Born in Marlborough, MA in 1684, Nahum was a sailor and ship captain in the West Indies while in his 20s. He left sailing for trade in Boston in 1714 and later bought land in what became Shrewsbury. He married Martha Howe and fathered 7 children. He became moderator (“mayor”) of Shrewsbury in 1726 and remained in that role until 1748. Nahum also served as head selectman for 23 years. He was the first town representative to the General Court; he also served as town clerk for two years. In 1731 Nahum was admitted to the bar and became a justice of the peace; as of 1745 he was a Judge in the Court of Common Pleas. He joined the militia in 1722 and by 1736 was a commander. He built a house across from current Ward House Museum around 1725 and lived there until his death in 1754.