Copyright
Boston Biographical review publishing company.

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

. (page 58 of 84)
Online LibraryBoston Biographical review publishing companyBiographical review, containing life sketches of leading citizens of Norfolk County, Massachusetts → online text (page 58 of 84)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


July 24 of the same year. Edmund Francis,
who married Hester Richardson, is a painter
by trade, and resides in Millis. Mary Eliza
married Putnam Clark, a resident of this town,
and a pipe-maker in Boston. Winifred Jean-
ette is the widow of William Knowles, and re-
sides with her father. Wallace Dean died
September 14, 1869. Susan Ware is the wife
of Harry Alden, a clothier of Norwood, Mass.
Mrs. Asahel F. Lovell died May 19, 1890.



'TEPHEN B. SIMONS, formerly a
well-known merchant of Boston,
was born April 20, 1836, in Hol-
liston, Mass., son of James F. and
Cina Marble (Blanchard) Simons. His grand-
father, who was born in England, came to this




S°4



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



country when a young man. The father was
born in Boston on May n, 1809. He was a
tailor by trade, and did business in Holliston.
He married Cina Marble Blanchard, who was
born in Millbury, Mass., April 20, 181 2.
They had two sons — James F., Jr., and
Stephen Blanchard, who followed the same
business, and at one time were in partnership.
The mother died in 1853, and the father in
August, 1877.

Stephen B. Simons obtained his education in
the public schools and at the academy of Hol-
liston. At the age of fourteen he went to
work in a gentlemen's furnishing store on Elm
Street, Boston. He had been two years in
this place when he left to accept the position
of manager in John Gove's store on Mer-
chants Row. In two years more he purchased
the gentlemen's furnishing department in this
store, and went into business for himself.
His trade was mostly retail. He continued
in the business he had chosen for himself with
increasing prosperity, and founded at different
times the firms of Simons Brothers, Whitten
& Co., and Simons, Hatch & Whitten. In
the great Boston fire of 1872 he suffered heavy
losses; but soon after he went to work in the
same business, under the firm name of Simons,
Whitten & Co., and in a comparatively short
time was able to meet his debts. Then he
gave a dinner to all his creditors, each of
whom, on that occasion, found under his plate
a check for the amount due to him. After
this he remained in the same firm, continuing
to increase the business, which was now
wholesale. He was located at different times
on Essex Street, Franklin Street, and Win-
throp Square. Mr. Simons was a prominent
member of the Boston Merchants' Association,
of the Algonquin, Central, and Suffolk Clubs,
of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery, which
he joined in 1868, of the Wellesley Managers'
Club, which received its first entrance fee
from him. He was also a lifelong member of
the Y. M. C. A. His religious creed was
that of the Unitarians, and he attended Dr.
Minot Savage's church in Boston and the Uni-
tarian church at Wellesley Hills. In politics
Mr. Simons was a Democrat. That he was
highly esteemed is shown by the memorial res-
olutions adopted and put upon record by sun-



dry organizations after his death, on February
9, 1897.

In 1856 Mr. Simons was married to Almira
N. , daughter of John and Mary Ann (McNear)
Mason, of Boston. Mr. Mason, who was born
in Sandwich, N. H., and did a brokerage busi-
ness in Boston, died in August, 1877. His
wife's death occurred in December, 1895.
Mrs. Simons was educated in the public
schools in Boston until she was fourteen years
old. Afterward she attended a private school
on West Street.




LBERT A. BRACKETT, of Milton,
was born in Quincy, Mass., December
5, 1850, son of Charles C. and
Sarah (Peabody) Brackett. His
lineage we are unable to give, the only ances-
tral names with which we have been favored
being those of James and Benning Brackett,
said to have been brothers living at a remote
period in the old town of Braintree, of which
Quincy was formerly a part. A Richard
Brackett, it may be mentioned, was living in
Boston in 1632; and in 1642, it is said, he
and his wife Alice were dismissed to the
church in Braintree. Their son James re-
moved to Braintree in 1675.

Charles C. Brackett, who was born in New
Hampshire, was a contractor and builder.
Coming to Massachusetts, he lived for a num-
ber of years in Quincy, where he erected a
number of buildings. In politics he was a
Republican. He resided for some time in
Topsfield, Mass., and while there was sent
as representative to the State legislature. He
died April 5, 18S5. His wife, Mrs. Sarah P.
Brackett, who was a native of Essex County,
Massachusetts, died in May, 1885.

Albert A. Brackett acquired his education
in the public schools of Quincy. Leaving
the high school at the age of fifteen, he en-
tered the Mount Wollaston National Bank as
clerk; and he was subsequently employed as
clerk in the wholesale leather house of E. B.
Pratt & Co. He was connected with this
house about twelve years, a portion of the time
as partner. In 1878 he started in business for
himself, opening a wholesale leather house at
90 High Street, Boston. Some time later he




ALBERT A. BRACKET!'.



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



S°7



removed to his present location, 64 South
Street, Boston. He was the first tenant in
this building. Since 1874 Mr. Krackett has
been a resident of East Milton, and a street in
this town is named for him.

He married Miss Lavinia H. Bunton, of
Milton, Mass. ; and they have two children —
Albert E. and Vina B. In the eighties Mr.
Brackett, who is a Republican, was four years
Selectman of Milton; and in March of the
present year (1897) he was again elected a
member of the board. During the session of
1888 he represented the Fourth Norfolk Dis-
trict in the State legislature. He is Past
Master of Rural Lodge, F. & A. M., and a
member of Joseph Warren Commandery, K.T.,
of Boston. Mr. Brackett is practically a self-
made man, having worked his way up to his
present position in the business world.



KRED HOMER WILLIAMS, one of
Boston's rising lawyers and a well-
known resident of Brookline, was born
in Foxboro, Norfolk County, January 7, 1857,
son of Virgil Homer and Nancy R. (Briggs)
Williams. He is descended from Richard
Williams, who settled in Taunton in 1637.
Lewis Williams, father of Virgil H., was born
in Easton, Mass., and spent his life in farm-
ing in that town, a prominent and highly re-
spected citizen. He met his death by an acci-
dent, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.

Virgil Homer Williams, the father of the
subject of this sketch, was brought up on the
grandfather's farm. He was a painter by
trade, and was also employed in the manufact-
ure of straw goods. At the age of seventy-five
years he is now retired, and is residing with
his son. He married a daughter of Wheaton
Briggs, a wheelwright of Attleboro. Mrs.
Williams died in 1880, at the age of sixty-
four years. She was a member of the Congre-
gational church in Foxboro.

Fred Homer Williams, the only child of his
parents, lived in P'oxboro until sixteen years
of age, when he entered Brown University,
where he was graduated in the class of 1877.
He was principal of the high school at East
Medway, now M ill is, Norfolk County, for two
years, and then began the study of law with



Judge W. H. Fox, of Taunton, Mass. Before
he had completed his law studies, his health
failed; and he spent a year and a half in Min-
nesota. Recovering, he continued his studies
with Judge Fox and at the Boston University
Law School, and was admitted to the bar in
1882. After a period of two years spent in
the practice of law in Foxboro, he opened an
office in Boston, and has long been associated
with Mr. Frank M. Copeland, under the firm
name of Williams & Copeland.

He married July 19, 1881, Julia Annette
Blake, who was born in Whitman, then called
South Abington, the daughter of Samuel
Blake, a shoe manufacturer of that place.
Mr. and Mrs. Williams have one child — Har-
old P., born October 2, 1882. Mr. Williams
has always resided in this county, and has
made his home in Brookline since 1890, hav-
ing, also, a large farm at M ill is, where he
spends the summer months. He is a Republi-
can, and served in the Massachusetts House of
Representatives in 1883-84, and has recently
taken his seat as a member of the State Senate
for 1898.

He was secretary of the Norfolk Club for a
period of five years, between 1884 and 1889.
He is also secretary of the Association of the
Sons of Brown, composed of graduates of
Brown University residing in Boston and
vicinity. Formerly a member of the St. Al-
bans Lodge, F. & A. M., and Excelsior
Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Foxboro, he is now a
member of the Beth-horon Lodge, F. & A. M.,
Lomia Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Brookline, and
of the East Medway Grange, Patrons of Hus-
bandry.

Mr. Williams has long been a member of
the Curtis Club, composed of Boston lawyers.
Socially, he is connected with the University
and Exchange Clubs in Boston and with the
Riverdale Casino, of Brookline. Mr. and
Mrs. Williams attend the Harvard Congrega-
tional Church.




HITMAN COOK, a farmer and man-
ufacturer of Bellingham, Mass., son
of Emory B. and Laura A. (How-
ard) Cook, was born in Bellingham, March 16,
1853. His grandfather Cook was the first of



S o8



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



the family to come to Bellingham, and he took
up the farm which is still in the possession of
the family.

Emory B. Cook was a mechanic and machin-
ist, and worked at his trade in West Med way,
Southboro, and Marlboro, but finally settled in
Bellingham. He began to manufacture the
Cook's patent cupola windmill about the year
1879; and it was patented August 3, 1880.
On account of the cheapness of other mills,
however, he made but about seventy-five of the
cupola mills; but he continued making chisel
handles until his death, which occurred May
12, 1897. He is survived by his wife, for-
merly Laura A. Howard, of Bellingham, and
their two children — Whitman, of Belling-
ham; and Frank A., now living in Newton-
ville, where he is engaged in the carpentering
business. Mrs. Cook spends her time partly
in Newtonville with her son Frank and partly
in Bellingham with the subject of our sketch.

Whitman Cook received but a common-
school education. When he was a young man,
he went to Fryeburg, Me., where he worked at
the carpenter's trade for about twelve years,
and then returned to Bellingham in March,
1890, to take charge of the old homestead and
of his father's business. He now owns a
small farm, but spends the greater part of his
time at his trade. He is soon to take charge
of his father's business, and carry on the man-
ufacture of chisel -handles. Mr. Cook is a
Republican in politics, and has served on the
School Board for three years. He is a mem-
ber of the Junior Order of American Me-
chanics of Bellingham.

He was married in January, 1S73, to Alice
B. , a daughter of John and Alice Harriman, of
Fryeburg, Me. Mrs. Cook's father, who was
a blacksmith by trade, and who also carried on
a farm, died at the age of eighty-six years.
Mrs. Cook's mother has also departed this
life.




ILLIAM FISHER GUILD, the
chairman of the Medfield Board of
Selectmen, and a leading farmer of
that town, was born in Walpole, Norfolk
County, November 20, 1839, son of Samuel
and Orra (Fisher) Guild. His paternal grand-



parents were Aaron and Cynthia (Smith)
Guild, who spent their lives in Walpole; and
his maternal grandparents were William and
Nabby (Capen) Fisher.

Samuel Guild, who was born in Walpole,
February 12, 1806, lived on the old homestead
throughout the greater part of his life. In
his early years he did teaming to Boston, and
subsequently he was engaged in butchering
and farming. He died in May, 1893, aged
eighty-seven years. His wife, Orra, whose
birth occurred May 4, 1812, died May 20,
1864, aged fifty-two years. They had six-
children, namely: Orra Elizabeth, born April
4, 1834, who married Lyman D. Ware, now
residing in Walpole, and died December 10,
1863; Samuel Elbridge, born April 20, 1835,
who was successively a machinist and card-
maker, served in the late war in the capacity
of naval assistant engineer, and on April 7,
1859, married Jane Earle, of Hollis, Me.,
with whom he now lives in Walpole; Mary
Jane, born August 24, 1837, now residing in
Jamaica Plain, Mass., with her son, George
H. Ware, being the widow of George Henry
Ware, who died in 1863; William Fisher, the
subject of this sketch; Frederick, born No-
vember 15, 1843, now employed in the card
factory at Walpole, who married Phcebe Wil-
mot; Julius, born March 30, 1850, now resid-
ing on the old Guild homestead in Walpole,
who married Mary Ella Pillsbury.

The special subject of this sketch, William
Fisher Guild, received a good common-school
education. At the age of eight years he went
to live with an uncle, with whom he remained
two years, receiving his board and clothing.
Returning home then, he remained with his
parents until about sixteen years old, when he
went to work in a card factory and grist-mill,
afterward following the two occupations for
about five years. On September 12, 1862, he
enlisted for nine months' service in the Union
army, joining Company K, Forty-fourth Mas-
sachusetts Infantry, under Colonel- Francis L.
Lee and Captains Frank W. Reynolds and
Richard H. Weld. The regiment lost ten
men in its first skirmish, which occurred at
Ravvles Mill, N.C. After passing without in-
jury through many others, Mr. Guild was dis-
charged at Readville, Mass., June 18, 1S63.



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



5°9



After his return home he bought a farm in
the southern part of the town of Medfield,
which he carried on up to 1881. He then re-
moved to his present farm, the old Plympton
homestead, which was first settled by Henry
Plympton about the year 1705. Mr. Guild
also owns property in the north-west part of
Medfield. Besides carrying on general farm-
ing, he keeps a dairy of fifteen cows, and ships
milk to Boston.

On May 15, 1862, Mr. Guild was married to
Miss Elizabeth M. Plympton, who was born in
Medfield, May 23, 1841, daughter of David
and Eunice M. (Ware) Plympton. Her
father, who was a lifelong farmer, belonged to
the fourth generation of Plymptons who occu-
pied the farm. Pier mother was born in Wal-
pole. Both parents have passed away. Mr.
anil Mrs. Guild have had seven children,
namely: Louis, born September 15, 1864,
now living in Medfield; Arthur, born in 1866;
Orra E., who married Walter H. Webb, on
August 25, 1897, and now resides in Provi-
dence, R.I. ; Annie, of whom there is no
special record; Samuel D., a clerk in Boston,
Mass.; Edward A., who died in December,
1895 ; and Mabel, now attending school. The
Republican party has had a constant adherent
in Mr. Guild. He was first elected to the
office of Selectman in 1879, and he served in
that capacity until 1SS1. In 1S94 he was
elected chairman of the board, and he has
since presided at the board meetings for two
years. Since 1877 he has been on the Board
of Assessors. He belongs to Moses Ellis
Post, No. 117, G. A. R., of Medfield. Both
he and Mrs. Guild are members of the Unita-
rian church, and he is on the Parish Committee.




"ENRY C. AUSTIN, of Medway, the
chairman of the Board of Assessors,
was born in New Haven, Conn.,
April 16, 1S37. His parents, Eli
B. and Grace M. (Beecher) Austin, were na-
tives of that city. The father carried on a
wholesale grocery business in New Haven
until his death, which occurred in 1842. The
mother died in Medway in 1886. They had
seven children, three of whom are living,
namely: Mary A., who is the widow of W. C.



Kain, and resides in Milford, Mass. ; Eliza-
beth B., who is a resident of the same town;
and Henry C, the subject of this sketch, who
is the youngest. The others were Benjamin
B., Charlie, Sarah, and William E.

Henry C. Austin was educated in private
schools of New Haven. On reaching the age
of eighteen years, he went to Knoxville,
Tenn., and five years later to Douglas County,
Missouri. . A few years after he engaged in
farming in Litchfield, 111. In 1869 he came
East, and carried on general farming near
West Medway for a time. He next con-
ducted a general store for about five years.
Then he worked for a while as a book-keeper,
after which he retired from active business
pursuits. He now occupies a pleasant country
residence, and has four acres of land, which he
cultivates. In politics he is a Democrat, and
he has served with ability as chairman of the
Board of Assessors for the past six years. Pie
is a member of Charles River Lodge, F. &
A. M., of Medway, of the Knights of Honor,
of Holliston, Mass., and of Medway Lodge,
No. 163, I. O. O. F., of Medway.

On October 2, 1862, Mr. Austin married
Leah Martha Huddlestun, who was born in
Charleston, W. Va., December 11, 1842. Her
parents, Thomas and Martha (Simms) Hud-
dlestun, in 1856, moved to Missouri, where
her father followed contracting and building
for a time. Later they went to Kansas, and
there spent the rest of their lives. .Mrs.
Austin has had six children, four of whom are
living. These are : Charles Henry, the super-
intendent of a box manufactory at West Med-
way; Francis Beecher, of Milford, Mass. ; Al-
bert Elmer, of Amherst, Mass. ; and Grace
May, who resides at home. The others were
Thomas Jasper, the first-born, and Roswell
C, the fourch. Mr. Austin is warden of
Christ's Episcopal Church, which was organ-
ized December 24, 1881, by Rev. John S.
Beers, and now has a membership of forty.



SEWIS DUDLEY METCALF, a re-
tired business man of Norfolk, was
^ born in Franklin, Mass., February
26, 1834, son of Lewis L. and Sibyl
D. (Dudley) Metcalf. His grandfather, Lewis



5"



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



Metcalf, who was a lifelong resident of Wren-
tham, Mass., followed the carpenter's trade in
early life, and in his later years was a farmer.

Lewis L. Metcalf, born in Wrentham, was
for some years engaged in the manufacture of
wicking and batting. In i860 he moved to
Hamilton, Greenwood County, Kan., where
he bought a farm. Here the long droughts
and destructive grasshoppers proved serious
drawbacks to his farming. He died there in
1886. His first wife, Sibyl, who was a native
of Needham, Mass., died in 1834. His sec-
ond wife, who was before marriage Rachel
Glidden, of VViscasset, Me., died in Decem-
ber, 1892. He was the father of seven chil-
dren, all by his first union, namely: Spencer,
who married Anna Arnold, and is now en-
gaged in the dairy business in St. Louis, Mo. ;
Fanny, who is now Mrs. Beals, and resides in
Hamilton, Kan. ; Lewis D., the subject of
this sketch; Sibyl Dudley, who married
Oscar Grover, and died in Kansas in 1878;
Hartley G. , who is now connected with the
St. Louis water-works; Casandana, the wife of
Elijah Leonard, a retired resident of Franklin,
Mass. ; and Theodore, a farmer of Morrisville,
Kan.

Lewis Dudley Metcalf, after attending the
common schools for a period, began work in
a cotton-mill at an early age. When fourteen
years old he went to Med way, Mass. , where
he was employed in a batting factory for a
time. Then he was employed in a straw shop
for two years. He learned the trade of bleach-
ing straw goods in Boston. Later, going to
St. Louis, Mo., he followed his trade, and car-
ried on a laundry in that city for eleven years.
In 1865 he returned East, and for eleven years
was engaged in the real estate business in Bos-
ton as a member of the firm of Nason & Met-
calf. Retiring from active business then, he
erected a house in Franklin, Mass., lived in
it for a short time, and then removed to his
present farm in Norfolk, where he has since
resided. Besides his homestead property of
seventeen acres, he owns several other estates
in this town. His time is chiefly devoted to
the care of his investments. In politics he is
a Democrat. He has served for one year as
Assessor and Collector, and he has been a Jus-
tice of the Peace for the past fourteen years.



In i860 Mr. Metcalf was joined in marriage
with Myrtilla F. Miller, a native of Franklin,
Mass. She is a daughter of Whipple and
Betsey Miller, the former of whom was a na-
tive of Wrentham and a boat-builder by trade.
Mrs. Metcalf's parents are no longer living.
Mr. and Mrs. Metcalf have had two children,
namely: Fred D., who is now in the grocery
business in this State; and Bessie D. , who
died in January, 1876, aged five years. Mr.
Metcalf has had a busy as well as a successful
career, and he is fairly entitled to the rest and
recreation he now enjoys.




March



AMUEL H. CAPEN, Deputy Sheriff
of Norfolk County, Massachusetts,
was born in the town of Canton,
where he remains a resident, on
12, 1848. He is a son of the late
George Capen, of Canton, and comes of early
and honored American ancestry, being a lineal
descendant of Barnard Capen, an English emi-
grant, who was one of the first settlers of the
old town of Dorchester, Mass. His great-
grandfather, Samuel Capen, Sr. , was born in
Dorchester, but removed from there to Canton
prior to the Revolution, being the founder of
the family in this vicinity. His son, Samuel,
Jr., the next in this line, was a lifelong resi-
dent of Canton.

George Capen, son of Samuel Capen, Jr.,
also spent his life in Canton, dying in 1863,
at the age of forty-five years. He was a nat-
ural mechanic, and made good use of his talent
as a manufacturer of machinery. A man of
unusual ability and intelligence, eminently
trustworthy, he was prominent in local affairs,
serving many years as a member of the School
Committee and as Town Treasurer, and in
1855 representing Canton in the General
Court. Prior to the war he was a Democrat in
politics. He married Clara Boyden, of Dor-
chester, and was the father of seven children.
Five of the family are now living, namely:
Samuel H., Oscar D., and Edwin A., all of
this town; Eliza M., wife of George H. Chap-
man, formerly of Canton, but now residing at
Evanston, Wyo. ; and George H., of Canton.

Samuel H. Capen received his early educa-
tion in the public schools and in private




SAMUEL II. CAPEN.



BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW



5i3



schools of Canton, completing his studies, at
the age of eighteen years, in the Stoughton
Institute at Sharon, Mass. He was subse-
quently employed as a clerk in the general
store of E. Capen for three years; and in 1869
he accepted a similar position in the clothing
house of George Fenno & Co., of Boston, re-
maining with that firm four years. Mr. Capen
then bought out the entire business of Mr.
A. E. Tucker, of Canton, and for fifteen years
carried on a prosperous trade in general mer-
chandise. In 1877 he was appointed to his
present responsible office by Rufus C. Wood,
the High Sheriff; and in 1886 he succeeded
William Mansfield as general insurance
agent. In politics he is a strong and able ad-
vocate of the principles of the Republican
party, with which during his entire business
life he has been actively identified. Two
years he has served as Selectman. He was a
member of the first Board of Engineers of the
Canton fire department, and for a number of
terms he filled the office of Constable. He
was for a long time one of the trustees of the
Canton Institution for Savings.

Mr. Capen and Miss Adelaide A. Tucker,
daughter of A. E. Tucker, were married on
October 24, 1871. They have two children —
Samuel H., Jr. ; and Harold T. Mr. Capen
is a Mason of high standing, belonging to Blue
Hill Lodge, F. & A. M., of which he is
Past Master, to Mt. Zion Chapter, R. A. M.,
and to Cypress Commandery, K.T. , of Hyde
Park. He is also a member of Blue Hill
Lodge of Odd Fellows. Mr. Capen and his
family are regular attendants of the Unitarian
church.




|EV. ALBERT BUEL VORSE, of
Wellesley Hills, son of Dr. Isaac and
Elizabeth (Reber) Vorse, was born
in Lewisburg, Union County, Pa.
His grandfather was a farmer in Windham,
N. Y. The father, Dr. Isaac Shepard Vorse,
who was born in Connecticut, and educated in
Pennsylvania, followed the medical profession
in the latter State until his death in 1838.
He married Elizabeth, daughter of John
Reber, of Lewisburg, Pa.

After attending the public schools of his na-



tive town for the usual period, Albert Buel
Vorse fitted for college, entered Bucknell in
1848, and graduated therefrom in 185 1. He
then read law in the office of James F. Linn
for one year, after which he entered the law
school at Eaton, Pa. Here he studied for two
years, and was then admitted to the bar in
1853. He opened a law office in Lewisburg,
and practised there until 1857. Then he was
a student in the Meadville Theological School
for two years. He was ordained while at the



Online LibraryBoston Biographical review publishing companyBiographical review, containing life sketches of leading citizens of Norfolk County, Massachusetts → online text (page 58 of 84)