Benjamin F. Arrington.

Municipal history of Essex County in Massachusetts (Volume 4) online

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after worked in his native place. For four years he was
a teamster, or to be more correct a teaming contractor,
for he was in business for himself. Later he came to
Haverhill, and for about a year worked in the factory of
the George B. Leavitt Shoe Company, of that place. A



BIOGRAPHICAL



367



further three years he spent with the Ruddock Shoe
Company, and then went into business as a dealer in milk
and dairy products in Merrimac. trading under his own
name. He has developed an extensive business, deliver-
ing about four hundred quarts of milk a day, and having
a large cream business in addition. Trading in other
dairy products also tends to make his total turnover a
worth-while one. He is, it is said, the largest dealer in
milk and cream on the Merrimac side of Haverhill. Fra-
ternally, Mr. Aiken belongs to local lodges of the Odd
Fellows and American Mechanic orders. Socially, he is
a member of the Oxford Club, of Merrimac. Religiously,
he is a Congregationalist, attending the Merrimac church
of that denomination.

He was married, in 1915. to Alice E. Purdy, of Ames-
bury, Massachusetts, daughter of Austin and Mary Etta
(Foss) Purdy. Her father was originally of Nova
Scotia, and later of Haverhill, where he now lives and
follows the trade of baker. The mother of Mrs. Aiken,
however, belongs to an Amesbury family.

Many generation of the Aiken family will be found in
the vital records of New Hampshire. Jacob Aiken,
grandfather of Vaughn U., was born in Barnstead. that
State, where he was a cooper almost to his death, which
occurred in 1903, three years after the death of his wife,
Abbie, who also was a native of Barnstead.



JOHN J. GRIFFIN, ex-serviceman, a veteran of
Chateau-Thierry and other major battles of the World
War, and now in business in Haverhill, Massachusetts,
one of the owners of the Locust Garage business, on
Locust street, was born in Webster, Massachusetts, June
2, 1887, the son of John P. and Catherine (Farrell)
Griffin, both of Webster, where the former was engaged
in the textile business. John J., however, was only three
years old when his mother died. In his boyhood he at-
tended the St. Louis Parochial School, at Webster, Mas-
sachusetts, and also became a graduate of the high school.
After leaving school he entered the employ of the A. J.
Bates Shoe Company, of Webster, Massachusetts, and
there remained for the next six years, when he went to
Lawrence. Massachusetts, to enter the employ of the
Kimball Shoe Company, which company he served for
ten years, there being a break in the service, however, as
in 1917 he had to cast aside personal affairs and enlist in
the armed forces of the nation then at war with Ger-
many. Mr. Griffin enlisted in the artillery, and was
assigned to Headquarters Company, 102nd Artillery, of
the famous Twenty-sixth Division, the New England
Division. His regiment was in some of the hardest
fighting in which American troops engaged, and many
battle clasps are above Griffin's war medal. He was
present in the following major battles of the war : Toul-
Verdun ; second battle of the Marne; Argonne; and
Chateau-Thierry. He was honorably discharged with
the rank of corporal, on April 29, 1919, after which he
again took up his civil connection with the Kimball Shoe
Company. In 1921 he left their employ to enter into
business for himself. For that purpose he associated
with Harry W. Robertson, of Haverhill, and the two
now conduct the Locust Garage, at Haverhill.

Mr. Griffin is a member of the Haverhill Chamber of
Commerce, and fraternally is affiliated with the Fraternal
Order of Eagles, a member of a Lawrence, Massachusetts,



eyrie. He also is a member of St. Lawrence Roman
Catholic Church, Lawrence, Massachusetts. He is un-
married. .

HARRY WILLIAM ROBERTSON, part owner

of the Locust Garage, Locust street, Haverhill, is a native
of Haverhill though he has spent most of his life in
Lawrence, Massachusetts. He was born in Haverhill,
August 29, 1890, son of Andrew G. and Eta A. Robert-
son, the former originally of New York, and the latter
of a Haverhill family. Andrew G. Robertson was a
musician by profession, and the family settled at Law-
rence, Massachusetts, where Harry W. attended school.
He passed through the grammar and high schools of that
city, and also took a commercial course at the Lawrence
Commercial School. Thus equipped for a business life,
he entered the employ of the Pacific Mills Company,
Lawrence. In the capacity of bookkeeper in the dye
works department he remained with that company for
about a year, then found a better appointment with the
George A. Home Company, also of Lawrence, which
firm he served for two years. He next entered the
employ of the A. J. Wills Motor Car Company, serving
that company until 1921, when he decided to venture into
business for himself. He associated with John J. Griffin,
and the two, as partners, established the Locust Garage,
on Locust street, Haverhill. The garage has floor
space of three thousand five hundred square feet, and
finds employment for seven men, doing general automo-
bile repair work, but specializing on Hudson and Essex
cars. Both partners are enterprising active men, both
are members of the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce,
and belong to the Eagles fraternity. Mr. Robertson in
religious faith is an Episcopalian, and is a member of
the Episcopal church of Haverhill.

He was married in 1914 to Mary May Foley, of
Rougshaw, New Brunswick, Dominion of Canada.



LEONARD A. TILTON was born in Groveland,
Massachusetts, June 30, 1873, son of Newton N.
and Harriet L. (Carlton) Tilton, the former being
engaged as a foreman in the shoe industry the greater
part of his active life, and both being natives of Grove-
land. Young Tilton was educated in the schools of
Groveland, and after leaving the high school went to
work for J. H. Thompson of Haverhill, as a clerk.
After three years he resigned and entered the employ of
the Haverhill, Georgetown & Danvers Railroad Com-
pany where he remained for ten years, then becoming
associated with the Dole & Childs Undertaking Firm
where he remained until 1919 when he engaged in busi-
ness on his own account under the name of Leonard A.
Tilton, embalmcr and funeral director. He is a member
of the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce.

Fraternally he is a member of Sagahew Lodge, Free
and Accepted Masons ; Oriental Lodge of Perfection,
Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite; Merrimac Council, No.
9. Junior Order of United American Mechanics; Pales-
tine Lodge, No. 26, Waldemar Council Uniform Rank
Knights of Pythias ; and Mutual Relief Lodge. No. 83,
Haverhill Encampment, No. 78, and Canton Eagle, No.
40, Patriarchs Militant, Independent Order of Odd
Fellows.

In 1903, he married Lillian Spry, of Haverhill, and they
attend the Trinity Episcopal Church of Groveland.



368



ESSEX COUNTY



HAROLD E. MILLER, of Haverhill, a young man
who is making good in the Massachusetts shoe industry
and now probably the youngest responsible executive of
an important plant in the Haverhill district, was born in
Lynn, Massachusetts, June 15, 1897, son of Alfred K.
and Mary L. (Loughlin) Miller, the latter of a Con-
necticut family. His father was born in 1866, and for
many years has been a grocer in Lynn. Harold E.
Miller of Haverhill has one younger sister, Grace F.

Mr. Miller in boyhood attended the Lynn schools,
taking a course also in the Pickering Grammar School
at that place, and was prepared for commercial affairs at
the Burdette Business School. For nine years after
leaving school he was in the employ of the T. W.
Gardiner Company of Lynn, having office and production
responsibilities ; then followed eighteen months with the
United Last Company, Boston. In 1921 he came to
Haverhill to become manager in the Haverhill plant,
which is the largest in its line in the Haverhill district,
and is a branch of the United Last Company. The
Haverhill plant finds employment for seventy-five per-
sons, has 30,000 square feet of floor space, and a capacity
production of one thousand pairs a day.

Fraternally, Mr. Miller belongs to the Order of Red
Men, being a member of lodge No. 82, of Lynn, Massa-
chusetts. He is a Baptist. Mr. Miller is an ex-service
man, having enlisted in the United States Army during
the World War. He was assigned to the One Hundred
and Fiftieth Heavy Artillery Battery, and stationed at
Portland, Maine. He was discharged with a certificate
of honorable discharge, December 24, 1918.

A few months prior to that, September 9, 1918, he was
married, at Lynn, Massachusetts, to Florence L. Kenison,
born in Bridgeton, Maine, in 1895, daughter of William
Kenison, a millwright at Lynn.



PERRY E. ELLIOTT, owner of one of the best
supply houses in the Haverhill district, in plumbing,
steam-fitting, heating, and sheet metal work lines, was
born February 13, 1857, in Nova Scotia, the son of
Isaac A. and Mary (Bowlby) Elliott, the former a farmer
in that part of the Dominion of Canada.

Mr. Elliott spent his boyhood in his home town, at-
tended the local schools, and when his schooldays were
over he assisted his father in the working of the paren-
tal farm. He was twenty-four years old when, in 1881,
he came to Haverhill, Massachusetts. He farmed in,
or near, Haverhill for six years, and after spending an-
otlier year in a shoe factory, entered the steam fitting
business, which was his business for more than thirty
years. He became established independently in a plumb-
ing and steam fitting business in 1909, his first store and
workshop being on Merrimac street, Haverhill. Five
years later, he removed to West street, and six years
later, in 1919, to Emerson street, Haverhill. The busi-
ness has been satisfactorily developed, and he has car-
ried through some important heating and plumbing con-
tracts. In September, 1921, he sold his business to his
nephew, C. McNeily, and bought a controlling interest
in the Sayward Hardware Company, on Washington
street, Haverhill. He is well known throughout Essex
county and has a good share of the county trade in his
line. Fraternally, he is a Mason, belonging to the



local chapter. He is also a member of the Ancient
Order of United Workmen, and of the Centre Church
of Haverhill.

In 1890, he was married to Josephine H. Miller, daugh-
ter of Joseph and Hannah (Peary) Miller, of Yarmouth,
Nova Scotia. They have two children: Lowell A. and
Glendon M. Lowell A. is a veteran of the World War,
having served in Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, during
the war. He received a commission, and at present
holds the grade of first lieutenant in the United States
Army. Glendon M. is now at Dartmouth College, Han-
over, New Hampshire.



JAMES B. EWART, a well-known and active resi-
dent of Lawrence, Massachusetts, and actively engaged in
real estate and insurance business in that city as well as
in its public affairs, was born in Lynn, Massachusetts,
March 4, 1868, the son of John and Sarah J. (Bailey)
Ewart. John Ewart was born in Manchester, England,
of Scottish parents, and was for many years in the
employ of the Boston and Maine railroad, indeed, until
his death in 1916, which occurred at the age of seventy-
four. His mother was of a Lawrence family, daughter
of John Bailey, who was roadmaster at the time the
railroad was built into Lawrence, and had the distinction
recently of completing fifty years of continuous service
with the Boston & Maine Railroad Company.

James B. Ewart was educated in Lawrence schools,
attending the elementary and high schools. Soon, there-
after, he became an employee of the Boston & Maine
Railroad Company, and served them for seven years.
Then, in 1891, he became a clerk in the Essex Savings
Bank of Lawrence. With that bank he remained con-
nected until 191 1, for the greater part of the time as
teller. He left the banking profession to enter into busi-
ness for himself, in the lines of real estate and insurance,
and that business he has ever since conducted.

Mr. Ewart has evidently entered very definitely into
public afifairs of Lawrence, so much is evident by the
responsibilities placed upon his shoulders during the
stress of the World War period. He was chairman of
the North Andover committees for the last three Liberty
Loan drives, and is at present chairman of the Building
Committee of the North Andover War Memorial. Fra-
ternally he is identified with the local lodges of the
Knights of Pythias and the Royal Arcanum.

His community interest is perhaps best indicated by
his choral record. He has followed elevating musical
effort in Lawrence for more than a generation, and has
studied music with some of Boston's leading teachers.
When he was twelve years old he began singing in church
choirs, and sang continuously until January, 1921. He
has a fine tenor voice. For nearly eighteen years he was
musical director of choirs. In fact, he has just com-
pleted forty years of service in various church choirs of
Lawrence and Haverhill, and for many years has been
a member of the Lawrence Street Congregational
Church choir, of Lawrence. And during those many
years of choral association he has participated in many
of the principal musical events of the community. He
has been a member of the Chadwick Club, a Lawrence
musical organization, for more than a quarter of a century.

Mr. Ewart married, in 1894, Editli M. Dame, of Law-



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BIOGRAPHICAL



369



rence, daughter of B. F. Dame, former principal of the
Oliver Grammar School, of Lawrence. They have one
child, a son, Raymond J., who married Dorothy Deering,
of Biddeford, Maine; he is now associated with his
father in business.



WILLIAM GARNET DODGE— With life experi-
ence in shoe production, William G. Dodge, of Newbury-
port, Massachusetts, is treasurer and general manager of
the Nathan D. Dodge Shoe Company. He is a son of
Nathan Dane and Matilda (Hinsdale) Dodge. The
elder Mr. Dodge began the manufacture of shoes in
Newbury port in 1866, and long since attained a point
where his product was recognized the world over as one
of superior quality. Nathan D. Dodge died in California
in 1915. He was long prominent in both the business and
social life of the city, and has the distinction of having
laid the corner stone of the Young Men's Christian Asso-
ciation building, and having been the first president of
that organization in Newburyport. He also served the
city as alderman, and was a bank director.

William G. Dodge was born in Newburyport, Massa-
chusetts, August 14, 1882, and received his education in
the public and high schools of this city. At the age of
seventeen years he entered his father's shoe factory, and
worked at all the different operations in the manufacture
of shoes. At the age of twenty-one years he struck out
for himself, and going to Fitchburg, Massachusetts, be-
came associated with E. AI. Dickerson, of that city, as
superintendent of their shoe factory. He remained at
this plant for four years, then went to the Dunn &
McCarthy plant, at Auburn, New York, where he con-
tinued for one year in the capacity of production manager.
Thereafter he returned to Newburyport, and started in
business for himself. Beginning entirely alone, he cut
shoes himself, sent them out to be stitched, then had them
made at Seabrook, New Hampshire, finishing, packing
and shipping personally. After working thus for a few
months on small capital, Mr. Dodge's father, on Janu-
ary I, 1908, entered into cooperation with him under the
name of Nathan D. Dodge & Son, the name later being
changed to the Nathan D. Dodge Shoe Company. Fully
appreciating the value of his father's reputation in the
shoe world, the younger Mr. Dodge took advantage of
the use of the old name, and adopted it for the corpora-
tion of the Nathan D. Dodge Shoe Company. For a
few years William G. Dodge sold the entire product of
the company, holding the position of treasurer and gen-
eral manager. The business has grown to a very large
interest, is capitalized at $500,000, and in the year 1020
the concern did business amounting to $2,000,000. The
output consists of turned low shoes only, in ladies' styles,
and the plant is conceded to be the largest in the United
States devoted exclusively to this branch of shoe manu-
facture.

The Dodge family, which is one of the oldest in Essex
county, has always been prominent in social and public
activities. William G. Dodge is a trustee of the New-
buryport Five Cent Savings Bank, and is also a trustee
of the Anna Jacques Hospital. Fraternally he is a mem-
ber of St. John's Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons ;
King Cyrus Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and of New-
buryport Commandery, No. 3, Knights Templar; and of

Essex — 2 — 24



Aleppo Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine. He is a member of the Dalton Club, and
of the Old Newburyport Golf Qub, and president of
the Young Men's Christian Association. He is a trustee
of the Central Congregational Church of Newburyport,
and sings in the choir of the church. He was elected the
first president of the newly-organized Newburyport
Chamber of Commerce, and to the City Council in 1922.
On June 22, 1915, Air. Dodge married Ellen D. Bryan,
a sister of William T. Bryan, a prominent retail shoe
dealer of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs.
Dodge are the parents of three sons: William G., Jr.,
born January 5, 1917, died two days later; William R.,
born January 22, 1918; and James Dane, born October
12, 1921.



MICHAEL J. O'BRIEN, a prominent shoe mer-
chant of Amesbury, Massachusetts, was born in that
town November 24, 1873, son of Michael O'Brien, a native
of Galway, Ireland, whose death occurred in 1905. His
mother, Margaret Graney, was also a native of Galway.
Mr. O'Brien was educated in the public and parochial
schools of Amesbury, and soon after leaving school went
to work for the Hamilton Woolen Mills, one of the lead-
ing industries of that town, where he was employed for
a quarter of a century. During the years he worked
there Mr. O'Brien had been preparing himself for a
future time when he would engage in business for him-
self, and this opportunity came in 1913. In this year he
started a shoe store under the firm name of O'Brien's
Shoe Store and has now completed ten successful years.
Mr. O'Brien has been active in the public and military
life of Amesbury ; he is a Democrat and served for six
years as a member of the Common Council. He was a
member of Company B, Eighth Regiment, Massachusetts
State Guard, for nine years.

Mr. O'Brien is a member of the Ancient Order of
Hibernians ; the Holy Name Society ; the American Asso-
ciation of Recognition of the Irish Republic.

Mr. O'Brien married, in 1905, Julia A. Moran, born
in 1881, at Galway, and their children are: Raymond
M. ; John; Mary: Edward T. ; Joseph; William; Robert;
and Earl Francis. The family attend and support the
good works of the Church of St. Joseph, of Amesbury.



ORVILLE FRANCIS BENNETT, for many years
located in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in the plumbing con-
tracting business, was born August 16, 1874, in Provi-
dence, Rhode Island, son of John N. and Fidelia (Paine)
Bennett. His father was a sheet metal worker and for
many years lived in Fall River. He obtained his educa-
tion in the public schools and subsequently served his
apprenticeship at the sheet metal trade. He was em-
ployed by various firms until 1886, in which year he
established a business of his own, located on Bridge
street, Haverhill, Massachusetts, later moving to Water
street, also of this city. A brother was admitted to
partnership with him, and the firm name became J. N.
Bennett & Company. Three years later the name was
changed to Bennett Brothers. In 1889 J. N. Bennett
withdrew from the partnership and Frank White of this
city was admitted, and the firm name became W. C. Ben-
nett & Company. On July I, 1907, the entire interests



37°



ESSEX COUNTY



were purchased by Orville F. Bennett and he became the
sole owner. His place of business is located at No. 38
Emerson street, of this city.

Mr. Bennett is a domestic engineer, is well versed in
all lines of his craft, and takes contracts for plumbing,
heating and sheet metal work. He is a member of the
Junior Order of American Mechanics and, for a year,
served on the executive committee of the Massachusetts
State Master Plumbers' Association. Fraternally Mr.
Bennett is a member of the Masonic Order, affiliating
with Merrimac Lodge, Pentucket Chapter, Haverhill
Council, Merrimac Valley Lodge of Perfection, Haverhill
Conimandery, No. 14, and the Aleppo Shrine. He also
belongs to the Knights of Pythias, and is a member of
the Pentucket Club. Mr. Bennett was a member of
Company F, Eighth Regiment, and for ten years served
on the Haverhill Fire Department. With his family he
attends the Universalist church.

Mr. Bennett married Cora E. Kane, in 1909. and has
two children : a daughter, Hazel Caroline, and a son,
Orville Damon Bennett.



ELI PLUMMER WENTWORTH. for many years
a leading manufacturer of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was
born April 22, 1834, in Middleton, New Hampshire, son
of Ebenezer and Sophia (Roberts') VVentworth. The
public schools of his native home afforded him his edu-
cation, and at an early age he started to make his own
way in the world. At that time the business of manu-
facturing shoes was fast progressing from the hand
work to the more progressive machine manufacture, and
many departments were maintained which made a cer-
tain part of the shoe. Mr. Wentworth made a specialty
of manufacturing cut-sole leather, and for over twenty
years was successfully engaged in this business. He
was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and attended
the North Congregational Church of Haverhill.

Mr. Wentworth married, in November, 1865, Abbie
Frances Parker, daughter of Leonard and Mary (Spiller)
Parker, and their son, Arthur H. Wentworth, succeeded
to the management of his father's business. Mr. Went-
worth passed away in October, 1897.



MEDORA A. (GORMAN) FEEHAN— Among the
capable citizens who move in business circles of Haver-
hill must be included Medora A. (Gorman) Feehan,
who is sole owner and manager of the Gorman Shoe
Company, which operates an appreciable manufacturing
plant in the city. That, however, is not her only qual-
ification for inclusion among the worthwhile people of
Haverhill. She has the almost unique distinction of
being probably the first woman in that part of Massa-
chusetts to gain a pharmaceutical diploma and enter
into business as a druggist.

Medora A. (Gorman) Feehan was born in New York
City, July 27, 1877, daughter of James H. and Mary
T. (Conway) Gorman, and granddaughter of John
Gorman and his wife, Mary Sheridan. The grandfather
was born in County Limerick, Ireland, and after coming
to this country spent most of his time in Rochester.
New York, where he became superintendent of a shoe
factory. They had five children, John, Sam, Julia, Mary,
and James H. The last-named learned the business of
shoe manufacturing in his father's plant, probably, but



was one of the principals of a company in Haverhill
early in the eighties. The firm of Gorman & Lowry,
shoe manufacturers, was formed in 1881. It was a
private partnership, and under the partnership a plant
was established in Washington Square. Two years
later, however, the partnership was dissolved, Mr.
Lowry retiring. Mr. Gorman then organized the Gor-
man Shoe Company, of which he was sole owner, and
under the firm name the plant has been operated ever
since. The present capacity is about 450 pairs of high-
grade shoes a day, that production providing employ-
ment for about one hundred factory hands. Since the
death of her father, Mrs. Feehan has been sole owner
of the business, and has successfully taken over the
management of its affairs. Her father, James H. Gor-
man, married Mary T. Conway, and two children were
born to them : John S. and Medora A., of further
mention.

Medora A. was educated in Haverhill schools, attend-
ing first the St. James' Parochial School, and progress-
ing to the Haverhill High School, from which she was
graduated in the class of 1893. She early manifested a
strong character and intellectuality, and, having decided
to enter professional life, she took the course in phar-
macy at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, suc-
cessfully graduating as pharmacist in 1898. She entered
upon a professional career in her home town, Haver-



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