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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He married, Sept. 17, 1867, Martha, daughter of
Deacon James aud Deborah (Jones) Ford. They
have six children, — Abbie, Agnes, James, Ethel,
Percy, aud Helen.

As an evidence of the harmouious relations existiug
between Mr. Arnold and his employes and the way he
pushes business, we quote from the Plymouth County
Journal of Aug. 1, 1884:

" A Happy Family. — It would be hard in all
Plymouth County, or in any other county, to find a
happier, jollier, more contented, or better paid army
of working people than the four huudred and fifty,
more or less, men and women iu the great brick shoe-
factory of Moses N. Arnold, at North Abiugton.
From the basement to the fifth story the hum of meu
aud machinery reminds ouo of a veritable hive of

" From humble beginnings Mr. Arnold's factory
has grown to be oue of the leading factories iu the
State. Iucreasiug business has led to constant addi-
tions to his building, the latest being the erection of
a brick additiou on the south side of the centre, five
stories high, thirty-five by twenty-five feet. Its pur-
pose was to get the main stairways out of the main
building. These the addition now contains, and be-
sides them it contains the elevator and a large room
on each floor. The first is a stock-room ; the second,
office; the third, office of the bottoming department;
the fourth and fifth are occupied by cutters. These
four hundred and fifty employes are uow turning out
about one hundred cases of fall goods per day. Thus
far this season there has been uo slacking up, and Mr.
Arnold thinks there will be none. This is one of the
factories which will pull through without even a tem-
porary shut down."

Mt. Arnold is a man of sterling integrity, honest,
aud sincere. As a citizen, he is public-spirited, ener-
getic, industrious, and progressive, and has always
favored and earnestly supported whatever tended to
the advancement and the best interests of his com-
munity. As a soldier, he did his full duty. All iu
all, Mr. Arnold is one of the live, enterprising men



of the day, aQ<i a specimen of a class of which Mas-
sachusetts is justly proud, — her self-made men.

Capt. M. N. Arnold entered upon the manufacture
of boots and shoes in October, 1S65. He worked
at the bench as a shoemaker for Mr. M. C. Wales
about a year after he was discharged from the United
States service, and then began business for himself.
At this time he cut his own sole-leather, and, as he
had no rolliug machine, he was accustomed to take
the leather to the shop of a neighboring shoemaker
and roll it by hand. In 1867 he moved to the fac-
tory that had been occupied in former years by S. R.
Wales. Here his business greatly increased until
1870, when he was obliged to have more room. He
then moved into the south part of the steam-mill of
Amos Reed, which had been specially fitted up for
him. The business was prosecuted here successfully
for five years, at the end of which time it demanded
still larger accommodations, and the present factory
was built.

The building was originally one hundred and
twenty-five by forty feet, and four stories high.
Seveuty-five feet have since been added to the length,
and a south wing, thirty-five by twenty-five feet and
five stories high, has just been completed. This
factory is fully equipped with modern machiuery, em-
bracing the most recent results of man's inventive
genius, and is well-nigh perfect in all its appointments.
The chimney-stack, which may well be termed a land-
mark, is one hundred and ten feet high.

Capt. Arnold carries on the largest boot and shoe
busiuess in Plymouth Couuty. The grade of goods
produced is very high, and prominent manufacturers
inform me that there is no firm in the Uuited States
manufacturing so fine a quality of goods that is doing
so large a business. It may be well to state, iu order
to give some idea of the extent of the business, that
there are eighty-four employes iu the stitching de-
partment alone. The total number of employes is five
hundred, and the sum paid for wages for the year
endiug July 1, 1884, was two hundred and forty
thousand dollars. For the same period there were
produced twenty-three thousaud cases of boots and
shoes, aggregating two hundred aud seventy-six
thousand pairs, at a market value of seven hundred
aud fifty thousand dollars.

The business has had a steady growth, and is in a
sound aud healthy condition. Since 1SG7, Mr. Ar-
nold has had a mutual interest in the firm of Potter,
White Hi Baylie, Summer Street, Boston.


Next to Capt. Arnold, Mr. William E. Lyon car-
ries on the largest manufacturing business in the north
part of the town. He began manufacturing shoes
Jan. 1, 18C6, and took as a partner Henry C. Buck,
under the firm-name of Buck & Lyon, each contrib-
uting five huudred dollars. The value of their man-
ufactures the first year was ouly about five thousand
dollars, which gave employment to only three em-
ployes besides themselves. At the expiration of the
first year Mr. Lyon bought out his partner, and has
since conducted the business himself, increasing a
little each year, until about five years ago, when he
began to manufacture lawn-tennis and base-ball can-
vas shoes. Siuce then his trade has rapidly increased,
and he now owns a large factory thoroughly equipped
with power and all the modern machinery, and gives
employment to oue hundred persons. The product
of the factory last year was six thousaud three hun-
dred cases, or one hundred and fifty-one thousand
two hundred pairs. The value of the production was
one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

Mr. Lyon is, like Capt. Arnold, a public-spirited
citizen, and throws his influence on the side of every
good cause. He is a ready public speaker wheuever
occasion demands. Educated in the public schools of
Abington, his native town, he was ambitious to pur-
sue his studies further, and so spent some time at the
academies then existing at South Braiutreo aud Mid-
dleboro'. Both Mr. Lyon and Capt. Arnold are
striking examples of what young men may become,
even though born in the so-called humbler walks of
life, provided they are endowed with that very essen-
tial gift known as common sense, and are correct in
their habits of life, and have received the quickening
mental impulse afforded by the common schools.


Henry B. Peirce was born in Duxbury, Aug. 0,
1841, but has resided in Abington for the past thirty-
eight years. He is a lineal descendant of one of the
early heroes of the Old Colony. His ancestor, Capt.
Michael Peirce, of Scituate, was sent out by the
Governor aud Couucil of Plymouth, in 107C, to stay
the ravages of the Narragansett Indians aud drive
them back to Rhode Island. Capt. Peirce was a mau
of the most resolute and undauuted courage, aud when
his command, which consisted of fifty Englishmen
and twenty friendly Indians, encouutered a large
force of the Narragansetts at Attleboro' Gore, they



maintained their ground with invincible courage and
patriotic devotion until Capt. Peirce and nearly every
one of his men were slain, " being called," as the
early historian quaintly expressed it, " to imitate
Samson, who was content to die with his enemies that
he might overthrow them thereby."

The subject of this sketch was educated in the
public schools of Abington, and at the Mercantile
Academy in Boston, and for a short time was em-
ployed in a shoe-factory, first at the bench and subse-
quently as a book-keeper. When he was only twenty
years of age (Oct. 14, 1861) he enlisted for the de-
fense of the Union as a private in Company E,
Tweuty-third Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers,
and served with honor and credit continuously until
the triumphant close of the war. He shared the
fortunes and privations of his regiment during its
campaigns as a portion of the Burnside expedition,
and while subsequently attached to the department
of the South, the department of Virginia and North
Carolina, the Army of the James, and the Army of the

He was appointed commissary-sergeant Dec. 9,
1802; commissioned first lieutenant Sept. 1, 1863;
appoiuted regimental quartermaster Jan. 3, 1864,
and commissioned captain Sept. 20, 1804. He was
appointed acting commissary of subsistence upon
Gen. Harland's staff in April, 1865, and was dis-
charged with his regiment at the close of the war,
July 10, 1805. After his return home he was for a
short time engaged in the business of insurance, but
he was soon called to service by his former comrades-
in-arms. Always, from the organization, an active mem-
ber of the Grand Army of the Republic, he was selected
from time to time to serve in various official positions in
that order, and in August, 1870, he was appointed by
Gen. James L. Bates, then department commander,
to the position of assistant adjutant-general of the
department of Massachusetts. He discharged the
duties of the office with such admirable system and
fidelity that he was annually reappointed by each suc-
ceeding department commauder until he was elected
secretary of the commonwealth, in 1S75.

He has always been the warmest, sympathetic, aud
practical friend of the deserving soldier. In 1S70
he was appointed a member of the commission for
the care of disabled soldiers, and, as its secretary and
treasurer, the active portion of its work fell to his

The aid distributed by that commission afforded
relief to a large number of cases, the merits and
necessities of which he had personally investigated.
He is a public-spirited member of the community

in which he resides, as has been frequently mani-
fested by his inaugurating and aiding measures for
the social, intellectual, and moral improvement of
its citizens, and he is ever ready to embrace any op-
portunity to advance the individual or collective
interests of his townsmen, or to contribute to their
entertainment and pleasure. He is prominent in
many local organizations and enterprises, and is a
trustee of the Abington Public Library, a director of
the Abington Mutual Insurance Company, and one
of the park commissioners.

His administration of the important and respon-
sible office of secretary of the commonwealth has
been governed by the principles which guide the suc-
cessful business man in the conduct of his private
affairs. His systematic methods have simplified the
public business, and rendered its transaction more
expeditious ; his careful economy has resulted in a
large reduction of the expenses of the office ; and
his personal cordiality and courtesy to all who have
occasion to visit the department have made him a
very popular official, and caused the secretary's office
to be regarded as a model public department ; that
the citizens of the commonwealth appreciate his val-
uable and faithful services is shown by his re-election
to the office for the ninth time aud by the very flat-
tering popular vote which he has each time received,
that of 1880 being the largest ever received by any
candidate for any office in Massachusetts.


Joseph Pettee was born in Salisbury, Conn., March
14, 1809 ; graduated at Yale College, class of 1833 ;
after graduation entered the Theological School at
New Haven ; became a member of the Orthodox
Church quite early in life, and was much interested
in spiritual subjects; was interested in and benefited by
the advanced views of Dr. Taylor and other teachers
of that class; became attached to the writings of Swe-
denborg, particularly by his doctrine of the sole
divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, which doctriue is
that the whole Trinity is embodied in Ilim. The
adoption of the doctrine of the New Church made
him undecided as to whether he should carry out his
iutentiou of becoming a preacher. On this account
he did not continue his connection with the Theo-
logical School, and spent several years in teaching,
continuing, in connection, his reading of New Church
theology. In the latter part of 1830, or early iu
1837, by the advice of judicious friends, he decided



to prepare for the ministry of the New Church. In
the latter part of 1837 he received a license to preach,
and officiated at Portland, Bath, and Gardiner, Me.,
about three months. While at Gardiner received an
invitation to preach for the society in Abington as a
candidate for settlement. After a candidacy of six
mouths, from January to July, 1838, was elected
pastor, and was ordained the 25th of the latter month.
Continued in this relation till July, 1S75, thirty-seven
years. The connection was dissolved for the reason
that the Massachusetts Association, consisting of some

eighteen or twenty societies, desired his services as
its presiding minister, and later as its general pastor.

He continues to reside in the parsouage at Abing-
ton, but has his office and headquarters at the New
Church Rooms, 169 Tremont Street, Boston.

He was married, Feb. 24, 1835, to Mary Pierce,
of Salisbury, and has six children, five of whom are
married, and, including four who have passed into the
spiritual world, has had twenty-three grandchildren.

Mr. Pettee is one of the lcadiug Swedenborgians
in the United States.



Tins is one of the most enterprising towns in the
county. It was formerly a part of Abiugton auJ
East Bridgewater, and was incorporated into a town
March -1, 1875. The history of South Abington,
like that of llocklaud, will be largely found in the
article on Abington. There is here a spirit of push
and enterprise that is seldom met with, and there is a
greater variety of manufactures than in any other
part of the town of which it formerly constituted a
part. Coffins, caskets, steel shanks, packing-boxes,
boots and shoes, tacks, and nails are some of the
articles manufactured. South Abington is a pioneer
in the tack and nail business, which is still carried
on to a great extent by Messrs. Dunbar, Hobart &
Whidden, and by D. B. Gurney, Esq. H. H. Brig-
ham, now deceased, was for many years also exten-
sively engaged in this business.

Benjamin Hobart, A.M., engaged in the tack
business early in the present century, and has con-
tributed much to the prosperity of this town. Mr.
Hobart was a lawyer by profession, and a liberal-
hearted, publie-spiriced gentleman of culture. He
will long be remembered as the author of Hobart's
" History of Abingtou."

Probably no town in Plymouth County lias grown
more rapidly during the past five years than the
beautiful town of South Abington.

Six large and elegant new factories have been
erected, and are running to their full capacity. New
avenues and sidewalks have been laid out and finished ;
a large park has been laid out in the centre of the
town ; water has been introduced into all the princi-
pal streets; a water-tower, built of irou, has beeu
erected, which has a pressure of sufficient power to
throw water over the highest building.

The tower can be seen miles away, and is a great
ornament to the town.

A tire department has been organized, with four
elegant hose- carriages under command of Maj. Allen.

Two tine hotels have been built and supplied with
all the improvements of a city hotel, and are well

patronized. Many large and elegant houses have been
erected, and several blocks of stores are now under

Among them is the fine block being built by a
former citizen of the town, who takes great pleasure
in seeing his native place in such a flourishing con-
dition, and no resident has taken a deeper interest in
the improvement of South Abington than Jacob P.
Bates, Esq. His new block will not only be an or-
nament to the town, but will reflect credit upon his
good taste and judgment. Plans and specifications
have been made by Mr. John R. Hall, architect, of
Boston, and the building will be built under his im-
mediate supervision.

The block will have a frontage of sixty-five feet on
Washington Street, and a depth of seventy-five feet,
and will be three stories high, and divided into three
large stores well lighted and high studded. The
second story will be devoted to offices ; the third story
will be used for a hall with large anterooms and
closets attached, all dadoed and finished in the best
manner. The building will be supplied with all the
modern improvements.

The outside will be built of pressed brick, iron col-
umns and Long Meadow brownstoue from the Ohio
quarries, with one large projection in the centre.
There will be five windows on each story, with carved
caps and finishing above the roof, with gable and
ornamented pilasters, and under the gable four large
round panels, with carved heads in stone, represent-
ing different animals. Each end will be finished with
projections, with large windows in the centre and a
circular arch turned in fancy brickwork above, and
finished at top with stone pedestals and panels between

The store fronts will be finished in cherry, and
the glass in store-windows will be in one large light of
French white plate.

The building will be built both inside and outside
of the best materials. The contractors are Peasley
& Bonney, carpenters, of South Abington, and F.iunce




Brothers, masous, of Wollaston. The stores are all
let, and will be occupied about October 1st.

Incorporation of Town. — The first movement
made towards a separation from the old town was
early in the spring of 1874, after the incorporation of
Rockland, by the following persons : H. F. Whidden,
S. N. Dyer, S. Dyer, C. F. Allen, William L. Reed,
D. B. Gurney, G. A. Litchfield, F. P. Harlow, J. L.
Corthell, C. H. Bonney, John Thompson, Horace Reed,
A. Davis, and II. F. Copelaud. At a citizens' meeting,
May 2, 1S74, these same geutlemen, with the addi-
tion of A. S. Stetson, W. R. Vining, E. S. Powers,
A. C. Brigham, Jacob Bates, Daniel Reed, J. E.
Bates, 0. G. Healey, D. S. Jenkins, Edwin Edes,
C. D. Nash, J. H. Withcrell, H. A. Bates, L. B.
Noyes, Jr., Nathaniel Pratt, H. H. Brigham, J.
Donovan, and J. S. Harding, were chosen a per-
manent committee. This committee organized May
5th, with George A. Litchfield, chairman ; Samuel
N. Dyer, secretary ; and Charles F. Allen, treas-
urer, and was so active aud euergetic that they
secured the incorporation of the town. The bill of
incorporation was signed by Governor Gastou at
twenty minutes past twelve o'clock March 4, 1875.
The first town-meeting was held iu Village Hall
March 18th, under a warrant issued by William P.
Corthell, justice of the peace, on petition of Hon. Wil-
liam L. Reed. At this meeting, William P. Corthell
was chosen moderator, and Samuel Foster, town clerk.
Jacob Bates, Cyrus White, and William P. Corthell
were choseu selectmen. At the last annual meeting
George H. Pearson was chosen town clerk, and Wil-
liam P. Corthell, William H. Reed, and Edward
Keating, selectmen, assessors, and overseers of the

The past year water has been introduced at an
expense of about fifty thousund dollars, for which in-
terest-bearing bonds have been issued. A fire de-
partment has been established. The town is generous
iu appropriating money for schools, roads, and library,
and indeed for every worthy object.

The following is a list of the town officers for the
first year (1875) :

Town Clerk, Samuel Foster; Treasurer and Col-
lector, Albert Davis ; Selectmen, Assessors, and Over-
seers of the Poor, Jacob Bates (William P. Corthell),
Cyrus White ; School Committee, B. F. Hastings
(for three years), George A. Litchfield (for two years),
E. L. Hyde (for one year) ; Road Commissioners,
Enoch Powers (for three years), Lebbeus Gurney (for
two years), E. B. French (for one year) ; Auditors,
Samuel Dyer, William R. Vining ; Coustables, George
E. Luzardur, James L. Corthell, Quincy T. Ilardiug ;

Pound Keeper, Spencer Vining ; Field Drivers, Reu-
ben Churchill, Hiram Pool, Calvin Porter ; Fence
Viewers, James L. Corthell, Samuel Dyer, Nathan P.
Gurney; Surveyors of Lumber, Gladdeu Bonney,
Charles II. Bonney, Quincy T. Harding; Measurer
of Wood aud Bark, Benjamin S. Atwood ; Represen-
tatives (Twelfth District), George W. Reed, Jesse H.

The manufacture of fine calf boots, which has been
and now is the life of that part of South ALingtou
known as Auburnville, was commenced by M. S.
Reed in 1S65, iu a building which forms a part of
the present factory. The annual product of the fac-
tory at that time was one hundred thousand dollars,
giving employment to about sixty hands. As the
goods became known the amount produced anuually
increased, until the business had increased threefold
in six years.

In 1876 it became necessary to enlarge the factory
to meet the increasing demands for the goods, aud
employment was furnished for one hundred and eighty-
five persons, and the business of the factory amounted
to four hundred thousand dollars.

Iu 187i', with a growing busiucss, Mr. Reed took
in a partner, and again enlarged the factory, employed
two hundred and twenty persons, and produced goods
to the value of five hundred thousand dollars.

In 1882 he sold the buildings and business to his
partner, who rau the factory one year, aud then sold
to Messrs. Stetson & Coombs, the present occupauts,
who are running it successfully, giving employment
to one hundred and eighty-five persons, yielding pro-
ducts to the amount of four hundred thousand dollars

Atwood Brothers, manufacturers of bout-, shoe, and
packing-boxes. This business amounts to about sixty
thousand dollars per year, aud employs from forty to
fifty men.

Cook & Paine commenced business March 1, 188J,
and employ about one hundred and fifty workmen,
and the value of goods (boots and shoes) manufac-
tured for their first year was about two hundred
thousand dollars.

Jenkins Brothers & Co. commenced the manufac-
ture of steel shanks in November, 1872, making about
one hundred and fifty gross per day, aud their sales
amounted to about fifty thousand dollars per year.
In 187G they commenced the manufacture of caskets
and coffins. They are now making from seventy
thousand to eighty thousand pairs of shanks per day,
being the largest manufacturers in that line. Annual
sales on shanks and caskets amount to about two hun-
dred thousand dollars.



Davis Guroey & Co., manufacturers of boots aud
slioes, employ one huudred and fifty persons, and the
annual value of goods manufactured amounts to three
hundred thousand dollars.

Smith, Stoughtou & Payne commenced manufac-
turing men's fine and medium grade boots and shoes
in this town March 1, 1884. About one hundred
and fifty men aud thirty-five girls are employed.
Cases manufactured for the past four niODths, four
thousand; pairs, forty-eight thousand; value of goods
manufactured annually, one hundred and forty thou-
sand dollars. This business was removed from Cin-
cinnati, Ohio.

The Commonwealth Shoe and Leather Company
(formerly C. II. Jones & Co.) manufacture twenty
thousand cases per year, and the value of the annual
product is from sis hundred aud fifty to seven hun-
dred and fifty thousand dollars.

The factory of Dunbar, Hobart & Whidden, manu-
facturers of tacks, brads, and small nails of all descrip-
tions, is one of the largest establishments of the kind
in the country. Its founder, Mr. Benjamin Hobart,
began the manufacture of tacks in 1S10, wheu the
old hand process was still in vogue, but upon the ap-
pearance of the invention known as the Heed and
Blanc-hard machines, he was the first to put it into
extensive operation, and by its aid his business rapidly
increased. In 1849 his son became associated with
him, under the firm-name of Benjamin Hobart ec Sou,
the partnership continuing until 1857, when the senior
partner retired from active participation, and was suc-
ceeded by Messrs. Dunbar &• Hobart, who carried on
the business under the tiriu-uame of B. Hobart As
Son until the formation of the present firm, in 18G5.

The manufacturing plant located on the Plymouth
Division of the Old Colony Railroad, from which a
branch track runs directly past the factory, covers
aa area of several acres, upon which the present
works were erected, in 1SG4, at a cost of one huudred
thousaud dollars.

Another feature of this business is the manufacture
of heel- and toe-plates for boots and shoes of all

Owing to the immense quantity of boxes consumed

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 111 of 118)