Biography of John Baylies LeBaron of Middleboro, Massachusetts

Recollection of the death, in 1918, of John Baylies LeBaron, brings to mind the fact that this prominent Middleboro business man was not only descended from a famous man who was characterized within the pages of fiction, but was also, through many intermarriages among his forebears, the inheritor of distinguished Colonial blood of the “Mayflower” voyagers and of some of the first families of old Plymouth, among them those of Warren, Griswold, Bradford, Cushman, Bartlett and DeWolf.

The records of the town of Plymouth reveal that Francis LeBaron, first known American ancestor, happened upon the shores of this country in the most dramatic manner: A French privateer which was cruising on the American coast, was wrecked in Buzzards Bay; the crew were taken prisoners and carried to Boston. When passing through Plymouth, the ship’s surgeon, Francis LeBaron, was detained by a sickness, and upon recovery, he performed a difficult surgical operation so successfully that the inhabitants of the town prevailed upon Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton to permit the surgeon to remain among them. The request granted, he continued to practice his profession in Plymouth until his death. [1]The above incident served as the basis of a novel, by Jane Austen entitled “A Nameless Nobleman,” in which reference is likewise made to certain of the descendants of the hero of the work, … Continue reading

(I) Dr. Francis LeBaron was born in 1668, in France. His removal to America and Plymouth has already been explained. He married, September 6, 1695, Mary Wilder, born April 7, 1668, daughter of Edward and Elizabeth (Eames) Wilder, of Hingham. Edward Wilder of Hingham was the son of Thomas and Martha Wilder, of Shiplake, Oxfordshire, England. He was in Hingham, Massachusetts Bay, in November, 1638, on the arrival of his mother from England in the ship “Confidence,” from the port of Southampton. Dr. LeBaron died December 10, 1707; his widow married Return Waite, born in 1678, in Boston, who died in Plymouth, October 3, 1751. The children of Dr. LeBaron were: 1. James, born May 23, 1696. 2. Lazarus, born December 26, 1698. 3. Francis, born June 13, 1701.

(II) James LeBaron, son of Dr. Francis LeBaron, married, November 3, 1720, Martha Benson, of Middleboro. He was a farmer, resided upon the farm bequeathed to him by his father, and died May 10, 1744. His widow married (second), May 15, 1745, William Parker. The children of James LeBaron were: 1. James, born December 22, 1721, died September 16, 1725. 2. John, of whom further. 3. James, born December 10, 1726. 4. Joshua, born October 10, 1729. 5. Martha, born April 9, 1732. died young. 6. Francis, born December 20. 1734, died July 8, 1761. 7. Mary, born August 9, 1737. 8. David, born April 27, 1740. 9. Lydia, born January 26, 1743, died young.

(III) John LeBaron, son of James and Martha (Benson) LeBaron, was born April 2, 1724; married, February 23, 1748, Mary Raymond, of Middleboro, where he went to reside. He died August 1, 1801; she died March 23, 1791. Children: 1. Abiezer, born July 4, 1749 (soldier of the Revolution). 2. John, born April 10, 1750. 3. Zebulon, born December 6, 1752. 4. Eunice, born November 4, 1761. 5. Joshua, born November 6, 1763, died August 4, 1793. 6. Levi, of whom later. 7. Chloe, born August 8, 1773. 8. Mary, born July 9, 1775.

(IV) Levi LeBaron, son of John and Mary (Raymond) LeBaron, was born October 14, 1765, and married August 12, 1787, Temperance Morse, born August 12, 1767. He died July 20, 1820; she died August 28, 1829. Children: 1. John, born October 18, 1788, of whom further. 2. Ziba, December 27, 1789. 3. Waitstill, born January 30, 1792. 4. Joshua, born March 1, 1794. 5. Temperance, born April 17, 1796, died June 16, 1801. 6. Elizabeth C., born September 21, 1798. 7. Temperance (2), born March 21, 1801. 8. Levi, born June 2, 1803, died young. 9. Mary, born April 26, 1806, died unmarried, November 27, 1833. 10. Lucy, born July 20, 1807, died unmarried, July 23, 1832.

(V) John LeBaron (2) married (first), February 17, 1811, Sarah Burt, of Plymouth, who died December 15, 1811. He married (second), December 1, 1814, Bethany Ryder, who died November 8, 1863. John LeBaron died July 10, 1879. Children: 1. Sarah Burt, born July 13, 1815. 2. John Burt, of whom further. 3. Bethany, born July 17, 1819, died May 17, 1823. 4. Ziba, born August 3, 1824. 5. Bethany Weston, born March 26, 1826. 6. Almeda Allen, born August 26, 1828. 7. Hannah W., born February 26, 1833. John LeBaron was an iron moulder and fully conversant with all departments of that business. He also engaged in farming.

(VI) John Burt LeBaron, son of John and Bethany (Ryder) LeBaron, was born September 19, 1817, in Middleboro and was there educated. He worked in the Norton Furnace as an apprentice, and afterward plied his trade in Norton for several years. He finally rose to foremanship in a foundry at Bourneville, now within Fall River, and there continued for several years. He then removed to Somerset, to superintend the building of what later became the Co-operative Foundry. He was employed in Somerset two years, and then, in 1855, associated with Samuel Tinkham, he established the foundry at Taunton with which he was long connected. He gave up his Taunton residence in 1859, and went to live in Lakeville, remained there for five or six years, and removed to Middleboro, where he lived until his death. In addition to his interest in Tinkham & LeBaron, foundry operators, Mr. LeBaron was a director of the Domestic Needle Company, of which he was an incorporator, and of its successor, the Union Needle Company, in which he retained a one-fourth interest. He was a trustee, and a member of the board of investment of the Middleborough Savings Bank; possessed considerable land, laid out many lots, and erected a large number of homes in Middleboro. He was the first to engage in the coal business in that community. Identified with the Democratic party, he represented Middleboro in the Massachusetts General Court in 1875. He was a member of the Sons of Temperance and an active worker in behalf of its cause. For years he was a member of the board of trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church, served on its building committee, also served as steward, and was a liberal financial contributor. He was a prominent member of Mayflower Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of Middleboro; of Adoniram Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, at New Bedford; and of Sutton Commandery, Knights Templar.

John Burt LeBaron married, August 16, 1841, Keziah Baylies, born August 9, 1818, daughter of Charles and Keziah (Rounds) Baylies of Taunton; she died October 10, 1861. Mr. LeBaron married (second), July 3, 1865, Mary J. (Chace) Rose, born December 22, 1823, in Dighton. She survived her husband, dying February 28, 1896. Children (all by first marriage): 1. Adelaide, born May 19, 1842, died December 8, 1843. 2. John Baylies, of whom further. 3. Maria C., born January 18, 1847. 4. Eugene P., born January 16, 1849. 5. Charles H., born September 14, 1851, died July 31, 1853. 6. Clara J., born January 7, 1855, married George R. Sampson. 7. Harriet J., born December 2, 1857, died July 30, 1860.

(VII) John Baylies LeBaron, son of John Burt and Keziah (Baylies) LeBaron, was born January 24, 1845, in the town of Norton, Massachusetts. He was a student in the schools of Taunton and at Peirce Academy, at Middleboro. His education completed, he was employed as an iron and brass moulder until 1880, in which year he organized an ice business under the firm style of J. B. LeBaron, wholesale and retail ice dealer. In 1890, in conjunction with the ice business, he entered the lumber industry, which he continued to carry on until a few years before his death. In 1884, upon the death of John Burt LeBaron, his father, he and his brother, Eugene P. LeBaron, acquired the iron foundry, which they jointly operated for about two years, when John Baylies LeBaron disposed of his interest in the foundry to his brother, and returned to the ice business, in which he continued until his death in 1918, after which his daughter, Hattie B. LeBaron, took over the concern and operates the business under the original name. Mr. LeBaron, in his youth, had the distinction of being the first, and only, man to navigate a steamboat up the Nemasket River. He accomplished the feat with two steamboats, the “Pioneer,” and the “Assawampsett.” He was partial to the Democratic party. During the Civil War he worked in the arsenal at Watertown. He married, February 19. 1866, Lucy S. Lovell, daughter of Thomas Lovell of Middleboro. Mrs. LeBaron died in 1920. Children: Jesse L., Hattie B. (aforementioned), Elric H. Hattie B. LeBaron is a charter member of Nemasket Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, and a member of the Central Congregational Church.


Thompson, Elroy S., History of Plymouth, Norfolk and Barnstable Counties Massachusetts, 3 vols., New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1928.


1The above incident served as the basis of a novel, by Jane Austen entitled “A Nameless Nobleman,” in which reference is likewise made to certain of the descendants of the hero of the work, Francis Le Baron.

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