Benjamin F. Arrington.

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

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Haverhill store, then opened by J. Miller, of Boston.
The store was and is known as the New York Waist
Shop, and under the direction of Miss Fennell, it devel-
oped very satisfactorily. The company makes a spec-
ialty of ladies' waists, but carries a full line of under
garments ; and it is said the business is so rapidly devel-
oping that it is even now one of the largest in its line in
Haverhill. Miss Fennelly, however, has lately accepted
a position in Boston.

Miss Fennelly is a member of St. James' Catholic
Society, and of St. Mary's Society. She is a fine
musician, having a fine voice, which was cultivated un-
der Madam Goddelle. She was a member of St. James'
Choir, and has sung in many concerts here and
elsewhere.



EARLE FLETCHER RAMSBOTTOM— Locating

in Essex, Massachusetts, after returning from service
in the World War, Earle F. Ramsbottom is taking a
prominent place in the grocery business here. Mr.
Ramsbottom was born in Arctic Center, Rhode Island,
and is a son of James F. Ramsbottom, of Arctic, and
later of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, who was engaged in
the textile industry during his lifetime. He married
Lottie Cook, of Pawtucket, and they met accidental
death together, July 30, 191 9. Two sons and a daugh-
ter survive them : Earle Fletcher, whose name heads
this review ; Ruth, a resident of West Barrington, Rhode



FRANK DE CESARE, banker and leading citizen
of Lawrence, Massachusetts, is a native of Marzano
Appio, Italy, where he was born August 28, 1873, son of
Nicandro and Angelina (Lepore) De Cesare, the former
being engaged in the leather business in Italy until his
death.

The son was educated in the schools of his native
land, and soon afterwards came to the United States,
locating in Providence. Rhode Island, in 1889, there
entering the employ of the Winscott Woolen Mills.
After a year spent in this work, Mr. DeCesare went to



BIOGRAPHICAL



483



Concord, New Hampshire, and while there was employed
in teaming business, returning again to Providence. The
mill industry in Massachusetts attracted his attention,
and with tlie experience gained in Providence, Mr. De
Cesare went to Lawrence and there went to work in the
Washington Mill, where he remained seven years. Dur-
ing this period, through thrift and industry, he saved
sufficient capital to engage in the grocery business on
his own account, and after five years he sold his inter-
ests to embark on a new venture, that of undertaking,
which business he combined with a steamship agency.
Mr. DeCesare was successful from the outset in his
business, and in 1909 opened an Italian bank for the
interests of his countrymen, and has made a success of
this venture also. He is a leading man among the cit-
izens of Lawrence, and as a member of the Democratic
party, takes an active interest in all public affairs.

Fraternally, Mr. DeCesare is a member of the Loyal
Order of Moose; the Benevolent Society; and the Tean-
esi Society.

Mr. DeCesare married, in 1894, Matilda Compopiano,
of Lawrence, and they are the parents of the following
children: Nicholas F., a physician of Lawrence, mar-
ried Ida Moulton; Laura. Antonia; Ida; Rose; Armand;
Lena, and Frank, Jr. With his family Mr. DeCesare
attends the Holy Rosary Italian Roman Catholic Church,
of Lawrence.



CHARLES L. BENSON— Prominent in the world
of amusements in Essex county, Massachusetts, and in-
fluential in the upward trend of theatrical standards in
this city, Charles L. Benson, of Lynn, is going forward
to large success in furnishing the people with wholesome
recreation.

Mr. Benson is a Westerner by birth, a son of Michael
and Helen (Walpole) Benson, and is the youngest of a
family of nine sons. The father died when Mr. Ben-
son was only one year old and the mother when he was
fifteen.

Charles L. Benson was born in Detroit, Michigan,
April II, 1878, and as a child attended the parochial
schools of that city, later entering the Detroit Jesuit
College, from which he was graduated in the class of
1899, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Choosing the
theatrical business as the scene of his career, he went
to New York City, and there appeared first' with Mar-
garet Mather, in Shakespearean repertoire, then later
was associated with B. C. Whitney's Company, in the
"Chocolate Soldier Boy." Thereafter, he was with the
Fifteenth Century Morality Players, starring Ben Greek,
in Shakespearean plays. Then growing tired of the
business from the viewpoint of the stage, Mr. Benson
entered the field of production, going to Fall River,
Massachusetts, in 1910, when five and ten cent prices
ruled, as assistant manager of Marcus Lowe's interests,
later holding the general managership. In all he was
connected with this play-house business for five years.
In 1915, Mr. Benson went to Boston, as manager for
the Nathan H. Gordon interests, successfully conducting
his Olympia Theatre on Scully Square. The year 1917
brought Mr. Benson to Lynn in the same interests,
where he became manager of the Olympia Theatre here,
the largest theatre in Essex county. Under his capable
management the business of this house largely increased,



until Mr. Benson employs fifty-four people constantly,
exclusive of talent. The material prosperity was not,
however, the only progress which came to pass under
Mr. Benson's hand. Far more significant was the pres-
ent standard of art. to which he fought his way through
the pessimism of a large element, but with the support
of the few. This theatre caters to the best class of
people in Lynn and the surrounding towns, and at the
same time the attendance has reached the unprecedented
average of more than 35,000 people weekly. Mr. Benson
disposed of his interest in this theatre, and assumed the
management of the Waldorf Theatre. Under his man-
agement the attendance greatly increased, for Mr. Ben-
son has a faculty of knowing what to offer theatregoers
of Lynn.

Mr. Benson is broadly interested in all advance, and
holds membership in the Lynn Chamber of Commerce.
Fraternally he is a member of Fall River Lodge, No.
228, Rank and File, of the Benevolent and Protective
Order of Elks ; is a member of the Knights of Colum-
bus and of the Young Men's Christian Association. He
is a member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church.

Mr. Benson married, in 1911, in Detroit, Michigan,
Edna May Lockerbie, of that city, then a teacher in the
Detroit Western High School, a daughter of Captain
George and Mary (Walsh) Lockerbie. Her father was
a captain of one of the Great Lakes steamers.



FRANK E. BATCHELDER was born in Topsfield,
Massachusetts, November 16, 1854, a son of Ezra and
Mary S. (Andrews) Batchelder. His father was born
m Danvers. He had four brothers and two sisters,
three of whom are still living.

Mr. Batchelder received his education in the public
schools of Topsfield. When he left school he decided
to become a farmer and he has devoted his entire life
to the scientific cultivation of the soil. He moved to
Danvers, November I, 1913, and bought one of the
largest farms in the neighborhood. He raises garden
produce almost exclusively, and is one of the most
successful market gardeners in the county. Mr. Batch-
elder is unmarried. He attends the Universalist church.



EDWARD O'BRIEN— The name of Edward
O'Brien is known and esteemed among the citizens of
Lawrence, Massachusetts, who appreciate wholesome
amusements and who realize the benefits derived from
recreations such as are to be found on the grounds of
the Merrimack Amusement Company, of which organ-
ization Mr. O'Brien is the secretary and a large stock-
holder, Mr. Francis Carney serving in the capacity of
president of the company.

He was born at Everett, Massachusetts, July 22, 1885,
and there attended the public schools. Almost from the
very beginning of his business career, he has been
interested in some form of amusement enterprise, and
his genial personahty, combined with his rare tact and
knowledge of human nature, has contributed largely to
his success. In association with Mr. Francis Carney,
the Merrimack Amusement Company was formed, and
a tract of land, comprising about twenty-two acres, lo-
cated on the Merrimack river, about half-way between
Lowell and Lawrence, was purchased. This park was
then equipped with attractive amusement features, such



484



ESSEX COUNTY



as the roller coaster, merry-go-round, the whip, danc-
ing pavilion and other similar amusements. Every day
large crowds of men, women and children, seeking
wholesome recreation from their daily routine, come to
the park and enjoy its pleasures.

At all times Mr. O'Brien can be found somewhere on
the grounds to see that the patrons of the park are
enjoying themselves and receiving satisfaction, and much
credit is due both to him and to Mr. Carney. Among
the business men of Lawrence Mr. O'Brien is held in
high esteem, and recently, since the park has become
the headquarters for county fairs, he has received much
favorable comment for the excellence of his manage-
ment. The Fair given there in 192 1 was very success-
ful, and it is planned to make them an annual affair,
each succeeding year adding to the success.



FRANK L. MORRIS— A Lawrence business, which
is of recent establishment, but which shows good prom-
ise, is that of the H. & M. Sign Company, which was
formed by Messrs. Morris and Hillnick, of Lawrence,
on January ig, 1921.

Frank L. Morris is a native of Lawrence, Massachu-
setts, born in the city on June 11, 1901, son of William
J. and Marie J. (Cahill) Morris. The Morris family
has long been resident in Lawrence, the father, Wil-
liam J. Morris, being a blacksmith. The mother, Marie
J. (Cahill) Morris, was born in East Boston, and they
have seven children, six of whom are sons. Frank L.
was the fourth son, and with his brothers attended the
Lawrence public schools. He has not long been in
business, for it was only in the class of 1919 that he
graduated from the high school. He has nevertheless
shown thus early a business aptitude which should
carry him far. The Morris family are members of the
Catholic church.



FRANK W. COUSENS, for a quarter of a century
a member of the Haverhill Fire Department, and one
of the most popular citizens of that city, was born in
Poland, Maine, and died at Haverhill. He was a
son of William and Mandane (Newbergan) Cousens.
He was educated in the district schools, and soon after
settling in Haverhill, became a member of the Fire
Department. Among the city officials of Haverhill he
was held in the highest esteem and was an upright cit-
izen, a conscientious public servant and a genial home
man. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias.

Mr. Cousens was married to Clara A. Keefe, daugh-
ter of John F. and Clara (Stephens) Keefe. The for-
mer was engaged in the florist business for many years.
Mr. Cousens was the father of one son. William Cous-
ens, born in 1874; he married Viney Cordaran and they
are members of the Universalist church of Haverhill.



EVERETT SMITH BOODY. deceased, for many
years the proprietor of a livery in connection with the
famous old Eagle House, of Haverhill, Massachusetts,
was born in Northwood, New Hampshire, in 1856, the
son of Jonathan and Mary (Foster) Boody, and grand-
son of John and Cecelia Boody.

Everett S. Boody was one of the best known citizens
of Haverhill in his day. In his work he came in contact
with all the leading and prominent men, and his genial



personality won for him many friends. He was a
member of the Golden Star and Oxford clubs.

Mr. Boody married Luella L. Wellman, born in Bel-
grade, Maine, daughter of Rev. Hiram and Mercy Ann
(Ladd) Wellman, and granddaughter of Simeon and
Lydia (Emerson) Wellman, and of John P. and Emily
(Trask) Ladd, on the maternal side. Mrs. Boody is a
member of the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Grand Army of
the Republic, and serves as department inspector of this
organization. In discharging the duties of this office
she travels all over the State of Massachusetts, and is
ever active in the welfare of the different Grand Army
posts. She is also interested in many welfare move-
ments and is president of the Charity Liberty Club, and
takes an active part in the management of the Day Nur-
sery. She is a member of the Daughters of Rebekah;
member of the Grange, and a regular attendant of the
L'niversalist church. Mr. and Mrs. Boody were the
parents of a daughter, Mildred Hazel, wife of Frank R.
Gleason, of Haverhill.



SAMUEL BIXBY (S. BIXBY) SARGENT, a na-
tive of Merrimac and member of a well known Massa-
chusetts family, was born on July 11, 1876, son of
Charles N. and Rebecca (Bixby) Sargent, and grand-
son of John K. and Elizabeth (Sargent) Sargent, the
former born in Merrimac, and the latter in West Ames-
bury. Elizabeth Sargent died in 1897, as did her hus-
band, he having reached the age of ninety-five years.
Their son, Charles N., was born in Groveland, Massa-
chusetts, on August IS, 1837, and died in 1899, having
farmed since early manhood. He married Rebecca
Bixby, of Boxford, Massachusetts, on November 12,
1873. She was born on March 17, 1841, and died June
1.). 1918.

Their son, Samuel Bixby Sargent, has lived prac-
tically the whole of his life in the Merrimac district.
He attended the Merrimac public schools in his boy-
hood and youth, graduating eventually from high school.
After leaving school he applied himself industriously tO'
farming, which has been the main occupation of the
Sargents through the many generations since Richard
Sargent came into the Massachusetts colony, about 1634.
Politically Mr. Sargent is a Republican. He is a mem-
ber of the Grange of West Newbury, and also belongs
to the West Newbury lodge of the Knights of Pythias.
His religious faith is Congregational, he being a member
of the Pilgrim Congregational Church, of Merrimac.

He married, in 1914, Nellie Bcfody, of West Newbury.
She was born on April 15, 1881, daughter of John and
Emma (Batchelder) Boody, the former of Epen, New
Hampshire, but latterly a farmer in West Newbury,
which was the home of his wife.



CHARLES W. STONE — An outgrowth of trans-
portation conditions which means much to manufactur-
ing and business interests in Lynn, Massachusetts, and
throughout Esse.x county, is Stone's E.xpress, of which
Charles W. Stone is owner and manager.

Mr, Stone was born in Hampden, Maine, on October
2, 1868, but his business career is a part of the history
of Lynn. Thirty-seven years ago Mr. Stone founded
an express and trucking business, beginning in a small
way, as his limited resources permitted. But he devel-



BIOGRAPHICAL



485



oped this business to the point where now it is conceded
to be the largest of this nature in Essex county. In
1919 Mr. Stone started an enterprise of large signifi-
cance in the establishment of New York freight-line
service, picking up goods by truck from consignor and
delivering directly to consignee. This is accomplished
by an overnight delivery- between Lynn and New York
City. Mr. Stone has one hundred and fifty men in his
employ. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce.



MAX LESSES, M. D.— The rapid development of
the surgical science during the past quarter of a cen-
tury has led many physicians to devote themselves al-
most exclusively to the surgical branch of their profes-
sion, and among these must be numbered Dr. Max
Lesses, who has since 1905 been practicing in Salem.

Max Lesses was born June 25, 1882, in Russia, the
son of Louis and Celia Lesses. His father is a dealer
in antiques in Canada. To Mr. and Mrs. Lesses were
born three children: Isaac; Reuben; Max, of further
mention.

When but four years of age, Max Lesses was brought
by his parents to Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and it was
there that he received his education. After graduating
from the high school, he matriculated in the medical
department of Queens University, from which institution
he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine and Mas-
ter of Surgery in 1905. After spending a year as in-
terne in the Kingston General Hospital, Dr. Lesses came
to Salem, Massachusetts, and began general practice.
Very soon, however, by reason of taste and natural
aptitude, he directed the greater part of his attention
to surgery, gradually eliminating the medical element.
Success has attended his efforts, and he is now in pos-
session of a large and increasing clientele. His office is
at No. 62 Washington square. He is examining physi-
cian for several companies, including the John Hancock
Life Insurance Company. Among the professional or-
ganizations of which Dr. Lesses is a member are the
American Medical Association and the Massachusetts
Medical Society. Politically he is an Independent, pre-
ferring to cast his vote for the person regardless of
party label. He also afiiliates with the Independent
Workmen's Circle of America, and the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks.

Dr. Lesses married, September 17, 1912, Sarah W.
Falcon, and they are the parents of three children :
Mark F,, Gertrude, Harrison J.



JOHN ROMASZKIEWICZ— The pioneers of the
Twentieth Century who come to America bringing with
them the principles for which our ancestors endured
hardships and even death, infuse into our modern civi-
lization the old spirit that must never die. John Ro-
maszkiewicz, of Salem, Massachusetts, driven from his
native land for the principles of his family, is vindi-
cating his right to citizenship in a free country in a
signally convincing way.

Mr. Romaszkiewicz was born in Wilna, Poland, on
October 30, 1873, and is a son of Adam and Anna
(Mickiewiez) Romaszkiewicz. He had completed his
grammar and high school courses in his native land,
and was studying for the priesthood when his father, on
account of his progressive ideas and advanced princi-



ples, was held to be a Revolutionist, and was compelled
to leave the country. The family came to America,
locating in Newton, Massachusetts. This was in 1890,
and the immediate problem of living confronting them,
the son, John, relinquished his studies, and took a posi-
tion in a machine shop. He was placed from time to
time on different machines, and being possessed of nat-
ural mechanical ability and keen intuition along this line,
he soon became a first class machinist. He remained in
this connection for nine years, then became a bank clerk
in a private bank.

During all this time the young man was forming a
very wide acquaintance among the Polish people of
Eastern Massachusetts and also becoming well and
favorably known among them. In 1919 he embarked
upon a venture which is meaning, and will continue in-
creasingly to signify much to his fellow-countrymen
here. He entered into a partnership with John M.
Zarembski, and formed the Polish Industrial Bank, at
Salem. This institution handles steamship tickets and
foreign exchange, and has a branch bank in Warsaw,
Russia. Mr. Romaszkiewicz, who is treasurer of this
bank, has served the public in many and varied capac-
ities. He speaks nine different languages fluently, and
acts as interpreter in the United States courts. He is
president of the Polish National Alliance. During the
World War he was on all Liberty Loans committees,
and traveled all over the State of Massachusetts among
Polish people, speaking in behalf of the Liberty Loan
and Red Cross work. He acted as arbitrator of the
Ludlow Associated Mills: and is president of the Polish
Republican State Committee. He is a member of the
Knights of Pythias, and of the Ancient Order of United
Workmen.

Mr. Romaszkiewicz married Sophia Zielinski, of
Posen, Poland, on May 14, 1893, and they are the par-
ents of seven children, all born in this country; Joseph;
Mrs. Jativiga Kohn ; Leonard; Mrs. Mary Zarembski;
Leon; Victoria, and Thaddius. Of these children much
of interest might be written, but the family story would
be far from complete without at least an outline of the
places the sons are filling. The eldest son, Joseph, was
the first volunteer from Newton, Massachusetts, in the
service of the United States navy, during the World
War. He served for nineteen months, and when he
received his honorable discharge, was a first class fire-
man. He is now a member of the firm of the Waltham
Knitting Works. Leonard, who served in the army, is
in civilian life a foreman with the Reo Motor Company,
of Boston ; and Leon is a student at Boston University.
Ludvick Romaszkiewicz, brother of John, served nine-
teen months in the 26th Division, Battalion B, loist
Field Artillery. The family are members of the Roman
Catholic church, at Newton, Massachusetts.



JAMES McANDREW, overseer of the finishing and
analyzing departments of the Katama Mills Company,
was born April 18, 1898, at Lancashire, England, son of
John McAndrew, a carder, and Margaret (Birtles) Mc-
Andrew. His education was obtained in the schools of
this country, having come to America in 1904, and after
starting to work was employed first in a foundry at
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he remained a year
and then removed to New Jersey. Thence he went to



486



ESSEX COUNTY



Warren, Massachusetts, and later was located at East
Hampden, as inspector of a tire and fabric factory, later
working as a loom fixer. From this occupation, he
worked himself upward to the trade of weaver, and in
Putnam, Connecticut, was in charge of the weaving
department of one of the mills there. In 1915 he came
to Lawrence, and to the employ of the Katama Mills,
where he still continues.

Mr. McAndrew is a member of the Masonic order;
the Mystic Shrine; and of the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows; he is also a member of a Scottish organ-
ization, the Caledonia Club. The family attend the
Baptist church, of Lawrence.

In 1899, he married Bertha Brown, of Lancashire,
England, and they are the parents of the following chil-
dren : Clara; Violet; William and John.



ERNEST J. WHITCOMB, night superintendent of
the Merrirnac Paper Company's coating mill, at Law-
rence, Massachusetts, was born January 21, 1880, at Box-
boro, that State, son of Edwin Whitcomb, who was
engaged in farming there, and Nettie M. (Wilcox)
Whitcomb, a native of Leominster, Massachusetts. The
former died in 1906 and is survived by his wife, who
makes her home in Monson, Massachusetts.

The education of Mr. Whitcomb was obtained in the
public schools of Clinton, Nashua, and Pepperell, Massa-
chusetts. He attended the high school for one year and
then entered the employ of the Pepperell Card & Paper
Company, at East Pepperell. He remained with this
firm for five years and received his first experience in a
line of work that has brought him success. At the time
he left the first company he was foreman of the coating
room, and was then located at Worcester, where he was
employed in similar work for a year. He worked for
various firms all along the same lines and gained valu-
able experience from them all; in 1910 he returned to
East Pepperell and soon afterwards came to Lawrence
where he accepted the night superintendency of the
Merrimac Paper Company's coating mill of that city,
which position he has held to the present time.

From 1902 to 1905 Mr. Whitcomb was engaged in
military service, having enlisted in the United States
army in Battery M, now the 22d C. A. C, and was sta-
tioned for twenty-one months in Cuba, and fifteen months
at Pensacola, Florida, making a total service of three
years, and at his discharge he held the rank of sergeant.

Fraternally, he is a member of the William B. Gale
Lodge, No. 140, Knights of Pythias, of Lawrence, and
attends the Wood Baptist Memorial Church, of that city.

Mr. Whitcomb married, in 1907, Rhoda A. Anderson,
of Groton, Massachusetts, and their children are Ruth
and Edith, born in 1907 and 1909, respectively.



JOHN B. LAWSON was born in Andover, Massa-
chusetts, January 11, 1882, son of George D. and Mary
(Robb) Lawson. His father, who was born in Andover,
July 16, 1863, was master mechanic for the Smith Dove
Company, of Andover, for fifty years. The elder Mr.
Lawson is now retired from active participation in busi-
ness affairs. Mr. Lawson's mother was born in Scot-
land, April 17, 1856, and is still living.

Mr. Lawson received his early education in the public
schools of Andover, Massachusetts. He also attended



the Lowell Textile School, and completed the courses in
the International Correspondence School. After having
completed his studies, he obtained employment with the
Smith Dove Company, of Andover, where his father was
master mechanic, and remained for ten years. At the



Online LibraryBenjamin F. ArringtonMunicipal history of Essex County in Massachusetts (Volume 4) → online text (page 51 of 56)