The biographical article below, which I found only recently, has done much – in my mind – to shed light on the early life of my great-grandfather, Clarence Burgin.
Clarence Burgin’s father, Thomas, was an upholsterer, and his father before him, John, was at first a gold wire drawer (I still have to look that one up), and later a victualer.
He was the first person in his family to be born in this country. I strongly doubt he started life with much money, but he seems to have had hustle, and in America, that counts for a lot…
Clarence Burgin, c.1910
Biographical review, containing life sketches of leading citizens of Norfolk County, Massachusetts
by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Boston, 1898
CLARENCE BURGIN, a prominent and able young business man of Quincy, Mass., and the treasurer of the Quincy Savings Bank, was born October 27, 1865, in Rutland, Vt. He is the son of Mr. Thomas Burgin and Mrs. Jane Scudder Burgin, both of London, England. In 1870 the family moved from Rutland to Springfield, Mass.
Clarence Burgin received an excellent education in the public schools of Springfield, Mass., and at his graduation at the high school of that city in the class of 1882 had the distinction of being the youngest member awarded a diploma. He had fitted himself for a business life by taking a special course in engineering; and soon after his graduation he began work in the office of Charles Sidney, an architect and engineer. In October, 1883, he obtained a situation with John Lyman Faxon, a noted architect of Boston; but three months later, January 1, 1884, he was offered the position of draughtsman and book-keeper for Frederick & Field, of Quincy, and at once availed himself of the larger opportunity given him to make use of his talents. He remained with that firm until March 1, 1889, when, in company with R. D. Gordon, he established himself in the jewelry business in Boston, becoming junior member of the firm thus formed. On September 1, 1894, he gave up that business to accept the office of City Treasurer of Quincy under Mayor Hodges, a position which he resigned the first of February, 1896, to become treasurer of the Quincy Savings Bank, to which he had been elected the previous month and which he has since ably and faithfully filled.
Mr. Burgin has also been elected to numerous other offices requiring good financial knowledge and administrative ability, and is now serving as a director of the National Granite Bank, of the Quincy Quarry Company, as director and treasurer of the Lyons Granite Company, as one of the directorate of the Braintree Street Railway Company, as a director of the Quincy Shoe Company, and also as one of the managers of the Woodward Fund and Property. Fraternally, he is a member of Rural Lodge, F. & A. M. ; of St. Stephen’s Chapter, R. A. M. ; and of the South Shore Commandery of Knight Templars. He is an Independent in politics, but not an office-seeker. He attends and supports the Episcopal church.
Clockwise from left: the graduation program, Springfield High School, 1882; a watch by Gordon & Burgin, Boston, including a closeup of the label.