William Bowers Moison Chace, senior member of W. B. M. Chace & Co., real estate, insurance, stocks and bonds, prominently identified with manufacturing and financial concerns, his position won through his own energy, integrity and general worth, is a worthy representative of a family planted in America but a decade later than the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers. He was born in Somerset, Mass., Dec. 5, 1854, and is of the ninth generation of the family in the New World.
Location: Fall River Massachusetts
The Fall River French family here considered springs from the early Rehoboth family of the name, and it, as will be observed further on, according to Savage, perhaps from the Dorchester family. John French, the head of the Dorchester family and the immigrant ancestor, was a native of England, born in 1612. He had land granted him at what became Braintree for five heads Feb. 24, 1639-40. He was admitted to the church in the adjoining town of Dorchester, Jan. 27, 1642, and the births of his first two children are recorded in Dorchester. He became a freeman May 29, 1639. He was active and prominent among the early settlers. His son John was born Feb. 28, 1641.
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.
This article briefly deals ith one branch only of the New England Wilcox family – with some of the descendants of Daniel Wilcox, who had a grant of fifteen acres of land at Portsmouth, R. I., Dec. 10, 1656, and who later, in 1664, bought a house in Dartmouth, and was constable there in the year following. Mr. Wilcox later became a resident of the town of Tiverton, being an inhabitant there on the organization of the town, March 2, 1692.
For the past hundred years – during almost the lifetime, as it were, of Fall River and its entire industrial life – the name Slade has been continually identified with that industrial life and also prominent in other lines of effort in that great city of spindles. In 1812-13, when the real substantial pioneer establishments in the cloth making industry of Fall River were projected and completed – the Troy Cotton and Woolen Manufactory and the Fall River Manufactory – began the Slade name in this connection, Eber Slade of Somerset being one of the most prominent promoters of one of the corporations; he became its first treasurer and filled the position until in the middle twenties. William Slade of Somerset was one of the owners of the site of these first establishments, and was himself an original proprietor of the Pocasset and Watuppa Manufacturing Companies. The brothers Jonathan and William Lawton Slade were among the founders of the celebrated cotton mills of Fall River, both becoming presidents of the corporation. John Palmer Slade, another of Somerset’s sons, figured largely not only in the industrial life of the city but in other lines, becoming president of both the Shove and Laurel Lake Mills. George W. Slade, one of the “forty-niners” of the Pacific coast, was for full fifty years one of the extensive and wholesale merchants of Fall River and his name, too, is coupled with the city’s industrial life. And of younger generations one or more of the sons of some of these are at this time officially and otherwise connected with this industrial life and in other lines, notably Leonard N. and Everett N. Slade, of the firm of John P. Slade & Son, insurance and real estate; David F. Slade, member of the law firm of Slade & Borden; and Abbott E. Slade, now treasurer of the Laurel Lake Mills.
Capt. Jacob Taber, late of New Bedford, and long successfully engaged as a master mariner in the whaling industry, was a descendant of an early settled New England family. He was a direct descendant of Philip Taber, who was at Watertown in 1634, and contributed toward building the galley for the security of the harbor, was made freeman in that same year, and was later at Yarmouth among the first settlers and deputy to Plymouth, 1639-40. Still later he was at the Vineyard, and afterward at New London, Portsmouth, and at Providence and Tiverton, respectively, being a representative from Providence.
Now for well on to a century the Trafford name in Dartmouth and Fall River has been closely identified with the industrial life of that section, successive generations of the family having been manufacturers of cotton goods – the late William Bradford Trafford, long actively engaged in manufacturing in Fall River, and the founder of what became the Westport Manufacturing Company, and his sons, the present William C, Andrew E., Charles A., Allison W., Henry Lester, Perry Davis, and Bernard Walton Trafford, and it goes without saying, all have been substantial men and influential citizens of their community. From the settler Thomas Trafford and his wife Mary, the lineage of the present Trafford brothers – William C. and Andrew R. – of the Westport Manufacturing Company is through Philip, Joseph, William Bradford and William Bradford (2). These generations in such detail and family history as is obtainable and in the order given follow.
There lived at and figured prominently in the affairs of Fall River for many years and was one of the city’s most useful citizens the late Cook Borden, who most worthily wore the Borden name and sustained the family reputation, and has been followed by sons who carried forward the work he began and left, and who have been or are now active and influential in the city’s affairs – substantial men of the community. The generations from the emigrant ancestor follow somewhat in detail.
ROBERT THOMPSON DAVIS, M. D., late of Fall River, physician, promoter, State senator, mayor, congressman, etc., was one of the most prominent figures in the public and industrial life of Fall River, and as well one of its most widely known and wealthiest citizens. Dr. Davis was the son of John and Sarah (Thompson) Davis, and was born Aug. 28, 1823, in County Down, Province of Ulster, North of Ireland.
Several persons bearing the name Jennings (variously spelled) located in Massachusetts in its early settlement. Richard Jennings put himself as apprentice to Robert Bartlett, of Plymouth, in 1635, for a period of years. He is said to have lived at Sandwich, whence he moved to Bridgewater, and had a family of children. The Jennings family was long prominent and highly respected in the town of Sandwich, but in time became practically extinct there. Thomas Jennings was an early settler in Portsmouth, R. I. It is, however, the purpose to refer here to the special Fall River family of the name the head of which was the late William H. Jennings. The latter was a descendant in the seventh generation from John Jennings of Sandwich, Mass., from whom his descent is through Isaac, John, Isaac, Isaac and Andrew M. Jennings. These generations follow in the order named.