The Hooper family, to which belonged the late George Mitchell Hooper, one of Bridgewater’s well-known citizens, is an old and distinguished one in New England. George Mitchell Hooper, son of Mitchell, was born in the town of Bridgewater Sept. 1, 1838. He received his education in the public schools and Bridgewater Academy, later attending Peirce Academy and the State normal school at Bridgewater, graduating from the latter institution in 1857. After leaving school he engaged in teaching, a profession he followed for one year and then began the manufacture of brick with his father, a business in which he engaged for half a century. He was also a surveyor. He was identified with the banking interests of Bridgewater, having been one of the trustees of the Bridgewater Savings Bank, also filling the office of clerk. He was clerk and treasurer of the Bridgewater Cemetery Association; a member of the Plymouth County Agricultural Association, of which for years he was treasurer, and was secretary; and trustee of the Memorial Public Library. He died July 2, 1909, in his seventy-first year. On Oct. 16, 1861, Mr. Hooper was married to Mary E. Josselyn, who was born at Hanson, Mass., daughter of Hervey and Elizabeth (Howland) Josselyn. She died Jan. 30, 1884, and was buried in Mount Prospect cemetery. Eight children were born of this marriage.
The family bearing the name of Mitchell is one of the oldest in the New World, its progenitor being Experience Mitchell, who came over in 1623 in the “Ann,” and from that time to the present the records of various towns of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, chiefly Plymouth, Duxbury and the Bridgewaters, bear mute testimony of the prominence in peace and war of the members of the family in the different generations, and the present head of the family in Brockton, Isam Mitchell, president of Isam Mitchell & Co., lumber dealers and contractors, and his son, the late Herbert Isam Mitchell, active in business with his father and prominent in fraternal circles, have proved themselves firm in purpose and able in business.
The Taber family of Dartmouth and New Bedford is descended from (I) Philip Taber, who, according to Savage, was born in 1605, and died in 1672. He was at Watertown in 1634, and he contributed toward building the galley for the security of the harbor. He was made a freeman at Plymouth in that same year. In 1639-40 he was a deputy from Yarmouth, and was afterward at Martha’s Vineyard, and from 1647 to 1655 was at Edgartown, going from there to New London in 1651, but probably returning soon. He was an inhabitant of Portsmouth in February, 1655, and was a representative in Providence in 1661, the commissioners being Roger Williams, William Field, Thomas Olney, Joseph Torrey, Philip Taber and John Anthony. Later he settled in Tiverton, where his death occurred. He married Lydia Masters, of Watertown, Mass., daughter of John and Jane Masters, and his second wife, Jane, born in 1605, died in 1669.
For an hundred years and more the Swift family in and about New Bedford has been one of prominence, wealthy and influential not only in their several local communities but out through the Commonwealth and into the nation, where their extensive enterprises have extended. These Acushnet-New Bedford Swifts, a branch of the Cape Cod family, brought to their new field of effort that activity, industry, ability and honesty that had for generations characterized their forefathers and also the line of business that had enriched earlier generations in the old home section – the dealing in live oak timber and its manufacture into water craft, in shipbuilding for not only the United States government, but for those across the water. Reference is here made especially to some of the sons, grandsons and great-grandsons of William Swift, of the town of Falmouth, this Commonwealth, among whose sons were Hon. Elijah, Thomas, William, John and Reuben E.; and among the sons of the latter Rodolphus Nye and William Cole Nye Swift, who with their sons together and in turn figured most prominently in and about New Bedford and abroad, as intimated; and some of their sons are yet active here and in the Massachusetts metropolis.
For perhaps fifty years there has lived in what is now Acushnet and figured largely in the industrial life of the locality a branch of the ancient and historic Cushman family of the Old Colony, in the immediate family of the late Emery Cushman, whose early life was passed in Duxbury; himself the founder of an enterprise here in which he was succeeded by his son and the latter by his sons, all of whom contributed through the manufacturing plant to the material progress and welfare of their locality.
It will be remembered that Robert Cushman was one of the most active and influential men in all of the preliminary movements of the Pilgrims in going to Leyden and thence to New England, he the ancestor of the Cushman family here in question, the marriage of whose son into the Howland family further identifies it with the “Mayflower” party.
There follows the history and genealogy of this Acushnet Cushman family in chronological order from this first American ancestor.
The family bearing this name in New Bedford, where it is one of nearly one hundred years’ standing one, too, of prominence and wealth, is a branch of the ancient Knowles family of the town of Eastham, Barnstable county, this Commonwealth. Reference is made to some of the descendants of the brothers Thomas and James H. Knowles of Eastham, several of whose sons – at least two of the former and one of the latter – in their earlier manhood cast their lot with the people of New Bedford. The firm of Thomas Knowles & Co. for many years was one of the greatest engaged in the whale fishery business in New Bedford; and its members in turn have been succeeded in business by younger generations who have most worthily worn the family name and sustained its reputation; and today the name continues of record in and about the city of their birth connected prominently with many of the most extensive commercial establishments and banking institutions of the locality.
The Washburn name in this country is a distinguished one. Perhaps it is as yet only a tradition that John Washburn, the ancestor of the Washburns here considered, was he who first served as secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Several governors of our States have borne the Washburn name and at one and the same time four of the name occupied seats in the United States Congress. And the branch of the Massachusetts Washburns seated in Middleboro and vicinity have borne no small part in the annals of the Old Colony and later Commonwealth. Capt. Amos Washburn was in command of a company in the American Revolution; one of his sons, a graduate of Harvard, was a talented lawyer at Middleboro; Edward Washburn, brother of Capt. Amos, was another patriot in the Continental army; and his son, Gen. Abiel Washburn, was one of the leading men of his time in Middleboro, the acknowledged leader of the Federal party, and for thirty-six years held commissions through the different grades of office in the State militia; while Luther, Cyrus and the late Bradford Sumner Washburn, in turn, were substantial citizens of the town, and the latter’s son, Judge Nathan Washburn, lawyer and present Justice of the Courts of Plymouth county, is giving a good account of himself.
The Anthony family of Bristol County Massachusetts descend from one John Anthony of Hampstead England who travelled in the Hercules to New England and settled in Rhode Island in 1634. This family, under the entrepreneurship of Edmund Anthony, became prominent publishers of many early Massachusetts papers, some of which were prominent in the establishment of the Republican Party and it’s causes.