AS RECORDED IN:
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND
REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903 P. 926
James Pike, the discoverer of a process of dyeing black, which for
permanency and general excellence has no equal, and who organized the Sterling
Dye & Finishing Co., which has met with phenomenal success, was a worthy
representative of a family that has held an honorable place in New England for
150 years. Through the latter half
of the eighteenth century there resided in the town of Sturbridge, Mass.,
several families by the name of Pike. The
children of John and Mahetabel Pike are of record there:
Mehitable, John, Ebenezer, Lydia, Ruth, Abigail and Lois, all born
between 1758 and 1779 inclusive.
Pike, the great-grandfather of James Pike, of Sterling, Conn., was married in
Sturbridge, May 7, 1767, to Mary Howard, and their children were:
Anna, born May 18, 1770; Ephraim,
born March 7, 1772; David (not on
record); Jesse, born June 28, 1774;
and Jonas, born May 25, 1777 (a Jonas Pike is of record in Sturbridge as dying
Feb. 24, 1781). It is recorded in
Sturbridge that “Jonas Pike, of Windham, Conn.,” and Peggy Turner were
married May 30, 1804, and that Mary H. and Jonas, their children, were born Feb.
18, 1805, and March 14, 1809, respectively.
This Peggy Turner was probably the Margaret Turner born in 1780, daughter
of George, as Margaret is referred to in the genealogies of the families of
Medfield, Mass., as perhaps marrying Jonas Pike, of Sturbridge.
George Turner, it appears, was a deserter from the British army during
the war of the Revolution, and until the war was over secreted himself about
Medfield, where he married Amy Clark. He
is said to have been a gardener to the Duke of Argyll before entering the army.
is a family tradition that Jonas Pike, great-grandfather of James, of Sterling,
Conn., married a descendant of William White, of the “Mayflower,” through
the latter’s son, Peregrine White. Peregrine
White was born Nov. 20, 1620, in the cabin of the “Mayflower” as she lay in
Cape Cod Harbor, and was the first white child born in New England.
William White, of the “Mayflower,” was the son of Bishop John White,
and was married in Leyden, Holland, July 1, 1612, to Susanna Fuller, a sister of
Samuel Fuller, also a passenger in the “Mayflower.”
Peregrine White married, about 1647, Sarah, daughter of William and
Pike, son of Jonas Pike, of Sturbridge, Mass., married Elizabeth Pitman, of
Newport, R.I. Their two sons were:
William and James Pitman; and their daughters were:
Lucy, who married David Bayless; and Nancy, who married Abijah Prouty.
Pike left Sturbridge in 1810 and settled in Sterling, Conn.
He learned from his father, who was by trade a hatter, the art of
coloring. In the year 1811 he began
the dyeing of cotton yarns, and later assumed charge of the dye house of the
Sterling Manufacturing Company. Removing
to Pawtucket, he introduced the bleaching of cottons by chlorine, and thus
superseded the old and primitive method.
Pike, son of William, was born in Sterling, Conn., Dec. 31, 1826.
After a season at the public schools he became a pupil of the Plainfield
Academy (then a flourishing institution), and also a student at the Scituate
Seminary. Soon after leaving school
he entered the employ of the Sterling Manufacturing Company, and subsequently
aided his father in the manufacture of chemicals.
Meanwhile by a series of experiments he discovered a process of coloring
black which for permanency and general excellence is superior to any other in
use. He at once (1880), organized
the Sterling Dyeing & Finishing Company, in which he held a controlling
interest and was agent until his death in 1890.
May 10, 1853, Mr. Pike was married to Mary E. Shepard, of Brooklyn, Conn., a
daughter of Abram and Hannah (Webb) Shepard.
Abram Shepard was born in Plainfield, Windham county, Conn., in 1806, a
son of John Shepard, and a descendant in the fourth generation from Isaac
Shepard, one of the first settlers of the town of Plainfield.
Abram Shepard settled in Brooklyn, Conn., in 1837, and followed farming
and merchandising until his death in 1877. He
had children: Harriet;
Edward; Mary E. (who married
James Pike, the father of Mrs. George H. Call);
Maria, who married Duncan Cameron; Esther
A.; John and Henry.
To James and Mary E. Pike were born:
James Edward, who since his father’s death has been agent of the
Sterling Dyeing & Finishing Co.; Lydia
Campbell, wife of Claramon Hunt; Mary
Esther; Harriet Elizabeth, wife of
George H. Call; and Annie M., deceased. Mr.
Pike was a Republican in politics. He
served as railroad commissioner from 1868 to 1871, held several town offices,
and while a member of the State Legislature served on the committee on Banks.
He was a member of Moriah Lodge, No. 15, F. & A.M., of Danielson, and
of Columbia Commandery, of Norwich. Religiously
he was a supporter of the Congregational Church.
He died Aug. 26, 1890, in the sixty-fourth year of his age.
Pike, probably son of James and Rachel, had a number of children born to him at
Reading, and with his family came to Framingham before its incorporation and
their neighborhood was styled “Pike Row.”
Framingham, Mass., was not incorporated until 1700, although the place
was known as Framingham plantation in 1670, and had received a grant of land as
early as 1640. James Pike and his
wives, Naomi and Sarah, were of Reading, and perhaps he was the James received
into the Charlestown Church, 1647; probably also of Cambridge, where he had a
son, John, born Jan. 1, 1653-54; at Reading were born Zachariah and others.
(See Barry’s Framingham, 1847.) There
are evidences pointing to a relationship between the Pikes of Framingham and
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