Biography of Jasper W. Braley
Bristol County, MA Biographies

Braley, Jasper W., who for more than thirty seven years was one of the foremost retail grocers of New Bedford, was born in Rochester, Mass., in 1819, a son of Ezekiel and Lucy (Allen) Bralev, and his father, who was a farmer, was a lifelong resident of Rochester. During his boyhood Mr. Braley attended the schools of the vicinity and worked on his father's farm, and at the age of thirteen he went to Fairhaven and began the shoemaker's trade under John Manter, with whom he remained about three years. He then went to Randolph, Mass., to work in a shoe factory and a year later occupied himself, at his home in Rochester, in making shoes, which he brought from the Randolph factory partially finished and returned completed. In 1837 he followed the example of most of the boys of that period and shipped before the mast on the whale ship "Janus," making a voyage of eighteen months. This was his first and only whaling voyage, but he continued in the coastwise trade for several years, finally becoming a first mate. In 1849 he made his way to California and for two years remained in the northern mines on the American River, shortly after returning to New Bedford, where he engaged in the grocery business with Isaac Terry, under the name of Braley & Terry. They located at the corner of Smith and County streets and after two years Mr. Terry retifed, Mr. Braley continuing the business alone until his retirement. At different times the store was moved, first to the present site of Mr. Braley's residence, at the corner of Sycamore and County streets, and later to the corner of County and Maxfield streets, where it. is now conducted by Jasper W. Braley, jr., who came into possession in 1890. On this corner the business has been located for upwards of twenty five years and has become a landmark in this section of the city. Mr. Braley has never held any public office except that of common councilman, having giving most of his attention to the development of his business. He is a well known and highly respected man and a type of that class of hardy whalemen and "forty niners" who afterwards became successful merchants. For over twenty years he has been a member of Acushnet Lodge of Odd Fellows and for many years of the First Congregational Church (Unitarian). He is a director of the Co-operative Bank of New Bedford. In 1851 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Nelson Allen of New Bedford, and they had eleven children, six of whom survive: Henry H., a practicing physician in Concord, Mass., Adra C., wife of Daniel Batchelder, of Centerville, R. I., Anna W., Elizabeth W., Jasper W. jr., and Jessie N.

Our county and its people
A descriptive and biographical history of
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Prepaired and published under the auspices of
The Fall River News and The Taunton Gasette
With assistance of Hon. Alanson Borden
The Boston History Company, Publishers, 1899.

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