The Hooper family, to which belonged the late George Mitchell Hooper, one of Bridgewater’s well-known citizens, is an old and distinguished one in New England.
William Hooper, the founder of the family in America, was a native of England, born about 1617. He came to America in 1635, locating first in Boston, but later removing to Reading, now Wakefield, Mass., where he died Dec. 5, 1678. He married Ruth Marshall, probably a sister of Capt. John Marshall, of Lynn. Their children were:
- Mary, born in 1647, died in 1697
- James, born Dec. 5, 1649, who died Dec. 18, 1649
- Sarah, born Dec. 7, 1650
- Ruth, born April 15, 1653
- Rebecca, born Oct. 26, 1656, who died in December, 1715
- William, born Nov. 3, 1658, who died Aug. 6, 1692
- Hannah, born March 31, 1662
- Elizabeth, born Aug. 20, 1665, who died Jan. 3, 1699
- Thomas, born April 2, 1668, who died Dec. 26, 1703
- John, born July 5, 1670, who died Jan. 9, 1708
John Hooper, son of William, born July 5, 1670, was the first of the family to locate in Bridgewater, where he died Jan. 9, 1708. He was a large land owner at Braintree, Mass. He married Sarah Harden, who was born in Braintree, Dec. 3, 1679, daughter of John Harden. After the death of Mr. Hooper, she married (second) Francis Wood, and her death occurred May 19, 1749. To John and Sarah Hooper were born the following children:
- John, born Nov. 6, 1697 (died Aug. 19, 1741)
- Thomas, July 20, 1699
- William, Dec. 26, 1701
- Nathaniel, Nov. 16, 1703
- Sarah, Oct. 9, 1705 (married first, 1725, Stephen Leach, and second Ebenezer Snow)
- James, May 4, 1708 (died June 30, 1784) – the last three of Bridgewater birth.
John Hooper (2), son of John, was born in Bridgewater, Mass., Nov. 6, 1697. In 1722 he married Elizabeth Packard, and their children were:
- John, born 1725
- Winslow, 1729
- Hezekiah, 1732
- Joseph, 1735
- Rebecca, 1738 (married, 1760, Deacon Joseph Copeland)
John Hooper (2) died Aug. 19, 1744.
Hezekiah Hooper, son of John (2), was born in the town of Bridgewater in 1732. During the Revolution he enlisted in Capt. Elisha Mitchell’s company. Col. Simeon Cary’s regiment, and was made second lieutenant of the company. His enlistment took place at Bridgewater April 2, 1776. In 1758 he married Elizabeth Leonard, born in 1737, daughter of Solomon Leonard. She died in 1779. The children of this union were:
- Elizabeth, who married Benjamin Conant
- Joseph and Hezekiah, who graduated from Harvard, became a minister and resided in Boylston, Mass., and who died there in 1795.
Hezekiah Hooper married (second) Hannah, widow of Timothy Conant, in 1782.
Capt. Joseph Hooper, son of Hezekiah, was born in Bridgewater, and there spent his life. He married Lucia Mitchell, daughter of Edward Mitchell, and their children were:
- Joseph, born in 1793, married Betsy Alden, daughter of Joseph Alden, and settled in New Bedford, Mass.
- Lucia, born 1797, married Philo Leach
- Jane, born 1799, married Capt. James Tripp, of Fairhaven
- Elizabeth was born 1801
- Sabra, born 1804, married Edwin Keith
- Mitchell was born March 29, 1808
Mitchell Hooper, son of Capt. Joseph, was born March 29, 1808. He grew to manhood in Bridgewater, and then started out in the world for himself, by engaging in the manufacture of brick. In 1829 he took as a partner Jeremiah Townsend, but this association did not long continue, and Mr. Townsend retired, leaving Mr. Hooper to do business alone. He met with success from the start, and in time he employed a large number of hands, and the output of his yards was 4,000,-000 bricks a year. He was noted for his high moral character and his strict integrity, and he had the respect of all classes of people. In 1861 he represented the Bridgewater district in the State Legislature. He was a stanch Republican, and during the Civil war was active in support of the Union. He was a member and treasurer of the First Congregational (Unitarian) Church, in which he had also served as deacon, and was active in any movement to promote the moral welfare of the town. For many years his son, George M., was associated with him in his business and succeeded to it. Mr. Hooper died Oct. 15, 1886. On Dec. 6, 1837, he married Jane Hayward, a widow, daughter of Thomas Mitchell, and granddaughter of Maj. Thomas Mitchell, a Revolutionary soldier. She was born in 1811, and her death occurred Dec. 30, 1891. Her remains, as well as those of Mr. Hooper, rest in Mount Prospect cemetery. Their children were:
- George Mitchell, born Sept. 1, 1838, is mentioned below
- Sarah, born Feb. 7, 1842, married Dr. George A. Collamore, of Toledo, Ohio, where both died
- Lucia, born in May, 1844, married Henry T. Pratt, son of Dr. Calvin Pratt, of Bridgewater, and he died Feb. 8, 1898
- Elizabeth L., born Oct, 19, 1851, married (first) Frederick A. Barker, and (second) Edward T. Barker, of Cambridge, Mass., and has her summer home at Kingston, Massachusetts.
George Mitchell Hooper, son of Mitchell, was born in the town of Bridgewater Sept. 1, 1838. He received his education in the public schools and Bridgewater Academy, later attending Peirce Academy and the State normal school at Bridgewater, graduating from the latter institution in 1857. After leaving school he engaged in teaching, a profession he followed for one year and then began the manufacture of brick with his father, a business in which he engaged for half a century. He was also a surveyor. He was identified with the banking interests of Bridgewater, having been one of the trustees of the Bridgewater Savings Bank, also filling the office of clerk. He was clerk and treasurer of the Bridgewater Cemetery Association; a member of the Plymouth County Agricultural Association, of which for years he was treasurer, and was secretary; and trustee of the Memorial Public Library. He died July 2, 1909, in his seventy-first year.
In politics Mr. Hooper was always a Republican, and he supported the party faithfully and well. He represented the towns of Bridgewater in the State Legislature in 1888 and 1890. He always took a deep interest in the public schools, and for several years was a member of the school committee, and served as chairman of the board for three years. His fraternal connections were with Fellowship Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Bridgewater, of which he was one of the trustees and past master; Harmony Chapter, E. A. M., of Bridgewater, of which he was a past high priest; and Bay State Commandery, K. T., of Brockton.
On Oct. 16, 1861, Mr. Hooper was married to Mary E. Josselyn, who was born at Hanson, Mass., daughter of Hervey and Elizabeth (Howland) Josselyn. She died Jan. 30, 1884, and was buried in Mount Prospect cemetery. Eight children were born of this marriage, as follows:
- Jane, born Aug. 13, 1862, educated in the Bridgewater schools, married Emery E. Kent, and has had two children, Mildred Howland (a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, class of 1908, and now engaged in teaching) and Harold (died young)
- Louise G., born Jan. 31, 1868, a graduate of the Bridgewater high school, married Arthur D. Ferguson, and has four children, Helen Tallman (born Oct. 14, 1891), George (March, 1893), Dorothy (May 13, 1897), and James (July 9, 1903)
- George Mitchell, born Jan. 10, 1870, a graduate of the Bridgewater high school, resides in Boston
- Frederick, born Aug. 25, 1871, a graduate of the Bridgewater high school, married Marline Eaton, has one child, Garrett, and resides at Hyde Park, Mass.
- Harrison K., born Nov. 16, 1872, died in 1874
- Theodore Wright, born March 26, 1876, died in August, 1876
- Mary E., born July 15, 1877, graduated from the high school, the State normal at Bridgewater, taught school at Cambridge, Mass., and Elizabeth, N. J., and graduated as a nurse from Johns Hopkins Hospital at Baltimore (1907), and she married April 15, 1909, Dr. Robert T. Miller, Jr., of Pittsburg, Pa.
- Mitchell, born July 5, 1879, graduated from the high school at Bridgewater, and now resides in Brockton.
On Jan. 15, 1889, Mr. Hooper married (second) Catherine Mitchell, who was born in Bridgewater, daughter of Edward and Margaret (Seaver) Mitchell, and granddaughter of Edward Mitchell. Mr. Hooper was a member of the Church of the New Jerusalem; he belonged to the Sons of the American Revolution.
Mitchell. The Mitchell family of Bridgewater, intermarried with the Hoopers, is one of the oldest and best known in southeastern Massachusetts.
Experience Mitchell, the first of the name in the New World, is entitled to toe classed among the “forefathers” – a name technically applied to those who came over in the first three ships. He came over in the third ship, the “Ann,” in 1623. He sold his place in Plymouth to Samuel Eddy in 1631, and removed to Duxbury, where he bought a house and farm in 1650. He was an original proprietor of Bridgewater, but sold his share or proprietary right to Thomas Hayward, and did not come to Bridgewater till late in life, when he was accompanied by his son, Edward. He located at a place called Joppa, where many of his descendants made their home. He died in 1689, aged about eighty-one. He married for his first wife, it is supposed, Jane Cook, daughter of Francis Cook. His second wife was Mary (last name not known). He was the father of eight children, four of whom were sons.
Jacob Mitchell, third son of Experience, was married in 1666 to Susanna Pope, of Plymouth, daughter of Thomas Pope. He was a carpenter and an ensign, and he settled in Dartmouth, now Fairhaven. In 1675, at the commencement of King Philip’s war, he and his wife were both fatally wounded by the Indians in the early morning hours as they were on their way to the garrison to join their children, who had been sent on the evening before. They lived to reach the fort, but died of their wounds. Their children, Jacob, Thomas and Mary, came to Bridgewater and were cared for by their uncle Edward. In 1696 Mary married Samuel Kingman, her two brothers marrying his sisters.
Thomas Mitchell, son of Jacob, married Elizabeth Kingman, and became the father of eight children, five sons and three daughters. He died in 1727, and his wife in 1733.
Timothy Mitchell, son of Thomas, was born in Bridgewater in 1700. He married Deborah Packard, daughter of Nathaniel, and she died in 1744, the mother of five children, of whom Timothy was lost at sea. The father died in 1733 – the same year as his mother.
Thomas Mitchell, son of Timothy, was born in Bridgewater. He married Keziah Swift, of Plymouth. He was a soldier in the Revolution, holding the rank of major among the officers belonging to General Thomas’s regiment, who were commissioned May 19, 1775; also was first major, Col. John Thomas’s regiment, list of officers (year not given – probably 1775). His name appears on the pay roll as major with Col. John Thomas’s list of staff and field officers of Capt. Josiah Hayden’s company, for September and October, 1775, dated “Camp at Roxbury, engaged April 19, 1775.” He died in 1776, on account, perhaps, of exposure in his army life. He was the father of seven children, and his eldest son, Timothy, took quite an active part in the Revolution, serving to the close. He was known as Capt. Timothy Mitchell, and he settled in Vermont.
Thomas Mitchell, son of Maj. Thomas, was born in Bridgewater in 1765. In 1797 he married Mehitabel Alden, daughter of Capt. Joseph and Bethiah (Carver) Alden, the former a captain in the Revolution and a direct descendant of John Alden, the “Mayflower” Pilgrim, and the latter a daughter of Eleazer Carver, a sister of Dr. Eleazer Carver, a surgeon in the Revolutionary army. Mr. Mitchell located in Enfield, Mass., where he died. Jane Mitchell, daughter of Thomas and Mehitabel (Alden) Mitchell, married (first) a Hayward and (second) Mitchell Hooper, becoming the mother of his children, mentioned elsewhere; she died Dec. 30, 1891, aged eighty years, and was laid to rest in Mount Prospect cemetery.
Mrs. George M. Hooper is a direct descendant of Experience Mitchell, whose son Edward married Mary Hayward (daughter of Thomas), who died without issue after forty years of wedded life. In 1708 he married (second) Alice Bradford, daughter of Maj. John Bradford, of Kingston, son of William Bradford, Jr., and grandson of Gov. William Bradford. She was born in 1678, and died in 1747. After the death of her husband, who died in 1717, she married (second) Deacon Joshua Hearsey, of Hingham, whither she removed with her family. Three children were born to Edward and Alice (Bradford) Mitchell:
- Mary, born in 1709, who married Joshua Hearsey, Jr.
- Alice, born in 1714, who married Noah Hearsey (both Joshua, Jr., and Noah were sons of Deacon Joshua)
- Edward, born in 1716, who married in 1738, Elizabeth Cushing, daughter of Elisha, of Hingham
Edward Mitchell, son of Edward and Alice, was a patriot during the Revolution, and was a colonel in the State militia. The official records of a ballot by the House of Bepresentatives, Feb. 1, 1776, show that Edward Mitchell was chosen colonel by the 3d Plymouth County regiment of Massachusetts militia, appointment concurred in by council, Feb. 6, 1776; reported commissioned. Feb. 7, 1776. He was also on the list of members of the committee appointed to raise men for New York and Canada, showing commissions delivered (year not given), said Edward Mitchell reported as belonging to committee for Plymouth County. He participated in many marches and engagements to Rhode Island and elsewhere. His family consisted of six sons and six daughters, the sons also taking part in the struggle for independence. Col. Edward Mitchell died in 1828, at the age of ninety years, and his wife died in 1829, aged eighty-eight. Of the children we have mention of
- Jane, born in 1763, who married in 1782 Edward Hayward
- Edward, born in 1766
- Lucia, born in 1769, who married Capt. Joseph Hooper (grandfather of George M. Hooper)
- Eunice, born in 1773, who married in 1795 Daniel Mitchell, Esq.
- Ophir and Oreb, twins
Edward Mitchell, son of Edward, born in 1766, married in 1789 Chloe Washburn, daughter of Capt. Abraham Washburn, an officer of the Revolution, and had children:
- Olive, who married, in 1814 Dr. Rufus Walker, of Westport, Mass.
- Malinda, who married in 1819 Oliver Alden
- Emeline, who married John Winslow
Edward Mitchell, son of Edward and Chloe, married Margaret Seaver, of Taunton, Mass., and they became the parents of children as follows:
- Edward, born Nov. 20, 1831, died July 11, 1841
- Ann, born July 14, 1833, died Feb. 6, 1908
- Sarah Porter, born Oct. 21, 1834, died Dec. 8, 1844
- an infant, not named, born Aug. 22, 1836, died Dec. 23, 1836
- Charles, born Dec. 28, 1837, died Feb. 9, 1838
- Margaret Seaver, born April 10, 1839, died Sept. 5, 1867
- Charles, born July 1, 1841, died Oct. 10, 1844; Edward (2) was born Oct. 23, 1842
- Sarah Porter (2), born April. 28, 1845, is the widow of Sumner Keith
- Catherine was born Dec. 9, 1846
- Helen, born April 16, 1848, is the widow of Bradford S. Kingman
- Ann married John E. Howard, and is deceased
Catherine Mitchell, daughter of Edward and Margaret (Seaver) Mitchell, born Dec. 9, 1846, married George Mitchell Hooper, of Bridgewater, Massachusetts.