JANUARY 20, 1700/01 TO SEPTEMBER 25, 1772
Headstone of Joshua and Sarah Healy in old Quinnebaug
Cemetery, 1 mile west of Dudley, Massachusetts
JOSHUA3 HEALY (NATHANIEL2, WILLIAM1)2 was born January 20, 1700/01, of Newton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts2, and died September 25, 1772 in Dudley, Worcester Co., Massachusetts - age 712 Burial: Central Burying Ground, Dudley, Worcester Co., Massachusetts3. He married SARAH DAVIS2 June 22, 1722 in Newton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts3, daughter of JOSEPH DAVIS and SARAH. 1726, to Dudley, Massachusetts3
of JOSHUA HEALY and SARAH DAVIS are:
Original Meeting House Healy Road, Dudley, MA Photograph of a photograph of Healy Road, Dudley, MA.
of the First Congregational Original in genealogical file cabinet in the Dudley Public
Church in Dudley. Library; date of photo unknown.
From "Early History of Webster, Dudley, and Oxford, by Paul J. Macek and James R. Morrison we have the following references to Joshua Healy's involvement in the formation of the town and Dudley and the formation of the First Congregational Church of Dudley.
178 "BIRTH OF THE TRI-TOWN AREA
This act for the making of a new town in the county of Worcester by the name of Dudley was read before the General Court on December 30, 1731, and passed on February 2, 1732, and enacted on February 3, 1732. So based on religious motives, that is, because many residents felt that they were quite distant from other townships for a place of public worship, the town of Dudley came into existence.
The General Court then gave the inhabitants of the area special authority to organize the town. The order read as follows:
In the Hous of Representatives Jun 1, 1732) Ordred that Joseph Edmunds one of the prinsabel inhabetence of the Town of Dudley in the Countey of Worescter be directed and impoured to notefie and summon the inhabetence of said Town of Dudley qualefied for voters to asembel and meet togather somtim in the month of Jun Curent for the choosing of town Ofesers to stand until the next anuell Eleion according to Law aney Law usage or custom to the contrarey notwithstanding:)
In Counsel June 1: 1732 Read and Consented to
J Willard Secry
June the 1 1732 Consented to J Belcher
True Copey Exemened J Willard Secrye
On June 20, 1732, the inhabitants of the town of Dudley gathered at the house of William Carter and voted for the following officers:
Moderator: Joseph Edmonds Selectmen: Joseph Edmonds
Town Clerk: John Lilly Constable: Joseph Putney
Surveyors of Highways: Samuel Newell
Fence Viewers: Joshua Healy
Clement Corbin Tything-Men: Benjamin Conant
Jonathan Newell Hog Reeves: David Southwick
Joseph Wakefield Town Treasurer: Jonathan Newell'
8. Town Records of Dudley, Massachusetts, 1732-1754, p. 6. See also Holmes
Ammidown's Historical Collections, Volume I, pp. 405-410.
9. Town Records of Dudley, Massachusetts, 1732-1754, p. 7.
The Incorporation of Dudley 179
During the same month the town of Dudley acted quickly and voted to hire a minister for a year.'° The townspeople decided to tax improved lands and stock in order to pay the salary of the minister. They also agreed that the selectmen would find the minister and provide a place to board the minister. The inhabitants of Dudley voted that they would use William Carter's house as a meeting place for worship. Moreover, they approved the idea that William Carter would work as the pound keeper. William Carter agreed to use his barn as the pound, but only if the town purchased a lock for this pound.
By September the town of Dudley sent two representatives to meet with Paul and William Dudley in Boston to seek their support for the settling of a minister and the building of a meetinghouse in Dudley." Consequently, William Dudley gave 100 acres and 150 pounds to the new minister. As the records show, the town accepted an agreement for the hiring of Isaac Richardson as the first minister of the town of Dudley. The town also voted to fix Richardson's salary at eighty pounds for the first year with increases of five pounds per year until it reached the maximum of 100 pounds.
The town planned an ordination for the minister. The ordination would cost the town twenty-five dollars, and it would take place at Joshua Healy's house. Some of the local ministers were invited to attend the ordination such as Reverend John Campbell of Oxford, Reverend Amos Throup of Woodstock, Reverend Martin Cabot of Thompson, Reverend John Fiske of Killingly, and Reverend Solomon Prentice of Grafton. Despite all the preparation for the ordination, the records show that the ordination did not take place for some unknown reason.
First Tax on Dudley
In order to pay for the town expense of having a minister, Dudley entertained the idea of placing a value on all the land in the town at twenty shillings per acre, and this value would remain the same for seven years. After forming a committee to apply to the legislature for the permission to levy a tax on all lands, the town voted that only the improved lands could be taxed. In December of 1732, Joseph Edmonds, as the representative of the town of Dudley, petitioned the General Court that the town of Dudley be allowed to tax its inhabitants so as to build a meetinghouse (see photo above) and pay for the settling of a minister. On December 14,
10. Town Records of Dudley, Massachusetts, 1732-1754, p. 8. 11. Town Records of Dudley, Massachusetts, 1732-1754, p. 9."
From the files in the genealogical section of the Dudley Public Library a typewritten list was found of the citizens that had served the town of Dudley as Selectmen since its founding in 1732. Joshua Healy was a Selectman in the years 1733, 1735, 1743, 1748, 1750, 1751, 1755, 1757, 1770, 1771, and 1774. Joshua Healy and his son, Nathaniel Healy served in the same capacity, concurrently in 1777, 1778, and 1779. Nathaniel Healy continued to serve in the years 1785 and 1787. According to the "Book of Dudley", neither Joshua or Nathaniel served as Chairman of Selectmen during their terms of office.