Biography of Edward Franklin Warner

EDWARD FRANKLIN WARNER, dealer in farm implements and cultivator of the ancestral farm of three hundred acres, where he passed his days, at Cummington, Massachusetts, was born on the homestead property, November 16, 1844, and died there March 27, 1911. He was the son of Franklin John Marvin and Vesta Wales (Reed) Warner. The Warner family, of ancient English origin, has had many honored representatives in England and America. More than twenty families of the name have coats-of-arms of different designs. Important branches of the name live to-day in the counties of Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk, Warwick, York, England; in Ayrshire, Scotland; and in Ireland.

(I) Andrew Warner, immigrant ancestor in America, was born in England about shoo. He came to America in 1632, and was a proprietor of Cambridge in 1633. He was admitted a freeman, May 14, 1634. In 1635 he was living in Cambridge on the northeasterly side of Eliot Street, about midway between the westerly end of Winthrop and Brighton streets. He owned also several other lots in Cambridge, but sold his property there to Captain George Cooke, December 30, 1636, and removed to Hartford, Connecticut. He removed to Hadley, Massachusetts, about 1659, and was one of the first settlers. He died there December 18, 1684.

(II) Daniel Warner, son of Andrew Warner, was born about 1640. He married (first) a lady who died September 1g, 1672. He married (second) Martha Boltwood, who died September 22, 1710, daughter of Robert Boltwood. He lived in Hatfield, and died there April 30, 1692.

(III) Daniel Warner, son of Daniel Warner, was born in Hatfield in 1666, and died in Hardwick, Massachusetts, March 12, 1754, aged eighty years. He resided for a time in Hatfield and owned land. His later years were passed in Hardwick, where some of his children had settled. He married (first), in 1688, Mary Hubbard, born in 1669. He married (second), in 1714, Thankful Billings. He was the father of eight children.

(IV) Joseph Warner, son of Daniel Warner, was born in Hatfield, Massachusetts, June 18, 1710, died in Cummington, Massachusetts, April 20, 1799. He removed from Hatfield to Hardwick prior to 1747. Soon after 1770 he came to Cummington, where he was moderator of the first town meeting. He led a company in Colonel Timothy Ruggle’s regiment, to the relief of Fort William Henry, August 9, 1757, during the French and Indian War. In 1761, as captain of the Second Hardwick Company, Colonel John Murray’s regiment, he enlisted for the invasion of Canada. He married (first), in 1738, Mary Hubbard, born in 1719, died in 1779. He married (second), in 1781, Mrs. Rebecca Spooner, born in 1718, who died in 1812. Ten children were born to the first marriage.

(V) Joseph Warner, son of Joseph Warner, was born in Hatfield, Massachusetts, July 2, 1743, died in Cummington, Massachusetts, June 8, 1818. He lived for a time in Hardwick, but moved to Cummington. He was chosen lieutenant in 1774, to serve in the company of Minute-Men, pledged to rise to arms at a minute’s notice. When news of the battle of Lexington was brought to town, this company, under command of Lieutenant Warner, marched to Lexington. After a service of seven days the company enlisted in Captain Abel Thayer’s company, Colonel John Fellows’ regiment, and Joseph Warner was commissioned lieutenant of the company. He was commissioned captain on March 22, 1776, and placed in command of the Fifteenth Company, Second Hampshire County Regiment. On August 16, 1777, he was placed in command of a company in Colonel Benjamin Ruggles’ regiment. He served at the battle of Saratoga. Besides his actual service in the field, he loaned the town money to pay its soldiers. He held various town offices, and was interested in the affairs of the church. He married, in 1764, Mary Whipple, born in 1745, died in 1813.

(VI) Joseph Warner, son of Joseph Warner, was born in Cummington, Massachusetts, September 29, 1788, died May 10, 1869. He was a farmer, and resided on the homestead farm in Cummington. He was elected on August 14, 1819, lieutenant of a company in a regiment of cavalry, Fourth Division, Massachusetts Militia. He received his commission January 31, 1818, and it is still preserved in the family. He was elected on March 31, 1819, captain of a company in the Regiment of Cavalry, 2d Brigade, 4th Division, Militia of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He married, in 1812, Olive Holbrook, born in 1790, died in December, 1879. Children: Lydia Owen; Francis Joseph; Franklin John, of whom further; Sumner Holbrook; Mary Ann; and Lavinia Swan.

(VII) Franklin John Marvin Warner, son of Joseph and Olive (Holbrook) Warner, was born in Cummington, Massachusetts, March 12, 1818, died July 5, 1888. He was educated in the public schools; cultivated the farm and dealt in agricultural implements. He married, January 1, 1843, Vesta Wales Reed, born in Plainfield, Massachusetts, December r5, 1820, died January 21, 1909. She was a daughter of Joshua and Susanna (Noyes) Reed. Children: Edward Franklin, of whom further; Worcester Reed, a prominent man of Tarrytown, New York; he is a retired manufacturer and very prominent in civic affairs of Tarrytown and Cleveland, Ohio; he gave the community house to the town of Cummington and equipped it at an expense of around $75,000; Delia Holbrook, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she taught to the day of her death; Susanna Lavinia, who married Charles D. Seely; and Charles Francis.

(VIII) Edward Franklin Warner, son of Franklin J. M. and Vesta Wales (Reed) Warner, passed his life on the farm bought by his great-great-grandfather, and was born in the house built by his ancestor in 1779. Mr. Warner received his education in the schools of Cummington, and lived all his life on the ancestral estate, where he conducted successfully a farm of some three hundred acres, and did general farming. He also dealt extensively in farm implements and machinery, yet he found time to take a deep and active interest in town affairs.

He married (first), January 1, 1867, Susie Woods Robinson, born in 1849, died March 20, 1867. He married (second), July 4,1869, Ellen Lovell, of Cummington, Massachusetts, born October 5, 185x, daughter of Jacob and Laura Ann (Barrus) Lovell. On her mother’s side she is a lineal descendant of Thomas Hinckley, Governor of the Plymouth Colony. One child was born to this marriage, Ethel Susie Warner, born in Cummington, April 9, 1875, died January 7, 1925. She was a graduate of the Northampton High School, class of 1893; and of Smith College, which granted her the degree of Bachelor of Arts upon her graduation in 1897. She married, in Cummington, August 30, 1905, Charles Merton Phinney, born in Chester, Massachusetts, October 4, 1872, son of Charles T. and Julia (Crowe) Phinney. They resided in Chester until the death of Mrs. Phinney’s father, after which they made their home in the Warner homestead, on the farm bought by the ancestor, in 1771, and in the house he built in 1779, before which the family had lived in a log cabin. Mr. Phinney is a successful stock raiser, still making his home on the Warner homestead. Mrs. Phinney was secretary and treasurer of the Chester Center Library Association, 1907-1911. She was active in church and social work; was secretary and treasurer of the Woman’s Club, the Ladies’ Aid Society and Ladies’ Missionary Society; was a member of the Congregational Church and of the Highland Congregational Club of Cummington. She was especially beloved by the community for her kindliness and sweetness of character, and her loss was mourned by a wide circle of friends.


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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