from The Webster Times, 26 Feb 1897(Volume XXXIX # 52),
Erastus Spaulding died at the residence of H. W. Carter, Millbury, where he has been living, at 10 o’clock Thursday morning at the advanced age of 90 years. The immediate cause of death was a general breaking down on account of old age, although since Christmas he had been unable to get down stairs.
Mr. Spaulding had been in business in Millbury, Webster and Worcester, but for the past nineteen years has made his home in Millbury, paying taxes and storing his household goods in that town. for several years he had visited back and forth with his children.
Deceased was born in Oxford, Mass., April 18, 1806. When 2 years of age, his parents moved to Rowe, Mass., ---- soon after located at Montague, Mass., and in 1832 moved to Millbury where the young man engaged in the stove and tinware trade. In 1834 he came to Webster and opened in the same business in the rooms of William Wakefield, on North Main street, subsequently locating in a block erected by himself on East Main street. He enlarged the building and sent out on the road several peddlers.
In 1834 he located down town in the building now known as the DeWitt Hotel. He moved his block from East Main street down town, now known as the W. E, Phetteplace block, where he kept the leading hardware store in Worcester county south of Worcester.
He sold out his business in 1856 to his son Cyrus Spaulding. Deceased then engaged in the oil business, with headquarters in Worcester, which he continued for some time, and for 30 years has attended only to his real estate business.
He married Miss Lucy Locke, of Ashby, Mass., Aug. 6, 1833. She died in 1867. He again married Mrs. M. G. Griggs, of Southbridge, who survives him. He leaves one son, Cyrus Spaulding, and one daughter, Mrs. Capt. Amos Bartlett, both of Webster.
Deceased was a prominent man in Webster where he had served the town as Selectman during the 50’s, and was known as one who gave liberally to all deserving charity. He joined the Methodist when a lad, and was one of the first to organize the M. E. churches at Spencer and Millbury, and at Webster was ordained a local elder, preaching night after night at Spencer, Charlton, Southbridge, Dudley, Oxford, Douglas and Thompson, Ct. During his long connection with the church he held several offices.
In politics he was a whig, and when the abolitionists came to the front, he was most earnest in the cause, and was prominent among them in New England. He was connected with the men who ran the “Underground Railway” in the interest of the refugees from slavery, and his name was known throughout the section that the slave traveled. On many occasions Mr. Spaulding received the unfortunate down trodden slave on his march north into his home at Webster, gave him plenty to eat, then at night gave him a warm place in the barn, with plenty of clothing, and sent him on in his pursuit of liberty to the next man, either in Oxford or Worcester. The deceased always gave the refugee a little money and warned him of his foes in the north.
Mr. Spaulding located at Worcester in 1857, where he resided until 1884, when he moved to Millbury. His last visit to Webster was in October, 1895, with his wife, to his son, where he enjoyed for the last time a visit to the town where he had for so many years resided. The funeral will be held from the Methodist Church, at 1 o’clock Monday afternoon. Interment will be at Worcester.