Location: Franklin County MA

Biography of Myron James Farr

MYRON JAMES FARR – The surname of Farr is believed by many to be identical with Farrar, and there is considerable reason for the supposition as persons of both names appear simultaneously in the different localities of New England. It is derived from a Latin word meaning iron and was probably used as a place name before it came into use as a family name. It was first known in England from Gualkeline (or Walkeline) de Ferraris, a Norman of distinction attached to William, Duke of Normandy, before the conquest of England in 1066. From him all of the name in England and America appear to be descended. His son Henry de Ferrars appears on the roll. of the Battle Abbey among the principal companions of the Conqueror, and as the first of the family in England. When the general survey of the realm recorded in the Domesday Book was made in the fourteenth year of the Conqueror’s reign, Henry de Ferrars was one of the commissioners appointed to compile the work. He bore for his arms: Arms-Argent, six horse shoes pierced sable. The first of the name in New England was George Farr, who settled in Salem in 1629, coming with Higginson; was admitted freeman in 1635, settled finally at Lynn, and left eight children. Most of the families spelling the name Farr are descended from Stephen Farr....

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Biography of Clarence Harland Fisher

CLARENCE HARLAND FISHER – One of the Fisher families of Western Massachusetts are originally of Nova Scotian derivation and can be traced back to David Fisher who came from England, settled in Nova Scotia, and had a son John Parr, of whom further. (II) John Parr Fisher, son of David Fisher, appears to have been the first white child born in Stodick, Nova Scotia. His wife’s name was Agnes and they had ten children: George, of whom further; Betsy, Robert, Martha, Nancy, Samuel, John C., William, Thomas, Hannah. (III) George Fisher, son of John Parr Fisher, born in Nova Scotia, married May Ann Jenkins, who was born on board a ship. They had five children: Robert, of whom further; Belle, Lizzie, Jessie, and Louis. (IV) Robert Fisher, son of George Fisher, was a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he was born January 6, 1846, and died in Greenfield, October 13, 1918. He was a chairmaker by trade, working for one company in Gardner for thirty years and for another concern for five years. Later he was connected in business with his son George in Greenfield and in South Deerfield. He was a member of the Grange, and at one time also held membership in the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He was the husband of Lizzie E. Baker, a native of Baldwinsville, died February 8, 1923, who was...

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Biography of Rev. Charles Henry Jeannotte

REV. CHARLES HENRY JEANNOTTE – The devoted service of Rev. Father Charles Henry Jeannotte of North Adams, as pastor of Notre Dame of the Sacred Heart Church is a record of faithful endeavor, which has commanded the respect and admiration of the people of this community. In his tireless activities for the progress of his congregation, both in the spiritual and material welfare, Father Jeannotte has endeared himself to the people who belong to this parish and his contemporaries in local advance have acknowledged his sincerity and recognized his achievements. Father Jeannotte has been a member of the Roman Catholic clergy for many years, having served for upward of half a century the progress of the church. He is a son of Pascal and Rosalie (Chagnon) Jeannotte, his father was a farmer and a worthy citizen of the Province of Quebec, Canada. Charles Henry Jeannotte was born in Beloeil, Province of Quebec, November 12, 1854. His education was begun in the local parochial schools and he attended the Seminary de Monnoir, his ordination to the holy priesthood occurring, August 26, 1877. For about eight years following that date he served on the faculty of the above seminary, then was active in his holy offices in the church in Quebec for about two years. Coming to the States in 1887, Father Jeannotte was appointed to Holyoke as assistant curate of...

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Biography of William Edward Benson

WILLIAM EDWARD BENSON, who is at the head of a flourishing real estate and insurance business in Greenfield, is the descendant of a family originally settled in Vermont. His grandfather, John Ellis Benson, was born in 1809, in Brookline, Vermont, and died in 1892 in Brattleboro, Vermont. He lived in different places in Vermont and for a time lived in Quebec. He was engaged in the milling trade and before his death had settled in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he lived with his son George. William A. Benson, son of John E. Benson, was born May 14, 1842, in Windham, Vermont, and died March 27, 1911, in Greenfield. He was educated in the public schools of Townsend, Vermont, enlisted in the Civil War in Company “A,” 7th Vermont Volunteers, and served during the latter part of the war on guard duty in New Orleans. Soon after the conclusion of the war he settled in Greenfield, and worked for a time in a manufacturing plant in Montague, and later entered the employ of the manufacturing firm Cutler, Lyons & Field. In his later years he was engaged with his son William Edward in the wood and coal business. He was an expert checker player, was a member of the Grand Army, of the Sons of the American Revolution, and an attendant of the Baptist Church. He married Julia Ann Cooley, of...

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Biography of John Wilson

JOHN WILSON-The family of Wilson, of Greenfield, is of Scotch Origin, Robert Wilson, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, having been the father of Mr. John Wilson, who is the founder and senior partner of the firm of John Wilson & Company, of Greenfield Robert Wilson was born in Glasgow in 1839, and died in New Cummock, Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1870, in the part of the country that Robert Burns, at the early age of thirty-one years, made famous the world over. He was general manager of the Bank Colliery at New Cummock, was a hard worker and had to apply his managing skill under difficult circumstances, having a hard set of men to deal with. As a boy he grew up in the collieries, was first a foreman and later became general manager, and as such had the management of some five or six large mines. He took a deep interest in all things that would lead to the betterment of conditions for the miners, and was instrumental in furnishing entertainments for their benefit, possessing himself a fine tenor voice and being a musician of note. At these gatherings Burns’ poems were read to the men, and there were other kinds of entertainment for them. He took no interest in politics, and in religion was a member of the established church of Scotland. He was married to Mary Martin...

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Biography of Charles Franklin Slate

CHARLES FRANKLIN SLATE, prominent in Northfield and esteemed in every circle in which he moves, he has for the past two years served as postmaster of this community, and in his thoroughly efficient administration the people are recognizing and appreciating the hand of the capable and forward looking executive. Mr. Slate is interested in every branch of local and general progress and in his endeavors for the public good he has long filled a useful part in the community. The Slate family has been identified with American progress for about two centuries and the name is an honored one in the history of this country. (I) Daniel Slate was born in England in s708 and came to America as a young man. He lives in both Norwich and Middletown, Connecticut, then in 1745 removed to Bernardston, Massachusetts. His death occurred in Gill, February Io, 1789, at the age of eighty-one years, and his wife Mary, died there March so, 1795, at the age of eighty-three years. They were the parents of twelve children. (II) Captain Joseph Slate, son of Daniel and Mary Slate, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, February 22, 1734, and died November 26, 1818. He came to Bernardston from Norwich May 19, 1763, and built a log cabin which he occupied until his death. Captain Joseph Slate became widely prominent in civic affairs and was chosen to...

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Biography of Albert Arthur Jarvis

ALBERT ARTHUR JARVIS-Among the Western Massachusetts men who have provided by means of commodious garages and repair stations of the most upto-date type for the great demands of the automobile business of the present hour, and who are also thus looking out for the future increase of the business, Mr. Jarvis has made a wise selection for the enterprise on these lines that he has established at Greenfield. He has business attainments of a first-class order, and has had a training and experience as a machinist with concerns of long establishment in this part of the State, and is eminently capable, as he has well proven himself to be. to direct the affairs of his thoroughly equipped garage. The name Jarvis was originally Gervais; and Pierre Gervais, from whom this family descended, came from Bordeaux, France, in 1645, and died in Quebec, Canada, in 1665. Joseph Gervais, son of Pierre Gervais, lived and died in Canada, and married Marie Plauffe. Their son Robert grandfather of Albert A. Jarvis, was born in Canada in 1826, and died April 3, 1900, in Holyoke, Massachusetts. By trade he was a mason, but he later worked at farming. He came to the United States during the Civil War, and for a time he lived in Vermont, afterwards removing to Greenfield, Massachusetts, where he worked as a farmer for a Mr. Nims; he went...

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Biographical Sketch of William Riley Farnsworth

WILLIAM RILEY FARNSWORTH-Many a New England lad has started working life on the paternal farm, but in growing up preferred to devote himself to commercial pursuits, either working on his own account or occupying leading positions with a large concern, able to pay an adequate renumeration for the proper kind of executive. A man whose career has more or less followed these lines was the late William Riley Farnsworth, for many years director of the Montague Paper Mills in Turners Falls. Born on December 26, 1846, at Convey, as a son of John and Martha Farnsworth, Mr. Farnsworth at the age of eleven, worked on his father’s farm, but afterwards entered the employ of George Peabody, building constructor, a business in which he remained until he was thirty years of age, when he accepted an appointment as sales director and consulting engineer of the Montague Paper Mills. In this position he continued until his death in October, 1919. While in the building business he erected the famous Turners Falls dam on the Connecticut River, which to this day is regarded a very good specimen of hydraulic construction. In politics Mr. Farnsworth was a Republican, and a member of the Board of Selectmen and the Water Commission. He was very prominent in all civic movements, extremely popular with everybody, the friend of all and the enemy of none. He was...

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Biography of William John Liston

WILLIAM JOHN LISTON-Descended from Scottish ancestors, whose children took root in Ireland, and a number of whom emigrated to the United States, where they have played their part well in the building of a strong foundation of the republic, William John Liston, junior member of the firm of Cunningham (Patrick F.) & Liston, of Greenfield, himself has earned the tribute together with his partner, of being “an honest builder”-the firm itself being one of the most widely known in the mason builders’ and contracting line in the town of Greenfield and the district coming within the influence of the capital of Franklin County. Their business and reputation have grown so remarkably in the comparatively few years of the partnership’s existence, that their services in the building line now are in demand from points within a radius of twenty-five miles of Greenfield. John Liston, the grandfather of William John Liston, was born in Limerick, Ireland, of Scotch ancestry, in 1841, and died an accidental death in Turners Falls June 30. 1897. His father died when he was a young child. His mother married (second) Patrick Hayes, and they came to America about 1849, bringing her children, Richard, James and John, with her. John lived in Deerfield until about 1882, when he removed to Turners Falls, where he worked as a teamster, and it was in the performance of this work...

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Biography of Patrick Francis Cunningham

PATRICK FRANCIS CUNNINGHAM-Son of a father whose worthy name he bears, and whom he has emulated in the trade of masonbuilder, Patrick F. Cunningham has come to be one of the most important of the contractor-builders in the Greenfield region. As senior member of the well-known firm of Cunningham & Liston (William J. Liston), he has, together with his partner, left the impress of skill and excellence of workmanship upon many public, quasi-public and private buildings in the capital town of Franklin County, and in towns within a radius of twenty-five miles of Greenfield. Mr. Cunningham’s firm has made an enviable reputation for itself and seeks consistently to maintain it, honesty of material, durability of construction and attractiveness of design being the elements that have spelled success for their numerous business enterprises. Patrick Francis Cunningham, Sr., father of Patrick Francis Cunningham, was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1845, and died in Turners Falls, in 1910, at the age of sixty-five years. At the age of eighteen years he came to America, landing in Boston. Perhaps his most notable work as a stone mason and builder was his part in the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel on the Fitchburg Railroad, now a feeder of the Boston & Maine system. From Boston he came to live in Turners Falls, and in that town he followed his chosen trade, always as...

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Biography of Gordon Rollin Joslyn

No name is more prominently and actively associated with the automobile mercantile industry in Western Massachusetts than that of Mr. Joslyn, who is the executive head of the Franklin County Dealers’ Exchange, and who within a very few years has expanded the garage and agency interests of which he has charge throughout a territory that is not bounded by the county. Mr. Joslyn performs the business in which he has made himself a leader thoroughly and well, and centralizing his forces as president of the Joslyn Motor Company at Greenfield, he has found therein the rewards of a lifelong career in which he has mastered the one vocation to which he has always devoted himself. Veteran of the World War, Mr. Joslyn received therein due honors for expert ordnance service; and deeply interested in the progress of Greenfield in all civic, business and social matters, he possesses the soldier’s and the loyal civilian’s zeal in all movement towards the community’s prosperity. He is of an old race of valiant and renowned ancestors of the name Joslyn, of the following of William of Normandy, in England, and of those who came overseas as American colonists, and all bearing the stamp of aggressive and accomplished leaders in every stage. The known history of the Josselyn (Joslin, Josslyn) family antedates the time of Charlemagne, whose daughter married Count Joceline. One of the...

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Biography of Henry Joseph Day

HENRY JOSEPH DAY – Taking into full consideration the varied and incessant activities of his long and useful life, it would not be an easy task to discover an experience similar to that of Mr. Day who at his Montague home, in his advancing age is remarkably well preserved, and still a man of business activity. Soldier of the Civil War, and participant in many of its leading battles, veteran in the tanning industry in this part of the State, practical farmer, dairyman and store-keeper, he possesses exemplary characteristics of physical endurance and perseverance, while his keen mentality continues to be an unfailing asset to his later days. A citizen of worth and honor, he shares the industrious heritage of a rugged ancestry. The following constitutes the leadership of the three generations of the branch name in this country. (I) Michael Day, who was born in England, came to America in the English army, and died of camp fever in the War of 1812. He married Salisbury, and they were the parents of 1. Joseph, of whom further. 2. Ellen. (II) Joseph Day was born in Claverack, near Hudson, New York State, in 1809, and it was a prideful statement of his that he was born in the same year with President Abraham Lincoln. He died in Montague in 1895. Mr. Day went to Connecticut in his early years,...

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Biography of George Edward Reed

GEORGE EDWARD REED – Laundry interests in Western Massachusetts have a most satisfactory representative in the Amherst Laundry Company, of which George Edward Reed is the president, and whose prominent place in Amherst industry he was the means of securing, through a far-sighted and successful endeavor to establish an up-to-date plant. Mr. Reed is an expert man in his calling; he has spent practically all his career in the one line of business; and he is highly regarded by his associates and by the general public. He is of Vermont parentage and ancestry, his grandfather, David Swan Reed, a farmer, having spent his entire life in that State, and who had children: Frank; Fred; Clark; and Edward D., of whom further. Edward D. Reed, father of George Edward Reed, who was born in Dummerston, Vermont, kept a hotel for some time in West Gardner, Massachusetts, but he disappeared while Mr. Reed was a small boy, and his whereabouts had not since been reported. He married Ida S. Norcross, who was born in West Dummerston, Vermont; she married (second) Lorenzo McCrillis. Edward D. and Ida S. (Norcross) Reed had one son, George Edward, of whom further. George Edward Reed was born January 10, 1880, in Brattleboro, Vermont, and with the removal , of his parents to Massachusetts, he attended the public schools in West Gardner. For awhile he was employed...

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Biography of Harry Lee Williams

HARRY LEE WILLIAMS – The family name of Williams is of great antiquity in England and Wales and is derived from the ancient personal name William. Like many other possessive names, it arose from the Welsh custom of adding to a man’s name the name of his father in the possessive form as William John’s, from which quickly came Jones, David Diehard’s, Thomas David’s (Davie’s, Davis) and kindred forms. Sir Robert Williams, ninth baronet of the house of Williams of Penrhyn, was a lineal descendant of Marchudd ap Cynan, Lord of Aberqeleu in Denbighshire, of one of the fifteen tribes of North Wales that lived in the time of Roderick the Great, King of the Britons, about A. D. 849. The seat of the family was in Flint, Wales, and in Lincolnshire, England. Oliver Cromwell, the Protector, was a Williams by right of descent, and was related to Richard Williams, who settled in Taunton, Massachusetts. Alden de Cromwell lived in the time of William the Conqueror, and from him descended in succession ten Ralphs de Cromwell, the last dying without issue. The seventh Ralph de Cromwell married Amicia, daughter of Robert Berer, member of Parliament. Robert Cromwell was a Lancasterian, killed in the wars of 1461. His son, William Cromwell, left a daughter, Margaret, who was ancestor of both Cromwell and Williams. John Cromwell, son of William Cromwell, married...

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Biography of Clifford Carroll Howes

CLIFFORD CARROLL HOWES – The Howes family of Massachusetts belong to the oldest families settled in New England, and. the last three generations as represented in some of its members are as follows: (I) Francis Edwin Howes, grandfather of Clifford Carroll Howes, died in North Adams, Massachusetts, at the age of ninety-three years. He was a carpenter by trade. He married Julia A. Church. The children of the marriage were: 1. Julia, who married Martin Holbrook. 2. May, who married Fred Knapp. 3. Edwin P., of whom further. 4. Amelia, who died at the age of eleven years. 5. Hattie, who died at the age of two years. 6. Horace Howes. (II) Edwin P. Howes, father of Clifford Carroll Howes, a native of Hancock, Massachusetts, where he was born October 12, 1850, died at Leyden, Massachusetts, in May, 1919. He was a farmer in early life, and went to Haydenville, Massachusetts, where for ten years he worked in a brass shop. He later lived in the town of Florida, Massachusetts, where he farmed. In 1894 he came to Leyden, Massachusetts, where he ran a general store up to the time of his death. He served on the Board of Assessors and Selectmen, but did not take a great interest in politics. In religion he was a member and attendant of the Methodist Church of which he was treasurer at...

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