Michael William Hanley

Owner of the Pequa Press, Inc. in Stoughton and publisher of the

Stoughton News-Sentinel newspaper in 1918

             History of Norfolk County, Massachusetts 1622-1918. (New York, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1918), 2:11-14.

A record of successful achievement is that of Michael William Hanley, the steps in whose orderly progression are easily discernible. Indefatigable energy and determined purpose have been the crowning points in his career and have carried him from a humble position into important business relations. He is now the secretary and general manager of the Pequa Press, Inc., publisher of the Stoughton News-Sentinel and conducting an extensive job printing and binding business that has steadily grown until the Pequa Press, Inc. occupies a foremost position among the printing establishments of this part of the state. Mr. Hanley is of Irish birth. He was born December 20, 1872, in County Galway, Ireland, his parents being Michael and Julia (O'Grady) Hanley, who were also natives of that county. Coming to America, they settled in Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1877, and the father continued to make his home there throughout his remaining days, his death occurring September 21, 1908. His widow survives and is still living in Waltham.

Michael W. Hanley was but five years of age when his parents crossed the Atlantic and consequently he was reared and educated in Waltham. When his school days were over he entered the office of the Waltham Evening News and later went to Boston, where he learned the printer's trade, working at various times on all the large papers of that city, including the Boston Globe, Post, Herald and Advertiser. In September, 1902, he removed to Stoughton, Massachusetts, and in May, 1903, established the Pequa Press. In the meantime he had thoroughly acquainted himself with every phase of the printing business, steadily working upward until he had reached a prominent position by reason of his superior skill and ability. He was then offered a position as superintendent of the composing room for the largest publishing house in this country but the desire to enter business on his own account led him to refuse the proffered offer and establish the Pequa Press, which step he took in May, 1903. Business was begun in a small way in a room on Freeman street in Stoughton. He entered upon the struggle for business existence. Much patience was required and he had to undergo many privations and work for long hours in order to make the Pequa Press what it is today, "the foremost printing house in this part of the state." There were six other printing offices in Stoughton at that time; today the Pequa Press is the only printing office, for the excellence of the work turned out by the establishment led to the absorption of all the trade in this line. Mr. Hanley secured the business of Morse Brothers, manufacturers of the Rising Sun stove polish in Massachusetts. This necessitated a removal to larger quarters in order to take care of their extensive business and the Pequa Press was housed in a large three-story building, but at that time only a part of the first floor was used. Now the entire first floor and as well all of the second floor are utilized, the second floor being used as a bindery plant, and the Press today occupies fifteen hundred square feet. The Press is known from coast to coast for its originality, for the style and good workmanship of its finished products. Scarcely a week passes that shipments are not made to England, Canada, the Philippine islands, Mexico and in fact through every quarter of the globe. The first piece of machinery installed was a seven by eleven job press and a few hundred dollars worth of type. Today the plant is one hundred per cent in its equipment, which includes the latest style of cylinder presses with Chandler and Price job presses, a Pearl press, a Universal press, a Babcock Optimist press and the latest Latham stitching machines for binding purposes, together with punching and perforating machines, Chandler and Price paper cutters and proof presses. With the lack of ready capital and much competition Mr. Hanley had to bring every resource to bear to establish his business and place it upon a paying basis, but from the beginning his patronage began to increase, for his work showed superior excellence and originality. At length it was urged by his fellow townsmen that he establish a paper and the result was that the Stoughton News came into being, a paper which soon outdistanced its competitors and is recognized as one of the leading papers of eastern Massachusetts. On the ist of November, 1916, the Pequa Press was incorporated with Colonel A. H. Geotting as the president, E. H. Southworth, treasurer, and Michael W. Hanley, secretary and general manager, together with George Belcher and J. W. Wood as directors.

On the 10th of February, 1897, Mr. Hanley was united in marriage to Miss Helen Harriet Sullivan, of Waltham, Massachusetts, who was born in Bangor, Maine, February 5, 1872. They have become the parents of four children: Helen V. and Philip T., who were born in Everett, Massachusetts; and Bertha F. and Richard G., born in Stoughton. All are attending the public schools.

Mr. Hanley is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters and has membership in the Immaculate Conception Catholic church. He has made for himself a most enviable position in the hearts of his fellow townsmen and is today at the head of one of the most important industrial enterprises of his adopted town. Actuated by a spirit of progress and of laudable ambition, Mr. Hanley has steadily worked his way upward since he took his initial step in the business world and has been a persistent, resolute and energetic worker, possessing strong executive powers and keeping his hand steadily upon the helm of his business. He has been strictly conscientious in his dealings with debtor and creditor alike and keenly alive to the possibilities of every new avenue opened in the natural ramifications of trade. He has passed over the pitfalls into which unrestricted progressive-ness is so frequently led and has been enabled to focus his energies in directions where fruition is certain.

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