Through much of the nineteenth century there figured prominently in the business and social life of Taunton — continuing to do so at the present — the family bearing the name introducing this sketch. Reference is made to the late Hon. Willard Lovering, long one of the leading manufacturers not only of Taunton, but of the great manufacturing region thereabout, in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, a representative in the Massachusetts Assembly, bank president, etc.; and to his sons and grandsons, the former being the late Charles L., the late Hon. William C. and Hon. Henry Morton Lovering, all of whom are or have been officers in the Whittenton Manufacturing Company and among the leading business men and citizens of their city, William C. having been the representative in the United States Congress from the 12th and 14th Massachusetts districts.
The home town of this Taunton Lovering family for generations was Holliston, where the name was well represented in the struggle of the colonies for independence, and from which town and vicinity went out into other localities men of achievement. It was from this Holliston stock sprang the eminent lawyer, Hon. Warren Lovering, of Medway, born Feb. 21, 1797, who was often a member of the State Assembly, a member of the executive council for some years in the thirties, at the time being in warm personal relations with the then governor of Massachusetts, the Hon. Edward Everett, Bank Commissioner, etc.; and his brother, the late Hon. Amos Lovering, lawyer and judge, who figured prominently in the South and West. These were the sons of Amos and Lucy (Day) Lovering, he of Holliston and they of Medway and Framingham, Mass. There lived at Aidham, near Hadleigh, County of Suffolk, England, one William Loveran and his wife Susanna, one or more of whose children came to America and settled in New England, and from one Robert Loveran, who, by the genealogist Morse, is made a probable grandson of William Loveran of England, first alluded to, have descended the Holliston branch of the Loverings referred to in the foregoing.
According to the church records of the parish of Aldham, County Suffolk, England, William and Susanna Loveran had children as follows:
- William Loveran, Sept. 6, (year torn off)
- John Loveran, Feb. 20, 1622
- George Loveran, Jan. 20, 1624
- Jonathan Loveran, Sept. 10, 1625
- Thomas Loveran, Nov. 30, 1626
- Susanna Loveran, Jan. 19, 1631
- David Loveran, May 20, 1633
- Elizabeth Loveran, Aug. 21, 1636
- Edward Loveran, Jan. 8, 1637
The burials in the churchyard of the parish noted above of the Loveran name are: Edward, buried June 24, 1639; John, March 16, 1663: William, Dec. 1, 1666; and Susanna (Close), Jan. 10, 1681.
The following history of the Loveran family of Aldham is gleaned from a power of attorney given by David Loverin, citizen and draper of London, England, dated March 10, 1703, who styles himself the only surviving son of William Loveran, late of Aldham, near Hadleigh, County Suffolk, England, to John and Samuel Marion, of Watertown, in New England, to take possession of property falling to him as heir of Thomas Lovering, deceased, by virtue of his wife, dated Aug. 13, 1692. This power of attorney has against David Loverin’s name a round seal bearing these arms: “On a bend, three martles; on a canton in the sinister chief, a rose.”
William Loveran, of Aldham, it seems, had served an apprenticeship as apothecary to Arthur Gale; and that Thomas Loveran was put as an apprentice to a clothier at Dedham, some six miles from Aldham; that the latter in 1667, went to New England, returned to Dedham, and in about six months went again to New England.
Bond, in his Watertown genealogies, gives John Loveran, as one of the largest original proprietors there, admitted a freeman in May, 1636, and a selectman in that year and in 1637. And he also gives Thomas Loveran, born in 1638, son of William Loveran, of Aldham, County Suffolk, England, to John and Samuel town as early as 1663, and giving by will, dated Aug. 13, 1692, all his estate to his wife Anna during her life; and after her death it to go to the next heir bearing the name, if he appears to claim it within ten years, otherwise to go to John Kemball, Sr., and his heirs forever.
(I) Robert Loverain, of Holliston, whom Morse has given as a probable grandson of William Loveran of Aldham, England, married at Roxbury, Jan. 3, 1704-05, Alice Craft, who was born in 1678, baptized in 1681, and died in Holliston about 1784 in the 105th year of her age, and in her fifth widowhood. She was a daughter of Samuel and granddaughter of Lieut. Griffin Craft, who settled in Roxbury, Mass., in 1630, sailing from England with Winthrop’s party of colonists. Their children were:
- Elizabeth Loverain, born May 19, 1708, in Roxbury
- Robert Loverain, born Sept. 26, 1710
- William Loverain, born March 1, 1713, in Roxbury
- Samuel Loverain, born Dec. 5, 1715
- Joseph Loverain, born probably in Boston
From this Robert and Alice (Craft) Loverain the descent of the several Lovering brothers of Taunton, alluded to in the foregoing, is through Joseph, Thaddeus, William and. Willard Lovering. These generations in the order named and somewhat in detail follow.
(II) Joseph Loverain, son of Robert, born probably in Boston, Mass., married (first) Hannah, who died in March, 1759, and (second) Mercy. He settled in the town of Holliston, Mass., where he died Oct. 14, 1771. His children, all born in Holliston, were:
- Craft Loverain, born Oct. 14, 1731
- Thaddeus Loverain, Sept. 6, 1735
- Mary Loverain, June 10, 1739
- Mary Loverain (2), Jan. 7, 1742
- Elizabeth Loverain, Oct. 23, 1750
- Mercy Loverain, March 19, 1758
- Joseph Loverain, April 26, 1760
- Sylvanus Loverain, Dec. 18, 1761
- Rhoda Loverain, June 10, 1765
(III) Thaddeus Lovering, son of Joseph, born Sept. 6, 1735, married April 25, 1765, Elizabeth, born April 6, 1747, daughter of Ephraim Littlefield, and they lived in Holliston, Mass. He died Dec. 4, 1799, and she passed away Feb. 11, 1831. Their children, all born in Holliston, were:
- Thaddeus Lovering, born July 28, 1766
- Anna Lovering, Oct. 13, 1770
- Amos Lovering, June 6, 1772
- William Lovering, Jan. 16, 1775
- Gilbert Lovering, May 16, 1787
(IV) William Lovering, son of Thaddeus, born Jan. 16, 1775, married at Holliston, Dec. 14, 1797, Mehitable Claflin, born June 17, 1775. She died Sept. 14, 1842. Their children were:
- Betsy Lovering, born June 2, 1799
- Willard Lovering, Nov. 18, 1801
- Almira Lovering, Feb. 17, 1805
- Betsey Lovering, July 15, 1809
(V) Willard Lovering, son of William and Mehitable (Claflin) Lovering, was born in the town of Holliston, Mass., Nov. 18, 1801, where at farm work and in acquiring such education as would qualify him to teach school the earlier years of his boyhood and youth were passed. He, however, taught but a short period as conditions led him into other channels. He began in the city mills at Franklin, Mass., arid in a most humble manner what proved to be a long and successful business career. This beginning was as an apprentice at the cotton business, in which he rose step by step until he became the owner of a mill and business. He seemed to have a natural taste for the walk in life he had chosen, which with his energy and zeal led him to rapid promotion, until finally he was in full charge of the mills. Such was his reputation that in 1830 he was placed in charge of the Blackstone canal corporation, which took him to Providence, R. I., as a place of residence. From the corporation just named he retired some three years later to assume the agency of the Carrington Mills, at Woonsocket, R. I. After an official service of some three years at the Carrington Mills, he became partial owner and manager of the Whittenton Mills and removed to Taunton, Mass. This was in 1836, and the position he then assumed he occupied for twenty-one years — until the failure of C. H. Mills & Co., the principal owners of the Whittenton Mills. The business and property of the corporation he himself purchased in 1858, and associated with him in business his sons Charles L., William C. and Henry M. Lovering, who together, and in turn, have since been identified with the business. The father, owing to failing health, retired from active business in 1864.
Mr. Lovering established in business circles and among his fellow citizens and acquaintances in general a high reputation. He was a thoroughly honorable man and possessed a well rounded character. As intimated, he was well adapted for the business he learned and so successfully followed. He possessed rare qualifications as a manager and attained high rank as a manufacturer. “Probably no man has done more for the cotton manufacturing industry in the vicinity of Taunton than Willard Lovering.”
As stated Mr. Lovering commenced his business career in a humble way, as it were at the lower round of the ladder, but through the force of his makeup, through his industry and integrity steadily rose to position and wealth. He was one of the organizers of the Taunton Savings Bank, in 1869, and became its president, a relation he sustained to the bank at the time of his death. The deposits of this bank have gone beyond $3,000,000 and one of his sons, Charles L. Lovering, has for years been vice president of the institution. Mr. Willard Lovering also served as president of the Taunton Branch Railroad. He represented Taunton in the State Assembly in 1865-66. He was one of that type of men who never neglected an opportunity to advance the welfare of his adopted city. He was for nearly fifty years a prominent member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, identified for nearly all that period with St. Thomas’s Church at Taunton. The Whittenton Mills, with which the name of Lovering has been so long and successfully identified, were incorporated with the Taunton Manufacturing Company in 1823, under the management of James K. Mills & Co., of Boston. In 1831-32 a new stone mill was built, in which were placed seventy looms for the manufacture of finer grades of goods. In May, 1835, Mills & Co. closed their connection with the Taunton Manufacturing Company and resumed proprietorship of the mills. In September, 1836, Willard Lovering took the agency of the Whittenton Mills, and, becoming a joint proprietor, made many improvements in the manufacture of goods. In January, 1839, the older mill referred to was destroyed by fire. Under Mr. Lovering’s management the business proved successful, but the Boston firm, having embarked in other important enterprises, closed their business in 1857 under the financial pressure of that year. In 1858 Mr. Lovering and his sons purchased all the property of the Whittenton Mills corporation, and inaugurated a period of remarkable business and manufacturing success. A few years before the death of Mr. Willard Lovering, Dec. 15, 1875, his sons, Charles L., William C. and Henry M. Lovering, became proprietors of the mills. In January, 1883, the Whittenton Manufacturing Company was incorporated with a capital of $600,000, the officers being: William C. Lovering, president; Charles L. Lovering, treasurer; and Henry M. Lovering, agent and clerk.
Mr. Willard Lovering was twice married, first to Susan Loughead, born Nov. 20, 1814, daughter of Charles Thompson and Sarah Miller (Thompson) Loughead, of Warren, R. I. She died Nov. 14, 1837, in her twenty-fourth year, and he married (second) Jan. 1, 1839, Sarah Carey, daughter of Governor Marcus and Charlotte (Hodges) Morton. Willard Lovering died Dec. 15, 1875, at his home in Taunton, Massachusetts. Mrs. Lovering died Jan. 18, 1886. The children of Willard and Susan Lovering were:
- Charles L. Lovering, born Aug. 31, 1833
- William C. Lovering, born Feb. 25, 1835
The children of Willard and Sarah Lovering were:
- Henry Morton Lovering, born July 28, 1840
- Charlotte Morton Lovering, born March 30, 1844
Hon. Marcus Morton, father of the second Mrs. Lovering, was long one of the substantial and useful citizens and leading public men of his community and State. A native of Freetown, Mass., he graduated from Brown University in the class of 1804, became an eminent lawyer, represented his State in the United States Congress, was several times lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, was a judge of the Supreme court for fifteen years, and Governor of Massachusetts for two terms. He was a descendant in the seventh generation from George Morton, who with his wife and children came to New England in 1623, in the schooner “Anne,” from whom his lineage is through Ephraim, Eleazer, Nathaniel, Nathaniel (2) and Nathaniel Morton (3).
(VI) Charles Loughead Lovering, eldest son of Willard and Susan (Loughead) Lovering, was born Aug. 31, 1833, in Woonsocket, R. I., and came to Taunton with his father in 1836, where he was reared and educated. He early developed an adaptability for the mill business which seemed even then destined to be the vocation of his life. In 1857 C. H. Mills & Co., who owned most of the mills, failed and this embarrassed the concern temporarily, but in 1858 his father Willard Lovering, associated with his sons, purchased the concern and matters went smoothly with enlargements until 1864, when ill health caused his retirement, and the mills were henceforth conducted by the sons. Charles L. Lovering was the energetic developer of the business part and the Whittenton Mills made a large place for themselves in the manufacturing circles of the country and became as they are today, one of the main industries of the city and this part of New England. Some years before his death recognition of Mr. Lovering’s ability as a textile leader gave him the treasurership of the Massachusetts corporation, controlling large mills in Lowell and Georgia, and most of his time was thenceforth given to that with the principal office in Boston, but he still retained his attractive residence on Dean street in Taunton, and there toward the close of life he calmly and patiently awaited the final summons.
Although a very busy man with large interests to care for, Mr. Lovering was ever ready to promote all efforts for social, religious and philanthropic betterment. He was most energetic m establishing the Union Congregational Church at Whittenton, was for years active in its work, in the leadership of its Sunday school, and in charge of its music. The church in his death surely felt the loss of its strongest and closest friend. He gave freely of his time and his money in various other channels, was an enthusiastic supporter of music in its educational forms, and never was known to turn aside and decline to help any cause or any man, woman or child, that could show that help was needed and deserved.
Mr. Lovering was not a politician but was efficient at all times in the councils of the Republican party, and in the effort to have the best men forward to represent the city, district and State. He served as alderman from the Eighth ward and put the same painstaking care into City Hall work that he did into his private business. In fact, in all ways he was a solid, square, kindly and very able citizen of whom any municipality could justly be proud, and his death, even in the sunset period of life, commanded sorrow. He parsed away at his home in Taunton, Mass., May 1, 1908. Of him the following in substance at the time of his death appeared in one of the local papers:
By the death of Charles Loughead Lovering after many months of steadily increasing physical weakness Taunton loses one of its first citizens in all that gives a man primacy in a municipality. For half a century he has filled a lame place in Taunton’s industrial, social and religions life, was one of the most active in building up manufactories and developing any effort which had for its object helping along a better manhood and womanhood.
Mr. Lovering married Sarah B., daughter of Rev. Erastus Maltby. She died several years before her husband. Their children were:
- William M. Lovering, who is unmarried.
- Edward Lovering, who married Sarah, daughter of Thompson Newbury, of Taunton.
- Susan L. Lovering, who is unmarried.
(VI) William C. Lovering, second son of Willard and Susan (Loughead) Lovering, was born Feb. 25, 1835, in Woonsocket, R. I, and he was but an infant when taken to Taunton. He was here reared and educated in the public schools, and also at Cambridge, Mass. At about the age of twenty years he entered the employ of his father as clerk in the Whittenton Mills, later, as stated above, with his brothers and father becoming proprietor of all the property of the Whittenton Mills corporation and in January, 1883, on the incorporation of the Whittenton Manufacturing Company, he became its president. From the Whittenton Mills Mr. Lovering’s interests extended to other mills in Taunton and New England, and he became a power in the cotton manufacturing industry of New England. He financed the first street railway in Taunton and introduced the water works system of the city.
Mr. Lovering was greatly honored both in public and private life. He was for some twenty years just prior to his decease a trustee of the Taunton Lunatic Hospital. He was for years a trustee of the Bristol Academy, and for two years was president of the New England Cotton Manufacturers’ Association. He, too, was at one time president of the Arkwright Club.
In 1896 Mr. Lovering was nominated by acclamation by the Republicans of the 12th Massachusetts district assembled in convention for representative in the United States Congress, and in the election that followed was elected over Mr. E. Gerry Brown, and continued a member by reelection the remaining years of his life.
“He was one of the most distinguished representatives in congress; he was a tariff revisionist, the leader of the movement to extend the provisions of the drawback and make effective the law as it was originally designed by congress, and identified with the progressive wing of the Republican party in all matters. He was deservedly popular in his district and was not dependent upon the party prestige for his strength.”
Mr Lovering presided over the presidential convention in Boston in 1892, and was a delegate to the Chicago convention from his district when Garfield was nominated. He was conspicuous in the State Senate of 1874 in the matter of rescinding the resolutions against Charles Sumner. Because of his agitation in favor of broad rim wheels, when in the State Senate, he acquired the sobriquet of “Broad Rim,” which ever afterward clung to him among the members of that body.
Mr. Lovering served as president of the American Mutual Liability Insurance Company, the board of directors of which represent the largest manufacturing interests in the country. He was for many years president of the Bristol County Agricultural Society, and during that time, because of his progressive ideas, many improvements were made and a large part of the then existing debt was paid. He was a past master of Ionic Lodge of Masons, having been master of the lodge for three years. He was a member of the Taunton chapter and Taunton council and of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Mr. Lovering was one of the first to answer the call for troops at the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1861 and went out as quartermaster of the 2d Massachusetts Brigade, comprising the 3d and 4th Begiments. He acted as mustering-in officer for nearly all of the first companies for the State service.
On June 9, 1863, Mr. Lovering married Mary Loring Swasey, and to them were born children:
- Ruth Lovering, Aug. 29, 1864, married Jan. 5, 1888, Henry Brinton Coxe, of Philadelphia, Pa.
- Alice Lovering, April 3, 1867
- Frances Lovering, Jan. 16, 1869, married April 3, 1899, Charles Francis Adams (2) of Boston
Mrs. Lovering died Sept. 4, 1881, some years prior to the death of her husband, who passed away at his residence in Washington, D. C, in the morning of Feb. 4, 1910, aged seventy-five years. His remains were brought to Taunton, Mass., where at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church funeral services were held and the remains buried in the Lovering family lot at Mt. Pleasant cemetery.
Upon hearing of the death of Congressman Lovering, Gov. Eben S. Draper said:
“I am very sorry to hear of the death of Congressman William C. Lovering. I knew him long and well. When chairman of the Republican state committee in 1892 I was instrumental in having him elected as chairman of the state convention that year, when he made an admirable address. Almost continuously from that time he has been prominent in public life. He was thoroughly posted on the affairs of his state and was an efficient public servant. His death is a real loss to the commonwealth.”
And said one of the local papers of the Taunton section of Massachusetts, editorially:
“The death of Congressman William C. Lovering deprives Massachusetts of the service of a distinguished member of the delegation. Mr. Lovering had the habit of thinking for himself and had the independence to keep aloof from the administration machine. He gave much effort to the attempt to induce congress to make effective the drawback principle in the spirit in which congress originally vouchsafed it, and while he did not succeed in making congress stand its ground he established his own ability as a discerning statesman.”
(VI) Henry Morton Lovering, son of Willard and Sarah Carey (Morton) Lovering, was born in Taunton July 28, 1840. He was fitted for college in Bristol Academy under Prof. Henry S. Nourse, and graduated from Brown University in the class of 1861, taking the degree of A. M. One of his fellow students in Brown was the late John Hay, noted diplomat, author and Secretary of State under President Roosevelt. After graduating he immediately entered business with his father. Prior to the incorporation in 1883 of the Whittenton Manufacturing Company, he acted in the capacity of clerk, but was at that time made agent and clerk of the corporation, and is now assistant treasurer, having charge of the financial business of the concern. He was elected president of the Taunton National Bank in 1900, to succeed Capt. G. A. Washburn, and has been a director since 1895. He is a trustee of the Taunton Savings Bank; president of the Taunton New Bedford Copper Company; president of the Taunton Dye Works & Bleachery Company; president of the Taunton board of water commissioners, having been a member of the board since 1880; president of the Old Colony Historical Society, to which organization he has given his hearty support in all ways which might promote its general welfare; and a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society. In his religious belief and connections he is a sincere churchman, being a member and senior warden of St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church of Taunton. He was a deputy to the lower house of the triennial general convention of the Episcopal Church held at Richmond, Va., in October, 1907, and deputy to the general convention held in Cincinnati in October, 1910. He is a member of the Winthrop Club, of Taunton, and of the Union Club, of Boston, having joined the latter in about 1887. Mr. Lovering is a Republican in his political affiliations, and has served both as councilman and as alderman of the city. His participation in politics has been limited, his large business interests demanding his entire attention.
On June 28, 1864, Mr. Lovering married Isabel Francelia Morse, daughter of Jason Morse, of Taunton, Mass. They have had children as follows:
- Edith Lovering, born April 11, 1867, married Oct. 27, 1897, James Hartley Merrick, of Philadelphia, Pa., and she died in July, 1910
- Mabel Lovering, born May 15, 1870, married Jan. 15, 1898, Horatio Hathaway, Jr., of New Bedford, Mass.
- Charlotte Morton Lovering, born Nov. 25, 1873
- Henry Morton Lovering, Jr., born Aug. 3, 1877, died July 25, 1898
- Dorothy Lovering, born Feb. 7, 1882, married A. Loring Swasey, of Taunton