A prominent figure in the business circles of Stoughton is Ernest B. Southworth, a forceful and resourceful man, who is now occupying the responsible position of manager with the George E. Belcher Last Company and is thus controlling the activities of many employees in what is one of the largest and most important productive industries of the city. He was born in Stoughton, April 18, 1872, his parents being Gurdon and Sarah B. (Staples) Southworth, the former a native of Stoughton, while the latter was born in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. The father was a manufacturer of machine screws and later purchased an interest in a bakery business at Stoughton, becoming a member of the firm of Staples & Southworth. He was also prominent in community affairs and served as one of the selectmen of his town, while for two terms he represented his district in the state legislature, giving thoughtful and earnest consideration to the vital questions which came up for settlement during that period. At length he sold his bakery business and became interested in the Packard Dressing Company, with which he was identified to the time of his death, which occurred in March, 1912, when he was sixty-five years of age. His widow is still living.

Ernest B. Southworth supplemented his public school education, acquired in Stoughton, by a course in the Bryant & Stratton Business College at Boston and later entered upon his business career as an employee in the office of the Stoughton Rubber Company. There he remained for twenty years and, advancing step by step through successive promotions, was holding the position of superintendent at the time when he resigned on the 1st of April, 1909, to take his present position as manager with the George E. Belcher Last Company. Theirs is the largest manufactory in the world devoted to ,the making of men's welt lasts, and the fact that Mr. Southworth has been chosen manager of this plant is indicative of his marked ability, resourcefulness and executive power.

In April, 1898, Mr. Southworth was appointed registrar of the town of Stoughton and still occupies that position. He belongs to the Chicatawbut Club, of which he was treasurer from 1911 until 1916. He is well known as a Mason, having taken the three degrees in Rising Star Lodge, F. & A. M., in May, 1901. He has passed through all of the chairs of the lodge and was worshipful master in 1907, occupying the position for two years. Following the death of his father, who had been treasurer of the lodge for twenty-five years, Mr. Southworth of this review was elected to the position and is still acting in that capacity. In 1904 he became a member of Mount Zion Chapter, R. A. M., and the following year was elected to office in that organization and became high priest in 1913. In 1915 he was elected treasurer, again succeeding his father in the office in the chapter. He belongs to Brockton Council, R. & S. M., and to Bay State Commandery, No. 38, K. T. His religious faith is that of the Congregational church and his political allegiance is given to the republican party. Aside from his other business connections he is the treasurer of the Pequa Press of Stoughton. His activities are wide and varied, bringing him into connection not only with important business interests but with those agencies which have to do with the development of high standards among men in all relations of life. The integrity of his purpose and the result of his activities have placed him with those men of Norfolk county who represent the highest type of American manhood and chivalry.

Source: History of Norfolk County Massachusetts 1622-1918 (New York, S. J. Clark Publishing Co., 1918), 2:122-123.

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