DEATH OF A. BIGELOW, SR.
Dean of Boston Jewelry Trade Passes Away in His 87th Year After a Brief Illness
Boston, Mass., Dec. 30.—Alanson Bigelow, Sr., for many years head of the firm of Bigelow, Kennard & Co., and known throughout this section as the Dean of the Boston jewelry trade, died early yesterday morning at the home of his daughter, Dorothea (Mrs. Reginald Carey Heath), at Heath Hill, Brookline. Mr. Bigelow's death came as a surprise and shock to his many friends in Boston, for though in his 87th year, he had been in good health up until a few days ago.
Alanson Bigelow came of a family of jewelers and his ancestors were among the oldest settlers in New England. He was the eighth generation of the family of John Bigelow, who first settled in Watertown and some of whose grandsons settled in Westminster. It was from the Westminster branch that the late Alanson Bigelow is descended.
The jewelry house with which he was connected was founded in 1830 by John Bigelow, his uncle, who afterward was joined by a brother, Alanson Bigelow, and the name changed to John Bigelow & Co. As the business grew, the firm moved to 511 Washington St., and later Abraham O. Bigelow, another brother, M. P. Kennard, Wm. H. Kennard and F. B. Bemis, became members of the firm under the name of Bigelow Bros. & Kennard. This was later changed to Bigelow, Kennard & Co., which is the present name of the concern.
Deceased was born in Cambridge and was the son of Alanson Bigelow. of the original jewelry firm, his mother being Rebecca Bangs. Following his graduation from Harvard, he entered his father's business and from that time to the present, had been closely identified not only with the affairs of the house but with the jewelry trade of Boston. He was admitted as a member of the firm in 1876. The father died in 1884, Abraham Bigelow and M. P. Kennard retired from the firm about this time, both of them dying a few years later, and shortly after Mr. Bemis passed away. This left Mr. Bigelow as sole member of the firm for some years until in 1895, his son, Alanson Bigelow, Jr. (the third member of that name), was admitted to partnership.
Another son, Homer Lane Bigelow, became a member of the firm in 1889. retiring a few years later, at which time Reginald C. Heath, a son-in-law, was admitted. On the incorporation of the business in 1912, Alanson Bigelow, Jr., became president; Alanson Bigelow, Sr. (who has just died), vice-president, and Mr. Heath, the treasurer of the firm.
Mr. Bigelow had a wide circle of friends in and out of the jewelry trade and was noted as a man of culture, taste and discrimination. He was an extensive traveler and. had spent much time abroad. The house in which he was born at 265 Harvard St. was occupied by him until 1890, when he took up his residence at Chestnut Hill, but following the death of his wife (who was Sarah Elizabeth Lane, of Newton), he went to live with his daughter, Mrs. Heath, and remained with her until his death. Beside his daughter and sons, Alanson and Homer, he had another son, Ernest A. Bigelow, a resident of New York.
Source: The Jewelers' Circular - 2nd January 1924