Milton’s N.B. Thayer & Co. Shoe Factory – 1890-09

By Muriel Bristol | September 26, 2021

Noah Blanchard Thayer was born in Weymouth, MA, January 26, 1830, son of Nicholas and Thais (Shaw) Thayer.

(An Athenian woman named Thaïs accompanied Alexander the Great’s army in Persia. She married one of Alexander’s generals, Ptolemy Soter, and was mother to a line of Egyptian Pharaohs).

Nicolas Thayer, a boot & shoe manufacturer, aged forty-nine years (b. MA), headed a Weymouth, MA, household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Thais Thayer, aged forty-nine years (b. MA), Noah B. Thayer, a trader, aged twenty years (b. MA), George R. Thayer, aged ten years (b. MA), Augustine Loud, boot business, aged twenty-seven years (b. MA), Samuel C. Wade, shoe business, aged twenty-one years (b. VT), Lorenzo Lewis, a bookkeeper, aged twenty years (b. ME), John Mehan, boot business, aged twenty-four years (b. Ireland), and Margaret Slaherty, aged nineteen years (b. Ireland). Nicolas Thayer had real estate valued at $3,250; Augustine Loud had real estate valued at $60.

Noah B. Thayer married in Hingham, MA, September 19, 1852, Lucy M. “Marilla” Newcomb, both of Weymouth, MA. He was a clerk, aged twenty-two years, and she was aged twenty years. Rev. Joseph Richardson performed the ceremony. She was born in Randolph, MA, August 8, 1832, daughter of Samuel and Lucy (Blanchard) Newcomb.

Son Charles Everett Thayer was born in Randolph, MA, January 5, 1853. Son Frederick Nicholas Thayer was born in Weymouth, MA, December 14, 1854.

Noah Thayer, aged twenty-five years (b. MA), headed a Randolph, MA, household at the time of the MA State Census of 1855. His household included Marilla Thayer (b. MA), aged twenty-three years, Chas E. Thayer, aged three years (b. MA), and Frederick Thayer, aged eight months (b. MA). They shared a two-family residence with the household of Charles H. Farmer, a bootmaker, aged thirty-one years (b. NH).

Thayer’s eldest son, Charles F. Thayer, died on Warren street in Randolph, MA, May 11, 1856, aged three years, eleven months. He was buried in Weymouth, MA.

N.B. Thayer, a boot manufacturer, aged thirty years (b. MA), headed a Weymouth (“Quincy P.O.”), MA, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Lucy M. Thayer, aged twenty-eight years (b. MA), and Frederick Thayer, aged five years (b. MA). N.B. Thayer had real estate valued at $1,000 and personal estate valued at $100.

Son Elmer Frances Thayer was born in Weymouth, MA, September 1, 1861. Daughter Chloe Thayer was born in Weymouth, September 13, 1862. Son Frank H. Thayer was born in Weymouth, MA, January 4, 1864.

Noah B. Thayer, a clerk, aged thirty-six years (b. MA), headed a Weymouth, MA, household at the time of the MA State Census of 1865. His household included Lucy M. Thayer, aged thirty-two years (b. MA), Frederic N. Thayer, aged ten years (b. MA), Elmer F. Thayer, aged three years (b. MA), Frank H. Thayer, aged one year (b. MA), I.D. Howe Pettes, a pedlar, aged twenty-six years (b. VT), and Mary E. [(Howe)] Pettes, aged twenty-four years (b. MA).

Noah Blanchard Thayer was initiated into the Orphan’s Hope Lodge, A.F. & A.M., in Weymouth, MA, May 2, 1867. He was passed there, May 29, 1867, and raised there, July 10, 1867.

Daughter Carrie Marilla Thayer was born in Weymouth, MA, June 7, 1869.

Noah B. Thayer appeared in the Weymouth, MA, directory of 1870-71, as a bootmaker on Main street, with his house on Pleasant street, near Main street, in South Weymouth. Nicholas Thayer appeared as a farmer, with his house on Main street, near Pleasant street, in South Weymouth.

Noah B. Thayer, works in boot factory, aged forty years (b. MA), headed a Weymouth, MA, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Lucy M. Thayer, keeping house, aged thirty-eight years (b. MA), Frederic N. Thayer, attending school, aged fifteen years (b. MA), Elmer F. Thayer, attending school, aged nine years (b. MA), Frank W. Thayer, attending school, aged six years (b. MA), and Carrie M. Thayer, at home, aged eleven months (b. MA), and Cornelia Howe, a domestic servant, aged twenty years (b. MA). Noah B. Thayer had real estate valued at $1,900 and personal estate valued at $1,000.

Noah B. Thayer (N.B. Thayer & Co.) appeared in the Weymouth, MA, directory of 1873, as a boot manufacturer in Columbian square, with his house on Pleasant street, near Main street, in South Weymouth. N.B. Thayer & Co. (N.B. Thayer & John S. Fogg) appeared as boot manufacturers in Columbian square in South Weymouth, with their offices at 66 Hanover street in Boston, MA. Nicholas Thayer appeared as a farmer, with his house on Main street, near Pleasant street, in South Weymouth.

Upon the dissolution of the firm of Fogg, Houghton & Coolidge, in 1878, Mr. Fogg formed a copartnership with N.B. Thayer, which was continued until March, 1882, when the firm of Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co. was formed. At the death of Mr. Shaw the firm of J.S. Fogg & Co., was formed March, 1888, with factories at South Weymouth and Concord, Mass., and Farmington, N.H. About eight hundred man are employed by the concern (Boston Evening Transcript, May 17, 1892).

Noah B. Thayer, a boot and shoe manufacturer, aged fifty years (b. MA), headed a Weymouth, MA, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lucy M. Thayer, keeping house, aged forty-eight years (b. MA), his children, Fred N. Thayer, works in boot shop, aged twenty-five years (b. MA), Elmer T. Thayer, works in boot shop, aged eighteen years (b. MA), Frank N. Thayer, works in boot shop, aged sixteen years (b. MA), and Carrie M. Thayer, at school, aged eleven years (b. MA), and his wife’s cousin, L. Maria Howe, a servant, aged thirty years (b. MA).

N.B. Thayer (of Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co.) appeared in the Boston, MA, directory of 1883, as having an office at 27 Lincoln street, with his house at South Weymouth. Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co. appeared as dealers in boots and shoes at 25-29 Lincoln street. (The partners were John S. Fogg (1817-1892), and his son, John A. Fogg (1850-1914), Josephus Shaw (1832-1888), Noah B. Thayer (1830-1909), and with Irville Waterman (1849-1924), and Charles S. Bates (1856-1938) being the “company”).

News Notes. Charles Rawson, foreman in the sole-leather room at Fogg, Shaw & Thayer’s boot factory in Westborough, Mass., dropped dead this noon at his work (Boston Evening Transcript, June 23, 1884).

(Charles H. Rawson died of heart disease in Westborough [registered in Upton], MA, June 21, 1884, aged forty-five years, four months, and three days. He was a foreman).

BRIEF LOCALS. A contract for labor at the Reformatory Prison at Concord has been awarded to Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co., boot and shoe manufacturers, of Boston (Boston Evening Transcript, April 13, 1885).

Here we find Noah B. Thayer, of Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co., of Boston, MA, receiving an “assignment” from a bankrupt wholesale shoe dealer.

A Heavy Shoe Failure. Fellows, Shaw & Raymond, wholesale dealers in boots, shoes and rubbers, 159 and 161 Pearl street, have made an assignment to N.B. Thayer, of the firm of Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co. of this city. The liabilities amount to about $100,000, and the assets are nominally in excess of that amount. There are contingent liabilities of $15,000 or $20,000. A meeting of the creditors has been called for Saturday, April 18 (Boston Globe, April 15, 1885).

The shoe factories of South Weymouth, MA, including that of Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co., experienced labor difficulties, including both strikes and lockouts, in 1886 and 1887.

LATEST! THEY STEP OUT. Trouble Among the Lasters at South Weymouth. Employes of Fogg, Thayer & Co. Strike Because of a Cut and Alleged Unfair Treatment. South Weymouth, January 15. The lasters in the employ of Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co., have struck on account of wages paid for lasting, and on account of the treatment of one of their number by one of the firm. According to the statement of the lasters, the difficulty began by the firm reducing what was known as fourth quality of work to the fifth, the price of lasting being reduced from sixty-five cents to fifty-five cents a case of twelve pairs. A short time ago a committee of the lasters waited upon Irving Waterman, a member of the firm, and asked him for an advance in the price paid for that quality of work. Mr. Waterman agreed to call the matter to the attention of the other members of the firm. A few days ago he gave his answer to the lasters’ committee, and stated that the firm had decided to advance the price for this quality of work from 55 cents to 62½ cents a case, the same price as is being paid by other shoe firms in the neighboring towns. The committee informed Mr. Waterman that his answer would be laid before the Masters’ Protective Union for its consideration. This was done, and it was voted to accept the firm’s offer at a meeting held Wednesday evening. Yesterday morning, Arthur Cushing, a member of the Lasters’ Union, went to Frank Tower, foreman of the bottomers’ department, and informed him that the Masters’ Union had decided to accept the firm’s offer. This came to the ears of Mr. Thayer, who, it is alleged, informed Cushing that the firm had no boots for him to last at the price named by the Lasters’ Union, and discharged him from the employment of the firm and at once employed a non-union man to fill his place. In consequence of this action on the part of Mr. Thayer all the lasters, with two exceptions, left the factory. The matter was laid before the executive committee of the Lasters’ Protective Union in Rockland last evening, and it voted to sustain the action of the men leaving the firm. The trouble also was brought to the attention of the local assembly of the Knights of Labor last evening, and they voted to uphold them in the cause. All the men employed in the bottomers’, stitching, cutting and sole-leather departments are out, but a few remain in the edging department to finish up some boots on hand, but they probably will leave tomorrow (Boston Globe, January 15, 1886).

Both Lasters and Firm Satisfied. SOUTH WEYMOUTH, January 27. – The difficulty has been adjusted at the shoe factory of Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co. of this place. The men will return to work in the morning, and seem to be satisfied as the matter now stands. Mutual concessions were made by both parties, and a basis arrived at which is as near the Brockton standard of prices as possible for the grade of work which the firm in question manufactures. The firm speak in the highest terms of their treatment at the hands of the conference committee sent by the union (Boston Globe, January 28, 1886).

Noah B. Thayer appeared in the Weymouth, MA, directory of 1888, as a boot and shoe manufacturer, with his house at 5 Central street, in South Weymouth. His son, Frank H. Thayer, appeared as a book agent, with his house also at 5 Central street, in South Weymouth. Another son, Frederick N. Thayer, appeared as laborer, with his house on Union street, in South Weymouth. Noah B. Thayer’s widowed mother, Mrs. Thais (Nicholas) Thayer, appeared as having her house at 5 Middle street, in South Weymouth.

Josephus Shaw, one of the Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co. partners, died in a railroad accident in Bradford, MA, January 10, 1888, aged fifty-five years, three months, and twelve days. (He was one of nine that were killed in the accident).

A Prominent Citizen of Braintree. Josephus Shaw, one of the victims of the railroad accident, is one of the most prominent citizens of Braintree. He was a member of the firm of Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co., doing a thriving boot and shoe business at South Weymouth. He was a representative to the Legislature seven or eight years ago. He was an active member of the First Congregational Society and superintendent of the Sunday school of the above society. He was 58 years old and leaves a widow and five children, three sons and two daughters (Boston Globe, January 11, 1888).

N.B. Thayer & Co. acquired and opened for a time a shoe factory (apparently a branch or secondary one) in Gonic, Rochester, NH, in 1888. This would have been an entirely separate and distinct enterprise from his partnership with Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co.

M.A. Hanson, à native of Madbury, after having been in business for a time in Maine, came to Gonic in 1881, and started a shoe manufactory on the Barrington road. He employed about fifty hands with a pay roll of about $1,000 per month, and an annual production of twelve hundred cases, valued at $50,000. In October 1888, he sold to N.B. Thayer & Co., and removed to Charlottesville, Va., the following April. Thayer remained only a short time and went to Milton (McDuffee, 1892). 

REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS. J.A. Hanson to N.B. Thayer, Rochester, $1 (Farmington News, October 12, 1888).

N.B. Thayer & Co. opened also another branch shoe factory in Milton in or around 1890. In September 1890, the Boston Globe published what was apparently its first advertisement seeking N.B. Thayer & Co. shoe workers at Milton.

MALE HELP WANTED. WANTED, McKay channeler; also competent man to take charge of small stock room, on misses’ and children’s work; must understand fitting from the side. N.B. THAYER & CO., Milton, N.H. 2t* s17 (Boston Globe, September 17, 1890).

N.B. Thayer & Co. appeared in the Milton business directories of 1892, 1894, 1898, as a Milton shoe manufacturing firm.

Daughter Carrie M. Thayer married in Weymouth, MA, March 4, 1891, Edwin P. McBride, both of Weymouth. He was a salesman, aged twenty-two years, and she was at home, aged twenty-one years. Rev. W.H. Bolster performed the ceremony. McBride was born in Brooklyn, NY, circa 1869, son of Henry and Jane (Cassidy) McBride.

MILTON. Business is improving at the shoe factories. The daily output at N.B. Thayer Co.’s is larger than ever before. Burley & Usher are receiving large orders every day and the outlook for the summer is good (Farmington News, May 6, 1892).

Former partner John S. Fogg died of Bright’s Disease in Weymouth, MA. May 16, 1892, aged seventy-five years, one month.

RECENT DEATHS. John S. Fogg. Mr. John S. Fogg, one of the oldest and wealthiest citizens of South Weymouth, died last night, aged seventy-five years. Mr. Fogg, well known as a local banker and a boot and shoe manufacturer, was horn in Meredith, N.H., April 16, 1817. He came to Boston in 1836, and in 1840 began business for himself as a boot and shoe “crimper” in South Weymouth. About the first of the year 1841 he bought stock and made a few cases of best quality boots, brought them to Boston and sold them to retailers, and in 1842 he built his first factory – a large one in those days – at Columbia square. In July, 1851, he associated himself with W.S. Houghton, under the firm name of Fogg & Houghton. They did a large and rapidly increasing business. About 1861 A. L Coolidge was admitted as a partner, and the firm became Fogg, Houghton & Coolidge. They began to manufacture goods for the California trade, and in 1866 they did a business of more than $1,000,000, and were at that time quoted as the largest boot and shoe manufacturers in the United States. Upon the dissolution of the firm of Fogg, Houghton & Coolidge, in 1878, Mr. Fogg formed a copartnership with N.B. Thayer, which was continued until March, 1882, when the firm of Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co. was formed. At the death of Mr. Shaw the firm of J.S. Fogg & Co., was formed March, 1888, with factories at South Weymouth and Concord, Mass., and Farmington, N.H. About eight hundred man are employed by the concern (Boston Evening Transcript, May 17, 1892).

MALE HELP WANTED. GOOD LASTERS wanted on misses’ and children’s Fargo tipped shoes. N.B. THAYER & CO., Milton, N.H.*3t my19 (Boston Globe, May 19, 1892).

MALE HELP WANTED. LASTERS – Wanted, 3 lasters on misses’ and children’s Fargo tipped shoes. N.B. THAYER & CO., Milton, N.H. 2t Je2 (Boston Globe, June 2, 1892).

N.B. Thayer & Co.’s shoe business expanded and it began even to outgrow its physical plant in Milton. The firm began to consider alternate locations for either expansion or relocation.

MILTON. Rumored that N.B. Thayer is to move his shoe business away (Farmington News, December 23, 1892).

MILTON. N.B. Thayer is to remove his shoe business from Milton next spring (Farmington News, February 17, 1893).

Joseph H. “Howard” Avery apparently forestalled the proposed removal by an expansion of his factory building, which he was renting to N.B. Thayer & Co.

MILTON. Howard Avery is to build an addition of seventy feet to his shoe shop for N.B. Thayer’s use. The stones for the foundation are being hauled (Farmington News, March 24, 1893).

MILTON. Mr. Hayes, foreman of the stitching room at N.B. Thayer’s, has resigned his position on account of ill health (Farmington News, August 24, 1894).

MILTON. Benjamin Edgerly finished work for N.B. Thayer Co. Monday (Farmington News, October 12, 1894).

(Benjamin W. Edgerly died of pulmonary tuberculosis in Rochester, NH, August 26, 1899, aged thirty-six years, four months, and eighteen days. He was a shoemaker).

MILTON. There is some talk of N.B. Thayer & Co. using the Burley shop Farmington News, October 19, 1894).

In 1884, an organization composed of citizens of the 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 occupants. Misses’ and children’s kid and Dongola spring heel slippers are manufactured, and employment is given to 100 or more hands. Steam and water are used for power, and the firm is not exempt from taxation (NH Bureau of Labor, 1897).

MILTON. N.B. Thayer & Co. purchased the Burley & Usher shop, Saturday, and will have a part of their work done there, connecting the two shops by a covered bridge. The cutters and stitchers will stay in the Avery shop, and the other work done in the other shop (Farmington News, October 26, 1894).

MILTON. N.B. Thayer & Co. were shut down for repairs the latter part of last week (Farmington News, December 7, 1894).

Thayer and B&MLucy M. (Newcomb) Thayer died of diabetes in Holbrook, MA, February 28, 1895, aged sixty-two years, six months, and twenty-six years.

MILTON. Rena Wentworth  of Farmington is working at N.B. Thayer & Co.’s (Farmington News, March 8, 1895).

(Miss Rena Wentworth appeared in the Milton directory of 1900, as a vamper, boarding with Mrs. W.C. [William C.] Hall, on Charles street).

N.B. Thayer & Co.’s lasters wenPair of Wooden Lastst out on strike briefly in September 1896. A shoe laster stretches leather shoe uppers around a “last” with a lasting machine – a last being foot-shaped form.

N.B. Thayer & Co. placed the following advertisement seeking replacements for some sixteen striking shoe lasters.

Male Help Wanted. LASTERS wanted, 6 non-union lasters on boys’ shoes, 10 on misses and childrens, must be good workmen and responsible men. Apply to 103 Bedford st., Boston, or Milton, N.H. N.B. THAYER & Co. 2t s2 (Boston Globe, September 2, 1896).

The Milton lasters’ strike committee bought their own competing advertisement, which was placed immediately below that of N.B. Thayer & Co.’s advertisement.

LASTERS are requested to keep away from Milton, N.H., as there is a strike on. Per order committee. 3t* s2 (Boston Globe, September 2, 1896).

The trouble between the lasters and N.B. Thayer & Co., Milton, was settled last week and work in all departments was resumed Monday (Farmington News, September 18, 1896).

(See also Milton Mills Shoe Strike of 1889).

Son-in-law Edwin P. McBride died of typhoid fever in Weymouth, MA, December 10, 1896, aged twenty-eight years, and thirteen days.

DIED. McBRIDE – On Thursday, December 10, at South Weymouth, Mass., EDWIN P., husband of Carrie Thayer McBrlde and youngest son of the late Hugh and Jane McBrlde, of Brooklyn N.Y. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY), December 12, 1896).

N.B. Thayer & Co. appeared in the Boston, MA, directory of 1897, as shoe manufacturers at 103 Bedford street, with N.B. Thayer having his house at South Weymouth, MA.

MILTON. Town Visited by a Small Cyclone Last Friday Afternoon. A small cyclone visited this place last Friday, [June 18, 1897,] and although very little damage was done it gave people quite a scare while it lasted. It came from the northwest and was in the form of a tunnel. Those that saw it sweeping across the pond say it looked like a large white cloud of dust, and that much damage would have resulted had any boats been in its path. Following down the river the cyclone struck the tin roof of N.B. Thayer’s shoe shop, tearing it very badly. Besides the damage done to the roof, the cupola was somewhat injured (Farmington News, [Friday,] June 25, 1897).

The “dull times” mentioned below, as having been avoided generally by N.B. Thayer & Co., is an allusion to the extended economic depression that followed the financial Panic of 1893.

MILTON. Business is very good at the present time. The daily output at N.B. Thayer’s shoe shop averages 35 cases. Business has been good at this shop all through the dull times and now is steadily increasing (Farmington News, July 2, 1897).

MILTON. W.R. Stacey, bookkeeper at N.B. Thayer’s shoe shop, is enjoying a two weeks’ vacation in Boston accompanied by his family (Farmington News, October 1, 1897).

(William R. Stacey had married in Milton, September 23, 1893, Georgiella R. Marston, he of Milton and she of Deerfield, NH. He was a bookkeeper, aged twenty-three years, and she was a shoe stitcher, aged nineteen years. Rev. Myron P. Dickey performed the ceremony).

MILTON. The flag raising at Thayer’s shoe factory, was deferred for unavoidable reasons. Suitable exercises which have been prepared will be given on the occasion some time the present week (Farmington News, May 13, 1898).

PERSONAL. Charles M. Crosby has taken a position at the Thayer shoe shop in Milton (Farmington News, February 3, 1899).

LOCALS. John J. Earle, formerly at the Edgerly factory and later at Thayer’s in Milton, has taken the position of foreman at the Exeter Boot & Shoe company’s factory at Exeter (Farmington News, April 14, 1899).

(JOHN EARL appeared belatedly in the Milton directory of 1900, as a shoe vamper, with his house on Maple street, near So. Main street).

LOCALS. Henry I. Edgerly of Dover, formerly of Farmington, is connected with the Thayer shoe manufacturing business in Milton (Farmington News, May 26, 1899).

(Henry I. Edgerly appeared in the Dover, NH, directory of 1900, as a shoe cutter, with his house at 8 Maple street).

STRAFFORD CORNER. William H. Cater has secured a position in N.B. Thayer & Co.’s shoe shop in Milton (Farmington News, October 6, 1899).

(Willis H. Cater appeared in the Strafford, NH, directory of 1900, as boarding with A.H. Cater. Alonzo H. Cater appeared as a farmer, at Strafford Corner).

LOCALS. Charles Crosby, who has been employed with the N.B. Thayer shoe firm in Milton, is at his home in Farmington, the Thayers being about to move their business to their Roxbury, Mass., buildings (Farmington News, December 29, 1899).

N.B. THAYER & CO., Inc., appeared in the Milton directory of 1900, as shoe manufacturers, with their factory near Milton depot, and their Boston, MA, offices at 103 Bedford street. N.B. Thayer was its president, and his son, F.H. Thayer, was its treasurer.

Thayer, NB - 1900Elmer F. Thayer appeared in 1900 as a clerk for N.B.T. & Co., boarding at the Milton Hotel, and his brother, Frank H. Thayer, appeared as treasurer for N.B.T. & Co., with his house at L.S., i.e., on the Lebanon Side of the river.

Many people appeared in the Milton directory of 1900 as shoe-workers of one kind or another. But apart from those already mentioned, those specifically identified as employees of N.B.T. & Co. were Robert Brown, a fireman; Downing V. Osborne, overseer of cutting room; William R. Stacey, a bookkeeper; and George H. Staples, a night watchman. (Overseer Osborne would become in 1904 the partner of Elmer F. Thayer in the entirely separate Thayer-Osborne Shoe Company).

Thayer, NB - Adv Card - 1907bNoah B Thayer, a shoe manufacturer, aged seventy years (b. MA), headed a Weymouth, MA, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his daughter, Carrie Mcbride, a widow, aged thirty years (b. MA), his grandchildren, Edwin T. Mcbride, at school, aged six years (b. MA), and Margorie Mcbride, aged four years (b. MA), and his servant, Julia Keefe, a servant, aged twenty-four years (b. MA). Noah B. Thayer owned their house, free-and-clear. Carrie McBride was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living.

Elmer F. Thayer, a shoemaker, aged thirty-eight years (b. MA), lodged in the Boston, MA, household of Samuel W. Rorke, superintendent of a piano factory, aged sixty-two years (b. NY), at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census.

MILTON. J.M. Gage has gone to Roxbury to work for N.B. Thayer (Farmington News, July 27, 1900).

(JAMES M. GAGE appeared in the Milton directory of 1900, as an insurance agent and shoe cutter, with his house on Main street, opposite Silver street).

PERSONALS. One of the sons of the senior member of the N.B. Thayer firm of shoe manufacturers, formerly of Milton and now of Roxbury, Mass., was in town over Sunday (Farmington News, July 27, 1900).

MILTON. Fred Sleeper has secured a position in the shoe shop of N.B. Thayer Co., Roxbury, Mass., and commenced work Tuesday of last week (Farmington News, October 26, 1900).

(Fred B. Sleeper had married in Milton, August 29, 1896, Stella Dicey, both of Milton. He was a shoemaker, aged twenty-one years, and she was a shoe stitcher, aged nineteen years. Rev. R.M. Peacock performed the ceremony. Fred B. Sleeper appeared in the Milton directory of 1900, as a shoe finisher, with his house at 42 South Main street).

Frank E. Fernald appeared in the Milton directory of 1900, as boss laster, with his house on Main street, at its corner with Silver street. (He had formerly kept a drug store at Milton Three Ponds. (See also The Preacher and the Druggist – 1897)).

PERSONAL. Walter L. Randall has gone to Roxbury, Mass., to work for the N.B. Thayer Co. (Farmington News, February 1, 1901).

(Walter E. Randall had married (2nd) in Acton, ME, 1898, Maud W. Gray, he of Milton and she of Wells, ME. He was a shoemaker, aged twenty-seven years, and she was a shoe stitcher, aged twenty years. Rev. E.M. Churchill performed the ceremony. Walter E. Randall appeared in the Milton directory of 1900, as a shoemaker, resident at Milton Mills).

Downing V. Osborne [(1864-1941)] appeared in the Milton directory of 1900 as overseer of the cutting room at N.B.T. & Co., with his house on Charles street, on the hill. He evidently went on to perform for a time the same function at N.B. Thayer & Co.’s factory in Roxbury, MA,

MILTON. Downing Osborne spent last week at Fred Hartford’s. Mr. Osborne, formerly a resident of Milton, is superintendent of one of the rooms at Thayer’s factory in Roxbury (Farmington News, September 26, 1901).

Boss laster Frank E. Fernald transferred to the Roxbury plant; and appeared in the Boston, MA, directories of 1901, and 1903, as a foreman, with his house at 119 Dale street, in Roxbury.

The Boston, MA, police sent an inspector to N.B. Thayer & Co.’s Roxbury shoe factory. The plant has 95 male employees and 70 female employees; none of them were aged 14-16 years, and none of them were aged under-14 years. He rated their sanitary conditions as being “good.”  He recommended a guard or rail be installed by the wheel, i.e., a driving wheel, and that a time notice be posted (MA District Police, 1901).

N.B. Thayer & Co. paid Massachusetts a $15 foreign corporation fee in 1901. They were “foreign” in the sense that they were an out-of-state corporation (MA Department of State, 1901).

Thayer’s second son, Frederick N. Thayer, died of acute tuberculosis in Boston, MA, October 26, 1901, aged forty-eight years.

Thayer’s fourth (and youngest) son, Frank H. Thayer, married in Malden, MA, December 5, 1901, Alice A. Waterman, he of Boston, MA, and she of Malden, MA. He was a manufacturer, aged thirty-eight years, and she was at home, aged thirty-one years. Rev. Henry A. French performed the ceremony. She was born in Viola, IL, December 11, 1870, daughter of Arthur O. and Sarah L. (Morrison) Waterman.

PERSONAL. Frank H. Thayer, treasurer of the N.B. Thayer Shoe Co. of Roxbury, Mass., formerly of Milton and well known in Farmington, was married on Dec. 5 to Miss Alice A. Waterman of Malden (December 13, 1901).

NEWS OF THE STATE. The Rochester Foundry & Machine Co. are doing a big heating and piping job for N.B. Thayer Co., at Milton (Farmington News, January 23, 1903).

N.B. Thayer & Co. appeared in the Milton business directories of 1904, 1905-06, and 1909, as a Milton shoe manufacturing firm. (Their address was listed as being on Charles street in 1905-06 and 1909).

MILTON. Business is rushing at the N.B. Thayer shoe factory, a large portion of the help working by night (Farmington News, January 22, 1904).

Here we learn that N.B. Thayer & Co. generated their own electricity for lighting at this time.

MILTON. The shaft which runs the dynamo at N.B. Thayer’s shoe factory broke Thursday, so they had to use kerosene for lighting purposes for a few nights (Farmington News, January 29, 1904).

PERSONALS. Elmer Thayer of Milton was present at the entertainment on Monday night (Farmington News, January 29, 1904).

MILTON. Michael Mack has returned to his work in the N.B. Thayer shoe factory (Farmington News, March 4, 1904).

(Michael Mack appeared in the Milton directory of 1900, as a shoe laster, with rooms at 6 Silver street).

Son Elmer F. Thayer and former N.B. Thayer & Co. cutting room foreman, Downing V. Osborne, formed their own shoe manufacturing partnership in Alton, NH, in March 1904. It was called the Thayer-Osborne Co. (Scales, 1914).

MILTON. Elmer Thayer and Downing Osborne have started in shoe business at Alton (Farmington News, March 12, 1904).

MILTON. Workmen have been engaged at Thayer shoe factory, for a few days, connecting the main shaft with the engine, so that in case of low water, and of too high water, the machinery can be operated with steam power (Farmington News, April 1, 1904).

MILTON. N.B. Thayer employes are to have a half holiday Saturdays, commencing this week (Farmington News, June 3, 1904).

Frank E. Fernald appeared in the Milton directory of 1905-06, as superintendent of N.B. Thayer & Co., with his house at 22 So. Main street.

Son Elmer F. Thayer married in Farmington, NH, June 28, 1905, Annie M. Edgerly, he of Alton, NH, and she of Farmington. He was a shoe manufacturer, aged forty-three years, and she was a bank clerk, aged thirty-four years. Rev. Edward D. Disbrow performed the ceremony. She was born in Farmington, NH, circa 1870, daughter of James B. and Maria J. (Fernald) Edgerly.

Thayer, NB - Adv Card - 1907LOCAL. The N.B. Thayer Co. of Milton has engaged room in the G.A. Jones factory in this [Farmington] village, for the cutting of upper leather, which is found impracticable to do in necessary quantity in Milton, it being next to impossible to get cutters enough who are ready to live in that neighborhood, while they are available in Farmington. It needs hardly be said that we are very glad both to accommodate the firm named and to have an increase of work in our village (Farmington News, August 11, 1905).

Son Elmer F. Thayer’s Thayer-Osborne Co. purchased the disused Nute factory building in Farmington, NH, in late 1905, and removed their shoe machinery from Alton, NH, to Farmington, NH, in early 1906 (Farmington News, December 21, 1905).

LOCAL. Edwin E. Hill has a position as foreman of the heel room at the Farmington Shoe Mfg. Co., and E.A. Gross, formerly employed here, has accepted a position with N.B. Thayer & Co. of Milton (Farmington News, May 18, 1906).

N.B. Thayer & Co. took a lease on the former Fogg & Vinal shoe factory in East Rochester in May 1906. (Fogg & Vinal were principally based in Springvale, ME). Within a few years this East Rochester location would eclipse their Milton operation.

LOCAL. N.B. Thayer & Co. of Milton have taken a five years’ lease of the Fogg & Vinal shoe factory at East Rochester. The business will not be removed from Milton, hut it seems that the demand for this firm’s shoes is so great that it is obliged to increase the output. The factory at East Rochester is to be wired for electric lights, new floors laid, and the office enlarged. This work is to be done by the citizens. It is understood that this factory will be headquarters for the firm. They expect to begin manufacturing about September 1 (Farmington News, May 18, 1906).

In September 1906, the Boston Globe published what was apparently its first advertisement seeking N.B. Thayer & Co. shoe workers at East Rochester, NH.

MALE HELP WANTED. CUTTERS WANTED – Two outside cutters on vici and box calf. N.B. THAYER & Co., East Rochester, N.H. 2t s20 (Boston Globe, September 20, 1906).

Vici was “a trademark for high quality chrome-tanned kidskin with a soap and oil finish” (Wikipedia, 2021). Box calf was a process by which the leather was pre-dyed prior to working.

Some Short News Notes of Doings in the Trade. The large shoe factory at East Rochester, N.H., recently purchased by citizens, who have as a tenant, N.B. Thayer & Co., started up for business for the first time last week after years of idleness. It is the intention of the company to add inexperienced hands daily, until the full quota for stitching department is filled. The Thayer Company also has a large factory at Milton, N.H., and a large amount of stock that has been cut at this factory has arrived at East Rochester (Boot and Shoe Recorder, September 26, 1906).

Frank E. Fernald appeared again in the Boston Directory of 1907, as a superintendent, with his house at 23 Greenville street, in Roxbury. (He was superintendent at N.B. Thayer’s Roxbury plant). By the 1909 directory, he had “rem. to E. Rochester, NH.”

N.B. Thayer & Co., Inc., of Milton, NH, manufacturers of leather boots and shoes, registered (No. 59,842) their trademark with the U.S. Patent Office, January 22, 1907 (U.S. Patent Office, 1911).

Thayer, NB - 1907TWO MODERN NEW HAMPSHIRE FACTORIES. The factories of N.B. Thayer & Co., Inc., illustrated herewith, are at East Rochester and Milton, respectively. Both of these commodious structures are devoted to the exclusive manufacture of the Thayer shoe for boys. The makers of this shoe have recently issued a remarkable illustrated catalogue showing latest styles in Thayer shoes, and reproductions of some of their interesting advertising helps furnished to dealers who sell these shoes. The line includes both McKays and welts in high cuts and oxfords. The following is an extract from their catalogue: “Specialization must be the rule of every manufacturer who attempts to produce the best in any article, and in nothing is it more true than in the manufacture of shoes. We are manufacturers of shoes for boys exclusively and during twenty years of continuous specialization we have acquired an experience in the manufacture of boys’ footwear which is evidenced in our product” (Shoe Retailer, February 16, 1907).

In August 1908, the Boston Globe published what appears to have been N.B. Thayer & Co.’s very last advertisement seeking shoe workers for its Milton factory.

FEMALE HELP WANTED. WANTED – Cylinder vamper on boys’ and youths’ fine shoes. Apply to N.B. THAYER & Co., Milton, N.H. SuM (Boston Globe, August 10, 1908).

N.B. Thayer & Co. lost their April 1909 appeal of the September 1908 negligence verdict against them in the case of Eva Warburton versus N.B. Thayer & Co.

Strafford, April 6, 1909} WARBURTON v. N.B. THAYER Co. CASE, for negligence. Trial by jury before Wallace, C.J., at the September term, 1908, of the superior court, and verdict for the plaintiff. The defendants manufactured shoes at East Rochester. The plaintiff was employed by them as a stitcher and was injured in consequence of her dress being caught upon a shaft revolving under the bench at which she worked. One ground of negligence was the absence of a skirt-guard or board. Subject to exception the plaintiff was permitted to offer evidence that skirt-boards were generally provided in the factory. The order was, Exception overruled. Felker & Gunnison, for the plaintiff. Kivel & Hughes, for the defendants (NH Supreme Court, 1911).

The plaintiff, Eva M. Warburton (1882-1959), was a daughter of Edward H. and Mary E. (Shorey) Warburton. She was a shoe factory vamper, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH), residing in the Rochester (“East Rochester Village”), NH, of her widowed mother at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census.

Nothing further has come to hand regarding N.B. Thayer & Co.’s Milton plant. Their factories at Roxbury, MA, and Rochester, NH, continued for another twenty years or so.

WILL GIVE AWAY SHOE SHOP. Rochester, March 17. – The East Rochester Improvement association, consisting of about forty residents of the village and the owners of the large shoe shop at that place, occupied by N.B. Thayer and company has voted to present the shop to the Thayer company, under the conditions they will pay the debt of $5,000, [which] is on the shop against the association. This move was brought about at a meeting, at which the association was asked to place a new boiler and engine in the factory. As yet, no action has been taken by the Thayers on account of the head officials being out of the city. An answer, however, is expected by the middle of the week. At the present time over 250 are employed there. The shop is said to be worth $30,000, but it has a long record and has cost the association more than that amount (Portsmouth Herald, March 18, 1909).

COMES TO PORTSMOUTH. Man From Rochester Takes Charge of Packing Room at Gale Shoe Company. Benjamin Garrett, for several years connected with the N.B. Thayer Shoe Co., at East Rochester, has taken the place as foreman of the packing room of the Gale Shoe Company (Portsmouth Herald, June 19, 1909).

(Benjamin F. Garrett appeared in the Rochester, NH, directory of 1909, as a shoe operative, boarding at 11 Highland street, in East Rochester).

Noah B. Thayer died of paralysis agitans, i.e., Parkinson’s Disease, in his residence at Central Street in Weymouth, MA, June 29, 1909, aged seventy-nine years, five months, and three days.

LOCAL. Mr. N.B. Thayer, father of Elmer F. Thayer of this town, died at his home in East Weymouth, Mass., last Tuesday, June 29 (Farmington News, July 2, 1909).

WILL OF NOAH B. THAYER. Weymouth Man Leaves Bequests of $3000 for Son and Daughter. DEDHAM, July 10 – The will of the late Noah B. Thayer of Weymouth has been filed with the Norfolk registry of probate. The will was drawn April 27, 1906, and an accompanying codicil was drawn Sept 6, 1906. By the will $3000 is left to one son, Frank H. Thayer. To one daughter, Carrie M. McBrlde, is left $3000, and all the household goods and furniture. The remainder of the property is left to the children, Frank H. and Elmer F. Thayer and Carrie M. McBride. Frank H. Thayer is suggested for executor (Boston Globe, July 10, 1909).


Continued in Milton’s N.B. Thayer & Co. Shoe Factory – 1910-34


References:

Find a Grave. (2016, May 8). Carrie M. Thayer McBride. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/162351856/carrie-m-macbride

Find a Grave. (2015, August 7). Frank Herbert Thayer. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/150294761/frank-herbert-thayer

Find a Grave. (2008, October 5). Frederick Nicholas Thayer. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/30325265/frederick-nicholas-thayer

Find a Grave. (2008, October 5). Noah Blanchard Thayer. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/30324570/noah-blanchard-thayer

Find a Grave. (2015, August 7). Richard Waterman Thayer. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/150294778/richard-waterman-thayer

McDuffee, Franklin. (1892). History of the Town of Rochester, New Hampshire, from 1722 to 1890. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=rL0yAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA500

MA District Police. (1901). Report of the Chief of the Massachusetts District Police. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=ACcrAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA101

NH Bureau of Labor. (1920). Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor of the State of New Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=J8JMAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA161

NH Bureau of Labor. (1924). Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor of the State of New Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=B8cFoLudq0IC&pg=PA54

NH Supreme Court. (1911). The New Hampshire Reports, June 1908-December 1910. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=TtRIAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA592

Scales, John. (1914). History of Strafford County, New Hampshire and Representative Citizens. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=nGsjAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA734

U.S. Patent Office. (1911). Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=x4enZnlxHJ0C&pg=PA687

U.S. Patent Office. (1930). Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=DdVF8AmFQOIC&pg=PA739

Wikipedia. (2021, September 24). Kidskin. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidskin

Wikipedia. (2021, May 4). National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Industrial_Recovery_Act_of_1933

Wikipedia. (2021, August 2). Panic of 1893. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1893

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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