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Ebenezer Curtis
 Ebenezer Curtis, 1808-

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.


EBENEZER CURTIS, formerly a prominent business man of Dorchester, was born in Milton, July 13, 1808, son of Joseph and Hannah Curtis. His father, who was probably a native of Milton, died while serving in the American army during the War of 1812, at Fort Independence; and his mother soon followed her husband to the grave, leaving behind two children, thus early made orphans, namely: Abigail, who became the wife of William Dexter Chandler; and Ebenezer, the subject of this sketch.

Ebenezer Curtis was brought up by his aunt, Mrs. Henry Clapp. When old enough to work, he learned the baker's trade, which he followed for some time; but subsequently he engaged in the coal and wood business, and continued to carry it on for the rest of his life, his death taking place on June 24, 1877, when he was sixty-nine years old

He was married on November 2, 1829, to Miss Susan Weld Preston, daughter of Edward and Rebecca (Weld) Preston, of Dorchester. Her father was a son of John Preston and grandson of Edward Preston, first, who bought a mill privilege in Dorchester in 1757, operated a fulling-mill a number of years and about 1770 established a chocolate mill. Edward Preston, first, in his will left his mills to his son John, Sr., grandfather of Mrs. Curtis. John Preston, Sr., was succeeded by his sons Edward and John, Jr., who carried on the chocolate business for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Ebenezer Curtis resided on Mill Street, Harrison Square, on the homestead of Mrs. Curtis's father. They were the parents of two children, namely: Susan Clarrisa, who is now the widow of William H. Pierce, her husband having died in 1896; and William D.C. Curtis, of whom a separate sketch follows. Mrs. Curtis is still living, and enjoys a remarkable degree of mental and physical vigor, having never, to the best of her recollection, been sick enough during her life to require the services of a physician. She is now ninety years old.

WILLIAM DEXTER CHANDLER CURTIS, secretary of the Dorchester Insurance Company, was born November 4, 1833, in the old brick house on Harrison Square, Dorchester, that was built by Elisha Withington, his parents being Ebenezer and Susan W. (Preston) Curtis. He was educated under the tuition of William T. Adams, afterward known as "Oliver Optic," and famous as a writer of stories for boys, completing his studies in January, 1848. He then found employment with the firm of Preston & Curtis, dealers in wood and coal, of which his father was a member, and with which he remained for several years. Subsequently he worked a year for the Bent & Co., Bakery; some length of time for Daniel Speer, grocer, at Neponset; also for several years after leaving the grocery store was foreman and surveyor of lumber for M.S. Southworth & Co., of Neponset, and later with Laban Pratt for a year or more in the same business; and then for seven years he was business manager of the American Railway Times, John A. Haven, editor. Entering the employ of the Dorchester Insurance Company March 1, 1868, as clerk, he worked his way up through the different offices until reaching his present position as secretary of the company, the duties of which he assumed in February, 1890. Mr. Curtis served as Justice of the Peace for twenty-one years up to 1899, and was again appointed with the additional authority to solemnize marriages. In 1879 he was appointed clerk in charge of the sub-postal station at Neponset. A Democrat in politics, he was the first clerk of Ward Twenty-four, Boston, after the annexation of Dorchester; and he also ran for the common council, but was defeated by three votes by H.N. Sawyer.

He was married November 8, 1854, to Miss Elizabeth Bishop Bowles, of North Livermore, Me., daughter of Luke and Rebecca (Leavitt) Bowles. Mr. and Mrs. Curtis have two children: Susan Weld, born August 18, 1855, now the wife of F.E. Gilcrease; and Lottie Rebecca, born May 1, 1865.

Mr. William D.C. Curtis is a charter member of Boston Lodge, K. of H.;* of Temple Lodge, A.O.U.W.;** also of Neponset Council, Home Circle; a Past Grand of Neponset Lodge I.O.O.F.;*** and a member of the I.O.O.F. Relief Association of Dorchester. He was one of the incorporators of the Old Dorchester Club, the Minot Club and the Codman Club.

*K. of H. Knights of Honor
**A.O.U.W. Ancient Order of United Workmen.
***I.O.O.F. International Order of the Odd Fellows.

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