Milton’s Burley & Usher Shoe Factory – 1885-93

By Muriel Bristol | July 11, 2021

Daniel Smith Burley was born in Newmarket, NH, June 10, 1843, son of Frederick P. “Plumer” and Martha J. (Wentworth) Burley.

Plumer Burley, a farmer, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), headed a Middleton, NH, household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Martha J. Burley, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), Elizabeth Burley, aged ten years (b. NH), Daniel S. Burley, aged eight years (b. NH), and William Pike, a farmer, aged forty years (b. NH).

P. Burley, a farmer, aged forty-five years (b. NH), headed a Middleton, NH, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Martha J. Burley, aged forty-two years (b. NH), Elizabeth S. Burley, aged twenty years (b. NH), and Daniel S. Burley, aged eighteen years (b. NH). P. Burley had real estate valued at $2,000 and personal estate valued at $600.

Daniel S. Burley of Middleton, NH, aged nineteen years, enlisted in Co. I of the Third NH Volunteer Infantry Regiment, August 5, 1861.

In August 1861, he enlisted in the 3d N.H. Vols., Co. I., Capt. Rall Carlton, for three years. He was in all engagements in which the 3d took part for fifteen months, and was then transferred to the U.S. Signal Corps; and was in all engagements in which the 10th Army Corps took part, and during the siege of Morris Island and Fort Sumpter was many times under fire. He was honorably discharged 24 Aug. 1864 (Burleigh, 1880).

Daniel S. Burley married in Farmington, NH, May 25, 1865, Clara A. Wentworth, he of Middleton, NH, and she of [South] Milton. He was a farmer, aged twenty-three years, and she was a lady, aged twenty years. Rev. Ezekiel True performed the ceremony. She was born in Milton, November 26, 1844, daughter of Eli V. and Mehitable J. (Howe) Wentworth. (That is to say, she and her brother, Charles W. Wentworth, were the children of South Milton’s Eli V. Wentworth, who died of disease in Milldale, MS, July 18, 1863, while serving as a quartermaster of the Sixth NH Volunteer Infantry Regiment (and for whom Milton’s Eli Wentworth G.A.R. Post was named)).

Daniel S. Burley of Middleton, NH, appeared in a list of members of the Dover, NH, Belknap Chapter, No. 8, of the Royal Arch Masons, in 1867. He had been “exalted” there, April 19, 1867, along with George W. Piper of Barrington, NH, and Charles H. Meader of Rochester, NH.

Daniel S. Burley appeared in the Milton business directories of 1867, and 1868, as a Milton justice-of-the-peace.

The Law and Order League of Wakefield, Brookfield and Milton, under the leadership of Daniel S. Burley, Esq., has strengthened public sentiment (Merrill, 1889).

Daniel S. Burleigh, a shoe manufacturer, aged twenty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Wakefield (“Union P.O.”), NH, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Clara A. Burleigh, aged twenty-five years (b. NH), and Eli W. Burleigh, aged two years (b. NH). Daniel S. Burleigh had real estate valued at $3,000 and personal estate valued at $3,900.

Daniel S. Burley, commission business, aged thirty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Clara A. Burley, aged thirty-five years (b. NH).

Masonic Grand Master Andrew Bunton visited the Morning Star Lodge of Wolfeboro, NH, January 26, 1881, to install officers there, which he did with the assistance of Daniel S. Burley of the Unity Lodge of Wakefield, NH.

January 12, 1881. I visited MORNING STAR LODGE, Wolfeborough. Witnessed its exemplification of the work of the third degree. Noticed many errors, but think its officers are disposed to amend in every way possible when they see their failings. Grand Lecturer Brother BEACHAM assisted in the work in his usual strict conformity to Grand Lodge requirements, and I have no doubt the Lodge was benefited thereby. January 26. I publicly installed the officers of this Lodge with the assistance of Brother DANIEL S. BURLEY of Unity Lodge as Marshal. I think the services were of interest to those present. In addition to the brethren present, there were many ladies and gentlemen who partook of the refreshments and joined in the social pleasures of the evening (NH Grand Lodge, 1879).

D.S. Burley of Union, [Wakefield,] NH, was a newly-arriving guest at Boston’s Quincy House hotel in May 1881 (Boston Post, May 19, 1881). He was there again in June 1881 (Boston Post, June 30, 1881).

Daniel S. Burley and William R. Usher (1845-1917) were said in 1889 to have formed their shoe factory co-partnership only seven years before, i.e., circa 1882. Their original factory was in Beverly, MA, with the Milton one following in 1885, the Milton one being the larger of the two.

In 1884 an organization composed of citizens of the [Milton] town erected a shoe factory 160 x 40 and four stories high, with other accessories, at Milton at a cost of $12,000, which was leased to Burley & Usher in 1885, who were afterwards succeeded by N.B. Thayer & Co., the present [1896] occupants (NH Bureau of Labor, 1896).

The factory at Milton, N.H., is a four-story structure, 40 by 160 feet in dimensions, thoroughly equipped, and having a capacity of two thousand five hundred pairs per day, affording employment fto two hundred and fifty hands. The finest line of grain shoes is produced here, and the “Granite State” brand, every pair warranted, is a great staple seller all over the country (American Publishing, 1889).

Burley-Usher - 1880s - A Tie UpBurley & Usher were included in an 1885 advertisement that listed boot and shoe firms that were “too well known” for their quality to be doubted.

HAVING PURCHASED THE FINEST STOCK OF FALL AND WINTER BOOTS, SHOES and RUBBER GOODS EVER BROUGHT TO THE CITY OF FORT MADISON, I will offer them for CASH for the NEXT SIXTY DAYS lower than anybody. If you don’t believe it, come and see. I AM NOT TIED TO ANY FIRM, But buy my Goods of the Cheapest and Best Manufacturers in the United States. I represent goods from the following manufacturers: Couch & Wisner, Bridgeport, Conn.; Burley & Usher, Milton, N.H.; Pratt, Warren & Co., Boston, Mass.; Lilly, Brackett & Co., Brockton, Mass.; Geo. W. Ludlow, Chicago, Ill.; Pingree & Smith, Detroit, Mich.; J.S. Nelson & Son., North Grafton, Mass.; Geo. P. Holmes & Co., Chicago, Ill. The above named firms are too well known for anybody to question the quality of their goods. EHARTS BLOCK, SECOND STREET. Yours, B.C. DAVIS (Fort Madison Democrat (Fort Madison, IA), November 11, 1885).

LEBANON, ME. Elmer Hersom is learning to keep books in Burley & User’s shoe factory in Milton, N.H. (Farmington News, December 18, 1885).

Great Falls Water Power Company, who were in the business of building and then leasing water-powered mills, considered building a replacement mill on the ruins of I.W. Springfield & Son’s woolen mill, which had burned down when it was struck by lightning on Saturday morning August 22, 1885. (See Milton in the News – 1885).

MILTON. Great Falls Water Power Co. is considering the propriety of erecting a four-story building where the woolen mill was burned a year ago last July at Milton. If erected it will be used as a shoe shop by Burley & Usher (Farmington News, December 17, 1886).

Burley & Usher appeared in the Milton business directories of 1887, and 1889, as Milton boot & shoe manufacturers.

MILTON. The foundation of Ralph Kimball’s house is laid and ready for the framework. There is prospect of a new road being laid from Burley & Usher’s shoe factory toward the ruins of the woolen mill (Farmington News, April 22, 1887).

PERSONAL. Joseph Breckenridge has accepted a position at Milton in Burley & Usher’s factory (Farmington News, July 1, 1887)

UNION. Mr. Jacob B. Mitchell and son, who have been living in Malden, Mass., for some time past, have returned to their home here. Eddie has a job at Burley & Usher’s shoe factory, at Milton. Mr. Mitchell is at home for a few days. He has a short job of work, we are told, at Peabody (Farmington News, January 6, 1888).

REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS. D.S. Burley to G.W. Tasker, land in Milton, $400 (Farmington News, January 6, 1888).

REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS. H.V. Wentworth to D.S. Burley, land in Milton, $1,200 (Farmington News, July 27, 1888).

MILTON. The Milton Manufacturing Company is running at its utmost capacity, manufacturing leather board and paper. They employ some forty hands, running the twenty-four hours day and night. Burley & Usher, shoe manufacturers of the same place, are turning out twenty cases per day and have orders on hand to last well into the winter months. They give employment to some 200 hands, with a weekly pay roll of $1,400 (Farmington News, September 28, 1888).

Burley & Usher opened their third factory in Springvale, ME, in January 1889.

Their large factory at Milton, N.H., proving too small for their requirements, the firm have now (January 1889) just finished building a splendid factory at Springvale Me. It is four stories and basement in height, fitted up with the latest improved machinery and requirements, having a capacity of one thousand five hundred pairs per day. Two hundred hands will be employed here in the manufacture medium grade goat and kid shoes, and of a quality which will at once command the attention of the best class of trade (American Publishing, 1889).

Actually, it was again the case that it was the Springvale citizens that built the factory, rather than Burley & Usher, who only leased it.

LOCALS. John Currier, having purchased his brother George’s machinery, has commenced the manufacture of heels at his father’s farm. He sells his heels to Burley & Usher of Milton, of whom he buys his stock (Farmington News, January 11, 1889).

MILTON. Miss Sadie Shortridge has been absent from Burley & Usher’s factory the past week, on account of illness (Farmington News, June 21, 1889).

Sadie Shortridge would marry in Milton, December 24, 1895, Frank M. Davis, both of Milton. She was a shoe stitcher, aged twenty-four years, and he was a laborer, aged twenty-nine years. Rev. Frank Haley performed the ceremony.

Burley & Usher gave up their smallest factory in Beverly, MA, in October 1889, in favor of another one leased in Newburyport, MA. (They would now have factories in Milton, NH, Springvale, ME, and Newburyport, MA).

WILL MOVE TO NEWBURYPORT. Burley & Usher of Beverly Discharge Their Lasters and Fitters. BEVERLY, Mass., Oct. 31 – Messrs. Burley & Usher, shoe manufacturer, discharged all their lasters and stock fitters yesterday, and will leave Beverly for Newburyport as soon as possible. The firm had a large five-story factory built for their use at Newburyport, and began business therein two weeks ago. They would have remained a month longer in Beverly, but many of their employes who were not to go to Newburyport with them, had secured places elsewhere, and so crippled the firm that it has decided to discontinue business here at once. They have been making 15 cases a day (Boston Globe, October 31, 1889).

Burley & Usher presented South Milton’s Hon. Luther Hayes with a silver tea service on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, which would have been January 12, 1890. (Hayes would devise the tea service to his wife in his last will of 1894).

MILTON. Messrs. Burley & Usher were in town, May 12, in the interests of their business. It is expected that work will be more abundant (Farmington News, May 23, 1890).

REAL ESTATE MATTERS. Burley & Usher, shoe manufacturers at Newburyport, have just broken ground for a new factory building in the rear of their present plant (Boston Evening Transcript, October 8, 1890).

Mr. D.S. Burley attended a banquet sponsored by the Y.M.C.A. at the Thorndike hotel in Boston, MA, on the evening of December 11, 1890 (Boston Globe, December 12, 1890).

Luther Hayes, and Henry B. Scates, acting for the town, filled out a NH State Board of Health form regarding Milton’s sanitary and safety conditions in that same year. (They were not at all impressed with the sewerage and drainage at Milton Three Ponds). They noted that the Burley & Usher factory was the only building in town that had a fire escape (NH State Board of Health, 1891).

Burley & Usher appeared in the Milton business directories of 1892, and 1894, as Milton boot & shoe manufacturers.

MILTON. Burley & Usher’s shoe shop is to have a coat of paint (Farmington News, November 11, 1892).

MILTON. It is reported that Ed Hammond, the superintendent of the finishing department in Burley & Usher’s shoe factory, was married Saturday evening (Farmington News, November 11, 1892).

Edwin F. Hammond married in Wakefield, NH, November 5, 1892, Lillian A. Chamberlain, both of Wakefield, NH. He was a bookkeeper, aged twenty-two years, and she was a houseworker, aged twenty-two years. Rev. L.C. Graves performed the ceremony.

MILTON. Fred Snow has left Burley & Usher and returned to Boston (Farmington News, March 31, 1893).

HERE AND THERE. Frank Pearl is about to assume charge of the stitching department in the Burley and Usher factory in Milton (Farmington News, March 31, 1893).

Frank Pearl would appear in the Milton directory of 1900, as a shoe stitcher, with his house at 8 School street. By 1902, he had moved to Easton, PA.

Partner William R. Usher left the Burley & Usher firm in June 1894. He started a new partnership with his son, William A. Usher. They would take over the Springvale factory.

New England Briefs. Burley & Usher, a big Newburyport (Mass.) shoe firm, have dissolved partnership (Berkshire Eagle, June 29, 1894).

Meanwhile, Daniel S. Burley formed a new partnership with his nephew, John P. Stevens (1866-1955), and his factory foreman, William H. Sargent. It took the name Burley, Stevens & Co.

NEWBURYPORT. After the dissolution of the shoe manufacturing firm of Burley & Usher, D.S. Burley will take the factory now occupied, and a partnership will be formed by associating with him John P. Stevens, a present member of the firm, and William Sargent, a foreman. Mr. Usher will take the old A.F. Towle & Son silver shop, and associate with himself his son, W.A. Usher (Boston Globe, July 17, 1894).

Daniel S. Burley, J.P. Stevens, and William H. Sargent, under the firm-name of Burley, Stevens & Co., continued to occupy the factory on Merrimack street [in Newburyport] until it was destroyed by fire, October 31, 1894, when they removed to the brick building on the corner of Kent and Munroe streets, formerly occupied by the Ocean Mills Company for the manufacture of cotton cloth (Currier, 1906).

Their Milton factory seems to have been closed down at about this time, as it was said to have been idle for nearly a year when the building was sold in October 1894. (It might have been a victim of the widespread economic Panic of 1893).

TO START ANOTHER FACTORY. Shoe Industry Likely to Boom the Town of Milton, N.H. MILTON, N.H., Oct. 23 – W.H. [N.B.] Thayer & Co. today purchased the shoe factory formerly occupied and operated by Burley & Usher, which has been idle for nearly a year. The new purchasers are at present operating a factory in this town and employ nearly 400 hands, and steps will at once be taken to connect the two factories and largely increase the number of employes (Boston Globe, October 24, 1894).

BIG FIRE AND LITTLE WATER. Newburyport Car Works and a Shoe Factory Destroyed. Help Summoned from Four Cities. Newburyport, Mass., Oct. 31 – A big fire is raging in Newburyport. The alarm came in from box 45. This was followed close by a second alarm, and soon after a general alarm, summoning the whole department. The blaze started near the front end of the Newburyport car works, and when the firemen arrived this part of the structure was in flames The firemen arrived promptly, but owing to the inflammable condition of the building the fire spread with alarming rapidity. As fast as the firemen put a stream on one part of the building the flames broke out in another. Inside of ten minutes after the first alarm was sounded the car works was a mass of flames. Chief Reed has ordered City Marshal Emerson to send for help from Salem, Portsmouth, Haverhill and Amesbury. The fire spread to the rear, and Burley & Usher’s factory is doomed. There is a very low supply of water and the firemen are greatly hampered. Fireman Edgar J. Brown, of engine No. 3, narrowly escaped suffocation. He was on the third floor of Burley & Usher’s factory, and was hemmed in by smoke. He rushed to a window and broke the glass. A ladder was quickly raised, and he was able to reach the ground. Burley & Usher were crowded with orders. All the help in their factory got out in safety. At one time it looked as if all the wooden buildings In the vicinity of the fire would be destroyed, but shortly before noon the fire was got under control. Burley & Usher’s factory, which by recent change in the firm was run by Burley, Strains [Stevens] & Co., was burned to the ground. The concern had about $55,000 worth of stock on hand and employed over a hundred hands. The loss to this firm will reach $110,000. The Newburyport car works were practically destroyed. Loss about $25,000. The Eagle House and a number of small buildings were also destroyed. Firemen and apparatus came from Amesbury, Salem, Haverhill, Lynn and Portsmouth, and did good service. The total loss will reach $150,000, on which there is an insurance of about $100,000. The cause of the fire was the explosion of an oil stove in the office of the car company (Fall River Daily Evening News (Fall River, MA), October 31, 1894).

Burley - BS941107Want the Firm In Dover. DOVER, N.H. Oct. 31 – When it became known in this city that the shoe firm of Burley & Usher of Newburyport had been burned out those interested in the Dover improvement association at once communicated with the burned out firm offering its splendid brick shoe factory situated on Dover st. to the firm if it should care to come here and carry on its business. Every effort will be made by the association to induce the firm to locate here. The shop in question, which has been idle about a year, is one of the largest and best in the state (Boston Globe, November 1, 1894).

In the wake of their disastrous Newburyport fire, Burley, Stevens & Co. placed many advertisements in 1895 and 1896 for jobs (of which the following are just a sample) in their new location at the Whitefield Mills in Newburyport.

Female Help Wanted. VAMPER wanted, three-needle vamper, Union Special machine; also closer on women’s, misses’ and children’s. BURLEY, STEVENS & CO. Newburyport, Mass. Sud3t f3 (Boston Globe, February 5, 1895).

Male Help Wanted. WANTED – A good man to take charge of fitting red sole leather. BURLEY, STEVENS & CO. Newburyport, Mass. (Boston Globe, February 8, 1895).

NEWBURYPORT. Daniel S. Burley of the firm of Burley, Stevens & Co. leaves today for a two-weeks’ gunning expedition in Maine (Boston Globe, September 23, 1895).

NEWBURYPORT. Burley, Stevens & Co., whose shoe factory was destroyed with the car company’s buildings, have removed to the unused Whitefield mills building, and are doing one-third more work than one year ago. They have an immense brick building 300×45 feet, four stories high (Boston Globe, November 4, 1895).

Burley’s erstwhile partner, William R. Usher of Newburyport, MA, became in 1897 treasurer of the Electrolytic Marine Salts Company, a firm devoted to extracting gold from sea water in Lubec, ME. (Usher was still associated also with his son in the shoe business).

Electrolytic Marine Salts Co - BT971215Its board was staffed with men of known business integrity, including Usher, but they were just window dressing for one of the most audacious and notorious stock swindles in New England history. The whole scheme came unraveled in July 1898. The swindlers fled overseas and the dumbfounded directors found themselves holding the bag, so to speak. They issued the following statement:

The story printed by the New York Herald of July 31 is, in the minds of the directors, conclusive evidence of a conspiracy on the part of P.F. Jernegan, general manager, and C.E. Fisher, assistant manager, to defraud the stockholders of the company. They have undoubtedly left the country and disabled the electrical apparatus at plant No. 1. As soon as our suspicions were aroused we took the most active measures to apprehend the criminals and protect the interests of the stockholders. A considerable sum of money has already been received and there is a good prospect of a further large amount. All bills have been paid on presentation, and the outstanding liabilities are small. Only a small amount of contract work was awarded. All work has been suspended. Touching the secret process of the company, it should be said that it is yet to be ascertained that it is fully lacking in merit. It is the wish of the directors to meet the stockholders, and a call for such a meeting will be issued. Signed, ARTHUR B. RYAN, President; WILLIAM R. USHER, Treasurer; ALBERT P. SAWYER, Director (Jeweler’s Circular, 1898).

It should be noted that there actually are trace amounts of gold and silver in sea water. It is just that it has never been economically feasible to extract them, either then or now.

Clara A. (Wentworth) Burley spoke briefly at a district conference of the Y.M.C.A. auxiliary held in Merrimac, MA, December 7, 1898.

Y.M.C.A. RIGHT HAND. District Conference of the Women’s Auxiliary Meets at Merrimac. MERRIMAC, Dec. 6 – The first district conference of the Woman’s auxiliary of the Y.M.C.A., which is composed of the societies in Amesbury, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Newburyport and Merrimac, was held here today. At the morning session an address of welcome was delivered by Mrs. George Trefethen of Merrimac. The response was by Mrs. D.S. Burley of Newburyport, and was followed by an address by Miss Emma Short of Haverhill. At the afternoon session addresses were delivered as follows: On state work, by R.M. Armstrong, Boston, general secretary, Y.M.C.A.; on consecration service, Mrs. H.O. Durell, Cambridge; on district work, by Mrs. H.L. Fuller, Lynn. A banquet was served at noon (Boston Globe, December 7, 1898).

Clara A. (Wentworth) Burley’s brother, Charles W. Wentworth, presented an informational tablet or sign to the Milton Congregational Church, as a Christmas gift. (Its pastor was then Rev. Myron P. Dickey).

MILTON. A tablet for the Congregational church was received from C.W. Wentworth, as a Christmas gift, telling the name of the pastor, the time of each service, etc. It is highly appreciated by all. Mr. Wentworth is a brother to Mrs. Daniel Burley of Newburyport. At the death of his mother, which occurred at South Milton some years since, he went to reside with his sister in Newburyport. His father, Eli Wentworth, was commissary, in the same regiment with Alonzo Nute, who was quartermaster in the Sixth New Hampshire during the civil war. Mr. Wentworth always sends some token of remembrance when occasion gives opportunity (Farmington News, December 30, 1898).

Burley, Stevens & Company lost their “Company,” i.e., William H. Sargent, in November 1899. They became plain Burley & Stevens.

Mr. Sargent having withdrawn from the firm and removed to Lynn in 1899, the business since that date has been carried on by Daniel S. Burley and J.P. Stevens under the firm-name of Burley & Stevens (Currier, 1906).

William H. Sargent, a shoe manufacturer, aged forty-five years (b. MA), headed a Lynn, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty years), Nancy A. [(Taylor)] Sargent, aged forty-five years (b. NH), his son, Charles W. Sargent, at school, aged fourteen years (b. MA), and his lodger, Edward W. Lovely, a shoe finisher, aged twenty-nine years (b. MA). William H. Sargent owned their house at 82 High Rock Street. Nancy A. Sargent was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living.

Daniel Burley, a shoe manufacturer, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Newburyport, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty years), Clara A. [(Wentworth)] Burley, aged fifty-five years (b. NH), his brother-in-law, Charles W. Wentworth, a shoe cutter, aged forty-five years (b. NH), his boarder, John P. Stevens, a shoe manufacturer, aged thirty-three years (b. MA), and his servants, Nora Finnegan, a servant, aged twenty-five years (b. Ireland), and Hannah Finnegan, a servant, aged eighteen years (b. Ireland). Daniel Burley owned their house at 191 Summer Street, free-and-clear. Clara A. Burley was the mother of five children, of whom none were still living.

Record of the Work. Material Improvements. NEWBURYPORT, Mass. Whitefield Ch. has opened after extensive improvements costing over $1,500. The money was the gift of Deacon and Mrs. Daniel S. Burley, members of the church (Congregationalist, July 19, 1902).

Daniel S. Burley of Newburyport, MA, signed his last will, probably in his own home on High Street, December 19, 1906. He devised $150,000 to his “beloved wife,” Clara A. Burley. He devised $50,000 to his nephew, John P. Stevens of Newburyport, MA, to be taken from company stock at set rates. Stevens would also get Burley’s real estate at East Lake in Wakefield, NH, including its buildings, furnishings, boats, motors, and all other personal property there; Stevens would also receive Burley’s fishing rods, rifles, guns, tents, and camping outfits. He devised $1,000 to his sister, Elizabeth S. Stevens, and $1,000 to her husband, Jacob B. Stevens of Peabody, MA. He devised $500 to his sister-in-law, Lydia F. Mitchell of Union, [Wakefield,] NH, or, should she not survive him, to her grandsons, Harold H. Mitchell and Daniel Burley Mitchell. He devised $3,000 to [his brother-in-law,] Charles W. Wentworth of Newburyport, MA; $500 to Helen B. Feineman of Rochester, NH; $2,500 to Thomas E. Medcalf of Newburyport, NH, for his faithful services; and $1,000 each to faithful employees Isaac W.C. Webster and Augustus W. Garland, both of Newburyport, MA. He devised all the moneys due him from the church to the Union Congregational Church of Union, [Wakefield,] NH. He devised $10,000 to a trust for the benefit of the Y.M.C.A. of Newburyport, MA, and named Henry B. Little, Lawrence B. Cushing, and Charles Thurlow, all of Newburyport, MA, as its trustees. Finally, he devised all the rest and residue to his “beloved wife,” Clara A. Burley, who he also named as executrix. Angie Hanson, Annie MacGillivray, and Ernest Foss signed as witnesses (Essex County Probate, 644:429). Ernest Foss was a lawyer and justice-of-the-peace, while Angie Hanson was Clara A. Burley’s cousin and Annie MacGillivray was a domestic servant on High Street.

Daniel S. Burley died of progressive paralysis in Newburyport, MA, March 10, 1909, aged sixty-seven years, and two months.

DANIEL S. BURLEY DEAD. Wealthy Shoe Manufacturer Passes Away at His Newburyport Home After Long Illness. NEWBURYPORT, March 10 – Daniel S. Burley of the firm of Burley & Stevens company of this city, shoe manufacturers, and one of the wealthiest men in Newburyport, died at his home here this morning after an illness of a year, the greater part of which time he had been confined to his home. Mr. Burley was born in New Hampshire, his early life being spent in the town of Union. When a young man he went on the road for Chadwick & Orange, a shoe manufacturing firm having headquarters in Boston. In a few years he had organized the firm of Burley & Usher, who operated shoe factories in Beverly, Springvale and Milton. They closed the Beverly factory in 1889 and opened one here. Later the factory here was burned and they took the Ocean mill property. About this time the firm separated, Mr. Usher taking the Springvale factory and Mr. Burley retaining the one in this city. He associated with John P. Stevens and together they have conducted a large business here since. Mr. Burley was a veteran of the civil war. He was prominently identified with the religious life of the city, being a leading member of the Whitefield church and active in Y.M.C.A. matters. He was a public spirited citizen in every way. He is survived by his wife (Boston Globe, March 10, 1909).

UNION. The remains of Daniel S. Burley of Newburyport were brought here Saturday by special train for interment in the family lot. Mr Burley was born in Newmarket, January, 1842, the only son of Plumer and Martha Burley who, when he was a small child, moved to Middleton where his childhood was passed. He married Clara, daughter of Eli and Jane Wentworth of South Milton, to whom five children were born, all dying in infancy. He engaged in the manufacture of shoes in Union, Milton and Newburyport, the last years of his life being passed in the latter place. He was a member of the Congregational church of this place until after his removal to Newburyport when he was transferred to the Whitefield church of that place. He belonged to Unity lodge, A.F.&A.M. of Union, Miltonia lodge, I.O.O.F of Milton and Eli Wentworth post G.A.R. He leaves a wife, one sister, Mrs. Jacob Stevens of Peabody, Mass., and many friends to mourn his loss. A profusion of beautiful floral tributes testified to the love and esteem felt for him (Farmington News, March 19, 1909).

Clara A. Burley, a widow, aged sixty-five years (b. NH), headed a Newburyport, MA, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. Her household included her boarders, Elma Stevens, a shoe factory finisher, aged thirty-eight years (b. NH), and Bennett J. Samson, a laundry manager, aged thirty-six years (b. MA), and her servant, Bessie Cronin, a private family servant, aged twenty-two years (b. Ireland (Eng.)). Clara A. Burley rented their house at 193 High Street. She was the mother of five children, of whom none were still living.

Former partner William R. Usher died of stomach cancer in Stockbridge, VT, July 4, 1917, aged seventy-two years.

William Robert Usher. In the death of William R. Usher the town of Stockbridge has lost another of its highly honored and universally respected citizens. While his death came as a sudden shock to the community, he has suffered painful illnesses in the past few years, from which his attending physician gave little hope of recovery, but his strong constitution and excellent care has kept him with us and through his unlimited ambition and will power he has continued to do light work. The morning of July 2 found him patiently at work in his garden, but on the morning of July 4th, his seventy-second birthday, he was stricken with indescribable pain from hemorrhage and passed from earth in the afternoon. Thus his birthday on earth was his birthday in heaven. He breathed a prayer to the Heavenly Father to take him and his last words to the dearly loved companion at his bedside were, “I am now returning home.” The drawn expression relaxed to a pleasant smile which seemed to speak the immortal joy of the released spirit. William Usher was the son of Ambrose and Mary (Campbell) Usher, born in Boston, July 4, 1845. The first years of his married life were lived at Stoneham, Mass., then he removed to Newburyport, where he remained until he came to Stockbridge in 1908, where he has since resided with his son at the pleasant home formerly owned by Rev. T.S. Hubbard. His wife, Eva T. (Bowdlear) Usher, a woman possessing rare qualities of heart and mind, passed from this life in 1902. Five years later, Dec. 14, 1907, at Wakefield, Mass., he married Grace Jaques of Newburyport, who has been the patient, unwearying caretaker (Bethel Courier (Bethel, VT), July 26, 1917).

Clara A. Burley, a widow, aged seventy-five years (b. NH), headed a Newburyport, MA, household at the time of the Fourteenth (1920) Federal Census. Her household included her cousin, Angie Hanson, a widow, aged seventy-nine years (b. NH), her boarder, Bennett J. Samson, a laundry manager, aged forty-four years (b. MA), and her servant, Katharine Carroll, a private family houseworker, aged thirty-five years (b. Ireland). Clara A. Burley owned their house at 191 High Street, free-and-clear.

Clara A. (Wentworth) Burley died in Newburyport, MA, June 2, 1925, aged eighty years.

MRS. CLARA A. BURLEY DIES AT NEWBURYPORT. NEWBURYPORT, June 2 – Mrs. Clara A. Burley, 80, widow of Daniel S. Burley, formerly a prominent shoe manufacturer here, died today at her home, 191 High st. She was born in Milton, N.H. and came here nearly 40 years ago. Mrs. Burley was a member of Central Congregational Church and a generous contributor to the work of the Young Men’s Christian Association, of which her husband was a former president and benefactor and for whom the boys and girls’ Summer camp at Angle Lake, Hampstead, N.H., was named. Her nearest relative is a cousin, Mary Abbie Howe of West Milton, N.H. (Boston Globe, June 3, 1925).


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Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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