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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and vigorous, even at his advanced age. He is a social
companion, and has a lively fund of humor. He is
orthodox in religious belief, and Republican in poli-

Jacob received his education in the public schools,
and learned the shoemaker's trade of his father, with
whom he worked most of the time until he was about
eighteen years of age. In 1862 he enlisted in Com-
pany E, Fourth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers,
for nine months. This regiment went to New Or-
leans, serving in Banks' expedition, at Brashear
City, and Port Hudson. At Brashear City he was
detailed as commissary's clerk, and while there was
captured by the rebels, but at once paroled, and soon
exchanged. He returned home in 1863, after serving
nearly a year. The same year he went to Boston un-
aided and alone, with only twenty dollars in his pocket,
to seek employment. He commenced working for C.
D. Cobb & Brothers, receiving at first but one dollar
per day. He identified himself with his employers'
interests, and, having good health, was enabled to per-
form more than ordinary service. Before he had
been in the employ of the firm three years he re-
ceived, much to his surprise, an offer of an interest
in the business. Mr. Bates remained with this firm

as partner until 1870, when, severing his connection
with it, he became one of the founders of the well-
known house of Cobb, Bates & Yerxa. This firm
began in a small way, with but little capital. Their
business has steadily and rapidly increased, until they
now are the largest grocery house in New England,
transacting a business of about three million dollars
per annum, their main store, on Washington Street,
occupying an entire block of five stores five stories in
height, with branch stores at Fall River, Taunton,
and Chelsea. Active, energetic, and in the prime of
life, much of the direction of the business falls on
Mr. Bates, and he is apparently possessed of vitality
enough for many years of active labor. Mr. Bates
married in September, 1867, Helen A., daughter of
Hon. Horace Reed, of South Abington. They have
had five children, only two of whom are living, —
Carrie A. and Mabel F. Mr. Bates is a member of
Park Street Church, Boston ; is Republican in politics,
and belongs to three Masonic bodies, Puritan Lodge,
South Abington, Pilgrim Chapter, Abington, and
Boston Commandery, Boston, and is a director in the
National Bank of the Republic, Boston.

Although a resident of Brookline, Mr. Bates takes
a great interest in his native town, and has consider-
able money invested there. He is now constructing
a brick block of stores; is the owner of Hotel Bates,
aud a generous contributor to all that promotes the
progress and welfare of the town. He is in the
full vigor of life, and with the prospect of many years
of commercial activity before him, is a good type of
the pushing, successful business man of the nine-
teenth century.


Centuries ago, when men had but one name, they
were usually distinguished from each other by the
place where they lived, or by some characteristic.
The name " At the Wood" was given to one John (?),
who lived where there was much land, aud he was
called John " At the Wood." After a time it was
condensed to " Attwood," which spelling some hold
until the present writing ; some branches of the fam-
ily have dropped one " t," and spell it " Atwood,"
while many others retain only the last syllable, aud
are called " Wood."

John Wood, or Attwood, the first American an-
cestor of the numerous family of Atwood, came from
England to America uot long after the landing of the
Pilgrims, and settled in Plymouth. Tradition has it
that he had four sons; one settled at Cape Cod, one



took the name of Wood, oue died at Plymouth, and
the other, whose name was Nathauiel Atwood, settled
iu that part of Plymouth which iu 1707 was set off
aud incorporated as the towu of Plyinpton. But in
1790 this same laud, ouce part of Plymouth, theu
Plympton, was again set off and named, for the third
aud last time, Carver. This land, occupied then by
an Atwood, is still owned aud occupied by those
bearing the name.

Nathaniel Atwood- was a deacon of a church in
Plymouth, and married Mary, daughter of Jonathan
Morey. They had four sons, — Johu, Nathaniel,
Barnabas, and Isaac. The following incident will
give an idea of the primitive state of the country at
that time: "Before they had almanacs, aud teams
were scarce, the deacon lost the run of time, and
went eight miles with a grist on his shoulders to mill
on Sunday, and when he found out it was Sunday he
carried the bag of grain to the meeting-house."

Lieut. Nathaniel 3 married, first, Mary Adams, of
Kingston, Mass.; secoud, Mrs. Abigail (Shaw)
Lucas. They had a large family of childreu. Na-
thaniel was a lieutenant in the militia.

Ichabod* was born in Plympton (now Carver),
1744 ; married Hannah Shaw, daughter of Capt.
Nathaniel Shaw, a descendant iu the fourth genera-
tion from Jonathan Shaw, the emigrant. (Her
brother was Lieut. Joseph Shaw, of the militia. He
carried the same sword in his military service which
his grandfather used in the French war, and his
father also used in the Revolution.) They had
twelve children, all of whom lived to middle age.

Nathaniel 3 , sou of Ichabod and Mary (Shaw) At-
wood, was born April 28, 1782, at Middleboro' ;
married Zilpah, daughter of Francis Shurtleff, Esq.,
of Carver. They had three children attaining ma-
turity, — Flora (Mrs. Elijah Hackett), Ichabod F., and
Renel. (Ichabod F. Atwood, of Middleboro', to
whose courtesy we are indebted for the foregoing an-
cestral history, was born March 13, 1S20 ; lie has
served in various military, town, aud church offices,
aud been a justice of the peace over thirty years. He
married Abigail T., daughter of Harvey C. aud Han-
nah C. Thomas. Abigail's greatgrandfather, Cobb,
lived to be oue hundred and seven years and eight
months old.)

Renel married Abigail Tillson. Their children
are Renel G., Lucy C. (Mrs. Nelson Thomas), Flora
M. (Mrs. Charles Cole), Zilpah S. (Mrs. Lorenzo
Curtis), Benjamin S., Elijah II., and Lafayette, who
is employed in his brother's business.

Benjamin S. Atwood, seventh generation from
John Atwood, the first of the family to settle in

Plymouth, son of Renel and Abigail (Tillson) At-
wood, was born iu Carver, Mass., June 25, 1840.
He received a common-school education, and at the
age of fifteen went to work in a lumber-mill iu Mid-
dleboro', afterwards in Plympton, from which town
he enlisted, April 17, 1861, iu Company H, Third
Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, under President
Lincoln's call for seventy-five thousand men for ninety
days. He re-enlisted for nine months in Company
B, same regiment. His regiment was engaged in
burning Gosport Navy Yard, and his company was
on picket the night of the famous Big Bethel repulse.
He was mustered out with his company, and returned
to Plympton, where he remained until 1SU0. He
then, with his brother, Elijah II., under the firm-
name of " Atwood Brothers," engaged in the manu-
facture of woodeu boxes at North Abiugton, which
business they removed to South Abington iu 1872.
Iu 1879, Elijah retired from the firm, and Benjamiu
S. still carries on business under the old firm-name.

Mr. Atwood married, Sept. 20, 18G2, Angelina F.,
daughter of Lewis and Mary Weston, of Plymptou.
They have three children, — Winthrop F. (a student
at Harvard University), Bertrand W., and Mabel

F. Mr. Atwood is Republican in politics, aud active
in political work ; has been for several years a mem-
ber of and now is chairman of the Republican towu
committee. He is a member of Puritan Lodge of
Free and Accepted Masons, South Abington ; Pil-
grim Royal Arch Chapter, Abington ; and Old
Colony Commandery of Knights Templar. He has
been elected to all the offices of his post, No. 73,

G. A. R., Abington, filling them acceptably, aud has
just been honored for the third time with an elec-
tion as commander of Plymouth County Division,
G. A. R.

Mr. Atwood is a progressive and energetic mau, in-
terests himself in all the public affairs of the town,
aud warmly advocates all measures tending to the
growth aud improvement of his chosen place of resi-
dence, and gives liberally of his time to forward them.
He has been an ardent advocate for the introduction
of water into the town ; has been chairman of the
committee on water-works from its organization ;
aud the speedy and satisfactory progress aud comple-
tion of the works is in no small measure due to him.
He is an industrious, persevering, and successful
manufacturer, a loyal and patriotic citizen, a generous,
warm-hearted, and genial compauiou aud friend ; de-
serves and enjoys a large circle of appreciative ac-
quaintance, and ranks worthily among the representa-
tive and self-made men of this prosperous aud
thriving town.

KJ W|pltr" ;






Horatio F. Copeland, M.D., son of Horatio and
Delia (Nye) Copeland, was born in Easton, Mass.,
Nov. 15, 1842. He is a direct descendant of Law-
rence Copeland, the emigrant, who came to this coun-
try from England in early colonial days, married Lydia
Townsend,aud died in 1699, at a hale old age, which
is said to have been one hundred and ten years. The
line to Dr. Copeland is Lawrence ', William - (married
Mary Webb), Jonathan J (married Betty Snell, settled
in East Bridgewatcr, and died at ninety years),
Elijah ' (married Rhoda Snell and resided in Easton),
Josiah b (married Susannah Hayward, of West Bridge-
water), Horatio 6 (married Mrs. Thomas Howard, nee
Nye), Horatio F.'

Horatio Copeland was a merchant and manufac-
turer, and a stirring man of business. He was con-
nected with cotton- manufacturing both in Easton,
Mass., and in North Carolina, in which State he was
probably the first man to put in operation a cotton-

Dr. Copeland was fitted for college at Thetford
(Vt.) Academy, and, after studying medicine with
that justly celebrated physician, Dr. Caleb Swan, of
Eastou, attended Harvard Medical College, where he
was graduated in 1865. His country needing his ser-
vices as an assistant surgeon, he received his degree
in advance of the regular graduation, and at once
(January, 18G5) took the position of acting assistant
surgeon in the United States service, and was placed
in charge of the post hospital at Bermuda Hundred,
and also of the large smallpox hospital located at
that post. Acquiring valuable experience, and doing
faithful service, he remained until June of the same
year, when he returned to Massachusetts, and located
in the practice of his profession at South Abiugtou,
in which he has been constantly and successfully en-
gaged. He is a member of the Massachusetts Medi-
cal Society, and a diligent student and thoughtful
observer of whatever transpires in the realm of medi-
cine, keeping his knowledge fully to the front of the
latest and approved medical discoveries, and thor-
oughly aud patiently investigating the pathology of
various cases coming under his personal observation,
and comparing his conclusions with others. He has
devoted himself to his profession, and stands high in
the esteem of his medical brethren.

Dr. Copeland has taken much interest iu Free-
masoury. He was admitted to the order in Rising
Star Lodge of Stoughton, but is now counected
with Puritan Lodge, South Abington ; Pilgrim
Chapter. Abington : Old Colouy Commandery, Abing-
ton ; aud Abiugton Council. Of this last-named

organization he was one of the constituent members,
its second officer for three years, and its presiding
officer four years. He is also a member of David A.
Russell Post, No. 78, G-. A. R. of South Abiugton ;
and a Republican in politics.

Dr. Copeland is in accord with the progressive
element of society ; has social qualities, and a win-
ning geniality which attracts many friends, whom he
retains by his outspoken frankness and sincerity, his
broad and charitable opinions, and the strength of
his adherence to his principles. Although young in
years, he has built up a fine aud lucrative practice,
and is one of South Abington's most popular citizens.


Rev. E. Porter Dyer, formerly for many years
pastor of the Congregational Church at Shrewsbury,
died at South Abington Tuesday, Aug. 22, 1882.
He was born at South Abington Aug. 15, 1S13,
graduated at Brown University iu 1833, in the class
with Senator Anthony, of Rhode Island, and after-
wards pursued a theological course at Andover. In
1835 he began preaching at Stow, Middlesex Co.,
and established a Congregatioual Church there, which
became the parent of two others in the neighborhood.
He left the pastorate at Stow in 1840", aud for a year
was engaged in city missionary work at Boston.
Under the auspices of the Home Missionary Society
he then went to Hingham, where he established a
Congregational Church, and secured the fuuds for
building the meeting-house at Hingham Centre. He
remained at Hingham sixteen years, where he greatly
endeared himself to the people of the town. In the
! mean while he was instrumental iu establishing a
Congregational Church at Beachwood, in Scituate*
Iu 1864 he resigned the pastorate, and again under-
took pioneer work at Winter Hill, in Somerville,
where he founded the Broadway Congregational
Church. Thus he was directly the founder of three
Congregational Churches, and indirectly of three
more. From Somerville he was called to the pastor-
ate of the Cougregatioual Church at Shrewsbury,
where he remaiued seven or eight years, then leaving
the pastoral work to return to his ancestral home, at
South Abington. He did not abandou pulpit service,
however, and until the summer of 1881 he supplied
one of the churches at Hanover, when his work was
interrupted by a stroke of paralysis, which permanently
disabled him. For the few months preceding his death
he was confined to his room, though he retained his



mental faculties unclouded to the end. During his
early ministry he was often actively engaged in re-
vival work, and in most of the towns of Plymouth
and Norfolk Counties many Christian people have
cause to remember him with gratitude. His life was
one of hard and unremitting toil for his Master, and
he has gone to find the reward of a faithful servant.
Of his children who reached adult life, two have gone
before him, — Mrs. Helen A. Lee, who, after a term
of service among the freedmen of the South during
the war, and immediately after her marriage, was lost
at sea, and Mrs. Sarah E. Pierson, a missionary of the
American Board, who died last winter at Pao-ting-fu,
North China. The surviving children are Edward N.
Dyer, engaged in educational and missionary work in
the Sandwich Islands ; Mrs. Henry M. Wyatt, of
West Medford ; Mrs. J. P. Thomas, of Boston ; Mrs.
Martha L. Ford, of West Medford ; and E. Porter
Dyer, of Springfield. A descendant of a Pilgrim
family, and brought up in conformity to the religious
thought and life of the Old Colony, Mr. Dyer was a
forcible preacher of the old school and very familiar
with the Bible, which was always his chief religious
teacher and guide. In middle life he was a frequent
contributor to religious and other journals. He was
also the author of two or three books for children
and young people, and a metrical version of " Pil-
grim's Progress," published by Lee & Shepard, in

A history of South Abington, however brief,
would be far from complete if no mention were made
of Mr. William P. Corthell. He has served on the
board of selectmen, with one exception, every year
since the incorporation of the town. In Abington
he acted as a singularly able and impartial moderator
at nearly all the regular and special town-meetings
from May a, 1848, to Dec. 8, 1874. From 1S50 to
1855 he was on the boards of selectmen and asses-
sors, and a member of the House of Representatives
in 1850 and 1S53. As a special county commissioner
he served one year, and as a county commissioner,
fifteen years. Such a period of service is almost
without parallel, and shows the high degree of confi-
dence that his fellow-citizens have placed in him.

The senator from the Second Plymouth District for
the present legislative year (1883-84) is Hun. Horace
Reed, of this town. He is a brother of Hon. Wil-
liam L. Reed, and was born in Abington. Mr. Reed
was a member of the lower branch of the General
Court in 1863-64; has served on the board of school
committee of Abington, and was clerk in his brother's
factory for twenty years. He was a member of the
Committees on Drainage, Insurance, and Prisons
during: the last session of the Legislature.



Rockland, formerly a part of Abington, was in-
corporated March 9, 1874. Haviug had a corporate
existence for ouly a decade, her history must neces-
sarily be brief. Rockland is a busy manufacturing
town. The streets are neat and well kept, and have
beautifully-shaded sidewalks, and the dwellings con-
vey to the stranger the pleasing impression of comfort
and neatness. There is a well-organized fire depart-
ment, and a liberally patronized public library.

The following were the town officers for the first
year : Towu Clerk, E. R. Studley ; Treasurer and
Collector, E. R. Studley ; Selectmen, Assessors, and
Overseers of the Poor, E. R. Studley, J. C. Hebberd,
J. W. Beal ; School Committee. J. C. Gleason (three
years), Martha Reed (two years), George H. Bates
(one year) ; Auditors, Washington Reed, Zenas M.
Lane, Isaiah Jeukius ; Highway Surveyors, J. C.
Hebberd, J. \V. Beal, Joseph French ; Constables,
George F. Wheeler, Owen Maguire, Joshua Crooker,
David B. Torrcy, J. W. Beal, Ferdinand H. Pool,
Samuel P. Keen, Willis Taylor ; Field-Drivers, Mi-
chael Shannahan, Luther W. Turner, John Llewel-
lyn, George P. Shaw ; Sealer of Weights and Meas-
ures, Samuel T. Bliss ; Measurer of Wood and Bark,
H. C. Totman ; Surveyor of Lumber, Albert Culver;
Fence-Viewers, George B. Clapp, Washington Reed,
Richmoud J. Lane ; Truant Officers, David Thomas,
H. C. Totman ; Keeper of Lock-up, George F.
Wheeler ; Chief Eugineer of Fire Department, Jo-
seph Merritt ; Representatives (Twelfth District),
Dexter Grose, George W. Reed, of Abington.

The business conducted by Messrs. French & Hall
was established in 1881 by the present proprietors.
Mr. French, twenty years previous to that, was en-
gaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes. The
special line of trade for which this house is celebrated
is the manufacture of fine- and medium-grade hand-
and machine-sewed calf boots and shoes, a depart-
ment in which it stands second to none for excellence
and durability of this class of goods. The business
premises occupied by Messrs. French & Hall cover a

spacious area of twelve thousand square feet of flooring,
the building being a four-story structure, of which they
occupy the second, third, and fourth floors. On the
first-mentioned floor is the office and packing-room ;
the third floor is required for the cutting and stitching,
and sole-leather department, while the fourth is devoted
to bottoming. Seventy-five people, some of whom
are expert workingmen, find employment here, their
production averaging over two hundred and fifty pairs
per day. The machinery with which the establish-
ment is supplied is of a high degree of excellence,
being of the latest improved pattern, and adds greatly
to the perfection of the goods produced. In charge
of the establishment is Mr. Joseph E. French,
whose acquirements in his vocation are such as to in-
sure the satisfactory transaction of all matters in his
charge. Mr. Hall attends to all the selling of the
goods, and is well known among the trade, having
had some eight years' experience in this line. The
number of cases of boots and shoes manufactured last
year was two thousand six hundred, at the value of
oue hundred thousand dollars.

Messrs. French & Hall have been identified with
their vocation in Rockland for a number of years,
during which time they have not ouly acquired a
thorough and minute knowledge of their business, but
have secured and maintained the respect and esteem
of the community. Of the individual members of
the firm, we may say that Mr. Joseph E. French is
a native of Rockland, where he was born in 183S;
while Mr. George W. Hall is originally from Roches-
ter, in this State, his birth occurring in 18-47, and
resides at Abington. Their Boston office is located at
No. 135 Summer Street.

The affluence of invention characteristic of the
present age supplies in abundance new machines, new
processes, and new materials aa rapidly as the never-
ceasing demands for increased production, superior
style and quality, and lessened cost of manufactured
articles necessitates them. To those outside a de-
partment of industry who have merely uoticed the




fact that the goods produced in it are more abundant,
stylish, and convenient than formerly, an acquaintance
with the intricate machinery, methodical processes, I
and systematic division of labor now employed comes
as a startling revelation. The production of any one
of the most familiar objects of every-day use involves i
the assistance of numerous mechanical contrivances
of which the grandparents of the present generation
were wholly ignorant. The manufacture of paper
boxes, for example, is an industry which has assumed
immense proportions with the development of pro-
duction in innumerable varieties of goods to which
this form of package is appropriate. Among those
manufacturers iu this department who add greatly to
the impetus of the trade we find the house of Messrs.
F. E Nesmith & Co. The business was established
in 1883, by C. Littlefield & Co., who were succeeded
a short time ago by the present proprietors. The
premises occupied by them are situated on Church
Street, and cover an area of one hundred and forty-
five by forty-five feet, being a four-story structure, of
which they occupy the first floor, where they carry on
the manufacture of paper boxes of all descriptions.
The machinery with which the establishment is
equipped embraces every improvement or novel ad-
vantage kuown to the trade, and adds greatly to the
perfection of the goods produced as well as the rap-
idity with which they are made. Employment is
giveu to about forty skilled operatives, who turn out
about five thousand boxes per day, or one million two
hundred thousand per year. Messrs. F. E. Nesmith
&, Co. entered into the arena of trade competition
after a long application to, and a thorough practical
knowledge of, the art. Possessing as they do a most
eligible location, combined with practical knowledge
and business capacity, the trade is sure to increase
and attain such a position as they so well deserve.

Promoting the industrial thrift of Rockland by
the employment of numerous artisans and others,
and fostering a trade which extends throughout the
country, the house of Messrs. R. J. Lane & Pratt is
certainly entitled to meution in this work. Estab-
lished in 1880, the firm was originally Lane & Chip-
man, who began about that time the manufacture of
boots and shoes, which title was succeeded by R. J.
Lane & Pratt in August, 1S83, which from that pe-
riod has (under the captiou title) been composed of
R. J. Lane, formerly senior partner in the house of
J. Lane & Son, and A. II. Pratt, who was connected
with the old house of Laue & Chipman from its
foundation in 1880. The plant now covers an area of
one hundred and forty-four by forty-five feet, flanked
with an L measuring seventy by thirty-five feet,

beiug a four-story structure, of which they occupy the
second, third, and fourth floors of the main building.
Here we find the office, packing-room, and also the
cuttiug department on the second floor. On the third
floor a large number of mechanics are employed in
botlomiug, and on the fourth floor skilled operatives
are attending the stitching. One steam-engine of
about twenty-five horse-power furnishes the necessary
motive-power. This manufactory contains the latest
improved machinery, and employment is given to
some one huudred people during the whole year, their
annual output amounting to one hundred thousand
pairs, which, for quality and excellence, bear a high

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 115 of 118)