Ellery Bicknell Crane.

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of Worcester county, Massachusetts, with a history of Worcester society of antiquity (Volume 2) online

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with a capital of about a hundred dollars, going
on foot to Boston to purchase his stock and return-
ing to his father's farm among the Bears Den hills,
where he made his first shoes, a few dozen pairs,
and sold them to the merchants of adjacent towns.
During the first year the shoes and boots he made
brought him about six hundred dollars. His first
real shop was on Exchange street, Athol, where
he employed about twenty-five men, he being his
own salesman, traveling in northern Vermont and



New Hampshire with his shoes packed away, at
first in an old box, and later in a fine two-horse
wagon. In 1S58 he formed a partnership with his
two brothers, John Howard Lee and Solon W. Lee,
which continued for ten years, and in the meantime
the firm established a store in Boston for the sale
of their product. In 1809 the partnership was dis-
solved, Mr. Lee continuing the manufacture in Athol
and the brothers attending to the sale of the boots
and shoes in Boston. Year by year he increased his
production until in four large shops he was turning
out goods worth half a million dollars a year. This
business, which for many years was the foremost
in Athol, was built up by the indomitable energy
and enterprise of Mr. Lee, who loved and practiced
industry and persistent effort. He cared nothing for
public office and honor, devoting himself steadfastly
to his business, family and home. He died June 29,
1896, and since then the business has been con-
tinued prosperously by his sons, George M. Lee,
W. Starr Lee and Auburn Lee under the firm name
of C. M. Lee Sons.

He married, October 29, 1851, Amanda Maria
Simmons, born October 16, 1829, died August 24,
1870, daughter of John and Martha (Heaton) Sim-
mons, of Lyme, New Hampshire. He married (sec-
ond), September 27, 1871, Minnie Howe, of Post
Mills, Thetford, Vermont. The children of Charles
Milton and Amanda Maria Lee: George Marshall,
born August 29, 1852, resides in Boston ; Everett
Dexter, born July 13, 1856, resides in Athol ; mem-
ber of the firm of C. M. Lee Sons; Wellington
Starr, born July 13, 1856, resides in Athol and is
member of the firm of C. M. Lee Sons ; Angelina
Maria, born December 3, 1857, died July 15, 1884;
Auburn Wave, born October 18, 1859, resides in
Athol, member of the firm of C. M. Lee Sons;
Bayard Banks, born September 14, 1862, died Sep-
tember 2, 1883; Carrie May, born May 1, 1866. The
children of Charles M. and Minnie Lee : Marion
Howe, born November I, 1878; Minnie Addie, born
July 27, 1S84.

(VII) John Howard Lee, son of William Dexter
Lee (6), was born in Athol, Massachusetts, August
15, 1834. He attended the public schools of the
town and the academy in Townsend, Vermont, for
one term. When a boy he worked in the pail
factory of Jonathan Wheeler, and was clerk for a
year in the store of Lee & Bassett. He engaged
in the manufacture of shoes with his brothers,
Charles Milton Lee and Solon W. Lee, in 1858.
When the partnership was dissolved, ten years
later, he continued the Boston end of the business
and for many years was in partnership with his
brother, Merritt Lee, in the manufacture of boots
and shoes at Athol. The business of his firm was
for many years located at 256 Beacon street and the
firm name is C. M. Lee & Brother. He invested
largely in Boston real estate and was engaged also
in other lines of business, in all of which he has
been successful. He is a director of the Conti-
nental National Bank of Boston, director of the
Athol National Bank and of the Merchants' and
Clerks' Savings Bank of Toledo, Ohio. He is a
member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery
Company of Boston, St. John's Lodge of Free Mas-
ons and other organizations. He married (first)
Abby Maria Lamb, who died October 31, 1859,
daughter of James Lamb, of Athol. He married
(second), October 9, 1859, Sarah Emmons, of Bos-
ton. The children of John Howard and Sarah Lee :
Carlton Howard, born December 7, 1864; Evelyn,
born October 23, 1866; Bertha, born November 13,
1869; John Howard, born August 20, 1874, died Au-

gust 7, 1877; Robert Emmons Lee, born March 20.-

(VII) Solon Wetherbee Lee, son of William
Dexter Lee (6), was born in Athol, Massachusetts,
July 11, 1836. He attended the Athol schools and
the Petersham high school for three years. He en-
gaged in the shoe manufacturing business with his
brothers, Charles M. and J. Howard Lee, in 1858,
and when the firm was dissolved in 1869 and the
business divided he and his brother Howard took
the Boston end of the business and remained there
until 1871, when he sold out and returned to Athol
and engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes,
continuing until 1883, when he went into the lumber
business, in which he has remained to the present
time. He has been active in town affairs and has
served the town of Athol as selectman and assessor.
He died November 2, 1906. He married, April I,
i860, Martha A. Covell, born April 25, 1837, daugh-
ter of Ephraim and Sarah (Hewes) Covell, of
Petersham, Massachusetts, and Templeton. Their
children: Almira Covell, born March 21, 1861,
deceased; Cora H., deceased; Mary H., married C.
J. Kratt.

(VIII) Warren Dexter Lee, son of James Mun-
roe Lee (7), was born at Athol, Massachusetts,
April 27, 1849. He attended the Athol public schools.
For the last twenty years has engaged in lumber and
real estate business.

BRYANT FAMILY. Abraham Bryant (1), the-
emigrant ancestor of John C. Bryant, late of Gard-
ner, Massachusetts, and the Bryant family of his
line, seems to have been born in England. He was
a blacksmith by trade, and settled in Reading, Massa-
chusetts, where he married in 1664, Mary KendalL
(laughter of Deacon Thomas Kendall, of Reading.
She was born' December 24, 1647. in Reading.
Thomas Kendall was a brother of Francis Kendall,
of Woburn. (See sketch of Kendall Family.)
Abraham Bryant signed the partition papers in the
estate of Thomas Kendall, July 22, 1681. In the
early days the name was spelled usually Briant.
Bryant lived on what is now Elm street, on the
south side, west of the homestead of Joseph Hart-
shorn. He married (second) the widow of Samuel
Frothingham, of Charlestown, Massachusetts. She
died in 1693. The children of Abraham and Mary
(Kendall) Bryant were: Mary, born 1666, married,
1684, John Weston: Rebecca, 1668, died 1670; Abra-
ham, 1671, his son Abraham settled in Sudbury
with others of the family; Thomas, see forward;
Anna, 1676: William, 1678; Kendall, 1680; Abigail,
1683, died 1694 ; Tabitha.

(II) Thomas Bryant, son of Abraham Bryant
(1), was born in Reading, Massachusetts, 1674. He
married Mary Fitch, daughter of a Reading settler
and granddaughter of Zachariah Fitch, of Lynn,
and Reading after 1644. Thomas Bryant lived in
the north parish of Reading, now the town of
North Reading. He was a captain in the service
against the Indians. Captain Bryant died at Sud-
bury, June 2, 1731. Two sons of his brother Abra-
ham, who lived in Sudbury, died at the siege of
Louisburg, in February, 1746-47. Thomas Bryant
at the time of his death was probably living with
his son who settled in Sudbury, although he also
may have settled there. The children of Thomas
and Mary (Fitch) Bryant were: Elizabeth, born
in Reading, 1697. died 1698; Thomas, 1700, see
forward; Elizabeth. 1702; Mary, 1706; John. 1707.

(III) Thomas Bryant, second child of Thomas
Bryant (2), was born in Reading, .Massachusetts,
in 1700. He settled in Sudbury, Massachusetts,



and married there Abigail Frinks, July 25, 1723.
She was sister of Sarah Frinks, who married Abra-
ham Bryant, Jr., son of Abraham Bryant (2), the
brother of Thomas Bryant (2). Abraham Bryant,
Jr., died in the service at Louisburg in 1746-47.
Abigail, wife of Thomas Bryant, died November
15, 1724, and he married (second), March 3, 1726-
27. Sarah Noyes, a descendant of Peter Noyes,
pioneer of the town of Sudbury. Thomas Bryant
died June 2, 1731. aged thirty-one years. The only
child ni" Thomas and Abigail Bryant was: Thomas,
liorn in Sudbury, November 1, 1724, see forward.
The children of Thomas and Sarah were: Sus-
annah, born in Sudbury. January 28, 1727-28; Sam-
uel, born in Sudbury, November 1, 1729. The
widow, Sarah Bryant, married (second) Samuel
Russell, and had three children in Sudbury.

(IV) Thomas Bryant, eldest child of Thomas
Bryant (3), was born in Sudbury, Massachusetts,
November 1. 1724. He was a soldier in the revolu-
tion. He lived in Concord. On the morning of
April 19, 1775, he was aroused by Colonel Pres-
cott who threw open the door of his house and
shouted "Thomas! Get up! The British are close
-upon us !" He fought in the battle of Concord and
though never regularly enlisted, served with eleven
others as a committee to keep order at home and
to guard the British prisoners, many of whom
were Hessians, kept at Concord. Before the close
of the revolution he removed to Templeton, Massa-
chusetts, where he lived the remainder of his life.
The original farm contained what was later known
as the Bryant farm and the Day farm, and was
bounded on the south by the Hosmer place, and on
the north by the Baldwin place, extending from
the river on the east to the "Great Woods" on the
"west. The first house was thirty or forty rods we-t
of the present house, and Asa Hosmer, a descen-
dant of Thomas Bryant, remembers the old cellar
that marked the site. There are now ten houses on
what was the Day farm.

Thomas Bryant married, June 16, 1760, Eliza-
beth Chandler, daughter of the elder Colonel Chand-
ler, of Lexington. Their children, all born in Con-
cord, were: Nathan, January 11, 1761, see for-
ward; Elizabeth, born July 5. 1763; Daniel Chandler,
November 18. 1764; Samuel, May I, 1767; Reuben,
March 11. 1760.

(V) Nathan Bryant, son of Thomas Bryant (4),
was born in Concord, Massachusetts, January 11,
1761. He died July, 1828. in Baldwinsville, Massa-
chusetts. He was a soldier in the revolution. At
the battle of Concord he was taken prisoner by the
British and held several hours. His captors en-
deavored by flattery and kindness to learn from him
the hiding place of the cannon, etc. concealed by
the Americans. He was then but a boy of fourteen.
Later in the war he was orderly sergeant in a vol-
unteer company for Concord, and was stationed for
a time at Providence, where the college buildings
were used for barracks. This company was life
guard for General Lafayette and staff while they
were in Boston'. He came to Templeton with his
father before the close of the revolution. He
bought land in Templeton in 1792 of Daniel Nor-
■cross. and in 1797 of Samuel Osgood, and later of
Josiah Hosmer and Thomas Fisher. He had the
homestead mentioned below. He was a well-in-
formed, self-educated man, a leader in town affairs,
rather laconic and reticent, deeplv religious. He
was one of the charter members of the Baptist
Church in Templeton, and his house wa; always
open to the traveling ministers of his faith. He

I often to say that he attributed his salvation
to the free, unmerited and unsought grace of God.

Nathan Bryant married, May, 1880, in Concord,
Lucy Hosmer, daughter of Josiah Hosmer, Sr., and
his wife, Hannah Mason. Joseph Hosmer was born
January 24. 1758, in Concord, and died January 24,
1809, in Baldwinsville. He married (second) Mary
Muzzy, of Hubbardston. The child of Nathan and
Lucy (Hosmer) Bryant was: Nathan, born April
28, 1785. see forward.

(VI) Nathan Bryant, Jr., son of Nathan Bryant
(S), was born in Templeton. Masachuetts, April
28, 1785, and died February 18, 1808. He inherited
the large estate of his father, including what is now
known a- the Day farm, since it was bought by
Gilman Day, and retained it until his death, when
he left it to his son, George W. Bryant. It passed
to George E. Bryant, his grandson, who made
many improvements on it, and bequeathed it to
Augustus Harwood, a grandson of Mandell Bryant,
who, with his father, now occupies and cultivates
it. George W. Bryant removed to Fitzwilliam, New
Hampshire. His son. General George Edwin Bryant,
was born on the old homestead. Nathan Bryant
was a prominent citizen, for many years the deputy
sheriff of the town. He married, November 27,
1806. in Templeton. Tabitha Mason, daughter of
Daniel and Tabitha (Jenkins) Mason, of Barre,
Massachusetts, where she was born January 16,
1784. She died at Baldwinville, March 5. 1864.
Daniel Mason was the son of Captain John and
Elizabeth Mason, and was born in Barre. April 6,
1753- He was a descendant of the well-known
Watertown family. Captain Mason died at Barre,
May 1. 1784, aged fifty-eight years. The children
of Nathan and Tabitha Bryant were : Sarah, born
January 15. 1808, married Edward Loud, and had
one child. Frank. James Madison, July 16, 1809.
died October 9, 1839. Lucian, December 20, 1S10,
married Charlotte Pierce, of Royalston, and had
three children : Solon. Albert and Eunice Helen. John
Mason, see forward. Mandell, January 15, 1813,
married (first) Sarah Day and had two children:
Isabel and Elizabeth. He married (second) Sybil

. Albert, October 3, 1814, married Caroline

Baldwin, and had one son, James, who died young.
Edwin, December 22, 1815, died March 9. 1816.
Nathan, January 20, 1817, married Sarah Green-
wood. Lucy Pierce. May 11, 1818. died July 2,
1880; married. April 17, 1837, Asa Hosmer 2, and
they had seven children : James, died young ; Asa
3d. treasurer of the Templeton Savings Bank :
Geraldine, Nathan, Oscar, Flora, and Frank Loud.
George Washington. October 22. 1820. died June
1, 1S76: married Althine Day, of Winchendon, and
had one son, George E. Harriet Lee. June 10. 1822,
married Samuel Sawyer, and had one son Charles.
Edwin. March 17, 1824, died March 27, 1824. Albig-
ence Pierce, June 27, 1825, married (first) Diana
Wilmarth : (second) Laura Cushing; had one son
Edwin. Mary Muzzy, November 19, 1826, died
unmarried. February 26, 1886.

(VI) John Mason Bryant, son of Nathan Bryant
(5), was born in the village of Baldwinsville, De-
cember 17, 1811, in the town of Templeton. Massa-
chusetts, went to school in his native town, and
attended New Salem Academy. He was brought
up on the homestead, and went into the woolen mills
at Otter River, in Templeton, and afterward worked
in the mills at Templeton, Lee and Stockbridge,
Massachusetts. After ten years he came back to
Otter river as foreman in the woolen mill, where
he staved a short time, and then removed to Gard-
ner. Massachusetts, where he worked in a chair
factory. He was a gifted mechanic and was in great
demand in the chair shops to do hand carving on
the high grade work. He started in the dry goods



business in Gardner just before the financial crash
which brought failure to some of the largest firms
in town, and caused him to give up the store. He
married, December 23, 1834, Sarah Johnson, of
Templeton, Massachusetts. She was born December
26. 1813. at Templeton, and died October 30, 1880,
at Gardner. Their children were : Helen Maria,
see forward: John Clinton, see forward.

(VII) Helen Maria Bryant, daughter of John
Mason Bryant (6). was born February 22, 1843,
in Baldwinsville, Massachusetts. She married, No-
vember 17, 18(14. Charles N. Edgell, who was born
January 29, 1S43, the son of John and Elvira
(Nicholls) Edgell. Their children are: Frank
Bryant, born May II, 1867, married, December 14,
1893, Nellie Temple, of Gardner. Harry Walter,
horn September 4, 1870, died March 29. 1890, in
Amherst, Massachusetts. John Edgell. born No-
vember 7, 1875, married, September 12, 1900. Georgia
Louisa Lamb, of Westminster, and the have one
child. Harry Kenneth Edgell, born July 14. 1901.
Charles Nicholls Edgell, Jr., born November 13,
1876. married Ina E. Merritt. of Gardner. January
4. 1S99. and they have one child, Helen Elizabeth,
born February 5 1903. George Albert Edgell, born
March 5, 1885, died March 29, 1885.

(VII) John Clinton Bryant, son of John Bryant
(6), was born in Templeton, Massachusetts, March
25, 1837. He moved with his parents to Gardner
when a young lad, and was educated in the common
schools there, also at the Barre (Vermont) Acad-
emy, and at a Worcester Business School. After
leaving school he worked with his father in the
Heywood chair factory for several years, and then
for four or five years was clerk in the general store
in Gardner. He started in business with John D.
Edgell, who was later cashier of the Gardner Na-
tional Bank. After three years they sold out and
he entered the firm of A. Bancroft & Company,
with his wife's father, Amasa Bancroft, in the man-
ufacture of pails and tubs. The partnership began
in 1865. and lasted until the death of Mr. Bryant
in Gardner. September 27, 1882. The business was
extensive and prosperous. CSee sketch of Mr. Ban-
croft, the senior partner). Mr. Bryant was a strong
Republican in sentiment, but never sought public
. nice. He was a Free Mason, a member of Hope
Lodge, and of the Good Templar Order. Philo-
kalia Lodge. He was an active member of the
Congregational Church, and was superintendent of
the Sunday school there for many years. He was
a man of engaging nualities of mind and heart and
had many friends. He ranked among the self-made
men of Gardner, was a gifted writer especially in
verse, and was often called upton to write on oc-
casions when poems were in order. He married,
June 2. 1S50. Caroline M. Bancroft, daughter of
Amasa Bancroft. She is living in the old home in
Gardner. Their children were : Amasa, see for-
ward : Ernest Mason, see forward.

(VIII) Amasa Bancroft Bryant, eldest son of
John Clinton Bryant (7). was horn in Gardner,
Massachusetts, August 4. 1869. He was educated in
the public schools of Gardner, graduating from the
high school there in 1886, Comer's Commercial
College, and began a business career in the factory
of his father and grandfather. He accepted a
chance to go to college, and entered Amherst in
1888. graduating in 1892. He was in business in
the pail factorv for a vear or two, then under the
ownership of Henry Hadley & Company, after his
grandfather's death, and later entered the Gardner
National Bank as clerk. He advanced through the
various positions until he became the cashier in
1905. He is a member of Hope Lodge. A. F. and

A. M . and of Ivanhoe Commandery, Knights Temp-
lar: al^o a member and former treasurer of the
Gardner Boat Club. He is a member 'and treasurer
of the Congregational Church. He married Anna
M. Winslow, of Amherst, Massachusetts, Decem-
ber 27. 1892.

(VIII) Ernest Mason Bryant, son of John Clin-
ton Bryant (7), was born in Gardner, Massachu-
setts. October 11, 1876. He was educated in the
public schools of Gardner, and at Becker's Business
College. Worcester. He is employed by Jordan,
Marsh & Company, Boston, as saleman, and lives
in Dorchester. He married Florence Leota Up-
ham, of Athol, Massachusetts, March 26, 1903.

Mrs. Caroline M. (Bancroft) Bryant. John

Bancroft (1), married Jane . They came to

New England on the ship "James" from London in
1632, -ettled in Lynn where he died in 1637, and she
hail a grant of land in 1638. Their children were:
Amos, John, Thomas. Samuel and William.

(II) Thomas Bancroft, son of John Bancroft
(1). was born in England, in 1622. He deposed in
i68r that he was about fifty-eight years old. He
was a townsman in Dedham in 1648, removed to
Reading about 1653, and settled in what is now
Lynnfield, Massachusetts, near Beaver Dam in the
western part of Reading. He married (first), March
3r, 1647, Alice Bacon, daughter of Michael Bacon,
of Dedham. She died March 29, 1648. and .he mar-
ried (second). July 15, 1648, Elizabeth 'Metcalf,
daughter of Michael and Sarah Metcalf. She was
admitted to the church at Dedham, December 14,
1651, and at Reading, November 22, 1669. Thomas
Bancroft was a lieutenant, and died at Lynn, Au-
gust 19. 1691. His widow died May 1, 1711. The
child of Thomas and Alice (Bacon) Bancroft was:
Thomas, born and died 1648. The children of
Thomas and Elizabeth (Metcalf) Bancroft were:
Thomas, born 1649. see forward ; Elizabeth, born
1653, married Joseph Brown; John, born 1656;
Sarah, horn 1660, died 1661 ; Raham, born 1662 died
1683; Sarah, born i§66, married John Woodward;
Ebenezer, born 1667 : Mary, born 1670.

(III) Deacon Thomas Bancroft, son of Lieu-
tenant Thomas Bancroft (2), was born in Ded-
ham. Massachusetts, in 1649, and married in 1673,
Sarah Poole. He was an officer in King Philip's
war. was selectman of Reading for several years,
and built the fourth house in the west parish, near
the Abraham Temple house, and generally known
as the ancient Bancroft homestead. The children
of Deacon Thomas and Sarah (Poole) Bancroft
were : Thomas, born 1673 ; Jonathan, born and died
1675 : Sarah, born 1676, married Abraham Bryant
(2), of Reading and Sudbury, Massachusetts; Mehi-

table, born 1678. married Parker; Jonathan,

born i68r. married Sarah , died 1702; Raham,

1684: Judith. 1688. married Parker: Samuel,

1691, died 1692 : Samuel, born 1693 ; Elizabeth, born
1696. married, 1713. John Lampson.

(IV) Deacon Raham Bancroft, son of Deacon
Thomas Bancroft (3), was born in Reading, Massa-
chusetts, 1684. He married (first) Abigail Eaton,
of a Reading family, daughter of Jonas and Han-
nah (Mason) Eaton. She died 1728. aged forty
years. He married (second), 1730, Ruth Kendall,
daughter of Samuel and Mary Kendall. Ruth
(Kendall) Bancroft died 175S, aged fifty-six years.
He died 175S. aged seventy-four years. Rev. Mr.
Hobby called him "That good man. my friend
Deacon Bancroft." The children of Deacon Raham
and Abigail 1 Eaton) Bancroft were: Joshua, born
1712. married (first) Mary Lampson: (second)
Widow Eaton: Abigail, baptized 1715 : David, see
forward; James, born 1729, died young; Ruth, born

43 2


1731 ; Abigail, born 1733, died 1750; Judith, born
1735: James, born 1739, married (first), 1757, Sarah
Pearson, (second) Sarah Parker; soldier in the
revolution ; selectman, representative to the general
court, died 1831, aged ninety-two years.

(V) David Bancroft, son of Deacon Raham
Bancroft (4), born August 2, 1718, in Reading,
Massachusetts. He removed to Worcester, and set-
tled in the southern part in what was called the
town of Ward, now Auburn, Massachusetts. His
descendants are still living in the vicinity. He

married (first) Eunice before coming to

Ward. She died October 15, 1777, aged fifty-nine
year.-. He married (second), at Ward, Ruth Stone,
widow, October 14, 1779. She died August 2, 1809,
aged ninety-four years. David Bancroft died
at Auburn, April 16, 1782, aged sixty-three
years. His will was dated December 15,
1781, and allowed May 6, 1782. The will
mentions land in Ward and Winchendon, church
pew, books, etc., and bequeathed his wife Ruth,
and his children living, viz. : Eunice, David, mar-
ried Betty Chase, of Sutton, July 6, 1780, at Sutton;
Jonas, died January 2, 1821, aged seventy-six, wife
Sarah died December 13, 1822 ; John, Ebenezer,
Jonathan, see forward ; Mary, Ruth, Hannah, Timo-
thy, born 1761, married Mary Rice, June 13, 1782;
Nathaniel, born 1757, died July 24, 1777.

(VI) Jonathan Bancroft, son of David Bancroft
(S). was burn about May 25. 1750. He removed
from Ward (Auburn) about 1772, and settled where
his grandson, Deacon "S. W. Bancroft, lived. He
was a farmer and shoemaker. The Gardner history
relates that he very narrowly escaped drowning
while attempting to cross the pond on the ice one
evening. He fell through a hole in the ice, but suc-
ceeded in getting out. He was a soldier in the revo-
lutionary war, and was at the taking of Burgoyne's
army in 1777. He married Sarah Case. She died
February 17, 1816. He married (second) Eliza-
beth , Who died December 2, 1822. He died

September 25, 1826, aged seventy-six years. The
children of Jonathan and Sarah (Case) Bancroft,
all born in Gardner, were : Jonathan, February 7,
1775; Smyrna, see forward; Sally, January 21, 1778;
Mary, October 13, 1779; Betsey, January 7, 1782;
Lucy, September 11, 1787; Roxy, May 31, 1789.

(VII) Smyrna Bancroft, second child of Jona-
than Bancroft (6), was born in Gardner, Massa-
chusetts May IS, 1776. He became a prominent
citizen of his native town, was assessor in 1812,
1813, 1814, and selectman in the last mentioned
two years. He married Sarah Whitney, of Win-
chendon. Massachusetts. He died May 5, 1818.
The children of Smyrna and Sarah (Whitney)
Bancroft were: Harvey M., born May I, 1803, died

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