• T.W. Peirce, Topsfield, Mass. Farms Buildings. Entrance to Residence.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
      Thomas Wentworth Peirce was born in New Hampshire in 1818. He went into business with his father, before starting his own mercantile firm, Peirce and Bacon. Peirce and Bacon became extremely successful, earning Peirce a considerable fortune. Much of his southern trade was centered in Texas, where his company dealt mainly in sugar, cotton, and hides. When he opened a branch in Galveston he became very interested in the railroad. After making several key investments in the continuation of the railroad in Texas, Peirce’s wealth swelled to staggering proportions. He was not limited to monetary wealth, but also owned a large amount of land thanks to his railroad investments. When he died he owned more than 700,000 acres of land. He purchased a farm in Topsfield and used it as a “country retreat” while he lived in Boston. Eventually, he converted it into an estate, employing Jacob Foster, a reputable carpenter, to build an addition on his house. Peirce worked hard not only to make the land fruitful, but also to turn it into a state of the art farm. There were at least three barns on the property, along with an ice house, a blacksmith shop, and a boarding house for farm hands. After his death his estate was valued at over $8 million.
    • The Residence of Hon. Francis Norwood, Cabot St. Beverly.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
      Hon. Francis Norwood was born on 10 January 1841. He was in the shoe manufacturing business for over 38 years and was a member of the Senate in 1881-1882. As a senator, Norwood served on the committees on federal relations, fisheries, and manufactures. He served as chairman on the first two. Throughout the course of his life he served on a number of other committees, and in 1897 he was nominated to be the new Postmaster in Beverly, MA. This nomination came under peculiar circumstances, as Beverly’s then Postmaster, Mr. Woodbury, still had more than a year left in his term. Despite efforts on the part of Beverly Republicans, their town committee, and Norwood himself, to allow Mr. Woodbury to complete his term, the Post Office Department would not allow it. Word was sent to Rep. William Moody in Washington of the desire for a new postmaster, and the nomination he sent back was for Norwood.
    • Town Hall, Peabody, Mass.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
      The government of Peabody built a brand new town hall to replace the one that was built as Danvers was splitting into two towns. The new town hall was dedicated on 22 November 1883. The enormity of the building was often joked about, but when Peabody became a city the huge building was perfect for city hall. The basement of the building held the police station and was equipped with twelve cells. In 1907 a fire almost destroyed city hall. During the fire there were six prisoners in the basement cells who would have perished if James Gilman and William C. Mahoney of the fire department (with the help of Thomas Grady and Captain McCarthy of the police department) had not saved them. Between 1967 and 1971 the city of Peabody spent $176,920 on renovations and repairs to the city hall.