
But they had no sooner established themselves here 
than they refused to allow anyone to hold any different 
beliefs than the Puritans themselves did and they be- 
came persecutors of all who differed with them. 

The first church built in Boston was built on the 
site where now stands the old North Church. This 
church is noted for being the one from whose belfry 
the signal lantern was hung, which started Paul Re- 
vere on his ride to Lexington, to notify the inhabitants 
that the British troops were coming on April 19, 1775. 

I was in this old church in June of this year and 
was shown many curious old relics. One, a copy of 
the "Vinegar Bible," of which there are now only 
four known copies extant, 

I was also shown the pew where General Gage, 
commander of the British forces in Boston during the 


early da3's of the Revolution, used to sit. He used to 
have a small bell which he rang when he was ready to 
have the services commence. I was also shown the 
pew where the tithing master used to sit. One of the 
duties of this official was evidently to preserve order, 
and he used to have a long pole with a brass knob on 
one end and a fox's tail on the other. When a man 
became sleepy he went and rapped him on the head 
with the brass knob, and when a woman became 
drows}' he went and tickled her face with the fox's 

■ Cotton Mather used to preach here. He was that 
ultra religious divine who preached that "Hell was 
paved with the skulls of unbaptized infants." He lies 
buried in the old yard not a stone's throw from the old 
church, where the caretaker showed me a tomb where 
over two hundred unbaptized infants had been buried. 
These people were very strict Sabbatarians. Their 
Sabbath began at sundown on Saturday night and 
ended at sundown on Sunday. It was not lawful for 
the people to walk on the common on the Sabbath day, 
nor to go down on the wharves, no matter how hot it 
was, to get a breath of salt air or enjoy the refreshing 
breezes. Boston was almost an island, but was con- 
nected with the mainland by a narrow strip called the 
Neck, and they had gates across this neck which they 
closed on the Sabbath, and no one was allowed to go 
in or out. 

People must belong to the church in order to vote. 
Unbaptized people were not allowed to vote. A man 
by the name of Hutchinson did not believe as the Purl- 


tans did, and declined to go to meeting, so the au- 
thorities appointed a committee who used to go and 
lead Mr. Hutchinson to meeting both forenoon and 

Mr. John Boyle wanted a license to open a tavern 
and sell liquors. The town voted to give him a 
license provided he put his tavern near the meeting 
house, which he did. The reason for this was, so that 
the people who came from a distance to meeting could 
get their flip or their toddy between services. How 
times have changed. You cannot get a drink in Bos- 
ton now on Sunday and Boston's best hotel has no bar 
because they have a law that no liquor shall be sold 
within so many feet of a church or a schoolhouse. 

My mother lived and died in Lexington. Lexing- 
ton was formerl}' a part of Cambridge, and was called 
Cambridge Farms, and the people had to go to Cam- 
bridge to meeting, seven miles distant. It was the 
law for every one to go to meeting on the Sabbath. 
They got tired of going so far and wanted a meeting 
house of their own. So the legislature gave them per- 
mission to organize the town of Lexington and build a 
meeting house of their own. This meeting house was 
a rude structure and the rain and the snow used to 
blow through the chinks and the people used to sit for 
two long hours through the services both forenoon and 
afternoon, without any fire. That was the practice 
for more than a hundred years. Stoves were not 
introduced in the country churches till after 1800 ; and 
not till after 1820 did they become common. 

It is on record that they cut holes in the floor of 


this church so that people who chewed tobacco might 
expectorate through them. The people of Lexington 
were more liberal than those of Portsmouth, New 
Hampshire, where they put a man in the cage for 
chewing tobacco in church on Sunday. 

The services in these old churches were usually 
about two hours in length. The long prayer was from 
thirty minutes to an hour in length and it is on record 
that the Rev. Torrey of Weymouth once prayed for 
two hours. The sermons were generally an hour in 
length and the parson had an hour glass which he 
turned up when he began, and then when the sands 
had run out he knew it was time to get to "Finally my 
brethren," although some times the glass was reversed 

a gam. 

In the country meeting houses the singing was 
often conducted by a precentor or leader. Man}- of 
the people were poor and some could not read, so they 
had few hymn books, and the leader used to line out 
the hymns by reading two lines and then starting the 
tune. Then after singing the two lines he would read 
two more and so on throughout the whole hymn. 

The Bible was not read in a great many churches 
for a long time. Lexington had its first Bible given it 
by Gov. John Hancock, and they called a town meet- 
ing and passed a resolution to have it read from the 
pulpit on Sundays. 

Marriages in the early days were not solemnized 
by religious ceremonies, and no religious ceremony 
was had at funerals. 


The parson was generally the best educated man 
in the town and was looked upon with great respect. 
He was usually settled for life. If a young girl met 
the parson on the street she made her best courtesy^ 
and if a boy he took off his cap and made a bow. 

The thrift and economy of the people may be 
illustrated by the fact that the boys and girls, and some 
times the older people, used often to go to meeting on 
Sunday barefooted carrying their best shoes and stock- 
ings in their hand till they came in sight of the meet- 
ing house when they sat down by the roadside and put 
them on, and the process was reversed when they went 

Near the meeting house generally stood the stocks. 
Putting a man in the stocks was generally a favorite 
mode of punishment among these people. The stocks 
were made of two upright posts about four or five feet 
apart with a groove in them into which a plank was let 
down till it rested on the ground. In the top side of 
this plank two semi-circular holes were cut large 
enough to take in a man's ankles. The victim was 
seated on a stool behind the stocks and his ankles 
placed in the holes with his feet sticking out in front. 
Another plank was let down and that held his feet fast. 
Two more holes were cut in the top of this plank for 
his wrists and the third plank came down and had 
another hole cut for his neck and the last plank came 
down and held him firm with his body on one side and 
his head, hands and feet on the other side, a very 
uncomfortable position. Usually the person who was 
to be punished for such heinous crimes as sleeping in 


church, speaking against the minister or church or 
other more or less serious offences, was condemned to 
be put in the stocks for one to three hours, according 
to the nature of his offence or the humor of the judge. 
It was often customary to allow the small boys to col- 
lect the stale eggs of the neighborhood and standing 
off at a little distance see who could hit the victim's 
head the oftenest. 

In the records of trie old church at Salem it is 
stated that they arrested a certain man for expressing 
his sentiments too freely against tiie minister and the 
church, and fined him heavily, then tied him to the 
whipping post, flogged him, clipped his ears, and 
finally banished him from the settlement. 

Salem was where fifteen women were hung, having 
been convicted for the crime of witchcraft, but the 
church at Hartford was instrumental in having the first 
two women in America convicted and hung for being 
witches. Judge Sewall, of Boston, sentenced two 
women to be hung who had been convicted of witch- 
craft and they were hung on Boston Common. 

It seems incomprehensible to us in these days that 
so wise, so able and so learned a man as Judge Sewall 
should have been capable of believing in such a hallu- 
cination as witchcraft. But two hundred years hence 
some of the beliefs of the present day will no doubt 
look equally as strange to our descendants. 

For a hundred years or more these old Puritans 
attended meeting on the Sabbath with no heat in the 
churches and stoves were not common till after 1820. 


I have no doubt my mother and her brother Thomas 
Brooks went to meetinjc^ in their youth and sat through 
the long two hour services and sat without any fire and 
with the thermometer often below zero. 

There is always a class of people who never want 
any improvements because they never did have any. 
So there was great opposition to such new fangled no- 
tions as stoves. In Webster, Massachusetts, they made a 
compromise and agreed to have no fire on the first 
Sunday of the month and have one on the other three. 

By law every, town had to have a meeting house 
and when they built one they had what they call a 
"Raising," which meant putting the frame together 
and setting it up. This was a great occasion and all 
the men of the town and sometimes the neighboring 
towns came to help. They provided refreshments and 
it is on record that in one town the authorities provid- 
ed five barrels of New England rum, one barrel brown 
sugar, one box lemons, two pounds of white sugar, be- 
sides some lighter drinks and eatables. This would 
hardly be in good form in New England today for any- 
one let alone churches 

Notwithstanding the freedom with which they dealt 
out New England rum and other liquors on festive oc- 
casions and at funerals they had no use for people who 
became habitual drunkards and such a man as a 
habitual drunkard was compelled to wear a white 
cloth around his neck with the letter D in red on it. 
Any man being unfortunate enough to be a Quaker 
had to wear a white cloth with H in red. That was a 


land for liberty of conscience and freedom to worship 
God as you pleased, was it not? 

Tramps were branded on the left shoulder with 
the letter R for rogue. ' It was customary for persons 
intendinfj to be married to be called out in church for 
three Sundays. It was also customary for people to 
send notices to the pulpit to be read desiring the pray- 
ers of the congregation in case of any unusual event 
like going on a journey or the death of a relative. 

These old Puritans were as I have said strict 
sabbattarians and bigoted, superstitious and conscien- 
tious to a degree as regards their religious beliefs, but 
they evidently allowed themselves some latitude to 
their conscience in driving a trade. I suppose you 
have heard the story of the good old deacon who kept 
a country store. He called his apprentice one morn- 
ing as follows, "John, have you watered the rum?" 
"Yes, sir," said Joiin. "Have you sanded the sugar?" 
"Yes, sir." "Well then come in to prayers." 

In Newport, R. I., one oi the deacons of the 
church when one of his ships arrived with a cargo of 
African slaves, thanked God in prayer meeting that 
an overruling providence had been pleased to bring to 
these shores another cargo of heathen to enjoy the 
blessed privileges of the Gospel. 

Sumner Foster, of Quincy, Massachusetts, in- 
structed his captain who was going to Africa with a 
cargo of New England rum to be bartered for slaves 
to deal as much as possible with the blacks and to 


water his rum and sell by short measure as much as he 

In riding into Shoals with Col. Brooks, he show- 
ed me a place where the water in some of }'Our floods 
had been sixteen feet over the road and it reminded 
me of this prayer which was offered by Rev, Miles, of 
Plymouth, on one occasion, when he offered prayer 
from the pulpit during a very dry time. "O Lord 
thou knowest we do not want thee to send us a rain 
which shall pour down in fury and swell our streams 
and carry away our haycocks, fences and bridges, but 
Lord we want it to come drizzle, drozzle, drizzle, 
drozzle, for about a week. Amen." 

If you have not any form of prayer for rain in 
your prayer book I would suggest this form as par- 
ticularly applicable for this location at this time. 

But notwithstanding the oddities, peculiarities, 
superstitions and hallucinations of these people, their 
influence was for good on the whole and I believe has 
permeated this whole country, and like the pebble 
thrown in the pond causes a ripple which extends to 
the farthest shore. So the good influences of these 
good old Puritan ancestors of ours will extend and 
continue to extend to the farthest shores of time. 
Good influences never die. 

On Behalf Of the School 


James T. Rogers. 

Since we passed out of the old school house at 
Mount Pleasant and its door closed hehind us, we 
have not as a class met together; and that has been 
more than six decades of time, and today for the second 
time since we who survive are assembled together. 
As such class, we were the members of the school 
taught I think, in 1845, by Mrs. Trask, memory of 
whom we hold in high and grateful esteem and rever- 
ence. But boys and girls then, we are now aged men 
and women. We are here today as the invited guests 
at a reunion of two noted and most highly respected 
families of southern Indiana. Mrs. Trask was closely 
related to one of these families. Of that school there 
are present Colonel Lewis Brooks, Major William 
Houghton, Captain Lemuel Dilley, John C. Cusick, 
William Trask, of Erie, Pa., Mason Riley, Mrs. 
Emily Brooks Campbell, Mrs. Susan Brooks Niblack, 
Mrs. Mary Anthony Brown and the speaker. 

My part in these exercises is to talk about and of 
that school. I think this duty was assigned to me be- 
cause those composing the class thought that I knew 
as little of their "ways that there were dark and their 
tricks that were vain" as any member of the "bunch," 

Rebecca B. Trask. 


and that I had forgotten what I did know. So much 
can be forgotten in sixty years that you will readily 
excuse my confusion and forbear with me if under all 
the conditions and surroundings I try to help myself 
out of this predicament by quoting from Bret Harte, in 
the opening lines of his world wide poem, "Do I 
sleep, do I dream, do I wonder and doubt, are things 
what they seem, Or are visions about?" Knowing 
me as you do, to be a most prudent talker, without the 
tact or inclination to give purposely to any statement 
of fact or incident whether its alleged existence be es- 
tablished either by positive or circumstantial evidence, 
any appearance of exaggeration or undue coloring, 
and if it should not so appear to you, I hope you will 
be generous enough to attribute it to the cloudy, 
musty, aged conditions and appearance from lapse of 
time that confronts me and makes that long ago so 
obscure ; and so I warn you against feeling too confi- 
dent that all I may say is absolutely true, and I give 
you license to use it for general purposes only and I 
warn you to be prudent, as nothing is so embarrassing 
or so to be regretted by the impartial historian. Hav- 
ing thus put you on your guard, I will now proceed to 
worry with the subject in hand. 

I will not venture to sa}' anything relating to the 
female members of the class; their upright and Chris- 
tian lives speak all that need be said for them. That 
the members of the class may share alike in the hon- 
ors to which they are entitled, I will refer to these 
boys as "the bunch." First I will say that notwith- 
standing nearly every one of us, all of us indeed, I 


suspect, in our respective homes have often from time 
to time as distinguished men called to electioneer with 
our fathers, as we would dart back and forth between 
said distinguished person and the firephice, reach out 
and pat us on tiie head and predict that some dav we 
would be president; yet not a solitary one of us has 
been called to preside over the destinies of this nation, 
nor nominated for the office by any political party, nor 
has any of our names been presented as famous sons, 
though we any of us can spell according to the Roose- 
velt orthograph}'. Let me here pause to warn the un- 
suspecting youth and say to him "put not your trust in 

But notwithstanding we were overlooked in this 
regard nearly all of us honorably served our country 
in the war of the Rebellion, and there are here todav 
those whose names are borne upon the roll of honor, 
one colonel, one major, one adjutant and others of 
honorable rank, bearing evidence of service, loss of 
limbs and other battle scars. 

I will say that "the bunch" was generous to a 
fault; I wish the facts justified me in stopping when I 
say the}' were generous. Any one of them would 
gladly slide over and sit along side of his neighbor 
pupil to assist him in solving a problem that was "all 
Greek to him," in order to purloin the apple in his 
desk and probe him with a pin before he left. I 
promise not to disturb the veil of charity that has long 
covered up their misdeeds, but will allude only to 
some waywardness that I myself was induced to par- 
ticipate in b}' the more influential and leading conspir- 


ators. I grant we should be generous and forgiving 
toward each other, as we stand well in our respective 
neighborhoods, and let us so live that if it should ever 
become a question of doubt in a court of justice as to 
our reputations, we will be able by competent testi- 
mony to remove that doubt entirely, or to give it such 
a "jolt" as to cause a jury of our peers to "sit up and 
take notice." 

I congratulate you and myself that, though the 
conditions of that day and time were severely adverse, 
were fortunate enough to acquire sufficient education 
to pull us through life thus far and occasionally "pull" 
some other fellow. When we behold the student of 
today in the sculling race, on the golf links and in 
other manly sports of twentieth century "culchah," in 
all his glory and in his undershirt with the sleeves cut 
out, and his corrugated knee pants on, and his hair, 
or somebody else's hair, covering his manly brow and 
large capital letters painted across his bosom, the very 
ideal of the foreign count-hunting-patriotic-girl of our 
beloved country — of course we feel like thirty cents. 
But remember my dear fellows, that "culchah" had 
not in our time evolved. Not many years before our 
immediate ancestors came to this part of the country, 
the solitude of the wilderness was unbroken, save by 
the shout of the Indian, the fierce cry of the wildcat, 
or howl of the wolf and the growl of the bear. 

When civilization, however, in its march reached 
this part of the land threatening to introduce "kitchen 
furniture," soap and saleratus, the noble red man 
said he would not stand for it, and soon hied himself 


to the land of tliavvatha and pitched his wigwam 
nearer the setting sun. Later on after a book-agent 
had been seen one day prowling in the gloaming, the 
bear packed his sample case and farther westward 
made his way. In due time, the wolf and wildcat re- 
solved that their bones should bleach on other plains, 
and left, and to my own sorrow and to the sorrow of 
man}^ others of us, who were fond of venison, the deer 
departed (do not understand me by the expression 
*'deer departed" as referring to the wolf and wildcat), 
and the wild turkey, last of all, alarmed by the custom 
of making Thanksgiving dinners, strutted away. But 
the groundhog and polecat still abideth witii us, and 
though civilization has reached the acute stage, of the 
Peruna and kimona period, they, undeterred and un- 
dismayed, show no sign of departure, though a price 
has been set upon the scalp of felts catus and on the 
pelt of maslela futoriiis these being the society names 
of these two undesirable citizens. 

We are amazed at the wonderful growth and 
advancement of our country since these primitive 
days; a mere infant among the nations of the earth 
then, you have lived to see it one of the leading world 
powers, contributing wealth untold, inventions and 
discoveries never dreamed of by man in the earlier 
periods, with its flag visiting ever}^ civilized land and a 
population of teeming millions at home. 

The creek near the town was a sort of summer 
resort for "the bunch," and they preferred passing 
their time there in the warm weather rather than at 
their books in the school room. Bathing beaches 


were improvised at many convenient places along its 
banks where the "sports" held the special privilege of 
the larger boys, and discomfort and calamity were the 
portion of the inexperienced and weak. Innocent 
amusements, such as placing a board on top of the 
flue of the schoolhouse and smoking out the school, 
burning up the teacher's birch switch, throwing away 
the school dipper, hiding the school ax and cutting 
the grape vme swing so it would break down with the 
big girls, were some of the devious ways resorted to by 
the set, and severe punishments were often endured 
for these misdemeanors. And these offences were 
universally charged to the Ananias Club of the class. 

The conditions I have spoken of were those that 
had existed during the schools taught by male teachers, 
» and when Mrs. Trask opened her school it was clear 
to her that the wild, wooly west ways had obtain- 
ed and must be eradicated, and to this end she bent 
her energies, introducing new methods such as had 
been adopted in the schools of her home in the east 
and instead of pounding the finger ends and knuckles 
of the students with the heavy desk rule, she applied 
the golden rule. Instead of trying to crush out the 
exuberant young spirit of the unruly, her endeavor 
was to tame it, transform it and utilize its fiery force 
and create in its possessor a power for the accomplish- 
ment of intellectual and educational advancement. 

The teacher's desk in the school room ceased to 
have the semblance of a frowning fortress from whence 
the school might, at any time, upon the least provo- 
cation, expect a fusillade of hot, wordy shot and shell 

and all sorts of threats as to what extent the war might 
be carried on. The ox-gad disappeared from the 
school room and she submitted therefor brave words 
of cheer and encouragement and expressions of hope 
that she could have the assistance of each and all of 
us in making her school a model and successful one, 
of which she might be proud, and that we would learn 
much that would help to make our lives honorable, 
and be useful men and women. 

Looking back now from this time of life, these 
. are the impressions I have of that noble, persevering, 
earnest, self sacrificing and untiring woman, for 
whose memory we cherish the highest esteem. 

And now a parting word to ''the bunch:" 

You have been weighed in the balance and found 
above the average, though, when the search light is 
turned upon your record it seems in the days I have 
referred to, you appear to have been "going some," 
May the fates be kind to you. 



Dr. Earl W. Niblack. 

One summer day in nineteen eight 
The tribe of Brooks to the woods did take. 
There to celebrate and have a good time. 
As was their usual custom. 
They were all there to do their part. 
From the tiniest tot full of laughter and play. 
To those who would rather sit and talk 
Of things they had done in their youthful day. 
Of the older ones assembled here. 
God grant them good health and pleasure. 
They have done their part to help this world. 
Which to them is sufficient treasure. 

They have worked and toiled 

For their children's pleasure. 

And we'll leave them now with 

A wish for love without measure. 

Of the next generation some good can be said. 

It has given us men of discretion. 

And for proof of what's said just to 

Bedford go and search in the legal 

Profession, and there we will find 

Two men of bright mind. Tom and Will 

By appellation. These eminent 

Disciples of Blackstone have given the 

Pace to the rest, and to keep within hailing distance. 

We'll have to do our best. 

But in the language of the day, 

"There are other pebbles too!" 

This family is composite 

And not made up of two. 

There are merchants and farmers. 

Conductors and druggists to. disciples 

Of the stately grip, all men both good and true, 

And hard worked telegraphers 

Who with their keys do work. 

To help along the iron horse 


Which otherwise would shirk. 

There is one other calling 
Not mentioned heretofore 
Because of extreme modesty 
And fear that it might bore. 
One lowly Aesculapian 
Begs humbly to be given 
A place in this great family 
Until lie can be proven. 
Now much more can be mentioned 
Of this truly eminent crowd. 
But time forbids and there is 
Much that may not be allowed. 

No work is ever ended 

ntil woman has her say. 
So weMl talk awhile of what she's 
Done in this eminent family. 
VVe can talk of lawyers and druggists 
Merchants and all the rest. 
But when it comes to pedagogues 
VVe have reached the very best. 
And of that noble profession 
The women of this tribe. 
Stand prominently above it's men 
By this we must abide. 
It might be proper to name them. 
But of all virtues they possess 
Modesty stands pre-eminent 
And so we must desist. 

The first and second generation 

Hare now amply had their due. 

So we'll pass on to the heirs apparent 

And possibly presumptive too. 

And put an end to this dreary song 

By advising the older ones. 

That if they are not watchful. 

By their offspring, they'll be outdone. 

So adieus to all and good wishes 

And hopes that are not ill rimed 

That we'll all meet once more together 

In nineteen hundred and nine. 





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