WILLIAM LEONARD HODGES, of  West Stoughton, a gentleman of means; with a taste for quiet country life, an esteemed and popular member of the community where he dwells, was born on July 13, 1858, son of Leonard and Jane (Atherton) Hodges. He is a lineal descendant in the seventh generation of William Hodges, presumably of English birth, an early settler of Taunton , Mass. , his name first appearing on the records under the date August, 1643. His marriage took place a few years later, his wife being Mary Andrews, daughter of Henry Andrews, of Taunton . This is the line: William1, John2, William3, Abijah4, Samuel5, Leonard6, William Leonard7 (see Hodges Genealogy).

Samuel Hodges, grandfather of the subject of this sketch was an innkeeper in Taunton and Easton, Mass. many years previous to the advent of railroads, and was one of the best known men of his day in that section of the State. He married Lucinda Austin, of Dighton , Mass. , and reared several children, among whom were Samuel, Jr., Lucinda, and Leonard. Samuel Hodges, Jr., who was commissioned First Lieutenant in the United States army, and served as a recruiting officer in the War of 1812, incorporated the Gay Cotton Manufacturing Company in 1813. Later he was appointed United States Consul at the Cape Verde Islands , and went there in 1819. He died in 1835. Lucinda Hodges married the Rev. Calvin Park.

Leonard Hodges, father of William L., was born in Taunton , Mass. , July 8, 1794 .  He learned the jeweler’s trade, and in 1820 he established himself in business at West Stoughton . His progressive tendencies manifested themselves as early as 1822, when he began the manufacture of satinets, the weaving in those days being done by hand looms. His energy, business ability, and close application soon developed the enterprise to such an extent as to necessitate the employment of twenty-five weavers; and he later erected and equipped a mill with improved machinery. In 1851 he retired from business, renting the mill to his nephew, who in company with Calvin Tuck carried it oil under the firm name of Tuck & Hodges until 1857, at which time be sold the property to Charles French of Canton. For many years he was a director of the Neponset Bank, Canton . Thoroughly upright and honorable, unassuming in manner, having no ambition for office, he occupied a prominent place among the leading citizens of Stoughton, where he died March 1, 1871, sincerely mourned by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Jane Atherton, his wife, whom he married he January 12, 1848 , was a daughter of Elijah and Ruth (Tisdale) Atherton, of Stoughton .  She became the mother of two children, namely: Anna A., born August 20, 1855 ; and William Leonard, the subject of this sketch. Anna A. is now the widow of Claude Wilson, M.D., late a prominent physician of Watertown , N.Y. , who died April 23, 1896 . She has had five children - Anna Belle, Janet, Margery, Claude, and Leonard.     

William L. Hodges pursued his primary studies in the public schools of Stoughton , and  then took a four years course at the West Newton English and Classical School . After some time spent in travel he resumed his residence in West Stoughton . Unconnected with any business enterprise, be devotes much time and thought with happy effect to improving and beautifying his estate. He has never been induced to accept public office, and holds himself aloof from political affairs. He is well advanced in Masonry, being a member of Rising Star Lodge, of Stoughton , and of Bay State Commandery, Knights Templar, of Brockton . He is a Director of Neponset National Bank, Canton , Mass.

On May 10, 1883 , Mr. Hodges was united in marriage with Littie Gray Simmonds, of Boston . Her parents were David M. and Lydia A. (Dudley) Simmonds, the former of whom was a furniture dealer. Mr. and Mrs. Hodges have two children, namely: Lydia , born January 29, 1884 ; and William, Jr., born September 28, 1887 .

Source: Biographical Review - Volume XXV - Containing life sketches of leading citizens of Norfolk County Massachusetts . (Boston, Mass., Biographical Review Publishing Co., 1898), pgs. 542-545.  

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