Samuel Pearly Gates, of Bridgewater, probably best known in the business world as treasurer of the Eagle Cotton Gin Company, in which he holds the controlling interest, has been so intimately identified with the expansion of the various activities of that place during the fifty odd years of his residence there that he is justly ranked among the leaders in the development of manufacturing, banking and civic interests. Though well past the three-score and ten mark his faculties are undimmed, his energy unabated, his zeal unflagging, and he not only keeps pace with the times but is still in the van in the matter of progress in any line which enlists his attention or sympathy. Bridgewater is the home of his adoption, however, for he was born at Ashby, in Middlesex county, this State, and is a descendant of a family which has been settled in that county from early Colonial days. We herewith give the following records concerning the family since the emigrant ancestor landed this side of the Atlantic.
LYSANDER FRANKLIN GURNEY, late of Brockton, Plymouth Co., Mass., was a descendant of some of the earliest settlers of this section. Going back to the mother country, we find the following general information in “The Gurneys of Earlham” (two volumes, Hart, Mich., March 16, 1906).
The Norfolk Gurneys claim descent from the ancient Barons of Gournay in Normandy, where the curious Ports Ibert with many old towers of the walls and the twelfth century church of Saint Hildevert attest the wealth and power of its ancient lords. Several members of the House accompanied William the Conqueror to England, and fought at the battle of Hastings, after which the valor of the aged Hugh de Gurney III. was rewarded by the establishment of the English Barony of Gourney, held by tenure of military service and by large grants of land, so that he has left his name of Baron Gourney in Somerset and several other places in England. The story of the “House of Gourney” is told in a magnificent history by Daniel Gurney of Juncton Hall, near Norwich, County of Norfolk, England, which possesses historic interest and shows much antiquarian research.
Captain James Baxter, of Boise, is a native of England, his birth having occurred in Norwich. His parents were Frank and Mary (Gunn) Baxter, who came with their family to the United States when the Captain was very young. They resided near New York City for some years, and then removed to Paterson, New Jersey. …