• Residence of J. T. Wilson, Nahant, Mass.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
      Joseph T. Wilson was well known as a building contractor who constructed some of the finest mansions on the North Shore, including that of Henry Clay Frick at Prides Crossing. However, Wilson was more than a builder. Originally from Maine, Wilson eventually made Nahant his home, holding more public office positions than seemed humanly possible. He was the chairman of the school board for twenty years, a trustee of the public library for twenty-five years, and a well respected judge. He was a member of the boards of selectmen, assessors, and health for thirty years and chaired those boards for 29 of those years. Supposedly he was up for election to public office more than a hundred times and was never defeated, all the while never soliciting votes for himself. It was long rumored that he was instrumental in securing the party nomination and ultimate Senate victory for Henry Cabot Lodge, a longtime friend of Wilson’s. Wilson was a 33rd degree Mason. He and his wife, Sophlia, who was also from Maine, had three children. His son entered into the contracting business and became a partner of the company which was renamed J.T. Wilson & Son.
    • Residence of J.E. Spring, Corner of Sumner St. & Spring Ave., Danvers, Mass.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
      Jacob E. Spring, a native of Maine, was born in 1833. At the age of twelve he moved to Buenos Aires where his family was raising sheep. They would ship hides back to the United States, and in exchange, relatives would ship lumber down to Argentina. While in Buenos Aires, Spring met and married a young woman from Pennsylvania; they had seven children. In 1872 he bought property in Danvers, Massachusetts and moved his entire family there with the exception of his two eldest daughters, who were in school in Germany. He eventually built Porphyry Hall, a magnificent stone mansion made of over forty different types of stone in a range of colors. This effect proved impressive. Spring was a successful wool merchant, but it is thought that he lost his fortune when some of his ships were wrecked off the coast of South America. The Xaverian Brothers bought Porphyry Hall where they founded St. John’s Normal College, which became St. John’s Preparatory School in 1907. The school has since expanded, adding many buildings to the campus, but Porphyry Hall remains standing and is used as the Administration Building.
    • Residence of Joseph Davis, Lynn, Mass.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
    • Residence of Mrs. E. D. Kimball, Washington Sq. Salem.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
      Edward D. Kimball was a merchant and a ship owner whose vessels could be found all over the world, from the west coast of Africa to the East Indies. He married his cousin, Susan Sawyer Kimball. They had three sons and one adopted daughter. Edward Kimball died in Paris in 1867. Susan continued to live a quiet life. She was a charitable woman who was known for her sympathetic nature. She died in 1902.
    • Residence of Mrs. Eliza Sutton. Main St., Peabody, Mass.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
      Eliza Dustin Sutton of Peabody believed strongly in using her wealth to help others. She established the Charitable Tenement Association, which provided housing for poor, elderly women in Peabody. It still stands today as the Sutton Home for Women. She donated $20,000 to the Peabody Institute to build the Eben Dale Sutton Reference room, named for her son, who had suffered from a variety of maladies and died at age fourteen. The Eben Dale Sutton Reference Room has recently been restored and it continues to house the archives for the Peabody Institute Library. George Peabody was a good friend and stayed with Eliza and her husband when he returned to visit Peabody in 1856, 1857, and 1866.
    • Residence of Wm. Blaney. Stevens St., Peabody, Mass.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
      William Blaney, a master painter, was born in Lynn on 17 December 1834 to Philip and Mary Blaney. Philip was also a painter, and William started in the business when he was still a boy. He moved to Peabody and established himself there as a painter as well as a leader in town affairs, although he never held an official position. One night, at the age of seventy-nine, Blaney was walking through Peabody by the Soldiers’ Monument when he was struck by a car. The driver of the car, H.J. Pushard, took Blaney to the hospital where they thought he had sustained only minor injuries. In fact, his skull had been fractured, and he died the following afternoon, 15 November 1913.
    • Shoe Factory of V.K. & A.H. Jones. 120 Broad St., Lynn, Mass. Erected 1883.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
      V.K. & A. H. Jones Shoe Factory manufactured fine ladies’ shoes and boots. They were known for hiring only the most skilled people in the trade and as a result their products were highly sought after. Despite their popularity, they only concerned themselves with the New England and Western trade. They had a factory in Hampton, New Hampshire but closed it down when they consolidated their business in Lynn, causing an economic collapse in Hampton.
    • Smith & Dove Mfg. Co., Andover Mass.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
      Founded by John and Peter Smith and John Dove, all from Brechin, Scotland, Smith & Dove Mfg. Co. dealt primarily in flax yarn. John Smith first came to America when he was fourteen in 1816. Years later, he asked his younger brother Peter to join him. Peter brought along a friend, John Dove. Both John Dove and Peter had worked in the flax mill of Dove’s father back in Scotland so they brought with them knowledge about, and zeal for, flax products. Although initially people were reluctant to buy a newer product from such a new company, the integrity, fine product, and pleasant dispositions of the three founders won the public over. The business began in Frye Village in Andover, but was then moved to Abbot Village in the same town.
    • State Normal School. Salem, Mass.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
      Horace Mann believed that the American public school system needed serious attention in order to function well. One of the biggest problems Mann observed with the public schools was that the teachers were often no more educated than their pupils. And so the Salem Normal School was born, a place to teach young women how to teach. The school opened in 1854. Demand for teachers increased nationwide and demand for admission to the Salem Normal School increased as a result. The campus, in addition to the student body, began to expand. In 1898, the school became coeducational, but it wasn’t until the creation of a commercial program in 1908 that male enrollment started to spike. By 1921 the school had switched from a two year college to a four year college, and just eleven years later the name was changed from the Salem Normal School to Salem Teachers College. New programs were added, new buildings were constructed, and finally it became a residential school, with the first residence halls opening in 1966. It was renamed again in 1968, this time to Salem State College. As nursing and business administration programs were added, new property was purchased, and the college expanded to include four campuses. In 2010 the school was renamed once more, earning the title of Salem State University.
    • Stevens Block, Lynn Mass.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
    • Summer Residence of Henry W. Peabody, Lighthouse Point, Beverly.

      Geo. H. Walker & Co. (1884-01-01)
      Henry W. Peabody, born in Salem on 22 August 1838, began his life in business at Williams & Hall, China and Indian merchants. He worked in the counting room there, and three years after he moved on to be a clerk at Samuel Stevens & Co. After three years in that position he became a member of the firm. Although Samuel Stevens & Company had established a large trade with India, Africa, and Australia, and seemed to be moving in a prosperous direction, the success of the company declined steadily over the next three years. By 1866 Peabody had retired, having lost most of the money he had made thus far. By 1867 he had started his own trade business, Henry W. Peabody and Company, with offices in New York City, Yucatan, London, and Sydney. This business did very well and Peabody was heavily involved in all aspects of his company. After Peabody had died, President Taft leased his estate as the summer capital. The widow who owned the estate Taft originally leased grew tired of the constant media attention and tourist traffic on her property, and therefore refused to renew the lease. Lucy W. Peabody, Henry’s widow, agreed to let Taft use her home for the second half of his term.
    • 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.