120. WILLIAM SILENCE7 ALMY (Thomas6, Christopher5, Job4, William3, Christopher2, William1),b. Dartmouth, MA, 10 Oct 1798; d. Boston, MA, 25 Dec 1881.
He m. New Bedford, MA, 19 Nov 1828, ELIZABETH BRAYTON, b. Cambridge, MA, 19 Jun 1803; d. 11 May 1879; dau of Robert and Deborah (Hussey) Brayton of Nantucket.
|i||SARAH8, died young.|
|ii||ROBERT B., b. Cambridge, 12 Sep 1830; d. 4 Jan 1896.|
|iii||SARAH H., b. Cambridge, 16 Dec 1832; d. 26 Feb 1869.|
|iv||MATILDA H., died young.|
|235||v||HENRY, b. Cambridge, 22 Aug 1836; d. 6 Apr 1879; m. 17 Jan 1862, ELIZABETH BARKER.|
|vi||CATHERINE G., died young.|
|vii||JOHN P., b. Cambridge, 17 Jan 1841; d. 7 Aug 1905, unmarried.|
|236||viii||WILLIAM FRANKLIN, b. 17 Jan 1841; d. 14 Jun 1898; m. 3 Oct 1871, ALICE GRAY of Boston.|
|ix||ALICE BRAYTON, b. Boston, 14 Apr 1843; d. New Bedford, MA, 5 Jan 1871; m. New Bedford, 15 Oct 1865, FREDERICK GRINNELL, b. New Bedford, 14 Aug 1836; d. New Bedford, 21 Oct 1905; son of Lawrence and Rebecca S. (Williams) Grinnell. Their children: i. Lawrence Grinnell, b. 19 Feb 1868; Alice Almy Grinnell, b. 19 Nov 1870.|
|237||x||THOMAS R., b. 1848; m. JULIA A. GOULDING, b. Ireland, Oct 1849.|
William's will, made Dartmouth 7 Dec 1876, mentions sons Thomas R., Robert, Henry, John P., and William; son Robert's share to be managed by Henry, John, William, and son-in-law Frederick Grinnell; grandchildren Mabel, Sarah Helen, and Henry, children of his late son Henry; grandchildren Eleanor and William F., children of son William; Alice Almy Grinnell, daughter of his late daughter Alice.
The William Silence Almy households are in the following Federal censuses for Dartmouth, MA.
1850: William Almy 51, merchant; Elisabeth B. 43; Robert B. 19, sailor; Sarah H. 17; Henry 13; William F. 9; John P. 9; Alice B. 6; and Thomas R. 2.
1860: William Almy 58, merchant; Elizabeth 53; Robert B. 29, master mariner; Sarah H. 24; John P. 19; Alice B. 16; and Thomas R. 12.
1870: William Almy 69, blind, retired merchant; and Elizabeth B. 64.
1880: William Almy 82, widower, retired merchant; living with nurse and servants.
William Almy was born on the old Almy homestead in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and passed his childhood and youth on his father's farm, receiving in the way of an education what the neighborhood district school afforded. The following is from an article in the New Bedford Mercury of December 28, 1881.
"He early determined to become a merchant, and at the age of thirteen he walked from his home near Horse Neck, carrying his shoes in his hand as a matter of economy, to Russell's Mills, where he began his career in the store of the late Abraham Barker. In a few years he removed to this city, and was employed as book-keeper in the store of William H. Allen and the late Gideon Allen, and in the counting-room of the late John Avery Parker. Graduating there, he went to Boston, and found employment in the best school possible for a merchant, the counting-room of the late A. & A. Lawrence. Soon after attaining his majority, and doubtless under the kind auspices of his employers, he formed a partnership with a fellow clerk, named Dexter, establishing the business (importing and jobbing of white-goods), which under the firm names of Dexter & Almy; Almy, Blake & Co.; Almy, Patterson & Co.; Almy, Hobart & Co.; and Almy & Co.; he successfully pursued for nearly fifty years. Cool, clear-headed, and sagacious, no man stood higher in the confidence and esteem of his fellows than William Almy. He achieved a handsome fortune for his time, but secured something far better, a reputation for spotless integrity and unblemished honor."
For many years William Almy was a director in the Eagle Bank, Boston, and for a number of years his firm was selling agent for various cotton and woolen mills, among these being the celebrated Wamsutta Mills of New Bedford. Politically he was a Whig and Republican.
About 1830, William Almy purchased a part of the old Almy farm, near Horse Neck, in Dartmouth, a delightful summer residence, which he greatly improved and beautified. But soon a gradual failure of sight obliged him to give up in a measure his business care, and in company with one of his daughters he went to Europe to seek the cure of his threatened blindness. He, however, received no benefit from the advice and treatment of the most eminent foreign oculists, and in a short time (1858) he became totally blind, -- a terrible affliction for a man so self-reliant and independent as he had been, so full of activity and so fond of social life. In 1868 he retired from business.
REFERENCES: BRISTOL p. 207; CFA pp. 168, 171-2, 179; FAMILY RECORDS; FEDERAL CENSUSES; HOWLAND p. 263; LAWTON pp. 44-45, 106; MAVR, Cambridge, New Bedford; RepMenMA p. 672.