The name of Purssell is prominently connected with bakery interests in the east, and, as associated with any enterprise in that line, is a guaranty of the excellence of the articles manufactured by the house. James Purssell, the father of the Purssell Brothers, was born in London, England, and made his home in his native city until 1859, carrying on business as a baker and confectioner at Cornhill for many years.
Crossing the Atlantic to the New World, he established himself in the same line of business in Broadway, New York City, near Twenty-first street, and his superior knowledge and understanding of the business soon brought him a constantly increasing trade. His growing patronage from time to time necessitated the enlargement of his facilities in order that he might meet the demands of his patrons, for the excellence of the articles manufactured soon won him a most enviable reputation, and the name of Purssell connected with pastry or confectionery was taken as a guaranty of superior quality. Mr. Purssell continued to conduct a large and profitable business in New York until his death, which occurred March 4, 1887. Previous to that time a stock company was formed, which uses the name of the Purssell Manufacturing Company. After his death, however, the family had no further connection with the corporation, the new company simply securing the right to use his name, which they found gave their business a prestige otherwise unattainable.
Mrs. Purssell bore the maiden name of Eliza West, and she is still living. Their children, in order of birth are as follows:
- William A.,
- Arthur J. ;
- Eliza C, wife of J. Louis Kight, of London, England;
- Francis J.,
- Charlotte J.,
- Mary L.
- and George.
In 1887, after his father’s death, James Purssell, Jr., established a bakery business in East Orange (N.J.), continuing the same until 1889. when the business was reorganized under the name of Purssell Brothers, the partners being Francis J. and Charles Purssell. Their mother still resides in East Orange.
Francis J. Purssell, who is the managing director of the firm, was born in New York city, April 19,1863, and his brother, Charles, who is financial manager of thebusiness, was born in New York, May 31,1865. Both were educated in the Catholic schools in the city of their nativity, and in early life began working in their father’s establishment, so that they are fortified by practical experience and long training for the work they now have in charge. Their business in East Orange has assumed extensive proportions, and they employ a large force of competent men at the head of the various departments. The place is characterized by a neatness that would be difficult to improve upon, and the artistic manner in which they put their products upon the market is one of the attractive features of the enterprise, and combined with their honorable dealing, has brought them a very gratifying success. The brothers are both energetic and enterprising business man, whose careful oversight of their interests has made them prosperous, and Essex county numbers them among her most reliable and highly respected businessmen.
Biographical and genealogical history of the city of Newark and Essex County, New Jersey .. Volume 1: Isaac T Nichols: published 1907