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Overseers in Lowell's Textile Mills

Lowell Labor History

Daniel Knapp (1808-1876)

                                                     Portrait of Daniel Knapp

Lowell Historical Society "Album 1," p. 011.

Born in Norton, Massachusetts, in 1808, Daniel Knapp settled in Lowell in April, 1829. The following year he married Mary Hunt in Lowell. Knapp began work at the Lawrence Mills at the outset of its operation and on April 9, 1831, he was appointed overseer. He joined the Whig Party and was active in party politics in the 1830s and 1840s. Around 1846 Knapp left the Lawrence Mills, formed a partnership with Sewell Worthley of Lowell and opened a shop on Merrimack Street, selling boots and shoes.After about five years engaged in this enterprise, Knapp moved to Chicopee, Massachusetts, where he resumed his work as an overseer in a cotton mill.2  After the Civil War, Knapp returned with his wife and family to Lowell. He was once again employed as an overseer in the Lawrence Mills, this time in a shoddy room.Knapp lived with his family in a Lawrence Corporation boardinghouse. His wife, Mary, died in 1874. Knapp subsequently moved to Suffolk Mills, working there as an overseer. He remarried and lived with his second wife in a Suffolk Mills boardinghouse, but died in 1876, following a stroke.4

Lowell city directory, 1847.
2  U.S. Census, Chicopee, Massachusetts, 1860
3 "Overseers in the Mills," Lowell Daily Courier, July 17, 1872.
Obituary of Daniel Knapp, Lowell Daily Courier, May 29, 1876.