The ancient town of Bridgewater, the first interior settlement of the Old Colony, has been the birthplace and the home of many who have made the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts rich in stories of good lives devoted to the development and uplift of the community, and not the least among these may be mentioned the late Capt. Benjamin Beal Howard, philanthropist, whose name is perpetuated in Howard Seminary, which he founded, and his son, the late Francis Edward Howard, philanthropist, statesman and upright, patriotic and useful citizen.
The Keith family is one of the oldest of southeastern Massachusetts. Its founder in America was Rev. James Keith, born in 1644, who came to America, landing in Boston in 1662. He became minister of the Bridgewater Church, where he administered to the spiritual needs of the people for half a century. He died July 23, 1719. He was twice married. His first wife was Susannah Edson, daughter of Deacon Samuel Edson.
The Arnold family of Abington, one of the oldest in southeastern Massachusetts, is ably and worthily represented at the present time by Capt. Moses N. Arnold and his brother, William B. Arnold, both veterans of the Civil war and well-known shoe manufacturers of North Abington. The first of the family in America was Joseph Arnold, of Braintree. Going a step backward, crossing the ocean, the first of the Arnold family to adopt a surname was Roger Arnold, who was a descendant in the twelfth generation from Ynir, showing the Arnolds to be of great antiquity, the family having its origin
The name Keith has been a conspicuous one in the history of this Commonwealth since the first interior settlement was made, and the descendants of this time-honored family have been prominently identified with the development and growth of this community from the time of the ordination of the first minister of the settlement – Rev. James Keith, in 1664 – down to the present time, covering a period of nearly 250 years. This article is to treat particularly of the branch of descendants of Rev. James Keith to which belonged the late Simeon Cary Keith, who was an honored citizen of West Bridgewater, and his three sons, Warren R. Keith, who is president of the Independent Oil Company, of Brockton; Edward H. Keith, who is ex-mayor of the city of Brockton, and general inspector of the George E. Keith Company’s shoe factories; and S. Elliott Keith, who was a foreman in the extensive shoe manufacturing plant of the George E. Keith Company for a number of years and is now secretary of the Independent Oil Company. The ancestry of this branch of the family follows in chronological order.
This page treats the Leach Genealogy of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, starting with Lawrence Leach, the immigrant ancestor, and descending to the James Cushing Leach family of Bridgewater, Mass.
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.
EMBERT HOWARD, long one of the most successful business men of Brockton, of which city he is also one of the foremost citizens, is a worthy representative of a family which has historic identity with the earliest settling of New England. For two hundred and sixty and more years the family bearing this name has dwelt in the Bridgewaters and in the region of country thereabouts, the posterity of John Haward, who was one of the early settlers of Duxbury, Mass. The genealogy following traces the line in chronological order from this immigrant ancestor.
Horace Alden Keith, founder of the Brockton Webbing Company, one of the successful and thriving industries of Brockton, and one of that city’s enterprising and progressive business men, is a descendant on both his paternal and maternal sides of historic old New England ancestry. Mr. Keith was born in West Bridgewater May 25, 1862, eldest son of the late Henry Snell and Thalia (Alden) Keith. The ancestral line of the branch of the Keith family in this country to which Horace Alden Keith belongs, and which follows, is given in chronological order from the first American ancestor. Rev. James Keith, born in 1644, was educated in Aberdeen, Scotland (as tradition says at the expense of a maiden aunt), where he was graduated likely from Marischal College, his name appearing on the roll of 1657, said college having been founded by George, the fifth Earl of Keith Marischal, in 1593. At the age of eighteen years he emigrated to this country, arriving at Boston in 1662. He was introduced to the church at Bridgewater by Dr. Increase Mather, and became settled as the minister of the Bridgewater Church Feb. 18, 1664. Rev. James Keith passed away in West Bridgewater July 23, 1719, aged seventy-six years, having labored in the ministry of the town for fifty-six years.
Nicholas Snow, a native of England, came to this country in 1623 in the ship “Ann,” locating in Plymouth, where he had a share in the division of land in 1624. In 1634 he removed to Eastham, where he became a prominent citizen. His home was on the road from Plymouth to Eel river, on the Westerly side. He was admitted a freeman in 1633, and was elected town clerk at the first meeting of the town of Eastham, holding that office sixteen years. He was deputy to the General Court from 1648, three years; selectman from 1663, seven years. He and his son Mark signed the call to Rev. John Mayo to settle as their minister in 1655. He was one of Gov. Thomas Prence’s associates. He married at Plymouth, Constance, daughter of Stephen Hopkins, who came over in the “Mayflower.” Constance herself came in the “Mayflower.” She died in October, 1677. Mr. Snow died Nov. 15, 1676, in Eastham, Mass.
The family bearing the name of Keith at Taunton, whose head was the late Edwin Keith, Esq., who for some sixty years was engaged in business there and was one of the highly esteemed and respected citizens of the place, for upward of twenty-five years connected with the Taunton Gas Company, long its superintendent and treasurer, and who in various capacities served his adopted town and city officially, is a branch of the ancient Bridgewater Keith family, the progenitor of which was Rev. James Keith, formerly of Scotland, who came to New England and soon thereafter became pastor of the church at Bridgewater, which he . served for fifty and more years.