Milton Mills’ Brierley Mill – c1864-18

By Muriel Bristol | February 16, 2020

The Mitchell-Cony directory of 1908 set forth the following sequence of occupants of the Brierley felt mill at Milton Mills.

On the site of the shoe factory occupied by Andrews Bros., Edward Brierly erected a felt mill about forty years ago, where he carried on a large business, employing a fair number of hands until it was burned in the spring or early part of the summer of 1873. He rebuilt the mill soon afterward, and the property later came into the possession of David H. Buffum of Somersworth. After Mr. Buffum’s death, his son, Harry Buffum, sold it to Varney & Lane, who began the manufacture of shoes. The next owners of the factory were the Gale Shoe Co., of Haverhill, who, after several years of successful operation, leased the property to Andrews & Co., of Everett, Mass., who, under the name of the Boynton Shoe Co., carry on the industry successfully at the present time (Mitchell-Cony, 1908).

English immigrant Edward Brierley erected his felt mill at Milton Mills “about forty years ago,” i.e., about 1864. It burned in the spring or early summer of 1873, and was rebuilt “soon afterward.” It came later into the hands of felt manufacturer David H. Buffum. After his death (December 1882), his son, Harry Buffum, sold it to Varney & Lane, who began to manufacture shoes, rather than felt. Next came the Gale Shoe company, and Andrews, Wasgatt Co., dba Boynton Shoe Co. After Boynton Shoe Co., and beyond the Mitchell-Cony sequence, came Timson & Co.

With the exception of the original Edward Brierley operation, and, briefly, David H. Buffum, Jr., few, if any, of the following company officers resided in Milton Mills. Their main factories were elsewhere, and they employed local superintendents to manage their Milton Mills “country factory” satellites.

Edward Brierley – c1864-79

Edward Brierley was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, England, May 19, 1817, son of John and Mary Brierley.

Edward Brierley arrived in the U.S. at New York, NY, December 24, 1841. He married, probably in Lowell, MA, circa 1843, Margaret M. Thompson. She was born in Ireland (alternatively given as Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland) in 1812.

Agnes Jane Brierley, daughter of Edward and Margaret Brierley, was born in Lowell, MA, June 17, 1844. Margaret Briley was born in Lowell, November 15, 1845. Frances Brailey was born in Lowell, May 17, 1847. Edward James Brierley was baptized in Lowell, MA, June 24, 1849.

Edward Brierley resided in Lowell, MA, when he was naturalized in the local police court there, May 31, 1851.

Edward Brierley and his family paid a visit to the “old country” in 1852. Edwd. Brierley, aged thirty-six years (b. England), Margt. Brierley, aged thirty-five years (b. England), Agnes Brierley, aged eight years (b. England), Francis Brierley, aged five years (b. England), and Edwd. Brierley, aged three years (b. England), returned together in the 1500-ton packet ship Daniel Webster, in 1853. The Daniel Webster, Captain Howard commanding, departed from Liverpool, England, January 30, 1853, and arrived in Boston, MA, on Saturday, February 26, 1853.

Marine Intelligence. ARRIVALS AND CLEARANCES AT BOSTON. Saturday, February 26. Arrived Ship Daniel Webster, Howard, Liverpool Jan. 30; brig Montrose, Poland, Penacola (Boston Globe, March 5, 1853).

Edward Brierly established a block printing business at Milton Mills in 1850 [more likely in or after 1853] and after a few years of successful business purchased a saw mill and privilege on the site of the present Brierly mill where he soon began the manufacture of felt goods. The rapid increase of his business soon compelled him to make extensive additions and in a short time he had extensive mills on both sides of the river doing a very remunerative business (Scales, 1914).

Daughter Frances M. Brierley died October 26, 1860, aged thirteen years (buried in Milton Mills). Edward Briley, a factory operative, aged forty-three years (born England), headed a Milton Mills household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Hannah [SIC] Briley, aged forty years (born Ireland [SIC]).

An “enterprising” Edward Brierley was mentioned in the Vulpes letter of January 1864, as being about to build a mill in Milton Mills.

Daughter Agnes J. Brierly of Milton Mills, N.H., was a junior at the Abbot Female Academy in Andover, MA, in July 1864. Among other subjects, she was a pupil in instrumental music. She married in Boston, MA, June 7, 1870, Henry H. Townsend, a merchant, she of Milton, NH, aged twenty-six years, and he of Boston, aged twenty-seven years. (He was a member of Milton Mills’ Townsend blanket factory family).

Edward Brierly, a felt manufacturer, aged fifty-three years (born England), headed a Milton Mills household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Margaret Brierly, keeping house, aged fifty-four years (born Scotland), and Edward J. Brierly, a clerk in a felt manufactory, aged twenty-one years (born MA). Edward Brierly had real estate valued at $3,000 and personal estate valued at $2,000.

A William Brierley (1828-1894), also an English immigrant, appeared in Milton at this time. He would seem to have been a younger half-brother or cousin of Edward Brierley, in whose mill he was working. (He had in 1870 a wife, Elizabeth E. Brierley, and children, Edward J. Brierley, John W. Brierley, Sarah A. Brierley, and Cora H.J. Brierley).

Edward Brierley was mentioned also in the Milton business directories of 1869-70, 1871, 1873, 1874, 1876, and 1877.

In the summer of 1873 these mills were entirely destroyed by fire thus sweeping away in an hour the accumulations of years of hard labor. Mr. Brierly soon began the erection of a new mill but losing largely by the insolvency of insurance companies he became somewhat embarrassed and was obliged to compromise with his creditors. His health soon after failing he was unable to recover his former financial position and at his death the property went into other hands and has since been operated by other parties (Scales, 1914).

WANTS. WANTED – A second-hand church or factory bell weighing about (900) nine hundred pounds; good tone. Also a second-hand Otis elevator for four stories. Address E. BRIERLEY & SON, Milton Mills, N.H. (Boston Globe, April 22, 1874).

(See also news articles of 1873, regarding the fire, and news articles of 1874, regarding the reconstructed mill).

Edward Brierly of Milton Mills filed for a U.S. patent (No. 166,450), June 1, 1875, for a frame for dying cloth (U.S. Patent Office, 1875).

MILL SUSPENDED. GREAT FALLS, N.H., Aug. 10. – Brierley’s felt mills, at Milton. N.H., have suspended, throwing forty hands out of employment. Cause assigned, No sales for the goods already on hand (Boston Post, August 11, 1875).

Edward Brierly died in Milton Mills, July 7, 1878, aged sixty-one years.

His widow, Margaret M. Brierley, keeping house, aged sixty-six years (b. Ireland), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. Her household included her boarder, John Condon, a wool sorter, aged twenty-six years (b. SC), her niece, Agnes Condon, a housekeeper, aged seventeen years (b. NH), and her help, Rollin C. Town, a laborer, aged twenty-six years (b. NH).

Margaret M. (Thompson) Brierly died in Milton, July 30, 1888, aged seventy-five years.

The last will of Margaret M. Brierly of Milton Mills, dated May 17, 1886, and proved in Strafford County Probate Court, in September 1888, devised all of her money on hand or at interest to the children of her son, Edward J. Brierly, and the children of her daughter, Agnes J. Townsend; and the rest and residue to her son, Edward J. Brierly, and her daughter, Agnes J. Townsend. Mary E. Berry, Georgie W. Marsh, and Elbridge W. Fox witnessed her signature.

Son Edward J. Brierley, appeared in the Milton directories of 1880, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1887, and 1889, as a Milton Mills grocery merchant (and manufacturer of washing powder (1880-82)). (It was he that spoke up for the Varney & Lane strikers of 1889).

MILTON. We are sorry that our genial friend, Brierley, of the Mills felt shop, did not receive the election on the civil board at Acton (Farmington News, March 13, 1891).

Brierley, EJ, Jr - 1900He and his son, Leroy T. Brierley, appeared in the Milton directories of 1900, and 1902, as keeping a general store at 41 Main street in Milton Mills, with a residence at A.S., M.M., i.e., Acton, ME, side, Milton Mills. [Springvale Road].

Edward J. Brierley, a grocer, aged fifty-one years (b. MA), headed a Acton, ME, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-seven years), Hannah E. [(Lowd)] Brierley, aged fifty-one years (b. ME), and his children, Francese Brierley, aged twenty-three years (b. ME), Helen Brierley, aged twenty-one years (b. ME), Bertha Brierley, at school, aged nineteen years (b. ME), and Ralph Brierley, at school, aged twelve years (b. ME). Edward J. Brierley owned their house, free-and-clear. Hattie E. Brierley was the mother of five children, of whom five were still living.

LOCAL. Leroy T. Brierley of Milton Mills, who is well known by many people in this vicinity, having been employed in his father’s store for the past eight years, has gone to Boston and secured a situation on the Grove Hall surface cars of the Boston elevated railway (Farmington News, July 10, 1903).

Edward J. Brierley died in Acton, ME, January 30, 1906, aged fifty-six years, eight months, and fourteen days. Hannah E. (Lowd) Brierley died in Acton, ME, in 1927.

David Hanson Buffum (and Sons) – 1879-88

Buffum, DHDavid H. Buffum was born in North Berwick, ME, November 10, 1820, son of Timothy and Anna (Austin) Buffum.

He married in Somersworth, NH, January 26, 1853, Charlotte E. Stickney. She was born in Great Falls, Somersworth, NH, April 19, 1831, daughter of Alexander H. and Betsy H. (Chesley) Stickney.

David H. Baffum, a bank cashier, aged thirty-nine years (b. ME), headed a Somersworth (“Great Falls P.O.”), NH, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Charlotte Baffum, aged thirty years (b. NH), Edgar S. Baffum, aged four years (b. NH), Harry Baffum, aged two years (b. NH), and Cathe. Ainwright, a domestic, aged seventeen years (b. Ireland). David H. Baffum had real estate valued at $5,000 and personal estate valued at $10,000.

David H. Buffum, a manufacturer, aged forty-two years (b. ME). registered for the Class II Civil War military draft in Somersworth, NH, June 30, 1863.

Charlotte E. (Stickney) Buffum died March 8, 1868.

David H. Buffum, a woolen mill agent, aged forty-nine years (b. ME), headed a Somersworth (“Great Falls P.O.”), NH, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included [his children,] Edgar S. Buffum, aged fourteen years (b. NH), Harry Buffum, aged twelve years (b. NH), David H. Buffum, Jr., aged seven years (b. NH), and Charlotte E. Buffum, aged two years (b. NH), [his half-sister,] Sarah Hussey, keeping house, aged forty years (b. ME), and Mary Pillsbury, a domestic servant, aged twenty-one years (b. ME). David H. Buffum had real estate valued at $25,000 and personal estate valued at $50,000.

David H. Buffum was elected a NH State Representative from Somersworth, NH, and was twice elected to the NH Senate. He was Senate President in his second term (Metcalf, et. al., 1878).

Aside from these important manufacturing enterprises, he [Hon. D.H. Buffum] has been several years a partner with L.R. Hersom in the wool pulling and sheep-skin tanning establishment on Berwick at Great Falls, and has, furthermore, extensive manufacturing interests at Milton Mills (Metcalf, et. al., 1878).

D.H. Buffum appeared in the Milton directories of 1880, 1881, and 1882, as a Milton Mills manufacturer of felt cloth, piano and table covers.

David H. Buffum appeared in the Great Falls directory of 1880, as agent and treasurer of G.F. [Great Falls] Woolen Co., with a house on Beacon street. Edgar S. Buffum appeared a boarder at David H. Buffum’s. The Great Falls Woolen Co., with D.H. Buffum as its agent, was situated on Woodvale street.

WATER-POWERS AND MANUFACTORIES. A fine water-power at Milton Mills is occupied on Acton side of the river by a large felting-mill, erected on the site of a smaller one in 1873, the first having been destroyed by fire. The present mill was erected by E. Brierley & Son, and was exempted from local taxation for ten years. D.H. Buffum & Co. became the proprietors and operators in 1879. All kinds of felting goods are manufactured here, giving employment to about 40 skilled operatives and $250 000 capital (Clayton, 1880).

David H. Buffum, a woolen manufacturer and ex-State Senator, aged fifty-nine years (b. ME), headed a Somersworth (“Vil. of Great Falls”), NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his children, Edgar S. Buffum, a woolen manufacturer, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), Harry A. Buffum, an apprentice to a woolen manufacturer, aged twenty-two years (b. NH), David H. Buffum, Jr., at school, aged seventeen years (b. NH), his [half-] sister, Sarah Hussey, a housekeeper, aged forty-five years (b. ME), and his servant, Agnes Davis, a servant, aged twenty-five years (b. NH).

David H. Buffum died in Somersworth, NH, December 29, 1882, aged sixty-two years.

D.H. Buffum appeared in the Milton directories of 1884, and 1887, as a Milton Mills manufacturer of felt cloth, piano and table covers. C.A. Dockham’s textile industry directory of 1884 included further details:

Milton Mills; Milton. Buffum, D.H., & Co., felt, piano and table covers, horse blankets, etc., 6 sets felt cards.

Buffum’s felt mill had a 15-foot stone dam in George F. Swain’s report on Milton Water Power in 1885. D.H. Buffum’s Sons appeared in the textile “Blue Book” directory of 1888, as Milton Mills manufacturers of felt piano [&] table covers, etc. They had one water wheel, two boilers, and six sets of felt cards (Palmer, 1888).

Buffum, DH, Jr
David H. Buffum, Jr.

DAVID HANSON BUFFUM [JR.]. David Hanson Buffum was the son of David Hanson Buffum and Charlotte Elizabeth (Stickney) Buffum. David H. Buffum, the elder (1820-1882), was born at North Berwick, Me. He became a woolen manufacturer, being interested in mills at South Berwick and at Great Falls and Milton Mills, N.H. He was descended from Robert Buffum of Yorkshire, England, who settled at Salem, Mass., in 1634. The Stickneys came from Stickney in England to Rowley, Mass., in 1638. Mrs. Buffum (1831-1868) was born at Great Falls, N.H. Buffum was born in the same place on October 1, 1862. He prepared for college at the Great Falls high school and at Phillips Exeter. He was a member of our freshman glee club, football team, and ball nine, on which he played third base, and he threw a baseball farther than any one else in the class – 305 feet. He was a member of Eta Phi, but left college during sophomore year. He had roomed in freshman year at 82 Wall Street, and in sophomore year at 464 Chapel Street. From 1883 to 1886 Buffum was employed with D. Buffum’s Sons at Milton Mills. Wearying of factory occupations, he went to the car shops of the Boston & Maine Railroad at Waltham, Mass., and had turned to civil engineering when he died in Somersworth N.H., on March 19, 1893. He was unmarried. His older brothers are graduates of Yale, – Edgar S. Buffum, of Newtonville, Mass., in ’77, and Henry A. Buffum, of Rockland, Me., in ’79 (Yale University, 1913).

The Kimball Brothers’ Shoe company of Lynn and Haverhill, MA, considered moving a portion of their production to a three-story mill building in Milton in November 1888, but did not. The Lynn shoe firm of Varney & Lane opened a branch factory there instead. Henry A. “Harry” Buffum is said to have sold the mill to the Varney & Lane Shoe Company.

Varney & Lane Shoe Company – 1888-90

Charles Wesley Varney was born in North Berwick, ME, July 30, 1838, son of Calvin and Eliza (Nowell) Varney.

He married, circa 1864, Ellen N. Lane. She was born in Exeter, NH, November 17, 1840, daughter of Elbridge G. and Elizabeth M. (Moses) Lane.

Charles W. Varney, a shoe manufacturer, aged forty-one years (b. MA [SIC]), headed a Lynn, MA, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Ellen N. Varney, at home, aged thirty-eight years (b. NH); his children, Louise N. Varney, at school, aged sixteen years (b. NH), Lucia D. Varney, at school, aged thirteen years (b. NH), Fred L. Varney, at school, aged nine years (b. MA), Ada M. Varney, at school, aged six years (b. MA), and Ralph W. Varney, at home, aged ten months (b. A); his brother-in-law, Elbridge G. Lane, a clerk in store, aged thirty years (b. NH); his boarder, Ida Lane, at home, aged twenty-eight years (b. ME); and his servants, Sarah Willey, a servant, aged sixty-five years (b. NH), and Maggie Healey, a servant, aged twenty years (b. Ireland). They resided at 7 Commercial Street in Lynn, MA.

Current News. The citizens of Milton Mills, N.H., are raising the sum of $3,000 for the establishment of a shoe factory in the old Buffum felt mill, which will employ 400 hands. If the amount is raised Varney and Lane of Lynn, Mass., will put in the machinery and commence operations in a few weeks. The shop will be a boom to the town (American Engineer, 1888).

Lynn Shoe Firm’s Country Shop. Dover, N.H., Sept. 7. – Varney & Lane of Lynn, Mass., have made arrangements to run the shoe shop recently occupied by Buffum & Co., at Milton Mills. Machinery will be at once put in and work commenced as soon as possible (Boston Globe, September 8, 1888).

Varney & Lane advertised for shoe cutters for its new Milton Mills plant in May 1889.

Varney & Lane’s tenure in Milton Mills was brief: they were at the center of the Milton Mills Shoe Strike of 1889.

The Labor Field. The hands in the employ of Varney & Lane, Milton Mills, N.H., are on strike for an advance in wages. The citizens of the town have voted to support the strikers, and boarding-house keepers and merchants have decided not to board or furnish any aid at any price to workmen who may be obtained to fill the places of those who are out. The firm threaten to remove their business to Lynn. Following are the prices that the workmen have been paid by Varney & Lane together with the rates paid in Lynn for the same work:

McKay stitching, [Milton prices, 60 pair:] 25, [Lynn prices, 60 pair:] 50; Beating out, 20, 40; Trimming, 30, 60; Edge setting, 25, 50; Spring heels and fore part, 25, 1.20; Heel nailing, 15, 50; Heel shaving, 15, 50; Brushing bottoms, 10, 25; Buffing, 20, 40; Lasting polish B.T., 1.30, 1.80; Button boot B.T., 1.50, 2.60; Fargo tips, 72 pairs, 1.60, 2.75; Cutting room polish, 60, 1.00; Button boot, kid, 85, 1.40; Vamping, 1-needle machine, 30, 70; Vamping, 2-needle machine, 15, 60; Closing on, 30, 60; Turning, 30, 55; Working button holes, 25, 90.

The firm claim to have paid full, average, country-factory rates and consider it unjust that prices for making a $1 shoe should be compared with Lynn prices on a $2 to $4 shoe. They have always maintained agreeable relations with their employees, and have paid ruling union prices in Lynn. They state that they will finish up the work they have on hand at Milton Mills, N.H., if possible; if not, they will take it to Lynn. They talk of fitting up the old Donovan factory on Box place for the purpose (Shoe & Leather Reporter, 1889).

Varney & Lane appeared in the Shoe and Leather Annual directory of 1890 as shoe manufacturers in both Acton, ME, and Milton Mills (but not thereafter).

SUBMITTED TO THE BOARD. State Arbitrators Hold Conference with Varney & Co. LYNN, July 10. — The State board of arbitration, which consists of Charles H. Walcott of Concord, Ezra Davol of Taunton and Richard P. Barry of Lynn. came to Lynn this morning to give a bearing on the labor trouble at C.W. Varney & co.’s shoe factory. The difference between the firm and the operatives is a question of price, and the operatives ask that the firm pay the same as ether firms are paying for the same grade of work. The firm expressed its willingness to submit the matter to the State board of arbitration for adjustment and so notified the board. The result was a meeting of the board at City Hall at 10 o’clock this morning. Charles W. Varney, representing the firm, was present, but the operatives were not represented. The conference between the board and the firm was a private one. While the local council is not willing to take part in the hearing, yet the members are willing to meet the firm and discuss matters with the view of settling their differences. The operatives have placed their case in the hands of the local council, and will follow its suggestions. The operatives say that they having nothing to arbitrate, as they simply ask for such prices as have already been established by the State board of arbitration (Boston Globe, July 10, 1890).

[Lucian Newhall] had it [a Lynn South Common Street factory] until 1870 when C.W. Varney it with his brother. They did business under the style of the Varney Bros., and subsequently T.W. Varney & Co. The company was E.G. Lane, Jr., who is now associated with Mr. Varney in the capacity of partner. This has been a fortunate building for the owners, all of whom were successful while doing business in it, none of whom have ever failed. The factory of C.W. Varney & Co., which they now occupy, has a capacity of over fifty cases per day. It goes without saying that the members of this firm are men of integrity, and they are now making a stylish and popular price line of foot wear which merits the attention of the trade. Frederick L. Varney, son of C.W. Varney, gives every indication of following in the footsteps of his predecessor. To the advantages of a modern technical education he adds the experience which has been gained in the factory. The Boston office of C.W. Varney & Co. is 25 High street, where Frederick L. Varney be found on Wednesdays and Saturdays. He is one of the young men of Lynn who are to the front. In this connection it should be stated that C.W. Varney came to Lynn in 1867, and that the firm title of C.W. Varney & Co. has been continued without interruption for 20 years (Boot & Shoe Reporter, 1892).

Echoes from the Factories. C.W. Varney & Co.’s increased space of close on to six thousand square fills an important niche on this season’s run, and the firm would have been unable to fill orders without the new room. Some striking new lines for fall are now being shown by Varney & Co. in boys’ heeled and spring heeled goods (Boot & Shoe Recorder, 1898). 

Charles W. Varney, a shoe manufacturer, aged sixty-two years (b. ME), headed a Lynn, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty-six years), Ellen M. Varney, aged fifty-nine years (b. NH), his children, Fred L. Varney, a shoe manufacturer, aged twenty-nine years (b. MA), and Ada M. Varney, aged twenty-six years (b. NH), and his servants, Katherine Henry, a servant, aged twenty-three years (b. Ireland), and Mary E. MacCurdy, a servant, aged thirty-seven years ((b. Ireland). Charles W. Varney owned their house at 98 Walnut Street, with a mortgage. Ellen M. Varney was the mother of seven children, of whom five were still living.

Ida S. Lane, a widowed boarding-house keeper, aged fifty-three years (b. ME), headed a Boston, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. Her household included her boarders, Charles W. Varney, own income, aged seventy years (b. ME), Ellen N. Varney, own income, aged sixty-nine years (b. NH), Ada M. Varney, own income, aged thirty-five years (b. MA); Kneeland H. Shaffer, a manufacturer’s storage clerk, aged thirty-four years (b. NY); and Mary E. Lang, a Normal school art teacher, aged fifty-five years (b. NY). Ida S. Lane rented their house at 86 St. Stephen’s Street.

Charles W. Varney died in Westborough, MA, March 30, 1915.

CHARLES W. VARNEY DEAD. Westboro Farmer Was Retired Lynn Shoe Manufacturer. WESTBORO, March 30 – Charles W. Varney, a retired Lynn shoe manufacturer, died (his morning at his home, East Main st., at the age of 76. He was born in North Berwick, Me., son of Calvin and Eliza (Norwell) Varney. He was a member of the old Lynn shoe firm of Varney and Lane, but removed to Westboro four years ago and bought Gilmore farm. He leaves besides his wife, Mrs. Ellen Varney, four children, Mrs. George P. Faunce of Lynn, Frederick L. Varney of Portland, Me., Miss Ada M. Varney of Westboro and Ralph W. Varney of Chicago (Boston Globe, March 31, 1915).

Ellen N. (Lane) Varney died in Winnetka, IL, February 17, 1928.

Gale Shoe Company – 1895-04
Gale, Herbert E - Per Antonius M Carolus
Herbert E. Gale

Herbert E. Gale was born in Haverhill, MA, November 13, 1864, son of John E. and Mary B. (Davis) Gale.

He married in Marblehead, MA, September 29, 1892, Martha J. Pollard, he of Haverhill, MA, and she of Marblehead. She was born in Boston, MA, September 8, 1865, daughter of Marshall S.P. and Georgianna (Jones) Pollard.

Gale Shoe M’f’g Co., Office, Duncan Street, Haverhill, Mass.; Salesroom, No. 1 Lincoln Street, Boston. Factories: Haverhill, Mass., Clinton, Maine. The Gale Shoe Manufacturing Company is a thoroughly representative Haverhill concern, not only on account of the magnitude and character of its business, but also because the senior partner has long been prominently identified with shoe manufacturing and with the business interests of the city, and is active and successful in promoting its development in every legitimate way. The company is composed of Messrs. John E. Gale, Herbert E. Gale, and began operations January 1889. Mr. John E. Gale is senior partner of the firm of Gale Brothers, in Exeter, N.H., is president of the Haverhill National Bank, and vice president of the City Five Cents Savings Bank. The active manager of the company’s business is Mr. Herbert E. Gale, who graduated from Harvard College in the class of 1888, and who is extremely well known to the trade, and is very successful in producing footwear that just suits the class of trade it is intended for, and that is furnished at positively bottom prices. Evidence that this company’s goods “hit the mark” is afforded by the fact that although the business was started in a comparatively small way four years ago, the last year’s sales amounted to nearly half a million dollars, being sold to the largest jobbers in the country. The company occupy their own factory, which is located on Duncan street, and has about 30,000 square feet of floor space. Employment is given to about 200 hands, and the firm control the product of two out-of-town factories, where their cheaper grades of goods are made, the capacity of the three factories being 60 to 70 sixty pair cases daily. The product includes men’s and women’s cheap and medium grade hand and machine-sewed slippers, and low cuts in black and colors. The company sell exclusively to the jobbing trade in the South, West, and Northwest, and are most ably represented in this department by Mr. John M. Hill, who has charge of their salesroom, No. 1, Lincoln street, Boston (Mercantile Illustrating, 1894).

Shoe Factories. The Gale Shoe Co., of Haverhill, have leased the shoe factory at Milton Mills, N.H., formerly operated by C.W. Varney & Co., and will manufacture a portion of their shoes there (Boot & Shore Reporter, 1895). 

Former Varney & Lane mill superintendent William T. Rockwell sought workers for a new shoe factory in February 1895.

MALE HELP WANTED. MACHINIST wanted in stitching room, must he able to run Reece & Morley machines, state age and give references and salary expected. Apply to Gale Shoe Mfg., Milton Mills, N.H. Sud3t my30 (Boston Globe, May 31, 1897).

HERBERT ELBRIDGE GALE. Since the last report I have continued in the shoe manufacturing business in Haverhill, with the Gale Shoe Manufacturing Company. We have factories at Haverhill, and Milton Mills, N.H., and Boston office at 106 Summer street. My daughter, Barbara, was born Aug. 16, 1894. In winter I live in Haverhill and in summer at my home in Clifton [Marblehead, MA]. Am a director in the Haverhill National Bank, Bay State Steamship Company, and treasurer of Peterboro’ Electric Light Heat and Power Company. Am a member of the University Club of Boston, Pentucket Club of Haverhill, Corinthian Yacht Club of Marblehead, and Boston Boot and Shoe Club (Harvard College, 1898).

The Gale Shoe Company had half-ownership of Dam #18 in the U.S. Geological Survey report on Milton Water Power in 1901. Gale Shoe Manufacturing Co. appeared in the Milton directories of 1901, and 1904.

Herbert E. Gale, a shoe company merchant, aged forty-six years (b. MA), headed a Haverhill, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of seventeen years), Martha P. Gale, aged forty-six years (b. MA), his children, John E. Gale, aged sixteen years (b. MA), and Barbara Gale, aged fifteen years (b. MA), and his servants, Effie S. McLaughlin, a private family chambermaid, aged thirty-eight years (b. Canada (Fr.)), Maggie McLeod, a private family laundress, aged thirty-five years (b. Canada (Fr.)), Olive Christson, a private family cook, a private family waitress, aged thirty years (b. Norway), Catherine Blainey, a private family waitress, aged twenty-one years (b. Ireland (Eng.)), and Lewis Dean, a chauffeur, aged twenty-five years (b. MA). Herbert E. Gale owned their house at 39 Summer Street, free-and-clear. Martha P. Gale was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living.

NEW HAMPSHIRE. Exeter. Gale Bros. (Inc. $205,000). J.E. Gale, pres’t; J.A. Towle, treas. and sec’y; and Herbert E. Gale, vice pres’t; women’s medium McKays. A. (Job). (Boot & Shoe Reporter, 1914). 

NEW HAMPSHIRE. Portsmouth. Gale Shoe Co., Islington St. Herbert E. Gale, pres’t; H. Taylor, vice pres’t; M.I. Pattinson, treas.; Geo. H. Carter, sec’y; women’s medium welts and McKay’s. H.C. Taylor, buyer, B. (Boot & Shoe Reporter, 1914).

Herbert E. Gale died in Swampscott, MA, October 22, 1936, aged seventy-one years.

HERBERT E. GALE DIES IN 72D YEAR. President of Gale Shoe Manufacturing Co. ILL SOME TIME. Left Active Management of North Adams Plant to Son, John E. Gale, Treasurer. Herbert E. Gale, president of Gale Shoe Manufacturing company which has been a local industry since it moved to this city in the spring of 1934, died last evening at his home, 391 Puritan road, Swampscott. He was in his 72nd year. Mr. Gale had been in failing health for many months past but he remained the head of the corporation to the time of his death and until very recently had kept an active part in the direction of its affairs from its Boston office. He was born in Haverhill and received his education in the public schools of that town, at Phillips Andover academy and at Harvard university where he was a member of the class of 1888. His father had for many years been prominently identified with the shoe industry and with banking in Haverhill and as a young man after completing his education, Mr. Gale entered the shoe manufacturing business that his father had founded, succeeding the latter as its head upon his death. The industry, after operating for a number of years in Haverhill, established a plant in Manchester, N.H., where in the course of time its operations were largely centralized. It was from Manchester that it moved to this city nearly two and one-half years ago to take over and occupy the building of the North Adams Industrial company, off Brown street that had previously housed the George E. Keith and the Melanson Shoe companies. Mr. Gale made several visits to this city during the time that the plant was being established and gotten in operation here but he left the active management of the manufacturing and of the business largely to his son, John E. Gale, treasurer of the concern, while he devoted his own attention to the administrative affairs of the enterprise at its Boston office. His home had long been in Swampscott and in recent years he had spent his winters at Palm Beach, Fla. Throughout the trade he was known as an uncommonly able executive while veteran employes of his concern of whom it brought a number to this city when it moved here, spoke of him from their personal acquaintance with him and their own knowledge of his ways, as a fair and just employer. Mr. Gale is survived by his wife, the former Martha Pollard, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Marshall S.P. Pollard of Boston, a daughter, Mrs. J. Edson Andrews of Andover, his son, John, whose home is in Newton Center, and five grandchildren. The funeral will be held on Sunday afternoon at 2.30 o’clock at his home In Swampscott and burial will follow In the Forest Hills cemetery at Boston (North Adams Transcript, October 23, 1936).

Martha J. (Pollard) Gale died in Palm Beach County, FL, January 3, 1955.

Andrews, Wasgatt Company, DBA Boynton Shoe Company – 1904-14

Herbert P. Wasgatt was born in Boston, MA, August 26, 1865, son of James G. “Gilbert” and Mary A. (Faunce) Wasgatt.

Elmore Andrews was born in Montreal, Canada, in October 1867, son of Robert and Ellen (Budden) Andrews.

Herbert P. Wasgatt married in Boston, MA, April 23, 1891, Clara E. Stuart. He was a boot & shoe manufacturer, aged twenty-five years, and she “at home,” aged twenty-one years. She was born in Boston, MA, circa 1895, daughter of Jacob and Wilhelmina Stuart.

LEGAL NOTICES. NOTICE is hereby given that the copartnership heretofore existing between Elmore Andrews and George F. Gurney, under the firm name and style of Andrews & Gurney, is this day dissolved by mutual consent. ELMORE ANDREIVS, GEO. F. GURNEY. The undersigned will continue the business under the, name of Andrews & Co., and is authorized to settle all accounts of the late firm. ELMORE ANDREWS. 3t ap19 (Boston Globe, April 19, 1892).

Elmore Andrews and Herbert P. Wasgatt formed the partnership Andrews, Wasgatt Company in Baltimore, MD, in 1892. They moved their business to Everett, MA, in 1896, where they built a factory in 1897.

Elmore Andrews married in Newton, MA, March 31, 1894, Ermina Lane. She was born in Gloucester, MA, August 28, 1876, daughter of Abraham O. and Emily (Daggett) Lane.

Elmore Andrews, a manufacturer of shoes, aged thirty-two years (b. Canada (Eng.)), headed an Everett, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of six years), Ermina Andrews, aged twenty-three years (b. MA), and his child, Bertha Andrews, aged four years (b. MA). Elmore Andrews owned their house at 72 Harvard Street, with a mortgage. Ermina Andrews was the mother of one child, of whom one was still living.

Herbert P. Wasgatt, a shoe manufacturer, aged thirty-five years (b. MA), headed an Everett, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of nine years), Clara E. Wasgatt, aged thirty years (b. MA), his children, Helen S. Wasgatt, at school, aged seven years (b. MA), and John F. Wasgatt, aged four years (b. MA), and his servants, Mary F. O’Neill, a servant, aged twenty-three years (b. Ireland (Eng.)), and Helen C. McKinnin, a nurse, aged thirty-four years (b. Canada (Eng.)). Herbert P. Wasgatt owned their house at 180 Hancock Street, free-and-clear. Clara E. Wasgatt was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living.

MALE HELP WANTED. STOCK FITTER on wos and miss [women’s and misses] work. BOYNTON SHOE CO., Milton Mills, N.H. (Boston Globe, October 30, 1904).

MALE HELP WANTED. PULLERS OVER on misses’ and chl sboes. BOYNTON SHOE CO., Milton Mills, N.H. ThuFSu mh9 (Boston Globe, March 10, 1905).

The Boynton Shoe company of Milton Mills advertised again for shoe pullers-over in December 1906. Its parent company, Andrews-Wasgatt, advertised for shoe vampers in December 1908, and shoe stitchers in November 1909.

The Boynton Shoe Co. appeared in the New Hampshire business directories of 1906 and 1908, as operating in Milton Mills. (It appeared also in the Maine Register and Legislative Manual of 1908, as an Acton, ME, manufacturer of ladies shoes).

The Andrews, Wasgatt Company appeared in the Everett, MA, directory of 1908:

CORPORATIONS. Andrews-Wasgatt Co., shoe mnfrs. ft. Bartlett. Inc. Nov. 1, 1905. Capital $100,000. Elmore Andrews, Pres.; Herbert P. Wasgatt, Treas.; John E. Kincaid, Sec. 

Elmore Andrews, a shoe factory manufacturer, aged forty-two years (b. Canada (Eng.)), headed an Everett, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of sixteen years), Ermina Andrews, aged thirty-two years (b. MA), his children, Bertha Andrews, aged fourteen years (b. MA), Elmore L. Andrews, aged five years (b. MA), and Ellen L. Andrews, aged two years (b. MA), and his servant, Ida Svenson, general housework, aged twenty-seven years (b. Sweden). Elmore Andrews owned their house at 72 Harvard Street, free-and-clear. Ermina Andrews was the mother of four child, of whom three were still living.

Wasgatt, Herbert P., in 1917
Herbert P. Wasgatt

Herbert P. Wasgatt, a shoe manufacturer, aged forty-four years (b. MA), headed an Everett, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eighteen years), Clara E. Wasgatt, aged forty years (b. MA), his children, Helen S. Wasgatt, aged sixteen years (b. MA), and John F. Wasgatt, aged fourteen years (b. MA), and his servant, Julia Flynn, a private family servant, aged twenty-one years (b. Ireland (Eng.)). Herbert P. Wasgatt owned their house at 180 Hancock Street, free-and-clear. Clara E. Wasgatt was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living.

Herbert P. Wasgatt was mayor of Everett, MA, between January 2, 1911, and January 2, 1912.

NEW HAMPSHIRE. Milton Mills. Andrews-Wasgatt Co. (Inc. $100,000) (also Everett, Mass., and Boston office 46 Lincoln St.) Elmore Andrews, pres’t; H.P. Wasgatt, treas.; J.E. Kincaid, sec’y; misses’ and children’s medium McKays. E Andrews, buyer. B. (Boot & Shoe Reporter, 1914).

Elmore Andrews resigned from the Andrews, Wasgatt Co. in 1918, in order to focus on his real estate interests.

Elmore Andrews, a shoe manufacturer, aged fifty-three years (b. MA [SIC]), headed an Everett, MA, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Ermina Andrews, aged forty-two years (b. MA), his children, Bertha Andrews, aged twenty-four years (b. MA), Elmore L. Andrews, aged fourteen years (b. MA), Ellen L. Andrews, aged twelve years (b. MA), and Virginia Andrews, aged eight years (b. MA). Elmore Andrews owned their house at 11 High Street, free-and-clear.

Herbert P. Wasgatt, a shoe manufacturer, aged fifty-three years (b. MA), headed an Everett, MA, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Clara E. Wasgatt, aged fifty years (b. MA), his children, Helen S. Wasgatt, aged twenty-six years (b. MA). Herbert P. Wasgatt owned their house at 180 Hancock Street, free-and-clear.

Henry P. Wasgatt died in Boston, MA, December 21, 1934.

HERBERT P. WASGATT OF NEWTON IS DEAD. Funeral of Former Mayor of Everett Tomorrow. Herbert P. Wasgatt of Newton died yesterday at the Baker Memorial Hospital, where he had been a patient only a short while. Mr. Wasgatt was a former Associate Commissioner of Labor and Industries, representing employers of labor; former Mayor of Everett and a former member of the Governor’s Council. His term as a member of the Labor and Industries Department expired last year. He was not reappointed. Funeral services will be held at 2 tomorrow afternoon at the Union Church, Waban. He was born in South Boston. Aug 26, 1865, the son of Gilbert and Mary A. (Faunce) Wasgatt. The family shortly afterwards moved to Plymouth and later to East Boston, where he was graduated from the East Boston High School. He was employed for a number of years by the firm of Bird & Stevens, slipper manufacturers, and in 1896, in partnership with Elmore Andrews, entered business for himself. He entered politics in 1907, being elected to the Everett Board of Aldermen, and was elected Mayor of that city in 1910. He was president of the Everett Trust Company, treasurer of the Everett Board of Trade, past master of Mt. Tabor Lodge. A.F. & A.M., of East Boston: a member of Palestine Lodge. A.F. & A.M., of Everett; of St John’s Chapter, R.A.M.; East Boston, Council. R. and S.M., and William Parkman Commandery, K.T., all of East Boston, and Aleppo Temple of the Mystic Shrine; Everett Council, United Commercial Travelers; New England Shoe and Leather Association, Boston Boot and Shoe Club and associate member of Co. B, 8th Regiment, M.V.M. (Boston Globe, December 22, 1934).

Elmore Andrews died in Everett, MA, February 24, 1936, aged sixty-nine years.

ELMORE ANDREWS DEAD IN EVERETT. Developed Much of City’s Industrial Section. EVERETT, Feb. 23. – Elmore Andrews, 69, treasurer of the Everett Factory and Terminal Association, which developed much of the industrial section of this city, died this morning at his home, 11 High st., after an illness of a week. Andrews came to this city in 1897, when as a partner in the shoe firm of Andrews, Wasgatt Company, he built a factory. In 1918 he resigned from the firm and entered the real estate business. He was born in Montreal and received his early education there and at Halifax, N.S. He was employed by shoe firms in Manchester, N.H., and Baltimore before he and Herbert Wasgatt started business in the latter city in 1892. Five years later they moved the business here. He was formerly treasurer of the Standard Mailing Machine Company; founder, vice president and director of the Everett Trust Company, and trustee and city commissioner of the Whidden Hospital. Surviving him is a wife, Ermina Lane Andrews, formerly of Gloucester; three daughters. Bertha, Ellen Louise and Virginia Andrews, and a son, Elmore L. Andrews, all of this city. The funeral will be held at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon at the First Universalist Church (Boston Globe, February 24, 1936).

Timson & Co. – 1915-18

Charles Otis Timson was born in Salem, MA, January 14, 1861, son of Edwin H. and Julia S. (Story) Timson of Swampscott, MA.

He married in Lynn, MA, November 20, 1882, Susan M. Herrick, both of Lynn. He was a shoe-cutter, aged twenty-two years; she was a bookkeeper, aged twenty-one years. She was born in Lynn, MA, November 12, 1861, daughter of George W. and Maria Herrick.

Business Troubles. Charles O. Timson, shoemaker, Swampscott, is in bankruptcy. Liabilities $4269, assets $65 (Boston Globe, December 11, 1898).

Charles O. Timson, a shoe cutter, aged thirty-nine years (b. MA), headed a Swampscott, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of eighteen years), Susan M. Timson, aged thirty-eight years (b. MA), his children, Frederick H. Timson, at school, aged sixteen years (b. MA), George E. Timson, at school, aged twelve years (b. MA), Louis E. Timson, at school, aged ten years (b. MA), Jennie M. Timson, aged ten years (b. MA), and Charles R. Timson, aged one year (b. MA), and his servant, Annie Sweetland, a servant, aged twenty-nine years (b. MA). Charles O. Timson owned their house at 40 Roy Street, free-and-clear. Susan M. Timson was the mother of six children, of whom five were still living.

NEW HAMPSHIRE. Epping. Tlmson & Co. (West Epping), (Boston office 132 Lincoln St.); men’s and women’s medium welts and turns. C.O. Timson, buyer. Makers of “The Timson Shoe” and “Foot Ease Comfort Shoes.” D. (Boot & Shoe Reporter, 1914).

MILTON MILLS, N.H. It is reported that the firm of TIMSON & Co., now operating at West Epping, will move its entire business here. This firm, through the efforts of the Board of Trade, have purchased the shoe factory owned by Andrews, Wasgatt, & Co., Everett, Mass. Timson & Co. are makers of nurse and comfort shoes, turned work, and have steady trade for their product. They have been manufacturing shoes for the past seventeen years, and for the last fourteen years have only shut down while taking account of stock (McLeish, 1915). 

The pretty town of Milton Mills is to be congratulated upon securing a new shoe industry. Timson & Co., now operating in West Epping, are to move their plant into the factory formerly occupied by Andrews-Wasgatt. They intend to start with about 100 employees. This will be a valuable addition to the manufacturing interests already there (Farmington News, October 1, 1915).

BOSTON AND NEW ENGLAND. Takes Large Factor[y]. Timson & Co., makers of comfort shoes, who were formerly in business in Lynn, are to move from West Epping, N.H., to a large factory at Milton Mills, N.H. (Shoe & Leather Reporter, 1915).

Industrial Information. New Enterprises and Changes in the Trade. EPPING, N.H. The Timson Shoe Company have cleared their factory of machinery and removed to Milton Mills, N.H. The past ten weeks have seen nearly a dozen families convey their goods to Milton Mills, and it is to be regretted, as it was only industry of the town. There rumors to the effect the factory soon be occupied again (American Shoemaking, 1916).

NEW CORPORATIONS. A list of the corporations formed last week in New England, with the capitalization and the names of the leading incorporators, is given herewith. Massachusetts. Timson & Company, Inc., Boston – Charles O. Timson, Howard L. Vaughn, Mary A. Golden; boot and shoe manufacturers: $50,000 (Boston Globe, March 6, 1916).

Business Troubles. Charles O. Timson, treasurer of Timson & Co. Inc., Acton, Me., Milton. N.H., West Epping, N.H., and 207 Essex st., Boston, has made an assignment on behalf of the company of its land, buildings, factory property, stock, machinery and fixtures to Frederick D. Merrill, Albert D. Hawkie and Richard Feaker (Boston Globe, February 21, 1917).

Buyers’ Guide to Boston Offices. Shoe Manufacturers, Wholesale Dealers and the Findings Trade. Timson Bros. (Milton Mills); 630 Atlantic Ave. (Boot & Shoe Reporter, 1918).

Timson, Louis E - BG180329LYNN MAN, IN AMBULANCE CORPS, GIVEN WAR CROSS. LYNN, March 28. – For bravery shown in the removal of wounded in the Verdun section during December and January, Louis E. Timson of Lynn, an American ambulance driver, was awarded the French Croix de Guerre. Yesterday’s news dispatches from Paris mentioned his name among several other American ambulance men as recipients of the war cross. Whether yesterday’s news story is a belated official announcement of the awarding of the Croix de Guerre in January or whether it means that another decoration has been conferred upon him is not known to members of his family, who live at 7A Shore drive. He is 27 years old, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles O. Timson, and is engaged with his brother, George Timson, in the manufacture of shoes in Boston. Last June he volunteered for service with the American Ambulance Corps in France and was assigned to Section 13, which was turned over to the French Army located in the Verdun sector. Timson has had many narrow escapes from death from shells, but has escaped injury. When his six months volunteer service was completed he was the first member of Section 13 to enlist in the United States Army (Boston Globe, March 29, 1918).

Business Troubles. An involuntary petition in bankruptcy has been filed against the Charles O. Timson Shoe Co., Lynn, at the instance of three creditors whose claims amount to $521.39 (Boston Globe, October 20, 1922).

LYNN AND HUDSON AUTOS IN MARLBORO COLLISION. MARLBORO, Oct 22. -Charles O. Timson, 63, of 80 Silsbee st., Lynn, was assisted from his overturned automobile after a crash with another car at the corner of Lincoln and Bolton sts. yesterday, where the police found him head down and feet upward. He was without a scratch, but complained of pain. He was the operator and only occupant of the car. The other car in the crash was owned and operated by Mrs. Lillian Ryan of 73 Lincoln st., Hudson. She was shaken up. Both cars were badly damaged. Timson’s car turned over twice. Officer William Dolan and other members of the Marlboro police aided Timson in extricating himself from the wreck (Boston Globe, October 22, 1929).

Susan M. (Herrick) Timson died in Danvers, MA, December 27, 1948. Charles O. Timson died in Lynn, MA, March 2, 1950.

RECENT DEATHS. CHARLES O. TIMSON, 89, retired shoe manufacturer. At Lynn (Boston Globe, March 3, 1950).

See also Milton Mills Mfg. Co. & the Waumbeck Companies – 1837-98 and Milton Mills’ Miltonia Mill – 1872-14


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Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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