The branch of the Lawton family so long resident in New Bedford, and in each generation active in public affairs, but recently represented by the late Charles H. and Horace A. Lawton, well known druggists, the former long prominent in the government of the town and an important factor in the financial and commercial life, is descended from George Lawton, a brother of Thomas and possibly of John also, all of Newport as early as 1638 or 1639. George and Thomas were among the twenty-eight signers of the Compact, April 30, 1639, for the formation of a “civil body politicke.” George Lawton was made a freeman in 1655; member of the Court of Trials, 1648; deputy, 1665-72-75-76-79-80; assistant, 1680-81-82-83-84-85-86-89-90. He and five other assistants, with the deputy governor, wrote a letter to their Majesties, William and Mary, congratulating them on their accession to the Crown, and informing them that since the deposition of Governor Andros the former government under the charter had been resumed. He seems to have been prominent in all the Colonial affairs of his time. He died Oct. 5, 1693, and was buried in his orchard at Portsmouth. He married Elizabeth Hazard, daughter of Thomas and Martha Hazard.
John Washburn, first of the name here, was an early settler in New England, and was a resident of Duxbury, Mass., before 1632, in which year he had an action in court against Edward Doten. He was named in the assessment of taxes in 1633, and in 1634 bought a place from Edward Bonparse known as “Eagle’s Nest.” He and his two sons, John and Philip, were included with those able to bear arms in 1643. He and his son John were original proprietors of Bridgewater, and they with the son Philip settled in the town as early as 1665. He died in Bridgewater before 1670.
Thomas Beatty Inness, of Brockton, one of that city’s enterprising and progressive citizens, is a native of Pennsylvania, born at Pottsville March 4, 1848, only son of the late James A. and Mary Williams (Beatty) Inness, and a descendant of sturdy Scotch-Irish.
The Read family of which the late Paddock Richmond Read was a descendant, is one of the oldest and best known families of this section of New England. The first of the name in New England wasJohn Reade, a cordwainer by trade, according to tradition, as is his coming from Plymouth, England. He came to this country and was an inhabitant of Newport, R. I.
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 McCullough family is of Irish extraction. Patrick McCullough, grandfather of John McCullough, was a native of the parish of Altacamicussey, County Tyrone, Ireland, where he lived and died. He followed farming. He married Mary Conway, who was a native of the same county, and their son, John McCullough, was born on a farm in Altacamicussey, County Tyrone, June 15, 1821. There he grew to manhood, and what little education he received was obtained in the local school. Meantime he worked at farm labor and also obtained some knowledge of the mason’s trade. He there married about 1845 Alice Devlin, who was a native of the parish of Pallough, County Tyrone, and daughter of Michael and Annie Devlin. In the spring of 1847, with his wife and an infant son, he sailed for the New World, making the trip on a sailing vessel bound for New York. After a passage of six weeks they landed at that port, where they remained three months, during which time they lost their first-born, the infant son mentioned.
William Sturdy, as he was thenceforth known, then shipped on an American schooner lying at Leghorn, and bound for the United States. He finally landed at Beverly, Mass., June 9, 1809. From the port of Beverly he made several voyages as mate of American schooners, but finally abandoned the seas. He married in Beverly Clarissa Whittemore, who was born in that town Jan. 28, 1794. After their marriage they settled in Attleboro, Bristol county, where Mr. Sturdy bought land lying on the west shore of the Falls pond and engaged in farming until 1827. Here ten of his fourteen children were born. About that time, 1827, “the initial efforts in cotton manufacturing on the Blackstone had opened the way for the employment of minors,” and Mr. Sturdy availed himself of this opportunity because it had become impossible for him to procure a proper subsistence for his large family from his farm. In that year he sold out and removed to the Blackstone Valley, locating at Slatersville, town of North Smithfield, R. I., where he and his children found employment in the cotton mills. He later settled in Blackstone, Mass., where he died Oct. 16, 1834. He was a hardworking man, honest and upright in his dealings, and his large family of fourteen children reflected great credit on their home training. The wife and mother died Feb. 13, 1856.
Some four generations of this surname have lived in Taunton through the past hundred years, a branch of the ancient Cape Cod Eldridge family. Reference is made to some of the posterity of Eli Eldridge, whose son, Eli Henry, and the latter’s sons, John Henry and Capt. Albert Stanley Eldridge, all either together or in turn have been identified with one of the solid industries of the city – one of their own founding and fostering and developing, which has come to be an important factor in Taunton history. This was the britannia establishment of Eldridge & Co., whose promoters and owners have long been men of substance and prominent in Taunton’s social and business life.
The Connecticut-Massachusetts branch of the earlier family of this name of the old Bay State is one of long and honorable standing in New England, and as well of historic connection. The especial family here considered, and which for designation is styled the Taunton family, is that of pome of the descendants of Capt. Jabez Fox, of Berkley, Mass., one of whose sons was the late Henry Hodges Fox and the latter’s son the present Hon. William Henry Fox, lawyer and judge, who for forty and more years has been judge of the First District court of Bristol county and otherwise prominently identified with the public affairs of the city of Taunton.
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
This article briefly deals ith one branch only of the New England Wilcox family – with some of the descendants of Daniel Wilcox, who had a grant of fifteen acres of land at Portsmouth, R. I., Dec. 10, 1656, and who later, in 1664, bought a house in Dartmouth, and was constable there in the year following. Mr. Wilcox later became a resident of the town of Tiverton, being an inhabitant there on the organization of the town, March 2, 1692.
Nelson Sherman, who was for many years extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits in the town of Carver, Mass., and is now making his home in the city of Brockton, is regarded as one of the substantial men of Plymouth county. He is a descendant of several of this Commonwealth’s earliest settled and most prominent families, and was born March 14, 1841, in North Carver, son of Henry and Christinai (Crocker) Sherman.
Most of the Frenches of the Bridgewaters and vicinity descend from John French, of Braintree. This John French was born about 1612, in England. Before coming to Braintree, of which point he was an inhabitant in 1640, and a freeman in 1644, he had been a short time at Dorchester. He died Aug. 16, 1692, aged about eighty. His wife Grace died Feb. 28, 1680-81, aged fifty-nine years. Walter Lyman French, the gentleman whose name introduces this article was one of Brockton’s enterprising business men, one who had achieved marked success in various branches of industry and trade. He was born in Brockton Mass. (then North Bridgewater) May 4, 1843, son of the late Francis M. and. Nancy L. (Blake) French. Walter is a direct descendant of John and Grace French of Braintree Mass.
Walter Ballou, one of the representative citizens and well-known jewelry manufacturers of North Attleboro, where for upward of a half century he has been a member of the jewelry manufacturing firm of R. Blackinton & Co., is a native of the State of Rhode Island, born in the town of Cumberland Feb. 20, 1835, son of Preston and Harriet M. (Brown) Ballou. The Ballou family is among the oldest and most distinguished of Rhode Island. Of Norman-French origin, it is descended from Gunebored Ballou, who was probably a marshal in the army of William the Conqueror and took part in the memorable battle of Hastings, 1066.
Maj. Herbert Allyne Clark (deceased), of Attleboro, Mass., who in recent years was Regimental Quartermaster of the United States Volunteer Army, and a man widely known, was the only surviving son of Samuel W. and Charity H. (Cushman) Clark, and was born in Middleboro, Mass., Feb. 22, 1859.
Emery Moore Low, former mayor of Brockton, and one of that city’s most influential and highly honored citizens, is a native of Massachusetts, born at Roxbury March 29, 1849, son of the late Nathaniel and Abigail E. H. (Clouston) Low. Emery is descended from William Low and his wife Mary, of Chelsea, Mass. They arrived in Chelsea, before 1761, on June 17th of which year he purchased of David Jenkins a “dwelling house, barn and buildings” and eighteen acres of land, which was originally a part of the Hasey farm. He bought other property in 1763, 1774 and 1778.
This branch of the Horton family has furnished to Attleboro, Mass., three generations of business men. Gideon Martin Horton, who was a well known merchant there a half century ago, and his four sons, Everett Southworth, Edwin Jackson, Gideon Martin and James Jackson Horton, all became successful jewelry manufacturers and prominent citizens. The eldest and last surviving brother, the late Maj. Everett S. Horton and his nephew, Raymond Martin Horton, were the only male representatives of the name residing there at the time of the Major’s death.
Henry Huttleston Rogers, Fairhaven’s most distinguished son, was born there Jan. 29, 1840, and died May 19, 1909, in New York City. Of typical New England stock and Old Colony antecedents, his continued identity with Fairhaven made him dearly beloved in that community. The Rogers family is, perhaps, one of the most ancient and numerous of the old settled families in the country. There were no less than a dozen who bore the name of John Rogers among the seventeenth century emigrants, and one of this Christian name was president of Harvard College in the latter part of that century. It is the purpose in this article to deal, briefly, with only one of the New England Rogers families – that of which Henry Huttleston Rogers was a representative.
George Otis Jenkins, one of Whitman’s best known manufacturers and most progressive citizens, was born in Dorchester, Mass., Nov. 22, 1846, son of James and Susan (Holbrook) Jenkins, and a descendant of Edward Jenkins, of Scituate. Also includes a brief genealogy of the Bates Family of Hingham Massachusetts from which George’s wife, Abby Bates descended.