WILLIAM P. WHITMAN, president and treasurer of the well-known shoe manufacturing concern of the Whitman & Keith Company, of Brockton, and one of that city’s successful and progressive business men, as was his father before him, is a descendant of distinguished and historic New England ancestry. Mr. Whitman is a direct descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, of the “Mayflower,” 1620; of Rev. James Keith, the first ordained minister of Bridgewater; and of John Whitman, who settled in Weymouth, Mass., as early as 1638, from whom descended many persons eminent in professional life and otherwise, among them Dr. Marcus Whitman, who saved the vast territory of Oregon to the United States; Hon. Ezekiel Whitman, for many years chief justice of the Superior and Supreme courts of the State of Maine; and Hon. William E. Russell, twice governor of Massachusetts.
The Rogers family, of which Mrs. David E. Harding is a member, is an old and prominent one of New England. She traces her descent from the martyr John Rogers, who was burned at the stake Oct. 14, 1555, at Smithfield, during the reign of Queen Mary. The first of the name in the old town of Norton was Benjamin Rogers, who married Oct. 8, 1761, Hannah Newcomb. He made his home in the town of Mansfield, and during the Revolutionary war enlisted and was appointed sergeant in Captain Williams’ company, Colonel Timothy Walker’s 22d regiment; muster roll dated Aug. 1, 1775; engaged May 2, 1775, service three months and seven days; also company’s return dated Oct. 6, 1775, also order for money in lieu of a bounty coat dated Roxbury Camp, Dec. 27, 1775.
The town of Taunton, which included within its original boundaries the neighboring village of Berkley, has been the home of a branch of the Sanford family for about two hundred years. This Berkley-Taunton branch of the family, in the line of Capt. Joseph Sanford, an active patriot of the Revolution, has been more or less eminent in professional life. Four of the sons of Capt. Joseph Sanford were college graduates and ministers of the gospel; and several of their posterity have followed the learned professions. One of the grandsons of Capt. Joseph was the late Hon. John Elliott Sanford, of Taunton, lawyer, legislator, railroad commissioner, etc., who at the time of his death was characterized by the local paper as Taunton’s “first citizen.”
The Reed family of Brockton, Mass., a leading member of which was Judge Warren A. Reed, lawyer and jurist, who for over a third of a century had been one of the foremost citizens of Brockton, and during the greater part of that long period connected with the judicial, civic and financial interests of the city, district and State, is one of long and honorable standing in this Commonwealth, and one the forerunner of which came to these shores over two hundred and fifty years ago. Many members of this historic family have given good account of themselves, and many are there who have been prominent in the history of this country. An account of the branch of the family to which Judge Reed belongs is here given in chronological order, beginning with the earliest American ancestor.