Biography of Alexander Montgomery
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ALEXANDER MONTGOMERY – Unique among the business institutions of Hadley, Massachusetts, is the Montgomery Company Incorporated, rose growers, the firm consisting of Alexander Montgomery, president, and his two sons, Alexander William Montgomery, general manager, and Robert James Montgomery, treasurer. Each of these three men has a long record of experience behind him, and the concern, which has been deservedly successful, holds a place of high honor in the trade and has frequently been represented on the officers’ lists of florists’ organizations. The Montgomerys are descendants of an old Scotch family with a tradition of farming and gardening that goes back for many generations. Originally however, the Montgomery family came into Scotland from Normandy, and the name was spelled de Montgomeric.
(I) Alexander Montgomery, grandfather of Alexander and great-grandfather of Alexander William and Robert James Montgomery, lived and died in Wigtownshire, Scotland; and the records show that he was the son of Alexander and the grandson of still another Alexander Montgomery, and that he devoted his entire life to farming. He married Robina Lockhart, of Limeburn, Scotland; and their children were: a daughter, who died young: William, of further mention; John; Alexander; Elizabeth; Jane; and Robert. The last named emigrated to America, and settled in Hanover, Massachusetts, where his descendants now live.
(II) William Montgomery, son of Alexander and Robina (Lockhart) Montgomery, was born in Wigtownshire, Scotland, in 1824, died in Wellesley, Massachusetts, March 14, 1898. He was a farmer and gardener in Scotland, and in 1885 came to the United States to join his son Alexander, who had come over several years previously, and worked with him until two years prior to his death. He married Elizabeth McFarlane of Wigtownshire, Scotland, died 1893, and they were the parents of the following children: Alexander, of further mention; Robert; John; William; Elizabeth, married Benjamin Davidson; Catherine, married William Mair; Jane, married James Bryden; Margaret, married John Lamont; and Robina, married Robert Miller.
(III) Alexander Montgomery, son of William and Elizabeth (McFarlane) Montgomery, was born in the south of Scotland, in Wigtownshire, August 18, 1848, and was educated in the schools of his native town. When he left school he served an apprenticeship as gardener to the Earl of Galloway, for whom he worked six years; and after that experience, went to Edinburgh where he continued to work as a gardener for some time. He then went to England, following his trade there also, and finally came to America in 1872. He settled in Massachusetts, first spending six years at Dover, and then going to Natick. Up until the year 1881 he worked as gardener on private estates, but in that year he went to the Waban Rose Conservatories as manager for Edward M. Wood, proprietor of the concern, and served in the capacity of manager there until 1917, a period of thirty-six years. This was a commercial enterprise, and under Mr. Montgomery’s skillful management proved very successful. In 1917, after his long and valued service with the Conservatories, he came to Amherst, Massachusetts, to make his home and to be with his sons, who were engaged in rose growing in Hadley, Massachusetts, under the name of the Montgomery Company, Incorporated; and here he spends his time busily engaged every day in the work that he loves to do. He is president of the concern. Mr. Montgomery was a director in the Waban Rose Conservatories and in the Henry Wood Sons Company, paint manufacturers; and he is a member of the American Florist and Gardener Association, and past president of the American Rose Society. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Free and Accepted Masons of Natick, is a Knight Templar, and member of the Aleppo Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of Boston; and he is a member of the Calidonian Society, of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, and of the Congregational Church in America. During his long life Mr. Montgomery has made a host of friends, who hold him in very high regard; and his has been a successful life in many senses of the word.
He married Elizabeth Hill, born in Girvan, Ayrshire, Scotland, April 24, 1855, daughter of William Hill; and they have five children: Alexander William, of further mention; Robert James, of further mention; William Edwin of Natick, who married Florence Hanna, and has one son, Wallace; Catherine, married Hallet E. Jones of Natick; and Ann, married Dr. Ewald G. Baum.
(IV) Alexander William Montgomery, son of Alexander and Elizabeth (Hill) Montgomery, was born in Dover, Massachusetts, August 20, 1875, and received his education in the schools of Natick and at the Massachusetts Agricultural College at Amherst, from which he graduated in the class of 1898. After leaving college he was associated with his father in the Waban Rose Conservatories at Natick, until 1910, when, in company with his brother Robert J., he came to Hadley and established the firm of the Montgomery Company Incorporated, rose growers, of which he is general manager. The concern owns some fifty-two acres, four acres of which are under glass; and they specialize in cut roses, selling both in the Boston market and locally. This is one of the best-equipped and best managed enterprises of the sort to be found in the State, and its reputation is very high, both among local customers and in the trade. Alexander William Montgomery is a member and vice-president of the American Florist Society, and a member of the Horticultural Society; he also belongs to the Amherst Golf Club and Amherst Country Club, and fraternally is affiliated with the Pacific Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of Amherst.
He married, in 1899, Margaret Wade, born in Scotland, and they have four children: Grace, Marion, Doris, and Alexander.
(IV) Robert James Montgomery, son of Alexander and Elizabeth (Hill) Montgomery and brother of Alexander William, was born in Natick, August 23, 1878. He received his education in the schools of Natick and in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating from the latter institution in 1901. For nine years after leaving college he was superintendent of a paint mill in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He joined with his brother in solo in the organization of the Montgomery Company Incorporated, and has since been associated with the concern in a major capacity, serving ac treasurer. He is a member of all the florists organizations, of the Amherst Golf Club, and Amherst Country Club, and is affiliated with Meridian Lodge at Natick, Free and Accepted Masons, holds the thirty-second degree, in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and belongs to the Aleppo Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, in Boston.
He married, in 1912, Anne Menter, of Keene, New Hampshire, and they have one daughter, Anne Elizabeth, born in 1914.