Eugene Laber died August 1952

Eugene Roy Labor was born 12 June 1883 in Barton, the first of nine children of Frank T Laber and Isabel “Lizzie” Laclair. 

The Labor family was in Barton in 1900.  Frank was listed as a day laborer.  Eugen at 16 did not have an occupation listed, nor was he listed as being in school, as were Bessie, Ralph, and Lana.  George and Frank D were too young for school.

The Labor family moved to Lebanon about 1901.  I have not been able to find the Labor family in the 1910 census. 

George married Jessie Noseworthy, from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, on 10 October 1911, in Beverly, MA.   

Eugene was a machinist, and was listed in the 1911 Salem directory (and Beverly directory), boarding at 366 Cabot.  Ralph was there also.  Salem also listed a George A Labor, carpenter at 27 Prospect.  I’m not sure if this was really George H. 

The 1912 Bevery directory lists Eugene, Jessie, and Ralph living at 20 Blaine Avenue.  Eugene and Ralph worked at USMC which I believe is the United Shoe Machinery Corporation in Beverly.  The factory was begun in 1902, and operational in 1906, with a major factory expansion in 1911.  This company made shoe manufacturing equipment.  During 1910 the factory staff grew from 3,000 to 4,500, and the workweek was cut from 55 to 50 hours as the company reportedly paid its workers the highest average wages in the country.  In later years, The Beverly plant boasted such modern inventions as the first time-clocks produced by IBM, the hot glue gun, the pop top for the soda can, the drive mechanism for the lunar module, as well as pop rivets used in the Supersonic Concorde.

In 1914, Eugene and Jessie lived at 23 Bennett.  In 1915 they were listed at 20 Fayette.  In 1916, they lived at 22 Grant, and he was still a machinist for USMC.  The 1917 directory and Eugene’s WWI registration list him as a machinist at 22 Grant.  They were there through the 1920 census, with Eugene still at USMC.  Eugene and Jessie adopted a son they named John Donald Laber.  He had been born in 1915, and is listed in the 1920 census with them

The 1922 Beverly directory says that Eugene and Jessie removed to Maine.  If they did, they were soon back in Massachusetts, and listed in the 1922 to 1931 Fitchburg directories, living at 4 Crocker Terrace, and Eugene was working as a machinist.   This matches the 1930 census. 

In 1934, they lived at 7 Pratt, and in 1935, lived at 87 Mechanic, probably for the rest of his life.  This is documented in the Fitchburg directories through 1952.

On 16 October 1936, the Fitchburg Sentinel reported:  Observe Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Laber, 87 Mechanic street, who were married in Beverly, Oct 10, 1911, observed their silver wedding anniversary with an informal gathering of friends and relatives at their home.  They were the recipients of many beautiful and useful gifts in honor of the event.  The couple have one son, John Laber.   Mr. Labor is a member of Apollo lodge, IOOF.  Mr. and Mrs. Laber attend the First Baptist church.  Guests were present from Boston, Leominster, New Hampshire, and this city.

On 6 May 1939, the following news story appeared in the Fitchburg Sentinel:  An automobile operated by Timothy Shea Jr, 101 North street turned over at least twice and landed on its wheels after a collision with another automobile operated by Eugene Laber, 87 Mechanic street at the intersection of Elm and High streets about 7 o’clock this morning.  Both cars were damaged but the occupants were not injured according to reports made by Lieut WW Wallace.  Laber was driving from Elm street into High to go toward Mechanic street, and Shea was driving from Mechanic into High toward Elm when the vehicles collided.  Shea’s automobile turned over twice before coming to a stop right side up.  Shea retained his seat and was still at the wheel.  He said he did not think he was injured but was badly shaken up.  (May 10) Timothy J Shea, Jr 101 North street and Eugene R Laber, 87 Mechanic street, pleaded not guilty before Judge T.F. Gallagher in district court today when they appeared charged with operating negligently in this city on Saturday.  Laber was represented by Atty TK Ware, and Shea by Atty Benjamin Flaum.  Lieut WW Wallace, who investigated a collision between automobiles operated by the defendants at the intersection of High and Elm streets asked to have the complaints continued until Wednesday. (May 17) Eugene R Laber, 56, of 87 Mechanic street and Timothy J Shea, 20,of 101 North street, were each fined $20 when they were found guilty of operating negligently so as to endanger.  Both appealed.

I don’t know the outcome of the appeal.

Eugene registered for the WWII draft from Worcester.   In 1949, his employer was AWCo, and in 1952, he was listed as a brush tender for that company.  This is probably American Woolen Company. 

Cousin Thelma remembers Eugene has someone who worked as a machinist and enjoyed fishing.  She described him as a large man who had a strong resemblance to her father, George Henry Laber.  I would have to agree, as the George vs Eugene debate over the 1929 Laber reunion photo would show. 

Obituary:  Eugene R. Labor, 69, of 87 Mechanic street, died yesterday in the Carrie Wright hospital, Newport, where he was removed Aug 1, after being stricken with a heart attack while he and Mrs. Laber were visiting at the home of his brother, Frank D. Laber in Newport.  Born in Barton Vt., Mr. Laber had resided in this city 27 years and previous to his retirement in 1948, had been employed as a machinist at the Heald Machine Co., in Worcester.  Besides his wife, Mrs. Jessie (Noseworthy) Laber, he is survived by a son, John D. of this city; two sisters, Mrs. Lana Woodward and Mrs. Ruth Marsh both of Lebanon, N.H., and a brother Frank of Newport.  The funeral will be tomorrow at 1 p.m. in the Newton funeral home, Newport with burial in Forest Hill cemetery in this city at 2 p.m.   Calling hours at the funeral home will be today from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 o’clock.



1 Comment

  1. sooze471 said,

    August 21, 2011 at 08:05

    From Roger: I remember Uncle Jean from his summer visits to Cornish. Aunt Jessie and Uncle Jean always brought your father and I candy. Since that was our only store bought candy it was quit a treet. When the letter came each year of their arrival date Bill and I were always wondering what the candy would be. We always consider them our rich relatives since in the 30’s we had nothing.

    He died after he retired while climbing the hill on our back fields where we had three apple trees and where we grew strawberries there.I don’t know which he was after.

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