Archive:Memoirs of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Volume II

From WRG
Jump to navigationJump to search

Archives > Archive:Extracts > Memoirs of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Volume II

William Richard Cutter, Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts (New York, NY: Lewis historical publishing company, 1908), Volume II.

From Google Books.

Volume I, Volume II, Volume III, Volume IV, Part 1, Volume IV, Part 2,

[p. 413]

Children of John F. and Mary Lucy (Loker) Felch: 1. John Elmer, born February 13, 1862, attended public and Allen school of West Newton; married at Saxonville, August 6, 1883, Nellie L. Whitney; children: i. Marguerite Mae, born May 20, 1890; ii. Gladys lola, born February 28, 1898, died August 15, 1899; iii. Enid Whitney, born December 6, 1900.

[p. 417]

GAY Edwin Whitney Gay, deceased, for many years an active and successful business man of Newton, Massachusetts, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, January 7, 1845, son of Aaron Richards and Mary J. (Whitney) Gay.

Aaron Richards Gay (father) was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, October 9, 1815, died at his home on Bacon street, Newton, April 7, 1859. He was educated in the public schools of Boston, and graduated at the Boston high school. He was a wholesale and retail stationer on State street, Boston, achieving therein a well merited degree of success. He removed from Boston to Newton in the year 1850, and took an active interest in its affairs up to the time of his death. He was a member of the Methodist church. He married (first), October 4, 1840, Mary J. Whitney, born May 28, 1818, at Lincoln, Massachusetts, died at Newton Corner, Massachusetts, August 4, 1850; she was the mother of Edwin Whitney Gay; married (second), October 13, 1853, Martha Ann Fisher, of Claremont, New Hampshire.

Edwin Whitney Gay removed to Newton with his father in 1850, and received his educational training in the public and high schools thereof. He engaged in the stationery business with his father, first as clerk, and on the death of his father succeeded to the business, which he continued to conduct up to his death, September 24, 1902. He was a Republican in politics, and represented the seventh ward in the common council of Newton, 1880-81-82-83, and presided over that body for a portion of that time. He served in the Federal army in the Civil war, and was a member of the Charles Ward Post, Grand Army of the Republic. He affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, was a member and past master of Dalhousie Lodge of Newton, and a Knight Templar, Gethsemane Commandery. He was a member of the Newton, Himnewell and Monday Evening clubs. He was married in Newton, June 14, 1884, to Maria Moore, daughter of James and Catherine (Moore) Ricker. There was no issue of this marriage.

James Ricker, father of Mrs. Gay, was born at Hartford, Maine, about the year 1801, died at Newton, Massachusetts, November 13, 1860, aged fifty-nine years. He was one of a family of eleven children, six sons and five daughters, of whom two are living at the present time (1907), namely: Albion, aged ninety-two, resides at Turner, Maine; Asia, aged eighty-two, resides at Worcester, Massachusetts. James Ricker received his educational training in the schools of his native town, and upon attaining manhood took up the practical duties of life. Upon taking up his residence in Newton, Massachusetts, he engaged at farming, acquiring the old Moore farm, formerly the homestead of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Henrietta (Durant) Moore, and here he spent the remaining years of his active life. He was successful in his undertaking, being a man of industry and thrift, and he was highly respected by his fellow-citizens for his many sterling qualities. He took an active interest in the material and moral welfare of his adopted city, was actively connected with its advancement along educational lines, and served in the capacity of selectman. He was a Whig in politics until the formation of the Republican party, to which he henceforth gave his allegiance, and in religion was a Congregationalist, as was also his wife.

James Ricker was married at Newton, Massachusetts, in 1833, to Catherine Moore, who was born at the Moore homestead at Newton, Massachusetts, 1798, died there in April, 1883. Two children were the issue of this marriage: Maria Moore, widow of Edwin Whitney Gay. Henrietta Durant, born in 1834, died at Newton, Massachusetts, September 16, 1880.

[p. 468]

Isaac S. Starbird [1831-1907, of Lisbon, ME,]. . . owned the Flech farm, which he bought of Jacob Whitney.

[p. 470]

Children [of Samuel and Clarissa (Dunn) Hills of Surry, NH, and Brookline, MA]: . . . . 8. William, born September 17, 1843, married Ida Whitney. . . . .

[p. 666]

(IV) Nathaniel Gerry . . . was born in Stoneham in 1733 and died in his fifty-ninth year at Harvard, Massachusetts, January 29, 1791 (gravestone). He resided in Stoneham, Reading, Charlestown and Harvard. . . . . His will was dated January 15, 1791, and proved May 17 following. He married Susanna -----. Children: . . . . 4. Susannah, married ----- Whitney. . . . .

[p. 710]

(VIII) Samuel Wales French, son of Marshall Whitcomb and Elizabeth Thomas (Wales) French, was born in Palmer, Hampden county, Massachusetts, May 12, 1857. He was fitted for college at the Hitchcock Academy, Brimfield, Massachusetts, and commenced his business life as bookkeeper in the Palmer Savings Bank, of which his father was treasurer, when about nineteen years of age. He afterwards entered the Palmer National Bank as a clerk, was promoted to the position first of assistant cashier and then of cashier. He was also made a director of the Palmer National Bank, of which his father was president, and he was president and treasurer of the Palmer Wire Company, and president of the Young Men's Library Association, and treasurer and trustee of St. Paul's Universalist church. He removed to Newtonville, where his father resided, in 1886, and engaged in the wholesale clothing business in Boston. He was cashier of the First National Bank of Peterborough, New Hampshire, 1890-96, and in 1896 returned to Newtonville to assume the office of secretary and treasurer of the newly established Newtonville Trust Company, of which John W. Weeks is president. He has served as treasurer of the Newton Club for five years, and as treasurer and a trustee of the Newtonville Universalist Church. He is a member of the Unitarian Club, of the Men's Universalst Club, of the

[p. 711]

Brae Burn Country Club, and of the Central Club of the Central Congregational Church.

He was married (first), June 5, 1878, to Annie Amelia, daughter of Dr. George F. and Harriet (Lyon) Chamberlain, of Brimfield, .Massachusetts. She died December, 1879, and he was married (second) June 28, 1883, to Emma Melphia, daughter of Charles W. and Betsey (Whitney) Weller of Winchendon. Charles W. Weller was a private in Company I. Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, for nine months in 1861-62. having been discharged for disability after nine months service in the field.

Mrs. French through her mother, Betsey (Whitney) Weller, is a direct descendant from John and Elinor Whitney, the first of the name in New England, natives of Ipswich, England, who sailed from London, England, in 1635, and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Colony, and were the parents of nine children: Mary, John, Richard, Nathaniel, Thomas, Jonathan, Joshua, Caleb and Benjamin Whitney. The known ancestry of John Whitney, of Ipswich, England, runs back through English history, and included knights, earls, barons, dukes, kings, both English and Scottish and Norman, including Henry II, of England (1154-1189), William the Conqueror, and Edmund Ironsides, the last of the Saxon Kings. The Whitneys in Watertown built established homes, and one of their residences still stands near Kendall Green, Weston, and there are other Whitney houses in both Watertown and Westminster in excellent state of preservation. Mrs. French is a musician of rare ability, and has been a singer of wide range, filling positions of importance in church, concert and operatic work. As a teacher she has laid the foundation of a number of fine voices in different parts of the state.

Mr. French is a director of the Newton Co-operative Bank, and a member of the Royal Arcanum organized in Boston, June 23, 1872. His daughter, Alice Chamberlain French, married, 1902, F. Lincoln Peirce, a lawyer, of Boston, Massachusetts, and resides at 38 Bowers street, Newtonville; and his son, Robert W. French, was graduated at Boston University School of Medicine, in 1907, and is serving an appointment in the Homoeopathic Hospital in Boston. Dr. French is a member of several college fraternities, and expects to make a specialty of surgery.

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel W. French reside at 37 Walnut Place, Newtonville, Massachusetts.

[p. 753]

In 1865 Mr. [Russell L.] Snow began in the building and contracting business on his own account, his firm being Rhodes & Snow. In 1871 this partnership was dissolved, and since then he has been in business alone. He built the residence of J. G. Thorp, Sr., now occupied by his daughter, Mrs. Ole Bull, widow of the celebrated violinist. The music room of the house is beautifully finished in teakwood, carved in India by native artists, and put into place by Mr. Snow himself. He built the Avon Home for Children in Cambridge, the Oilman School building; the Browne & Nichols private school building; the residence of Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson; the residence of Professor Laughlin; the Radcliffe College buildings the first being a house on Appian Way, for Professor Whitney, altered into a chemical laboratory; the residence of Professor Whitney; three large double houses near the corner of Harvard and Trowbridge streets, for Professor Horsford; the Nurses' Home at the City Hospital; the Ward for Contagious Diseases at the City Hospital; the residence for Woodward Emery, of Cambridge; the residence for J. G. Thorp, Jr., and many other residences and other buildings in Cambridge and vicinity.

[p. 767]

George Walter Snow, son of Harmon and Sarah Sears (Deming) Snow, was born in Savoy, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, December 24, 1848. He attended the public schools, and at the age of twenty-one (1869) removed to Newton, Massachusetts, but worked in the mahogany mills of Palmer Parker & Company of Boston, and has remained with this firm up to 1885, when he established the hardwood, paint and oil business at 21 Union Square, Somerville, with William E. Whitney, the firm being Whitney & Snow.

[p. 774]

(VI) Deacon Oliver Mead, son of Samuel [and Hannah (Willard)] Mead (5), was born in Harvard, Massachusetts, September 2, 1751, and died at Boxborough, March 20, 1836, aged eighty-four years. He settled in the adjacent town of Boxborough after his marriage; was selectman and prominent in civil and military life. He had the second seat in the front gallery while at Harvard. He was with his father a soldier in the revolution, in Captain Jonathan Davis's company, Colonel John Whitcomb's regiment April 19, 1775. He married, at Harvard, June 22, 1777, Anna Whitney, born at Harvard, May 2, 1760, daughter of Abraham and Sarah (Whitney) Whitney, descendant of John Whitney, of Watertown, Massachusetts, the immigrant. Children: 1. Sarah, born December 19. 1778; married Levi Houghton, of Harvard. 2. Lucy, died unmarried. 3. Anna, married William Stevens, father of Oliver Stevens, of Boxborough. 4. Abraham, married Kimball, of Littleton. 5. Oliver, Jr., married Betsey Taylor, aunt of Captain Varnum. 6. Elizabeth, married Reuben Houghton, of Harvard, brother of Levi Houghton. 7. Nabby W., married as second wife of Reuben Houghton, of Harvard. 8. Samuel W., married Betsey Stevens ; second, Mary Stevens; third, Lucinda Conant, of Harvard. 9. Hannah, died aged eight. 10. Nathaniel, married Lucy Taylor, mentioned below.

(VII) Nathaniel Mead, son of Oliver Mead (6), was born in Boxborough, Massachusetts, October 30, 1798, died July 4, 1852. He married Lucy Taylor, who was born in Boxborough, July 26, 1801, and died October 5, 1865. They settled on the farm at Boxborough now or lately owned by Frank Whitcomb. Children: 1. Adelbert (name changed from Nathaniel) born in Boxborough, January 10, 1822, died April 6, 1905; mentioned below. 2. Oliver W., born October 19, 1823; mentioned below. 3. Sarah, born August 22, 1825, died December 14, 1865; married John Lowe, of Fitchburg, who died in 1907 at an advanced age. He was the father of seventeen children by his two wives, all growing to maturity—-a truly remarkable family "Historic Homes, etc., of Worcester County" says: "He has the unique honor of being the head of the largest, and taken altogether, the most successful and distinguished family ever raised in Fitchburg; he has seventeen children grown, and not a single black sheep in the flock!" 4. Maria, born September 7, 1827, died November 24, 1905; married Andrew Patch, of Littleton, and settled in Harvard; had four children. 5. Mary, born June 9, 1829; married John J. Lothrop, and lived in California until the death of her husband, a period of over thirty-four years; they had no children; she returned to West Acton, Massachusetts, to reside. 6. Anna, born January 1, 1831; married Charles Twitchell, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts; resided later in West Acton; their son Clarence resides at home. 7. Varnum B., born October 16, 1832; mentioned below. 8. Frances Adelaide, born September 30, 1842.

(VIII) Adelbert Mead, son of Nathaniel Mead (7), was born in Boxborough, January 10, 1822. His name was originally Nathaniel Jr., but was changed later to Adelbert. He was educated in the public schools of his native town and brought up on his father's farm. When a young man he and his brother Oliver W. Mead established the firm with which their names have ever since been connected, beginning with the firm of A. & O. W. Mead in 1844, in the produce commission business in Boston. Their business flourished. With a thorough knowledge of the business of farming and market gardening, the firm united special knowledge of the commercial needs of their trade and high business principles. The partners were energetic, capable and indus-

[p. 775]

trious. They commanded success and built on a solid foundation. Their house is now one of the oldest in continuous business in Boston in this line.

Before engaging in the produce business, Mead had intended to follow the trade of shoe making, which he had learned. In 1841 he began to sell his shoes in Boston, and it became convenient for his neighbors and for those along the route which he followed on his trips to ship goods to the Boston markets in his care on commission. He soon saw the possibilities of a large trade along these lines, and thus came to establish the business, in partnership with his brother. At first they had only one large market wagon with a stand outside Quincy Market. After conducting the business for nine years at this stand the firm removed to 50 North Market street, and in 1866 to the present location at 35 North Market street and 35 Clinton street, Boston. This location is one of the best in the city, Besides the facilities at Boston, the Mead firm had a cold storage plant at West Acton. This firm built the first cold storage house in Massachusetts for holding fruit and produce. In the place of business this firm has every facility for the handling, care and sale of produce of all kinds. The specialties are butter, cheese, poultry, eggs, fruits, etc. Two-thirds of the business is from the west. The present name of the house is A. & O. W. Mead & Company. Adelbert Mead, the founder, remained in active business until 1900. He was a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce and of the Boston Fruit and Produce Exchange, and with his brothers was interested in railroads in various sections of the country, and at one time in live stock and ranches in Wyoming. He was a man of sterling character.

He married Almira Hoar, of Littleton, Massachusetts. Their only surviving child, Estella A., born February 3, 1851, married David C. Cutler, and lived at West Acton with her father; their children: Etta, Ethel, Emma, Adelbert and Zelia Cutler.

(VIII) Oliver W. Mead, son of Nathaniel Mead (7), was born in Boxborough, Massachusetts, October 19, 1823. He was educated in the public schools, and remained on the farm which he conducted until he came of age. Then he taught school for two years in Luncnburg and Littleton, Massachusetts, until he entered partnership with his brother in the produce commission business as related above. He was a first class business man in every sense of the word, of marked financial ability, a clever salesman, shrewd at a bargain, but upright and straightforward always. He was systematic in the details of the business and of large executive ability. He was called upon to fill many positions of trust; was director of the First National Bank of Ayer for several years; trustee of the North Middlesex Savings Bank of Ayer; member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce; and a charter member of the Boston Fruit and Produce Exchange.

He married three times. He married first, May 22, 1851, Mary E. Hartwell, of Harvard, and had four children. He married second, August 22, 1867, Susan A. Morrill, who died a few months after their marriage. He married third, January 19, 1869, Lucy M. Emery of Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Children of Oliver W. and Mary E. Mead: 1. Warren H., born December 18, 1853; married Lizzie Blandon, December, 1877; he died January 29, 1879. 2. Julian A., born April 15, 1856; married Mary D. Emerson, December 12, 1889, and settled in Watertown, where he is a very successful physician. 3. Emma A. born March 6, 1859, married George Simmer Wright, son of George C. Wright (See sketch of Wright family). 4. Nelson A., born January i, 1866; died young. Children of Oliver W. and Lucy M. Mead: 5. Hobart E., born July 4, 1870. 6. Louis Guy, born October 3, 1873: graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School.

Varnum B. Mead

(VIII) Varnum B. Mead, son of Nathaniel Mead (7), was born October 16, 1832, in Boxborough. He was brought up on the old homestead, and received his education in the public schools. He has had a varied and interesting career. At the age of nineteen he went to the Hawaiian Islands and was in business there five years. He then had a valuable business experience in Fitchburg and Acton, Massachusetts, and Montreal, Canada, shipping produce chiefly to his brothers, A. & O. W. Mead, of Boston. He worked on salary one year for this firm, and in 1867 was admitted to the partnership. Among other positions of trust he was president of the Franklin and Megantic railroad of Maine. He lived in West Acton many years, but his present home is in Somerville, Massachusetts. In politics he is a Republican. Personally agreeable and attractive in manner, he has many warm personal friends. In business circles he maintained the high standard set by the founders of the house. He married first. Martha A. Keyes, and second, September 18, 1859, Direxa E. Stearns, born July 15, 1835, died March 20,

[p. 776]

1900, daughter of Levi and Direxa (Jewett) Stearns, of Townsend (See sketch). Children: 1. George Varnum, born March 18, 1861, mentioned below. 2. Frederick Stearns, born February i, 1863; mentioned below. 3. Adelbert F., born June 11, 1860; mentioned below.

(IX) George Varnum Mead, son of Varnum B. Mead (8), was born in Townsend, Massachusetts, March 18, 1861. He was educated in the public schools of Acton, and two years at the Chauncy Hall School, Boston. He is a commission merchant in Boston, with his place of business at 35 North Market street. Since 1883 he has made his home in Somerville, residing at present at 66 Chandler street. He is a member of the Boston Fruit and Produce Exchange, also the National League of Commission Merchants of the United States. He is a Republican in politics. He married, November 17, 1883, Effie R. Wright, daughter of George C. and Susan H. (Davis) Wright, of West Acton (See George S. Wright sketch). She is a member of the Anne Adams Tufts Chapter, D. A. R., Somerville, Massachusets. They have one child, Francis Varnum, born at Somerville, August 19, 1885; educated in the public and high schools of Somerville and the Ringe Manual Training School of Cambridge; is now associated in business with his father, dealing in fruits and produce at 35 North Market street, Boston. He is a member of the Boston Fruit and Produce Exchange.

(IX) Frederic Stearns Mead, son of Varnum B. Mead (8), was born at West Acton, Massachusetts, February 1, 1863. He was educated in the public schools of Acton, at Chauncy Hall School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. Like his brothers he has followed the commission business in Boston. He is a member of the Boston Fruit and Produce Exchange, and in 1906 was president of the organization. He is also a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, the National League of Commission Merchants of the United States, and the National Poultry and Game Association. He resides in Arlington, and served on the board of selectmen for the years 1906 and 1907. He married September 18, 1884, Lizzie M. Gates of West Acton. Children: 1. Frederic Stearns, Jr., born September 18, 1885. 2. Edward Adams, born March 30, 1896.

(IX) Adelbert Francis Mead, son of Varnum B. Mead (8), was born in West Acton, Massachusetts, June 11, 1866. He was educated in the public schools of Acton, in the Chauncy Hall School, Boston, where he was graduated in 1883, and in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, which he attended two years. He is a member of the alumni of both of the latter named institutions. He left school to work for the commission house of A. & O. W. Mead & Company, of Boston. He is at present engaged with his brothers in the same business in Boston. He is a member of the Boston Fruit and Produce Exchange, and of the National League of Commission Merchants of the United States. Mr. Mead has been president of the Boston Branch of the latter organization. He is also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and the Fairbanks Family Association. His home is at 74 Chandler street, Somerville. In politics he is a Republican. He married, November 16, 1889, Theodosia Bertha Wright, daughter of George C. and Susan H. (Davis) Wright, of West Acton (See Geo. S. Wright sketch). She was educated in the public schools of Acton and the Concord high school. She is a member of the Anne Adams Tufts Chapter, D. A. R. of Somerville, and is treasurer of the Woman's Universalist Missionary Society. Children: 1. Marion Elizabeth, born August 28, 1890, student in the Somerville Latin High School, class of 1909. 2. Sumner Adelbert, born October 30, 1892, student in the Somerville Latin High School, class of 1910. 3. Lucian Wright, born June 15, 1895. 4. Varnum Cleveland, born August 5, 1898. 5. Lois Bertha, born October 3, 1902. George V., Fred S. and Adelbert F., all sons of Varnum B. Mead, after leaving school went to work in the commission house of A. & O. W. Mead and Company, remaining there until 1900, when they purchased the name and good will of the firm. Since that time they have not only maintained the high standing of the firm, but have increased the business in all departments.

[p. 787]

(VI) Joseph Frothingham Tufts, son of Amos [and Abigail W. (Tapley)] Tufts (5), was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, July 19, 1790; died September 17, 1854. He was a tanner and agent in various trusts, a prominent and successful citizen of Charlestown. He married (published March 12, 1815) Hannah Whitney, who was born in 1791 and died August 15, 1872, aged eighty-one years one month and ten days, daughter of Nathaniel and Abigail Whitney, of Watertown, descendant of John and Elinor Whitney, of Watertown, early settlers of Watertown. Children, born in Charlestown: 1. James Bradish Whitney Tufts, born January 14, 1817; died November 8, 1844. 2. Joseph Frothingham, born November 11, 1819; died June 13, 1848. 3. Henry, born October 5, 1822; died May 5, 1847. 4. George Frederick, born October 19, 1825; mentioned below. 5. Alfred, born August 14, 1829.

(VII) George Frederick Tufts, son of Joseph Frothingham Tufts (6), was born in Charlestown, October 19, 1825. He was brought up in old Charlestown, the home of his ancestors, and educated in its public schools. He inherited valuable and extensive real estate. He gave the land for the Tufts School of Medford, Massachusetts. He has been a prominent figure in business circles in Charlestown for more than sixty years. He entered the Warren Institution for Savings, April i, 1861, as a clerk, was chosen treasurer in October, 1865, and filled that position with conspicuous ability and success for a period of forty-one years. Politically he is a Republican. He attends the Winthrop church of Charlestown. December 11, 1856, he married Sarah Coburn, born September 20, 1832, daughter of Nathan and Mary (Parker) Coburn, both of Lisbon, New Hampshire. Children: 1. Hannah Whitney, born September 13, 1857; married Arthur R. Robertson (See Robertson sketch). 2. Helen Parker, born January 5, 1860. 3. Alice, born October 27, 1870; married Rev. Charles R. Brown, of Oakland, California.

[p. 788]

(III) Arthur Rhodes Robertson, son of Captain John Cutting [and Sarah Fuller (Crafts)] Robertson (2) was born [7 Apr 1855,] in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He was educated there in the public and high schools. He is a partner of John I. Brown, store at 144 Oliver street; the business has been conducted for sixty years. He married Hannah Whitney Tufts, who was born in Westborough, Massachusetts, September 13, 1857, daughter of George Frederick and Sarah (Coburn) Tufts. Their only child is Rhodes, born at Somerville, September 27, 1886, fitted for college in the public and high schools of Somerville; member of class of 1908, Harvard University.

[p. 791]

Fred Wales Abbott . . . was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 16, 1857. He was educated in the public schools of Boston and Ipswich, Massachusetts. He began his business career in the employ of F. A. Howard & Co., 34 Kilby street, Boston, as clerk, and had charge of their receiving the imported goods. In 1879 he entered the employ of Hollingsworth & Whitney, paper dealers, and is still connected with that firm in a position of responsibility and trust. He resides at Maltapan, Massachusetts, in the town of Milton.

[p. 845]

(VI) Joseph Gleason, son of Joseph [and Sarah (Curtis)] Gleason (5), was born in Petersham, Massachusetts, April 7, 1781, and died there February 28, 1808, aged twenty-six years. He was buried in Petersham and his burial place is marked by a headstone. He was a farmer. He married at Petersham, Sukey (sometimes given as Susan) Whitney, born 1780, died April 21, 1828, and buried by the side of her first husband at Petersham. (See gravestone in Petersham graveyard). She married (second), December 22, 1813, James Thompson, of New Salem, Massachusetts. Children of Joseph and Sukey (Whitney) Gleason, born at Petersham: 1. Harriet, born about 1803, married, June 1, 1823, Oren Tower. 2. Louisa, born 1805, married, August 23, 1830, Samson Wetherell. 3. Benjamin Whitney, born October 12, 1806.

Sukey Whitney was the daughter of Captain Benjamin Whitney, second lieutenant in the Revolution under General Lee and later captain; resided in Simpson, Province of Quebec, and at Petersham, Massachusetts; died 1830. Solomon Whitney (5), father of Captain Benjamin (6), was born December 20, 1721; married, October 5, 1749, Elizabeth Smith; married (second), Ithamar Goodnow; resided at Marlborough and Petersham, Massachusetts; he had four children.

Benjamin Whitney]] (4), father of Solomon (5), was born October 7, 1687. Married, February 7, 1710, Sarah Barrett, born November 28,1692, died February 15,1730. He settled in Boston, Massachusetts, and became wealthy; he owned Narragansett rights which he willed to his son Solomon. He died October, 1737.

Thomas Whitney]] (3), father of Benjamin (4), was born at Watertown, Massachusetts, August 24, 1656. He was a resident of Watertown, Stow and Bolton, Massachusetts ; he owned a sixty-acre farm at Pompascitticut (now Stow), Massachusetts. Married. January 29, 1679, Elizabeth Lawrence, born February 3, 1659. He died at Bolton, Massachusetts, February 8, 1741.

John Whitney (1), father of Thomas (2), was born in England in 1629 ; was admitted freeman April 18, 1690. He married, in Watertown, Massachusetts, January 11, 1654, Mary Kettell. (See Whitney family).

(VII) Benjamin Whitney Gleason, son of Joseph Gleason, Jr., (6), was born October 12, 1806, in Petersham, Massachusetts, and died in Gleasondale (Stow), January 19, 1884. He was educated in the public schools, leaving at the age of fourteen to begin his apprenticeship to learn the trade of cabinet maker. After he came of age he followed his trade at Grafton, Massachusetts, in the wood-working department of a cotton mill there. In 1833 he went to Worcester, and during the following four years was a journeyman in a machine shop. He left Worcester and entered the employ of Gilbert & Richardson, of North Andover, Massachusetts, manufacturers of cotton and woolen machinery. The firm was dissolved in 1842 and George H. Gilbert removed to Ware and engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods. July 13, 1842, Mr. Gleason formed a copartnership with George L. Davis, who had been a fellow workman with him in the employ of Gilbert & Richardson, under the name of Gleason & Davis, and began manufacturing machinery at North Andover. In 1848 Charles Furber, an old employee, was admitted to partnership and the name was changed to Gleason, Davis & Furber. Mr. Gleason retired from the firm in 1849. In 1849, the creditors of the Rock Bottom Company, which had failed, prevailed upon Mr. Gleason to reorganize that company and take charge of the business. He moved to Rock Bottom and took into partnership Mr. Samuel J. Dale. In 1875 Mr. Gleason suffered a slight stroke of paralysis, but he recovered and continued in active business until 1880, when he practically retired. He was a leader in his line of business, successful, upright and enterprising. He was a Republican in politics. In 1859 and 1872 he represented his district in the general court, and in 1859 and 1861 was state senator.

He married, August 31, 1831, Louisa Fessenden, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, who was born in Rutland, Massachusetts, April 10, 1809, and died May 8, 1858. Children: 1. Ellen A., born June 18, 1834, married Humphrey Brigham, of Hudson, Massachusetts. 2. Benjamin F., born August 26, 1838, died August 25, 1848. 3. Charles W., born April 9, 1841, mentioned below. 4. Stillman A., born August 2, 1843, died August 7, 1888. 5. Alfred D., born February 7, 1846.

[p. 846]

(VIII) Charles Whitney Gleason, son of Benjamin Whitney Gleason (7), was born in North Andover, Massachusetts, April 9, 1841, and lived there until April, 1849, when with the family he moved to Rock Bottom, now Gleasondale (Stow), Massachusetts.

He attended public and private schools in his own town until fifteen years of age. Then he attended school at Riverside Institute, Auburndale, Eaton's Commercial College at Worcester, and Lancaster Institute at Lancaster. During vacations he was in the office and finishing department of his father's woolen mill. Mills in those days ran from half past five in the morning until half past seven at night, with one-half hour for breakfast and three-quarters for dinner. There being no school law, children as young as ten years were employed in manufactories in Massachusetts. At the age of nineteen years he became bookkeeper and shipping clerk in the mill remaining two years. At the age of twenty-one he spent the summer of 1862 travelling in Europe, returning in September, and again entered upon his duties at the mill, part of the time acting as overseer of spinning and weaving rooms, beside doing the office work. In April, 1863, at the age of twenty-two, he was given the position of superintendent, on trial, and in November was engaged permanently, and for twenty-four years following, held the position, even after becoming a member of the firm. His systematic habits and knowledge of the details of the business acquired during the few years of training with his father, were of great advantage in his new career as manager. He was ambitious and caretaking, and anxious to increase the output of the mills, which had suffered from frequent changes of overseers and operatives, occasioned by enlistments for the war. He entered upon his duties with energy, taking personal charge of many details of the manufacture of goods, testing the wools, mixing for the various grades, deciding what wools were needed, and watching closely that everything should be well done and economically. He won the goodwill and respect of his employees, and was always mindful of their wants and comfort. He established the plan of promoting his young men to second band positions and then to overseers, as they became competent. Some of these men filled responsible positions in the Gleason mills and in other mills throughout New England. He instilled in the minds of his employees to keep machines in good working condition and have them run to their fullest capacity. He gave his personal attention to the repairs, and many were done at night, to save stopping the work in the daytime, and Mr. Gleason was often seen in his shirt sleeves assisting and directing the work. He seemed at home, whether putting in new boilers, new water wheels, rebuilding bridges, or building a stone dam. He was often complimented by insurance inspectors and manufacturers on the cleanliness and good order which prevailed throughout the works, and at one time was urged to take charge of a mill in another part of the State, by a manufacturer who had heard of his good management.

His plans for increasing the product of the mills succeeded so well that in time he had raised the limit of former superintendents of 800,000 yards to i,200,000 yards of flannels in a year. In doing this, the quality of the Gleason flannels was kept up to the high standard established years before and so well known to the trade of the United States. For fifteen years he bought all the wool used, one year going West and buying direct from the farmers.

In 1872 Mr. Gleason was admitted to partnership in the mills, under the firm name of B. W. Gleason & Sons, the members being Benjamin W. Gleason, Charles Whitney Gleason, Stillman Augustus Gleason and Alfred Dwight Gleason. At his father's death. January 19, 1884, Charles Whitney Gleason became the head of the firm, which continued under the old name until the retirement of Stillman Augustus Gleason (who had charge of the finishing department), in November, 1887, when the firm name was changed to C. W. & A. D. Gleason. The Gleason Brothers followed their father's methods, taking no notice of business depressions, and were highly successful in their operations. They had the confidence and esteem of their employees, some of whom had worked for the company more than three decades. They were prominent and active factors in every movement that tended to the advancement and progress of the town.

Mr. Gleason is a Republican in politics, and was the first citizen in the town to cast the Australian ballot. He has served as delegate to state and county conventions, but never held town office, although often urged to do so. He was one of the original trustees of the Hale high school, and was president of the Rock Bottom Library Association, which during its existence accumulated nearly one thousand volumes, which are now in the care of and being used by the Methodist Sunday

[p. 847]

school. Mr. Gleason has always contributed generously for church work, not only in his own but in neighboring towns. He has been treasurer of the Gleasondale Methodist church for the past twenty-four years, though not a member of the same.

Mr. Gleason's long continued close application to business began to show its effects on a not too rugged constitution, and in April, 1887, a superintendent was secured to relieve him of the details of manufacture, and a few years later, being unable to attend to business, was represented by his son until August, 1899, when he retired from the firm.

Mr. Gleason married, January 25, 1866, Lucy Woods Peters, daughter of John Howe Peters, of Feltonville, (now Hudson), Massachusetts. Mrs. Gleason is a member of the First Baptist chuch of Hudson. They have one son. Albert Howe Gleason. Their home is the old Gleason homestead at Gleasondale. built in 1847-8. which has been remodelled and improved, and the grounds beautified by the present owner.

(VIII) Alfred Dwight Gleason, son of Henjamin Whitney Gleason (7), was born at North Andover, Massachusetts, February 7, 1846. He came with his parents to Rock Bottom, now Gleasondale, in the town of Stow, Massachusetts. He attended the various private schools, the Concord Academy and the Highland Military Academy, Worcester, Massachusetts. He enlisted July 15, 1864, in Company E, Fifth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, and was appointed first sergeant of his company. He was honorably discharged at the termination of his period of enlistment. Upon his return to Gleasondale he took charge of the store and conducted it for a number of years. He then became a clerk in the counting room of his father's mill, and June 1, 1872, he and his two brothers were taken into partnership by their father, under the firm name of B. W. Gleason & Sons. The three brothers, S. Augustus, Charles W. and Alfred D., continued the business under the same name after the father's death, January 19, 1884, until November, 1887, when S. Augustus Gleason retired from the firm. The name then became C. W. & A. D. Gleason and continued thus until July, 1899, when Alfred Dwight Gleason bought out his brother, Charles W. Gleason, who was obliged to retire on account of ill health. Since then Alfred Dwight Gleason has been the sole proprietor of this extensive business, making additions in 1901 and 1902 by which the capacity of the mill was greatly increased. Under his ownership the mills at Gleasondale have had a larger product than ever before, the business has flourished and the reputation of the concern has extended widely. Mr. Gleason ranks high among the successful manufacturers of Massachusetts, he and his brothers fittingly sustained the business established by their father.

Mr. Gleason has been a director of the Hudson National Bank since its organization, having been one of the committee of nine chosen in 1881 to procure the charter. He became vice-president July 13, 1897, and president October 23, 1906, a position he has held since then. He is also a trustee of the Hudson Savings Bank. He has been active in public affairs, and has contributed freely of his time and money to further every movement tending to the welfare of the town of Stow and the village of Gleasondale. He was selectman for two years and chairman of the board; be served on the building committee of the public library and is one of the trustees. He is a Republican in politics. In addition to his own business in Stow, he is a member of the firm of J. F. Stevens & Company, commission merchants, New York and Boston, and a director of the Stevens Linen Works at Webster, Massachusetts. He is well known in Masonic circles, is a member of Doric Lodge of Free Masons, Houghton Royal Arch Chapter, and Trinity Commandery, Knights Templar, No. 32. In 1898, he and his brother, Charles W. Gleason. built the Methodist Episcopal church at Gleasondale and presented it to the society as a memorial to their father, Benjamin Whitney Gleason.

Mr. Gleason married, May 12, 1870, Blanche A. Pratt, born Princeton, Massachusetts, August 24, 1850, daughter of Horace B. and Relief Holman Pratt, of Boston. Their only child is Alfreda В., born July 12, 1886.

(IX) Albert Howe Gleason, son of Charles Whitney Gleason, was born in Rock Bottom, now Gleasondale (Stow), Massachusetts, April 16, 1867. He attended the grammar and high schools at Hudson, graduating from the latter in 1885. He then spent two years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a course at Bryant & Stratum's Business College, Boston. In 1889, he went as delegate from Massachusetts to the first World's Sunday School Convention in London and continued the trip, visiting parts of England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium. In 1890 he was a delegate to the

[p. 848]

International Sunday School Association Convention at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. In 1886, at the age of nineteen, he was elected superintendent of the Gleasondale Methodist Sunday school, and held the office since with exception of three years, that he declined re-election.

For about nine years he was in the woolen mill of C. W. & A. D. Gleason. At times he had personal charge of different departments, including the dyeing, pattern work, shipping and other lines of work, and representing his father's interests during the latter's illness. He left when his father retired from the firm in 1899. He then went to Boston and engaged in lines of work relating to the brick and clay industry, at present doing the work of consulting engineer in the designing and construction of plants in New England and Eastern Canada, with business connections in Dayton, Ohio.

Mr. Gleason is a member of Doric Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of Hudson; Houghton Royal Arch Chapter, of Marlborough; Hiram Council, Royal and Select Masters, of Worcester; Trinity Commandery, Knights Templar, of Hudson; Aleppo Temple, Nobles Mystic Shrine, of Boston; and Mizpah Chapter, Order Eastern Star, of Marlborough, of which he is a past patron. He is a member of the Boston City Club. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and serving on the board of trustees and stewards.

October 4, 1892, he married Mary S. Folsom, daughter of Benjamin F. Folsom, of Gleasondale. They have two children: Emily May, born May 23, 1895; and Howard Folsom, born May 3, 1897. They reside in Gleasondale, in the house built in 1892, adjoining the homestead estate of C. W. Gleason.

Copyright © 2009, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group