WHITIN GENEALOGY--Part II--3rd to 6th generations

Maple Street

Paul Whitin's third son, John Crane Whitin, not only outlived his brother Nathaniel by ten years to age 75, but he became the founder and genius, as well as the workhorse of the Whitin Machine Works.

The turn of the eighteenth century heralded an economic boom in textiles. Shop Number 3 for the Whitin Machine Works was built in 1884. Many Queen Anne style duplexes followed this along Maple, Oak, Water, West and East Streets. (This writer recalls moving to West Street in 1949, attending the West End School which bordered the Shop yard with its piles of coal and scrap iron and hearing the Shop train.) In 1889, The Whitins in charge built Shop Number 4 and even more, nicer houses on East, Brook, Willow, Church Streets and Johnson Ave. In 1908 Shop Number 5 was added and this resulted in the largest housing development ever done by the company. "New Village," a section of Whitinsville off No. Main Street, had now 400 new tenements and multi-family houses.

The turn of the eighteenth century heralded an economic boom in textiles. Shop Number 3 for the Whitin Machine Works was built in 1884. Many Queen Anne style duplexes followed this along Maple, Oak, Water, West and East Streets. (This writer recalls moving to West Street in 1949, attending the West End School which bordered the Shop yard with its piles of coal and scrap iron and hearing the Shop train.) In 1889, The Whitins in charge built Shop Number 4 and even more, nicer houses on East, Brook, Willow, Church Streets and Johnson Ave. In 1908 Shop Number 5 was added and this resulted in the largest housing development ever done by the company. "New Village," a section of Whitinsville off No. Main Street, had now 400 new tenements and multi-family houses.

   

Church Street

One of John Crane Whitin's brothers, Charles Pinckney Whitin had a son, named Arthur Fletcher Whitin, who would marry Katherine Sheldon Clarke, before the turn of the eighteenth century. The Whitinsville Spinning Ring Company resulted. The last born of Paul Whitin Sr.'s sons, James Fletcher, met and married Patience Howard Saunders, and they had a son, they named George Milnor Whitin. Meanwhile, Arthur Fletcher and his wife Katherine, would produce three children: Frederick Burney, Betsy, and James Earle, who would later marry Edgeworth Whittall in 1905. The company would be liquidated later in 1923. Betsy later married Matthew Percival Whittall and moved to Worcester. Frederick Burney married Eugenie Burbank, who decided to sell her interest in the company to her brother.
Jane Whitin, John Crane's daughter by his first wife (Catherine), in 1855 decided to marry Josiah Lasell. They had 2 sons and 2 daughters. Their first born daughter, Catherine Whitin Lasell, met and married George Marston Whitin, who later fathers four daughters who decide to give their father quite a tribute after his death in 1920. Their second born son, Josiah Manning Lasell, would marry Mary Frances Krum in 1888 and father three sons: Josiah Lasell II (b.1891), John Whitin Lasell (b.1897), who would be killed in action in the World War, and Chester Harding Lasell (b.1908), who would move away to New York City. Their first born son, Chester Whitin Lasell would meet and marry Jessie Maud Keeler, born in 1864. They had two daughters, Marion Murray Lasell, who married Minturn de Suzzara-Verdi and moved away to New York City later. The younger daughter, Hildegarde went on to marry James Sibley Watson, Jr.

 

 

E Kent Swift

 

 

 

 

 

One of George Marston Whitin's four daughters, his 3rd born, Katherine Leland (b. 1887), would create history by marrying a man named Elijah Kent Swift (b.1878).


Elijah Kent Swift would become well known in the Company and would father 3 daughters: Elizabeth (b.1913), Katherine (b.1915), Anne (b.1918), and a son Elijah Kent Swift Jr. (b. 1924- 2007).

George Marston Whitin's four daughters were: Elizabeth Klock Whitin (b.1880), Elsa (b.1884), Katherine Leland (b.1887), and lastly, Lois Haven (b.1896). They would create a memorial and a lasting tribute to their late father in 1922, by erecting the Whitin Community Center. Also, the first three daughters would help to rule in the management of the Company. Elizabeth married first to Lawrence Murray Keeler in 1905. Elsa married Sidney Russell Mason in 1909 and Katherine, as mentioned earlier, married Elijah Kent Swift in 1911. He would go on to rule the Whitin Machine Works best, from 1933 through 1946.

Paul Whitin Jr.'s first son Charles Edward Whitin (b.1823), in 1853 married Adeline Callot Swift, and their second-born son George Marston Whitin (b.1856), would prove to be a true Whitin by fostering long-lasting social and community ties. His first brother, Henry Thomas Whitin (b.1854), would have two sons: Paul Whitin IV (b.1896), married later to Rebecca Carter (1909), having no children; and Richard Courtney Whitin (b.1896) married later to Ina Watson in 1920, also childless. George Marston Whitin's youngest brother, Paul Whitin III, would die at an early age of eleven in 1873. His only sister, Eliza Swift Whitin (b.1862), lived to age 56, after she married Paul Whitin Abbott of Boston in 1902. George's first brother, Henry Thomas Whitin, married Cora Berry in 1876 and lived to be 77. 


Paul Whitin II and Richard Courtney Whitin were the two sons of Henry Thomas Whitin, grandson of Paul Whitin Jr., and Cora Berry who actively shared in running the Company in the early 1900's. Laurence Murray Keeler and Elizabeth Knox produced Murray Whitin Keeler, unmarried as of 1908, and Marston Whitin Keeler, who later married Marjorie Thayel Eliason and moved to Providence, R.I. Lawrence Murray Keeler Jr. (b.1913), marries his friend and nurse and died recently. Elsa Whitin had married Sidney Russell Mason in 1909 and had one daughter, Priscilla, who resides in Washington D.C. She is actively keeping the Whitin legacy alive by her interest in the Whitin Center renovation. She was born in 1913.

     In 1923, Shop building Number 6 was erected and the last homes--Leland Rd., Woodland, Summit and Church Streets--having 100 more units, were finally completed. This would make a total of 989 units owned and constructed by the Whitins. (Many of these homes are now occupied and owned by former Whitin Machine Works workers or their friends and neighbors.) The Pleasant St. houses were a specialized group and were occupied mostly by sales people of the Shop. Some white-collar workers also lived at Castle Hill Road and Summit and Woodland Streets. Supposedly, the more unskilled workers had lived along East Street and in the New Village section of Whitinsville. Paul C. Whitin had also built similar duplexes in Rockdale much earlier, in the 1890's, to house his employees of the Rockdale Mill.
     Many other Whitin properties, buildings and provisions were to follow in the early 1900's. In 1922, their main fire station, Station 1, was erected and still stands today, on the corner of Main and West Water Streets. Memorial Square in Whitinsville center was transformed during the 1890's to a Town Common with a Civil War Monument in 1905. A World War II Memorial was erected in 1922 as a park-like setting. Meadow Pond, developed in 1847, same year as the W.M.W. went to full textile parts production, and Carpenter Reservoir (1888) were used not only for water power but for fishing and recreation. In 1891, the Whitins designed the first reservoir system for piping water to their homes in Whitinsville. Also, eight years later, the Linwood St. (now Linwood Ave.) railway system was established to allow passenger service between Whitinsville and the Providence and Worcester Railway Depot in Linwood. Adding to the modernization of transportation, were the first street gas lights put into town (1890's) and later installation of electric lights in all company housing units. Coal bins were widely used at this time in shop tenements for fuel and heating systems of hot air furnaces until W.W.II, switching then to fuel oil and natural gas.

     In 1913, the Whitins donated land and a house on Granite St. to be the first town hospital where eventually the Whitin Health Center and the Beaumont Adult Day Care Center stand today. In 1917, more land was donated and the Whitin Garden Club was established. The Blackstone Valley Baseball League started also in the 1900's, along with the construction of Vail Field, where the Balmer School is now located.
     Among the many services the Whitins provided was free snowplowing for their workforce. Road maintenance, house and lawn care services were also provided. Coal and ice, when needed, were provided at cost from the Company. The Blue Eagle Inn, near a lot on Grove St., was built by the Whitins to house retired workers, and also provide temporary housing. Boat houses were also built on Arcade Pond. Boats were rented for fishing and other pleasures. Almost all public and all private clubs were helped financially in some manner by the Whitin family.  
     The period of 1884-1908 saw a great influx of Armenians, French-Canadians, and Dutch immigrants to the textile companies. Many, like the Quebecquois, sought to avoid hard and long days on their farms, and looked for opportunities in the mills. In 1923, Charles P. Whitin sold the granite cotton mill to the Whitin Machine Works and the era of cotton manufacturing comes to an end. The research division moved to the southern states. The 1930's brought a depression and this caused an economic slowdown and unemployment. However, just 10 years later, the onslaught of orders as a result of the war effort geared up the Whitin Machine Works production, especially in the making of magnetos, during 1944 through 1948. Yet there seems to be some labor unrest, as well as a lack of skilled labor for many jobs, and growing discrimination of ethnic groups, along with several disagreements among Company managers that helped to bring on a strike in January of 1946. E. Kent Swift resigned as the last great Whitin president. It was indeed the end of the Whitin patriarchal dynasty, prior to a buyout by American Type Foundries (ATF)- Davidson and later by White Consolidated Industries, until The Shop was finally sold to a private party in 1967.
 


 


 


 


 


In 1923, Shop building Number 6 was erected and the last homes--Leland Rd., Woodland, Summit and Church Streets--having 100 more units, were finally completed. This would make a total of 989 units owned and constructed by the Whitins. (Many of these homes are now occupied and owned by former Whitin Machine Works workers or their friends and neighbors.) The Pleasant St. houses were a specialized group and were occupied mostly by sales people of the Shop. Some white-collar workers also lived at Castle Hill Road and Summit and Woodland Streets. Supposedly, the more unskilled workers had lived along East Street and in the New Village section of Whitinsville. Paul C. Whitin had also built similar duplexes in Rockdale much earlier, in the 1890's, to house his employees of the Rockdale Mill.


Many other Whitin properties, buildings and provisions were to follow in the early 1900's. In 1922, their main fire station, Station 1, was erected and still stands today, on the corner of Main and West Water Streets. Memorial Square in Whitinsville center was transformed during the 1890's to a Town Common with a Civil War Monument in 1905. A World War II Memorial was erected in 1922 as a park-like setting. Meadow Pond, developed in 1847, same year as the W.M.W. went to full textile parts production, and Carpenter Reservoir (1888) were used not only for water power but for fishing and recreation. In 1891, the Whitins designed the first reservoir system for piping water to their homes in Whitinsville. Also, eight years later, the Linwood St. (now Linwood Ave.) railway system was established to allow passenger service between Whitinsville and the Providence and Worcester Railway Depot in Linwood. Adding to the modernization of transportation, were the first street gas lights put into town (1890's) and later installation of electric lights in all company housing units. Coal bins were widely used at this time in shop tenements for fuel and heating systems of hot air furnaces until W.W.II, switching then to fuel oil and natural gas.


In 1913, the Whitins donated land and a house on Granite St. to be the first town hospital where eventually the Whitin Health Center and the Beaumont Adult Day Care Center stand today. In 1917, more land was donated and the Whitin Garden Club was established. The Blackstone Valley Baseball League started also in the 1900's, along with the construction of Vail Field, where the Balmer School is now located.


Among the many services the Whitins provided was free snowplowing for their workforce. Road maintenance, house and lawn care services were also provided. Coal and ice, when needed, were provided at cost from the Company. The Blue Eagle Inn, near a lot on Grove St., was built by the Whitins to house retired workers, and also provide temporary housing. Boat houses were also built on Arcade Pond. Boats were rented for fishing and other pleasures. Almost all public and all private clubs were helped financially in some manner by the Whitin family.


The period of 1884-1908 saw a great influx of Armenians, French-Canadians, and Dutch immigrants to the textile companies. Many, like the Quebecquois, sought to avoid hard and long days on their farms, and looked for opportunities in the mills. In 1923, Charles P. Whitin sold the granite cotton mill to the Whitin Machine Works and the era of cotton manufacturing comes to an end. The research division moved to the southern states. The 1930's brought a depression and this caused an economic slowdown and unemployment. However, just 10 years later, the onslaught of orders as a result of the war effort geared up the Whitin Machine Works production, especially in the making of magnetos, during 1944 through 1948. Yet there seems to be some labor unrest, as well as a lack of skilled labor for many jobs, and growing discrimination of ethnic groups, along with several disagreements among Company managers that helped to bring on a strike in January of 1946. E. Kent Swift resigned as the last great Whitin president. It was indeed the end of the Whitin patriarchal dynasty, prior to a buyout by American Type Foundries (ATF)- Davidson and later by White Consolidated Industries, until The Shop was finally sold to a private party in 1967.

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