The following data is extracted from Biography and Genealogy of Western Massachusetts, 1639-1925.
JAMES RATHBONE, prominent citizen of Palmer, Massachusetts, is associated with his brothers in the enterprise known as A. B. & J. Rathbone, manufacturers of pinion rod and pinion wire.
He was born in Warrington, England, August 24, 1887. His education was acquired in the public schools of his native town, and after leaving school he served an apprenticeship at a mechanical trade. He came to the United States in 1905 and located immediately at Palmer, and in association with his brother, Andrew B. Rathbone, he started manufacturing pinion wire and special cold-drawn shapes. This manufacture began in a barn in the rear of his residence, but the business grew amazingly, and the firm moved to the old broom factory on Park Street, near the Boston & Albany Railroad freight house. Later the expansion of patronage forced the firm to build, and they erected a concrete building about three hundred feet long by eighty wide for their purpose. As business increased, in 1918, Thomas P. Rathbone and Frank P. Rathbone were asked to join the firm in order to keep up with the demand for the product. All the brothers had passed through a mechanical training under their father, and all were born in England. Andrew B. was the originator of the small business of A. B. & J. Rathbone that has grown so notably.
James Rathbone is a Mason, belonging to Thomas Lodge, of Palmer; he is a member of Hampden Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Springfield Commandery, No. 6, Knights Templar ; and Melha Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is a member of the Palmer Rotary Club and the Quaboag Country Club of Monson. In religion he is a member of the Second Congregational Church. His parents, Andrew and Eliza (Daintieth) Rathbone, are both living in England, where his father is a manufacturer.
James Rathbone married Lillian Lyon, daughter of Edward B. and Hattie (Wright) Lyon, at Bridgeport, Connecticut. They have four children, all born in Palmer: Edward D., born August 10, 1913; Frederick C., born in 1916; James, Jr., born in 1920; and Ruth E., born in 1923. Thomas P. Rathbone married Ada Burroughs, of London, England, and their children are: Constance M. and Margaret. Frank P. Rathbone married Annie Wilkinson, of Warrington, England. Their children are: Eleanor, Alice and Jessie.
Source: Biography and Genealogy of Western Massachusetts, 1639-1925