Jonathan Maynard (1752-1835)

Jonathan Maynard was Framingham's most prominent citizen during the period between the Revolutionary War and the arrival of the railroad.

Born in Framingham, Maynard graduated from Harvard University in 1775, then promptly joined the forces fighting for American independence. He fought at Bunker Hill, and later in the war was captured by Indians allied with the British. Legend has it that he would have been burned at the stake by the Indians had the Indian chief, Joseph Brant, not been a fellow Mason who recognized the secret distress signal of the Masonic brotherhood.

Back in Framingham, Maynard married and built a large home on Pleasant Street which is now the centerpiece of the Jonathan Maynard Historic District. He then launched into a career of public service that included serving as a justice of the peace, selectman, town clerk, state representative, and state senator. Jonathan Maynard was also Framingham's first postmaster. Continuing his Masonic activities, he became the first master of the Middlesex Lodge, which was founded in his home in 1795 with a ceremony conducted by the state Grand Master, Paul Revere.

The Town named Maynard Road in honor of Jonathan Maynard, and when a new elementary school was built in Framingham Centre in 1915 it was called the Jonathan Maynard School. When the Town sold the school building in the 1980's it became the Jonathan Maynard Office Building. The Town now owns the building again, but continues to operate it as an office building. In 1994 the Jonathan Maynard Historic District was created along Pleasant Street from the First Baptist Church to the railroad tracks.

(Text contributed by Stephen Herring, former Framingham Town Historian).

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