By Ron Dutcher
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The following is a biography snippet from the Hampshire Gazette in 1860 and 1861. Gazette editor and Williamsburg native Henry S. Gere wrote:
In 1833, on the erection of the brick factory, Josiah Hayden commenced business alone, manufacturing Japanned buttons and button molds, using a part of this factory, and employing from 8 to 12 hands. This branch of business he continued until 1849. In 1849, he commenced manufacturing steel pens, with Andrew Adams of Middletown, Ct., as foreman. Mr. Adams remained with him about three years and then removed to Waterbury, Ct. His place as foreman was held by a Mr. Burke about two years, and in 1845 Mr. Hayden sold his interest in the business to Williston and Wm. E. Thayer of Williamsburg, who transferred the manufacture to that place. In the autumn of 1845, Rollin L. Dawson of Syracuse, N.Y., commenced with Mr. Hayden the manufacture of gold pens, and continued the business until March, 1848. In 1844, Mr. Hayden commenced the manufacture of horn buttons, erecting for this business the building now known as the “Pen Factory.” Mr. Hayden visited England in 1843 for the purpose of acquiring information respecting this business, and engaged there the services of a number of men having experience in this branch, among whom were A.P. Critchlow and John Tonnicliff, now of Leeds, and Joseph B. Whitehouse of Florence. This business, although promising much at first, did not prove so successful as was anticipated. It was continued until 1849, at which time Mr. Hayden removed to South Boston, where he manufactured buttons and various hardwood goods. He afterwards was in the iron and lumber business at Clinton, N.Y., about a year and a half, and in 1852 returned to Haydenville. Soon afterwards he commenced the manufacture of hardware at Columbus, Ohio, and in 1858 returned again to Haydenville. In 1859 he re-commenced business at Columbus, where he now resides. Mr. Hayden has ever been an active, industrious business man. As a local Methodist preacher he has been somewhat prominent, and for a long time was a leading and influential man in that denomination.
Dawson, Warren & Hyde have been engaged in the manufacture of gold pens, gold and silver pen and pencil cases, pen holders, &tc., &tc., since 1848, succeeding Josiah Hayden. Recently they have added to their business the manufacture of fine jewelry, and now employ about sixty hands. Mr. Dawson died Aug. 24, 1847, but in accordance with a provision of his will, the name of the firm remains unchanged. One of the partners, Mr. Warren, resides in New York, where the company have a warehouse. Their business has greatly increased, and under their judicious management has proved very lucrative. Mr. Hyde was formerly for many years a clerk for Josiah Hayden, and Mr. Warren, (a native of Townsend, Mass.,) was an apprentice clerk in the store of J. & J. Hayden.
This article is part of the Manhattan Pen Makers Project, originated by Ron L. Dutcher. Except for typographical corrections, the text is as Ron published it. Ron wanted to include photos of advertisements or pens from each maker; he had some photos, but the gallery was far from complete. Photos here are a mixture of what Ron had and what I have been able to add from my own photo library. As with other reference articles on this site, you should not take this information as absolutely authoritative or complete.