Biography of Charles Franklin Slate

CHARLES FRANKLIN SLATE, prominent in Northfield and esteemed in every circle in which he moves, he has for the past two years served as postmaster of this community, and in his thoroughly efficient administration the people are recognizing and appreciating the hand of the capable and forward looking executive.

Mr. Slate is interested in every branch of local and general progress and in his endeavors for the public good he has long filled a useful part in the community. The Slate family has been identified with American progress for about two centuries and the name is an honored one in the history of this country.

(I) Daniel Slate was born in England in s708 and came to America as a young man. He lives in both Norwich and Middletown, Connecticut, then in 1745 removed to Bernardston, Massachusetts. His death occurred in Gill, February Io, 1789, at the age of eighty-one years, and his wife Mary, died there March so, 1795, at the age of eighty-three years. They were the parents of twelve children.

(II) Captain Joseph Slate, son of Daniel and Mary Slate, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, February 22, 1734, and died November 26, 1818. He came to Bernardston from Norwich May 19, 1763, and built a log cabin which he occupied until his death. Captain Joseph Slate became widely prominent in civic affairs and was chosen to various town offices. He served in a local office in 1767 and was selectman from 1779 until 1782, was widely noted in military affairs and served for five years in the French and Indian War. He was also active in the War of the Revolution, bearing a worthy and distinguished part, although past his prime, being forty-two years of age when the war broke out. Captain Slate married, on May 5, 1758, Mary White, of Colchester, Connecticut, who was born in 1738 and died in 1827, at the age of eighty-nine years. They were the parents of eleven children.

(III) Samuel Slate, son of Captain Joseph and Mary (White) Slate, was born March 28, 1775, and became a worthy and esteemed citizen of his day, although little is found in early records regarding his activities. He married, October 7, 1795, Bathsheba Risley, of Gill.

(IV) Samuel W. Slate, son of Samuel and Bathsheba (Risley) Slate, was born in Bernardston, in 1808, and died in Montague City, March 12, 1891. He married Anna C. Rich, and they were the parents of two children: Samuel N., of whom further; and Sidney R.

(V) Samuel N. Slate, son of Samuel W. and Anna C. (Rich) Slate, was born in Fort Covington, New York, in 1835, and died at Turner’s Falls October 25, 1901. He saw distinguished service in the Civil War, enlisting August 24, 1862, in Company F., 52nd Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. First stationed at Camp Miller, Greenfield, he participated in the Banks Expedition and arrived at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, December 17, 1862. There assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 19th Army Corps he took part in the demonstration against Port Hudson on March 14, 1863. He was also active in the operations at Irish Bend, April 13, of the same year and in the siege of Port Hudson from May 30 until July 9, 1863, distinguishing himself particularly at Jackson Cross Roads, July 30, 1863. The 52nd Regiment was the first to set sail up the Mississippi River after the surrender of the Confederate forces at Vicksburg and Port Hudson. Mr. Slate was mustered out of the service with his regiment at Greenfield. Following his return to civilian life he became active as a mill-wright and mechanic at Turners Falls and for some years his principal work was the setting up of the Marshall engines. Previous to mill-wright and mechanic he took up carpenter work and was active in Northfield, Massachusetts, and Keene, New Hampshire, but in 1889 returned to Turners Falls where he resided until his death, a period of about twelve years. For many years Samuel N. Slate was an honored member of the Grand Army of the Republic and he supported every movement of a progressive nature and of civic, benevolent or other commendable purpose. Hd, married Emma A. Whitney, of Warwick, who was born September, 1843, daughter of Franklin Whitney. They were the parents of the following children: William G., a farmer of Northfield, who has one daughter, Gladys; Edward S., of Montague City, who married Ethel G. Emery, and has one son, Edward S. J., born July 25, 1904; Nellie M., wife of Charles Carter, of Haverhill, Massachusetts; and Charles F., of whom further.

(VI) Charles Franklin Slate, youngest child of Samuel N. and Emma A. (Whitney) Slate, was born in Northfield, January 30, 1878. Receiving his early education in the public schools of Keene, New Hampshire, he also attended school in Northfield and Turners Falls. Upon the completion of his education he secured a position in the Rod Factory in Montague City, where he was active for a time, then entered the employ of the street railway in Greenfield. There he worked for about ten years, then in 1910 came to Northfield. For a number of years after taking up his residence in this community Mr. Slate was employed in the Northfield Seminary but in 1922 he was appointed postmaster of Northfield and since that time he has devoted his attention wholly to the duties of his office. He has given to his work characteristic energy and the large natural ability with which he is endowed. His progressive ideas and willingness to oblige are also factors in his success as postmaster and have won him general commendation and appreciation. Mr. Slate is well known in fraternal circles and is a member of Harmony Lodge, of Northfield, and the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Mechanics Lodge, of Turners Falls. He is also identified with the various other bodies of the Scottish Rite of this order and is further a member of the Northfield Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, and the Sons of Veterans. He attends the Congregational Church.

Charles Franklin Slate married, October 31, 1900, Grace F. Bowman, of Turners Falls, daughter of James and Lutheria (Smith) Bowman.


Lockwood, John H. (John Hoyt); Bagg, Ernest Newton; Carson, Walter S. (Walter Scott); Riley, Herbert E. (Herbert Elihu); Boltwood, Edward; Clark, Will L. (Will Leach); Western Massachusetts A History 1636-1925; New York and Chicago: Lewis historical publishing company, inc., 1926

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