Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Biographical, 17
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History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

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EDGAR W. MARTIN --  At the age of eighteen years Edgar W. Martin, now president of the Martin-Copeland Company, began learning the jeweler's trade, and from that time his rise in the manufacturing world has been rapid.  He was but twenty-eight when he became a member of the firm, Martin, Copeland & Company, that firm building up a good reputation as manufacturers of solid gold chain jewelry, optical goods and wedding rings, and a quarter of a century after organization (1905) incorporated as the Martin-Copeland Company, Edgar W. Martin, president.  Mr. Martin is a native son of Rhode Island, but at an early age his parents moved to New York.  In 1859 his father, Darius Martin, died and the same year, his widow, Ardelia (Cornell) Martin, returned with her son to Rhode Island, making her home in Providence until her death, May 16, 1893.

Edgar W. Martin was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, July 5, 1852, and with the exception of a few years in early life, which were spent in New York State, Providence, Rhode Island, has been his home.  It was in 1859 that he was brought to Providence by his widowed mother, and the same year his education began in the public school.  He passed through all the grades to high school, there spent three years, but left in the senior year to became a jeweler's apprentice, three years with Saxton, Smith & Company, jewelers, and followed this occupation for four years with the same firm as a journeyman jeweler.  The next year he was in the employ of William Smith & Company.  He had then gained a wide fund of expert knowledge concerning the manufacture of jewelry, and was moreover an expert jeweler from the mechanical viewpoint.  In 1880 Sylvester Martin, Martin Copeland, William A. Copeland, Henry Gorham, and Edgar W. Martin organized the firm, Martin, Copeland & Company, the senior member, Sylvester Martin being an uncle of Edgar W., the junior member.  The firm located their plant at No. 60 Richmond street, and began the manufacture of solid gold chains, seamless and plain gold rings, optical goods, etc.  Sylvester Martin died in January, 1898, and time wrought other changes in the personnel of the firm, the firm moving to their present location at No. 101 Sabin street, in April, 1898, but the business continued prosperously, and became one of greatest importance.  In 1905 a change was made, the firm becoming a corporation, Martin-Copeland Company, Edgar W. Martin, president, and as yet the only president the company has had.  The plant occupies the same location on Sabin street, but is greatly enlarged and modernly fitted, and branches of the company are maintained in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Buenos Aires, Argentine Republic.  Mr. Martin is a director of the Jewelers' Refining  Company, of Providence; is a member of the Jewelers' Club, of Boston, Massachusetts; the Rhode Island Yacht Club; the West Side Club; the Rhode Island Country Club; and interested in other organizations, social, business and fraternal.

Mr. Martin married, June 27, 1875, Lena C. Cornell, daughter of James and Ann (Potter) Cornell, of Scituate, Rhode Island. They are the parents of three sons:  1.  Laurence C., vice-president of the Martin-Copeland Company, married Rebecca Fuller, of Providence, and are the parents of two daughters, Priscilla and Rebecca.  2.  Wesley C., Yale, A. B., 1909, treasurer of the Martin-Copeland Company; married Olga Olsen of Providence, and are parents of two children, Bickford and Elaine; Wesley C. is now a lieutenant in the United States Navy; has made several trips across; was on the 'President Lincoln' at the time it was torpedoed by a German submarine.  3.  E. Cornell, married Allene Block, of Brooklyn, New York; is assistant-treasurer of the Martin-Copeland Company.

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THE REV. FATHER JOSEPH JOHN SCHEUREN, pastor of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Theresa on the corner of Manton avenue and Pope street, Providence, Rhode Island, is a man of great force of character and a consistent influence for good in the community where his priestly duties are discharged.  He is a son of John Joseph and Mary Catherine (Horbert) Scheuren who came from the banks of the Moselle river in Germany as young married people and made their home in the New World.  They lived in New York City, but eventually came to Providence, Rhode Island and here passed the remainder of their lives, his death occurring in the year 1876, at the age of fifty-three, and hers in 1913 at ninety.  He was a merchant tailor here and served in the Civil War.  Father Scheuren was born July 29, 1851, at his parents home on the Moselle river, but came to this country in January, 1852, when but six months of age.  The first home of his parents here was in New York City, and it was in the public schools of that place and parochial schools that he gained his early education.  In the month of July, 1863, the family removed to Providence, Rhode Island, and the lad attended the Lime street school here.  He was prepared for college at the latter institution and upon completing his studies, matriculated at St. Clement's College at Ilchester, Maryland, a well-known Catholic educational institution, from which he subsequently graduated with the class of 1876.  In the meantime the youth had come to realize that he was called to the religious life and to make his plans accordingly.  He had already in childhood been greatly drawn to religious matters, and this became more and more the dominant force  in his life and at this time admitted of no rival.  He therefore, entered the Seminary of St. Francis at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to study  for the priesthood and made such good use of his time and opportunities that on June 25, 1881, he was ordained by Bishop Spaulding of Peoria.  He remained in the Peoria diocese for twelve years, but in 1893 returned to Providence and has since been connected with the diocese here. Upon his return here he was appointed assistant at St. Lawrence's Church, New Bedford, Massachusetts. He was later sent in succession as assistant to the Church of SS. Peter and Paul at Fall River; St. John's Church, Providence, and appointed first pastor at St. Matthew's Church, Auburn, Rhode Island; then pastor of the Church of the Sacred Heart, East Providence, where he remained for seven year and then, in 1915, came to St. Theresa's Providence, as permanent pastor.  The parish of St Theresa is an important one in the city and numbers within its limits three thousand four hundred and ninety-two souls. The church itself was built in 1883 by Rev. Father Murphy, and there is now a school in connection built by Father Farrell O'Reilly, in 1890, accommodating six hundred and fifty pupils, in which three Christian Brothers and sixteen Sisters are kept busy teaching the various classes. The work that Father Scheuren has done and is continuing to do here is of great value to the parish and the community and reflects credit upon himself and his church.

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WALTER O. TALCOTT  --  'The life of a machine belt depends upon the way in which the ends are fastened.'  With this fact as a fixed proposition, Walter O. Talcott finally evolved the W. O. Talcott Belt Hook, the sole manufacturer of these hooks being W. O. & M. W. Talcott, of Providence, Rhode Island, of which he is the controlling head.  Mr. Talcott started this new, prosperous business in December, 1877, having bought the business of the Wilson Patent Belt Hook Company.  In 1880 he moved to a small room in the Butler Exchange, with one employee and one hand machine, and began making the Talcott Wilson Belt Hook, that having been the standard of excellence for forty years.  Success has attended his efforts and expansion has followed, and the Talcott Wilson Belt Hook has become head of a family of five Talcott belt fastening devices, each having its separate class of belting to care for:  The Talcott Wilson Belt Hook, with teeth so shaped that the belting is firmly wedged between them and hold the belt without clinching; The Talcottt Clinching Belt Hook, with a peculiar construction, which overcomes the cracking of belts at the joint; The Talcott Combination Belt Hook, a smooth, durable fastener for all places; the Talcott Acme Steel Belt Hook, especially adapted for all high-speed machinery; and The Talcott Ideal Belt Fastener for fastening and making endless belts in rubber, canvas, leather and all kinds of fabric belting, where light, heavy, broad, narrow, high-speed, low-speed, leather, canvas or rubber belting is used, all covered by United States patents and invented by Walter O. Talcott.  Not only is the hook his invention, but dies and tools had to be developed before the hook could be made, and then special machines, not only for making but for handling the hooks to the best advantage, had to be devised and brought to a point of high speed and efficiency.  All this Mr. Talcott accomplished, and the business he made has amply rewarded his genius, ability and perseverance.  He has been ably assisted in later years by his son, Mancell Walter Talcott, now an equal partner and factory manager.

Walter O. Talcott was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 12, 1857, but two years later he was brought to Chicago by his parents.  He was educated in the Chicago public schools, graduating from high school in 1877, then coming East and acquiring the Wilson Patent Belt Hook business in December of that year.  The room in the Butler Exchange which he first occupied in 1880 was soon given up for a larger one at No. 186 Eddy street, which in turn was abandoned for still larger quarters at No. 33 Beverly street.  His next move was to the fourth floor of the Fred Talcott building, No. 91 Sabin street, one-half of that floor being required.  That space sufficed until August, 1913, when he rented the entire second floor of the same building. Now (1918) this space has been again outgrown and a lot has been purchased on Bath street upon which W. O. and M. W. Talcott will erect their own factory, and in its construction plan generously for the future of Talcott Belt Hooks.  The one man operating one machine has grown to a force of thirteen and the single hook to five distinct styles, the plant product going everywhere.

Walter O. Talcott is treasurer of the Shawomet Water Company, which supplies water to Coninnicutt [sic] and Shawomet villages.  He is a past master of Harmony Lodge, No. 9, Free and Accepted Masons; member of Providence Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Providence Council, No. 1, Royal and Select Masters; St. John's Commandery, Knights Templar; and of Rhode Island Consistory, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, thirty-second degree.  He is a Republican in politics, and a member of Benificent Congregational Church. He married, October 12, 1880, Harriet F. Eastwood, of Providence.  They are the parents of two daughter and a son:  Alice N., married W. W. Little, of Providence, their children, Wilson G. and Frances; Mancell Walter, of further mention; Elizabeth F., married Evan F. Kullgren, of East Orange, New Jersey, and has a daughter Nancy.

Mancell Walter Talcott was born on Pawtuxet Neck, Rhode Island, March 10, 1885.  After completing a course of public school study by graduation from Providence Technical High School, class of 1905, he entered Philadelphia Dental College, now a department of Temple University of Philadelphia, and was graduated D. D. S., class of 1908.  He began professional practice in Providence, with offices at No. 171 Westminster street, and during the years, 1908-13 built up a good practice, and thoroughly established himself in public regard as a skillful practicioner.  In 1913 Dr. Talcott became more deeply interested in the business founded by his father, and so attractive did it become that he gave up his professional ambitions and is an equal partner in the firm, W. O. & M. W. Talcott, of Providence, sole manufacturers of the W. O. Talcott Belt Hooks, and factory manager.

A lover of water sports, he has developed an interest in motor boating, is superintendent of the United States Volunteer Life Savings Corps at Providence, and has his summer home in Wakefield.  He is a member of the Rhode Island Yacht Club, and usually enjoys his vacation periods by the sea, although the automobile furnishes one of his forms of enjoyment.  He is a Republican in politics, and in 1917 was elected to the State Legislature from the twentieth Rhode Island Legislative District.  He compiled a record of consistent service, and was a member of the committee on militia and of the joint committee, executive communications.  He is a member of Harmony Lodge, No. 9, Free and Accepted Masons; Providence Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Providence Council, Royal and Select Masters; St. John's Commandery, Knights Templar; and attends Beneficent Congregational Church.

Dr. Talcott married, March 30, 1909, Mabel V. James, of Providence.

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EPHRAIM BUTLER MOULTON  --  From earliest life, Providence has been the home of Mr. Moulton, his education from primary school to University having been accomplished in Cranston and Providence institutions.  When Harvard Law School placed her seal of approval upon his professional education, he returned to his native city and has there practiced his profession during the years which have since intervened, 1911-18.  He is the son of Richard Olney and Sarah A. (Price) Moulton, the former deceased; he is a descendant of William Moulton, the founder of the Moultons of New England.  Moulton is an ancient English family name, tracing to a Thomas Moulton, traditional head of the house, whose name is found in Domesday Book (1086) as the owner of an estate called 'Galeshore'.  The name is common in the counties of Lincoln, Yorkshire, Gloucester, Kent, Devon, Norfolk and London and, as these counties were the stronghold of the Puritan faith, the Moultons, no doubt, were among that strict section.

Ephraim Butler Moulton, of the seventh generation, and sixth child of Cromwell and Abigail Wilson (Olney) Moulton, was born January 25, 1823, and died March 26, 1888.  He learned carriage building in a Providence shop on Burgess street and later on established a wheelwright shop of his own at Eddy, Friendship and Dowance [sic] streets, also had a shop in Olneyville and a carriage depository on Stewart street.  In the early days, he did all the repair work on the horse cars of the city, and for forty-six years was in active business, as a carriage builder, many vehicles bearing his name as builder being sent to foreign lands.  He was originally a Whig in politics, later a Republican, and for two terms represented his ward in City Council. He married Maria A. Olney, born November 23, 1820, died in 1889, daughter of Elisha and Caroline (Potter) Olney, her father a direct descendant of Thomas Olney, who came from England to New England in the ship 'Planter' in 1635. Thomas Olney, after settlement at Salem, Massachusetts, came to Providence, Rhode Island, where he was numbered among the thirteen original settlers. The line of descent from Thomas Olney, the founder, is through his son, Thomas (2) Olney, his son, William Olney, his son, Jabez Olney, his son, Elisha Olney, his daughter Maria A.  Mr. and Mrs. Moulton were the parents of six children: William H., born in 1842, died May 26, 1860; Lucy, born in 1844, died September 28, 1848; Albert Vallett, born December 10, 1846, appointed inspector of customs, United States Internal Revenue Service, for the port of Providence, in 1894, married Mary Allen Whitford, daughter of Thomas W. and Mary E. (Cole) Whitford; Sarah, born June 9, 1848, married, November 19, 1874, Marvin E. Allen; Richard Olney, of further mention; Wilson, born in 1853.

Richard Olney Moulton, son of Ephraim Bulter and Maria A. (Olney) Moulton, was born in 1850, and died in 1913.  He was engaged with his father and later as a grocer of Providence, continuing until his death.  He married Sarah A. Price, who survives him, a resident of Providence.  They were the parents of Sarah Penelope, Elizabeth Price and Ephraim Butler Moulton.

Ephraim Butler (2) Moulton, of the ninth American generation, son of Richard Olney and Sarah A. (Price) Moulton, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, November 29, 1884.  He obtained his early and preparatory education in the public schools, finishing at Cranston High School in 1903.  He then entered Brown University, whence he was graduated A. B., class of 1907. The following year was spent in preparation for law school, he being in the employ of the Hospital Trust Company the entire year.  He then entered the Harvard Law School, purused full courses, and in 1911 was graduated L.L. B. He was admitted to the Massachusetts bar and to the Rhode Island bar in the same year.  During his law school years he had been employed in the offices of the firm in which he is now a partner, and after admission to the Rhode Island bar in 1911, he entered the service of the same firm, Mumford, Huddy & Emerson, 402-407 Industrial Trust building, Providence.  In October, 1916, he was admitted a partner and so continues.  The firm is one of the eminent law firms of the Rhode Island bar, practicing in all Federal and State courts of Rhode Island.

Mr. Moulton is a member of St. John's Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Sigma Chi fraternity, Calvary Baptist Church, and in politics is a Republican.

Mr. Mouton married, June 25, 1913, Charlotte M. Meader, of Lowell, Massachusetts.  Mr. and Mrs. Moulton are the parents of two sons:  Richard Meader and Ephraim Butler (3) Moulton.

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Clarence O. CarpenterCLARENCE OLIVER CARPENTER  --  Interested in all movements for social betterment, Clarence O. Carpenter has devoted himself for years to the educational advancement of the community in which he lives.  The record of his life is the record of many activities along the lines of progress and the humanitizing of relations.

George Bailey Carpenter, father of Clarence O., was born in Warwick, Rhode Island.  He was a mill man all his life, and died May 19, 1881.  He was a son of Joshua Carpenter, who was born at North Kingston, Rhode Island, and descended from William Carpenter, one of the three brothers who were the immigrant ancestors of the New England family of that name. George Bailey Carpenter married Mary Elizabeth Noyes, who died August 23, 1915.  Their children were:  Ella, deceased; Georginana; George Clinton; Charles, deceased; Clarence O.; William Burnside, of Providence; Elmer Ellsworth, of Providence; Mary Etta, residing on the old homestead in Warwick.

Clarence O. Carpenter was born January 1, 1856, at Pontiac, in the town of Warwick, Rhode Island, and acquired his early educational training in the local, private and public schools of that section.  His work at the public schools was supplemented by the classical and language work in the private school well known under the name of the East Greenwich Academy.  Since he came to man's estate he was followed in the main agricultural pursuits, his farm being adjacent to the historic Gorton place.  Here, in 1888, he erected the handsome residence in which he makes his home.  He was a very modern and progressive farmer, using all the most advanced intensive methods, and all his products were justly famous.  His early vegetables and fruit were always in demand in the markets of Providence and Boston, and his dairy products, his eggs and his poultry, sold at the highest prices, as few could be found to compete with them in quality.  In 1910 he sold his farm, retaining a few acres for his residence.  This side of his life he carried out with zeal and its concomitant success, but there is another side which works as eagerly and as intelligently for the benefit of his fellows.  He has always made himself an authority on matters educational, as he has believed that it will be to the schools that the country will owe the perpetuation of the free ideals of its founders.  For them he works as unsparingly as he does in the matters of his farm, though the seed that he plants there will bear its harvest only in a distant future.

Always ready to bear the burdens of the drudgery of public office, Mr. Carpenter has served since 1884 on the school committee of the town, and since 1885 he has been the clerk of the board.  From 1885 to 1890 he was a member of the board of assessors, and from 1890 to 1895 he was a member of the town council of Warwick.  He was also a trustee for a number of years of the Buttonwoods School District.  In 1899 he was elected a member of the General Assembly from Warwick and served for five years; has been chairman of the Town Committee for several years, formerly being its secretary.  He holds to the principles of the Republican party.  These activities indicate, without comment, the esteem and confidence with which he is held by his fellow townsmen, a feeling which only grows as the years pass along.

Mr. Carpenter takes a deep interest in agricultural affairs, and is one of the trustees of the Worcester (Massachusetts) Fair Association, which annually hold the famous New England fair.  He is one of the trustees of the Kent County Fair Association; member of the Central Grange No. 23, Patrons of Husbandry; member of King Solomon Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, East Greenwich; Landmark Chapter, Royal Arch Masons.  He is president and director of the Waco Braid Company of Harrisville, Rhode Island; member and president of the Warwick Central Baptist Society (Corporation); and is very active in church affairs.

Mr. Carpenter married, December 30, 1875, Harriet Arnold, daughter of Lafayette Greene and Pauline Elizabeth (Holden) Nichols, of Sterling, Connecticut.  She died December 8, 1917.  She had been a very successful and beloved teacher in Rhode Island schools, and her marriage did not diminish her activities in educational lines.

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PELEG W. BARBER  -- In 1869 Isaac P. Richards, a young Connecticut machinist, patented and improved a punch for iron and steel.  In 1870 he established their manufacture, and in 1871 located in Providence, Rhode Island, and from that time The I. P. Richards Company has been manufacturing United States Standard Punches for iron and steel, the punch originated and patented by Isaac P. Richards.  In 1890 Peleg W. Barber, a native son of Rhode Island, came to Providence, and obtained work with Mr. Richards as boiler tender and general handy man at the plant Mr. Richards had built at No. 23 Pemberton street.  For over twenty years, until 1913, Mr. Barber was associated with Mr. Richards, and under him had that valuable schooling which made him the logical successor to the founder, when in 1913 he laid down the reins of management and went to his reward.  The business had become a corporation in 1908, with Isaac P. Richards, president, and in 1913 he was succeeded by Peleg W. Barber.  The business of the plant is one of steady volume, growing year by year, the shop watchword now as ever, 'Quality'.

Isaac P. Richards, the founder and principal owner of the I. P. Richards Company, was born in Ashford, Connecticut, June 15, 1834, and died in Providence, Rhode Island, July 4, 1913.  At the age of seven years he was placed in the care of a farmer at Pomfret, Connecticut, and there remained eight years, recieving as compensation his board and clothing.  His country school attendance was permitted by his doing his farm chores late at night and early in the morning.  From fifteen to seventeen he worked on the Connecticut farms, then in 1851 he began work at the Plant Manufacturing Company's mill at Plantsville, and in 1853 began learning the machinist's trade with Paul Whitin & Son, of Whitinsville, Massachusetts, his wages $2.00 weekly, his board costing him $1.88.  He continued with Whitin & Son for three years, finishing, in 1856, his former duties with that company, but remaining with them for two years as journeyman.  It was during this period that he conceived the idea that later developed and manifested itself in the 'United States Standard Punch'.  In 1858 he came to Providence and was employed by W. T. Nicholson, founder of the Nicholson File Company. Later he was in the employ of J. R. Brown & Sharpe.  During the next few years he was on the move, then in 1864 returned to Whitinsville and was placed in charge of the screw department of the shops.  He remained there until 1871, and during that time patented a spindle bolster (1867), and an improved punch for iron and steel (1869).

Mr. Richards began manufacturing his United States Standard Punch in 1870 at Whitinsville, but a year later came to Providence, where he made an arrangement with his old employer, W. T. Nicholson, his brother-in-law, by which he could manufacture his punches at the plant of the Nicholson File Company.  This arrangement prevailed for some years, but in 1885 Mr. Richards erected his own shops at No. 23 Pemberton street, and there Richard's punches and dies have ever since been made.  In 1908 the business was incorporated as the I. P. Richards Company, and so continues.  The quality of the punches Mr. Richards made became well-known all over the country, his motto 'Quality' being for everyday use, and every man in his employ was expected to live up to it.  He married Marietta Nicholson, sister of W. T. Nicholson, of Providence.  She died September 2, 1894, leaving two sons, Fred L., who died July 2, 1911, and George A., who died December 12, 1913.  Their daughter Flora married George C. Arnold, of Providence, whose son, Lincoln R. Arnold, is vice-president of the I. P. Richards Company.

Peleg W. Barber, president and manager of the I. P. Richards Company, was born at Exeter, Rhode Island, August 5, 1867, and until nine years of age attended the country school.  He then began working in a cotton mill, that being his regular employment until eighteen years of age.  In 1890 he came to Providence, and in his search for employment met Isaac P. Richards, who gave him a job in his shop, tending the boiler, caring for the horses and making himself generally useful.  The young man very soon became interested in the making of punches which pleased Mr. Richards and he gave him a chance at shop work.  He advanced rapidly under the instruction of his employer, and soon was entrusted with important parts of the work.  He was advanced to the hardening and tempering department, and finally there was no department of the factory with which he was not familiar.  The I. P. Richards Company was incorporated in 1908, and Mr. Barber was elected in 1918 treasurer, and his years of service and his value to the company brought him the additional honor of being named 'plant manager', a position he filled until 1913.  A close friendship existed between the two men, the same spirit of striving for perfection of product and management animating them, and when Mr. Richards' will was read it was found that in it he had given Mr. Barber full control of the plant and business for a term of twenty years, during which time he was to continue to progress or dispose of the same.  There had been no change in policy, and with the exception of new machinery needed, the business flows along accustomed channels, the present executive freely acknowledging the superior quality of his predecessor in office and honoring his memory with a reverence akin to love.  President Barber now owns a controlling interest in the stock of the company of which he is president and general manager.  Lincoln R. Arnold is vice-president, Harold E. Barber, secretary, and Clifford Howard, treasurer.  The presidency of the I. P. Richards Company is Mr. Barber's sole business connection, his home and his business being the two great interests of his life.  For twenty-five years he has been a member of Swart Lodge, No. 18, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; belongs to the Maccabees of the World; for many years has been a member of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, and in politics is an Independent.

Mr. Barber married, in January, 1894, at Providence, Grace Elizabeth Smith, born in Hartford, Connecticut, they the parents of a son, Harold Ernest, born March 17, 1895.  He was educated in the public schools of the city, and during his four years of grammar school study won the honor for perfect attendance.  He spent two years at Technical High School, then became associated with the I. P. Richards Company, working his way through the shops and office to his present post, secretary of the corporation.


These documents are made available free to the public for non-commercial purposes by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project. Transcription and pictures 2001-2 by Beth Hurd

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