Select Packard Miscellany

 

Here are some Packard stories
and
accounts over the years:

 

Packard Towns and Villages in Suffolk

Woodbridge
today is a town of 11,000.  It lies east of
Ipswich on the river Deben, approximately
eight miles from the coast.  Bramford

is a medium-sized village
three miles west of Ipswich.   Some
eighteen
miles north of Ipswich is the small market town of Saxmundham,
set in the valley of the river Fromus.  Middleton
is situated eight miles northeast
of Saxmundham.

Also north and east of Ipswich is Framlingham,
commonly referred to by the locals as Fram.  This
ancient market town with its population of 3,000 was
mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and has a castle.
Stonham Aspal is near to Framlingham.

 

Grove House in Bramford, Suffolk



Grove
House
on Papermill Lane in Bramford was built in 1825 towards the end of the
Regency
period by Edward Packard who was Alderman and Mayor of Ipswich.  It was then occupied for 67 years by his son
Sir Edward Packard, his wife Ellen, their twelve children and five
servants. He
founded the business that eventually became Fisons and was a renowned
Suffolk
painter whose most famous work Battle of
St. Vincent
can be seen at the Ipswich Museum.

The
size and importance of the Packard family
led to the house being extended in 1895 with the addition of a ballroom
and two
further bedrooms.  The house was split in
about 1927 and The Grove was formed, being a third of the original
three story
house plus the two story extension.

The
house has a peace and calm that reflects its history and has retained
its rural
feel with a large garden teaming with wildlife. Watching the blue tits
nest by
the pond or the deer accompany their fawn, it is easy to forget that
the centre
of Ipswich is only three miles away
.

 

 

Packard Family Associations


On August 19, 1888 there was a grand gathering of
the descendants of Samuel and Elizabeth Packard at the Agricultural
Ground in
Brockton, Massachusetts.   The year
marked the 250th year anniversary of their arrival in America.  The local newspaper
included
a Packard poem
relating to Samuel and his children and a long list of the attendees at
the
reunion.  They numbered 650.
What followed was the Packard Memorial
Association.

The Packard Association
became defunct around. 1946.  It was
revived in 1987 under the name of the Packard and Allied Families
Association
(PAFA).  Packard’s Progress
was a family newsletter published for its members
from 1987 to 1998.  The best articles
were those supplied by PAFA President Karle Packard and its historian
Alan
Packard who died in 2004.

 

Alpheus Spring
Packard at Bowdoin College

Alpheus
Spring Packard

may be the longest serving faculty member to
any American college through his 65 years of dedication to Bowdoin
College in
Brunswick, Maine.   Trained as a
minister, educator, librarian, he was acting President of Bowdoin
College for
the year before his death.

He
died in
fact away from home in Decatur, Illinois.
The Daily Republican reported
there on July 14, 1884:

“Professor
A.S.
Packard, Acting President of Bowdoin College, was found lying face
downward on
the beach at Squirrel Island yesterday noon, where he and his wife, his
son,
daughter and niece were spending Sunday.
He was taken at once to the hotel.
He lived only forty-five minutes.
He was conscious at the time of his death. Heart
disease was the cause.  His age was eighty
five.

His
remains were brought to the Bath by
special steamer and the party left at once for Brunswick, Maine.

Warren Packard in Warren,
Ohio

Warren
Packard
moved to Warren in 1846, carrying on his back, as one family history
noted,
“everything he owned in a cotton handkerchief.” A relative helped him
get a job
with Milton Graham who owned an iron and hardware business in Warren.  That first year it was said that he worked
long hours as a clerk. On Saturdays he would drive a team between
Warren,
Niles, and Youngstown, buying nails and iron for Graham’s store.

In 1851 he started out on his own, forming the
Warren Packard Company.  His business
grew and by 1863 he was the owner and operator of the largest iron and
hardware
business between Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
He had begun to diversify by this time, adding a lumber business
and
expanding its operations into western Pennsylvania and New York.

He
had married his second wife Mary Doud in
1856 and she was the mother of the automobile pioneers William and
James
Packard
.

 

The Packard
Car – from First to Last

The last Packard car – the classic American luxury
car with the enigmatic slogan Ask the Man
who Owns One
– rolled off the assembly lines in Detroit on June
25, 1956.

James Ward Packard and his brother William
Dowd Packard built their first automobile, a buggy type vehicle with a
single
cylinder engine, in Warren, Ohio in 1899.  The
Packard Motor Company earned fame early on for a four-cylinder
aluminium speedster called the Grey Wolf
released in 1904.  With the 1916 release
of the Twin Six with its
revolutionary V-12 engine, Packard established itself as America’s
leading
luxury car manufacturer.

In the 1930’s
General Motors’ superior financial resources saw Cadillac overtake
Packard in
the luxury car stakes. Packard
diversified by producing a smaller more affordable model, the One Twenty, which increased the
company’s sales.


Packard struggled in
the post-war world.  The company merged
with the larger Studebaker Corporation in the hope of cutting its
production
costs.  But both companies were finding
the going difficult.  In 1956 the
decision was taken to end Packard auto production in Detroit
.

 

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