Discovered in the Parker/Allen Bible was found this newspaper clipping. It is from The Sunday Herald-Boston, dated August 11, 1901. It is entitled, Historic House at Bedford and is rich with details regarding the Page Family homestead in Bedford, Massachusetts.
What I find worth noting is that the presence of this article demonstrated that he Allen’s valued this information and the knowledge that they do descend from the Page family. This is interesting to me personally as my immediate grandparents had already lost this piece of information. I had to continue genealogy to find it out and it had already been known only a few generations before me. It amazes me how quickly family history if lost amongst the generations if someone isn’t looking out for it.
Here is the scanned version of the article so that you can enjoy its authenticity. I did scan it in black and white and played with scanner settings making it readable. The original is very yellowed and tissue thin.
Here is my typed out version of the article so that everyone can also enjoy its read easier than trying to read the scanned version above.
(per printed article)
The Sunday Herald-Boston, dated August 11, 1901
Historic House at Bedford.
Eight Generations of the Page Family Called It Home.
More than 200 years covered by tenancy in unbroken line- Present Owner Restored the Landmark to Its original State- Surroundings Are Appropriate.
Standing on the old Page Farm, 100 feet north of the Page Road, is the ancient dwelling where eight generations of the Page family dwelt in succession during more than 200 years. This is one of the few instances where a family line has occupied and tilled the soil of the same farm for so many years.
The farm was a part of the large grant of land from the court of the province to Edward Oakes and was sold by him in 1661 to George Farley and others. Farley dold the farm to Timothy Brooks, who resided on the place during the troubles attending King Phillips war and his family were protected in garrison N.10, a short distance from his home. Brooks sold the farm to George Grimes who sold the farm in 1687 to Nathaniel Page Sr.
Nathaniel Page, Sr. came from England in 1684 and was of Roxbury in 1686 and was probably the brother of Nicholas Page of Boston, who came from Plymouth, Eng.Gov. Joseph Dudley appointed Nathaniel Page sheriff of the county of Suffolk. His wife’s name was Joanna. He died April 12, 1692.
In his will, he mentions “farm, buildings, and land in Billerica $25”; a servant man $15”; farm 200 acres at Dedham $30”, “Farm” at Squabouge and Worcester,$10”.
The farm, buildings and land mentioned in this will as of Billerica are located in the southeastern part of Bedford, in that part of Billerica which was joined to the eastern part of Concord, to form the town of Bedford in 1729.
The old house was moved from its original site in 1889 and located about 300 feet west and a new house was erected on the old site in 1890. This was destroyed by fire in the same year. In 1891 the present large mansion was erected on the site of the house that was burned.
Two magnificent elm trees that stood near the western end of the old house were undoubtedly standing where the old house was erected and those trees are now from 250 to 300 years old. The largest tree situated southwest from the new house is 5’6” in diameter. The other tree on the northwest sire of the new house in 4’6” in diameter. Both are noble spaceman of the American Elm.
Nathaniel Page, Sr., was succeeded by his son, Nathaniel Page, Jr. in possession. The latter was 14 years old when he came from England to the colony of Massachusetts. He married Nov.6, 1701 Susannah Lane who died in 1746.He then married in 1748, Mary Grimes.
Nathaniel Page Jr., was succeeded in possession of the homestead farm by Christopher Page, John Page, Nathaniel Page 3rd, Nathaniel Page 4th and Cyrus Page.
Cyrus Page of the seventh generation was also a farmer, and died in 1887. Cyrus A. Page of the eighth generation was the last of the Page family in possession of the family homestead.
In 1897 the remaining part of the original farm, containing over 90 acres of land, was sold to Nathan H. Daniels, a retired merchant of Boston, who took possession and the title passed from the Page family, who had owned and occupied the farm and homestead for 210 years.
In the town clerk’s office in Bedford, may be seen the original bill of sale whereby Nathaniel Tay sold his negro to Mr. John Page for” twenty pounds in money and six pounds in bills.”.in 1691.
The foundation members of the church on July 30, 1730, were Nathaniel Page Jr and Christopher Page. A record of the pews in the meeting house. Oct 18, 1734, shows “Nathaniel Page’s pew is on the front of the east end of the great door in the meetinghouse”.
In 1777 William Page was town treasurer and in 1780 Christopher Page was selectman.
Besides the town and church records many silent records are found of this prominent and patriotic family on the old slate stones in the first burying ground at Bedford Center., placed there by those who were contemporary in life with those whose record they give. And who knew their life’s work. Cornet Nathaniel Page died March 2, 1755 aged 76 years. Mrs. Susannah died Sept 2, 1746, aged 63 years. Cornet Nathaniel Page died April 6, 1779 aged 76 years. Cornet John Page died Feb 18, 1782, aged 78 years.
In March, 1775, the town of Bedford voted “to pay 25 minute men 1 shilling per week until the first of May next” Jonathan Wilson, captain; Moses Abbot, lieutenant; Cornet Nathaniel Page, standard-bearer.
The standard was carried by Nathaniel Page in this company from Bedford. To Concord, April 19, 1775 and near this banner Capt. Johnathan Wilson was killed the same day. This banner had probably been in the keeping of the Page family from early colonial times. And after the fight at Concord. It was returned to the old house and was carried in the ranks of the Bedford delegates at the celebration at Concord. April 19, 1875. Oct. 19. 1885, the banner was presented by Capt. Cyrus Page to the town of Bedford.
The militia of Massachusetts were organized into three county troops in 1643 and Middlesex country had one of these troops. This banner was carried by the Middlesex troop and is undoubtedly the oldest banner in the country.
Nathaniel Page served in what is called Queen Anne’s war. Ebenezer Page and others of the family were officers and privates in the French and Indian wars. Four of the Page family fought at Concord, including Cornet Nathaniel Page. Christopher was sergeant of the minutemen. And timothy was killed on White Plains, N.Y. Oct. 28, 1776. Ebenezer, William Thomas, and David served at different times during the revolution. Seven of this family were in the company of militia that marched from Bedford to Boston in the war of 1812.
Cyrus Page volunteered as captain of the militia company in the civil war. For three years, or the war, as he was then 60 years of age. Grosvenor A Page served three years and lost his left arm. John Page served three months.
Thanks to Mr. Daniels antiquarian taste and his veneration for the historical landmarks of his native state, the old house has been out in thorough repair, retaining all the ancient characteristics enabling the relic to be handed down to future generations.
With the beautiful plants and great lawn kept in the best possible manner, and on the east the two great aims that have cast their shadow upon the old house for more than two centuries, one would hardly believe that great old mansion was a relic of early colonial days.
The present owner has expended a large of amount of money in laying out the front half of these 90 acres in the natural landscape style around the old and new house, preserving all that nature has done so liberally for the estate now named “Stone Acres”.
Stepping directly from the highly cultivated and beautiful laying out of the front portion of the farm, one enters the northern half, where the oak, walnut, and pine groves stand, surrounded with broad meadows and fields of berry bushes, laurel, bayberry and wild ferns, a contrast as well and picturesque as is found throughout northern New Hampshire and here small game such as woodchucks, quail, mink and rabbits are in abundance as they were when King Phillips allies roamed through these same woods. The running brook dammed for preserving trout and “Pickwick Springs” with clear, cold, crystal water bubbling up through the white sane are the natural fountains of this wild and beautiful spot.
(end of article)
Thanks for reading!