Town Beach at West Island
PHINEAS CAMP HEADLEY, JR.
Now approaching his sixtieth birthday, Phineas Camp Headley re-
views a life of professional and business activity, which since 1894 has
been closely associated with the source of supply for the spindles and
looms of the city, cotton. His ambition to follow the footsteps of his father,
also Phineas Camp Headley, and
of his grandfather, both of whom were ministers of the Gospel,
was frustrated by ill health, and as a regularly ordained minister of the
Congregational church his service as pastor was brief. His nearly quarter of
a century in New Bedford has wonderfully improved his health and
renewed his youth. He delights in
sports of the open, is young in spirit, plays tennis, and is everywhere and
always the genial, courteous, approachable gentleman.
Rev. Phineas Camp Headley was one of a family of four sons and
three daughters, the sons all eminent in literature, business and official
life : Joel Tyler Headley, an educator, later famous as the author of a
"History of the Rebellion," "Napoleon and His Marshals," and still later
as Secretary of State of the Commonwealth of New York ; Phineas Camp
Headley, of further mention; Isaac B. Headley, a banker of Peoria, Illi-
nois, his wife a sister of Senator Thomas C. Piatt, of New York ; Dr.
William T. Headley, who was appraiser of drugs at the New York cus-
tom house until his death, his wife a sister of Bishop Coxe, of New York
State. The father of these brothers was for fifteen years pastor of the
Congregational church at Walton, Delaware county, New York, this re-
view dealing with the life work of his son. Rev. Phineas Camp Headley,
a preacher and minister of the Gospel and a historian, and of his son,
Phineas Camp Headley, of New Bedford, a twentieth century representa-
tive of a cultured, scholarly family.
Rev. Phineas Camp Headley, son of a Congregational minister, and
related to Captain Headley Vicars, the noted English officer, was born
in Walton, New York, June 24, 1819. He attended Hamilton and Am-
herst colleges, but received his Bachelor of Arts from Amherst. At one
time he, with his brother, Joel Tyler Headley, managed Canandaigua
Academy, the brothers being principal and assistant principal, this posi-
tion being taken to assist in financing his college course. He also taught
in Academy, and during that period began the study of law
under ex-Governor Hubbell, and was admitted to practice at the New
York bar in 1845. It was his mother's desire, and his own wishes
coincided, that he enter the ministry, and after courses at Auburn Theo-
logical Seminary, Auburn, New York, he was graduated, ordained and
settled over the church at Adams. His work there was followed by pas-
torates in Sandwich, Plymouth and Greenfield, Massachusetts, his term
of service in Greenfield being the most extended. The last years of his
life were spent in historic Lexington, where his two daughters resided,
and there he died June 5, 1903.
As a writer on historical subjects and characters, Mr. Headley clothed
his characters as in real life and made them speaking human realties to
his readers. His works were rich in human interest and historic value,
affording the reader genuine pleasure and the student of a reliable source
of information, and among the noted men whom he met and conferred
with was Louis Kossuth, whose history he afterward wrote. His well-
known histories and biographies are : "Massachusetts in the Rebellion,"
"Life of General U. S. Grant," "General William T. Sherman," "General
Phil Sheridan," "General Mitchell," "Admiral Farragut," and "John Erics-
son," the inventor and builder of the first "Monitor." He was also the
author of the life of the "Empress Josephine of France," of "Louis Kos-
suth, the Hungarian Patriot," "Napoleon," and "Women of the Bible."
As author his work was characterized by the highest terms and the pur-
est standards of judgment as well as by a vivid and finished style. While
he reached a larger audience through his books than was possible as a
preacher, the ministry was his first and always his great love, and to the
cause of his Master he gave devoted, effective service.
Mr. Headley married. May 13, 1851, Deborah Clark Bartlett, who
died in Lexington, Massachusetts, in 1899. She was a daughter of Ivory
H. Bartlett, a whaling merchant and prominent business man of his day,
one of the incorporators and member of the first board of trustees of the
New Bedford Five Cents Savings Bank. Rev. Phineas C. and Deborah
C. (Bartlett) Headley were the parents of two sons and two daughters:
I. Phineas Camp (2), of further mention. 2. Ivory Hovey Bartlett, a
graduate of Phillips Andover Academy, Andover Theological Seminary ;
chaplain in the United States Army, serving in the Philippines, also at
Fort Yates, North Dakota ; later he became permanently attached to the
coast artillery, and after leaving Fort McPherson, Georgia, was stationed
at Fort Totten, Staten Island ; he bore the rank of major, and died at Fort
Totten, his death being the result of an accident to his spine. 3. Irene,
a graduate of Bradford Academy ; married Willard Otis Armes, and re-
sides in Lexington, Massachusetts. 4. Mary Louisa, a graduate of Gan-
nett Institute; an occasional writer and author; married Elijah Ander-
son Shaw, of Boston, head of E. A. Shaw & Company, cotton merchants.
Phineas Camp (2) Headley, son of Phineas Camp (i) and Deborah
Clark (Bartlett) Headley, was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, Decem-
ber 20, 1858. After preparation in public schools, he entered Boston
Latin School, whence he was graduated at the finish of a four years'
course with the class of 1876 on the prize list. He then entered Amherst
College, receiving his Bachelor of Arts, class of 1880. His classical course
completed, he began the study of divinity at Hartford Theological Semi-
nary, Hartford, Connecticut, but a year later an accident so impaired his
health that he left the seminary and spent a year in the West, returning to
NEW BEDFORD much invigorated.
He reentered the seminary, completed his studies in
theology with the class of 1886, was ordained a minister of the Congre-
gational church in Boston by the Rev. Dr. Webb, D. D., of the Shawmut
church, and entered upon pastoral work, but ill health again interfered,
and shortly afterward he was compelled to abandon the ministry perma-
nently. For several years he was engaged in photography, but in 1894
became a cotton broker in New Bedford, where he yet continues in pros-
perous business with offices in the old Merchants' Bank building, No.
56 Water street.
He is well known in the trade and immensely popular
with his many business and social acquaintances, numbering many of
them as his close friends. Although a busy man, there has never been a
time since leaving the ministry that he has not been interested in good
works. He has variously served the Trinitarian. Fairhaven and Old
North Congregational churches, and is yet an active worker and inter-
ested member. He is interested in the Union Chapel on Sconticut Neck
road, Fairhaven. Other activities of his are: Member of the advisory
board of the City Mission ; member of the finance committee of the Young
Women's Christian Association ; director of the Port Society ; director of
the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children ; vice-president of
the Young Men's Christian Association ; ex-president of the Bible Soci-
ety ; vice-president of the Fairhaven Improvement Association for two
years ; president of the New Bedford Board of Trade in 1913 ; member of
the Citizens' Guard of Fairhaven ; a former member of the Rod and Reel
Club of Fairhaven, and of the Country and Wamsutta clubs of New Bed-
ford. In all these organizations he formerly took an active interest and
part, and thoroughly enjoyed their work and privileges. In 1916 he was
a presidential elector on the Republican ticket which was successful in
Massachusetts, and in July, 1917, was a member of the committee ap-
pointed to welcome the Italian commission.
Mr. Headley married, January 2, 1892, Daisy Mabel Waite, born
February 17. 1869, daughter of Benjamin H. and Martha Jefferson
(Blodgett) Waite, her father a dry goods and carpet merchant of New
Bedford, and a large real estate owner. He died in New Bedford, April
9, 1898, aged seventy-four years. His wife survived him until June 9,
1908, aged seventy-nine. Mrs. Headley descends in paternal line through
eight generations of Waites in America to Thomas Waite, born in 1601,
who came in 1634, and is recorded in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in 1634.
He bought land in Acushnet and Cohasset, and subsequent generations
resided in Dartmouth. John Ward Waite, of the fifth generation, settled
in Tiverton, Rhode Island, where his son, Peter Waite, and his grand-
son, Benjamin H. Waite, were born and lived until the removal to New
Bedford, when the latter was a child. Phineas C. and Daisy Mabel
(Waite) Headley are the parents of Dorothy Headley, a graduate of
Dana Hall, Wellesley, class of 1916, now taking post-graduate courses,
and of a deceased daughter, Margery B., born in 1902, died in infancy.
The familv home is in Fairhaven on Sconticut Neck road.
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