J.H. Beers & Co.

Representative men and old families of southeastern Massachusetts : containing historical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the old families (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoRepresentative men and old families of southeastern Massachusetts : containing historical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the old families (Volume 2) → online text (page 51 of 120)
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1862, with Ellen Richardson, daughter of
Welcome and Susan (Tilden) Howard, of
Brockton, granddaughter of Col. Caleb and
Sylvia (Alger) Howard, and a direct descend-
ant in the seventh generation from John How-
ard, who came from England to Duxbury,
Mass., and later became one of the first set-
tlers in the old town of Bridgewater, in 1651,
previous to its division. Her line from John
is through Ephraim, Ephraim (2), George,
Col. Caleb and Welcome Howard. This happy
union was blessed with children as follows:
Albion Howard, born April 16, 1864, died July
31, 1865; Lester Carlton, born Sept. 27, 1866,
who was graduated from the East Greenwich
(R. I.) Academy, and was for several years
engaged in shoe manufacturing with his
father, is now engaged in the silver and nickel
plating business in Boston, where he resides
(he married Rebecca May Baker, daughter of
Capt. Obed Baker, 3d, of West Dennis, Mass.,

I 'i,,.-,- },r,„p one daughter, Florence May
:.:. ... .; \:,.>- '■,"., EvfMv".

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Xoj\ - . '■■<■■•'■ ■" '! ■'■ ~ • 'i<'. -'■■ :
1881. The liintner ui t;..b ..i.iu.; ■!■.■■■■ . ■■.
27, 1906, her death being a severe loss to Mr.
Keith, to whom she had been a devoted com-
panion during the forty-three years of their
wedded life. Her kindly spirit and loving
sympathy were the encouragement of his
younger days and the reliance of his mature
years, and lier influence, thougii gentle, was' a
steady and strong factor in all his interests.

A stanch Republican in political faith, Mr.

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Keith always manifested a keen interest in the
affairs of his native town and city, but never
cared for nor sought public office. Of a quiet,
unpretentious nature, he preferred to devote
his leisure moments to home companionship,
for which he ever displayed love and fondness,
finding his keenest happiness in the company
of his wife and family. Mr. Keith always
affiliated with the South Congregational
Church of Campello, to the support of which
he gave liberally, and of which his wife was
an active member and earnest worker, be-
longing to the various societies connected with
the church work. Mrs. Keith was descended
from Revolutionary stock, and was an active
member of Deborah Sampson Chapter,
Daughters of the American Revolution. Mr.
Keith was a member of the Old Bridgewater
Historical Society, and took an active interest
in the affairs of that organization. He died
in Dorchester, Mass., May 28, 1910.

(VII) ZiBA Cary Keith, son of Captain
Ziba and Polly (Xoyes) Keith, was born in
what is now Brockton, July 13, 1842, at the
ancestral homestead across the street from his
late residence in Campello. The family lived
in the old house at the corner of Main and
Plain streets on the lot now occupied by the
handsome George E. Keith residence. The
old house was one of the landmarks of Cam-
pello and had been the home of the Keith
family for several generations.

Mr. Keith's early life had much in common
■with that of the average youth of the period.
He received his education in the public
schools of his native village, then known as
North Bridgewater (which on Jan. 1, 1882,
Ijecame the city of Brockton), and at the
Peirce Academy in Middleboro, Mass.
Meantime he assisted with the farm work at
home and acquired a knowledge of shoemak-
ing at the "Old Red Shop," and when he was
€ighteen he went to work in the shoe factory
of his brothers, Martin L. Keith & Co., who
were then doing an extensive business in that
line. Later he became bookkeeper and sales-
man for the same firm in Boston, continuing
thus until July, 1863, when he returned to
Campello — the southerly portion of Brockton
— to enter into business on his own account.
In company with Embert Howard he bought
out the dry goods and general store owned by
Sidney Packard, and for two years they ran
it under the firm name of Howard & Keith, at
the end of that time selling out to Jonas Rey-
nolds, the partnership being dissolved. Six
months later, however, Mr. Keith again bought
the business, which he carried on until he re-

tired from that line in 1882. For a year or
two during this period Mr. H. N. P. Hubbard
conducted the dry goods department, but with
that exception Mr. Keith was the sole owner
of the business until he sold it, in 1882, to
Pitts & Hayward, who took the grocery depart-
ment, and Thayer & Whitman, who took the
dry goods department. The establishment
enjoyed a continuous career of prosperity
under his management, but his other interests
had become so numerous and important that
he felt it necessary to give up the store in
order to attend properly to the demands which
public service and accumulated business cares
made upon his time.

Though not at the time of his death con-
nected in any official capacity with Brockton
banks, Mr. Keith was for many years a prom-
inent figure in the management of various
financial institutions. He was largely instru-
mental in organizing the Campello Coopera-
tive Bank, and during its early years served as
secretary and treasurer of the institution,
which played such an important part in the
building up of the southern part of the city,
-aidin^g many ambitious workers to acquire
their own homes, and establishing a standard
of prosperity which has had a permanent
effect upon the welfare of Campello. He was
an incorporator and at one time director and
first vice president of the Brockton Savings
Bank, a director of the Brockton National
Bank from the time of its incorporation until
1893, when he resigned to become president of
the Plymouth County Safe Deposit & Trust
Company (of which he was an incorporator),
now the Plymouth County Trust Company,
serving as president for ten years, until 1904,
but had severed all these connections before his
death. Mr. Keith was identified with vari-
ous enterprises which have marked the prog-
ress and growth of the city. He was a cor-
porate member of the original street railway
company in Brockton, and served as its treas-
urer for several years, and he was the first
treasurer of the Monarch Rubber Company of
Campello until its liquidation, also owning
the building in which the company did busi-
ness. He was also active in the organization
of the Brockton Hospital, of which he was the
first president. As the successful manager
of so many prosperous ventures, he had won
Tinusual confidence, and he was called upon to
act as trustee of numerous estates. So much
of his work toward the advancement of the
city, however, was done through official chan-
nels that mention of his public services is nec-



In 1875 Mr. Keith represented his district
in the State Legislature, to whicli he was re-
elected for the following year; in 1878 he
was elected selectman of old North Bridge-
water, and in 1881 he was a niemher of the
committee selected by the town to draft the
city charter. At the first election upon the
organization of the city of Brockton he was
chosen mayor, and as such presided at the first
meeting of the new city government, Jan. 2,
1883. Some of his fellow members in that
first organization were such prominent citi-
zens as William L. Douglas (former gover-
nor), George Churchill, George E. Keith,
Bradford E. Jones, DeWitt C. Packard, Jona-
than White and Baalis Sanford. Two years later
he was reelected, and he was several times so
honored subsequently, serving in 1884, 1885,
1891, 1892 and 1893. He was the first mayor
ever called to the office for three consecutive
years. His repeated election tu the office
would be sufficient evidence of the satisfaction
his services gave. Under his administration
some of the most important innovations in
the municipal economy were inaugurated. The
present sewerage system, which has proved
such a great boon to the city, was planned and
launched during his regime ; the new city hall
was constructed ; a park commission was es-
tablished ; and another important work was
consummafed, the abolishment of sixteen
grade crossings of the Old Colony division of
the New York, New Haven & Hartford rail-
road in the city within two years' time.

In 1887 and 1888 Mr. Keith was State sen-
ator for the Second Plymouth district; in 1887,
1888 and 1889 he was ta.x collector of Brock-
ton; on Jan. 1, 1890, he was appointed by
Governor Ames a member of the "State Com-
mission of Health, Lunacy and Charity" ; and
for three years he was a member of the Gov-
ernor's Council, to which office he w^as first
elected in the fall of 1892, serving continu-
ously until 1895, from the Second Plymouth
district. In 1893 he and his wife were mem-
bers of the Gov. William E. Russell's party
which visited the World's Fair at Chicago, as
representatives from this Commonwealth.
During his first term as councilor he served on
the committees on Accounts (chairman). Har-
bors and Public Lands, Charitable Institu-
tions, Military Affairs and Railroads, and
State House Extension. He served as a
justice of the peace for over a quarter of a
century, having been commissioned May 5,
1882. By virtue of his position as mayor of
the city he was chairman of the school com-
mittee of Brockton. Though a stanch Re-

publican in political principle he was never
bound by party ties on municipal questions,
and his honorable policies and standards kept
him free from the limitations of the design-
ing politician.

Mr. Keith's extensive interests in business
and public lines did not prevent liim from ac-
tivity in social and church life, in which he
always took a prominent part. He was a
charter member of the Commercial Club, and
vice president of same for several years. He
was a Freemason, belonging to St. George
Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Satucket Chapter, R. A.
M., Brockton Council, R. & S. M.. and Bay State
Commandery, Knights Templar, of Brock-
ton. In religious belief he was a Trinitarian
Congregationalist, and he was for many years
a prominent member and worker of the South
Congregational Church and Society at Cam-
pello, whicli he joined in May, 1886, and
served in various capacities. He was a mem-
ber of the parish committee for several years,
and of the committee which had in charge^ the
rebuilding and enlarging of the church in
188S. He also served as delegate from the
church, and for forty years was active in the
choir, serving as organist and in every way
aiding in the direction of the church music.
His interest and taste in musical matters Imd
long been well known, and on April 6, 1869,
he was one of the organizers of the Union
Musical Society, of which he became vice
president. He played the violin from boy-
hood, music having always afforded him much
pleasure as well as relaxation, and he was only
ten years old when he became a member of the
orchestra of the South Congregational Church,
then under the direction of his brother, Martin
L. Keith. His taste in this direction led
him to become interested in the Old Colony
Piano Company, of which he was one of the
incorporators in 1889, serving as treasurer of
same until his death. When a young man he
belonged to the State Militia, and in April,
1865, he was chosen second lieutenant of Dis-
trict 61.

Mr. Keith could well be called a self-made
man, for he advanced himself by honest effort
and intelligent application of his faculties to
a position among the foremost citizens of his
day. By reading and observation he added
to his intellectual acquirements, for which he
never lost his inclination, and he was wel-
comed as a social factor wherever known, his
kindly disposition and sincerity of purpose
winning and keeping friends however met.
His high standards in all the relations of life
had their best expression in his own actions.



wliich reflected the highest credit upon him.

On Dec. 31, 1865, Mr. Keith was married
to Abbie Frances Jackson, who was born Oct.
27, 184:8, daughter of Oliver and Malvina
Frances (Packard) Jackson, of North Bridge-
water, who is also a direct descendant of sev-
eral of New England's prominent and earliest
settled families. To this union was born one
son, Willie Clifton Keith, Aug. 31, 1866, who
is the father of one son, Ziba Cary Keith,
born June 13, 1888.

Mr. Keith's beautiful homo at No. 1260
Main street, Campello," at the corner of Plain
street, is one of the finest residences in that
section of the city, ideally located and com-
manding a fine view of the city and surround-
ing country. There he died April 5, 1909, at
the age of sixty-six years, after a brief illness,
which gave no sign of proving fatal until the
day previous. Nothing could show the
breadth of his life, the extent of his interests,
more than the variety of sources from which
expres.sions of sorrow at this unlooked-for
event came. Among the first to show sym-
pathy and regret were the surviving ex-mayors
of the city, by whom, as the first incumbent of
the office, he was regarded with especial es-
teem, and by whom lie was honored without
regard for political ties. Upon the day of
the funeral such marks of respect were paid
by citizens and business houses everywhere as
few men receive. The flag at the city hall
floated at half mast, the city government sent
floral offerings and was officially represented
at the ceremimy, members of the council who
had served during his administrations attend-
ed, men and women from all ranks and classes,
from the humblest to the highest, were present
to show sympathy for the living and regard
for the dead, and not only were the special
places of business with which lie had been
associated — the Old Colony Piano Company
and the Stowe & Woodward Rubber Works —
closed, but also mercantile houses throughout
the city, this unusual action being taken by
vote of the Brockton Merchants' Association.
Most of the banks were also represented, offi-
cially or unofficially, and the local press paid
glowing tribute to his worth as a man and an
incorruptible public servant. The Brockton
Enterprise said editorially:

"No man in Brockton had been so frequent-
ly honored by his fellow citizens with posts of
honor, and it is doubtful if any ever will be
again. He held the esteem of the people
through a long term of years. After being
selected as the man to lead the way in Brock-
ton's first experiment as a municipality, he

was chosen again a little later, and then, ten
years after his first occupancy of the mayor's
chair, was again selected for the office and held
it for three terms. The passing of time had
taken nothing from his reputation as an able
and popular mayor, but had added to it; and
a new generation of voters was willing and
anxious to have him serve again, and for sev-
eral years, as Brockton's leading citizen. His
fame, instead of decreasing, had grown with
the passage of time. He was also selected as
senator from this district, as a representative
from the city and as a member of the gov-
ernor's council. In business affairs he also
took at various times a prominent part.

"Ziba C. Keith made few enemies. He
was a man of kindly heart and a naturally
aft'able disposition. He was interested in the
lives of those about him, with a kindly and
helpful and not censorious interest. In pub-
lic life he was able, tactful, equal to the situa-
tion at all times and places. In the first
year of his administration, in blazing a path
through new territory, he was an admirable
choice for the work, which required diplo-
macy, judgment and a wide knowledge of
Broclvton and its citizens and their needs.
Under liis direction the ship set sail and
caught a favoring wind from the very inception
of the voyage.

''Those privileged to know Mr. Keith so-
cially knew him as a man whose friendship was
wortli while, and who always had the sun
shining around him. He was genial, yet dig-
nified — two most admirable attributes of a
public man. People whom he met instinc-
tively realized the kindly nature of the man
and his desire that all about him should be
content, and he inspired a warm personal re-
gard in those whom he knew in his journey
through life. His contemporaries — those
who knew him best as boy ana man — trusted
him, worked and voted for him without ques-
tion. As the younger generation gi'ew up and
met him and knew him they followed in the
footsteps of their elders, and their ballots and
their liking also were for Ziba Keith. It was
an experience given to few men to enjoy.

"Brockton will sincerely mourn the passing
of this able and beloved citizen. His friends
are on every street and avenue of the city, and
his admirers, both of the able political leader
and of the man, are legion. Men of every
political party treasured his friendship as he
treasured theirs. He was an able man and
he was a good man."

Mr. Keith was deeply interested in the early
history of the Keith family, and spent years



in the compilation of an exhaustive history of
his branch of the family, which he completed
and had published in 1889.

HATHAWAY (New Bedford family). This
name has been a continuous one and tlie family
numerous in the several towns formed out of
original Dartmouth for approximately two hun-
dred and fifty years. Arthur Hathaway, the
progenitor of tlie Dartmouth Hathaways, came
early to PljTiiouth and became one of the first
settlers of Dartmouth. He married in 1652,
in Duxbury, Sarah, daughter of John and
Sarah (Warren) Cook, the latter being a
daughter of Richard Warren, of the "May-
flower," as was also John Cook, a son of Francis
Cook, a passenger of that historic vessel. All
of the foregoing in detail appears elsewhere in
this volume, and by reference to other articles
on the Hathaways it will be seen that Arthur
Hathaway was an important man in the town,
holding various public offices; that of his three
sons, through whom the name has been per-
petuated, John, Thomas and Jonathan, John's
farm or homestead was on the west side of the
Acushnet river and comprised upward of 175
acres of land, his landing place being the now
Belleville Wharf; that Thomas's estate of some
two hundred thirty and more acres of land was
on the east side of the river, opposite the land-
ing of his brother John, and most advan-
tageously situated for the carrying on of their
business ; that Jonathan's homestead was next
south of his brother Thomas's ; that they them-
selves were largely engaged in navigation,
which occupation have followed many of their
descendants, and that as owners and command-
ers of various kinds of vessels they as a family
have been eminently successful ; that coming,
as they did, among the very first to Dart-
mouth and allying themselves by marriage with
the leading families they have always main-
tained a prominent position.

It should be borne in mind that ancient or
original Dartmouth included the present towms
of Dartmouth, Westport, New Bedford and
Fairhaven and was bought from the Indians
in 1652. It was then owned by the thirty-six
original purchasers, only five or six of whom,
however, became settlers. All of the original
purchasers were passengers of the "Mayflower,"
but no name of those in the "Mayflower" was
among the early settlers there. The lands were
taken up mostly by members of the Society
of Friends or Quakers, who were not particu-
larly identified with the Puritans. The first
settled part of the old town was southern Dart-
mouth, some seven miles west of New Bedford,

where not far from 1652 Ralph Russell re-
moved from Raynham and established an iron
forge and other machinery, mills, etc., on the
Pascamanset river, now more generally known,
as Slocuni's river, so called from Anthony
Slocum, who was also an early settler in that
quarter. At the division of Dartmouth in
1787 New Bedford and Fairhaven formed the
townsliip or town of New Bedford and Fair-
haven bearing the name of New Bedford; they
were divided into separate towns in 1812. New
Bedford may be said to date from 1761, when
the first house east of the county road was built
by John Lowden, although approximately one
hundred years prior to this, as stated above,
a settlement had been made at Russells Mills
by the family of that name, other early set-
tlers there being the Ricketsons, Slocums and
Smiths; and at Acushnet on the east side of
the river by the Popes, Tabers, Hathaways and
Jennings. The settlements of New Bedford
and Fairhaven were coeval. Previous to the
Revolution the land of New Bedford lying be-
tween the "cove"' and head of the river was
mostly owned by a few families, commencing
south with the Aliens ; thence north the Rus-
sells, Kemptons, Willises, Peckhams, Hatha-
ways and Wrightingtons. These people were
substantial farmers and the old large and com-
fortable farmhouses of eac)i of these families
generally stood on the west side of the county

It was from this Hathaway stock and the
section alluded to in the foregoing descended
thfe late Capt. William Hathaway, and his
brothers James and Samuel. Of these, the
records say that James Hathaway, of Westport,
married Nov. 7, 1824, Lydia C. Gardner; he
died Dec. 30, 1831, aged forty-seven years, and
she died Sept. 14, 1831, aged forty-five. Sam-
uel Hathaway married Joanna Gilbert, and
their daughter, Joanna, born Sept. 25, 1783,
died March 20, 1865, married April 27, 1808,
James Tilton (born Jan. 20, 1785, died March
13, 1866).

Capt. William Hathaway was a native of New
Bedford, and became a merchant sailing master
from New York. In March, 1811, he married
Sarah Haffords, born May 11, 1789, daughter
of Jonathan and Roby (Brightman) Hafi'ords,
of New Bedford. He died in New York City
about 1848, aged about sixty years.

James H. Hathaway, son of Capt. William,
passed the greater part of his life in New York
City as an accountant. He married Elizabeth
Smith Wilcox, daughter of David Bennett and
Hannah (Smith) Wilcox, and they died, he in
1844, and she in 1890.



James Henry Hathaway (son of James
H.), former city treasurer of New Bedford, was
born in that citj' Nov. 1, 1835, receiving there
a public and higli school education. After leav-
ing school he engaged in the hat business with
his uncle, David B. Wilcox, as a partner. In
1859 he became a member of the New Bedford
City Guards. On the breaking out of the Civil
war, in April, 1861, he responded to his coun-
try's call, and went to her defense, enlisting
in Company L, 3d Mass. V. I., and served three
months, being stationed at Fortress Monroe.
Afterward he was appointed a clerk in tlie navy
department under Paymaster Thornton, and in
this capacity served with the Burnside expedi-
tions on the sounds of North Carolina, at
Eoanoke Island, and at Newbern, where on
Aug. 5, 1862, he received the appointment of
acting assistant paymaster in the United States
navy, which position he held until May, 1866.
He served mainly in this latter capacity with
the Mississippi squadron, and was in the IJed
river and other expeditions, and after the war
closed he had charge of a number of light-
clad boats laid up to be sold at Cairo, 111. For
several years after receiving an honorable dis-
charge "from the United States navy he was
connected with the New Bedford assessor's of-
fice. On April 6, 1874, he was appointed as-
sistant to the late James B. Congdon, then city
treasurer, and on April 6, 1879, he suc-
ceeded Mr. Congdon as city treasurer,
which office he creditably and satisfac-
torily filled until Dec. 1, 1907, having with
but one exception (1896) been unanimously
reelected by the city council on joint ballot.

Mr. Hathaway is an honored and respected
citizen, and a member of Eureka Lodge, A. F.
& A. M., and of Post No. 1, G. A. R.

On May 12, 1858, Mr. Hathaway married
Mary E., daughter of Arvin Smith, of New
Bedford, and they have had two sons: William
W., who from 1879 until his deatli, Oct. 27,
1896, was assistant in the treasurer's office ;
and Charles R., who completed his brother's
term as assistant treasurer and was continued
in the same office by his father's successor.

of the leading physicians of Brockton, where
for a period covering nearly a quarter of a cen-
tury he has been successfully engaged in the

Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoRepresentative men and old families of southeastern Massachusetts : containing historical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the old families (Volume 2) → online text (page 51 of 120)