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Overseers in Lowell's Textile Mills

Lowell Labor History

James H. Cahill (1857-1928)

                                                                           Portrait of James H. Cahill

Courier-Citizen Company, Lowell, Mass. Illustrated History of Lowell and Vicinity: Massachusetts. Courier-Citizen, p. 648. 1897.

James H. Cahill was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1857. His father, Peter Cahill, had settled in Lowell around 1847 and worked in the Lawrence Mills for 25 years. For many years the Cahill family lived on Jefferson Street in the parish of St. Patrick’s Church.1 James attended the Mann School and at the age of 12 went to work in the Merrimack Mills’ print works. By 1882 he was an overseer in the Merrimack’s folding department. That year Cahill won election to the city council as a Democrat from Ward One.2 He was reelected in 1883. Cahill remained at the Merrimack Mills as an overseer until about 1892, when he received an appointment as city messenger under Democratic mayor George Fifield. Cahill never again worked in the textile industry. By 1905 he was employed as a salesman for the Harvard Brewing Company, a position he held until prohibition in 1920. During his years as a salesman Cahill lived in the Centralville section of Lowell and became an attendant of St. Michael’s Church. He married Margaret L. Mahoney and they had at least one child, a daughter named Marguerite. In 1928 Cahill died, leaving his wife, daughter, and a sister.3

“Death Record,” Saturday Vox Populi, June 24, 1882.
“Personal Sketches,” Lowell Morning Times, December 13, 1882.
“Obituary,” Lowell Courier Citizen, June 25, 1928.