Otis Olney Wright.

History of Swansea, Massachusetts, 1667-1917; online

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Sarah A. Smith and died in Fall River, without issue, Dec. 20, 1899; Mary,
of Fall River; and William Bowers, Jr., who died June 4, 1875. Mr
Brayton died in Fall River Aug. 21, 1887, and Mrs. Brayton passed away
July 4, 1898.

(VII) David Anthony Brayton, son of Israel and Kezia (Anthony)

148 History of Swansea

Brayton, was born in Swansea, Mass., April 2, 1824, and passed the greater
part of his childhood on the farm in Somerset, that for generations had
been the home of the Brayton ancestors. His early education was acquired
by regular attendance at the public schools of Somerset and Fall River;
and when not at school he worked at different occupations with great
energy and zeal. Manifesting in early youth a taste for business, he was
not long in seeking a field larger than that which his boyhood home afforded,
and when still a minor he made a business trip to Cuba. In later years he
was extensively engaged in trade with the West Indies.

The discovery of gold on the Pacific coast intensely interested Mr.
Brayton, and in 1849 he sailed in the ship "Mary Mitchell," for California,
where he remained several months. On returning to Fall River, with Silas
Bullard as partner, he erected the Bristol County Flour Mills, of which he
later became sole proprietor.

Not long after tiie enactment of the National Banking Law, Mr.
Brayton, with his brother John S. Brayton and their associates, established
the First National Bank of Fall River. The directors of this corporation
manifested their appreciation of his faithful and valuable services in its
behalf when they spread upon its records at the time of his decease the
tribute that "To his remarkable foresight, energy, and high moral character,
this Institution owes its origin and its great success. "

Cotton goods were already manufactured in Fall River, and Mr.
Bratyon, with his usual foresight, realized the possibility of the growth of
the cotton industry. In 1865, he conceived the idea of erecting a large
manufactory, and a site was purchased bordering on the stream from which
the city takes its name. As a result of his sagacity, untiring industry, and
acumen, Durfee Mills Number One was completed in 1867; in 1871
Durfee Mills Number Two, a duplicate of Number One, was built, thus
doubling the production of the print cloths of this corporation; and in 1880,
the plant was again enlarged by the erection of mill Number Three. These
mills, named in honor of Bradford Durfee, whose son, B. M. C. Durfee,
was the largest stockholder, are an enduring monument to the enterprise,
energy, and sound judgment of David Anthony Brayton. From the time
of their incorporation until his demise, Mr. Brayton was Treasurer and
Manager of the Durfee Mills, which for many years constituted one of the
largest print cloth plants in this country.

The results of the business ability and wisdom of David A. Brayton
were not confined to these enterprises alone, but his knowledge and expe-
rience were wide spread, and he held many offices of responsibility and
trust. He was director in eight other corporations in Fall River, and at
the time of his death was President and principal owner of the Arnold
Print Works in North Adams, Massachusetts. Deeply interested in the
welfare of the city, he did not shun the responsibilities of the true citizen,
nor did he deem it his obligation to accept the honors of civic office, and
dechned reelection after serving one term in the city government. He never
lost his love of the country, and the freedom of its open life appealed to
him. He purchased a large farm in Somerset, now known as Brayton
Point, and this he cultivated with much pleasure and pride. Here he
found his recreation away from the turmoil of the business world.

Mr. Brayton was a regular attendant, and an active member of the
First Congregational Church of Fall River. He gave freely to the support
of divine worship, was generously benevolent, and guided by his keen,
quick judgment of persons, he willingly assisted those whom he believed
worthy of his aid. He was married in Fall River, May 1, 1851, to Nancy R.
Jenckes, daughter of John and Nancy (Bellows) Jenckes. They had five
children: Nannie Jenckes, David Anthony, John Jencks, Elizabeth
Hitchcock, and Dana Dwight Brayton. In 1880 Mr. Brayton, accompanied

Family Records 149

by members of his family, crossed the Atlantic in search of health, but,
although every eflbrt was exerted in his behalf, he died in London, England,
on the 20th of August, 1881.

David Anthony Bray ton was a man of courage, endowed with large
capacity for affairs, with sterling integrity and a vigorous intellect trained
in the contests of a stirring life, a strong advocate of truth and strict
honesty, frank and fearless in the performance of duty, prompt in decision,
firm in action, and loyal in friendship. These were elements of his power
and success, the characteristics which made him a citizen of commanding
influence and a recognized leader among men.

(VII) John Summerfield Bray ton, son of Israel and Kezia
(Anthony) Brayton, was bom in Swansea Village, Mass., Dec. 3, 1826.
He attended the district school, and fitted himself for the post of teacher,
and was enabled to further his studies at Peirce's Academy, in Middleboro,
and at the University Grammar School, in Providence. He entered Brown
University in 1847, and was graduated therefrom in the class of 1851.
Adopting the law as a profession, he prepared for it in the office of Thomas
Dawe Eliot, at New Bedford, and at the Dane Law School of Harvard
University, from which he graduated in 1853. He was admitted to the Bar
of Suffolk County August 8th of the year named, and returning to Fall
River began the practice of his profession, and within a year was chosen
City solicitor, being the first incumbent of the office in the newly formed
city. He was also elected Clerk of Courts for Bristx^l County. In 1864 he
reentered the general practice of law, associating himself with James M.
Morton, who later became one of the Justices of the Massachusetts Supreme
Bench. He retired from the practice of law to become the financial agent
of Mrs. Mary B. Young and B. M. C. Durfee, and from that time until his
death was a prominent business man of Fall River. In 1856 Mr. Brayton
represented that city in the General Court and served as a member of the
Governor's Council in 1866-67-68, and 1879-80, under Governors Bullock,
Talbot, and Long. At home and elsewhere he was active in many chari-
table and philanthropic movements, and was generous in his donations to
their funds.

Mr. Brayton was an ardent historian,a patron of art and literature,
and a lover of all that beautifies and uplifts. He manifested a deep interest
in educational affairs; and when his sister Mrs. Mary B. Young^ gave to
the city the magnificent B. M. C. Durfee High School Building, Mr.
Brayton devoted to its creation his thought and attention. In 1893, in
recognition of his accompHshments, Brown University, his alma mater,
conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, and from 1898 until his
decease he was a Fellow of Brown University. He was for eighteen years,
from 1882 to 1900, a trustee of Amherst College.

Mr. Brayton had historical tastes, and his knowledge of the Narragan-
sett country was perhaps exceeded by none. He was President of the Old
Colony Historical Society, for several years, a member of the New England
Historic and Genealogical Society, and from 1898 to the time of his death
a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

In sympathy only with the best traditions and highest ideals, he
entered in a remarkable degree into the successes of his friends and fellow
citizens in every field of worthy achievement. Their honor was his pride.
He delighted to bestow the expression of recognition for work well done,
and in so doing extended an uphfting influence in the community, which
•we can ill afford to lose in these days when commercial gain absorbs so much
of the ambitions of life. As a man of large private responsibihties, and an
active participant in the conduct of public affairs, Mr. Brayton was a lead-
ing figure in this section of the Stat«. He had intense interest in, and
loyalty to those with whom he associated through ties of business or civic life.

150 History of Swansea

November 27, 1855, Mr. Brayton married Sarah Jane Tinkham,
daughter of Enoch and Rebecca (Williams) Tinkham, of Middleboro,
Mass. They had three children: Mary J., who married Dr. Charles L.
Nichols, of Worcester (their three children are Charles L. Jr., Harriet, and
Brayton); Harriet H., of Fall River; and John Summerfield, born in Fall
River, Sept, 16, 1864, who was married June 20, 1894, to Jessie C. Flint,
daughter of the late John D. Flint, of Fall River (their children are John
S. Jr., Flint, Edith, and Anthony). Mr. Brayton died Oct. 30, 1904, at his
home in Fall River, Massachusetts.

(VII) Israel Perry Brayton, son of Israel and Kezia (Anthony)
Brayton, was born May 24, 1829, and died Aug. 10, 1878, in Fall River.
He followed agricultural pursuits and had a well stocked farm in Swansea.
Because of poor health he was never able to engage actively in the business
or political life of Fall River, but for some years served as a director of the
First National Bank. He married June 18, 1863, Parthenia Gardner,
daughter of Peleg Gardner, of Swansea. Mrs. Brayton died Feb. 24, 1882.
To them were born two daughters: Nancy Jarre tt Bowers, and Sarah

(VIII) Nancy Jarrett Bowers Brayton married June 10, 1896, James
Madison Morton, Jr., of the ninth generation of the Morton family, and
to them have been born four children: James Madison, June 10, 1897,
(died May 14, 1908); Brayton, Oct. 28, 1898; Sarah, Sept. 29, 1902;
Hugh, Sept. 10, 1906.

(VII) Hezekiah Anthony Brayton, son of Israel and Kezia
(Anthony) Brayton, was born June 24, 1832, in Fall River, Mass., and
passed his boyhood days at the Brayton homestead in Somerset, in the
schools of which town he acquired his early education, furthering it at the
East Greenwich (R. I.) Academy. He taught school one year in the town
of Seekonk, Mass., then for a time was employed in a railroad ticket office,
from which he left for Texas in the capacity of surveyor. Returning to the
North, he was employed awhile in the carding and mechanical engineering
dep£U"tments of the Pacific mills in Lawrence, this State. In 1857, in
company with his brother Israel Perry Brayton, he went to Chicago and
there engaged in the grain commission business on the Board of Trade, a
line of business he later continued in, on the Produce Exchange in New
York City.

Returning to Massachusetts in 1872, Mr. Brayton was actively and
successfully occupied in Fall River the remainder of his life. He was chosen
vice president and cashier of the First National Bank, and some six years
later, at the time of the failure of the Sagamore mills, he was appointed one
of the trustees of that property. When the business was finally settled and
the corporation was reorganized as the Sagamore Manufacturing Company,
he became treasurer and a director, offices he held up to the time of hiis
death. He was also president, and a director of the Durfee Mills, and a
trustee of the B. M. C. Durfee High School, which was given to the city by
his sister, Mrs. Mary B. Young. He was one of the most successful mill
treasurers in Fall River. The Sagamore was among the corporations of
that city which have paid phenomenal dividends. In this manufacturing
company, Mr. Brayton, as treasurer made a record in dividends that would
be hard to surpass. He was devoted to his business, which he carried on to
the last, and which seemed to be his one pleasure; and for years before his
decease, he had seldom been absent from Fall River, except to visit his
farm at the west end of Slade's Ferry Bridge, in Somerset. His judgment
was usually accurate, and the results in return to his stockholders most
satisfactory. At the same time he pushed the development of the mills to
the extreme of possibility. When he took charge, the foundation of only one
of the mills was laid. He put up the stone building on this foundation, 8ind

Family Records 151

later, when the brick mill was burned, he rebuilt it. His son, as treasurer,
built an entirely new mill as part of the plant. Mr. Brayton believed in
new enterprises in Fall River, and was willing to back them with his
means, as in the case of the last cotton corporation formed there previous
to his death, in which he subscribed for a considerable block of stock.

March 25, 1868, Mr. Brayton married Caroline Elizabeth, daughter
of the late Hon. William Lawton and Mary (Sherman) Slade, of Somerset.
She, with three sons and five daughters survive him. Ten children were
born to Mr. and Mrs. Brayton, as follows: (1) Caroline Slade was born
March 10, 1869, in New York City. (2) Abby Slade, born Nov. 10, 1870,
in New York, married Randall N. Durfee, of Fall River, and they have had
four children, Randall Nelson (bom March 13, 1897), Bradford Chaloner
(born Aug. 12, 1900), Caroline (born March 12, 1904). and Mary Brayton
(born March 4, 1909). (3) William L. S., bom Nov. 13, 1872, in New York
City, is treasurer of the Sagamore Manufacturing Company, having
succeeded his father. He married June 18, 1903, Mary Easton Ashley,
daughter of Stephen B. and Harriet Remington (Davol) Ashley, and they
have had eight children, born as follows: Lawton Slade, June 20, 1904;
Lincoln Davol, Oct. 20, 1905; Constance, March 22, 1907; Ruth Sher-
man, April 17, 1908; Perry Ashley, May 25, 1910; Mary Elizabeth,
June 11, 1912; Richard Anthony, June 19, 1913; and Sherman
Brayton, born July 19, 1915. (4) Israel, born in Fall River Aug. 5, 1874,
is a member of the law firm of Jennings, Morton & Brayton. (5) Mary
Durfee, born May 1, 1877, died March 29, 1889. (6) Stanley, born March
20, 1879, died July 29, 1902, in Caux, Switzerland. (7) Arthur Perry, was
born May 25, 1881. (8) Margaret Lee was born Dec. 14, 1883. (9)
Dorothy was born Dec. 9, 1885, and married William Russell MacAusland
M. D. Feb. 23, 1916. (10) Katherine was bom Dec. 16, 1887.

Mr. Brayton was devoted to his family, and the home life was made
especially pleasant and happy. His home was always open, and the many
visitors there were always hospitably entertained. In his business life he
had formed strong friendships, and did much for those he favored in this
way. He died suddenly in the evening of March 24, 1908, at home. No.
260 North Main Street, Fall River, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.

Chace Family

Rev. Obadiah Chace, of Swansea, Mass., for about fifty-six years a
minister of the Society of Friends, was born April 12, 1818, in Warren, R. I.
son of Anthony and Isabel (Buffington) Chace, the latter of whom lived to
the age of ninety-three years. The Rev. Mr. Chace was the last survivor
of a family of six children, two sons and four daughters, and he was in the
eighth generation in direct line from William Chace, who settled in Yar-
mouth, Mass., in 1637, the line being as follows: (1) William Chace and
wife Mary; (II) William Chace; (HI) William Chace and wife Hannah
Sherman; (IV) Eber Chace and wife Mary Knowles; (V) Eber Chace and
wife Sarah Baker; (VI) Obadiah Chace and wife Eunice Anthony, who
lived on Prudence Island, engaged in the produce business, and after the
husband's death the wife carried on the same business with great success;
(VII) Anthony Chace and wife Isabel Buffinton, who moved to the old
Gardner farm near Touisset. The maternal or Buffinton line is as follows:
(I) Thomas Buffinton and wife Sarah Southwick; (II) Benjamin Buffinton
and wife Hannah; (III) Benjamin Buffinton and wife Isabel Chace; (IV)
Moses Buffinton and wife Isabel Baker; (V) Benjamin Buffinton and wife
Charity Robinson; (VI) Isabel Buffinton and husband Anthony Chace.

The Rev. Mr. Chace was brought up a farmer, and followed that

152 History of Swansea

occupation successfully until his retirement at the age of sixty-six years.
His education was received in a Warren district school, and at the Friends'
School, Providence. At the age of thirty-four he was approved a minister

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Online LibraryOtis Olney WrightHistory of Swansea, Massachusetts, 1667-1917; → online text (page 14 of 27)