D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) Hurd.

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

. (page 118 of 118)
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 118 of 118)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

has devoted himself to the grocery and hardware
trade in his native place. He married Harriett E.
Hunt, of East Abington (now Rockland), Aug. 11,
1802. They had oue child, a daughter, who died in

Jerome B., born Dec. 14, 1844, was educated at
Phillips Academy, Exeter, N. H., and at Harvard
College, where he graduated in the class of 1867, and
since then has followed the profession of teaching, and
has been a teacher in the English High School of
Boston since November, 1873. He married Eurilla
A. Shaw, of East Abington (Rockland), July 6, 1868,
who died Aug. 29, 1880, leaving one daughter, Grace
L., born Jan. 25, 1872.

Mr. Poole, in company with two of his brothers,
Micah H. and Cyrus, helped to make up that memor-
able and historic, and it may be safely called illus-
trious, list of men in California known as " Forty-
niners." He succeeded fairly well at mining, and
came home in the summer of 1850, having been gone
about a year and a half.

He soon after began, iu a small way, in the grocery
business at his native place, out of which, by pru-
dence, economy, aud good judgment, he accumulated
what was, for a man of his habits, a competency of
this world's goods. He possessed, in a marked degree,
reliable and trustworthy business qualities. All his
transactions in trade were characterized by that un-
swerving and unquestioned integrity which marked
his life.

He waa entirely above all the allurements and
temptations which any sort of financial crookedness
could suggest. His judgment regarding business
was careful, though quick and decided. He intended

j that his estimate of men should be just. In forming
an opinion of the value of a man's financial credit,
he was much more likely to ask what the man was
than what he had.

He was often chosen to positions of responsibility
in the town of Abington, and also in Rockland, since
that became an independent corporation. His ser-
vices were particularly valuable on a special board of
valuation for Abington in 1S62. He was for several
years a member of the school committee in Abing-
ton, and afterwards in Rockland, and was connected
with the Rockland Savings-Bank from its incorpo-
ration, most of the time being vice-president, and
also upon the board of investment, and hold these
positions at the time of his death. He was a mem-
ber of the Board of Health of Rockland from the
time that board was established until he died.

He retired from active business in the spring of
1880, the trade which he established in 1851 having
grown to be a large and lucrative one, in both gro-
ceries and hardware. Iu his son, Benjamin P., he
leaves an able successor.

He contracted a second marriage, with Madeline
Hayden, of Quincy, June 29, 1880.

Mr. Poole was a hater of all shams, and lie had
but to see or know of one to denounce it, and he
often expressed himself with such an honest blunt-
ness as to offend those who did not know him well ;
aud he was sure to strike hard whenever he met the
perpetrator of a swindle.

One day several years ago he met the pastor of
the parish to which he belonged near a church then
in process of construction, and Mr. Poole quite
sharply criticised the architectural style of the build-
ing, aud the minister said, " Why, it is in imitation
of freestone," when Mr. Poole replied, " Confound
imitations I Haven't we seen enough of them to teach
us to build at least our churches so that they shall
honestly be what they seem."

He was an early Abolitionist, and all his life long
he tried to maintaiu those principles which promised
the broadest human freedom. The temperance cause
found iu him an earnest adherent and a faithful sup-
porter. He was a man of decided convictions, with
the courage to express and ability to defend them.

He died ou the 22d of May, 1884. His name
will loug be cherished in the memory of his friends
and neighbors. His wife, his two sous, a grandson
(the child of his daughter), and a granddaughter
(the child of Jerome B.) are the members of his
immediate family who survive him.




Among the pioneers who founded aud built up the
great manufacturing interest which so largely pre-
dominates in the northerly section of the county (the
manufacture of boots and shoes) few names will stand
higher on the page of history than that of Jenkins
Lane, and this, too, not wholly because of his business
capacity and mechanical skill, which, with an industry
and perseverance that never relaxed, built up a mag-
nificent business for himself, while it stimulated others
to follow. But more and better than this is the
record of a broad and generous citizenship, which
shared his success with others, that was always ready
to help his neighbors and workmen towards a self-
sustaining independence, and to-day that part of the
town where bis life was passed bears witness to bis
generous and unselfish enterprise, and is his best
monument. Mr. Lane was born in East Abingtou on
the 24th day of July, 1801.

His father, a farmer in moderate circumstances,
gave him a common-school education, and he learned
the trade of a shoemaker. For a number of years he
worked at the bench, making sewed shoes in the
manner of sixty years ago, wholly by hand-work, and
after bis marriage taking his bench into the room
where he began housekeeping, his wife stitching and
fitting the uppers and he waking the shoes, — a com-
mon thing at that time. Up to this time he had
worked for others, taking out his stock and making
it into shoes at so much a pair. Then he begau to
buy stock in a small way, and, cutting aud makiug it
up, would take his shoes to Boston aud sell or trade
for more stock. Such was the humble beginning of
a business which steadily increased in his bauds till it
mounted up to several hundred thousand dollars a
year, atid during the last years of his life, in connec-
tion with his sons, who had .become partners in the
business, to a million dollars in a year. Through all
these years his integrity aud fair, square dealing were
never questioned. He had built up his success by
straightforward, honest business methods, and so con-
tinued to the last.

In 1846 he was elected a member of the Legisla-
ture, and served one term, and for several years he
filled the place of director iu the Abington National
Bank, and president of the Abington Savings- Bauk,
and treasurer of the Hanover Branch Railroad Coru-
pauy, holding these positions up to the time of his
decease. But public official position had few attrac-
tions for him. His business aud home-life were more
congenial to his nature. His cheerful und buoyant
disposition was a marked characteristic, aud while he
had ample dignity when it was required, his strong

j sympathy with the young and his own boyish love of
fun lasted him through life.

For years a school-house directly across the street

I from his own place sent out its scores of merry boys
and girls, overflowing into the street and into bis yard
with boyish freedom and hilarity, yet it was no source

j of disturbance to him : he rather enjoyed it; and his
workmen in the shops, as he went around among them,

i iustead of having sharp criticism or censure, kept watch

; rather for some boyish prank or practical joke, which
sometimes came when least expected.

During his last years he gave up the active man-
agement of his business to his sons, and devoted him-
self to improvements in machinery and inventions,
which, with his natural mechanical ingenuity, he
greatly enjoyed.

Mr. Lane was married, in 1825, to Mehitable P.
Jenkins, of East Abington. By her he had seveu
children, — four sons and three daughters; all except-
ing two daughters still survive. He died ou the 17th

; of November, 1870.

In the sketches of the lives of some of the leading
settlers of the Old Colony we fiud this tribute, " He
was long a useful mau iu the colony." Most fittingly
may we borrow the simple eulogy for Jenkins Lane,
" He was long a useful man" in the community iu
which he lived.

Washington Reed was born in Abington, July 6,
1820, his father, Goddard Reed, and his mother,
Marcia Reed, both being the grandchildren of Thomas
Reed, born in Abington in 1732. Goddard Reed
was one of the most prominent citizcus of the east
part, holding the offices of postmaster, representative
to the General Court, selectman, director of the Ab-
ington Bank, and numerous minor offices, aud his
son, Washington, after finishing his education, which
was quite liberal for the times, was able to enter im-
mediately upon active business life, and to form the
habits and gain the experience which contributed
largely to his future success. After the retirement
of his father from busiuess he entered, in company
with Mr. John Lane, iu the wholesale boot and shoe
business, with offices at Boston and New Orleans, at
which latter place Mr. Reed resided and conducted
the business part of the time. He continued in this
firm for a number of years, when he withdrew to be-
come a partner in the firm of Keene, Reed & Bryant,
doing a large business, both manufacturing aud im-
porting leather; and later, in 1800, in company with
Mr. George B. Clapp, ho engaged in the manufacture



of fur-lined overshoes, the firm doing a larger amount
of business than any similar company in the United
States. He continued in this business until 18G7,
when he retired permanently from active business, de-
voting his time to travel and to the care of his estate.

In his business Mr. Reed exhibited the energy,
sound judgment, and sagacity characteristic of the
family, and which he inherited from both father and
mother, and on account of his large experience and
acknowledged integrity he was much sought by those
needing counsel in business affairs, and during the
years of his life after their incorporation he was a di-
rector of the Rockland Savings- Bank and of the
Hanover Branch Railroad. In public affairs he took
a deep interest, and was always ready to contribute
his full share of labor and money for measures of
public improvement. In the contest which resulted
in the division of the town of Abingtou and the in-
corporation of the town of Rockland he was the
leading spirit, aud contributed largely by his ability
and persistence to the result. Although not a poli-
tician in any sense of the word, he was a pronounced
member of the Whig and Republican parties, and in
1872 received the nomination of the latter for senator
from the Second Plymouth District, but was defeated
through the treachery of the leaders of the party in
some of the towns in the district on account of the
division question, and, as was said at that time, " in a
strong Republican district the candidate of the ma-
jority was defeated, and a senator chosen who repre-
sented neither his district nor his town, but only an
ungenerous opposition to a single act of legislation."

In his private life Mr. Reed was one of the most
exemplary of men, of strict integrity aud irreproach-
able habits ; he truly added to his faith virtue, and
to his virtue charity, large and extended, with the
absence of ostentation characteristic of his whole life.

He was married Juue 2, 1839, to Harriet Corthell,
of South Abingtou, and died July 13, 1881, shortly
after his return from a trip to California. 1

Joseph French was boru in Boston, Mass., Jan. 15,
1813. His father, Moses French, came to Boston
from New Hampshire. He married Elizabeth Perry,
of Hanover. They had four children,— Catherine M.,
Eliza, Joseph, and Joan E. Mr. French died in
1822. Joseph, then about nine years of age, came
to live with his maternal graudparents in Hanover.
He had no other educational advantages thau were

1 The abuve sketch of Mr. Heed wus kindly contributed by
Mr. (ieorge Hunt.

afforded by the common schools in the community
where he was brought up.

He was early taught to earn his own living, being
put at shoemaking when a boy. He learned the
trade thoroughly, as it was then conducted, and upon
attaining his majority he obtained a position as cutter
in the factory of Jenkins Lane, at Rockland (then
East Abington), and remained in Mr. Lane's employ
many years.

About 1859 he engaged in the retail grocery busi-
ness in Rocklaud, and meeting with success, he con-
tinued in trade till 1874 when he sold out and re-
tired. He married, Dec. 25, 1834, Sarah P., daughter
of Charles and Sarah (Reed) Lane. Their children
were Sarah M. (deceased), Joseph E., Francis M.,
Charles EL, Sarah E. (deceased), Henrietta W. (uow
Mrs. Stephen M. Howes, of Rockland), and Isadora
A. (now Mrs. A. W. Perry, of Rockland).

Mr. French was a man highly esteemed for the
many noble qualities he possessed. Being naturally
of a modest, retiring disposition, he never sought or
obtained office, but in the various relations of life
which he assumed he bore himself in such manner as
to win the lasting regard of those with whom he was
brought in contact. He was genial and pleasant as a
companion, warm-hearted and sincere as a friend, aud
strictly upright and honest in his business relations.
To the poor he was kiud aud generous, and gave sub-
stantial aid when aud where it was deserved. He
was a man of calm judgment and strong principles of
honor and integrity. In religious faith he was a
Baptist, and iu politics a Republican. He died Feb.
2, 187b\

Joseph Edward French, eldest son and second
child of Joseph and Sarah P. French, was born
Aug. 12, 1838, in East Abingtou (now Rockland),
Mass., and received his education at the high school
iu that town. As soou as he was of sufficient age for
his services to be of value in that capacity he was
placed to learn shoemaking iu the factory of Mr.
Jenkins Lane, and was there employed at stitching
aud cutting up to 18G1. He theu took charge as
foreman of the factory of Leonard Blanchard, where
he-remained five years, when he took charge as general
mauager, for J. F. Dane, Grinned & Co., of Boston,
of their factory located in Rockland, and continued in
this capacity a period of twelve years, when he went
ou the road as salesman for Z. M. aud E. Lane, and
continued with them two years. He then, in com-
pany with George \V. Hall, engaged iu manufacturing


!: , l^t

(AX^y^ x ^e^/



boots and shoes at Rockland, in which business he
still continues. They manufacture a fine grade of
goods, and find sale readily at good prices for their
products. They employ from seventy-five to one hun-
dred hands; Mr. French superintending the manu-
facturing, while his partner, Mr. Hall, attends to the
selling. They are now entering on their third year,
and arc meeting with encouraging success.

He married, Oct. 2, 1859, M. Ellen, daughter of
Reuben and Salome (Curtis) Burrell, of Rockland.
They have but one child living, Winslow B., born
Aug. 19, 18G9.

Mr. French is a director in the Rockland Savings-
Bank, and is an energetic, active man, and a useful
citizen. In politics he is a Republican, and in religion
a Baptist.


Benjamin Beal, the son of Samuel and Sarah
(Remington) Beal, was born in Templeton, Mass.,
May 10, 179H. His parents were originally from
Abington, Plymouth Co. When Benjamin was eight
years of age his mother died, and he came to live with
his uncle, Nathaniel Beal, in what is now the town
of Rockland, and remained with him until he had at-
tained his majority. He had the usual advantages
for an education which the common schools of the
town at that day afforded. His uncle was a shoe-
maker, and young Beal learned the trade with him,
and worked for him until he was of age. When he
was twenty-two years of age he married, June G,1820,
Charlotte Melville, who was born in Boston, Jan. 29,
1798, and who was entirely orphaned when an infant,
and was adopted by Thomas Whitiug, of Abington
(now Rockland). She lived with Mr. Whiting till
her marriage with Mr. Beal. She still survives, and
is a lady of very remarkable strength of mind aud
force of character, aud much of Mr. Beat's success in
life was due to her prudence, judgment, and helpful
aid. For a few years after Mr. Beal's marriage he
made shoes by contract for others, and on one occa-
sion he lost, through the failure aud absconding of a
party for whom he worked, seven hundred dollars.
A very severe loss for him at that period.

When lie began on his own account as a manufac-
turer, his first lot of shoes consisted of thirty-six
pairs, which he sold iu Boston, receiviug at the same
time quite a large order for more. He was one of
the early manufacturers in the town of Rockland,
aud beginning iu this small way, he gradually built
up quite a large business for that period.

At that time the work was chiefly done at the

homes of the operatives, and Mr. Beal had men
working for him not only in his own but in all the
surrounding towns, and furnished constant employ-
ment to a great many people. He was energetic, en-
terprising, and economical, and met with abundant
success. The financial crash of 1852, however, se-
riously affected him. He lost heavily through the
failure' of merchants to whom he sold his goods,
and he was finally compelled to make an assignment,
lie turned over all his property to his assignees, and
they effected an amicable settlement. lie at once re-
embarked in business, met with good success, and
soon re-established himself on a firm basis. He did
not continue in manufacturing much longer, however,
as in 1853 he retired permanently from the business.
In common with other manufacturers at that day, he
conducted a general supply store in connection with
his manufacturing. The surplus earnings of his busi-
ness he invested largely in real estate in and about
Rockland, and this proved a wise investment, as the
increase in value of lands eveutually made him
wealthy. At the time of his decease he owned aud
rented more than twenty houses. For several years
prior to his death he devoted his entire attention to
the care of his landed interests. He was always a
modest, retiring man, and would never accept an office.
Iu political faith he was a Whig and Republicau. He
had five children, — Beujamin (deceased), Franklin
(now living in Rockland near the old homestead),
Daniel L. (deceased). Boylston (resides in North Ab-
iugton), and Daniel W. (who lives in Campello).

Mr. Beal was a very kind mau in his domestic
relations, and it is the testimony of his wife, who
is now living in the full possession of her facul-
ties at the advanced age of eighty-six years, that he
was a kind, noble, true husband during the long
period of sixty years which they lived together. Mr.
Beal was a man of strong vitality, will-power, and de-
termination, and Mrs. Beal is a lady of most remark-
able mental strength, and yet these two powerful
wills harmonized, and through a longer period than
is often allotted to husband and wife they amicably
trod life's pathway together, and this tribute is paid
by Mrs. Beal to the memory of a good husband and
au honorable, worthy man. Mr. Beal died March
17, 1882. His health had been remarkably good to
within six years of his death, when he was stricken
with paralysis, and from that time to his demise was
a helpless invalid. He rests in Mount Vernon Cem-
etery, at Abington. Mrs. Beal has conducted tlio
affairs of the estate since his decease with remarka-
ble sagacity and judgment, and with but little out-
side aid or assistance in the direction of affairs.




Hon. Levi Reed was the son of Samuel Reed, and
was born in East Abington (now Rockland), Dec. 31,
1814. After attending the town schools he acquired
further education at Phillips Academy, Andover.

Upon leaving that institution he engaged in teach-
ing, aud for many years was principal of the Wash-
ington School, in lloxbury. His health becoming
impaired, he returned to his native town aud engaged
in the buaiuess of shoe manufacturing.

In 1801 he was elected a member of the Senate,
and was subsequently chosen State auditor, and these
offices he ably and faithfully filled. He died Oct. 18,
1SC9. He was a public-spirited, useful, and much-
respected citizen.


J. C. Gleasou, M.D., was born in Hubbardstou,
Mass., Nov. S3, 1837. Fitted for college at New

Salem Academy; entered Amherst in 1859, and
graduated in the first sixth of his class in 1SG3 ;
1 taught in high schools in Holliston, Abington, and
Barre; graduated from Harvard Medical Department
in 1867, and practiced three years in Haidwick,
Worcester Co., Mass. ; was member of House in
1870 for Hardwick ; moved to Rockland in the fall
of 1870 ; has been chairman of school board since
the incorporation of town, in 1874.

Dr. Gleason is at present a Fellow of Massachu-
setts Medical Society, aud a member of its council.
He is also a member of the Massachusetts Medico-
Legal Society ; on its standing committee (being
medical examiner of Second Plymouth District).

He is professor of Clinical Medicine in the College
of Physicians and Surgeous, 34 Essex Street, Boston,

He has contributed articles to Bos/on Medical and
Surgicul Journal, and to the " Transactions of the
Massachusetts Medico-Legal Society."



3 9999 05824 925 9

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 118 of 118)