John Spence, who during his lifetime was a well-known citizen and successful business man of Rockland, Mass., was a native of Ireland, born there Dec. 12, 1834, son of James and Mary (Coffey) Spence. Mr. Spence left his native home for America in 1848, in his fourteenth year. He located in Massachusetts and learned the trade of shoemaker, at which he worked in a factory in East Abington, now Rockland, where he continued until 1875. He then started in business for himself, manufacturing heels, being a pioneer in that business. At this he continued for a number of years, and then in 1885 he started in the leather business, opening a store on South street, Boston, and a branch house in Chicago. In 1895 he established the Brockton Leather Company, which he conducted with great success until his death. He was also interested in other enterprises, being one of the promoters of the Rockland & Abington street railway, and serving as vice president and a director of the company during its existence. He was also a stockholder and director of the Abington & Rockland Electric Light & Power Company, and was a trustee of the Rockland Savings Bank until his death. He took quite a prominent and active part in the public affairs of Rockland, was a member of the board of water commissioners, and a member of the Commercial Club. Through his industry and thrift he built up a successful business and gained a considerable fortune. He was a consistent member of the Roman Catholic Church.