Biographical Sketch of William Riley Farnsworth
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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 a member of the local lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons and held the exalted thirtysecond degree, which is the highest degree but one of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
In August 16, 1868, he married, at Turners Falls, Alice L. Shorman, and with her was the father of four children: George, Hiram, Robert, John.