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U.S. Vice President Henry Wilson - Natick, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 42° 16.870 W 071° 21.632
19T E 305363 N 4683692
Quick Description: The least ornate gravestone for the Wilsons buried here is for Henry Wilson, the shoe cobbler who started a shoe factory in Natick, was a big abolitionist and was Vice President under President Grant.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 8/21/2013 6:03:11 PM
Waymark Code: WMHX0K
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member rangerroad
Views: 1

Long Description:
In Natick's Dell Park Cemetery is a grave of a Vice President - but you could easily miss the plainly decorated grave stone.

Dell Park Cemetery is located west of the center of Natick, along Pond Street. Dell Park Cemetery is in two parts: the original cemetery, near Cemetery Street, and the 'new' part, which was originally a separate cemetery. You want to go to the older cemetery and enter in the entrance just beyond Cemetery Street (from Natick Center origination point). From there, if the road is open, take a right and drive along the unpaved road to a raised plot by the woods at a corner. Otherwise, park somewhere and walk to that location.

The marker is easy to find - only if you know where to look. The best way to know that you are in the right area is to look for a bronze marker on the raised portion of the plot, on the south side. The plaque has the following on it:

Henry Wilson
1812-1875

Shoemaker, ardent statesman & abolitionist known in Congress as "The Natick Cobbler."

Founder & First Colonel of 22nd Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1861

U.S. Senator from Massachusetts 1855-73
U.S. Vice President 1873-75

Place by Dell Park Cemetery Association and 22nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Inc. October 2, 2011"

The gravestone is only a few feet away from here, but you will have to carefully read the corroded and lichened marble faces. There are several stones in this lot from several families. The largest stone nearby is the most ornate. It has a cavilier cap and sword. This grave is his son's, Lt. Henry Hamilton Wilson. Behind and to the right is another gravestone for Harriet M. Howe, VP Henry Wilson's wife. To the right of this grave is a plain monument that is the right one - Henry Wilson. The grave itself doesn't have any indication of the man who is buried underneath.

Henry Wilson was born as Jeremiah Jones Colbath in Farmington, New Hampshire. After completing an Indenturement to a farm at age 21, he walked to Natick by foot from Farmington. There, he learned shoe making from a friend. Also, he changed his name to Henry Wilson - why that name is not clear. He worked so hard at learning the trade that he was told he had to take a break. He worked to get a ticket and took a trip to Washington, D.C. On the way down he saw personally slaves working the fields in Virginia and Maryland and vowed to give all he had to the cause of emancipation. He married Harriet M. Howe in 1840. He later returned to show making and eventually built a business of an early form of shoe factory where piecework was done at homes in the area then the shoe was assembled at a central location. He was very successful and was able to later devote time to civic issues. He began to have political aspirations. First aligning with the Whig Party, he changed to the Free Soil Party when that party was more aligned with his principles. He also became part of the 'Know-nothings' which had anti-Catholic sentiments which haunted his future political career. When the Republican Party formed, he changed to that party for their pledge to end slavery.

As a U.S. Senator, he was paired with Charles Sumner, who, though personally was different, shared the same ambition to end slavery, and the two got along well. Contrary to the eloquent Sumner, Wilson was known as not eloquent, but factual and to the point in his speeches.

In 1872, the Credit Mobiler scam broke out. In short, it was a scheme involving the building of the Union Pacific Railroad that many Congressmen invested in. Wilson was implicated but not found to be involved in it.

From 1873 to 1875, Wilson became President Ulysses Grant's second Vice President. Unfortunately, Wilson suffered a stroke early in the term and did not preside over the Senate. He died of another attack in November 22, 1875.

His house still stands in town (privately owned).


Other Sources:

www.senate.gov (VP Henry Wilson):
(visit link)

Dell Park Cemetery
(visit link)
Description:
Henry Wilson was a U.S. Vice President under President Ulysses Grant.


Date of birth: 2/16/1812

Date of death: 11/22/1875

Area of notoriety: Politics

Marker Type: Headstone

Setting: Outdoor

Visiting Hours/Restrictions: Daylight hours

Fee required?: No

Web site: [Web Link]

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