Recently, Mary Kennedy Dean sent me some photos of large cast iron planters manufactured at the L. W. Pond foundry by Katherine McDonough Kennedy for her daughter, MaryJane Kennedy Gaitings' driveway. This reminded me to look again for information about the L. W. Pond company. What I found was the following interesting tale about the founder of the company - one Lucius Wilson Pond:
Lucius W. Pond was born in April 1826 in Worcester and worked as an apprentice for Samuel Flagg - part of a 10 man shop turning out quality tools. After only three years, L.W. Pond rose from apprentice to foreman and then partner. In 1853 Samuel Flagg retired and sold his share in the business. By 1854 Pond bought out the other remaining partners and built a new works on the Flagg site. The new works, covering at least 7 acres had scarcely been completed before it was destroyed by fire. Despite heavy losses by the failure of insurance companies, L.W. Pond was able to pay all creditors in full and rebuild. This action left the company was a remarkable credit throughout the business world. By 1875 the works employed 1,000 workers in Worcester.
The Pond works gained a reputation for producing as fine a quality of tools as any in the country as well as for innovating ingenious tools. To expand the reputation of his company and attract more business, Mr. Pond opened a large store in New York City "where he placed a good assortment of his iron and wood-working machinery. This was the only wareroom in the city where such machinery could be seen in motion and this fact sold quantities of his work."
Beyond being a successful and shrewd businessman, L.W. Pond took an interest in public affairs, serving several years in the Massachusetts Senate. He was also very active in his church and was a well known and well respected man around Worcester and beyond. All of this made the following events in 1875 all the more scandalous:
December 26, 1882
The New York Times
Lucius W. Pond Pardoned
Liberated after serving seven years
The irregularities of Mr. Pond were brought to light by his sudden disappearance. It was announced early in October that he had disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and it was reported that a man, supposed to be he, was last seen in the state-room of the steamer Providence, of the Fall River Line on her trip to New-York, where, on the morning of her arrival, a coat, hat, and pair of shoes were found, which were afterward identified as his. The theory that he had been "foully dealt with" was advanced, and found credence. It was several days after before his forgeries were detected. It was found that the faces of notes had been removed and rewritten with larger amounts than the original, while the endorsements were genuine. The original notes were generally made payable at Mr. Pond's office, so that when they were paid they remained in his possession without any marks of cancellation, or anything to show that they were dead paper. It was then a tolerably easy matter to remove the writing on the face with an acid and write in fresh dates and amounts and add Mr. Pond's own signature, while the endorsements were allowed to remain. The arrest of Pond was made in San Francisco [just before he was boarding a ship set to sail for Australia.]
You can click on the title to read the full article, but it appears Lucius passed about $40,000 in bad checks in a six month period in 1875. Knowing that his forgeries were about to be detected, he faked his own death, fled to the West Coast, and attempted to flee the country. The victims of his forgeries ranged from friends, family, prominent business men, to widows, orphans, and his own church. However, in the end, the very friends he defrauded helped him obtain early pardon and eventually re-established him in business in Worcester.
Worcester Directory 1907While Catherine is employed as a teacher, the rest of the eldest McDonough children seem to be employed at the L.W. Pond company. Thomas McDonough does not list his employer, but it is possible he is also working at his son-in-law's company. Another interesting tidbit - it appears, after reading the ad pictured above (click on image to see larger), that at least some of the cars sold at L.W. Pond are electric (when automobiles first appeared on the market they were not all of the gasoline powered variety). After re-reading the crazy car post, I believe that vehicle was also an electric car.
McDonough, Catherine, teacher, bds. 1 View
McDonough, Margaret F., stenographer, Assonet c. Gold, bds. 1 View
McDonough, Patrick T., bookkeeper, Assonet corner
McDonough, Thomas, clerk, h. 1 View
O'Leary, M. Thomas, pres. and treas. L.W. Pond Machine & Foundry Co., Gold cor. Assonet, h. 1 View
Boston Daily Globe
Sep 21, 1907
Family Auto "Went Crazy."
Mrs M. Thomas O'Leary of Worcester and Her Baby Rescued After a Most Exciting Ride.
WORCESTER, Sept 20 - A runaway electric auto of the closed coupe style containing Mrs M. Thomas O'Leary, wife of the manager of the Pond auto garage, and her baby boy, M. Thomas O'Leary Jr. cut up some high jinks on Main st in front of city hall today.
The crazy car was started on its wild career by the crossing of wires in its internal mechanism when the chauffeur threw over the lever to leave the city hall branch of the Worcester Trust company. The machine began operations by bucking into a horse attached to a carriage and the horse started on the run. The wheels of his carriage became locked with those of a wagon and the whole outfit was pushed across Main st to the city hall plaza, where the horses freed themselves and started on a run down Main st. They were caught near the corner of Main and Park sts, one by John S. Holt and the other by S. I. Howard, the contractor who jumped from his own wagon to grab the bridle of one of the runaways. Left without a guardian, Mr. Howard's horse cut loose and added to the excitement for a few minutes until he was captured.
In the meantime, the electric coupe was darting in and out among the other vehicles on Main st, beyond all control of the chauffeur, and only quick work on the part of the drivers of horses prevented further runaways and collisions. The police officers on duty at Harrington corner and at the corner of Main and Park sts joined in a chase of the auto, but there was nothing they could hold onto, and it slid away from them every time they grabbed it.
Mrs. O'Leary and her baby boy were prisoners, as she could not open the door, and her shreiks of fear attracted crowds from blocks around. In one of the crazy gyrations of the machine it ran close to the curb of the city hall plaza and Mrs O'Leary saw on the sidewalk a man holding out his hands. As the machine bucked back from the curb, she tossed the baby from the window and the man caught the child. Back again across Main st the auto flew, and on the return trip it ran into the curb, where the wheels whizzed around in an effort to climb up onto the sidewalk. During the brief interval that the coupe was standing still, men in the street rushed to the door of the coupe and opened it and dragged Mrs O'Leary to safety.
She had scarcely been removed from the auto than it gathered headway and started down Main st, turning into Allen ct, where it banged up against the curbstone and went out of business, as something weakened and a wire snapped.
Boston Daily GlobeI wonder if that Vernon street apartment was in the home owned by Thomas and Mary McDonough?
November 28, 1911
PUTS PRIZE MONEY IN AUTO
Jack Barry of the Athletics Drives With His Wife to Worcester in New Machine - Is to Run a Garage.
WORCESTER, Nov 1 - In a new automobile, which he purchased with part of his share of the prize money resulting from the World's Series of baseball games, "Jack" Barry shortstop of the Philadelphia Athletics arrived in Worcester tonight with Mrs Barry to take up their home in a new flat on Vernon St.
So sure was Barry that the Athletics would win the series that he placed the order for the auto before the games were started and the day after the final game, which gave his team the championship, he had the machine delivered.
Coming to Worcester with Mrs Barry the couple made a short stay in Barry's old home in Meriden, Conn. They left there this forenoon and arrived tonight about 8 at the home of Mrs M.T. O'Leary, Mrs Barry's sister, with whom they will stay until their own home is ready.
Barry has invested money in a garage to which he will devote his time until ordered to report to Connie Mack next Spring.
REGISTRATION CARDSome things to note from the information above - M. Thomas O'Leary died in February 1919, about five months after signing this draft card. He and Mary have moved from 1 View Street (where they lived for the 1910 census) to 3 Germaine St, which appears to be a single family home. The mention of his eye problem could explain why we see M. Thomas in glasses in this photo. Lastly, the registrar has the last name Fay - could he be any relation to Mary's sister's husband - James Fay?
Serial Number: 4938
Order Number: 4156
Name: Michael Thomas O'Leary
Address: 3 Germaine Street, Worcester, Mass.
Date of Birth: Aug. 29, 1876
U.S. Citizen: Native Born
Present Occupation: President of Gen. Mass Foundry
Employer's Name: L.W. Pond Mach. & Fdry. Co.
Place of Employment: 40 Gold, Worcester, Mass
Nearest Relative: Mary H. O'Leary, Wife
Address: 3 Germaine St., Worcester, Mass
I affirm that I have verified above answers and that they are true: Michael Thomas O'Leary
Description of registrant
Color of Eyes: Blue
Color of Hair: Black
Has person lost arm, leg, hand, eye, or is he obviously physically disqualified?
No except left eye nearly blind
Signed: Albert E. Fay (Registrar)
September, 12th, 1918
1910 United State Federal CensusWhat a difference 30 years can make. As a young mother Mary O'Leary had a live-in servant - a luxury her mother likely never dreamed of having when she was living in "corporate houses" and raising her young daughter along with boarders.
Five people are noted together as a household:
O'Leary, Michael T - age 34
O'Leary, Mary E - age 30
O'Leary, Thomas B - age 4
O'Leary, Marion E - age 2/12
Rhinehold, Steena - age 19
They all live at 1 View Street, Worcester, MA (along with Thomas & Mary McDonough and the many McDonough children)
Michael T. O'Leary lists his occupation as "Manager" of "Iron Foundry"
Steena Rhinehold gives her relationship to head of house as "Servant"
Steena Rhinehold lists her occupation as "Servant" of "Private Family"