LINDSEY (Fall River family). The founders of the early Lindseys in New England were Christopher and Daniel Lindsey, brothers, who are credited with having come from Scotland, Christopher about 1630, and Daniel in 1637. Christopher settled at Lynn, Mass. He died in 1669, leaving a widow Margaret. He had sons John and Eleazer.

The Fall River family of Lindseys here considered is a branch of the earlier Bristol, R. I., family. Beyond the marriage at that point of John Lindsey, the first of the name of record there, 1694, nothing definite seems known. It is a tradition in the Bristol family, however, that their ancestor came from Scotland long prior to the American Revolution. Reference is made here to the genealogy and family history of the Fall River branch of the Bristol family, the head of which was the late William Lindsey, who was through a long life a prominent business man and substantial citizen, followed by his son, the late Hon. Crawford Easterbrooks Lindsey, for many years prominently identified with the manufacturing interests of Fall River and of Pawtucket, R. I., a member of both branches of the city government of Fall River and twice its chief executive officer. The lineage of this latter member of the family from John Lindsey of Bristol is through

  1. William
  2. William (2)
  3. Capt. Jonathan Woodbury
  4. William (3)

These generations follow in regular order.

John Lindsey is of record at Bristol, then in Massachusetts but now in Rhode Island, in 1694, Aug. 29th of which year he was married to Elizabeth Munro. Their children of Bristol town record were:

  1. Samuel, born Aug. 8, 1697
  2. Mary, born Jan. 15, 1699
  3. John, born May 17, 1703
  4. Elizabeth, born Dec. 19, 1705
  5. Benjamin, born March 11, 1709-10
  6. William, born July 2, 1713
  7. Lydia, born Dec. 2, 1715
  8. Jemima, born May 20, 1719

William Lindsey, son of John and Elizabeth (Munro) Lindsey, born July 2, 1713, married Nov. 23, 1737, Mary Wardwell, and their children of Bristol town record were

  1. Mary, born Nov. 12, 1738
  2. Rebecca, born March 23, 1740
  3. Martha, born Oct. 16, 1741
  4. Lydia, born Aug. 23, 1743
  5. William, born March 1, 1744-45
  6. Benjamin, born May 2, 1753

William Lindsey (2), son of William and Mary (Wardwell) Lindsey, born March 1, 1744-45, married April 26, 1772, Katherine, born Dec. 11, 1752, daughter of Jonathan and Lydia Woodbury, of Bristol. Their children of Bristol town record were:

  1. Mary, born Feb. 22, 1774
  2. Katherine, born Dec. 3, 1776
  3. Jonathan Woodbury, born June 18, 1778
  4. William, born Dec. 23, 1780
  5. Martha, born Oct. 30, 1782
  6. Woodbury, born Jan. 15, 1785
  7. Sarah, born Oct. 24, 1787
  8. Nathaniel, born April 14, 1790
  9. Allen, born June 20, 1793
  10. Nathaniel (2), born July 9, 1796

Capt. Jonathan Woodbury Lindsey, son of William (2) and Katherine (Woodbury) Lindsey, born June 18, 1778, married Hannah Easter brooks, and their children of Bristol town record were:

  1. Sarah, born July 12, 1798
  2. Hannah, born Aug. 5, 1800
  3. Martha, born June 24, 1802
  4. Mary, born Aug. 18, 1804
  5. Lydia, born April 2, 1807
  6. Jonathan Woodbury, born March 10, 1809
  7. Katherine Woodbury, born March 4, 1811
  8. those not of town record were William (born Sept. 20, 1816)
  9. Nathaniel, and maybe others.

The father in early life was a hatter by occupation. Later he became a seafaring man and a ship-master. All of his children lived to maturity, all married and all had families excepting Lydia. The ages of the eight alive in the middle eighties aggregated 566 years or an average of approximately threescore and ten years. Captain Lindsey died April 12, 1854. His wife Hannah died March 21, 1851.

William Lindsey (3), son of Capt. Jonathan W. Lindsey, was born Sept. 20, 1816, in Bristol, R. I. When he was seven his parents removed to the Olneyville section of Providence, R. I., and at the early age of thirteen young William began employment in a hat factory, in the meantime having worked to some extent doing chores on a farm. Thus early beginning the real activities of life, his educational privileges were most meager. Two years later, when he was fifteen, he went to Fall River, that point then being known as Troy, there entering the wholesale grocery and provision establishment of G. Burr & Co. in the capacity of clerk. He continued in the employ of these men until he was nineteen years of age, in the meantime acquiring full knowledge of their business. At the close of the period named, in 1836, at the age of nineteen, he purchased the business of his employers, and for forty-three years, from 1832 to 1875, he did business as employee and proprietor at that same location. On assuming proprietorship through the period named he continued in trade as member of the different firms of William Lindsey, J. W. & W. Lindsey, Lindsey & Brothers, and W. & N. Lindsey. Suffice it to say that, a man of character, integrity and fair dealing, through that long period of business activity Mr. Lindsey made for himself and the establishment a reputation and met with well-deserved success.

Aside from his regular business Mr. Lindsey was engaged in other lines of effort. He was for many years largely interested in whaling, coasting and trading vessels, owning himself some vessels and interested in others with business associates. He became treasurer in 1875 of the Weetamoe Mills of Fall River, an office he held for many years. He was from its organization for a period a director of the Metacomet National Bank of Fall River, and also served as its president for a period beginning with 1881. He was for forty and more years a trustee of the Fall River Savings Bank and its president for years beginning with 1882. He was a stockholder and director in many corporations, among them the King Philip Mills, Globe Yarn Mills, Weetamoe Mills and Conanicut Mills. He died Feb. 26, 1897.

Mr. Lindsey was a man of marked individuality. As a business man he was conservative and safe. He was a member of the Baptist Church from his youth and interested along lines for the elevation and improvement of his fellowmen. His probity and high sense of honor gave him standing in the community.

Mr. Lindsey acted first with the Whig party, then with the Republican, though never personally having a taste for political preferment. Without seeking the position he was chosen in 1871 a member of the first board of water commissioners for Fall River, a relation he sustained to the city for eight years until the completion of the waterworks, when at the expiration of his third term of service he declined a reelection.

Mr. Lindsey was thrice married, marrying (first) Eliza A., daughter of Deacon Enoch French, of Fall River, (second) Maria, daughter of Leander P. Lovell, of Fall River, and (third) Sarah J., daughter of Job. B. French, of Fall River. He was the father of the following named children: Crawford E., Charles B. (residing at Chatham, N. Y.), Sarah F. (wife of Foster H. Hooper, of Boston), all born to the first marriage:

  1. William (of Boston, Mass.)
  2. Maria L. (married James Sinclair, and died in Fall River)
  3. Eliza (of Fall River)
  4. Anna B. (of Fall River)
  5. John H. (a physician at Washington, D. C), all born to the second marriage

Crawford Easterbrooks Lindsey, son of William (3) and Eliza A. (French), was born in Fall River Aug. 19, 1838. He obtained his education in the local public schools, also in Fruit Hill Academy, North Providence, R. I., and at the Peirce Academy, Middleboro, Mass. When at the age of nineteen, in 1857, he left school, Mr. Lindsey entered the office of the American Print Works as a clerk and later he became a bookkeeper of that concern. In 1860 the print works company, mainly at Mr. Lindsey’s suggestion, changed the method of selling goods in Boston from commission to direct form, and when the sales began to be made in this manner he was appointed selling agent, which position he held until the year 1879, when his connection with the company closed.

Mr. Lindsey’ was one of the organizers of the Merchants’ Manufacturing Company and was for years one of its directors. He was a director of the Fall River Bleachery until 1882 arid a member of the first board of directors of that concern. He was one of the organizers of the King Philip Mills in 1871, and was the first president of that corporation, which position he retained into the eighties. In 1880 he and others purchased the Mount Hope Mill property, in connection with which the Conanicut Mills Corporation was organized with Mr. Lindsey as treasurer, in which relation he remained to the time of his death. The property was greatly improved and enlarged under Mr. Lindsey’s management and devoted to the production of fine cotton goods. He was long a trustee and for some years, until 1895, the president of the Fall River Savings Bank. In November, 1893, he removed to Providence, Rhode Island.

Mr. Lindsey’s political interests were always with the Republicans. He was a member of the common council in 1869 and 1870, and in the latter year was made president of that body. In 1871 and 1872 he was a member of the board of aldermen, and in 1874 he was again a member of the common council and its president. In 1870, 1871 and 1872 he was a member of the school committee. In 1878 he was elected mayor of the city and again in 1879, his second election being attended by practically no opposition. During these years the business outlook was dark and the position of mayor was rendered the more embarrassing by the fact of local defalcations, as a result of which several corporations were ruined and manufacturing was largely suspended in the city, large numbers of the operatives becoming dependent on charity. The second year of Mr. Lindsey’s administration was also marked by a strike of mill operatives, the most grave that had yet occurred in Fall River. Disorder and distress added burdens to the mayor’s life, but he held himself with clearness of vision and determination of purpose, winning the good opinions of the citizens by his unswerving performance of public duty. After retiring from the mayoralty Mr. Lindsey became a trustee of the Fall River public library, in 1882.

Mr. Lindsey was married May 27, 1863, to Mary E. Chace, of Fall River, daughter of Oliver and Mary E. (Allan) Chace. They had two children, William Oliver and Charles Chace, both of whom died young.

For about fourteen years Mr. Lindsey resided in Providence, and had but a short time previous to his death returned to the city of his birth and established his residence at No. 772 High street, where he died Aug. 15, 1907. He became agent of the Slater Cotton Company in Pawtucket in 1889, before leaving Fall River. In 1902 he resigned from this position and went abroad for a few weeks. After this time he gave his attention to the Conanicut Mills until his death. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Fall River and on his removal to Providence attended the First Baptist Church there. Clear-visioned, humane, a lover of books and a friend of his fellows, he made a record in the period of his activity, as a man of business and public official, which won general admiration. He was essentially a self-made man and highly respected for his achievements. He was connected with the Masonic fraternity, a member of Godfrey de Bouillon Commandery, K. T., of Fall River.