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Joseph D. Chute
 Joseph D. Chute, 1837-

From American Series of Popular Biographies. Massachusetts Edition. This Volume Contains Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston: Graves & Steinbarger, 1891.


JOSEPH D. CHUTE, who for more than thirty was intimately associated with the building interests of Milton Lower Mills as one of the leading contractors and builders of that place, is now living retired from active labor at his pleasant home in Dorchester. He was born April 26, 1837, in Hampton, Annapolis County, N.S. That town was also the birthplace of his father, Handley Chute.

From a genealogy of the Chute family, compiled by William Chute, we learn that he is a lineal descendant of Lionel Chute, a native of Dedham, Essex County, England, born about 1580, who married Rose, daughter of Robert Baker, or Barker. Lionel Chute came to America about 1634, and settled in Ipswich, Mass., where he secured land and resided until his death in 1645. He taught school in Ipswich in 1636. James, son of Lionel, born in Dedham, England, in 1613, came to America with his parents. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Daniel and Martha (Read) Epps. He was a well-educated man, and was often called upon to execute important documents, besides filling various offices of trust in the town. He died in 1691. He was followed by his only son, James, born in Ipswich in 1649. This second James married Mary, daughter of William and Mary Wood, and resided successively in the towns of Ipswich and Newbury. His son Lionel, born in Ipswich, April 15, 1681, and reared in the parish of Byfield, married December 10, 1702, Anna, or Hannah, Cheney, daughter of Peter Cheney, of Newbury. Their son John, born in the town of Rowley, Mass., June 1720, was married in Hampstead, N.H., November 16, 1745, to Judith Foster, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Woodward) Foster. He served as Surveyor of Highways and Tithing-man in Hampstead. In 1759 he removed to Nova Scotia, and settled on a farm one mile below Bridgetown, Annapolis County, and there engaged in farming and blacksmithing. He was one of the pioneer Baptists in that locality. He died in 1808.

James Chute, son of John, was born in Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, January 22, 1762. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Abner and Anna (Church) Morse. She died in April, 1798; and he married, second, Elizabeth, daughter of John and Sylvia (Harris) Wright. He was a farmer and jeweller, and a lifelong resident of his native county, where he died April 9, 1829.

Handley Chute, son of James and Elizabeth (Morse) Chute, was born in 1790, and died January 24, 1857. A man of strong personality, of upright principles, affable and hospitable, his death was a loss to the community in which he had spent the greater part of his life. He was an ardent supporter of the temperance cause and a valued member of the Baptist church. He was an agriculturist by occupation, owning extensive tracts of land; and he also carried on a large business as a manufacturer of lumber. His first wife, Hannah Chute, to whom he was married January 13, 1814, died in early womanhood, leaving five children, all of whom grew to years of maturity, namely: Eaton; Martha, wife of Harris M. Foster; Jacob; Eliza, who married Benjamin Foster; and Seth. October 15, 1826, he married for his second wife Martha, daughter of James Phinney. She was born in Nova Scotia, her ancestors having gone there from Massachusetts in the eighteenth century. James Phinney, her father, was sixth in descent from John Phinney, who settled in Scituate in 1630, the line being: John, John, John, Benjamin, Zachaeus, James. Mrs. Martha P. Chute died October 10, 1868. She was the mother of the following-named children: Solomon, born July 15, 1827; Elizabeth, born November 22, 1828; Mary Ann, born May 21, 1830; Hannah, born January 15, 1832; John E., born October 20, 1833; Robert, born June 15, 1835; Joseph D., the subject of this sketch; Seleda, born July 15, 1839, died in childhood; Jesse, who died in infancy; Abner, born December 16, 1843; and Lavenia,, born December 7, 1845, who is the wife of Lorenzo Fash. Elizabeth was three times married, her first husband having been Michael Miller, her second Captain Charles H. Britton, and her third Samuel Gesnor, of Lynn, Mass. Mary Ann married Captain Travis Brinton, and Hannah married Captain Elias Brinton.

Joseph D. Chute remained at the parental homestead until he was sixteen years old, attending the public schools and assisting in the work of the farm. Starting then in life for himself, he came to Massachusetts, and served a three years' apprenticeship in Salem to the carpenter's trade, which he subsequently followed in various places. In 1866 he came to Dorchester, and soon after entered the employ of F.M. Severance, the principal contractor and builder of Milton Lower Mills, with whom he was connected for more than twenty years, fifteen years of the time being superintendent of the work. On the removal of Mr. Severance in 1889, Mr. Chute engaged in business for himself, carrying it on during the ensuing ten years with marked success. Under his supervision many of the substantial and prominent buildings of this section of Suffolk County were erected, among others being the dormitory of the Forbes School at Milton, the buildings occupied as stores by J.S. Smith and Henry E. Sheldon, and the beautiful residences of George A. Newell and H.P. Ware of Brookline.

Mr. Chute's first wife was Elizabeth Hoffman, daughter of Joseph Hoffman, of Nova Scotia, who died leaving three children: Martha L., wife of W.A. Constable, formerly of Quebec, but now of Boston, Mass.; Harvey Franklin, a carpenter in Boston; and Fred S., an electrician, also of Boston. Mr. Chute subsequently married Mrs. Caroline Dale Hall, a daughter of John Dale, of Boston.

Politically, Mr. Chute is a Republican, and fraternally he belongs to the following organizations: Macedonian Lodge, A.F. & A..M.;* Dorchester Lodge, No. 158, I.O.O.F.;** Shalome Encampment, No. 12, I.O.O.F.; the Improved Order of Red Men; and the Knights of Honor. He takes an active interest in religious matters. He is a member of the Blaney Memorial Baptist Church, is the chairman of the official board of the church, and has served as superintendent of the Sunday school.

*A.F. & A.M. Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.
**I.O.O.F. Independent Order of the Odd Fellows.

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Created: October 31, 2004   Modified: October 31, 2004