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Biographical review ... containing life sketches of leading citizens of Worcester County, Massachusettes . online

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amounted to twenty-five thousand dollars, the
association felt warranted in buying the site
of the present building, which was then valued
at fifteen thousand dollars. Through the lib-
erality of the people of Southbridge, a few of
whom gave large donations, the treasurer's
report at the close of the year 1891 showed
the building fund to be forty-one thousand
and twenty-one dollars. In the early part of
that year a Building Committee, consisting of
F. L. Chapin, George W. Wells, and Jacob
Booth, had been appointed. Then at the



238



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



meeting held October 3, 1892, the association
voted to authorize this committee to receive
plans and specifications for the new building.
The erection, which was in charge of H. P.
Gumming & Co., of Ware, Mass., was com-
pleted in 1893. This beautiful edifice, three
stories in height, is an ornament to the town,
a credit to the architects and builders, and the
pride of the association. On the first floor of
the main building are si.x stores and the post-
office, and in the anne.x are two stores below
and a tenement upstairs. The reading-room,
game room, parlors, and two lecture rooms (a
large one and a small one) are also on the
first floor. The second floor, devoted to the
work of the junior department, has five class
rooms. In these, under the instruction of
competent teachers, various branches are
taught, including book-keeping, arithmetic,
penmanship, mechanical drawing, English and
French, and stenography. On the third floor
are the janitor's rooms and dormitories.



'REDKRICK BRYANT, a prosperous
farmer of Petersham and a veteran of
the Civil War, was born on the Beaman
place, so called, January 30, 1831. A son of
Artemas and Mehitable (Wilson) Bryant, he
is descended from Anraham Bryant, who re-
sided at Reading, Mass., and was made a
freeman in 1673. His great-grandfather,
Samuel Bryant, came to Petersham in 1750,
and bought fifty-six acres of land in the south-
eastern part of the town. Samuel enlisted in
Captain John Wheeler's company of niinute-
men, which belonged to Colonel Ephraim Doo-
little's regiment; and he marched with it to
Concord on April 19, 1775. After the Revo-
lutionary War he purchased a farm which had
formerly belonged to Captain Thomas Beaman,
a Tory who guided the British troops from
Boston to Concord, and whose estate was con-
fiscated by the Massachusetts authorities.
Joel Bryant, the grandfather, occupied this
farm ; and Artemas, the father, succeeded to
its ownership. Artemas was an industrious
farmer, and also followed the trade of currier.
II is wife, Mehitable, a native of Petersham,
was a daughter of Major John Wilson.



Frederick Bryant was educated in the public
schools. Afterward he assisted his father in
farming, and worked at the currier's trade until
the summer of 1862. Then he enlisted in
Company F, Fifty-third Regiment, Massachu-
setts \'olunteers, under Captain Mudge and
Colonel John W. Kimball. With the rank of
Corporal he served upon the Lower Missis-
sippi. When the regiment was ordered to ac-
company General Banks on the Red River
expedition, he was detailed to guard duty at
the camp in Algiers, La. Honorably dis-
charged in September, 1863, he returned to
the homestead farm. F"or the past twenty
years he has been an Assessor, and the chair-
man of the board for sixteen years. He is a
comrade of Parker Post, No. 123, G. A. R.,
of Athol, Mass.

Mr. Bryant married Mary Hapgood, a native
of this town. Her great-grandfather, Asa
Hapgood, was a member of the Committee of
Safety at Barre, Mass., during the war for
independence; and when forty-nine years old
he enlisted in Captain Henry's company for
service in Rhode Island. Mr. and Mrs. Bry-
ant have five children, namely: Waller A.,
who married Carrie Felton, and has five chil-
dren — Harry Felton, N. Agnes, Leroy, Al-
bert Ray, and Charles I-'. ; Nellie W. , the
wife of Herbert W. Gale, of Gardner, Mass. ;
Winifred, who married Frank L. Gates, of
that town, and has two children — Inez and
Carl L. ; Charles H., a Boston merchant, who
married Ada E. Bailey, and has two children
— Alice M. and Herbert F. ; and John M.
Bryant, who is engaged in business with his
brother in Boston.




;IERRE LEONARD COUILLARD,
M.D., who for many years has been
the leading medical practitioner of
Manchaug, was born February 28,
1850, at St. Martine, on the Chateauguay
River in Canada, son of Joachim and Cather-
ine (Doutre) Couillard. The Couillard fam-
ily claims to be the oldest in Canada. Guii-
laume Couillard, a French emigrant, was the
first white settler to break the soil on the
Plains of Abraham. I'.arly in this century



I



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



239



Dr. Colli Hard's grandfather removed from
Quebec to St. Marline, and settled on a farm
which has since been the home of the family.
Joachim and Catherine Coiiillard had several
children. Two sons, who are now deceased,
were lawyers in Montreal. Besides Dr.
Couillard, the only living son is Antoine, who
is an agent for the Wilson Manufacturing
Company of Montreal. A daughter, Alphon-
sine, resides on the old home in St. Martine
with the mother. Joseph Doutre, now de-
ceased, who was a well-known attorney of
Montreal, was a cousin of Dr. Couillard.

After receiving his preliminary education
in the schools of his native town, Pierre
Leonard Couillard went to the College of St.
Thcrcse. He subsequently became a student
in the College of L'Assomption, and gradu-
ated at Victoria College, Montreal, as a phy-
sician. After receiving his degree he settled
at once in Manchaug, where for the past
twenty-three years he has watched over the
health, of the community. Many have been
the hours of suffering which his ministrations
have rendered less painful, and many the
diseases which his skill has vanquished.

By his marriage with Noemie Provost,
daughter of Charles and Julie (Gaucher) Pro-
vost, the Doctor became the father of three
sons and two daughters. These are: Edouard
J., born April 6, 1881; Charles A., born F'eb-
ruary 7, 1885; Bertha Antoinette, born No-
vember 20, 1886; Jean Jacques, born Decem-
ber 15, 1892; and Noamie Elizabeth, born
May 15, 1897. Edouard is now a student at
the high school in Northbridge, and Charles
is attending the grammar school in Manchaug.
Dr. Couillard is a member of the Massachu-
setts Medical Society and of the Thurber
Medical Society of Milford. He is a Demo-
crat in politics, and is now serving as secre-
tary of the Democratic Town Committee.




I LIAS PARTRIDGE MORTON, agent
of the Stevens Linen Works of Web-
ster, where he is a prominent resi-
dent, was born in Augusta, Me., on September
7, 1842, .son of Cornelius B. and Adaline
(Partridge) Morton. He comes from Plym-



outh Pilgrim stock, his first ancestor in this
country being George Morton, who was born
in England in 1585 and came to Plymouth,
Mass., in 1623, on the ship "Ann."

George Morton was married in Leydcn,
Holland, whither he had gone from England,
to Julianna, daughter of Alexander Carpenter.
The line of descent from George Morton to
the subject of this sketch is through liphraim,
who was born in 1623 and married Ann
Cooper; Eleazer, whose wife's given name
was Rebecca; Nathaniel, who was born in
1695, and married Mrs. Rebecca Clark Ellis;
Ichabod, who was born in 1726 at Sandwich,
Mass., and who m.arried Deborah Morton;
and Mordecai, who was born at Middleboro in
1773, married Priscilla Bennett, and died at
Winthrop, Me., in 1835. Mordecai Morton
was the father of Cornelius B. and the grand-
father of Elias P. Morton. Ebenezer Ben-
nett, father of Mordecai's wife, was one of
the men who answered the alarm call on the
day of the battle of Lexington, 1775, as was
also Ichabod Morton.

Cornelius B. Morton, son of Mordecai, was
born at Middleboro, Mass., in 1807, and died
in 1852. He was by occupation a shoe mer-
chant. His first wife, Adaline, whom he
married on June 23, 1832, was the daughter
of Elias and Abagail (Chase) Partridge, of
Paris, Me. Her grandfather, Eleazer, was a
Revolutionary soldier. She died on Novem-
ber 17, 1842, having been the mother of six
children. Of these, Albert is now in South-
ern California; Alfred is a retired Captain of
the United States Army; and Edward and
Frank are in business in San Francisco.
Cornelius B Morton married for his second
wife Mrs. Eliza Towle, of Augusta, and by
this union had two children, namely: Ade-
line, who is now the wife of Samuel T. Can-
non, and resides in Augusta: and Charles, who
also resides in Augusta.

Elias P. Morton in his boyhood attended
the schools at Brownfield, Me., in Oxford
County. In 1861 he enlisted in Company A
of the F.leventh Maine Infantry, under Cap-
tain Pennell and Colonel Caldwell. In
Washington, in November of that year, the
regiment joined the Army of the Potomac, and



240



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



was assigned to the Fourth Corps, General
Keyes commanding. Private Morton was pro-
moted on January 20, 1S62, to be Corporal.
At Fair Oaks, Va., on May 31, 1862, he was
wounded, but was able to rejoin the army
again at Harrison's Landing on the 13th of
the following July. On December 19, 1862,
he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and
on May 10, 1864, to that of Sergeant Major.
He was mustered out of the service on Novem-
ber 18, 1864. From February i, 1865, to
December of the same year he was employed
as clerk in the Quartermaster's department.
Returning to Web.ster, he assumed the posi-
tion of clerk and paymaster for Henry H.
Stevens in his linen crash manufactory at
Dudley. Subsequently he was book-keeper of
the concern until January, 1877, when he was
appointed agent of the Stevens Linen Works,
which is now a corporation.

Mr. Morton and Arabella, daughter of
Amory and Nancy S. (Lyman) Gamage, of
Boston, were united in marriage on September
6, 1866. Three children have blessed this
union, namely: Maud, who was born on Jan-
uary 4, 1872, and died on August 14, 1873;
F'rank Lyman, who was born on April 4,
1875, and died on August 11, 1876; and
Charles lulward, who was born on August 6,
1877. Charles Edward Morton acquired his
elementary education in the schools at Dud-
ley, and then attended Phillips P'xeter Acad-
emy, where he was graduated in the class of
1895. He is now a student in the medical
department of Columbia College, better known
as the New York School of Physicians and
Surgeons.

Mr. Morton is a member of various fraternal
organizations, notably of the following: Na-
thaniel Lyon Post, No. 61 ; Webster Lodge,
F. & A. M.; Doric Chapter, R. A. M., at
Southbridge; Hiram Council, R. S. M., at
Worcester; Worcester County Commandery,
K. T. ; Maane.xit Lodge, L O. O. F., at
Webster; Wachusett Kncamjiment at Worces-
ter; and the Union Veterans' Legion of
Worcester. He has held nearly all the offices
in the Grand Army Post, and is one of its
charter members. He attends the Universal-
ist church. In politics he is a Rei^ublican.



He has been Selectman, Town Treasurer, and
a member of the School Board of Dudley.
He is one of the Investment Committee of
Webster Savings Bank and a member of the
Textile Club of Boston.



/^HAUNCEY L. OLMSTEAD, the
I Ky official head of the Olmstead Quaboag

^U Corset Company of West Brook-

field, which has its chief office at
S3 Leonard Street, New York City, is actively
identified with tl)e business interests of this
section of Worcester County. A son of
Chauncey Olmstead, he was born August 18,
1839, in Fairfield County, Connecticut. He
comes of Dutch ancestry on his father's side
and of Scotch on the mother's side. The
father, a Connecticut man by birth, served in
the War of 181 2, and was afterward exten-
sively engaged in the manufacture of coaches
at Ridgefield, Conn., of which he was a well-
known resident.

Chauncey L. Olmstead was graduated from
the high school at Wilton, Conn. When six-
teen years old he entered his father's factory
to learn the trade of a coach-maker, at which
he served an apprenticeship of five years. In
the ensuing year he became foreman of the
shop. This position he soon after resigned to
take a special course of study in civil engi-
neering. Going then to Toledo, Ohio, he be-
came the junior member of the firm B. .S. &
C. L. Olmstead, civil engineers, which for
three years did a large business in that por-
tion of the Buckeye State. Ill health then
forced him to give up that work; and, return-
ing to Connecticut, he became a ]iartner in
the firm of J. Wilcox & Co., corset manufact-
urers at Meriden. He continuetl with this
company as their agent in New York City
for eight years, at the end of which time,
in 1875, he was admitted to the firm of
Waterman & Mayer, corset manufacturers in
West Brookfield. When this firm was dis-
solved, the Bay State Corset Company was
organized, with Mr. Olmstead as its presi-
dent, a responsible jjosition, which he heUl
for several years. On December i, 1894, he
hcl|)ed to organize the Olmstead (Juaboag



Si&




CHAUNCEY L. OLMSTEAD.



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



243



Corset Company, one of the largest and most
prosperous of the kind in this part of the
State, and of which he has since been the
general manager. In politics Mr. Olmstead
takes an independent course.




kAURICE P. CLARE, Selectman
anil Constable of the town of
II, ( Webster, Deputy Sheriff of
Worcester County, and a member
of the firm of M. P. Clare & Co., undertakers,
was born in Norwich, Conn., August 26, 1852,
his parents being Michael and Ellen (O'Con-
nor) Clare. Mr. Clare's ancestors came to
this country from Ireland. The Irish family,
descended from Norman-French stock, was
founded by Richard de Clare, surnamed
"Strongbow," who lived during the reign of
Edward II., and who, for services rendered
the English government, received a land
grant located in Cork County. The estate,
which has been handed down through succes-
sive generations, is still in the possession of
the Clare family.

Michael Clare was born in Ireland on the
ancestral place in 1796. When about eigh-
teen years of age he came to America, and
settled in Saratoga, N. Y. There he worked
at railroad contracting for nearly twenty
years. He came to Webster in 1867, and
died there in 1879. His wife, Ellen, born in
County Limerick, Ireland, in 1802, was a
daughter of John and Ellen (Donovan) O'Con-
nor. She came to this country in 1850, and
was married in 185 1. The children of Mi-
chael and Ellen Clare are: Maurice P., the
subject of this biography; Ellen, who was
born in Hadley, Mass., and is now Mrs.
Henry King, of Webster; and Michael, now
residing in Fitchburg, Mass., who is a fi.xer of
woollen looms.

Maurice P. Clare left Norwich when very
young, and removed to Albany, N.Y. His
elementary education was obtained in the pub-
lic schools of that city and Troy. Coming to
Webster at the age of twelve, he attended
school here for the next four years. Then he
went to work in Chase's woollen-mill. Here
he was employed for twenty-two years, ad-



vancing to the position of foreman. He left
the mill in 1892, and went into the undertak-
ing business, which he has since followed.
In April of the same year he was elected -Se-
lectman of the town, which position he has
since held through successive re-elections.
Since 1893 he has been Constable and since
January of the same year Deputy .Sheriff of
the County. His appointment to the last-
named position was received under Sheriff
Robert H. Chamberlain. In politics he is a
Republican. He is a member of Webster
Lodge, No. 58, A. O. U. W., of which he
was foreman one term. He is also a member
of Division No. 11, A. O. H., of Webster, of
which he was twenty-one years president and
four years State president ; and the Chancellor
of VVebster Lodge, Knights of Columbus.
He attends St. Louis Catholic Church.

Mr. Clare was married on July i, 1875, to
Margaret, daughter of Peter and Mary
(Caffery) Henry, of Oxford, Mass. The fol-
lowing-named children have been born to him:
Nellie, in 1876; John, in 1877; Margaret, in
1879; Maurice, in 1882; and Margaret Mary,
in 1885. Nellie, who was educated in the
parochial schools of Webster, resides with
her parents. She is a teacher of instrumen-
tal music and the organist of St. Louis
Church. Margaret died in infancy. The
other children reside with Mr. and Mrs.
Clare, the two youngest still attending
school.



^ATHAN RICHARD GEORGE, one
of the best known and most highly
respected citizens of Mendon, the
proprietor of Miscoe Spring, from
which is obtained the famous Miscoe Spring
Water, was born in this town on November
10, 1837, son of Nathan and Caroline (Thayer)
George. He received his education in the
public schools of Mendon and at Leicester
Academy, and subsequently was employed for
some years as an accountant in the Aaron
Claflin shoe factory in Milford. In 1863 he
returned to Mendon, and formed. a partnership
with his brother, Julius A. George, with
whom he was associated for five years in the



244



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



manufacture of boots and shoes. Since 1868
he has been engaged to some extent in real
estate transactions, and has carried on the
homestead farm. In politics Mr. George has
always been a stanch Republican. His first
Presidential vote was cast for Abraham Lin-
coln.

For a number of years past Mr. George has
devoted considerable attention to developing
the Miscoe Spring Water, which is now be-
coming favorably known, not only in this
county, but throughout the State. Miscoe
Hill, which is an elevation of about six hun-
dred feet above the level of the sea, is situ-
ated in the town of Mendon, near the Upton
and Northbridge lines. Its name is of Indian
origin. From its summit there is no human
habitation within a radius of a mile or more,
except three small farmhouses. Near the
summit and a half-mile distant from any
house are several springs coming to the sur-
face through a broken granite ledge and from
such a depth that the flow and temperature of
the water remain nearly the same summer and
winter. The one from which the Miscoe
water is obtained is on what was once a large
farm belonging to Daniel Rawson. This
farm, containing sixty-five acres of land, was
deeded in 1821 to Richard George, grand-
father of the present owner. About 1845 the
farm buildings were torn down; and from that
time to 1894, or about fifty years, it was used
as a pasture for young cattle and horses, and
allowed to grow up to wood, until now it is
nearly covered. Since 1894 its use as a past-
ure has been discontinued. The sixty-five-
acre tract comprising the original farm is al-
most entirely surrounded by wild land and
pasturage, making an area of hundreds of
acres of uninhabited and uncultivated land.
The spring water has been known and used
for at least sixty-five years, always being con-
sidered exceptionally good. In the summer
of 1892 several people who visited the local-
ity many times during the season, to enjoy the
exhilarating air and magnificent view to be
obtained from the summit of the hill, drank
freely of the water of this spring, and, feeling
that they received much Ijenefit from it, have
continued to use it ever since. The opinion



being formed that the water had some cura-
tive properties, other people became inter-
ested in it; and in a short time a local demand
sprang up in the neighboring towns of Mil-
ford, Hopedale, and Uxbridge, without adver-
tising.

In October, 1894, and again in December,
1897, the vyater was analyzed by Henry Car-
michael, Ph.D., of Boston. While the two
analyses are substantially alike, the one of
1897 shows that the water has not only re-
tained its former purity but has become even
purer. The situation of the spring, above and
at a great distance from any source of con-
tamination; the geological nature of the sur-
rounding country; the depth of the spring,
shown by the even flow and temperature of the
water — all tend to show it an ideal spring.
Mr. George believes that by putting tiiis pure
and health-giving water within the reach and
knowledge of his fellow-men he is doing a
public service. He has opened an oflfice in
Boston, and Miscoe Spring Water is rapidly
taking its place along side of Poland Spring
Water, which has for so many years held its
own against all other spring waters. Mr.
George has been Selectman three years and
Town Treasurer six years.

He married for his first wife a daughter of
Genery Taft. By this union there was one
child, a daughter named Rosa F. She was
educated at the Framingham Normal School
and at Wellesley College, and is now the wife
of Arthur R. Taft, who is one of the progres-
sive citizens of Uxbridge and at the present
time Representative to General Court. For
his second wife Mr. George married a daugh-
ter of Joseph Blanchard, of Uxbridge. She
has been the mother of four children; namely,
Nancy C, Nathan R., Melissa B., and Her-
bert J. Nancy C. George is a graduate of
Wellesley College and a successful teacher in
music, languages, and other branches. She
was for three years superintendent of the pub-
lic schools of Mendon.

Nathan R. George, Jr., was graduated from
Harvard College in the class of 1890, receiv-
ing his diploma with a maj^/itt ciivi laudcy and
is now an instructor of mathematics in the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He



HlOGRAl'lllCAL RKV lEU



245



received his master's degree from Harvard in
1892. Melissa George completed her art edu-
cation with three years' study in Berlin, Ger-
many, and was subsequently for two years a
teacher at Wellesley College and five years a
teacher in Depauw University, Indiana. Her-
bert George was educated at Phillips Exeter
Acadenr.y and at Harvard College, and has
been for the last six years in business in Bos-
ton. He is now associated with his father in
his plan for putting the Miscoe Spring Water
on the market, and has charge of the Boston
office, which is at 206 Devonshire Street.



Y^TKNRY RUFUS STOWELL, of
j ci; I Athol, Mass., a successful manufact-
|i g I urer, is a native of Petersham,
^~^ another Worcester County town.
He was born June 19, 1832, and was the eld-
est of three children reared by his parents,
Rufus and Anna (Allen) Stowell. His
brother, Austin E., a resident of Tully, is in-
terested with him in the woodenware busi-
ness. Their sister, Mary E., died at eigh-
teen years of age. Rufus Stowell was born
in Petersham, and spent his life there as a
farmer. He died when but forty-seven years
old.

Henry Rufus Stowell remained on the farm
with his parents until sixteen. Then, with a
pack on his back, he left home and went to
North Amherst, where he let himself on a
farm for one season. The following year he
did farm work in Deerfield. Later he secured
a position as foreman of a mattress factory in
Greenfield, which he held till he was twenty
years old, when he left the factory. He pos-
sessed unusual mechanical ability, and he
invented machinery to be used in mattress-
making, his observations while foreman hav-
ing taught him what was needed in this line.
Obtaining an order from a man named Rogers,
who agreed to pay him a good price, he built
some of these machines in Greenfield, and
took them to Lafayette, Ind. Within less
than a year Mr. Rogers failed, owing him
seven hundred dollars, which he refused to
pay. Mr. Stowell had been collecting bills,
and, knowing of some nine hundred dollars



that was due, he proceeded to collect it, hav-
ing charged himself with the bills on the
books, and then again demanded a settlement.
Learning that he already had the money in
his pocket, his employer caused him to be ar-
rested; but, upon the advice of his attorney
and the judge, he finally made the settlement
which Mr. Stowell desired.

Mr. Stowell next went to Ouincy, 111.,
where he was engaged at one hundred dollars
per month to erect machinery in a cotton fac-
tory. He became a partner in the business,
but after two years spent there he was obliged
to leave Ouincy on account of the malaria.
He returned to Massachusetts, and within a
short time he opened a grocery store in Green-
field. In the meantime he had married a
niece of Joseph Pierce, who had a woodenware
manufactory at Tully ; and he soon took a posi-
tion in Mr. Pierce's shop on contract at one
dollar per day for two years. In a few years
he was given an interest in the concern, the
firm name then being Pierce & Stowell. Be-
ginning without means, he felt that he should
be happy had he but a thousand dollars. The



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