Hon. A. W. Sulloway
Franklin, New Hampshire
This biography is from "The History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties,
New Hampshire". Edited by D. Hamilton Hurd and Published in 1885.
From an industrial as well as a political standpoint,
the town of Franklin has long occupied a prominent position in the State.
Highly favored by nature with the facilities most conducive to the development
of manufacturing industry, there has grown up within its limits, or been
attracted thereto from other localities, a large class of citizens
possessing the enterprise, energy and sagacity requisite to the most advantageous
use of those facilities.
There are, indeed, few among our New England
towns of corresponding size which include among their inhabitants a larger
number of active and successful business men, or whose progress has been
signalized during the last quarter by a more substantial industrial development.
Alvah Woodbury Sulloway is one of the best known,
most practical, energetic and public-spirited among the enterprising business
men of this prosperous and progressive town.
While the State of Massachusetts has drawn from
our midst a large proportion of the men whose labors have brought the prosperity
and distinction which that proud old commonwealth enjoys, she has given
New Hampshire, in return, some of her own sons, whose efforts have contributed,
in no small degree, to advance the honor and welfare of the State of their
adoption. Among these is the subject of this sketch. Born in Framingham,
Mass., December 25, 1838, Mr. Sulloway is now in his forty-seventh year.
He is the only son and eldest child of Israel W. and Adeline Richardson
Sulloway, to whom three daughters were also born, two of whom are living,---
one unmarried, and the other the wife of Herbert Bailey, Esq., a prominent
manufacturer of the town of Claremont.
Israel W. Sulloway was born in Salem, N. H.,
December 24, 1812, and sprang from Revolutionary ancestry on both the paternal
and maternal sides, his mother being the daughter of Captain Israel Woodbury,
of Salem, who served in the patriot army throughout the war for independence.
He engaged in manufacturing service in youth,
and was for some time an overseer in the Saxonville woolen-mills. In 1848
he removed to Enfield, N. H., where he introduced the process of making
the celebrated Shaker socks by machinery, being the first manufacturer
to engage in this enterprise.
He established a prosperous business, which he
carried on about sixteen years, when he sold out to his son-in-law, Mr.
Bailey, and retired from active life, locating at Waltham, Mass. He died
suddenly, November 20, 1883,--- a man of remarkably kind and benevolent
disposition, whose sterling qualities won the respect of all who enjoyed
In his father's mill at Enfield, Alvah W. Sulloway,
gained that practical knowledge of the business in which he has since been
engaged, which constituted the sure foundation of the success he has attained
He secured a good academical education at Canaan
and Barre, Vt., and the Green Mountain Liberal Institute, at South Woodstock;
but spent a considerable portion of his time, between the ages of ten and
twenty-one years, in active labor in the mill, thoroughly familiarizing
himself with the various processes in hosiery manufacture and the general
conduct of business in that important line of industry.
Upon attaining his majority, with that ambitious
and independent spirit which so generally characterizes the youth of New
England, and to which the development and prosperity of all sections of
our country are so largely due, Mr. Sulloway determined to go into business
for himself. His purpose received the ready encouragement and sanction
of his father, and, after due deliberation, he formed a partnership with
Walter Aiken, of Franklin, in the manufactureof hosiery. The partnership
continued for about four years, when it was dissolved by mutual consent,
and another firm was organized which put in operation a new mill.
This firm consisted of Mr. Sulloway and Frank
H. Daniell, of Franklin, who carried on business together until 1869, when
Mr. Daniell withdrew, and Mr. Sulloway has since been sole proprietor.
The mill is situated upon the lower power of the Winnipiseogee, opposite
the mills of the paper company, the power being used in common by the two
establishments. The building is of brick, three stories high, with basement,
contains four sets of woolen machinery, with about seventy-five knitting
machines, and furnishes employment for about ninety operatives, besides
a large number of women in the vicinity and surrounding towns, whose labor
is required in finishing the work which the machines leave incomplete.
The goods manufactured are the Shaker socks,
or half-hose, of which more than three hundred dozen pairs are produced
daily, giving an annual product of about one hundred and fifty thousand
dollars. The monthly payroll averages about two thousand five hundred dollars,
aside from the amount paid for outside labor.
Mr. Sulloway is a business man in the true sense
of the term, and as such he has been thus far eminently successful. But
while devoting his energies and ability to the development of his own business
interests, and thereby indirectly conferring large benefit upon the community
in which he moves, he has never failed to contribute by direct personal
effort to the advancement of all measures of public utility and material
progress, and to his labor and encouragement, personally and peculiarly,
as much as to any other among its many enterprising and public-spirited
citizens, the town of Franklin is indebted for the advanced position which
it holds when regarde from a business, social or educational stand-point.
He was a prime mover in the organization of the Franklin National Bank,
which went into operation in November, 1879, and has been president of
the institution from the start. He has also been a trustee of the Franklin
Savings-Bank ever since its establishment, and for several years past a
member of the committee of investment. In 1880 he was chosen a member of
the board of directors of the Northern Railroad, and in March, 1885, he
was appointed president of the same corporation.
In politics Mr. Sulloway is an ardent Democrat,
an earnest and enthusiastic worker in the party cause, and his labors in
this direction have been largely instrumental in bringing his party into
ascendancy in Franklin, which was for many years one of the hardest-contested
political battle-grounds in the State, numbering, as it does, among its
citizens several of the most active leaders of the two great parties. In
1871, although the town was then decidedly Republican, he was chosen a
member of the State Legislature from Franklin, and was re-elected the following
year. In 1874, and again in 1875, he was elected to the same position.
In the Legislature, as everywhere else, he proved
himself a thoroughly practical man, devoting himself actively to business
and leaving speech-making to those inclined to talk rather than work. In
1871 he served on the committee on elections; in 1872, upon railroads;
in 1874, was chairman of the committee on manufactures, where his close
acquiantance with manufacturing interests fitted him for most efficient
service; and in 1875 was again a member of the elections committee. In
1874, when the Democratic party managers set to work systematically to
win a victory in the State, Mr. Sulloway was nominated for railroad commissioner
upon the ticket headed by James A. Weston for Governor.
Although there was no choice by the people in
the election that year, the Democracy won a substantial victory in that
they secured a majority in the Legislature, and the election of their candidates
for Governor and railroad commissioner followed at the hands of that body.
To the triumph of his party in the State the energetic labor of Mr. Sulloway
in the general conduct of the campaign contributed in no small degree.
As a member of the Board of Railroad Commissioners
for the term of three years, the last year as chairman of the board, he
rendered the State efficient service, carrying into his official labors,
so far as they extended, the same practical sagacity and judgement exercised
in his own private business.
In January, 1877, Mr. Sulloway was nominated
by the Democracy of the Second District as their candidate for Congress
against Major James F. Briggs, of Manchester, the Republican nominee. The
district was strongly Republican, and that party had a popular candidate
in the field; yet Mr. Sulloway, with no expectation of an election, made
a vigorous canvass and ran largely ahead of his ticket. He was also the
candidate for his party in the district at the next election, and again
in 1880, making lively work for his successful opponent, Major Briggs,
on each occasion. He has been an active member of the Democratic State
Committee for a number of years past, and for the greater portion of the
time a member of the executive committee of that body, having direct charge
of the campaign work.
He was a member of the New Hampshire delegation
in the National Convention at St. Louis, in 1876, which nominated Samuel
J. Tilden for the Presidency, and was an enthusiastic supporter of Mr.
Tilden, not only in convention, but also in the subsequent campaign, in
which he was actively engaged as a member of the Democratic National Committee
from this State. In 1880 he was again a delegate to the National Convention
of his party at Cincinnati, where General Hancock was nominated; and in
1884, at Chicago, he was a zealous supporter of Governor Cleveland.
In religion Mr. Sulloway is an adherent of the
liberal faith. He was reared a universalist, and is now an active member
of the Unitarian Society in Franklin. In this organization, as in business
and politics, he is an earnest worker, and to his encouragement and material
assistance is largely due the erection of the finest church edifice in
town. He has been trustee of this society from its beginning, and is also
a member of the board of trustees of the Unitarian Educational Society,
under whose auspices Proctor Academy, at Andove, is conducted.
In 1866, Mr. Sulloway was united in marriage
to Miss Susan K. Daniell, the youngest daughter of the late J. F. Daniell,
and a sister of Hon. Warren F. and Frank H. Daniell. They have three children;--
a daughter and two sons,-- the eldest, Alice, born August 5, 1871; Richard
Woodbury, born February 15, 1876; and Frank Jones, born December 11, 1883.
Their home is a fine modern residence, erected
in 1877, beautifully located in a bend of the Winnipiseogee River, surrounded
by handsome grounds, with all its appointments conducive to the comfort
of the family and the hosts of friends who share their generous hospitality.
Mr. Sulloway is a man of keen perceptive powers
and ready judgement, so that he is enabled to form conclusions on all practical
questions presented with more than ordinary promptness and accuracy. His
opinion in all matters of public interest and concern in this community
in which he resides is as frequently sought and carries as great weight
as that of any other man, to say the least, and the same also may be said
of his advice in private business affairs.
He is frank and outspoken at all times, and never
hesitates to say just what he thinks when called upon to express himself
in any direction. He has many warm friends, and enjoys a full measure of
popularity in social as well as in public and business circles. He was
a moving spirit in the organization of the New Hampshire Club, an association
formed by New Hampshire men doing business in Boston, for social entertainment,
and has been a leading member of the same from the start. Endowed with
an active mind, and healthy and vigorous bodily powers, he has great capacity
for labor, and will unquestionably accomplish even more substantial results
in the future than have already attended his efforts.
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