Topic: Biography Genealogy

Biography of Edgar Marvin Graves

EDGAR MARVIN GRAVES, born and reared in the town of Greenfield, is working his way to fame as a business man of this town. More often than otherwise the young man will leave his native hearth to seek his fortune in a larger town or city, when, if he had used his eyes he would have seen opportunity beckoning him at his very door. This was not the case with Edgar M. Graves, however, for he saw opportunities in his own town and made use of them until today he is recognized as the owner of a prosperous electrical business. The Graves family is one of the most ancient in England, and is represented by many men of honor and distinction. of interest to his family and friends is the line of ancestry here traced: Thomas Graves, born in England before 1585, came to New England with his wife, Sarah, and five children, the youngest of whom at that time was about sixteen years of age. They settled in Hartford, Connecticut, where Thomas was a property holder in 1645. Being over sixty years of age, he was exempted from training in the militia. In September, 1661, he moved to Hatfield. His death occurred in November, 1662, and his son, Isaac was appointed administrator of his estate in Massachusetts, and Nathaniel in Connecticut of his marriage were born the following...

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Biography of Timothy J. Sullivan

TIMOTHY J. SULLIVAN is the name familiarly borne by two of Springfield’s most successful business men, father and son. Timothy J. Sullivan, Sr., president of the Sullivan Coal Company of Springfield, was born in West Springfield in 1864, a son of Thomas and Ellen (O’Leary) Sullivan. His father, Thomas Sullivan, was a section foreman for the Boston & Albany Railroad at Mittineague, Massachusetts, a small village in the environs of Springfield. Timothy J. Sullivan, Sr. was educated in the public schools and the high school in West Springfield. He entered the service of the Boston & Albany Railroad early in life and was roadnaster for twenty-five years, gaining a wide acquaintance throughout the towns and cities of a large district, becoming successful in his calling. He established the Sullivan Coal Company in 1905. It was located first on Liberty Street, but the expanding business, caused its removal in 1918 to No. 436 Taylor Street. It is wholly confined to delivering bituminous and anthracite coal to householders and individual consumers, and is the largest retail coal business in the city of Springfield. Timothy J. Sullivan, Sr., is president of the company, although he has retired and takes only an incidental interest in the management He was water commissioner of West Springfield about 1900. He is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and in religion is a...

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Biography of Robert James Decker

ROBERT JAMES DECKER – When we think of tobacco in its various forms, as cigars, cigarettes or “the pipe that sootheth,” we are apt to think of the Orient, of far and distant lands like Egypt, Greece, Bosnia, or on our Western Hemisphere of Havana, Porto Rico, or of our own product of Virginia, famous the world over. That there is a considerable amount of the fragrant weed grown in our Northern States and distributed by a large industry is a fact known not so widely as it deserves. Among the packers and growers of tobacco in Massachusetts, an important place, both as to bulk of trade and quality of product, is taken by John C. Decker, a native of Hatfield, Massachusetts. John C. Decker, son of Gottlieb Decker, was born in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, May 3, 1855. He received his preliminary education in the public schools of Hatfield and Deerfield, Massachusetts. Until seventeen years of age he worked on his father’s farm and later, as is the custom in his locality, accepted work on other farms by the month. Later he became interested in tobacco raising and when he thought himself justified to translate his knowledge into practice he bought a farm, in 1887, in the village of South Deerfield, where he has raised tobacco ever since. From the year 1880 he has been a packer and grower...

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Biography of Thomas Farrell Ahearn

THOMAS FARRELL AHEARN – As the head of the prominent undertaking firm in Northampton with which three generations of his family have now been associated, Mr. Ahearn continues these policies established by the concern at the outset of adopting distinctively modern methods in the exacting usages of his profession, and of meeting the requirements of neighborhood and community in all matters that pertain to thoroughness and excellence in the direction of funerals. With this aim in view, Mr. Ahearn has brought to his aid the practical results of his training in schools and general experience, and his plant is equipped with every convenience for the methodical work of the undertaker of today. of a family known for industry and for able workmanship in their various callings, he is a representative of three generations of the branch of his name who have resided in the western part of the State. (I) James Ahearn, grandfather of Mr. Ahearn and the son of Maurice and Honora Ahearn, was born in Keleagh, County Cork, Ireland, October 2, 1810, and died October 17, 1899, in Sunderland, Massachusetts, where he first settled when he came to the United States in 1852. He then resided at Mount Toby on the Shepherd estate, where he was engaged in preparing lumber. He later removed to the Plumtrees section of Sunderland, where he was a farmer to the time...

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Biography of Wallace E. Stoddard

WALLACE E. STODDARD – The internal and administrative work of a large business concern is a section of the organization of such paramount importance and so vital to the success of an enterprise that specially trained and very capable men find secure and remunerative posts as secretaries, cashiers, bookkeepers, in addition having the consciousness of contributing in their own effective and indispensable way to the well-being and prosperity of the business. A man whose services in an administrative capacity and as supervisor of labor and finances has always been much appreciated by the concerns with which he has been connected, and who now holds several positions of trust is Wallace E. Stoddard. Wallace E. Stoddard is a native of Vernon, Vermont, where he was born on January 3, 1872, a son of Faith W. and Sarah Augusta (Allen) Stoddard. He received his first education in the public schools of his native town, in Brattleboro High School, Brattleboro, Vermont, and in Eastman’s Business College. After completing his education he started his business career with the Draper Corporation in Hopedale, Massachusetts, where he acted in the capacity of paymaster. His later positions were with the Williamstown Manufacturing Company, the North Pownal Vermont Manufacturing Company, in charge of their offices; as superintendent of the Greylock Mills; secretary to W. B. & C. T. Plunkett; purchasing agent of the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company;...

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Biography of Horace A. Smead

HORACE A. SMEAD – The name of Smead is one of more than passing importance in the western part of Massachusetts, and indeed in this general part of the State it has long been prominent. Mr. Smead has been active in farming interests throughout his entire lifetime and now in the sunset of life he is enjoying well earned leisure. Jonathan Smead, great-great-grandfather of Mr. Smead, was born in 1735 and was a pioneer of Greenfield, locating in that community when the Indians were still frequent visitors to the white settlements. He was active in agricultural pursuits in the vicinity of Greenfield until his death, which occurred in 1814. Jonathan (2) Smead, son of Jonathan Smead, was born in 1773 and reared on the home farm, where he spent his lifetime; he passed away August 25, 1850. He was considered one of the important farmers in this section, owning a three hundred acre farm of rich fertile soil, of which he tilled a very considerable portion. Both he and his wife were members of the Congregational church and were universally esteemed in the community. Jonathan (3) Smead, son of Jonathan (2) Smead, was born on the home farm April 8, 1812, and in 1838 built the present house. He married and settled on the home farm, remaining with his father, and in 1846 the homestead was divided between he...

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Biography of Frank Edward Dow

FRANK EDWARD DOW, M. D. – Dow is one of the oldest family names known in England. It goes back to the beginning of the use of family names. The American family traces its ancestry back to: (I) John Dow, who died at Tylner, Norfolk County, England, in July, 1581, and mentioned in his will two brothers, William and Thomas, and three children, Thomas, John and Edith. (II) Thomas Dow was born in Tylner, and lived afterward in Runham, Norfolk. He married Margaret (surname unknown) and had children: Henry, of further mention; Christopher; and two daughters. (III) Henry Dow, son of Thomas Dow, was born in County Norfolk, England, and lived at Runham. He married Elizabeth and their children were: Thomas, of further mention; Henry, born about 1608, and settled in Hampton, New Hampshire; and Edward; Mary; Francis; and William. (IV) Thomas Dow (2), son of Henry Dow, was the immigrant ancestor, an early settler of Newbury, Massachusetts, admitted freeman June 22, 1642. He bought a house and land in Newbury in 1648, and removed to Haverhill, where he died May 31, 1654. His nuncupative will was dated May 29, 1654, and proved February 2, 1656. He married Phoebe (surname unknown), and they were the parents of John, of further mention; Thomas; Stephen; Mary; and Martha. (V) John (2) Dow, son of Thomas (2) Dow, was born about 1640,...

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Biography of Myron James Farr

MYRON JAMES FARR – The surname of Farr is believed by many to be identical with Farrar, and there is considerable reason for the supposition as persons of both names appear simultaneously in the different localities of New England. It is derived from a Latin word meaning iron and was probably used as a place name before it came into use as a family name. It was first known in England from Gualkeline (or Walkeline) de Ferraris, a Norman of distinction attached to William, Duke of Normandy, before the conquest of England in 1066. From him all of the name in England and America appear to be descended. His son Henry de Ferrars appears on the roll. of the Battle Abbey among the principal companions of the Conqueror, and as the first of the family in England. When the general survey of the realm recorded in the Domesday Book was made in the fourteenth year of the Conqueror’s reign, Henry de Ferrars was one of the commissioners appointed to compile the work. He bore for his arms: Arms-Argent, six horse shoes pierced sable. The first of the name in New England was George Farr, who settled in Salem in 1629, coming with Higginson; was admitted freeman in 1635, settled finally at Lynn, and left eight children. Most of the families spelling the name Farr are descended from Stephen Farr....

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Biography of Clarence Harland Fisher

CLARENCE HARLAND FISHER – One of the Fisher families of Western Massachusetts are originally of Nova Scotian derivation and can be traced back to David Fisher who came from England, settled in Nova Scotia, and had a son John Parr, of whom further. (II) John Parr Fisher, son of David Fisher, appears to have been the first white child born in Stodick, Nova Scotia. His wife’s name was Agnes and they had ten children: George, of whom further; Betsy, Robert, Martha, Nancy, Samuel, John C., William, Thomas, Hannah. (III) George Fisher, son of John Parr Fisher, born in Nova Scotia, married May Ann Jenkins, who was born on board a ship. They had five children: Robert, of whom further; Belle, Lizzie, Jessie, and Louis. (IV) Robert Fisher, son of George Fisher, was a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he was born January 6, 1846, and died in Greenfield, October 13, 1918. He was a chairmaker by trade, working for one company in Gardner for thirty years and for another concern for five years. Later he was connected in business with his son George in Greenfield and in South Deerfield. He was a member of the Grange, and at one time also held membership in the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He was the husband of Lizzie E. Baker, a native of Baldwinsville, died February 8, 1923, who was...

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Biography of George Brown Waterman

GEORGE BROWN WATERMAN, postmaster of Williamstown, is a descendant of an old and prominent Massachusetts family, his paternal great-grandfather, John Waterman, who was born in Coventry, Rhode Island, May 18, 1755, came to Cheshire, Massachusetts, in the latter part of 1776 or 1777. During the first and second years of the Revolutionary War he was a sailor or privateersman annoying the commerce of Great Britain. After coming to Massachusetts he made his home for two years in the family of Captain Daniel Brown, remaining there in the absence of the captain while he was in command of his company at the Battle of Bennington, August 16, 1777. Mr. Waterman was enrolled as a minute man. In 1803 he moved to his farm adjoining the village of North Adams. During his youth he had received but a limited education, but he became one of the best informed men of his day, and was fortunate in numbering among his friends such men as Dr. William Towner, who practiced medicine in Cheshire before his removal to Williamstown, and Elder John Leland. Mr. Waterman served as a delegate from Adams to the State convention of 1820, for amending the constitution of Massachusetts, and previous to that time had been a member of the legislature. He was of a social disposition, and was kind to the poor and unfortunate. He moved to Williamstown in...

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Biography of Daniel Doyle O’Brien

DANIEL DOYLE O’BRIEN – Sharing a successful practice in law in Northampton, and established in its increasing activities upon his own well-founded effort’, and ability, Mr. O’Brien is a member of that enterprising group of men in the professions and in business in this city who join their interests for the general civic welfare, and the promotion of all well-directed movement that indicates progress for the community. Gifted as a pleader in the courts, and possessing a thorough and very practical knowledge of all branches of the law, he is one of the leading men of the city who in their practice have followed their high estimate of the precepts of the profession. He is of a hardy stock who have done much in the course of their trades to build and to beautify the Northampton of the present day. His grandfather, Michael O’Brien, son of John and Ellen (Doyle) O’Brien, was born in 1815, in County Kerry, Ireland, and died October 27, 1895, in Holyoke. Coming to the United States in 1854, and settling in Massachusetts, he worked for a time on the State Hospital at Northampton; and later locating at Holyoke, he shared in the building of the dam. He at first lived on Cross Street, later building a house on Race Street, where he resided to the time of his death. He was employed in gardening...

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Biography of John Archie Grosier

JOHN ARCHIE CROSIER – The practical everyday history and proceedings of the district court of Hampshire County is the field of activity in which Mr. Crosier has been engaged as clerk since 1904, and during which period he has been a witness of the many remarkable changes that have taken place in the legal personnel and procedure. The most familiar leading figure in this long-established court, and one of the most erudite men in the profession as regards the local judicial customs and usages, Mr. Crosier is an official held in regard and honor in county and State by his colleagues and by the public in general. Industry, patriotism, and probity in all their business and social affairs have marked the generations of his family, whose early scions had much to do with establishing and with preserving the national fabric. The line of descent from the early comers is thus set forth: (I) Joseph Crosier was the immigrant ancestor; he is recorded as having resided in Dorchester, Roxbury and Dedham. (II) Lieutenant John Crosier, his son, who lived in the vicinity of Boston and was a blacksmith by trade, was born in 1750. He responded to the Lexington “Alarm” April 15, 1775, and was a lieutenant under Washington in the War of the Revolution. In 1788 he removed to Peru, Massachusetts, where he became one of the early settlers,...

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Biography of Daniel Patrick Sheehan

The grandfather of Mr. Sheehan was Daniel Sheehan, a resident for years of Chicago, Illinois, where he died. He had two sons, John and Daniel, and the latter also died in Chicago. John Sheehan, son of Daniel Sheehan, was born in Tipperary, Ireland, in 1840, died in Hatfield, Massachusetts, in June, 1900, aged sixty years. His education was acquired in the schools of his native land. He came to the United States in 1857, landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he remained six months. He later came to Northampton, Massachusetts, where he remained but a short time. Eventually he settled in Hatfield, where he resided until his death. Mr. Sheehan worked for others for a time. He was a hard-working man, and made friends. For a time he worked in Bradstreet for fifty cents a day, walking back and forth a distance of several miles. Finally he bought a farm of some ten acres, and in addition hired land upon which he raised tobacco. He married Ellen Fahey, born in Ireland, died in Hatfield, Massachusetts, in 1915, aged seventy-six years. They were the parents of: 1. Ellen, who died in infancy. 2. Edward J., who died in 1923, leaving seven children. a resident of Westfield. Massachusetts. 3. John L., who lives in Hatfield and has two children. 4. Mary, deceased, who married Dennis McGrath of Hatfield, and left seven children....

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Biography of Edward Louis O’Brien

EDWARD LOUIS O’BRIEN – of Northampton’s younger members of the bar who have established themselves under the successful auspices of a high regard for the profession and a thorough training for its practice, Mr. O’Brien, whose earlier plans as a practitioner were temporarily interrupted by his World War activities, has entered upon a field of broad prospect, and one in which his capabilities are measuring up to the demands of the hour. His interests in Northampton and its advancement are those of the active, loyal and progressive citizen, who is prompt to share in the civic issues of the times. He inherits his industrious qualities from an honored ancestry of farmers and tradesmen. His grandfather, Richard O’Brien, the first-comer of his family to the United States, was a successful farmer; he was born in 1822, in the parish of Grange, Tipperary, Ireland, and he died in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, in 1875. He came to the United States in 1850, and lived in Cheshire, Cummington, and Williamsburg, where he engaged in farming. He married in 1853, at Adams, Johanna O’Brien, who was born in 1833 in Tipperary, Ireland, came to the United States in 1853, and died in 1907. Their children: James Henry, of whom further; Ann, who married James Welch; William; Katharine, who married Thomas Brazil; Mary, who married Michael Riley; Richard; Alice; Nellie; Frank. James Henry O’Brien was born...

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Biography of William Edward Cooney

WILLIAM EDWARD COONEY – Both the hotel and the general real estate interests of Northampton have benefited very materially during the past forty years through Mr. Cooney’s association with a development and management of both departments of activity, as his capable methods have been such as to bring substantial results to the community. In earlier years, an all-round printer of widely recognized ability, Mr. Cooney also observed and shared in the growth and advancement of this part of the State through the newspaper and publishing field, and his family have always been known for thorough workmanship in all their undertakings. His grandmother, Ellen (Hanley) Cooney, was the first of this branch to come to the United States; she died in Haydenville, Massachusetts, about 1880. Her husband, Michael Cooney, grandfather of William E. Cooney, lived and died in Ireland. His children were: Michael, of whom further; Elizabeth, who married Michael Keating; Katherine, who married Michael Hearn; Ellen, who married John Fogerty; Mary, who married a Dady; Johanna, who married a Davin. Michael Cooney, who was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, died in Haydenville, in the town of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, in 1885. He attended school in Ireland, and came to the United States when he was nineteen years of age, stopping first in Brooklyn, New York, and thence coming to Leeds, Massachusetts, where he was employed for awhile in the Musgrave...

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