Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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WAKEFIELD, Cyrus, manufacturer, born in Roxbury, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, 7 February, 1811; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 26 October, 1873. About 1827 he went to Boston, where he engaged in trade. He originated the rattan business in this country, and discovered several methods of utilizing the rattan waste, while of the split rattans he made furniture and carriage-bodies. He established a large factory for these manufactures in South Reading, Massachusetts, where his rattan-works cover seven acres of ground. In 1868 South Reading voted to change its name to Wakefield, in recognition of his benefactions, particularly the gift of a town-hall that cost $100,000. He also gave $100,000 to Harvard, and left large bequests to benevolent objects.
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