Biography of Eliphalet W. Harvey
Bristol County, MA Biographies

ELIPHALET WILLIAMS HERVEY, better known as E. Williams Hervey, which is his usual signature, was born in Berkley, Bristol county, Mass., July 27, 1834, a son of Eliphalet W. Hervey of Berkley, born April 28, 1800, and Dorcas (Fearing) Hervey of Wareham. His father received the degree of M.D. from Brown University in 1826 and practiced medicine successfully in Wareham and neighboring towns for several years. In 1827 he was commissioned surgeon of the 5th Regiment of Infantry in in the 1st Brigade, 5th Division of the militia by his Excellency, Gov. Levi Lincoln.

Dr. Hervey was a son of James Hervey, born August 21, 1767, and Lucinda (Paull) Hervey, both of Berkley. James was an enterprising farmer, who in addition to agricultural pursuits was also engaged in ship building at the Weir on Taunton River, where he built sailing vessels, furnishing the timber and other materials and contracting for the labor. These vessels were freighted with lumber and both vessels and cargoes disposed of in Bristol and other Rhode Island ports.

The parents of James Hervey were James Hervey and Rachel (Philips) Hervey, also of Berkley. The father of the last mentioned James Hervey, was James Hervey (or Harvey). whose remains lie in the family plot in the cemetery near Berkley Common. The inscription on the headstone is: "James Harvey, died December 28, 1793, in the 92d year of his age." Thus it would appear that he was born about 1700.

He was a descendant of William, and of Thomas Harvey, and of both, as the families intermarried in the second generation. Both of these latter persons, who were brothers, were prominent citizens of what was then called Cohannet, including the present towns of Berkley, Raynham and Taunton. They were distinguished by the high public positions which they held in the early history of Plymouth colony. William Harvey married Joan Hucker of Cohannet, April 2, 1639; was proposed to take up his freedom in 1653; admitted as freeman at court in 1656; member of the Grand Inquest 1655-1660; constable 1661; surveyor of highways 1662; appointed to collect the excise 1661; deputy or representative to the General Court for fourteen years from 1664; selectman for twenty years from 1667; appointed "to looke after the minnester's rate" in 1670; appointed "to be of the Towne Councell of War" in 1675. A mortgage of land made over by Philip the Sachem to Constant Soutbworth was made over to William Harvey and John Richmond in 1672 and thus described: "Four miles square down Taunton River and next unto Taunton bounds." Among the first and ancient purchases of the township was eight shares by William Harvey. Also among the purchasers of an important addition to the town in 1668 called the North Purchase, now including Norton, Easton and Mansfield, were William Harvey, Thomas Harvey, the elder, and Thomas Harvey, jr. Assonet Neck, conquered from the Indians, was divided among six freemen, including William Harvey. Another purchase, made in 1672 by William Harvey and four others, afterwards constituted the town of Dighton. This deed was signed by King Philip or Metacomet. Thomas Harvey, brother of William, appears on the list "able to bear arms from sixteen to sixty years" in 1643; was a sergeant in the army 1673; constable 1678; surveyor of highways 1681; Thomas Harvey and Thomas Harvey, jr., admitted as freemen in 1689.

E. Williams Hervey, the subject of this sketch, having lost his parents when four years of age, came to New Bedford and became a member of the family of Ebenezer Hervey, a younger brother of his father and for thirty years a grammar master in the New Bedford public schools. He was graduatect from the New Bedford High School with the class of 1849. After a clerkship of two years in the Marine Bank he became teller of the Mechanics' Bank and in 1857 was elected cashier, holding that responsible position for twenty five years. Upon his resignation he was elected a member of the board of directors and still serves as such, his official connection with this bank covering a period of nearly fifty years. In the year 1860, be published a "Catalogue of the Plants found in New Bedford and Vicinity, arranged according to the season of their flowering." This was a novel arrangement for a Flora, but it proved to be a very acceptable one to persons interested in botany. In 1891 a revision and enlargement of the catalogue appeared entitled "Flora of New Bedford and the Shores of Buzzard's Bay, with a Procession of the Flowers." He has written to a considerable extent on botanical subjects and is recognized as a reliable, authority. He has been for several years a member of the New England Botanical Club.

Mr. Hervey served on the School Committee for six years, 1859-66; was representative to the General Court two years, 1885-87; secretary of the New Bedford Bible Society for several years and secretary of the original Young Men's Christian Association, which antedates the present organization by many years; a director of the American Tack Company; an original trustee of St. Luke's Hospital; and a. trustee of the Five Cents Savings Bank since 1865.

He married, in 1862, Emeline K., daughter of Daniel Homer of New Bedford. Their children are Homer W., Hervey, A. B., LL.B., Harvard; Hetta M. and Emma F. The family name was written and pronounced indifferently formerly as Hervey or Harvey. Both forms exist in England, but the coats of arms are nearly the same, thus indicating a relationship in the families. Probably Hervey is the more ancient, as the tendency of English pronunciation is to give e the sound of a.

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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