Over the years Holliston Mills had several dynamic leaders at its helm. The first managers were brothers, Herbert and Howard Plimpton, after the death of Howard, their nephew, Henry Plimpton Kendall came aboard. Staying on for approximately twenty years. After he left, Herbert’s son, Hollis oversaw the company, and when the Plimptons sold the company, Thomas McCusker took over leadership. All of these managers created a strong company which still manufactures book cloth today.
Henry Plimpton Kendall
(January 15, 1878 – November 3, 1959)
Henry Plimpton Kendall was an industrialist, a philanthropist and an entrepreneur born January 15, 1878 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He was the son of Rev. Henry Lucian Kendall and Clara Idella Plimpton. Henry attended Walpole primary schools and prepared for college at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. He was a member of the class of 1899 at Amherst College in Massachusetts. By 1910 he was working for his uncle’s company in Norwood, The Plimpton Press, where he quickly worked his way into management. At some point, (perhaps around 1913) Kendall received shares of Holliston Mills, and became a co-partner with his uncle Herbert M. Plimpton. Kendall worked for Holliston Mills up until 1920, when he sold his shares of the business to Herbert Plimpton. Kendall had been, and continued to be a manager at Kendall Mills, starting in 1903 and up until just before he died in 1959. He took that company from a “business (that) was insolvent, saddled with debt, and apparently on its last legs,” to a large successful business which made Curity Diapers and Curad Bandages.
Hollis W. Plimpton
(April 13, 1894 – January 12, 1981)
Hollis Winslow Plimpton, was born in Norwood, Massachusetts. He was the oldest child of Herbert M. Plimpton and Frances A. Winslow. He was their only child to grow to adulthood having lost two siblings in infancy and a brother that died in his early 20s. He grew up on Chapel Street in Norwood and would have attended the local primary schools. He most likely went to a preparatory school before attending Amherst College in Massachusetts, graduating in 1915. After graduating, he went to work for his father in the Plimpton Press. On his WWI registration card he indicates he is a clerk at the Plimpton Press, in the 1920 census he states he was working as a pressman, in 1930 he was the treasurer of Holliston Mills, and in 1940 he was an executive in a cotton mill. It appears Hollis was exposed to many different facets of the Plimpton Press/Holliston Mills workings.
Thomas B. McCusker
(February 12, 1888 – January 26, 1960)
Thomas Bernard McCusker was born in Lewiston, Maine. He was the son of Henry Whittier McCusker and Mary Veronica Murphy, the oldest of eleven children. Thomas McCusker was educated in public schools in Griswold, CT and Lewiston, ME and completed high school. By 1910, he had married, and he was working as a bleacher in one of Lewiston’s cotton mills. The family moved to Braintree in 1914, when Thomas’ father opened the East Braintree Finishing Company. By 1920, Thomas McCusker was working as a clerk in a mill; by 1930 he was the manager in a bleachery. McCusker learned the cotton mill business first hand and from the ground up by watching his father work in cotton mills, and he started as a bleacher in a cotton mill, most likely right out of high school. He apparently was bright and a hard worker as he found himself in managerial positions by 1930. He earned enough money to be able to buy, Holliston Mills and their subsidiaries by 1940. When he died in 1960, newspaper articles say he left an estate worth five million dollars.