William P. Winchester

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Biographical Information[edit]

Born on November 9, 1801 in Boston, Massachusetts Winchester took the middle name Parsons in 1823 to distinguish himself from another prominent William Winchester. The rank of Colonel was earned through his participation in the First Corps of Cadets the organization originally formed as the body guard of the governor of Massachusetts. He commanded the corps from October 1842 to August 1844. Known for his good business sense and outgoing personality Winchester was socially popular and a generous patron of the arts. In 1839 upon his father's death Col. Winchester took over as head of the family wholesale business which was a provisioner for the U.S. Navy.He also held the position of a director of the Boston Exchange Company and the Merchants Bank of Boston. An avid yachtsman Winchester owned the racing yachts Mermaid(bought from Benjamin C. Clark 1836) and Northern Light (launched 1839). Upon his death in 1850 Col. Winchester was among the richest people in Boston. [1]

Relation to Town of Winchester[edit]

William P. Winchester of Watertown was a wealthy businessman for whom the town of Winchester, Massachusetts was named in 1849 following a gift of $3,000 towards the construction of the town hall. Col. Winchester never visited the town having died suddenly soon after.[2] The last of his direct descendants carrying the Winchester name, Jean Winchester wife of James K. Baldwin (last known Baldwin to have lived for any period in the Baldwin Mansion) until her death in 1989.

(1) http://www.winchester.us/communityconnection/townname.html

(2) http://www.winchestermass.org/history.html