by Laurel | March 10th, 2014
02 March 1906
Well-Known Holyoke Manufacturer Passes Away at His Home
After a Few Days Illness — His Many Business Interests
Joel S. Webber, 74, one of Holyoke’s best-known manufacturers died at his home 188 Chestnut Street, yesterday forenoon about 9:45 of a complication of diseases that had confined him to his bed since last Friday, though he had been in poor health for six or eight weeks. His death removes another of the older manufacturers of Holyoke, for he had been in business as a member of the firm of Beebe, Webber & Co. since the last of the 60’s. Mr. Webber was a quiet unostentatious man of simple tastes, but who was at all times a staunch and reliable citizen whose judgement was sound and valued. not only on the business side but in the various interests of the community he was active and helpful. He was one of the incorporators of the Holyoke Public Library and of the Holyoke City Hospital, and been interested in and was for some time president of the Holyoke Boys’ Club, resigning two months ago on account of being unable to give the affairs of the club the attention they deserved; in fact for the last year or two he had been gradually divesting himself of business burdens.
The firm of Beebe, Webber & Co. was incorporated as the Beebe-Webber Company in 1901 and he had served as president since that incorporation. He was also vice-president and member of the finance committee of the Mechanics Savings Bank director of the City National Bank, the Farr Alpaca Company, and the Hadley mills of South Hadley Falls; president of the Barlow Manufacturing Company, besides having interests in other Holyoke corporations. He was also a member of the Bay State Club, though his love for home life was so strong that he seldom visited the club; and a member and strong supporter of the Second Congregational Church. A few years ago he bought a farm of about 100 acres in South Hadley, in which he took great interest and had for the past few years spent his summer there, going out as soon as mild weather came on and returning late in the fall. In his earlier years he had held public office, serving as common councilman in 1876 under Mayor W.B.C. Pearsons, from Ward 3, and later as a school committeeman.
Joels S. Webber was born in Cazenovia, New York, Octob23 10, 1832, the son of Joel and Harriet Pease Webber. His father and mother had lived previously in Worcester and from there went west to New York state and later to Michigan, where they died. Joel and his brother and sister were taken care of by relatives, Joel entering the family of his grandfather, Parley Webber of Somerville, Connecticut He was educated in the schools and academy at Monson and when about 20 entered the employ of Jared Beebe of Monson. who had a woolen mill there. Young Webber was evidently looked on with considerable favor by his employer, for some time after he married his daughter, Miss Maria L. Beebe, and became a member of the firm, the firm name being J. Beebe & Co. About 1860 this company bought a one-set woolen mill in Willimansett, later moving to Holyoke and is part of the Whitcomb building.
His first wife died about 12 years ago and he subsequently married Miss Mabel Howes who survives him and one sister, Mrs. Mary Jewett of Monson, one son, Fred S., associated with the company, and one daughter Mrs. George McNeil of Litchfield, Connecticut. The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 at the house, 188 Chestnut Street. Rev. Dr. E. A. Reed will officiate and the burial will be in the Forestdale Cemetery.
Sadly, this house had a serious fire on 15 August 2009. Follow this link to see a series of pictures at MassLive.com.
Below is what Google street view gives us as far as images of 188 Chestnut Street. General Google Street images are not necessarily current. Does anyone know if the house is still in the sad condition appearing in the post-fire photos? It looks as though it may have been on the market, though no evidence it is at this time.
From The Springfield Republican.
House Photo from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, MACRIS database, Pot fire house photo from Google.