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westward, butting upon the river, one mile, till it meets with certain trees by the side of the river, and thence to the Taunton bounds at the highway to Taunton and Rhode Island, where a brook runs through it.
"At a Court at Plymouth the 4th of July 1673; Liberty is granted unto Benjamin Church to purches a certaine parsell of land and swamp of Tispequin the Black Sachim and William his sonne for the inhabitants and proprietors of the town of Middleborrow : and that the said Inhabitants and proprietors have Liberty untill the last of November next to make payment to him or his order of what he shall disburse for the said lands for the purchas thereof: and in case they shall neglect to make payment thereof by the time perfixed that then the said land is to be his: vera copia as apears of records in Plymouth book of acts and passages of Court the day & year above written. Examined March the 18:1694/5.
1677. "Att this Court it was agreed by and between Mr. Constant Southworth and Philip the Sachem in reference to the land att Assowampsett pond that whereas the land purchased of the said sachem there was formerly to go three quarters of a mile broad and to goe over Wachamotussett brook; it is now bounded by the said brook below; and soe to goe up by a pond; and what is wanting below by reason the breadth is cutt short; by the said brook, it is to make up above."
"On the 6th. day of Nov., 1690, Felix, an Indian of Assawampsett, conveyed in consideration of 4 pounds, to John Tomson Sr., of Middleboro, and Capt. Nath. Thomas, of Mansfield, the following described parcel of upland, being a part of Felix land at Assawampsett Neck out of the head, so called, of the land which he then owned. This tract of land was bounded at the Northerly corner with a heap of stones on the East side of a great stump; and thence ranging Southwest half a point Southerly 90 rods to a heap of stones ; thence ranging Southeast, half a point Easterly 59 rods to a heap of stones between 2 saplins, and from these ranging Northeasterly 90 rods to a heap of stones; and from thence ranging Northwesterly, half a point Westerly 59 rods to a heap of stones first mentioned."
OR many years there have been in Middleboro various organizations having the general object of rendering assistance when needed, and of giving mutual and social benefit to the personal welfare of their respective members. They are for the most part in a prosperous condition. A detailed account of its history, object of its work, with a list of officers and members, can be readily obtained from each society.
The first Masonic organization in Middleboro was Social Harmony Lodge, formed in 1823. In 1828, by vote of the members, it moved to Wareham, holding meetings there for a few years. At this time the opposition to Masonry became so strong throughout the country that this, with most other societies, was abandoned, and was not revived until the year 1856, when Benjamin Leonard of Middleboro and Thomas Savery of Wareham met at the latter place and organized a society under the old charter, taking the name of the Mayflower Lodge. Two hundred and sixty-six persons had been admitted to membership in 1903.
Assawampsett Division, No. 34, Sons of Temperance, was organized May 12, 1858. About the year 1867 women were admitted to full membership, new interest was aroused, and the division became the largest one in the state, and held that distinction for some time. Later the interest declined again, and at the end of its forty-seventh year it had less than thirty members.
E. W. Peirce Encampment, Post 8, Grand Army of the Republic, is the oldest in Plymouth County. It was organized by Austin S. Cushman in 1867, and was named for General Ebenezer W. Peirce of Freetown, Mass. From the beginning to the present time, there have been three hundred and one members, but at present the membership has been reduced by death to one hundred and twenty.
In connection with the E. W. Peirce Encampment, Post 8, G. A. R., is the Woman's Relief Corps, which was organized January 20, 1885, with forty charter members.
The Union Veteran's Union, Stephen Thomas Command, No. 23, with twenty-four charter members, was organized June 23, 1896.
The Sons of Veterans, T. B. Griffith Camp, No. 22, Division of Massachusetts, was organized November 10, 1887, with thirty-three charter members.
At one time there was a society in connection with this post, called the Ladies' Aid Society, but this has gone out of existence.
The Nemasket Tribe I. O. R. M. of Middleboro was instituted June 25, 1889, with thirty-two charter members. The membership at the present time is one hundred and seventy-three.
The Middleboro Lodge, No. 665, of the Knights of Honor was instituted June 11, 1877, with but three charter members; its present membership is between sixty and seventy.
American Legion of Honor, Old Colony Council, No. 1152, was established in Middleboro August 9, 1883, with thirty-six charter members, but its present membership seems to be reduced to about ten.
Lenhart Lodge, No. 102, A. O. U. W., was formed August 14, 1889. It has, at present, a membership of about one hundred.
Middleboro Lodge, No. 135, I. O. O. F, was organized May 14, 1884, and has, at present, a membership of one hundred and seventy-nine.
Colfax Encampment, No. 64,1. O. O. F., was instituted April 17, 1888, with thirteen charter members. It has, at present, a membership of one hundred and four.
Assawampsett Lodge, No. 6995, I. O. O. F., M. U., was formed May 24, 1890, with a charter membership of twentythree, and has now grown to a membership of one hundred and fifty.
The Nemasket Grange, No. 158, was formed on the 9th of February, 1888, largely through the influence of the late Elbridge Cushman of Lakeville, to advance the interest of agriculture throughout the county. It has, at present, a membership of ninety-two persons.
Progress Assembly, No. 202, R. S. G. F., was organized October 9, 1888, with thirty-four charter members. This went into a receiver's hands in December, 1905.
Tispequin Council, No. 23, Jr. O. U. A. M., was organized June 26, 1890, with twenty-three charter members. There are now about fifty members.
The Citizen's Aid Society was organized September 28, 1893. It has a membership of forty-eight.
Arbutus Lodge, No. 123, K. of P., was instituted November 17, 1895. It has a membership of fifty-eight.
Knights of Columbus was organized, in Middleboro, April 29, 1897. It has a membership of fifty.
The Business Men's Club is one of the active organizations, combining business and social elements, with a membership of more than one hundred.
The Cabot Club was organized by the women of Middleboro March 4, 1897. The present membership is over one hundred.
HE Nemasket Hill Cemetery, beautifully situated on a high bank on the Nemasket River, is the oldest in town. It was set apart by the proprietors of the Twenty-six Men's Purchase in 1662, and was used by the early settlers as their only burial-place for more than two generations. It was formerly known as the Old Burial Hill, or simply The Hill. The oldest stone is that of Elizabeth Vaughan, who died June 24, 1693, aged sixty-two years. It was not until the latter part of the seventeenth century that inscribed stones giving the name, birth, and death of the deceased were used to any great extent in any of the burial grounds of the Old Colony. The graves were usually marked, if marked at all, by ordinary stones set at the head and foot of the grave. Here most of the early settlers were buried, although the graves of John Tomson and Samuel Fuller are the only ones now known. It was incorporated by a special act of the legislature March 24, 1885, as the Nemasket Hill Cemetery Association. At the time of the Twenty-six Men's Purchase, it was controlled by them, and afterwards by their descendants, who had here the rights of burial until the time of its incorporation.
The Parish Burial Ground at the Green, containing about two acres of land, was conveyed to about fifty persons as proprietors by James Soule in a deed dated March 30, 1717.1 Many prominent in the history of the town are here buried; among them PeterThacher, Jacob Tomson, -and Isaac Howland. It is probably the largest burial ground, there being ten hundred and seventy-four memorial stones now standing. Adjoining this cemetery upon the northerly side are the tombs 1 See chapter containing an account of The Green.