Biography of Obed Nye
Bristol County, MA Biographies

OBED NYE was descended from a family of English extraction, the American branch of which is kin to some of the nobility of that name in England. His paternal grandfather, Capt. Obed Nye, of Sandwich, was born in 1736, and was twice married; first to Mary Sellers, born in 1739, died March 28, 1707, and second to Freelove Maxfield, born in 1748, died November 6, 1815. Captain Nye died November 10, 1815. By his first wife he had twelve children, namely: Jonathan, born in 1760, married, in 1784, Hannah Mandell (born in 1762, died September 25, 1844), and died November 18, 1815; Obed, born in 1766, married Mary Marshall (died April 8, 1852), and died August 25, 1796, in France, leaving two daughters, Prudence, who married Joseph Bates, and Sylvia, who married, first, Johnakins Taber, and, second, William Mickel; Thomas, born in 1768, married Hannah Hathaway, and died in October, 1842; and Gideon, Philip, James, Deborah (Mrs. Thurston Potter), Mary (Mrs. Sylvanus Bartlett), Susan (Mrs. Ezra Smith), Mercy (Mrs. John Howland), Rebecca (Mrs. Luke Hammond), and Jane (Mrs. Reuben Swift). Capt. Obed Nye was a well known sailing master and afterward a resident of Acushnet, where he died. The deaths of himself, his second wife, and his son Jonathan, which occurred in November, 1815, were caused by a “spotted fever” or “black death” epidemic that prevailed in that locality about that time. Jonathan Nye was a respected farmer in Fairhaven. His wife Hannah, was a daughter of Lemuel Mandell, and their children were Sarah, born June 16, 1785, married Solomon Matthews, and died November 26, 1866; Gideon, born November 21, 1786, married in December, 1811, Sylvia Hathaway, and died March 12, 1875; Rebecca; born September 25, 1788, married, in 1813, Alfred Nye (born in 1785, died January 19, 1864), son of Barnabas and Deborah Nye, and died March 29, 1867; Clement D., born in August, 1791, married in 1818 Susan, daughter of Asa and Virtue (Swift) Russell, and died in August, 1842; Clarissa H., born August 15, 1793, married October 8, 1815, William Gordon; Susan, born February 11, 1796, died August 11, 1804; Mary, born February ‘7, 1798, married Davis Thacher, and died March 20, 1875; Obed, the subject of this memoir; Deborah, born January 29, 1802, died November 20, 1803; Jonathan, born April 17, 1804, died October 27, 1853; and Susan M., born August 24, 1807, married July 4, 1828, Warren Thacher, and died May 1, 1891.

Obed Nye was born in Fairhaven (Acushnet), Bristol county, Jan uary 25, 1800, and received a limited education in the common schools of his boyhood. At the age of fourteen he began his business life as a clerk in the general store of Swift & Nye, at the Head of the. River, in which capacity he remained until he had reached his majority. He was then admitted to partnership under the firm name of Swift, Nye & Co., which continued for many years. Mr. Nye was connected with this business until 1861, when he retired, having accumulated a competency.

Mr. Nye commenced his business career on borrowed capital, and by the exercise of those sterling principles of honesty, energy and thrift which characterized his entire life, he achieved eminent success, and always had the respect and confidence of all who knew him. He was emphatically a self made man. His integrity and uprightness won for him universal esteem. He was a man of good habits, of strong powers of thought, and of decided principles and opinions, and in all his intercourse he was social, genial and companionable. Robust in mind and body, and broad and liberal in his Christian charity, he held to the doctrines of the Unitarian belief, but regularly attended the Orthodox Congregational Church. In politics he was originally a Whig and later a staunch Republican, and for a time represented his district in the lower house of the Massachusetts Legislature. For many years he was the local agent of the Hingham Fire Insurance Company, and he also acquired a wide reputation as a measurer of lumber. Active and energetic in temperament, benevolent and charitable in all his dealings, and zealous in promoting the general welfare of his town, he was a good citizen, a kind neighbor and an honest man. His death occurred January 29, 1878.

On the 16th of October, 1821, Mr. Nye was married to Miss Abby, daughter of William Hathaway, jr., and Abigail Perry, his wife, of New Bedford. Her father was for many years one of New Bedford’s leading citizens and a prominent factor in the great whaling industry. She was born June 5, 1801, and died May 10, 1864. They had nine children: Laura Hathaway Nye, born October 3, 1822, married Capt. Charles Spooner Taber (seesketch in this volume) and resides in Fairhaven; Helen Hathaway Nye, born February 16, 1824, died May 20, 1831; Abby Perry Nye, born June 20, 1826, married David Franklin Hall, and died January 19, 1893; William, born in 1827, died in 1828; Ann Hathaway Nye, born November 17, 1829, died July 9, 1831; Helen H., born August 5, 1832, died December 29, 1834; William H., born August 2, 1834, married Abby S. Davis, and died March 14, 1882; Francis H., born February 28, 1837, died May 3, 1864; and Rudoiphus S., born May 17, 1839. Abby Perry Nye and David F. Hall had four children: Abby Frank Hall, born September 7, 1851; Ella Frances Hall, born August 5, 1852; Obed Nye Hall, born October 19, 1856, died in 1859; and Charles Taber Hall, born August 15, 1865. William H. Nye and Abby S. Davis had Emma Taber and Ella Hall Nye twins, born May 15, 1855, of whom Emma T. married Willard R. Pulsifer, has one daughter, Abby Caroline, and resides in Malden, Mass.; Annie T., born December 3, 1858, married Rev. Thomas Edward Potterton; Lillian Forrest Nye, born March 12, 1867, married Lieut. Andrew J. Henderson, U.S.N., and has two sons, Leland Forrest and Richard Lawrence; and Helen Hathaway Nye, born April 19, 1869, married, November 9, 1898, John Henry Appleton, a well known lawyer of Boston.

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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