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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. They first lived in Connecticut, at Turnersville, Saugatuck, Westport and Bridgeport, but in 1885 they came to Northampton, where they afterwards made their home. Their silk worm industry here flourished for a time, but the work had to be abandoned, as the frost got the, better of the mulberry trees. At different times most of the younger members of the family were in the employ of the Belding Brothers, makers of silk; and Mr. Mariz, true to his early instincts and activities, devoted much of his time to the culture of grapes at his home in Valley Street, where he had one of the finest vineyards in this part of the country. He was an expert in the growing of fruit, and he had done much work in improving the orchards of Western Hampshire, by grafting different varieties of fruit trees. He married, April 26, 1857, Mary Pontalti, who was born in 1834, in Trent, Austria, and died September 23, 1907, in Northampton, daughter of Joseph and Dominica T. Pontalti. They were the parents of : 1. Theresa, who married Innocent Peia; he died in 190, and left two daughters: Mary M. and Marguerite Cecelia, who married John J. Tanzey. 2. John Francis, of whom further. 3. Joseph D. 4. Julia, who married Henry Neeser. 5. Frank C., deceased. 6. Angelina, who married Salvatore Rege. 7. Virginia, who married August Pizzini. 8. Elizabeth, deceased. 9. Marina, deceased.
John Francis Mariz was born July 12, 1865, in Trent, Austria. Coming to the United States with his parents in 1874, he attended night schools, and to a considerable degree educated himself. As a boy he worked in the silk mills in Turnersville, Connecticut, and in Jersey City and Hoboken. He came to Northampton in 1885, and for several years was employed in the Belding Company silk mills, after which he was employed by a fireproofing company in Boston. He worked successively at the State Asylum in Northampton, where he was an attendant in 1891-92; in the grocery business at North Hampton for a short time; and for the Travelers’ Insurance Company. In 1899 Mr. Mariz established himself in the real estate business at Northampton, where he has been actively engaged in realty and insurance matters since that time, with the same headquarters that have become a business landmark, and with the interests of his business extending through Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin counties. He is especially interested in horticulture, and owns a small acreage at his place in Florence, and a large summer home near Williamsburg, comprising some seventy acres. A Republican in political matters, he has always taken a very active part in the town affairs. He is a member of the Republican City Ward Committee, and was instrumental in establishing the park on Bridge Street. He was a member of the City Council in 190×-1902; was assistant assessor, and has been a justice of the peace for twenty years. He has been a delegate to Republican conventions. He is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; the Improved Order of Red Men; the Credit Men’s Bureau, and the Loyal Order of Moose of the World.