We have already learned from the biographical notes of brother-in-law William Grout, that Newell Heard married Jerusha Grout and lived in the Grout-Heard house. Both Grouts and Heards were well established and respected in the town. On the Heard side of the two-family house they raised two children Abigail and John. John became a professional photographer, and several of his photographs of the family are included in this study.
In writing about the Grout-Heard house, niece Mary Heard later wrote, “William
Heard (II), my uncle, was born here and lived in the village. He was a man of strong character and quick temper. But behind his rough manner and sharp tongue was a warm heart and ready hand to respond to every call for help and sympathy in trouble and sickness. When the Civil War broke out, he said to Mr. Charles Campbell, ‘I am too old to go, but if you will enlist, I will run your farm while you are gone.’ And he did as he had promised.” (handwritten note at Historical Society) Newell also visited the Wayland servicemen after the Antietam battle, with news and supplies from the Soldier’s Aid Society.
Newell, originally a carpenter by trade, was the owner of the Red Store, a grocery and dried goods store that was also a gathering place. For almost fifty years he was the town postmaster. The Annals of Wayland said of the Red Store: “This store was a great resort for the ..villagers, who on fall and winter evening, gathered there, and many is the grave question of church or state that has been settled by the social group as it sat on the nail kegs about the fire of that old time grocery store.”
According to Mary Heard (Our Old Church, 1920): “Uncle Newell was a man of scrupulous integrity and Mrs. Lydia Child once said that ‘if Diogenes had passed through Wayland in his search for an honest man, he would surely have placed his lantern before the house of Newell Heard!’”