Biography of Joseph Raymond Hampson
JOSEPH RAYMOND HAMPSON – The work in which Joseph Raymond Hampson is engaged is eminently vital and important to the welfare of the people and the progress of the civic body. Mr. Hampson has had wide experience in this general field and has executed many large and important contracts, both for private individuals and for the United States Government. His outstanding success in these various achievements has given his name unusual recognition for a man still looking forward to many years of useful and progressive activity. He is a son of Louis and Viola (Lasher) Hampson, former residents of New York State.
Joseph Raymond Hampson was born in Tivolo, Dutchess County, New York, February 5, 1890. His education so far as formal school attendance is concerned, was limited to the elementary school course, which he completed at the age of fifteen years. The technical preparations which fitted him in a minute and comprehensive way for his large responsibilities was secured by exhaustive study under the most discouraging circumstances and without the inspiration and aid of the formal group or the highly specialized instructor. Mr. Hampson is by nature a student and on his very self reliance his success is largely founded. He still constantly studies engineering and construction subjects, both general and special, is particularly interested at all times in the problems which are overcome by others in his general field in the accomplishment of noteworthy or difficult feats of engineering. Mr. Hampson began his career in the engineering department of the city of Waterbury, Connecticut, shortly following the completion of his public school course. From the first he availed himself of every possibility of technical study along the lines of his work and with this practical application of his theoretical knowledge, as it was gained day by day, he rose rapidly in the organization until at the age of eighteen years he was made construction engineer for a large firm, in charge of the layout of buildings for the Scoville Manufacturing Company of Waterbury; the importance and true significance of this position in the hands of so young a man may only be fully recognized when it is understood that the Scoville Manufacturing Company is one of the largest concerns of its kind in the world, employing several thousand hands. At the age of twenty-one years Mr. Hampson became identified with the Tracy Brothers Company, a leading eastern contracting firm, and in this connection he accomplished work amounting in value to fully $7,000,000, all along construction lines. It was in this connection that he first came to Pittsfield, his mission here having to do with the erection of various structures built by Tracy Brothers Company, the Miller Building, the Kresge Building, the Kennedy Building, the Waite Building, St. Steven’s Parish House, and the Pomroy School.
The activities of the World War in their many and varied ramifications required just such men as Mr. Hampson had proved himself to be, and early in the period of the United States intervention in Europe, he was construction engineer for the Fred T. Ley Company in the Bristol Ship Yards. This work was done under the control of the Emergency Fleet Corporation and upon its completion Mr. Hampson went to Mobile, Alabama, as plant engineer for the Concrete ship yards in that city. He then returned to New England as construction superintendent for the United States Housing Corporation, in Waterbury, Connecticut. These commissions are only representative instances of the many things accomplished under Mr. Hampson’s direction, for the construction work he supervised for the Government amounted in value to a sum considerably in excess of $20,000,000.
Following the armistice Mr. Hampson determined to enter business in an independent way and locating in Pittsfield he organized the present company in February of 1919. Under the title of J. R. Hampson & Company, Incorporated, the interest has gone forward in a remarkable way. The concern is officered as follows: Mr. Hampson, president and treasurer; Norman E. Hildreth, vice-president and clerk. The company has done a large amount of construction work in the comparatively few years which have since elapsed and among their important contracts which have been successfully completed may well be mentioned: the plant of the Berkshire Woolen Company, the Capitol Theatre, the Holmwood residence and a group of buildings for the Massachusetts Industrial Farm. Also the Berkshire Loan and Trust Bank building, which is one of the finest structures in this part of the State. Mr. Hampson is a member of the Pittsfield Chamber of Commerce; the Rotary, and Park clubs; and fraternally he is affiliated with Harmony Lodge, No. 42, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Berkshire Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Berkshire Council, Royal and Select Masters; Berkshire Commandery, Knights Templar; Boston Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, in which he holds the Thirty-second degree; Springfield Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Joseph Raymond Hampson married, March 29, 1921, Clara Browne, and they have one child, Elizabeth Browne.