Archive:The Descendants of John Whitney, page 100
The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, by Frederick Clifton Pierce (Chicago: 1895)
Transcribed by the Whitney Research Group, 1999.
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The Sawyer Woolen Mills Corporation is now a large and prosperous concern, employing somewhere about five hundred operatives, and turning out a quality of cloth which has acquired a high reputation in the market for beauty, durability, and uniform excellence of workmanship. None but the best materials are used, and the best class of help is em- ployed. "Live and let live" is the motto of the managers. The employes have mainly grown up with the business, the changes having been very few; a great part of them have been in the employ of the concern for twenty years or more. They are paid liberal wages, and are comfortable and independent. They are large depositors in the savings banks , and many of them own their own houses, purchased with their earnings. As may be inferred, they are, as a body, temperate, industrious and orderly. They feel that their interests are identified with those of their employers, and no strikes or other labor troubles have ever dis- turbed the harmonious relations between them. The Sawyer Woolen Mills have introduced one new feature into their business which commends itself to the good sense of all. Instead of employing commission houses to dispose of their goods, as the former practice was, they now make their own sales. They thus reduce the chances of loss to the minimum; and, there being no middleman's profit to pay, they can better afford employment to their hands in times of depression. For a number of years past the active management of the entire busi- ness-buying, manufacturing, and selling-has fallen upon Col. SAWYER, and it has been so conducted that the credit of no other establishment stands higher. As a business man, alert, sagacious and successful, the Colonel has no superior in the state, and that is saying a great deal at this day, when the brightest of the New Hampshire boys are finding employment at home. The sterling business qualities which Col. SAWYER displayed in the conduct of his own affairs have naturally led to his being selected upon the board of management of other enterprises. He is a director of the Strafford National Bank, and a trustee of the Strafford Savings Bank; a director of the Dover Gas-light Company, and president of the Dover Horse Railroad Company; a director and member of the executive board of the Granite State Insurance Company; a director of the Portsmouth Bridge Company and resident of the Eliot Bridge Company, and a director in the Portsmouth and Dover, in the Portsmouth, Great Falls and Con- way, and in the Wolfeborough branch railroads. These various and important trusts, numerous as they and his private engage- ments are, receive his careful attention; and it is safe to say that the opinion of no one concerned in their administration carries more weight than his. Col. SAWYER has too great an interest in public affairs to be without decided political convictions. He cast his earliest vote for Abraham Lincoln, and has ever since been unswerving in his allegiance to the Republican party. His experience in the service of the public has not been inconsider- able. After having served with credit in both branches of the city council of Dover, he was chosen a representative in the State Legislature in the years 1869 and 1870, and again in 1876 and 1877. His ability and standing in that body are indicated by the fact of his assignment to the important committees on the judiciary, railroads, manufactures and national affairs. His last political service was that of delegate at large to the National Republican Convention at Chicago, in 1884. The military title by which he is known, Col. SAWYER derived from his appoint- ment upon the staff of the Governor of the State in 1881. It is the barest justice to him to add that he is no office-seeker. Modest and unassuming in a remarkable degree, the public positions he has held have come to him through no longing or efforts of his own; in his case it is emphatically true that "the office has always sought the man."
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