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Abel W. Phinney
 Abel W. Phinney, 1854-

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.


ABEL W. PHINNEY, a successful business man of Dorchester, is a dealer in real estate, a fire insurance agent, and a Justice of the Peace. He was born May 14, 1854, in Annapolis county, Nova Scotia, and is a son of the late Elijah Phinney.

Elijah Phinney was born in Nova Scotia, of English ancestry, as was his wife, whose maiden name was Mary Elizabeth Foster. He was a farmer by occupation, and in addition to his agricultural labors he had for a quarter of a century the government contract for carrying the mail. He passed to the higher life in March, 1895, at the age of seventy-five years. His widow died in April, 1900, at the age of seventy-eight years. They reared eight children, of whom seven are living, namely: Timothy, of Kingston, N.S.; Charles W., also of Nova Scotia; Zaccheus, of Nova Scotia; Norman H., of Nova Scotia; Abel W. the special subject of this sketch; Avard P., of Roxbury, Mass.; and William H., of Nova Scotia. James A., the eldest-born, died at the age of twenty-five years.

Abel W. Phinney was brought up on the old home farm and educated in the district schools. He was subsequently engaged in various occupations in his native town until 1881, when he came to Boston in search of fortune. Soon afterward he settled as a gardener in Dedham, where he remained five years. The ensuing three years he was employed as assistant foreman at the Hinckly Locomotive Works, Boston, a position which he resigned to establish Phinney's Express route between Dorchester and Boston, which he ably managed for five years. In 1895 Mr. Phinney became agent for several of the old and reliable life and fire insurance companies, including the Union Central Life Insurance of Cincinnati, Ohio, the Fire Association of Philadelphia, and the Firemen's Fund of San Francisco. He also carries on a substantial business as a real estate dealer in this vicinity, his sales and exchanges of realty often being large and important. Politically, he is identified with the Republican party, and fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

On January 31, 1882, Mr. Phinney married Miss Anna M. Phinney, daughter of Caleb S. Phinney, of Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, during his life a distinguished teacher in Yarmouth and Lawrencetown. Mrs. Phinney also was engaged in teaching in Nova Scotia until her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Phinney and their only child, Frank B. Phinney, are members of the Baptist church.

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Created: November 13, 2004   Modified: November 13, 2004