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.
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.
From its earliest history Taunton has been an important manufacturing center, from the building of the first dam on Mill river, near what became Cohasset street, and the first mill. Thomas Lincoln from Hingham became the owner of this mill in 1649, and soon after removed his family hither. As stated elsewhere he came from old England to New England in 1635, locating at Hingham. He continued proprietor of the mill about thirty-three years, when at his death his sons John and Samuel Lincoln came into possession of it. Caleb Lincoln, the farmer and miller of Westville village, was of the sixth generation in descent from Thomas Lincoln the “miller,” and it has been through his family and his descendants that the manufacturing proclivities of the earlier, family have been kept alive, and, too, in a conspicuous manner, as several of his sons and grandsons have long together and in turn been largely and successfully identified with some of the extensive manufacturing enterprises of that city of great industries – Fall River – and as well been among the substantial men and prominent citizens of that place; notably the late Jonathan Thayer Lincoln, long recognized as a man of superior business ability – to whose mechanical ingenuity and business sagacity was largely due the successful building up of the firm of Kilburn, Lincoln & Co., of which he was long a member, and of which concern later, on its incorporation, he became the executive head; and the latter’s sons Henry C. Edward and Leontine Lincoln, all of whom were reared and trained under the direction of the father in the concern, Henry C. Lincoln succeeding his father on the latter’s death to the presidency of it; while Leontine Lincoln has been for nearly forty years treasurer, and has been long identified with other extensive enterprises of Fall River.
The Tappan family of Attleboro, while not an old one in this section of the State, has, nevertheless, been resident for half a century in Attleboro, where Ephraim H. Tappan makes his home, and where his sons, Charles H. and William C, the latter now deceased, have been identified with the manufacturing interests of that section, by their great energy, enterprise and progressive spirit making for themselves a name ranking them among the foremost jewelry manufacturers of the State. The Tappan family was planted in America by:
Abraham Toppan (or Tappan), son of William Topham, of Calbridge, in the parish of Coverham, and fourth in descent from Robert Topham, of Linton, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England; he was baptized April 10, 1606. He lived for some time in Yarmouth, County of Norfolk. His wife, whose maiden name was Taylor, was born in 1607, daughter of Elizabeth, who married (second) John Goodale, whom she outlived and from whom she inherited considerable property. Mr. Toppan with his wife, two children and maidservant, in 1637, took passage in the “Mary and Ann” to New England, and there came in the same vessel with them Mrs. Goodale, his mother-in-law. He settled in Newbury, being admitted Oct. 16, 1637, and at different times in the year following several lots were granted to him. He made a number of voyages to Barbadoes, one or more of which were profitable. He died Nov. 5, 1672, aged sixty-six, in the house on “Toppan’s Lane” which he had built about 1670 for his son Jacob. His widow died March 20, 1689, aged eighty-two years. The children of Abraham and Susanna (Taylor) Toppan were:
The Sumner family, to which the late Mrs. George Barstow Stetson belonged, is an old and prominent family of New England, descended from one William Sumner, who was born at Bicester, England, in 1605, son of Roger Sumner, of Bicester, Oxfordshire, and his wife Joane (Franklin).
William Sumner, the only child of Roger and Joane, married Oct. 22, 1625, Mary West, and they came to America with their four children in 1636, locating at Dorchester, Mass. He was made a freeman of the Colony May 17, 1637, and held many offices of importance, being selectman for nearly a quarter of a century. He was deputy from Dorchester to the General Court for eight years. He died Dec. 9. 1688, surviving his wife, who died June 7, 1676. Both are buried at Dorchester.