ELISHA CAPEN MONK
Hon. Elisha Capen Monk, son
of George R. and Sarah (Capen) Monk, was born in
April 25, 1828
. From Hon. Ellis Ames, of
, the noted genealogist, we gather the following information: "The
ancestor who came to this country was probably Christopher Monk. In
past generations there have been several of the same name in
, one whom was born
Jan. 14, 1733
, another in 1757. At the ‘Massacre’ (so called), March 5, 1770, when the
British troops fired upon the
inhabitants of Boston, one Christopher Monk, of Boston, an apprentice,
seventeen years old, stood next to Gen. Joseph Warren,
and was shot down by a bullet through one of his lungs. Gen. Warren,
who was a skillful physician and surgeon, attended him every day for
several years, without fee, until he finally recovered.
What relation he was to the Monks, of
is not now known. George Monk kept
a ‘famous tavern’ on what is now
, in 1686. Another George Monk had his will proven
Oct. 10, 1740
. He was a shopkeeper in
. There were four Elias Monks, one of whom, great-great-grandfather to Elisha
C., came to
about 1720, and since then the family has been quite numerous there. He
settled in the southeastern part of
, was a farmer, and died in 1750. He left at least two sons, - George
and William. William was a soldier in both the French and Indian
wars of 1756, and the Revolution, and was at the battle of the
Plains of Abraham
, at the taking of
, under Gen. Wolfe. George was bon
Feb. 10, 1734
, and died about 1814. I knew him very wall. He was a farmer. His son Jacob
was a farmer also. He was grandfather to Elisha Capen Monk."
George father of Jacob, was a volunteer in the Revolution,
receiving a bounty from, the town, and served through the war. Jacob
married Milly Randall of Easton, whose mother lived to the advanced age
of one hundred and four years. Their children were Nathan, George R.,
Stillman, Jacob, Almira (married Isaac Blanchard), Eliza
(died single), and
Caroline (married Charles Stone, of
home of the family was in the south part of the town, near the "Old
Colony" line, and has been held by the family from the first occupied
until now. Jacob Monk, a member of the Methodist Episcopal, a large man
of fine presence, quiet and unostentatious and although very modest, was of
sterling worth. He lived to be sixty-seven. George Randall Monk, son of
Jacob, born about 1799, had the educational advantages of the public
schools of his day, became a manufacturer and shoes in Stoughton about 1825,
and continued about ten years in that business, when he removed to West Troy,
N. Y., and established himself in manufacturing, but after a four-years stay
he gave up business in consequence of a fall which produced paralysis of both
legs. He then returned to
where be died
Oct. 9, 1843
, aged forty-four years.
married Sarah, daughter of Deacon Elisha and Milly (Gay)
. (Milly Gay, previous to her marriage, spun and wove cloth from flax
raised on her father's farm at Dry Pond, and herself carried it to
, and sold it for money to purchase her wedding-dress Her father, Timothy Gay,
was a minute in the Revolution, and was called out in aid in the defense of
Roxbury. She was a woman of remarkable strength of character and physical beauty
and taught school before her marriage. She lived to be ninetyyears of age.)
They had five children who attained mature years, - George E., Elisha C.,
Harriet (deceased; married Ephraim W. Littlefield, of East Stoughton,
and left three children), Adelia A. (married, first, William H. Curtis,
had one child; second, A. A. Lamb; they here had two children, and now
live in Stoughton [Adelia and A.
A. Lamb were the parents of F.
Mortimer Lamb, the famous Stoughton artist]; Eliza F.
(married D. S. Tolman, lives in Brockton, ad has two children).
C. Monk was fifteen years old at his father's death. He had a good common-school
education, supplemented by the private teaching of Rev. William Carroll
(a successful teacher and pastor of
the Congregational Church in
) in Latin, rhetoric, etc. He learned the bootmaker's trade, and could make a
good boot when eighteen. He continued at the trade ten years, and alone and with
others conducted manufacturing of boots for twelve years, and was fairly
successful financially. He became one of the incorporators, in 1872, of the
Stoughton Boot and Shoe Company, and was its agent. This continued eight years,
doing an annual business of near a quarter a million dollars, and although not a
financial success, still it gave much employment to residents of the town,
distributing large amounts of money, and benefiting the community by the
consequent increase of its business. In
1870, Mr. Monk went West as one of the original corporation (“Union
Colony") which established the town of Greeley, Col. He was one of the
trustees the first year of the colony,
and erected the first building in the new town.
This colony was one of the most successful ever undertaken, an will ever
be historic from the sagacity and shrewd wisdom of its founders. Mr. Monk, has
been financially interested in
until the present year. For the last ten years, and until within a few months,
he has been the senior member of the firm of Monk & Ingalsbe,
transacting a mercantile business in
Mr. Monk has ever been in the foremost files of political progress.
He was a member of the organization of Sons of Temperance in
for twenty years, and until the dissolution of the lodge. He early became
connected with the Free-Soil movement, and was elected on that issue and ticket
in the Massachusetts Legislature in 1856. As this movement gathered strength,
and the great civil war was forced upon the country, Mr. Monk gave his
heartiest efforts to the maintenance of the
and the success of the Republican party. He gave much of his time in filling
the quota of
in the numerous drafts made upon her for soldiers in the field, and the
promptitude with which she responded to them was largely due to his exertions.
As a Republican he represented his district in the Senate of Massachusetts in
1866-67, and served with credit on important committees. In religious belief he
is a Universalist.
Jan. 13, [1852 at Stoughton by Rev. Massena B. Ballou]
, Sally Brett, daughter of Ethan and Sarah (Wentworth) French.
She was born in
Aug. 23, 1835
. Their children are Bertha L., George, and Eunice C.
Bertha married Isaac V. Marston, a member of the manufacturing house
of Farrell & Marston,
, and has one child, Isaac Bertram. Mr. Monk ranks among the
successful men of whom
worthily proud. Conservative, yet actuated by convictions, he has never been a
hindrance to true progress, but one of its most earnest assistants. Pleasant and
unrestrained in social intercourse, faithful in all the relations of life, those
who have known him longest are his strongest friends.
editors note: Elisha Capen Monk was one of the founders of the
Stoughton Historical Society. He died at Stoughton January 22,1898,
and his wife Sally died at Stoughton June 21, 1895].
Hamilton Hurd, History of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, with Biographical
Sketches of many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men. (Philadelphia, Pa., J.
W. Lewis & Co., 1884), pgs. 422-424.
Massachusetts Vital Records (1852 Marriage) 61:213.
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