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Emerson Gaylord

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More on Emerson Gaylord

 

As a young man Emerson Gaylord apprenticed himself to first a harness maker and then to shoe makers learning their trades. In 1841 he went to Chicopee, Massachusetts and to work for the N. P. Ames Company, manufacturers of cannon, swords, and military accoutrements. In 1843 he contracted with the Ames Company to furnish the leather goods. He continued in this business until 1 January 1856, when he purchased that part of the business from the Ames Company. He then expanded the business to also manufacture leather fire hoses and machine belting.

 In 1856 he received orders from the War Department for military accoutrements, and continued to fill orders from that department every three months up to 1861. During this time he furnished accoutrements for several southern states, including Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. On the day that Fort Sumter Gaylord had a large stock of accoutrements for the south on hand, and on the afternoon of the same day received a dispatch from Col. Thornton, Commanding at Governor's Island, New York., to ship to the government all goods on hand and in process of construction. Soon after a messenger arrived from Governor Andrew with the same request for Massachusetts. He divided his inventory equally between the United States Government and the state of Massachusetts.

Before night of the same day a speculator from New York arrived and offered Gaylord ten thousand dollars more than he would otherwise receive. Knowing  the speculator would sell to the southern states Gaylord refused the offer.

The demand from the United States government for his goods grew large, and to fill his orders he erected larger buildings and increased his working force to four hundred and fifty men, shipping from eighteen to twenty thousand dollars worth of goods each week. In 1861 he also contracted with the United States government to furnish them with leather mail-bags. In April 1863 Gaylord organized a stock company , of which he was  president and  owned a majority of the stock. After the Civil War his business manufactured cabinet-locks, and regulation and society swords. He became active in the republican party and served on the state legislature in 1866. From 1875 until his death in 1899 he was president of the First National Bank of Chicopee.  (Genealogies and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts p. 890, 1035-1036) 

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