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Biography of Alger, William Rounseville

Alger, William Rounseville, son of Nahum and Catherine Sampson (Rounseville) Alger, was born in Freetown, Bristol County, December 28, 1822. He attended the common schools from the age of four to ten, then began to work for a livelihood; he worked five years in a cotton mill at Hookset, N. H., studied attentively in all available house, educating himself in the various branches of an academic course. He attended an academy in Pembroke, N. H., two years, and one year at Lebanon, N. H. He entered the divinity school of Harvard University in 1844, and was graduated in the class of 1847. He was pastor of the Unitarian church in Roxbury, from 1847 to 1855; then settled in Boston until 1873; then four years minister of Church of the Messiah in New York City. He is now engaged in preaching, lecturing and literary work. Mr. Alger was married in Roxbury, in September 1847, to Anne Langdon, daughter of Giles and Abigail Harris (Langdon) Lodge. Of this union were seven children: Henry Lodge, Abby Langdon, Caroline Rounseville, Arthur Martineau, William Ellerton, Philip Rounseville and Anne Langdon. He has held many offices and delivered many addresses in Masonic bodies and lectured for twenty-five years very extensively through the country before lyceums and literary societies. When chaplain of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1863, the prayers he offered were so much appreciated, that the speaker, Hon. Harvey Jewell, had them taken down by a stenographer and the members had them published in a volume entitled “Legislative Prayers,” which passed through several editions. He gave the annual election sermon before the Legislature...

Biographical Sketch of Allen, Charles

Allen, Charles, son of Sylvester and Harriet (Ripley) Allen, was born in Greenfield, Franklin county, April 17, 1827. He was graduated from Harvard in the class of 1847. He was admitted to the bar in 1850. He practiced law in Greenfield until 1862, and then moved to Boston. He was appointed by Governor John D. Long justice of the supreme judicial court, which position he now holds. Judge Allen was reporter of decisions of the supreme judicial court from 1861 to 1867. He was attorney general of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1867 to 1872. In 1880 he was appointed one of the commissioner to revise the general statutes. Judge Allen was never...

Biography of Adams, William T.

Adams, William T., son of Laban and Catharine (Johnson) Adams, was born in Medway, Norfolk County, July 30, 1822. He was educated in the public and private schools of Boston and vicinity, and when a mere lad displayed a talent for writing, his first article being published in the “Social Monitor.” For three years Mr. Adams was the master of the “Lower Road” school in Dorchester. In 1846 he resigned his position to assist his father and brother in the management of the Adams House, Boston. Mr. Adams resumed teaching in 1848, in the Boylston school, Boston, becoming the master in 1860, and on the establishment of the Bowditch school, he was transferred and held the post of master of that school till he resigned in 1865. He then went abroad and traveled throughout Europe, dating his career as an author from this period. Mr. Adams’s nom de plume, “Oliver Optic,” originated from his having written a poem in 1851 which was published under the heading of “A Poem delivered before the Mutual Admiration Society, by Oliver Optic, M. D.” The name “Optic” was suggested by a character in a drama at the Boston Museum, called “Dr. Optic.” To this Mr. Adams prefixed “Oliver,” with no thought of ever using it again. But soon after two essays appeared in the “Waverley Magazine,” by “Oliver Optic,” which were so well received that he continued to write under this pseudonym until it became impracticable to abandon it. His books, numbering over a hundred volumes, are widely and deservedly known. Mr. Adams was married October 7, 1846, to Sarah, daughter of Edward...

Biographical Sketch of Allen, Stillman Boyd

Allen, Stillman Boyd, son of Horace O. and Elizabeth Allen, was born September 8, 1830, at Waterborough, New county, Maine. He received his education in the academies at North Yarmouth, Kennebunk and Alfred, Maine. In September 1853, he was admitted to the bar, and practiced law in Maine until May, 1861, when he removed to Boston, and two years later became associated with the Hon. John D. Long, who subsequently retired from the firm upon his election as governor of the State. He is now the senior member of the law fir of Allen, Long & Hemenway (Governor Long since his retirement from congressional life having resumed his former relations). Mr. Allen has been largely engaged in jury trials, and has the reputation of winning for his clients the largest verdicts against railroads and other corporations ever rendered in this country. Mr. Allen was married at Kittery, Maine, September 7, 1854, to Harriet S., daughter of Joseph and Mary Seaward. Their children are: Willis Boyd Allen, who was a partner in his father’s firm for six years and has since been engaged in literary pursuits, and Marion Boyd Allen. In 1876-’77 Mr. Allen represented the city of Boston in the House of Representatives, serving the first year upon the judiciary committee. The following year he was chairman of the committee on probate and chancery. In 1877 he conducted an examination, made by the Legislature in to alleged abuses existing in the state reform school, which resulted in an entire change in the management of that institution. For three years Mr. Allen was president of the Mercantile Library Association of...

Biographical Sketch of Alger, Alpheus B.

Alger, Alpheus B., son of Edwin A. and Amanda (Buswell) Alger, was born in Lowell, Middlesex County, October 8, 1854. His early education was accomplished at the public schools of his native place. In the Lowell high school he fitted for college, and was graduated at Harvard with the class of 1875. The same year he entered the Harvard law school, and a year later continued the study of the law in the office of the Hon. Josiah G. Abbott of Boston. He was admitted to the bar in 1877, and began the practice of law in connection with his father’s firm, Brown & Alger, in the city of Boston, with his residence in Cambridge. Mr. Alger has been actively identified with the Democratic Party in politics. He has held the positions of chairman and secretary of the Democratic city committee of Cambridge. He is also a member of the congressional district committee. In 1884 he was chosen alderman, and acted on the committees on claims, police, ordinances, and a new bridge to Boston. In 1886 and ’87 he was a member of the Senate, serving as chairman on the committee on engrossed bills and mercantile affairs, and as member of the committees of public service, expediting legislative business, judiciary, bills on the third reading, rules and liquor law. He was also a member of the state committee sent to the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia. He is secretary and treasurer of the Bay State Club, a member of the Middlesex County Democratic Club, and of the Newetowne and Central clubs of Cambridge. He is a popular Mason, being a...

Biographical Sketch of Adams, John Gregory, Bishop

Adams, John Gregory Bishop, son of Isaac and Margaret Adams, was born in Groveland, Essex County, October 6, 1841. He obtained a common school education, and spent the greater part of his boyhood and youth in that locality. In the early summer of 1861 he enlisted in Major Ben; Perley Poore’s rifle battalion, which later became the nucleus of the 19th Massachusetts regiment. He served through the war, rising to the rank of captain. He participated in every march, and was engaged in every battle of the army of the Potomac in which his regiment took part. At Fredericksburg he saved the colors of his regiment from capture, after eight color bearers had been killed. He was twice severely wounded in the second day’s fight at Gettysburg, and while in the advanced lines before Petersburg, on the 22d of June 1864, he was captured with his regiment, and for nine months suffered the miseries of a southern prison pen. After the war he was for some years foreman in the factory of B. F. Doak & Co., but on account of failing health resigned that position to enter the inspector’s office in the Boston Custom House. He remained there fifteen months, when he was appointed postmaster at Lynn, which office he held eight years. On the establishment of the reformatory prison at Concord, he was appointed deputy superintendent, and in 1885 was made sergeant-at-arms for the Commonwealth, which important position he now holds. Captain Adams was the first recruit mustered into Post 5, G. A. R. He was three times chosen commander, and was one year department commander of...

Biographical Sketch of Adams, Marshall

Adams, Marshall, son of John Abigail (Sampson) Adams, was born in Providence, Barnstable County, December 4, 1842. His early educational work was done in the Provincetown schools until 1856. He attended Paul Wing’s Academy, Sandwich, and subsequently Frost Academy, Framingham, and was graduated from the Cotting Academy, Arlington. Mr. Adams was first connected in business with Fairbanks, Adams & Co., Boston, ship brokers. Later on he was with O. D. Witherell, coal dealer, Boston, and with John P. Squire & Co., pork dealers, Boston. From 1865 to 1879 he was a grocer and ice dealer in Providence  He is at the present time engaged in town business, having always been active in all public matters that pertained to the growth and development of his native place. He was elected selectman, assessor, overseer of the poor, 1880, and has held the office up to date. He was elected county treasurer November 1886, and was appointed immigrant agent for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1885. He is disbursing agent for Shaw Asylum for Mariners’ Children, and regent of the Mayflower Council, Royal Arcanum. He was chairman of the building committee of the new town hall, which was dedicated August 25, 1886, and in 1889 was appointed chairman of the committee on water supply for Providence. January 23, 1863, at Boston, Mr. Adams was married to Mary A., daughter of William and Elizabeth Moore. He has one son: John...

Biography of Allen, Nathaniel Topliff

Allen, Nathaniel Topliff, son of Ellis and Lucy (Lane) Allen, was born in Medfield, Norfolk County, Sept. 29, 1823. His native homestead farm has been owned and tilled by seven generations of Allens, noted for longevity, sterling common-sense, and rugged worth; and there, during his boyhood, the subject of this sketch followed the pursuits of his ancestors, and laid the foundation of a vigorous constitution. Three years of his minority were spent in a Waltham cotton mill, where he acquired a knowledge of textile manufacture; he also received a good common-school education in the public schools, a family school kept by Rev. Joseph Allen at Northborough, and Northfield Academy. Having chosen to become a teacher, he continued his studies in the Bridgewater state normal school, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, N. Y. He afterwards taught in the various public schools of Mansfield, Northborough, Northfield and Shrewsbury, until the spring of 1848, when he was appointed by Horace Mann, of the state board of education, to take charge of the model department of the normal school at West Newton. This position he filled with marked ability for nearly six years, when he established in connection with Rev. Cyrus Pierce, father of American normal schools, the institution of which he is now principal—the West Newton English and classical school. Mr. Allen has been one of the most progressive and successful educators of the last half-century, always advocating the liberal and thorough education of both sexes, and ready to introduce into his own school whatever proved to be sound in theory and useful in practice. This school, with its industrial department...

Biographical Sketch of Allen, Richard Beman

Allen, Richard Beman, son of John and May (Eagan) Allen, was born in Tewksbury, Middlesex County, January 25, 1851. He was educated in the common schools of Tewksbury and the Lowell Business College. He began business as clerk in a grocery store; remained in the business three years, and then learned a trade—watchmaker and jeweler; was a member of the firm of Cluin & Allen for three years; sold out, and became a member of the firm of Allen Brothers. Mr. Allen was married in Lowell, October 14, 1884, to Annie daughter of Peter and Bridget Angulin Sheehan. Of this union are three children: Mary, Julia, and Gertrude Allen. Mr. Allen is a member of the board of trustees of Ancient Order of Foresters; Y. M. C. L. A.; vice-justice Order Iron Hall; member of the Middlesex Mechanic Association, and of the Democratic city committee; was member of the Lowell common council 1887 and 1888, and was a member of the House of Representatives in 1889, serving on committee on public charitable institutions. Mr. Allen, while not desiring publicity, has many times been honored by his fellow citizens by their endorsement at the polls; and to his quiet but effectual work is due, in a great measure, much of the success of his party in the “Spindle City.” He is a firm believer in clear and honorable methods of political work, and has the respect of all classes, regardless of their party...

Biographical Sketch of Aldrich, Samuel Nelson

Aldrich, Samuel Nelson, son of Sylvanus Bucklin and Lucy Jane (Stoddard) Aldrich, was born in Upton, Worcester County, February 3, 1838. His education was conducted at the Worcester and Southington, Conn., academies, and at Brown University, Providence, R. I. Subsequently he taught schools at Upton, Holliston and Worcester, Mass. He entered upon the study of law with Hon. Isaac Davis and E. B. Stoddard, at Worcester, and completed the same at the Harvard law school. In 1863 Mr. Aldrich was admitted to the bar, and then commenced practice at Marlborough. Since 1874 he has kept an office in Boston, though retaining his residence in Marlborough and living in Boston during the winter. In the public affairs of Marlborough Mr. Aldrich has been prominent; was for nine years on the school committee, was four years on the board of selectmen, officiating as chairman of both; has been a director of the People’s National Bank at Marlborough; president of the Marlborough Board of Trade; president of the Framingham & Lowell Railroad (now a portion of the Old Colony system), and president of the Central Massachusetts Railroad. In 1879 Mr. Aldrich was elected to the state senate, where he served as chairman of the committee on taxation and as a member of the committee on bills in the third reading, and on constitutional amendments. In 1880 he was again a member of the state senate, serving on the judiciary committee. In 1883 he was a member of the House, and served on the judiciary committee. In 1880 he was the Democratic candidate for Congress from the 7th Massachusetts district. In March 1887,...
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