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WILLIAM EDWARD STAPLES – The same energetic characteristics that were the means of conquering all hardships that apparently stood in the path of Mr. Staples’ career during the earlier part of his life have proven the dominant feature of his activities, and have accompanied him throughout an interesting course both of service and of leadership in the business and the political world. He is conceded to be one of the Western Massachusetts captains of industry and of civic advancement, who, beginning life with but few advantages of a material kind, overcame all difficulties by sheer hard work, pluck, and native resourcefulness, and achieved his present place of high esteem among his fellowmen. The community has been the gainer because of his enterprising relationships to the advancement of the business interests of Pittsfield. Not only has he frequently been accorded offices of trust in local business and politics, but in the State Legislature he continues to fulfill the highest anticipations of his many friends. He is a son of Chauncey Staples, who by occupation was a farmer, and of Bridget (Shannon) Staples.
William Edwards Staples was born in Adams, March 31, 1866, and he attended the Richmond district schools until he was about eleven years of age when, as his father had died while he was a child, it became incumbent upon him to go to work in cotton mills in Berkshire County. He came to Pittsfield in 1891, and found employment with the Stanley Company, now the General Electric Company, with whom he remained for eleven years, during which time he also took a correspondence course in electrical engineering in a Scranton (Pennsylvania) School. By these means he so fitted himself for other service that in 1902 he was appointed superintendent of the pumping station for the city of Pittsfield, and so served until 1919. In that year he was elected as alderman to represent Pittsfield’s Seventh
Ward, and served upon such important committees as those of light and fuel, salary, accounts and police. In 1920 he was elected from the Fourth Berkshire District, to serve out the unexpired term of the late John Marshall in the Massachusetts State Legislature. He was reelected to the same office for the term 1923-24, and he has served with credit upon the light and power and the highways and motor vehicles committees. In the general election of 1924 he was candidate from the First Congressional District to the great and general court of Massachusetts (State Senate). Mr. Staples is one of the organizers, past president, and a member of the board of directors of the Pittsfield Cooperative Coal Company. Prudent foresight and wise conservation and direction of his property interests have enabled him to retire with a competency. He had been able to save but $500 at the time of his marriage, but today his tenements and other property are worth $80,000 and he has been enabled to give his children the advantages of high school and college training. He has always been an active Democrat. and is chairman of the Seventh Ward Committee of the Pittsfield Democratic City Committee.
Mr. Staples was a delegate from the First Massachusetts District to the National Democratic Convention in New York City in June and July, 1924, at which John W. Davis, of West Virginia, and C. W. Bryan, of Nebraska, were the nominees.
Mr. Staples’ fraternal affiliations are those of the Knights of Columbus, and the Loyal Order of Moose; and he is a life-member of the Father Mathew Temperance Society, and a member of the Veteran Firemen’s Association, having been an active fireman for two years. He is a communicant of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, and is a member of the Holy Name Society connected with its parish.
Mr. Staples married Margaret Hanrahan, of Adams, Massachusetts, and they are the parents of eleven children: 1. V. J. Staples, Doctor of Dental Surgery, who received his degree at Tufts Dental College, and is practicing in Springfield. He married Virginia Crokan, and they are the parents of Marjorie Staples. 2. Chauncey, who died at the age of seven and one-half years. 3. Anna, who died at one and one-half years. 4. Hazel, who married Joseph Curran, and, who have two children: Robert and Betty Curran. 5. Mary, who married James F. Fitzgerald. 6. Margaret. 7. Dorothy. 8. Helene. 9. Irene. so. William, who died April 14, 1924; he was in his twenty-second year and within six weeks of graduation at the University of Vermont. I1. Alberta.