Hon. Elisha Capen Monk, son of George R. and Sarah (Capen) Monk, was born in Stoughton , Mass. , April 25, 1828 .  From Hon. Ellis Ames, of Canton , 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 Stoughton , 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 Stoughton is not now known. George Monk kept a ‘famous tavern’ on what is now Park Street , in Boston , in 1686. Another George Monk had his will proven Oct. 10, 1740 . He was a shopkeeper in Boston . There were four Elias Monks, one of whom, great-great-grandfather to Elisha C., came to Stoughton about 1720, and since then the family has been quite numerous there. He settled in the southeastern part of Stoughton , 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 Quebec , under Gen. Wolfe. George was bon Feb. 10, 1734 , in Stoughton , 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 North Bridgewater ).

The Stoughton 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 Stoughton where be died Oct. 9, 1843 , aged forty-four years.

He married Sarah, daughter of Deacon Elisha and Milly (Gay) Capen . (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 Boston , 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).

Elisha 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 Stoughton ) 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 Greeley 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 Greeley and at Colorado Springs .

 Mr. Monk has ever been in the foremost files of political progress.  He was a member of the organization of Sons of Temperance in Stoughton 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 to represent Stoughton 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 Union and the success of the Republican party. He gave much of his time in filling the quota of Stoughton 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.  

Mr. Monk married, Jan. 13, [1852 at Stoughton by Rev. Massena B. Ballou] , Sally Brett, daughter of Ethan and Sarah (Wentworth) French. She was born in Stoughton , 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, Stoughton , and has one child, Isaac Bertram. Mr. Monk ranks among the successful men of whom Stoughton 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.

[Web 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].

Source: D. 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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