EDDY (New Bedford family). Descendants of William Eddy in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

William Eddye, A. M., vicar of the Church of St. Dunstan in the town of Cranbrook, County of Kent, England, is the English ancestor of the Eddy family here treated. He was a native of Bristol, educated in Trinity College, Cambridge, England, and was vicar of Cranbrook from 1589 to 1616. He married (first) Nov. 20, 1587, Mary Fosten, who died in July, 1611, and he married (second), in 1614, Elizabeth Taylor, a widow. He died Nov. 23, 1616. His children, all excepting the last one born to the first marriage, were:

  1. Mary Eddy, born in 1591
  2. Phineas Eddy, born in September, 1593
  3. John Eddy, born in March, 1597
  4. Ellen Eddy, born in August, 1599
  5. Abigail Eddy, born in October, 1601
  6. Anna Eddy, born in May, 1603
  7. Samuel Eddy, born in May, 1608
  8. Elizabeth Eddy, born in December, 1606
  9. Zacharias Eddy, born in March, 1610
  10. Nathaniel Eddy, born in July, 1611
  11. Priscilla Eddy, born in 1614

Samuel Eddy, son of William, born in May, 1608, died in 1685. With his brother John, he left London Aug. 10, 1630, in the ship. “Handmaid,” Capt. John Grant, master, and arrived at Plymouth, Mass., Oct. 29, 1630 (O. S.), or (N. S.) Nov. 8, 1630. On Jan. 1, 1632, he was admitted to the freedom of the society and received the oath. He shared in the division of land in 1637 and again in 1641. On May 9, 1631, he bought a house of Experience Mitchell. He was one of the original purchasers of Middleboro, Mass. He was a large land owner at other places and in 1631 his assessment was half as large as that of Captain Standish. In 1633 it was the same. His wife, whose name was Elizabeth, died in 1689. Children:

  1. John Eddy, born Dec. 25, 1637
  2. Zachariah Eddy, born in 1639
  3. Caleb Eddy, born in 1643
  4. Obediah Eddy, born in 1645
  5. Hannah Eddy, born June 23, 1647

Zachariah Eddy, born in 1639, died Sept. 4, 1718. He married May 7, 1663, Alice Padduck, who was born March 7, 1640, and died Sept. 24, 1692. He married (second) Widow Abigail Smith. He was a farmer and resided in Plymouth, then Middleboro, from which place he removed to Swansea. Children:

  1. Zachariah Eddy, born April 10, 1664
  2. John Eddy, Oct. 10, 1666
  3. Elizabeth Eddy, Aug. 3, 1670
  4. Samuel Eddy, June 4, 1673
  5. Ebenezer Eddy, Feb. 5, 1675
  6. Caleb Eddy, Sept. 21, 1678
  7. Joshua Eddy, Feb. 21, 1680
  8. Obediah Eddy, Sept. 2, 1683
  9. Alice Eddy, Nov. 28, 1684

Obediah Eddy, born Sept. 2, 1683, married Dec. 9, 1709, Abigail Devotion, and lived in Swansea. Children:

  1. Constant Eddy, born Sept. 7, 1710
  2. Ichabod Eddy, born June 1, 1713
  3. Olive or Alice Eddy, born Feb. 24, 1715
  4. Mary Eddy, born Nov. 10, 1716
  5. Abigail Eddy, born Oct. 14, 1721
  6. Hannah Eddy, born Jan. 23, 1723
  7. Job Eddy, born July 23, 1726
  8. Azariah Eddy, born June 16, 1742

Ichabod Eddy, born June 1, 1713, died in 1798, in Westport, Mass. He married Sarah, born June 8, 1716. Children:

  1. Betsey Eddy, born Sept. 1, 1737
  2. Huldah Eddy, Aug. 23, 1739
  3. Henry Eddy, Nov. 8, 1741
  4. David Eddy, Dec. 17, 1743
  5. Zephaniah Eddy, Nov. 17, 1745
  6. Rhoda Eddy, Dec. 29, 1751
  7. Ebenezer Eddy, Sept. 30, 1753
  8. Bethany Eddy, Jan. 29, 1755
  9. Nathan Eddy, Sept. 19, 1757
  10. Lois Eddy, Dec. 30, 1759
  11. Gilbert Eddy, Jan. 12, 1763

Zephaniah Eddy, born Nov. 17, 1745, lived in Dartmouth, Mass. He died Oct. 8, 1817. His wife, Anna Wood, was born Jan. 28, 1745, and died May 22, 1837, at the advanced age of ninety-two years. Their children were:

  1. Mary Eddy, born Nov. 28, 1770, married George Morton, and died April 22, 1855
  2. John Eddy, born Aug. 2, 1772, married Lydia Cory, and died Aug. 21, 1815
  3. Sarah Eddy was born June 19, 1774
  4. Nancy Eddy, born Aug. 2, 1777, died the following October
  5. Job Eddy, born Nov. 7, 1778, is mentioned below
  6. Zephaniah Eddy, born Nov. 7, 1783, died Feb. 14, 1784

Job Eddy, born Nov. 7, 1778, in Dartmouth, Mass., married Dec. 1, 1803, Mehitabel Tucker, born March 10, 1780, who died March 16, 1857. Mr. Eddy began life as a poor boy, and desiring to learn the shoemaker’s trade, and not having money enough to pay his fare to Taunton by stage, he walked from New Bedford to Taunton, carrying his tools and clothes with him. He became quite wealthy and owned a large farm on the Tucker road in Dartmouth, where he lived for a time. Later he removed to Head-of-Acushnet, where with a Mr. Rotch he manufactured bed-ticking, the first made other than by hand in the United States. The style of the firm was Rotch & Eddy. Associated with Mr. James DeWolf Perry, of Bristol, R. I., Mr. Eddy owned the cotton and woolen mills in North Dighton, Mass. He built a portion of what was known as the Eddy Wharf in New Bedford. He also was largely interested in shipping. He was the largest owner of the ship “Good Return,” which vessel was for forty years the cause of international dispute between Chili and the United States, and recalls an episode nearly resulting in a war between the two countries. He was one of the first directors at its organization in 1825 of the Merchants’ Bank of New Bedford, and out of compliment to him the fifty dollar bills issued by this bank were made payable to “Job Eddy or bearer.”

Mr. Eddy was a Quaker or Friend and elder, and at the time of the separation, in the year 1846, went with the Wilburites. At this time the Wilburites had to build a new meetinghouse, which was erected on a lot owned by Mr. Eddy at the corner of Russell and Fifth streets. Mr. Eddy was a fine type of the “gentleman of the old school” – affable, kind-hearted and courteous. His place of residence was on the southwest corner of Second and Coffin streets, New Bedford. He died Dec. 8, 1853. His children were:

  1. Abraham T. Eddy., born June 11, 1805
  2. Mary Ann Eddy, born Dec. 6, 1806, who married Nov. 1, 1827, Francis Taber, Jr., and died July 5, 1877
  3. William Eddy, born Oct. 9, 1808, who married (first) Sept. 2, 1830, Mary C. Taber, and (second) Feb. 15, 1846, Mary Barker
  4. George M. Eddy, born Dec. 3, 1810
  5. Job Eddy, Jr., born March 15, 1815, who died that same year
p. 102 of the 1877-8 Greenough's Directory of the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts

p. 102 of the 1877-8 Greenough’s Directory of the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts

George M. Eddy, son of Job and Mehitabel (Tucker), born Dec. 3, 1810, in New Bedford, Mass., married March 29, 1838, Elizabeth H. Davis, born Feb. 17, 1820. His father was very anxious for him to learn the cooper’s trade, as he himself was then interested in the whale fishery, and so he built a cooper shop next south of his own residence on Second street, and it was arranged that with one Robert C. Tripp, a master cooper, George M. was to learn the trade. This he did, and thence-forward they carried on the business together. At this period the staves used were hewed by hand, and Mr. Eddy, being a slight man, found that he was unable to do the necessary hewing; hence he desired a change of occupation and business and asked his father for assistance to start in some other kind of occupation; but this the father declined to give, thinking the change was prompted through some other motive. George M. wanted to go into the dry goods business, and this desire he carried out and established himself in the business in a store on the east side of Water street, two doors north of Union street. Here he had for a short time associated with him in business his cousin, Zephaniah Eddy. He began business with the small capital of $500, and at the start he was not only proprietor and salesman, but janitor and also bookkeeper. Subsequently he removed to Tallman’s block, on Union street. This was about 1835, and in the new location his quarters and business were so enlarged that he was then carrying on the largest dry goods business in town. Here he suffered great damage by fire, which started in the building adjoining the one he occupied and burned through. This became known in local annals as the great Eddy fire. Mr. Eddy conducted the business for many years, and from his establishment, and from under his training, went out many of the subsequent merchants of New Bedford and elsewhere. In time Mr. Eddy sold to his nephews Job A. T. Eddy and John B. Baylies, who for some years continued the business under the firm style of Eddy & Baylies. Later on George M. Eddy again went into the dry goods business for the purpose of training and establishing his sons, Abram T. and George M. Eddy, Jr., in the business. In 1858, the Masonic building on Union street having just been built, he leased the east half and took with him the sons named, who for several years served in the capacity of salesmen and later were taken into partnership with the father. This relation existed until the father’s death in 1873. The business was carried on under the firm name of George M. Eddy & Co., and has been continued to the present time. George M. Eddy, Sr., built and resided in a house on the east side of Acushnet avenue, halfway between Russell and Madison streets. On account of health he was advised by his physician to spend his summers in the country, which he did for a few years; then he purchased a permanent home situated on the Tucker road, near the main road from New Bedford to Fall River, and there passed the remainder of his life. Such was the kindly heart and disposition of Mr. Eddy, and such at all times was his control over himself, that one of his sons has remarked that he never heard his father say an unkind word in his life. He was both father and companion to his children. He was a clear-headed business man. readily grasping things and as readily carrying them into execution. He was thoughtful and in many ways gave good advice to his sons. “Boys,” he would say, “if you find you are going to lose your temper, lower your voice.” On his deathbed he said to his family: “Don’t think I have not been trying to live with this day in view.”

Mr. Eddy was a man who gave his time al-most wholly to his business and the management of his farm, in which he was greatly interested. He had also engaged in manufacturing – made Eddy’s Gold Medal yarn, which was known throughout New England. Mr. Eddy is credited with being the first person in New Bedford to introduce female help as sales-women. He was a member of the corporation of the Institution for Savings. As a merchant he was successful and as a man he was not only highly esteemed and respected but dearly beloved. He was an honored member, and elder, in the Society of Friends. He died Oct. 30, 1873, at his residence in Dartmouth, Mass., aged sixty-two years, ten months, and his widow, Elizabeth, died in the same town Aug. 9, 1896, aged seventy-six years, five months. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Eddy were:

  1. Abram T. Eddy, born Jan. 10, 1841, married May 22, 1866, Mary Anna Wood, who was born Dec. 23, 1842 (the only child of this marriage, William Wood, born Sept. 18, 1868, died Oct. 29, 1874)
  2. George M. Eddy, born Aug. 5, 1843, is mentioned below
  3. Isaac H. Eddy, born Jan. 27, 1846, died Jan. 15, 1852
  4. Job Eddy, born Oct. 12, 1848, died Sept. 1, 1851
  5. Elizabeth H. D. Eddy, born Sept. 14, 1852, died Nov. 23, 1865
  6. Sarah D. Eddy, born April 27, 1855, died July 11, 1881
  7. William W. Eddy, born March 12, 1858, died Dec. 9, 1865.

George M. Eddy (2), son of George M. and Elizabeth H. (Davis), was born Aug. 5, 1843, in New Bedford, Mass. After acquiring his education and receiving preparation for business under the direction of his father, with whom he and his brother Abram T. were associated through the latter period of his business life, the brothers, as stated above, continued the dry goods business founded by the father and conducted so long by father and sons together and in turn. Under the energy of the sons and the demand of the times it was greatly increased, continuing at the old stand until the year 1882. Reducing the stock in this year to a minimum, with the remnant left they operated a small store on Pleasant street. In the year named they bought the present site of the Eddy building, and in the year following (1883) they erected the building now bearing the family name, into which they moved their business in October of that same year; the building is four stories in height and they occupied the entire space. It was for the time quite a pretentious structure and the first in the city equipped with a passenger elevator. The firm occupied this building until 1888, when flattering inducements were offered, and having been in active business for some thirty years they felt they had better sell and retire. Since then George M. Eddy has occupied his time in caring for some of his father’s interests, as well as his own private affairs. But the firm of George M. Eddy & Co. continues and the joint interests are cared for. In this business connection of the Eddy brothers Mr. Abram T. Eddy was, and is, senior partner. He was a director of the First National Bank of New Bedford, at one time served as a member of the common council, and for many years was a director of the Y. M. C. A. Early in life he became identified with the William Street Baptist Church, New Bedford. For some years he has been a deacon in Tremont Temple, Boston, and a member of its advisory board. In 1904 he purchased an extensive estate on Shaker Hill, Enfield, N. H, and made it his permanent home.

George M. Eddy, Jr., was one of the organizers of the Y. M. C. A. in New Bedford when it made its second start in that city. The association was first organized in this country in Boston in 1851, and in New Bedford that same year, the organization at the latter place being the sixth in this country, but the project was short lived. Fifteen years later, in 1866, the association was organized again, as a result of a revival in the County Street Methodist Episcopal Church, and permanently established by the efforts of James Taylor, George M. Eddy and Leonard B. Ellis. Mr. Eddy became the fourth president of the association, which is now one of the best equipped in the State. Mr. Eddy has been a trustee of the County Street Methodist Episcopal Church for a generation, is now president of the board, and was treasurer of the church for twenty-three years. He was a lay delegate to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church held in Cincinnati in May, 1880. Mr. Eddy was one of the original trustees of St. Luke’s Hospital, and is still an active member of that body. He has also served as a director of the Board of Trade in his native city.

In 1893, 1894 and 1895 Mr. Eddy was a member of the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Legislature, serving the first year on the committee on Banks and Banking, and in the second and third years on the Mercantile committee, and was House chairman of the committee on Fish and Game. He was also one of the committee of nine sent by the Massachusetts Legislature to travel through the Southern States and ascertain whether the cotton industry was liable to locate in that section, to the detriment of cotton manufacturing in Massachusetts, their journey taking them through Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. It fell to their good fortune to be entertained by prominent men of the South, among them two governors; and this was the first committee from the Massachusetts Legislature to visit the South officially after the Civil war.

On Oct. 25, 1865, George M. Eddy married Sarah Bradford Brush, of Martha’s Vineyard, born Feb. 7, 1842. Their children have been:

  1. Elizabeth Holland Davis, born in Dartmouth, Sept. 14, 1867
  2. Bessie Brush, born Oct. 28, 1872, who died Jan. 25, 1882
  3. George Morton, born May 28, 1877, who died June 18, 1880

The first named, Elizabeth H. D., married Rev. Charles W. Holden June 25, 1895; and their children are:

  1. Anne Bradford Eddy, born in New Bedford, May 2, 1896
  2. Elizabeth Eddy, born in Pawtucket, R. I, May 18, 1897
  3. Ruth Vincent Eddy, born in Waltham, March 27, 1906

The family has resided for some years in Watertown, Mass., where Mr. Holden is pastor of St. John’s Methodist Episcopal Church.