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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cash capital of two dollars and fifty cents, he left
his native place on foot to seek his fortune. After
a twenty mile walk he reached Danielsonville, Con-
necticut, at the end of his first day, there obtain-
ing supper, lodging and breakfast, for which he-
paid sixteen cents. Fie then made direct for Wor-
cester, at that time a town of some ten thousand
inhabitants. There he hoped in find employment,
lint not succeeding, went on to Clinton, then a part
of Lancaster, where he found employment in a fac-
tory. It is worthy of record that his first business
experience was 111 a counterpane mill, at sixteen
years of age. He remained in this position two
years, and by attention to work was promoted to a
more lucrative position. By economy he saved suf-
ficient money to give him a start in life, and coming
to Worcesttr in 1848 served a short apprenticeship
at the trade of machinist.

In 1853 lie was the proprietor of a country store
in Groton Junction, now the city of Aver. Massa-
chusetts, but later disposed of this business. He
then went west, remaining in Cleveland, Ohio, two
years, and in 1857 returned to Worcester, Massa-
chusetts. During the following four years he was
employed as a salesman. In 1861 he engaged in

manufacturing hoop-skirts under the name of the
Worcester Skirt Company. two or threi
later he added the making of corsets to his busi-
11 5, and as the hoop-skirl into

disuse, corset making became the principal featun of
the business and the title was changed to thai of
the Worcester Corset Company. It was conducted
as a private business until 1888, when it was in-
corporated as a stock company. The same pains-
taking, diligent attention to business that had char-
acterized .Mr. Fanning's entire life soon brought
his manufactures into universal prominence, and in
1901 another change 111 the business was made and
its name became the Royal Worcester Corset Com-
pany. Mr. Fanning began business in a small way
at the corner of Main and FYont streets, and as it
expanded occupied quarters in Franklin square and
Hermon street, respectively, finally moving to the
extensive and complete factory on Wyman street,
erected by the company for its business, where it
is at present located. From a very modest begin-
ning, by perseverance and faith in the country and
its resources, and untiring diligence, Mr. Fanning
has developed the great industrial institution known
throughout the world, the Royal Worcester Corset
Company, with its magnificent plant, branch offices
in all the large cities of the country, and business
connections in every civilized country on the globe.
The Royal Worcester Corset Company's plant is
perhaps the largest and most complete in the world
of the factories devoted exclusively to the manu-
facture of corsets and waists. It has been called the
model factory of America. It certainly is one of
the model factories of Worcester, and one in wdiich
the city takes pride as one of its institutions. The
building has an admirable location near the gnat
Crompton & Knowles loom work-.. Together these
two concerns have had great influence on the growth
of the city. The grounds about the buildings of the
corset company are artistically laid out with shrubs
and lawns, and the buildings are architecturally at-
tractive. In construction and equipment the most
advanced ideas of modern times have been adopted
and changes are constantly made to keep the fac-
tory in the front rank. It has often been said that
nowhere in the world is there a manufacturing
plant of such prominence and employing so large
number of hands where there are to be found more
pleasant and comfortable arangements for the com-
fi it and convenience of the employees. The beat-
ing and ventilation tire perfect; the best electric
lighting system to be found has been installed; the
sanitary arrangements are as good as those of first
class hotels. The employees are provided with a
comfortable and spacious dining room, finished in
white ami with tiled walls and floors, capable of
seating nearly one thousand employees. In connec-
tion with this a reading room is maintained and
supplied with the leading papers and magazines for
the exclusive use of employees. More than a thou-
sand hands are regularly employed. The offices are
large and convenient, and in every department ample
provision has been made for the constantly increas-
ing business. The power plant of this factory is a
model. Mr. Fanning believes in u dern

electrical machinery and gives hi electrical engi-
neer carte blanche when new machinery is to he in-
stalled. The machinery used in the factory is of
the best and latest patterns. Much of it -.- designed
especially for this class of work, and throughout the
plant will be found special machinery adapted to
accomplish in the quickest and best manner special
kinds of work. The methods and machinery used
result in producing goods that arc uniform and of
standard quality, while much of the foreign goods



of this kind are lacking in these qualities. The
goods of the Royal Worcester Corset Company have
stood the test of every exposition of the past thirty
years. The product of the factory is sold direct to
the retail stores all over the country. The capital
stock of the company is four hundred thousand
dollars. Mr. Fanning is president and chief owner,
and ^Walter F. Brooks, his nephew, is treasurer.

Notable among Mr. Farming's personal char-
acteristics is his intense patriotism. He springs
from men who fought in all wars in which our
country has been engaged, even back to the French
and Indian wars. In politics he is a Republican.
He is a man of pronounced opinions and once he
knows he is right, whether it be a business or per-
sonal proposition that confronts him, he goes ahead
and nothing stands in the way of his accomplishing
his end. In business he is a disciplinarian, and his
influence is felt everywhere in his great factory.
Cleanliness, deportment, order, system and attention,
which are so much in evidence about him, are the
results of his constant care and training. In spite
of an active business life, Mr. Fanning has found
time to study men and things, conditions historical
and geographical, keeps thoroughly in touch with
the contemporaneous news of the time, and will
stand in commercial history as a forceful illustration
of what a man may be if he will.

Mr. Fanning married, at Worcester, September
28, 1859, Rosamond Hopkins Dawless, daughter of
Young Simmons and Adaline Fidelia (Willard)
Dawless. She was born at Sterling, Massachusetts,
May 6, 1837, died at Worcester, Massachusetts, De-
cember 14, 1901. She is buried in the family lot
in Rural cemetery, Worcester. Their children were:
I. Agnes Maria, born in Worcester, September 29,
1S64, married, at Worcester, April 6, 1892, John
Edward Lancaster, born in New York city, Decem-
ber 1, 1863, died November 14, 1905. He was presi-
dent of the United States Corset Company, formerly
the Globe Corset Company of Worcester. Mrs.
Lancaster was educated in Mt. Holyoke Seminary
and Lasell Seminary, Auburndale, Massachusetts.
Their children are : John Edward, born February
27, 1893 ; Robert Allan, born September 9, 1895 ;
Rosamond, born April 19, 1897. 2. Frank Everett,
born in Worcester, March 20, 1869, died August 2r,
1869. 3. Helen Josephine, born in Worcester, June
10, 1870, a graduate of Mt. Holyoke Seminary and
College, class of 1891 ; resides with her father'

SMITH FAMILY. John Smith (1), the immi-
grant ancestor of Elliott T. Smith, Jesse Smith,
Orrin H. Smith and Frank A. Smith, of Wor-
cester, and that branch of the family to which they
belong, was one of several among the first settlers
of Rhode Island bearing the name of John Smith,
and to distinguish him from the others he has been
called by the trade he followed, "John, the Mason."
There was "John, the Miller" and "Jamaica John."
also in Providence, both progenitors of important
Rhode Island families. The trade of mason and the
allied trade of lime burning has been followed by
many generations of the descendants of "John, the
Mason." He was born in England and was among
the early settlers at Providence, where he died in
1660. March 1, 1654, he deeded a house and lot
of Samuel Comstock's estate. He was living in
Warwick, December 17, 1657, and was useful as a
surveyor in the county. His second wife was Anne
Comstock, widow of Samuel Comstock. She died
in 1661. Among his children was John, Jr., see

(II) John Smith. Jr.. son of John Smith (1),
was doubtless born in England about 1625. He died

in 1687. He was also a mason by trade. He was
admitted a freeman in 1670. He owned lot No.
42 in Providence and assigned it February 19, 1665.
His name is on the tax list July 1, 1679. His will
was presented for probate April 4, 1688. It was
dated March 16, 1687. His executor was his son

Joseph. He married Elizabeth , who died

1706. The children of John and Elizabeth Smith
were: Leonard, died unmarried in 1676; he was
a witness on a deed of Roger Williams's in 1665.
was admitted a freeman in 1670, was a deputy to
the general assembly, resided at Providence and
Newport, and left estate to brother John. John,
died 1676 unmarried; was killed in King Philip's
war. Benjamin, a mason, died unmarried 1716.
Eleanor, married Eleazer Arnold. Joseph, see for-
ward. Mary, married Thomas Hopkins.

(III) Joseph Smith, son of John Smith (2), was
born about 1655. He also was a mason and joiner.
He settled the estate of his brothers John and
Leonard, who died in the same year. January 15,
1677. he sold to Ralph Paine, of Newport, land in
Providence as administrator of his brother, John
Smith, heir and executor of their brother, Leonard
Smith. He was admitted a freeman in 1681. March
3. 1690, he sold other lands to John Keese, of Ports-
mouth, as administrator of the estate of John, heir
of Leonard Smith. He removed from Providence
to Smithfield, Rhode Island, where he was living
January 31, 1732. when he deeded to his son John
one hundred acres and a quarter right to the com-
mon land. He mentions Joseph, another son, with
John in a deed of land dated March 31, 1735, form-
erly of the estate of his grandfather, John Smith,
deceased. The son Leonard is presumed to be named
for his brother Leonard, whose estate he ad-

(IV) Leonard Smith, son of Joseph (3), was
born in Smithfield, Rhode Island, about 1715. He

married Elizabeth , and their children, born

at Smithfield, Rhode Island, were: Jonathan, see
forward; Sarah, born February 5, 1745-46; Leon-
ard, Jr., September 29, 1748; Simon, October 29,


(V) Jonathan Smith, son of Leonard Smith (4),
was born at Smithfield, Rhode Island, August 9,
1741. He settled in the adjacent town of Cumber-
land, Rhode Island. He was a soldier in the revo-
lution, with the rank of lieutenant in Captain Kim-
ball's company, Colonel Hutchinson's regiment, from
Providence county. He married Rebecca Nichols,
of Rehoboth (by Elder Daniel Miller), April 7,

1768. He married (second) Margaret . The

children of Jonathan and Rebecca Smith, born in
Cumberland, were: Jesse. January 6, 1762 or 1769;
Sylvester, see forward. The children of Jonathan
and Margaret Smith, born in Cumberland, were:
Jacob. April 18, 1779: Margaret, December 13. 1781.

(VI) Sylvester Smith, son of Jonathan Smith
(5), was born in Cumberland, Rhode Island, De-
cember 15. 1772. He was a lime burner by trade
and three of his sons, who followed this trade, set-
tled in Rockland, Maine, viz.: Leprelet (or Pre-
late as it is spelled in Rhode Island records), Lewis
and Charles W. Sylvester Smith married, June 22,
1794. Luruhamma (generally spelled Ruhammah)
Goff. of Smithfield. The marriage was performed
by Holliman Potter, justice, whose very name has
a' clerical sound. Sylvester Smith lived in Smith-
field, his children were born there and he probably
died there. The children of Sylvester and Ruham-
mah Smith were: Anna, born January 18, 179S;
Jesse, November 8, 1796; Prelate (Leprelat, as
Spelled in the Rockland records). May 13, 1802, mar-
ried Mercy , settled in Rockland, Maine, re-

£g^<r j&z-^z.



moved to the west; Lewis, December 26, 1803, see
forward; Charles Westcott, August 13, 1809, mar-
ried (first) Almira Achorn, December 26, 1833;
(second) Betsey Currier, January I, 1843; removed
to West Camden, Maine; Lydia, August 20, 1814.

(VII) Lewis Smith, fourth child of Sylvester
Smith (6), was horn in Smithfield, Rhode Island,
December 26, 1803. He was in the lime burning
business and removed to Rockland, Maine, to carry
on the lime business there. He came to Worcester
in 1849, where for many years he was engaged in
the lime business. He died March 15, 1867. He
married Maria Rice in Rhode Island. Their chil-
dren were: George L, born June 4, 1826; Manly
S., June II, 1828, is a sea captain in Vineyard Haven,
Massachusetts; has several children; Abigail P.,
August 4, 1831, married John Bird, of Rockland,
Maine; children— William and Abbie, living; Elliott
T., see forward ; Jesse, see forward ; John W., May
16, 1839, at Rockland, enlisted July 12, 1S61, in
Company D, Fifteenth Regiment, and was killed at
Ball's Bluff, October 21, 1861. He was unmarried;
Harriet Elizabeth, June 15, 1841, married Rev. James
Taylor, who survives her ; James W., resides in
Boston; Orrin H., born in Rockland. All of the
eight children living in 1849 came to Worcester
with their parents, and the family has for the most
part made Worcester their home ever since.

(VIII) Elliott Tolman Smith, son of Lewis Smith
(7), was born in Rockland, Maine, July 31, 1833.
He was sixteen years of age when the family moved
to Worcester, on his birthday, July 31, 1849. He
spent his boyhood in Rockland, where he attended
the district schools and learned his first lessons in
business. He went to work for the Western Rail-
road, now the section of the New York Central be-
tween Worcester and Albany, and remained in this
business three years, most of the time in the freight
department. He was then employed by Hitchcock
& Muzzy, manufacturers of firearms in the Merri-
field buildings until 1857. The winter of 1857-58
he spent in New Orleans in the lightning rod busi-
ness. He began in business for himself in Wor-
cester at the corner of Shrewsbury and Millbury
streets, where the Smith-Green Company is still
located. That was in 1858 and nearly fifty years
find him still in business in the harness among the
most succes-fu! merchants of Worcester. His groc-
ery store was in a building used by his father to
store lime.

The business grew steadily. In 1868 he took up
the wholesale department and found that more at-
tractive than the retail business. In 1870 he turned
over the retail business to his brother and there-
after has devoted his attention to jobbing and whole-
sale business. At that time he took as partner
Charles A. Bigelow. For fifteen years the business
continued under the name of E. T. Smith & Co.
Upon the death of his partner in 1885 Mr. Smith
formed a new partnership with Charles F. Bigelow.
Frank A. Smith, Charles A. King. F. B. Waite and
Charles H. Robinson. The two latter soon with-
drew from the firm. The present E. T. Smith Com-
pany was incorporated in 1S96 with a capital stock
of $100,000 with Elliott Smith, president; F. A.
Smith, his son, vice-president: C. 1". Kigelnw. treas-
urer, and C. A. King, secretary. The large block
erected by Mr. Smith in 1874 in Washington Square
was occupied until 1893, when the company moved
to its new building on Summer street and the
Smith-Green business has since occupied the older

Mr. Smith's recreation and amu-cments have
been largely out of doors. He is a lover of nature
and enjoys fishing and hunting. He is a member of

the Worcester Sportsmen's Club. He is a member
of the Board of Trade, and is a well known Free
Mason, belonging to Worcester County Command-
cry. Knight-, Templar and the other Masonic or-
ganizations of the city. He resides at 839 Main
street, where he has a handsome home. Mr. Smith's
business ability has placed him in the front rank
of merchants. His long and uniformly successful ca-
reer gives him a place among the foremost men of
business in this section. His personal character has
won him the respect and confidence of his associates
and fellow-citizens to an unusual degree.

Mr. Smith married, January 12, i860, Elizabeth
C. Campbell, of Worcester, and their only child,
Frank A. Smith, born April 1, 1864, is now the
treasurer and manager of the house of E. T. Smith

(VIII) Jesse Smith, son of Lewis Smith (7),
was born in Rockland, Maine, March 27, 1836. He
attended the district schools of his native town and
those of Worcester after the family removed in
1S49 to that city. He began his business life in the
clothing store of D. H. Eames, then Thayer &
Eames, then and now at the corner of Main and
Front streets, Worcester. He was a clerk in this
store for nine years. In 1S61 he began business on
his own account in Lewistown, Maine. After five
years lie returned to Worcester to enter partner-
ship with his brother, Elliott T. Smith, in the retail
grocery business on Shrewsbury street. In 1870
the partnership was dissolved E. T. Smith went on
with the wholesale business and Jesse Smith took
the retail business in company with the late Henry
A. Green, who had been with the firm for some
time. The retail store was carried on until the
death of the junior partner under the name of Smith
& Green, a name familiar to all residents of Wor-
cester for a generation. The present name, Smith-
Green Company, was taken in 1893 when the busi-
ness was incorporated, with Mr. Smith as president
and owner of the property. In addition to the ordi-
nary grocery business the firm made a specialty
of lime and cement, the line in which Mr. Smith's
father had dealt years before, and eventually this
branch of the business became the largest part of it.

In 1894 Richard C. Cleveland, who married his
daughter, became connected with the business, treas-
urer of the company, and later, after Mr. Smith's
death, the head of the house. His firm w^as one of
the largest and best known retail- provision and
grocery stores in this section. Mr. Smith was a
prominent citizen in every sense of the word, al-
though he never held public office. He was at-
tractive personally and popular among his friends.
In Masonic circles he was quite active. He was a
member of Athelstan Lodge, Worcester Lodge of
Perfection, Hiram Council, Lawrence Chapter, Rose
Croix ; Worcester County Commandery, Knights
Templars, and the Massachusetts Consistorv. He
was treasurer of the Worcester Masonic Charity
and Educational Association. He was also mem-
ber of the Commonwealth Club, the Tatassit Canoe
Club and of the Worcester Board of Trade. He
died suddenly November 18, 1897.

Of Mr. Smith's character. Rev. Dr. Alomon C.
Gunnison pastor of the First TJniversalist Church,
of which Mr. Smith was a member, now the presi-
dent of Washington University, said at the time
of his death: "He was a man of marked integrity.
In all the close competitions of business he kept
himself unsullied by deceit. He was honorable in
his dealings, scrupulously honest in word and deed,
winning success by no unworthy practices, but by
an industry that was tireless and a thrift that was
persistent. * * * He was a sunny-hearted man ;



and the sunshine that was in his heart nut only
illuminated his own lire and made it genial, but it
warmed the social atmosphere in which he moved.
Every life he touched lie gladdened. His speech was
cheery, because he was rilled with good-will to men.
He hail friends because he showed himself friendly.
No neighbor was swiiter in sympathy or more ready
with offices of neigliDorly good- will. He was not
only charitable in his deeds and words, but was
equally kind in all his judgments. He was slow
to believe ill of others, as he was quick to contradict
detraction of friends. If he heard unkind criticism
with gentle rebukings he showed the picture's other
side, .Hid magnified men's virtues when others re-
nin! their faults. He had that rare insight of love
which saw the good rather than the evil that was
in others, and be remembered the good and forgot
the bad. There are few qualities of greater worth
than this. Every man is a benefactor to bis kind
who throws a ray of sunshine across the path in
which men bear their burdens, who gives the cour-
age of a new hope to those who struggle, and illumi-
nates and warms with the sunshine of his own good
will those who are heavy laden. This was his mis-
sion in life; and it made men love him while he
lived, and caused a great throng to rise up and call
him blessed "

.Mr. Smith married, February i", 1859. Jane
Hopcroft, daughter of Henry Hopcroft. She was
born in England. After coming to America the
family lived at Fort Plain, New York. Mrs. Smith
survive- her husband and resides in her old home,
35 Oread street. Worcester, with her daughter. Mrs,
R. C. Cleveland. The children of Jesse and Jane
(Hopcroft) Smith were: Harry Lewis, born Au-
gust 7. [867, in Worcester, died there February 9,
1876; Herbert Jesse, born in Worcester, October 9.
1869, died there August 7, 1870; Gertrude Elizabeth,
born April [3, 1872, married R. C. Cleveland.

(VII! 1 ()rrin H. Smith, son of Lewis Smith (7),
was born in Rockland, Maine, December 9, 1840
He came with the family to Worcester in 1849 and
has since lived in that city. He went into the rail-
road business and was for a number of year-, loco-
motive engineer on the section now known as the
Bo ton & Albany Railroad. For many years be
has been in the retail grocery business at 14,1 Graf-
ton street in company with C. M. Crockett. The
firm name is Smith & Crockett. He is married and
one daughter. Flora.

(IX 1 Gertrude Elizabeth Smith, daughter of
Jesse Smith (8), was born in Worcester, Massa-
chusetts, April 13, 187.'. She was educated in private
schools in Worcester and Greenfield, Massachusetts.
She married. September 26, 1894, Richard C. Cleve-

Richard C. Cleveland was born in Danville.
Quelle,, September 30. 1871. He is the son of
Clan nee Chester and Fluvia E. (Cleveland) Cleve-
land. (See (1-v. lane! Genealogy for his ancestry.)
When fourteen vears old he went to Beloit, Wiscon-
sin, to school and there fitted for college. He en-
tered the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he
was graduated in 180 v He returned to his borne
in Canada and worked for a time for the Rand
Drill Companj of Montreal. In 1894 he came to
Worcester and associated himself with the Smith-
Green Company. Afi r the business was incorpor-
ated be became the trea urer of the company, and
,,1 1897, aftei the death of Jesse Smith, lie became
the president and treasurer. The retail meal and
grocery business was sold a few years later to
Walker 'Vrmington and the entire attention of the
companj given in th» lime and cement busini
The cilier i>ii oi 'lie corporation are members

of Mr. Cleveland's family: Mrs. Jesse Smith, and
Airs. Cleveland, who is clerk of the corporation.
Mr. Cleveland is a member of Quinsigamond Lodge
of Free Mason-, Hiram Council, Worcester County
Commandery, Knights Templar; of the Tatassit
Canoe Club, the Uptown Club, the Tatnuck Country
Club and the Worcester Club. He is a director of
the Merchants National Bank of Worcester. Chil-
dren of Richard C. and Gertrude Elizabeth (Smith)
Cleveland are: Bruce Cleveland, born May 31, 1897;
Chester Bissell, May 22, 1902.

(IX) Frank Albert Smith, son of Elliott Tol-
man Smith (8), was born in Worcester, Massachu-
setts, April 1, 1804. He received bis education ill
the public schools of Worcester, taking a two-year
course in the classical high school. In 1880 he
went to work for his father's firm, E. T. Smith &
Co., then on Shrew-bury street, as clerk in the
office, continuing until 1885. when the new com-
pany was formed, after the death .of Charles A.
Bigelow. At that time Charles F. Bigelow, Charles
A. King. F B. Waite and Charles H. Robinson as
well as Mr. Smith became partners. Later Mr.
\\ aite and Mr. Robinson withdrew from the firm.
In 1896. when the firm became a corporation, Frank
A. Smith was elected vice-president and Charles
F. Bigelow, treasurer. On the death of Mr. Bige-
low. in 1900, Mr. Smith became the treasurer also,
and at present is vice-president, treasurer and man-

Online LibraryEllery Bicknell CraneHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of Worcester county, Massachusetts, with a history of Worcester society of antiquity (Volume 2) → online text (page 4 of 133)