Frederic Taber 1856-1930

Taber family of Dartmouth and New Bedford, Massachusetts

The Taber family of Dartmouth and New Bedford, one of the oldest families in southeastern Massachusetts, is descended from Philip Taber, who according to Savage, was born in 1605, and died in 1672. He was at Watertown in 1634, and he contributed toward building the galley for the security of the harbor. He was made a freeman at Plymouth in 1639. In 1639-40 he was a deputy from Yarmouth, and was afterward at Martha’s Vineyard, and from 1647 to 1655 was at Edgartown, going from there to New London in 1651, but probably returning soon. He was an inhabitant of Portsmouth in February, 1655, and was a representative in Providence in 1661, the commissioners being Roger Williams, William Field, Thomas Olney, Joseph Torrey, Philip Taber and John Anthony. Later he settled in Tiverton, where his death occurred. He married Lydia Masters, of Watertown, Mass., daughter of John and Jane Masters, and his second wife, Jane, born in 1605, died in 1669. His children were:

  1. John Taber, baptized at Barnstable Nov. 8, 1640, who died young
  2. Philip Taber, baptized at Barnstable in February, 1646, who married Mary Cook
  3. Thomas Taber, born in 1644, baptized at Barnstable in February, 1646
  4. Joseph Taber, baptized at Barnstable Feb. 11, 1646
  5. Lydia Taber, who married Pardon Tillinghast, and died in 1718

Thomas Taber, son of Philip, born in February, 1644, baptized in 1646, died Nov. 11, 1730. He was town surveyor in 1673, town clerk and constable in 1679, freeman in 1684, selectman in 1685, 1692, 1694, 1699, 1701, 1702 and 1711; was twice representative to the General Court (once in 1693), and captain in 1689. His house in Dartmouth (now Fairhaven) was burned by the Indians in 1675, and he fled with his family to the blockhouse which had been built by John Cook. Mr. Taber afterward built another house, a portion of the south end of which was standing in 1908. He married (first) Esther Cook, daughter of Rev. John and Sarah (Warren) Cook, he a son of Francis Cook(e) and she a daughter of Richard Warren, both of the “Mayflower.” She died in 1671, and he married (second) in June, 1672, Mary Thompson, born in 1650, daughter of John and Mary (Cook) Thompson, of Dartmouth, and granddaughter of Francis Cook, of Plymouth; she died May 3, 1734. To his first marriage were born:

  1. Thomas Taber, Oct. 2, 1668
  2. Esther Taber, April 17, 1671

The eleven children of the second marriage were:

  1. Lydia Taber, born Aug. 8, 1673
  2. Sarah Taber, Jan. 28, 1675
  3. Mary Taber, March 18, 1677
  4. Joseph Taber, March 7, 1679
  5. Thomas Taber, Feb. 22, 1681
  6. John Taber (twin to Thomas)
  7. Jacob Taber, July 26, 1683
  8. Jonathan Taber, Sept. 22, 1685
  9. Bethiah Taber, Sept. 2, 1687
  10. Philip Taber, Feb. 7, 1689
  11. Abigail Taber, May 2. 1693

Joseph Taber, son of Thomas and Mary (Thompson), born March 7, 1679, died in 1752. He married May 28, 1701-02, Elizabeth Spooner, daughter of John, and they became the parents of thirteen children:

  1. Amos Taber, born April 29, 1703
  2. Sarah Taber, March 2, 1704-05
  3. Benjamin Taber, Dec. 2, 1706
  4. Mary Taber, June 6, 1708-09
  5. Joseph Taber, Feb. 15, 1709-10
  6. Rebekah Taber, Oct. 11, 1711
  7. Elener Taber, March 28, 1713
  8. John Taber, Aug. 8, 1715
  9. Thomas Taber, Sept. 20, 1717
  10. Elizabeth Taber, Nov. 2, 1718
  11. Peter Taber, April 6, 1721
  12. William Taber, March 15, 1722
  13. Abegael Taber, April 16, 1725

Benjamin Taber, son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Spooner), born Dec. 2, 1706, married Dec. 5, 1729, Susannah Lewis, and became the father of thirteen children:

  1. Elizabeth Taber, born Sept. 17, 1730
  2. Joseph Taber, Feb. 28, 1731-32
  3. Benjamin Taber, Oct. 10, 1733 (died in 1820)
  4. John Taber, Oct. 9, 1735
  5. Archilus Taber, July 26, 1737
  6. Joshua Taber, Jan. 28, 1739-40
  7. Mary Taber, June 14, 1741
  8. Jeduthan Taber, March 15, 1742-43
  9. Rebecca Taber, Feb. 28, 1744-45
  10. Thomas Taber, March 22, 1747
  11. Jeremiah Taber, April 3, 1749
  12. Lewis Taber, Oct. 7, 1751
  13. Joshua Taber, Feb. 23, 1753

Benjamin Taber (2), son of Benjamin and Susannah (Lewis), born Oct. 10, 1733, married (first) in 1757, Hannah Gardner (born in 1737, in Nantucket, Mass., died in 1766), and (second) Eunice (Worth) Gardner (born in 1731, died in 1814), the latter a widow with one daughter, Lydia Bunker. By the first marriage there were three children:

  1. Barnabas Taber, born in 1761, died in 1767
  2. Daniel Taber, born June 23, 1764, died in 1839
  3. Benjamin Taber, born Feb. 2, 1766, died in 1846.

By the second marriage there were also three:

  1. Barnabas Taber, born April 24, 1768, died in 1853
  2. Susannah Taber, born April 7, 1770, died in 1839
  3. Francis Taber, born Sept. 16, 1773, died in 1854

Barnabas Taber, son of Benjamin (2) and Eunice (Worth), born April 24, 1768, married May 6, 1796, Mary Congdon, born Sept. 20, 1777, and they became the parents of the following children:

  1. William C. Taber, born Feb. 24, 1797, died in 1886
  2. Charles Taber, born June 10, 1799, died Aug. 3, 1819
  3. Benjamin Taber, born Nov. 25, 1801, died June 9, 1821
  4. Edmund Taber, born July 16, 1804, died July 16, 1816
  5. Susan Taber, born April 14, 1807, died May 13, 1845
  6. Mary C. Taber, born March 10, 1810, died June 18, 1844
  7. Isaac C. Taber, born Feb. 18, 1815, died Sept. 29, 1862
  8. Edmund Taber (2), born Nov. 18, 1819, is still living in New Bedford

William C. Taber, son of Barnabas and Mary (Congdon) Taber, born Feb. 24, 1797, died in 1886. He married (first) Hannah T. Sherman and (second) Rhoda Howland. His children were:

  1. Elizabeth G. Taber, born July 18, 1820
  2. Charles Taber, April 20, 1822
  3. Ruth S. Taber, May 19, 1824
  4. Augustus Taber, Feb. 13, 1826
  5. Ruth S. Taber (2), Dec. 23, 1827 (married Robert L. Murray)
  6. Abraham Taber, July 29, 1830
  7. Abraham Taber (2), Aug. 3, 1832 (died in 1898)
  8. Susan Taber, May 29, 1835 (married William Thompson)
  9. William C. Taber, Oct. 3, 1837 (died in 1907)
  10. Mary Anna Taber, July 30, 1840
  11. David Taber, July 30, 1840 (has a summer home in Greenwich, and is in business in New York)
  12. John E. Taber, Feb. 9, 1844 (living in New York)
  13. Robert B. Taber, May 4, 1846

Charles Taber, son of William C. and Hannah T. (Sherman) Taber, was born April 20, 1822, and died Nov. 17, 1887. He was educated in the Friends’ Boarding School in Providence, and at Haverford (Pa.) College. Returning home he became a clerk in his father’s book store on Union street, and about 1843 became a partner in the firm, which was known successively as William C. Taber & Son, William C. Taber & Sons, C. & A. Taber and Charles Taber & Co., his brothers Augustus and William C. and Mr. Asa C. Pierce being at different times in the business. It was enlarged by taking in the corner store and by starting a branch store on Purchase street, and when the Cummings building was erected it was located there in two connected stores. A large bindery and a nautical store for the manufacture of nautical instruments and their sale was connected with the lower store. In connection with the book store there was a publishing business. Among the more important works issued by the firm were several numbers of the New Bedford Directory. They carried also a large line of pictures and art goods. About 1859 Mr. Taber began the manufacture of ambrotype copies of steel engravings. The book business had been wholly transferred to the Cummings building, and in 1862 he sold his share of it to his brothers Abraham and William C. The ambrotypes led to photographs, artotypes, medallions, picture frames, cards and fancy cabinet ware, until, in association with his brother William C. and his sons Charles M. and Frederic, he was engaged in a business which occupied several buildings and furnished work to some three hundred persons. Its prosperous growth had been due largely to Mr. Taber’s application and perseverance.

In 1893 the Taber Art Company was formed from the above firm of Charles Taber & Co., with William C. Taber, president; W. C. Freeman, vice president; Charles M. Taber, treasurer; Frederic Taber, secretary; H. S. Stratton, W. C. Freeman, C. D. Burrage, Charles M. Taber and Frederic Taber, directors. In 1897 the company was merged into the Taber-Prang Art Company. Mr. Charles Taber was also interested to a considerable extent in the whaling business.

Mr. Taber took a keen interest in Sunday school work, and for some years was superintendent of the Friends’ Bible School on Spring street. Before that he had a Sunday school of his own in his Union street store. He held important positions in the Friends’ New England Yearly Meeting. He was interested in temperance work, but never had any taste for political life. In disposition he was generous and kind-hearted and in business enterprising and active, and he built up one of the most successful establishments in this country, with a national reputation for the large variety of goods manufactured.

Mr. Taber married Sarah J. Howland, and they became the parents of seven children, of whom five survived him:

  1. Charles M. Taber
  2. Frederic Taber
  3. Elizabeth T. Taber, who married Charles E. Price
  4. Sarah H. Taber
  5. Emma T. Taber, who married Edmund W. Bourne
Frederic Taber 1856-1930
Frederic Taber 1856-1930, buried in the Friends Burying Ground, New Bedford, Massachusetts

Frederic Taber, son of Charles and Sarah J. (Howland), was born in New Bedford Feb. 26, 1856, and in his native city received his elementary education. He was graduated from the Friends’ School in Providence in 1872, and entered Brown University, class of 1876, but left after one year to enter the art establishment founded by his father. In 1882 he became a partner in the business, under the firm name of Charles Taber & Co., the other partners being (besides his father) William C. and Charles M. Taber. In 1893 the concern was incorporated as the Taber Art Company with Frederic Taber as secretary, and in August, 1897, it was merged into the Taber-Prang Art Company, which was capitalized at $550,000, and of which Mr. Taber is a director and vice president. He is also president and director of the New Bedford Safe Deposit & Trust Company; president and director of the Taber Mill; treasurer and director of the New Bedford Storage Warehouse Company; treasurer and member of the executive committee of the trustees of the New Bedford Textile School; director of the Automatic Telephone Company of New Bedford, the City Manufacturing Corporation, the Soule Mill, the Quissett Manufacturing Company, the Acushnet Cooperative Bank, the New Bedford Cooperative Bank and the New Bedford Gas and Edison Light Company; and member of the school committee of the Moses Brown School, Providence, Rhode Island.

Mr. Taber was a member of the city council two years. He is a birthright member of the Society of Friends, clerk of the local meeting and superintendent of the Bible school.

In 1882 Mr. Taber married Elizabeth Delano Howland, daughter of James H. Howland, of New Bedford. She died in 1883, leaving one son, Frederic Howland Taber (who married Helen W. Bourne, daughter of Standish Bourne, of New Bedford). In 1895 Mr. Taber married (second) Mary E.. daughter of John M. Williams, of New Bedford.


Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts: containing historical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the old families. 3 Volumes. Beers & Chicago. 1912.

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