HOWARD W. HOSFORD, who has risen from humble beginnings to the position of general manager of the Norwood Manufacturing Company, of Florence, a village of Northampton, Massachusetts, has also given of his valued services, technical knowledge and administrative capacity to his home city, having served four consecutive terms twelve years, as a member of the City Water Commission, a body whose offices and powers are of immense importance to the domestic, industrial and civic life as well as to the healthfulness of the community in general. In performing this duty to the city, Mr. Hosford has exhibited the dependable and efficient qualities demanded by the municipality in the administration of perhaps its most important department.
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Mr. Hosford is the son of Charles L and Harriett I. Hosford, and was born in Winsted, Connecticut, September 7, 5869. When he was in his early boyhood he removed with his parents to Haydenville, Massachusetts, where he attended the local schools. Upon leaving school he entered the employ of the Haydenville Manufacturing Company, and soon became proficient in mechanical drafting. He later was assigned to the sales force of that concern and made the New York office his headquarters, traveling from that point to meet the company’s customers. He continued in that capacity until 1905, and in that year he was invited by his close friend, William Stevenson, then general manager of the Norwood Manufacturing Company of Florence, to join the sales force of that concern. This offer Mr. Hosford accepted, and he remained a member of the sales force for sixteen years. In 1917, owing to the death of Mr. Stevenson, Mr. Hosford was appointed his successor, as general manager. This appointment, carrying with it as it did heavy responsibilities, was made doubly exacting in its demands upon him in that crucial period, the World War, during which he entered upon the duties of his new office. That he acquitted himself with distinction and with satisfaction to the company there is ample testimony in the increased volume of the business done by the company, and in the remarkable growth of the plant and its productive capacity. The Norwood Engineering Company, one of the large industries of Florence, was incorporated in 1893, taking over the defunct Arthur Hill machine plant, consisting of two mall buildings. The Norwood Company’s officers at that time were: Stephen B. Fuller, John Otis, Ira Dimmock, James D. Akins and William Stevenson, the last named then being the treasurer and general manager, to which latter office Mr. Hosford was appointed on Mr. Stevenson’s death. Since 1917, under the concern’s guidance by Mr. Hosford, the remarkable growth in the business has been chiefly due to his efforts. The company now employs two hundred men, and the plant covers an area of fifteen acres. It manufactures paper finishing machinery, water purification plants, and municipal water filtration appliances. In the years 1901-1914 the five large modern buildings were erected, thus increasing the efficiency of the plant.
Mr. Hosford is a member of Jerusalem Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Northampton Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Northampton Commandery, Knights Templar; Melha Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Springfield.
Mr. Hosford married, September 19, 1893, at Florence, Lillian M. Van Slike, daughter of Nicholas and Henrietta Van Slike. They are the parents of a daughter, Gladys L., who became the wife of John H. Ames.