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Crocker, Alvah (14 October 1801–26 December 1874), manufacturer, railroad promoter, and congressman, was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Crocker and Comfort Jones. His parents were among the founders of the Baptist church in Leominster, and they imparted a strong work ethic to their seven sons, of whom Alvah was the eldest. He went to work at the age of eight in a Leominster paper mill, where he earned twenty-five cents for each twelve-hour day. He received little formal education (one year at Groton Academy at age sixteen), but he read widely on his own, and his letters displayed a bent toward literature and rhetoric. He subsequently worked in other paper mills in Franklin, New Hampshire, and Fitchburg, Massachusetts, before he started his first industrial concern, a paper manufactory in Fitchburg in 1826....

Article

West, George (17 February 1823–20 September 1901), manufacturer and congressman, was born in Bradninch, Devonshire County, England, the son of George West, a paper manufacturer, and Jane (maiden name unknown). He briefly attended the local school and at age eleven went to work in a paper mill, perhaps that of his father. From ages fourteen to twenty-one he served an apprenticeship to a paper manufacturer, during which time he filled increasingly responsible positions. In 1844 he married Louisa Rose. They had six children....