The Tripp family first at Portsmouth, R. I., among the earliest inhabitants there, soon spread into the adjoining territory both in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and in the march of civilization advanced with it until they became one of the numerous and substantial families of our country. Hon. John Tripp, the first American ancestor of the family in question, was one of the founders and proprietors of Portsmouth, R. I., 23d of 6th month, 1638. In the following is briefly considered a line of Tripps which descended through the settler’s son who located in Dartmouth, Mass., later generations settling in Westport, and a still later generation in Freetown and Fall River. It is with the special Westport-Freetown-Fall River family, the heads of which were Philip J. and Azariah S. Tripp, this article is to deal. These gentlemen were long substantial men and citizens of their respective communities, the former being a resident of Freetown, State senator and much respected citizen, and the latter especially prominent and useful, for years the cashier of the Metacomet National Bank from its inception, in 1853, for seventeen years a member of the school committee of Fall River, prominently identified with many of the manufacturing enterprises and at the time of his death president of the Fall River Savings Bank.
The Hooper family, to which belonged the late George Mitchell Hooper, one of Bridgewater’s well-known citizens, is an old and distinguished one in New England. George Mitchell Hooper, son of Mitchell, was born in the town of Bridgewater Sept. 1, 1838. He received his education in the public schools and Bridgewater Academy, later attending Peirce Academy and the State normal school at Bridgewater, graduating from the latter institution in 1857. After leaving school he engaged in teaching, a profession he followed for one year and then began the manufacture of brick with his father, a business in which he engaged for half a century. He was also a surveyor. He was identified with the banking interests of Bridgewater, having been one of the trustees of the Bridgewater Savings Bank, also filling the office of clerk. He was clerk and treasurer of the Bridgewater Cemetery Association; a member of the Plymouth County Agricultural Association, of which for years he was treasurer, and was secretary; and trustee of the Memorial Public Library. He died July 2, 1909, in his seventy-first year. On Oct. 16, 1861, Mr. Hooper was married to Mary E. Josselyn, who was born at Hanson, Mass., daughter of Hervey and Elizabeth (Howland) Josselyn. She died Jan. 30, 1884, and was buried in Mount Prospect cemetery. Eight children were born of this marriage.
The Stetson family of Bridgewater is one of the oldest and most prominent in that section of the State, and it has for upward of two centuries been identified with the manufacturing interests of the town, its representatives being the founders of the iron industry of Bridgewater. Especial reference is made to Capt. Abisha Stetson, who was one of the first to engage in the iron business; his son, Nahum Stetson, whose name was a household word in his native town, and who by his great foresight, enterprise and progressive ideas built up the great Bridgewater Iron Works; and the latter’s sons and grandsons, all men of substance and good citizenship.
Benjamin S. Atwood, the well-known box manufacturer of Whitman, Mass., was one of the best known men in Plymouth county, and as a business man and as a soldier stood high in the estimation of all who know him. He was born in the town of Carver, Plymouth county, June 25, 1840. The Atwood family of which Benjamin S. Atwood is a descendant is an old and prominent family of Plymouth Colony. The founder was John Wood, who came to Plymouth in 1643, and was later known as John Atwood – a spelling of the name that has been retained to the present time.
The Barker family of Tiverton, R. I., and vicinity, represented in that section by many prominent citizens, is one of the earliest settled families of New England. The first of the name of whom there is authentic record was Robert Barker, born in 1616, who came to New England at a very early day with John Thorp. In 1641, with others, he bought from Jonathan Brewster, son of Elder Brewster, a ferry and 100 acres of land at Marshfield. Later he located at Duxbury, where for several years he was a surveyor. His death occurred about 1691. He married Lucy Williams, who died March 7, 1681 or 1682.
Mr. Newcomb was born April 12, 1797, of the sixth generation in descent from Francis Newcomb, who was born probably in Hertfordshire, England, about 1605, and came to America in the ship “Planter” in 1635, accompanied by his wife Rachel, then aged twenty, his daughter Rachel (aged two and a half years) and son John (aged nine months). After residing in Boston three years Francis Newcomb moved his little family to Braintree (now Quincy, Norfolk Co., Mass.), where he died May 27, 1692, his gravestone says “aged one hundred years.” Tradition says he came from Oxfordshire, England, and was of pure Saxon blood. He owned several tracts of land in Braintree. He had ten children.