Samuel Atherton (7), son of Samuel and Abigail Atherton, was born Jan. 26, 1815, in Stoughton; was educated at the common schools; passed the early part of his life (until twenty years of age) on the homestead farm. He then went to Boston (1835) as clerk for William Capen, shoe and leather dealer, and remained with him about two years. Then taking a position as book-keeper with the firm of Prouty & Co., Commercial Street, wholesale hardware, he stayed with them for one year. He next established himself in business, as a retail boot and shoe dealer, on Washington Street, in company with Edwin Battles, under the firm-name of Battles & Atherton. After one year the connection with Mr. Battles was dissolved, and Mr. Atherton was employed by Caleb Stetson, wholesale shoe and leather dealer, corner of Broad and Central Streets, whom he served as clerk until Jan. 1, 1842, when he became partner, the new firm being C. Stetson & Co.
This partnership lasted about three years. Then Mr. Stetson retired from active business, remaining, however, special partner, but the business was conducted as "Samuel Atherton." This relation continued three years, when Mr. Stetson again resumed active connection, and the firm-name became S. Atherton & Co., to be changed two years later to Atherton, Stetson & Co., on the admission as member of A. W. Stetson, now president of the State Bank. From that time to 1861 the firm-name was unchanged. On the retirement of Caleb Stetson, in 1852, James and William Atherton were admitted as partners, and they continued the Stoughton manufactory as their portion of the firm work. In 1861, Samuel and James Atherton withdrew from the firm, it, however, retaining the old name of Atherton, Stetson & Co. Soon after George E. Atherton, son of Samuel, was admitted as partner. This business was one of the most successful in this department of trade in Boston, five or six of the partners retiring in succession with wealth.
Mr. Atherton married, Sept. 16, 1841, Tempie H., daughter of Col. Joseph and Mary (Rich) Holbrook, of Boston. Their children were George Edward, Charles Francis, and Sarah Ann, who married George P. Sewal, of Boston. The children of this marriage were Atherton and Mabel A. Mrs. Tempie Atherton died Feb. 24, 1849. Mr. Atherton married, July 3, 1856, Susan B., daughter of Capt. Richard and Jerusha (Rich) Baker. Their children were Helen L. (married Edward H. Hawes, of Boston) and Susan M. (married W. Morton Robinson, of Lynn). Mrs. Susan Atherton died May 18, 1858. Mr. Atherton married, Oct. 6, 1869, Mrs. Susan M. Holton, daughter of Joseph Bassett and Margaret Richardson. Mr. Atherton passed some years of his married life in Charlestown. He purchased the beautiful place in Dorchester where he now resides in May, 1856, and has made his home there ever since. Mr. Atherton is a director in the New England Bank, Prescott Insurance Company, Massachusetts Loan and Trust Company, president of the Dorchester Gas-Light Company, and connected with various other corporations. He is a man of great executive ability, clear intellect, sound practical sense, and force of character. By his enterprise, sagacity, and integrity he won the confidence and esteem of the leading business men of Boston, and has a high rank in financial circles. Whig and Republican in political belief, he took hold of politics with the same enthusiasm and energy which characterized him in business life, and has always taken an active part in the "primaries." He could have won political honors, and worn them gracefully and with distinction, but, aside from representing Dorchester in the State Legislatures of 1867, 1870, and 1877, he has not accepted political position. In private life Mr. Atherton is marked for his eminently social qualities, his courtesy to all, his warm and strong friendships, kindness, and liberality to the unfortunate and to charitable objects. He is Unitarian in religious belief.
Source: D. Hamilton Hurd, History of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, with Biographical Sketches of many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men. (Philadelphia, Pa., J. W. Lewis & Co., 1884), pgs. 417-418.
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