Skip to Main Content

Overseers in Lowell's Textile Mills

Lowell Labor History

Charles Wood (1818-1895)

                                                    Portrait of Charles Wood

Lowell Historical Society, "Album 3," p. 027.

Born in Dracut, Massachusetts, in 1818, Charles Wood began working for the Boott Mills at the age of 18. He was appointed overseer in the late 1840s. Wood married and had three sons, all while living in a Boott Corporation boardinghouse. By 1860 he, his wife Laura A Cheever, from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, age 40, and sons Charles F., age 11, George F., age 9, and Arthur E. age 8, were still living in a corporation boardinghouse near the mill. Wood’s personal value amounted to $500. By the early 1870s Wood was the overseer in charge of two weave rooms at the Boott. He and his family resided at No. 70 Boott Corporation.1

Apparently suffering from poor health, his tenure as overseer at the Boott ended around 1876 and he moved with his wife and youngest son to Shirley, Massachusetts. Wood occupied his time as a gardener and lived until 1895 when he died at the age of 77.2

“Overseers in the Mills,” Lowell Daily Courier, July 27, 1872; U.S. Census, 1850 & 1860, Lowell, Massachusetts. City directory, 1874.
2 U.S. Census, Shirley, Massachusetts, 1880; vital statistics of Shirley, Massachusetts, 1895.