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Ez Baxter

Ezekiel Baxter

9-1-1764 Scituate, RI - 7-6-1836 Spencer, MA

1790, 1802, 1809 deeds in Spencer, housewright

 

1798 built Ware meeting house

1801 "Old Court House" in Worcester

1802 built the meeting house tower and cupola in Spencer

 

Built New Braintree meeting house

Ez Baxter

 

In GAWP5, Ez Baxter was listed as possibly Ezekiel Baxter of Yarmouth MA, 1767 - 1805. Details of his immediate family were given, but a trade was not indicated.

Mike Humphrey, did the original research at the Genealogy Society in Boston. In his Ez Baxter investigation, he found only this Ezekiel Baxter of Yarmouth, and no trade was identified. 

In looking into Ez Baxter (some 30 years later!) only one other period individual was found in period records; Ezekiel Baxter of Spencer, MA. He was recorded as living in Paxton, Worcester Co., MA in the US census from 1800. This Ezekiel was born in 1764 to Robert and Mary Baxter of Scituate, RI and the family details were listed in Pomfret, CT vital records. Robert's trade is unknown but he did buy a mill property in Pomfret, CT in 1780, and built a turning mill some years later. The turning mill later became a wagon factory.

Importantly, this Spencer Ezekiel had his trade recorded in 1790, 1802 and 1809 deeds from Spencer, MA, that of a housewright. In addition, there exist in local town records, multiple examples of his building court houses and meeting houses in 1798, 1801 and 1802. While the Yarmouth Ezekiel remains an unknown, the Spencer Ezekiel looks to be a strong candidate for the maker of the Ez Baxter planes. The following material is devoted to the Ezekiel Baxter family of Spencer.

Also of interest, the Historical Sketches Relating to Spencer, vol 2, 1901, records that Ezekiel's wife Lydia, "was with the Shakers intermittently for many years" and noted that "she returned (home) every spring and fall".

The Ez Baxter family with Ezekiel being a "scientific" carpenter, History of Spencer.

Ezekiel Baxter, housewright, 1790 deed

1798 meeting house, Ware. History of Ware, Arthur Chase, 1911.

1801 meeting house, Worcester, History of Worcester, MA.

1802 tower and cupola, Spencer.

The Historical Sketches Relating to Spencer, vol 1, Tower, 1901, records that the town of Spencer voted to build a tower and cupola for their meeting house. "To pay for the Tower" ... "the town voted Aug. 24, 1801, 'to grant the sum of three hundred dollars for the purpose of building the tower and cupola to the meeting house in said town to be taxed on the polls and estates of those that are taxed to the minister of said town.' " Periodically the town voted on measures to help pay for the project. One such effort dated March, 1801 was recorded in the town records; " ' the payment of the money by us respectively subscribed shall be secured to the town treasurer for the time being by our Respective Notes or Obligations, which shall become due and payable immediately after the Tower Cupola shall be raised before the first day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and three' ". The subscribers included "Ezekiel Baxter    10.00" as well as "John Bisco Sr.    11.00, John Bisco Jr.    5.00, Jacob Bisco     4.00". (John Bisco Sr. was a fellow housewright and probable planemaker.)        " John Bisco, Town Treasurer in 1802, credits himself with the following payments, made on account of the bell and cupola by paying selectmen's orders ... ". One of the payments included was " 'Order 1830, Paid Baxter & Lamb $600 for Building the Tower & Cupola to the meeting house.' " 

1802 Daniel Deland Runaway ad placed by Ezekiel Baxter, Spencer

Ez Baxter planes.

The following Ez Baxter molders are from Steve Frazier's collection. 13 of the 17 were found together. Steve relates that the planes are very similar to those of Fuller: "relieved wedges, fluting, 10" length, chamfered throats, and even the rounded top tangs of the irons. The Baxters are consistently more square at the top of the heel as compared to a sampling of Fullers. None of the Baxters have sizes stamped into the heel, and the wedge reliefs are minutely less pronounced than Fuller's. These are only very minor differences, such that from a short distance, one might assume they were Fullers." (Editor: Mike Humphrey has also made note of the similarities, noting that Ezekiel could have easily been influenced by Joseph Fuller's work while learning his trade. Prior to his move to Spencer??)

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