I have most of his ancestry and many of his descendants. He was my great,great grandfather. What exactly are you looking for? His son Charles was a genealogist who wrote the Puffer Genealogy, The History of Worcester and its People and compiled most of the information for Historical Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County published by the Lewis Publishing Company.
Vol XXII, No. 36
Natick, Mass., September 1, 1909
COL. WILLIAM NUTT DEAD.
Lif of Soldier, Lawyer, Public Official ended.
"Colonel William Nutt, soldier, lawyer, state senator and public official of long experince, one of the best know citizens of the state, passed away at his home on Union street Tuesday morning at 2:45.
Col. Nutt had been suffering from hardening of the arteries for a long time, his fatal illness having really begun many months ago, and when he retired from practice last December it was hoped that he might enjoy at least a few years of rest in his old age, but fate willed otherwise. His condition grew steadily worse and Saturday he bacame unconscious.The members of the family were summoned and were all at the homestead waiting for the end which came Monday without his having regained consciousness.
While his death was not unexpected it is the occasion of much sadness among the townspeople who knew of his condition and deeply sympathized with him. Few men have led so active a career and no man in Natick had a record of wider and more varied public service.He held many offices and his honor was always held in the greatest respect, because he was always credited with the strictest honesty.
This is true despite the sad occurrence which came to make his last years sorrowful, but which did not deprive him of the confidence and respect of the community which knew him so well during his long career.Col. Nutt was one of the executors of the will of the late Maria Hayes and a trustee under the will by which the Hayes property and a fund were left in trust for the establishment of a home for aged people. The fund was not large enough to support such an institution and it was the intention of the trustees to wait until it should have earned enough addtional or until it should be augmented by other donations before establishing the home. In the meantime the money had to be invested. Col. Nutt invested a portion of it amounting to several thousand dollars in the Worcester Spy newspaper plant at Worcester. This was the enterprise of his son who had made it a heavy paying investment, and the prospects looked perfectly safe for the investment.
But in 1902 the plant was burned out. The holder of the first mortgage claimed the insurance and as the value of the plant was of course made up in large part by the good will and the fact that it was a going institution its success was at an end when it was found impossible to negotiate a new mortgage under which to refit the plant.
The Hayes money as well as the private fortune of several of the Nutt family was lost and Col. Nutt did all that a man could do under the circumstances, viz: turn over to the bondsmen all of his property to make good so far as possible the loss to the Hayes estate. Last summer the probate court entered a decree against the bondmen, William H. Nutt and Edward Clark, for about $14,000, ordering them to pay this amount to the Hayes trustees.
As this amount would not embarrass the bondsmen it will be seen that the Hayes estate loses nothing by the fire as interest was computed and added to the amount to make the figure named by the court.
Colonel William Nutt was born in Topsham, VT, August 5, 1836, son of Isaac Brewster and Sally (Munroe) Nutt, grandson of William and Mary (Brewster) Nutt. His grandfather's grandfather William Nutt was one of the first settlers of Londonderry, N.H. Both his grandfather and his great grandfather Samuel served in the revolution and his father in the War of 1812. His early education was limited to a few terms in the district school of his native town. As soon as he was old enough he began to work on the farm of his father and for neighboring farmers,
In his sixteenth year, in 1852, he removed to Natick, Mass., where he has since lived, and began to work at the shoemaker's trade.He supplemented his schooling by much reading and study, and attended private schools when he had the opportunity.As a shoemaker, associated with Henry Wilson, who afterwards became vice-president of the United States, he became interested in the slavery question, and in 1857 took part in the Kansas movement, the result of which was to keep that state free from slavery. He 'squatted' at Lawrence, Kansas.
His first vote was for the Free Soil ticket, and he was one of the active organizers of the Republican party.He returned from Kansas to his home in Natick and follwed his trade as a shoemaker until the Civil War broke out.He was a member of the militia company at Natick, but left the organization to enlist in Co. I. Capt. A.B. Underwood, 2nd regt Mass Vol Militia, Co., Gordon, May 15, 1861. He was made a corporal, and Aug ll, 1861, sergeant. He was a very successful drill master, and was detailed early in the service to instruct officers as well as men of the 27th Indiana Regt.
His first skirmish was Oct 22, 1861 at Conrad's Ferry, VA.After the battle of Ball's Bluff, in which he was engaged, he was in the hospital sick for several weeks, and was, when convalescent, detailed, December 1861 to recruiting service in Springfield, Mass.He returned to his regiment in Martinsburg, Va., after being assigned to the 12th Mass Regt, from April to June 1862.The regiment lost nearly half its mend and more htan half its officers in an engagement Aug 9, 1862, and from that time until he left the regiment in March, 1863, he was acting first sergeant with the special duty of drilling recruits.
At the battle of Antietam a third of the regiment was killed or wounded. He was commissioned March 5, 1863, second lieutenant, and May, 1863, first lieutenant, in the 54th Mass. Regt. Col Robert G. Shaw, to whom the monument on Boston Common was lately erected.He was afterwards made a captain in the 55th Mass.
He was provost marshal of Jacksonville Fla., in February, 1864; promoted major, November, 1864; lieutenant colonel June 1865, and brevet colonel at the close of the war. He was with the regiment at the seige of Charleston.He was mustered out in September, 1865.
He became a parnter in the firm of David & Plummer, shoe manufacturers of Natick, but finding that business uncongenial, began to study law in December, 1866, in the office of Walter N. Mason, Natick.In February, 1868 he was appointed agent of the Freedmen's Bureau, and located at Halifax and Lunenburg Counties, Va. After six months of this service, and study of law, her returned to Natick and was admitted to the bar in Middlesex county, August 9, 1868.He opened an office in Natick, where Colonel Nutt was as prominent in political and public life as in military affairs.
He was always active in the Republican party, serving for many years on the town committee, often as chairman; frequently being delegate to the state and other conventions of his party.He was first elected moderator of the Natick town meeting, after a sharp contest in 1870.He was particularly well fitted for this duty by parliamentary knowledge, experience in presiding, and knowledge of town business, and often served the town, the last occasion being 1896.
He was collector of taxes in 1870 and 1871; representative to the General Court in 1871-2, serving on the committe on labor in 1871 and on probate and insolvency and woman suffrage in 1872; chairman of the Natick board of selectmen 1874, 1876,and 1881; member of the board of health 1874; overseer of the poor for three years; member of the school committee 1873; on many important town committees; deputy sheriff 1877-1886 inclusive; trial justice of the Natick Court 1886 to 1892.He was elected state senator in 1901 by a vote of 7328 to 4204 for his opponenet, in a district that had the previous year elected a democrat.He served on the committes on constitutional amendments, military affairs, and chairman of the committe on taxation.He was also on the important special committe which revised the public statutes.He was justice of the peace from 1867 and notary public from 1874.
Colonel Nutt made a specialty of probate court practice, and has had the settlement of many important estates and trusts. He did most of the pension business for his locality.In his later years most of his practice was as attorney for the Natick Five Cents Savings Bank a very prosperous institution.He was a member of the investing board from 1869 until 1909, and chairman of the board and first vice-president of the bank until his resignation, on account of ill-health, May 1, 1909, a period, of forty years.
He was a life member of Meridian Lodge of Free Masons of Natick; member of the Grand Army and Union Veteran's Union; former president of the Officer's Association of the Fifty-fifth Mass. Regt. and also of the Second Regt. Asso member of the Loyal Legion of Boston; of the Vermont Association of Boston.He was always a total abstainer, active in no-license and temperance work.In 1861 he was a member of the Sons of Temperance, and April 12, 1861, the Sumter was bombarded, he was elected R.S. of Neal Dow division Sons of Temperance, Natick.
Col. Nutt was an able public speaker and in his younger days was in constant demand.He was on the legislative committee to dedicate the monument to the Union soldiers who died in the southern prisons at Andersonville.He was in command of the Fifty-fifth regt. on the memorable occation of the dedication of the Shaw Memorial on Boston Common.
He married at Framingham, Mass., April 25, 1863,Abigail Prentice Puffer, who died January 27, 1906.He leaves four sons; Wm. Harrison of Everett, Mass.; Charles of Worcester; George of Natick and Henry of Winthrop, Mass; three daughters- Nellie A. of Elwyn, PA; Mrs Ralph D. Sutherland and Matilda of Natick; two brothers, Isaac Brewster of Natick and Samuel of So. Haven, Kansas and one sister, Mrs Nathan P. Rice, West Boylston, Mass."