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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1832. — David Nye, Nathaniel Crocker, Silvanus Bourne.
1833. — David Nye, Silvanus Bourne, William Bates.
1834. — Silvanus Bourne, William Bates, Gamaliel Fuller, Jr.
1835. — William Bates, William S. Fearing, Gamaliel Fuller, Jr.
1836-37. — William Bates, Simoon Morse, William S. Fearing.
1838. — Silvanus Bourne, Moses S. F. Tobey, William S. Fearing.
1839. — Moses S. F. Tobey, William S. Fearing, Nathaniel

1840- 11.— Moses S. F. Tobey, William S. Fearing, Lewis Kinney.
1842-46.— Moses S. F. Tobey, William S. Fearing, Nathaniel

IS47. — Moses S. F. Tobey, George Gibbs, Alexander Bourne.

1S48-49.— George Gibbs, Albert S. Hathaway. Jedcdiuh Briggs.

1850. — Jedediah Briggs, Albert S. Hathaway, Jesse Briggs.

1851-52. — Darius Miller, Jedediah Briggs, Thoiuns Savery.

1853-54. — Jedediah Briggs, Nicholas H. Sherman, Samuel B.

1855. — Jedediah Briggs, Samuel B. Bumpus, Philander Keith.

1856. — Jason F. Murdoch, Abial T. Thomas, Benjamin Fearing.

1857. — Silvanus Bourne, Nathaniel Sherman, Sylvester F. Cobb.

1S58. — Geo. Gibbs, Sylvester F. Cobb, Nathaniel Sherman.

1S59. — Nathaniel Sherman, S. F. Cobb (resigned), Galen Hum-
phrey, Darius Miller.

1860. — Nathaniel Sherman, Darius Miller, Albert S. Hatha-

1861-63. — Darius Miller, Nathaniel Sherman, A. S. Hathaway.

1S64. — Darius Miller, Nathaniel Sherman, Benj. F. Gibbs.

1865. — Geo. Sanford, Andrew S. Nye, Stephen Ellis.

1S66. — Geo. Sanford, Andrew S. Nye, A. S. Hathaway.

1867.— Geo. Sanford, A. S. Hathaway, Parker N. Bodfisb.

1868.— Geo. Sanford, A. S. Hathaway, Alden Be.-se.

1S69-73.— Nathaniel Sherman, Alden Besse, B. F. Gibbs.

1874. — Nathaniel Sherman, Alden Besse, Charles E. Sprague.

1875-77. — Alden Besse, Benjamin F. Gibbs, Charles E. Sprague.

1878-79.— Alden Besse, Benjamin F. Gibbs, Geo. F. Wing.

18S0-84.— Benjamin F. Gibbs, Geo. F. Wing, Edward F. Handy.



Jonathan Hunter.
John Bishop.
Israel Fearing, Jr.
William Blackmer.
John Bishop.
Benjamin Fearing.
Rowland Swift.
Benjamin Fearing.
Noah Fearing.
Andrew Mackie.
Joshua Gibbs.
Jeremiah Bumpus.
Curtis Tobey.

ISIS. Jeremiah Bumpus.
1821. Ichabod Leonard.
1828. Silvanus Bourne.
1830. Ebenezer Crocker.
1833. William Bates.
1842. Ebenezer Crucker.
1845. William Bates.

1848. G. A. Shurtlett.

1849. Isuac S. Lincoln.
1854. Alvin Gibbs.

1871. Alvin Francis Gibbs.
1884. William U. Fearing.


By reason of the smallness of

chosen until 1790.

1790. Jeremiah Bumpus.

1812. Jeremiah Bumpus.

1812. Benjamin Bourne, dele-
gate to revise the Constitu-

1824. Bnrtlett Murdock.

1827. Ichabod Leonard.

1828. Ichabod Leonard.

1829. Ichabod Leonard.

1830. Bartlett Murdock.

1831. Thomas Savery.

1832. Perez F. Briggs.
Melville Otis.

1533. Thomas Savery.
Levi Washburn.

1534. Silvanus Bourne.
Darius Miller.

1835. Lewis Kinney.

1836. Silvanus Buurne.
Wm. Bates.
Lewis Kinney.

the town, no representative was




Win. Bates.
Lewis Kinney.
Abisha Barrows.
Bartlett Murdock.
Thomas Savery.
Nathaniel Crocker.
Nathaniel Crocker.
Stephen C. Burgess.
Stephen C. Burgess.
H. G. 0. Ellis.
H. G. 0. Ellis.
Benjamin Savery.
Benjamin Savery.
Jedediah Briggs.
Jedediah Briggs.
Lewis Kinney.
Darius Miller.
James R. Sproat.
James It. Sproat.
Jason F. Murdoch.
Jason F. Murdoch.




John M. Kinney.
John M. Kinney. 1
Silas T. Soule.
Silas T. Soule.
Benjamin F. Gibbs.
Benjamin P. Gibbs.
Timothy F. Clary.
George San ford.
George Sanford.
Ezra C. Brett.
George Sant'ord.

1870. Alden Besse.

1871. Alden Btuae.

1873. John Savery.

1874. John Savery.

1870. Sixth Plymouth District
formed, comprising Ware-
ham, Mattapoisett, Roches-
ter, and Marion.

1877. Noble Warren Everett.

1881. Noble Warren Everett.

Representatives to General Court in Massachu-
setts, as is well known, are elected in the month of
November of one year, but do not take their seats
until the month of January in the year following.
The above figures indicate the year of election.


Israel Fearing — , 1747.

Noah Fearing Jan. 23, 1777.

Israel Fearing Feb. 2s, 17'J8.

Benjamin Fearing June 10, 1800.

John Fearing Jan. 31, 1304.

Rowland Leonard May 16, 1810.

Wadsworth Crocker Feb. 5, 1811.

Benjamin Bourne Feb. 12, 1312.

Bartlelt Murdock Feb. I, 1819.

William Fearing Feb. 11, 1820.

Curtis Tobey Feb. 17, 1824.

Seth Miller, Jr June 29, 1826.

Silvanus Bourne Aug. 27, 1829.

David Nye March 12, 1830.

Charles C. Ellis Feb. 14, 1832.

Thomas Savery Jan. 29, 1836.

William Bates March 3, 1836.

Darius Miller March 30, 1838.

II. G. 0. Ellis Sept. 21, 1839.

Nathaniel Sherman Sept. 20, 1843.

Joseph P. llayden Feb. 23, 1859.

James G. Sproat June 30, 1S00.

Ailolphus Savery May 9, 1866.

John M.Kinney Oct. 1, 1866.

Stephen Ellis April 22, 1868.

William L. Chipnian Oct. 14, 1869.

Noble Howard May 3, 1871.

Alden Besse Dec. 13, 1877.

Benjamin F. Gibbs Dec. 27, 1378.

Galen Humphrey Feb. 23, 1332.

Charles F. Washburn March 2, 1382.

Frederick A. Sawyer April 5, 1882.

M. C. Morouey Jan. 1, 1334.


Benjamin Fearing June 5, 1828.

Silvanus Bourne Aug. 27, 1829.

William Bates May 17, 1837.

David Nye May 21, 1851.

Emory F. Holway Dec. 29, 1859.

Stephen Ellis Aug. 23, 1863.

James G. Sproat Jan. 4, 1369.

William L. L'hipman May 11, 1370.

Josiah Stevens, Jr. Charles W. Harris.

Andrew Mackie. Henry M. Knowles.

Noah Fearing. Andrew J. Runnels.

Peter Mackie. M. F. Delano.

EliphaletW. Hcrvoy. Edwin R. Eaton.

1 Warehatn and Marion united, as Seventh Plymouth Dis-

Perez F. Doggett.
Samuel Shaw.
Benjamin F. Burgess.
Joseph 0. Parkinson.
James Edward Bruce.
Charles Harris.

Luruna A. Cbubbuck.
Marshall V. Simmons.
James B. Robinson.
Frank F. Marsh.
Beujamin F. Bailey.
John C. Shaw.

Benjamin Fearing. Sarah L. Hathaway.

Frederick A. Sawyer. Georgo C. Earl.

Wareham has furnished for the professions the
following :


Ebenezer Burgess.
Jonathan Nye.
Homer Barrows.
Asa Nye Bodfish.

Zephaniah Swift.
Thomas Burgess.
William Bates.

Noble Warren Everett.
Freeman Ryder.
Asa B. Bessey.
Lemuel K. Washburn.


Seth M. Murdock.
Gerard C. Tobey.
James G. Sproat.


John Mackie. Ebenezer Swift.

Andrew Mackie. Benjamin Fearing.

Peter Mackie. Charles Gibbs.

Warren Fearing. Phineas Savery.

Elisha P. Fearing. John E. Kinney.

William Everett. Sarah L. Hathaway.

Industries and Corporations. — Nov. 15, 1796,
Benjamin Fearing, Esq., granted a lease of the water
privilege where Parker Mills now stand to Rev. Noble
Everett, for the purpose of erecting a fulling-mill.
The mill was at once built by Mr. Everett, and oper-
ated by him and his sons until the death of the
former, which occurred Dec. 30, 1819.

Among the different manufactures of Wareham
that of making cut-nails has always held the chief
place. Passing over the feeble attempt to make nails
by cuttiug points and heading them single by hand,
in a common nail tool, the first nailing by machinery
was commenced by Isaac and Jared Pratt &, Co., in
the year 1822. They built a small rolling-mill at the
lower dam, where they carried on a thriving business
until 1828 or 1829, when they built the Tihonet
Works, which consisted of one of the largest and best
rolliug-mills in the country, a puddling-machine for
making iron, and fifty nail-machiues. This ma-
chinery was driven by the Wankinco River, which
was raised by a stone dam twenty-eight feet high,
forming an extensive pond as a reservoir in case of
drought. A canal was dug from the works to the
head of the lower pond, a distance of two hundred
rods, through which scows passed to the lower dam,
and through this, by the aid of two locks, to the sea
and shipping. All these works were carried on by the
aforesaid company, under the name of the Wareham



Iron Company, until 1834. when they unfortunately
failed and the works passed into the hands of John
Avery Parker, William Rodman, and Charles W.
Morgan, of New Bedford. In 1836, Bartlett Mur-
dock & Sons rented the works upon the lower dam,
and after making nails for a few months, the works
took tire by accident and were nearly all consumed,
a small building with seven nail-machines only es-
caping. About the same time John A. Parker & Son
run the Tihonet Works until the autumn of 1837,
when they stopped. In 1838 these works again
started, and were operated the next seven years by
the following parties, viz.: Nye & Bent, Nye &
Lotbrop, and Nye & Fearing, they running the
works by contract, John A. Parker & Son still own-
ing the property.

In 1845 the Parker Mills Company was incorpo-
rated. They purchased the works at Tihonet and
continued the manufacture of nails at that place for
about two years. In 1848 the present large and
commodious nail-factory at the lower dam was com-
pleted, and quite a number of machines were started
before the close of that year. This factory was kept
in operation by the aforesaid company, with scarcely
any intermission, until the year 1878, they making
their plates at the rolling-mill at Tihonet. During
all these years William A. Caswell, Esq., was super-
intendent of the factory, and under his skillful super-
vision Parker Mills nails secured a reputation that
commanded ready sales in the markets of the world.

In 1881 this entire property was purchased by the
Bridgewater Iron Company, and the factory is oper-
ated by them at the present time.

In 1822, Bartlett Murdock & Co. built the Wash-
ington Iron Company's works on the Weweantit
River. These consisted of a large rolling-mill and a
nail-factory containing thirty-five nail-machines. In
1828 a second dam was erected about half a mile
above the former dam, upon the same river, where a
forge was built for making bar-iron out of scrap-iron
by the process of rolling. In 1832 these works
passed into the hands of Barnabas Hedge, Esq., of
Plymouth, and were carried on by his agent, John
Thomas, Esq., until 1837. In 1837 the works were
fold by B. Hedge to William B. Swett, of Boston,
Charles H. Warren, of New Bedford, and Thomas
Russell, of Plymouth. From 1837 to 1845 the
works were in operation but a small portion of the
time, and there were changes in the ownership. The
Tremont Irou Company acquired the property by
purchases as follows :

Deed from William Thomas and others, March 31,

Deed from Uriel A. Murdock, Aug. 22, 1846.

Deed from Eliphalet Bumpus, March 16, 1847.

Deed from Anselm D. Robinson, March 7, 1849.

Before the ownership of the Tremont Irou Com-
pany there were near the dam at the village of Eng-
land, and at the dam at what is now called Tremont
village, works as follows: Blast-furnaces for making
pots and kettles, which were made of iron run di-
rectly from the smelting (blast) furnaces into the
moulds, a rolling-mill for rolling and slitting nail-plate,
and for rolling hoops, and a nail- and tack-factory.
These works were all on a small scale and old-fash-
ioned, and were never used by the Tremont Iron
Company, which replaced them all with modern

The Tremont Iron Company was organized at
Boston, March 29, 1845. Its first directors were
Nathan Carruth, William Thomas. John Williams,
Charles L. Hayward, and James T. Hayward, all of
Boston. Its first president was William Thomas.
This company built the present stone dam at Tremont,
in the place of a low dam formerly there, and after
this the old dam at England was disused and went to
decay ; some traces of it still remain.

The Tremont Iron Company erected puddling-fur-
naces and a rail-mill. On March 22, 1847, the agent
reported to the directors that " about two thousand
one hundred tons of nails had been made since the
works had been in operation, and that duriug the last
week one hundred and one tons of iron had been
puddled." Also, that " two double and two single
puddling-furnaces are now in process of erection, and
all proper measures are being taken to increase the
manufacture of rails."

The manufacture of rails was found to be unprofit-
able, and in January, 1849, it was decided to pur-
chase machinery for the manufacture of nails upon
a lanre scale. Accordingly a nail-plate mill was pur-
chased, and a contract made for a large number of

Iu May, 1849, the manufacture of nails was com-
menced, and has continued uninterruptedly down to
the present time. In the same year a large store-
house for nails was built east of the branch track of
the Cape Cod Branch Railroad Company, at Tremont,
and a number of teuements were built.

In 1854 a train of rolls for manufacturing hoops
was set in operation, a new pair of Corliss engines
furnishing the power for them. In 1858 the Tremont
Iron Company sold its entire assets to a new corpo-
ration, the Tremont Nail Company, by which corpo-
ration the business was continued until I860, when
the works were entirely destroyed by fire. The com-



pany then hired the rolling-mill and factory at South
Wareham, aod used theni for nail-making until 18G6,
while gradually rebuilding a new mill aud factory at
Tremont, upon the site of the old ones. The re-
building was fully completed in 1867.

This company continued the manufacture of iron
nails until the year 1SS3, when it made such changes
in its machinery as were necessary for the manufac-
ture of nails from plates made by welding worn-out
Bessemer steel rails, being the first manufacturers in
the world to adopt that process. Its present equip-
ment is a thirty-ton Siemens gas-furuace, six double
puddling-furoacea, a scrap-furnace, and eighty-three

The first officers of the Tremont Nail Company
were llichard Soule, of Boston, president, and Joshua
B. Tobey, of Warehaui, treasurer. Present officers
are Gerard C. Tobey, of Warehaui, president, and
Horace P. Tobey, of Warehaui, treasurer.

The nail works at South Warehaui, which are sit-
uated on the Weweantit River, at the lower dam,
were built by Bartlett Murdock and George Howlaud
in the year 1827, aud consisted of a rolling-mill and
nail-factory. They were first carried on by the firm
of Murdock, Howland & Co., and so continued until
1831, wheo some change took place, and tbey were
afterwards carried on by the Weweantit Iron Com-
pany, J. B. Tobey, agent, aud run till 1838. In
1835 they had the misfortune to have their nail-fac-
tory burnt, but it was rebuilt and put in operation
again in the short space of four weeks. From 1838
to 1854 the works were owned by J. B. Tobey & Co.,
and kept in operation by them moat of the time. In
February, 1848, they were burned, but were at once
rebuilt. In 1854, Lewis Kinney & Co. purchased
the entire property, and the works were operated by
this company until 1860, when they were leased to
the Tremont Nail Company, and by them kept in
operation until the autumn of 1866, at which time
the property passed into the hands of the Wareham
Nail Company, who have owned and kept these works
in operation until the present time. The rolling-mill
was burned July 22, 1882, but was at once rebuilt.

In 1836 the Agawam Nail Company built a good
rolling-mill and nail-factory upon the Agawam River,
at the Agawam village. Here they commenced
making nails in 1836, and after running the works
for five months suspended on account of the embar-
rassment of business.

Iu 1838 they recommenced business, and continued
until the works were burned in 1841. They were
immediately rebuilt, and in the year 1845 an addi-
tional rolling-mill was erected some two miles higher

up on the same stream. It was called the " Glen
Charley" mill, and cost thirty thousand dollars. All
these works were kept iu operation most of the time
by their enterprising builder and chief owner, Mr.
Tisdale, until his death in 1869.

After his decease the works were leased and oper-
ated for about two years by Leeds, Robiuson &, Co.,
since which time they have remained idle. Most of
the machinery has been removed, and the buildings,
together with the houses formerly rented to work-
men, are iu a state of sad decay.

This once beautiful part of the town now reminds
one of Goldsmith's " Deserted Village."

Nails. — As the making of cut nails has been the
leading industry of this town for more than sixty
years, it may be well to describe briefly the process
of nail-making.

In the rolling-mill the rolls are graduated by
screws to make the nail-plates of any thickness re-
quired, and the plates take the several names which
are giveu to the nails, viz., twopenny, threepenny,
fourpenny, and so on to fortypenny. The nail-plates
are taken from the mill to the factory, where they
are cut by a machine into pieces about two feet long ;
these pieces are taken and one end placed in a pair of
nippers, which have a wooden handle about four feet
long. The nail-machine is now put in motion of
about one hundred and fifty turns in a minute,
making a nail every turn. The plate in the nippers
is introduced into the machine ; a rest under the
handle of the nipper, which may be moved a little to
the right or left, makes the nails either sharp or
blunt, as is required, and also elevates the plates to
such a height as will cut the nails square. The plate
is turned over by the workman at every cut of the
tool, that the heads and points of the nails may be
cut from the plate alternately. The nail, being cut
from the plate, is carried by the moving cutter or
knife directly into the dies, while another die, called
the header, moving laterally, presses against the end
of the cut nail and forms the head, when one die,
falling back, leaves the nail at liberty, and it falls into
a box underneath the machine finished. The smaller
sizes of nails are made as above described, and are
called edge-gripe nails. The larger nails are made
differently, as follows : the plates, after being cut, are
heated to a black heat, or a little less than red heat ;
the nail is then made iu the same way as the smaller
nail, except, after being cut, the nail is turned one-
quarter round before it is griped, after which it is
griped and headed as before described, it being griped
flatwise instead of edgewise ; and heuce it is called
the flat-gripe nail. A skillful workman will run from



three to four inachiues; he grinds the knives and
dies, and keeps the machines in order; employs usu-
ally boys to turn the plates and cut the nails, and the
profits divided between them, the man, of course, ob-
taining the larger share. A boy from twelve to six-
teen years of age will cut three hundred pounds of
fourpenny, or ten hundred pounds of tenpenny, or
two thousand pounds of spikes in a day, and the in-
termediate sizes in proportion. When the box which
is placed underneath the machiue to receive the nails
is full it is emptied into a bin ; the packer here re-
ceives them and packs them into casks containing one
hundred pounds each ; these being branded, are
ready for the market. Within a few years self-feed-
ers, so called, have been used to some extent, but
they have not as yet come into general use. In
making the smaller sizes of nails, it is claimed that
by the use of this modern invention one boy can cut
more nails than three could by the usual way.

The nail-machine is built by first having the shapes
cast of iron, after wooden patterns, and then about
one hundred holes are drilled for the purpose of fast-
ening the different parts together by steel screws.

It has a balance-wheel which runs in brass boxes
to prevent its heating. Upon this balance-wheel a
wooden pulley is fixed, which drives the machine by
means of a leather belt. The joints of the machine
are all made of cast steel, being from one and a half
to two inches in diameter, which pieces of steel are
called centres. A cam gives the gripe, and the ma-
chine is fitted with cutters or knives, dies, and many
other contrivances which make the whole a powerful
and complicated machine. This machine was invented
by Jesse Reed, of Marshfield, Mass., about the year
1818, and has since been improved by Mellville Otis
and Stephen Chubbuck, of Wareham, and others.

Franconia Iron- and Steel-Works. — These
works, situated at the lower end of the Narrows vil-
lage, were erected by the Franconia Iron and Steel
Company in the year 1864, and were run about two
years uuder the management of Mr. Warren Bil-
lings, then lay idle some two years. In 1868 they
came under the management of James C. Warr, Esq.,
and he, in 1879, leased the works, and since that
time they have been run under his proprietorship.

Hollow-Ware. — This article was formerly manu-
factured iu blast-furnaces. The first one in Ware-
ham was built about the year 1805, upon the We-
weantit River, near the place where the Tremont
Nail- Works uow stand, and was owned and managed
by four brothers of the name of Leonard. In the
year 1S22 this furnace came into the hands of Bart-
lett Murdock & Co., and afterwards was owned by

the Washington Iron Company. About the year
1825 it was burnt, immediately rebuilt, and continued
in operation until 1833, when it was changed into a
cupola-furnace. In the year 1825, Ellis, Murdock
& Co. built a blast-furnace at Agawam, where they
manufactured hollow-ware upon a large scale until
the introduction of hard coal, when the business was
abandoned and the buildings pulled down.

About the year 1826, I. & J. Pratt & Co., under
the superintendence of Thomas Savery, Esq., built a
cupola-furnace at Tihonet, where ware was made for
a short time, when the nail-works being built at that
place, the cupola was employed in making castings
for the various machinery used in the works, and
Mr. Savery removed to Agawam, where he built a
small cupola-furnace, and continued to make ware for
a few years, when Charles C. Ellis, Esq., who had
been concerned in the blast-furnace at that place,
abandoued it and formed a company under the name
of C. C. Ellis & Co., of which Mr. Savery was a
partner. Mr. Savery's cupola was abandoned, and
the company built a new cupola on a large scale upon
the easterly side of the Agawam River, at which
place they continued to make much ware for many
years. In the year 1833, Col. Bartlett Murdock
built a cupola-furnace upon a large scale at the lower
end of the Narrows village, upon a wharf built for
that purpose. This furnace was blown by steam-
power, and kept in operation many years, not only by
Col. Murdock, but by Moses S. F. Tobey and others.
The manufacture of hollow-ware in blast-furnaces was
at one time the most thriving business carried on in
this vicinity ; although most of the furnaces were
situated iu Middleboro' and Carver, yet the greater
part of the iron ore was brought from New Jersey
and landed at Wareham, from thence it was hauled
to the different furnaces, and the ware returned to
Wareham to be shipped to market. The business
gave employment to about one dozen sloops and a
large number of teams, many of which belonged to
the citizens of Wareham.

Cotton-Factories. — The first cotton -factory in
Wareham was built on the Wankinco River at the
lower dam in 1812. This factory was built when
the improvements of spinning cotton in this country
were in a state of infancy, and after being partially
burned, in 1814, by the English, and contending
with many other difficulties arising principally from
the unstable manner in which the works were built,
and the roughness of the machinery, it was abandoned
in 1821.

In 1816, Curtis Tobey, Esq., built a cotton-factory
on a small brook running into the Wewcantit River.



It was kept running for several years, but had to con-
teud with the serious difficulty of lack of water, and
did not prove profitable.

In 1823, Benjamin Lincoln and others built a

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 50 of 118)