Biography of Levi O. Atwood of Middleboro

The Atwood family, from which is descended Levi O. Atwood, prominent Middleboro manufacturer, occupies an important place in the annals of Great Britain, no less than sixteen families of the name having had their arms entered in the Herald’s College. As is the case in Great Britain, the Atwood family in America has been a most prolific one. The first American ancestor of record was:

(I) John Wood, or Atwood, resident of Plymouth in 1643, married Sarah, daughter of Richard Masterson, and had nine children, including:

(II) Deacon Nathaniel Atwood, born February 25, 1651-52, died December 17, 1724, married Mary, daughter of Jonathan Morey, and had eight children, including:

(III) Lieutenant Nathaniel Atwood (2), born October 3, 1693, married (first) Mary, daughter of Francis Adams, and (second), October 7. 1747, Mrs. Abigail Lucas. He lived in that part of Plymouth which became Plympton, and served as a lieutenant in the military company of the town. He had eleven children, including:

(IV) Ichabod, born in 1744, in that part of Plympton that became Carver, married Hannah, born in 1751, daughter of Captain Nathaniel and Hannah (Perkins) Shaw, of Plympton. He was a farmer and dealer in lumber, wood, and charcoal. Captain Nathaniel Shaw, father of his wife, was a patriot during the Revolutionary War. Twelve children were born to Ichabod and Hannah (Shaw) Atwood, including:

(V) Nathaniel Atwood (3), born April 28, 1782, in Middleboro, married Zilpha, born in 1782, daughter of Francis and Mary (Shaw) Shurtleff, of Plympton and Carver. They had five children, including:

(VI) Ichabod F. Atwood was born in Fall Brook, Middleboro, on March 13, 1820, and died at his home in Rock in 1901, in his eighty-first year; was buried in the Atwood lot in the Fall Brook Cemetery, on the same farm where he was born. He attended the district school and Peirce Academy, and when about fifteen years of age was engaged as a teacher, which profession he followed for about thirty years, all of which period he taught in Plymouth with the exception of one year. He was interested in the mills of Fall Brook and Rock, and resided in the latter town after 1866. A Republican in politics, he served in many important local offices, having been justice of the peace more than forty-five years, surveyor for forty years, selectman and overseer of the poor for three years, member of the school committee several years, also auditor and assessor. His services were frequently retained for the administration of estates. He was a member of the Methodist church. He married, in 1841, Abigail T. Thomas, daughter of Harvey C. and Hannah C. (Atwood) Thomas. Children: Emery F., Charles Nelson, Harvey N., and Hannah Z. His wife died in 1906, in her eighty-fourth year, and was buried in the same cemetery with her husband.

(VII) Charles Nelson Atwood, son of Ichabod F., was born on June 22, 1844, on the farm, and received the rudiments of an education in the public schools of Middleboro. He was employed about the home place and in the mill until 1879, and then assumed charge of the mill and box manufacturing plant in which his father was interested, and in 1904, his son, Levi O. Atwood, was made a partner in the business, the name of the concern then having been changed to C. N. Atwood & Son.

Charles Nelson Atwood was elected a Selectman in 1908. He was a Republican in political affiliation, and was a member of the Congregational church, and for many years treasurer for the latter’s society. He was a trustee of the Young Men’s Christian Association, of the Middleboro Savings Bank, and of the Co-operative Bank, of Middleboro. He enjoyed traveling, having, with his wife, journeyed extensively in this country, Europe, and Mexico. He married (first), October 23, 1866, Rozilla A. Barrows, daughter of William Orville and Amanda N. (Wood) Barrows. She died November 22, 1874, in her twenty-ninth year, and was buried in the cemetery at Rock. Children: 1. Alton Barrows, born September 20, 1867. 2. Levi Orville, of whom further. Charles N. Atwood married (second), October 17, 1876, Sarah A. Gibbs, daughter of Francis Bradford and Tirzah Swift (Morse) Gibbs, descendant of one of the oldest families of Barnstable and also a descendant of Revolutionary stock through the Morse family. By this marriage there was one son, Ichabod F., born February 28, 1882, graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1903, and thereafter engaged in the box manufacturing business in Chelsea with his brother, Charles N. Atwood (q. v.).

Levi O. Atwood, son of Charles Nelson and Rozilla A. (Barrows) Atwood, was born on May 4, 1870. After attendance at the public schools of Middleboro, he studied at Eaton School, and at Bryant & Stratton Business College, Boston. His education completed, Mr. Atwood became associated with the box manufacturing business of his father, and in 1891 accepted a membership in the firm, thus continuing until 1893, when he disposed of his financial interest in the business, which reverted to his father, and journeyed West to California, where he became identified with the carriage manufacturing business. After three years devoted to the latter business, Mr. Atwood entered the printing and publishing industry, which he followed for six years. In 1902, he returned to Middleboro and again became associated with his father in the box manufacturing business, in which concern he was a partner until 1914, when he purchased the interest of his father, and has since that time continued the enterprise as an individual proprietor, with large plant and offices located at Rock, Massachusetts, where between forty and fifty men are employed to supply the constantly increasing demand for the products. The concern is now the largest manufacturer of wooden boxes in this section, which may be considered quite a distinction, as many plants making boxes are naturally located in this section of the State.

Mr. Atwood is affiliated with numerous fraternal organizations, clubs, civic bodies and various societies, including: Mayflower Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Old Colony Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, at Middleboro; Harmony Chapter, at Bridgewater; Brockton Council, Royal and Select Masters; Bay State Commandery, Knights Templar; and Aleppo Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; also Middleboro Commercial Club, past-president; Associated Industries of Massachusetts; Boston Chamber of Commerce; the Old Middleboro Historical Society; Middleboro Agricultural Society, and National Association of Box Manufacturers. He is a member and a trustee of the Rock Community Church. His varied business interests include the following: Director of the Middleborough Trust Company, Middleborough Co-operative Bank; and trustee of the Middleborough Savings Bank.

In 1891, Levi O. Atwood married (first) Eva G. Tinkham, a native of Albany, New York, who died in 1901. He married (second), in 1903, Gertrude Colyer, who was born in Missouri. By his first wife Mr. Atwood is the father of two children, Rose Anita, and Marion Nelson. To the second marriage has been born one daughter, Grace Elizabeth.


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

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