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Biographical review, containing life sketches of leading citizens of Norfolk County, Massachusetts online

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battles of the entire war, and had several nar-
row escapes from death. In 1864, his term
of enlistment having expired, he was dis-
charged as a private, and returned to Brook-
line. From 1865 till 1871 he was employed
in the weighing department of the Boston
custom-house. In the latter year he was ap-
pointed a patrolman on the Brookline police
force. Five years later, in 1876, he was
made Chief of Police, an office which he has
since filled with commendable ability. When
he assumed his present position, the police
force numbered but seven men. There are
now thirty-nine men and five horses. An am-
bulance and a patrol wagon are used.

Mr. Bowman is a steadfast Republican in
his political affiliations. In the Masonic fra-
ternity he has been Marshal for ten years,
and belongs to Beth-Horon Lodge of Brook-
line; to St. John Royal Arch Chapter; to De
Molay Commandery of Boston ; and to Rox-
bury Council, in which he has taken the
thirty-second degree. He is likewise a mem-
ber of the Brookline Lodge of Odd Fellows
and of the Knights of Honor; is president of
the Chiefs of Police Association of Brookline,
and also of the Chiefs of Police Union of
Massachusetts. Mr. Bowman was married in
1858 to Miss Ann E. Russell, and has one
child, Walter H.

esteemed resident of Walnut Hill,
was born in Maxfield, Me., Au-
gust 17, 1S33, daughter of Sam-
uel and Sarah H. (Davis) Mcintosh. On
the paternal side she is of Scotch descent.
Her grandfather, Jeremiah Mcintosh, was born
April 13, 1751, in what is now Hyde Park,

Mass. He fought for American independence
in the Revolutionary War, taking part in the
battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775, as a
member of Captain Samuel Heath's company.
In May of the same year he volunteered to
serve under Captain George Goold, in Colonel
Sargent's regiment, and was appointed Orderly
Sergeant. From October, 1775, to February,
1776, he was on furlough in Dorchester, being
sick with fever and general prostration. He
resumed active service in September, 1776,
under Captain Ebenezer Gore, in the regiment
commanded by Colonel W. M. Mcintosh,
which marched to Sawpits, N.Y., where and
at New Castle, N.Y., near White Plains, he
performed guard and patrol duty. One of
Mrs. Gillett's great-grandfathers on the ma-
ternal side was Benjamin Swett, a sea captain
of Orrington, Me. Her grandfather, Isaac-
Davis, was a Methodist minister. Samuel
Mcintosh, her father, was a native of Hyde
Park, Mass. He and his wife had a family
of seven children; namely, Elizabeth, Isaac
D., Lydia K., Elisha, Nancy D., Benjamin
S., and Eliza Ann.

Nancy D. Mcintosh attended the district
school, remaining with her parents until
twenty-three years of age. In 1856 she ob-
tained work in East Dedham at Taft's Cotton
Mills Thence she moved to Waltham, and
engaged in dressmaking. There she met Ben-
jamin F. Gillett, a widower, to whom she was
married in that town on November 15, 1858.
After her marriage she went with her husband
to Rochester, Vt., where he bought a farm,
which he conducted for some time. In 1874
Mr. Gillett purchased a lot in Dedham, which
he cultivated up to the time of his death.
Though he could not be prevailed upon to ac-
cept public office, lie took a lively interest in
town and county affairs; and he was an active
worker for the welfare of the Methodist
church, acting as class leader for a number of
years. An exemplary citizen, he was held in
high esteem by all who knew him. His death
occurred December 18, 1893. By his first
wife he had two children: Austin F., now a
farmer in Bethel, Vt. ; and Ellen M., now
the widow of C. O. Wiley, a farmer and a
resident of Rochester, Vt. Mrs. Gillett has
resided in this vicinity for twenty-three years,



> 49

has been an active and valuable church mem-
ber, and is widely known and respected. She
has one child, Henry W., born in Troy,
N.H., June 16, 1861, who is now a dentist,
practising in Newport, R.I. He was married
June 14, 1893, to Miss Elizabeth Pay, of

ILLARD P. CLARK, the chairman
of the Board of Selectmen of
i 1 1 is, was born in his present resi-
dence, December 24, 1830, son of James P.
and Maria F. (Frost) Clark. The farm now
cultivated by Mr. Clark and his brother was
cleared from the wilderness by their grand-
father, John Clark, who erected the dwelling,
and resided there until his death.

James P. Clark, who inherited the home-
stead, conducted it energetically during his
active years. He was a prominent man in
his day, holding various town offices, and act-
ing as Justice of the Peace, and was highly es-
teemed for his many commendable qualities.
He died September 6, 1865. His wife,
Maria, who was a native of Billerica, Mass.,
became the mother of three children; namely,
Willard P., John M., and James W. John
M. successively married Martha D. Pierce
and Mary Clark, and died in August, 1866.
His widow died in Hyde Park, Mass., Novem-
ber 2, 1897. James W., who resides at the
homestead, married Amelia Wallace. Mrs.
Maria Clark died in 1883.

Willard P. Clark acquired a common-school
education, which included a course in the high
school. He has always lived at the home-
stead, and he assisted in its cultivation from
an early day. Since 1865 he and his brother
have managed it jointly. Besides the home-
stead proper of one hundred and fourteen
acres, they own seventy acres of outlying
land. Willard P. Clark is also engaged in
the insurance business as agent for the Nor-
folk, Dedham, Quincy, Fitchburg, and the
Traders' and Mechanics' Insurance Com-
panies. In politics he is a Democrat, and he
has been the chairman of the Board of Select-
men for the past thirteen years. He is also a
Justice of the Peace, and has settled several

Mr. Clark has been twice married. The
first occasion was on November 9, 1854, when
he was united to Susan Billings, of Walpole,
Mass., daughter of Hewins Billings, a farmer
and stone-cutter of that town. She died in
April, i860, leaving no children. The sec-
ond marriage was contracted on November 21,
1861, with Abbie R. Lovell, of Millis,
daughter of Asahel P. and Eliza (Stedman)
Lovell. She died May 17, 1893, leaving two
children — Jennie M. and John F. — both of
whom are residing at home. Mr. Clark occu-
pies a prominent position both as a business
man and farmer, and his able public services
have earned for him the sincere esteem of his
fellow-townsmen. He is a member of the
Patrons of Husbandry of Millis.


the pastor of St. Joseph's Roman
Catholic Church, Medway, was born
in North Andover, Mass., March 6,
1859, son of James and Mary (Lane) Keleher.
His parents emigrated from Ireland in 1849,
first settling in Lawrence, Mass. After grad-
uating from the Lawrence High School in
1876, he became a student at Villanova Col-
lege in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. His
theological course was pursued at St. Mary's
University, Baltimore, from which he was
graduated in 1883.

Having been ordained to the priesthood by
Cardinal Gibbons, Father Keleher was as-
signed as assistant pastor to the Church of St.
Francis de Sales in Roxbury, Mass. In Sep-
tember, 1888, he became a member of the
faculty at St. John's Seminary in Brighton,
Mass.; and in November, 1896, he came to
Medway to undertake the pastorate of St. Jo-
seph's Church. This parish was formerly in
charge of priests from neighboring towns, in-
cluding Father Cuddihy, of Milford, and
Father Ouinlan, of Holliston. Its first regu-
lar pastor was Father Boylan, now of Charles-
town, Mass. His successor was Father
Thomas B. Lownay, who remained nine years,
and is now stationed in Marlboro. St. Jo-
seph's church edifice, which was commenced
by Father Ouinlan, was completed by Father
Boylan. Under the pastoral care of Father

2 S


Keleher, the entire parish, which includes St.
Brendan's Church and congregation at North
Bellingham, is in a flourishing condition.
Since coming to Medvvay, Father Keleher
has gained many warm friends. His untiring
labors in behalf of the church and the general
morality of the community are highly appre-
ciated by his fellow-townsmen.

[OSES C. ADAMS, a Selectman of
Mi His and an ex-member of the
Massachusetts legislature, was
born where he now resides, No-
vember 17, 1843, son of Edward and Keziah
L. (Clark) Adams. Henry Adams, the first
of his ancestors to settle in this section of the
county, located upon land in the vicinity of
the present homestead. Micah Adams, his
grandfather, who was a lifelong resident of
the locality now called Millis, spent his ac-
tive years in farming.

Edward Adams, who was also a farmer,
built the house in which his son now resides.
He died September 23, 1870. His wife, who
was a native of Milford, Mass., became the
mother of five children, as follows: Charles,
born November 16, 1831, who died September
24, 1837; Mercy P., born August 26, 1834,
who married Francis O. Phillips, of this
town; Mary R., born October 24, 1838, who
is the wife of George Wight, of Medfield,
Mass.; Edward M., born November 17, 1840,
who died October 12, 1849; and Moses C. ,
the subject of this sketch. Mrs. Keziah
Adams died January 15, 1891.

After acquiring a common-school education,
Moses C. Adams began to assist upon the
farm where he has always resided. He now
owns the property, which contains one hun-
dred acres of fine tillage land. A successful
agriculturist, his crops are large and of su-
perior quality; and he raises some excellent
stock. In politics he is a Republican. He
has been a member of the Board of Selectmen
since the incorporation of the town, has
served as Inspector of Cattle for the last five
years, is at the present time Street Commis-
sioner, was chairman of the Board of Assessors
for five years, and he ably represented Millis
in the legislature of 1890.

On June 17, 1880, Mr. Adams was united
in marriage with Abbie H. Ellis, who was
born in Milford, March 9, 1850. Her par-
ents, both now deceased, were Warren and
Louisa (Cutter) Ellis, of that town, the for-
mer of whom was a shoemaker by trade. Mr.
and Mrs. Adams have three children, namely:
Edward Ellis, born July 27, 1881 ; Bessie K.,
born September 13, 1883; and Lotta M., born
June 24, 1889. Mr. Adams is connected with
Medfield Lodge, I. O. O. F., and with the
Royal Arcanum; and he has been a member of
the Home Circle since its organization in

ANIEL BROWN, a prosperous busi-
ness man of Wrentham, engaged in
the manufacture of manila hats,
split braids, etc., was born in Ire-
land, December 26, 1842. His father, Alex-
ander Brown, in 1843 emigrated from Ireland
to the United States, locating in Wrentham.
Alexander followed cabinet-making here for
some years, and was also engaged in tilling
the soil, being the owner of a well-improved
farm, which is still in the possession of the
family. He died on his homestead in 1889,
aged seventy-eight years. His wife, whose
maiden name was Margaret Lawson, bore him
four children; namely, Ellen, Daniel, John,
and Alexander. Ellen married Charles S.
Goddard, of Worcester, Mass., and has three
children — George, Frank, and Fred. Alex-
ander is now deceased.

Daniel Brown was bred and educated in
Wrentham, having been but an infant when he
was brought to the country. After leaving
the district schools, he learned the cabinet-
maker's trade, which he worked at for five
years, being an ingenious and skilful artisan.
He then turned his attention to pattern-mak-
ing, and was employed for twenty years in
the straw shop of William E. George. When
his employer failed, Mr. Brown purchased the
business, and has since carried it on with
signal success. He enlarged the plant by
additions to the buildings as the work in-
creased, and now gives steady employment to
about one hundred and eighty people. He has
purchased a new residence, in which he and his


2 5'

estimable wife extend a gracious hospitality
to their hosts of friends.

On July 22, 1868, Mr. Brown married
Miss Esther A. Getchell, who was born in
Topsfield, Me., daughter of Isaac Getchell.
They have two children — Charles Edwin and
Grace G. The son married Grace Armsbey,
of Winchester, Mass., and has one child,
Anna. Mr. Brown cast his first Presidential
vote in 1864 for Abraham Lincoln, and has
since been an active worker in the Republi-
can ranks. In 1896 he was a member of the
State legislature. He is a member of Wam-
pum Lodge, No. 195, I. O. O. F., of Wren-
tham. Both he and his wife attend the Con-
gregational Church of Wrentham.

§AMES D. McAVOY, one of the leading
citizens of Hyde Park, has been identi
fied with the interests of this town fo
nearly thee decades, in that time con
tributing his full share toward promoting its
prosperity. He was born September 24
1824, in Londonderry, on the north coast of
Ireland, coming from thrifty Scotch-Irish an-
cestry. His father, John McAvoy, was a ship-
per of grain and cattle in Londonderry for a
number of years, and was very successful in
business. He subsequently removed to Strat-
ton, County Tyrone, Ireland, where he died at
the age of seventy-five. He married Miss
Ellen Sheran ; and they became the parents of
nine children, of whom James D. is the only
survivor. Both were Catholics, and their
children have never departed from the relig-
ious faith in which they were reared.

When a boy of thirteen years, James D.
McAvoy left his native land, and, crossing the
Atlantic in a sailing-vessel, after a tedious
passage of two months landed at St. John,
N.B., where he lived two years. Coming
then to Boston, he secured work in the gas-
house at the North End, and proved himself
so efficient that he was later made foreman of
a gang of men appointed to lay gas-pipes in
trenches, remaining in this capacity until
1 841. Going in that year to North Easton,
Bristol County, a town reached then only by
stage-coach, he began work in the cutlery fac-
tory of John Ames, great-grandfather of ex-

Governor Ames, receiving fifteen dollars per
month, and boarding himself. This was good
pay, as eight dollars a week was the highest
price then paid to skilled laborers. He re-
mained with Mr. Ames until 1849, saving
meanwhile several hundred dollars from his
monthly stipend. One of his brothers at that
time borrowed money of him in order to go to
California with a company that were to start
for the gold fields; but at the last moment the
brother was prevented from going, and Mr.
McAvoy took his place with scarcely twenty-
four hours' notice. The company, consisting
of one hundred and fifty men, sailed in the
good ship "Edward Everett," manned with a
crew of twenty-five sailors, on January 10,
1849, and, after a delightful voyage around
the Horn, arrived at San Francisco the 10th
day of July.

Hundreds of vessels were in the bay, and
five dollars an hour was willingly paid to all
who would assist in unloading vessels. The
main body of the company left 'two days later
for the mines, the captain with six or seven
others remaining behind to look after the
cargo, as well as to convert the "Edward
Everett" into a steamer. This they did by
putting in an engine and boiler which they
had brought with them. The boat was a flat-
bottomed side-wheeler. Mr. McAvoy, N. A.
Proctor, Samuel Baker, and a Mr. Perkins,
who were the most active in the work, arc all
now living in Eastern Massachusetts. In the
early part of August they made a trial trip
with the steamer into Suisun Bay, going as far
as Benecia Bay, now known as Atlantic City.

Its mining ventures proving unfortunate,
the company broke up; and the vessel was run
up Sacramento Bay, and afterward disposed of
for six thousand dollars, the cargo being
loaded on to an ox wagon, and taken to the
mines on Moquelumne River. The trip was
in every way a discouraging one. There was
a great scarcity of water, sickness universally
prevailed among the men, and, being heavily
overloaded, the oxen gave out, and another
pair had to be purchased to complete the four-
ox team. On a foot-hill the cattle evidently
scented water, and made a dash for the stream.
Mr. McAvoy, sick and exhausted, left the
company, and proceeded on foot to the



Moquelumne River, where a Dr. Hubbard was
found, who gave him medical attention, charg-
ing him a fee of five hundred dollars.

On recovering his health, Mr. McAvoy
crossed the river to Willow Bend, where he
worked with shovel and pan, "picking" up
from thirty to forty dollars a day. Becoming
dissatisfied, he started with his pack mule for
the South, going along the Calaveras River to
General Fremont's claim, "Mariposa," and
was away six months, but never found as good
picking as he had left. In 1850 he returned
to Sonora, where there were good "dry dig-
gins," but was again taken with fever and
ague. He dosed himself with whiskey and
quinine, but remained sick for some time,
going to work, however, in a store at sixteen
dollars a clay, until he should be well enough
to resume mining. All articles of merchan-
dise sold high, potatoes and vegetables bring-
ing a dollar a pound. In the fall of 1852 he
decided to return home, and wrote to the
brother whose place he had taken in the com-
pany to collect the thirteen hundred dollars
due him from the Ames Company, and come
at once to California. The brother was thir-
teen months on the voyage out, being so sick
when he arrived that Mr. McAvoy remained
to nurse him, and afterward gave him one
thousand dollars in gold dust, advising him
to return to Massachusetts. Since that time
he has not been definitely heard from. He was
once reported to have been seen in San Fran-
cisco, and as the cholera was raging there at
the time it is very probable that he became its
victim. Mr. McAvoy came East, and, think-
ing his brother dead, never returned to the
mines as he had intended.

In the fall of 185 1, very soon after coming
from California, he stayed for a short time in
Sharon, Mass., where he was offered nine dol-
lars a week to run a trip-hammer, but declined
the job. He accepted instead a position with
Mr. Schenck, of Mansfield, agreeing to give a
week's notice before leaving, and was with
him just two weeks. Going then to Canton,
he began to make trowels, working as a jour-
neyman at one dollar and a quarter per day,
afterward earning as much as seven dollars a
day at piece work. At length he secured a
water privilege in Cumberland Hill, R.I.,

and started in business for himself as a trowel
manufacturer, becoming senior member of the
firm of McAvoy & Co., taking in as an equal
partner his former employer, J. B. Schenck,
and, competing with other trowel manufact-
urers in the Boston market, continued fourteen
months to manufacture trowels from steel im-
ported from England, he having charge of the
inside work, and Mr. Schenck attending to
the outside management. By bad policy his
partner involved the company to a fearful ex-
tent, and disappeared. He was subsequently
arrested in New York, but only one hundred
and forty dollars of the company's money
was recovered; and it took Mr. McAvoy two
years to pay off the debts contracted by his
absconding partner. He next located in Fox-
boro, Mass., where he manufactured trowels,
at the same time running a grist-mill nights,
continuing until 1861, when he disposed of
his factory. For fifteen years thereafter he
operated his grist-mill, and in addition car-
ried on a grocery business, in which he made
money rapidly, his business becoming suffi-
cient to warrant him in opening a second store.

In 1876 he came to Hyde Park, then a
thriving village, and established a grain store
in the old government building. He met with
excellent success from the start, and a few
years later added coal, brick, lime, and
cement to his stock, continuing in active
business until 1S89. In 1890 Mr. McAvoy
was one of the party of one hundred "forty-
niners" to make a pleasure trip to California,
being accompanied by his wife and daughter.
This party, which was away forty-five days,
received marked attention along the entire
route, and, carrying letters from the Governor
of Massachusetts to the Governor of California
and to the Governors of the intermediate
States, was royally entertained at every stop-
ping-place. At San Bernardino they literally
walked on flowers, a foretaste of their recep-
tion being given them some hours before they
reached the city, when a special car, bearing
representatives from that place, met them,
bringing fruit, wine, and other choice deli-
cacies for the inner man.

Mr. McAvoy was one of the original pro-
moters of the Hyde Park Electric Light and
Power Company, of which he has been a di-



2 55

rector since its organization, and of which he
was president from 1890 until his resignation
in October, 1896. In September, 1896, he
was elected president of the Norfolk Sub-
urban Electric Railway Company, an office
which he still holds. He has for some years
been largely interested in real estate matters,
and in 1884 he erected his present elegant
house on Milton Street in Readville. He has
taken a very prominent part in local affairs,
having been Selectman four years, one year
serving as chairman of the board; and during
the entire time he was also Highway Sur-
veyor. He is now one of the State Board of
Park Commissioners. In politics he is a
strong gold Democrat.

Mr. McAvoy was married June 1, 1851, to
Miss Mary Morrison, a native of Sharon,
Mass. Of their four children but one is liv-
ing, a daughter, Nellie L.

young and prominent physician of
Foxboro, was born March 13, 1867,
in Hyannis, Mass., son of Benjamin
E. Crocker. The latter was born in Barn-
stable, Mass., where he is now actively en-
gaged in business, being one of the foremost
residents of the place. For many years he
has been profitably engaged in lumber dealing
and brick-making. He has also cultivated
cranberries with success. His wife, whose
maiden name was Caroline P. Pulsifer, was
born in Eden, Me., daughter of the late Dr.
Moses R. Pulsifer, who was a prominent ho-
moeopathic physican of Ellsworth, Me. They
have reared four children, namely: Willard
C, a former physician of Foxboro, but now
of Springfield, Mass., who married Anna
Pond, of this town; Augusta P., who is the
wife of James V. Turner, a designer of
woollen fabrics; Bertha, a school-teacher in
Springfield, Mass.; and Benton P., the sub-
ject of this sketch.

Benton P. Crocker received his elementary
education in the district schools of Cape Cod.
Afterward he pursued a course at Amherst
College and at the medical department of the
University of Vermont. He subsequently at-
tended the Bellevue Hospital Medical College

of New York City, from which he received
the degree of Doctor of Medicine with the
class of. 1891. He then obtained experience
and a practical knowledge of his profession at
the New York Lying-in Hospital, where he
remained as assistant resident physician for
nearly a year. In September, 1894, Dr.
Crocker came to Foxboro, where he has made
rapid strides in the practice of his profession.
The share of patronage he has already won in
Foxboro gives promise of a very successful

The Doctor is a member of the medical so-
cieties of Massachusetts and Norfolk County.
He was made an Odd Fellow in Excelsior
Lodge, No. 87, of Foxboro. He is also a
member and the medical examiner of the
United Order of the Golden Cross, and of the
United Order of Pilgrim Fathers, Cocasset
Colony. Taking much interest in agricultural
questions, he also belongs to Foxboro
Grange, Patrons of Husbandry. A member of
the Universalist church, his religious creed is

/STeORGE E. HOLBROOK, one of the
\ •) I most prominent farmers in Norfolk,
^ — was born December 14, 1839, u P on
the farm he now owns and occupies, son of
George E. and Clarissa (Turner) Holbrook.
The paternal grandfather, Daniel Holbrook,
who served as a soldier in the Revolutionary
War, was a resident of Norfolk for the greater
part of his life and the original owner of the
Holbrook homestead. His death occurred
April 17, 1839. He wedded Mary Edwards,
and reared three children, namely: Eliza E.,
born in 1802; Mary B. ( born January 13,
1804, who married Silas J. Llolbrook; and
George E. , father of the subject of this

Online LibraryBoston Biographical review publishing companyBiographical review, containing life sketches of leading citizens of Norfolk County, Massachusetts → online text (page 27 of 84)