Brockton : History 1645-1911

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Describes the history of the places and people of Brockton (North Bridgewater) from 1645 through 1911. Foreword by Kenneth R. Feinberg as follows: Brockton is a state of mind. Its history, going all the way back to the mid-17th Century, and continuing until the present time, tells us a great deal about the character of the City and its diverse population. Brockton grew up with the Nation. As the United States became an industrial giant in the 19th and 20th Centuries, so, too, did Brockton lead the way, primarily with a huge expanding shoe industry. "Shoes from Brockton" was the phrase heard around the world. (During the American Civil War, half the shoes worn by Union soldiers were manufactured in Brockton.) And with this flourishing industry, came a civic responsibility shared by employers and employees alike. Pride in Brockton was the watch word. And the business community, in particular, gave back to Brockton, donating land for public use and supporting numerous secular and religious charitable causes. Meanwhile, a Brockton population-consisting of a healthy mix of Yankee and immigrant residents-became a melting pot in which a rising tide of economic success raised all ships and triggered a civic sense of optimism in all Brockton citizens. It is this community-wide sense of optimism-a collective belief that life's goals could be achieved through personal initiative, determination and allegiance to a communitarian ethic-that accounts for the uniqueness that can be found in Brockton's history. Shared values, community support for each other, a work ethic grounded in cooperation and an optimistic look at the future, all made Brockton a true 19th and 20th Century success story. Even today-with Brockton shoe factories being converted into condominiums and rental apartments, and with community-wide optimism diminished by concerns about Brockton's future-there still remains a recognition that Brockton is "special," that its history and heritage will yet provide the blueprint for a new success story. In this excellent history of Brockton, author Kenneth E. Bingham tells the story of Brockton's beginnings, from its early days as North Bridgewater through its era as an industrial powerhouse in early twentieth century America. Examining these pages gives the reader a clear understanding of why Brockton is unique and why, despite all challenges and setbacks, there is a real enthusiasm and civic pride that can never be extinguished. -Kenneth R. Feinberg Kenneth R. Feinberg is a former Brockton resident who served as Administrator of the Federal September 11 Victim Compensation Fund and One Fund Boston. All Proceeds From The Sale Of This Book Go To The: Old Colony Y Association Brockton, MA
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About Kenneth E Bingham

Kenneth E. Bingham was born at the Brockton Hospital, Brockton Mass. in 1947, the seventh child of Elizabeth (Prentiss) and Clyde Bingham. He grew up in the single-parent (mother) home at 40 Glenwood Square (House torn down in the 1980s) near the Howard and Foster Shoe Co. He attended Brockton public schools, was an active member of the Y.M.C.A, and St. Paul's Episcopal Church. As for his own Brockton history, Ken has memories of great family, friends and neighbors; learning a good work-ethic; swimming and ice skating at D.W. Field Park; a cold house; the Brockton parade to welcome home Rocky Marciano after the fight with Jersey Joe Walcott; he and his sister Bonnie being quarantined fearing they had polio; ice and coal deliveries to his house; two hurricanes blowing down the trees around their house; Davy Crockett; the Brockton Fair; snow forts and tunnels that rivalled WW I fortifications at the Somme; learning the world famous 1.5 summersault off the Y diving board; Pin-Setting at various bowling alleys; shoveling snow for neighbors-including radio station WBET's Dorothy Dale; delivering the Brockton Enterprise Newspaper; working part-time for the Brockton Public Market on Main St. (.85/hr.), and Coats Fields Dept. Store, also on Main St.; Hula Hoops and "Alley Oop"; drive-Ins with speakers on the car window; testing TV vacuum tubes at the drug store; again-a cold house. Ken is a combat veteran, having served with the Seabees with 3 tours to Vietnam. After service with the Seabees he received his B.S. degree from Calif. Poly Technic University under the G.I. Bill. He is a member of the I.B.E.W. and worked on many commercial and industrial projects in California. He has also worked overseas in many parts of the world as a project electrical engineer. His last job before retiring was in Iraq, in 2007, working for the Washington Group (Formerly the Morrison & Knudsen Co.). He was part of a team that facilitated electrification of Iraqi villages and city areas. Ken resides in Ventura California with his wife, Patricia. They have one child, Joe, an electrical engineer. Along with sailing, Bingham's passion lately is designing/publishing books to help nonprofits promote their organization through their own rich history. To date, Ken-an amateur historian-has published over fifty titles with all proceeds going to nonprofit organizations.
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