Skip to content

Search Collections

Other family papers

Description

Series IV. Other family papers, 1720-1885, undated (#2.14-2.18, OB.3.1), contains financial records, memorabilia, printed material, and other material belonging to the Cooper, Frost, and Austin families of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The financial records (#2.14) include account sheets; bills and receipts; a dog license; subscription records; tax assessments; and stock a certificate for shares in the Vermont Central Railroad Company. Memorabilia includes a 1720 list of proprietors in Cambridge, Massachusetts; an 1874 program from a concert held at the town hall in Leominster, Massachusetts; an 1885 list of visitors who called on Susan S. Austin (c.1807-1885) on New Year's Day; etc. Printed material includes an 1811 pamphlet entitled, Rules for the Regulation of the Schools in Cambridge, and an 1830 collection of poetry entitled, Fates for Ladies and Gentlemen, and Flora's Wreath. Also included in the series is an 1838 insurance policy for Cambridge Mutual Fire Insurance Company taken out by Richard Thomas Austin [formerly Reuben Seiders] (1809-1847); and material relating to Susan S. Austin's (c.1807-1885) wedding on July 6, 1837. The series is arranged alphabetically by record type, and thereunder chronologically.

You can find this within:

Details

Collection Name
Cooper-Frost-Austin family papers
Collection Code
MS039
Dates
1720-1885, undated
Date of Acquisition
1913
Physical Description
Family papers (1 file box; 1 oversize folder)
Collection Type
Manuscripts
Description Level
Series
Credit Line
Gift of Eleanor (Clarke) Bowser, undated
GUSN
289178
Reference Code
MS039.04

Historical/Biographical Note

Around 1657, John Cooper (c.1617-1691) and his family immigrated to Cambridge, Massachusetts from Suffolk, England. On December 15, 1657, he was sworn in as a selectman of Cambridge, Massachusetts; he also served as a deacon at the First Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1668 to 1691. John Cooper's eldest son, Samuel (1653/54-1718), also became a deacon of First Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he served from 1705 to 1718; he was also a town selectman from 1704 to 1716. In 1681, Samuel Cooper (1653/54-1718) built the house now known as the Cooper-Frost-Austin House in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on land granted to him by his father. The Cooper and Frost families established strong ties through marriage: two of Samuel Cooper's daughters, Hannah and Sarah, married brothers Edmund and Ephraim Frost, respectively. When Samuel Cooper died on January 8, 1718, he bequeathed a third of the property to his widow Hannah (Hastings) Cooper (1665-1732) and the remainder to his son, Walter Cooper (1696-1751). On January 1, 1722, Walter Cooper married Martha (Goddard) Cooper (c.1703-1768). His will, dated September 18, 1751, directed that his wife, Martha, “should have the West half of the Dwelling house and the liberty of ovens on t'other room” and that his son Walter Cooper, Jr. (c.1729-1756) have the “East half of my dwelling house and the New shingles to repair it” together with the western half at Martha's death. The house descended through the Cooper family until 1788 by a complicated set of property conveyances, until it was sold to Gideon Frost (1724-1803), a grandson of Samuel Cooper (1653/54-1718). Gideon was the son of Edmund Frost (1679/80-1752) and Samuel Cooper's daughter, Hannah (Cooper) Frost (1683-1767). This transaction transferred the house to a different family, but one with strong connections to the Coopers.

Gideon Frost (1724-1803), himself a selectman and a church deacon, left the house to his son William Frost (1774-1832). In 1805, William equally divided the house between his two daughters, Martha (Frost) Austin (1769-1838) and Sarah Frost (1754-1821). On March 22, 1807, Martha married Thomas Austin (died 1829) of Boston, Massachusetts. Later, Thomas bought the east half of the house from Sarah Frost as well as the barn and orchard for five hundred dollars. In 1837, Thomas and Martha (Frost) Austin's only child, Susan S. Austin (c.1807-1885), married Reuben Seiders (1809-1847), who had changed his name to Richard Thomas Austin. Richard (formerly Reuben) was a minister; he had graduated from Bowdoin College in 1831 and Harvard Divinity School in 1847. Susan S. Austin died in 1885, leaving the house to a distant relative, Martha (Frost) Kuhn of Boston, Massachusetts, a granddaughter of Gideon Frost (1724-1803).

Record details

Material Type
family papers
Places (Buildings)
Cooper-Frost-Austin House (Cambridge, Mass.)
Location Note
HGO-02-105-A-E-205; HGO-02-105-A-E-106

Comments