JOHN G. PHINNEY
Parnter in the S. C. & J. G. Phinney Counter Co.
No history of the business development of Stoughton would be complete without extended reference to John G. Phinney, now deceased, who during the course of an active business life was prominently connected with the manufacturing interests of Stoughton and also of Boston. His plans were always well defined and carefully executed and his business principles were those which would bear the closest investigation and scrutiny. He thus made for himself an honored position in commercial circles and enjoyed in unqualified measure the trust and confidence of those who knew him. He was born in Stoughton on the 17th of August, 1843, a son of Sylvanus C. and Mary (Russell) Phinney. The father was a native of Maine and established his home in Stoughton at an early day. There he engaged in the manufacture of boot counters, soles and heels and devoted his entire life to that undertaking, his life's labors being terminated in death in 1871. His wife has also passed away.
Reared at the family home in Stoughton, John G. Phinney became connected with the manufacturing interests of his father, under the style of S. C. & J. G. Phinney, and throughout his entire career he concentrated his efforts along that line. His activity constituted an important element in the growth of the trade and he remained in the business until called to his final rest in February, 1888. Following his death the business was incorporated under the name of the J. G. Phinney Counter Company and so continued for about twenty years, when the business was closed out. It had long remained one of the foremost manufacturing concerns of the city, constituting an important element in the continued growth of Stoughton's trade relations. Mr. Phinney also operated a leather store on Summer street in Boston and was likewise engaged in the manufacture of lasts as a member of the firm of Walker & Phinney. He was a man of resolute will who carried forward to successful completion whatever he undertook. He recognized that when one avenue of opportunity seemed closed he could carve out other paths whereby to reach the desired goal and his perseverance and energy enabled him to overcome all difficulties which he encountered.
It was in July, 1868, that Mr. Phinney was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Lunn, who was born in South Easton, Massachusetts, in July, 1846, a daughter of Robert and Sarah (Newcomb) Lunn, the former a native of England and the latter of Maine. The father was brought to the new world in infancy, the parents starting from England with their family, but one died while en route. Not long afterward Mr. Lunn was left an orphan and was adopted by the ship's captain, who resided at Easton, Massachusetts. After attaining man's estate he became a thread manufacturer of South Easton, where he conducted that business for several years, and later he turned his attention to the manufacture of shoes, continuing his residence in South Easton throughout his remaining days. Death called him in 1870 and his wife survived until 1887. To Mr. and Mrs. Phinney were born two children: John W., at home; and Frank F., who resides in Warren, Massachusetts, where he is engaged in the manufacture of the Warren steam pumps.
Mr. Phinney was a worthy exemplar of the Masonic fraternity. He belonged to the Congregational church and his political allegiance was given to the republican party, which found in him a stalwart supporter. He was interested in everything that pertained to the welfare and progress of his community and gave active support to many movements that were of great benefit to Stoughton. He erected a large and handsome residence at No. 81 Sumner street, which is occupied by his widow. The name of Phinney has long been an honored one in Stoughton and the memory of Mr. Phinney is yet cherished and revered by those who knew him while he was still an active factor in the world's work.
Source: History of Norfolk County Massachusetts 1622-1918 (New York, S. J. Clark Publishing Co., 1918), 2:280-282
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