Biography of Thomas Farrell Ahearn

THOMAS FARRELL AHEARN – As the head of the prominent undertaking firm in Northampton with which three generations of his family have now been associated, Mr. Ahearn continues these policies established by the concern at the outset of adopting distinctively modern methods in the exacting usages of his profession, and of meeting the requirements of neighborhood and community in all matters that pertain to thoroughness and excellence in the direction of funerals. With this aim in view, Mr. Ahearn has brought to his aid the practical results of his training in schools and general experience, and his plant is equipped with every convenience for the methodical work of the undertaker of today. of a family known for industry and for able workmanship in their various callings, he is a representative of three generations of the branch of his name who have resided in the western part of the State.

(I) James Ahearn, grandfather of Mr. Ahearn and the son of Maurice and Honora Ahearn, was born in Keleagh, County Cork, Ireland, October 2, 1810, and died October 17, 1899, in Sunderland, Massachusetts, where he first settled when he came to the United States in 1852. He then resided at Mount Toby on the Shepherd estate, where he was engaged in preparing lumber. He later removed to the Plumtrees section of Sunderland, where he was a farmer to the time of his death. He married Joanna Barry, who was born December 5, 1815, in Ballyquirk, County Cork, Ireland, and died in Sunderland, Massachusetts, daughter of Patrick and Margaret Barry. Their children: Maurice; Patrick, of whom further; Thomas; Margaret; James; Honora; Catherine; John; William Robert.

(II) Patrick Ahearn, son of James and Joanna (Barry) Ahearn, was born October 14, 1844, in Ballyquirk, County Cork, Ireland, and died December 18, 1922, in Northampton. He came to the United States at an early date. Mr. Ahearn made an effort to enter the service in the Civil War, and he enlisted for that service, but on account of his age he was rejected. He went to Northampton to live during the period of the war, and he was in the employ of Silas M. Smith and Company in the furniture and undertaking business, so continuing for twenty-six years, after which he operated in the livery business for a time. In s890, he bought out a furniture business, and in company with his son, Thomas F., under the firm name of P. Ahearn and Son, he conducted the furniture and undertaking business to the time of his death. He married Elizabeth Farrell, who was born January 29, 1843, in Ireland, and died February 18, 1913, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Bird) Farrell. Their children: Elizabeth G., who died in June, 1892; Thomas Farrell, of whom further; James S.; Charles, who was drowned in 1886; Julia M., who married James A. Gibbons; John Bird, of Providence, Rhode Island; Anna, deceased, who married William Kiley; Henry, who resides in Holyoke.

(III) Thomas Farrell Ahearn, son of Patrick and Elizabeth (Farrell) Ahearn, was born April 3, 1870, in Northampton, where he attended the public schools. He was then employed in a grocery for a short time, and later in a clothing store. In 1892, Mr. Ahearn attended the Oriental School of Embalming, in Boston, where he graduated and received his diploma, becoming associated with his father in the funeral directing and the furniture business. They later disposed of their furniture department, but under the name of P. Ahearn and Son continued as undertakers until the death of Patrick Ahearn, in 1922; and at that time Mr. Ahearn took his son, Robert J. into partnership with him, and since then the firm name has been the P. Ahearn Company. Mr. Ahearn’s fraternal affiliations are with the Ancient Order of Hibernians; at fourteen years of age he was a member of the Father Mathew Temperance Society; he is a deavors are constructive in a marked degree. A native of this community and now in the prime of life, Mr. Chapin is recognized as one of the thoroughly representative and outstanding citizens of his day, his varied interests link his name with many local endeavors and in every phase of current progress, he lends his influence to the advancement of worthy effort.

The Chapin family is one of importance in New England, Deacon Samuel Chapin, the immigrant ancestor of this line having come to Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1642.

(II) Japhet Chapin, son of the immigrant was born in 1642 and saw action in the great fight at Turners Falls in 1676. He was considered a leading man of his day, until his death, which occurred in 1712. He married (first) Abilivah Cooley; (second) Dorothy Root.

(III) Thomas Chapin, son of Japhet Chapin, the next in line, was born in 1671 and died in 1755. He married Sarah Wright, they had a son, Japhet (2), of further mention.

(IV) Japhet (2) Chapin, son of Thomas and Sarah (Wright) Chapin, was born in 1697 and died in 1786, at the great age of eighty-nine years. He married Thankful Dickenson, they had a son Nathan, of further mention.

(V) Nathan Chapin, son of Japhet (2) and Thankful (Dickenson) Chapin, was born in 1735 and removed from Chicopee to Ashfield, where he died at the residence of his son, Japhet, in the locality known as Buckland in 1830, at the age of ninety-six years. He served in the War of the Revolution and married Mary Smith.

(VI) Japhet (3) Chapin, son of Nathan and Mary (Smith) Chapin, was born in Springfield, August 31, 1759, and died April 22, 1833. For many years a resident of Buckland, he served as deacon of the church in that community and for twenty years held a commission as justice of the peace. He married Lucy Ware, who was born in 1766 and died in 1852. The children of this union were: Luciva; Darius; Mary; Japhet; Cythia; Japhet; Orlando; Cynthia; and Luther, of further mention.

(VII) Luther Chapin, son of Japhet and Lucy (Ware) Chapin. was born in Buckland, May 24, 1809, and died in Ashfield in 1894. By trade a carpenter and turner, he acted as boss carpenter at the age of eighteen years and was lieutenant of a company of artillery in Buckland, also was elected captain in 1841, serving for two years thereafter, until his honorable discharge. For a time he conducted a grist mill, but later in life followed farming. He served for some years as a member of the Board of Education and attended the Baptist Church. He was considered one of the worthy and notable citizens of his day, an ornament to the community and a man of useful activities. He married (first) on December 4, 1845, Malvira M. Swan and they were the parents of the following children: Eunice; Luther D.; Lydia D.; Norris E.; and Edward M. He married (second) and the three children of this marriage are: Mary E.; George H.; and Arthur Japhet, of further mention.

(VIII) Arthur Japhet Chapin was born in Ashfield, August 16, 1860. Educated in his native place, Mr. Chapin followed farming activities for about ten years, then for a time was engaged in carpenter work. In 1893, he entered business in South Ashfield, conducting a general store and has since been active in this community along the same line of endeavor. The building in which he founded his interest was more than one hundred years old when he established the business, but Mr. Chapin has remodeled and improved it in many ways, until he has a model and up-to-date establishment. He was appointed postmaster in 1893, an office which he has held continuously since. This very remarkable record of more than thirty-one years of service in the office of postmaster, despite many changes of administration in the nations capitol is an excellent appraisal of the worth of the man and the appreciation of the people. Furthermore his first appointment was under a Democratic administration, while he is a Republican in his individual political convictions. Mr. Chapin maintains farming interests of more than slight importance and is considered one of the prosperous and important men in this community. He is a leading figure in church activities and for many years has sung in the Episcopal and Congregational Church choirs of this community.

Arthur Japhet Chapin married, May 18, 1887, Amanda Howes, of Ashfield, Massachusetts, daughter of Frederick and Minnie (Hall) Howes and although Mr. and Mrs. Chapin have no children of their own, they have brought up and educated eight boys.


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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