About Thomas Talbot
Thomas Talbot (September 7, 1818 – October 6, 1886) was the 31st Governor of Massachusetts, and a major textile manufacturer in Billerica, Massachusetts.
Thomas Talbot was born on September 7, 1818 in Cambridge, New York to Charles and Phoebe (White) Talbot. His father, a wealthy textile manufacturer, died when he was six, and his mother moved the family to Northampton, Massachusetts, where he attended local schools.
Talbot in 1825 joined a weaving firm established by his older brother Charles in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, where he was employed as a finisher, but rose to become superintendant. In 1840 the two brothers established C.P. Talbot & Co., a business partnership that lasted until Charles died in 1884. The business started out processing dyewoods for use in the textile industry, but expanded into other industrial chemical processing in 1849. In 1857 they established Talbot Mills in North Billerica, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Belvidere Mill Company. The business was successful, and the brothers acquired full control of that business in 1862. Thomas focused on the textile business while Charles continued to manage the dye and chemical interests, expanding the facilities in 1870 and again in 1880.
Talbot served many years in the Massachusetts legislature, sat in the governor's council from 1864 to 1869, and in 1872 was chosen lieutenant-governor, as a Republican. On the election of Governor William B. Washburn to the United States Senate in 1873, he became governor, but lost the election in 1874. In 1878 he was again elected and served until 1880, when he declined to run again for office. He died in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1885. The Talbot Mill properties in North Billerica are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Billerica Mills Historic District.