William Richard Cutter.

Encyclopedia of Massachusetts, biographical--genealogical (Volume 2) online

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(VI) Caleb W. Baker, eldest child of
Levi and Anna (Mace) Baker, was born
June 14. 1804, in Rehoboth, Massachu-
setts, and married, October 27, 1826,
Mary Pike, who was born January 19,
1804, in Swansea, Massachusetts, daugh-
ter of James Pike. Their children, all
born in Swansea, were : Caleb W., Jr.,
born in 1827, died August i, 1843 5 George,
July 17. 1829, served in the Civil War.
and died May. 1864; William S.. June 17,
1831, was a teacher and bookkeeper, and
died June i, 1906. in Taunton; Maryette,
September 19. 1834. died in September,
1895. married Edwin Haskins. of Dighton,
Massachusetts ; and Charles F., men-
tioned below.

(VII) Charles F. Baker, youngest
child of Caleb W. and Mary (Pike)
Baker, was born January 10, 1837. in
Swansea, Massachusetts, and as a boy
had only limited school advantages, as
was the case with the majority of the
boys of his day. Removing to Dighton,
Massachusetts, with his parents when
but a mere lad. and having to contribute

to the support of the family, he went to
work in the cotton mills of that place
when but seven years of age. Being of
an ambitious nature, he was determined
to obtain an education, and attended the
evening schools, in which his schooling
was largely acquired. He was, however,
possessed of a keen intellect, and as he
grew to manhood he developed a wide
observation and varied experience, gained
through a long and very successful busi-
ness career, and was recognized as one
of the best informed and self-made men
of Taunton, in which city he was so well
and favorably known among all classes.
As a young man he learned the trade of
iron molder, and for a number of years
worked at his trade in the Taunton Iron
Works. He then became employed at
the Union Furnace, operated by W^right
& Thomas, later becoming a partner in
this concern. In a few years, however,
he severed his connections with this com-
pany, and became the senior partner of
the firm of Baker & Evans, grocers, at
Weir Village. Following this, in Janu-
ary, 1879, he became associated with
George E.Wilbur and William E.Walker,
in the establishing of the Weir Stove
Company, and all being practical and ex-
perienced men the venture proved a sur-
prising success from the start. The hard
work incident to the developing of this
business was equally shared by the part-
ners, as at the beginning their means
were limited and their credit yet to be
established. In the first days but five
men were employed, but to-day, as the
largest stove foundry in New England,
over five hundred practical and experi-
enced mechanics are given employment.
Mr. Baker continued actively interested
in this growing and successful concern
until his death, which occurred at his
home in Taunton. Massachusetts, Octo-
ber 8, 1899, in the sixty-third year of his




Mr. Baker was a man respected and
esteemed by all who knew him. Of few
words, modest and unassuming in de-
meanor, but ever genial and courteous
to all without distinction, he was a man
whom it was a genuine pleasure to meet
and to have his friendship. His sincere
love and affection for his home and his
family was one of the strong and most
prominent traits of his splendid character,
but perhaps in his workshops was the
most solid foundation laid for tender
memories and sincere affection among
his men. In him his workmen felt they
always had a lasting friend, and to them
he was ever the same thoughtful, kind
and considerate employer, who knew
himself what it was to labor as they did.
Environment is said to be the making of
a man's character for good or evil. So
is reflected upon a community, be it large
or small, the life of an individual. If the
man is broadminded, progressive and
energetic there must follow an upbuild-
ing that will outlast the mortal career.
Mr. Baker's life was full of effort, and no
mean proportion of his means was de-
voted to the poor. His careful observ-
ance of the rights of others made him
beloved not only by those who immedi-
ately surrounded him but by those to
whom he was less familiarly known. He
was a plain, matter-of-fact business man,
but in his business and social life were
reflected those qualities which adorn
character and enrich citizenship. Mr.
Baker left behind him a record of having
lived an ideal life as husband and father,
citizen and employer, which may well be
envied and which has left its impress
upon the community. In political faith
he was a Republican. Mr. Baker was an
active and valued member of the Ma-
sonic organization, holding membership
in Alfred Baylies Lodge, Ancient Free


and Accepted Masons, and St. Mark's
Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, both of
Taunton, and of St. John's Commandery,
Knights Templar, of Providence, Rhode

Mr. Baker was married on July i, 1859,
to Abby Oliver Applegate, who was born
April I, 1839, and died August 26, 1893,
daughter of Asher and Fannie Maria
(Presbrey) Applegate (see Presbrey V).
Asher Applegate came to Taunton from
New Jersey when a young man and
worked in the Phoenix Crucible Works.
The Applegate family is one of the oldest
settled families in New Jersey, and has
been prominently identified with the his-
tory of Monmouth county in that State
from the earliest period of its settlement.
There were many in this family bearing
the baptismal name of Asher, but the
most diligent search by various members
of the family has failed to discover the
parentage of the Asher Applegate who
came from Monmouth county to Taun-
ton. Mrs. Baker was a sincere and de-
vout worshipper with the Methodist
Episcopal church. Both she and her
husband are buried in Mt. Pleasant
Cemetery at Taunton. To Mr. and Mrs.
Baker were born four daughters, as fol-
lows : I. Clara Maria, born November 6,
1861, who married William Clarence
Townsend, a well-known buginess man
and citizen of Taunton. 2. Hattie Moore,
born July 20, 1867, married Albert Ed-
wards Wilbur, son of Joseph E. Wilbur,
they are the parents of two sons, namely:
Wadsworth, born February 18, 1894, and
Charles Baker Wilbur, born September
17, 1898. 3. Fannie Pike, born March
24. 1870, resides in Taunton, unmarried.
4. Ethel Grosvenor, born October 7, 1878,
married Russell Colby Paige, of Taunton,
and they are the parents of one son,
Samuel Colby Paige, born October 5,



(The Presbrey Line).

(III) Captain John Presbrey, son of
William (2) (q. v.) and Mary (White)
Presbrey, was born about 1756, and was
a resident of Taunton, Massachusetts,
where he died, and from which town he
served as a soldier in the Revolutionary
War. He bore the title of captain. He
married Prudence Pratt, who died June
6, 1826. Their children were: John, born
July 14, 1785; Prudence, born in 1788,
died June 5, 1828 ; George, who died

(IV) John (2) Presbrey, son of Cap-
tain John (i) and Prudence (Pratt) Pres-
brey, was born in Taunton, July 14, 1785.
He married (first) February 17, 1805,
Fannie Soper, and (second) March 25,
1846, Betsey Fuller Lothrop. His chil-
dren were : Fannie Maria, mentioned be-
low ; Susan Soper, born June 29, 1807,
married Benjamin Cooper; Eliza Ann,
February 9, 1809, died in 1824; John O.,
January 9, 181 1, married Abby L. God-
frey; Caroline Soper, October 8, 1812,
married (first) Silas Dean Presbrey, and
(second) James P. Ellis ; Alexander
Soper. February 21, 1814, died young;
Mary Drake, November 16, 1815, married
George W. Price ; Alexander Soper, 2d,
September 24, 1817, married Amelia A.
Rounds ; Emeline Soper, February 8,
1820, died young; Calvin C, July i, 1821 ;
Hannah, October 11, 1822; Ellen Ann,
October 11, 1824; Edwin Francis, Octo-
ber 23, 1825, died August 8, 1848; Lydia
Emeline, October 12, 1827, married W^il-
liam Gay Hodges ; James Leonard, Au-
gust 29, 1829, married Joanna Manter;
Eliza Ann, October 13, 1831, married
John Macomber, and died August 8, 1848;
and Juliette, June 11, 1833, died young.

(V) Fannie Maria Presbrey, daughter
of John (2) and Fannie (Soper) Pres-
brey, was born November 4, 1805, mar-
ried (first) October ii, 1827, Edward
Burt, and (second) February 10, 1833,

Asher Applegate. She died March 2,
1854. To the marriage of Asher Apple-
gate and his wife, Fannie Maria Pres-
brey, were born several children, all of
whom died young, excepting: Alexander,
born March 24, 1837, married Mary Jane
Leonard; he died April 26, 1896, in Taun-
ton ; Abby Oliver, born April i, 1839,
who became the wife of Charles F. Baker,
of Taunton (see Baker VII).


Valued and Honored Citizen.

The first of the name Goodrich in
America were the brothers, John and
William Goodrich. William Goodrich,
the settler, was baptized at St. James,
Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England, in
1616; held land in Hartford, Connecti-
cut; settled in Wethersfield in 1636; was
known after King Philip's War as "En-
sign Will." He married Sarah Marvin,
of Hartford, in 1648.

(II) John Goodrich, son of W^illiam
Goodrich, born in 1653, married Rebecca
Allen, of Charlestown, in 1678.

(III) Allyn Goodrich, son of John
Goodrich, born in 1690, was a lieutenant-
colonel in the old French wars. He mar-
ried (first) his cousin, Elizabeth, in 1709;
married (second) Hannah Seymour.

(IV) Elisha Goodrich, son of Allyn
and Elizabeth Goodrich, born in 1712,
was an ensign in the Revolution. He
married Rebecca Seymore in 1734, and
lived in Berlin and Farmington.

(V) Lieutenant Josiah Goodrich, son
of Elisha Goodrich, born in 1740, was a
lieutenant in the Revolution. He mar-
ried (first) Ruth Gilbert in 1767, and they
were the parents of one child, Lydia, who
married Samuel Root. He married (sec-
ond) Abigail (Wolcott) Wright in 1779,
widow of Levi Wright, and mother of
one daughter by her first marriage, Abby
Wright, who married Peter Allen. Chil-



dren of Lieutenant Josiah and Abigail
Goodrich : Ruth, who died in early life ;
Elizur, born 1781, married Hannah Bar-
bar in 1802; Josiah, Jr., born 1783, mar-
ried Rebecca Ripley in 1802; Levi, men-
tioned below; Sophie, born 1789, married
William Niles in 1818; Harriet, born
1793, married William Bowdoin in 1815;
Horace, born 1795, entered Yale College
at age of fifteen, graduated with honor,
was a physician at Ware for thirty-two
years, married Elizabeth Dickenson. It
is interesting to note that one daughter
was named after Josiah's first wife and
one son after Abigail's first husband.
Lieutenant Josiah Goodrich came from
Wethersfield to Pittsfield in 1793. He
and his wife united with the church in
Pittsfield in 1794. He died leaving widow
and children, Levi being the oldest son
left at home.

(VI) Levi Goodrich, son of Lieuten-
ant Josiah and Abigail Goodrich, was
born in 1785. At the age of fourteen
years he took charge of the farm and
from that time seemed capable of taking
charge of whatever life brought him. The
early farm was at the north of the town,
on a high point of land on Benedict road
looking toward Dalton. Later he owned
a large farm at the eastern end of the vil-
lage. While on this farm Levi Goodrich
and his eldest son, Noah, carried ofif the
cattle show premiums for the ploughing
matches until they were no longer al-
lowed to compete. It was on one of these
occasions that Oliver Wendell Holmes
was one of the judges, and read his poem
of the "Ploughing Match." At one time
Mr. Goodrich had the largest sheep farm
in New England, or as it was called "the
largest sheep farm east of the Rockies."
This was after the introduction of the
Spanish Merino Sheep by his friend, Mr.
Watson. The Goodrich farm was cut
up and the house torn down when the

Western Railroad was built. The present
cobblestone house stands on a part of the
old farm. Moving into the village, Mr.
Goodrich bought a house on the corner of
South street and East Housatonic street,
extending from South street to Learned's
lane and from Housatonic street to the
Dr. Child's house which stood where Ta-
conic street is now. The growth of the
town may be estimated by the fact that
about twenty-five houses now stand on
the ground that then held one. At this
time Goodrich and Hoadley were in part-
nership as contractors and builders. Their
most important building was the Congre-
gational church, now called the "First
Church of Christ." The stones on which
the specifications were made, proving too
soft to be durable, a much harder stone
was used, which resulted in a loss to the
contractors. At a parish meeting it was
voted to repay the loss, one man only
objecting that as the building was origi-
nally agreed upon for a certain sum no
more should be paid. The vote for re-
payment not being unanimous Mr. Good-
rich, who had his share of New England
spunk as well as of New England pluck,
refused to accept the money. (Of Mr.
Hoadley the interesting story is told that
he had read through the New Testament
before he was four years old.) Mr. Good-
rich built Goodrich Block, for a long time
the largest block in town, recently mod-
ernized by Mr. Newman. During the
building of the church many of the serv-
ices were held in Goodrich Hall in this
block. There the Sanitary Commission
held its fair for the soldiers of the Civil
War, and there were held the public and
social functions of the town. Mr. Good-
rich had contracts on the Harlem, Housa-
tonic Sz Western railroads. In 1842 he
had the first coal brought to Pittsfield.
No one was interested in it, and after
lying a long time by the depot it was



carted away. Five years later, regular
trade in coal commenced and tifty tons
were sold in Pittslield.

Mr. Goodrich was among those who
greeted Lafayette on his visit to Pitts-
lield in 1S25. In 1844 Levi Goodrich was
the first chief of the newly organized fire
department. It is interesting to read the
names of the men who were the assis-
tants of the chief, ready at any time to
devote their services to the village. Dr.
Robert Campbell, George J. Willis, Jason
Clapp, Henry Callendar, Captain Jared
Ingersoll, William G. Bachus and En-
sign Kellogg. Quoting from old records
"Levi Goodrich was one of the most
valued and honored citizens. Many times
called to public ofiice and wielded a great
influence in public affairs." "So closely
linked with the history of Pittsfield is the
history of the family, than one can hardly
mention an event of importance in which
they did not have an important part."
An old record also says "The family was
noted for its personal beauty."

Mr. Goodrich married, in 1806, Wealthy
Whitney, of Pittsfield. Children: Mary
Wright, born 1808, married Frank Hins-
dale, of Hinsdale, in 1837; Noah Whit-
ney, born 181 1, married Abby Goodrich,
of Pittfield, in 1832; Horace Porter, born
1813, married Mary Mills, of Cortland,
New York, in 1843; Milton Graham, born
1815, married Catherine Bradford, of
Pittsfield, in 1836; Harriet Elizabeth,
born 1817, married George Foxcroft, of
Boston, in 1837; Anna Wealthy, born
1820, married Edwin Saunders, of New
York, in 1846, mentioned below; Caro-
line Whitney, born 1822, married Charles
Bailey, M. D., of Medford, in 1845 ; Abby
Maria, died at the age of thirteen in 1841.
Josiah, nephew and adopted son, married
Harriet Elliott, of Washington. Levi
Goodrich died in 1868. Always included
in his petition at family prayers was the

prayer of Agur : "Give me neither pov-
erty nor riches."

The father of Levi Goodrich and the
father of Wealthy, his wife, were both
lieutenants in the Revolutionary W ar ;
both came to Pittsfield in the same year,
1793; both settled in the north part of
the town ; both were fifth in descent from
the original settlers, both of whom came
from England at about the same time.
Both families trace their lines back to
Wales, to the banks of the River Wye in
Herefordshire. There coincidences cease,
as the Whitneys were Norman and the
Goodriches Saxon, the name still being
retained in the castle and court, four
miles from Ross. The map of Pittsfield
of 1794 shows Whitney's forge near Ta-
conic, where the family settled when they
came to Pittsfield. This forge was oper-
ated at one time by Charles Goodrich, the
first settler and the "most picturesque
figure" of early Pittsfield, who came from
W^ethersfield forty-one years before his
kinsman, Josiah Goodrich, but was active
in town affairs for twenty years after-
wards. Members of the Goodrich family
settled and named Goodrich, New York;
Pittsfield, Vermont, and Pittsfield, Illi-
nois. The W^hitneys named Pittsfield,
Ohio. Wethersfield sent twenty-seven
Goodriches to the Revolutionary War.

Edwin Saunders who married Anna
Wealthy, daughter of Levi Goodrich, in
1846, was born in Bristol, England, in
1815, of Quaker stock. Tht family came
from Holland in the sixteenth century
and brought with them the process of
manufacturing copper. One branch of
the family is still engaged in that busi-
ness. John Saunders, father of Edwin
Saunders, was a manufacturer in London,
and being a member of one of the old
City Guilds his drays were permitted to
pass Temple Bar without paying toll.
According to the custom of the day, Ed-


win Saunders was sent to a Quaker board-
ing school when only four years old and
distinctly remembered seeing at one time
from the top of the coach that was taking
him to school the decorated streets and
procession in honor of the coronation of
George the Fourth. When Edwin Saun-
ders was nineteen years of age he was in
his father's ofBce, but in a spirit of adven-
ture left London and came to America on
the "Barque Gentoo." The ship took six
weeks to make the crossing, under a cap-
tain who was afterwards the first captain
of the Cunard Line. Mr. Saunders, then
at the age when one wishes to be entirely
independent, never presented the letters
that he brought to Quakers of promi-
nence in this country. After a trip to
Niagara, and Chicago, which was then a
small place in the West, Mr. Saunders
went into the office of Asa Whitney in
New York. Later in New Orleans, he
had an importing house for French em-
broideries, laces and ribbons. About 1853,
he was in partnership with the Dim-
mocks in Connecticut and they were
among the earliest silk manufacturers in
the country. Moving to Paterson, New
Jersey, he carried on the silk business
successfully for many years. A very
severe illness compelled him to give it
up, but he brought a part of the ma-
chinery and some of the silk finishers and
started the industry in Pittsfield. Mr.
Saunders died in 1899, having lived in this
country for sixty-five years. An adopted
daughter, Caroline Sutherland Saunders,
lives in Pittsfield; a daughter, Mary, mar-
ried Thomas Campbell Oakman, men-
tioned below.

Thomas Campbell Oakman was born
on W^alnut street, Philadelphia, Pennsyl-
vania, son of John Oakman, grandson of
George Oakman, who died young, leav-
ing an estate, and a young son, a ward in
chancery, and great-grandson of John
Oakman, who was a linen manufacturer

of Belfast. John Oakman (father) was
born in 181 1. Later he travelled in
Canada and the United States, and he
so much liked the latter country that he
returned and settled in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, and married the daughter
of Thomas McElrath and Mary Gill
Campbell. Thomas Campbell Oakman
was educated at Professor Fairres' School
and at the University of Pennsylvania.
He was a member of the First City Troop
of Philadelphia, and went out with them
when General Lee invaded Pennsylvania.
He studied military tactics under General
Di Cesnola and later was captain in the
Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry. After the
war he was in the cotton business with
his father in Paterson, New Jersey, and
was prominent in business and social
affairs. In 1872 he moved the cotton
machinery south, having bought a tract
of land and a mill village in North Caro-
lina, where General Sherman on his
"march to the sea" had burned down the
mills. Large brick mills were built,
ground given for the Episcopal church,
library and night school established, and
there Mr. Oakman lived for many years.
During his later years he was interested
in inventions for which he held patents
and in the development of property in
the south. He was a member of the
Delta Chapter, Delta Psi, and of the
Loyal Legion. He died in 1909, leaving
three children: i. John, a graduate of
Williams, Massachusetts, and Beaux Arts.
Paris, and is an architect in New York ;
married Margaret Marquand, widow of
Herbert Hale ; they have one daughter,
Renee. 2. Constance, widow of Albert
Bullus, of New York. 3. Dorothy, who
lives with her mother.

(The Whitney Line).

(I) The first of the Whitney family in
America, of which Wealthy (Whitney)
Goodrich was a representative, was John



Whitney, born in 1589, married Elinor
Bray, and came to America in 1635.

(II) Joshua Whitney, son of John
Whitney, served in King PhiHp's War,
and was known as Deacon Joshua, of
Groton. He married for his third wife
Abigail Tarball in 1672.

(III) David Whitney, son of Joshua
and Abigail Whitney, married (first)
Mrs. Prudence Merrill Sedgwick, and
(second) Elizabeth Warren.

(IV) Joshua (2) Whitney, son of David
W^hitney, served in the French and In-
dian wars. He married Ann Blodgett.

(V) Joshua (3) Whitney, son of Joshua
(2) Whitney, was a lieutenant in the
Revolution. He married Anna Ashley, of
Salisbury, in 1770. Children: Noah Ash-
ley, married (first) Olive Dorwin, and
(second) Mrs. Elizabeth Rose ; Arma,
married Samuel Hyde ; Joshua, married
Eunice Clark; Huldah, married William
Williams, son of James Denison Colt;
Porter, died of "ye small-pox;" Asa, mar-
ried Betsey Childs ; Wealthy, mentioned

(VI) Wealthy Whitney, daughter of
Joshua Whitney, born 1788, married Levi
Goodrich, of Pittsfield, in 1806 (see Good-
rich VI).

DAVIS Family,

The surname Davis is usually given as
being Welsh in origin from the frequent
recurrence of the personal name of David
in Wales, where the custom was to make
surnames by putting the prefix "Ap"
meaning "son" before the father's name,
as Ap-David, the son of David, and to
Anglicise the name by changing the
prefix "Ap" to the affixes "s" or "son."
Davis is therefore usually a contraction
of Davidson, which in Wales is usually
a transmutation from Ap-David, but in
England is often English in origin. The
surname Davis is, however, common also

in both Ireland and Scotland, and in these
countries the name is neither English
nor Welsh in origin. There it is usually
a translation from the Gaelic name Mac-
David or MacDavitt, which corresponds
to the Welsh Ap-David and the English
Davidson, "Ap," "Mac" and "son" having
all a like meaning. The family, or rather
some of the families, bearing the name
had distinction in the various parts of the
United Kingdom as well as in America.
Thomas Davis, the poet, belonged to a
distinguished Irish family of the name.
In the case of William Davis, who was
born about 161 7, and settled in Rox-
bury in 1635, the tradition that he came
from Wales is corroborated by the coat-
of-arms used by his son, Ichabod, in seal-
ing his will, which is the same as that of
the Davis family of Caermarthen, South
Wales. The arms are described herald-
ically : Gules a griffin segeant, or.

(I) William Davis was a resident of
Freetown, Massachusetts, where he
served as a member of the grand jury in
1697. He married, March i, 1686, Mary,
daughter of William and Ann (Johnson)
Makepeace, of Freetown, Massachusetts,
and granddaughter of Thomas Make-
peace, of Dartmouth, and his wife, Mrs.
Elizabeth Mellows. Children: William,
born June 11, 1688; Thomas, married
Lydia, surname unknown ; John ; Jona-
than, mentioned below ; Remembrance,
married (first) Sarah Soul, of Tiverton,
(second) Sarah Fox, of Freetown; Jo-
seph ; Rebecca, married William Cole ;
Abigail, married Ephraim Hathaway, of
Freetown, December 19, 1717; Anne,
married, January 29, 1723, Robert Evans;
Hannah, married William Gage, of Free-
town ; Ruth.

(II) Jonathan Davis, fourth son of
William and Mary (Makepeace) Davis,
was a resident of Freetown, where he
married, December 24, 1730, Sarah
Perry, of that town. They had children :



Silas, mentioned below ; Jonathan, born
]\Iay 26, 1736; Joseph, September 26,
1738; Richard, February i, 1741 ; Cor-
nelius, January 24, 1744.

(III) Silas Davis, eldest child of Jona-

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