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Biography of Arthur C. Wentworth

ARTHUR C. WENTWORTH, treasurer of the Springfield Cooperative Bank, was born in South Berwick, Maine, November 13, 1871. His father was Charles K. Wentworth and his mother Ellen M. (Plumer) Wentworth. His father was born on a farm at Berwick, Maine, in April, 1836, and followed farming for a number of years, afterwards living in South Berwick until his death in November, 1906. His mother was born in January, 1841, at South Berwick, Maine, and died in May, 1924.

The Wentworth family derives its name from the lordship of Wentworth in the wapentake of Stafford, County of York, England, where lived Reginald de Winterwode at the time of the Conquest. Genealogists agree that the word is of Saxon origin, meaning white farm or court, taking its style from the soil composed of chalk or whitish clay.

William Wentworth was baptized in the parish of Alford near the city of Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England, March 15, 1616, and is believed upon the evidence to be identical with Elder William Wentworth, the first of the Wentworths of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was from the same parish in England as the Rev. John Wheelwright, who came to this country in 1636. He was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637 on account of a sermon he preached in Boston, and settled with a company of followers at Piscataqua Falls, New Hampshire, who called their town Exeter; William Wentworth was one of the company. When the jurisdiction of Massachusetts was extended to include Exeter, Wheelwright and many of the colonists moved to Wells, Maine. William Wentworth appears to have lived in Wells from 1642 to 1649, and was constable in 1648. He moved to Dover, New Hampshire, about 1649, and lived there the remainder of his days. Between 1652 and 1659 he was the grantee of land amounting to several hundred acres. He was best known as ruling elder of the church at Dover, which resulted in his officiating as preacher many years of his life. He was instrumental in saving from destruction Heard’s garrison, one of the five in Cocheco, June 28, 1689. Although it was a time of peace an unusual number of Indians gathered at Cocheco, which was a trading post, and this excited suspicion. The evening of June 27, the squaws asked permission to sleep by the kitchen fires, which was unusual. In the darkest hour they opened the doors to admit the Indians. Elder Wentworth was awakened by a barking dog and found the Indians entering his abode. Alone and seventy-three years old, he pushed them out, shut the door and falling on his back, held it until the inmates came to his assistance. Two bullets passed through the door above his head. This was the only garrison saved. Twentythree persons were killed and twenty-nine carried away captive. His inventory shows ninety-seven pounds, sixteen shillings, four pence, the value of his estate when he died March 15, 1697. He had conveyed a large part of his real property to his sons before he died.

After graduating from Berwick Academy, Arthur C. Wentworth took a position as clerk in the city ticket office of the Boston & Maine Railroad in Boston, and through promotion became chief clerk. He came to Springfield in 1905 and was city passenger agent of the Boston & Maine Railroad for six years. He then engaged in the tourist and steamship business, which he still conducts. In 1912, he was elected treasurer of the Springfield Cooperative Bank. He is a member of Roswell Lee Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and all the Scottish Rite Bodies, including the Consistory, of which he is treasurer, and where he received his thirtysecond degree; also all the York Rite bodies. He is a member of Melha Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and is chairman of the board of trustees. He is also a member of the North Congregational Church; the Rotary Club; the Automobile Club, and Springfield Country Club. He is a trustee of Berwick Academy, of South Berwick, Maine, from which he graduated.

Mr. Wentworth married, October 19, 1898, Annie H. Thompson, daughter of John J. and Nellie E. (Potter) Thompson. His address is Springfield Cooperative Bank, East Court Street, Springfield, Massachusetts.

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