Collection: One Thousand Men of Massachusetts

1000 Massachusetts Biographies

The aim of this manuscript was to provide biographical sketches of 1,000 of the representative citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who in different parts of the state were engaged in professional practice, mercantile, agricultural and industrial pursuits. These specific citizens were elected for this honor by the author as he felt they controlled the destinies of future finance and trade in the state, and gave Massachusetts her proud pre-eminence in Philanthropy, Literature, Science and Commercial prosperity. This collection at only contains the first 36 of such biographies. It is a work in progress, so please check back frequently.   Biographical Sketch of Abbot, Francis Ellingwood Biography of Adams, Charles Francis Biography of Abbott, Josiah Gardner Biographical Sketch of Adams, Charles Follen Biographical Sketch of Adams, Charles R. Biographical Sketch of Adams, George A. Biographical Sketch of Adams, George Zaccheus Biographical Sketch of Adams, John Gregory, Bishop Biographical Sketch of Adams, Marshall Biography of Adams, William T. Biographical Sketch of Agassiz, Alexander Biographical Sketch of Aiken, David Aiken Biographical Sketch of Alden, Edmund Kimball Biographical Sketch of Alden, Lewis Biographical Sketch of Aldrich, James Mott Biographical Sketch of Aldrich, P. Emory Biographical Sketch of Aldrich, Samuel Nelson Biographical Sketch of Aldrich, Thomas Bailey Biographical Sketch of Alger, Alpheus B. Biography of Alger, William Rounseville Biographical Sketch of Allen, Charles Biographical Sketch of Allen, Charles H. Biography of Allen,...

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Biographical Sketch of Aiken, David Aiken

Aiken, David, son of Phinehas and Elisabeth (Patterson) Aiken, was born at Bedford, Hillsborough County, N. H., June 7, 1804. His early education was obtained in a common district school and at Pembroke Academy, under Mr. John Vose, and at Phillips Academy, Andover, under Mr. John Adams. He entered Dartmouth College, where he was graduated in 1830. He then studied law with Wells & Alvord at Greenfield, Mass., and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1833; was judge of the court of common pleas from 1856 to ’59. He has been the law partner of Henry Chapman, George Grennell, Davis & Allen, Chester C. Conant, and W. S. B. Hopkins, afterwards with Charles E. Forbes of Northampton. He is now partner with his son, John A. Aiken, but retired from active practice when the State sold its interest in the Troy & Greenfield and Hoosac Tunnel Railroad—he having acted as legal adviser to its manager up to that time, in behalf of the Commonwealth. He was senator from Franklin County in 1874. From the promotion of Judge Wells in 1844 to the present day, with the exception of the period he himself was on the bench, Judge Aiken has been the acknowledged leader of the county bar. He was married in October 1844, to Lydia W., daughter of Col. Spencer and Lydia (Bardwell) Root, who died in November,...

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Biography of Allen, Charles Herbert

Allen, Charles Herbert, son of Otis and Louisa (Bixby) Allen, was born in Lowell, Middlesex County, April 15, 1848. He was educated in the public schools of his native city; prepared for college, entered Amherst, from which he was graduated in the class of 1869, receiving his A. M. in course in 1872. His first connection with commercial life was in the lumber business, in which he has ever since been engaged, under the firm name of Otis Allen & Son. Mr. Allen was married in Manchester, N. H., Nov. 10, 1870, to Harriet C., daughter of James and Sarah B. (Chase) Dean. Of this union were two children; Bertha and Louise Allen. Mr. Allen is a member of the Masonic order; has been a member of the Lowell school board; was a member of the House of Representatives in 1881 and ‘ 82, serving in the two years on the committee on railroads, rules and orders, and bills in the third reading (chairman); he was a member of the state senate in 1883, serving on the committee on prisons (chairman) and street railways; he was elected to the national Congress in 1884, and re-elected in 1886. In 1888 he declined a re-nomination. In the forty-ninth Congress Mr. Allen served on the committee on Indian affairs; In the fiftieth Congress served on committee on post-office and post roads—an important...

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Biography of Abbott, Josiah Gardner

Abbott, Josiah Gardner, who traces his lineage back to the first settlers of this Commonwealth, was born in Chelmsford, Middlesex County, November 1, 1815. He is the second son of Caleb and Mercy (Fletcher) Abbott, descendants from the Puritan George Abbott, who came from Yorkshire, England, in 1630, and settled in Andover, and William Fletcher, who came from Devonshire, England, in 1640, and settled first in Concord, and finally, in 1651, in Chelmsford. After his foundation studies he was fitted for college under the instruction of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He entered Harvard at the early age of twelve, and was graduated in the class of 1832. After taking his degree, he studied law with Nathaniel Wright, of Lowell, and was admitted to the bar in 1837. In 1840 he formed a partnership with Samuel Brown, which terminated when he was appointed to the bench in 1855. In 1838 Judge Abbott was married to Caroline, daughter of the Hon. Edward St. Loe and Sarah Crease (Stackpole) Livermore, of New Hampshire. Mr. Livermore was judge of the supreme court of New Hampshire and afterwards member of Congress from Massachusetts. Their children are; Caroline Mercy, Edward Gardner, Henry Livermore, Fletcher Morton, William Stackpole, Samuel Appleton Browne, Sarah Livermore, Franklin Pierce, Arthur St. Loe Livermore, Grafton St. Loe, and Holker Welch Abbott. The first, Brevet Major Edward G. Abbott, a graduate of Harvard...

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Biographical Sketch of Alley, John B.

Alley, John B., son of John and Mercy (Buffum) Alley, was born in Lynn, January 7, 1817. He belongs to one of the oldest Essex county families, and is descended from Hugh Alley, who, with his brother John, settled in Lynn in 1834. He received his education in the public schools of his native town, and at the age of fourteen was apprenticed to a shoe manufacturer, and at nineteen received the gift of his time. Soon after the close of his apprenticeship he went to Cincinnati and there purchased a flatboat, which he loaded with merchandise and carried to New Orleans, and the success of this enterprise laid the foundation of his fortune. At the age of twenty-one he returned to Lynn and began the manufacture of shoes. In five years, at the age of twenty-six, he was the owner of one of the largest enterprises in a city full of active, shrewd men with whom he had entered on a race for wealthy. In 1847 he established a house in Boston for the sale of hides and leather. At various times he has been the senior partner in the firm of Alley, Choate & Cummings, the firm of John B. Alley & Co., and later in the firm of Alley Brothers & Place, in which the two sons of Mr. Alley and Mr. Place were the partners....

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Biographical Sketch of Allen, Charles H.

Allen, Charles H., son of Zenas and Caroline (Randall) Allen, was born in Boston, June 14, 1828. He received his early educational training in the public schools of Boston. He began his business life as youngest boy in a dry goods jobbing store. Subsequently he became bookkeeper fro Francis Skinner & Co., commission merchants engaged in selling cotton and wollen fabrics for manufacturers; afterward a member of the firm of Leland, Allen & Bates in the same business. He is now president of the Central National Bank of Boston, also of the Home Savings Bank. Mr. Allen was married in New Ipswich, N. H., July 2, 1849, to Caroline F., daughter of George and Caroline (Muzzey) Sanders. Of this union are two children; Charles F. and Francis S. Allen. Mr. Allen was a member of the Mercantile Library Association and a member of its government from 1846 to 1853, being elected its president in 1851; member of the common council of Boston 1867-’68, the last year acting as its president; member of the Cochituate water board of Boston 1869 to 1872, serving as president of the board 1871 and ’72; member of the House of Representatives 1878 and ’80; member of the state Senate 1881 to ’82; member of the board of aldermen of Boston 1885-’88; elected as chairman of the board in 1886 and again in 1888. From...

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Biographical Sketch of Agassiz, Alexander

Agassiz, Alexander, son of Louis and Cecile (Braun) Agassiz, was born in Neufchatel, Switzerland, December 17, 1835. His early educational training was received in the gymnasium of his native place. He came to this country in 1849, after his father, the celebrated naturalist, and entering Harvard College, was graduated there from in the class of 1855. He inherited the tastes of his father, and pursued his studies in the Lawrence scientific school (Harvard) during the years 1857 to ’61 inclusive. In 1859 he was engaged with the United States Coast Survey: in 1861 he was made assistant in the Zoological Museum, Cambridge, and became director of this institution in 1874. He was superintendent of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, 1866 to 1869. He was treasurer till 1871, when he was made its president, which position he still holds. Professor Agassiz was married at Jamaica Plain, November 13, 1860, to Anna, daughter of George Robert and Sarah P. (Shaw) Russell. Of this union were three children: George R., Maximilian and Rudolph L. Agassiz. Professor Agassiz has been overseer of Harvard College, and is now fellow of this...

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Biographical Sketch of Allen, Thomas

Allen, Thomas, son of Thomas and Anne C. (Russell ) Allen, was born October 19, 1849, at St. Louis, Mo. He was educated at the high school, Pittsfield, Mass., at the Williston Seminary, Easthampton, and then entered the Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., after which he studied art at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, at Dilsseldorf, Germany, where he graduated from the master class in 1878, and afterward studied three years in France. He first exhibited his work in New York, at the National Academy of Design, in 1877, and has been represented in the National Academy at almost every exhibition since then. In 1882 and in 1884 was made an associate of the National Academy of Design. In 1880 he was elected a member of the Society of American Artists. His specialty is landscape and animal painting. After nearly ten years of foreign study, he opened his studio in the Pelham Studio on Boylston Street, Boston; not finding it sufficiently commodious, however, and meeting with marked success as a painter, he purchased a house on Commonwealth Avenue, in 1883, for a permanent home, and there built a large studio at the top of the house which he now occupies. Mr. Allen was first married in 1880, in Northampton, to Eleanor G., daughter of Prof. J. D. and Louisa (Goddard) Whitney of Cambridge, who left him one child;...

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Biographical Sketch of Abbot, Francis Ellingwood

Abbot, Francis Ellingwood, son of Joseph Hale and Fanny (Larcom) Abbot, was born in Boston, November 6, 1836. His early education was obtained at home, and in the Boston public Latin school. Fitting for college, he entered Harvard in 1855, and was graduated with the class of 1859. He spent three years in the Harvard divinity school and Meadville (Pa.) Theological Seminary. It is a fitting tribute to the mother of the subject of this sketch that he has filially attributed his best education to her early training and blessed influence. Mr. Abbot was principal of the Meadville (Pa.) Female Seminary three years ending in June, 1863, while still studying for his profession. He was ordained minister of the Unitarian society in Dover, N. H., August 31, 1864, and resigned April 1, 1868, to become minister of the Independent religious society in the same city. He resigned this position at the end of six months, because, in consequence of a famous lawsuit (set forth at great length in the New Hampshire Reports, Vol. 53), the new society voted not to maintain its own independent position. He served as minister of the Independent society of Toledo, Ohio, from July 1869 to March 1873, and editor of the Toledo (afterward Boston) “Index” from January 1, 1870, to July 1, 1880. He kept a classical school for boys in New York until...

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Biographical Sketch of Allen, William

Allen, William, son of William Allen, was born at Brunswick, Cumberland County, Maine, March 31, 1822. He is a grandson of the Rev. Thomas Allen, the “fighting parson” of the noted Berkshire militia, who performed such conspicuous service under General Stark of Revolutionary fame. His father was a clergyman of Pittsfield, a scholar of eminence, and at one time president of Bowdoin College. After obtaining his preliminary education at the public schools, Mr. Allen fitted for college at Phillips Academy, Andover, and at the North Yarmouth Academy, in Maine, and entered Bowdoin College in 1834. After a few months spent at Bowdoin he went to Amherst, where he graduated in 1842. He began the study of law at the Yale law school, continuing it later at Northampton, where he was admitted to the bar in 1845, and where he has since resided. In 1880 Mr. Allen was made associate justice of the superior court, which high office he now holds, abundantly justifying the judicious selection of Governor Long, to whom he was indebted for the...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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