Thursday, January 21, 2016

Images of a book of Biographical Sketches of the Members of Alanson Hamilton Post GAR now online

Book cover image used with permission and clipped from
 http://www.brookfieldsresearch.com/BookReader/WB%20GAR/#page/-1/mode/1up



  I have just become aware of a resource recently placed online at
http://www.brookfieldsresearch.com/   You may view the images of a wonderful book of sketches of Civil War Veterans who were members of the Alanson Hamilton Post of the GAR in West Brookfield.  These sketches include biographical, genealogical and war service information. The information was kept up to date into the 1930's and includes the names of many descendants of GAR members. Burial places are included, some with Section and Plot numbers. The original belongs to the Quaboag Historical Society.
  Be sure to check this out!
  You may also be interested to know that there is a similar book about Brookfield Civil War soldiers which may be found at the Merrick Public Library in Brookfield.
Thank you to Dan Hamilton for letting me know about this book.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Washington Tufts of Brookfield, Massachusetts: A Will Transcibed




Recently I came across Washington Tufts' will in Ancestry's collection of
"Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991." I had seen the signature of Washington Tufts on some naturalization documents he had witnessed, but I knew nothing else about him. This Will begins to paint a picture of Mr. Tufts, his character, and the people and ideas which were important to him. I have since found other information in his obituary, and in Massachusetts Vital Records.  US Census records also helped to fill in some details.  I have thus far been unable to find a photograph or portrait showing his likeness.


Washington Tufts was born in New Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1814 and relocated in Brookfield about 1840.  He was employed as a clerk in a local business, and then for a time was in the meat business in West Brookfield.  He became the first agent for the Western Railroad Corporation in about 1858, and held that position for 34 years.


Washington married Harriet Sanford in 1846.  She died in 1858. There were no children as far as I can tell, and Washington never remarried.

Mr. Tufts served for fifteen years as the town clerk in Brookfield.  He was the first town clerk after Brookfield and West Brookfield became separate towns, and at one time or another held almost every town office. Washington became a state senator in 1875. He was a charter member of the Hayden Lodge of Masons, and a Knight Templar.


Washington Tufts died in Brookfield 1 July 1893 leaving a large estate. His funeral was held at the Unitarian Church there, and his burial was in the town cemetery after a masonic service. Find A Grave has a photo of the monument on his grave which is impressive in appearance. See http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=64817897&PIpi=46155524



Worcester County Probate Files
Case 15455                                                                                                              Washington Tufts

Be it remembered, that I, Washington Tufts, of Brookfield, Worcester County, Massachusetts, being of sound mind and memory, but knowing the uncertainty of this life, do make this my last will and testament.

After the payment of my debts, funeral charges and the expenses of administering my estate, I give, devise and bequeath as follows, viz:

First, I give the sum of one hundred dollars to be deposited by my Executor in Some Savings Bank, to be held in trust by said bank, under the provisions of the Public Statutes of Massachusetts, Chapter 116, Section 35, for the following uses, trusts and purposes, viz: Said principal sum shall be forever held in trust and the dividends or income derived therefrom shall be to the person who, when the same is paid shall be acting as Treasurer of the town of Brookfield, said dividend or income to be expended by said town on the care, preservation and embellishment of my lot and its appurtenances and surroundings, situated in the Cemetery in said Brookfield, in which I shall be buried, and the receipt of the Treasurer of said town as aforesaid to said Bank, shall be a full discharge for said Bank, for all payments of dividends as aforesaid.

Second, I give the some of one hundred dollars to be deposited by my executor in some Savings Bank, to be held in trust by said Bank,  under the provisions of the Public Statutes of Massachusetts, Chapter 116, Section 35, for the following uses, trusts and purposes, viz: Said principal sum shall be forever held in trust and the dividends or income derived therefrom shall be to the person who, when the same is paid shall be acting as Treasurer of the town of New Braintree in said County of Worcester, to be expended by said town on the care, preservation and embellishment of my lot and its appurtenances and surroundings, situated in said New Braintree, in which my father and mother are buried, and the receipt of the Treasurer of said town as aforesaid, to said Bank, shall be full discharge for said Bank, for all payments of dividends as aforesaid.

Third, I give my watch and chain to my cousin Charles Keyes, son of Franklin Keyes of Warren, Mass.

Fourth, I give all my silver and plated ware, to Charles B. Sanford, who was brother to my deceased wife.

Fifth, I give to Henry W. Crosby, Frank Prouty, and Hiram P. Gerald, all of said Brookfield, and their successors and assigns, all of my Bonds of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Co., the face value of which amounts to Twelve thousand dollars, in trust nevertheless, and for the following uses, trusts and purposes viz:  This legacy shall be forever held in trust as a fund, to be known as the Washington Tufts Fund, the net income derived therefrom, after paying expenses and for their own service, to be paid over by said trusties as soon as can conveniently be done after the receipt thereof, to the person who when the same is paid, shall be acting as the Treasurer of the first Congregational Unitarian Society of Brookfield, a religious society located in said Brookfield, being the one where I usually attend church, to be expended by said Society for their general uses and purposes, and the receipt of said Treasurer, shall be a full discharge for said Trustees for the payment of said dividends and income.  I hereby authorize my said Trustees, and their successors and assigns to sell or exchange any part or all of said bonds at any time, should they be unanimously agreed that it was for the best interest of said Society so to do, and the net proceeds derived from such sale or exchange, shall thereafter held as, and shall constitute the fund as aforesaid for all and the same uses and purposes as hertofore provided.

It is my will also, that there shall at all times be three Trusties in charge if said fund and in case of the death, resignation, or removal of any of my said Trusties herein mentioned, or their successors to said trust, then it is my will that said Society shall as soon as can conveniently thereafter be done, elect a successor or successors to fill all vacancies, and said Trusties and there successors may be required by said Society to execute to them a satisfactory bond either with or without sureties for the faithful discharge of their duties as such Trusties.

Sixth. I give to the Congregational Society in New Braintree, in said County of Worcester, a religious society where my father and mother usually attended church, the sum of Five hundred dollars, and it is my will that said Society should invest the same, and forever after hold the same as a fund, to be known as the Washington Tufts Fund, and the net income derived therefrom to be expended and applied by said society toward the payment for the services of a minister of the gospel for preaching for said society, and the receipt of the person, who shall be acting as treasurer of said society shall be a full discharge for my executor,

Seventh. I give to my Executor, herinafter named the sum of Four thousand dollars, in trust nevertheless, and for the following uses trusts and purposes, viz: To invest the same as a fund, and keep the same invested thereafter, and to reinvest the same or any part thereof as may be necessary or expedient, and to allow said fund to accumulate by the addition of the interest and thereto, and in case that my sister Sally C. Tufts should survive me and should have expended all of her own property and estate, or if at any time after my decease she should have expended all of her property and estate, then my said executor shall pay over to her, or expend for her, any part or all of said trust fund, either of both principal and interest, for her comfortable support and maintainance during her life, or so long as any part of said fund shall remain unexpended as aforesaid, it being my will that she should have a good and comfortable support and maintainance out of said fund during her life after she shall have expended all of her own property and estate.  At the decease of my said sister, then all of said fund that shall remain unexpended as aforesaid, I give to my nephew, George K. Tufts, to him and his heirs forever, In case my sister should decease before my decease, then this legacy shall lapse.

Eighth, All of the residue and remainder of my estate, that I may die seized and possessed of, or in any way entitled to at the time of my decease, I give to my nephew, the aforesaid George K. Tufts, to him and his heirs forever, and it is my intention to make no bequests to any relative not herein mentioned.

I herby nominate the said George K. Tufts, to be the Executor of the will, and it is my will that he, exempt from giving sureties on his official bond as such Executor.

In case of the death, resignation or removal of the said George K. Tufts, as Executor, as aforesaid , then I give to whoever shall act to execute this will, all the same forever and authority to act in every respect, that I have herein given to my said Executor, and it is my will, that they shall be exempt from sureties on their official bond.

In testimony whereof, I hereunto set my hand, and in the presence of three witnesses, declare this to be my last will this ninth day of May A. D. 1893.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Washington Tufts [signature]

On this 9th day of May A. D. 1893. Washington Tufts, of Brookfield, Massachusetts, signed the foregoing instrument in or presence, declaring it to be his last will, and as witnesses thereof, we three do now at his request, in his presence and the presence of each other hereto subscribe our names.                                                           

                                                                     George A. Craig [signature]

                                                                    William Mulcahy [signature]      
                                                                     Lizzie Mulcahy  [signature]





 A true record;

                   Attest: George H. Harlow






Sources:
Ancestry.com, "Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," (http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=MATownVital&h=4599374&indiv=try :accessed 15 December 2015,) marriage record for Washington Tufts and Harriet Adaline Sanford.


Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Mason Membership Cards, 1733-1990 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Washington Tufts, Birth Date - 16 Oct 1816, Birth Place - New Braintree, Death Date - 1 Jul 1893, Last Residence Place - Brookfield, Lodge - Quaboag, (Chartler member Hayden Lodge - Brookfield), Occupation - Station Agent, B and A RR


Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Massachusetts County, District and Probate Courts.


"Death of Washington Tufts: Brookfield's Well-Known Citizen Laid to Rest After a Well-Spent Life," Brookfield Times, Friday 7 July 1893, Front page; online image (http:www.broookfieldsresearch.com/newspapers: accessed 15 December 2014.)