William Dunton, a retired manufacturer of Newport, was born in Millbury, Worcester County, Mass., son of Moses and Zoa (Pierce) Dunton. His grandfather, who was a Revolutionary soldier, and lived for the greater part of his life in Sturbridge, Mass., carried on general farming. His son, Moses, a native of Sturbridge, settled in Millbury, Mass., where he lived for the greater part of his life. Moses was a blacksmith, and owned a small farm. He was a good, sturdy man, and a member and Deacon of the Congregational church for many years. In politics he was a Whig. He married Zoa Pierce, who was born in Millbury. Both lived to the advanced age of seventy-five years. Of their six children one died in infancy. The others were: Mary, Martha, Austin, William, and Silas. Mary is now deceased; Martha married a Mr. Dexter, and is at present living in Cambridge, Mass.; Austin resides in Millbury; Silas is also in Millbury, where he is engaged in business.
William Dunton received his education in the public schools of Millbury and at Leicester. He remained in Millbury until he was twenty-two years of age, when he located in Amsterdam, N.Y., and engaged in the manufacture of scythes. He afterward went to Waterville, Me., and there followed the same business for one year, working out as a jobber. In 1842 he settled in Newport, where he resided for several years. At one time he was in business with Ezra T. Sibley for a number of years, after which he disposed of his interest in the firm, and returned to Massachusetts. He came again to Newport in 1865, and has lived here since. In politics Mr. Dunton is a Democrat, and he has been a Selectman of the town.
In August, 1844, he married Lois Corbin, daughter of Austin Corbin, Sr. She was born in Newport, December 21, 1819, and died July 7, 1893. Their three children were: Emma, born in 1846, who died September 21, 1847; Mary A., born August 22, 1848; and Frederick W., born June 9, 1851. Mary is now the wife of A. O. Bostwick, and resides in Toledo, Ohio. Frederick lives in Hollis, L.I., and is in business as a land broker. Mr. Dunton, after an active business career, retired some time ago.