Chapter 5 - Pages 36-42

The Dedication

If every man and woman interested in the Dedication of the Memorial Hall in Rehoboth had had a voice in making the weather which greeted them Monday morning, May 10, they would have been unanimous in saying they had just what they wanted. A clear, cool atmosphere, no dust on the roads, and not the slightest indication of the moisture which came along in the afternoon by way of variety. At an early hour all was bustle and expectation. The arriving carriages brought guests from Providence, Pawtucket, East Providence, Seekonk, Swansea, Attleboro, Mansfield, Taunton, Fall River, New Bedford—in fact there was hardly a town or city in the Old Colony which was not represented. At least five hundred people were in and around the building.

When half past ten o’clock, the hour for beginning, arrived, every seat in the hall and all standing room in aisles and entry was occupied. Among the distinguished guests on the platform were Hon. Thos. W. Bicknell, LL. D., of Boston; Rev. Jeremiah Taylor, D. D., of Providence; President E. G. Robinson, of Brown University; Messrs. Henry B. Metcalf, Olney Arnold, Darius Goff, D. L. Goff, and L. B. Goff, of Pawtucket; Hon. Amos Perry, Rev. F. Thompson and Henry T. Beckwith, of Providence; Hon. Frank S. Stevens, of Swansea; ex~ Gov. Littlefield, of Rhode island; Rev. E. G. Porter, of



Lexington; Rev. Geo. H. Tilton and Mr. William W. Blanding of Rehoboth, and others.

The exercises began with singing "Master Great whose Power Almighty," by the Harmonic Male Quartette of Attleboro, and was followed by the invocation. The President of the Antiquarian Society, Rev. Geo. H. Tilton, then gave the following





We are glad to welcome you, as you have come hither from so many different places on this auspicious day. The dedication of this goodly building marks an important era in the history of this ancient town.

The Rehoboth Antiquarian Society was organized on the 5th of March, 1884. The trustees entered at once upon the work of erecting a suitable building for the purposes of the Society. This building was completed in the autumn of 1885. A charter had been granted by the General Court in March of the same year.

The object of the society may be expressed in four particulars. In the first place there is the antiquarian department. This was the germ of the whole enterprise, the nucleus around which all the other ideas have clustered. It occurred to some of us that this old town was rich in historical and antiquarian relics which ought to be brought together and preserved. It was this object that gave the name to the Society. We have already a somewhat valuable collection, and we trust that our friends, as they see what we have done, will have it in their hearts to add thereto.

Another object of the Society was to provide a suitable




hail in which we might hold our large public gatherings. The hail speaks for itself—a grand central rallying place for the sons and daughters of Rehoboth on all great occasions. The Society has also provided a fine school room, hoping to secure the advantages of a high school for our children. For this object an ample appropriation, either public or private, is greatly needed.

Last, but not least, is our library department. We are delighted with our bright, cheery room, and we are grateful to our friends, Mr. and Mrs. T. W. Bicknell, to whose generous interest in our enterprise we owe the Blanding Library. We extend to them a most cordial welcome.

There are various factors which enter into this great undertaking, which, we trust, has only begun its important educational work in this community. We must not fail to recognize the unfeigned interest of our own citizens who have contributed -— some of them from their hard earnings—sums ranging from $10 up to $2OO. Like sums have also been donated by former residents of the town. Friends and helpers in this work, we bid you all welcome here today.

But with all our gifts combined we could never have built this elegant and commodious edifice. Some building we should doubtless have had, but it would not have been the Goff Memorial. For this we are largely indebted to the munificence of Mr. Darius Goff. We had no sooner put our united sums into one side of the balance, when his contribution brought the other scale hard down, and it has been growing heavier ever since. We congratulate him that on this very spot where he was born just 77 years ago—he is permitted to-ay to join in the dedication of the Goff Memorial. Sir, we bid you welcome, and of all your seventy-seven birthdays may this be the happiest and the best.


39 Historic Rehoboth


Rev. Mr. Tilton was followed by a statement from the Treasurer, giving the receipts and expenditures of the Society to the date of the dedication.


Received by subscription $8,820 00

From Mr. Darius Goff $5,000 00

From citizens, former residents and friends.. 3,820 00

Of this sum the following donations have been received from non-residents:

From Mr. and Mrs. Henry G. Reed 50 00

Mrs. A. D. Lockwood and daughter 100 00

Mr. Cyrenus Wheeler, Jr 100 00

" " Everett S. Horton 100 00

Stephen S. Rich 50 00

" " John Baker 50 00

" " John W. Davis 50 00

" " Darius B. Davis 50 00

" " Daniel N. Davis 50 00

" " Samuel 0. Case 50 00

" " Charles H. Scott 50 00

" " David S. Ray 50 00

" " Simeon Hunt, M. 150 00

" Mrs. Laban Wheaton 25 00

Mr. W. H. Whitaker 25 00

" " Jethniel Peck 25 00

" Horton Brothers 25 00

Smaller sums have been received from others.

Interest on deposit 114 04

Received proceeds from entertainment for benefit of library 44 28

Received for use of hall 7 00

Received from Farmers’ Club, for use of Library 7 00

Received subscription for library 9 50

Received proceeds from entertainment for benefit of Antiquarian Society 37 90

Total 9,037 72


Paid for blank books, certificates, etc $38 25

Wm. H. Walker & Son, architects 300 00

Lewis T. Hoar’s Sons, contractors 5,499 71

"  " for laths 60 95

" " Charles H. Bryant, for plastering 275 00

" " Wm. T. Dunwell, for painting 190 00

" " Gustavus B. Peck, for lathing, etc 36 50


4O Historic Rehoboth

 " " David S. Ray, furnace setting, etc 294 05

" " George N. Goff, material and labor 503 99

" " Carpenter & Bowen, two columns and plates 30 00

" " Harrison & Howard, for glazing 12 50

" " Charles Martin, mason 32 18

" " James H. Horton, mason 32 18

" " Providence Brown Stone Co 75 00

" " Otis and Jeremiah Horton 21 00

" " Manchester & Hudson 45 08

" " Flint & Co., furniture for hall 155 00

" " A. G. Whitcomb, school furniture 234 00

" " Whitmore & Couch, black hoards 20 25

" " French, Mackenzie & Co., book cases 38 70

" " John R. Shirley, for chandeliers and lamps 100 73

" " E. L. Freeman & Co 37 74

" " for wall 535 32

" " labor and sundry expenses 495 08

Total  $8982 23

Cash to balance 55 49

$9,037 72

The contributions of Mr. Darius Goff, in giving and preparing the lot for the structure, together with other gifts, make his entire donation not less than $10,000.


Above is the report of the treasurer, just as it was read at the dedication exercises; but in this record it seems but just to, mention together, without distinction in amounts contributed, ALL who have given either of large or slender means toward this Memorial. The true measure of generosity is the measure of sacrifice, and judged by that criterion the least contributor may be equal in honor to the greatest. As will be seen, there are the names of the rich and the poor, the old and the young; of men and women alike. Many are residents of Rehoboth and have wrought out their contribution from their ancestral acres; others are sons and daughters of the ancient town, who have gained a competency in other municipalities; others,


41 Historic Rehoboth

still, are related to Rehoboth by the bonds of mutual, industrial and commercial interests. To all alike, members of a common household, an equal and impartial recognition is given in the appended


Darius Goff, William L. Pierce,

Galen Pierce, William B. Blanding,

J. Irving Chaffee, Edward H. Horton,

Sylvester A. Miller, Elizabeth B. Pierce,

Ellery Millard, A. F. C. Monroe,

Stephen S. Rich, Edgar Perry,

D. G. Horton, E. A. Medbury,

H. N. Moulton, Christopher Y. Brown,

John A. Earle, Samuel 0. Case, Jr.,

Dewit C. Carpenter, Albert N. Bullock,

George H. Horton, Julia B. Goff,

Charles L. Nash, James Cornell,

Ellery Robinson, Herbert L. Moulton,

Benjamin Horton, W. E. Barrett & Co.,

Joseph R. Carpenter, John Hunt,

J. Walter Bliss, B. G. Goff,

Enoch Goff, Catherine J. Hunt,

Horton Brothers, George W. Bowen,

James P. Carpenter, Hale S. Luther,

Williams Lake, Farmers’ Club,

Henry C. Goff, Charles W. Goff,

Jennie P. Martin, Thomas W. Carpenter,

John Baker. Albert C. Mason,

W. H. Whitaker, Samuel L. Peck,

Johnson Black, Samuel Remington,

John W. Watson, Oliver Earle,

John W. Davis, George H. Tilton,

Mrs. Laban Wheaton, Samuel L. Pierce,

Charles L. Thomas, George Baker, M. D.,

William Walker, Darius B. Davis,

Simeon Hunt, M. D., T. W. Horton,

David S. Ray, Eliza N. Allen,

John 0. Horton, Avice Hicks,

Edwin F. Cushing, Nathan E. Hicks,



Gustavus B. Peck, John W. Humphrey,

Jerry W. Horton, Amanda M. Brown,

Albert C. Goff, Joseph H. Pierce,

Mrs. Harriet N. Goff, Paschal Allen,

Charles F. Viall, Dexter W. Horton,

Mary B. Goff, Henry T. Horton,

Capt. Isaiah L. Chase, Paschal E. Wilmarth,

Thomas R. Salsbury, Edward R. Bullock,

Belle H. Bryant, Delight C. Read,

William Thatcher, Royal C. Peck,

Tristram Thatcher, Henry G. Read,

William H. Bowen, Daniel N. Davis,

Stephen Carpenter, Horace F. Carpenter,

Charles Perry, Samuel 0. Case,

George H. Goff, Samuel R. Chaffee,

George Hathaway Goff, Charles H. Scott,

Francis J. Wheeler, William H. Marvel,

William H. Reed, Elizabeth M. Anthony,

Jasper W. Wheeler, Simeon Goff,

Frank E. Luther, Peleg E. Francis,

Esek H. Pierce, Almon A. Reed,

William B. Horton, William H. Luther,

Zenas H. Goff, Hezekiah Martin,

Nathan H. Horton, Ellery L. Goff,

Nathaniel B. Horton, Francis A. Bliss,

Betsy Carpenter, Levi L. Luther,

Francis A. Marvel, Welcome F. Horton,

John C. Marvel, Cyrenus Wheeler, Jr.,

Joseph F. Earle, J. W. Briggs,

James A. Eddy, James M. Peck,

William W. Blanding, Everett S. Horton,

Abram 0. Blanding, George N. Goff,

Sarah M. Bowen, Henry Selaney,

Amanda Wheaton, Horace Goff,

Elias Hathaway, William H. Hopkins,

Danforth L. Cole, Nathaniel M. Burr,

Jethnial Peck, J. W. Buffington,

Ellen M. Marsh, William W. Horton,

Mrs. Hannah Bliss,

Mrs. A. D. Lockwood and Daughters.