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Biography of William John Liston

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WILLIAM JOHN LISTON-Descended from Scottish ancestors, whose children took root in Ireland, and a number of whom emigrated to the United States, where they have played their part well in the building of a strong foundation of the republic, William John Liston, junior member of the firm of Cunningham (Patrick F.) & Liston, of Greenfield, himself has earned the tribute together with his partner, of being “an honest builder”-the firm itself being one of the most widely known in the mason builders’ and contracting line in the town of Greenfield and the district coming within the influence of the capital of Franklin County. Their business and reputation have grown so remarkably in the comparatively few years of the partnership’s existence, that their services in the building line now are in demand from points within a radius of twenty-five miles of Greenfield.

John Liston, the grandfather of William John Liston, was born in Limerick, Ireland, of Scotch ancestry, in 1841, and died an accidental death in Turners Falls June 30. 1897. His father died when he was a young child. His mother married (second) Patrick Hayes, and they came to America about 1849, bringing her children, Richard, James and John, with her. John lived in Deerfield until about 1882, when he removed to Turners Falls, where he worked as a teamster, and it was in the performance of this work that he was fatally injured by falling from his loaded wagon. He married Mary Behan, born in Russell, Massachusetts, October 15, 1839, and died April 1, 1915, daughter of Patrick Behan, born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1798, died June 30, 1878; and Mary (Walker) Behan, born August 20, 1809, died in 1874. Their children: John, Mary, William H., of whom further; Lizzie.

William H. Liston, father of William John Liston, was born in Deerfield, Massachusetts, July 9, 1869, the son of John and Mary (Behan) ListonHayes. He was a brickmaker by trade, and after attending the Deerfield public schools and Deerfield Academy, he went with his parents, when he was thirteen years of age, to Turners Falls, where he acquired a thorough knowledge of his trade and followed it for many years. In 1915 he forsook his trade and left Turners Falls, coming to Greenfield to live, and to enter the employ of the Greenfield Tap and Die Corporation, with which concern he has since remained. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus. He married, September 5, 1893, Elizabeth Carroll, daughter of Timothy and Margaret (Horrigan) Carroll, of Montague City. Their children: William John, of whom further; Paul, who has a daughter June; and Elizabeth.

William John Liston married, January 29, 1917, Alphada Desrosier, daughter of Homer Desrosier, of Turners Falls. Their children: Florence, born at Turners Falls, December, 1917; Edward, born at Turners Falls, August, 1919; and Claire, born at Greenfield, August, 1921.


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