David Lyman Jewell by J. N. McClintock

The chief industry of the flourishing village of Suncook is the manufacture of cotton cloth. The China, the Webster, and the Pembroke mills are three great establishments under one management, built on the banks of the Suncook river, and operated principally by its power, where this class of goods is made. About these mills, which give steady employment to over fifteen hundred operatives, has grown up a substantial village, with fine public buildings, spacious stores, elegant private residences, and long blocks of neat tenement-houses, inhabited by a liberal and public-spirited class of citizens, and governed by a wise and judicious policy which renders this community comfortable, attractive, and law-abiding. The man to whose clear head and skillful hand is intrusted the management of this great corporation, of such vital importance to the village of Suncook, is a genial gentleman of forty-five, Col. David L. Jewell, a brief outline of whose life it is my purpose to sketch.

David Lyman Jewell, son of Bradbury and Lucinda (Chapman) Jewell, was born in Tamworth, N. H., January 26, 1837. In the midst of the grandest scenery of New England, under the shadows of the Ossipee mountains, and in view of bold Chocorua, our friend was ushered to this earthly pilgrimage. Colonel Jewell is a descendant of Mark Jewell, who was born in the mirth of Devonshire, England, in the year 1724, and died in Sandwich, N. H., the 19th of February, 1787. He descended from the same original stock as Bishop John Jewell of Devonshire.

Mark Jewell came to this country in 1743, married, and located in Durham this state; he was the father of three sons, Mark, Jr., Bradbury, and John. Mark. Jr., was the first white man that settled in Tamworth, in 1772, on what is now called "Stevenson's Hill," removing soon after to "Birch Intervale," as known at the present time. He married Ruth Vittum, of Sandwich, in 1776; they were the parents of sixteen children. He was prominent in all town affairs, and sometimes preached, and was familiarly called among his fellow-townsmen "Elder" or "Priest" Jewell. Bradbury, son of Elder Jewell, married Mary Chapman in 1806, by whom he had two sons, Bradbury and David.

Bradbury Jewell, a pupil of Samuel Hidden, was a teacher of considerable note, and his memory is tenderly cherished to-day by many of his pupils throughout the state. While engaged in teaching he pursued a course of medical studies, and in 1839, having completed them, collected his worldly goods and removed to Newmarket, a place presenting a larger field for practice. There he commenced in earnest his chosen profession; but, being of a delicate constitution, the exposure incident to a physician's life soon told upon his limited strength; he was taken sick, and died "ere the sun of his life had reached its meridian," leaving his widow, with two little children, in indigent circumstances, to combat with a cold and selfish world. A wealthy merchant of the place, having no children, wished to adopt young David, offering to give him a college education and leave him heir to his worldly possessions; but with a mother's love for her offspring Mrs. Jewell refused the offer, and resolved to rear and educate her children as well as her limited means would allow. Being a woman of undaunted spirit, she opened a boarding-house for factory operatives, when factory girls were the intelligent daughters of New England farmers, who regarded this new industry a most favorable opportunity for honorable employment.

Having brothers in Massachusetts, and thinking to better sustain herself and children, Mrs. Jewell removed to Newton Upper Falls, Mass., following the same occupation there. In that village young Jewell first attended school, the teacher of which was a former pupil of his father. To render his mother more substantial assistance than he could afford her by doing irksome chores, he went to work in the factory when but nine years of age, receiving for a day's work, from quarter of five in the morning until half past seven in the evening, the very munificent sum of sixteen cents a day, or one dollar a week. He worked nine months and attended school three, every year, until he was nearly thirteen years of age, when the close confinement was found detrimental to his health, and he was taken from the mill and placed on a farm. The next three years he passed in healthful, happy, out-door work. Returning home from the farm strong, robust, and vigorous, he re-entered the mill, where he was variously occupied, becoming familiar with the operations of the numerous machines in each department, but more particularly those pertaining to the carding-room, where his step-father, Thomas Truesdell, was an overseer, learning as he pursued his work, gradually and insensibly, things that to-day are of incalculable benefit for the business in which he is now engaged. He little thought, however, when moving his stool from place to place in order to facilitate his labor, he would some day be at the head of similar works many times greater in magnitude than those in which he was then employed. His inherited mechanical taste developed by his life among machinery, and when he was seventeen years of age he gladly entered a machine-shop. Here his ready perception of form rendered his work attractive and his improvement rapid.

Before completing his apprenticeship he felt keenly the want of a better education, and determined to obtain it. His exchequer was very low, but having the confidence of friends he readily obtained a loan, and in the spring of 1855 he entered the Wesleyan Academy at Wilbraham, Mass. The principal, after a casual examination, said: "Well, you don't know much, do you?" Being quick at repartee young Jewell replied: "No, sir; if I did, I would not be here." This brief sip at the fountain of knowledge only increased his thirst for more, and in September of the same year he entered the state normal school at Bridgewater, Mass., under the regime of Marshall Conant, a life-long friend and counselor. Mr. Jewell from the first was a favorite among his classmates,—courteous, genial, pleasant in disposition, something careless withal; physically vigorous, and always the first at athletic sports when relieved from study. Mathematics, of which he was very fond, and natural philosophy were his favorite branches of study, and free-hand drawing his delight, as slates, book-covers, and albums attested. While in school he made rapid advancement in knowledge, and graduated in the spring of 1857, having acquired, as his diploma reads, "a very creditable degree of knowledge of the several branches taught therein. Besides these attainments, Mr. Jewell possesses a tact and skill for rapid sketching and delineation which give life to his blackboard illustrations."

To show the forethought possessed by him in a marked degree, before graduating he had secured a school to teach in New Jersey, and the day after the closing exercises were over he started for his new field of labor. He taught with great success in New Jersey and also in New York, some three years. One school of which he was principal numbered three hundred scholars, and employed five assistant teachers, most of whom were his seniors in years. Like his father, he gained an enviable reputation as a teacher, and his credentials speak of him in the highest terms, as a competent, faithful, and pleasing instructor, and a most excellent disciplinarian. One superintendent of schools remarks: "He was the best teacher that has been employed in the town for thirty years."

While engaged in teaching, Mr. Jewell pursued a course of study in engineering and surveying, and finally determined to follow engineering as a profession. He gave up school-teaching, left the "foreign shores of Jersey" and entered the office of R. Morris Copeland and C. W. Folsom, of Boston. His first work was the resurvey of Cambridgeport. He afterwards worked in Dorchester and on Narragansett bay. But this new occupation had just been engaged in when "the shot heard round the world" was fired on Sumter, and the tocsin of war sounded the alarm. Surveying, like all other business, came to a stand-still; the compass was changed for a musket, distances measured by the steady tramp of the soldiery, and the weary flagman became the lonely sentinel.

About this time the owners of the Pembroke mill and property connected therewith, in Pembroke and Allenstown, N. H., decided to increase their business by building a new mill twice the capacity of the one then owned by them. Knowing Mr. Jewell to be a good draughtsman, having employed him during the construction of the Pembroke mill, they again engaged him for like duties. Consulting with their then resident agent, he prepared the required working plans and drawings for the Webster mill. The work on the building was soon under way and rapidly pushed to completion. While thus engaged the agent at Newton died, and the immediate care of the mills was given to Mr. Jewell until (as the treasurer said) he could find the right man.

Finishing his work at Suncook, and having conducted the affairs of the company at Newton in a very satisfactory manner, the treasurer tendered him the agency of the mills. In accepting the position, his career as agent began where, fifteen years before, he commenced the work that fitted him so thoroughly for the successful management of the same. The mills were in a bad condition, the machinery old, and "run down," and the owners impatient and anxious. Nothing daunted, however, Mr. Jewell entered heartily into the business, making such changes that at the time he tendered his resignation he had doubled the production, and greatly improved the quality of the goods manufactured. Looms built more than fifty years ago, and improved by Mr. Jewell, are still running and producing nearly as many yards per day, and of as good quality, as those made at the present time. These mills were run throughout the war, paying for cotton as high as one dollar a pound, and selling the cloth for thirty-five cents a yard. Mr. Jewell was very anxious to enlist during the exciting times of war, but was prevailed upon by the owners to continue in charge of their works, and by the entreaties of his wife, who was hopelessly ill, to remain at her side.

The treasurer and part owner of the mills at Newton Upper Falls was also treasurer and large owner of the mills at Suncook. In 1865 the Suncook company agitated the subject of enlarging their works by the addition of another mill, and in 1867 active operations were commenced upon the China mill, which was, when completed, the largest works of the kind contained under one roof in the state. Mr. Jewell again fulfilled the office of engineer and draughtsman. The company's agent at Suncook, wishing to devote his time exclusively to the construction of the new mill, desired that Mr. Jewell come from Newton several days each week to look after the manufacturing in the two mills. Thus for more than two years he acted as agent at Newton, also as superintendent of the Webster and Pembroke mills.

In 1870, before the China mill had fairly commenced operations, the agent resigned his position. Mr. Jewell, having at Newton proved diligent, faithful, and capable, was appointed in his stead. Resigning his position at Newton he removed with his family to Suncook, and assumed the management of the triumvirate corporation, June 1, 1870. Again he was obliged to go through nearly the same routine as at Newton. The machinery, however, was more modern, but had been neglected, supplies scantily distributed, and the power was inadequate to the demand. With indomitable perseverance he has remedied the defects, by providing reservoirs, more thoroughly utilizing the water power, adding new and valuable improvements, putting in powerful steam apparatus capable of running during the most severe drought. He has increased the annual product from twelve million yards in 1874 to twenty-seven million yards in 1880, with substantially the same machinery, showing what tireless perseverance and devotion to duty can accomplish.

Mr. Jewell is one of the directors in the China Savings Bank, Suncook. He is also a member of the New England Cotton Manufacturers' Association, and of the New Hampshire club. Mr. Jewell was honored by being appointed aide-de-camp, with the rank of colonel, on Governor Head's staff, and smilingly speaks of turning out officially more times than any one of the other members. He is a member of the Governor Head Staff Association, an active member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston, a member of the Amoskeag Veterans of Manchester, a member of the New Hampshire Veterans' Association, and an honorary member of the old Twelfth New Hampshire regiment. He was elected captain of the Jewell Rifles, named in his honor, but graciously declined, and was made an honorary member. The Masonic fraternity also claims him, being an active member of the "Jewell" Lodge, Suncook, also named in his honor, and of the Trinity Royal Arch Chapter, Horace Chase Council R. and S. M., and Mount Horeb Commandry, Concord, N. H. He is a member of the Supreme Council, having taken all the Scottish rites up to the 33d degree, and is an active member of the Massachusetts Consistory S[**asterism][** Masonic symbol?] P[**asterism] R[**asterism] S[**asterism] 32d degree, Boston, and a member of the Connecticut River Valley Association.

Colonel Jewell is a public-spirited citizen. To him Suncook is largely indebted for its material advancement since his residence in this community. Three times have his presence of mind and mechanical skill been the means of saving the village from entire destruction by fire. To him is the place indebted for its very effective water-works to guard against fires in the future.

In happy combination with the great executive ability of the subject of our sketch, are a fine literary taste and decided artistic talent. The former has opportunity for gratification in a library rich in standard works, and the latter is attested by the exterior architectural decorations and interior embellishments that beautify his home. In private life, Col. Jewell is genial, affable and approachable. In religious thought he affiliates with the Congregationalists; but the Sabbath is to him a day of rest.

Mr. Jewell married, in August, 1860, Mary A. Grover, daughter of Ephraim Grover, of Newton, Mass. She died October 16, 1862. He was married the second time, May 31, 1865, to Ella Louise Sumner, daughter of Lewis Sumner, of Needham, Mass.

Mr. Jewell has kept aloof from politics, but is a good Republican; and, should he be the standard-bearer of the party in any future contest, he could probably lead his forces to victory.