Alfred Pierce is a native of Bristol county, Mass., born in the old historic town of Rehoboth Jan. 1, 1822, son of Jeremiah and Candice (Wheeler) Pierce. This branch of the Pierce family in America is one of long standing and among the first settlers of New England. The name has been variously spelled, but the change to Pierce has been made in the last three-quarters of a century. In the Old World the members of this family have been quite prominent, and the name can be traced through a loner and distinguished line back to the days of the Norman Conquest.
Location: Attleboro Massachusetts
The Richardson Family, of which the late Henry A. Richardson was a descendant, is an old and well-known family of Bristol county, Mass., the line being traced back to Samuel Richardson, who was born not far from 1610, in England, and came to this country, his name being first of record July 1, 1636, in Charlestown, as an inhabitant there in 1637.
William Sturdy, as he was thenceforth known, then shipped on an American schooner lying at Leghorn, and bound for the United States. He finally landed at Beverly, Mass., June 9, 1809. From the port of Beverly he made several voyages as mate of American schooners, but finally abandoned the seas. He married in Beverly Clarissa Whittemore, who was born in that town Jan. 28, 1794. After their marriage they settled in Attleboro, Bristol county, where Mr. Sturdy bought land lying on the west shore of the Falls pond and engaged in farming until 1827. Here ten of his fourteen children were born. About that time, 1827, “the initial efforts in cotton manufacturing on the Blackstone had opened the way for the employment of minors,” and Mr. Sturdy availed himself of this opportunity because it had become impossible for him to procure a proper subsistence for his large family from his farm. In that year he sold out and removed to the Blackstone Valley, locating at Slatersville, town of North Smithfield, R. I., where he and his children found employment in the cotton mills. He later settled in Blackstone, Mass., where he died Oct. 16, 1834. He was a hardworking man, honest and upright in his dealings, and his large family of fourteen children reflected great credit on their home training. The wife and mother died Feb. 13, 1856.
The Connecticut-Massachusetts branch of the earlier family of this name of the old Bay State is one of long and honorable standing in New England, and as well of historic connection. The especial family here considered, and which for designation is styled the Taunton family, is that of pome of the descendants of Capt. Jabez Fox, of Berkley, Mass., one of whose sons was the late Henry Hodges Fox and the latter’s son the present Hon. William Henry Fox, lawyer and judge, who for forty and more years has been judge of the First District court of Bristol county and otherwise prominently identified with the public affairs of the city of Taunton.
Walter Ballou, one of the representative citizens and well-known jewelry manufacturers of North Attleboro, where for upward of a half century he has been a member of the jewelry manufacturing firm of R. Blackinton & Co., is a native of the State of Rhode Island, born in the town of Cumberland Feb. 20, 1835, son of Preston and Harriet M. (Brown) Ballou. The Ballou family is among the oldest and most distinguished of Rhode Island. Of Norman-French origin, it is descended from Gunebored Ballou, who was probably a marshal in the army of William the Conqueror and took part in the memorable battle of Hastings, 1066.
SOULE (New Bedford family). The family bearing this name at New Bedford, Mass., is a branch of the Old Plymouth family, descending from George Soule, one of the “Mayflower” Pilgrims and a signer of the compact in 1620. The present head of the family is the Hon. Rufus Albertson Soule, citizen soldier, now collector of the port of New Bedford, who for many years has been a conspicuous figure in the business and political life of that place, a public servant of high and honorable service, one who as man, citizen and neighbor enjoys that popularity that comes to but few.
Maj. Herbert Allyne Clark (deceased), of Attleboro, Mass., who in recent years was Regimental Quartermaster of the United States Volunteer Army, and a man widely known, was the only surviving son of Samuel W. and Charity H. (Cushman) Clark, and was born in Middleboro, Mass., Feb. 22, 1859.
This branch of the Horton family has furnished to Attleboro, Mass., three generations of business men. Gideon Martin Horton, who was a well known merchant there a half century ago, and his four sons, Everett Southworth, Edwin Jackson, Gideon Martin and James Jackson Horton, all became successful jewelry manufacturers and prominent citizens. The eldest and last surviving brother, the late Maj. Everett S. Horton and his nephew, Raymond Martin Horton, were the only male representatives of the name residing there at the time of the Major’s death.
Through much of the century but recently closed and on into this has dwelt in Taunton and New Bedford, Mass., a family bearing the name of Rhodes. Reference is made to some of the descendants of the late Stephen and Anna Daniels (Carpenter) Rhodes, whose birthplaces were Dedham and Foxboro, Mass., respectively. Their son, Stephen Rhodes (4), became the head of the Taunton family, several members of which in succeeding generations have given a good account of themselves in the business and social life of their community, rising to useful and substantial citizenship, and as well to responsible public trust. The names of Hon. Stephen H. Rhodes, of Boston, late president of the John Hancock Insurance Company, who for years was prominent in the activities of Taunton, a member of the board of aldermen some forty years ago, and mayor of the city for one or two years; his brother, the present John Corey Rhodes, one of the best known manufacturers of southeastern Massachusetts; another brother, the present Marcus Morton Rhodes, Esq., who for perhaps a half century or more has been actively engaged in business in Taunton, and the greater part of the period as a senior member of the firm or corporation of M. M. Rhodes & Sons Company, and at one time one of the board of water commissioners of the city; the latter’s son, George Holbrook Rhodes, long a partner and stockholder of the firm and corporation just alluded to, and for years its treasurer, many years in succession a member of the common council of Taunton and for a number of years president of that body; John Bird Rhodes, son of John Corey Rhodes, chief executive of John C. Rhodes & Co., Inc., of New Bedford; and perhaps others as well, ever stand out prominently in the annals of Taunton.
MAJ. WILLIAM HUNT GOFF, one of Attleboro’s well known citizens and leading public men, is a native of the Old Bay State, born in the town of Rehoboth, April 10, 1845. He is a descendant of one of the oldest families of Rehoboth, where the Goffs have figured more or less prominently, as well as in the nearby towns in Rhode Island, since about 1720, the date of which there is record of the families of Richard and Samuel Goff. From these two men have sprung a number whose names have been written high on the roll of fame in