A Famous Citizen of Natick Massachusetts - Still Remembered
Henry Wilson was known as the "Cobbler from Natick." He was also the 18th Vice President of the United States.
Born in 1812, he was originally named Jeremiah Jones Colbath, a name his father had given him after a financially successful neighbor with the hopes of getting an inheritance for his son. The child, Jeremiah, learned to hate that name and vowed to change it at his earliest opportunity.
That time came in 1833 when he changed his name to Henry Wilson. After an unsuccessful attempt at finding work in his native New Hampshire hometown, he walked over 100 miles to relocate to Boston where he learned the skills of shoe making. He eventually saved enough money from his labors to open his own shoe shop in Natick.
During a trip to Washington D. C. he became appalled by the sights of slavery that he witnessed there. And, when he returned he decided that he would dedicate himself to its abolition.
Henry Wilson ran for and was elected to the Massachusetts legislature where he served until 1852. However, two other political aspirations went unfulfilled with an unsuccessful attempt to run for Congress in 1852, then governor in 1853.
He was eventually elected to the U. S. Senate in 1855 where he served until March 1873. That year he was elected Vice President of the United States with President Ulysses Grant. While in office he suffered a stroke that caused him to be bedridden and he used much of this time to write a history of the rise and fall of Slavery in America.
Henry Wilson served in the office of the Vice Presidency until his death in 1875. He was laid to rest in Old Dell Park Cemetery in Natick, Massachusetts.
His little shoe shop still stands as a tribute to this prominent citizen of Natick.
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Claudette Millette, Broker, Owner, The Buyers' Counsel - (508) 881-6230