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Biography of Robert James Decker

ROBERT JAMES DECKER – When we think of tobacco in its various forms, as cigars, cigarettes or “the pipe that sootheth,” we are apt to think of the Orient, of far and distant lands like Egypt, Greece, Bosnia, or on our Western Hemisphere of Havana, Porto Rico, or of our own product of Virginia, famous the world over. That there is a considerable amount of the fragrant weed grown in our Northern States and distributed by a large industry is a fact known not so widely as it deserves. Among the packers and growers of tobacco in Massachusetts, an important place, both as to bulk of trade and quality of product, is taken by John C. Decker, a native of Hatfield, Massachusetts. John C. Decker, son of Gottlieb Decker, was born in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, May 3, 1855. He received his preliminary education in the public schools of Hatfield and Deerfield, Massachusetts. Until seventeen years of age he worked on his father’s farm and later, as is the custom in his locality, accepted work on other farms by the month. Later he became interested in tobacco raising and when he thought himself justified to translate his knowledge into practice he bought a farm, in 1887, in the village of South Deerfield, where he has raised tobacco ever since. From the year 1880 he has been a packer and grower of tobacco, and for the proper storage and maturing-two eminently important factors in the scientific pursuit of the tobacco business-he built upon his property in the village a large ware-house, as well as a fine residence. For some time he...

Biography of Thomas Farrell Ahearn

THOMAS FARRELL AHEARN – As the head of the prominent undertaking firm in Northampton with which three generations of his family have now been associated, Mr. Ahearn continues these policies established by the concern at the outset of adopting distinctively modern methods in the exacting usages of his profession, and of meeting the requirements of neighborhood and community in all matters that pertain to thoroughness and excellence in the direction of funerals. With this aim in view, Mr. Ahearn has brought to his aid the practical results of his training in schools and general experience, and his plant is equipped with every convenience for the methodical work of the undertaker of today. of a family known for industry and for able workmanship in their various callings, he is a representative of three generations of the branch of his name who have resided in the western part of the State. (I) James Ahearn, grandfather of Mr. Ahearn and the son of Maurice and Honora Ahearn, was born in Keleagh, County Cork, Ireland, October 2, 1810, and died October 17, 1899, in Sunderland, Massachusetts, where he first settled when he came to the United States in 1852. He then resided at Mount Toby on the Shepherd estate, where he was engaged in preparing lumber. He later removed to the Plumtrees section of Sunderland, where he was a farmer to the time of his death. He married Joanna Barry, who was born December 5, 1815, in Ballyquirk, County Cork, Ireland, and died in Sunderland, Massachusetts, daughter of Patrick and Margaret Barry. Their children: Maurice; Patrick, of whom further; Thomas; Margaret; James; Honora;...

Biography of Frank Edward Dow

FRANK EDWARD DOW, M. D. – Dow is one of the oldest family names known in England. It goes back to the beginning of the use of family names. The American family traces its ancestry back to: (I) John Dow, who died at Tylner, Norfolk County, England, in July, 1581, and mentioned in his will two brothers, William and Thomas, and three children, Thomas, John and Edith. (II) Thomas Dow was born in Tylner, and lived afterward in Runham, Norfolk. He married Margaret (surname unknown) and had children: Henry, of further mention; Christopher; and two daughters. (III) Henry Dow, son of Thomas Dow, was born in County Norfolk, England, and lived at Runham. He married Elizabeth and their children were: Thomas, of further mention; Henry, born about 1608, and settled in Hampton, New Hampshire; and Edward; Mary; Francis; and William. (IV) Thomas Dow (2), son of Henry Dow, was the immigrant ancestor, an early settler of Newbury, Massachusetts, admitted freeman June 22, 1642. He bought a house and land in Newbury in 1648, and removed to Haverhill, where he died May 31, 1654. His nuncupative will was dated May 29, 1654, and proved February 2, 1656. He married Phoebe (surname unknown), and they were the parents of John, of further mention; Thomas; Stephen; Mary; and Martha. (V) John (2) Dow, son of Thomas (2) Dow, was born about 1640, married October 23, 1665, Mary Page, and had a son, John, ancestor of the Atkinson, New Hampshire family of Dow. (VI) John (3) Dow, son of John (2) Dow, was born in 1672 and married, May 23, 1696, Sarah Brown;...

Biography of Daniel Doyle O’Brien

DANIEL DOYLE O’BRIEN – Sharing a successful practice in law in Northampton, and established in its increasing activities upon his own well-founded effort’, and ability, Mr. O’Brien is a member of that enterprising group of men in the professions and in business in this city who join their interests for the general civic welfare, and the promotion of all well-directed movement that indicates progress for the community. Gifted as a pleader in the courts, and possessing a thorough and very practical knowledge of all branches of the law, he is one of the leading men of the city who in their practice have followed their high estimate of the precepts of the profession. He is of a hardy stock who have done much in the course of their trades to build and to beautify the Northampton of the present day. His grandfather, Michael O’Brien, son of John and Ellen (Doyle) O’Brien, was born in 1815, in County Kerry, Ireland, and died October 27, 1895, in Holyoke. Coming to the United States in 1854, and settling in Massachusetts, he worked for a time on the State Hospital at Northampton; and later locating at Holyoke, he shared in the building of the dam. He at first lived on Cross Street, later building a house on Race Street, where he resided to the time of his death. He was employed in gardening in the later years of his activity, but for five years prior to his death he was an invalid. He married, in Ireland, Nora Gallavan, who was born in 1814, in County Kerry, and died December 24, 1891, in Holyoke,...

Biography of John Archie Grosier

JOHN ARCHIE CROSIER – The practical everyday history and proceedings of the district court of Hampshire County is the field of activity in which Mr. Crosier has been engaged as clerk since 1904, and during which period he has been a witness of the many remarkable changes that have taken place in the legal personnel and procedure. The most familiar leading figure in this long-established court, and one of the most erudite men in the profession as regards the local judicial customs and usages, Mr. Crosier is an official held in regard and honor in county and State by his colleagues and by the public in general. Industry, patriotism, and probity in all their business and social affairs have marked the generations of his family, whose early scions had much to do with establishing and with preserving the national fabric. The line of descent from the early comers is thus set forth: (I) Joseph Crosier was the immigrant ancestor; he is recorded as having resided in Dorchester, Roxbury and Dedham. (II) Lieutenant John Crosier, his son, who lived in the vicinity of Boston and was a blacksmith by trade, was born in 1750. He responded to the Lexington “Alarm” April 15, 1775, and was a lieutenant under Washington in the War of the Revolution. In 1788 he removed to Peru, Massachusetts, where he became one of the early settlers, and was a man of considerable prominence. Later he migrated to Euclid, Ohio, and he was also one of the pioneer settlers of that State, where he died May 2, 1823, aged seventy-three years. He was an active member of...

Biography of Edward Louis O’Brien

EDWARD LOUIS O’BRIEN – of Northampton’s younger members of the bar who have established themselves under the successful auspices of a high regard for the profession and a thorough training for its practice, Mr. O’Brien, whose earlier plans as a practitioner were temporarily interrupted by his World War activities, has entered upon a field of broad prospect, and one in which his capabilities are measuring up to the demands of the hour. His interests in Northampton and its advancement are those of the active, loyal and progressive citizen, who is prompt to share in the civic issues of the times. He inherits his industrious qualities from an honored ancestry of farmers and tradesmen. His grandfather, Richard O’Brien, the first-comer of his family to the United States, was a successful farmer; he was born in 1822, in the parish of Grange, Tipperary, Ireland, and he died in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, in 1875. He came to the United States in 1850, and lived in Cheshire, Cummington, and Williamsburg, where he engaged in farming. He married in 1853, at Adams, Johanna O’Brien, who was born in 1833 in Tipperary, Ireland, came to the United States in 1853, and died in 1907. Their children: James Henry, of whom further; Ann, who married James Welch; William; Katharine, who married Thomas Brazil; Mary, who married Michael Riley; Richard; Alice; Nellie; Frank. James Henry O’Brien was born May 22, 1854, in Cheshire, and he worked at his blacksmith trade in Heydenville many years; but for several years he has made his home in Northampton, where he is employed at the Clark School. He married, January 23, 1881,...

Biography of William Edward Cooney

WILLIAM EDWARD COONEY – Both the hotel and the general real estate interests of Northampton have benefited very materially during the past forty years through Mr. Cooney’s association with a development and management of both departments of activity, as his capable methods have been such as to bring substantial results to the community. In earlier years, an all-round printer of widely recognized ability, Mr. Cooney also observed and shared in the growth and advancement of this part of the State through the newspaper and publishing field, and his family have always been known for thorough workmanship in all their undertakings. His grandmother, Ellen (Hanley) Cooney, was the first of this branch to come to the United States; she died in Haydenville, Massachusetts, about 1880. Her husband, Michael Cooney, grandfather of William E. Cooney, lived and died in Ireland. His children were: Michael, of whom further; Elizabeth, who married Michael Keating; Katherine, who married Michael Hearn; Ellen, who married John Fogerty; Mary, who married a Dady; Johanna, who married a Davin. Michael Cooney, who was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, died in Haydenville, in the town of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, in 1885. He attended school in Ireland, and came to the United States when he was nineteen years of age, stopping first in Brooklyn, New York, and thence coming to Leeds, Massachusetts, where he was employed for awhile in the Musgrave Woolen Mill. He then went to Haydenville, to work in the Japan Button Shop, and he was afterwards employed by the Haydenville Brass Company as a truckman. He married Rosanna Martin, who was born in Kings County, Ireland, and died...

Biography of John Francis Mariz

JOHN FRANCIS MARIZ – A man who by his devotion to his business in real estate matters has made his name and methods very favorably and popularly known throughout the western part of the State, as representing reliability of the highest type, John Francis Mariz, long established in Northampton, is an all-round business man who thoroughly knows his territory and his patrons. From the outset of his career he has made it a point to carry on business in the public interest, and that principle has been maintained by him in all his valued associations with civic and community projects. He has made a place for himself well at the head of his profession because of his geniality, his loyalty to his business statements, and his personal attention to the requirements of the home-maker. His industry in his own line is like to that of his parents, who by concentration of their energies and enterprise became celebrated for grape culture. John Mariz, his grandfather, who married Theresa, came to the United States with his son James, and died in New York. James Mariz, father of John Francis Mariz, was born in 1834, in Trent, Austria, and he died in Northampton May 6, 1914. With his family he lived for some years in the Tyrol region, where Mr. Mariz was interested in grape culture and farming with his father, and in the industry of raising silk worms. In 1874 the family of father, mother and eight children came to this country, where there was then thought to be a large field for those engaged in the rearing of silk worms....

Biography of Denis Andrew Sullivan

DENIS ANDREW SULLIVAN-The name Denis Andrew Sullivan has become familiarized throughout the western part of the State to the proprietors of business generally, to the heads of various institutions, and to home-makers for the large and substantial share that Mr. Sullivan has had in modern construction in both city and country since 1898, when he founded his present contracting firm at Northampton. Mr. Sullivan, who was born’ and bred here, has a thorough understanding of the residential and business requirements in the builder’s calling, and his workmanship invariably has upon it the stamp of reliability and completeness his work everywhere in the townships of this section being recognized both for durableness and for general attractiveness. A leader in Northampton’s business and civic interests, Mr. Sullivan is an influence for progress both in city and county. He is the son of Cornelius Sullivan, who was born about 1842 in County Kerry, Ireland, and died in 1887, in Northampton, aged forty-five years ; he had a brother Matthew and a sister Helen, both of whom, now deceased, came to the United States. Cornelius Sullivan, coming to America at an early date, located at Northampton, where he engaged in basket making, and died a comparatively young man. He married, in this country, Mary Dunn, who was born in County Kerry, Ireland, and who in 1925 is still living, the daughter of James and Johanna Dunn; their children: Denis Andrew, of whom further; Anna, who married John McGee; James J., Mary, who married Edward Hawley, of Hartford, Connecticut. Denis Andrew Sullivan was born July 8, 1873, in Northampton, where he attended school until...

Biographical Sketch of John Wesley Ewing

JOHN WESLEY EWING, well known in the vicinity of Northampton, is a successful farmer, carrying on the home farm on which his father and grandfather lived and worked for so many years. He is the son of Alexander Mathew and Esther Ann (McCandless) Ewing, and brother of Harold Butler Ewing (q. v.), in connection with whose sketch a full account of Mr. Ewing’s father and grandfather are given. John Wesley Ewing was born in the town of Northampton, December 22, 1887, and was educated in the local public schools. He early became familiar with the duties and responsibilities of farm life, and until the death of his father, December 11, 1912, worked in close association with his father on the home farm. Since that time he has carried on the undertaking for himself, and as his father did before him, he collects milk for the Easthampton Cooperative Milk Association. He is an active member of the Grange and of the Methodist Church. and is highly regarded in the community. He married, June 22, 1916, Vera Kingsley Stimson, of Northampton, daughter of Albert Henry Warren and Sadie (Kingsley) Stimson; and they have one son: David Wesley, born October 9,...
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