Manufacturing Career and Legacy
As a young man, Chace worked as a carpenter for Samuel Slater, who established of the first successful textile mill in the Americas at Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1793. In 1806 Chace eventually started his own textile mill in Swansea, Massachusetts and then the Troy Cotton & Woolen Manufactory in 1813 in Fall River, Massachusetts and the Pocasset Manufacturing Company in 1821, also at Fall River. He later acquired and reorganized the Valley Falls Company in Valley Falls, Rhode Island in 1839.
The Valley Falls Company would eventually acquire the Albion Mills, Tar-Kiln Factory in Burrillville, Manville Mills in Rhode Island, and Moodus Cotton Factory in Connecticut.
Oliver Chace's sons would also be involved in the textile industry of Fall River, Massachusetts and Valley Falls, Rhode Island, as well as other locations in the area.
He was also the father-in-law of Elizabeth Buffum Chace, a noted 19th century activist in the Anti-Slavery, Women's Rights, and Prison Reform Movements.
Oliver Chace died in on May 21, 1852 and was buried in the Old Quaker Burial Ground in Providence on Olive Street. In 1929, the Valley Falls Company, and others would combine with the Berkshire Manufacturing Company of Adams, Massachusetts to become Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates. In 1955, Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates would merge with Hathaway Manufacturing Company of New Bedford, Massachusetts to become Berkshire Hathaway, the company acquired by investor Warren Buffett in 1965.
Oliver Chace's great-great-great-grandson, Malcom Greene Chace III, remained a director of Berkshire Hathaway until 2007, when he was replaced by Susan Decker.
Read more about this topic: Oliver Chace
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