Biography of Abiel Codding
Bristol County, MA Biographies

ABIEL CODDING has been for many years one of the foremost business men of North Attleborough. He was born in Rehoboth, January 29, 1817, a son of Abiel and Chloe (Daggett) Codding. The family has been well represented in this vicinity for many years and members of it were among the first settlers of Taunton, Mass. James, one of the first of the name of whom there is any mention, was born in Taunton and was a farmer and soldier in the Continental army. He married Joanna Eddy, and their children were three: David, Abigail, who married Wheaton Barrows, and Abiel, who was born in Taunton, October 27, 1792. He removed to Attleborough when about fourteen years old and worked on a farm for Seneca Sanford, where he proved himself to be industrious, frugal and temperate. "He became a well to do farmer in this town (Attleborough), where he lived more than sixty three years, leaving an example of industry and sobriety well worthy the imitation of the present generation." At the outbreak of the war of 1812 he was among the first to volunteer his services. He died October 3, 1881, in the eighty ninth year of his age. His wife was Chloe, daughter of Elihu Daggett, and thirteen children were born of their union.

Their third born was Abiel Codding, the subject of this sketch, and about a year after his birth they removed to a farm in East Attleborough. Here Abiel Codding was reared, surrounded by the influences of a New England farm home and receiving the advantages afforded by the schools of that period. He early exhibited a natural aptitude for mechanics and at the age of sixteen entered the jewelry factory of H. M. Richards, with whom he remained three years. At the end of this period, when only nineteen years of age, he began a jewelry business of his own in association with Stephen Richardson. They continued but a short time and Mr. Codding returned to his trade as a journeyman. He gave his whole mind to the details of his work and made many valuable improvements in the different kinds of tools used in the business. In the mean time his old employer, H. M. Richards, had established a plant in Philadelphia and Mr. Codding went there to take a position, but returned in a short time and entered the employ of Ira Richards & Co. In 1841 he became interested in this firm and so continued until it was dissolved, over thirty years.

Few men attained a greater degree of success than he. In the first place he was naturally a mechanic, and secondly he had to a remarkable degree the power of application. He made many valuable improvements in the system of manufacturing and was granted many patents. Although now in his eighty second year he is still a vigorous man, and well retains his faculties. He was a director of the Attleborough Na. tional Bank of North Attleborough; is president of the North Attleborough Gaslight Company, of which he was one of the first directors; and president of the Attleborough Savings Bank of North Attleborough. In the estimation of his fellow citizens no man stands higher than he.

Mr. Codding has always upheld the principles of the Democratic party, but takes no interest in political affairs and has never sought political preferment. He married, October 28, 1841, Ann Maria Richards, daughter of Calvin and Olive (Blackinton) Richards, of Attleborough. Five children were born to them; three sons, Arthur E., James A. and Edwin A., all engaged in business in North Attleborough; and two daughters, both deceased.

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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