Richard Clapp (Lemuel, Ebenezer, Ebenezer, Nathaniel, Nicholas), 1780-1861
The Clapp Memorial. Record of the Clapp Family in America … Ebenezer Clapp, compiler. (Boston: David Clapp & Son, 1876)
No. 2041 Richard Clapp House on Columbia Road, approximately where the Russell School is located today
Richard, son of Lemuel and Rebecca (Dexter) Clapp, and brother of the preceding (William), was born in Dorchester, July 24, 1780, and died Dec. 16, 1861, aged 81 years. He was a tanner by trade, and his yard was only a few rods south of his brother William’s. At one time in early life he was engaged pretty extensively in brick-making, the business being carried on upon lands of his own in South Boston. Bricks there made were used in 1812, in the construction of the house he afterwards occupied, now standing on Pond Street, near the Five Corners. A few feet east from this house is the site of the one in which Rev. Richard Mather lived, and in which his son President Increase Mather was born.
[Footnote: The Rev. Richard Mather, D.D., was for thirty-three years minister of the church in Dorchester, and died in that town, in the house above alluded to, April 22, 1669. Edward Clapp, one of the Deacons of the church, died five years before, and was of course for many years associated with Mr. Mather in church affairs. Capt. Roger Clapp, four years before, had been appointed to the command of the Castle, and was doubtless residing there in 1669, and in a great measure disconnected with the church. Samuel, son of Roger, who in 1669 had the military title of Sergeant, afterwards became Captain, and was for some years before his death in 1708 ruling Elder of the same church.—Of the “Divinely Rich and Learned Richard Mather,” or of his “Sons like him Prophets great”—as expressed on his tombstone—no further mention is required or would perhaps be pardonable in these pages.]
Mr. Clapp married, Nov. 3, 1807, Mary, born April 1, 1784, daughter of Jonathan and Sarah (Pierce) Blake, of Warwick. He held various responsible offices in the town, was chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Overseer of the Poor and of the Highways, one of the School Committee, and was ever forward in carrying on improvements and every true reform. “A man of large benevolence, firm in his principles, just and kind, a good citizen and an exemplary Christian.” His widow survived him upwards of thirteen years, and died Feb. 7, 1875, in the 91st year of her age. In a consoling letter from her pastor, the Rev. Nathaniel Hall, to one of her daughters soon after her decease, this sentence occurs: “Few, it seems to me, have lived so blameless a life; and not simply blameless, but filled with active duty, conscientiously faithful to all the trusts committed to her, and all the opportunities afforded for blessing others. You have cause for deepest gratitude that you have had from the beginning on, and so long spared to you, such a mother and such a life, and that you have such a precious and priceless legacy in the memory of her virtues and graces and affections.”
Children of Richard and Mary (Blake) Clapp:
Sarah Blake, b. July 28, 1808; d. March 15, 1850. She m. Dec. 2, 1830, Henry Humphreys, b. April 3, 1801, son of Deacon James and Elizabeth (Capen) Humphreys, of Dorchester. They lived in the house on the corner of what is now Dudley and Humphreys streets, the place having been the homestead of the Humphreys family ever since Dorchester was first settled. An extensive tannery was not many years since removed from the corner opposite the house, which had been carried on by one Humphreys after another through seven generations. Henry now holds the office of Deacon in the First Church, which his father held during many years, the latter dying July 13, 1845, aged 92. It is said that neither of the families to which they belong have ever, except in two instances, intermarried with any but natives of the town. [Children and descendants are mentioned]
Lemuel Dexter, b. Nov. 4, 1810; d. Nov. 13, 1844; m. Nov. 30, 1836, Abigail H. Eaton, of Framingham. He was in the tanning business with his father, and was the inventor of an ingenious furnace for burning tan. He lived in Clapp Place, near the tan-yard, where he died after a long and painful illness, which was borne with patience and Christian resignation. [Children mentioned]
Mary, b. April 2, 1812; d. Nov. 24, 1821.
Richard, b. Jan. 27, 1814; m. Jan. 12, 1842, Caroline, dau. of Jacob Bird, of Dorchester. He was a tanner, and afterwards a carpenter. His wife Caroline d. Feb. 5, 1858, and he m. second March 31, 1859, Eunice Emily Holden. He died Aug. 20, 1866, aged 52 years, 6 months.
Catharine, b. Nov. 26, 1815; m. July 14, 1851, Deacon Henry Humphreys, husband of her deceased sister Sarah B., and resides in the place in Dorchester where she lived and died.
Rebecca, twin sister of Catharine, b. Nov. 26, 1815; d. March 13, 1817.
Rebecca, b. Sept. 4, 1817; m. Nov. 25, 1844, William Blake Trask, b. in Dorchester, Nov. 25, 1812. Mr. T. was by trade a cabinet-maker, but for the past thirty years has devoted much time to historical and antiquarian researches; was an early and active member of the Dorchester antiquarian and Historical Society, and also of the New England Historic-Genealogical Society; was historiographer of the latter from 1862 to 1867, has edited several volumes of its quarterly Register, and has contributed to the pages of that work, at various times from its first issue, a large amount of valuable matter. He aided Mr. S.G. Drake in preparing the notes to his History of Boston, Gen. Sumner in the preparation of his History of East Boston, and as one of the Committee of Publication of this Memorial has rendered valuable assistance in completing its family records. Mr. T. has been a member of the School Committee in Dorchester; was an Assistant Assessor there in 1850. He built a house in Clapp Place, in 1844, where they resided ten years. Subsequently, for seventeen years, they lived in the old Capt. Lemuel Clapp house, in Willow court, with Catharine and Rebecca Clapp, aunts to Mrs. T., where they continued until Catharine’s death, in 1872, but now reside in the brick house on Pond Street, built and occupied by the father of Mrs. Trask. They have no children.
Alfred, b. April 9, 1819; m. Oct. 10, 1843, Elinor M. Cain, b. Sept. 24, 1820, dau. of Zechariah and Charlotte Cain, of Dorchester. Is a cabinet-maker by trade, and lives in Dorchester. [Children mentioned]
Martha, b. April 27, 1821; m. June 28, 1852, Stephen, son of Stephen and Hannah (Humphreys) Clapp, of Dorchester. He is a carpenter and they live in Dorchester without issue.
Elisha, b. Sept. 29, 1822; m. April 8, 1851, Martha, b. Dec. 24, 1827, dau. of Daniel and Sally (Ward) Johnson, of Warwick, Mass. He was first a currier, then an engraver, but afterwards purchased a farm in Gill, Mass., where he has since lived and successfully followed the cultivation of his grounds. [Children mentioned.]
Mary, b. Aug. 16, 1825; m. June 28, 1852, Charles Frederic Weis, b. Aug. 1, 1820, in Offenbach, Germany. He belongs to the firm of Weis & Zoebisch, who keep a fur and umbrella store on Washington Street, Boston. He lives in Dorchester, and has five children: [ Children mentioned]
James Blake, b. Sept. 9, 1828; d. Aug. 6, 1829.