D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) Hurd.

History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) online

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equally applicable to Rockland and South Abington.

The high-school house-lot at North Abington is
the fiuest iu town. The circumstances concerning its
purchase are worth recording.

During the fall and winter of 1865 it became evi-
dent that additional school accommodations must be
provided for North Abington, and a recommendation
was made by the school committee to the town in
March, 18CG, that land be purchased and a new
building erected. The town voted according to the
recommendation. The only lot which could be had
of sufficient size was the lot owned by Elbridge
Sprague, Esq. After a protracted negotiation he
offered to sell for five hundred dollars. Two days
later he thought the sum was too small, and wanted
fifty dollars additional. The committee, knowing
that it would be a splendid bargain for the town, even
at that additional price, accepted his final offer ut
once, and the lot became the property of the town.

The following is a list of the present school com-
mittee and teachers :

Elbridge Sprague, Otis W. Soule, Silas B. Dicker-
man, committee ; George L. Richardson, George E.
Wales, Abbie H. Jones, Anna Tolman, Amy L.
Edgerly, Maurice J. O'Brien, Isabelle Holbrook,
Emma A. Randall, Eliza F. Dolan, Mary A. King,
Abbie M. Kelley, Helen D. Hayward, Mary P. Hay-
ward, Louie II. Ridgway, Julia A. Ilayncs, Susan A.
O Brien, Sarah A. King, Hattie L. Davis, Lurana
Ford, teachers.

The Boot and Shoe Business in this town took
its rise in the early part of the present century. The



following census returns of 1SG0 are given, so that

the reader may make a comparison with the business
done at the present time, as given under Rockland,
Abington, and South Abingtou :

J. Cleverly A Co., boot?, calf an J grain, and brogaus.. S27,700
H'illey ,t Floyd, boots, congress, lace, ami Oxford

sboes 7 43tj

Henry Duabaiu, shoes, light brogans, cloth and Oxford

ties 1 5,1100

Jeremiah Towle, women's shoes and buckskin, etc 5,500

Gilbert *t II not, boots and Bboes 4,000

J. F. Bigolow, boots, congress, Oxford tics, and strap

shoes 7.i,0UU

\V. S. Wales, boots, graiu and calf 3t>,liufl

S. Vining it Son, brogaus 14,7:15

C. L. Dunham, boots, shoes, and brogans I 5, mm

L. T. Harden, shoes, calf S.OIIO

Fuller tfc Blanehard, boots and shoes 3u,oOO

Abncr Curtis, shoos and broguns 1 IJ I), mill

Turner Reed, shoes, boys', youths', and children's 7,51)0

Joiiah Soule, Jr., shoes 2u,oui)

C. L. Brown, boots and shoes, congress, Oxford ties,

etc 17,000

L. Faxon A Co., boots ami shoes, men's, women's, and

boys' 62,000

George Studley, boots and shoes 2i,oOU

George C. Reynolds, shoes, congress, English lace,

and Oxford ties lti,327

Samuel Norton, boots and shoes 31,250

Samuel Reed, Jr., congress and Oxford 25,0m)

Isaac Pollard, brogans and Oxford tics 3,000

Ilovey, Arnold & Co., boots and shoes, congress and

Oxford ties 71,742

Levi Reed, boots and shoes, congress, huuters', Oxford,

etc 20,1100

Whitmarsh Bros., boots and shoes 50,000

Beal A; Francis, boots and shoes, congress, brogans, aud

Oxford S3,'J4U

L. G. Damon, Thomas it Co., boots and shoes, congress,

etc 14,100

M. it G. T. Nash, boots and shoes, congress, hunters',

etc 30,723

Lit N.S.Jenkins, boots, Oxford ties and brogans 2U,liI7

Jenkins it Tirrcll, boots, congress aud Scotch, Oxford

ties and strap 1 1,757

Albert Chamberlain, shoes and moccasins 30,325

Brown A Goodwin, gaiter boots and Oxford ties 35.50S

Franklin Smith, boots, broguns, aud Oxford ties 7,'JS3

Lcander Curtis, congress, boots, and brogans 7.200

Melvin Shaw, boots and shoes 33,075

E. R. Rand, brogans, mon's, boys', and youths' S,0UU

J. L. Hobart, bouts aud shoes, men's, boys', youths',

etc 30,454

William L. Reed, boots and shoes 75,000

T. it J. B. Clement, boots and shoes, congress, Oxford

ties and strap 90,000

Joseph Dill, boots and shoes, congress, Oxford, brogans,

eta 01,000

George W. I'ratt, boots, calf, etc 5,200

J.Vaughn A Kersey, brogans 52,000

Jacob Whiting, congress boots, Oxford ties, and lace

shoes 22,000

James Whitemarsh, hunters' boots 7,500

E. G. Sharp, congress boots 4,100

C. W. Forbush Jc Co., congress boots, Oxford ties, and

brogans 40,000

B. L. Hunt, boots, huuters' and congress Scotch tics,

etc 40,000

William P. Corthell, shoes ti,000

Sunnier Shaw, congress boots and shoes 42,561)

I. F. Lowell, congress boots and shoes 10,500

Nathaniel Beal, congress boots, hunters', and brogans 3U,435

Huut it Lane, long boots, congress, luce, and shoes... 111,250

Jenkins, Lano i, Son, shoes of all kinds 225,000

Aldeu S. Loud, long boots, congress, lacu, Oxford ties,

etc 26, ,172

Ira Noyes, calf boots S,70o

Henry Cushing, California boots 25,000

II. G. Cushing, calf boots 13,500

Luke B. Noyes, shoes, brogans, boys', youths', etc 15,000

Charles H. Dill, congress boots and Oxford ties 17,040



HISTORY OK ABINGTON.



477



Charles \\\ Torrcy, congress and lace boots, and Ox-
ford tics $7,200 |

E. V. .1 I.. F, Wheeler, congress, lace, and Oxford ties S.liOO

(jridley Hunt, lace boots, Oxford tics, and brogans.... :i,750

Daniel W. Deal, Oxford ties and brogans 12,0(10

Winslow Jackson, calf boots 5,570

Jacob Shaw, boots 7,800

S. Coles, Jr., shoes 10,0111)

Albert Whituimsh, boots and shoes 40,000

Joshua Curtis, boots and shoes 4,800

Eliab M. Noyes, long boots and brogans 12,100

Davis 11. Cook, shoes 3,025

A. L. M:ivbew, long boots and shoes 24,755

Nahum Reed, boots and shoes 40,500

Davis Gurncy, long and congress boots 07,040

A. A A. Alden, brogans and boots 1 1,080

William II. Capon, boots and shoes 0,285

John Wilkes, shoes 4,210

Julia Dnrrcll, congress hoots 10,500

John Curtis, Jr., congress boots, Oxford tics, and

brogans 12,150

Jesse Kecd, Jr., shoes, mens', boys', and youths', etc.. 10,000

Dates A; Dosworth, ladies' shoos 8,700

David F. Hunt, shoes 3,S1U

Micah 11. I'ool, Scotch and congress boots and Oxford

ties 24,347

S. It. Wales, boots and shoes 85,0011

Moccasin Manufacture. — The moccasin or over-
shoe business has quite an interesting history. We
are indebted largely to Deacon Albert Chamberlin for
the facta furnished.

The overshoe business was first commenced in this
town by Mtij. Joseph Hunt, in 1839 or 1840. Mr.
John Chaiuberliu was employed by him to prepare
the patterns and make the first overshoes from the
buffalo-akin. They were rather rude-looking things,
beiug cut somewhat like a short-legged boot, and
sewed up with the hair iuside, without any sole-
leather sole. They proved to be very comfortable
for riding, but were not very serviceable. They very
soon began to put on leather foxiugs and a substan-
tial sole-leather sole. They were made on iron-
bottomed lasts, and nailed with copper nails, and
then proved to be quite serviceable as well as com-
fortable iu the coldest weather. The demand for
them then began to increase very rapidly from year
to year, so that it became almost impossible to supply
it, the business then being carried on principally by
Col. Thomas J. Hunt, a brother of Major Hunt. Mr.
John Chamberlin was employed by him to take the
stock and make the goods by contract, there being
made at this time about thirty thousand pairs per
year. The cutting and making was principally done
by himself aud sons. Mr. Chamberlin's sous soon
made improvements in the goods and commenced the
manufacture on a more extensive scale, giving em-
ployment to a large number of hands. In 1852, Mr.
Albert Chamberlin made still further improvements
by machine sewing, which had previously all been
done by hand. In 1853 he received the highest
premium at the fair of the Massachusetts Charitable
Mechanics' Association held in Boston in that year.



A medal and a diploma were also awarded for the
greatest improvement made, and for the best fur-
lined boots, shoes, and overshoes.

The demand for these goods still increased, and
many new firms went into the business in this and
neighboring towns, using a great many thousand buf-
falo robes annually. The price for these robes had
usually been two to four dollars apiece. The price
then went up to fifteen dollars. In consequence of
the great rise in robes the goods became too costly,
and the demand fell off. The rubber arctic, which
had formerly been much higher, could then be bought
at a lower price than the buffalo overshoes. Besides,
they looked much neater and were water-proof. So
that at the present time, they almost entirely take the
place of the old-fashioned moccasin.

Deacon Chamberlin has not been actively engaged
in business for a dozen years or more. He has been
a deacon in the Rockland Baptist Church for thirteen
years, superintendent of the Sunday-school for sixteen
years, is a trustee of the Abington Savings-Bank and
Public Library, and served in the Legislature in 1SG0
and 1870, and is a native of Abington, where he has
always resided.

Messrs. Cobb & Thompson began business June
10, 18C5. It lias increased until, at the present
time, the value of the annual product amounts to
two hundred and twenty thousand dollars. One hun-
dred and sixty hands are employed. The factory is
two hundred feet long by twenty-eight feet wide,
with two wings.

Charles S. Loud commenced manufacturing boots
and shoes in 1860, and continued until the spring of
1881, aud employed from thirty to forty persons.

Thompson Brothers commenced business May 1,
1S80. The annual product amounts to forty thousand
dollars, and employs twenty hands.

S. C. Noyes employs fifteen hands, and the value
of the annual production of boots and shoes is twenty-
three thousaud dollars.

S. S. Knapp employs about fifty hands.

Randall Richards employs thirty-five persons, and
the value of the annual product amounts to titty
thousand dollars.

Lasts were first manufactured in Abington on a
small scale in 1850, by Leonard P. Arnold and Capt.
Bela Smith, who, not having machinery of their own,
had their blocks turned at Chandler Sprague's last
factory, North Bridgewater ; but their business was
brought to an abrupt close after a short life by those
manufacturers who owned turning-machines entering
into a combination with the patentee, — a Mr. Blauch-
ard, of Boston, — whereby the manufacturers agreed



47S



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



not to tuni any blocks aud Mr. Blanohard not to sell
any machines to outside parties, thus controlling the
entire last business themselves. In 1S5G one of the
last manufacturers, having left the combination and
moved his machines to Nova Scotia, began turning
lasts for any one who wanted them ; and taking ad-
vantage of this, Mr. A. P. Richardson began the
busiucss of again making lasts in Abington, and about
Jau. 1, 1857, he sold out to Jesse II. Giles, and gave
up the business. Mr. Giles, hiring Leonard P. Arnold
as foreman, continued the business for two years, buy-
ing all his blocks already turned in Nova Scotia, but
at the end of that time — some time in 1S59 — he suc-
ceeded in buying a turning-machine, the combination
having broken, and from that time turned his own
blocks. In 1SG0 he bought another machine, thus
doubling his capacity for making lasts, and in 18G5,
his business having increased, he bought a third ma-
chiue, which he kept running all the time until 1S70,
at which time he added another machine, making four
turning-lathes in all. He manufactured upwards of
thirty thousand pairs of lasts per year.

In the year 187G the style of Jesse H. Giles was
changed to J. H. Giles & Co., Leonard P. Arnold
and Nathaniel W. Arnold entering the partnership,
from which time business continued good, no change
bciug made until April 1, 1 SSI, when Jesse H. Giles
retired from business, Leonard P. Arnold aud Na-
thaniel W. Arnold continuing under the style of
Arnold Brothers to the present, at which time they
are now manufacturing about twenty thousand pairs
of lasts each year, and give employment to eleven
men, doing business on the same spot where it started
iu the factory then owned by D. B. Gurney, where
they first hired one room in the second story, but now
belonging to the J. II. Giles estate, Arnold Brothers
occupying the whole of the first floor.

Abington Tack and Machine Association. —
This business was started iu 1874 by John Hyslop,
Jr. In the year of 187G the present compauy was
formed under the name of the Abingtou Tack and
Machine Association, with a capital of fifteen thou-
sand dollars. It gives employment to thirty to forty
hands.

The value of goods produced for the last year was
about eighty thousand dollars. The goods are mostly
those manufactured under the Hyslop patents, being
faucy-head tacks and nails of all kinds, also all of the
commou kinds of tacks and shoe-nails.

The Insurance Business of the town of Abington
dates back nearly half a century, the first business
of this kind being done by Mr. John Nash, who
was also town clerk aud treasurer, and lived with



his maiden sisters on Washington Street, near Ilath-
erly Hall, on the lot where now stands the mansion of
the late Baxter Cobb, Esq. Mr. Nash was agent for
the Hingham Mutual Fire Insurance Company, aud
also represented one or two other mutual companies ;
but beyond the insurance of the dwilliug-houses very
little was done. Mr. Nash was a man of careful
habits and much respected by all who had any busi-
ness relations with him, but iu 1851 his failing health
compelled him to seek recuperation iu rest and change
of climate.

In 1849, Rev. Freeman P. Ilowland, having been
obliged by bronchial disability to relinquish preaching,
removed from Hanson to Abington, and Mr. Nash se-
cured his services to attend to his town and insurance
business while he went on a journey, hoping change
of air and scene might be beneficial to him. Mr.
Nash, however, did not live to return, and Mr. Ilow-
land succeeded him in his business and official posi-
tion, retaining the office of town clerk and treasurer
for quite a number of years, and for more than a
third of a century retaiuing (in connection with his
sons, C. W. and I. C.) nearly the whole insurance
business of the old town of Abington.

The Abington Mutual Fire Insurance Company
was organized under the following circumstances:
The Hingham Mutual Fire Insurance Company, by
its charter, — in which the greater part of the houses
in Abington were insured, — was authorized to insure
dwelling-houses, barns, aud other buildings and house-
hold furniture, but did not insure stock in trade, hay,
grain, farm produce, or merchandise contained in the
buildings it insured. This company, iu which nearly
all desired to be insured, declined to write on more
risks in the villages, as iu case of a sweeping con-
flagration their loss must be very great, for the vil-
lages had become quite thickly settled. Hence the
convenience and necessity of another insurance com-
pany were apparent.

The subject was preseuted to some of the business
meu of the town, and at a meeting of some of the
citizeus it was decided to apply to the Legislature for
a charter for a company iu Abington in which they
could obtain insurance on buildings aud their con-
tents, including live-stock aud personal property iu
general. The act of incorporation was secured aud
became a law May 30, 185G, chapter cox. of the acts
of that year reading as follows :

11 Be it enacted, etc.

" Section 1. Asaph Dunbar, Joshua L. Nash, William Jirown,
and tbeir associates and successors: arc hereby made a corpora-
tion by the name of the Abington Mutual Fire Insurance Cum-
|iany, to be established in the town of Abington, lor the term
of twenty-eight yoars, for the purpose of insuring dwelling-



HISTORY OF ABINGTON.



479



house- :i n.l otbcr buildings and personal property against loss
or damage by lire; with all the powers and privileges, and sub-
ject tu all t lie duties, liabilities, and restrictions set I'm Id in the
thirty-seventh and forty-fourth chapters of the Revised Stat-
utes, an>l all oilier laws of this Cotnoionwealtb, made or to be
made, relating to such corporations.

"Skctios 2. This aet shall take elleet from and after its
passage."

Business was commenced in April, 1S5T, Baxter
Cobb being elected president, and Jobn Newton Noyes,
secretary. The first board of directors consisted of
Asaph Dunbar, Thomas J. Hunt, William Brown,
Zophar D. llamsdell, Baxter Cobb, Jenkins Lane,
Washington Keed, Joseph Cleverly, and William P.
Corthell.

Mr. Cobb was president of the company from the I
time it commenced business until his death, which
occurred Jan. 2S, 1877, and by his conservative
management aided much in establishing the company
as a successful organization. Upon his decease, Mr.
Joseph Vaughn was elected his successor, and has
ever since ably filled his position as presiding officer.

Mr. Noyes resigned his office as secretary and treas-
urer of the company July 25, 18G2, and removed to
Lawrence, Kansas, where he resided until his death,
iu 18SJ.

Rev. Mr. Howland was secured as his successor,
and during his management of the company, from
1862 to 1882, the growth of the company may be
judged from the fullowiug :

Amount at risk, 1SG2, $306,834 ; in 1382, $2,238,832.
Annual premium, 1SU2, S566 ; in 1382, S1U,8G1.
Cash a-scts, 1S02, $'J.70 ; in 1SS2, S42,'JI3.
Consecutive No. of policy, 1362, 817; in 1882, 12,197.

The business of the company was much benefited
by its association with the agency of Mr. Howland,
the greater part of its risks during his life being
secured in that connection, people having confidence
in a home institution managed by men whom they
knew and respected, and iu "Father" Howland, as
quite a uuniber had found themselves obliged to pay
assessments in companies in which they had been
induced to insure by traveliug agents, who insured
large amounts at low rates.

Mr. Howland remained its secretary and treasurer
until his death, Aug. 10, 1S82, at the advanced age
of eighty-five years, having faithfully and successfully
fulfilled the duties of his position uutil a few days be-
fore his decease.

Mr. Howland is succeeded in his duties in the com-
pany by his youngest son, Isaac C. Howland, Esq.,
who brings to the company's service a valuable expe-
rience iu the insurance business, having been engaged



in business with his father and brother iu the firm of
F. P. Howland & Sons for several years.

Associated with him as assistant secretary is Carlos
P. Faunce, Esq., a young man whose efficient .services
as clerk in the insurance office of F. P. Howland &,
Sons for several years, and whose integrity of charac-
ter are highly appreciated by the directors and all
having business transactions with the company.

The present board of directors are Joseph Vaughn,
William Brown, Joshua L. Nash, Z. N. Whitinarsh.
Henry B. Peirce, J. N. Farrar, Albert Chamberlin,
James F. Cox, William P. Corthell, Lyman Clark.
Jedediah Dwelley, Charles W. Howland, and Isaac
C. Howland.

The company has paid a dividend on every expir-
ing policy, having passed successfully through the
trying times of the several great conflagrations which
crippled and swamped so many companies, and never
lias called for an assessment on its members, and now
stands in the front rank as one of our best M utual
Fire Insurance Compauies.

The Fire and Life Insurance Agency of F. P.
Howland & Sous is continued by his sous, Charles W.
Howlaud, whose real estate and insurance rooms are
in "Standard Building," over the post-office in Rock-
land, and by Isaac C. Howland in the rooms of the
Abington Mutual Fire Insurance Company in their
new aud elegant apartmeuts iu the Savings-Bank
building iu Abington Centre.

The East Abington Children's Progressive
Lyceum was organized Oct. 10, 1800. Its member-
ship was composed of Spiritualists aud what is de-
nominated the liberal element in religious thought of
East Abington (now Rockland) aud vicinity. While
its fundamental idea was the Spiritualistic one, it
asked no one to subscribe to a faith, and it sought to
teach the utmost freedom of thought and expression
upon all religious and theological questions.

For several years it succeeded in attracting a large
membership. The first year the average number of
scholars was one hundred and twenty-four, and the
necessary officers and leaders, with quite a numerous
audience of spectators and friends usually in attend-
ance. The hard times which began in 1873, with
other causes, greatly reduced the uumbers aud the
contributions. It continued, however, with varying
fortunes aud success, to hold its regular meetings
until the summer of 1883, when it suspended.

The Abington Bank was incorporated April 8.
1850, and the first meetiug of its first stockholders
was held August 5th of the same year, when an or-
ganization was effected, aud a board of uiue directors
chosen. Subsequently, Asaph Duubar, of Abiugtou,



4S0



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



was elected president, and J. N. Farrar, of Boston,
cashier. The capital of the hank was one hundred
thousand dollars, but in 1853 it was by vote of the
stockholders increased to one hundred and fifty thou-
sand dollars. In July, 1SG5, it ceased to do busi-
ness under the State laws, and reorganized under the
United States laws, and became the Abington National
Bank.

After sewing as president nine years, Mr. Dunbar
declined a re-election, and in 185U Baxter Cobb, Esq.,
of Abington, was chosen president, and continued to
hold that office until his death, in 1S77, when Mr.
Richmond J. Lane, of Bocklaud, was elected his suc-
cessor, and has been annually re-elected since that
time.

Mr. J. N. Farrar still occupies the position of
cashier, — a position held by him ever since the organ-
ization of the bank in 1850. For a few years after
its organization the bank occupied rooms in the build-
ing on the southwest corner of Washington and Bank
Streets, now occupied by Mr. Yeaton as a dry-goods
store. Iu 1853, finding more accommodation needed,
the directors voted to erect a building on the east side
of Washington Street suitable for banking purposes,
with a tenement annexed for the cashier. In 1884
the Abiugton Savings-Bank having erected an elegant
and commodious brick building on the corner of Wash-
ington Street and Centre Avenue witli fire- and burg-
lar-proof vaults and better accommodations for its
increasing business, the National Bank removed to
this location on July 4th.

The bank has a surplus of thirty thousand dollars,
and its average deposits are about one hundred and
seventy-five thousand dollars.

The officers of the bank for 1884 are as follows :
Richmond J. Lane, of Rockland, president ; M. S.
Stetsou, of South Abington, Joseph Vaughn, of
Abington, Z. N. Whitmarsh, of Abington, James F.
Cox, of Abington, directors ; J. N. Farrar, cashier ;
G. R. Farrar, teller.

The Abington Savings-Bank was organized April
18, 1853, with Ezekiel Thaxter, M.D., president,
Zibeon Packard vice-president, and J. N. Farrar
treasurer ; and a board of fifteen trustees.

Dr. Thaxter remained in office until his death. In
April, 185U, Jenkins Lane, Esq., of East Abington
(now Rockland), was chosen president, and Asaph
Dunbar vice-presideut. Mr. Lane died in 1S70,
whereupon Z. N. Whitmarsh, Esq., of Abiugton, was
elected president, aud Jesse H. Giles vice-president.

The officers for 1884 are as follows: Z. N. Whit-
marsh, president; William Brown, vice-president;
Trustees, William Brown, George A. Beal, William



P. Corthell (of South Abington), James F. Cox,
Samuel Dyer (of South Abiugton), Joseph L. Green-
wood, Joshua L. Nash, Bela T. Nash, Henry A.
Noyes, Otis W. Soulc, Albert Chamberlin, Joseph
Vaughn, Adoniram Vaughn, Z. N. Whitmarsh, John
F. Wheeler ; George A. Beal, clerk and treasurer.

This institution has paid regular semi-annual divi-
dends from the commencement of its business, varying
from four aud a half per cent, per annum to six per
cent. The present amount of deposits is one million
two hundred thousand dollars, and the number of
depositors two thousand nine hundred. Until the
present year the savings-bank has occupied rooms in
conjunction with the Abington National Bank, but
findiug need of greater facilities and more room for
the transaction of its business, have now erected a
substantial brick building upon the corner of Wash-
ington Street and Centre Avenue, to which place they
removed July 4th.

The Press in Abington. — Prior to 1S53 an attempt
was made to establish a weekly paper in the town, but
the effort proved futile, as only a few numbers were



Online LibraryD. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) HurdHistory of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) → online text (page 106 of 118)