Biography of Frank Decatur Tait
As treasurer of Tait Brothers, of Springfield, Massachusetts, one of the largest and best known milk businesses in the country, is a prominent citizen of a town where his family has long played an important part in economic development The American progenitor was George Tait, born in Paisley, Scotland, about 1795, who settled for a time in Montreal, where he pursued his trade of tailoring, then in Terrebonne County, Canada, where he farmed until his death in 1878. His son, James Tait, born in St. Sophia, Terrebonne County, Canada, in 1839, died in Chicopee, Massachusetts, January 22, 1880. He established the milk business which grew into the Tait Brothers of today, and sold it to his nephew, George C. Tait, who in turn sold it to two sons of James Tait, George G., a sketch of whom follows; and Frank D. Tait, subject of this record. James Tait married Mary Laurentine Decatur, of Lowell, Massachusetts, who was born in 1845 and died in 1906, daughter of Joshua and Mary (Hill) Decatur. Among their five sons was Frank D. Tait, born in Chicopee, Massachusetts, January 9, 1871. He was educated in the schools of his native town, proving very precocious as a student and completing high school at the age of sixteen in 1887. Scotch energy and thrift, combined with American resourcefulness, marked his business career from the beginning. He began modestly as clerk in the office of the Springfield Street Railway Company. Saving most of his earnings, he had enough capital at the age of twentyone to go to Chicago, Illinois, and engaged in the real estate business. A year later he returned to Springfield, and in 1893, with his brother, George G. Tait, started the enterprise that is now the important firm of Tait Brothers. Harry J., a sketch of whom precedes; and James C. Tait soon became identified with the business, which retailed milk at first, and in 1895 began the wholesale distribution of milk and cream. In 1898 they began to manufacture ice cream, and their product is famous throughout New England for its nutritive value and wholesomeness. The estimated butter fat content is twelve per cent, and solids thirty-eight per cent. The Springfield plant alone employs one hundred and fifty men, and there are branches in six widely scattered New England cities. The Springfield plant is most modern and scientifically equipped, and all the processes of handing and manufacture are conducted in a strictly regulated and sanitary manner. In this miraculous development of a business starting in so small a way Frank D. Tait has ably participated. He has found time, however, for social and fraternal affiliations. He is a member of Amity Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which order he is also a member of Agawam Encampment and Springfield Canton.
Frank D. Tait married, April 3, 1894, Pauline Julia Heubisch, of New Haven, Connecticut, who was born in Springfield, daughter of Paul and Wilhelmina (George) Heubiscb They are the parents of six children: 1. Jean Wilhelmina, born April 20, 1895, a graduate of Smith College, who married Dr. John Horn Robertson, of Binghamton, New York. 2 Blanche Amelia, born July 24, 1896, also a graduate of Smith College, who married, on October 6, 1921, Irving L. Chidsey, of East Haven, Connecticut, now living in Springfield, where he is a salesman for Tait Brothers. 3. Mildred Emma, born September 20, 1898, who attended Smith College, spent two years in Worcester, and graduated from the Scudder School in New York; she married Frederick W. Peck, of East Haven, and lives in New Haven, where Mr. Peck is engaged in business. 4. Eunice, born March 12, 1904, a graduate of Smith College. 5. Paul George, born December 25, 1906. 6. Marjorie Edith, born June 20, 1912.