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Overseers in Lowell's Textile Mills

Lowell Labor History

Isaac Deming (1806-1890)

                                                    Portrait of Isaac Deming

Lowell Historical Society "Album 1," p. 039.

Born in Marlborough, New Hampshire, in 1806, Isaac Deming came to Lowell in February, 1827. Initially he worked for the Hamilton Mills, but moved to the Tremont Mills where in 1850 he became an overseer in a spinning room.1 In 1831 Deming married Sophrama Trull, of the locally prominent Trull Family, holders of large tracts of farmland in Tewksbury and Andover. The Demings had at least two children, one surviving into adulthood. In 1868 Sophrama Deming died from consumption at the Tremont boardinghouse where she resided her entire married life. Deming never remarried and continued as an overseer in a spinning room of the Tremont Mills. Ill health at age 67 forced him to give up mill work. Upon his departure in 1873 friends and mill employees visited Deming at his boardinghouse residence and gave him a gold-headed cane valued at about $50. Frank H. Wheat, a fellow overseer, made the presentation.2 After retiring, Deming purchased a house on Butterfield Street in Lowell for $2,800, and left the Tremont boardinghouse.3 His son, Charles, and daughter-in-law lived with him in the Butterfield Street house for a number of years. Deming died in Woodstock, Vermont, in August 1890 at the age of 84 and was buried in Lowell.4

“Overseers in the Mills,” Lowell Daily Courier, July 27, 1872.
“Presentation,” Lowell Daily Courier, May 5, 1873. Wheat was listed as an overseer in the 1880 federal census. Born in New Hampshire, he was about 33 years old at the time of Deming’s retirement.
“Real Estate Transactions,” Lowell Daily Courier, May 20, 1873.
Obituary in Saturday Vox Populi, August 9, 1890.