A. Pope & Son, Lumber

No. 7521  Advertisement in Dorchester and Quincy Directory, 1868-9, for A. Pope & Son, dealers in all kinds of lumber, Harrison Square.



The 1871 Boston Directory has an entry for Alexander Pope & Son (Alexander Pope jr., Robert. Swan, and Edward T. Cushing), lumber dealers, Commercial, near Park, order box 22 State, h. Ashland, cor. Elm, wd. 16 [Dorchester].

No. 3114 Alexander Pope Jr., published in Men of Progress. One Thousand Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Leaders in Business and Professional Life in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (Boston, 1894)
No. 18714 Detail from Plate L of the 1874 Hopkins atlas showing the location of the Pope facility on Commercial Street (now Freeport) about where Yale electric is located today.

The founders of the lumber business were William Pope and Frederick Pope, sons of Col Frederick and Mary (Cole). William was b. Nov. 12, 1774; m. June 16, 1799, Sarah, “Sally,”, dau. of John and Sarah (Blake) Pierce.  She was b. in Dorchester, Dec. 17, 1774.

He passed his boyhood and early youth in Stoughton; joined his brother Frederick in Dorchester, in the lumber business, and they did good work in that direction.  As they went on, each developed qualities the counterpart of the other’s: Frederick, great push, nerve, fertility of resources; William, large patience, caution, foresight.  Warmly attached to each other, their wives, sisters, and the two families like one, for many years they had an exceedingly delightful partnership and success.  The Machias branch of the business drew them apart, unavoidably; other persons and interests occupied each, so that there was  not so peculiarly intimate a relation existing between them as there had been; het they loved as brothers to the close of life.

William continued in the business in Dorchester, having most capable reinforcements in the persons of his sons, who kept the old stand and trade in the family long years after he had passed away.

He was an estimable man in all the relations of life; a strong supporter of church and government; public-spirited, benevolent.  His presence was dignified and courteous.  A long article might be written, describing interesting points in his life.

He was elected a representative to the State legislature; was repeatedly chosen a member of the parish committee.  He started the first Sunday school in connection with his church, at a time when many excellent persons violently opposes such a movement.

He was punctilious about fulfilling all his obligations, particularly to the poor and dependent.  He died in Dorchester, May 20, 1860.

His wife was one of the most alert, vivacious, buoyant persons imaginable; never tired of toil, till a task was done, nor of talking, till her tale was told.  A beautiful singer, a member of the choir long years, and ready to “substitute” for unfaithful choir-members when needed. … She died Feb. 24, 1873, aged ninety-eight years, two months and thirteen days.

The following description of Alexander Pope appears in the entry for Charles Henry Pope in A History of the Dorchester Pope Family. 1634-1888.  (Boston: The Author, 1888), 217

Alexander, son of William and Sarah (Pierce), born March 15, 1808; married, first, Nov. 11, 1830, Elizabeth, dau. of John and Elizabeth (Soper) Foster of Dorcheseter.  She died June 23, 1832.

He married second, April 27, 1837, Charlotte Caldwell, dau. of Jerome and Mary (Thaxter) Cushing, of Dorchester.

He was a man of brilliant qualities, enterprising, adventurous, efficient. After thorough training in the office of his father, he pursued the same business, dealing in lumber, for himself.  He also erected a number of fine dwellings, on that “Pope’s Hill” which had been so called from its ownership by our immigrant ancestor.  He embarked in extensive operations at Ogdensburg, N.Y, in Eagleswood, N. J., and so on, achieving success except when general financial revulsions took place.

With generous, free impulses, he made hosts of friends everywhere.  His latest years were spent in Dorchester, where he died of heart disease, June 16, 1878.

No. 12368 William Pope, portrait owned by the Dorchester Historical Society.

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April 21, 2020