Thomas Dunbar


    Thomas Dunbar, a retired business man of Canton, Mass., was born here, August 19, 1814, son of Thomas and Cloe (Bent) Dunbar.  His great-grandfather was Samuel Dunbar, who settled in Canton in 1727, and was a minister in the place for fifty-six years.  Samuel's son, Elijah, was famous in the musical line, and was the first man in the State who sang by note.  Elijah's son, Thomas (first), who was a farmer, in 1804 purchased the place where his son now lives, and where he spent the greater part of his life. The wife of this Thomas was a daughter of Captain William Bent, who was a soldier in the Revolution.   Of their twelve children Thomas and Elijah are living.  Elijah now resides in Grand Haven, Mich.  The father died in 1854, at the age of eighty years   He was a stanch Whig in politics.

    Thomas Dunbar, the subject of this sketch, was educated in the common schools of his native place   At the age of sixteen he went to Dedham, Mass. and served five years as a millwright and machinist.   After finishing his apprenticeship, he followed the same occupation  for a  year,  and  subsequently took charge of the Revere Copper Company works;  and he remained in the business for six years.  He then resigned, and went back to Dedham, where he formed a partner ship with the man to whom he had been apprenticed.  The partnership had lasted five years, when, in 1851, he went to Canada, and engaged in the contracting business.  This turned out to be a permanent and lucrative undertaking, and occupied his time and attention for twenty-seven years.  The work was mainly dredging the harbors of Lake Erie.  In 1877 he came back to Canton, and has remained there ever since, having retired from active business.

    Mr. Dunbar was married  December 27, 1837, to Hannah French.  They have had six children, of whom the only survivor is Charles F., now a contractor in Buffalo, N.Y.  Frederick, another son, who was a clerk for a man­ufacturing company in Stoughton, Mass., died at the age of forty-two.  Elwin became a physician, and died at the age of twenty-three. Willie T. died when he was twenty-nine years old.  Mr. Dunbar is a member of the Unitarian church, to whose support he is a liberal contributor.  He has served as Deacon in the same for some time, and owns the same pew that his father did before him.  In politics he is a Republican.  He has been the superintendent of the cemetery for fourteen years.

Containing life sketches of leading citizens of Norfolk County, Massachusetts
Pub. Boston, Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1898
All biographical information is provided by the subject or family member, reviewed and edited by them before going to print.