In the death of Davis Snow Packard, which occurred in Brockton, Mass., July 31, 1900, the city lost one of its foremost citizens as well as one of its most successful manufacturers. Mr. Packard was a native of the town of North Bridgewater, now the city of Brockton, born June 24, 1826, son of Apollos and Betsey (Packard) Packard, and a descendant of one of the oldest and most prominent families of the old Bay State.
(I) Samuel Packard, the founder of the family in America, was a native of England, his home being at Windham, near Hingham. In 1638 he came to this country in the ship “Diligence,” of Ipswich, accompanied by his wife Elizabeth and one child. He located first at Hingham, Mass., whence he removed to West Bridgewater, where he became one of the first settlers, and where he held various public offices. He was also a tavern-keeper in 1670. His death occurred in West Bridgewater, his will being probated March 3, 1684-85. He was the father of twelve children.
(II) Zaccheus Packard, second son and third child of Samuel and Elizabeth Packard, made his home in West Bridgewater, where he followed farming. There he married Sarah Howard, daughter of John Howard, who came from England and settled first at Duxbury, Mass., later becoming one of the first settlers of West Bridgewater. Zaccheus Packard died Aug. 3, 1723. He was the father of nine children, his youngest six sons all becoming early settlers of the North Parish of Bridgewater, now the city of Brockton.
(III) Capt. Abiel Packard, the youngest child of Zaccheus and Sarah (Howard) Packard, was born April 29, 1699, in West Bridgewater, and later became one of the first settlers of the North Parish of Bridgewater, where he was engaged in farming, owning the land afterward known as the Capt. Nathaniel Wales place. He was the largest land owner in the neighborhood, having over one thousand acres in one tract, upon which he settled seven of his sons. He was a captain in the militia. He married Jan. 11, 1723, Sarah Ames, daughter of John and Sarah (Washburn) Ames, and they became the parents of ten children. Captain Packard died in 1776, aged seventy-six years, and his wife died in Bridgewater, in 1790, aged eighty-three years.
(IV) Thomas Packard, fourth son of Capt. Abiel and Sarah (Ames) Packard, was born Sept. 21, 1732, in North Bridgewater, and spent his entire life in his native town, engaged in farming on a tract of land given him by his father. In 1756 he married Mary Howard, daughter of Henry Howard, and by her had eight children. He married (second) in 1780 Martha, widow of Nathan Packard.
(V) Capt. Parmenas Packard, eldest child of Thomas and Mary (Howard) Packard, was born Nov. 26, 1757, in North Bridgewater, where his life was spent in farming, and where he was a captain in the militia. On April 9, 1778, he married Martha Reynolds, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Turner) Reynolds, and their children were:
- Parmenas Jr.,
- Gideon H.
(VI) Apollos Packard, the fourth son of Capt. Parmenas and Martha (Reynolds) Packard, was born July 5, 1788, in North Bridgewater, and grew to manhood on the homestead farm. He made farming his chief occupation, but also carried on shoemaking, as was then the custom. His entire life was spent in his native town, and he lived to the age of seventy-two years, dying Aug. 4, 1860. He married (first) March 26, 1811, Sophia Brett, daughter of Amzi Brett, and a direct descendant of William Brett, who came from Kent, England, in 1645, and settled first at Duxbury, Mass., later becoming one of the original proprietors of the ancient town of Bridgewater, where he was one of the leading men in the Old Colony. She died in February, 1823. To this union were born children as follows:
- Phebe, born in 1816, died unmarried;
- Henry White died young;
- Henry Brett, born in 1823, married Lucinda Hayward.
Apollos Packard, the father, married (second) Aug. 26, 1823, Betsey Packard, daughter of Abiah Packard, and to this union were born the following children:
- Frederick White, born Feb. 25, 1824, who married Nancy Fisher Leach;
- Davis Snow, who is mentioned below;
- Apollos Morton, born March 21, 1832, who married Adrianna E. Hall, and died March 17, 1910.
The mother of these children passed away Aug. 5, 1845, and Apollos Packard married (third) Jan. 18, 1846, Salome Bradford, daughter of Perez Bradford, and widow of William Bradford, of Plympton, Mass. She died March 27, 1877, aged seventy-five years, seven months.
(VII) Davis Snow Packard, second son of the late Apollos and Betsey (Packard) Packard, was born in the old town of North Bridgewater, now the city of Brockton, Mass., June 24, 1826, and such education as he received was obtained in the public schools of the district. At an early age he learned the trade of boot-making, which trade he followed until 1858, when he formed a partnership with the late Aberdeen Keith and engaged in the manufacture of boot and shoe counters, under the firm name of Keith & Packard, they being the pioneers in that line. This firm began business in a small way, employing five hands, but by strict attention to business they soon were doing a business of over a quarter of a million dollars per annum, this partnership continuing until 1876, when on account of ill health Mr. Keith was obliged to retire and seek the milder climate of California. Mr. Packard purchased the interests of his partner in the business, and continued successfully to conduct the business alone until July 1, 1880, when the late Veranus Filoon and Abbott W. Packard were admitted as partners, the firm name then becoming D. S. Packard & Co. In 1886 Abbott W. Packard withdrew from the firm, selling his interests to the other partners, who conducted the business under the same firm name until 1895, in which year Davis S. Packard retired from the business, disposing of his interests to Mr. Filoon, whose son, Fred W. Filoon, is still conducting the business at the same location and in the same factory, at the corner of North Warren avenue and Prospect street. The growth of this manufacturing establishment, of which Mr. Packard was one of the founders and during his connection with it the moving spirit in its management, has been almost phenomenal, it being recognized as one of Brockton’s representative industries, and its success was largely due to the clear business foresight and executive ability of Davis S. Packard, who was a keen business man, enterprising and progressive in his ideas, and noted for his good judgment and straightforward business dealings.
Although Mr. Packard was actively engaged in the management of large business interests, he never shrank from the duties of good citizenship, and every project which had for its object the advancement or betterment of his native town and city found in him an ever earnest and influential advocate. Upon the organization of the Brockton National Bank in February, 1881, he became one of its original incorporators, and was elected its first president, serving in that capacity until the time of his death, covering a period of nineteen years. He was also one of the original incorporators of the Brockton Savings Bank, which was organized in March, 1881, and served as a member of its board of trustees from the time of its organization until his death, as well as being a member of the board of investment of that institution. He was one of the sixty citizens who gave one hundred dollars each for the purpose of organizing the Brockton Agricultural Society, which was incorporated in 1874, which association holds annually the Brockton Fair, and he was elected one of the directors and first vice president of the society, serving in the latter office for a term of ten years, and in 1884 being elected treasurer of the society to succeed Col. John Jay Whipple. After filling the office of treasurer for a period of five years he was again elected vice president, which office he was filling at the time of his death. He was also chairman of the committee which had charge of the erection of the buildings on the fair grounds, and for a number of years was chairman of the committee on grounds. Mr. Packard also took an active interest in the formation of the North Bridgewater Board of Trade, which was organized in 1871, and became one of the directors of the same, in the interests of which he was a prominent worker for a number of years.
In public life Mr. Packard was also quite active and took a deep interest in all that tended to the advancement of his native town, serving his town and city faithfully and well, and discharged the duties of the various positions of honor and trust to which he was called to the entire satisfaction of his fellow citizens. He served as selectman of the town before it became a city, being an incumbent of that office in 1875, 1876 and 1878. In 1880 and 1881 he served as representative in the State Legislature, and again in 1882, being the first to fill that office after the inauguration of Brockton as a city. In 1884 he was elected a member of the city’s Sinking Fund Commission, which position he was filling at the time of his death. In 1885 he served as alderman from Ward Seven in the city government, and in 1894 was made one of the first members of the Park Commission of the city, and was still serving in that capacity at the time of his death. Mr. Packard was faithful and efficient in all his public duties, and was ever mindful of the trust reposed in him by the people. In political belief he was a stanch Republican, active in the councils of the party, and adhered strictly to its principles.
Mr. Packard was a charter member of the Commercial Club of Brockton, and took an active interest in the affairs of that organization, serving for three years as its vice president, and in 1890 was elected president – the third to fill that responsible position. He served for seven years as president of this club, which is composed of Brockton’s leading business and professional men, and when he retired from that office in 1897, it was against the wishes of the entire membership. It was during his administration as president that the new and commodious club house was built, at the corner of North Main and Spring streets. In Masonic circles Mr. Packard was also prominent, holding membership in Paul Revere Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Satucket Chapter, R. A. M.; Brockton Council, R. & S. M.; and Bay State Commandery, Knights Templar, serving as treasurer for a period of years of the latter, of which he was an original member.
Mr. Packard was twice married. On Nov. 1, 1849, he was united to Minerva Bradford, born May 27, 1825, daughter of William Bradford, of Plympton, Mass., and by this union there was one daughter, Alice May, born Sept. 13, 1850, who married Nov. 17, 1874, Dr. James T. Sherman, of Dorchester, Mass., and died April 13, 1877, aged twenty-six years. Mrs. Packard passed away Sept. 11, 1857, and Mr. Packard married (second) Oct. 29, 1870, Mrs. Emma S. (Tingley) Gurney, who was born Feb. 28, 1840, in Arlington, Mass., daughter of Rev. Timothy C. Tingley, and widow of Elbridge Gurney, and this union was blessed with four children, as follows,:
- Emma Davis, born Dec. 19, 1871, who died Sept. 30, 1872;
- Sumner Tingley, born July 4, 1874;
- Ruth Beals, born March 9, 1876;
- Emma Snow, born May 16, 1880, who married April 2, 1908, Herbert C. Low, of Brockton.
Mrs. Packard passed away at her home in Brockton, June 4, 1880.
Mr. Packard was a man of marked prominence in his native town and city. Possessed of a genial and affable disposition, being well informed and progressive, and having taste and ability for the discharge of public duties, a judgment well balanced and uniformly correct in its results, and an integrity of character that was never touched by whisper or reflection, it is not strange that he was selected by his fellow citizens as one fitted to assume and administer public trusts in a variety of relations in the town. His usefulness as’ a citizen extended far outside his business career into spheres of active beneficence. His many and substantial acts of charity were seldom known except to the recipients, his acts of kindness being done for the pleasure and comfort the recipient derived from them. Mr. Packard had greatly enjoyed extensive travel both at home and abroad, which had broadened his active and retentive mind. Mr. Packard died at his home on Prospect street, Brockton, July 31, 1900, aged seventy-four years, and honored and esteemed as he was in life his memory was accorded the highest degree of respect in death.
(VIII) Sumner Tingley Packard, only son of the late Davis Snow Packard, was born in Brockton July 4, 1874. He had the best educational advantages, attending the public and high schools of his native city, and then graduated from Brown University in the class of 1895. Deciding upon the law for his profession, he then entered Harvard Law School, from which he was graduated in 1898, with the degree of LL. B., and was admitted a member of the Massachusetts bar. For a period of five years he practiced his chosen profession before the County and State courts and the United States District court, having offices in Boston and Brockton. In 1903 he became engaged in the manufacturing business, as a member of the Macrodi Fibre Company, with factories at Woonsocket, RI, and to this industry he has since given his full time and attention. Like his father, Mr. Packard is enterprising and progressive and public-spirited. He is a stanch Republican in political views, and has served as a member of the city government in the common council, representing Ward Seven. He is an active member of the Commercial Club, of which he is secretary; and is treasurer of Brockton Union Cemetery. In fraternal circles he is a prominent member of high degree in the Masonic organization, holding membership in Paul Revere Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Satucket Chapter, R. A. M.; and Bay State Commandery, Knights Templar, of Brockton.
On June 30, 1903, Mr. Packard was united in marriage at Camden, Maine, with Maude E. Norwood, who was born Dec. 17, 1877, at Rockport, Maine, daughter of Joseph H. Norwood, and they reside at the old Packard homestead on Prospect street. They are the parents of: Sumner Tingley, Jr., who was born March 28, 1904; Elinor Packard, born Jan. 30, 1905, who died Feb. 3, 1905; and Pauline Packard, born March 5, 1911.