Woburnites:
The Family of Baldwin

   

(I) Henry Baldwin, the immigrant ancestor, probably from Devonshire, in England, was one of the first settlers of the new town of Woburn, and of that part of it which is now known as North Woburn.  Here in 1661, he built the "palatial house which is still on of the most imposing in the town, and which, though with some changes and occasional improvement," has been owned and occupied by his descendants for six generations.  The house is the oldest dwelling in Woburn. The estate connected with it and its owner, Colonel Loammi Baldwin, contained in 1801 the large number of 212 acres, valued at $9,000 by the town assessors at that time.  A late owner, George R. Baldwin, son of Colonel Baldwin, is succeeded by his daughter, Mrs. Griffith.  In 1820, the house was in looks much the same as now.  The north chimney, put up by George R. Baldwin, was reputed to be the first "single flue" chimney made in the country.  He designed the chimney caps and built a small addition to the rear of the house.  On the south, between the house and the canal, was formerly a beautiful garden, with walks and trees, superior to anything of the kind then in this section.  All traces of its appointments having long since disappeared, "neither fountain, nor arbor, nor walk, nor boat, is there now to hint at the story of the past."  In 1832, George R. Baldwin occupied the mansion house.  Attached to the estate in 1820 was a farm house which, doubled in size, still exists as an attachment to the larger place.

Henry Baldwin was a sergeant of the Woburn militia from 1672-85, and deacon of the First Church, Woburn, from 1686 until his death.

Henry Baldwin died February 14, 1697-98; married November 1, 1649, Phebe, baptized in Boston, June 3, 1632, died September 13, 1716, eldest daughter of Ezekiel and Susanna Richardson. 

Children:  I. Susanna, born August 30, 1650; died September 28, 1651.  2.  Susanna, born July 25, 1652, died March 7, 1694; married Israel Walker (Samuel 1), as his second wife.  3.  Phebe, born September 7, 1654, died October 20, 1679, aged twenty-five; married November 7, 1676, Samuel Richardson (Samuel 1), as his third wife.  4.  John, born October 28, 1656.  5.  Daniel, born March 15, 1658-59; see forward. 6.  Timothy, born May 27, 1661; see forward.  7.  Mary, born July 19, 1663; died January 8, 1663-4.  8.  Henry, born November 15, 1664; see forward.  9.  Abigail, born August 20, 1667, died December 25, 1769;* married December 4, 1705, John Reed (Ralph 2, William 1), as his second wife.  10.  Ruth, born July 31, 1670; unmarried and alive at the date of her father's will.  11.  Benjamin, born January 20, 1672-73; see forward.

* - The statement is here advanced that the broken stone ______5th, 1766, (sic) (203 of the printed inscriptions in the First Yard) is her's. - Editor.

Henry Baldwin the father, in will allowed April 4, 1698, names his wife, Phebe; sons Henry, Daniel, Timothy, and Benjamin; his son Israel Walker, husband of his daughter, Susanna, and his grandson Israel Walker; his son Samuel Richardson, husband of his daughter Phebe, and his grandson, Zachariah Richardson, son of Phebe; also his two daughters then single, Abigail and Ruth Baldwin.

(II) Daniel Baldwin, son of Henry (1), born March 15, 1659-60, died January 24, 1718-19; married January 6, 1684-85, Hannah, born October 22, 1667, died September 28, 1736, daughter of Joseph Richardson (Samuel 1) and Hannah (Green) Richardson.

Children:  (1) Hannah, born August 21, 1686.  2.  Phebe, born May 13, 1690; died March 10, 1706-7.  3.  Henry, born March 15, 1692-3; died March 12 (sic), 1692-93.  4.  Joseph, born March 15, 1692-93; died March 12 (sic), 1692-93.  5.  Susanna, born March 31, 1694, died before 1746; married December 15, 1712, Benjamin Walker, of Billerica (Joseph 2, Samuel 1).  6.  Daniel, born December 16, 1695; killed by the Indians in battle near Dunstable, New Hampshire, September 5, 1724.  7.  Dorcas, born October 18, 1697; died March 7, 1697-98.  8.  Joseph, born March 17, 1698-99; died February 3, 1744-45; married July 4, 1733, Ruth Centre, of Charlestown.  She died December 15, 1733.  9.  Dorcas, born August 11, 1701.  10.  John, born August 28, 1703; married December 8, 1726, Sarah Lawrence, of Watertown.  11.  Rebecca, born December 19, 1705; died March 10, 1735-36.  12.  Benjamin, born March 30, 1707.  13.  Phebe, born December 28, 1708; married October 29, 1735, John Hamblet, of Nottingham.

In the case of John Seers versus Lieutenant John Wyman, before the council in 1676, Daniel Baldwin, aged seventeen years, testified about the impressment of two horses, and that while pressing a horse belonging to John Wyman, he resisted the constable, said Wyman "suffered his negro servant to beat me with a great stick, and reproved him not."  In the same case, on the testimony of several witnesses, Daniel Baldwin is called "grandchild to John Seers," and came with him to Lieutenant Wyman's garrison.  The witnesses say Daniel Baldwin abused James Carringbone, negro servant of said Wyman, "both in words and deeds," calling him "Black Roag," and struck him with his gun across his back, and said he would "shute" him.  Seers stated that Baldwin was a "solger" who came to Wyman's with him, and that one of Wyman's household struck said Baldwin with a "great stick."  The particulars of this interesting case are published in "Woburn Men in the Indian and Other Wars," pp. 11-14 (editions of 1897 and 1903).

(III) Timothy Baldwin, son of Henry (I), born at Woburn, May 27, 1661, died in Stoneham, March 11, 1733-34; married first, June 2, 1687, Elizabeth, born July 28, 1661, died January 26, 1703-4, daughter of Ralph (Ralph 1) and Martha (Toothaker) Hill of Billerica; married second, July 9, 1706, Elizabeth, daughter of Lazarus and Ruth (Adams) Grover, of Malden.  She returned to Malden (her will, May 13, 1752, lodged November 8, 1756, was probated in 1760).

Children:  1.  Elizabeth, born May 29, 1688; died April 4, 1691.  2.  Timothy, born November 20, 1689; see forward.   3.  Ralph, born June 28, 1691; probably dead before 1718.  4.  Hannah, born September 6, 1692; died September 6, 1692.  5.  Elizabeth, born June 21, 1695, in Charlestown or Stoneham. 

His will names wife, son Timothy and daughter Elizabeth, and grandchildren, Ralph and Hannah, children of Timothy, Jr. and Hannah (Richardson) Baldwin.

Timothy Baldwin, son of Timothy (3), born in Woburn, November 20, 1689, died December 3, 1750, aged sixty-one (gravestone at Stoneham); married June 10, 1713, Hannah, born May 6, 1689, died after 1766, daughter of Nathaniel (Thomas 1) and Mary (______) Richardson.  His wife married second, about April, 1752, John Vinton, and removed to Dudley; after his death in 1760 she returned to Stoneham, where she was living in 1766.  In November, 1763, she was living with her grandson, Timothy, son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Baldwin) Matthews.  ("Vinton Memorial," p. 378).  

Children:  1. Ralph, born March 6, 1714; died May 1, 1731.  2. Hannah, born September 4, 1715, married February 19, 1734, Joseph Vinton.  3. Elizabeth, born November 9, 1717; died November 25, 1717.  4. Elizabeth, born April 9, 1723; married November 10, 1741, Joseph Matthews. 5. Timothy, born June 23, 1727; died February 19, 1727-28.  6. Timothy, born May 19, 1729; died April 1, 1742.

The younger Timothy Baldwin is styled "Ensign" on his gravestone, 1750.  This office has its equivalent in the modern second lieutenant.  His will, dated November 7, 1750, mentions wife, Hannah , and his daughter, Hannah Vinton and Elizabeth Matthews.  He also mentions a legacy given to his honored mother-in-law (stepmother) by his honored father.  His father's will was dated July 12, 1718.  Elizabeth, his daughter, is mentioned in it as married at that date, but to whom does not appear.  Agreements were made respecting his father's estate in 1734 and 1741.  To Elizabeth, his wife, the father granted the use of a  room in the east end of the house, and she released to the son her right to a room in the house, 1734.  Her will devised to grandchildren Matthews and to Samuel Grover.

(IV) Henry Baldwin, son of Henry (1), born in Woburn, November 15, 1664, died July 7, 1739; married May 4, 1692, Abigail, born February 1, 1674, died January __, 1771, aged ninety-six or ninety-seven, daughter of David and Seaborn (Wilson) Fiske, first of Woburn and latterly of Lexington.  Henry had all housing of his father, per will, after his mother, Phebe was deceased, and all lands after his father's decease.  

Children: 1. Henry, born January 12, 1692-93; see forward.  2. David, born April 9, 1696; see forward.  3. Isaac, born February 20, 1699-1700; see forward.  4. Abigail, born February 13, 1701-02, died September 4, 1704.  5. James, born July 11, 1705, died June 12, 1709.  6. Abigail, born November 19, 1707, died before 1751; married John Converse, and removed to Leicester.  7. James, born October 19, 1710; see forward.  8. Samuel, born August 31, 1717; see forward.

The last will of Henry Baldwin, date January 9, 1732-33, presented by James Baldwin, left August 6, 1739, probated September 10, 1739, names wife, Abigail; Henry Baldwin, eldest son; sons David, Isaac, Samuel, and daughter, Abigail Converse, and son James Baldwin, executor.  He gave wife one-half part of the house, northerly end, both upper and lower rooms, with the cellar under them, his son James had the other part.  He confirmed certain gifts.  He also gave his son James his sawmill and his rights in said sawmill stream.

(V) Benjamin Baldwin, son of Henry (1), born January 20, 1672-73; died April 28, 1736; married Hannah _______, died September 28, 1736.

Children: 1. John, born ______, 1697. 2. Benjamin, born October 25, 1701.  

The statement, real or unfounded, has been made that Benjamin Baldwin resided at one time in Canterbury, Connecticut.

(IV) Henry Baldwin, son of Henry (4), born in Woburn, January 12, 1692-93, died in Pelham, New Hampshire; married May 7, 1717, Mary, born January 10, 1694-95, died October 25, 1798, aged 104, daughter of Joseph (Joseph 2, Samuel 1) and Mary (Bloggett) Richardson.

Children:  1. Henry, born February 27, 1717-18. 2. Nathan, born May 18, 1720.  3. Mary, born January 4, 1721-22.  

The following is a contemporary notice of Mrs. Baldwin's death:

"At Shrewsbury, Mrs. Mary Jones, aet. nearly 105 years.  Her maiden name was Mary Richardson.  She was born in Woburn, January 10th. O. S., 1694.  Her first husband was Henry Baldwin, Esq., of Pelham, N.H., by whom she had three children, who lived to settle in the world, and left families.  Her second husband was Colonel Jones, of Hopkinton, who died about the year 1772, since which time she remained a widow.  She enjoyed a good degree of health, until within a few weeks of her death.  The serenity of mind, and quietness of temper, which she possesst to an uncommon degree, doubtless contributed to her great age.  Being early imprest with the importance of religion, the practice of it, ever appeared natural and easy.  As she lived, so she died in the hope of a blessed immortality, and but a few hours before her death was able to express, with great propriety, her views and prospects of futurity." - Columbian Centinel (Boston), November 3, 1798.

Captain Henry Baldwin died in Pelham, New Hampshire, 1754.  The gravestone of his wife Mary at Shrewsbury reads:  Mary, widow of Colonel John Jones, died October 23, 1798, in her 105th year.

Henry Baldwin, son of Henry (6), married Abigail Butler, of Pelham, New Hampshire.  They settled in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. 

Children: Mary, married Captain Elisha Ward, of Petersham; also Henry, Nathan, Thaddeus, Eliphalet, Kezia, Abigail, Relief, Lucretia.  Henry married second, Martha Abbott, widow of Ebenezer Abbott, and died November 17, 1789, aged seventy-two.

Nathan, son of Henry (6), lived in Worcester; married Sarah Oakes, and second, Lydia Oakes.

Children by first wife: Sarah, married ______ Johnson; Abigail.

Children by second wife: Lydia, Mary.

Mary, daughter of Henry (6), married Rev. Abner Bayley, of Salem, New Hampshire.

Children: Mary, married first, William White, of Plaistow, and second, Moses Webster, of Haverhill; Elizabeth, married Henry Little, of Salem, New Hampshire; Lavinia, married Rev. William Kelley, of Warner, New Hampshire ("Vinton Memorial," 378.)

(VII) Captain David Baldwin, son of Henry (4), born at Woburn, April 9, 1696, died in Sudbury, June 23, 1770; married Abigail, born December 18, 1702, died June 12, 1767, daughter of Hon. William and Elizabeth (Golding) Jennison, of Sudbury.  He was an innkeeper of Watertown, 1752-1757.  

Children: 1. William, born November 11, 1727.  2. Samuel, born August 27, 1731.  3. Lydia, born October 27, 1729, died July 8, 1732.  4. Abigail, born August 18, 1733.  5. Lydia, born October 5, 1735.  6. Elizabeth.  7. Mary, born September 5, 1742.

William, son of David (7), was graduated at Harvard College in 1748; married February 15, 1753, Jane, daughter of Rev. William and Jane Cook, of Sudbury, and was deacon and magistrate in Sudbury, where he died.

Samuel, son of David (7), graduated Harvard College, 1752; married January 2, 1771, Hannah, daughter of Judge John Cushing, of Scituate, was ordained pastor at Hanover, Massachusetts, December 1, 1756, dismissed March 8, 1780, and died December 1, 1784, aged fifty-four.

Abigail, daughter of David (7), married May 7, 1752, Joseph Curtis, of Sudbury.  She had a daughter Abigail who became the wife of Rev. Jonathan Barnes, of Hillsborough, New Hampshire, December 14, 1774.

Lydia, daughter of David (7), married February 19, 1756, Hon. Oliver Prescott, of Groton, a physician in a very large practice; judge of probate; brigadier-general before and during the Revolution, 1768-1781; afterwards major-general.  He was also a member of the board of war and of the supreme executive council of Massachusetts; a brother of Colonel William Prescott, who commanded in the redoubt on Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775; being third son (sixth child) of Hon. Benjamin and Abigail (Oliver) Prescott; while Colonel William was their second son (fourth child).  Lucy, sixth child of Hon. Oliver and Lydia (Baldwin) Prescott, married Hon. Timothy Bigelow, of Medford, and their eldest daughter Katherine married Hon. Abott Lawrence.

Elizabeth, daughter of David (7), married October 23, 1755, Henry Evans, and removed to Nova Scotia.

Mary, daughter of David (7), married February 7, 1764, Captain Samuel Jackson of Newton, no children.

(VII) Isaac Baldwin, son of Henry (4), born in Woburn, February 20, 1699-1700, died in Sudbury, March 12, 1759; married March 24, 1726, Mary Flegg (or Flagg, as the name is commonly spelt), born in Woburn, December 5, 1702, died in Sudbury, September 23, 1744, daughter of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Carter) Flagg.

Children: 1. Luke, born December 23, 1728.  2. Jeduthun, born January 13, 1731-32.  3. Nahum, born May 3, 1734.  4. Isaac, born December 12, 1738.  5. Josiah, born June 10, 1743.  The father was married to a second wife, Elizabeth, who died his widow, March 8, 1770.

Luke, son of Isaac (8), lived to manhood.  

Jeduthan or Jeduthun Baldwin, son of Isaac (8), was born at Woburn, January 13, 1732, and died at North Brookfield, Massachusetts, June 4, 1788, aged fifty-six; married, April 28, 1757, Lucy, daughter of Rev. Ebenezer Parkman, of Westborough.  "The Revolutionary Journal of Col. Jeduthan Baldwin, 1775-1778," edited by Thomas Williams Baldwin, printed for the De Burains (Bangor), 1906, contains a memoir and notes, and illustrations, besides the journal.  He was captain of a company in the expedition against Crown Point in 1755-56, and served in the same capacity from March to December, 1758, at Ticonderoga and at Fort DuQuesne.  Twenty years afterwards he campaigned in the same country with different generals, as colonel and chief of engineers.  He lived but a short time in Woburn, as his father moved to Sudbury about 1734.  The son left Sudbury when young, and settle in Brookfield, Massachusetts, probably about 1754.  For a very full account of his life the reader is referred to the volume above named.  He was survived by his widow, a son Luke, and a daughter Betsey, and besides these two there were two other children - one Jeduthun, aged six, killed by being thrown from a cart, October 31, 1763; the other, Isaac, a member of Harvard College, died April 1, 1783, aged nineteen years.

The published journal of Colonel Jeduthun Baldwin mentions his father, Isaac Baldwin, under date of 1756, his brother Nahum, and later his father and mother, and uncle Samuel Baldwin.  Nahum married Martha Low, April 22, 1760.  Isaac married Eunice Johnson, December 31, 1761.  Josiah married Susanna Gould, March 29, 1763.

Isaac, son of Isaac (8), was mortally wounded at the battle of Bunker Hill, and died opposite the house of Colonel Royall, in Medford.  He belonged to Colonel John Stark's regiment, was the captain of his own company from the time of his entry into the service, April 23, 1775, and served two months, at six pounds per month, total amount of wages received twelve pounds, and number of miles travel, eighty.  He was the ranking captain in his regiment.  (N. H. State Papers, XIV. 50.)

Isaac Baldwin at the beginning of the war raised a company of men in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, and led them to Cambridge.  While there a tender belonging to the enemy got aground on the Chelsea ferry ways, and he went with twelve of his men in open day in the face of the enemy and burned her, after taking out her guns and sails, by throwing a pitchfork of hay on fire in the cabin windows.  Having accomplished this he put his men back one by one and brought up the rear himself under the fire of the British fleet, and in this way reached their quarters safely with four of his men wounded.  He fought valiantly at Bunker Hill, and was through the breast and died that night.  He is said to have loaded and discharged his musket three times after he was wounded.  When his men were carrying him off the field he exhorted them to fight, assuring them that they would win the day and he would be with them again directly.  He died that night.  He came to Hillsborough in 1767, was a carpenter and joiner by trade, and when the news of the battles of Lexington and Concord came, he was at work framing a barn in an adjoining town.  

Isaac Baldwin had a posthumous son named Robert, born July 15, 1775, married April 5, 1803; Martha Brown, and had a family in Waltham, an account of which is given in Bond's "History of Watertown, pp. 11, 675.  Isaac Baldwin, probably another son, served in the Continental Army in the Revolution, married Hannah Caldwell, of Woburn, May 15, 1794; had sons, Isaac, born November 26, 1794, and Charles, born July 27, 1797, recorded on Woburn records.  Isaac and wife, Hannah were both admitted to Woburn precinct (or Burlington) church, September 14, 1800, and both were dismissed to Hillsborough.  Children: Isaac, Charles, and Nahum, were baptized in Precinct Church, Woburn, October 5, 1800.

(IX) James Baldwin, son of Henry (4), born in Woburn, October 19, 1710, died June 28, 1791, aged eighty-one; married May 29, 1739, Ruth, born June 17, 1713; died May 13, 1791, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Blodget) Richardson, sister of the wife of his brother Henry (6).

Children:  1. Cyrus, born November 5, 1740; see forward.  2. Reuel, born May 9, 1745; died February 21, 1745-46, aged three years, (gravestone at Woburn).  3. Loammi, born January 10, 1744-45; see forward.  4. Reuel, born June 30, 1747; see forward.  

James, the father was a carpenter "of good repute," and reported to have been the "master workman" in the erection of the Woburn precinct (or Burlington) meeting house in 1732, the frame of which is yet standing, but the exterior has been twice materially altered.  He served one day in the Woburn quota on April 19, 1775, when the Woburn men in great numbers marched to Lexington and Concord and took part in the battle there.  James Baldwin in will dated April 9, 1771, probated November 9, 1791, named wife, Ruth, and sons, Cyrus, Reuel, and Loammi (second son) executor.  The son Loammi received one half of the real estate after decease of the wife, Ruth.

(X) Captain Samuel Baldwin, son of Henry (4), born at Woburn, August 31, 1717, died at Weston, July 21, 1778, aged sixty-one; married first, March 23, 1741-42, Elizabeth, born March 25, 1715, died February 7, 1757, daughter of Captain James and Sarah (Moore) Jones, of Weston; married second, March 30, 1758, Sarah Deming, of Needham, died May 2, 1760, aged thirty-nine; married third; March 25, 1762, Rebecca Cotton, born November 14, 1725, died January 16, 1795, aged seventy-one, daughter of Rev. John and Mary (Gibbs) Cotton.

Children by wife Elizabeth:  1. Samuel, born at Falmouth, July 28, 1743; married July 7, 1763, Millicent Cutler*.  2. Elizabeth, born at Weston, July 18, 1745; married December 22, 1768, Elias Jones of East Hoosick.  3. Lydia, born at Weston, January 16, 1746; married October 25, 1764, John Newton Parmenter.  4. Ephraim, born at Weston, April 2, 1749, died December 30, 1751.  5. Sarah, born at Weston, September 15, 1750, died April 11, 1756, aged five and one half.  6. Lucy, born June 30, 1753.  7. Esther, born June 27, 1756; married June 4, 1779, Jonathan Rawson.

Child by wife Sarah: 8. Sarah, born January 28, 1759.

Children by wife Rebecca:  9. Rebecca, born January 7, 1763, died January 29, 1763.  10. Rebecca, born July 10, 1764; married December 3, 1780, James Cogswell.  11. Mary, born March 15, 1766, married January 24, 1790, Isaac Hobbs, Jr. 

(XI) Cyrus Baldwin, son of James (9), born at Woburn, November 5, 1740, was drowned at Dunstable, November 5, 1790; married Ruth Wilson, of Bedford, and died without issue.  His wife was perhaps Ruth, born October 6, 1745, daughter of James and Lydia Wilson, of Bedford.  Samuel Thompson, Esquire, of Woburn, wrote in his diary, under date of November 5, 1790: "Fair.  Cyrus Baldwin, Esquire, drowned at Dunstable," and on Sunday, November 7, following, he recorded the item: "Cyrus Baldwin, Esquire's, corpse brought to Woburn"; and on November 10, he wrote: "Very cold.  Came home from Salem.  Cyrus Baldwin, buried."

Cyrus Baldwin was taxed in the West List, Woburn, 1776, and received his proportion of a war assessment which he had paid before 1777.  He lived for a time during the Revolutionary War in Boston, and was first lieutenant of the Eighth Ward company in Colonel Henry Bromfield's (Boston) militia regiment, and commissioned such, November 25, 1776.  In the dignified manner of the newspapers of that day, the following is the only public mention of his death; "Died - At Dunstable, Cyrus Baldwin, Esq., formerly of this town." - Columbian Centinel, Boston, November 24, 1790.

*Captain Samuel (4) Baldwin (Samuel 3, Henry 2, Henry 1) wrote a narrative in his eighty-second year, which possesses considerable interest.  He mentioned his marriage to Millicent Cutler, the daughter of Captain Ebenezer Cutler, of Lincoln, and the names of their children.  He removed from Weston to Northbridge in 1766, and thence to Windsor, Berkshire county, Massachusetts. - Letter of Mrs. Mercy (Baldwin) Howard, July 22, 1907.

The "Varnum Genealogy," p. 68, shows that Elizabeth Varnum, born April 26, 1741, daughter of Abraham and his second wife, Rachel Varnum, married Cyrus Baldwin, of Chelmsford, possibly a second wife of the above Cyrus Baldwin.  This wife was probably the Mrs. Betsey Baldwin who died at Dracut, January 6, 1827.

Loammi Baldwin - 1744-1807

 

(XII) Colonel Loammi Baldwin, son of James (9), born January 10, 1744-45, at "New Bridge" (North Woburn), died at his birthplace, October 20, 1807, aged sixty-three years (monument at Woburn); married first, July 9, 1772, Mary, died September 29, 1786, aged thirty-nine years, daughter of James Fowle, Jr., (Major John 3, Capt. James 2, Lt. James 1, Fowle) and Mary (Reed) Fowle, (daughter of Lt. Israel and Hannah Wyman Reed); second, May 26, 1791, Margaret, born October 6, 1797, died August 8, 1799, daughter of Josiah (Major John 3, Capt. James 2, Lt. James 1 Fowle) and Margery (Carter) Fowle.  

Children: 1. Cyrus, born June 22, 1773, see forward.  2. Mary, born April 24, 1775, died May 15, 1776, "of canker rash".  3. Benjamin Franklin, born December 15, 1777, see forward.  4. Loammi, born May 16, 1780; see forward.  5. James Fowle, born April 20, 1782, see forward.  6. Clarissa, born December 31, 1791, died May 27, 1841; married, January 20, 1812, Thomas B. Coolidge; see forward.  7. George Rumford, born January 26, 1798; see forward.

In early life he discovered a strong desire for acquiring knowledge, and attended the grammar school in Woburn under the instruction of Master John Fowle, a noted teacher of that time, the school being a moveable one being kept at successive periods first in the centre of the town and secondly at the precinct, or the part of Woburn now incorporated in the town of Burlington.  At a more advanced period of life, with the intention of obtaining a thorough acquaintance with natural and experimental philosophy, he would walk from North Woburn to Cambridge, in company with his schoolmate, Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, and attend lectures of Professor John Winthrop at Harvard College, for which liberty had been given, and upon their return home on foot they were in the habit of illustrating the principles they had heard enunciated in the lecture room by making rude instruments for themselves to pursue their experiments.

He was present in the battle of Lexington.  As early as 1798, he had enlisted in a company of horse-guards, and was not wholly destitute of military experience when summoned a little before the break of day to the field at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.  In his own statement he says: "We mustered as fast as possible.  The Town turned out extraordinary, and proceeded toward Lexington."  Holding the rank of a Major in the militia, he says, "I rode along a little before the main body, and when I was nigh Jacob Reed's (at present Durenville) I heard a great firing; proceeded on, soon heard that the Regulars had fired upon Lexington people and killed a large number of them.  We proceeded on as fast as possible and came to Lexington and saw about eight or ten dead and numbers wounded."  He then, with the rest from Woburn, proceeded to Concord by way of Lincoln meeting house, ascended a hill there, and rested and refreshed themselves a little.  Then follows a particular account of the action and of his own experience.  He had "several good shots," and proceeded on till coming between the meeting-house and Buckman's tavern at Lexington, with a prisoner before him, the cannon of the British began to play, the balls flying near him, and for safety he retreated back behind the meeting-house, when a ball came through near his head, and he further retreated to a meadow north of the house and lay there and heard the balls in the air and saw them strike the ground.  Woburn sent to the field on that day, one hundred and eighty men.

At the beginning of the war he enlisted in the regiment of foot commanded by Colonel Samuel Gerrish.  Here he rapidly advanced to be lieutenant-colonel, and upon Colonel Gerrish's retirement in August 1775, he was placed at the head of the regiment, and was soon commissioned its colonel.  His regiment was first numbered the thirty-eighth and was afterwards numbered the twenty-sixth.  Its original eight companies were increased to ten.  Till the end of 1775, Colonel Baldwin and his men remained near Boston; but in April, 1776, he was ordered with his command to New York City.  On April 19 of that year he was at New York; on June 13, 1776, at the Grand Battery there; on June 22, the same, and on December 26, 1776, his regiment, commanded by himself, "went on the expedition to Trentown" (Trenton).  In this regiment was one company from Woburn commanded by Captain John Wood.  On the memorable night of December 25, 1776, in the face of a violent and extremely cold storm of snow and hail, General Washington and his army crossed the Delaware to the New Jersey side, and took by surprise the next morning at Trenton about one thousand Hessian troops commanded by Colonel Rahl, and Colonel Baldwin and his men took part in this daring and successful enterprise.

Colonel Baldwin's experience in the campaigns in New York and New Jersey is told in his letters to his family at home, and many of these letters have been sacredly preserved by his descendants.  During 1775-76, he was stationed with about two hundred or more of his men at Chelsea, while other companies of his regiment were stationed about Boston at Brookline and Medford.  The "History of Chelsea," about to be published by the Massachusetts Historical Society, contains a great mass of material relating to the stay of a portion of the regiment at Chelsea, where their duties were those mostly of guards.

Colonel Baldwin resigned from the army in 1777, on account of ill health.  His subsequent life was spent in his native place, and was marked by an enterprising spirit and the active habits of his youth.  He had a talent and capacity for business.  He was, in his public career, appointed on many committees on important town business; the records of the town and many autographic town papers are ample evidence of this.  He was appointed high sheriff of Middlesex county in 1780, and was the first to hold office after the adoption of the state constitution.  In 1778, 1779, and 1780, and the four following years, he represented Woburn in the general court.  In 1794, he was a candidate for election to congress, and had all the votes cast in Woburn but one.  In 1796, on three trials for the choice of the same officer, he had all the votes for the first two in Woburn, and on the third seventy-four votes out of the seventy-six cast in Woburn.  At other elections he was a prominent candidate among those held up in Woburn for the offices of state senator, lieutenant-governor and presidential elector.

From his acquaintance with mathematics and the arts and sciences of his time, he was chosen a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and to the publications of that body he contributed two papers, entitled, "An account of a Curious Appearance of the Electrical Fluid," (Memoirs Am. Acad. Vol. 1, 1785, pp. 257-259); and "Observations on Electricity and an Improved Mode of Constructing Lightning Rods," (Memoirs, Vol. 2, pt. 2, 1804, pp. 96-104).  The first paper was written in 1783, and the "curious appearance" described was produced by raising an electrical kite at the time of a thunder shower.  The experiments, however, were tried in July, 1771.  At that time the author mentions that there stood some lofty trees near his house, and also a shop near by it.  His parents, family, and neighbors witnessed the "electrical effect" he succeeded in producing.  The date of preparing the second article was January 25, 1797.  Colonel Baldwin wrote a sketch of Count Rumford which was printed in a local publication in 1805.  He was also the author of a report on the survey of the Boston and Narragansett Bay Canal, 1806.  Of the Academy he was elected a Fellow in 1782, and was a member of the council 1785 to 1796, and from 1798 to 1807.  Further, see Cutter, "Local History of Woburn," p. 203.   He received from Harvard College the degree of Master of Arts in 1785.  He was not one, however, who for the sake of popularity would sacrifice his principles of duty to the public, though, as the above votes show, he was deservedly a favorite with his townsmen and fellow citizens generally.

 

Baldwin House - 1905

 

Thus he protested with others against the action of the town in 1787 in the time of the Shays Rebellion, when the majority of the citizens of Woburn voted not to give any encouragement to the men called out to go on the present expedition, nor to aid or assist it.  But against this proceeding of the town Colonel Baldwin and thirty-six others at once entered their protest, and two days after, the town itself reconsidered the votes it had passed on this subject. He took a prominent part in the construction of the Middlesex Canal, completed in 1803, one of the earliest enterprises of the sort in the United States.

To him the discovery and the introduction to public notice and the earliest cultivation of the Baldwin Apple, about 1784, has been justly ascribed.  He was one day surveying land at a place called Butter's Row, in Wilmington, near the bounds of that town, Woburn and Burlington, when he observed one or more birds of the woodpecker variety flying repeatedly to a certain tree on land of a Mr. James Butters, and prompted by curiosity to ascertain the cause of their attraction, he at length went to it, and found on the ground under its apples of an excellent flavor and well worth cultivating; and returning  to the tree the next spring he took from it scions to graft into stocks of his own.  Other persons induced by his advise or example grafted trees of theirs from the same stock; and subsequently when Colonel Baldwin attended court or went into other parts of the county as high sheriff, he carried scions of this apple and distributed them among his acquaintance, so that this species of fruit soon became extensively known and cultivated.  The original tree remained, it is said, till 1815, when it was blown down in the famous, "September gale."  The apple thus became known as the "Baldwin Apple."

Ye Baldwin Apple - Woburn

His name is also associated with that of the celebrated Count Rumford.  In childhood they were opposite neighbors, playmates and schoolmates.  They attended lectures at Harvard College together.  Baldwin befriended him when arrested by one of the local military companies as a person inimical to the cause of the colonies, and he was tried and acquitted by a court of which Baldwin appears to be one of the members.  To the last, though separated by the ocean and political preferences, they were enthusiastic friends and correspondents - the one was an American officer, and the other an officer in the opposing British forces.

The history of his house, which is still standing at North Woburn, may be told in the following words taken from the recorded statements of different members of his family at different periods.  The house was built in 1661, as appeared by the date on a timber which was lying about the house in 1835.  It was owned by Henry (1) Baldwin from 1661 to his death in 1697.  He was succeeded by Henry (2) Baldwin, who latterly went to New Hampshire.  Henry (2) was succeeded in ownership by James (9), who died June 28, 1791, and son of Henry (2); Loammi, son of James, to 1807, who put on a third story in 1802 or 1803.  Benjamin F. Baldwin, son of Loammi, was the owner from 1807 to 1822; Loammi (second) and Mary and Clarissa Baldwin were joint owners from 1822 to 1836; and George R. Baldwin, sole owner, from 1836 to his death, October 11, 1888.  Mrs. Catherine R. Griffith, daughter of George Rumford Baldwin, is the present owner, 1888 to 1907.  Colonel Loammi Baldwin's estate embraced from his inventory, which is very lengthy, a very large amount of land, in 1801; according to a town assessor's list, 212 acres.  His son Benjamin F. Baldwin occupied his estate from 1807 to about 1822, as above mentioned.

The selectmen of Boston, at a meeting on April 15, 1772, paid Loammi Baldwin, of Woburn, forty dollars, the premium they adjudged to him for raising the greatest number of mulberry trees in response to an advertisement published in Edes and Gill's Gazette, 1768.  The selectmen took a receipt of Baldwin, and also an obligation to dispose of one-half the trees under the conditions mentioned in said advertisement.  The first premium was awarded to Loammi Baldwin.  Under this competition Mr. John Hay, of Woburn, received twenty dollars as the premium adjudged him for raising the third greatest number of mulberry trees.  The statement in the advertisement was that a gentleman of Boston had deposited one hundred dollars with the selectmen to be distributed as premiums to encourage the raising of mulberry trees in the province.  The conditions of the awards were also given.  The name of the donor was William Whitwell.

In accordance with the dignified custom of that time the following notice of Colonel Loammi Baldwin's decease was published in the leading Boston newspaper of that date.  "Died - In Woburn, yesterday morning, Honorable Loammi Baldwin, Esq., aet. sixty-two.  His funeral on Friday next, which the friends and relatives are requested to attend, without a further invitation." -  Columbian Centinel, October 21, 1807.

(XIII) Reuel Baldwin, son of James (9), born June 30, 1747, died April 18, 1775; married October 4, 1769, Keziah, born April 8, 1748, died October 23, 1822, daughter of Zebadiah and Abigail (Pierce) Wyman.  She married second August 5, 1777, Reuben Johnson.  

Children:  1. Reuel, born December 21, 1770.  2.   Ruth, born June 5, 1772.  3.  James, born October 7, 1773. 4.  Josiah, born May 14, 1775.

The probate of Reuel Baldwin's estate, April 22, 1776, names Keziah, his widow, and his four minor children - Reuel , Ruth, James, and Josiah.  According to these papers Josiah was dead before 1794.  James, born 1773, a deacon, died November 25, 1827, at Nashua, New Hampshire (monument at Little's Cemetery at that place).  Ruth Baldwin married Ichabod Richardson, Jr., both of Woburn, September 21, 1791.

(XIV)  Cyrus Baldwin, son of Loammi (12), born at Woburn, June 22, 1773, died at Chelmsford, June 23, 1854; married April 28, 1799, Elizabeth, born September 5, 1782, died December 7, 1853, daughter of Bradley and Rachel (Butterfield) Varnum, of Dracut.  He was for many years the agent of the Middlesex Canal Company, and resided at the head of the canal in Chelmsford.  He was appointed inspector and sealer of gunpowder at the factory which was first Hale's and afterwards Whipple's, at Lowell.  One child, died May 28, 1815.

(XV) Colonel Benjamin Franklin Baldwin, son of Loammi (12), born at Woburn, December 15, 1777, died suddenly October 11, 1821, aged forty-three, while on his return from the cattle show in Brighton; married may 1, 1808, Mary Carter Brewster, born September 11, 1784, died June 18, 1874, daughter of Benjamin and Mary Carter (Brewster) Coolidge.  He carried on the business of a yeoman, and left his widow a handsome estate.  She afterwards married Wyman Richardson, Esq., and still later Burrage Yale, and spent the last of her life with her children at Pomfret, Connecticut.  Benjamin Franklin Baldwin held the office of captain in the militia from 1800 to 1805, of major from 1807 to 1811, and of lieutenant-colonel of the local regiment from 1811 to 1816.  Rolls of his company of date 1802 are extant.  It is said that in addition to his other pursuits he devoted himself to the business of civil engineering, and assisted his brother in the construction of the milldam across the Back Bay of Boston, and in other works.

Children:  1. Mary Brewster, born March 26, 1809, died December 28, 1817.  2.  Clarissa, born November 29, 1810, died July 15, 1813.  3. Loammi, born April 25, 1813; see forward.  4. Mary Brewster, born January 16, 1815, died October 23, 1854; married December 28, 1836, Professor Roswell Park.  Professor Roswell Park, of the University of Pennsylvania, later entered the ministry and became Reverend Roswell Park, D. D. ; born October 1, 1807, died July 16, 1869.  5.  Clarissa Coolidge, born December 1, 1819, died January 22, 1900; married May 16, 1843, Dr. Lewis Williams.

Loammi, born April 25, 1813, died March 1, 1855, married March 2, 1847, Helen Eliza Avery.  

Their children were:  1. Mary Emily, born January 31, 1848; married September 25, 1872, Darius Mathewson; son, George Baldwin, born June, 1881, died May, 1882.  2.  Loammi Franklin,* born November 6, 1849; married September 11, 1873, Kate Wyman Richardson; children: Clara Richardson, born September 1, 1874; Mary Brewster, born September 17, 1875; James Rumford, born December 19, 1880.

Clarissa Coolidge (Baldwin) and Dr. Lewis Williams had no children.

Children of Mary Brewster (Baldwin) and Roswell Park:  1.  Mary, born March 4, 1839.  2.  Clara, born January 12, 1845, died December 21, 1845.  3.  Helen, born April 13, 1848, died October 14, 1855.  4.  Roswell, born March 4, 1852, married June 1, 1880, Martha Prudence Durkee, who died November 14, 1899; children: Roswell, born August 12, 1885; Julian Durkee, born November 6, 1888.  5. Baldwin, born October 14, 1854, died October 19, 1855.

* Loammi Franklin now resides with his family in the old Baldwin mansion at North Woburn.

Loammi Baldwin - 1780-1838

(XVI)  Loammi Baldwin, son of Loammi (12), was born at North Woburn, May 16, 1780, and died June 30, 1838, entombed at Woburn.  He was fitted for college at Westford Academy, and graduated from Harvard College in 1800.  His early inclinations were towards mechanical subjects, to which very little attention was paid in the learned education of that time; and during his college life he made with his own hands a clock which kept good time and was the wonder and admiration of his class.  He was put down as No. 9 in a list for "an exhibition in mechanics."  In 1806 he was vice-president of the Phi Beta Kappa.  In 1799, his father wrote to his friend, Count Rumford, then residing in London, that "I have a son at college, whose genius inclines him strongly to cultivate the arts.......I have therefore thought whether it would not be best to endeavor to provide him with a place for a year or two with some gentleman in the mathematical line of business in Europe, who is actually in the occupation of making and vending mathematical and optical instruments........It may be that you know of some good place......He is very lively, ready and enterprising."  Count Rumford wrote a reply explaining the situation very fully, but he said that "no instrument maker or dealer in such would, without a very large premium, undertake to instruct a young gentleman in the course of two or three years, and make him perfect in both branches of that trade.

This scheme, however, was not followed any further.  Upon graduating from college he entered the law office of Timothy Bigelow, at Groton.  Here he constructed a fire-engine, of which the town stood in great need; and the small machine was still in active service a short time ago.  He completed his studies at Groton, and opened an office in Cambridge in 1804, and in 1807, having abandoned the practice of law for engineering, he went to England for the purpose of examining the various public works of that country.  He intended at that time to visit the continent, but was prevented by the difficulty of reaching France.  On his return he opened an office in Charlestown and began the life for which he was so admirably fitted.  One of the earliest works upon which he was engaged was the construction of Fort Strong, in 1814, during the war, one of the strong forts erected for defense against the British in Boston Harbor.  

He was chief engineer with the rank of colonel, at this time a title which has sometimes confounded him with his father, who bore this rank in the army of the Revolution.  In 1819 he was appointed engineer to complete the undertaking of building the Milldam, or Western Avenue, now the extension of Beacon street, Boston, beyond the Common.  From 1817 to 1820, he was engaged upon various works of internal improvement in Virginia.  In 1821 he was appointed engineer of the Union Canal in Pennsylvania.  An elaborate description of this work was prepared in 1830 by W. Milnor Roberts.

In 1824 Mr. Baldwin went to Europe and remained there a year, mostly in France, devoted to a careful examination of the important public works in that country.  He went also to Antwerp to inspect the docks there, and at this time he laid the foundation of the largest and best professional library of engineering works that was to be found in America, - to which he added, until his death it had cost nearly eighty thousand dollars.

In 1825 he was associated with the projectors of the Bunker Hill monument.  He recommended the obelisk now seen there, two hundred and twenty feet high, etc.  His original report is preserved among the papers of the monument association.

Among the early projects in the neighborhood of Boston with which he was connected were the Salem Milldam corporation, 1826, and the project of connecting Boston with the Hudson river by a canal, but the day for canals was passing away, and in 1827 he was appointed by the governor of Massachusetts to procure surveys and estimates for a railroad from Boston to the Hudson river.  This work, however, was put into the hands of his brother James, as Loammi had at that time accepted an appointment from the United States government which led to the two great works of his life, - the naval dry docks at Charlestown and at Norfolk.  These two structures were in the process of building from 1827 to 1834, and were carried on both at the same time and with the crude appliances of that day.  The first when finished was in all 306 feet long, thirty feet deep and thirty feet wide.  The depth of water at high tide was twenty-five feet, and the rise and fall of tide eleven feet.  The surface of the site was about nine feet below ordinary high tide.  The cost was $677,090.

Dry Docks - Boston Harbor

The Norfolk dock was a similar structure, but of greater cost, owing to the extra price of stone and labor, both of which were sent from the North.  Mr. Baldwin's salary on this work was fixed by himself at $4,000 a year, with additional allowance for travel and expense of living when away from home.  His time was spent between the two docks, the summers at Charlestown and the winters in Norfolk, his leading assistant alternating with him at those two places.

In addition to this work he was consulting engineer on other important works connected with the general government - the Dismal Swamp Canal, the survey for which was made through an almost impenetrable swamp, but Congress was unwilling to carry it out in his day.  In 1834 he made an elaborate report upon introducing pure water into the city of Boston, which was published.  He also had considerable to do with water power in Maine, and also with a canal in Georgia, but the latter was never completed.

Mr. Baldwin was independent and positive in his professional opinions, and dared even to differ to his face with the aggressive General Andrew Jackson, then president of the United States.  The general at their last interview at first received him with politeness; but the bridge (the General's pet scheme, as was natural), came up as the great thing in the mind of the President, and he said: "By the bye, Mr. Baldwin, I have read your report on the bridge; and, by the Eternal, you are all wrong, I have built and have seen built many bridges; and I know that the plan is a good one, and that bridge will stand."  "General Jackson," quietly replied Mr. Baldwin, "in all pontoon or temporary bridge-work for military purposes.  I should always yield to your good judgement, and should not venture to call it in question; you must remember that this bridge should be built as a permanent structure, and should stand for all coming time.  And I yield in such matters to no one, when I have applied scientific principles to my investigations and am sure of my conclusions.  Good morning General Jackson."  It is hardly necessary to say that the appropriation was not made, and that the pet bridge was never built, much to the chagrin of the President, but to the quiet satisfaction of Mr. Baldwin.

In addition to the numerous works already referred to, Mr. Baldwin was connected in regard to many others, from a dam at Augusta, Maine, to a marine railway at Pensacola, from the construction of buildings at Harvard College, to a canal around the falls of the Ohio river, from a stone bridge called the Warren Bridge at Charlestown to the Harrisburg Canal in Pennsylvania.  His skill was in demand, and that, too, in a very active manner in a great majority of the internal improvements undertaken at that formative period in the United States.

He was also noted as an author.  His manuscript reports were always drawn up in his own neat, uniform and compact handwriting.  He published in 1809 a pamphlet of seventy pages entitled, " Thoughts on the Study of Political Economy as connected with the Population, Industry, and Paper currency of the United States."  A large number of printed reports on engineering enterprises are listed in the catalogue of his special library on that and co-ordinate subjects, given by his niece, Mrs. Griffith, to the public Library in Woburn, several years ago.  He is said to have written an account of the Middlesex Canal, and also a memoir of his father's friend, Count Rumford, but neither of these papers are in the above collection.  His reports were prepared with the greatest care, and were models for style and remarkable for the exact and proper use of words.  In 1835 he was a member of the executive council of the Commonwealth, and in 1836 a presidential elector.

But there is little more to say.  In person he was over six feet in height, and superbly built.  His face presented a rare combination of intelligence, manliness and dignity.  He was a thorough gentleman in his manner and his intercourse with others.  He detested sham and pretense in everything and everybody; with liberal in his mode of life, and hospitable in his home.  To his work he gave his whole strength.  Fine portraits and a bust of him remain to give posterity an idea of his noble personal appearance.  About a year before he died he had a stroke of paralysis; a second attack proved fatal.  He died, as before stated, at Charlestown, Massachusetts, June 30, 1838, at the age of fifty-eight.

Mr. Baldwin was twice married; first to Ann, daughter of George Williams of Salem.  She was the sister of Samuel Williams, an eminent American banker in London; second, June 22, 1828, to Catherine, widow of Captain Thomas Beckford, of Charlestown.  She died May 3, 1864.  Child by first marriage: Samuel Williams Baldwin, born 1817, died December 28, 1822, aged five years.

The compiler is indebted for facts for this sketch to such authorities as Vose, Felton, and others.

(XVII) James Fowle Baldwin, son of Loammi (12), born at Woburn, April 29, 1782, died at Boston, May 20, 1862, aged eighty; married July 28, 1818, Sarah Parsons, daughter of Samuel (Yale College, 1779) and Sarah (Parsons) Pitkin, of East Hartford, Connecticut.*  James was the fourth son of his father, and received his early education in the schools of his native town and in the academies at Billerica and Westford.  About 1800 he was in Boston acquiring a mercantile education, in which city he was afterwards established as a merchant; but the influence of his early association with the engineering faculties of the older members of his own family turned his attention in that direction.  He joined his brother Loammi in the construction of the dry dock at Charlestown Navy Yard.  In 1828, he, with two others, were appointed commissioners to make the survey for a railroad to the western part of the state, this being then a new and untried enterprise, and the survey was made from Boston to Albany.  Upon this work he was engaged for more than two years.  It was not prosecuted at the time, but subsequently the Western railroad, so called, was built upon the location selected by him and his plans were generally adopted.  He always looked upon this, next to the introduction of pure water into Boston, as the most important of his professional works.  In 1832 he began the location of the Boston & Lowell railroad, which was constructed under his superintendence.  He was also employed on engineering lines by the Ware Manufacturing company, the Thames company of Norwich, Connecticut, and the proprietors of the locks and canals at Lowell.  He also determined the relative amount of water power used by the mills of the different companies at Lowell.

In 1825 the subject of the water supply of Boston attracted the attention of the authorities, and an investigation of the sources for a pure supply was made, and in 1837 he was appointed on a commission to inquire still further into the matter.  He dissented from the majority in the recommendation of Spot and Mystic ponds, and recommended Long Pond (Lake Cochituate).  Others high in authority differed from his conclusion, but still he was immovable in adherence to his recommendation, in spite of rejection by popular vote, to which it had been submitted, and it was not renewed till 1844, when he was again in a position of influence on the commission.  His plan was, however, adopted March 30, 1846; the ground was broken five months after, and on October 25, 1848, he had the pleasure of seeing his plan, so long resisted, finally triumphant, and the public fountain playing for the first time in the presence of a large concourse of people.  He was for several years a senator from Suffolk in the Massachusetts general court, and the first president of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers.

*"They were the parents of three promising sons who died at the respective ages of 14, 7, and 5 years."  One (8) in 1829 two remaining, died from typhus fever in 1834 (15 and 6 years).

The Boston Daily Advertiser, in a notice of him at the time of his death says, "He was of a kindly and benevolent disposition, affable in his manners, warm and unfaltering in his attachment to his friends.  His sense of justice and his fair appreciation of the rights of others showed to great advantage in many of his public works."

A memoir of Hon. James Fowle Baldwin, by Dr. Usher Parsons, was published in 1865.  From his memoir are gleaned the following tributes:

"He was a gentleman of highly respectable attainments, and surpassed by none as a scientific and practical engineer.  He was employed by the State to superintend the construction of its gigantic public works.  He was a prominent member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and during many years held the position in that learned society in the section of Technology and Civil Engineering."  Upon his decease a brief sketch of his life and public services was presented and read before that society, and soon after published in its Transactions.

Hon. James F. Baldwin had the care of the affairs of Count Rumford's daughter, the Countess Rumford, a great part of her life, and she at her decease left him a generous bequest.  "It may be fairly claimed that the city of Boston is pre-eminently indebted to the forecast, firmness, and professional skill of Mr. Baldwin for the present abundant and constant supply of pure water from Cochituate."  Instead of three millions of gallons daily during that period.

"Mr. Baldwin was of commanding presence, being considerably above six feet in stature, and remarkably well proportioned."  His mind was clear, but not rapid in its operation.  He came to his conclusions by successive steps, carefully taken and closely examined; but the results once reached, his confidence in them was rarely shaken.  Confidence in his integrity enabled him to settle questions of the transfer of property with a facility that was surprising, especially with those persons who had not the clearest conviction of the invariable uprightness of corporate bodies in their dealings with individuals.  He endeavored to encourage and assist young students who were pursuing the study of civil engineering, and the number were many who remembered him with affection and veneration.

He was especially the friend and protector of the orphans.  His last illness was of short duration.  Returning from a walk on the day of his death, he complained of indisposition, and speaking a few words to his wife, he soon expired.

(XVIII) Clarissa Baldwin, daughter of Loammi (12), born at Woburn, December 31, 1791, died there May 27, 1841, aged forty-nine; married January 20, 1812, Thomas Brewster Coolidge, of Hallowell, born December 8, 1785; son of Benjamin and Mary Carter (Brewster) Coolidge, of Boston and Woburn.

Children:  1. Benjamin, born at Hallowell, Maine, November 10, 1812, died at Lawrence, Massachusetts, August 25, 1871; married October 1, 1844, Mary White, born at Medford, Massachusetts, January 14, 1810, died at Lawrence, April 11, 1883, daughter of Jonas and Mary (Wright) Manning, of Woburn.  Two children: Baldwin, born at Woburn, July 7, 1845; see forward.  Brewster, born November 10, 1848, died at Lawrence, June 21, 1853.  2. Thomas Brewster, born at Hallowell, May 3, 1815; died at Woburn; unmarried, February 18, 1895.

Baldwin Coolidge, son of Benjamin Coolidge, and grandson of Clarissa Baldwin (18), was born at Woburn, July 7, 1845; was married at Lawrence, February 7, 1866, to Lucy, born at Newburyport, Massachusetts, November 24, 1844, died at Woburn, August 13, 1904, daughter of Nathan Thomas and Hannah (Noyes) Plumer, of Newburyport; was a soldier in the Sixth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, campaign of 1864, in the Civil War.*  He was a band boy at the funeral of the first soldier killed in the Civil War, viz. : Sumner Henry Needham, who was killed in the fight at Baltimore, April 19, 1861.  Mr. Coolidge was the first city engineer of Lawrence, Massachusetts, and having inherited the Baldwin scientific ingenuity and versatility of mind, he has become distinguished by his mechanical feats in photography, and for the artistic excellence and number of his productions in that line of work.

*The sixth regiment went to the front three times - in 1861, 1862, and 1864, being the call regiment.

(XIX) George Rumford Baldwin, son of Colonel Loammi (12), was born in the Baldwin mansion at North Woburn, January 26, 1798, and died there October 11, 1888, "having devoted his lengthened life, with the full possession of his faculties till its close, to the pursuits of practical science, as a surveyor, a civil engineer, and a constructor."  The land of the original Henry Baldwin held by his descendant George R. Baldwin at the time of this death in 1888, included between five and six hundred acres.  The mansion is on the noteworthy survivals of our earliest times in size, arrangement, adornment, and in its well preserved relics.  Within it are to be found implements, household utensils, paintings, ornaments, and sundry furnishings, with luxurious appliances, gathered by the generations which have occupied it from birth to death.  Piles of trunks and boxes contain their private papers and settlements of estates.  Most interesting among its contents is a large, select, and valuable library of many thousand volumes, collected principally by the father and brothers of George R. Baldwin and by himself, giving evidence of their scientific and literary tastes.  Learned tomes in many languages, costly illustrated works, series of scientific publications on construction and engineering, and sumptuous editions of the best writers in various departments of literature, are among its treasures.  The house and its contents is a memorial of one of the oldest and most distinguished families of its citizens.

His father was the earliest civil engineer in this state, and on the projection of the first of our public enterprises for more extended internal communication the connection of the waters of the Merrimack with those of the harbor by the Middlesex Canal, chartered in 1793 the father of George R. Baldwin was one of its leading promoters.  Its course lay through his own estate, the several hundred acres belonging later to George R. Baldwin, and it was completed in 1803.  Of this then signal enterprise the father was surveyor, engineer, and constructor under the supervision of an English engineer, Weston by name, who was then a resident of Philadelphia.  The canal served its uses until superseded by the Lowell railroad.  It is necessary to know these facts in order to gain a background for the after career of the son, George Rumford Baldwin.  He early found opportunity for the exercise of the family ingenuity by engaging in the profession of work of the older members of the family.

He was the son of his father's second wife.  His middle name recalled the friendly and intimate relations which existed between his father and the distinguished Count Rumford.  When the friend had attained rank and title at Munich, a correspondence began between the two which is of great personal and historical interest.  In a letter following the birth of George Rumford Baldwin, the father writes to the Count, "I have had a son born to me to whom I have given your name."  The father wished this boy, as he grew up, to enter Harvard College, but the son was disinclined to scholarship in that institution as its standard then was, and from his earliest years his bent was for mathematical and scientific studies, pursued by himself, and for practical out-of-door work in waterways, surveying and engineering, in the examination of mills and water-power, dams and raceways.  He, as we have already noticed, had marked facilities for practice of this sort, with preliminary training in a school kept by Dr. Stearns in Medford, and by accompanying his father and brother in field and office work.  In his fourteenth year he made some sketches of the fortifications of Boston harbor in the war of 1812, of which his brother Loammi Baldwin was the chief engineer.

A series of his diaries for more than fifty years contain daily entries of his employments and occupations.  He lived a life of marvelous industry, of wide travel, and of useful service.  He was called upon as expert, witness, referee or examiner in many ways, at a period when the development of our railroad and manufacturing enterprises made a demand for talent and skill.  He helped form the first associated company of engineers.  He was naturally shy, modest, diffident, and reticent, of most retiring and undemonstrative ways, therefore when called upon for any utterance in public before many persons it was for him a serious strain.  His social intercourse was limited, and under no circumstances could he have made a speech in public of advocacy or argument.  The following were some of his early engagements:  1821, built P. C. Brook's stone bridge; 1822-1823, in Pennsylvania with his brother; 1823-1825, at factories in Lowell; 1826, surveyed Charlestown Navy Yard; executed Marine Railway; 1831-1833, in England; 1833-1834, on Lowell railroad; 1834-1836, in Nova Scotia; 1837, in Georgia, on Brunswick Canal.  In 1845 he was chief engineer on the route to the Buffalo and Mississippi railroad.  In 1846 he was employed on the examination of the water power of Augusta, Georgia, and by the national government on the Dry Docks in Washington and Brooklyn.  In 1847 he was summoned to Quebec to engage on a professional task which occupied him till he completed it in 1856.  This was the introduction of water into the city.  He was in full superintendence, under the mayor and a water board.  In the course of the work he sailed with his family to Europe to superintend the casting of pipes, gates, etc., and to arrange for their shipment.

In 1857-58, he was in Europe with his family, principally in Paris and London, with many excursions.  With accomplished skill in draughting and etching, his pencil was ever busy in sketching all the objects of special interest, and his descriptions are illustrated by a mass of drawings, more or less perfected.

He was connected as consulting engineer with many more modern works, the most important, perhaps, being the Boston, Hartford, and Erie railroad.  His journals show how fully every interval between these public works was improved.  He was skilled in all family, horticultural, and agricultural labors, and his pen was ever busy in his own affairs, or for the service of friends.

He married December 6, 1837, the step-daughter of his brother, Loammi, namely, Catherine Richardson Beckford, daughter of Captain Thomas and Catherine (Williams) Beckford, of Charlestown.  Her father was at one time the partner of Joshua Bates, the London banker.  Mrs. Beckford had two daughters by her first marriage, but no child by her second.  He had but one child, a daughter, who married, and resides mainly in Quebec. 

 

 

 

Source:  Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs relating to the Families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts - W.R. Cutter -pp. 9-22.

 

 

My Thanks to Patty Bancroft Roberts for providing this information! 
If you would like to contact her, you can do so at:
Lotsarock@aol.com

If you have any pictures of the early Baldwin family from Woburn,
email them to me and I will put them online here!


Thanks for stopping by!

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