Hello all, and welcome summer! Just in time for July and vacations, the hot weather has arrived to stay. For all of you beach goers, enjoy!
This week marks Independence Day and there will be many worthy celebrations. Many of us will be watching fireworks, cooking out, or finding a parade or fair to attend. While reading the History of Easton recently, I was reminded of some of the first men from Easton who died for the cause of Freedom. Among them was Daniel Niles, who died at a makeshift hospital in Boston on November 2, 1775. At that time, he and other Easton militia men were encamped around Boston during the British occupation. Niles evidently was taken ill, as were several of his companions, and taken to the Commodire Loring Mansion at the corner of Austin and South Streets, Jamaica Plain. The mansion had been confiscated and used as a hospital during the Revolution. Those who died at the hospital were buried in a cemetery about a quarter of a mile away. William Chaffin records that in 1856 thirty graves could be identified. One is the grave of Daniel Niles, which was marked by a handsomely carved stone. It reads as follows: "Here lies ye Body of serg. Dan Niles, of Easton, who died Nov. ye 2nd, A. D., 1775. Aged 41 years." (source, page 216 History of Easton) I recently checked out the Loring House online, which still stands, and is a museum. You can find them at http://loring-greenough.org/ where there is a history of the house. I have a query into them to see if the cemetery still stands, and if so, if Daniel Niles stone still stands. Chaffin notes that other Easton men, John Turner, Joseph Hanks, John Woodcock, and Jonathan Harris, also died at the hospital in a short time and are probably buried alongside Niles, but in unmarked graves. These men are some of the very first casualties of the Revolution from Easton. Let's make sure we remember them as well as all who fought to bring freedom to our land. Wishing you all a safe and happy Fourth, Frank
Frank T. Meninno
Curator, Easton Historical Society and Museum