Leonard Carpenter Bliss, was born in Rehoboth, MA, on July 10, 1834. Mr. Bliss’s father was a well-to-do farmer in Rehoboth. His mother’s earlier family was involved in an iron forging business in the area.
When Mr. Bliss was ten years old, his family moved from Rehoboth to Wrentham, MA., where they lived until he was about sixteen and where he completed his schooling. During this period there happened an incident that Mr. Bliss described as “ shaping the course of my future life”. At the suggestion of his school teacher he took charge of a general store and post office in Walpole, MA, for a short time, which was the beginning of his business career. He next took a position in Calvin Turner’s general store in Sharon, MA. Oliver Ames of Boston, one of his customers, observing his work ethic, offered him a position as clerk in the store of of the Oliver Ames Shovel Manufactory in North Easton, MA, which he accepted and soon became manager of the business at the age of nineteen. After ten years of service, he purchased a large grocery business, including flour and grain, in North Bridgewater, which later became Brockton, MA, receiving a $2,000 loan from Mr. Ames. Here he built up a very extensive business and acquired a good reputation as a large merchandiser. After several years he sold his business, to enter the retail dry goods and shoe business in Foxboro, MA, and later opened a store at Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. In 1880 he sold these enterprises and purchased a small shoe manufacturing plant in Brockton, MA, operating under the name of L. C. Bliss & Co., where he began making high grade men’s shoes, selling directly to the retail trade.
In September, 1883, Mr. Bliss’s son, Elmer J. Bliss, formed, in Boston, the firm of Bliss & Cross, under the name of the Regal Shoe Company, and opened a chain of retail stores in several large cities. In 1884 this firm was consolidated with L. C. Bliss & Co. and did business under the name of L. C. Bliss & Company, moving it’s plant from Brockton to Whitman, MA. In 1903 the business was incorporated under the name of the Regal Shoe Company with L.C. Bliss as President.
Thus, Mr. Bliss lived to find himself the senior officer of vast and flourishing company, the Regal Shoe Co., with a chain of stores established from the Atlantic to the Pacific and in Europe and four large manufacturing plants.