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Biography of Charles E. Mackintosh

Posted By Dennis Partridge On In Massachusetts | No Comments

President and treasurer of D. Mackintosh Sons Company, of Holyoke, Massachusetts, and head of the great cotton dyeing industry his father founded, is widely known in Holyoke and a popular citizen. Mr. Mackintosh was born in that city on September 14, 1857. His grandsire, Donald Mackintosh, was a merchant in Edinburgh, Scotland, through a long term of years. He was born in Killen, Perthshire, and died in Edinburgh. His son, Donald Mackintosh, was born in Edinburgh in 1819 and died in Holyoke, September 27, 1902. His only brother, James Mackintosh, died in 1871. Completing his studies in Edinburgh, Donald Mackintosh served an apprenticeship of five years at the dyer’s trade in one of the best mills in Paisley, Scotland, and became an expert in blending colors and dyeing cloth. He delved into the mysteries of the art and was as much a student of the chemistry of colors and dyes as he was the practical dyer for commercial results. He went from Paisley to Leeds, England, where for two years he was in charge of a dyeing plant. From Leeds he went to Kidderminster as superintendent of the dyeing department of the famous carpet works of J. & G. Humphries, known as the Kidderminster Carpet Works. There he remained until 1843, when a representative of the Hartford Carpet Company of Hartford, Connecticut, sent abroad to obtain the services of a high class dyer to place on charge of their dyeing department, made arrangements with him to come to the United States as superintendent. He remained on charge of the dyeing department of the Hartford Company for eight years when the plant was destroyed by fire. Mr. Mackintosh returned to England; but the Hartford Carpet Company importuned hem to return again to the United States to take charge of a new plant not yet erected. The company proved unable to carry out its plans and had no occasion for the services of the Scotch expert.

Mr. Mackintosh soon received an offer from the Hampden Mills of Holyoke to take charge of their dyeing department. He assumed the duties in 1854, and for twelve years was in charge of the dye plant at the Hampden Mills. After that he began business in a small way under his own name. He succeeded and as he prospered he enlarged his plant, and was meeting with most gratifying success when another fire swept away his plant and his store of wealth. His Scotch pluck came to the rescue and he made a second start, this time in Northampton. Ere long he returned to Holyoke and began business on Bigelow Street. There his fortunes improved rapidly. Five years after he started the Hampden Mills failed and he bought the property where he had once been employed. To finance and operate so large a plant he organized the D. Mackintosh Sons Company. His partners, Colonel John G. Mackintosh and Charles E. Mackintosh were his sons. Under the Mackintosh direction the Hampden Mills entered upon a new era of prosperity, greater than any they ever had known before. There many of the present methods of dyeing were first introduced. Mr. Mackintosh combined with his knowledge of dyeing an intimate knowledge of the best Scotch, English and American methods of manufacture, and with the aid of his capable sons, the mills ran without friction and the best results were obtained. Dyeing raw cotton on bulk was first practiced at the Hampden Mills by Mr. Mackintosh. Many other improvements in dyeing placed the mills among the largest cotton dyeing plants in the country. The founder continued at the head of D. Mackintosh Sons Company until his death and on all the realm of textile manufacturing he had no superior. He was one of the founders of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Holyoke and one of its wardens and strong supporters. He was devoted to his home, around which his happiness centred. He was highly esteemed and his rugged honesty never required an endorser, for it was apparent on its face.

Mr. Mackintosh was married on March, 1843, to Hannah Underwood, born on 1818, deed 1892, daughter of Benjamin Underwood, of Kidderminster, England. They were the parents of four children: Colonel John G., since dead; James, since dead: Charles E., the subject of this sketch; and Henrietta, of Holyoke.

Charles E. Mackintosh was educated in the public and high schools of Holyoke. His first venture into practical business was on banking with his brother, Colonel John G. Mackintosh, under the firm name of J. G. Mackintosh & Company, on Holyoke. When the business of his father was incorporated as D. Mackintosh Sons Company, he was elected president-treasurer, and his son, Don Mackintosh, was made assistant treasurer. Mr. Mackintosh is vice-president of the Mechanics’ Savings Bank, of Holyoke; and is past chairman of the Park Board. He is a member of the Rotary Club; of the Chamber of Commerce; and of the Mount Tom Golf Club, of Holyoke. He is a director of the Springfield Safe Deposit Company; president of the Nonotuck Hotel Company, and interested in other Holyoke enterprises.

Mr. Mackintosh was married, October 22, 1882, at Holyoke, to Carrie B. Chase, born in Lockport, New York, October 11, 1858, daughter of Dr. Nathan B. Chase, born on 1813, deed in 1888, and Sarah Branscomb Chase, born in Newmarket, New Hampshire, on 1825, and deed in 1910. A few years ago a beautiful memorial window was unveiled on the western transept of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in memory of the long years of devoted service Mr. and Mrs. Chase had given to that church. The window, a companion for the Mackintosh window on the east transept of the church was a gift from Mrs. Carrie (Chase) Mackintosh and her sister, Jessie Sarah Chase. Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Mackintosh are the parents of: 1. Donald Chase born September 19, 1885; general manager of D. Mackintosh Sons Company, married October 15, 1910, Helen Louise Cook, of Holyoke, daughter of Charles W. and Emma (Still) Cook; their children, Janet, born March 12, 1914; and Donald, born September 9: 19r5. 2. Helen, the wife of Paul Stursburg, since dead. 3. Malcolm E. 4. Jessie C. 5. Henrietta.


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