LUCIUS CLAPP

                                (1817-1909)

Thomas Clapp (1), the first American ancestor of Lucius Clapp, was born in Dorchester , England , in 1597, and came of an old Devonshire family of Danish extraction. He came to this country probably in 1633, as in 1634 his name appears on the town records of Dorchester , in which town he was admitted a freeman in 1638. He afterwards removed to Weymouth , next to Scituate , where be was deacon of the church in 1647. He was an enterprising, energetic, and useful man ; was deputy in 1649, and overseer of the poor in 1667, serving the first term of the existence of those offices in the town. He married Abigail ---, had nine children, and died April 20, 1684 , greatly respected. His third child, Samuel (2), married June 14, 1666, Hannah, daughter of Thomas Gill, of Hingham . He inherited his father's residence; was a distinguished man, and notably so in Scituate , his native town, which speaks well for his ability, as it then contained some of the ablest men. He was eight years deputy of Plymouth Colony.  After the union of Plymouth and Massachusetts Colonies, he was representative to the General Court of Massachusetts fourteen years. In many other and important ways, be served his town and colony with zeal and fidelity, and died at an advanced age. He had ten children, of whom Joseph (3) was second, and was born Dec. 14, 1668 . He married and lived all his days in Scituate , where he owned land. He had twelve children. His son Joseph (4), born July 15, 1701, was deacon, inherited his father's estate; married, first, Hannah Briggs; second, Sarah Perkins, and reared a family of fifteen children. His eldest son, Joseph (5), born in Scituate , Feb. 21, 1734-35, married there Eliza Turner, and spent the latter portion of his life elsewhere. He had six children, one of whom, Barnard (6), born in Scituate, married Lydia Packard and settled in Braintree, where he died in 1803, leaving two children, - Charles (7) and Lydia (Married Daniel Holbrook). Charles, born in Braintree, Jan. 10, 1795, was early an orphan, his mother dying when he was scarcely two years old, and his father when he was about eight. He was taken by his uncle, Nathan Packard, a farmer of North Bridgewater, with whom he remained until his majority. He acquired sufficient education to enable him to teach several terms of school in early life, and in which he gave great satisfaction. He married  Sally, daughter of Nathaniel and Betsey Manley, who was born in North Bridgewater , and shortly after settled in North Easton as a farmer. In 1821, he came to Stoughton , purchased seventy-five acres of land, which, with additions, now is the farm occupied by his son Lucius, and was ever after a resident there. He died Jan. 16, 1838 , a quiet, unostentatious man, of good repute. He held the various town offices of importance with credit, and was called out to defend the coast in the war of 1812. His children were Lucius (8), and Charles, who died, aged nineteen, in 1846. He was a young man of more than ordinary ability, quiet and unassuming in his manners, honorable and upright in his life, making friends of all who came in contact with him. He was a good scholar, having beside his common-school education, studied several terms at an academy, and was engaged in a course of studies at the normal school in Bridgewater, preparing himself for future usefulness; of which be gave great promise, when be was prostrated by consumption.

LUCIUS CLAPP is the eighth in direct descent from Thomas, the emigrant, and was born in North Bridgewater (now Brockton ), Mass. He was educated at common and private schools; was reared a farmer; took pride in agriculture, and has always followed that avocation, and is to-day one of the representative farmers of this progressive age. He has always re≠sided on his fatherís homestead ; has been successful in business, and has used the funds Providence has given into his care wisely, and done much to make him remembered as a liberal and kind-hearted man. He married Emily, daughter of Lewis Waters, July 14,1847 . Formerly a Whig, Mr. Clapp has been identified with the most progressive political creeds. He was one of the original Free-Soilers, and chairman of the first Free-Soil meeting held in Stoughton . Since its organization be has supported the Republican party. He has been member of school committees several years, and selectman of Stoughton seven years, and now (1883) holds that position. He has always been pronounced in advocacy of temperance, and has been connected with every movement for the betterment and advancement of his native town. He is an attendant and supporter of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

We might write much of the esteem in which he is held by the better element of the community in which he has passed his entire life, but we forbear, fearing that we might wound a modest, retiring nature, when we only sought to do justice. We must, however, give the remark made by a prominent citizen concerning him, "He is a selectman in the fullest and highest sense of the term, an able man, and honest and faithful as able."

Website editors note:  Lucius Clapp died in Randolph, Mass. in 1909.  His old homestead on West Street burned to the ground in 1897, and all that remained was the charred granite walls placed there in the 19th century by Myron Gilbert.  The house was rebuilt soon after, utilizing the original granite walls. Lucius is buried with his family at the Dry Pond Cemetery.  Lucius was one of the most generous benefactors in the Stoughton's history.  The home of the Stoughton Historical Society is located at the Lucius Clapp Memorial Library in Stoughton center at Park and Pleasant Streets.  Two former Clapp schools located on Walnut Street bore his name.  The last of which built in 1896, and was torn down in 1984. 

 

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. 424-425.  

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