Notable Persons from Ipswich history

The Southern Essex County Registry of Deeds is the depository of more than six million land-related documents. In this regard, the Registry of Deeds is developing a Notable Land Record Project, highlighting the remarkable people who owned property, as well as significant properties themselves in Essex County communities. Each person’s or place’s significance will be noted, citing where the related property can be found. The Registry intends to publish the first group of notable land records in a 2020 volume and include the booklet contents on their website. Every Essex County community will be represented.

A Partial List of Ipswich Notable Persons, in alphabetical order


John Appleton, 2 North Main St., Ipswich

In 1687, Ipswich town clerk John Appleton, his father’s brother Col. Samuel Appleton and John Wise, minister at Chebacco Parish met with other town leaders to discuss the command of crown-appointed governor Sir Edmond Andros and his council that a new tax be assessed on the king’s subjects. A town meeting was hastily organized the next day which voted that “no taxes should be Levied upon the Subjects without consent of the Assembly chosen by the Freeholders.” Because of these actions known as the “Andros Rebellion,” for which they were jailed in Boston, the Seal of the Town of Ipswich declares it to be the “Birthplace of American Independence.”

Samuel Appleton, Appleton Farms, Ipswich

Samuel Appleton house
Samuel Appleton’s house, which once stood at Appleton Farm, near Waldingfield Rd.

On the evening of August 23, 1687 the Rev. John Wise gathered town leaders to organize opposition against a new tax imposed by Andros. A hastily called town meeting the next day voted that “no taxes should be levied upon the subjects without consent of the Assembly chosen by the Freeholders” and refused to appoint a tax collector.

On September 19, a warrant was issued for the arrest of several Ipswich men for being “seditiously inclined and disaffected to his Majesty’s government.” Major Appleton took refuge in Saugus, where he delivered an address denouncing Andros from a rocky cliff that is known today as “Appleton’s Pulpit.” Additional warrants were issued against him for “absconding himself.” The others eventually gave bond, but the 62-year-old Major Appleton scorned the appearance of submission and refused to make any apology. He remained imprisoned in the cold Boston Jail through the winter.

Harold Bowen, 3 Summer St., Ipswich

Harold Bowen

Harold Bowen (1909 – 1979) was the last ringer of the curfew bell in the steeple of First Church, a tradition in Ipswich every night at 9 pm beginning in 1769, which is said to be the last curfew bell in America. In 1972 Harold Bowen was asked to write a column for a newspaper called Ipswich Today, the first of a series of stories that continued for ten years. Tales of Olde Ipswich was republished in three volumes. Bowen most of his life at 3 Summer Street, after his father, a local publisher, purchased the house. His will left the house to the Town of Ipswich, which used the proceeds to establish the Harold Bowen Fund for Historic Preservation.

Thomas Dudley, Anne Dudley Bradstreet and Simon Bradstreet, 33 High St., Ipswich

Anne Dudley Bradstreet was born in 1612 in England. Her father was Thomas Dudley, who served several terms as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and lived for 3 years close to the Bradstreet residence in Ipswich. She married Simon Bradstreet at age sixteen. With her parents they arrived in American on June 14, 1630 in Salem aboard the “Arbella” with John Winthrop and moved to the new Ipswich settlement in 1635. Simon Bradstreet was active in colonial politics, and was selected to serve as colonial secretary, a post he held until 1644, which required frequent traveling to the various outposts of the colony. During these years, often alone with her eight children, Anne took consolation in her writing, and it was during this time that she wrote a collection of poems published in London in 1650, probably without her knowledge, as The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung up in America…by a Gentlewoman in these Parts. This established Anne Bradstreet as the first female poet in the New World, and the first published poet in the English colonies of North America.

Robert and Faith Bryan, Quebec-Labrador Foundation, 4 South Main St.

Quebec-Labrador Foundation

Founded in 1961 by the Reverend Robert (Bob) Bryan, QLF was established to assist communities in Eastern Canada with the idea that the children there should benefit from a new generation of community services, focused on leadership, education in the arts, marine and aviation skills, and creative thinking. Bob led hundreds of high school and college students to the communities of the Quebec-Labrador Region to provide leadership in developing education and recreation for young people. In 1975, QLF expanded from community service programs to the realm of environmental education. In the early 1980s, QLF expanded its programs internationally to Western Europe, Central and Southeast Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Andrew Burley, 12 Green St., Ipswich

Andrew Burley was a wealthy merchant, justice of the Sessions Court and was elected as representative to the General Court in 1741. He updated the house with fine Georgian features. Capt. John Smith purchased the Andrew Burley house in 1760 from the estate of Andrew Burley’s widow Hannah and operated it as Smith’s Tavern. Susanna (How) Smith ran Smith’s Tavern from 1760 to 1790.

Josiah and Lucy Caldwell (formerly 16 Elm St., Ipswich)

16 Elm St., Ipswich, now at the Smithsonian
Formerly 16 Elm St., Ipswich, now at the Smithsonian.

Josiah and Lucy Caldwell bought this house on Elm Street in 1822. The Caldwells believed in the moral power of home and family, and their beliefs inspired a radical mission. The Caldwells were local leaders in the international struggle to end slavery. Josiah led the Ipswich Anti-Slavery Society. Lucy held meetings of the Ipswich Female Anti-Slavery Society in the parlor. In 1963, the town of Ipswich planned to replace the house with a parking lot, but members of the Ipswich Historical Society saved it from the bulldozer on the day it was scheduled for demolition. The house was dismantled and reassembled in the National Museum of American History and became the centerpiece of an exhibition on two hundred years of American home-building technology. The location of this house was at the parking lot on the corner of Elm and County Streets. The house at 16 Elm Street today is not at the same location.

Dr. John Calef, 5 Poplar St., Ipswich

Dr. Calef represented the town of Ipswich in the General Court for several years, but went against the town’s wishes repeatedly in Boston. He was among only seven members of the Massachusetts Assembly who voted to retract the “Massachusetts Circular Letter” which was adopted in response to the 1767 Townshend Acts. Calef was replaced as Representative by General Michael Farley, but Ipswich citizens’ anger at Calef lingered as war with England approached. In the fall of 1774, almost nine years after Dr. John Calef was removed from office, a great crowd of Ipswich citizens gathered about his residence near the South Green and demanded a formal confession of his wrongful votes. By 1777, a price had been put on his head. He sold his house to John Heard, and fled with his family to Castine in the Penobscot region, where he worked as a surgeon for the British troops and is remembered in New Brunswick as a hero. In 1800, John Heard moved Dr. Calef’s house to Poplar Street where it still stands today, and built the mansion on South Main St.which is now the Ipswich Museum.

Ezekiel Cheever, 66 County Rd., Ipswich

Ezekiel Cheever

Lionel Chute became the first Ipswich schoolmaster in 1636, but the first Ipswich grammar school was not constructed until 1653. It sat at the corner of County Rd. and Poplar St. and faced what was known then as the School House Green, now the South Green. The location later became the site of the South Side Store, which has been converted to condominiums. The first schoolmaster of the Feoffee’s school at the South Green in Ipswich was Ezekiel Cheever, where he also resided with his family.

In 1670, became the Head Master of the Boston Latin School.where he served the last 38 years of his profession. Mather gave the sermon at his funeral. Cheever authored what is believed to be the earliests American school book, Accidence, and has been called “the chief representative of the colonial schoolmaster.”

William Clancy, 38 North Main St., Ipswich

William G. Clancy
William G. Clancy, WWI hero

William Clancy was born Feb. 18, 1895, at Boston. Son of William B. and Violet Clancy, and removed to Ipswich in childhood with his parents, where they lived in the building known as the Old Post Office. Early in the First World War he enlisted in Liverpool, on September 27, 1914, and on February 15, 1915, was sent to Lutton in the south of England, attached to the 4th Division. Clancy was wounded in the Battle of Loos and by shrapnel in the face in the Battle of the Somme, but was back to the fighting line in January, 1917. He took part in the engagements which resulted in the German retirement from the strongly fortified Hindenburg line in March.

On April 9, 1917, Easter Monday, in the battle of Arras, he went over the top at 5.45 a. m. at Vimy Ridge with a small American flag attached to his bayonet. On April 13, having secured their objective, the men dug in. A heavy German shell buried Gunner Clancy under masses of earth, which crushed him painfully. The flag episode, which was recognized as the first appearance of the American flag in action, brought the wounded gunner into wide notoriety. He left Germany Feb. 7, 1919, and returned to Ipswich the following May. He was given a permanent appointment as a patrolman on the Boston police force, and on the night of January 22, while doing duty in Charlestown was shot and instantly killed. The remains of the patrolman were brought to Ipswich, and on Sunday, January 24, he was buried here with full military honors.

Rufus Choate, Choate Island, Essex

The Choate house on Hog Island (Choate Island), Ipswich MA
19th Century photo of the Choate house on Hog Island,birthplace of Rufus Choate.

Rufus Choate, American lawyer, was born on Hog Island as it was known then in 1799, now Choate Island, owned by the Trustees of Reservations.He graduated from Dartmouth College and studied law at the Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the bar in September, 1823. Choate was sent to the House of Representatives in 1830. As a U.S. representative and senator, Choate worked for preservation of the Union. but Choate’s success later at the Boston bar made him famous. In 1846 he convinced a jury that the accused, Albert Tirrell, did not cut the throat of his lover, or, if he did so, he did it while sleepwalking, under the ‘insanity of sleep,’ the first time in American legal history this defense was successful in a murder prosecution. The Boston newspapers sensationalized the trial, concluding Tirrell was guilty. Choate argued no one had witnessed the crime, and all the evidence was circumstantial. Further, he argued Tirrell had no motive to kill Mary Bickford, but if he did, he would have done it while sleepwalking. The jury took two hours to deliver a not guilty verdict on March 30, 1846.

John Cogswell, 60 Spring St, Essex

Cogswell's Grant
Cogswell’s Grant

John Cogswell (1592-1669) was a successful merchant in London before migrating to Ipswich, and is the immigrant ancestor to many of the Cogswells in America. Cogswell and his family embarked on the Angel Gabriel, which crashed off of the coast of Maine during the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635. After salvaging some of what was lost, the family arrived in Boston before settling in the part of Ipswich then known as Chebacco (now the Town of Essex).

John Cogswell was granted 300 acres of land which has been preserved as Cogswell’s Grant in Essex, owned by Historic New England and open to the public. The house, built about 1735 is believed to be on the site of the 17th century William Cogswell farmhouse. Captain Jonathan Cogswell, son of William and Susanna (Hawkes) Cogswell, inherited eighty acres from his father in 1700, and by the end of his life seventeen years later, the farm had become 165-acres, which has remains intact as Cogswell’s Grant.

John Cogswell became a deputy to the General Court for Ipswich, and at his death was honored with a five-mile long funeral procession followed by a service conducted by Rev. William Hubbard. Also among the survivors of the Angel Gabriel was Lt. Thomas Burnham, who was made Selectman in 1647 and was Deputy to the General Court from 1683 to 1685

  1. Wikipedia: John Cogswell
  2. The Great Colonial Hurricane and the wreck of the Angel Gabriel
  3. The Cogswells in America
  4. Home: Cogswell’s Grant | Historic New England (60 Spring St, Essex)

Joseph Green Cogswell, South Main St.

Joseph Green Cogswell

Joseph Green Cogswell was born in 1786 to Francis and Anstice Cogswell, whose home was at the location of the Old Town Hall at the corner of South Main and Elm Streets. As a librarian, bibliographer and an innovative educator, he became dissatisfied with American classical education and strove unsuccessfully to introduce German standards of teaching and Neo-Humanism. Along with historian George Bancrof, Cogswell established the Round Hill School at Northampton, MA to elevate secondary education for the sons of the New England elite. He later helped found the Astor Library (now New York Public) in 1837.

Eunice Stanwood Caldwell Cowles, 18 Green St., Ipswich

Eunice Caldwell was born on February 4, 1811, in Ipswich, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Captain John Caldwell and Eunice Stanwood Caldwell. Her father, a sailor, drowned in the Kennebec River in 1835. She attended Ipswich Female Seminary from 1828 to 1829, where she met and began a lasting friendship with Mary Lyon, a teacher and an assistant to Zilpah P. Grant, the school’s principal, from 1828 to 1839. She graduated from Ipswich in 1829 and was a teacher there from 1830-1835.

She served as the first principal of Wheaton Female Seminary (later Wheaton College) in Norton, Massachusetts in 1836. She left her position at Wheaton for Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, where she was Associate Principal from 1837-1838. She married the Reverend John Phelps Cowles in 1838 and followed him to Oberlin College, where he was professor of Hebrew. In 1844 they returned to reopen Ipswich Female Seminary which they ran until it closed in 1876. The Cowles had three daughters. She died at the age of ninety-two on September 10, 1903 in Ipswich, Massachusetts.”

Richard Teller Crane Jr., Crane Estate, Argilla Rd., Ipswich

Richard T. Crane Jr. with family

Castle Hill is nationally significant as a major surviving example of a landscaped estate of the “Country Place Era”at the turn of the 20th century, when wealthy Americans constructed houses in the countryside as retreats from crowded, industrialized cities. It comprises an entire complex made up of a great house with spectacular formal landscaping, recreational and entertainment spaces, working farm and greenhouses, and other support buildings. It was the summer home of Richard T. Crane, Jr., president of the Crane Co. of Chicago, which he inherited from his father, Richard Teller Crane, who founded the company in 1855.

Adelle “Kitty” Crockett Robertson, 232 Argilla Road, Ipswich

Crocket house at 232 Argilla Rd.
Crocket house at 232 Argilla Rd.

Several Boston medical men, including Dr. Eugene A. Crockett in 1895 bought Smith’s Boarding House. His purchase included the entire area now known as Crockett’s Hill. His daughter Adelle continued to live in the home after his death, working at the Sylvania Plant and as a reporter and columnist for Ipswich newspapers. Published eighteen years after Robertson’s death, her book, The Orchard is an exquisitely beautiful and poignant memoir of a young woman’s single-handed struggle to save her New England farm in the depths of the Great Depression. The manuscripts discovered by the author’s daughter, it tells the story of Adele “Kitty” Robertson, young and energetic, but unprepared by her Radcliffe education for the rigors of apple farming in those bitter times. Alone at the end of a country road, with only a Great Dane for company, plagued by debts, broken machinery, and killing frosts, Kitty revives the old orchard after years of neglect and is rewarded by the beauty of the world and the unexpected kindness of neighbors and hired workers. Kitty Robertson’s “Measuring Time–by an Hour Glass” is an exquisite collection of essays, reflections on a 20th century life in small town New England, that first were published in the Ipswich Chronicle.

Manasseh Cutler, 624 Bay Road, Hamilton

Manasseh Cutler

Land grants were made to officers of the Revolutionary War with the intention that others would purchase land. The Rev. Dr. Manasseh Cutler of the Hamlet parish of Ipswich (now Hamilton) was instrumental in encouraging Congress to open the Northwest Territories and authored Article 6 of the Ordinance of 1787, which excluded slavery from the Northwest Territory. On a December morning in 1787, the first group of settlers gathered at Dr. Cutler’s house, and began the expedition that would found the town of Marietta, establishing the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory. A second company set out with Mr. Cutler and arrived on August 19. The new town prospered and the Northwest Territory became the popular movement of its day. The great Westward Migration was thus begun. Dr. Cutler returned to Ipswich and decided that moving his family to Marietta would require great sacrifices. He was elected to two terms in the US Congress, declined a third, and spent the rest of his life in ministry to his congregation at the church, located at the intersection of Rt. 1A and Cutler Road in Hamilton.

Nathan Dane, 219 County Rd., Ipswich

Nathan Dane
Nathan Dane

Nathan Dane was born in Ipswich to Abigail and Daniel Dane, a farmer and descendant of John Dane who immigrated to Massachusetts from England in 1636. He worked at the family farm that at the decease of John Appleton had passed from his son to Benjamin Patch, and then to Daniel Dane, and to his son Nathan Dane. D. F. Appleton reacquired the land, and now the Appleton Farms CSA store at 219 County Rd. is at or near the the location of the Dane home.

Nathan Dane graduated from Harvard College in 1778. Dane married Mary Brown and was admitted to the bar, setting up a legal practice in Beverly. He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a Federalist, where he served until 1785. He was a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress, where he helped draft the Northwest Ordinance, which was enacted in 1787. Dane’s amendment banning slavery in the territory which would become five new states was accepted into the Ordinance. His amendments to the Articles of Confederation helped lead to adoption of the United States Constitution and a Bill of Rights. Dane was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate from 1790 to 1791 and from 1794 to 1794, and served on a commission that reviewed and codified the laws of Massachusetts. In his legal practice he worked on behalf of vocational education and humane treatment of prisoners, and helped establish the American Temperance Society. Dane was a representative to the Essex Junto in Ipswich and a delegate to the Hartford Convention during the War of 1812.

Patch-Dane house at Appleton Farms
The Patch-Dane house at Appleton Farms, no longer standing. Photo courtesy of David Thayer

Thomas Dennis, 7 County St., Ipswich

Thomas Dennis (1638–1706), came to Ipswich from Devonshire, England, where he learned from a tradition of flourished carving. Dennis himself was a master carver, and his work is found at other nearby homes, including the Dennis – Dodge House at the corner of Summer and County Street. His work is shown in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Concord Antiquarian Society and the Robert Hull Fleming Museum at the University of Vermont.

Daniel Denison, 4 Green St., Ipswich

Daniel Denison was born in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England in 1612, and came to America with his parents William Denison and Margaret Chandler on the ship “Lyon” in 1631. When Denison arrived with his young bride in the new settlement in 1634-35, then twenty-three years old, he received the grant of a two acre lot, adjoining John Fawn’s, which extended to Union street toward the Mill. In 1635 he had already built his house, but within two years had constructed a larger home behind the Meeting House on the hill. Thomas Franklin Waters indicated that the General’s estate extended up Green Street from the empty corner at the intersection with County St.

The inscription and emblem are now easy to read, once I washed away the algae and moss from the inscription and emblem they are easy to read, and still in excellent condition.
The gravestone of Gen. Daniel Denison at the Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich

Denison began his civil life as Ipswich town clerk, but soon was chosen for the legislature. He was most distinguished in his military career, and rose to the post of sergeant-major, which he held for the remainder of his life. In King Philip’s war he was one of the greatest and most distinguished leaders in the eastern front.

He became Major General of the colonial forces and represented Ipswich for several years in the general court. Denison was Speaker of the House for the colony of Massachusetts in 1649, 1651 and 1652, Secretary of the colony in 1653, justice of the quarterly court in 1658, and commissioner of the united colonies in 1655-1662. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Massachusetts troops in 1675.

John F. Dolan, 39 East St., Ipswich

John Dolan Ipswich MA
John “Jack” Dolan

John F. Dolan (1922–2013) was a longtime member of the Massachusetts State Legislature and an advocate of conservation. Often called “Jack” from the time of childhood, Dolan spent his early years on Grape Island (Essex County, Massachusetts) where his mother’s family had resided for many years. Dolan’s uncle was Lewis Kilborn, who would later become the island’s last living residents.During the Second World War Dolan served on board the transport vessel USS Pastores and later as a gun crew captain on the USS Chicago. In July 1945, Dolan and his shipmates on board the Chicago participated in the first naval bombardment of Japan against the Kamaishi Industrial District. After the war, Dolan returned to Ipswich, where he married Lucy Eustace and soon entered local politics. During his tenure in office as a State Representative, Dolan helped create groundbreaking legislation for the conservation of natural resources in the State of Massachusetts. In 1957, Dolan filed the bill that would become the Conservation Commission Act, legislation that enabled communities throughout Massachusetts to create conservation commissions in order to protect natural resources. By the following year, a dozen towns, including Ipswich had formed commissions based on Dolan’s bill. Today, every city and town in Massachusetts has their own conservation commission.[4] Dolan would go on to serve his district until the early 1970s and held his seat in the Massachusetts Legislature for nine consecutive terms. Dolan continued as director for Committee on Natural Resources until his retirement in the late 1970s. He also wrote a series of historical articles for the Ipswich Chronicle.

Arthur Wesley Dow, 41 Turkey Shore Rd., Ipswich

Arthur Wesley Dow
Arthur Wesley Dow

Ipswich artist Arthur Wesley Dow was born on April 6, 1857 in the Matthew Perkins house on East Street. He was one of the town’s most famous residents and a founding member of the Ipswich Historical Society. The Ipswich Museum owns the largest single collection of works by Arthur Wesley Dow, including oil paintings, watercolors, photographs, ink wash drawings, wood block prints, and plaster casts.

During summer, Dow and his wife ran the Ipswich Summer School of Art from the historic “Howard house” on Turkey Shore Road. Arthur Wesley Dow is renowned for his paintings and prints that take their subject matter from nature and reflect the orderly design and fine handcrafting championed by the Arts & Crafts movement.

Thomas Foulds Ellsworth, 6 Hovey St., Ipswich

Thomas Foulds Ellsworth was born on November 12, 1840, the son of Benjamin Noyes Ellsworth (1812-1902) who was appointed the lighthouse keeper by Abraham Lincoln and served in that post for over 40 years.

Thomas Foulds Ellsworth was one of four soldiers who earned the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Battle at Honey Hill, South Carolina, on November 30, 1864. Under a heavy fire he carried his wounded commanding officer, who had become trapped under his horse, saving his life and preventing him from being captured. The Medal of Honor was awarded to Ellsworth in 1895.

Edward Emberley, 6 Water St., Ipswich

Edward Emberley studied art at the Massachusetts School of Art in Boston (now the Massachusetts College of Art and Design) and the Rhode Island School of Design. He and his wife Barbara have owned and lived in the First Period Reginald Foster house at 6 Water Street in Ipswich since 1962.

Ed Emberley
Ed Emberley

Emberley is best known for his instructional children’s drawing books, featuring step-by-step instructions employing numbers, letters, and shapes. Emberley has also illustrated or contributed to over 50 books. He is a multiple winner of the Caldecott Medal, awarded by children’s librarians annually recognizes “the most distinguished American picture book for children.”

General Micheal Farley, 38 Market St., Ipswich

Michael Farley house, 38 Market St., Ipswich ma (demolished)
Michael Farley house, 38 Market St., Ipswich ma (demolished). It is now the site of a Richdale convenience store.

In 1767, Captain Michael Farley, a 4th generation descendant of Michael Farley, a settler of Ipswich, was chosen as the Representative from the Town of Ipswich to the General Court. Farley, a tanner by trade, and an officer in the militia was a man of forceful personality and unusual ability, and spent the remainder of his life in public service. The Town chose him as a delegate to the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, 1774 in Salem and at Cambridge in 1775. He became the High Sheriff of Essex County, and was chosen as a member of the State House of Representatives. Farley fought for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and was appointed major-general of the Militia of Massachusetts in 1777. General Michael Farley died on June 20, 1789, at age 70, and is buried beside his wife Elizabeth at the Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich.

Melissa Ferrick, 54 High St., Ipswich

Melissa Ferrick
Melissa Ferrick

Melissa Ferrick (born September 21, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter and Professor of the Practice at Northeastern University. She began taking classical violin lessons at the age of five, and received 12 years of formal music training, including two years each at the Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music. From 2013 – 2019, Melissa was an Associate Professor of Songwriting at Berklee College of Music, and holds an Ed.M from Harvard University. Signed to Atlantic Records in 1992 at the age of 21, after opening up for Morrissey in the US and UK, she released her debut and sophomore albums on Atlantic before moving on to Independent label W.A.R. Records between 1996-1999. In 2000 Ms. Ferrick launched the nationally distributed independent record label Right On Records. She’s released seventeen albums over the last twenty-five years and has won numerous awards for songwriting, production, and performance.

Her fourteenth album, Goodbye Youth, was released September 2008.

David Giddings (house: 72 County Rd, Ipswich)

The David Giddings house, County Rd., Ipswich
The David Giddings house, County Rd., Ipswich

Abigail Cogswell, (1776-1851), the daughter of Joseph and Abigail (Patch) Cogswell of Ipswich, married, May 24, 1797, Major Joshua Giddings, who was born in Hamilton. They built the residence near the Labor in Vain bridge in Ipswich, more lately the Weatherall house. Both died in 1851. Their son, David, was born July 24, 1806. At the age of nineteen years, he embarked in merchandising in Ipswich handling a general assortment of goods and liquors, his store and house at 72 County Rd. in Ipswich.

Having determined to travel West, he disposed of his mercantile interests, and in April 1835, took passage in a stage-coach for Troy, N. Y., continued to Buffalo by canal, and shipped aboard the brig “Indiana,” to Chicago. He became an early settler in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, was a civil engineer, and surveyed much of the land in Chicago, Green Bay, and the region. He married Dorothy C. Trowbridge in 1842. Mr. Giddings became a prominent citizen and a man of wealth, residing in Fond du Lac, Wis. He operated sawmills and a lumber business in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.

Giddings served in the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature from 1840 to 1842, served as a probate judge and in the first Wisconsin Constitutional Convention of 1846. Giddings died in Sheboygan Falls at his family’s house in 1900.

Dr. Joseph Lincoln Goodale, 188 Argilla Rd.

Joseph Lincoln Goodale
Joseph Lincoln Goodale

Joseph L. Goodale (1868-1957) and other Boston physicians enjoyed birding on the marshes, and in the early 1890s purchased properties on Argilla Road. The home Dr. Goodale purchased from the Cogswell family became known as Southgate. With neighbors, he dammed up a section of marsh wetland near Fox Creek which is now known as Rantoul Pond. Dr. Goodale, whose practice specialized in diseases of the nose and throat, planted a vineyard and experimented with hybrid varieties in winemaking, as well as planting seedlings of a variety of apples, pears, peaches and plums. In 1920, he transplanted these from his nursery to land bordered by Northgate and Argilla Roads. With his second son Geoffrey, he managed Goodale Orchards and Southgate Farm with the assistance of Alec and Dan MacLeod. Kenneth and Gladys MacLeod assumed ownership of the Orchard upon Dr. Goodale’s retirement. In 1979, Max and Meredith Russell purchased the property from Friends of the Goodale Orchard and renamed it Russell Orchards. Joseph’s eldest son Robert, with his wife Susan and four children, lived in the 1669 Isaac Goodale House which they had moved from West Peabody in 1929. Joseph and Adelaide May’s third son Edward was one of the dog team drivers on Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s 1929-30 Expedition to the South Pole. Edward served in the Navy Rescue Operations and the United States Antarctic Research Program sponsored by the National Science foundation and facilitated the passage of thousands of researchers to Antarctica.

  • Article submitted by Maisie Goodale Crowther
  • 188 Argilla Road, the Oliver Cogswell house (1815)
  • Membership: American Laryngol. Association (president 1917), American Medical Association, Massachusetts Medical Society, Boston Society Medical Science, Boston Society Medical Improvement, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Augustine Heard, 54 Main St., Ipswich

Augustine Heard
Augustine Heard

The Ipswich Museum at 54 S. Main Street in Ipswich is a Federal-style structure built in 1795 by wealthy John Heard. Before the Revolutionary War he had invested in the rum factory on Turkey Shore Road along the river bank where they unloaded barrels of West Indies molasses, and he later helped start the Ipswich Mills. His son Augustine Heard owned clipper ships and competed with those of Salem and Boston in the China trade. By 1812 he was captain of his first ship, the brig Caravan. In 1830, at the age of 45, Heard settled in Canton, China, where he became partner in the trading firm of Samuel Russell & Co., by then the leading American opium dealer in China. Meanwhile in Ipswich, he started the Ipswich Manufacturing Company in 1828 with Joseph Farley, building a new dam and the Old Stone Mill. Heard set up his own company, Augustine Heard & Co., which became the third largest American firm in China. In 1844 when he retired to Ipswich

Joseph and Sarah Perkins Hodgkins, 80 East St, Ipswich

Perkins Hodgkins house
The Perkins-Hodgkins house 80 East Street

Throughout the Revolutionary War, Joseph Hodgkins Hodgkins maintained an ongoing correspondence by mail with his new wife, Sarah Perkins, detailing the desperate troop conditions and longing for home. The letters are preserved and can be read at the Historic Ipswich site. His first wife and four of his five children had all died of disease before the war began. He was quite torn between his allegiance to the cause and his concern for the welfare of his family back home. Sarah acted as a conduit to the Ipswich community providing news about their husbands and sons, but as the war drug on, she began to despair. By the spring of 1778, she was “very Low in Spirits” but always ended her letters “I remain your Loving wife till Death.” Col. Hodgkins finally returned home in June of 1779.

Louise Manning Hodgkins, 45 High St., Ipswich

Louise Manning Hodgkins
Louise Manning Hodgkins

Louise Manning Hodgkins, author and educator, was born to Daniel Lummus Hodgkins and Mary (Willett) Hodgkins, August 5, 1846. Her education was begun in the Ipswich Female Seminary on North Main St. under Mrs. Eunice P. Cowles. In 1876 she received the degree of A.M., from Lawrence College, Appleton. Wis., where she began her career as a teacher.

In 1876 she was elected professor of English literature in Wellesley College where she served until June, 1891. During her term of service she contributed poems, stories and educational articles, including “A Guide to the Study of Nineteenth Century Literature.” and three books in the “English Classics” series.

Unanimously selected by the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church,Hodgkins was Harriet Merrick Warren’s successor in the editorial chair of “The Heathen Woman’s Friend.”

Elizabeth Howe, 417 Linebrook Rd., Ipswich

The home of Elizabeth Howe on Linebrook Rd.

At least four Ipswich women were accused during the witchcraft hysteria. Elizabeth Howe and her husband James Howe resided on outer Linebrook Road in an area known then as Ipswich Farms. James Howe lost his sight at about the age of 50 and Elizabeth assumed the dual responsibility of managing the family and the farm. She readily took charge, making decisions well beyond the accepted level for Puritan housewives. There was long-standing friction between Elizabeth Howe and her neighbors Samuel Perley and his wife Ruth. Elizabeth Howe’s sister-in-law Rebecca Nurse had been involved in a long-standing dispute with the Putnams, and she was the first resident to be accused. Soon the Perley family revived their long-standing accusations against Elizabeth Howe. On Sunday, May 29, 1692 the constable of Topsfield took Elizabeth Howe into custody, having been charged of “Sundry Acts of Witch-craft done on Mary Walcott, Abigail Williams, and others of Salem Village.” He rounded up Abigail and Deliverance Hobbs and Sarah Wildes of Topsfield who were also from families on the Putnam enemies list. Elizabeth Howe was arrested on May 28, 1692 and was hung in Salem on July 19, 1692.

William Hubbard, 9 Poplar St., Ipswich

William Hubbard, A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New England

William Hubbard (1621 – September 24, 1704), born in Ipswich, England, arrived as a teenager with his parents in Boston. He graduated from Harvard and was ordained. 1656, July 4th, 1656 he was “desired to preach for the Society here, as colleague with Mr. Cobbet,” became assistant minister and afterward pastor of the First Church in Ipswich, a post he held until just a year before his death. Also an historian, he wrote “A History of New England,” chiefly indebted to the Journal of Governor Winthrop, and “A Narrative of Troubles with the Indians.” He was granted a lot of several acres which now includes several houses on Poplar St, near the intersection with Turkey Shore. His first wife was Margaret, the daughter of the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers. She was a lady of excellent reputation. He had three children, John, Nathaniel and Margaret, and his last wife, Mary.

James and Gale Hull, 4 Spring St., Ipswich

Partners in Development

Partners In Development, Inc. (PID) was founded in 1990 by James and Gale Hull of Ipswich as an organization committed to education and economic advancement in the developing world. Since its beginning, the organization has developed new programs to address the local needs of the communities we partner with. Over many decades, PID’s context-specific approach to addressing poverty and its multiple causes has evolved into what today is our Whole Life Transformation Model.

Henry Rodman Kenyon, 6 Riverbank Lane, Ipswich

Arthur Wesley Dow, with Henry Rodman Kenyon.

In 1884 Arthur Wesley Dow from Ipswich arrived at the Academie Julian in Paris for the first time and met Henry Rodman Kenyon. They became lifelong friends. In 1889 Kenyon and Dow returned to the United States, whereupon Dow introduced Kenyon to Ipswich.

In the summer of 1899 Kenyon married the proficient pastel portraitist Caroline A. Savary and by 1901 Kenyon and his wife had settled at Ipswich in a home they called the Riverbank House. His small scenic paintings record the seasons in Ipswich and farther afield over a period of 40 years.

Otis Phillips Lord, 1 High St.

Otis Phillips Lord
Otis Phillips Lord

Otis Phillips Lord (July 11, 1812 – March 13, 1884) was born to Nathaniel Lord Jr. in the Rev. Nathanel Rogers “Old Manse” at 1 High Street, now known as the House of Peace. He was a Massachusetts lawyer and politician. Lord was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in the 1840s and 1850s. He served in the Massachusetts Senate in 1849, and was member of the constitutional convention in 1853.

In 1859 be was appointed by Governor Nathaniel P. Banks justice of the Superior court, and served as a Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from 1875 to 1882. Lord married Elizabeth W. Farley on October 9, 1843. The couple had no children. The couple were friends with Edward Dickinson through their mutual association with Amherst College.. Following Edward’s death in 1874, and his own wife’s death 3 years later, Lord is believed to have established a romantic relationship with Edward’s wife, Emily Dickinson.

Joseph Stockwell Manning, 9 High St., Ipswich

Joseph Manning, Civil War hero
Joseph Manning

Joseph Stockwell Manning was born in 1845, the son of Leighton Wilson Manning of Ipswich and his wife Caroline Stockwell of Somerville. According to Volume II of Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, they lived in the house at 9 High Street built by Samuel Newman, still standing.

At the age of 18, Joseph volunteered to fight in the Civil War and served as a private in Company K, 29th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. During a battle at Fort Sanders on November 29, 1863 his attachment was sent to dislodge Confederate forces from the 16th Georgia infantry who had retreated and were taking cover in a ditch. Private Manning set out to join this force but became separated. He continued forward alone and jumping into the ditch and demanded the immediate surrender of all of the soldiers. His ruse succeeded in confusing the rebels long enough for Union troops to arrive and take them as prisoners. In his report, Private Manning wrote “A wounded rebel in the ditch asked me to take him inside the works as he was in danger of being shot where he lay. I made him climb over the dead and wounded and passed up the colors to him–till I climbed up. I placed the colors and my gun over my left shoulder and supported him with my right arm as we walked over a hundred yards.”

Dr. Thomas Manning, 19 North Main St., Ipswich

Thomas Manning house, Old Parsonage, Ipswich MA
The Thomas Manning house, 19 North Main St. in Ipswich

Dr. Thomas Manning built the house at 19 North Main St. He married Margaret Heard, daughter of John Heard, May 24, 1807. Dr. Manning built and operated the mill and dam at Willowdale at the site of Foote Brothers Canoes. He invested in the Lace Factory on High St. and played a prominent role in town events. Dr. John Manning of Ipswich is credited with making vaccinations available to the general public. After successfully immunizing his family against smallpox in 1799, he distributed the vaccine without payment to other practitioners, purposefully breaking the monopoly held by Professor Benjamin Waterhouse of Harvard. Since the introduction of effective diphtheria immunization in the 1920’s, the disease is now all but eliminated in the United States and other countries that vaccinate widely. Dr. Thomas Manning died on February 3, 1854, at the age of eighty, bequeathing the greater part of his estate to the Town for the purpose of establishing “a High School in the town of Ipswich, which should be free to the youth of the town of both sexes.”

Masconomet (buried at Sagamore Hill, Hamilton)

Burial place of Masconomet
Masconomet’s Grave on Sagamore Hill in Hamilton MA.

Masconomet was the sagamore of the Agawam tribe of the Algonquian native Americans when the first Puritan colonists arrived in Ipswich in 1633. He had survived the pandemic which killed 90% of the local native population in the early 1600′s.

Masconomet ruled all the tribal land from Cape Ann to the Merrimack River, which he sold to John Winthrop and the settlers of Ipswich for a sum of £20. The Sagamore died on March 6, 1658 and was buried along with his gun, tomahawk and other items on Sagamore Hill, formerly in the Hamlet section of Ipswich and now within the town of Hamilton. His wife is buried alongside him. The final resting place of Masconomet is accessed by a paved road leading past the Sagamore Hill Solar Radar Observatory, and is graced with tokens of reverence.

Mark Newman, 9 High St.

Mark Newman
Mark Newman

Mark Newman (September 7, 1772 – June 15, 1859) was an American educator, deacon, and publisher and 3rd Principal of Phillips Academy Andover from 1795 to 1809.

Newman was born to Samuel Newman and Hannah Haskell, probably at 9 High St. in Ipswich, on September 7, 1772. At an early age, he caught the attention of the Rev. Levi Frisbie, who helped send him to Phillips Exeter Academy as a charity student, funded by the Academy’s founder, John Phillips. In his spare time, he worked for Phillips in his home.

Almost immediately after graduating from Dartmouth in 1793, Newman returned to Andover on July 5th to take on an assistant teaching role. There he built a relationship with the Phillips family, especially John Phillips, who helped him secure the Principalship in 1795, shortly after his marriage to Sally Phillips. Newman pursued a book-selling career spanning fifty years after resigning as principal of Phillips Academy.

Carl Nordstrom, 21 Nabby’s Point Rd., Ipswich

Carl Nordstrom

Carl Harold Nordstrom (1876-1965) was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts of Swedish ancestry. From 1904-27, Nordstrom operated a photographic studio in Cambridge. During this period he studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. On forays to the country with his art teachers, Eric Pape and George L. Noyes, Nordstrom came to Ipswich and in 1918, he purchased property on Nabby’s Point along the Ipswich River. He closed his photography studio and opened the Nordstrom Summer Art School on Rocky Neck in Gloucester in 1927. He worked in oils, watercolor, and pencil. He was a much beloved and familiar figure in Ipswich teaching its citizens, his students and friends, to respect and appreciate nature. His exhibitions included Rutgers University, the Boston Art Club, and the Gloucester Society of Artists.

Rev. John Norton, 57 North main St., Ipswich

John Norton was born at Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England and sailed in 1634 to New England, landing at Plymouth. He was ‘called’ to Ipswich and ordained ‘teacher’ here in 1638. In 1652 he became a colleague of John Wilson at the first church in Boston, where he succeeded John Cotton as minister.

Norton lot corner of N. Main and East St

He contributed wording to the Cambridge Platform in 1648, and became a leading opponent of the Antinomians and a chief instigator of the persecution of the Quakers in New England. He is quoted as saying, “I would carry fire in one hand and faggots in the other, to burn all the Quakers in the world.” In 1662 he accompanied Governor Simon Bradstreet as agent of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to present an address to King Charles II after his Restoration. For this they were regarded with suspicion that they had sold the liberties of the colony, which undermined Norton’s popularity. He died aged 56 in Boston.

When Francis Wainwright owned the lot that is now the Ipswich Inn at 2 East Street, he petitioned the Town for a lot, 18′ x 24′ at the corner of N. Main and East St. “to set up a small barn and for a sheep yard.” This had been part of a larger lot extending down East St. that was granted to Rev. John Norton. Wainwright’s heirs sold the lot to Nathaniel Day, Dec. 12, 1737.

William Oakes, 3 High St., Ipswich

1725 John Gaines house, 3 High St., home of William Oakes

William Oakes (July 1, 1799-July 31, 1848) was an American botanist. He attended Harvard from 1816 and developed an interest in natural history. After graduation in 1820, Oakes studied law and then, from 1824, began a legal practice in Ipswich. Oakes was among the first to climb a path to the summit of Mount Washington that was constructed in 1821, and described White Mountains flora in an 1842 geological survey. Prints from his book, “The Scenery of the White Mountains” became widely available.

The writings of Oakes contributed to a report produced by George Barrell Emerson in 1846 about the trees and shrubs of Massachusetts. Oakes drowned on July 31, 1848 after falling off a ferry running between Boston and East Boston. The phrase Oakes is included in the scientific name of several species of vegetation and fungi that he studied.

Robert Paine, 47 Jeffreys Neck Rd., Ipswich

The Payne house on Greenwood Farm
The Paine house on Greenwood Farm

Robert Paine was one of the wealthiest of the early settlers of Ipswich, was the principal benefactor and founder of the Ipswich Grammar School. He was a ruling elder of the church. He was representative of the town three years 1647 -9, county Treasurer from 1665 to 1683 when he resigned the office. He died in 1684, aged eighty three years He left two sons, John and Robert both of whom were Feoffees of Ipswich Grammar School.

On Jan. 26, 1652, the Town voted “For the better aiding of the schoole and the affaires thereof… to receive all such sums of money, as have and shall be given toward the building; or maintaining of a Grammar schoole and schoole master. Mr. Robert Payne proceeded at once to purchase a house and two acres of land for the use of the school master. In the succeeding year, Mr. Paine “att his own proper cost & charge” built an edifice for a grammar school, which was erected upon part of the land purchased.

William Paine, the brother of Robert Payne, possessed considerable land in Ipswich. He had removed to Boston about 1656, and died Oct. 10 1660, leaving a bequest of Little Neck, which was to be held by the Feoffees, and the.income derived from it appropriated for the school.

The 1694 Paine House at 47 Jeffrey’s Neck Road is part of Greenwood Farm which is owned by the Trustees of Reservations. Three generations of the Paine family made their home here, including Robert Paine, foreman of the Salem witch trial jury in 1692

James and Sanford Peatfield, 18 & 46 Washington St., Ipswich

James Peatfield, Ipswich
James Peatfield

Benjamin Fewkes smuggled the first stocking machine in New England from England and began production in a shop behind his home on High St. In 1832, the Peatfield brothers James and Safford invented and built a stocking frame for use by Mr. Fewkes.. In 1834 James and Sanford Peatfield of Ipswich had a rotary warp frame in successful operation in the Old Saw Mill building on County St. in Ipswich by the Cove. They also invented a round knitting machine around 1841.

Encouraged by their success, the Peatfield brothers in 1840 proceeded to build the brick factory on Depot Square known later as the “Hayes Tavern.” It was equipped with machinery invented by James, and began at once a prosperous business in the production of underwear, with financial backing by George Heard. To James Peatfield belongs the honor of being the first person to manufacture woolen underclothing in the United States.

Martin Van Buren (M.V.B) Perley, 437 Linebrook Rd., Ipswich

Martin Van Buren Perley
Martin Van Buren Perley

Martin Van Buren Perley (1835 -1926) was born in Ipswich, son of Silas and Elizabeth Perley of Linebrook Parish, and a descendant of Allan Perley, who immigrated to America from Wales in 1630. He was a contemporary and relative of Sidney Perley (1858-1928) of Boxford, lawyer and prolific genealogist and historian. M. V. B. Perley graduated from Topsfield Academy and received a degree from Dartmouth College. He became the editor and publisher of the Gloucester “Telegram,” was editor of the Gloucester “Chronicle,” editor of the Ipswich Chronicle, was a correspondent for the Boston “Globe,” was a publisher of directories and farmer’s almanacs, and published the “Essex County Historical and Genealogical Register.” He was the author of “History and Genealogy of the Perley Family” (1906), A Pen-Ramble in Linebrook” and A short history of the Salem village witchcraft trials” (1911).

Jane Peterson, 1 Old England Rd., Ipswich

Jane Peterson, Ipswich artist
Jane Peterson, Ipswich artist

Rocky Hill was the summer home of Moritz Bernard Philipp of 1007 Fifth Avenue, a wealthy retired New York lawyer and art connoisseur. In 1925, Philipp married artist Jane Peterson. Peterson was then 49 and Philipp was almost 30 years her senior. Petersen was active with the Rocky Neck art group in Gloucester, and the couple made their home at Rocky Hill in Ipswich. When he died four years later at the age of 81, his estate was valued at $10 million dollars. Peterson received a life annuity, a trust fund, and their Fifth Avenue and Ipswich homes. During the 1940s and 1950s, Peterson maintained a busy social life, moving between New York, Palm Beach and Ipswich but retired by 1960 to her niece’s home in Kansas where she died at age 88 in 1965. At an auction at Rocky Hill the following year, the contents of the house were sold, as well as more than 1,500 of her paintings, but by this time her artistry had been mostly forgotten.

The “Ipswich Painters” at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th Century included Edna Baylor, Henry Kenyon, Arthur Kimball, John Mansfield, Carl Nordstrom, Jane Peterson, Francis Richardson, and Theodore Wendel. The most famous and eminent was Arthur Wesley Dow, whose hometown was Ipswich. Many of their works on are on display at the Ipswich Museum.

Francis Henry Richardson, 136 County Rd., Ipswich

136 County Rd., Ipswich, the home of Francis Henry Richardson
136 County Rd., Ipswich, the home of Francis Henry Richardson

Francis Henry Richardson (1859-1934) was born in Boston and studied draftsmanship and architecture as a young man. Setting his goals on becoming a serious painter, he studied with William Morris Hunt in Boston. In 1886 Richardson sailed to Paris to continue his art education at the Academie Julian. After winning a prize at the Salon, he returned to the United States permanently in 1900. In 1901, he built a house for his family in Ipswich. In France, many of Richardson’s large Salon paintings featured people in a setting, but in Ipswich he concentrated on landscapes and only a few portraits. He was equally adept at oil, watercolor, and pastels. His exhibitions included the National Academy of Design, Pennsylvania Academy, Detroit Museum of Art, Salamagundi Club and others, receiving the Philadelphia Art Society medal in 1902 and the Boston Art Club Purchase Prize in 1903.

John Rogers, 7 South Village Green, Ipswich

John Rogers of Ipswich, and Harvard president
John Rogers

John Rogers (1630-1684) was the eldest son of minister Nathaniel Rogers and immigrated at age six to New England with his family in 1636. In 1649, at age 19 he earned a B.A. and M.A. from Harvard College and, in 1660, married Elizabeth Denison of Ipswich. Despite neither having been ordained as a minister or trained as a physician, Rogers practiced medicine and assisted in the ministry of his brother-in-law, local historian William Hubbard, who served as Ipswich pastor for over 50 years. In 1682, John Rogers was appointed President of Harvard, but died two years later at age 54 and is buried at the Old North Burying Ground.

Joseph Ross, 6 High St., Ipswich

Joseph Ross of Ipswich
Joseph Ross

Joseph Ross (1822-1903) is best known for designing the first movable span bridge in the country, which he patented in 1849 at the age of 26. According to his obituary, he had been “engaged in some of the largest engineering enterprises in this section of the state.” The horizontally folding drawbridge designed by Joseph Ross became the most common railroad bridge type in the Greater Boston in the 19th Century. The Cooper Street Bridge in Wakefield was contracted by Joseph Ross in 1903 and is significant as a very early example of reinforced concrete arch construction, one of only two concrete-arch bridges of its age spanning more than 50′ that are known to survive in Massachusetts.

Emma Jane Mitchell Safford, 30 Green St., Ipswich

Emma Safford of Ipswich, who died in 1958, was a descendant of Massasoit. Her mother was Emma Jane Safford, and her grandmother was Zervia Gould, a pure-blooded Indian of the Squinama tribe. Zervia Gould married Thomas C. Mitchell, a sailor, who was half Cherokee and half white. They lived on or near the Wampanoag reservation that existed in the area of Middleboro and North Abington and had eleven children, including Emma Jane. The Indians living at the reservation were in a sad state of poverty, had lost much of their land to the whites, and survived by producing and selling baskets and blankets. During the summer of 1853, Zervia Gould Mitchell moved with 14-year-old Emma Jane to Ipswich.

Emma Mitchell Sanford
Emma Mitchell Safford in front of the family home on Green Street, which was across from the present Town Hall

At 26 years of age, Emma Jane Mitchell married the eldest son, Jacob Cheever Safford. As a young woman, Emma Jane Mitchell Safford wished to blend in to her adopted community in Ipswich, but as she grew older, she embraced her Native American heritage. Emma worked as a cleaning woman, and from her savings tried fruitlessly to help her relatives obtain a deed to their former land on the reservation, without success.

Col. Nathaniel Shatswell, 90 High St., Ipswich MA

Nathaniel Shatswell

The right side of the house at 88-90 High Street in Ipswich is one of the oldest residences in town. It was the home of Col. Nathaniel Shatswell, famous for his command of Union troops during the Battle of Harris Farm during the Civil War. In the spring of 1861, Company A and L of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment were assembled with Ipswich soldiers. When the Confederates attacked at Harris Farm during the part of the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, the First Regiment went into battle. Colonel Shatswell was glazed by a bullet to his head early in the battle, but returned to take command. With blood saturating his coat, Shatswell inspired his fellow soldiers. Shatswell’s troops drove the Confederates into the cover of the woods. The Harris Farm battle claimed 1,598 Confederate and Union lives. In 1890, Shatwell became the curator of the museum of the Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C. Nathaniel Shatwell died on December 14, 1905, and is buried in the Old North Burial Ground, alongside his wife, Mary White.

Arthur and Sidney Shurcliff, 297 Argilla Rd., Ipswich

Sidney Shurcliff house, Argilla Road, Ipswich Ma
Sidney Shurcliff house, Argilla Road, Ipswich Ma

Landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff (Shurtleff) summereed on Argilla Rd,. in Ipswich. In 1899 he assisted Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. in establishing the nation’s first landscape architecture program at Harvard, where he taught until 1906. He established his own office in 1904 and in a long and prolific career designed parks, dams, reservoirs, campuses, historic villages, schools and scenic parkways. He is best known for the Charles River Basin, Old Sturbridge Village and Colonial Williamsburg. In 1933 Arthur Shurcliff and his son Sidney Shurcliff, a Boston landscape architect, hired architect George W. W. Brewster to convert the Mary Lord house on Argilla Rd. into a summer residence.

Jenny Slew, enslaved by John Whipple, Bay Road, Hamilton

Painting of Jenny Slew for the Ipswich "People Who Tell the Truth" project.
Painting of Jenny Slew for the Ipswich “People Who Tell the Truth” project.

Jenny Slew is believed to be the first person of African American descent to successfully sue for her freedom, Jenny Slew was born about 1719 as the child of a free white woman and a black slave. She married one or more black men who were slaves but lived her life as a free woman until 1762 when she was taken and enslaved by John Whipple Jr. of the Hamlet, part of Ipswich that later became Hamilton. Slew found a sympathetic attorney, Benjamin Kent and in March, 1765 sued Mr. Whipple in the Inferior Court of Common Pleas on a charge of trespass for holding her in bondage illegally. After losing the case in Ipswich Court, a year later Jenny Slew filed an appeal with the Essex Superior Court of Judicature in Salem, which granted her a jury trial. In November of 1766 the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff and ordered Whipple to free Jenny Slew. She was awarded £4 in damages and £5 in costs. Present in the Salem courthouse during the 1765 trial was a lawyer named John Adams, who took notes on the proceedings.

Isadore Smith, 168 Argilla Rd., Ipswich

Isadore Smith, aka Ann Leighton
Isadore Smith, aka Ann Leighton

Isadore Smith (1902-1985) who published as Ann Leighton, was born in Portsmouth, N.H., graduated from Smith College in 1923, and married Archibald William Smith (1897-1962), a veteran of the First World War. Their home was the Tilton-Smith house at 168 Argilla Road in Ipswich. Mrs. Smith combined her knowledge of early gardens with New England history in three volumes, the first of which, ”Early American Gardens: ‘For Meate or Medicine,” was published under the pseudonym of Ann Leighton by the Houghton Mifflin Company in 1970, followed by a second volume, ‘‘American Gardens in the Eighteenth Century.” The final volume, ”American Gardens in the Nineteenth Century,” was published a year after her death. Her impeccable knowledge of plants and pleasing writing style has made the books classics.

Home: Tilton-Smith house at 168 Argilla Road

Crocker Snow, 120 Topsfield Rd., Ipswich

Lt. Crocker Snow
Lt. Crocker Snow with Robert Baker of Lafayette Escadrille at East Boston airport

Crocker Snow was an aviation pioneer who continued to fly his 1947 single engine plane until he died in 1999 at 94 years of age. One of Snow’s first passengers in his OX-5 Travel Air biplane was Amelia Earhart. He received Massachusetts Pilot License No. 5 in 1927, signed by Orville Wright. Snow went on to become chairman of the Federal Aviation Advisory Commission, which bestowed upon Snow’s back yard landing strip the honorary name “Snow International Airport.” Snow wrote a fascinating autobiography in Log Book: A Pilot’s Life Snow was the son of a very successful Boston lawyer, but he and his two older brothers, Bill and Kitchell (“Kick”) all loved flying. Bill flew air patrol in Europe during World War I and Kick was killed on takeoff from the new East Boston airfield in 1923. Snow dropped out of Harvard and had a legendary career out of his aviation avocation. In 1944 he became commander of the 498th Bombing Group in the campaign against Japan, and after the war resumed his career in civil and commercial aviation.

Samuel Symonds, Argilla Farm, Argilla Rd.

Home of Samuel Symonds
The home of Samuel Symonds, as described in his instructions to John Winthrop Jr.

Samuel Symonds (1595-1678) Symonds was from Essex County, England where his family owned a sizable estate. Moving to the Colony. After migrating to Massachusetts, Symonds purchased September 3, 1637 of Mr. Henry Sewall a dwelling house at the foot of North Main Street near the river for his town residence. In June 1637, John Winthrop, Jr., founder of the Town of Ipswich and son of Governor John Winthrop, threatened to leave Ipswich, and Castle Hill was deeded to him as an enticement to stay. In 1644, he deeded Argilla Farm to Samuel Symonds. Symonds specifications for the house to be built on that property are preserved. In Ipswich he served as a selectman, feoffee, and town clerk in Ipswich and served as an Assistant from 1643 to 1673 when he became Deputy Governor of the Colony until his death in 1678.

Samuel Symonds bought William Downing and Phillip Welch, two Irish boys kidnapped by Captain Dell, who signed over William to nine years and Philip for eleven. After working on Symonds’ farm for seven years they refused to continue working and demanded their freedom. Judge Symonds had them arrested and brought to trial, but the court decided in his favor, and that the boys must serve out their indenture. The proceedings are recorded in the Records and files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Vol II.

Charles Wendell Townsend, 217 Argilla Rd.

Charles Wendell Townsend

Born in Boston, November 10, 1859, Charles Wendell Townsend, M.D. was attracted by the natural beauty of Ipswich. He built a summer house on a ridge overlooking a wide expanse of salt marsh with open sea to the east. From here he wrote a number of books, including Beach Grass, Sand Dunes and Salt Marshes, and the Birds of Essex County. Wendell was a charter member of the Essex County Ornithological Club, a member of the Boston Society of Natural History and at the time of his death, a director of the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

In 1892 Dr. Charles Wendell Townsend and his family began spending summers on Argilla Road, staying at Smith’s Boarding house. He built his house a decade later. Townsend is known for his nature studies of the sand dunes and wildlife at Crane Beach and Plum Island. Dr. Townsend died in 1935.

Daniel Treadwell, 25 North Main St., Ipswich

Daniel Treadwell of Ipswich

Daniel Treadwell was born in October 10, 1791 in Ipswich, MA. In 1820 he invented the first powered printing press in America. In 1822, he co-founded the Boston Journal of Philosophy and the Arts, an was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1823. In 1826 he devised a system of turnouts for railway transportation on a single track. He invented a machine for spinning hemp for cordage in 1829 that was capable of spinning 1,000 tons a year, which he furnished in 1836 to the Charlestown Navy Yard for making cordage. From 1834 to 1845, he occupied the chair of Rumford professor at Harvard University. From 1834 to 1845, he occupied the chair of Rumford professor at Harvard University. The library and the first books were a gift to the town from Augustine Heard. and a large endowment by Professor Daniel Treadwell, whose family homestead originally sat at this location.

John Updike, 26 East St., Ipswich

John Updike on Time Magazine

In 1957, John Updike (March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009) moved to Ipswich, where he and his family lived in the Polly Dole house on East Street for seventeen years. At the age of 32, on April 1, 1964, Updike became the youngest person ever elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letter. Updike’s 1968 novel Couples and several of his short stories were based in the fictional community Tarbox, which everyone knew was really Ipswich. Also in 1968, he was featured on the cover of Time Magazine. Updike worked as a staff member of the New Yorker for two years before moving to Ipswich, and continued a relationship with the magazine throughout his life. He joined the Ipswich Historical Commission and helped author its book, “Something to Preserve.” He was one of only three writers to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once.

Howard A. von Sück, 6 Water St.

Howard Van Suck, Ipswich
Howard Von Sück

Howard August Sück (1912-58) was born in Hyde Park, MA and went to college at Munich School of Arts in Germany from 1933 to 1936. In 1941 He was employed by GE to illustrate top secret new jet engines for mechanical assembly and repair manuals. Before and after the war he was employed designing shoes. Howard and his wife Marjorie Wood relocated from Boston to Ipswich in 1944.

The family moved from High St. to the historic home at 6 Water St. in 1946 to benefit from a larger studio. Over the next 13 years he practiced his art skills in watercolor, portrait painting, landscapes of Ipswich and Greek Orthodox icons. His works can be found in local Ipswich homes, various locations throughout the country, and at Ascension Church in Ipswich where they were members. He was known locally as a loving husband and family member and especially for his works of art and the joi ‘d vie !

Samuel Varnum, 1 High St., Ipswich

Samuel Varnum immigrated to Ipswich in 1635 with his parents, Hannah and George, and his younger sister, Hannah. Samuel about sixteen. His father was granted land on High Street and they built a house and barn. George died in 1649. Samuel, at the age of 28, inherits his father’s house, lands and marsh lots. He is a yeoman and also works for the town as a surveyor and inspector of fences. Samuel Varnum’s house in Ipswich was located at what is now 1 High Street, Ipswich. Samuel sold the house to Edward Deare in 1665, who sold it to Rev. Nathaniel Rogers in 1727. The Reverend removed the original house to build the larger house that stands today known as “The Old Manse.” (Ips. Deeds 2:246

In 1664, Samuel Varnum purchased land from John Evered alias Webb near Chelmsford. Samuel, having built a homestead with his father, was prepared to create a new settlement in “ye wilderness north of the Merrimack.” He planted crops, raised cattle, and established a community. He named his new home “Draycot-Upon-Merrimack” on the first proprietors deed. His first five children were born in Ipswich. His sixth child, John, was the first white baby born in Dracut. His birth was assisted and celebrated by the local Native Americans.

It was in 1676 that the actions of hostile Indians forced the Varnum family to shelter in the garrisons across the river in Chelmsford while many other families left the wilderness for the safety of Boston. Samuel’s two eldest children, George and Samuel Jr, both born in Ipswich, were killed by hostile Indians when crossing the river to tend to the cattle. This is one of the markers used to define the dates of King Philip’s War. This trailblazing, strong-willed, and brave Ipswich family produced a multitude of pioneers, politicians, servicemen and leaders. The property Samuel Varnum purchased in 1664 still remains in the family today. This section of Dracut is now part of Lowell.

Col. Francis Wainwright, 2 East. St., Ipswich

Tomb of Francis Wainwright at the Old North Burying Ground
Tomb of Francis Wainwright at the Old North Burying Ground, Ipswich

Col. Francis Wainwright (1664-1711) was a graduate from Harvard College 1686, soldier, merchant and office-holder whose father Francis Wainwright came to Ipswich from Chelmsford, England. As a young man he served as a soldier during the Pequot War; distinguishing himself by single handedly killing two enemies in close combat. During the expedition to Port Royal in 1707, Wainwright commanded a Colony regiment. In private life he became a wealthy and respected merchant, was a justice of the General Sessions Court, served as town clerk, feoffee of the grammar school, and representative in the Massachusetts General Court.

A brick-end house built by Francis Wainwright known as “the Old Brick” was approximately where the Ipswich Inn at 2 East St. is now. His anticipated wedding to his second wife instead became his funeral when he took ill and died suddenly on a hot August day in 1711, a few days before the wedding. Wainwright was laid in a new tomb, and his deceased first wife was taken out of another and laid with him. At the funeral, the intended new bride Betty Hirst became instead the Principal Mourner for the assembled crowd of mourners.

Nathaniel Wade, 88 County Rd., Ipswich

The house at 88 County St. in Ipswich was built in 1727 by Captain Thomas Wade. His son Nathaniel Wade was a member of the militia and drilled the “Ipswich Minute Men” on the South Green across from this house. After hostilities began in 1775, he led his unit in pursuit of British soldiers retreating from the battles of Concord and Lexington. Two months later they fought in the battle of Bunker Hill. During the war he commanded troops throughout the campaign in Rhode Island and at Long Island, Harlem, and White Plains. On September 25, 1780, Col. Wade received an urgent correspondence from General George Washington, that he take command at West Point: “Sir, “General Arnold is gone to the enemy…From this circumstance, and Colonel Lamb’s being detached on some business, the command of the garrison, for the present, devolves on you.”

Nathaniel Ward and Giles Firmin, 98 County Rd., Ipswich

Simple Cobbler of Ipswich

Nathaniel Ward (1578–October 1652) was a clergyman born in Haverhill, Suffolk, England. Ward emigrated to Massachusetts in 1634. Already in his 60’s, he served for two years as the minister in Ipswich. While still living here he wrote The Body of Liberties for the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Company, the first code of laws established in New England. The book is believed to have been a fundamental resource in writing the United States Constitution. Ward’s cryptic and eccentric book The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America was published in England in 1647. After the English Civil War ended he was able to return to England, where he died in 1652.

Ward’s son-in-law Giles Firmin owned the adjoining property, which is now the Giles Firmin Park at 98 County Rd. He received in 1638 a grant of 120 acres and practiced medicine, in exchange for a promise to stay for at least three years and practice medicine. Firmin married Susanna Ward, daughter of Nathaniel Ward, pastor of the church at Ipswich. Finding the practice of medicine unprofitable, he wrote Governor Winthrop that “The gaines of physick will not finde me with bread.” In 1644 Firmin sailed back to England and never returned to Ipswich for his wife and children.

Thomas Franklin Waters, 96 County Rd., Ipswich

Thomas Franklin Waters seated in the Whipple House

The Reverend Thomas F. Waters, a Harvard alumnus, was pastor of the Second Congregational Church in Ipswich, which faced the South Green, and was the founder of the Ipswich Historical Society. Over several decades he published two dozen reports for the Historical Society and the two volume set, Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, detailing the town’s history with detailed research of the original land grants and houses. These two volumes are the basis for much of the historic preservation in Ipswich. The Massachusetts Magazine was published in Salem, MA from 1908 through early 1918.”devoted to History, Genealogy, and Biography.” The Editor was Rev. Thomas Franklin Waters, the noted researcher and author of Ipswich, MA. He was instrumental in preserving the First Period Whipple House which now faces the Ipswich Museum on South Main St.

Theodore Wendel, 89 Argilla Rd., Ipswich

Theodore Wendel at his home in Ipswich
Wendel at his home in Ipswich

Theodore Wendel (1859–1932) was an Impressionist artist who lived for thirty-four years in Ipswich, where he painted the village, bridges, farmlands and landscapes, and left behind a magnificent collection of paintings of his adopted home town. Wendel was born in Ohio, but pursued his art studies in Germany, Baravia and Italy. He became part of a group of painters in France who worked closely with Claude Monet. Some of his most successful canvases were painted in Ipswich between 1900 and 1915 before a debilitating illness brought his painting career virtually to a close.

Captain John Whipple, 1 South Village Green, Ipswich

Whipple House in Ipswich
Whipple House photo by David Stone

Captain John Whipple (1625-83) Elder [or Deacon] John Whipple (1596-1669) and Susanna Stacey Clarke (married ca. 1620, died ca. 1661) arrived in Ipswich between 1636 and 1638. The family came from Bocking in Essex, England, where they were prominent textile merchants.

Captain Whipple served as Cornet of the Ipswich Troop in 1668 and was in military service during King Philip’s war (1675-76), a Native American war. Among the spoils of war were Indian captives; Captain Whipple obtained a boy named Lawrence. Soon after, in 1677, Captain Whipple began construction of a handsome town house, built on the site of the earlier Fawn House at the corner of what are now Saltonstall and Market Streets, near the center of town and his many business interests. Today, his home, the Whipple House ( located on a different site) is owned by the Ipswich Museum.

The Ipswich historian Rev. Thomas Franklin Waters refers to Captain Whipple as “distinctly a man of business.” In 1662, Whipple received a license to “still strong water,” renewing his license until he built a malt house in 1667. In 1673, Whipple established lucrative “fulling mills” on the Ipswich River to process cloth. In 1674, Whipple was a Representative to the General Court, serving until 1680 and again in 1682 and 1683. He was a “Feoffee” of the grammar school, a select group of prominent citizens who oversaw funding of Ipswich’s public school (and still do today). He was chosen Treasurer of Essex County in 1683, but died soon after, one of the richest men in Ipswich. He left the family home to his son, Major John Whipple. Source: Thomas Franklin Waters, The John Whipple House in Ipswich, Mass. and the People who have Owned and Lived in It (Ipswich Historical Society, 1915).

Sarah Whipple Goodhue, Chebacco Parish (Essex)

Last valedictory of Sarah Goodhue
Sarah Whipple Goodhue’s Valedictory

Sarah Whipple was born in 1641 to John and Susanna Whipple. She was married to Joseph Goodhue on July 13, 1661. Sarah’s brother built the Whipple house around 1677. Sarah did not ever live in the Whipple House. Joseph Goodhue entered into possession of his father’s farm in Chebacco Parish, which is where they lived. The exact location is unknown. In 1688 Deacon William Goodhue summoned his son Joseph to move from his Chebacco house (now Essex), to live in Deacon William’s House in Ipswich, and “Act on his behalf.” William Goodhue’s house occupied the site where the South Meeting House later stood, facing the South Green. Goodhue conveyed the house to Nathaniel Rust on June 2, 1665.

Suspecting that she might die giving birth, Sarah Whipple Goodhue left a note to her husband on July 14, 1681 known as her Advanced Directive, which began, “Dear husband, if by sudden death I am taken away from thee, there is infolded among thy papers something that I have to say to thee and others.” Sarah Whipple Goodhue died on July 23, three days after bearing twins. Ten of her eleven children survived, living their lives in the homes of relatives of whom she listed in the Directive.

John Winthrop Jr., 56 East St., Ipswich

John Winthrop Jr.
John Winthrop Jr.

John Winthrop the younger was the son of Massachusetts Bay Colony governor John Winthrop, and led the settlement of Agawam in 1633 (renamed Ipswich in 1634), accompanied by 11 men. During that first year they erected crude shelters and the next year brought their families to join them in the wilderness. The meticulous list of John Winthrop’s home inventory suggests that it was a small four room structure. Winthrop was married to his cousin Martha Fones, who died with an infant in the summer of 1634, the first of the settlers to be buried. (Read more about Martha Winthrop at the end of this story). After her death, Winthrop sailed to England and when he returned, he had married Elizabeth Reade.

Winthrop was granted land at several locations, first at approximately 56 East Street where he resided in a four room house, then five acres on County Rd. across from the South Green, and then in an attempt to dissuade him from leaving, all of Castle Hill and a large farm on Argilla Rd. In 1636 Winthrop accepted a commission to begin a plantation in Saybrook Connecticut, and in 1657 was elected Governor of Connecticut Colony.

The Rev. John Wise, 85 John Wise Avenue, Essex

The Rev. John Wise house, Essex MA
The John Wise house, Essex

In 1683 at the age of 31, John Wise became the minister of the church at Chebacco Parish (now Essex). He built his home on the road between Chebacco and the town of Ipswich. He took a stand against the witchcraft hysteria, and in 1689, led the Ipswich revolt against Sir Edmond Andros who when appointed as governor, imposed a Province Tax to be collected in each town. Rev. Wise, John and Samuel Appleton and the selectmen of Ipswich initiated a campaign of resistance, were arrested, tried in Boston, imprisoned, and fined heavily. The people of Boston, now greatly encouraged, rose up in resistance and Andros was arrested. in the widely read “A Vindication of the Government of the New England Churches,” Wise defended the rights of congregations to be self-ruled.This document was one of the inspirations for the Declaration of Independence. John Wise Avenue, a section of Route 133 in Massachusetts, is named after him.

9 thoughts on “Notable Persons from Ipswich history”

  1. My ancestors,William and Bridget Varney,landed in Ipswich in 1646. WIlliam died in 1654 & Bridget moved to Salem and died in1672 I Believe. Not that they did anything exciting

  2. I was wondering how to find the exact streets my ancestors may have lived on. My 5x Great grandmother Sarah Giddings was born in Ipswich around 1724 and goes on to marry William Price II at Chebacco Parish the 14th of November 1752 or 1759.

  3. I also have found that my 9x great grandparents were Samuel Story and Elizabeth Burnham. Samuel was born around 1660 in Ipswich the son of William Storey and Sarah Foster who married in Ipswich in 1640. Samuel and Elizabeth had a daughter Elizabeth Story born around 1680 who is my 8x great grandmother and married Ebenezer Hidden. I want to visit Ipswich to walk around the areas where my ancestors were but I don’t know where to pinpoint where their houses might have been.

  4. Thanks for all the insight into your history and its people. I just found out that John Whipple is my 6th great grandfather,. Interesting. Don’t like his owning slaves but proud that he lost when a mixed race slave took him to court and she was the first freed slave. Good for her.

    1. Keep in mind that there were several generations of John and Matthew Whipples. The original John Whipple house stands in Ipswich, and the Matthew Whipple house is a few miles down Rt. 1A in Hamilton, but they’re the same family.

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