John was appointed fence-viewer "for ye New Field" on Mar. 22, 1702. He frequently served the town in similar capacities.
On Mar. 15, 1707/8, John was appointed to a committee "To Examine about any Strips or Parcells of Common Land That Lyeth between any farms or Lots belonging to ye Town." He served on this committee for a number of years. On May 22, 1711, he was given a note "on ye Towne Treasurer for fifty two shillings... for service about finding out Incroachments on ye Town Commons," etc.
The office of surveyor of highways was frequently held by him and he served on several committees, appointed to lay out new highways, including that from "Thomas Buffingon's Westward as far as ye Widow Pope's" in 1710. He was chosen one of the selectmen in 1709 and the year following, and "Tithing man," in 1717. He also served on the trial jury in 1703, 1707, 1714, 1718 and 1721.
John Gardner signed a petition on Jan. 18, 1709/10 for a church in the Middle Precinct and contributed ten pounds for it. He was also one of the signers to a petition to the town aurthorities from "severall of ye Inhabitants without ye bridge and below ye Village line vizt for a Quarter of an acre of land to Sett a Meeting house upon nigh Sam Goldthrite's Jun. between that and ye Widow Parnells." Granted Mar. 28, 1709/10. The town voted 24, 1711/12 "That half an acre of land is granted to the new Chappell lately erected for ye use of the ministry there."
Capt. John Gardner was first chosen representative on May 25, 1716 "in the Room of Mr. Joseph Putnam." He was also elected 1719, 1720 and 1721.
On Nov. 8, 1720, he was named as a member of a committee to see what should be done with the Kennebeck Indians. On Nov. 17, he was appointed on a legislative committee "To visit the settlement made by James MacGregor, James MacKeen and James Gregg, about 14 miles from Haverhill and in New Hampshire. (The Scotch-Irish settlement at Londonderry).
On Jun. 9, 1721, John was appointed on a committee "to desire an explanation from the Governor about his instructions from England, as to the emissions of bills in this Province.".
John commanded the Salem company in the battle with the French and Indians at Haverhill on Aug. 29, 1708. In this engagement, he killed an Indian and took his spoon and tomahawk. These items were passed down to his descendants.
A resolve was passed in the General Court on Nov. 4, 1709 allowing John Gardner 40 shillings for "Extra services at Haverhill."
John purchased three acres near Butts Brook from John Proctor of Ipswich in 1703. In 1705, John bought four acres more from him in the same locality and in 1714, another acre which adjoined the others. After his death, his widow, Elizabeth, sold the lots to her son, John Gardner, on Sep. 7, 1762.
For the house and lot which his father, Samuel Gardner, had purchased from John Browne and conveyed to John Gardner on Feb. 7, 1705, John sold the lot on Feb. 8th to Joseph Gerrish of Wenham, but bought it back again in Jan. 1707.
John purchased a lot of land on the western side of what is now Central Street in Peabody from Isaac Peas, son of Robert on Feb. 29, 1711. He then sold a portion on Mar. 25th to a company of men consisting of Abel Gardner, himself and others for a school-house. He then sold the northern end of this lot to Benjamin Prescott on May 21, 1713.
In 1712, he and his father, Samuel Gardner, purchased from John Gardner of Mendon, a part of the tide grist mill on the South River. He retained his half of ths purchase and his widow sold it to Jonathan Gardner on May 13, 1742..
In 1721, John sold seven acres of land on the north side of Ipswich River, which he had previously bought of "a committee chosen by the Proprietors of the Common Land of Salem." from John Phelps of Reading..
John also held mortgages on various other pieces of property, and gave testimony from time to time in regard to the bounds of lots which he had surveyed..
John Gardner married Elizabeth Weld on Jan. 11, 1704 in Salem, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Dr. Daniel and Bethia Weld. Doctor Weld lived on the eastern side of what is now North Street, about where the Wesley M. E. Church now stands. Elizabeth Gardner and her sister Barbara Hide, widow (afterwards wife of Edmund Batter), after the death of their father, sold the above property on Weld's Lane..
John Gardner died in 1722. His will was dated Dec. 18, 1721 and proved on Jul. 18, 1722. He left all of his personal estate to his wife, "To be To her & at her Dispose." His will also states: "Item, As to my Reall Estate my Will Is That the poor of ye Town of Salem have a Share of It with my Children To Witt one Tenth part of Itt, and the way I propose They Shall have Itt in Is the Income of my part of ye Corn Mills In ye Town of Salem four years which According to my Computation will bring In, to the value of one Tenth part of my Reall Estate, as I have Valued Itt. And my Will Is That my father would lease to Deal It Out to Such persons as In his Wisdom shall be best," etc. After the expiration of the four years, his wife was to have the income of the mills.
John also left to his wife "ye use of all the remainder" of his estate. After the death of his wife, he desired that the residue be divided equally among his children, the eldest son then living to have the privilege of purchasing "all his Sisters parts provided he Give Them The Value of Their Shares as Indiferent Men Shall Then Judge It To be Worth." He appointed his wife executrix. The witnesses were David Foster, Abel Gardner and John Waters, Jun.
His widow sold three common rights to Abel Gardner, and lots of land to her sons John and Daniel.
Elizabeth Gardner lived over forty-eight years after her husband's death. She died Sept. 27, 1770 in her 88th year. Letters of administration were granted to her son John on Jan. 6, 1773.
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