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Alfred P Critchlow
Birth: Dec. 26, 1813
Nottingham, England
Death: Mar. 24, 1881
Leeds
Hampshire County
Massachusetts, USA

Alfred's father was a silk stocking weaver; he lost his mother at age 9. At age 14, he started a 7 year apprenticeship as a die seeker. He went into the horn button business in Birmingham, England where he met Josiah Hayden, who convinced him to move to Haydenville, MA to start a horn button business. On 7 Dec 1843, Alfred (occupation mechanic), Margaret, Maria (age 7 yrs), & Mary (age 4 mos) arrived in NYC on the Ashburton out of Liverpool.
After several years, he moved to Florence, MA and started his own wooden (wild laurel) button manufacture. He invented "Florence compound", an early form of plastic made from shellac, wood fiber & lampblack. It was molded & dyed into buttons, hairbrush handles & daguerreotype cases. In 1857, he sold this business, but he couldn't stay retired and in 1858 bought an old woolen mill in Leeds, MA where he manufactured the first vegetable ivory buttons in the U.S. His mills were destroyed in the 1874 Mill River dam break, but he invested in replacing George Warner's (his son-in-law) mill and remained active in it until his death.
Alfred was active in the Florence and Leeds underground railroad. He was a charter member of the Free Congregational Society of Florence.
He owned a large tract from Park Street to the river in Florence and several large tracts in Leeds. The Leeds Elementary School stands about where his house was located.
He was an original investor and on the board of directors of the Williamsburg Reservoir Company, whose dam on the East branch of the Mill River burst in 1874.
After his death, his wife, Margaret Sarah, moved to Denver to live with their daughter and son-in-law, Mary & George P Warner. Their daughter, Maria, married Guy Naramore and in 1895 was living in Perth Amboy, NJ. His son, Alfred, was born & died in Massachusetts.
Information from History of Florence, editor Charles Sheffeld, 1895; In the Shadow of the Dam, Elizabeth Sharpe, 2004; US Federal Census 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880; NY Passenger Lists, Mass Vital Records 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Margaret S Critchlow (1809 - 1897)*
 
 Children:
  Mary Critchlow Warner (1843 - 1920)*
  Alfred Critchlow (1847 - 1858)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
Alfred P/Critchlow/Born Dec 26 1813/in Nottingham England/Died/Mar 24 1881/at Leeds, Mass
 
Note: This marker is suffering from serious structural failure. The bottom is bowing out; the middle is sinking in; there are cracks throughout the monument
 
Burial:
Park Street Cemetery
Florence
Hampshire County
Massachusetts, USA
 
Created by: P.K. Magruder
Record added: Jun 16, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 38431346
Alfred P Critchlow
Added by: P.K. Magruder
 
Alfred P Critchlow
Added by: P.K. Magruder
 
Alfred P Critchlow
Added by: P.K. Magruder
 
 
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- caryatid
 Added: Mar. 10, 2012

- P.K. Magruder
 Added: Oct. 28, 2009
 
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