Hon. A. W. Sulloway
of
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 his acquaintance.
    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 therein.
    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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