This is a page of data about the Hager (sometimes spelled Hagar) family who lived in Wendell, Massachusetts in the early decades of the 19th century.  The status of this page is IN PROGRESS.

Ancestry overview page from Breidenbach family tree

  1. Martin b. in Marlborough in 1778 (father was William, mother ??)
  2. m. Hannah Fairbank in Sudbury in 1807
  3. d. in Deerfield @ 76 in 1855

six children:

  • Martin Hagar (1808 – 1880)
  • Charles Hager (1809 – 1890)
  • Otis Hagar (1811 – 1833)
  • Elizabeth Hagar (1814 – 1895)
  • Hannah Morse Hagar (1815 – 1849)
  • Lydia Caroline Hagar (1817-??)

Charles Hager overview from Ancestry

  • b. 1809 in Wendell
  • m. Myra Holden Felton in 1838
  • living in Deerfield by 1880
  • d. 1890 in Deerfield, @ 80

1810 US Census:

  • living in Wendell (Hampshire County at that point?), 7 people in household

1820 US Census:

  • living in Wendell, 8 people in household, 1 engaged in agriculture

1840 US Census:

  • living in Wendell, 6 people in household, 1 engaged in agriculture

1850 US Census, non-population schedule, shows Charles on the following farm in Wendell:

  • 45 improved acres, 20 unimproved, total value $1500 w/ $100 worth of equipment (acreage is on the low side for Wendell that year, value is closer to average, so he was presumably farming quite productively)
  • 1 horse, 4 dairy cows, 2 oxen, 2 other cattle, 1 pig, for a value of $320
  • grew 50 bushels of Indian corn, 5 bushels of oats, 2 bushels of peas/beans, 100 lbs. of potatoes, 23 bushels of barley, 100 lbs of butter, 20 tons of hay
  • sold $40 worth of “home-made manufactures” (was this things like palm-leaf hats?) and $52 worth of meat

1855 Mass. Census:

  • Martin Hager 77
  • Charles Hager 45
  • Myra Hager 44
  • Dexter Hager 16
  • Fanny Hager 13
  • Liddia Hager 10
  • Otis Hager 6
  • Martin Hager 4 (looks as though he may have come back to the hill towns – there’s a Martin C. Hager farming in New Salem in the 1880 census, although it doesn’t look as though he was actually growing very much)
  • Electa Hager 40

“tobacco sash”

on tobacco cultivation in the area:

tobacco had been raised for private use in Hadley since 1800, but was cultivated much more intensively after the Civil War when farmers “fell victim to competition and their own speculation” (p273) and shifted to larger-scale commercial crops (like tobacco) rather than their previously diversified farming (Hardin, “Poles and Puritans,” in Miller, ed., Cultivating a Past:  Essays on the History of Hadley, Massachusetts, 2009)

a number of unsuccessful early (colonial) attempts were made to grow tobacco in Mass. and Conn., as well as NY and Penn. – “As late as 1801 the entire New England crop was estimated at only twenty thousand pounds, or the amount which Virginia exported in 1620.” (p281) – Mass. colonial records for 1629 note that tobacco “doth hardly produce the freight and customs duty” (qtd p282) – there was also a Puritan prejudice against tobacco as a stimulant, but the climate and soils were the greater factor – dev’t of cigar wrapper industry in NE began about 1825, “subsequent to the introduction of cigars and cigar leaf” (p282) but even this has to be heavily fertilized in NE (Jacobstein, The Tobacco Industry in the United States, 1907)


This is a page about Wendell doctor, postmaster, justice of the peace, and farmer Lucius Cook.  The status of this page is SOLIDIFYING.

Lucius Cook (1814-1857):

ref. to Lucius Cook in The New England Farmer (1853)









interesting that the Mass. State Board of Agriculture was formed the year before (1852)

from Amherst genealogical records:

  • parents were James and Martha Cook
  • siblings were Celina (b. 1811), Ira (b. 1812), and Moody (b. 1916)
  • Lucius was born Oct. 8, 1814 in Amherst
  • “physician at Wendell”
  • married to Fidelia Hayward on Aug. 19, 1840 in Shutesbury

there are two James Cooks in New Salem in the 1771 Mass. tax valuation, both of them quite prosperous (one very much so) – was this possibly Lucius’s family, and did they move down to the valley from the uplands at some point?
there are also quite a few Cooks in Hadley in 1771 (but then, it’s quite a common name)

a James Cook m. Martha Moodey in Pelham, March 1, 1810

635 – Edward Payson (Rust, I think), s. Charles & Celinda (Backus), March 3, 1845, at West Amh., lived in 1850, adopted by Lucius Cook of Wendell. [JAS]
in the 1865 Mass. census Edward is living in Worthington with:

  • Oscar R Cushman 29 (farmer)
  • Dianthe L Cushman 28 (farmer’s wife)
  • Amelia R Cushman 66 (housework)
  • Edward P Rust 20 (farmer)

in the 1880 U.S. Census:

  • he’s 35, living in Brattleboro and working for an organ shop (Estey’s, presumably)
  • he’s married to a woman named Fanny who is 8 years older than he is (43), and also from Mass.

in the 1900 U.S. Census, the couple is living in Mansfield, MA (Bristol County) (Ancestry thinks their name is “Ract”)

  • he’s working as a Railroad flagman in 1900

he appears in the 1913 Amherst directory as “Woodcarver”
so, an interesting case of someone going between agricultural, artisanal, and industrial kinds of work

it looks as though Lucius was Wendell’s first postmaster, from 1841-46

from 1850 U.S. Census:

  • Lucius Cook, 35 (so born abt 1815), physician, owned property worth $1250, b. Mass.
  • wife Fidelia H., 34, b. Mass.
  • female (servant, presumably) Alfreda Blodgett, 16, b. Mass.
  • Edward P. Cook, 5, b. Mass.

from his death record (1857):

  • Lucius Cook, b. Oct. 9, 1814, in Amherst
  • married Nov. 30, 1837, in Pelham by Rev. J. Bent to Fidelia Hayward of Plainfield
  • he died Oct. 9, 1857 in Erving
  • Remarks: “Physician at Wendell”
  • parents: James and Martha Cook

Fidelia was born April 10, 1816 in Plainfield

  • her parents were Stephen and Jenet (from birth records, Plainfield)
  • died 1897 at 81 of “senile asthenia” at home in Plainfield
  • parents listed as Stephen Hayward of Concord, Mass. and Jenette Bisbee of Plainfield
  • she was a poet and editor who published some of Emily Dickinson’s work in the Springfield Republican, where she was literary editor – see Judith Scholes, “Emily Dickinson and Fidelia Hayward Cooke’s Springfield Republican” in The Emily Dickinson Journal, Volume 23, Number 1, 2014, pp. 1-31

here’s a memorial to Dr. Cook in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Volume 59








from Franklin District Medical Society records:

Dr. Lucius Cook commenced practice in Wendell, Franklin Co., about 1840. He is believed to have been from Amherst, Hampshire Co., and was considered eminent both as a physician and surgeon. Some years after his settlement at Wendell he removed to Miller’s Falls, where he continued to reside until his death, about 1858, at the probable age of fifty-five to sixty years. He left no children. He is remembered as a stoutly-built and very corpulent man. He was something of a pettifogger in the law, and held the office of justice of the peace for several years.

(text also found here)

searching for him in the records of the Harvard Medical School
Harvard University. Catalogue of the officers and students of the University in Cambridge, for the acadmical year 1839-40. (Cambridge [Mass.], 1839) Page 12.

Cambridge [Mass.]: :Folsom, Wells, and Thurston, printers to the University., 1840.
at American Antiquarian Society

from Greenfield Gazette and Courier, Oct. 18, 1902 (via Newspaper Archive):

“The Goldthwaite homestead, better known perhaps as the Dr. Lucius Cook place, has been sold. It Is said the purchaser plans to move the house off and build a hotel on the site.”