Proprietor of the F.E. Benton & Company on Brock Street, Stoughton 

Agriculture has always been regarded as the initial movement in the development of any region, and while the earlier settlers of New England turned their attention to the tilling of the soil, many generations have lived and flourished since agriculture was the chief occupation of the people of Massachusetts. With the passing years they have more and more largely concentrated their efforts upon manufacturing and now the products of the factories of this state are sent not only into every section of the country but into all foreign lands. In the last few years Stoughton has undergone a marked transformation through the establishment of many productive industries in her midst. Well known in manufacturing circles of Stoughton is Ernest M. Fullerton, the proprietor of the business which is conducted under the style of F. E. Benton & Company, manufacturers of shoe last findings at No. 26 Brock street.

He was born in North Bridgewater, now Brockton, Massachusetts, September 10, 1872, a son of Daniel F. and Phoebe (Turner) Fullerton, who were also natives of the old Bay state, the former having been born at North Bridgewater and the latter at Stoughton. The father engaged in the shoe stitching business and took contract work from all the different factories, continuing in that line of activity throughout his entire life. He was a veteran of the Civil war, serving for three years as a member of Company D, Seventeenth Regiment of Maine Infantry. He was a musician with that regiment and remained at the front throughout almost the entire period of the war. His death occurred April 25, 1881.

Ernest M. Fullerton spent his youthful days in Bridgewater and Stoughton and mastered the branches of learning taught in the public schools of the two cities. He was nine years of age when he came to Stoughton with his mother following the father's death. He early started upon his business career, entering the employ of F. E. Benton, for whom he worked in different capacities, promotions coming to him as he proved his capability of mastering the tasks that had already been assigned to him. He finally went upon the road as a traveling salesman for Mr. Benton and later he became connected with the Phinney Counter Company of Stoughton, with which he continued for a year. He then returned to the service of Mr. Benton, with whom he continued until the death of the latter in January, 1917. At that time Mr. Fullerton and his mother bought out the business with which he had so long been associated and with which he was familiar in every detail. He has since conducted the business and now employs eighteen people. His trade is substantial and is constantly growing, the output of his factory being sold all over the United States and in many foreign countries. This is the largest concern of the kind in the United States, making a full line of shoe last findings. The house sustains an unassailable reputation for the integrity of its business methods and in all of his trade relations Mr. Fullerton is just with creditor and with debtor alike.

On the 1st of August, 1906, Mr. Fullerton was married to Miss Sarah E. Johnson, a daughter of Hiram and Mary A. (Shaw) Johnson, who were natives of England and came to America in early life, at which time they took up their abode in Ludlow, Vermont.  Later they removed to Franklin, Massachusetts, and subsequently established their home in Stoughton, where Mr. Johnson was employed as overseer in the woolen mills. For twenty years he was connected with the firm of French & Ward. His wife died in 1907 and he afterward returned to Vermont, where he passed away in 1910. To Mr. and Mrs. Fullerton have been born three children: Donald F., who was born January 13, 1909; Bernice M., born January 28, 1910; and Laurence E., born April 4, 1914.

The parents are members of the Universalist church and Mr. Fullerton has membership with the Sons of Veterans. His political endorsement has always been given to the republican party and he was at one time a member of the republican town committee. He is interested in the success of his party and does all in his power to secure the adoption of its principles yet he has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking. On the contrary he has preferred to give his undivided time to his business affairs and his thorough capability and reliability were attested by his long connection with the house of which he is now the head. He ever enjoyed the full confidence of Mr. Benton and was legitimately the successor to the business, which he had so largely aided in building up.

Source: History of Norfolk County Massachusetts 1622-1918 (New York, S. J. Clark Publishing Co., 1918), 2:264-266.

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