Milton’s Dr. Stephen Drew (1791-1872)

By Muriel Bristol | January 23, 2022

Stephen Drew was born in Newfield, ME, April 7, 1791, son of Elijah and Abigail (Clarage [or Claridge]) Drew.

(His birthplace of Maine might be regarded as being a matter of some dispute. His parents were for several years surrounding his birth in the process of moving as settlers from Durham, NH, to Newfield, ME. Dr. Drew consistently told the later census enumerators who asked him that he had been born in “N.H.,” i.e., Durham, NH).

Dr. Stephen Drew studied medicine with Dr. Ayer of Newfield, Me., attended medical lectures at Harvard University and at other medical colleges, and received his diploma in medicine about the year 1815. He first practiced his profession for more than a year at Conway, in this State, thence he removed to Milton, N.H. (Haley, 1872).

Biographical notes of Dr. James Ayer, Sr. (1781-1834), of Newfield, ME, note that he was a member of the Maine Medical Society, practiced in Newfield from 1805 until his death, and that during his life he had several medical students (Ayer, 1892).

Stephen Drew married in Wakefield, NH, October 26, 1817, Harriet Watson. He was a physician, aged twenty-six years, and she was aged twenty-two years. She was born in Milton, April 9, 1795, daughter of Stephen and Mary (Fogg) Watson.

Stephen Drew settled at Milton Mills in 1818 or 1819, and after a year or two moved to the Three Ponds. He is supposed to have been the first resident physician in town. Before his time doctors were called from other towns when needed (Scales, 1914).

Two Censors of the NH Medical Society met in Farmington, NH, July 21, 1818, and there examined Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton as a candidate for membership.

State of New Hampshire. This may certify that we the subscribers, Censors of the New Hampshire Medical Society, have examined Dr Stephen Drew of Milton in said State, a Candidate for the practice of Physic & Surgery, respecting his skill and knowledge therein, and having found him duly qualified therefor, do, in testimony of our approbation, hereunto subscribe our names at Farmington, this 21st day of July Anno Domini 1818. Asa Crosby, Samuel Pray, Censors of the N.H. Med. Society. Attest Saml Morril Sec’y (NH Medical Society, 1911).

They were censors in the ancient Roman sense of the term: examining candidates and maintaining up-to-date lists of approved physicians through the addition or removal of names. Changes would arise usually through the approval of new members, and relocations, retirements, or deaths of older ones, but also through the occasional “striking off” from their rolls of offending ones. (Dr. Drew would be himself a Censor for the society in 1833).

At the time that Dr. Drew joined them, the society had its own annually expanding medical library of eighty volumes at Portsmouth, NH (and others “at C.,’ i.e., Concord, NH):

Saunders on the Liver, 1; Cook on Tinea Capitis, 1; Fothergill’s works, 2; Willan on Cutaneous Diseases, No 3; Bostock on respiration, 1; Harty on Dysentery, 1; Bell’s Surgery, 3; Ford on the Hipjoint, 1; Burns’ Anatomy, 1; Chapman’s Midwifery, 1; Read on Electricity, 1; Rush works, 5; Currie, 1; Prize questions, 1; Rush Lectures, 1; Annals Chemistry, 1; McBride’s Essay, 1; Richerand’s Physeology, 1; Bell on Wounds, 1; Cheyne, 1; Bell on Ulcers, 1; Abernethey’s Observations, 1; Desault’s Chi Journal; Thomas’s Practice, 1, 1st at C, 1; Denman’s Aphorisms, 1; Moss on Dysentery, 1; Bell’s Operative Surgery, 2; Horne’s Observations, 2; Priestly on Air, 3; Rigby on Uterine Hem, 1; Withering’s Botany, 3; of Medical Extracts, 3, 1st c, 1 & 2 at C; Desault’s Surgery, 2; Le Drans’ consultations, 1; Smellie’s Tables, 1; Heberdon’s comment, 1; Balfour on fevers, 1; Wiseman’s Chiurgery, 1, 2nd c; Crill’s Chem Journal, 1; Medical Ethics, 1; Pemberton’s Treatise, 1; Pott on Hydrocele, 1; Watson’s Chemical Essay, 2nd, 2 at C; Fordyce on Digestion, 1; Russell on kneejoint, 1; Duncan’s Comment, 10; Beddoes on Consumption, 1; McClurg on the Bile, 1; Medical and Physical Journal, 6; Boyer on the Bones, 1; Wardrop on soft Cancer, 1; 80 volumes (NH Medical Society, 1911).

Even a modern layman might recognize at least one of these tomes: “Priestly on Air.” Joseph Priestly (1733-1804) discovered oxygen, as well as nine other gasses. The society’s member physicians seem to have been able to borrow the society’s library books for several months at a time.

Each Fellow and Associate be entituled to receive out of the library Four Volumes at a time, and keep the same three calendar months, and in case of neglect to return them at the time, he shall forfeit and pay Twelve & half cents a week for each volume so kept, to be demanded and received by the librarian (NH Medical Society, 1911).

Son Stephen Watson Drew was born in Milton, August 15, 1818. (He was a namesake for his maternal grandfather, Revolutionary soldier Stephen Watson (1762-1846)).

The Milton of fifty-six years ago was very different from the Milton of to-day. Says a reliable informant: “At that early period the large tract of country over which his visits extended was a wilderness in comparison with to-day. Very few good roads, but many bridle paths, making it necessary for him to perform much of his labor on horseback, subjecting him to much inconvenience and exposure” (Haley, 1872).

Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton became a member of the Strafford District Medical Society – the local branch of the statewide NH Medical Society – in 1819; and he was its secretary in 1823 (Scales, 1914).

The use of Quack Medicines should be discouraged, as disgraceful to the profession, injurious to health & often destructive to life. No physician or surgeon therefore shall dispense a secret nostrum whether it be his invention, or exclusive property; for if it is of real efficacy, the concealment of it is inconsistent with beneficence & professional liberality, and if mystery alone give it value and importance, such craft implies either disgraceful ignorance or fraudulent avarice (NH Medical Society, 1911).

Son David Fogg Drew was born in Milton, February 5, 1820. (He was a namesake for his maternal great uncle, Revolutionary soldier David Fogg (1759-1826) of Epping, NH).

Stephen Drew was one of a “number of respectable citizens” of Milton that petitioned the NH legislature in June 1820, opposing a proposed division of Milton into two parts. He signed also a November 1820 remonstrance regarding the same issue.

The NH Medical Society voted at their meeting held in Concord, NH, June 5, 1821, that twenty-nine [associate] members, including Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton, should be admitted as Fellows of the society. (Dr. Jacob Hammons [Hammond] of neighboring Farmington, NH, was also so admitted). Patients with difficult or unusual symptoms were examined at the meeting and treatment recommendations made. After lunch, officers were elected, reports heard, and delegates to other societies and institutions selected. Five doctors were appointed “to be a committee cloathed with discretionary powers to make application to the Legislature for the enactment of a law for the suppression of quackery and also for pecuniary aid” (NH Medical Society, 1821).

Daughter Abby Jane Drew was born in Milton, May 30, 1822.

The NH legislature authorized incorporation of the Milton Social Library by nine Milton men, including Stephen Drew, June 14, 1822.Drew, Stephen - Signature - 1822

Stephen Drew was one of nineteen Milton inhabitants who petitioned to have Gilman Jewett (1777-1856) appointed as a coroner, June 12, 1823. They observed that there was no coroner between Rochester and Wakefield, NH, a distance of twenty miles, on the “great main road from Portsmouth to Lancaster,” NH. (See Milton Seeks a Coroner – June 1823).

Daughter Clarissa Mathes Drew was born in Milton, February 28, 1824. (She was a namesake for her maternal aunt, Clarissa Watson (1799-1824), who had married in Milton, August 24, 1823, Stephen M. Mathes, and died in Milton, January 16, 1824, aged twenty-four years. (Mathes was during their short marriage Milton’s town clerk)).

Milton’s three Selectmen of 1828 were Stephen Drew, William B. Wiggin (1800-1878), and Ichabod H. Wentworth (1795-1872). (Ichabod H. and Peace (Varney) Wentworth were the parents of Hiram V. Wentworth and Eli Wentworth).

Steph. Drew headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 30-39 years [Stephen Drew], one female aged 30-39 years [Harriet Drew], one male aged 20-29 years, one female aged 15-19 years, two males aged 10-14 years [Stephen W. Drew and David F. Drew], one female aged 5-9 years [Abigail J. Drew], and one female aged under-5 years [Clara M. Drew]. His household was enumerated between those of Peletiah Hanscom and James Goodwin.

Stephen Drew received an appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace, June 29, 1830.

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE. Milton, Joshua N. Cate, Jotham Nute, Daniel Hayes, John Remich, James Roberts, Hanson Hayes, Stephen M. Mathes, John Nutter, Thomas Chapman, Theodore C. Lyman, Samuel S. Mason, Stephen Drew, Israel Nute (Claremont Manufacturing Company, 1830).

Third-year Maine Medical student Moses R. Warren (1804-1881) of Milton had Dr. Stephen Drew as his local instructor or preceptor during the Spring of 1832 (Bowdoin College, 1832). Warren might have been the male aged 20-29 years residing with the Drew family in 1830. Moses R. Warren, M.D., of Middleton, NH, was proposed as a Fellow in the NH Medical Society in June 1834. (By 1865, he was practicing in Rochester, NH, and was an officer of the Strafford District Medical Society).

When the NH Medical Society met at the Phoenix Hotel in Concord, NH, June 6, 1832, it appointed John McCrillis and Stephen Drew as its Strafford County Counsellors (NH Medical Society, 1911).

Milton sent Stephen Drew as its representative to the NH legislature for the 1833-34 biennium (Scales, 1914). While it would be possible to study his voting record in some detail, a single example will suffice to give some idea of the legislative process in which he was involved.

In 1833, NH Senate passed a bill entitled, “An act to repeal an act entitled an act allowing certain premiums for killing Bears, Wild Cats, Crows and Foxes.” That is to say, the NH Senate sought to repeal a previously enacted bounty on bears, wildcats, crows and foxes. One supposes that farmers might have been in favor of such bounties. Rep. Drew voted with those that sought to indefinitely postpone the bill, i.e., he voted to retain the bounties. The motion passed by a single vote, but the House Speaker threw his vote into the negative column, causing a tie, so consideration of the bill was not postponed indefinitely. Next a similar motion was made to postpone the bill only until the next session, i.e., two years out, rather than indefinitely, and that motion passed by a larger margin. So, the bounties remained in place, at least for another two years (NH General Court, 1833).

Dr. Stephen Drew was one of twelve “Censors” for the New Hampshire Medical Society in 1833 (Farmer & Lyon, 1833).

State of Newhampshire. We the Censors of the Newhampshire Medical Society have this day examined Mr. Elijah Blaisdell of Boscawen in this State in the different branches of Medicine, Surgery & Obstetricks and do recommend him as qualified to practice in those branches. Concord, June 3rd 1834. Dixi Crosby, David T. Livy, Stephen Drew } Censors. Attest Enos Hoyt, Secretary (NH Medical Society, 1911). 

Mother-in-law Mary (Fogg) Watson died in Acton, ME, March 10, 1835, aged sixty-four years.

Stephen Drew received a renewal of his appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace, June 15, 1835. He was at this time “advanced” or promoted to justice in quorum.

Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton was president of the Strafford District Medical Society in 1836-38 (Scales, 1914).

Son David F. Drew of Milton, aged sixteen years, and his elder brother, Stephen W. Drew of Milton, aged nineteen years, entered Phillips Exeter Academy, in Exeter, NH, in January 1836 and January 1837, respectively. (In a graduate catalog of 1850 they were listed as Stephen W. Drew, M.D., of Milton, and David F. Drew, A.M., Dart. Col., of Milton) (Phillips Exeter Academy, 1838, 1850).

Stephen Drew succeeded James M. Twombly (1798-1886) as Milton postmaster, June 17, 1837. Such positions were at this time political plums given out to supporters. The incoming U.S. President who appointed him was Democrat Martin Van Buren. James Firneld [Fernald] (1779-1861) succeeded Dr. Drew in that position, March 10, 1840. The incoming U.S. President at that time was Whig William Henry Harrison. President Harrison died within a month and was replaced by his Vice President John Tyler. (Their campaign slogan had been: “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”).

When the NH Medical Society met at the Phoenix Hotel in Concord, NH, June 5, 1838, it appointed Stephen Drew, M.D., and Noah Martin, M.D., as its Strafford County Counsellors. When it met again at the Phoenix Hotel in the following year, June 4, 1839, it appointed Stephen Drew, M.D., and J.S. Fernald, M.D., as its Strafford County Counsellors (NH Medical Society, 1911).

The article in the By-laws respecting Consultations was discussed, which resulted in the adoption of the following Resolution – That it is disreputable for any fellow of this Society to leave with any patient, his written prescription or opinion, in any case where he has satisfactory evidence that such prescription will go into the hands, and be administered by an empyrick, or any pretender, not in fellowship with the faculty of Medicine (NH Medical Society, 1911).

Empirics, as the NH Medical society defined them (and as we would now spell it), were healers or doctors who relied primarily on their practical experience – empiricism – rather than on scientific theories and principles. The NH Medical Society regarded empirics or empiricists as being charlatans, quacks, or pretenders.

It is a bit of a side-trip, but the reader might find some clarity regarding the issues and, perhaps, even some levity, in an anecdote of medical empiricist “Dr.” David B. Gray (1834-1900) of Penobscot in our neighboring State o’ Maine.

Dr. Franklin Farrow of Brooksville faces a problem. One of his maternity patients was running dangerously overdue for delivery. None of the ordinary inducements had worked. For reassurance he called in Dr. Littlefield from Blue Hill and Dr. Babcock from across the Bagaduce. The visiting doctors arrived and made their own examinations. Dr. Littlefield recommended the use of forceps. Dr. Farrow was violently opposed. The husband, growing worried and impatient, suggested that if these eminent gentlemen could not agree perhaps they had better call in Dr. David Gray. Dr. Gray was a man with a considerable reputation. His methods and his success were based on the use of old-fashioned Indian remedies and obscure procedures which the more conservative M.D.s had not found in their medical school texts. Dr. Babcock remembers him as a most impressive man who wore a tail-coat beneath a bushy beard. He had an air of solemn dignity about him that was bound to impress his patients and give confidence and authenticity to his decisions. Dr. Gray arrived and after making his examination, the fourth that the by now discouraged patient had been obliged to endure, he joined his colleagues in the parlor. Satisfied with his examination and secure in his diagnosis, he put it all in a simple question: ‘Why don’t you quill her?’ Dr. Babcock, thinking that Gray was directing the question to him and having no knowledge of ‘quilling,’ suggested that Dr. Littlefield do the honors. Dr. Littlefield, equally in ignorance, passed the buck to Dr. Farrow. Finally it was unanimously agreed that Dr. Gray was the man to carry out his own recommendation. ‘Very well,’ said Dr. Gray, and the conference moved to the bedside. With the dignity of a Tarratine chieftain performing a tribal ceremony, the doctor brought forth from an inner pocket the long tail feather of a turkey. He smoothed out the ruffled tip with his finger, holding the instrument of nature in his left hand with the grace of a conductor’s baton. The patient was too exhausted to take any notice. Watching the rhythm of her breathing, he waited for an inhalation. As deftly as a surfboarder timing a wave, he inserted the tip of the feather into the patient’s nostril, agitating it gently. In a reflex of surprise and muscular response she cut loose with an enormous sneeze. The normal forces of labor were cut loose from their shackles and a normal birth was under way (Francis W. Hatch, “I Think We’d Better Quill Her,” Ellsworth American, April 27, 1972).

Stephen Drew headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 40-49 years [Stephen Drew], one female aged 40-49 years [Harriet Drew], two males aged 20-29 years [Stephen W. Drew and David F. Drew], and two females aged 15-19 years [Abigail J. Drew and Clarissa M. Drew]. One member of his household, presumably Dr. Drew himself, was employed in a learned profession. His household was enumerated between those of Paul Jewett and Lucy D. Hartford.

Stephen Drew received a renewal of his appointment as a Milton justice-of-the-peace in quorum, June 13, 1840.

When the NH Medical Society met at the Phoenix Hotel in Concord, NH, June 1, 1841, it appointed John Morrison of Alton, NH, and Stephen Drew of Milton as its Strafford County Censors (NH Medical Society, 1911).

Father Elijah Drew, Esq., died in Newfield, ME, November 18, 1841, aged ninety-four years.

Son David F. Drew of Milton was a student at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, in 1841. (He graduated in 1842 and studied medicine with his father in 1842-44).

Son Stephen W. Drew joined the Strafford Medical Society in 1843. S. Watson Drew married, probably in Milton, June 20, 1843, Mary Yeaton Chase. She was born in Milton Mills, June 25, 1823, daughter of Simon and Sarah (Wingate) Chase.

Stephen Drew, John L. Swinerton, and Stephen W. Drew appeared in the NH Registers of 1844 and 1846, as being Milton’s physicians (Claremont Manufacturing, 1846).

Mother Abigail (Clarage [or Claridge]) Drew died in Dover, NH, October 20, 1843, aged ninety years.

Justices of the Peace. MiltonLevi Jones, Stephen Drew, Daniel Hayes, Hanson Hayes, John Nutter, Theodore C. Lyman, John L. Swinerton, Joseph Cook, John J. Plumer, Daniel Hayes, jr., Enoch Banfield, Daniel P. Warren, Joseph Cook, James Berry, Wm. B. Lyman (NH Register and Farmer’s Almanac, 1844).

Son David F. Drew was principal of the Rochester Academy in Rochester, NH, in 1844-45 (McDuffee, 1892).

From March, 1844, to the latter part of 1845, David Fogg Drew, son of Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton, was principal (McDuffee, 1892).

Son David F. Drew was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in July 1846 (Davis, 1895).

In 1845 became a law student in the office of Daniel M. Christy, of Dover; later studied with Theodore Otis, of Roxbury, Massachusetts; also with Willey & Hutchins, of Boston, and after his admission to the Suffolk bar in 1847 [1846] he began the practice of law in that city (Cutter, 1919).

Daniel M. Christie (1790-1876), Esq., was a fellow Dartmouth graduate, lawyer and justice in quorum at Dover, NH. Theodore Otis (1811-1873) was a counsellor, i.e., lawyer, at 4 State street, in Boston, MA, who resided in neighboring Roxbury, MA. Willey & Hutchins had their law offices at 5 Court square in Boston, MA.

Father-in-law Stephen Watson died in Acton, ME, in October 1846, aged eighty-four years.

Justices of the Peace. MILTONLevi Jones, Stephen Drew, Hanson Hayes, John Nutter, Theodore C. Lyman, John L. Swinerton, Joseph Cook, John J. Plumer, Daniel Hayes, Jr., Enoch Banfield, Daniel P. Warren, James Berry, William B. Lyman, Levi Hayes, Jr., James Furnald (NH Register and Farmer’s Almanac, 1846).

Daughter Abbie J. Drew married September 15, 1847, Moses W. Shapleigh, Esq., she of Milton and he of Lebanon, ME. She died June 15, 1848, aged twenty-six years.

MARRIAGES AND DEATHS. MARRIAGES. SHAPLEIGH, Moses W., Esq., Lebanon, Me., to ABBA JANE, eldest daughter of Stephen Drew, M.D., Milton, N.H., Sept. 15 (NEHGS, 1847).

Son David F. Drew moved to New York, NY, where he initially practiced law but then reverted to being a school principal.

In 1849 he removed to New York City, where he opened a law office, but was shortly afterward induced to accept the mastership of one of the metropolitan schools, which position he retained for some time (Cutter, 1919).

Milton - 1856 (Detail) - Dr S Drew
Milton in 1856 (Detail). Dr. S. Drew is shown with the red arrow.

Stephen Drew, a physician, aged fifty-eight years (b. NH [SIC]), headed a Milton household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Harriet Drew, aged fifty-four years (b. NH), Clara M. Drew, aged twenty-five years (b. NH), and Relief Jones, aged eleven years (b. ME). Stephen Drew had real estate valued at $2,500. (Relief G. Jones (1839-1921) was a daughter of Jonathan and Rebecca (Knox) Jones of Lebanon, ME. Her mother had died in 1848).

Son S. Watson Drew, M.D., of Woburn, MA, published in the Boston Medical & Surgical Journal an account of his attendance at the delivery of triplets on the afternoon of Sunday, January 25, 1852.

Dr. Drew’s Report of a Case of Triplets. – The following account, from Dr. Drew, of the case of triplets, alluded to in last week’s Journal, came too late for insertion in its proper place. I was called last Sunday P.M., 25th inst., at half past 1, to Mrs. Patrick Costelo of Winchester. She gave birth to a boy at 20 minutes before 4 o’clock. Presentation natural. Labor pains continued, and at 20 minutes past 5 o’clock, she gave birth to another boy. Breach presentation. About two minutes after, another boy was born. Presentation natural. The placenta came away in a short time, and the womb contracted well. The placenta was about the common width, where there is only one child. The length was three times as long as it was wide. The funis attached to the first child was once around its neck; it was three feet long and attached to one end of the placenta. That of the second was small, 2½ feet long, and attached to the other end of the placenta. The cord of the third child was two feet long, and attached to the middle of the placenta. Weight of first child, 7 lbs.; weight of second, 4 lbs. 10 oz.; weight of third, 6¾ lbs. They are all alive, and to-day, together with their mother, are doing well. S. WATSON DREW. Woburn, Mass., Jan. 30, 1852 (Cupples, Upham & Co., 1852).

James, Hugh, and Winchester Costello were born in Winchester, MA, January 25, 1852, triplet sons of Irish immigrants Patrick and Mary [(Duffy)] Costello of Winchester.

The NH Annual Register & US Calendar of 1853 identified Milton’s Justices of the Peace as being Stephen Drew, John L. Swinerton, Joseph Cook, John J. Plumer, Daniel Hayes, Jr., Daniel P. Warren, James Berry, Ichabod H. Wentworth, Joseph Pearl, Robert Mathes, Elias S. Cook, David Wallingford, John E. Goodwin, Charles C. Hayes, Jas. Jewett, Thos. Y. Wentworth, Asa Fox, James Connor, and Eli Wentworth (Lyon, 1853).

Daughter Clara M. Drew married in Milton, August 21, 1851, John Brodhead Wentworth. (J.B. Wentworth, a M.E. clergyman, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), headed a Perry, NY, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Clara Wentworth, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), and four children).

Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton appears to have been a Democrat when he had served as Milton postmaster in 1837-40. But the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 fractured the Democrat party over the issue of slavery. The Republican party was formed at that time by former Whigs, whose own party had collapsed already, defecting anti-slavery Democrats, such as Dr. Drew had either been or become, and others. (See Milton and Abolitionism).

His church affiliations were with the Congregationalists. He was a Master Mason. In politics he was in later years a Republican (Cutter, 1919).

Son David F. Drew returned to the study of medicine in 1853 and graduated from the medical school of the University of Albany, NY, in 1855. He married in Brooklyn, NY, in May 1856, Olivia M. Gilman. She was born in Canaan, ME, August 11, 1832, daughter of Winthrop W. and Deborah (Tupper) Gilman. (Olivia M. Gilman of New York, NY, had been a student at the Brooklyn Female Academy in the 1850-51 academic year).

Son David F. Drew and his elder brother, S. Watson Drew, both appeared in the Massachusetts Register of 1857, as Woburn, MA, physicians. S. Watson Drew of Woburn was also a surgeon’s mate with the 5th MA Militia Regiment in 1857.

Son David F. Drew appeared in the Lynn, MA, directories of 1858, 1860, and 1863, as a physician, with his house at 7 Franklin street.

Stephen Drew, a “practicing physician in Milton 40 years,” aged sixty-six years (b. NH [SIC]), headed a Milton household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Harriet Drew, aged sixty-three years (b. NH). Stephen Drew had real estate valued at $6,000 and personal estate valued at $5,000. He was enumerated just after, i.e., in close proximity to, Joseph Jenness, landlord [of the Milton Hotel], aged thirty-six years (b. NH). Boarding with Jenness were two other doctors: Dr. Jackson, a physician, aged forty-two years (b. NH), and George Hattan, an Indian doctor, i.e., an “empiric,” aged fifty-five years (b. NH).

Son Stephen W. Drew served as surgeon for the 9th MA Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.

MILITARY. NINTH REGIMENT. Stephen Watson Drew of Woburn, appointed Surgeon (Aug. 27, 1861), in place of Peter Pineo, promoted Brigade Surgeon, U.S.A. (Boston Evening Transcript, September 12, 1861).

Son David F. Drew, a physician, aged forty-four years (b. MA [SIC]) registered for the Civil War military draft in Lynn, MA, in May or June 1863. He was an “At Large” Lynn School Committee member in 1864.

Stephen Drew of Milton paid $10 for his physician’s license in the US Excise Tax of 1862. He paid $6.67 in the US Excise Tax of 1863; $10 in the US Excise Tax of 1864; $10 in the US Excise Tax of 1865; and $10 in the US Excise Tax of 1866.

Stephen Drew of Milton made his last will in Milton, July 9, 1866. He devised his homestead in Milton, as well as any other property, to his “beloved” wife, Harriet Drew. He gave to his two sons, Stephen Watson Drew and David Fogg Drew, “all my library, medicines, surgical instruments, splints, and office furniture,” to be divided equally between them. [Both sons were also physicians, but in Woburn and Lynn, MA, respectively]. He gave his daughter, Clara Mathes Drew Wentworth, the sum of $100, and all the remainder of his personal estate to his wife, Harriet Drew. He appointed Harriet Drew, Stephen Watson Drew, and David Fogg Drew as joint executors. Joseph Sayward, Ira S. Knox, and Nathaniel G. Pinkham signed as witnesses. The will would be proved in Farmington, NH, April 2, 1872 (Strafford County Probate, 84:46).

Stephen Drew appeared in the Milton business directories of 1867-68 and 1868, as a Milton physician.

Son David F. Drew was mentioned in the later obituary of Dr. Solomon W. Young (1835-1890), as having been in 1869 the decedent’s medical instructor or mentor in Lynn, MA. (Young appeared in the Ninth (1870) Federal Census as a Lynn shoe worker).

Drew, Dr DF
Dr. David F. Drew. To the extent that a son might resemble his father, or vice versa, Dr. Stephen Drew might have looked like him.

RECENT DEATHS. Dr. Solomon Walker Young, who died at Pittsfield, N.H., yesterday, was born in Alexandria, N.H., and was in the fifty-fourth year of his age. A volume entitled “Legends and Lyrics,” of which he was the author, is now ready for publication. He was educated at Pittsfield and Exeter academies, and taught school many years. He served at Winchester and Fredericksburg in the Twelfth New Hampshire Volunteers. He studied medicine with Dr. David Drew of Lynn in 1869, and attended medical lectures at Harvard in 1871 and 1872, and in 1875 received his degree of M.D. from Dartmouth. He practiced one year in Lynn and then went to Barnstead and from then to Pittsfield. He has written many poems (Boston Evening Transcript, January 25, 1890).

Stephen Drew, a physician, aged seventy-nine years (b. NH [SIC]), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Harriet W. Drew, keeping house, aged seventy-five years (b. NH). Stephen Drew had real estate valued at $5,000 and personal estate valued at $1,300.

Stephen Drew appeared in the Milton business directories of 1871, as a Milton physician.

Dr. Stephen Drew died of consumption in Milton, February 27, 1872, aged eighty-one years, ten months.

Rev. Frank Haley wrote and published an obituary and appreciation of Dr. Drew (see Milton’s Dr. Drew (1791-1872)).

Son Stephen W. “Watson” Drew, M.D., died in Woburn, MA, February 18, 1875, aged fifty-six years, six months.

Masonic. The members of “Woburn Royal Arch Chapter and Mount Horeb Lodge, F. and A.M.,” are requested to meet at Masonic Hall, Woburn, Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 1½ o’clock, for the purpose of attending the funeral of our late companion and brother, S. Watson Drew. SPARROW HORTON, Secretary. Woburn, Feb. 20, 1875 (Boston Globe, February 22, 1875).

DEATHS. DREW – At Woburn, 18th inst., S. Watson Drew, M.D., 56 yrs., 6 mos. (Boston Evening Transcript, February 23, 1875).

Harriet Drew of Lynn, MA, made her last will in Lynn, MA, March 12, 1875. (She was then living with her son, David F. Drew). She devised $1 each to her grandchildren, Mary Josephine Drew, Harriet Watson Drew, and Carrie Brooks Drew, all of them children of her son, Stephen Watson Drew of Woburn, MA, lately deceased. She devised $1 to her other son, David F. Drew of Lynn, MA. [As he was still living, his four daughters, Carrietta H. Drew, Clara O. Drew, Alice G. Drew, and Lillian W. Drew, did not receive placeholder bequests].

Milton - 1871 (Detail) - Dr S Drew
Milton in 1871 (Detail). Dr. S. Drew is shown with the red arrow.

Harriet Drew devised $1 to her daughter Clara M.D. Wentworth of LeRoy, NY, wife of John Broadhead Wentworth, but also the Milton homestead of Stephen Drew, late of Milton, physician. [As she was still living, her ten children did not receive placeholder bequests]. The Milton homestead was bounded west by the Wakefield Road (so called) and east by the pond. She devised also a thirty-acre wood lot in Milton to the same Clara M.D. Wentworth. It was bounded west by the road (known as Silver street) and was called the Silver Street Wood-lot.

Harriet Drew named her daughter Clara M.D. Wentworth as residuary legatee and sole executrix, and freed her from the requirement to pay a bond. Neighbors George Deland [(1829-1910)] of 15 Farrar Street, Lynn, MA; and H. Louise [(Wood)] Houghton [(1840-1922)] of 13 Franklin Street, Lynn, MA; and granddaughter Carrietta H. Drew [(1859-1929)] of 11 Franklin Street, Lynn, MA; signed as witnesses (Essex County Probate, Docket 38042).

Rev. Dr. John B. and Clara M. (Drew) Wentworth transferred from LeRoy, NY, to Evanston, IL, in late 1875. Harriet (Watson) Drew left her son David F. Drew in Lynn, MA, and went to live with her daughter in Evanston, IL.

PERSONAL. The Rev. Dr. Wentworth, of LeRoy, New York, has been transferred to the Rock River Conference, and will take charge of the Evanston M.E. Church (Chicago Tribune, December 5, 1875).

Harriet (Watson) Drew died in Evanston, IL, May 7, 1876. aged eighty-one years.

Anack’s Diary. … Our citizens learned by telegram today [May 8, 1876,] of the death of Harriet Watson, widow of the late Stephen Drew, M.D., at Evanston, Illinois. Fifty odd years ago she was a resident of our village, coming here from Shapleigh Mills in 1816, as the young bride of our ‘beloved physician’ with whom she lived happily until his death in 1873 [1872], when she went west to make her home with her daughter Clara, the wife of the Rev. Dr. John Brodhead Wentworth (Farmington News, April 21, 1899).

SUBURBAN. Evanston. Dr. and Mrs. Wentworth have gone to New Hampshire with the remains of Mrs. Harriet Drew, Mrs. Wentworth’s mother, who died at Evanston Sunday. This will necessitate a further postponement of action in the Hurd-Brown case (Chicago Tribune, [Wednesday,] May 10, 1876).

(The Hurd-Brown case was a real-estate dispute being settled in an ecclesiastical tribunal convened by Rev. Dr. Wentworth).

May 11 [1876]. A showery day. The remains of Madam Drew arrived at noon. The funeral services were at the Congregational church. The Rev. James Thurston (Northam), a life-long friend of Dr. Wentworth, came from Dover and officiated, giving a discourse upon the faithfulness of the ‘Mothers in Israel,’ and alluding to the years of love and faithfulness of this mother who had devoted her best years to the education and training of her children for the useful lives she saw them attain to (Farmington News, April 21, 1899).

The last will of Harriet (Watson) Drew was proved in Essex County Probate Court, June 5, 1876. Executrix Clara M.D. Wentworth was by then a resident of Evanston, IL. Her brother, David F. Drew, was present at the proceedings (Essex County Probate, Docket 38042).

Son David F. Drew, a physician, died of a carbuncle and erysipelas in Lynn, MA, February 13, 1886, aged sixty-six years, eight months.

Death of David F. Drew of Lynn. Lynn, Mass., February 13. David F. Drew, one of Lynn’s prominent and respected citizens, died at his residence, 29 North Common street, at 12.45 o’clock this morning, from blood poisoning caused by a carbuncle boil. Dr. Drew was attended by Dr. I.F. Galloupe of this city and Dr. Collins Warren of Boston. The doctor graduated at Dartmouth College, and came to Lynn in 1857, where he has remained ever since. He was 66 years old, and leaves a widow and four children (Boston Globe, February 13, 1886).

Daughter Clara M. (Drew) Wentworth died in Buffalo, NY, May 2, 1890, aged sixty-six years.

Death of Mrs. Dr. Wentworth. Mrs. Clara Wentworth, the estimable wife of the Rev. Dr. J.B. Wentworth, presiding elder of the Buffalo District, M.E. Church, died yesterday, aged 66 years. Funeral Sunday at 3 p.m. from the residence of Mr. W.G. Hartwell, 274 East Utica street. Interment at Medina (Buffalo Commercial (Buffalo, NY), May 3, 1890).

Dr. Drew, his two sons, and their widows, were remembered in Farmington, NH, as late as 1901.

Gilman Estate. The settling of the estate of the late George F. Gilman of Black Rock, Conn., has called to mind the fact that Mrs. Olivia Gilman Drew of Lynn, Mass., is one of his nieces. The Boston Journal says Mrs. Drew is the widow of the late David M. [F.] Drew, at one time the most prominent physician in Lynn, and is considered the richest woman in that city. In fact, by many she is said to be the wealthiest woman in Essex County. She lives in a handsome residence fronting on Lynn Common, and moves in the highest society of that city, as do her three daughters, two of whom were recently married. Mrs. Drew is very much averse to coming into public notice, and thus far has managed to keep her connection in the affair out of the papers. Dr. Drew of Lynn and Dr. Watson Drew of Woburn were sons of Dr. Stephen Drew, a well-known physician in Milton. The widow of the Woburn physician resides in Dover, with her daughter, Mrs. A.O. Mathes, as her next neighbor, and with her younger daughters, the Misses Hattie and Carrie Drew as members of her own household, all of these being well known in this vicinity. Mrs. Drew of Dover was a Chase, sister of the late Mrs. James Farrington and Charles K. Chase of Rochester (Farmington News, March 15, 1901).

Mary Y. (Chase) Drew died in Dover, NH, November 2, 1911. Olivia M. (Gilman) Drew, widow of David F. Drew, died in Lynn, MA, October 11, 1918.


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Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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