FIELD (Brockton family). The name of Field is an ancient and honorable one in England, and can be traced far back of the Conquest. The first ancestor of whom there is any record was Hubertus de la Feld, who went to England with William the Conqueror in the year 1066 from near Colman in Alsace, on the German border of France. He received from William the Conqueror large grants of land for military service. In the fourteenth century the English De la Felds dropped their French prefix De la and ever after wrote the name Field. Sir Hubertus, the first in England, settled in Lancaster, near the city of Chester, and from him descended John Field, the Providence settler, from whom sprang the Brockton branch of the family here considered.
The American Fields are numerous and many of them have been distinguished. The grandmother of President Thomas Jefferson was a Field. Such names as David Dudley, Cyrus W., Stephen J. and Marshall Field have shed luster on the name. And here in this Commonwealth and in Brockton (which is a part of old Bridgewater) the local branch has given a good account of itself from the early Colonial period; the name appearing of record in one capacity or another all through the town’s history. Bridgewater was the first interior settlement of the Old Colony, the plantation being granted in 1645, though it was not settled until 1650 or 1651; the first lots were taken up in West Bridgewater, where was built the first house and the first improvements were made; while North Bridgewater (now Brockton) was not settled until after 1700. Of the Field family here of the earlier generations such men as Daniel Field, Jr., who was one of the petitioners for the North Parish in 1738; Jabez Field, who was treasurer of the same parish in 1757; Barzillai Field, a patriot soldier of the Revolution and many times a member of the school committee of the town; Zophar Field, who was a member of the school committee; Fobes and Richard, who were minute-men on the Lexington Alarm, members of Capt. Josiah Hayden’s company, Colonel Bailey’s regiment, and as well served at other times during the war; Corporal Ephraim Field, a member of Capt. David Packard’s company in 1780, and later held such office in the 7th Company of Militia in Shays’s Rebellion; and among others Waldo and John Field, who were members of Capt. Nehemiah Lincoln’s company in service in the war of 1812, were active and useful in their day, as have been and are still their posterity and those of other members of the family, and among the substantial men of the town. This article is to treat of the ancestors and of the family of the present William Lawrence Field, one of the substantial and honored citizens of Brockton, and his sons, who have been so prominently identified with the shoe industry of that city, where they hold noteworthy and influential places in the financial and social world.
John Field Family of Providence, Rhode Island
John Field, son of William, who was a resident of Thurnscoe, England, and a direct descendant of Roger Field, of Sowerby, England, and he from Sir Hubertus De la Feld, the head of the family which settled in the Counties of Lancaster and Kent, England, appears in New England at Providence, R. I, where in 1637 he was one of the thirteen signers of a compact preliminary to a form of government. His lineage from Roger Field (above) is through Thomas, John, Thomas (2), Thomas (3), William, William (2), Richard, John and William (3). John Field bought property at Providence and made the town his home. He became a freeman, served as juryman and as deputy to the General Court. He died in 1686. His children were:
- Hannah Field
- John Field
- Daniel Field
- Zachariah Field
- Ruth Field
John Field Family of Bridgewater, Massachusetts
John Field (2), son of John, married Elizabeth Everden. Mr. Field removed to Bridgewater, Mass., about 1677, being the first person of the name in that town, settling in what is West Bridgewater. Mrs. Field was the daughter of Hon. Anthony Everden, who was several times a member of the town council and a number of times deputy to the General Court. Mr. Field died in 1698. His children were:
- John Field, born in 1671
- Elizabeth Field, born in 1673
- Richard Field, born in 1677
- Lydia Field, born in 1679
- Daniel Field, born in 1681
- Ruth Field, born in 1683
- Hannah Field.
Richard Field of Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Richard Field, son of John (2), born May 17, 1677, in Providence, R. I., married Jan. 17, 1704, Susanna Waldo, born in 1684. They resided in Bridgewater, Mass. He died Sept. 14, 1725. Their children were:
- Zobiah Field, born in 1705 (died in 1708)
- Zebulon Field, born in 1707
- Mary Field, born in 1709
- Richard Field, born in 1711
- Jabez Field, born in 1713
- Ruth Field, born in 1715
- Zobiah Field, born in 1719
- Susannah Field, born in 1721 (died in 1732)
- Mercy Field, born in 1723
- Susanna Field, born in 1725
Jabez Field of Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Jabez Field, son of Richard, born Sept. 29, 1713, in Bridgewater, Mass., married Feb. 25, 1745, Mary, daughter of Ephraim Fobes. Mr. Field was a yeoman of Bridgewater. He died in 1804, aged ninety-two years. His children were:
- Jabez Fobes Field, born in 1747, who died unmarried, a soldier of the Revolution
- Susanna Field, born in 1748
- Richard Field, born in 1751
- William Field, born in 1753
- Ephraim Field, born in 1755
- Daniel Field, born in 1758
- Barzillai Field, born in 1760
- Bethuel Field, born in 1763, who died unmarried in 1849
- Waldo Field
Daniel Field of Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Daniel Field, son of Jabez, born Sept. 20, 1758, in Bridgewater, Mass., married there July 13, 1785, Hannah, daughter of Capt. Zebedee Snell. Mr. Field resided in Bridgewater, Mass., where he died in April, 1836. Mr. Field was a soldier of the Revolution, a member of Capt. Nathan Alden’s Company and also in Capt. J. Sprague’s division; was granted a pension for his services. His children were:
- Martha Field, born in 1786
- Zophar Field, born in 1789
- Waldo Field, born in 1791
Zophar Field of North Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Zophar Field, son of Daniel, was born Jan. 14, 1789, in North Bridgewater, Mass., and married there Feb. 6, 1811, Bernice Howard, who was born April 15, 1787, daughter of Oliver and Susanna (Reynolds) Howard, and a descendant in the sixth generation from John Howard, who came from England and settled at Duxbury, later becoming one of the first settlers of Bridgewater. Mr. Field was a resident of North Bridgewater, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits, and was also extensively engaged in the butchering business, in connection with which he conducted a large slaughter-house, carrying his products to the markets in Boston in the days before there were railroad accommodations. His farm comprised about seventy-five acres, and being of a very industrious nature, and possessing a very rugged constitution, he always kept it in an excellent state of cultivation. He was one of the strong characters of his day, a man who had good judgment, and being of a kindly nature he won and retained many friends. He was a lieutenant in the State militia, holding his commission for several years. He was a Mason, holding membership in Norfolk Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Randolph, Mass. His children were:
- Harriet Field, born March 26, 1812, married William G. Howard
- Daniel Field, born Feb. 21, 1814, married Jane Soule, and died in Montello
- Louisa Field, born Feb. 8, 1816, died in infancy
- George Field, born May 20, 1818, died in Brockton, unmarried
- Louisa Field (2), born Sept. 1, 1820, married (first) George F. Matthews and (second) William G. Howard
- Hannah Field, born May 4, 1823, married Cyrus Howard, Jr.
- Charles Copeland Field, born March 18, 1826, married Lucy Cobb Cross, and died in Brockton
- William Lawrence Field, born Oct. 20, 1828, is mentioned below
The mother of these children passed away Jan. 28, 1833, and the father died Sept. 6, 1863.
William Lawrence Field of North Bridgewater, Massachusetts
William Lawrence Field, son of Zophar and Bernice (Howard) Field, was born Oct. 20, 1828, in North Bridgewater, now Brockton, and acquired his early educational training in the district schools of his neighborhood. After leaving school he engaged in the butchering business with his father for some time, after which he and his brother, Charles C. Field, opened a market and provision store on Main street, in a building which stood where the Brockton Enterprise building now stands. Later they purchased the building adjoining, which has since been known as the Field building, and there continued the business for about ten years under the firm name of C. C. Field & Co., Mr. Field at the end of that time selling his interests in the business to his brother and returning to the old homestead, which he purchased; he replaced the dwelling with his present large residence, which he has since occupied. Upon returning to the old homestead Mr. Field engaged in farming and dairying, which business he continued for a number of years, during which time he was also largely engaged in the lumbering business. Having large landed interests in his neighborhood, which with the growth and industrial development of the section of the town known as Montello, where Mr. Field resides, came into demand for manufacturing and residential sites, he disposed of much of his land, which is now occupied by many manufacturing plants and handsome residences. He gave the land to the Old Colony Railroad Company for their station at Montello, and his sons were instrumental in getting the station located there. Mr. Field’s farm originally contained several hundred acres, and comprised the original Peregrine White grant of land. For a period of about thirteen years Mr. Field was also engaged in the hotel business at Martha’s Vineyard, where he conducted the “Central House” and the “Pawnee House” in company with John Fuller, of Brockton, which enterprises were both successful; they catered to 2,500 people in one day during the summer season. Mr. Field has been a shrewd, keen, far-sighted business man, and being a great reader throughout his life he has acquired general knowledge which has stood him well in his long and active career. He is of a quiet, unpretentious nature, making no boast of what he has accomplished, though he has worked very hard in years past, and now in the evening of his life is enjoying a well-earned rest in comfort and ease, he and his estimable wife having lived to see their sons well established in business and taking a prominent part in the affairs of the city.
On Oct. 20, 1852, Mr. Field was married in Middleboro, Mass., to Mary Denison Holmes, born at Middleboro Nov. 19, 1829, daughter of Jesse Holmes, who was a shoemaker and gunmaker, a superior mechanic, and his wife, Mary Ann (Burbank). Mrs. Field proved herself an untiring helpmate, shirking no duty, however wearisome, and lived to enjoy in her advancing years the companionship of her devoted husband and her children and grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Field celebrated the crystal, silver and golden anniversaries of their wedding, upon which occasions they were the recipients of many expressions of good cheer as well as of many valuable and useful presents as tokens of the esteem felt for them by their many friends and acquaintances. Mrs. Field passed away at her home in Brockton, Mass., April 9, 1910, at the age of eighty. This happy union was blessed with children as follows:
- William Forbes Field, born July 21, 1854, married Cora A. Howard, of Brockton, where he was engaged for a number of years as salesman for his brother, Daniel W. Field, and where he died March 28, 1897
- Daniel Waldo Field, born Feb. 18, 1856, is mentioned below
- Marcia Alice Field, born Nov, 28, 1857, passed away at the age of eighteen years
- Frederic Forrest Field, born May 11, 1861, is mentioned below
Mr. Field is a regular attendant and liberal supporter of the Unitarian Church, in the work of which he has taken an active part. His wife, though not a member, was also active in its work, belonging to several societies connected with the church. In political faith Mr. Field is a stanch supporter of the principles of the Republican party. He has never cared for nor sought public office.
Daniel Waldo Field of Brockton, Massachusetts
Daniel Waldo Field, an extensive shoe manufacturer of Brockton, Mass., and one of the founders and for a number of years president, of the Clark-Hudson Company, shoe jobbers, of Boston and New York, is a citizen of whom Brockton is justly proud. Besides establishing a large and prosperous industry which has brought plenty and content into many a workingman’s home, he has given largely to philanthropic enterprises, some of which actually owe their existence to his generosity. He was born in Brockton, Feb. 18, 1856, son of William L. and Mary D. (Holmes) Field. In his youth Mr. Field attended the Brockton high school and Bryant & Stratton’s Commercial College at Boston, where he was graduated in 1875. After leaving school he worked on his father’s farm for about a year and a half, driving a milk wagon and assisting in the care of about forty cows. One day when he was in his twenty-first year the late Daniel S. Howard, who was the leading shoe manufacturer of Brockton of his day, stopped him on the street, and requested him to take charge of the books in his shoe factory, then the largest in the city. He was in Mr. Howard’s employ four years. During the last three years of this period he saved from his salary fifteen hundred dollars; and in January, 1881, he started in business in a small way as a shoe manufacturer, employing seven men and making thirty-six pairs of shoes a day. His industrious habits and close application to business brought him prosperity, and in 1883 he erected, on his father’s farm, the nucleus of his present plant, a factory 33 by 60 feet in dimensions. Since then he has made many additions, enlarging the establishment as his business required, until he now has a factory 350 feet long, with four floors for business, and two storehouses, containing in all fifty-two thousand feet of floor space. The Field-Lumbert Company, of Brockton, of which Mr. Field is president, employs on an average five hundred hands, who make from four to five thousand pairs of shoes per day.
In 1894, in company with Zimri Thurber, Mr. Field started another shoe factory as a member of the firm of Field, Thurber & Co., and in December, 1895, he bought Mr. Thurber’s interest therein, admitting to partnership E. P. Hazard, whose interest he later purchased and transferred to his brother, Fred F. Field, this business now being known as the F. F. Field Company, whose factory is located on Emerson avenue, Brockton. Mr. Field was one of the original founders of the Clark-Hudson Company, of Boston and New York, which was established in 1892, and of which he was the president until 1910, when he sold out his interests in this concern. Hiring quarters at No. Ill Federal street, Boston, they purchased their stock, and the first year’s sales, in 1893, amounted to over a million dollars. The volume of business has increased steadily ever since. This house later opened offices in New York, and was one of the largest jobbing houses in the shoe trade in the country, employing a hundred hands, including clerks, type-writers and salesmen in each of the offices. Mr. Field is prominently identified with several other shoe manufacturing concerns. He is president and financial manager of Field Brothers & Grose, of Auburn, Maine, which was incorporated in 1902, under the laws of Massachusetts, and which is the largest shoe manufacturing plant in the State of Maine, turning out about 5,000 pairs of shoes per day, and doing a business of about $3,000,000 annually. In conjunction with the Fred F. Field Company, of Brockton, this concern also operates its own upper leather and sole leather tanneries, which are located at Salem, Mass. He is also president and financial manager of the F. B. Holmes Company, which was established in 1908, and of the Field, Holmes Company, established in 1910, the shoe factories of both these being located at Chelsea, Mass., and as well of the Field-Lumbert Company, Factory K, established in 1911, which is located at Lowell, Mass. He is also a director of the F. F. Field Company, Factory B, of Providence, R. I., which was incorporated in 1910. Mr. Field is a large employer of labor, the various concerns with which he is connected giving employment to from 2,500 to 3,000 hands.
Mr. Field’s brother lives near him, and their factories adjoin, so they form a manufacturing community of their own. When Mr. Field started in business the only means of travel between Brockton and Montello was a coach which made two or three trips daily; and the silence of the little suburb was broken only by the drowsy and infrequent sounds of farm life. Now the place is changed to a bustling manufacturing village, with hurrying steam cars connecting it with other industrial centers; and this great change is due largely to Mr. Field’s enterprise. His factory is kept in constant operation, and he is always ready to give his aid to his help in erecting their homes, the best of feeling existing between him and his employees.
As a financier Mr. Field has a variety of connections. He is largely interested in real estate and building, transacting this business on his own responsibility, and has a number of tenants; he has erected a number of stores. He is an active director in the Brockton National Bank, in which capacity he has served for over twenty-five years. With the exception of the first year in which he engaged in business on his own account he has never borrowed money nor given his note during his business career.
Mr. Field’s donations to charitable enterprises have been most generous and frequent, but many of his benefactions have been performed in such a quiet way that they are unknown to the general public. He takes a deep interest in schools for the blind; built and gave the Wales Home for Aged Women to that corporation; built the Waldo Congregational church in Montello, which was completed in September, 1895, and gave it to the society; was a liberal contributor to the Y. M. C. A. building; and has been particularly active in the interest of the Brockton hospital. He was one of the leaders in the founding of the latter institution, served on the building committee, and has made several very liberal donations, his annual gifts being invariably generous. His contributions to this enterprise alone amount to over $25,000. Not long ago he built and presented to the corporation Bosa Cottage (so named in honor of his wife, who shares his interest in the institution), which cost over $8,000, and which is used as a home for the nurses; in the summer of 1909 he gave $1,000 to equip the main building with piazzas, so that the patients might have all the benefits of fresh air and sunshine; his latest gift, $18,000 to erect and equip a “service” building, in 1910, shows that his zeal and sympathy have suffered no abatement. This new building will include a modern laundry (one of the most essential features of a well equipped hospital) as well as a kitchen and dining-rooms for the use of patients and employees. That Mr. and Mrs. Field enter heartily into the work of the hospital is evidenced in the fact that before making this gift they inspected buildings used for similar purposes in several cities, and the best features of such buildings have been embodied in the one at the Brockton hospital. It is an addition which will greatly facilitate the work of the nurses and employees, and whose practical value cannot be over-estimated. Mrs. Field has been a stanch friend of the hospital ever since it was projected, taking a personal interest in its work and in extending the sphere of its usefulness.
On Oct. 28, 1879, Mr. Field was united in marriage to Rosa A. Howes, who was born in Barnstable, on the Cape, daughter of Philip and Temperance B. Howes. She has aided him in his work not only with sympathy and encouragement but in many practical ways. Mr. and Mrs. Field have no children.
Though he takes no active interest in politics, preferring to devote his time to business, Mr. Field has served seven years as park commissioner of Brockton, having been chairman of the commission for several years, and was urged to run for alderman, but declined. In 1902 Mr. Field took a special course in biology at the Massachusetts School of Technology, Boston, and in 1909, 1910 and 1911 he took several special courses at Harvard University. He is a member of the visiting committee of the Bussey Institution of Harvard. Mr. Field is not a professing church member, yet he is a practical and active supporter of all religious institutions. Under the weight of his business cares his health has broken down, and by his physician’s advice he has spent much time in the past few years in travel, in California, Europe, Cuba and other parts of the world. Mr. Field also owns a large farm, which is well stocked with a large herd of registered Holstein cattle, which is recognized as the finest in the world, many of which he has imported, his herd containing some of the greatest milk and butter producers in the world.
Frederic Forrest Field of Brockton, Massachusetts
Frederic Forrest Field, president of the well-known shoe manufacturing firm of Burt & Packard Company, of Brockton, was born in that part of Brockton known as Montello May 11, 1861, the youngest child of William L. and Mary Denison (Holmes) Field.
Mr. Field received his early education in the common schools of Brockton. His father having a large milk route, the boy was early put on the wagon to serve customers, thus learning practical business methods when quite young. He subsequently took a course of study at Bryant & Stratton’s Commercial College, Boston, and then entered the employ of Burt & Packard, of Brockton, in answer to their advertisement for an office boy. His diligent attention to business won for brink the confidence of his employers, and he was promoted step by step from the position of office boy to that of assistant to Mr. Packard in his factory. He was afterward made superintendent; and when he had filled that position some two or three years, Mr. Burt having retired on account of ill health, Mr. Field became junior partner, under the firm name of Packard & Field, the firm name being later changed, as originally, to Burt & Packard Company, which is well known to the public through its phonetic form of advertising, “Korrect Shape.” It has long controlled an extensive and prosperous business. It has been still further developed since Mr. Field became actively connected with the business. The firm employs some three hundred men, and turns out several thousand pairs of shoes daily, supplying customers not only in this country, but abroad. Mr. Field is also president of the Fred F. Field Company, which corporation operates shoe factories in Brockton and Providence, R. I., and is vice president of Field Bros. & Grose, of Auburn, Maine, the largest shoe manufacturing corporation in the State of Maine.
On Feb. 20, 1884, Mr. Field was united in marriage with Lizzie Kenny Packard, daughter of Fred and Mary Eliza (Kamsdell) Packard, of Brockton, and this union has been blessed with children as follows:
- Fred Packard Field, who died at the age of twenty-two months.
- Fred F. Field, Jr., born May 25, 1889, who married Feb. 15, 1911, Ruth Witherell Bunten, daughter of Frederick E. Bunten, of Cambridge, Mass.
- Marjorie Field and Katherine Field, twins, born Oct. 1, 1897.
In politics Mr. Field is a Republican, but he takes no active interest in public affairs. He is an honored and popular member of the Commercial Club, and has been on its executive committee since its organization. In religious belief he is a Unitarian, and he attends the Church of the Unity. He is a director of the Home National Bank of Brockton, and a director and active member of the Brockton Agricultural Society, in which he has been very much interested, and of which he is a vice president. Mr. Field owns a large dairy farm, which is stocked with a herd of very fine-bred Holstein cattle, this property being known as the “Dutchland Farm,” and he takes particular pride in its ownership.