EARLE (Fall River family). The Fall River branch of the Earles, the family there to which this article is devoted (to some of the descendants of the late Slade Earle, of Somerset, Mass.), springs from the earlier Portsmouth (R.I.) – Swansea (Mass.) family, one of some two hundred and seventy and more years’ standing in the section named; especial attention being given to the late Hon. Lloyd Slade Earle, who was through a long lifetime one of the prominent business men and useful citizens of his adopted city, and his son, the late Andrew Brayton Earle. The former was a descendant in the eighth generation from Ralph Earle, the first American ancestor of the family, from whom his lineage is through William, Thomas, Oliver, Caleb, Weston and Slade Earle, which generations in detail and in the order given follow.
Ralph Earle Family
Ralph Earle was among those of Portsmouth, R. I., who were admitted inhabitants of Aquidneck in 1638 and who signed the declaration of allegiance in the year following. He was chosen to keep an inn in 1647; was treasurer in 1649 and also overseer of the poor in that year. He was again elected treasurer in 1651. He was a freeman of 1655. He served later as juryman and grand juryman. He was appointed in 1655 to keep a house of entertainment. He joined a troop of horse in 1667 and afterward became captain of it. He died in 1678. His wife was formerly Joan Savage. Their children were:
William Earle Family
William Earle, son of Ralph, married (first) Mary, daughter of Job and Katherine Walker, and his second wife was named Prudence. He was of Portsmouth, R. I., then of Dartmouth, Mass., and again of Portsmouth. He was a freeman of 1658, and a juryman of that year. He and William Cory operated together a windmill. He probably removed to Dartmouth, Mass., about 1670, his interest there being large, and remained there for a time. He owned 2,000 acres of land from his claims in the original division. He was taxed in Portsmouth in 1680. The May session of the Assembly, 1691, met at his house, it being removed from Newport on account of the “distemper.” He was deputy in 1693, 1704 and 1706. He died Jan. 15, 1715. His children, the last two being born to the second marriage, were:
- William and Thomas
Thomas Earle Family
Thomas Earle, son of William and Mary (Walker), married before November, 1693, Mary, born in 1670, daughter of Philip and Mary (Cook) Taber, of Dartmouth, Mass. His father gave him land in Dartmouth in 1692 and he went there to reside. He sold this land in 1696, then lived a short time in Portsmouth, when he bought forty acres of land in Swansea and later added more to it. He sold between one and two acres of land in 1708 for a Friends’ meetinghouse; in 1716 he conveyed a half of his farm to his son Oliver and in 1721 sold him the other half of it. He died at his homestead in Warwick, R. I., April 28, 1727. His wife died in 1759. Their children were:
Oliver Earle Family
Oliver Earle, son of Thomas, married June 9, 1720, Rebecca, daughter of Samuel and Martha (Tripp) Sherman, of Portsmouth, R. I. As stated, his father, who was then living in Portsmouth, in 1716 gave him half of his Swansea farm. He had been living in New York City, where he was engaged in the East India trade. In 1721 Oliver bought of his father the other half of the farm, paying for it 1,100 pounds. He died in 1766. His children were:
Caleb Earle Family
Caleb Earle, son of Oliver, born Jan. 30, 1729, in Swansea, Mass., married (first) 5th of 10th month, 1745, Sarah, born Sept. 1, 1727, daughter of Benjamin and Isabel Buffington, by whom he had six children. He married (second) in 1769 Hannah, born 12th of 12th month, 1744, daughter of Daniel and Mary Chace, of Swansea, and they had eight children. The family lived in Swansea, The children were:
- Elizabeth, born Feb. 13, 1748
- Weston, April 18, 1750
- Caleb, Sept. 2, 1756
- Benjamin, Jan. 17, 1759
- Joshua, Oct. 11, 1762
- David, May 8, 1764
- Mary, Feb. 20, 1771
- Jonathan, July 13, 1772
- Rebekah, July 20, 1774
- Daniel, Aug. 30, 1776
- Sarah, March 11, 1778
- Oliver, Jan. 24, 1780
- William, Aug. 30, 1781
- Hannah, July 15, 1787
Weston Earle Family
Weston Earle, son of Caleb, born April 18, 1750, in Swansea, Mass., married (first) Hepzibeth Terry, (second) Sarah Slade and (third) Martha S. Smith. He lived in Swansea, Mass., where his death occurred Sept. 5, 1838. He was buried in the Friends’ cemetery, in Somerset, Mass. His children, all excepting the youngest born to the first and second wives – three each were:
- Caleb, born Feb. 27, 1771
- Sarah, in 1777
- Hepzibeth, in 1778
- John, May 24, 1790
- Slade, Oct. 16, 1791
- Edward S., Oct. 17, 1795
- Thomas G., Oct. 19, 1823
Slade Earle Family
Slade Earle, son of Weston, born Oct. 16, 1791, in Swansea, Mass., married in 1812 Hannah, daughter of Robert and Martha Gibbs, of Somerset, Mass., lived in Somerset, and died Sept. 21, 1872, in Fall River, Mass. Their children were:
- Lloyd S. was born Dec. 11, 1812
- Gibbs, born July 20, 1814, married Laura Carpenter
- George W., born April 25, 1818, married (first) Julia A. Vickery and (second) Mary E. Case
- Slade W., born Jan. 24, 1820, married (first) Elizabeth W. Winslow and (second) Mary Becknell
- Hannah J., born Feb. 19, 1824, married William Maxim
- John M., born July 3, 1830, married Lucretia A. Sinsabaugh
Lloyd Slade Earle
Lloyd Slade Earle, son of Slade and Hannah (Gibbs) Earle, was born Dec. 11, 1812, in Somerset, Mass. He spent his boyhood and youth in the town of Swansea, whither the family had removed. Until seventeen years of age he was occupied in season at work on his father’s farm or that of one in the neighborhood, in the meantime attending the schools of his vicinity. In 1829, when seventeen years old, he went to New Bedford for the purpose of learning the mason’s trade and there served an apprenticeship at it with Messrs. Pierce & Wheaton, contractors and builders. Four years later, in the summer of 1834, after the completion of his apprenticeship, he went to Fall River and worked that season for Ephraim G. Woodman and in the fall entered into a partnership with his brother-in-law, Danforth Horton, for the purpose of carrying on business as contractors and builders. During the winter season for four years following he taught school, first in his own district in Somerset, and later in Dighton.
Messrs, Horton and Earle did an extensive business in their line, and as well a successful one through the long years of their association together as business partners; and after the dissolution of the firm in 1860 Mr. Earle continued in the same line of business alone, and through the remaining years of his active life did a large business. He erected some of the finest mills and houses in and about Fall River.
Among the almost score of mills built by him were the Granite, the American Print Works (which were destroyed by fire and rebuilt), Flint mills, American Linen mills, Shove mills, the first Union mills, Bourne mill, Wampanoag mill No. 2, and the Pocasset mills. He gained a reputation as a successful contractor, especially for superior work in brick and stone and for finishing, plastering – interior work.
Starting in life a poor boy Mr. Earle through his own efforts, through his energy, industry, through the force of his makeup, rose to position and wealth, to occupy a most honorable place in society and substantial and useful citizenship. In politics he was a Democrat at first, and acted with the Freesoil party, becoming a Republican on the formation of that party in 1856 and acting with it thereafter. He served one term in the common council of Fall River and was a representative from that city in the General Court of Massachusetts in 1860-61. He was for many years actively connected with some of the leading enterprises of Fall River, and ever took a deep interest in the public improvements of the city. And especially was he interested and active in the moral and religious life of the place. A strong advocate of temperance, he himself never used strong liquors of any kind or tobacco. He was identified with the First Baptist Church in Fall River, and was active in Sunday school work, serving off and on through forty or more years as a teacher in the school. He was president of the Robeson Mill, a director in the Shove, Wampanoag, Robeson and Bourne Mills, for a number of years a director of the Pocasset National Bank, a trustee of the Citizens’ Savings Bank and a member of the board of investment of the latter institution.
In 1836 Mr. Earle married Persis P. Shearman, born Jan. 23, 1808, daughter of Carlton and Sarah (Brayton) Shearman. Their only child was Andrew Brayton Earle. Mr. Earle died Aug. 11, 1895; his wife had died April 16, 1884.
Andrew Brayton Earle Family
Andrew Brayton Earle, son of Lloyd Slade and Persis P. (Shearman) Earle, was born Feb. 27, 1837. He received his education in the public schools of Fall River, graduating from the high school when eighteen years of age, and from the time he commenced work was identified with the grocery business. After leaving school he clerked for several small dealers until ready to engage in the business on his own account, forming a partnership with Stephen Taber. Their location was on South Main street. Mr. Earle had just withdrawn from this association to go into business with his father when his untimely death occurred, Jan. 12, 1867, before he had completed his thirtieth year. Mr. Earle was a young man of high aims and character. Though not a church member he held to the tenets of Christianity and reverenced its doctrines.
On Aug. 26, 1858, Mr. Earle married Hannah E. Borden, who was born in Fall River Jan. 5, 1839, daughter of Durfee and Grace (Read) Borden and granddaughter of Lemuel and Ruth (Borden) Borden, the latter a daughter of Parker Borden and he a son of William Borden. To Mr. and Mrs. Earle were born three children:
- Lloyd Brayton, born May 2, 1860, died Feb. 14, 1862
- Emma Persis, born March 26, 1862, married June 15, 1893, Dr. Charles W. Connell, of Fall River, and has had two children,
- Clarissa Earle, born May 26, 1894
- Grace, born April 29, 1896 (who died Jan. 28, 1899)
- Mary A., born April 21, 1864, married April 29, 1886, Edwin Howard Davis, of Somerset, Mass., who was born Feb. 27, 1860, son of Baylies and Abbie (Gibbs) Davis, and died Feb. 23, 1894, the father of one daughter, Persis Earle, born April 27, 1888, who was married March 10, 1909, to Orator Francis Woodward, of Le Roy, New York.