Clifford & Company, was the Democratic rallying point, and the scene
of many wordy political battles. He was appointed in 1845 by the Demo-
cratic President, James K. Polk, succeeding Mr. Bailey, who in turn suc-
ceeded him in 1849. After retiring Dr. Greene returned to his native
Rhode Island, where he died some years later.
Thomas Coggeshall, father of Thomas Coggeshall, superintendent
of the water department, was assistant postmaster and postmaster for
fifty-three years, being first appointed postmaster to fill the vacancy
caused by the resignation of Mr. Bailey through ill health. He was
removed by President Pierce, again becoming assistant under his suc-
cessor, Joseph C. Kent. After the death of Postmaster Anthony in 1876,
Mr. Coggeshall was appointed by President Grant to fill the vacancy and
reappointed by Presidents Hayes and Arthur, holding until 1887, when
removed by President Cleveland. Alfred Wilson was then assistant and
went out of office with his chief on appointment of A. H. W. Carpenter.
Joseph C. Kent was a native son of Rhode Island, son of Rev. Asa
and Abigail (Chaffee) Kent. He was a skilled cabinetmaker and later
an architect, serving as quartermaster of the Second Regiment Massa-
chusetts Militia in 1832, with the rank of lieutenant, and in 1833 was aide-
de-camp to General James D. Thomas, New Bedford's grand old military
man. He was appointed postmaster by President Pierce in June, 1853,
during a recess of Congress, and was not confirmed until February 23,
1854. In 1863 he moved to Long Island, but about 1870 returned to New
Bedford, where he died February 22, 1875.
John Eraser, who served from 1857 to 1861 was born at Maidstone,
England, September 22, 1810, son of Major John Fraser, an officer of
the British army, who died from the effects of a wound received at the
battle of Waterloo. At the time of his father's death he was attending
a military school in England, intending to enter the army as a profes-
sion, but his plans were completely changed by Major Eraser's death,
although the son never lost the military bearing acquired during his
years of early training. In New Bedford he was highly esteemed as a
man of high unswerving character, loyal to principle, of great geniality
of manner and kindliness of heart. Thoroughly unselfish, his great pleas-
ure was to make others happy and he assisted many young men in their
266 NEW BEDFORD
first struggles for a foothold in the business world. He died in New
York City, his residence for more than thirty years, September 27, 1894.
Colonel Cyrus Chapman, born in Winsor, Massachusetts, in Decem-
ber, 1813, came to New Bedford about 1835 and became a very success-
ful merchant tailor. First a Democrat, then a "Free Soiler," he finally
became an ardent Republican, held various positions under the city gov-
ernment, served as one of Governor Boutwell's aides and at one time was
a member of the State Legislature. He was appointed postmaster in
April, 1861, and held the office nine years, retiring in 1870, and removing
to Boston, where he died in October, 1888.
Probably no better known man ever filled the office than Edmund
Anthony, appointed February 3, 1870, who died in office January 24,
1876. He was born in Somerset, Massachusetts, entered the office of
the "Columbian Reporter" at Taunton, Massachusetts, at age sixteen, re-
maining there seven years, until 1831, then founding the "Taunton Inde-
pendent Gazette," which remained under his management with a change
of name until 1850. He was town clerk of Taunton, 1835-1845; town
treasurer, 1838-1844, and treasurer of Bristol county for several years.
In 1850 he located in New Bedford, establishing the "Standard," which
paper and the "Mercury" are the only survivors of the early journals.
For a long time he was the only patron of the Associated Press in south-
ern Massachusetts, papers of Fall River and Taunton receiving the dis-
patches largely through the enterprise of the "Standard." A fearless edi-
torial writer, strong in his convictions, clear and outspoken where prin-
ciple was involved, he made the "Standard" a power, as it yet is, edited by
sons of the founder, as E. Anthony & Sons. He was deputy collector of
internal revenue during the war period ; member of common council,
1856-57 and 1859-60; special justice of the police court twelve years, until
1870, on being appointed postmaster by President Grant. He was a
devoted Methodist, belonging to the County street congregation, which
he served as steward and trustee. His sons, Edmund and Benjamin, be-
came his partners in 1863, and upon them he impressed the principles
which guided his own business life, personal application and oversight.
Albert H. W. Carpenter was a native son of Vermont, his father
Gideon, a resident of Middlebury, but on his mother's side he traced to
the old Morton family of Middleboro, Massachusetts. He first settled in
New Bedford in April, 1854, and for fifteen years was employed as a
cutter by Daniel C. Allen, a merchant tailor. He spent the next year in
Middleboro, returned to New Bedford in 1870, there engaging in busi-
ness for himself. He was appointed postmaster by President Cleveland
in April, 1887, held four years, then engaged in the insurance business.
He was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity and is a past
master of Star of the East Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons ; past high
NEW BEDFORD 267
priest of Adoniram Chapter, Royal Arch Masons ; past commander of
Sutton Commandery, Knights Templar.
It was through the efforts of Charles H. Gifford, who succeeded Mr.
Carpenter, that the first separate post office building was erected,
although his term expired so soon after the building was completed that
he only enjoyed the new quarters for about a year. After leaving the
post office in 1894 he became a member of the Massachusetts State Gas
Charles S. Ashley, a native son of New Bedford, held the office from
February i, 1894, to January, 1897, being appointed by President Cleve-
land. He is one of the best known officials of his city now (1917) serv-
ing his fifth term as mayor, resigning from the postmastership in 1897 to
accept that office. He also served the city as councilman several terms, is
a member of many fraternal, social and business organizations, and his
fearless, public spirit and generous nature attract a host of friends.
David L. Parker, who filled the office from 1897 until 1902, was a
coal dealer of New Bedford, a member of the first board of public works
and twice mayor of the city prior to his appointment as postmaster. He
was succeeded by John DufT, he by Frank C. Barrows, he by the present
incumbent, George Louis Olivier, who will appear elsewhere in this work.
Custom House History.
The New Bedford Custom House is a stone structure with a
portico, stone pillared, which was in conformity with the colonial motif
of the architecture of the old town. It was built about the year 1830,
and has a spiral staircase of stone, of a type of construction which
makes it one of the architectural curiosities of the country. There is
one similar staircase in the custom house at Newburyport, built at about
the same period.
The Custom House in New Bedford was one of the first established
in the United States, having been created in 1789. The first collector
was Col. Edward Pope, for whom Pope's Island was named. He was
for a time judge of the Court of Common Pleas. His residence was
upon Main street, at the corner of North Sixth. "As remembered by the
writer in his boyhood," wrote Daniel Ricketson, "this old fashioned
mansion, stable, carriage house, front yard and large garden in the rear,
(soon after the decease of this gentleman) somewhat in a state of
dilapidation, was to him one of the most attractive places in the village.
At this time it was occupied by the widow of Judge Pope and her son,
Thomas Pope. Among the earliest visits the writer made, and which
were continued for several years, were those upon this old lady and
her sister known as 'Aunt Bell.' Accustomed only to the plain and
simple colors of the Quakers, he remembers the strong impression made
upon him by the black gowns and black ribbons around the caps of
those genteel old ladies. Their manners were peculiarly Bostonian
and of the old school : but exceedingly agreeable, intelligent and well-
educated ladies were they. Their maiden name was Greenleaf ; that of
Mrs. Pope, Elizabeth. She was the second wife of Judge Pope and the
widow of Samuel Eliot of Boston. The late William Eliot, of Washing-
ton, the father of Hon. T. D. Eliot, of this city and Rev. William G.
Eliot, of St. Louis, was the child of his first marriage. In the rear of
this old mansion, which extended a great length to the northward, was
a lumber-room, filled with all manner of rubbish, old papers, books, and
furniture. There appeared to the youthful mind of the writer a sort of
legendary character attached to this place. He remembers the great
satisfaction he felt while rummaging about with a grandson of Judge
Pope, and on one of their searches of discovering a strange piece of
furniture which, for a long time, was a great wonder to them, but which
they at last ascertained to be a musical instrument, one of the
predecessors of the pianoforte, a Harpsichord. This was undoubtedly
the instrument upon which the Misses Greenleaf charmed their adoring
THK CUSTI UM 111 H'SIO.
NEW BEDFORD 269
"Strephons,' prior to the days of the Revolution." The old homestead
of the Pope family was upon the east side of the Acushnet river, a
quarter of a mile below the Friends Meeting House. Col. Pope died
at his home on Main street, June 10, 1818, aged seventy-eight years.
Col. Pope held the office of collector between the years 1789 and
1801. Following him was Isaiah Weston, from 1801 to 1814, and John
Hawes from 1814 to 1823. Then Russell Freeman enjoyed the office
until 1829. He was an uncle of Col. Fessenden, a collector of a later
In 1829 Lemuel Williams went in for a term of eight years. At
the time, party politics ran high and there was great contest over
political plums. In the campaign for the appointment, Williams and
Freeman came to blows on the street. During Mr. Williams' incumb-
ency, in 1836, the present custom house was built.
When Williams went out, Robert S. Smith went in to stay two
years. His accounts became tangled and he disappeared in a cloud
of suspicion. By curious evolution he became, later, head waiter at
the Adams House in Boston.
William H. Allen, father of John A. P. Allen, was collector from
1841 to 1843. It was during his term of office James Taylor made his
first appearance at the custom house. Mr. Taylor's father, William H.
Taylor, had been deputy collector under Lemuel Williams, and he
gave up the position in 1843 to accept the secretaryship of the Mutual
Marine Insurance Company. Francis Stoddard, of Fairhaven then be-
William H. Allen, an ardent Whig, received his appointment from
the first President Harrison. When John Tyler succeeded Harrison,
Collector Allen was asked to leave his work at the custom house, for
very evident reasons. This was in 1843. Then occurred a peculiar
incident. In September, 1843, Rodney French walked into the custom
house with an appointment signed by President Tyler. He was a man
who figured conspicuously in almost every department of the city's
history. He was exceedingly versatile, and as events proved, too
versatile in politics to hold the collector's chair. He was supposedly
a Democrat, and also a Free Soiler, and an anti-slave expounder; he
was, in the political parlance of the time, a "Black Republican." It is
safe to believe that Tyler did not know of this when the appointment
was issued, and it was about three months before he found it out.
The president lost enthusiasm for his appointment, and the Senate re-
fused to confirm him.
Strange as it may seem for some time thereafter the office went
begging, and nobody seemed to care for the handsome perquisites. Then
there appeared on the scene, Lieutenant Josiah Sturgis He was a
lieutenant commander in the United States revenue marine service and
270 NEW BEDFORD
was then stationed at this port on board the cutter McLane. In the
collector's room at the custom house there were several relics of Lieu-
tenant Sturgis, among them two portraits, one a silhouette, where the
lieutenant is represented in an absurdly tall beaver hat and wide-skirted
coat. There is also a pamphlet containing a "brief sketch"' of his life,
and a letter expressing the "unaffected regret'' of the citizens of New
Bedford at his leaving after five years residence among them. This last
is valuable in its way as it contains the signatures of forty prominent
people, living in 1838.
'Lieutenant Strugis's scheme was to import a collector. This was his
friend, Joseph T. Adams, who lived in Washington. He was a corres-
pondent of a Boston paper and a friend of "Bobby" Tyler, the presi-
dent's son. It was a matter of a short time to secure his appointment,
and in a few months after Rodney French's retirement. Lieutenant
Sturgis had the satisfaction of placing his friend Adams in the collec-
tor's chair. During his incumbency there was a change of presidents.
The incomer, Polk, strongly favored the reannexation of Texas, and
Adams became an ardent expounder of the cause, and on that question
wrote many articles in the local papers. He remained until 1849, ^nd
was succeeded by William T. Russell, who served four years.
The following list of collectors was compiled for this history and
is the first ever prepared: 1789-1801, Col. Edward Pope; 1801-1814,
Isaiah Weston; 1814-1823, John Hawes ; 1823-1829, Russell Freeman;
1829-1841, Lemuel Williams; 1841-1843, Robert S. Smith and William
H. Allen; 1843-3 rnonths, Rodney French; 1843-1849, Joseph T. Adams;
1849-1853, William T. Russell; 1853-1861, Col. C. B. H. Fesenden ;
1861-1870, Lawrence Grinnell ; 1870-1886, John A. P. Allen; 1886-1891,
Weston Howland; 1891-1895, James Taylor; 1895-1900, Zephaniah W.
Pease; 1900-1905, George F. Bartlett ; 1905-1913, Rufus A. Soule.
Rufus A. Soule, died in office. The last act of President Taft's
administration was to consolidate customs districts of the country, and
then New Bedford customs district, after a glorious history in which
nearly four hundred and fifty vessels were documented in some years,
was consolidated in the Massachusetts district and lost its identity. In
the days when protection was granted to American seamen, as many
as three thousand protection papers were issued in a year. In recent
years, however, the duties upon machinery imported for the cotton
mills, have brought the customs receipts up to the highest mark in
the history of the district. Edward P. Haskell is deputy collector in
charge of the New Bedford Custom House at the present time.
i\l!'.\l( â– ! I'AI, l:l I 1,1 'l.\i
The City Government and Its Leading Departments.
City Government â€” Elected annually, first Tuesday in December for
succeeding year. Organizes first Monday in January. Regular meetings
in city council chambers, Municipal Building, second and fourth Thurs-
days of each month. Special meetings when called by mayor.
Mayor â€” Hon. Charles S. Ashley (eighteenth term), 93 State street.
Office, Room 20, Municipal Building. Office hours, 11:30 a. m. 12:30
p. m., except Saturdays.
Aldermen â€” Ward i, Napoleon Ricard. Ward 2, James F. Collins.
Ward 3, Elzear H. Choquette. Ward 4, Clifton W. Bartlett. Ward 5,
Charles M. Carroll. Ward 6, Thomas Kirkham.
Mayor presides at meetings. In his absence, the chairman of the
board. Alderman Clifton W. Bartlett, acting mayor during the mayor's
absence or disability.
Clerk â€” Walter H. B. Remington, city clerk.
Messenger to Board of Aldermen â€” William T. Davis (appointed by
Common Councilâ€” Ward One â€” Eugene E. Barthelemy, Rodolphe J.
Carrier, James M. Hughes, George D. Lacroix. Ward Two â€” Aldei Casa-
vant, Jeremiah Coughlin, John H. HoUihan, Daniel J. Sullivan. Ward
Three â€” George T. Duckworth, William H. Loughlin, Frederick C. Luce,
Frank A. McNulty. Ward Four^William J. Francis, Edward J. Har-
rington, W. Seymour Langshaw, Louis N. Schuler. Ward Five â€” Robert
L. Baylies, Harrison T. Borden, John McCullough, 3d, Frank Whittaker,
Ward Sixâ€” William Bond, William J. Harnish, Abraham Murgatroyd,
Organization â€” President, Harrison T. Borden ; clerk, Charles P.
Sawyer (elected by council, first meeting) ; messenger to common coun-
cil, David M. Piper (appointed by president of council).
The city officers are as follows :
City Clerk â€” Walter H. B. Remington ; office. Room 18, Municipal
Building. Elected by city council in convention, April, 1917; term three
years, expires April, 1920.
Assistant City Clerk â€” James Dignam ; office. Room 18, Municipal
Building. Nominated yearly, in April, by city clerk and confirmed by
city council in convention.
City Treasurer and Collector of Taxes â€” William S. Cook; office,
Rooms I, 2 and 3, Municipal Building. Elected yearly, in April, by city
council in convention.
City Auditor â€” Charles J. McGurk ; office, Room 4, Municipal Build-
ing. Elected yearly, in April, by city council in convention.
Clerk of Committeesâ€” Charles P. Sawyer ; office, Room 220, Munici-
pal Building. Elected yearly, in April, by city council in convention.
City Solicitorâ€” Benjamin B. Barney ; room 204, Municipal Buildmg,
and Room 11, Masonic Building. Appointed yearly, in January, by the
272 NEW BEDFORD
City Engineerâ€” George H. Nye ; office, Room 303, Municipal Build-
ing. Elected yearly, in April, by city council in convention.
Consulting Engineer for Intercepting Sewer â€” William F. Williams;
office. Room 301, Municipal Building.
Superintendent of Streetsâ€” Charles F. Lawton ; office. Room 315,
Municipal Building. Appointed annually, in April, by mayor and alder-
Superintendent of Sewers â€” Superintendent of streets, ex-officio.
City Forester â€” Superintendent of streets, ex-officio.
Superintendent of Building and Buildings in the Fire Districts â€”
Joseph L. Gibbs ; office, Room 307, Municipal Building. Elected yearly,
in April, by city council in convention.
Inspector of Buildings â€” Superintendent of public buildings. Desig-
nated by aldermen.
Assistant Superintendent of Public Buildingsâ€” Martin H. Sullivan;
office. Room 307, Municipal Building. Appointed annually, in April, by
superintendent of public buildings, and confirmed by city council in con-
Inspector of Wires â€” William P. Briggs ; office, Room 212, Municipal
Building. Elected yearly, in April, by city council in convention.
City Physician â€” Dr. Samuel K. Segall ; office and residence, 1208
Acushnet avenue. Appointed by the mayor, with approval of city council
in convention, annually in April.
Inspector of Milk, Provisions, and Inspector of Animals Intended
for Slaughter and Inspector of Animals â€” Dr. Herbert B. Hamilton. Ap-
pointed by Board of Health under Chapter 75, Revised Laws, and Chap-
ter 485, Acts of 1909.
Sealer of Weights and Measures â€” John Hobin ; office, basement Mu-
nicipal Building. Appointed under civil service by mayor and aldermen.
Harbor Master â€” Charles H. Purrington ; place of business. New
York, New Haven and Hartford railroad wharf. Appointed April 12,
1917, under Chapter 36, Acts of 1876.
Fence Viewers â€” Stephen H. Bond, Samuel W. Jennings, Thomas
City Wharfinger â€” Henry F. West; place of business. City Pier No.
3. Elected by committee on wharves.
Inspector of Crude Petroleum â€” Orville E. Young, 246 Palmer street.
Appointed by mayor and confirmed by aldermen under Chapter 204 of
Acts of 191 1.
Caretaker of Graves of Soldiers and Sailors of Civil and Spanish
Wars â€” Hurlbert E. Thomas, 177 Shawmut avenue. Appointed by mayor
under Chapter 122, Acts of 1914, no confirmation necessary.
Registrar of Labor, Under Civil Service Rules â€” William J. Carter;
office. Rooms 6, 7 and 8, Municipal Building.
Inspector of Accidents â€” Chester W. Chase.
Smoke Inspector â€” Edward F. Dahill, chief of fire department. Ap-
pointed under Sections 122-127 of Chapter 102, Revised Laws.
Soldiers' Aid Agent â€” Thomas J. GifTord ; office. Room 210, Munici-
Board of Assessors â€” Office, Room 9, Municipal Building. Office
hours, 9:00 a. m. to 4:00 p. m. Three assessors, one elected at large, at
each municipal election in December; terms, three years. Six assistant
assessors, elected by wards, municipal election in December; term, one
Assessors â€” John H. Finnell, clerk; term expires 191". John Hanni-
gan ; term expires 1918. Joseph H. Handford, chairman ; term expires
Assistant Assessors â€” Ward i, Joseph A. Dionne, William Hall.
Ward 2, James H. Holden, Harold D. P. Ryan. Ward 3, Albert W.
Goodwin, William F. Salter. Ward 4, Roland A. Leonard, Edward B.
Gray. Ward 5, Frederick D. Sowle, John C. Noyer. Ward 6, John B.
Roberts, William P. Matthews.
Cemetery Department â€” Public cemeteries. 4; total area, 214 acres,
53.76 rods ; Oak Grove, 41 acres, 130.90 rods ; Rural, 87 acres, 41.01 rods ;
Griffin street (closed) i acre, 110.85 rods; Pine Grove, 83 acres, 93 rods.
Cemetery Board â€” Office, Rooms 201 and 202, Municipal Building.
Office hours, 9:00 a. m. to 4:00 p. m. Board consists of three members,
one nominated annually, in April, by mayor, confirmed by city council.
Term, three years. Regular meetings, Fridays at 7 :30 p. m.
Members of Board â€” William M. Higham, chairman ; elected April,
1915. John G. Nicholson, elected April, 1913. Charles H. Vinal, secre-
tary; elected April, 1917.
Clerk of Board â€” Pardon A. Macomber.
Assistants â€” Ivah M. Hunt, Alice G. Shaw.
Assistant Superintendent of Cemeteries â€” Hurlbert E. Thomas ; ap-
pointed under civil service rules.
Sextons â€” Oak Grove, Edmund M. Cornell; Rural, Nelson L. Pike.
Health Department â€” Office, bacteriological laboratory and free agency
for vaccination, Rooms 215-218, Municipal Building. Office hours: 9:00
a. m. to 4:00 p. m. Hours of inspectors of plumbing: 8:00 to 9:00 a. m.
and 12:30 to 2:30 p. m. Free agency for vaccination : 11 :30 a. m. to 12 :30
p. m. Board consists of three members, nominated by mayor in January
and confirmed by aldermen. Term, three years.
Members of Board â€” Dr. E. Z. Normandin, chairman ; appointed
Januarv, 1917. Cooper Gaw. appointed February, 1915. Joseph R. Glen-
non, appointed January, 1916.
.A.gent and Executive Officer â€” William G. Kirschbaum.
Clerk^Susan J. Small.
Assistant Clerkâ€” Edna E. Wright.
Sanitary Inspectors â€” John E. Glennon, Thomas Dahoney, Edward
Inspectors of Plumbing â€” Louis H. Richardson, William Deacon.
Medical Inspectorâ€” Dr. A. N. Senesac.
Oculistsâ€” Dr. F. L. Clark (south) ; Dr. Charles M. Atchison (north).
Bacteriologist â€” Dr. A. H. Mandell.
Quarantine Officerâ€” Dr. Joseph A. Frazier.
Public Vaccinators â€” Dr. L. K. Doran and Dr. R. D. Heap.
Medical School Inspectorsâ€” Dr. A. V. Pierce, Dr. J. F. Weeks, Dr.
N. B. â€” 18
274 NEW BEDFORD
J. Conrad Ross, Dr. Charles Shanks, Dr. J. P. St. Germain, Dr. W. A.
Nield, Dr. E. P. Seaver, Jr., Dr. D. J. Lovvney, Dr. E. St. J. Johnson, Dr.
School Examiner â€” Dr. H. V. Weaver.
Public Health Nurses â€” Sarah W. Chase and Philomena E. Vargas.
Nurse for Parochial Schools â€” Katharine F. Lowney.
Inspector of Milks and Provisions â€” H. B. Hamilton, D. V. S.
Collector of Milk Samples and Interpreter â€” Frederick J. Francis.
Inspector of Slaughtering â€” H. B. Hamilton, D. V. S.
Distributing Stations for Diphtheria Antitoxin â€” Browne Pharmacy
(centre), 203 Union street; Ernest H. Query & Company (west), corner
Kempton and Cottage streets; Dion's Pharmacy (north), corner Sawyer
street and Acushnet avenue; T. P. Keating & Company (south), corner
Potomska and South Water streets. After 10:00 p. m., on application to
the watchman at the Municipal Building.
Death rate, 1916, 15.31, based on population of 118,158.
Licensing Board â€” Office, Rooms 206 and 207, Municipal Building.
Office hours, 9:00 to i :oo, 2:30 to 4:00, daily. Board consists of three
members, appointed by the mayor under statutes. Term begins first
Monday in June of year of appointment, and continues six years.
Members of Board â€” Rodolphus A. Swan, chairman and secretary ;
appointed April 4, 1917. Charles H. Simmons; appointed December 20,