For nearly two hundred and seventy-five years the Packard family has been one prominent and influential in New England, and it has become a most numerous family, too, many of whose members both at home and abroad have given a good account of themselves. Samuel Packard, the immigrant ancestor of this family, became one of the early settlers of the ancient town of Bridgewater, and all of the name who have gone from the Bridgewaters were probably descendants of his; in fact, nearly all of the name in this country can be traced to that place. The genealogical records following
For the past hundred years – during almost the lifetime, as it were, of Fall River and its entire industrial life – the name Slade has been continually identified with that industrial life and also prominent in other lines of effort in that great city of spindles. In 1812-13, when the real substantial pioneer establishments in the cloth making industry of Fall River were projected and completed – the Troy Cotton and Woolen Manufactory and the Fall River Manufactory – began the Slade name in this connection, Eber Slade of Somerset being one of the most prominent promoters of one of the corporations; he became its first treasurer and filled the position until in the middle twenties. William Slade of Somerset was one of the owners of the site of these first establishments, and was himself an original proprietor of the Pocasset and Watuppa Manufacturing Companies. The brothers Jonathan and William Lawton Slade were among the founders of the celebrated cotton mills of Fall River, both becoming presidents of the corporation. John Palmer Slade, another of Somerset’s sons, figured largely not only in the industrial life of the city but in other lines, becoming president of both the Shove and Laurel Lake Mills. George W. Slade, one of the “forty-niners” of the Pacific coast, was for full fifty years one of the extensive and wholesale merchants of Fall River and his name, too, is coupled with the city’s industrial life. And of younger generations one or more of the sons of some of these are at this time officially and otherwise connected with this industrial life and in other lines, notably Leonard N. and Everett N. Slade, of the firm of John P. Slade & Son, insurance and real estate; David F. Slade, member of the law firm of Slade & Borden; and Abbott E. Slade, now treasurer of the Laurel Lake Mills.
Edward Hunt’s “Weymouth ways and Weymouth people: Reminiscences” takes the reader back in Weymouth Massachusetts past to the 1830s through the 1880s as he provides glimpses into the people of the community. These reminiscences were mostly printed in the Weymouth Gazette and provide a fair example of early New England village life as it occurred in the mid 1800s. Of specific interest to the genealogist will be the Hunt material scattered throughout, but most specifically 286-295, and of course, those lucky enough to have had somebody “remembered” by Edward.
SOULE (New Bedford family). The family bearing this name at New Bedford, Mass., is a branch of the Old Plymouth family, descending from George Soule, one of the “Mayflower” Pilgrims and a signer of the compact in 1620. The present head of the family is the Hon. Rufus Albertson Soule, citizen soldier, now collector of the port of New Bedford, who for many years has been a conspicuous figure in the business and political life of that place, a public servant of high and honorable service, one who as man, citizen and neighbor enjoys that popularity that comes to but few.
ROBERT THOMPSON DAVIS, M. D., late of Fall River, physician, promoter, State senator, mayor, congressman, etc., was one of the most prominent figures in the public and industrial life of Fall River, and as well one of its most widely known and wealthiest citizens. Dr. Davis was the son of John and Sarah (Thompson) Davis, and was born Aug. 28, 1823, in County Down, Province of Ulster, North of Ireland.
Trailing through broad and verdant valleys, they went, their progress often arrested by hundreds of acres of plum trees bending to the ground with tempting fruit; crossing oak ridges where the ground was covered with loaded grapevines, through suffocating creek-bottom thickets, undergrowth of vines and briars, laboring up rocky hillsides and laboring down again, the horses picking their way through impeding rocks and boulders, until on the twenty-ninth of the month, two hundred miles from Fort Gibson, General Leavenworth and his staff reached Captain Dean’s camp, a mile or two from the Washita, where there were quartered two companies of
The Stetson family of Bridgewater is one of the oldest and most prominent in that section of the State, and it has for upward of two centuries been identified with the manufacturing interests of the town, its representatives being the founders of the iron industry of Bridgewater. Especial reference is made to Capt. Abisha Stetson, who was one of the first to engage in the iron business; his son, Nahum Stetson, whose name was a household word in his native town, and who by his great foresight, enterprise and progressive ideas built up the great Bridgewater Iron Works; and the latter’s sons and grandsons, all men of substance and good citizenship.
The Sumner family, to which the late Mrs. George Barstow Stetson belonged, is an old and prominent family of New England, descended from one William Sumner, who was born at Bicester, England, in 1605, son of Roger Sumner, of Bicester, Oxfordshire, and his wife Joane (Franklin).
William Sumner, the only child of Roger and Joane, married Oct. 22, 1625, Mary West, and they came to America with their four children in 1636, locating at Dorchester, Mass. He was made a freeman of the Colony May 17, 1637, and held many offices of importance, being selectman for nearly a quarter of a century. He was deputy from Dorchester to the General Court for eight years. He died Dec. 9. 1688, surviving his wife, who died June 7, 1676. Both are buried at Dorchester.
Lawrence Wilkinson, the first of the race here in New England, was born in Lanchester, County of Durham, England, a son of William Wilkinson by his wife Mary, sister of Sir John Conyers, Bart., and the grandson of Lawrence Wilkinson, of Harpley House, Durham. He was a loyalist, and at the surrender of Newcastle, 1644, was taken prisoner by the Parliamentary and Scotch troops. At this time he held a lieutenant’s commission. He was deprived of his property, and his estates sequestered by order of Parliament. After having obtained special permission from Lord Fairfax, chief commander of the Parliamentary army, he embarked with his wife and child for New England, leaving, according to Somerby, in 1652. Arriving at Providence he signed the civil compact and received a gift of twenty-five acres of land and commenced his pioneer life. He was admitted as one of the original “Proprietors of Providence.” He soon acquired a large real estate, and held a prominent position among his fellow citizens. He was frequently chosen to fill offices of trust in the infant colony; was elected a member of the Legislature in 1659 and subsequently. He was an active business man. He participated in the Indian wars. He lived in his adopted country nearly half a century. His death occurred in 1692.
The Washburn name in this country is a distinguished one. Perhaps it is as yet only a tradition that John Washburn, the ancestor of the Washburns here considered, was he who first served as secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Several governors of our States have borne the Washburn name and at one and the same time four of the name occupied seats in the United States Congress. And the branch of the Massachusetts Washburns seated in Middleboro and vicinity have borne no small part in the annals of the Old Colony and later Commonwealth. Capt. Amos Washburn was in command of a company in the American Revolution; one of his sons, a graduate of Harvard, was a talented lawyer at Middleboro; Edward Washburn, brother of Capt. Amos, was another patriot in the Continental army; and his son, Gen. Abiel Washburn, was one of the leading men of his time in Middleboro, the acknowledged leader of the Federal party, and for thirty-six years held commissions through the different grades of office in the State militia; while Luther, Cyrus and the late Bradford Sumner Washburn, in turn, were substantial citizens of the town, and the latter’s son, Judge Nathan Washburn, lawyer and present Justice of the Courts of Plymouth county, is giving a good account of himself.