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Collection: Biography and Genealogy of Western Massachusetts

Biography of George A. Prediger

GEORGE A. PREDIGER, a distinguished figure in the profession of law in Berkshire County, who has, largely by his own endeavors, risen to high rank in his chosen field of activity, has been engaged in practice in Pittsfield for thirty-six years, devoting his attention to general lines. He is a son of Henry and Margaret (Meusel) Prediger, his father a prominent shoe merchant of Pittsfield and esteemed by his contemporaries in every line of business endeavor. George A. Prediger was born in Pittsfield, July 5, 1865. Receiving his early education in the local public schools, he was graduated from the Pittsfield High School in 1882. Then taking up the liberal arts course at Muhlenburg College at Allentown, Pennsylvania. he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1886 and that of Master of Arts in 1889. Meanwhile returning to his native city, in 1886, he entered the office of the late E. M. Wood in July of that year and read law under the preceptorship of this prominent jurist. Judge Wood had invited him to take this step before he entered college and under this able and distinguished lawyer Mr. Prediger gained inspiration for his future career. In 1887 he also took up further studies at the Boston University Law School, from which he was graduated. Mr. Prediger received his degree of Bachelor of Laws from Boston Law School...

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Biography of William Edward Benson

WILLIAM EDWARD BENSON, who is at the head of a flourishing real estate and insurance business in Greenfield, is the descendant of a family originally settled in Vermont. His grandfather, John Ellis Benson, was born in 1809, in Brookline, Vermont, and died in 1892 in Brattleboro, Vermont. He lived in different places in Vermont and for a time lived in Quebec. He was engaged in the milling trade and before his death had settled in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he lived with his son George. William A. Benson, son of John E. Benson, was born May 14, 1842, in Windham, Vermont, and died March 27, 1911, in Greenfield. He was educated in the public schools of Townsend, Vermont, enlisted in the Civil War in Company “A,” 7th Vermont Volunteers, and served during the latter part of the war on guard duty in New Orleans. Soon after the conclusion of the war he settled in Greenfield, and worked for a time in a manufacturing plant in Montague, and later entered the employ of the manufacturing firm Cutler, Lyons & Field. In his later years he was engaged with his son William Edward in the wood and coal business. He was an expert checker player, was a member of the Grand Army, of the Sons of the American Revolution, and an attendant of the Baptist Church. He married Julia Ann Cooley, of...

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Biography of Patrick M. Moriarty, M.D.

PATRICK M. MORIARTY, M. D., previous to the World War, began the practice of medicine in Springfield, that has been continued with pronounced success in Chicopee, where his professional abilities and his proven skill have received recognition throughout an extensive district. Doubtless the most active years of Dr. Moriarty’s training were those spent with the United States Army Medical Corps in field and hospital service in France and Germany, where, with his professional comrades, he gave unceasing aid to his comrades in arms. A prominent and thoroughly equipped physician, he has the highest regard of his medical associates and the general public. Dr. Patrick M. Moriarty, a son of Maurice Moriarty, a funeral director, who died in 1900, and Mary (Griffin) Moriarty, was born March 17, 1891, in Bondsville, and he attended the Palmer public schools, and was graduated from the high school there in 1908. After a year in Williston Academy, he prepared for his profession in the Medical School of Georgetown University, where he was graduated in 1913, with his degree of Doctor of Medicine, and he then served as an interne at Hampden Hospital. Dr. Moriarty commenced his practice in general medicine in Springfield, where his headquarters were established from 1914 to 1917, and he then removed to Chicopee, where he has a large practice and is a member of the Mercy Hospital staff. Enlisting in...

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Biography of Ernest Moore Bolles

ERNEST MOORE BOLLES, boot and shoe dealer, in Amherst, Massachusetts, was born in Amherst, March 12, 1876. He was the son of Lemuel Nelson Bolles. The Bolles (Bowles) family goes back to the Norman Conquest of England. One name “Bolls” is found on the Roll of the Butte Abbey, as given by Holl:ngshead. Duchesne, from a charter in that abbey, gives a list of the conquerors in England under William of Normandy, among them the name of “Bools.” The names, Boll, Bol, Bole and Bolle occur frequently in Domesday Book. One family named Bolles, of long standing in the county of Lincoln, was resident there as early as the reign of King Henry III, when Alaire, or Alaine Bolle, of Swineshead, was Lord of Swineshead, and Bolle Hall, in the county of Lincoln. Its principal seat seems to have been Bolle Hall, in Swineshead, until the close of the reign of Edward IV (A. D. 1483), when the elder branch of the Bolleses became settled at Hough, near Alford. in Lincolnshire, while a younger branch established itself at Goosberkirke, now Goosberton in the same county. From this younger generation came the baronets of Scampton, Lincolnshire; and the American Bolles families presumably, although there is no account of their English descent. (I) The first one of record in this country is Joseph Bolles, of Winter Harbor, at the mouth of...

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Biography of John Wilson

JOHN WILSON-The family of Wilson, of Greenfield, is of Scotch Origin, Robert Wilson, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, having been the father of Mr. John Wilson, who is the founder and senior partner of the firm of John Wilson & Company, of Greenfield Robert Wilson was born in Glasgow in 1839, and died in New Cummock, Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1870, in the part of the country that Robert Burns, at the early age of thirty-one years, made famous the world over. He was general manager of the Bank Colliery at New Cummock, was a hard worker and had to apply his managing skill under difficult circumstances, having a hard set of men to deal with. As a boy he grew up in the collieries, was first a foreman and later became general manager, and as such had the management of some five or six large mines. He took a deep interest in all things that would lead to the betterment of conditions for the miners, and was instrumental in furnishing entertainments for their benefit, possessing himself a fine tenor voice and being a musician of note. At these gatherings Burns’ poems were read to the men, and there were other kinds of entertainment for them. He took no interest in politics, and in religion was a member of the established church of Scotland. He was married to Mary Martin...

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Biography of Israel Newton

ISRAEL NEWTON-The Newton family of Orange is one of the oldest New England families on record, the first American ancestor of whom we have positive knowledge having come to the shores of New England in the early autumn of 1639. He was one of the four men who came with Roger Ludlow, deputy governor, who had obtained a commission from the General Court of Connecticut to begin a plantation at Poquonock. Thomas Newton moved to Newton, Long Island, in 1636, and in 1645 was chosen as representative from Fairfield to the General Court. Deacon Israel and Lois T. Newton had an only son Asa, who reached the age of manhood, and on January 23, 1777, married Lydia Worthington, a daughter of Colonel Elias Worthington, of the same town, who was born October 22, 1760. They were the parents of nine children: 1. Elias W., born November 16, 1780. 2. Asa, born October 3, 1782. 3. Rhoda, born January 28, 1785. 4 Lydia, born January 21, 1788. 5. Sally, born April 2, 1791. 6. Israel, of whom further. 7. Louisa, born January 23, 1796. 8. Joel W., born May 29, 1799. 9. Laura M., born February 15, 1802. Israel Newton, born February 11, 1794, was a farmer and a deacon of the Congregational Church for fifty years. He was a native of Colchester, Connecticut, where he died. On January 14,...

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Biography of George Eberlein

GEORGE EBERLEIN-For generations the Eberlem family in Germany has maintained the Eberlein Blacksmith Shops, which were founded by one of their forebears in 1788. Every generation has produced one sturdy and efficient blacksmith, who loves his trade and manages the shops so well that their excellent reputation continues. George Eberlein himself began to learn smithing when he was ten years old, and had mastered it by his fourteenth year with German thoroughness, and he has greatly benefited by his knowledge since he came to America. William Eberlein, his grandfather, died in Germany in 5876. His son, William Eberlein, was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1840, dying there in 1893. He served in the German army during the wars from 1866 to 1870. Like his father and four brothers, he was a blacksmith. William Eberlein married Marie Ahles, a native of Bavaria, who died in 1952. Their son was George Eberlein, subject of this sketch. George Eberlein was born in Bavaria, Germany, November 10, 1866. He received his education in the schools of his native town, learned the trade of blacksmith and also of machinist, and at twenty entered the German army for his term of service. This he completed in two years, the only soldier out of 9,500 to finish the required service so expeditiously. For a time thereafter he worked in his father’s shops, and in 1889 was...

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Biography of Allen Churchill Warner

ALLEN CHURCHILL WARNER-Away back in the days when Britain was a savage country the name Warner appears. In these days there were some tribes who lived in the southwestern part of what is now England, and who were more cultured than the savage races who surrounded them. These civilized peoples had to be constantly on the alert against the barbarians, and it was necessary for them to have outposts to guard against sudden attack These outposts, selected for their quick mentality and physical ability, were called “warners.” Since then the name has been well known in England and America, and one of the members of the family now living in New England is Allen Churchill Warner. He is a successful business man there. Mr. Warner’s forebears have lived in Massachusetts for many years. The Warners were early emigrants from England to America, and have been prominent in politics and in the professions, and in other honorable callings. The immigrant ancestor of this line came from England to Massachusetts in 1637 and settled at Ipswich. The grandfather of Allen Churchill Warner was Job Warner, who amassed a competency by farming. His property was located in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, where he lived to a ripe old age. He married Rhoda Miller, and their children were: Lorenzo, Ernest, William J., of further mention; Elvira, Cordelia, Luthera and Nancy. William J. Warner followed in...

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Biographical Sketch of Frank N. Moore

FRANK N. MOORE-Long in positions of responsibility and trust in Ludlow, Massachusetts, Frank N. Moore was born in Ware, in that State, October 31, 1871, the son of Charles F., who was a farmer and carpenter, died in February, 1924, and Julia M. (Dunbar) Moore. Frank N. Moore received his education in the elementary and high schools of Ware, after which he took a course in Child’s Business College of Springfield. After leaving school he became a clerk in the post office at Ware for a year. He entered the employ of the Ludlow Manufacturing Associates as a clerk, and so well did he perform his duties that he was promoted from one position to another, becoming assistant paymaster and in charge of tenements, and supply clerk; in all, being with this company for twenty-five years. In January, 1918, Mr. Moore became treasurer of the Ludlow Savings Bank, which was incorporated in i and that position he still holds, he is also a member of the board of trustees of that institution. For twelve years he was a member of the school committee of Ludlow, for several of these years being its chairman. He is a member of Court No. 58, Foresters of America, has held all the offices and was financial secretary for many years; the Springfield Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men, of which he has held...

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Biography of Edward Thomas O’Neil

EDWARD THOMAS O’NEIL-Following in the steps of his father and grandfather, Edward Thomas O’Neil, of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, is well known throughout the vicinity as a skillful and prosperous farmer. He has always lived and worked on the old O’Neil homestead, which he manages in an up-to-date manner, specializing in dairying and orcharding. The O’Neil family is of Irish extraction. (I) Michael O’Neil, the grandfather of Edward Thomas O’Neil, was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 18×5, and died in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, June 16, 1872 He came to America about 1840, and for a number of years lived in New York State; and one of his first interesting experiences in this country was working on the Erie Canal during its construction. In the year 1865 he and his son John came to Williamsburg and located on the farm since occupied by his descendants, moving to the farm in April of that year on the day of the assassination of President Lincoln. Here Michael O’Neil lived and labored for the remainder of his life. He married Margaret McDonough, born in Ireland, died in Williamsburg April 16, 1890, and they had three children: John, of further mention; Mary, married to Thomas Brazell, and died December 18, 1880; Lucy, married James Welsh, and died April, 1877. (II) John O’Neil was born in Utica, New York, April 21, 1843. He came to New York with...

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Biography of John Francis Mariz

JOHN FRANCIS MARIZ – A man who by his devotion to his business in real estate matters has made his name and methods very favorably and popularly known throughout the western part of the State, as representing reliability of the highest type, John Francis Mariz, long established in Northampton, is an all-round business man who thoroughly knows his territory and his patrons. From the outset of his career he has made it a point to carry on business in the public interest, and that principle has been maintained by him in all his valued associations with civic and community projects. He has made a place for himself well at the head of his profession because of his geniality, his loyalty to his business statements, and his personal attention to the requirements of the home-maker. His industry in his own line is like to that of his parents, who by concentration of their energies and enterprise became celebrated for grape culture. John Mariz, his grandfather, who married Theresa, came to the United States with his son James, and died in New York. James Mariz, father of John Francis Mariz, was born in 1834, in Trent, Austria, and he died in Northampton May 6, 1914. With his family he lived for some years in the Tyrol region, where Mr. Mariz was interested in grape culture and farming with his father, and...

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Biography of Edward Kelly

EDWARD KELLY-Responsibility has been the portion of Edward Kelly throughout his entire active life, and for more than forty years he has borne a worthy and progressive part in business and civic affairs. He has done much to forward the progress of his native town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and in every branch of activity with which he is, or has been, connected he endorses all worthy effort and supports the general good. Mr. Kelly is a son of Michael and Julia (Dwyer) Kelly, his father a blacksmith and carriage manufacturer for many years, but later in life prominent as a real estate broker and operator. Edward Kelly was born in Great Barrington September 18, 1866. Receiving his early education in the elementary and grammar schools of his birthplace, be graduated from the Great Barrington High School in the class of 1883, and his first work was in the field of railroad and express activities. He was also engaged in the local telephone service and went forward along these allied lines until the close of the year 1902, soon thereafter becoming sewer commissioner and later assessor. With the opening of 1906 Mr. Kelly took up his duty as town clerk, to which he had been elected by his fellow townsmen, and from that time until the present (1924) his energies have been commanded by public service in one office...

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Biography of Charles Franklin Slate

CHARLES FRANKLIN SLATE, prominent in Northfield and esteemed in every circle in which he moves, he has for the past two years served as postmaster of this community, and in his thoroughly efficient administration the people are recognizing and appreciating the hand of the capable and forward looking executive. Mr. Slate is interested in every branch of local and general progress and in his endeavors for the public good he has long filled a useful part in the community. The Slate family has been identified with American progress for about two centuries and the name is an honored one in the history of this country. (I) Daniel Slate was born in England in s708 and came to America as a young man. He lives in both Norwich and Middletown, Connecticut, then in 1745 removed to Bernardston, Massachusetts. His death occurred in Gill, February Io, 1789, at the age of eighty-one years, and his wife Mary, died there March so, 1795, at the age of eighty-three years. They were the parents of twelve children. (II) Captain Joseph Slate, son of Daniel and Mary Slate, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, February 22, 1734, and died November 26, 1818. He came to Bernardston from Norwich May 19, 1763, and built a log cabin which he occupied until his death. Captain Joseph Slate became widely prominent in civic affairs and was chosen to...

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Biography of Albert Arthur Jarvis

ALBERT ARTHUR JARVIS-Among the Western Massachusetts men who have provided by means of commodious garages and repair stations of the most upto-date type for the great demands of the automobile business of the present hour, and who are also thus looking out for the future increase of the business, Mr. Jarvis has made a wise selection for the enterprise on these lines that he has established at Greenfield. He has business attainments of a first-class order, and has had a training and experience as a machinist with concerns of long establishment in this part of the State, and is eminently capable, as he has well proven himself to be. to direct the affairs of his thoroughly equipped garage. The name Jarvis was originally Gervais; and Pierre Gervais, from whom this family descended, came from Bordeaux, France, in 1645, and died in Quebec, Canada, in 1665. Joseph Gervais, son of Pierre Gervais, lived and died in Canada, and married Marie Plauffe. Their son Robert grandfather of Albert A. Jarvis, was born in Canada in 1826, and died April 3, 1900, in Holyoke, Massachusetts. By trade he was a mason, but he later worked at farming. He came to the United States during the Civil War, and for a time he lived in Vermont, afterwards removing to Greenfield, Massachusetts, where he worked as a farmer for a Mr. Nims; he went...

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Biographical Sketch of William Riley Farnsworth

WILLIAM RILEY FARNSWORTH-Many a New England lad has started working life on the paternal farm, but in growing up preferred to devote himself to commercial pursuits, either working on his own account or occupying leading positions with a large concern, able to pay an adequate renumeration for the proper kind of executive. A man whose career has more or less followed these lines was the late William Riley Farnsworth, for many years director of the Montague Paper Mills in Turners Falls. Born on December 26, 1846, at Convey, as a son of John and Martha Farnsworth, Mr. Farnsworth at the age of eleven, worked on his father’s farm, but afterwards entered the employ of George Peabody, building constructor, a business in which he remained until he was thirty years of age, when he accepted an appointment as sales director and consulting engineer of the Montague Paper Mills. In this position he continued until his death in October, 1919. While in the building business he erected the famous Turners Falls dam on the Connecticut River, which to this day is regarded a very good specimen of hydraulic construction. In politics Mr. Farnsworth was a Republican, and a member of the Board of Selectmen and the Water Commission. He was very prominent in all civic movements, extremely popular with everybody, the friend of all and the enemy of none. He was...

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