Archive:Encyclopedia of Massachusetts, Volume 2

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Cutter, William Richard, Encyclopedia of Massachusetts, biographical--genealogical (New York: American Historical Society, 1916), volume 2.


p. 40

Joseph Henry Bowen, only son of Joseph Abraham and Fanny M. (Corey) Bowen, was born March 18, 1866, in Fall River, was graduated from the Fall River High School in 1883, from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1884, and from Harvard University in 1888. After leaving college Mr. Bowen became associated in the coal business with his father, with which he is still connected. The firm has also been interested in shipping, being agents for coasting schooners engaged in the coal carrying trade. He married, June 19, 1890, Mary S. Whitney, daughter of Edward H. and Jennie (Hooper) Whitney, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was born November 16, 1868. They have children, all born in Fall River: 1. Joseph Whitney, born May 18, 1891, attended the Fall River High School, graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1908, and from Harvard University in 1912, and is now associated with his father in the coal business; he married, November 16, 191 5, Florence Horton, daughter of Melvin Borden Horton, of Fall River. 2. Harold Corey, born May 26, 1896, attended the High School and Phillips Exeter Academy, now an assistant in the coal business. 3. Edward Hooper, born October 14, 1899, attended the Fall River High School, and is now at Phillips Exeter Academy.

pp. 202-203

(VII) Henry Augustus Dickson, third son of Walter (3) and Sarah (Eldridge) Dickson, was born July 2, 1837, in Groton. He was early experienced in farm life, both in Groton and Palestine, whither he went at the age of sixteen years. He had attained man's estate when he returned with his parents to America, and lived at Ayer, Massachusetts, where he built a house for a home. Very shortly after the beginning of hostilities in the Civil War, May 20, 1861, he enlisted as a soldier in his country's defense, becoming a member of the Sixth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, in the three months' service. This regiment was known as "The Old Sixth," made famous, among other causes, by the attack made on it at Baltimore while on the way to Washington. Mr. Dickson's enlistment expired and he was discharged August 2, 1861. He reenlisted July 21, 1862, for three years' service, becoming a member of Company E, Thirty-third Massachusetts Infantry. When the regiment was organized he was made third sergeant, and was promoted first sergeant, June I, 1863, filling that position to the end of the war. He was appointed first lieutenant, November 3, 1864, but did not receive his commission until the following May, after war had ceased. He was discharged June 11, 1865, having participated in many of the great battles, including Chancellorsville, Beverly Ford and Gettysburg. During Sherman's southern campaign, he was in all the battles from Chattanooga to Savannah. At the battle of Resaca, Georgia, May 15, 1864, he received a gunshot wound in the shoulder, which confined him in the hospital several months. When peace was restored he returned to his native town, and soon removed to Fitchburg, Massachusetts, where he has since continued to reside. For three years he was employed in a piano factory, and then entered the service of the Boston, Clinton and Fitchburg Railroad Company, continuing six years. During the twelve succeeding years he conducted a very successful retail fish business, selling out in 1886 and retiring from active business. He became considerably interested in real estate and built several houses, and his time is now largely taken up with the care of his holdings. In 1903 he attended the national encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, at San Francisco, and visited other western coast points, including Seattle, Washington, Los Angeles, California, and the home of his sisters in Hollister, in the latter State. In 1912 he again visited the Pacific coast, accompanied by his wife, their tour occupying over seven months. Mr. Dickson is a regular attendant of the Rollstone Congregational Church, and a member of E. V. Sumner Post, No. 19, Grand Army of the Republic, and has served as post commander of the latter organization. Politically, he adheres to Republican principles, and has been a member of the Fitchburg City Council.

He married (first) September 11, 1859, Harriet B. Gushing, born June 19, 1839, in South Dedham (now Norwood), Massachusetts, daughter of Joseph A. and Prudence N. (Green) Gushing, and she died September 9, 1902, in Westboro, Massachusetts. He married (second) August 2, 1904, Mrs. Ida F. Whitney, born in Groton, Massachusetts, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Keyser) Gibbs. She is a member of Relief Corps, No. 39, of Charlestown, Massachusetts, auxiliary to Grand Army of the Republic Post No. II. A son was born June 26, 1860, of the first marriage, christened Melvin Augustus, who died July 18, 1863.

p. 316-319

(VI) Levi Goodrich, son of Lieutenant Josiah and Abigail Goodrich, was born in 1785. At the age of fourteen years he took charge of the farm and from that time seemed capable of taking charge of whatever life brought him. The early farm was at the north of the town, on a high point of land on Benedict road looking toward Dalton. Later he owned a large farm at the eastern end of the village. While on this farm Levi Goodrich and his eldest son, Noah, carried off the cattle show premiums for the ploughing matches until they were no longer allowed to compete. It was on one of these occasions that Oliver Wendell Holmes was one of the judges, and read his poem of the "Ploughing Match." At one time Mr. Goodrich had the largest sheep farm in New England, or as it was called "the largest sheep farm east of the Rockies." This was after the introduction of the Spanish Merino Sheep by his friend, Mr. Watson. The Goodrich farm was cut up and the house torn down when the Western Railroad was built. The present cobblestone house stands on a part of the old farm. Moving into the village, Mr. Goodrich bought a house on the corner of South street and East Housatonic street, extending from South street to Learned's lane and from Housatonic street to the Dr. Child's house which stood where Taconic street is now. The growth of the town may be estimated by the fact that about twenty-five houses now stand on the ground that then held one. At this time Goodrich and Hoadley were in partnership as contractors and builders. Their most important building was the Congregational church, now called the "First Church of Christ." The stones on which the specifications were made, proving too soft to be durable, a much harder stone was used, which resulted in a loss to the contractors. At a parish meeting it was voted to repay the loss, one man only objecting that as the building was originally agreed upon for a certain sum no more should be paid. The vote for repayment not being unanimous Mr. Goodrich, who had his share of New England spunk as well as of New England pluck, refused to accept the money. (Of Mr. Hoadley the interesting story is told that he had read through the New Testament before he was four years old.) Mr. Goodrich built Goodrich Block, for a long time the largest block in town, recently modernized by Mr. Newman. During the building of the church many of the services were held in Goodrich Hall in this block. There the Sanitary Commission held its fair for the soldiers of the Civil War, and there were held the public and social functions of the town. Mr. Goodrich had contracts on the Harlem, Housatonic & Western railroads. In 1842 he had the first coal brought to Pittsfield. No one was interested in it, and after lying a long time by the depot it was carted away. Five years later, regular trade in coal commenced and tifty tons were sold in Pittsfield.

Mr. Goodrich was among those who greeted Lafayette on his visit to Pittsfield in 1S25. In 1844 Levi Goodrich was the first chief of the newly organized fire department. It is interesting to read the names of the men who were the assistants of the chief, ready at any time to devote their services to the village. Dr. Robert Campbell, George J. Willis, Jason Clapp, Henry Callendar, Captain Jared Ingersoll, William G. Bachus and Ensign Kellogg. Quoting from old records "Levi Goodrich was one of the most valued and honored citizens. Many times called to public office and wielded a great influence in public affairs." "So closely linked with the history of Pittsfield is the history of the family, than one can hardly mention an event of importance in which they did not have an important part." An old record also says "The family was noted for its personal beauty."

Mr. Goodrich married, in 1806, Wealthy Whitney, of Pittsfield. Children: Mary Wright, born 1808, married Frank Hinsdale, of Hinsdale, in 1837; Noah Whitney, born 1811, married Abby Goodrich, of Pittfield, in 1832; Horace Porter, born 1813, married Mary Mills, of Cortland, New York, in 1843; Milton Graham, born 1815, married Catherine Bradford, of Pittsfield, in 1836; Harriet Elizabeth, born 1817, married George Foxcroft, of Boston, in 1837; Anna Wealthy, born 1820, married Edwin Saunders, of New York, in 1846, mentioned below; Caroline Whitney, born 1822, married Charles Bailey, M. D., of Medford, in 1845; Abby Maria, died at the age of thirteen in 1841. Josiah, nephew and adopted son, married Harriet Elliott, of Washington. Levi Goodrich died in 1868. Always included in his petition at family prayers was the prayer of Agur: "Give me neither poverty nor riches."

The father of Levi Goodrich and the father of Wealthy, his wife, were both lieutenants in the Revolutionary War; both came to Pittsfield in the same year, 1793; both settled in the north part of the town; both were fifth in descent from the original settlers, both of whom came from England at about the same time. Both families trace their lines back to Wales, to the banks of the River Wye in Herefordshire. There coincidences cease, as the Whitneys were Norman and the Goodriches Saxon, the name still being retained in the castle and court, four miles from Ross. The map of Pittsfield of 1794 shows Whitney's forge near Taconic, where the family settled when they came to Pittsfield. This forge was operated at one time by Charles Goodrich, the first settler and the "most picturesque figure" of early Pittsfield, who came from Wethersfield forty-one years before his kinsman, Josiah Goodrich, but was active in town affairs for twenty years afterwards. Members of the Goodrich family settled and named Goodrich, New York; Pittsfield, Vermont, and Pittsfield, Illinois. The Whitneys named Pittsfield, Ohio. Wethersfield sent twenty-seven Goodriches to the Revolutionary War.

Edwin Saunders who married Anna Wealthy, daughter of Levi Goodrich, in 1846, was born in Bristol, England, in 1815, of Quaker stock. The family came from Holland in the sixteenth century and brought with them the process of manufacturing copper. One branch of the family is still engaged in that business. John Saunders, father of Edwin Saunders, was a manufacturer in London, and being a member of one of the old City Guilds his drays were permitted to pass Temple Bar without paying toll. According to the custom of the day, Edwin Saunders was sent to a Quaker boarding school when only four years old and distinctly remembered seeing at one time from the top of the coach that was taking him to school the decorated streets and procession in honor of the coronation of George the Fourth. When Edwin Saunders was nineteen years of age he was in his father's office, but in a spirit of adventure left London and came to America on the "Barque Gentoo." The ship took six weeks to make the crossing, under a captain who was afterwards the first captain of the Cunard Line. Mr. Saunders, then at the age when one wishes to be entirely independent, never presented the letters that he brought to Quakers of prominence in this country. After a trip to Niagara, and Chicago, which was then a small place in the West, Mr. Saunders went into the office of Asa Whitney in New York. Later in New Orleans, he had an importing house for French embroideries, laces and ribbons. About 1853, he was in partnership with the Dimmocks in Connecticut and they were among the earliest silk manufacturers in the country. Moving to Paterson, New Jersey, he carried on the silk business successfully for many years. A very severe illness compelled him to give it up, but he brought a part of the machinery and some of the silk finishers and started the industry in Pittsfield. Mr. Saunders died in 1899, having lived in this country for sixty-five years. An adopted daughter, Caroline Sutherland Saunders, lives in Pittsfield; a daughter, Mary, married Thomas Campbell Oakman, mentioned below.

Thomas Campbell Oakman was born on Walnut street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, son of John Oakman, grandson of George Oakman, who died young, leaving an estate, and a young son, a ward in chancery, and great-grandson of John Oakman, who was a linen manufacturer of Belfast. John Oakman (father) was born in 1811. Later he travelled in Canada and the United States, and he so much liked the latter country that he returned and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and married the daughter of Thomas McElrath and Mary Gill Campbell. Thomas Campbell Oakman was educated at Professor Fairres' School and at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the First City Troop of Philadelphia, and went out with them when General Lee invaded Pennsylvania. He studied military tactics under General Di Cesnola and later was captain in the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry. After the war he was in the cotton business with his father in Paterson, New Jersey, and was prominent in business and social affairs. In 1872 he moved the cotton machinery south, having bought a tract of land and a mill village in North Carolina, where General Sherman on his "march to the sea" had burned down the mills. Large brick mills were built, ground given for the Episcopal church, library and night school established, and there Mr. Oakman lived for many years. During his later years he was interested in inventions for which he held patents and in the development of property in the south. He was a member of the Delta Chapter, Delta Psi, and of the Loyal Legion. He died in 1909, leaving three children: 1. John, a graduate of Williams, Massachusetts, and Beaux Arts. Paris, and is an architect in New York; married Margaret Marquand, widow of Herbert Hale; they have one daughter, Renee. 2. Constance, widow of Albert Bullus, of New York. 3. Dorothy, who lives with her mother.

(The Whitney Line).

(I) The first of the Whitney family in America, of which Wealthy (Whitney) Goodrich was a representative, was John Whitney, born in 1589, married Elinor Bray, and came to America in 1635.

(II) Joshua Whitney, son of John Whitney, served in King Philip's War, and was known as Deacon Joshua, of Groton. He married for his third wife Abigail Tarball in 1672.

(III) David Whitney, son of Joshua and Abigail Whitney, married (first) Mrs. Prudence Merrill Sedgwick, and (second) Elizabeth Warren.

(IV) Joshua (2) Whitney, son of David Whitney, served in the French and Indian wars. He married Ann Blodgett.

(V) Joshua (3) Whitney, son of Joshua (2) Whitney, was a lieutenant in the Revolution. He married Anna Ashley, of Salisbury, in 1770. Children: Noah Ashley, married (first) Olive Dorwin, and (second) Mrs. Elizabeth Rose; Anna, married Samuel Hyde; Joshua, married Eunice Clark; Huldah, married William Williams, son of James Denison Colt; Porter, died of "ye small-pox;" Asa, married Betsey Childs; Wealthy, mentioned below.

(VI) Wealthy Whitney, daughter of Joshua Whitney, born 1788, married Levi Goodrich, of Pittsfield, in 1806 (see Goodrich VI).

pp. 349-350

(II) Jonathan Farnsworth, son of Matthias Farnsworth, was born at Groton, June 1, 1675, where the family lived for a time before the outbreak of King Philip's War, and died at Harvard, Massachusetts, June 16, 1748. When the Indians attacked Groton and burned the town, March 2, 1676, the family fled for refuge to Concord, but later returned to Groton. He had a farm in the south part of the town, in the section that was subsequently incorporated as the town of Flar vard in 1732. He owned the covenant in the Groton Church, September 21, 1707 and his wife joined the church there, October 14, 1715. They were dismissed to the Harvard church, September 14, 1733. He married, in 1698, Ruth Shattuck, born June 24, 1678, daughter of John and Ruth (Whitney) Shattuck, granddaughter of two well-known pioneers of Watertown, William Shattuck and John Whitney. Children, born at Groton: Ruth, born April 2, 1699; Jonathan, mentioned be low; Ephraim, January 2, 1703; Reuben, April 28, 1705; Phineas, September 15, 1707; Priscilla, September 9, 1709; Nathaniel, September 1, 1711; John, February 8, 1714; Hannah, August 10, 1717; Simeon, July 12, 1718; Susanna, April 28, 1720; Elias, May 30, 1723; John, April 25, 1725; Silas, November 22, 1727; Betty, October 13, 1729.

(III) Jonathan (2) Farnsworth, son of Jonathan (1) Farnsworth, was born at Groton, March 27, 1701, and died at Harvard, August 1, 1775. He was a farmer, a lifelong resident of Harvard. He married (first) June 20, 1725, Mary Burt, who died June 9, 1765, aged sixty-four years. He married (second) May 5, 1767, Hannah Farwell. The births of the first four children were recorded at Groton, the others at Harvard. Children: Mary, born June 18, 1726, died March, 1728; Jonathan, November 22, 1727; Betty, October 13, 1729; Joseph, mentioned below; Abel, May 12, 1734; child, 1734, died young; Elias, October 28, 1737; Lemuel, August 3, 1740; Rachel, 1742.

(IV) Joseph Farnsworth, son of Jonathan (2) Farnsworth, was born at Groton, January 31, 1731-32. He was a farmer and prominent citizen, selectman in 1777. He married Hannah Flynt. Children, born at Harvard, except the eldest: Samuel, born at Reading, Massachusetts, where his parents lived for a time, August 29, 1755, baptized at Harvard, August 14, 1757; Levi, born February 27, 1758, baptized June 25, 1758; Joseph, born April 27, 1760; Hannah, September 26, 1762; Jesse, mentioned below; Jonathan, born August 20, 1767; Nathaniel Flynt, born January 2, 1770; John, February 4, 1772; Eunice, May 15, 1774; Nancy, 1775; Betsey, 1777.

(V) Jesse Farnsworth, son of Joseph Farnsworth, was born March 1, 1765, at Harvard, and died there February 21, 1848. He married, March 4, 1788, Sarah Sawtell, born April 2. 1764, died May 12, 1845, daughter of Obadiah and May (Gould) Sawtell. Her parents were married in 1756 (intention dated May 26th). Obadiah Sawtell was son of Henry and Margaret Sawtell, grandson of Hezekiah and Joanna (Wilson) Sawtell, and was born at Groton, October 11, 1732; he kept the hotel and during the Revolution was in the front rank of patriots; was town clerk ten years, selectman eight years, delegate to Provincial Congress and to the First Constitutional Convention of Massachusetts; first representative to the Central Court under the constitution. His descendants are eligible to the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution. Children, born at Shirley: Obadiah, born June 18, 1789, married, March 31, 1811, Abigail Fairbanks; Rufus, born December 15, 1791, married, July 7, 1821, Lovina Blanchard; Daniel, born October 19, 1795, married Rebecca (Carlton) Garfield; Minot, born October 19, 1795, twin, died August 6, 1798; Calvin, mentioned below; Sarah, born 1806, died March. 1839, married Asher Parker.

(VI) Calvin Farnsworth, son of Jesse Farnsworth, was born at Shirley, September 14, 1799, died in 1879. For many years he manufactured wooden band boxes, before the era of pasteboard. He prepared the wood by machinery of his own invention. The boxes were papered with wall paper of appropriate design and doubtless in some garrets may be found samples of his handiwork containing the bonnets of a past generation. He married, August 4, 1822, Pluma Adams, of Lunenburg. She died in 1876. They lived for a time in Shirley, but during most of their married life in Lunenburg. Children: Pluma, born 1824, married Jacob M. Boutelle; Sarah, 1826, married Chauncey Bartlett; Charlotte, 1829, married Micah M. Boutelle; Calvin, men tioned below; Stephen, 1833, died 1837; Ellen, 1836, married James H. Smith, and had three children, Nellie, Orren and Charles Smith; Caroline, 1840, married Moses Mclntyre, and had a daughter, Alma Mclntyre; Stephen, 1842, married (first) Fanny Thompson, (second) Flora Bailey.

Copyright © 2013, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.

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