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George H Taber

Rt. Wor. George H Taber

1808-1901

Biography

George H Taber, Esq., born in 1808, in the house on Adams Street, which has been his home during his entire life. His ancestors were among the earliest pioneers of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay.

In early childhood, Capt. Taber began to receive such limited education as the elementary school of those days afforded. At the age of ten, he decided to enter upon a mercantile career, and he became a clerk in a New Bedford dry goods store.

 

In 1825, he made up his mind to go whaling, and his first cruise was on the ship "Missouri" which was gone 11 months to the Falkland Islands. He received $100, as his share. This was his first and last whaling voyage, but he continued to follow the sea.

He entered merchant service, and when he was about 20 years old he was first mate on a large vessel. In 1832, when he was but a mere boy, he was given command of the brig "Formax". He made many voyages out of New York to Europe, to the West Indies, and to South American ports as captain and officer of various ships until 1842, when he retired. In all that time he never figured in a disaster of any kind. To Captain Taber belonged the credit of bringing to New Bedford the first cargo of coal ever brought there.

Captain Taber always took a lively interest in politics. He was formerly an old line Democrat, but, when Sumpter was fired upon, he became an ardent Republican and remained such ever afterward. He had been influential in the affairs of his native town for more than a half century. He was a member of the board of selectmen for more than 17 years, and chairman for half that time; one of the assessors for 15 years; and has filled various other offices. At the time of his death, he was president of the Fairhaven Institution for Savings, and for about 40 years had been a member of the board of investments. He had been a trustee of the Millicent Library since its beginning.

He was a Quaker by birth, and for many years he attended the meetings of the Society of Friends held in the meeting house on Bridge Street. In later years, he attended the services at the Unitarian Church. He married Eliza Parker Bates in , and they had two children, George Hathaway Taber Jr., and John Huttleston Taber. Mrs. Taber and his two sons survive him.

Captain George H. Taber, died at his home on Adams Street, December 12th, 1901, at about six o'clock. He always enjoyed remarkable health. Captain Taber's mind was clear and active and his memory a marvel.

The third oldest native resident of Fairhaven, including the town of Acushnet. Captain Taber witnessed the last whipping administered in Fairhaven.

The funeral of Captain George H. Taber was held in the Unitarian Church, Sunday, at 1:30 P.M., Rev. William Brunton officiating. Many members of the Masonic lodges of New Bedford were present. His own lodge, Star-in-the-East, of that city, assisted in the Masonic service, but gave the charge of it to George H. Taber Lodge. There were about 100 masons in attendance. The occasion was very impressive. Plants from the greenhouses of Henry H. Rogers and Walter P. Winsor adorned the pulpit. There was a large collection of flowers, including several floral Masonic emblems.

Mr. Brunton read the scriptures of sympathy, and spoke of the beauty and blessing of old age. The Masonic quartette of New Bedford sang several selections. After this service, the Masonic fraternity had its ritual service in the church because of the inclemency of the weather. The burial was at the Riverside Cemetery. The pall bearers were Levi M. Snow, Captain John Charry, Charles H. Morton, and Cyrus D. Hunt of George H. Taber Lodge, and Daniel J. Sullivan and Henry N. West of the Start-in-the-East Lodge. The funeral arrangements were in charge of John A. Orton.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry H. Rogers came from New York to attend the service.

Masonic Biography

Captain Taber was made a Mason in Star-in-the-East lodge, New Bedford, June 17th, 1850. He served as district deputy grand master of the 6th Masonic District in 1856 - '57 - '58 and again of the 16th District in 1867. In 1868, he was elected Adoniram Royal Arch Chapter, of New Bedford, an honorary member of Sutton Commandery, K.T., New Bedford, and George H. Taber Lodge of this Town.

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