The collection of the materials of this work, their composition, and their publication in weekly numbers in the columns of the Springfield Republican, originated in the wish to add value and interest to that paper, and were simply regarded, at first, as a newspaper enterprise. The initial number was issued during the first week of 1854, and but a few numbers had been presented to the public, when letters began to be received, from every quarter, expressive of the hope that the papers would be placed in a form more accordant with the character of a permanently valuable work. The writer had already become aware of the richness of the field upon which he had entered, and was only too happy to see that the importance of his undertaking was popularly appreciated. To produce a work of permanent value, rather than one of passing interest, became his leading motive, and the results are the two volumes here presented. Since the pubhcation of the work in the Republican, it has been thoroughly revised, and portions of it entirely rewritten; and, having honestly and laboriously endeavored to make it worthy of the place which it assumes to fill, it is submitted to the people of Western Massachusetts and all interested, with that strong confidence in then-kind judgments which their constant and cheering interest in the progress of the work has been...Read More
Collection: Biography and Genealogy of Western Massachusetts
EDGAR MARVIN GRAVES, born and reared in the town of Greenfield, is working his way to fame as a business man of this town. More often than otherwise the young man will leave his native hearth to seek his fortune in a larger town or city, when, if he had used his eyes he would have seen opportunity beckoning him at his very door. This was not the case with Edgar M. Graves, however, for he saw opportunities in his own town and made use of them until today he is recognized as the owner of a prosperous electrical business. The Graves family is one of the most ancient in England, and is represented by many men of honor and distinction. of interest to his family and friends is the line of ancestry here traced: Thomas Graves, born in England before 1585, came to New England with his wife, Sarah, and five children, the youngest of whom at that time was about sixteen years of age. They settled in Hartford, Connecticut, where Thomas was a property holder in 1645. Being over sixty years of age, he was exempted from training in the militia. In September, 1661, he moved to Hatfield. His death occurred in November, 1662, and his son, Isaac was appointed administrator of his estate in Massachusetts, and Nathaniel in Connecticut of his marriage were born the following...Read More
NELSON L. JARVIS is known throughout the United States through his association with Jarvis & Jarvis, one of the leading concerns in the country in the field of rubber tired castors. Mr. Jarvis, who is senior partner in the firm, is known as one of the prominent men of Palmer. He is a trustee of the Palmer Savings Bank, and is active and well known in civic and fraternal circles. Nelson L. Jarvis was born in Malone, New York, September 23, 1883, the son of Bernard Jarvis, a native of New York State, who was a carpenter, and Virginia (Boyea) Jarvis, both deceased. Mr. Jarvis obtained his education in the public and parochial schools of Connecticut and New Jersey State. At fourteen years he began to work in the cotton mills at fifty cents a day. He then went to work in a grocery store, after which he was offered a position as freight clerk, where he was employed four years. He was ambitious for advancement, and after prolonged study and concentration he procured a position as bookkeeper in a manufacturing concern, and feeling capable of greater responsibilities he formed a partnership with Frank J. Jarvis, under which they began the manufacture of rubber tired wheels and casters. In 1921 they added a line of service wagons for hotel, restaurant, hospital and household use, making them complete in addition...Read More
TIMOTHY J. SULLIVAN is the name familiarly borne by two of Springfield’s most successful business men, father and son. Timothy J. Sullivan, Sr., president of the Sullivan Coal Company of Springfield, was born in West Springfield in 1864, a son of Thomas and Ellen (O’Leary) Sullivan. His father, Thomas Sullivan, was a section foreman for the Boston & Albany Railroad at Mittineague, Massachusetts, a small village in the environs of Springfield. Timothy J. Sullivan, Sr. was educated in the public schools and the high school in West Springfield. He entered the service of the Boston & Albany Railroad early in life and was roadnaster for twenty-five years, gaining a wide acquaintance throughout the towns and cities of a large district, becoming successful in his calling. He established the Sullivan Coal Company in 1905. It was located first on Liberty Street, but the expanding business, caused its removal in 1918 to No. 436 Taylor Street. It is wholly confined to delivering bituminous and anthracite coal to householders and individual consumers, and is the largest retail coal business in the city of Springfield. Timothy J. Sullivan, Sr., is president of the company, although he has retired and takes only an incidental interest in the management He was water commissioner of West Springfield about 1900. He is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and in religion is a...Read More
RAYMOND P. MOREAU – Among the eminently progressive and outstanding young men of Western Massachusetts is Raymond P. Moreau, whose business activities in Turners Falls have demonstrated his ability and carried him to a successful position. Mr. Moreau is a progressive and forward looking business executive, and is a son of George and Marcelline (Devino) Moreau, his father active in the paper industry until his retirement. Raymond P. Moreau was born in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, June 22, 1896. His education was received in the local schools, and as a young man he entered the Montague City Machine Shop, where he was active until 1916. Then determined upon striking out for himself in a practical realm of advance, Mr. Moreau purchased a desirable property at No. 83 Fifth Avenue and there established a trucking business. At the beginning his equipment comprised one two-horse team and a Ford truck. Although his progress was interrupted by his service in the World War, he went forward with energy and faith in the future, and his endeavors have been rewarded with large success. With the growth of the interest he found it necessary to seek larger quarters, and purchased the modem brick building on Avenue A, where his business interests now center. From a small beginning the enterprise has extended to a point where Mr. Moreau now keeps busy at all times four large...Read More
WILLIAM B. PARMELE, of North Adams, prominent in the progress of Western Massachusetts, in connection with the production and distribution of lumber, is bearing an eminently practical part in present day affairs, and as a forward looking executive his work is counting definitely for the general welfare. Mr. Parmele is an able and efficient executive, and his usefulness is well appraised by his success. He is a son of G. N. and M. E. (Speaker) Parmele, both natives and long residents of the State of New York. William B. Parmele was born in East Bloomfield, New York, September 12, 1859. His education was begun in the local schools and completed at Canandaigua Academy, also of this State. Coming to North Adams as a young man, Mr. Parmele associated himself with the S. B. Dibble Lumber Company, and throughout his entire career he has continued with this concern. This is a long and worthy record of consistent purpose and tireless endeavor, and his work has counted largely for the progress and extension of the company’s interests. Beginning in a subordinate capacity and familiarizing himself with the details of the business, Mr. Parmele rose steadily in the organization until he now serves as treasurer of the concern. He is not widely affiliated with affairs, outside the business world, but is a member of the Berkshire Club and attends the First Congregational...Read More
ROBERT JAMES DECKER – When we think of tobacco in its various forms, as cigars, cigarettes or “the pipe that sootheth,” we are apt to think of the Orient, of far and distant lands like Egypt, Greece, Bosnia, or on our Western Hemisphere of Havana, Porto Rico, or of our own product of Virginia, famous the world over. That there is a considerable amount of the fragrant weed grown in our Northern States and distributed by a large industry is a fact known not so widely as it deserves. Among the packers and growers of tobacco in Massachusetts, an important place, both as to bulk of trade and quality of product, is taken by John C. Decker, a native of Hatfield, Massachusetts. John C. Decker, son of Gottlieb Decker, was born in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, May 3, 1855. He received his preliminary education in the public schools of Hatfield and Deerfield, Massachusetts. Until seventeen years of age he worked on his father’s farm and later, as is the custom in his locality, accepted work on other farms by the month. Later he became interested in tobacco raising and when he thought himself justified to translate his knowledge into practice he bought a farm, in 1887, in the village of South Deerfield, where he has raised tobacco ever since. From the year 1880 he has been a packer and grower...Read More
THOMAS FARRELL AHEARN – As the head of the prominent undertaking firm in Northampton with which three generations of his family have now been associated, Mr. Ahearn continues these policies established by the concern at the outset of adopting distinctively modern methods in the exacting usages of his profession, and of meeting the requirements of neighborhood and community in all matters that pertain to thoroughness and excellence in the direction of funerals. With this aim in view, Mr. Ahearn has brought to his aid the practical results of his training in schools and general experience, and his plant is equipped with every convenience for the methodical work of the undertaker of today. of a family known for industry and for able workmanship in their various callings, he is a representative of three generations of the branch of his name who have resided in the western part of the State. (I) James Ahearn, grandfather of Mr. Ahearn and the son of Maurice and Honora Ahearn, was born in Keleagh, County Cork, Ireland, October 2, 1810, and died October 17, 1899, in Sunderland, Massachusetts, where he first settled when he came to the United States in 1852. He then resided at Mount Toby on the Shepherd estate, where he was engaged in preparing lumber. He later removed to the Plumtrees section of Sunderland, where he was a farmer to the time...Read More
WALLACE E. STODDARD – The internal and administrative work of a large business concern is a section of the organization of such paramount importance and so vital to the success of an enterprise that specially trained and very capable men find secure and remunerative posts as secretaries, cashiers, bookkeepers, in addition having the consciousness of contributing in their own effective and indispensable way to the well-being and prosperity of the business. A man whose services in an administrative capacity and as supervisor of labor and finances has always been much appreciated by the concerns with which he has been connected, and who now holds several positions of trust is Wallace E. Stoddard. Wallace E. Stoddard is a native of Vernon, Vermont, where he was born on January 3, 1872, a son of Faith W. and Sarah Augusta (Allen) Stoddard. He received his first education in the public schools of his native town, in Brattleboro High School, Brattleboro, Vermont, and in Eastman’s Business College. After completing his education he started his business career with the Draper Corporation in Hopedale, Massachusetts, where he acted in the capacity of paymaster. His later positions were with the Williamstown Manufacturing Company, the North Pownal Vermont Manufacturing Company, in charge of their offices; as superintendent of the Greylock Mills; secretary to W. B. & C. T. Plunkett; purchasing agent of the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company;...Read More
JOHN ROWLEE FAUSEY – To the general advancement of the interests of the public schools of Massachusetts, and particularly of Springfield and West Springfield, Mr. Fausey has devoted the larger part of his career as a teacher and superintendent, and with results that are recorded as having enlarged the bounds and increased the value of the educational institutions in those communities where he has taught and held official position. John Rowlee Fausey, son of James Seldon and Caroline Helen (Blauvelt) Fausey, was born March 19, 1870, in Elmira, New York, where he attended the public school, and he afterwards graduated at Genessee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima, New York, in the class of 1893, In 1893-1895 and 1896-1897, he was a student at Syracuse University, where he later received his degree of Bachelor of Arts. Mr. Fausey at once entered upon his career as an educator, and during 1898-1899 he was both teacher and principal at Galeton, Pennsylvania; at Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1899-1902; and at Norwich, Connecticut, in 1902-1905. Mr. Fausey went to Springfield as principal of the Howard Street School of that city in 1906, and he continued in that position until 1912, when he went to West Springfield as superintendent, so continuing to 1918. From 1918 to 1923, he served as superintendent at Winchester, Massachusetts. In 1923 he was recalled to the West Springfield superintendency, which he has...Read More
J. HERBERT L. SMEAD – A well known figure in business circles in Erving, and in social and civic interests in Orange, is J. Herbert L. Smead, whose lifelong activities have been of a practical nature and whose present success as the manager of the Heywood-Wakefield Company in Erving, places him among the thoroughly outstanding men of the day. Mr. Smead is a son of J. Henry Smead, who died, March 17, 1924, at the age of eighty-five years and who throughout the greater part of his lifetime was an employee of the New Bedford Post Office. The mother, Sarah Adell Smead is also now deceased and both these families are prominent ones in this State. J. Herbert L. Smead was born in Greenfield, November 8, 1870. Receiving his education in the local public schools, he removed to New Bedford, Massachusetts, with the family as a lad and there learned the printer’s trade. In 1886, he became a resident of Gardner where for twenty-eight years he was associated with the chair industry. He started as a bookkeeper with the old Heywood plant and remained with the Heywood interests permanently. When he was detailed to his present responsibilities a few years ago, he was serving as treasurer of the Washburn & Heywood Chair Co., and assistant secretary of the parent plant in Gardner. When the Heywood-Wakefield Company established their new...Read More
HORACE A. SMEAD – The name of Smead is one of more than passing importance in the western part of Massachusetts, and indeed in this general part of the State it has long been prominent. Mr. Smead has been active in farming interests throughout his entire lifetime and now in the sunset of life he is enjoying well earned leisure. Jonathan Smead, great-great-grandfather of Mr. Smead, was born in 1735 and was a pioneer of Greenfield, locating in that community when the Indians were still frequent visitors to the white settlements. He was active in agricultural pursuits in the vicinity of Greenfield until his death, which occurred in 1814. Jonathan (2) Smead, son of Jonathan Smead, was born in 1773 and reared on the home farm, where he spent his lifetime; he passed away August 25, 1850. He was considered one of the important farmers in this section, owning a three hundred acre farm of rich fertile soil, of which he tilled a very considerable portion. Both he and his wife were members of the Congregational church and were universally esteemed in the community. Jonathan (3) Smead, son of Jonathan (2) Smead, was born on the home farm April 8, 1812, and in 1838 built the present house. He married and settled on the home farm, remaining with his father, and in 1846 the homestead was divided between he...Read More
CHARLES S. FERRY – The firm of Charles S. Ferry & Son, lumber dealers of Pittsfield, which has been conducting one of the largest concerns of its kind in Western Massachusetts, was established by the late Charles S. Ferry, in 1886. In the rapid growth of Pittsfield during the past years this firm played a most important part, because it supplied the lumber and the builders’ materials for much of the construction work that has been done in Pittsfield and the surrounding country. It is over three and a half decades since Charles S. Ferry took over the business from Wadhams Brothers, who had conducted it for a number of years, and established the firm of C. S. Ferry & Son. Charles S. Ferry was born in 1825, in Chicopee, Massachusetts, and died at Salt Lake City, March 30, 1899. He was for over thirty years a lumber dealer and planing mill proprietor in Springfield, Massachusetts, and his business is today being successfully carried on by his sons, the firm consisting of C. K. Ferry, president, and F. G. Ferry, treasurer, the firm name, however, remaining unchanged. The yards are located on Center and Church streets, and cover in all about 85,000 square feet of ground and floor space, the plant consisting of the main storage shed and offices of the firm, and another large shed directly opposite, on...Read More
FRANK EDWARD DOW, M. D. – Dow is one of the oldest family names known in England. It goes back to the beginning of the use of family names. The American family traces its ancestry back to: (I) John Dow, who died at Tylner, Norfolk County, England, in July, 1581, and mentioned in his will two brothers, William and Thomas, and three children, Thomas, John and Edith. (II) Thomas Dow was born in Tylner, and lived afterward in Runham, Norfolk. He married Margaret (surname unknown) and had children: Henry, of further mention; Christopher; and two daughters. (III) Henry Dow, son of Thomas Dow, was born in County Norfolk, England, and lived at Runham. He married Elizabeth and their children were: Thomas, of further mention; Henry, born about 1608, and settled in Hampton, New Hampshire; and Edward; Mary; Francis; and William. (IV) Thomas Dow (2), son of Henry Dow, was the immigrant ancestor, an early settler of Newbury, Massachusetts, admitted freeman June 22, 1642. He bought a house and land in Newbury in 1648, and removed to Haverhill, where he died May 31, 1654. His nuncupative will was dated May 29, 1654, and proved February 2, 1656. He married Phoebe (surname unknown), and they were the parents of John, of further mention; Thomas; Stephen; Mary; and Martha. (V) John (2) Dow, son of Thomas (2) Dow, was born about 1640,...Read More
MYRON JAMES FARR – The surname of Farr is believed by many to be identical with Farrar, and there is considerable reason for the supposition as persons of both names appear simultaneously in the different localities of New England. It is derived from a Latin word meaning iron and was probably used as a place name before it came into use as a family name. It was first known in England from Gualkeline (or Walkeline) de Ferraris, a Norman of distinction attached to William, Duke of Normandy, before the conquest of England in 1066. From him all of the name in England and America appear to be descended. His son Henry de Ferrars appears on the roll. of the Battle Abbey among the principal companions of the Conqueror, and as the first of the family in England. When the general survey of the realm recorded in the Domesday Book was made in the fourteenth year of the Conqueror’s reign, Henry de Ferrars was one of the commissioners appointed to compile the work. He bore for his arms: Arms-Argent, six horse shoes pierced sable. The first of the name in New England was George Farr, who settled in Salem in 1629, coming with Higginson; was admitted freeman in 1635, settled finally at Lynn, and left eight children. Most of the families spelling the name Farr are descended from Stephen Farr....Read More
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Free Genealogy Archives
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